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First Episode 12: 好想好想谈恋爱:


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

11th May: 好想好想谈恋爱: The Chinese Sex in The City, everyone says . . .

emule - youku

Summary - Vocabulary

Ok, I haven't actually watched this one myself yet, but we're running late so here's a topic anyway. I did watch five minutes of it a few days ago and it certainly looked well done. We've also got a transcript for this one, and the dialogue seems to be slow and clear, so this might be an ideal opportunity for anyone who finds the idea of watching a proper TV show a bit daunting to jump in and have a go.

Transcript attached.

Edit: Adding a quickly knocked together wordlist I made up from the transcript (which incidentally I now see seems to cover at least part of episode two as well.) 70 words or so, just the ones that stuck out as possibly useful.





Edited by renzhe
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I dunno, I thought in general the characters spoke a lot faster compared to those in 奋斗, especially when you have all 4 women chatting together. It also stars the wife from 中国式离婚 and 金婚, in what seems to be a break from the role she played in those shows (bitchy wife).

Although I have only seen a couple of episodes of Sex in the City, I can see why the comparison is made. At a superficial level, they seem quite similar.

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Watched it - not bad at all, the dialogue is pretty snappy (and not as easy as I originally thought) and the characters are fairly interesting. Will likely give the next few episodes a shot.

Have added a vocab list to the first post.

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Watching the end credits of this series, you almost get the impression it's supposed to be a murder mystery thriller. One thing I like about it, is that the opening credits (at least on the youku links) are thankfully short (10-15 seconds maybe?). If only all Chinese shows were like this!

I'm still seeing boom mikes entering the occasional shot though. I don't think there's been one series so far in this project where this hasn't happened.

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I've seen all of this, and I found it extremely well done. Good acting and directing overall, colloquial modern language, believable characters (even if they'd fit better in Manhattan than Beijing), etc.

If you can get into daily life of four women in modern-day Beijing, then you'll probably enjoy it. I couldn't really, but overall I found the show OK, there are interesting characters in there. It's an interesting contrast to "Empty Mirror". Whereas Empty Mirror is intimate, melancholic and slow-moving, this one shows more of a fast modern-day metropolitan cosmopolitan, west-influenced life.

The lead actress plays difficult women in all shows, and she plays a difficult woman in here too. Her 谭艾琳 is a classy bookshop owner with a difficult personality, looking for the perfect man. Probably the most developed character in the series, but one of those whom rob07 would slap upside the head.

陶春 is the type of person that probably only exists in Asian TV shows, the 12-year old woman in the body of a 17-year old woman, who is supposed to be 30, believes in teletubbies, eternal love at first sight and sleeps with 700 plush animals. the most annoying person in the series, even though most will probably find her cute.

毛纳 is pretty, knows it, and lives for today. Interesting character with interesting storylines.

黎明朗 has a successful career in a TV studio. She is outspoken, cynical, direct, and has a hard, confrontational personality, but a soft heart. Probably my favourite character of all of them.

I'd say that the similarity to "Sex and the City" is more than superficial. The characters were obviously modelled after their western counterparts (the successful main character who's into writing, the hedonist love-queen, the one who dreams of the prince on a white horse, the cynical one), and each episode concentrates on a certain aspect of relationships. The show itself is quite different, though, which is a good thing.

The language is not very easy, it's fast and colloquial, and I'd put it at upper intermediate. It's more difficult than Empty Mirror and the Magic Mobile Phone, but much easier than, say, 我爱我家.

Edited by renzhe
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I'm still seeing boom mikes entering the occasional shot though.

imron, the boom-mike hunter :mrgreen:

Anyway, I've had a go at roddy's vocab list:

缄默 jiān mò to keep silent

挑明 tiǎo míng to illuminate / to open up (a topic)

回绝 huí jué rebuff

功利 gōng lì utility

惆怅 chóu chàng melancholy / depression

电线杆 diàn xiàn gǎn electric pole / telegraph pole

安眠药 ān mián yào sleeping pill

霞光 xiá guāng ??? beautiful skies?

镇定 zhèn dìng calm / unperturbed / cool

扼住 è zhù to stop someone by grabbing them

试金石 shì jīn shí touchstone

验货 yàn huò inspection of goods

私生活 sī shēng huó private life

夭折 yāo zhé to die prematurely

噩耗 è hào sad news (of someone's death)

捷报 jié bào report of success

上钩 shàng gōu to swallow the bait

美人计 měi rén jì

卤肉 lǔ ròu meat gravy / to stew meat

出奇 chū qí extraordinary / exceptional / unusual

不意 bù yì unexpectedly / unawareness

嗅觉 xiù jué sense of smell

圈套 quān tào trap

艳遇 yàn yù favorable opportunity for an encounter with a beautiful woman

礁石 jiāo shí reef

触礁 chù jiāo hit a snag

成仙 chéng xiān to become immortal

圣洁 shèng jié pure and holy

装蒜 zhuāng suàn feign ignorance

揭短 jiē duǎn to disclose sb.'s faults

茶会 chá huì tea party

...I was not that successful with the chengyu and longer phrases. Any help is appreciated.

一丘之貉 yī qiū zhī háo jackals of the same tribe (成语 saw); fig. They are all just as bad as each other.

擦肩而过 cā jiān ér guò brief encounter / to brush past sb

层出不穷 céng chū bù qióng more and more emerge (成语 saw); innumerable succession / breeding like flies

寻欢作乐 xún huān zuò lè pleasure seeking (成语 saw); life of dissipation

自暴自弃 zì bào zì qì to abandon oneself to despair / to give up and stop bothering

危言耸听 wēi yán sǒng tīng frightening words to scare people (成语 saw); alarmist talk

三番五次 sān fān wǔ cì (saying) do over and over again

一见倾心 yī jiàn qīng xīn love at first sight

贤妻良母 xián qī liáng mǔ a good wife / a virtuous wife (Confucianism)

千篇一律 qiān piān yī lǜ thousand articles, same rule (成语 saw); stereotyped and repetitive / once you've seen one, you've seen them all

身败名裂 shēn bài míng liè to lose one's standing / to have one's reputation swept away / a complete defeat and fall from grace

恶名昭著 è míng zhāo zhù notorious

稀里糊涂 xī lǐ hú tū confused / mixed up

羊入虎口 yáng rù hǔ kǒu lamb entering a tiger's mouth

心狠手辣 xīn hěn shǒu là vicious and merciless

浪子回头 làng zǐ huí tóu the return of a prodigal son

掉以轻心 diào yǐ qīng xīn treat sth lightly / to lower one's guard

The rest of the vocab is in post #15 courtesy of roddy.

And finally, here is my original vocab list for this show from many moons ago, when I first watched this show. It covers several episodes, and the level is quite basic (I wasn't very advanced back then), so lower-intermediate people may find it useful. It has few complicated phrases, so it makes a good addition to the words above.


Edited by renzhe
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The thing I liked about Empty Mirror compared to both this and Fendou, is that Empty Mirror seems more realistic, or at least more representative of daily life. Fendou and 好想好想谈恋爱 both seem to be set in a magical world where everyone is rich, successful, and lives in a nice big spacious apartment. In that sense, I personally find these shows a little removed from reality. Ok, it's TV, it's not exactly supposed to be real, but it does make it harder to identify with.

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Yeah, this and (parts at least) of 奋斗 are very much aspirational.

One thing I find distracting is that 黎明郎 reminds me far to much of Karen Mok's role in the utterly fantastic So Close - 那英 looks like her anyway, and in this at least she acts like her too. I keep on expecting her to kung fu someone out of a window.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I just finished watching this series now, and have got mixed views about it. It contains loads of great dialog, and is probably worth watching for that alone, the problem is, it just didn't feel Chinese. It's like it was trying too hard to be just like Sex in the City, or some other American show, and the lifestyles led by the main characters were just too far out of sync with the China that I know, and that made it difficult to really get into.

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I feel the same way.

I really liked the acting and production values, above what I'm used to with Chinese shows. The dialogs were great. It's a very well done series.

But it's a fantasy world that basically doesn't exist. I connect better with Sun Wukong in the mobile phone series :mrgreen:

Still, I found it worth a watch and don't regret watching all of it. I'd recommend giving it a shot, basically.

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I agree with all your points.

Also, just to further what you said, with 魔幻手机 it's supposed to be fantasy, so when you see something ridiculous it's easy to suspend disbelief as long as it's consistent within the confines of that fantasy.

When something is trying to pass itself of as real life, it's harder to suspend disbelief when you see things that just don't mesh with reality.

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What, you guys don't spend your lives rushing between hip book bars, concept restaurants, sleek modern workplaces and luxury apartments? Man, you're totally missing out on the real China. . .

Watched a couple more of this. Bits of the dialogue are great fun, but then you get parts where you just want them to shut up. Not really inspired to keep watching.

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  • 2 months later...

Filled in some blanks:

新贵 newly rich, neau ... nu . . . newly rich in French

霞光 dawn or dusk light

美人计 a trap or scheme relying on feminine charms

天造地设 ideal, made in heaven

用心良苦 wrack one's brains?

待价而沽 wait for a better offer

于心不忍 can't bear to

留有余地 leave space to maneuvure

依依惜别 not want to part

性别歧视 sexism

撕心裂肺 grief wracked

薄情寡义 heartless

一物降一物 er . . something beats everything

君子之交 gentlemen's agreement

无心恋战 no heart for battle

鸣金收兵 sound the surrender

坐怀不乱 resist temptation

高风亮节 of noble character

重色轻友 value sex over friends

红杏出墙 be adultering

成双成对 pair up

孤家寡人 loner

心里有鬼 be guilty, have ulterior motives

I didn't just copy the ABC dictionary. I paraphrased.

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