Thursday, February 21, 2008

Young Warriors of the Yang Clan

I started a new show. It is slightly reminiscent of the start of my journey over one year ago when I first viewed “Emperor of the Sea”. EotS was my first foray into the k-drama scene and I’ve been hooked ever since.

However, what I am watching now is not Korean. It’s Chinese. ""Young Warriors of the Yang Clan" (you can buy it at YesAsia) Drama-wiki’s synopis is brief and to the point: “This drama focuses on the earlier days of the legendary Yang Clan when most of them were not yet soldiers. It tells of how their parents, their enemies, and the women they loved shaped their characters, influenced their lives, and motivated them to become the patriotic warriors their clan is revered for.”

I’m not a big fan of Mandarin Drama. The subtitles flash across the screen too quickly and when coupled with a sub par translation, it makes for difficult watching. Additionally, I’m not a big fan of the kung-fu. My knowledge of the art is limited to young Gwasshoppah (Radames Pera ) trying to grab a pebble out of Master Po's (Keye Luke) hand - something made famous in the ABC television show from 1972. He also attempted to walk across rice paper without leaving a mark. I didn’t understand why walking on paper was so hard. Such were the musings of an 8 year old.

I have to say, I’m left pretty cold by the flying leaps and balancing on the edge of a sword stuff. I appreciate that culturally it’s a big deal; just doesn’t do it for me. I prefer the romance and the character driven stuff much more. And, there, Young Warriors is delivering. Of course, it sure doesn’t hurt that some of our protagonists are mighty attractive.

A basic good versus evil premise, with hot young bucks. (From what I can understand given the translation) they are sensitively written, the parents of the young men love their sons and are more emotionally in line with fathers of today than what I have seen in historical Mandarin drama. Loving their boys and showing vulnerability but trying to communicate strength to them. It's quite lovely the way it's shot too.

Of course, we have a Super Evil Bad Dude who is in love with the same woman that one of that one of our good guys, Hot Young Yang Buck is in love with. I hardly need to tell you that she loves Hot Young Yang Buck and despises Super Evil Bad Dude. But Girl gets sick with the "intoxication". “Intoxication” is a worms-in-the-blood disease that has infected everyone in town (they really should use the word infection...."Oh!" as still another Yang Brother spits up worms, "You have the intoxication!").

Girl gets sick with the intoxication, Super Evil Bad Dude slinks in to the barricade in fine ninja fashion, fights off Hot Young Yang Buck to bring the antidote to the woman he loves.

She HATES him! She will not take the medicine! She'd rather die! Bwahahahahaha - he informs her that Hot Young Yang Buck has the intoxication too! Good! cries Girl! They can die together! Super Evil Dude force feeds her the pill. Hot Young Yang Buck comes in! They fight! Super Evil Ninja Man jumps on a wall laughing "I will have her eventually!!" And explodes out a door! Girl is sorrowful because now she cannot die with her Hot Young Yang Buck lover, but Hot Young Yang Buck is touched and overjoyed that Super Evil loved Girl enough to give her the cure so now she can live. Before they cut to commercial his words were slightly reminiscent of that marvelous movie "Last of the Mohicans" - "You stay alive! No matter what occurs!" Didn't quite come out that way, but it's what I decided he was saying. Sigh.

And so the story goes. But like Emperor of the Sea, I’ve read the spoilers. I know how it ends. It's not good.


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