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First Episode 7: 落地请开手机


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A part of the Grand First Episode Project -- See this thread for more info.

落地请开手机: "It's about a flight attendant, her family, a group of mobsters, and a lost mobile phone of great importance to the said mobsters." © Renzhe

落地请开手机 emule - youku

Summary & Vocabulary

Got to admit that the credit sequence made it look like this would be a gangsters / cop type thing and I wasn't all that enthusiastic, but once the international espionage angle came up I started getting a lot more interested. Stereotypical gangsters are dull, mild-mannered secret agents struggling to act like stereotypical gangsters are going to be much more interesting. It's cheesy in some points - the Star Trek camera-shaking on the plane, and zooming out to the satellite when the phone was turned on, rather than the nearest base station - but forgivably so.

Language seemed to me to be pretty easy, should be ok for an intermediate student with a dictionary handy for some vocab?

Don't have the time to watch any more of it at the moment, but will be interested to hear from anyone who does as to how it pans out over the 26 episodes.



Edited by renzhe
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Not bad! The turbulence and satellite was pretty funny. Who would expect THAT much turbulence and did anyone else notice they were in a 747 for a mainland flight?? The satellite didn't even look real.

My other thing is it's hard to know how good or bad the fake 王浩 is doing because you couldn't really see the real one for more than 10 seconds.

I think it may be one that I will keep going with, at least to see where it develops into. They really haven't brought any "bad guys" in at this point yet so they have a whole other angle to develop there.

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I've seen most of the episodes and I like it (I'll try to finish it in the next couple of weeks, work permitting). The "special" "effects" in the first episode are admittedly a bit embarrassing, but thankfully they drop most of that in the following episodes and concentrate much more on the characters, which is great because the characters are really interesting.

You have the cop who is torn between his mission and his conscience over people who he is hurting, a main character torn between her loyalty to her family and her love for a gangster, a father figure trying to do the best for the family despite being a total failure in life, a gangster police collaborator finding his soft side, someone having to betray a friend to save their own skin, and many others. Basically every major character has an interesting angle about them, which keeps it far more interesting than the typical good-guys-shooting-bad-guys police stuff. Furthermore, some main characters remain opaque until the end, and you don't know what they're really after.

The only problem I have with it is that it seems to be one of those where the good people suffer constantly while evil people triumph, but I expect that this leads to a big happy-end dancing hippoes catharsis in the end, so I keep watching.

I'll write a short summary of what goes on in the first episode like I promised, but it might take a day or two.

As for the language level, this is the easiest show we've had so far (despite some gangster vocab), and I recommend it for intermediate learners. It's one of the shows I can follow without a dictionary and mostly in real-time.

Edited by renzhe
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Renzhe, without giving too much away - does the espionage part of it play a larger role as it moves on, or is that kept on a back burner? In the first episode we had the two conspirators having breakfast in the zoo (where is that by the way, I want to go) - do we get much more from them?

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Here's the plot summary I promised. Should be useful for people who plan to watch a few more episodes, if only because of the names and the background.


A passenger (王奇) has a stroke while the plane is in the middle of some turbulence on the plane, and attempts to phone someone before dying. A stewardess (叶惠美) puts his mobile phone into our hero's (李小晚) bag, thinking it was hers.

Back in Beijing (I guess), the police trailing him are not convinced it was an accident. The chief orders an agent (沈亢) to be flown from Hangzhou. They are after a hard disk containing information about secret research on a new power source of great national importance, which 王奇 apparently planned to give to some organisation. The guy's brother, 王浩, will try to finish the job, and 沈亢 has to impersonate him.

The real 王浩 gets promptly kidnapped at the airport, and is replaced by 沈亢, who will pretend to be him for the rest of the series. But first he will have to get hold of the mobile phone, because it has all the contact information, and the code to the bank safe holding the hard disk.

小晚's mother (who is ill anyway) breaks a bone, and the family can't pay for it. The father, trying to summon the money to get her released from the hospital, takes money and the mobile phone from 小晚's bag, but gets the mobile phone confiscated by a local gang boss / casino owner (鬼哥), to whom he owes money.

The new "王浩" has some reservations about playing such a nasty gangster, which he discusses with his boss. He then goes to meet 张宾, a friend of "王浩"'s who owns a club, and will cooperate with the police in this case. It soon turns out that the new "王浩" is not very convincing at all, so 张宾 tutors him for a while.

Back in the hospital, the father laments their poverty and how 小晚 gives all her money to the family. She confronts him for gambling the money away again.

At the same time, the mysterious 林家华 meets a conspirator and tells her that 王奇 died on the plane while on the phone. She is worried about what to write in her report. They paid for something, but apparently didn't get it (this must be the hard disk). It looks like a trick. 林家华 thinks that 王奇 will be replaced by a government agent

张宾 and "王浩" go to the airline office to look for the phone. 张宾 will try to take care of it because "王浩" is too nervous/not convincing enough. The clerk tells them that there is no phone in the record. "王浩" asks to speak to the person who made the record and they enter the stewardess room. The chief stewardess seems to recognise the two, but we don't know how. "王浩" interrogates 小晚 who doesn't remember what happened to it. He asks who else saw it. 陶桃 tries to interfere and gets scolded. 叶惠美 admits to putting it in 小晚's bag, but 小晚 can't find it. "王浩" gives her a contact telephone. Back in the car, he has second thoughts about the mission again. 张宾 tells him that anyone who knows the real guy would see right through him.

They go to meet 小晚 near her home, where he tries to be all charming and all that. He tries to buy the phone from her, as her family is in debt. She cries, he goes to get her an ice cream, at which time the local gangster makes a phone call using the phone and the boss lets "王浩" know that the phone is near him. He gets angry, thinking 小晚 was lying. The end.


Alternative (Chinese) summary, that's not nearly as cool as mine: http://ent.sina.com.cn/v/2006-12-06/18401359244.html

Some vocab I found handy, most of the other vocab is really basic:

哥 - brother, "title" for gangsters

脑水肿 - brain edema

能源 - energy source

存亡 - live or die

研究所 - research institute

硬盘 - hard disk

简历 - curriculum vitae

荐 - recommend

糊涂 - drivel

配合 - cooperate

进行 - carry out, execute

提供掩护 - provide cover

赌博 - gamble

对方 - counterpart, other person

记录单 - record

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It's not Beijing - meant to be somewhere in the south of China I think, although I couldn't be any more precise. Some of the spoken vocab has a southern tinge to it I think - the constant use of 美女 when the guy pretending to be Wang Hao was talking to the air hostess at the end, and I suspect 吃冰 is more a southern usage. Could be wrong on that though.

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I am about to reveal the absolute pitifulness of my little life....

So I finished the series.

Explanation: I have been sick all week and have nothing but time on my hands.

Anyway....it was a decent series, got a bit too sappy and drug on in the middle for a bit too long. Some of the "unexpected" turns felt like a child had written them. Actually the whole ting felt like a child wrote it. The "intrigue" was very, very mild at best (even though spoiler: a few people do die)

Also on the plane shots, there are a few more and it seems like they want people to think flying is slightly dangerous, and every shot of the plane is a 747 and at one point you see the word "oceanic" on the side and I can't remember what movie it is that they stole the footage from.

The characters do stay interesting, the ending is not EXACTLY predictable, but not horribly way off what you think it would be either. It does take a bit of patience at times to watch because it can be kind of slow and drawn out but all in all its pretty good.

And by the way renzhe's "spoiler" isn't that much of a spoiler :wink: (not that mine is much of one either). The language is at a low intermediate and I think the only words I learned while watching was 出尔反尔 and 殉职.

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Oh and I think the location is Shenzhen personally but somewhere 广东 area is just as good of a guess. My clues are: south, a few accents that sound southern, beaches, and the biggest one, a ferry to macau.

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It's not Beijing - meant to be somewhere in the south of China I think, although I couldn't be any more precise.

Yeah, they refer specifically to "ling nan", but nothing more. I made a guess based on the outrageous prevalence of er-hua. Why would an agent from Hangzhou speak like that?

But Muyongshi makes some good points. Another clue are the gangster relations with Thailand.

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Well in many "national" shows the thing you will notice with the accents is that the "main" characters will be part of the standard mandarin conspiracy but then they will add a few other people without standard to give the "local flavor". Serves two purposes: 1) the further of the 推广普通话 movement 2) in that serves to show that if you don't speak standard you are in the minority

Anyway so the girl from "macau" had a very distinct by my ears shenzhen ish accent. Spoke very clearly but would drop a few of the "h"'s in the sh compounds as well as the way she said 怎么...kind of turned the z into an s without doing it fully.

Then the 泰国 大哥 (雄哥) was hard to understand in a few areas including the mixing up of n and l as well as once an f and h sounds, typical of many southern accents

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I've just finished this.

Overall, I'm satisfied with it. It stay interesting, there's a bit of everything (action, intrigue, love plot, twists) and the last few episodes are quite good. The ending wasn't as sappy as I imagined (other than the fake ending they stuck at the end)

As far as soap operas go, this was one of the better Chinese ones I've seen. If you like the first few, you'll like the rest too.

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I'm a little under halfway through this now. It's interesting enough, but there are a couple of niggling little things, like surely if the espionage people put a tail on 王浩 they'd find out that every other day he's visiting the offices of the 国安局. I mean they said they were following him the whole time in Xinjiang, so why not when he's back in Lingnan. Plus there's the matter of the "poor" 小晚, who quite happily spends several hundred kuai on that jade necklace, plus however much it would have cost for that karaoke room (probably at least another couple of hundred).

Overall still enjoyable to watch though, especially when the espionage guys keep turning the screws to test whether 王浩 is fake or not, but like I said above, why go to all that hassle when they could just get someone to tail him.

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Yeah, they refer specifically to "ling nan", but nothing more.
The car number plates are 粤 and the hospital the mother is staying in is the 广州something something hospital. Case closed :-)

As interesting as this series is, I don't think I've seen any other show where the boom mike falls into the shot as often as it does in this show. It must happen 4-5 times an episode!

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Oh and I think the location is Shenzhen personally but somewhere 广东 area is just as good of a guess

The locations are Guangzhou (in Guangdong Province), Sanya (in Hainan Province) and Zhuhai (in Guangdong Province).

a ferry to macau.

The location is in Zhuhai.


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