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Watching: The Disguiser 伪装者 Song on repeat: Just Once 一次就好 by Aska Yang

Yang Mi plays Dilraba’s goddess aunt in new series

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Fox spirit vs Professor Snape with long hair.

Finally, Dilraba and Gao Weiguang, aka the pair of Yang Mi workshop who everyone’s been waiting to pair up, will be a pair.  While the film version starring Liu YIfei and Yang Yang will only focus on one book,  Someone come up with a good English title because I can’t bare to type this again  Three Lives, Three Worlds, Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms  三生三世十里桃花,  the drama version appears to be combining both this and the sequel (which I refuse to translate but is 三生三世枕上书 in Chinese).

The first features Yang Mi and Mark Zhao in a love of three lifetimes – she’s a fox goddess, he’s a god, they’re engaged. She gets punished and become a human, they fall in love and have a kid.  She loses her memory and becomes a goddess again.   The second features Dilraba as her niece, another fox spirit who falls in love with another immortal. It’s a very cute role, if a bit self-deprecating and clingy, but Dilraba works clingy like a pro so I’m sure she’ll be great at it.  And in case you’re wondering, this Azure Hills is the same one for the Foxes of Azure Hills.

There are also other ships like Yu Menglong, Ken Chang, and a lot of people who work for Yang Mi.

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On the right Zhu Xudan dons a stunning dress from the Ninth Heaven haute couture s/s 100 A.D. collection, while Zhang Binbin exhibits the latest styles from Azure Hills.

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Fashion Friday: Men’s Fashion Week

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“But leave it to Wang Kai and Chen Kun to bring a lighter touch to the week. … With fancy footwear and a double-breasted jacket, Kun elevated the baggy, 1980s silhouettes made popular in American Gigolo.” – Vogue.com

As a string of men’s fashion weeks concludes this week, here’s a round-up of some of the looks. We have Kris Wu Yifan in London,  Chen Kun, Wang Kai, Sheng Yilun, Chen Xuedong  in Milan, Yang Yang, Jing Boran in Paris. In particular of note is Kris Wu Yifan, who is the first male actor of Chinese descent to walk the runaways for a high-end fashion show (Burberry).

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In addition to appearances at shows, most of them also took some time for street style photoshoots, so you can expect more in the coming weeks.  So, which looks are your favorites?

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Dilraba for Harper’s Bazaar

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Actress Dilraba designs her own sunglasses as a part of a charity campaign for Harper’s Bazaar. She is currently filming a romantic comedy with Guo Jingfei called 21 karats 21克拉, just finished another one (Proud and Prejudice 傲娇与偏见), and will be playing a fox spirit  opposite Gao Weiguang (finally!)  in the upcoming drama version of  Three Lifetimes, Ten Thousand Kilometers of Peach Blossoms 三生三世十里桃花.
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Chen Qiao’en, Wang Kai face-off in “Stay With Me”

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At a news event recently, without knowing who he was, Chen Qiaoen’s mom picked out Wang Kai from photos of previous collaborators as her choice of son-in-law. Her mom said he was the best-looking and looked more gentle and friendly. Good choice.

Chen Qiao’en and Wang Kai face-off as the heads of rival fashion conglomerates in Stay With Me 放弃我抓紧我.  This latest drama from Dream Stardom is their biggest budgeted one yet, with a budget of over a million RMB for clothes alone    and a fashion stylist  from Huayi.  The series will also shoot in Paris.

Stay With Me co-stars Kimi Qiao Renliang, model Chen Ran, and newbie Zhang Xuanrui. It’s set for a summer 2016 release.

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On the subject of fashion, Wang Kai attended the Milan Men’s Fashion Week last week. Accompanying him were Sohu Entertainment, a couple of streetstyle photoshoot teams, and L’Officiel Hommes. It sounds like he was doing photoshoots whenever he was not at a show, so you can expect a lot of photoshoots to add to his existing 26 photoshoots in the past three months.

Fans followed him everywhere, so much that his fans made the New York Times for their fanaticism (but really? you’re impressed by 110 retweets and 261 favorites in a hour? The screencap of the same tweet on Weibo probably got that much in a minute. ).

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Is Sina Weibo China’s worst private monopoly?

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Sina is watching you, and controls what you watch.

 

Once in a while we feel compelled to post on a more deeper issue related to entertainment. This is one that’s been bothering me for years. All opinions are by me and do not represent the website as a whole. Please feel free to post other proofs or examples you see, and correct any errors. 

Imagine if which news you read was purely dependent on how much someone paid the newspaper. What if that newspaper was also your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram?

Microblogging platform Sina Weibo is one of the world’s top source for information. Yet without regulation, this  means a world where Sina is able to highlight its own news sources (or that of anyone who pays them) in all searches and tags for a fifth of the world.  They’re also able to make whatever hashtags or searches they want prominent.

Last month, in a new move where only a percentage of posts by those you follow will be displayed, this means they’re able to highlight or hide all posts, effectively controlling everything you see. I’ve seen this happen in several gossip scandals, where people’s Weibo posts are clearly there, but followers are unable to see them due to this mysterious “chance”.

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I spy … a lot of spies in 2016

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To get an idea of the extent of communist infiltration at the time, the head of the KMT’s central intelligence agency was at one time a communist mole. The character whom Ming Lou was modeled after in The Disguiser? A five-sided agent.

As idol actors try to prove their worth, many of them are looking toward espionage dramas.   Li Yifeng, Zhao Liying,  Liu Shishi, Hawick Lau, Zhou DongyuZhang RuoyunChen Xuedong,  Lu Yi, Qiao Zhenyu,  and Ady An Yixuan are just some of the latest spies in the drama world.

Espionage dramas have long been turning points for many actors, most recently Jin Dong and Wang Kai in The Disguiser.   While usually more reserved for veteran actors, the specialty is now in vogue for the young and beautiful.   Set mostly during the Sino-Japanese war, a period is known for their classy outfits and intrigue-filled politics,  espionage dramas are perfect for multi-layered characters and acting if one can handle it.

A round-up of some upcoming espionage dramas, in historical chronological order.  Which ones are you looking forward to the most? Continue reading

Jing Boran for Collection by Chen Man

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Actor Jing Boran rocks the streets like it’s his catwalk in this photoshoot by Chen Man.

I finally watched Monster Hunt and enjoyed it a lot  The animation is top-of-the-tier,  the script is funny and cute, the monsters (including Cindy and Tiantian) are beyond adorable, and it even comes as a rare musical!  It’s not without flaws, but it’s still a breakthrough film.

Jing Boran has recently announced he’ll be starring opposite Angelababy once more in the film version of  Wei Wei Yi Xiao Hen Qing Cheng 微微一笑很倾城 .   The pair will be playing two hot computer nerds who fall in love partly through a wuxia MMORPG.

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Revive: Superstar has a five-star teaser

Finally, a teaser

Finally, a teaser that isn’t just a smash-up of spoilers.

Based on the book of the same name, Revive: SuperStar  重生之名流巨星 tells of a struggling actor’s reincarnation as an younger artist (Ma Ke) and his path to stardom.  On the way he is helped by his agent and lover (Xu Haiqiao), a seasoned actor  (Pong Nawat), a female actress who fakes a relationship with him ( Zhang Xinyu), and one who fakes a marriage with him (Han Chae-young).

I love that they actually put effort into the teaser, and the cinematography is a huge step-up from most idol dramas.   Unfortunately, I’m going to guess this is going to be the second drama after Nirvana in Fire to break up the canon couple and force the male lead to have a heterosexual one.    Neither is it the latest one, since that honor goes to Ma Ke, Qiao Zhenyu, and Zhang Xinyu’s Song of Phoenix.

idarklight’s 2015 in dramas

Despite a weak first six months, 2015 produced some of the best dramas in years. Here are some of my top picks. What are yours?

Best Make-up and Styling: Empress of China: Wu Zetian

As the woman with probably the  most outfits in drama history, Wu Zetian’s stylist also does a great job of making Fan Bingbing look gorgeous in all outfits and ages, many of the stylings being based on history.

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Best production design: Nirvana in Fire

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Wang Kai for every magazine possible

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26+ photoshoots in 2 months. Wang Kai must’ve broken some type of record.

In the last two months,  Wang Kai has managed to become one of the most prolific magazine models of 2015,  with photoshoots for  Harper’s BazaarHarper’s Bazaar Jewelry (cover), Marie ClaireMarie Claire Beauty (cover), L’Officiel Hommes (cover), Women’s Health,  Femina, Grazia/In advertorial, Trends Health, Christian Dior/Trends Health advertorial,  Elle MenGoldlion/Elle Men advertorialGQ, GQ/Septwolves advertorialEsquire, Robb Report, FamousSina, Sohu, Modern LadyCar, Beijing Youth,  Cosmopolitan, CosmoBride (unreleased, cover),  The Knot(unreleased, cover), and even National Geographic Travel.

He’s actually a decent model for an actor, and seems to be willing to be photographed from every angle.  Selected photoshoots below, with links to full photoshoots above. Which ones are your favorite?

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Me when I see a new Wang Kai photoshoot.

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