On My List: Upcoming Fluffy Chinese Periods

Mulan is FINALLY getting a possible air date ‘soon’.  Soon *just read a news article it’ll be June*.  At least we have a cable channel attached and leaking out a proper trailer.  I’m taking it with a sea of salt since I’ve seen loverboy’s drama Ad Mania to air 2 eps and then evaporated from the face of the earth for no reason WHATSOEVER, STILL.  So unless there are full episodes by the truckload leaked out on the interweb, I’ll keep my squealing at a controllable level.  Somewhat.

It looks….GOOD. Honestly, no biased babbling here, just GOOD.  Needless to say Loverboy in particular.  He really is kickass in periods like nobody’s business amongst his peers.  I bet Chen SiCheng and Elanne Kwong would’ve been alright in any other run of the mill Cperiod nowadays, as in, I’ve seen wayyyy worst, but next to Loverboy, they are no match.  The guy1 is/should be the prince played by Chen Si Cheng……hahaha he did nothing in the trailer to earn my good will, still sleazy slimy mehhh baddie countrythud looking with no princely aura at all.  His role, of course, could have been handled by a sleep-walking Loverboy EASY.  OTOH, I’m seeing and loving what Loverboy is challenging himself here, he’s playing a bookish wuss, cute and bumbling and none of his killer badboy smexy, fallible at any situation needing physical exertion in life in general, let alone some bloody battle we are talking about here.

Most of the time, he’ll have this wussy look on his face, that’s something new!


He is so scene-stealing cute and cuddly most of the time, and intense and charmingly handsome the next in every snippet we saw in the trailer.   So, phew….we’ll still have glimpses of our HOT!Loverboy.

Elanne is coming across as slightly TVB…ie she may be intentionally OTTing and slapstick for some intentional comic relief?  I’ll have to see drama proper if this is befitting the tone.  The battle scenes look well done, GuoXiXi, your ChuHan sucks even next to this little fluffy thing.  Not saying it’s blowing my mind but my expectation is honestly quite high.

This is his wedding outfit from HXY.  *sighhhh* So gorgeous it hurts HXY is not out now for me to lick my screen.

Just the other day there was this surprise casting of Raymond Lui, my longtime tween ahjusshi crush from TVB wuxia days playing KC’s daddy in the drama.

Wow, that took me by surprise, a nice one.  I’m not the only one thinking Loverboy has some resemblance to a young Raymond.

And another sweet cherry on the cake, we really have the most underrated talented veteran Tse Kwan Ho/謝君豪 in C/HK dramaland as sifu:

And drama will use a real tiger from the looks of it playing a companion for our heroine?!?!?!  O___O  HXY has been such a rollercoaster ride to follow, never a boring day to say the least.  It went from getting me in cloud 9 with a JX+YH pairing in one of the most angsty stories, then freefall me with the most ridiculous fugly looking costumes and very wacky all over the place casting.  I really need to see it to know what’s the deal.  Or, I REALLY NEED TO SEE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GAH, how gorgeous is he and Ruby in CAMEOS for Young Detective Dee?!?!

I’m keeping the very slightest corner of my eye on King of LanLing.  Nope, obviously I’m weird and not looking forward to this nor have any hope for it contrary to the rest of the Cdramafandom…BUT I sincerely hope I’m so very wrong and this would be the biggest surprise hit for me in 2013 Cdramaland.  But, tbvvvvvvh, very unlikely.  I’m no longer a fan of Ariel.  I was cringing at her being cast as Huang Rong, it ended up being my favorite role of hers and me a converted fan, it was sweet while it lasted.   So what am I but one who is finicky and love to eat crows?!?!?   Let me expand on what I don’t see working here, she is playing a drop dead beauty, a woman who will capture hearts of every guy setting eyes on her, and as much as I love Ariel the person, she just does not have the stature, the classic period looks to carry it, that would demand a FanBingBing.  Nor is FSF anywhere near pretty enough for the part of Gao Changgong, the most beautiful general ever existed in middle kingdom inasmuch he had to wear a mask on battlefield lest he stuck out too much and why?  For fear he dazzled the opponents to a daze or his own brigade to too much droolzing of the pretteh!?!?!? (but isn’t this some unique weaponry if put to good use though?!)  Now Northern Qi, the time period drama is based, is notoriously known as a very short-lived dynasty with passing glimpses of grandeur but mostly ridden with corruption and debauchery.  What was in vogue was a fluidity in sexuality, records of emperors and powerful noblemen keeping male concubines and lovers.   The blur on the sexes was in vogue, it was a period when, at least for some rulers, guys were encouraged to have an indulgent eye for beauty and to beautify/objectify themselves to be more desirable than girls in the open.  Think Caligula years for the Romans.  So this begs a lot of decadence, the art direction has the right thought, but it came out cheap and gaudy  imo.  I am just not stimulated by anything I’ve seen of the production when the story itself should be incredibly intriguing, angsty and breathtaking full of the most gorgeous people living in middle kingdom maybe ever.  And to be brutally honest, I have never had faith in a basically TW production handling any period piece.

I’ll hold out for a tiny hope Ariel will hit it, but I just don’t see FSF have the gravitas, the right blend of machismo for the most revered general on top of the pretty and won’t come out being…gay.  I mean I am not that biased and Young Detective Dee would be a middling Cperiod at best, but I’ll take that cameoing pair above over this and the cheapo outfits they are wearing.

All that babbling and pre-drama dissing, I still would check out this drama, why?!?!  Because of one kickass song from Mayday.  入阵曲 has my vote for one of the best Cdrama themesong this year.  We can never have too much MayDay AShin.

兰陵王入阵曲 “Prince Lanling in Battle” was a well celebrated dance number in Northern Qi till Tang dynasty, created by the soldiers under his leadership , it was recorded in the historical record for Northern Qi 《北齐书》 praising the magnificent Prince LanLing, choreographed for a solo male dancer.  It became an imperial court dance in the Sui dynasty court later.  The dance had gradually vanished from the middle kingdom after Tang, instead made its way to Japan and now preserved in a famous 雅樂舞楽 gagaku/bugaku piece:

The Mayday King LanLing MV:

My translation of the song:


词:五月天 阿信
曲:五月天 怪兽
当一座城墙只为了阻挡 所有自由渴望 A fortress is nothing when it blocks out all the desire for freedom,
当一份信仰再不能抵抗遍地战乱饥荒  when faith can no longer feed the famine across the lands.

兰陵撩乱茫 LanLing land of chaos and despair
天地离人忘 Men forgotten, earth and heaven can’t repair.
无畏孤冢葬 Fearless of his lonely grave
只怕苍生殇 Citizens perished his only grief.
夜未央         Night is still young,
天未亮         Dawn is yet to come.
我在幸存的沙场 I’m surviving the battlefield.
只盼望         Only hope,
此生再         Another chance,
奔向思念的脸庞  a dash towards the face I longed.

泪未干                        Tears still wet,
心未凉                        Heart still warm,
是什么依然在滚烫   What is still seething?
入阵曲                        A battle song,
伴我无悔的狂妄       accompaniment for my frenzy with no regrets.
入阵曲                        A battle song,
只因恨铁不成钢       lamenting the failure to dream’s success.


21 thoughts on “On My List: Upcoming Fluffy Chinese Periods

  1. Having fun reading these Cdrama updates even if I never watch them, haha. Forgive my ignorance but do Cdramas do live shoots? How can it be that a drama disappears from TV after 2 episodes? Don’t they have a ton of money/production time poured into it? Does it all go to waste? Or there is at least a DVD?

    King LanLing looks so pretty in the MV (and nice song too). Did Ariel get plastic surgery or it’s just makeup/hair/weight loss that’s making her look so much better? Still she is nowhere near “drop dead beauty” for me despite a certain undeniable charm.

    1. YH & Elanne look like they would have pretty good chem together – and they are the OTP, right? I remember Chen Sicheng revealing in an interview that his character will step aside of the love triangle and Zhao Yu & Ruolan will end up together.

      1. hi dear, I hope you don’t mind me answering as I doubt @YourInsomnia knows about the cast.

        Hm, but when doesn’t he have chemistry with his costars? Very rarely when they are decent. I’m still impartial to Elanne, I think she’s quite alright on her own, but she is emoting without deeper emotional pull for her character. I’m assuming this is not the usual idol period trying to be cute and trivial with this angsty subject.

        And, argh… I hate to be spoiled to exact details so knowing prince will step aside for whatever is…argh. Hints are fine from trailers and stuff, *possible spoilers* don’t you think from the look of things at end of trailer Loverboy will….die and Ruolan is a single mom raising her kid with…perhaps ZhouYu?

        1. Oh, it’s to air on Anhui TV. Well, the OTP did sing together at Anhui TV’s CNY special… remember his off-tone Cantonese? LOL.

          1. lolz I rem his bobblehead! XD I thought will air in NingBo TV first coz the trailer is from NBTV…maybe later in Anhui?

            I thought drama was always headlined by CSC…and the appearance at the CNY sp may just be promo, we’ll see!

            1. I read on Chen Si Cheng’s official website that it will be Anhui TV and the trailer came from Anhui TV?

                  1. No, what’s out now is the leaked version, NBTV hasn’t broadcast it yet.

                    anyway, it’s going to be premiering on NBTV first before it goes on the rounds in the other cable TV

        2. OK, maybe they are following the Mulan movie’s storyline where the prince has to marry the princess from the warring state. But Ruolan births a baby from the affair and raises the kid with Zhao Yu. Bah!

    2. haha I’m not quite sure I’ll watch them myself, I doubt any of them is worth your time even if you are suddenly interested in trying them out.

      It’s the opposite in Cdramaland where they’ll pre-film everything and the snag being the ugly politics behind the scene to get the drama on air, usually some small local cable channels even most C netizens won’t have access to, unless some big cable itself is the one producing and we start from there, if it’s a hit it’ll be re-ran ad nauseum making the rounds in every cable under the sun and it is at least one per province and major city that kind of deal. So it can be years before everything is smoothed out and that include the good old censors at well, which can halt it indefinitely. I wonder if that drama I mentioned had sth ‘unsavory’ hinted towards the government/society. My loverboy has gosh more than half a dozen dramas he’s done and wrapped up since BuBuJingXin ie 2+ years and still I have not seen one of them in entirety.

      1. Where did my reply go…o.O anyway, I figured the censoring must play a role in that, although I was under the impression that modern cdramas get a lot more scrutiny vs period dramas. Who pays/invests in cdramas if the airdate is so far from being guaranteed? Or is some of it education institutions/government sponsored?

        1. Oh mine is gone as weLL!!!

          No, period dramas are regularly under an even tighter rein, they can halt an airing if its ‘historical inaccurate’, PRC unfriendly, or painting some historical figures in less than desirable light (to them censors).

          I’m no insider but it’s a shady business with a lot of money laundering methinks and it’s still very lucrative so a lot of real investors who have nothing to do with dramas will unload their cash in hope for a handsome return. And it’s still relatively cheap to produce a Cdrama, the cash flow is seldom the problem. Also the public television network there, CCTV, will constantly produce ‘proper historical’ and they do not care about when they need to air it, centrally funded, and they are filthy rich. Many C-listers, newbies need backers who r willing to allot funds to ‘buy’ roles in production to increase their artist’s exposure. And quality/talent has nothing to do with anything, because as long as you keep throwing in the cash, and keep appearing on the tele, you will get face recognition. There are also a lot of under the table deals like a cable network will coerce the production to insert a slew of idols under their contract in order to guarantee a prime time slot (don’t know if you’ve noticed all the new faces/characters in the BBJX sequel). C modern dramas are abominations because they are not even hiding the painful PPL, it is not even just product placement, the whole drama can write around a product with no story to even snerk about, whatsoever, that blatant.

          1. Ugh those chinese censors! Someone needs to make a chinese King of Dramas just to show them a face.
            On a side note, YH and Ruby in Detective Dee are delicious.
            The Mulan plot kinda turns me off though…

            1. But…even if they make a meekier version of KoD, it’s never gonna AIR!
              Oh what’s the turn off in Mulan’s plot?! She having to revert back to the gender roles? I was spoonfed the folklore since toddler days so I can’t stop loving the concept of a lady (even though she’s taken in as a guy with her disguise) to excel in the old boy’s club of the ancient world.

              1. HAHA yeah true argh just post online D<
                Mulan, it's just so old and overused… I guess we get kickass female leads, but things get so predictable :S haha I think I just dont like gender benders so lame

                1. Very true! But I guess I’ve never seen a decent Mulan adaptation when reading the poems and such on the folklore gave me ideas this can delve so much deeper into her psyche. Here she is breaking the rules out of filial piety, not because she wants to be kickass nor anything to do with gender abhorrence. She got the job done, duty served, sacrificed years of her youth and once she got back home, the poem ended with her in front of her mirror, putting makeup on as she likes it. I just think Mulan the character has so much untapped psychologically when in all adaptations we played up the gender bender arc and shoujofied her.

                  1. I think the best drama/movie adaptation of Mulan so far is the Disney cartoon, HAHAHAH!

                    Contrary to popular opinion, I didn’t care much for Vicky Zhao and Chen Kun’s Mulan movie. I adore Chen Kun! But just not the movie.

                    1. OH MTE!!

                      I think the storytelling in the CK/VZ Mulan is very spotty with very draggy parts. tbh I’m not sure if I care for a romantic arc

                    2. Ok so I’m not alone :S I thought it would’ve been to frivolous to acknowledge that the disney cartoon is actually really really good 😛

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