It was Friday…
sad with the loss of Bella Yao/姚貝娜. I will remember, no matter how long have passed, you are still that passionate young lady who wants to get out of a hospital bed of the insatiable want to sing/还是昔日多情的少年. Voice of an angel, sing on where there are no human pain and sufferings where…
…wings are leaves fallen in heaven. RIP *pray*
姚貝娜–不唱情歌/I do not sing love songs:
♪笑着 哭着 累了♪
smiling…while crying…I am tired.
I am casually watching My Sunshine, with a line from the novel: 既然琴瑟起，何以笙箫默 stirring. As the Qin and Se had stroke a chord, why are the Sheng and Xiao silenced?! Qin, Se, Sheng and Xiao are all chinese instruments. Qin and Se, in the zither family, string instruments traditionally made from 梧桐 /Chinese parasol, standing tall on mountain tops, the tree that phoenix dwells, perching only on perks of statuesque parasol trees in the highest mountain basking in sun singing, the visual of ultimate auspiciousness. Thus the perennial tree is a most popular spiritual subject waxed in poetry, as symbol of everlasting righteous loyally, undying love but also its shadows stirring longing and loneliness in sad souls, the instruments are most widely used in a 4 character phrase on a harmonious marriage 琴瑟和鸣.
The characters for the tree each represents a gender, 梧 is the character for the female, 桐 is male and they prosper as an entity intertwined…its stance as a massive green canopy of hearts in spring and summer to bare knobby branches, desolate like a lonely man abandoned by his wife and children, 好像曾经娶妻生子而家破人亡了的光棍 quoting 丰子恺 from his essay of his existential child-like wisdom on 梧桐树 and 无常 anicca/impermanence
I wished the drama has made a louder ode to Shanghai’s romance with parasol trees, framing the city with its poetry of inescapable change of the seasons, lining the streets of the trendy mix of old and new, jazzy XuHui district where SH Normal University/上海师范大学 is located, the location they used for the C University scenes.
My Sunshine is not a drama I can truly recommend on quality, it has glimpses of effective swoon as expected in typical romance adaptation, especially one that is almost a standard to imitate being the forerunner of internet novels 10+ years ago. It was 200some pages which is just right, interspersed with natural little nuances, tiny bursts of well-paced feelings…but not enough story to fill a 40 episode drama, let alone done so blunderingly by this team, my impression after 10+ episode. I am still watching because it does not bug me enough, there are elements enjoyable, namely a very spot on young romance of the college MoSheng and YiChen played by newbies with the utmost advantage of faces screaming youth on their side. They just look their part as college students, no effort, nor skill required. I love the casting of 谭凯 TanKai as ‘guy2’ *coughnotevencough* Ying Hui, there should never be too much heavy-lifting involved for the actor and us viewers alike watching a drama for guilty pleasure. He has the air of a CEO before opening his mouth, and more when he speaks the designated language to hammer on being a successful human being I guess in a C-rom…engrish. <_< TanKai is not amazingly fluent in English, but he puts his craft at work and nails the make-belief, even when the enunciation is off, he is astonishingly convincing. Every moment on screen, he is selling me this is a man running his life not a hair out of grasp…except when it involves MoSheng.
The godsend keeping my interest afloat is undeniable 吴倩/Wu Qian as young MoSheng, she is just perfectly suitable for the character in every aspect. She has enough resemblance to TangYan, IF TY EVER parts with her circle lens and stuffs herself till she has proper human cheeks.
Her easy organic chemistry with young YiChen Luo YunXi/罗云熙 is the mysterious magic pink cherry blossoms mojo no one can foresee. Little nuances and glances over nothing much, look, they are just munching, makes me dance a shipper jig.
Zhao MoSheng, have you no shame?!?!
And a smile he can’t contain at her fangirling, even before finishing his lover’s holler…as her eyes are only on him, shame has no place, nor anything else but him, in her world this moment.
ZMS, you are such a slow runner, how did you manage to snatch me?
And they are such shipper’s dream in RL, posting their own candies for share:
I do not RL ship them, I always try hard not to unless I can’t help it.
She has done a decent turn in one JinYong adaptation, I do not mind her as the new Huang Rong. My palpable exasperation is annoying, I know, but the idea of a hint of who would probably land the role in the inevitable remake is already making me nauseous so I might as well just dream on. I digress.
Which brings me to one last rant on what is hopelessly not working in My Sunshine, the 7 year later present day OTP.
There are other problems with the production that not many fans of the actors would care, just very obvious this is not the best production value these popular names attached should deserve. It is very apparent in not attempting quality nor heart here, everything is make-do, a decent scene is always followed by lazy random shiz next. Take the obscene product replacements to the point characters are SAYING out ad slogans, of the car instead of lines, like a car salesman when of course they are not. And would a fine business dining experience between respectable very well to do lawyers be an entire table all obsessed with one sugary fluorescent-colored cocktail of ONE brand only and in neatly alternating flavors as opposed to….wine/whiskey?! It is inexcusable in sth this highly anticipated the world is watching peeps. The pace, transitions, are all so choppy and crude even when I have read the novel, and reread it just the other day after drama started because even I could not follow the flow of the storytelling. There were crucial scenes given no emotional build up, nor rewarding pauses and once a climax is reached it was hastily moved on to the next, often mundane, without even allowing the character to show much of a rippling reaction, let alone us viewers to get the hook. I have warmed up to Wallace Chung, I will join the team whimpering a cheer on he is good at his game, he can do this role convincingly in his sleep and there is no use of anyone harping there are many other C leading men who can nail this role. WC works here, I will shut it.
But TangYan is breaking my heart, not due to delicious predictable angst as MoSheng 7 years later with her share of woes. Not for a moment I believe she is the MoSheng off the pages, she can do an emotion here or there, but as an actress I saw potential no more. I have been giving her all the benefit of the doubt…but her performance in this drama is the straw on camel’s back. TangTang, 既然琴瑟起，何以笙箫默 ?! You have shown the world your potential as almost the only worthy acting job out of the young pretty things in the certifiably crap with copious of heart and 50 cent CGI Chinese Paladin 3. I would still give you credit as the foil elevating WallaceH’s game as his only commendable job till Gu QingMing in Battle of ChangSha and that was 6 years ago, I liked you so. I could explain the roles in between were major fail in writing, your limitation in a role not suitable physically, not truly fault of yours, but none of the characters in something like My Sunshine needs heavy lifting. MS is a normal plucky girl falling in mad love with a dreamboat, and losing him cause of circumstances and he comes into your life again. There is no specific requirement in looks… which reads like every other romance the 12 years since Gu Man wrote the novel. I have pulled my hair analyzing why TY is such a major fail, I would say her worst job ever here when I have seen her serviceable in much nonsensical materials… imo she has a disastrous read on MoSheng and she needs to passionately enjoy working with her costar in order to channel any connection. MoSheng has a turn from being ‘the sunshine’ spunky, carefree, light and warmth radiating to all around while standing her ground, speaking her mind when she needs to make a stance an extrovert… to internalizing, time-capsuling her feelings, preserving them by shutting the world from ever knowing it existed. BUT there still needs the intrinsic workings, enough mettling of the old normal young girl MoSheng…and TangTang’s way of thought conveying the young MoSheng is still there trapped in the past, is falling back on her habit of shoujo girly cutesy…MoSheng was never screaming a HelloKitty frenetic in my mind, that would be you yourself TangTang, it was not to the opposite extreme but I would side with describing her as being ballsy and tomboyish any day than a high-pitched chihuahua tauting Elle Wood the fleeting, out of character moments when her MoSheng is not emoting solely by cowering, en emotionless, motionless face, with lids so low I am almost relieved of concern for her glaring circle lens blindness. Her MoSheng has voiceovers of deeper, inner thoughts of her baggage, of all the chaos of emotions triggered by the sight and sound of YC at present, but it was like she has the memory of a gold fish the next cognizant moment, off and onward with no lingering, not even needing a shrug, just more cowering of head and poof! nonchalance till the next moment YC makes an appearance. Wash, rinse, repeat. More damning for the drama to work, the OTP has no romantic chemistry, what they have is a lot of awkwardness between strangers who should have intense feeling of something, but not… A lot of effort on both sides doing their part but nothing sparkling between them… which has long been my expected worst fear because while WC has always been competent in emoting, he almost always fail to connect in an intimate level with his heroine no super hot skinship can compensate thus making him not that interesting for me to watch a middling guilty pleasure for (I know because I am not one to miss the kissing cut of 来不及说我爱你~Too Late To Say I Love You). All said and done, rant aside, the casting does make business sense in what they are aiming at, producing a very commercial, product placement galore money making entity, and while the ratings are quite lower than expectation, not even cutting the 1.0 mark (for reference, GuMan’s generally least favorite book for adapt according to her diehards, the curiously watchable ShanShan, has no whiff of a story even for this genre, exceeded expectation passing that mark in the first few eps), the hype and popularity online is still to die for though for My Sunshine, it is a manic hit, and that is why the screen coupling of a TangYan and a Wallace Chung deserve the leading roles on their marketability alone.
My SunShine’s place in my heart is now something I play when I am immersed in a book/ paying the bills/working but want some noise to liven up the cold room, checking out a scene occasionally being quite alright, another sorely disappointing, lazily done but still within the pages of GuMan, just lacking any effort in dramatization. GuMan should never attempt to be a scriptwriter, not a hat she can toggle. It makes many superb MVs I adore way more than the drama though by the talented fans of the book/actors attached:
Wallace and Tang Tang in 心動 -陳潔儀 http://static.hdslb.com/miniloader.swf?aid=1892321&page=1
However, I still lament young actresses who have shown me much more jaw-dropping potential, but are not as lucky as a Liu ShiShi whom I have branded as incompetent and the most overrated C leading lady *iz sad*; a YangMi, arguably the most naturally gifted of the bunch of almost A-lister leading starlets here… choosing to be a lucrative star notoriously known for doing nothing but crap, sacrificing any prospect of a respectable actress, her choice, I can live with that, I can choose to skip everything she will be attached; and now a TangYan…sigh my last hope of capitalizing her massive fandom and her potential with decent material to improve upon like my expectation here, to mature into a pretty goddessy actress/vase with serviceable chops in popcorn fluff I can enjoy…but nope.
Hence, I feel like compiling my list of young promising actresses who had stroke a chord with me, owned my attention at first sight, but since then had still been in the wing, begging for their chance to break out.
王子文/ Wang Zhi Wen
She took my heart in Shen Si Qiao/生死桥, drama adaptation of a beloved book from Lilian Lee, and I have sung praises about her here. She has since been working steadily, in minor roles on big budget productions like 1942, decent middle of the pack human dramas or forgettable with Wallace C in a D movie:
Her angsty kiss scene in Shen si Qiao
If I am being very honest and no offense to fans of TangTang because I did like her enough, I had always wished a miracle would happen during casting and WXW would make me very happy as MoSheng. I see MoSheng permeating an intense but skillfully walled up subtle melancholy in present time, a cool artsy aloof vibe as a young photographer directing all her energies competently receiving recognition in her career, none of the excessively dolled up saccharine bimbo vibe TangYan is trying laboriously to rein in, exhausting to watch.
王晓晨/ Wang XiaoChen
She is a facetwin of Charlie Yeung, brilliant and eating up the screen in HoneyBeeMan/我爱男闺蜜 amongst very good veterans in an unforgiving complicated lil sis role. It was one of my favorite Cdramas of last year.
Rewatching a scene here and there still moves me just by her euphonious line-reading. She was classically trained in beijing opera since a few years old, got in SH Academy of Arts at 15, graduated at 19, seriously talented. I can see her as an out-there choice of MoSheng, perhaps her facial features are louder than what most of us had in mind, but her acting is so fine she is mindblowing. Of the talks of the unstoppable JinYong remakes of LoCH and Dragon Sabre (LESIGH) , she would make a fine HuangRong AND a kickass Zhou ZhiRuo, she is that talented and most versatile a chameleon in my books of the ~25 C actresses and y’all know how most sacred my JinYongs are to me.
A little slightly spoilerish scene from Honey Bee Man
Her in depth interview: http://tv.sohu.com/20140428/n398895816.shtml
What is another bonus is she has easy chemistry with anyone, a younger hunk 刘芮麟/Wayne Liu, a 30 sth bloated Ron Ng, on top of skills:
As I have gushed about her before, this young lady could play Anthony Wong’s Huang YaoShi’s extremely smart wife believably in LoCH08 before she hit 20, what else but to girlcrush?!
李倩 / Li Qian
I have a soft spot for Li Qian. She has been so dependable for sooo long, a decade now since I first saw her in 大唐雙龍傳/Twin Brothers yet still stuck with doing minor roles and at times in worthless waste of dramas, starting out in very memorable hits such as 武林外史, 李卫当官 . She was so amazing in 49 Days last, nothing new.
She was alright in Death Notify too, an ambitious attempt at webdrama of a detective mystery dark comedy based on an internet novel with a bunch of odd characters. A nice effort, but not the best grasp of the material.
Will she make a very decent MoSheng?! She is 30 year old but she can play 15, the impossible feat. I can bet my head and toes on a yes. She may not be the best fit, but I trust her she can never be horrible.
And there is a much more worrisome casting I am already dreading of the drama adaptation of To Our Youth that is Fading Away/致我们终将逝去的青春 my very first Xin YiWu, which I still get so emotionally in love just with a mention. Miss Xin is still my go-to favorite C contemporary romance writer. The film crapped on everything, almost everyone is horrible, esp PD ZhaoWei. I am willing the drama to do it right and give me a heroine ZhengWei that is all verve and spunk and sharp and charismatic. Li Qian could fit the bill. Every single young actress I make a love note to here could make a good ZhengWei, please! I am begging in tears on my knees. It is just the strange designs of things when one babyface can make a career, especially as idoldrama heroine, another be a hindrance in Li Qian’s case when she is never even considered. I think it would be a very sassy move for her to gain face recognition with a craptastic idoldrama hit, we can always love a job done splendidly in a role with enough weight even when drama is not, let her reap the well-deserved overdued profits for her effort and experience.
But my dreamcast of ZhengWei is none other than 杨紫/Yang Zi. World, I love her. LOVE. Please pray and do everything possible even killing pandas to stop her signing on that WTFMarried reality show. She is my every dreamcast of every role that calls for a young strong heroine, She is on track to be a serious actress but my precious, do one swoonworthy idol fluff for big sis, that and no WTFM monkey business.
I like her sweet face with the innocent girly aura of the younger Zhang Shuang who can at least act the first sight of her. She needs to work very hard on her craft but she is very very young a leading lady, 94er and has already worked against quite high profile leading men in idolfluff, I am beyond pleasantly surprised to find her romancing JoeCheng believably.
The drama is not watchable, but they are cute. So often we have these fantasy lalaland novels playing fine reading when the construct of the heroine is a teenager, thus making the outrageous silly plots least aggravating, but when adapted on screen, there are almost no young C actresses in the age bracket of ~20 who can carry a drama, selling it to a network, that is what realistically making the backers very hesitant to not stick a household name, however wrong for the character. Reality is it is easier for a 20 year old to dress up as 26 than the other way around
Although a 26 yo MoSheng is written to have short hair, I would rather have the production taking the liberty with Xu Lu’s long unruly curls, in working jeans than mumsy frocks.
If you remember your Zhen Huan Zhuan trivia, she played the baby sis of HuanHuan. Even though her leading lady outings have been flops, I hope she keeps getting work as the sweet heroine of mindless fluff and soak up experience, in a few years, be all set for a real break!
I do not see hope in YangMi and HXM, regressing to nothing but excessive posing, taking up the status as duo symbols of crap…to nail the movie adapt. I want NiNi or a Zhao DongYu, but prefer NiNi so she can undo the wrong that is Fleet of Time/匆匆那年 and break out of her typecast of oozing too much vavavoom. Wouldn’t she make a gorgeous vision of MS as a bride?!
^I see some Momoe Yamaguchi/Ueto Aya
My ideal MoSheng is cooler and much more chic and assured in all aspects of her life except that dept than the drama’s blurry hasty vision…I do not want any of TY’s clothes, never the hair and most of all I never see a MoSheng so delusional, karaoke-ing quite horribly to a classic Eason Chan. Come on now TangTang, you know you can’t sing like an Eason Chan do you?! You can form a Cn Twins with your bff YangMi, I approve.
What a pity how much this is making me loving TangTang less, she smiles like a beam of sunshine, looks sweetly pretty, being too lanky but never a real vice on camera whenever I see a snap of her in RL, and she can properly wear a wig of short hair and not look mental!