Probably the most anticipated for me because of Qiao Zhen Yu yet I felt disappointed in it. Not because of the other cast or anything. I surprisingly liked Alice Ko in here since she hasn’t really clicked for me in her past dramas. Then perhaps it was just the plot or strange characterization that made it hard to relate for me. In here, she was really cute and funny as Qi Ting and was cunning and creepy as Jing Lan. The same for Liu Dong, portraying two roles so seamlessly alongside Alice. However, the plot was just dragging on and on between the Zhu sisters fighting over Tao Yue Ming that it didn’t appeal to me as much. Well, Qi Ting wasn’t fighting with her sister, but it seemed to shuffle back and forth between the love story so I wasn’t as interested in it as I would have.
Story 2 – Heaven and Earth (乾坤)
Surprisingly good. I was having doubts of this pairing of Cecilia Han Xue and Chen Long. Yet their chemistry was quite good. I enjoyed their story more because the combinations of the battle in the demon realm and how the story eventually played out. What was funny was how my mom (who is a major fan of Norman Chui) thought that he was just in here for some side, unimportant character that needed to be rescued. However, when the twist came around, it was indeed quite chilling. It was a nice twist though. He had to be the big, bad guy. How could he just stand aside and play some small role, right? Nice. Bitter sweet ending, but it wasn’t too tragic. Well, it was when the ending was unknown. But once the last scene rolled around, it wasn’t too bad.
Story 3 – Heng Niang (恒娘)
The chemistry between Lin You Wei and Kimi Li was so cute. At least initially. Having done the translations for the plot summary, I had expected the inevitable. However, that didn’t stop me from enjoying their cute moments. How she hugged him when she finally arrived at the town. He was so happy and hugged her back. Then there was also the part where she tried to act all civilized and polite with the courtesy, so of course she didn’t eat as much. It was so funny watching her trying to find food and then finding food at last. I totally sympathize. How could anyone eat so little? The cutest part was how he placed a cup of water/tea on the table. It showed that the person whom prepared the special midnight dinner for her was him. So she hugged him, so touched. Only he would understand her. It was really cute and nice. He told her not to hold back since it was her house after all, so she could eat all that she wanted. Indeed, so cute. It was hard to see how he could betray her later on. Yet when the scenes finally came around regarding the betrayal, I realized that it wasn’t what was let on in the summary. There were many factors to think about. So in the end, I sort of forgive them for the mess. I felt that after all that was said and done, Heng Niang and Tian Fu belonged together.
Poor James Wen, once again had to play the bad guy. Yet I think for this type of short story, it was all right. He didn’t disappoint. After all, they needed to cut Lin You Wei some slacks, considering how he had to play some not so likable characters in the past. It was about time he stepped out of the shadow, right? Somewhat dramatic but was entertaining enough with a mixture of fantasies and all. Not to mention how they got past the ‘time travel’ thing! LOL! If only it was that obvious to cut out, right? Nicely done.
Story 4 – Lian Suo (连琐)
Hilarious. At least at first. Because of how Royce Wong’s character, Yang Yu Wei, was so freaked out by the ghost haunting his new house. It was insane. He tried everything but it didn’t work. He tried to reassure his brother that he was fine, but of course, he was far from fine. The story was quite intriguing at various points, with both sweetness and bitterness. Plus other very terrifying aspects, once again visiting the theme of people sometimes are scarier than ghosts/demons.
Story 5 – Ye Sheng (叶生)
Sad, so sad. But it wasn’t too frustrating. Okay, it was in a way since there was a little more time before the ending yet the main guy died. But I think it wasn’t for nothing. The prince grew up still remembering him and still referred to him as his father. Talking about that, I especially like the relationship between Medic Ye and the young prince as father and son.
There were twists and turns about the plot and the unexpected thing led others to realize sometimes things weren’t what they were seen. Even if you think you got the story straight. A very touching story on many levels.
Story 6 – Kingdom of Female Demons (夜叉国)
*Can’t find it, will go back later since I am quite intrigued by this story after translating the summary.
Story 7 – The Flower Spirit (花姑子)
*Might go back later. (If I can find it.)
Story 8 – Maiden In Green (绿衣女)
Interestingly my favorite story among all. I was just curious how Bianca would fend and how the story would be. I also have doubts about her pairing up with Calvin Li. Yet they were awesome. I loved them from the start. Their story was touching and quite real. I meant aside from the whole fantasy elements, lol. I know, sounds ironic. But their relationship with living in the mountains and taking care of his mom as a family was quite nice. Then the other elements made it quite tragic. What was nice about it was how the Taoist wasn’t such an uptight, not knowing the gray areas–like some other stories in the past had led on. He was quite cool and knew that there were actually good demons as well, not just outright lumping them all together. At least, it was when he realized what was going on after the initial disagreement. What was a bit ironic about the situation was how she was the demon at the beginning of the story yet in the end, he was the demon. How could they work it out? Well, I guess they waited for so long, they would find a way to get past that obstacle as well. Not to mention how they needed her father’s approval too.
So conclusion? I think it’s clear that story #8 is my ultimate favorite. Then story # 2, #5, #4, #3, and #1–in that order. It’s because I haven’t watched the other two yet so I couldn’t place them. But will go back for those later and possibly change my answer. Anyway, I would’ve placed #3 higher but I think because of some repeated stuffs, I want to switch it out. Although #4 was quite frustrating at some points too, but I think the overall sort of made it worthwhile. Even if it was really tragic. Number #3, only found Lin You Wei and Kimi Li cute. Although the story with the fox demons was intriguing but also frustrating so I didn’t care for it as much. And I already explained why #1 is so low on the list.
Constable Xin Fang Ping (Chen Long) born carefree, exuding a very righteous feeling. His senior Qu Rou (Yu Xiao Lei) has a deep and abiding affection for him. At the county town, there arose a set of unsolved rape cases. In addition, the most urgent case was the robbery within the imperial court. A series of important unsolved cases. The county town’s official, also his adopted father, Qu Qing Lei (Norman Chui) was executed by the emperor, and his corpse had disappeared. Xin Fang Ping was determined to seek justice for his father. While solving the case, he ended up going to the demonic realm. Ahead, there were many trials thus leading to him and Qu Rou entering death and going to the demonic realm. Incidentally saving a demonic girl Xie Ling Er (Cecilia Han Xue). Furthermore, finding out that the demonic leader wanted to control both worlds. The two maidens whom loved Xin Fang Ping dearly fought along his side in the battle of the demonic realm. The truth and ending nevertheless will cause one to be heart-broken.
Bộ đầu Hân Phương Bình (Trần Long) trời sanh dễ tánh, phát ra một cảm giác chánh nghĩa. Sư tỷ Khúc Nhu (Vu Tiểu Lỗi) đối y nhứt vãng tình thâm. Ở huyện thành liên tiếp không ngừng những vụ án hái hoa phác sóc mê ly. Khẩn cấp hơn là vụ án bị cướp tại hoàng cung. Một loạt trọng án không phá được. Huyện lệnh dưỡng phụ Khúc Thanh Lỗi (Từ Thiếu Cường) bị hoàng thượng tru sát và thi thể bị thất tung. Hân Phương Bình quyết ý vì phụ đòi lại công đạo. Trong lúc phá án, y đã lọt và ma giới. Trước mắt có rất nhiều quan ải đã khiến y và Khúc Nhu nhập tử và vào ma giới. Ngẫu nhiên đã cứu được ma linh nữ Tạ Linh Nhi (Hàn Tuyết). Còn biết được rằng thiên ma đại nhân vọng tưởng xưng bá lưỡng thế. Hai người con gái yêu Hân Phương Bình tha thiết sẽ cùng sánh vai bên y trong cuộc đấu tranh ở ma giới. Chân tướng và kết cuộc sẽ khiến người vỡ lòng.
*All information were from Baidu, and all translations were by DTLCT.
*All images were collected around the net hence belonging to their rightful owners.
I’m finally reviewing this after soooo long. Yes, I sure took my precious time. So, first thoughts? I thought her voice would take on a sweeter feeling, considering how her normal voice. But it doesn’t mean I don’t like it. I find it unique. I also like the artistic approach for this album, and how the theme seemed to reflect with keeping it real. There were some added sophistication into it but that reflected of her different sides.
1. Epiphyllum (曇花). Such a beautiful song. The music flows nicely long with her voice. The lyrics blend nicely along, weaving a very mystical picture. Yet what’s so mesmerizing about the song is the imagery along with the string instrument used to tug at one’s heart.
2. Song of Midsummer (盛夏的歌). Lyrics were penned by Cecilia. A very fun and uplifting song. Just right for the summer season. Very nice and cute in a sense. It started out with a mild sense of upbeat, but intensified itself midway through. Worked out great.
3. They Say (他們說). Another song with its lyrics penned by Cecilia. This song really appealed to my rebellious side. More like how society kept telling and dictating for us to do what’s supposedly “right” yet it’s not their lives. It’s our lives. We should know what we want and we will have to deal with consequences, not them. So why listen? Love this song! Like the beat and a strong ending.
4. This Is Our Youth (這就是我們的青春)（2012年的蘇州市吳中區形象宣傳片主題曲）. Yet another song penned by Cecilia. Not that I’m complaining, lol. Another beautiful song, so nice and innocent, just like how youth usually is. Really love the overall feeling of this and the mood is nicely set.
5. Fatalism (宿命論). Lyrics penned by Cecilia. Fast and upbeat song. Has this ‘rocker’ feeling to it. Or maybe it’s just me, lol.
6. The Best Time, The Best Love (最好時光最好的愛). Yeah, it’s another song written by Cecilia. Another lovely song.
7. Midnight in Paris. Lyrics were penned by Cecilia (once again, lol). Started out slow and built itself to a really fast and upbeat song. Cecilia’s voice took on a cuter side for this one. The music is so addicting for this one – although just a simple song. Kudos to the composer.
8. Love is Like a Fire (愛就一把火). Penned by one of the best lyricists, Lin Xi. Another nice song by this lyricists. However, not my favorite among all the other songs.
9. Can’t Leave You (離不開你). Lyrics adapted by Cecilia. I was having mixed feelings throughout this song. Yet she won me over again. A sad and somewhat touching song. I didn’t mind that it was leaning toward the ‘whining’ side. Because the ending made all the difference.
10. Fleeing (逃離). I love them as a team as lyricist and composer. ‘Cause I really enjoyed their other collaborations (tracks 4 and 7). A somewhat sad song but it didn’t take on a pitiful tone. A feeling of reminiscence and a touch of a haunting past.
11. 1050﹣2009. Same team from tracks 4,7, and 10. Another epic collaboration to finish out the album. Love the piano mix in this one. It provided a beautiful flow for the song and splashed on it a very nice touch of an ancient feeling. Like a classic time era, which fitted nicely for the theme of the song.
Cecilia is truly a chameleon lyricist. I was really amazed and surprised by the range and theme she managed to capture in each one of the songs she wrote. Of course the accompanying of the wonderful composers helped. However, the lyrics she used for each song made it unique and how it wasn’t repetitive like how lyricists often fall into. Each theme of the song was different, so even if some of the simplest characters repeated (which was essential), the language used was totally different thus giving a different feeling for the song in general.
Recommended? Up to you. I felt it was worth it for me. It reassured me once again that I could still listen to qualify stuffs and enjoy pop music on its own, lol. PHEW! (LOL) But seriously though, it was worth it. For real. I was surprised that I enjoyed it that much. The first listen was misleading. It was a very beautiful album overall if you understand the flowery lyrics and imagery used.
So I decided to start some kind of saga to share about the things I love and hate about my favorites. Who’s the first one on the plate? Who else but Mr. Huo, right? But before I get started, DO REMEMBER that these are my personal likes and dislikes SO if you don’t agree with me, IT’S OKAY. I’m just sharing, NOT forcing anyone to agree with me.
Best Character EVER: Tang Lang (from Detective Tang Lang), intelligent and hilarious. NOT completely perfect but super righteous at times. Also, his kick-ass martial arts in here.
2ND Best Character EVER: Lu Yun Xiang (from Sound of Colors), OMG, he’s an artist! Super hot-headed character at times, but he’s so sweet and cute at other times.
Favorite Swordsman Character: Gui Hai Yi Dao (from Tian Xia Di Yi). (I would’ve put “Ling Hu Chong” BUT thanks to YZ, I can’t anymore, because I can’t ignore the fact that his character got ruined really badly in there.) So anyway, this was the character that brought me into being one of his fans. He really convinced me in here and come on now, his martial arts skills really ruled too! (Did he do the stunts himself back then? At least some of it?)
Devilishly Witty Character: Xing Wang (from Westside Story), a genius and bordering on the side of nerd, but was also quite awesome with various talents.
Most Hateful Character (in my book): Li Wei Xiang (from 100% Senorita), NOT because of the other girl, but I hated the fact that he was portraying a supposedly intelligent lawyer and supposedly a very understanding boyfriend YET he was more than stupid could describe. Like how he didn’t forgive his ‘godfather’ until he needed the old man for a favor near the end to help his girlfriend. Then there was the whole thing with claiming to be supportive and understanding toward his girlfriend, he acted super annoying with kept confronting her and forcing her to see how ‘hurt’ he was YET didn’t think to investigate into her strange behaviors for some ‘side’ story. It could also be the stupid plot’s fault with affecting his poor character development BUT still, I didn’t like it one bit though I felt Wallace did a really good job with portraying such an annoying role when he was still struggling between roles and trying to make it happen during the beginning of his career.
Annoying YET Can’t Hate Character: Li Ya Shou (from Wu Shi Lang). I don’t know. I couldn’t explain why I didn’t hate him. Well, partially it was Wallace and how hilarious his character was at times that I couldn’t blame him for being up to no good with his ‘getting rich’ schemes. Perhaps, it was also the fact that he knew his father died from hunger that he got so freaked out with the whole landing into the same fate as his father so I was sort of sympathizing him on that front too. And Wallace’s haunting eyes at times when he looked after Shi Lang that made it sooo hard to hate him. (Besides, I don’t really like those insanely ‘good’ characters nowadays. It’s just too flaky.)
Best Drama Ever: Detective Tang Lang, just because I’m a fan of detective/police stuff and action/martial arts stuff as well. It’s a mixture of both and Wallace so kicked ass in here with his moves. The cases were quite interesting and the pace was fast enough. Plus most of the characters made it lively most of the time and hilarious during others. This drama wasn’t flawless but I seriously felt it was one of Wallace’s best choices BECAUSE though at times he picked good roles BUT failed to pay attention to the plot that made it SUPER hard for some people to watch. (I seriously am not that ‘obsessed’ yet obviously to go through every single one of his series.)
Most Touching Drama: Sound of Colors. Okay, I think some of the others were quite touching as well, but I felt this one with how it made me cry more than usual, even during re-watchs, deserved the spot the most. Jimmy Liao’s adapted story, wasn’t perfect and I could detect all the goofs throughout. Yet the overall story was quite good and touching. The ending was worth a box of tissues already. But I didn’t hate it. Sure, I felt bitter after watching the ending for the first time and it stuck with me for several days (or more). Then I became more accepting of it and even felt in a way, it was meaningful. Perhaps, it was somewhat paving its way and dropping hints with how things would eventually come to that point (aka making sense), so I was able to accept it better as well.
Worst Drama Ever: 100% Senorita. NOT just because I hated his character, but I felt so robbed with how it was supposed to be a revenge plot. Then it got side-track AND got so draggy that I ended up hating almost all the characters in there. Then only the last 10 episodes seemed to be worth watching. (Or so I thought.) And the fact that Deric Wan was part of it puzzled me even more since he could DO WAY BETTER than got stuck with this stupid stuff.
TOO BAD: Xiao Ao Jiang Hu, seriously, I think it’s too obvious. It’s one disastrous, nerve-racking journey from the start. It’s a train-wreck that most of us should see it coming YET refuse to believe BECAUSE some of us actually believe in Mr. Huo’s judgment and how he would be able to control more factors coming into this drama–with his going somewhere and reading the script and studying it to death with other information before taking the role. YET he got conned as well with the scrip changes. AND of course it’s NOT something new that scripts get change in the industry, sometimes it happens the night before even. BUT the fact that he barely could do anything about it was so frustrating. He wanted more of the ‘martial arts’ side and less ‘romance’ side (like how a typical wuxia should be) YET he couldn’t fight too much with the rest of the production team and make it ‘difficult’ for them. (OR so I heard. I also heard two of them were women so he couldn’t ‘bully’ them too much.) He only won over some of the fighting scenes with Howie Huang (aka he was able to suggest certain scenes and that was it). After what happened though, the next time I see Mr. Huo caving in and agreeing to some YZ production again, HE’S ON HIS OWN. (People say you could only fall for something one time AND the next time it’s your fault, so that’s that for me. I won’t abandon him BUT just won’t watch it if he’s going to fall for YZ’s trap again.) AND what else? Um…the fact that Wallace criticized TW soaps for keep having the same formulas (and I agreed with him when he listed all the repetitive formulas during that one interview) YET accepted and went through with YZ’s schemes? WOW! Being in YZ’s production is actually worse than starring in a TW soap, I’m telling you. At least most of the TW soaps make sense with some twists–even if it could be frustrating.
Favorite Female Co-Star: Ruby Lin. YES, unlike some of the fans of his who are like attacking her, she’s actually my favorite among all his co-stars. And I felt they were actually quite cute together. If only they would work together again and there would be a happy ending at last! (How many times do the guy have to die for her, really? LOL…)
2nd Favorite Female Co-Star: Alina Zhang. Words have it that they’re more like ‘sisters’ in real life OR something like that. But I really enjoyed their chemistry in Detective Tang Lang. They didn’t click for me at first yet in the later parts, it got to me with how funny they were with the constant arguments and many more.
3rd Favorite Female Co-Star: Mariam Yeung. How can I not like it that she got him out of his shell after their collaboration? It was so cool that they were getting along so well afterward and she even invited him to co-star again in one of her MVs. Aside from that, I thought they were quite funny in WSL together.
Favorite 2nd Female Lead Pairing: Yvonne Yao. To be honest, I have to skip around to watch his and Yvonne’s scenes only when I was watching since I couldn’t stand the main story when I was reading the spoilers. That was too bad that she would only be ‘second’ in his heart. I didn’t see the big deal with the main girl. One of the rare times when I actually get quite bitter with the main characters. And when I say the ‘main girl’, I meant the character AND not the actress so don’t misunderstand. Maybe one day I will watch it the right way with how the plot go and get it. But as of now, NOT happening.
Favorite Male Co-Star: Hu Ge. I really enjoyed their chemistry as buddies in Chinese Paladin III and sometimes WAY even more than seeing them with their significant others BECAUSE I eventually found almost all the females in there annoying. If they were to work together again in some project, that would be cool. Maybe this time act as enemies instead to see how that go? (Just to test their acting abilities, of course.)
2nd Favorite Male Co-Star: Wei Qian Xiang. OMG, they were a hilarious team in Detective Tang Lang. Both were so crazy at times yet didn’t fail to impress.
Most Pitiful Co-Star: Yuan Shan Shan. Seriously, people might not like her. But I felt she was sooooo robbed with her scenes being stolen when she was the ‘main lead’ AND then bashed to high Heaven. Then what else? Her character got reduced to some silly girl instead of the supposedly awesome, witty character I was looking forward to. (Like seriously, I thought I could trust people when they say she’s one of YZ’s favorites! Never know she got sacrificed and got thrown ‘invisible rocks’ at while YZ stand laughing and shaking his head.) I’m not saying YSS is a great actress OR trying to convince anyone to like her, I just felt soooo sorry for her with what happened. (People might also be saying she’s a grown-up and could take care of herself and who cares, etc. But for me personally, I couldn’t hold it in anymore. It’s just ridiculous.) AND I seriously don’t care about those who are telling the rest of us who read the novel to “shut up” because we actually took the time to read the novel. AND without the freaking novel, it would be just another stupid soap. AND most importantly, Ren Ying Ying IS actually my favorite Jin Yong female protagonist ever so of course I’m pissed off. (SO YZ wasn’t the first one who created the ‘soap’ with twisting some characters within XAJH since I felt XAJH had always been the most butchered novel ever regardless of adaptations. It’s still such a shame that people have the resources to make this the best BUT didn’t?)
Compensation Paring: Penny Lin. I felt robbed from the stupid 100% Senorita drama. They had great chemistry and I could see the sparks BUT I hated how the plot was and his stupid character in there. I wish they could work on another project together and with an ideal plot.
Missed Chance Pairing: Tammy Chen. Honestly, I felt soooo disappointed that they didn’t get to star in Lucky Days together.
Didn’t Happen Pairing: Angela Chang. Okay, I admit, I was skimming too with some scenes when I was checking on At the Dolphin Bay. I might one day go back to proper watch it. But I really like this pairing too. Too bad.
Could Have Been the Ideal NEW “Ling Hu Chong and Ren Ying Ying” Team: Cecilia Han Xue. Okay, I heard they don’t get along in real life? (Where was that rumor from or was it real?) But seriously, it was interesting that they were cast as Ling Hu Chong and Ren Ying Ying but from different production teams. Too bad the other side got snubbed. YET I swear I could enjoy it with this second collaboration. With some alterations here and there to compromise, I felt the other side did a better job creating the wardrobe for Ren Ying Ying. Even if she had to wear pink and white (for one of her outfits), I felt it projected the whole “thánh cô” (聖姑) vibe better.
AS A SINGER:
Favorite Song: Ni Hao Jiu Hao. He sang it with such passion. And I especially like the intro at the beginning of the song as well.
Favorite Theme Song:
Bottom line? He needs to bring out another album. (And possibly sing a song or two with Angela Chang, lol.)
Liu Kai Chi. There was this one article I read with how he was talking about Liu Kai Chi as his mentor at one point of their collaboration and the way he described it, it seemed he really respected LKC.
Kent Cheng. Wallace recently visited Kent while both were in Hengdian filming, and then later when Kent was on break, he returned the favor as well. It was cool to see how Kent was posting it up on Weibo and they seemed to be getting along fine.
*Will be updated as I catch up like INSANE with all his “works” (EXCEPT for anything YZ related since I swore off YZ dramas after Tian Di Bu Rong BUT had to make an exception for XAJH because of Mr. Huo. Now? I’m really out!)
*Images were collected around the net, therefore, belonging to their rightful owners
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