I really can’t figure out China’s fascination with Qiong Yao. I think Taiwan has finally said sayonara to her, but the C-media still loves to revere her as some goddess of romance dramas. I loved her stuff from the 80s and early 90s, because that sort of family makjang fare was great family watching experience and good for tons of laughs and groans. I actually give her more credit for launching the careers of some famous actors and actresses over the last four decades than her actually writing a good novel (aside from Outside the Window, one of her earliest works which launched the career of sixteen year old Bridgette Lin in the movie adaptation). The C-media has been at a fever pitch the past few weeks when news leaked that Qiong Yao was secretly auditioning for the leads for her next drama 花非花雾非雾 (literal translation Flower is Not Flower, Fog is Not Fog). I almost chewed my tongue off hearing such outlandish rumors as the leads being Feng Shao Feng, Yang Mi, and Hawick Lau in a love triangle. HAHAHA! Thankfully the real casting is odd but not nearly as ridiculous. Returning to the producer who discovered her and launched her career, Ruby Lin will be the lead starring opposite Joo Jin Mo. Let the Korean exodus continue!
The drama will be split into two parts, the first part is Flower is Not Flower, and the second part is Fog is Not Fog. This is the opposite of what Qiong Yao did for her 80s drama 海鷗飛處彩雲飛 (Where the Seagulls Fly, Where the Rainbow Flies), which actually combined the two novels 海鷗飛處 and 彩雲飛 into one drama. The result was pretty hilarious, because the main female character died at the end, only for the male lead to find a long lost twin sister and then proceed to fall in love with her. Good times, good times. Also joining the cast is Zheng Rui and Li Sheng, who shot to stardom in Qiong Yao’s 2011 remake of her own Princess Returning Pearl (playing 5th Prince and Xiaoyangzhi).
Completing the cast is Yao Yuan Hao (currently scandal-ridden after his bad breakup with Sonia Sui and supposed hooking up with Cyndi Wang) and Jie Ao, as well as Yang Zhi and newcomer Deng Lun. Apparently this is Qiong Yao’s first drama with a mystery element, so that ought to add some freshness to the proceedings. Not sure why Joo Jin Mo decided to take on the project, but at least he and Ruby are an age-appropriate pairing. I’m mildly curious as of now, but if the trailers look good I’ll be tempted to check it out.