15 Great Chinese Dramas to Binge

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First squid game reached No. 1 in 94 countries with 142 million viewers and finish 3 billion minutes watched, Story of Yanxi Palace was in 70 countries With 700 million viewers In a single day, over 15 billion views and Google’s most searched show in 2018, even though Google is not available in China.

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Yet most Americans have never heard of it.

Inspired by Netflix’s quest for global dominance, Americans are discovering a taste for international content. a heavy 97 percent of US Netflix subscribers Saw non-English content last year. interested in korean dramas doubled in the last two years, while the anime grew 50 percent from 2019 to 2020, with asia accounting more than half of netflix More hits are expected from the new customer base, South Korea and Japan.


but what about second largest entertainment producer From a market where Netflix doesn’t work?

Can Chinese Entertainment Take Off?

Kuek Yu-chuang, Vice President of International Trade iQiyi, China’s largest streaming platform, believes so. “Global demand signals become clear in 2018 yangxi, and sampling continues to grow.” Over the past two years, more than half of American respondents tried Chinese shows, according to a recent survey by iQiyi. Monthly active users, viewing times, according to data shared by iQiyi with Nerdshala , and Chinese content video views have doubled in North America this year.

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“Chinese shows haven’t received global awareness or recommendation from Netflix’s 214 million members, which is why we haven’t seen a breakout similar to Korean or Japanese content,” says Julia Alexander, senior strategy analyst at Parrot Analytics.

Larry Nemer, founder of E! The president of Entertainment TV Networks and Mayton Global Entertainment expects China to get more global hits. “In some ways, there is more room for risk-taking in China than in the US, regardless of the government. You are banned in some shows, but it is pervasive in others. ,

How did we make this list

For this list, Nerdshala drew on US and Chinese reviews and input from Chinese television producers and marketers: Ting Chen, screenwriter; Zijin Chen, writer and screenwriter; Frank Jiang, CEO of Shanghai Yingyuan Culture and Technology; Jun Ni, screenwriter and associate professor of film and television, Central Academy of Drama, Rui Ma, CMO of New Studios Media Company; and Dai Ying, SVP and GM of the Original Drama Division at IQI.

The recommendations are divided into: 60 percent modern, 15 percent period (1900-1990), and 25 percent historical drama, based on the 2020 breakdown of 415 scripted web and TV C-dramas [LT3], Our recommendations cover every genre and include personal, family and social stories, and we have focused on shows that are available to audiences in the United States and Europe.

Without further ado, here is the C-Drama watch list of the most recommended shows from the past nine years.

Looking for epic, high-stakes viewing?

nirvana in fire Langya Bang

This is a must see. Destroyer wuxia (ancient martial arts story) with a physically weak lead who has lost his martial arts ability. It is set in sixth-century China, and Mei Chang Su, a brilliant strategist, secretly helps Prince Jing, the most unexpected son, battle for the throne to clear his family name. It is based on a novel by Hai Yan, one of China’s most popular authors – which, like many of the source novels on this list, is not widely available in English. “The quintessential C-drama about honor, courage, and sacrifice,” says Dai Ying of IQi, “remains the second-highest-rated C-drama.” “Visibly beautiful. An epic yet personal story about how we live, how we die, and what’s important,” says Liv Fowler, a writer and fan of the series.

longest day in Chang’an Chang’an 24 Hours

A political action thriller set in Chang’an, the capital of the Tang Dynasty, and based on a book by China’s top modern novelist, Boyong Ma. Zhang Xiaojing and Li Bei work in 24 hours to stop a terrorist attack on Chang’an. You can expect film-level production values. “The story has James Bond-like plot twists and double-dealing combined with a morality game that appeals to the Trekkies,” says Michael Martinez, a super moderator SF-Fandom Forums,

to enjoy life celebrate over a year

This is a clever one. to enjoy life is a science-fiction, historical martial arts drama that explores the two-pronged impact of technology on society. It feels weird (but not over the top) and turns into drama after episode 13. It is based on the novel by Mao Ni. The current college student, Zhang Qin, is reincarnated in Southern Chin as Fan Jian, maintaining his wisdom and outlook on modern life to the present day. As the adopted son of the Minister of Revenue, Fan Xian must evade successive assassination attempts as he avoids taking over the family business: the overseer of the Royal Treasury.

Craving for justice or psychological guilt-mystery?

in the name of the public people’s name

Interested in politics or specifically the inner workings of Chinese politics? sometimes called Chinese house of cards Subtracting production values ​​and budget, the series is based on the web novel by Meisen Zhou. In it, Liangping Ho hunts corrupt government officials as internal party factions struggle for power. The Series Was So Popular It Broke 10 Years home play record,

long night silent truth And bad kids hidden corner

If psychological crime focused on current issues is your cup of tea, check out two of the highest-rated suspense dramas by China’s top crime mystery writer Zijin Chen.

A dead body dumped at a busy subway station leads to an old case and a seven-year search for justice long night, After accidentally filming a murder, three troubled teens blackmail the killer for cash in. bad kids, The latter highlights the issue of children left to raise themselves.

Want something lighter or teen friendly?

a little reunion a little happiness

A magic that will make you laugh and cry. It’s based on the work of a Yin Gong Lu, and we follow three families where high school students prepare to take the grueling college entrance exam in Gaokao, China. The series explores education, parental expectations and mental health and features a well-rounded cast with nuanced performances. “This story is for everyone who is a parent or a teenager,” says Frank Jiang. ,[It] encompasses the love, conflict, anxieties and joys between parents and adolescents.”

with you the best of us

with you Ba Yu is a sweet, funny coming-of-age drama adapted from Chang An’s book. Watch flawed lead Geng Geng, a strange student, his seatmate, Yu Huai, a top student, and his crew grow into high school and beyond. The well-rounded characters tackle realistic issues, and the play is a critical and audience favorite, despite its quick ending. Frank Jiang says, “At heart, it’s a story of how we slowly, inch by inch, find the best of who we are, no matter what our challenges.”

tiansin mystique river god

The series has it all: a river god/mystic detective, a magician, a forensic scientist, and zombies. This is an unusual historical-mystery-horror-fantasy show with Chinese folklore set in 1920’s Tianjin. It is based on the work of best-selling author Bachchan Tianxia. Guo Deu, who recovers corpses from the local river, teams up with friends to solve a murder case, leaving another case 20 years old and a cult. For fans, retellings of episodes are in the traditional Chinese story-style , and the series features special special effects and has earned directing awards, despite its web drama budget.

Need to process family ties?

All is well all good

Love-hate your family? All is well Ah Nai’s novel. The Su family struggles to cope and deal with each other after their mother’s death. The series explores gender discrimination, parenting, and what it means to be a family. It has also sparked heated discussions about female expectations and family abuse. “It set a new bar for all future family dramas in every aspect. And it sheds light on real social issues, building on ongoing discussions,” says Jun Nee.

In the mood for love and romance?

indomitable petition order

indomitable An Xianxia (Immortal Hero Chinese Fantasy) is a romance-mystery that is a global phenomenon. based on Mo Jiang Tong Xiu’s novel, the series has a non-linear plot with well-rounded characters and a lot of subtext. “With a romantic capital R that’s rare in other media,” says Natasha Simonova, a fan of the series and Teaching Fellow at Oxford. Fans are so excited to recommend the show that it has been called “The Untamed Pyramid Scheme”. Wei Wu Jian has resurfaced 16 years after his death. He and his fellow farmer, Lan Wang Jie, solve various mysteries, including who is responsible for Wu Jian’s original demise. Women and men are screaming in this love story of justice, loyalty, sacrifice, and the slowest-burn.

someday or one day want to meet you

This Taiwanese series blends time travel, romance and mystery and manages to be smart, whimsical and poignant. Twenty-seven-year-old Huang Yu-huan still misses her boyfriend, Wang Quan-sheng, who went missing two years ago. One day, she wakes up at the hospital with Kwan-sheng but is trapped in the body of 17-year-old Yun-ru. And it is revealed that Quan-sheng is not her boyfriend, but Zi-Wei, Yun-ru’s classmate. Can she save Yun-ru? Can love endure? “A simple story that captivates the audience,” says Rui Ma. “Strikes the right balance between realism and fantasy, which is hard.”

RPG-style story to solve rural poverty?

mining town mountains and sea

An endless story about poor villagers and their fight for survival in Xihaigu (one of China’s poorest and driest regions). We follow Ma Daefu as he tries to persuade the village to grow mushrooms, find a market, develop a water solution, secure investments and find other jobs for the villagers. In a tight series…


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