Guardian 镇魂 Part 4

This article is a rambling of a novel fan. If you have not read the novel, please don’t let my criticism turn you against the drama Guardian.

Ep31 is a good episode. With no embarrassing acting to distract me, I watched the entire episode without fast forwarding even once. Which makes me wonder why Guardian-the-drama (DG) couldn’t be like this for every episode?

I’ve been complaining about how bad DG was but I missed the mark by couple inches. One viewer actually hit the nail on the head. DG sucked because it failed the logic test. It discarded Guardian-the-novel (NG) worldview without replacing it with something equally comprehensive to explain the characters’ motivation and why they did what they did. DG might seem logical at bird’s-eye view, it failed spectacularly at street level. And the detail is what makes and breaks a web drama.

The Stake of Mountain and River segment has the most logic offenders (which explains why I didn’t like those episodes). One of my biggest pet peeves is seeing a heart-shape love sign in a period drama. First of all, the heart-shape sign didn’t become common practice until after 1910. So I’m pretty sure a secluded Asian tribe in the 1700s, such as Hanga, would not have seen or chosen the heart-shape to display their love. Eye rolling in progress.

Then there is Sang Zan’s speech impediment. In the flash back, he spoke fluent Chinese. After he got out of the rock, he stuttered like a stroke patient. What happened to him? NG has the logic. Back in the days, Sang Zan and Wang Zheng spoke Hanga (the language). After they parted ways, Wang Zheng left for the outside world and was immersed in the Chinese language for the next couple hundred years. Sang Zan, on the other hand, was stuck in the rock and never heard of Chinese, never mind speaking it. He had to learn the language like a foreigner, stuttering over each word and getting the tone wrong.

Guardian Sang Zan Wang Zheng Zhen Hun

And what’s up with the “Guo Changcheng electrocuting Chief Zhao” incident? NG, again, has the logic. Changcheng is a scaredy cat. Every little thing makes him jump. He also suffers from low self-esteem with debilitating social anxiety. He gets panic attacks just from looking people in the eyes. Prior to the incident, he was already shaking like a leaf after Zhao Yunlan berated him for buying a cheap sex doll to house Wang Zheng (the spirit) for their trip. He didn’t get his equilibrium back before they entered a dark, menacing cave. Group dynamic dictated Yunlan walk the front to scout for dangers, Chu Shuzi cover the back, and him, the useless new guy, walk in between them. Since everyone had their weapons out, it made sense that Changcheng’s stun gun would be pointed toward the front with his eyesight falling naturally on Yunlan’s back. It was a tense situation for everyone, doubly so for him. His racing mind imagined all kinds of monsters and critters crawling in the darkness. Once his overactive imagination reached its terrifying peak, the supercharged stun gun shot out an electrical beam, toward the front, at Yunlan. See? A perfectly logical explanation for electrocuting one’s boss.

Since it’s rare to see a good episode (or segment), I’m devoting this post to what I like in DG.

Guardian Shen Wei Zhu Yi Long Zhen Hun

Possible spoilers ahead, read at your own risk.

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Guardian 镇魂 Part 3

This article is a rambling of a novel fan. If you have not read the novel, please don’t let my criticism turn you against the drama Guardian (镇魂).

Guardian Zhen Hun Chu Shuzhi Guo Changcheng

Ok. I have watched enough episodes on the third holy object to know Guardian-the-drama (DG) has given it a face change. The object exists only in name.

As I watched, an overwhelming urge to strangle somebody washed over me.
Guardian Zhen Hun Chu Shuzhi

Every minute, I wanted to walk away and never look back.
Guardian Zhen Hun Chu Shuzhi

When I finally sat through ep27, I wanted to scream. And, keep screaming.
Guardian Zhen Hun Zhao Yunlan

If you didn’t know already, DG is a special show. Without the worldview of Guardian-the-novel (NG), all the cases in the drama fall flat with their one dimensional storytelling. It’s a show I would’ve dropped by ep3 if it weren’t based on my fav novel. Because the adaptation is lackluster at best, it makes you notice how good the characters themselves are. If you extract all the scenes with the two leading men in it and make a separate video, it would be a great trailer because their performance is that good. And for those moments of greatness, you keep watching. The show is very lucky to have them.

Guardian Zhen Hun Zhao Yunlan Bai Yu Shen Wei Zu Yi Long

So what is NG worldview?

Novel spoilers ahead, read at your own risk.

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Guardian 镇魂 Part 1

This article is a rambling of a novel fan. If you have not read the novel, please don’t let my criticism turn you against the drama Guardian (镇魂), which in and of itself is a decent police procedural drama about a specialized (and not-so-secret) unit dealing with unexplained, mind-bending cases. It has all the elements of a scifi fantasy show: Bromance, actions, and special effects.

Guardian Zhen Hun Bai Yu Zhu Yi Long Shen Wei Zhao Yunlan

While I have no issue with watching a scifi fantasy show, the soul of Guardian is really their supernatural roots: The Gods, the demons, the ghosts, the changelings, and the clueless human beings who were caught in the supernatural assaults. Unfortunately, Chinese censorship commands that ANY show set after the forming of the Republic (1949-present) must not depict, express or disseminate antiquated superstitious beliefs, which is essentially the meat of the Guardian stories. To skirt around the ban, the show switched out all the supernatural elements for scientific explanations: Gods? Aliens residing above ground. Demons? Aliens residing underground. Changelings? Native species with alien genes. Ghosts? Residual energy. The fire of a God? The collision of a comet. Reincarnation? I’m still waiting for them to explain that one. But from the show next door, Moonlight and Valentine (结爱), it’s probably reorganization of energy particles.

Guardian Zhen Hun Shen Wei
Sure. That explains everything.

Possible spoilers ahead, read at your own risk.

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