Now Watching: April 2016

 

…Fireworks of a deviant color

Daebak

Did the trailer wow me.  NOPE.  I am bracing how much of JGS’ shows no care with his big OTT FUs I could tolerate for some CMS saguek fix.

I fall so badly in love with Daebak/Jackpot instantaneously.  Jam-packed with proficient storytelling it completely shut me up from my trivial sniding.   A peeve of mine: I have never clicked a drama because of a few elements I care too much (Choi!Min!Soo! Lee!Moon!Shik!) without being obsessively doubtful of the rest.  Do I like this writer/PD, not really.  Jang GeunSuk, last I have fallen madly in love with him was in…Hwang JinYi, a DECADE ago.  If you humor me the dude is gonna come back in shape…let alone exactly some of that sweet innocence of pure goodness fr his EunHo, I would totally hate you being evil and gave you a perpetual stinkeye of out the f out of my life, it’s cruel to make me cry over forever lost.   Yup, he did not just come back top shape as soon as he delivers a line in saguek speak…he reminds me of his EunHo, oh my happytearfilled heart is ecstatic and breaking at the same time for that memorable fictional boy he gifted us.  I do not have the mind to dissect but everything just feels beyond imaginable taut and spot on I do not even have a split second to diverge myself.   I was sooo immersed in the story, in exposition which I am most impatient with in the K saguek formulae in particular.   All these characters, in the past of what the focus of the real meat is, has a place of their own, all insanely perfectly acted I lost time and space.  Yes, I could’ve gushed gibberish on every C!M!S! BAMF dazzle of his eyes and face and posture every moment he is on screen or even in the background as the most opulent prowling statue devouring all props and scenery in room, but I honestly did not have the leisure, nor care to fangirl….that engrossed.   I only had time for an episode, went to bed at midnight, and stayed wide awake suppressing the urge to watch that episode 2.  I succumbed at 3am, losing my mind invested in EVERYONE like sobbing over a passing sec of faking acting of a fictional character pretending she has lost her newborn.  I had 3 hours of sleep but feeling so bright and alive if only the rest of the drama is waiting for me to waste over.  It is not even the usual addict carrot of gimme what’s next, it is just GLORIOUS grand storytelling with not a waste of line and thought I have seen in a K saguek, not saying I have watched much, it is my least enticing genre loitered with unworthy crap wasting more drama hours I could’ve used more efficiently elsewhere, only voluntarily stuck with a very few, and this marks a FIRST I have fallen this hard this fast.  I just want to hop on the ride most effortless on my part these characters their stories will take me. Take me!!!  I am speechlessly without ONE bad word, usually senseless my part, but I tried and think one sensible complaint, none whatsoever.

Just to annoy folks incessantly I assume venturing here, lol, this K saguek is what I envisioned of Nirvana in Fire along its similar tangents and got NOTHING but ragey whining rants on my part over a frustratingly silly script and lazy faking at pompous grandiose everything else.

Duke of Mount Deer 1984

Goodness gracious I am so tempted to screencap and straightly jolt down EVERY line as if I am fansubbing just so anyone with no cantonese proficiency can get my LOOK! LISTEN! This is DABEST!!  Some lovely fan gets it and is compiling the best scene cut at bilibili. This also contributes to why Daebak is so owning me because I am currently watching the best efficient storytelling EVER as my memory can recall and revisiting sucha favorite, nothing should compare.  DoMD is still holding its place as kickass awesome perfect through numerous rewatches and adapting such an insurmountable wuxia epic Mr Louis Cha (before he lost his mind last decade) the forever perfectionist was so satisfied with it he hanged his pen touting that’s the best he could do.  IF there is sub to this, watch this back to back with Daebak and treat yourself a double dramaspa of best first 15 min.  It could be about a little stinky rascal Wei XiaoBo, the wayward bastard son of a yakking prostitute so unlikable on paper but that damaged boy with a spec of a heart of goodness way deep under all his unsavory actions is palpable constantly, as such a destruction of a wuxia hero, this hammers in the point what truly matters in shaping a man:  if given a choice, the dude will ALWAYS choose to be upright honorable.  IF.  It paints a less romantic tale of what defines a hero, no longer an unattainable cipher.  Old time HKers read into it as a political lament:  do we commit everything suicidal to revive a lameduck dynasty of yore?  Do we succumb to the new authority against every fiber, giving up identity, principles, morals…can we juggle everything to coexist like a WXB and why cant we aspire to be such an antihero creating a harmony in his absurd world in this wuxia fairytale allegory?!   Our little guy haphazardly falls deeper and deeper into a most fascinating quasipolitical fanfiction intrigue of early Qing dynasty minutes in, he has already befriended some major players (numerous more to come), fictional or historical, all seamlessly weaved in, and his presence in their lives and heart occurs spectacularly harmoniously along the greater plot.  It is impossible to stop clicking next episode, and the next.

So I finished Signal, I have too many irkings left untamed it gets too frustrating and taxing even to conjure the questions up inside my head constantly so I gave up.  It is a good solid drama but no cigar.  Other than Kim HyunSoo, I do not find the acting particularly evocative.   It gets incredulously draggy whenever some momentum is built it gets awfully anticlimatic.  If I have to sum my feelings for it throughout, as often I shouted out loud: ‘That’s it?!?!’  I am going on my long vacay in a week and usually I hit stress with more mindless use of my time to procrastinate, still.   I tried Marriage Contract, which gains unanimous nods it is surprisingly better expectation for everyone who’s watched some, ie cliches done well, but LSJ’s face has the appeal of a constipated frankenstein to me, when he is in sageuk mode, the cosplay can distract from staring at his eyes and going nah not attractive my cuppa.  So to watch him romancing anyone takes a lot more than fluff, esp this is my first time spending time with UEE and she is preciously worth it.  I forgot I am watching UEE, as far and as little as I know a Kpop starlet with a bode the ideal type of ChungJungMyung, my Kdrama love passe.   She gets under the skin of her single mom and allows the character to get in her soul, possessing her and makes it all like inhale and exhale.  The single mom should coo her child to finish the food and pat herbaby’s hair when she obeys, tiny gestures every moment like breathing air, she did to her character.  I should watch on for her when I am not in a grossly shallow mood.  As is I sorely need a junk fluff fix and I asked my dependable in that dept 20ish cousins what they are watching.  I want jolts of dumbest guiltiest pleasures defibrillating my brain.  And I am already cringing on their list heavy on C modernfluff. <_<

What I tried out on their list:

I tried a taste of  Heroin/上癮, a webdrama now banned of course.  This is straight BL smut, the OTP is good looking enough young hunks and quite convincingly in lust but plot is as thin as the clothes they are tearing off romping.

The Classic of Mountains and Seas/山海經之赤影傳說

If you are a fan of ZhangHan’s face, you should be addicted to this already.

You are quite gorgeous when you smile. – She said.

Personally I will do everything to not look at his swarmy face, esp in a period,  I cant find a better word than fug…but I want to see how they fork with such a mythology classic and why stick that title on and do an unannounced pirated Fushigi Yûgi live action instead.  It is the expected garish trashbin material, but with a backbone of the manga it is lifting pages straight off, many are saying this at least has a plot to follow along.  Nope, they are just delusional fans of Zhang Han or very desperate sick auntie fans of  the hottest underage Wu Lei (more of him everywhere else) or sucker for some real to reel romance of ZH and his leading lady (who is excruciating to watch in a period with no poise nor proper use of any of her facial muscles, what a pity from such pretty package).

Hunter/獵人

I gave it an few eps to ascertain my opinion this is a stinker.  There should be case solving and there are some soooooo excruciatingly draggy and dulllllll to sit through.

女人的天空

There is a drama with Jiang!Xin! (and Wang Kai) and I would sip and click no matter.   Bubbling fanbase of Wang Kai, ie definitely every normal sweet girl between 15 to 30ish huh, I took one for your team, this has very little WKK, being shelved for 5 years, he has yet to hit the big breaks to be nothing but in bit roles, like here, everyone is playing countryfolks no glossiness to feast the eyes, it is in the unique PRC genre of  ‘village folksy drama’ (same as JX and WK’s last collab in 知青/Educated Youth) and more damning it reeks public ed gov propaganda even for a CCTV drama with blatant communist leitmotif, ‘stay and be happy spiritually in the impoverished farming village FOR THE COUNTRY’, very hard to find any enjoyment. This paints a nonsensical desirable state of rural life nothing rings genuine, especially on its passive aggressive sexist pov putting womanhood on a much more unattainable self-sacrificing critical standard under the veil of empowerment I want nothing of it.  The good thing this does is making me more lenient towards Ode to Joy out in 2 weeks, it will be intriguing to witness how sizzling the chemistry is between WK and Wang ZiWen… cherry on the cake of the main course of those marvelous ladies!  Too bad I would probably cringe at the writing, ShanYing quite bumptiously shrugged writing is not a worry, nor their focus. wtf.  I am willing it to be smashing still, SY is determined to create a trendy ($$$making) lady franchise out of it, ‘season 2’ is said to begin filming in August…just on seeing my two most talented fav actresses JiangXin and YangZi bouncing off each other, better yet I can dream YuanHong playing a hottie toss-able boytoy down the line some season and all my prayers are answered.

^ Never would I be delusional I would like/love EVERYONE in a Cdrama trendy ensemble cast.  It is lovely we have cameos of established sparkling actors known for acting chops foremost.  Don’t disappoint me too much yet again ShanYing.

 WKK and Wang ZiWen are officially cast in the upcoming 如果蜗牛有爱情  the second go at ‘mystery romance’ by SY adapting a 丁墨 novella, not a fan of the behind the scene collab but Wang ZiWen is loudly raved as a perfect casting by fans of the book, bonus I have seen her acting quite well a few times.   I love Wang ZiWen more than WK (who is fine but not exactly my aesthetics’ perfection thus I am not in the rabbit hole yet, I guess I need a work fr him I madly love).  WK’s popularity will only soar higher, his BTS with Joe Chen in Stay with Me/放弃我,抓紧我, trustworthy queen of idol romcom has been everyone’s lil nuggets of sweet fluff, they look to die for yummy with their easy chemistry, too bad my hunch on the drama proper is not that optimistic on the writing and directing.  Their coupling looks like the most efficient assembly line of cutest fluff.

 

Far Away Love/ 远得要命的爱情

Surprisingly watchable.  Everything is working against it for me, I am not a fan of Park, not that I care to rem clearly but he/his character might be the main reason I dropped Cheese in the Trap, and humor me, name one K oppa crossover to Cdramaland watchable; there are too many plastic starlets and this is still cringeworthy full of shoujo cliches of rich prince + damsel cinderella/candy.  Candy is a pushing 30 aunt/guardian to a teenage boy played by the most sizzlingly popular 16yo C hottie Wu Lei (lil Fei Liu @ LangYaBang).  Also notable to me, the screaky entitled princess is played by Song Yi (The Disguiser), talk about improvement and what competent directing can benefit a young actress because she is painfully meh here.  I give it brownie points the acting is quite natural from the leads (yes even the dubbed Park oppa) and the heroine and her gfs speak their right minds in snippy lines I cheer a little.   You will hear me SCREECHing spamming if the C modern romance genre comes up with quality and this is far from it, but again the litmus is low: it has yet to offend me.

15 Years Wait for Migratory Birds/十五年等待候鸟

Another one I am counting out offbat, the one my babycousins insisted the most I try.  I am so ready for rants of snark, and harrass my kin the disappointment, next thing I know I am watching episode after episode, not minding much of anything.   This is nothing sparkling, just squarely watchable.  Art direction looks clean, cinematography is nothing amazing but nothing gaudy eyesoring. None of the young unknowns are drop dead gorgeous, just pleasant faces with minimal makeup convincing as teenagers and passable older counterparts in real time.  Like 99% of C trendies, this is based on a novella, I have never heard of it…who has half the time as a pseudoadult?!   This is trying to sell itself as a My Sunshine/何以笙箫默 part deux with a similar plot.  The OTP fell in love in highschool, years (15? just an educated guess) transpired, shxt happened tearing them apart and they meet again under the circumstance of heroine marrying her stepbro, who was nasty towards heroine in highschool as far as hero could remember and he could not stop himself crashing the wedding.  It delights me with how organic the storytelling flows, enjoyable to see a young romance bubbling gradually without all the jarring inserted fluff.  Hero is less annoying then most douchy prince of the bickering half, heroine the top of class smartlass has less attitude, is less stubborn than the usual too feisty abrasive poor Candy.  A touch more normal, authentic than the cookiecutter stock.  This is a cast of 90ers, quite a welcome change giving the chance to younger promising actors closer to age of protagonists.  They fit their role comfortably, decent jobs from everyone, yet to find a deal breaking wart a few episodes in, a nitpick is there is little effort painting a 2002 milieu.  I doubt I can tolerate when the dogblood starts spilling later on.  I have only seen the hero prior, he is the male ragdog general, gimp of the demoness red riding hood in Wu Xin Monster Killer.

Love this song, it appears minutes in and can’t deny it is what grabbed me first.

TGIF!  It is April Fools, never in the mood for pranks for me since 2003.  I was back in HK, reeling in a city devastated by SARS and we all thought of a most sadistic joke of the falling of its star…it was the worst most depressing spring ever in my life. 春天該很好 你若尚在場  ‘Spring should be lovely if you were still around.’

 

Love of the Past

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Now Watching: April 2016

  1. oh thanks for sharing the old songs!!! it’s my exam period now and i love listening to old songs while studying! feels like a source of comfort.

    and oh my i really enjoy ode to joy a lot. 😀 yang zi wen is such a good actress.

    1. Sending good luck your way! Add oil! !!

      I enjoyed quite a few glorious acting jobs (namely Jiang!Xin! Wang ZiWen and Yang Zi) in Ode to Joy but it was an uncomfy to infuriating ride if i try to connect w plot or character construct further down the line. ‘Good’ that im prepped w flipping over the novel of all the unsavories a while bk. I would rather it be honest and name it Ode to $$$, Ode to Classism, Ode to straightcancer sexist ShanYing uncles pov of fake girlpower.

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