When a Snail Falls in Love confirms air date

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When A Snail Falls in Love has released new posters and a trailer, along with an official air date of October 24thWang 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.

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Wang Kai fields sexist question about “leftover women”

Dear reporter: If you don't have anything important to ask, don't.

Dear reporters: If you don’t have any good question to ask, don’t.

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.

Forget fanmail – young Chinese are finding a new way of paying tribute to their favorite stars: charity

On Weibo, the "Ming Cheng Road" sparked hot discussion and a hunt for the mysterious patron.

I ask myself, “What would you do if you had more time?”
You could have done so much more if only you had time.

Ming Cheng is best known as the handsome and diligent butler of the well-connected Ming family in 1940s Shanghai. He also happens to work for the KMT intelligence agency – and as an undercover operative for the Communist Party of China.

The fictional star of TV drama The Disguiser, a hugely popular spy drama that aired in China last year, Ming Cheng quickly became beloved by viewers as a brave and resourceful patriot. He was a character whose very appeal seemed to spring from the dramatic period in which he resided – until, that is, this spring, when Ming walked out from the screen into the real world.

In May, news began to spread online about the construction of a 1.5-kilometer dirt road in an impoverished, mountainous area of Sichuan Province that was to be a boon for the village, allowing for students to attend school and the local economy to develop. The project in and of itself wasn’t so unusual – what was, was the plaque naming its benefactor. It read, “Donator: Ming Cheng.”

Fans of the show were abuzz – who really donated that road on behalf of Ming Cheng?

I cried when I first saw news of this because Ming Cheng is so close to my heart, and it was incredibly touching to see that a fan chose to do this in his name.   Since then, a few of Wang Kai’s fans have individually donated roads in the names of Xiao Jingyan from Nirvana in Fire, Fang Mengwei from All Quiet in Peking, and a school library in the name of Qi Yong from Educated Youth in his home-province.

More on Global Times’ article on fans of Chris Li Yuchun,  Lu Han, Kris Wu, and TF Boys  doing charity here.

P.S. The caption is a hint to the next Disguiser Discussions post.

Seven Snail Shots that Surpass Silver Screen Standards

Number 10. This wallpaper worthy crime scene.

Number 7: This wallpaper worthy crime scene.

Creative angles and moving shots give  the When a Snail Falls in Love  trailer a film feel that I love. Here are my favorite shots and/or scenes from the trailer.

The  series is only 15 episodes and director Zhang Kaizhou promised a faster pace, better crime-solving, more combat, more soul, and less romance compared to the original. Let’s hope he delivers.  There is also a big train fight scene in Myanmar that should be a hoot.

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Number 6: moving shots that are too cool for TV.

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Wang Kai, Wang Ziwen solve crimes and fall in love

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I will shot someone if they don’t change the super misleading title.

Daylight Entertainment has the best trailers.  They can build up suspense even where the actual series fails. Their latest work is detective series When a Snail Falls in Love 如果蜗牛有爱情 starring Wang Kai and Wang Ziwen in their third drama together.  The trailer looks great as usual, with movie-leveled cinematography, actually decent action sequences, and some moments of cuteness injected in the midst of suspense.

The series is based on the book of the same name by author Ding Mo and directed by Zhang Kaizhou (two of the three people behind the spectacular fail of Love Me If You Dare). Luckily, the scriptwriter is not Hai Yan, who can’t write for the screen to save her life.  If anything, it’s only 15 episodes, which hopefully means it’s faster-paced.

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Director Zhang Kaizhou’s shots.

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The Disguiser: Sequel News, and A Wonderful Thing

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If there was an award for best line delivery, this gets my vote.

First up – the script for the film has been completed. I was super excited for it, then  super against it, and now just conflicted.  (In the “drama version of the book” that advertised itself as “how the scriptwriter wants to present the story” , Ming Cheng was repeated kicked by the Ming’s and at one point felt ashamed that as a servant, he would dare to make fun of the young master. Yes, the USSR-trained and French-educated communist felt like he was acting above his class, and a family of righteous protagonists made a habit of abusing an abused child.  I’m counting on my suspicions that these parts were written by a ghost writer, otherwise I take back every nice thing I’ve ever said about Zhang Yong.)  

Now to the Disguiser series. I’ve done a painting, a dialogue, a line, and now – an expression. 

A lesser actor would’ve found it hard to express one emotion at a time, but  Wang Kai told Ming Cheng’s entire life story in 2 seconds in this scene here as he finds out the true identity of Ming Tai’s father.

Somehow Wang Kai is able to show that Ming Cheng feels genuinely happy for Ming Tai and his father  while  expressing emotions that are clearly not all joy.  While the first half of the sentence was intended to comfort Ming Tai’s father, as he shifts to the final phrase, his expression and tone of voice changes. The concerned, comforting voice of “this is a good thing” becomes distant in “A wonderful thing” as he is lost in his own thought. At the same time, his eyes also look away from Ming Tai’s father to the distance, perhaps to the father he had never met.

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Stay With Me releases dubbed sneak-peak

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How can we be together if you’re dubbed by someone else?

Not enough of Wang Kai in Ode to Joy?  We’re less than two months away from his upcoming series, Stay With Me! The series managed to steal the coveted Hunan TV summer slot, and before the Olympics, too, so at least we know the guys at Hunan TV like it.   Here’s a sneak-peak of the show from Mango TV, although it’s not an official trailer.  Also, don’t worry,  Wang Kai is using his own voice for the actual series, although co-stars Joe Chen and Qiao Renliang won’t.

The Disguiser: Which Mr. Ming?

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Complex yet never out of character, Yue Yao’s Liang Zhongchun is one of the best characters of the year.

This is a series of posts of me over-analyzing The Disguiser. This one’s really short since I had originally planned to talk about it with the next post, but that scene deserved its own post so I kicked this one out. I’ve looked at a painting, a conversation, next time it’ll be what I consider the best acted scene of the entire series.  Can you guess which one it is? 

Aristotle once said the key to good dialogue is to “Speak as common people do, but think as wise men do.” See how in this example here, Ming Cheng took exactly one line to hint to Liang Zhongchun of his ambitions upon their first meeting.

Liang Zhongchun, somewhat synchophantly: “I’ve long heard the fame of Mr.Ming.”
Ming Cheng, with a slight raised tone and eyebrow: “Which Mr.Ming?”

Posing as a simple question, the subtext is Ming Cheng’s hint to Liang Zhongchun of his own (faked) ambitions and wish to be distinct from Ming Lou, luring Liang to eventually join Ming Cheng’s camp.   And if you read too much into it, it defines Ming Cheng’s ambiguous status and relationship in the Ming family that became essential to his multiple disguises.

This line would’ve been perfect if it was somehow tied in with the recorder at the ending when the question of which Mr. Ming is on the tape becomes one of life-and-death.