by Akage Girl, August 29, 2020
79

What is so special about August 5th in 1997 (that’s the year of the ox if anyone is interested)? I’ll tell you, it was the day Wang Yi Bo was born in Luoyang, China... and the world became a better place.

This popular hard-working artist started dancing as a young teen. He moved to Korea, where he attended an art-focused high school. He’s won a bucket full of awards for acting, singing and dancing. The burning question is: Where can you find him?

Don’t forget, he also competed as a professional racer for the Yamaha China Racing Team. Oh, and did I mention he was a volunteer firefighter? Wang Yi Bo is what we’d call a renaissance man (someone who is good at and does a lot of varying activities…unlike me who mainly writes). Accomplishing all he has by his EXTREMELY young age, can also be described as driven. Frankly, after researching Wang Yi Bo and what he’s been up to for the last 6 years, I’m a little exhausted and need a nap.

Here is just a smattering of places you can watch this incredible person (FYI - I’m a feeling like a serious underachiever writing this article). Read on unless you’re easily exhausted or depressed.


TV SHOWS

Day Day Up (2016-current)

Wang Yi Bo Singing… sigh… such talent

Wang Yi Bo is one of the hosts of the popular variety show Day Day Up in China. This show was originally created as a Chinese warm fuzzy coinciding with the Beijing Olympic Games, but it became fairly popular. While I am not a serious partaker in Chinese variety shows (or any variety shows for that matter), I did watch a few episodes, of course, to check out our plucky renaissance man. WYB by far is the youngest of the hosts, and, not surprisingly, the most interesting (I may be biased). The million or so episodes are worth watching if you like that kind of thing, or just for Wang Yi Bo.

UNIQ The Best Debut (2014)

The Boys of UNIQ

It’s not surprising to learn that Wang Yi Bo is/was (I have no idea if they’re still recording together) part of a Korean/Chinese band called UNIQ. In fact, their fans are called Unicorns (I find that quite charming). Because they are classified as a “boy band” there is a mini-series of their exploits during the first fan meeting in Beijing. For the record, I’m not a “boy band” fan let alone a “unicorn” and the only song I like of UNIQ’s is the one that some fans used in “WangXian” crack videos which are rather funny to watch. However, I do adore the talent of WYB (TRULY! Its just his talent I like). In watching this, I will say it is interesting to see the mix between Chinese and Korean artists and how they get along. I found it fascinating to watch the whole “boy band” machine at work, almost like watching a National Geographic episode on some mystifying culture.

Produce 101 China (2018)

Produce 101 Crew

On Produce 101 China, Wang Yi Bo is a dance mentor. I will admit, I have yet to see a better male dancer out there than WYB. If you haven’t watched him perform, I highly recommend checking out some of the snippets of his handiwork on YouTube. He’s just amazing. Supposedly this show was created to make up for the fact that the Chinese market was flooded by “boy bands” and not girl bands. I’ll be honest, as a female, I have a few issues with this show. The idea behind Produce 101 is commendable, but from the few bits I watched, I was a little uncomfortable (it might be cultural, so I’ll leave it at that).

Also, as you can see by the above picture, only one female is among the “regulars” of the show. If it’s supposed to be about females, it might look more inclusive if there was more than one female helping them along the way, just saying.  If you like American Idol on steroids, this might be something you’d enjoy, and of course, there is Wang Yi Bo (My favorite – him dancing wearing a helmet, very funny).


MOVIES

Live for Real (2018) 

Dilraba & Wang Yi Bo... more, please

For fourteen plus minutes, you can watch two of my most favorite Chinese actors do what amounts to some sort of commercial. Selling... I’m not sure what… but... Hey! It’s Dilraba Dilmurat and Wang Yi Bo!! How awesome is that (and there is a lot of phenomenal dancing)?! I just adore Dilaraba and everything she does. She brings a sort of strong-will sandwiched with annoying cuteness to any character she plays. Amazing talents, especially… sigh… Wang Yi Bo.

 Chinese Odyssey Part Three (2016)

The Red Boy... that’s one way to describe this

Hmmm. I didn’t watch this. His character is called Hong Hai Er or also referred to as a red boy. I will admit that this picture is a bit disturbing. Most often, I love the strange hair in C-dramas but this time… not so much. If Chinese Odyssey Part 3 was available on my usual streaming haunts, I’d probably give it a try. It’s only an hour and a half…not so bad if you are guaranteed Wang Yi Bo with bare arms and brooding looks. The reviews aren’t that great, but then again, at least it’s not a 50-something episode drama.


DRAMAS (saving the best for last)

Gank Your Heart (2019)

The Misunderstood Team Leader… gripping, if I played video games

I had to look it up… Gank means to defeat or kill in a video game which works because this is a C-drama about the passion and intrigue behind the video game world (not my cup of tea). That said, I tried really really really hard to get into it. I will tell you this. There is one character that stands out as a spot of sanity in this insane romp (why oh why can’t the Chinese make modern dramas, as well as they, can wuxia?) and that person is (ding ding ding) you guessed it, Ji Xiang Kong played by WYB. The problem with this show is everyone is portrayed as a sort of cartoon-like and absurd. Picture smarmy bad guys wearing tacky suits, witchy mean women dressed all in red, and a female lead with a breathy voice and lots of miniskirts. I swear Ji Xiang Kong is the only normal-ish character in the entire drama. Truthfully, in this instance, I’m not biased. Sometimes, these characters are just cringe-worthy, but alas, Wang Yi Bo was fun to watch.

When We Were Young (ep 16-17) (2017) 

Drinking games in a C-drama with Wang Yi Bo

When We Were Young is another modern C-drama (I’m not sure what it is, but at this point, Meteor Garden is my favorite modern C-drama and I didn’t really like it that much). I guess this is why I like K-dramas so much… that said, I couldn’t complete this show. The prolific artist does a 2-episode cameo and nails it very nicely. WYB plays the senior  Lin Jia Yi that comes to save the day when the female lead is doing a design project all on her own, and it looks like her fellow classmates are jonesing for her to fail (grrrr… a woman needing rescue) enter our hero, again, the best character on the screen. Apparently, Wang Yi Bo has stage presence (maybe it’s just me that sees this, I don’t know), especially when his face shows so much emotion without him even saying a word (yea, like in all of The Untamed). Perhaps I’m in the habit of watching his facial expressions, and that is why I see it, who knows. Fun cameo nonetheless.

Love Actually (2017) 

Yes, he even can be funny.

I’ll admit that Love Actually, the C-drama, is not so bad. The lead actress is from Taiwan and is quite funny. I’m actually enjoying the show, and of course, much of the comic relief is provided by none other than...Wang Yi Bo. In Love Actually, he plays Zhai Zhi Wei, a son of a rich businessman (chaebol-like if this were a K-drama) that helps the relationship between the male lead and female lead along. He portrays a funny and a much different character than any of his other works. I would actually recommend watching Love Actually (although I’ve not completed it so it may tank midway through like most C-dramas).

The Untamed (2019)

Thank you SNOSE for this fun GIF of Lan Wang Ji

I’ll admit it. I was compelled (indeed… it’s an obsession for which I should seek treatment) to talk about The Untamed one more time, risking sounding like a broken record. I’ve already written there are 73 reasons why I love The Untamed, and Wang Yi Bo happens to be one of them. The wonder-performer plays Lan Wang Ji/Lan Zhan/Han Guang Jun so beautifully that I spent an entire round of watching all 50 episodes (I think I’m up to 20 rounds altogether but who’s counting) just focusing on his facial reactions: very subtle and so perfect! His dance skills are squarely on display as we watch him fly, jump, flip, and twirl all while using Bichen (his sword). And yes, who didn’t cry when he did (only 3 times, not nearly often as Wei Ying). The character was written as the strong silent type, severely repressing his emotions; that couldn’t have been an easy role for anyone to play, but Wang Yi Bo did a remarkable job. And his songs... sigh. Kudos to a spectacular performance by this extremely talented renaissance man.

This picture is on his VIKI profile... not my favorite… but it’s growing on me.

Whew… that’s a plethora of information and not all his accomplishments are listed above, ergo, Wang Yi Bo does not stop working. He is not likely to be found binge-watching the latest Xiao Zhan drama with Yang Zi while consuming an entire package of Double Stuff Oreos (Oh, but I will be!). And, it’s safe to say WYB will never be dropping by my house for a visit; I read that he is afraid of ghosts, bugs and the dark. This perfectly describes my backyard, sadly, I won’t plan on him attending next year’s brat-fest (but he’s welcome to come just the same).

The Untamed gave him massive amounts of international notice (ahem, like from people like me) so now he is more popular than ever. I also read that some over-zealous fans purchased his phone number (who sells that kind of stuff, so wrong on many levels) and called him A LOT. Those calls did not please him as one could imagine. So, if you have his phone number, please don’t call him anymore as you can see, he has a lot on his plate right now and won’t be spending a lot of time on the phone.

I hope you enjoyed my fawning exposition extolling the virtues of my new favorite male dancer, also one of my favorite Chinese male actors playing one of my favorite literary characters. I can’t help but think that Wang Yi Bo is just the bee’s knees! I hope you are enjoying watching him, as well. Don’t worry, he’s got a bazillion projects in the pipeline, so we’ll have plenty more chances to be wowed by his enormous talent. FYI - I just saw the trailer for The Legend of Fei and have put that on my watch list (It looks wildly fun). Hopefully, it will come out this year!

What about you? What is your favorite Wang Yi Bo piece of work? Did I miss a good one? If he ever got your phone number, would you like him to give you a call? (I know I would.)


Edited by: KimWanHee (1st editor),  Yuanwei (2nd editor)

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