Top 50 Actresses of 2016

top50actress_2016

(image credit: as marked)

Translation:

1. Zanilia Zhao Li Ying / Triệu Lệ Dĩnh

2. Tamia Liu Tao / Lưu Đào

3. Tiffany Tang Yan / Đường Yên

4. Zheng Shuang / Trịnh Sảng

5. Cecilia Liu Shi Shi / Lưu Thi Thi

6. Yang Mi / Dương Mịch

7. Victoria Song / Tống Thiến

8. Crystal Zhang Tian Ai / Trương Thiên Ái

9. Ruby Lin / Lâm Tâm Như

10. Guan Xiao Tong / Quan Hiểu Đồng

11. Fan Bing Bing / Phạm Băng Băng

12. Dilraba Dilmurat / Địch Lệ Nhiệt Ba

13. Yang Zi / Dương Tử

14. Guli Nazha / Cổ Lực Na Trát

16. Jiang Xin / Tưởng Hân

17. Angelababy / Yang Ying / Dương Dĩnh

18. Betty Sun Li / Tôn Lệ

19. Ada Liu Yan / Liễu Nham

20. Crystal Liu Yi Fei / Lưu Diệc Phi

21. Yoona

22. Olivia Wang Zi Wen / Vương Tử Văn

23. Gina Jin Chen / Kim Thần

24. Tang Yi Xin / Đường Nghệ Hân

25. Jiang Shu Ying / Giang Sơ Ảnh

26. Jia Qing / Giả Thanh

27. Mabel Yuan Shan Shan / Viên San San

28. Zhang Xin Yi / Trương Hâm Nghệ

29. Stephy Qi Wei / Thích Vy

30. Erica Song Hye Kyo / Tống Huệ Kiều

31. Tan Song Yun / Đàm Tùng Vận

32. Gao Yuan Yuan / Cao Viên Viên

33. Tong Li Ya / Đồng Lệ Á

34. Vicki Zhao / Triệu Vy

35. Alina Zhang Meng / Trương Manh

36. Li Qin / Lý Thấm

37. Hu Bing Qing / Hồ Băng Khanh

38. Sebrina Chen Yao / Trần Dao

39. Yang Rong / Dương Dung

40. Janine Chang / Trương Quân Ninh

41. Mao Xiao Tong / Mao Hiểu Đồng

42. Viann Zhang / Trương Hinh Dư

43. Xie Na / Tạ Na

44. Michelle Chen / Trần Nghiên Hy

45. Zhou Dong Yu / Châu Đông Vũ

46. Park Shin Hye

47. Song Jia / Tống Giai

48. Ju Jing Yi / Cúc Tịnh Y

49. Krystal Jung

50. Angel Wang Ou / Vương Âu

God of War, Zhao Yun: Princess Gongsun Bao Yue

To be honest, I know this drama existed and saw a bunch of people updated on it, but I wasn’t really interested in it. I will admit they do have nice costumes, etc. However, I wasn’t completely sold. At least not until I saw Jia Qing’s participation in it. Sure, I found out that some other people I liked were in here too but that didn’t motivate me to put it on my to-watch list. It was just there. Now that I saw how Huace and Jia Qing had posted stills of Jia Qing in there, my interest went up tenfold.

Her image and outfits for this drama are quite impressive. Here it is, red again, the most overused color of recent. However, this time, they actually do it with the right touch. So yes, finally I’m accepting of it and not going to attack it for this one.

Jia Qing looks fierce and powerful in here, which I’m totally looking forward to. Since she’s back in the ancient world playing some badass role. Hopefully so.

It’s not like she’s wearing red all the time since she has other outfits in here.

Let’s just hope she doesn’t die again like some past productions. Or should I say she has a higher chance of dying in here ’cause it’s a war drama? (LOL) But regardless, can’t wait.

*All images were from Jia Qing’s Weibo.

Top 50 Actresses of 2015

(image credit: as marked)

Okay, this is for the female side. (Go here for the male list.)

Translation:

1. Tiffany Tang Yan / Đường Yên

2. Zanilia Zhao Li Ying / Triệu Lệ Dĩnh

3. Fan Bing Bing / Phạm Băng Băng

4. Yang Mi / Dương Mịch

5. Angelababy / Yang Ying / Dương Dĩnh

6. Tamia Liu Tao / Lưu Đào

7.

8. Vicki Zhao / Triệu Vy

9. Crystal Liu Yi Fei / Lưu Diệc Phi

10. Jiang Xin / Tưởng Hân

11. Janine Chang / Trương Quân Ninh

12. Cecilia Liu Shi Shi / Lưu Thi Thi

13. Zheng Shuang / Trịnh Sảng

14. Betty Sun Li / Tôn Lệ

15. Ruby Lin / Lâm Tâm Như

16. Park Shin Hye

17. Ada Liu Yan / Liễu Nham

18. Tong Li Ya / Đồng Lệ Á

19. Viann Zhang / Trương Hinh Dư

20. Michelle Chen / Trần Nghiên Hy

21. Jia Qing / Giả Thanh

22. Yang Rong / Dương Dung

23. Gao Yuan Yuan / Cao Viên Viên

24. Wang Li Kun / Vương Lệ Khôn

25. Lemon Zhang Meng / Trương Mông

26. Stephy Qi Wei / Thích Vy

27. Mabel Yuan Shan Shan / Viên San San

28. Victoria Song / Tống Thiến

29. Ma Su / Mã Tô

30. Loura Lou Yi Xiao / Lâu Nghệ Tiêu

31. Yang Zi / Dương Tử

32. Hayden Kuo / Guo Bi Ting / Quách Bích Đình

33. Hu Bing Qing / Hồ Băng Khanh

34. Jennifer Shu Chang / Thư Sướng

35. Li Qin / Lý Thấm

36. Jacqueline Li Xiao Lu / Lý Tiểu Lộ

37. Krystal Jung Soo

38. Huo Si Yan / Hoắc Tư Yến

39. Bai Bai He / Bạch Bách Hà

40. Li Qian / Lý Thanh

41. Mao Xiao Tong / Mao Hiểu Đồng

42. Cecilia Han Xue / Hàn Tuyết

43. Ivy Chen / Trần Ý Hàm

44. Ying Er / Dĩnh Nhi

45. Yoki Sun / Tôn Diệu Kỳ

46. Dilraba Dilmurat / Địch Lệ Nhiệt Ba

47. Sophie Zhang / Trương Tuyết Nghênh

48. Anita Yuen / Viên Vịnh Nghi

49. Song Ji Hyo

50. Song Jia / Tống Giai

Legend of the Ancient Sword

I finally caught up with this one. Yeah, because mostly I never watch stuff in order and don’t want to be going with the majority just because. I finally watched because I really want to see Qiao Zhen Yu and Ken Chang. So, how was it? In a way worth it, in some ways, not so much. Yes, mixed feelings.

Main Cast:

  • Li Yi Feng (李易峰) as Bali Tusu (百里屠苏). Originally named Han Yun Xi (韩雲溪). This is my second drama of watching him. The other one, I put aside because I got bored, lol. (I actually finished this one before watching The Lost Tomb but finished the review for the other one first hence posting out of order.) Anyway, his character was initially quite lively but had turned quiet and repressed for the latter part of the drama. It was understandable since he had a lot going on and needed to control himself at times or be controlled by the evil thoughts. There were many frustrations going on around him and it was hard to focus on the goods. Later on, though, he learned to loosen up a bit and joke around. Yet, of course, he couldn’t escape his fate. Indeed tragic. In a way, I guessed that he had to die to end the curse, but I silently hoped that they would find a way. Yet they couldn’t, especially what happened near the end.
    • Huang Tian Qi (黄天崎) as young Bali Tusu. The kid was sooooo cute! I enjoyed the little scenes of him.
  • Yang Mi (楊冪) as Feng Qing Xue (风晴雪). I liked her, but she annoyed me when she got into the schemes with forcing Xiao Lan to marry Yue Yan. I clapped when Xiao Lan asked her what if someone did the same to her so yeahhhh. (She didn’t like Hei Yao either so why was she forcing others? Even if Yue Yan was her friend and she wanted to help, that was low, using her magic and all.) I eventually moved on since they were dealing with more crucial situations. I did sympathize with her when she was left alone to roam the earth, searching for Tusu to one day appear (if possible) and hanging on to a thin shred of hope. She was one of the few characters who had a lot of outfits to change out of in here, which was cool.
  • Qiao Zhen Yu (乔振宇) as Ouyang Shao Gong (欧阳少恭). He was seriously soooo awesome in here. His acting was top-notch. His character was mysterious from the start. He turned out to be cunning. However, I felt it was justified in many ways. Having suffered so much from backlash and surviving all these years, it was too much. There was too much anger within him. He wanted to win, even risking all those lives. But in a way, he was less fortunate than Tusu, because Tusu had so many people around him to encourage him on hence not turning evil completely. Shao Gong kept having to deal with all those lost and he only had Xun Fang. So after he lost Xun Fang (or thought he lost her), how could he maintain his sanity? He was the other character who had lots of outfits to change back and forth in here. What irked me (and possibly the majority of his fans) was how they used that hideous red outfit for him near the end. Seriously? Over-killed of recent–whether guy or girl. Yet the person who designed it wasn’t really paying attention either. Ugh.
  • Gillian Chung (鍾欣桐) as Princess Xun Fang (巽芳公主). Gillian had to portray two characters in here. Although it was only one, she had to act as the fake Xun Fang as well. Gillian did a nice job in here. She was convincing as both the gentle and kind Xun Fang as well as the cunning, fierce fake Xun Fang. Although I usually kind of find it unbelievable and often tend to roll my eyes at characters that seemed too good to be true aka goddess type, but I actually quite liked her. Not just because of Gillian. But more like only she seemed to understand Shao Gong and his pain. She was patient and caring, trying to get him to see the better side of the world. She couldn’t really change him (obviously), but wasn’t like others just looking at him with the ‘good vs evil’ concept and all those conscience lectures BUT she truly understood him. She wanted him to live happier for his sake, not for others. That was why I liked her, even more than Qing Xue (though Shao Gong had said that they were both similar in their kindness, etc).
  • Ray Ma Tian Yu (马天宇) as Fang Lan Sheng (方兰生). First time watching him and finally realized what he was all about. He was seriously hilarious in here. He was teased by others a lot both because he was the youngest among them and how he was spoiled by his sister. However, he later learned a lot and was able to help them. They still teased and joked around but had come to appreciate him.
  • Zheng Shuang (鄭爽) as Xiang Ling (襄铃). Cute. At first, I didn’t realize she portrayed one of my favorite characters from The Four, but after looking information up, I felt she was really good. She was matured and exuded a serious vibe versus the cute and innocent little fox in this one. Well, there were at times I was annoyed with her initially for causing troubles. But it was because she didn’t get it and thought she was helping. Later on, she became more and more likable. I felt so sorry for her for the ending. Perhaps, it was for the best since she didn’t have to suffer through the same trials as her parents. Yet that was soooo sad.
  • William Chan (陳偉霆) as Ling Yue (陵越). Before watching this, I heard good things about him. Or should I say fangirls were drooling over him? Now that I already watched, I finally get it. Not to the point that I’m drooling over him too. But I felt I understand why there was such a hype over him and how it became William’s breakthrough role. Ling Yue da shi xiong was awesome. Not just because he was good looking, lol. But he was seriously exuding this powerful aura. He convinced us that he was a capable leader. He was responsible and just in his actions. He was also quite protective of his junior, Tusu. He also wasn’t unreasonable (especially regarding Xiang Ling and mending his way after realizing she wasn’t evil, etc). All in all, a very likable character with many sides of him.
  • Ken Chang (張智堯) as Reverend Zi Yin (紫胤真人). He didn’t appear much and the cuts so yeah. But he managed to exude a powerful and mystic aura about him. Probably one of Ken’s dashing characters. His lack of appearance didn’t cause him to lose out with others. In fact, his lack of appearance had caused the audience to be even more curious about his character.

Tian Yong City (天墉城)

  • Chen Zi Han (陳紫函) as Hong Yu (红玉). A sword spirit. She followed Reverend Zi Yin after he granted her a human form and helped him guard various swords in the swords tower. Being thousands of years old, she was quite powerful and talented. She was also smart. She was probably one of the two people who suspected that Shao Gong had a hidden agenda from the start. Although she didn’t want to say it out loud at times, especially Tusu who was quite fond of Shao Gong. Yet her hunches were right. She was right about the traps for them. Oh yeah, since I complained up and down about QZY’s red outfit near the end, I have to comment on her red outfit too. Okay, going to sound ironic, but I actually felt she was the only one not being too over with wearing a red outfit. It had to do with her swords spirit and her name. So there, it was justified and it was nicely designed.
  • Dilraba Dilmurat (迪丽热巴) as Fu Qu (芙蕖). Liked Ling Yue and treated Tusu like her younger brother. She was the other one that didn’t bully Tusu during his stay and even aided him greatly. Although she did have her attitude at times yet wasn’t annoying. It was who she was, sometimes rash in her ways yet didn’t mean any harm.
  • Zong Feng Yan (宗峰岩) as Reverand Han Su (涵素真人). I felt annoyed with him at the beginning. Mostly because he listened to Ling Duan and didn’t really investigate stuff thoroughly. It was like he had too many disciples and didn’t care or something. But later, he finally yelled at Ling Duan for causing trouble, etc.
  • Hanson Ying (应昊茗) as Ling Duan (陵端). Annoying and despicable. He was even more annoying than some of the demons in here. He contributed to the majority of Tusu’s suffering in here. All that bullying and causing trouble all around. He so got what he deserved later on.
  • Cai Jun Tao (蔡俊濤) as Ling Chuan (陵川). One of the disciples that were in schemes with Ling Duan to bully Tusu, but later somewhat backed down.
  • Dai Zi Xiang (戴子翔) as Zhao Lin (肇临). Got killed off by Shao Gong when he was in the book tower with Tusu.

You Du and Wu Meng Spirit Valley (幽都與烏蒙靈谷)

  • Vengo Ko (高伟光) as Feng Guang Mo (风广陌) / Yin Qian Shang (尹千觞). One of the dark characters. Yes, he was funny in many ways, but he also had his own baggage to deal with. I felt really bad for him to have endured such punishments later on when he finally returned to You Du to hand the sword over at long last.
  • Liu Fang (刘芳) as Granny of You Du (幽都婆婆). I didn’t like her at all. Yes, not one bit. Even if she meant well and it was her job, but I find her infuriating in many ways. Once upon a time, she wasn’t able to keep her words and ended up wanting to kill Yun Xi. Then they weren’t able to defeat Reverend Zi Yin YET later she claimed that it was because they were reassured that he could find a way to restrain the sword hence not going after him for it until now. Really? Then there was the part at the end when Guang Mo returned to hand over the sword, asking for his punishment with being gone for so long. She punished him by making him stay forever to guard the sword. Really? It wasn’t like he lost his memory on purpose.
  • Jacqueline Li (李小璐) as Han Xiu Ning (韩休宁). Bali Tusu’s mother. Luckily she only appeared a bit since she wasn’t one of my favorite actresses since ages.

Qin Chuan (琴川)

  • Zhang Meng (张檬) as Fang Ru Qin (方如沁). I didn’t like her a bit in here. Even if I understood her perspective. It was just that it was so hard to sympathize with her. Especially the whole forced marriage schemes. It was beyond annoying. She didn’t like it that that one dude took her and forced her into marrying him anyway, why do the same to her brother? What was the difference really?
  • Zhang Na (张娜) as Sun Yue Yan (孙月言). I liked her initially. Until she caved in and allowed the others to trap Xiao Lan as well. So I didn’t care if she ended up alone or not, which wasn’t so.
  • Ji Yang (吉阳) as Cha Xiao Guai (茶小乖). Funny character. However, he showed to be quite righteous later on. One of the characters I was glad didn’t die.
  • Qi Wei (戚薇) as Ye Chen Xiang (叶沉香). Okay, maybe I felt sad for her for being used for revenge. But what about the other family that got killed off by her father? Did she know?
  • Yue Yao Li (岳跃利) as Father Ye (叶父). Ye Chen Xiang’s father. Again, he killed off the other family. What was he crying about? What made it right for him to kill them off and cry victim when others do the same to him?
  • Fan Cai Er (范彩儿) as Ji Tong (寂桐). The injured and aged Princess Xun Fang. I knew there was something mysterious about her from the start. However, I didn’t even put the connection together. I meant she mumbled some stuff from time to time after Xun Fang returned. I just didn’t put it together that she was actually Xun Fang. It was too obvious the other one was fake, it was just less obvious with her being Xun Fang. Yet it made sense when it was revealed.

Others:

  • Marco Li (李耀景) as Lei Yan (雷严). Okay, this is his umpteenth villain role so I’m not surprised. What I found really funny was how he thought he was in control of everything yet it wasn’t so. He was just a pawn for Shao Gong.
  • Jia Qing (贾青) as Chou Xin Rui (仇馨蕊). It was hilarious to see her in here. At first, that was. She was sooooo dreamy and made the scenes tenfold lively. It was hilarious to see her trying to teach Tusu acting when she handed him the paper, LOL! Then things turned tragic when the truth came out. Sad, indeed. But her appearance really contributed to the overall story. Hey, she made Tusu realized what he had with Qing Xue and to cherish those moments.
  • Wang Yi Miao (王一淼) as Su Jin (素锦). She worked for Lei Yan and tried to pursue Shao Gong by posing as Xun Fang. However, she so didn’t see it coming that he knew all along and was just using her.
  • Leon Chang (张云龙) as Hei Yao (黑曜). A cat demon, had a crush on Qing Xue since she fed him that one time.
  • Hao Ze Jia (郝泽嘉) as Hua Chang (华裳). Yin Qian Shang’s lover. She got killed by Su Jin after discovering the latter’s secret. Tragic.
  • Jess Zhang (张茜) as Jiang Li (姜离). Xiang Ling’s mother. Nice to see her guest star in here. I enjoyed her little performance.
  • Tong Tong (童彤) as Sun Yue Yue (孙月月). Sun Yue Yan’s nanny. Hated her. So annoying.
  • Yu Yu Ang (于宇昂) as Yan Mei (延枚). Hilarious. Appeared to be one of the town bullies YET it turned out he wasn’t so bad. He was actually a demon but got adopted by Xiang Tian Xiao so they ended up being sworn brothers, etc.
  • Tian Zhen Wei (田振崴) as Xiang Tian Xiao (向天笑). A town bully but turned out quite nice and righteous. He was quite hilarious too. His competitive nature drove him to accept the challenge in going with them twice on different dangerous journeys.
  • Ma Wen Long (马文龙) as Luo Yun Ping (洛雲平). He was a demon yet because he loved his adopted parents too much that he used the wrong method to cause others grave danger. Later, he ended up giving Tusu his special orb and died with his parents. Tragic, but an honorable character overall.
  • CiCi Liu (刘庭羽) as Nu Wa (女媧). Brief appearance but contributed greatly to the story.
  • Ren Han (任晗) as Octopus Demon (章鱼精). Hilarious! Okay, she was evil for wanting to eat the others, but what was hilarious was the part where she said the others were bullying her. (She had used the term ‘human’ YET had to correct herself and used the term ‘demon’, lol.)

Friendships / Romances / Others:

  • Li Yi Feng/Bali Tusu and William Chan/Ling Yue as friends/brothers/much more. They were one of the relationships I enjoyed watching in here. They looked out for one another and had this strong bond since little. Perhaps Ling Yue was making up for the fact he had lost his brother. But that didn’t mean he was replacing his brother. He truly cared for Tusu as a junior and had helped a lot throughout the years. In fact, he had been the one training Tusu all those years that Reverend Zi Yin had to meditate in seclusion. Tusu also looked up to Ling Yue like a brother and not just because he had to. Being under the same master helped because they only had one another. Even when they were out and about, they looked out for one another.
  • Li Yi Feng/Bali Tusu and Qiao Zhen Yu/Ouyang Shao Gong as friends/brothers/much more. They were each other’s other half–literally. Both suffered greatly, teased, etc. Yet one had more support than the other hence their chosen paths. The reason why they understood and sympathized with one another so much was that connection. I think that out of all the ones Shao Gong lied to and betrayed, Tusu was the one who didn’t deserve it at all. I’m not saying the others did. I’m saying that Tusu never suspected Shao Gong, not even an ounce. Yet he got this? So yeah.
  • Li Yi Feng/Baili Tusu and Yang Mi/Feng Qing Xue as a couple. I felt their chemistry was likable. It wasn’t strong like how I felt about their other pairings, but I thought it was likable enough that I thought it was cute in a sense. Their relationship was too emphasized using flashbacks so that sort of got me irked. Only the flashbacks near the ending were justified since it was their memories. However, some other parts were driving me insane. But I do get their relationship and felt it was touching. It was too tragic how things turned out for them.
  • Yang Mi/Feng Qing Yue and Vengo Ko (高伟光)/Feng Guang Mo as siblings. It was touching with their bond. She tried to find him (aside from Tusu) so when she found him, she wanted to believe it was him. Well, it was him, it was just that he didn’t remember. He kept turning her down until later. At least when he realized what was going on and said he didn’t mind being her brother if that was what she wanted. It turned out, they were indeed siblings.
  • William Chan/Ling Yue and Ray Ma Tian Yu/Fang Lan Sheng as brothers. It was hilarious. And touching. The moment when Ling Yue realized his brother wasn’t dead was quite emotional. Well, there wasn’t much proof yet but when he finally found out, he was more at ease because his brother didn’t get eaten by those men that he found near their campsite years ago. It was interesting how Xiao Lan was so attached to Ling Yue even before knowing of their relations. However, it wasn’t too over since he heard a lot about Ling Yue from others so he wanted to learn from the best. The funniest part must be when Xiao Lan made Ling Yue carry him. LOL! He had to make up for the lost time of not spending all those years with his brother, lol.
  • Ray Ma Tian Yu/Fang Lan Sheng and Zheng Shuang/Xiang Ling as a couple. They were funny and cute together. Perhaps she was just too innocent and only wanted to tag Tusu (but I didn’t think it was romantic feelings that she held for him since they were more like childhood friends–even if briefly). Even if she didn’t like him initially, but still managed to save him or try to help him at times. It wasn’t way later that she ended up tagging him instead yet he made the decision to be with Yue Yan. Their last conversation before going on the trip was really sad and touching. It was worth a few tears. OR maybe a lot.
  • Ray Ma Tian Yu/Fang Lan Sheng and Zhang Na/Sun Yue Yan as a couple. I liked them as in their previous life. That was it. It wasn’t because she wasn’t one of the main characters that I dislike her or anything. But like I said before; after she followed along with the others, I just plain forget about her. I usually like those ‘cool’ fate things, but this one, I didn’t care much for. Yeah, the ending turned out the best for her but I was choking too much to care. He was probably feeling guilty for letting his sister down and how it occurred to him that it was fate that he ended up with her again and how her jade piece had pulled them together and all. YET I felt like it was too forced. They (the script-writers) didn’t even develop a proper start for these two. Not that I wanted the story to drag even more. But was some vague past incarnation connections and some guilt enough? I guess it was since people back then were in an arranged marriage for so long that it didn’t matter anyway. I just expected more of Xiao Lan and how he finally was accepted by Xiang Ling, etc.
  • Qiao Zhen Yu/Ouyang Shao Gong and Gillian Chung/Princess Xun Fang. I don’t know this is their which # of collaboration, but I remember watching them in The Spirit of the Sword. They weren’t paired off in there but he liked her. They so matched in here yet their story was quite tragic. She didn’t appear much yet their chemistry was undeniable. They were the other tragic couple. Even though Tusu and Qing Xue were considered a tragic couple as well yet I felt they were luckier in that they still got to spend plenty of time together versus Shao Gong and Xun Fang. Although from their recounts, Shao Gong and Xun Fang spent a good amount together but still endured a lot more. These two weren’t really approved by others and having friends giving their blessings, etc. They only had one another. Okay, so that was probably more than enough but they were easily misunderstood. (Talking about the real Xun Fang, not fake one here.)
  • Ken Chang/Reverend Zi Yin vs. Li Yi Feng/Bali Tusu vs. William Chan/Ling Yue as master and disciples. I saw many fans drew pictures of them and all. It was fun to see. It also illustrated these three special characters and their relationships. I felt it was touching on many levels–though could be subtle at times, especially how some didn’t appear as much. I liked how Reverend Zi Yin only had two disciples, and how Tusu was an exception. It wasn’t like I wanted Tusu to endure the curse to be taken in by Reverend Zi Yin eventually. But I felt their relationship as master and disciples genuine since the leader had like hundreds of disciples but couldn’t keep charge of them all. This showed that quality trumped quantity. Their interactions were also quite real and didn’t lean toward overly dramatic either.
  • Best Scenes Ever: It was probably the part where they entered the Qin emperor’s tomb and encountered many traps and trials. It showed that each and every one of them had talents. It also showed their companionship and loyalty toward one another. Not to mention their bravery throughout. Their persistence and trust in one another were unbelievable. Yet it was quite powerful as well.

Recommended? There was indeed a good mixture of talking, fighting, and romances so it wasn’t too over. The variety of stories they learned of along the way sort of moved the story along as well. The soundtrack was just awesome and accompanied the series quite nicely. It helped majorly when the flashbacks were getting quite repetitive and too much. Although it was super sad with the ending for several parties, I guess it wasn’t the worst. At least the overall was enjoyable enough.

Liao Zhai 3

Since I was on a Liao Zhai binge, I had to hunt this one down and watch too. Too bad that other stuff got in the way so I was off track with this. Now back to watch properly.

Hua Bi (畫壁)

  • Roy Qiu as Meng Long Tan (孟龍潭). First time watching Roy properly since other ones, I skipped around or gave up. But he wasn’t bad.
  • Zhang Pei Ran (張沛然) as Zhu Xiao Lian (朱孝廉). Hilarious despite his playful nature. What made his character redeeming for me was his extreme loyalty to Long Tan. Yet I still didn’t think he deserved to be saved at all. Yes, cruel but seriously? I agreed with the monk how he revisited the snake demon time after time so it wasn’t anyone’s fault for lack of trying to tell him to stay away. (Especially how the monk had emphasized many times already.)
  • Gong Mi (贡米) as Meng Fan (夢凡). A fox spirit. She was nice and kind and was one of the good demons within the portraits. She didn’t want to harm others but couldn’t do much because of that one powerful dark demon. Yet she tried to help many times.
  • Ben Ng (吳毅將) as Qing Shui Ju Shi (清水居士). Long time haven’t seen him. But he was indeed quite awesome with his portrayal in here. His story was so shocking (but not unrealistic) and how he learned his lesson (after a tragedy) was really moving.
  • Wang Yuan (汪芫) as Meng Su Niang (孟素娘). I didn’t think much of her from the start except that she was sure a doormat for her husband to do whatever. Taking in the fact that women back then didn’t have much say in anything at all, I didn’t care for her either. I just felt a bit sorry for her for having to marry such a person. It got even more annoying that she later kept chiding the monk about justice and righteousness when she wanted him to save her husband. However, in the end, I think I admired her determination the most. Regardless if Xiao Lian deserved such a wife or not.
  • Zheng Yi Tong (鄭亦桐) as Meng Yan (夢艷). A snake demon.
  • Wang Yan Su (王妍蘇) as Shen Yue Jiao (沈月嬌). Cruel all right. She defined the cruelty and despicable nature in here. At first, I thought it was the actress that couldn’t act hence the wandering eyes at times when she communicated with Long Tan. Yet it wasn’t so. Those were little traces telling the audience that she was up to something. She was a mastermind of it all. Even scaring her father with her thinking and scheming ways.

OMG, could this get any sadder? I watched the stories out of orders so this one was the third story that I watched. It was like sooooo sad. Although Zhu Xiao Lian finally learned his lesson and promised to listen to his wife from now on and protect his family YET the main couple? Okay, Long Tan had nothing else to live for in the real world and he rather stayed with Meng Fan yet it seemed endless with how they had to deal with the demon. The monk decided to go back in and help them but still. Not to mention how things weren’t really solved in the real world. Like how they weren’t able to expose the pair of cruel father and daughter and some other conspirators. Only some of them knew what was going on. Yeah, it was indeed true how it seemed impossible to go against some really strong forces within the royal courts and all. But this was Liao Zhai after all. There had to be at least a better explanation for it. Yeah, the injustice in life happened and it wasn’t new. But that was just too frustrating. Oh yeah, Long Tan’s father died for nothing!

Gongsun Jiu Niang (公孫九娘)

  • Akina Hong as Gongsun Jiu Niang (公孫九娘). She had the right image to be the main lead. The background story aided her character greatly. She was gentle and graceful enough at times as well. However, I think the plot made her character fell short of being awesome for some reason.
  • Tony Sun as Du Huai Sheng (杜懷生). He was too naive for his own good at times, thinking he could just use his power as an official to bring down Hu Xiao Tian. However, he did have the stubbornness to continue on with trying to bring the latter down.
  • Doris Lai as Hu Cai Ling (胡采靈). Supposedly spoiled, rich girl. However, she was shown to have a good heart from the start. She was also quite mischievous in her ways yet she wasn’t too over with other people. Very cute in her own way. I really liked Wei Ru’s portrayal in here and one of her roles that I watch till the end to this day. I was actually quite impressed with her when she was possessed and acted quite strangely, looking all suspicious–not like the usual loud Cai Ling. What was more impressive was the moment when she found out she’d been used as an excuse so the others could enter her house and search for the other guy and then carrying out the rest of the revenge plot. It was indeed quite tragic and shocking for her. Her reactions were justified. Those moments made her performance even more brilliant. It really tugged at the heart with how much she had to endure just because her father was the big, bad dude.
  • Zhang Dong Sheng (張東升) as Hu Xiao Tian (胡嘯天). Despicable scum. It was obvious to hate on him since he was the villain. But what was strange was how he caved into his daughter’s demands. Well, it was his daughter after all. But still. He did slap her that one time, which showed that he was just putting up an exterior or try to. Or he couldn’t believe his daughter would betray him. Regardless, he didn’t deserve an ounce of sympathy after what he did to many, not just Jiu Niang’s people.
  • Du Yu Ming (杜玉明) as Ling Yang Zi (凌陽子). A Taoist who had gone haywire. He thought he was getting rid of ghosts and demons and putting balance to the world. But he was scarier than the ghosts and demons he tried to exterminate.
  • Zhang Jin (張進) as Zhu Kang (朱康). Creepy. He was Huai Sheng’s friend and later got used by Ling Yang Zi to search for Jiu Niang’s corpse to perform the rituals.

What should I say about this? I swear this one was my third most anticipated story. However, it was disappointing on some levels. Maybe it was me being impatient but I felt the story was too slow. I didn’t mind that Akina looked sort of older than Tony in here since I still felt their chemistry was refreshing. However, it seemed anti-dramatic in many ways. The revenge plot was enough to drive many characters on. Yet it sort of stopped there after a while and then picked up again by the end of episode 4 and then going into episode 5. I felt that Wei Ru’s character, Cai Ling, was the saving point of the story. I was already prepared for her character to be bad or even aiding her father when she learned of the truth about him. Yet she wasn’t so. Yes, she was spoiled and loud, etc. However, she had a good heart, wanting to help others despite her constant tantrums toward her father at the beginning. I felt she was funny in many ways, not annoying like I would often think of overly loud characters. It would be interesting to see Tony and Wei Ru pair up in the future (if ever possible again). Anyway, back to this story, it was soooo sad to see how things turned out in the end yet it had to be that way in a sense. Many things had happened, so how could it turn back to a better time for them both? Even if the story let them both move on–or perhaps her, they still couldn’t be together. What happened to Cai Ling, in the end, could be said to be karma YET she was the one receiving it. It wasn’t her fault, so why did she have to go through so much? That guy sure knew how to pave the future for his daughter. Cutting all her paths and only caring for himself. Now that he was gone, there were too many backlashes to ever move on from that.

Mei Nu (梅女)

  • Stephanie Hsiao (蕭薔) as Pan Xue Mei (潘雪梅). I can actually say that I watched her act growing up. LOL! Not trying to say she’s old, but it says something. She proved her strong acting in here with her various personalities. It was so convincing that when she was Xue Mei, I sympathized with her and felt she was a very cute, nice and gentle girl versus when she was Zhan Min later on with her attitude. It wasn’t Zhan Min’s fault, but the demon’s fault for being so convincing–and Yun Ting didn’t seem attentive enough to her. However, I felt like she was annoying in a way with her not being able to see past some stuff, just taking one person’s side just because he knew how to flatter her. What was even more convincing with Stephanie’s acting was the part where she was still the somewhat dumb Zhan Min, wanting to be a waiter.
  • Frankie Lam as Feng Yun Ting (封雲亭). I also grew up watching Frankie, lol. Frankie once again proved his solid acting in here. There was a phase I will admit that he was going through (with TVB) that he seemed somewhat bland taking on repetitive roles (but it wasn’t his fault since TVB sort of wanted to recreate some sort of phenomenon but failed). He gained my attention again for delivering a solid performance in here. Many might think there wasn’t much. But there was this naturalness in his acting in here that I missed dearly during the last few years at TVB. (At least the years he was still active.) So yes, finally a role worth watching for.
  • Siu Chuen Yung (邵傳勇) as Han Ji Zu (韓繼祖). He usually portrays jerks or on the side of villain roles. (Or whenever I saw him in some dramas.) He portrayed Yun Ting’s best friend in here. Convincing in a sense of being funny at times and being plain annoying when he was possessed (and did struggle to fight with the demon to regain his body).
  • Cheng Yong (程雍) as Wang Zheng Xiong (汪正雄). Despicable slime. He and his goons were responsible for Xue Mei’s death–or part of it.
  • Hou Jie (侯傑) as Ni Ren Nu Yao (泥人女妖). Ugh, it’s no surprise that he was the most hated one in here. Duh, right?

OMG, this story compensated for some of the other ones. Although there were some frustrating moments near the end, the ultimate ending compensated for it. The beginning was tragic and then the sweet moments between Yun Ting and Xue Mei (even if subtle at times since she had to focus on avenging her death as well as others). The ending got me laughing so hard I forgave them for the other stories’ bitter outcomes. Seeing how Ji Zu struggled to call Yun Ting ‘Father-in-Law’ was a riot. Funny how things turned out, right?

Jiang Cheng (江城)

  • Jia Qing as Jiang Cheng (江城). Jia Qing’s acting in here was really top-notch. The quick switch in characters and how she was possessed from time to time showed her acting talent. She was very convincing.
  • Li Wei as Gao Fan (高蕃)/ Lin Feng (林峰). There were mixed feelings throughout. However, I think he did enough for this one. He actually looked quite suitable in ancient attires.
  • Victor Chen (陳司翰) as Wang Zi Ya (王子雅). At first, I didn’t like him at all. Especially disliked him even more after the meds in the wine incident. Although Xiang Lan was lucky enough not to drink it and all and the plan blew up in his face, but I still thought that was a despicable move. However, later, I was less against him. Mostly because of his loyalty to Gao Fan and didn’t get all jealous because Xiang Lan might have liked Gao Fan. He also was a scaredy-cat but had tried to help as best as he could. So in a way, he was a comedian for the story.
  • Wang Gang as Priest Nie. Having seen him portrayed too many villainous roles, it was hard to get used to seeing him in this role. However, he didn’t appear much so that helped, lol. But indeed, he did show his capabilities throughout. Maybe he had underestimated the snake demon. In the end, he managed to put a stop to it all. He also wasn’t too arrogant about it but had advised others to do more good deeds, etc.
  • Zhang Bo Jun (张柏俊) as Gao Fan’s father. I felt bad for him. At first, I wasn’t into it since I hated how he kept forcing Gao Fan to marry to forgo his connections, etc. However, when he finally caved in, he was indeed confused. Yes, the majority were confused and upset (rightly so) by Jiang Cheng’s behaviors. Yet he didn’t deserve all of those traumas. Luckily he–along with everyone else–learned the truth behind it and managed to move on. Unfortunately, Jiang Cheng’s father didn’t get to see how they’d finally figured everything out and their lives were back to normal.

I thought this story was decent. There were mixtures of romances and the conflicts with demons or the so-called fantasy world. Being six episodes helped the story along. Other characters worth mentioning were Xiang Lan and Judge Ma. I thought that Judge Ma (Zi Ya’s uncle) was a villain at first. Mostly because of his sneaky ways. But after seeing how the locals were so into burning Jiang Cheng and not really understanding the demon stuff and all, I totally got why he wanted to hide his practices from them. The hilarious scene must be how he tried to apply the supposedly ‘magic water’ to see demons and ghosts and all. He ended up as a joke to the whole town (or at least the ones who came to see the cases). Xiang Lan, I kept suspecting her mysterious ways at first. But when she let Gao Fan see the truth, it all made sense. Well, as much as it could in the nature of the story. She was cute and likable in her own way. And lastly, Li Wei and Jia Qing sure made a cute couple. I was surprised. Jia Qing had good chemistry with most of her co-stars and this one was quite refreshing. (Or at least I thought so.)

Geng Niang (庚娘)

  • Jess Zhang as Geng Niang (庚娘). Loved her in here. She was not only kind and gentle but smart. She just seriously incurred such bad lucks.
  • Ehlo Huang as Jin Da Yong (金大用). Um, I liked him with all the past lives and then the current one. Yet he sure moved on fast after Geng Niang’s death. Yeah, it was cruel to let him just live a miserable life always moping over Geng Niang yet seriously? He seemed to love her so much and had fought for their lives in the last few minutes, wanting her to run first. (Even if we take out the part where the dragon girl didn’t interfere, the majority was accurate.) So I was disappointed, but luckily Ehlo’s acting didn’t disappoint at all.
  • Berg Ng as Wang Shi Ba (王十八). Haven’t seen him in ages and he sure still lived up in the acting department.
  • Sun Jia (孫嘉) as Xiao Niang (肖娘). When she entered the scene, I suspected her immediately because of her wandering eyes. Yet she ended up being a victim as well. She decided to commit suicide later to end the cycle of having to keep witnessing different schemes of her husband, Wang Shi Ba.
  • Du Jun Ze (杜俊泽) as Wang Shi Jiu (王十九) / Shang Zheng (尚正). At first, I was really annoyed with him. The righteous talk and all but it turned out he was avenging his brother. That sure changed things. The flashbacks didn’t help at all–although I knew he didn’t know what his brother had done to Geng Niang’s family. It wasn’t until he listened to the dragon girl’s story and then eventually realizing that people had also sacrificed in saving him that he understood. He blamed himself but also the fates for being so cruel. It wasn’t until Geng Niang chose to sacrifice herself to let their fates returned to its course that he began to see things differently. In a way, it was a relief that he remembered both versions of what happened, so he could really understand what was going on and appreciate what Geng Niang did. (Well, technically if the dragon girl hadn’t intervened, things wouldn’t turn out that way YET what was different was how it happened so he understood why his brother had reaped what he’d sown hence not blaming Da Yong.)

This story was one of the most anticipated for me. Mostly because I’m a major fan of Ehlo. It was interesting to see him collaborate with Jess. They were surprisingly compatible in here. Loved their relationships throughout and I so felt for the green dragon when she was upset over what had happened. So I didn’t blame her at all when she interrupted the flow of nature or whatever it was to help Geng Niang. It was so frustrating how such good people keep incurring such fates. I didn’t accept the ending for Geng Niang–even if that meant every other person’s fates were back to their original course. How could such a gentle and kind person have to go through so much? The fact that they ruined Da Yong’s character didn’t even justify the means. So yeah, he had to move on sooner or later. Yet he sure moved on fast after Geng Niang’s death. Seriously? The explanation was how Geng Niang had incurred bad karma in some other past life hence having to endure the three tragic lives (or something like that). Yet they don’t remember after reincarnation anyway, why continue to torture them like that? So did Geng Niang end up being a fairy or what? If yes, then okay, I could consider that ending. But again, seriously?

Bai Qiu Lian (白秋練)

  • Fiona Sit as Bai Qiu Lian (白秋練). At first, I felt she was somewhat interesting and then it seemed to be kind of bland. But later, I quite liked her because of how she liked Mu Chan Gong but didn’t force her way into his heart. Sure, she was around, but she didn’t force it (despite her sister’s urging). She also tried to save Xiao Mei, which was admirable.
  • Jin Jia (金珈) as Mu Chan Gong (慕蟾宮). At first, I didn’t really like him since he was too emotional and caused his lover, Xiao Mei, to suffer even more than before. Later, it was revealed he wasn’t that useless of a character. However, he still was not forgiven in my book since Xiao Mei had suffered so much.
  • Mao Lin Lin (毛林林) as Bai Qiu Ju (白秋菊). Cute and funny. Lively and mischievous. There were many funny moments with her and Zhen Jun. I especially like those scenes of hers. Yet what I disliked about her was forcing Mu Chan Gong to acknowledge her sister. Yes, I know she was thinking for her sister, but wasn’t that like what the Dragon Prince did to her sister? Like forcing marriage upon Qiu Lian? What I also disagreed was how she dragged Mu Chan Gong to see her sister that one time, stating that he kept thinking of Xiao Mei and not caring about her sister. Seriously, Chan Gong and Xiao Mei knew each other since ages back, so how could she use such words? It wasn’t like Chan Gong had abandoned Qiu Lian or anything like that.
  • Wang Xiang Hon (王翔宏) as Zhen Jun (真君). Funny! He was super hilarious. He kept misunderstanding the Bai sisters of doing evil yet later realized his mistake, seeing there were exceptions. His final determination in not lumping all demons together into the bad category was during the Bai sisters’ mother’s death. He tried to amend his actions.
  • Zhang Ming Ming (張明明) as Crown Prince Long. Liked Bai Qiu Lian and used his father’s power to force her into marriage. Despicable like the other dude who forced Xiao Mei into marrying him.

How was this one? I say it was in the middle. There was a mixture of happiness and sadness. Yet what was most tragic was Xiao Mei’s fate. She suffered so much, more than anyone could see. Then she sacrificed herself for them all.

So wrapping up, what was the best story? I say it was Mei Nu for its story, pace, acting, and ending. Yes, that was how I rated ’em all. Jiang Cheng ranked second–despite the fact that her father died. It was a minor detail I was willing to forgive and I had to take what I could get. Not to mention, they already wrapped up quite well. Third was Geng Niang–after I calmed down and thought about it more. Then Bai Qiu Lian–although there were some parts I was frustrated with but thought the pace wasn’t bad. That left Gongsun Jiu Niang and Hua Bi, which Hua Bi had to be shoved to the last slot. Why? As said already, although I liked the chemistry between Roy and Gong Mi, the pace wasn’t too bad, and the story was unique enough YET what killed it was the ending. It got me choking and it just never recovered from there. I just felt so sad for Long Tan and Meng Fan. Gongsun Jiu Niang lost on pace major time, but the ending made up for it. Yes, it was tragic and very sad for Cai Ling BUT the others got their revenge. It wasn’t all for nothing like I felt with Hua Bi. (Although to be fair, Xiao Lian did learn his lesson and all, but what about the other two? Don’t they deserve better?)

I liked the majority of the pairing and how some were especially refreshing. One of the reasons why I like watching Liao Zhai saga because it created the opportunity for some stars from different regions to collaborate. My favorite pairing though had to be Frankie Lam and Stephanie Hsiao. At first, it was Ehlo and Jess, but they lost points with me because they didn’t end up together. Well, NOT at the last bit. Although after I calmed down, I accepted their ending more, I still felt so sad for them. Second favorite would be Ehlo and Jess. Yes, I decided to place them second after having watched all stories already. Third would be Jia Qing and Li Wei, loved their chemistry–as said before. I was surprised. My last favorite pairing would be Roy and Gong Mi. They were compatible and their story was touching–despite the tragic ending. Tony and Akina did have chemistry and I so felt for them, but they didn’t click for me as much. Just personal preference. And I didn’t feel anything for Fiona and Jin Jia–although I liked them individually.

The Four 2013: Review

(image credit: as marked)

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How was it? It started out quite well, actually. Then the ending sort of killed it. Or more like the last ten to fifteen episodes. It just dragged on and on and got repetitive with some craziness that seemed endless. Otherwise, it would have been quite good. Too bad.

Main Cast/ Characters:

  • Hans Zhang (张翰) as Leng Xue (冷血). This is my first time ever watching Zhang Han. I must say that after watching this, he has become my second favorite Leng Xue. (The ultimate favorite is Law Lok Lam, lol.) He exuded the coldness quite well. (Or was he naturally that way? Joking, lol.) But when he opened up later and learned how to joke, he was really funny and cute. I liked both sides of him. Even at times when he didn’t mean to joke, he cracked me up with his attitude at times. His story, like others, didn’t lack exaggerations. Leng Xue was actually raised by wolves YET they managed to go all out with weaving such a story. Good one. LOL! Yeah, that was sarcasm. But anyway, not bad, just some parts could be done without, especially the love triangles.
  • Yang Yang (杨洋) as Wu Qing (無情). Strikingly handsome and graceful. He was supposed to be in a wheelchair but then I looked past that, considering how in the past adaptations, they did make his character not in wheelchairs so I had those adaptations to get used to already, lol. His wheelchair was supposed to be super cool too so it wasn’t like he was a weakling or anything like that. Anyway, in here, I loved how Wu Qing was able to control his fan so gracefully–with it dividing into pieces to attack others and then returning in whole again. It was really exaggerated but it demonstrated how strong his inner energy was hence being able to control it so well. It also fitted in with Wen Rui An’s exaggerations in the books at times and how he emphasized the importance of inner energy. As for Yang Yang, he was major eye candy all right. However, I felt the whole opening his eyes really wide at times was kind of repetitive for me. Other than that, he was fine as Wu Qing. In fact, he exuded the pureness aura although he had been through a lot. (And was I the only thinking it was ironic that he didn’t care for Chu Li Mo at first when she liked him yet later ended up liking her when she was already with Leng Xue? I meant it wasn’t like he was mean to her at the beginning since he was the only patience one willing to teach her stuff and look out for her YET he didn’t really care past that. But later when he realized how much she helped him and didn’t mind him having Ru Yan in his heart and having a piece of his past with him, he began to see her in a different light. He was also struggling at times, seeing how Leng Xue and Li Mo got along, etc. Then he reminded himself Leng Xue was his good brother, he shouldn’t think that way.)
  • William Chan (陳偉霆) as Zhui Ming (追命). Hilarious and charming. I just didn’t like the hair they did for him. It made him look like some middle-aged woman. (Mean, I know, but it looked that way.) After getting past the hair (although still super hard), his character was really fun and lovable. Sure, he got into some randomness too and I didn’t even know why he liked the spoiled princess so much but then I reminded myself that feelings were feelings. Aside from that, he was really curious and had his own radar hence being to detect and solve cases, just like the others. What was funnier was how in the novel, he was supposed to be the oldest YET he looked so young in here. Still, because of his portrayal, he had become my second favorite Zhui Ming. (My ultimate favorite is Lu Xing Yu.)
  • Mao Zi Jun (茅子俊) as Qie Shou (鐵手). Um, not sure how to describe him because he didn’t seem to shine like the others. I meant when he was together with the other three, he was awesome with his moves and all too, but when he was alone, his story bored me. The childhood story was tragic and all. I totally felt for him. I meant the romance and others. I felt like they (the writers) sort of toned down on his character or something. He did indeed had his own story but I felt like it leaned more toward romance than letting him show off his skills. He did have them, but it wasn’t shining as much as the others. Something was missing. I didn’t have a problem with the actor.
  • Howie Huang (黄文豪) as Zhu Ge Zheng Wo (诸葛正我). The guards’ boss. He was supposed to be super wise and all. He was their leader after all. But I think they sort of stretched some plots too much, especially later on hence making him not as sharp as he should be. Yet I enjoyed his role nevertheless. I will admit that I didn’t like the idea of him allowing Chu Li Mo to join the guards and then promoting her so quickly. I felt he was moving too fast with his decisions regarding that. I understood why he allowed Chu Li Mo to be by Leng Xue’s side so she could calm him down later. Yet too much attention on her had caused many troubles for her and the massive bullying and jealousy from the others. I felt it was better to just let her be by Leng Xue’s side and be invisible. Even if she was still being bullied by others, at least she wasn’t targeted for being a favorite of Zhu Ge’s. In a way, he was happy to have found his shi mei’s daughter and was trying to help her with her acquired abilities YET I thought that was enough with helping her train, no need to make her stick out like a sore thorn to the others. (I liked her and all, but I just didn’t want more trouble for her from other parties, that was all.)
  • Mickey He (何晟铭) as An Shi Geng (安世耿). The image they gave him made me feel like he was a eunuch more than a prince, lol. Mean but yeah. Then, later on, I realized he was dressed in that way and dancing because he was mimicking his deceased lover. His story was indeed tragic and I was actually rooting for him to overthrow the king, but I gave up on him when he destroyed Wu Qing and Ru Yan. Hey, he couldn’t see the connection between his and Wu Qing’s? What he did wasn’t any different than the king. Yet I guess he had gone nuts by then so he didn’t care about anyone but himself. He was already repressed with not being acknowledged by the royal family so I think losing Die Wu was the final straw. Aside from that, like Mickey He singing the sub-theme.
  • Janine Chang (張鈞甯) as Chu Li Mo (楚离陌). I’m a Janine fan so she was the reason I had started watching in the first place. She was quite talented in here and indeed one of the reasons why she was chosen by her father to be placed on the list and then eventually sent to the palace for the king. When I say ‘talent’, I didn’t just mean her ability to read minds and communicate with animals as well, but I meant her various talents that were required of the female population back then. Then there was her intelligence as well. Her character didn’t disappoint at first, but the plot, later on, stretched so much that her character had lost ground. That made her less awesome in a sense, reducing her firm standing at times regarding matters. Okay, I know in a way, it seemed like she was being ungrateful and didn’t keep her words (or so some people would think) with Ji Yao Hua about staying away from Leng Xue after Ji Yao Hua saved her from that one serial rapist. (Which I don’t remember anymore if she had promised or not, or it was left unfinished for her to think about it.) Yet I liked how strong and persistent she was in not giving up on Leng Xue (aka not treating him like an object to be tossed back and forth between them) and how she said love couldn’t be treated in that way. (Forgot the exact word but it was the part where she was hesitating and saying if she should follow Ji Yao Hua’s request, etc.) What made me lost it somewhat was when she was captured near the end and begged Ji Yao Hua to let Leng Xue go and how she wished she hadn’t appeared in their lives or Ji Yao Hua and Leng Xue would’ve been together. She didn’t beg at first but did cave in later. I do understand she was just trying to protect Leng Xue and redeemed herself (realizing how much she had hurt Ji Yao Hua and only wanted Ji Yao Hua to stop hurting others), BUT that had made it pathetic. Why did she need to beg? (I agreed with Leng Xue’s decisions more even if it had appeared cruel in a sense. Like he said, they’d known each other–he and Ji Yao Hua that was, so how could she disappoint him like that? He meant it on the level of not trusting him or the rest of the others at the Shen Hou place.)
  • Jia Qing (贾青) as Ji Yao Hua (姬瑶花). Like I said in the other posts, I felt it was really off with her character and I tried super hard later on to ignore it, but it didn’t really work for me. Even when the story was getting quite long-winded and inconsistent at times and I no longer cared to pay attention anymore, I felt like they should just scrap her character altogether or something. Okay, okay, that was mean. Considering how Jia Qing had earned my support for her after watching these past few years. But like I said before (and quite annoyingly as some of you might realize) with how her character was actually associated with Wu Qing’s character in the novels and NOT Leng Xue so that was why I was just plain annoyed and didn’t care for her as much as I should be. After putting all those aside (temporarily), I think I did feel sorry for her. An Shi Geng really roped her in with destroying her path and making her go on the road of no return. But that didn’t mean that I side with her regarding the Leng Xue situation. Not because I shipped the main couple, but it was more like I never cared to pity the other character just because she liked the main lead and didn’t get her feelings returned. (It goes back to the whole thing with watching modern dramas and rolling my eyes when people think since someone did so much for so and so, the other person should end up with that someone. In short: prize-winning strategy.) The inconsistent with some parts of the plot made it harder to sympathize with her also, considering how one minute she was sooooo righteous and being a model person BUT the next minute she wanted to take the easy road (or played favorites with some people and didn’t care to catch this one girl cheating while doing the exam–even if she knew the difficulties and/or pressures the other girl had to endure YET there were other ways to help, like train the girl well NOT tolerate cheating, etc). In a way, it was just that she was torn and it was one of the reasons why An Shi Geng used that to lure her to his side. Yet what got me scratching my head was how she seemed to let go of the whole trying to win Leng Xue over already and even told that one lady not to kill Chu Li Mo YET later she went all out and acted like Leng Xue abandoned her and called Chu Li Mo a whore? Really? I got the part where she lost her father so she was devastated and had no hope. Yet how did that change so fast? Was there a cut somewhere that I didn’t see? An Shi Geng tempted her with the pills and then the next time she appeared, she was already working for him. Were the pills responsible too? (Okay, okay, love doesn’t make sense and make people do crazy stuff YET some of the stuff made her character inconsistent so it was hard to sympathize or like her.) What got me even more pissed off at her was how she blamed Zhu Ge Zheng Wo for pushing her further and siding with Chu Li Mo. He treated her like his daughter and trusted her and shielded her from the other guys’ wrath yet she did that to him? Okay, some of the scenes she did not witness firsthand YET she admitted to An Shi Geng that Zhu Ge Zheng Wo treated her like a daughter so An Shi Geng didn’t need to worry about her being discovered, etc.  So yeah, some of these totally threw me off and I didn’t care anymore. Not to mention the whole wearing red outfits when she turned badass. Really? It’s soooo overused of recent. (And for the record, red outfits in association with badass characters had been used in the past as long as I could remember watching stuff in the ’80s and ’90s so someone didn’t invent the trends recently SO don’t act like Jia Qing had copied her. I’m not being contradicting by making fun of the whole red outfits trends one moment and then turning around to defend Jia Qing in another. What I mean is I’m so sick of it being used over and over again of recent. I also want to clarify that it has been around as a symbol of badass characters WAY longer already.) Despite all the gaps and confusion, I still felt Jia Qing did a good job. It was just that the plot made me feel annoyed and was unable to look past the whole novel links. (Because as hard as it is to believe, I actually loosened up regarding novel links in some situations.) I think that if they hadn’t included the love triangle, I would’ve liked it more. There were already too many romances going on in here. It would make her character better if they just let her have her own story with her father and how she was tempted and maybe betray them too but later realized she was wrong. Or was that too bland for some people? And what irked me more was how she was the big boss in the novel yet was reduced to just some small follower of An Shi Geng. It was all right that they didn’t want to make her 100% villain, but seriously? Oh, another thing was, I think they sacrificed some of Qie Shou’s awesomeness and scenes because they focused all the other conflicts and time on her. Yes, here I am picking on her character again. But seriously, I felt after all the series was called The Four, NOT Ji Yao Hua, so I have the right to protest, for Qie Shou’s sake.
  • Emma Wu (吳映潔) aka Gui Gui (鬼鬼) as Lang Yi Yi (凌依依). Although she was really lively and vibrant, I couldn’t even get into her character until almost at the end of the series. I didn’t even know why she was in here and I felt her character was really annoying. I will say Gui Gui was pretty and had a cute image in here, but it was the character that irked me. What irked me even more was how she kept getting into senseless arguments with Zhui Ming and wouldn’t leave him alone at times, nagging him about stuff. I only liked her character when she was torn with leaving at times and feeling she didn’t match with Qie Shou. Then there were some scenes near the end where she helped take care of Zhui Ming when he was poisoned and turned into a kid. There was also the part where she convinced Princess Zi Luo not to chase after the guys anymore and let them go do their own things–without having to worry for the girls, etc.

Others:

  • Hao Ze Jia (郝泽嘉) as Nu Nu (奴奴). Leng Xue’s childhood friend–although she treated him like her master instead of on the same level later on when she met him again. She was loyal to her people and was quite stubborn at times. Yet in the end, she had chosen to protect Leng Xue. He declared her his sister later on and tried to protect her yet she was too impulsive to trust his words. It was understandable since their whole tribe was destroyed. Yet she had entrusted her faith in the wrong party and paid heavily. Regardless, it was tragic how things turned out.
  • Creese Li (黎一萱) as Die Wu (蝶舞) and Nan Gong Ru Yan (南宫如烟). Portraying two roles, but as Die Wu, we only learned of her through the eyes of An Shi Geng (via flashbacks). As Ru Yan, she appeared first in Wu Qing’s flashbacks and then later in the present time. Both of her characters attempted suicide, only one was successful. Not much was known of Die Wu, except for flashbacks throughout and An Shi Geng’s words, so there wasn’t much to go on. But her ending was seriously tragic. Ru Yan was seen gentle the majority of the time and seemed to be quite talented in Wu Qing’s flashbacks. An Shi Geng actually managed to rescue her and tried to turn her into Die Wu since she looked like Die Wu. She didn’t care to acknowledge him even after surviving. How could she when the only reason she had for living was death threats against her parents and the rest of her family? The time she was restricted, there wasn’t much development for her. (Obviously, I know, eye-rolling moment, right?) When she was finally rescued by the others and reunited with Wu Qing, I really liked her for her braveness and understanding nature. No wonder she captured Wu Qing’s heart.
  • Yang Ming Na (杨明娜) as Jiao Niang (娇娘). Elegant and graceful in her own way. She was also funny at times too. But she also had her wise moments. She often tried to help with solving conflicts–both among her siblings trying to fight for whatever reason (and the seriousness behind it all) and when she had to resolve the silly fights between the younger generation.
  • Wang Hai Yang (王海洋) as Yu Chun Tong (于春童). Traitor. Either when he was working as a constable or when he followed An Shi Geng, he betrayed them eventually. He was despicable and probably could be someone viewers hated without caring much. He got what he deserved and I didn’t care for him.
  • Jiang Yu Chen (姜雨辰) as Princess Zi Luo (紫罗公主). I found her irritatingly annoying at first. Not because she chased Leng Xue and ignored Zhui Ming in totality. I just found that she was soooo spoiled and hated her for causing so much trouble, wanting to go along and eventually got kidnapped and they had to rescue her and all. Yet later, I realized that at least she was honest with her goals and what she wanted. What was more, she didn’t want to pressure Leng Xue into marrying her with some deals. At first, I thought that was her and I felt like she had gone past beyond restored as a likable character. But her explanation later on and how she found out the real reason Leng Xue agreed to marry her, she severed their ties. It was also because she realized she didn’t like him the way she thought but was just worshiping him because everyone dubbed him as a hero.
  • Wang Shuang (王双) as Mu Xue (慕雪). Mo Er Chi’s sister. At first, I liked her and how she got along so well with Chu Li Mo like they were sisters and made Li Mo felt like she could stay there. However, I seriously got annoyed with her in the later parts of the story when she kept nagging Wu Qing and tagging him. Yeah, I got it, she was worry for him and only wanted him to go on living, not dwelling on his past. However, she kept forcing him to acknowledge some stuff that was annoying. Why make him forget his past? It was a part of him. Instead of letting him have his own space, she totally invaded it and forced him to acknowledge her existence. Perhaps that was the difference between her and Li Mo–with Li Mo wanting him to remember and not minding that he had such a past with Ru Yan versus how Mu Xue was even on the verge of jealousy with Ru Yan and even Li Mo later on. Also, she wanted to follow them that one time when they were chasing down An Shi Geng. It wasn’t like they were together so she wanted to tag along. She just wanted to be with him. He told her it was dangerous and all YET she didn’t listen. (I understand why Leng Xue wanted Li Mo to follow since he lost her one time already, not wanting to separate from her ever YET Wu Qing and Mo Xue weren’t together, how could she keep pestering him like that?) Ironically it was after her death that he acknowledged her and was depressed again. Even though it was clarified (or seemed to hint at the end) that he didn’t love her, just felt super guilty because she died saving him. (‘Cause he was seen holding Ru Yan’s old keepsakes again.)
  • Liu Xin (刘鑫) as Liu Chun Ping (刘春萍). Annoying and lame. I didn’t know why her scenes were there with her obsessing over Wu Qing and Leng Xue when they could use that to focus on other main events. Again, not targeting the actress but the character and how the writers had paved the plot.
  • Zhou Shao Dong (周绍栋) as Prince Xiang (襄王). He was just plain not bright. Got it that he wanted to protect An Shi Geng because of An’s tragedies of not being acknowledged by the royal family, but he was so easily tricked. Or perhaps that was why. But I didn’t think much of him. Glad that he didn’t become too much of the problem later on, realizing what was going on and how it would affect the majority of the citizens, etc.
  • Benny Qian (钱泳辰) as Yan Zhao (燕赵). One of the Four Evils.
  • Zhou Mu Yin (周牧茵) as Tang Chou (唐仇). One of the Four Evils.
  • Ma Wen Long (马文龙) as Tu Wan (屠晚). One of the Four Evils.
  • Cheng Cheng (程诚) as Zhao Hao (赵好). One of the Four Evils.
  • Marco Li (李耀景) as Wen Ru Yu (溫如玉). Another villain role and this one was minimal. He seemed to be very ruthless yet ended up being killed off by An Shi Geng, which wasn’t too much of a stretch but I guess kind of lame in a way.
  • Ma Kui (馬騤) as Wen Wu Chang (溫無常). Wen Ru Yu’s son. Wasn’t surprised he got offed by one of Wen Ru Yu’s disciple. He had it coming–with the other guy’s jealousy and all.
  • Hanson Ying (应昊茗) as Mo Er Chi (莫尔赤). Mo Xue’s brother. Didn’t care much for him although they did create some funny moments at first. I thought he was the comedian in here YET he ended up being one of the scariest beings in here, killing off his family so he could guarantee his thrown and eliminate all threats (even his father and little brother).
  • Liu Si Tong (刘思彤) as Bian Hong Yao (卞红药). Chu Li Mo’s mother. I thought she would never appear but will only be mentioned throughout. Yet she was a piece of the overall puzzle. It explained a lot of tragedies in the past. But what was a stretch was how she was still alive after all these years of being frozen up. Okay, other factors in here were bending the word ‘exaggeration’ too, but this stuck out with me the most. Not that I wanted her to die, but it seemed too much of a stretch.
  • Yao Yue Li (岳跃利) as Chu Yan Liang (楚颜良). Chu Li Mo’s father. Weak and annoying. Didn’t think much of him. If it wasn’t for him, Li Mo wouldn’t end up being chased and targeted throughout. He had a choice to put his daughter on the list or not, but he chose to just so they could immerse in richness? I can’t remember if it was mandatory or not anymore, but I felt utterly annoyed with him for it.
  • He Jia Qia (何佳恰) as Ah Qi Nuo (阿绮娜).
  • Michelle Bai (白冰) as Nine-Tailed Fox (九尾狐). I actually felt sorry for her. She only wanted to save her husband yet paid with her life in the end. There were things she didn’t want to do, like how she actually imprisoned that one servant girl she tried to impersonate (not kill off) so it showed she wasn’t all bad. Like said before, she only taken a chance with saving her husband. Like many in here, she was deceived and used by An Shi Geng. Yet I sympathized with her the most. (Aside from Nu Nu that was.)
  • Han Dong (韩栋) as Zhang Sheng (张生). Nine-Tailed Fox’s husband. Interestingly funny to see Han Dong in here. Yes, this was before he had a popularity surge, but still funny to see him as just a minor character. He delivered quite well–even with limited time.
  • Zhang Meng (张檬) as Hui Lan (蕙兰). One of the brides that got her husband stolen from her on the night of their wedding. What was even more tragic was how she got killed off because she was helping others. Enjoyed her brief appearance.
  • Zheng Shuang (鄭爽) as Wen Bing Er (溫冰兒). OMG, I didn’t realize that was Zheng Shuang. She looked different from Legend of the Ancient Sword. Even though I watched Legend of the Ancient Sword after this but she looked so different so I didn’t make the connection until I check the cast list again to do this review. I really liked her character in here although she only appeared a bit. She was impressive and simple. I guess because I liked her green outfit and how she wasn’t in your face type of character. She was just there to help and contributed to the story.
  • Huang Ming (黄明) as Du Gong Zi (杜公子). The guy Princess Zi Luo used to rile Zhui Ming up when they were in disagreements.
  • Zong Feng Yan (宗峰岩) as Wu Hen Gong Zi (无痕公子). Serial Rapist. Wow, just wow. I didn’t know why they created his character and just plain kill him off right there. Like a mini case and showed how Ji Yao Hua wanted to just kill Chu Li Mo right there (and how she was torn, etc). But other than that, it seemed like just one of those side characters that could do without for the plot.
  • Wang Kui Rong (王奎荣) as Prince Zhu (朱王爺). Leng Xue’s adopted father. I seriously was convinced he was involved with killing all the people of Leng Xue’s tribe. I totally fell for it. Although, I know An Shi Geng couldn’t be trusted but Prince Zhu made it suspicious at times. It wasn’t until later when he was finally controlled and imprisoned that I was a bit more convinced he wasn’t at fault.

Friendships / Romances / Others:

  • The Four Guards as Good Brothers. Regardless of their attitude or randomness at times, they really lived up to being brothers. They were really loyal toward one another and would put that on top of anything else. Like that one time Zhui Ming insisting on saving Wu Qing, not chasing after the princess, etc. Even if he knew that they should save the princess first (because of the law of the land and how the royal family was important, etc). Then there was how they all supported one another throughout.
  • Hans/Leng Xue and Janine/Chu Li Mo. They were sooooo addicting to watch. To be honest (possibly brutality honest), they were the only couple I cared for in here from the start. It was just that they were more intriguing to watch for further developments. It was just that the others annoyed me at one point or another. Anyway, I was trying to see how they would finally stop fighting. It wasn’t like they were bad, but it was because they were clashing at times. I really liked how Leng Xue got out of his shell near the end. It was so cute. I also liked how she tried to find out what was wrong with him, not blindly believing that he had changed. She finally left him alone, but it was because he didn’t want to tell her, not because she hated him for abandoning her. Then later when Princess Zi Luo declared that he was free from the marriage deal, he chased after her and she made him yell the love declaration so loud, lol.
  • Howie Huang and Yang Ming Na. Collaborated once as husband and wife in the XAJH. Although there wasn’t much about them in here, I loved them together. They were the other couple that I liked. Even if they were an older couple and possibly many do not care for. But I enjoyed their moments. Somewhat cute yet still retained a sense of maturity, not trying to make them all mushy like the younger couples in here.
  • Yang Yang/Wu Qing and Ceese/Ru Yan. Seriously, their story was soooo tragic. They had their cute moments but I felt they were the most mature couple, having been through so much already. Too bad it had turned out that way for them.
  • William/Zhui Ming and Jiang Yu Chen/Zi Luo. Again, I didn’t care much for them at first but did like his character a lot. Later on, though, she was paying back major time for her past tortures of him. It was hilarious to watch and I felt they were so cute.
  • Mao Zi Jun/Qie Shou and Gui Gui/Yi Yi. Like I said many times before, I didn’t care much for them. Not until later when their stories got more complicated. The struggles between him trying to get her to stop the other thing was taking too much time as well. It wasn’t until Zhu Ge Zheng Wo stepped in and sorted it out for them that things moved along, lol. Zhu Ge knew all along and wanted them to resolve their own matters, but he didn’t realize they were that slow hence giving them some pointers. So after that, it went smoother and how nice it was to see her character evolved and his being able to focus on the main situation again. Sure, they could be cute, but I think their story needed to be worked out better.

Discussions and other rantings:

  • Was Chu Li Mo a third party? This was emphasized throughout the story. Well, it was more like from the girls following Ji Yao Hua. Their wild imagination was really on high during the beginning of the story. Even if ranking with Chu Li Mo’s real identity and how she was nowhere near the comparison of the backgrounds of both the princess and Ji Yao Hua, but that didn’t make it their advantage over Chu Li Mo. Considering how Leng Xue wasn’t into that stuff. He was after all a prince himself. Yet he didn’t look down on others because of that ranking. He rated them on a different scale. Not to mention how he was much too serious the majority of the time. Hey, his nickname said it all. But back to the main question, was Chu Li Mo a third party in Leng Xue and Ji Yao Hua’s relationship? I seriously didn’t think Leng Xue and Ji Yao Hua had anything going on–even WAY before Chu Li Mo came into the picture. I meant sure, they were good comrades and had gotten along quite well over the years they’d known each other. Leng Xue sure was protective of her at times too, because of how her old wound had affected her health and all. But I think she was in the siblings’ zone already. If he had ever liked her, he already reacted. Because he was a straightforward type of person and he was quite possessive. (So not a good trait, lol.) BUT that was too obvious with him being sooo protective and possessive over Chu Li Mo in the later parts of the story. Even if others had decided that he and Ji Yao Hua were a couple in the past, it didn’t affect him. Some people might claim that not explaining might just equal to admitting. But he didn’t care to say those stuff to everyone. If they wanted to assume, just assume. His most obvious reactions were directly toward Ji Yao Hua. So it wasn’t like he was leading her on or anything. He always treated her like a sister. That was it. And he did try to explain to Ji Yao Hua at one point, saying that he wanted to say it out a long time ago already YET she stopped him and said she understood. Of course, she only wanted to preserve some dignity and didn’t want to hear him say it out so thoroughly (which was understandable). Then in the later parts when he was poisoned, Leng Xue had emphasized many times that he didn’t want Yao Hua to keep taking care of him like that, because it was also torturing him that he couldn’t do anything for her in return. In a way, I felt he was taking care of her like a little sister and was protective of her since whenever because of that connection. It was like he only had her as a sibling for a while, then along came Chu Li Mo and he fell in love and wanted to focus on Li Mo AND then his sister was envious of the attention she no longer got so there it went. It felt that way to me. I’m not trying to convince anyone to ship Leng Xue/Li Mo. I just felt that Ji Yao Hua’s feelings toward Leng Xue were always one-sided so the whole whore-calling was soooo immature.
  • The ending. I think I declared it one of my favorites of recent series too early. Because the last ten episodes were excruciatingly painful to watch. Or was that the last fifteen? ‘Cause I swear some stuff could be cut out. Like everyone had something to say at times. It was dragging out too much. I don’t mean discussions to solve cases, but if there were side situations, everyone had to say it. Or some side nagging with whatever the situation was. It was driving me insane. This, like recent series, was definitely character-driven and not plot-driven.
  • Hans Zhang vs. William Chan. Okay, some people were fighting because of how Zhang Han seemed to be in the limelight and William not so much. Or more like their characters. This series was filmed in the same year as Legend of the Ancient Sword. I read somewhere this one might have been filmed first. (NOT sure, I wasn’t paying attention to the other one at first, only followed this one at that time.) Around that time, Zhang Han was really popular (still is) and so he had many projects and more opportunities. William didn’t become SUPER popular until after Legend of the Ancient Sword was broadcasted. So stop fighting.
  • More cases, please. Seriously, I was intrigued at first, like really pulled in. But the cases sort of deteriorated and gave way for many catfights and unnecessary side stories so that had lost my interest later on. Yet I tried to hold on for the main plot to see how it was going. Not to mention how some of An Shi Geng’s flashbacks were taking up too much time. It was getting quite repetitive. In fact, most of the flashbacks were driving me insane. It took too much time. Maybe if they cut some of those out and included more explanation for what they did later on, it would be better. Because they did have quite a few story arches that seemed like good ideas but weren’t executed as nicely as should be.
  • The costumes and hairdos. Seriously, some were all right. But others got me yelling “What in the world?” at other times.
  • Fighting techniques. Seriously, these past years, I think I’m beginning to stop caring about them being lazy and taking the easy way out. But this is one of the rare ones that I could sort of make up some excuse for them. Mostly because Wen Rui An’s martial arts emphasize a lot on being able to manipulate inner energy and all. So I would say it wouldn’t be too much since he did exaggerate a lot in some fighting scenes and its descriptions. So I won’t pick on the production team for that.

Funny Moments:

  • The majority of Leng Xue and Chu Li Mo scenes. They were a riot to watch, clashing so much from the start yet developed into a much cuter relationship. Then one of the epic moments must be where Princess Zi Luo wanted Chu Li Mo’s room because it was the one next to Leng Xue’s room. Leng Xue walked in on their conversation and asked what was wrong. After knowing the situation, he told Chu Li Mo to listen to the princess and let her have the room. Chu Li Mo asked where would she be sleeping. He told her in his room, LOL! That was a riot! Loved him for that! Not that he was going to do anything since he was a gentleman after all. But he wasn’t caring for those catfights or BS, even from the princess.
  • Zhui Ming scenes. He was a riot all right. So dramatic and so playful. I totally enjoyed his crazy moments, even if it was outright sabotaging others when he was in disagreements with the princess. Maybe it was William. Not sure. But yeah, loved those moments of his.
  • Zhui Ming and Qie Shou scenes. They were seriously too funny together. I enjoyed those scenes even more than when they were with their significant others. They were a riot with being too nosy and trying to get into everyone’s business when they were at Jiao Niang’s place. Like when they interrogated Wu Qing and tried to find out what was going on, etc. Wu Qing bumped their heads together (literally) and told them that they were too nosy. LOL!

Recommended? I think you could watch it for your favorites. ‘Cause I enjoyed it somewhat but the later episodes dragging on (as said many times in this review) totally got me disappointed. It was definitely killing the pace.

The Legend of the Condor Heroes 2015

This is just in the air right now, lol. I saw it on their list as ‘in preparation’ but it was there since 2014. But of course, it makes sense that it would be a long preparation, considering how they’re planning to have the same team as DGSD and DOMD do it. (Check here and scroll all the way down to the list of adaptations to see that someone already filled out the placeholder for it.)

Possible cast so far? I managed to find a clip of Zhang Meng being interviewed and she hoped to work with Han Dong. My thoughts? Um, how about no? I loved them together in DOMD, but I don’t think they’re suitable to portray Guo Jing and Huang Rong. The production team should find actual suitable candidates instead. I liked some of their past decisions, but if they end up casting Han Dong and Zhang Meng, they have to really convince me. Han Dong, though I love him, had already pushed it as Xiao Bao (age-wise). I also have a hard time imagining Han Dong portraying a dumb character. Okay, Guo Jing’s just too honest at times, but next to Huang Rong, he seems soooo dumb, lol. Han Dong doesn’t have the dumb face, lol. He just looks too smart and cunning. (Xu Zhu only appeared a bit versus Guo Jing role so I sort of went along with it when watching DGSD, lol. Not to mention, Han Dong can’t just wrinkle his face all the time for the Guo Jing role.) As for Zhang Meng, I might change my mind later if they do a good job with the image and see how her acting goes this time around.

If Huace must use someone within their company though, I think Jia Qing would fit the role of Huang Rong perfectly. I’m not kidding. I have seen a lot of Jia Qing’s performances in the past few years. She really could pull off various roles and she could be quite cunning and/or mischievous as needed. Not to mention playful. She, of course, could also be quite serious as well. It would be awesome also if the plot is right. (I do understand if they do go ahead with this adaptation, it would be like the umpteenth time for this novel so I will try to understand their stretch, considering how I didn’t mind–as much–their exaggerations in the past two Jin Yong adaptations that I ended up watching.)  Don’t ask me who’s a suitable candidate for Guo Jing, because it is indeed very hard. Good luck!

EDIT (9/15/15): I just thought of something, Maybe Zhang Han could be Guo Jing. He looked quite good with her in The Four (even if I wasn’t in favor of the pairing in there, mostly due to plot). He could pull it off.

Pink Collar Lady: A Han Dong and Jia Qing Reunion

Also known as Tian Tian Xiang Ni (天天想你), this drama reunites Han Dong and Jia Qing since DOMD.

In this drama, whether they successfully become a couple or not, it is still unknown. (Or at least I didn’t go read spoilers, lol.)

Because pictures could be so misleading at times, especially how both of the male leads were shown having wedding scenes with both female leads.

But I’m actually excited to watch this. (Okay, sort of.)

What I’m even more excited about is seeing Enson in the drama. He had posted a picture like months back with Han Dong. Just anxious to see what type of role he will portray.

*All images were collected around the net hence belonging to their rightful owners.

Dong Jiang Heroes: Review

I finally finished this! Like two weeks ago. The delay was due to inaccessibility. How was it? Wow. Just wow. (And thanks to this site–a mega thanks indeed, because it helped majorly with cast list and all.)

Main Cast:

  • Wang Lei (王雷) as Liu Hei Zai (劉黑仔). After watching this, I realized Wang Lei is just amazing. He took my breath away with his acting. He brought the character out so vividly and convincingly. I will confess I haven’t read enough about the real person in history yet. But I must say he was really convincing with how he fought for his country and was a very loyal person to his brothers. He was also quite righteous. Although he was quite hot-headed too, it was often justified or it was just how he was. He learned to curve it somewhat later, but that was a part of him, can’t change it all. Not to mention, his humor made up for other moments as well.
  • Jia Qing (贾青) as An Na (安娜) / Anna. At first, I thought she was the typical female with how she wanted to fight for her country yet was repressed because her father chose the cowardly path and didn’t allow her to participate. I thought she would be a bigger part of the picture by proving herself and rebel. She indeed did try to do her part, but she became the love interest of the two main leads and that was it. She did try hard to be a bigger part of the picture, but it seemed cut short. I still enjoyed Jia Qing’s acting yet I didn’t enjoy her story as much anymore.
  • Ye Xiang Ming (叶项明) as Mai Jian Feng (麦剑锋). He wasn’t my favorite at the beginning yet wasn’t completely hateful either. However, he totally pushed his way into one of my most hated characters list, even more hateful than the villains and traitors in here. What made me really upset with his character wasn’t his bail out on them from the troops or trying to live his luxurious life. No one liked the war, but they were driven into such chaos so he couldn’t be blamed for it. What I hated him for was how he kept saying, “Who do you think Mai Jian Feng is? I wouldn’t betray my brothers.” Wrong, he won the “Hypocrite of the Year” award. When he wanted to go with them to sabotage that one base and eventually wanting to sacrifice himself so the other two could run, I thought Lao Dai was wrong and in the end, he had thought it through and had chosen them. Yet I was wrong and Lao Dai was right. In the end, he chose his own future, not them.
  • Xiao Cong (肖聪) as Dai Zai Chu (戴在初) aka Lao Dai (老戴). The storyteller. Mixed feelings throughout. Yet in the end, I think I would have to accept who he was. He was very level-headed the majority of the time and became the glue to keeping everyone together. He was a good leader and quite wise with his words. At first, he seemed a bit hostile, because he kept lecturing the other guys, but I understood his point–with taming them and wanting them not to break many rules while they were all in it together.
  • Eddie Teng (滕文昊) as Huo Sheng (火胜). He was part of the comedic scenes for me with the other guys yet I didn’t expect him to have such a tragic ending. I thought he would live until the end. At least, he would become one of the ones surviving to tell the story. Yet it wasn’t so. He died tragically and was the first to die among the five guys. But he was also quite brave, fighting until the end, not surrendering. His death must be the most heartbreaking because of the way he died and also breaking the link between the guys–or a start to the ripple effect.
  • Jenson Tian (田家達) as Gong Li Qiang (龚立强) aka Ah Qiang (阿強). Part of the comedic act. I saw through different pictures and later the trailers that he would die, so I wasn’t surprised. But I didn’t realize he could be so brave. Well, it was already obvious that most of them were, but he was only a comedian to me. Yet his death was as tragic.
  • Jacky Chu (祝釩剛) / Zhang You Tian (張又天) as Ruan Yong Biao (阮永彪) aka Ah Biao (阿彪). Loved food, not too bright, but was loyal to his brothers–and sisters. He was also quite hot-headed but would listen to others when needed to. At least the later parts since he, along with the others, became more tamed and trusted Lao Dai more. He was the other part of the comedy act between the characters. It was really tragic with the flashbacks when he and Ah Qiang promised to be brothers in their next lives as well.
  • Ryu Kohata (木幡龙) as Dong Tiao Zheng Zhi (东条正之). He was sure cunning. There was something that he said that rang true on many levels yet couldn’t just let others off too easily, especially some parties that had participated so willingly to cause so much pain toward others. The phrase was: It was a war. It was before his death and how Hei Zai reminded him that he (Hei Zai) would come back for him.
  • Liu Yan Yu (刘言语) as Song Ben (松本). A Japanese general under Dong Tiao.

Supporting:

  • Chang Rong (常戎) as Huang Ying Quan (黄英权) aka Quan Ge (权哥). He met Hei Zai and the other guys since they were younger. He had a lot of effect on Hei Zai’s decisions later on and how Hei Zai decided to join the troops. His death was also a major turn around for Hei Zai and how he was determined to go on with leading the others, along with Lao Dai.
  • Chen Dong (程东) as Mao Ge (猫哥). Despicable. But I must say, before his death, he said something that made sense, not make any more excuses like before. He said that regardless of whichever country was in power, he was still a thug. At least he admitted it, unlike someone.
  • Daisy Sun (孙丹梓) as Ah Jiao (阿娇). Hei Zai’s childhood sweetheart. Ended up marrying Mao Ge because he helped her family and she wanted to repay him. But she never forgot Hei Zai. (It was revealed near the ending.) She still tried to help the others throughout and didn’t just ignore them. Her life was really tragic from the start, especially having been with Mao Ge and his schemes. Yet she was one of the lucky ones that survived in the end. Not that I wasn’t glad that she survived, I was just surprised, because of the pictures released and some scenes where Ah Biao wouldn’t shoot through her (like she told him to) and ended up getting shot himself. I thought she would die right there with trying to help the guys. Then I thought that she did after the failed assassination attempt on Mao Ge. But luckily, she survived.
  • Hong Yan (洪艳) as Qian Pei Zhen (錢佩珍). Teacher Qian’s daughter, resided in Hong Kong and worked at a club. Also Huo Sheng’s childhood sweetheart. Very courageous and very powerful. She was one of the few strong female characters in here–and even fought alongside the men for their country. Well, both physically and emotionally strong.
  • Yang Xuan Zi (杨璇姿) as He Min Yi (何敏仪). Used to work against their side yet was misled by her leader so she ended up helping them for real later on. Very brave and capable. It was revealed during her death scene that she liked Hei Zai. It wasn’t too farfetched with their interactions in the past, but it was interesting and how she was never jealous of Anna or anything. Because she had to focus on the bigger picture like the rest of them. She was really cute in her own way–when time allowed for it.
  • Wen Yang (闻 洋) as Ran Pei (冉沛). Despicable although supposed to be on the same side as them, but of a different branch. He was Hei Zai’s downfall. He hated Hei Zai from the start and wanted him dead but too bad. It didn’t matter if he got the command to get rid of Hei Zai near the end. He would do it eventually. He was just waiting for an opportunity.
  • Tong Yao Zhong (彤耀忠) as Bao Yu Qiang (鲍鱼强). The traitor that killed Huo Sheng. Despicable and no excuse for what he did.

Others:

  • Jiang Kai (蒋恺) as An Jing Hui (安景惠). Anna’s father. Known as a traitor to his country. At first, I sympathized with him for being stuck in a hard place. It was only right that he did everything to protect his family, and that I think the guys might be too impulsive at the beginning to get the realness of it all–even if they’d had witnessed some stuff. However, it was harder to make excuses for him as the plot progressed, especially how he became so actively involved with pointing out certain parties and getting them executed.
  • Sun Ao (孙傲) as An Jie (安杰). Anna’s younger brother. The poor kid ended up losing his life because of what the other grown-ups were fighting over, thinking they were right–whatever it was. He only wanted to save Hei Zai by helping with bringing them information but had lost his life over it. Yet his father was only half blamed for it. As cruel as it was, Anna was really blamed for it. Yes, I said it. Anna did blame herself when she was in her depressive mood. Yet she was also right. If she hadn’t told her father, her father wouldn’t pass it onto the other guys. Even if it was the last goodbye and she wanted to tell him what was going on to reassure him, but she knew too well he couldn’t help himself. Even if he was forced to give up that piece of information, but still, it was there to provide.
  • Cai Wen Jing (蔡文静) as Liu Jia Mei (劉嘉妹). Hei Zai’s younger sister. A gentle and cute young lady. Yet could be so strong and brave. She was one of those who could be considered naive and pure in here. Not saying the others weren’t, but like she seemed to be untouched by the outside–despite losing her parents and witnessing so many chaotic moments around them. She still had great hope for the future and also trusted Jie Chuan Long. She didn’t want to be clouded by the war and lump him into the same category as the rest of the ‘enemy’.
  • Jin Ze Hao (金泽灏) as Jie Chuan Long (芥川龍). A Japanese doctor. Became their ally–by forced at first but turned into a willing participant as time went by. A kind doctor who didn’t see the point of the fights and all. Later, he was dubbed to be a traitor of his country. Yet what was the difference between him and all the traitors in here? Perhaps it was because he never truly wanted to harm any innocent citizens like some actively did. His turning point was because he had begged Song Ben not to kill Jia Mei but it was all in vain. I swear I thought he would survive. But the little bit of early celebration had cost them.
  • Sabrina Qiu (邱璐璠) as Ju Mei (菊妹). Anna’s ally at the factory. She was very brave and hardworking. Not to mention having a kind heart to warn Anna about different parties within the factory. She was no longer mentioned after Anna left the factory.
  • Zhu Rong Rong (朱荣荣) as Ye Ming (叶明). Anna’s classmate. Sold her out to the others. No surprise. He wanted to live.
  • Yuan Xin Ran (袁心冉) as Bai Lu (白露). One of the girls always on watch, but really want to participate in the bigger picture.
  • Liu Gen Sheng (刘根生) as (錢老师). Pei Zhen’s father. A brave person and died as tragically as some characters in here. He died early on into the story, like around the time Ah Biao’s mother died. It had opened a flood gate for the others, wanting to avenge his death and the others and rebel.

Friendships/ Brotherhoods/ Romances, etc.

  • The five guys. Their bond was emphasized a lot throughout the story–since it made sense, it was about them. The beginning seriously showed it with their unity and how they would stick together regardless. The ripple started when MJF left them. However, that didn’t stop them from wanting to maintain a bond throughout. Regardless if they were on different sides. Whether MJF deserved their loyalty or not, it was debatable. Probably near the end, it was less and less important on getting MJF to maintain that link, but as for the others, they were never changing all right. It didn’t matter if he showed up at the guys’ funerals. The only time I credited him for was going with them to that one base. It seemed like he changed but it wasn’t so. As for the other guys, they really looked up to Hei Zai as their leader and would take whatever Hei Zai said really seriously. Well, sometimes Ah Biao and Ah Qiang would go out to steal stuff or do stuff that would jeopardize their safety, but they didn’t do it on purpose and it was forgivable.
  • Hei Zai and Lao Dai. At first, they didn’t really get along, mostly because Lao Dai couldn’t really stand Hei Zai’s jumpy nature. Yet later, they learned to get along. As time progressed, they became more understanding of one another and became like brothers like some others. It was hilarious to watch some of their exchanges. By the end, it was obvious their bond was undeniable, because of what Lao Dai said regarding how he would carry Hei Zai on his back to fight but wouldn’t leave Hei Zai behind, etc. Their last conversation was definitely touching. In his narration, Lao Dai had said that he had rather that he died and Hei Zai lived. It was one of those tragic moments where nothing could be changed, but it magnified their bond so strongly. In his narration, Lao Dai also said that Hei Zai mentioned still wanting to fight in the next life, not wanting it to be any different–and that he would fight alongside Hei Zai if he could choose.
  • Hei Zai and Quan Ge. They knew each other since the beginning, even way before the current scenes took place so Hei Zai really respected him. So throughout, Quan Ge had a lot to do with how Hei Zai wanted to join the cause and fight for his country. So, of course, when Quan Ge died, that had become the sole reason for Hei Zai to continue on. The more so because he felt guilty that it was his fault that Quan Ge died–at least according to him.
  • Hei Zai and Anna. Their story started out with them being the bickering couple. However, they soon learned to get along and fell in love. It was light and all at first, like most stories. But it was obvious early on that it didn’t work or might not work (even if there were no spoilers with the trailers and articles, etc). Because her father being on the wrong side had caused a lot of headaches throughout. At first, it was obvious that most people just wanted to follow along because of their families and because they had a lot of to fear for, especially that sensitive time of war and chaos. Yet some of them were willing participants and wanting to cause harm to their fellow citizens. Anna’s father became one of those in the second category so it killed their relationship, even before the inevitable. Quan Ge and Lao Dai had seen it ahead of time, way before it had rolled around to that moment. It didn’t matter if it was that incident with Quan Ge’s death that had caused Hei Zai to drive the final wedge in their relationship. It would eventually come to that in the end. It was how An Jing Hui was. But back to their relationship only, Hei Zai sure changed his view from impulsive, just doing what he wanted and acting plain possessive to learning to let go and think for Anna’s sake. His sensitivity toward her and how he secretly cried, missing her at various points, later on, showed signs of how he had understood what she meant earlier in the story. All those stuff about showing off didn’t matter anymore. If they didn’t live in that time, perhaps their story would end different. (Duh, right?)
  • Mai Jian Feng and Anna. No comment. Okay, that would be lying since I have a lot to say about them, but don’t know how to start. Not at first. I knew I was against it, but I try to think harder about it. It was more like I didn’t like how she’d accepted him after all these times. Sure, he took care of her when she was in the worst part of her life, but Mai Jian Feng? Really? Well, she probably didn’t know half of the stuff he was doing. But he and Hei Zai were supposedly good brothers after all. Even if she could never be with Hei Zai again, why was she settling with Jian Feng? Or maybe it was just me trying to apply some logic into the situation, which is a dumb move on my part, very dumb. And I had a feeling like he wasn’t working so hard to win her over just because he loved her, he needed to win over Hei Zai and that he wanted to feel the thrive of finally ‘conquering’ her.
  • Hei Zai and Ah Jiao. Their relationship was kept subtle from the start. It was obvious that Hei Zai was deeply wounded when he found out about Ah Jiao marrying Mao Ge already. Yet they had to move on. Other things, like the war going on, surrounding them made it harder to just focus on them. Yet there was nothing Hei Zai could do about it, except to accept her as his sister and part of the family. He had promised to protect her–if Mao Ge were to bully her or anything. It seemed like Ah Jiao helped them throughout because of that promise because they were family. However, it was revealed near the end that she still had feelings for him after all these years and even after all the tragedies of the drama unfolded after Hei Zai got out of prison. She was just trying to keep strong and move on, knowing that they couldn’t be together. Then Anna came along so of course, it was harder to say anything. Yet even if she had been jealous of Anna, she wasn’t petty, knowing why it didn’t work between her and Hei Zai. At least until she couldn’t take it anymore at last and wanted to tell him. But at least that conversation had allowed them both closure because Hei Zai had said that they weren’t the same persons that they were in the past. She had also understood why it never worked but she needed to say it out.
  • Hei Zai and Min Yi. I used to think they would make an interesting couple when I saw some scenes with them kind of messing around at times, especially during breaks and things weren’t that hectic yet. Well, it was always hectic, but the dying number wasn’t at a chilling rate and things got really complicated later on. I thought it was just my wishful thinking. Yet it was revealed later during her death that she had liked him all along. Too bad. They would’ve made a really cute couple. They could be the couple matching wit per wit and all.
  • Huo Sheng and Pei Zhen. I didn’t cry throughout, even though there were sad parts between Hei Zai and Anna–or other tragic deaths before that. (But more like frustration through their deaths, etc.–even though it was inevitable with that moment in history.) Yet when Huo Sheng’s death scene rolled around and then the scene at the grave where Pei Zhen finally avenged his death that I broke. It was super sad. I thought somehow they were the funny couple–despite all the intensity going on–and they would make it through yet no.
  • Jie Chuan Long and Jia Mei. OMG, they were the cutest from the start. What with all those chaos going on around them, I still thought they were so cute. I thought they were one of the couples that made it through, at least since she was out of harm’s way after how he made the fake marriage certificates and all. Then there was the whole she rarely appeared and all. She was well hidden. Then they finally had her brother’s approval and all. Yet that was seriously so tragic.

The Goods, the Bad, and the Complaints.

  • Choreography. It was awesome on many levels. Yes, there were exaggerations but the gracefulness of some scenes made it quite amazing. Two notable scenes were where Huo Sheng fought off the others and tried to escape. Then there was also Ah Biao and Ah Qiang’s final moments. The inevitable was tragic, but those scenes were quite nicely done. Hei Zai’s shooting ability was already implied throughout so that was known without being said.
  • Storyline. Quite fast-paced and addicting to watch. Despite some really tragic scenes and frustrating moments, the overall plot worked quite well. Of course, there were many details that they had to keep consistent with that time in history and its tragedies. That was why it seemed more genuine than some dramas that focused on this sensitive time period but had failed to capture the essence of it.
  • Songs. The ending song by Jacky, Ten Fingers Connecting The Heart (十指连心), was hauntingly good. Then there was also the song Can’t Cry (哭不出來) sang by Yao Ting (姚婷) was also quite touching.

Worth Mentioning Scenes:

  • Huo Sheng’s death. Like I said before, the first to die among the guys and causing a deep wound in their hearts and the beginning of the ripple effect. His brave fight and then his deterioration yet he didn’t want to give in to the other side. The final moment to capture the tragedy was how he still held Pei Zhen’s gift so gingerly in his hand.
  • Jia Mei’s death. So tragic and so heart-wrenching. Jie Chuan Long told her to hold on since her brother was coming. Yet she told him she didn’t think she could wait. She also told him that her brother finally accepted them and would give them his blessings one day when they were no longer at war.
  • Ah Qiang and Ah Biao’s death. They fought a fearless battle. Ah Biao was saying how they grew up together and had fought for their lives together yet he didn’t want to die with Ah Qiang as well. Ah Qiang returned the remark by saying, “Do you think that I want to die with you?” Yet they promised to be brothers in the next life as well–if there was such. Then they helped each other up after having that heartfelt conversation to fight one last time, even if it was a suicide mission. They didn’t want to waste even the least bit of their limited time.
  • Min Yi’s death. The silent moment when she turned to look at Hei Zai and scenes of them flashing back so genuinely. It wasn’t too dramatic, but it had said it all. It was through her eyes. Her last memories of them. It was worth a few tears.
  • Lao Dai’s conversation with Hei Zai and how Hei Zai told him to take the others and go. Lao Dai, of course, disagreed. But that was one touching conversation. Hei Zai thanked Lao Dai for turning his life around, allowing him to join such a moment and made something out of his life, etc. Lao Dai said that fighting along Hei Zai’s side was his pleasure. And being brothers.
  • Anna’s last conversation with Hei Zai before he went to sacrifice himself. They finally had closure. I thought I was done with them after the damage was done (with him killing her father thus leading to a path of no return), but that scene really brought back some emotions and some tears. They promised to get along better in the next lifetime–if there was one. Well, more like he asked her what if in the next lifetime he was still doing what he was doing, she said she would still love him.

Debates:

  • Jia Mei vs. An Jing Hui. Interesting how they were given choices and their decision was totally different. Like I said, An Jing Hui had a lot riding on it all, not just his safety but for the sake of his family. Then Jia Mei only had herself to gamble for. Yet she had chosen differently. Why? Well, to look at it more carefully, Jia Mei had her brother and Jie Chuan Long. She can’t just leave them like that. Yet she did. She chose it. Their safety wasn’t threatened (not at that crucial moment), but hers was. She still chose to let go and sacrificed herself. Although she did tell the others to calm down and they would find a way out of it initially, she finally understood what she had to do when the time actually came around. It wasn’t like she looked for every chance to lung into death. She valued her life very much, especially after her brother had promised to give his blessings to her and Jie Chuan Long. She had even more reasons to live. Yet she didn’t want to become a pawn for others to use against her brother. An Jing Hui feared for the life of his family–and himself. Anyone would want to consider that, especially how he was threatened many times throughout. Yet was the whole ‘protecting his family’ an excuse or an easy way out not to do anything more?
  • Jie Chuan Long vs. An Jing Hui. Both were known as traitors to their country. Yet one decision outweighed the other. Jie Chuan Long’s final push was because of Jia Mei. An Jing Hui’s was An Jie’s death. They were both forced to help the opposing side unwillingly at first and then later more willingly. They were also killed by their own countrymen because it was obvious they were traitors. What was different about them though? Was it because Jie Chuan Long was a kind doctor that his involvement was more justified? He didn’t agree with the war or how some of the tactics were pulled so he finally made his decision to be more obvious on which side he stood? Jia Mei’s death drove his final move, like said before, but he had never really wanted to hurt anyone from the start. Although aiding in Hei Zai’s movement also caused the many lives of his countrymen (the solders, etc, not just the leaders), but was being on the right side of the story made it acceptable? (I’m not trying to stir up anything but just tossing it out there for debate’s sake.) An Jing Hui, as said many times before, was more actively involved but had a lot riding on his side versus how Ji Chuan Long was shown having only himself (and then later Jia Mei). An Jing Hui had blamed Hei Zai and others for his son’s death, but it was because of him that it had ended up in that route. Yet was that his coping mechanism just to blame others, because he didn’t want to acknowledge the truth? Probably. Yet was it right to cause so many deaths in his path afterward? What made their decisions different? What made their decisions more acceptable?
  • An Jie vs. An Jing Hui. Yes, it seems like I’m throwing An Jing Hui under the bus now by comparing him to different characters in here. Yet An Jie was his kid after all, why wasn’t he so obedient and think like his father? Anna was the same, her rebellious righteousness made it puzzling and made us want to visit the whole ‘nature vs. nurture’ debate once again. (Or at least I did.) An Jie probably was too young to understand a lot of things in the world. He knew Hei Zai was a good person–or at least was a good friend of his sister, so he had to warn Hei Zai. But had paid for it tragically. An Jing Hui, being threatened directly like that, he had to do something to save his life, it was human nature. He couldn’t be blamed too much for that. But was it because of the complications of adult mind that had led him to the decisions that he made throughout? Not just at the point of his son’s death.
  • The confrontation and intensity between Hei Zai and Mai Jian Feng. This was the part where Hei Zai walked in on Mai Jian Feng trying to grab Anna and steered her away from danger when their base was already discovered and they had to go fight. Anna tried to get away but really can’t. Hei Zai had jumped in and confronted MJF, saying that he knew how to take care of Anna and told MJF to ‘stay away from his woman’. Although it sounded really possessive, that was who Hei Zai was. He wasn’t good with words–or more like didn’t know how to sweet talk, so his straightforward attitude at times would cause trouble for him. Yet he made it clear, not wanting MJF to carry on any longer. He still treated MJF like a brother and would always try to come to the rescue when MJF needed it. But he had to draw the line and get his point across.

Funny Moments: I thought I wrap this up with some positivity so here goes.

  • Anything involving the five guys initially–not the robbing scenes, but like the parts where they argue about food, where to go, etc. They were a hilarious bunch together so it was hard not to laugh. Well, at least until things got super hectic later on.
  • When they saved Anna. It wasn’t that funny that she lost control and ended up crashing into the guys. But what was funny was how she tried to thank them by saying ‘thank you’ and Ah Biao had interpreted as her trying to curse Hei Zai, lol.
  • The part where they learned that Ah Biao didn’t know the difference between ‘left’ and ‘right’–literally. It was the part where Quan Ge told them to go practice and stuff. So Hei Zai took the guys to a part of the woods to start. That was the part when they learned that Ah Biao didn’t know. LOL! What was even more worth a few laughs was when he suggested to Hei Zai to switch the commands to ‘North, South, East, West’ instead of using ‘left, right’. That was when the other guys messed up. LOL! So Hei Zai had to clutch his head and think of another way to teach them all.
  • The part where they had an emergency gathering in the middle of the night. It was a drill but still, the guys were so unprepared and all ended up wearing one another’s clothes. What was even more face-palming was how Hei Zai had worn Ah Biao’s clothes so Ah Biao had to wrap himself in a mat and rushed out. The others were laughing so hard yet they were, of course, yelled at also. They were punished for the rest of the night and had to run in the cold. Ah Biao was holding onto the mat so it wouldn’t fall. LOL!
  • The part where Hei Zai and Jia Mei were arguing because Hei Zai found the fake marriage certificate and confronted Jia Mei. They were so loud that they woke Ah Biao up. When Ah Biao asked them what happened as he came in and tried to rearrange his shirt at the same time, Hei Zai answered him by saying that Jia Mei wanted to marry a Japanese man. Ah Biao was equally shocked like how Hei Zai was when he discovered the marriage certificate. Yet after he got over the initial shock, Ah Biao said it wasn’t a bad idea, lol. He came to like Jie Chuan Long after all these times, lol.
  • The part where Hei Zai and Ah Biao bid Jia Mei farewell for the last time. They didn’t know that it was going to be the last time. But it was when Hei Zai had thought it through seriously the previous night so he had hinted that he would accept Jia Mei and Jie Chuan Long. Jia Mei was so happy. So when she hugged her brother goodbye, Ah Biao wanted in as well. Hei Zai told him he wasn’t allowed to since they were all grown up now, not like when they were little kids, lol. He didn’t want Ah Biao to take advantage of his sister, lol. But then Ah Biao said he was family. Hei Zai didn’t believe him yet let him off and let him hug Jia Mei anyway. That was cute and funny at the same time.

Final thoughts? Totally worth it for me. I felt it was a gem among all of those dramas popping up nowadays. I’m not really a fan of war dramas, because mostly of not wanting to see all the tragedies and all. But I thought this was done well on many levels. I felt the team–whether on or off-screen–had put in their best and beyond for this production.

The Four 2013: Finally Airing

(Uploaded by: H&R Century Pictures Co., Ltd)

Okay, I was actually looking out for this one to air, along with some others that had filmed around that time yet hadn’t even aired at all. So, of course, I was watching trailers. I didn’t want to be all bitter about stuff, but what had bugged me right from the start was Jia Qing’s character, Ji Yao Hua. NOT saying that I don’t like her. I liked her since watching DGSD2013. What bugged me was how they’d changed the association of characters she was supposedly linked to. Her character was linked to Wu Qing, NOT Leng Xue. She was a powerful, scheming woman who had them all conned throughout, her age was older than them all, possibly even Zhui Meng, but I wasn’t too sure about that. Yet this one had her linked to Leng Xue and then made it into some side soap. Sure, she still looked crazy and powerful, but the events shifted so it got me annoyed. Yeah, I didn’t have any problems with the past adaptations regarding them, considering what I said during my previous post about this drama. But this was more like how I didn’t care because the other characters were created out of nowhere anyway, not having to do with any of the mysteries in the novel so far. What I cared about was how they had brought in a character from a book, such as Ji Yao Hua and did it wrong.

Trailers are often misleading, but I wouldn’t think this one would be that misleading regarding the character link. Maybe I’ll change my views after watching it, but unlikely. It’s just one of those things I will have to get over with though. But aside from that, effects. I think they must have changed some details making it into some fantasy or something, but the fighting effects are quite heavy. It was originally a crime-solving wuxia. So why all the messy effects? Again, still holding hope because someone wasn’t behind the production. But will have to wait and see.