Editor's note: The "First Episode" series to help you watch the drama is here. Is the recently aired drama worth getting into? Good-looking and weird, let’s play together on the weekends.
Maybe some dramas will get better gradually, and some dramas may start high but then slow down, so this article only represents the author's opinion on the first few episodes and is for reference only. If there is any subsequent slap in the face, we will inform you at any time.
"Black and White Code"
First broadcast time: November 16, 2023
Broadcast platform: Tencent Video
I watched 6 episodes in a row without taking a break. To put it simply, it’s great to watch and you’ll be hooked soon.
This drama landed relatively suddenly, and its promotion was very low-key. Director Zhao Junkai has supervised the production of many classic police dramas, such as the "Serious Case Group Six" series, and his skill in content is beyond doubt.
"Black and White Code" Poster
"The Black and White Code" is not a narrative mode that is popular nowadays, where a big event is required to attract attention at the beginning. Instead, it starts with the arrest process of a young police officer, Chu Yihan (played by Wang Ziqi), and brings out the need to arrest. The big case behind the person, as well as the subtle relationship between his mother's identity and the case.
The first six episodes are told in a coherent manner, with almost no wasted plot. Chu Yihan is arrested - Chu Yihan investigates the case - Chu Yihan becomes an undercover agent. I thought that Gu Linna, played by Su Xiaotong, was just a character who had an emotional connection with Chu Yihan, but in fact, Gu Linna was the youngest daughter of the big boss.
There are no romantic dramas yet, everyone is working on their careers. Chu Yihan's process of approaching the big boss on behalf of a criminal was thrilling and thrilling. He was not just playing tricks, he was being suspected every minute and constantly resolving the crisis.
In addition to the wonderful plot, the actors also contributed a lot. The duo of Wang Ziqi and Su Xiaotong is really magical. They really have a sense of destiny and they are so perfect for each other.
Wang Ziqi's acting skills are good, neither flashy nor slow. He was a little impulsive when he was a policeman, and he didn't deliberately change his appearance when he was an undercover agent, but became more ruthless.
Tian Yu's participation gave the whole play a more relaxed feel and eased the tense rhythm. Especially the interrogation of Long Qi was calm and convincing. It is worth mentioning that the supporting characters in the play are also well acted, which adds to the drama.
Of course, I can't say how high-end this drama is, but I haven't seen such a smooth, natural and engaging domestic police drama in a long time, and the cultural scenery of the northwest is also very unique. Looking forward to the follow-up plot, don't let it end unfinished.
First broadcast time: November 17, 2023
Broadcast platform: Youku
Charmaine Sheh is not only the news queen in the drama, but she can still hold up the title of the number one sister in Hong Kong dramas. "News Queen" claims to be a modern version of "The Palace Plan", but in fact it is a struggle between office forces. Since the host system of the TV station is relatively complex, various forces naturally emerged. This may be the best TVB drama I have watched this year.
"News Queen" poster
The whole drama has a strong sense of rhythm, conflicts, catch-ups, reversals, strong plots, and the plots are interlocking. What makes it interesting is that the most important thing is that these conflict plots are not fabricated casually, but through news again and again. Derived from events, different positions represent one point of view. There is no right or wrong, just different positions and opinions. It shows that the screenwriter's understanding of the news industry is not just casual.
For example, how should a news organization report on a mentally ill uncle? Should it report the scene truthfully, or capture the most eye-catching scenes? Do you use words like guns to attract traffic, or insist on talking about items that appear to be guns? Should you take care of the sponsor's emotions, or should you insist on telling the truth about domestic violence? To be honest, in the face of the current impact of new media, as practitioners, we often have trouble choosing how to deal with it. The screenwriters have gone deep into the industry and used their brains to bring out the characteristics of Hong Kong professional dramas.
The struggle itself and the characters are also wonderfully written. Female characters have their own characteristics and have different routes and methods in the workplace. Many times, people are not black and white, and everyone has their own considerations in gray areas.
Interestingly, the series does not avoid the issue of men and women. Liang Jingren (played by Ma Guoming) is a naked male alliance. Whether it is fighting or facing sponsors, it intentionally or unintentionally shows the different situations of men and women in the workplace.
"Time flies like fire"
First broadcast time: November 17, 2023
Broadcast platform: Youku
This show... is hard to review. The series started with nostalgic and retro memories of old Beijing. I thought it was another ordinary period drama. Han Dongjun, Jia Hongxiao, etc. were wearing bell-bottom pants and had shawl hair. They were gay sluts of that era. Nothing happened. We just hang out together, fight, and gossip.
But as I looked at it... something wasn't right. Gai Liuzi encountered a kidnapping case. Out of the young man's desire to be a hero, he helped rescue the kidnapped young master Zhong Yunan (played by Zhang Youhao). The process was thrilling and involved numerous fights, and he finally succeeded in sending the young master back home.
"Time Like Fire" poster
After watching more than a dozen episodes and looking back, I found that in fact, from here on, the plot has just started to get on track. Because this kidnapping case involved the struggle between the underworld forces in Beijing at that time, the plot began to revolve around the grievances and resentments of that generation: He Erqing, one of the original local gangsters, was released from prison and returned to Beijing, causing chaos throughout the city. All kinds of bloody and violent scenes are avoided, and it doesn't feel like playing house in a period drama at all.
Wen Muye's supervision gave the whole drama a cinematic feel, especially the scene where the bosses are meeting, which is completely reminiscent of the mainland version of "Underworld", and the soundtrack is also very Hong Kong film.
Screenshot of "Time Like Fire"
I have to say that the actor Liu Yang who plays He Erqing is very good. His performance makes the role of He Erqing very textured. It doesn't feel like acting at all. He just looks like a real gangster. He is ruthless and doesn't talk much. His wretched temperament reveals that he is not necessary. The horror of life.
But perhaps because of the difference between the audiences of TV series and movies, the series has a sense of division. Once the scenes of young people are filmed, the series will start to polish the skin and use bright white light. The plot is a bit boring and exaggerated. Once the scenes of the previous generation are filmed, the real For the scenes involving the underworld, the lighting has a cinematic quality, the camerawork is very particular, and the plot is worthy of consideration.
That's why it's hard to comment, it looks good from time to time. I'm not sure why, but overall, it's pretty good. When He Erqing appears in the third episode, the series becomes interesting.