Lol, I guess I got a different impression when I read LOCH. (Admittedly, I've only read the unabridged novel and seen clips of a few of other LOCH's, so I'm coming into this LOCH pretty fresh and without previous bias from other LOCH series). Also, I don't understand Mandarin, so I'm watching the raws without much of a clue what they're saying *sigh*
I'm really loving the series so far (starting Ep. 9 right now). I can see how the beginning would be confusing for some people who didn't read the novel (I didn't really like the first half of the first eppy... found it a bit boring until the 7 Freaks and Qiu Chuji's fight).
Huang Rong: I love Ariel as Huang Rong. She's brilliant, kick-butt, beautiful, clever/witty and cheeky. Her eyes alone express so much. I actually was kind of worried seeing the previews, but seeing her in the series alleviated those fears. She's exactly what I imagined Rong'er to be like when I read the novel
I'm so happy!
Guo Jing: Hu Ge is adorable as Jing'er. He's more naive than purely dumb. Yeah, he's a bit slow, but he's not a numbskull. I like how Guo Jing is more human in this version, too, as someone in another forum mentioned. He's not just a perfect guy who never complains about anything... he's actually *gasp* human!!
Yuan Hong does indeed steal the spotlight... he just lights up the screen. I was worried about it seeing the previews (love Yuan Hong, but Guo Jing is still supposed to be the main character), and it's true. Although I think the director took the development of Kang'er's story a little too far (made his character too prominent... although Yuan Hong's acting shines in itself, too), I do like that Yang Kang is more human in this version. It always annoyed me that his character was so bad in the novel. It's not so simple as people are good and bad. Everyone struggles. So, I like that they portrayed his struggle more vividly.
Liu Shi Shi was lovely as Mu Nianci, and her practice and being a ballerina in real life really helped her look graceful/good for the fighting scenes. Her acting's really improved, too. I love how fiesty her character can be.
Jing Ge Ge and Rong'er: So far, I think they're really cute, but I don't think their chemistry has been developed that much at the point I'm at in the story, which is a shame. I hope there's more development of their relationship as the story goes on, because ehm, it's kind of important to the story, hehe.
Yang Kang and Mu Nianci: They're really sweet and angsty, and they're always fighting and making up, which I guess is what makes them so interesting to watch. It's like "I want to hit you!", and moments later "I want to kiss you," lol.
Ouyang Ke: I love his interactions with Rong'er, but he could be a bit more expressive at times.
Other characters: I pretty much like everyone they picked for the other roles so far. I thought the Yang Tiexin/Bao Xiruo story was bittersweet and touching as well.
Overall, love this LOCH so far - even with all of the detail changes, the characters are brought to life in a way that remains true to Jin Yong's novel (with the exception of Yang Kang - a change with I think is good in concept, but a little overdone in terms of the importance of his character in this case). This LOCH definitely has the power to move people.
, lol, umm, maybe it's a good thing I can't understand parts of the dialogue
I did like when Yang Kang got jealous of Guo Jing and Mu Nianci hanging out together, though, and he said something about "a flower on cow dung" referring to Mu Nianci and Guo Jing, respectively. Ouyang Ke was laughing and teasing Yang Kang about it, but when he saw Rong'er emerge and tease Guo Jing, his face got serious, and he said "You said it right." Hehe, that part was funny/cute. Loved Rong'er's "come hither" look and gesture as well to Ouyang Ke (and his flustered reaction). (Thanks to btzigane
for helping me translate that brief scene!)
Hrm, I just thought about it, and while in the modern sense, to us, those quotes seem "gay," it's not really true when you think about Guo Jing's character. He's very much a people pleaser, and honor and family are very important to him. Both come into play when it comes to Yang Kang, because his deceased father and Yang Tiexin pledged him and Yang Kang as brothers since before they were born. So, of course, his honor and family come before Huang Rong, just like his pledge to marry Hua Zheng comes before his love for Huang Rong. Aiyoh, though, Guo Jing is sort of a numbskull. How can Rong'er be third in his heart?!!
Anyway, considering that Yang Kang is very well-bred, and yes, has some "feminine" characteristics and is even kind of prissy, and Guo Jing is well, a country boy, Yang Kang would of course find Guo Jing very uncouth, so Jing'er was basically asking Rong'er to teach him manners of a well-bred person like herself, so Yang Kang wouldn't be totally disgusted by him as a brother. It's a very Guo Jing thing to do if you think about it
Also, I can just imagine slimy Yang Kang saying something like "If you liked me more..." Even if he's better in this version, he's still a snake lying in wait to strike someone as naive as Guo Jing. (Then again, I haven't seen the scene, except for that clip in the preview of them dancing around and falling on the ground and grabbing each other's arms... that part *was* actually pretty funny. I wonder that the director didn't notice how silly that part looked. Oh well, I'll comment more when I see that part).