Our Times (2021) poster
7.9
Votre note: 0/10
Notes: 7.9/10 par 471 utilisateurs
# de Spectateurs: 3,584
Critiques: 6 utilisateurs
Classé #2567
Popularité #3776
Téléspectateurs 471

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  • Français
  • English
  • magyar / magyar nyelv
  • עברית / עִבְרִית
  • Pays: China
  • Catégorie: Drama
  • Épisodes: 36
  • Diffusé: sept. 14, 2021 - oct. 13, 2021
  • Diffusé Sur: Lundi, Mardi, Mercredi, Jeudi
  • Station de diffusion initiale: Tencent Video
  • Durée: 45 min.
  • Score: 7.9 (scored by 471 utilisateurs)
  • Classé: #2567
  • Popularité: #3776
  • Classification du contenu: Not Yet Rated

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Distribution et équipes

Critiques

Complété
WandereR
28 personnes ont trouvé cette critique utile
oct. 13, 2021
36 épisodes vus sur 36
Complété 8
Globalement 9.0
Histoire 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Musique 9.0
Degrés de Re-visionnage 8.5

The Changing Times

Fascinating, riveting, inspiring, and poignant. In my humble opinion, Our Times truly is a remarkably compelling and vividly presented drama that is very much deserving of attention and praise. It isn’t without flaws but it is still a worthwhile viewing experience as far as C-dramas are concerned. With a douban score of 8.3 at the time of writing, the rating certainly reflects the growing acclaim for this drama.

Production Details

Brought to us by the production team of the popular drama Hikaru no Go, notably Liu Chang and Zhuo Yue Pao Mo who serve as main director and screenwriter respectively. Both of them specialise in slice-of-life, coming-of-age and friendship dramas including their collaboration on Somewhere Only We Know. In addition, Liu Chang helmed Dear Missy while Zhuo Yue Pao Mo had written the script for the highly rated My Huckleberry Friends, among others. This drama is co-director Ma Yiming’s directorial debut while five other screenwriters are involved namely Xu Yitian, Nan Difu, Hu Liping, Wang Shumin and Chen Xiao.

The screenplay is adapted from the novel Our Times (我们的时代) which was recently published in 2019. Written by Wang Qiang (王强), reportedly a leading figure for business novels in China, Our Times is a trilogy that focuses on chasing dreams, and the ups and downs of the new generation of entrepreneurs who ride the IT Internet wave from 1990 to 2018.

The Narrative

Our Times is set in China of the early 1990s against the backdrop of burgeoning economic growth and rapid IT development. The story spans the better part of the decade across multiple locations including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Foshan and Hong Kong (along with Illinois in the US). It focuses on the points of view of four main characters - university classmates and tech researchers Xiao Chuang and Pei Qin Hua, as well as their respective love interests Xie Hang and Tan Yuan. Combining slice-of-life with romance, bromance and light melodrama mainly within the workplace setting, the drama explores relationship dynamics between families, friends, lovers and co-workers as well as themes of office politics, industrial relations, the virtues of self-sacrifice, redemption and the courage to evolve in the pursuit of aspirations and happiness amidst the vicissitudes of life.

The storytelling is progressively paced and satisfyingly engaging with hardly a dull moment or substantial fillers. I particularly enjoy the seamless fusion of certain lighthearted instances along with subtle hints of levity as well as introspective and bittersweet scenes interspersed throughout with predominantly heartwarming undertones.

For a premise of this nature, there is no lack of angst and dramatics which is to be expected where the majority of these arcs are rather promptly and neatly resolved. My main issues with this drama stem from the script or adaptation of the source novel for certain sequences of events and the consistency of the characterization for specific characters. Without giving too much away, I’m not a fan of the noble idiocy trope and the associated extreme self-sacrificial acts of altruism in lieu of open and sincere communication to resolve issues… BUT, it’s quite a relief that the resulting grievances turn out to be somewhat short lived and do not detract from what has largely been an engrossing viewing experience.

It’s worth mentioning that elements of patriotism and nationalistic vibes in the plot are quite noticeable as far as locally-produced PCs versus international imports are concerned, but I think the historical representation is quite balanced to accurately reflect the growing trends of computing technology as well as the political sentiments in the era.

A couple of interesting facets to the plot - it’s not purely about computer designs and programming because a substantial proportion of the entrepreneurial efforts is focused on the marketing and sales aspects. Furthermore, the technology referred therein isn’t just about mainframes and personal computers but also emerging entertainment gadgets such as the LD and VCD technology. The transition of “old tech” to the technology that we are acquainted with, especially for viewers familiar with the era, is depicted with the perfect dose of realism.

The Production Quality and Technical Aspects

This is a well-made production in terms of the overall values, quality, and technical execution. The direction is generally commendable, despite discernible “contrived moments of acting” at certain points. The editing, scene transitions and sequencing of the narrative progression appear cohesive and relatively seamless. In terms of the cinematography, I appreciate the decent camerawork as well as the warm palettes and degree of colour grading applied which provides a cinematic feel to the production. Also on the subject of visual language, I quite like the inclusion of 90s stock footage in certain filler frames or B-reels throughout, which provides viewers with a sense of the atmospherics.

The art direction is superb through the use of authentic set designs and props that enhance the realism of the depiction. From the very first moment of this drama, I was hit by the wave of nostalgia arising from the overwhelming 90s pop culture references. From Sally Yeh and George Lam Cantonese songs to posters of a very young Chow Yun Fat, Andy Lau and countless others plastered all over the walls. The influence of Hong Kong in those days is made abundantly clear in this production. Other references to the time period include the huge mobile phones (aka “tai ko tai”), VHS player and video entertainment outlets, the cassette tape player and, of course, the computers themselves - the classic 486 PCs complete with the large monitors or Visual Display Units. The costuming aspect is quite realistic in general. For the character of Xiao Chuang, however, his dressing comes across as somewhat peculiar for a person with his background but it does reflect his flamboyant demeanour and swagger.

Cast and Characters

As the story unfolds and we learn more about each of the main characters, I find myself utterly immersed and invested in their characterization and growth through the multitudes of varying circumstances and events that they experience. In particular the two male leads, Xiao Chuang and Pei Qing Hua. Despite being infuriating at times to a certain extent, towards the conclusion of the story the maturity and wisdom that they eventually attain provide a palpable sense of redemption and achievement. Tan Yuan is interestingly written yet extremely believable and is my favourite female character in the drama. Xie Hang, on the other hand, feels a little inconsistent in places through her actions and behaviour. Nonetheless, each of the four characters possesses its own distinctive qualities and characteristics that combine well to fit the overall development of the story.

My second time seeing Wu Lei this year after The Long Ballad, he has certainly come a long way since Nirvana in Fire. I wouldn’t exactly call this his breakout role but it does feel that way. Such an exceptional portrayal of Xiao Chuang where his versatility in range truly ran me through the gamut of emotions. I honestly think his performance is the strongest among the cast largely because of his significant and dramatic character arc. As for Neo Hou, he showcases a hugely different side to his portrayal in Psych-Hunter and Lost Tomb 2 where he plays a complete boy scout here - pure, idealistic and noble to a fault - and he absolutely slays this role. Earnestly believable and endearing as Pei Qing Hua, he embodies the role effortlessly indeed. Wu Lei and Neo Hou together make this one of the best bromance partnerships in C-dramas.

My first time seeing both Julia Xiang and Mao Xiao Hui, where their performances are indeed worthy of praise. Julia’s portrayal of Tan Yuan is realistic and relatable where I can’t help but to root for her throughout. Her bubbly personality is the complete opposite of Neo Hou’s down-to-earth Pei Qing Hua but somehow this opposites attract type of relationship culminates in a convincing and organic chemistry that builds up naturally over the course of the story. Xiao Hui’s Xie Hang is the most understated yet nuanced of the female leads. There are so many layers to her character that she delicately brings to life in a slow-burn manner. As one of the two OTPs, Wu Lei and Xiao Hui share some of the most moving moments in the drama amidst the trials and tribulations that they both face.

As for the supporting cast, the veterans comprising Wang Xin Jun, Gai Hai Peng and Wen Zheng Rong deserve mention for playing Tan Qi Zhang, Lin Yi Min and Luo Li Hua respectively. Leewei, as Lydia (Xie Hang’s mentor at Interflow), delivers a powerful interpretation of an intriguing character despite her limited screen time. Wang Meng Li’s investigative journalist Shu Zhi Hong is another interesting characterization that probably deserves a side story or spin-off of her own.

Music

Fei Peng serves as music producer while Japanese composer Akiyama Sayuri composed two ending themes for the production, which are my favourites out of the total of five OSTs including the remake of Sally Yeh’s original, Walk Back to the Wind. Full listing as follows:

呼啸的风 Howling Wind by 侯明昊 Hou Ming Hao (Ending theme)
毫不保留 Without Reservations by 余佳运 Yu Jiayun (Ending theme)
潇洒走一回 Walk Back to the Wind by 孟佳 Meng Jia
一盏灯 A Light by 王栎鑫 Wang Lixin
燃烧的时代 The Burning Era by 袁野 Yuan Ye
谁能明白我 Who Can Understand Me by 林子祥 George Lam

Final Thoughts

Our Times presents an unforgettable journey of discovery by its captivating characters that is filled with beautiful romance and compelling camaraderie, while granting viewers a profound insight into the giddying heights of technological transformation and socio-economic transition in modern China back in the 1990s.

In case you’re wondering about the ending, there will definitely be a second season. The final episode ends on a cliffhanger so stay tuned for the sequel to wrap things up and, hopefully, give our four main characters a fitting closure. All things considered, it has been an incredibly absorbing and insightful viewing experience indeed and I absolutely recommend giving this drama a watch.

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Complété
MsNotes
18 personnes ont trouvé cette critique utile
oct. 15, 2021
36 épisodes vus sur 36
Complété 6
Globalement 8.5
Histoire 8.0
Acting/Cast 9.5
Musique 8.5
Degrés de Re-visionnage 6.0

Defining HARD WORK & NEVER GIVING UP once again by a 90s story

STORY
I appreciate how the tag Friendship was expressed here through Xiao Chuang and Pei Qing hua… I enjoyed watching all their conversations and seeing their bond develop throughout the show.

The beginning of each episode will keep reminding you that you're watching a 90s story, all the retro vibes, the trains, the small TVs, using telephone, letters… I love how enjoyable first half of this drama was.

What this drama taught me from the very beginning is about hard work. If you are motivated enough and consistently focused for your goal. You can definitely achieve it. No matter what the circumstances and troubles you face, be tough and go past it.
Something worth mentioning here is the script writing cause the dialogues were really well written. I appreciate every sentence they said as it was needed for the situation and accurately said.


This is the kind of show that will probably get mixed reviews by different viewers. Some may find it little boring whenever Business matter is involved. For those who found this too bland or long. They could just skip through some scenes or there's usually an option for 1.5x or 2x speed ;)


CHARACTERS / ACTING / CASTING –
Wu Lei(Xiao Chuang) — he just stole the show. His way to portray this character was the charm. The scenes when he was still in 'Foshan' were crazy. Every Xiao Chuang moment felt real. No one else could have done this role better.

Neo Hou(Pei Qing Hua) — Not bad. He was playing a nerd or simple obedient man kind of character once again. Some of the emotional scenes were done well by him. No offense, but I cannot convince myself to say that he was irreplaceable here. Maybe someone else could do this role better too…

Mao Xiao Hui(Xie Hang) — She did very well till the end especially all those crying scenes. It's my first time watching her on screen but she's really a good actress. Impressed me already.

Julia Xiang(Tan Yuan) — I think I saw her last in Forever Love. Her acting has improved. Her expressions are much better now & She's still so young (19). This girl has a long way to go…

…Other actors who gathered my attention by their good acting… •Leewei (Lydia) — She has a strong aura and that tall height and gaze makes it even more real.
•Fang Wen Qiang (Man Huan Sheng)
•Molly Wang (Ms Shu) — I am not sure if it was her character demand or what but like she kept chewing something in every scene and her mouth kept moving. I cannot ignore that at all lol.


[ OST time ]
♪ Howling Wind — Neo Hou
♪ Without Holding back — Yu Jia Yun
♪ Merry Go Round — Meng Jie
♪ A Light — Wang Yue Xin
♪ The Burning Era — Yuan Ye ♡♡

I think they were trying to provide that 90s feeling with the music too. So, the music behind songs was like some classical instrument. I don't have much knowledge about music but I liked hearing ♪the Burning Era♪ by Yuan Ye. It sounded youthful.

✿ My favorite character — Tan Yuan ✿

REWATCH VALUE — Not gonna rewatch it ever haha…

CONCLUSION
The kind of drama for 90s and business theme lovers. Business Genre is visible and could be draggy/boring for some people (not for me though).Could be considered a romance drama too. Pretty long but an engaging watch… More of a Youth and Life drama…
And Yes! There's a Season 2 as the drama itself states "That's it for this season". So, there's more to the story…

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Renseignements

  • Drama: Our Times
  • Pays: Chine
  • Épisodes: 36
  • Diffusé: sept. 14, 2021 - oct. 13, 2021
  • Diffusé On: Lundi, Mardi, Mercredi, Jeudi
  • Station de diffusion initiale: Tencent Video
  • Durée: 45 min.
  • Classification du contenu: Pas encore classifié

Statistiques

  • Score: 7.9 (marqué par 471 utilisateurs)
  • Classé: #2567
  • Popularité: #3776
  • Téléspectateurs: 3,584

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