First Impressions: Pretty Li Hui Zhen

Am up to Ep 16 and am glad that I decided to continue after stopping at Ep 2! Watched the first episode and frankly, it really wasn’t my cup of tea. I thought the meek bumblingness of Hui Zhen was neither cute nor endearing as she was acting totally immature for her age (who wears like that to an interview in a big organization even if one is unpretentious and au  naturel? At least look neat even if not polished!) and bordering mentally deficient! Her character was also totally in contrast with her younger self who was put together, self composed and confident (nothing to do with beauty mind you!) – if I was Bai Haoyu, I would have thought this messy looking girl was my childhood friend too! What gave this show a second chance for me was Hui Zhen’s crestfallen face when he walked past her on the bridge – the feels !! That made me want to know what was her backstory that made adult Hui ashen such a difference from child Hui Zhen. Well done Dilireba for salvaging my interest! I picked it up again after I could not continue with the melodrama that is Love & Life & Lie (Ep 13 yo!) and am very glad i did!!

Dilireba is impressing me here – she has definitely improved from Legend of Ancient Sword and Liu Shan Men (in the bits I saw) and she manages to imbue Hui Zhen with an earnest awkwardness that is not overly plucky but yet enveloped with a certain genuine earthy warmth despite her low self esteem. I am still not convinced that your family going bankrupt would do that a person (esp with her sister and parents all looking normal) so inhope there is more to that. From ep3, they also downplay her initial goofiness and doormatness which certainly helped! It is my first time watching Peter Sheng and this guy is so good looking 🙂 he reminds me of a younger, more Chinese looking Daniel Wu! His acting is not fab but somehow it makes the character work since Hao Yu at this stage is generally confused between the 2 Hui Zhen and stressed at work. I actually don’t find him quite a monster at work – if he only has 3 months to transform the magazine or everyone loses their job (including himself) the stakes are very high and everyone needs to buck up! I do suspect that he is sick (didn’t watch the original k-drama this was based on) so hopefully no overwrought melodrama here later.

Vin Zhang – ah, this man! I am going to watch all his dramas from here on! He is totally rocking it as Lin Yimu, the manchild with a heart. He is not overdoing his quirkiness or playfulness and manages to still look manly at the same time. Definitely second lead syndrome here so fortunately Peter Sheng is so so good looking :). Sierra Li is Xia Qiao and I like her too. She and Hui zhen have a genuine friendship which is touching but yes, she is making a big girlship no-no continuing to liaise with Haiti on the side. Somehow, Sierra doesn’t have a conniving vibe so I can’t bring myself to dislike her and actually feel a little sorry for and she is clearly conflicted although her selfishness propels her along this miserable road.

The rest of the gang at Immortal make a good team with camaderie chemistry that is not overly intoxicating but a special shout out to Zhu Ying 姐 (Wang Yi Nan) who is the most professional fashion editor I have seen portrayed – perhaps not the type that can make the magazine No.1 in sales but I like how encouraging and kind she is to everyone and Hui Zhen. Also I must mention the child actors Qu Zhi Han (Young Hui Zhen) and Zhou Bai Zhen (Young Haoyu) who are so cute as friends without that strange romantic undertone – the former was also in Shuttle Love Millenium and I loved her there too!

I am a bit apprehensive that it’s a 40 episode show as that may drag it out unnecessarily – hopefully it will remain a fun watchable drama!

[Thread] Legend of Condor Heroes (2017)

The Legend of Condor Heroes strike again with a new drama version adapted from Jin Yong’s famous Condor Triology! There has been so many versions of this drama come out every 2 years or so (or so it feels)!  Guess the last one was 2008 version?? My favorite was the 1994 TVB  version with Chilam and Athena Chu just cause that was the first version I saw. hahaha 

Information

Title: Legend of Condor Heroes 2017  (射雕英雄传)

# of episodes: 52

Release date: January 9th, 2017

Synopsis: When their husbands are killed by the Song Army, two pregnant women escape to foreign lands and both give birth to boys who are very different from each other. Guo Jing is a strong but dull-headed young man who grows up on the Mongolian prairie. Yang Kang is a smart and skilled you man who is raised as the son of Wanyan Hong Lie, a successor of the Jin Empire. The worlds of these two men collide when their respective martial arts masters make a secret pact, while their lives are further complicated by the love of two women, Huan Rong and Mu Nian Ci.

Watch raw here

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[Thread] Three Lives, Three Worlds, Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms (2017)

With the drama being released in a little over two weeks, the drama finally upped their promotion and released two songs and a large batch of stills. The songs sound really good!!! =D (I swear I’m not biased)

Information: 

Title: Three Lives, Three World, Ten Miles of Peach Blossom (三生三世十里桃花)

# of episodes: 58

Release date: January 30th, 2017

Synopsis: After a devastating war, the immortal tribe paid a heavy price to seal the demon lord. 70000 years later, in an attempt to re-seal the demon lord who broke free, Bai Qian (Yang Mi) was sent to the mortal realm. In the mortal world, she meets Ye Hua (Mark Chao) and falls in love with him. Su Jin, who is jealous of Ye Hua’s love for Bai Qian, intentionally creates a series of misunderstanding between them and causes Bai Qian to lose her eyes. Thinking that Ye Hua has betrayed her, the devastated Bai Qian jumps off from the Zhu Xian Terrace. At her request, all her memories have been erased and she forgets Ye Hua. Hundred years later, the two meets again as deities. Another lifetime another world, Ye Hua recognizes Bai Qian but the latter remains indifferent. Three lives three worlds, her and him, are they fated to bear an entangling love line?

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First Impressions: Love & Life & Lie

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Up to Ep5 and I am not sure why i am still watching! 🙂 It is a Spot-The-Cliche bonanza with the switched at birth backstory, spunky- poor-girl-with-attitude pitted against the spoilt-awful-rich-girl who fall in love with the male lead and the usual array of evil side characters plotting to separate the OTP (which there are so many of them!!!) BUT somehow, something keeps me watching and here I am!

I think it’s the Chen Xiao (Li Yao Nan) -Zhou Dong Yu (Liu Xin Tong)combo. Those 2 have a urban romantic nonchalance chemistry (liked their interactions at the vet) spiced with some sexy vibes which makes the relationship feel realistic for the early 20s set – not too angsty or overly passionate yet adult at the same time. I do like Liu Xin Tong as well – it’s my first time watching Zhou Dong Yu and I like that she is not your typical beauty with her small eyes and her personality does shine through compared to the second female lead. I can see why Yao Nan fell for her. And Chen Xiao – he does the urbane young man so well , polished but with a heart (not a supersized one like the second male lead but realistically sufficient!) That side eyed smirk from the Legend of Lu Zhen is back!

It helps that Jia Jing Hui who plays the second male lead Ji Zhen Yu is also a hottie and Ye Qing playing the second female lead Ji Zhi Zhen is so detestable. Interested to see his storyline and can’t wait for her comeuppance !

Not sure how much longer I will continue watching as I suspect that the dogblood scenes are coming. But for now, it’s meeting my quota for a light rom-com so let’s see where it goes!

[Thread] Ode to Joy 2 (2017)

Updated: Ode to Joy 2 finally finished filming! =D The crew and the five ladies celebrated the ending together with lots of pictures and smiles. 

Information: 

Title: Ode to Joy 2 (欢乐颂 第二季)

# of episodes: 52

Release date: TBA May 2017 (tentative)

Synopsis: The continuation of this simple story on 5 different women sharing the top floor of an apartment building as they each go through family, financial, relationship, and career related struggles. Some of the questions to be answered in the upcoming season: Who will Andy end up with? Will Fang Shengmei finally be happy? Will Qu Xiaoxiao and Zhao Qiping end up together? Will Qiu Yingying and Yi Qing be in a relationship? One thing is sure: these questions will be answered in season 2!

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[Breaking News] Tong Liya and Chen Sicheng

The paparazzo, Zhuo Wei, has followed up his claim with photographic and videographic evidence. Chen Sicheng is now proven to be cheating on Tong Liya. Not only did he cheat on her during her pregnancy with their one-year old son, but he also let not one, but two women into his bedroom at their family house when Ya Ya was away filming Takes a Real Man 2. One woman is an actress from the drama starring Tony Liya, Ordinary World (2015)

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First Impressions: Candle In The Tomb

Up to Ep9 and it’s great! Just the right balance of archaeological adventure, mystery and bromance! Not much romance here yet (Joe Chen only appears in Ep 5 ) but that element is not missed when everyone is totally rocking it! It also helps that the drama is beautifully shot (those snow and desert scenes!), thoughtfully produced (no strange editing or fanciful posturing) and the CGI effects are actually passable! Never read the book on which the series is based on but I love the details which straddle between fact and fiction – they all exist but the fact that not much is known about these ancient kingdoms totally allows the imagination to grow wild within the confines of plausibility. Jingjue Kingdom, Xiye Ruins,  Ancient Peacock Trail, the Karakoram – the drama brings it to life!

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