Ji Gong 1995

It was really, really, really funny that I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time now. I meant for its comedy AND not because I was mocking it, like some other dramas I have been watching. On top of all the cases and other subplots that drove the events forward, the acting and comedy were actually top-notch. It was 1995 so Taiwanese ancient dramas still contained some corny aspects to the production process as in somewhat of the settings. However, the makeup and the locations chosen for the drama was quite good. I would say you have to really read between the lines and get the “zen” part of the story to actually enjoy it. Okay, it would seen like a typical comedy on the surface, but there are lots of underlying messages – even through some really silly parts.

Main Cast:

  • Zhou Ming Zeng (周明增) as Ji Gong (濟公) aka the Crazy Monk. He was just plain awesome. It was really hard to describe because I was so blown away by his acting in here. Everything was fake and I knew that coming into the series (like any other series) yet I was really surprised with how he convinced me he could be the Crazy Monk. And there were times where they have those ‘switch souls’ scenes YET he managed to convince with portraying Monk Guang Liang as well. It was just so seamless between various roles he portrayed in here. Because he did take on another role later on into the story, such as that of a scholar who got killed.
  • Mu Yu Hua (慕鈺華) as Bai Ling (白靈) and Ah Qiao (阿喬). OMG, I just plain love her in here. It was really hard to hate her, even at the beginning. Sure, she was on the opposing side and at times she wanted to compete with the Crazy Monk but Mo Yu Hua was so cute in her portrayal that was just plain funny. Then later it was revealed that she actually wasn’t just siding with her master but actually was quite righteous with helping others, it made her character even more awesome. Looking forward to her bickering scenes and sabotaging the Crazy Monk was kind of funny. She wouldn’t admit that he was good and she agreed with his principles at times yet that was what made her brilliant. She was sharp with words at times too and her empty threats were so funny. She formed an alliance with them later but didn’t outright admit it because of how her master was constantly sending people out to monitor her. She had to acted out various characters in here too – like some of the cast, such as her twin sister Ah Qiao. Each character she portrayed was really convincing.
  • Chen Wen Shan (陳文山) as Monk Guang Liang (廣亮). Another great actor and really good at the comedic scenes as well. He had to switch roles and played the Crazy Monk at one point and again, like ZMZ, he really convinced. Despite the fact that Monk Guang Liang wanted to cause trouble for the Crazy Monk at times but he really didn’t want the Crazy Monk to die (because then he would be really bored – as he said at various points). It was really funny how he was so into his looks and keeping it tip-top shape. It made him sounded like a crybaby but was really funny too, watching a grown man cry at various times. Not overdone at all.
  • Zheng Zhi Wei (鄭志偉) as Bi Qing (必清). I was really annoyed with him at times for providing Monk Guang Liang with plans to sabotage the Crazy Monk and how he was during some of the episodes. Yet I must admit he was really convincing as well.
  • Yu Shang (玉尚) as Chen Liang (陳亮). I liked this actor when I was watching some of the other corny TW ancient dramas back then. Was glad to see him play a major role in here. At least at one point of the story. However, I was really disappointed that he didn’t come back later on into the story. Yet he was also convincing with some other side roles he had to portray before and after the role Chen Liang.
  • () as Yang Ming (楊明). I can’t – for the life of me – find the cast name for the person who portrayed Yang Ming but he was REALLY good. I swore, during re-watches, I realized how many roles he had taken on throughout the course of the drama before portraying Yang Ming, he was really, really convincing in each and every one of them. Regardless of how he kept having guest starred in various scenes before having a major role, he played each one differently and really showed all sides of his abilities. He was able to portray the cunning, evil types versus the kind and nice AND also the bordering crazy ones as well.
  • Zhang Jin Kui (張晉魁) as Xiao Cheng Zhi (蕭承志) aka Wu Chan (悟禅). Another one I couldn’t find the cast name either. But he was really cute and funny in here. It wouldn’t be the same without him. And it proved right when they started to take some more of the cast out.

I was really surprised with such a solid cast. Honestly, I think this was one of those circumstances that IF it wasn’t for the cast, the series would go down. I meant there were A LOT of comedic moments but the cast was witty and charming enough to pull it off. COMEDY IS HARD, as many had acknowledged that already (whether expert opinions or not). So I really clap the main cast for having done a wonderful job with this drama. Even so, some of the minor casts (and recurring ones) were really convincing as well.

Other Cast:

  • Long Xiao Qiang (龍少強) as a judge. I was surprised to see him since it was really old and might not recognize him. Yet he played an important role to one of the cases, not just because he was a judge, but because of his background.
  • Li Luo portraying various roles in here (both good and bad). One of his roles was really fierce at first yet appeared to be a corrupted constable later. OMG, I was surprised to see him too since it was funny seeing him in the old days like that. He looks almost the same, but not as humorous, considering his role. Yet I guess he had those days when he could actually look that fierce. (I don’t know, it’s hard to imagine him fierce after “Liu Mang Xiao Zhang”, lol.) His acting was really convincing in those variety of roles throughout.

What became the downfall was how some of the later parts, I don’t know if it was another series yet got merged OR it was really a continuance, but they changed the person portraying the Crazy Monk as well. Zhou Ming Zeng went away and I was trying hard to not pick on the new guy since he was funny too, but that was somewhat lost for me. Yet it was fun while it lasted.

Modern terms/phrases/stories incorporated into the plot/scenes:

  • Trends – It was mentioned throughout the story how there were different ‘trends’ going on and different parties were updating one another with it.
  • Using “protection” – It was implied when Monk Guang Liang was telling Monk Bi Qing about his tragic past with his large family and how he had to go into the temple, etc and he was implying how his parents hadn’t known or used the methods to control their family growth.
  • Wong Fei Hung/Huang Fei Xiong – One time when the rat demon came to seek help from the Crazy Monk but bumped into Monk Guang Liang and Monk Bi Qing; and Monk Guang Liang had tried to stay strong by jumping into a pose to defend himself, causing the rat demon to blurt out “Huang Fei Xiong”.
  • Vacation, Tours, guides, etc – When they were trying to search this one powerful monk’s room to look for evidence or other information, Monk Guang Liang told Monk Bi Qing not to mess around or linger since they weren’t on a tour and Monk Bi Qing was saying how he never had a chance to go on a vacation so he was just excited; the term “vacation” was later brought up again at various parts of the story.
  • 5 Star Room – Referring to five star hotels, but this is regarding to the quality of a room. It was mentioned by Monk Bi Qing when they were trapped in one of those cells again AND how he was saying it was Monk Guang Liang’s fault for abandoning the 5 stars room by roaming around and getting caught so they had to be in some none star room (aka the cell).
  • Do-Re-Mi-Fa-So – SO funny, they were singing it out  at one point, lol.
  • “Please see the next episode” – This was said by Monk Bi Qing when the Crazy Monk was trying to explain something to the others, saying, “If you really want to know what happen”, then Monk Bi Qing jumped in saying the phrase.
  • Tango – Monk Guang Liang was messing around at one point and the melody of the dance style came on.
  • Bowling – Also used during the ‘Tango’ dance scene but Monk Guang Liang was tossing a rock versus a ball to knock over some rocks the Crazy Monk was setting up.
  • Nuthouse/mental institution
    • First mentioned when an older servant was asking if this one old women had recently fled from the mental hospital.
    • Brought up by Monk Guang Liang again when he was describing all the craziness happening around them and if he wasn’t strong, he would’ve landed in the mental hospital already.
  • Speaking different languages – When they were in the Hell realm, the other guy was asking the Crazy Monk what language Judge Zhong was speaking and the Crazy Monk had replied “Mandarin” and even went on to say that he, himself, was fluent with both Mandarin and Taiwanese; later Judge Zhong had spoken Taiwanese (to much of the Crazy Monk’s surprise) as they parted ways for the last time.
  • Automatic Doors – This was mentioned by the Crazy Monk when they were traveling through the Hell realm.
  • Military Style March – This was the part where the Crazy Monk made the ghosts in the Hell realm line up and follow his commands, etc. Okay, they have military back then, but the marches were so modernized that it was funny.
  • Singing and Dancing – The Crazy Monk loves to sing this one song and do his own dance to drive others crazy, Mrs. Rat Demon also loved to sing and used her tail as a microphone from time to time.
  • Rapping and Dancing – Used for the later parts of the story when they were trying to recount events of the story without actually saying it over and over again.
  • Tai Chi – When Monk Guang Liang and Monk Bi Qing were trying to convince the Crazy Monk to teach them magic so they could protect themselves and the Crazy Monk kept doing some weird movements instead of teaching real techniques and Monk Guang Liang commented how it looked like Tai Chi and Monk Bi Qing was saying how it was Shaolin’s technique yet Monk Guang Liang corrected him saying Tai Chi was from Wu Dang. (Wu Dang and Tai Chi didn’t exist YET, lol.)
  • Stories/Songs:
    • Jingle Bells (used at this one scene in the story with the two souls being trapped in the bell); they sang the song again when they were on the snowy mountain searching for Yang Ming’s cousin.
    • The Boy Who Cried Wolf – Mentioned by the Crazy Monk as a comparison to teach Monk Guang Liang a lesson, but Monk Guang Liang had misunderstood and was wondering if the Crazy Monk meant Bai Ling’s senior, Hei Fong – who was a wolf.
    • Snow White – In comparison of how Monk Guang Liang was lured into doing this one task and got beaten by the patient.
    • Beauty and the Beast – OMG, so didn’t see it coming but it was the part where the ghost from the portrait saved them and Monk Bi Qing recognized her so they had a little mushy reunion AND Monk Guang Liang had to flash out the sign to introduce the story, LOL! Since he already mentioned “Snow White” earlier, I guess he would know other fairy tales too, lol.
    • Pinocchio – The Crazy Monk kept mentioning how kids shouldn’t lie or their noses would grow long, etc throughout the series, implying the Pinocchio story.
    • Twinkle Twinkle Little Star – When Guang Liang Monk was shaving his head and Monk Bi Qing announced his new face to others, so he came strolling out singing the song. (LOL!)
  • English Terms: Hi, Bye, Oh yeah, Bomb, Okay, etc.
  • “Season 1, Episode 1” – Monk Guang Liang was yelling at the Crazy Monk for using his (the Crazy Monk’s) feet to massage for him (Monk Guang Liang) and even stated that he wasn’t hygienic with his bad habits of not washing his feet often, etc; the Crazy Monk interrupted and pointed out that Monk Guang Liang hadn’t even washed his feet since “Season 1, Episode 1” (which was sort of true since there was no scene of Monk Guang Liang washing his feet up to that point versus the viewers getting to see the Crazy Monk washing his feet at various points of the series already).
  • Taking medications for mental problems – When the rat demon and Bai Ling were standing guard for the Crazy Monk, their masters had possessed Bai Ling and she eventually attacked the Crazy Monk yet the rat demon tried to stop her, asking her what was wrong with her and even asking if she’d forgotten to take her medications for the day (implying she was taking medications for mental problems).
  • Heart Monitor Device – Monk Guang Liang was telling Monk Bi Qing that he was using man-made technique when Monk Bi Qing was pondering what he was doing.
  • “Hogging the camera” – Monk Guang Liang yelled at Monk Bi Qing at one time for blocking the screen and preventing the camera from capturing his face.
  • Camera – The actual word of “camera” was used by the Crazy Monk after he was done setting up the scene for a certain story to unfold as he sat back to enjoy the show.
  • Different occupations – The part where Monk Bi Qing was saying how Monk Guang Liang should set up a booth for fortune-telling or psychic abilities since it was the trends; then he extended to telling the Crazy Monk that the Crazy Monk should be a detective because of his deduction capabilities and sharp analytical skills.
  • Horse racing, the racing track – It was mentioned when both the Crazy Monk and Monk Guang Liang were trying to tell Monk Bi Qing that he was so good at kissing up to them.
  • Screws Loose – At one point, the Crazy Monk was asking Bai Ling if she’d any screws loose since she was being unreasonable again (to him), nails were already invented by then but did screws exist yet? At least around that part of the world.
  • The “L” or “V” pose – Monk Guang Liang was trying to pose as the cat demon was asking her son whom Monk Guang Liang resembled.
  • Objection Overruled – Monk Guang Liang blurted out a similar phrase when Mrs. Rat Demon didn’t want her husband to pose as him (Monk Guang Liang) since she didn’t want her husband near the cat demon.
  • “X out” gesture – Often seen on game shows, but Monk Bi Qing used the gesture to indicate that their answer was wrong at one point or another.
  • High Fives/ Hand Signals – They have their own version but it was indeed a modern gesture.
  • Superheroes concept, comics/ novels – It was mentioned when the Crazy Monk and Monk Bi Qing had to get into different costumes to go into the cat demon’s cave to save Monk Guang Liang.
  • Handshakes – To seal the deal or reaching a mutual understanding, etc.
  • Behind the scene crew – Monk Guang Liang and Monk Bi Qing needed to escape from the cat demon’s cave and Mong Guang Liang was saying how there were a bunch of people who were free so they could help with finding a way out (it was implied that he was talking about the ‘behind the scenes crew’).
  • Bomb – Monk Bi Qing mentioned it at the temple.
  • Shuttle Shape – of the red flag, letter.
  • “Say No” mantra and hand signal – Monk Guang Liang and Monk Bi Qing had to turn the Crazy Monk down when he recruited them to help him with catching the vampire.
  • Romance Novels – Monk Guang Liang mentioned it when he was witnessing Monk Bi Qing saying goodbye to his childhood sweetheart.
  • Protecting environment and animals – It was mentioned when the toad demon told Bai Ling and the Crazy Monk about how her home was destroyed and she was killed, etc.
  • Inflation and money value dropping – This was mentioned by Monk Guang Liang when he was sighing in the morning when Monk Bi Qing and eventually the Crazy Monk caught him.
  • Daycare Center and library – This was mentioned by the Crazy Monk when one of rich madams expressed that she wanted her son to stay there to study AND was pushed away by Monk Guang Liang since he wanted to lure in more rich people to keep their place running.
  • TV – I could have swore I heard Monk Bi Qing said “TV” when he was saying how Monk Guang Liang didn’t know about the spread of diseases (referring to the whole “possessed” situation), because he didn’t watch enough TV, etc.
  • “Thank You, Mommy” – The part where Monk Guang Liang’s 3 souls got taken from Bai Ling’s shi mei hence acting like a kid and called Monk Bi Qing “Mommy”, causing the Crazy Monk to react quite strongly.
  • Keeping the Figure – Monk Guang Liang was wondering why the Crazy Monk was so into doing heavy labor since the Crazy Monk don’t usually do those stuffs. Yet the Crazy Monk replied that he was trying to keep in shape/maintaining a beautiful figure hence needing to do more exercise.
  • Losing Weight Program – The Crazy Monk told Monk Guang Liang to exercise more doing heavy labor tasks since the fees for those slimming programs are getting higher of recent.
  • “Give Me Five” – Monk Guang Liang had blurted it out when Monk Bi Qing said they were a good team, so in sync with one another, etc.
  • Tennis – It was the part where Bai Ling and the rat demon’s junior wanted to threaten the Crazy Monk with the powerful sphere and he told her he didn’t bring his racket today so he couldn’t play with her, lol.
  • Baseball – The Crazy Monk wanted to use his hat as a mitt to catch the powerful sphere.
  • “Innocent until proven guilty” – Mentioned by Monk Bi Qing when Monk Guang Liang thought they had died and landed in the 10th level of Hell without a proper trial.
  • “How Do You Do?” They encountered a bunch of hunters on this snowy mountain and ended up puzzled because they didn’t speak their language, etc.
  • Sauna – Monk Guang Liang was saying how the luke-worm demon was so nice, letting them bath in sauna. YET he was using it in sarcasm because they were trapped in big bundles of silk.
  • Roast Peking Ducks – It was the part where the rat demon was attempting to save them out of the silk bundles and he didn’t succeed so they were making comments about him trying to fry/roast them and Yang Ming had mentioned ‘roast Peking ducks’.
  • Shoe sizes – Monk Bi Qing was complaining how Monk Guang Liang never exercise so he was slow, etc when they were on their way to this one wealthy guy’s resident. YET Monk Guang Liang turned around and scolded Monk Bi Qing for not noticing his shoe size.
  • Criticizing the govt. for doing roadwork so carelessly.
  • IQ – Monk Guang Liang was saying Monk Bi Qing had lower IQ. (In a previous episode, Monk Bi Qing also used the term IQ to describe Monk Guang Liang when some of his souls were taken away hence restoring his IQ to an equivalent of a 3 years old kid.)
  • Copied/fake items – the Crazy Monk said it at the part where he conned Lu Ji with handing over the hay stacks instead of the actual demon trap she wanted.
  • “The early bird catches the worm.” The Crazy Monk tried to wake Monk Guang Liang up by saying, “Don’t you know that the early bird catches the worm?” and Monk Guang Liang replied with “Then did you hear about the worm whom woke up early and got eaten by the bird?” (LOL)
  • Football – This was the time Monk Guang Liang and Monk Bi Qing was tossing the Crazy Monk’s special bottle back and forth like a football because Lu Ji was inside the bottle.

What have me complaining is it’s too sad that I couldn’t watch this completely since I only managed to find like some of the stories. I would love to find it one day in its complete collection. But probably a very slim chance. I saw some scenes in the original dialect and it wasn’t in the stories that I watched thus far so I had missed some.

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Golden Bell Awards 2012: Winners

Some of you might have watched it.
The following will be listed in the order it was announced and the winner would be in bold (and only dramas were listed because I got lazy with translations like last time with the nominations list):
Best Film Editing – Presenters: Janel Tsai and James Wen:
Chen Yu Jie (陳鈺傑) and Wang Xi Jie (王希捷) – Thief (小偷)
Chen Xiao Dong (陳曉東), Zheng Zhi Liang (鄭志良), and Jiang Yi Ting (江依庭) – Dear Mother Earth (跟著賴和去壯遊) (Hakka TV)
Zhang Fei Qi (張斐棋) – In Time With You (我可能不會愛你)
Liao Qing Song (廖慶松) and Liu Yue Xing (劉悅行) – Record Standpoint – 303 (紀錄觀點—《303》)
Gu Xiao Yun (顧曉芸) – To Get Married Or Not (結婚不結婚) (PTS)
Best Cinematography – Presenters: Janel Tsai and James Wen:
Li Wei Jie (李偉傑) – Treasured Taiwan Series:  99 Feng Ying (寶貝台灣系列:九九蜂鹰) (PTS)
Shen Rui Yuan (沈瑞源) – Luo Pan (落番) (PTS)
Lin Jun Yang (林君陽) – To Get Married Or Not (結婚不結婚) (PTS)
Liang Jie De (梁皆得) – Emerald (翡翠) (PTS)
Chen Yu Jie (陳鈺傑) – Thief (小偷)
Best Supporting Actress – Mini-series/ Tele-movies – Presenters: Janel Tsai and James Wen:
Xu Ya Qi (許亞琦) – Jiao Cuo (交錯)
Gail Lin (林嘉俐) – Sui Yue De Ji Shi (歲月的籤詩)
Chamder Tsai (蔡燦得) – Ting Jian Xin De Sheng Yin (聽見心的聲音) (DaAi TV)
Lai Xiao Yi (賴曉誼) – Ba Ba Jia You (爸爸加油) (DaAi TV)
Lu Yi Ching (陸弈靜) – Princess and Prince (公主與王子)
Best Sound Editing – Presenters: Novia Lin (林若亞) and Xu Jun Hui (許俊輝):
Wang Gong Cheng (王公誠), Liang Qi Hui (梁啟慧), Chen Yue En (陳悅恩), and Zhu Jia Yi (朱家宜 ) – Dear Mother Earth (跟著賴和去壯遊) (Hakka TV)
Shi Min Jie (史旻玠), Ye (葉約瑟), Ye Yue Se (葉約瑟) and Zhou Zhen (周震) – The Moonlight in Jilin (吉林的月光)
Xu Zhong Ya (徐中亞) – Record Standpoint – City Border Revelations (紀錄觀點 – 邊城啟示錄)
Tang Jun Jie (湯鈞傑), Jiang Zhen Dao (蔣震道), Wang Yu Jun (王榆鈞), and Chen Wei Jun (陳惟君) – To Get Married Or Not (結婚不結婚) (PTS)
Luo Xiang Ling (羅湘淩) – The Happy Life of Debbie (黛比的幸福生活)
Best Art and Design – Presenters: Novia Lin (林若亞) and Xu Jun Hui (許俊輝):
Wu Ruo Yun (吳若昀) – To Get Married Or Not (結婚不結婚) (PTS)
Yang Zheng Yi (楊證譯), Zhuang Min Sheng (莊閔盛), and Zhao Zheng An (趙正安) – Fruit Ice Cream (水果冰淇淋) (PTS)
Jian Chun Yu (簡春玉) – I Love You So Much (粉愛粉愛你) (CTV)
Luo Wen Guang (羅文光) and You Li Guang (游麗光) – Ai De Wei Guang (愛的微光) (DaAi TV)
Su Yao Tang (蘇耀堂) – Wei Xiao Mian Dui (微笑面對) (DaAi TV)
Best Director – Mini-series/ Tele-movies – Presenters: Annie Chen and Peng Yi Yi (澎怡怡):
Zhu Jia Lin (朱家麟) – Princess and Prince (公主與王子)
Zhou Xu Wei (周旭薇) – The Golden Child (金孫)
Shi Li (施立) – No Way Home (離家的女人)
Lian Yi Qi (連奕琦) – Forgotten (遺忘)
Chen Yu Jie (陳鈺杰) – Thief (小偷)
Best Screenwriter/ Script – Tele-movies – Presenters: Alice Ceng and Cai Kang Yong (蔡康永):
Wang Xi Jie (王希捷) – Thief (小偷)
Fan Yun Jie (范云杰) – Sui Yue De Ji Shi (歲月的籤詩)
Cao Shi Han ( 曹仕翰) – Wo De Gou Nan You (我的狗男友) (PTS)
Cai Yi Fen (蔡怡芬) and Zhu Jia Lin (朱家麟) – Princess and Prince (公主與王子)
Liu Xue Rong (劉雪容), Li Gang (李崗), Zhou Xu Wei (周旭薇), and Hong Wen Jie (洪文潔) – The Golden Child (金孫)
Best Supporting Actor – Mini-series/ Tele-movies – Presenters: Alice Ceng and Cai Kang Yong (蔡康永):
Lu Fu Lu (呂福祿) – Cheng Shi Feng Li De Guang (城市風裡的光) (PTS)
Ma Guo Xian (馬國賢) – To Get Married Or Not (結婚不結婚) (PTS)
Xia Jing Ting (夏靖庭) – Sui Yue De Ji Shi (歲月的籤詩)
Gao Meng Jie (高盟傑) – Rou Fan (肉販) (PTS)
Xi Xiang (喜翔) – Lao Jie Kuang Xiang Qu (老街狂想曲) (PTS)
Best Lighting – Presenters: Yao Yuan Hao and Ruby Lin:
Li Long Yu ( 李龍禹) – To Get Married Or Not (結婚不結婚) (PTS)
Xu Shi Ming (許世明) – The Happy Life of Debbie (黛比的幸福生活)
Chen Zhi Xuan (陳志軒) – Shen Xian Gu Shi Jian (神仙谷事件) (Hakka TV)
Mei Shu Hao (梅書豪) – Forgotten (遺忘)
Lai Tian Jian (賴天健) – No Way Home (離家的女人)
Best Mini-series/ Tele-movies – Presenters: Yao Yuan Hao and Ruby Lin:
PTS’ Life Story Collection – Princess and Prince (公主與王子)
PTS’ Student Life Story Collection – Thief (小偷)
PTS’ Student Life Story Collection – No Way Home (離家的女人)
Sui Yue De Ji Shi (歲月的籤詩)
The Happy Life of Debbie (黛比的幸福生活)
Best Leading Actor – Mini-series/ Tele-movies – Presenters: Yao Yuan Hao and Ruby Lin:
Christoper Lee (李銘順) – Forgotten (遺忘)
Chen Zhu Sheng (陳竹昇) – My Little Honey Moon (野蓮香)
Tuo Zong Hua (庹宗華) – Ba Ba Jia You (爸爸加油) (DaAi TV)
Huang He (黃河) – Princess and Prince (公主與王子)
Huang Wei De (黃維德) – Fly! Pigeon (飛吧!鴿子)
Best Leading Actress – Min-series/ Tele-movies – Presenters: June (六月) and (?):
Lu Xue Feng (呂雪鳳) – The Golden Child (金孫)
Jade Chou (周幼婷) – The Happy Life of Debbie (黛比的幸福生活)
Helen Thanh Đào (海倫清桃) aka Nguyễn Thanh Đào (阮菁桃) – My Little Honey Moon (野蓮香)
Gao Hui Jun (高慧君) – No Way Home (離家的女人)
Esther Liu (劉品言) – The Golden Child (金孫)
Best Marketing Program – Presenters: Li Luo (李羅) and Amanda Chu (朱芯儀):
Office Girls (小資女孩向前衝) (SETTV)
In Between (半熟戀人) (TTV)
In Time With You (我可能不會愛你) (GTV)
Remember, About Us (記得‧我們有約) (CTI)
Inborn Pair (真愛找麻煩) (SETTV)
Best Supporting Actor – Drama – Presenters: Li Luo (李羅) and Amanda Chu (朱芯儀):
Wang Jing Guan (王鏡冠) – Wayback Into Love (愛。回來)
Chen Bo Zheng (陳博正) –  Accompany With You (陪你看天星) (DaAi TV)
Jia Xiao Guo (賈孝國) – Innocence (阿戇妹)
Deng Zhi Hong (鄧志鴻) – Man * Boy (小孩‧大人)
Cai Zhen Nan (蔡振南) – Garden of Life (生命花園)
Best Screenwriter/ Script – Drama – Presenters: Chen Bo Lin and Ariel Lin:
Lin Zhi Ru (林志儒), Yang Jing Xiang (楊景翔), Chen Nan Hong (陳南宏), and Zhang Qi En (張綺恩) – Innocence (阿戇妹)
Xu Yu Ting (徐譽庭) – In Time With You (我可能不會愛你)
Huang Zhi Xiang (黃志翔) – Man * Boy (小孩‧大人)
Zhang Xiu Ling (張秀玲) – Garden of Life (生命花園)
Jian Qi Feng (簡奇峰) and Lin Xin Hui (林欣慧) – Ex-boyfriend (前男友)
Best Supporting Actress – Drama – Presenters: Chen Bo Lin and Ariel Lin:
Ge Wei Ru (戈偉如) – Ti Amo Chocolate (愛上巧克力) (SETTV)
Lin Mei Xiu (林美秀) – In Time With You (我可能不會愛你)
Hong Xiao Ling (洪小鈴) – Inborn Pair (真愛找麻煩) (SETTV)
Yang Li Yin (楊麗音) – Accompany With You (陪你看天星) (DaAi TV)
Yan Yi Wen (嚴藝文) – Wayback Into Love (愛。回來)
Best Director – Drama – Presenters: Tian Xin and Wilber Pan:
Wang Chuan Zong (王傳宗) – Jump! Cheer Leader (飆!企鵝里德) (Hakka TV)
Wu Mi Sen (吳米森) – Garden of Life (生命花園)
Lin Zhi Ru (林志儒) – Innocence (阿戇妹)
Huang Zhi Xiang (黃志翔) – Man * Boy (小孩‧大人)
Winnie Qu (瞿友寧) – In Time With You (我可能不會愛你)
Best Leading Actress – Drama – Presenters: Tian Xin and Wilber Pan:
June/ Liu Yue (六月) – Wayback Into Love (愛。回來)
Gina Li (李千娜) – Ex-boyfriend (前男友)
Lee Kang Yi (李康宜) – Man * Boy (小孩‧大人)
Ariel Lin (林依晨) – In Time With You (我可能不會愛你)
Huang Cai Yi (黃采儀) – Innocence (阿戇妹)
Best Leading Actor – Drama – Presenter: Nicky Wu:
Chen Bo Lin (陳柏霖) – In Time With You (我可能不會愛你)
Huang Pin Yuan (黃品源) – Rainy Night Flower (雨夜花)
Huang Jian Wei (黃健瑋) – Innocence (阿戇妹)
Tony Yang (楊祐寧) – Ex-boyfriend (前男友)
Long Shao Hua (龍劭華) – Wayback Into Love (愛。回來)
Best Dramas – Presenter: Nicky Wu:
Man * Boy (小孩‧大人) (PTS)
Garden of Life (生命花園) (DaAi TV)
In Time With You (我可能不會愛你) (GTV)
Innocence (阿戇妹) (Hakka TV)
Wayback Into Love (愛。回來) (SETTV)
Thoughts? All I can say is this is a year for popular dramas instead of the under-rated ones, except for some instances. And that the judges are definitely playing safe this year. BUT nevertheless, I promise NOT to be a sore loser so congratulations to all the winners!
*Drama titles and such were translated and verified by DTLCT.

Fondant Garden

(image credit: captured by DTLCT)

The drama lost its magic around episode 15. NO, I’m not complaining about the length because it was not that draggy throughout. The reason why it lost points with me–from a 4/5 to a 3/5 was because of the overly used and over-killed memory loss formula. At first, I was like: “What? Memory loss?” YES, I’m so sick of that since it has been used so much in dramas that it gets annoying. However, when I found out he was just pretending after the initial shock, I thought it was funny and cute in a sense that he wanted to stick around. When they finally found out they’ve been deceived, hell would break loose and there would be some time to patch up things, like gaining others’ trust again. YET I found it fun to see what else would unfold when he was pretending to lose his memory and stay at the shop. However, episode 15 undo all the efforts of the carefully crafted details of the previous 14 episodes. I thought he would pretend that he forgot again (just for kicks) and then embrace her! Then she would end up hitting him for trying to pull that one again. But it wasn’t so. He really lost his memory at that time. Though more like selective memory loss because he could remember everything fine, i.e. his family, his brother, and business stuff. It was Mi En and others related to the shop that he had forgotten. That didn’t help my nerves since I didn’t see the need to drag the story out by including that–the real memory loss. Was that an attempt to teach others not to pretend or it could happen? Like torturing Han Ji even more? I felt the scriptwriters were torturing the viewers more. What a waste. It could account for one of the best series of this year. Even if it had some typical formula, but it was quite cute and sweet in its own right. Not to mention the excellent acting from the majority of the cast that had made this into a charming drama thus far. Though I do like their interactions after the “actual memory loss” and how we get to see a more comedic side of Kingone’s character, Yan Han Xiang, I rather they approached it differently regarding Han Ji and Mi En’s storyline. They were killing me with the flashbacks near the end since it was practically every scene of Han Ji and Mi En all over again, counting all the other flashbacks throughout already. I admit that I liked the song “Bad Person” (壞人) by Park Jung Min himself and thought it was quite memorable throughout, especially how it painted a vivid image of Mi En’s relationships with both guys. Yet the ending conflict could be altered a bit.

Regarding who Mi En ended up with, I knew the typical formula was Han Ji and Mi En yet like any other drama, she liked Han Xiang first. I was like so reluctant to let go of the whole Han Xiang and Mi En relationship at first since it was so funny and cute how their story began. But, of course, I became more accepting of the outcome later as the story between Han Ji and Mi En unfolded. Especially how they helped each other conquered their worst demons, etc. It made it more addicting to watch them and let go of Han Xiang. (Though it didn’t mean I didn’t like Han Xiang anymore, just felt it was more accepting with the how the plot moved forward.)

Oh yeah, I read some comments regarding how Kingone seemed older than the rest of them so he didn’t fit in. He did fit in! NOT saying that because he’s one of my favorites. But more like the storyline had it that his character was at an older age than the other three characters, considering how Han Xiang was Mi En and Ai Lin’s senior from their university. He graduated years back already so it made sense. And since we’re on the subject, I felt Kingone again pulled through with his performance. I so felt for his character though he was going down that kind of road with the typical wanting to claim back what was his, etc from the beginning. AND once again, NOT because he’s Kingone that I’m siding with his character, but more like I totally understand what Han Xiang was going through. Honestly, it was a miracle he didn’t kill all of them already. Putting his mother’s actions on his own or pointing fingers at him? What was even more tragic was how his father would use the obedient side of Han Xiang to his full advantage, like saying that he was doing great or “you let me down” during the mix-up at the beginning. Come on now, all he wanted was some acknowledgment from his father and that was how he was being thrown around? So I was glad that it took the fact that he finally had his own family (aka Ai Lin’s parents appreciating him) and was no longer jealous of Han Ji for the father and grandma to take some actions. I meant like how they shouldn’t be let off by thinking Han Xiang should apologize, etc but more like they felt strange having Han Xiang acknowledging the other family and not them. Of course, it was Han Ji’s own persistence and kindness that had made Han Xiang realized he still had family and to turn around again. Yet others shouldn’t take him so lightly like that.

All the while I was collecting my thoughts for this review, I wonder what in the world happened to Johnny Lu’s character, Tan Rui. Okay, I got it that he was framed and wanted to get revenge so he made that one move that totally severed his ties with them. But come on now, if it wasn’t for Han Xiang, would he have made that move? That was why I felt it would have been better if they focused on patching things with his character instead of the repetitive “memory loss” thing to make everything with Han Ji and Mi En dramatic again. Since they forgave Han Xiang for all his past doings, I think it would be fit to seek out Tan Rui as well. I meant after all Ai Lin’s father, Chen Xiang Fu, did acknowledge of Tan Rui’s hardworking attitude and felt that he was a good match for Ai Lin since the beginning. It wasn’t too far off to bring Tan Rui into the picture again. Then add in more sweet scenes of Han Ji and Mi En, not keep dragging out the other stuff more. YES, I did enjoy watching those two since I found them cute but they should move forward and NOT back like episode 15 had turned out.

Aside from Kingone’s performance, I must say the main lead Jian Man Shu was quite impressive also. She made the character Zheng Mi En convincing and lovable, not having a feeling that she was just trying to act cute to wing it through. I usually don’t like this overly used formula with the main girl soooo innocent and all sooo forgiving (YES, too much in the past), but I want to make an exception this time because of her performance. And she wasn’t too innocent or too forgiving either since she had her moments as well so it was much more realistic.

Almost forgot, regarding this drama, Eli Shih dubbed for Park Jung Min with the Mandarin. Usually, people rant up and down about that (NOT me) and I do get it at times if you know the actors/actresses’ own voice and it’s off. But I thought they did a good job this time around since it wasn’t too off. Talking about Park Jung Min, I was turned off at first (NOT because of him, so don’t jump in with the bashing yet) because of the thick makeup used for his character. I got used to it later and looked past that to focus on his character. He was a typical spoiled rich guy all right. Yet what I found lovable was his kiddish nature and how Mi En had to take care of him most of the time. It was really cute and somehow funny that they kept fighting like two little kids. And I guess what made me like Mi En even more was how she wasn’t too clueless about stuff and was all right with sharing a bed with Han Ji when they were stuck at Hualien that one time. (I’m NOT implying I want to see bed scenes since if you watched the drama, it wasn’t anything.) I’m just saying that she wasn’t too stingy about it with other main leads getting all paranoid. Okay, so she did try to kick him off but actually negotiated for each person taking half of the bed in the end when he didn’t back down. She knew to take care of herself and wasn’t too paranoid or clueless about things. SURE, she did get shy when they got too close from time to time but wasn’t going crazy with wanting to kill him with all the exaggerated behaviors like in other dramas.

Recommended? It was only 16 episodes and if you don’t mind that little ‘memory loss’ glitch around episode 15, then go for it. I actually quite loved it but got irked near the end, that was all.

Liu Mang Xiao Zhang’s Ending

I would’ve left some cushions for my post if it was some other drama. But I just finished this and can’t believe for the first time it wasn’t cliche. OKAY, there were some parts that were cliche. But I thought what made me really like this drama, in the end, was its twist. Like I mentioned in the previous post regarding Wen Xiong, I hoped for a different ending. It was not just because I’m a Jacky fan, but when I analyzed it and it had become so typical with Wen Xiong turning bad, I was disappointed. I meant like there goes another drama wanting to crank up its hype by needing a dramatic ending with some battle between good vs. evil. And in a sense, it was more subtle than was thought. The impact was large, but it was not overdone like how other dramas would’ve approached it.

Those who watched know by now that the scene with Wen Xiong advancing on Qing Mei and how Jiang Hu Piao had kicked Wen Xiong out was just a plan cooked up by none other than Jiang himself. YES, that was cruel and unnecessary in a sense but that allowed us to re-analyze everything about the plot. Or maybe I was the only idiot who found too much time to go study every single thing out there to connect with Wen Xiong’s actions.

So should I hang my hat since I let my imagination jumped ahead after episode 11? NO! Are you kidding me? I was expecting a twist so of course, I’m prepared to defend it as a turnaround. It would make me sound contradictory but in a way, the previous analysis made me think more about the depth of Wen Xiong’s character and how the plot had concealed some part of his personalities on purpose to mislead us. They needed that to make us think before showing us the ending.

I was waiting for the ending to continue this discussion anyway. So I actually drew up several factors. (I know, I must have no life to even sit around and think about it.) What was kind of suspicious that made me have some hope about Wen Xiong?

  • Didn’t make sense. The Gao brothers were brought up by Jiang Hu Piao since their parents died when they were really young. Although they both experienced hardships, but Jiang did give them a lot of opportunities and also allowed for Wen Xiong to study to the point that he earned a law degree. One could argue that it would be a good investment for Jiang to have an educated assistant yet the Gao brothers were given everything that Qing Mei had since they grew up. (This was mentioned by Wu Xiong in episode 1–with the scene by the pool.) Unless he was really a greedy dude who didn’t even treat them like family, he had no reason to do such. And maybe Qing Mei had such an effect on him like I said in the other post, behaving in such a way was too stupid–even if he was drunk.

  • Jiang Hu Piao sure got there fast during the assault scene in episode 11. I’m so serious here. I was more than glad to see that it was just barely visible and we got the gist of it, nothing too traumatizing yet had a great impact. BUT I was so puzzled since it happened that: Why was Jiang so fast to jump in and rescue his daughter in time? I meant that house was BIG. Anyone saw it yet? It was shown from various angles from time to time AND it was a huge mansion or villa. Whatever you want to call it. But come on now, she could be the loudest girl but her voice could get drowned out in that house, considering how Jiang might be on the other side of the house. It would also take a while to get there. I tried to say that he was probably around the living room or possibly near that so she was lucky, but it had always puzzled me in the past week about the scene. (OR like I just said, the director wanted to spare us from a ‘too dramatic’ scene.) It would make sense that he was outside the door and jumped in at the right moment to stop everything and then tossed Wen Xiong out after some outburst. Convincing one indeed. And why did Jiang Hu Piao have to pick this method instead of some other excuse to kick Wen Xiong out? It was the most convincing one no matter how you thought of it. It was so fierce and so horrifying and unbelievable in a sense that was why it ended up being true–or so they wanted to be. Besides, having subtle hints of Wen Xiong not agreeing with Jiang Hu Piao at times and that could have led to his breaking point was another one to trick us, and possibly to show how comfortably they could disagree but it just meant they were just covering every single possibility with those business decisions. Besides, with this scheme between Jiang and Wen Xiong, it showed Jiang’s cunning side. After all, we saw too much of his comedic side overlapping more than his gangster side, right?

  • Wen Xiong’s walk in the night. This was after he got kicked out. He wandered around and sat on a bench to think things over before approaching Bai Long the next day. He looked like he was mulling things over or regretting his actions, etc. At first, I thought it was the way it was directed to mislead us for a bit until we were shown the scene of the next day or how it was with Jacky’s acting. BUT it now made sense. He was just thinking the next step and how he would approach Bai Long to make the whole plan more convincing.

So what about Wen Xiong and Qing Mei? Honestly, I knew for sure and I thought other viewers would know as well that he liked Qing Mei. But he must have seen how hopeless it was after seeing how Qing Mei and Tuo Hai already reunited, it was like too low of a chance for him and Qing Mei. He was smart after all, so would he rather choose to stay by their side and be part of their family than make things even more complicated? And yes, he had chosen to stay by their side.

So I don’t know if I was thinking too much at first, my bias, or even disappointment that had led me to try and come up with possible outcomes. But I was glad to see a different ending than the typical as I stated many times before.

What about the rest of the characters? I thought it was well done in a way. I meant there were dramatic moments with the confrontation between Tuo Hai and Qing Mei. But it wasn’t too dramatic. I wondered how in the world could they wrap it up but was glad it wasn’t too cheesy. They did not have to show us everything with their reunion. The ending scene was already enough to tell us that Tuo Hai had returned. Many might have felt a bit of a rush but I thought it was good enough. Not everything had to be answered or showed too much. We got it. Not every single person had to show up for the ending. Not too gift-wrapped. I liked it that way. It was how life was at times. Not everything had to be all wrapped up.

What really surprised me was the chemistry between Xiao Gui and Qiao Qiao. I meant not that I was against it or anything. But I never thought about it–as most people. Since they never worked together before? (Not that I could remember so if I got it wrong, please correct me.) They were really fun and addicting to watch at times as Tuo Hai and Qing Mei. What I liked about their story was it began kind of typical with him being the knight in shining armor saving her and then the predicted schemes that she would come up with to get to know him, become closer to him, etc. BUT it did not stop there. It did not reduce her character or his character to some complete hopeless beings or wishy-washy personalities. They had their differences that they needed to overcome. But their characters were really consistent throughout. Even how they had matured during the three years, some traces were still there in their personalities to show that they didn’t change at all. Their feelings for one another were still the same–if not stronger through time apart. Some things did not have to be said about their friendship but actions showed it all how they were able to be there for one another. Promises weren’t tossed around so loosely or try to make the whole thing magical like other dramas. If they promised, they really meant it. It was the first time I really liked a character Qiao Qiao portrayed without being annoyed. I meant I like her and her acting in the past–though I know she isn’t the best. But this role and how she had portrayed it made me feel like it’s my favorite role of her because it could count as the most serious character. There were traces of immature moments or those times with her grandpa in conspiring with one another, but that was done quite well and seemed genuine because it reminded us that we all have those moments in our life. My first time watching Xiao Gui and I actually liked him as well.

The friendship in here was also something I really liked. Yes, those who know me (or read my stuff), know that I love those friendships in various dramas. Sometimes more than romance relations even. The friendship between the students was so random at times yet genuine. It paved a great picture for the rest of us to think about the school days.

And who could forget the three generations of the Jiang family, right? They were just a hilarious bunch. Come on now! I was more into watching them interacting within the family than the other side dramas at times. Maybe for comedic reasons but it was really funny. Grandpa Jiang was always so hilarious with his forgetful state (or fake ones?) or how enlightened he could sound at times. Jiang Hu Piao was crazy though really loved his family. Nothing like a gang leader but he was more than capable. Then there was the princess of the house, always up to something yet she was not really spoiled. She was fierce all right yet I think she couldn’t really be called spoiled because she treated others so nice, not letting on airs at all–whether how she regarded Wu Xiong and Wen Xiong or her classmates. She might be scheming away about some things, but never looked down on others.

And while we were on the subject, was Qing Mei really Jiang Hu Piao’s daughter? The director and/or scriptwriter(s) was messing with us too much. We got the answer that Grandpa Jiang was trying to delay matters by tricking Bai Long. BUT there was definite suspicion in the air–even if Jiang Hu Piao had claimed on trusting his wife fully. Qing Mei chose to riff the envelope up without opening it because she declared that her father was Jiang Hu Piao. So…it was all about trust and the importance of their family after all. The truth did not matter that much. They had a good relationship going on all along. It did not matter to them what was real. (Even before the DNA incident, Grandpa Jiang had told his son that he did not care if she was or was not really his grand-daughter because she would always be to him.)

Nothing like ending it with a wedding, right? But I was glad it wasn’t cliche with the main couple’s wedding. A family portrait indeed. (Too bad no Wu Xiong but it was all right. Don’t want to ask for too much, LOL!)

So was it a satisfying ending for everyone? I bet there were complaints. But it was enough for me. I enjoyed it and the bonus was seeing it so short. Not really if you consider it since it was like one hour per episode. Yet it did not drag.

*All images were captured by DTLCT

Jacky Chu’s role in Liu Mang Xiao Zhang

What was his role exactly? The typical bad guy role. No, I was not hinting at his usual villain roles or on the border of annoying ones. I was hinting at how this role was paved out to be this time and the outcome since episode 11 of the drama. Near the middle of the episode, we saw a very out of control Wen Xiong, in an attempt to prove his love, advanced on Qing Mei (portrayed by Joanne Tseng). What brought this on? Well…a lot of overlooked details in the past few episodes. Only obvious hints were shown in episode 11 that led to the scene. But more on that later.

First of all, what qualifies as the typical bad guy character?

  • The world owes him/her. This is a major cliche clue. I swear! At least I’ve seen it in most HK series about some people ranting on and on about how no one appreciates him/her for what he/she had done. No one knows or cares about what he/she wants but just expects.
  • I did it because of you. Another one. It doesn’t get anymore cliche than this. This reason gets the other party on a major guilt trip. But once it is said, you’ll know right away that the person doesn’t mean it. It’s just an excuse to blame it on the other party because that person doesn’t want to admit wrong and is trying to justify his/her behaviors.
  • The beyond patient dude. Come on now. Everyone has their breaking point or the limit. He just seems too patient at times. Though we could see him in comedic moments, he’s just too composed, too into his work. Short version: too good to be true.

I listed it based upon Wen Xiong’s angry words to Qing Mei in episode 11. SO don’t say that I made it up.

While I went back and did caps, I started to look for more hints that would jump out within those random, comedic moments to see what had led Wen Xiong to such. I was surprised that I missed so much while I was drawn into the ‘comedic’ element of it all. One of the hints about Wen Xiong’s personality or his true character lied in what his interests were and what he was knowledgeable about. Yeah, typical, but I wasn’t paying attention before.

In the scene above, which could be found in episode 3 like about halfway through, Wen Xiong was seen explaining some of the concepts in the book his brother, Wu Xiong, was reading. He also went into a bit of detail regarding a historical figure, Li Mi (李密) who served in the Kingdom of Shu during the Three Kingdoms period. Anyway, Wu Xiong commented immediately after learning of Li Mi’s tragic past that Li Mi was like them (aka him and Wen Xiong), losing their family since little and suffering through so much hardships. In a way, was Wen Xiong like Li Mi? I would believe that he was smart and could remember really well of what he learned ages ago in school but I have a feeling it was hinting at something. The way he talked about Li Mi was almost like he was talking about himself. There was this injustice feeling like he was being wronged, etc.

Another hint that could threaten to tell a different story and a different side to his character was during a conversation between him and his brother by the pool in episode 1. His brother reminded him of what Jiang Hu Piao had done for them both and how he shouldn’t forget it. To which he replied that he won’t. (SO MUCH FOR IT!) It didn’t just give us more information about the brothers’ background. It was telling us to watch out for him, he was not just a typical silent, obedient guy. He was the typical silent, patient slash someone who had an alternative motive guy.

Oh yeah, what about his pretentious acts of being clueless? This was shown during episode 2 when Wu Xiong was commenting about there were ‘tao hua’ flowing around within the house, etc. Wen Xiong was totally clueless and asking his brother what in the world was he talking about and Wu Xiong immediately replied about Qing Mei and their boss’ strange behaviors and how both were in love. Yeah, Wen Xiong, you were so clueless. (RIIIGGGHHHTTT…)

Wen Xiong was seen since episode 1 as a very patient person. I thought his contrast to his brother’s rash, impatient behaviors was a part of the comedic picture. But he was just patient because he had been waiting for the right moment. For the day until he got his chance. (Yeah, it was obvious that he said it in episode 11.) It was not just a chance to confess to Qing Mei or a chance for both of them, but a chance to truly shine and be a person of importance. He was already important as Jiang Hu Piao’s adviser and was treated as a family member in the Jiang family. But it was more of his greed that stopped him from being satisfied with his current position.

If it was only because of Qing Mei, he would’ve apologized for his rash behaviors (or wouldn’t even do that at all), but he wanted much more than that. Instead, he chose to leave just like that without apologizing or begging. He even clarified that he was just kneeling because of his acknowledgment in Jiang’s care for them all these years. It was just a part of the typical gratitude. It was like the last act he would do to show respect toward Jiang. (A typical gesture in most series but it made sense.) What I found funny about the whole scene was seeing the BTS of episode 7. I don’t know for how long Jacky had to kneel but Li Wang Luo messed up on that one line with telling Wen Xiong to get out of the ‘Jiang’ household that they had to do retakes. The other three cracked up so hard when they realized he said it wrong, even Jacky who was kneeling at that time. It was supposed to be a serious part but after seeing that part of the BTS, it stuck with me.

So, to get back onto the subject, had Wen Xiong ever love Qing Mei before or was that just a ploy to secure his high position under Jiang Hu Piao? I thought he did but it had become so much more than love Qing Mei. It was like saying if he succeeded in marrying Qing Mei, he would eventually take over at the Shang Cheng Financial Company since Qing Mei was the only daughter, right? So someone was really thinking big. (Yeah, alternate motive.) If he was not thriving for more power, why in the world would he switch sides for and trying to bring Jiang Hu Piao down?

Then I wonder if the kid whom Qing Mei wanted Wu Xiong to rescue from some bullies was Wen Xiong, so that was when he started to like her?

Acting? I think I was surprised. Not that much surprised since I already saw the potential in Jacky in the past even if it was just bits and pieces here and there. His close to a major role in the past could be for The Magicians of Love but that was still another idol drama with a typical idol formula. This one? Well, it was a romantic comedy in a sense with touches of the gangster theme here and there. But I thought this character carried even more depth though on the villain side. This was a typical bad guy character but it was still something totally different for him. He also said that in one of the BTS. The most powerful part must be in episode 11 with the turn around of his character and more definite signs were seen with the actions that Wen Xiong did after he left the Jiang household.

I could totally feel Wen Xiong’s frustration and his endurance through all these times, keeping everything inside. It didn’t mean that I would take his side since if he thought about it, he wasn’t the only unfortunate guy in this world. There were lots more people out there who couldn’t even get so many opportunities as him. I thought Jacky did really well in that scene with the whole rant though it sort of killed it saying, “Qing Mei, I love you” the second time around before he advanced toward her. That was a bit not that convincing but that was all right.

That reminded me that, no matter how convincing he was, he was just portraying a role so hopefully he wouldn’t get associated with this type of character or keep being tossed these type of roles. There had been enough variations in his past roles so I hope it won’t become so cliche for the upcoming dramas.

Off-screen, Jacky and Joanne got along really well. They were under the same agency after all. They have collaborated in the past before as Fei Nan Du and Xiao Bei in The Magicians of Love but that time, they weren’t linked romantically. (Though it would’ve been fun to see four guys fighting over her in that one.) Anyway, the above cap was for episode 9’s show with Grandpa Jiang and Grandpa Wang. I thought they were trying to shoot two birds with one stone like incorporating the show into the drama as well (since it seemed to be some promo event at the same time). Because the BTS in episode 3 showed Jacky and Shen Dong Jing coming on the stage to sing also. Of course, that wouldn’t be relevant to the drama so it got cut out. The obvious sign of it was seeing Jacky and SDJ abandoning their roles at that point. I’m so serious here! Because both were singing along with the songs being performed on stage. It was their love for music kicking in and they couldn’t help it. (Can’t blame them too much, LOL!)

Another sign of it was seeing Jacky leaning over to Joanne at one point and whispering something to her and she sort of leaned a bit over to him to hear better. It could count as something Wen Xiong could do because of the opportunity of the show, but Jacky’s side showed too much with his love for music to make sense as his character Wen Xiong. (Who seemed so serious and silent for the most part of the drama.)

So what will Wen Xiong do next? Is he going to back down like some typical formula with him suddenly seeing his wrong? Or is he going to choose to either go to prison or die? (It’s a gangster one, after all, he might get whacked before we know it–IF the show creators are doing that.) I’ll do an update later when the show ends. (Or if something comes up that’s worth discussing.) But I seriously hope for a more different outcome. I meant like there’s some major twist. Unlikely. Still, it’s a bit disappointing to see it so typical. Not too lame, but still too typical.

Read this post for updates on the topic.

*All images were captured by DTLCT