Recent Chinese wuxia dramas have been attracting a solid following given the strong production values. However, the latest television adaptation of Jin Yong’s (金庸) classic novel Demi-Gods and Semi-Devil <天龍八部> – a popular choice for adaptation due to its intriguing story and colorful characters – have left fans sorely disappointed, with viewers giving it a historically low Douban rating of 3.5 – the worst rating in 40 years!
Poor Casting Choices to Blame?
According to reports, fans are most displeased with the series’ casting choices, commenting that lead actor Tony Yang (楊祐寧), who is known for tackling arthouse films, lacks the quintessential ruggedness of being dealt with life’s vicissitudes so central to his character Kiu Fung; with fans describing his performance in the drama as “greasy.”
Fans also took offense at Bai Shu’s (白澍) portrayal of Duan Yu, remarking that his side parting and ear stud styling made him “neither modern nor ancient.” They also pointed out how the actor’s slick aura was at odds with his character, a naive prince of Dali Kingdom, while many took brickbats at the director, whom they felt had made a “gross misinterpretation” by portraying Duan Yu here as an effeminate character in the series.
However, the most severe criticism was directed at Janice Man’s (文詠珊) portrayal of beauty Wang Yuyan, who had been previously played by Crystal Liu Yifei (劉亦菲), Idy Chan (陳玉蓮) and Carman Lee (李若彤). Labeling Janice’s Wang Yuyan as the version “most lacking in ethereal quality” so far, many pointed out that the Hong Kong actress was “more suited for modern roles,” while her lip-pursing and puckering to portray youthfulness also did not impress.
Out of the six remakes so far, the highest rated remake was TVB’s 1997 version, which has a score of 9/10.
Source: World Journal
This article is written by JoyceK for JayneStars.com.