Last year, I watched quite a bit of detective dramas set in the Chinese Republican Era (1912-1949). Dream Detective (潜梦追凶) was by far the best. Although their cases were not even remotely inventive, their characters grabbed my attention and wouldn’t let go. While I might disagree with their choices, I knew where they were coming from and understood why they were doing it. The characters felt real to me. And, there was no cheesy bromance or cringey romance in it. Thank you very much.
The show got me right away by how the future co-workers first met. I love their fighting choreography.
I’m not saying I loved the show right away. It took me a while to see the male lead’s appeal. ‘Cuz I’m not into a disheveled alcoholic hobo who didn’t bat an eye when stealing another person’s identity to advance his own agenda.
In 2020, we saw the ineptitude of our government leaders in all their glory (I’m glad we are finally getting new ones this year), the selfish individualism that spread a contagious disease far and wide (I’m sorry for the healthcare workers who are now burnout because of these people), and the tsunami of job losses because our government, our citizens, our business owners refused to adapt to the new reality.
Let’s not hope that 2021 will be better or be back to normal. Let’s hope that we have the courage to face and the flexibility to adapt to any adversity that come our way. Let’s hope that this year we will be better.
I’m not sure if I’m ready for it. But here I come 2021!
There are three possible explanation for a man-made tunnel inside a tomb: Air vent, escape route built by the tomb workers, or hole dug out by the tomb raiders. The odds of it being an exit is 2 out of 3. But a natural tunnel created by volcanic air bubble guarantees nothing, especially when there is a sign outside the hole that warns, “Hundred ‘yin’ beyond this point no man has returned and seen the light of day.” Ominous, much?
I bust out laughing when Fatty proclaims he doesn’t believe that BS warning, BUT, he would err on the side of caution because he’s with Wu Xie, who is a known supernatural magnet. If some supernaturally bad thing is gonna happen, it will happen on Wu Xie’s watch.
Nobody messes with Wu Xie’s 2nd uncle, Wu Erbai. His word is the law. Although he is no mafia boss, there are plenty of freelancers who are willing to kill for him for free. Backtracking. We live in a civilized society which does not condone lawless behaviors, and Mr. Wu is a law abiding businessman. With that said, there are plenty of people who are willing to pay or do “things” for him in exchange for one of his copper sticks. Each stick grants one user one favor within one year. In ep2, the Huo family asked Wu Erbai to arbitrate a business competition between them and Xue Wu.
In the novel, Wu Erbai is a very intimidating character. He can unravel an entire scheme from a single clue. He can predict your next 10 moves by your first step. While he is not all-knowing, he intuitively knows how all the pieces fit together. Because of this ability, his assessment is always on the mark. And people come to trust his judgment to be fair and impartial. The drama asked us to accept him as this influential power broker without elaborating on what made him so special, which is a pity. Anyway, knowledge is power. And 2nd uncle has plenty of both and leverages them to “resolve” his client’s less than legal problems.
For a man who can see through any intrigue, it frustrates him greatly that his no good brother, Wu Sanxing, was lured into “something” by “someone” but, for the life of him, he can’t figure out for what purpose. So instead of sitting on the sideline and watching his rebellious nephew get caught in the same flytrap, he takes over Wu Xie’s operation. He is going to find out who is pulling Wu family’s strings.
Reunion: The Sound of Providence (重啟之極海聽雷) is love. Not only are all my favorite characters united once again, they are played by actors who make them feel real. (I’m not going to mention names but I cringed so hard watching Explore with the Note.)
Zhu Yi Long and Chen Ming Hao are literally Wu Xie and Fatty Wang from the book. Huang Jun Jie also fits well as the post-bronze gate Zhang Qiling.
Seeing old friends makes me happy. So is making new ones. I’m surprised by how much I enjoy Liu Sang, Bai Haotian and Huo Daofu’s storyline. (I’m up to Ep12 of Season 2.)
Love in Between (少年游之一寸相思) is a Wuxia drama about the trial and tribulation of a frail doctor, a face-changing thief, a charismatic intel broker, a cult leader’s son, a bandit’s daughter, and a pair of goody two-shoes martial art sister and brother. The takeaway of this drama is that comet sized crapizoids always strike on wedding days. Just kidding…Or am I?
It’s been a while since I felt so invested in a CP, never mind all the main characters in the drama. I usually roll my eyes when lovers make grandiose proclamations of rainbows, unicorn and love forever. But for this drama I prayed to the drama god for a happily ever after.
Besides a good heart-wrenching romance, the most important part of any Wuxia drama is its fighting scenes. They can’t legitimately call themselves Wuxia if the actors can’t fight looking sharp and smooth. (I’m looking at you, The Legends.) This drama I approve.
Love in Between has the basic Wuxia tropes: Hidden identity, fake identity, identity crisis, power boost thru energy transference and/or secret martial arts manual, framed for crime you did not commit, your master killed your whole family, and of course, the good old revenge mission. I applause this drama for doing them so well.
But for me, it’s their love stories that I’m addicted to; Seeing the characters sacrificing or being sacrificed for their choice. As one character poignantly put it, “It doesn’t matter what the truth is anymore… Life is but a series of choices. You didn’t choose me and I don’t blame you. But it was YOU who pushed me to the alter. And it was YOU who made me someone else’s wife. So goodbye and don’t come back.”
東西/东西 (dōng xī) when translated into English means “thing.” It’s a very versatile word. You can use it just about anywhere, anytime, for anything.
When you want to ask about an item:
那是什麼東西? (na shi shen me dong xi?) What is that thing?
When you are fighting with someone:
你是什麼東西?! (ni shi shen me dong xi?!) Who the hell do you think you are?!
When you want to refer to Something-That-Must-Not-Be-Named:
你被髒東西纏身。(ni bei zang dong xi chan shen) You are haunted by ghost.
If we were to separate the character “東” from the character “西,” they mean something completely different. Dong means “east” and xi means “west.” So how did east-west become a “thing”?
Back in the glorious days of Tang Dynasty, the city of Chang’an had two amazing marketplaces. In the East Market (東市), we could find quality products for anything that we needed. Shopping in the East Market was like shopping on 5th Ave of Manhattan, they were kinda expensive. In the West Market (西市), we could find cheaper stuffs. But more importantly, we could find stuffs that we had never seen before and did not know we wanted. The West Market was where foreign merchants from land beyond came to sell their merchandises. It was like a giant flea market where we could treasure hunt to our heart’s content. Sooner or later, the whole process of buying products from East or West Market was abbreviated to “我出去買東西。(wo chu qu mai dong xi.) I’m going out to buy things.”
The last movie I watched was a Chinese animated movie called Ne Zha. It was alright. I’m more of a drama kind of person. But something possessed me over the weekend and I marathon through a bunch of Asian movies. Some I enjoyed because of its extravagant shallowness. Others lulled me to sleep with its philosophical examination of life.
There is no movie synopsis or review here. Just my random thoughts on the movies.
To celebrate May, I thought I would write about amazing dramas I watched in the last 2 months. Oh, the lies we tell ourselves…. I’m actually dedicating this post to the bane of my drama viewing existence: Closeness between two dudes.
A good friendship drama is welcomed any day. A good bromance drama makes me warm and fuzzy inside. A good BL drama gets me hot and bothered. But there are times even my fav ones couldn’t quite strike the right balance between “awww” and “ewww”. This post is all about me ranting (and praising) those dramas. Be warned, I have strong opinions against shipping actors, fan service, queerbaiting, and assigning gender roles in a same sex relationship. Read at your own risk.
Scrubs is the standard in which I measure all bromance drama by.
Side note (2): Some acts of covidiots may now be a crime that can be charged with act of terrorism. Like a Missouri man who licked items in Walmart to protest the virus. Or a New Jersey man who intentionally coughed at a Wegmans employee and told her he had coronavirus. Or a South Carolina man who forged a doctor’s note claiming he was tested positive for coronavirus which resulted in his workplace shutting down for 5 days to disinfect the entire building. Or, a Pennsylvania woman who purposely coughed on food in a small grocery store and claimed she had coronavirus.
Former astronauts, who were used to months and months of isolation, recommended writing a diary to maintain our mental health. So I’m going to write everything that’s on my mind (expert recommendations/ conspiracy theories / random thoughts) regarding coronavirus COVID-19 in this post with new things getting added from time to time. [Updated 04/27/2021] Read at your own risk.