Channel 8 Monday-Friday 7pm
Because I was previously out of town, and also coupled with some other reasons, I haven't managed to catch many episodes, only a couple full episodes and segments here and there, but I must say, they can change the actors, they can change the characters, they can change a bit of the story like, but I still want to curse Xue Dingshan every night. The story of Fan Lihua has been retold many times, I'm very familiar with it, in fact, I really like sucker love stories like that, but the more I like Fan Lihua the more I feel indignant for her, and the more I think Xue Dingshan is an asshole.
I came to know of the story of Fan Lihua quite some time ago when I still lived in the pigeon hole of PGP, my full account of how I came to know of here can be found in this old entry of me being a sucker for the Taiwanese version of Fan Lihua. There are a few differences in this version of Fan Lihua, but the main story is still the same, Fan Lihua marries Xue Dingshan, Xue Dingshan angers her into three times leaving him, in the end they got back together, and Xue Dingshan fulfills the forewarning of him killing his own father.
The TVB version has Xue Dingshan not already being in love with Fan Lihua when he married her and his love for her was a cultivated one, the Taiwanese version however has Xue Dingshan and Fan Lihua already being in love with each other which led to their marriage. Both mother-in-laws still harbour great dislike for Fan Lihua and do their very best to want to get rid of her, but Fan Lihua has the backing of an important court official Cheng Yaojin. The Taiwanese Xue Rengui is more loving and trusting of Fan Lihua while the TVB one seems to be rather neutral and was more concern with trying to prevent his son from fulfilling the foretelling of killing him and putting the Great Tang in an advantageous position.
(grr... after slamming Xue Dingshan and Chen Jinding blogger ate up my post, and the recover post only takes me this far. kanasai. I'll try my best to slam them again, but the essence will be lost. damn.)
I don't think I'll go on about how much I absolutely detest the characters Xue Dingshan and Chen Jinding since the former is already a much debatable historical figure (?) and the latter is the main villian in the show. And I've been cursing and complaining about the narrow-mindedness and indecisiveness of Xue Dingshan for almost two years already, I should have said enough of him. I don't know if Xue Dingshan is supposed to be a pitiable character since he will have to bear the burden of being the one who killed his father. I do hate him to almost the core, but seeing how much he respects his father, I kind of feel a bit sad for him to know that he would one day accidentally kill his father.
Comparing the TVB version and the Taiwanese version, the Taiwanese version is well, like all Taiwanese dramas go, a bit long winded, but the TVB one in an attempt to keep this to 20 episodes, I think doesn't really do justice to the minor characters in the show. And as one reviewer said, it takes 15 episodes for Xue Dingshan to fall in love with Fan Lihua. There isn't the indulgence for which I can cry over Fan Lihua every night like how I did over the Taiwanese version.
The actors of the Taiwanese version is much older than the actors of the TVB one, but with age comes maturity andacting experience. I'm not sure about the exact age of Fan Lihua and Xue Dingshan, but the TVB actors aren't exactly really young actors, Jessica Hester Hsuan and Joe Ma are 30+ people, but counting the number of years they have been acting really pales in comparison to Sun Cuifeng and Ma Jingtao. Jessica Hester Hsuan is still not that bad even though I really hate her costume and hairdo in the show. wah lau... The costume and hairdo makes her look like some housewife rather than a military woman, okay, her armour getup is still not bad, but her civilian dressing is really damn auntie. I prefer the costume of Sun Cuifeng, prettier. lol~
The acting of Joe Ma is really terrible despite my love for that man. He can act like himself, those shuai shuai playboy playboy kind of guy, but acting as Xue Dingshan, he still lacks the emotional depth. Okay, not just as Xue Dingshan, as any other character, Joe Ma still is unable to reach the deapths of the emotions and feelings of the characters he plays. But he's still damn shuai. It's damn cute to see him standing beside Shek Sau because he's like one whole head taller than him. Ma Jingtao is more of a prettier actor, and his Qiongyao works make him already the kind of actor who can convey emotions well. Much as I dislike him, I have to say his acting kicks Joe Ma's ass.
The other actors in the TVB version are still quite all right except for the girl acting as Chen Jinding. omg... She's like a block of wood, and I can't stand it when she's acting beside Joe Ma because both of them are so bad that they bring out the worst of each other. I can't still tahan Joe Ma's acting because he's always surrounded with good actors who make him look better, but beside that actress as Chen Jinding, they only look like two blocks of wood repeating lines. It looks so bad that I want to punch the both of them up. I like the actor as Xue Yinglong, he's very cute.
I'm quite surprised that Xue Rengui was acted by Shek Sau. I happened to glance at the credits the other day and was surprised to see Shek Sau's name in the list, but I can't tell who was he acting. It was only after googling that I realised that Shek Sau was acting as Xue Rengui. Maybe it was after staring at the damn cute Shek Sau in Triumph in the Skies that made him unrecognisable as someone more serious. hehe... I think some people would when they hear me say this, but I think Shek Sau is really very shuai. I go back to those days when Shek Sau himself was a leading man, he's got this matured man rugged charm, sort of a bit like Wubai like that. I like~ His version of Xue Rengui unfortunately is not really that memorable, and at times I find that this Xue Rengui is overtly paraniod about being killed by his son.
But the one thing I really really like that came out of this period drama and the main reason I keep myself glued to the telly is because of the theme song. It's really good.
the full version of the theme song of TVB's 烽火奇遇结良缘
Candy Lo is really a good singer, but I think she sings better in Cantonese than in Mandarin. This song has the very standard period drama feel to it, and I can almost imagine out the story of Fan Lihua and Xue Dingshan when hearing the song. The melody is also very catchy, almost familiar. It's now playing on repeat mode on my player.
joan's rating: 3/5