Ode to Joy 2 – Final Impressions

Not much has changed from my initial impressions in this second season of the story, except to say that the addition of sexy VP Bao as Andie’s love interest was a success in terms of casting and compatibility. Giving Guan Guan a chance to blossom was enjoyable, and the relationship between ‘Flirty Zhao’ and Qu Xiao Xiao was even more so. But I still find the actress who plays Ying Ying annoying as hell in her interpretation (please god don’t tell me people think that kind of behavior is cute!), and I really wanted to slap Sheng Mei more than once before she wised up.

Season 3 is already underway, and this time I’m hoping they work Jin Dong more into the story! I know he’s really just a supporting cast member, but let’s change that, okay?

If you saw season 1 and are curious how the story continues, give this a look. If you didn’t, know that it doesn’t spend all that much time on filling in the backstory, which might be a good thing (if it means you spend less time on Ying Ying). Otherwise, you could get the gist of things in a sketchy fashion and just pick up new if only to enjoy Big Bad Bao.

#jiang-xin, #jin-dong, #liu-tao, #ode-to-joy-2, #wang-kai, #yang-shuo, #yang-zi

How men should dress always?

This is from the second season of Ode to Joy (and yes, I will be FFing thru any part that includes the annoying character Ying Ying) and Andie has a new love interest. The character’s name is Bao Yifan, played by a guy with incredible dimples and a whiskey and cigarettes voice, by the name of Yang Shuo and here he is, stalking her in Thailand dressed like a maharajah!

If he weren’t so damn charming and sincere about being totally gobsmacked by her, and willing to just let her keep her secrets (til she’s ready to share) and a good cook, he’d be annoying. But since he is those things, his scenes with Liu Tao are the best part of the series.

Oh, and Wang Kai.

Of course.

Jin Dong is in it for cups of coffee (or is that tea and sympathy?) but it looks like he gets to continue being nothing more than the loyal pal and boss to Andie. That’s okay. He looks just fine 🙂 and it’s fun playing “spot the cast of Nirvana in Fire” too!

#jin-dong, #liu-tao, #ode-to-joy-2, #wang-kai, #yang-shuo

Wang Kai’s movie opening

 

Those of us in the US and Canada have a chance to see it starting tomorrow (3/31) but I’m not sure when it opens in Hong Kong. Theater information at China Lion’s site here.

It’s by a well-known mystery writer Keigo Higashino – and it’s been adapted before in Japan and Korea (I’ve seen neither but I’ll add the trailers after the jump for a little visual comparison). I’ve read other works of the author’s and they’re generally twisty and a little dark, so I’m interested. If you are too, don’t hesitate because it will probably only have a 1 week run.

BTW, you might recognize his male costar as the creepy bad guy from Love Me If You Dare.

Continue reading

#devotion-of-suspect-x, #wang-kai

Nirvana in Fire – Again

I was pacing myself with Dokkaebi and found myself debating what to watch, so I turned back to Nirvana in Fire. I was only going to watch an episode or two of my favorite moments, but once I started (at about episode 20) it sucked me back in again.

Without giving anything away, I will repeat myself and say that the plotting and characters in this drama are so taught and nuanced that I know it’s one I’m going to come back to again and again.

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Since we’ve just finished one drama about the bonds of friendship and loyalty over time, another with similar dominant themes might offer an interesting contrast – same, but very different!

And then there are the performances – Hu Ge and Wang Kai and the rest are unforgettable. I hope that you’ll give it a try – and don’t be put off by the first 2 or 3 episodes having a lot of set up; it gets down to compelling individual stories very soon.

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#hu-ge, #nirvana-in-fire, #wang-kai