Monday, August 01, 2016

Summer Chinese Dramas

Aside from my blogging mojo deserting me, I've also been in some kind of reading slump. I don't know if it's me, but I find this year's summer releases... not lacking, but perhaps not as exciting as usual. Or perhaps it's because I'm not in the mood for contemporary romance and that's the bulk of the releases in the summer. Add to that, I haven't been feeling 100% healthy in the past two weeks :( So yeah, my reading hasn't been stellar lately.

Therefore, I've been looking for something to do... and turned towards Chinese TV dramas. I recently skimmed through Clouds of the World, aka Chinese Paladin 5, for which I'll share my thoughts with you soon. For now, I'd like to introduce this summer's blockbusters that I'm planning to watch... eventually :)

1. Singing All Along (Chang Ge Xin)

This is perhaps the weirdest title ever for a period-era, political drama... but aside from the title, the rest of the production looks top-notch. It features Ruby Lin, one of the most popular and talented Chinese actresses, who also happens to be the drama producer. As it's the case with most dramas she's in, the series follows her character's ups and downs. The main attraction for me is Yuan Hong who's playing the male lead! :)

Singing All Along is based on a novel and also, in part, on real China history. They synopsis is as followed:
A tale of a farmer who became an Emperor and a woman he married twice. Following a civil war, Liu Xiu (Yuan Hong), a distant descendent of Emperor Liu Bang, was tapped to lead the restoration of Han Dynasty. To amass political power, he annulled his marriage to first love Yin Li Hua (Ruby Lin) in order to marry Guo Sheng Tong, a niece of a powerful warlord. Upon unifying the country, he remarried Yin. Although he wanted to make her his empress, he bowed to political pressure and bestowed the position to Guo. When scandals erupted in Guo's family, he used the opportunity to depose Guo and promote Yin to the position.
Anyway, this drama was filmed in 2013, but for reasons unknown, warehoused till now. I was looking forward to it for Yuan Hong, but have to admit I'm not currently in the mood for harem intrigue. It does have the best broadcast schedule though - 2 episodes a day during the week and 1 per day on the week-end. That means we're almost halfway through the series already and I'll probably give it a go soon.

2. Ice Fantasy

 Ice Fantasy is one of this year's blockbusters. You simply know looking at the quality of the production. The aesthetic of the drama is quite exceptional, probably because they invited The Hobbit's art director to join. As a result, we get sublime decors and costumes... and Chinese elves LOL.

Ice Fantasy is the adaptation of best-selling novel City of Fantasy, written by Guo Jing Ming. However, from what I gather, there's been quite a few modifications. Long story short:
This drama depicts the wars between the Fire and Ice Clans, the loss and then return of Ka Suo's true love Li Luo, and the eventual reunion between two brothers Ka Suo and Ying Kongshi after multiple obstacles set up by their archenemy Lian Ji.
Aside from the aesthetics, I'm drawn to this drama for two characters: the younger prince of the Ice clan and Fire clan's princess. It seems there is a romance between the two, but I doubt it'll be a happy ending. Sigh.

3. The Legend of Chusen

Another very anticipated drama, mainly because one of the female lead is Zanilia Zhao Yi Ling (the women on the left of the poster). This lady is on fire!! She has three dramas scheduled to broadcast this summer. Anyway, the rest of the cast is not shabby either as they were able to secure Li Yi Feng and rising star Yang Zi :) Gotta say, out of the three dramas, I think this one is the one I'm looking forward the most. I love the color scheme and clean lines... hopefully, the story will deliver as well.

Speaking of story, The Legend of Chusen is another novel adaptation. Here is the synopsis:
Zhang Xiaofan (Li Yifeng), who along with childhood friend Lin Jingyu (Cheng Yi), are the sole survivors of a village massacre. The two are later accepted into the Qingyun Sect (Noble Sect), where they learn the ways of the Immortal Sword. Although hard-working, Xiaofan struggles to catch up to his peers due to his slow wit. Fortunately, he has the support of Bi Yao (Zhao Liying), daughter of the Ghost King (Fu Chengpeng), who supports him through thick and thin. Pivotal circumstances made Xiaofan grow, and his relationship with Bi Yao takes a meaningful turn. For power, the villainous Ghost King attempts to overthrow the Qingyun Sect, and Xiaofan gets his life on the line. Bi Yao sacrifices herself to save him, falling into an endless sleep. With courage and strong faith, Xiaofan devotes all his strength to take down the Ghost King, fulfilling a promise he made to Bi Yao and Jingyu when they were youths.
This one has just started airing on Sunday and I'm still a bit confused about the schedule. Hopefully, we get a few episodes a week.

And there you have it, what I'll be watching this summer :)  And what you can expect me to praise or rant about LOL.

1 comment:

  1. Ooh, thanks for this Nath. My niece likes these kinds of things. I'm going to text this post to her!