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realmayo

any good TV series recently?

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Angelina
20 minutes ago, zander1 said:

No, not really. As I imagine most people here are watching Chinese TV shows in order to improve their Mandarin. To be honest what English language shows are popular in China really doesn't interest me.

 

Watching English-language shows with Chinese friends has helped me make Chinese friends and improve my Mandarin. It is easy to bond with people when you both love doing something together, and this leads to talking with them using Mandarin, which just happens to be their first language. 

 

Of course, it would be better to see Chinese TV shows. If anyone sees a show and says "this is the best TV show I have ever seen" and this show is in Mandarin, I would like to see what you recommend. 

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happy_hyaena
11 hours ago, imron said:

Hilarious misspelling there.

 

:mrgreen:  :wall

 

5 hours ago, Angelina said:

Is it the best TV series you have seen, though? 

 

It would be interesting to make a list of the best TV shows popular in China, where even Star Wars can flop. Considering the size of the market, it is worth doing the research. 

 

Homeland seems popular among my Chinese friends. What else? What are the best Chinese subtitles for the best TV shows if the show happens to be made outside of China? 


I'm only 5 episodes in and I can tell you that it seems worth watching so far.

 

2 hours ago, Angelina said:

Watching English-language shows with Chinese friends has helped me make Chinese friends and improve my Mandarin. It is easy to bond with people when you both love doing something together, and this leads to talking with them using Mandarin, which just happens to be their first language. 

 

Of course, it would be better to see Chinese TV shows. If anyone sees a show and says "this is the best TV show I have ever seen" and this show is in Mandarin, I would like to see what you recommend. 

 

Ignoring the secondary benefit of training your listening ability in addition to your reading, the biggest benefit of watching Chinese media is that you learn to better understand China and Chinese culture. If you watch, say, HIMYM with Chinese subtitles, you'd just be learning Chinese that has been translated from English. I'm sure you'd also be able to learn about American culture, relationships, and humour, as well as how life in New York for a group of 20 somethings might be like (taken with a grain of salt). That's probably very fascinating to a Chinese person, but would it really be that interesting to you? 

 

The fact that I have to struggle to understand the Chinese content also makes it that much more rewarding. If a series similar to 漂亮的李慧珍 was released in my own language, I doubt I would've cared to watch it all the way through. But if I'm watching it and a character cracks a cheesy joke, the fact that it is in Chinese makes it funnier to me than it should be, and it feels good to have understood something as complicated as a joke made by a person from a completely different culture.

 

I'm not saying that I don't watch any Western series, because I do. Nor am I able to sit through a viewing of any shitty Chinese show. If you're able to watch Homeland (with Chinese subtitles) and can turn that into a deep discussion (in Chinese) regarding American foreign politics, the military industrial complex and the CIA with then that's just great! More power to you. But if someone refuses to watch any Chinese TV series because it just happens to not be of the same excellent standard as Breaking Bad/Game of Thrones/Mad Men/, then I'd tell that person to get down from their high horse and ask why they're even learning Chinese in the first place.

 

 

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imron
35 minutes ago, happy_hyaena said:

If a series similar to 漂亮的李慧珍 was released in my own language, I doubt I would've cared to watch it all the way through.

Yep, I have watched plenty of Chinese series that I would never have watched if they were in my own language.  Out of dozens of full series I've watched (none of them recent), I can think of maybe three that I would have watched if they were English based.  And to head off questions before they are asked, those three are:

 

武林外传

磨幻手机

潜伏

 

They're all outdated now, but still good fun.

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happy_hyaena
2 hours ago, imron said:

Yep, I have watched plenty of Chinese series that I would never have watched if they were in my own language.  Out of dozens of full series I've watched (none of them recent), I can think of maybe three that I would have watched if they were English based.  And to head off questions before they are asked, those three are:

 

武林外传

磨幻手机

潜伏

 

They're all outdated now, but still good fun.

 

I'll check those out Imron. I think of the handful of series I've watched, a reboot of 琅玡榜 with some changes could definitely become a cult classic internationally. Like a mix a of Game of Thrones and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

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eion_padraig

For me, I'd like to improve my Chinese listening skills, but it's not worth it at this point in my life/stage of Chinese learning to watch crappy/boring shows to do it. If it's something I'd enjoy for it's own sake, then the pay off is worth it. I'm living in China, so I'd rather spend time with friends who are going to be using Mandarin.

Thanks for those suggestions Imron. I'll see if those might coincide with my tastes too. 

 

Eion

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happy_hyaena
1 hour ago, eion_padraig said:

For me, I'd like to improve my Chinese listening skills, but it's not worth it at this point in my life/stage of Chinese learning to watch crappy/boring shows to do it. If it's something I'd enjoy for it's own sake, then the pay off is worth it. I'm living in China, so I'd rather spend time with friends who are going to be using Mandarin.

Thanks for those suggestions Imron. I'll see if those might coincide with my tastes too. 

 

Eion

 

What series have you watched and why were they boring?

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Luxi

Boring is very much a matter of taste, isn't it?

 

I can't think of more than one or two American series that haven't bored me to the point of developing a self-extinction wish. I don't think I ever watched any channel other than PBS when I lived in the States but could have murdered for an easy way to watch BBC programs in those awful pre-Internet and even pre-satellite TV days. 

 

There's a lot in Chinese TV that is rather silly and vulgar, but there's A LOT of Chinese TV and that means A LOT of choice. I can always find something to watch that I really like. I study Chinese precisely precisely because I'm interested in Chinese civilization and culture. I wish I had more time to enjoy all the available documentaries and good historical drama series and even entertainment programs like the somewhat garish but informative 国家宝藏 [National Treasure]. I just finished watching the 80 episodes long "The King's War" (subtitled) in Netflix: a 2012 series on the Chu-Han contention, firmly based on Sima Qian's 史记. I don't think Chinese people in general liked it (compared to a previous series, which focused 90% on Liu Bang's disreputable love life) but this one was right for my taste. It was also a great way to learn history, definitely easier than reading Sima Qian's  史记. 

 

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imron
17 hours ago, happy_hyaena said:

What series have you watched and why were they boring?

I've watched a significant chunk of the series in the grand first episode project, maybe 20% of the listed series there (and maybe 30-40% if you count the ones where I only watched an episode or two).

 

The series I watched all the way through weren't boring - the boring ones I didn't bother watching after the first couple of episodes.  So while the ones I watched in full weren't boring, it's just that they weren't the sort of things I'd normally find worth watching in English.  They become worthwhile though once you factor in language practice and also exposure to aspects of Chinese culture.

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happy_hyaena
18 hours ago, imron said:

I've watched a significant chunk of the series in the grand first episode project, maybe 20% of the listed series there (and maybe 30-40% if you count the ones where I only watched an episode or two).

 

The series I watched all the way through weren't boring - the boring ones I didn't bother watching after the first couple of episodes.  So while the ones I watched in full weren't boring, it's just that they weren't the sort of things I'd normally find worth watching in English.  They become worthwhile though once you factor in language practice and also exposure to aspects of Chinese culture.

 

Yeah, I was curious about the previous poster because they were in an interesting position of not feeling like their Chinese being good enough to take advantage of series as a learning tool, but at the same time had enough experience watching them to make such a strong opinion on the subject.

 

19 hours ago, Luxi said:

Boring is very much a matter of taste, isn't it?

 

I can't think of more than one or two American series that haven't bored me to the point of developing a self-extinction wish. I don't think I ever watched any channel other than PBS when I lived in the States but could have murdered for an easy way to watch BBC programs in those awful pre-Internet and even pre-satellite TV days. 

 

There's a lot in Chinese TV that is rather silly and vulgar, but there's A LOT of Chinese TV and that means A LOT of choice. I can always find something to watch that I really like. I study Chinese precisely precisely because I'm interested in Chinese civilization and culture. I wish I had more time to enjoy all the available documentaries and good historical drama series and even entertainment programs like the somewhat garish but informative 国家宝藏 [National Treasure]. I just finished watching the 80 episodes long "The King's War" (subtitled) in Netflix: a 2012 series on the Chu-Han contention, firmly based on Sima Qian's 史记. I don't think Chinese people in general liked it (compared to a previous series, which focused 90% on Liu Bang's disreputable love life) but this one was right for my taste. It was also a great way to learn history, definitely easier than reading Sima Qian's  史记. 

 

Cool, that's the war everyone is re-enacting when they play 象棋 right? :D 楚河,汉界.

 

Speaking of which!  Last night I was hosting a dinner party/game night and my friends and I came to the topic of tv series. One of my friends has Chinese heritage from outside the mainland, and she began complaining about how so many of the series her mother watches were so crap and so on. But then she said that she'd watched one tv series dubbed in Cantonese that she thought was surprisingly decent, about 武则天: 武媚娘传奇.

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Luxi
16 minutes ago, happy_hyaena said:

that's the war everyone is re-enacting when they play 象棋 right? 

 

I'm not sure, if it is the Battle of Gaixia, then yes. The series covers the period between the death of the First Emperor of Qin (秦始皇帝) and the start of the Han Dynasty. The 'contention' refers to the conflict between Xiang Yu, hegemon of the Chu Kingdom, and Liu Bang, the peasant rebel who was to be the founding emperor of the Han Dynasty. There are plenty of events, battles, tactics and intrigues in this period - but one of the most interesting aspects is the contrast between the 2 leaders. This series is 100% on the side of Liu Bang, as was the historian Sima Qian (non surprisingly since he was the Han court's official historian). 

32 minutes ago, happy_hyaena said:

one tv series dubbed in Cantonese that she thought was surprisingly decent, about 武则天

 

That wasn't boring, was it? There have been several series about Wu Zetian - the only female Emperor in Chinese history, I thought an earlier one was better, but I enjoyed watching this one too.

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Angelina
On January 19, 2018 at 10:25 PM, happy_hyaena said:

Ignoring the secondary benefit of training your listening ability in addition to your reading, the biggest benefit of watching Chinese media is that you learn to better understand China and Chinese culture

 

 

Case in point: Secret Superstar 

 

Let's see how it goes this holiday season. 

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happy_hyaena
44 minutes ago, Angelina said:

 

Case in point: Secret Superstar 

 

Let's see how it goes this holiday season. 

 

I don't really see how my quote has anything to do with that?

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Angelina

You can learn a lot about China and Chinese culture (what you said) by looking at which TV shows and films are popular in China, not necessary restricting yourself to locally-produced content. 

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happy_hyaena

By watching Chinese tv series and movies, yes. It follows that if you watch, for example, a Chinese cop drama, you will not only learn Chinese related to police, but also how Chinese police departments themselves can be organized, how police officers are allowed to operate when arresting, how interrogations might be done, etc. Watching a subtitled version of, say, CSI might teach you some similar vocabulary, but not only will they be without context, you are also relying on the subbers to have made appropriate translations between Chinese and English job titles. 

 

Regaring the success of Secret Superstar in China, it raises an interesting question. Why are Amir Khan movies so much more popular in China than in the West? Is it because we have access to higher quality content in much bigger scale than the Chinese cinemagoers? Or is it because Westerners are fundamentally less curious about non-Western, perhaps even non-American, content  compared with the Chinese?

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imron
2 hours ago, happy_hyaena said:

how police officers are allowed to operate when arresting, how interrogations might be done, etc

I'm not so sure these ones are going to be that accurate.

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happy_hyaena

Okay maybe (mainland) cop drama is not the best example, especially when you get into some of the less "mundane" crimes and criminals. Replace that genre with one set in a different setting, like a hospital, high school, office environment, imperial court, etc. The point still stands.

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imron

I agree it's a great way to get insight in to Chinese society.

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zander1
On 18/01/2018 at 12:28 AM, AaronUK said:

I think you have just cost me 40 hours of my life! I’m on episode 2 now 

 

On 18/01/2018 at 4:09 AM, TheBigZaboon said:

Count me in, too.

 

How are you guys getting on? I'm on episode 31 and still quite enjoying it.

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TheBigZaboon

Sorry, it's tax season here, so I've fallen behind. But I will confess that due to spoiler-style hints I saw in the beginning credits, I cheated, and looked at a couple of episodes out of sequence. I've repented, and I publicly promise I won't do it again. I'll try to catch up, and then comment later on.

 

TBZ

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