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First Episode 73: 血色浪漫 (Blood Romance)


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As first recommended by Mandarina in the Grand First Episode thread, and now also by me in its very own topic! As she said:

just wanted to recommend a really good tv-series called 血色浪漫. It's about Beijing 流氓 back in 1968. The language is pretty difficult, with the standard Beijing accent (where they mumble every single word), but it's really funny, fast, with lots of wordplay and plenty of 雷锋 references.

I've only watched the first episode, which featured groups of directionless young men roaming the streets of Beijing, trying to pick up girls and getting into trouble. They are constantly on the point of erupting into violence, but there is a real innocence to them at the same time; a fight nearly starts over tickets to the ballet that people have been queueing hours for, because there is a rumour that ballerinas don't wear any clothes. The main group of guys all seem to have fathers who were important army officers but now have been locked up for Cultural Revolution crimes which they find confusing as they are still very proud of them. The show seems to do a great job of showing the curious mix of hair trigger aggression and good intentions that is often seen in newly independent guys who are confused and stressed about their place in the world.

None of them drive Audis like 陆涛 in 奋斗 thank goodness.

Tudou link:


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  • 1 month later...

I'm about halfway through this and I really like it, it is really solid drama. The other Chinese TV series I have enjoyed haven't been pure drama in the way this one is, they all trade off something else to some extent, whether spy intrigue in 潜伏, kung fu in the 金庸 series, social commentary in 蜗居 etc. This may be a sign that I need to watch 空镜子, which I keep meaning to, but never do. Although the setting in 血色浪漫 is a little bit historical (1968 is not that long ago), it doesn't feel like a historical drama that wants to show the sort of clothes that people wore x hundred years ago, it strongly character driven.

Despite the first post, it is not really about 流氓. Several of the main characters certainly go through a bit of a 流氓 phase in the first few episodes but they are all solid citizens now. You see the characters as 流氓 together, some of them get to pursue real careers and some of them become 知青 in 陕北, then you see what happens to the characters when they leave 陕北. There's a real sense of watching life stories unfold.

"Funny" wouldn't be the first word I would use to describe it, it is certainly not a comedy, but parts of it are very funny indeed. There's one scene where an official thinks a young guy is about to confess stealing antiques, but instead he confesses to feeding a pig thumbtacks (you have to see it to understand). There's another scene where a guy wants to help a friend impress a girl, so he tells the girl the friend is a closet genius who gives all the guys private lessons but doesn't want the girls to know. They stage a fake history class for the girl to overhear and ask this friend pretending to be their teacher the stupidest questions they can think of, barely able to hold back the laughter until the girl leaves.

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