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2021 mid year drama updates

2 Jul

I’ve been on a drama slump in the past few years as evidence by the lack of posts here but seems like Word of Honor has turned it around! I’m still kinda on the mountain 4 months after WoH?? There’s still one reaction I’m following and also slowing listening to the 16 hours (!!!) worth of audio live stream session which AvenueX has done with couple of her friends. For those who understand Chinese you can check it out here.

But while still camping on the mountain, I’ve had a good run with dramas in the past few months. On the non-Asian drama side, I thoroughly enjoyed WandaVision series and am curious to see how it ties in with the next Dr. Strange movie. I’m following Loki now though it’s not capturing my attention as much.

Back to Asian drama … first off we have The Imperial Coroner 御赐小仵作, a small production which surprised many people with the strong script and proving once again that a story is ultimately what attracts real audience (not just fans of the stars who blindly support). We finally have a drama where people actually work! People communicate with each other! Characters that are supposed to be ‘clever’ actually demonstrate their intelligence! If you are a fan of detective stories this is definitely one to check one though I must acknowledge that as much as I affirm the drama, it didn’t elicit a strong emotional response from me. Given how common it is in idol dramas these days where toxic behavior is packaged as ‘romantic’, I’m very appreciative of how Imperial Coroner shows what positive, healthy relationships looks like, both romantic and platonic, between friends and within the family. On the flip side, the drama tension is driven mostly by the plotting done by the two villains and not the internal struggles faced by the main characters. Not saying it’s a flaw for The Imperial Coroner, because for the purpose of this particular story that’s not its focus and I was happy watching the OT5 work with gusto but it didn’t move me on an emotional level. All that said, I’m still giving it a 5 star recommendation!

Then out of the blue The Eternal Love 3 双世宠妃 3 dropped! If you scroll a few posts down you’ll see my last post on it back in 2017. It was a budget silly romcom which I enjoyed tremendously but even then I’m amazed they kept it up for 3 seasons. I saw a comment that said something like we’re already on season 3 but Yuwen Yue is still freezing in the river (those who watched Princess Agent will get the joke lol). Yes indeed, it’s more of the same type of comedy with nicer costumes and larger sets and while I don’t feel the urge to binge watch it like I did with the original, it’s something fun to watch while having dinner. I only watched a few episodes of S2 cos it had 2 Mo Lian Chengs from different timelines and the plot had MLC from S1 disguise himself so another actor played that character and I just wasn’t used to seeing not-Xing Zhao Lin romance Liang Jie. Fortunately in S3 we have the same actor pairing back again and I also rather enjoy seeing Liang Jie play both the fun Xiao Tan and the more serious Empress character. This will all make no sense if you haven’t been following the fantastical world of The Eternal Love haa, but hey, if you ever feel like just being a bit silly, you can start with the first season!

I checked out Ugly Beauty 皮囊之下 briefly too but the story pacing and acting was a bit grating in the initial episodes. The setup is interesting though so I will probably pick it up again when I run out of dramas to watch.

And finally! The drama which prompted me to start writing this post in the first place before I got side tracked: Love and Destiny 宸汐缘 (I’ve mentioned this before but C-dramas need better English titles and stop with the Love Love Love). I’ll make a separate post (if I don’t get lazy) that goes into more detail, but for me this was kinda like the opposite of Imperial Coroner. The xianxia (fantasy) genre isn’t something I fancied to start with and the plot for LAD is pretty standard as far as xianxia drama goes but boy oh boy, the acting from the two main leads was SO GOOD that they had me invested in the OTP. And really, I suppose that’s the magic of dramas, that they can transport you into a different world to laugh and cry with fictional characters. I binged watch 60 episodes of LAD in one week (!! ok but I admit I fastforwarded a lot of side plot) and have already started to re-watch just the OTP parts. XD

Thai dramas finally airing in Singapore!

19 Apr

Hey guys, hope everyone is doing well under the current Covid19 circumstances. I’ve been staying at home mostly since the start of the ‘circuit breaker’ in Singapore and have lots more free time during the weekends since no more meet ups outside! The drama front has been kinda meh for me, I ended up re-reading an old copy of ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ I found at home last weekend, and this week I’ve started on the Chinese web novel ‘Chenghua Fourteen Years’ (成化十四年). It’s a detective novel set in the Ming dynasty and while it’s technically a ‘BL (boys love)’ novel, the love line between the OTP is pretty subtle and focus is still on the cases and sleuthing skills of the main character. The current airing Cdrama ‘The Sleuth of Ming Dynasty’ is based on this novel (which was how I found out about it) but reviews of the drama thus far have criticized the scriptwriting so I’ll leave it for now unless the tide turns for it like how it went for ‘The Untamed’.

In other news, Thai dramas are finally on Singapore’s free to air TV channels! It’s been what, 10 years since I started watching lakorns but it’s remain a pretty niche drama choice in Singapore, I don’t even know anyone personally in real life that watches it! Please do leave a comment below if you are a fellow Singaporean who enjoys watching lakorns!

I saw an ad for ‘Buppae Saniwaat (Love Destiny)’ airing on Channel U, I think it’s the weekday 9pm slot? Hopefully this means more lakorns to come on prime time slots. Mediacorp (SG’s official broadcaster) has some tie up with another entertainment company and now has a few lakorns on their free streaming site. The choices don’t look super updated? But guess we gotta start somewhere.

mwl

Maybe it’s time to start poking around for new dramas to watch and get this blog active again! Please send your recommendations my way!

The Eternal Love 双世宠妃

19 Sep

So I ended up dropping Cheewit Puer Kah Huajai Puer Tur after ep8 cos as delicious as Jespipat was as Wayu, I found it hard to believe that Rin could fall in love with him so easily when she barely knew the guy. I re-watched a few old lakorns instead and wonder if it’s a sign that I’ve been watching lakorns for too long when I think they don’t make lakorns like they used to. lol

the-eternal-love

After starting and stopping on a few new dramas, I finally found one which I couldn’t stop watching. The Eternal Love 双世宠妃 – not to be confused with Eternal Love aka Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms 三生三世十里桃花, gawd cdramas need less repetitive English titles – is a low budget web drama with a very Mary Sue-ish plot and starring new faces. Doesn’t sound like much but it all came together to form a very addicting show … kinda like opening a giant bag of potato chips, once you start you can’t stop. If you’ve watched Go, Princess Go! 太子妃升职记, The Eternal Love is pretty much in the same vein. While both are about time travel, they each have their own unique spin on it. GPG had a guy who ended up in the body of a crown prince’s consort after travelling through time, while in TEL, a modern lady travels back in time and wakes up as Qu Tan Er in ancient China but the original consciousness of the body she now inhibits is still present, so we have 2 souls sharing the same body! This set up is not spelt out upfront and since I didn’t read the synopsis before starting the drama, I got a bit confused initially but it was easy enough to pick up after one ep. Zhang Tian Ai wowed me at first sight in GPG (she was so perfect as Zhang Peng Peng I feel her performance alone warrants watching GPG) but I was mildly irritated by Liang Jie in the first few episodes especially when she’s playing Xiao Tan who’s from the modern era. It’s surely not easy playing 2 different characters in the same drama and maybe that’s why she plays up the differences by making Xiao Tan very brash but it feels a bit forced? That said, I got used to how the characters were presented after a while and thanks to the love story developing at lightning speed, I was soon swooning over the oh-so-sweet main couple and was ready to ignore everything else. There were so many real kisses omg! and save for a short misunderstanding, the OTP’s love was unwavering. After the head banging experience watching Yu Wen Yue and Chu Qiao in Princess Agents ALMOST GETTING THERE BUT NEVERRRR FOR 58 EPISODES, this was such a joy to watch. TEL’s male lead Mo Lian Cheng is played by Xing Zhao Lin who also acted as Yue Qi in PA and it was hilarious reading the many comments asking ‘Yue Qi’  to go teach his master Yu Wen Yue some moves on how to get the girl.   Continue reading