The idea that we had multiple encounters with outer space aliens in the ancient time fascinates me to no end. And, scifi romantic comedy lET’s shake it (颤抖吧！阿部) is right up that alley. What is an advanced civilization alien supposed to do when it crash landed on earth with no way of getting back into space? Merge with the locals, of course.
Abu Caca is a smuggler of primitive species, which includes apes from earth, also known as, humans. Her day of reckoning comes when the ship that was transporting her to galactic prison blew up and crashed on earth… Among the primitive apes. *Gasp. Without protective gear against the earth’s atmosphere, she had to merge with a local life form to survive. A tree worked just fine for her purpose. But she and the tree were rudely interrupted by a murder in progress of a human girl. Always motivated by profit margin, Abu tried to resuscitate the girl in the hope of selling her to the highest bidder. She and the girl were, again, rudely interrupted. This time by the girl’s brother who thought she was a demon trying to suck the life force out of the dying girl. One banshee screaming after another, he stabbed her right through chest and sent her atoms flying.
The girl died. She atomized. But her antenna survived, which is really the essence of her entire being, and it merged with the dead girl. Voila! The girl lived once more! Well not exactly. It’s more of Abu successfully body snatched an earth life form.
Thus, Abu begins her con of pretending to be a human girl as she searches for a way to get back out to space. I wouldn’t say she is successful at it, but humans do have a tendency to ignore the obvious…
According to the folklore, Sima Yi is a villain. According to the history book, he is a brilliant politician during The Three Kingdoms period, hence a villain. Wikipedia listed two instances that showcased the deficiencies in his character. First instance, he refused to see his big wife and called her an ugly, old hag in front of his younger wife. The big wife was so upset over it, she went on a hunger strike, with their sons joining her. He later apologized and begged for her forgiveness. When asked why he changed his tune, he explained that he would gladly let the old hag die but he couldn’t let his precious sons die with her. (Scathing, much?) The second instance was during the final battle between him and Zhuge Liang, a brilliant strategist who is not a villain. When he heard the rumor that Zhuge had died and the Shu-Han army was retreating, he feared that it was a trap and did not pursue them. He was mocked for missing out his best chance to crush his enemy once and for all, “a dead Zhuge scared away a living Sima.”
The first season of The Advisors Alliance (军师联盟) didn’t whitewash his character. Instead, it gave context to his actions. Sima Yi in the drama is a real person, who, at times, is cowardly, selfish, calculating, ambitious, decisive, protective, smart, humble, caring, and supportive. He does what it is needed to protect his family and his country. Altruism is a rare human trait and that’s why we call altruistic people heroes. Sima Yi clearly is not one of them. He is just a regular fellow who has been judged a wee bit too harshly by the history book.
I like this drama even better than Nirvana in Fire. It integrates humor with seriousness. It is quick paced yet heartfelt. I cried when Yang Xiu died. He is a true believer of Cao Cao’s vision and I can feel across the TV screen his intense regret for not being able to witness that vision come true.
I love the rivalry between Sima Yi and Yang Xiu because competition spurs improvement. When Cao Cao asks Sima Yi whether he feels vindicated by Yang Xiu’s execution, an enemy who has tried numerous time to get him killed, Sima responds: “I have no enemies, only teachers. Some show me the way. Some teach me a lesson.”
My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend (我女朋友的男朋友) is a hilarious scifi comedy about a human getting schooled by his robot roommates on humility and respect.
When Azhai purchased his love android, he thought he would be living the high life with the prettiest girl by his side.
Because of customization error, he got a perfect boyfriend Adam instead. To his infinite horror. (Adam’s perfect enunciation takes a little getting use to in the beginning. But now, I worship the way he speaks.)
More tragic still is the replacement android, Eve, incorrectly registered Adam as her boyfriend and wouldn’t let Azhai send him away. Since then Azhai has been living in a romance hellhole where he tries to woo Eve, but Eve only wants to be with Adam, and Adam only has the eyes for him.
Adam and Eve are not just different in gender. Eve is a first generation companion android with pre-programed personality matrix. She does not change and cannot empathize with her owner. Adam, on the hand, is the newest model with water-proof skin and upgradable feeling matrix. He can adapt and modify his personality according to his experience with his owner (which will come mighty handy later on when Azhai is feeling super vulnerable because of evil Eve.)
Fighter of the Destiny (择天记) has two of the best gray people. They are not the firmly-on-the-dark-side, bad guys. They are, however, good people who make bad choices.
I think the best drama villain is the one who does terrible things for the right reason. Sheng Hou massacred an entire academic branch, executed most of her husband’s family, ritually slaughtered thousands of prisoners, not to mention she sacrificed her only child in order to preserve the stability of the kingdom. In her mind, a ruler has to get her hands dirty to do what’s best for her people. The blood on her hands is a testimony to her resolve. This woman has never lied to herself. So it is especially satisfying to see her redemption after she has (almost) descended into madness.
Her exact opposite is Qiu Shan Jun. He is a good person who is always trying to do good. The one time that he act selfish and petty, he got suckered into the bad guy camp. Because he couldn’t reconcile what he wanted to be and what he actually was doing, so he lied to others, and worse of all, he lied to himself. His lies quickly snowballed into an avalanche that buried his conscience.
Eternal Love may have strove to be an epic tragic love story, yet humor still dots its landscape. It is dry and it is funny. I can’t say for other people but I found Su Su and Ye Hua’s discussion on “the proper way to care for a snake” to be hilarious. Mainly because of Su Su’s trademark seriousness. It quickly dawns on Ye Hua, while explaining to Su Su that snake ain’t like human, he is speaking to a common-sense-challenged individual who needs major hand holding to cross the street. The funniest one-liner is when Ye Hua says, “I have loads of patience for less smart people,” looking directly at Su Su. Wahaha!
And of course, I can’t forget about Feng Jiu. This girl lies through her teeth in almost every interaction with Dong Hua. Except he can spot her lies like spotting a 3 year-old kid who swears that she didn’t eat the cookie from the jar while there are still cookie crumbs on her face. Naturally, Dong Hua, being incredibly old and jaded, can’t be bothered with correcting her so he just looks at her with his unfathomable side-glance. When this happens Si Ming gives her the pity look that says, “Poor child, I feel embarrassed for you.”
It is very hard to identify why I’m addicted to one drama and not the other. But with Eternal Love aka. 3 Lives 3 Worlds 10 Miles of Peach Blossoms I can pinpoint exactly when both my analytical mind and my sentimental heart became one. That moment is when Ye Hua asked Tian Jun’s permission to remove Su Su’s eyes himself. It sounds morbidly grotesque and I would never list it under the “Most Romantic Moment in a Drama” category, but in that moment I thought, this man truly and deeply loves his wife.
The easiest thing for him to do is let someone else perform the terrible deed, then comfort his wife afterwards by painting himself as her savior. But Ye Hua is anything but a cowardly delusional man. If his wife must surrender her eyes to keep her life, then he will be the last person she sees. She will know that he is the one responsible for what happens to her. He will swallow his own shame to look her in the eyes and bear her anger, her confusion, her hurt, and her terror. And he will accept that she will hate him for it. And, THAT takes no small amount of courage.
Eternal Love (三生三世十里桃花) aka Three Lives Three Words Ten Miles of Peach Blossom aka San Sheng San Shi Shi Li Tao Hua does cliché like nobody’s business. Amnesia, missing body parts, deaths, resurrections? That’s breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The lovey dovey pillow talks? That’s dessert with extra whip cream on top. I love every moment of it.
To say nothing about the show’s just-the-right-level melodrama, it impressed me with how well they use the special effects, costumes and makeups to create their epic universe. Those elements successfully enhanced the show instead of crippling it as they did with many of its fantasy drama peers (I am looking at you, xxx Aspiration and xxx Flower). It’s a pity they can’t maintain movie quality level for all 58 episodes. I can clearly see where they spent the big bucks and where they skimped out. The difference is a bit jarring.
Good thing the show is so good I can overlook their inability to seamlessly merge high tech with low tech effects. This drama’s world makes sense. There is internal logic to explain the outrageous things they do (finally in a Chinese fantasy drama!) And most importantly, I am 100% invested in the main couple and their many reincarnations.
Ye Hua’s behavior toward Bai Qian reminds me of a poem by Margaret Atwood: I would like to be the air that inhabits you for a moment only. I would like to be that unnoticed and that necessary.
I love Ye Hua to pieces but I blame him for most of the crapazoid things that befall on them. He is a great man. A man of few words. A man who really needs to stop sheltering his wife and keeping vital information from her. If only he had talked to her about the things that was going on around them, she wouldn’t have broken his heart the way she did.