That rare TVB gem: The Exorcist’s Meter

 

While I (and probably most of the Chinese diaspora my generation) grew up watching TVB dramas, I have drifted away from them after discovering c-dramas as they have become very run-of-the-mill with type-casted actors/actresses. The last one I watched was A Fist Within Four Walls (2016) with Ruco Chan who I think is one of the better actors left in TVB’s stable.

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That thing about C-romcoms: Blind Date, Delicious Destiny & Stairway to Stardom

After the angsty Glory of Tang Dynasty and the hard-hitting Princess Agents (dont get me wrong – I actually really liked both!), I was looking for a romance palate cleanser and wanted to try a rom-com. I always found C-romcoms too long and too dog-blood but first half 2017 was pretty good as I enjoyed (and finished!) Memory Lost (Yang Rong/Bai Yu), Pretty Li Hui Zhen (Dilireba/Peter Sheng) and The Fox’s Summer (Tan Song Yun/Jiang Chao) although arguably the first was a romantic crime caper.

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Review: Attack It, Lightning!

For some reason, I have a soft spot for Jiang Jin Fu after first watching him in Legend of Qin (not a great show and I didn’t finish it) and then the Adventure of Love. His appearance in Takes A Real Man S2 cemented it for me – appears to be brawn > brain but definitely with heart. Which is why I decided to watch this youth sports drama when it aired – I watched My Mr Mermaid too as I also have a soft spot for Tan Song Yun but even she couldn’t save that show for me and I gave up halfway.

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Review: Candle in the Tomb – Mu Ye Gui Shi (2017)

Tomb-raiding and an ass-kicking Gina Jin – I had been anticipating this and am pleased to say that I found it a delightful little show. Only 24 episodes long and clearly meant to have a sequel, it was a taut and fun watch.

Unlike the usual tomb-raider dramas, this is anchored by a storyline of searching for one’s parents which then leads to the common wuxia theme of finding oneself and compatriots along the way. I like that the show manages to flesh out a believable trajectory of Hu Tian, son of Hu Bayi and Shirley (the Dynamic Duo played by Jin Dong / Joe Chen or Chen Kun / Shu Qi for those who watch this genre) who was abandoned at 5 when his parents had to go search for a cure to his mysterious affliction, from a bitter, semi-delinquent with an enormous chip on his shoulder to a responsible leader of the rag-tag team, a sweet relationship between him and Bing Lun (a high-achieving, martial trained, US educated tomb-raider with a mysterious past ) and the camaderie of all 5 of them without it feeling forced and contrived.

Kudos to Darren wang who seems to have cornered the market on imbuing a cheeky wastrel character (we all know he isn’t like that deep down inside!) with heart and grit which just needs the right girl/opportunity/life-changing discovery to shine. Never been a better use of the term Diamond In the Rough! Gina Jin, whom I have to come to enjoy with her diverse roles, totally rocked it as the cool chick with her slick moves and cold persona – I did wonder if it was really necessary to wear such short shorts knowing that you will be climbing through holes and crevasses but hey – it’s entertainment! 🙂

Special mention to Wang Li Xin (who was also in With You with Liu haoran and Tan Song Yun) who successfully made Lei Li a likeable character and is really a sap at heart pining after Xiao Jin Ya (Zhang Xin). He may have been the comic relief but he was definitely not the clown. Xiao Jin Ya too , despite being the third wheel for the OTP was sufficiently crushed from her unrequited feelings but yet managed to maintain some sort of grace and dignity.

One disclaimer would be that I am a fan of the genre and enjoy all the backstories and historical possibilities despite the lack of subtitles so it may not be everyone’s up of tea.

I would say – Come for the adventure, stay for the human relationships – and wait for the sequel!

[First Impression] Nothing Gold Can Stay

Title: Nothing Gold Can Stay (那年花开月正圆)

# of episodes: 75

Release date: August 30, 2017

Starring: Sun Li , Chen Xiao, and Peter Ho

Where to watch: Youtube (raw)

Synopsis: Zhou Ying is sold to the powerful Shen family by her foster father, yet successfully escapes by sneaking into merchant Wu Ping’s palanquin. The Wu family agreed to take her in after witnessing her remarkable business acumen. Shen Xingyi, the pampered young master of the Shen family will end up falling in love with Zhou Ying. (source dramalist) Continue reading

[Review] Once Upon A Time

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Synopsis: Three hundred years ago, Bai Qian (Liu Yi Fei) stood on the Zhu Xian Terrace, turned around and jumped off without regret. Ye Hua (Yang Yang) stood by the bronze mirror to witness with his own eyes her death.

Three hundred years later, in the East Sea Dragon Palace, the two meet unexpectedly. Another lifetime another world, after suffering betrayal Bai Qian no longer feels anything, yet she can’t seem to comprehend Ye Hua’s actions. Three lives three worlds, her and him, are they fated to love again? 

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[Recap] Princess Agents Episode 56-58 (End)

We’re final at the last episode of the drama!! Anyway, thank you all for joining us in this series and following the recaps. Makes the drama that much more enjoyable to have people to share their thought about it. =D  I’m glad we were able to provide the recap with little delay to the air time. This has definitely been a duo effort with @iiangelx3 ‘s help to be able to recap this series so quickly! XD.  I don’t think I could have recapped this series by myself!!

Princess Agents is a 2017 Chinese television series based on the novel 11 Chu Te Gong Huang Fei (11处特工皇妃) written by Xiao Xiang Dong Er. It stars Zhao Liying, Lin Gengxin, Shawn Dou and Li Qin.

Title:Princess Agents (特工皇妃楚乔传)

Episodes: 67 (for the TV version) and 58 (for uncut version)

Release date:  June 5th, 2017  2 episodes every Monday to Thursday on Hunan TV

Where to watch: watch it on youtube with Eng Sub!

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[Recap] Princess Agents Episode 53-55

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Princess Agents is a 2017 Chinese television series based on the novel 11 Chu Te Gong Huang Fei (11处特工皇妃) written by Xiao Xiang Dong Er. It stars Zhao Liying, Lin Gengxin, Shawn Dou and Li Qin.

Title:Princess Agents (特工皇妃楚乔传)

Episodes: 67 (for the TV version).

Release date:  June 5th, 2017  2 episodes every Monday to Thursday on Hunan TV

Where to watch: watch it on youtube with Eng Sub!

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[Recap] Princess Agents Episode 47-49

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Princess Agents is a 2017 Chinese television series based on the novel 11 Chu Te Gong Huang Fei (11处特工皇妃) written by Xiao Xiang Dong Er. It stars Zhao Liying, Lin Gengxin, Shawn Dou and Li Qin.

Title: Princess Agents (特工皇妃楚乔传)

Episodes: 67 (for the TV version).

Release date:  June 5th, 2017  2 episodes every Monday to Thursday on Hunan TV

Where to watch: watch it on youtube with Eng Sub!

Continue reading