Posts Tagged ‘Dong Ao Yan’

Painted Skin or Hua Pi (2011) — episodes 28 to 34 (the end)

October 30, 2011 Leave a comment

Well, as in all “well-written” scripts where the aim is to draw out a thin story to infinity and beyond, Pang Yong (Li Zong Han) arrives too late and the vital witness is struck down by the lizard demon Xiao Yi Yi (Dong Ao Yan). Now we get into further boredom as Xia Bing (Wu Ying Jie) is allowed to test out the vixen Xiao Wei (Fiona Sit). They visually inspect her for blemishes that would prove her a demon and then try to starve her of hearts so that her skin will fall off. Our vixen smiles serenely throughout, admitting to having lied about her background because she was ashamed of her poor parents. All the young single men think this lets her off the hook and ogle her lasciviously. In any event, the lizard goes out and takes another heart so the vixen is proved innocent in the eyes of the prejudiced men. Defeated, Xia Bing leaves the city (for two days). Fortunately, Pang Yong misses her. It’s always a good sign with the couple that fights fears the silence. Now the lizard insists the vixen treats the eyes of the blind Susu (Xinzhi Lei), so he picks up three pairs and gives the vixen the choice of which to insert.

Xiao Wei (Fiona Sit) showing her human and vulnerable side

Susu wakes up in the usual cave with 20×20 vision, but has no idea what Big Foot — the name she gave to Xiao Yi Yi — looks like. She goes to Pei Rong (Chen Yi Rong) for help. Big Foot did give her a name but, when Pei Rong investigates, this man died four years ago. Using his cloak of invisibility, the lizard watches in despair since he fears Susu’s reaction if he manifests in his lizardiness. The forces of law and order led by Wang Sheng (Ling Xiao Su) also suspect Susu’s involvement because why else would someone steal eyes if not to help a blind girl see. This subplot does have some life about it and Pang Yong remains highly watchable, but the core element of Wang Sheng, Pei Rong and the vixen has become tedious to the point of being almost unwatchable.

At last, there’s an interesting development. It turns out Papa Rong was only pretending to be nuts. He was actually making a special device that would signal when rain was coming and how long it would last. Damn clever these early Chinese scientist types. We could do with that today. No-one would ever be caught outside the house without an umbrella. Why have this device, you ask. Because he’s worked out our lizard hates the rain. Damned observant, what?! Well, once the vixen tumbles to this little deception, she’s quick to fake a suicide to get rid of the old guy before he comes up with the parallel device to actually make rain.

Pang Yong (Li Zong Han) and the lizard Xiao Yi Yi (Dong Ao Yan) discuss the weather

Now we have half the remaining police and army trailing around the town and countryside watching Susu which is not the most entertaining television. From time to time, our lizard thinks about appearing but is afraid of Susu’s reaction, so he focuses all his energy on changing himself into a human. After great effort, he manages it and Susu gets her first sight of the “man”. Having previously fought with this “man” and lost, the combined forces decide to wait for rain before taking him on again. Remarkably, Wang Sheng finds the rain predictor so they have an ace in the hole. Except not everything is smooth sailing for the lizard when Susu discovers she’s courting a murderous demon. He’s devastated and promises to give up the murderous bit and take her away from it all. The vixen is deeply jealous of this love but does nothing to interfere. Susu makes a run for a meeting with her demon lover and Xia Bing is in pursuit.

Wang Sheng (Ling Xiao Su) and Pei Rong (Chen Yi Rong) acting as husband and wife

The meeting is forestalled as the vixen intercepts the lizard on his way to Susu and blackmails him into stealing another heart for her. This leaves Susu stood up and, when asked by Wang Sheng, she agrees to lure her demon lover into a trap. This fails despite the delightful deployment of an early water canon, but the lizard is injured and Susu dies. This threatens to break the relationship between the two demons and the lizard plants evidence implicating the vixen. In a desperate move, the vixen asks Wang Sheng if she can be his concubine. He’s shocked (funny how he never saw that coming) and rejects her, affirming there can only be one Mrs Wang. Now the gloves (and the skin come off) with Pei Rong. The demon says many will die unless she gets her way, so Pei Rong agrees to become a demon and take all the blame. She drinks the magic potion, develops a pasty complexion and grows the ears to match.

Xia Bing (Wu Ying Jie) trying to get her act together as an exorcist

To drive her out into the open, our vixen kills one of the guards and threatens more deaths. This has the desired effect and Pei Rong staggers out into the town, expecting to be cut down. Fortunately, Pang Yong picks her up and carries her off while Xia Bing throws on a quick disguise and leads the towns folk in the opposite direction. Later, all the interested parties meet up in the usual cave. With the vixen looking on, Wang Sheng throws himself at Pei Rong’s feet and says he doesn’t care she’s become a demon. He’ll always love her. Pei Rong looks at the vixen and then commits suicide. Well, this inspires Pang Yong to strike a blow with his guan dao that should have cut Xiao Wei in half. When everyone recovers from the surprise at seeing his blade bounce off, our vixen strikes out at the massed troops and police officers, killing them all. The lizard demon materialises and offers Pang Yong a few pointers. This leaves Xia Bing to finally capture the knack of anointing her sword with her own blood. She stabs the vixen and slows her down. A timeout is called and she offers Wang Sheng a deal. She will resurrect Pei Rong if our hero dies. Without blinking, Wang Sheng fall on his sword. This surprises the vixen. It seemed not to occur to her that Wang Sheng would sacrifice himself to bring back his wife. In a complicated move, Pang Yong also dies which just leaves the two demons and Xia Bing to decide what’s to happen.

The vixen now claims to understand the nature of love so surrenders most of her energy to revive everyone. She and the lizard retreat to the lake. In due course, the inevitable principals meet for the final time. Xiao Wei apologies to Xiao Yi Yi for not being honest in reporting Susu’s final words of love for Big Foot, no matter what he looked like. Overcome with emotion at his lost love, the lizard jumps into the lake and dissolves into the afterworld. Xiao Wei then speaks to both her sisters. She tells Pei Rong to stand by her man (fortunately, we don’t have Tammy Wynette’s vocal) and Xia Bing to do right by Pang Yong. By this time, there isn’t a dry eye in China as true love overflows from the lake. Then Xia Bing uses her grandfather’s sword and kills the vixen. In the final shots, domestic bliss restored to the Wang household while our two adventurers set off on the road to killing more demons. In a final touch of drama, the exorcist and her mate stop for some tea and tell their story to Pu Songling. History says they finished before he died of old age, but only just.

Painted Skin or Hua Pi (2011) — episodes 1 to 11

Painted Skin or Hua Pi (2011) — episodes 12 to 19

Painted Skin or Hua Pi (2011) — episodes 20 to 27

Painted Skin or Hua Pi (2011) — episodes 28 to 34 (the end)

Painted Skin or Hua Pi (2011) — episodes 20 to 27

October 24, 2011 Leave a comment

On refection, I think our vixen Xiao Wei (Fiona Sit) deliberately revealed herself to Pei Rong (Chen Yi Rong) to provoke her into outbursts of accusation no-one would believe. After all, everyone knows demons are ugly. How could anyone as beautiful and refined as the vixen be a demon? It’s so completely unbelievable even if you believe in demons. Living with LinLin, Pei Rong has a peaceful life but, when LinLin so obviously sides with her sister against the vixen, the lizard demon Xiao Yi Yi (Dong Ao Yan) is sent to kill her. This is a desperate blow. Everyone is upset but when Pei Rong so publicly accuses the vixen, it’s revealed she has an ironclad alibi. Now the world thinks Pei Rong is crazy. When the vixen seems to be making friends with her parents, Pei Rong is further provoked, but her father wisely advises her not to be so obvious unless and until she has evidence. Under her father guidance, Pei Rong apologises to the world and goes back home. Wang Sheng (Ling Xiao Su) comes back to her side in relief there’s been a cure. The vixen is less than pleased.

Pang Yong (Li Zong Han) compulsively watchable even when drunk

Now we have the development, we’ve all been waiting for. This triangle has become boring and, finally, Pei Rong writes a letter to call Pang Yong (Li Zong Han) back to the city. How she knows where to find him is not something we need to be worried about. In a masterstroke designed to revive our interest to the maximum, the scriptwriters finish their coffee break and summon Xia Bing (Wu Ying Jie) into the city. With casually violent incompetence, she teams up with Pang Yong who spends most of his time in a drunken stupor. He’s either shamming or has become a full-blown alcoholic. Obviously he needs a good woman to save him.

His first step back to sobriety is to believe Pei Rong is threatened by the vixen. He may be an unbeliever on the demon front, but he’s terminally loyal. On New Year’s Day, Papa Rong is revealed as a case of Alzheimer’s. As he wonders the countryside, he comes across Pang Yong. Independently, the vixen is doing her butter-wouldn’t-melt-in-my-mouth act and is also using her powers to find the father. This gives Pang Yong and the vixen the chance to exchange a few verbal pointers. Pang Yong makes it clear he will not tolerate anyone trying to break up the happy couple.

Xia Bing (Wu Ying Jie) an annoying and, so far, incompetent exorcist

To test him out, the lizard attacks Pang Yong while drunk and finds him formidable. The exorcist has left a demon trap in the same room. This wounds the lizard and he runs off. Pleasingly, he now meets Susu (Xinzhi Lei), a blind girl. Ah, romance is in the air as she names him Big Foot and makes shoes out of processed straw for him to wear. Meanwhile, the exorcist has recognised Xiao Wei and attacks her in her bedroom. This does not go down well with Wang Sheng who has her arrested and carted off to jail. In her exchanges with the lizard demon, it’s apparent the vixen is not making much progress in understanding what human love is. She can contrast the difference between her own feelings for Long Yun (Qi Yu Wu) and, now, Wang Seng, but she’s lost when she sees the relationships between Wang Sheng and Pei Rong and Pei Rong’s parents. She also deceives herself that her own frustrated attraction to Wang Sheng is the same as Pang Wong’s feelings for Pei Rong. She’s obviously still not connecting up the dots on the real meaning of human love.

The vixen (Fiona Sit) and Pei Rong (Chen Yi Rong) pose as if friends

Pei Rong uses the chef to enable Xia Bing to break out of prison. Our exorcist is now on the run, but teams up with Pang Yong to investigate the string of murders. This has brought the serial back to life. Pang Yong proves himself an able investigator even though an alcoholic. He wanders round the past, examining the accounts of how the different murders took place, he goes to view the scenes of crime and builds up a profile of the killer as a skilled martial arts expert who is a master of the lizard style of fighting. Xia Bing parallels him, explaining how this is a lizard demon. Because Pei Rong interfered, Xiao Wei has her tame lizard kill the chef but, interestingly, the shoes the blind girl made are shedding bits of dried straw. Our Big Foot lizard is leaving clues wherever he goes.

Ling Xiao Su as Wang Sheng is the most boring hero of all time. How anyone can love him is beyond me. Not only is he undemonstrative. He’s not very intelligent either. Li Zong Han is wonderful on screen as Pang Yong. Drunk or sober, he demonstrates real charisma and, in his emerging relationship with Xia Bing, gets to make us smile. In this, Wu Ying Jie as Xia Bing is genuinely annoying and, it seems, unable to master her exorcist’s bloodline to become effective. Nevertheless, she’s the grit in the most recent episodes to lift our interest and make Li Zong Han an even better pearl.

Susu (Xinzhi Lei) the tragic blind girl with the heart of gold

Pei Rong grows increasingly worried by Pang Yong’s alcoholism, but nevertheless invites him to her father’s birthday celebration. Meanwhile Xia Bing and the local wannabe fortune teller read her grandfather’s notes and find a suggestion they can tell the difference between a human and a demon by their shit — the food may be the same but the results differ. They decide to put a laxative in the wine at the birthday party. This has great comic potential. The party itself shows Papa Rong drifting ever deeper into Alzheimer’s. Naturally he forgets his own daughter and thinks the vixen is his daughter married to Wang Sheng. At least Pang Yong is sober enough to see the vixen is deeply jealous of Pei Rong before he wanders off to the kitchen and drinks down what’s left of the dosed wine. Now as the banquet speeches for the toast come to an end, the rest of the guests sip their drinks and notice the strange taste. After the drunken Pang Yong berates Wang Sheng for being a useless husband, his bowels react. Unfortunately all comic possibilities are wasted. Pei Rong is so distressed, she persuades Xia Bing to start a campaign to sober up Pang Yong. Fortunately, she succeeds so he’s able to fight off the lizard demon when the poor beast blunders into one of the traps. Xia Bing then declares Pang Yong to be one of the Able Ones — talented fighters who can assist exorcists to subdue demons. The wounded lizard goes to Susu who binds up his wounds and serves him food. Perhaps real love is blossoming there.

Xiao Yi Yi (Dong Ao Yan) looking lizardy

At last, Wang Sheng wakes from his slumbers and identifies the bits of “straw” found at the scene of the murders. He interviews Susu and finds her suspicious. Shaken from her daily routine, Susu also visits Pei Rong and gets advice on men. Meanwhile, our lizard demon asks the vixen to cure Susu’s blindness. She’s sceptical, saying Susu will not like what she sees. The lizard is adamant it will be all right. Meanwhile Pei Rong has asked a merchant to check on the vixen’s claimed origins. He comes back saying no-one had heard of the family in the area nominated but, in another area, a Xiao Wei has gone missing. Pei Rong passes this information on to Xia Bing who sets off to investigate with her new fortune-telling sidekick. Later Pang Yong is worried to find them gone. Then he finds the missing person notice and sets off in pursuit.

Painted Skin or Hua Pi (2011) — episodes 1 to 11

Painted Skin or Hua Pi (2011) — episodes 12 to 19

Painted Skin or Hua Pi (2011) — episodes 20 to 27

Painted Skin or Hua Pi (2011) — episodes 28 to 34 (the end)

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