Promo Round-up: Like A Flowing River

Like A Flowing River stars Wang Kai as a smart lad from the countryside who is able to change the course of his life after taking the university entrance exams, Yang Shuo as his impulsive brother-in-law while and Dong Zijian as a budding entrepreneur. Part 1 begins airing tonight on Dragon TV / Beijing TV and will finish with 47 episodes.

English-subbed playlist of promo materials below. The drama will also be uploaded on  the same channel.

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Friday Photos

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A new still of Liu Yifei for The Love of Hypnosis to celebrate Daxue

Posters, stills, photoshoots, and random photos that caught my eye this week. This week is all mostly rising actors with a few drama stills

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Jiang Shuying plays Wang Kai’s empress in Held in the Lonely Castle

Held in the Lonely Castle has unveiled its main cast, and Jiang Shuying (Mr. Right) will be playing the female lead Empress Cao, a woman who abides by her duties but is distrusted by her husband (Wang Kai).

Fourteen-year-old Bian Cheng (Yong Qi in Ruyi’s Royal Love, young Luo Chi in Faithful to Buddha) plays eunuch Liang Huaiji, while new actress Ren Min (Cry Me A Sad River) plays the princess Huirou. [Extended Synopsis]

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Friday Photos

Poster for upcoming fantasy series Mirror: Twin Cities, the first fantasy series set in Yunhuang, a more female-oriented version of Novoland where multiple authors created a fantasy world together.

Posters, stills, photoshoots, and random photos that caught my eye this week.

New character poster for Liu Tao’s Poetry of the Song Dynasty

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Wang Kai confirmed for historical melodrama Held in the Lonely Castle

With Wang Kai as the emperor, I imagine the crew will be casting a relatively young actress as his daughter Huirou.

Based on Milan Lady’s novel of the same name, upcoming period drama Held in the Lonely Castle 孤城闭 stars Wang Kai as Zhao Zhen, a benevolent emperor who would bring in one of the most prosperous periods of the Song Dynasty with the help of his government.

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Like a Flowing River releases stills, casts Jin Chen as female lead

I don’t think this was in the book, so taking bets now on if Song Yunhui wrote anything on that paper airplane.  

I didn’t think it would be possible to cast people more like a character than the book portrayals, but here we are with  Like a Flowing River 大江大河. Wang Kai, Zhou Fang, Yang Shuo and Dong Zijuan actually have the perfect qualities to fill out what I think are inconsistencies in the characters in the books (Tong Yao’s character is already perfect).  

My only concern is Jin Chen. Imo she’s  the actress who has the most on-screen chemistry with Wang Kai, but her character was so unrealistically perfect and unlikeable that she would need a major overhaul to work. I will likely be rooting for Zhou Fang’s character.

80’s fashion making China rethink its decision to open  doors.

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Like a Flowing River’s Trailer is Perfect

“Freedom to humans is light to the eyes.” – Like a Flowing River

The trailer for Like a Flowing River 大江大河 only covers like the first two episodes of the TV seriesand I’ve already cried at least three times re-watching it.

The book was already nuanced, but the drama per the trailer seems to have elevated the theme.  Wang Kai, Tong Yao, Yang Shuo, Dong Zijian’s acting are perfect, the music poignant, the sets impeccable, and the lighting is Daylight Entertainment’s best yet. 

The trailer opens with the Song siblings (Wang Kai, Tong Yao) running in the fields as they’re given their first whiff of freedom, only to have the door slammed in their face by cruel remnants of the Cultural Revolution. The trailer doesn’t hide the tragedies, the shut doors to the Song sister , but also opens to so much hope to other characters.  From the re-opening of colleges, to the splitting of public land to private ownership, to the rise of new factories, and to the dream of being able to eat meat everyday that will one day come true, the trailer is a short but poignant reminder of how much potential humanity has when finally given the freedom to use their talents. 

Review: A Better Tomorrow 2018

A Better Tomorrow 2018 is a bold visual and auditory delight and a boatload of fun.

From some of the boldest music choices to drastic switches in tone of cinematography to one of the most interesting shootout scenes in a while,   A Better Tomorrow 2018英雄本色 2018 felt like a firework so  bursting with life that  it left me too busy savoring every minute details of brilliance to think about its flaws. You can just feel how much love and thought director Ding Sheng and the cast put into every scene.  Even all the jokes avoid lazy one-liners but instead are all carefully set-up earlier to land perfectly.

Spoiler level: little more than what you would know from the trailers

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