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realmayo

any good TV series recently?

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大肚男

We are watching the second season of 法医秦明.

 

The first season was much more enjoyable, and more cohesive, but it is still not a bad crime procedural.

 

For some reason, they changed the whole cast between seasons, and I really liked the actors from the first season more.

 

Supposedly, the third season is the best of the lot, but we have not got their yet.

 

I started watching 归去来, but I did not have enough endurance to go beyond Episode 7.

 

 

 

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陳德聰

Currently somewhat popular and also my current guilty pleasure: 延禧攻略

 

Basically a ridiculous court drama set during Qianlong’s reign and is all about the scheming of the 後宮. The only vaguely historically accurate thing is perhaps the name of the empress who is at least 富察氏. Otherwise they don’t even really follow proper titles for the rest of the ladies and have clearly just made up their characters based on nothing.

 

Main protagonist is a simple 宮女 (at the beginning) who is “clever” af but often I feel she is only able to survive because of how 任性 everyone else is, particularly the emperor (whose character is kind of just there to be a heavily empress-biased intervenor).

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amytheorangutan

I have just started watching King's War 楚漢傳奇 on Netflix. It's not new, it was made in 2012. So far so good, if anyone here enjoyed the 2010 Three Kingdoms, then you'd probably enjoy this too as this is about the period between the fall of Qin and the start of Han. A lot of the actors from Three Kingdoms are in it.

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mungouk
20 minutes ago, amytheorangutan said:

the 2010 Three Kingdoms,

 

Could you point us towards a source @amytheorangutan?  Thanks!

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amytheorangutan

@mungouk here is the whole series, superior translation by Jiang Hu 😀

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Tomsima

Literally hooked on 延禧攻略, it's like the modern version of 還珠格格, what's not to love!

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zander1
On 8/13/2018 at 7:25 PM, somethingfunny said:

This one starts well but gets quite messy towards the end, with some weird time dilations

 

Agreed, I basically thought this show was really great until the last two episodes with the flashforward. The ending is also quite disappointing, and given what happened in the space of time before the flashforward, doesn't really make sense. Saying that however, 最好的我们 is still one of my favorite Chinese shows I've watched. I think the first 22 episodes are excellent with a variety of interesting characters. A common complaint that I have about Chinese shows is that the characters' motivations/actions are very confusing and that they often act like children, perhaps because this show is actually about school-life the dramatic mood swings and changes seemed less out of place. I agree with somethingfunny that the two main characters are probably the least interesting of the lot, especially the male protatagonist whose broodiness gets boring quite quickly, however I do have a very significant soft spot for 耿耿 and I found her very sweet and likeable.

 

Me and my girlfriend are also very much enjoying 北京女子图鉴 - I personally think this is the best Chinese show I've ever watched, we have about 4 episodes to go and I think it has maintained its quality very well. The main character is not at all sympathetic (in fact, she's kind of horrible) but is well acted and has an interesting character arc. The perennial problem of ridiculously show pacing and filler episodes is also not present here, as there is a significant time gap between each episode and the story is always moving along. This could have been gimmickly, but I think it works well. For anyone who has seen the Netflix show 'Master of None', I'd say it has a similar feel, with each show having an obvious theme (e.g. buying a house in Beijing, going home for New Years etc.) and the actions of the episode structured around that. I would really recommend this show, I'd probably still be happy to watch it if it was in English. My only (very personal) issue is that because I've been watching it with my GF I haven't been able to stop to record the treasure-trove of idioms and quite complex language. For her part she's not a big part of the sections which are in Sichuanese (which a significant portion of the show is, including almost an entire episode) as she can't read the characters but that's given me some good practice for on-the-spot translation!

 

A personal preference for both these shows which I mentioned before is that they are filmed in a very 'cinematic' style, which I think helps to avoid the soap opera feel of other Chinese shows set in the modern era. This appears to be a style adopted by these web-series so I'm hoping I can find something similar.

 

At the moment my favorite Chinese shows have been (in order): 最好的我们,欢乐颂,空镜子,北京女子图鉴。

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zander1
On 8/21/2018 at 2:20 AM, Tomsima said:

Literally hooked on 延禧攻略, it's like the modern version of 還珠格格, what's not to love!

 

Yeah I resisted this for a while, but it's so much fun. Really great TV, it's not often I've just had to keep watching when an episode ends on a cliffhanger.

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永鈞

延禧攻略 is really popular here! I'm a bit surprised. I don't actively dislike it, but I can't focus on it whenever I watch it with my boyfriend. The lines are delivered in a really pithy way that annoys me for some reason. Maybe I'm just sour because I can't appreciate how deep it is haha

 

Don't you find it sort of tacky in places? There's a scene where someone lies and gets hit by lightning. Then there's the scene with the shittily rendered bats.

Maybe it's a fun type of campiness for most people watching.

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zander1
1 hour ago, 永鈞 said:

Don't you find it sort of tacky in places?

 

I mean, it's Chinese TV - let's not expect miracles here. But to be less flippant, it is quite campy and tacky but that's kind of par for the course in these 古装 TV-shows. I haven't watched too many (and very few past a few episodes), but it's one of the best I've seen and so far at least (I very much doubt the quality will remain for the 70+ episodes, I'm only on 15) I haven't found it too jarring.

 

On this show, does anyone else really dislike the emperor? He's my least favorite character by far.

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Luxi

I am close to finish watching Nothing Gold Can Stay (那年花开月正圆), a 2017 Dragon-TV series in 74 episodes, directed by Ding Hei, with Sun Li and Chen Xiao as principal actors.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nothing_Gold_Can_Stay_(TV_series)  

 

I started watching with no expectations, just because it was in Amazon,, but was hooked from Episode 1, really enjoyed it all the way through and will be sorry when I've finished.  It is a hidden gem. The series is inspired by the real-life story of Widow An Wu (安吴寡妇), who built a massive business emporium and became the richest person in Shaanxi towards the end of the 19th Century.

http://book.sina.com.cn/excerpt/rwws/2017-09-11/2359/doc-ifykusey8489397.shtml

 

The cinematography is excellent. Settings, props, furnishings and costumes have been reconstructed in fine detail. More importantly, the historical and social background feel authentic, and the plot offers many very perceptive insights into this critical period of Chinese history. The story involves ordinary people, rich merchants included: a refreshing change from many series based on Imperial and Court affairs, or Jianghu outlaws.

 

Acting by the main characters is good. Despite the length of the series, there aren't many of those dull episodes where nothing happens, the plot is surprisingly vivid and entertaining. There are some exaggerations and not a few inconsistencies, many of the business transactions seem unlikely, and some characterisations verge on the farcical, but it was a nice change to see that the Europeans are not treated as the villains of this story.  As an additional treat, the action extends to Urumqi in Xinqiang and to old Shanghai.

 

Besides the usual Youku, etc., Amazon Prime Video has the full series with English subtitles. I think a subtitled set appeared recently in You Tube (look for a set of 41 minutes episodes in the 大劇獨播MZTV channel). The language is actually standard putonghua (only a tiny wee bit of Shaanxi) and quite easy to follow with help from Chinese subtitles.

 

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abcdefg

That's impressive @Luxi -- 74 episodes is a lot. But it sounds like fun and is bound to be helpful for improving comprehension of daily speech as well. Maybe I'll watch it when I'm back in the US this winter. Last year that's when I watched "Three Kingdoms." My US life is boring; my China life is not. In any case, it's good to have your recommendation. Thank you. As it is now, I spend all day out and about, fully immersed doing stuff and just don't want such a big dose of sitting still watching TV (or the screen of my computer) no matter how good the show might be. I mainly watch the news and some sports, both live, while I'm eating supper if I'm alone at meal time. 

 

Most of my US friends are old; most of my China friends are young. One US friend is hooked on Korean Soaps with English subs. Spends hour after hour glued to the tube, eating chocolates and sipping tea. Another is addicted to the Donald Trump Show and watches all the insane and ridiculous variations of US politics, swearing, groaning, laughing, drinking beer, eating pretzels or corn chips. 

 

 

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Luxi
10 hours ago, abcdefg said:

74 episodes is a lot.

 

Yes, a lot, therefore ideal for the long dark evenings ahead in this part of the world, where  sheep:people ratio exceeds 30:1 :D

I think you'll enjoy at least parts of it, especially if you watch from Texas. There was an episode about an incident with a consignment of tea that you'll like - but it is somewhere in the middle of the series and I can't remember the episode number. 

It is good for both language and history.

11 hours ago, abcdefg said:

I mainly watch the news and some sports

 

That may be about to change. Besides You Tube, both Amazon and Netflix have been chasing videos to pad up their offering and have started to show entire Chinese TV series. It's only a matter of time before people start noticing them. If only they showed Three Kingdoms!

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Balthazar

Watched the first four episodes of 家产 yesterday, a 2011 show set in Beijing, dealing with the fighting and mutual suspicion between four siblings (and their families) after their father passes away. The most contentious issue is what to do with the apartment their father left behind, with the economic (and housing) situation of the four siblings being very different and thus also their interests. So far it's really quite good, definitely one of the most realistic and naturally acted (with a few exceptions) shows I've seen.

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DavyJonesLocker

what's everyone strategy when watching these shows, do people watch all the way through or stop every now and then. My main problem is I can't keep up with the speed of the subtitles even the easy sentences

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Wurstmann
1 hour ago, DavyJonesLocker said:

what's everyone strategy when watching these shows, do people watch all the way through or stop every now and then. My main problem is I can't keep up with the speed of the subtitles even the easy sentences

 

I just kept watching until it got better. Maybe not the most effective way, but I just can't watch something twice or more. If I thought I missed something really important, I paused and read the subtitles. But most of the time I was too impatient for that.

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DavyJonesLocker
49 minutes ago, Wurstmann said:

 

I just kept watching until it got better. Maybe not the most effective way, but I just can't watch something twice or more. If I thought I missed something really important, I paused and read the subtitles. But most of the time I was too impatient for that.

 

Yeah I'm kind of the same , but I am not sure if I really get anything out of it , that's it watching it straight through.  I probably didn't give it enough time though. Finding a good series is a challenge as I'm not too keen on watching TV shows in general. 

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Wurstmann

You could try 北京女子图鉴. Someone mentioned it earlier. It's quite good and not too difficult. There is also a 上海女子图鉴, but I haven't seen it yet.

Also take a look here.

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bande

I have been watching Tientsin Mystic on Metflix. It is a murder mystery set in 1920s/1930s Tianjin. Nextflix bought it from qiyi. The chinese name is 河神. 

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zander1
On 9/24/2018 at 5:49 PM, zander1 said:

(I very much doubt the quality will remain for the 70+ episodes, I'm only on 15) I haven't found it too jarring.

 

Still watching! Currently on episode 45, I actually kind of love it..

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