New Reincarnation


Reviewed by: sukting

July 18, 2005

Rating: one

How long
30 episodes

Foreword
Can this serial surpass the former ATV hit drama with a new cast? How is the result? I list the names below in Hanyu Pinyin since the serial is in Mandarin.

Story/Introduction on characters

1. Yun Fei Yang - Wu Jing
Frankly speaking, I don't like Wu Jing's portrayal - he makes Fei Yang childish and playful. The swordsman is simple in nature but definitely not immature. The beginning part has Wu fooling around in the mountains. The latter part concentrates on his good luck in mastering 'Tian Can' skill by chance. He is just too ordinary - I can't help feeling disappointed.

I am totally tongue-tied at the terrible hairstyle that the hairstylists have arranged - a very tiny pony pigtail at the end of his short crop hair. Who is this horrible culprit? Moreover, he seems so bored and so easily injured throughout the serial. This is not the swordsman I have in mind. The only consolation is he is very convincing in fighting scenes.

2. Fu Yu Shu - Shen Xiao Hai (He is as Jin Guang in 'A Chinese Ghost Story')
What a change of pace for this character in here. Can you believe it - he gets the chance to learn 'Tian Can Skill' before Fei Yang! He loves Wan Er but she has eyes only for Fei Yang. The original part stays as he slips into Wu Dang to become the sect leader. But the sickening arrangement is he rapes Wan Er! How he does it - he uses poisonous powder to make her powerless and then blocks her acupoints to put her in bed. Then after knowing that she is pregnant, he refuses to marry her!

He learns another skill but being evil, he goes on the wrong track and ends up having shaded hair and has a devilish make-up. This reminds me of how Qi Ye looks in 'A Chinese Ghost Story'. I am so disillusioned with this stupid arrangement. The final showdown with Fu Shu is totally twisted. He tries to run away from Fei Yang after being defeated. He ends up killing his own son when trying to stop him from crying to stop him from revealing his whereabouts.

He regrets over his act - what is the point of winning the world but losing his successor? Fei Yang kills him when he is distracted. Yu Shu isn't as inhumane as made to be as he truly loves Wan Er as in the novel. Poor man to be turned into a totally vicious villain for no reason.

But Shen's acting is as convincing as the despicable Jin Guang in 'A Chinese Ghost Story'. He is elegant looking as the leader although he should have cut down some weight to make his face less round. Why doesn't Wan Er get attracted to him as he shows his 'righteous' side to her all along and they also look compatible as a couple when practicing their skills together? I simply have no answer.

3. Gong Sun Hong - Chen Kai
This is the only saving grace of the drama. Unlike the unattractive man in the old version, he is younger and thinner. He loves Feng but she loves Fei Yang. He is a loyal disciple to prevent Wu Di from killing Man Jun but gets killed instead. But blame the hairstylist again for giving him a terrible punkish fringe. It looks terrible on him.

4. Qing Song - Wu Wei Dong
He is Chong Zhen's leader but also has the secret identity of Fei Yang's father and master. What happens to Qing Song in the old version is fortunately reprised in here so I shall not go into detail. Wu is younger than Cheung Ying. He has the airs of a leader and definitely more convincing as a powerful leader.

5. Du Gu Wu Di - Yang Fan
Another successful choice of a villain. But why have the two tiny plaits by the sides with 4 combs at the back of his head? I don't think Wu Di likes to let people off easily. But this evil leader here can actually negotiate terms with Yu Shu and stops in the midst of a fight. What a joke! He is finally killed by Fei Yang in the end when he is ambushed by Wan Er, Feng, Chong Tian and also Man Jun.

6. Yan Chong Tian - Wang Qun
Doesn't this elder deserve respect although he becomes partly mad because he fails to master 'Tian Can' skill and loses his skills? All members of Chong Zhen sect treat him like dirt except Wan Er and Fei Yang. I am totally astonished when even the juniors talk back at him. Can this really happen? The old version is more realistic and talks about how to respect elders. That should be the proper behaviour.

He loses an eye when Tian Wei chains him in revenge and forces him to write the 'Tian Can' skill manual. He only gives in to give a complete 'altered' version when Tian Wei threatens to blind him completely. But still he loses his sight in the end and nearly dies when he shields Chi Song and Cang Song from being killed. Fei Yang helps him master the 'Tian Can' skill to survive and he does look younger after that.

7. Guan Zhong Liu - Liu Yang
He is as despicable as in the old ATV version but he turns a new leaf here. Quite young and impressive looking but too bad, he looks clumsy with the sword. But later, he changes for the better upon knowing that Yu Shu actually has plans to demolish his clan.

8. Xie Ping - Liu Quan
He is Chong Zhen's disciple who is the only person who cares for Fei Yang.

9. Han Jiang Diao Suo - Li Jun Yang
He is Zhong Liu's pathetic senior uncle who doesn't know how to face their ancestors when the only junior member turns out to be a brat. But he is relieved when he changes his ways and helps him to lead the sect to confront Wu Di. Unfortunately, he is killed in the attack.

10. Fu Tian Wei - Wang De Xian
He is Yu Shu's grandfather who is trapped in Chong Zhen for a long time. Unlike the old version, this man still moves around in a sedan and isn't completely recovered. He has a pitiful fate - he is killed because his beloved grandson grabs the antidote to cure his legs to master a better skill to defeat Fei Yang.

11. Feng - Guan Shun Tian
Surprisingly, he dons white. He should have exchanged his clothes with Yu instead.

12. Lei - Jia Shi Tou
A man who looks like he is electrocuted and is untidy.

13. Yu - Mou Xi Ya
Have you ever seen the rain in red - well - you can find the actress donning this costume here. She should be called fire instead.

14. Dian - Li Ke Long
His outfit is a perfect disaster. Doesn't look like a martial arts expert at all.

15. Bai Shi - Cheng Li Xin
The other person who treats Fei Yang well in Chong Zhen but his life is short after being killed by Yu Shu.

16. Chi Song - Zhang Chun Zhong
He is Fei Yang's senior uncle and also Wan Er's father who sucks up to Qing Shu, hoping that she will marry him to strengthen his position in Chong Zhen. It is not said in the novel that he is her father, though. He becomes a good man after being tortured by Yu Shu.

17. Chang Song - Zhang Ping
Another man who looks devilish and is devilish indeed. But he becomes a good guy after Chong Zhen sect is nearly wiped out by Wu Di clan.

18. Lun Wan Er - Ho Mei Tien
She grows up in Chong Zhen and is well liked by all as the only female disciple. Her father brings her to Chong Zhen as her mother is dead. She loves Fei Yang all along and worries when he gets missing. Fei Yang gets angry when she is violated by Yu Shu but she forbids him from confronting him. She chooses to leave Chong Zhen and feels loved when Fei Yang takes care of her.

After her son is born, both are happy with their quiet life. Fei Yang even rejects the Chong Zhen sect position in order to marry her. She initially rejects him but later agrees to it. On seeing that Yu Shu wants to use her to threaten Fei Yang to destroy his skills, she pushes herself towards Yu Shu's sword to kill herself. Mei Tien is a natural actress and she acts well but too bad this lousy plot doesn't help her at all in here.

19. Du Gu Feng - Li Xiao Zai
She is brought up as Wu Di's daughter but she is Qing Song's daughter. She knows that Hong likes her but tells him that she likes Fei Yang. The similarity to the novel stops here. Why? Her personality is twisted totally. She can dress like a man to come all the way to Chong Zhen just to tell Fei Yang that she likes him. Fei Yang doesn't know how to deal with her except to let her stay at his place and hide her from everyone.

Upon knowing that Fei Yang is injured, she braves through the dangers to come to him and take care of him. She befriends Wan Er and both women treat each other well (In my memory, both have not met on other occasions except the fuss she creates with Hong at Wu Dang in the beginning part of the novel). She even helps her to deal with the other Chong Zhen members when they want to bring Wan Er back but she wants to leave Chong Zhen.

She is the only willing party to be married to Fei Yang but her dreams are dashed when Man Jun tells her that both of them are siblings. You will never believe it - within 2 episodes, she adjusts her feelings to stay to protect Wan Er and her son with Man Jun. She even joins in the attacks against Wu Di and Yu Shu. Knowing that Fei Yang is upset over the deaths, she roams the country with him in the end.

Li's dressing is disastrous. You will shake your head upon seeing how she wears a turban all the time and her costumes all have very thick fur (or layers of ballish looking thick scarves) around the neck. Moreover, she has no airs like a phoenix - she is only a spoilt brat.

20. Shen Man Jun - Cui Hong Hong
The novel has her only spiking back at Qing Song because Wu Di neglects her. But this version has her genuinely loving him. She is anxious when Wu Di traps her to prevent her from stopping the siblings from marrying each other. She manages to tell them the truth but this causes Fei Yang to be seriously injured by Wu Di. She gives him her inner strength and this makes him master 'Tian Can' skill instead. She gets killed when trying to protect Feng from being killed by Wu Di.

This mother is quite trendy to have red strains of dyed hair all over her head.

Most favourite character
None

Most hated character
Almost all because they have done nothing to please anyone.

Song
The theme song is named 'is so beautiful' by Yang Kun. Unfortunately, my mood doesn't fit into the song at all after seeing how the producers 'murdered' my familiar novel characters' personalities.

Conclusion

Someone should do something to prevent irresponsible producers from extracting the skins of famous novels, claiming them to be adaptations but in reality, there is little flesh or bones related to the actual plot. We have seen so many disasters and also complaints from Jin Yong and Wen Rui An. Gu Long didn't seem to mind that much - maybe because many of his novels are not of top quality and are too slow-moving so most adaptations are better than the originals.

But poor Mr Huang Ying can't defend himself to see this disastrous piece of work as he is not longer in the mortal world. How sad - I have enjoyed reading his works all along and I hate to see this happening. Does the producer take pleasure in changing the sect's name from Wu Dang to Chong Zhen? This is ridiculous - do they think that it is like Quan Zhen sect in 'Legend of Condo Heroes'?

The hairstylist tries his hands on a lot of inventions but this makes me sick. Why? He (or she?!) includes small pagodas on the Taoist priests heads and other horrifying dyeing additions on other people's hair. I certainly do not like to see this - it isn't an fantasy drama. It is an adaptation. My brothers have not seen me reacting so 'violently' before - almost cursing the scriptwriter with a dark face in front of the television whenever an episode was aired. I had wanted to give up after 3 episodes but forced myself to watch it in order to write a fair review. What a wrong choice I have made!

It was winter time when the serial was shot but most wore woolen clothes. But that doesn't imply that the make-up unit should give the artistes a poor wardrobe. All wear very dull looking clothes. With no attractive plot, acting, clothes and face, how can it be not be a big disappointment? Please do not watch it if you have the time. You will regret wasting 20 precious hours like I did. Do watch the original ATV version - even the 90s version 'Reincarnation - to compare with the sky's height' - they are so much better than this one with the fighting scenes.

Sukting's ratings :

On acting : * (Scale of 5)

On story : * (Scale of 5)


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