Jiang Xin, Wang Kai save the village in “Half the Sky”

After 5 years of not airing, Jiang Xin probably can’t even remember she filmed this.

As you know, I’m a bigger supporter of depictions of urban, cosmopolitan China to promote the image of new China. Yet here I am, being beyond excited for, yes, a country drama.

 Half the Sky 女人的天空 stars Jiang Xin and Wang Kai and is directed by Zhang Xinjian, who is the one Shandong director with an excellent track of portraying women of all types.The series should mostly use on-site recording, and all actors speak with a Dongbei accent. Can I hear a round of applause for the cast?

Jiang Xin plays a city girl who becomes a village official ( think of it as China’s version of Teach for America, with all the same pros and cons) and marries a local man (Cheng Haofeng, who played Jingrui in Nirvana in Fire)  who then deserts her for the allure of city life.   She works with her aunt-in-law, another village official, to  revive the village economy while insuring local sustainability.

Wang Kai plays the aunt-in-law’s son who goes to the city to make his fortune, little did he know that his boss is his birth father. Somehow the two fall in love.     In the one news article about the drama released back when filming had just begun in 2011, Wang Kai said he felt the romance seemed too sudden so he’s working on building a new romantic plot with the director. He also mentioned depicting the relationship to more of an admiration. I hope you mentally applauded for the last two lines, because my baby deserves all the praise  for even recognizing a forced relationship and trying to fix it.

The series finished productions in 2012, but probably because it involves rural government, did not get approved for airing until last May.  It’s set to air on March 21st on CCTV-8.  Also, Jiang Xin and Wang Kai’s Ode To Joy is set for an April 16th release date.

Drama adaptation of Qin’s Moon rounds cast with fresh faces

The following description reads like a yearbook, because there are many (cute) babies! young’uns in the cast. Row 1: Gina Chen, Gao Shengwu, Cheng haofeng. Row 2: Sun Yizhou, Jiang Jinfu, Lu Yi. Row 3: Qin Junjie, Hu Bingqing, Michelle Chen.

Tangren’s upcoming drama adaptation of Qin’s Moon begins filming in Hengdian on August 15th, and has officially released news of its cast. Lu Yi will be playing the “sword saint” Ge Nie, love interest of the “divine doctor” played by Michelle Chen. Jiang Jinfu will play Jing Tianming, the glib but goodhearted protagonist, with Sun Yizhou (of Bu Bu Jing Qing) playing Lu Yi’s ambitious rival, Wei Zhuang. Jiang Jinfu’s love interest, once the Princess of Yan, is Hu Bingqing. His best friend, the future King of Chu Xiang Yu, will be Qin Junjie, a sort-of-promotion from his previous roles as Prince Changqing from Ancient Sword and the Prince of Tennis. Gao Shengwu takes on the role of “White Phoenix,” while Gina Jin Chen will be the former princess of Han. A cosplayer(?!), Xiaoxiao Bai, scored a role as one of Wei Zhuang’s subordinates.

Of these, Hu Bingqing and Gao Shengwu have had little experience in “published” works (neither have a weibo, and Gao Shengwu, when casting was announced, didn’t have a Baidu page). They’re also very young – at the moment, Hu Bingqing (’92), Gao Shengwu, and Qin Junjie (’91) are all twenty-two; Gina Jin Chen is 23 (’90). (Jiang Jinfu (’91) is 23, but is more well-known, thanks to Xuanyuan Sword). How young they were/how old I am hit me when I realized that I calculated their ages relative to my own, instead of subtracting their birth year from 2014.   Instead of opting for more well known stars with bigger fees, Tangren has selected less well-known artists – hopefully giving them a chance to shine (think Hu Ge, of Chinese Paladin) while saving money for better costumes and etc.

To the disappointment of many fans, Geng Le, and not Hu Ge, will be Jing Ke. Meanwhile, Cheng Haofeng comes in as Gao Jianli, with Gulinazha rumored to be his love interest, the elegant dancer Snowlady. (more…)