The Four Horsemen: Review

(image credit: net)

I finally got around to watching this and it was indeed surprising in many ways. There were many things about this drama that made me watch it faster than usual, like the humor and the cast involved. The length of each episode helped drive it forward too. I liked it that some of the conflicts were quickly resolved, except for the main story arch, of course, since they needed that to retain the suspense. It was 48 episodes but I didn’t feel the drag at all. Probably because each episode was only about 30 minutes, except for the finale–which ran a little longer.
Main Cast:

  • Jacob Huang (黃仁德) as Zhuo Yuan Zhi (卓遠之). Animal Spirit: Fiery Tiger. The young master of Zhuo Guan Clan. Although his intro scene and his background indicated of violent nature, but he was a calm person and the most reasonable among the guys. He was their balance. He was also their leader in most of the debates and fending off different parties. He had his weaknesses, but he wasn’t ashamed of them either. He appreciated his friends and even Mao Mao–whom he treated like his sister, not acting superior toward others at all. He could be a tease at times, like how he was with Tian Ya initially–with calling out the nickname “Xiao Gong Zhu” yet he stopped when Tian Ya was uncomfortable with it. My first time watching Jacob and he was cute and charming. He sure fitted his role and convinced me of his persona.
  • Andy Chen Yi (陳奕) as Du Tian Ya (度天涯) / Augustus Christabel Abercrombie (奧古斯塔斯‧克里斯塔貝爾‧艾柏克隆比). Animal Spirit: Snow Panther. Nicknamed Little Princess / Xiao Gong Zhu (小公主) by Yuan Zhi when they were little. The prince of the Alastair Kingdom (阿拉斯特王國). Spoiled and hot-headed but tamed down his attitude along the way as he learned and grow. He was seriously too much at first and I felt so bad for Zhan Ye having to deal with his spoiled nature at times, but I was glad he later curved back his way and began thinking for others. Perhaps, it was one of the good things that his mother sent him to the school. Well, she had alternative motives, but it was a good chance for him to learn to survive on his own and compromise with others. He wasn’t a lost cause after all, finally overcoming his difficulties and weaknesses to become a better swordsman and also a better friend. Even if he was still hot-headed and spoiled in some sense, but he was already considerate when it came to things that mattered.
  • Kris Shen (沈建宏) as Zhan Ye (戰野). Animal Spirit: Forest Green Hawk. He was inflicted with the inability to recognize people’s faces thus causing him many hardships and bullying since little. Although he tried to keep positive for the most part. Even with his own father, if he didn’t see the old man for a long time, he would forget–if not reminded. He finally found friends when he met Yuan Zhi and Tian Ya–after the initial disagreements and when the other two finally learned of his hardships. He cherished them very much and was very loyal to them despite their disagreements at times–and even forced them to battle it out. With their patience, he finally remembered their faces as well. The only person he didn’t have trouble remembering was interestingly Che Shen, which caused others to be surprised. First time watching Kris although I do follow AK (mostly because of Chen Yi). I found him very charming and lovable in this role. He was also quite convincing. He made me laugh so hard at times. Although he could be so stubborn at times too, but it was part of him, a natural response. It was showing that he cared hence even being upset. I actually thought he was trolling Tian Ya when he didn’t recognize Tian Ya the second time they met and kept going on and on, causing Tian Ya to be annoyed. Yet it was soon revealed that he didn’t remember anyone’s faces.
  • Yu Jin (余晉) as Yu Wen Si Ren (宇文寺人). Animal Spirit: Blue Thunder Dragon. Nicknamed Guan Cai Lian / Coffin Face (棺材臉) by Zhan Ye. At first, I found him hateful, probably bias because how he treated Yuan Zhi. But I pitied him a lot upon learning how tragic his childhood was and even till the present time that his father was still really fierce with him. I knew they had to stay professional during school hours, but the man seemed to not care. But what I found out was it was hard to hate him–like many characters in here, even if there were times that he seemed to push the others over the edge. What was really admirable about his character was that he didn’t use despicable means to kick the other three out. He used his own methods and waited for them to break the rules. He wanted to get rid of them, but he also came to their aid when they were in trouble–like that one time Tian Ya was kidnapped. He stated that it was his duty–which was true, but that proved he didn’t take advantage of the situation and just let it be.
  • Dou Hua Mei (豆花妹)/ Cai Huang Ru (蔡黃汝) as Xing Zhi Wu (幸之霧). A bar owner. What surprised me was she was my favorite character until near the end–although I know it wasn’t her fault but the damage was already done. My bias had to do with being a fan of her since Just Singing And Dancing and her other versatile roles thus far. At first, Zhi Wu was a mysterious character. Even if we learned she was a bar owner later and how Zhan Ye worked for her (as did Yuan Zhi later as well), but there was many things more to uncover about her. I got it that she was hurt and wanted to revenge. The misunderstanding also made it tragic. However, it didn’t undo the damages she’d done (like stated above). Yes, the others were so forgiving and didn’t mention it anymore–after learning or guessing about it. What redeemed her character for me was she didn’t act pitiful after she’d revealed what she’d done (like she said that was the only way to seek revenge) and then just walked off. She wasn’t making excuses either when Mao Mao tried to kill her. Then when she finally learned she was wrong all along, she knew she had to return the map pieces yet didn’t expect to get an easy pass. Talking about the map, although I was mad at her but I was glad and somewhat held on to hope when I realized she didn’t give the other side the map yet. Once again, Dou Hua Mei did really well with her role. Her acting was solid, not flaky at all–whether it was the playful person at times at the bar or the serious person with a baggage.
  • Kirby Kuo (郭思辰) as Ke Ke (柯柯). Director of the school news coverage team. I didn’t like her at all until near the end. Sad, but I just didn’t like her style of writing or collecting news events via paparazzi route. I got it that she was good at what she doing and had a knack for thinking of ways to draw in readers/viewers. Yet I just didn’t like that route. Of all the things that Zhi Wu did later, I think the only thing that was justified was embarrassing her. Yes, that was cruel for her since she was depressed because Si Ren didn’t care for her, etc. Yet she had grilled Zhi Wu during the events of the bar controversies. If she wasn’t placed into that situation, I didn’t think she would understand.
  • Nana Lu (盧芃宇) as Che Shen (車神). Once again, I didn’t like her initially, considering how her crazy disciples were going around causing troubles and declaring war on different parties. Yet when I realized she didn’t know about it and even ended up teaching her disciples some valuable lessons, she gained my respect. She wasn’t like other masters whom covered up for their disciples–even if after learning which party was at fault. She owned up to her mistakes and made amends with them. She could be so snappy at times, but she was also quite righteous and loyal to her friends. She became my favorite by the end–among the female leads.
  • Luo Zhen Huan (羅震環) as Gong Zhu (公主). Nicknamed Guai Tai / Freak (怪胎) by Tian Ya. Although her name means “princess”, she wasn’t a real princess like how Tian Ya was a prince. But I swear she was out of touch when she said that what type of era were they living in regarding to Tian Ya misunderstanding her for a princess. Seriously? They do have royalties now too. Just because it seemed outdated to some countries did not mean to others. And yes, I initially didn’t like her either since she seemed really snappy yet still wanted to tag Tian Ya so that he could teach her his swords techniques. However, as the story progressed with how she promised her friend that she would help, it made me less annoyed with her in regard to her persistence in learning the swords techniques and competing in the competition. However, what I was really annoyed with her for was her not telling Tian Ya about the bullying from his fans club. It was weird how they let her be a doormat for those crazy witches and then even came to those witches’ defense hence the witches finally accepting her. I got the result and in a way understood her way of not wanting to be a tatter-teller but it was really frustrating to watch. I was glad they didn’t drag it out anymore than that. She was brave in many ways, to overcome the ultimate obstacle in order to fulfill her promise with her friend.

Others:

  • Zhang Guo Zhu (張國柱) as Dong Fang Lie (東方烈) and Dong Fang Hao (東方豪). Twin past presidents of Roland Academy.  One good, one evil. They were initially good, but after inheriting the power from a mysterious stone, it had fused Dong Fang Lie into more power lusting and insanity. Dong Fang Hao lost the mobility to his legs yet remained kindhearted, even studying the stone carefully and was trying to hide what was left from his brother. Not to mention trying to avoid future findings of it. He acted quite well, showing both kindness and evilness, depending on the role he had to take on.
  • Edison Huang (黃懷晨) as Jun Lian Yi (君憐伊). A cowardly teacher at Roland Academy yet was later revealed to be one of Dong Fang Lie’s henchmen. He was just using that easygoing and easily bullied by others exterior to fool others. Ironically, he was crazier than Dong Fang Lie and ended up killing him to move forward with his final agenda in gaining power via the mysterious stones. I didn’t suspect him at first since I treated him as part of the comedy acts to enhance Zhan Ye’s forgetfulness. Yet I finally suspected him during the scene where Yuan Zhi chased him down and ended up in the bathroom. I had to slap myself for ignoring the signs of the “too innocent” looking dude. Yes, he was just disguising himself as a pathetic guy whom people either pitied or laughed at–not taking him seriously. He was indeed crazy.
  • Liu Shang Qian (劉尚謙) as Zhuo Ying Guan (卓英冠). Yuan Zhi’s father, Zhuo Guan Clan’s leader. He finally appeared near the end to explain matters to the kids. He was indeed a mysterious being from the start, not appearing at all but only sent his son there to protect the other three guys. I thought that he would die from his injury because of the crazy dude’s sudden stab. Luckily, he didn’t.
  • Debbie Chou (周丹薇) as Du Yi Ye (度一夜). Tian Ya’s mother, the queen of the Alastair Kingdom (阿拉斯特王國). She was seriously funny. Well, if the scene called for it. I was annoyed with her when she acted all arrogant toward Gong Zhu yet luckily it was just a little trick she pulled out to test Gong Zhu. Considering how she wasn’t royalty herself and married into royalty too, who was she to criticize Gong Zhu? Luckily, it wasn’t so.
    • Maggie Wu ( 吳亞馨) as Young Du Yi Ye (度一夜). She only appeared in flashbacks (obviously). She was shown as an intelligent young woman at that time and was also quite cute in her own way. Her older self was more cunning or more mischievous in a sense. It was nice seeing Maggie again. I haven’t seen her in awhile or perhaps I wasn’t watching the right dramas.
  • Tai Bao (太保) as Zhan Chi (戰持). Zhan Ye’s father. A cop. He was funny and like the other elders said, a “loud-mouth.” No wonder they didn’t include him in on the schemes to fool Dong Fang Lie. Although I admired him for his bravery and righteousness and loyalty to his friends, but I didn’t like it that he took it upon himself to help the robber’s family that one time. It was crazy. It wasn’t like he told the other dude to go rob people. It was an accident with the other incident. He was a cop, he chased a robber and that was his fault? Really? So yeah, really dumb move just because the other dude had a family. They acted all pitiful and made him feel guilty like he was in the wrong. It wasn’t like he was the robber and robbed and killed the other dude. Seriously. Anyway, back to Zhan Chi, I wasn’t sure if he died in the hospital or not. I was doing some other things and watching at the same time. Maybe I should go back and get an answer. But my guess was he did? Considering the amount of blood shown flowing down? That was just tragic.
  • Guan Jin Zong (管謹宗) as Wu Wen Bo (宇文博). Si Ren’s father. The president of Roland Academy. Known to be in cahoot with Dong Fang Lie for the majority of the series and then it was revealed that he was their undercover agent all along. He sacrificed himself years ago in order to save Dong Fang Hao and also kept the secret of the stones a mystery. He had to hold up a front as in wanting to kick the kids of the other three friends out of the academy yet secretly rooted for their success. It wasn’t until near the end that Du Yi Ye and Zhuo Ying Guan revealed of their past plan. He ended up being taken hostage, but was later rescued by Zhuo Guan Clan’s members. Although I understood his need to act fierce and strict in front of others, but I never could forgive him for the way he treated his son when the kid was little. So I was glad Si Ren confronted him about that and somehow got it resolved.
  • Li Jing Tian (李京恬) as Duo Mao Mao (朵貓貓). Yuan Zhi’s bodyguard, taken in and raised by Zhuo Ying Guan since little. She liked Yuan Zhi initially but Yuan Zhi only treated her like a sister. Later, it seemed like she finally accepted Hua Jing Tang? Regardless, she was really loyal to Yuan Zhi and his father–and she sure kicked ass.
  • Qiu Mu Han (邱木翰) as Mei Ren Li (梅忍禮). Assistant Director of the news coverage team. I didn’t think much of him and wasn’t really interested in his story line along with Ke Ke. He was just okay for me. It wasn’t like I was annoyed or was taking sides. But he was just one of those characters being there. I do pity him at times for getting yelled at, and on the other hand felt like he sort of walked into it with liking Ke Ke and sticking by her. It was his choice.
  • ID Yu (游艾迪) as Huo Xi (火曦). A teacher at Roland Academy. I really liked her and was glad she participated in a battle that one time Tian Ya was kidnapped. She was indeed cool. I also like her spunky nature and standing up for her students.
  • Sean Hong (洪聆翔) as Hua Jing Tang (花景棠). Initially liked Gong Zhu (or at least tried to impress her at their first meeting) yet later tagged Mao Mao. He was seriously too much with bragging about his appearance and talent. At first, I thought he was a villain, but then realized he was just silly. Then I realized he was smart, considering how he tried to shut Tian Ya up when Tian Ya was exposing himself. He wasn’t bad so I accepted him more. I also enjoyed his crazy banter with Mao Mao.
  • Tang Zhen Gang (唐振剛) as Fang Fei Dao (方飛刀). Vice President of the student body. Used to hate Si Ren because of Si Ren’s strict rules yet later ended up changing his mind since Si Ren’s attitude and behaviors had changed.
  • Yako Chan (詹子晴) as Gao Mai Mai (高脉脉). Zhan Ye’s high school classmate. She was freaking annoying at first and also the writers used the scheme with Tian Ya trying to persuade Zhan Ye to remember him at first again but with Mai Mai when she kept appearing and reminding him. It was indeed frustrating because Zhan Ye didn’t remember or know anything yet was deceived. It was obvious she was lying from the start. Then later when she revealed her story, it was sad. I was just glad it didn’t drag on. I felt bad for her, but I hated that Zhan Ye was deceived when he seriously had a condition that couldn’t allow him to remember anyone. It wasn’t like he was lying to her so putting him through that was cruel.

Likes:

  • The cast. Although I might not like some characters or got disappointed here and there, but I thought the cast worked well together. Not to mention the sacrifices they made and endured all the trials to make this drama happened. Most of the main cast were injured at one point or another. Or perhaps, more like anyone involved in fighting scenes or had a role that required fighting was injured at least once. It showed their efforts in making this drama happened. It also showed how this generation wasn’t so spoiled or acting like divas–like how others often talk about them like that.
  • The music. Loved AK songs in here and also that one sub-theme. The songs were a wonderful companion to the drama.
  • The mystery. Regardless of different events and how it turned out, I thought the mystery was interesting. They revealed different pieces of the puzzles throughout and then finally wrapped it up in the end. It seemed like a typical treasure hunt, but also different.
  • The pace. Well, the mystery sort of helped with the pace. But overall, it was plot-driven and not too into letting some characters hog the scene so that made the drama as an overall even more appealing for me. I was glad they moved forward and allow the plot details to show us who the characters were. Sure, there were nonsense comedic scenes (or so it appeared),  but I thought they did it so it was actually funny.
  • Couples. I meant to do a “Relationships” section, but I don’t feel like it anymore. Perhaps, I’ll go back to it later. Not sure. But I thought I put it here as well. I thought most of the couples matched up quite well. I felt Si Ren and Ke Ke were kind of forced since it was near the end. But it was all right. The other couples were hilarious in their own way. I used to like Yuan Zhi and Zhi Wu the most, but then that changed over time. I felt my favorite couple had to be Zhan Ye and Che Shen since they were so hilarious with their interactions throughout. It was so tragic to see the guys not making it and there would be no future for them.

Discussions:

  • The Ending. What was that? I think my reaction was justified when I went full, “What the hell?” Because seriously, what was that? I wasn’t as mad but more shocked and felt reluctant. Like I know the final battle was supposed to be intense and all. But like all four of them died? Like for real? I didn’t read the novel or have access to it so I wouldn’t know. But seriously? The reason why I didn’t see it coming although I saw pictures of the guys bleeding was because for the most part, even if there were intense moments, the comedy always came back. It was like a light comedy for the most part–added in with the mysteries they had to solve. But to go full nuclear?
  • Friendships among the four guys. Okay, mostly it was friendships among the three guys (Yuan Zhi, Tian Ya, and Zhan Ye) but near the end, Si Ren finally joined them. It was almost always 3 against 1. Yet other times, Yuan Zhi took Si Ren’s side and tried to get the other two to help Si Ren. In a way, Yuan Zhi was the glue to the group. It wasn’t until it was revealed that Wu Wen Bo was a mole for the elders that Tian Ya and Zhan Ye finally accepted Si Ren. The relations among them mostly revolve around trust. Although Tian Ya and Zhan Ye didn’t trust Si Ren at first, but because they trusted Yuan Zhi so they ended up helping Si Ren. At other times, they were forced to help one another because of circumstances as well. Because of Yuan Zhi’s persistence, Si Ren finally had the courage to confront his father (even if he–and the others) had thought wrongly of the man. One of the things that I found admirable was when Yuan Zhi met up with them and showed them the map pieces that Zhi Wu returned to him yet the others didn’t care to hear where it came from–even if they said it was better as a secret, but it was a way to say they supported Yuan Zhi so they didn’t need any sort of confrontation or explanation from him. What was funny was when they lined up in front of the 303 Dormitory and Si Ren showed up a little late that Zhan Ye was like,” Guan Tai Lian, you sure took forever.” Si Ren was surprised and looked at Zhan Ye, “You remember me?” Zhan Ye replied with, “Since your father’s friends with my father, of course we’re friends too.” That made one of Si Ren’s rare smiles appeared. Indeed, they finally accepted him as one of their own, even if Zhan Ye was still calling Si Ren “Guan Tai Lian” but he was saying it in a joking manner instead of in a mocking way like previously. Yup, Zhan Ye rarely recognized people and it took a lot of effort for him to remember so him remembering Si Ren without the others telling him beforehand meant that Si Ren was indeed important. In the end, they had formed a band of brothers for the final battle. It was indeed powerful, at times hilarious, and in the end touching and tragic.

Recommended? I would say it’s up to you. You have to like the cast to enjoy it. Or least give them a chance–like I did with the majority. It was worth it for me, even if the ending felt choking. Click here to watch on iQiyi if you want.

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Golden Bell Awards 2013: Winners

I know, I know. I’m way late with posting up results. But I had to wait until I actually have time or try to squeeze in some watching here and there before I could post this up–instead of just copying and pasting stuff from other sites. Anyway, those of you who have watched or read news know who won. (Go here to read about more exciting updates from the pros! LOL!) Again, like last year, I’m posting results by the order it was announced (except for variety shows, etc).

Best Film Editing – Presenters: Megan Lai and Leroy Yang:
Chen Zhen Guo (陳振國) – 3 Flowers’ Natural Haircut (三朵花純理髮)
Gao Ming Sheng (高鳴晟) – The Busy Young Psychic (神算)
Huang Guan Jun (黃冠鈞) – Record Standpoint – A Rolling Stone (紀錄觀點—築巢人)
Wen Ming Long (溫明龍) – Home (回家)
Fan Qiu Yan (潘秋燕) – The Cursed Mere (陂塘)

Best Cinematography – Presenters: Megan Lai and Leroy Yang:
Li Xue Zhu (李學主) – Discovery – Dajia River (DaAi TV)
Lin Jun Yang (林君陽) – 3 Flowers’ Natural Haircut (三朵花純理髮) (PTS’ Life Story Collection)
Fu Shi Ying (傅士英) – Midsummer Night Prefectural City (仲夏夜府城)
Liao Jing Yao (廖敬堯) – Katang Kids (南風。六堆 喀噠大作戰)
Liu Zhi Yi (劉志益) – MTV Taiwan Documentary (MIT台灣誌)

Best Marketing Program – Presenters: Megan Lai and Leroy Yang:
Two Fathers (2個爸爸) (SETTV)
Falling (含苞欲墜的每一天) (PTS)
Flavor of Life (含笑食堂) (SETTV)
KO One Return (終極一班2) (GTV)
An Innocent Mistake (罪美麗) (TTV)

Best Supporting Actress – Mini-series/ Tele-movies – Presenters: Na Dou (納豆) and Selina Ren:
Mariko Okubo (大久保麻梨子) – Substitute For Love (愛情替聲)
Debbie Yao (姚黛瑋) – Sweet Recipe of Happiness (幸福蜜方) (PTS’ Life Story Collection)
Lu Yi Ching (陸弈靜) – Radiance of Heng Sheng (光明恆生) (DaAi TV)
Huang Cai Yi (黃采儀) – Life Is Shit (臺北八個人) (PTS’ Life Story Collection)
Tan Ai Zhen (譚艾珍) – A Di Zi, Do You Know? (阿弟仔,知道不知道)

Best Lighting:
Wu Ming De (吳明德) – National Treasure In Focus (對焦國寶) (PTS)
Xu Shi Ming (許世明) – The Cursed Mere (陂塘)
Zhuang Hong Yu (莊弘裕) – Sunlight Paradise (日光天堂)
Cheng Wei Zhong (程韋中) – Substitute For Love (愛情替聲
Zhong Qiong Ting (鍾瓊婷) – 3 Flowers’ Natural Haircut (三朵花純理髮)

Best Sound Editing:
Wu Jia Li, Lin Chuan Zhi, Jian Shu Huan, and Huang Shan Liang (吳嘉莉、林傳智、簡淑歡、許勝雄、荒山亮) – Flavor of Life (含笑食堂)
Chen An Ru, Yu Zheng Xian, and Zhang Rong Yi (陳安如、余政憲、張榮倚) – Midsummer Night Prefectural City (仲夏夜府城)
Huang Nian Yong, Zheng Wei Zhi, and Zhang Rong Yi (黃年永、鄭維芝、張榮倚) – Katang Kids (南風。六堆 喀噠大作戰)
Yang Yi Xuan, Shen Sheng De, and Xu Yi Hong (楊以瑄、沈聖德、許一鴻) – The Busy Young Psychic (神算)
Deng Mao Zi, Gao You Feng, Suo Ji Chang, Luo Yi Juan, and Li Ai Xuan (鄧茂茲、高友峰、鎖際昌、羅怡娟、李艾璇) – Traversal 101 (穿越101)

Best Art and Design:
Lin Pei Chen (林沛辰) – An Innocent Mistake (罪美麗)
Ke Qing Mei (柯青每) – Midsummer Night Prefectural City (仲夏夜府城)
Xu Ying Guang and Zhao Shu Yin (許英光、趙舒音) – Home (回家)
Zheng Jia Wei (鄭嘉偉) – Traversal 101 (穿越101)
Lai Yong Kun (賴勇坤) – 3 Flowers’ Natural Haircut (三朵花純理髮)

Best Screenwriter/ Script – Tele-movies – Presenters: Kingone Wang and Jade Chou:
Chen Jia Min (陳佳敏) – The Will to Power (權力過程)
Chen Guan Ting and Huang Jing Zu (陳冠廷、黃靖祖) – The 31st Sign (第三十一首籤)
Huang Ying Min and Lv Deng Gui (黃英珉、呂登貴) – Katang Kids (南風。六堆 喀噠大作戰) (Hakka TV)
Lei Xiao Ci (雷孝慈) – That Day, Mom Came To See Me (那天媽媽來看我)
Liao Shi Han and Shi Hong Ru (廖士涵、施虹如) – Midsummer Night Prefectural City (仲夏夜府城)

Best Supporting Actor – Mini-series/ Tele-movies – Presenters: Kingone Wang and Jade Chou:
Wu Ding Qian (吳定謙) – The 31st Sign (第三十一首籤)
Li Tao (李滔) – A Di Zi, Do You Know? (阿弟仔,知道不知道)
Vince Kao (高英軒) – A Complete Life (双全)
Chen Mu Yi (陳慕義) – The Will to Power (權力過程)
Tang Zhi Wei (湯志偉) – The Will to Power (權力過程)

Best Leading Actress – Min-series/ Tele-movies – Presenters: Kingone Wang and Jade Chou:
Yin Xin (尹馨) – The Will to Power (權力過程)
Bai Bing Bing (白冰冰) – That Day, Mom Came To See Me (那天媽媽來看我)
Zhu Zhi Ying (朱芷瑩) – Sunlight Paradise (日光天堂) (Hakka TV)
Yu Pei Zhen (余佩真) – The Busy Young Psychic (神算) (PTS’ Student Life Story Collection)
Yang Xiao Li (楊小黎) – Substitute For Love (愛情替聲)

Best Director – Mini-series/ Tele-movies – Presenters: Long Shao Hua and Miao Ke Li:
Wang Chuan Zong (王傳宗) – A Di Zi, Do You Know? (阿弟仔,知道不知道)
Zhu Jia Lin (朱家麟) – Traversal 101 (穿越101)
Xin Jian Zong (辛建宗) – Substitute For Love (愛情替聲
Fan Yang Zhong (范揚仲) – The Will to Power (權力過程)
Zeng Xin Ying (曾馨瑩) – The 31st Sign (第三十一首籤)

Best Mini-series/ Tele-movies – Presenters: Long Shao Hua and Miao Ke Li:
PTS’ Life Story Collection – Midsummer Night Prefectural City (仲夏夜府城)
Traversal 101 (穿越101) (PTS)
PTS’ Life Story Collection – The 31st Sign (第三十一首籤)
PTS’ Life Story Collection – Substitute For Love (愛情替聲)
PTS’ Life Story Collection – The Will to Power (權力過程)

Best Leading Actor – Mini-series/ Tele-movies – Presenter: Miao Ke Li:
Tai Bao (太保) – The Best Thing (最好的一件事) (PTS’ Student Life Story Collection)
Wang Mon Ling (王夢麟) – A Di Zi, Do You Know? (阿弟仔,知道不知道) (PTS’ Life Story Collection)
Liang Xiu Shen (梁修身) – The Will to Power (權力過程)
Bi Xiao Hai (畢曉海) – Fresh Meatball (鮮肉餅) (PTS’ Student Life Story Collection)
Long Shao Hua (龍劭華) – La Ba Hong’s Song of Grief and Joy (喇叭宏的悲喜曲) (PTS’ Life Story Collection)

Best Supporting Actor – Drama – Presenters: James Wen and Janel Tsai:
Chen Bo Zheng (陳博正) – Sweet Sweet Bodyguard (剩女保鏢) (SETTV)
Li Li Ren (李李仁) – Home (回家)
Li Chen Xiang (李辰翔) – End of Innocence (死了一個國中生之後)
Lin Zong Ren (林宗仁) – Love in the Wind (你是春風我是雨) (GTV)
Zhang Shao Huai(張少懷) – Falling (含苞欲墜的每一天)

Best Supporting Actress – Drama – Presenters: James Wen and Janel Tsai:
Xiao Xun (小薰) – Love Me Or Leave Me (我租了一個情人) (TTV)
Lv Xue Feng (呂雪鳳) – Flavor of Life (含笑食堂)
Yang Ke Fan (楊可凡) – Flavor of Life (含笑食堂)
Ge Lei (葛蕾) – Home (回家)
Esther Liu (劉品言) – Falling (含苞欲墜的每一天)

Best Screenwriter/ Script – Drama – Presenters: Winnie Qu and Amber Kuo:
Xu Yu Ting, Wu Yi Ran, Xie Bing Xun, He Yao Xian, and Li Wan Rong (徐譽庭、吳怡然、謝秉勳、何曜先、李婉榕) – An Innocent Mistake (罪美麗)
Huang Shi Ming, Liu Wei Ci, Zeng Xian Zhang, and Liu Rui Xuan (黃世鳴、劉瑋慈、曾顯章、劉蕊瑄) – Home (回家)
Huang Yu Jia (黃雨佳) – End of Innocence (死了一個國中生之後)
Ye Dan Qing, Yan Yi Fan, Lin Jia Hui, and Xi Qin (葉丹青、顏一帆、林佳慧、楊靚姝、嬉勤) – Flavor of Life (含笑食堂)
Wen Yu Fang (溫郁芳) – Falling (含苞欲墜的每一天)

Best Director – Drama – Presenters: Winnie Qu and Amber Kuo:
Wang Ming Tai (王明台) – Falling (含苞欲墜的每一天)
Lin Zi Ping (林子平) – Home (回家)
Zhang Jin Rong (張晉榮) – The Cursed Mere (陂塘) (Hakka TV)
Ye Tian Lun (葉天倫) – Flavor of Life (含笑食堂)
You Zhi Wei, Gao Bing Quan, Guo Chun Hui, and Zhang Jia Xian (游智煒、高炳權、郭春暉、張佳賢) – The Late Night Shop (小站)

Best Leading Actress – Drama – Presenters: Tia Li and Puff Guo:
Ding Ye Tian (丁也恬) – My Summer Adventure (阿婆的夏令營) (Hakka TV)
Jade Chou (周幼婷) – Falling (含苞欲墜的每一天)
Lin Chen Xi (林辰唏) – An Innocent Mistake (罪美麗)
Miao Ke Li (苗可麗) – Flavor of Life (含笑食堂)
Nikki Hsieh (謝欣穎) – Die Sterntaler (白色之戀) (CTV)

Best Leading Actor – Drama – Presenters: Chen Bo Lin and Sonia Sui:
Vic Chou (周渝民) – Home (回家)
Lin Jia Wei (林嘉瑋) – End of Innocence (死了一個國中生之後)
Morning Mo (莫子儀) – An Innocent Mistake (罪美麗)
Jag Huang (黃健瑋) – Falling (含苞欲墜的每一天)
Long Shao Hua (龍劭華) – Flavor of Life (含笑食堂)

Best Dramas – Presenters: Chen Bo Lin and Sonia Sui:
Home (回家) (CTS)
Falling (含苞欲墜的每一天) (PTS)
Flavor of Life (含笑食堂) (SETTV)
End of Innocence (死了一個國中生之後) (Hakka TV)
An Innocent Mistake (罪美麗) (TTV)

Wow! Congrats to all winners! It was fun to watch. But what I enjoyed was the unpredictable winners versus last year’s repetitive trends. I’m not acting like a sore loser about last year. But I felt this year have more variety with winners versus last year’s one take all so it was a bit boring on that front.

*All information were translated and verified by DTLCT.

Golden Bell Awards 2013: Nominations List

Another year gone by and here we are again, talking about the Golden Bell Awards. Again, I’m not going to translate some of the variety shows, etc because it’s too much of a headache for me.

Best Dramas:
Home (回家) (CTS)
Falling (含苞欲墜的每一天) (PTS)
Flavor of Life (含笑食堂) (SETTV)
End of Innocence (死了一個國中生之後) (Hakka TV)
An Innocent Mistake (罪美麗) (TTV)

Best Mini-series/ Tele-movies:
PTS’ Life Story Collection – Midsummer Night Prefectural City (仲夏夜府城)
Traversal 101 (穿越101) (PTS)
PTS’ Life Story Collection – The 31st Sign (第三十一首籤)
PTS’ Life Story Collection – Substitute For Love (愛情替聲)
PTS’ Life Story Collection – The Will to Power (權力過程)

Best Leading Actor – Drama:
Vic Chou (周渝民) – Home (回家)
Lin Jia Wei (林嘉瑋) – End of Innocence (死了一個國中生之後)
Morning Mo (莫子儀) – An Innocent Mistake (罪美麗)
Jag Huang (黃健瑋) – Falling (含苞欲墜的每一天)
Long Shao Hua (龍劭華) – Flavor of Life (含笑食堂)

Best Leading Actress – Drama:
Ding Ye Tian (丁也恬) – My Summer Adventure (阿婆的夏令營) (Hakka TV)
Jade Chou (周幼婷) – Falling (含苞欲墜的每一天)
Lin Chen Xi (林辰唏) – An Innocent Mistake (罪美麗)
Miao Ke Li (苗可麗) – Flavor of Life (含笑食堂)
Nikki Hsieh (謝欣穎) – Die Sterntaler (白色之戀) (CTV)

Best Supporting Actor – Drama:
Chen Bo Zheng (陳博正) – Sweet Sweet Bodyguard (剩女保鏢) (SETTV)
Li Li Ren (李李仁) – Home (回家)
Li Chen Xiang (李辰翔) – End of Innocence (死了一個國中生之後)
Lin Zong Ren (林宗仁) – Love in the Wind (你是春風我是雨) (GTV)
Zhang Shao Huai(張少懷) – Falling (含苞欲墜的每一天)

Best Supporting Actress – Drama:
Xiao Xun (小薰) – Love Me Or Leave Me (我租了一個情人) (TTV)
Lv Xue Feng (呂雪鳳) – Flavor of Life (含笑食堂)
Yang Ke Fan (楊可凡) – Flavor of Life (含笑食堂)
Ge Lei (葛蕾) – Home (回家)
Esther Liu (劉品言) – Falling (含苞欲墜的每一天)

Best Director – Drama:
Wang Ming Tai (王明台) – Falling (含苞欲墜的每一天)
Lin Zi Ping (林子平) – Home (回家)
Zhang Jin Rong (張晉榮) – The Cursed Mere (陂塘) (Hakka TV)
Ye Tian Lun (葉天倫) – Flavor of Life (含笑食堂)
You Zhi Wei, Gao Bing Quan, Guo Chun Hui, and Zhang Jia Xian (游智煒、高炳權、郭春暉、張佳賢) – The Late Night Shop (小站)

Best Screenwriter/ Script – Drama:
Xu Yu Ting, Wu Yi Ran, Xie Bing Xun, He Yao Xian, and Li Wan Rong (徐譽庭、吳怡然、謝秉勳、何曜先、李婉榕) – An Innocent Mistake (罪美麗)
Huang Shi Ming, Liu Wei Ci, Zeng Xian Zhang, and Liu Rui Xuan (黃世鳴、劉瑋慈、曾顯章、劉蕊瑄) – Home (回家)
Huang Yu Jia (黃雨佳) – End of Innocence (死了一個國中生之後)
Ye Dan Qing, Yan Yi Fan, Lin Jia Hui, and Xi Qin (葉丹青、顏一帆、林佳慧、楊靚姝、嬉勤) – Flavor of Life (含笑食堂)
Wen Yu Fang (溫郁芳) – Falling (含苞欲墜的每一天)

Best Leading Actor – Mini-series/ Tele-movies:
Tai Bao (太保) – The Best Thing (最好的一件事) (PTS’ Student Life Story Collection)
Wang Mon Ling (王夢麟) – A Di Zi, Do You Know? (阿弟仔,知道不知道) (PTS’ Life Story Collection)
Liang Xiu Shen (梁修身) – The Will to Power (權力過程)
Bi Xiao Hai (畢曉海) – Fresh Meatball (鮮肉餅) (PTS’ Student Life Story Collection)
Long Shao Hua (龍劭華) – La Ba Hong’s Song of Grief and Joy (喇叭宏的悲喜曲) (PTS’ Life Story Collection)

Best Leading Actress – Min-series/ Tele-movies:
Yin Xin (尹馨) – The Will to Power (權力過程)
Bai Bing Bing (白冰冰) – That Day, Mom Came To See Me (那天媽媽來看我)
Zhu Zhi Ying (朱芷瑩) – Sunlight Paradise (日光天堂) (Hakka TV)
Yu Pei Zhen (余佩真) – The Busy Young Psychic (神算) (PTS’ Student Life Story Collection)
Yang Xiao Li (楊小黎) – Substitute For Love (愛情替聲)

Best Supporting Actor – Mini-series/ Tele-movies:
Wu Ding Qian (吳定謙) – The 31st Sign (第三十一首籤)
Li Tao (李滔) – A Di Zi, Do You Know? (阿弟仔,知道不知道)
Vince Kao (高英軒) – A Complete Life (双全)
Chen Mu Yi (陳慕義) – The Will to Power (權力過程)
Tang Zhi Wei (湯志偉) – The Will to Power (權力過程)

Best Supporting Actress – Mini-series/ Tele-movies:
Mariko Okubo (大久保麻梨子) – Substitute For Love (愛情替聲)
Debbie Yao (姚黛瑋) – Sweet Recipe of Happiness (幸福蜜方) (PTS’ Life Story Collection)
Lu Yi Ching (陸弈靜) – Radiance of Heng Sheng (光明恆生) (DaAi TV)
Huang Cai Yi (黃采儀) – Life Is Shit (臺北八個人) (PTS’ Life Story Collection)
Tan Ai Zhen (譚艾珍) – A Di Zi, Do You Know? (阿弟仔,知道不知道)

Best Director – Mini-series/ Tele-movies:
Wang Chuan Zong (王傳宗) – A Di Zi, Do You Know? (阿弟仔,知道不知道)
Zhu Jia Lin (朱家麟) – Traversal 101 (穿越101)
Xin Jian Zong (辛建宗) – Substitute For Love (愛情替聲
Fan Yang Zhong (范揚仲) – The Will to Power (權力過程)
Zeng Xin Ying (曾馨瑩) – The 31st Sign (第三十一首籤)

Best Screenwriter/ Script – Tele-movies:
Chen Jia Min (陳佳敏) – The Will to Power (權力過程)
Chen Guan Ting and Huang Jing Zu (陳冠廷、黃靖祖) – The 31st Sign (第三十一首籤)
Huang Ying Min and Lv Deng Gui (黃英珉、呂登貴) – Katang Kids (南風。六堆 喀噠大作戰) (Hakka TV)
Lei Xiao Ci (雷孝慈) – That Day, Mom Came To See Me (那天媽媽來看我)
Liao Shi Han and Shi Hong Ru (廖士涵、施虹如) – Midsummer Night Prefectural City (仲夏夜府城)

Best Cinematography:
Li Xue Zhu (李學主) – Discovery – Dajia River (DaAi TV)
Lin Jun Yang (林君陽) – 3 Flowers’ Natural Haircut (三朵花純理髮) (PTS’ Life Story Collection)
Fu Shi Ying (傅士英) – Midsummer Night Prefectural City (仲夏夜府城)
Liao Jing Yao (廖敬堯) – Katang Kids (南風。六堆 喀噠大作戰)
Liu Zhi Yi (劉志益) – MTV Taiwan Documentary (MIT台灣誌)

Best Film Editing:
Chen Zhen Guo (陳振國) – 3 Flowers’ Natural Haircut (三朵花純理髮)
Gao Ming Sheng (高鳴晟) – The Busy Young Psychic (神算)
Huang Guan Jun (黃冠鈞) – Record Standpoint – A Rolling Stone (紀錄觀點—築巢人)
Wen Ming Long (溫明龍) – Home (回家)
Fan Qiu Yan (潘秋燕) – The Cursed Mere (陂塘)

Best Sound Editing:
Wu Jia Li, Lin Chuan Zhi, Jian Shu Huan, and Huang Shan Liang (吳嘉莉、林傳智、簡淑歡、許勝雄、荒山亮) – Flavor of Life (含笑食堂)
Chen An Ru, Yu Zheng Xian, and Zhang Rong Yi (陳安如、余政憲、張榮倚) – Midsummer Night Prefectural City (仲夏夜府城)
Huang Nian Yong, Zheng Wei Zhi, and Zhang Rong Yi (黃年永、鄭維芝、張榮倚) – Katang Kids (南風。六堆 喀噠大作戰)
Yang Yi Xuan, Shen Sheng De, and Xu Yi Hong (楊以瑄、沈聖德、許一鴻) – The Busy Young Psychic (神算)
Deng Mao Zi, Gao You Feng, Suo Ji Chang, Luo Yi Juan, and Li Ai Xuan (鄧茂茲、高友峰、鎖際昌、羅怡娟、李艾璇) – Traversal 101 (穿越101)

Best Lighting:
Wu Ming De (吳明德) – National Treasure In Focus (對焦國寶) (PTS)
Xu Shi Ming (許世明) – The Cursed Mere (陂塘)
Zhuang Hong Yu (莊弘裕) – Sunlight Paradise (日光天堂)
Cheng Wei Zhong (程韋中) – Substitute For Love (愛情替聲
Zhong Qiong Ting (鍾瓊婷) – 3 Flowers’ Natural Haircut (三朵花純理髮)

Best Art and Design:
Lin Pei Chen (林沛辰) – An Innocent Mistake (罪美麗)
Ke Qing Mei (柯青每) – Midsummer Night Prefectural City (仲夏夜府城)
Xu Ying Guang and Zhao Shu Yin (許英光、趙舒音) – Home (回家)
Zheng Jia Wei (鄭嘉偉) – Traversal 101 (穿越101)
Lai Yong Kun (賴勇坤) – 3 Flowers’ Natural Haircut (三朵花純理髮)

Best Marketing Program:
Two Fathers (2個爸爸) (SETTV)
Falling (含苞欲墜的每一天) (PTS)
Flavor of Life (含笑食堂) (SETTV)
KO One Return (終極一班2) (GTV)
An Innocent Mistake (罪美麗) (TTV)

*All information was translated and verified by DTLCT.

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