Recently I have been indulging myself into Chinese drama. Now I know some of you have this impression like
I never watch any Korean or Japanese or other dramas, so I cannot make any comparison but I honestly enjoying these series. The genre I watch is comedy romance Chinese drama and in the end of this post I will give some recommendations.
WARNING: Before watching a random Chinese drama, make sure to check it’s rating and warning on explicit content and age restriction.
If you are not convinced, I would give some good reasons to give a try on these titles;
– Practice listening and reading (automatic Chinese subtitle) Chinese;
– Learn the culture in China.
Of course, the stories are exaggerated but to some degree there is enough truth that I can extract from them. I know it is a standard because most of the titles I watched have the same implicit behavior. Ok, so here are what I realized:
Heavy inequality problem, large living standard gap in the society. It is amazing to see the high class restaurants and hotels choice available in the region, it is very luxurious and might be even better than any settings in the Hollywood movies. Not only that, the rich could also do whatever they want, little thing but the most apparent is to receive or to make a call during working hours, normal workers have to whisper all the time (though apparently they still able to pick them up which mostly unlikely). But anyway, that is what I called privilege of the rich.
Next, harassment issue. Again, nearly every movies I found (in the genre) contained harassment, for it light such as verbal harassment to heavy one. To me this indicates that in Chinese culture, harassment issue have a quite deep root. But since it is never easy to spot harassment, I am not the one to judge.
Lastly on this post, business culture. Before this I have heard a phrase called “guan xi” which in English have similar meaning to “connection”. A lot of stories incorporate usual usage of connection and also black money. Of course in general business is related heavily to connection but through watching these movies, I just got a feeling that it might play more important role in China than how I thought before.
Note that while typing this post, my half soul is focusing on another drama, so my opinion might be biased. But anyway, if you have too much time on hands, you might want to check this list out;
- [currently watching] Ode to Joy (歡樂頌)
Talking about life of five working girls of different background. Family, love and work issues are included.
Could be quite heavy for people who have the same experiences but I like it because there are no too much explicit sexuality. For viewer without much knowledge on Chinese culture, through this series you could see more Chinese older culture such as parents arranged dates, age to marry, work success, stereotypes, etc. Quite long series I should say: 42 episodes in season 1 and 22 more in season 2. While I skipped some episodes due to predictability but this serial is good since they speak pretty slowly.
- My Sunshine (何以笙簫默)
Mainly about a couple that met in college but separated afterwards due to misunderstanding. They met again couple years after with their own circumstances.
This is my number one, I really love this series due to it’s sweet romance and so many unrevealed stories in the beginning that started to make sense after. Honestly, for some people it might be boring due to it being predictable and repetitive flashbacks but the best thing about this c-drama is you can taste the drama by watching the director’s cut version (4 episodes vs original 36 episodes). Oh explicit content.
- Love 020 ~ A Smile is Beautiful (微微一笑很傾城)
Story of a couple that get connected to each other through online game.
While the story only focused heavily on a couple but there was no real male or female perspective. They are equally proportioned so it felt like watching from third person’s perspective. I like it due to its simplicity and seemingly pretty real, so smooth and pretty good laugh for 30 episodes.
- Far Away Love (遠得要命的愛情)
Friendship between three women and one man sharing their life and love worries and laughter. One main couple that forced upon each other while another looking for their other half apple.
I will attach tragedy tag to this title as I cried pretty much while I watched this and I like it for it. It is one of the funniest and stupidest but if I remember correctly, I did not skip any of its 36 episodes~
- One and a Half Summer (一又二分之一的夏天)
A group of college students’ hardship to make a good band. One of them came just to try to find his love but romance is never simple. Conflicts started to happen between them and things just got more complicated until the end, there was no end.
That is the most annoying thing of this series, no clear ending. But the music is nice and the main characters are so energetic and it has only 27 episodes.
There are some other titles I found such as Best Time (最美的時光, 40 episodes), My Amazing Boyfriend (我的奇妙男友, 28 episodes) and Diamond Lover (克拉戀人, 68 episodes with director’s cut version). I found these because I like the acting skill of some actors or the director. Chinese drama in general have more than one perspective and boring beginning, so sometimes I skip some scenes (haha). Knowing this, one thing you need to prepare before watching Chinese drama is patience, if you have it then you are good to go~ Have fun watching!