Today, I thought I’d share my episode 1 notes on Reset [China], because it’s working to be a really excellent show, and I was wondering if you’d like to join me? 🤗
These are my episode 1 notes, exactly as they appear on Patreon, ie, without screenshots (I’m saving those for the actual review). I hope you all enjoy, and I hope you’ll consider joining us over on Patreon, for the rest of the discussions! ❤️
E1. Ooh. Ok, I am intrigued.
I’d had very little idea of what to expect, coming into this one. All I knew, before starting on this, was that there was a Groundhog Day-esque sort of set-up, where our main characters find themselves in a continual time loop, where they die in a bus explosion, and their main focus is therefore to get themselves out of that loop.
How interesting, that we also get an Inception-esque twist to it all, where our female lead Shiqing (Zhao Jin Mai) experiences the loop as a dream-within-a-dream-within-a-dream.
Even more interesting, to me, is how she appears to exit the loop, this first episode, by getting off the bus, and therefore is even able to recount her experience to the detective who interviews her.
I do like the touch, that her memories start out really mashed-up and confusing, such that she appears to be an extremely unreliable witness/narrator, where she’s talking about someone calling an ambulance for her one minute, and then saying that someone molested her, the next.
I can’t blame the younger police officer for getting impatient with her, because, on the surface, it does seem like she’s talking in circles.
However, I do think the officer was out of line for accusing her of not taking things seriously, and messing around, because it’s clear that she’s confused. Plus, she’s suffered a concussion, so it makes sense that she might be incapable of getting her thoughts straight, in that moment.
I do really like the senior detective, Zhang Cheng (Liu Yi Jun), for keeping an open mind, and at least listening to what Shiqing has to say. Also, it’s kinda refreshing to see Liu Yi Jun on my screen as a decent sort of character, after not so long ago revisiting his more villain-esque (but very excellent) character, during our NIF group watch.
I like that Detective Zhang listens to Shiqing long enough to pick up on the fact that it’s unlikely that she would have known the details of the accident, like how the motorbike came onto the scene suddenly, from the right, causing the bus to swerve, and collide into the oil tank truck.
This assures me that he’s a thoughtful, openminded and objective sort of person, and that’s exactly the kind of person we need on this case, I think. I mean, if anyone’s going to believe Shiqing’s account of her experience, the best bet we’ve got, is someone like Detective Zhang, isn’t it?
How intriguing, that each “dream sequence” – quotation marks because I don’t feel certain that each sequence really is a dream – can be so markedly different, in the lead-up to the inevitable explosion. It indicates a whole range of possibilities ahead of us, as we continue to accompany our main characters in this time loop.
Additionally, how fascinating, that with each sequence, everything feels more and more real, to the “dreamer” – again, quotation marks, because the way Show is setting this up, it seems unlikely that these are actually meant to be dreams. I wonder what this means? Are any of the sequences less real than others? Or is this fully a perception sort of thing?
What a great twist, at the end of the episode, that Shiqing’s fellow passenger, listed as Heyun (Bai Jing Ting), ALSO is experiencing the dream-within-a-dream thing. Woahhh. I hadn’t seen that coming.
The possible implications are so intriguing! Are Shiqing’s “dreams” and Heyun’s “dreams” connected, and if so, how?
*This show is being covered on the VVIP Early Access (US$20) Tier on Patreon*
To view episode 1 notes in Patreon, along with everyone’s comments, you can go here!
You can find my Patreon page here, where episodes 2 through 7 notes are already available. Just look for the tag “Reset” or click here.
Episode 8 notes will be out on today, 8 March 2022! I hope you’ll consider joining us!
It’ll be a way to have fun, and support me at the same time? ❤️
PS: For more information on what the Patreon experience is like, you might like to check out my Patreon update post for March, which you can find here!
WHERE TO WATCH:
You can check out this show on YouTube here.
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Hey y’all I just watched “Upcoming Summer” (盛夏未来) on Netflix, it’s really good! Just a light, breezy story about a girl and a boy in high school.
@manukajoe Thanks for the recommendation! I’ll add it to my list! 😃
It’s a movie by the way.
As I said on MDL “Quite simply one of the best shows, of any type, since My Mister – brilliant 😊😊😊” It still has a rating of 9/10 from 4,000+ watchers on MDL – mind boggling. NIF sits on 9.1 from newly 7,000 watchers. On Viki it’s 9.7 from nearly 5,000 watchers. NIF is 9.6 from a similar number of watchers. So far Reset has achieved over 1B views in China and on Douban, a rating of nearly 8.2 from 283,000 watchers. NIF has a rating of 9.4, dropping slightly over time since 2015, but strangely enough up from 9.1 from two years ago – because it has since been repeated over there. So, there must be something in it 😜
Yes, hype, hype is what there is. Like Squid Game, it became popular suddenly, lots of people jumped on and gave it rave reviews. In the cold light of day it is not deserving of such high scores. I know some people in China hated the pollyanna ending too.
I personally though it was perfectly watchable, 7/10 material, no great acting or plotting. I did like the opening credits animation and music though.
I starting watching before the hype and was enjoying it so much, I went looking for further information. The litmus test for me, including phl’s very positive comments along the way, was the halftime review of Reset by AvenueX – now she was very excited, and it takes a lot for a show to make such an impression on her.
Being the lifelong sci-fi fan that I am, it ticked all the boxes. I thought the writing was excellent and the acting was very good – show also had some of the biggest names in the Chinese acting game too (which isn’t always an indicator that a show is good, but I thought the portrayls were seamless). The opening credits are what drew me in straight up!
As for whether it has a pollyana ending, I’m not sure it was that per sae, but I did find it very aspirational and symbolic.
I have yet to watch Squid Game as I have been very wary re the hype etc, but I have promised others I would watch it soonish. The litmus test for me at home: our eldest boy binged it, the youngest boy walked away from it, and it’s not a show our daughter can be bothered with (and, she has made a number of distopian type movies).
The only actor that I enjoyed in Reset was Detective Zhang. Maybe Chinese shows just aren’t for me. I keep trying and being disappointed. Might be a cultural thing. Shows gravitate towards a “hurray law and order is restored” sort of ending which feels very political and forced to me.
There are so many Cdramas to choose from. It does require a bit of homework to find those Cdramas to stick with. I drop far more than I finish.
Not all Cdramas are produced the same, as they are made in different regions and do vary in terms of the “political” message. In the middle of last year, as it was a certain anniversary, many Cdramas had varying degrees of chest beating going on. It did get a bit much.
I was watching a Cdrama recently that had certain elements on display that showed clear support for where I live. I was surpised the censors hadn’t insisted on certain changes, given we have not been flavour of the month for a little while now.
With another show, I found it extremely interesting how it gave a clear and detailed insight into the social and economic push China is going through at the moment i.e. trying to be more self reliant at home.
A big focus in Cdramas right now, as we saw in Reset, are how important it is for couples to work together to solve problems instead of letting their differences split them apart.
manukajoe, yes, you definitely see the gravitas of him as an actor, detective zhang. he is also excellent in disguiser.
I’m just suggesting that the high review scores are due to widespread hype.
sean, please do not tease us, tell us which chinese shows did you, or are you watching now – names please. i love chinese shows, but so far it is only the historic ones that really draw me in, i can hardly find any modern topics in cdramas that i enjoy, koreans are way better in this regard (recet of course being one i liked a lot). i just recently watched good time, because of hu ge (nothing to write home about) and watching now ode to joy, as there are a lot of actors and the director from nirvana, which i consider one of the best. but meantime i am not exited at all about this drama, it’s even sort of silly at times (i mean certain characters and their interaction), but i am only on episode 9 out of 42, so still giving it a chance and waiting for the appearance of wang kai.
anyway, it seems that our tastes differ a bit, but still since you are also interested in chinese dramas, i would love to hear from you what did you find interesting and worth one’s energy and time.
Hello Eda – One modern chinese drama I liked a lot is The Lie Detective starring Yu Nan. She is critically acclaimed, both at home and overseas. Lie Detective is interesting in that it is based on true cases. Also, it doesn’t feel like it’s made in China. It is very grainy or gritty and is not glamourous at all.
Star of Ocean with Liu Tao, chronicles her rise and success with importing and merchandising tea and so on during China’s trade rise through the 1990s and 2000s. It is very detailed in how marketing and sales worked during that time.
Black lighthouse, a court drama has a lot to offer. Janice Wu is very good in this. She is traditionally, a fine comedic actress, but in Lighthouse, almost unrecognisable.
Some of my other favourite modern chinese dramas are (they seem to have Joe Chen in many of them 😝): Candle in the Tomb an archaeological drama with good mystery and action. Customize Happiness – this is a fashion drama. Sadly, the male lead passed away before they finished filming it (which impacted on the story and the ratings). Loving, Never Forgetting with Tong Li Ya and Jerry Yan. Perhaps one of those dramas that some watchers might find frustrating. Stay With Me – another fashion drama with Joe Chen and Wang Kai. I liked this one a lot – plenty of love/hate and misunderstandings. Then there is The First Half of My Life, a kfangurl favourite – and is a very grown up drama.
Good Time is on my plan to watch list! With Ode to Joy, again with the wonderful Liu Tao – when she used a certain Australian cereal for breakfast, that product became so popular overnight, it tripled in price. Anyway, the company concerned has rebranded this item and other products to meet tougher guidelines.
So, hopefully, there is something above that you may want to take a look at.
sean, eternally grateful, as not too many here are interested in chinese dramas for various reasons, and i am always searching what project (i call them all projects, as they became almost a job, sadly) to embark on next. but my gosh, how on earth are you able to go through that many dramas, are you watching only certain selected episodes of each? anyway, i know this question has been asked of you already, but i guess it’s your “trade” secret.
by the way, i like liu tao in ode to joy more than her role, looks and acting in nirvana. and i also like her more in the glamorous imperial concubine , she looks much better in all aspects in that drama, even that she has a more limited presence on screen.
anyway, thanks again.
My pleasure, Eda. Calling dramas a project is quite apt. There are a number of subbers out there I follow, and that’s how they refer to the dramas they sub. I spend a decent amount of time researching most shows before I jump in and watch it. Although, sometimes I overdo it.
As for my trade secret, well I will be revealing a part of it soonish 😎
Ah – my list just got longer! Where did you watch The Lie Detective? I can only find it on the dark side. It is a must see for me. I caught a few minutes of E1 and I am eager to watch.
Just started today on a good one – Under the Skin. Detective work and art combined – made for me! So far I am on E4 and it is very good.
Ode to Joy – A real winner here! I cannot believe you have not seen it. The NIF Emperor is in it as well plus lots of other NIFers. I can tell you this is one drama where I remember almost every situation after two seasons. That is saying something. I really enjoyed it and I think you will as well. There is a S3 but I am not planning to watch as all the girls have been replaced, and it was their chemistry together that really made those two seasons work.
Still meandering my way through Black Lighthouse. Another good one!
I will eventually get to Star of Ocean. It is on my list.
Good Time – 2015 or 2020? (I am hoping 2020…)
Phl – I watched The Lie Detective on a “darkish” american site – at least they are very transparent re how they protect the content, unlike others. I can send you the details, if you like.
Under the Skin sounds and looks good, so I will get onto it along with Ode to Joy. I dropped Thirty Nine today, so I have a little bit of time up my sleeve 😝
With Good Time, Eda is referring to 2015.
One kdrama that I am really enjoying at the moment is Business Proposal (even Linda is taking a look). Its old and new and the characters are a real hoot.
Sean – It may be the same site I utilize but please do send me the info just in case and big thanks.
Business Proposal – if Lovely L is watching, it must be a good one. I am going to sit on this and wait until it has finished airing and binge it. I was not planning to watch but I will now after reading your comment.
“It’s old and new”?
@Beez – yes, it’s very familiar, but at the same time, the acting lifts it to a whole other level. The female leads are a scream together. Show is wonderful at mocking itself and kdramas in general 😊
@Sean. Ahhhh. I hope I can find time yup check it out, especially since KFG has picked it up.
Sean – one of the best surprises from this drama is you expect only one thing but are rewarded with so much more.
I agree. They did a pretty good job of keeping it varied. It could have been extremely repetitive.
reset has been recommended to me by sweetroad, and i am just copying what i wrote to sweetroad:
“i have been mia lately for personal reasons+ , so i have not seen any of the kfg’s comments or anything else. trying to get back, but might take a few more days. but… wanted to tell you that i watched reset and must thank you greatly – i truly enjoyed it. although i am not a fan of any “parallel universes” (my mind is not able to cope with all the pot holes, lack of logic or sometimes pure stupidity, etc). -they just annoy me. and that is why i did not enjoy one day some day or signal. but somehow reset is so kind of precise (for lack of another word), incredible editing, tight plot, very good acting that it totally took me by surprise, that i actually CAN enjoy this sort of production, it was that good. and to my greatest delight i found my most adorable actor and character from the rise of phoenixes bai jing ting (gu nan yi) playing the ML in reset. since i saw him in TROP i was really wanting to see some of his other acting, and somehow it never happened, so i was literally over the moon from this unexpected discovery. there were also quite a few best of the best from nirvana actors, so it was an additional bonus , like liu tao (princess ni huang )liu yi jun (marquis xiu yu). and i would recommend it to everybody, if i could enjoy it, all can enjoy it, since those kind of movies/dramas are not appealing to me.
so sweetroad, thanks again.”
Οκ, that does sound intriguing!
I recently found so many Chinese shows that have hooked me. I never got past Korean Sageuk Episode 2, but I got very fond of a Chinese costume comedy: “Truth or Dare”. Did you see it?
Made in China, I’m also following Hello Mr Gu, Go Into Your Heart and The Bond.
The best thing about all Chinese shows is the absence of feminAZism, the usual omnipresent hatred of men that pervades Western shows.
As a straight white man I can say that I love the female characters of Chinese shows as much as I despise Western ones!
Hi KFG! I watched this one recently, it was a big buzz in China apparently. I found it pretty decent for a Chinese show. I thought it the time loop would get repetitive but they bring enough freshness in as it goes along to keep it interesting. Enjoy!