Yan Shi Fan (2019)

Yan Shi Fan cdrama
Yan Shi Fan 艳势番之新青年 is a 59-episode Chinese drama series that tells the story of two young men from different walks of life as they trudge down the same path to help their country. It is adapted from the comic book of the same name written by Han Lu and stars singer/actors Huang Zitao and Jackson Yi.  

Yan Shi Fan cdrama
They are joined by Hu Bingbing, Miranda Ma Zehan, Lincy Zeng Ningxin, Wang Ziteng, Wang RuichangWu Junyu, Liu Yuan, Rimiko Li Junhao, Yuan Ziwen and Liu Yun.

Yan Shi Fan cdrama
Synopsis from ChineseDrama.info
Due to a series of events, Ah Yi (Jackson Yi) strikes a friendship with Chong Liming (Huang Zitao) who is a member of the Imperial family.  He is recruited to join Yan Shi Fan, an extraordinary league of guards whose sole responsibility is to defend the palace.  After numerous harsh and challenging tests, Ah Yi establishes a deep camaraderie with his teammates.  Chong Liming also learns the importance of friendship through repeated power struggles against the foreigners, the triads, and the filth of corruption that is plaguing the Qing Dynasty courts.  However, the progression of history causes Ah Yi and Chong Liming to develop disparate ideals and their friendship starts to crumble.  

Yan Shi Fan cdrama
Although many are looking forward to Yan Shi Fan, the series seems quite different from the comic.  The series is said to still have a very good story and the cool looking characters are definitely a plus. 

Singers going into acting may be a topic met with mixed reviews though I feel that the genre is suitable for the young cast. Huang Zitao isn't only an actor and singer. he also knows Wushu since his father sent him to learn martial arts as a way to instill discipline. With Tao's penchant for action, there's bound to a lot of cool action choreography to look forward to as he plays a member of a secret organization.

Some people might say Huang Zitao's acting isn't very good but at the very least, it isn't confusing because he conveys basic emotions convincingly and that's good enough for me.  Add in Jackson Yi's charm and popularity into the mix and you've got a promising youth drama. 

Release Date:  Jan. 30, 2019 Dragon TV, Beijing TV (two episodes daily at 7:30pm), episodes online Youku, Mango TV

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4 comments:

  1. That's the drama I've been waiting for. I'm a fan of Huang ZiTao, so I've been waiting for this drama since it started filming in late 2017. Tao and Jackson Yi worked together as well in Street Dance of China, so it will be nice to see them together once again.

    I think it's a drama where I will stay for the story and its characters, and Tao seemed really invested in this one, so I think I can also anticipate his acting. I wasn't really able to watch much of The Negotiator, which starred him and Yang Mi, despite me loving them so much, because it seemed like your typical cliche drama with lots of annoying characters and a not so interesting story line. But this one looks different, and it's action packed:D
    It appears as if there might be some love story involved as well, but I hope it will be subtle, because I often get the impression that people are not capable of creating stories, where the romance aspect doesn't heavily interfere with the rest of the story line. But a story completely filled with action while still including romance, but clearly neglecting, is too ridiculous as well. So if romance is included, it better be done right.

    Ah, and I forgot to mention, the costumes and sets look amazing, I hope the rest of the drama, such as the cameras used, the writing, acting and directing, turns out just as great in terms of quality.

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  2. It's amazing how "some people" think Tao's acting is not very good. Out of all singer turned actors (I don't want to name names here), he is the best when it comes to portraying characters effortlessly. Why? Because his face is already too expressive in real life.

    You look at any reality show or his interviews. Even when he talks normally, he is way too expressive. Those born with such expressive attitude can act quite effortlessly. It's kinda their talent.

    Apart from that talent, he's very professional such as not using stunts for fight scene and so on.

    Regardless, people will get to see Huang ZiTao in a whole new light as this will be his acting masterpiece so far.

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    1. I agree. I wanted to say that in my comment as well, but because I've haven't fully watched many of his acting works - either the plot wasn't mine or English Subs were not available -, I didn't want to make half baked compliments.

      However, in the trailers and some other clips I watched of him acting, I got the impression that he is really good in expressing emotions, especially when those emotions have to like burst out of him. He's pretty convincing as far as I can tell.

      Furthermore, I think that Huang ZiTao is the type of actor who gets heavily invested in his characters and the story, just hearing him talk about his filming days makes that pretty obvious.

      And finally, I agree in that I also think that Yan Shi Fan will be his acting masterpiece till now. It almost seems as if his previous works were there to build him up for this role and drama. It will be fascinating to watch. I hope someone subs the whole series.

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    2. Yea, I just watched what other actors said about him at Yan Shi Fan press conference. It sounded like he went through a lot of literal physical and mental pain to portray Chong LiMing. And at yesterday Beijing TV recording, he said he spent 15 hours a day filming although the singed contract says only 12 hours filming. Filming 15 hours a day for an action-packed drama is really not an easy job. I really hope his hardwork will pay off.

      I guess Youku will have English hard sub because many trailers came with English sub. Hopefully!

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