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Girls, Aviis Zhong (鐘瑤) is my Top 1. Please, do not fall in love with her.

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I was still hyped the second time I watched The Substitute. 80% of this article is about Aviis Zhong. This time, I realized, more deeply, how much effort Aviis Zhong had put into the character.  When I saw director Zero Chou (周美玲) talking about films on Sanlih (三立), I was thinking about films like We Are Gamily, since male homosexuality is usually a funnier topic and more popular than lesbians. However, I realized I was wrong right after I saw The Substitute.

Watch The Subtitute now on GagaOOLala.

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After The Substitute, people started to realize how much Aviis Zhong had put into acting, becoming 2018's official rising star. It was quite a year for her. She is always very charming and beautiful during her public appearances, which is very different from her character in the movie. The second time I watched The Substitute, Nicole (Aviis Zhong) acts the way approximately 80% of the lesbians act in the world with her eyes, grins, kabedons, gestures, the way she fixes her hair, the way she kisses, gets beaten up, tries to act tough, smokes, etc. Countless details plus her model figure. She is glowing. Literally.

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During casting, director Zero Chou said that there would be no need for acting if the actors were lesbians. As a result, every character fits their personality quite wel; For example, Benji Wang (班傑) only appears for a minute but that one minute has got nothing but pure rage. When he is beat on the ground, I so want to kill him 8 million times. And Nicole’s father Liu Shang-Chien (劉尚謙) with that Mainland Mandarin accent and glib tone, portraits very well the type of parents who are always in the way of their kids. 

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In The Substitute, the problems of Internet celebrities, lesbian love, etc. do not necessarily have to be saddening. It is a bright sky in a sea of melancholy. Not only the setting and the plot is not disappoint the audience, it even has a few unforgettable scenes, sucha as when the director lures the young fellows with money, asking them to act in a dangerous scene as stunt doubles for Han Lou. When the first two guys fail, one of the executive producers yells out of nowhere: “Fine, I’ll give you 30 grand. But if you don’t make it, get out of here.” Aviis Zhong is certainly shocked, but she tries to stay calm. 

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There are more scenes where fright, fun, and Taiwanese humor are mixed together: after a 3 year gap, Han Lou’s reappears in a swag outfit, similar to Lara Croft's in Tomb Raider, during a kiss scene shot on the Northeast Coast (東北角). Han Lou is asked to kiss another handsome double, which shocks everyone there. Although the atmosphere was romantic, director Zero Chou added a part where people started shouting “The two people PLEASE. SEPARATE. FROM. EACH. OTHER” through a loudspeaker. It is obvious that director Zero Chou takes every actor very seriously.

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Of course, there are some flaws in the film: the plot would be smoother if the editing was more natural; the photography and framing are a little bit lacking. A lot of scenes could have been shot more carefully. It is probably (it sure is) a financial problem. Anyway, The Substitute is still brilliant and one of my 2018 Top 10 Mandarin Lesbian Movies.

Watch The Substitute on GagaOOLala


Author: mosic

"Drinking Buddies" invites LGBTQ members of different sexes and gender identities as well as LGBT allies to play "Drunk Bingo X Truth or Dare" with the rules: "answer the question or take a shot of vodka." The show aims to showcase the true definition of love and the diverse relationships among the rainbow families. Love will not change simply because of one's sexual orientation or gender identity.

Watch Drinking Buddies Season 2 now on GagaOOLala.

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