Sunday, November 27, 2011

[Translation] Mu Yongfei's Monologue (Chapter Excerpt from Sealed with a Kiss Novel)

When I read the chapter written in Mu Yongfei's narrative, I really despised what she did to Mo Shaoqian. Her suffocating love for him (or more like an obsession) completely ruined his life. Without Mu Yongfei, Mo Shaoqian's father would probably still be alive and he wouldn't turn into the twisted, vindictive man he later became. Inadvertently, Mu Yongfei was also the precipice that linked Tong Xue and Mo Shaoqian together.

She actually only shows up in a single scene in the main novel despite having a "strong" hold in Tong Xue's mind throughout the story. Readers only get to see her character flushed out in this particular chapter. It is also through her eyes, we learn about the true extent of Mo Shaoqian's sacrifice for Tong Xue and the hardship he experienced.

I found Mu Yongfei to be the most pitiful character in the novel despite her maliciousness. The reason why Mo Shaoqian and Tong Xue failed to get the "gloriously prestigious first place" for "Most Pitiful Character" is due to their blissfully happy ending. Mo Shaoqian earned his "happy ending' because he was willing to forfeit everything for Tong Xue's sake and redeemed himself by learning to let go. Mu Yongfei, on the other hand, never got her redemption and remained psychotically obsessed with Mo Shaoqian. She wasted the most brilliant ten years of her life on man who never for a single moment of his life cherished nor loved her. I know she deserved what she got for all the wrongs she committed, but for such a proud woman and a woman of her strength, it's still heartbreaking to read about her emotional pain.

Friday, November 25, 2011

✿ Chinese Drama ✿ My Splendid Life/ My Wonderful Life


Title: My Splendid Life/ 我的灿烂人生/ Wo De Can Lan Ren Sheng/ My Wonderful Life
# Episode: 38
Genre: Modern Romance, Family
Director: Chen Ming Zhang (Taiwan)
Release date: November 22, 2011
Broadcasting Company: Dragon TV
Cast: Jerry Yan as Liu Yuhao , Yedda Chen as Qing Tianxian, Weng Hong as Man Yilin,

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Episode 4 Recap of Sealed with a Kiss

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you all get some good Black Friday deals. I'll be doing some midnight shopping too, so hopefully the crowd won't be too crazy. Anyway, I finally finished recapping Episode 4! No idea why it took so long. I guess there are so many memorable scenes in this episode that I kept on trying to snap the right moment for screen captures.
Feeling like a piece of chattel, Tong Xue devastatingly thinks that Shaoqian is passing her over to other men. She feels her life will be ruined after she consents to Shaoqian's "request." She recalls her parents' desire to send her abroad to study and their hope she'll explore her artistic talent to become a great interior designer.

Shaoqian, who seems completely unaffected, leaves his house and calls his assistant, Wenhao, to investigate the mastermind behind the trailing of Yueying. He then gets a phone call from Yongfei and the first thing he hears from her is "Do you know how I deal with the women you have outside?"
Shaoqian then answers in an innocent voice, "I don't have any women outside." Oh, such a conceited liar! The smirk he has on his face was so priceless though. I love it! Yongfei goes on to sarcastically compliment him for the great photos he took with Su Shanshan, but he completely ignores her attempts to confront him about the issue. Everything is going according to his plan to lure Yongfei's attention away from Tong Xue and focus on the scapegoat, Su Shanshan.

Monday, November 21, 2011

[Translation] Mo Shaoqian's Monologue (Chapter Exerpt from Sealed with a Kiss Novel)

Mo Shaoqian's monologue is one of the several epilogue chapters the author wrote after she completed the main chapters in Tong Xue's narrative. It is the only chapter, narrated by Mo Shaoqian, where we get a rare and intimate glimpse at his innermost feelings in the entire novel. I suspect the time frame of this chapter is set between the events after his blissful beach house days with Tong Xue and their eventual reunion shortly before their marriage. In stark contrast to the previous humorous epilogue about Shaoqian and Tong Xue's married life, this short narrative is definitely more heavy-hearted in nature.

This chapter is titled "Gui Mi Xin Qiao 鬼迷心窍" in Chinese, roughly meaning "inexplicably blinded or memorized by some devilish obsession." It's a Chinese proverb that literally translated as "ghosts have blinded one's heart and intelligence," which is often used to describe people are are overwhelmingly memorized by something or someone. They can no longer control how they feel or rationalize the reasons behind this obsession. Mo Shaoqian uses this proverb to describe his feelings for Tong Xue because he, himself, can't seem to provide a logical explanation or reason why he fell in love with her. Whether he likes this fact or not, he is unable to erase her from his heart — regardless of how hard he tries.

Friday, November 18, 2011

✿ Chinese Drama ✿ Hidden Intention/ Abandoned Secret

Title: Abandoned Secret/ 被遗弃的秘密/ formerly called Hidden Intention 藏心术/ Cang Xin Su
 # Episode: 28
Genre: Mystery, Republican Era, Revenge, Romance
Director: Yuan Yingming
Producer: Yu Zheng
Release date: November 18, 2011 Every Sunday 2 episodes
Broadcasting Company: Hunan TV
Cast: Gan Tingting as Zhou Yuqin, Jiang Mengjie as Liuliu, Mickey He as Dai Yongcheng, Qiao Zhenyu as Ou Guanqun, Luo Jin as Zhou Tianqi

FAQ for Sealed with a Kiss

Have some burning questions about Sealed with a Kiss? Well, here's your chance to ask if you have any! I've come up with a few questions I thought may be of interest. If you leave your questions in the comment section below, I'll update this post and try to answer the question for you.

Why is this drama called Sealed with a Kiss?

Well...I actually don't know how they came up with this English title. The English title has nothing to do with the Chinese name. The original Chinese title is called Qian Shan Mu Xue 千(thousand or qian) 山(mountain or shan)暮(evening/sunset or mu) 雪(snow or xue) which literally means "icy frost/snow capping a range of mountain peaks at sunset." The author uses this phase as a homonym to represent one of the Chinese characters in the name of Tong Xue and the 3 leading men in the novel. I love the Chinese title; it sounds really poetic.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

✿ Chinese Drama ✿ Bu Bu Jing Xin/ Startling Suprises at Every Step

Title: Bu Bu Jing Xin/Startling Surprises At Every Step/ 步步惊心
# Episode: 40 TV, 35 DVD
Genre: Historical, Time-travel, Romance
Director: Li Guoli
Release date: September 2011
Broadcasting Company: Hunan TV
Cast: Liu Shishi as Maertai Ruoxi, Nicky Wu as 4th Prince (Yongzheng Emperor), Kevin Cheung as 8th Prince, Yuan Hong as 13th Prince, Lin Gengxin as 14th Prince, Annie Liu as Maertai Ruolan

Episode 3 Recap of Sealed with a Kiss

On stage, Shaoqian gives Yongfei a kiss on the cheek to to show his love for his "wife," and of course, give reporters a good opportunity to snap "loving" photos for publication. A reporters asks Shaoqian if he prepared an anniversary gift for Yongfei. He replies jokingly, "Of course. Otherwise, I'll be dead meat when I go home." When Yongfei sees the giant triple-tier ruby diamond necklace, she feels incredibly disappointed and says "This is not what I want."

Monday, November 14, 2011

Novel vs. Drama: Major Differences



For those of you curious about the differences between Sealed with a Kiss drama and novel, I'm going to try to put together a list that explains how the drama deviates from the novel. In case you haven't heard, the novel is written in first person narrative. The story gets unfolded in Tong Xue's perspective. We only see what Tong Xue feels, but not necessarily what is true regarding various events. I read the novel awhile ago, so I don't remember all the details.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

❈ Korean Drama ❈ The Princess' Man


Title The Princess' Man/ 공주의 남자 / Gongjooeui Namja
# Episode: 24
Genre: Period Romance
Release date: July 2011
Broadcasting Company: KBS
Cast: Moon Chae Won as Lee Se Ryung  Park Shi Hoo as Kim Seung Yoo, Song Jong Ho as Shin Myun, Hong Soo Hyun as Princess Kyung Hye, Lee Soon Jae as Kim Jong Seo, Kim Young Chul as Prince Suyang (later King Sejo), Lee Min Woo as Jung Jong

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Episode 2 Recap of Sealed with a Kiss

As Shaoqian gets occupied with corporate matters elsewhere, Tong Xue aborbs in her design work. Yueying becomes very curious about her boyfriend since she senses fear in Tong Xue whenever he gets mentioned. Under Yueying's interrogation, Tong Xue finally yields and describes him as a "good man." The "good man" that Tong Xue describes is not Shaoqian but her first love, Xiao Shan. Tong Xue met her first love on her first day in college while she was still crying over her parents' death and he handed her some tissue paper to wipe her tears. Gradually through Xiao Shan's consolation, Tong Xue recovers from her mourning and they shared many happy memories together. Yueying asks Tong Xue why she didn't marry him if  she loves him so much, but Tong Xue refuses to say more.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

✿ Chinese Drama ✿ Tang's Court: Beauty World/Mei Ren Tian Xia

Mandarin title唐宫美人天下 / Tang's Court: Beauty World/ 
                        Tang Gong Mei Ren Tian Xia
# Episode: 45
Genre: Historical, Supernatural
Director: Li Huizhu
Release date: October 2011
Broadcasting Company:Shandong Television
Official Website: Sina
Trailer: 
Cast: Zhang Ting as Wu Mei Niang, Li Xiao Lu as Helan Xin'er, Ming Dao as Ming Chong Yan, Mickey He as Pei Shao Qing, Zheng Guo Lin as Emperor Gao Zong (Li Zhi)

✿ Chinese Drama ✿ Emperor's Harem/The Royal Harem

Mandarin title: The Royal Harem/Emperor's Harem/Hou Gong/后宫
# Episode: 46
Genre: Court Intrigue
Director: Huang Jianxun and He Liping
Release date: November 2011
Broadcasting Company: Zhejiang Television
Cast: Ady An as Shao Chunhua, Feng Shaofeng as Yang Yong, Travia Yeung as Wan Zhen'er/Wan Guifei, Patrick Tam as Eunuch Wang Zhi
Forum Discussion

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Episode 1 Recap of Sealed with with a Kiss

I know some viewers felt the first episode of SWAK was too fast and a little incoherent, but I personally love Episode 1. It sets up the intricate relationship between the different characters and shows the inner turmoil Tong Xue faces as the secret mistress of a rich married man.

The drama begins with a dream of Tong Xue walking into a blue-roofed beach house and a man inside the house orders her to strip naked in front of him. Before anything else is shown, she wakes up from her nightmare in cold sweat. When she steps out of her room, we see that Tong Xue lives quite luxuriously in a nice house with cleaning maids, a housekeeper, and a dog caretaker. She asks Housekeeper Ding when Mo Shaoqian plans to come back. Ding replies that she doesn't know since he hasn't called to inform her.


✿ Chinese Drama ✿ Too Late to Say I Love You


Mandarin title: 来不及说我爱你 / Too Late to Say I Love You
# Episode: 36
Genre:  Historical Romance
Director: Zeng Lizhen
Release date: August 30, 2010
Original Novel by Fei Wo Si Cun
Trailer with English Subs: Part 1 Part 2
Cast: Wallace Chung as Murong Feng (a.k.a. Peilin), Li Xiaoran as Yin Jingwan, Qi Fang as Cheng Jinzhi

Monday, November 7, 2011

Understanding the final episode of Sealed with a Kiss

Are you unsatisfied and frustrated with the final episode? Expected a happily ever after? Apparently, the scriptwriter succeeded in getting us all hooked onto this series for 28 episodes and suddenly bombarded us with a really CRAPPY open ending. My reaction when I first finished watching the final shot of Mo Shaoqian  walking lonely toward the police station was like this...

 

I so expected the last scene to be the novel's ending where Tong Xue cried at the airport, and not Shaoqian at the police station!  At minimum, I think they should have put Shaoqian's police station scene before Tong Xue's airport scene. Then show us Shaoqian at the airport watching Tong Xue's cries from a distance, as described in the epilogue.

To cure my poorly frustrated mood, I rushed to reread the dreamily happy epilogue that the author wrote for Sealed with a Kiss novel. After reading various analyses by different viewers online and the scriptwriter's comments about the ending, I still thought the ending was bad, but less "unacceptable." There were many questions left unanswered. I'll try to provide some logical explanation and point out all the subtle symbolism shown to give us a more "hopeful" interpretation of the drama ending. Anyway, I just want to make it clear...No matter how depressing the ending seems to be, the author, director, and scriptwriter all agree Mo Shaoqian and Tong Xue will get back together...eventually. Both are now aware of their love for each other. It's just a matter of time. The scriptwriter and director just don't want to show it to us onscreen.
 

Sealed with a Kiss Character Guide

Hawick Lau as Mo ShaoQian (~33 years old)
A disciplined man driven to ruthlessness. Ten years ago, he sacrificed his happiness to marry a woman he didn't love to save his father's company from bankruptcy. ShaoQian sees his political marriage to YongFei as his biggest personal humiliation, and tries his best to keep his distance from his "wife". When he discovers the daughter of the man who betrayed his father, he ruthlessly seeks revenge and tries to make her life a living hell. But when he realizes he has fallen in love with the daughter, he becomes frighten and tries his best to suppress his feelings. He gets further tormented by the fact that the woman he loves only bears hatred for him.
TongXue often describes him using the Chinese proverb 衣冠禽兽/yi guan qin shou literally meaning "beast in clothes" cuz ShaoQian ALWAYS always dresses spotlessly but she finds his "beast-like" actions to be a stark contrast to how proper he looks. Now both fans/author fondly call him by that name.
Quote:
"It's because I'm destined to go to hell, so I must find someone to accompany me... and you're the best candidate."
"Death is not the best way to make a person suffer, because death is just a form of escape. Making the person trapped in hopelessness is a penalty worse than death."

Sealed with a Kiss Deleted Scenes

As we all know, every mainland Chinese drama and non-Chinese TV series that gets aired in China are reviewed by the almighty State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT). Apparently, there were some sensitive scenes in this drama that SARFT didn't approve and were cut from the main series. Hunan TV also deleted some footage as well to shorten the drama. So far, only two cut scenes are available for viewing. I'm not sure if Hunan TV is going to release more for us to watch. I'm praying they will!!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

[Translation] Ending of Sealed with a Kiss Novel

For those of you curious about what happened to Mo ShaoQian and Tong Xue after the drama ended, you can read the happy epilogue to the novel titled "My Sweet Life with QinShou ." Part 1 consisted of 12 short anecdotes and Part 2 has 7 short anecdotes.

***Download original novel in Chinese***

My Sweet Life with “QinShou” Part 1 by Fei Wo Si Cun Translated by JoleCole

Note: Qinshou literally means animal or beast in Chinese. TongXue secretly gives this nickname to Mo ShaoQian because he’s like an uninhibited beast in bed, a deep contrast to Mo Shaoqian’s usual composed and cold exterior.

✿ Chinese Drama ✿ Sealed with a Kiss

Title: 千山暮雪 / Sealed with a Kiss/ Qian Shan Mu Xue
# Episode: 28 TV; 30 DVD
Genre: Modern romance
Director: Yang Xuan
Release date: October 2011
Broadcasting Company: Hunan TV
Original Novel by Fei Wo Si Cun who also wrote Too Late to Say I Love You
Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMp2o27-dNY
Cast: Hawick Lau as Mo ShaoQian, Ying'er as Tong Xue, Wen ZhengRong as Mu YongFei, Zhang ChengGuang as Mu ChangHe