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First Episode 38, 丑女无敌 - Ugly Betty in Chinese


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

Emule - sina HD


The Chinese version of US show Ugly Betty.

If you've seen the US show then you'll know what to expect - I haven't watched Ugly Betty religiously but have seen quite a few episodes and enjoyed them, so thought I'd give 丑女无敌 a shot and see how it stacked up. Thought it was fairly good. The main problem I had with it is that the 林无敌 (Betty herself) is overplayed, along with the reactions to her - a little shocked is fair enough, but falling off your chair? However that wasn't a major issue, especially as the whole thing is camped up - although it makes a nice change to see a Chinese show set in a white collar environment which knows it's camp - and the plot clipped along at a fair pace as you find out who is whose brother, sister, girlfriend, stooge and sworn enemy. Got a couple of decent laughs out of it and there's some good writing. Watch out for the Spiderman and 荷花姐姐 jokes. Also has lots of pretty people to look at.



Edited by renzhe
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  • 1 month later...

LOL, this is quite terrible :mrgreen: Pure trash.

But quite easy to follow and very brainless, which is good for listening practice. I might watch a few more as I don't want to commit to a more serious show at the moment. It's relatively entertaining and certainly tongue-in-cheek.

Edited by renzhe
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  • 4 months later...

I really enjoy the American version of Ugly Betty, so decided to start to watch the Chinese version to increase my listening skills a bit...



Even though I probably only understand 20% (or less!) of what is said, it is easy to follow the story line, especially if you know the basics of any of the other Ugly Betty shows (the original Spanish one, the American one, etc...)

I know it was slammed by a lot of the Chinese press, but for a beginner like me, looking to relax watching something light, it is a fun show.

Enjoy, and please recommend other shows that might be similar and easy to follow for a beginner like me :)

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Ha ha, I may lurk on these forums and have never posted in the First Episode Project, but I did definitely buy that series (魔幻手机) thanks to the influence of this forum.

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Post more! Ingrates, the lot of you

I don't know why, but lately I keep thinking that this is the most comfortable forum I have ever encountered. I feel like posting in it all the time. It is almost as if I have been hypnotised, or otherwise been subject to some strange and malignant subliminal influence ...

Anyway, Renzhe has said:

Of course, 魔幻手机 is the best TV show ever.

As of today I still agree with that, and if it had ended at episode 28 that is probably what I would think for the foreseeable future. But if 射雕英雄传 (83 version) doesn't collapse towards the end like 魔幻手机 did, we may have a new champion.

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  • 1 month later...

Back on-topic...

I've been watching episodes of this from time to time and it's quite entertaining. You really need a strong stomach and a sense of appreciation for trashy cinema, though, because this is way out there. But since it's too ridiculous, you don't take it seriously, and it makes for a decent pastime.

I don't know any other "Ugly Betty" show, so I don't know how different this is, but most characters are quite entertaining in their own outrageous way, and though the plot is quite silly, the interaction of all the ridiculous people is quite funny.

The most annoying thing about it is the product placement which crosses the line of good taste. But then again, most of this show crosses the line of good taste, so it kind of fits.

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I've been enjoying this more than I should have. Since there is no summary, I thought I'd give an overview of the main characters, as there are quite a few.

林无敌 is the hero, naive and capable, but ugly, which is why she got her application rejected 17 times. 唐亚军 is her equally ugly childhood friend who hangs out at her parents' house all the time and helps her out.

She gets a job at an advertising company. The company was founded by two friends, 费 and 李, and their children make up much of the current board of directors. At an important meeting to determine the new CEO. 费德南 narrowly wins the vote against his mortal enemy 李安瑞. The deciding vote is cast by his current girlfriend 李安茜, the sister of 李安瑞.

费德南 is quite a playboy and chases girls (mostly models as it's an advertising company) with his drinking buddy and one of the directors 吴庸. He has to do most of this very carefully, though, as 李安茜 is quite cunning and extremely jealous. She arranges for her good friend 裴娜, a very vain and aloof no-good who studied in the United States, to become his new secretary. He knows that this is a ploy to have him under surveillance at all times, so he tries to give the job to 无敌 (who actually knows her stuff). The solution in the end is to have both of them. There are a couple of other people on the board of directors (and other middle-management positions), the most important being 陈家明, the stereotypical effeminate director. Smaller roles are 李安娜, the 安茜‘s spoilt little sister, the old pervert 孙经理 and the company's accountant 楚国良, 李安瑞's stooge.

Like in most companies, the actual intrigue takes place at the lower level, among the staff. Here we have a group of women who hang out and scheme together: 小艾 is 陈家明's personal assistant, who is into psychic powers and acts and dresses very strangely most of the time. 张凌 is the company's front-desk receptionist who is addicted to stock markets and thus owes money to everyone. She also has many admirers, something she cold-heartedly abuses at every opportunity. 罗兰 is 李安茜's secretary, with two marriages behind her and raising two kids alone. She often has to take them to the company and hide them in a broom closet. 马沙沙 is 吴庸's secretary, she likes pretty boys and tasty food, but she gets much more of the latter, so she's fat. 范春花 is the cleaning lady who came from a far-away village in the north to escape poverty. Since she cleans the entire building, she knows everything that goes on. Finally, 苏蕾 used to work there, but married a super-rich tycoon, so she doesn't have to work any more. She's bored, so she comes to the company to ridicule everyone and to hang out with the other girls, and more often than not, to help them out of dificult situations with her boundless riches. Then we have 大熊, the useless security guard.

That covers most of the important people. You can find more details (in Chinese) here.

Anyway, this is ridiculously cheesy, but I find it enjoyable because it doesn't take itself seriously and it's not as heavy as most other shows. The language is very colloquial and not always easy to follow, but makes for good practice. It's not hard, but if you can follow this without subtitles, then you have decent listening comprehension. It's obvious that the actors were having a blast filming this, and the acting is actually very good. It feels very strange recommending this, but I'm actually enjoying it.

Edited by renzhe
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  • 2 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...
This show is not getting nearly enough love.

How much is enough?:wink: I just gave it one episode's worth of love. It was pretty funny but I'm more interested in another show at the moment. Maybe I'll come back to it.

The actresses in these types of shows wear dorky outfits but are never really ugly. I find this vaguely irritating - surely out of all of China they could have found at least one genuinely ugly girl for this?

of the highest quality

There's a theory that the best way to win a Best Actress Oscar is to take a beautiful woman and make her look as ugly as possible (think Nicole Kidman and her fake nose in The Hours and Charlize Theron in Monster, amongst others). On that basis alone, this show is indeed of the highest quality.

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  • 3 months later...
  • 4 weeks later...

newb question - I was about to buy 1 season of this show today, but it didn't specifically say "chinese subtitles" on the box. Does it always come with subtitles, regardless of what the box says? If so, I'll probably pick it up tomorrow.

I wound up buying 幸福一定強. It appears to be quite excellent - has anybody watched it(I can't find it on the master list)?

Edited by leosmith
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I took a chance, and yes, it came with subtitles. renzhe, this first episode project, the reviews, the links, etc, etc are absolutely outstanding. This is certainly in the top 5, if not number 1, most useful thing I've ever come across on the dozens of language forums I've visited over the years. I commend you, roddy, imron and everyone else who worked on it.:clap

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