Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Zhao Liying and Chen Xiao's collaboration + Almighty SARFT +Another Potential Delay for Female Prime Minister

Yet again I dedicate another post to this upcoming onscreen couple. I admit I'm really hyped about their collaboration because of my eagerness to watch Female Prime Minister. A few days ago, Chen Xiao attended an event in Beijing for the International Youth Culture Art Weeks and got interviewed about his role in Female Prime Minister.

There is nothing really new about this 10-minute interview. The host told Chen Xiao that his Female Prime Minister co-star, who played a senior court lady-in-waiting, praised his handsomeness and convincing portrayal of Gao Zhan. Chen Xiao also reveals some tidbits about the plot. The throne was originally designated to Gao Zhan, but his stepmother plotted to have him remove and instate his older brother as the emperor. Once he returned to the palace, he aims to retrieve what was taken away from him.
Gossipingly, the host also asked Chen Xiao if his chemistry with Zhao Liying transferred from reel to real. Chen Xiao slyly thwarted the implication of the question. He teased his chemistry with Zhao Liying technically transferred he other way around, from real to reel. Even before the shooting of Female Prime Minister and during the shooting of Gong 2, he and Zhao Liying were already fast friends. They are both very similar in terms of their love for acting and career-oriented attitude. During their preparation for their respective roles in Female Prime Minister, they had long discussions in private, and thus generated sparks for their characters that translated into the onscreen chemistry of Gao Zhan and Lu Zhen. In sum, they remain extremely good friends in real life. Okay, I think that response just trampled any new spourts growing for the Xiao-Ying or Ying-Xiao shipping. LOL.

For those who are curious about Chen Xiao and Zhao Liying's onscreen rapport, you can check out this short clip in Gong 2. They probably only had like 10 minutes of screen time together in the entire series.

Start at 6:32


In case you haven't heard or haven't been catching up on Chinese entertainment news, there are rampant rumors that SARFT plans to ban the following types of series: court intrigue/palace scheming series, revolutionary series with shaded heroes/undefined enemies, series adapted from internet novels, remakes of old series, series based on video games, and family bickering series.  This list summarily bans every freakin series I'm looking forward to. BUT the good news is SARFT just responded to this widespread rumor.  SARFT is not implementing such a policy and the ban on the 6 types of series is untrue (read original article in Chinese). The bad news...SARFT will "intensify" its review process to improve the quality of the Chinese television series. The new mission: decrease the "quantity" to increase the "quality." SARFT seems to love to give the Chinese television industry some formidable obstacles. I'm just very apprehensive the release date for Female Prime Minister, Da Mo Yao, and In Love with Power may get postponed till who knows when...I just read that Yu Zheng said Female Prime Minister may not be permitted to air on its slated October 1 air date. According to Yu Zheng, SARFT doesn't like period dramas to get air on national TV from October to November. I assume this new "rule" is instated because of the National Chinese Holiday or something. Gosh...soo frustrating!!

I am praying HARD that the circumstances surrounding the release of the historical TV series Su Dongpo will not repeat itself.  I still clearly remember Su Dongpo was initially praised by SARFT during the review process for being a "model" TV series in 2006.  It conveyed the right inspirational spirit and serious respectful attitude toward historical adaptation. But then SARFT decided to swallow its own words and locked it away for the past six years. Well, Su Dongpo is finally seeing daylight again, but it's currently airing on an extremely localized channel. After religiously following its live broadcast online, I suspect SARFT fears Su Dongpo may have some serious political ramifications. The story of this famous Chinese statesman/poet who suffered intense political backlash for his political honesty and his era ring eerily similar to the current political climate in China.

Anyway, I REALLY dislike all the uncertainties in the mainland Chinese television industry. I would get all excited about the shooting of some drama, and then SARFT comes in and ban it. I hope the board members on SARFT can wake up someday and promulgate some constructive rule that is beneficial to the Chinese television industry and not quench its creativity with crippling restrictions.

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