Rants and Weekly Raves (RAWR) #363

Anne: Another week passes and more work has piled on. How is this even possible?! My weekend pretty much was spent sleeping and keeping my five year old entertained. We do a lot of these projects. And we have completed each of these more than 6 times. Although, truth to tell, I do most of the work; he just help picks out the packets and stir. I have to say that I have gotten pretty good with these things.

Now that I have demonstrated my obvious artistic skills...let's get on with a bit of discussion on the shows that I managed to watch this week.
(Update: Have anyone ever met a more dramatic 5 year old? He had one little band-aid on his thigh where he got his shot. He screamed bloody murder when I tried to pull it off in the bath. With half the band-aid barely hanging on, he's "limping" because each step hurt.)

One and Only

I cannot believe that I managed to watch the last 3 episodes, with only minimal FF. I was cringing the entire time. I guess the writer (of the book and the script) must have figured that since there was a next life, lets just make this ending as brutal as humanly possible. First, the young emperor finally got enough courage to "kill" him mom, but of course, he was found out almost immediately, and in turn was killed by his own mother. Our Empress Dowager didn't glee for long as the long awaited birth of a grandson didn't materialize (she already planned her son's death, but she needed the grandson to be born first, but the Emperor forced her hand early), hence she is now up a s*^t creek without a paddle. Zhou Sheng Chen was able to put a distant nephew on the throne, but that lasted about 2 seconds as the Crown Prince, Liu Zi Xing, had long decided to collude with the enemy to take the throne and Shiyi. (I told you this boy was planning things...)

Well...we all know what that means right? Liu Xi Xing has to be blind not to realize that Shiyi was in love with Zhou Sheng Chen. He had this elaborate plan that basically framed Zhou Sheng Chen's army and all his generals as rebels trying to usurp the throne. In order to save his "children", the orphans whom he trained and led his entire life, he let himself to be taken prisoner. Of course, he knew that he wasn't going to survive. At least I didn't have to watch his execution. I actually couldn't figure exactly what method they used until his body was retrieved, and they mentioned that he was dismembered alive. It took him 6(?) hours to die. (I might not have remembered correctly, but it did seem like a long time to me. A human body doesn't take that long to bleed to death. And there is a good chance he passed out way before he died.) Liu Xi Xing originally kept Shiyi in the dark, but later agreed to let her mom tell her of Zhou Sheng Chen's betrayal and his execution. Of course Shiyi didn't believe a word of it, and his death literally robbed her of her voice again. It was one of the top ten heart wrenching scenes of any drama, when Shiyi cried without a single sound. Her mother passes Zhou Sheng Chen's last message to her, written in blood (of course) while he was imprisoned (you'll have to watch the drama to figure out who was the one that allow him to write the note). The poem is simply an apology, how he never failed anyone but her.

On the day of her wedding to Liu Xi Xing, Shiyi went up to the city wall, the one that she was standing on when she first laid eyes on Zhou Sheng Chen, and jumped off.

I actually felt bad for Liu Zi Xing, who, like Ye Hua, was one second too late. He was devastated.

And this is also a very pretty death scene.

Even at the end, Liu Zi Xing never understood why she couldn't love him as much as he loved her. And after 3 years, which was as long as he was going to live anyway with his illness, he died without an heir. And the young boy that Zhou Sheng Chen originally put on the throne became the emperor. (One little issue here...why does this boy still look like he was exactly the same age as he was 3 YEARS ago! Come on people!)

Yes, no happy ending for ANYONE! Every single couple was separated by death or by someone staying as a monk. (If you watched this you know whom I'm talking about...and about why this was such a sad...sad...ending...for the audience...)

Forever and Ever (and now for the sequel...)

Shiyi, still named the same, is a voice actor who is reading the voice over of the drama "One and Only". Yes, she is literally dubbing her own self in a drama adaptation of her past life. While at the airport, Shiyi runs into Zhou Sheng Chen, a man with the exact same name as the Junior Prince Nan Chen in the story she is working on. She chases him down and tries to get his contact information.

But he doesn't have a cell phone and so they exchange email addresses. (How cute are these two? It gets even more sugar coma inducing...). They spent 6 months being email pen pals. This is reminiscent of the letters Zhou Sheng Chen wrote to Shiyi when he wins every battle. 

In this life, Zhou Sheng Chen is a chemistry professor. His last name is Zhou Sheng, and in his family, only the eldest holds this surname. All other siblings, and any other member, have the last name simply of Zhou. Zhou Sheng Chen is in desperate need of a wife, because everyone's inheritance (shares in the company) is only granted upon their marriage. But he doesn't want to just marry anyone to get his inheritance. (I'm still very confused as to if his mom is really his mother, or simply the first wife. There is definitely the feel of the "ancient" family format with split houses and extended family all participating in the family business. Even his driver is a distant relative.)

In the modern era, Zhou Sheng Chen is a bit opposite of his former commending persona. (Although he has this quirky funniness that brings unexpected comedy into some odd places.) He is just too adorable as the awkward man who finds himself "liking" a girl for the first time but has no idea how to go about the entire dating thing. But due to his current needs and everything else, he proposes by episode 3!

Over the phone... 

And after her initial shock...she agreed to be engaged...

And then there is Mei Xing...Is it me or is this man super, super gorgeous!?

Poor thing will probably get his heart broken...and please please pppppllllleeeeaaaasssseeee do not turn into Liu Zi Xing #2! Mei Xing is Zhou Sheng Chen's close friend, who has seen Shiyi (at the ancient city wall) and was smitten at first sight. He doesn't know that the woman who just got engaged to Zhou Sheng Chen was the woman he saw. (I'm only on episode 6, so the reality hasn't manifested itself yet). 

Of course our hero's engagement doesn't go particularly well with his mama, who has already picked out a girl for him. And his younger brother is married to a girl who has always been in love with Zhou Sheng Chen, even though he doesn't sees her as anything but a friend.

Seriously, I don't understand how these two people with the dating skills of teenagers (young ones at that) has so much sizzle on screen you can practically hear the spark of electricity in the air!

Good thing this is only 30 episodes, I'm not sure I'll survive anything much longer. 

The Ferryman: Legends of Nanyang

More secrets revealed! Episode 19 was about a doll who is using the resentment souls of dead Japanese soldiers who committed suicide after the end of WWII to suck out the life of the living in a hospital. And we find that the "doctor" in charge of the hospital is working for the doll. Episode 20 and 21 is about a soul who escaped from hell and was "helped" by a ferryman, Mu Rong. In this story arc, we find out that Mu Rong and Zhao Li (our ML Ferryman) were in cahoots! Mu Rong created resentment souls by telling a false version of the truth to the dead, in order for them to get revenge. This way, he can use their souls to refine pills that can rebuild a soul. Ferryman has no soul, and looks like Zhao Li is trying to build himself one. In return, Mu Rong gets a case of "life years" that he is using to keep someone alive (we don't see who it is however). Episodes 22 and 23 tell the story of a woman who remains alive by taking 1 day of life from a large group of people. These people appear dead for 1 day. As the audience, we think that the one taking the life and the one who has waited for her to be twin sisters. But they are NOT! They are a couple. She was a courtesan and he was a wealthy son who fell in love with her. In order to buy her from the house, he embezzled money and they were on the run for a long time. When he got sick, she spent all her money to buy two pieces of flesh (from a heavenly entity...I don't know how to explain it) that will grant anyone who eats it, immortality. However, there was a side-effect. The man turned into a woman that looked exactly like his lover, and his lover turned into something that now require feeding on human life to keep herself young. At the end, in order to atone for her crimes, her lover dismembered but wanted to keep her head. Not only does that piece of heavenly flesh grant a person immortality, it also granted them the ability to regenerate. Yes, the "man" was talking to the head as he headed to settle somewhere where there are no people. And take a WILD guess who the seller was, Zhao Li! (Could we be heading for some odd ML turning evil type of thing?)


Master, Wait a Moment!

What was the reason I started this? Because I'm a sucker for crime dramas. And the first scene with Xu Wu Shuang and our very eager, rookie cop, Wang Da Yu, is quite funny. The entire first few episodes is about Da Yu trying to get on Wu Shuang's good side, but isn't quite succeeding. Look how eager to please the puppy is...

Wu Shuang apparently is a super cop who can take down a gang of 20 people all by himself (without bring any weapons), and look so COOL doing it.

The oddest thing is the setup...it basically took the BL bits for comedic moments, but it's not a BL drama. Let me explain why: 1) the young and very inexperienced rookie who is chasing after his "master", and in order to get on his good side, the rookie cooks and takes care of the master, 2) the master is a badass, super confident, grumpy loner, who is so good at fighting that (remember...?) he can take out 20 people by himself, 3) they live together (I don't know how it is in China, but apparently, in this police precinct, they live in "dorms", 4) the master's mom keeps calling him to make him date and he has no interest (BTW, the rookie tells him a sure fire way to repulse any girl his mom may introduce him to...always prefix any thing he text with "My mom says..." I have to say, yes, it would be VERY effective), 5) they end up having to spend a night in a hotel room with only one bed, and when the bed breaks, the master felt he HAD to explain that the reason the bed broke just by him "sitting" on it, nothing else happened (you have to watch the dialogue, it would have been better if they didn't try to explain it). 

And now the FLs... the rookie is a wealthy second generation who keeps running into Tang Zhi Xin and keeps spilling stuff on her. She is the same as him, a wealthy second generation who is working in a service career (she is a teacher). The FL for Xu Wu Shuang is a medical examiner, who is his ex-girlfriend that he obviously has not gotten over.

Let's see how this develops.

Good and Evil

I'm up to episode 23 and just finished the "mermaid" side story. Chun Yao and Han Sheng goes to the "catch" a mer-person to get a drop of heart blood to stabilize Bai Ling Tan. After the prison break of the Heavenly Evil (think of it as an Evil entity that is basically a god) in the first arc of the drama, Bai Ling Tan and all the demons living within it are under threat. The last arc they were searching for the fire stone. This time they needed a drop of blood. So off they go to catch a mer-person, specifically a flying-fish type mer-person. The plot is a twist on the Little Mermaid, with a mermaid who became a human to repay a prince for saving her life. The twist is that the Prince is Han Sheng's royal brother (Xie Chang Ye), who came with his "maid" Shen Ci to kill the the Beilu King, who was the one that Han Sheng was supposed to marry, before she ran off. And remember why they were sending Han Sheng, because Han Sheng's people wanted to send this "bad luck" charm to their enemy. 

So, since Han Sheng didn't marry, her brother was entrusted by their father to kill their enemy to ensure that no more war will breakout. His maid was a coi fish he saved when he was little and raised carefully for years. The little fish, Shen Ci, came back to repay his kindness but of course ended up falling in love with him. I have to give the writer a round of applause for this story telling. Literally, up until it was revealed, I thought that while Xie Chang Ye may have some "feelings" for Shen Ci, his agenda to kill the Beilu King was his only goal. To achieve this goal, he will sacrifice everything and anyone, including using the love of the little maid who would do anything for him. It wasn't true, and the entire time he was doing the whole she can hate me but she will live type of thing. It didn't work because someone told her the truth. And she died saving everyone by defeating the Evil that possessed the Beilu King.

And I also realize that the actor who played Xie Chang Ye was in Twin Flowers Legend (he was one of the brothers, the not so good one). In this story arc we finally realized who the Evil is, he was the one prisoned under the lake. Han Sheng visited him often, and the Evil fell in love with her. And in this arc, his goal was to kill Chun Yao and marry Han Sheng. And we also realize that Chun Yao and Han Sheng are mutely fatal to each other. Chun Yao's body naturally took Han Sheng's cultivation, and Han Sheng equally negatively affected Chun Yao's spirit. Well...we all know where this will be leading don't we? Now I just need Mango to release the last few episodes.

The last thing I want to bring up is Viki has been broadcasting older dramas/movies. And I fell into the trap of Asian romantic comedy AGAIN! This time in the form of a Korean movie called Homme Fatale

It tells the story of a boy who grew up in a gisaeng house and decided to become one himself to help with the business. It was quite funny all the way up until the last 15 minutes, when all of a sudden...it gets all serious. No, our ML cannot marry the girl he loves because of his low status, and our FL has to marry someone else who can support her and her brother. The ML was thrown in jail for burning down the "institution" for widow education (which I swear a certain section of the US would probably love to bring back). When he was rescued, he set himself up as a painter on a hill. And our FL never visits him herself, she sends her niece. The FL just goes way out of her way to do what would be considered an ancient version of a "drive by". I was so depressed at the end of this that I needed a drink!

Have a great week everyone. And watch out for those romantic drama traps! They are insidious.