TV Binge: Accidentally in Love (惹上冷殿下, 2018)

Accidentally In Love (惹上冷殿下, 2018)

accidentally in love

Cast: Fiction Junchen Guo, Yi Ning Sun, Yi Qin Zhao, Mu Xuan Cheng, Li Ma, Mo Zhou

Chen Qing Qing is the daughter of a rich household desperately wanting to avoid an arranged marriage and find love on her own terms. On the day of the wedding, she flees town and heads out to enroll in the same college where her parents studied, hoping to find out more about their death. She changes her appearance and name in an effort to hide her true identity and does her best to blend in with her classmates. Her desk-mate in school turns out to be the famous singer, Si Tu Feng, whom she’s already had multiple run ins with. The two don’t start off on the right foot, quarrelling constantly and causing each other trouble. But could there be more between them? – MyDramaList

Where to find it: Accidentally in Love is a Netflix series.

QUOTES/SCENE

accidentally in love

STORY

Accidentally in Love is a rather formulaic kind of story. It starts off with two characters Situ Feng (Junchen Guo) and Qing Qing (Yi Ning Sun) both running away from their own family obligations and running into each other accidentally which leads to a bigger conflict, connecting them together. It also leads to their dislike of each other and then gradually through time, secretly finding each other’s more shining points as they become friends and gradually find the courage to fall in love with each other despite all the obstacles. In the process, their friendships and crushes and childhood friends and past all come into play as the college is a central location of where the story unfolds.

Chen Qing Qing runs away from her engagement party to enroll in her deceased mom’s college in disguise to keep away from the searching eyes of her grandfather in hopes to find out more about her parents and track down her father, whom she knows nothing about. In the process, she doesn’t want to fall into the planned path without having a chance to see the outside a little more. On the other side, Situ Feng’s story is about his disagreement of his career choice with his father, while also struggling to write and sing the music that he would like to do instead of what his music company wants him to do. For him, its also about proving that he can be himself and still find his success.

The series revolves around expectations versus reality, social status, and the effect of physical appearances. It is a little over the top in parts deliberately and overall, is a fairly fun and comedic little series with a lot of feel-good elements.

LENGTH/PACING

Episodes: 30 episodes
Episode length: 30 minutes (approx.)

Clocking in at 30 episodes with an average of 30 minutes per episode makes this a very quick watch. Its perfect for binging and also keeps it pretty well-paced. There’s almost always something going on whether its another of Qing Qing’s ideas or another of Feng’s little music things or some conflict that occurs because of past misunderstandings or present arguments or fun encounters. The story moves fast and while there are a good number of characters that pop in, it only chooses to focus on a few of them. There aren’t really any true villains but just friends with personal issues trying to stop things from going astray from where they anticipated.

CHARACTERS/CHEMISTRY

If we look at characters, there are some obvious relationships going on here as well as friendships and even some “enemies” are worth look at.

accidentally in love

The first is the obvious couple and the end game for our main leads: Qing Qing and Feng who are so simple and naive in nature, making them such a fun little pair to watch on screen. Both Qing Qing and Feng are naive in their own ways and each have their own little issues to deal with that when they meet, they end making each other better or at least they try to be a better person for each other. Its a natural development in their relationship as well that gives them quite a nice chemistry where its more rivalry at the beginning to finding a way to work together as students and friends and eventually embracing those lovey dovey bits. They are both charming and funny characters that can easily be loved that it makes their story so much more easy to connect to and root for.

accidentally in love

If we talk about the couple I was rooting for, this supporting characters Fang Fang (Mo Zhou) and school badboy Lin Yiyang (Yiqin Zhao) are the ones that change a lot throughout the series and they are the unlikely couple to root for but hinted from the beginning. There’s a Chinese saying which translates to “One thing best/vanquishes another” and its popularly used in relationship when a stronger character also finds that person who is able to “control” their attitude a little. Its not the right wording but it works here where the character with the most change is to both of these supporting characters and they are so fun in their roles as well.

Aside from that, there are other characters. Some of them are in the rivals. The first is the childhood friend of Feng who believes she should be with him and tries everything to get between them and sometimes in a frustrating way, which writes her in a very manipulative but also easily manipulated character that goes to some extremes that I don’t particularly like. At the same time, there are also other smaller supporting roles like Yiyang’s two minions who are wondrously dumb but adds so much humor. Then you have Feng’s agent who also has a so-called dominance but never quite gets there and yet plays up to something rather sarcastically funny as well as he overreacts at times and such.

OVERALL

Accidentally in Love might have a familiar plot concept but where it excels is being able to keep it very light-hearted. It is still a drama, so there are moments of heavier content however, it still lands a lot of the comedic moments. The rivalries here never are too heavy and lined a lot with some silly characters that keeps the tone in a fun territory while the characters all have pretty decent chemistry. The episodes are short enough to keep it paced well and the series itself is also very acceptable amount of episodes. Its deliberately over the top but it all adds to the humor its trying to achieve and most of it lands very well. Its definitely one to check out!

MAIN THEME

 

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TV Binge: Hyperdrive (Season 1, 2019)

Hyperdrive (Season 1, 2019)

Hyperdrive

Hosts: Mike Hill, Michael Bisping, Rutledge Wood, Lindsay Czarniak

Tournament series where drivers from around the world compete on one of the largest automotive obstacle courses ever made. – IMDB

I’ve talked about it over and over again that Netflix really is starting to build itself an empire out of international competition series and I’m loving every bit of it whether its professional cooking like The Final Table or their version of American Ninja Warrior in Ultimate Beastmaster, the next one to join the ranks is a precision driving obstacle course racing competition which was bound to happen at some point and here we are, looking at Hyperdrive. I don’t know a ton about what goes on under the hood of the car but I do love racing video games a ton and this one is like Need For Speed or The Fast and the Furious come to life. The reason why it wasn’t first on my radar until it actually launched was simply that the trailer itself wasn’t that appealing. Fortunately, it fulfilled all my adrenaline boost desires as well as being very entertaining to watch. There are some little issues with it but there’s a lot that is done on point as well.

Hyperdrive

As always, I want to talk a bit about the structure of the competition before diving into what works and doesn’t. Hyperdrive is a 10 episode competition series. The first 4 episodes are the Qualifiers where 12 competitors run the course set for that qualifier. Bottom 3 are eliminated from the competition, Top 3 go straight to the Knockout rounds and the middle 6 move onto the next qualifier to join 6 new competitors to fight for the Top 3 spot to advance. Next 4 episodes are the Knockout rounds where the lucky 12 who made it through from the qualifiers now have to battle it out. The lowest in each knockout round is eliminated right away and the 2nd and 3rd last have to compete against each other to see who stays in for the next round. Each episode has modifications to the previous tracks to make it more and more challenging. It tests speed, precision, skills as well as focus and patience, more and more so as it approaches the finals and the obstacle course increases the amount of obstacles to conquer.

Hyperdrive

Whether we are talking about the international element and the fantastic industrial location that they choose and the structure of the course as well as being able to increase the difficulty every course as the competition moves ahead and even the fairly forgiving structure of the competition, Hyperdrive really does get all those elements right. Every competitor also has their spotlight and their background story of why they are there and how they started driving or drifiting or whatever they are passionate about. As with most car racing and obstacles, the unexpected is the key element here and it lies in every turn (literally and figuratively). Accidents happen and cars break down because the race is done night after night and it strains both the driver and the cars and yet, the anticipation of whether the driver behind the wheel makes it or not is the real adrenaline rush here. Plus some of these obstacles are quite wild and a wild card that can make or break the run. With that said, my issues with Hyperdrive are not huge. Its more on the element that the obstacles probably need to be tested out just a tad more to prevent accidents to happen, luckily things didn’t go too horribly wrong and danger seems to be expected with this sport.

Hyperdrive is a win for me. I’m definitely looking forward to a next season to see some new race cars on the track and some new drivers out there. There’s a lot of hidden talent out there and I’m sure its a competition thats a ton of fun to watch.

 

What’s Up 2019 – Week 33

Tranquil Dreams (41)

Welcome to this week’s What’s Up! Things are slowly getting back on track with probably only gaming still a bit lacking some action. I’ll talk more about it in that section. As for everything else, progress and moderation is the key. Its been quite sporadic on the writing front with a lot of less heavy weeks to just recuperate from July a little. Sometimes, its nice to recharge a little to get back on track stronger especially when I definitely need it. Also, I’m working out another strategy to kind of go back to zero on everything that’s outstanding because that list is now daunting and stressful to look at and let’s say I’m doing a redo and restructure on how to approach things and hopefully with less procrastination, it should be a more efficient way to do things.

READING

Wild Dark Times

Currently reading: Wild Dark Times

Almost three-quarters of the way done with Wild Dark Times now and its a decent book. I have some minor issues with it so far but its still intriguing to say the least especially to see what the end game is going to be.

PLAYING

Not a whole lot is going on on the gaming front in this past week, the main reason is that I’m trying to get the other projects set up before sitting down to do something a little more time consuming, which is gaming because its not something that can be done quickly. However, mobile games round-up post is almost done and scheduled for release to cover the last few months of games while our next game to review on Game Warp Podcast is also decided. In the meantime, we will be posting up an episode leftover from before soon on Anchor so that’s happening. I guess the best thing to share here is my upcoming gaming plans. Whats done will remain done for now because I can’t find the energy to write up the overdue reviews and games played months ago so we’re starting fresh just like Game Warp is currently doing after a few months hiatus.

Games I’ll be taking a look at in the next while: Linelight, Kaiju Big Battel: Fighto Fantasy, to start…more as I decide further what to do next and set a tentative solo gaming and Game Warp gets things back on track.

WATCHING

an inspector calls

  • An Inspector Calls (2015)
  • Somewhere (2010)

Currently watching: A Home With A View (2019)

Trudging through through the Movies and Tea third season so 2010’s Somewhere was seen this past week and as usual, I won’t talk too much about it however on the spectrum of the film, it ranks above Marie Antoinette and comparable to how I feel about Lost in Translation but some little issues. I’ve been somehow spontaneously going through my Hong Kong dark comedies on my Netflix list. Its not a bad thing. An Inspector Calls is based on the English play of the same name while with the same director and some of the cast is A Home With A View, which I haven’t finished yet.

BINGING

I'm So Pretty

  • I’m So Pretty (2019)

Currently binging: We Grew Up, Another Me, Heart Signal 2, Dream Space 2, The Coming One 3

I’m watching a ton of variety or reality shows in general right now. Due to the contestant on The Coming One 3 that I like a lot, I found out that she is part of a TV series which I had brushed past because it didn’t seem like something that I’d like but after knowing that, I went to check out I’m So Pretty. Its a very odd TV series and does parodies of a lot of pop culture and movies and such however in its not taking itself too seriously but still giving it a very different kind of execution and its very short no matter in episode length of how many episodes, its a quick one to get through so here we are. A ton of shows are coming to an end with one episode left: Heart Signal 2, We Grew Up and The Coming One 3 is all ending next week so I’ll be looking for something new afterwards…I have an idea of what but I’ll talk about it next week.

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

TV Binge: Sugar Rush (Season 2, 2019)

Check out the 1st Season of Sugar Rush review HERE.

Sugar Rush (Season 2, 2019)

sugar rush

Host: Hunter March
Judges: Candace Nelson & Adriano Zumbo

A baking competition with 4 teams, 3 rounds, 2 cakes and 1 winner of $10,000. – IMDB

Season 2 of Sugar Rush is here. With a quick 50 mins episode length and 6 episodes for the whole season, Sugar Rush is the perfect type of TV binge. It can be done in a day if you don’t have any other things planned or to do . Just like the previous season and the very on point synopsis on IMDB for the show, this is a professional baking competition which starts with 4 teams who compete in elimination format in 3 rounds to become the final winner of $10,000. Who makes the decision is between the two judges and the guest judge who may or may not be baking saavy but they are eating saavy (meaning they know how to eat and that’s really what is important here since baked goods isn’t only for expert tasting but for normal people too). Some examples of guests this season are Nick and Vanessa Lachey as well as Jacques Torres.

For those who haven’t seen Season 1, here’s a quick little rundown of how the competition is structured. There are 3 rounds to the competition. The first 2 rounds is cupcakes and confections respectively to be completed within 3 hours. Whatever time you save from those three hours adds on to the final cake round which also has 3 hours. The topics for each round is announced as you complete the previous round after the judges taste. The only trick here is that elimination of one team happens after each round as well. What changes in season 2 is two elements. The first is more relevant to the competition structure and that is all round 3 keep going. When Round 2 finishes, the final round topic is given as well as 3 additional hours. In that sense, the clock never stops making it embrace that time element much better and gives less down time where the other team doesn’t stand around waiting for their time to start like in Season 1. The second element is that the judges now all stay in the room while the competition is going on and does commentating which is great compared to the first season where they would leave and come back at the tail end. These little things keeps the process of the competition more engaging.

Other than one or two odd guest choices, Sugar Rush really does a good job in keeping up with the hype of the first season and polishing the structure and concept behind it which works better this time around. It had 2 less episodes from the previous season so its a quick one to binge through. The themes here also are pretty fun from starting with current popular baking trends to more thematic ones like science and love, they choose guests that match their theme while also having focus on both technique and visual appeal. Hopefully, Sugar Rush gets a Season 3 because I’d be down for it.

 

What’s Up 2019 – Week 32

Tranquil Dreams (12)

Another week has gone by and another What’s Up to talk about. Things are definitely looking upwards now as things are being sorted out more. My energy level post-Fantasia is finally getting back to normal but I’m still staying away from too many movies and movie reviews just to get a little change. All the projects are slowly getting back on track gradually…for the most part.

READING

Within

  • Within by Clare C. Marshall

Currently reading: Wild Dark Times

I’m currently 7 books behind on the Goodreads book challenge so reading is going to be a huge priority. With that said, I’m working through both blog tour commitments and other things of the sort right now to clear things off my pending list as well as getting back to some of the more recent purchases that I haven’t gotten around to reading. Reviews for Lifelike and Within are coming up, especially with finishing Within this past weekend. My Goodreads goal still feels like a doable goal right now as long as I keep up the reading momentum.

PLAYING

faraway tropic escape

  • Bonza
  • Faraway: Tropic Escape
  • Toy Story Drop

Still going on my mobile games run. Its still revolving around the same games while trying to see some new games, mostly in preparation for the mobile games roundup segment to be revived. I’m trying to make more time after for some actual games on Steam and Playstation 4.

WATCHING

lost in translation

  • Lost in Translation
  • Escape Room (2019)
  • Marie Antoinette

Suffice to say that Movies and Tea is relatively back on track as we are back to recording the third season and chugging along with Sofia Coppola’s directorial work. The Virgin Suicides is already out to start off the season currently. I’ll keep my thoughts for Lost in Translation and Marie Antoinette for the show and possibly the review that I’ll eventually post on the Movies and Tea blog. As for unrelated films, I’m working through my discounted rentals while I was at Fantasia. The first expiring soon is Escape Room, released earlier this year. Its an alright movie right until it reaches a lackluster ending. My highlight of this week: Lost in Translation.

BINGING

river flows to you

  • River Flows To You

Currently binging: We Grew Up, Heart Signal 2, Another Me, Dream Space 2, The Coming One 3

I took some serious time this weekend to finish up River Flows To You, which turned into a massive cry fest but then its one of those series that I really like a lot because the drama is done well and the leads are two of my faves currently in the Chinese drama thing and this type of story works for them. It has a lot of layers to the different characters and works a bit like Rush to the Dead Summer (review) but really gives it a more positive contrast (and refers to it a lot actually) and gives it a better ending. I feel in some ways, its trying to do justice to that series that was good but had a pretty questionable ending.

As for everything else in progress, some of it is ending soon with The Coming One 3 heading into semi-finals next week and Heart Signal 2 is also heading to its ending as well. I’m probably going to catch up with Another Me as the major focus as I catch up with a ton of TV binges. Expect a lot of them to come up in the coming weeks because its just too much overdue that its weighing on me until I get it all wrapped up and posted.

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

My Weekly Adventures & What’s Up Week 30

Another double Adventures and Whats Up post is among us. I have been very sporadic this month with posts, especially this week and really there isn’t a whole lot to talk about in terms of anything else. Adventures, will go first and then after it is the Whats Up!

Suffice to say that Fantasia Festival is well under way. Between the festival and increasing overload of work and as a result, overtime, its been a crazy and hectic 2 weeks. I won’t dive too much into Fantasia as I usually do a wrap-up post of sorts once everything is done and giving a general feeling about the whole festival. Lets move on to the other little things that happened.

Dinner at Dirty D

The husband and I don’t do a ton of date nights so when Fantasia comes around and we head for movies, its pretty much our date “nights”. We say two afternoon screenings so not exactly nights but we did head out to try out the dive bar Dirty D at Quartier Dix30 for dinner. I will be sharing my thoughts on it soon.

I forgot to mention it last time but we also went to check out Balthazar in the same complex the week before so that will probably have a little review as well.

Battle of Ingredients at Mama Dumplings

Some of the Battle of Ingredients gang are huge dumpling fans like myself so since the actual Battle wasn’t happening, we decided to go to Mama Dumpling. Everyone’s first time except for me. You can check out my post on it HERE.

This time we tried some that I had never tried before. The husband ordered the Wonton Soup and enjoyed it. We had Chicken Curry dumplings and that was pretty good. We also tried a lamb and green onion or something and I wasn’t too huge on it but then in general, lamb isn’t my first choice meat.

Cute Kitty Pic

That’s it for My Weekly Adventures!

Moving on…

This week has been a bit nuts as well. Its still a whole lot of movies so I’ll try to dive more into that side. TV series has been my writing companion though, so I will talk about that as well.

READING

Within

Currently reading: Within

I’m not going to say much on reading. I’ve read probably 5 pages or something since last week because there’s just no spare time for it. Reading will resume when movies take a break after all the Fantasia reviews are done.

PLAYING

dr. mario world

  • Bonza
  • Dr. Mario World (mobile)

Mobile games are my haven when I need a break from writing. Other than Bonza being my fun little moments taking most priority, Dr Mario World recently got its mobile version and I have played a little of that. I have skipped Mobile Games Roundup for Game Warp for two months but its all a time issue so I will get back on it soon.

WATCHING

White Snake

  • The Father’s Shadow (review)
  • Daniel Isn’t Real (review)
  • Koko-di Koko-da (review)
  • White Snake (review)
  • Harpoon
  • Depraved
  • Riot Girls

As we reach the end of Fantasia with only a few days trickling into the next week, its been a decent week. Some average movies but some really big highlights. Its nice because the beginning of the festival was getting me a little worried to be honest about my movie choices. This week also probably marked the most changes I had made because I swapped a few movies, let go of some of them and then added some others in screening room or screeners. With that said, I loved a lot of these ones. Daniel Isn’t Real, White Snake, Harpoon, Riot Girls all really worked for me, probably all in my Top 10 somewhere (funny how I can’t do Top 10s for new releases in any year but Fantasia alone can have one). Why I chose to highlight White Snake is because its really beautiful as a Chinese animation and shows change and somewhere new to watch out for especially if they keep doing movies to share its culture.

BINGING

go fridge 5

  • Go Fridge (Season 5)

Currently binging:

  • Queer Eye (Season 4)
  • Go Go Squid (2019)
  • Love Signal 2
  • Dream Space 2
  • Sugar Rush (Season 2)

Cooking shows or food shows or something are really great companion shows for myself so I went back to finish up Go Fridge Season 5 which I started some time in April or May. It is a fun little show and a ton of laughs and some great looking food. Probably the more important part is the huge currently binging list. A lot of it is near ending and just one episode released and such. Go Go Squid is still the irresistible series for me right now. Full plans on restarting it with full focus, instead of the current multitasking phase to re-experience it.

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

Whats Up – Week 29: Fantasia Takes Me On a World Tour

Tranquil Dreams (39)

Another week has passed by in 2019 and its been a crazy week. For this and next week, I’m going to promise that life is going to revolve a lot around Fantasia. I probably got through one of my more intense weeks as a lot of things contributed to trying to get as many films done as possible. We’ll talk more in depth in the Watching section. Let’s just get to it!

READING

Within

Currently reading: Within by Clare C. Marshall

Between constant movie review writing with any free time I have, reading is a bit slow. I’m only a quarter into Within and so far, I’m liking it quite a bit. Definitely looking forward to get finish this one.

PLAYING

rullo

  • Rullo
  • Bonza

I’m going back to some of the mobile games to clear my mind. Surprisingly, during these moments, what destresses are puzzles and number games. Hence why I’m back to Rullo to do some math. Its probably the contrast  between the writing and the gaming that makes it feel more like I can just let it all go as I get immersed into calculating and working out the logic and such.  The same applies to Bonza, which I play a little less mostly because its a very wordy new style of crossword puzzles.

WATCHING

The Wretched

Hong Kong, Indonesia, South Korea, Spain, USA, Cambodia, South Africa are all the countries that I’ve been through this week’s Fantasia screenings. Talk about travelling the world through movies, right? If you want to see the ratings, you can check out my Letterboxd account HERE.

I haven’t disliked any of the films that I’ve seen to be honest just like them on different degrees and some I acknowledge the flaws but then it really works in their unique way. Its what makes Fantasia so fun to cover. Hands down, the movie that adds a unique twist to an under-explored horror subgenre is The Wretched who had the world premiere at the festival.

BINGING

Go Go Squid

Currently binging: Go Go Squid, The Coming One III, Rivers Flows To You, Love Signal 2, Queer Eye Season 4

You all know that I can’t stay away from Queer Eye when it lands so I have already started Queer Eye Season 4 and am about 3 episodes in or so. However, I’m taking it easy because I also know that its my companion series as I write plus, I truly love binging it. The few episodes that I’ve seen, its still very great so I’ll probably finish that up before Sugar Rush Season 2 lands on Netflix. Plus, while I’d love to say its my series of the week, the obsession for Go Go Squid is legit right now. Its on the way to being Top 3 TV series of this year or at least in terms of Chinese drama. I actually saved up a few days of episodes just so that I can binge a few episodes as a reward after I catch up with the reviews that were backed up on the weekend.

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