Psst… Hua Xu Yin is…


Crack.  Owning me crack.

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Yeah, take me.  All you gorgeous actors are way more easy on the eyes nikkid here.

Attach all the yikes and eewwwws and hulksmashes and grunts…it is oddly, ridiculously, watchable.  I am irrationally its slave after just 4 eps (with fastforwarding, of course, but less and less by the scene).

What does not work is everything you knew about the production these last THREE YEARS, no surprise: KC is too old the greatest miscast loseloselose for him/his career, drama and us; Princess is not cute/young/prettyyadayadayada looking enough, shouty, annoying…; costumes r extremely FUG esp hers, art direction is by a tasteless colorblind chimp stuck in the 80s; tonnes of headscratching rewriting ; OTP has no resemblance to the original characters in all departments. BLABLABLABLABLA

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All true, let me just add the production value is like a time traveling trip itself, exactly of the C wuxia 10+ years ago aesthetics, which back then looked so laughably dated but trying so darn hard and had so much heart you felt bad laughing at the embarrassment for those poor crew stuck those few months at work in the vicinity of the atrocity to their eyes.  HXY gives me an ugly shock visually still, no matter how prepared, on how insanely craptastic it looks… not surprised, our PD’s best known drama work to date is still 水月洞天/Paradise (2003). This even have very horrible dubbing, the worst I have witnessed again since those primitive C idolwuxia days.

Remember I was so pleasantly floored by the music?!?  It is here alright, but more often the excess use of ROCK GUITARS in action sequences so in vogue in the…..yup early 2000s kitschy wuxias.

But it has some solid things going on, some exceed my expectation (OBVIOUSLY JX AND YH ARE PERFECT! PERFECT FOR ROLES! PERFECT IN CHEMISTRY!!! PERFECT AND WILL ANNIHILATE MY TEARDUCTS!), the rest frankly is taking me by the most pleasant surprise.  I thought I would literally puke with the rewriting especially of our two main protagonists but I can now logically process it as a necessary evil after 2 eps.  Yes, novel purist will still vomit gallons of real blood and the characters in the novel are much more alluring and cool and fantastic on their pedestal but dragging them down to normal hohum beings here serves the storytelling more cohesively.  What is clear to me with the drama adaptation after just a few episodes: there will be lots more coup d’etat, cutthroat warring of the factions, a lot more mindgame intrigue which is written quite tight I must say *shock*.   It gives depth to the characters, setting them in a viable devastating warring fiefdoms milieu with palpable threat to their country’s survival looming larger than their own human existence or the luxury of happiness which I found lacking in Tang7’s limp substanceless- prose too character-centric without much world building enriching the characters within its surroundings.

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JiangXin is INSANELY handsome in this.  Please marry me, line starts behind my behind folks.  YH is totally at ease in his sparkling beauty as an attractive vivacious capable young general oozing yumminess, bringing his usual A game.  Next to him, all the arguably as capable and more seasoned actors like KC are miserably out of sorts.  KC does not have a period face, he is actually ‘saved’ by the Qing queue in BBJX, no hair piece funny bangs stuck on distracting him and us and he can better focus on fine tuning expressions, which he sorely lacks here.  Idol fantasy wuxia still plays by the period drama rules, other than a few fusion revamps jesting as comedies, it has a higher requirement on subtlety, nuances, with lesser familiar/modern lines to aid in expressiveness, you need to do more with less with your facial features…which KC fails to do. His face conveys lots more machinations going on inside his head with his closer set eyes, convenient as a scheming attractive baddie as he started out in his first period drama early TVB days. This is not the stage of career to attempt sth so against typecast.   It is saddening when I was streaming from one of the little known cable channel, there is a commercial inserted with a normal KC in a suit looking a million times better.  Lesigh.

I was hoping the rewriting of his character will be more towards the sensibilities of Prince8, which my guess is closer to his RL persona, more reserved, fierce in keeping his inner thoughts/ turmoils contained, never a slip from maintaining the status quo of an impeccably soft spoken reticent well mannered dandy.  I was praying for his Mu Yan to be an older Heir in Waiting, there is a living Prince…Charles.  And when you ask a however charismatic actor closer age to HRH Charles to play a boisterous Prince Harry in his teenage flirty boy years, not gonna fit a square into a circle.   Alas, his character is to my bleeding heart more bubbly than the young commanding cool as cucumber dreamboat prince in the novel, which is sth beyond anyone in his age bracket’s scope.  I almost threw things when he asks damsel to let go of him when they are dangling off a cliff which she henceforth would definitely fall to her death. KC is decent in scenes when his Prince has to put on thinking caps and be on edge, but there are too much lighter, cutesy scenes I am just glad it is rushed through in the first 2 eps. There won’t be much time for lightness too soon anyway.

Our princess Ye Zhen was cool, wise beyond her years, loyal, fearless, selfless at 16 in the book.  What’s not to like in a young fantasy heroine except it is tad too fantastical?!   When you meet her in the drama, she asks a lot from you to just tolerate and breathe steadily and not be shouty… like her.   She is now reduced to any typical 16 year old spoiled brat of a princess who has met her first guy catching her eye and thus he is The One with her head occupied with the ‘prom’ of her days ie the rare mystical bazaar in town nearby everyone will show face except her, girl just wanna have funnnn.  As expected, with ample of eyerolling she will say darnest stupid things to her King Daddy, is the well being of the country more important than your daughter’s well being?!  So relieved, she snaps out and grows lots after ep2. The tradeoff for dulling MuYan and YeZhen is we get meatier Dads played by hot Uncle I still swoon Tse KwanHo and Ray Lui.

IT is a pity PD is not a maniac fanboy of Blades and Petals because the Princess there in quite similar circumstances, played flawlessly by Kim OkBin is what I dreamt of our JunFu in real action should be.  She embodies all the jittery girliness of falling in love with the last guy she should involve with, while juggling all that is on her shoulders as a princess of a state about to vanish and carries herself with all the right mix of strength, dignity, feminine poise, naivete and fragility. One can dream.

I appreciate some of the rewriting.  SongNing is now the bff of Princess, growing up together like sisters, and vice versa for Prince and ShenAn.  Did it warm my heart to giggles and screaming inside 8! 13! when KC delivers his best scene when they are being chubby…with YH saying lines like long time no see bro, I have missed you!  Smiling like a flower with starlike sparkles only his eyes can?!

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KC’s MuYan’s real bro in drama, yeah the I am evil written all over face obvious dude on the right has never felt more third wheel unnecessary ever.

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What is working is we will get more scenes of all four characters outside of the snippets in the novel, giving the story much more emotional heft. As bystanders, Princess YeZhen/ Prince MuYan aka JunFu/SuYu witnessed SongNing and ShenAn’s glorious gutwretching fate alongside with much more baggage, elevating the intimate hook, reasonable Song and Shen can open up and confide in their BFFs/dreammaker in their harrowing state.

As soon as JX and YH appear, if you have ANY expectation of them at all, I dare you to be disappointed ever slightly.    There is no doubt they are the characters no one sane can pick a bone.   Their entire vignette flashed through my mind with their first meeting, all the emotions evoked sped through my mind, the chills, and shivers and goose bumps and that dull pain and melancholy, all is not going away soon, I realize right away. I have heard they have cleared out some misinterpretation in the novel by filling out the blanks left by Tang7, softening the edges of ShenAn, tone down the painful angst… but I still saw posts of weeping eyes out even fr fans of the novel, braving the rewrites. As long as the gist remains intact, I can deal with the rewrites. Who knows what SARFT is banning these days?! I am grateful as is I can watch what I wann watch.

PD Lee’s day job is NOT fantasy wuxia directing (lol duhhh) he is a very renowned award winning action choreographer you must have seen his best contribution in the industry, dazzling sequences dozens of time.   I owe him one for the scene of Aaron Kwok bursting out of a waterfall in Stormriders (1998) *see I can make sense of KC’s blue swab of hair*

Not just JX+YH faces are made for periods, how they have mastered the period mannerism since they start their career is more than elevating the drama.  AND they court by fighting, gorgeously choreographed action sequences not a second indulgent leaving me want more.  Watching them is the same as watching any two good actors mesmerizing us at their job, or any professional ballroom dancers giving their all the smexiest Argentinian tango.

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Gosh this reminds me so much of Jiang Xin in DemiGods SemiDevils (2002)

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It hits me especially hard.  I relived the moment I saw Mr Loverboy the first time moons ago, that fight sequence in LoCH, when his YangKang and his NianChi met the very first time, burning up the screen in a hot and botheringly angsty romantic tango they fell in madlove. So did I.

It is hard to come by a fantasy idol wuxia with a compelling story to tell first and foremost, even very shallow me can neglect so many many warts. Bottomline this is a better written C fantasy period with solid acting all around. There is already a link to watch all eps out, however long it stays available. Ciao, I am diving in!

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25 thoughts on “Psst… Hua Xu Yin is…

    1. Only try their arc! They are in the best outfits, often very handsome on them… and they r just so good (or in YH’s case part is his bobble head is so big/cheeks puffy taking up screenspace) you r drawn to their faces and everything else inconsequential.

      I watched and liked too many very horrid looking wuxia way back this is enjoyably nostalgic

  1. Is that shirtless guy in the first gif Qiao Zhenyu?

    Good Lord, the costumes/design in this drama is so baaaaaaaad. I thought Hua Qiangu was bad but this Huaxuyin is even worse! The same thing with HQG: the cast is attractive, but the costumes/hair/make up are fug.

    Kevin is a decent actor but my goodness he just does NOT have the look for a period drama. Just like you said, the Qing look in BBJX actually helped him along because it didn’t differ too much from his modern look in terms of face/hair combination.

    Jiang Xin is WASTED in Hua Qiangu so I rather see her here. She’s such a fierce and beautiful badass and every bit the female general she’s playing here. I think JX and Yuan Hong (who’s BORN TO BE IN PERIOD DRAMAS) will be my main motivation for watching this drama (when I get around to it)

    I still need to catch up on Hua Qiangu LOL. From what I’ve seen so far, they’ve changed so much story elements that I can’t really predict what will happen next. However, as long as they stay close to the essence of the story and characters I’m cool with changes.

    I can never really get into Tang7’s novels because, as you said, her prose is just overly long and flowery and has no substance at all, and if there’s one thing that will turn me off is prose that wastes my time. If the drama does indeed build on the conflict between countries, etc. then I agree that it’s a better change because the historical setting is also important in a period/historical story, not just the characters’ love stories.

    1. Yes, QZY, dependably gorgeous in periods. He is quite a good match for role here. These r all good looking faces all around, even lilPrincess has the subtle period features, just her character is rewritten as a 傻白甜

      I already can say I can rewatch the JX YH cut till I am in my deathbed and craving some slaying me soooo good angst. This is shaping up to be their best roles to date.

      1. I loved the YH-JX pairing! They give me so much lifeeeee T_T Song Ning & Shen An was the most memorable one for me in the book anyways I remember sobbing like a baby when I read their arc in the story having YH and JX (she’s the perfect Song Ning!) play the characters out is such a treat.

        Okay this drama is crazy addictive, I mean it’s not the best one out there (but hey it’s a lot more better than Hua Qian Gu) but somehow it’s the right drama at the right time for me?

        Uhm this is a bit off-topic but I wonder if you’ve seen Oh My Ghostess yet and if so what are your thoughts on the drama.

        Anyways, glad to see you back after so long. :)))

        1. What perfect timing Sweetie! I just finished ep20, I just can’t stop! Yeah they r such vivid characters and I am so affected by them finding them very nicely laid out logical in their exact circumstances.

          If I look past the superficial this is exactly the best written of the genre I have seen for long long while when I ignore the original. The characters are steadfast loyal to their constructs. They have BRAINS! Functioning brains in adults talking, carrying themselves like adults even if conniving evil ppl!

          I kinda missed the blunter SA in novel though, I find him making lots of sense with the misunderstanding, here he seems much more flaccid and wishy washy… kinda lesser a man SN would love so madly deeply hopelessly.

          I will shamefully out myself I am v slowly watching and quite engaged with The Girl Who Smell Smells and more shocking off ur chair it us my hubs who is the addict, thus that’s all we can manage Kdrama wise watching tog… but I can’t help the urge checking out OhMyGhostess now huh?! ;D

  2. I am watching raw. Too bad I can’t understand but I like the lead girl chemistry with the second lead guy with “mandu cheek”. His acting is pretty good. KC acting is not bad just he is obviously miscast. I have an insane girlcrush on JX who is slaying her role and fighting scene. Both YH and JX are perfect cast and I like the girl acting KC companion and find her pretty love her type of feature

    1. Yeah after getting over how physically miscast KC is he is still v effective reminding me how his Prince8 can affect us. He is not bad at all.

      Actually the mandu cheek boy is the weakest link, his character is a combination of a few in novel so he had to commit some shady deeds on top of being a simply the guardian puppy angel and he is very awful when he needs to emote the inner turmoils.

      JX is more than perfection here, not a hair off fr pitch perfect. YH less so, but still his character is kinda reduced to a cipher for JX’s SongNing. He just needs to be a dashing handsome righteous general who would catch the eye of our kickass lady general and be a great match… is horrible to her coz he can’t love her by not much conscious choice or …the worst hand dealt by fate.

      Imo he underperformed a tad, not damning, but there were scenes I demand more fr him and know he could have done more.

      The second vignette is my fav story wise, and I am floored by some great engrossing acting. The uncle as the protag of that story is owning me. I was grumbling the actress as 13’s wifey in BBJX is not feisty/pretty enough but she is soooo good. makes so much sense this script begs for these very good veterans. What they might lack a bit in looking the part, they more than made up w acting chops.

      The storytelling is also quite compelling. Finally a C ‘idol’ period i feel like at least respecting the characters/ audiences as adults with normal IQs

      1. Okay ! You are better than me at reading acting. Thing is so far I find his comic gestures and mannerism mixed with some dark vibe about him not “garish”. I think he has a better chemistry with the lead girl compared to KC 🙂
        JX is perfect. I always wonder JX as not a drop dead gorgeous girl manages to be so convincing as an ancient belle ? She is the best example of beauty not only being an esthetic factor. This is deeper especially when so far I find her prettiest phase during her “save soldat shen An” section with her messy hair, minimal make up, tired face.
        I don’t talk about lead since she does NOTHING to me. She is not doing the heroine in the book justice for me by her mannetism, her look or her dubbed voice. The heroine in the book as you wrote up there wad wise, way mature for her age, who met a tragic fate which transformed her into a mysterious “magic” spirit harmless and dark at the same time, unhuman but human at the same time -loved the duality about her. But the girl her I am indifferent.

        Happy to see you appreciate Guo Zhen ni. I love her just I can never finish any of her drama 🙂

        1. I don’t see him able to give off much darker vibes other than very skin deep when we all know when peeps do unsavory things, should never be as obvious. What is peeving me is he can’t do transitions, his character stays flat jester even when moments prior he/aunt ordered ppl to be tortured, making light of scene unnecessarily, esp when he is around heroine and her character is going through some heavy stuff, at times not fully comprehensible to herself (she lost memory… and he has doing in it). It should affect him wayyy more. But nothing but smileys. He is quite a miscast imo.

          The heroine actress is passable. She is not good but they did massive rewrites on her particularly. I actually appreciated the scriptwriter did toning some characters down. It is too unrealistic a young pampered princess never stepping out of palace be all that sensible, wise … etc. I did rant I dun care for all the too modernspeak wisecracking of her in novel, Tang7 did a meh job at trying to apply everything attractive to her but in essence her character comes off incohesive.

          JX IS my definition of drop dead gorgeous period face though. 😀 Her delicate proportional facial features, not an element too loud is exactly the proper aesthetics last few centuries middle kingdom. Her only drawback is her body is not petite/ lithe like a CrystalLiu.

          I never gravitated towards Zhenni’s dramas so I have only truly seen her in BBJX. Obviously she is a good actress of her generation, but her face is not made for leads, too melancholy, can read too much sobbing past right off bat. Too bad CrystalLiu can never be half as good as her acting wise. CL’s harmless aura would give the character a convenient facade.

  3. I am on episode 11 now. I know I am a little slow -work and all- but HXY is sooooo surprisingly good !! Tight storyline, tight acting all around, some nice background soundtrack, JX is perfect, YH is perfect for me :p, KC is not ‘Michelle Chen’ type of miscast cause his acting saves him, Song Ning is a b.tch :p , lool. So far best surprise of cdramaland ? 😀 -crossing fingers

    1. Ahhhh! So happy u r enjoying it too! I am at 35 @___@ can’t really stop myself. Gosh Cdrama plz stop releasing 50+ eps of an entire drama in one go! ! ! What is an addict w negative self control gonna do?!?! Alas v few is as worthwhile as HXY in foreseeable future.

      There is just so much good going on the drawbacks really won’t affect the fact this has very solid writing, yes massive rewrites not completely faithful to original (both SongNing and ShenAn r way prouder and stubborn in book, fine reading, not so much fleshing out), but it wonderfully rounds up the characters into flesh and bones. Quite impressive a job! And in a C idolperiod where writing is always the last priority, acting the second least when viewers r easily looped in with the popular idols or costume p0rn… not here, what this is gifting us is no longer done, coz it is not popular thus not cost effective but boy I am so grateful.

      KC and LY(the heroine) r still sadly inadequate for roles, when KC has to be the son next to emperor played by Ray Lui he really looked just a few years younger and no acting can compensate. I am quite disappointed w LY, what she is able to deliver acting wise, there really is a dozen fresher prettier faces as capable, even a LSS could be better and u know how allergic I am of ShiShi nowadays…but they r just like narrators stringing the intriguing storyline together, I cared about the characters in the novel the least anyway, that’s y I was oddly optimistic, this exceeds my loopy expectation!

      If u have any worry, this stays as tight and engrossing all along. I have not ff since ep8 on.

      1. YH is killing me in the drama cause as you said he is waaaayyyy (annoyingly) prouder in the book. In the drama I relate more to him. Yes he is still proud as a f.cking general but his eyes (and heart) are sooooo open to Song Ning that he can’t help going everytime to SongNing chamber and look at her with those eyes “I want to …. you”. He even did it with boring ugly mute b.tch because he thought she was SN. I tell you Mookie in the actual show the reasons are already crystalin clear why he will “lakorn” SN when he will get the opportunity -Unlike in the book when we still debate his motivations. Now I say it YH has the prettiest set of eyes among chinese actors. The eyes the eyes the eyes. Seein him with JX who is going all cylinders actingwise is a blessing and Ray Liu is the sexiest chinese actor at almost 60. Look at his neck girl… still looking pretty youthful WTH ?? oO

        1. We r soooo eye girls! Muahaha! They could not make a drama out of it w the novel, SN/SA didn’t have much scenes together at all, all just bottled up, left to our best imagination, it would leave the actor NOTHING to do much. Here we got SA acting upon his falling for SN against his will against everything, and it wasnt simplified by hinging it on the indebtment to repay the lady who saved him which actually makes SN not spelling everything out much more wiser. She wants him to fall for her unconditionally, and she is confident they would, most probably picking up his crushing for her in those early battle scenes when they set eyes on each other and he did. There was lesser stubborn misunderstandings deep down, unrealistic for some capable generals like them. Yes it was less dramatic and less gut ripping as the novel which part of me wanna be slayed by such most potent angst but then I am very aware these r fuller more sensible characters.

          U know I have been insisting YH is quite facetwin of RayL, haha watching HXY gives me and only me the dream alternacasting he YH would be the perfect younger RL in the last story, AND he would be the perfect SY , much better a casting than KC… PLUS he was the top choice in fancast since forever as either one of the royals in the 13Moon story as well, esp the role now taken by the fuglier AndyLau lookalike. Not a lot of guys could carry ALL period looks as fine as YH, his normal clothes as SA r basically a poop colored shapeless ragsac, if I had to bet on any poor thing stuck w what that instant noodles do, it would rather see the distraction of YH’s face and his gorg eyes. And yes Zhenni is glorious, but can JX do as good a job?! Tots. And as the drop dead gorgeous mermaid w her vavavoom figure?! Betcha. There were copious moments of her SN when she is perfectly conveying the blushing jitters of a young girl in love for the first and last time, those twinkles in her eyes and she glows like a flower in bloom younger than the princess. You and me know she could be a better princess on acting chops alone. y not. Haha if up to you and me he and JX could basically fit most of the characters here and we would get even greater folds of visual treat. Too bad they r not mass popular, or else it could be possible.

    1. She would be a terrifuc WuZeTian for sure, but if it sticks to ANY historical accuracy it will never be aired. Even sth totally fictional like HXY, a crucial scene has been cut out because suicide is not allowed to be broadcast. SARFT is still mental w cuckooiest restrictions/stringent quota on periods and how many cable channels could air it first run, how many ep of period drama any channel can air per annum is also restricted. No decent periods will trigger out until it changes course. HXY is too expensive w no sure draws in the leads nowadays I bet the production company sold it at great loss. If it were out soon after BBJX and legend of ZhenHuan with KC/YH/JX et al much more household hotter commodities, it could get a wider audience, as of now they had to sell the firstrun rights basically to an online streaming site which tried to make the most profit out of it w a paid prescription to watch all 50+ eps at once and that of coz led to it out everywhere before it is aired 2eps/night on cable. Its ratings is very abysmal, JX won’t be considered much for a lead role in an idolperiod any time soon, that’s the reality, not that I want her to waste her feathers in things unworthy (like HQG)

      1. I want to cry. What you are telling me is sooo … I mean at last something good, sincere, which is delivering is out and chinese folks are still missing their Yumehmeh and other empty ugly idols craps ? What the flying f.ck b.tch ? ?? The system based on money is sooo unfair !!!
        JX it is okay, kwenchanayo I love you. You give it all and you are a queen

        1. Hugs. I am as sad but what can be done?Yumehmeh is also banned I am suspecting his plagiarizing lawsuit w grandmama QiongYao has some weight in it, at least that is some welcomed justice however brief or slap on hand little.

          Yes I badmouthed the young actress Princess here, but still i had rather see her then the v fugly to point of horror movie scary plastic faces everywhere. YangMi for one is no longer watchable at all in a period no matter how fantasyperiod. BUT we r the weirdos, most of what’s commented about HXY is how fugly everything is esp face of princess and KC when the makeup for one, on all the ladies (except Princess) r actually v fine job w some Tang/Han touches. The eye makeup r exquisite if looking intently while what is considered pretty for the tasteless babies r shocking palepink bloody red lipstick on period unsuitable sharp pointy chin faces, on guys even, someone otherwise ok like LiYiFeng, or other popular idolboys , there is nothing going on in the eyes, no care to attempt w period mannerisms just posing sillyslash and more posing.

          1. Preach it girl !!! I stopped at episode 16 today. I found the acting in the aftermath scene particularly gripping. How she take her hairpin slowly with this look in her eyes and unlike in the book SA is well awake here. He see what she is doing and he doesn’t do anything and ect…
            I loved the acting here. Only drawback could not see the kiss scene booo ! So tell me are there kissing scenes in later episodes ? 😀

  4. I must be one of the rare specimens that doesn’t find Jiang Xin’s acting impressive. She strikes me as an one-note actor. All of her three major roles so far (Legend of ZH, HQG, HXY) are variations on the same theme: scorned and betrayed woman who lashes out in anguish and rage. She displays the same facial expressions and body movements across all three characters (quivering lips, teary eyes, sobbing outloud – yawn). As good as her Hua Fei was, Hua Fei was not a complicated character to portray. Evil, check. Sympathetic backstory, check. Sun Li’s ZH was showed way more subtlety and range, esp. since she prevented that character from being a Mary Sue.

    I watched JX’s arc in HXY and almost turned off my screen from the cringeworthiness of the acting. She needs to choose better projects that aren’t idol-period fanfare.

    1. What she has elevated the stock is her character is hiding behind the evilb one note showing all the glorious gradients of fragility and pureness and innocence within for her Hua Fei. For playing such a cliche, she totally held my full attention. Not saying SunLi is any less glorious, but she has a confine she is best at, roles a SL can’t do. Popular opinion without much of the usual loony maniac idol fanbase bias is JX is scene stealing memorable being in half a drama.

      I disagree on her SongNing being the same expression, there were nuances in her eyes myriads of them I have never seen as colorful a spectrum, esp not in her very flatly written character in HQG. And why is any character any human being not expected to most naturally react to scorn and betrayal with anguish and rage to a degree?! Those are emotions that define us being humans no?! But it is how she handled the gradiation, the severity, how much she is letting out such an emotion, or containing that paints unique and distinct characters one cant count her off the bat as one note, but playing similar traits yet distinctive in minutiae is what differentiate the ordinary from the fantastic. Every actor has their limitations, mostly confined by the physicality, I’d rather watch someone perfectly a particular than being a passable polymath of an actor but not strikingly owning one role. The actor world is not swarmed by Meryl Streep, sadly.

      Again on her SongNing, never for a slip did SN display any maddening rage out of nowhere, she was provoked and continuously wronged yet never losing the cool and composure befitting a well breed lady who is also a competent general. Cue that scene when she calmly stated the facts to a lying liar 677 of the concrete evidence she had against her of the 7 days and nights. She never lost the bigger person she is, with words even hinting on the pity she has for 677, and the pride she has not hinging on the truth, love out of indebtedness. She is much more sprite and positive than in the novel, able to proactively suggesting starting anew, such a cool cucumber playing to her advantage, yet playing fair, not dealing even 677 a disservice, without festering much grudge/anguish/rage as the bighearted honorable person she has always been that arc most noteworthy. SN was a bit too saintly to be believable at times, but I won’t define her just as a variation of the bitter scorned and unloved woman woeing in the anguish of people wronging her out of her control. I only saw the young feisty lady who would not give up any good fight for whatever she is determined, may it be the love she deemed she deserving from SA, or just for the life of him whatever it takes of her or just a peace of mind, a happiness she deserves.

      Well I have not come across ONE word of dissing of her job as SongNing anywhere I look and I am as nosy a busybody when passion hits. If I was out of my mind or my cringing muscle is spastic, I still could never remotely expect her acting be in the same sentence, same page, same blog as the word cringeworthy in association with her in any delusional alternate universe, you are barking up a wrong stern tree here.

      1. Meh, to each their own. When I skimmed through HXY, I felt like I was watching the same character for the third time. Hey, maybe those emotions are universal, in which case maybe she should seek out more diverse roles lest she risk being typecasted. We can agree to disagree. I would love to see her in a contemporary fare where she isn’t playing another spurned lover, and see if she can pull off other facial expressions.

        1. I don’t want to agree to disagree though 😉 Have you ever dropped sucha comment in a blog post praising JiangXin and gets one if only one agreement?! If your inquiry is serious, Sirey did a cool as cucumber job properly replying you.

          Coz what JX is doing is treating us a glorious 12 course exquisite acting banquet and you are saying her pièce de résistance crispy skin chicken dish is one note crispy, typecasting what a crispy skin chicken served with the exact pinch of 5 spiced salt the same same one note like crispy chicken you had thrice and you had rather had chicken mcnuggets, with all the changing it up sauces. Or why can’t JX’s signature dish be beef instead. I have no sensible response to that, but if you were at my table in that rare precious feast, I would nicely ask you to let half my butt take your seat, eat your chicken for you, with utmost sincerest pleasure.

          Her HF and her SN are polar opposites. Pride is a human quality we all have some. HF cocooned herself in layers of pride and smug as an emotional armor to hide the weak insecure girl with all the suffocating family burden on her shoulders she has no agency to handle but compensating like a tiny Chihuahua with all the fiesty loud barking and biting she can muster out of survival. She will kill babies to get her teeth on the bone her bro asked, for the family. And she can not survive without a man to lean on. She is a weak pitiable soul, a fragile doll more than evil because she is not strong enough to fight against the system. A scorned woman might be a cliche, but the vulnerability so palpable even at her most despicable, the rage rooting out of such vivid yearning for love, a desire so pure we can’t judge… that makes her memorable. SN’s pride is worn on her sleeve so intrinsic to her identity. Her confidence lets her speak her mind and be straightforward to all her sensitivities as a young woman. This is not emotional fragility, but she embraces all feminine traits and warrior/chauvinistic characteristics as all precious parts of unique her, on the contrary. She is as forward a feminist in the most present definition no one could diss her as a same old. Not on my turf.

          SN is a proud woman because she has every right to be. She beat ShenAn, thrice, who obviously is a wellknown name in the battlefield. It is also obviously she is so independent and passionate about her vocation as the country defending warrior, self sufficient, confident ahead of her times, even ours, she has the choice to be single and be her own woman, with no need to enter into any binding servitude which marriage was in many context. She does not need to fulfill the usual uppercrust lady’s responsibility (or only value), out of filial piety in a political marriage with her brother spoiling her. She deemed SA a worthy man and he has the qualities of an upright general, but he is not in love with her, not because of anything damning but a conniving lie by another woman who wants the desirable SA herself. She could snap 677’s mute neck with a pinky, but she plays fair always. Her standard of playing fair is much more stringent than normal, it puts in a pity, an understanding for 677, and more pride at play: if that woman robbed SA’s heart because of taking up what he promised SN, assuming her identity, she would not stoop to her station demanding the guy to love her, SN, like he has fallen for 677 out of responsibility. She deserves a love from his whole heart, more grand, more unconditional. She did win SA’s by just being herself despite of the misunderstanding, no grudges. What’s not to be proud of in sucha strong fiesty lady without ever harming a soul other than herself?! She stopped herself loving him when he ceases to be deserving, cutting off all entanglements her way. Such strong honorable will. As Sirey pointed out, the character is so full with all the facets why focus on one twisted opinion based on just one narrow sliver of emotions such a marvelous female character almost never ever seen in a C idol period?! JX did no cosmetic work on her face whatsoever, if you r referring to that being the same face expressing same human emotions… hon, no matter who and what kind of lady you are, life could be a b to all of us at some point and we deal with the scorn, the anguish, rage since big bang, skimming acting chockful of nuances, minute movements of features a blink can miss a river of them is at least not giving yourself the chance to base your judgment on any justifiable grounds.

          FYI JX had done loads of branching out, modern as one of three young women in a buddy drama playing a hardworking breadwinning OL for her financially poor family. Check. Holding her own not one criticism but swarms of winning praises and nominations against the best of the best of the best 陳宝國,馮遠征, the smartypants young pretty heartbreaker with a heart love interest against these veterans 20, 30 years her senior in a rural drama about farmers. Check. In a manguo period. Check. As a mother about to have a second child and on stresses faced by young C couples nowadays. Check. All those r post HF, Pre HQG.

          Let alone my grandma adores her still in 歡天喜地七仙女, rewatching it almost everytime it is in rerun, think a very silly comical pride and prejudice about 7 fairy sisters, she was the lead, harmless, cute and adorable. Let alone most of us first known her as the timid wholesome wuxia younglady Mu WanQing.

          She has another 20+ dramas under her belt, many more of every genre possibly coming out soon, she has been working nonstop for 4.5 years since HF. Do the math.

          When someone is undeservingly typecast, we wouldn’t miss it with the deafening grumbles of the C netizens, trust me. When an actress is doing an excellent job in what she is irreplaceably good at, that’s the draw attracting audience to her new work like you won’t miss the anticipation of HXY for many folks hating everything else but sticking by it for JX alone, do you?! That is the consensus.

    2. Really I think you must be the only one. Hua Fei snd SN are pretty different character on paper. HF is pure evil because of her rich spoiled background and for a good reason the palace is jungle while SN is not evil. The only common point is both have loads of pride. I won’t talk too much about HF but concerning SN JX has the ability to display SN aura as a general with this “masculine” charm and convince me she can kick men ass but at the same when she emotes she can pass from lethal efficient fighter, bitter woman, vengeful woman to a a loving warm cool sister towards her brother and the princess, girly girl in love wants to give it all towards SA or showing killer instincs towards people she hates with passion -SA, mute b.tch, SA father ect… flying colors. She is one of rare cdrama actresses who knows how to let the situation leads her

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