Chocolat..some thoughts

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Just finished this drama and on the whole I enjoyed it. It stars Yoon Kye-sang and  Ha Ji Won as the main couple. I have to also put a word for the secondary lead actor Jang Seung-jo who I really liked as well.

THe basic story is that these two characters met at different times in their lives and totally impacted each other and, in true kdrama fashion, realize that fate does have the upper hand at the end of the day.  After a few twists and turns, both find themselves working at a hospice where people live the end of their lives and the drama does a great job of showing each case in a very sensitive way. I won’t lie..it’s very sad to get fond of them knowing that they will soon be gone but I tried to focus on the positive and brightness they brought…as the heroine said: They are not here to die but rather to live the final days of their lives..emphasis on “live”. I loved the reminder that at the end of the day making a person happy can be as simple as making someone a special dish..it’s the little things.

I really loved the way there was so much healing in this drama..if not physically then emotionally ..and these people really need it. They carry alot of scars. Even more than the main couple I loved the up and down relationship between the two men (who were cousins taught to hate each other)..love how they slowly realize that what they’ve been taught to do is not what they want to do at the end of the day. Even her annoying brother was given character growth..lol..though there were a few that were left intact..and that’s life too..some people are beyond repair.

Some might consider it slow..maybe even depressing at times.. and I had a bit of quibble about the ending but overall I’m not sorry that I watched it. I felt a certain comfort in watching the heroine approach life and  realize the reason why and the beautiful scenes in Greece were the icing on the cake!!

Back to “The Longest Day In Chang’an”

I think that picking up once again on this drama may be the smartest decision I’ve made this year when it comes to choosing what to watch. Earlier, I felt conflicted about how it portrayed the various ethnic groups (wondering if this was an oblique justification of the current treatment of Uyghur peoples), but I wanted to take a closer look and evaluate those sentiments. As the story has unfolded it’s been less about the “foreign” group of the Wolven Pack and more about the corruption and betrayals and power struggles within the Tang court, from low ranking officials to the highest ministers and the Emperor, and about human nature and those things that drive us.

By the way, there are no spoilers in this post; it’s really more of an appreciation love letter!

Jackson Yee as Li Bi, head of the Peacekeepers Bureau

I’m now just over half-way though this continued viewing; I’d be further along but this is one of those productions that is just too full – overwhelming action, complicated decisions, dense visuals. Watching standard dramas versus watching this one is like eating a Hershey bar versus eating the richest Belgian truffle – you can’t take in more than a few bites. I find myself holding my breath with each episode; it’s become that good. Episode 16, in particular, is just stunning.

Lei Jiayin as Zhang Xiaojing, the death row former soldier with the 1-day reprieve

What makes each block of time (generally 3 episodes is my max before my brain combusts) so worthwhile is almost too time-consuming to explain, but it begins with the cast, especially Lei Jiayin as the unlikeliest of leading men. He’s rumpled, got a blocky build, sports his own scruffy hair and beard (lots of real hair in this drama, btw), but he’s so convincing as the bad-ass soldier with the courage of his convictions. He is called upon to do the impossible 3 times every hour, but he manages to convince me every time that he can do it.

Reyizha Alimjan as Tan Qi, servant to Li Bi

We also get a female character who is smart, resourceful, willing to take chances and do what needs to be done in Reyizha Alimjan’s Tan Qi. Yes, she’s technically a servant to Li Bi, but she’s there to help him in supervising and aiding Zhang Xiaojing and she works and thinks as hard as any man in the story – more than some!

Zhou Yiwei as Long Bo, mercenary and more

The various characters who are supposed to be working with the Peacekeepers Bureau (but aren’t) and those they’re trying to stop before they set the world afire are not just cartoon characters, which makes them worthy opponents deserving of screen time even if they add to the frustration. One of these who commands your attention every time he’s onscreen is Zhou Yiwei, who’s Long Bo is a mercenary and running the show for his employers (as of this moment in the plot). He reminds me so much of Lee Bum-soo with those eyes and the shape of his face; I’d love to see them go toe-to-toe in something someday.

Lu Fangsheng as Yao Runeng, Investigator

Most of all, the sheer scope and beauty of this drama is difficult to beat; I’m hard-pressed to thing of many other dramas that are this cinematic, this rich in visual and aural texture and scale. Each episode is like a 40-minute feature film, one that many in Hollywood and elsewhere would be proud to have on their resumes.

I’m not sure how long it will take me to finish at this rate, and I can only hope that each subsequent episode will be as satisfying as those that have preceded it. I’ll be back to let you know what the final verdict is, but for right now, this one is one of the ones to beat for best of the viewing year.

#jackson-yee, #lei-jiayin, #lu-fangsheng, #peng-guanying, #reyizha-alimjan, #song-yunhao, #the-longest-day-in-changan, #wang-herun, #xu-lu, #zhao-wei, #zhou-yiwei

Finished “Medical Examiner Dr. Qin”

medexamtrio

Preposterous.
Not for the thinking drama watcher at all. It was such a shallow, amateur effort.
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#jiao-jun-yan, #li-xian, #medical-examiner-dr-qin, #zhang-ruo-yun

I’m going to miss my Misaeng

I totally enjoyed and appreciated all these characters (with obvious exceptions of course!)

I have so many favourite scenes, but the obvious highlights are any between Team 3 and our four newbies. One thing I found a bit jarring though was the change of location during the last episode — it just didn’t seem to fit this drama and I didn’t really see the necessity. I would have ended it at another appropriate scene, but that’s just a minor thing and didn’t detract at all from my enjoyment.

I’m so grateful that this drama was 20 episodes. I started to get sad when I approached the 16th episode and was delighted to learn that I had a few more ahead of me. And I finally got to see our dear boy with an actual forehead! 😂 Okay, I do have one complaint — I hated with a passion the helmet hairstyles we were forced to endure for the whole drama — is there no PERFECT drama?? 😂

“Medical Examiner Dr. Qin” – up to Ep. 4

medexamdrqin

I don’t know why the brutality of this show is just hitting different. I keep saying to myself SURELY I’ve seen gorier and more depraved cases before, haven’t I? And yet nothing comes to mind.
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#forensics, #jiao-jun-yan, #li-xian, #medical-examiner-dr-qin, #zhang-ruo-yun

Joy of Life – Book versus Drama

Oh, the challenges that faced the script writer when first adapting Mao Ni’s novel, “Thankful for the Remaining Years,” better known by drama viewers as Joy of Life. The source novel is 746 chapters long, dense, action-filled, character-driven, and complicated. The success, or should I say “triumph” in bringing part one to the small screen had me thirsting to know more, to know what would happen in Fan Xian’s world, which turned me to the novel while still half-way in my viewing of the drama. But I made myself a promise; I would not read further than the the adaptation covers until after I’d finished watching it (and yes, I kept that promise.) However, as the script writer is in the process now of adapting what will be the next part of Joy of Life, with plans to go into filming at the end of 2020 if all goes to plan, meaning we’ll likely not see the finished product until late 2021 or even 2022, I’d like to talk about the drama versus the novel, and maybe yes, where the next part will take us as viewers. If you’ve not watched the series I can only ask, “What are you waiting for?” And know that there will be spoilers if you plan to read further, as well as speculations.

In Chinese dramaland today there is a constant need to balance the desire to be truthful to the source with what the official broadcast censors will permit, and we see minor influences of the latter to the former from the start of the drama. It is clear from the start that “this” is a “work of fiction” because we see a contemporary Fan Shen (modern-day Zhang Ruoyun) explaining his latest fiction-writing project to his professor. Folks, this is not a real China, real Emperor, real-world time-traveling or anything like that. It is Fiction with a capital “F.” This is because there have been, at various times, crackdowns on playing fast-and-loose with history, and crazy notions like time-travel, etc. But let’s not let that get in our way.

SPOILERS AND TINY SPECULATIONS FROM HERE ONWARDS

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#chen-dao-ming, #gao-shu-guang, #guo-qilin, #hai-yitian, #joy-of-life, #li-qiang, #li-qin, #li-xiaoran, #liu-runnan, #mao-ni, #song-yi, #thankful-for-the-remaining-years, #tian-yu, #tong-mengshi, #wang-yang, #wu-gang, #xiao-zhan, #xin-zhilei, #zhang-ruo-yun

Started “Medical Examiner Dr. Qin”

medexaminer

So far it seems to be your typical forensics cop show. Chipper, talented newbie (Jiao Jun Yan) starts her new job assisting an antisocial but gifted forensics expert (hottie Zhang Ruo Yun from “Joy of Life”) to solve cases with an equally hot police detective (Li Xian).

But there are a few things that have caught my eye, so far!
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#forensics, #jiao-jun-yan, #li-xian, #medical-examiner-dr-qin, #zhang-ruo-yun