Happy Friday! I finally got down to watching Phoenix Warriors. Given the theme, I had a feeling that it was either gonna be a hit or a miss and oddly enough, I'm still not entirely sure which category it belongs to. A number of new k-dramas have also premiered as of late and here's one you might want to try. 

Legend of Heavenly Tear: Phoenix Warriors

First Impressions Legend of Heavenly Tear Phoenix Warriors
It's basically about aliens in ancient China depicted in all the seriousness that it can muster. I don't know that it works especially since the only other alien drama I've seen is lET's Shake It and that's literally worlds apart in both plot and genre. Aside from the spaceship, Joe Cheng's blue hair, blue eyes and the occasional supernatural occurrences, the story has mostly remained within the confines of a conventional historical drama. The main protagonist (played by Claudia Wang) has had to witness the slaughter of her entire family in the hands of the man that she loves, only to be rescued and then bullied again once she enters the inner palace. 

It's tragic and angsty, yes, but quite normal for palace politics. I also found the storytelling to be slow and not riveting enough, and yet I'm up to episode 4 and still watching. 
Your Highness Sohu webdrama Kenny Kwan
Your Highness 拜见宫主大人 is a Sohu webdrama that takes the opposite route from a traditional wuxia to create something completely unconventional. My guess is that it's going for stupid funny though the stills look pretty darn legit

The main protagonist is Qin Zhan, an avid player of a popular online game called New Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils (it's both an actual game in China and a well-loved classic wuxia). Qin Zhan time travels into the game that he's been playing for ten years and gains incredible powers as a result. However, he also becomes the number one enemy of the entire martial arts world and must face the dangers and conspiracies that are thrown in his way. 

Of course, this isn't a one man show though as he makes equally formidable friends along the way. Most of the promos seem to focus on Kenny Kwan who's the biggest name out of the cast. I'm actually glad to see him in a starring role, hence more exposure, and he leads the cast that also includes Sun Xuening, Xu Zhen Yao and Li Nuo

Release Date: November 9, 2017 Sohu

Rate your favorite Chinese dramas in 2017
Lay Zhang Er Yue Hong Wax figure Mystic Nine
Gosh, those dimples! It was only last month when Lay Zhang attended the unveiling of his was figure at Madame Tussauds in Beijing, yet he's back at another Madame Tussauds. This time around he's in Shanghai to unveil the wax figure of himself as Er Yue Hong, the opera-singing, butt-kicking tomb raider from The Mystic Nine. Apparently, the reason why he's getting another one is because this one belongs in the museum's film and tv wing whereas the first one represented Lay as the all-around singer-idol-entertainer that he is. I wonder if they're placing Er Yue Hong beside William Chan's Lao Fo Ye because they really should. 
Because This Is My First Life k-drama introduction
Fall is always the time of year where you can count on dramas to have substance and characters with great emotional trajectory, reflecting life as it truly is. 
The King's Woman Episode 33 Drama Recap

The King's Woman Episode 33 Drama Recap
After Ying Zheng asks Madam Min whether withdrawing his troops from Zhao will make her happy, Madam Min responds that even though Zhao is her home state, she lives in Qin now and only looks out for Qin's best interests.  Ying Zheng believes her and tells her that is comforting to hear. Meanwhile I'm shaking my head because seriously, how could Ying Zheng be so dumb in who he believes and doesn't believe?
Ren Jiao dead
There has been some chilling developments in c-entertainment as an actress was found dead after falling from a building. It was later confirmed to be Ren Jiao, an actress who has played supporting roles in a few productions, the most recognizable one being the 2015 movie Zhong Kui: Snow Girl and the Dark Crystal where she played the Green Snake. 

There is speculation that she may have committed suicide due to depression, but police are investigating the matter closely. According to Tencent Entertainment, a source has shared that the actress's naked body was found in the morning of October 16 along the grassy area surrounding the hotel where she fell from. Apparently, she was also last seen the previous night going to the room of a fellow actor and being on friendly terms with each other, so her sudden passing is really terrible and shocking. 
The King of Blaze modern day Chen Bolin
The King of Blaze 火王之破晓之战 which seemed to be following the route of a traditional fantasy wuxia has just pulled a one eighty to take the story to a modern day setting. Chen Bolin is no longer the god of fire but the president of a company and a scientist. Jing Tian is not the god of wind but a reporter. Zhang Yi Jie is a researcher and Lai Yu Meng is an actress. The new fight has the deities taking up arms to save the environment. 

Come to think of it, the entire thing sounds a lot like Ice Fantasy and the later Ice Fantasy Destiny, but I'm inclined to think that The King of Blaze is just following the source material that was written by You Su-lan 游素蘭Filming for part one wrapped last August and was immediately succeeded with filming for the sequel 火王之千里同风 that began in September
The Lost Town Zhao Li Ying Lin Gengxin
These posters look legit awesome, but before anyone gets too carried away, The Lost Town is not a drama but a promo for the new Jiang Xia Qing Yuan mobile game 新剑侠情缘手游 which has Zhao Li Ying and Lin Gengxin as their endorsers. Ever since Princess Agents, the Xing Yue couple pairing seems to have lived on as the two stars have had endorsements that range from a kitchen electronics company to a mobile game. 

As part of a series of promotional efforts, they starred in the second season of Forgetting Sorrow Tavern 忘忧酒馆, a short film that takes them from a modern day bar to the ancient times. Mark Chao played the main protagonist aka the bar owner in the first season. The Lost Town 忘忧镇 seems to be the latest in the short films (or should I say elaborate commercials) produced by Jian Xia Qing Yuan, and it is expected to be released this October.
OCN's Black k-drama Introduction
I've never longed for dark ambiance so much till now. I'm sobbing since Rescue Me ended! It was literally one of the best dramas airing when there wasn't much variety, but Kdramaland has decided to hit all of us with a slew of new dramas to reign in the month of October.
The Evolution of Our Love Chinese TV series
The Evolution of Our Love 爱情进化论 is a 45-episode Chinese romance drama that tells the story of two friends from the time that they first met in school to their friendship that spans fifteen years. It promises to be an evocative drama that modern audiences can relate to. 

Crystal Zhang (Go Princess Go), Zhang Ruo Yun (The Fated General) and Timmy Xu (Addicted) take the lead as the three main characters with a supporting cast that includes He Hong Shan, Zhao Dong Ze, Bai Bing, Zhang Ling Xin, Liang Bao Ling and Xu Di

Ai Ruo Man has good credentials and a strong fighting spirit that drives her to succeed, making her quite the exemplary corporate woman. However, she hasn't had much luck with men as they seem to shy away from her achievements. Lu Fei is a laid back, gentle and all around good-natured guy who loves cooking, cleaning and gardening. He's naturally popular with the ladies but even so, his love life is a blank canvass with marriage being an even bigger question mark. These two people are single and in their thirties who have been friends for a long time. Refusing to be limited by the label that society has forced upon them, they persevere towards their own goals to tell the story about the evolution of love. 
Love Happening Vin Zhang
Okay, maybe the hotelier is not Vin Zhang but his leading lady Zheng He Hui Zi who plays an heiress that has returned to the country to manage the hotel. It actually isn't clear what role Vin Zhang plays aside from the fact that he is in uniform, one that goes from checking that the towels are arranged neatly to taking the stage at the podium to give a talk. Maybe he's a manager then? 

Regardless, it's good to see the actor back in modern day as his characters in ancient times have just been tragic. Running a luxury hotel surely comes with its own set of challenges, but it should offer a nice reprieve from sword fights and deaths. Please let there be funny hijinks too, it would be great to see some tension between the heiress and the employee before they learn to work together and eventually fall in love. Filming began last September in Yunnan. 
The Brightest Star in the Sky Huang Zitao
The Brightest Star in the Sky 夜空中最亮的星 has wrapped after 115 days of filming that took the cast and crew across the globe from China to L.A. to Mexico. The production team has put together a special video showing the young cast of actors in serious work mode when the cameras were on, but also a playful and energetic bunch when they're with each other (there's a lot of jumping around and martial arts stunts courtesy of Huang Zitao). 

A look behind-the-scenes has Huang Zitao, Janice Wu, Niu Jun Feng and Cao Yuexi gathered around for a picture while they were in Mexico. It seriously seems like they're vacationing rather than working, and I hope the chemistry translates onto the small screen because I'm looking forward to this drama in 2018. It's supposed to be about reaching for your dreams and music, and I hope that it does turn out to be a fun and inspiring ride.
Summer's Desire Sophie Zhang Xueying
Summer's Desire which was a 2010 Taiwanese drama by Three-Giant Production is getting a remake under the production of Youhug and iQiYi. Youhug also produced Ice Fantasy so it isn't surprising to see some familiar faces like Maggie Chen and Mai Di Na. The cast includes Sophie Zhang Xueying, Qin Jun Jie, Huang Sheng Chi, Maggie Chen Xinyu and Mai Di Na who are earnest in their first character posters. The series revolves around the romance of three characters. Qin Junjie will be acting as Ou Chen, a rich boyfriend, Wen Yuan as Luo Xi, the fellow orphan and Zhang Xueying as Xiao Mo, the love interest of both men. The cast is currently filming in Shanghai. 
Zhao Li Ying turns 30
Zhao Li Ying has been on a roll in recent years with hit dramas like Princess Agents and the movie Duckweed. It's crazy to think that she's amassed such a long resume in her twenties, as she only turned 30 today, October 16. She recently reported for work on the set of Legend of Concubine's Daughter Ming Lan, where the cast and crew got her a cake in celebration of the occasion. She later posted pictures on social media to share how she spent her birthday as she says "surrounded by happiness today, surrounded by gifts, surrounded by you today, thank you for giving me this big cup of fortune. With the stars above and you beside me, we are each other's motivation." Happy Birthday Zhao Li Ying!  
If there's a contest for best dressed in red, I bet Dilraba Dilmurat would take the cake because bold and bright just goes so well with her striking features and bubbly personality. She's in red for a shoot with Harper's Bazaar China where she's donned the Teddy Bear coat from Max Mara's 2017 Fall Winter Collection, but a look at her drama wardrobe has her in the same colors from Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms, The King's Woman to the upcoming The Flame's Daughter
Delicious Destiny c-drama
It's another week in c-dramaland, and we've got new shows and new rankings. Delicious Destiny, Guo Min Da Sheng Huo and Peacekeeping Infantry Battalion each took turns in first in primetime even with less than ideal numbers that barely break past 1.0%. 
NBA Appreciation Day Yuan Shan Shan Wu Lei Chen Bolin
Last week was one of those moments when c-entertainment and NBA collide. The Golden State Warriors and Minnesota Timberwolves flew to China for the 2017 NBA Global Games. The event marked the Warriors’ third trip to China and the Timberwolves' first visit. Chen Bolin, Leo Wu Lei, Yuan Shan Shan, MC Jin and Tia Ray also turned up for the annual fan appreciation day. 

NBA Appreciation Day Chen Bolin
Chen Bolin is seen giving Steph Curry a high five.

NBA Fan Appreciation Day Wu Lei Steph Curry
NBA Appreciation Day Wu Lei Kevin Durant

Happy to see his idols, Wu Lei takes a selfie with Kevin Durant and also met Steph Curry, both of whom are very famous in China and all over the world.

NBA Fan Appreciation Day Wu Lei
NBA Fan Appreciation Day Wu Lei
Wu Lei got into the thick of the action to shoot some hoops in the court. I have to say that Wu Lei = Puberty done right, and I'm a guy. Prior to the event, the five celebs walked the red carpet and posed for the cameras. 

NBA Fan Appreciation Day Wu Lei 2017

NBA Fan Appreciation Day 2017 Chen Bolin

NBA Fan Appreciation Day 2017 Yuan Shan Shan
NBA Fan Appreciation Day 2017 MC Jin

NBA Fan Appreciation Day 2017 Tia Ray
Source: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

The King's Woman Episode 32 Drama Recap
Hi everyone!

I thought I would go back to writing the episode by episode recaps for The King's Woman in case there's still interest. I also haven't found another drama to watch and recap yet. If you have any requests for dramas you would like to see recapped, please write them in the comments section.