Just when WSJ coined a new term ‘dama’ in our OED lexicon for the formidable
“bargain-hunting middle-aged Chinese aunties” who “keep a tight grip on the family purse and an eagle eye on gold prices.” “financially illiterates” whose “pluck and knack for scooping up gold is not out of strategic calculation and risk assessment, but a matter of following the herd, whose uncouth and uncivilized behavior irks”
…the first thing that comes to my mind is a billion of damas will be easily KO’d by one peculiar irking beast:
Yuma: noun, vulgar slang, exclamation !#$#%$^%*^&%$^#!%^#%&O)^&(%*&%@^E!^RT^*&%^E%!%@^&()&(^*&@E^!!! The name he calls himself is officially 于正, 于 is a preposition 正: proper, correct, just, straight, upright. Brilliant choice for the most shameless troll he is. XDDDDDDDDDDDDD His given name is 余征, where 征 can be interpreted as to invade, conquer and attack (our sanity).
I have been going W. T. F. inside, nonstop for a good day now. It’s littering every entertainment news headlines everywhere a Chinese newspaper is in print, every hot topic in every CN social media. That, is a Fking maelstrom of W. T. F.
It officially started a day or two ago when the cast list of who’s who was miraculously ‘leaked’ but on it, the actress playing the eye of the storm heroine was suspiciously missing on the piece of paper. Of course the yuma casting cry-wolves shenanigans loomed back a few months, whenever he needs some rumblings on RoCH, he’ll dart on a starlet in the open and lynch her through the judgmental opinion of the mob, but no one is batting much of a care anymore. It is one thing to throw out a bunch of names and at least gauge the opinion of the majority like meter on the well known characters, and another with the yuma yardstick where what matters is how much snark and expletives the casting can attract and he will wrangle till the poor actor is beyond savageable like a pit bull with its tattered ball. The poor thing’s back will be virtually stabbed so many times resembling a colander there is nowhere but up, and IF he/she can perform decently, and as the expectation is down the drain eons ago, it would ended up garnering some love. The one trick of yuma. Not even 24 hours later, rumor of the actress landing the most coveted role in wuxiadrama history is out, and it’s so unbelievably. *Let me take a moment. Or a few.* Up sprung an interview from godknowswhen of yuma blahblehblergh confirming, and more and more definitive proof this is actually happening. Same old unbelievable shit.
The loudest collective outburst ever is about the casting of yuma’s XiaoLongNu in the upcoming Return of Condor Hero, produced and written by who else. He’s been toying with every sino-starlet under the sun for the role, the prettiest block of wood ever in escapist wuxialand, whose beauty is so out of this world, aura so inhumanly angelic…etcetcetc Mr Louis Cha used most flattering words extensively describing the jaw-dropping most stunning beauty of ALL beauties (there is no wuxia heroine who is not unbelievably gorgeous on top of kickassery in many other departments), and thousands of pages in the novel to illustrate how important it is to socialize and develop competent social skills, street-smarts, wit, a functioning mind… so as not to be a knucklehead, to bet your whole life’s happiness on LOVE and nothing else, and if not getting it literally would jump off a cliff, ie, you would be like a XiaoLongNu just without her impossibly gorgeous face. I digress. I understand how XLN is the ultimate dreamgirl of wuxia fanboys. She’s pure as snow drop dead gorgeous, stubbornly loyal, can wuxia dance, won’t take up space and food and perhaps most importantly, void of a critical thinking brain at the back of her flawlessly beautiful face.
I do not care much about RoCH the novel (duhhh), it is the only LC I haven’t read page to page even once. Can’t. I would not hesitate to use my 40+ yr old passed down copy for a toasty campfire and s’mores on a nice midsummer night in the woods. Too bad I do care for ChenXiao, who is served his biggest break in his career as our newest YangGuo.
Yuma is my Cdrama pet HATE. I’ve unwillingly lived through the clusterfuck of his Swordsman, a tiny bit of me is forever immune inside towards yuma and his shit and to all the silly shenanigans this time around for RoCH.
I’m giving this ‘adapt’ half a care because imo, Yang Guo is impossible to mess up and Chen Xiao is about as perfect and timely a casting. His characterization is like a shoujo x wuxia wetdream, let me start with the tangent of his daddy Yang Kang in the fanfic-esque LoCH08. To put it simply, Yang Kang was a spoiled boy dragged through the mud and knocked down savagely whenever he’s trying to stand up on his own feet where he fell. Boulders of misfortune keep crushing him over and over, dealing him a cruel hand of hopelessness to fight against. He’s a victim of every adult around him lying and manipulating him ‘for his own good’ to no end, resulting in him having tremendous issues, especiaily trust, and he eventually hecked it all. He turned to the dark side for survival and never emerged from it. As his heir, YG inherited YK’s baggage of the Devil Incarnate in the eyes of the lobotomized Huang Rong and gang of uptight wulin honchos, Yang Guo had every reason to grow up a menace and screw them all, be a delinquent, opposing authority. An angry young man with some wuxia skills is always a disastrous mix. Huang Rong, the sharpest feistiest thing EVER in wuxialand, is suddenly moronic with her parenting skills. For her to take in Yang Guo as a charity case halfheartedly and in essence, emotionally abusing him, a poor orphan her gf Mu NianChi entrusted her care, is the root of so much of my miserable rage and disgust with RoCH. But YG the hawt bad boy grew up against all the adversities to be one fine contributing member of society, the definitive inspirational role model of The Hero of wulin. On top of it, he is this dashingly romantic loyal puppy of a lover, pushing off all the young cuties flailing at his feet for 16 odd years on a promise etched on a cliff for his woman. Really, just hit a few plot point of that framework, WHAT can yuma possibly screw up in his usual halfassed cheaply dull and dumb shoujo-fied makjang underneath everything he’s shat on? Well, the worst must be the key role pet condor is YG’s OTP, half-joked the netizens, shooting this idea up in the air for immunity to the real hell still to come. But no one ever underestimates yuma after Swordsman, so I am not counting that off as a possibility. We are all anticipating what he has up his arse, popcorn and lots of alcoholic beverages in hand.
Any wuxiadrama fan would’ve watched at least an adaptation of RoCH. There are 10+ adaptations lurking around. It is very age and domain telling which adaptation you prefer and who is your favorite Yang Guo and XLN. Most mainland netizen in their 20s to 30s prefer Louis Koo, he was too gorgeous according to their aesthetics for anything else to matter. They also prefer his OTP Carmen Lee the most. Me and my buddies loathed that adaptation because both of them are rigid pretty blocks of wood. The much younger crowd or the International audience prefer the 2006 version with HXM and LYF. In the age of internet, that one is the easiest to access. Andy and Idy’s version is almost nonexistent on internet, if it’s available it has no subs, and horrible VHS tape/VCD quality, but that has yet to be surpassed imo.
I have expectation CX will be the best YG, still, even the best I’ll ever see in my lifetime. My best YangGuo to date is the young AndyLau, who has everything going for him befitting the character: undeniably handsome, the right age in his early 20s, with bold, sharp features, hence convincingly wayward and commanding, his charming greenness alluringly mixed with a hint of the megalomania taking over him in my eyes later on, all contributed seamlessly for a YangGuo, appearance, aura, my vote for best casting ever for the character. In addition, most importantly for me, he is a decent actor, having the apropos chemistry with Idy Chan’s XLN every stage as the story progresses, the only XLN that was closest to original vibe combined with decent acting chops.
Their romance is not the ordinary between a man and a woman, but the taboo of a frigid respected sifu/authoritative figure and her younger mischievous apprentice she brought up since he’s a child. There is always that tilt of female dominance at play, this undertone always present till the very last leg of the novel.
Louis Koo is arguably the best looking YG but a very limited actor (still), he could not handle the heftier part of an older YG, more damning, he had little chemistry with the equally incompetent, wooden and pretty but with very westernized features, Carmen Lee:
I’m not a fan of Fann Wong’s beauty, and she is overrated imo, but she is very believable as a couple with her YangGuo Christopher Lee, and since then they have developed a reel to real romance and now a happily married couple. The only good thing stemming from that mehh production.
Then there was the version begging us to scrub it from our conscience…Richie Ren (his face and lacking talent – ____ -) and Jacklyn Wu (in BLACK when LC blatantly emphasized XLN only wears white). TTV wuxia-periods had never gelled with me anyway.
Of course there was, perhaps the most seen and popular YG and XLN, HXM and LYF in RoCH06. There were things working like none other: LYF is perfect in every physical contributes, looks and allure and age, her face, mannerism, stance, her dancer skills and body. It was as if she’s leaped off a chinese brush painting of beauty of yore. Her most suitable appearance for XLN saved her from a lot of lifting and vexing in the acting department. The production value is way up there, they have an obscene budget, many scenes were done on location at the out of this world gorgeous World Heritage Site Jiuzhaigou Valley in Sichuan, the rest was done in a set they spare no expense to build at Elephant Mountain, nothing we’ve seen before and since. HXM is a good looking guy…but when he emotes, instead of oozing emotions, it’s hilarious sleazy:
The most bizarre thing is mastermind JZJ encouraged his OTTness with his true OTP, the wind machine. His chemistry with LYF is fine if we are doing a horror story of a pedophile seducing, grooming a young girl in his captive. Don’t care for my opinion? Have Louis Cha’s own dissing:
He’s clearly so disgusted by HXM’s take on YG he won’t even mention his name, saying he played YG as a superfluous flirt, gone is any respect towards his gugu in the Ancient Tomb. XD Ouch *burn!* He jabbed LYF as too obsessed with her beauty, refusing to emote, when asked to cry, she would only shed a tear for fear her face would be distorted with real emotions. Wow. I’m not sure when exactly this was done, it was posted 4 years ago, but my guess is before Mr LC himself bowed to $$$ and sold the rights of his works to yuma, which will forever cause me uncontrollable crying fits. WHYYYYYY Maestro~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~!!!!! I am not sure if LYF was so full of it, or she’s just technically incompetent to follow through with the directions. I do agree LYF has never had any believable chemistry with any of her co-stars unless we are in the harmless patting puppy love territory in Chinese Paladin.
CX is, hands down, the most fundamentally talented in this mix of YangGuos. It’s impossible to miss how technically sound he is even in the flagrant dungs he’s stuck doing all these years attached to yuma. Bonus, he has the looks, too. He can walk the tightrope of naivete mixed with just a hint of risque, a fearless l’enfant terrible hiding a heart of pureness, it is that innocuous innocence, the naivete that makes the connection btn a YG and XLN believable and precious withstanding all the obstacles. The only thing I’ve yet to see from CX is to bring in a manly maturity, a stately, weary jadedness for the older YG. If he can nail that aspect, he’s absolutely keeping my vote for the best YG forever, yes, even in a YG whatthetfuggery.
Of course with our experience with yuma, trusting the peskiest douche to pick an authentic beauty for XLN who can decently act is wishful thinking in futility. My pick #1 pick is Tong LiYa, she has the right balance of looks and chops, so she’ll always be my forerunner for ANY period beauties these few years. I like Liu Shishi, she will do a passable job too. CX reminds me so much of a younger weirder Loverboy with an uncanny resemblance, I’m cashing on that ShiShi will have enough chemistry with CX. And it would amuse me to no end if LSS is XLN and she’ll play Mu Mianchi on the side and yuma can lure Loverboy to a cameo as YanKang.
I kept an eye with bemused amusement on every poor starlet’s name thrown on the yuma’s wall of shame, because if cast by him, the shitstorm that follows is unprecedented to the point I do not understand why any established actress like a Joe Chen would stoop this low. He claimed he’s screen tested 60+ starlets for the role and his pick absolutely floored him and everyone around instantaneously on how befitting she looks as airily breathtakingly gorgeous as a fairy <-his words. And we know it’s worth less than fart. Ha. HA. HAAA!!!
Lets not pretend to be nice, yuma is begging for a side-by-side when he mentioned Michelle is as fairylike elvishly gorgeous as LYF.
Bravo yuma, seriously, from ur profit margin standpoint, and stirring up as much backstage drama is saving dimes in ads in your business model. You are a genius in conjuring up the most spectacularly shiteously unique trainwrecks now your trademark, and your comeuppance as a cancer in the industry is metastasizing more ratings in this strange depressing climate, enjoying every curse and insults hurled your way because every most furious outburst is a click on your trashy banter and a prospective eyeball on how horrible you can shock us to a stupor, still. And you always can, you are that dependable.
So our newest XLN is Michelle Chen, aka the current reigning ‘TW goddess’ still chipping off the runaway overrated phenomenal hit You Are the Apple of My Eye, 那些年，我們一起追的女孩. The above picture is just slightly PS’d to a pure white robe instead of the original white and peacock one (and the meanie netizens suggests a PPL tie-in like this CF), and this is from the screen test/audition, the one yuma claims she got the XLN vibe at hello. From the original set:
那些年, the movie was an easy watch, nothing buggy, decently written, but very short of groundbreakingly amazing. How it got to such a phenom and the wildfire of all the 那些年 memes beats me. Michelle did not leave an impression on me both in looks and talent, she’s not ugly on screen, I don’t mind her as the object of affection of some average boy in class as the story goes, she’s pleasant enough to be the most attractive girl in a class. She’s not beautiful face-wise by any conventional or unconventional standard, every feature on her face can be described with a word: droopy or 囧. She does look harmless, and warm and cuddly and caring. However none of it fit the description for a XLN: “skin as white as snow, beautiful and elegant beyond convention and cannot be underestimated, but appears cold and indifferent”, let alone her built: short with proportionally wide shoulders and a pudgy round face can not carry the period garb of a classical beauty on camera, it’s just the harsh reality. No amount of acting can overcome this steepest physical uphill battle. To call this an outrageous miscast is an understatement. She has the wrong looks, and no talent to overcome any of it, not that it is possible to overcome to begin with.
I can’t tolerate a wooden actress playing a pretty piece of wood, it is a fallacy, how double whammy boring is that?! On the contrary, if there is any heart to this remake that is, to make XLN relatable, when the characterization is quite a case of odd, alienating most female fans from the pen of Louis Cha himself, it takes a lot of skillful nuances and minute, precise bottled-up emoting. She is a contradiction, mostly she’s stunted in EQ, childlike, impossibly naive, indifferent and unskilled with any human interactions, yet she has all these passionate, gutsy, explosive romantic feelings she has a stubborn clarity of, is not shy to express constantly and have no care of taboo for one guy and one guy only. We, fangirls, must believe she is the OTP of our wuxiadreamboat Yang Guo, you know. Most often, we gush endlessly about RoCH how YangGuo is this ultimate romantic wuxia hero lover we all would hopelessly flail over, shamelessly wish to have a romp with and accept the fate of being discarded by him the next morning, most romantically with a passionate kiss and not much of a regret. However from a more critical standpoint, it is XLN who is the impossible dream most straight guy would fantasize to have and to hold. She is this hardest to get ideal from a very chauvinistic pov and once you stole her heart, she’s yours forever as she’s this uncaring, insulated, indifferent person to the rest of the world. We almost never got that point conveyed in any of the adaptations, of course. Imo XLN is one of the most impossible wuxia character to cast. She is this cold emotionless doll on the surface with all these shoujo romantic feelings bubbling inside and no tool to express it effectively to her Guo-er. To convey all of it, takes a certain skill-set on top of her drop dead gorgeous basic requirement. Imagine asking for a Choi!Min!Soo! set of skills who looks like a Liu Yi Fei on the surface. Good luck with that. It takes a lot of control and nuances to play a piece of pretty wood with a passionate heart, she is also crucial in the characterization in Yang Guo, without the perfect chemistry between the two, not just as lovers, but the undercurrent of a lady-shifu dominanting her younger boy apprentice, yet she’s the much less worldly childish of the two, YG would come across as a tool and a silly fool and all that 16 years would be for naught. I mean haha this is just useless banter, none of this will materialize, but every XLN has at least enough beauty to cruise along and we’ll let it slide as, hey, he is shallow and he fell for the pretty, we can’t argue with it. Yet again, not the liberty here. >________<
This is CX’s star-making role. A year or two ago, I would want my Loverboy to snatch this role yuma or no yuma and would be a rant monster if anyone else stole it from him. Not anymore, part is time is one’s worst enemy, YH, before hitting 3-0, can bring every ounce of exuberant fearless badboyish charm circa his Yang Kang days. In his latest outings, he has been overthinking too much and it confined his performances. Imo, CX is as capable an actor as YH. CX has the advantage being in his mid 20s, in RL he is this slightly withdrawn, weird, moody manchild, he can tap into that and make it work for his YG. I see him fail-proof, so I was going all bring it on, hit me! yuma, bring us our XLN, the worst is YSS, but it would be too risky to have 2 non-A-listers in leading roles in the perpetual most anticipated LC adaptation no matter how many there are already. BUT, I have prepared myself for a YSS as XLN. I’ve regrettably seen them as a couple checking out a CX cut before any of this, and to my surprise CX can have chemistry even with the fugged up plastic duckface with questionable non-moving parts of YSS. She has lots of experience in periods, in wuxia dance and as long as close-ups are kept few and far (literally) apart. I can stare at CX’s part of screen and make it work.
Michelle is a disaster in her first ever period, a movie from the trailer I saw, as capped above. It is not humanly possible for her to pleasantly surprise. The movie is sorry waste of many things, but she is horrible, she can’t carry herself in the period costume convincingly, she’s hunching and every cell of her is drooping and so out of sorts I feel so sorry to laugh at her. And a XLN has to do this, if anything canon is left after yuma is done with it:
So by picking a XLN who is the opposite of everything a XLN, CX’s YangGuo has no partner to romance with towards owning us as the most impossibly romantic wuxia hero. We are not looking at a conventional romance like a crush in highschool between a boy and the nice girl. XLN has nothing much likeable going on other than she’s the most drop dead gorgeous of all drop dead gorgeous goddesses in fantastical wuxialand. There is a gender norms reversal where she is this cold, socially awkward, cranky holier than thou who does not blink an eyelash at anyone except the OTP. But we shallow fangirls are never as lenient with our heroines as towards our hunks. We love them relatable, good kind, nice, sweet, non-threateningly beautiful physically but everything we call inner-beauty, all these social mores we attach to our gender. XLN has nothing to do with any of it, but a dreamboat YG still loves her unconditionally. So in picking such a misfit, it’s not only the character XLN in jeopardy, it would definitely screw with CX’s characterization of Yang Guo and that would break my heart.
Trying to be positive. This is his most recent job for an unrelated RPG webmovie. Just channel this for Yang Guo and you are there! RawRRR!
To vent their frustrations, the fans are at it with their wittiest hilarious PS:
They’d rather have CX playing both ends of the OTP.
They just stuck the head of Poet Transcendent Li Bai in every grade schooler’s textbook and viola, it works.
I am out of adjectives when 磊/Rui/ 俞灏明 from CN HanaDan joins in the lively commentary, making his own collage:
这两天不断有网友 @ 我.我想告诉大家的是.我真没去演小龙女.不过,还真有点像.
I got numerous mentions these 2 days, what I want to say is, I really am not going to be XLN, but, there really is a resemblance
FWIW, this post is purging for me. I’ve now calmed down. The supporting cast is getting even more and more interesting:
Jiro will be Kublai Khan.
MUAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! Gosh just when I thought the WTF!F!F! of the insanely plastic transmetrosexual invading my period dramas will be put to an end as NMW will die off soon. Here comes Jiro and the fangirls HAVE to use my Loverboy at his most gorgeous, his Yang Kang Jin Prince still to PS Jiro’s head on my pretty! W! T! F!!!! Sorry Jiro, my last straw. This has to be inserted:
I honestly thought when wind is out Jiro may be joining he would play the Condor, mystified to a demigod and will bromance with CX’s YangGuo. I’m serious.
Young Yang Guo. Looking good. yuma definitely has an eye for gorgeous boys. But wtf is this outfit?!
And this outfit is Fug too unless there is a Tardis party with a disco for wuxia VIPs inside. And they dance under a disco ball to a Bollywood number. I no longer would be surprise if this actually happens.
The baby YG and GuoFu are too cute in RL!
Guo Jing/Zheng GuoLin and Huang Rong/Yang MingNa. Both of them gorgeous, in their late thirties, veterans in periods. Both have worked in previous Louis Cha adaptations.
Yelu Qi and Guo Fu.
Yan Kuan is Wang Chongyang. The founder of Quanzhen Sect, whose intense professional rivalry stemmed from eros-regret with the founder Lin Chaoying (Qin HaiLu) of the Ancient Tomb Sect is the seed of the conundrum/ theme of RoCH: what is Love? threading through the Condor trilogy: LoCH, RoCH and Heaven Saber Dragon Sword.
Cheng Ying one of the many fangirls of YG. Her uncle Lu ‘wronged’ Li Mochou in love. She is saved by Eastern Heretic Huang YaoShi and apprenticed under him.
Our Huang YaoShi, Christopher Lee, who was the YangGuo in the Singaporean adapt. Interesting.
陈翔 is Lu Zhanyuan, former lover of Li Mochou. The guy who might’ve started it all:
Above is our Red Fairy Li Mochou, XLN’s Big Sis in the sect. Word is Yuma will do his magic shit with her character, expanding her role to a Girl2 status. That is, most probably we r forced to ship YG and Li Mochou. *muahahahahasobzzzz*
This is Song Yang, our Zhen Zhibing, moniker used to be Yin Zhiping but there was a RL Taoist monk by that name.
Poor good looking guy, stuck reprising this notorious character appearing in both LoCH and will be playing a more titular part in the story of RoCH. No one will be surprised if he’s our ‘unofficial’ guy2 because yuma has made it blatant he’ll fluff up the characterization, making him a lot more innocent and loveable, ‘moe’/萌 is the word yuma used. (HA!HA!!HA!!!) I’ve also come across some leaked interview most probably from the colorful imagination of the snarky fans (one can only hope) but would no longer be surprised any of the WTFery could truly happen.
Read for yourself with a grain of salt of plenty of breathing salts, substances, booze, raid whatever necessary:
The bullet points:
- Yang Guo’s first love will be Guo Fu, because he’s never met many young ladies back then.
- He would then get into a passionate angsty love affair with Li MoChou because she’s cool and hard to get, paving for YG to fell irrevocably for XLN because she reminds him of LMC. LMC is younger than XLN here and she would love YG till her end, not a suicide per se, but to try out a life-saving antidote for the poison in YG with her own body.
- XLN will be dressed entirely in white. The relationship between her and YG is purely respect and distant in the beginning. Her first love is Zhen Zhibing. They can’t overcome the obstacle of being from opposing wuxia sects. Her feelings towards YG also evolves as they spent day and night living together.
- ZZB in yuma’s version will be ‘more fleshed out’. He is just a Taoist apprentice and he can not rid himself of the baggage and taboo to love freely. The only lady he’s ever met in his life is XLN, different from YG who goes on to meet every young pretty girl under the sun. When he saw the object of his affection naked in the bushes with another guy YG, the repressed love he’s been imploding inside manifested. That is why he makes the mistake. Just like all of us, he makes mistake.
Zhao Li Ying is Mu NianChi
lolz CX rumored (and as fake as Angelababy’s face) OTP on screen and off is going to be his mother. Li Chen, almost a top-billing TVstar, last appearing in a cameo for LongmenExpress is at it again as YangKang. Why we need quite a heavy weight for a YK, who was long dead when story begins, again beats me, but I am not a yuma. He is RL boyfriend of our Li Mochou, she’s dumped Ron Ng for him. Just enough of low-brow gossip fodder yuma feeds on.
Just when I do a check on my weibofeed to see how shit unfolds, Yuma is just at it again, stirring things up leaking one of the past XLN will do a cameo here as well. And he teased it needs not be the obvious Fann Wong (working alongside her hubby our Huang YaoShi). Well, she’ll make the most gorgeous 梅超風. In the most current LoCH revision, Louis Cha somehow wrote in a romance between her and her sifu Huang. Ohwells, I guess his missed some crazypills. yuma is trying to hint on Carmen Lee.
There is no firm words on the two beloved sweethearts Gongsun Lü’e and Guo Xiang. There is a murmur Angelababy, the forerunner for XiaoLongNu, most appeasing for everyone, the one yuma is still chattering about as his first choice if not for her conflict of schedules, is going to do yuma a favor and cameo as Gongsun. In any conventional adapt, it’s fine to hint on a adorable relationship between YangGuo and the youngest and most worthy offspring of GuoJing and Huang Rong. Yuma can hammer on all the filling out Li Mochou as a more rounded character if he genuinely cares all he wants, it is simply he landed a decently talked about young starlet for the role. IF he lands someone more famous for GuoXiang, or if Angelababy can spare more time stroking yuma, he’ll easily write a shoujo side romance usurping the OTP.
Nothing is sacred in yumacrazytown.