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Thread: After 36 years, taking the SPW '84 plunge beginning Monday, 10/19/2020

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng View Post
    I did NOT know that. My knowledge of Chinese geography is poor at best, but it doesn't surprise me. Jin Yong is known to occasionally invent islands (Peach Blossom, Ice Fire, and Spirited Snake) that don't exist, but as far as I know, he has never invented a MOUNTAIN that doesn't exist.
    White camel mountain perhaps? No-one seems to know if it is real or not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng View Post
    Should they be called the "Blue City Sect?" It scans weirdly in English, but I think it's meaning-accurate.
    Probably just 'Qingcheng sect'? After all, we don't call Shaolin the 'Young forest sect', or Wudang the 'martial proper' sect.

  2. #22
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    Well, I've finally gotten as far as I got in 1984, and with this episode, the series *finally* seems to have found its focus and remembered that it's supposed to be about Ling Wu Chung (this is the first episode that was truly mostly focused on him). It's still introducing too many characters at once for me (I can't keep track of the Five Mountains Federation groups; it reminds me of the 15-vehicle version of VOLTRON that had 15 pilots), but at least we finally seem to have a coherent story now.

  3. #23
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    I noticed that in the series, Ling Wu Chung carries a distinct-looking sword (or at least CYF was given a distinct prop sword): it has a golden-colored blade (unlike the typical silver ones) and there appears to be some kind of distinct design on the blade itself. Moreover, after Ling Wu Chung lost the weapon following his duel against Tian Bak Gwong at the restaurant, the other members of the Five Mountains Sword Federation recognized the weapon to be his after they recovered it and brought it to the retirement ceremony of Lau Jing Fung. Does LWC actually carry a distinctive sword that people can easily recognize to be his personal weapon?

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Kwok View Post
    White camel mountain perhaps? No-one seems to know if it is real or not.

    Probably just 'Qingcheng sect'? After all, we don't call Shaolin the 'Young forest sect', or Wudang the 'martial proper' sect.
    But we also use Sun-Moon Cult and Ancient Tomb and Beggar Sect etc, its quite a pain when doing wuxia translations because some names are unwieldy in English or Pinyin.
    Its BIxie Jianfa Gawdammit you guys!!!!

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng View Post
    Agreed. SPW '84, at least in the first few episodes, feels like it was screenwritten by committee...or at least by an individual suffering from serious ADD. A few characters would be developed and the rudiments of a plotline would established, and then BOOM! Without warning: completely unrelated ten minute cameo by Ling Wu Chung.



    Part 1 of LOCH '82 was egregious about this: it took ten episodes (spanning months of narrative time) to resolve the Yeung Teet Sum/Pau Sik Yerk situation, which I'm told happened in just one evening in the novel.



    I did NOT know that. My knowledge of Chinese geography is poor at best, but it doesn't surprise me. Jin Yong is known to occasionally invent islands (Peach Blossom, Ice Fire, and Spirited Snake) that don't exist, but as far as I know, he has never invented a MOUNTAIN that doesn't exist.

    Should they be called the "Blue City Sect?" It scans weirdly in English, but I think it's meaning-accurate.
    Apparently there actually is a Peach Blossom Island in China: http://www.cits.net/china-travel-gui...om-island.html

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    Why on earth did they decide to make Yilin and the other members of the Northern Hengshan sect into Taoist priestesses in SPW 1984?!? They should be Buddhist nuns. There seems to be no point to this change at all...

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Kwok View Post
    Why on earth did they decide to make Yilin and the other members of the Northern Hengshan sect into Taoist priestesses in SPW 1984?!? They should be Buddhist nuns. There seems to be no point to this change at all...
    Probably the same reason that the Ngor Mei Sect members in HSDS '86 were styled as Taoists rather than Buddhists: the actresses were loath to shave their heads for the roles.

  8. #28
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    Might not be any plunging tonight. Internet has been down for several hours.

  9. #29
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    Internet came back in time tonight for me to plunge into Episode 6 after all.

    I have NEVER watched a wuxia series so reluctant to focus on its own main character. Once again, Ling Wu Chung barely appeared in this episode (though other characters talked about him quite a bit), and for the one or two minutes he *did* show up, he was unconscious and/or delirious.

    More characters are being introduced. I'm going to need a scorecard to keep track of everybody. Sheesh. I know that DGSD, LOCH, and HSDS had just as many characters, but those characters left an impression and I had no trouble remembering them or keeping them straight (though I routinely flunk the names of the two Dali guardsmen in DGSD who aren't Chu or Koo and I have trouble with the names of the two Yeun Ming Elders). For some reason, most of the characters in SPW have been a blur to me so far.

  10. #30
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    As a fighter, Tian Bak Gwong has impressed me since he made his first appearance last week. I know he's not supposed to be among the true elites of SPW, but he hasn't lost a fight yet, and he wins with style. I know the guy commits heinous sex crimes, but somehow, it's difficult to dislike him.

  11. #31
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    So...Episode 7.

    More of the same! Fifteen minutes of Ling Wu Chung (who has been injured for three episodes and counting), then the story abruptly veers away from him to the Sun Moon Cult, whom we haven't heard from for over a week. What's up with the continuity and pacing of this show anyway?

    The Kuk Yeung/Lau Jing Fung thing seems to be coming to a head. This is the slowest of slow burns, and I do wonder: what the heck does the song they're composing have to do with martial arts and wulin anyway?

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng View Post
    I know the guy commits heinous sex crimes, but somehow, it's difficult to dislike him.
    This is what I call (for want of a better term), the 'media/melodrama effect'.

    Objectively, TBG can be the exact same guy, but if his rapes are committed off-screen and on nameless characters, readers/viewers are numbed to it. Lets say his rapes were instead committed 'on screen' and on RYY, Ning Zhongze and Yilin. What changed in his character? Nothing? He is still the same TBG but readers/viewers would be viewing him very very differently.

    Its like how people in the 1st world go about their day as usual when thousands are suffering but put 1 sob story on social media and the same people go awwwh, how sad, donate donate donate.
    Its BIxie Jianfa Gawdammit you guys!!!!

  13. #33
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    Episode 8, and the various threads laid down in the previous episodes are FINALLY coalescing into a discernible story: the Sun Moon Cult affairs, the thing with Kuk Yeung and Lau Jing Fung, the Five Mountains Sword Federation, and Ling Wu Chung's story are finally gelling into a coherent narrative.

    Notes:

    Once again, Ling Wu Chung sometimes seems to be a side character in his own story, but I sense this might be ending soon. Definitely quite a hero: he wanted to intervene to save Lau Jing Fung and his family (even though his chances were slim and none of making any difference), but was stopped and likely saved by Kuk Fei Yin.

    Ngok But Kwun is quite a judgmental bastard, isn't he? The man can't seem to go five minutes without passing judgment on someone, whether it's one of his own Mt. Hua Sword Sect disciples or his fellow Five Mountains Sword Federation members. Alas, it appears to be a common flaw...we all know at least a few such individuals.

    While Ngok But Kwun might be SPW's most notorious hypocrite, he's hardly alone...Tzor Lang Sim, Yu Chong Hoi, and the rest don't seem to be much better. SPW's "righteous" orthodox sects seem to echo HSDS's.

    Back in the 80s, I thought I detected a certain homoerotic vibe between Kuk Yeung and Lau Jing Fung. This time around, I didn't detect that vibe quite so strongly. Their ending was quite tragic, and the series...had a rather interesting way of bringing it to the end (Disintegration? This is wuxia, not STAR TREK!).

    Kind of wonder what Ling Wu Chung is going to do with the notation for the song. As far as I can gather, it's music, not a martial arts manual, and Ling Wu Chung is not a musician.

  14. #34
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    SPW is, in many ways, the most "Gu Long"-feeling of Jin Yong's stories. SPW doesn't seem to have that much in common with DGSD or THE CONDOR HEROES TRILOGY, but it does give something of a Gu Long vibe. Heck, if you minus the tendency to rape, Tian Bak Gwong is almost like a Luk Siu Fung proxy (I know, I know...Jin Yong wrote SPW years before Gu Long wrote LSF, so it might be the other way around).

    Speaking of proxies, Kuk Yeung and his granddaughter Kuk Fei Yin gave me a vibe very similar to Old Man Sheun and Sheun Siu Hung from the DAGGER LEE series. I wonder if Gu Long based Old Man Sheun and Sheun Siu Hung on the two SPW characters.

  15. #35
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    Episode 9 postmortem:

    A fairly prosaic episode, but thankfully straightforward, and the series is finally beginning to focus on Ling Wu Chung as the main character (it's about freaking TIME, thank goodness).

    Lam Ping Tze seems a bit on the neurotic side. Ling Wu Chung has started his basic training in Mt. Hua Sect martial arts, but finds all kinds of flaws in Lam's fundamentals.

    Something is at foot with the Sun Moon Cult. Heung Mun Teen made his first appearance in quite a long while. I'd nearly forgotten about him.

  16. #36
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    Episode 10 tonight was packed with new developments.

    Ling Wu Chung and Yam Ying Ying meet for the first time. She abducted him while he was piss drunk, however, so he wasn't very helpful to her in achieving her objective of finding out more about Kuk Yeung and Lau Jing Fung's composition.

    Lam Ping Tze is proving to be a chemistry breaker with the Mt. Hua Sect crew of disciples. It's not that Lam is doing anything wrong or bad, but somehow, his presence is creating chemistry problems among the previously tight-knit crew of Mt. Hua disciples. Those kids grew up together, so they had their own unique chemistry. Adding a stranger into their midst wrecks it. Right now, Lam Ping Tze is being "Yoko Ono" to their "Beatles." Will Lam break up the band?

    First mention of Fung Ching Yeung, though we haven't seen him yet.

  17. #37
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    Episode 11 thoughts:

    The centerpiece of tonight's episode was the first (and possibly last) appearance of Fung Ching Yeung. Lau Kong was a younger actor than I was expecting TVB to cast for the role, but OK...I'll roll with it. Things happened quite quickly. I expected that Fung Ching Yeung training Ling Wu Chung in the Dook Goo 9 Swords was going to play out over multiple episodes, but nope: looks like it was all dealt with in something like 10 minutes of showtime.

    The other big thing was the introduction of the No Commandments Monk.

    Tian Bak Gwong and Ling Wu Chung have quite an interesting friendship. My favorite parts of this series so far are the scenes when these two characters are together.

    And speaking of Tian Bak Gwong, he's the character you hate to like. You're conscious that you aren't SUPPOSED to like him because he's a sex offender, but damn it...the dude's personality is eminently likable. He is very honorable and respectable in many ways, but there's that nagging awareness that he's also a perv.

    This series continues to have problems with continuity and pacing, with transitions between Ling Wu Chung's scenes and scenes focusing on other characters being extremely abrupt. I fault the director for this. I don't know whom the director of this particular series was, but I know it's not Wong Teen Lam (LOCH '82 and HSDS '86) or the guy who directed ROCH '83. Those two gents were good at keeping a linear story going, but this director...his style is a bit ADD. Still, things have gotten gradually better since the early episodes.

  18. #38
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    Episode 12:

    Introduction of the Six Peach Fairies: these guys are powerful, but quite a group of weirdos. They make the Golden Wheel Monk's grandstudents the Tibetan Five Uglies seem reserved and conservative by comparison. Their thing seems to be catching people by the limbs in their ribbons and spinning them like pinwheels. That's a rather...unique way of attacking, to say the least.

    Ling Wu Chung was injured again. Fortunately, thanks to the intervention of the No Commandments Monk, he seemed to recover by the end of the episode.

    Again, the highlight is when Ling Wu Chung and Tian Bak Gwong share screentime. This series is most fun when these two guys are together, and darn it, I wish I didn't have to continually acknowledge that TBG is a sex criminal because he's such a likable chap.

  19. #39
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    One thing about SPW is that it's much harder to track how all the characters' martial arts levels stack up compared to other Jin Yong wuxia stories. Within one viewing of DGSD '81, LOCH '82, ROCH '83, and HSDS '86, it was pretty easy to figure out the pecking order of martial arts skills among the characters. With SPW, all I know for sure is that Dung Fong But Bai is # 1, and it's a tossup from there on down.

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng View Post
    One thing about SPW is that it's much harder to track how all the characters' martial arts levels stack up compared to other Jin Yong wuxia stories. Within one viewing of DGSD '81, LOCH '82, ROCH '83, and HSDS '86, it was pretty easy to figure out the pecking order of martial arts skills among the characters. With SPW, all I know for sure is that Dung Fong But Bai is # 1, and it's a tossup from there on down.
    I thought Feng Qing Yang & Lin Yuan Tu would be #2 & #3

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