Top 50 Actresses of 2015

(image credit: as marked)

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

Translation:

1. Tiffany Tang Yan / Đường Yên

2. Zanilia Zhao Li Ying / Triệu Lệ Dĩnh

3. Fan Bing Bing / Phạm Băng Băng

4. Yang Mi / Dương Mịch

5. Angelababy / Yang Ying / Dương Dĩnh

6. Tamia Liu Tao / Lưu Đào

7.

8. Vicki Zhao / Triệu Vy

9. Crystal Liu Yi Fei / Lưu Diệc Phi

10. Jiang Xin / Tưởng Hân

11. Janine Chang / Trương Quân Ninh

12. Cecilia Liu Shi Shi / Lưu Thi Thi

13. Zheng Shuang / Trịnh Sảng

14. Betty Sun Li / Tôn Lệ

15. Ruby Lin / Lâm Tâm Như

16. Park Shin Hye

17. Ada Liu Yan / Liễu Nham

18. Tong Li Ya / Đồng Lệ Á

19. Viann Zhang / Trương Hinh Dư

20. Michelle Chen / Trần Nghiên Hy

21. Jia Qing / Giả Thanh

22. Yang Rong / Dương Dung

23. Gao Yuan Yuan / Cao Viên Viên

24. Wang Li Kun / Vương Lệ Khôn

25. Lemon Zhang Meng / Trương Mông

26. Stephy Qi Wei / Thích Vy

27. Mabel Yuan Shan Shan / Viên San San

28. Victoria Song / Tống Thiến

29. Ma Su / Mã Tô

30. Loura Lou Yi Xiao / Lâu Nghệ Tiêu

31. Yang Zi / Dương Tử

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

33. Hu Bing Qing / Hồ Băng Khanh

34. Jennifer Shu Chang / Thư Sướng

35. Li Qin / Lý Thấm

36. Jacqueline Li Xiao Lu / Lý Tiểu Lộ

37. Krystal Jung Soo

38. Huo Si Yan / Hoắc Tư Yến

39. Bai Bai He / Bạch Bách Hà

40. Li Qian / Lý Thanh

41. Mao Xiao Tong / Mao Hiểu Đồng

42. Cecilia Han Xue / Hàn Tuyết

43. Ivy Chen / Trần Ý Hàm

44. Ying Er / Dĩnh Nhi

45. Yoki Sun / Tôn Diệu Kỳ

46. Dilraba Dilmurat / Địch Lệ Nhiệt Ba

47. Sophie Zhang / Trương Tuyết Nghênh

48. Anita Yuen / Viên Vịnh Nghi

49. Song Ji Hyo

50. Song Jia / Tống Giai

The Lost Tomb: Review

(image credit: as marked)

I finally made my way to watching this. LOL! In fact, I decided to kick some of the other series aside to focus on this one. Besides, it’s only twelve episodes, so why not?

Before I dive in and then after watching, I swear I was looking toward Season 2. Yet after hunting down to read some news, I just want to plain drop it and go for the novel. I’ll just imagine the cast in their roles (minus the extra characters, of course). It’s really sad. I didn’t know about so many senseless dramas going on behind the scenes while following the drama since I only grab pictures and read bits and pieces here and there so I didn’t realize so much had been going on. But after reading some more stories from this one site, I was really shocked. (Check out shimokuren‘s comments for all the details.) Seriously? How petty could some people get? But I guess A LOT. I have to confess (if it wasn’t obvious before), I want to watch this because of Ken Chang hence most of the updates before. I do know about the novels (after hunting around to do updates) and it’s on my ‘to read’ list. That was it. Now that I’d learned of all the mess, I don’t think I want to watch anymore. Besides, Ken Chang rarely appears anyway. Not to mention, I don’t know how much cutting is going to go on with future seasons. ‘Cause I thought because of my broken understanding, I didn’t get the story. But the reason why some scenes were so confusing or if details didn’t add up, it was because of the cuts.

Main Cast:

  • Li Yi Feng (李易峰) as Wu Xie (吳邪). I felt it was similar to his acting in Legend of the Ancient Sword, except he wasn’t possessed. But I think I understood why in the other one since his character was called ‘wooden-face’ many times and how he was so sheltered since little so it made sense. But this one, I couldn’t understand why there was inconsistency with him at times appearing to be lively and getting into schemes with High Shao and Fatty Wang yet at other times seemed clueless or passive.
  • Tiffany Tang Yan (唐嫣) as Ah Ning (阿寧). She didn’t appear much in here, but her character was intriguing enough. In a way, it was refreshing to watch her portraying a fierce character after all those recently ‘trying to be cute’ characters. (Which I swear I had to drop, sorry, but more because of the roles and not totally because of her.)
  • Yang Yang (杨洋) as Zhang Qi Ling (張起靈) aka Xiao Ge (小哥). At first, I didn’t recognize Yang Yang because I only watched him recently in The Four when I was catching up. Not to mention his face was covered for the majority of the time. The image was also different (of course) so it was harder to see the connection. But when they showed different angles, I realized it was indeed him. I was impressed with his acting in here (more than in The Four) because, in the other one, he only had to look good and smile most of the time. (Sure, he looked devastated enough when there were tragic scenes and I sympathized with him. But it was kind of repetitive at times.) In here, he had to act with his eyes a lot and how he didn’t exaggerate was a bonus. Then his mysterious aura plus the action scenes. Who in the world could resist, right? What made me feel kind of strange was how he was less involved later on. But then when I read about the cuts, it made a lot of sense why he wasn’t around anymore.
  • Liu Tian Zuo (劉天佐) as Wang Yue Ban (王月半) aka Fatty Wang (王胖子). Hilarious since the beginning. I think he was natural throughout and lighted up the scene whenever he appeared. Yet he sure jinxed them a lot. Since although he saved them at the beginning, his miscalculations had led them into even more trouble. Then his snarky remarks.
  • Ken Chang (張智堯) as Wu San Sheng (吳三省) aka Third Uncle (三叔). I’m a Ken fan so I will be biased, lol. I liked him as the strange Third Uncle. He cracked me up at times with his overly paranoia too. Yet he proved quite experienced. I was really excited to see him, but it didn’t seem enough.
  • Wei Wei (魏巍) as Pan Zi (潘子). Loyal and brave. I thought he would be some fierce, hostile character but he ended up being part of the comedy team too.
  • Yoki Sun (孫耀琦) as Chen Cheng Cheng (陳丞橙). A made-up character–or so I had read somewhere. I seriously was excited to see Yoki in here and thought she was hilarious at first and then soooo cunning later. As an active follower of her since Shen Yi Da Dao Gong, I felt she did a good job with her role. I will say that I do understand the frustration of novel fans when the writers had created such a character and distracted the audience from the original plot. I totally get it! NOT KIDDING, because I had some major frustrations in the past with trying to explain to some people why I was against some “scene-stealer” that ended up being a heroine in this one novel adaptation yet they dubbed me as a hater. SO yes, I get it, I’m not just saying it to get some people off my back, but I seriously get it. Anyway, even if I felt somehow her character was written well (like how one felt she was senseless yet it was a mask to deceive the characters from the start because she had a hidden agenda), I think they (the writers) shouldn’t have gone ahead with it. (Even if there was the whole thing with her management company backing up with the budget and all or whatever. I can’t stand people sacrificing arts because of some deals or senseless disagreements.) I think I will always go back to Shen Yi Da Dao Gong to enjoy her performance, not relying on this one. (Even if she didn’t turn out as a villain, I still like her because I guess I’m a fan of food so I found those scenes funny. Yet I do understand why some people are turned off by food, not just because her character was a made-up one.)
  • Leon Lee (李晨浩) as High Shao. Another made-up character, right? I think his character distracted us from paying attention to Wu Xie and other characters. Okay, I found him fun and random at times, but it so distracted us from the main plot. The episodes were already short, do we need episode filler scenes too? I’m sorry to pick on him and go easy on Yoki, but having one senseless character is one thing, but having too many is just too much. Either go with him or Yoki’s character. Not both. Because I think Fatty Wang was already a comedic relief for the drama so there was no need for even more. It’s over-killed.
  • Edward Chang (张晓晨) as Jie Yu Chen (解雨臣). Some of his scenes were cut too because he had some fight scenes with Yang Yang’s character. Yet I can’t wait to find out more about his character. So it was a shame how things turned out. I guess it’s a good thing to check out the novels.

Others:

  • Ying Er (穎兒) as Huo Xiu Xiu (霍秀秀). I found her character intriguing. Will she return in Season 2 (if they don’t kill the whole production already because of their petty moves in the past) or will she be replaced? I wish there was more. But I also read that because of the senseless dramas behind the scenes, her scenes were cut too. So yeah…
  • Lu Xing Yu (卢星宇) as  (魯國公).
  • Su Qing (苏青) as Yao Guang (瑤光).
  • Cheng Pei Pei as Old Madame Huo (霍老太太). Fierce all right. I wonder what was her problem. Again, will have to check it all out in the novel.
  • Li Xin Liang (李昕亮) as Liu Tai (六太). Works with Ah Ning for some unknown boss (only seen on-screen to give commands but wasn’t named). Annoying since he was on the opposing side. But I guess it couldn’t be different since he worked for his boss after all.
  • Huang Ming (黄明) as King of Lu Shang (魯殤王).

What was good?

  • Actions scenes. I wish there were more. But I guess the cuts explained why there were so little.
  • The cast. I didn’t have a problem with them, but maybe more for their roles at times.
  • The chemistry between Li Yi Feng and Yang Yang. I thought I was the only one seeing there was something going on between the two of them! LOL! Not kidding. (I read some comments that others saw it too, lol.) I think those were the only times I felt Li Yi Feng’s acting wasn’t awkward. Somehow, they were a good team.

NOT COOL!

  • The cuts. YES, it messed up the story and I didn’t understand why some stuff happened anymore. Like how Xiao Ge was so involved in protecting Wu Xie and leading the way at first and then he wasn’t seen around much later. In fact, I felt it strange he wasn’t so involved in the plot and was seen spying on them at that one event they were trying to sneak into. Yet he did later appear to hold off the gang for them but wasn’t seen anymore. Now it made sense as to why. It probably got cut. Then who could forget the scene where he was suddenly without a shirt when they were still in the tomb. I thought I blinked for two seconds and missed it.

Final thoughts? So hunting down the novel to read. It would definitely explain some of the questions I have.

Oh yeah, almost forgot, recommended? Perhaps not to novel fans, but if you’re watching for your favorites, dig in. LOL! But the missing parts will drive you insane anyway. It’s only twelve episodes so if you have time to kill, yeah. If not, don’t sweat it.

The Lost Tomb: Surprise, Surprise!

One of the most popular search terms circulating on Weibo of recent is “Sun Yao Qi Villain.” That had caused quite a rile among fans and viewers alike. However, it could be explained that her character turned out to be a villain near the ending. Or so I heard.

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

Fairly Legal: An Adaptation of Liu An Hua Ming’s Novel

Title / Tên: Fairly Legal (美人谋律) / Mỹ Nhân Mưu Luật

AKA / Tên Khác: Tang Dynasty’s Strategic Law  (大唐谋律) / Đại Đường Mưu Luật

Episode Count / Tổng Số Tập: 40 Episodes / Tập

Episode Length / Tổng Số Phút Trong Một Tập: 45 Minutes / Phút

Genre / Thể Loại: Drama, Romance, Ancient, Suspense / Tính Kịch, Tình Cảm, Cổ Trang, Huyền Nghi

Airing / Thời Gian Phát Sóng:

Director(s) / Đạo Diễn: Li Hui Zhu (李慧珠) / Lý Huệ Châu

Producer / Giám Chế: Yang Mi / Dương Mịch

Online Broadcasting Platforms / Những Liên Mạng Phát Sóng: iQIYI (爱奇艺), LeTV (乐视), Sohu (搜狐), MangoTV (芒果TV), QQ (腾讯)

Plot Summary / Tình Tiết: Young Chun Tu Mi was born from a military household. Originally intended to be an obedient young lady of a small household yet unfortunately, her father was wronged and imprisoned. Because there was no male figure within the household, Chun Tu Mi–who had studied the laws–didn’t have any choice but to enter the courthouse and seek justice for her father, hence she had to walk on the road of a barrister. For a woman to lodge a complaint, she had to face numerous problems and obvious criticisms. Even affecting her marriage. Yet due to her persistence and her family’s support and encouragement, she saved poor people, fought against nobility, never feared the powerful, was crafty and full of wisdom, uncovered countless of unsolved and mysterious cases, sharing and shouldering the burdens of the country’s difficulties, and willingly became the king’s little pawn. In the end, Chun Tu Mi grew into the first ancient greatest female barrister. At the same time, she also won over the affections of the future crowned prince Han Wu Wei, the minister of Dali Kang Zheng Yuan, and the foreign country prince A Su Rui. In the end, Chun Tu Mi chose to face trials and tribulations with A Su Rui, joining the two countries together by marriage. / Thiếu nữ Xuân Đồ Mi sinh ra trong một hộ nhà quân sự. Đáng lẽ dự định rằng sẽ ngoan ngoãn an phận làm thiên kim của một hộ nhỏ. Ai ngờ, phụ thân bị oan phải vào tù. Bởi vì trong nhà không có nam đinh, cho nên một người đã từng học hiểu về pháp luật như Xuân Đồ Mi phải bất đắc dĩ lên công đường vì cha thân oan. Và vì vậy đã phải dẫm lên con đường làm trạng sư. Một cô gái đi kiện cáo, cô đã phải đối diện với biết bao nhiêu gian nan và phê phán hiển nhiên. Đến nổi ảnh hưởng tới cuộc hôn nhân của cô. Nhưng vì sự kiên trì của cô và sự ủng hộ và cổ võ của gia đình, cô cứu dân nghèo, đấu quyền quý, không sợ cường quyền, giảo hoạt đa trí, phá vô số nghi nan kỳ án, vì quốc phân ưu, và cam nguyện làm con cờ nho nhỏ trong tay hoàng đế. Cuối cùng, Xuân Đồ Mi trở thành cổ đại đệ nhứt nữ trạng sư. Đồng thời, cô đã dành được cảm tình của Thái Tử Tương Lai Hàn Vô Úy, Đại Lý Đại Thừa Khang Chính Nguyên, và Dị Quốc Vương Tử A Tô Thụy. Cuối cùng, Xuân Đồ Mi chọn lựa con đường đồng cam cộng khổ với A Tô Thụy, đi hòa thân.

Yang Mi (楊冪) as Chun Tu Mi (春荼蘼) / Dương Mịch vai Xuân Đồ Mi. Tang Dynasty’s Greatest Female Barrister / Đại Đường Đệ Nhứt Nữ Trạng Sư (大唐第一女状师). Chun Tu Mi is a kind-hearted, full of sympathy girl. Because she wanted to seek justice for her father, she had to pursue the barrister path. Yet having been through a series of legendary stories, she finally acquired her true love. / Xuân Đồ Mi là một nữ tử thiện lương, tràn đầy sự thông cảm. Vì cha thân oan, cô phải đi trên con đường trạng sư. Nhưng trải qua vô số trường kỳ cố sự, cô đã kiếm được tình yêu của chính mình.

Feng Shao Feng (冯绍峰) as A Su Rui (阿苏瑞) / Phùng Thiệu Phong vai A Tô Thụy. A Su Rui is the Prince of A Su, a neighboring country to the Tang Dynasty. While traveling within the Tang Dynasty, he met and eventually fell in love with Chun Tu Mi. In the end, they were able to be together. / A Tô Thụy là vương tử của Nước A Tô, một nước láng giềng của Đại Đường. Trong lúc du ngoạn tại Đại Đường đã quen được Xuân Đồ Mi và đem lòng thương Xuân Đồ Mi. Cuối cùng, họ cũng được ở cạnh bên nhau.

William Chan (陳偉霆) as Ye Cha (夜叉) / Trần Vỹ Đình vai Dạ Xoa. Assassin (杀手) / Sát Thủ. Ye Cha is the leader of a top-ranked assassins organization, having a secretive background and acquiring advanced, unmeasurable martial arts techniques. Exuding a dangerous and mysterious aura. Yet risked his life countless times in saving Chun Tu Mi, having difficult of expressing his own trust. / Dạ Xoa là thủ lãnh của một tổ chức sát thủ cao đẳng, thân phận thần bí và có võ công cao thâm khó lường. Ngoại biểu nguy hiểm và hắc ám. Nhưng đã nhiều lần xả thân cứu Xuân Đồ Mi. Y là một người khó biểu lộ được sự tín nhiệm đối với người khác.

Mabel Yuan (袁姗姗) as Ren Ruo Yi (任若绮) / Viên San San vai Nhậm Nhược Ỷ. Ren Ruo Yi is Chun Tu Mi’s best friend since childhood. Likes Han Wu Wei. In the end, died protecting Han Wu Wei. / Nhậm Nhược Ỷ là bạn thân chơi từ nhỏ cho tới lớn của Xuân Đồ Mi. Thương Hàn Vô Úy. Cuối cùng, vì bảo vệ Hàn Vô Úy mà chết.

Li Yi Feng (李易峰) as Han Wu Wei (韩无畏) / Lý Dịch Phong vai Hàn Vô Úy. Han Wu Wei is the future crowned prince of the Tang Dynasty. Met Chun Tu Mi at the imperial garden, and eventually fell in love with her. At all times and in silence, tried to protect her. / Hàn Vô Úy là thái tử tương lai của Đại Đường. Tương ngộ với Xuân Đồ Mi tại ngự hoa viên và đã đem lòng mến mộ Xuân Đồ Mi. Luôn luôn âm thầm bảo vệ Xuân Đồ Mi.

Wallace Chung (鍾漢良) as Kang Zheng Yuan (康正源) / Chung Hán Lương vai Khang Chính Nguyên. Kang Zheng Yuan is a minister from the Kingdom of Dali, possesses an impressive amount of family wealth and status. He is a very talented person in regard to the law and possesses an overflowing amount of literary talent. Likes Chun Tu Mi and treats her like his own child. / Khang Chính Nguyên là đại thần của Nước Đại Lý. Gia phú dồi dào, địa vị thanh cao. Là một vị pháp luật kỳ tài, tài hoa lỗi lạc. Thích Xuân Đồ Mi và coi cô ta như con gái của mình.

Viann Zhang ( 張馨予) as Liu Xin Xin (柳欣欣) / Trương Hinh Dư vai Liễu Hân Hân. Assassin (杀手) / Sát Thủ. Liu Xin Xin is a heartless and ruthless demonic maiden. Continuously forge against Chun Tu Mi. Likes A Su Rui. However, in the end, made peace with Chun Tu Mi. / Liễu Hân Hân là một nữ ma đầu tâm độc, thủ cay. Luôn luôn châm trích Xuân Đồ Mi. Thương A Tô Thùy. Nhưng cuối cùng giảng hòa với Xuân Đồ Mi.

Wu Xiu Bo (吴秀波) as Xu Zheng Xing (徐正兴) / Ngô Tú Ba vai Từ Chính Hưng. Tang Dynasty’s Minister (唐朝大臣) / Đường Triều Đại Thần.

Yoki Sun ( 孙耀琦) as Zhang Jing Yu (张静玉) / Tôn Diệu Kỳ vai Trương Tịnh Ngọc. Naive daughter of a wealthy family / Thiên kim thơ ngây của một đại hộ.

Hawick Lau (劉愷威) as Chun Da Shan (春大山) / Lưu Khải Uy vai Xuân Đại Sơn. Farmer (农夫) / Nông Phu.

Sources: Baidu + Weibo

Whoever wants to read the novel in Viet, go here.

*All translations were done by DTLCT, so if you decided to share elsewhere, please credit (or link back to the blog). (You can take out one language or the other to your likings.)

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

The Lost Tomb: A Legend

I was sort of paying attention to this. Some fans of Ken were updating about it on Facebook so I was just waiting to see what else was up. Then finally, I feel like blogging about it so here it is, lol.

Anyway, this production is an adaptation from a novel of the same name.

Li Yi Feng will be portraying Wu Xie (吳邪).

Yang Yang is Zhang Qi Ling (張起靈).

Liu Tian Zuo (劉天佐) is Wang Pang Zi (王胖子), lol.

Ken Chang is Wu San Sheng (吳三省), better known as San Shu (三叔) aka Third Uncle.

Wei Wei (魏巍) as Pan Zi (潘子).

Tiffany Tang Yan as Ah Ning (阿寧).

Cheng Pei Pei as Old Madame Huo (霍老太太).

Ying Er (穎兒) as Huo Xiu Xiu (霍秀秀).

Li Xin Liang (李昕亮) as Liu Tai (六太).

Yoki Sun as Chen Cheng Cheng (陳丞橙).

Leon Lee (李晨浩) as High.

The production had already wrapped up last November. However, anticipation is quite high. This drama is the reunion between Ken and Li Yi Feng since Legend of the Ancient Sword. (Or so I thought.) This astray from the recent trends of soapy era and bringing us into an action-adventure type of feeling. Obviously, since they had to retain the mystery from the novel after all. Hopefully, it won’t disappoint.

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

Year 2014 in Recap

You know what? I’m beginning to feel like the year in review from WordPress doesn’t even justify my accomplishments, especially this past year. So I decided to go all out on the rebellion and make my own post. It might not look as glamorous as WordPress’s version but at least it doesn’t make me look that lazy, lol.

Starting off with some general stats.

Total Posts in 2014: 139 – Yes, posts ONLY. But the number would have gone up if I counted the pages since I usually use ‘pages’ for fanfic updates, except if it’s a one-shot.
January: 19
February: 16
March: 13
April: 14
May: 6
June: 12
July: 8
August: 10
September: 7
October: 9
November: 8
December: 17

Times Updated on People on the Poll: 63 – Looking at the breakdown, it goes to show that I update on whoever I feel like, not having to do with the who is leading the polls, etc. It’s nothing new, it’s like what I said before. It’s not that I placed in the poll just for kicks or just messing with people. But it’s more like I was curious (like I mentioned in the past already) and try not to put myself on pressure as to update according to votes. What I do feel bad about is not updating on Vic and Janine or Nic more like I should have.
Wallace Huo: 8
Ady An: 1
Hu Ge: 1
Vic Chou: 4
Joanne Tseng: 4
Janine Chang: 2
Angela Chang: 1
Xiu Jie Kai: 1
Nicholas Teo: 1
Yvonne Yao: 3
Zhao Jun Ya: 16
Achel Chang/ Zhang Xin Yu: 5
Sophia Chou: 3
Van Fan: 1
Eric Suen: 3
Penny Lin: 3
Jacky Chu: 10
Bianca Bai: 1

Music Reviews: 13 – Not bad, right? I managed to empty the majority of the list I had up. So it’s something to celebrate here.

Movies + TV Series Reviews/Episode Summaries: 22 episodes and 6 reviews – I could have done better here but still not too bad.

Fan Fiction: It has been a sad case here since I don’t know when. But I really do apologize for all those waiting for certain stories that have been lagging for the past few years now. It’s just that I didn’t find inspiration to do work with it and didn’t want to end up ruining it more than I already did.

  • Slanted Thoughts 2
  • The Dating Game 45 – Mad progress on this saga, right? Sadly, it could only be said for this one, lol.

Songs Translations: 12 – Hey, it’s a record here! I’m serious! Translations are hard! It’s harder for my case since I’m still learning in some areas.

Chinese: 9

Vietnamese: 3

Side Updates: 41 posts – YUP, these have been occupying my time as well. At times, I cheated and posted pictures only, but I swear, some of them were kind of too secretive to talk about. Or some were adaptations that I hadn’t read about yet.

  • Fu Rong Jin: 5 – It’s going to show like next year, right?
  • Favorite Scenes Saga: 1 post, but I did have a lot to work on so it wasn’t like I was slacking on purpose
  • Worth Watching Saga: Managed to publish all 3 I have in the background for the recommendation posts. Plan to launch another one this upcoming year.
  • Seasons in the Sun: 5
  • Love Knows No Distance: 2
  • Gold Pretty Girl/Dan Shen You Yue: 3 – Seriously, been waiting for this to air.
  • Dong Jiang Heroes: 6
  • Never Ending Love: 2
  • Royal Tramp/ The Deer and the Cauldron 2014: 4
  • Yuan Yue Wan Dao: 1 – Seriously, when is this airing?
  • Shen Yi Da Dao Gong 2013: 4
  • Throwback Thursday Saga: 3
  • Reasons to Stay Positive Saga: 2

What do I want to focus on for this next coming year? More on Couples posts and pages. Not to mention the “Special Profiles” pages that I had suddenly abandoned. There’s also the “All About” saga that I halted all of a sudden as well. So are these my New Year resolutions? No. I seriously don’t want to force myself into that, considering how this is just a blog to share all the randomness that I like. So putting pressure on that would lose the purpose of the blog itself even more. I’m just bringing it up because I want to say I’m not abandoning those completely yet. Although what I would want more is to finally finish some fanfics that I have been lagging since whenever. Wouldn’t that be something?

All right, have a great year next year, everyone! Happy blogging or stalking if you don’t blog! (LOL) See you next year for another random update of the wrap-up from me!

Shen Yi Da Dao Gong 2013: Review

So I finally dived into this. I must admit I was a bit scared after some initial feedback from some people and somewhat of the trailer as to how it would turn out. Yet curiosity got the better of me and I jumped in anyway. Honestly? I was surprised to hear people complaining. Okay, some parts were exaggerating, but it wasn’t like totally unbearable or cringe-worthy or anything. In a sense of a traditional ancient drama, it somewhat veered off course because of some incorporation of modern jokes. However, the costumes, the mystery, and most of the cast’s acting was worth it.

Main Cast:

  • Han Dong as Wu Tao (吴夲) or Bao Sheng Da Di (保生大帝). This role was just awesome. I think it was even more awesome than the time he was Er Lang Shen in The Legend and the Hero. Since he seriously got robbed in the other one with the story going downhill in part 2. (Like it wasn’t at first BUT it was bearable at least, but in part 2 it just plain deteriorated at a rapid pace.) Anyway, back to this role, as the god of medicine, he was righteous and brilliant. As Wu Tao, he was still brilliant but also cunning and witty in many ways. It was indeed more refreshing than seeing how the main leads kept being pushed around by others like in recent dramas. Sure, he got imprisoned numerous times in here. Yet it wasn’t like he was pitiful. He made the best of it by using any type of technique to escape and get back on track again. Not to mention how he wasn’t just some typical hero who just plain played by the rules and acted righteously all the time (i.e. the must stay in prison and wait for his name to be cleared). But he took an active role throughout, planning his own escape. Or if he had to be on the run or while investigating, he used his extensive networks to achieve his goals. He was flexible in his techniques, not sitting around to act pitiful so viewers could sympathize with him. I love these types of active heroes more. Then there was also his philosophy as a medic, willing to cure anyone, not just good people. He didn’t force anyone into believing what he believed or using them to his benefit. That was also the reason why Chu Lian finally followed him. As one of the gods, he showed a different side. Yes, he was still a medic, but he showed his fierceness whenever needed, like how he was when facing that demonic king or that of Ge Zhong Jing.
  • Yoki Sun as Princess Wu Xuan (无玄公主) and Bao Da Yin (鲍大银). At first, I wasn’t used to her exaggeration or overly crazy gestures when she was Bao Da Yin. However, I realized that the actress was really good at it. She managed to differentiate both roles. It was like she could be gentle and serious as the princess, and also could exaggerate as see fit at times as Bao Da Yin. At first, I found Da Yin to be quite annoying. Well, okay, she had her moments, but I found it overboard with her ways at times. Yet later, I realized her loudmouth did help with certain situations. Like she conned one of the constables into disclosing information to them. What I can’t stand about her though was how she kept disclosing secrets to others whenever Wu Tao told her. Well, that was her, all very straightforward and not scheming like some people, but that had become a disadvantage, which fed more info for the enemy. What I really clapped her on was the part where the princess had returned to her original identity already and she had to pose as Da Yin to scare Da Yin’s relatives away. It was like she was another person, trying hard to be Da Yin. Yoki was really convincing. I was amazed. Because it seemed like she was always so loud as Da Yin and did the crazy role as so easy yet what was harder was seeing how she portrayed the princess role but wanted to be more fierce. Indeed convincing with how letting us see that the two characters were totally different from one another and how it seemed like they were two different persons according to the plot.
  • Du Hai Tao (杜海涛) as Qin Da Bei (秦大悲). Funny and somewhat pitiful at times. He kept running around to sort things out but made it worst the first time and then, later on, had to rely on himself with running back and forth to find information. He was later manipulated into using the evil flag and thus caused a lot of mishaps.
  • Xiao Zhang Duo (小张铎) as Ge Zhong Jing (盖仲景) and the demonic king. Manipulative and scheming as Ge Zhong Jing, but hilarious and crazy as the demonic king. Well, he was as scheming yet at times, he was so easily tricked. I didn’t realize it was the same person portraying two roles but got it from the credits of the main theme song. Then later, I realized there were similarities in features with those two, considering how the makeup was for the demonic king, it was hard to distinguish at first. And the fact that the different dubbing threw me off. Good one! (The plot later disclosed why the two looked similar and how their fate had intervened with one another so it wasn’t too over with having one person portraying two roles for his case as well.)
  • Liu Di Ni (刘迪妮) as Qing Zhu (青竹). One of the demons by the demon king’s side yet later joined the other side to help Wu Tao and the others. She was a very interesting character. Very fierce at times yet could also be gentle at others. What I loved about her was how she didn’t easily fall into others’ traps. Although she still cared for the demon king during his downfall that one time, but wouldn’t let him harm others–only tried to help him stay alive. On the other hand, when Da Bei was possessed by the evil flag, she didn’t back down as easily. She used her reasoning and cunning side to strip the evil flag from him so he couldn’t use it to harm others anymore.
  • Ming Jun Chen (明俊臣) as Qin Yue (秦越). A constable who had a special technique to perform autopsies and solve crimes. However, he had this stuttering habit that could crack one up at times. At first, I thought he was very cool, but later on, I found him sort of disappointing. Not picking on him because he stuttered. But more like I thought he would be another smart character yet he was also being used as a pawn for Ge Zhong Jing’s games. What was even more of a joke was how he couldn’t ride horses (or was he scared of speed?). Yet he wasn’t all dumb. At least not totally. He was also very righteous and wanted to enforce the laws. So it wasn’t too lost of a cause for his case. Not to mention how it was very tragic seeing how he lost his sight and lost his hope to be a constable. There were many obstacles that he went through but was cured in the end. He was also able to restore his constable status as well. What was a surprise though was his background that allowed Ge Zhong Jing to use as a chip to tear their side apart. Yet luckily Wu Tao knew the background of that past case hence was able to clarify things.
  • Li Qian (李茜) as Chu Lian (楚练). Ge Zhong Jing’s disciple. She was pulled into the schemes and posed as Xia Xuan (夏璇) to earn Wu Tao’s trust and thus reveal his secret techniques to her. Later, she realized how Wu Tao was a good person and was a true medic, always willing to help others. So she left her master and followed Wu Tao to help others, mastering both her skills with medicine and swords. She also accompanied Qin Yue in different investigations and tried to help him with overcoming his fear of riding a horse or traveling by carriage.
  • Achel Chang as Xi Yue (袭月). She appeared in the third case. She was the local judge’s daughter-in-law, who was injured and entered a coma. She later awakened and recounted that she and her husband were attacked by a young monk–who killed her husband in a fight. However, it was later revealed that she was the one who killed her husband. Yet, later on, it was disclosed that she might be some serial killer, not just suffering from some tragic events and killing her husband in defense. Then it got complicated again since it wasn’t established if Ge Zhong Jing was pulling strings behind the curtains regarding her suspicious behaviors or not. Then, later on, it was revealed that she was just confused about the details hence wanting to lie regarding what happened.
  • Niu Piao (牛飘) as Tai Shang Lao Jun (太上老君). One of the gods. Hilarious!
  • Han Yin Long (韩银龙) as Manager of Heaven (天庭总管). At times, mixed feelings, but later on appreciated his character and realized he was just doing his job.
  • Ren Xue Hai (任学海) as the Jade Emperor (玉皇大帝) aka the Heavenly King. At first, I thought it was going on the route of making him seemed unreasonable. Yet the plot soon revealed that he and Wu Tao were in a scheme together hence sending Wu Tao down to the human realm for the time being while finding a way to get rid of the demon king and Ge Zhong Jing. That made him seemed suitable as the Jade Emperor. (Because some of the recent fairy tales kept trying to make him or anyone within the authoritative rank in the Heavenly realm the “monster” because they wanted to boost the main couple, etc.)

Couples:

  • Han Dong and Yoki Sun. Cute yet also bitter. When I wrote those words, I just meant too bad Da Yan won’t get her wish and they can’t be together since I’d guessed she would return to her princess identity later so there was no point. YET I didn’t realize the “bitter” part meant what happened in the end.
  • Du Hai Tao and Liu Di Ni. Hilarious here and there, even when he was possessed by the evil flag. Then it got really tragic when she sacrificed herself so he would return to being the lovable Da Bei again. It was really sad. But then after he killed himself too, their forces were joined to break past the demon king’s barrier. Then they turned into humans so they could finally be together.
  • Ming Jun Chen and Li Qian. They also went through many trials in here yet ended up having a happy ending. It was more visible than the other couples in here, but it wasn’t too over or draggy. It made sense since they were tested time after time with Ge Zhong Jing manipulating the whole scene–until it was resolved.

Cases:

  • Case #1 – The death of the 13 Palace Guards. It was sooooo sad. I first felt like the medic was so despicable because of how he kept trying to sabotage Wu Tao and his investigation. Yet later when he revealed the truth, it was indeed tragic. He had seen such brutal sights since young and had lost everyone in his town, so of course, he was traumatized and vengeful against those despicable guards.
  • Cast #2 – Mystery Man – Okay, it wasn’t exactly a case because it was composed by Ge Zhong Jing, but it showed some mystery at first, considering how it was strange that he wasn’t within the performing troupe yet was there. This part also introduced Qin Yue. That one extended into different stories thus causing Ge Zhong Jing and the demon king to join forces, etc.
  • Case #3 – The Death of 7 Girls + A Man. Um, the case got merged at first yet it was supposed to be two cases to be exact. This case also introduced Xi Yue. Like the other case, this case got split because the one responsible for killing the seven girls weren’t the same as the one who killed Xi Yue’s husband. That person remained a mystery after some side confusions sorted out. The ending was really unexpected. Or perhaps viewers were led into believing everything had to do with Ge Zhong Jing (even if he wasn’t around at that point), so he only used his chance to manipulate others. Not to mention the real killer never showed any traces of suspicion, except for the fact that he was afraid of Ge Zhong Jing hence going along with some of Ge’s wacky schemes.

Themes:

  • Cases. I felt it was really living up to those detective series, even more than some detective series nowadays (aside from the Detective Di Ren Jie series, NOT the new one, but the 4-seasons one). The cases really kept me intrigued throughout. Although some extended and ended up tying in with the main plot, I enjoyed it all the same.
  • Fairies/Gods/Heavenly Realm/Demonic Forces. A good mixture of it. It weaved in with other side dramas so it wasn’t all about that or just focusing on one thing.
  • Jianghu. I swear the costumes and the course of the story reminded me of the old jianghu series more than some of the current re-adaptations of it. Sure, they did use modern jokes, but aside from that, there was certain retention of the old times.
  • Comedy. The humor wasn’t too much. It could be so random and senseless but wasn’t to the point where you feel like screaming. Or it was that way for me.

Conclusion? For me, this was another lesson to not listen to some people. ‘Cause it seriously was one of the better series of recent. Even if it wasn’t all hype up like some of the recent ones but it surpassed those ones for me. And even if the ending wasn’t what was expected, I think it could have been worse. So there was a huge wedding near the end, but the tragic final piece seriously undid that happy atmosphere. What made it somewhat choking was how the evil force didn’t really disappear. Yet isn’t that what life is about? You wipe out one disease, the next comes around the corner after some peace. What I really want though is a sequel. I’m so serious! Maybe they could continue with the struggle, but this time twist it a bit so the princess could somehow be resurrected, like how she only reincarnated. Hey, just like those evil two that had. (Okay, so the demonic king didn’t since he used Ge Zhong Jing’s body to operate as an official all these years yet Ge Zhong Jing had reincarnated and was staring him down with much bitterness and vengeance.)

Recommended? If you don’t like sad endings, just don’t watch it. It will break your heart. And if you’re not into seeing how it seemed their effort was all for nothing, don’t watch either. Save the headache. For me, yes, my disappointment did come out as, “You gotta be kidding me, right?” Yet after I think it over for ten minutes later, I realize it’s a different ending.

Shen Yi Da Dao Gong 2013: Airing

According to Xiao Xiao Yu’s Facebook, the drama will start airing on CCTV8 on July 30th at 20:15.

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

Shen Yi Da Dao Gong 2013: Characters

So I managed to hunt down the character list and decided to update.

Han Dong as Wu Tao (吴夲) or Bao Sheng Da Di (保生大帝). He’s the god of medicine.

Yoki Sun might be playing two roles OR something. One as a fairy known as Princess Wu Xuan (无玄公主) and as Bao Da Yin (鲍大银).

Zhang Duo (the guy–obviously) as Ge Zhong Jing (盖仲景).

Du Hai Tao (杜海涛) (left) as Qin Da Bei (秦大悲).

Achel Chang as Xi Yue (袭月).

Liu Di Ni (刘迪妮) (right) as Qing Zhu (青竹).

And for the rest of the cast that I couldn’t find pictures of. (YET…will find it later.)

Ming Jun Chen (明俊臣) as Qin Yue (秦越).

Li Qian (李茜) as Chu Lian (楚练).

Niu Piao (牛飘) as Tai Shang Lao Jun (太上老君). One of the gods.

Han Yin Long (韩银龙) as Manager of Heaven (天庭总管). (Yeah, manager sounds weird in ancient settings. I shall correct that later, lol.)

Ren Xue Hai (任学海) as the Jade Emperor (玉皇大帝) aka the Heavenly King.

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

Shen Yi Da Dao Gong 2013: More Stills

Recently, Xiao Xiao Yu’s getting all sentimental about the times the cast was filming the series together so she posted quite a few pictures of them. It was really nice actually since some were from other scenes that weren’t revealed in the past. (Not unless you were on-site for the filming or acquired that one magazine for more info.)

Like the wedding scene above.

And even more…

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