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realmayo

any good TV series recently?

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happy_hyaena

Just checked out the first episode on youtube. The super jealous lady is really annoying, but I somehow managed to watch through 40 minutes, so maybe the series is worth giving a shot? Why do you guys like 我的前半生?

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TheBigZaboon

As previous posts have noted, tv series give you a chance to have a look at a slice of life in China, even if it's not 100% accurate, may be driven by soap opera-like plots, or may be how the Chinese unrealistically see themselves, or even just wanna see themselves. And the dialogue is often as close to real as those of us who will never have a chance to live there are gonna get.

 

The super jealous lady is central to the plot, so you're gonna have to give her a chance to grow on you. Other characters are interesting enough as the stereotypes they represent, and some, for example, the jealous lady's mother, are exceptionally well acted (in my not very humble opinion).

 

In my case, I am lucky enough to know some young, ambitious, intelligent, attractive even, twenty and thirty something Chinese men and women (some through my wife's company, some from the neighborhood) that a guilty peek into their lives, real or imagined, appeals to me.

 

The opening scene, where a very stylish, very attractive young woman walking along the Bund in Shanghai intones in a throaty voice 三十六岁的我... just had me hooked. I can't help it, I'm a voyeuristic pig...

 

TBZ

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happy_hyaena

I see. There were still like 5 minutes left when I posted that response. SPOILER:

Spoiler

When she said something along the lines "I never imagined that that kind of person would be my competition" I felt like it became a little clearer

. It's one thing if there's just a character with a set of undesirable traits. It's another thing if those set of traits rub other characters in the wrong way, and end up punishing the character somehow, opening up for future character development.

 

Edit: Thanks @Mati1 for reminding me.

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Mati1
Spoiler

Friendly spoiler reminder :wink:

This thread is useful.

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zander1

Would echo most of what TBZ has said: but I’d also add that it’s well acted (for a Chinese TV show .. don’t expect miracles) is realistic and actually has interesting character development. I find the characters quite sympathetic and interesting. 

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sekkar

I haven't seen 微微一笑很傾城 mentioned here yet. I found quite enjoyable, it's a very light-hearted drama without all misunderstandings and fights you usually have in romantic dramas. If you want something very light on melodrama then I highly recommend it. 

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happy_hyaena
On 2/10/2018 at 1:08 PM, zander1 said:

Would echo most of what TBZ has said: but I’d also add that it’s well acted (for a Chinese TV show .. don’t expect miracles) is realistic and actually has interesting character development. I find the characters quite sympathetic and interesting. 

 

I just watched episode 2.

 

Spoiler

The acting really is excellent, but they live in a very bizarre world where everybody and their grandmother somehow know that 俊生 is in love with another woman and is about to leave 子君. 

 

On 2/10/2018 at 4:05 PM, sekkar said:

I haven't seen 微微一笑很傾城 mentioned here yet. I found quite enjoyable, it's a very light-hearted drama without all misunderstandings and fights you usually have in romantic dramas. If you want something very light on melodrama then I highly recommend it. 

 

I watched an episode or two of this series, which is one of the most popular Chinese series ever made. I stopped watching it partly because of the strange premise, and partly because I found the Chinese to be quite difficult actually compared to many other dramas. I might give it another shot once my Chinese has improved a little.

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TheBigZaboon

@h_h

 

I guess we live in different worlds, but in my experience, in big office environments especially, it's very, very common for everybody to know everybody else's business... This phenomenon is central to the whole story... Keep watching, and enjoy...:shock:

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zander1

I just finished. Spoiler discussion below.

 

Spoiler

Although this show started out strong and mantained its quality for quite a while (until about episode 25? I'd say) the ending was truly dreadful, with the last few episodes almost unwatchably bad. It always seems an ever persistant problems that Chinese shows go on far too long and don't know how to end. The scene with Hehan and Zijun meeting their respective dopplegangers in Shenzhen was beyond ridiculous.

 

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evn108

More Chinese shows are starting to become available on Netflix. I just noticed last night that there is a show called Tientsin Mystic 河神 streaming on Netflix now, from last year. I watched the first episode and it is pretty good. Seems very inspired by Sherlock, but it has very cool sets and production design. Since I've only seen one episode I don't really know how to summarize the plot, but it's set in the early 20th century in Tianjin and follows a guy who... swims really well and solves river-related mysteries? Anyone else seen this show?

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sekkar

I've heard a lot of good stuff about Nirvana in Fire so I finally decided to start watching it, but I'm finding it extremely difficult to understand. I've watched a lot of Chinese/Taiwanese show with much problems, but they've all modern stuff and now with this show it's feels like I'm back to where I was when I tried to watch my first show in Chinese.

I'm forced to pause and look characters/words in basically every sentence,  really makes you humble to think about just how much specialized vocab there exists out there. 

 

Not sure if I'll keep watching or not, my time available for studying is quite limited and probably better spent learning stuff I might actually use in real life. 

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Luxi
On 22/02/2018 at 7:18 PM, sekkar said:

I'm forced to pause and look characters/words in basically every sentence, 

 

It is a question of habit. I have exactly the same problem, but with modern stuff :conf  

You could watch a few of the subtitled episodes first until you start picking up the language, or decide it's not really worth your time. Viki has the license outside China and the subtitles are quite good, though you may not be able to get it if you're based in China 

https://www.viki.com/tv/22943c-nirvana-in-fire

 

Nirvana in Fire 2 is also available in Viki.

https://www.viki.com/tv/32827c-nirvana-in-fire-2

Neither the plot nor the subtitles are a match to Series 1, but it is still a watchable series (if one likes historical drama)

 

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sekkar

Just finished binge watching last year's hit  三生三世十里桃花 / Eternal love/ Three Lives Three Worlds, Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms and I found it quite enjoyable. It might be the first Chinese show I've seen that I could actually see myself watching even if I weren't studying Chinese.

 

It's far from perfect, like most dramas it suffer from padding and I personally feel the show could do with some more light-hearted episodes. I think tragedy works better and hits harder if you add some more happy moments between the blows. 

 

If anyone is looking for a fantasy romance drama then I highly recommend it.

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somethingfunny

Just finished watching 我的前半生.  The following post contains spoilers.

 

On 2/14/2018 at 3:18 PM, zander1 said:

Although this show started out strong and mantained its quality for quite a while (until about episode 25? I'd say) the ending was truly dreadful, with the last few episodes almost unwatchably bad. It always seems an ever persistant problems that Chinese shows go on far too long and don't know how to end. The scene with Hehan and Zijun meeting their respective dopplegangers in Shenzhen was beyond ridiculous.

 

I basically came here to say this.  Do they write this stuff as they go along?  At least then I could understand the dramatic deterioration in quality, up to the point where the producer finally says "enough is enough".  The part I found hardest to swallow was when 贺函,陈俊生,凌玲 and 罗子君 were all working for the same company, and were basically all in one line of management.

 

The other thing, that I've seen elsewhere, is that writers of Chinese dramas seem to struggle with depicting the correct passage of time.  罗子君 seemed to be employed at the shoe shop for a few months, but then her subsequent jobs all seemed to last only a matter of days.  

 

I had trouble with the 成语 and more idiomatic speech, as well as some of the technical work related content, but I had decided I was just going to watch it for a laugh, so didn't end up pausing it every couple of minutes to look words up.  All in all, although I'd say it was a bad TV series, I had fun watching it.

 

I ended up liking 罗子君 (obviously, that's the point), but I also thought 陈俊生 came off quite well in the end.  唐晶 was a bit annoying, although not as bad as 凌玲 who I found to be pretty annoying throughout.  Anyway, I think we can all agree that the best character was 老卓, closely followed by 落落 and the reformed 白光 (whose miraculous and rapid transformation I could only find hilarious).

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biyalan

I've just started watching 归去来 - it's pretty decent thus far. It seems to be set primarily in California, which is interesting for me - as an American, it's sorta fun to see what the stereotypes are that they're playing on. I'm definitely not comprehending all of it (there's some sketchy legal/business dealings that are flying over my head rn) but I'm hoping it'll get easier as I warm up.

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zander1

I just finished watching 恋爱先生, which like 我的前半生 started off quite well but got more and more ridiculous and boring by the end. The last few episodes were a real struggle but on the whole I'd say it was an OK show which I did have fun with. I also picked up loads of useful vocabulary while watching it.

 

I'm currently watching Women of Beijing (北京女人图鉴) with my girlfriend so won't be stopping to look up words and so on or using it to study. We're on episode 7 and so far it has been really good, maybe the best Chinese TV I've watched so far. I'm hoping this one manages to keep its quality - the fact that episodes are only 30mins and there are 30 episodes in total does give me some hope!

 

I'm now looking for a new show to study with now that 恋爱先生 is finished. I was considering maybe 北京爱情故事 which apparently is alright but I'd be happy for other suggestions!

 

update: I decided to watch 最好的我们 which is a web series about life in a high school. Watched the first episode just now and thoroughly enjoyed it. It seems that web-series may be the way to go, the ones I have seen so far are filmed in quite a “cinematic” style which I think helps as other Chinese shows often cannot escape the soap opera feeling. 

Edited by zander1
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somethingfunny
On 8/7/2018 at 10:07 PM, zander1 said:

I decided to watch 最好的我们 which is a web series about life in a high school.

 

I'm afraid to say you should prepare yourself for a repeat of your experience with 我的前半生 and 恋爱先生.  This one starts well but gets quite messy towards the end, with some weird time dilations.  There are some good characters though, especially the main girl's two friends, and the main guy's friend, and the other love interest... basically, everyone is good except for the main two characters.

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imron

If you're going to put yourself through a show that starts of really good and then gets horrible towards the end (but that finally picks itself up again for the last few episodes), do yourself a favour and watch《魔幻手机》.  It's a little bit old now (2008), and it's a little bit ridiculous (well ok, it's a lot ridiculous, but that's what makes it fun), but it's a great.  Renzhe's review is spot on.

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