This is also a recap of the weibo BL comedy hour with YH at the helm. He stated he is a guy and he is darn straight at a weibo reply, cascading into his typical hilarious silly rampage replying incessantly to the adoring ‘naysayers’. I AM DYING HERE YUAN HONG. You seriously have to stop this endless cyber tickling.
[credit on pics]
*mild spoilers and word diarrhea*
It all started with a mutual actress buddy reposting a weibo by Sun XiaoXiao, YH’s OTP in his new drama Love Trouble. It was a harmless tweet, she said she has three lovely ‘girlfriends’ in the production. To which Yuan Hong stomped, ‘YourBro here is a Guy and I am STRAIGHT! TYVM *pout*’. This is just the amuse bouche. Before the updates on the YH weibo circus, hear me out on my take of Love Trouble 10 (!) eps in. *argh, this thing is showing FOUR episodes a day!*
very VERY watchable fluff NO IT IS CRACCCKKKK!
Shallow thing first, the 4 leads are very easy on the eyes for me. I have NEVER seen a TW/Cfluff with all corners of the love polygon gorgeous. Gorgeous as in physically so pleasing on my screen, not the usual fangirl gushing of Oh I LUB HIM/HER THEREFORE HE/SHE IS MOST GORGEOUS THING ALIVE. My aesthetics are very different from every TWdrama fans I know (ha! because I am not…) so the likes of Ariel, Rainie, Jiro are never on my pretty list. I may love them when they are good, but they are very plain to me face-wise. From this YH fiend, he is the worst for wear out of the love quad. Loverboy you need to MOISTURIZE and sunscreen is your friend. Even a hobo needs some work in closeups on TV, makeup peeps!
Gosh but Lin YoWei is SOOOO FINEEE!
Most pleasant of all though, while this is still squarely in the typical TWfluff territory, I have not come across one single scene I need to roll my eyes, flop my head to desk then flip desk, in a TW/C FLUFF of all things! O___O That is a first to say the least (but seriously what did I owe you TPTB??!?!?!? Just tell me and I’ll fish it out!) Not saying this is Shakespeare and not without warts. But I was expecting nonsense to happen every oh, 10 mins?! and that is more than comfortably tolerable for my Loverboy and the other prettys?! I get beyond lucky here. Everything is cruising along so fast, little bumps are glossed over, yes it is a bit out of sorts in the cinematography and it is not as glossy and dreamy in the artistic direction whenever they are meshing the TW trendy formula with Cdrama sensibilities, on top of meeting the straight rules of airing on CCTV (ie no hint of slashy bromance at all, not that I’m expecting it from the storyboard). Still the grumbles, the dubbing is not very good, the music cues are clashing with the lines and popping up haphazardly, and something unforgivable: the songs are all very MEHHHHH. There can not be a decent fluff hemmed by a TWidoldrama guru PD without catchy tunes!!!!!!!!!!! Everything is a bit loopy stylistically, just not the neat pretty package we have taken for granted with a well-made TWidoldrama. This is nowhere near the worst I’ve seen though, at my reference point 7 eps in, this may be the most breezy, tolerable Cdrama attempt at pure shoujo.
I’ve done some translation of the synopsis in my previous post: Yuantoberfest while it reads like a dime a dozen TW/Cidoldramas, Imo the PD/writer did put a lot of work to brush it up, inserting little twists to the formula making it more palatable. Let me list some that is working for me:
- The OTP is still the typical rich playboy falling for the normal girl, but heroine is actually the one doing the scheming and lying instead of the goody2shoes MarySue. There is a reason, while plausible, but still dumb nonetheless: for the sake of avenging the death of Dad, she is romancing the rich prince to get to his folks, doing it with a tonne of guilt, but still sticking to her agenda. Lv Yi is serviceable here, but I think a much improved nowadays Janine Chang can do a better job. The character begs a lot of nuances and is a tight balancing act where we need to know she is struggling inside yet retaining her good old self while hopelessly falling for the guy she shouldn’t uncontrollably. Heroine has chewed up more than she can swallow with the big scheme, not everything is working out as planned but she’s handling every glitch with a tiny little bit of levelheadedness I would expect of a functional 20sth adult….how often do we get something as simple and logical as that in this genre?! NEVER. It is especially fun when the obviously a force to reckon with Mommy of rich prince is supposed to be the shitstirrer of the lot, and the cause of endless insufferable angst but here she is often out-schemed by our heroine. And she’s a cunning old fox herself. Every step of the way I can buy every twist and turn enough. Again, this is still park your brain at door, but there is effort and heart I can see to make things reasonable enough. There are little reveals the Mommy finds out gradually of heroine’s lies, but our girl is keeping up with her act, at times out of genuine concern and honesty towards Guy1. They are shaping up to be quite a mature and realistic couple in spite of it all.
- Lv Yi and Lin YoWei did not have the easy effortless chemistry of Yuan Hong and Sun Xiaoxiao, but whether it is intentional or not, it works when the heroine has ulterior motives and she is not supposed to genuinely fall for the guy (but of course she is). However, BAM! at e7, for almost the entire episode, they suddenly get so combustible like a grown man in a whirlwind romance would behave towards his lover in the privacy of their room. Evidence: Lin YoWei’s Ko Yang just can not part his lips from Lv’s ZhenXin. They would have some drama and her lies would be on the verge of revealing, but he would forgive her like a guy smitten hopelessly in love would and first thing he does is to french the air out of his woman. When she is leaving the room, he would grab her for a real kiss before letting her out of his sight. It is not done in poor taste or fanservice, mind you. I’m still in disbelief I’m seeing this on CCTV1. This show is aired afternoon their time, ie the program prior is some social commentary show, the program following it is CARTOON for toddlers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love the progression. They have talked about sex, not exactly the word but staying the night, cohabiting and this is ~e10 of 30sth episodes! I did not expect any form of adults in heat realistically portrayed, you know?!
- Heroine ZhenXin has a steady job as a flight attendant/model and can take care and provide for her family, a bff/roomie in love with her in Loverboy’s Wang Xiang but she has stated her lack of intention fair and square. She is able to help her Mom and Sis out when necessary, and of course Mommy has her episodes, lost her marbles after the tragedy. She is self sufficient and if she sets out to get a payback in an extreme way but is not putting her responsibilities at bay, who am I to judge?! It is the rich boy falling for her like a lovelorn puppy with a kind demeanor just with a glance/sniff of her so we can be spared from the bickering and the I hate(but love) you shenanigans. It is more Lin YoWei’s unintentional always sweet, charming and harmless screen presence at work, rather than the writing, but it’s a welcomed tweak. And I think this would smooth things out and keep it from angsty screaming hell when the fallout happens, he should be able to take her act with some lying down.
- Sun XiaoXiao’s bratty rich princess is more Elle Wood adorable minus almost all the blond moments. She can think on her feet, she has a working brain sharing space with a HelloKittyfiend shopaholic inside her body. She gets her way, but she did not step over everyone to get there. She has IQ and a well disguised kickass EQ. I shouldn’t even call her bratty because she is quite the calm and collected considering what she’s been put through. She is actually the most considerate and passionate and loving person out of the 4some, she cares about her own well being, but her happiness lies in every one of her dear ones being happy and well taken care of way more than just herself, all that under that loud mouth facade. She can put her wealth to good use and flaunt it too. She has her silly princess moments but she can be talked sense into right away. And her budding romance with Loverboy’s Wang Xiang is the best written shoujo fluff I’ve seen last few years. Why? Role reversal. Big time and the best of both worlds. We have a rich cute and pretty princess having it all and some in a rich handsome fiance Ko Yang. Then her fiance fell in love right in front of her eyes for another lady, and that’s not the worst of her misfortune…she was then kidnapped, her breast was fondled by a bum and then a kiss was forced towards her, but she did not let all the rage of an entitled brat takeover any of her senses, she is so pragmatic, handling each and every rock falling on her face with such a stride and assign blame fair and square. Something so commendable is she did not put all the blame on ‘the other woman’. When $$$ can be of use, she won’t hesitate to use it, but it’s always out of good old sweetness of her soul instead of rubbing it in. When she can be kind and lend a shoulder, even to someone she is supposed to hate, she would. When she has every right to throw tantrums, be hollering and pissed, she will let it be known. So my kind of girl. ie, instead of the usual cold annoying ahole of a rich prince emotionally inept, we get a bubbly cute princess with a fiesty temper but a big heart. The poor Cinderella is played by my Loverboy. His Wang Xiang is not handsome (so the not looking his best actually serves a purpose!) Xiangderella needs some rescuing but he is not useless. He is a sweet friend to both the ladies and having him on speed dial #1 is a better strategy than calling the police. He is not the Kinchan of Itakiss the manga but an even smarter and sensitive Kinchan from Itakiss Love in Tokyo. How awesome is that in my book?! He has also dropped quite a few lovely caring touching real conversations to the ladies. Yes this drama actually lets these caricatures talk with their head firmly screwed on. A bit of a spoiler, our rich princess is such a smartlass, instead of the usual forceful wrist grabs dragging our Xiangderella to the good old Pretty Woman transformation for swoony purposes…she is asking him to be her assistant in wedding planning for her daddy, something he can’t refuse, even willing to help out being such a warm thing. She can then change into a dazzling wedding gown to dazzle the bum, and the bum is in head to toe white tux to dazzle her back and it is ALL legit. Now here is quick thinking and a bright head at work. One guess who is my favorite character so far?! Sun has such a bubbly earnest presence on screen, so even when she’s whining and hollering like these rich princesses are forced to do, there is a convincing conviction. I wish she could be freed of the knee highs and the wardrobe of an 8 year old though.
- I love the fact our princess awards her affection according to observation of caring deeds. And she is a self-help guru, dissecting her romance conundrum and moving on at her own fast pace. Wang Xiang is obviously her OTP, there are already many smooches and almost smooches just a few short episodes in and they are not even anywhere near aware of their feelings. Any rich princess got stolen her first kiss from a bum off the street is not a pill easy to swallow and so screaming OTP!, but the bickering and acting out are shockingly sensible. And you gotta love a rich spoiled princess who can kiss and forgive and forget! Or in this case, if she likes it, pursue it for some more hugs and kisses!!! You go Princess! I hope we get a hello kitty themed wedding and Loverboy in a tux of his favorite color of shocking pink.
- No flat out morons here. There are some baddies, but even they are making sense in their roles. Imagine the shock as I’m typing this.
- Pace. I have not seen any fluff where issues and plot are not stewed at all. When a misunderstanding is popped up, it is dealt with the VERY next scene most of the time. There is not one draggy moment. Dare I say I’m at the edge of my seat addicted?! And there really is not much of any contrivances.
Bottom line: this is cute and ridiculously hot, nobody is awful in the acting department and the storytelling is so ridiculously fast paced you have to see to believe! I’m at ep8 atm when typing (and streaming live) and the OTP have professed feelings some genuine (some not so much) in such an easily convincing and loving and adult relationship. They have kissed too many times to count, and the hottest I’ve seen in such a long while and the other pair involving my Loverboy and SunXiaoXiao, ie the more conventional OTT cute and ditzy are working as a cute team to iron out snags in their lives, like cooking up a storm for dad, the first time for our princess gosh I got a bit teary overwhelmed because WHEN do we get the sillies in a Fluff caring about the older gen now? Yes, cooking together is such a popular trope to spice up the loveydovey but giving it a better purpose and for the DADDY?! How adorable! That will do, bratty princess. That will do *patpatpat*. How she has become my favorite character beating my Loverboy and the never as handsome and SMEXY Lin YoWei when I’m this shallow should tell you a thing you have to watch this, right?!
Lin YoWei is out-prettying my Loverboy who needs a better beauty regimen/makeup artist to deal with the panda eyes and wrinkles, I’m convincing myself he might be going method as he’s a poor chap indebted to loan sharks HAHA but it actually works in the context as Lin’s Go Yang is this rich prince heir to a beauty empire while Lin is a bum of a delivery boy, driving the van of a laundromat. Lin is also much more at ease and charming in this OTT fantasy milieu, playing a notorious playboy (we are told only) with a soft spot for one girl. This is also clearly the experience of a TWdrama veteran vs a newbie in moderns with YH.
But Lin’s smile is just so affable and warm and disarming like a lovely hot samoyed begging for his next treat it is not convincing he has anything to do with a rake *but then looks can deceive so…watch out girls!*
The only big gripe I have thus far is we have to overlook how he fell for the babe because it’s happened in literally a WHIFF (pun intended as she lured her with a right perfume). The lust was cemented by her setting out to woo him wet and swimming in a shimmering gold clingy gown like a mermaid, but he was long gone before. Love at first sight it not my thing, it is not a dealbreaker, but if he’s supposed to be so well romped with the ladies, this is a lapse in characterization when he’s droolzing like an excited puppy so early on. In the very first few episodes I do not feel much genuine chemistry with Lin YoWei’s Go Yang and Lv Yi’s Lin ZhenXin, but that changes for the better in ep7. And all the romantic entanglements between the 4some have sorted out so freaken early on! While I’m pleasantly surprised, it gets me very worried how can they fill out the next 2/3 of the drama?!?! Loverboy is a bit fish out of water unsure of what to do with himself physically in this unfamiliar setting of a modern drama. I blame it on TR. How can he NOT given even one chance at it till he’s in his 30s?!!??!!? He is still his charming self when he’s not over-thinking, but he does and it translates to slight OTTness with his emoting, he seems better at it as the episodes progress and his more serious scenes are lovely. Perhaps he’s not made out for slapstick. But my guess is he just needs to relax, he has the chops but he’s doubting himself. He has hint of his old smexybadboy self in intimate hot skinships, so I can’t wait for his transformation later on to be wrapped in nothing but tight suits! What is winning for him is he has a more convincing chemistry with Lv Yi than Lin YoWei and it’s realistic as they have been old bffs.
His rapport with Sun XiaoXiao is a match made in shoujo heaven. She has the looks of wide eyed heroine straight off pages of manga without visible plastic surgery, what they have is the bread and butter of any TWfluff but it’s never a guarantee.
This is honest watchable fluff, 4 episodes in, we almost have enough to fill up a typical drama of the genre at midpoint. If you are by a gadget 1:30pm China time (UTC/GMT+8hrs), you can stream it at CCTV1’s official site
So yeah, what did my Loverboy do at his asylum these few days?! Screaming at the top of his lungs at weibo he is a guy and he is straight. If he’s stating the obvious, no one is buying. Poor Loverboy, here bigsis believes you, come give me a hug and a kiss.
This fangirl is jabbing his ‘I’m a guy and straight’ is too well hidden, hard to observe.
YH: It is because you are not observant enough!
Fangirl (joking): Who the heck believes your spilling of the ‘obvious’ (that you are a guy AND straight)!? You are spelling it all out because you have truths to divert, and what you are diverting is the TRUTH! Don’t you think you are wronging HuGe the boss?!YH (jokes back as Yuan KeKe ie HuGe’s nick for YH wayyyy back because he loves his cola and October 4th is their 12 year anni of the first day they met AWWWWW): What he loves about me is the fact I am straight, the straighter I am the better I am treating him
Numerous mentions of HuGe of course and when a fangirl brought up the fact he says he is Mr Yuan and HuGe is a Mrs.
YH: Legit and LEGAL we are!
I think he ended up ‘defending’ himself, replying his snarky fangirls 9, 10 times some fangirls made a compilation. It went as far as the fans warning him every ‘false’ statement made on weibo (ie if he’s not actually a guy nor straight as he claims) is now under the watchful eyes of weibo police/censors and if reposted for 500 times or more, it is a crime punishable by law. Trufact.
To which he taunted after every one of his reply are reposted way over 500+ times and still he’s not in jail by quoting that fangirl’s compilation sneering, ‘The Truth is always by the very few straight men’s side!’ which opens even bigger cans of worms like that is why he’s always WRONG… oh my loverboy. I’m sure somewhere HuGe is repeating what he did to ask the reporters to leave him alone, no comment ( the gif is when he’s accidentally spotted rushing to the Andy Lau concert he’s running late, SO CUTE!)