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any good TV series recently?

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2 hours ago, drungood said:

I finished watching all 46 episodes of 都挺好. I thought it was pretty good. There were plenty of implausible/ridiculous plot devices, but the acting was great and the overarching story was a good one. It's a good show for learners because the vocabulary is not too difficult, and every episode on YouTube has English subs if you need them.


I finished a couple of weeks ago, and agree. It's the least cringe worthy Chinese show of this genre I've seen, and I was able to understand quite a bit of the dialogue, which was a huge booster. Probably helps that I have a strong affection for Suzhou :). It does get a bit over the top and cliche at times, but overall I found the characters and the themes surprisingly relatable.


I recently started viewing "岁岁年年柿柿红". I noted down the name last time I was in China, as I randomly came across it while channel surfing and found the dialogue rather simple (although it's set to the Mao-era). I quite like it so far (only three episodes in), although it's quite sappy. Douban does not agree, as almost 50 percent of the votes are 1's...

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On 1/19/2018 at 6:25 AM, happy_hyaena said:



I loved watching that series. perhaps it could be said that it was the first series in which I laughed and cried in Chinese. And I agree with you that it would probably be way too goofy if it were made an English. I wouldn't be able to finish it.

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I thought Operation Moscow was a great show


It's based on a true story. Around the time of the fall of the Soviet Union, there were a lot of Chinese people going into Russia to do business. There were a lot of gangsters both Chinese and Russian. There were some Chinese killed on a train, but the Russians were not letting the Chinese police come in to investigate, so the Chinese sent some secret police to investigate, in the story mostly follows these secret police as they go about trying to see what happened and bring the bad guys to Justice.

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I don’t see other people recommending reality shows, so I’m probably in the minority in that the majority of my TV diet consists of reality shows. But personally I cannot stand scripted dramas because the scripts are usually terrible.


A show I have been really enjoying lately is 心动的信号. The premise is that 6-8 people live in a house for 1 month and try to date each other. It is a strange mix of game show and dating show that is modeled after Terrace House on Netflix, which has elements of The Real World from MTV. This type of show has really taken China by storm since last year, and at the moment there are at least 3 different shows that run slight variations on the same format. Each season takes place in a different city. So far, they’ve covered Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Changsha. 


In general I can’t recommend these shows to learners because it’s pretty rough. The cast tends to be filled by locals, so they’ll occasionally slip into the local dialect (Shanghainese or Cantonese). I wouldn’t be able to follow along without the subtitles, and you need to be able to read pretty quickly.


However, the long-awaited Beijing version started airing in July, and it might be the best entry point. All the cast members speak pretty standard Mandarin (with the Hong Kong cast member switching to English when she can’t think of the Mandarin word), and they don’t switch dialects. Vocabulary and word usage seem to be pretty close to how actual people speak on the street. Plenty of slang for sure. Possibly the most challenging listening part of the show might be the celebrity guests, who watch the show and comment on the proceedings (technically the framework of the show is that we’re watching celebrities who are watching a reality show starring non-celebrities). The celebrities tend to speak a bit faster, and one of them is Taiwanese with a noticeable accent.


The plot (such as it is) makes sense and the character motivations are logical. The show visually looks better than 80% of the shows on Chinese TV. The cast members are charming and tend to have unusual jobs like sommelier, film producer, and toy designer. The celebrity guests, some of whom have starred in idol dramas, are actually pretty funny when they’re not reading lines from a terrible script.

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