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About zoeraindasher

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  1. Will watch Stray Birds.. Thanks for the rec! For me, Xiaoxiao's ambitions, talents, and skills weren't just set dressing and I didn't need to watch the whole drama to see that.. Even the first 3-5 episodes were enough.. In MG2018, it feels like set dressing.. even up to ep 8.. it is.. except for that bridge game which feels ... forced or like a filler scene just to introduce the time and venue for the date. Right now.. watching MG2018 is super stressful and I've decided to drop it for the time being.
  2. then you and I understand the term 'unequal opportunities' differently.. Under many college and university rules, a student with extensive assets, resources, and income is just as entitled to a student with limited assets, resources, and income. This looks like equality on the surface. But dig deeper and you'll realise it isn't. In an ideal world, resources would be efficiently and evenly distributed and everyone would truly have the same access to resources no matter whether they're living in urban or rural areas .. if the government does it well..they can close the gap between high-income and low-income families.. If you're saying merit-based scholarships should not consider financial status at all.. and only consider the grades, talents, athletic ability, and extra-curriculars of the applicant.. then consider this: Student A comes from a family with an annual household income of at least USD 300,000.. From birth.. this student has been given the best education, entered into the best kindergartens, has access to private tutors.. and has all the time he/she need to focus on his/her passions and interests which in turn leads to a more all-rounded and refined application. Student B comes from a single-parent family with an annual household income of about USD 23,000. This student also has a sibling or two to take care of.. and is also working 2 part-time jobs to help support the family. They both score highly but Student B's application is not as well-rounded in terms of extracurriculars or whatever.. How many hours do these two have to focus on their studies and passions and interests? Whereas Student A might have the luxury of time to go build homes for Orang Asli in Malaysia, student B might only be volunteering at the local shelter home.. perhaps.. You see? Merit-based scholarships which do not consider the financial needs of the student at all.. will only widen the gap between high-income and low-income families. It's a truly unequal race from the start. See this for example: https://sg.news.yahoo.com/blogs/what-is-buzzing/tuition-for-toddlers-–-necessary-or-over-the-top-053116125.html Enrichment and tuition centres at the age of 2? Merit-based scholarships which do not take into consideration financial status choose to ignore that there are certain factors that give others a headstart in life.. I believe they're depriving resources from students who are just as deserving.. Is it really just 'merit' though? Or are colleges following the money? https://edition.cnn.com/2016/04/20/opinions/college-merit-aid-steals-from-low-income-students-levy/index.html Again, not sure how the merit-based scholarships in MG 2018 work exactly but if they're following this system (http://www.thecollegesolution.com/should-rich-students-get-merit-scholarships/) then Ming De University must not be the most selective elite university. @ck1Oz there are other awards that aren't monetary-based.. that can be given to them to recognise their efforts and achievements.. that would boost their CVs.. For more nuanced opinions on both sides of the debate, see: http://theweek.com/articles/475132/should-rich-kids-ineligible-college-scholarships I think we can agree to disagree. I am of the opinion that merit-based scholarships should take into consideration financial need. It only widens the inequality gap otherwise. It's alright if you all don't see this perspective.. Let's just accept that we can't see eye to eye on this. Sidetrack: Not related to scholarships but this gaokao scorer is so awesome in acknowledging the gap: https://news.cgtn.com/news/3d41444f3151444e/share_p.html
  3. What this thread has shown me is that one man's poison is another man's treasure. I think each commenter in this read has varying opinions on several issues - the role of dramas (should dramas be wholesome or not) - the role of the story's message - what is considered acceptable and unacceptable acting;.. it's also been an eye-opener to see how much censorship people are willing to accept if the drama is made more wholesome... Meteor Garden 2018 was always gonna get criticism anyway. Show the violence as in the manga and anime and some factions will call for the violence to be reduced/that it's glorifying violence etc.. Show it as it is now and you'll find hardcore fans struggling to accept the changes. From my perspective, MG2018 doesn't quite have the soul of the original. It's not that we fans of the manga and anime can't accept the changes. We can.. but the soul .. the essence of Hana Yori Dango must be retained. Boys Over Flowers made several huge changes.. for example.. Xiao You/Ga Eul and Ximen/Yi Jung fall in love whereas in the other adaptations they don't.. Shancai has a brother in the other versions.. and here and in the Taiwanese version, they don't.. Mei Zuo/Akira's family background and preference for women changes from adaptation to adaptation.. The careers and ambitions of various main characters is pretty well fleshed out in the Korean adaptation too. Meteor Garden 2002 did a pretty good job fleshing out their careers too.. although it really deviated from the story. Here in MG2018, I feel their ambitions and career leanings are just used as set dressing.. just a brief mention without any real follow-up.. I also think that it lessens the opportunities for character development and growth. Part of the fun in watching Meteor Garden in almost every form is seeing the characters learn about how others live.. getting out of their bubble and experiencing things they've never done. Like Goo Jun Pyo eating ramen off the pot lid ... or Daoming Si sleeping in a mosquito-filled room for the first time because he wants to be close to Shancai.. Personally, watching Meteor Garden 2018 nowadays feels like homework and actual work to me. I know some people might give me that timeless... and ever-so-useful advice, "Don't watch if you don't like it." That's a really unhelpful principle.. As a fan, I'm definitely questioning my biases and re-evaluating my perspectives.. and also trying to overcome these biases.. but right now, like I said earlier Watching Meteor Garden 2018 feels a lot like work. It's not very fun. Also kinda feel betrayed by Angie Chai because the trailers and promos gave no hints about the changes.. If it was a minor change or a change that many fans actually want (e.g. Xiao You and Ximen actually getting together).. it wouldn't feel so bad..or if it truly served the story.. Whatever BOF's faults, I think the changes they made served the story.. @jayells Due to the censorship (are you aware of the full list of SARFT's restrictions?), we'll never know if it's a reaction to the fuerdai.. or not.. There are awesome fuerdais in C-dramas (see Qu Xiaoxiao in Ode to Joy) who are making their own way in the world..Although with a little help from their parents.. But in MG2018, it feels like set dressing.. Like a few details tacked here and there to make F4 seem less entitled/more independent/self-made etc. I think there's a difference between making changes to appeal to the audience' tastes and making changes to appeal to the government's tastes. Right now.. due to nature of the scenes and plot devices that were removed.. it definitely feels a lot more like Angie Chai and the producers are kowtowing to the government.. ______________________________________________________ Anyway, good discussion, all. Very eye-opening. Glad we can agree to disagree or agree. Over and out.
  4. My personal opinion is that wealthy kids.. should not be considered for scholarships. Of course, there are merit-based scholarships and there are also income-based scholarships. Even if it's a merit-based scholarship , kids from high-income families have access to private tutoring, are likelier to have more time to study than kids who have to work part-time jobs (not saying wealthy kids don't work part-time jobs) .. all this factors in their scores.. I'm saying if they can afford to pay their way, they should pay their way. https://truthout.org/articles/should-rich-kids-get-most-of-the-scholarships/ Weirdly.. in a way.. this whole scholarship aspect of the show indirectly illustrates how unequal opportunities are.. Of course, I'm aware of the possibility that Shan Cai may have brought it in a box and taken it out and we only got to see the part where she shows it to Li Zhen. I'm referring to the part about Shan Cai and Li Zhen walking around campus with the cake in their hands..
  5. oops double post. anyway I realised after reading lots of comments on various blogs and platforms.. it's not just me.. the more attached you are to the story, the more disappointed you'll be with this version
  6. Thanks for the new perspective on Jing's choice. I guess that makes a lot of sense.. since some people need to be in the same city with their significant others especially if they have marriage on the mind. Bullying in the original story has multiple purposes. 1. Daoming Si, having grown up in a pretty empty home with no one but his big sis and his servants for company, would always act out by getting into fights.. 2. It's also an example of how Daoming Si abuses his influence and power.. 3. It sets the stage for Shancai's challenge (in this version, Shancai's challenge feels all out of proportion to Daoming Si's actions..) In the original story, Daoming Si set the whole school against her.. so it was really a Shancai against the World kinda environment.. with everyone trying to curry favour with Daoming Si. So when Shancai finally stood up to Daoming Si and challenged him, I felt like, "Yay, she's standing up for herself and all the underdogs Daoming Si bullied before!" The bridge card game becomes more of a joke.. whereas the red card in the original story had an entirely different significance. 4. It also shows how different Shancai and Daoming Si's lifestyles and priorities are..Whereas Daoming Si abuses his popularity and power to bully people he doesn't like, Shancai uses her popularity with her school friends to stand up for others and call out what's wrong and unjust. But Shancai and Daoming Si are more similar than they realise.. 5. Daoming Si abusing his influence and power is learned behaviour. He saw how his mom abused her influence.. and picked up on it. 6. It's also, in my opinion, a way of foreshadowing the ways Daoming Feng will abuse her influence to change the lives of Shancai's family and friends. So yes, to me, the bullying is necessary for the storyline and when so much of the story has been altered due to censorship and China's gov policy.. I really question whether it's worth adapting the story at all. Isn't it ironic that China has to restrict free speech and expression in order to curtail the focus on inequality and its aftermath? Isn't that just another form of bullying.. on a federal level? I'd really like to know what sort of adaptation Angie Chai would have made if China does not restrict freedom of expression. I wonder what Yoko Kamio thinks of this adaptation. Of course, I could really do without some things like the sexual assault..Bullying exists through the ages.. It's a societal problem. Just because we ignore it doesn't mean it gets resolved by itself. I don't feel that Hana Yori Dango romanticises bullying. I think it actually shines light on how problematic this behaviour is. I'd rather not brush it under the rug if we can call it out and address it properly. Hana Yori Dango isn't a perfect story. It's problematic in some ways (romanticising violence but heck so does every Hollywood blockbuster and many tv shows) but it does call society out on its worship, pursuit, and abuse of wealth and power. Despite the changes made, I hear netizens in China are still criticizing the amount of violence .. worship of wealth etc. They're still criticising with everything so.. toned down and mild.. and diluted, why even bother adapting it again?
  7. Ikr! This conversation is making me want to binge-watch the Taiwanese/Japanese/Korean versions all at once.. And the anime too.. And re-read the manga as well.. I'm still interested in the current version .. maybe I'm just way too attached to the manga and anime's original story to accept these changes. Who knows how we would have reacted if this new version with Shen Yue and Dylan Wang is the first adaptation of Hana Yori Dango we ever saw or if the manga had never existed at all? Yea Qing He! Hahaah... so adorkable.
  8. According to Angie Chai...they're following the manga but honestly.. due to SARFT's guidelines, so many changes have already been made.. Did you watch the 2002 sequel to Meteor Garden? Because Angie Chai adapted the memory loss part of the manga into a whole sequel.. but she made Ye Sha a lot nicer than the fake gf in the manga. Part of Hana Yori Dango's magic is this love story between 2 people from vastly different socio-economic backgrounds and different lifestyles bridging this super wide gap and making it work despite all obstacles. Hana Yori Dango's a commentary on socio-economic inequality and the effects on people's lives.. With the focus on the bullying.. the power.. and the money pretty much reduced or moderated, the message just isn't the same.
  9. I think you and I really have different tastes and standards. Jerry Yan's portrayal of Daoming Si is one of my favourites. I loved how cocky and arrogant he was.. To you, that may be annoying. But Jerry's Daoming Si had such a sense of entitlement.. he was so cocky and arrogant but such a child at heart. He was someone who lorded his wealth and power over others because he had no idea how else to keep others near him. And you could tell he was really lonely.. BTW, in real life, Jerry Yan's childhood is nothing like Daoming Si... Jerry grew up pretty poor.. His dad died young and his mom, a seamstress raised him and his sis alone. He worked jobs throughout high school to support the family too. When I think of how different his background was from Daoming Si and how different his real-life personality is from Daoming Si's, I just have so much respect for his acting. Lee Min Ho and Matsumoto Jun did well with this too.
  10. Qing He existed in the Taiwanese version. Gotta say I have to disagree with your comments. Shen Yue and Dylan are ok.. Okay, well.. Shen Yue has that "deer caught in headlights" look which kinda betrays a lack of nuance, but I'll cut her some slack since she is quite expressive in some scenes.. Wu Xize (Ximen) is okay .. The weaker ones are Guan Hong (Huaze Lei) and Connor Leong (Mei Zuo).. In many scenes, Guan Hong is a little wooden.. His body language, movements.. everything.. I mean, he's serviceable but not on the same level as Vic and mind you, Meteor Garden was Vic's debut project as well. He'd never acted before that. Guan Hong's not like Vic Chou or Oguri Shun who just exuded sorrow and melancholy. I remember those days when I'd cry just because Huaze Lei was looking out the window. Even the way Vic walked was so Huaze Lei.. Guan Hong's Lei/Rui is.. not as bad as Kim Hyun Joong's but certainly not as good as Vic Chou or Oguri Shun's. Sun Yihan (Tengtang Jing) who has acted in four films is also a little disappointing. Again, she's serviceable. I don't really feel the age gap between Lei and Jing. She doesn't have that same sophistication of someone who's a few years older than F4. In real ife, Guan Hong is 23 and Sun Yihan is 20. The chemistry between F4 is also not as natural as in the Taiwanese/Japanese/Korean versions...Watching Meteor Garden 2001, I feel like F4 had known each other for years and years.. Like they'd actually grown up together. And of course, the chemistry got even better in the 2002 sequel. Of course, I'm not even taking into account the unofficial Chinese and American adaptations of HYD. I checked out their profiles on Baike.. and most of them do have at least a few acting credits.. supporting roles.. Shen Yue is def the most prolific one of them all. But I really like Dong Xin (the girl who plays Li Zhen).. she really conveys that "I'm a victim" mentality that Li Zhen has. Apparently, this is her first role. ________________________
  11. In every version I watched, I never really understood why Jing being a lawyer in developing and underdeveloped countries is an obstacle to a romantic relationship with Lei. And rejecting your inheritance of Tengtang Corp doesn't mean you have to reject a relationship with Lei. C'mon, Jing. It's the 21st century. Separating yourself from your family corp doesn't mean cutting ties with your friends and potential lover. aargh.. maybe she's being a noble idiot. Sure, long distance relationships are tough but that doesn't mean you can't date... Hello.. even in those pre-Internet days, people wrote love letters... If two people are really in love, they'll do whatever it takes to make it work..
  12. I'm starting to think that these changes were made to accommodate SARFT's rules: https://qz.com/630159/chinas-new-television-rules-ban-homosexuality-drinking-and-vengeance/ I think the bullying was really, really toned down in this version. Everything is so mild. Even the cyberbullying is mild. It's just a few comments here and there. Daoming Si's sense of entitlement can at least be attributed to his wealthy background and upbringing.. I think the rest of F4 is rich too. If they'd already planned to go to Hawaii (only watched the first 3 eps so far), then they def have at least 50,000 Chinese Yuan/7,500 USD lying around. Other clues like the fact that Tengtang Jing is living in Paris... and that they've all hung out in the same social circles since young being best friends and all. Again, any Chinese citizen who can afford at least 1 annual vacation in US and other countries.. is not middle-class. Shan Cai is believably middle-class and Qing He is still a 暴发户的儿子 as in his family's all new money. he's funny but I miss the old Qing He... aaaah old Qing He acted way more like someone who'd just become a millionaire overnight. And Shan Cai's parents' reactions to Daoming Si ... =/ not as funny as in the 2001 version.
  13. Xiao You is seriously cute though. She's so adorable I kinda wanna pinch her cheeks.
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