Now Watching: January 2016

Most of my down time in 2016, I have been staring holes into my screen droolzing at Of Monks and Masters rewatching obsessively, savoring. Nothing new. Then I realize I need to spend physical time with other humans with my life, so I part with the only thing i truly wanna lust over gloriously and be somewhat normal. Here is what I watched with half a bloodshot eye:

Downton Abbey

Picked this up again after skipping a season or two.   Perhaps it is the starting anew for many of our characters and it is the new year,  like new romances for our now older uppercrust, older, a bit wiser, at least less callous/ignorant, or purely because shallowme wanna lust over flapper pretty clothes.  Perhaps it is because Lady Violet fighting her very important upholding aristocracy petty hilarious battles with her peer in sharp wit of the opposite liberal leanings Cousin Cora NEVER ever gets old.  Perhaps it is the buffer of leaving it cold, I have lost the care to stew.  Whatever it is I am enjoying it enough to my surprise!

 

Marry Me, Or Not

Gotta bow to you raising my white flag TWidoldramaland.  This is a drama blatantly about a B word.  The Chinese title  必娶女人 A woman you ‘Must Marry’ is phonetically Bi Qu woman, touche, we all get the drift.  This drama is quite expectedly sexist, ageist, heroine is a conniving B!, hero is a prude!, I can slap a million politically correct labels of mockery on it but when kitsch is smoldered with condiments of heart and cheekiness AND OTP perfection it worms its way in for someone who does dive into a TWidol for escapism.  Through the years I have tried to throw every word of ridicule at any better made TWdrama, lo and behold it would hug me back, wrap my vitriol with cotton candy hearts and kisses and I ended up stuffing it all back in my mouth all jolly. Nothing with pretteh is that bad afterall, not some caustic prince, the sth up his arse, reluctant, unaware beta in the relationship looking a la Roy Qiu, nor abrasive wily phony fox with Alice’s wholesome harmless face as gameface and nickname QuanQuan poking at ZhenQuan (the reigning matchaB in our lexicon we cared) for the alpha.   This is not aiming at greatness of any kind, at least I don’t think, don’t see it, and all the while I lament why not let Alice at least, who can competently act ie an unicorn in TWidoldramaland, be in sth seriously flexing her more instead of being stuck in contrived lines of TWfluff, acting styled to be f farce, trying at poking fun self deprecatingly but often tiresome.  <-Oh Whatever.

This is giving me Roy Qiu and Alice Ke OTP magic, lots of tearing clothes off making outs fr gifs i saw I am embarrassed to steal and spam here.   They are my one, only TW pairing bias, premise is less winning for me than Office Girl (some smart competent woman believes she needs to be a B! to everyone to ‘win’ in life) but Alice+Roy bring their sincere effort, soldier on when often writing is nowhere spectacular.  I admit I could have watch them staring at each other intensely a cm away almost kiss, then many real kisses and loads of horizontal making out.  Wash rinse repeat and I will still write as gushingly stupid.  I appreciate tiny little winks they did trying to shove them together, hating guts but put out what character thought r Oscar worthy acting of a sickly in love facade (or so they each thought) convincing world, fooling the other party, they are a couple.  Then fall for each other but can’t let the other know coz of pride and lies…bla, serving us the tried true tired scenes we know in sleep.   Fateful meeting by way of some car problem, check. Drunk pouring of heart, thus unconscious smexing and all the morning after hijinks, forced fake dating out of…revenge on the girlmance bff turns nemesis ?…just coz this is a TWidol?…and who cares?… we have them all, forced first kiss, heroine on hero, all the better, on Roy Qiu.  Roy Qiu, the perfect face akin to structural resemblance of an Alain Delon, a Leslie Cheung still could not tap into more unhinged charisma elevating his game, nor hone much of his acting through the years, but he will do more than finely in a TWidol.   This is his comfort zone doing ridiculous OTT physical intimacy/slapstick with Alice.  I have exhausted my interest after a few eps, there is no genuine conflict but contrivances.  I finished an ep without recalling a thing worth mentioning transpired.  Yet,  this is a better made one in the genre, I got bored often, not bother looking at screen, but when I do, there is Roy Qiu’s face on it and Alice acting very earnestly and somehow that will do.

And often I stuck till the end of ep just because I love Yoga Lin.

 

Legend of MiYue

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Jiang Xin has a million nuances of crying her way right into the center of my heart.

I need some crying myself, I thought I would get this:

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I got this instead (BE WARNED)
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Context of scene (never more serious) is the now ruling lady emperor MY, hubs/late emperor long deceased is announcing to her imperial court she is freshly, delightfully WITH~! (bastard!!!!) CHILD~!

What CRAP is this?!  Are you all out of your mind, crew!?  Audience included, ie my Dear Mother, recommending. I am still judging her, my own Mommy.  *SOB*  I am just relieved my ultimate bias JiangXin manages to hold her own afloat and be presentable in this travesty of an offensive as historical as my behind script about a delusional holier than god marysuebithc. You can not have everyone falling in mad deep love, many just wanna tag behind and smell fragrant fart ‘platonic’ or ‘brotherly’, proclaim yourself to be THE saintly ethereal wholesome creatormother of everything worthy ever while be faithful in heart (not really) to an one true love always but can’t be AND sleep around and have babies with your boyfriends and claim bastards to be rightfully the bloodline of royal Qin, must bear the surname of your DEAD poorhubs emperor along with your legitimate son/prince just because you carry them in your womb and is the ruling almighty, thus THE royal bloodline of Qin.  Not how Qin nor any middle kingdom dynasty ever worked, however feminist we wanna dream.  Enough of this phony ‘historical’ massively popular travesties presenting themselves as with a worth.  If I wanna stare at expensive looking but tastelessly gaudy textiles, there are shops and the internet tyvm…and not disgustingly offended by EVERYTHING concerning some story supposedly telling. I am pissing myself off typing historical in same breath. I will now on call these fug fur peacock full of …its. I did not stick long, just watched a handful of eps. And how?! see gif above of scene bizarrely hilarious I am eterally traumatized by the acting of…SunLi! (and LiuTao demoted back to the je m’en…fiche lump) I cried.  I am allergic to SUNLI!  FFFFF!

 

Women on the Breadfruit Tree

Of course I eat myself some socks and watch another Tang Yan led C trendy junk fluff. This is prompted by my tiny bookclub of highsch bffs, one of them said this is watchable, and before long we are ALL watching.  Not fluff I hope, it should be mostly a coming of age story of three young women of a slightly more realistic/mature kind, IF it sticks by the novel, totally another beast fr the C romance novella formula this gen is addicted to atvm.

Drama is not good, kinda watchable, still above my expectation.  This looks less glossy, a bit dated in clothes esp, being shelved for years and to fill it out in drama form, some hopeless worthless writer is adding TONNES of cheesy headdesky scenes, VOs of the cringworthy too obvious kind treating the audience as possessing a toddler’s mentality.   It dulls the original characters sharply too, but at least given the framework of one of the best HK modern romance I have ever read, a story grounded by coming of age and friendship, what being a flawed, not terribly likeable ordinary woman (in love) in a modern city like HK (or SH in drama) curtails imho, there is a safety net… thus no character is out of his/her mind crazily nonsensical, yet.  The inserted plots are, though.  The pace is brisk, this is what taken me by most surprise.  OTP is in love cohabiting after the few eps i have skimmed, which makes me uneasy how draggy it must become later.  This has some enjoyment in the nostalgia greeting some tiniest semblance of old friends I first met in the novel ~20 years ago, now ‘gentrified’ to suit the taste and sensibilities of the censors.  I also welcome any nudge to reread the novel with my bffs and this serves that exact purpose.  Sonia Sui is a natural and she is grounding her otherwise super loud ditsy bimbo somewhat, but none of a super young unapologetic HK Samantha from SatC in the book.  I love the face of Bosco Wong shamelessly much.

Yes, I am.

This could be Tang Yan’s most mollifying C trendy performance to date. I could not believe my allergy of her is relieved within half an ep seeing her able to tone down exacerbating habits of OTT bimbo cutesy, even if I do not see her truly acting much.   There is a colorful seminal story of vivid, flawed, ordinary, memorable yet not fancily likable characters at play in the novel, even if drama is a much blander shade, it is still trying at delving deeper into real tribulations of modern romance which makes it stand out tolerable in the stench of the C trendy/trashy romance genre.  This is also a rounded decent cast each befitting role, many noobies in side characters then have skyrocketed to leading men like Chris Wang and Zheng Kai.

 Go Princess Go

By now everyone have seen this huh?!  I am not one who is not!nosy.   I have to spazz a post about this guiltiest puff of fluff.  Have to. This is PWP!dramap0rn of very creative styling, a genius at work of how to do wonky mangaish gorgeousness galore in truckloads of dirtcheap rainbow mosquito nettings be it draping on very pretty bodies barely covering the bits or everywhere they can put a windmachine on set… and the uber breakout of an unknown actress Crystal Zhang who has been around, starting out in a movie with THE Kim SooHyun! way back, then practically falls off to oblivion. She knocked HuGe off the #1 of hashtags, that’s accomplishment, esp for an actress.

She is gifted with a strong pretty face super popular in the 90s, a cross between SharlaCheung and CeciliaCheung imo…I could see her hopping back in time, in any of the super stylized wuxia classics back then and hold her own against all the screen goddesses we sorely missed. Oh the boys are all lickscreenworthy hunks of fleshshowing men in funky patterned curtains, transparent gauze of boldest colors, often pantless or topless and in cheapest plastic roman sandals.

It started off hilarious and fun, lots of memes and trendiest lines I have never seen nor heard of other than in smutty fanfic pages are coming alive on screen.  The premise is a sleazy playboy time traveled back to be the gorgeous boobilicious princess of the cold Crown Prince who is of coz in forbidden love with wife of princebro.  Instead of woe!isme whining the want to be back to 2016, the playboy, now in the shell of a truly ridiculously gorgeous beauty is making the best out of it, be it touching mile long thighs and milky grand tetons of the pretty concubines/ princess’ sistas or blatantly asking for romping with cute loyal servant girl with the line:  You are as fresh as green tea in spring, and I am the boiling water… itching to ‘brew’ you.

I had laughing fits breezing through 5 ep in one sitting, each is 20 some min of mindlessness. Next thing I know, I can not stop girlcrushing hero(ine)  Of course writing then craps on everyone and everything to lousy forced angstville after another few eps and downhill from there but the acting is still exceptional from our leading lady, the saving grace is OTP chemistry magic.  For a fluff, can’t ask for more.

 

I sincerely pray I can witness Crystal Zhang Tian Ai (lit. love by God and Heaven above, what a befitting name) in EVERY worth a lick C period (alongside JiangXin!, one can dream…ahhhh) from now on till forever. Amen.

 

 

They did not halfass the music, it is quite astonishingly lovely. MV of the ending song:

 

 

I am also watching a CCTV documentary. If anyone is interested on the 2000 year history and development of Buddhism in China and in depth look at the branches, the breathtaking monasteries, the revered Abbots, this is mustsee: 千年菩提路

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11 thoughts on “Now Watching: January 2016

  1. Dear Mookie, I’m sorry to learn you had lost a beloved grandparent. I don’t think grief ever goes away, as I don’t think my dad truly ever stops mourning for his father and brother even after all these years. And for me, there’s nothing wrong with that. We continue to live, with joy, with grief, with every emotion in between because we are human. Hugs to you.

    Shows…!!! Wasn’t Taizifei a revelation? Turns out unapologetically outrageous is how one mitigates lack of funding. The brothel scene was what sold Zhang Tian’ai for me. Her swagger! I might have turned les for 1 min there. Plus the whole thing was lol. “And who might you be?” “Meng Jiang of Changcheng” “then where’s Changcheng?” *proceeds to clap her head with brick pavers* 😂

    Did you ever check Reply 1988? Episodes are 2 hr long now 😩, but I almost find it relaxing to watch while folding laundry. Heartwarming family affairs and an adorable cast.

    1. Thank you Dear soul! Hugs. It never does go away, nor we want it to. It is never easy, it is life. What hits hardest is I am freshly departing with all the dear ones gone, all the grief hitting fresh and new. The missing is welcomed though, can’t live without it/them.

      I am Taizifei’s slave! Who can not turn les for her! She is pitch perfect. Show serves me cute things I have not seen before at least. lol that brothel scene is so beyond surprisingly awesome. I thought we would get all the cliches, none of this hilarity and snerking at itself.

      Do you adore 88? I can’t find the time nor the ease of mind to enjoy R1988, Sat down for e1 and ended up falling asleep halfway, shame on me. I should not even say it loud because show is still good/heart warming but too saccharine for my mood. I am fed all the heightened emotions of addicts aka ALL my aunts and cousins though, all watching, crazily obsessed and have TONNES to gush/whine about show. lol

      1. I do adore 88. A bit before my time, but close enough 😀 Canto pop reference ftw! I get what you say about the saccharine factor. Kdramas has been shoving that down our throats for years. But I think this show has its palpable moments that shines within the sentimental sappiness. Tbh I must’ve grown cynical in the past two years and started to hate everything on the screen and thought everything cute (Splish Splash Love) or swoony (Healer) was a yawn. Until this. Er, until Taizifei, then this. I think this show is great for slow and lazy watching. It’s a little rambling and scattered, and I watched it with lots of pausing and distraction in between, but still end up loling and squeeing at my turtle rate.

        Also… LOL about your Miyue rant that I just read in full (was on phone earlier). Had only seen trailer. And even then I thought everything was OTT. Of course I also didn’t think Taizifei had a lick of subtlety from its trailer, but its absurdity became a delightful surprise. Is it safe to say Miyue did not turn out to be a delight? XD

        1. How does it compare to 97, 94? I am not too worried about the shipping woes most fans r ranting still haha I almost never alternaship and always go with the heroine if I am invested, esp we should be watching this as family drama. I am the odd one not getting the whole Chilbong then. I still have The Awl (slowed down terribly after a few eps…) and a few eps of Heard it Through the Grapevine to finish before jumping back in. It does not grab me enough in ep1 though, desperately needs tightening of writing.

          Do not touch MiYue, I regretted it so much! I know quite little about Qin history already, very guillible, but STILL. Everyone and everything in the history books the few centuries of Qin passed down, ALL coz of MY, terracotta warriors, the unification, you name it. The writer is a nutcase. What I still savor in ZHZ is the authentic well written lines spoken by solid actresses with some care and sensibilities of the time, plot overrated there. MY does not even have that.

          1. In that case I’m surprised MY passed the censorship 😅 Only ever seen SL in ZHZ and thought she was nuanced there in early consort days (didn’t get very far in watching). Apparently something happened btw then and now -_-

            And because I’m hungry, forgive my nonsensical and unhelpful answers below.

            Tbh 97 will always be my Singaporean chili crab. There I was, in a dingy hawker centre, not knowing what to expect. But lo, it was the 1st time I had anything like it, my taste buds tingling, so fresh, so flavorful, so distinctly its own, and so perfectly explosive my mouth wanted to sing. And from then on I keep seeking the taste I once knew to no avail. Time for another trip to Singapore?

            94 is dimsum at my fav joint. Except today the xiaolongbao skin is a bit too thick, and the egg custard not its usual velvety perfection. Har gow and shu mai don’t dissapoint, But goddarnit I waited long enough for their lickin good chicken feet that by the time they brought it out I was so over breakfast and already thinking about lunch.

            88 is my dearest mother’s chicken pot pie in which she throws together a sundry of things and some voodoo magic. Her taste buds have grown dull and she threw in more salt than I’d like. And okay, she told me it’s chicken but maybe it’s leftover turkey from last night’s dinner, but it’s my mother’s pot pie that I haven’t had in so long and it’s still pretty darn fantastic. I slurp it up because who knows when will be the next time I get to have her homemade comfort food again?

            1. Someone sure can write! ZOMG whatchadoing2me?! :O~~~~

              And that is some superduper serendipitous analogy. Chilly crabs, dimsums i could neber refuse i cant stop the droolz and it is 1am+, but Mymama cant cook… haha and her chicken pot pie would be sth i politely eat to stay out of trouble… but v sure not my thing. While 88 e1 still was warm fuzzies for me, it was not stick to ribs gooodddd. I am sucha food addict and eating things always, socks esp so i have a feeling if mood strikes and i dive in again i will be the ramblingcrazyahjumma i am.

  2. Aw mookie!!
    I’m always looking for new ladies to love and you got me interested in this Zhang Tian Ai. Maybe I’ll give it a go.
    Btw thanks for the link to the docu, totally my cup of tea!

    1. Hey!!! Oh Me too. Frankly drama is not worth your time but Crystal Zhang should definitely impress! She reminds me of JiangXin quite a bit, not as insanely good yet, but her presence is very commanding. Too bad she does not have backers and doubt we will see her in leading roles of those popular IPs.

      This seems to be a more complete playlist to the docu: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL-GJOa1YN5K8oCJKiGe64I_Kg_uMNhiS_

      Any dorama catching your fancy?

      1. haha my mom was just telling me how GO Princess Go was so trashy SARFT pulled it off the shelves or something lol she said her friends can’t help but watch cos it’s hilarious. I’ll definitely check it out now 😉 Nothing much on my plate except totally in love with Kim Go Eun in Cheese In the Trap. Male lead not so much. Still looking for something but I’m not sure what. I might try out the Monks show you keep mentioning.

        1. lol your Mom is watching?! It is hilarious the silly peepoopfart vulgar, nothing the babies can’t write themselves. Typical SARFT up their arse. Could barely keep up with the teenage shibboleth myself and it does skirt around BL too much, my kind of show XD

          Go. Watch. Monks. I doubt I’ll ever see any wuxia as rec’able.

  3. Thanks for recommending the Buddhist documentary! I bookmark this for a watch when I have time! Sounds like something really meaningful that is definitely worth watching! 🙂

    Oh I watched Go Princess Go when it came out and I was very impressed with Zhang Tian Ai. She’s the true star of the show and I pretty much kept watching because of her. The plot is very silly and ridiculous but at least it was funny and our main character was very cool and Zhang Tian Ai is pretty and can act.

    LOL Zhang Tian Ai and Jiang Xin in a drama together would be so awesome 🙂

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