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Watching: Nothing Gold Stays 那年花开月正园 Song on repeat: Lend Me 借我 - Xie Chunhua

Once Given, Never Forgotten trailer

Let’s just take a second to appreciate a rare well-translated title. The title refers to her taking on his last name after she loses her memory.

Former child actress Zhang Xueying stars in her first major production in Once Given, Never Forgotten你的名字我的姓氏, and she looks amazing.    

The teaser is a little misleading, but FYI  the male lead (Yang Le) did not adopt her because that would be creepy.  Instead, the female lead was adopted by the male lead’s deceased girlfriend’s family after she received her cornea transplant.

The series is mostly a typical love triangle + car crash+ memory loss plot, but it looks cute.  Plus, it’s written and produced  Yao Yao, who actually did a great job with her previous work 漂洋过海来看你.

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Assassins has the first decent boyband debut in forever

Ever since Seven Sense, I’ve been waiting for a good zhongguofeng boyband, and the debut of Assassins / Men With Swords 刺客团  delivered.  The MV-song combo is easily one of my favorites from a Chinese idol group in a long time. The  zhongguofeng elements work well within the music arrangement and MV without seeming dated, something even Seven Sense couldn’t do this well. 

Delicious 舌尖美味 is written by the members  Li Wen, Wang Yaochen, Ruan Zeyi, Fang Yifei (names in order of solo parts in the song).

A New Meteor Garden, a new F4 cast

Yes, it’s that time again. Welcome to another version of one of the most adapted mangas in Asia – Hana Yori Dango / Boys Over Flowers / Meteor Garden .

Helmed by producer Angie Chai of the original Meteor Garden,  New Meteor Garden 新流星花园  recently announced its cast of the four male leads, members of the clique F4.  There’s no news on who’s who yet.  The four male leads – Connor Leong, Dylan Wang Hedi, Darren Chen, and Caesar Wu Xize  – average 21 years old and are all fairly new actors. The female lead is Shen Yue, whose first major drama is only airing this week.

Will the new cast get instant famous like every other cast so far?

Female lead is played by 20-year-old Shen Yue in her second major role.

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25 Under 25: Mango Little Actors

Rated 9.3/10 on the Chinese version of IMDb, the child actors’ version of Dream of the Red Chamber has the highest rating for a recent Chinese drama and fourth overall.

 A series  for some of my favorite up-and-rising young artists. Most of them aren’t big enough to have fancy photo shoots, but they’re cute. 

Actors who can read their own lines, do their own stunts, dance, and sing? Welcome to the world of Mango Little Actors / Star of Tomorrow 芒果小戏骨, a Hunan local show that features incredibly talented child actors who put many of their adult counterparts to shame.

The group came to fame after their cute rendition of Disney’s Mulanand then solidified their ability to nail serious roles in mini series  Dream of the Red Chamber.  They have also  recreated condensed versions of Hunanese tales like Liu Sanjie, as well as classics like Romance of the Three Kingdoms  and Madame White Snake.

Watch a side-to-side comparison of their recreation of Disney’s Mulan:

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25 Under 25: Zheng Yecheng

Zheng Yecheng is actually trained in fighting roles in Peking Opera from the Central Drama Academy, which makes me hope that he’ll go into action one day.

 A series  for some of my favorite up-and-rising young artists. Most of them aren’t big enough to have fancy photo shoots, but they’re cute. Feel free to leave a comment if you want some featured. 

Zheng Yecheng 郑业成 (born in 1993) was definitely the highlight of O2O for me. His sheepish smile is contagious, and their side-plot is probably one of my favorite side-romances in a while.

Since then, he’s starred in a number of quirky romances, including my favorite rom-com so far this year, Let’s Shake It.  He’s not a phenomenal actor, but   his youthful cuteness is enough for him to  pull off most of his roles so far. Plus, his martial arts training could give him a leg up for wuxia roles.

He’s currently filming Fantastical Nights in the Tang Dynasty  盛唐幻夜, an ancient series with Wu Qian.

When you’re cute enough to talk with your mouth full.

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25 under 25: Zeng Shunxi

#That hair tho # I woke up like this

You’re probably most likely to recognize Zeng Shunxi 曾舜晞 (born in 1997)  from Fighter of the Destiny, but he was also in the Fresh Geek boyband with Hou Minghao. The two are the only two left of the boyband that’s still with Laure Shang.

Zeng Shunxi  stars as the male lead in idol drama 青春最好时 opposite Zhang Xueying and seems to mostly be doing internet-only idol dramas.

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Music Monday: Cutest of Xianzi


What Did I See In You 看走眼 is the last of Xianzi’ adorable MV’s, a surprisingly chirpy song scolding her playboy boyfriend (who irl is her husband’s former roommate).

Here’s a throwback to singer Xianzi, known for her distinct vocals and cute songs back at the peak of Taiwanese mandopop.   The Guangxi native has since then moved back to the mainland and got married to ex-Top Combine member Li Mao . Unfortunately she now seems to mostly be singing boring Tan Xuan OST’s. 

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Hollywood is using Chinese actors to promote films without casting them and it’s disgusting

Hollywood wants a piece of the Chinese cake and be racist, too. 

Imagine the outrage in the West  if  instead of having minority characters, films hire minority actors as spokespeople to promote films about white men.   That’s what they’re doing to the Chinese audience and it’s disgusting. 

From Lu Han’s Star Wars promo to Li Yifeng’s Batman vs Superman to PG-One’s Spiderman: Homecoming and most recently to Wang Kai’s Blade Runner 2049,  China’s biggest rising stars have been hired as “film ambassadors” or “spokespeople”  in Hollywood films they will never be able to even be considered for.

Or if you’re Fan Bingbing, you get to be in one scene that only airs in China so Iron Man 3 can promote it as if it has a Chinese person in it. We’ll just cut you from every other version of the movie because god forbid the rest of the world have to  see a Chinese actress on the screen.

Here’s a break-down of the flimsy excuses. Continue reading

25 Under 25: Zhang Xueying

With both the looks and the acting, Zhang Xueying is already starring in major roles.

A series  for some of my favorite up-and-rising young artists. Most of them aren’t big enough to have fancy photo shoots, but they’re cute. I don’t know a lot of them, so feel free to leave a comment if you want some featured.  

Former child actress Zhang Xueying (1997) is no stranger to most. She even signed with Yu Zheng for a year or two  and starred in series such as The Condor Heroes and Ban Shu Legend.

The Central Drama Academy sophomore seems to mostly going the idol drama route for now.   She currently starring in idol drama 青春最好时 and will be starring in a remake of Summer of Bubbles opposite Qin Junjie.

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