All posts filed under: Reviews

Everything Feels Unfamiliar and Uncertain Right Now

When Mary and Joseph were in Bethlehem, looking for a place to stay, surely for anyone else, that would have been a time when fear was a temptation. Her birth was imminent; surely God would not want His own Son to be born in an open field? They were faced with an imminent situation totally outside of their control, and throwing themselves upon the mercy of strangers, but it seemed like there was no mercy to be found. Until finally, they were told about the cavern, not even fit for men, only good enough for livestock. But that is where they found themselves, in a situation completely outside of what they would likely have ever chosen for themselves — how could THIS be the will of the Father? And yet, when they placed themselves in the Father’s care, they found they were led to exactly where they were supposed to be all along — perfectly centered within His divine plan. There’s no way that Joseph could have foreseen the humblest of places being the birthplace …

What’s Playing: Love 020

Viewed: 2019. 03/13-03/21 Netflix episode list and trailer available here. This post is in no way sponsored or endorsed by Netflix. I was bound to stumble upon this 2016 drama series sooner or later. Xiao Nai (Yang Yang) is a young entrepreneur designing his first game with his college-age friends when he stumbles upon Bei Weiwei (Schuang Zheng), a remarkable female gamer, skilled at combat in a RPG that is a national hit. When Weiwei gets dumped inside of the game by her in-game husband, she receives a proposal from the server’s top player, Yixiao Naihe, who, unbeknownst to her, is the school’s most popular guy, Xiao Nai. They’re a formidable pair on the servers, but would they have any chemistry if they met, in real life? Love 020 explores the dangers of anonymous romances online, and the unspoken attractions of those around us, and quite naturally, the misadventures of unrequited love in a dramedy worth your time, if you’re a fan of online RPGs or of Chinese romances. The romance is sweet and pure, …

What’s Playing: This Is Not What I Expected

Viewed: 2019. 03/13 Netflix episode list and trailer available here. This post is in no way sponsored or endorsed by Netflix. A standalone film, This Is Not What I Expected is the story of a foodie hotel buyer and an unorthodox, but highly talented, sous chef with a flair for mischief. When Gu Sheng-Nan (Dongyu Zhou) is dumped by her boyfriend/boss, she throws herself into her cooking, stirring up those strong emotions into a culinary experience that catches the notice of potential hotel buyer, Lu Jin (Takeshi Kaneshiro). It should be love at first sight, however, after a disastrous first encounter between the two, and subsequent awkward interactions that firm Lu Jin’s opinion of Gu Sheng-Nan as a klutz and a menace, there is little chance for either of them. Comical chaos ensues as Lu Jin ignores the hotel acquisition in favor of attempting to pin out which of the male staff is HIS stellar culinary star even as he is attempts to evade Gu Sheng-Nan, and her penchant for trouble. When he discovers that …

What’s Playing: Ashes of Love

Viewed: 2018. 12/23-21/31 2019. 01/01-01/18 Netflix episode list and trailer available here. This post is in no way sponsored or endorsed by Netflix. Ashes of Love, Ashes of Love. Oh, this was ever such a nice surprise! Looking for a palette cleanser after Meteor Garden, I stumbled onto this fantasy series about an immortal romance for the ages, a romantic comedy with plenty of drama mixed in for good measure. This series is based on the novel, Heavy Sweetness, Ash-Like Frost by Dian Xian, which I need to read at some point. If you haven’t yet noticed, I’m not exactly a stickler for reading the book before the film version. Little Jin Mi (Zi Yang), is a humble grape fairy and she lives in the floral realm under the guardianship of Chief Peony (Peng Yang), who is the defacto ruler after the tragic death of the floral goddess, Zifen (Zhang Yanyan) whom is regularly mourned and honored, centuries after her death. Jin Mi, who has no concept of what love is, has one goal in …

What’s Playing: Meteor Garden

Viewed: 2018. 09/30-10/20 Netflix episode list and trailer available here. This post is in no way sponsored or endorsed by Netflix. Sorry everybody, I meant to get this posted on Friday and it’s a couple of days late, for anyone eagerly awaiting my next foray into Chinese romantic dramas, here you go… Meteor Garden was far from a disappointment. This series was originally a manga, although unfortunately, I haven’t been able to locate it in print yet. Dong Shancai (Yue Shen) may come from humble origins but when she lands entrance into one of the best schools of the country, it opens up a whole new world for her. Dong Shancai is accompanied by best friend, Chen Qinghe (Yinhao Liu), who would follow her anywhere. At school, the most popular group of boys, F4, are known for being masters of bridge (sometimes called poker in the series) and for punishing any students who lose bets against them. There is Feng Meizuo (Connor Leong), the perpetual lover, never settling on a single girlfriend for long; Ximen …