KO ONE: RE-CALL 終極一班5 Part 1

The first 3 episodes of KO ONE: RE-CALL (終極一班5) ain’t so bad. They got the right level of humor, solid fighting choreography, and decent special effects (tho’ I do think they used it too liberally.)

KO ONE RE-CALL Gu Zhang Wes Luo Hong Zheng
I’m particularly psyched that Wes Luo is making his comeback after a year hiatus to convalesce from his foot fracture. I’m mighty grateful that the show wrote in his leg injury as part of the story, cuz I do not want this boy to be jumping up and down, kicking left and right, or putting any kind of pressure on his fragile leg. Please, keep him in a wheelchair for as long as possible. As such, I can forgive that most of his scenes are done in front of a green screen and/or with a stand in.
KO ONE RE-CALL Gu Zhan Zhi Ge Huang Wei Jin KO ONE RE-CALL Pets Tseng

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KO ONE: RE-CALL 終極一班5 Part 0

I don’t know if I’m going to watch the latest installment of Zhong Ji Series, KO One: Re-Call (終極一班5). The joint Taiwan/China production had, so far, been a total disaster. KO One: Re-Member couldn’t strike the right balance between comedy and drama. It was either obnoxiously frivolous or depressingly heavy. I dropped it when the crying and the angst in the latter half of the show became too much. Then there was K.O. 3AN-GUO New Ultimate 2017. Sigh… Fancy special effects couldn’t hide the fact that it was a direct copy of the original, but way less adorable and whole lot more annoying.

Then again, I should give the new class a chance. Maybe it will surprise me by bringing something new to the franchise?

The Advisors Alliance: Growling Tiger, Roaring Dragon 虎啸龙吟

I’m jumping the gun with this post because I haven’t watched the second part of The Advisors Alliance yet. But damn if I let spoilers stop me! (Well, considering the spoiler happened over 1500 years ago and posted all over the history books… There is a little I can do about it.) If I can’t fight them, I’ll join them.

A Chinese article titled, Just how amazing do you need to be in order to become a Sima Yi?, had me laughing like a hyena. It’s a cliff note version of the 2nd installment but it reinterprets the key moments of the show. It’s hilarious that they made Sima Yi a total fanboy of Zhuge Liang (which we already knew from 1st installment) even though they were fighting on the opposing sides. Or that his son, Sima Zhao, keeps voicing his unspoken thoughts, which made him want to do a facepalm every time.
Here is the link to the article for those of you who read Chinese or those who loves tons and tons of Gifs: http://www.sohu.com/a/211993197_554568

Stand By Me 一起同过窗

I heard about Stand By Me (一起同过窗) since the beginning of the year. People who had finished it said the drama should be a must-watch Chinese drama of 2016. Having finally watched it, I absolute, completely, 100% agree. Although their plot line doesn’t scream greatness: A lighthearted drama about the shenanigans of a group of college freshmen, their character development through relationships is the best I have seen in years. Whenever the show throws me a new nugget of information on the characters, it’s like finding another piece of puzzle, which makes me go, “Ooooh… That explains why…”

Stand By Me Yi Qi Tong Guo Chuang

Like discovering Lu Qiaochuan is a pessimist with hidden superiority complex. His major personality defect has to be that he can’t handle success. It gets to his head and turns him into a world class arrogant A-hole. The drama showed a glimpse of his big-headed tendency in the beginning, but it was resolved so quickly and joyously that I didn’t think much of it. Then later on, it became a huge problem when his growing ego alienated all his friends. I really wanted to smack him upside down for the way he treated Zhong Bai and the way he spoke to Li Luoxue. (Who does he think he is?! Don Juan?) However, it is the things he did after his success-high faded that continues to endear him to me. Sure, he was sorry. But more importantly, he took responsibility for his bad behaviors and (constructively) repaired the damages he caused. To Li Luoxue and others, a sincere, heartfelt apology and a solution to their class’ disastrous music performance. To Zhong Bai, his BFF who had been with him through thick and thin, no amount of groveling would do. So he didn’t try. He thanked her instead. Thanked her for putting up with him. Thanked her for trying to stop him from turning into an egomaniac. Thanked her for being his friend. To Ren Yifan, his other BFF who only ever wanted was for them to be the 3 musketeers (one for all, all for one), he asked him to do favor as if they had never stopped talking to each other. I’m sure Qiaochuan will lose his head again when the next success comes along. Fortunately on regular days, he is a considerate, down to earth, resourceful guy, which earns him cookie points. And, he is really good at salvaging fall-outs and that is why he still got friends.
Yi Qi Tong Guo Chuang Stand By Me

We would think Yu Hao’s ostentatious behavior makes him the comic relief of the drama. Nope. Qiaochuan’s other roommates, Xiao Haiyang and Bi Shisan, would have us laughing with tears too.

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The Big Boss 班长大人

The Big Boss (班长大人) has a theme for each episode, which doesn’t carry over to the next one, so the enjoyment of the show fluctuates depending on the episode I watch. Episode 4 is by far the funniest. Ye Muxi decided to consult her class’ weight loss guru for a way to slim down after her nemesis called out her weight gain. She didn’t expect that she had to actually do hard work to lose weight. Or that the guru, who is usually the most laid back person in the class, would turn into a monster whipmaster on her.

I laughed so hard watching the chocolate breakup scene.

Did you ever experience moments when no matter how much you eat or what you eat, you kept feeling hungry? My mom called it, “the growth fat.”
The Big Boss

Being chubby is nothing to be ashamed of. A person should love his/her body no matter what size it is. The problem being, Liao Danyi made an objective observation that she could no longer button up her jacket because she had been snacking nonstop. She strongly objected to his statement.
The Big Boss Huang Jun Jie The Big Boss

How dare him for calling her fat?!
The Big Boss Eleanor Lee The Big Boss Huang Jun Jie

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Let’s Shake It 颤抖吧!阿部

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.

Let's Shake It Let's Shake It

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.

Let's Shake It Let's Shake It

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…

Let's Shake It Zheng Ye Cheng Let's Shake It An Yue Xi

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The Advisors Alliance 军师联盟

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 Advisors Alliance

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.

The Advisors Alliance Wu Xiu Bo Liu Tao

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.
The Advisors Alliance The Advisors Alliance Zhai Tian Lin

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.”
The Advisors Alliance

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