Hi guys, Marcus here and welcome to Chinese
Entertainment Update September 4th 2019 edition. In this edition, four upcoming dramas based
on BL novels and Yang Mi’s new drama causes some fan discontent but first.. And the Winner is Loveis an
upcoming costume drama starring Leo Luo and Yukee Chen.
Since my last update, Leo Luo has updated fans with some production stills. The drama tells the story of a couple played
by Leo Luo and Yukee Chen who set out to retrieve a stolen martial arts manual – The Nine Techniques
of the Lotus God. When they find the perpetrator, played by
Zhou Tingwei, they discover that he has already mastered the nine techniques and bloodshed
ensues. This sounds like a real treat for us wuxia
drama fans. It’s also great news for fans of Leo Luo who
was recently in Princess Silver with Sophie Zhang.
And the Winner is Love is also a mini Ashes of Love supporting cast reunion.
Leo Luo played Run Yu, the eldest prince of the Heaven realm.
Yukee Chen played Liu Ying, a demon princess. And Zhou Tingwei played Qi Yuan, a reaper
with two identities. So the production has already started wrapping
some castmembers which means an official wrap shouldn’t be too far away.
I will keep you guys updated when they release more production stills and announce a premiere
date. Whatever your opinion of boys’ love novels
are, there is not doubt that when done properly, drama adaptations of them can very successful.
Dramas like The Guardian and more recently The Untamed are proof of that.
And because of that, more dramas based on BL novels are in the works.
According to some reports, as many as 59 of them are set to be in production in the near
future. Of course, these dramas will either completely
change the boys’ love premise to a brotherhood, or they will very very subtly imply it.
Or else, they will risk not being able to get it past the censorship board.
Here’s a look at four of them – three have completed filming and are awaiting release
and one of them is supposedly started filming but might be facing some copyright issues. Winter Begoniais an upcoming drama starring Huang Xiaoming
and Andrew Yin. The drama tells the story of a businessman,
played by Huang Xiaoming, and a Peking opera performer, played by Andrew
Yin, as they struggle to preserve the art and city
they love. The Sleuth of Ming Dynasty
is an upcoming Jackie Chan-produced costume drama starring Darren Chen and Fu Meng-po.
Darren Chen stars as a sixth-ranking official while Fu Meng-po stars a member of the Embroidered
Uniform Guards as they work together to solve crimes in the
Ming dynasty. Legend of Youthis an upcoming
republican drama starring Huang Zitao and Jackson Yi.
It tells the story of two youths who, despite coming from different backgrounds, unite as
they join the revolution. Flying Phoenixis an upcoming costume drama and it’s lead actors have not
been officially confirmed yet. The drama is based on a novel of the same
name and tells the story of a crown prince and his regent and how they unify the 12 states
and maintain peace in the kingdom. Apparently, the drama started shooting when
the author of the source novel took to Weibo to say that she didn’t even know that her
novel was being made into a drama series! The two parties are still working it out at
the moment. Recently, there were reports that Jaywalk
Studio is producing a new drama entitled, literally translated as “Granting You Warm
Rays of Dawn”. And it would star their main woman and moneymaker,
Yang Mi. The reaction from a section of fans was surprising
to say the least. They were discontent, not at Yang Mi herself;
but at Jaywalk Studio. Pictures like this have been floating around
Weibo. It says “One, wish Yang Mi well, two, wish
Jaywalk falls” “Jaywalk is unjust and must perish, boycott
Jaywalk produced dramas” “Jaywalk bad production after bad production,
audiences want to vomit after watching them”. Of course in Mandarin it all rhymes and makes
for better slogan chanting but you guys get the idea.
Many fans have also changed their avatars to this, which encourages a boycott of Jaywalk
Studio. This comes as a real surprise to me.
I never thought there was any discontent with Jaywalk Studio from Yang Mi fans.
I always thought that if you were a Yang Mi fan, then you were automatically a Jaywalk
Studio fan, considering that Yang Mi’s a part owner of Jaywalk
and she’s been in so many of their dramas – Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms, The Negotiator
and the upcoming Storm Eye are all co-produced by Jaywalk.
So from what I can gather there a couple of things fans aren’t happy about.
One of them is that they don’t like the way that Jaywalk keeps pairing Yang Mi with their
own up and coming talent to the point where it seems like they are riding Yang Mi’s coat tail
to success. This is of course something that Jaywalk has
done on more than one occasion. In 2014’s V Love, they tagged Vin Zhang and
Dilraba among others with Yang Mi and in 2017’s Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms,
they did the same thing Wayne Liu and Daisy Dai.
This is just one of Jaywalk’s ways of exposing their new talents to the world.
Yang Mi has undeniable star power and people will watch her dramas.
At the same time, the new talent get the same exposure and will become stars in
the future, and Jaywalk will keep profitting from them.
Case in point is Dilraba, who became a huge star in her own right.
On one hand, this tactic does seem very commercial – cynics might even say they are using Yang
Mi to promote new artists – but is it really that bad?
Especially when you consider that Yang Mi is probably all too happy to do it to see
her company to grow. Jaywalk Studio is in the business of making
money and if they feel they have found a successful formula for churning out artists then shouldn’t
they just stick to it? In theory yes, but clearly there are fans
who aren’t happy with them. Here are some of them protesting at a recent
Jaywalk Studio event. They held up signs and chanted “Boycott Jaywalk!
Be a good actor!” until security guards came to shut them down.
And the thing is fan opinion matters so much in the entertainment industry so Jaywalk might
have to reassess their tactics. Another thing that fans are dissatisfied with
is the constant reuse of the same supporting cast.
The usual suspects are Wayne Liu, Daisy Dai and Leon Lai to name a few and they have appeared
in many of Jaywalk’s recent productions. This is another one of Jaywalks MOs.
They like to hire their own actors who they know are reliable and they do it all the time
because it works all the time. It’s the old if it ain’t broke don’t fix it
philosophy. So it seems to me like these unhappy fans
have two demands that are mutually exclusive, can’t have one with the other.
One section doesn’t want Yang Mi to be paired with new talent because they feel the new talent
are just riding Yang Mi’s coat tail. And another section doesn’t want Yang Mi to be paired
with old talent because they’re sick of watching them.
Which puts Jaywalk Studio in a tough spot. I know, we’ll just have Yang Mi do a one woman
show, no supporting cast. That way it’ll be all about Yang Mi and no one will have anything
to complain about. On a serious note though, I feel that Yang
Mi and Jaywalk Studio have made some great business decisions in the last few years.
They found something that worked for them and stuck with it.
But as with all other businesses and particularly with the entertainment business, you have
to constantly change. So is it time for Yang Mi and Jaywalk to change
their tactics? Or is this just a non-issue concerning a very
small portion of fans, not enough to cause any big ripples?
Let me know what you think in the comments section below.
Just as a sidenote, Yang Mi has actually done dramas with different production companies
that don’t follow the Jaywalk mold. Her most recent one was Legend of Fuyao with
Linmon Pictures whereas her most recent Jaywalk drama was
The Great Craftsman which wasn’t received very well. So that’s it for today guys but while I have
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