Zhao Jun Ya: Tales of Introduction

So I meant to do something like this ages back yet never got around to it even though I noticed some things about it in the past already. I’ll go by drama and somehow work my way back since I haven’t watched all his dramas yet. (Guilty but I’ll try to do that like maybe this year. Good luck, right?)

Rookies’ Diary. No introduction, you just know it’s him and that’s it.

Love Together: “I’m Lin Zhong Zhe. Zhong from middle (中間), Ze from principle (原則).”

His first meeting with General Street’s people yet they were quite welcoming (except for the minor setback with the little enthusiastic craziness from some parties). Instead of calling him Zhong Ze, the head of the town opted to call him “Ah Ze” (阿則) so he was known to them by that close nickname from then on. They were a friendly bunch, so they didn’t care to be formal, etc.

Lucky Touch: “My name is Luo Sen (羅森). Luo from Luo Sen, Sen from Luo Sen.”

This one is especially funny. Hello! What kind of introduction was that? Arrogant much?

NOTE: This post will be updated from time to time.

*All images were captured by DTLCT

Rookies’ Diary: Couples

As the title indicated, I want to focus on the couples in the drama for this post. I think what made this drama good for me was having romance BUT did not focus only on one or two couples yet extended to include stories involving all couples–whether major or minor, making it even more realistic. Not to mention how it didn’t just focus on the ‘love’ part and astray from the whole military theme. The romance was only a part of it, and that was enough for me.

The following will include all possible couples from parts 1 and 2–though I won’t include the really far-fetched ones:

Sun An Bang (Yao Yuan Hao) and  Qiu Jing Wen (Novia Lin). Are they cute or what? Well, in their own way. I liked how it appeared that he was the strong one and she was the weakling YET they (the scriptwriters) extended that whole thing with making her being the only one that could tease him and how he would go clueless when he was around her. Well, somewhat at first. That was interesting since he seemed so tough the majority of the drama. It was different to show that he reacted differently around her. Then there was the whole thing with her not being able to tell directions at times, which restored their balance since she had a mix of this and that within her. Not too one dimensional or cliche either. They seriously complimented each other quite well with their own talents/abilities and/or personalities.

Sun An Bang (Yao Yuan Hao) and Jin Bi Ying (Debbie Huang). The reason why this pairing wouldn’t work was too obvious. Not because I support the other pairing since Jing Wen appeared later on, etc. But it was more like he couldn’t really relax around Bi Ying, and even though she did show her support toward him but he was just too serious around her. Treating her like a friend was already a push for him because he would often refer to her–or at least seemed to act that way around her–with her ranks and much respect in regard to that. Not to mention how they couldn’t communicate too well at times, like her jokes were lost on him, lol.

Yang Hai Sheng (Fu Zi Chun) and Zheng Yu Ting (Ye Jia Yu). A mixture of cuteness and cleverness, lol. Their banter was quite addicting to watch. They seriously were somewhat of a cliche couple with her liking him since little and him being somewhat of a player and all. But it wasn’t unrealistic or too dramatic so it was a nice touch. Their constant challenge–whether known or unknown by both parties–were too hilarious. What made the whole thing even more addicting to watch was not making one or the other too weak. She was seriously too cute but wasn’t clueless about things. Though at times she faked innocence to lure him into her traps but it was quite graceful how she did it. She did go overboard that one time but it somewhat made him realize about his past behaviors and the funniest thing was using his morbid mode to deceive her (with Da Tong’s help). YET when she found out, it was all over again with the competition, LOL! Anyway, they were on the same level but their story differed from the other couples’ hence making it unique for the overall drama.

Lin Bo Wen (Derek Chen) and Tian Xin (Kelly Pai). A somewhat lost cause for them already but maybe they could start anew in the future? Considering how Bo Wen had seriously thought things over, wanting to do more with his life than just focusing on love? Maybe after some time apart and pursuing their own path, they could one day reunite?

Yu Shan Ren (Ah Pang) and Wang Sheng Nan (Liu Xiang Ci). Okay, from past posts, it’s obvious that I’m shipping for this pairing more than the other. And again, it was mostly due to the fact that the scriptwriters had teased us so much at the beginning with their possible pairing. AND oh hey, they did have chemistry. There were hilarious scenes as well as scenes where he was quite considerate toward her. I honestly thought they complemented each other better since they were on opposite sides. He was more relaxed at times and was quite supportive of her when she wanted to conquer her fear or other times where he cheered her up. She could get quite worked up with his perverted behaviors at times or when he was goofing off too much, but it was still funny and enjoyable. And maybe I’m just too stubborn. But maybe it was better they didn’t end up together because of the lapse between their ranks. Well, like he would care so much, but who knows what happens in the future? Off-screen though, I thought they had a lot of chemistry as well. Maybe because they worked together hosting on that one show so they understood many of the subtle signals at times. (I’m talking about their signals during one of the concerts.)

Luo Gang (Tang Feng) and Wang Sheng Nan (Liu Xiang Ci). They matched wit-per-wit already, not backing down regardless of how much they cared for one another. I have mixed feelings for them at times. It’s not only because of the reasons mentioned above (aka shipping for Shan Ren and Sheng Nan) more but it had to do with the clashes in their personalities. But was glad that they ended up together anyway, considering how they really cared for one another. (AND it would be a shame if she had to settle.)

Cai Hao Zhi (Hao Zi) and Liu Su Qing (Becky Chang). Not really my favorite couple. Though I no longer blame her for her schemes at the beginning. Maybe because the show already ended so I don’t really care anymore. But their story wasn’t as appealing to me. Okay, so they had their fair share of moments too with him being jealous and finally realizing he did care for her. Yet I guess I wasn’t into the formula for their story. I admit their story indeed was quite different from the others too since she was quite daring, fighting for her love. Yet I wasn’t as into it.

Cai Hao Zhi (Hao Zi) and Ye Xiao Yan (Achel Chang). It was only a little scheme with Hao Zhi trying to get Su Qing jealous but I thought they were quite cute together too, acting so close and all. LOL! It sparked some jealousy from Wu Yong as well. And it was really a riot. One of those classic moments.

Qiu Yu Shun (Ah Xiang) and Ye Xiao Yan (Achel Chang). At first, I thought they were really cute together and would make it to the end–with the possibility that Da Tong would approve more. Like those typical formula with earning the older brother’s trust. Yet it wasn’t so since You Shun’s one wrong decision tore them apart. The others understood his situation and Xiao Yan understood too later on. Yet the trust was already gone and perhaps call it that they didn’t pass the test. NOT that I don’t like them because I was really into them at first too hence I was really torn between him and Wu Yong later on–as to who she should end up with. I guess the plot development did make sense so I can’t complain about that.

Wang Wei (Zhao Jun Ya) and Yan Xiao Rou (Tang Zhen). Okay, did I say the others were cute? I think I overused it already. But I don’t know. It’s hard not to use it on these two. I think out of all the pairings, they had the least screen time together yet the point wasn’t miss. They were mad cute all right. She was somewhat a klutz and perhaps a tad on the naive side? YET it wasn’t too fake either. It was enough. He was sort of protective of her at times and was really patient with her, especially trying to help her gain confidence during the haircut incident. Then there was also the whole thing with shielding her from Shan Ren’s teasing words, lol. Their other scenes were equally addicting to watch, especially the scene where he was tending to her hand–because she cut herself. (DARN, clumsy girl all right.) But he was really attentive and dropped his books right away to go and take care of her. Aww… What was kind of funny was how he asked her out later but didn’t know the difference between a typical dinner and a date? OR was that it? I had somewhat forgot already. Need to watch again later. But it was really cute seeing the role reversal with her being the one ‘knowing it’ while he was somewhat clueless. He was so boyish at that point and she somewhat became the experienced one.

Wu Yong (Xia Zheng Feng) and Ye Xiao Yan (Achel Chang). OMG, I didn’t see it coming since though it seemed like they were the odd bickering couple but I thought it was just him liking to tease her. Like sometimes it happens with the older bro’s friend. YET it showed some possibilities when the guys saw her at the pool swimming and they had the challenge. They were honestly too cute later on though. Not that they weren’t at first. Their story was really well developed–with how it wasn’t really trying to convince. Maybe because it was the lapse in the story at times so it wasn’t forcing us into acknowledging them but more like it fitted in perfectly with other events of the story. (Just like most of the relationships in here.) The transition with their story and how their feelings changed toward one another–mostly for the better–was really nice. Like I said already, not forced at all. It was just how it happened with her and You Shun, and she needed time to cool down before she would realize of Wu Yong’s existence. Okay, she knew he was around BUT he was still her brother’s annoying friend. But her views changed toward him later. It was slowly as well. They (the scriptwriters) had him liking her and realizing her considerate side first, and then moving on to develop her side of the story. The result? Tying it together at last. Quite suitable.

So, what about favorite couples? Well, I’ll be lying if I say I don’t have a particular favorite and all couples contributed to the story. True that they all did. But my favorites were actually a toss between Hai Sheng and Yu Ting, Wang Wei and Xiao Rou, and finally Wu Yong and Xiao Yan. What about the others? Um…it either didn’t happen or I felt kind of robbed, LOL! I did get over it already, especially An Bang and Jing Wen AND Shan Ren and Sheng Nan, but that did not mean I would let it go completely. What about least favorite? Hao Zhi and Su Qing, and then Bo Wen and Tian Xin. It would be too unrealistic if I say I liked those two couples as well. Hao Zhi and Su Qing were too silly for me at times. Then there was the whole poor timing toward the end with putting in their get together. (Yeah, the part where Luo Gang was still moping in the hospital and all. Though I’m being somewhat unfair because they did have the get together with the other guys at Wu Yong’s place too BUT that seemed less random? I don’t know.) Regarding Bo Wen and Tian Xin, again, NOT about blaming her but I found them kind of too boring, lol. NOT their characters, just their story together, etc. Kind of cliche and somewhat too dramatic.

Okay, so I’m not going to include part 2 anymore because honestly, it focused on the operations most of the time. Though there were obvious signs of some people pursuing others YET they had no wrap-up? OR had no time? So I’ll skip that for now. Maybe I’ll come back later. We’ll see. Possibly I need a second watch to discuss more.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot, but what made me love the whole formula of this drama was seeing how they didn’t force a new pairing into the picture when they entered part 2–even though some of the characters’ significant others weren’t around anymore. Like how they did mention Hai Sheng and Yu Ting and also Wu Yong and Xiao Yan. It was an ongoing story and it made sense that those characters didn’t appear in part 2. But it did not mean they needed to break Wu Yong and Xiao Yan up and made him pair up with one of the new characters. The consistency made it even more realistic and lovable. Like one person not being around did mean he/she had to be replaced. Xiao Yan wasn’t around but it did not mean she ceased to exist just because the focus was no longer on the base (and other characters there). I will admit I was scared they would pair Wu Yong up with one of the new characters as well. Though I have no problems with the additional female characters in part 2, but I was against the idea of establishing a new relationship just like that. I meant it wouldn’t make sense that it took Wu Yong and Xiao Yan so much to get together and then break up just because? YEAH, so I was glad no one pulled that trick in part 2. (BEAT THAT TVB! YES, childish, but I had to put that in.)

And that wraps up the discussion for this time. What’s the topic for the next time? Favorite characters?

*All images were captured by DTLCT

Rookies’ Diary: The Finale

The journey is finally over for those who had been tuned in since last summer. I will definitely be missing it–regardless of the mixed feelings I have throughout watching the show. The positive just overrides the intense moments. I think those who declared not to watch part 2 missed a major part and a priceless moment that they would’ve loved.

Ta-da! Yup, Luo Gang re-emerged in episode 20 working at a fruits farm. He had promised Sheng Nan to turn a new leaf, stay out of trouble and meet her again on her birthday, which was supposedly 6 months later. What else does it call for? The triangle that I said wasn’t even resolved yet in the other post. So I didn’t miss anything after all. People are going to love FTV for this since they managed to pull it off–even if Tang Feng/Luo Gang seemed to be forgotten for the first 19 episodes. (Not totally since Sheng Nan did mention him at various points.)



I thought they were going to forget it too since Tang Feng had to shoot Father & Son at the same time, etc. However, they managed to squeeze it in, giving the audience the final answer. I sort of have the feeling the audience will never forgive FTV if they didn’t resolve this. They did put us through one season of agonizing tennis, right? (Yes, the ball being bounced back and forth between Luo Gang and Shan Ren.) It was too hard to believe that Sheng Nan would settle for Shan Ren after developing their bonds even more in season 2. Why? It’s not that I wouldn’t like the story of how she’s touched with Shan Ren’s actions hence giving him a chance. But it was way more obvious already that she loves Luo Gang, so why settle?

Though it was more like Shan Ren let go, allowing Luo Gang and Sheng Nan a chance without any hesitation at last. YET Luo Gang and Sheng Nan are both very strong characters. They wouldn’t be feeling guilty or bad just because Shan Ren likes Sheng Nan. Why should they be sorry for loving each other, right? But I thought that was kind of funny that they were wrapping everything at the part where it would determine whether Shan Ren would make it or not. After all, Shan Ren had chosen to join Wang Wei and the others to continue that journey of training and staying within the military. Yes, he finally found something that he could follow besides Sheng Nan.

Do I have to remind people that I’m a Shan Ren/Sheng Nan shipper? Yet I won’t resort to all those name-callings toward the other side like some Luo Gang/Sheng Nan shippers have been doing. If you’re not one of them, I’m not talking about you. With that said, I’m so glad the writers made Sheng Nan ended up with Luo Gang. Fans would be happy. (AND I already said numerous times already that I’m a Tang Feng fan, but I don’t just support blindly if I don’t feel strongly toward a couple. Though I can accept the final outcome. I don’t think I need to justify myself even more.) No more wars or attacks about whether it was pathetic that Luo Gang lost, right? Since after all, he didn’t lose. In a way, I’m very glad because he could start over, but also get the girl. NOT seeming so depressing and hopeless like the end of season 1. (Though he did think it through when they wrapped up season 1 but it just seemed so sad for his case.) But after seeing him working hard at the fruits farm and being full of hope again made everything better. His dark moods being gone made things tenfold better as well. It meant he had let go of that dark past already. Who said the main guy had to be the hero to be the winner, right? He had lost the other chance, but that didn’t mean the end of the world. There are still other alternatives to it. (And it wasn’t like he didn’t get to be the hero since we did see the rescue scene at the beginning of episode 22 AND how his righteousness had gotten him into some disagreements with Chen Pai Zhang. But I so support Chen Pai Zhang at that part since the kids’ parents should be responsible for looking after the kids, NOT the military. They already put up a bunch of signs to warn others AND not to mention how one of the officers on duty already told the kids about the dangers.)

Enough about that since I think some others deserve some spotlights too? LOL! Who to talk about first? Or actually what?

My favorite team in here. Yet I felt disappointed that they didn’t get more scenes near the end. I meant like to the ending to show their bond. Yeah, sure, we get it that they were closed and were pals. But I honestly want to see more. Just a little more. It was just off to see Luo Gang supporting Shan Ren and trying to encourage him on–though through reverse psychology. It was just off even if I wanted to see Luo Gang get some sort of action toward the end as well. Why? Wang Wei had been helping Shan Ren subtly since the beginning and they had been consistent throughout with making fun of each other or even during the trials. Yet they only got a bit of a few wisecracks after everything was taken care of? What I thought was cool was the part where Shan Ren conned Wang Wei into thinking they would have the face-off. It was a chance for them to see who was really the better one. LOL! Hilarious since Shan Ren tricked Wang Wei and fled. That was why I feel the more that Wang Wei should be the one beside Shan Ren, helping him get through the last bit, not Luo Gang. Or was that scene near the end with Luo Gang helping him and cheering him on–along with Sheng Nan–a key scene to allow him to make the decision about letting go? Maybe…YET it made me feel they lost momentum with separating Wang Wei and Shan Ren into two teams near the end. I had enjoyed their reunion at last with fighting by each other’s side again like brothers YET it had to turn out that way. A shame, but I won’t dwell too much. Can’t protest anyway because it already ended and no one cares that much like me.

What was a bit disappointing and extremely saddening? Enson Chang’s accident hence him not being able to have more scenes in here. No one wanted it to happen and glad that he had been recovering since then. However, I was really looking forward to watching him.

What was somewhat interesting yet turned out too hilarious? Ah Xiang and Hao Zi weren’t in season 2 yet they were listed in the opening credits. Nice? Was I the only one being confused? What in the world happened? And their appearances in the flashbacks DO NOT count.

Oh yeah, one last item for this one. This totally got me going. Wu Yong got robbed during the last bit of it. I meant he was impressive with his vast knowledge of the jungle/forest, etc. How could he fail so miserably near the end? Okay, so the other team followed Shan Ren’s plan and won because Shan Ren was so cunning (and I so believe that). And I don’t really care who wins since they all passed anyway, but it was like Wu Yong practically went into the shadow. He got forgotten just like Wang Wei. I just can’t accept that (and will probably have to live with it since like I said before, no one cares as much as me about the little details). So Wu Yong trapped Shan Ren and let him go that one time AND Shan Ren was going to repay him YET it was a trap? A TAD too messed up with Shan Ren trying to win. Though they probably didn’t care since they were good sports about it but it made it a bit less challenging with Shan Ren’s team winning all the time. I actually thought some of the others on Wang Wei’s side weren’t that bad with their techniques. How could they lose so badly? Or be that careless? It made them too much of a joke because they were after all part of the Special Operations Unit after all, right?

I’ll save other stuff for the next time when I do a different post about this drama. YES, there are more. Yet I don’t want to say too much for now.

*All images were captured by DTLCT

Rookies’ Diary 2: Thoughts

Seriously, after watching like 9 episodes, I think I’m entitled to some kind of opinion. What about it so far? Mixed feelings actually. The opening was good with how they were tested and couldn’t pass the challenge and all. Yet the upcoming parts kind of made me feel disappointed because of how unprepared they were, including Shan Ren. Those moments were supposed to create humor for the rest of us to see, but I hated it that they were too much of a joke with not passing or at least fend for themselves in some way that made it ridiculous. It made the whole process ridiculous because they were tested already in the trials before coming here yet they were so scattered and were so off. It might be a better explanation that they were so comfortable at the other base that they weren’t prepared. Not to mention how they had gotten so comfortable with their bonds somewhat near the end that they had let their guards down again but they should’ve known better. It was too much of a joke (like said before).

What I found clever was the part when Wu Yong fell and got his face all dirty, but he soon came up with a plan to merge himself into the jungle as well. Then the next part with both him and Shan Ren managing to jump in and catch the rope to save Lai Hu in time had compensated for their lack of preparations yet the other parts kind of killed it. What I became even more annoyed with was how Lai Hu got himself and Wu Yong into trouble by making comments about the female soldiers hopping past them, causing them another round of punishment. Like he could turn a new leaf that soon, but I was just too annoyed with him for not having to learn from the past and even doing that in front of the trainers. It was like asking for trouble. And he got it.

Another thing that made me feel kind of irked was when George Hu was making a comment in the BTS about ‘Mo Gui Ban Zhang’. Okay, he must be joking and all of that. But it sort of made me feel like comparing himself to ‘Sun An Bang’ (though An Bang was ‘Pai Zhang’) with the strict rules and all. He, Zheng Qiang, couldn’t even be compared to An Bang. Honestly. The way he was carrying on, it was like what the others were saying, nothing but a crazy dog. I meant the character AND NOT George–in case anyone was offended. In a way, it might be a new challenge for them all to learn and follow the strict rules of the new place YET it was kind of repetitive with creating another fierce character who seemed too much like An Bang. I thought that sort of backfired. At least for me.

What’s more? Getting back to the cast of part 1 and this time regarding Shan Ren. I couldn’t believe that he was bullying that one dude when they were trying to claim their beds. It was like using his power to gain an advantage, but he should’ve known better, so I agreed that he got scolded and was punished. YET I didn’t like Zheng Qiang’s attitude either. I got it why Wang Wei was scolding at Shan Ren afterward for using their previous bond to order Wang Wei around since it was like getting out of line. But I didn’t like Zheng Qiang’s taunting look. I don’t know if it was because of George Hu’s portrayal or his character was supposed to be that way. It was just I didn’t trust him to be unbiased, unlike what Sheng Nan and Wang Wei were projecting with the strict manners the whole time because it was necessary to enforce the rules–and not some personal dislike. It was like Zheng Qiang had something to prove, like being a show-off more than just enforcing the rules, being there because he was proud to serve the country, etc. I don’t know, I can’t seem to buy into his sincerity. And to wrap up about Shan Ren, I think I must agree with him regarding the phrase he uttered in episode 2, which was “虎落平阳.” Seriously, he lost BIG TIME, not thinking of the real consequences or being prepared for what was going on. Sucks to be him because he was being yelled like the others too, maybe even worse. Or this could be a wake-up call for him since he had been too comfortable previously, kept scolding the others and enforce the rules but not going forth with the routines at times. YES, he had to run with them and demonstrated stuff too but he wasn’t pushed into so much like now.

Talking about the unpreparedness of the characters from part 1, I must say that I was also disappointed of the female soldiers. I meant they were really unprepared too with how they messed up with the bed making scenes and getting things in order. (Only one girl was prepared YET was pulled down too because someone else just had to be careless, which caused her punishment too.) Again, this will apply for both guys and girls BECAUSE this was the Special Operations Unit after all. I know they need more training to get into that ‘tip-top’ shape. YET it was really disappointing that both groups couldn’t fend for themselves or make an impression. They were chosen to be in the Special Operations Unit SO that must mean something. So I take back my optimism toward the group. I meant okay, I’m still watching and supporting because the cast worked so hard for it YET this is one of those times I felt they were riding on the success of the first part. Like it wasn’t obvious already since they decided to go forth with part 2, BUT  I didn’t want to act all bitter toward it and want to hold on to some hope. I felt it might have been better if they had waited until Tang Feng and Fu Zi Chun’s schedules cleared up and get this thing going again since I felt that they were the ones really qualified to enter the Special Operations Unit. It would make this thing shine a lot more with the soldiers.

Xia Zheng Feng’s Wu Yong was the only one–sorry to say–among the soldiers with the abilities to pass the trials and to convince that he could do it. The rest, not as much, but he was reduced to being somewhat hopeless so he could get yelled at like the others? It wasn’t like he was perfect since part 1, but he sure showed potential in some areas so I felt he was somewhat robbed of showing his talent at times. Again, I’m not picking on the new cast by not complimenting them BUT I felt they definitely need Luo Gang and Yang Hai Sheng for this one. The creators of the show could add more cast, BUT seriously they need more capable force than the comedy act. I still find them funny but it was just that it didn’t suit the Special Operations Unit as much with some of the things. OR were the creators wanting to strike while the iron was hot? Somehow, I think it had somewhat ruined the legacy of the drama itself. BUT I seriously hope to be wrong this time by seeing this move forward even more.

Since I’m already in the complaining mood, what else? BTS showed that they were working hard, of course. Their spirits were still high with willing to work hard and all. Yet sometimes I felt they were a bunch of whiners, except for some who were just goofing off. Seriously, IF Li Xing Wen could pull it off with some of the scenes, so could they. (Except for Qian Jun Zhong and Enson who were obviously injured at various points, the rest have no excuse.)

To get back on a positive note, I’m so glad that they let Wang Wei be the leader for the most part with the gathering and giving them instructions (out of the male officers, that was–since Sheng Nan was their main leader–aside from the other Pai Zhang who came from time to time to check on them). Why? Jun Ya’s powerful voice. Not to mention how he had been there since the first part. It made it less of a joke to let him lead with the general instructions. We’d seen him as Wang Wei in the first part with his hardworking attitude and how he was taking up the challenge in taking the test hence advancing toward being part of the training officers for this operation, instead of coming in as a last-minute addition. He was always prepared and composed, knowing how to separate between the personal and the serious matters. Though it meant I kind of miss his constant randomness with Shan Ren and Sheng Nan like the first part. But I was glad to see the consistency in his character with his ‘cold face, warm heart’ projection. Because of what happened at the breakfast scene in episode 3, I really wanted to hug him for it since he was subtly helping Shan Ren–without Shan Ren possibly knowing it. Seeing how Shan Ren could blow it with trying to let the thing go with Zheng Qiang and him going for the soup at the same time. It was like Wang Wei had gotten up on purpose and gave some new instructions so that it would allow Shan Ren the chance to get out of there before things escalated to much more. Then there was also his expressed concern toward Shan Ren to Sheng Nan in the later parts of episode 3 also. Yup, he could enforce the rules accordingly, but sometimes he couldn’t help but be worried for Shan Ren, who had been his friend since when.

Yet I found it a bit disappointing that Shan Ren couldn’t see through Wang Wei’s fierce front since he was complaining to the others that Wang Wei had forgotten him, after all those times he’d been there for Wang Wei. Wang Wei had been doing those subtle rescues and even gotten misunderstood. But that was so touching (okay, I’m just a sucker for it) when they finally realized that Wang Wei hadn’t changed at all. Well, Tian Bin was the one who disclosed to the others that it was Wang Wei who had told Tian Bin to buy the drinks (with Wang Wei’s money of course) and prepare the drinks for them. Then I sort of forgave Shan Ren again since in a way, he’d been keeping his bottled up feelings inside, so he was just complaining to the others who he’d known for a while, NOT just anyone. Then it was so cool seeing how they were bonding like once upon a time, seeing their signature high-five, etc. That sort of restored my hope for the drama as an overall. Not to mention how it would motivate some of them to work even harder because they know Sheng Nan and Wang Wei were still silently supporting them.

One of my favorite parts of Shan Ren and Wang Wei, aside from the drinking to their reunion part and resolving their misunderstanding, was how Wang Wei called Shan Ren out to introduce himself to the others YET he was quite reluctant, even pulling the long face and the indifference attitude. Wang Wei had to signal to him, clearing his throat like several times and tilting his head toward one direction to send Shan Ren the message that Sheng Nan was coming. It was then that Shan Ren got it and his energy was like back up, ready to impress Sheng Nan again. Darn, Shan Ren really got going with the whole speech though, causing Sheng Nan to actually stop from her walking and reconsider things. Even Wang Wei looked so proud of Shan Ren. Man, he was so supporting his friend. Yet Shan Ren didn’t forget Wu Yong and Lai Hu either, including them in the last bit of his speech.

Talking about bonds, I still have hope for F4 and Shan Ren. They managed to keep everything consistent. The beginning scene showed their relying on each other in the jungle somewhat. But also when they met Tian Bin again was kind of funny how he played the trick on them, but also offered to help them pass messages to Hai Sheng and Shi Jun. We finally got an answer that both were just placed into another group, not gone yet. (But of course, I think it was just mentioning them at various times to show references that both characters were still around, just not making their appearances.) Another example of the bonding between F2 and Shan Ren was during the scene in episode 5 where they were caught and punished for talking behind Zheng Qiang’s back, and Shan Ren lost it again hence dropping his broom. Lai Hu actually jumped in to take the blame for him. Honestly, I wouldn’t expect that of Lai Hu since he’d been the one the others were shielding the whole time. Then there was also the part where Shan Ren was joining in with the other three for the punishment outside (the one where they didn’t sleep during the mid-day break and was causing disturbance). What I thought was fun was seeing another character, Tian Bin’s childhood friend, Jin Zhan joining in with the group. He was so clueless with not understanding Taiwanese, lol. Back to the role reversal thing, I think that the others had to cover for Shan Ren and sometimes stop his temper because they didn’t want to see him getting in more trouble than that or more like getting them in trouble as well. Then I would forgive Shan Ren for losing faith in Wu Yong and Lai Hu hence wanting to abandon them and keep himself safe.

About the other new characters and cast, I felt that the other newly introduced officers had fended better than George Hu for some reason. Maybe George was afraid of yelling at them too much versus the others? I don’t know. He did yell and you could feel he was trying to put on the appropriate strict air. Yet something was definitely missing, like he was sending mixed signals at times. Perhaps the pressure was getting to him with living up to being part of the main cast of this epic drama? (And I can’t believe they pulled that one with squeezing in an attempt to utter George Hu’s name during the scene where Wu Yong, Lai Hu, and Jin Zhan got punished. LAME! But that sort of got me laughing ’cause of how Wu Yong said the phrase so it was like similar to George’s name.) The part where Wu Yong had the dream in episode 3, I thought George was more comfortable with the exchange in words, etc. Maybe he should’ve been cast as one of the soldiers since it seemed like he was uncomfortable or maybe afraid of yelling at them too much. (Or maybe if he’d been one of the soldiers, then he wouldn’t get an important role? Or would have to do more of those exercises? No idea.) To be fair, I think George’s momentum soon kicked in with the routines of enforcing the rules, etc YET he hadn’t mastered the whole thing with keeping his face neutral with the strict attitude. It was like an expression that had some personal gripe toward others more than the indifference one or at least the fierce expression because they failed their tasks–and he had to make them carry out some punishments.

Talking about the new characters in this one, aside from Jin Zhan, Li Zheng Hua was funny as well. Maybe because he was ABC so he didn’t understand it when the guys were using different dialects so it got all headache-y when they were trying to converse in it, LOL! Then there was also Wu Yong’s assigned partner for one of those missions in the forest, Xu Yi Fu. Wu Yong saved him from almost getting killed with the trap and then he wanted to pay Wu Yong back BUT failed. That was funny though! Xu Yi Fu and his needle techniques, lol.

Moving on, episode 5 was also Enson Chang’s debut as Tang Kai Yu. What I found quite interesting was his laid-back nature at mealtime. Yes, he seemed serious at the first introduction of him to the others. But mealtime changed everything. He seemed to be not as strict, especially around mealtime–as he mentioned about it not necessary to be so intense when everyone was just eating. He might be a refreshing character in here because he was different, not someone trying to be like any of the characters in the first part. Well, they had to be strict so the soldiers would learn. Yet I think we have enough strict people already so a different type of personality was much needed for the show.

OMG! Wang Wei cracked me up so bad with calling Zheng Qiang ‘Feng Ban Zhang’ like about halfway through episode 6. (Feng as in ‘crazy’, not the other kind.) That was like priceless! Man, he was like returning the comment regarding how Zheng Qiang called Shan Ren Wang Wei’s ‘Precious Ban Zhang’ with it. Then Zheng Qiang was really annoyed and told Wang Wei to call him ‘Zheng Ban Zhang’. Zheng Qiang was asking for it though since one could see Wang Wei’s annoyed expression upon hearing those words, it was like a slap in the face, so he had to return the favor and ever so gracefully. Honestly, that guy had no sense of humor, LOL! So he could call people names but others couldn’t do it? PUH-LEASE! I’m picking on the character here and not George, if anyone’s getting offended again. Anyway, to get back to the story, I think Wang Wei unleashed some chain of events since, after that, the other pai zhang and ban zhang were calling Zheng Qiang ‘Feng Ban Zhang’ as well, LOL! Then Zheng Qiang had to correct them, lol.

Episode 7 when they were allowed to go inside the shop to buy stuff, they were reminiscing about their convenient stores at the other base. It was funny that Wu Yong was crying out “My Xiao Yan” tearfully when Lai Hu was talking about Xiao Yan. YUP, he can’t see his Xiao Yan for a long time. Man, Shan Ren was so behind, he didn’t know that Xiao Yan got together with Wu Yong already. But it was cute to know that they were still mentioning the other characters from the store (and also Hai Sheng with Yu Ting).

What else? Several characters surprised me by the time I get to episode 9. But I think I should leave it at that and do a followup when I’m even further. My opinions have definitely changed since the initial comments but I didn’t want to leave it out just yet. Those are more like my personal notes to see how my views have changed since starting the drama. Until next time…

*All images were captured by DTLCT

Rookies’ Diary: Fate & Tidbits

So I’m finished with the drama–or at least part 1 and I’m back to discuss some of the things that occurred at the end of part 1–as I had promised in the other post.

First off, let’s take care of some items, such as:

  • Was Lai Hu responsible for Luo Gang’s downfall? We all know by now that Tang Feng couldn’t make it because of schedule conflicts, etc so they need a good reason for Luo Gang to not be in part 2. So who was the scapegoat? Lai Hu portrayed by Lin Dao Yuan. But just for the sake of the discussion and the relevancy of the plot only, was Lai Hu really responsible for Luo Gang’s downfall? Seriously to say, I think that a number of us who watched were quite shocked and pissed off at how Luo Gang’s ending was crafted out. I meant he’d been too awesome to not make it into the Special Operations Unit, right? So why not? They had to approached it that way and made someone take the blame for it. Yet ironically, Yang Hai Sheng (portrayed by Fu Zi Chun) kept claiming that it was his fault in causing Luo Gang’s injury to become even worse near the end. But we all knew it was Lai Hu, right? NO. Yes, I just said it. It wasn’t Lai Hu’s fault. Why not then? In this situation, it was Lai Hu because the plot steered toward that way (and no, I’m not blaming the scriptwriters). Because of the upcoming trials to prove that they could make it into different departments/parts/regions of the military, they had to try their best hence the whole dedication and the effort in helping Lai Hu making it. Though his reason to want to join in because of the rest of the F4 members were determined to make it as well might not be a good reason to even be considered important, but it was a reason for him to even try or was even willing to strive for. So Luo Gang, Hai Sheng, and the others were determined to help him. They did not have to but they were too righteous, too loyal not to, especially Luo Gang since he had this bond with Lai Hu since they knew each other before coming to fulfill their military duties. He’d always valued their friendship (as well as with others when the story progressed) and add in his righteous nature, it was hard not to get involved with Lai Hu’s situation. AND because of these two catalysts, regardless time, place, or situation, he would eventually be brought down by it–one way or another. We loved to think that he was invincible yet he was not. He was too reckless at times–though he had learned to control it. It was less realistic that Lai Hu even made it or how Luo Gang could be careless to sacrifice a future that he held so strong to make happen, but it was not impossible that Luo Gang would dive in for his friends with no questions asked. Regarding Lai Hu, I think it was because they were sending a message about accepting anyone who was willing to work hard, etc. instead of disregarding it as a silly attempt and just shrug it aside. In other words, no one should be left behind–if they were willing to try. So realistically it might not work to convince, but I guessed it was trying to give us some hope in that area and help others strive hard, never giving up. But just because I understood and accepted it for what it was didn’t mean that I wasn’t mad when it occurred. I wasn’t blaming Lai Hu but was more feeling the pain for Hai Sheng and Luo Gang when they were suffering while still bravely continuing on with the trials. What I was actually mad at Lai Hu about (yes, I DO get mad at him) was seeing in the later parts that he wanted to back out even after what Hai Sheng and Luo Gang had done for him. YES, after he was accepted and realized the reality of it all–aka what he would face when entering, BUT I felt it was too much of a joke and a wasted effort for Hai Sheng and Luo Gang. He should’ve thought more carefully before joining then. It possibly was aiming at humoring us with seeing some of the other guys wanting to back out too–not just Lai Hu, but I wasn’t amused since knowing what just happened previously. The second thing I was mad at Lai Hu about was being so ungrateful toward Hai Sheng and the others. I meant he knew they were helping him YET along the way, he would get mad at Hai Sheng or someone just because they made some comments. One of the times, it had caused the superior in charge to halt all trials and almost cost everyone’s future. If he had so much energy, he should try to focus more on the trials AND not argue with Hai Sheng when Hai Sheng was just trying to help. This also brought forth another point, like was Lai Hu really growing up? ‘Cause it seemed like he still needed others to back him up. I wasn’t encouraging for the other two not to help him or be supportive of him, but it was like he still needed their protection and help, not really growing on his own.

  • Was that even reasonable with how Luo Gang couldn’t even jump accurately during the actual test? I think some of us might wonder how and why it would be possible now that we got the ‘blame’ game out of the way. When I was watching the previews, I was thinking, “NO WAY” but after watching the actual scene unfolding, not impossible. He had used too much energy in helping Lai Hu that he was drained so it had ended up that way. I’m not blaming Lai Hu since we already moved past that in the previous discussion. What I meant was every single day they went through the same set of trials–or it would vary with the once in a while practice, shifting between different tasks. Yet they had always been working individually–unless required like the wall task with how they could get someone to help to climb past it. They had always been making it look so effortless–or at least that held true for Hai Sheng and Luo Gang. It was because they had no pressure and so they took it just as part of daily routine versus the intensity going into the actual test. They would approach the routines without a thought in mind, trying to make it through the day so they didn’t take it as seriously–though they try to perform each task correctly. But with the actual test, it was obvious how Hai Sheng and Luo Gang were helping Lai Hu so much that they were lagging behind and their energy was wasted throughout so there they went with being the two strongest guys to being the weakest at the end (energy-wise since they’d been drained). SO, therefore, it was not impossible for Luo Gang to not make it like that, causing his injury and eventually the worst as the trial continued on.

  • The Shan Ren-Sheng Nan-Luo Gang triangle wasn’t resolved, not really. What in the world happened here? Did I miss something? I might have since I was watching at odds hours, determined to finish it and might miss something ’cause I was so off. But why did I feel they were teasing us? Then again, Luo Gang’s departure might solve it after all? It didn’t mean that she would end up liking Shan Ren–though she did appreciate his help with conquering her fear of heights. Not to mention how everyone was shocked that he would join the Special Operations Unit just for her, wanting to reassure Sheng Nan’s mother that, “The country couldn’t protect her, but I will.” But that didn’t mean she would like him. That was just gratitude for supporting her and backing her up. Part 2 might show something else? ‘Cause I would rather she ended up with someone she loved, not playing on the pity card. But I wouldn’t mind either that she somehow saw otherwise later. Am I trying to be ironic on purpose? No, I’d always been a Shan Ren and Sheng Nan shipper all along–despite being a Tang Feng/Luo Gang fan. It was not just because of all the things Shan Ren did for Sheng Nan since I’m NOT a fan of the gratitude/pity card. YET I was pulled in at how they started at the beginning–with the game at the beginning that night when Wu Yong was singing and asking everyone their names, past bfs/gfs, etc. The question that got my attention the most and of course had become a joke throughout the series was how the others had replied in Sheng Nan’s place. (Which the question was asking of her future person and the answer the others uttered was Shan Ren.) At that time, Sheng Nan had shown signs of being shy about it–or at least it seemed awkward to her yet she didn’t seem to mind. Perhaps, she was just trying not to be a spoiled-sport in front of the other recruits–after the superiors/officers had agreed to let them play that game. But it was something to hold on to. Not to mention how she was sneaking looks at him at various points. (Wang Wei had told Shan Ren at one time when they were eating that she was monitoring him AND Shan Ren tried to shape up and act appropriately–which caused Sheng Nan to smile.) Yes, those little pieces throughout had been the driving force for my support of them, but then we learned that she liked Luo Gang later on. I’m not going to even blame it on Luo Gang for appearing since love is like that, if it’s your (fate), it would happen and others appearing in your life wouldn’t affect it. But I just thought it was a shame that the scriptwriters were teasing us Shan Ren/Sheng Nan shippers so bad. (IF there are other Shan Ren/Sheng Nan shippers out there.) Or perhaps, that was just another comedic element, which later became an open joke with everyone knowing that Shan Ren liked Sheng Nan. SO, will it be focused on in part 2 or be resolved completely? We’ll see.

  • Is losing Tang Feng/Luo Gang that big of a loss? I know it might be brainless to ask this. YET I’m beginning to accept it more. I can say upfront that because I’m both a fan of the actor and character that it is for me. But is it overall when analyzed carefully? Most of the things in his life had already been resolved, well–the whole conflict/misunderstanding with his mother, etc had already ironed out during the last few episodes. Aside from him not being able to join the Special Operations Unit, things were already made out for him. He had gotten over it, willing to accept the consequences. So what else could they focus on? More awesomeness of how he would approach the trials for the upcoming parts. And there might be a possible relationship with Sheng Nan. But could they make it good without focusing on the love part too much? I don’t know. I’m not too hopeful on that. Then they could focus on his continued friendship with the rest of the gang, which I might enjoy even more. So it’s 50/50 actually.

  • Will Fu Zi Chun appear in part 2? I don’t know. It seemed too fishy to me because it never really answered us. I meant Sheng Nan said at the end of part 1 (during their last conversation outside) that even if they wanted to back out, it was too late, right? So Hai Sheng can’t back out anymore. Yet Fu Zi Chun hasn’t appeared yet in part 2. He’s too important of a character not to appear right in episode 1 so is that like saying he won’t appear? Anything is possible really. Or I just want to hold on to something.

Secondly, what are the satisfying things about the ending?

  • Hai Sheng and Yu Ting. Seriously, I thought they might run out of time–after some of the so subtle things with the ‘Shan Ren-Sheng Nan-Luo Gang’ triangle. Yet they managed to wrap it up. It was too obvious already that they liked each other, but I liked to see some sort of closure–at least for their case. And especially when Fu Zi Chun might not be in it. He was one of the main guys, after all, gotta give us some answers about what would or might happen.

  • Wu Yong and Xiao Yan. It was so cute to see the last few episodes of them. I really liked how it turned out, giving us hints with some of the earlier episodes and then wrapping it up like that. Not too overdone but still really cute at the same time.

Oh yeah, one more thing that I want to add with the new cast. Who else is in it that got my attention?

Enson Chang/ Zhang Yan Ming (張雁名). After watching Kingfisher, I was quite impressed with him so I’m glad he’s in and could add more flavor to the new team. He’s portraying Tang Kai Yu (湯凱宇), one of the superiors/officers and just made his appearance in episode 5. I haven’t watched it yet since I’m still taking a break after finishing part 1 but it’s something else that motivates me to continue watching–despite losing so much.

So what next? I actually went around searching for some news or related information that could suggest otherwise with some of the cast members and wonder what’s going on (since I was a bit behind on news). So the answer comes down to two things with some of the cast no longer in part 1 anymore though kind of brainless: they have new projects. (DUH, right?) What is it then? According to several sources, Tang Feng has two: Lian Zheng Ying Xiong (廉政英雄) and Father and Son (父與子). Though I need to search around more to make sure on Father and Son since I’m behind on news, like I said before, and couldn’t find much of that. Good news for some fans regarding Lian Zheng Ying Xiong though since some of the cast from part 1 is going to be in it too. Who then? Yao Yuan Hao, Fu Zi Chun, Zhao Jun Ya, and possibly Pan Bo Xi. Also, Lian Zheng Ying Xiong has already started filming this month. I’ll try to update in the future when I find more information.

*All images were captured by DTLCT