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RSMasterfade

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  1. Really liked the first three episodes. This is so much better than Go Go Squid. I struggled to finish a single episode of that drama. Interestingly enough, I found dramas set in Beijing to be on average better than dramas set in Shanghai. Beijing dramas have somewhat real people facing somewhat real problems, whereas dramas in Shanghai are often just pretentious (Snail House was an exception).
  2. I think they're going to finish both seasons in one go. The new release schedule is 3 new episodes every Monday and Thursday.
  3. It appears the second season has completed the censorship process. Youku just changed the episode count to 48 and updated the release schedule to 6 episodes a week.
  4. The official YouTube channel (paid members only) are now up to episode 20. I can confirm the show is still going strong at episode 20. Meanwhile this show is becoming a cultural phenomenon in China. One of China's top publishing house is offering a paid online course on the history behind the show. Really you have to know the history to appreciate the show fully. For those who doesn't speak or read Chinese, I can recommend Susan Whitfield's book Life along the Silk Road. Popular history at its best. For those who enjoy historical fantasy, Guy Gavriel Kay's novel Under Heaven starts roughly 10 years after the time of this show.
  5. Well it's historically questionable that a former Kunlun slave could have risen to become the boss of Chang'an's underworld, the presence of black people itself was historically accurate. There were a substantial number of Kunlun ('black') slaves in Chang'an at that time. A typical upper class household would have Kunlun ('black') men as house servants, Korean women as maidservants and Iranian (Persian/Sogdian) women as musicians/dancers/concubines (slavery at that time linked race with gender). It's difficult to know who those black slaves were. I think the current mainstream theory is that most Kunlun slaves were Negrito people from Southeast Asia enslaved and sold to the Chinese by local slavers (Saigon was the Asian center for slave trades at the time). Some of them might be darker-skinned Indians. A smaller number might be Africans enslaved and sold to China by the Arabs. In any case, Hounsou's character needs not to be African, Ge Lao could be a Negrito, although one might argue he's a bit too tall.
  6. People on the Chinese social media sites are comparing production of this show favorably to what's revealed in the Mulan trailer.
  7. From either the production company or their international sales agents. All TV broadcasts in China are hard subbed for people who don't understand Mandarin, and usually they just send the same hard subbed version to Chinese and overseas streaming services. I'm always in favor of soft subs, so the absence of hard subs is in a way an improvement, but absence of soft subs is a throw back.
  8. I think the production company has provided the same subtitles to both Viki and Amazon Prime. Viki of course has the huge advantage of having a volunteer team working to improve the subs, for example adding the subs for the song lyrics. But I suspect Amazon will eventually sync with the Viki subs (like they did with Ruyi). The original subtitles are uneven and inconsistent, most likely translated by multiple people, some of whom should have no business subbing a period drama. For example, in the very beginning of episode 6 the word '庙堂', which means the government/the court, was translated as 'the temple', which completely obscures the conversation. Anyone with a high school diploma in China should know what the word means (since the word actually appears on the standard high school Chinese textbook). The show's top quality but apparently the production company couldn't be bothered to hire professional translators with minimal competence. The Viki subtitles are improved but I'm afraid still contain numerous errors, even in the first episode which is now marked 100% complete. Another problem with both Viki and Amazon Prime is that there are no Chinese subtitles, and as I mentioned many native Mandarin speakers would require subs to understand the more difficult lines. The lack of subs of course also makes subbing difficult. Such a pity because this is a show where almost every line of dialogue counts and they're so well-written. I haven't watched a Chinese show with so many memorable lines in a long, long time.
  9. endlessthoughtsofafangirl posted a wonderful guide to the show on tumblr https://endlessthoughtsofafangirl.tumblr.com/post/186029840425/a-guide-to-the-longest-day-in-changan-%E9%95%BF%E5%AE%89%E5%8D%81%E4%BA%8C%E6%97%B6%E8%BE%B0 It's well-researched and highly recommended for anyone watching the show. I do have one disagreement. I haven't read the original novel, but I'd say in the show Wolf Guards are most likely remnants of Turkic tribes in Transoxiana, rather than the Second Gokturk Khaganate.
  10. A couple month ago the second ML Zhao Lixin had posted on his Weibo account an article arguing the Nanjing Massacre wouldn't have happened if the city garrison didn't try to defend the city against the Japanese, which of course caused an uproar. So don't expect the show to be released any time soon, if ever, unless they refilm with another actor. Zhao Lixin has two other shows that are similarly in limbo. Really it takes some talent to wipe out 100+ million USD worth of investments with a couple of social media posts.
  11. Don't know what's going on but Viki seems stuck at ep.4 whereas Amazon Prime is at ep.6. Debating whether to buy Buyun Chen's new book Empire of Style: Silk and Fashion in Tang China. It seems to be a great book on Tang fashion but oh so expensive. Amazon as a few pages for free preview, worth reading if you love the aesthetics of this show.
  12. Unfortunately, no. The vfx effects in this drama is the best I've seen so far for C-drama and the editing is clearly done with extreme thoughts and care, so I don't mind if they take their time with post-production for season 2 even though I desperately NEED more. Now after seeing properly cut Tang-era costumes on screen I just can't go back watching shows filled with men wearing stupid extra-slim robes that are three sizes too small.
  13. Episodes 13-16 are released in China. The show is truly going from strength to strength. Too bad I just don't know what to do with myself while waiting for the next batch of goodies.
  14. Yes, just to clarify, the current translation is adequate, so by all means watch the show! In any case, one doesn't have to understand the show 100% to enjoy it.
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