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Drunken Fist I

This was a series I recently stumbled upon. Anyway, this had a promising start. Then it just tanked episode by episode. Or should I say scene by scene? I went and did some research and realized it was from a comic series. I didn’t mind the corny costumes or the side senseless humor at the beginning. Well, I actually thought those parts were funny. I think it went downhill after the initial conflicts and setup of how different parties were at odds–whether the good vs evil or evil vs evil, whatever those were. Or more specifically, it went downhill right after it revealed who Lei Gang’s real father really was and how his mother died, etc.
Main Cast:

  • Kong Ng (吳剛) as Wang Wu Ji (王無忌). I used to watch him in old TVB series but didn’t realize he used to star in series too. He was charming and funny in the beginning. The character seriously had potential, but it also tanked like some others in here. What tripped me was his journey to find his father’s sword and also trying to master the drunken martial arts skills. Yes, those were realistic goals for him, but it made me think that the drunken martial arts got forgotten until like the last five minutes of the series. He got time to master some of the other skills but didn’t really practice that actively at times. I got it that they were going through some issues and he wasn’t able to practice properly except for that one time when was stuck in the cave with Xian Er. But that was for a totally different type of martial arts. So yeah. The development crammed his character major time.
  • Moon Lee (李賽鳳) as Liu Xian Er (柳仙兒). Moon did an excellent job of portraying her character. I really felt for her. I initially didn’t like her character because she was so scheming and all. I thought it wouldn’t turn out good for her. However, the turnaround wasn’t too bad. They managed to show how she was forced into listening to her father (because he was her father after all and they only had each other for the most part) and how she realized she shouldn’t use those people who trusted her. The struggles were real (or it was convincing). She tried to convince her father to let it go with the other situation (and he couldn’t really change the reality of it anyway–with Lian Bi Xie already ahead of them). Whatever it was that happened to her character, Moon conveyed it really well. I think her acting was one of the reasons that helped me sympathize with her thus bringing me back to her side after the manipulation schemes.
  • Yip Yuk Ping (葉玉萍 ) as Drunken Girl (醉娃). Her character turned out to be a major disappointment. The actress did fine, but I thought her character could have done more regarding matters. Or was that just the plot? I thought she was funny at first and somewhat mischievous later. I was fine with that since I didn’t need her to be perfect or bland. Those mischievous moments showed the audience who she was as a character. What got me annoyed wasn’t the fact that she liked Lei Gang. She couldn’t help it. What made me disappointed was how she was so into him that ended up causing more trouble. Sure, she couldn’t kill him or outright severe ties with him (even if she tried). Yet what annoyed me was running off to look for him hence causing even more trouble for others, even her grandpa’s death later. Yes, I totally blame that one on her, considering how she was lying about worrying for the other two yet it was because she wanted to go down the mountains to search for Lei Gang. Then her grandpa had to go find her and then the inevitable. The plot also wasn’t helping her, cutting into her character development. I thought it was so cool she became the disciple of the God of Sword. Then she also claimed the leader title after having won the matches with her sect. I thought she would get a chance to achieve major accomplishments. Well, even if not major, at least minor ones along the way that would lead to her helping others in the long run. Not just the other group to defeat Lian Bi Xie, but could just be helping the local citizens in general. Yet her life seriously just revolved around Lei Gang and causing troubles whenever she appeared.
  • Johnny Wang (王龍威) as Lian Bi Xie (練辟邪). I didn’t care for him at all. Although, I have to admit I fell into his trap at one point, thinking that something must have happened for him to be so bitter. Yet I realized he was just playing victim versus others whom he hurt along the way. He was just trying to justify his actions in accomplishing his cruel master plan.
  • Lau Ga Yung (劉家勇) as Lei Gang (雷剛). I don’t know if he was just a bad actor or his character was just plain terrible to begin with. But it wasn’t helping either way. His best part was probably when he confronted Lian Bi Xie, saying that LBX wasn’t his father and then stormed off after letting out his frustration. It was justified that he was mad about what happened and thought that LBX was trying to manipulate him and turning his adoptive father against him (which was true). Somehow along the way, he managed to have a talk with LBX (after the cave scene and LBX saved him from the boulders) and it made sense that he wanted to learn about his real father. However, what got me frustrated to no end was how he kept switching sides. It was endless. He kept jumping ship. I got it that he could change his mind either way. Yet the switching sides was like a time loop of some sort. He wasn’t reconsidering matters seriously or seemed so later on. He just switched whenever it was convenient. He seemed to want to redeem himself after he fell off the cliff that one time. Then he went back to LBX again. It was a possibility that he was conning them about turning good. But the plot just continued to make him change sides until it was getting ridiculous. Sure, he could be the selfish type and only cared for himself and doing things that were only beneficial to him. However, it didn’t make sense again how many times he changed sides. He kept arguing with both sides about not understanding him as well. It made sense the first few times that he was confused. But then later, he was just plain switching whenever convenient or whatever. That made my second point about his acting being terrible. He wasn’t able to show his emotions (except for the part mentioned above) and how everything he did or said seemed in monotone or robotic mode for some reason. So it was very hard for me to be convinced of anything regarding him.

Supporting:

  • Ming Leung (良鳴) as Drunken Immortal (醉仙) / Drunken Cat (醉貓). He was fun at times. Well, they both were. Too bad they also paid a heavy price in here. It was very frustrating since the series was almost ending and then they just died.
  • Law Lok Lam (羅樂林) as Lei Jian Fei (雷劍飛) aka God of Sword (劍仙). I had my doubts about him at the beginning. It was mostly due to the fact that he was too righteous, too strict, and too into keeping up the sect’s reputation. It made me feel there was something off. And I must admit that Lian Bi Xie made me have some doubts–like why there was such hatred and also what the Demonic Immortal said about him being the fake righteous type. So yeah, I was holding my breath–although I wanted to like him. Then just like that, he was killed off by Lei Gang. It was tragic but also quite frustrating.
  • Cheng Lui (鄭雷) as Demonic Immortal (魔仙). I thought he was going to be another hard enemy for them to deal with in the long run. Yet it turned out differently, mostly because he was driven to take Lian Bi Xie down, not caring about them being a threat as much. Then later, it was because he wanted his daughter to be happy. It was so unexpected that he turned out to be a likable character, considering how he caused some major problems at first too.

Others:

  • Eddy Ko (高雄) as Mighty Sword, Wang Wu (大刀王五). Seriously, that was so sad that he just died like that. I understand it was because of the way the plot was and how his son was the main character of the series. Yet having him in it sort of brightened up the show a bit.
  • Cho Tat Wah (曹達華) as Drunken Beggar (醉乞). Omg, I can’t believe that he was only there for some episodes at the beginning. I thought he was going to be a major character that would influence Wu Ji hence the “drunken” part of the title. Yet it wasn’t so. Even if Wu Ji promised to practice his skills, the drunken martial arts was forgotten until like five minutes before the show ended (like said above). I loved his character, it made the corny humor less corny. It made me laugh when he was getting into mischiefs with Wu Ji. I know they couldn’t pause the plot at that point all the time, but I rather see them as a mischievous team from time to time than Lei Gang’s repetitive switching sides scenes.

I will skip the extended discussions and just go straight to whether I would recommend this series or not. Definitely a no for me. I mean if you have time to kill and want to check it out, you can go ahead for old series’ sake. But I thought this was one of the worst ones. The two saving graces of this series were the cast–many whom we came to love–and Deric Wan’s song to lead the drama. Regarding the second point, I didn’t pay attention at first and then I realized it sounded like Deric singing. It was strange hearing him sing in an old ATV series. Yet when I looked it up, it was true. Anyway, what made this series so lame for me that it was unredeemable was like I said above, many repetitive scenes–which happened to be most of Lei Gang’s scenes. Then there was the whole killing ALL of the major characters in here. Like the previous generation. Even in the end, they (the scriptwriters) had to kill all the monks too to prove that Lei Gang had to go. Really? It was getting ridiculous. I was sad to see some of the elders dying at first but thought it was supposed to bring out our frustration and made Wu Ji more determined to seek out revenge and/or justice for them. I realized later it wasn’t so. They were just doing that because they can. So yes, major disappointment as the series progressed. That was the reason why I didn’t want to watch season 2. Maybe if I have some time to kill in the future, I will check it out just for kicks.

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Dare To Love by Hu Ge

(Uploaded by: symsym26)

Song Title: Dare To Love (去愛吧)

Music by: Zuo Luo Wang (佐羅王)

Lyrics by: Wang Zhong Yan (王中言)

Key:
Bold = Chinese
Navy Blue = Pin Yin
Royal Blue = English
Grayish Blue = Vietnamese

空白的一封信 不愛的一顆心
kong bai de yi feng xin   bu ai de yi ke xin
A blank letter, a loveless heart
Một lá thư trống không, một trái tim không có tình yêu
遺忘的一句話 刺痛著我的沉默
yi wang de yi ju hua   ci tong zhe wo de chen mo
A forgotten phrase, pricking my silence
Một câu nói đã bị lãng quên, nó đang châm vào sự yên lặng của tôi
我獲得什麼 又失去了什麼
wo huo de shen me   you shi qu le shen me
What have I received? And what have I lost?
Tôi đã nhận được những gì? Và tôi đã mất đi những gì?
誰也都無法形容
shui ye dou wu fa xing rong
No one could describe it
Ai cũng không thể nào hình dung được

鏡子裡的臉孔 練習著新的笑容
jing zi li de lian kong   lian xi zhe xin de xiao rong
The face in the mirror is practicing a new smile
Khuôn mặt trong tấm gương đang luyện tập một nụ cười mới
昨天的夢墜落 卻開始我新的自由
zuo tian de meng zhui luo   que kai shi wo xin de zi you
Yesterday’s dream has fallen; nevertheless, my new freedom is starting
Giấc mộng hôm qua đã lặn xuống, nhưng sự tự do mới của tôi đã bắt đầu
誰還沒有走 誰還為我停留
shui hai mei you zou   shui hai wei wo ting liu
Who hasn’t left yet? Who is still staying because of me?
Ai vẫn còn chưa đi? Ai vẫn còn vì tôi mà ở lại?
靜靜聽我訴說
jing jing ting wo su shuo
Silently listen to what I have to say
Hãy lẳng lặng mà nghe những gì tôi nói

是否我張開雙手 一定就能夠
shi fou wo zhang kai shuang shou   yi ding jiu neng gou
If I extend my hands, then I can definitely achieve
Nếu mà tôi dang hai tay ra thì tôi nhứt định sẽ làm nên được
去愛吧 沒有疑惑 擁抱到盡頭
qu ai ba   mei you yi huo   yong bao dao jin tou
Go and love! Don’t be suspicious, just embrace it until the end
Hãy yêu đi! Đừng nghi ngờ gì hết, hãy ôm lấy nó cho đến phút cuối cùng
是否我再愛一次 一定就能夠
shi fou wo zai ai yi ci   yi ding jiu neng gou
If I could love once more, then I can definitely achieve
Nếu mà tôi có thể yêu thêm mọt lần nũa thì tôi sẽ nhứt định làm nên được
看見溫柔的你 還在那苦苦的守候
kan jian wen rou de ni   hai zai na ku ku de shu hou
Seeing your gentleness, how you’re still strenuously keeping watch
Nhìn thấy sự ôn hoà của em, cứ mãi vất vả trông nom

是否我承認脆弱 一定就能夠
shi fou wo cheng ren cui ruo   yi ding jiu neng gou
If I admit my vulnerabilities, then I can definitely achieve
Nếu mà tôi thừa nhận sự yếu đuối của mình thì tôi sẽ làm nên được
去愛吧 不再顫抖 不需要放手
qu ai ba   bu zai chan dou   bu xu yao fang shou
Go and love! Stop shivering, don’t give up
Hãy yêu đi! Đừng rung rẩy nữa, đừng nên bỏ cuộc
我望著你的天空 幸福的彩虹
wo wang zhe ni de tian kong   xing fu de cai hong
I see that your world is full of blissful rainbows
Tôi nhìn thấy khung trời của em đầy cầu vồng hạnh phúc
是否那熟悉畫面裡 依然有我
shi fou na shu xi hua mian li   yi ran you wo
Is that familiar face inside the picture still me?
Khuôn mặt quen thuộc trong bức họa có phải vẫn là tôi không?

(music)

鏡子裡的臉孔 練習著新的笑容
jing zi li de lian kong   lian xi zhe xin de xiao rong
The face in the mirror is practicing a new smile
Khuôn mặt trong tấm gương đang luyện tập một nụ cười mới
昨天的夢墜落 卻開始我新的自由
zuo tian de meng zhui luo   que kai shi wo xin de zi you
Yesterday’s dream has fallen; nevertheless, my new freedom is starting
Giấc mộng hôm qua đã lặn xuống, nhưng sự tự do mới của tôi đã bắt đầu
誰還沒有走 誰還為我停留
shui hai mei you zou   shui hai wei wo ting liu
Who hasn’t left yet? Who is still staying because of me?
Ai vẫn còn chưa đi? Ai vẫn còn vì tôi mà ở lại?
靜靜聽我訴說
jing jing ting wo su shuo
Silently listen to what I have to say
Hãy lẳng lặng mà nghe những gì tôi nói

是否我張開雙手 一定就能夠
shi fou wo zhang kai shuang shou   yi ding jiu neng gou
If I extend my hands, then I can definitely achieve
Nếu mà tôi dang hai tay ra thì tôi nhứt định sẽ làm nên được
去愛吧 沒有疑惑 擁抱到盡頭
qu ai ba   mei you yi huo   yong bao dao jin tou
Go and love! Don’t be suspicious, just embrace it until the end
Hãy yêu đi! Đừng nghi ngờ gì hết, hãy ôm lấy nó cho đến phút cuối cùng
是否我再愛一次 一定就能夠
shi fou wo zai ai yi ci   yi ding jiu neng gou
If I could love once more, then I can definitely achieve
Nếu mà tôi có thể yêu thêm mọt lần nũa thì tôi sẽ nhứt định làm nên được
看見溫柔的你 還在那苦苦的守候
kan jian wen rou de ni   hai zai na ku ku de shu hou
Seeing your gentleness, how you’re still strenuously keeping watch
Nhìn thấy sự ôn hoà của em, cứ mãi vất vả trông nom

是否我承認脆弱 一定就能夠
shi fou wo cheng ren cui ruo   yi ding jiu neng gou
If I admit my vulnerabilities, then I can definitely achieve
Nếu mà tôi thừa nhận sự yếu đuối của mình thì tôi sẽ làm nên được
去愛吧 不再顫抖 不需要放手
qu ai ba   bu zai chan dou   bu xu yao fang shou
Go and love! Stop shivering, don’t give up
Hãy yêu đi! Đừng rung rẩy nữa, đừng nên bỏ cuộc
我望著你的天空 幸福的彩虹
wo wang zhe ni de tian kong   xing fu de cai hong
I see that your world is full of blissful rainbows
Tôi nhìn thấy khung trời của em đầy cầu vồng hạnh phúc
是否那熟悉畫面裡 依然有我
shi fou na shu xi hua mian li   yi ran you wo
Is that familiar face inside the picture still me?
Khuôn mặt quen thuộc trong bức họa có phải vẫn là tôi không?

把痛上鎖 重新來過
ba tong shang suo   zhong xin lai guo
Lock up all the pain and start over
Hãy khóa lại những đau thương và làm lại từ đầu
是否能夠愛到底再也不必回頭
shi fou neng gou ai dao di zai ye bu bi hui tou
If you could love to the fullest, then don’t look back
Nếu mà có thể yêu đến cùng thì đừng quay đầu nhìn lại nữa
往事如夢 不再淚流
wang shi ru meng   bu zai lei liu
The past is like a dream, don’t shed tears again
Chuyện xưa như mộng, đừng nên khóc vì nó nữa
明天的故事開始等待新的未來
ming tian de gu shi kai shi deng dai xin de wei lai
Tomorrow’s tales are starting to wait for a new future
Câu chuyện của ngày mai đang bắt đầu chờ đợi một tương lai mới

(music)

是否我張開雙手 一定就能夠
shi fou wo zhang kai shuang shou   yi ding jiu neng gou
If I extend my hands, then I can definitely achieve
Nếu mà tôi dang hai tay ra thì tôi nhứt định sẽ làm nên được
去愛吧 沒有疑惑 擁抱到盡頭
qu ai ba   mei you yi huo   yong bao dao jin tou
Go and love! Don’t be suspicious, just embrace it until the end
Hãy yêu đi! Đừng nghi ngờ gì hết, hãy ôm lấy nó cho đến phút cuối cùng
是否我再愛一次 一定就能夠
shi fou wo zai ai yi ci   yi ding jiu neng gou
If I could love once more, then I can definitely achieve
Nếu mà tôi có thể yêu thêm mọt lần nũa thì tôi sẽ nhứt định làm nên được
看見溫柔的你 還在那苦苦的守候
kan jian wen rou de ni   hai zai na ku ku de shu hou
Seeing your gentleness, how you’re still strenuously keeping watch
Nhìn thấy sự ôn hoà của em, cứ mãi vất vả trông nom

是否我承認脆弱 一定就能夠
shi fou wo cheng ren cui ruo   yi ding jiu neng gou
If I admit my vulnerabilities, then I can definitely achieve
Nếu mà tôi thừa nhận sự yếu đuối của mình thì tôi sẽ làm nên được
去愛吧 不再顫抖 不需要放手
qu ai ba   bu zai chan dou   bu xu yao fang shou
Go and love! Stop shivering, don’t give up
Hãy yêu đi! Đừng rung rẩy nữa, đừng nên bỏ cuộc
我望著你的天空 幸福的彩虹
wo wang zhe ni de tian kong   xing fu de cai hong
I see that your world is full of blissful rainbows
Tôi nhìn thấy khung trời của em đầy cầu vồng hạnh phúc
是否那熟悉畫面裡 依然有我
shi fou na shu xi hua mian li   yi ran you wo
Is that familiar face inside the picture still me?
Khuôn mặt quen thuộc trong bức họa có phải vẫn là tôi không?

*All translations were done by DTLCT.

The Ranger, Superior and Demon Girl

I recently stumbled upon this series from ATV so I ended up watching it. Of course, it took a while since I have lots of stuff to do. Anyway, it was an old series so there was a severe lack of information regarding the drama. From what I know, it was an adaptation from a Liang Yu Sheng novel of the same name. It was supposedly 70% accurate since like most adaptations, it was hard to keep to the novel. Some characters were merged and/or sacrificed along the way. I really want to look for it to read and compare, but no such luck. This seemed to not be as popular as Liang Yu Sheng’s other novels hence it being hard to find. The furthest I could go was reading the summary and/or character descriptions on Baidu. Nothing beats reading the novel itself. Although I do appreciate whoever created a page for it in the first place.
Main Cast:

  • Ban Ban (斑斑) as Liu Qing Yao (柳青瑶). She was awesome. I liked how she started out what seemed to be a rash, self-righteous person yet eventually turned into one of the leaders of the robbers. It was so amazing to see how her character evolved. I thought she was going to be a side protagonist that ended up making the leading guys look good by rescuing her or something. Yet she had her own story development and journey to leadership and all. She was raw at first with her experiences and martial arts skills. After having traveled the realms of jianghu for some time, she earned her reputation and respect from different groups as well as hatred from others. Regardless, most feared her wrath and took her seriously–even if some did not want to admit it. What I also liked was how she never lost her way despite having gained so much fame and support from others. Like how the previous leader of the robbers had used his own reputation of “going against the Jin people” so he could kidnap girls and do whatever he wanted. (That was why in the other section I mentioned how I didn’t like that to become a reason for immunity toward the characters.) She focused on her main goal, reuniting their country and made heroes among thieves (not discouraging them nor condemning them just because of their background) thus leading them to fight for a bigger cause. Aside from all of that, she also had her personal struggles and vulnerabilities. The actress sure brought out the many sides of Qing Yao. I didn’t realize that she portrayed Han Xiao Ying (韓小莹) in TVB’s 1983 adaptation of The Legend of the Condor Heroes, but I knew she looked familiar. It was refreshing to see her in a leading role and seeing how she got to show off her acting capabilities.
  • Yu Tien Lung (游天龙) as Hua Gu Han (谷涵). I didn’t know what to make of him at first, even if I knew he was one of the main characters. He sure lived up to his reputation with being an odd hero. I liked his carefree attitude (for the most part) and how he wasn’t a bragging type. However, what got me frustrated was his attempt to conceal the mystery that almost cost Qing Yao’s life and possibly his. I meant the part where Qing Yao’s uncle pretended to be her long-lost father and ended up poisoning her hence the fiasco of later. So aside from that, I thought he was fine for the most part.
  • Lau Wan Fung (劉雲峰) as Tan Yu Chong (檀羽冲). For being a main character, he was sure detached from the main plot for the majority of the story. Sure, he was chased down from the Jin emperor and company since he went against the king’s tyranny. However, he wasn’t involved and I liked it that the other characters respected his boundary and didn’t force him into helping them as long as he wasn’t harming others. I just found it funny that he wasn’t involved until Long Yu scolded him for being a coward and not standing up to his king. It got him thinking and actually wanted to join forces with the others to help them. So that was how he was there during the final battle.
  • Fred Carpio (弗烈) as Geng Zhao (耿照). I think Geng Zhao was more involved with the main plot than some people in here. It wasn’t because he had to deliver the secret documents from his father to the king either. That was mostly the reason. But it was because he was righteous and showed his patriotism from the start. Even before he learned about his father’s fake surrender to the Jin emperor. He had big plans and wanted to help his country. Then tragedy stroke and he was forced to flee his home and endured all the pain of having killed his uncle (or so he thought, not knowing of the schemes behind it all). His sense of responsibility was admirable on many levels. What made it bittersweet was that he finally achieved what his father sent him out to do and managed to overcome all his obstacles yet in the end, he couldn’t escape his fate. Not just the fact that he died at the end but how he lost all the ones whom he loved and also the ones who loved him. Again, I don’t know if he was supposed to survive in the novel or not, but that was surely choking. Even if he had sacrificed himself for the greater good. I’m not so sure their stupid king would appreciate it.
  • Elaine Chow (周秀蘭) as He Lian Qing Yun (赫连清云) and He Lian Qing Bo (赫连清波). Impressed. Okay, I already loved Elaine since watching Duke of Mt. Deer and seeing her portray Shuang Er. I saw great potential with her during her earlier years. Yet every time I watched a series of hers, she was tossed some similar pitiful role. It happened a lot with some of the past stars of TVB too. I was glad she left TVB and joined ATV. Because this series proved that she was amazing. She was able to portray two roles seamlessly, making us think that she was indeed two persons. It was fascinating to watch her innocent and mischievous Qing Yun moments versus her cunning and deceptive Qing Bo scenes as well.
  • Willie Lau (煒烈) as Gongsun Qi (公孙奇). I didn’t like him from the start. Not just because of how he was going against his father and entering the Sang resident. He was just so suspicious and full of jealousy of others. Although I got it that he was having trouble seeking love and attention from his father, I didn’t like it that he used it as an excuse to sacrifice everything in his path to gain achievements. I felt his ending was so weak. They just wanted to wrap it up so they made him apologize with some half-ass regrets and that was it. He was going to die anyway because Qing Hong already died so no one could help with curing him. No sympathy right from the start.

Supporting:

  • Lee Ying Tung (李映彤) as Qin Long Yu (秦弄玉). I thought she wasn’t involved in the main plot since her association was with Geng Zhao at the beginning. Again, because I didn’t read the novels and didn’t know what to expect of the plot at that point. She was another brave character in sacrificing herself for the greater cause. It was really sad and tragic that she and Geng Zhao couldn’t be together after so much had happened.
  • Kingdom Yuen (苑瓊丹) as Yu Shan Hu (玉珊瑚). I never thought there was a day when I use the word “cute” to describe Kingdom. But that was how it was with her character in here. I only watched her past series where she was blunt, cunning, hilarious, obnoxious or was at times involved in touching storylines but never as toned down. In here, she was actually calm and possibly on the bland side. Yet that wasn’t so. She brought out the many sides of her character that I thought wouldn’t be possible since she was continuously cast in similar roles by TVB in her later years. One of the other more toned down roles of hers that I had watched was actually The Blood Sword. Anyway, back to this one, I really loved her character because she was quite rash and hot-headed at the beginning (and rightly so since her whole family and sect were killed and burned down after all) and then later transitioned into a calmer and careful person. I hated it even more that she was raped. What the hell was that? I know that reflected reality like how no one could see that coming and tragedies happened yet I hated it that the scene was only used to make us hate Meng Zhao even more. I think the audience already got that part, no need to keep piling it on. I don’t know if she lived in the novel, but it was seriously messed up killing her like that before wrapping up the series after the final battle.
  • Cho Tat Wah (曹達華) as Gongsun Yin (公孙隐). Mixed feelings. I know it was really hard for him to just accept it that his son was an evil person who would harm anyone and resort to anything to achieve his goals. It was his son after all, but I hated that he acted like Sang Qing Hong was an evil bitch because of how she implemented her revenge method. Seriously? He was the last one to speak. They already spared his feelings on a lot of things, just because they respected him.
  • Tam Wing Kit (谭荣杰) as Meng Zhao (孟钊). I don’t know if he was trying to compete with Gongsun Qi to be the most hated character, but it felt that way for now. He was getting ridiculous as the series progressed. It was like endless with his unreasonableness. He claimed to love San Hu or cared for her yet didn’t believe her words against that one girl. They grew up together, seriously. I understood that he was forced to participate in the Sang family’s conflicts and there were many things he wasn’t able to control at the beginning. However, he just became worse and worse. Or more like his true character was coming out. I was hoping it was for dramatic purposes that they dragged out his misunderstandings at one point. Hell, I even made excuses (for San Hu’s sake) and hoped that he would see past all the ridiculous misunderstandings. However, he became unredeemable when he finally pushed past the barrier and raped her. I wanted to jump into the screen and strangle him by then. I felt his death was too fast–although I was glad San Hu was able to carry through–and wished he had suffered more.

Likes:

  • The cast. Some of them weren’t that famous–or considered big names, but they acted well. They weren’t trying and even if I haven’t read the novel, just analyzing with the stories given, I felt they were those characters.
  • The music. The singers were lovely in their performance, and how it added to the series as an overall. The song represented the overall series quite well. It brought back feelings of old wuxia series for me.
  • The female characters in here. Regardless if I liked them or not, I felt the story was dominated by strong female characters with mixed emotions and personalities, especially in a wuxia like this. They weren’t so one-dimensional like other stories. There were similar conflicts that the characters from other TV series and novels had to face, but I felt in this one, the storyline was much stronger in that it accepted how each of the female characters chose their paths or lack of one. They weren’t trying to be super perfect or chase after an unrealistic perfect image. I also like it that the female characters weren’t just there as the male leads’ love interests. They had romances and triangles or whatever else in here, but each female character had her own story and conflicts she had to face. I’m not sure how faithful of that aspect they stick to the novel. If I had known, I would’ve read Liang Yu Sheng’s novels ages ago. (Yes, sadly I’ve never completely read a Liang Yu Sheng novel to its full extent.) I’m also awed by the fact that Liao Qing Yao was part of the main leads in here. I meant other wuxia novels and/or TV series, they had strong female leads too and all, but like I said, I felt at times they didn’t focus on the female lead’s side of the journey. They just existed as a companion for the male leads and their characters were never explored so fully. This one, they followed Liao Qing Yao when she was a newbie in the jianghu realm and later established to be a leader that earned a lot of respect and led the fight in restoring her country (or attempted to).
  • The jianghu feeling from a traditional wuxia. Usually, I’m very accepting of new ideas and genres. Hey, I still watch and like some ideas incorporated in some TV series of recent. However, at times, I really missed how old wuxia TV series were. Like now the majority of the dramas are character-driven. I get it, they’re trying to get your favorite stars (or at least the ones they’re promoting) more exposure and screen time. I like to see my favorites in more scenes too. Yet at times it could be so tiring with repetitive plots and endless unnecessary dramas. So this one sort of brought back old feelings for me. This was definitely plot-driven. Many of the characters were gone for a large portion of the story at one point or another. That didn’t mean they weren’t important. That made the story flowed well as an overall. I rather they appeared and actually contributed to the plot than just stood around and/or talked unnecessarily for how many episodes they (the creators of the show) could drag out. Then there was the whole feeling of how many of the heroes and/or heroines in here met and ended up being sworn siblings just because. Like how Hua Gu Han and Qing Yun were, and how Geng Zhao and San Hu also ended up becoming sworn siblings. Or how Hua Gu Han and Tan Yu Chong admired one another’s talents but didn’t force one or another to side with them at times. They helped each other when in need and respected the other’s views and/or decisions. Hua Gu Han and Tan Yu Chong’s meeting sort of reminded of how Qu Yang (曲洋) and Liu Zheng Feng (劉正風) from Xiao Ao Jiang Hu (笑傲江湖) met. Although they met through music, their admiration of one another was through righteousness. Not to mention this series’ focus wasn’t on music and/or the conflicts of jianghu but the main picture was that of their country and the patriotism involved.

Dislikes:

  • Definitely San Hu being raped by Meng Zhao. I hate all of those scenes regardless of TV series or novels. It doesn’t matter the number of details shown. I just hate it in general–even if I know that it is an ongoing issue and how people still refuse to acknowledge the damages of it. Anyway, I don’t know if this was part of the novel or not, but I felt the setup was terrible. Okay, poor choice of words, but I felt they could have prevented it. It sounds like victim-shaming, but San Hu was really sick at that time, it was hard to move her, but can’t the others pay some others to move her in a carriage back to the mountains so she could rest? At least have Qing Yao’s other good sister help take care of her at that time. Yet they just left her at the inn where everyone and their cousins could enter? They knew Meng Zhao was always up to no good, why take the chance? And I want to clarify that if it didn’t happen to San Hu but to someone else, I would be equally pissed. Again, hate those scenes.
  • The Sang (桑) family in general. I didn’t care if they were against the Jin people (金国). That didn’t make up for all the harassment and suffering they caused toward the locals. Those endless scenes of their lackeys going into town and demanding money was beyond despicable and showed their true colors. Regarding Sang Qing Hong (桑青虹), mixed feelings throughout. I didn’t like that she forced Geng Zhao into learning her family’s skills, even if that was supposed to help him in the future. If it was some random person on the street, would she care? She sounded righteous but didn’t help much with the locals either. She was also in her own family’s bubbles. I felt bad for her regarding the revenge plot and all, and how brave she was to sacrifice so much. Yet I couldn’t really sympathize with her on a larger scale. She didn’t really contribute to the overall plot except for being responsible for Geng Zhao’s martial arts improvements.

After all that, do I recommend it? I definitely would. Or more like I would definitely recommend it for fans of the traditional wuxia. The actors and actresses in here did really good in bringing out the story and their characters. Sure, it was a bittersweet ending but I felt it was a worth it series for wuxia fans.

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