Renseignements

  • Dernière connexion: Il y a 11 jours
  • Lieu: USA
  • Contribution Points: 75 LV2
  • Rôles:
  • Date d'inscription: mai 16, 2018
  • Awards Received: Flower Award5 Coin Gift Award1
Complété
Hi Venus
74 personnes ont trouvé cette critique utile
déc. 28, 2022
24 épisodes vus sur 24
Complété 4
Globalement 9.0
Histoire 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Musique 9.5
Degrés de Re-visionnage 9.0

How To Become a Perfect Lover

I wasn’t planning to pick up “Hi Venus” in the beginning because I had had a bad experience with Liang Jie in “Time Flies and You are Here”. But I couldn’t resist Zeng Shunxi (aka Joseph Zeng) because I have really enjoyed most of his dramas thus far. He has a magnetic charisma that pulls the viewers in and his adorable good-looking face beacons. I was taken by surprise how enjoyable this series is. This drama gives viewers a perfect lover here in the male lead.

Though given a hospital setting as the background, the story is more akin to an office romance. There are no hardcore hospital scenes, nor talented/ambitious female/male lead doctors trying to save lives or inventing new medical technologies/procedures. This is basically a love story between a boss who has no medical experience, and his personal assistant who is a pediatrician with no administrative experience.

Ye Shilan (Liang Jie) is a fresh pediatrician of a private hospital. She is temporarily assigned to the Chief Executive Officer, Lu Zhaoxi (Zeng Shunxi) as his personal assistant. Reluctantly, she complies. Coming from a broken family with a father who killed himself and a mother who remarried, Ye Shilan is insecure and has a low self-esteem; she is awkward, guarding and reserved. Despite the inadequacy she feels of herself, she is upstanding, accepts her own mistakes, systematic, clear-cut, and independent. I’m so relieved that Liang Jie has handled this role very well. Her styling is soothing and down to earth, and her serious demeanor is appropriate for the character. Most importantly, she has an amazing chemistry with Zeng Shunxi.

Born with a silver spoon in an entrepreneurial household where his parents run the hospital business, Lu Zhaoxi is not the typical cold, rude, arrogant, and authoritative CEO. He is mature, considerate, playful, never imposing, optimistic, empathetic (as shown with him going through simulated childbirth pain), romantic, earnest, accommodating, sweet, warm, friendly, fearless (except for insects), intelligent and confident; he’s a perfect partner that all girls want and deserve.

When Lu Zhaoxi falls in love with Ye Shilan and she him, both are not exactly sure of the other: she thinks he is too good for her and she doesn’t deserve him, and she fears losing him if she accepts him; whereas for him, through various rumors and conversations, he thinks she still cannot come out from the hurt of a previous relationship, so he hesitates for fear of being rejected.

Not only very good looking, I find Zeng Shunxi a very good actor. His large round eyes speak volumes, capturing his playfulness, thoughtfulness, exacerbations, romance, intelligence, and confidence. I always feel soothed watching him, even in my most critical drama of his in “Time Flies and You are Here”. Zeng Shunxi nails the role as Lu Zhaoxi. He’s perfect here and I don’t think another actor could do better.

The story is narrated through Ye Shilan's perspective, how she changes from an inferior character to a positive person; she meets her 救星 ("jiùxīng" or savior), her Venus. This is quite a slow burn, pull-push kind of relationship which is subtle and humorous. The couple’s official relationship begins in Episode 16 when they are more open to their closest friends. I'm usually not a very patient person with intentionally made misunderstandings and wasteful moments. However, I find the development of romance here very charming and interesting; it's the little moments that are precious and unforgettable. The dialogues are so funny that at times viewers must think twice to get the meaning and truly understand the words. I feel the scriptwriter has given the viewers one of the best dialogue writings here: subtly funny, humorous, oxymoronic, and paradoxical.

Among others, one thing that stands out to me is, there are no annoying bad parents forcing their kids to marry for wealth and status, or for people they (the parents) approve of. Here, Lu Zhaoxi's parents dote on him and give him freedom to discover himself, hence making him very close to them (the parents); he tells them everything on his mind, including his love life. In fact, Lu Zhaoxi's mother is his best confidante, talking and listening to him pouring out his happiness and frustrations every night, and his father warns him not to use his power to coerce his subordinates to go out with him. Rarely I see such open-minded parents in Chinese dramas. This has definitely taken out a lot of angsts in any romantic relationship.

There are also no annoying ex-girlfriends nor ex-boyfriends, no toxic relationship nor emotional hijacks, but a pair of very engaging best friends who later become our beloved side couple. Unlike in other dramas where the OTP’s best friends always give silly and outlandish ideas, the best friends here, Yao Jiajia (Li Linfei) and Lin Kaiwen (Zhou Zihan), are intelligent and analytical, giving our couple insights and sound advices, helping them to see themselves and find each other.

Finally, the background music is amusing, usually fast and upbeat. There’s a wide usage of assortment of musical tunes, including classical music such as Mozart’s Ala Turka, to accentuate the moods and blunders of the scenes. The flow of romantic music can abruptly stop when something unexpectedly happens. This adds even more humor to the moments and is brilliantly executed.

My Verdict

This is a story with a very simple storyline and no plot twists. I find the writing of the final few episodes not as engrossing as the earlier ones, and the drama becomes rather bland towards the end -- everything is smooth sailing. Nonetheless, this drama is soothing and light-hearted, a chicken soup for the soul, great for erasing away the stress and anxiety.

I love the writer’s humor. It’s so subtle that one may not catch it right away. To me, this is some very excellent writing and a lot of thoughts have gone into it. Many lines spoken here can be used by lovers to enhance their relationship. The “confession conversation” is the type of conversation all viewers should learn to say, in whatever circumstances. It can help us move positively forward in our life.

Another conversation that stands out to me is when Lu Zhaoxi tries to address Ye Shilan’s concern, “Many families are better off than ours, and many are worse off. We cannot use these, better off or worse off, to determine success or failure. But hard work, ideology, compassion can. So don't compare with others to chase after success; we compare within ourselves to have a better life, that's suffice.”

"If you want people to help you, you first have to extend your hand." "If you want people to save you, you first have to save yourself." And this is the message of the story.

Love life. Love everyday!

Great watch! Recommended for all romance buffs and all viewers with fragile hearts (like myself).

BRAVO!

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The Untamed Special Edition
241 personnes ont trouvé cette critique utile
janv. 17, 2020
20 épisodes vus sur 20
Complété 14
Globalement 10
Histoire 10
Acting/Cast 10
Musique 10
Degrés de Re-visionnage 10

Most Beautiful Drama of All Time

I’ve done a review for the full version of this drama Chenqing Ling (The Untamed) - it’s long with details (my review). In this review, I don’t want to reiterate what I’ve written before. I just want to do a "short" one for the new viewers.

Many viewers who have not watched the drama wonder if they should watch the special version or the full version. Many viewers are also uncertain why this drama has such high rating and if they are missing out anything, and if they should start watching it themselves. Some viewers also say they are disappointed and the drama doesn’t live up to their expectation.

I have read both extreme ends of the comments. Some viewers have watched this drama for umpteen times, read the novel, watched the donghua (anime), read the manhua (manga), watched all the BTS’s, read all the fanfics, fanvids, etc. (I must admit I’ve done likewise.) On the other extreme, many viewers cannot even get passed the first few episodes and cannot understand what the hype is all about. When they come to this platform (MyDramaList) to question, instead of getting answers, they get clobbered.

This drama is based on a very popular BL novel. To pass censorship in China, the BL part is suppressed if not totally eliminated. But, the production team has cleverly disguised the BL elements into thousands of little moments inserted throughout the series, including within the music, and these little moments are open to interpretation: BL fans see romance right away whereas others see only platonic friendship (that was my first impression in my first viewing). Either way, the story portrays chivalry, selflessness, and magnanimity. It provides many life lessons for all viewers.

This special edition is basically a shorter version of the drama. The original series has a slow start. Many viewers who have not read the novel get pretty confused, myself included. Many even drop the series because of it. In this special edition, the beginning 2 episodes of the original version are cut off; it goes straight to the very beginning of the timeline – 16 years ago. It also includes some scenes (very few) that are not in the original version. It cuts off many peripheral characters and scenes, and focuses more on the two main leads and their relationship. Like it or not, it is this relationship (among others) that has created the largest deluge for viewers who have watched and love this drama. It is also one of the main reasons that propels Xiao Zhan and Wang Yibo, the two main leads, into stardom. Currently the duo are the most popular actors in China, receiving countless awards.

For viewers who just want to test the water, the special edition may be a good start. However, the original full version provides better explanation and overall plot of the story. A lot of the questions of this drama have been addressed here: https://mydramalist.com/discussions/the-untamed.

This drama means very different things to different people. For many fans, this is the best drama of ALL TIME. For me, this is true also because it touches certain parts of my heart. It stirs up all kinds of emotions in me which I’ve never experienced before in other dramas – happiness, sadness, light-heartedness, agony, hopefulness, hopelessness, among others. It brings me through a lot of painful experiences, and yet gives me a lot of sweetness in between and in the end.

Yes, I’d say this is a MUST-WATCH drama. It really doesn’t matter which gender and what sexual orientation you are. It doesn’t matter which culture you’ve come from. After all, we all live on the same planet, go through similar injustices in life, and most of all, can relate to the characters one way or another.

Two thumbs up!

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Goodbye My Princess: Director's Cut
110 personnes ont trouvé cette critique utile
mai 20, 2020
55 épisodes vus sur 55
Complété 6
Globalement 10
Histoire 10
Acting/Cast 10
Musique 10
Degrés de Re-visionnage 10

Unforgettable Heart-Wrenching

For viewers who may be confused by the two versions of this drama, and wonder which one to choose:

The Director's cut is a better version of the drama. It has a great introduction that is not found in the other version that was aired. This version provides a proper build-up of what happens to Li Cheng Yin (Chen Xingxu) before he meets Xiao Feng (Peng Xiao Ran). And this introduction is absolutely important because it would give the viewers a very different perspective of the Li Cheng Yin character. I started with the other version while it was airing. Without the proper introduction, I came to detest Li Cheng Yin for his action. However, when this newer version became available, I came to understand the character better and began to empathize with Li Cheng Yin. The two dramas are basically the same, except for the beginning scenes (episodes 1 & 2) and some last scenes which are not included in the aired version.

This is one of the saddest stories I've ever watched. It haunted me for months. Had it not been the airing of another wonderful drama, The Untamed, I think I would still be stuck in the rabbit hole.

This drama was originally slated to be played by two very seasoned actors, Chen Kun and Fan Bing Bing. Due to a clash in schedule, two relatively unknown actors were chosen. I am so glad they made the switch and they have chosen well.

Chen Xingxu (plays the Li Cheng Yin character) didn't appeal to me at first look. As the story progressed, he started to grow on me, until at the end, he stole my heart. He is just amazing. Li Cheng Yin is a very complex character to portray. He is sunny and fun, at the same time dark and calculative. Chen Xingxu aced in every scene he played. At the climax, it was the most moving scene by him, screaming and crying for his lost love. I couldn't help but cried with him. It was really heart-breaking.

Xiao Feng is a happy-go-lucky naive girl. The experiences she encounters are so painful that she wishes to have her memories wiped out and start over. Without her memory, she begins to fall in love all over again with the same man that has hurt her. Her experiences from the beginning till the end are excruciatingly painful, and the viewers cry for her. Peng Xiao Ran is so natural, playing her role beautifully and convincingly.

After the last episode, I was speechless, empty inside. I walked and ate like a zombie, unable to erase the story from my mind. I had no closure. I guess many viewers felt the same. Soon there after, the production team released a few very short episodes of the same couple in modern life. The short clips did help a lot in the healing and closure.

This amazing drama also produces countless OSTs, all very moving and memorable. Until today, more than 12 months later, I still play the OSTs frequently, reminiscing the scenes and the experiences I went through.

Although this is a tragedy, it is a beautifully produced drama. It should not be rated poorly just because it's a tragedy.

This is one of the MUST-WATCH dramas on anybody's list.

TWO THUMBS UP!


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The Romance of Tiger and Rose
132 personnes ont trouvé cette critique utile
juin 3, 2020
24 épisodes vus sur 24
Complété 0
Globalement 9.0
Histoire 10
Acting/Cast 10
Musique 8.5
Degrés de Re-visionnage 8.0

Hilariously Funny Great Watch

This is another Isekai story whereby a female scriptwriter goes into her own story with her male lead and both fall in love with each other in the parallel historical female centric world. Imagine a historical world that has the male and female roles switched. Just the idea itself is enough to engage any viewers.

The crazy logic and plot holes here and there - all these would have been considered poor script writing and poor editing in other dramas, but for this drama, they're done on purpose and left unedited and such, have made the series absolutely lovable and funny. 

The drama has a mixture of modern day directness and historical day indirectness. There are hilarious misunderstandings and strong tendency in jumping into conclusions, creating even more hilarious moments that can really make the viewers laugh out off their couches. What seemingly crazy plans always work out perfectly for Chen Qian Qian (Zhao Lu Si) and people would praise her for thinking out of the box; her mishits become perfect solutions. Han Shuo (Ding Yu Xi) has always tried to maintain his dignity and honor but with our crazy Chen Qian Qian, whatever dignity left is utterly gone because he's so hopelessly in love with her. All the dialogues are simple, childish and most of the times, illogical, but putting together, it's just so hilariously funny.

Zhao Lu Si's portrayal of Chen Qian Qian is absolutely adorable with a modern day teenager charisma. Her acting has improved tremendously in this drama. She is natural, authentic, relaxed, spontaneous and yes, very comedic. She's a perfect "Sha Bai Tian", literally means "Silly, Fair and Sweet". Zhao Lu Si is simply one of the cutest actors around.

Not particularly handsome comparatively but oh boy, Ding Yu Xi (Ryan Ding) captures hearts. He is an amazing actor, versatile in any roles from being a high school teenager to an accomplished professional. As Han Shuo, seemingly cunning and calculative, at a next turn, becomes the most silly and childish boy. It's like watching the most fearsome tiger which can suddenly turn and become a little fearful mouse. Ding's portrayal is absolutely fantastic and he brings life to the character and makes viewers truly empathize and love him.

All the side characters are brilliant in particular the two male servants of Chen Qian Qian and Han Shuo. They are stupidly cute and add enormous colors and comedies to the scenes. All their silly dialogues and facial expressions just make viewers laugh out loud, love and care for the characters.

With only 24 episodes, this drama waste no annoying fillers. Every episode is a page turner. Everything is concluded well in the end. I have thoroughly enjoyed this series and hope new viewers will do too.

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Une étudiante à l'Université Impériale
59 personnes ont trouvé cette critique utile
oct. 15, 2021
30 épisodes vus sur 30
Complété 1
Globalement 8.5
Histoire 8.5
Acting/Cast 8.5
Musique 8.5
Degrés de Re-visionnage 7.5

How to Date Your Dean

I wasn’t sure to start watching this series or not because most of the comments I’ve read were not favorable. After one episode, it seemed watchable. The plot is rather simple and straightforward, the villain is revealed to the viewers very early in the story, Zhao Lusi is still Zhao Lusi – silly and cute, and the story is non-original with the-hero-gets-the-girl-and-the-bad-guy-vanquishes. In other words, it’s cliché and tropey. Nonetheless, I find Zhao Lusi’s cuteness irresistible.

This is a story of a girl enters a boys-only imperial college and becomes the first ever female graduate from the college. In the process, she makes her dean fall in love with her, giving the viewers a tabooed romantic relationship of a student with a member of the school faculty. At the same time, it also tries to advocate equal educational opportunities for all girls and boys regardless of their family status.

Sang Qi (Zhao Lusi) is said to be different from all the other girls. Growing up at the frontier, she is unrestrained, playful, active and intelligent. Zhao Lusi has everything this character requires. Similar to her previous drama in “The Romance of Tiger and Rose”, Zhao Lusi’s character is still the “Sha Bai Tian” (silly, fair and sweet) character with more bravery, smartness and chivalry this time. Many viewers criticize her for playing the same type of character again and again. For me, it is of course ideal if an actor is given the chance to play a different character so that she/he can widen her/his skills and scope. But on the other hand, this type of character is what Zhao Lusi is best at, probably more so than other actors, giving viewers an excellent and natural performance here. As in most of Zhao Lusi’s dramas with similar roles, she stumbles easily, gets herself all over her man, kissing him unintentionally (or intentionally?), making him fall in love with her, and she him (roll eyes).

Yan Yun Zhi (Xu Kaicheng) is the Dean of the Imperial College. He’s good looking and has a cool demeanor. He tries to be serious but with Zhao Lusi around, who can? I quite like the Yan Yun Zhi character and Xu Kaicheng’s portrayal. However, I find his expression overly joyous as he seems to grin at Zhao Lusi all the time. This, to me, doesn’t fit his supposedly stern and solemn character very well, after all, he’s supposed to be a teaching faculty that garners respect and admiration from his students and other teaching staff. Other viewers feel Xu Kaicheng is not totally suitable for costume dramas.

Comes the antagonist, Zhuo Wen Yuan (Ren Hao) who is Sang Qi’s childhood friend when they both lived at the frontier. He is intelligent and a valedictorian in the Imperial College, at the same time he is a complex and vicious schemer. This is actually my favorite character. Ren Hao has that angelic face that can turn devilish in an instant. His acting is commendable.

My Verdict

This drama has a predictable storyline, slapstick humor, and a dog blood script. The lack of attention to details is blatant (viewers can spot production team members in the scenes, etc). The conversations are comedic. Similar to Zhao Lusi's other rom-coms, this drama is entertaining if you want something to give you a good mood and to laugh about. Don't be too critical and don't take it too seriously. It's not meant to be serious. Acting wise, both main leads and especially the villain are good. The supporting cast is good too (super hilarious).

Despite all the flaws, I have rather enjoyed this light-hearted series.

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Jun Jiu Ling
76 personnes ont trouvé cette critique utile
oct. 11, 2021
40 épisodes vus sur 40
Complété 9
Globalement 9.0
Histoire 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Musique 9.0
Degrés de Re-visionnage 8.0

How To Get 4 Men to Fall in Love with You at the Same Time

To enjoy watching this drama, viewers are advised to watch it with a sense of humor, and not with your normal logic, for this drama that seems dead serious (no “comedy” tag), may seem to have loaded with bizarre and unfathomable logic. Many actions and scenes are over exaggerated with overacting which are also embellished with playful music. The pace is rather fast with many events taking place in each scene, only temporarily slowing down for the romance. If viewers can endure the first couple of the episodes which may seem farfetched, the later part is rather addictive. Therefore, sit back and let the story take you away, and enjoy.

This drama is said to have adapted from a web novel of the same name. However, according to some readers, the main female character has been drastically changed “to make her seem more relatable for audience consumption”. In the novel, her personality is said to be, to quote a reader, “the most endearing element of the storyline. She's casual in demeanor but absolutely savage in her plotting. They did such a disservice to the female lead.” Even with the altered toned down version, I still love the female lead character as I find her strong, determined, intelligent and devoted.

Princess Jiuling (Peng Xiaoran) is an inspiring character. Despite the horrendous change of her life including the loss of her family, her identity and her look, she is determined to stay low, strengthen her power, and make a comeback for revenge. Her patience and her endurance to injustices, at the same time, honing her skills and waiting for the right moment, are qualities that are commendable. She exudes confidence and composure even in the most trying conditions, and her dignified demeanor captures all hearts.

Peng Xiaoran who plays the Princess Jiuling role, is an amazing actor. I got to know her in Goodbye My Princess when she was relatively unknown and was chosen to play that role because of a clash in schedule for the original actor who was a lot more popular. I was so glad they made the switch then as it brought us another talented actor who would have been buried if not for the opportunity. Here, as in Goodbye My Princess, Peng Xiaoran is so natural, graceful and authentic, successfully bringing her character to live.

Despite Jiuling is surrounded by numerous men who are deeply in love with her, she has only one true love, Zhu Zan (Jin Han) whom she had spent a great deal of time with when they were growing up. Zhu Zan is now a general guarding the frontier with his father since their separation. Free spirited and unrestrained, Zhu Zan is humorous and chivalrous. He continues to care for orphans, finding shelter and providing food for the displaced people due to wars and disasters. It is these qualities that Jiuling falls in love with him again as they align with her own values. Zhu Zan is infatuated with Jiuling, and regardless of how the world sees him and what trouble he may get into, he goes all the way out for Jiuling and helps her overcome her obstacles.

Jin Han’s portrayal of Zhu Zan is adorable, making the character very lovable like a big cuddly teddy bear. Unfortunately, many viewers criticize the choice and complain that Jin Han is not good looking enough. Perhaps these viewers hope to see a more effeminate actor as this seem to be the trend in today’s historical dramas, and Jin Han’s physical appearance is the total opposite to that. Some viewers also complain that they cannot place Jin Han’s face as a protagonist as the actor has previously played some antagonistic roles in other dramas. Whatever the criticisms are, I feel we all need to give these young actors opportunities to prove themselves, and Jin Han has proved that he is a versatile actor.

My Verdict

Sure there are flaws everywhere like in most Chinese dramas. But if we look pass these flaws and be less critical, this is a rather decent drama. A lot of the story only happens in conversations instead of in scenes, hence non-native speakers may want to get proper English subs to ensure accurate conveyance of the messages. The development of the main characters is quite well done with very well acting by the whole cast including the supporting cast. The storyline may be serious but this is a very humorous drama.

Overall, this is a drama deserved to be watched. I have enjoyed it very much.

Recommended! Bravo!



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Fake Princess
84 personnes ont trouvé cette critique utile
juin 7, 2020
27 épisodes vus sur 27
Complété 1
Globalement 9.0
Histoire 9.5
Acting/Cast 9.5
Musique 9.5
Degrés de Re-visionnage 8.0

Incredible Romance

When I first came across Fake Princess, the title sounded cliche and the storyline tropey. I was not familiar with the actors. I thought I would watch the first episode and drop the series. To my surprise, not only I didn't drop it, in fact I was rather enjoying this drama.

She is a bandit and he's a crown prince. She wants his telescope so she steals it and they meet, and later marry each other without him knowing the actual identity of the person he is marrying. He has assumed that she's the granddaughter of the Prime Minister, his arch enemy, and a mole planted by him (the Prime Minister). But despite all the suspicions and distrusts, very quickly they fall in love with each other and become inseparable. Everything they do is for each other. Never once they betray the other. Each is always there to save the other. As a viewer, it's hard for me to drop such heart-warming storyline.

I love the Chang Le (Yu Kai Xin/Eleanor Lee) character - altruistic. wise, strong, humble, quick-witted, and intelligent. She is also unusually technologically talented. Yu Kai Xin has that casual expression and body language on her that fits perfectly well for the bandit character she's portraying.

Li Che (Zhao Yi Qin) the crown prince is one of the most adorable crown princes I've ever seen. He doesn't have the normal sharp good look of a crown prince that we are so familiar with. Instead, Li Che tends to have a blank face, a clueless look most of the time, giving the viewers the impression that he's not that smart. Perhaps he's indeed not as smart as his wife, but his devotion and upstandingness capture us all. In front of Chang Le, Li Che is like a teddy bear - compliant, devoted, silly and loving; he becomes a little boy, dependent and gullible. Zhao Yi Qin is new to me but his acting here is wonderful, delivering his character 100%.

My favorite scene of the couple would have been the moment when both try desperately to save the other from the 'poison' both have ingested. The altruism in each is amazing and brings tears to my eyes. Both are faithful to each other with one united heart.

There are 2 incredibly well-developed side couples here - Zhu Yan/Li Heng and Nong Yi/Gong Sun Mo. I have always thought the Zhu Yan/Li Heng couple would have a tragic ending whereas the Nong Yi/Gong Sun Mo a happy one. With a twist of events, they do not end as I have expected, and it's painful to watch the loss.

The villains are despicable characters. Having said that, the Prime Minister is villainous and yet super funny when it comes to his beloved teapots. I laughed so much at those scenes because they are so unexpected of his character. Being mean and nasty but not so intelligent make the villain characters very entertaining and a joy to watch.

The wuxia scenes are extremely well executed. Beautiful fighting choreography, floating hair and flying clothing making the whole scenes stunning to watch. Absolutely wonderful.

Yes, this is a good drama deserves our valuable time to watch. Don't miss it!

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Qing Luo
52 personnes ont trouvé cette critique utile
juin 2, 2021
24 épisodes vus sur 24
Complété 17
Globalement 9.0
Histoire 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.5
Musique 8.5
Degrés de Re-visionnage 8.0

How to Date a Single Mom with a Child

I didn’t start watching this drama when it began airing because I couldn’t get over the image I have of Liu Xueyi as Hao Chen in “Love and Redemption”. But one episode in, I was completely drawn in by the acting, the storyline and the humor. It's exhilarating and funny, at the same time, rather serious, dark and oxymoronic, with a hidden super villain, mysteries, conspiracies, murders and plenty of hot kisses. This drama beats many other dramas which are concurrently airing.

Yu Qingluo (Wang Ziwei), a single mom with a 6-year old boy, Nan Nan (Zhang Zihan), is trying to find a father for her child. Time and time again her dates are being sabotaged by the little boy until she falls in love with Ye Xiudu (Liu Xueyi). Strangely Nan Nan also takes a liking to her lover, as if they have some sort of an invisible bond. Indeed Nan Nan has earlier made Ye Xiudu his disciple who has to pay with the price of unlimited supply of crispy fried chickens.

Yu Qingluo is a brilliant so-called “ghost” doctor (“guiyi”) as opposed to an “angel” doctor (“shenyi”) because she uses poisons to heal. She is strong, calm, unpretentious and fearless. She is always flanked by 4 very young, good looking and formidable leaders of prominent organizations/sects as protectors who vowed to protect her and her son with their lives because she has saved all of them under different circumstances. Though kind and vows to save lives, she also kills as a tit-for-tat. She pays back anyone who has come to harm her or her child. This quality really thrills the viewers (well, at least me).

Wang Ziwei is beautiful and mature, and her acting is top notched as a young single mother. She makes motherhood look excruciatingly fun with her super intelligent 6 years old son. And what an adorable bundle Nan Nan is. I am so impressed by the child actor Zhang Zihan’s acting. He brings to life the little Nan Nan’s character, adding a lot of joy to the drama, making the viewers love not just the little boy himself, but all the characters around him, in particular Ye Xiudu (Liu Xueyi). Nan Nan’s favorite food is crispy fried chickens and there is no lack of chicken dishes in almost all Nan Nan’s scenes, that would certainly make many viewers salivating (I feel hungry watching the crispy fried chickens, KFC is of no match). I adore the mother/child relationship here. Their dynamics are heart warming and really funny; ear twisting, face squeezing and pony tail pulling are norms. Throughout the drama until he finds out who his birth father is, Nan Nan has been sabotaging his mother's relationship with any men whom he finds overly intimate with his mother.

A fearsome general and a royalty, Ye Xiudu has unbeatable martial art skills. On the surface, he is serious and upstanding, but at the flip side, he is quirky: he has vasovagal syncope and faints with the sight of blood (imagine that for a general who kills in battles, also reminds me of husbands who faint at their wives' childbirths. That's why he has to blindfold himself when he fights because he cannot look at blood), and he is narcissistic and bombastic. All these traits make the Ye Xiudu character hilarious, laughable and very lovable too. Calling his romance with Yu Qingluo super funny is an understatement. There is a pattern for the OTP: they meet, fall in love, lose memory, meet again, fall in love again, lose memory again, multiple times. I have been prejudiced by associating Liu Xueyi as an antagonist. But here I come to really like him. His acting is superb, capturing all the quirkiness there is of his character. He is a wonderful actor.

There are many very lovable and funny side characters and the acting by the whole cast is authentic and fabulous. At the most tensed and dangerous moments, conflicts are resolved in the nick of time; the hero always appears at the very last and crucial moments.

My Verdict

This is an amazing drama with a hilarious storyline. It is action packed, fast paced but balanced by the romantic moments. With only 24 episodes, it wastes no time with fillers. Having said that, the pace slows down a lot towards the last 2 episodes. There is a lot of kissing scenes, intentional or accidental, in almost every episode. Everything is crazy and over exaggerated, including the romance. The whole drama is like a mash-up that mixes “Butterfly Lovers” to the giant flying mushroom, to the blind wuxia fighter of Gu Long's Hua Manlou, with tropes like multiple memory losses and multiple falling-off-cliff-and-survive scenes. Random uses of random music and jingles add on the light-heartedness. Imagine hearing a Christmas song in a Chinese historical drama (at the end of Episode 10, the tune “Tidings of Comfort and Joy” is played, cheekily, to create a cute mood). Animal sounds, such as a cockerel's crow or a goat’s bleat, are played to signify a blunder made. And modern vibes are inserted here and there brilliantly. It is as if the writers try to make the whole thing as preposterous and as outrageous as possible to poke the viewers for fun.

Despite the fun and non-seriousness, the writing is pretty tight and the editing is quite good, even the CGIs are rather well done. I’m particularly impressed by Yu Qingluo’s pet scorpion which is also her weapon. This doesn't seem like a run-of-the-mill production.

I give this drama a very high rating because it makes me laugh out loud so hard. We know it's a dumb story as it constantly reminds us that this is a crazy drama with a lot of silly stuff. A viewer puts it succinctly, "It's not the comedy nor the music, but the whole thing so lame that makes it laughable." I agree. So one mustn't take it seriously. The whole thing is like a cartoon, with comical music to egg it on. So folks, lighten up! We all need it.

A great watch for the family and to fight off the pandemic lockdown blues. A delightful show you don't want to miss!

BRAVO!




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Go Ahead
271 personnes ont trouvé cette critique utile
sept. 4, 2020
46 épisodes vus sur 46
Complété 25
Globalement 10
Histoire 10
Acting/Cast 10
Musique 10
Degrés de Re-visionnage 10

Most Endearing Drama of All Time

This is one of the very few dramas that explores our human nature, our interpersonal relationship and its intricacies, in great depth. It is happy and enjoyable, and yet every episode makes me cry. I cry not because of any tragic events but because of the moments, the actions, the relationships and dialogues of the characters that are so moving, and they touch every chord in my heart. Right after I cry, I’m given a candy that makes me laugh out loud. The brilliant story telling has made this one of the best dramas I’ve ever watched.

This is a story about family and what it takes to be a family – not wealth, not blood, not even just love alone. It takes, including love, patience, sharing, compassion, understanding, empathy, courage, among others, to build a truly tightly knitted family and home, going through life and living together. It is beautifully written and acted. The characters are realistic, relatable and inspiring. In the journey, the story explores compassion and indifference, self-esteem and fear, abandonment and adoption, cheerfulness and depression. It shows us the things we may have neglected in our own lives ourselves and things that we have taken for granted. It helps us see deeper into ourselves and reflect. It captures almost all human elements that we may have encountered, one way or another, in our own lives. We can definitely identify ourselves with at least one of the characters here.

Go Ahead is a story about a widower who single-handedly raises his own daughter and two other boys who are entrusted to him. All of them have one thing in common: they do not have mothers. The children grow up together; the boys become the big brothers for his daughter, pampering and protecting her. She is their sun and the center of their universe. Everything they do, they do it together, and they do it for her (with a lesser extent, for their adoptive father). Their relationship is heartwarming and enviable. Their love for each other is pure and not tainted by anything.

Li Haichao (Tu Song Yan), an owner of a small noodle shop, has a very different view in parenting. He is very open minded and compassionate. He teaches the children to critical think for themselves, and how to stand up when fallen. His love is unconditional and his favorite thing to do is to cook meals for his 3 children. Tu Song Yan’s acting is one of the best – natural, believable and lovable. He has a calm and compassionate demeanor that would attract anyone, never assuming nor judgmental. He’s one of the most loved characters in the story.

Li Jianjian (Tan Song Yun aka Seven Tan) is a tomboy who enjoys the love and pampering from her 2 adopted brothers, growing up and doing everything together with them including sleeping on the same bed. Li Jianjian, like her father Li Haichao, is kind, tactful and compassionate with a sharp wit and mouth. The period of them living together as teenagers attending high school is perhaps my fondest moments watching this drama. Tan Song Yun’s acting renders me speechless. She is so versatile that she can take on any roles and ace them. At her actual age of 30, she is so convincing, transforming into an innocent 15 year-old teenager and then growing up into a 25 year-old sculptor. Tan Song Yun’s acting simply awes the viewers.

Ling Xiao (Song Weilong) is a deeply broken and tormented boy who goes through unthinkable tragedies and sadness. The only times he beams up and smiles are when he sees Li Jianjian, that's when the sun comes out, everything seems to become normal again. Ling Xiao is a neighbor living with a divorced father above Li Jianjian’s apartment. Song Weilong always has that look of sadness with a heavy burden locked between his brows. With few words, he gives the feeling that he has thousands words that are hidden and cannot be spoken. Song Weilong fits the Ling Xiao character to perfection. Every sad gaze from him conveys those unspoken words and sadness, and digs deep into the viewers’ hearts.

He Ziqiu (Zhang Xincheng aka Steven Zhang) starts calling Li Haichao “father” when he first meets him because he (He Ziqiu) thinks his single mother is going to marry him (Li Haichao). The marriage falls through and He Ziqiu is left in the rural area with no proper education and no prospect of a better life. He’s unofficially adopted by Li Haichao with the consent of Ziqiu’s relatives. Being abandoned, He Ziqiu always has a hole in his heart, and he has always wanted a complete family. At the same time, he’s been taught by his adoptive father to maintain a positive view as everything is a blessing in disguise. This attitude has made him resilient and optimistic. Zhang Xincheng has the look of a person who would take anything that’s thrown to him and he’s the person who gets ignored all the time. Zhang Xincheng has given one of his most impressive performance in this drama, making his character well-loved and jerk tears from all viewers.

Chen Ting (Ling Xiao’s mother) is perhaps the most abhorred mother. As much as I’m tormented by her, I sympathize with her because I have seen many such characters like her in my life, carrying a dark disease that is too stigmatized for anyone to talk about. Mingyue’s mother is a typical Asian Tiger mother and many viewers may carry some or all of her traits; she can be us without us even realizing it ourselves. I see myself in many of the characters at different stages of my life; all my flaws are portrayed vividly in them. It’s disheartening to see that many parents are abusive in certain ways, physically or mentally, just like how the drama is depicting. Such abuses are unfortunately widespread, in particular, in the developed world.

Most parents love their children. But love can be enlightening (as in Li Haichao with his children) or suffocating (as in Ling Xiao with his mother, Qi Mingyue with her mother, Tan Can with her mother) or even painful (as in He Ziqiu with his mother). This is a very precious human drama and the writers have not dragged on any misunderstanding for long; everything is resolved rather quickly without giving viewers the frustration. Funny moments are injected brilliantly throughout the story to subdue the pains that some of the characters are suffering from.

All the other cast members are equally fabulous in their respective performances, especially the child actors who play the juveniles Li Jianjian, Ling Xiao and He Ziqiu. Their acting is so natural, lovable and believable. The children capture the viewers’ hearts from the start of the first episode. All the main characters are well developed and three dimensional, including some of the supporting characters who seem to be just a part of our own lives.

Many viewers begin to dislike the drama when the platonic relationship turns romantic. For me, I love the romance and have been waiting for it because the writers have hinted this (the romance) right from the beginning, expressed in many subtle actions, dialogues and moments. Some viewers even totally drop the drama when they perceive a love triangle. And for me, I was pretty clear that there's none because, again through various hints dropped by the writers that the other relationship is plain platonic. I hope new viewers are more prepared and not being influenced by some negative remarks.

The official sound tracks are some of the best, with touching lyrics speaking out the words of our hearts - for parent and for child alike. The voice which sings the sound track “Fearless” sounds like the voice of Ling Xiao, singing his despairs and agony, and the soundtrack “I Will Be Here” expresses the hidden voice of a parent. All the songs make me cry.

Time passes us quickly. We grow up, become parents, and grow old, and the circle of life continues. This drama touches our soul, for all cultures and walks of life.

This is one of my all-time favorites and is a must-watch. Two thumbs up!

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Find Yourself
48 personnes ont trouvé cette critique utile
févr. 20, 2020
41 épisodes vus sur 41
Complété 3
Globalement 8.5
Histoire 8.5
Acting/Cast 9.0
Musique 8.5
Degrés de Re-visionnage 8.5

Song Wei Long is Adorable!

This is a sweet, sweet, sweet little rom-com. Sweet in every sense. Though there are some conflicts, nothing too outrageous or unsolvable. Song Wei Long who plays the character Yuan Song has definitely brought life into this lovely drama and his character. I'm normally not a light-headed blurry eyed person, but Song Wei Long has turned me into a silly teenager basking in his youthfulness.

When Song Wei Long made this drama, he was still a teenager (18). Despite his very young age, his acting is mature and convincing. As Yuan Song, he doesn't hold back with anything, especially when it comes to intimacy. He dares to kiss and love. Young, handsome and sunny, he is a heart throb. I just can't have enough of his scenes because I love watching him from the start. I love his youthfulness that doesn't lack maturity.

When He Fanxing (played by Victoria Song) meets Yuan Song, she's attracted to him. Fighting back her own emotions, she doesn't know what to do. On the other hand, Yuan Song falls head-over-toe in love with Fanxing and he knows this woman is exactly who he wants in life. Compared with Yuan Song, Fanxing is like a little girl emotionally; she doesn't have what a normal woman her age has. Though smart and strong, Fanxing is naive and clueless when it comes to intimate relationships. Yuan Song however, is mature and devoted. Despite a huge age difference of 10 years, the pair looks perfect for each other.

Of course nothing sails smoothly in life. Comes the killjoy Ye Lu Ming (played by David Wang). He tells Fanxing that their friendship is only platonic, she believes him and treats him as her confidante. But he uses this opportunity to winning the hearts of her parents and making her indebted to him. He creates dates after dates pretending these are their innocent hangouts, and she is oblivious to the facts. He plays her naivete to the fullest. At this point, many viewers curse the Fanxing character, and inevitably the actor herself. This is silly because Victoria Song should not be condemned for being such a good actor that brings the Fanxing character to life.

Initially I questioned the writer for giving us such an emotionally naive character as in Fanxing, and such a foxy character as in Ye Lu Ming; I thought such characters were unrealistic. However, when I searched deep into my own experiences, such characters do exist. I used to know someone who used the same tricks as Ye Lu Ming does, and trapped a girl that he had been pursuing without the girl realizing she was being trapped.

I love the side couples here, in particular Cai Min Min (played by Esther Yu) and He Can Yang (played by Zhang Yu Jian). Cai Min Min is so adorable like a little toddler. He Can Yang's relationship with his twin sister He Fanxing is simply so cute and silly. It's rare for Chinese dramas to portray parents as open-minded as the He's - both of their children have a penchant for very young partners, like at least 10 years younger. The family dynamic is amazing and nostalgic for me.

Many viewers show doubts in following a story that involves a large age gap between the main couple. To this, I'd say, keep an open mind. It's always socially acceptable for a man to marry a very young wife, but not so the other way round. I understand the rationale behind such norm as there is a limitation within a woman's body when it comes to the biological clock and reproduction, but who were to say a couple must always produce offspring in a relationship? Intimacy in a relationship can be expressed in many forms. How Yuan Song plays out in this drama makes me believe that happiness does exist despite the age gap.

I hope through this drama, some single ladies take up the courage to start dating younger men of which I'm supportive. Discard any social pressure or traditional norms. Follow one's heart. Find one's true love. Don't make do with just any men. No one can tell how one should live one's life.

What a wonderful sweet drama this is. Worth watching.

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Maiden Holmes
72 personnes ont trouvé cette critique utile
sept. 12, 2020
32 épisodes vus sur 32
Complété 11
Globalement 9.0
Histoire 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Musique 9.0
Degrés de Re-visionnage 8.0

Fighting Hand-in-Hand

This drama is a much-needed drama with a sweet romance to compensate the angst in the recently aired Love and Redemption, and numerous other open-ended dramas. It has a super handsome new actor who is making his debut and it is also one of the many cross-dressing dramas released lately. The story is semi-serious with cute and funny moments littered throughout. The pace is good and the storyline is not complex. It is certainly a very relaxing watch.

This is a story about palace power struggle. Right from the start, the antagonist is already made known to the viewers. Though unknown for the protagonists with no concrete proofs that all the mysteries and crimes they’re trying to solve are linked to the antagonist, nonetheless, the eventual outcome does not surprise them.

The Prince of Qi (Zhang Ling He) is a wandering prince who holds no political power. He has a great relationship with his younger brother who is the Emperor, but a nemesis of his uncle who wants the throne. He disguises as a wealthy aristocrat as Pei Zhao and frequents the brothels. There he meets and falls in love with Su Ci (Sebrina Chen) who disguises as a man working as a high-level investigator. Pei Zhao is patient, forgiving, condoning and protective towards Su Ci. He is strategic and very intelligent. Su Ci is upright, unbiased and detailed which makes her a great investigator. Together with their friends, a medical genius, a skilled sword man and the best cook, they make an ideal team with enviable friendship. Right from episode 1, Pei Zhao and Su Ci begin to work hand in hand, literally, solving crimes and unfolding a bigger conspiracy. They’ve never been separated since, everywhere they go, they go together and everything they do, they do it together. It is really very comforting to see they are always at each other’s side and trusting each other. Any misunderstanding is resolved almost as soon as it arises because they are being very honest to each other; it is indeed very heart-warming to see the couple holding hands all the time.

I’m delighted with Zhang Ling He’s portrayal of Pei Zhao/Prince of Qi. This is his first drama but his performance is beyond my expectation, far more convincing than many other more experienced actors. He has a very handsome face and a well built body. Acting as a flamboyant playboy and later as a devoted lover, Zhang Ling He’s performance is believable and lovable. I cannot help myself but looking at his handsome face all the time.

Su Ci has a calling – to find out what had happened seven years ago when her whole tribe was massacred, leaving her the lone survivor. Her investigative prowess helps her unravel the conspiracy and eventually bring justice for her tribe. Sebrina Chen has cross-dressed in several other dramas and she is very convincing, dressing as a man. Having a matter-of-factly demeanor, Sebrina Chen’s portrayal is authentic and wonderful.

The second couple is perhaps the cutest and sweetest side couple. Their love for each other is unmistakable and they help solve many crimes together. The other cast members are both good looking and wonderful in their respective roles. The ending is concluded properly with justice served - the good is being rewarded and the bad is being punished, and the lovers are happily ever after.

This is indeed a very enjoyable drama not to be missed.

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Young Blood
45 personnes ont trouvé cette critique utile
juin 30, 2019
42 épisodes vus sur 42
Complété 0
Globalement 9.5
Histoire 9.0
Acting/Cast 10
Musique 8.0
Degrés de Re-visionnage 8.0

The 'A' Team | Mission Impossible Theme

When I first read the title, I thought it was some youthful drama full of modern vibes and silliness, so I didn't give it much attention. How wrong I was! Normally, it takes me 1 or 2 episodes to get acquainted with a drama and the actors. But with this drama, my attention is immediately captured.

I love the acting of all the characters - each has his/her own flaws, and greatness. They also have their own stories and aspirations. How they come together to work as a team eventually to beat the evil doers and to bring good to the country is something that is inspirational and heart-warming. The actors are good and play their roles convincingly.

This drama is out of my expectation! It is serious, and yet humorous with great taste. There are some lighthearted moments, but they are not from the story itself; rather, they are from the playfulness of the main male character, Yuan Zhongxin, and the dumbness of Wei Ya Nei.

The story starts with a lot of twists and turns evolving around Yuan Zhongxin; it becomes difficult to discern his orientation and loyalty initially. And that's exactly the reason that captures my interest. He is my most loved character - honorable, upstanding, wily, street smart, intelligent, and mischievous. He stands behind his friends and family fully, and one can be assured that with him, things will be taken care of. I also love the character Wei Ya Nei played by Bruce He. He is spoiled, dumb and silly, and yet he is honorable and funny. Bruce He is so convincing that I begin to love him. My other favorite character would be Zhao Jian who is a badass girl, beautiful, smart, decisive and skillful in fighting. She is a natural leader that makes me feel good watching this drama. The other characters are equally lovable and impressive. Together, they make the 'A' team, fighting and solving espionage cases.

The story is fast paced. Viewers can brace for something to happen in every scene. Sometimes, it's hard to discern what is true or false, what is black or white, what is right or wrong. Every time when something seems to be bad, becomes good, and vice versa. There are twists and turns till the end of the story.

The fighting scenes are wonderful with beautiful choreography; the young actors are convincing and good looking; the setting of Northern Song is authentic and believable; the politics, espionage and scheming are cliff hangers and page turners.

This is a really good drama. It is highly recommended.

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Go Go Squid!
122 personnes ont trouvé cette critique utile
juil. 29, 2019
41 épisodes vus sur 41
Complété 5
Globalement 10
Histoire 10
Acting/Cast 10
Musique 10
Degrés de Re-visionnage 10

Adorable Couple, Wonderful Chemistry, Best Contemporary Romance of Summer 2019

I’ve come to watch this drama, partly because Yang Zi is my favorite actress. Initially, I was holding some reservation because I was not familiar with the major male lead, Li Xian, portraying Han Shang Yan. At my first viewing, I was not very impressed by him; he wasn't that good looking, I thought; as Han Shang Yan, he was rude, mean, nasty - a total jerk. But then, something pulled me in - the contrast of the two main characters and the theme about reaching for your dream. After just the first episode, my doubts about Li Xian dissipated. I got more than what I bargained for.

Upon further research into what the term “CTF” stands for, repeatedly referred to in the drama, I find it is something even more intriguing and more complicated than I would have imagined. CTF means Capture the Flag. It is an information security competition between security professionals about cyber security. It challenges its participants to solve computer security problems and/or capture and defend computer systems. The competition is used as a learning tool to help sharpen the tools they have learned during their training. In another words, what seemingly “a waste of time playing computer” is actually teaching and training the next generation in the most advanced field of artificial intelligence in cyber security which is the next BIG thing.

Li Xian, playing the male lead, is absolutely incredible. The actor has a calm, cool, no-nonsense demeanor. He fits into the Han Shang Yan's character perfectly as if the role is written for him. What seemingly cold and tough on the outside, is actually tender and caring inside. He may talk mean and scold his people, but cares deeply for them. He is strict and uncompromising. He commands a breath of full authority that everyone looks up to, loves and fears. He doesn't care to defend himself. He doesn't care what others think of him. To him, everything is just noise. All he has wanted is the championship, until the love of his life comes along.

This is my first drama of Li Xian's. I find him super super cool and awfully good looking. Some viewers may not find him attractive at first glance, but he has the type of look that captures hearts. At the end of the drama, like many viewers, I fall head-over-toes for him like a little crazy school girl.

I have always liked Yang Zi’s acting. I find her genuine, beautiful, cute and sweet. In this drama, she plays the character of a prodigy girl. Tong Nian is so adorable that even the coldest stone heart can be melted. She melts mine. I'm just a little disappointed that the story hasn't developed on Tong Nian's intelligence and skills in helping Han in improving his teams.

Contrasting greatly to Han Shang Yan who almost always dresses in all black outfits, Tong Nian always dresses in cute and girly style (some viewers find the outfits outrageous). With her large round eyes and puffy outfits, she looks kind of like, a squid. No wonder she calls herself Squid the Fish. This contrasts greatly with Han Shang Yan who looks damn serious and yet stylish at the same time.

Having said that, the relationship between Han Shang Yan and Tong Nian is just amazing. Despite their differences in taste, age and almost everything, their chemistry is so wonderful and undeniable. Han Shang Yan, always being misunderstood by others, only Tong Nian sees through that iron facet of him. She thinks highly of him and treasures every bit of him. It is so satisfying to see they find each other from the very beginning and nothing can separate them.

Another young actor that captures my heart is Hu Yi Tian. He portrays Han's cousin, Wu Bai, who speaks few words but always watching and listening. He covers Han Shang Yan's back always, no matter what. It is so good to watch such a trusted brotherly relationship which needs few words. One look, Wu Bai would immediately know what his cousin wants. Both completely understand and communicate love and care for each other without many words. I wish we have more scenes of Wu Bai in the drama. Hu Yi Tian definitely has a lot of potential in future with his height at 188 cm (6'2") and awesome cool look.

This drama uses also quite a lot of incredible settings. One such setting is the Atlantis Sanya Resort Hotel that features aquariums in some underwater guess rooms. It is the most beautiful hotel I've ever seen. I am also impressed by the Disney Castle model that Han Shang Yan has in his room. It has taken him years to built from the lego bricks. The iconic Disney Castle, a symbol for dreamers, depicts the dreams he has. Multiple times it worries me that Tong Nian may crush it when she's topsy-turvy.

The official theme songs sung by Li Xian and Yang Zi are pretty good. But my favorite song would be the song called "Beyond's A Brighter Future" sung by the Solo and K&K teams under various occasions. The lyrics of the song are so touching that I tear up each time hearing them. The song is very inspiring, expressing the struggle of the dreamers. It calls for all dreamers to not give up when they stumble and face obstacles. It yearns for freedom and encourages determination. Composed by Wong Ka Kui, a Hong Kong musician, in 1993, the song expresses his own pain and struggle. Sadly Wong died within months of the release of his song. Another beautiful song that strikes me is "Couldn't Leave" sung by Dimash Kudaibergen, a very talented musician from Kazakhstan. The lyrics of the song is so beautiful and appropriately depicting the difficulties and struggle each dreamer is going and has to go through.

It is heart-warming to see a group of youngsters living and playing together, and enjoying each other's company and discovering themselves in the process. Han Shang Yan is not only their leader (they call him Lao Da - meaning big brother), he is also their guardian, parent, teacher and mentor. His relationship with them is simply lovely and moving.

This is truly an amazing drama for the summer. Don't miss it. Two thumbs up!



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Joy of Life
199 personnes ont trouvé cette critique utile
déc. 14, 2019
46 épisodes vus sur 46
Complété 14
Globalement 10
Histoire 10
Acting/Cast 10
Musique 10
Degrés de Re-visionnage 10

Humorous & Witty

OK, I admit, I came to watch this drama because of XiaoZhan. After the drama Chenqing Ling (The Untamed), I started to search for dramas by Xiao Zhan, and this drama is one of them. (By the way, if you haven’t watched The Untamed yet, you might want to check it out.)

Initially, at episode 1, I almost gave it up because it started off as a modern-day drama, so I thought; I had expected a historical wuxia drama. But very quickly within the first episode, it moves into historical settings and I was totally hooked since then.

Accordingly, this drama is adapted from a novel whose popular author has also written many other works including Ever Night. I have not read this particular novel (Joy of Life), but I understand that it is a super long novel, and the drama adaptation is planning for a five-year 3-season run, and we are currently in season 1. Whether the following seasons would run into any unforeseeable issues is anybody’s guess (such as the change of actors etc).

In the actual novel, it is supposedly a time travel story. But because such stories (time travel) are banned in China film production (I don’t understand why China wants to stymie such creativity), the production team has cleverly adapted the story by cutting out the time travel part hence passing censorship.

I must say, unexpectedly, this drama is so good! The story is interesting. The dialogues are funny and unexpected. The play of words and homophones, puns and use of chenyu (idioms) are hilarious, and yet witty, deep, meaningful and cultured. Too bad many of these wonderful characters (Chinese words) are lost in the translation and non-Chinese native speakers may not find the dialogues as wonderful as the native speakers do. Seemingly a light-hearted drama, but when it comes to emotional moments, the director has successfully squeezed out a tear or two from me. The acting is immaculate! I love the relationship Fan Xian has with his siblings and with others whom he considers as friends; it’s deep and genuine. Unlike most actors who act in historical dramas, Zhang Ruoyun has a presence day physique making him a perfect Fan Xian as he is supposed to be a modern man; his etiquettes are simply hilarious and Zhang delivers 100%. The supporting cast is equally good, in particular Guo Qilin who plays Fan Xian’s little brother; he is adorable and amazing. I hope to see more of him. I love the opening and ending OSTs, with the ending song being sung by Xiao Zhan, another talented actor and singer.

33 episodes in, I still haven’t seen a whiff of Xiao Zhan. Nonetheless, this hasn’t reduced the enjoyment I have got out from this delightful drama. Xiao Zhan plays a supporting role and for marketing purposes, his name is being displayed or used prominently to attract attention. I can understand why the team is doing this (Xiao Zhan is currently the hottest Chinese actor in China), but I find it deceiving and I can't say I appreciate it. This drama should receive the attention it duly deserves if being marketed properly, because it is indeed a great drama.

Updates:

Finally Xiao Zhan appears at the end of episode 38. His screen time is so little that I haven't had enough time to make out of his character, and hence provide a correct assessment of his acting. Nonetheless, at the end of season 1 (episode 46), as expected, there are still tons of unsolved mysteries, new twists, plots within plots -- getting the viewers all hooked up for the next season.

If you are checking this drama out, do watch it. It’s amazingly wonderful. This is truly a wuxia story and the fighting choreography and qing gong are done beautifully. I can’t emphasize enough: it’s a MUST-WATCH!

Two thumbs up!!

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Held in the Lonely Castle
80 personnes ont trouvé cette critique utile
mai 16, 2020
70 épisodes vus sur 69
Complété 6
Globalement 10
Histoire 10
Acting/Cast 10
Musique 10
Degrés de Re-visionnage 10

A Treasure of the Chinese Culture

This is a beautiful but tragic story depicting a rigid, conservative and orthodox society. Adapted from a novel which tells the story of Princess Huirou and her love story, for the drama, the story shifts its focus and chronicles instead the life of the father of Princess Huirou, Song Emperor Renzong who reigned from 1022 – 1063 AD. Accordingly, many developments in the novel are not included in the drama, and Huirou’s love story becomes a side story. As a chronicle which is trying to adhere as closely to the real historical record as possible, there are no "fancy" actions, no "actual" antagonists, no "exciting" plots or extreme palace politics as we see in most other historical palace dramas. The story is just being told as how history was. So if you're a history buff and appreciate historical Chinese culture, you may fall in love with this drama. If you're expecting actions and plots, you may be disappointed. For me, I love this type of dramas which are hard to come by. Sadly, not many people appreciate it, hence probably the low rating which I feel does not do justice to this beautiful drama; this drama definitely deserves a higher rating.

Many viewers may find the arguments among the ministers over trivial matters (such as the dowager empress’s attire) mundane, but it is precisely these dialogues that bring out the thinking and philosophy of the society in that era, which I find immensely interesting. Confucian moral such as filial piety, and political principles such as protocol, are utmost important at the time. I find myself listening to every sentence and every choice of words carefully, watching every facial expression and body language closely so that I don’t miss anything conveyed.

Many important historical figures are portrayed here, acted beautifully and faithfully by the various cast members. My knowledge is very limited on Chinese history and its great writers, poets, calligraphers and scholars, however upon research, I was thrilled to find them on screen and the important roles they play in history, and eventually how they shape the country. Just like the western Renaissance in the 15th century when we see the births of many great artisans, during Emperor Renzong's reign, the culture of Song Dynasty, especially literature, began to flourish. Many famous litterateurs and poets in Chinese history lived or started their creative careers during his reign, including Fan Zhongyan, Ouyang Xiu and later Su Shi, Su Zhe, among others. They became the most important litterateurs in Chinese history and also began a new era of Chinese literature.

I’m so intrigued by their etiquettes and mannerism; almost everyone speaks with so much class, self-control, poise, and they all speak rhythmically. Often, it’s like a game of reading in between the lines. Everyone is articulate. Every message is subtle and intelligent without antagonizing the other party. Each exercises the highest degree of restraint and courtesy, and yet palace politics are unavoidable as the Emperor also promotes different point of views from different factions, just like modern day politics in many democratic countries. Getting one's points across without direct confrontation is perhaps the most tactful strategy and is considered a virtue. I wish we have such virtue in today's politics. Perhaps, we'd have fewer wars and happier people. I’m so impressed to see how much value the society places on meritocracy, something that is not seen in any other countries in the era. The scholars have already understood that only with meritocracy would a country flourish. I’m also surprised to see despite an authoritarian monarchy, Emperor Renzong’s court is very democratic with checks and balances.

Wang Kai’s Emperor Renzong is brilliant, from when the Emperor was a young adult to his death at 53. Wang Kai’s acting is immaculate. He has that regal look and charisma, and yet his face radiates benevolent consistently. It's so entertaining to watch those ministers arguing over trivial matters, and the suppressed amused look on the Emperor's face, and how articulately he defuses the situations without antagonizing any parties. Wang Kai’s Renzong is a perfect emperor. Despite the glory we always associate with figures of power, Emperor Renzong’s life was filled with tragedies, regrets and resignation. As a humble and frugal emperor, we also get to see his simple and subdue outfits and unflattering palace fixtures - very different scenes from the elaborate jeweled costumes and palace grandiose that we have accustomed with. Watching the whole lives of important figures passing before our eyes, I can’t help but feel the melancholy of ancient life. Wang Kai goes from a youth to become a sickly wasted man ravaged by poor health. The beautiful verses (ci) composed by Fan Zhongyan and Yan Shu, and later sung in tenor accompanied by a flute or guqin is the most beautiful song, capturing the melancholy, fitting the mood of the drama perfectly.

One of my favorite characters is Empress Cao (Maggie Jiang). Seeing her change from a fearless young lass who disguises as a boy to attend class with fellow male students, to a scrupulous regal lady when she becomes the Empress respected by all including her enemies, is the most fascinating watch. She is the one who always makes the most articulate decisions and resolves all issues which everyone submits to. Maggie Jiang’s empress is beautiful and elegant. Highly intelligent not second to the Emperor, the Empress unfortunately lives a very resigned life. I cry in my heart for her in every episode. Her longing for the Emperor is not being reciprocated openly though he has strongly wanted to, but each time, the turn of events just prevents them showing their love and admiration for each other. That’s perhaps the most frustrating part for me, seeing both love but missing the chance to show their affection time and time again.

But my favorite character of all is Huirou the Princess, although in the drama, she's only a side character. Many viewers feel she's spoiled and has behaved badly. To me, she's ahead of her time. Had she been born in today's world 1,000 years later, she would have been a world leader loved and respected by all. She is very filial pious and kind. She loves her people. Never once has she thrown a tantrum towards her palace maids nor hurt anyone, unlike the other spoiled princesses we're so accustomed to. However, she's the type who can't stand bullies and stands up against them, either for herself or for others, and that's unacceptable in that society when the bullies are the elders (in status or age). Unlike girls in those days, she has her own mind and doesn't want her life to be arranged and controlled like a puppet. Unfortunately, being a princess, she doesn't have the luxury to do what she wants; she's a state own property. And that's a disaster for a character such as hers. Had she been a man, she would have been revered for her courage and upstandingness, but for a girl in a male chauvinistic society, poor Huirou is called spoiled, selfish, stupid, and uncouth. In the later episodes, every time when she comes on screen, I can feel her screaming silently, "Live free or die". My heart aches for her. Nobody but Liang Huaiji understands her and knows she's suffocating under the system. That's why she has such a strong bond with him. As what Huaiji has said, he's her "floating timber" [in the ocean].

I’m so amazed by the acting of all the child actors. They are adorable and very good with their respective roles. I’m most impressed by Bian Cheng who portrays the Liang Huaiji character. Extremely good looking at 15, Bian Cheng’s acting is one of the best, and he has a promising acting career ahead of him. I’m eagerly waiting for his next drama playing a main role.

Eunuchs are normally loathed characters and I’m usually weary of them, but this drama produces 2 well loved eunuchs in Zhang Maoze (Ye Zuxin) and Liang Huaiji (Bian Cheng). I even secretly wish they were not in those positions so that they can love and find happiness in marriages.

Seeing a moral standard the historical figures have set for themselves, I often wonder if our modern day’s standard even comes anywhere matches that of the ancient time. While the western nations were still groping in the Dark Ages, China was already so advance in art, science and technology. It's a nice surprise to realize that golf, among many other sports, was an ancient game played by the Chinese.

If you want a heart-wrenching love story, wuxia actions, scheming palace politics, or bitching harem, no, this drama doesn't have these. But if you love authentic Chinese history and like close to real life historical experiences, this one is a very great watch. Having said that, Huirou's and Huaiji's love story is heart-wrenching, albeit just for a few episodes towards the end.

TWO THUMBS UP!

For viewers who understand Mandarin, these videos provide valuable information on the drama and its real historical characters:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1OYepyRtv6CTutyZDa7SGhqESI4pWITB

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