Saturday, 29 July 2017

LOCH ep 39-52 contents and highlights

GJ's last meal with his Freaky (but lovely) teachers, Ep 43

My apologies for my absence last week; I was just busy with some private stuff… I also didn’t make anything special this week. One of the main reasons was because I have been immersing myself with another genre (J-manga), specifically on my recent awareness that a Candy Candy novel that rewrote Candy White Ardlay’s love story exists since 2010 (Candy Candy the Final Story). For those also growing up with Candy, you can read my reverie here. For those who don’t know what or who Candy is, and have no intention to read, perhaps I can direct you to the last few episodes of LOCH 2017? I haven’t finished uploading the episode highlights, despite the fact that it ended last April. My apologies, but at least now I have kicked myself to post this… next weekend I should be able to return to the old 1980s MB series once more.

Ep 39
Content: GJHR found the Book of Wumu; MNC jumped off the cliff to prevent GJHR from giving the Book to WYHL; YK mourning MNC; GJHR found Yinggu’s hut and got the instructions to meet the Southern Emperor

Highlight: MNC jumped off the cliff.
Downfall: Yinggu’s wig…OMG please rescue me from that wig…

Ep 40
Content: GJHR overcame the hurdles to meet Yideng, the former Southern Emperor; Yideng finally agreed to help HR; Yideng starting to narrate his story with Yinggu and Zhou Botong.

Highlight: GJ panicking when HR is fading out; and definitely Ray Lui’s Yideng.

Ep 41
Content: Yideng’s background story with Yinggu and Zhou Botong; HR giving her Taohua Island pill to Yideng, which backfired because the pills had been swapped by Yinggu; Yinggu attacked GJ who was masquerading as Yideng; Yideng let Yinggu kill himself, the latter finally dropped the case (and the knife). Also, IINM, GJHR received the last translation of the Nine Yin Manual…

Highlight: Actually, Han Dong’s Central Divinity stole the Dali scene for me despite his only few minutes of fame. I need to see Han Dong in another series where he’s a good guy. His Ninth Prince role in BBJX made me thought he was that bad as a character, lol!

Also, I just realised that, in this series, ZBT didn’t know that Yinggu was the Emperor’s concubine. That made his leaving her more sensible, cos he really felt guilty about his affair with Yinggu.

Ep 42

Content: GJHR saying goodbye to Yideng after receiving the Jiuyin Manual translation; YK commissioned a painting of MNC (did he pay the poor old bugger who made the painting?); YK overheard a conversation between Huazheng and Tuloi about GJ (not sure on what aspect), YK started concocting a plan to defeat GJ; WYHL successfully persuaded YK to shake off his grief, adding “I’m Li Yuan, you’re Li Shimin” again (again, forgetting that LY and LSM had a bitter relationship); Yinggu was captured by Qiu Qianren and was then rescued by GJHR; Yinggu realised QQR was the murderer of her son and attacked QQR (but then the scene was cut out); GJ met his teachers in a restaurant. 

Highlight: The Six Freaks. I was never invested in the Freaks, not even in LOCH 1983. But here, I really like them in this series. Sure, the first few fights of the Freaks were too slow for my 80s taste, but the Freaks are very likeable. I actually wished Zhu Cong (Second Teacher, played by Ji Chenmu) and Han Xiaoling (Seventh Teachers, played by Xiao Yinshi) became lovers, but perhaps Zhu Cong felt uncomfortable to take his brother’s girlfriend, even after more than a decade… But the way Zhu Cong and Han Xiaoling interacted in the restaurant made me wish… they at least had a secret crush between them… Their chemistry was much much better than the forced chemistry between Lu Guanying and Cheng Yaojia, IMO!

I never cared for the Freaks, but now I am so sorry to see them go...
particularly the Second Teacher...(Ep 42)

Ep 43

Content: GJ met his Six Freaks teachers and had a merry meal with them (that would be the last for the five…); Six Freaks went to Taohua Island afterwards to warn HYS about Quanzhen’s plan to attack HYS (QZ still considered HYS responsible for the death of one of the QZ disciples during the fight at Shagu’s house; Hong Qigong and Zhou Botong pranked YK’s minions; HR cooked for GJ before they departed to Taohua Island (not sure what GJ’s purpose of visiting the island again).

Highlight: Again, the Freaks. But I also unexpectedly am warming up to HQG. Lau Dan (1983) is still my HQG, but this one is getting better in my eyes.

Ep 44

Michael Miu's HYS was royally vexed at the lower-than-average
intelligence of his latest pupil (Ep 44)

Content: GJHR going to Taohua Island; YK preparing for his plan; HYS getting frustrated with Sha Kuniang (Miss Idiot), which was so funny to watch; The Freaks arrived and HYS refused to see them; Shagu accompanied the Freaks instead; GJHR arriving on the island, HR dancing, they found the Five Freaks dead.

Highlight: The Freaks… their arrival at the island, and also their sudden death… Although HYS’s interaction with Shagu was also priceless…

Ep 45

Content: HYS vs Quanzhen-First Freak-GJ; Hong Qigong and (surprisingly) GJ cleared up HYS from the murder accusation of Old Imp; Quanzhen tried to heal First Freak while giving HYS-HR-HQG more time; First Freak pulled an ‘Abbes Ruthless’ of Heaven Sword and Dragon Sabre when he asked GJ to severe the boy’s relationship with HR; GJ was forced to fight HR (representing HYS) in the morning, but GJ injured himself to avoid hurting HR; West Venom et al arrived just as GJ was injured.

Highlight: MOST DEFINITELY the first 13 min fight between HYS and Quanzhen-First Freak-GJ. Any complaints I had that HYS was not given enough fighting scenes evaporated now, although those complaints were indeed justified. I know Michael Miu didn’t do all the fight scenes, but those he did (and did not) were awesome fights! It was also funny to see HYS smirking or frowning when he started to get irritated by the Quanzhen. Love Michael here, totally!

Ep 46

Content: Wanyan Honglie et al arrived at the scene; West Venom used poisonous smoke to defeat GJ et al; GJ et al escaped through a secret passage; GJ and First Freak were found by the Jin army, HR rescued First Freak; HR and First Freak arrived at the Iron Spear Temple, HR gave First Freak a replacement staff; WYHL et al arrived at the Temple with Shagu.

Highlight: I like it when HR started to be in charge.

Ep 47

Content: HR peeled off the evil deeds of Yang Kang and Ouyang Feng on the Peach Blossom Island.

Highlight: Chen Xingxu’s Yang Kang was amazing here; LYT’s Huang Rong as well. Love it how HR dragged her own foot to resemble Ouyang Ke's limping foot, hence scaring Shagu. However, the death of the rest of the Jiangnan Freaks was really heart-wrenching. I really like this Jiangnan Freaks, so I’m sad that they were gone…

Ep 48

Content: GJ buried YK; Qiu Chuji placed the unflattering (rightly so) tablet on YK’s grave; GJ met Tuloi et al. and returned to Mongolia; GJ met Mummy Li Ping after years of separation; he also met Guozheng again. GJ then tried to crack the Book of Wu Mu to help Genghis Khan in his war against the Jins, but since GJ’s capacity was limited, he relied on Leader Lu’s instruction (we know Leader Lu was actually acting on behalf of HR); GJ got bored of his bangs and changed his hairstyle here; GJ suspected that Leader Lu had been an accomplish of HR (well, he was technically her second-in-command in Kaypang); Ouyang Feng told GJ that he had HR.

Highlight: GJ burying YK… that was sad. I have to say Leader Lu trying to be smart (when he was just an Average Joe) was funny. At least, GJ didn’t pretend he was smart!

Ep 49

Content: GJ-HR met again and trapped Ouyang Feng at the snowy mountain; HR got the idea to attack Samarkhan from OYF’s trick (Deployment of the Mongolian army into Samarkhan (Loved the deployed batmen corps. Very cool. I wonder how GJ didn’t get shot, but I guess that was the reason for having many Bat-Mongolians flying into Samarkhand; so that the Jurchens weren’t sure which one to shoot); WYHL died, rather heroically actually; GJ requested the Khan to spare the residents of Samarkhand.

Highlight: GJHR reunion and the death of WYHL; that was well-executed. WYHL’s actor played him well. I disliked him when he was playing the young WYHL, cos he was too beautiful to be a Jin prince. And I mean, he looked too pretty, with his smooth skin etc. But when he had the beard and YK was already grown up, this WYHL was charming in his lies and resoluteness. I also love GJ’s growing despise towards war.

Ep 50

Content: HR left GJ cos she thought GJ wanted to always be the Prince Consort; GJ thought HR was dead and he returned back broken hearted, but not before rescuing Ouyang Feng and teaching the latter some important Jiuyin stuff (why???); Li Ping found out that the Khan wanted to kill GJ after the latter won him the war; Li Ping and GJ ran away, but she then had to sacrifice herself for her son and her beloved Song. Furious, GJ left Mongol.  

Highlight: the death of Li Ping, the Guo Mama. I love this actress, I wished they would make HR meeting Li Ping like in 2008 (that was my favourite part of Ariel Lin’s HR there, when she met the 2008 Li Ping). Love the conflicting Tolui and Jebe as well. Genghis Khan was as always mesmerizing, even in his cruelty.

Ep 51

Content: GJ left Mongol after saying goodbye to Jebe and Tolui; GJ met Qiu Chuji again and was lectured on what a real hero should do; GJ met HR again after the latter tricked OYF; and the long-awaited Huashan contest (with Michael Miu’s Huang Yaoshi as my sugar candy!).

Highlights: I Looooove the 2017 Mongolians! They are an amazing lot indeed! I still think HZ is too petite, but that’s the only complain I have. The way GJ said goodbye to his troops and to Tolui and his teacher Jebe was very touching.

Love the way HR appeared again (with a gorgeous pink number) with the semi-deranged Ouyang Feng. Love it that this OYF walked on his hands so easily; I’ve seen a photo of him and LYT HR doing splits; I think they’re really fit and flexible!

And the Hua Shan Contest! OMG OMG OMG!

It has a different flavor from HYS vs Quanzhen part 2 (after the Five Freaks died), but it was still amazing! I can do without the slow mo at some parts, and too-fake-looking scattered stones, but the close-distance hand combats between HYS and GJ was cool! Not to mention I dig Michael Miu’s HYS blue-grey suit… it really suits him well, that colour!

Ep 52

MNC met GJHR again

Content: The last Huashan fight between GJ-HYS-HQG vs OYF; GJ was crowned as the Best in Jianghu; HYS warmly accepted GJ as his son-in-law; GJHR went to Xiangyang to defend the town, en route they met Mu Nianci and her baby son; GJ named the baby Yang Guo. The series ended with the death of Genghis Khan and GJHR returning to the Peach Blossom Island.

Huang Yaoshi (Michael Miu) finally accepted Gou Jing (Yang Xuwen) as his son-in-law (Ep 52)

Highlights: The last Huashan fight between GJ-HYS-HQG vs OYF was very good. I still like the GJ vs HYS and GJ vs HQG better, but the combined forces of the Greats was really good to watch as well. Very nice to see HYS smiling and laughing, and being very friendly with GJ, as they later enjoyed the meal cooked by HR.

HR's last meal for HQG before he disappeared again
(remind me to make a post about food in LOCH 2017)

The goodbye drinks between GJ and Tolui was touching, very touching. Singaporean Tay Ping Hui Genghis Khan was really… Genghis Khan. Always amazing, always attracting attention even in his illness. The end scene with Genghis Khan was touching… we saw his vulnerable side as he was about to die.

Mr Tay Ping Hui was an amazing Genghis Khan...

In conclusion, I think the 2017 LOCH was a very decent series. I am glad that we have this series, so faithful to the novel, yet also with some interesting twists that still paid nods to the original. I also heard from CBWarm (SPCNet) that the Cantonese version is well-received in HK, the third in the rank of HK viewing during its airing time. I’m happy for the whole cast, particularly Michael who had made a very amazing comeback to the wuxia genre after decades of absence.

The series is over, and I feel a bit sad. There are weaknesses, but I can overlook them. I love many parts of this series, and yes, I even start to accept this 2017 HQG. I hope you enjoy the series as well. Sorry that I haven't peppered this post with a lot of screen caps, I hope I can slowly slowly fill it with screen caps that are not just about Michael Miu ^_^

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