When Kevin Cheng (郑嘉颖) turned down filming Bu Bu Jing Xin 2 <步步驚心>, fans were extremely disappointed. He had cited that he will be filming a new drama and unable to participate in the highly anticipated sequel. Kevin’s new drama will be an adaptation of Tang Qi Gong Zi’s (唐七公子) Hua Xu Yin (华胥引), in which Kevin will portray the male lead, Mu Yan (苏慕).
The drama will also see the reunion of Kevin with Bu Bu Jing Xin’s <步步惊心> thirteenth prince, Yuan Hong (袁弘). The lead role of the princess will be played by Chinese actress, Jiang Xin (蒋欣). It is estimated that the drama will take 2 months of filming.
Early Criticisms for TV Adaptation
Chinese novelist, Tang Qi Gong Zi is famed for his fantasy romance novels, spinning the tales of love in mythical ancient times. It is no surprise then that there have been film and drama adaptations of his novels as his prose has won him a large fan base.
When characters stills of the drama adaptation for Hua Xu Yin were leaked, criticisms came in fast and furious from Tang Qi Gong Zi’s fans. There were fans who were disappointed that the styling of the characters were conspicuously wrong, pinpointing even the hairstyles. There were also those who were dismayed at the choice of cast, particularly, Kevin Cheng as the suave and outstanding Mu Yan.
Hua Xu Yin tells the story of a princess of a fallen kingdom who died to show her loyalty to her kingdom. An immortal resurrected her with the help of the Aqua Tear Pearl. She utilizes the power from the Pearl to help create dreams for people in exchange for their lives. In each dream, a story is spun. Every story ends up tragically and therein lies the heartbreaking beauty of the novel.
2013 Year of Adaptations
Filming studios have often adapted their dramas from best-selling Chinese novels. Though the riveting story lines and existing fans are a huge draw, producers are also walking on tight ropes as not all the stories can smoothly transition into television adaptations. Deviations from the original works will no doubt upset the most loyal fans.
Aside from Tang Qi Gong Zi’s Hua Xu Yin and Three Lives Three Worlds, Ten Miles Peach Blossoms <三生三世，十里桃花>, Tong Hua’s (桐华) works have also been widely used, such as the highly successful Bu Bu Jing Xin, Da Mo Yao <大漠謠>, and Best Time <最美的時光>. Recently, writer Xin Yi Wu’s (辛夷坞) ‘s So Young <致我们终将逝去的青春> was also aired onscreen.
This year will especially see a blowout of onscreen adaptations. Here are the top 5 Television series to watch out for:
No 1: Best Time <最美的时光> adapted from Tong Hua’s novel
Cast: Wallace Chung (钟汉良), Janine Chang (张钧甯), Smile Jia (贾乃亮)
Highlights: Tong Hua’s name itself is a selling point. On top of that, this is a modern romance story which should resonate well with the viewers. In the story, an office lady decides to work for her crush so that she can get closer to him. Over 30 episodes, the drama will also touch on the ups and downs of the white collar workers. There will also be some exciting moments in the drama as conspiracies and and commercial wars come into play. However, the drama is promoted as a comedy so it may be a light-hearted attempt at office politics.
No 2: Love Is Not Blind <失恋33天>
Date of Release: Soon to be broadcast
Cast: Yao Di (姚笛), Zhang Mo (张默)
Highlights: This is not the first adaptation of Bao Jingjing’s (鲍鲸鲸) internet novel. In 2011, director Teng Huatao’s (滕华涛) Love Is Not Blind movie was a huge hit, so much so that he has decided to use a different cast for the television series adaptation. If not for anything else, viewers will tune in to see how the two adaptations compare to each other.
No 3: So Young <致我们终将逝去的青春>
Date of Release: April 2013
Cast: Mark Chao (赵又廷), Han Geng (韩庚), Yang Zi Shan, (杨子姗), Tong Liya (佟丽娅)
Highlights: Based on Xin Yi Wu’s novel, So Young is Vicki Zhao’s (趙薇) directorial debut. Famed Hong Kong director, Stanley Kwan (关锦鹏) codirects while renowned Chinese scriptwriter Li Qiangqin (李樯亲) pens the script. When the cast list was announced, fans of the novel gave their unanimous approval. The posters also received positive comments. For some movie critics, this is the most highly-anticipated Chinese movie in 2013.
No 4: Da Mo Yao (大漠谣)
Cast: Cecilia Liu (刘诗诗), Hu Ge (胡歌), Eddie Peng (彭于晏)
Highlights: Another Tong Hua adaptation. This is an ancient romance story based in the Han dynasty. It revolves around the adventures of a girl who was raised by wolves in the desert but was later brought back to her tribe. In the midst of palace scheming and political changes, she was entangled in a love triangle.
When the posters were leaked, fans were delighted at how accurate the characters were depicted, which only makes this television series even more highly anticipated.
No 5: Remembering Li Chuan <沥川往事> adapted from Xuan Yin (玄隐)’s novel
Date of release: Soon to be broadcast
Cast: Godfrey Gao (高以翔), Jiao Junyan (焦俊艳)
Highlights: The romance novel had touched the hearts of many readers. Taiwanese director, Chen Ming Zhang (陈铭章) was the name behind several television hits. The pairing of the charismatic Godfrey and newcomer Jiao Junyan is at the same time, refreshing and something to look forward to. The trailers have already received much rave reviews.
This article is written by Karen for JayneStars.com.