Zhang Ziyi, Wu Xiubo, Xu Zheng sign on as judges for season two of acting variety show

The controversial acting variety show I Am An Actor 我就是演员 (previously Birth of a Performer) is back for a second season. Zhang Ziyi is the only remaining judge from the first season, and is joined by dependable uncle actors Wu Xiubo (The Advisors Alliance) and Xu Zheng (Dying to Survive). The variety show airs every Saturday night on Zhejiang TV beginning tomorrow.

This gorgeous promo features Zhang Ziyi looking back on her characters (Wu Xiubo, Xu Zheng):

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31st Flying Apsaras Awards

Sun Li once again reigns supreme as the queen of Chinese dramas

Flying Apsaras Awards represents the government branch of Chinese drama awards, and are usually held on odd-numbered years to avoid clashing with the Golden Eagle Awards.

Because the awards shows are government endorsed, the Flying Asparas are taken very seriously, and that means all nominees turn up, which makes the live stream that much more interesting. Red carpet round up and winners list below.

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The Advisors Alliance cast reunite in The Drug Hunter

Yu Hewei, who portrayed Cao Cao in last year’s popular historical drama The Advisors Alliance is starring in upcoming crime thriller titled The Drug Hunter 猎毒人 as a chemical engineer who successfully infiltrates and busts a drug ring in the Golden Triangle. It begins as a personal revenge mission, yet the hero ultimately transforms into a respected undercover operative.

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Wu Xiubo, Angelababy seek comfort in each other in City of Desire

Here’s our first look at City of Desire (I’m glad they changed the name, because Desire and the City just gives the wrong impression), the upcoming modern drama starring Wu Xiubo and Angelababy as two lonely individuals who come together to heal each other, and eventually fall in love. Extended synopsis here.

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Huang Xuan, Zhao Liying collaborate with director Lu Yang for Sina’s Best Performance series

Lu Yang is fast becoming one of my favourite up-and-coming directors thanks to the Brotherhood of Blades film series, and his short videos for Sina’s Best Performance 最美表演 series are the best of the lot.

Huang Xuan’s character loses his wife (Zhao Liying) to illness, though she returns to their home one last time in spirit:

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Promo Round-up: The Advisors Alliance Part 2

Out of all the subplots in The Advisors Alliance 2, I’m probably most excited about the showdown between Zhuge Liang (Wang Luoyong) and Sima Yi (Wu Xiubo), as well as the Sima family’s descent into darkness and coup against Cao Wei (that just made me sound sadistic).Growling Tiger, Roaring Dragon will begin airing tonight on Youku.

Character Teasers (playlist):

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Angelababy to romance Wu Xiubo in Desire and the City

Desire and the City / City of Desire 欲望之城 comes from the production company behind this year’s hit drama The First Half of My Life, and stars Angelababy (General and I) as Lin Li, an optimistic young white collar worker who helps Wu Xiubo‘s (The Advisors Alliance) Jiang Nianhua walk out of depression.

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Zhuge Liang finally appears in new stills for The Advisors Alliance

The Advisors Alliance became less addictive ever since the awesome Cao Cao (Yu Hewei) and Yang Xiu (Zhai Tianlin) passed away, but these new stills have definitely piqued my interest for part 2 of the drama.

Part 2 will focus on Sima Yi’s conflict with Zhuge Liang (Wang Luoyong) and Cao Shuang (Du Yiheng). His deteriorating relationship with the Cao family eventually paves the way for the Sima family’s coup d’état.

The Advisors Alliance: Howling Tiger, Roaring Dragon is set to air sometime in the Fall.

Behind-the-scenes: (1), (2)

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The Advisors Alliance: Howling Tiger, Roaring Dragon trailer

Part 2 of The Advisors Alliance 大军师司马懿之虎啸龙吟 has released  a trailer, and it looks much more exciting than how the first one ended. The quality of part 1 went  down half way through when Cao Cao died and Sima Yi got involved in a love triangle, though I still recommend it for Cao Cao and the cute Cao Pi-Guo Zhao ship.  Hopefully season 2 will focus more on   strategy and nation-building (and the Sima sons) instead of unappetizing love triangles

The Advisors Alliance review: ep. 1 -4

Cao Pi: Here’s your sword back.
Guo Zhao: This isn’t mine.
Cao Pi: It was mine. Now it’s yours.   #HowToGift101

Episode 3,  scene X:   Yang Xiu ,   the ambitious antagonist in the first few episodes, had just kicked off a dying Sima Yi into the river.  He is relieved, proud of what he has accomplished.

When he is left alone , he  turns to see his hands in the dimming night.  There’s blood on his hands.  He realizes what he has done, betraying his father’s trust and hope for a Han alliance, murdering at least two men.  He screams into the night.

The scene is representative of how The Advisors Alliance 军师联盟 has so far treated its characters – as complex and contradicting human beings.

With a rich set of characters, a fast-paced plot, thoughtful but colloquial dialogue, and just the right amount of romance and humor mixed in,   The Advisors Alliance is probably the best scripted ancient drama in the past couple of years. Continue reading