Hot Girl - 2016 - Season 1
Chinese TV drama's more and more popular , as more streaming sites offer these series previously unavailable to Mainstream Western audiences for many years.
So Here we have a modern day action drama by the name of HOT GIRL.
Also known as The Bodyguards in some regions.
It follows a group of hopefuls who enter a training program at China's top class L.H.S.D. Bodyguard protection agency.
Filmed in 2016 the series stars Female lead Dilraba Dilmurat as one Guan Xiao Di (aka Firewolf) the daughter of Boxing gym owner Guan Xiao.
Xiao Di is lucky that her father has looked after her well since her mothers passing, she longs for nothing and has a privileged life compared to many of her friends.
She spends her youth trying to be the best she can in the sports arena, often taking challenges from her rivals, one of whom is Liang Da Wei played by Ma Ke.
Liang shares a similar style of life and the two often meet under competitive circumstances.
But when Xiao Di and her friends get challenged by a mysterious Western woman who takes them on in various challenges and wins, but not without leaving a clue to as where she's from Xiao Di and her friends get curious.
This all leads to a series of tests to push these young hopefuls to enter a training regime at L.H.S.D. Bodyguard agency. The top entrants will be accepted to enter L.H.S.D. As interns.
The series starts obviously introducing the characters to us all , Guan Xiao Di being the lead for the show and it's her story that is the main focus of the story , even though other characters have big roles and their own story arcs.
But more often then not the character of Guan Xiao Di will be involved in those stories.
From the outset the series has a bright and happy go lucky feeling to it, much like Taekaondo Girl did. From intial viewing of the first few episodes the series excels in the fight choreography department with some very well filmed action, yes it's obvious in places that stunt doubles are used in some scenes but for most part it looks like these girls and guys did their own action for most part.
More then half of the first season focuses on the new recruits getting through training to earn that coveted place at L.H.S.D. These training sequences are quite well done and quite extreme in places. They also differ in their style, it's not all fighting training. But stammer, strength and observation and even driving.
I must say some of the outfits for the characters are very village people. The girls in their uniforms look ok ,but these same uniforms on the the men look a bit of and gives a comic touch to the proceedings.
The recruits have to take survival courses which is also a way to eliminate interns .
As the episodes progress the stories of the various characters also move on , there are relavations afoot, Xiao Di who had been given the code name Firewolf Girl has her own agenda when certain facts come to light.
Her friend and Computer nerd girlfriend known as Pink Panther is hiding more then you think. But then a lot of the series relies on you remembering earlier episodes and their smaller instances to catch on early of any forthcoming revelations.
As their training gets more intense and the final few make it through, it also leaves others at a loss and resentment settles in with a few .
The new interns are sent out ton missions as bodyguards ,but these missions are quite bizzare and often has them serving clients which in all honesty don't really need bodyguards but nanny's .
It's here that I started to feel the series may not be as addictive as I hoped. I was really looking for more action in the series at this point.
But after a couple or so slow episodes where I thought story lines dragged a bit the series started to open up more as slightly more darker tones took over.
Some of these tones are mysterious, while others are somewhat depressing.
It's really the last few episodes where I thought the series had legs and certain facts that come to light set you up to want to know more.
Now where viewing this on Prime video , the series is broken into two seasons, with twenty episodes in the first and seventeen in the second .
I thought the characters where good throughout and Dilrilba Demurat as Guan Xiao Di played her role superbly, she has a screen presence which carries the show.
As far as her on screen co-star played by Ma Ke he did well in the role of White Shark, though I did think in places his acting was over the top to say the least. Also his character seems to be like the fashionista of the show, where his outfits are intended to make him stand out even amongst his fellow peers who for the most part are girls.
Shao Bing as the head of L.H.S.D. Is probably the most accomplished actor on set and it shows in his performances. But then he has appeared in Feature films as well including the Myth with Jackie Chan and The Lost Bladesman and others.
Irina Kaptelova as Liu Sha the female instructor is good also and unusual to see a a Non Chinese in such a prominent role where their not the bad egg in a Chinese drama.
In the old Hong Kong films yes Westerners where used a lot. But for a mainland Chinese TV series it took me by surpise.
And the fact that Irina actually speaks Chinese adds to the realism of the series.
In the end Hot Girl is a fun ride for the first Twenty episodes. Some of the characters are comic book like and if your into Anime your imediately see the series has the look and feel of a live action version of such a series, and as such should be looked on as light heart entertainment.
I enjoyed my time with it and look forward to completing the story when I view the next and final seventeen episodes of season 2, I just hope the story moves on and that the action gets better as it has done within the first season.
Review by Sertes Nake
Review Date 22-07-2020
Hot Girl can be viewed on Amazon Prime Video / Viki and Youtube.. Obviously you won't get any adverts on Prime but you can watch for free on Viki and Youtube but with those pesky adverts.
Also the series is available to buy on DVD / Bluray on import as well.
Dilraba Dilmurat as Guan Xiao Di aka Firewolf Girl
Irina Kaptelova as Liu Sha
Ma Ke as Liang Da Wei aka White Shark
Wang Yang as Cui-TianQi aka Pink Panther
Shao Bing as Xong Kou Hai – Leader of LHSD
Wang Lu as Qin Sheng -instructor LHSD
Yao Gang as Guan Xiao – Firewolf's Father
Ocean Jiang as Wu Fei -