How much of the original content does the TV series "Blossoms" retain?

Summary of Drama Adaptation Principles

The subtitles have clearly indicated that parts of this drama are derived from “Shanghai Fu”, “Savage Growth”, “Men and Women in the Stock Market”, and “Joy and Sorrow in the Stock Market”, all of which have been approved by the authors or publishers.

In the first episode, Uncle teaches Ah Bao to become Boss Bao, which is likely an adaptation from Mu Xin’s “Shanghai Fu”. The narrative in Shanghai Fu elaborates that to become a real Shanghainese in the 1930s, one must understand the nuances of brand, style, and wit.

“Savage Growth” discusses the journey of private enterprises during the wealth creation era, evolving from nothing to something substantial.

The other two books have not been read.

Thus, Boss Bao’s initial capital is derived from the stock market.

Prosperous Flowers is merely a shell; the relationships between characters have completely changed. In the original, Miss Wang is someone Ah Bao meets through business, who is married. Ah Bao and Miss Wang interact solely for business purposes, earning a commission for each deal without any romantic involvement.

Miss Wang is a friend of Li Li, introducing her to Ah Bao. Li Li wishes to take over the restaurant, True Garden, without ceasing operation and seeks Ah Bao’s friend, Hu Sheng, for assistance.

The only aspects preserved are the names: Boss Bao, Lingzi, Li Li, and Li Li’s restaurant, True Garden.

Lingzi is a friend of Taotao, who wants a divorce and is introduced to Hu Sheng through Taotao.

Using a phrase from “Shanghai Fu” to evaluate the drama adaptation of “Prosperous Flowers”: the savvy and adaptability of Jianghu’s realm are well understood by Shanghainese, almost instinctively. The depicted prosperity is like a kaleidoscope, refracted through the three mirrors of brand, style, and wit.

Very few.

Previously, someone mentioned that the TV series and the original work have a somewhat distant relationship, but in my opinion, they don’t even come close. The TV series and the core of the original work differ significantly.

From character settings to the overall storyline framework, they are completely different.

Let me give you an example:

In the original work “繁花” (Flowers in Bloom), there are three main characters, namely A Bao, Hu Sheng, and Xiao Mao, as mentioned by the author in an interview. However, in the TV adaptation, A Bao is the only male protagonist.

In the original work, A Bao is also not portrayed as the nouveau riche who quickly accumulates wealth through stock trading, as seen in the TV series.

I didn’t finish reading the original novel, and I’ve only watched about 7-8 episodes of the TV series. I feel that apart from sharing the same title, it doesn’t have much in common with the original novel. Although there are some flashbacks, the story, character development, and other aspects are quite different.

Aside from some descriptions of dining scenes with a Shanghai flavor, most of the characters have the same names, but the TV series essentially tells a different story. It’s not really related to the novel “繁花” (Blooming).

Contrasting “繁花” Novel and TV Series

The TV series retained the character names but departed significantly from the original novel. The novel had a strong, Shanghai-style narrative with a focus on the lives of ordinary people indulging in illicit affairs. It portrayed the market culture of laughing at poverty but not at prostitutes, emphasizing beauty as a means to please men.

The current online series, on the other hand, seems to lean more towards the theme of entrepreneurship, discussing business legends and depicting a thriving business environment.

In the original work, Ah Bao was more like a dandy from the Qing Dynasty, exuding a strong taste of cosmetics, relying on his family’s wealth to mingle with women. His outlook on life was not as optimistic but rather pessimistic, believing that he would never find true love, viewing romantic encounters as mere acts.

Transformation from Novel to TV Series: A Remarkable Journey

In reality, there’s no need to insist on preservation, as the original novel and the TV series have evolved into distinct entities.

Compared to the original novel, the TV series script is more captivating, highlighting the main storyline, unraveling intricacies, and perfectly suited for cinematic presentation.

To some extent, one could say that the TV series, though based on the novel, is a “reimagined” script, demonstrating exceptional decision-making in terms of content selection and adaptation. It’s truly impressive.

When I read the novel last year, to be honest, it didn’t amaze me. However, it’s still a decent Shanghai local novel. I was quite curious about how Wong Kar-wai would adapt it into a TV series.

A year later, when I watched the TV series, I was deeply impressed. It turns out that a TV series script can undergo such a transformation. It’s said that the script went through numerous revisions before production.

Ten years ago, “The Grandmaster” premiered, and perhaps the creative journey of “繁花” (Blooming) was just beginning at that time?

For further reading:

  • “The Grandmaster” (一代宗師) - Released in January 2013 in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan, and in August 2013 in the United States. It won 12 awards at the 33rd Hong Kong Film Awards and 5 awards (out of 11 nominations) at the 50th Golden Horse Awards.

  • “The Grandmaster 3D” (一代宗师3D) - A re-edited version released in January 2015, running at 111 minutes, compared to the original 130-minute version. It featured significant plot adjustments for a more concise and coherent narrative.

The original content mostly appears in the form of Easter eggs.

Thoughts on the First 26 Episodes of “In the Mood for Love”!

Did Wong Kar-wai spend three years just to deconstruct all the characters in “In the Mood for Love”?

Ah Bao, for the sake of rice cakes, helps Miss Wang snatch Mr. Ye’s order; for the sake of rice cakes, he refuses to become a first-tier distributor for the Three Sheep, giving up the opportunity for Shanghai Union collaboration; he’s a good boss, but he’s also deeply in love. Unfortunately, Wang Mingzhu’s husband is Mr. Wei, unless there’s a major plot twist involving the so-called Bao-Zhu relationship.

As for Lingzi, she turns out to be quite the debt collector, and it’s surprising that the final boss showdown with Ah Bao is triggered by jealousy over her. The reason being that Lingzi shouldn’t be taken away. Lingzi at the beginning was also genuinely money-minded. Her so-called fresh start means no more sentimentality, becoming a ruthless businessperson. Her character development is currently fragmented, but she might ultimately help Ah Bao.

The most perplexing character is Miss Wang, who inexplicably leaves her cage and starts a business after Episode 27, just because she wants to save face. Then, at the opening banquet, she owes 200,000 RMB and starts a company with Mr. Wei, relying on her dad for rent and Mr. Wei for leather sales. She drives to Shenzhen in her ex-boyfriend’s car, and it’s a mystery where she found enough gas stations along the way to support a two-day drive from Shanghai to Shenzhen. Her first business deal is to snatch Mr. Ye’s Walmart jeans order. What kind of vision did Walmart have to choose such a distributor? The prices are even more absurd, starting from the lowest market price and adding a 50% processing fee on top. It can only be said that labor costs were really cheap during that time. It’s strange how Miss Wang thought of going into business after her transformation.

There are a couple of old songs that indeed capture the atmosphere of that era, but they are used too frequently. With only 30 episodes, how much can the plot really develop?

Of course, Director Wong’s filming skills are indeed impressive, with exquisite visuals and a great sense of atmosphere, full of Hong Kong flavor.

Basic, except for the aquatic shop run by Tao Tao and Lingzi’s Night in Paris, it’s hard to see any resemblance to the original work in the rest. It feels like a parallel world. This is more suitable for fan fiction readers.

金宇澄 is Jin Yucheng, 王家卫 is Wong Kar-wai.

Although both are titled “In the Mood for Love,” what Jin Yucheng wrote is about everyday life, while what Wong Kar-wai filmed is about business competition. After watching more than ten episodes, it’s just a story of a nouveau riche family’s rise to wealth.

TV Series “In the Mood for Love” Adapted from Jin Yucheng’s Novel

The TV series “In the Mood for Love” is adapted from Jin Yucheng’s novel of the same name. The original novel is narrated in the first person and depicts the growth of Ah Bao in Shanghai from the 1960s to the 1990s, along with his friendships, love, and business adventures with Husheng, Xiaomao, and others. The novel vividly portrays the changes of an era and the city’s appearance with delicate prose and vibrant language.

During the adaptation process, the TV series made certain changes to fit the narrative pace and visual presentation of television. According to discussions and comments online, the series retained the core character Ah Bao from the original work and expanded upon his story. However, the other two main characters, Husheng and Xiaomao, were omitted in the series, indicating significant adjustments in character development and storyline.

Regarding the exact percentage of content retained, it’s difficult to provide an accurate figure due to the lack of official adaptation ratio data. However, it can be speculated that the TV series likely preserved approximately 50% to 70% of the core content and themes from the original novel, with innovations and adjustments made in details and certain character stories.

If we consider the original novel’s integrity as 100%, the TV series adaptation may have retained around 50% to 70% of the core content. Please note that this ratio is based on observation and analysis and is not official data, provided for reference purposes only.

Is the marketing of “繁花剧方” excessive? Four out of the top ten trending topics on Zhihu are related to “繁花”?! Is it necessary? There seems to be no international or domestic news anymore, and all we can do is focus on this TV drama endlessly? It’s been almost 30 episodes, those who wanted to watch it have already watched it, and those who didn’t or abandoned it after a few episodes, well, that’s how it is. Let’s calm down a bit. Entertainment should be prioritized, actors shouldn’t mislead the country, this isn’t like Weibo.

I’ve read the original work, and it’s good. The TV series and the original work are not closely related.

Is this trending like crazy? Just these few answers, are there really people watching it?

This must be about how many trending topics were purchased. The entire trending list is filled with flowers, but when you open it, there are only about a dozen answers.

A Nostalgic Adaptation with a Timeless Spirit

The director utilizes the backdrop of the 90s, the events, worldviews, and the essence of changing times from the original work. Drawing from the experiences of his older siblings' generation, he reinterprets the characters from the original story.

In my personal perspective, it can be understood as a fan-made version of the original, yet it continues to carry the same spirit. It exhibits a striking resemblance to a painting. Just like a child’s artwork, even though it’s not realistic and often exaggerated in many aspects, it accurately conveys the cuteness of the kitten.

In the minds of the previous generation, Huanghe Road, with its vibrant nightlife, the clinking of glasses, and the mingling of people, is just as vivid as depicted in the drama. Over a thousand things in the book remained unspoken. Things people couldn’t say, didn’t want to say, or were hesitant to say for fear of troubling themselves or others—these unspoken sentiments are skillfully expressed visually and aurally in the series. All the things beneath the surface are well preserved.