I cried three times in the process of editing this review. This sweepingly beautiful but simple ode to Tsinghua University is a tear-jerker for all seasons.
Set against one of the most stunning visuals of the year, Forever Young 无问西东 tells its simple tales with an incredibly romantic lens that makes it difficult not to admire. Director Li Fangfang (Heaven Eternal, Love Everlasting) always manages to play my emotions just right to evoke all my emotions for the world she captures.
The film from centers around four loosely connected stories of six characters (played by Wang Leehom, Zhang Ziyi, ChangChen, Huang Xiaoming, Tie Zheng, and Chen Chusheng) facing their true selves through making difficult choices, from scary ones like life-and-death decisions to the even scarier decision of picking a college major. Continue reading →
Hu Ge’s most anticipated drama since the end of Nirvana in Fire in 2015, Game of Huntingfollows protagonist Zheng Qiudong’s journey from an idealistic entrepreneur to a skilled headhunter.
However, the path is far from smooth – his business fails after Bai Liqin’s (Zu Feng) death, and the teaser suggests he also spends time in prison after being betrayed by girlfriend (Jian Renzi). Thankfully Qiudong befriends wise inmate Liu Liangti (cameo by Sun Honglei), who points him in the right direction after he is released. The 45 episode drama begins airing tonight.
Drama opening theme (I’m intrigued by all the symbolism):
Hu Ge’s new drama Game of Hunting 猎场 (previously translated as Hunting Ground) is finally going to see the light of day after a lengthy legal dispute between the production company and broadcasters Hunan TV and LeTV, and has released an official trailer ahead of its premiere in the third quarter of the year.
As Ode to Joy II 欢乐颂 2 is geared up for release, here’s a review of season 1 of the hit series from 2016.
Witty dialogue and a cast of memorable characters make Ode to Joy one of the most fun sit-coms in a while. Unfortunately, the series is often dogged down by attempts to shift to a melodrama that makes the ff button a necessary friend.
The series focuses around the unlikely friendship between five women who share a floor in an apartment complex in Shanghai. There’s Andi (An Di?), the business professional with a fear of human touch, Qu Xiaoxiao, the heiress fighting for the family inheritance, Fan Shengmei, the gold-digger with an entitled family, Qiu Yingying, the happy-go-lucky college grad, and Guan Ju’er, the ordinary white-collared girl who has never said no in her life.
Coming from a misogynistic rural family, Fan Shengmei (Jiang Xin) is vain, self-centered, but also righteous and protective. She would lie to help out a friend, but also to save face. The first lets her befriend the women in the apartment complex, but the second gets her in trouble as she falls for men who use her vanity to play her. When she falls in love with a man faked his own wealth to date her, she is caught between love and vanity. Imperfect, complex, and sharp-tongued, Fan’s characterization is perfect.
… and we have a winner for the most spoiler-y trailer of all time…
For the Holy Guiguzi, starring Duan Yihong, Qi Wei, Zu Feng, Xu Qiwen, Ni Dahong, Zhang Zhizhong, Wei Zhen, and Cecilia Yip, has recently dropped a really long trailer. It’s so long it comes in parts… really… with English subs. Don’t ask me why the third one only lasts 1 second…
Get used to seeing this pair, because they’re going to be collaborating for two more seasons of Ode to Joy and at least one of detective series When a Snail Falls in Love 如果蜗牛有爱情.
First of all, I’m kind of impressed by their use of English songs in the two trailers so far. Hopefully this bodes well for their rather large OST (all the girls and maybe Wang Kai have their own song). Second, can everyone but maybe Jiang Xin please get a new stylist? There is absolutely nothing young and hip about any of Wang Kai’s outfits.
I still think Ode to Joy 欢乐颂 could be ground-breaking in being a female-centric modern drama that isn’t solely-focused on romance (despite this trailer), so I have high hopes for this series. I like the end message of the trailer, if anything else. All the leads have signed up for season 2 and 3 for this drama, so that should indicate the script is really good (or they were emotionally blackmailed).
The series has been pushed back for an April 18th release, and still stars Liu Tao, Jiang Xin, Yang Zi, Wang Ziwen, Qiao Xin, Zu Feng, Yang Shuo, Zhang Lu, Wang Kai, Jin Dong, and Zhang Xiaoqian,
A selected list of airing times for dramas to air this spring. Everything is subject to change. Which ones are you looking forward to?
Stars to release include Liu Tao, Jiang Xin, Dilraba, Wang Kai, Hu Ge, Liu Shishi, Zhang Ruoyun, Huang Xuan, Zhang Meng,William Chan, Jerry Yan, Im Yoona, Godfrey Gao, Yan YIkuan, Yang Le, Tang Yixin, Zheng Kai, Jin Dong, Wan Qian, Zu Feng, etc.
2016 Spring Airing Times
The Love of Happiness 因为爱情有幸福 , February 24 Featuring: William Chan, Tang Yixin (They dubbed themselves! Even William Chan with his major Cantonese accent!)
So much talent, looks, and personality in one trailer!
This trailer is actually so much better than I expected it to be! Everyone’s on point with their characters, and the trailer looks both fun and dramatic.
So here’s our Ode to Joy 欢乐颂, set to air on April 17, introducing the adorable residents of 2201 and the males in their lives, Liu Tao, Jiang Xin, Yang Zi, Wang Ziwen, Qiao Xin, Zu Feng, Yang Shuo, Zhang Lu, Wang Kai,Jin Dong, and Zhang Xiaoqian,
P.S. Wang Ziwen said that for all of her scenes with Wang Kai, pretty much if the two can’t come up a way to make their scene cute, they’ll just make out, so expect lots of cuteness from the pair.
Who knew? Female bff’s who don’t cat-fight over some guy exists in Chinese dramas.
But you know who aren’t besties in this show? Jin Dong and Wang Kai. Having the two of them being in a show and not having a single scene together is almost as cruel as having Idina Menzel be in a musical and not have a song (I know, it’s been 8 years).
Known for producing dozens of amazing male leads in every show, Shandong TV and co. (The Disguiser, Nirvana in Fire, All Quiet in Peking) is unfortunately one of the worst in their ability to write good female roles. Usually if you’re a female character in one of their dramas, you’ll be lucky if your IQ is above 80 or if your life revolves around anything other than a male. If you’re both, then you are probably an antagonist. Ode To Joy 欢乐颂 is hoping to change that as their first drama with a predominantly female leading cast. Introducing the sisterhood that is Liu Tao, Jiang Xin, Yang Zi, Wang Ziwen, and Qiao Xin. Opposite them are Zu Feng, Jin Dong, Wang Kai,Zhang Lu, Zhang Xiaoqian and a mysterious male lead (rumored to be Luo Jin) who better be really amazing for anyone to pick him over Zu Feng and Jin Dong.
Going against the common trend of one strong woman, one girl-next-door, and one boyish friend, Ode to Joy features at least three independent women who all have their own love interests (that do not intersect).
Now that I think about it, palace life isn’t THAT bad.
More stills have been released for the drama For the Holy Guiguzi. Starring Duan Yihong, Qi Wei, Zu Feng, etc. , this drama is probably hoping to get out of the backed-up “upcoming Chinese drama artery” and finally be released. Those looking forward to The Legend of Miyue can probably get a taste of the general time period through this drama, given this drama ends up released before the latter.
All in all, best of luck to this drama and others stuck in the backed-up upcoming Chinese drama artery. More stills below the cut. Continue reading →