I have recommendations. DearMyFriends and ShaolinWenDao are owning my soul. There is also MUST WATCH Glorious C wuxia classic loveliness.
鹿鼎記/ Duke of Mount Deer 1985
is still the smartest wuxia ever, after numerous rewatches, it owns my highest compliment. And just for a taste of what the most glorious days of TVB wuxia was like in the 80s, some angels eng subbed (no idea how long it will be available) a 30+year old HKdrama! That has never happened, subs are passably decent, losing most of the cantonese lingo smartassery , but for the enjoyment of the sharpest storytelling of most unlikely wuxia hero, or frankly a douchebag we have grown to care, penned by The reigning master of genre still, Mr LouisCha, and not losing much greatness (i would argue it improved on editing from the original) in the adaptation (impossible in the decades since…), it has the super young and brightly talented already Tony Leung and Andy Lau, drop everything and enjoy and savor!
少林问道/Shaolin Wen Dao
This is my anticipated Cdrama, and it spares no time diving into the wretched angst abyss. Friends, sworn brothers are killing each other’s family, out of loyalty, obligation, filial piety…pace is subdued and a tad slow allowing pauses for your own contemplation, lines are of enigmatic zen locution…it demands a lot from viewer to engage. The production value is indisputable, only lament: it is in crappy quality airing only locally, unable to land a nationwide cable syndication. I care about good writer, good acting, good directing, in that order and could forgo the visual dazzle when I could hope of having the trifecta, this is already promising me 2 episodes in. Theme is karma, reaping what you sow, the human torture of weighing morality, honor, loyalty and love… pathos galore in first 2 episodes already and I have to hang on that visual of hero alive, grew old from the first scene.
Story is set in Ming JiaJing Emperor’s 40 some years’ reign, a most colorful megalomaniac emperor deserving copious adjectives: controversial, cruel, self-aggrandizing, rebellious, revolutionary, rogue, ambiguous, fiercely smart, scarily inscrutable, deranged, delusional, anarchistic, hedonistic… just never dull. His unconventional rule gave rise to the usual social venoms of corruption and iniquitous factions, the most notorious: Yan Clan. Imagine my delight to see Mr. 张志坚, the Yan son from Ming Dynasty 1566 reprising his role as some nefarious Yan member again. And Mr. 冯嘉怡 from 2 of my fav C dramas (Grow Up, Dwelling Narrowness) reminds me of the awesomeness of 刘冠成 as a gentle wise seer in Of Monks and Masters (<3333). Needless to say lives of the common folks r wrung through the wringer most tragically.
Ep1, first scene: we meet an elder monk, instructing his baby apprentice LiaoXin (end. heart.) to swipe repeatedly, and a nun:
…Our hero and heroine, with a past of young man and lady. Apprentice is fussing over his endless chore of dusting the monastery ground…where it is spotless already. There is nothing to sweep. Nun scatters a handful of ashes from the urn: It is now cleansed.
Monk: LiaoXin, give thanks to Great Master for her lesson.
*An obsession, to sweep the grounds spotless so as to put an end to the chore, is a mortal obstruction. As dust persists, the sweeping is endless, no finality, construing inner peace. She, is an obsession he lets go, dust fluttering within. *
这个世界是美好的，活在这个世界上是快樂的。 The world is beautiful. It is blissful to be alive in it. Her last words before departing world, asking for solitude her last breathing hours, at his monastery.
Her last words…echoing the monk in drama’s preview, younger, groaning:
佛陀在走之前说，这世界真美好，我没見到. Buddha said, before he left this world, the world is really beautiful, I have not seen.
败火僧/Fire. Distinguishing. Monk. A character so magnificent in wisdom he is personifying inhuman beauty in his every word every utterance.
These glorious veterans plainly showing off.
To see or never meet. Impermanence, as existence is ever forming, growing, decaying and vanishing.
Drama is arresting, emotionally consuming. Lots of tear, ceaseless painful angst…time very well spent.
I am still watching Oh Hae Young Again, grinning at some cute, feeling for our HY… but I have reset my expectation as this is solid, better than average, ie heartbroken disappointed it seems hopeless to stay a spazzworthy favorite of mine. Writer needs ample work on how she has been doing spectacularly: how to revamp the cliched tropes, as is, it is entire episode of noble idiocy of IHaveAnEric!2BlindAllfangirlsofSenseandLogic. It was so earnest, the emotional turbulence our protagonists were put through in the first, 7, 8 episodes, but as more shit hits fan relentlessly, it got tiresome when characters are stagnant or I should say regressing to cliches… gone is the fresh keen acute sense of self and sensitivity to own feelings first even when beat down…and I lost my patience. I cease to care about PDK, yes, Eric. Past childhood trauma, dysfunctional family, his own psych problem, did not stop him from a steady serious enough engagement with OtherHY and as cleanly stepping out of it recently, one drunken mistake with guilt blown out of proportion by now, and used as THE pivotal contrived hindrance…is stupid and lazy writing. He consciously, cautiously made the decision with as much information of his own demise and demons to be with HY and just a day later and THE reveal… only difference being HY found out and is hurt by him LYING, he is leaving her cold because he loves her?! Where is the missing person, great listener, the quite sensible, considerate, sensitive if not most talkative PDK?! And being in some mad self-sacrificing love for HY, demands him to keep shoving her away so as not to hurt her further of some doom looming that was NOT new, WHILE actively hurting her tonnes, leaving her literally curbside extremely visibly devastated by HIM and walk the F off scene… is jerky, which personally has happened to me and an ex in the heat of a spat and I still remembered extremely vividly HOW the walking off pissed me off irreversibly the most and the dude was dumped shortly after. However outrageous she is acting out, it is ugly, but still understandable… PDK left her there, shattered when many eons ago, not yet at this professed stage of romance he would dash to her, crossing the street dazed, he is just simply being an excuse of a supreme noble idiot. This is not cohesive character building, writer. Hurts more when I have seen you exponentially better in the perfect ILICDD. The rushed/lackluster writing is what I am crying about, not PDK, not even HY. I am speechless writer resorted to stuffing OtherHY back in that old stale complacent bitch Girl2 egomaniac mold. Even if TJ has a shady business and he was mostly at fault hurting HY with his stupidest words, PDK owes him a simple apology for provoking the FUp, BEFORE being some yup noble idiot of getting things level for hurting HY, even just saying those 3 words to alleviate some of his woeful guilty conscience. PDK is no longer interesting to watch because all I have seen his mopings/thoughts of last 2 eps have been to serve the purpose of me chanting ohmmmssss there is still 6 eps, to drag out. As is, he is a bit too full of it, following his thought processing he said out loud explaining, saying I love you helps nothing yet his ‘I am sorry’s are THAT worthy falling on HY’s ears and she should be better after he opens his preciously zipped off mouth unless to raise his voice to holler back his frustration at HY while she is shock in distress in public because he freaking LIED. That, and to give us beautiful moping wallies:
It saddens me I do not care as much as I should for HY as well, SHJ is still perfect and channeling me ALL HY’s heartache, every scene flawless, but rationally, it is inconceivable a woman with resourceful spunk despite beaten down all her life harboring an inferiority complex she copes ok with normally, just resorts to being shamelessly hopelessly in love as the only life-safer and really for a very pitiable gorgeous but unworthy guy, over the course of a few months where you were consumed with thoroughly betrayed by love. Yes, succumbing to an infatuation, a fling at your most fragile, it’s very human…but you have agencies: loveliest friends and family and a job you like enough to focus and divert energies to, away from a dude you have just known a short while in the scope of your entire lifetime and has not been honest nor open nor accepting you when, most heartbreakingly, he USED TO be: great listener, available to you emotionally and accepting the entire you even if out of pity/love…whatever. And I hate HY being petty and acting out her frustration with cringeworthy aggressions and ALWAYS transferred to dumped on OtherHY and beating the shite out of the dudes responsible never crosses her mind much. And being a whiny child cursing others to be in as much grief possible, as if he would suffer her exact pain… she should know in her shoes, SUCKS SO BAD to just be thrown out over a blow up resolving NOTHING. Nothing is ringing earnest, real enough to evoke much in me anymore.
From Yu Zui’s own intro:
好人当不了警察，因为善良在作奸犯科的人看来，是一种可笑的懦弱。 Good guys can’t be cops, because kindness to the eyes of criminals is a laughable weakness.
好先生/To Be a Better Man
我管你 I will take care of you.
穷鬼，你养得起嘛 Bum, how can you afford it?
Moms are watching, aunts are watching. This reminds me so much of One Servant, Two Masters. The cast are all very capable actors, and plot seems breezy fun and heartwarming. I have heard there are a lot of manic shipping of Uncles here and I wanna join!