As you know, I’m a bigger supporter of depictions of urban, cosmopolitan China to promote the image of new China. Yet here I am, being beyond excited for, yes, a country drama.
Half the Sky 女人的天空 stars Jiang Xin and Wang Kai and is directed by Zhang Xinjian, who is the one Shandong director with an excellent track of portraying women of all types.The series should mostly use on-site recording, and all actors speak with a Dongbei accent. Can I hear a round of applause for the cast?
Jiang Xin plays a city girl who becomes a village official ( think of it as China’s version of Teach for America, with all the same pros and cons) and marries a local man (Cheng Haofeng, who played Jingrui in Nirvana in Fire) who then deserts her for the allure of city life. She works with her aunt-in-law, another village official, to revive the village economy while insuring local sustainability.
Wang Kai plays the aunt-in-law’s son who goes to the city to make his fortune, little did he know that his boss is his birth father. Somehow the two fall in love. In the one news article about the drama released back when filming had just begun in 2011, Wang Kai said he felt the romance seemed too sudden so he’s working on building a new romantic plot with the director. He also mentioned depicting the relationship to more of an admiration. I hope you mentally applauded for the last two lines, because my baby deserves all the praise for even recognizing a forced relationship and trying to fix it.
The series finished productions in 2012, but probably because it involves rural government, did not get approved for airing until last May. It’s set to air on March 21st on CCTV-8. Also, Jiang Xin and Wang Kai’s Ode To Joy is set for an April 16th release date.