Three-billion-RMB trilogy Fengshen 封神 released its first trailer today. The Wu’ershan-directed project is China’s most expensive yet. What do you think, is it worth it?
It’s that time of year again, when I collect all my thoughts on the dramas I watched over the past year. I vowed to watch many of the shows in the discarded list because they starred my favourites, conveniently forgetting that good actors cannot always elevate the quality of a drama.
On the other hand, dramas that weren’t initially on my radar ended up becoming the shows I was most invested in, probably because I had zero expectations going in. What are your thoughts on this year’s drama offerings?
Collection of Cfensi’s past reviews can be found here.
**Spoilers ahead, do proceed with caution.
The Rise of Phoenixes streams with English subtitles on Netflix beginning today here. The series is the first ancient drama brought in as a “Netflix original” and stars Chen Kun, Ni Ni, Ni Dahong, Liu Mintao, Zhang Xiaochen, and Bai Jingting.
Here’s a bunch of stills and posters that have been released since the show begun airing other than the ones we’ve already posted, like Chen Kun’s color palette and Ni Ni’s costumes. The show also has a great OST, including Helpless 奈何 by Sam Lee, How did we become so helpless 何奈何 by Ni Ni, Like Yesterday 如昨 by Liu Xijun, and Schemes 心机 by Wang Xiaomin. A couple more behind-the-scenes stuff have also been released since the last round-up. Watch them here and here.
For those of you waiting patiently for the English subbed version of The Rise of Phoenixes, it will stream on Netflix on September 14. Also, if you’re in the U.S., Ni Ni will be making her US magazine debut on one of four covers for L’Officiel USA on top of L’Officiel Singapore, France, and China. I will link to magazine ordering site if/when it’s up.
The drama is stunning but a little slow (not in what’s actually going on but the editting) but this drama gave me so much more appreciation (I know, I didn’t think it was possible) for Ni Ni. She’s hands down the most convincing female lead crossdressing as a male in a Chinese drama in maybe forever. She’s the only one who is simply playing a male instead of a woman crossdressing as a male. I never knew how much I needed Ni Ni to play all my favorite wuxia male leads until I saw her as Wei Zhi. I had chills watching a drinking scene because of how much it reminded me of Linghu Chong, and an escape scene that I thought would be perfect for Yang Guo.
Also the male voice she uses in this drama is apparently closer to her real voice, which is amazing because it’s so much huskier than the voice of most of her previous characters that I’ve seen.
Anyways here is the Netflix trailer and some pics of her by Yin Chao below:
Chen Kun’s workshop releases this pretty set of color palettes with traditional Chinese colors for The Rise of Phoenixes. I’ve tried translating a few of the colors literally but gave up because of how I didn’t know how to type half of the colors for some of them, anyone else want to give a try?