Trailer Credit: FTVCP
The military drama that aired since last summer and garnered quite a respectable set of ratings, only losing out six weeks but still maintaining the second spot during those times, now returned again for a second season. It is now called Rookies’ Diary: Special Operations Heroes (aka 新兵日記之特戰英雄/Xin Bing Ri Ji Zhi Te Zhang Ying Xiong or Tân Binh Nhật Ký Chi Đặc Chiến Anh Hùng in Viet). As seen in the trailer, the challenge is now moved to the forest/woods where they will learn to survive in the real environment instead of the trials at the military base like the previous installment. It’s only natural to make that move because after so many days at the military base, they would need to move forth to another level and crank up the hype–or more like show us more with the real-world experience and how they will survive in those harsh conditions. A little more intense yet still seems to maintain some of its humorous elements.
With the new installment, one of the main concerns would be the cast and if it was changed and/or altered. It’s not out of line to ponder about this since some might be watching because of a certain cast. I won’t even lie either since that was why I was looking forward to the first part in the first place but later was pulled in by the informative plot and side humor that has been going on from the beginning. Not to mention the many friendships among different parties at the beginning and later everyone becoming like brothers, looking out for each other–for the most part. So what could be said about the upcoming installment? Or should I say this current installment since it has started airing right after the final episode of the first installment? Only one sentence could describe it: The platoon has been wiped out. OKAY, so I’m exaggerating with saying that but it is not too far from it at this point. Contrary to the lively poster from the first part with quite a number of the main cast lining up, the second part is more intense (as suitable for the theme) and shows only four members. Three from the first installment and one new addition.
Let’s start with the positives first. Who’s still in?
- Liu Xiang Ci (劉香慈) as Wang Sheng Nan (王勝男). Yes, she’s the female lead from the first part after all, right? Can’t cut her out or it would be very, very weird.
- Ah Pang ( 阿龐) as Yu Shan Ren (余善仁). The funniest person yet could be considerate at times trainer, right? How could he not be around? It would be too boring without him. I’m not kidding.
- Zhao Jun Ya (趙駿亞) as Wang Wei (王威). I would start crying if he didn’t make it. I’m so honest. Not because of being able to stare at him for another installment either. That’s just part of it. He’s just too fun to watch in the first one with his cold exterior with the other recruits at times but could be quite comedic with Ah Pang. It’s not about being able to see him in another drama at the same time either because I think the reason why I got pulled in and paid more attention to him during the first installment was because of seeing him as Wang Wei. If he was portraying some hotshot role in the other dramas, I wouldn’t care as much but would shrug it off as another typical ‘hero in shining armor’ like those typical idol dramas would like to let on. This role has made me like him as an actor more and is able to accept him in his other dramas.
- Debbie Huang (黃荻鈞) as Jin Bi Ying (金碧瑩). Of course we need another female role–and with a different personality too.
- Qian Jun Zhong (錢君仲) as Ye Da Tong (葉大同). It wouldn’t be as fun to not have him? Especially when we need someone for Shan Ren to yell at.
- Lin Dao Yuan ( 林道遠) as Lai Hu (賴虎). I’m a tad surprised he would make it into the special training. BUT I guess anything is possible. I meant he seems to have a lot of trouble during the training and all so it’s a bit of a shock but it’s all right. The more the merrier. Perhaps the last few episodes will explain it.
- Xia Zheng Feng (夏政峰) as Wu Yong (吳勇). PHEW! I don’t know how glad I am that someone else didn’t get kick out. I actually read the list before doing the post so I was glad he was safe. It wouldn’t be the same. He’s one of the funniest one but he messes up on purpose or something. There’s a combination of seriousness and comedy within him that’s kind of cute so having him around would be fun to watch.
- Ah Gan ( 阿竿) as Chen Tian Bin (陳添彬). NOT surprised that he made it since he’s tian bin (天兵) after all, right?
- Hao Zi (浩子) as Cai Hao Zhi (蔡浩志). He’s quite hardworking but could be quite funny too, especially with his teasing episodes at times so it’s cool.
- Ah Xiang ( 阿翔) as Qiu You Shun (邱有順). I’m a bit surprised he didn’t bail out already. But I guess a lot of things must have happened to lead to his decision in forging forward and taking up the challenge.
No signs of appearance yet or might not show at all?
- Li Xing Wen (李興文) as Ding Hao (丁浩). It made sense not to have him in this part since he has a lot of duties to oversee and can’t follow them around, etc.
- Yao Yuan Hao (姚元浩) as Sun An Bang (孫安邦) aka Mo Gui Pai Zhang (魔鬼排長). OMG! What in the world are we going to do without Mo Gui Pai Zhang? Can’t blame anyone really since no one knew there was going to be a sequel? OR do they? But I read somewhere that he’s busy so can’t do it? Not sure. But it’s honestly a heavy lost for me.
- Lin Ruo Ya (林若亞) as Qiu Jing Wen (邱靖雯). She left and went to care for her family so it made sense that she wasn’t coming back. BUT that was so teasing us with Jing Wen and An Bang.
- Fu Zi Chun (傅子純) as Yang Hai Sheng (楊海生). Honestly? No signs yet…I’m getting unnerved the more I try to find something to cling my hopes to. He’s part of the comedic picture here and one of the strong leads of the show.
- Tang Feng (唐豐) as Luo Gang (羅剛). YES, when I thought it couldn’t get any sadder than not having Fu Zi Chun, it gets worse. How could it be? The ending better make sense when I watch it. Does that mean Tang Feng has a new project then? (It better be OR I’m so protesting…can’t really…but yeah…)
- Chen De Lie (陳德烈) as Lin Bo Wen (林博文). I will miss him because of the variety in cast but I won’t be as sore if he’s not in. Not that I don’t like him but it would make more sense if he’s not in than some of the other cast. For now.
- Pan Bo Xi (潘柏希) as Shi Jun (石俊). Might make sense that he’s not in but might be weird also. ‘Cause he has been trying to prove to his father that he could do it throughout. We’ll see.
- Jacky Chu (祝釩剛) as Xu Jia Cheng (許家成). Honestly, it doesn’t make a difference for me if he’s in or out. YES, that coming from a Jacky fan. I meant he’s around at times and it’s fun to see him portraying a doctor role and having lines at times, contributing to this whole picture. However, he’s mad busy right now juggling between filming and promoting some of his other dramas so it’s okay. Not to mention it might be irrelevant to have him in the second one.
- The rest of the recruits. I know it’s a special unit so can’t have everyone. BUT that’s sad no Ah Hou and some of the others.
- All convenient stores people are out. YUP. It would make sense that they wouldn’t be in because of the place the others would be heading towards. YET there might be appearances from time to time–if they are given visiting hours? Or breaks? NOT sure.
The previous comments made are based upon my wild guesses because I’m behind like 15 eps or more so it might not make sense. The last few episodes might explain more stuff so I’ll do an update later when I’m actually done with part 1.
The new additions?
- Jiang Jun Han (江俊翰) as Chen Zhan Hong (陳展鴻). One of the leaders. No comment. I meant I never watched him before so can’t form an opinion. Hope to like him.
- George Hu (胡宇崴 ) as Zheng Qiang (鄭強). One of the leaders. He must have been training diligently to fit into the role because you can’t really fake these things as much as some other dramas. We’ll see what happens. But I’ll say up front that I’m not really in favor of him. NOT because I like to pick on a new cast member, BUT I can’t really picture him in these types of dramas. But then again, he could surprise me and end up convincing me in the end. Let’s hope so.
- Various members from different bands on the scene. I hope this is not turning into some pop scene and the whole soldier theme becomes a backdrop. I’m crossing my fingers to like this group also so hopefully it would stay true with some comedic elements but still focus on the training, etc. There could be bonding between the groups and subtle romance, but hope it doesn’t dominate the scenes and the main theme gets lost.
So what in the world is there to look forward to when most of the main people are already out?
- New theme. More informative narratives and demonstrations for us to learn and see the differences with the operations. It’s in the wild now so it would be more difficult.
- The whispering twins Shan Ren and Wang Wei. Honestly, they’re so entertaining that I never find it satisfying enough in the first part regardless of how much screen time they have in the first one. (I didn’t say they were robbed, just too addicting to watch, that’s all.) Great team together and always manage to cause laughter. But would be loyal to one another when needed to.
- Shan Ren and Sheng Nan. I know the romantic relationship could just be scratched out already SO it doesn’t have to be that way for me. But I like seeing them interacting since the first part so having them being friends or maybe somewhere in the middle would be fine.
- More F4 aka Funny Four. Couldn’t get enough of them doing crazy things together, right? Not to mention all the singing so it would be fun to witness it. They sure have this chemistry as a band within the military thus far so hope it would stick and maintain the consistency.
- Shan Ren yelling at F4. The other funny scenes to watch aside from Shan Ren and Wang Wei scenes or the F4 scenes, LOL!
- Last BUT never least…BTS! Honestly, I sometimes enjoy these more when situations are hectic for the first part. So it would always cheer one up watching these. And also see the cast interact with one another.
What does this mean for me? I won’t be doing individual episode summaries anymore but will focus on watching and do caps only. Sure, I might post an update once in a while regarding a part that I really like or feel like discussing while I’m watching. It has been kind of tiring doing caps, writing, and watching at the same time since last summer. So I’m taking a break this time around.
*All images were captured by DTLCT