Huang Xuan, Zhao Liying collaborate with director Lu Yang for Sina’s Best Performance series

Lu Yang is fast becoming one of my favourite up-and-coming directors thanks to the Brotherhood of Blades film series, and his short videos for Sina’s Best Performance 最美表演 series are the best of the lot.

Huang Xuan’s character loses his wife (Zhao Liying) to illness, though she returns to their home one last time in spirit:

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Promo Round-up: The Advisors Alliance Part 2

Out of all the subplots in The Advisors Alliance 2, I’m probably most excited about the showdown between Zhuge Liang (Wang Luoyong) and Sima Yi (Wu Xiubo), as well as the Sima family’s descent into darkness and coup against Cao Wei (that just made me sound sadistic).Growling Tiger, Roaring Dragon will begin airing tonight on Youku.

Character Teasers (playlist):

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Angelababy to romance Wu Xiubo in Desire and the City

Desire and the City 欲望之城 comes from the production company behind this year’s hit drama The First Half of My Life, and stars Angelababy (General and I) as Lin Li, an optimistic young white collar worker who helps Wu Xiubo‘s (The Advisors Alliance) Jiang Nianhua walk out of depression.

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Zhuge Liang finally appears in new stills for The Advisors Alliance

The Advisors Alliance became less addictive ever since the awesome Cao Cao (Yu Hewei) and Yang Xiu (Zhai Tianlin) passed away, but these new stills have definitely piqued my interest for part 2 of the drama.

Part 2 will focus on Sima Yi’s conflict with Zhuge Liang (Wang Luoyong) and Cao Shuang (Du Yiheng). His deteriorating relationship with the Cao family eventually paves the way for the Sima family’s coup d’état.

The Advisors Alliance: Howling Tiger, Roaring Dragon is set to air sometime in the Fall.

Behind-the-scenes: (1), (2)

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The Advisors Alliance: Howling Tiger, Roaring Dragon trailer

Part 2 of The Advisors Alliance 大军师司马懿之虎啸龙吟 has released  a trailer, and it looks much more exciting than how the first one ended. The quality of part 1 went  down half way through when Cao Cao died and Sima Yi got involved in a love triangle, though I still recommend it for Cao Cao and the cute Cao Pi-Guo Zhao ship.  Hopefully season 2 will focus more on   strategy and nation-building (and the Sima sons) instead of unappetizing love triangles

The Advisors Alliance review: ep. 1 -4

Cao Pi: Here’s your sword back.
Guo Zhao: This isn’t mine.
Cao Pi: It was mine. Now it’s yours.   #HowToGift101

Episode 3,  scene X:   Yang Xiu ,   the ambitious antagonist in the first few episodes, had just kicked off a dying Sima Yi into the river.  He is relieved, proud of what he has accomplished.

When he is left alone , he  turns to see his hands in the dimming night.  There’s blood on his hands.  He realizes what he has done, betraying his father’s trust and hope for a Han alliance, murdering at least two men.  He screams into the night.

The scene is representative of how The Advisors Alliance 军师联盟 has so far treated its characters – as complex and contradicting human beings.

With a rich set of characters, a fast-paced plot, thoughtful but colloquial dialogue, and just the right amount of romance and humor mixed in,   The Advisors Alliance is probably the best scripted ancient drama in the past couple of years. Continue reading

Promo Round-up: The Advisors Alliance

The Advisors Alliance takes viewers to the ever-popular Three Kingdoms era, and this time the entire story will be told from Sima Yi’s (Wu Xiubo) perspective. Liu Tao (Ode to Joy 2) plays his fierce wife Zhang Chunhua while Janine Chang (Midnight Diner) plays Bai Lingyun, a spy from the Cao faction and Sima Yi’s concubine. Xiao Shunyao and Tan Jianci from M.I.C. costar as sons Sima Shi and Sima Zhao.

On the other side we have the Cao household, led by Yu Hewei (I Am Not Madame Bovary) as warlord Cao Cao and Li Chen (variety show Keep Running) as Cao Pi. Tang Yixin (Psychologist) and Zhang Zhixi (Three Heroes and Five Gallants) star as the latter’s consorts.

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Stills for The Advisor’s Alliance

After seeing stills like these, I come to appreciate the sheer variety of costuming styles that exist in China and how they grow side by side.

The Advisor’s Alliance 军师联盟 has released stills.  Starring Wu Xiubo, Li Chen, Liu Tao, Janine Chang, Tang Yixin, Zhang Zhixi, Zhai Tianlin, Yu Hewei, and Zhang He, I will admit I’m getting a bit impatient for a more official release date.

More stills below the cut.

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The Advisor’s Alliance continues run of quality stills

Didn’t really like Liu Tao’s character in The Legend of Miyue. Hope she fares better in this one.

The Advisor’s Alliance 军师联盟 has released more stills, giving us a look at the various settings the drama will take place in.  Starring Wu Xiubo, Li Chen, Liu Tao, Janine Chang, Tang Yixin, Zhang Zhixi, Zhai Tianlin, Yu Hewei, and Zhang He, this is definitely on list of dramas that need to be put on the fast-track for release.

More stills below the cut.

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Breathtaking first trailer for The Advisors Alliance

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I need an official glimpse of Sima Yi’s adversary Zhuge Liang. The feather fan in the trailer is not enough…

The Advisors Alliance stars Wu Xiubo as Sima Yi, a politician and strategist of Cao Wei in the Three Kingdoms period. Sima Yi served as a strategist to three rulers, including warlord Cao Cao (Yu Hewei) and Kings Cao Pi (Li Chen) and Cao Rui (Liu Huan).

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