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First Episode 78: 防火墙5788 (Firewall)


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

A soap comedy about a high-tech Beijing company, written by the 武林外传 author. 姚晨 is in it, among others.

Language level: Intermediate. Lots of vocab, but not hard to follow, save for the pretty ubuquitous Beijingering by most actors.


Tudou: http://www.tudou.com/playlist/playindex.do?lid=6255102&iid=23800244

youku: http://www.youku.com/playlist_show/id_2593431.html (China only)

joy.cn: http://v.joy.cn/teleplay/detail/70853.htm

sohu: http://tv.sohu.com/20100724/n273729755.shtml




The story follows a medium-sized high-tech company run by two childhood friends, 舒荣 and 贝志诚. They are not a couple, but something seems to be brewing deep down, something 佟俊, a mid-level manager in the company, is apparently not happy about. 舒荣 takes care of finances and business stuff, while 贝志诚 is a childish nerd genius who produces high-quality software and is envied in the sector, despite being difficult to deal with, missing deadlines, etc. The company must have some software ready for an important customer, but he messes up the electricity at home and needs to recover the data from the hard disk.

This is where he runs into 宋玉秀, who is visiting her friend 大雄 in Beijing and carrying an important piece of art from their 师父 which should be auctioned (not sure what it is, but I'm assuming some type of ceramics). Upon arriving to Beijing, she loses her glasses and accidentally ends up in 贝志诚's car, mistaking it for a taxi. As a result, she destroys his hard disk with some magnetic prop for cheating on electricity meters, and loses the valuable art in the process. They spend the rest of the episode trying to find the suitcase, and 贝志诚 spends the rest of the episode trying to rewrite most of the software from scratch.

The third storyline follows 佟俊 and his still-girlfriend 露露. He is overworked, envious of 贝志诚, and a hopeless selfish womanizer. Before the episode is over, he dumps her, and we catch him colluding with a rival company's manager, who is trying to steal the information about the company's upcoming IPO.

中央五 = CCTV5

视频请求 video request

二大妈 this is what he calls 舒荣

展示 exhibition

人工智能 artificial intelligence

程序 (computer) program

退魔猎人 some kind of action figure

麦克法兰 McFarlane, the toy manufacturer

设计师 designer

亲笔签名 autograph, personal signature

销毁 destroy

市场部 marketing department

刁 fussy

抓紧 (时间) hurry up

掉链子 to break loose (from being chained)

没辙 = 没办法

婆婆妈妈 hesitant

纵容 allow

口风 one's intention or view as revealed in what one says

贡献 contribution

依然 still

正规 standard

家族企业 family-owned business

恢复数据 to recover data

提名 nomination (counting word: 项)

诺贝尔奖 Nobel prize

原子能 nuclear energy

超导 superconduction

磁 magnetic, magnetism

中关村 high-tech district in Beijing

大兴 another area of Beijing

系 (pron. ji4) fasten (a seatbelt)

朝外 another aera of Beijing

堵车 traffic jam

慰问 express appreciation

敷衍 to go through the motions (here: reply without really listening)

没劲 uninteresting

钱柜 a famous karaoke bar

自助茶 self-service tea, probably involving a food buffet

神秘 secret

二环 second ring (the road)

印象派 impressionism

野兽派 fauvism

海淀区 another district in Beijing

海淀图书场 a famous bookstore in 海淀

美德 virtue

后背箱 boot/trunk of a car

如鱼得水 like a duck to water, in this case the name of an art work

拍卖行 auction house

市价 market price

备份 backup

函数库 software library

利润 profit

卷铺盖卷走人 pack up one's things and leave

米田共 poo (it describes the traditional character 糞 = 粪)

磨洋工 waste time, procrastinate

口红 lipstick

体面 dignity

龙舌兰 = tequila

黑手党 the Mafia

评估 evaluate

回忆录 memoirs, recollections (a literary work)

黑方 = Johnny Walker Black Label

The first 10 minutes of this are excruciatingly bad, but soon it picks up action nicely. The first episode introduces most of the main characters and the story, but is still quite eventful. The second one starts with the intrigue, listening devices, a policeman kickboxing brother, and many other things.

This is not meant to be a side-splitting laughter-fest, but it has a nice atmosphere, and has so far managed to create interesting characters. The relationship between 舒总 and 贝总 is quite funny -- he refers to her as 二大吗 (behind her back), and she blackmails him with nerdy action figurines. Unlike in most other shows, 姚晨 here is a pretty useless 笨手笨脚.

Knowing who wrote the script, I'm willing to give this a spin and see how it develops.

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post-16843-005573000 1294511657_thumb.jpg

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Hmm, watched this, and can't say I'm impressed. Especially as someone who works in software development, the whole situation was just too unbelievable to, well, suspend disbelief :)

It may have been written by the same guy as 武林外传, but it would need to get significantly better if I was going to consider watching any more of it.

Like xiaocai, I also found the background music too over dramatic.

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After about 7 episodes, I pretty much agree.

It's not that the show is bad, it's actually very average when it comes to Chinese shows. And that's disappointing, because there are some nice things about it. Some of the double crossing literally had me laughing out loud, and that's no small feat.

But unfortunately, you get the average portion we're used to from Chinese mainland TV shows: overly dramatic music, the local language school non-English speaking laowai gathered together to pretend that they are in a US ghetto (I swear, only Chinese shows use this trick), ridiculous hacker nonsense, comedy, romance, stretching a bit of story over several episodes by using cheap tricks, the whole package. It's all been seen before.

If it weren't for the US ghetto hacker angle, I'd probably keep watching, but that broke it for me. On the other hand, watching 佟俊 get seriously pwned several times made the watching the first few episodes worthwhile.

EDIT: LOL at 妖晨 , fixed that :)

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