Yuan Shan Shan: The Road Ahead

(image credit: as marked)

Last week or so, I heard some rumors about her leaving Yu Zheng’s company. I was feeling hopeful, considering how she had racked up all these “bricks” that could help her build a mansion–mostly due to being linked with him. Yet I didn’t want to be too happy and then be disappointed again. Then stuffs happened so I didn’t get to search for it yet. But it was confirmed later on. One of the articles went into more detail about how Yu Zheng had shared his thoughts regarding that and many suspected that he was issuing some sort of underlying threat about her career. I’m not much for conspiracy theories, but from Yu Zheng’s past reactions to events, I think it’s possible. But I’m just happy that she’s out of his grasp. Well, NOT yet since she still has some time left with her current contract. I’m still glad that she’s not renewing. Now, others can fight over who would get promoted next and can’t blame her for being in the way of their precious favorites anymore. I’m not saying she’s the best or whatever. I’m not saying that. I mostly like her because of her perseverance and hardworking attitude. But I’m just sick and tired of others hating on her because she was promoted more (instead of aiming at Yu Zheng for his decisions).

Xiao Ao Jiang Hu 2012: Costumes – Part V

This one will focus on the various supporting of the series. I’m tired of doing individual posts so this will be the last one for costumes. YES, wrapping it up since it’s part 5 now and I want to focus on other parts of the series itself–along with some other discussions to prepare myself for the worst (LOL).

Dicky Cheung as Lu Zhu Weng. When I first saw his costume, I was like, “Seriously?” and had to laugh it off for a while. I guess when I think some other producers out there are being quite literal, Yu Zheng just has to top them all. Just because his name consisted of ‘bamboo’ does not mean he would have to wear blinding green–among other shades. So he has a nice, fancy instrument, but it’s going to be really hard not to laugh when I watch the actual scenes he appears in.

Kelsey Lv is Lan Feng Huang. I must say her character is very intriguing and I enjoy her character while reading the novel and even watch some versions. Kelsey looks the part in this outfit and for once, I don’t mind. I thought her outfits are actually one of the better designs, arrangements thus far. In fact, I got so carried away looking at some pictures, I wonder how it would’ve been cool if she’s actually Ying Ying. Well, NOT implying anything since I said I never watched Yuan Shan Shan before, but the outfits for Ying Ying for this version just kills it, and somehow it’s strange that they manage to get Lan Feng Huang’s outfits right for someone being in a mysterious cult, etc.

This is Tian Bo Guang. I’m not too sure how old he’s supposed to be in the book since I read it a long time ago. But I’m guessing he’s around his 30s SO Han Dong is the right choice. Not to mention how Ling Hu Chong was once mistaken for Tian Bo Guang because of their similar obsession for wine and all. No complaint. The outfit is about right. Kind of weird, but I’m over the style already since they managed to tone it down somehow. Later when he becomes a monk, his outfit is actually more reserved than the supposedly ‘nun’, which is hilarious if you ask me.

This is Lu Da You, portrayed Zhang Zhuo Wen. Again, forgot how old Da You was, but he seemed older in some of the other versions. Then again I remembered that Lin Hu Chong was younger than some of them but he was the highest-ranked because he had followed Yue Bu Quan since young. I have to go check again, seriously. It would be funny if Ling Hu Chong ended up being the oldest age-wise too in this version because he couldn’t be older than Lao De Nuo. (This one, I’m sure, considering what type of role he played in the grand schemes later.)

Oh yeah, almost forgot about her since she’s not really my favorite character in Xiao Ao Jiang Hu. (I SAID CHARACTER, NOT ACTRESS in case anyone didn’t read carefully.) What’s funny is she and the rest of the people in the North Hengshan Sect will wear some bright, girly outfits instead of the supposedly more calm shades like the usual white or grayish to distinguish themselves as nuns. Honestly? So TVB’s ’84 version cheated on not shaving the hair, but they sort of compensated for wearing calmer colors and putting the hair up in a way that showed they were supposed to be living simple, etc. Anyway, because the producer is so creative, I hope to like Yi Lin in this version for once, considering how cute Deng Sha looks in various photos. I don’t know, I just never like her character, NOT because of too boring either, but maybe too nagging at times.

This is to show the other costume that they have, purplish–a tad better but still kind of bright.

Members of the Sun Moon Holy Sect looking like ninjas? All right, it just gets better and better. (YES, I’m being sarcastic.)

I didn’t include all because I haven’t been surfing around lately to find pictures, and I’m getting tired. NOT to mention I got so confused regarding some plots since Yu Zheng’s VERY good at throwing out fake bombs SO I won’t even talk about them until this ‘grand’ production finally rolls out next year. Oh yeah, already talked about Bryan Leung and Hei Zi in the first post so I didn’t repeat here.

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

Xiao Ao Jiang Hu 2012: Costumes – Part IV

Yup, time to update again. This one will focus on Lin Ping Zhi and Yue Ling Shan. I thought since they end up in the later parts of the story, might as well merge their posts together.

Although she reminds me madly of a parakeet in this outfit yet I don’t mind. Why? Out of all the girls in Xiao Ao Jiang Hu, I think only Yue Ling Shan is entitled to wear more colorful outfits to emphasize her innocent side at times and also her youthful look, etc. (Well, to be totally mean, super immature and childish, lol.) But anyway, she’s the only one that could wear blinding colorful outfits without justification.

I’m not a fan of either one of her hairstyles BUT what could I say? The damage is already done. At least that could be ignored for the most part and hopefully, the actress could bring out the character’s liveliness.

Another blinding combo but for some reason, it suits her. YES, I’m quite forgiving for her case because of the reason listed already about her personality.

Minus the hair, I actually find this outfit quite likable as well. But then again, comparing to the previous hairstyles, I guess this one is a tad better.

The above is a compiled collage (made by a fan) of her wardrobe. Seems like she has quite a variety, which is good in a sense. Now, Lin Ping Zhi’s turn.

Of the two, the one above is before he learned the other ‘sword technique’ and then the red one is after. (LOL, that’s my guess because there’s no other reason to have him dressed in that.)

Here’s another one:

That’s it for them. I have to admit, I didn’t save as many pictures of them, but that’s it for the most part.

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

Xiao Ao Jiang Hu 2012: Costumes – Part III

Time to put the next victim on the plate. Well, more like victims, lol.

Well, since he’s supposed to be the main villain, it makes sense to be next, right? Matching outfits or close enough, not bad. However, it makes him look like he’s a scholar (like the rest of his disciples). I guess that outfit’s fine for her. Though colorful like the rest of the others, I’m tired of stressing that point so I’m cutting back on that for now. At least will try to for the rest of the post. I forgot how old they’re supposed to be exactly in the novel BUT I vaguely remember somewhere around 40-ish to 50-ish so not bad?

In this picture, they’re not matching anymore (obviously), but the hair clip makes her look like a nun? (LOL, mean but it looks like that from afar. Maybe it gets better when we can see it on the screen? Trying to be hopeful here.) And he still needs to get rid of that scholarly hat, lol.

The picture’s kind of blurry because of the effects used (and Wallace’s in the scene, lol), but it’s still visible to get an idea. He’s wearing green and she’s wearing purple? (LOL) Is the green one supposed to go with her other green one? Just wondering, lol. And indeed the hair clip does make her look like a nun? Or it’s the angle again.

Another outfit for her. It’s all right, I guess. Not too bright and the shades aren’t as blinding.

And that wraps it up for them. If I find some other outfits around, I’ll update this post. But it makes sense they don’t have as much of a variety?

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

Xiao Ao Jiang Hu 2012: Costumes – Part II

And I’m back for another update as promised. I was glad I waited since I saw some glint of hope. NOT by much but could somewhat resurrect ‘urge’ to watch. (Well, I’m going to watch anyway but just thought another thing might tone down the whole ‘fast-forwarding’ all the other parts, lol.)

Who’s the next victim on my list? Yuan Shan Shan. NOT because I want to put her on the platter too like others, but it’s reasonable because she’s the lead actress. (Again, I won’t even comment on the ‘acting’ part since I haven’t even watched a single one of her series yet. So don’t expect me to sympathize with the ones who are crying right now. I actually kind of pity her for getting so many negative comments thus far. AND don’t convince me to hate her too. I’ll decide that on my own later when I actually watch.)

First off?

OY! Where to begin for this one? White, orange, yellow, green, and blue? (You can call it turquoise or whatever you want but it still doesn’t go well with the other colors.) Like honestly? (YES, they were serious since I saw her wore that outfit during some scenes already.) This is the reason why I got quite confused with the majority of the female cast (except for one) as to who is portraying what character, etc. Someone should pick one color and stick with the various shades of that color OR something. ‘Cause all these mixed together? The brightest shades too. And I could never imagine Ying Ying in white. (I swear!)

Darker shades of colors. We’re good, right? YEAH RIGHT! Combination of colors is off again. It’s making me dizzy. And making her look sooo kiddish. Ying Ying has her moments yet I think she’s the mature one among all the girls in there. (NOT all, but out of the three?) Believe me, I like those colors, BUT NOT together.

Someone on DAN did look up this type of outfit already. Although it looks Korean (since we’re so used to seeing it in Korean dramas more), but it still qualifies as part of the Ming dynasty outfit (aka they do have those outfits back then). However, again, Jin Yong “jianghu”, NOT the historical one. The colors are a lighter tone and don’t clash too much. But we’re talking about Ying Ying here. AND, what’s that thing in her hair? A clip? It makes her look like a nun. (I’m serious!)

This one, I couldn’t find some other one she posed alone, but it was one of the outfits from the Hengshan Sect. (I’ll get to that one later–aka some other posts–since I have quite a few things to say about it.) But interestingly enough, it’s less blinding than the first two.

Since I included Wallace’s wedding outfit, here’s hers. (Awww…yeah, sorry, I got carried away, lol.) And because of that picture, I swear Ying Ying’s not going to die like some rumors are flying around at the moment. Like seriously? The wedding is like at the very end. If she dies, would that be a waste of time to even get together some costumes like that just to deceive us? Unless the “talented” Yu Zheng decides to switch details around again (like some of the previous versions did with having the wedding first before the last battle). It is Yu Zheng we’re talking about here, so anything’s possible. BUT IF it is true like most people are saying with Yu Zheng madly promoting Yuan Shan Shan, then Ying Ying won’t die. (And because I want to hold onto hope that Ling Hu Chong/Wallace doesn’t end up with a certain someone like the rumors are flying at the moment. I rather he be alone for the rest of his miserable life if Yu Zheng does the dramatic exit with making Ying Ying die.)

This is actually the tamest outfit she had out of all. (I saved it for last on purpose.) This is the only reasonable one, honestly. Even if it’s still kind of too light for the those ‘dark’ sects such as the Sun Moon Holy Sect, but it’s NOT overly bright. At least the combination of colors used aren’t too whacked like the ones above.

By the looks of it though, Ling Hu Chong’s wardrobe seems more extensive than Ying Ying at this point. SAD. I’ll update if I find some other ones.

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

Xiao Ao Jiang Hu 2012: Costumes – Part I

So I think it’s about time I go back and rant about this “grand production.” (YES, I placed in quotations on purpose.) After giving it a bit more time to see some more of the costumes for other characters, I thought I could start ranting, lol. I think whether you’re a fan OR not, most would agree that the costumes are WAY TOO BRIGHT (aka too colorful and the brightest shade of those colors). It makes you wonder if anyone’s serious about the whole thing. The plot of the story GOT CHANGED. Yes, it’s inevitable since they needed to make it differently here and there from other adaptations, but if it strays too much, they might as well call it a different story and change all the characters’ names and they have a new wuxia series (LOL). AND then there’s the whole “Jin Yong okayed it” SO I guess we can’t rant too much? WRONG, fans would continue to rant. I didn’t care to go into some of the more aggressive forums, but reading the thread on DAN made it ten times more amusing. While most are against it, there’s no stopping this production. Come on now, it’s like very well on its way. Someone made a great point by saying that it would eventually become popular anyway because most of us would end up watching it because: (1) the big stars that are involved, (2) curiosity kills the cat, and most importantly (3) IF you don’t watch it, how in the freaking world are you going to rant? (YES, number 3 is the truest because no one would be suicidal enough to talk about something they haven’t seen–though a small amount would do it.) Oh yeah, the idol dramas wave hasn’t washed out yet (far from it), so of course, people are going to watch it. (YES, some people on DAN had agreed to call these types of productions from Yu Zheng as idol dramas and they gave this one its own category ‘wuxia idol dramas’–LOL.)

Moving on…just like the title said, I’m focusing on costumes for this one. AND looking at pictures, I think I’m going to cheat and dedicate the first post to Wallace and the rest will be later on. (OR could continue in the next few posts.)

I like this one since the combination of blue and yellow is a nice touch. However, still feel kind of bright. Maybe it’s a high-quality picture. And when it comes onto the screen (added they adjust the light), it wouldn’t be as bright? Maybe it’s one of those outfits when he was still in Hua Shan so he hadn’t suffered enough yet hence the clean look? (LOL…) And the costume designer loves green or something since his pants are green. NOT too bright but still off for the combination of blue and yellow. (I should be glad the inside shirt–aka the white one–isn’t some modern T-shirts like some of the past ancient series that some people got lazy and just let the actors wore their own T-shirts or something.)

NOTEThursday, June 14th, 2012: Apparently, they changed his pants to blue. (OR just another variation for the outfit.) At least it looks better?

This one? The shades are off! I’m so serious. Even if I have a terrible fashion sense, those colors DO NOT go together well, especially the green portion. They should’ve removed the green altogether and it would look less bright (and yes, less weird). If anyone’s irked with the modernized belt, I think someone on DAN had actually done research and said that it was suitable for the Ming dynasty (not too off). BUT it felt off in the Jin Yong “jianghu” world.

Less bright, actually a nice combination, except for the belt. (I’ll ignore that since it’s already toned down, lol.) However, the boots look too modernized? (I don’t know…looks too shiny. I know they have boots back then but the material?)

OMG, this reminds me of the days of ‘Xu Chang Qing’ though the other ones were more obvious with Taoist wardrobes. YET I was wondering if Hua Shan people had uniforms in the novel. (I read the story a long, long time ago so I don’t remember.) But my other complaint about this outfit is it makes him look too much like those scholars instead of a typical hero. And to think that Ling Hu Chong actually makes fun of Taoists and nuns at some point as well SO it makes it ironic that he should be joking about them–if at all in this version.

Too fancy? I don’t know. Might look better if the lighting’s tone down when it’s on-screen. (This is the one when he’s posing as that one arrogant general.)

That’s all for Wallace’s outfits for now. But I think he was one of the luckier ones–though those weren’t the best combinations (at times). He wasn’t the luckiest after I saw some other ones, but I’ll just settle for ‘luckier ones’ because it could have been worse. Is that even an attempt to be positive? Come on now, I think it’s worse in discussion forums. For an overall scale, these costumes aren’t bad at all, in fact, it’s quite a challenge already. BUT on a scale of Xiao Ao Jiang Hu, it’s just harder to pull. I honestly think it’s harder to adapt Xiao Ao Jiang Hu because the costumes are trickier versus some of the other Jin Yong novels.

Oh yeah, words spreading around says that Wallace’s portraying double-roles and it’s a bizarre idea. (YES, I saw the costumes but don’t want to post it since I would never stop ranting–and believe me, that would be going way over to the negative side.) But whatever works (for them). See what I mean they might as well make up a new wuxia story and prevent the tomatoes–even if it would still be crazy?

Anyway, while most people have mixed feelings about Wallace being Ling Hu Chong, some had agreed that he was the most shining spot of the production (at first–since the supporting cast weren’t announced yet). But thanks to Yu Zheng’s convincing skills, most of the supporting cast could shoulder this one with Wallace. (PHEW!) But honestly, I still have faith in Wallace being Ling Hu Chong because like I said in the other post, he could portray both serious and humorous roles quite well. The outfits might not be rouge enough to convince about his character, but hopefully, the ‘shades’ could be tone down a bit on-screen to help his cause.

Enough ranting for now (LOL), I’ll save it for next time. Who’s on the platter the next time? Watch and see.

NOTEThursday, June 14th, 2012: Just when I thought I was done ranting, some people posted up several more outfits for him. (NOT quite sure, but saw it around so I’m going to post it up too.

This one is a: “You’ve got to be kidding me, right?” YES, seriously. NO, I’m not talking about the outfit but the hair. I kind of like those types of hair since it has the ‘jianghu’ feeling. But on Wallace? NOPE. (I hope it was a joke.)

Umm…this is the wedding one SO can’t complain about brightness.

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

Xiao Ao Jiang Hu 2012: 2nd Reaction

Having 2nd thoughts now after I caught up on news. DARN…so stay tuned for my rants later. YES, I have to. AND I broke my usual not posting related topics back to back, BUT this is seriously an emergency. LOL!

AND yes, that means the new layout is canceled. Even IF I do a new layout, IT IS NOT going to be on this one.

Xiao Ao Jiang Hu: 2012 Adaptation

So I was on my usual searching rampage. (More like I was listening to Dicky Cheung’s “Real and Fake” (真真假假) and was looking around for lyrics that I stumbled on some news regarding him participating in this production.) I thought it was a joke since it was on a wiki page. YET I searched around some more and YES, OMG! They’re actually doing this? And where in the world do I begin? My first thought was: “Hu Ge got his wish?” (Look at this post for further explanation.) But then when I actually found the info, something stumped me. It couldn’t get any better because Wallace Huo was involved, portraying the main dude, Ling Hu Chong. (Go stalk Yu Zheng’s Weibo for more updates. AND you could also check other casts involved as well since he does tag them, except for Wallace who doesn’t have Weibo.) Oh yeah, go here for some production photos thus far.

Aside from me being obsessed with Wallace, what do I think of this? Honestly? Like seriously? Um…are they serious about this? YES, I’m asking because as soon as I saw Dong Fang Bu Bai was portrayed by a girl, it seemed like a joke. I meant, don’t get me wrong, they could cast a girl to play a guy role all they want, BUT are they changing it so now Dong Fang Bu Bai’s a girl in this adaptation? I’ll continue to stalk Yu Zheng to see what else happens since it just started production last month? They’re serious, right? Or was that some joke someone placed in for now? Well, I know it happened in the past, but in comedies. If they’re really doing a long series, they’re going to put themselves through that for several months? IF the story got changed and all. But moving past that, what do I seriously think about Wallace being Ling Hu Chong? I still want Hu Ge! YES, that was my first thought. But to be fair to Wallace (since I call myself his fan after all, right?), I think he could pull it off (IF this production is serious).

I sort of miss him in a more comedic role. (Though Ling Hu Chong’s life took a plunge for the worse later on, he managed to stay happy-go-lucky for the most part.) Yeah, ironic from my last statement about the ‘serious’ part, but I meant a more believable production instead of silly, exaggerated comedies. Okay, okay, I really miss seeing Wallace do more lighter series since I skipped a bunch of his series already. I honestly hope to enjoy this one (though people are rolling their eyes whenever adaptations come around–AND I got over that already since different adaptations are inevitable). Wallace could get so morbid at times (and it’s already seen in most of his series). Though when he gets so mischievous, it’s really cute as well! (IF he doesn’t use the technique in Wu Shi Lang though I know Wu Shi Lang was supposed to exaggerate on purpose since most characters were that way.) Oh, his hair. I rarely like it when he’s in ancient series because they make it either too messy or just too similar to some previous roles. This one, it’s suitable enough and has this carefree feeling to it, so tying in with the rest of the jianghu world. Then there are his outfits for his series. Okay, I admit the uniform one I’m not too fond of, but the others (like the one above)–though kind of too colorful and needs some adjusting to, it’s nice enough. NOT too rough but not too overly ‘royal’ either (making it unrealistic, lol).

Moving on, lol. Howie Huang is going to be Yue Bu Qun. His third series with Wallace? (I didn’t watch the other ones OR did I miscount?) This could get cool though since it isn’t Howie’s first time portraying the bad guy. I think he could do it. Though the costume they created for him merged in with the rest of his disciples (yup, wearing uniforms, LOL), but I’ll bet he has others too. It would be too unrealistic if he only wears that one outfit, LOL! Anyway, let’s see how he portrays it and let’s see how I could hate him in this one. Not to mention some interactions between him and Wallace as master and disciple. (It’s going to be a riot for me really–either way.) And I’m guessing because Yang Ming Na poses in that picture with Howie, she’s portraying his wife? Can’t wait.

Bryan Leung portrays Feng Qing Yang, the enlightened man with his cool swords technique that Ling Hu Chong learns from later. (Here’s a random trivia BUT not that random: Bryan used to portray Ling Hu Chong in the Taiwanese ’80s adaptation.) Always like him, so no complaint. But is he going to turn into some random silly man? I’m serious here, adaptations often change the characters so…(So much for trying to stay hopeful? LOL!)

This is Ren Wo Xing (aka Ying Ying’s father). Saw some BTS that fans/production team posted already. I actually want to see those parts the most, especially the first time meeting Ling Hu Chong and later joining forces to defeat Dong Fang Bu Bai. BUT then again, are they even doing that in here?

STOP, I just realized something! While browsing around for more info and/or pictures to do this post, I realized it was this one series I saw pictures of randomly in this one Wallace thread awhile back. Just that I didn’t realize it was the new adaptation of Xiao Ao Jiang Hu. Great or what? Moving on again…lol…

Miss Ren Ying Ying! I haven’t watched Yuan Shan Shan before so it’s a first time for me (IF I do end up watching this). I’ll keep it neutral at this point. Or at least try to be positive. But I have this fresh feeling thus far with her and the new pairing this collaboration brings about. All I need now is get used to the colorful outfit, lol.

And then I got confused with just looking at pictures, mostly with the female side, I’ll save it for the next time when I get more information, lol.

Oh yeah, what about Dicky Cheung, right? Since I started the post talking about him. He’s going to portray Lu Zhu Weng. (BUT not sure.)

That’s it for now. Maybe I’ll do a layout for the blog? YES, it’s about time I put the attention back on Wallace.

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

Tian Di Bu Rong

WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD. If you DO NOT want to be spoiled, please DO NOT read. You have been warned.

So what about it? Hey, I was waiting for this one for a while so it was not like it was random to watch it. Though I implied that I was sick of this era’s costumes and stories but with such a cast, I had to check it out. (I’m a sucker for that, lol.) And did I mention I was sick and tired of those catfight scenes? However, IF there were cliched moments, at least the outcomes were usually not as cliched so it was something to look forward to.

The Four Women:

  • Ady An as Du Lan Yan. When I realized the little girl at the beginning was Ady’s character, I couldn’t help but think of the similarities between this and Autumn’s Concerto–though AC was after this. (Not to mention the change in the cast of AC.) Her father died and her stepmother wanted to sell her to the brothel, luckily her servant friend rescued her in time and she was able to run away. Oh yeah, there was also the case of her master being a pervert too and tried to peek at her when she was getting ready to take a bath. Her character grew strong later on to continue living YET I kept feeling this injustice because of all the tragic obstacles she’d gone through. She suffered so much right from the start–even when she was so young and did not know the world outside her yet. She was taken in and trusted with duties as the head servant, but was envied by one of the servants thus bringing forth troubles. Her suffering seemed never-ending, even to the last point of her life, she had to sacrifice for others.
  • Rain Lee as Jiang Yu Ping. Wow! Okay… Though it was another daring role for Rain but somehow after the initial scene, I felt like rooting for her after seeing how Annie’s character, Yue E, was trying to borrow some money from her. I rather let her help her lover than Yue E because that would equal to helping that pervert that ruined Lan Yan’s happiness/life. Then she fell into the trap that she set, which was ironic and made her character less brilliant or powerful. Rain delivered quite well with her performance. She was definitely scary in her plots and her ruthless killing rampage to get what she wanted. Though till the end, she never got what she wanted either. But it was funny that she fell into her own trap aka thinking she did not care less for Chao Zong yet she had fallen so deep and was willing to resort to any means to get him back by her side and then later getting back at him for what he’d done to her (though it was her own doing with fooling with fate).
  • Michelle Yim as Yin Xi Hong. Honestly, I was looking forward to another clever performance from Michelle–though her acting was wonderful, her role said otherwise. All right, she got the authoritative look and the elegant image, but her intelligence could be reconsidered. She failed to see past Chun Ni’s motives and was being manipulated by Chun Ni’s behaviors that made it hard to swallow. Yes, she only wanted someone with great care to details and having a gentle person around was more preferable than the loudmouth daughter-in-law YET she was not able to see past the fake exterior. Though they redeemed her character later as the story unfolded and sent the story into another path, letting us see more beyond her harsh ways and unreasonable demands yet it was still a shame. It was no doubt that Michelle delivered well with each scene.
  • Annie Yi as Li Yue E. I don’t know whether to clap her on for being so authoritative or scold at her for being so stupid. She thought she was smart to marry her maid away so her husband would not think of that maid anymore BUT unknowingly created a way for him to get to the maid and claim her as his. Supposedly in control and clever yet it was all an exterior and a joke. Or it was all a front to hide her weakness. It was not a surprise either that her character was done away early in the series since she was the weakest one–although it was implying at first that Lan Yan was the weakest. Her endurance level couldn’t be compared to others.

More of the Four Women:

  • Who won the prize for being the dumbest? Must be Yue E. She thought she was authoritative, clever, and effective. YET she was not able to seek out the truth or cared for it. She liked to be lied to so she got just that. It was a pity and super frustrating to see her victims being disposed of by her. She was so oblivious it was hard to believe that she was maintaining the family business. But it might be better explained as her being blind when it came to love YET her actions caused severe consequences to others. Yes, she later took revenge on her husband but she shouldn’t be given credit for anything since it was part of the others’ plot as well. She only wanted to do things for herself, NOT doing anything extraordinary like wanting to take revenge for other women. Nothing wrong with that since the dude was her husband after all, but I just want to say that it shouldn’t be looked as an action to redeem herself but more of something she wanted to do to secure whatever was left of her happiness. At least it did not drag long with the conflicts.
  • Who was the cleverest? I was aiming for Yu Ping at first with her scheming nature and being able to deceive others with her notable and/or respectable image since she was carrying on a secret affair with Chao Zong. But she made the mistake of letting Chao Zong go court Lan Yan with the intent of seeking revenge for her good sister, Yue E. (There was no doubt about Yu Ping being manipulated and deceptive regarding different schemes but that did not mean she was clever as an overall.) I only had one person left since I was waiting for Michelle Yim to appear, thinking that she was the clever person in here since the others seemed weaker or would eventually be broken down. However, I was wrong. Xi Hong was so easily deceived that made me disappointed. She, of course, would have no idea that such a girl would play such a trick on her, trying to please her to gain access into the Shen family. But I thought she would be more cautious considering how her family business was and how successful they’d become. So who was it? I have to say no one. Lan Yan grew and became strong and I do not doubt her intelligence but she was not able to take control of her life for the first part of the series and later falling to other fate so I didn’t want to consider that. She did not have the power like the others. Though she did prove herself capable later with the family business and household maintenance, she still was not able to control her overall destiny. Among all the other three powerful women, I expected more but they failed too to capture my attention in the cleverness department.
  • Who was the bravest? I have to say Lan Yan. Yes, she was the weakest among the four women, lacking the power or skills to defend herself. Yet she was the bravest to go through such trials at the beginning and how she managed to overcome all obstacles that were tossed her way. She was down at times–which was inevitable–and needed help here and there, but she faced a lot of tough things that others were not able to IF presented their way. Yu Ping was considered a daredevil in a way and should not be given the credit as brave. She did what she did because she did not care for the consequences. Yue E wasn’t brave to face the reality of things, such as what her husband did at first OR how she chose to be oblivious to matters and wanted to dispose of it as soon as possible. Xi Hong was a notable woman YET she was not able to withstand some things. That was why I felt Lan Yan deserved the title. She learned and grew, BUT that wasn’t just it. She endured a lot of pain through it, toughening up, and pulling herself to move forward each time. Her chance toward the end to prove her capabilities and showed her intelligence and bravery to strive on because of how she lost her child was also very powerful. She was able to turn things around on her own–with help of Leng Yun cheering her on, but through her courage and hardworking attitude, she was able to regain the asset of the Shen family again–without waiting for Chao Zong to come and rescue her OR anyone in that matter. Too bad she was not able to control her fate at the end. But her bravery should not be taken lightly.


  • William Feng Shao Feng as Shen Chao Zong. I wanted to dislike his character for being a leech and relied on Yu Ping’s financial help at times for his businesses YET it was hard to hate him as the story unfolded. There were often mix feelings at times yet there was no definite line as to his character. He was convincing as the manipulative guy at first but was also persuasive as the pitiful guy later on. There was this complexity to his character that was hard to grasp at times, which made his character different from the other guys in here. Probably because he was scheming in his own nature and loved games so he was experienced, but I really liked that he was the only one who was able to see past and observe from a distance what was going on in Lan Yan’s life and what really happened, knowing she was the victim, not like the others who were scolding at Lan Yan at first. It was a bit disappointing though that he was like any other man who had a BIG FAT ego and wanted to be the hero all the time. He did not care to acknowledge Lan Yan’s talent and abilities to run the house. Nor did he care to acknowledge that she had lost so much so now she was fighting back. He only cared about his own reputation. Yet it soon passed and showed us that he was not like that or did not mean it. He valued his family–although how messed up they seemed to be–so he thought Lan Yan was chasing them all away for her benefit. Perhaps, it had to remind us from time to time that he was human and his character was often switching back and forth in conflicts. It was not easy being him. His life was always so colorful–even if he had caused half of the troubles himself.
  • Mickey He as Leng Yun. Lan Yan’s childhood friend. The second cutest guy in here and his intro scene was equally cool. It was strange that Xin He should meet him before he was able to reunite with Lan Yan. I don’t know whether to say he was an honest person and a considerate person, always putting others’ life before him OR call him dumb. Since he let go of Lan Yan just like that to let Da You had his way. Yes, he wanted to repay Da You and he was definitely caring about Lan Yan’s future but he did not know that he had pushed her to the pit. Yet later I got past that and maintained my positive attitude toward him. He was always so righteous and so honest that he might be caring for others too much and put himself last (almost like Lan Yan). He was very supportive of others and always did his best to help. A great guy overall.
  • Qiao Zhen Yu as Su Xin Hai. Xin He’s older brother. Though he seemed careless and not attentive to details hence running into trouble with his previous job, I thought he was very observant regarding how he asked regarding Lan Yan’s bruises when they bumped into Lan Yan that one time. Unlike his sister, he did not form an opinion immediately BUT just bring up possible topics for discussion with Leng Yun, not jumping to conclusions. Yes, he commented that IF those rumors were true, then Da You must be hard to live with, etc BUT he did not play the blame game right away. He was already biased toward Da You because of Wu Shuang, but he did not stress strongly. Though acting out of rashness and wanting to take revenge for Lan Yan thus losing his job again, but I felt that scene was a hallmark for his character. Yes, he shouldn’t have done that since he had sacrificed his job BUT it showed a strong sense of righteousness that his character possessed and it drove the rest of the plot forward, freeing Lan Yan, etc. And yet he had to pay such a heavy price for his life. Qiao Zhen Yu delivered once again, this time as an honest guy. Xin Hai was careless at times yet had a kind heart.
  • Li Fei Er as Su Xin He. Lan Yan’s best friend and seemed as a witty servant at her intro scene. I honestly thought that her character had been ruined on purpose to garner more dramatic scenes toward the end. Honestly, she was very clever at first yet she seemed possessed later on with her actions, especially after Shao Yu died. Yes, she was trained by Yu Ping and was heavily influenced by it, but it gave her no reason to act that way. I felt there was this fake exterior to her by the time the series reached its ending. It was like she was portrayed as the intelligent, cautious, and gentle person at first but as the story moved forth, it seemed all fake that she was being supportive toward Lan Yan or believing others too quickly. Yes, she was shocked when she found out a certain part like she thought Lan Yan was cheating on Da You at first BUT she was Lan Yan’s best friend, shouldn’t she let Lan Yan explain? It was like all empty talk. She redeemed herself but it seemed her character had lost some witty element to it. She was just like others who used their eyes to see, not their hearts to listen. The whole scene of the misunderstanding with Shao You was also ridiculous since she was the one who initiated the whole caring for Leng Yun too much YET she made it like Shao You was responsible when she was demonstrating in front of them (i.e. wiping the sweats for Leng Yun that one time). Oh yeah, the thing with how she believed Yu Ping so fast and learned from Yu Ping was crazy too. It could be said that she wanted revenge for her husband and all BUT her actions made it unforgivable since she clearly knew what was right and wrong from the start–at least it was led on her morality was strong. Yet she let that one girl died so she could reach her goal. I thought that by the time she learned that her brother was actually killed by Yu Ping, she would stop BUT she did not. It seemed like it was too late. She had gone too far, been poisoned by Yu Ping too much to return. I thought her sibling bonding with her brother would stop her but it didn’t. So I had two conclusions regarding her contradicting actions at various points of the series: (1) her character had been sacrificed for the dramatic purposes of the plot–like I pointed out earlier, or (2) it was all a fake exterior, in the beginning, to deceive us into thinking she was a goody-good girl.
  • Deng Jia Jia as Kuang Chun Ni. Another despicable character and probably the most responsible for driving Lan Yan’s life into the worst. She was jealous of Lan Yan thus causing troubles and indirectly driving Lan Yan to the worst fate imagined. I felt that it wasn’t like she wasn’t pretty OR anything, she looked great with the off-screen pictures BUT the production team made her hair looked so strange and the makeup was overdone or it seemed like a bunch of smudges, not bringing out her gorgeous side at all. I thought her acting was really good. I did not realize it at first since she was just some annoying character to me. But her transition to knowing only of her baby and taking things simply made it quite convincing contrary to her fierce actions from before. She brought those expressions out really well. I wouldn’t believe it if someone had told me beforehand that she would make peace with Lan Yan later but watching it made it convincing enough.
  • Zheng Guo Lin as Jiang Shao You. I didn’t like him at first and was on the edge of hating too because he was causing troubles for Xin Hai and Xin He. Not to mention how he was gambling away the family fortune. Yet in the later episodes, it showed that he was a kind person who was willing to use his money to help the homeless kids and also find time to play with them. Perhaps his death was the most tragic–after Xin Hai’s–since he suffered so much with all those burn marks trying to save Yu Ping–a person he respected and thought was his only relative–yet he died by her hands because she did not want him to become her baggage. It was so sad to watch his life slipping away just like that. He was betrayed by the person he trusted the most and he was always so innocent, always believing her and treating her like a real family.
  • Wilson Guo as Lu Da You. I don’t know whether to despise him or to pity him. Since his heroic actions were seen when he leaped into the burning house to save Leng Yun YET was forced to obey to that one despicable man. Perhaps he should not be blamed as much since his sister’s life/happiness was at stake. BUT still, that was a cruel thing to do to Lan Yan. What was even more despicable about him was how he kept crying out with his pitiful tones that caused others to sympathize with him and disregarding Lan Yan, thinking that she was the one at fault. IF he was so brave, he would have fought back (even IF he couldn’t win) and not take it out on Lan Yan and play the pitiful card. He can’t tell others what was going on since he needed to save some face left for himself, not wanting to air his problems for others to see BUT he was not capable of fighting his own battle that made it more frustrating. What was even more of a bigger joke was him telling others that it was his house and they shouldn’t kick him out at the scene where the others were trying to resurrect Lan Yan. It was true that it was his house, YET it was a joke because he never defended the house or was able to protect his family in the first place SO he could not say anything. The fact that he kept criticizing others for their lack of occupation or incapable of providing for others made it too ironic since he had a house and had an occupation BUT was not brave enough to OR was not capable of protecting his wife and sister in the first place. Who was he to criticize Leng Yun or Xin Hai? Perhaps his death was the part that almost everyone was looking forward to because it moved forward the plot even more, releasing Lan Yan finally. However, it was also the cause of Xin Hai’s death, which was really ironic. It was like he had to bring along Xin Hai as well.
  • Xiao Yu Yu as Lu Wu Shuang. I just don’t like how they did the makeup and hairstyle for her. It made her image more annoying than cute. It was hard to get past the style to like her character. It got better with her character development later and I tried to see past the hairstyle they gave her so it was all right. But the production team should be more careful in that area since I felt she was somehow robbed, not having the youthful and cute look as her role was supposed to be. Though I must say that she was bearable at times but I was not able to forgive her for killing Xin Hai. YES, she misunderstood and thought that he killed her brother YET she did not trust him enough OR understand him enough. She said that she loved him BUT I felt it was too much of a joke. Yes, she died with him BUT it was stupid. She chose NOT to believe him YET she chose to die with him? I don’t get that logic. It wasn’t like she was so good to her brother or they got along so well. YES, she did lend him the remaining of the money in order for him to ask for Lan Yan’s hand in marriage with Yue E at the beginning, BUT their bonding seemed a joke the rest of the time. It was normal that they fight BUT I thought it wasn’t strong enough for her to get so emotional over things. She seemed to care about Xin Hai more than her brother at first SO it was ridiculous that she did not believe him (Xin Hai). She should know Xin Hai better than that. She jumped to the conclusion and just killed him like that.

Romances/ Relationships:

  • Chao Zong and Lan Yan. The most tragic couple in here. I did not like the idea of them together at first BUT they really convinced me with the plot moving along. They’d been through so much yet was not able to live together at the end either. I think ‘tian di bu rong’ was aimed at them. Since ‘heaven could not tolerate’ them together, always wanting to separate them no matter what. The fact that they never gave up made it even more memorable. Yes, there were times they lost hope, but they always hung on and never stopped loving each other. Sometimes their trust was tested, but it was quickly resolved to reunite them once again, fighting together and facing all challenges thrown their way. So what if they did not win the last battle? They were irreplaceable to one another. Lan Yan’s death scene was worth a box of tissues or two. Seriously, it was NOT dragged out at all. Quite well done with the scenery and tragic setting. Beautiful flowers and Chao Zong playing his flute. (BUT I rather she not die.)
  • Leng Yun and Lan Yan. I thought they were the most tragic couple at first but my perception changed later when they finally reached the point of friendship. (I seriously thought the two kids who portrayed their younger versions were equally cute and lovable with the flashbacks.) Yes, it was quite dramatic at first of how they reunited and realized it was too late. Then there was hope, then there wasn’t. It was too much. But they were able to get past that. They both moved on–or at least Lan Yan had. Leng Yun ended up being the supportive figure by her side, always helping her. They reached the point of being friends and later possibly family because of how they looked out for each other later on–with him being there to help with matters while she always listened to his problem and being supportive during each situation. It was a cruel twist of fate for them yet it helped them learn and grow through time. I also liked how the wishing tree was their shared spot. It was like there for them from the beginning to the end. They shared many memories and stories there. It was sad that he would never know that she had already died since the last wish fell to the ground after he left. But perhaps it was better that he did not know since he would never be happy again if he were to learn of Lan Yan’s fate.
  • Leng Yun and Xin He. I thought that they were the most compatible at first yet it was hard to maintain this frame of mind as the series progressed and things got really complicated. They matched wit per wit at first with intelligence and skills. Yet it was a shame that they (the scriptwriters) had ruined her character. She turned into a deceptive, cunning person. (It could not be blamed fully since she had lost so much BUT it was like she did not have a strong will to drag herself away from the scene OR she did not know when to stop.) Leng Yun was rash at times too and drove her to the other side yet I felt she was more intelligent than that so I had more expectations toward her than him, considering how he had fallen into Yu Ping’s trap in the past. What was even more ironic was that they ended up together anyway. Okay, so they (the scriptwriters) tried to justify her character by redeeming her with helping them that one time AND how she bang her head and lost her memory. BUT that was like Leng Yun had to take care of her. It was like they (the scriptwriters) were afraid that he would end up alone so they needed someone for him to concentrate on. I rather he was the fearless wanderer, traveling around to help others at the end than end up with her. She needed to pay back for killing that one girl. Going crazy DID NOT punish her. It just made her forget all her wrongdoings and let her start anew.
  • Shao You and Xin He. I would never expect to like this pairing so much and thought that they were the most adorable pairing in here. I meant it was so random YET addicting to watch because it was both innocent and somehow natural at the same time. Very strange feeling yet it was refreshing to the hectic atmosphere of the show as an overall. I really liked their opposites-attract chemistry YET I was quite disappointed that they ruined her character by making her wipe the sweats for Leng Yun in front of Shao You and the others that one time. She was not the type of person to be close to a certain someone so easily AND it made less sense that she would do that after she was married. Why did they (the scriptwriters) have to throw that in? I know Shao You was acting up later too, but I think it honestly wasn’t his fault. Any person would be pissed off seeing that, NOT just him. Xin He herself would never do anything indecent or overboard like the case stated, especially how strict the rules in their town were. Xin He was misunderstanding Lan Yan that one time, SO it proved that she knew and kept to the codes. She wouldn’t throw unnecessary attention to herself. She knew her limits and knew how to behave appropriately. Luckily, the problem was resolved quickly (or so I thought) or it would be really lame. However, I couldn’t forgive the scriptwriters for killing Shao You and ruining her character as well later on. It also made their relationship a big joke AND made the scene where she was crying out, wanting to die with him when she thought he got kidnapped a bigger joke. It was not about revenge for him anymore. The fact that she wanted to jump back to Leng Yun made it ridiculous and I felt bad for Shao Yu even more. Yes, she had no one else and how she deeply fell for Leng Yun earlier made sense to go back to him (and she did deserve her own happiness) BUT I just felt it was a joke with saying how much she loved Shao You. OR like stressing how much she wanted revenge for Shao You when she still did not know Yu Ping was actually behind it. What was even more was how she betrayed Lan Yan later and caused the Shen family to get kicked out too. Too bad they wasted a good development of the relationship, possibly emphasizing that some people change for the worst?
  • Siblings: Xin Hai and Xin He. Yes, she was harsh on him BUT I was glad that she pulled him away from the Lu family and saving him face. They both truly cared for each other and looked out for one another until the very end. The most tragic scenes must be his death and her recounts of their childhood memories afterward. It was worth lots and lots of tears. They had a strong bond and was forced to separate just because of a misunderstanding OR more like a deceptive trap. However, it seemed like a joke since Xin He’s reaction to the truth about his death was NOT enough for her to stop her wrongdoings. She kept going and going. It was like her brother was not important enough for her to stop and start anew–alone or with someone. She only cared for other things later. Yes, she was the only one left but it did not mean she was entitled to go cause troubles for her friends who stuck with her through thick and thin.
  • Xin Hai and Wu Shuang. A big fat joke as I said earlier. I found their chemistry cute and funny at various points of the series. But I thought it was too much later on. Perhaps they were similar in that they were too innocent and were simple-minded. But I felt like she never trusted him enough to even measure up to him OR could declare that she loved him–as said before.

Favorite scenes (not that I didn’t like other scenes but thought these stood out the most AND I already mentioned some other favorites in the other parts):

  • The confrontation between Yue E and Lan Yan. This was the part where Yue E discovered that her husband stepped out of the Lu resident so she went into the house and confronted Lan Yan with seducing her husband aka being a despicable person. I really admired Lan Yan at this point for no longer begging Yue E to help her or to believe her. The damage was already done. What else was there to clarify or say? It was too late. And the person who needed to wake up was Yue E, thinking that she was the most tragic person OR thinking she could handle the problems. She wanted to put the blame on the others yet it was her husband and her fake ways that had led to the outcome. Like Lan Yan said, she was so ignorant or think she could handle it but she did not know how many had suffered in the past or been in the same fate as Lan Yan, having no say or was unable to call out for help.
  • The confrontation between Chao Zong and Yu Ping. She was clever yet she underestimated things big time regarding the matters of the heart. This part was where they met at their secret location after Yu Ping killed Chao Zong’s dog and hired a hitman to warn Lan Yan off. What Chao Zong said was very true and memorable. It was: “Sorry, my heart is very small, it could only hold one person.” Yes, he was the least person in here to be talking about loyalty YET it was so true since he finally cared for someone enough to shrug off business matters and much more. He was willing to sacrifice his business and fight for his happiness–whether it was right or wrong.
  • Lan Yan claiming that the old Lan Yan had died with her child and the new Lan Yan was born. I was surprised though I knew it was inevitable. I meant I thought they would drag out the whole tragic Lan Yan scenes since it was like that in the past and then also when she was trying to get along as best as she could with the rest of the Shen resident. But the turn around was really well done. Yes, she knew those tactics and knew how to take control yet she only wanted to live a peaceful life. It wasn’t like she was dumb. In other series, it would show that the girl was wise too BUT it seemed like she never took actions. I like how the turnaround was in here. We get to see her intelligence and planning come into play. She was not to be messed with–if only the others would know.


  • Makeup/ hairstyles. Honestly, I had stressed this point with several characters and I felt that the majority of the cast, even the male cast were robbed. Every one of the female cast was not bad looking nor less gorgeous–one over the other–yet the majority of their hairdos were wrong or off. The makeup for some looked like smudges or overdone. It was really hard to imagine the guys falling for them because of said reason. (They did mention in the series at various times or references to how each of the women was of beauty SO that was something.) I think Li Fei Er was the luckiest among the supporting cast and Michelle Yim being the luckiest among the main cast–since their images were better. It was about the right touches for them, except for Fei Er having to endure the strange hairdo later when Xin He was married. Xiao Yu Yu and Deng Jia Jia were cute and gorgeous in their own rights yet was given such an image that they seemed to pale in comparison to others, which was sad. It was mostly because of the hair that got annoying, but their portrayals were still notable, especially Deng Jia Jia. For Ady, it was that little piece of hair sticking out in the middle of her forehead that made it unbearable. They got rid of it later but still was not forgivable. The costumes were brilliant so that made up for it IF only the makeup and the hairstyles accompanied then it would’ve been perfect.
  • The fact that Xin Hai died. The reason why I say this was NOT just because I’m a Qiao Zhen Yu fan BUT it was because it was too frustrating. He was too kindhearted hence falling prey to others’ trap. He was careless and he paid major time for it BUT he did not deserve it. If that meant being simple-minded was a crime, it was just ridiculous.
  • The fact that Shao You died. Like I mentioned above in two different categories already, I was horrified that he actually died. I thought he would’ve made it till the end, considering how the male cast was already on the lacking side. The fact that he died made it even more tragic. After his death, there were only two main male characters left. It wasn’t the only reason that made me feel robbed. But it was how I had grown to love his character so much. His childishness at times and his kind heart. He honestly believed Jiang Yu Ping and if he had not risked his life trying to save her, then he wouldn’t meet with his fate. He didn’t deserve to die like that. Though he did not die too blindly like Xin Hai, his death was the most horrifying because Yu Ping had personally killed him–unlike many times before that she had indirectly caused others’ death.
  • How they ruined Xin He’s character. I hated the fact that they did this. Although she was misled and deceived by Yu Ping, I could not forgive her or the scriptwriters for making it that way. I thought she would stop her actions when she saw how the other girl was suffering so much. Yet she still went through with the plan. She was driven by the misled idea that she wanted to avenge Shao You’s death BUT it was unforgivable that she resorted to such despicable means. Not to mention everything crumbled later (reasonable or not) when it got worse with her intentions or priorities. Don’t want to get repetitive since I already said it many times during this review.
  • The fact that no one knew it was Yu Ping who was responsible for it all. I meant she did not have to suffer for about 10 people that she killed in here. Yes, Leng Yun knew. Lan Yan knew. Chao Zong knew. But she was not brought to justice properly. I felt robbed. Or was it emphasizing the chaotic times and how things were never brought to light in small towns like that?
  • No one knew that Xin He was the one who told on them. It was the scene where she found out Lan Yan wasn’t pregnant like Xi Hong told the townspeople and went to tell on them. IF the others would’ve known, I don’t think the outcome would be like that. Yes, Leng Yun and Lan Yan might forgive her or sympathize with her BUT I felt it would’ve been better letting them know. Of course, it was obvious with how she was following that one dude BUT it was too easy on Xin He at the end. I rather Xin He die. That sounded cruel. BUT since Lan Yan had to die anyway, why let Xin He live happily? It was like encouraging people to do bad things since it would turn out all right in the end anyway.

Recommended or not? I’m not saying it’s a must-watch but it was interesting in its own right. There were frustrating points in the series or unbearable parts but it was unpredictable with various stories. So that won me over for the most part. But those who like happy endings shouldn’t watch since it was not a happy one. Though it was memorable and tragic.