The Empress of China: Revenge of the Maids

I cannot express how much I love the maid’s dress behind Kathy Chow in The Empress of China. Everything from the design to the patterns to the colors are wonderful replicas of Tang-dynasty paintings. Much better than the random gold confetti dangling around  Kathy Chow. More photos of Kathy Chow, Zhang Xinyu, and their maids below the cut.

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The Voice of China returns for season three

This is the first time that I've written something 3,000 words long since graduating from college.

This is the first time that I’ve written something 3,000-words-long since graduating from college.

No A-mei or Harlem this year, but The Voice of China 中国好声音 comes back big with a new judge, an old judge, and a fresh batch of talent. The season three Voice premiere saw the introduction of first-time mentor, Taiwanese singer-songwriter Chyi Chin 齐秦, replacing Harlem Yu, and the return of Yang Kun who replaced A-mei (who replaced Yang Kun the year before). The mentor lineup now stands as:

  • Na Ying 那英
  • Wang Feng 汪峰
  • Yang Kun 杨坤
  • Chyi Chin 齐秦

With the addition of Chyi Chin, the judging panel now becomes 50% Manchu, much like the Qing Grand Council in the 18th century. The more you know.
Chyi Chin is a strange choice. He wasn’t especially popular on I Am A Singer. I would have liked Coco Lee. Speaking of whom, have you registered for auditions for Chinese Idol yet?

This post is the first in a series of weekly recaps for The Voice of China.


If you you’re the type of Voice viewer who only occasionally watches clips of performances, feel free to skip ahead for the videos.

The episode begins with Na Ying walking on stage, singing fellow mentor Wang Feng’s Braveheart 勇敢的心. Her placard-wielding teenage entourage seems a little bit lost and not at all excited to be on TV. In contrast, when fans get this close to The Voice UK judges, crotches get grabbed.
Yang Kun is the second judge to make an appearance, transitioning the medley into Chyi Chin’s Heartless Rain, Heartless You 无情的雨无情的你. Wang Feng then appears to sing Na Ying’s The Day Doesn’t Understand the Dark of Night 白天不懂夜的黑. I am sensing a trend here. If the next mentor sings a Yang Kun song, I am going to reward myself with a doughnut. Wang Feng is singing for a long time compared to the others before him.
Finally, Chyi Chin takes the stage with Yang Kun’s The Moon Can Represent My Heart 月亮可以代表我的心. I think I’ll go for cinnamon. The other judges, having taken their seats, tap their buzzers and swivel around to choose Chyi Chin, welcoming him into the fold. Ah, yes, very symbolic and creative. All four judges return to the stage and finish off with Braveheart.


Liu Zhijia 刘至佳
19, Chonqing
Girl On Fire by Alicia Keys

This university student kicks off the very first audition of the year with the introduction to the Black Eyed Peas’ Let’s Get It Started. It’s similar to Laure Shang’s performance on I Am A Singer. She then begins to rap an unknown song before finally settling on Girl On Fire. Liu half-yodels, half-grunts the Alicia Keys’ number, sounding a bit like the lovechild of Christina Aguilera and Shakira. Her voice is strong, but lacks control. All judges except Na Ying turn for her. Continue reading

Hu Ge Grows Beard for New Soccer Drama

Hu Ge with a beard

How do you think Hu Ge compares to these real-life soccer players?

It seems like World Cup fever is still going strong in China. Tangren recently began filming a soccer-themed drama titled Youth Soccer (少年足球), which stars newly bearded Hu Ge and So Young actress Maggie Jiang.

The plot is pretty similar to most sports-related stories you’ve seen: a losing soccer team gets a new coach, Mu Qi (Hu Ge), who turns out to be too tough on them for their liking. Mu Qi also clashes with the new intern teacher, Pei Duo (Maggie Jiang), but soon, his unique teaching practices transform the team, which finds itself competing not only in the city-wide games but also headed to the province-level tournament.

The team begins to thrive, not only in soccer but also in their studies and friendships, and Mu Qi and Pei Duo grow closer and closer. However, problems also begin to crop up, including some involving Mu Qi’s hidden past. Mu Qi ends up resigning at the end of the soccer season, but not before his fighting spirit shakes up the entire team.

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Gao Yuanyuan and Nicholas Tse star in upcoming movie “But Always”

Nicholas Tse and Gao Yuanyuan provide more pretty in one still than some dramas in forty episodes.

If If you liked My Ol’ Classmate with Lin Gengxin and Zhou Dongyu, you may also be interested in Gao Yuanyuan and Nicolas Tse’s upcoming movie But Always 一生一世. Joining the cast are Tong Dawei, Happy Camp’s Du Haitao, and Suet Lam.

Gao Yuanyuan’s An Ran and Nicolas Tse’s Zhao Yongyuan (his name is literally Zhao “Forever”) have a love story that plays out from 1972 to 2001. Their childhood friendship evolves into romance when they see each other years later, and although Youngyuan climbs from being a simple worker to becoming a successful entrepreneur, he continues to follow and protect (from Beijing to New York) his childhood friend. (The stills hold up to this promise so far…) The movie will be released on September 5th.  Continue reading

Zheng Shuang stills for “Ancient Sword”

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The cutest Zheng Shuang for  “Legend of the Ancient Sword.”  Zheng Shuang recently finished filming for The Cage of Love with Hawick Lau, is currently doing a guest appearance in a Huace drama, and will star in a drama about Tai-Chi by the team of Ancient Sword  in September.


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All Quiet in Beijing releases trailer fit for the silver screen

After seeing trailers for this and Nirvana in Fire, I’m officially a fan of this team from Shandong TV Group, whose trailers are all film-qualitied.   All Quiet in Beijing 北平无战事 features a truly all-star (i.e. not just pretty, but amazing actors) of Liu Ye, Berlin Film Festival’s new best actor Fan Liao, Chen Baoguo, Wang Kai (who is also a lead in Nirvana in Fire). The drama is directed by Kong Sheng and produced by Hou Hongliang, the duo behind Nirvana in Fire and Chuang Guandong. The script is by Liu heping of  Emperor Yongzheng 雍正王朝 and Ming Dynasty1566 大明王朝1566.

Tiny Times concludes today, Guo Jingming releases memories photoshoot

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All Guo Jingming needs is to add HAGS to make this a middle school yearbook-themed photoshoot.

As the trilogy comes to a conclusion, Guo Jingming releases set of BFF, HAGS! Tiny Times Forever character stills of the leads Yang Mi, Amber Kuo, Kai Ko, Chen Xuedong, Bea Hayden, Xie Yilin, Jiang Chao, Calvin Du, Vivian Dawson, Lee Hyunjae, and Ren Youming.  The film opens today in China.

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Qiao Zhenyu, Gillian Chung for Ancient Sword

Qiao Zhenyu is too pretty

Qiao Zhenyu’s face is sufficient reason for you to watch this.

Li Yifeng must have it really hard when both of the other two male leads are so much prettier than him. This week, we feature Qiao Zhenyu and Gillian Chung, the once happily married couple of currently-airing series The Legend of Ancient Sword.  Qiao Zhenyu plays one of the two titular characters of the first game, the current life of an immortal master musician punished to the human world and caught in the wheel of reincarnation.  In the process, his soul was split into four horcruxes parts, and the loss made him slowly lose his memory and rationality as he seeks to be whole again.

Stills of Qiao Zhenyu and Gillian Chung below the cut, and Qiao Zhenyu trailer below. Can you spot the Zhang Meng among the stills?

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Fantasty cartoons set in Ancient China: coming to theaters, possibly an ocean away from you

I feel a little hungry after looking at all the cute potato and pork bun shaped people.

Do you like Disney movies? China’s new animated film “The Magic Brush” is combining two things form your childhood – Disney technology, and the traditional Chinese story about a boy whose magic brush allows the things he paints to come to life. (Granted, the Disney part of this is from the China special division). In this story, Ma Liang is given the magic brush, and must use it to save his village. (Trailer below the cut, how cute!) This will be released on July 25th. There’s also the Qin’s Moon movie, made by China’s own animation studios in Hangzhou. The film is finally coming to theaters on August 8, two years behind schedule. In my honest opinion, the posters for this one are hideous…but they are below the cut anyways. They seem to have diverged in animation for the series and the movie (or so I hope); their new mini-series/season 5 preview series, which is supposed to release its third and final episode on July 8, sports gorgeous animation that looks less like it was pulled from a generic RPG game. Below the cut: the cute, the pretty, and the…other.

Not sure how many polygons this was made with, but it’s the next stage in the progression mentioned in this post.

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