In ShanDong Film And TV Group (山影/ShanYing for short) I trust. Based in Jinan/济南, famous of its springs, DaMing Lake and Tai Mountain, the phrases 地靈人傑, 济南名士多 pop up right away from Chinese Lit. 101, it is hammered into my psyche the geomancy of the city gives birth to the best of minds as the ancient belief goes and this company is proving to have the brain, heart and dedication to bring us nothing but quality.
I think by this time, everyone has watched a few times and is still stunned by how fking perfect, the best Cdrama trailer EVER the 21 min of Nirvana in Fire we saw is holding us captive. IF it was not on your anticipated 2015 drama list before (what are you??!!), I dare you not be its slave and keep checking the news when this will be out.
I would categorize this as period idoldrama,definitely not historical in the strict sense as the characters are fictional. ShanYing is preaching idolperiod needs not be bookends to magical pony cartoons. While it is based in Southern and Northern dynasty, specifically using the conflict on Liang in the south and Northern Wei, putting the time frame around 530 AD, the novel itself is a period fantasy not tied to any dynasty. Author 海宴 wrote a lyrical poem describing HuGe’s Mei Changsu (born Lin Zhu)/Su Zhe (his alias). The young Lin Zhu was the lone survivor because of a lethal poison from a venomous flesh eating snow bug only found in the valley he has fallen into, its icy venom counteracting the damage of the fiery burns but concocted the incurable fire frigid poison on its tracks. It is an appearance altering poison causing rigidity, hard of speech that seeps into the bones , the cure is risky, impossibly painful of reworking the infected bones and bedridden for a year to regrow the skeleton on top of blood transfusion from 10 healthy men risking their lives. Our young hero opted for a much more moderate management, a chesspiece in his grand plan of revenge.
Lang Ya Bang is a honorable ranking originated in the mystical mountains Lang Ya (real place in history, somewhere in the area of modern day ShanDong) of the most able heroes of the land, and at the top of the prestigious list is Mr Mei of left bank, he is of the rarest most precious talent only befitting a qilin (chinese unicorn), if you have him, you rule the world.
The trailer got me from the opening to the sound of hauntingly beautiful guqin:
遥映人间冰雪样， Sapient clarity reflects humanity from afar,
暗香幽浮曲临江， A shrouded fragrance, a haunting elegy by the bank.
遍识天下英雄路， Enlightened in the paths of heroes on earth,
俯首江左有梅郎。 we heel to the Mei hero from left of the river, where Eastern Jin used to stand.
PD has put it as Chinese Count of Monte Cristo himself and this long trailer is spoilerish and laying out the story exactly so. The acting is across the board decent to kickass awesome. It is marvelous to see Grandpapa fr Battle of ChangSha here (and to a lesser extent Cousin MingHan). HuGe is Da Bomb, nailing his every scene. I have faith this could finally be the role he truly earns me as a fangirl when he was lacking for me no matter how always decent, almost doing it in his past dramas. I am still ambivalent with Tamia Liu, she is not a disaster, but she does not excite me with any OTP goodness with HG and I insist even though she looks great, she looks exactly her age of mid 30s with the older married lady soul she conveys in her eyes. her acting is always bland for me, whereas even though HG has aged and his character can not be more weathered and weary of the world, there are twinkles of his typecast the young dashing hero still in his eyes. She has no excuse in this longer trailer, because all the other ladies, however brief their appearances, are mesmerizing, intriguing, holding their own in this testosterone revenge feast. Good for Wang Kai, this is an amazing role to have landed on his lap, he’s quite good, for some reason his yummy voice is not dubbed but HG’s is. Imo Yuan Hong will kill this being just more idol pretty, WK’s plastic surgeries are showing too much around the nose and his eyes lack that fire and sparkle YH is famous for…plus that bromance chemistry btn YH and HG really could make this to another level beyond perfect. Look:
The artistry, cinematography is too die for. Not since Ming Dynasty 1566 have I seen this tasteful a constraint in flourishes of immaculate frames scene after scene:
But that is not all ShanYing is capable of. It gives us a montage of all its best works just the other day, many in production soon to treat us. I have known nothing much of the company till recent years, I remembered 大染坊 very fondly, I know my parents watch their dramas, but the genres they focused on are of little interest to me, very realistic slice of life essaying, serious subject matters usually translate to dour for me no matter how great the production value. But last few years, ShanYing is venturing into other greener meadows outside of their expertise and meshing elements creating their own brand of awesome. Most noticeably they are inserting idol elements, pretty faces to great success, eg Wallace Huo in Battle of ChangSha. Nirvana in Fire is their glorious attempt to have a slice of the very lucrative idolperiod pie pooped by the turds of yuma/TR/HuanRui (of Ancient Swords fame), none can even compose a basic story congruently for however eps the drama dragged on let alone the horrible production value, gaudy colors, insulting acting we are poking our eyes out in order to endure for some not worth it pretty plastic faces. Good that we have these ShanDong tasteful moneybackers with a pride and artistry in their stuff who care to make a brandname of 鲁/Lu dramas
In chronological order:
温州一家人 Family on the Go. A drama on the Open Door policy in the 80s by following a family in WenZhou, a city that went through revolutionary industrialization. PD Kong can not hide how proud he is of this past work. It’s top on my list.
到爱的距离 Medical drama (hm. My least fav of all Cdrama genres…but I may try this out out of faith for the production team)
穿越烽火线 A war drama through the eyes of two kids.
青岛往事 The Legend of QingDao is a drama about the first settlers of the city, shaping it to be the port and metropolitan of this day.
父母爱情 Romance of My Father and Mother. Through the lens of the marriage of the parents, a glimpse into life and romance of a generation prior.
战长沙 My obsession, you should know.
马向阳下乡记 Also known as 槐树花开 If you ask my Moms and Aunts, they all love 吴秀波 like no one else. A heartwarming tale of a single dad civil servant, sent down to the boonies to be a governor of a tiny farming village.
放开我的手 Family drama focusing on the coming of age of an 80er girl maturing into a woman.
北平无战事 All Quiet in Beijing Revolutionary drama on the collapse of KMT in China circa late 1940s. Must watch of mine.
老农民 An epic about farmers, starring Jiang Xin.
大秧歌 YangZi!!! War epic on the red army’s fight against the j invasion.
温州两家人 A sequel to 温州一家人
都挺好 and 欢乐颂 are contemporary romance
惊天岳雷 a period
他来了，请闭眼 (< click link to read) OMFG!!! This is a nice mystery romance not too taxing on the brain (do not get too picky), I had a great time reading and the heroine and hero have brains! YAY! When I was reading I have been picturing Tong LiYa as 简瑶, Yuan Hong as 傅子遇 Hu Ge as the sherlocky 薄靳言. No one on earth can sway me. ShanYing likes to work with old timers and HG, after Nirvana should be safely on their rotation of lucky few they are drawing out of their hat. I am praying and begging for HG to recommend his Little Red Flower, PLEASE. And I love Yaya’s face very very much, she can play all romance novel heroines who are not the younger cutesy brainless craycray stereotype. I am ALL for this production company with bottomless talent pool of writers to do every worthy romance novel adaptation ie come on can I have some Xin YiWu down your pipeline please?!?!