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any good TV series recently?


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Jan Finster
4 hours ago, StChris said:

For anyone watching 《想见你》, I just discovered that the mainland version deleted some scenes (primarily concerning the homosexuality of one of the characters). While it's not a huge deal in terms of affecting the story (it was a minor character), it's still best to watch the Taiwanese version if you can (that would be the one with 13 one hour + episodes) .

 

This is indeed weird. I thought China was pretty laid back about homosexuality. I have a friend in Shanghai, who is openly gay and he said it is not an issue at all. Also, I have seen some genderambigious and/or third gender characters in some TV shows, e.g. https://mydramalist.com/people/19490-hu-xiao-ling in Age of Legends...

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Thanks for the 想见你 recommendation, I enjoyed as well!

 

Lately I've also been watching:

 

最强大脑:Reality show where the contestants compete against each other solving IQ test like puzzles. And the strongest contestants end up forming a team and competing against some foreigners. New season airing now, quite enjoyable, but maybe not the best show if your main interest is learning Chinese (not that much dialogue, complicated explainations)

 

隐秘的角落:Seems to be highly recommended and very popular in China at the moment. Suspense/thriller drama where some kids are witness to a murder. Don't wanna describe anything more to avoid spoiling anything, but it's really good so far. The kind of show where you always just wanna keep watching another episode to see what happens. 

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StChris

@sekkar Glad to see more people enjoying 想见你, I think it's worth watching, even for people with no interest in learning Chinese.

 

I've heard good things about 隐秘的角落 as well. Apparently, it's this year's 都挺好 (in terms of quality, not plot). A youtuber recommended it in one of her videos, but I stopped watching her video after a minute, as I want to go in blind, as I did with 想见你. Hopefully it will live up to the hype. I did notice that it only has 12 episodes. From my experience, a smaller number of episodes is always a good sign, it normally means a tight plot with minimal padding.

 

While not amazing, I'm quite enjoying a show called 三叉戟:

 

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I like the fact that the leads are 3 middle-aged actors, rather than the usual pretty boys/girls with good looks, but not so great acting skills. It's a refreshing change. It's a drama about how three older police officers go back to front line policing after their friend is murdered by drug traffickers (on his last day before retirement, no less). Despite the hyper cliched start, it's been all good crime investigating drama so far (I've watched up to episode 5), with no cheesy romantic plots squeezed in. Unfortunately, unlike 隐秘的角落, there are over 40 episodes of this, so I'm expecting a lot of padding later on. Still, I like the type of language used in the show (lots of grisly, northern accents with some interesting 习惯用语), so I'll continue watching and hope the plot doesn't go south.

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@StChris I totally agree, padding has ruined a lot of Chinese shows that otherwise had the potential to be good shows. The 50 episode in a "season"  thing they do just doesn't work. It's nearly impossible to create great shows that way in my opinion...

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abcdefg

三叉戟 is this word-play on 三合会? 

 

A couple days ago I watched a very fine crime drama (movie) featuring a small group of elite asassins/enforcers who belonged to the Indonesian Triad. Clash over who will rise to the top of the organization. An abundance of innovative and well-staged fight scenes. English name: "The Night Comes for Us." Directed by Timo Tjahjanto. (I saw it on US Netflix.)            

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Night_Comes_for_Us

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6116856/  

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feihong
On 4/8/2020 at 8:50 AM, Jan Finster said:

This is indeed weird. I thought China was pretty laid back about homosexuality. I have a friend in Shanghai, who is openly gay and he said it is not an issue at all. Also, I have seen some genderambigious and/or third gender characters in some TV shows, e.g. https://mydramalist.com/people/19490-hu-xiao-ling in Age of Legends...

Acceptance of homosexuality is more common in the cities, but liberal attitudes lag behind significantly in the large rural population. Thus even if you see obviously gay people on TV, you won’t see them referred to as gay and you won’t see them showing romantic affection towards same-sex partners. And in many areas of life, I don’t think it’s ok to be gay. I don’t believe there’s any legal protection for you if your boss fires you for your sexuality. And I don’t think you can adopt children as a gay person.

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amytheorangutan
On 7/5/2020 at 3:04 PM, sekkar said:

隐秘的角落:Seems to be highly recommended and very popular in China at the moment. Suspense/thriller drama where some kids are witness to a murder. Don't wanna describe anything more to avoid spoiling anything, but it's really good so far. The kind of show where you always just wanna keep watching another episode to see what happens. 

This is so good. I was really impressed. Great music score and the kids are great actors too.

 

I watched 陳情令 a couple of months ago. Became very emotionally invested in it 🤓. It’s a combo of 武俠,仙俠 type story. The main characters are supposed to be gay but obviously was censored so they become “great friends” instead. The directors managed to cleverly sneaked in a few suggestive scenes in there though. 

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xinoxanu

Don't know if it's been recommended already, but I am enjoying "三十而已Nothing But Thirty". And as with 都挺好 (another great serie BTW), you can find all episodes in Youtube (and for those in China, in Youku and the like, no need to click the link): 

 

https://youtu.be/F4zhJHw-BpA

 

Chinese dramas are getting better and better every year and both the stories and characters are quite down-to-earth, albeit the obsession behind petty things and actions is still often ridiculous... oh well, some suspension of disbelief will always be required I guess.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, xinoxanu said:

Chinese dramas are getting better and better every year and both the stories and characters are quite down-to-earth

Obviously it’s subjective, but as someone who doesn’t get a choice of what to watch during family meals, it seems to me that the overall quality of Chinese dramas is about the same or dropping. So many new shows that have a ridiculous number of episodes and whose protagonists are very unlikable and constantly make ethically or morally questionable decisions. I’m looking at you, 完美关系.
 

Also, my family has been watching a lot of older dramas since the networks have run out of new programming. And while these older shows aren’t necessary good, their plots generally make more sense. But this might be selection bias, presumably the networks are bringing back “classic” shows, not just scraping the bottom of the barrel.

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3 hours ago, xinoxanu said:

n't know if it's been recommended already, but I am enjoying "三十而已Nothing But Thirty". And as with 都挺好 (another great serie BTW), you can find all episodes in Youtube (and for those in China, in Youku and the like, no need to click the link): 

 

https://youtu.be/F4zhJHw-BpA

 

Chinese dramas are getting better and better every year and both the stories and characters are quite down-to-earth, albeit the obsession behind petty things and actions is still often ridiculous... oh well, some suspension of disbelief will always be required I guess.

 

I watched both shows and enjoyed both of them a lot!!

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xinoxanu
2 hours ago, feihong said:

Obviously it’s subjective, but as someone who doesn’t get a choice of what to watch during family meals, it seems to me that the overall quality of Chinese dramas is about the same or dropping.

 

I know that feeling. My ex's father mostly watched anti-Japanese dramas and I had to sit through them twice a week while keeping a stern face and nodding politely to racist remarks.

 

But I'd say that the ones I recommended, and many others in this thread, fit better with "western audiences". Give them a try!

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19 hours ago, xinoxanu said:

Don't know if it's been recommended already, but I am enjoying "三十而已Nothing But Thirty".

 

If you liked that I heard that there was also a similar series screened around the same time, but based on a group of friends in their 20s, called 二十不惑:《

 

https://movie.douban.com/subject/34428631/?from=subject-page

 

I haven't watched either myself, but did watch a 10 minute review. Apparently, the 20s version was more hopeful and optimistic - not too surprising really.

 

I'm halfway through cop drama 《三叉戟》, and it's holding up pretty well. However, like 三十而已, it's another 40+ episode series. For anyone looking for a shorter series, crime/suspense drama 《摩天大楼》 has been getting good reviews .(just 16 forty minute episodes). It will be my next one, I think 

 

unnamed.thumb.jpg.f206754900704c0271d5f5f3edbab27b.jpg

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44 minutes ago, 杰.克 said:

I know I'm a few years late to the party, but very much enjoying 人民的名义

 

Yeah, that one was great. Even if you don't watch the whole thing, the first two episodes are worth watching by themselves, good well paced drama (things slacken a little after that, as you can imagine in a 40+ episode series)

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Finished 摩天大楼 , which seems to have been pretty popular from what I hear from my friends.

 

Short murder mystery, only like 16 episodes or so. Started pretty good, but fell apart a bit in the later half in my opinion, but still worth a watch!

 

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18 hours ago, sekkar said:

Started pretty good, but fell apart a bit in the later half in my opinion, but still worth a watch!

 

I feel that sentence could be used with pretty much every Chinese TV series. It's the 40+ series that suffer the most from this, normally the shorter ones aren't as bad. I'm halfway through 三叉戟 and what started out as a fun series about a group of grizzled old policemen cracking drug/prostitution/money laundering cases has become bogged down in family melodrama. It reminds me of the kind of pointless storylines stuffed in to the otherwise compelling 人民的名义.

 

摩天大楼 is next on my list. I might start it earlier if 三叉戟 doesn't start getting back on track soon.

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There is another short series (12 episodes) that is currently earning plaudits in China,《 沉默的真相》. It's a crime thriller and it currently has a 9.1 rating on 豆瓣. You can watch a quick review of the series here (I only watched the first couple of minutes as I want to avoid any spoilers). 

 

I have to say, I'm enjoying the recent trend for shorter, higher quality TV dramas.

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Thanks @StChris!

 

Watched the first 10min and so far it's quite good... albeit somewhat predictable because that suitcase is ludicrously big 😅

 

IQIYI seems to be producing this with Netflix vibes on mind, and they have even made the episodes available for free via Youtube, so we can't complain too much: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HqODiKTH8a4

 

Spoilers, yo:

 

Spoiler

Actually there are some things:

 

- It's 2010 and that many people have smartphones already? Yeah, no, especially in China.

- Airport-like security scanners in 2010? Not that commonplace in 2010 either.

- Missing the baoan with the long kung-fu pole.

- The "detective" carrying a gun, which is weird even in a situation that requires swat teams.

- The bomb disposal technician opening that suitcase in a split second without considering the implications of such a silly action. Come on, that's explosives 101!

 

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11 hours ago, xinoxanu said:

IQIYI seems to be producing this with Netflix vibes on mind, and they have even made the episodes available for free via Youtube, so we can't complain too much: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HqODiKTH8a4

 

That's good news. I still have my Iqiyi subscription, but don't know if I can use it now that I'm back in the UK. I guess a lot of companies now put there shows on youtube to tap into the Chinese student/expat market and take the ad revenue.

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