Bountiful Blessings review – Quirky Chinese Singaporean sitcom

Dan Wild

Year: 2011Rating: MEpisodes: 20 x ~43minCountry: Singapore Bountiful Blessings has lost none of its charm on a second viewing. Learning Mandarin led to an unexpected attachment to the Singapore-Malaysia drama scene, starting here. I would not otherwise have encountered such underrated shows as Mind Game and Justice in the City. When Netflix partnered with Singapore’s …

The Dream Job review – Singapore drama

Dan Wild

A lot of effort has gone into this show, reflected in its high production values. The messy family drama pulled me in but the constant toxicity wore me down. Its greatest sin though is its ending: simplistic and maybe morally questionable. The Dream Job 绝世好工 starts well with a device reminiscent of notorious Japanese film …

Ashes of Love review (2018) Season One

Dan Wild

Childlike innocence and first-love blended with dark magic and high fantasy is a staple in Chinese drama. Like Ice Fantasy (2016), Ashes of Love is also based on a novel, in this case, Heavy Sweetness, Ash Like Frost, by Dian Xian. The Chinese title of the TV series, 香蜜沉沉烬如霜 (Xiāngmì chénchén jìn rú shuāng) could be similarly translated. Google opts for “Fragrant Honey …

Ice Fantasy review (2016) Season One

Dan Wild

Let’s start by saying that Ice Fantasy, or 幻城 (Huànchéng), is a guilty pleasure. The sets are creative, backgrounds and special effects are impressive, and later there are some unexpected plot twists. Let there also be a warning: it’s very cheesy. Dedicated fans of Chinese fantasy may appreciate its escapism, while those who prefer their epics to be …

Tientsin Mystic review 河神 (Season 1) Make way for the River God

Dan Wild

Fog swirls over a bridge in 1920s Tianjin. A well-dressed young man is fleeing a group of ruffians. He runs onto the bridge. He’s trapped. He jumps into the river. He struggles underwater, trapped by some seaweed. A long-faced man appears in front of him, upside down. The next day Ding Mao, son of the …

Review of The Untamed – 2019 Chinese fantasy series

Dan Wild

陈情令 Chinese fantasy epic drama At first it seems that not much is happening. The show strolls along for a few episodes as we get to know the characters and background. But something is different about this Chinese fantasy. The strength of the cast, the quality of the dialogue and the orchestral soundtrack make The …

Justice in the City review 庭外和解 Accomplished Malaysian drama

Dan Wild

Year: 2012Rating: MEpisodes: 30 x ~42minCountry: Malaysia, Singapore Sometimes translators insist on creativity where none is needed. The direct translation of 庭外和解 (tíng wài héjiě), “Out of Court Settlement”, is a good title. Justice in the City isn’t a bad title, but it’s not as evocative. So folks, the title “Out of Court Settlement” is available, coming …

Wu Assassins review – Netflix fantasy original

Dan Wild

Miniseries started flourishing in the 1950s. Now Netflix is breathing new life into the genre. I’m not a fan of spoilers. But I’ll reveal that this series is 10 episodes. The length of a miniseries generally varies from five to fifteen episodes, 25 to 45 minutes in length. Producers have the flexibility to develop plot and …

Once upon a time in Lingjian Mountain review

Dan Wild

Updated: 16/10/20 It takes a while to say the title (从前有座灵剑山) and this series takes a while to get going, but its quirkiness shines through. So did the warm, interesting characters, and sumptuous scenery and costumes. A big downside is the soundtrack editing and limited music often drowning out dialogue. And the cardinal sin of …

Against the Tide review – Singapore drama

Dan Wild

Here’s another one that takes a few episodes to find its feet, then you’re sucked in and the next 20 episodes are engaging viewing. I’m not quite sure what the title, Against the Tide, actually means, but then the show is full of enigmas. 逆潮 (nìcháo) could be translated as Counter Current, or as Google …