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The Grand First Episode Project. . .


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中国式离婚 and 北京人在纽约 for those whose missed them the first time round. Might as well put in 金婚

Very good, will put those in. 北京人在纽约 if I remember correctly doesn't have subtitles, but that won't kill anyone.

Couple I can come up with myself are 狼毒花, which is fun, and 5号特工组, which I don't know anything about other than that someone I know is watching it.

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Sorry, muyongshi, had missed that, we can certainly add it in. Although i suspect that after 微笑pasta I personally may need to skip all Taiwanese shows with food-related titles.

Edit: And anyone who doesn't know any specific shows, but would like to watch certain genre / type of show - speak up, we might be able to find what you're looking for.

Edit Edit: Found a transcript online for our next show, 好想好想谈恋爱. Will attach it here until we have an actual thread for it. Anyone who wants them could try to get the complete set by changing the numbers in the url:



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Here's one that I have lying around, but haven't got around to watching it yet:


About a specially trained secret agent spy woman of some kind. It's not like the mobile phone one, it's more of a spy drama, so maybe roddy will like it.

It was recommended, and the few bits I saw looked decent OK, I think it's worth a try.

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I notice a lack of taiwan tv shows

Anyway, for those of you are into 偶像劇, i'm currently watching 花樣少年少女 (hama kimi) and barring all the silliness it's actually quite funny (albeit corny). Level of chinese is definitely advanced-contemporary-conversational level but with plenty of words /expressions that are very useful for daily conversation. I recommend it for learners. If you can speak chinese like the characters (diction, choice of words etc) then your chinese is probably excellent

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Off of my head....

Taiwan (偶像劇





Game shows




HK (經典劇)


皆大歡喜 I*


我的野蠻奶奶 I

我的野蠻奶奶 II*

天龍八部 (TVB 1996/97 version) *

西遊記(TVB 1996/97 version)




新紮師兄Police Cadet '85


I generally prefer HK serial dramas since scripts are often much well written. Highky recommend the ones marked with an *

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Recommend some good ones.

Preferably without any pasta in them.

One I personally really like is 別再叫我外籍新娘, made and aired by 公視, which by the way is the only channel on Taiwanese tv that can be relied on to always be broadcasting something of some quality.

Show is about four (or is it five) friends who marry women from Vietnam, and the ensuing drama. By the time I started watching at least one of the women was dead already. The women run into all possible kinds of crises, from an abusive husband, to being tricked into marrying not the shuai ge but his retarded brother, to one of the husbands infecting his wife with AIDS, to a really 凶 sister-in-law, and whatever other difficulties one can think of.

There's a tiny bit of Taiwanese in it (from a mother-in-law), but no Vietnamese whatsoever as the foreign brides all have enviably good Chinese, which they also speak to each other :-)

Don't know where to find it on the net, and also don't know if I have the 資格 to recommend anything as I'm not actually taking part in the project.

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And 孽子. How could I forget that one. Absolutely fantastic. After the book by Bai Xianyong: boy lives with his parents, then mother runs of, then little brother dies, boy finds out he's gay and he's kicked out of the house by his father. That's the first 2-3 episodes. The rest of the series is about him dealing with his gay life and the death of his brother. Really, really good.

But instead of the first you might want to pick the third or so episode, about when Li Qing gets kicked out of the house. The first few have a lot of Taiwanese (mother) and Shandonghua (father) and are thus not very useful for learning Mandarin.

I've watched the first episode of this one (and the rest of the series). Am I in now? :-)

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I didn't mean your recommendations, which both seem interesting (BTW Roddy, when are you going to update the first post with all the new suggestions), I just mean you'd have to pick another show to watch too :-) Surely there must be something you'd find interesting out of the 12 shows so far?

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(BTW Roddy, when are you going to update the first post with all the new suggestions)

Why, as soon as someone pokes me in the ribs and asks why I haven't done it, of course . . .

Have updated it - we now have TV to watch up until late June. I've tried to include all recommendations, but calibre had quite a long list so I picked a couple at random. Lu, I couldn't find the foreign bride one on mainland sites, but I was able to find 孽子 so I've included that.

Right, anyone going to start a thread for 暗算, or shall I? I'm trying to leave time for other people to start the topics on the basis that the more the project takes on a life of its own the better . . .

(edit: Yay Renzhe!)

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It's been about a year and a half since I've seen this (was the first series I tried, then gave up on it), so the intro doesn't have a lot of meat, but it should at least get some discussion started.

Incidentally, I notice that basically all the shows coming up until the end (with the exception of 编辑部的故事 and 狼毒花) are doom and gloom squared, and full of depressing pits of darkness and human suffering, so I'm forced to do something I have been hesitating to do until now, and recommend this one: Drunken Master Zhang San

I've been hesitating because it's quite silly (though it gets interesting and entertaining in the later episodes), but we've had some silly stuff and it came across well. Might appeal to those who liked the magic phone one. There's not much magic here, but lots of kung fu, romance, and a hodgepodge of court officials, Empress Dowager Cixi and the young Emperor Puyi, mustache-endowed foreigners speaking with funny accents, crafty thieves, romance, China-meets-the-west, growing up, friendship, slapstick, and much more, in a rarely seen porridge of everything and anything.

I may have to pick out a good episode instead of the first one, though, cause the first one is not that great.

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I've finally got the recommendations I've been waiting for. I'm typing them verbatim here:

亮剑 (二战,军事,战争)

雍正王朝 (历史,清朝)

大明 1556 (历史,明朝)

走向共和 (历史,民国)

少年包青天 (侦探)

天龙八部 (张纪中版! 又称央视版)

笑傲江湖 (张纪中版!)

Also recommended were the following series we've already watched:




These should be good, because the person recommending them has seen them all (and another 1000 on top of that too...)

EDIT: Noticed that 天龙八部 is already scheduled, but I should note that the version is important here, as there are many inferior versions floating around.

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