Panda Impressions
Here are our first impressions of two recent web dramas that aired this year.
A Step Into The Past movie adaptation confirms original cast
A Step Into the Past 寻秦记 is getting a movie adaptation after 17 years with the same main cast led by Louis Koo, Raymond Lam and Jessica Hsuan. The recent drama remake led by Chen Xiang was a letdown for me personally, so my childhood self is elated to hear that the three main leads who have not had the opportunity to work together since 2001 are really returning for the movie.  Filming is expected to begin before the end of the year. 

Louis Koo return for A Step Into The Past movie adaptation
Louis Koo is currently collecting awards for his role in the movie Paradox, the third installment for the SPL film series, that has landed him the Best Actor win at the Hong Kong Film Directors' Guild, the 12th Asian Film Awards and Weibo Night 2017 within this month alone. 

During an interview, the actor was able to talk briefly about the movie adaptation for A Step Into The Past (it's titled Back Past). He said that having Raymond Lam and Jessica Hsuan on board really brings back the feels from when they were filming the drama. The movie tackles a new story altogether but will still be related to the original though he reassures fans that Xiang Shao Long will be back.

Raymond Lam, Jessica Hsuan return for A Step Into The Past movie adaptation
Raymond Lam shared that after working for so many years, he hopes to bring something different to his portrayal. After all, A Step Into The Past was his first costume drama. Jessica Hsuan said that she has been doing some homework of her own and reviewing the drama in preparation for filming. 

The general impression I get is that the movie will be different but the same. I hope it's new and improved and does justice to the original. I'm still wondering whether the other cast members like Sonija Kwok, Kwong Wa and Michelle Saram will return too.

Source: 1, 2

Shen Yue photos Meteor Garden 2018
Meteor Garden 流星花园 completed filming in China last week where many of the cast members bid their characters goodbye. The remaining cast and crew then headed to London and it was only yesterday that Shen Yue and Dylan Wang who play Shan Cai and Dao Ming Si finished filming all of their scenes. The drama has been on the spotlight since day 1, and seeing the production come together is a journey worth waiting for. The show seems on track for a Summer 2018 premiere as post-production begins. Let's hope that it happens.  
Mr. Right Jin Dong Drama Review
Mr. Right 恋爱先生 is 45 episode Chinese drama that finished airing last month. It is the second installment of “Gentleman Series”. Watching Mr. Right feels like a relaxing train ride with an enjoyable view of subtly changing scenery. I instinctively waited for a moment in which the plot would rapidly go downhill, but the moment never came. It turns out if you like the beginning, you’ll like the middle and the end. The show's writers, Li Xiao and Zhang Yingji, are clearly talented and serve up a drama with gently changing characters and subtle plot development. I will be keeping an eye out for their future work.
Huang Zitao Produce101 China
I'm usually quite outdated when it comes to Chinese variety, but the many dance shows on the air finally got to me, and I can't stop watching the dance offs online. 

Huang Zitao has just shared a poster on weibo introducing himself as the MC for the upcoming Chinese version of Produce 101. It is produced by Tencent which has purchased the rights from its Korean counterpart. I guess this new entrant makes for even more intense competition between the main players, many of whom are current and former K-pop idols like Luhan, Victoria Song, Jackson Wang, etc.

Louis Koo Carman Lee reunite after 23 years
To the delight of wuxia fans, Carman Lee recently reprised her role as Xiaolongnu even if just for a day. However, it still felt incomplete without Louis Koo as the two are the beloved leads of The Condor Heroes 95 神雕侠侣. Lo and behold, another round of nostalgia is in order because they have finally reunited for the second time in 23 years. 

Leon Lai father at age 51

Famous Cantopop singer and actor Leon Lai is always remembered for his golden era as one of The Heavenly Four Kings though he was recently in the tabloids for secretly dating his assistant, Wing Chan, who is 19 years younger than him (he's 51, that's quite the age gap there). She reported directly to Leon and often went to his home at odd hours for business meetings. Their working arrangement has provoked considerably gossip, especially when she was reported to be 6 months pregnant! 
Character Poster From Survivor To Healer Shawn Dou
Sadness abounds in the latest posters of From Survivor To Healer 爱上你治愈我 which brings together Shawn Dou (Tears In Heaven) and Miao Miao (Youth). Shawn Dou describes the drama as one of the most difficult to film, and here I'm thinking, when can Shawn Dou move on to happier roles? A rom-com would be nice.

Character posters Spy Hunter
I am having mixed feelings towards Spy Hunter 天衣无缝 after hearing about it for the first time today. I like Qin Jun Jie (Summer's Desire) and Xu Lu (Tribes and Empires) from their previous costume dramas and find that having both of them dressed up as mysterious spies may be their best look aesthetically, but do we really need another spy drama in all its patriotic glory? 

The drama seems to be selling itself as a grand production as it introduces a gigantic ensemble cast - 39 to be exact. Among the actors in supporting roles are Lu Yi who makes a special appearance, Hu Hai Feng, Zhang Zhi Xi, Zhugang Riyao and veterans like Ding Hai Feng, Wu Gang, Zhang Kai Li and Tan Kai.  
Hot-Blood Dance Crew Chinese reality show
Since Hot-Blood Dance Crew premiered last week, the show along with Idol Producer and Street Dance of China have been topping the Vlinkage daily rankings for online variety shows, taking turns in first, second and third for most of the week. Here's a little something about each one. 
Almost everything is tentative for now, please check back for updates. 

The King of Blaze April 2018
The King of Blaze (April 2018 Hunan TV)
A story revolving around the Fire God, the Wind God and the ensuing romance between them as they risk their lives for the sake of their homeland. Starring Bolin Chen and Jing Tian. 
Tree in the River 2018 Sohu web drama
Tree In The River 动物系恋人啊 is a 20-episode romance drama revolving around two childhood friends who meet again as adults. Guy habors a longtime crush on girl back when he was still a chubby kid. Chubby kid matures into the handsome Mike He (Cambrian Period) and he becomes roommates with his dream girl played by Gillian Chung (Zhao Ge). The show seems to be really selling the animal concept to match its Chinese title which translates to Animal-Type Lovers, though I'm not sure of its actual relevance to the story.
My Robot Boyfriend wraps filming
My Robot Boyfriend 我的机器人男友 seems like it could take the love story between human and robot in a couple directions, and I'm hoping for something more cute than melodramatic. Filming has wrapped and along with it comes pictures of the cast led by Jiang Chao, Mao Xiao Tong, Li Xiao Ran, Liu Tian Zuo and Ning Li
The Eternal Love Behind The Scenes
The Eternal Love 2 双世宠妃II has started sharing updates of the cast on their first week of filming. We get a sneak peek of Xing Zhaolin and Liang Jie as the 8th Prince and the 8th Princess and their chemistry seems to crackle even more the second time around. And then there are pictures of everyone on their phones behind the scenes, and the contrast is just funny. 
Old Boy c-drama ratings
After hovering for weeks, Old Boy finally breaks past 1.0% in CSM52 ratings, further closing the gap with the current ratings leader which still goes to Wonderful Life. Old Boy already leads by a wide margin in CSM Nationwide rankings, so it may end up seeing a double win should the momentum continue in the coming weeks.  
Zhang Yixing wants 5-6 kids
During an interview for the Chinese reality show Idol Producer, Zhang Yixing or Lay, as he is known in Korea, enumerates his wish list for when he becomes a father. He would like to have around 5 to 6 children but… only 1 daughter! (Why? Girls are full of love!) 

According to him, he would be supportive and inspirational if any youngster wishes to join the entertainment world, however, he wouldn’t be so accommodating if it were his own children, even less if it were his daughter!
Go Go Squid Dt Hu Yi Tian
There was a time when Hu Yi Tian (A Love So Beautiful) and Janice Wu (Fighter of the Destiny) were rumored to be the leads of Go Go Squid! 蜜汁燉魷魚!, which is the drama adaptation of Stewed Squid with Honey by Mo Bao Fei Bao 墨宝非宝. 

Li Xian (Sword Dynasty) and Yang Zi (The Destiny of White Snake) eventually confirmed as the leads though it looks like Hu Yi Tian's connections to the drama does not end there. He is listed to make a special appearance as Dt. Being the clueless non-novel reader, I don't know what that means. Is Dt not a major character? Because I did some digging and he seems to belong to a different novel. He is described as the youngest world champion and the god's left hand.

In addition to Hu Yi Tian, Taiwanese actor Lee Hong-Chi has been confirmed to play Xiao Mi of Team Solo while Li Ze Feng plays Solo, aka the team captain himself.
Nirvana in Fire Hu Ge in 2018
Gosh, I miss Nirvana in Fire 琅琊榜. It's been almost three years since this masterpiece of a drama, and nothing has changed, it is still my number one. It's a nice coincidence to be seeing updates on the cast in recent days, and here's a quick look at each one.