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  1. @lyserose very good points! Re sticking closer to history, I don't know... If Sima Qian's records described Lao Ai's penis as being as large as an axle......... I'm inclined to believe that the story about her affairs with Lao AI is as embellished as the pregnancy story. Oh interesting; I haven't read through all the pages but my impression on the sites I saw was that lots of people checked this drama out for the Yanxi OTP and thus were rooting for LBW. And haha Yiren is a puppy but a very cunning one! I'm fascinated and saddened by his doomed love for Hao Lan Agree re the constant torture of Hao Lan by obsessed men and women. Princess Ya is a very compelling character but I really wish her storyline had wrapped up when it was supposed to... As for the men being dumb, agree, some could be smarter to show true rivalry, but the feminism goes beyond smarts. I really like how all the women take actions to shape their own lives, whether they're terrible actions or not. They all have agency and it is a sight to see!
  2. I agree with most of your post and wanted to discuss the specific interesting points you raised! The show is a lot of fun and I appreciate the lighter moments. I still think it's more than a palace drama if we think of palace dramas as featuring only/mainly the harem. I enjoyed learning about all the warring tactics and court politics, and how involved our female characters can be, which is a bit different from the usual harem drama where the women are mostly stuck battling each other in the inner palace. I agree with everything! (pretty said the same thing in my previous post above). Love how the men are so dumb in contrast with how capable the women are. Like Princess Ya implied, they probably could run the country better than these men if they let them! I'd be totally fine if Hao Lan ended up being like, both of these men SUCK I'd rather be alone. Or maybe Lao Ai would be her one true love? Seems unlikely since they set up Lu Bu Wei to be her soulmate, even if not her lifelong lover. Her relationship with Yiren will also be a bit dysfunctional. I think if you're involved in palace politics, there will never be a simple, straightforward relationship. Everyone in this drama has such a tragic life/love
  3. Yay a discussion thread on Hao Lan! I discovered this drama recently, wanting to see more of the Yanxi cast (couldn't finish Yanxi because I was harem-ed out, but it was a great drama!) in a different setting. I got SUPER hooked and binged this over the weekend. I'm caught up with Hao Lan's storyline until ep 44 (**but skimmed any scene without Hao Lan, will need to go back and rewatch properly haha), so let me know if you folks have any questions about spoilers! As for thoughts, I have SO MANY! First off, this is a really feminist drama. The women in the show are constantly smarter than the men, and do not hesitate to use their brains and beauty for survival and desires. Even a "bad" character like Princess Ya has real moments of connecting with Hao Lan on the basis of being a woman in a shitty era. Hao Lan constantly asserts her own will in her decision, and always maintains a balanced view on gender equality. To her, being a strong woman doesn't mean you have to lose your femininity or deny real physical differences between male and female. I just love all the discussions between the characters, male and female, about gender roles and the restrictions that women suffer in that era. In a future episode, Hao Lan said (I paraphrased): "The only I decided to love the most is myself. So whether it's Yiren, or Lu Bu Wei, if a man doesn't treat me right, I'd leave." That self-esteem and self-respect! This, in contrast with all the other women in the drama who let themselves ruin their lives for terrible men, is ever the more amazing. Not to say that one shouldn't go all in for love, but a lot of these men really, really didn't deserve it. Second, both male leads in this drama are SO flawed (I mean, everyone in this drama is, but considering they're the "main" roles, I find it fascinating that they're so many shades of grey - as in, they're not "good guys" or "bad guys". They are both just men, sometimes terrible, most of the time decent enough, and all the time fight for what they want and are conflicted about it). I think everyone is on the Hao Lan - Lu Bu Wei ship, and it is a very compelling romance, but for some reason I really eat up the Hao Lan - Yiren romance. He's so swoony! And a total puppy for her! Their scenes have that classic fresh romance feel and I have this stupid smile on my face when I watch their scenes, only to become even giddier to find out later that Yiren is no less manipulative and cunning than Lu Bu Wei, even if in a different way. He at times manipulated her (very few!), and at others completely forgot his own selfish desires for her sake. He made certain political choices that he knew would hurt her feelings, and then turned around to abandon everything political just for her It's so fascinating! He's like a puppy who could transform into a wolf if needed. If I have any complaint, it would be...people die so often in this drama don't let yourself get attached to anyone but the three leads, I suppose! There's literally no law and order anywhere, anything and everything is based on hearsay LOL Almost makes me want to write a fantasy palace drama where the from-the-future character brings a recording device to record everything everyone ever says! Maybe it will reduce the number of deaths! While I enjoy the dialogue, there is a lot of it and 63 eps is much longer than what I'm used to (Kdrama). If the drama follows history, there's nothing but more sadness awaits Hao Lan I think the Lao Ai character will have a twist; this show has treated its characters in a very nuanced, complex way, and I believe they will do that for a character that had a big role in history. Remember too that history is written by the victor; lots of modern (&foreign) historians have debated what was written about Hao Lan's kid being Lu Bu Wei's (as in, it's not true and what was written in the history book was fake). I could totally imagine Lao Ai was completely different than what was written about him, so here's the writer's chance to re-imagine history. P.S.: (not a spoiler but just discussing tangential details)
  4. insertusernamehere

    [Current Mainland Chinese Drama 2018] Meteor Garden 流星花園

    Ok sorry these will be my last rant: - SC has a shoe-less wedding - If you throw "Artificial intelligence" in everything sounds legit, even the flimsiest business plan (**for context, China does invest heavily into AI, from funding education to local government initiatives to startups etc.) - The world in MG as we know it will end because meteor continuously falls for days across the globe since all our characters saw it in Shanghai, London, and somewhere in Africa. Or, the universe is already ending that's why it's dark across all separate time zones in different continents. That's the universe's reaction after watching the wedding arc.
  5. insertusernamehere

    [Current Mainland Chinese Drama 2018] Meteor Garden 流星花園

    No 49 is final. The eps are cut differently and netflix has always been ahead (which is why they paused and released only 5 instead of 6 eps for a couple of weeks).
  6. insertusernamehere

    [Current Mainland Chinese Drama 2018] Meteor Garden 流星花園

    I've stopped trying to reason through the last 4 eps. I salute myself for leaving my brain & logic behind to enjoy whatever PPL-laced cuteness that was meagerly thrown our way. I'm still generally happy with this adaptation because it stayed so close to the manga for 40 something eps, and only unleashed the crazies on us after ep 45 or so. Just tallying all the crazies here so we know what went down (+ some thoughts because god knows my brain still hurts!!): Hunger strike arc: - XZ went from kidnapping SC & DMS to the island for them to be together, to (willingly?) going to try on wedding dresses and buying into her mom bs about "if you don't get married to DMS he will have nothing"; uh excuse me he's a top student and DMF has a failed empire. Even using kdrama logic DMS loses nothing (except for a crazy mom) if he simply just WALKS AWAY. - F3: uh I thought you were rich and/or smart or both. Going to SC to ask her to give up DMS was your solution? => both XZ & F3 needed A FEW DAYS and a whole ep AND some flashbacks (from XZ & Lei) to come up with actual sensible solutions. Ok. - I get that DMS wants to show his mom his determination, thus going through the hunger strike first and not telling anyone about his, uh, brilliant business plan. But DID HE HAVE A CONTINGENCY PLAN? What if, you know, he DIED and no one found out about the secret plan?! DMS are you sure you're a good businessman?! - Also isn't hunger strike too 2001? - Sauce? Squid? What sauce? The only sauce I see here is whatever it is that the writers got high on. As for the wedding, oh, the wedding: - KIDNAPPING, again?! ALSO, gaslighting? - I mean, Dee Hsu is hilarious but maybe, just maybe, we don't need to see a sexy dance from the SISTER OF THE GROOM to the BRIDE?! - Where are the parents?? - Just, why? to all of this. The ending: - So mom has a brain swap and had to recover by sleeping for 7 days. - I'm convinced that Lei has entered into polygamy with SC & DMS, or just has occasional threesome. @feliset agree 100% re Rui's arc. Tbh, when I read the manga I was a bit surprised when Rui confessed because I felt like it came out of nowhere, but everything after that was beautiful. He was a great second lead, never whiny, never scheming. While kdramas always shove SL down our throats, this drama purposely TAKES AWAY a second lead LOL what gives?! The mangaka, Yoko Kamio, is behind on the show - she's been really happy with the show so far because it followed the manga so closely - so I really dread the day she gets to ep 45-46 LOL LOL LOL Not saying her manga was perfect, but it just doesn't make sense to me why they had to come up with this hunger strike nonsense when there are other materials in the manga to adapt from. As a way to recover from my MG 18 withdrawal, I translated the mangaka's posts about DMS and Lei's characters below (take out with credit). They're really lovely notes and validation for how well Didi and Darren portrayed these characters. Caption: This time, because I've been watching MG '18, I'm looking back at Hanadan after a long time. Thanks to creating the character of Doumyoji (t/n: DMS!), I think that a lot of new doors have been opening, one by one, in my mangaka life. People always ask me, who's your favorite character? Though I like everyone, from Tsukushi (SC), Hanazawa Rui (Lei), Nishikado (Ximen), to Mimasaka (Meizhou), as I continue to create original manga, I think Doumyoji is really quite special after all. I want to keep on drawing for as long as I continue to be a mangaka. Caption: If I posted Tsukasa, I should post Rui too Like ice and hot water, like the moon and the sun, completely 2 different people. But somehow, they're good friends. Rui (t/n: Lei) in Meteor Garden is really great! (her non-English hashtags: Hana yori dango, Hanazawa Rui, Meteor Garden 2018, thank you (in Chinese))
  7. insertusernamehere

    [Current Mainland Chinese Drama 2018] Meteor Garden 流星花園

    Yeah the setup is the same as the dream in the snowstorm but this particular scene wasnt there. This really would have made a better wedding...
  8. insertusernamehere

    [Current Mainland Chinese Drama 2018] Meteor Garden 流星花園

    Does anyone know where this gif is from? I rewatched the Canada arc but it wasnt in the dream sequence: Check out @ohheyvivian8’s Tweet: https://twitter.com/ohheyvivian8/status/1035386453889613824?s=09
  9. insertusernamehere

    [Current Mainland Chinese Drama 2018] Meteor Garden 流星花園

    Watched the raws today and sorry rant over. Just holding on till the wedding :|
  10. insertusernamehere

    [Current Mainland Chinese Drama 2018] Meteor Garden 流星花園

    He did say that she was cute but he said it in an exaggerated way to annoy her LOL still super cute though!
  11. insertusernamehere

    [Current Mainland Chinese Drama 2018] Meteor Garden 流星花園

    well all the cultures you mentioned are conservative, so I wouldn't be surprised if the directing of these (TERRIBLE) kisses across c/j/kdramas was intentional. Growing up in Southeast Asia and studying abroad/working in East Asia, I'd say that women in these countries are generally not at all encouraged to openly enjoy intimacy. To be fair, in real life, Asian young adults don't always act so frustratingly chaste like in the dramas, and we've definitely seen improvement when kdramas go cable, escaping possibly conservative restriction of public network TV (i.e. tvn dramas have much better/realistic kisses, for example). I would also say that a lot of my male Asian friends/ex-bfs are terrible at kissing, most likely because their gfs never tell them that they were bad (or when they were good, since they're not supposed to you know, enjoy/not enjoy it). I finished What's wrong with Secretary Kim around the time that I started MG, and really wished Park Seo Joon could just hold a Master Class in kissing for Didi :| (and Park Min Young for YueYue).
  12. insertusernamehere

    [Current Mainland Chinese Drama 2018] Meteor Garden 流星花園

    @mouse007 as someone who used to play the violin I can tell you that Darren's fake playing is comically bad, probably 2nd comically bad scenes next to Caina. Well at least its consistent over all versions
  13. insertusernamehere

    [Current Mainland Chinese Drama 2018] Meteor Garden 流星花園

    @feliset i loved that scene in the manga! The island arc was so emotionally fraught! And bad news....they didnt adapt that kiss. The whole arc was a lot more emotionally low stake...You"ll see why when you watch 44
  14. insertusernamehere

    [Current Mainland Chinese Drama 2018] Meteor Garden 流星花園

    Hey does anyone still have the link the that video where Dylan played a character from a game (the clip changed from him to a dating video game character)? He was waiting in the rain and the camera has the girl's POV. Its driving me crazy trying to search for it...thank you!!
  15. insertusernamehere

    [Current Mainland Chinese Drama 2018] Meteor Garden 流星花園

    Netflix ep 33 where they were locked in the room together. He said "i really love you" and the word used was "ai" and not "xi huan" so he really did upgrade it lol
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