Sun Li Scores Third Major Drama Hit with Nothing Gold Can Stay and Also First Time Not Voice Dubbed

C-dramas has a new big hit on its hands and continues the legend of C-actress Sun Li popularity and savvy in picking projects. Her Legend of Zhen Huan remains an iconic work of the past decade in terms of court period dramas and two years ago she did the Legend of Mi Yue with also popular success. Now she’s back this summer with Nothing Gold Can Stay (Chinese title 那年花开月正圆 That Year the Flower Blooms in the Full Moon), a late Qing dynasty drama based on the real life story of China’s first super wealthy female merchant named Zhou Ying. T

he drama has been receiving rave reviews from critics and audiences alike with the ratings shooting up episode by episode, and also heralding the first time all the leads are not dubbed with Sun Li’s excellent pronunciation and emotional pitch is also impressing all. It really is Sun Li’s one-woman show but her supporting cast of Chen Xiao, Peter Ho, Myolie Wu, and Yu Hao Ming are all holding their own, with ultimately the characters, story, and fantastic costume and set design bringing it all together. I haven’t started marathoning yet but the trailers alone made me laugh and tiny tear up. Audiences are looooooving this drama and I think they may be onto something legit good.

Trailer for Nothing Gold Can Stay:

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Sun Li Scores Third Major Drama Hit with Nothing Gold Can Stay and Also First Time Not Voice Dubbed — 24 Comments

      • I’m really surprised that there’s no dubbing, which makes it sound natural and the flow of the dialogue better than dubbed and less cheesy. it would be nice if they had eng subs that way viewers can marathon it… I’m still waiting on other dramas to be subbed that I’ve most likely forgotten about the drama and put my interests elsewhere other than cdramas.

      • There are subs. This is really a fantastic show so far. I genuinely cried heart broken tears at the lastest episode and the exit of a beloved character. The sense of lost for a life with such promise and the sorrow of those left behind was overwhelming.

        Truly worth a watch…as long as it stays this good.

  1. Yes, this sounds different and more appealing to the ears. One reason why I don’t like CDrama is because of the voices of the actors, very high pitch and grating to hear. If they continue like this, probably will watch more shows. One of the reasons I prefer watching Kdrama is the nice tone and voices of the actors! I don’t understand the dubbing of real voices to those squeaky ones!

  2. I also disliked the dubbing in Cdramas till I discovered something that many popular blogs talked about:

    – Many actors/actresses have strong regional accents and cannot speak standard Mandarin as defined by Mainland China. This is because every region in China has their own diverse language. HK and Taiwanese Actors also tend to have specific accents. For the main Chinese listeners, this is grating in their ears. One person compared it to having 3 characters who are family members, one speaking English in a Brit Accent, one US, one Australian which is jarring. In Kdramas, its wonderful everyone speaks in the standard Seoul dialect except when required for a character, but SK is a much smaller and more homogeneous country.

    – So since Cdramas cater to their audiences, well, needless to say they need dubbing to make everything sound the same. What they should do is insist actors learn the proper standard accent or they be taught as parr of their training.

    -Also yeah, because of big bucks the dubbing is not exactly perfect how it tends to be for Hollywood.Dubbing requires Cdramas to rehire their popular stars again and do the voices, which costs money.

    – Actually, in Nirvana in Fire and Disguiser a lot of parts have the actors dubbing over themselves, that was one relief.

    • There’s a lot of verbal tics that actors associate with their characters, or that audiences associate with those characters, that would’ve been lost with dubbing because all the voice actors use such perfect and standard chinese.

      When Wu Ping started speaking, I was so surprised because of his Taiwanese accent and at the fact that they didn’t dub him. But as the show continued, his Taiwanese accent became part of Wu Ping’s character. To my ears, Taiwanese accents are choppier (as in it sounds more aspirated) and softer/gentler than standard broadcast accents, but that choppiness really suited a character who looked like he was thinking before he speaks, and the gentleness is one of the defining features of Wu Ping.

      The way Sun Li rolls her tongue when she says certain words becomes a part of Zhou Ying’s characterization.

      When Shen XingYi yells for his servants TianShi and TianYu in a hurry, he wouldn’t concisely pronounce TianShi as TianShi, but he drops the “sh” and it becomes “TIAN-RI!” and sometimes he even drops the “n” and its “TIA-RI!” but it sounds completely natural. Not having a voice actor who must speak in perfect chinese lets him make those choices sound very natural.

      I know that there are other reasons for dubbing, but I do hope that there’s not much more of it and that there’s less of an emphasis on needing an actor to speak perfect and standard chinese. I feel like “imperfect” pronunciations add to characterizations and make personalities on screen more vibrant, especially with great actors whose amazing line deliveries might not come in standard accent.

  3. This drama is INSANE good. Ms. Koala, I highly recommend that you start watching it!! For me, it’s so far up there with Nirvana in Fire and BBJX… I’d love to hear your take on it.

  4. This is on my to watch list! From watching the trailers and clips, the costumes and cinematography are so beautiful. A cast with great acting talent, no dubbing, and a great plot, sign me up!

    I love that they insisted on no dubbing. I’ve watched Chinese dramas practically all my life, so dubbing doesn’t really bother me. But how dubbing is nowadays really isn’t working. I hear the same voices in almost every drama that I watch (not hating on the voice actors). I understand the use of voice actors when accents are too thick, like how Wallace Chung has quite a thick Hong Kong accent, or when an actor or actress’s voice just doesn’t match their character at all (like how Jin Dong’s character of Lin Chen was dubbed for “Nirvana in Fire”). I also understand that there can be a lot of noise when filming certain scenes, especially action scenes, but then let the cast dub themselves. I feel like the (over)use of voice actors has become a part of the problem with how Chinese dramas are produced today.

    Production companies are trying to churn out dramas quickly to make more money. To cast popular actors and actresses that may have conflicting schedules, they have resorted to using doubles and green screens to make it seem like they filmed scenes together (even though you can clearly tell that that didn’t happen because of the blurry background and inconsistent lighting). Dramas are getting longer with lengths exceeding 50 episodes so that they can air for a longer time, which makes the plot feel like it’s dragging if it’s not written well. (50 episodes used to always be the maximum length for dramas, and dramas used to average 30 to 40 episodes.) Dubbing from voice actors allows actors and actresses to act without having to care about how they say their lines. (One notable example is the “numbers girl” mentioned by Jin Xing; there was an actress who just said numbers rather than saying her lines.) The huge dependence on voice actors makes the standards for acting lower since it seems like being able to emote with your voice and saying your lines correctly isn’t that important. Actors and actresses who dub themselves, like Hu Ge, Wang Kai, Liu Mintao, etc., should continue to, and those who can emote well with their voices but are always dubbed should not be dubbed in the future. For example, Li Qin is a great actress and can emote well with her voice, but she was still dubbed in “Princess Agents”. And like Huo Tianlin, a great but really underrated actor, but he somehow always gets dubbing that sounds weird despite being able to say his lines well.

  5. Need eng sub… With my only ‘ni hao’ knowledge of Chinese, i need engsub to make me understand. Any idea where to watch it with engsub? Hopefully viki or df gets the license. I plan to watch her Legend of Mi Yue this weekend. 81 episodes.. Wow… Need a high commitment. Jia you!!!

    • Me too. I hope it gets picked up because this seems like a quality storyline with a solid cast. I got used to dubbing, but I really think part of ones acting skill is voicing your lines as well as expression and emotion. That’s what makes acting such a challenge. In English, we have different dialects, pronunciation, and accents. What makes a good actor is if they can voice all the different ones. If you can’t, then you simply don’t get the part. There is no dubbing to depend on.

  6. Pingback: My Thoughts on “Nothing Gold Can Stay” After Watching All 74 Freaking Episodes | Underrated Gems

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