Promising upcoming Cdramas

My list has TWO.   And these are very, super promising, as in I’m freaking out being sooooooo excited.  I’ve done all the contemplations, these have such a narrow margin to SUCK.  So pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease. Don’t!  I would be irreversibly broken if any one of these could be another dud a la ChuHan Contention.  T_____T

1. New Stories from the Editorial Board/ 新编辑部故事

This is PD Zhang’s followup since his massive acclaimed hit Zhen Huan Zhuan.  As I had repeatedly raved about how well done ZHZ is,  even with a few little complaints like the meandering pace, what I take from it is PD Zhang has a bottom-line in his craft, he could have easily thrown in gallons more ‘dogblood’ 狗血, but he didn’t go the easy route pimping for ratings.  I respect that. *狗血 is a popular chinese slang somewhat like makjang; 血/xuè sounds like shi…t, and 狗 is similar phonetically to 够, ie 狗血 is very enough/a lot of S.  It also is based upon a phrase with its etiology from the turn of (last) century’s opera scene: 洒 (sprinkling)狗血, where it’s a negative connotation of jabbing at an artist who has no true talent, with laughable technique, who will throw in all sorts of over-the-top, superficial distractions on stage to fake it. *

The drama was a remake of a popular oldie from the 90s: Stories from the Editorial Board/ 编辑部故事.  I’ve not seen it, but it’s the drama that shot Ge You to fame.  PD Zhang’s forte is serious social commentaries.  ZHZ is actually an anomaly on his revered resume.   The topic may be too serious and his dramas may be too proper to be rabidly enjoyable as entertainment, but the trailer of this actually looks lighthearted a workplace comedy jabbing at current events.  I trust PD Zhang and his old-school pride would steer him off stooping too low.  I’m not sure I’ll find it as funny as intended, CN comedy is a case of lost in translation for me, but at least it won’t be brain-numbing.  The cast is a very solid mix of veterans, with Boran Jing thrown in (I only know him as a younglings’ heartthrob and not my type).  Ge You is said to appear in a cameo.  This should air in April:

The synopsis:

1991年至今阔别二十载,《人间指南》编辑部早已物是人非。退休的退休,去世的去世,跳槽的跳槽,就剩下戈玲还坚守着这块阵地,成了一名老字辈的女主编。戈玲费尽力气也没能挽住《人间指南》的颓势,发行量一年不如一年,编辑部面临着被解散的命运。众人力保之下迎来海归新运营总监安妮, 《人间指南》改头换面成了《WWW》。安妮的到来使编辑部内部分为“老派”戈玲与生活财经版编辑刘向前,“新派”头牌摄影师袁帅、90后网站编辑何澈澈以及80后时尚娱乐版编辑欧小米两大阵营。每集上演一个新故事,内容涵盖了诸如“谁主沉浮”、“鉴宝”、“碟中谍”、“爱心总动员”、“招聘启事”、“养生之道”、“见义勇为”等社会热议话题, 性格各异的六个人共同努力,最终将编辑部办得有声有色,成为一个既团结友爱又色彩纷呈的集体.

20+ years since 1991.  <Life’s Guide>’s editorial board has seen drastic changes.  Those retiring had retired, those who passed away were dead, those who made career leaps had jumped ships, all that is left is GeLing (Lu LiPing, revisiting the same role from the original) safeguarding the last frontier, becoming the veteran of female editor-in-chief.   She has tried everything she could but still can’t save the magazine from its free-falling volume of circulation, worsening by the year.  The editorial board is facing the fate of being dissolved.  After a lot of hardwork by the team, they welcomed a new operating executive Annie (Chen Hao) who is back from the country after studying aboard.  <Life’s Guide> is revamped into <WWW>.  Annie’s arrival divided the editorial board into 2 main fractions: the ‘veterans/old’ GeLing and the Life and Money editor Liu XiangQian (Wang QianYuan)  *lit. Left behind.Go.Forward*; and the ‘new’ head photographer Yuan Shuai (Huang HaiBo) *Shuai=handsome: and why is myLoverboy not the ideal casting for THIS?!?!*, an 90er, editor of the website He CheChe (Boran Jing) *lit. ‘he’ is homophone to river and 澈澈 is clear clear* and the 80er style and entertainment editor Au XiaoBe (Jiao JunYan)*Au= Europe/European; XiaoMi is the cutenick of America.  Each episode will focus on a story.  Covering myriads of current hot topics and memes (as listed above in chinese).  The six different characters will work together, eventually the editorial board flourishes into a team of tightly bonded yet unique personalities.

2. 金陵十三钗/The drama of The Flowers of War/四十九日·祭/Si Shi Jiu Ri Ji/49 days. Sacrifice




This is my absolutely most anticipated upcoming Cdrama in 2014, and I’m preemptively bleeding my hearts and tearducts out this very moment!!   First let me just squeal on the fact it is rejoining the 悬崖/Cliff OTP, awesome duo of thespians SongJia (yup, my fav working Cactress of her gen) and 张嘉译/Zhang JiaYi (of Snail House/Dwelling Narrowness’ fame). 

PD ZhangLi, Writer Yan Geling, Song Jia, Zhang JiaYi.

The GRAND icing on the cake is we have PD 张黎/Zhang Li at the helm he’s arguably one of the most talented master of the Cdramaland atm, my folks have sent me the entire collection of his work in dvds through the years, forcing goodness down my throat.  I’d admit some are too dense for my taste but it’s undeniably masterpieces.  His work made it to 4 slots on my Cdrama favs list.   Nothing can suck if he’s the mastermind of it, trufact.  You must’ve heard of his works like the glorious 雍正王朝/Yong Zheng Dynasty, based on the best work of my Loverboy’s favorite historical novelist Er Yue He, which abominably is gonna be brutally mind-raped very soon by the pesky toad yz unless yz is gonna be fumigated, beaten to a pulp before that happens, answering ALL our prayers. *and lolz, the webby is full of lovely bighearted sweethearts the likes of Koala and STILL I’ve not seen such an unanimous outburst, across the board, 100%,  of hallelujahs and absolute rapture of ecstasy and the highest praises of the perpetrator/hitter as a hero doing JinYung proud when the news of yu zit being hit swept the gossips yesterday.  Seriously I don’t mind being an accessory to a crime and chip in the YuZit hit fund.  I digressed. * He is also responsible for the cinematography of JohnWoo’s Red Cliff.  As much as I hated and was bored to tears by RC the movie, the camera work was powerful.  His best work maybe Ming Dynasty 1566 but my Mom favs are 中国往事 and 人间正道是沧桑.  Zhang is working closely with the original wrtier Yan Geling of the novel, source material, 13 Flowers of NanJing.  Everything is hitting above and beyond my dream pick for a faithful drama adapt of the depressing epic. I’m pinching myself nonstop.  OUCH! Hurts soo GOoOoDDD! XDDDD

Also some scandalous gossip, SJ allegedly became the married PD Jiang’s lover during the filming of Memoirs in China, a MayDec romance of a 24 year gap, they had a torrid affair and Zhang went on divorcing his wife #3(?) but he and SJ broke up soon after, rumor was not amicably.  PD Zhang did not hold his tongue of not particularly happy working with SongJia here.  He openly dissed even he, a big deal director in the business, has no say in casting as to who the investors picked as leads when asked by gutsy reporters what he thinks of working with SongJia again.  Touche. But yuck, be a bigger man grandpa!

SongJia will be the titular heroine YuMo (SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEE!).  Zhang will play a character raised by a priest, hoping for a stable living under the shelter of the Church in wartime.

The kicker for all shallow fangirls?  Hu Ge is in it.  YES!  This is what I am begging since Day1 for HG to do, picking supporting roles in a great production as opposed to lead in silly idolfluffs, and surrounding himself with veterans and talents he can sponge up and improve, because although his acting has not been impressing me, an extra notch up might do it.  I do like the boy, mostly now due to his association as BFF of YH.    I am one weirdo who do not think HG is at his best of looks in periods, his features are more delicate and woobie-ish, ie won’t hold up to the manly boldness of the period costumes if he’s playing an epic hero.  BUT in anything circa 1900s-1950s.  He’s the perfect aura and looks of the educated New Youth.

He is playing The patriotic Nationalist general Dai Tao, who will undergo so many personal sacrifices for the greater good during those 49 days of hell on earth in Nanjing.

PS:  both Loverboy and his bff HG will be in uniforms of opposing political fractions on their respective sets.   I’m squeeing on the possibility of all the hottest slashy fanvids alone!

PSS:  Word is Loverboy’s current spy captain drama MiMiHangXian will wrap up primary filming in June?July?  and it has a tentative boardcast slot in October.  <_<  It’s not that I don’t wanna believe but please let it be true even when I have been let down too many times.

12 thoughts on “Promising upcoming Cdramas

  1. Excuse me for leaving comment in this post but I’m too shocked I need to share – Miho and Masato are getting married!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OMG I want to see their movie Ooku like RIGHT NOW! I’m still in a shocked state I dunno what to say…but yes I’m happy for them <333

    1. I know!!!!!!!!!! Yup I’ve been looking everywhere for Ooku since I’m soooo rabid about Masato’s Ooku!

      I’m still screaming and dating for 3 months!
      Miho has always been dating hot hot men. Very good taste.

      And also Gakki and Ryo dating ! Did they hook up during Zenkai Girl?! Hmm, maybe that is why they have a very comfy chemistry there even if romance is so subtle dorama style.

      What is with 2013?!?!!

      1. Yes I also read abour Gakki and Ryo but still, it’s nothing compared to the Miho/Masato news to me LOL I feel that they are just so perfect together that it feels so surreal to me – always love a match between 2 great actors (just like Karasawa Toshiaki and Yamuguchi Tomoko). Oh man, first Yutaka now Masato…would the next one be Fukuyama Masaharu?? LOL

        1. Yutaka’s really hit me outta left field!!! I’m sucha long time fangirl of his and he is an ‘insulator’ to any onscreen hookups, it seems.

          I so can see Miho and Masato being a great match, but it’s almost too perfect to be true! I wasn’t going to check out Masato’s Ooku drama because I was doubtful of the OTP’s chemistry, and that’s after I heard of the movie in the pipeline, so I was anticipating the on screen fireworks of M+M way back, and now, WOW!

  2. Hi mookiehyun,

    I was wondering what you thought of Battle of Changsha (Yang Zi and Wallace Huo)? The trailer looks really good.

    1. Hi Ana,

      I’m not too keen on war drama, it’s too depressing, so unless it’s absolutely done by the best peeps, it’s on the bottom of my list for entertainment, not a fan of Wallace’s acting, he tends to bore me on screen, I’m afraid. Though I can appreciate his pretty…I just can’t stick around for sth this heavy on shallowness alone, so imo he doesn’t have the gravitas to lead a proper war drama, yet anything fluffed up for the subject matter is my peeve. I myself may check it out just because I’m a bit curious, the trailer does look decent, but nothing is screaming to me this is a must-see from the PD to the writer. Also his OTP (YangZi) is a well known child actress, most famous for a popular family drama as the daughter, it’s weird to see her making out with someone quite a lot older than her.

  3. Too bad none of these will reach the Western audience. I feel like with more people moving away from Livejournal the Jdrama, and basically everything that’s not Kdrama, scene is completely dying away. I know it’s partly my fault for being out of the loop, I could make a concentrated effort to find a Jdrama to watch, but when no one around me is talking about it, well I’m not very tempted….

    Also, Mookie, remember once upon a time I took an interest in Ha Jin? I’m still set on reading him but now I’m torn between Ha Jin, Mo Yan and Su Tong as my first introduction to Modern Chinese fiction…Do you still recommend Ha Jin?

    1. Kdrama slump is HUGE as well :/ plus most of what I like last few years are usu stuff that r not widely subbed nor that popular with the online community.

      I find Jdrama the most consistently satisfying for me year in year out, even when it’s horrible, it can still be kitschy yet weird enough to be entertaining without me going full on flipping desks tirades!

      I still think Ha Jin is the best as intro, though imo both SuTong and MoYan are maybe a league above in brilliance. I’m not sure how well SuTong’s most famous Wives and Concubines is translated, but his style can be dry and aloft, YET so brimming with all the in btn the lines. MoYan will be the weirdest and hardest to grasp, and you would need quite a bit of immersion into his background and the milieu he’s talking about to get his stuff…I’m not sure I get a good grasps for most of his stuff myself…but he has a very crude, dry wit and a unique sense of dark humor, but my gut is telling me his stuff is not translatable. I forgot which book it was but I once made a mental note his stuff is like elaborating quotes of Sartre.

      1. Yes, the slump…. I feel it’s high time for me to explore the Western side of fandom but nothing seems to affect me in the slightest. Game of Thrones is simply watchable with all its violence and intrigue. Same thing with Spartacus. I also tried Lost and True Blood once upon a time but it’s just so….Hollywood. Then I went into what I thought was a different direction: Girls, and was completely repulsed by it. I can’t even explain why. Maybe because I live in the milieu they are trying to portray (geographically only though, not socially) and I even know people like that and I’m so tired of pop culture (the same hipster pop culture) trying to justify “hipsterdom”, explain it, or make it real and real, when it’s just another fad, a stereotype that won’t die. But it’s still strange, because I could see how Girls is trying to present them just as people, just like any other generation of Americans trying to make it out there in the world, perhaps even fascinating people with their possibly fascinating problems and what do hipsters have to do with all this anyway? And yet I still hate it. Williamsburg, their overpriced coffee, their promiscuity, somehow a substitute enough for liberation, it just all reeks of pretend, of saying life is good for the sake of saying it – I hate it both in real life and in the show. And then there is also the fact that I like Williamsburg and the artsy warehouses and the coffee shops (with the overpriced but good coffee) and the variety of delicious food all this hispterdom has brought to Brooklyn. I think I would be OK with it all if they just called it what it is – rich people setting a standard for college kids who want to have a nice life, but can’t so they live off their parents for as long as they can and hope something turns up before they turn 30. So yeah, that is my love/hate relationship with Girls and hipsters.

        House of Cards is good, very good I would say but there aren’t enough hot people for me to crush on and crushing on Kevin Spacey is just awkward. Korean dramas really ruined me with the pretty *sobs*

        I think I might try Madmen as my last ditch effort to get into an American show.

        I was eying this novel by Su Tong – although I admit I’m bit terrified.

        Speaking of translations, I’m really dismayed at lack of effort by publishing companies to bring foreign modern lit into US market. I looked into Russian modern lit that was translated and its just pitiful…There is Pelevin who is pretty iconic for his post-modernist magical realism and there is Akunin, who writes quality detective fiction and then there is Night Watch because there was a movie, and THAT’S LITERALLY IT. I know there is a ton of great literature coming out of Russia and China but why is it not being translated? I’ve looked into Korean modern lit as well (and just in general Korean lit not written by Korean-Americans) and well, nothing… As far as I know, Japan is in a much better shape. I’ve come across a lot of modern Japanese fiction that’s not Haruki Murakami although now that I think about it, I think it was mostly in Russian…At least the Russians are translating stuff written in languages other than English.

        1. So well said on Girls! I have your exact feels, I take it as it’s trying exactly to repulse and bug and annoy and hense screeching this is HIP!, and I actually had that exact love/hate with the show till maybe S2….when it starts to get tiresome and boring and no longer crudely hilarious anymore, like I bet life would be in their shoes.

          I will get to HoC….*sigh* seriously dunno when though… I have no personal space/time till summer.

          I adore MadMen till S3. I still rem S1 very fondly as well written and enticing and GORGEOUS! I think JonHamm(leading guy) is so very hot in 60s garb even though character is a Douche. Shallow fangirl is shallow.

          Ohhhh Rice….gosh it was on my to read list so very super long ago, when my older cousin read it and was provoked, traumatized, depressed, enthralled…but I was about to make a drastic move after landing a job and that’s it. I’ve only read Wives and Concubines and Binu (retelling of a very famous folklore heroine). I’m quite sure you’ll love Rice, SuTong’s style is darker, more poetic and nuanced than Ha Jin. The stories he loves to tell are often much more hollowing and provocative as well.

          The serendipity, my librarian friend rec’d me The Winter Queen a few months back, saying it’s terrific and so my thing! I’ve not read any modern Russian Lit. and that is soooo soooo true on how offensive almost such a small fraction of world literature is translated into English. I really don’t understand why when there are so many peeps fluent in Eng and must outnumber say CN speakers yet everything under the sun has a CN trans, EVERYTHING. If I can read simplified CN better, I basically can read every book on earth. :/ BUT… I do think Asian languages lost so much in translation, esp the beautiful succinct cadence in characters. I can’t get into Haruki Murakami in english translation but CN trans is quite superb and authentic, methinks.

          1. Wow, I am so ready to be “provoked, traumatized, depressed, and enthralled”. I’ve always been fascinated by the dark period in Chinese history that spans all of the 20th Century. It was mostly my Asian politics/history class where I had to write a couple of essays on China that prompted this interest and a couple of non-fiction books I read at that time.

            I just realized something. I’ve tried reading Murakami in English twice – Norwegian Wood and the latest book, 1Q84 and it just wasn’t going to happen. On the other hand, all his other books that I actually loved like Sweetheart Sputnik and Wild Sheep Chase I’ve read in Russian. There is a pattern there, methinks. Well, there was also Kafka on the Shore that I read in Russian and did not like so maybe no pattern after all. But still, every time I pick up Murakami in English…he sounds so prosaic. Not a trace of elegant simplicity that I’ve encountered in Russian translations. I don’t think that Russian is somehow closer to Japanese (quite on the contrary…I would think English would lend itself better to the terseness and perhaps even ambiguity of the Japanese?) I find that Russian is a bit too wordy, or even lavish at times. Also, its a feature of Russian writing, even modern writing, that it attempts to always use high-register language. Reading Harry Potter in Russian was horrific because suddenly everyone sounded like they were from the 19th Century and yes, they are wizards from England but that was just too much – so archaic and out there.

            So yea, Murakami definitely sounds better in Russia but I really don’t think its the authentic Murakami at all. But I suppose it doesn’t matter as long as I enjoyed it? Also, I think it might make sense for me to pick up Su Tong or Ha Jin in Russian.

            I definitely recommend The White Queen (ugh, the Russian title “Azazel” is so much better). I heard that it’s almost Sherlocksque. I need to get on that train myself, but I haven’t read anything in Russian in years and I wanted to read something set in modern Russia because I’m completely losing all the slang and turn of phrases of modern Russian and it’s quite a feat trying to communicate with anyone in Russian.

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