Showing posts from 2014

When mushroom soup turns into sexual innuendo in Sound of the Desert

Although I am having a blast watching Wei Wuji and Xinyue's romance unfolds onscreen, I actually have very mixed feelings about the execution of some of the most anticipated scenes in the novel. Scenes that I expected the director to execute well did not produce the "after-effects" that I hope. The climatic moments in the novel ended up "anti-climatic" onscreen. The musical score, execution, and film cutting/editing were subpar and wasted the onscreen chemistry of the two main leads. Surprisingly, the drama succeeds in some "less important scenes" of the story that I least expected anything beyond some "lines recital." 

New Official MV for Sound of Desert End Theme Song "There is a type of courage called letting go"

How are you all enjoying Sound of the Desert? Besides the disappointing theme songs and score, I am loving every scene of Wei Wuji. Eddie Peng surpasses all of my expectations. He is dashing and wickedly charming onscreen. Although this new MV, once again, revolves mostly around Hu Ge's Mo Xun, there are still good scenes between Xingyue and Wei Wuji be relished about.

✿ Chinese Drama ✿ Sound of the Desert

Mandarin title: Feng Zhong Qi Yuan  风中奇缘/ Sound of the Desert (formerly Da Mo Yao 大漠谣/ Xing Yue Chuan Qi 星月传奇)
# Episode: 35 (?)
Genre:  Romance, historical drama
Release date: October 1, 2014, Wed./Thus. 10 p.m. Beijing time
Broadcasting Company: Hunan TV
Cast: Liu Shi Shi as Xinyue, Eddie Peng as Wei Wuji, Hu Ge as Mo Xun, Fala Chen as Qin Xiang, Han Dong as Li Jie,

Official Sound of Desert MV devoted to Wei Wuji and Xinyue

I have always been quite envious of Xinyue and Mo Xun's shippers because they have quite a few MVs entirely dedicated to their fanship. Well...I can finally be one happy shipper now that a 5-minute MV just released and it's filled with goody scenes between Xinyue and Wei Wuji.  The vibes in this MV is a contrast to the previous two MVs where the focus was on Mo Xun. Xinyue and Mo Xun's relationship is repressed and constrained. Mo Xun.  Xinyue and Wei Wuji's relationship reminds me of two lovebirds constantly pecking at each other. Their scenes definitely exude uninhibited fun.

Tencent releases a "sneak peek" version of Sound of the Desert today!

Great news for people who don't want to wait until October 1st to catch a glimpse of Sound of the Desert. Tencent, one of the largest web portal in China, procured the rights to broadcast a "sneak peek" version of the series starting September 28, 2014 (12:00 a.m.) Beijing time, which means the first chapter is already available for preview. "Sneak peek" version of the drama is Tencent's cut  of each episode into a 20-minute-long segment. If you want to watch the full episode, you would still have to wait for the Hunan TV broadcast on Wednesday.

Teaser specifically devoted to Eddie Peng's Wei Wuji

A fellow Sound of Desert follower, Ironfinger, thoughtfully informed me of this teaser earlier today. I refrained from posting about it until a higher quality version of the video was available. The higher quality version has finally arrived and I can fangirl all the scenes that got unveiled in this short teaser.

I must say I am loving every scene of Eddie Peng's Wei Wuji in this drama. He is definitely a very very charismatic general in beautifully embroidered robes. Hahaha.

Sound of the Desert's new 14-minute trailer includes some unseen footage+Ep.1-4 Preview

Although the first minute or so of this 14-minute  trailer is a cut from a previously released trailer, this new trailer contains a few of my most anticipated scenes in Sound of the Desert.One scene shows Xinyue's "less-than-happy" confrontation with Wei Wuji about his "not-so-noble" action in hiding her whereabouts from Mo Xun.

Spoiler Goodies for Sound of the Desert

The magic date of October 1st is fast approaching for Sound of the Desert aficionados! Eight more days to go! Muahahaha! In the meantime, lots of promotional photos, videos, and leaked clips have surfaced on the internet. I have been busy scavenging whatever leaked online because I just do not want to wait for the snail pace release of the series.  It always feels so good to get an early glimpse of anything related to this series. If you want to remain spoiler-free, don't watch the leaked clips.

Love Triangle(s) in Nirvana in Fire?

One of the  burning questions for those who are unfamiliar with the story of Nirvana in Fire is whether the drama adaptation will expand on the romance element. Specifically, will a love triangle exist between the three main leads, Mei Changsu (Hu Ge), Princess Nihuang (Liu Tao), and Prince Jing (Wang Kai)? How faithful will the production team remain to the novel? Will they spice things up to attract female viewers?

Promotional Goodies from Sound of the Desert

As the official release date is approaching, the Chinese large online media providers are bombarding us with new stills and teaser trailers. Besides the 22-minute long trailer, two additional short trailers have been released this month: 3-minute version and 1-minute version. One of my favorite shots in the 3-minute trailer is Wei Wuji (Eddie Peng) biting Xinyue(Liu Shi Shi)'s neck. A second shot that I really really like is Wei Wuji combing his lover's hair. Tang Ren Entertainment is totally remaining faithful to the original novel. All the juicy, spicy, hotness between the main leads are playing out onscreen.

Sound of the Desert official air date

It's finally official! I think. Multiple sources have confirmed that Sound of the Desert will officially broadcast on October 1, 2014. It's eight days earlier than the original forecast date. Can we give a sign of relief?! After two long years of waiting and waiting, the anticipation can finally be fruitful. On a side note, the Chinese name for Sound of the Desert has changed again. The original novel is titled Da Mo Yao ("Ballad of the Desert"), later due to some political sensitivity, the production team changed it to Xing Yue Chuan Qi ("Legend of Moon and Star"). Just before the broadcast, they decided to give the drama another title change. It's now officially called Feng Zhong Qi Yuan ("Fate in the Wind"). I heard Feng Zhong Qi Yuan sounds like the Chinese name for Pocahontas. LOL.

Nirvana in Fire Official Teasers +Trailer+ Music Video

A producer of Shandong Film and TV Group once labeled the story of Nirvana in Fire as the Chinese version of the revenge novel The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. Although I am familiar with the story of this French novel and even attended the play adaptation, my brick head never made the connection between these two works. Now that the analogy is made, I can totally see the similarities!

My initial impression of Nirvana in Fire is a fictitious but very telling account of imperial power struggle in dynastic China. Brother is pited against brother. Father is pited against son. Yet among all the intense rivalries and breakdown of familial bond, a strong sense of brotherhood can still exist. It is this brotherhood between the two male leads that captivated me.

Legend of Moon and Star to air soon?

After two years of being shoved under the carpet, Legend of Moon and Star, or better known as Da Mao Yao, may be seeing some daylight! An executive from Hunan TV just announced on weibo that Legend of Moon and Star will be broadcast following the Li Yifeng and Yang Mi's Legend of Ancient Swords (Gu Jian Qi Tan) on its "Diamond Timeslot" starting at 10 p.m. Beijing time. The long awaited release date is scheduled to be October 8, 2014.

Yun Zhong Ge Offiical Theme Song - Si Luo

If you only watch this official MV of Yun Zhong Ge without knowing much about the story, you will be seriously misled by its contents. The entire MV is compilation of random scenes that do not accurately depict the story. Liu Bingyi played by Chen Xiao seems to be torn by three women in the series: Yun Ge, Huo Chengjun, and Xu Pingjun. Although he is linked with all three women in the series, but his relationship with Yun Ge is not nearing the level of romance the MV seems to imply.

Nirvana in Fire features Wang Kai as the brooding Prince Jing opposite Hu Ge's Mei Changsu

After watching Battle of Changsha, I became an loyal fan of the company that produced it - Shandong Film and TV Group. This production company is highly respected and praised in the Chinese entertainment industry for its ability combine great storytelling with execution in dramas. When I heard the famous online novel, Nirvana in Fire or Lang Ya Bang, was going to get adapted into a TV series starring Hu Ge and Liu Tao, it didn't strike much excitement. When I heard the production company was Shandong Film and TV Group, however, my eyes went blink blink blink.

The more research I did into Shandong Film and TV Group and Lang Ya Bang, the more emotionally immersed I became into the story, particularly into one character - Prince Jing 靖王 or Xiao Jingyan 萧景琰, the seventh prince of the Southern Liang Dyansty. Prince Jing is the second leading character in this story who emerges as the dark horse in the succession battle and ultimately wins the throne. In contrast to many TV dramas that…

Has Wallace Huo become Yang Zi's official boss? (updated 8.31.2014)

Although there is no official announcement or confirmation, many observant Chinese netizens believe Yang Zi has changed management company and joined Wallace Huo's self-established entertainment company, Hua Jae Studio. I can tell from recent interviews that Wallace Huo is quite fond of Yang Zi and sees great acting potential in the former child-actress. Having just graduated from Beijing Film Academy, Yang Zi is probably looking to expand her acting career and give a new fresh image as a mature actress to the Chinese audience. Therefore, it is not  surprising she would want to leave her old management company, Huayi Brothers, who is infamous for not doing much to promote new talents under its umbrella, and want to explore other options.

Wallace Huo joins Yang Zi in a promotional photoshoot for Battle of Changsha

I'm OTP obsessed again! I can't help but drown myself in the coupling of Wallace Huo and Yang Zi in Battle of Changsha. I absolutely fell in love with their portrayal as Gu Qingming and Hu Xiang Xiang, and adore their cute and bickering relationship. Despite their 13-year age gap, Wallace Huo and Yang Zi do not exhibit any awkward generational gap onscreen.

Disappointing news for Wallace Huo/Liu Shi Shi shippers in The Imperial Doctress

Hua Qian Gu recently held a press conference in Guangxi Province. In an interview, Wallace Huo supposedly revealed that he and Liu Shi Shi do not have any intimate scenes in The Imperial Doctress. The love relationship is unfortunately one-sided. Wallace Huo's Zhu Qizhen is completely enthralled and lovelorn over Liu Shi Shi‘s Tan Yunxian. On the other hand, she is in love with his younger brother, Zhu Qiyu, played by Huang Xuan.

Wallace Huo and Zhao Liying join forces to adapt popular Chinese online novel onto the TV screen

Zhao Liying + Wallace Huo combo is definitely very unexpected and refreshing in terms of TV pairing. I somehow never linked these two performers together. After watching Wallace Huo's subtle and endearing portrayal of Gu Qingming in Battle of Changsha, I have even greater hopes for his acting ability and selfishly want him to co-star with Yang Zi again in another production. In my personal fantasy world, I wanted Wallace Huo and Yang Zi to pair again for Hua Qian Gu (literal translation "Flower of a Thousand Bones"). But the official stills of Zhao Liying as Hua Qian Gu look very promising and do not disappoint. Thus, I'm back on the track to follow the progress of this series.

Song of the Desert Official MV is out!

Sorry for my long absence! I took quite a long hiatus from my blogging life because recent dramas that flooded our screen neither interested me nor inspired me to write about it. I hope you all haven't wonder too far away from Chinese dramaland. The release of Sound of the Desert official MV finally bought me back to dramaland. I'm still keenly following every tiny bits of news about this drama series. Most of the dramas I followed have already been released (e.g., Legend of Lu Zhen, Battle of Changsha, Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils), except for this one. Nothing has been confirmed yet about its broadcast. I just keep on hearing about one delays after another. *sigh*

Tangren Production releases official character stills for Imperial Doctress

We now have a fresh glimpse of The Imperial Doctress with these newly released character stills. The costume theme is very typical of Tangren Production. However, the details and cut of the costumes in this production are perhaps one of the most accurately depicted Ming Dynasty clothing I have seen in Chinese TV productions. The colors, the intricate embroidery, elegance, and simplicity are all in line with Ming Dynasty clothing books I perused. Many will feel Ming Dynasty fashion is very reminiscent of Joseon fashion in Korean dramas. The Chinese Ming Dynasty and Korean Joseon Dynasty were two very politically and culturally connected geographies.  In fact, the Ming Dynasty had a very heavy influence on the bureaucratic structure of the Joseon government. Quite a few Ming Dynasty emperors also took Joseon noblewomen as their imperial consorts (see Emperor Yongle) and the Joseon court would pay annual "tributes" to the Ming court to show their tributary status.

Wallace Huo and Liu Shi Shi to collaborate again for Imperial Doctress

This may not be much of news, but apparently Wallace Huo and Liu Shi Shi are pairing up again after Strange Hero Yi Zhi Mei three years ago in upcoming bioepic Imperial Doctress. For happy ending lovers, I highly doubt this story will end happily for fans shipping Wallace Huo and Liu Shi Shi together in this drama...unless they make substantial tweaks to the history. The writer (Zheng Wei) behind this production is the same person who scripted Female Prime Minister, later known as Legend of Lu Zhen.

Episode 5 & 6 Synopsis for Battle of Changsha

Episode 5:
Liu Minghan, Xiang Xiang's elder cousin, gets arrested by Changsha's local police forces on suspicions of being a national traitor. He was once a former student a Japanese medical school. Although Xue Junshan acts as if he tries his best to help Liu Minghan, he is actually the mastermind behind Liu Minghan's arrest. He convinces his boss to frame Liu Minghan for embezzling the military resources. When Xiangjun visits him in jail, Liu Minghan reveals to her Xun Junshun's malicious intent to wrong him .

Episode 3 & 4 Synopsis of Battle of Changsha

Episode 3:
Gu Qingming holds a  public meeting to educate the city residents about the destructive power of shelling and where to take coverage during Japanese aerial bombing. He wants everyone to be conscious of he fact that no concrete or mud walls could protect their life under the Japanese artillery. City residents need to unite and coordinate under a common threat of Japanese invasion. After the public workshop, Xiang Xiang finally realizes the severity of her actions and she genuinely apologizes for her foolish behavior.

✿ Chinese Drama ✿ Battle of Changsha

Mandarin title: Battle of Changsha / 战长沙
# Episode: 32
Genre: Family epic,water, romance, historical drama
Release date: March 8, 2014
Broadcasting Company: Shanghai TV, Jiangsu City 
Cast: Yang Zi as Hu Xiang Xiang, Wallace Huo as Gu Qingming, Ren Qingwei as Xue Junshan, Zuo Xiaoqing as Hu Xiangjun

Episode 1 & 2 Synopsis for Battle of Changsha

Please refer to character guide.

Episode 1:
The year 1938, the ancient City of Changsha is encapsulated under the grim fog of war. Families of young marriageable girls scurries to marry them off to avoid  being the next casualty of war. In the Tea Courtyard Alley lives the Hu family whose 16-year old younger daughter, Xiangxiang, refuses to enter the bond of matrimony. She solicit the help of her twin brother, Hu Xiaoman, to escape from a matchmaking session. Unfortunately, her escape plan is punctuated by her brother-in-law, Xue Junshan. As Head of the Security Forces, Xue Junshan uses his political connections to set up an matchmaking appointment and forces Xiang Xiang  to meet Gu Qingming, the only son of a prominent Nationalist government official. Xiang Xiang sees Gu Qingming as a princely snob spoiled by the favors of his powerful family and takes the opportunity to publicly mock his privileged upbringing. After Xiang Xiang inadvertently pricked at his greatest disappointment in …

Great news for Battle of Changsha - Official release date and official music videos

After a year of patience waiting, Battle of Changsha is officially slated to air on Tuesday, March 5, 2014 (date has changed to March 8, 2014). However, the first networks to buy the initial broadcasting rights are two local television channels in China: Jiangsu City Chanel and Shanghai Television Chanel. I'm not quite sure what this means in terms of online access to the release. I have not heard any news regarding the online streaming rights on the major online video portals. Let's pray there will be streaming sources to watch this series next week!

More racy hot spring photos from Sound of the Desert

There is not much to report about Sound of the Desert. The newest bit of info is quite generic and doesn't mean much. All I know is Sound of the Desert will likely broadcast this year. When this year? No idea. What channel? A local provincial channel. This means not everyone in China will have access to the broadcast of the drama, and consequently translates to less sources for downloads and streaming. 

2013 Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils concludes with a dramatically poignant ending

Contrary to the naysayers who harshly criticized this remake as worthless trash, I am quite in love with Wallace Chung's Xiao Feng (aka Qiao Feng) and Jia Qing's A'zi/A'zhu. I admit that this series is plagued with a plethora of flaws including some very cheesy dialogues and disappointing fight scenes. But for the most part, the development of the drama stays true to the spirit of the original story.

I tend to like remakes because every adaptation give a different perspective to the same story. It allows me to delve deeper into the original story. While the 1983 and 1997 TVB versions represent the core of wuxia  and Zhang Jizhong's 2003 remake added historical vibes to the wuxia genre, the 2013 adaptation also has its value. One aspect the 2013 remake excels or arguably surpasses previous adaptations is the emotional level the storytelling is able to emote to the viewers. The plight of the characters feel personal thanks to the moving musical score. I read that ma…

The love triangle between Qiao Feng, A'zhu, and A'zi

Describing the complicated relationship between Qiao Feng, A'zhu, and A'zi can get rather convoluted. Qiao Feng technically does not have a semblance of romantic feeling for his so-called "little sister-in-law," A'zi. While Qiao Feng and A'zhu share mutual love and understanding for each other, A'zi's romantic obsession for Qiao Feng is bordering psychotic and possessive in nature. A'zhi's love for Qiao Feng stems largely from Qiao Feng's unquestioned love for her sister. She fell in love with someone's love story and wished be the receiver of that profound love.

Huace Film Group releases Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils with English Subtitles

The production company of Demi-Gods and Semi-Deviils is making a huge effort to reach out to the English audience. This is actually the first time I have seen a Chinese TV production taking such measure to translate and subtitle their own TV series. For those who could not watch this series due to the Chinese language barrier, you can now rest assure that official English translation is underway. The quality of the translation is  not perfect, but you can definitely understand the gist of the dialogue.

Initial Impression on 2013 Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils and download subtheme song "Lovesick"

My decision to religiously follow 2013 Semi-Devil and Demi-Gods during its broadcast sprung entirely from my love for the subtheme song "Lovesick," whose segments were often inserted in the Hunan TV teaser trailers. I just grew madly obsessed with the song because the melody was reminiscent of traditional wuxia music. The lyrics of the song also aptly describes the tragic love between the Beggar Sect Leader, Qiao Feng, and the Murong clan's maidservant, A'zhu. Despite the intense negative reaction toward this remake, I found this adaptation rather watchable, particularly the Qiao Feng's story arc.