Yanie(layout designer, uploader, contents writer) :
Xiao Ao Jiang Hu CCTV 2001 is the second adaptation of the novel, I've ever watched. The first one I watched was SOD TVB 1984 which starred Chow Yun Fat(LHC), Rebecca Chen(RYY), Jamie Chic(YLS) and Dung Wai(LPZ). But, I'm not very interested with it, as I only watched like 10% of the whole series.
SOD CCTV 2001 broadcasted on my CableTV channel, Asia Plus on 9 PM every week-days. I got hooked with the series started from episode 24(believe it or not, I missed a lot of the first episodes >_<). The first thing that intrigued me is the atmosphere, it's very different with any other chinese ancient TV series, so I kept watching, and it really got me hooked with it!! I even taped my favorite scenes on my VCR. And, now...I'm planning to buy all the episodes when it come out in my country(which maybe will be in the end of this year >_<).
After I've watched ep. 24-40 and after I gather up other people's opinions, this is what I think(personal opinion) about the series :
1. Plot : It deviated pretty much in the beginning of the episodes. But, fortunately, it stick pretty close to the novel as the story goes towards the end. Especially, the last 10 episodes...it gets very interesting and you can feel full of excitement as you watch it, made you want to watch more and more. Coz, all the important scenes happened all on the last ten episodes, so it didn't get boring. Nearly have no unneccessary scenes. And, I enjoyed very much the final battle, although it deviated a little from the novel. But, it shows the real climax of the whole series. Just perfect!!^^
2. Actors : Li Yapeng(LHC) and Xu Qing(RYY) have a very good on-screen chemistry, also with the other actors. Li Yapeng did a superb job in portraying Ling Hu Chong(esp. in serious expressions and fighting expressions ^_^ Very cool and charming! As for the ridiculous/comical expressions, can't say superb...but, it's acceptable^^). Xu Qing also did a great job as Ren Ying Ying, actually I love Anita Yuen's(Taiwan 2000) face more as RYY, but I love how Xu Qing portrayed RYY more. And, what I love the most...that the actors do accents!! The Qing Cheng people talking in Si Chuan dialect, the Mountain Hymn in Fu Jian dialect. How cool is that!
3. Portrayal, Costumes, & Make-ups : This is what I like, although the story was changed here and there, but the portrayal/characterization/appearance of the characters are close to the novel. Also, perfect specific and detailed costumes...followed the novel closely. Again, perfect make-ups, esp. for Dung Fang Bu Bai's flowers painted on his forehead. I personally, love Ying Ying's all-blue outfit, sooooo cute(esp. because my fave color is blue)!!
4. Special Effects : For once, the computer effects on an ancient chinese TV series DOESN'T look funny or stupid!!^^ Like how Yu Chang Hai shot his mask out at Ling Pin Zhi, or when a skull shaped cloud came out when he was fighting Yue Bu Qun. It looks neutral, not over-done, just plain cool!
5. Music : Unfortunately, it's not as good as the themes in The Golden 80s. I like a little part of the ending theme, though. It's not as good as the 1984 TSPW/SOD, but this one is unique and I can also feel the heroic element. Starts out with a fast melody with a male vocal, I personally love the background chorus, but the main melody itself is not that good. And, then in the middle, the melody turns slow and romantic with a female vocal, I love this one! And then...turns back to the fast melody!!^^ That's why, the ending credits last more than 3 minutes.
For the instrumental in the middle of the serial, while scenes are going on, I don't like it >_< Esp. the song when YLS died. Awful kind of song!! It's a VERY ancient Chinese kind of song! Hurt my ears >_< But, I personally love the instrumental orchestra when LHC succeed in winning the final battle!!^^ Classic!
6. Scenery & Settings : This is my most favorite element of the adaptation. Coz, the settings are ALL REAL!! Not to mention, VERY beautiful and breathtaking scenery! No in-doors!! I mean, for settings that MEANT to be outside ^_~ Just love it!
All in all, Xiao Ao Jiang Hu CCTV 2001 is ONE OF THE BEST Jin Yong adaptation!!!^O^
Lingz13(pics capturer, episodes synopsis writer, other contents writer) :
Since I was young, I have been exposed
to numerous Jin Yong wuxia serials on TV. It was first through these serials
that I started to develop a keen interest in Jin Yong novels and really
get to know this great writer. Over the years, many serials have been produced
based on his novels which by now is quality-guaranteed. To me, remakes
are usually worse off, nonetheless XAJH 2001 has made a difference. The
firstXAJH that I watched was the TVB 1984 version. However, it was just
average on the whole. I have watched 4 versions and I could say confidently,
in my eyes, XAJH 2001 is the best.
When my friend first lent me the
VCDs, I was neither keen nor interested to watch it for I have always had
the impression that only HK can produce a truly good sword-fighting drama
whereas China is more famous for it's historical dramas like Romance of
the Three Kingdoms, The Imperial Courts of Yongzheng etc. To my surprise,
when I started to watch XAJH 2001, I was simply hooked onto it. And then,
I just watched VCD after VCD, completing the 40 episodes serial in around
When I saw the first episode, my
first impression of Li Yapeng was : "How could he act as Linghu Chong?
My gosh!". In the first scene, he was donning a fake moustache, posing
as an middle-aged guy. Don't have the looks of a daxia, I thought.
Nonetheless, as the show proceeds, Li Yapeng really astonishes me with
his excellent acting skills. He manages to bring out the different characteristics
in the chirvalrous character: fun-loving, cheerful, devotion, loyalty and
so on. Love the manner in which he jokes around and when supposed to be
serious and firm, he could pull it off very well too!! An extremely versatile
actor. And yes, the scenes where he impersonates a general got to be the most hilarious moments in the entire serial. The way he imitates the funny accent behaviour. Real cute!!
Another artiste that has left
a deep impression on me is Xu Qing.
She is so natural in her acting and pretty-looking too. When she smiles,
the dimples shown make her look so sweet and lovely. Xu Qing was the only
artiste in SOD 2001 that I knew before watching this show as she has acted
in 1 or 2 Singapore dramas in the early 90s. Personally, I like the way
she portrays Ren Ying Ying, though I have heard from others that hers is
not close to the novel. Most importantly, Li Yapeng and Xu Qing have amazing
on-screen chemistry!! This is one huge factor that draws me to this serial.
I have never felt anything for this couple in all the other versions that
I have watched, but in SOD 2001, I really looked forward to their appearance
and I love every scene where they are together. Before I forget, there is this particular scene
which I still have vivid memories of. Where both of
them are putting on an act in the inn to distract the
enemies, RYY pretending to be a prostitute and LHC's
immediate reaction(posing as a general), spitting the
wine he was drinking when shocked by the change in
RYY's behaviour. A must-watched scene, in my view. Oh,
I nearly laughed my head off! It is because of Li Yapeng's
and Xu Qing's perfect coordination, that Linghu Chong and Ren Ying Ying
become my fave Jin Yong couple.
In general, all the supporting
casts like Chen Lifeng(Yi Lin), Li Jie(Lin PingZhi), Miao Yiyi(Yue
Ling San) did a pretty good job. Special mention to Wei Zi, who acts as
the hypocrite, Yue Buqun, He has great charisma, in my eyes, and has the
looks of a person who can accomplish great tasks. Acting wise - one word
- excellent!! No one suits the role better than him.
I love the scenery depicted
in the show. The vast mountains, grassland etc. Gives people a soothing
feeling. All real, unlike some fake scenery in other productions. And more
amazing is that they even show the ancient(but sadly declining) Chinese
art of "bian lian"(changing faces). It was truly an eye-opener! The members
of Qingcheng Sect even speak in authentic Sichuan dialect which is extremely
interesting. And also, in this show, all the Heng Shan nuns really shaved
their heads!! Wow! Quite a sacrifice, I have thought. But then, on the
other hand, I really do admire their professionalism!!
The fighting scenes are well-filmed
too. Real fighting with punches and kicks. U can see clearly who is fighting
with whom, unlike in the TCS version, all I can see is people flying around
with no contact at all. No unnecessary special effects too, which I am
pretty sick of now. Personal fave fighting scenes are :
All these scenes did make my heart beat
Linghu Chong blinded the masked men
outside the temple with just a stroke of Dugu Swordplay.
Linghu Chong and Ren Ying Ying(playing
the qin with tears in her eyes as well) fighting ferciously with 3 groups
of villians outside the Bamboo Hut.
Lin Pingzhi, after mastering Pi Xie
Jian Fa, killed Mu Gaofeng and Yu Canghai.
Four pugilists(LHC, RYY, RWX and XWT)
fighting Dung Fang Bu Bai.
The duel between Ren Wo Xing and Yue
Bu Qun who attacked the Sun Moon Sect in the last episode.
And of course, the final battle between
Linghu Chong and Yue Bu Qun.
Another special feature which
I'm quite impressed too is the atmosphere created whenever the Sun Moon Sect is shown. A bony-looking man,
with his face coloured, putting a stick of fire and spreading it across
his hands. Seems stupid?? I don't quite know how to explain it, but when
you see it, then you will know it.You can really feel the spooky feeling
and evilness. Anyway, its supposed to be an evil cult too. Also, when the
Sun Moon Sect is shown, there is always this scene when many members bow
to the leader and the music that accompanies it. I guess this is only a
minor observation, but I feel this minor move on the part of the producers
does has an impact. It makes the whole scene magnificent. There are also
many ke-le-fes(extras) in this serial. I think this is necessary so as to create the grand
atmosphere and feeling. In other shows, the producers usually only use
a few extras and trying to pretend like there are a lot.
The ending song also leaves
a deep impression on me too. The song divided into like 2 parts, first
a fast tune, then a slow melancholic one, sung by HK pop diva, Faye Wong.
A song quite unique in it's way. And I like it and feels it really suits
the drama well. But my fave 'Xiao Ao Jiang Hu' tune is still "cang hai
yi sheng xiao", the song in the movie(Swordsman 1).
Of course, a serial, no matter how
good it is, cannot be without flaws. Occasionally, I feel that some
scenes are quite slow-paced. For eg, they take 10 secs to show someone
walking up the stairs. And also, there are some scenes which have no dialogue
and yet that take up quite a long time. I felt like fast forwarding these
parts. Personally, I feel that the parts showing Linghu Chong on Si Guo
Ya(Repentance Cliff), the change of Yue Ling Shan's love and her scenes
with Lin Pingzhi, quite draggy.
All in all, XAJH 2001 is a fantastic
show which I feel, one will not feel disappointed with, after watching
it. Well, I have to admit that one minus point is that
this serial starts out pretty slow (as in most China
serials, I think,). Frankly speaking, I can nearly doze
off. And it seems that all the artists were not at
their best in the beginning. Maybe it's because at the
beginning, they still haven't got immersed completely
in their roles. But to my relief, as the show
proceeds, all have shown considerably great improvements. Well-done!! Though it deviates a little from the novel, it is still a good catch
in all aspects such as the dazzling fighting scenes, the artists' excellent
portrayal, the costumes and hairstyles, the beautiful scenery, the music(especially
the ending song) and most important, the storyline! Can see that the production
crew put in a lot of effort!! Moreover, there is a strong Oriental feeling
in XAJH 2001 that can never be found in other countries' productions, I
A Review By
Also called Tieu Ngao Giang Ho (in Vietnamese ) or Smiling Proud Wanderer, or
some other ridiculous English names like State of Divinity
Blood Cold, Proud Hot(10$ for whoever can come up
with a stupider name than this).
I was bored, coudn't sleep and had nothing to do, hence this review was done,
as I can see that a few still haven't seen it yet. For those who have seen this,
please discuss By the way, if I make mistakes with the pinyin names, please correct
Just a side comment: I bought this series from ChinaMall.com after visiting
Yanie's ond Lingz13's XAJH 2001 site and SPCNET (that's how I found this place).
Got ripped off big time (paid $94 USD including shipping to Australia) but it
was the first time I used my credit card so I didn't care Anyway let's start
with the review. You will see that I do things backwards compared to other reviewers.
I should have captured some screenshots but I'm too lazy, and you can find them
in other reviews or sites dedicated to this series anyway.
1.Packaging, intro & ending themes.
This is the main picture on the box: .
Typical stuff for a wuxia series: the hero in the middle, surrounded by the
chicks and his enemies. Maybe I'm just nitpicking, but firstly they placed the
title Xiao Ao Jiang Hu (in Chinese) in the wrong place where Jiang ended up
being on the girl's bright dress, hence the letter Jiang had to be white on
a black background. Looks very messy. Next, call me crazy but I almost didn't
buy this because I didn't like the expression on the main hero's face. He should
look smiley and carefree instead of being so serious (more on this in The Cast).
Might post a rant on wuxia series' posters later.
This series consists of 28 VCD's and 40 episodes (about right for a Jin Yong
adaption). It's in VCD 2.0 format, which has quite good pictures, just slightly
below SVCD and DVD imo.
The intro and ending themes are what I usually watch first when watching a
wuxia series, since they are a special feature of this genre. I like how they
made the intro with the flash stuff, but how they selected the pictures is another
story. They just picked some random pictures of the two main male and female
characters and put each with two other random pictures of some other random
characters ! Too much randomness here, just meaningless. The music (flute) was
awesome though. The ending theme is pretty well done. The song, sung by, well,
some guy and Faye Wong if I'm correct, captured the main theme of the novel:
smiling proud wanderer (the male singer's part) and romance (the female's
Mainland series are well known for beautiful scenery, so this is not an exception.
I must say that I'm most impressed with how they chose the locations: they appear
exactly how they are described in the book. The best ones are Yingying's place
in the city of Lu Yang; Hang San (where the nuns are) I couldn't believe
that that bridge really exists! Fan-bloody-tastic! Song Shan - where
they fought for the Five Sword schools leader position, you can feel the thrill
before the battles start.
This adaption is about 70% faithful to the novel, so it might piss off some
hardcore novel fans, but to those who haven't read it, I think it's acceptable.
The biggest changes are caused by Yingying, the female lead. She's supposed
to appear in the second half of the book, but here they make her appear in the
2nd episode ! Initially I was annoyed, but after seeing her, I thought that
was a brilliant idea ! Girls, do not let your boyfriend see this series because
afterwards he will be dreaming of Yingying instead of you. Even if the whole
series were a dud, you could still sit through it just to watch Yingying. Anyway
because she appeared too early, many small scenes were added to make the series
Although I quite like the fight scenes (see next part), I hate how they added
too many unecessary ones here, by letting the Song San guys and the Evil Sect
guys running rampant, crashing into each other or our heroes randomly and just
start fighting for no particular reason.
Many will tell you that this series has the best fight scenes. They are correct.
This series is mostly about sword arts so there are many sword fights, and the
majority are very well done. What I like the most are that they didn't use stupid
effects like using swords as Star Wars light
sabers or like machine gu ns that can blow up big rocks etc., and that there
aren't many flying scenes (gosh I hate those). You get to see real sword play,
assisted with flash effects. The best performed one, IMO, is the Evil Sword
art (Pi Xie sword) used by Lin Pingzi. Incredibly fast, fierce and feminine,
exactly how it's described in the novel. I was also impressed by the varieties
of sword arts from different martial schools: the sizes of the swords, the performing
speed, the ways they are wielded... Again, almost like how they are described
in the novel.
However, inevitably, there are lemons. The most disappointing is, unfortunately,
Dugu 9 Swords, which is the most displayed, the main kungfu of our hero Linghu
Chung and perhaps one of the coolest martial arts in Jin Yong's universe. I
could sense the disappointment the first time I saw Fong Qing Yang teach Linghu
Chung this sword art. Instead of applying the sword philosophy he was teaching,
like how it should be in the novel (predicting opponent's moves, attacking is
the best way to defense, using the sword like flowing water, floating cloud
and "no move beats real moves") Fong was flying across
the cave. Later, well you can guess it, Linghu was flying too, whenever he performed
Dugu 9 Swords. It's funny, because most of the time he was seriously injured
and could barely walk, but he could fly ! Whatever. Flying isn't entirely bad,
but the way he flew was totally ridiculous. One of his favourite moves was to
fly straight up with his sword pointing upwards, then after he was about 20
feet above ground, he dived head first, sword tip pointing downwards. After
the sword touched the ground, he started wielding it around, and attacking the
opponent.... My IQ dropped 10 points after seeing that the first time, and I
believe his opponent's dropped to zero. If I were fighting Linghu, I could simply
thrust the sword forward while he was flying and bye bye to our hero. I still
can't understand why the kungfu choreographer could come up with such BS, seeing
that the other stuff were very well done.
The other lemon is Xi Xing Dafa, another skill that Linghu and his future father-in-law,
ex-leader of the Evil Sect posessed. Also known as Vacuum Cleaner kungfu....Seriously
you have to watch this to see how silly it is. I can't be bothered talking about
Just like the scenery, mainland series usually have very good costumes and
so does this series. Yingying's fashion show is enough to prove this. You can
also see how serious they were when it comes to this, for example, all monks
and nuns actually shave their heads. Things like that, although minor, make
the series much more enjoyable.
The only lemon: someone had this stupid idea of portraying the Evil Sect...Whenever
there's a scene about the Evil Sect at their headquarter, there are a few African-like
dudes with funny tatoos and paintings all over their bodies, blowing and swallowing
fire. You know, just to make it obvious to braindead morons that these Evil
guys are weirdos. Puh-lease.
Linghu Chong ¨Li Ya Peng: 4/5
He is the Smiling Proud Wanderer, the main hero. While he showed plenty of
pride, he always looked a bit too serious (probably should blame the script
writer), not carefree and smiley enough, thanks to the extra emotional scenes
he had to act (should I blame the script writer ?). On the whole, his performance
was fine. The only scene that he annoyed me was the last one, when he was standing
there, like a dumbass, watching Yingying getting seriously injured and almost
killed by Yue Bu Qun, his martial teacher. Oh well the script writer thought
he didn't have enough reason to kill Yue so....
Ren Yingying ¨ Xu Qing: 7/5
She's the reason why I bought this series (at first I thought it sucked) and
I was not disappointed (although I didn't know who she was before that) ! She
looks exactly like the Yingying that XAJH readers can imagine. Hey even Jin
Yong himself thinks so ! She was given a bit more melodramatic role in this
adaption however, but although it differs a lot from the novel, she did an excellent
job. She's innocently beautiful, cute, witty and caring, although she is a terrible
cook (but who cares !?). Anyway the only thing that makes her different from
the novel's Yingying is that she's not shy enough. The novel's Yingying blushes
all the time.
The leaders of the 5 sword schools: 5/5
They are Yue Bu Qun (Hua Shan - LHC's master), Zuo Lengchan (Song Shan),
Mok Dai (Hanh San), the nun of Heng Shan school (I don't know her name) and the
Taoist of Taishan. They all did a very good job, especially Yue Bu Qun, who
was brilliant as a hypocrite with the nickname Gentleman Sword, and the nun
- she's tough and can surely kick arse !
The Evil Sect's leaders:
Dongfang Bubai: 4.5/5 the most powerful villain, who castrated himself to pratice
a very powerful kungfu manual (the more complete version of Pi Xie sword mentioned
above) and somehow became a shemale. He (not sure if it's a he or a she) wasn't
on screen much, but the fight scene between him and Linghu Chung and the rest
Ren Wo Xing 2/5: father of Ren Yingying and ex-leader of the Evil Sect. I recognised
him immediately. He played Cao Cao in the classic Romance of the Three
Kingdom. He was brilliant in that, but here he's terrible. Someone please teaches
him how to laugh...there's more than one way of just looking up and "hahahahahah"
like a dumbass. Ren Wo Xing is supposed to be a cool and very smart villain
but somehow this guy turns his character into a joke & constantly loses
his cool and....laugh like an idiot. At first with his messy clothes as he just
escaped from the dungeon, he was actually OK, but later I felt sorry for him
for trying too hard to laugh and act almighty. He got killed by Yue Bu Qun in
the end because he was too full of himself.
The support cast:
Most of them were wonderful. Yilin the nun was amazingly beautiful and very
well chosen for such a minor role. The 6 Peach Fairies were very funny and here
they have all 6 of them instead of just 2 or 4 because of limited budgets like
in other adaptions. Xiang Wan Tian, the No Commandment Monk, the Shaolin Abbots,
the Wudang leader etc. did very well, especially in fight scenes (I think I've
seen them many times in other wuxia/ancient series).
The one deserves most of the praises is Lin Ping Zhi, a rather pitiful character
(parents got killed, got cheated by everyone, had only one way to take revenge...).
He makes the character much more livelier than in the novel. The scene where
he took revenge and displayed the Pi Xie sword art is one of the best in this
series, IMO. 5/5 for him.
There was another lemon: Yue Bu Qun's wife who was closest to a real
parent Linghu Chung ever had. This actress has the right look, but she can't
act at all. In scenes that had her in, she just stood there listening to others
with that dumb look and no expression on her face, until the camera focused
on her. Then you can see a delay of about 2 seconds (very noticable !) before
she started to act ! She was good in the fight scenes though. 1/5 for this lady.
On the whole, this series is highly recommended and a must watch for wuxia
fans. If I'm not mistaken, this is the first wuxia series that mainland made,
and I think they did a fairly good job. I give it 4/5 overall. I think my 94$
USD wasn't wasted