Sunday, December 22, 2013

✿ Chinese Drama ✿ Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils 2013

Mandarin titleThe Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils/ Tian Long Ba Bu/ 新天龙八部
# Episode: 54
Genre: Wuxia
Release date: December 22, 2013
Broadcasting Company: Hunan TV
Cast: Wallace Chung as Qiao Feng/Xiao Feng, Kim Ki Bum as Duan Yu, Han Dong as Xu Zhu, Zhang Meng as Wang Yuyan, Jia Qing as A'zhu/A'zhi, Viann Zhang as Madame Ma/Kang Min

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Interest spiking for Wallace Chung's Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils

Compared to the recent remake of Return of the Condor Heroes, I surprisingly have very little expectations for this remake of Demi-Gods and Semi Devils. My favorite version has always been Zhang Ji Zhong's 2003 adaptation because of Hu Jun's Qiao Feng and Liu Tao' A'zhu. But since this newer adaptation is adding more screen time to the Qiao Feng and A'zhu story arc, I'm definitely on board the ship to catch a glimpse when it airs next week on December 22. 

To learn more about Qiao Feng and A'zhi, check out the related post below:
Tribute to Various Versions of Qiao Feng and A'zhu in Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Guo Jing and Huang Rong in the new Return of the Condor Heroes

One of the most redeeming qualities about the new adaptation of Return of the Condor Heroes is the cast for the"middle-aged" couple Huang Rong and Guo Jing. Compared to the first installment in the Condor Trilogy, the character of Huang Rong is written in a much less favorable light the second installment.  No matter how "unpopular" Huang Rong becomes during her middle age years, she remains my favorite female character in the Louis Cha/Jin Yong's universe. My second favorite character also coincidentally happens to be her daughter, Guo Xiang, who not only inherited the mother's beauty but also her brains.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Most Gorgeous Lady in Yu Zheng's Return of the Condor Heroes has a 10+ Minute Cameo Role

Recently I have been quite critical of the costume designer for the 2013 adaptation of the Return of the Condor Heroes. I felt the costumes absolutely butchered Chen Xiao's pretty features with his horrendous baggy outfits and the prettiest girl in the story became the least attractive girl in the whole production. Xiaolongnü is famously known to be this godly beautiful creature, but Michelle Chen looks horrendously out of character in her Xiaolongnu's costumes. Consequently, I held a strong grudge against the costume designer for her failure to bring out the physical attractiveness of Michelle Chen.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Attack of the Wei Wuji-Xinyue Pairing (formerly Huo-Yu) in Sound of the Desert

I am absolutely in love! Specifically in love with the Wei Wuji 卫无忌 and Xingyue 莘月 in Sound of the Desert (formerly Da Mo Yao), portrayed by Eddie Peng and Liu Shi Shi respectively. I have no new substantive material share except for my random thoughts on this latest drama excitement. 

Note: Based on the official pictorial booklet released by the production company, official English title for this drama series is actually Sound of the Desert. The original novel was named Da Mo Yao or Ballad of the Desert. Due to political reasons, it underwent a name change in Chinese to Xin Yue Zhuan Qi, which literally translates to Moon Star Legend or Legend of Star and Moon. For the sake of consistency and deference to the "official" name, I shall henceforth refer to this drama as Sound of the Desert. I don't think I ever encountered a drama series with so many name variations in English. X_X

Monday, November 11, 2013

Three Guys and One Girl Sum up Yun Zhong Ge Teaser Trailer #2

The broadcast of Yun Zhong Ge is slated for summer of 2014. In teaser trailer #2, Chen Xiao's Liu Bingyi takes a more secondary role while Du Chun's Meng Jue and Lu Yi' Liu Fuling are put in the forefront. As the titular lead, Angelababy takes center stage as the #1 character with the most scene exposure. Like Legend of Lu Zhen, Angelababy's Yun Ge is the absolute epicenter of the entire drama. All three male leads revolves their own story around this central character.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

First Trailer for Sound of the Desert/Da Mo Yao/Legend of Moon and Star is finally HERE!

Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! More than a year after shooting ended, Tangren Entertainment (aka Chinese Entertainment  Shanghai Limited) finally released its first official "anything" of this drama series (related posts here). [Correction: So I was wrong. This trailer is not the official trailer, but a leaked version. No wonder it feels a little "off."] Unlike Yu Zheng who constantly proliferates the entertainment media with real-time photos, clips, and interviews of his productions, Tangren Entertainment had been particularly low-key about this production. Da Mo Yao/Ballad of the Desert, now officially renamed Xing Yue Zhuan Qi which literally translates to Legend of the Moon and Star (LofMaS) has been thrown under the rug in secrecy and silence by the Chinese censorship bureau. Radical history fanatics heavily bombarded the story with criticisms for the over romanticization of a famous Han Dynasty general and distortion of other famous historical figures. Dude, these fanatical self-proclaim history lovers have nothing better to do. Yu Zheng and other drama productions have distorted Chinese history 100 times more severe than Da Mo Yao ever did but was never held accountable for their fictional storytelling on famous people.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Ruby Lin and Yuan Hong's Xiu Li Jiang Shan: Chang Ge Xing 6-minute teaster trailer is out!

Though I am still a bit weird out about the Ruby Lin and Yuan Hong pairing onscreen, the newly released trailer for Xiu Li Jiang Shan: Chang Ge Xing is astonishingly beautiful and promising. I have not seen such quality cinematography and choreography in mainland Chinese TV dramaland for awhile. You can definitely tell a lot of money has been spent on the production of the sets and costumes. Ruby Lin and Yuan Hong do not feel as awkward as I imagined them. Unfortunately, there are no scenes of Ding Rou and Feng Yi, the pairing I am rooting most. This trailer centers on the central love triangle between Liu Xiu (Emperor Han Guangwu), Yin Lihu (Empress Yin), and Guo Shengtong (Empress Guo).

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Li Jiahang looks dashing in Han Dynasty attire as General Feng Yi

 Known for his comedic role in iAppartment series and Er Kang in Huan Zhu Ge Ge, Li Jiahang is starting to break out into other roles. He tended to play a lovesick puppy boy always yearning for his lady love. My impression of Li Jiahang has been on roles where he always revolves around a central female character. In Xiu Li Jiang Shan: Chang Ge Xing, he will once again revolve around one central female character (Yin Lihua) played by Ruby Lin. But at least this time, their relationship is purely platonic (I hope) and his heart belongs to another pretty lady, Riyiza (Ding Rou). As General Feng Yi, Li Jiahang takes on a less romantic role, engaging in  military affairs and the restoration of  the Han Empire. Feng Yi is a rather introverted character who does not express much with his actions but rather with his eyes. This character portrayal will differ dramatically from Li Jiahang's past roles where he openly act with intense body language. The character Feng Yi demands much more subtle acting with a Confucian gentleness and refinement.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Yu Zheng Studio releases twin teaser trailers: Yun Zhong Ge and The Palace: The Lost Daughter

Any of you bored with Chen Xiao's fugly costumes in Return of the Condor Heroes will be spirited away by the opulence and flamboyance of the Yun Zhong Ge's trailer. But before you can start watching the trailer, you have to speed through scenes from Yu Zheng's third installation of the Palace (Gong)Trilogy. I have to say The Palace: The Lost Daughter (aka Gong 3) looks more promising than Return of the Condor Heroes, at least in terms of art direction and costumes.

Monday, October 21, 2013

TV Adaptation of Eastern Han Dynasty Romance Novel expands on love focus: Big Tree General and his concubine

If you have been following mainland Chinese entertainment filming or Ms. Koala's Playground, or you just happened to be a big fan of mainland actor Yuan Hong, I am sure you already know a bit or a lot about Ruby Lin's second big investment project - Xiu Li Jiang Shan: Chang Ge Xing (roughly translated into Beautiful Land and River: Long Ballad March). This latest historical production centers on a piece of Chinese history that has not been heavily adapted on the small screen before. (P.S. I am actually quite happy mainland Chinese TV productions finally drifted way from the heavy Qing Dynasty backdrop and explores other epochs. Guys with a nicely groomed hair bun is much more soothing to the eyes than half-bald guys sporting a braided queue). The drama chronicles the rise of Empress Yin Lihua and endowed her with modern sensibilities.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Quick Rant on Return of the Condor Heroes Costume Styling

Today is Zhao Liying's 26th birthday and Yu Zheng celebrated with two new stills of her cameo role in his latest production. Luckily, my fear that Zhao Liying's Mu Nianci and Chen Zhao's Yang Kang not sharing any scenes together has evaporated with this pictorial release. It definitely more than I asked for. It also seems my favorite pairing is sharing a "intimate" scene together.

Monday, September 23, 2013

[Gossips] Chen Xiao and Zhao Liying caught "playing" with each other hands

If you have been following my comments about Chen Xiao and Zhao Liying, you are probably firmly aware of my conviction that they have successfully translated their reel chemistry to real chemistry. Even before their spike in popularity during the broadcast of Legend of Lu Zhen, countless "insider" scoops about their supposedly dating relationship surfaced. These "insiders" alleged that Chen Xiao and Zhao Liying began dating shortly after the shooting wrap-up of Legend of the Lu Zhen (around spring 2012) and even news of their co-habitation in Beijing emerged.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Yang Kang and Mu Nianci's costume styling revealed for Return of the Condor Heroes

We have good news followed by some potential bad news regarding the new Ying Xiao pairing in the new Return of the Condor Heroes. The good news has obviously already been revealed through the release photo above. And thank goodness Chen Xiao finally has one decent "normal" costume styling! I really dislike the new Yang Guo's hooligan and "I-belong-to the-Beggar-Sect" styling. Though his Yang Kang's costume is definitely not up to par with the majestic details of Yuan Hong's version in the 2009 Legend of the Condor Heroes adaptation, it is certainly several degrees better in magnitude than his Yang Guo's mess.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Chen Xiao and Zhao Liying to reunite in cameo roles for Return of the Condor Heroes

The cameo role of Yang Kang, the troubled father of male protagonist Yang Guo, was originally given to mainland Chinese actor Li Chen (Beijing Love Story) in Return of the Condor Heroes. Due to Li Chen's recent and bitter breakup with actress, Viann Zhang, who is playing Li Mochou, he supposedly resigned from the production to avoid further association with his ex-girlfriend. Consequently, the roles of both father and son have fallen on Chen Xiao's shoulders. Chen Xiao is absolutely PERFECT as Yang Kang. I feel he may do a better job playing Yang Kang than Yang Guo. Since we already know that Zhao Liying is slated to play Yang Guo's mother, Mu Nianci, can I scream "HECK YAY!"? Once again, I will get to see this beloved onscreen couples together and this time they get to play one of my favorite wuxia couplings!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Virtuous Empress of the Han Trailer + Wang Luodan turns ethereally beautiful in white as Wei Zifu

For a mainland Chinese actress, I find Wang Luodan to be rather plain and average in the look department. She can look quite attractive and memorable in modern clothes, but the parted hair that completely covers her ears and almost half of her face in Virtuous Empress of the Han Dynasty does absolutely nothing to accentuate her natural beauty. In the official promotional poster, I thought the bad angle and bad photoshopping even made her look distorted and hideous. Consequently, I was rather disappointed in the casting decision. I felt Wang Luodan does not possess the striking beauty to portray Wei Zifu, the dancing girl who managed to captivate the attention of the tyrannical Emperor Han Wudi. I strongly believe great beauty as well as prudence played a great role in helping this poor dancing girl to climb up the social ladder and to attain the status of empress. To my great surprise, the production finally released these pretty stills to prove me wrong! Wang Luodan is absolutely refreshing as Wei Zifu.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

First Glimpse: Official Costume Stills for 2013 Return of the Condor Heroes

I don't have much to say except that I dislike the hairstyling of both Yang Guo and Xiaolongnü in this latest adaptation of Return of the Condor Heroes. I generally like more clean styling for guys in both modern and period productions. The costumes for Yang Guo make Chen Xiao look like he belongs more to the Beggar Sect than the Ancient Tomb Sect.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Yu Zheng releases colorful stills of Yun Zhong Ge

Even though the newly released official stills of Yun Zhong Ge are highly photoshopped, I can't help but admire the surreal aesthetics they project. Angelababy is quite fitting in the role of the female protagonist, Yun Ge, at least in the look department. Yang Rong is also absolutely gorgeous as the vengeful but pitiful Huo Chengjun. Lu Yi is also aging very well and does not look too out of place pairing up with Angelababy. I think the character I am looking forward to watch is the antagonist, Liu Bingyi, also known as Chen Xiao. LOL.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

New Xiaolongnü announced for Yu Zheng's adaptation of Return of the Condor Heroes

If anyone is following the Chinese TV entertainment on weibo, it's quite an uproar right now. Endless speculation has surfaced in the past few months about who will be chosen for the coveted role of Xiaolongnü in Yu Zheng's latest adaptation of Louis Cha's classic story Return of the Condor Heroes. Rumors went from Angelababy to Zhao Liying. Well...the dust has finally settled yesterday and mystery has been revealed to be Taiwanese actress, Michelle Chen. Her most famous work to date is the movie titled You are the Apple of My Eye, successfully playing the dream girl of every young boy.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Current favorite onscreen couple: The Crown Prince and Miss Big Teakettle in Legend of Mermaid

This post may be a little premature because I did not watch much of the earlier episodes of Legend of Mermaid but jumped to the TV episode 17 on my first view. After watching some pivotal episodes dedicated to the relationship of two secondary characters, I cannot contain my new excitement and fondness for them and need an outlet to release all the steam building up inside me. I am now completely enthralled by the comedic dynamic between the secondary couple portrayed by Ding Zijun 丁子峻 and Cao Xinyue 曹馨月. I love them a lot because it has been awhile since an onscreen couple could make me laugh till my stomach started to hurt.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Palace Official MV - "I Love You Too Much"

The visual quality of The Palace is certainly exceeding my expectations. I never give this drama much thought until the first official trailer was released. Despite being an ardent supporter of Chen Xiao and Zhao Liying onscreen pairing, I am loving innocence depicted between Chen Xiao and Zhou Dongyu. If you are looking forward to this movie, you can check out the official MV. I am not too fond of the singing, but the instrumental is quite nice. I wish the song has a more traditional and melancholic feel. Unfortunately, the singing is too soft and muted to give the moving visuals that essential "umph."

Monday, July 22, 2013

Chen Xiao & Zhao Liying join their co-stars in the promotional tour of The Palace

The August 13th release date of The Palace movie is fast approaching and the cast is starting to ramp on the promotion. Even though Chen Xiao and Zhao Liying are not the OTP in this movie, I can't help but enjoy their off screen presence in interviews and public events. They are such good eye candies!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Pictorial Update for Battle of Changsha

Don't have much to update for this series. Post-production has just completed and the production company submitted the finished product for SARFT to review. Once SARFT approves the drama and a permit is given, we will probably hear more about the release date.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Official Character Stills Released for The Virtuous Empress of Han

Hua Ce, the media production company known to make folklore/fantasy/wuxia and popularized historical dramas is currently in the mist of shooting their big project chronicling the life of the Han Dynasty Empress Wei Zifu. Wang Luodan is cast as the titular role and Raymond Lam plays the ambitiously ruthless Emperor Han Wudi (personal name Liu Che). If you don't have a clue about Wei Zifu, you may have heard of her famous family members. One of the most famous Chinese generals, Wei Qing, was her younger half-brother. The young and flamboyant General Huo Qubing was her nephew. The historical character that Chen Xiao plays in Yu Zheng's upcoming drama Yun Zhong Ge, Liu Bingyi or Emperor Han Xuandi, was her great-grandson. But her most famous connection is perhaps her atrociously despot of a husband who went berserk in old age over a voodoo doll and started a series of witchcraft persecutions that resulted in the death of  roughly 10,000 people. This infamous event was known as 巫术之祸 Witchcraft Catastrophe in Chinese history. Don't get the wrong impression that Liu Che was an imbecile. He certainly was not! He was just...shall I say a little "paranoid." I guess the fact Liu Che is portrayed by Raymond will help to erase some personal ill feelings I have for the guy. LOL.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

What I am currently watching...a Korean Crime-Thriller

Chinese dramaland has been quite boring lately after the resplendent splash Legend of Lu Zhen made on the mainland China rating radar. Therefore, I ventured into another territory - Korean dramaland. After reading so many rave reviews on different blogs and doing a little research myself, I decided to try out the cable-produced JTBC cable-produced crime thriller, Cruel City (Heartless City), starring Jung Kyung-ho.
I am now totally drawn to Cruel City, particularly to the devilishly suave undercover cop disguising as gang boss, Jung Shi-hyun or also known as Doctor's Son in the drug ring. Jung Kyung-ho may not be the drop-dead-gorgeous Korean actor at first sight, but he definitely has heart-throbbing acting skills! As an actor, he has always given me this boyish vibe. I previously watched him played the tormented Prince Hodong in Ja Myung Go and caught glimpses of his performance as as a spoiled brat in Sorry, I Love You. But Jung Kyung-ho's  Cruel City brings his acting talent to a whole new level. He manages to discard his boyish shell and don this debonair gentleman aura for his character, Jung Shi-hyun. I can't help myself but appreciate Jung Kyung-ho for giving life to this fascinating character.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Personal take on the history behind The Patriot Yue Fei + soothingly melancholic MV

The Patriot Yue Fei is the latest talk in Chinese TV. This grandiose bio-epic traces the life of one of the most venerated but tragic generals in Chinese history. He was the epitome of loyalty and revered by later generations for the next 800+ years. While the names of many imperial emperors are lost in the records of history, Yue Fei is still a celebrated name in China even till this day.  There are literally a plethora of temples erected in China to honor this man's military accomplishments and the Confucian virtues he personified. Unfortunately, Yue Fei also paid heavily for his loyalty and fame. He did not get killed by his enemies in the battlefield nor did he die from his war injuries. He died because he was too good at defeating his military enemies and failed to address his own political enemies at home. As a historical figure, Yue Fei is definitely someone I admire but not personally excited to learn about. Perhaps because of his tragic ending I developed a natural resistance to dig into his life. When I read about various people that graced the pages of history books, I can take different types of tragedies, but not tragic stories on national martyrs. I can only take tragedies to a certain level (hence, I avoid reading and watching anything about the Opium Wars). I honestly feel the loss of Yue Fei left a national impact on the Southern Song Dynasty that he campaigned so hard with his fellow countrymen to protect from the northern invaders.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Photo Spam of The Palace Press Conference in Shanghai

To all YingXiao (Chen Xiao+Zhao Liying) shippers, this post is dedicated to toi! I think I'm totally obsessed with this pairing. So to my non-YingXiao readers, please have patience or just ignore this post.

After the Shanghai Film Festival, the cast of The Palace attended the official press conference the following day. The actual conference was quite procedural and dry. Nothing special besides the fact we get to see more photos of the cast. The host and reporters shifted their attention mostly on Zhou Dongyu since she's considered the most "accomplished" in the movie industry. Chen Xiao looked like he was pissed at the world at the Shanghai Film Festival. Luckily, he brightened up a little for this event.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Palace - Movie Trailer Released!

I have been hearing talks from Yu Zheng about the movie version of The Palace for the last two years. I actually never expected much from the guy except for fluff. Thanks to my growing interest in the Chen Xiao and Zhao Liying pairing, I started to pay attention this movie when I learned that they both have a part in it. This newly released official trailer unexpectedly blew me away with the visual quality and cinematography.  The overall atmosphere of the film is characterized by this dark heaviness. The actual film looks tenfold more impressive than any official stills publicized so far. Chen Xiao's real voice is also very character appropriate and sounds so much better in the movie than in interviews. I can already sense bitchiness of Zhao Liying's character smug. And lastly, I love Zhou Dongyu's innocence and melancholy. Her youth certainly adds to the natural innocence of her character. I do not feel any forcefulness.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Chen Xiao and Zhao Liying attend the Shanghai Film Festival with the Cast of The Palace

Any Chen Xiao and Zhao Liying shippers? I have new photo goodies for you! To promote their upcoming summer movie The Palace, our lovely onscreen couple participated in the highly publicized red carpet event in Shanghai yesterday along with Producer Yu Zheng and their co-stars Zhou Dongyu and Zhu Zixiao. Being newbies in the film industry, Chen Xiao and Zhao Liying both looked a little tense under the intense media scrutiny.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Chen Xiao and Zhao Liying travels to Qing Dynasty again for The Palace (Gong)

Chen Xiao and Zhao Liying collaborates for a third time in this movie
Can't get enough for this lovely and incredibly cute onscreen pairing after Legend of Lu Zhen? Fortunately, we will get to see more of them onscreen this summer! The exact date is August 13th. Chen Xiao will lead in the movie adaptation of Yu Zheng's Gong series as Emperor Kangxi's 13th Prince, Yinxiang. The story focuses on the theme of first love. Unfortunately, Zhao Liying is the female antagonist of the story and plays Yinxiang's evil first wife, Liu Li. Chen Xiao's true love in the movie is Zhou Dongyu's Chenxiang.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Gao Zhan and Lu Zhen's Wedding Photos!

So it's definitely confirmed that Gao Zhan and Lu Zhen are officially married in the story! Even though she never gets any official empress/concubinage titles, she definitely became a 'wife'! It's no dream sequence or someone's wild imagination. Gao Zhan looks like he's the happiest guy on earth in these photos. Chen Xiao once said in an interview that when he filmed this wedding scene, he felt like he was actually getting married. LOL.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Legend of Lu Zhen Novel is Available for Download

Unlike Sealed with a Kiss and Bu Bu Jing Xin, Legend of Lu Zhen was purely scripted for television adaptation. It was not based on any existing novels or work of literature. The novel is almost entirely based on the television script;  hence, the writing style is not anything imaginative or poignant. The novel is more like an narrative of the whole drama script. I highly suggest that you avoid reading this novel if you want to keep the excitement of watching how the actors/actresses interpret the script. I, myself, just briefly scan a few bits to pacify my worries about certain "plot devices." For the first time in my life, I don't want to get spoil by the spoilers. LOL.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

✿Chinese Drama✿ Legend of Lu Zhen/ Female Prime Minister

Mandarin title: Legend of Lu Zhen/ Female Prime Minister/陆贞传奇/女相
# Episode: 45
Genre: Historical
Release date: May 5, 2013
Broadcasting Company: Hunan TV
Cast: Zhao Liying as Lu Zhen, Chen Xiao as Gao Zhan, Yang Rong as Xiao Huanyun, Qiao Renliang as Gao Yan, Tang Yixin as Shen Bi, Liu Xuehua as Empress Dowager Lou, Maggie Cheung as Lou Qingchang

Friday, May 3, 2013

Legend of Lu Zhen's End Theme Song & 2 More Days till its premiere!

Caption Translation: Chen Xiao - "Lu Zhen, what would you like to tell me today?" Zhao Liying - "2"
I waited for more than a year for Legend of Lu Zhen to air. Now that the release day is less than two days away, I feel like my mind still hasn't completely processed this fact. I don't think I ever religiously followed a drama series as closely as I did for Lu Zhen. And I've followed quite a few dramas from pre-production to broad in my life. I hope, I pray, I hope again that this drama won't disappoint! Alright, enough of my rant. Last night, the end theme song "Mood" finally got released. The singers are none other than our main couple: Chen Xiao and Zhao Liying. To my surprise, Chen Xiao's singing voice is actually quite memorable. Zhao Liying sounds more coarse and less professional, but definitely better than Yang Mi's squeaky singing voice!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Major Spoilers Reveal in Novel for Legend of Lu Zhen

 Last night, I was lucky enough to chat with a fellow Lu Zhen fan on the Baidu Forum who was willing to share some information she read in the novel adaptation of this TV series. I bombarded the poor girl with a ton of burning questions. During our short online chat, I learned a few important things and would like to share what I discovered. If you want to remain spoiler free, I strongly recommend that you don't read this post. If you want to get spoiled about some aspects of the plot, you can continue to read. I'm going to structure the spoilers in a Q&A format and hide my answers in yellow font.

How many girls are infatuated with Gao Zhan in Legend of Lu Zhen?

While I was wasting away my precious sleep time browsing the Baidu Forum, I chanced upon a funny post listing all of Lu Zhen's love rivals in Legend of Lu Zhen. Gotta say this girl has some serious competitors to eliminate to win her Prince Charming! It seems like almost...I mean ALMOST every non-blooded related woman in the story is romantically interested in Gao Zhan. He is practically a Marty Stu character but in a more likeable way.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Legend of Lu Zhen Official Release Date Announced

The mysterious and much anticipated release date for Legend of Lu Zhen has finally been officialized and finalized! Get ready for some action on Sunday, May 5th at 7:30 p.m. Beijing time. I feel as if a heavy burden has lifted off my shoulders now that the release date is officially confirmed by many sources and is fast approaching. During the course of the initial broadcast, I hope to be more active in my blogging. If you sense that I'm awfully silent on this drama, it means the drama utterly fails to sustain my attention. If I'm super active, it can probably mean two things: I'm totally hooked or I'm totally pissed. LOL. I'm praying the latter won't ever happened.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Legend of Lu Zhen Hunan TV Promotional Teaser Trailers

Since Legend of Lu Zhen will be airing soon, Hunan TV has been releasing a series of 1-minute trailers to catch  viewer's attention. Each teaser trailer has its own "theme." I would like to dedicate this post to these mini-trailers and will do a continuous update as Hunan TV releases more during the next few days. Please check back often! I think my excitement for this drama is building up again! Yeppie!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Tang Yan and Wallace Huo to collaborate again in ancient romantic comedy

Fellow White Tofu and Zi Xuan fans from Chinese Paladin 3, I think we will finally get our "happy ending" in this new romantic comedy scripted by Tong Hua. Yep, you didn't read the name wrong. Tong Hua is none other than the famous author of the highly popular Bu Bu Jing Xin. Wallace Huo's Huajie studio and Tang Yan's studio and the production company of Sealed with a Kiss are joining forces to bring us some laughter in The Perfect Couple. Oh yeah, add another magic variable into this equation is the director of Too Late to Say I Love You! Zeng Lizhen will be the director of this drama series. I largely attribute the success of Too Late to Say I Love you to her keen eye for depicting powerful emotions onscreen. The story will take place during the Ming Dynasty. Wallace Huo plays an aristocratic gentleman from a prominent family who specializes in weapon production while Tang Yan plays a girl from jianghu (community of martial artist). Check out the recently released official costume stills from the production. What do you all think?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Legend of Lu Zhen Release Update+ 2 Teaser Trailers

We have a very very good chance that Legend of Lu Zhen will air in May, possibly May 1st. The probability of it happening is nearing 90%. Hunan TV announced that Legend of Lu Zhen will be the next drama to air once their current modern drama finishes. Why hasn't Hunan TV announce an official date yet? Well....They tend to cut and edit episodes based on current ratings. If a drama does well in ratings, they will prolong the broadcast of the series by cutting shorter episodes and adding longer commercials. The modern series being aired right now has above average ratings, so I don't know how many episodes Hunan TV plans to cut for that drama series.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Official Stills Part III and latest release rumors for Legend of Lu Zhen

Lu Zhen treats Gao Zhan's wounds after their third meeting
After multiple false alarms and misinformation, there are some "positive" signs that Legend of Lu Zhen will be airing "soon." Based onHunan TV's bad record, the definition of "soon" may  mean weeks or months. The latest rumors indicate two potential release dates: May 1 and May 12.  Though we should take all rumors with a grain of salt, I think there is a little truth in these rumors. Hunan TV is actually starting to promote Legend of Lu Zhen by inviting the cast to a popular variety show, Happy Camp. Chen Xiao, Zhao Liying, Qiao Yinliang, and Yang Rong will show up in Changsha on April 26 to record an episode of Happy Camp. Now this bit of information is a very convincing indication of its pending release! Being a Hunan TV invested project, Legend of Lu Zhen's TV rating is a big concern for the station's executives. The drama is garnered toward the younger audience, particularly the student population. The TV executives probably want to air it during the holidays and May 1st is a big national holiday in China. Anyway, keep your hopes low. I'm prepared to be disappointed again. In the meantime, enjoy these high-quality stills!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Wallace Huo's Very Quiet Distance Interview Released (English Subtitles Available!)

My fellow fans of the HuoZi (Wallace Huo + Yang Zi) collaboration, we finally get more screen time of them on the official episode of Very Quiet Distance. In this interview, Wallace Huo revealed many tidbits about his personal life, including his childhood, first love, his rumored relationship with Chen Qiao En, and etc. My favorite part of the interview is Yang Zi's personal disclosure of Wallace Huo's real life character on the Battle of Changsha film set. To my surprise, Yang Zi and Wallace Huo despite their 13-year age gap have become fast friends after their three-month collaboration. Wallace Huo uses the Chinese term 忘年之交 wang nian zhi jiao describe their personal friendship. This term usually applies to two people with a large generation gap becoming extremely good friends and sharing great rapport. I often associate this term with a young person forming a close-knitted friendship with someone from  his/her grandparent's generation. I guess Wallace Huo sees himself as her "grandfather"? LOL.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Battle of Changsha Novel Excerpt "Wedding Night" + Fan-made MV

In the original novel, Gu Qingming never officially proposes to Xiang Xiang with a bouquet of red roses. The drama series romanticizes the relationship a bit more.  They actually "married" in haste with no formal wedding ceremony. The "wedding" itself was just a simple dinner with Xiang Xiang's family. Below is a tough translation of a novel excerpt of the wedding night after the family dinner which "officializes" Gu Qingming as Xiang Xiang's husband.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Chen Xiao reveals spoilers for Legend of Lu Zhen

In a recent interview with Teng Xun, Chen Xiao discloses quite a few important plot detail about Legend of Lu Zhen. The details are both good and bad. First, I'll reveal some non-ending tidbits. As previously revealed in the 30-minute trailer, Zhao Liying's character Lu Zhen and Yang Rong's Xiao Huanyun (Yang Rong's original character name "Xiao Guanyin" has been changed to Huanyun due to SARFT's intervention) share an uncanny resemblance to each other. When Chen Xiao's Gao Zhan falls in love with Lu Zhen, Xiao Huanyun consequently interprets that Gao Zhan has only fallen in love with Lu Zhen because the latter looks a lot like her. Chen Xiao clarifies that though the two ladies may look "alike" in the story, but Gao Zhan's love for Lu Zhen is profoundly genuine and has little to do with her physical similarity to Xiao Huanyun. He further describes Gao Zhan is not as good and "nice" as what the trailer portrays. Being a devoted lover to Lu Zhen is definitely not his only attribute. In Chen Xiao's words, Gao Zhan can be "ruthless/cruel." The guy is filled with ambition, and he strives to regain what he feels should rightfully belong to him.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Yang Zi turned wooden shooting kiss scene with Wallace Huo in Battle of Changsha

Attention to Battle of Changsha aficionados, I would like to present one funny tidbit about the shooting if you haven't learned about it already on baidu forum. I had wanted to wait until the official episode of this talk show A Very Quiet Distance to air before writing about it, but I couldn't resist the temptation to talk about it now! I just want to share the laughter. A few days ago, Wallace Huo was invited to be interviewed by famed host Li Jing. Yang Zi was the "surprised" guest.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Chen Xiao is no longer Liu Fuling in Yu Zheng's adaptation of Yun Zhong Ge

It has just been revealed on Yu Zheng's microblog that there is some drastic cast changes for his upcoming project Da Han Qing Yuan 大汉情缘, which is based on Tong Hua's novel Yun Zhong Ge. Chen Xiao will no longer portray the kind and devoted Han Dynasty emperor, Liu Fuling. Instead he will play the conniving nephew, Liu Bingyi, who would sacrifice everything for power. Liu Bingyi is  the only emperor in Chinese history to spend his early toddler years in prison and would become one of the more successful Han Dynasty rulers. Su Qing, who previously acted as the child Empress Zhang in Scheme of Beauty, will play Liu Bingyi's love interest, Xu Pingjun.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Poignant 23-minute trailer for Battle of Changsha with English Substitles

After watching the official trailer, I am now completely 100% enthralled with Battle of Changsha. I usually try to avoid drama series set during World War II because they are just loaded with tragedies and melancholy. But I'm just superficial and just like to watch pretty guys in pretty military uniforms. Then I decided to read the original novel and got hooked. Anyway, the critically-acclaimed director, Kong Sheng, for this drama series definitely did not disappoint in his storytelling. I'm loving all the changes they made to the novel. I think this TV adaptation will surpass the novel itself. They greatly expanded the role of Gu Qingming (Wallace Huo) and added a lot more details to the development of the OTP. I can also tell a lot of effort has been put into executing the action scenes. There are also no bad CGIs battle scenes nor any cheesy romantic lines. After the sour aftertaste from watching The Swordsman and bitter disappointment regarding the release of Legend of Lu Zhen, Battle of Changsha is a very welcome change.

I love the subtle poignancy that the whole drama emotes. The acting seems to flow naturally. Wallace Huo and Yang Zi's onscreen chemistry is even much better than I expected. I think Yang Zi is actually one of Wallace's best onscreen partners. Though some Chinese netizens feel rather awkward about the 13-year age gap between Wallace Huo and Yang Zi, I'm more than happy about this pairing. Their age gap is consistent with the characters in the original novel. Yang Zi's Hu Xiang Xiang started out as a 16-year old girl while Wallace Huo's Gu Qingming was already in his 20s. I'm even happier at the fact that the scriptwriter/or whoever decided to add in a kiss scene. EDIT: it was just revealed in a recent talk show that Wallace Huo was the person who requested to add the kiss scene. Lol.