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Posts posted by skibbies

  1. Level 2 is pretty darn good for an actor his age! People are usually more familiar with level 1, they are veteran actors that had made incredible achievements in their fields, a number of absolutely fantastic supporting actors you see in dramas are level 1 (if the chinese audience aren't familiar with them, then they've been active as a play actor, rather than a drama or movie actor).


    Being in actor troupe is something that's more common amongst older actors since that was much more trendy before, what with guaranteed salary and usually it means certain level of resources. It's not that common now since it's not that easy to get into, so it's always a surprise when you find young people part of it. According to Song Yi (most well known for her supporting role in Disguiser & recently Joy of Life) who was part of one, and have now quit it, they basically have to allocate minimum amount of time per month doing plays for their troupe, great opportunity to hone your acting skills, since there's no repeat for plays, but you aren't compensated much for your time and it might have scheduling conflict with dramas/movies you want to play in. The pay is usually average or just less than the average of local salary, but it's also highly tied to senority and a number of other things. In drama world, that means extremely low, main leads in webdramas that barely anyone has heard of could make 100x more (ofc if you are just a minor character, it might be the same as acting troupe or even less, and you aren't guaranteed work in drama world).

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  2. 14 hours ago, bluehibiscus said:

    Someone wrote that Bai Lu does not fit the book’s description of being an extraordinary beauty and cited Ju Jingyu as being more suitable appearance-wise. Sorry to her fans but Ju Jingyi’s looks have never astounded me. I find the hype around her looks to be overrated. In contrast, Bai Lu has always struck me as being very beautiful and natural. What do you all feel?

    I think Ju Jingyi is pretty but her acting is a little...lackluster, I think her look shine little more in still images, so I'd take Bai Lu too. Besides, like you said, Bai Lu is gorgeous. If anything, I think it's Ren Jialun that doesn't fit the role for me, but he's decent in acting so I can be convinced. Neither Li Xian or Yang Zi would have been my choice for their roles in Go Go Squid but they worked pretty well in the drama.

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  3. 8 hours ago, pad-hari said:

    Looking forward to this drama for both the leads.  Has the title been changed?  Such a laaannggggg...... title for the drama:tounge_wink:

    I read somewhere they are filming two dramas to avoid the reincarnation trope (this is a rumour! idk for sure!)? So maybe one title for the modern one, and one for the historical?


    This book had a pretty unique feel to it, mostly interested to see how the author adapts her own story, and esp since the novel was rather vague on certain bits (male lead's family stuff). The male lead was refreshingly straightforward, even if awkward at times, and I really hope they kept that. Female lead was a little damsel-y due to setup, so I hope that's changed too.

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  4. 1 hour ago, bluehibiscus said:


    I did say it was a rumour. Whether it is substantiated or speculation, who can say for sure unless one is an insider?  With regards to why it was on the shelf for so long, I read that they had some problems with the story initially (maybe censorship) but again, it’s just the word of someone I don’t know and there are probably other contributing reasons, e.g. if Xinli wanted it to be broadcast on a TV station, the number of slots for historical dramas were and are limited, Xiao Zhan’s negative news etc.


    I’m not very well-informed on the terms of agreements with TV stations but I remember reading about a drama that was initially sold to CCTV and then pulled from airing a day before because allegedly CCTV was unhappy the streaming platforms got to show the episodes earlier. That drama is still in storage till now so I’m rather surprised that CCTV has no issue with this.

    Yeah I know, my speculation comment also apply to what I wrote. Xinli struggled and failed to get JoL on TV, I think this is pretty long shot too, but trying to get it on tv does seem likely for initial year. I do remember reading that they cut some of the more violent scenes? and bits about how the male lead came into power, which is rough. Slight tangent, historical aiming for tv broadcast is even harder next year, since it's 100 years of CPC, cnet is already prepping for lots of uninteresting dramas on tv lol (there were bunch of poverty-related ones this year :D the tv ratings have been all around abysmal half the year).


    Oh yeah I remember that drama from when Novoland: Eagle Flag was pulled and people were discussing possible reasons, Tian Xia Chang'an! It looked pretty good too, rip Huan Rui (the company), I wanted to see a cool Li Shimin. I assume that cctv was informed this time, rather than out of blue, which is why they are ok with it? Especially now that online platforms are gaining prominence and you can't quite ignore it. Nothing but Thirty straight up got the paid vvip option (so you see the ending first online) despite it airing on dragon tv and doing pretty well too, Tencent must have paid gazillion for that.

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  5. On 11/22/2020 at 4:16 PM, bluehibiscus said:

    The rumour only mentioned the target but not what’s supposed to happen if the target is met.

    It's all speculation tbh, and it was always super low chance they'd make it. it was something like 500mil profit in first year (2018, came short by about 150mil?), 700mil profit in 2019 (came short by less than 200mil?), and this year's is 900mil, I think the figure I saw for first half of the year was 90mil loss (due to COVID?), so I don't think anyone really expected them to make it. The agreement was signed when Xinli was acquired by Yuewen (Qidian's parent company, IP holder, tencent's subsidiary), and they basically paid way too much goodwill for the company and in exchange there was profit target. Xinli's company value would just be lower for not making the profit (it was never worth the amount they paid for it, thus goodwill), but this is also tencent we are talking about, so who knows what kind of management changes there might be. It's all behind the scenes and most people wouldn't really be able to gauge, and for general audience you might not be able to tell a difference.


    I sort of believed the deer and cauldron rumour when I first saw it, but it doesn't quite make sense when I think about it. Consider that they sold it to CCTV and it's doing ok by the looks of rating? Like, it bombed considering the IP, but CCTV 8 have base audience and they kept it, it's also the 10pm slot, not the 8pm primetime slot. The uproar about bombing is mostly on douban rating/how people consider the drama, but netizens aren't the prime audience for CCTV 8, and last decade's Jin Yong adaptations have mostly been abysmal. It mostly affects the actors' rep (rip Zhang Yishan) and maybe if Xinli does another well known wuxia adaptation. It doesn't really affect their profit margins, because they already sold it to tv stations (ok granted tv are cheap, esp CCTV) + online streaming platforms (where the big bucks is). They might be responsible for buying ratings if this was on something that's not CCTV, but it is so this is moot, never seen rumour CCTV expect you to buy ratings since it's not as reliant on advertisements lol. maybe higher marketing cost? But marketing cost would be in the plan regardless and they don't really need to PR it much, since yelling about it is still buzz technically. Note that popular dramas tend to have lot of people yelling about it and don't have that good of a douban score (around 5 or 6 sometimes), but I guess this was horrendous (2.5! nearly bottomed out, gg).


    Sorry for the huge derail. Anyways, this was probably just released all in one go to avoid further mishap (why was it even on the shelf in the first place mhmm?), especially now Darren isn't as popular and it's been on the shelf for three years. Historical dramas get stricter by the year and you can never quite predict what wouldn't pass next year.

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  6. On 10/31/2020 at 5:35 PM, dzareth said:

    Well, acting aside, a huge reason for JoL's success is the writing team and their ability to honour the original content material. Mao Ni's other work Evernight had to be butchered to pass censor, and ended being more like an idol drama in S2. I did enjoy S1 though, whatever misgivings it had. 


    So i do hope they will continue with the tone establish in JoL S1 and focus on FX's journey. 

    Ever Night s2's issue isn't really being censored, it was just butchered by itself, from pacing to writing to characterisation, it's lackluster even as an idol fluff drama, because I barely cared about the otp. 

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  7. 16 hours ago, dzareth said:

    Haha... I haven't actually went through many of works because he actually had a few republican era projects which isn't my favourite genre. Though I find it interesting that he actually had a lot of costume projects when I assumed his exotic looks would probably fit better with contemporary genre. He has also appeared in variety shows as regular and guest, so that's why he is not a shy wallflower in interviews.


    I do find Novoland Castle in the Sky a weird choice... He did a great job that was a strange character...


    And then he played FX and I just can't think of anyone who would be able to do a better job.

    Oh he started out doing republican dramas cos his dad who's a businessman turned director was doing them, actors that star in them (and less idolesque/fluff dramas) do generally go a different trajectory, but there's fair few popular actors/actresses that might have similar resume. Before this, I saw him in Wuxin: the monster killer, where he played a handsome young man trapped in hopeless one side love towards the villainess, it was a lot of fun. I think he's also known for his role in Dr Qin but I haven't seen it. Novoland is indeed a weird choice, fantasy-esque, almost entirely original script based on an established world, questionable budget for a drama that need lots of investment, but he did pretty good job with it.

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  8. 1 hour ago, dzareth said:

    I think Wang Kai is a bit too strong of a YBY. If YBY is supposed to be at the same leading level as FX, maybe. But I think WK's star power is too strong these days?


    Wow, I didn't know that Shawn Dou is quite big these days. I was thinking about some who looks at par with ZRY. IMHO, ZRY has such an exotic look as opposed to the typical Chinese lead. His skin tone is darker and those tick lips are rare! I didn't really have much idea about other actors with a darker skin tone. I've only watched SD in T&E, so I thought they would match. Or get someone who is less pretty and more manly.


    My opinion about SD as YBY is purely based on physical compatibility with ZRY. I do not know his other works. But ZRY has one of the most interesting resume in recent years.

    I've watched none of Shawn Dou's works lol, I just know he's male lead in Zhao Liying and Tang Yan's dramas, they are A list actress of their generation, so I basically figured more or less the same for him. Then I looked him up, wow he debuted with a Zhang Yimou movie! I mean ok the focus was on female lead but it's Zhang Yimou, one of the most well known directors, that explains his co-stars in dramas.


    What do you find interesting about ZRY's resume? 

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  9. 43 minutes ago, tothestars said:

    Wang YouShuo i like him, i have watched him in Young Blood and current airing RuYi Pavillion, not bad really, he acted two different character, while YBY is more to Wang Kuan, smart and calm. About Xu Kai i think i read somewhere that the producer or the director has announced that Xu Kai is not listed in JoL 2. 


    Hopefully they will not kill the character off, replace with other actor will be nice, if a senior actor like shawn dou willing to take YBY, i think he can have the "Special Guest Appearance" title than the "Support Role" title. Btw when you said about "someone reasonably popular that have some fans that can deal with fanwars", suddenly Wang Kai popped out from my mind, he really successfully handle his fans wisely.

    Xu Kai have plenty of lead roles as well so either way would make sense. Wang Kai is fantastic but he's even more unlikely than Shawn Dou IMO? Mostly because he has pretty good big projects with a very good production team (Daylight), I mean they have a variety of roles and almost guaranteed nominations with their projects, which even Xinli (this production company) with backing of Tencent can't promise. He's actually 6 years older than ZRY, same age as Hu Ge. I liked how he handled his fans, but his fans kind of scared me this year when Serenade of Peaceful Joy was airing LOL. They were very rabid and will rip people that didn't like his Emperor/criticise the rather problematic writing/adaptation, the douban discussion was unreadable.

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    On 10/28/2020 at 10:30 PM, tothestars said:


    @skibbiesSurely you have written an essay for XZ lol, and they are really open my eyes. Never been really clear about his accident until i read yours.


    Well if XZ is not coming back as YBY in JoL2, then like you said, the successor actor will have a miserable fate. He will endlessly being compared with XZ. Dont know who want to accept that fate. So i think it is better with XZ stay as YBY? With or without him, JoL 2 will always stay related with him. And yeah WYB is better in handling fans matters than XZ, i think it is also because WYB is a straightforward man, so his fans will know when he dislike or like things done by his fans. 


    I really hope the cast from JoL 1 will return to JoL 2, as weak points or strong points, let them be, i think because we have already get used with them, and hopefully the weak ones will get better on S2. As for the lightings and make up, oh please get a better one!

    I ramble a lot, and it's so hard to stop hahaha. Chinese fandom is also pretty different, and general public deals with overpormotion and having people/things shove down your throat so some of that also backfired.


    I've actually seen some Chinese fans mention they could just kill the character off, which would be a shame since I rather liked the character on paper. From book readers, his role seems important but might not actually need that much scenes, it depends how scriptwriter adapt it. Either relatively unknown newbies who have a strong heart or someone reasonably popular that have some fans that can deal with fanwars (and likely have some help from passerby) could work. It's very difficult to outperform your predecessor, but in this case, I think doing alright could work. 

    2 hours ago, dzareth said:

    Against ZRY, I initially thought XZ was a mismatched. I don't know their ages, but FX and YBY were supposed to be the same age. It doesn't appear that way in JoL.


    Had I read JoL before watching the drama series, even ZRY wasn't how I imagine FX would look like. But since he is FX, I would imagine YBY as someone who looks more similar... maybe someone like Shawn Dou? Side-by-side I would believe they age the same.


    I do hope LQ would be able to make it. I recently saw her in the Covid drama With You, and I'm surprised at how short her character looked... She always look quite tall to my eyes..

    There's three years difference between them I think, so it's not that big. Shawn Dou is the same age as ZRY, so that's a good match, you are right, they seem to fit more. I doubt they could get Shawn Dou though, mhmm.


    LQ is 166cm according to her wiki, even if it might be overestimated, she's still average height I think. Might be because Deng Lun is just tall? 184cm apparently. I'm so glad someone watched With You as well!! I really liked it :D


    44 minutes ago, tothestars said:

    Yeah i think i get your point. About their age differences, XZ is only 3 years younger than ZRY, so it should not be an issue, but like most people think, XZ did not successfull shaping YBY character back then, maybe because he was more focus on The Untamed, i heard that he worked for 2 project at that time (JoL and The Untamed).


    So, added to your recommendation for YBY's actor, i think actors for YBY will be like yes Shawn Dou, next might be Jing BoRan, Chen Xiao or maybe Chen Xing Xu is also okay although he is more younger than XZ, but he has a mature appearance. But they are all senior actors, so role YBY is just too minor for them, so... They might find from some new actors with older age. I dont know whether they will keep YBY character or not, since he will have a quite important part in the next chapter, or maybe they will transfer it to other role.


    I think we'll see in the pers conference yeah?

    He filmed JoL first, I think it was his first big project, some of the behind the scenes you can see the director teaching him step by step.


    Chen Xingxu is pretty good choice I think but yeah he's couple years younger. He has lead roles but major supporting roles in a big drama would be helpful. I've seen rec for Young Blood's second male lead, Wang Kuan who's real name is Wang Youshuo, but I'm not sure if the role would get to relative newbie like him. I saw Xu Kai in the rumour mill, I haven't seen any of his dramas though, but I know he's decent and fairly popular.

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    23 hours ago, dzareth said:

    @skibbies Woah... that is a really long post you have there. I didn't realize there were several other issues other than the Ao3 thing, but I genuinely think JoL was a gem of a show and would love for it to continue being a stellar production in S2.


    Do we know if there will be a cast change for YBY?

    I could type you essays for it haha. I didn't really want to get into it because it's so long and roundabout and kind of derail discussions.


    No, and I doubt we'll know till it starts filming or even nearly done filming. They'll keep it tightly wrapped, regardless if there's a cast change, the production team is going to have their hands full dealing with fans when it comes to YBY.


    6 hours ago, bluehibiscus said:

    First of all, let me clarify I am just a casual fan of Xiao Zhan from watching his acting in The Untamed. After the drama ended, I haven’t been following his activities so I did some research on the incidents cited.


    While it is true that some of Xiao Zhan’s fans had incurred the public’s anger with their thoughtless and damaging actions, I think we should be careful of spreading all the negative news as truth unless they had been verified. Was there actual evidence that Xiao Zhan’s fans had faked charity donations? 


    It isn’t really fair to hold him entirely accountable for his fans’ actions although one can argue he can provide guidance. Stardom had come to him very suddenly and unfortunately a large portion of his newly acquired fans seem to be immature and rabid. Even if he tells his fans what to do, they may not necessarily listen. The graffiti could have been done by one thoughtless or mischievous fan or it could even be a case of sabotage by people who don’t like Xiao Zhan.

    I've also watched Untamed and think he did a pretty good job in it but he was rather lackluster in JoL.


    First of all, his fans and cp fans (with WYB) have done charity and I applaud them for it. As for what I'm talking about, it's late March/early April where they *claim* they were doing charity but it was simply reblogging the post or spreading the news they've helped reduce poverty in certain place when another celebrity have been doing it for a long time (so some people see it as stealing charity effort). It's not exactly fake charity per se, but it is misleading, apologies for the unclear wording. I think it's great if they were simply spreading awareness but they were using charity as a comeback tactic that some people are rather ticked off by (He's not the only one that does it though). 


    I didn't really hold him responsible initially, I did expect him to tell people stop, if he did it then he wouldn't have so many people that dislike him, because everyone have crazy fans. Hell WYB was in a motorcycle accident not too long ago in a competition, his fans were extremely angry and cussing people out since they thought it was intentional, and he told his fans he'll handle it himself, I wish XZ had went that way you know? If he was bothered by a fic, he could have taken legal action or ask the author to take it down, that's fully understandable. He didn't know, his fans were bothered, then they could have told his company about it or ask the author to take it down or idk have a fanwar, not abuse the report button. This is not the first time nor the last time they did it, they also did it again to professors after Ao3 because the professors commented on the issue. His fans really need to stick it in their head, discussion of a social issue is not personal! 


    On the graffti, it's not one fan, it's bunch of them and it's combined with other fans gathering to celebrate his birthday (event organised by his brand endorsement but later cancelled). It's fine that they gather to celebrate, not really fine to go into other people's art school (not even the one he graduated from nor where the event was held) and making a mess. It later turned into a huge fight between art school students and fans. Fandom in China is complicated, they are often controlled or guided by companies behind the stars through lot of big fans (It's been portrayed in Brightest Star in the Sky & We are All Alone). His fans in particular isn't really one fan or one incident, it's persistent large group of fans, over a long period of time, affecting people that really doesn't have anything to do with Chinese celebrity fandom. His boom to popularity heavily relied on fans, it's why nobody in China buys that he's not responsible for his fans. You can't have your popularity and nice things (such as donations by cp fans) but refuse to tell them to stop when they go over the line.


    I will note that his company did issue a statement on March 1st but it was more like trying to shift everyone's attention to COVID, it didn't mention those most heavily affected nor Ao3, most importantly, it was just a non-apology. He did come out and apologise but it was to a well known host that was affected during some fanwar in late April (fans vs antis, not other people's fans). The first time he mentioned relationship with his fans was in a video around May? and said he didn't believe in "managing fans", no one wanted you to manage your fans, some guidance would be nice. It also ring extremely hollow when this was after his big fans encouraged other fans (including teenagers and kids) to buy 100+ copies of his EP per person and several incidents of teachers promoting him in class which caused huge uproar, to some it seems like a weak PR save and it didn't work at all. (Multiple copies purchase have happened with other idols, but this is first time I've seen such large number, but I'm not super familiar with idols either so feel free to correct me.)


    Then there's the fact that they nuked hundreds of tags on weibo, even if I'm willing to believe that Ao3 related tags were nuked due to it being in the gray area in China, a lot of tags nuked really really have nothing against the law, such as Joy of Life Yan Bingyun (this wasn't recent nuke by the way). Usually that means someone paid large sum of money to weibo to have it nuked (this is simply a guess, but fandom take it as open secret), just like you can pay to trend on weibo (this is commonly accepted and known on c!net, not just fandom, it's a common marketing tactic). People have also gotten their accounts nuked (not banned, nuked, the entire account and past messages all gone) or muted for a month due to this, some of it I understand as they might be rather rude or spreading unconfirmed unsavory rumours, but some are really really mild and just discussing the issue or reposting lot of boycott stuff. This is probably not a company issue, but fans reporting and weibo just nuke accounts (some guess that in order to keep a good working relationship with celebs, weibo also nuke accounts that they choose, but this is unconfirmed. I think it's more likely due to large number of fans reporting?) 


    I've watched this unfold over the last 8 months, live on weibo and douban, so that's where I source it, some of it live (douban scores, nuked tags, trending topics, nuked accounts), sometimes there's videos (news about high school kid overspending on EP, birthday gathering), sometimes it's screencaps. I can't promise all of it is real, and I've tried to avoid mentioning the more conspiracy-y rumours that float around and common fandom tactics (antis pretending to be fans, faking incidents, company guided fanwars turning cp fans into only fans) that makes it more confusing, it's mostly big incidents that have extremely wide reach online that caused non-fandom general public turn sour on him. If you want source, I can give you some keywords for incidents in Chinese, news reports sometimes lean one way or another, or give you a handy timeline that note events up till late June from the boycott side in Chinese (I know about 90% of the events but some of them wouldn't have news reports since there's lot of small stuff on various platforms, including harrassment or doxxing of some weibo users).


    I'm sure there's antis and other people helping to sabotage him at the same time, but I really don't think they are the majority. Some of his fans might as well be antis seriously, insisting people criticising a drama (about the director and scriptwriter) are antis, shifting half the angry netizen's ire onto him, when he was only a guest role of less than 3 minutes, in a 20 ep drama! Anyways, I typed up the previous and this post not saying that he sucks and everything is his fault, simply just because I want to indicate that having him on the cast would cause lot more issues than benefits in the domestic market, it's a much much higher cost than international audience believe.

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  12. On 10/24/2020 at 2:34 PM, dzareth said:

    That AO3 thing wasn't XZ's fault and so it would be quite sad to see him off the cast list because of that.

    It's way way waaaaaay beyond Ao3 now and it's not just his fandom that's the issue now, it's his team consistently go with worst possible PR tactics AND continue to muffle people that dislike him  or boycott him for various reasons.


    As for JoL, I really don't want him to return, because in s1 his fans and certain marketing tactic (not sure if his company or is it tencent) overtook the drama discussion at some point, even when he hasn't showed up. Immediately after Ao3 incident, JoL was trending on douban because it was being downvoted by angry people (note that his fans, i'm not sure if they were real or fake, chinese fandoms are as complicated as a spy network, have also previously downvoted the drama cos fandom kerfuffle). Thankfully, this was quickly remedied by lot of other people upvoting as a counter tactic, and JoL actually got to 8.0 due to that. Several other works that XZ was main cast for was also trending, then suddenly those were gone, the scores were locked, but JoL stayed the entire time. I don't know who did it, but it was gross, if massive votes triggered a protective mechanism,  or if his company or tencent or whoever wanted to lock things till people calm down, why the hell did JoL stayed? He wasn't even the main cast in JoL in the first place.


    I mention this not saying that particular incident was XZ's fault, it's just a side effect, although I think he and his team have plenty other stuff to be responsible for. But I want to make it clear to international audience, that kind of side effect x 100 will happen if he stays on the cast. He'd be overpromoted as he had been before, there's been previous report that JoL was a double male lead drama which is laughable (and I really hope it's not by his marketing team cos it's far away from the truth and attracted way more negative attention than positive). There's a lot of people that dislike him, due to misguiding kids and teens into spending excessive money on digital EP, due to faking charity and using charity as a way to come back, due to his lackluster acting but fans won't let you comment on it, due to his fans disrupting complete strangers' lives (harrassing and doxxing people that don't like him, graffting in public places and retired fighter jets, abusing the report button because how dare you don't like him). There's been so. many. little. incidents. You think they are done, there's something new, it honestly amaze me how much ire they attract every time and how wide reaching it could be. Some of it isn't unique to him, but present amongst lot of other idol's/young actor's fandom cricle, but his is most excessive I've seen and representative, AND he has some hilariously unique stuff, like international fandom mischaracterising late Feb/early March as "the government banned him cos he was in a BL drama"????? Excuse me, no? It's a consumer boycott? because report abuse?


    At the end of the day, I want JoL to do well. Now, a significant portion of general audience will look at everything XZ touches under a microsope/boycott it. Even if it airs okay, it's going to be a headache inducing fandom wise, and may overtook discussion of the actual drama. Not to mention, yeah he's one of the weaker links of the drama (the lighting and sometimes styling department too!) and he's not that central to the drama, so I rather say bye to him. Even if he was one of the more important supporting roles, I'd rather him gone. RIP to anyone that might have to replace him though. Of course, I'll probably still watch it even if he's in it, I'd just lot more anxious how many things could go wrong.


    On 10/25/2020 at 1:14 PM, stella77 said:

    I need to know if Li Qin is also returning!? Can’t wait! 

    The rumour mills indicate she is, she just had other obligations that day. I think she (or was it ZRY) mentioned that they'll definitely collaborate again, which should be JoL s2. I'm curious if Chen Daoming (emperor) and Wu Gang (Chen Pingping) are returning, I don't think they are busy at the moment, fingers crossed.


    The rumour filming date i'm getting is like March next year which is bit later than I expected. Wang Juan, pls write s3 asap so they can film it together.

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  13. 9 hours ago, BreezeC said:

    However, I have a few questions on the ending, hoping someone can help clarify...


      Hide contents

    1) Why did the CP commit suicide? I understand he no longer have the 'crown prince' title but does that mean death? Does he think his father will kill him? Or is he tired of all the struggles and decided to end his life? Or does he feel guilty for giving up on the title when so many people died helping him to one day be the emperor?

    2) What happened to the female lead? The last scene is both the FL and ML standing together but I am thinking either the ML managed to survive and they lived outside the palace together or the FL also died and they reunited in their afterlife?

    3) Do you think the emperor really did have a hand in killing the CP's uncle or is it as said in the letter, because the army was not his, they didn't help him when they were ambushed and left him to die? That is pretty sad :(



    I read the novel, I believe the drama follow the novel fairly closely for this portion, but feel free to correct me if not.


    1) Yes to all your speculation IMO. Most importantly, to him staying alive after being stripped of his title is worse than death. He based his entire existence and most of his life on being a crown prince, so when you take that away from him, he's without purpose. It also feels insulting and degrading to him to continue living that way, since he'll be at the whims of whoever is in power. Everyone would treat him terribly too since he lost favour and again, not a crown prince. Technically, his father have the right to kill him just base on the fact that he could have been rebelling. I mean, yes he suppressed it, but no doubt ministers and other would think he wanted to rebel but chickened out. More importantly, his father is super suspicious so that's totally what he'd jump to, not killing him is a "favour" the emperor bestowed on him, which makes it more insulting. Him dying would also stop other people trying to rebel in his name, which would destablise the stiuation again. (This work little less well in the drama because his son ascended the throne instead of his brother I think? but I'll mention it anyways)


    2) She died by suicide in the novel, because she's a spy, and her actions partially caused ML's death, so she feels incredibly guilty. She was pregnant too, so she confessed her crimes and asked for time till she gave birth then she died. You are free to interpret the happier ending, it doesn't seem to fit with the general tone of the story or the otp's personality, BUT the drama is smidge less depressing and I totally get going with happier ending.


    3) Could be interpreted either way, I wouldn't put it above novel!emperor, drama!emperor is nicer I think but mhmmm, uncle did threatened power of the throne.


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  14. 8 hours ago, hush puppy said:

    Zhang Xin Cheng is a very shrewd person.  He knew which role will garner more of the audience' affections and therefore helps in his popularity.  Also as one of the Producers, he can choose the role he wants. He has more say

    ? When ZXC joined the drama, the casting for otp was already done, he decided to join because he wanted to work with the leads. 


    College is also not as expensive in China as it is in US/UK, it should be less than 10k rmb/year and there are lots of programs to help students that can't afford education. People suggest SWL attend college because they think his acting could be better, and classes might help. He doesn't have to go to uni for it either, taking private lessons from acting teachers could help too. Cnetizens first and foremost think his acting could be improved, and then they looked at education to see if he took formal classes, and then it's gossips about romance. The romance thing is only really relevant to fans that treat him like a boyfriend, not to general audience. Even if he attended uni, they would still criticise him because the end result is "his acting isn't that good" to significant amount of the audience, and since he didn't, the natural solution is suggest he attend college.


    It's great that SWL is working for you, and I don't think he's as bad as some people claim, and I do think comments can be harsh, but I just want to put certain things in context.

    • Like 4
  15. 50 minutes ago, hush puppy said:

    Ling Xiao is creepy for stealing kisses from a sleeping JJ, etc.. etc.

    Stealing kisses is a pretty a common trope in romance dramas/stories, it's cute when it's your otp and you know they love each other. BUT, when JJ is still confused/unsure about her feelings, it's not consensual to kiss her, that's why it's creepy. Imagine if JJ didn't actually return his feelings, a lot of his actions would be uncomfortable. I think the writer could really smooth out the switch from family drama to romance drama, take a little more time maybe, it'd be way less jarring and much easier to accept. 


    It's entirely fair that you disagree with AvenueX, she didn't like some of the dramas I like, she loves dramas I couldn't really get into, but it's just different strokes for different folks. I'd note that, even for dramas she does like, she tends to be much more critical of dramas compared to the general audience, because that's entirely what her impressions/reviews are for. Can we avoid making assumptions about her or generalise a large group of people just because she didn't like the drama? Like imply that living in Canada means she should be more open or the fact she's from China means she won't like the drama, it's just her opinion.

  16. The international audience have always been much much more leniant towards cdramas, partially because it's lot fresher, partially due to language barrier (dramas will get criticised for dialogue usage, for diction, for using too many of same voice actors in China) and partially because cnetizens are just hilarously harsh on c-ent products in general (actors, dramas, movies etc). The reverse is true though, if you look at ratings for kdramas, jdramas and US/UK shows, popular ones frequently in the 9+ range. The last 9+ cdrama was Nirvana in Fire, it subsequently won bunch of prestigious awards and that still got a lot of criticisms that protag was too OP.


    Love O2O's "low rating" have to do with book fans being annoyed by casting + wooden acting + it's a fluff dramas, good fluff dramas get 6 to 7, I think Love O2O could be bit higher but 6.9 is not a bad score by douban standards, TMoTP's score have to do with its novel plagiarism scandal. MDL's issue is that popular + well known actor = high rating, the rating difference is also miniscule but the reviews are definitely helpful. Douban scores have actually been inflated and manipulated in the last few years, but it's still a decent gauge for quality of work most of the time. I definitely do recommend not taking criticisms too seriously. 7+ is still a good score for cdramas (8 is fairly rare, note that Joy of Life is only 8.0, it was stuck at 7.9 for the longest time). The drama is also fairly popular judging by tv ratings, so you are going to get more general audience that will rate it, and they might not be a fan of this type of drama or its writing or its acting.

    • Like 4
  17. A lot of people came for family drama, it's not that family drama can't have romance, but romance is usually with other people. Some finds the whole situation in this drama a little skeevy, Westermarck effect is a thing (kids raised together at a young age do not develop sexual attraction towards each other later in life). The first time I heard about the drama, I knew who the otp was, so that's not a problem for me, but a lot of people don't really follow drama news. Also do note that, the drama is less like an "idol drama", the fluffy ones that have more unrealistic-ish characterisation, set up or plot development. It's much more in line with a regular drama, much more down to earth, much closer to home, and so people relate to it more and will get mad when your family drama turns into romance when you didn't expect them to (also because come on, disappearing for 9 years with no contact in this day and age is utter bs). To a lot of cnetizens, every. single. bloody. drama turns into a romance drama, it's very very frustrating, because they tend to turn messy and melodramatic, with misunderstandings and other dumb plot developments that the audience is deeply critical of. Last thing, I want to note that Chinese audience see a lot of cdramas, even if they don't watch them, you get bombarded by advertisements, on weibo, or just people talking about it, so while I do think cnet can be very harsh on dramas' production quality and writing and actors, it's not without reason.

    • Like 2
  18. 16 hours ago, PPB said:

    Wanted to also ask, there is a lot of talk about The bad kids, do you know this programme? Have you an opinion on it? I can't find it to watch anywhere....

    Bad Kids is produced for iQiyi (streaming platform) so it's probably on their app. It's fairly well done and was pretty popular. The Rise of Phoenixes was mentioned awhile ago, I definitely second the recommendation. It's probably the closest-ish in terms of quality of production + genre to this drama, it has its flaws (so many of them!) but I loved it dearly, and it's available on Netflix, which makes it very convenient.

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  19. On 8/6/2020 at 1:30 PM, Seonhoyaa said:

    One of the best shows i've ever watched in my life. I regret watching it now though as i've to wait for 2 years now :(. Why didn't they make this show their priority and filmed all the seasons in one go. i'm sure it's the best project in all the peoples involved filmography. 

    Because they contracted the writer (and he works alone iirc) for I think 6 projects, I don't know if separate season count as different projects either lol. But so far he's done 3, 4 if we count JoL s2. He likely started writing for JoL when it was airing. It's pretty on schedule at the moment. Half a year for script, half a year for pre-production (set, costume, actor scheduling especially), half a year filming, half a year post-production + getting NRTA + lining for airing. pre-production could overlap somewhat with script, and post production and stuff could take a year-ish.


    On 8/6/2020 at 10:21 PM, Seonhoyaa said:

    So he's done shooting Perfect Evidence and The Fated General?! I saw it in his MDL's page.

    Do you mean it's might not be released in 2022? 

    Fated General was filmed before JoL s1 I think, Perfect Evidence was filmed last year. JoL s2 should be prioritised after Sword Snow Stride.


    1 hour ago, Seonhoyaa said:

    I think i can't move on. Is there a place where i can find all the BTS of the show?!  

    https://www.bilibili.com/video/av45429190? slide the blue slider under the video to turn off the rolling comments, there's no subs though. 

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  20. I've seen this in rumour mill for a while, the casting wasn't particularly well received mhmmm. I'll note that there's a movie version that's done that's been thrown back into development hell due to apparently terribly produced. As for this version, the director (douban) can be decent, I've seen his The Red, which is a republican era slice of life slow burn romance disguised as a spy drama, but his more recent works have been pretty mixed. The scriptwriter (douban) also have similar issue, and the story will rely on pretty darn good special effects, so I'm hesitant. 


    There's also an animated version slated for 2021, which should be earlier than the drama, the trailer look utterly fantastic. The production team have pretty long production time though, judging by their previous original series, which started airing mid 2019 and still haven't finished because they halted serialisation for half a year lol. Maybe the drama will come first mhm.

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  21. 22 minutes ago, Yuui said:

    Yea, but they were already filming at that time. So postproduction you can do remotely online, so the parts they already had filmed could have been done during the shut-down.  But even though that might help speeding up the process I still don't think you can speed up the process with NRTA. 


    I just find it odd that they are starting to promote it this early and the drama will be airing in December/January. I know that some dramas has early promotions, but 4-5 month early seems a bit much. Anime-confused-gif-8 GIF | Gfycat 

    Yeah that's bit weird. WYB has a dancing variety show airing, but it's Youku's, ZLY on the other hand is filming a restaurant variety show that should be airing later, and it's by Hunan TV, where Happy Camp is broadcasted, so could be warming up for that?


    Hunan TV also used up its historical drama limit for prime time slot this year already I think? On half of Ming Dynasty (did ok) and Serenade of Peaceful Joy (bombed terribly). They could potentially air it for late night slot (10pm) since Flower of Journey + Princess Agent aired that slot and was super successful, BUT it'd be a lost opportunity for them to bring up prime time's base rating. Ha well, who knows, this is all speculation.

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  22. 19 hours ago, Yuui said:

    :omg: So we might get it by august or september, I didn't think we would get it until earliest in december. 


    @skibbies Can it be that they were able to do a lot of the post-production during the covid stop? But to get the okay from NRTA already, that is fast! :happy2:

    China's peak COVID phase was Feburary to March, they had to halt production so nah. I gave an estimate for how fast they could get it pass NRTA, I'm not sure if they did. It's only been 3 months since it finished filming. Chances for August and September air date is extremely low.


    August have a whole slew of dramas production teams are rushing to air, hopefully grabbing attention from some students on holidays (it's kind of astounding that we are half way through summer and there's no super popular drama yet RIP, compared to last year's winning catalogue mhm) September is probably absolutely no go, unless they want to just give up selling to tv stations. September and October is likely reserved for celebratory dramas since National Day is Oct 1st. As comparison, there were no historical dramas till I think November last year? Even webdramas.

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  23. 33 minutes ago, leo2020 said:

    It seems the main leads are coming to Happy Camp on 03.08, I wonder if it true and if it is usually a sign that the drama is coming soon?

    Unlikely, historical dramas generally need half a year minimum for post production + getting pass NRTA. The fastest I've seen it's Sun Li's and hers was a modern drama which took 4 months? Webdramas could take only 2 or 3 months too, but they are also modern dramas + little promotion/rushed air date. ZLY's dramas tend to sell pretty well so tv stations will want them, and those need to be lined up, so earliest would be late this year/early next year.

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  24. 14 hours ago, Adidaem said:

    But if they lock most of the episodes to VIP only, then the impact to views is so great/bad right? It’s like they are purposely making it difficult. That said I think we are very close to the 2 billion mark... fingers crossed!!! 

    Tencent vip all their videos pretty soon, iirc it was a week in 2017, last year I think I saw like a day gap but I'm not too sure about it. So it's really not that personal, the 2 billion mark will mostly help convince investors and producers.

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