The Disguiser


Gif is fr LangYaBang/Nirvana in Fire, not the C drama itching my fingers, just a by-product of losing it, staring at handp8rn gifs last days.

{ I shamelessly stole everything fr weibo.  I would do dishes for life for all you OP, pinky promise. }

And. If you like HuGe, stay a Mars away.  Never my intention to make fangirls cry.

^ But he is.  ‘ Y r u married?!’ *sobz* ‘ AND NOT TO ME’  *WAIL*

I have been very good at abstaining from dramas for weeks.  Did I miss anything absolutely enthralling and fun?!  I don’t think so, not even this drama that got me to ‘blog’/ whatever I am doing.  After a short trip, a few days away, it is suddenly FALL.  BURRRRRRRRRR.  Where’s summer gone?!  I have just picked up tennis for the nth time, determined to at least not be a running sitcom for my hood’s grandpas, shaking heads while picking up balls for me as extra exertions they do their walks.  There must be sth worthy an excuse I could throw in my headbands and quit and couch. I trust my weibo list and the fangirl spazzing there is nothing but this drama, hilariously cute and crazily entertaining in itself.   Lemme lick the suit off the themesong MV like the rest of the C fangirl world is doing, which I haven’t done this hour:

The drama is Disguiser, produced by the only respectable enough C production company 山影/Shandong Film and TV Gp   It framed the last soiree of a Great Gatsby-esque Republic era of China in late 1930s, heat of an underground war of resistance (against IJA, broadly speaking).  Set in IJA occupied Shanghai, lens zoomed on the blue blood Ming family of four brothers and sisters, the rich, powerful players in high society, epitome of elegance and all head to toe super gorgeous, even all their hands are made for handp0rn fetishes, what gives?!  Well, the hand/TPTB giveth and taketh.  Shit happens to super charismatic gorgeous people we care too much ripping out our bloody hearts in this Cdrama genre 120% of the time, esp the better made ones like this.

Matron of family is BigSis, who has been mogul of the business conglomerate under their family name since 17 when their parents died, with her younger blood brother Ming Luo (played impeccably by 39 yo JinDong*izMINE™*!!!) face of the family, taking up titular political posts in the so called Republlic of China’s new government, a puppetry ran by IJA big bosses.  Wang JingWei’s name was thrown right and left, our serpent of a lady menace with looks to kill in drama, and of course with a romantic past (and present..) with our main guy (imo is Ming Luo, the ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo FKINGFINNNNEEEEEEEEEEE Jin Dong *HuGe who?!* )…shares the same family name Wang and should be assumed, fictionally be a very close relation with WJW.  WJW is the right hand man of Dr Sun, praised for his contribution in the revolution revolting the limp duck Qing dynasty, formidable power struggle opponent of Chiang KaiSheik….yet his most regarded label: most notorious C traitor IJA sympathizer in modern CN history, debatable is whether his intent was to mediate for a tolerable society for the suffering citizens in dire times, a deplorable means to an honorable end in his mind, I digress…which interestingly echoes back to the character construct of Ming Luo, scratching very superficially.

Just assume all the characters having agendas, disguises to be hidden from their dearest, family, friends, and foes of course, but maybe except one closest true love/ comrade here or there for Ming Luo, who is his ‘adopted’ second brother Ming Cheng, played by Wang Kai, the Arthur+Robin to MingLuo’s Batman in FINE SUITS.

Let me apologize because I had, out of my ignorance in the past, spit nasty babbles on Wang Kai, because I am shallow and he is a facetwin of my Loverboy YuanHong (but slightly less aesthetically proportioned).  I suspect it is a tiny bit of meh nose/lower face plastic surgery, but it does not affect my new love for him.  He is impressive, a better actor (prettier crier at least) than YuanHong even my biased eyes can’t deny.  I will make it a mission to ‘punish’ myself diligently watching/rewatching WangKai’s every work.

I have started droolzing at his past gifs on top of Disguisers ones.  Beyond help.

Let me go C drama.  It is not my habit to watch nothing but in one language for the rest of my life and then picking up a dozen of biases, but you are giving me WK next in 2 wks, as a cop in Love Me If You Dare, next to WallaceHH’s pervie very gorgeous shoujo Sherlock in yet another sure watchable work by this production company…

They are not done owning me, not playing fair with the currently filming Ode to Joy/欢乐颂.  Yup, same perfect production company, and I am NOT watching it for WK.  It has JIANG XIN and YANG ZI (AND WANG ZI WEN).   NEVER had I come across a C modern where there is 3 out of 4 of my top lady biases.  Then linehooksinker there is WK in scrubs, preferably a surgeon so I get ridiculous amount of handp0rn.  Not done slaying me in production, this also has 祖峰/Zu Feng, so impressive last in All Quiet in Beijing among the ensemble of multiple award winning who’s who….and wiki said JINDONG is also doing a side job here.  I can not love you more ShanDong FilmTV, shamelessly coerces JINDONG to cameo in EVERYTHING from now on, Nirvana in Fire withstanding, continue your fine cunning work on feeding rabid fangirls their new sparkling thing alone.  BRAVO.

^ This is posted by his wife (not me y sobz) which reminds me of a Cha Seung Wan x Abe Hiroshi.   Have it, flaunt it, I guess.  You made us cry, Mrs. Jin.

JIN DONG is flailing us all, leaving no one behind with the most maniac following me as witness and myself heedlessly slayed into his firepit of yumminess on screen.   I dare you to check this drama out or just an MV, even if out of being nosy or to prove me wrong that some breathing soul can resist falling for his character. Every ounce of his stature (he gained 20 catties for role, insisting ML should not stick out, as an well to do businessman in his 30s in 1930s Shanghai looking the part of a bit too much fine wining and dining under the belt…and as a spy, like every real spy, JD the actor said, a criteria should be someone who blends completely in his crowd, you look thrice and still not leaving a trace of quirk), every pause, every gaze, every hair/glob of pomade on hair (his dearest wingman bro MingCheng has smirked he has the traitor do down…but the glory of JD…ahhh, precisely 90% his facade of a chinese traitor working for the IJA but flawlessly mix with 10% of MingLou blood is running as, red blood comrade of a spy passionately loyal to his party is just there, as is, between the lines)/pants/suits/overcoat/flinging of coats, perfection to a tee, just typing this sentence out and flashing back the vision of his ingeniously fine form, his illegally smexy baritone of a manly voice and worthiest performance I should just jump into cold shower while typing on, so I can OMFG on the top of my lungs.

Have a fan MV:

The new morning routine, looking at the family pic, a sniffle, say a good day, a good bye.  AhCheng reminding him it’s time for work.  Coat on, game face on, facing the bright of those darkest days.  This is one, two fictional characters we wanna thank for waking up everyday their mundane, so the war is persevered.

As any Chinese speaking boy/girl trying to be filial, one has dozed through share of ‘serious’ decently produced Cdramas due to spending quality time with your folks or gramps.  You must have seen JinDong’s perfectly chiseled manly face, undeniably handsome, but flailing all the girls and boys 3 to 80 to idol/oppa frenzy…nope, nor what his slew of characters were tailored for.   He just has been dependably done his precise job as an actor, not selling us none Jin Dong is your Oppahhhh.   Funny, the litmus for a CN actor making it, is currently catching the eye of the croach of the biz YuZheng with his ludicrous paycheck for working alongside his grossness in his nauseating cesspits.  JD is clearly not even flicking a eyebrow humoring, AMEN.  Even in Disguiser, when the plot gets too dumb, safe bet is JD is still beyond glorious saving the day with his acting alone, like staring at the mirror, not too happy with his world of course and  IS SOOOOOO FINEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!

Heartbroken, drunk tipsy, a tear down his cheek, most vulnerable, so handsome, only with you…melting the coldest bitchiest hearts.

You try to comfort him with words and that’s how he looks at you intently, at your every word like a schoolboy, SO FINE. THEN he threw this wicked drunk smile at you.  The girl loving him despite, all these years. Gifs of a million words dirty fanfics made.

How do a MingLou say his I love you even when you are dead, by his bullets in your heart?!

I do not mind lying in the floor in my own pool of blood if I can look up to this gif in real.

^ Me

Mommy, he is making me cry being too hot damn beautiful.

Though still not crying half as cute as him. sobbzz

Can all working actor please watch this drama just to brush up on how to cry a million slaying fans way, including like a babybro to bigsis as a grown BAMF?!  The slight red nose,  not a waterfall  of tears, but trying mightiest to contain and not cry out, and that quavering of chin…YuanHong, I hope you are in my shoes, starting out watching this for reasons (yours being HuGe obviously) and betcha you are shamelessly in my exact fanboat.

Have some hot gifs before this turns nasty:

Hu Ge, our official headliner and star whom 90% of fans will check this out for in the first place is the youngest bro Ming Tai, the Sue/Stu of show.  HG did not even do a passable job if you ask me here, not meeting my expectation which is just not sticking out like sore thumb…actually in such a decent production overall, he has turned me allergic and I have sadly very little urge to check out the most anticipated C period of the year for most folks Nirvana in Fire ( nosy me did see bits and it pains me with disappointmentsss… HuGe is much better there though, but I have ugly rants too lazy and dun care enough to spill).  I have been checking out most of his dramas, just waiting for that drama, the je ne sais quoi to tip me over so I can fully appreciate the big fuss about him.  I am annoying myself, has been harping I want Wang Kai to be replaced by YuanHong so I can have my dependable fun slash on the safe side to guarantee my enjoyment.  Now my tune changed and I would rather see YH here in place of HuGe to make this bearable if only to me because I have seen YH able to mesh and elevate his game when surrounded by actors above his caliber, never HG.  When everyone else (except one, his OTP…argh) is firing all cylinders, bringing depths, layers to every scene ie the basic requirement of ANY working actor fulfilling any character in anything watchable really, plot holes and compromising (the stupid censoring SARFT) writing withstanding, he is still giving me his lukeworm alright neither here nor there Chinese Paladin Li XiaoYao ver. 1230948617.  In JinDong words (yes I have started slurping up his interviews, that stage of hopeless cray) a performance is not what you show but the extensiveness of the preparation you did and should speak to the audience without your need to force it out but accompanying your presence as the character and there could never be enough homework, for sucha mesmerizing character in that era. JD studied a real colorful historical figure he extrapolated as very similar to his MingLou,every word enunciated was diligent consuming work and JD gave us all a glorious feast of line reading ecstasy alone with his EVERY utterance, every sigh, every pause, his long gazes said every human emotion, every thought his character is experiencing atvm, a look of words not said, said everything thousands of word could not, which thank goodness he is allowed to do his own dubbing.  HG did not grasp a lick of this. For an idol fantasy silly romp like his Chinese Paladins, yeah have your fun with your lisp and drown us with your fanservice cute…I can stand it at the beginning of show here…but as character is going through ALL the drastic intriguing shitload and growth, nothing much was done by HG even when the character’s job, as a ‘top’ spy should be able to convince in whatever mask he is ‘acting’ out.  HG is STILL saying every line his patented HG jovial,boyish way in Chinese Paladin or his righteous and slow GuoJing in LoCH.  I wanna slap him whenever his character speaks.  At times I have muted him.   He no longer has the fresh face of his LXY where acting is not required much to prance as a naive spoiled pampered young thing, nor is he convincing the ignorant antics, mannerisms is well honed disguise for the ‘most promising’ talented spy material every slick fox, friend or foe has met and even gushing out loud in bizarre nonsensical adoration towards his MingTai.  He can do an expression in a scene, but as if he has left the character still in the pages, all I hear and see is how HG has always deliver his lines, as an actor, trying to be this silly young boy he is too old to play, with nada under the surface.  What a shame because even if I can ignore his scenes, his character being so unconvincing, does so much demerit to all the best of the wonderful characters, wonderful jobs when they are referencing his MingTai as so lovable, so brilliant, so promising, so obvious top spy material, and we collectively roll our eyes being the odd HG nonfan, especially heartbreaking is his brilliant slick teacher/sifu, Wang Tian Feng, who never said a line not absolutely wise and impressive, incredibly essayed by Mr Liu YiJun, is so sharp…except when he has such unfathomable highest regards (must’ve been blind love) to HG’s MT, who is, not joking, 90% of the time the silliest toad, the shitstirrer, the token sue to spoil plot. I have to utter formidable maestro’s name in abbreviation WTF!, wake up Sifu!  Do not let your love or unresolved smexual tension towards big bro MingLou blind you, Tai/, a decorative flimsy terrace is not a Lou/, a sturdy storied building, made. I so want to finally see eye to eye to HG’s rabid fanbase but this is doing the opposite.

I had to watch this marvelous, intense, yet hilarious scene with Mr Liu in it to halt my ugly ranting:

You can not expect someone competent to be nice as well. –  quote of wisdom, Maestro WTF

How dare you show your face to see me.

-How dare you speak to me with that tone.


You know there will never be a worthy rivalry with either men like the the one at the other end of table when it’s too easy and futile to spar brightest jabs, and challenge is to catfight like school girls pulling at hair coughclothescough

But they did play the bickering game like divorced parents of the poor child stuck in the middle;

My Ming family only breeds the finest, if we plant a flower it has to be peony, we grow cymbidium/orchid to admire its leaves.

-Poor me, plant me a flower and it grew thorns, my grass turns into wild weed.

…jabbing at the same priced peony/orchid in the eye of his love/hate comrade, young Mingbro, the source of grievance as a teacher, his own disappointment of a disobedient student.  KO!

I can not help but do a Battle of ChangSha comparison.  While WallaceHuoHuo IS the (only) weak link in BoC, he still delivers the goods, yes, at times by just simply standing sparkling pretty, but he is aided by the super talented YangZi as his loveliest OTP droolzing at him, and wanna bear his bebes so convincingly, we live vicariously through her.  HG is unfortunately paired up with an actress who is opposite of YangZi, very mediocre in leading lady presence, charms and chops and most damning, a fallacy of a character construct, no chemistry with HG which I fault HG as well as I had never been sold completely of any of his screen couplings.  Her character had not a ripple in her through it all, no growth, no emotion, nothing interesting when she should be on paper.  She is also said to be a most talented young spy of her faction yet I dare you not to holler at her being moronically useless often quite deep into game inasmuch she has negligible screen time last stretch. The script of BoC is close to flawless, no way here.  This is often bizarrely illogical, which I am still in shock given my expectation from this production company, the same producer as BoC, and director has done nothing but fine fine drama works in the past, original writer of novel writing the drama adaptation herself, as BoC where the scriptwriting actually elevates the novel imo there, again not the case in Disguiser. Just the ending, lots of swearing from pissed off fans of drama perfectly aware death(s) are inevitable in genre, but how drama got there was beyond incredulous, angst for fking angst’s sake.  It is the censorship of SARFT begging me to curse them to oblivion, in part, but every Cdrama is under that constraint and yet there has been great works from this production team, constantly without fail.  The alteration, or any elaboration of filler material is bad fit… saving grace is the finest performances by most of the actors I am fresh-eyed falling for, so many of them, more than make up for it.  And here I am.


I wanna slay you slice by slice.

You are, cap by cap.

Can watch a drama of putting on coat.Can watch a drama of waving a hand.

Can watch a drama of hiding behind (my) curtain

….even when he shots my/his hottie brother.

Well, a DEARIE did:

And like BoC this tug our heartstrings in the core is with the family dynamics from a different perspective.  BoC centered around an ordinary family of naive normal folks with their harmless vices.  Ming family is the almost royalty most powerful name yet these rich blessed siblings are each making all the angsty personal sacrifices, deplorable lies and disguises with so much complicated mindgames it is giving ML himself headaches, in the name for his/her loyalty or beliefs, or the ‘like family’ dynamics, be it not blood related brotherhood, or teacher/student ie father figure/child bond…the tenet:  there is no family without a country.  From a line repeated by MingLou in escalating pain in the drama, every one of us can perish, why can’t me…or…my own brothers(my soul/flesh/heart)?!  Even if their flesh vanishes for the resistance, their soul can live on in their dear ones’ hearts if country is saved, sustenance for their times.  So much passionate nuances of pure love filling the screen whenever any of the Ming foursome share screen us fans are perfectly happy watching a reality show of nothing but them bickering at meals, putting on suits or BigSis disciplining her grown fine men/spies/doubletriple spies of younger bros by beating the bejewels out of them.  The lovely actress Liu MinTao reminds me of the presence, the verve of a GongLi if GL was trueblood Shanghai-nite.. think a GongLi, who commands the screen in loudest, boldest primal hues  is now suddenly subdued in shrouds of pastel delicate cardigans and conservative QiPaos with that aura of more delicate gentility of a Shanghai lady, a southerner. The facade of willowly harmlessness is unabashedly skin deep just like a qipaos she will change out of end of day, not even care to hide she can cane you all scary grown spies and deplorable IJA sympathizers into crying for mommy/bigsis.

I want to properly apologize, I do not think it is possible for me to continue flipping out my BoC episodes posts… I tried to continue my rewatch and ended up crying my eyes bloody swollen.  This new MV does that to me too, I am not well, randomly popping up.

The side characters own me, the love/hate interest to MingLou, commander Wang ManChun (lit. beautiful spring) is working for the IJA, and no one put it as promptly as the man she still loves with her all, MingLou:


She is now a monster of ugliest deeds, even though she used to be a beautiful lady, his blurb on her.  The diabolical killing machine has the young romantic girl in love preserved in bits of her heart, fodder for hordes of girlcrushing fangirls (me incl).  The young actress Wang Ou is drop dead gorgeous in her period do, who started out as a model competition contestant, so suavely maneuvering these very contradicting facets of one single character, making ManChun a human being first, a scorned woman deeper, but an evil incarnate we still can sympathize for fleeting moments.. such pleasant surprise.

I have lost too much, I have killed too many…I know, one day, I would be killed.

Yue Yang plays the most grounded character in drama,  Liang ZhongChun ( lit. in the middle of/ the second Spring), and one of my favorites, so entertaining to watch his reaction faces alone in the farthest background and actually gives the drama a welcomed heft of harsh reality…being a typical opportunist who has no luxury of romancing lofty patriotic goals like other quixotic leads, but operating on mere survival, keeping his head on shoulders as long as he could, providing for his family whatever means necessary.  He constantly fights, as a second fiddle, with his superior Miss Wang ManChun, the most obvious traitor of show, enemy of enemy is our friend, huh?!

He is unapologetic with all his sleaze but there is a very faint even if not too respectable bottom line in the grey he won’t skid past.   He keeps count his murders, trying at as little mindless killing of innocence; swindled a fortune, never greedy, and would turn a calculated blind eye to stay off radar, being quite perceptive of whatever party everyone is working for, playing as fair as circumstance is allowing, keeping his conscience as livable by only himself as one big little fox in the intelligence dept, a chamber of torture, under the IJA controlled government.   He is smarter than he would let everyone notice, but not too smart for his own good and be a target of the bigger players.  A joy is watching him falling into the Mingbros’ traps.  They would all love to keep him alive longer as a pawn they think they can manipulate easy.   Game well played for a weasel.  You go in drama making bets who would have the last laugh and my bet was on this Spring.  He is also in Ode to Joy.

I also love the sad end of the love triangle not getting the love of hero, Yu ManLi quite well played by young actress Song Yi.  Will keep an eye on the young lady.   The character started out so interesting I could watch a drama about her past, but pushed to sideline to nothing but a girl pining after the Stu.

You can sniff this caught my fancy because of the yummy slash, and it is not an undercurrent figment of fan imagination, they sold it truckload in drama proper.  There is a limitless supply of charged glances every episode and, swarms of bromance MV mostly of MingLou and AhCheng I still have to lust through.   But a few BTS gifs of the real actors are too good to be true.

And even if you hate slash by principle, and love the reel to real innuendos even when JinDong is so very happily married with new baby.  There is the both very hot and flirty Wang Kai and Wang Ou/our evillady Wang ManChun in drama, both calling the other ‘sis in law’ being very chubby.    They are now on the air in Lang Ya Bang together, so is SpyTeach Mr Liu, BigSis  Liu MinTao, and JINDONG in a cameo as the typical wuxia hottie in all white and long flowing face covering locks.

The game is at the press con for Lang Ya Bang, renacting a ‘mole recognizing scene’ from drama where heroine recognize a mole on hero who should be dead.  Wang Ou happens to have a real mole on her chest which WK not only touch and saw and made a big exclamation out of it.  kekeke

Miss Wang is my kindred spirit when there is an entire BTS of how she practiced hugging JINDONG, very necessarily.  And when she blames him looking at her hence making her forgetting lines:

That goes with grabbing a hug and our very innocent uncle would pat till he realized he has been playfully taken advantage of and all he could retaliate is to threaten to spank her.  One very smart cookie.

Pile it on ShanDongFilmTV,  keep bringing me odd dramas I would be addicted to 10+ actors easy, and keep on collectively cast them in hordes, the same perfect ones drama to drama to drama… I will start drinking my eggnog early this year.  Farewell life.

Ending on a higher note sharing a perfect fan MV to the song of 飞鸟各投林 from 2010 :

飞鸟各投林 (lyrics in eng here) the coda of a collection written in Dream of the Red Chamber foreboding the fate of the twelve young beauties in the novel.

13 thoughts on “The Disguiser

  1. HOW are you not watching Nirvana in Fire? Forget the Disguiser, Nirvana is HITTING IT OUT OF THE PARK. It’s the best historical political cdrama I’ve ever seen. The attention to detail and flawless directing makes me think that it’s a Zhang Yimou film translated onto the small screen. The visuals, the acting, camera work are EXQUISITE. The fight scenes are so beautifully choreographed they look like dance performances and make me rewind for repeated viewings. The story is well-constructed, and for once, the audience is treated as if they’re intelligent beings.

    If you had problems with Hu Ge in The Disguiser, watch Nirvana. I’m gobsmacked by his performance, because he completely embodies the angst and tragedy of his character with the most minute facial expressions (hardening of the eyes, slightest clench of the fingers). He’s excelling at “eye-acting” in this role. I never expected him to be this good, since I always thought of him as an idol actor. He’s more than holding his own with the best thespians in Nirvana.

    Wang Kai needs to be more famous, period. The guy is gorgeous and is a chameleon when it comes to acting range.

    1. I did watch 5,6 eps of N and i have my disappointments, HG is much better in it, i concur but that doesnt negate how meh he was in D. I will watch on, but it wont be on my top list for sure.

      I could list what i find lacking in N: the lighting and cinematography is at times ridiculously bad and incohesive, faces would have a muddy green hue one instant and fine the next or ppl in same scene r lit differently without reason other than a lackluster job. Often scenes r too blur and dim to tell minute nuances of expression, but whenever it is bestowing on heroine, it is lit too shoujo, which is too obvious a touch to pale up LT, whom i eould eat my words she is doing fine in role, but her skintone has always been darker than the alabaster in vogue…which plays v well for her character as a lady general and should not be paled up for what i think as misguided aesthetics.

      That is a minor rant on the superficial… what makes me count it off as truly amazing is the scripting. I felt it was doing story a disservice when intense dramatic beats were somehow skimmed over yet lesser plot was ploughed on longer than necessary. Director actually comes across to me not having a thoroughly great read on story or is unable to translate it to screen in its full glory. The tension is not properly essayed glossing over what is making hero so darn godlike while the antagonists r all too dull for any interesting rivalry, again elaborating on dramatic tension, v crucial for me, to happen. Certain plotpoints should be better dwelled on to engage the audience/or just me emotionally more intensely but thus far, if i had not skimmed novel, drama is not as engaging as i expected.

      I guess this is aspiration/expectation gap in play and i had seen much better C periods, quite a few. Imo i see N paying homage to Qin dynasty and Da Ming Gong Ci /Palace of Desire, the latter especially on the mood music… but both were much more mature work in all aspects than what i saw in N. Let alone there is still the reigning best C historical period for me Da Ming Wang Chao 1566. Talk about some finest eye acting. HG is good here but not elevating flaws in say writing, still not in that caliber i could watch a drama for his acting. That is JinDong.

      N is good, yes ShanYing is just never a production company that treated its audience as without intelligence. This just doesn’t exactly meet all my requirements for an excellent C period. There was a time Cdramaland produced many glorious work we do not have to settle with just not dumb.

      1. I am fine !! Nice to see you again ! Liu Tao indeed is a good actress 😀 ! Happy you like her better now 🙂 . What is JX next project ?

        1. LOL and… I was tryin to be nice XDDD

          LT is an 8/10, so is HG. Drama is 7/10. She has always been a solid actress, yet I still hold the opinion she is not the best fit for role, but has better than I expected chemistry w HG. A MUCHHHH lesser actress Crystal Liu would be a much greater fit, no skills necessary…imo still. As much as I am having all eyes and hots for WangKai, I still insist if they cast a YuanHong for role, better.

          Thing is LT and/or HG could never elevate the material which is not truly worthy for ShanYing. They have skills, but not good enough to internalize it wayyyy more into seamless. I see them acting, very well, but I do not want to see the acting. Shouldn’t HG’s hero’s metier be absolutely invisible, emotions so well hidden with 10+ years of meticulous honing?! HG’s hero should be able to emote without a tinge of emoting, like a best mask opera thespian mask on. On contrary, I demand much more fiesty emotions splashing on LT, I want nothing of her typecast of this too calm and collected squarepants of a stepford wife doll. LT heroine gets emotional, very competently, but again the scripting does not allow her character to be better flesh and blood. Would such lady general just be, oh cest la vie I would not like it, but I would play on yawnz with such ghastly marriage arrangement?! All nitpicking, it was the story/writing not worming me in a dealbreaker.
          ShanYing have spent lots on costumes, CGIs, all fine stuff, there is no bad acting job, everything is solidly good (except the lighting)…just this is not dramatically a substantial novel to adapt when they are not gonna spruce it up. In hindsight, if they pick a Hua Xu Yin to adapt, with this production value?! HALLELUJAH! A writer for novel requires a diff skill set as a drama scriptwriter. How words on paper framed out in full glory and the editing, so crucial.

          I (and I bet ShanYing) was expecting a game changer, an evocative drama phenom that would change the playing field, dominate lexicon for years, healthily sprouting copycats. They must be aiming at the profitable success of a Goong with their patent for quality, to lead the wave and I was praying for them to accomplish just that so I can be rid of the yuma/FBB/HQG craps x a million.

          Sadly this is not happening, this is pleasantly received but did not translate sweepingly into memeland. I can watch it, it’s a healthy bowl of drama granola, not addictive crack. This has the production value of a proper historical, but built on an unworthy frame of a story with not enough brilliance or depth. This is not even accomplishing what a Zhen Huan did.

          SunLi was a 12/10, JiangXin was a 12/10, even when drama on the whole was an 8/10. I was meme-glorious, that line bitch is bitchy, I still use it. lol, they even twist it into a Taylor is Swift to poke at the pop princess. ZHZ’s original novel was tedious and annoying, way lesser than Lang Ya Bang, yet in the adaptation, they did fabulous elaboration and shrewd editing…that production team had a very keen read on what works in this medium for the genre, for this market. All the addictive elements are heightened, there was no delusional overrated opinion of source material on their part, weening out weaker arcs. Not in LYB.

          By casting a HG, and not basing it on a fictionalized, super dramatic real historical background substantiating the tale, the audience will still lump this as idolperiod… in a wrapping too grand, NEVER a historical. There was no essaying on very well known and read historical figure, sating the many opinions of the very erudite uncles and aunties, ShanYing’s main fanbase. ShanYing is venturing out to attract the younger crowd, while not negating its following. IF they cast a Crystal Liu, with her pairing with HG, proven best chemistry with him in a much lesser work and now the meta of reuniting 10 years later in a good production and just her draw alone, watchable, the most pretty in period unanimously and here as a supporting vase, the best of both worlds. Heroine here is not given as much to do anyway than just the stock lady general pining after her GeGe all these years really. Same with a YuanHong, yes WangKai has MUCH better line-reading and crying at least, but YH could do this role in his sleep, he is guaranteed not gonna crap this into a disaster, but he would bring to the table the internet warping, crashing slashy romance meme with HG and that alone would make so much noise making this more a rating, popular hit, propelling it into a cultural phenom, what ShanYing is actually trying to target. YH could elevate HG’s game to its fullest potential like not even the way better actor JinDong and ensemble could in Disguiser. ShanYing has already proven last few years, to its target audience they do nothing but quality good stuff, but a massively popular hit across the board, not yet. They just need a more savvy eye picking material with all the mass popular addictive elements worth their time and dedication, be gutsy and hire better young writers. WallaceH’s upcoming drama by ShanYing is not making me that optimistic either, knowing their emphasis in these latest moves is not on the writing. That orig novel bored my eyes out.

          haha, ^ that’s a crazy long silly essay. I should stop myself.

          Ode to Joy has a cast I can watch reading phone book, BUT again orig novel is perhaps its Achilles heel. IT is at typical modern chick lit about 4 girlfriends, trial and trepidation with men. Not truly inventive. JX plays a young girl from a very poor upbringing, working very very hard to earn a living as an OL, providing for family, then a tiny misstep in romance dept may ruin it all, that type of deal…which is much more suitable for LT, if you ask me, with her much more softer, delicate, melancholy aura. LT is playing a successful power player in corporate ladder, college educated overseas, perfectionist with thorns…and all I see is JX would be flawlessly just standing and doing nothing as character. YangZi will play a hard to sympathize annoying lil3/ mistress, from what I read.

  2. Hi Mookie, long time no talk! 🙂

    Y’know, I’ve been meaning to comment on this post ever since I saw it, but I had to wait till I finished watching (marathoning) Nirvana in Fire and Disguiser before I could make a proper comment… (sorry this is more like a ramble and then a rant so I hope you don’t mind)

    I watched Nirvana in Fire for Hu Ge and the story, but I ended up crushing on Wang Kai instead (LOL). Jin Dong was such a charming cameo I wanted to see more of him 🙂 I never even seen WK or JD before, but bit by bit they charmed and wowed me with their acting. I went and watched Disguiser (even though I don’t normally watch this type of drama) and I’m totally won over by WK and JD now. Jin Dong is just frign phenomenal. HOLY SHIT. I watch this guy and the more I watched the more I was awed by how good he is. I see Jin Dong and I see a 影帝. Everything is so subtle and natural, like the subtlest of expressions, 眼神, tone of voice … I can’t believe this is the same guy that was the carefree 江湖郎中 in Nirvana in Fire. And JD TOTALLY rocked the slick hair + long coat + suit combo so well (my mom walked in and was like “whoa who is this 靚仔???” LOL)

    Wang Kai was awesome as 靖王. I read the novel and felt that 靖王 was a bit flat in the books, but WK totally made the character come alive and there was just so much emotion in all his 眼神 (this guy has REALLY expressive eyes!) and body language and tone of voice. He made love the character much more than I did when I read the novel (I was more a 梅長蘇 fangirl in the novel – I still love 梅長蘇 the best but in terms of the drama I think my love of 梅長蘇 and 靖王 are equal because of WK). I watched WK in Disguiser and I can’t believe this is the same guy as 靖王! 阿誠 is SO different and such a complex/shady (well, not quite shady … more ruthless maybe?) character and WK played him so well. There were so many layers and depth and everytime he and Jin Dong are together it was GOLD. Actually it’s really weird because whenever I watch them together I almost feel like WK may be like Jin Dong some years down the track (in terms of 演技) – right now WK is not at JD’s level, but I feel like he has the seeds of it that if he continues to hone the craft, he’d be another phenomenal actor in the future. Putting aesthetics aside, I’m really impressed with WK because I really like the mature/穩重 vibe he gives off. Jin Dong is just an awesome badass with such an impressive aura I can’t believe he isn’t in more dramas/movies. Actually I can watch hours and hours of Jin Dong and Wang Kai together and I’d be totally cool with it 😀

    I’m also very impressed with the actress who played 靜妃/明鏡. What an incredible actress. She has such quiet strength about her and her 演技 is AMAZING. I know Liu Tao is supposed to be the female lead in Nirvana, and while she was good as 霓凰 and is elegant and beautiful, I feel her aura is too 斯文 to be a badass female general (unlike Jiang Xin who I think is the best female general I’ve seen so far – her Song Ning made my 內心呼叫 because she was just SO DAMN AWESOME OMG I’m still not over how awesome Jiang Xin was in Huaxuyin HOLY SHIT). My attention was totally stolen by 靜妃 who was just so awesome in every way… I then watched Disguiser and her 明鏡 was awesome too. I especially love the scenes she has with Jin Dong (that confrontation scene in the rain outside the office after 明台 was captured … GODDAMN that was some EPIC ACTING OMG) and when she was with 明台 her sisterly/motherly love was so overflowing 🙂

    Nirvana in Fire was truly one of the better Cdramas I’d seen in a LONG TIME. Everything from the story and acting/cast (the supporting cast was really good too, not just the leads) to the choreography, directing, cinematography, music, costumes/make-up … it’s like a breath of fresh air after the stink that was the continous shit drama after shit drama. I feel like the production team really put lots of effort into making Nirvana and doesn’t treat us audience like 白痴 like so many dramas do. Disguiser was a great effort too. I’m gonna pay attention to Shanying productions from now on cuz I feel like finally there’s a production company that actually gives a shit about the quality of their productions and aren’t just out there to 譁眾取寵 or use cheap gimmicks (like all those Yu Zheng dramas with all the hype, etc.) to make money. I was so impressed with how good Nirvana and Disguiser were 🙂

    Now as for Hu Ge – you know me, I’m always a Hu Ge fangirl at heart but honestly speaking, I think he was out-acted by Jin Dong and Wang Kai in Disguiser. 明台 was a badass but I didn’t feel for him like I did for 明樓 and 明誠 (whose scenes were the ones I looked most forward to seeing in the drama – I was always hoping for more screentime of them LOL). I really liked the scenes of the 3 brothers together though. And also scenes with 明鏡 cuz she was awesome. I reckon Hu Ge was so much more natural (and much better) as 梅長蘇. I thought his 梅長蘇 really brought the book character to life and I really loved him in Nirvana. Everytime he was with Wang Kai and Chen Long in their little meetings, it was GOLD. I also liked his interaction with Jin Dong’s 瑯琊少閣主 cuz they were hilarious.

    I watched 霍美人 in 花千骨 and effing hell what a f*cking mess. Good God. The script was sloppy and throws all logic out the window. It pains me to say this as a 霍美人 fangirl, but his 白子畫 was f*cking disappointing. I was so looking forward to seeing him as 白子畫! He looks the part but his acting was awful! I actually sympathized with 白子畫 in the novel but 霍美人’s 白子畫 made me 討厭 the character! WTF! I wanted to slap him most of the time and watching 花千骨 made my blood pressure rise! I was so pissed off! What is this epic mess??! I managed to watch the whole thing only because of curiosity, and the ONLY saving grace in that awful lousy piece of shit was 殺姐姐 and 東方. Zhao Liying was good as Hua Qiangu but even she and 姐姐 and 東方 could not save the mess of the drama.

    I’ve been watching 他來了,請閉眼 and I dunno why the book is so popular. It’s like the author copied Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock and CBS’s Elementary and pulled bits and pieces together, adding a shoujo-style love triangle along the way. (WTF they even copied Clyde the turtle from Elementary). And the big bad is like some Hannibal Lector wannabe. Anyway, back to the drama. 霍美人 is gorgeous (although way too thin OMG) but his acting is only slightly better than in 花千骨. Why is he so bland/flat in terms of emotion/etc.? And it’s not because of his character because while he’s an arrogant ass with zero EQ, it doesn’t mean he’s dead. 霍美人’s Bo Jinyan is SO FLAT. This is the same complaint I have of him in Hua Qiangu. Also 霍美人 really needs to work on his voice-acting/line delivery because his voice is like 唸台詞 WTF! The female lead is AWFUL OMG couldn’t they find someone who can act?! I dunno but I feel like 霍美人 is the same in most of his dramas – I see a gorgeous man but it’s like he’s empty inside or something, completely not 入戲. LOL I probably just pissed off all the 霍美人 fans but I can’t help feeling this after watching so many of his dramas and seeing the same blandness over and over again.

    1. Gosh I miss you so! ^^ hugs!

      Glad to see you have some spare time to enjoy dramas with school and your hectic schedule! Hope that is screaming everything is going great in life for you sweetie!

      WangKai is totally the IT boy total package now. He has enough of the idolboy good looks and he has been surrounded by almost nothing but the best serious working actors last few years. He has been steadily improving and opportunities hit in one-two punch with Disguiser then NiF, no one can possibly be immune from flailing for him me included!
      And yes, his emotive eyes he is using sooo effectively. I quite hate the writing in NiF (but even if I do not come across as such I am honestly happy you and other fans of NiF enjoy it!!) because I do feel like I am treated like a 白痴 here but forcefed this is the best ever. Not even from this production company (just started watching 大清盐商, THAT is what a seriously good historical should be)

      WK definitely elevates his very flatly written caricature of a stock too good too simple prince character for me.
      Same with any character actually. The acting is all good. MCS is too GodlyStu, nonsensically thus for my taste. His hatching of schemes and masterminding were mostly completely left out and that would have been what I looked forward to most, his workings in his mind, aside from angst and revenge…his true makeup…in order to fall for a character and invited along the making, the ascension to greatness.

      I have insisted, annoyingly, LiuTao is the worst fit in the ensemble and I still do after the fact she did pleasantly surprise with having some chemistry with HG, while she has been solidly good always, 霓凰 begs to be scene stealing, disconcertingly formidable in the little appearances she had and absolutely overpowering even a MCS, LT did not sell me any of that, OTOH she gives off the exact vibe of the married gentile lady with her usual calming presence sliding off the background…perhaps more true to novel huh. A JiangXin could easily, and would even be so much better selling the thumping of heart, the romantic beats of the young girl in limbo still trapped inside the formidable ladygeneral. It is a shallow physical aura thing no matter how good LT is, her looks is wrong for role. Plus, LT is 36 young, Grand Princess played by ZhangYanYan is even a few months younger, as good looking for age as could be, BUT they are playing a generation apart! Miss Liu MinTao, our awesomesauce 靜妃 is a 76er, same age as our CrownPrince actor, FIVE years younger than PrinceYu actor. This type of bigoted lazy casting is only expected in a Yumeh. Either you go all the way idolperiod, cast me a younger for his age idol hottie YuanHong in all the bit male roles, do not cherrypick on just demanding only all the ladies be way younger and lookers regardless of age of character.

      I do not see WH has awful in HQG at all! At least where I dropped it having enough of time wasted. I am way more turned off by the superficially lively/imo exaggerated acting of Ma Ke, MK’s face should not emote too much, he runs all over the place hilariously OTT for me to cuckooland and at times ZLY. I thought BZH made the most sense to be this withdrawn yet I felt every bit of his emotional turmoil within, WH is not gonna elevate any crap in his lifetime, but I would hate if his BZH is reduced to all romance and no proper compass as his station should dictate I suspect in novel. IF not even the best actor of the bunch JX could not do a thing making the lousy script/story bearable, I would never put it on the shoulders on anyone else in that cast.

      I get from the fans it seems like it feels fresh for them for a typical romance to have murder mystery intrigue inserted. I’d rather read a trashy romance done more addictive AND/OR a proper mystery than halfassing both genre, but that is just me. Writer’s command of Chinese is solid though, not sth I can say often, but she is not a good storyteller.

      All in all I do not think 他來了,請閉眼 is worthy of say JinDong’s perfection in acting chops (he was rumored to be considered for role), if we get a face as pretty and the forbidden fruit cold prince aura of a WH, that satisfied 80% of fangirls off bat. I do think WH is perfect physically for character, so whether he needs much acting to begin with to nail this role, I doubt it. imo it is exactly his character is even more unrealistically void of human etiquette/emotions on paper, that leap from page to screen is a fine line…and I have already seen WH doing his idol twitches and habits making such caricature somewhat fleshier bearable , but yeah, mostly just with his pretty face alone. Most of those lines written, it is not possible for any grown man to say it out loud and not be cut to size beaten senseless for out of his mind silly even if just by me. Again next to him, I had MUCH more jabs for the young actress’s line reading, talk about not even 唸台詞 in a proper volume without seemingly like a lump is in throat! WH just has a TW accent he would never get rid of completely, but for a character who lived abroad blablabla, and I could at least hear his words without reading subs, I do not see it as an issue. Have you watched Battle of ChangSha?! It is my vote for the best recent ShanYing drama of late and WH does show me he could be much better in a near perfect show and not sticking out for me to nitpick like…HG in disguiser.

  3. LOL also apart from Wang Kai being a great actor and charming, looks-wise he reminds me a lot of Yuan Hong (similar features, skin color, etc.)… if I was a casting director I’d cast Wang Kai and Yuan Hong as brothers (with WK being the older brother) because they seriously could pass off as brothers… except Yuan Hong has more boyish charm while WK gives off a more contemplative/mature vibe…

    1. MTE! Has held that opinion since I first saw WKK ^^. Both have those sparkling globes of pretty eyes and ridiculously pretty hands I am weak for! ANd both Wuhanites too! So many hold our opinion cause all of my WList of YH fangirls have all jumped shipped to the WKK frenzy! And wishing for them to be cast as brothers, or just even a variety show just to hear them sparring in their dialect! YH has a better constructed nose/lower half of face for my taste, but WKK is a much more confident/better actor at this point and he can make me overlook slight imperfections on his face in closeups. WKK has been much more versatile, I have no complaints whatsoever in however little I have seen him in everything he’s done… Actually I trust he now can fall back to be a charming boy but YH is aging like fine wine looks wise lately. Not saying YH has regressed like a LSS, he will forever be a better actor for me than say a HuGe or a WH, but those years wasted with TR, and after which he has worked in too many meh productions, has put a standstill honing his skills I fear even if a golden opportunity falls on his lap, YH is less able to make the best out of it like a YKK now. I can wholeheartedly say he is solidly great in Ordinary World, the best I have seen him since BBJX but that was too serious a drama to attract the rabid bebes like a NiF/Disguiser …it depresses me a little, but he is still relatively young, and I have yet to see him being the culprit responsible for crapping a drama. I loved HXY much more than NiF, flaws and all, JX is insanely perfect and YH is undoubtedly outshone by her…but he still held his own there, just not as charismatic in an unforgiving role as I have seen him stealing scene in say Young Yang Clan.

  4. PS. Mookie your gifs are hilarious and good Lord I can’t believe Wang Kai is the 乸型 in your gifs HAHAHA … just shows what a versatile actor he is 🙂

    1. He is so delightful full fab sissypants in that one hahaha I actually saw him in passing there first, must be a watch of my folks/granny. I am thinking of checking it out for good now.. and that is why it took me a while to fall for him finally in Disguiser in the hots dept because of that first impression lol

      A well versed WKK fan rec’d me 新神探联盟 last yr, he’s charming in it, but wished the mystery was tighter written, put it on your list if you haven’t seen it, if you can be more lenient on the script, it’s cute.

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