Chinese Drama Recommendations?

I watch a lot of Kdramas, it's literally all I watch now. I'm learning Chinese and I want to watch Chinese dramas to feel more immersed. I watched Love020 and started Rush to the Dead Summer but I did not like them as much as the Kdramas I've watched. I'm not sure if it has to do with the style of Cdramas but I find them a little tacky? I LOVE Chinese culture and the language so I have no intention of bashing their entertainment but I just can't get into them the way I do with Kdramas! I've seen some great Chinese movies (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, To Live, House of Flying Daggers) but I've had no luck with Cdramas at all. Maybe I'm looking in the wrong genre? Should I watch the period dramas instead of romantic comedy dramas?

Recommend me Cdramas that have similar style to Kdramas or are good in storyline and acting, I look for dramas that are original with less cliches than most. Thanks!
Deer-and-Bread
3 months ago
@sheeiinewrites Honestly speaking, Fighter of the Destiny was terrible. It's very cliche. I did like some parts of the humor, but other times, it was really just cliche stuff that had happened a lot of times before in other dramas/novels. The main love interest is just such a bland character & she doesn't have any development throughout the story. Imo, the second love interest was much better and had much more chemistry w/ the MC, but of course, they wouldn't end up b/c it's always the two mains that end up. :')

Luhan was great though, and I watched the drama two times b/c of him. ; u ; He's really good for a new actor. I just feel pretty bad that this is one of the first dramas he's filming because honestly, the plot and characters were all dry, lots of plot holes, and if it wasn't the fact that they got a bunch of big actors/idols like him to play roles, it wouldn't be as big as it is.

The drama might be disappointing, so if you still want to watch it, I wouldn't go with big expectations. :/
mstyper
3 months ago
@sheeiinewrites No problem. You didn't have to worry about responding in a fast manner. I do hope you'll enjoy the dramas, and my PM box is always open too. =)
sheeiinewrites
3 months ago
@Deer-and-Bread Thank you so much for all these suggestions! You know, that makes so much sense now, Chinese humour is unique to Westerners so no wonder I don't exactly connect with those rom coms. I just wish they made them more compelling like their epic period dramas. FIGHTER OF THE DESTINY! How is it?? I was seriously considering this one when I was looking for dramas to watch, it has almost 60 episodes but does it drag on? How is Luhan in it?
sheeiinewrites
3 months ago
@mstyper Hey! Sorry I wasn't able to go online for the past few days but it was the title that caught my eye and when I searched it up the premise looked pretty promising to me. No problem! I'd love to talk more, my PM box is always open :)
Deer-and-Bread
3 months ago
I don't know if my taste will really fit yours, but I recommended all the dramas I could think of below at the moment for my favorites. You can probably tell that I really like my romance and visuals, but I personally find myself very picky about characters, so hopefully you'll find some of these dramas satisfying!

There are certainly a lot of tacky C-dramas since a lot of the humor is very focused on mainland China humor which is a bit different than Western and Korean humor. People in China just really like their fluffy happy student-romance kind of genres. I think that you really are looking in the wrong genre, since rom-com usually aren't the best things to start off watching C-dramas with.

In case you're interested, here's also a few great actors and actresses that I love:
Actresses: 杨幂/Yang Mi, 赵丽颖/Zhao Liying, 刘诗诗/Liu Shishi, 迪丽热巴/Dilireba
Actors: 霍建华/Huo Jianhua, 马天宇/Ma Tianyu, 胡歌/Hu Ge, 黄轩/Huang Xuan

A lot of works that I haven't listed are great, and they're all eye-candy.

A few dramas that I haven't really expanded on/forgot to list are here though. They're bearable and I've managed to watch at least most of it, so they might be okay, but I can't guarantee anything.
幻城/Ice Fantasy, 女医明妃传/The Imperial Doctress, 择天记/Fighter of the Destiny, 少年神探狄仁杰/Young Sherlock (actually forgot to list this
one; it's one of my favorites too. It's a series of historical murder mysteries that follow a group of friends as they travel from place to place), 欢乐颂/Ode to Joy, 怪侠一枝梅/The Vigilantes in Masks (forgot to list this one too; it's a favorite again. Historical wuxia drama with my favorite visuals).

Hope this helped haha! I'm very passionate about C-dramas, so this is very, very long...
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Deer-and-Bread
3 months ago
I'm a avid c-drama fan, so here are a few I like. :'D

三生三世十里桃花/Eternal Love/Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms (there's a lot of names for it): This was really really big this year, so if you haven't, you have to haha! The visuals are all great, and the setting/clothes/props are honestly all beautiful! Plot is also great-- mostly romance, action, drama, some angst, and some comedy just to keep you entertained. It's very fantasy but also historical too. I also love the subplots in the story. The movie is also great. It's slightly on the angstier side, but it's great as well. OSTs are part of my daily music playlist too since every. single. one of them are beautiful.
楚乔传/Princess Agents: This is also really big, and I was a bit hesitant to start it at first, but once you watch the first episode, you get into the world. Great visuals again, and though there's a love triangle, the relationships are all really unique and sweet. The main genre balances between action and romance, and the romance comes in a little later than the action. It's like a historical-ish setting, but I'm pretty sure it's alternate universe historical. Great, great, great character development.
花千骨/Journey of Flower: One of the biggest of 2015. (Most of these are all big ones haha. I'm a mainstream person) Main genres are romance, xianxia, and fantasy. Visuals were stunning again, but I personally didn't find myself liking the female character. She's acted by Zhao Li Ying (who is also the actress for the MC of Princess Agents), and the actress was great, but I guess the personality just wasn't my type of female lead. I watched the first few episodes and I couldn’t get through it, so I just read the plot summaries, haha… ; u ; If you like cold male lead x fluffy-ish female, maybe?
孤芳不自赏/General and I: This wasn’t my favorite, but I liked it a lot too. The female lead is actually really intelligent and logical, so I really liked her. A lot say that the actress for her (Angelababy) had terrible acting, but I personally thought she did okay for her role. The concept is pretty interesting, since the romance actually works opposite of what I first thought it was going to be. It’s set during a wartime, lots of death, and the romance is pretty prominent but the plot is good too. Genres: Historical and Romance.
琅琊榜/Nirvana in Fire: Loved this one! It’s pretty much mostly politics and history, but I loved the plot and characters and pretty much everything about it, and though the male lead had one of those dramatic backstories, his backstory is actually pretty unique. Visuals are A+, and acting was amazing too. Slight romance, but that’s definitely not the focus. The entire story was gripping, and I couldn’t stop watching! It’s one of the biggest films of 2015 as well with a lot of hype.
伪装者/The Disguiser: This has a pretty similar cast as Nirvana in Fire, and it was just as great. It's historical, but it’s set in the mid-1900s I think? Like 1940s or something about that. They’re all about spying and double-identities, and I think I loved the antagonist of the story a little too much, which is kind of rare. I loved all the characters too though and their development. Again, slight romance, but it’s not the focus at all. A bit angsty too, if I remember correctly.
武媚娘传奇/The Empress of China: COSTUMES! Literally, the costumes were the most beautiful things to grace the world. Everything was perfection. Immaculate. In other words, it would just be heaven to your eyes throughout the drama, though there are a few disturbing scenes here and there. I didn’t finish the drama since I couldn’t last after I watched a really horrific scene and and had a few terrible nightmares, but I’m definitely going to come back to it sometime. It follows the journey of how a concubine of the past emperor rises in place in the imperial palace to the point where she actually becomes the first and only empress in imperial China’s history. This is actually really amazing since it’s based off of history and I loved that fact. I’m not usually one to watch these sort of palace-y set settings since I find them too dramatic, but I enjoyed this one thoroughly. Lots of trickery and deceit throughout the story.
神雕侠侣/Return of the Condor Heroes: There’s lots of versions for this one since it’s based off a classic in China's novels, but I prefer the 2006 version since that was my childhood. That version is in my opinion, the best, since the female actress is Liu Yifei, and the male actor is Huang Xiaoming, and those two are absolutely made for the roles + are iconic. I have tried watching the 2014 (most recent) one two times, but both just didn’t work out since the actors didn’t fit very well. I’ve watched the drama like… three times already, I think, and I’ve read the book version once. This drama is classic, and the main genres are action, wuxia, historical, romance, with slight bit of angst. If you want to watch the classics of c-dramas, you HAVE to watch this one. It’s wonderful.
笑傲江湖/Swordsman: This is based off a book by the same author who wrote Return of the Condor Heroes. There are so many versions again, but my favorite is the 2013 (most recent, I think?) version because Huo Jianhua is the male lead and gosh he is just too amazing at acting and is pure eye-candy. The genre of this drama is similar to Return of the Condor heroes--action, wuxia, historical, romance--but the plot itself is different and unique. The story of this is another classic too. Just like with The Disguiser, I fell in love with the antagonist (Dong Fang Bu Bai, played by Chen Qiaoen) more than the female lead. I actually sort of hated the female lead since I liked the antagonist with the male lead better. Nevertheless, totally a great watch and highly recommended.
亲爱的翻译官/The Interpreter: Finally moving on from historical dramas! I have to say that I like historical ones much more than modern ones since they tend to be less ridiculous, but The Interpreter was really good. It’s after college, so you don’t have to worry much about annoying students, haha. The first half of it does seem sort of like a school though, since the characters are learning how to act in the workplace that most of the drama is set in, except there’s no ridiculousness. Loved the humor in it as well. The main genres are romance, DRAMA, and angst. Drama is capitalized because there’s just too much of it. There’s not a single peaceful moment, and every time you think that the conflict has calmed down, a new one would appear, and it keeps you watching. However, for me, I kind of quit at episode 30 since it was getting way too dramatic for me, and I couldn’t continue watching. Another side note kinda off a tangent: parts of this drama is in French since that’s the language the characters are interpreters for, so I find that really cool. Visuals were great again (especially the main two actors, Yang Mi and Huang Xuan). The main OST, Mon Cherie, is also one of my favorite songs.
好先生/To Be a Better Man: This one is another of the few modern-day-setting dramas that I enjoyed. It focuses on the life of an ex-Michelin Star chef, and how he’s now a alcohol-loving jobless person residing in America. After the death of his close friend, he takes his friend’s daughter (who he’s supposed to take care of), and travels back to China and that’s where the drama begins. The plot of this is thoroughly engaging, and the main character has a lot of development. He’s not your typical MC and does a lot of not-very-alright things that make you wonder his character moral… but that’s probably why the English title is ‘To Be a Better Man’, since he doesn’t really start off as a good man to begin with. Visuals are not the reason actually for once that I liked the drama. The actors are just really all good. (It does feature EXO’s Zhang Yixing/Lay, but I actually didn’t know he was going to be in it until I began watching, and his role isn’t exactly the most significant.) This story is a roller coaster ride. It will keep you at the edge of your seats watching. There is a lot of focus on the kitchen and cooking, and in my opinion, that just makes the story better. Lots of drama and backstories, and the humor in this is just precious. Some psychology involved too.
mstyper
3 months ago
@sheeiinewrites Yay! =) I do hope you'll enjoy them. The story line of Romance in the Rain caught your eyes, or did its cast, if you don't mind my asking? Also, thanks for accepting my friend request!
sheeiinewrites
3 months ago
@mstyper I'll definitely check all of those out then! Romance in the Rain was the first one to catch my eye :)
mstyper
3 months ago
@sheeiinewrites Hmm, I'm not so sure if the dramas I've listed are or can be considered as realistic as you wanted, but I can guarantee that the dramas that I've asterisked have original plot, fantastic acting, and sizzling chemistry. <3 Though, of course, that also depends on each watcher. I hope you'll enjoy them though. =)
sheeiinewrites
3 months ago
Thanks so much for your response! Yes, most of those movies I mentioned are in the period/action genre, it's what got me into Chinese film. But it's not that element that got me engrossed, it was the quality of the storyline and acting as they were all really strong in that. Even though Crouching Tiger was more fantasy-like, the chemistry between the characters was fantastic and real. Are all the dramas you recommended have original storylines, realistic plot and acting and all that jazz? I basically want to avoid dramas like Love020 at all costs, it's elements like unrealistic characters (college students who acted like high school kids) far-fetched story events etc. that all bothered me. Bottom line is I like watching realistic dramas instead of melodramatic stories that woudn't happen in real life.
mstyper
3 months ago
...Sorry, I accidentally clicked the "enter" button.

I love watching those kinds of Chinese dramas too, so here are some I would like to recommend (some may be hard to find subtitles, and the ones with the * means "must watch"):
Wesley
*Chinese Paladin
Ying Ye 3 + 1
Shaolin Soccer
Fated to Love You (original version, I believe)
A Chinese ghost story (there are multiple remakes of this one, but my personal favorite has Barbie Hsu)
Dragon Fight
Dragon Love (one of the first Chinese dramas I watched and fell in love with as a kid)
*Returning Princess Pearl (1998 version. The "new" version's okay...)
The Myth
*Romance in the Rain
*Errant Love (a great classic!)
*Autumn's Concerto
*Perfect Couple
*Female Prime Minister
*Bu Bu Jing Xin
*Palace (if you like the above, this one's similar except it's more "light weight," if you will. I don't want to spoil anything)

Please enjoy!
mstyper
3 months ago
I've noticed that the Chinese dramas you mentioned that you say are great have a two things in common: they are dressed traditionally in Chinese clothes, and they are action-packed. I'