No posts for some time, due to a few weeks' stay in hospital. But I'm now in recovery mode and can resume blogging - and there's a few news items to catch up on over the next few days.
We'll begin with the Asia Rainbow TV Awards which were held back on 22 March. The awards, held for the first time, were dominated by Chinese shows and actors. Best Modern Drama was awarded to A Beautiful Daughter-in-law Era (媳妇的美好时代), a family drama which focuses on the relationship between mother and daughter-in-law, a sometimes rocky relationship in Chinese society.
A Chinese production also won in the Best Action Drama category, A Legend of Shaolin Kung Fu: Heroes in Trouble (少林寺传奇). In the Best Comedy category, the award went to the Taiwanese romantic comedy Hi My Sweetheart (海派甜心) starring pop superstars Show Luo and Rainie Yang. The only category in which Chinese productions missed out was Best Historical Drama - won by Japan's The Pleiades. The Chinese nomination, Three Kingdoms (三国) may have failed to win the Historical Drama award, but compensated with the Jury Grand Award for Television Drama Program.
Chinese actors were also to the fore at the ceremony. 40 year old mainland actor Chen Jianbin (陈建斌), a regular in Chinese TV dramas, was named Best Actor in a Drama for his portrayal of the famous warlord and military strategist Cao Cao in Three Kingdoms. Rising actress Zhou Yun (周韵), who had small but important roles in the blockbusters Let the Bullets Fly and Bodyguards and Assassins, took home Best Actress in a Drama. She was recognised for her performance in the popular drama Golden Anniversary of a Stormy Romance.
The two co-stars of the mainland show Marriage Battle (婚姻保卫战), Huang Lei (黄磊) and Ma Yili (马伊琍), were named Best Actor and Best Actress in a Comedy respectively. Huang made his acting debut back in 1991 in the Chen Kaige film Life on a String, in which he played the blind apprentice Chinese lute player. In 1996 he was awarded Best Supporting Actor at the Changchun Film Festival for The Phantom Lover, and is twice Best Actor winner at the Golden Phoenix television awards.
34 year old Ma first came to Chinese TV viewers' attention with her appearance in the 1997 idol drama Black Hole. She became a bona fide star with her leading role in the third series of the historical drama Princess Returning Pearl in 2002, and followed up with another hit historical series, Residence of the Qiao Family. In 2007 she starred in the modern drama, Struggle, and in the same year was awarded Best Actress at the Changchun Film Festival for The Good Man. She then took an extended break from acting when she gave birth to her first child, a daughter. Marriage Battle marked her return to the small screen.
The full list of award winners can be found at the official Asia Rainbow TV Awards website.