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. 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: It took a lot for me to say this because Yu Zheng’s works have given me facepalms again and again… actually the only ones I liked from him was the first installment of Palace (with Yang Mi) and Gone with the Wind (with Tang Yan). Granted, this is primarily a cast of idol actors, so acting is not that strong and the show is not going to be a classic. BUT! There’s so much great that is going for this show that I’m content with the way it is! OMG the trailer was so bad though, because it almost convinced me: over-emoting, super bad acting, mediocre Little Dragon Girl, CGI overload, and too melodramatic with common tropes. I recommend not watching the trailer if you haven’t, because the episodes really hook you from the start and it truly is a lot better than the trailer suggests. I’m not nitpicky these days of drama-watching. All I care now is that a show must make me want to watch it and look forward to watching it (omg so much repetition sorry).
Yang Guo (the protagonist) is so funny and obnoxious and smart! I loved the boy who played him and then Chen Xiao who is less funny but makes the character look hot, which makes up for the bad parts. I still can’t believe it took 10 episodes for Chen Xiao to appear! It felt like forever… okay, even though i LOVED the younger kid who played Yang Guo, I was dying to see the romance take place hehe. Little Dragon Girl is played by Michelle Chen who is great (except I hear the original role is supposed to be an beautiful drone like creature…. sorry, what you gonna get is a real-life girl with feelings haha). But unless you are a die-hard fan of the novel, that shouldn’t be a real issue. My comments on the main pairing….even though i’m not totally on board with Michelle’s Little Dragon Girl’s romance with Yang Guo, she is quite a harmless romantic interest I feel like. She’s a very naive character. So not repulsive or anything. Actually I kinda like how cheesy they are together sometimes.
Anyway, I can’t stop comparing this drama to the 2008 adaptation of LOCH (which is like a prequel to ROCH). That tv show definitely had that addictive factor. I loved that it had so much wit and love and drama. It was mostly thanks to the solid acting from Ariel Lin, Hu Ge, and Yuan Hong. The story took viewers on a roller coaster of adventure, which was great. I’ve seen about 14 episodes into ROCH right now, and I’m hoping this can do the same. So far so good! To wrap this up, here’s my verdict so far: The Good:
- you remember Yu Zheng tried to adapt “the Swordsman” into a series? he even starred Wallace Huo in it, who is a lot better at acting than Chen Xiao. Well…. ROCH is so much better than “The Swordsman”!! Makes more sense, is funnier, less convoluted, etcetc
- CGI is pretty good!!!
- actors all likeable, no annoying person (maybe Ou Yang Feng… a bit)
- ugly hairstyles, like the uneven hairstyle on Yang Guo
- don’t like that they Photoshopped all the promotional pictures