Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Last Emperor

It's 1:00 AM Tuesday. In a little more than 3 days, I finished watching all 28 episodes of The Last Emperor. The original title in Chinese is 末代皇帝. Supposedly 1400 minutes long. I think each episode was about 45 minutes long. I skipped the title and credits when watching.

Anyway, this drama, the 3rd Chinese drama for me, has a LOT of non-verbal time in it. The drama was like a biography of the last emperor of China, so there seemed to be no plot. Because it has so little dialogue, I won't be repeatedly watching this one. I'll either watch it again when I have gotten tired of watching what I already have, or I'll wait until my understanding of Chinese has greatly improved. I may even start watching it and then quit.

It was really surprising to me just how much non-dialogue was in the drama. I kept thinking, maybe it's just the first episode like this. Maybe it's just the first two episodes. Maybe it'll just be this way on the first of 6 discs. But it never changed. Throughout the whole series there was so much just being shown and with actors not speaking.

Next, I'll be watching the first drama again. It is about 30 hours long. With that one, I may be able to tell how much my understanding has improved. When I watched it the first time, I felt that I could only understand about one percent of it. The second time I watched it, I noticed some improvement. Maybe I could understand two percent. Then I watched a 25 hour drama and now this 23 hour drama. That's 108 hours for these 3 dramas that I bought. Before that I was watching online TV as much as I could. I started doing this TV method on October 10th, 2008. I was using online TV, but since November 18th, I have been using TV dramas on DVD. On December 19th, I bought a portable DVD player which has helped me to increase my viewing time. Although, at home I prefer to use my computer to play the dramas on my computer monitor. The computer drive is quiet, while the portable DVD player spins the disc more noisily.

I won't be able to buy a new drama until February. The store I bought these three at, might not have anything in my price range for me to buy come February, so I'll need to check out some other stores. It might be better for me to just buy them from an online store in China, if I can find one. Maybe I'll get some help. I'm sure at least one of my Chinese acquaintances could help me.

All three of the dramas I have bought so far, have been put on DVD and published by a Japanese company called CONNY VIDEO. All of them have had Japanese subtitles on the screen which cannot be hidden or turned off. I'll be glad when I get DVD dramas that are done properly. But for now, this will have to do.

Now it's 2 AM. It's time to publish this post. It takes an hour just to write this short post.


  1. thanks for the updates, they encourage me. I kinda burned out recently, so i'm looking for something new. i think i'd like to pursue your movie/tv method.

    keep the updates coming :)

  2. Hey Pete! You should give it a try. Studying for hours is tiring, but just watching TV is easy to do. If you put in a lot of hours in a short period, you'll really feel something going on in your head.


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