I’ve written so many recaps I’ve lost count, but to date I’ve only managed to translate one entire Chinese novel from beginning to end, which is a feat I doubt I will ever replicate. It requires time and love, and I’ve had neither these days, and if I did I would finish plugging in the missing chapters in my Yun Zhong Ge (Song in the Clouds) novel translation. YZG was actually my second novel translation, and the first and only complete project remains Da Mo Yao (Ballad of the Desert) by famed modern C-writer Tong Hua (she of Bu Bu Jing Xin fame). Yun Zhong Ge is the direct sequel to Da Mo Yao, and both novels were supposed to be paired with a yet unwritten third and final novel to create the Great Han Dynasty trilogy. On its own merits, DMY and YZG manage to wring tears and more out of a fictionalization of the very turbulent time in the early Han dynasty during the reign of Emperor Wu of Han for DMY and his youngest son Emperor Zhao of Han for YZG. The drama adaptation for DMY was handled by production company Tangren, who did a superb job with the drama adaptation for BBJX. But the cast was all wrong IMO, with leading lady Liu Shi Shi paired with Hu Ge as Jiu Ye (aka Meng Xi Mo) when he should have been playing General Huo Qu Bing, and then roping in Eddie Peng in the last moment to play Hu Qu Bing. I don’t care which way I look at it, Eddie is NOT how I imagined my Xiao Huo.
I was a total OTP shipper when reading and translating the novel, but the casting had me re-evaluating my interest again. DMY languished in post-production for a year because SARFT would not clear it for airing since the story royally messes with the patriotic verve of real life historical personage General Huo Qu Bing and turns him into a lovelorn eventual deserter. It didn’t bother me reading it but it bothered SARFT to show it on air. So poor DMY got shelved until finally Tangren swallowed its pride and re-submitted the drama as a completely fictional piece with ALL the characters renamed with nary a reference to Huo Qu Bing, Emperor Wu of Han Liu Che, Princess Ping Yang, Great General Wei, and all the real life characters that lived through the empire building days of the early Han dynasty. This was back in the Summer and SARFT must’ve just cleared its airing because finally the first trailer is out for the drama now titled The Sun Moon Legend. Ugh, awful title and equally bland trailer. Hate all the dubbing (don’t hate dubbing on principle but the voices are all wrong here unlike in BBJX where it was perfect) and the entire production feels chintzy. But I have confirmed that I have now jumped ship to the doomed Jin Yu-Jiu Ye alterna-pairing, because when the trailer shows me Jiu Ye actually asking Jin Yu what she wants and she says a big family and he literally blinks back tears and tells her to go to the other guy, man is that major noble idiocy going on.
15-minute trailer for Da Mo Yao (The Sun Moon Legend):