‘Flowers in Fog’

Source:Global Times Published: 2013-8-15 18:48:01

The cast of <em>Flowers in Fog</em> signs

The cast of Flowers in Fog signs "I love you" to their fans. Photo: IC

Flowers in Fog, a Chinese TV series shot in France and written by the famous romance author Chiung Yao, has been a highly rated program since it began airing on Hunan TV on August 6. And it has had over 20 million views online.   

Just like other TV series by Chiung Yao, Flowers in Fog has become a hot topic. It is her first original story after the Princess Pearl TV series in 1998, which was called a legend for its audience rating.

In the past 15 years, Chiung Yao focused on remaking her old successful TV dramas, such as Romance in the Rain and Dream Links, but did not receive as many positive comments as the previous versions. Just when people were beginning to think the 75-year-old novelist and screenwriter was out of time, she came back with a new piece.

Original new story

The TV series includes different types of love stories. Four girls with musical talents were raised up in an orphanage and experienced a new life after being adopted into different families. One of them was found to have mysteriously committed suicide after falling in love with a rich boy. Hearing this, her young friend discovered the truth behind her death and meanwhile  had a crush on the boy's brother. The two other girls also have their own dramatic romances in later life.

Chiung Yao invited her old partners such as Ruby Lin (the main actress of the Princess Pearl series in 1998) and Liu De-kai (the main actor of Dream Links in 1995) into Flowers in Fog as well as some new actresses in her remade versions of dramas such as Li Sheng and Zhang Rui (the main actress and actor of new Princess Pearl series in 2011), hoping the mixture of different generations will bring some new effect.

With France providing the backdrop, the scenery in the TV series is widely praised by the audience. They enjoy the splendid view of old castles, beautiful fields of flowers and serene harbors. Chiung Yao showed her confidence when she told Beijing Youth News, "The places we choose are somewhere even French people rarely go for shooting movies. If you want to see the most romantic scenes, just find them in my play."

Still old fashioned

Flowers in Fog is claimed to be the first script written by Chiung Yao that is not based on her existing novels. But people still find the source of some characters and storylines from two of Chiung Yao's other novels. The story of Huohua and her image as a "black angel" can be traced back to Yan Er Zai Lin Shao (Wild Goose in the Forest), and the character Bai Haihua and Geng Ruochen actually come from Chiung Yao's previous novel Xin You Qian Qian Jie (Thousands of Knots in Heart).

Even though the story of Flowers in Fog happens in modern time, some viewers point out that the way the characters entertain themselves and date is quite old fashioned: Discussing old Russian literature, reciting the life of musicians and running with a lover in the tall grass seem unlike the things youngsters do nowadays. 

However, Chiung Yao has publicly expressed her high expectations for Flowers in Fog on many occasions, calling it her most perfect piece ever. When asked about the online criticism, she wrote a passionate response on her blog: "How I wish my audience could tell me: 'though you are old, you still complete a classic story!'"

50th anniversary

Since Chiung Yao published her first novel Chuang Wai (Outside the Window) in 1963, the romance writer has been creating novels and drama plays for 50 years.

During that time, Chiung Yao published 64 novels, produced 25 TV series and 50 movies based on her original works. She started to cooperate with mainland TV stations for her TV series in 1989, and became one of the bestselling authors in the Chinese mainland in the 1990s.

Chiung Yao is also famous for selecting the actresses for her productions by herself. She discovered a lot of green actresses, including Brigitte Lin and Zhao Wei, and helped them become famous.

Jin Ming, who starred as a child in many of Chiung Yao's plays in the early 1990s, said the author has her own strict principles for selecting girls. "She always can find the most suitable actress for the character," she told the media in 2009, "Girls should be pretty with big eyes, and good at crying."

Many of Chiung Yao's stories feature women suffering from mental pains for the sake of love while facing various problems raised by traditional customs or the gap between different family backgrounds. As 50 years have passed, and her health is not as good as before, she still strongly expresses her faith in love on her blog: "I have spent nearly all my life to prove my faith to love… In the past 50 years, I once felt tired and slacked off some, but I've never give up."

Global Times

Posted in: Film

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