Modern Farmer k-drama
Laughs. Laughs. And more laughs. I don't think I've ever laughed as much till Chief Kim as a character and drama overall came around, making me laugh at unexpected moments. But what can I say? I'm a sucker for bromance and when the casting goes beyond my expectations and gives me a group of goofs, then I'm sold!

Modern Farmer tells the hilariously unconventional story of members in a rock band called ExSo (omg how can you not laugh already?) who decide that they've hit rock bottom, needing funds in order to pursue their musical aspirations. Risking everything they have, they move to the countryside in a small town after the death of Min-Ki's (Lee Hong kigrandmother as he gains the inheritance rights over her property, which is acres of land. Determined to give it a shot as cabbage farmers, the group of boys learn valuable lessons in love, life, and family.

Modern Farmer k-drama
Modern Farmer k-drama
Personally, this is Kwak Dong Yeon's breakout role for me and if you loved him in Moonlight Drawn by the Clouds then his persona here will make your eyes pop. He sticks out as an actor with so much potential for romance and comedy, and while his stoic and shy demeanour in Moonlight Drawn by the Clouds had girls swooning, I prefer Han Ki Joon, the dork here. I went in watching this simply for Lee Hong Ki since I find him irresistible when it comes to comedies but I finished the drama feeling satisfied, having discovered new actors to love.

The drama has layers of other internal stories, and each member of the band has personal struggles alongside all the issues that arise with being new to farming...I mean, it's an entire industry (agriculture) so what were they thinking? A cabbage miracle over night?

Release Date: October 18, 2014 (Eng Sub available on Viki)

Modern Farmer k-drama
Modern Farmer k-drama

Movie Review Painted Skin Resurrection
Painted Skin: Resurrection 畫皮II is a martial arts fantasy film with a romantic and supernatural storyline loosely inspired by the story of the same name by Pu Songling. It is a sequel to the 2008 film, Painted Skin
Liar Game 2014 Korean drama
Nothing gets me more excited than Korean adaptations of coveted Japanese dramas or mangas, and while Liar Game came out three years ago, fans are still anticipating and wishing for a season 2 because it delivered in every aspect that I'd like to think, surpassed the original. Moreover, this is the drama that started my love affair with TvN series so you can have high hopes for this one.

Liar Game 2014 Korean drama
The casting was superb, each actor nailing their respective roles - Kim So Eun playing the naive and vulnerable Nam Da Jung while Shin Sung Rok mostly known for his villainous roles, plays the Game Master, Kang Do Young, leaving you with shivers running down your back. Lee Sang Yoon won me over with his performance in this, playing the cold and calculating Cha Woo Jin, Professor turned swindler. Now that's just a drastic change in careers people are bound to question but if you ask me, having a Professor of Psychology swindle and lie to everyone seems fitting because it's all about knowing human behaviour.

Liar Game 2014 Korean drama
I like this remake a lot, not only because I'm a fan of the Liar Game series but the drama really tries to be more realistic where the Japanese version is a lot more fantastical, it's fictional elements more apparent. Turning a series about betrayal and human greed into the context of a game show, the Korean adaptation of Liar Game seems more believable since the public is aware of the characters existence, finding pleasure in how contestants have to cheat and manipulate one another. It reflects the conditions of reality shows where money is on the line at the expense of 'entertainment.' 

Of course there's a grand plan for all of this, the Game Master hand-picking each and every one of the contestants for a specific reason; their all pawns in his game of chess. Let's just say this is one drama that really is all about psychological warfare.

Liar Game 2014 Korean drama
Liar Game 2014 Korean drama
The drama is digestible, only 12 episodes long (sadly) and just slightly a little over an hour. So if you're short on time but still need to satisfy your Korean drama craves, then Lair Game is highly recommended. It's intelligent, really well written and unique. You won't come across anything like it.

Release Date: October 20, 2014 (Eng Sub available on Viki)

Rate this drama in our 2014 Korean drama recommendations
The Age of Shadows Korean Movie
If you're still suffering from Goblin withdrawals, then you're probably eager to watch anything and everything with Gong Yoo in it. I don't blame you, so do I! He's known more for his films, so while Train to Busan has been all the rage and totally worth the hype (it was incredible I confess), Age of Shadows is a great solid watch for those of you who just don't care for zombies and apocalyptic movies. With blockbuster names like Song Kang Ho, Gong Yoo, and even Lee Byung Hun, you won't want to skip this.

The Age of Shadows Korean Movie
The Age of Shadows Korean Movie
Set during the Japanese occupation over Korea, Age of Shadows depicts the tensions that arise as countrymen must choose their allegiance, either joining the revolutionary movement or accepting Japanese rule. It's a classic espionage film, with agents and double agents all suspicious of each other. The cinematography is stunning, capturing the time period flawlessly while staying true to the genre of suspense and action. There isn't anything new the film brings to the table, being fairly 'average' in terms of substance nevertheless, it is a good film, it's just not 'great.'

I had a chance to attend its world premiere at an international film festival this past fall, and thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere and enthusiasm of the audience. I was even fortunate enough to catch the Director, Producer, and two cast members, Han Ji Min and Um Tae Goo since they stayed for a Questionnaire. I'm a fan of Han Ji Min, so when I saw her in the flesh you can bet I had a fangirl moment. 😉  The cast members were asked about their respective roles, and what it felt like to play figures from the Independence Movement. Han Ji Min was specifically asked how it was like to play the only female spy within the film, her answer being one of awe since women had tougher lives during the 1900s. 

Sadly, Gong Yoo couldn't attend because he was filming Goblin at the time but the opportunity was a gift I don't take for granted! The Director stated that it was slightly difficult to portray an accurate account of what happened during the Independence movement, and while we like the good guys winning every single time, the reality of it is that perseverance and national strength emerges through losses. 

The Age of Shadows Movie
The Age of Shadows Movie

Xuan Yuan Sword
Xuan Yuan Sword: Legend of the Han Clouds  轩辕剑之汉之云 promises an intriguing story about brother at odds, love triangles and tons of high-flying action. It is the sequel to Rift of the Sky and even though I'm disappointed at the obvious absence of Hu Ge and Liu Shi Shi, it brings on a young cast of idols starring Leon Zhang, Alan YuGuan Xiao Tong, etc.  
A Step into the Past

If you weren't stoked about A Step into the Past 寻秦记 getting a remake, then this might just change your mind because Louis Koo has confirmed that a movie is in the works, one that may bring back the original cast starring Xuan Xuan, Raymond Lam (Rule the World), etc. 
Ice Fantasy Destiny

I couldn't believe my ears when I heard that Ice Fantasy was getting a spinoff but it's happening alright and its first stills have just been released starring Feng Shao Feng (The Starry Night the Starry Sea), Kitty Zhang Yuqi (Legend of the Cat Demon), Ray Ma Tianyu (Liang Sheng) and Alina Zhang Meng (Weekend Parents). 

Brought by a collaboration between Tencent and Youhug, Ice Fantasy Destiny 幻城凡世 transports the epic fantasy adventure story into a modern day setting. It is year 2020 and Kasuo has been reincarnated as Feng Suo, the head of a high technology company. He inadvertently unlocks memories of the past and regains his power, thus igniting a new chapter in the history of the ice and fire tribe. 

Kitty Zhang Yuqi who has made a name for herself as a movie star will try her hand in television as the heroine Li Luo, who was previously played by Victoria Song (Sword of Legends Movie).

Any thoughts, objections, violent reactions? Because the idea seems so out of left field that I'm having a hard time making sense of it. I'm definitely watching for sure out of curiosity than anything else.  
Mao Xiao Tong

Mao Xiao Tong (Princess Weiyoung) will appear in the March issue of Cosmopolitan China in a pictorial that feels like a blast from the past but in full color. I love the vibrant outfits, the look and the atmosphere that is buoyed by an expressive Mao Xiao TongShe posted on weibo, "I like vintage, I like summer, but lazy......" Ha.. love her already. 

She has certainly not been lazy when it comes to work having starred in over a dozen dramas since 2010 and even though she has had a few leading roles here and there, Princess Weiyoung reintroduced her to the world

It seems to have worked like a charm as she will appear as the lead in two upcoming projects - a costume drama called The Fated General and a workplace drama called Whose Youth Is Not Rebellious

Zhou Dongyu Sheng Yi Lun Gulnezer Bextiyar

In celebration of its 8th year anniversary, Grazia China reigns in the Platinum Era as it brings together five versatile personalities who are rising stars in their respective fields. 
A Step into the Past
On Feb 19, Chen Xiang (Magic Star) and Guo Xiao Ting attended the opening ceremonies in Hengdian for the upcoming remake of A Step into the Past 寻秦记, a 2001 TVB series starring Louis Koo, Xuan Xuan, etc.
Yang Yang
Okay, I'm embarrassed to call myself a fan because I can't even tell which one is real and which one's wax. It was less than two weeks ago when news of Yang Yang's measurements being taken was trending and he is back in Madam Tussauds once again this time to attend the unveiling of his personal wax figure. And the verdict is that it cannot be any more realistic. It apparently took a good forty-five minutes just to determine which eye color to use so imagine how long it took for the rest of him to be completed. 

Yang Yang posted on weibo, "Hugging my older brother @ShanghaiMadamTussauds." I have been to a couple Madam Tussauds in the past and maybe technology has progressed at lightning speed because they sure seem to have outdone themselves with this one. Fans of Yang Yang can visit his 'twin brother' in Shanghai.  
c-drama ratings Eternal Love

Although the month of February saw new players entering the ratings game, General and I remained in first reaching as high as 1.723 on its final week. It wasn't until the show ended on Feb. 10 that Three Lives Three Worlds took over but it wasn't always smooth sailing for a show which landed in 3rd, 4th and even 7th place at one point. 
Lord of Shanghai
Lord of Shanghai 上海王 is a Chinese movie about the power struggles involving the triads of Shanghai. It is based on a novel of the same name by Hong Ying 虹影 that focuses on a woman who starts out as a lowly maid in a brothel. She captures the attention of the Lord of Shanghai and it pulls her into a brutal war where she learns to rise above the odds in order to survive. 
Above the Clouds Yu Zheng c-drama

Above the Clouds 云巅之上 is a 49-episode web series revolving around the Chinese entertainment industry. It follows the story of a girl from the province who decides to become an aspiring actress by starting from the bottom of the ladder. She crosses paths with a jaded and self-absorbed superstar who ends up falling for her. 

The series stars Chen Xiao (Nothing Gold Can Stay), Yuan Shan Shan (Heavenly Sword and Dragon Saber), Jiang Meng Jie (Dragon Gate Inn), Guo Xiao Dong, Zhang Zhe Han (Zhao Ge) and Merxat Mi Re (Demon Girl). 

According to Yu Zheng, the show while rooted in fiction is a very real depiction of show business. Many developments are based on actual events that boldly expose the industry's dirty laundry and even leading lady Yuan Shan Shan has poured some of her personal experienced into the role.  

Release Date: Feb. 23, 2017 on iQiYi (two episodes every Thurs and Fri 22:00)

Rate your favorite Chinese dramas in 2017.

Chen Xiao Above the Clouds

Yuan Shan Shan Above the Clouds

Guo Xiao Dong Above the Clouds

Jiang Meng Jie Above the Clouds

Zhang Zhe Han Above the Clouds

Merxat Mi Re Above the Clouds
Above the Clouds Yu Zheng c-drama

Above the Clouds Yu Zheng c-drama

Above the Clouds Yu Zheng c-drama

Above the Clouds Yu Zheng c-drama

Above the Clouds Yu Zheng c-drama

Above the Clouds Yu Zheng c-drama

Above the Clouds Yu Zheng c-drama

Above the Clouds Yu Zheng c-drama

Source: Weibo

Let's Shake It Chinese web series
On Feb 15, lET's Shake It 颤抖吧,阿部 completed filming in Hengdian after 3 months, 300 set designs, 200 costumes and over 500 cast and crew. I wasn't expecting that kind of calibre for a web series but perhaps it is the norm?  
Strong Woman Do Bong Soon
How can you not love a drama about girl power? And in the literal sense at that! Ha. Strong Woman Do Bong Soon 힘쎈여자 도봉순 might be the adorable rom-com for you if you want a girl who's stronger than the guys but equally as cute.
Whose Youth Is Not Rebellious

Whose Youth Is Not Rebellious 谁的青春不叛逆 is a 56-episode Chinese TV series about two brothers whose lives are interchanged because of an accident. The series stars Rachel Mao Xiao Tong (Princess Weiyoung), Alan Yu Menglong (Three Lives Three Worlds) and Liang Da Wei

Lu Yin is a young no-nonsense high level exec who assumes his younger brother's identity as a simple-minded PE student while Lu Xiang takes up his older brother's mantle in the corporate world and crosses paths with a career woman named Tang Shi. 
Rachel Mao Xiao Tong Vday 2017

I know I'm going a tad overboard but this is the last of the sappy postings. Mao Xiao Tong (The Fated General) received a giant bouquet of roses from boyfriend Chen Xiang (Magic Star) when she turned 29 on Feb. 16. 

He says on weibo, "Told you that I'll be dishing dirt on you for your birthday. Considering that this is your last year as a twenty-something, I decided against it [二哈][二哈]. Happy Birthday, always be happy.[鲜花]