My Dear Boy (我的男孩) is less of a drama about romance and more of a drama about growing pains. And nothing hurts more than love loss.
Given Luo Xiaofei and An Qinghui’s age and socioeconomic status difference, you would think this is a drama about a cougar seducing a young, naive boy with her worldly charm (which the show not-so-subtly suggested more than once). But no. It’ll be asking too much of our boy to have instant attraction to a cynical, old, drunkard who picked on his insecurity the first time they met. At the time, Xiaofei had drank one too many glasses of red wine waiting for her no-good lover to not show up yet again. She was beyond pissed. She needed a dumpster to deposit her emotional garbage from the last 5 years. Qinghui was situated perfectly as the young guy next table who she believed would benefit from her years of “I can’t believe I got stood up” experience. “Your girl is never coming. She only accepted your invite because she didn’t want you to cause a scene when you asked her out.” (Mean, no?) Anywho, Qinghui experienced first hand Xiaofei in all her wretched glory, which I would re-watch for it’s awesome hilarity. From there, their friendship developed. And it was their odd friendship that kept me coming back for more.
Or maybe it’s their words of wisdom?
Episode 1: Never call an older woman “aunt.” Always call her “big sister.” (This is especially true in Mandarin-speaking communities. Between Xiaofei-ahyi [Auntie Xiaofei] and Xiaofei-jie [Big sister Xiaofei], always use “jie,” unless she is related to you by blood or marriage.)
Episode 2: Your first kiss was long gone. When you were a baby, your parents had already kissed those lips a million times over.
Episode 3: Doesn’t matter if it’s love confession or wedding proposal, when it is public, the joyful reaction is always fake. The game changer is during private moments like this.
If you were to tell me that HIStory2’s Crossing Line (越界) is a live-action shonen manga adaptation, I would believe you. Even the show itself made fun of its Slam Dunk vibe. It is a fun, sport drama with sizzling chemistry between the main leads. I love the friendship, the rivalry, the romance, and the girls (bet you can’t say that for all the BL dramas).
This is officially my victory dance.
Xia Yuhao and Wang Zhenwen is my favorite BFF in this drama. Their actions are gif worthy.
Multiple gifs ahead, beware of your data plan.
Bigger production budget and longer episodes meant the stories in season 2 of HIStory were better developed (and if I dare say, had better acting.) They finally ditched the air mattress and got themselves real beds. And they ate in a real dinning room instead of a sun room. (Yes, I’m looking at you, Obsessed.) And the best of all, they broadened the stories to be more than just BL. Right or Wrong (是非) hit the ground running with a story of a little girl, her single dad, and a young man who became an integral part of their family.
I got into watching this show because of the little girl. She reminded me so much of myself as a kid I got goosebumps watching her. I remember the countless times when my head got buried in the crooks of my babysitters’ arms. It’s not like it’s my fault that I was the biggest third wheel in the world or that my head was so big it blocked the TV…
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.)
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.
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?
Before there was the righteous Justice Pao (包青天) (1993) or the cunning Sima Yi in The Advisors Alliance (军师联盟) (2017), there was The Legend of Liu Bowen (劉伯溫傳奇) (1992). Liu Bowen was one of the founding members of Ming Dynasty, who was wise enough to retire before the newly crowned Emperor began to prune his court by killing the founding members. His retirement gift from the Emperor was a sword that grant him the authority to investigate and execute bad guys he encountered during his cross country sightseeing.
Liu Bowen’s smiling face, his wisdom, and his fortitude left such a strong impression on my young mind that I continued to associate the actor Zhang Fu Jian to that character. To me, his face is synonymous to warmth and safety of a father figure. As long as he’s around, everything is going to be A-OK.
Dramas that incorporated Buddhist ideology have a special place in my heart, especially when they touched upon the concept of “渡 (du / save)” and “轮回 (lun hui / reincarnation).” In one episode of The Ferry Man (灵魂摆渡), Zhao Li and the gang went to a village where many residents died of unnaturally causes. After seeing the spirits trapped in an unending torment, Zhao Li tried to alleviate their sufferings by reciting Buddhist scriptures (du). For a brief moment, he forgot he was a Ferry Man, and he unconsciously act the way he was when he was alive, a devoted Buddhist monk who tried to save others from spiritual agony. Although he didn’t succeed because of what he was, his single-minded sincerity brought tears to my eyes. Compare to the ferry man’s tangential relation to Buddhism, Faithful to Buddha, Faithful to You (不负如来不负卿) has very strong Buddhist presence. It contains no supernatural element to soften the message and can be preachy at times.
I kept watching because the teenage monk is super cute. I kept watching because of the taboo love and the mystery of why she time traveled to that period.
My obsession with Buddhism related romance dramas started with Continued Fate of Love (再世情緣) (1992). The drama began with a spoiled princess harassing a handsome monk. We later discovered that their connection was more than skin deep. In their past life, they were lovers but their love was renounced by everyone. Simply because she was a beautiful gentle lady. And him, a disfigure hunchback outcast who was fortunate to be saved by her and nursed back to life. When their love came to light, people accused him of being an ungrateful, ugly beggar who abused the lady’s kindness. Self-conscious and ashamed, he cut off his tie with her and became a monk. But her love for him was true and she died waiting for him. Reincarnated centuries later, they picked up where they left off. While appearance was no longer their obstacle, other factors continued to prevent them from being together.
Their opening theme song was selected at every karaoke gatherings.