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Entrepreneurship 2,276 views Sep 12, 2018
Review: Nirvana In Fire II is a compelling successor while Chin

I hesitated for the longest time over whether to watch Nirvana In Fire II. 바카라사이트주소

And that is because Nirvana In Fire (2015) was so good. The Chinese period drama about a frail strategist, Su Zhe/Lin Shu, who seeks justice for his framed family, was a riveting game of thrones. He had to keep 10 steps ahead of everyone else because a wrong move would mean exposure and death. It was a critical and popular hit and boosted the careers of its stars Hu Ge and Wang Kai.

What are the chances of a sequel measuring up when the characters and actors are different?

It turns out that Nirvana In Fire II is a most worthy successor.

Other than the change in cast, the behind-the-scenes talent has returned, from directors Kong Sheng and Li Xue to writer Hai Yan, whose Web novel of the same name was the basis of the first series.

So quality-wise, there is definitely a sense of continuity. There is that same satisfyingly cerebral approach to the storytelling in the way characters analyse things: Who might have done this? What is at stake? What is the most advantageous move to make?

But Nirvana In Fire II is also its own animal. 안전놀이터

It takes place after the events of the earlier show and is set during the tumultuous period of the northern and southern dynasties in the sixth century. The Changlin army defends the Liang Dynasty's northern frontier and is led by Xiao Tingsheng (Sun Chun) and his son Xiao Pingzhang (Huang Xiaoming); younger son Pingjing (Liu Haoran) wants to be a carefree wanderer. They have the trust of the emperor, but others at court are wary of the power wielded by the house of Changlin.

The story begins with Pingzhang holding down the fort in the north and in desperate need of supplies - but the ships never make it. After the battle, Pingjing sets out to investigate the sinking of the vessels.

The opening arc sets in motion court rivalry and intrigue with ideas of loyalty and sacrifice. Add to the mix an ailing emperor, an insecure empress, a young crown prince and things become even more fraught.

A-list actor Huang brings gravitas and intelligence to the role of Pingzhang and there is warmth and even moments of humour in interactions with his younger brother and his wife, played by Tong Liya from 2015's comedy mystery Detective Chinatown.

Relative newcomer Liu, 20, more than holds his own playing a mischievous and good-hearted young man who learns that the world can be a treacherous place. 바카라사이트

Pacing wise, Nirvana In Fire II unfolds at a more stately pace.

It is not until about one-third into the 50 episodes that we get a glimpse into why the empress' spiritual adviser Puyang Ying (the silkily villainous Guo Jingfei) is nefariously scheming away.

The sequel is more of a slow burn, but it remains compelling.

The show of strength by Chinese television shows in recent years is not just in scripted dramas, but also in variety programmes. They have a wide range of absorbing formats plus the draw of top celebrities.

On a recent holiday in Beijing, I found myself glued to the quiz show Who's Still Standing?; the creative music programme PhantaCity, featuring the still-luminous Faye Wong; and Chinese Restaurant, a reality show about celebrities running an eatery in a foreign land.

Incidentally, Huang had appeared in the first season of Chinese Restaurant (2017), which was set in Thailand's Ko Chang. In the second season, actresses Zhao Wei and Shu Qi, singer-actor Alec Su, TFBoys' leader Karry Wang and singer Bai Jugang set up shop in the picturesque town of Colmar in France.

It's fun seeing the stars interacting with one another and finding out who can cook. Shu often plays sexy on screen, but Bai calls her "Qi ge", or brother Qi, and it's like she's one of the guys. And despite his young age, Wang, 18, is most assured in the kitchen.

There is also some drama in the form of problems, such as the language barrier and an unexpectedly heavy storm that lashes down.

It comes as something of a jolt to realise that Zhao and Su were co-stars on My Fair Princess in 1998, the period comedy drama that turned her into a star. And there's a touching reunion when actor Zhang Tielin, who played the Qianlong emperor in the show, makes an imperious guest appearance here.



Jake Kennedy 's Entries

135 blogs
  • 05 Sep 2018
    hile I appreciate that Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong spoke from experience and with good intentions, I do not think his statement has adequately addressed Singaporeans' concerns over ministerial salaries. 온라인카지노 Singaporean MPs remain significantly higher paid than their counterparts in other developed nations, such as Britainor Germany, even after factoring in additional on-the-job benefits that those countries provide or disparities in the costs of living. Most developed nations pay their ministers an equitable remuneration based on an average of the country's per capita gross domestic product. The significance of this comparison is twofold. 온라인바카라 First, Singaporeans may perceive this salary gap as an incongruity. Even if the Government presents logical justifications for its pay structure, the popular perception of "excessive salary" will remain, and that can have the very tangible effect of undermining faith in public institutions.   Thus, while Mr Goh's position is well argued, I do not think Singaporeans have been convinced. Second, it casts doubts on the argument that competitive salaries are required to attract top talent. 카지노사이트주소 Indeed, the Cabinets of the above-mentioned countries are staffed with highly qualified and capable individuals willing to forgo private-sector opportunities and remuneration to serve their electorate. This harks back to Singapore's first generation of leaders, who poured their talents and energies into the nation-building project without the expectation of a handsome salary. Do we not desire this spirit of self-sacrificial service in our leaders?
    940 Posted by Jake Kennedy
  • hile I appreciate that Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong spoke from experience and with good intentions, I do not think his statement has adequately addressed Singaporeans' concerns over ministerial salaries. 온라인카지노 Singaporean MPs remain significantly higher paid than their counterparts in other developed nations, such as Britainor Germany, even after factoring in additional on-the-job benefits that those countries provide or disparities in the costs of living. Most developed nations pay their ministers an equitable remuneration based on an average of the country's per capita gross domestic product. The significance of this comparison is twofold. 온라인바카라 First, Singaporeans may perceive this salary gap as an incongruity. Even if the Government presents logical justifications for its pay structure, the popular perception of "excessive salary" will remain, and that can have the very tangible effect of undermining faith in public institutions.   Thus, while Mr Goh's position is well argued, I do not think Singaporeans have been convinced. Second, it casts doubts on the argument that competitive salaries are required to attract top talent. 카지노사이트주소 Indeed, the Cabinets of the above-mentioned countries are staffed with highly qualified and capable individuals willing to forgo private-sector opportunities and remuneration to serve their electorate. This harks back to Singapore's first generation of leaders, who poured their talents and energies into the nation-building project without the expectation of a handsome salary. Do we not desire this spirit of self-sacrificial service in our leaders?
    Sep 05, 2018 940
  • 05 Sep 2018
    I believe that ministers must be given adequate and comparable pay, taking into consideration the sacrifices they have to make when crossing over from the private to the public sector. 인터넷카지노     Being a high-flying chief executivein the corporate world is very different from being a minister or politician. The CEO's primary job is to ensure that he and his staff bring in profit for the organisation. To this end, the CEO has to fully exploit his business and financial acumen and lay out the strategies for his staff to adhere to. 인터넷바카라 And for this, he and his staff are adequately rewarded with good bonuses by the board of directors at the end of the financial year. But, if the same CEO crosses over to the public sector and becomes a minister, it is no longer about moneymaking but, rather, about the service to the people.   It is an entirely different ball game in the public sector, where the passion to serve the people is paramount. A good minister need not always be a high-flier from the corporate world with a master's degree or PhD. As long as he is reasonably educated, able to mix well and identify with the ground, able to communicate his thoughts well and can lead, he will make a good minister. 카지노사이트 There are so many examples of ministers who were not high-fliers in the corporate world before crossing over. If any high-flier from the private sector insists that he will become a minister only if he gets the same pay he was drawing in the private sector, then he would be a failure as a minister, because being a minister is all about sacrifices and service to the people and nation. Our national servicemen make sacrifices when doing their two-year stints in the uniformed services. Ministers are expected to do likewise for the well-being of our nation.
    1331 Posted by Jake Kennedy
  • I believe that ministers must be given adequate and comparable pay, taking into consideration the sacrifices they have to make when crossing over from the private to the public sector. 인터넷카지노     Being a high-flying chief executivein the corporate world is very different from being a minister or politician. The CEO's primary job is to ensure that he and his staff bring in profit for the organisation. To this end, the CEO has to fully exploit his business and financial acumen and lay out the strategies for his staff to adhere to. 인터넷바카라 And for this, he and his staff are adequately rewarded with good bonuses by the board of directors at the end of the financial year. But, if the same CEO crosses over to the public sector and becomes a minister, it is no longer about moneymaking but, rather, about the service to the people.   It is an entirely different ball game in the public sector, where the passion to serve the people is paramount. A good minister need not always be a high-flier from the corporate world with a master's degree or PhD. As long as he is reasonably educated, able to mix well and identify with the ground, able to communicate his thoughts well and can lead, he will make a good minister. 카지노사이트 There are so many examples of ministers who were not high-fliers in the corporate world before crossing over. If any high-flier from the private sector insists that he will become a minister only if he gets the same pay he was drawing in the private sector, then he would be a failure as a minister, because being a minister is all about sacrifices and service to the people and nation. Our national servicemen make sacrifices when doing their two-year stints in the uniformed services. Ministers are expected to do likewise for the well-being of our nation.
    Sep 05, 2018 1331
  • 05 Sep 2018
    Mr Seah Yam Meng claims that society should offer euthanasia as an alternative to reduce the high rate of elderly suicide.  However, euthanasia should not be legalised because it is just a glorified form of suicide. 카지노사이트주소 Just because it involves an official document and a doctor does not change the fact that someone is in such a dark and lonely place that he has decided his life is not worth living. We have to work on creating a community that will help people find a reason to keep living, not give them a quick "solution" to end all their problems. By legalising euthanasia, the responsibility is pushed on to the person in question, not the people around who could make a change. 바카라사이트주소 This would make euthanasia seem ideal to the uninvolved because this places them on a moral high ground.   It is an easier way to deal with illness and suffering. Last, it is illogical to compare putting down animals with euthanasia for humans. Animals do not have a say in ending their lives, their owners do. Often, we focus on our pain instead of how we can come out of it stronger. 안전놀이터 I cannot imagine the pain that terminally ill people go through, but I believe that if they put up a good fight, they would be an inspiration to others who are battling the same illness to keep fighting. To fight is to take a gamble on your life, but to not do so is to guarantee death.
    1235 Posted by Jake Kennedy
  • Mr Seah Yam Meng claims that society should offer euthanasia as an alternative to reduce the high rate of elderly suicide.  However, euthanasia should not be legalised because it is just a glorified form of suicide. 카지노사이트주소 Just because it involves an official document and a doctor does not change the fact that someone is in such a dark and lonely place that he has decided his life is not worth living. We have to work on creating a community that will help people find a reason to keep living, not give them a quick "solution" to end all their problems. By legalising euthanasia, the responsibility is pushed on to the person in question, not the people around who could make a change. 바카라사이트주소 This would make euthanasia seem ideal to the uninvolved because this places them on a moral high ground.   It is an easier way to deal with illness and suffering. Last, it is illogical to compare putting down animals with euthanasia for humans. Animals do not have a say in ending their lives, their owners do. Often, we focus on our pain instead of how we can come out of it stronger. 안전놀이터 I cannot imagine the pain that terminally ill people go through, but I believe that if they put up a good fight, they would be an inspiration to others who are battling the same illness to keep fighting. To fight is to take a gamble on your life, but to not do so is to guarantee death.
    Sep 05, 2018 1235
  • 05 Sep 2018
    It was disheartening to learn that Singapore's plastic recycling rate lags far behind other developed countries. 카지노사이트  Many Singapore retailers, supermarket chains and customers may not easily change their behaviour over single-use plastic bags in the near future. To help reduce the use of plastic bags, the National Environment Agency (NEA) could financially reward retailers that give incentives to customers who bring their own bags. Retailers will be thus able to offset the cost of giving more monetary rewards, and more customers will be interested in bringing their own bags. 온라인카지노 Retailers could impose a small fee of 10 cents to 20 cents on each customer who wants to use plastic bags for their purchases. This fee will make customers think twice before using plastic bags, especially for small purchases that can be easily taken away. 온라인바카라   The NEA could also reward or recognise retailers that use biodegradable bags or make an effort in their business practices to reduce single-use plastics. I hope all the stakeholders will make a real effort to reduce plastic usage and protect our wonderful garden city.
    1282 Posted by Jake Kennedy
  • It was disheartening to learn that Singapore's plastic recycling rate lags far behind other developed countries. 카지노사이트  Many Singapore retailers, supermarket chains and customers may not easily change their behaviour over single-use plastic bags in the near future. To help reduce the use of plastic bags, the National Environment Agency (NEA) could financially reward retailers that give incentives to customers who bring their own bags. Retailers will be thus able to offset the cost of giving more monetary rewards, and more customers will be interested in bringing their own bags. 온라인카지노 Retailers could impose a small fee of 10 cents to 20 cents on each customer who wants to use plastic bags for their purchases. This fee will make customers think twice before using plastic bags, especially for small purchases that can be easily taken away. 온라인바카라   The NEA could also reward or recognise retailers that use biodegradable bags or make an effort in their business practices to reduce single-use plastics. I hope all the stakeholders will make a real effort to reduce plastic usage and protect our wonderful garden city.
    Sep 05, 2018 1282
  • 05 Sep 2018
    Some say that the rich or richly paid are not likely to be corrupt. Not really. Many drug lords and politicians who have fingers in their national coffers are, as the Chinese saying goes, "snakes that are so avaricious that they even attempt to swallow an elephant". 바카라사이트         The intrinsic value of a Singapore dollar - the value of the plastic and ink that make up the dollar - should be lower than its currency value. But, the intrinsic value of a person is his innate character. It should be higher than the values of his title and his pay. A learned Roman refused to serve his emperor and was reduced to eating porridge, considered a poor man's food. Someone taunted him, saying: 인터넷카지노  "If you know how to serve Caesar you don't have to eat porridge."   He replied: "If you know how to eat porridge, you don't have to serve Caesar." Once, I was surprised that a millionaire was caught for financial corruption. "Didn't he have enough?" I exclaimed. My wife, who overheard me, said: "What do you know? You have never even smelled a million!" 인터넷바카라 Good point. If I already had a million, would I be practising the philosophy of one of my very rich students who once told me: "Sir, you can never have too much money." A really great man is one who, while serving Caesar, also knows how to eat only rice or even porridge, if necessary. Such integrity is a rarity.
    1428 Posted by Jake Kennedy
  • Some say that the rich or richly paid are not likely to be corrupt. Not really. Many drug lords and politicians who have fingers in their national coffers are, as the Chinese saying goes, "snakes that are so avaricious that they even attempt to swallow an elephant". 바카라사이트         The intrinsic value of a Singapore dollar - the value of the plastic and ink that make up the dollar - should be lower than its currency value. But, the intrinsic value of a person is his innate character. It should be higher than the values of his title and his pay. A learned Roman refused to serve his emperor and was reduced to eating porridge, considered a poor man's food. Someone taunted him, saying: 인터넷카지노  "If you know how to serve Caesar you don't have to eat porridge."   He replied: "If you know how to eat porridge, you don't have to serve Caesar." Once, I was surprised that a millionaire was caught for financial corruption. "Didn't he have enough?" I exclaimed. My wife, who overheard me, said: "What do you know? You have never even smelled a million!" 인터넷바카라 Good point. If I already had a million, would I be practising the philosophy of one of my very rich students who once told me: "Sir, you can never have too much money." A really great man is one who, while serving Caesar, also knows how to eat only rice or even porridge, if necessary. Such integrity is a rarity.
    Sep 05, 2018 1428

Most Viewed Blogs/Articles From This Author

  • 10 Sep 2018
    Just wondering why there's no real coverage or conversation on today's massive DDoS attack? Having to scour the other parts of the 안전놀이터 Internet for news and updates which I would have expected The Verge to automatically and masterfully cover. #wassup
    5241 Posted by Jake Kennedy
  • 12 Sep 2018
    I AM saddened that the Little India riot on Sunday has attracted so much attention worldwide (“Foreign media shocked, notes rising tensions here”; Tuesday). 카지노사이트주소 For more than 40 years, Singapore has been a peaceful place for people from all walks of life to live in, work and play. The latest incident does not do justice to the efforts of the Government to foster close interaction and integration between Singaporeans and foreigners. Most Singaporeans welcome foreigners to live and work here, and we expect them to adapt to our way of life. So, the culprits who caused wilful damage in Little India should be dealt with severely and all necessary measures put in place to prevent a repeat of such incidents. Singaporeans should avoid stereotyping and negative perceptions of foreigners who come to live and work among them. Rightly or wrongly, we are aware of the differences between “us” and “them”. However, “us” and “them” does not have to mean “us” versus “them”. As adults, we should be better able to deal with human diversity. 바카라사이트주소       Those opposed to immigration and the influx of foreign labour see it as legitimate to fear the economic and social costs arising from the presence of large numbers of foreigners here. While some of these perceptions may appear justifiable, we must realise that the overwhelming majority of foreigners in our midst are hard-working, peace-loving and law-abiding. Foreign workers sacrifice a lot to come here to help in our infrastructure development, giving us roads and beautiful homes. Understandably, our image as a peaceful nation has been affected by the riot. So it is imperative that we should all help in ensuring that there is no repeat.
    4143 Posted by Jake Kennedy
  • 05 Sep 2018
    Over the years, the number of stray cats has declined significantly. 인터넷바카라 This is due to residents who have worked tirelessly to trap these cats for neutering. They are always on the lookout for newly abandoned cats and kittens, and they also speak to cat owners to advise them on neutering and keeping the animals indoors. 카지노사이트 Some of these residents have registered with the Cat Welfare Society so that they can help town councils mediate in cases where there are complaints about cats. Such unseen and unsung residents ought to be recognised for their community effort by the town councils. 인터넷카지노 All these residents ask for is that fellow residents be tolerant of the presence of cats, also called community cats, and that the town councils do not pander to a minority of complaining residents by culling these cats. As our little island gets rapidly concretised, such community cats add a softness to the harshness of our environment.
    4107 Posted by Jake Kennedy
  • 14 Sep 2018
    My girlfriend was pretty excited that her new apartment had FiOS equipment pre-installed and has had the service for about a month. I knew that Verizon did some fairly pretty invasive stuff in terms of watching your activity while on their network, but she got a message threatening to suspend her internet if she continued to visit this website that hosts (to view but not download) videos, including copy-written content. Is there anyway around that stuff? 바카라사이트주소 Can you opt out like with some Comcast packages? Is using a VPN while she's online enough? I don't think anyone here is that into having company's monitor your browsing habits (although they all do to some extent) but I've never had AT&T or Comcast send me a notice for visiting RandomAnimeSiteC, let alone beam a threat directly into a blank tab when I open my computer. If there are any FiOS customers out there with other warnings about things you shouldn't try to do on Verizon's network, those comments would also be welcomed!
    4002 Posted by Jake Kennedy

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