Flashback: Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils 2003 stills

This still looks exactly like the illustrations in Jin Yong books.

Often lauded as director Zhang Jizhong’s best Jin Yong drama, his adaptation of Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils has all of his fortes without any of his weaknesses. A perfect combination of solid hand-to-hand combat and artistic license in the action choreography, a stunning cast in equally stunning on-location scenery, a focus on the grandeur of the stories but finally with nuanced relationships and chemistry between the characters. Hu Jun is truly one of the few actors who pulls off the rugged-at-large-soft-in-the-heart Xiao Feng, while Jimmy Lin’s idol-drama-take on Duan Yu makes him much more likable than the original character. Liu Tao’s Ah-Zhu was the first TV character who made me cry, while Jiang Xin’s Mu Wuantong remains her most gorgeous role to date. Chen Hao and Shu Chang also gave amazing performances as two complex female antagonists.

The impeccably cast series stars Hu Jun, Jimmy Lin, Gao Hu, Liu Tao, Chen Hao, Jiang Xin, Shu Chang, Liu Yifei, Yang Rui, Xiu Qing, Tong Chun-Chung, Christy Chung, Diana Pang, etc.

(more…)

Celebrity diving takes off in Chinese television

U4175P28T3D3873946F326DT20130311103308
Raise your hand if you want to see Han Geng, in a speedo!

As celebrity diving takes off in both the U.S. and Europe, how can the world’s biggest diving nation fall behind? Like elsewhere, the two major diving formats, Celebrity Splash 中国星跳跃 and High Dive: Stars in Danger 星跳水立方 are fighting it out in China. Jiangsu TV’s Stars in Danger have already secured the Water Cube as a venue, with Vanness Wu, Chen Chusheng and Han Geng as the so-far confirmed guests. Joining them will be Olympic Champion Hu Jia with the soft and lovely commentator voice.

While the entertainment star power is so far a little less for Zhejiang TV’s Celebrity Splash, it still has  eyecandy in model-actor Zhang Lunshuo as one of the three confirmed guests, not to mention diver-turned-actor Tian Liang and the entire Chinese national diving team. Fu Xinbo has also begun training, although I’m not sure which one

Which stars would you like to see in either competition?