This is the chapter everyone has been waiting for up till now. And no, I don’t mean Xiao Yao gets to make out with the hottie dudes who clearly love her. That may or may not come later, but in chapter 12 of Lost You Forever, Xiao Yao finally gets her real face back and we all get our first glimpse of our darling leading lady being actually, well, a lady. My guess is any drama adaptation of LYF will have the actress playing Xiao Yao also play Xiao Liu in drag and just expect that the audience will take it with a grain of salt anyone thinks she looks like a real man. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there, but I for one am thrilled to finally meet Xiao Yao. She does change once she returns to being a girl since she can’t get away with all the crass things she does as a guy, but deep down inside she’s still the whatever goes hilarious person we’ve all grown to love. Her return to being a Princess isn’t without its bumps and bruises, and being a Princess again means dealing first and foremost with Ah Nian. I do like that brat, and so does Xiao Yao, but Ah Nian’s gotta grow up sometime and if she doesn’t get over her insecurity and entitlement complex then she really doesn’t deserve to be adored by everyone in her life. The last chapter was an interesting detour to Little Zhu Rong’s Autumn Tournament and the introduction of new characters, but the action moves back to Gao Xing and we also take a trip to Jade Mountain. The famous Jade Mountain is a holy place that contains all the mysticism and spiritual magic that the Gods are imbued with. It is guarded by the Royal Mother, a position much like the Pope and is passed on when one Royal Mother dies and another is chosen to take her place and guard the holy lands with all its mystical powers and enchantments. Like the Vatican, it’s an austere place that no child could possible enjoy, much less one as headstrong and rambunctious as Xiao Yao, so it’s no wonder she ran away. But it’s back to Jade Mountain she goes to start her life again right and proper. Continue reading
Are wedding bells coming in the near future for high powered C-couple Huang Xiaoming and Angelababy (Yang Ying)? From the looks of their very high profile public confirmation of their relationship, I would bet on it happening for this couple that pretty much no one thought would make it. Huang Xiaoming and Angelebaby have been dating for the last 3 years, but it’s never been publicly confirmed despite tons of paparazzi shots of them together as well as their friends letting slip in media interviews that they were together. There is an 11-year age gap between them, not to mention Huang Xiaoming was the big name actor while Angelebaby was mostly a model-turned-terrible-actress when they first got together. In the last few years, her star and clout has risen as she’s starred in lots of HK-movies and even headlined her first C-drama the upcoming drama adaptation of Tong Hua‘s Yun Zhong Ge (Song of the Clouds). These two have continued to lay low despite the barrage of dating news confirmations coming out of China last year (Nicky Wu-Liu Shi Shi, Hawick Lau-Yang Mi, Feng Shao Feng-Ni Ni) so it was a huge unexpected surprise with the way they went public this past week.
It was Angelababy’s 25th birthday and boyfriend Huang Xiaoming was in Taiwan filming a CF so had told his sweetie that he couldn’t make it. He booked an entire restaurant in HK for her birthday party and invited all their friends to attend. After the party, Angelebaby was told to go outside where there was a car parked in the front with a canopy over it. It was her birthday present from her boyfriend, and when she pulled the canopy off, she found Huang Xiaoming sitting inside a brand new yellow Lamborghini holding roses to surprise her. Apparently she was so happy and moved she burst into tears while all their friends swooned over the romantic gesture. Due to the popularity of You From the Stars, the media has taken to calling this birthday present “Huang Xiaoming pulling a Do Min Joon” in how he appeared to teleport to surprise Angelebaby (he took an early flight back to HK from Taiwan, but the teleporting suggestion is much cuter). This very pretty couple also posted their first official couple photos to the media which are just so cute. I’m glad they finally went public, one less couple for the paps to stalk. Continue reading
C-writer Tong Hua has carved out a nice niche for herself writing romance novels mixed with Chinese history, but that doesn’t always go over well with readers that find her twists and distortions to events in historical texts to be nothing short of blasphemy. Some readers with their panties in a wad are still ripping apart Da Mo Yao, which was just a totally farcical take on certain historical figures which hardly merits a yawn much less a detail critique of why it’s so inaccurate. I’m far from that opinion and quite enjoy her take on Han and Qing dynasty historical lore mixed with some fanciful twists and turns. If anyone takes it seriously then clearly a Chinese primary school education has failed for said person. Her last two novels have jumped to a mythological foundation and with it goes most of what her naysayers can complain about her storytelling since the very premise of the famed Chinese mythological text The Classic of the Mountains and the Seas is a collection of supernatural and fantastical stories of gods and demons and beasts that all roamed from the earliest dawn of time through the ancient Chinese eras before the dynastic ascension of human rule.
It’s a dense and meaty book that has no known author but the historians believe to be a collection of oral legends that were written down over time by various writers and later collected in the Warring States through the early Han dynasty era into the anthology known as The Classic of the Mountain and the Seas. In Tong Hua’s first novel in her series based on this Classic, Once Promised interspersed the storytelling with a lot more background information about the mythology behind the world of the three Godly kingdoms and it’s political conflicts. Once the story gets to the sequel Lost You Forever, Tong Hua doesn’t bother repeating the same exposition and instead delves right into the story of Xiao Yao and occasionally provides some explanations as it arises. I’ve seen people asking for more backstory and it’s really hard to go into it since Tong Hua drops it through each chapter of Once Promised rather than in a section that is easy to translate. She did, however, write a prologue to Once Promised that provides a very top down summary of the formation of the world of the Gods leading until the three Godly kingdoms period. Hopefully this will provide a nice clarity to understanding how the conflicts have continued from Once Promised into Lost You Forever. Continue reading
This photo op of Ha Ji Won and Gong Yoo is like danging candy in front of a group of ravenous kids on their birthday and then saying “sorry, you have to keep on waiting”. Two of Korea’s top A-listers finally made a joint appearance in something, but sadly it’s not a drama, movie, CF, or anything that remotely requires them to interact with each other. Gong Yoo and Ha Ji Won were selected as model taxpayers by the Korean government and attended a presidential award ceremony to accept this honor (along with the other recipients of the same award). It’s pretty crazy to think with their respective long filmography in both dramas and movies that Gong Yoo and Ha Ji Won have never worked together before. This is clearly some drama karma oversight, one which I pray is rectified soon so that the world can see what happens with the slayer of lady heart’s meets the slayer of men’s hearts. It’s funny how serious both of them are at this ceremony, wearing what appears to be their most proper power suits, though Ha Ji Won’s sky high heels definitely liven up the staid banker lady image. I’m glad they didn’t show up like so many of their entertainment brethren when attending drama or movie press conferences dressed like they grabbed clothes out of the closet with the lights off. Ha Ji Won is currently still in the thick of filming Empress Ki, with at least 20 more episodes left in its run, though her character has thus far managed to marry two men and have a son with each of her hottie husbands. Not bad for a woman living seven hundred years ago. While I would prefer Ha Ji Won and Gong Yoo in a drama (more of them for a longer period of time!), odds are higher that they may end up doing a movie together as their first collaboration. I don’t really care what genre as long as they get to make out. I’m so easy to please. In being selected for this award together, Ha Ji Won and Gong Yoo will be filming CFs and doing poster shoots to help promote the taxpayer agency for the upcoming year. Nothing like remember to pay your taxes because Gong Yoo and Ji Won tell you to. Continue reading
Watching Bride of the Century is like taking a bite of that delicious mango cake Kang Joo bought for Doo Rim at the end of episode 4. Or any such simple satisfying creamy dessert will do, the delectable softness melting in your mouth as the sweet aroma infuses all the senses. BotC continues to get better and better, and even better than getting better is that I remain totally befuddled as to what I’m watching and what to expect. You think this basket of drama cliches would be easy to predict but it actually isn’t since it’s just so darn wacky. Who could have predicted Doo Rim tracking Kang Joo to a remote mansion, and then a ghostly road sign misdirection to make sure she stays the night. Who knew that Yi Kyung wasn’t just missing with the help of her mom, she was actually still right near the house all the along. I find what passes for plot in this drama so entertaining in its sheer gall, even more so the way it’s executed with deftness and a steady hand. This drama knows its identity and doesn’t operate in a state of narrative confusion. I’m sure we’ll find out more about the ghosts back story along with why she wants to bring Doo Rim and Kang Joo together. The whys are important but how she is doing it is beyond precious with her tricks and boos that make me freak out one minute and then chuckling the next moment.
I’m loving how Doo Rim is so earnest in everything she does in the role as substitute Yi Kyung. She takes care of the Jang family in ways that Yi Kyung never did and never will, and she does so with a heart that touches even the bitchy President Man, and definitely touches Yi Hyun. We learn in this episode that he shares a dad with Yi Kyung (or does he?) but they have different mothers, which explains why President Ma seems to treat him more like a close subordinate. I do like how the two siblings appear to genuinely care for each other, but Yi Kyung is thus far such a shallow self-absorbed snot I really wish she doesn’t get white-washed later on and gifted with her own happy ending. Roo Mi continues to be delightfully easy to hate, and sometimes we need such a villainess around, and what makes her work is that Doo Rim takes no shit from her and isn’t above putting her in her place for hitting on Kang Joo. As for Kang Joo, the boy is so smitten he might as well have Doo Rim’s face tattooed on his forehead, she’s clearly on his mind all the time but he isn’t openly aware of it yet. That’s fine with me, they are already so fun to watch in this current phase I have no problems with continuing the push and pull between them. Continue reading
Whatever magic elixir that the combination of Liu Chuan and Jia En together creates, I wish SETTV can bottle it and sell me. It’s positively intoxicating. Episode 16 was a slower episode of In a Good Way, yet the drama continues to command my entire attention with it’s lovely storytelling that deals with happy moments and growing pains all with sincerity and sweetness. Liu Chuan and Jia En’s relationship is out in the open with the parents and everyone accepts it as they should. No pointless parental objection and angst here, not even from Ren Wei’s dad who is sad that his sonny boy isn’t going to bring home the daughter-in-law of his dreams. All Jia En’s dad tries to convey is a caution for the kids to take it slow, which is always great advice, but I’m going to tell Jia En to listen to Tracy on this way. I’m terribly self-serving, aren’t I? But who doesn’t think Jia En and Liu Chuan aren’t ready to keep on burning on the screen as they escalate their romance from chaste to a bit more burning. Episode 16 was a decidedly Ren Wei-centric episode, focusing on his conflict with his dad and his overblown desire to prove himself. Not sure why he can’t get good grades and graduate college with a useful degree and then start his business dreams, rather than diving into a pretty iffy scheme to sell tamagotchis over the Summer.
But this is very true to his headstrong personality that does first and then thinks of how to do it later. At least he’s figured out his feelings for Jia En (he does like her), admits he dreams of breaking her up with Liu Chuan, and then acknowledges that he would never do anything other than patiently wait this one out. His friendship with Bai Xue has turned into one that really helps both of them work through issues and bring out the best in each other. Bai Xue is already out of the shadow of her long Liu Chuan crush and the way she is glowing and happy makes me so thrilled for her moving on. I hope she can counsel Ren Wei to also let go, and she probably is making inroads there as well by reminding him that if a person likes another, then the getting together part is inevitable, whereas if the feelings aren’t there, time and proximity isn’t going to make it happen. Episode 16 did make all its Liu Chuan moments sizzling in that low key intensity only he can deliver, from the way he confidently greeted the parents and stared at his girl Jia En, to how he surprised her with a late night (non-booty) back hug call and a pink promise, to their train ride at the end of the episode that involved so much side-by-side snuggling I actually needed to dig out my heavy duty skiing sunglasses so my eyes didn’t go blind from all the firepower shooting from the screen. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Continue reading
Is it only a few more hours until episode 16 of In A Good Way? I only survived the week long wait by making myself extremely busy, because busy people don’t have time to count down the days, hours, and minutes until this perfect delicious drama delivers another dose of cuteness. I’m sure episode 16 will have tons of cute, but I also am laying down a bet it’ll contains some sizzling hotness as well. There is talk of running bases, going lingerie shopping, a brand new hottie boyfriend to ogle and a cute new girlfriend to legitimately feel up. I think the weather forecast calls for a balmy 88 degrees with maybe a turn past 90 if the writers don’t pull a bait-and-switch on us. We all saw Liu Chuan leaning in to kiss Jia En in the preview for episode 16 so just make it happen, okay drama? I’m still giggling anytime I think of episode 15, chock full of more early dating sweetness than I ever remembered from any collegiate romance of mine. I like that Jia En and Liu Chuan are also both really good students so I root for them to dive right into dating without fear they will suddenly slack off in school. I’m expecting great things out of these two in the future, even better if they make this romance last and head into the real world as a power couple. The written preview is out and I had a good laugh and a bit of a worry. The friend counseling on how to heat up the relationship is adorable, but I worry that Ren Wei will be trying to block his best friend from getting some action. That would be a big no-no, and a majorly douchey thing to do, and I hope Ren Wei doesn’t go there. Well, if he is really looking out for Jia En as a big brother then I get it, I just hope he’s not escalating his nebulous feelings for her. The only escalation I want is of the Liu Chuan-Jia En plus clothes taking off variety. Heh. Continue reading