If you’ll be around New York City this 07/28-08/02, catch Wang Kai’s ads in two locations, above Europa Cafe on 7th and 43rd, and in front of the Reuters HQ on 43rd. Wang Kai’s fans won this in some sort of Yinyuetai version of Portal. I don’t really understand the Chinese obsession with Times Square ads, but at least these are pretty.
As Ode to Joy II 欢乐颂 2 is geared up for release, here’s a review of season 1 of the hit series from 2016.
Witty dialogue and a cast of memorable characters make Ode to Joy one of the most fun sit-coms in a while. Unfortunately, the series is often dogged down by attempts to shift to a melodrama that makes the ff button a necessary friend.
The series focuses around the unlikely friendship between five women who share a floor in an apartment complex in Shanghai. There’s Andi (An Di?), the business professional with a fear of human touch, Qu Xiaoxiao, the heiress fighting for the family inheritance, Fan Shengmei, the gold-digger with an entitled family, Qiu Yingying, the happy-go-lucky college grad, and Guan Ju’er, the ordinary white-collared girl who has never said no in her life.
Coming from a misogynistic rural family, Fan Shengmei (Jiang Xin) is vain, self-centered, but also righteous and protective. She would lie to help out a friend, but also to save face. The first lets her befriend the women in the apartment complex, but the second gets her in trouble as she falls for men who use her vanity to play her. When she falls in love with a man faked his own wealth to date her, she is caught between love and vanity. Imperfect, complex, and sharp-tongued, Fan’s characterization is perfect.
The brilliant story of The Devotion of Suspect X is recaptured for the Chinese audience in director Alec Su’s second film. Aided by a much superior story, a better cast, and more fitting cinematography, Alec Su unfortunately is handicapped by his poor control of the film.
The suspense/detective tale with a twist features Zhang Luyi as Shi Hong, a genius and a loner who tries to help his neighbor Chen Jing (Ruby Lin) to cover up her murder of her ex-husband. Unfortunately for the pair, their crime caught the eye of Tang Chuan (Wang Kai), a physicist and Shi Hong’s best friend in high school. Tang Chuan is called upon to help detective Luo Miao (Ye Zuxin) to solve the murder, but along the way gets caught in the crime itself.
The Devotion of Suspect X is one of three detective films airing this weekend, but viewers abroad will only have a chance to see one, so you should take it, if only so my local cinema will be motivated to air it next weekend.
The film stars Wang Kai, Zhang Luyi, Ruby Lin, and Ye Zuxin, and is directed by Alec Su. Screening information here
Detective thriller “The Devotion of Suspect X” starring Wang Kai, Zhang Luyi, and Ruby Lin, has finally released an official trailer. Its overseas distributor, China Lion Group, has also confirmed it will be released in the U.S. and Canada on March 31st, one day ahead of China. London and Australian distributions are still in thetalks.
Also, a group of Wang Kai fans are meeting up in NYC on the morning of April 1st at AMC Empire near Times Square to watch it. Let me know if you’re interested or join the group on Weibo.
When A Snail Falls in Love has released new posters and a trailer, along with an official air date of October 24th. Wang Ziwen (Ode to Joy) stars as the titular ‘snail’ Xu Xu, a physically petite newbie detective learning the ropes with her superior Ji Bai, played by Wang Kai (recently seen in variety show Fighting Man). The two are currently filming Ode to Joy 2.
While attending a charity event this week, master Wang Kai gracefully responded to a WTF question from a reporter following a couple of questions about a potential relationship with Stay With Me co-star Joe Chen Qiao’en. Props for him for giving such an eloquent answer, because I would’ve just been shocked someone just compared my friend to leftovers to my face. Full interview here.
Q: Would you two talk about relationship problems? You know a lot of people are saying Chen Qiao’en is a famous “leftover woman”, and recently there’s been a lot of celebrity “leftover women” getting shotgun weddings, what are your thoughts?
Wang Kai: “Leftover women” isn’t necessarily derogatory. In today’s society, I think it should be complimentary. Because you’re excellent enough, because you have a higher standard, so you might be in a relationship later. But that’s not a bad thing. The relationship that’s right for you will just come later.
Note: “Leftover women 剩女” is a recently coined term to deprecate unmarried older women, comparing to leftover food. Chen Qiao’en actually had a drama, SOP Queen 胜女的代价, which trie to reclaim the term for career-focused women.