TV Binge: Love O2O (微微一笑很倾城, 2016)

Moving on from Rush of the Dead Summer (review), I really liked Zheng Shuang as the female lead and went to look for her other TV series. Luckily, there was one on Netflix called Love O2O. The other title is One Smile Is Very Alluring, which is the title of the movie that was released which is also available on Netflix that I hadn’t seen yet. Love O2O opened up a ton of talented young actors and actresses that will lead to some of my future TV series choices (as you will soon find out).

Love O2O (微微一笑很倾城, 2016)

LOVE O2O

Director: Liu Yu Fen

Cast: Shuang Zheng, Yang Yang, Xiao Tong Miao, Jun Feng Niu, Ye Cheng Zheng, He Zhang, Bai Yu, Vin Zhang

Xiao Nai is a gaming expert who, courtesy of his basketball skills, academic excellence, swimming talent and game company presidency, also happens to be the most popular student on campus. When he first comes across the gorgeous computer science major Bei Wei Wei, the infinitely talented wunderkind immediately falls in love. But it’s not Bei’s looks that he notices; it’s the ridiculous mastery with which she is commanding her guild and owning everyone in an online multiplayer game that makes her impossible to forget. Now, Xiao Nai must use his skills both in real life and online to capture the adorable but dorky Bei’s heart. But does their love have the XP to succeed, or will this relationship never level up? – MyDramalist

If you want to check out Love O2O, you can find it with English subtitles on Youtube or its also on Netflix.

QUOTE/SCENE

love o2o

STORY

Love O2O is probably one of the more light-hearted and positive Chinese dramas that I’ve seen so far. While there is some drama between friendship, work and relationships, it never over dramatizes and drags out a situation for too long. Perhaps this gives it less depth but the story itself knows how to focus on the positives of each relationship and give its a positive way to solve some of the issues here. There are conflicts that show up especially when dealing with the MMORPG world where the online relationships also result to the expectations and rumors and bullying that happens as well. At the same time, the story is set in the second half on the game development world and the hurdles that they end up facing.

Love O2O

While the story lies mostly in the real world, a portion of it is still in the fantasy world, more the in-game world where they have a lot of computer graphics. They have fighting bits together and has a whole relationships that comes out of there as well as giving it a lot of fantastical elements of online dating via the in-game elements. Its pretty charming to say the least but also has a side warning of how sometimes there can be cases of mistaken identity or lack of communication or misunderstandings and the fragility of building your friendships online rather in-person. The story itself does blend itself well together and as the series moves along, less and less is hidden in-game and more in reality.

LENGTH/PACING

Love O2O has the fantastic length of 30 episodes which borders on my personal belief of the upper limit of where an idol drama usually should be.

The execution and pacing here is very good. 30 episodes with the amount of characters and story arc gives the story a sufficient amount of character development while also giving the story a chance to focus not only on the romantic angles but also touch of friendship, bromance, family, etc. The majority of the story is set over the happenings of a budding relationship that starts at the end of a university semester and the summer time and then jumps forward at the end to push forward the timeline and give it a proper ending. That is a good way to do it because life is always full of crazy events but sometimes its those first moments when its goes from ultra sweet to building a solid foundation. Its why Love O2O doesn’t drag at all and stays fun from beginning to end.

CHARACTERS/CHEMISTRY

love o2o

If we look at characters and chemistry, our main leads and couple is Wei Wei, played by Zheng Shuang and Xiao Nai, played by Yang Yang. They are fantastic today and probably one of the best TV ships that could happen (in my short Chinese drama time). What works for them is that their characters are almost perfect from the outside and we soon find out that they each have their similarities and balance between them. Its in their actions and their pure intentions for each other that makes them so charming to watch. Plus, their relationship sprouts of Wei Wei adoration of Xiao Nai and idolization as he is the good-looking and smart senior student in school who all the girls swoon over, while as the show goes on, you can see that Xiao Nai doesn’t care of those things but rather its love at first sight on his side that he knows that she’s the right one and doesn’t know how to be a good boyfriend and just tries his best to protect her and support her.

love o2o

On the other hand, the second leads are Er Xi (Mao Xiao Tong) and Cao Guang (Bai Yu) who are the opposite of the main leads couple because they start off disliking each other, which is the more typical way of how most romantic leads start out in these dramas. However, these two are very fun characters while both of their story arcs have a slight frustrating moments, both regarding each other as well as in terms of friendship and crushes.

love o2o

Finally, relationships can be bromances and Love O2O thrives in that department, whether its the bromance between Xiaonai and his roommates, which turn out to be his work team as the series moves forward after their graduation or the girl friends (who really do have less part here) of Weiwei. However, the bromance here is fantastic especially as the friendship expands to a fifth member of the group as they get into the work space area. They add the fun and comedy also which rounds out the story a lot to keep it very light-hearted.

Finally, we take a look at the “enemies”. Be it the love rivals or the schoolyard internet bullies or the competing companies for the projects, it falls into the tone here because as frustrating as they can be, they never feel that harmful especially when they always find some positive outcome or enlightenment for the characters, which is nice to see because it keeps the series in a very positive light and gives hope especially to the younger characters who find their way. Its in the details of the script and the writer for this series manages to keep a good balance and remember the tone that its going for.

OVERALL

Love O2O definitely is one of my faves because of its positivity. There are more tears of joy and happiness and swooning over cute and endearing moments as well as being touched over the perfection of Xiaonai as a boyfriend who thrives in communication and trust over Weiwei no matter what other people say and believes his own eyes and experiences. Its span of touching different modern day themes and issues especially as we navigate the online landscape whether in gaming or blogging. It manages to focus on the love here but also give it a good dose of friendships as well as the reality of school, work and the challenges in life overall. Its charming and fun, romantic and cute, inspiring and positive: all the things I like about TV series.

Advertisements

Montreal Comiccon 2019 – What to Do and See

Montreal Comiccon

I’ve been covering Montreal Comiccon for the last few years mostly for Game Warp and shared some of the cosplay and hauls over here but have never really talked about Montreal Comiccon in depth. This year, I’m thinking that there are some fun little bits to highlight as a beginner’s guide to Montreal Comiccon, in case you are in town and might consider it a fun event or think its one that you’d like to check out at some time in the future (just a guideline since guests and such change every year, as expected).

The 11th annual Montreal Comiccon starts today on July 5th and runs throughout the weekend to end on July 7th at Palais de Congres in downtown Montreal. Over the three days, there are over 200 activities including panels, workshops, concerts, masquerade, improv, board games, screenings, autographs sessions, photo ops and more related to all things pop culture: anime, movies, TV, comic books, gaming.

On interesting fact to know is that all kids five and under go in for free all three days, while kids ages 6 to 12 get free admission on Friday and Sunday.

Here’s some of the highlights of whats to come over this weekend, for further info, you can find the schedule HERE.

GAMING

Set in the vibrant game development scene of Montreal where not only multiple AAA studios has their offices or headquarters, there are even more independent game developers lurking in every corner. One of the big highlights of Montreal Comiccon for gamers is the Indie Gaming Zone. Indie Gaming Zone will have many game developers showing off their games recently released and in development along with their playable demos so that you can experience it and share your thoughts with them as well.  We will be  having coverage for the Indie Game Zone over at the Game Warp Blog (as well as on That Moment In) during this weekend.

In other gaming highlights: Dreamhack doesn’t hit Montreal until September but before that, you can get a taste of it at the Dreamhack Gaming Zone where there will be a VR station to try out some VR games while also having a PC Freeplay Zone. You can also find the Tabletop Gaming area where there will be an assortment of board games to try out with your friends. While if you are in a more competitive mood and up for a challenge, there are activities for Combat Archery and Rage  Academy (Axe-Throwing) that you can check out.

Gaming also has a good few panels. From the more technical game concepts like Fantasy Map-Making to Narrative Nightmares & Lessons Learned which will talk about writing video games to the basics of launching your game via crowdfunding, Crowdfunding 101. There are also panels on specific games like Jurassic World Alive, Overwatch and Watch Dogs 2.

MOVIES & TV

Movies is a big part of the pop culture with multiple franchises having their cast show up to talk in Q&A panels. At the same time, they are also available for photo ops and autographs. Some of the highlights would be Harry Potter franchise has James & Oliver Phelps and  Tom Felton. Set in the same universe, Dan Fogler from Fantastic Beasts movies is also there. Star Wars fans can see Ray Park.

Disney fans will be happy to find Jim Cummings, the voice actor of Winnie the Pooh and Darkwing Duck as well as Paige O’Hara, the voice actress of Belle in Beauty and the Beast. You can also find Ethan Peck from The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (who might be there for the more recent Star Trek: Discovery) while in the superheroes movie world, Shazam!‘s Evan Marsh is also present. Fans of Highlander and Mortal Kombat can see Christopher Lambert in a panel. For fans of Quentin Tarantino films, you can also check out the panel with Michael Madsen.

The guest of honor does have to go to Elijah Wood who has not only TV series under his belt but also The Lord of the Rings trilogy as well as various indie horror films in his filmography.

This year’s TV-related guests has an incredible line-up. There will be The 100 panel with Bob Morley, Eliza Taylor and Tasya Teles. The much more recent The Umbrella Academy has Robert Sheehan and Cameron Brodeur also in a panel together. Lana Parilla will be there if you are a fan of Once Upon A Time.

OTHER HIGHLIGHTS

Of course, that is just touching on the categories we cover here. Anime, cosplayers, comic book artists (Dan Parent, Kevin Eastman, etc) as well as wrestlers, MMA (Georges St-Pierre) and kickboxing figures will also be there this weekend. If you need a break, the Artist Alley and Exhibition Hall is always a nice place to check out a ton of cool merchandise and of course, some great art from different artists based on pop culture in their own style.

That’s it for this general guide!
We’ll be covering Montreal Comiccon and will be having Day 1, 2 and 3 recaps.

What’s Up – Week 25!

Week 25 is here! 2019 is going by so far that summer has landed which also brought along a busy busy weekend. I’ll talk more about the busy bit in the weekly adventures coming at the end of June. With everything going on, suffice to say that I just didn’t have quite the energy to get a ton of stuff done on the relaxing front. However, we did also have a long weekend so it had some perks. 🙂

READING

Lifelike

Currently reading: Lifelike

Things are getting exciting for Lifelike as I am nearing the third-quarter of the book. Its been a tiring week so I haven’t had quite the focus or energy to read but the book is definitely picking up. I am starting to have some solid thoughts on how I feel about it. Now to see how it wraps everything up. At the same time, I think its a good starting point to read Jay Kristoff especially since we can see a comparison of how Jay Kristoff writes individually compared to co-writing The Illuminae Files Trilogy since both are science fiction.

PLAYING

fe

Currently playing: Fe

Fe has been a game that I’ve been looking forward to play since it was announced a year or two ago. While its always been slightly fuzzy about what the gameplay actually is, it just looks so cute. This week, I finally sat down to start it up. While the whole open world adventure game isn’t exactly my usual gaming preference, it has a lot of really nice elements so far. Plus, it remembers to turn things around as the enemies now have shown up at where I’m at in the game. I’m still a tad too early to really talk about how I feel about the game as a whole but its still pretty enjoyable, just as long as I get myself oriented in the open world map. 😉

WATCHING

homefront

  • Homefront

Only one movie watched this week. To be fair, I actually did rewatch Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong because its just my routine to watch it more than once but it was more as background noise so I didn’t bother to add it to the list again. Homefront has been sitting on my Netflix list for a while and the husband’s been doing the weekend movie night picks lately and he was in the mood for some Jason Statham action. Suffice to say, this one was less action which I feel might have been slightly disappointing and it was a little more slow-paced. However, the movie was alright. It had some frustrating parts and some of it was rather predictable but it was still pretty good because of its cast. I’ll have the double feature going up for this one soon-ish…

BINGING

Great Escape

  • Great Escape (Season 1, 2019)
  • Heart Signal (Season 1, 2018)

Currently binging: “Your Highness” Class Monitor, Love Timing, Idol Producer (Season 2)

TV binging is definitely going down a little this past week. Great Escape wrapped up and that was a fun episode as it confirmed the season 2 and got this cast to fight for the privilege of having their entire crew back for season 2 (which they did win) so I’m pretty excited for that. These types of shows are on an annual basis so it returns sometime in 2020. It was a fun 6 locations, story-based escape room game that was a ton of fun because of what each of these people brought to the table. Its a nice dynamic and I truly hope they all end up coming back for Season 2 or at least they can schedule it into their busy life. I also started up Heart Signal, the first season which is where (I believe) these social dating shows started up before Dream Space and Love Timing did because Heart Signal just started its Season 2. Sadly, Heart Signal season 1 only had half of its season fully on Youtube on their Tencent channel however I found a ton of snippets and pieced the rest of it together. However, I’m doing something a little different for this so I might finish Season 2 and release that post afterwards. On that note, I haven’t started Heart Signal Season 2 yet because Love Timing ends in one episode and I don’t want to start too many so that I don’t get too confused with the people involved.

That’s it for What’s Up!
I’ll be sharing a lot of news in My Weekly Adventures which should explain the lack of stuff this time..
as well as some upcoming things confirmed now for July. 
What have you been reading/watching/binging/playing?

What’s Up – Week 20: New Things, Old Things and Catching Up

20 weeks into 2019 already! Spring is finally showing its face and as I go out to do more things, some of these bits might get slowed down a little bit. Its still a little too early to know but I’ve been transitioning between different elements of life and somewhat swapping my routine a little. As some TV series also winds down, I’m thinning it out a little to try to get some extensive backlog out of the way. It won’t reflect here but gradually, as Montreal events start coming into play as well.

READING

crossline

Currently reading: Crossline by Russ Colchamiro

I’ve been getting hit with some spring fatigue so I’m still reading Crossline at a very turtle pace, which needs to be remedied because I have another book lined up that needs to get started by the end of next week. Crossline is pretty good but I’ve been also watching movies with similar themes that I’m not sure if I’m getting an overdose of sci-fi. Keeping an open mind and I’m only slightly past the quarter mark in the book so its just the set-up phase done and things are started to unravel.

PLAYING

The Witness

Currently playing: The Witness

For a moment, I honestly thought this week would be no gaming at all except maybe some mobile game titles to fill up some space here. Those are going well but I like to keep it a little mysterious for the mobile games roundup segment. However, the husband started up The Witness last night and we played a few puzzles together, which was pretty cool. I’m probably going to start it up on my own also and play some of the puzzles also.

WATCHING

  • The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013)
  • Europa Report (2013) – rewatch – Review

I’m not going to lie that this list kind of probably should add in rewatching Jaws 2, 3 and The Revenge to refresh my memory for the Triple feature HERE. However, I won’t because I honestly just played it in the background to remind of the story and dialogue and wasn’t actually looking at the screen. So we are left with two films. One is a rewatch for an upcoming podcast which is Europa Report, a little found footage-esque sci-fi film. Trying to get things done in advance is always a good thing. And as I’m still a tad behind on the double features, I’m also trying to save up some more movies gradually and moved onto the M selection. I’m using a general of movies in my list that are rated badly but still I would like to watch so I ended up checking out The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. I love Shadowhunters, the TV series thats in its last season (if it hasn’t already ended) so seeing how the movie interpretation would be. I’ll share my thoughts on it in the double feature but lets just say, when the background world or lore is too heavy, its hard to just rally it all up in 2 hours and hope that its not convoluted.

BINGING

Put Your Head On My Shoulder

  • Dream Space (Season 1, 2019)
  • Put Your Head On My Shoulder (2019)

Currently binging: Le Coup de Foudre, Go Fridge (Season 5), Great Escape, Produce Camp 2019, Nailed It (Season 3)

Two TV series done this week. I’m feeling quite accomplished. One of them is a Chinese social variety show called Dream Space which is something like a matchmaking show which takes a look at romance and opening up a space for single women and men to focus solely on their romantic sides for a few days. I’ll write about this variety show even if I don’t for others because its worth it. I have a few thoughts on this one and they are having a season 2 already getting new candidates so I’m pretty excited to see how it changes. As for dramas, Put Your Head On My Shoulder wrapped up as well and its a nice little dose of cuteness along the line of the A Love So Beautiful universe and they make a point at the final episodes to address that to clear up some of the suspicion that people have been having. More on that in the TV binge at some point….

Most of the things currently binging is still very much the same. The only new addition is Nailed It which released its Season 3 on Friday. Because there were too many other stuff to take care of, its probably one of the first seasons that I didn’t finish it in the first weekend but we’re about 6 episodes in so its not a whole lot left to watch but its still very fun. The only other one I want to talk about is Great Escape which is heading into some more intense escape room experiences and its getting very intriguing to say the least.

That’s it for this What’s Up!
What have you been reading/playing/watching/binging?

A Busy Day For Podcasts!

Last minute changes and something I should do more frequently is do a round-up of podcasts release!

Holiday hiatus is finally over and we’re getting back into the action of things on all projects and last week and specifically today, we just released three podcast episodes. Why not share it with all of you.

Let’s go project to project and at the same time, divert you all to their respective blogs so you can follow it if you are interested and haven’t already.

GAME WARP PODCAST

Game Warp Podcast kicked off the year pretty much in style.  This month, we had quite a few shows go up already. After ending the year with our Top 10 Games Reviewed in 2018 and our Year in Review 2018 (for gaming, of course), we started the year in a great way by doing a review for a new free Steam game called What Never Was which is only about an hour long so, the show itself is only 10 minutes long to avoid spoilers.

Fast forward back to today where we release our latest feature piece. Last year, we did our Top Anticipated Games as a written post, we’ve decided to change it to podcast format and combined it with the look forward to 2019 that we usually do. In today’s episode, we take turns to discuss our Top 15 Anticipated Games of 2019.

If you like gaming and haven’t followed us yet, you can find us over at our blog HERE.

MOVIES & TEA

Its been over a month since our last podcast for the second season. A lot of reasons for this but we finally did get around to recording and editing and it finally was released today. The next movie in our second season Guillermo Del Toro journey is The Devil’s Backbone, his third directed feature film. Its a movie that I’ve personally heard a lot of great things and have been recommended to me over and over again. Finally, I have ticked off my list and I’ll be getting the written review up there soon.

However, today is about the podcast and we had our first guest on Movies and Tea join us and that’s Greg from The Debatable Podcast/Action A Go Go. You can listen to it below.

http://a%20href=

You can also find our podcast on a ton of avenues including Podomatic, etc. If you haven’t followed us over at Movies and Tea, head over there via HERE.

We have our individual takes on each of the films we’ve done podcasts on and some other random features that matches with the director that we’re highlighting that season. 🙂

That’s it for this Podcast recap!
Things get back to normal programming soon!
I just wanted to give some love to my other projects today. 🙂

My Weekly Adventures: The Wrong Side of the Fence…

Following the last Weekly Adventures, I was on the fence about something. And well..seeing as its the title of this Weekly Adventures, suffice to say I made a decision on it. If you didn’t see the last post, don’t worry, you will know soon enough when we get there. These two weeks was a lot of eating… that’s all I got honestly. Something crazy happened at work that stressed me out so very much but really gave me the kick in the pants to motivate myself to get back into the groove of things. Find back some of the focus that I’ve seem to be missing.

MTL a Table 2018: Nom Nom Cantine

This year’s MTL a Table in place of the November Battle of Ingredients is at Nom Nom Cantine. We had a pretty good time there, eating delicious food with great company.

You can check out the post HERE.

NaNoWriMo 2018

The wrong side of the fence is refering to this. Which can only mean one thing…that I decided to start NaNoWriMo this year. I started on Day 7 and the late start and my recent cold has impacted a lot of progress. To be honest, with all the projects right now, I don’t plan to finish but I have an idea that I kept wanting to write about so I just couldn’t resist. Of course, I wasn’t going to do this madness by myself so my awesome podcast co-host graciously joined me in working on his own thing.

My progress leaves a lot to be desired right now so I’m going to try to push myself over the next half of the month to really catch up. Next Weekly Adventures, I’ll share the final result.

L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon

Like last year, as an end of season marathon thank you for all my early mornings and such, my friend took me out for a fancy dinner at the Casino de Montreal at L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon. This restaurant definitely is expensive and fine cuisine but the one place that never disappoints me because of how well they adapt to making everyone feel important especially when it comes to my lactose intolerance and having French cuisine.

You can see the full recap of this restaurant experience HERE.

MEGA MTL

This past weekend marks one of the last gaming festivals that I will be going to (since there was also the summit earlier this week which I don’t go to because its on weekdays). MEGA MTL was morphed from the Montreal Independent Games Festival which used to be free and held at Dawson College. Now, it occupies the Marché Bonsecours in Old Montreal and it always shows off a lot of indie games to try out and showcase. Its a lot of games to write about so currently the post is still in the works for That Moment In but should be up soon.

My game of the festival is hands-down a game that has already been released called 39 Days to Mars, which is a coop puzzle adventure game developed by It’s Anecdotal.

Cute Kitty Pic

Thats it for this Weekly Adventures recap!
A quick and easy one this time. We had a few busy weekends so probably the next one will be even more quiet.

Whats up #9

I am so behind in What’s Up right now. It all has to get down to procrastination and plain old busy times getting the best of me. Motivation was lacking, energy was not there and this is what happens. At this point, I did one trial run of doing two videos and dropping it in the same week but just one of them alone was half an hour so I’ve decided to get things back to a little fun mix.

For the entire October What’s Up, I’m going to have it in written format just like old times and then, for the new and latest stuff, you will have a video to watch (later on). With that, we’ll be right back on track.

Let’s get started with an October recap!

October 2018

READING

nightlight tales 2

  • Annie’s 1st Break (review)
  • The Finest Supermarket in Kabul (review)
  • Nightlight Tales 2 (review)

One novel for fun, the second for blog tour and the last for Halloween marathon brings us right up to date. All reviews are already up. The only one not so good in this batch was Annie’s 1st Break. The other two are pretty great depending on whether you are in the mood for a drama or a  horror short story compilation.

GAMES

  • Forza Horizon 4
  • Super Lucky’s Tale
  • Abzu

October included a lot of fun times. For one, Game Warp reviewed our first Xbox exclusive game review and an arcade racer as well. There’s a lot to love about Forza Horizon 4 but you can watch/listen to it all in the video above. We also did get around to playing Abzu and I managed to finish up the playthrough for Super Lucky’s Tale as per a request from a mom for her toddler who likes to watch it, sprouting a newfound love to say “Come on!” just like Lucky does in the game. You can decide for yourself whether its a good or bad thing 😉

MOVIES

three billboards outside ebbing missouri

Finally, there is a lot of films. I decided to not list it all in detail mostly because I already recapped both Halloween marathon and Festival du Nouveau Cinema (FNC 2018) before in another post and you can find them all under their own page or the movies tab. I’m actually quite surprised that this entire list has also been reviewed. I have some older films that haven’t yet made it into the double feature pairings yet but that is coming up.

My recommendation in this list goes to Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri as well probably a few films from FNC 2018 like Ash is Purest White, Sticks and Stones and Firecrackers.

TV SERIES

  • Meteor Garden (2018)
  • The Chamber of Secrets Escape (review)
  • A Love so Beautiful (2017)
  • Rush to the Dead Summer (2017)
  • The Haunting of Hill House (Season 1, 2018) (review)
  • The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell (Season 1, 2018) (review)

TV series was a pretty awesome time. The last two along with The Chamber of Secrets Escape was for Halloween marathon. As for the other three, they were either on Netflix or available on Youtube for free and Chinese TV series which is what I’ve been watching a lot of lately. Its a bit of a daunting task to look at Meteor Garden so I’m working on that post as well as getting a video or something for it since it holds a really special place in my heart. While I have a huge love for A Love So Beautiful which is just really fun to watch, lighthearted and comedic. Rush to the Dead Summer is one that shifts tone from the first half and the second half and I wasn’t too happy with the way it ended bu then I read the way the actual novel ends and its even worse so…I guess I’ll settle with this one.

My recommendation for TV series would go to Meteor Garden if you want a long series or A Love so Beautiful for something short and sweet.

That’s it for this What’s Up!
Back to how it used to be, right? October is finally out of the way.
We can move on to what’s going on in the first half of November very soon and what is currently happening!