The Battle of ChangSha Watch Along ep1

Impromptu happy surprise, visiting my fam as a zombie.  I am shooting out my ramblings in bullets as I gobbled up the episodes , no caps, I have no energy left from squeeing y u so fine WH!!! You know WH is at his finest here, everyone else, all fam now after my first watch, is bringing me to happy familiar tears on my screen, so just droolz on the drama properly.

Gu: You are so interesting.

I did an ep 1 spazz here.  I know not everyone enjoys watching a drama with a ridiculously good looking hero in WH at his most ridiculous gorgeousness in a killer uniform.  Not every girl cares to watch a good young role model, feisty little pepper with chubby cheeks and cute dimps, eyes always rolling in mischief and better things, being a 16 year old clever brat and fantasizing reliving the days of being a highschooler with an OTP of WH and giving him a darnedest earful and he would find you very interesting memorizing your every word.  Not everyone reading my blog is a shoujo fiend who will gaga over the best of heart-fluttering fluff, afterall.  Again I guess it is very odd we care about watching a war epic with no filler scenes, no manipulative platitudes just to wrung out emotions, one can not care about the ease and satisfaction of writing up a good grasp of every character in a few lines, the family dynamics over a 10 min short dinner scene, perfectly directed, within the first 45 mins, on top of there are bombs flying, good, horrific succinct cinematography, nothing indulgent: plot grounding the fluff, fluff lightening up the weighty miasma of war.  Some can not care about food for thought, existential philosophies, with our respected professor dad covering that turf quipping ignorant snarks all Marie Antoinette at BiL.  One can be bored at smartassery at its finest in the walking godfather of StreetSmarts ChangSha 30s edition: Brother in Law in his every charming badass word and suave.  Oh and the OTP hits a few of tried and true shoujo tropes off their first eyefuls, first minutes of show…not 5, 10 eps later like we r used to.  We have OTP goodness EVERY EPISODE but that may not be every dramafiend’s thing.  Rest of the episode, good solid storytelling, again who cares, right!? So yeah, there would be peeps not interested in this drama. I just do not know you.  XDDD First 2 episodes flowed by at all the perfect pace, exhilarating, tense, lol funny at times, then allowing pauses at heart-tugging moments, breezing by like a dream comes true.  No brawling yet, just a few sniffles mingling with lots of giggles. Watch along: here on YT

  • Historical footage is added by CCTV as XiangXiang narrates:

    My life changes the autumn of 1938. Towns north and east of Changsha have fallen, refugees rush in, CS is overhauled, food, cotton, medical supplies in shortage. CSnites are taking exodus further west to Chongqing or south to GuiLin. The tension of the looming war spurred protests and demonstrations on every street against the Japanese. Young ladies are arranged in hasty marriages to out of towners, suitors with resources of escape. My life also takes a different course from that day on.

    • I picked this up from a weibo comment: 湘湘和小满不是被设定在长郡嘛。。。那黑板上四个大字“朴实沉毅”。。。我被吓得一滚啊那是长郡的校训= =  XX and XM are students at 长郡 Highschool…the four characters on the blackboard are: “朴实沉毅/simplicity, honesty, composure and perseverance with action speaking louder than words…I am in shock!  That is still the school motto of 长郡 Highschool!!!
    • XiaoMun bearhugs BroinLaw <333
    • 4:40. I can hear your first squeals deafening mine:

    • XX blinks, can’t believe her eyes…what gorgeousness is this? This is the days before shoujo manga but this must be the scene inspiring cascading pink petals and bursting of hearts and sparkles out of nowhere as if the most natural occurrence going with scene.
    • In lesser dramas, when heroine finds a side alley in foot chase, she is safe. We know she is dealing with brains and brawn in BiL, posing by his ride, ‘hostage’ of XiaoMun in tow.
    • 6:45 just a WH jumping off the Jeep, ie pausing squeeing a minute of ‘so shuaaaiiiii’

    • A weibo dearie already changed her handle to ‘CommanderGu, I have 300 padded jackets!!!’ ie magic words for a Gu showing up for a date.
    • They blatantly stare and stare and stare with blinking at each other, illustrating the saying can’t take eyes off, not disapprovingly, even though Gu just realized what he is lured here for and showing annoyance.  He should be disgusted, but not.
    • Few steps of stairs, commander Gu with so much country saving biz on hand, takes full minutes to trot(not).
    • XM! I saw your fangirly ‘ hi beautiful~!’swooning face at Gu and saying out loud ‘he is quite handsome!’ he is ur twinsis’ OTP! And duh she is rolling eyes at u an ‘ I KNOW!’
    • He heard her snerking at him ‘ Cockadoodledoo!’  For a split second he lost a tiny bit of composure, ‘y u say sth mean to me pouts?!’
    • He is much gentler, with a slight smile, ‘it (teenager slicing and humiliating me in the chicest resto of ChangSha) is nothing, go on (i want to hear!)‘ to this stranger young lady than he has the time and tolerance for his own uncle.
    • Eating own high lofty words = favorite thing for our shoujo cold princes = lublub. He said he is in a hurry. He said he has no interest in coaching and preaching to deaf ears of teenage girls. No interest. Armed crossed, stance is firm and still, taking all the time listening, softly speaking his lesson catered for her she is lucky she is speaking to him because blablabla (i am ur future hubby) blablabla. Sweet love they r making to my eyes.
    • Haha Gu purses lips, an almost pout as he stumps off, ko’d by her words with XM joining in a stab.
    • BiL’s fav nick of XX: little son of a…rabbit. Literally.
    • Gu brushes BiL aside to tell XX closer, in her face she is very interesting, pouring all his attention into her eyes, and more lecturing with a full on bright smile. ‘ You can use a better upbringing (by me!).’ My old mushy knees~~~!
    • XM hugs BiL again. BiL calls both of them lil son of lil rabbits more times. XM bearhugs BiL again as his twinsis is about to jump off the balcony! What a loving family.
    • ‘Jump! I’ll take care of you rest of life.’ It is trashtalk taunting, but it is true. She has the balls to jump and BiL grabs her by waist out of danger in a nanosecond.
    • The entire Hu clan is sheltering XX from a slashing from BiL, must be typical. BiL has a few more cutting commentary on Dad than the earlier cut i watched and I love it more. Dad is a prof, a master in arts and literature, all fine and dandy except when life is about the mouths need feeding with limited bags of rice, winter is passable only with adequate number of padded jackets ready for fam, all material necessities Dad is ignorant of except bottles of fine wine for nightcaps.
    • I have nothing to add on the dinner scene. It is so rich and colorful a glimpse into how the provider of the clan is passively despised by most but he is not taking the collective stabs lying down, his respect on them has also the need to be earned his ‘rascally’ brutally practical way. He also lets his tongue loose on the most practical matter, slapping on their faces to the sad state of monetary affairs they should all wake up from their bourgeoisie self-delusion.
    • Animosity is thick between DadHu and BiL, like oil and water. Dad is dreamer of principles and aspirations, his actions never catch up, lacking the practicality chip, and he is oblivious enough to provoke BiL saying everything on his mind without filtering.  BiL is a soft teddy bear at heart, he says the darnedest caustic words on purpose, but his every action under the table is loving and kind and protective of the family he married into in the episode. He has no care being fed like a pig to the wife he dotes on, he said, with genuinely open arms he takes in her family now his own, gives up the rule of his stead,the mansion he ‘coerced’ off its owner to the older gen, be it keys to the pantry/ wine cellar, ie his entire worth in wartime, or sweetnothings on how much he loves Grandmama’s cooking, now taking over the helm from his lovely wife, XiangJun. And XJ knows exactly what he is doing, saying everything with the sole purpose of putting her at ease, not to worry a thing with all the stressors and commotion, and be her happiest under the roof he provides for her and anyone dear to her.  A few minutes with them,  I feel all the love and willing compromises in their marriage when things have always been complicated.

In one episode, it is established so well, without BiL going above and beyond bending arms, pulling every string and his ample connections in ChangSha, there will never be our OTP. In pillowtalk, he is fiercely urging on XJ, when he must’ve never asked her lifting a finger for him to do her part feeling out, talking sense into XX about Gu. He has set his mind to make this most advantageous match for his SiL but more so for the safeguard of his wife’s family and we sense he is shameless, shrewdest and stubbornly persistent to get his way.

4 thoughts on “The Battle of ChangSha Watch Along ep1

        1. It is always a given it would be different esp when it’s CCTV vs cable/local channels.

          What I noticed is this is definitely making some transitions smoother. It cuts out a line or two of the OTP first exchange which I don’t think it matters either way, they captured the emotions spot on, but if you are a sucker for every drop of OTP goodness as some fans are, they can be bothered by sth trivial.

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