The biggest news this week? Fan Bingbing and Li Chen announcing last Friday that they’re in a relationship. The two got close while filming The Empress of China (武媚娘传奇), though they didn’t portray a couple in that drama. This is the first time in her 19-year-long career that Fan Bingbing has publicly admitted that she was dating someone.
Their fairly low-key approach to announcing that they were dating — they simply uploaded a photo of them on Weibo with the caption “Us” — has been replicated throughout the Weibosphere in the few days since. Most of the usage has been tongue-in-cheek, such as Jiro Wang with the Incredible Hulk and a random netizen who somehow got actor Lee Pace to hold up fake marriage certificates with her.
Anyway, congratulations to Fan Bingbing and Li Chen, and I hope they don’t let all the rumors about their past relationships drag them down.
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Set to release on August 7th, Brotherhood of Blades by young director Lu Yang stars Chang Chen, Liu Shishi, Nie Yuan, Ye Qing, and Zhu Dan,. The story takes place during the Ming dynasty and follows the story of three brothers caught in between the Chongzhen Emperor, a plot to assassinate Wei Zhongxian (a notorious eunuch), the Ming dynasty secret police, and political intrigue possibly leading to the fall of the Ming dynasty.
Only in China does the audience vote on whether the lead should have an abortion.
Once again spearheading innovations in TV, Hunan TV made another bold move by streaming the finale of their latest weekly series, Love’s Maternity Unit 爱的妇产科, live. Not only was the filming streamed live, the ending was based on live voting by fans as the finale was being aired. The first part of the 2-hour-finale was pre-filmed. Meanwhile, the final climax, the main character (Zhu Dan)’s decision to give birth to a child at huge risk or to have an abortion, was live steamed, with her final decision being based on the voting.
The show is the first of a series of unconventional series by Hunan TV to air during its unconventional slot. Coming up is a multi-serial series, “The Queen has arrived 女王驾到,” which includes four independent chapters by four directors centered around four independent women. Following that will be another rarity – a modern musical series with over 50 original scores in addition to covers. This is concluded by another film-while-you-go sit-com.