Jiang Xin, Liu Tao are bff’s in Ode to Joy


Who knew? Female bff’s who don’t cat-fight over some guy exists in Chinese dramas.

But you know who aren’t besties in this show? Jin Dong and Wang Kai. Having the two of them being in a show and not having a single scene together is almost as cruel as having Idina Menzel be in a musical and not have a song (I know, it’s been 8 years).

Known for producing dozens of amazing male leads in every show, Shandong TV and co. (The Disguiser, Nirvana in Fire, All Quiet in Peking) is unfortunately one of the worst in their ability to write good female roles. Usually if you’re a female character in one of their dramas, you’ll be lucky if your IQ is above 80 or if your life revolves around anything other than a male. If you’re both, then you are probably an antagonist.  Ode To Joy 欢乐颂  is hoping to change that as their first drama with a predominantly female leading cast.  Introducing the sisterhood that is Liu Tao, Jiang Xin, Yang Zi,  Wang Ziwen, and Qiao Xin.   Opposite them are Zu FengJin Dong,  Wang Kai,  Zhang Lu, Zhang Xiaoqian and a mysterious male lead (rumored to be Luo Jin) who better be really amazing for anyone to pick him over Zu Feng and Jin Dong.


Going against the common trend of one strong woman, one girl-next-door, and one boyish friend, Ode to Joy features at least three independent women who all have their own love interests (that do not intersect).

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Song Yi as The Black Widow in the Disguiser


First a courtesan then an assassin, Song Yi’s character has the innocence of a child even in the most turbulent of times and the most tragic of lives.

Deadly and seductive yet sweet and innocent at the same time, Song Yi 宋轶’s character  won over the audience with her charm and beauty in The Disguiser.  Nicknamed The Black Widow for killing her husband on their wedding night, Yu Manli  was pardoned from a death sentence in exchange for becoming a secret agent.  She is paired with Hu Ge‘s character in her missions and the two become life-and-death partners.  Alas, his love is too idealistic and has no room for a girl from the streets like her.

The Central Drama Academy graduate recently signed under fellow alumni Zhang Han‘s workshop and will be collaborating with him in upcoming drama The Legendary Tycoon 传奇大亨  about the Shaw Brothers.  I also highly recommend the second part of The Lovebirds series , for which she plays a female lead in the second part.


The best wedding photo.

Photo cr: xueqingdaren@Weibo
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Zhao Wei and Xu Zheng promote new movie Lost in Hong Kong with Elle Photoshoot

Zhao Wei’s outfit in this photo shoot makes me think of the granny from Twenty Again. She’s co-starring with Xu Zheng in the upcoming film Lost in Hong Kong (which is also being directed by Xu Zheng).In this story, Xu Zheng’s character once dreamed of being an artist, but is now a middle-aged petty merchant. He and his wife go to Hong Kong to vacation – although Xu Zheng’s real motive is to meet up with his college love. Unfortunately, his wife’s little sister (Zhao Wei) senses his hidden intentions, and refuses to let him go…  Continue reading

Sinology Sunday: September 13, 2015

This week, we take look into Qing dynasty clothing.  Since there are more readily available photographs and artifacts from this time period, we thought we would start with some of those.  Also, though there have been some people who make clothing and dress according to that era, it does not seem to be that popular yet and dramas tend to do a better job with the costuming for this time period.  We will start with the photographs.  More pictures below the cut.

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