My Thoughts on “Nothing Gold Can Stay” After Watching All 74 Freaking Episodes

Wow, if someone told me from the start that Chinese TV series get this long nowadays (I swear the norm used to be 30-40 episodes)… I may have been too intimidated to watch it. Glad I ended up “trying it out” as the show started airing. From the trailer, I was captivated by the interesting dynamic between the Sun Li and Chen Xiao duo, but more on that later. Without further ado, “Nothing Gold Can Stay” has been on my mind since the moment I completed the 74th episode (??). It was, CAPITALIZED LETTERS, AMAZING. Chinese audiences seem to agree with me. 

 

Reasons you should be watching “Nothing Gold Can Stay” ASAP:

  1. Storyline is about a #girlboss (named Zhou Ying). In the freaking Qing dynasty era. Can someone say, badass? It’s not easy starting your own business in modern times, never mind being a woman battling the traditional Chinese patriarchal society and changing up entire industries! At this point, you’ll realize you want to watch the show, not just for the well-crafted love storyline, but with business dealings and empowerment for females in a “lead by example” sort of way. Zhou Ying, played by Sun Li, is innovative, resourceful, smart, kind, rule-defier and saucy. What more can you ask from a heroine?
  2. Solid acting. Actually, I usually try to avoid talking about acting since I am a big-picture viewer. Basically, I normally just care that I like the storytelling and that leaves me feeling good. That goes back to – why do we watch dramas in the first place, right? The entertainment value. I measure it by the amount of times I need to skip scenes with my fast forwarding option. With this story, skipping scenes was barely used until the later half. With that being said, my first impressions of Peter Ho, Chen Xiao (after the cringy ROCH remake, I had no hope for his acting), and the other idol-ish actors like Yu Haoming were just that they sucked at acting but had a pretty face. But I don’t know if it’s with Sun Li’s stellar acting chops motivating the cast, but all the characters took me right into the story! Character development was phenomenal, especially with Chen Xiao’s Shen Xinyi character. Haoming’s antagonist characterization of Du Mingli was on-point, that sometimes made my blood curl. They were all really good!
  3. *Spoiler alert in this bullet point, proceed with caution* I came in with no exception. Perhaps just that somehow I was hoping that Shen Xinyi would win the girl because he looked like a fun side character that would always have one-sided love (from the trailer). But then I realized that was somewhat besides the point. I ended up loving other things that happened in the show. I loved the ‘human’ aspect of the series, that people could change, which is rarely developed in many other series. For example, the Wu household members changed from being rigid and harsh to loving and supportive, but realistically so. I loved how Zhou Ying tactfully unearthed secrets and revealed how she was wronged (something similar to the Salem Witch trials happened to her, where they almost drowned her). I loved what Zhou Ying did for the laborers who rioted and destroyed her textile machines, and got them to her side. I loved how men began to finally respect her for her business acumen rather than just see her as a female object. I loved Wu Pin (Peter Ho’s character)’s kindness to Zhou Ying and unconditional love. I loved that Shen Xinyi turned from a spoiled brat to a man who would take responsibility upon his shoulders. I loved the righteousness of Zhao Baishi, a third man vying for Zhou Ying’s love. I loved Zhou Ying’s adopted son (later on)… his wit, potential, and caring nature is adorable. There is so much that I love about this series… that 74 episodes was not enough. Even though with any series, there are drawbacks… I choose to remember the good ones.

Read More…

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Ode to Joy 欢乐颂-it’s about time to add to that “modern chinese tv to recommend” list

Don’t be scared. Somehow TV show premises where a bunch of beautiful strangers get stuck in a broken elevator (like that scene in tamaki hiroshi’s Love Shuffle)… just works. Ode to Joy is a clink of champagne glasses to sisterhood, to the many ways different personalities deal with confusing relationships, and explores the Chinese social standing and modern worklife.

Key takeaway for me:

  • it’s relatable and personal
  • but not soo deep that you can see Adele rolling in it
  • the girls made the mistakes in their love life so that you don’t have to?

I highly recommend it if, like me, you haven’t touched a modern Chinese drama in a while because of the dreaded “mid-show hump” that seems to plague every show out of the mainland, ever. And even though I promise you will end up hating all the female leads at least once in the show, you’ll grow fond of them all over again.

With that said, who is excited for season 2?!

 

INTRODUCING The Epicness that is Nirvana In Fire/Lang Ya Bang

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PSA: This is not a love story.

At first, I was like pssh this show looks boring. The trailer made it look like it was 10% warfare, 10% angst, and 80% of Hu Ge pondering. That said, I am SO GLAD I ended up watching it. Actually, this is one of the few genuinely high quality and well-thought out stories I have seen in a long long time. It appears to be ‘slow’, but every scene has its purpose. On top of that, a very entertaining watch (funny too!) and the eye candy doesn’t hurt either.

Lang Ya Bang is currently the top watched TV drama in China, with over 14,628,775 views on Sohu.

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This guy looks so PEACEFUL for most of the first 20 episodes, but Read More…

My Thoughts: Chinese TV Series “Return of the Condor Heroes 2014”

Hello guys, it’s been a WHILE. Honestly, I was trying to get away from the vicious cycle of drama-watching for a while now. But i couldnt get away from Return of the Condor Heroes, because Chen Xiao is my favorite… And also I accidentally came across a few episodes of it, having realised that it is finally airing. 4827a92djw1eabiksrv70j20p00e2jvr 4827a92djw1e8zshu30baj20p00gon1q lol rade1 神鵰俠侶2014 Chen Xiao and Michelle Chen’s new adaptation of ROCH is a wonderfully addictive show (up to ep16)!  ROCH is like an upgraded romance because if you get tired of the ruvruvruv, there’s lots of cool wuxia fighting. If you get tired of the melo, there’s lots of hilarious moments to balance it out. More on my impressions of the new ROCH: Read More…

Bai Baihe Goes Plastic for “Facelift Diary”

THIS LOOKS SO GOOD. I don’t usually say this about c-movies but this one, oh my god! It’s Bai Baihe versus comedy versus romance. That….can’t really go wrong (unless it sucks at the end, which I can’t really forecast). This reminds me of the Korean hit film 200 Pounds of Beauty!

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“I’m sorry that people are so jealous of me… but I can’t help it that I’m popular.”

Rising young star Bai Baihe takes on the issue of plastic surgery in her upcoming comedy film Facelift Diary (整容日记), which opens in theaters on April 4th.

Facelift Diary is the story of Guo Jing (Bai Baihe), who lost both her job and her boyfriend of three years after she graduated from college. In order to change her fate, she starts undergoing plastic surgery, giving herself double eyelids, an altered chin, polished cheekbones, and a bigger bust. Her fortunes take a change for the better thanks to her new appearance, and she lands a new job and a new boyfriend. But when her new coworkers and boyfriend find out about her facelifts, everything returns to how it used to be.

Check out the trailer below, thanks to iMovieChina, where you can see…

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Let’s begin 2014 – C-Movies “Up in the Wind” and “Personal Tailor” To Look Forward to!

Ok, so Jing Boran and Ni Ni look awesome in their new movie “Up in the Wind“, which looks to be a growing-up slash romance type of story. Boran looks particularly dashing and charismatic.

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And the theme song is sung by none other than Hua Cheng Yu (champion of last summer’s Super Boy competition, which I recapped). Here it is! I urge you to watch it – it has Hua Cheng Yu’s recording + scenes from the film + bts with Boran and Ni Ni. If you know Chinese, you’ll also find the lyrics are really meaningful as well.

Now – let’s talk “Personal Tailor“! Apparently it has broken box office records in China since it premiered.

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The movie called for a well-known ensemble cast – Lu Xiaolu, Ge You, Bai Baihe, and Zheng Kai (he’s from Zhao Wei’s “So Young”!). I checked, and it’s already in the top 10 highest grossing films in China. WHAT. It has to be good. The trailer is really funny too, so this is definitely going on my watch list. The story reminds me a lot of Cyrano Dating Agency and Inception – because here is a company who makes it possible for their clients to get their dream, on one condition, only if their dream can make themselves a better person. Funky but cool idea right? Also, the actors are top-notch.

Personal Tailor (Chinese: 私人订制) is a 2013 Chinese comedy film directed by Feng XiaogangPersonal Tailor opened to a new record of US$13.2 million including midnight screenings beating Tiny Times record of $12 million set in July 2013.” – Wikipedia gives a good gist