This post will concentrate solely on Wallace Chung so don’t complain that I am biased 😛 The first 8 episodes have already been subbed in English so there is no point for me in summarizing them. Thus I’ll address some criticisms on the drama as well as some interesting observations. I welcome any constructive criticism but please don’t be too harsh on me and Wallace lol.
Chu Bei Jie (CBJ) as well as the other two leads He Xia (HX) and Bai Ping Ting (BPT) made an impressive debut at the beginning of episode 1 with a battle scene, two at the frontline and one behind the scene. OMG, Wallace looked so cool and good-looking in combat armour. He also looked very handsome with the iron mask.
The first episode is so action-packed and fast-paced. As a result, I can overlook any inconsistency or deficiency. I am really enjoying the drama, from the grand costumes to the beautiful sceneries to the well-choreographed sequences but who am I kidding, I am watching it for Wallace Chung.
I don’t think CBJ should shoulder all the blame for the death of HX’s parents. He did orchestrate the destruction of an honorable clan, but the King of Yan as well as HX’s parents were also at fault. Moreover CBJ did not directly kill HX’s dad. He committed suicide to protect his honor and his wife followed suit.
The first meeting of our OTP (One True Pairing) in adulthood. CBJ rescued BPT twice, once from the river and the other time while she was trying to run away. According to Chewywon, this deviated substantially from the novel.
Chewywon: The novel began with BPT separated from HX and got into CBJ’s territory. They met for the 1st time there; although they had been in battle several times. It’s only HX and BPT with a quite lovely childhood story. There isn’t any flashback about CBJ and BPT’s childhood and the jade hairpin. The first few chapters in the novel focus on BPT and CBJ’s relationship and how he found out about her true identity.
Many people complained that the drama deviated a lot from the novel. In the first place, this is an adaptation, not an adoption. If the author is not the scriptwriter, don’t expect the drama to follow the novel closely. For a book fan, I can understand that they want every scene to be like the novel. But isn’t it boring since you’ve read the book already? Can the drama beat your own vivid imagination?
I personally prefer some changes, something to surprise me. On the other hand, I also prefer the development of the leads’ relationship in the novel which is more fun and interesting. Unfortunately the scriptwriter decided to use the cliché childhood love plot so just accept it. It is inevitable that the scriptwriters will always try to differentiate themselves from the authors by making extensive changes. Compare to many adaptions, this one did not butcher the novel that badly. So, be open-minded and enjoy it as a stand-alone.
Did you recognise that guy with the mustache in Episode 1? Do you know who he is? His name is Mickey Chu and he is Wallace’s buddy. He is the same age as Wallace and acted with him in their first TVB drama, The Chord to Victory. His acting career has not been smooth sailing but Wallace has been helping him to get more acting jobs as you’ll notice he was also cast in The Stand-In and the movie Three. Oh, Wallace is such a loyal friend.
What do you think of Wallace’s horse-riding and fight scenes? Do you think he used stunt doubles too often? The internet was abound with rumors that Wallace and Angelababy used stunt doubles extensively. They also used look-alike and were not happy that the doubles look too much like them so asked the production company to fire them. The rumor also said both of them took home a hefty pay packet by doing minimal filming. Haha will shed more light on Wallace and the production company’s responses in her January News Update.
In the first place, Wallace’s occupation is an actor, not a stunt man. Of course, those dangerous and high-level stunts will be done by the professionals. In an interview, Wallace said he does not have the skill to execute those stunts. It’ll also put his health and life in danger. If he is injured, it’ll affect the filming. Thus it makes commercial sense to use stunt doubles. But Wallace did do his share of horse-riding and low-level stunt. For those who watched The Amazing Race, you should notice that the real Wallace is someone who’ll give his all be it a game show or drama.
As for receiving a hefty pay packet, the production company said his pay is commensurate with the market rate. If the production company was silly enough to give him above market rate, it must have meant that he is worth it.
Can you recognise the real Wallace? Do you think the look-alike will affect Wallace’s career and take away his job? Honestly, I don’t find this guy looks that similar to Wallace. Even if he is a replicate of Wallace, you can’t possess the same character and charisma. Hence I doubt Wallace will have anything to fear. But I’ll give the report the benefit of doubt. Maybe Wallace’s management company is being too protective in securing their interest. I doubt Wallace is so petty and cruel that he would fire a person just because he looks too much like him.
Wallace’s fans know his professionalism and personality and will support him unconditionally. As for non-fans, they can make their own judgements based on the facts presented . Issuing a solemn declaration is making it a much bigger deal. Maybe the production company wanted more promotion.
Himmy: Wallace has always been silent on all those bad rumours about him. I’m glad he decided to take some serious actions against those people this time. They need to be taught some lessons. It also means all the rumors are not true. He’s always hardworking and sincere. If he did use a lot of stunt doubles (which I doubt he did), he would just admit it. And the ridiculous rumour about asking the production company to fire the look-alike, I don’t believe it one bit.
Wow, the first kiss in the drama and a forceful one. Anyone noticed that Wallace is a good kisser especially with forceful kisses like the ones in My Sunshine and Too Late To Say I Love You? It is customary to have at least one in each of his drama lol.
According to hamster who is following the drama diligently with me, Dramafever translated 连守三夜 as he “stays celibate for 3 nights in order to marry her” She rofl (rolling on the floor laughing) because the words mean to keep vigil for 3 nights. Why would staying celibate for 3 nights matter in this case? Keeping vigil means staying up all night long. That is why he told her not to go anywhere for 3 days, and why he stood outside of her prison in the rain, because he was supposed to guard her through the 3 nights. If all he had to do was refrain from sex, then he could do it without her cooperation. The Vietnamese subs also didn’t get it right, but better than the English sub. Vietnamese subs say “he will keep his bride for 3 nights”.
Chewywon: I think the romance was well developed in the novel; although, fast-paced too but it almost seemed like CBJ would have married anyone who was able to play the zither as well as BPT. So in the novel, that girl from above was actually CBJ’s fiance. Since she has a lover already, she used BPT behind close door to be her. CBJ fell in love with the girl playing the zither (BPT). He later found out that they tricked him and forced BPT to be his maid (sort of). They spent a good deal of time together and love blossomed despite CBJ being suspicious of her identity. I was surprise she told him her name already in the drama, because it was epically done in the novel.
Wallace putting on a clothes that is too flowery for him. Himmy was wishing that he was taking off his clothes, haha…..His wicked sense of humor started to show up when CBJ suggested to BPT to take his surname since she refused to say her name.
Did he kiss her nose or mouth? It is ironic that most of the characters that Wallace played before were aggressive but he has a gentle personality.
Chewywon: To be honest, I don’t think Wallace fits the image of CBJ, because just his name alone, makes people quiver and Wallace is too gentlemanly. CBJ’s temperament is like a mixture of Murong Feng, Yi Chen and Lu Li Cheng and it can get overwhelming. He would sacrifice all his soliders just to get BPT back (not cool). But I am very impressed with how the story is progressing and how CBJ is being portrayed by Wallace. Angelababy is not bad here too. She got a lot of hate from her previous dramas, so that must have given her encouragement.
In real life, Wallace is not a foodie and he is a vegetarian. But in his dramas, there are always scenes of him eating and enjoying his food. If he doesn’t have good acting skill, how can he look like he loves to eat? Wah, so yummy to eat plum blossom congee for breakfast, give me some 🙂
Grrrrgh !!!! How dare that evil consort slapped my CBJ? Later you’ll see how crazy she is and the extent she’ll go to for revenge. Aiya poor Wallace, let Himmy console him by giving him a kiss 😛
Arrrgh!!!! Such a touching scene of CBJ begging in the rain. But next time, please use my umbrella 🙂
I’ve to admit that CGI is over-used and some were not properly done. There was also the overuse of the green screen and the leads’ hair were poorly cropped out. But do bear in mind that this is not a Hollywood blockbuster with a big budget. The director admitted that the post-production was a bit sloppy but defended that they’ve limited time and resources. Overall, I think some of the cinematography was beautifully executed so it is a mixed bag, not all are bad.
Himmy: About the CGI, I did notice they look bad in the rooftop fight scene but I didn’t notice any badly cropped hair.
Below is the filming of a green scene in the studio. Later, CGI will be used to fill up the background. This can save time and money as they need not do location filming.
I can’t speak for Angelababy because I don’t know her well and she was pregnant at that time so it would not be surprising if there was extensive use of body double. But I doubt Wallace is so unprofessional. Otherwise he will not be able to survive in this cut-throat industry for such a long time. Wallace did mention that he did a lot of the stunts himself especially the horse riding as proven below.
Ahhhh, CBJ is so attentive to personally feed her home cooked food. Himmy is imaging that he was feeding her 😛
Does the scene below look bad? In fact, I was very impressed with it, so pretty.
No doubt the drama is far from perfect but it does not warrant the ridiculously low ratings in some Chinese websites like douban which rated this a 3.6. I think there are people who are jealous of the success of the drama and purposely voted it down. Without Wallace, I’ll rate this drama a 6. But because of Wallace’s powerful screen presence and good acting, I’ll add 2 more points to a 8 which I think is a fair reflection of the quality of the drama as well as Wallace’s acting. After all, the drama is still entertaining enough.
I read a few complains on Wallace’s dubbing. I also didn’t quite like his voice at the beginning but as the drama progresses I got use to it. Actually it is rather similar to Wallace’s real voice, more softly spoken, not as authoritative as a general. Well, it is at least better than Wallace’s accented Mandarin 😛 If you really can’t stand it, then mute it and read the English subs.
Some complained that Wallace is too old for this kind of role. Based on age alone, he is in his prime, not a senior citizen yet. He has a baby face so he can easily pass himself off as someone in his 30s. Many actors in their 40s are also acting in this kind of role so why can’t Wallace? Moreover his acting skill is convincing enough. Since the audience like to watch Wallace in this kind of role, he should continue to portray roles which are suitable for him and well-liked by his fans.
If all else fails, at least Wallace’s acting is great and he looks so handsome in every scene. He may not look like the Chu Bei Jie in the novel but he surely acted like one. Just concentrate on all the subtle differences in his expressions, his electric eyes, playful smiles and bare chest which you’ll see later 😛 I won’t comment on Angelababy’s acting or the lack of it because my eyes were fixated only on Wallace lol. As a Wallace’s fan, this drama is a must watch 🙂
You can follow the daily musings of dangermousie on tumblr. She is watching the English subbed version and her remarks are pretty amusing.