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roddy

The Grand First Episode Project. . .

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skylee

Re #119. These are good (so good that I own the DVDs and have diligently watched all of them) ->

雍正王朝 (I have 2 sets of the discs, unbelievable, and the novels too :roll:)

走向共和 (previous thread -> http://www.chinese-forums.com/index.php?/topic/499-cctv-epic-advance-towards-the-republic)

天龍八部 is also very good. (previous thread -> http://www.chinese-forums.com/index.php?/topic/603-%e5%a4%ae%e8%a7%86-%e5%a4%a9%e9%be%99%e5%85%ab%e9%83%a8)

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renzhe

Thanks for those links. I'm very interested in 天龍八部 and 走向共和 now.

As for the volume, adding 6 series will only add 3 weeks to the project, it's not such a big deal.

The only thing that I'd like is to maintain the variety (this has worked great up to now). So we don't have three slow dramas in a row, or three cheesy comedies in a row, because it's more interesting to keep watching if there's something different each time. Probably easier to get new people aboard too.

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atitarev

I mentioned before:

I found some software to convert from RMVB to AVI (+ other formats) and I put those files on my Pocket PC - now I can watch movies on the train, ask me how, if you need to do the same (PM me, please).

Someone asked me to post more info about the software:

It's Ultra Video Converter:

http://www.aone-media.com/videoconverter.htm

Warning - the trial version is useless, buy or look for another method. (sh)

The tool is OK, can't complain, successfully converted a number of RMVB files to AVI (MPG is also available). Very useful if you use a Pocket PC, since there are no RMVB players for PPC.

I only needed to rename files, which had Chinese characters in the name (can be a pain if you have to convert a lot of files and they are on a non-writeable disk!).

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renzhe

I do all my video conversion using MEncoder, but that might be a bit too hardcore for the Windows crows. Maybe there's something based on FFmpeg code doing something similar.

But speaking of Chinese characters -- all the series I get tend to come with filenames in GB encoding, not unicode, and I only see question marks in my terminal, which is no fun at all.

Anyone know of a good way to convert GB2312 filenames to unicode filenames from a Unix/Linux command line?

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roddy

Think you might be slightly outwith the scope of the Grand First Episode Project, gentlemen . . .

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roddy

Nobody watching any telly this week? We seem to have missed Wednesday's 5号特工组 (about to watch it . . .) but I think I'm going to give today's 美味关系 a miss, so if anyone wants to watch and post about that . . .

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renzhe

I'm really really busy these days, will continue for at least a week, no time to watch anything.

I'm downloading all the episodes, though, and I'm planning to watch them all as soon as I find the time. Too much stress at work right now.

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roddy

Haven't managed to make time for this lately. We've got four or five shows from June not yet posted about, and the schedule runs out today.

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renzhe

Yeah, same here, I'm still in the catching-up stage. I will have much more time starting next week though, so I intend to watch all the ones I've missed.

It looks like the initial enthusiasm has lessened somewhat. It probably has something to do with the few most active people having no time recently.

I don't know, finish the scheduled ones first, then see what the overall feeling is?

I still find the project great, and I'll continue watching and commenting as long as it's going on. I think it will be a great resource for new members, to have a list of good shows with descriptions, recommendations, and discussions.

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renzhe

The latest show thread is up.

I'll try to at least finish all the scheduled ones, then we can see if people are still interested.

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roddy

Renzhe, many thanks for keeping this going!

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renzhe

Well, 3 shows to go, might as well finish those and re-evaluate the interest.

I'm finishing the Magic Mobile phone and I'll probably watch some more of Empty Mirror and give a couple of more shows a closer look, but I'm not really tied to any of them.

The other shows we've had as recommendations are also quite interesting, so I might continue watching the first episodes of those too. If I do, I'll probably do a short writeup after seeing them.

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renzhe

BTW, I'm still updating this post with the relative difficulty level of all the shows we've watched.

Right now it's buried in the middle, perhaps we could link to it from the first post, so people can find it more easily?

EDIT: The next episode is 天龙八部. We seem to have a link for the 1997 version, but I've had the 2004 version by 张纪中 explicitly recommended by a friend over all others. We've also had several forum members (Quest, skylee) recommend that version. I've had a look at the 1997 version and I found it rather dated and silly, so I suggest watching the 2004 version. It seems to be here: Emule link -- it was released in December 2003 and seems to have the same cast as the one we're looking at according to this site here.

I'll start a thread on this tomorrow or on Wednesday, when I finish downloading the first one.

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renzhe

First Episode 24: 孽子 (Crystal Boys) is now up, and this is the last officially scheduled episode of this project. In order to commemorate this, I offer some statistics, yay!


Most watched:
(users in thread, only people who commented this time around)

1) 家有儿女 (9)
2) 士兵突击, Soldier's Sortie (7)
3) 奋斗 (Struggle) (6)
4) 落地请开手机 (5)
-- 魔幻手机 Magic Mobile Phone (5)
-- 天龙八部 (Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils) (5)
-- 神探狄仁杰, Mystic Detective Di Renjie (5)
-- 金婚 (5)
9) 暗算 (4)
-- 武林外传, My Own Swordsman (4)

Most commented:
(replies per thread, only this time around)

1) 魔幻手机 Magic Mobile Phone (38 )
2) 神探狄仁杰, Mystic Detective Di Renjie (24)
3) 落地请开手机 (17)
4) 家有儿女 (16)
5) 奋斗 (Struggle) (13)
6) 好想好想谈恋爱 (12)
7) 士兵突击, Soldier's Sortie (10)
8 ) 天龙八部 (Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils) (7)
9) 北京人在纽约 (6)
-- 暗算 (6)


The question is how to proceed. Roddy would like to keep this going, but is very busy at the moment, so he asked me if I wanted to keep the project going. I personally enjoy it very much, but I get the feeling that people aren't watching these anymore, at least not regularly. It would be kind of pointless if I'm the only one watching these things.

On the other hand, we have some really good recommendations that we still haven't seen, and I'd like to see some (many) of them myself. I'd suggest going for a somewhat looser schedule, perhaps roughly one a week, with no strict dates. We just get a schedule together, and watch them in sequence. I don't mind starting threads and writing plot summaries or even getting vocab lists if I have time for them, but not if nobody ever reads it.

So are there other people still interested in watching some more episodes, even if it's only some of them, and at a later time? I'll throw together a proposed schedule soon, but it will take me a while.

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renzhe

The provisional schedule as proposed by me is as follows:

亮剑 (2nd world war) Emule youku

雍正王朝 (Qing dinasty, historical, with skylee's recommendation) Emule youku

醉侠张三 "Drunken Master Zhang San" light-hearted gongfu comedy/adventure about a young gongfu master and his adventures

走向共和 "Towards the Republic", late Qing, early Republic historical series with skylee's recommendation

野蠻奶奶 II "Wars Of In-Laws II". The sequel to a beloved comedy show, this one takes place in modern times, calibre2001's recommendation

少年包青天 (martial arts/detective stories)

花樣少年少女 Taiwanese Manga-based high-school gender-bender entertainment

大明 1556 (Ming dinasty, historical)

意難忘 "Unforgettable", a popular Taiwanese romance, calibre2001's recommendation

笑傲江湖 - Another famous JinYong Wuxia adaptation

皆大歡喜 "Harmony", Ming dynasty romance and intrigue, calibre2001's recommendation

I haven't seen all of these, but they were all recommended, either by posters here, or by people who know their stuff. I'm hoping that we can get Mandarin version and subtitles for all these, we have some mainland, some HK and some TW shows. If you have any suggestions that you must share with all of us, step forward!

We'd start on the coming weekend, and then try to do one per week.

Edited by renzhe

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imron

I haven't really had the time to watch too much recently either. I also prefer watching full series, and am not sure I want to start watching first episodes in case I find out I want to watch the rest of the series too.

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rob07

I probably won't watch any new shows until I finish Magic Mobile Phone. But Renzhe, I do very much appreciate the enormous amount of work you've put into the first episode project. Obviously, it is a bit frustrating for you to not get a lot of comments on your reviews, but I at least read them all with great interest. When I finally finish Magic Mobile Phone, I'll be looking around for a new show and your reviews will the the first place I'll go.

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renzhe

I also prefer watching whole series, and I've finished 4 of the ones we have listed. I'm watching Empty Mirror now, and testing the Wildflower one (5 episodes in).

But still, I enjoy the variety this project brings. Personally, I'd like to keep watching, especially given the quality of the coming shows. If it's once a week, it's not too bad in terms of effort, at least for me.

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