Zhen Huan ages up for the American release

The Legend of Zhen Huan is coming to the United States next year – you would think that there’d be more than enough material to cut a 76 episode long drama into 6 pisodes, but actually, Sun Li was recently spotted in Beijing, filming an extra segment for the show. What do you think – how well would a historical epic like Zhen Huan do in the United States, in your opinion?

10 thoughts on “Zhen Huan ages up for the American release

  1. Well i just finished watching this wonderful series on Netflix, and I’d have to say that it was truly amazing! I found myself crying with the characters and laughing with them as well, and i can say now that I’m really really obsessed with this show now. I grew up with my dad and me watching a lot of Chinese films so, when I saw that they added this on to Netflix, I immediately started watching it. I know a lot of people didn’t grow up watching Chinese dramas like me and my siblings did, but I would honestly recommend this series to anyone, whether they grew up watching Chinese dramas or not.

  2. I certainly wouldn’t feel confident about the success of this show. To me, taking a successful Chinese show and trying to make it appeal to the U.S. audience is not at all a guaranteed success. The palatial struggle for power type plot probably seems remote to many US audience members. How many would sit down and think it resembles office politics etc? The subject matter seems a bit hard to digest for US audience members.

    I think if they want to appeal to US audience, they should start thinking about that factor while they were doing the script and filming the series. Not just adding US-flag wrapping paper to the final package, and spend 100 days cutting the gift-wrap paper :-)

    I agree it is also weird to send not-the-most representative “ethnic group” of China. Sending Zhen Huan as one of the “pioneering series” to HBO… It doesn’t make a great deal of sense. But on the other hand, when Western tourists visit China, they do visit Beijing the most. With Qing and Ming being the most “relevant” dynasties of Beijing. The dynasties with the most relics etc. left in Beijing.

    Perhaps the series distributor has magical wrapping paper that could turn the whole package into a resounding success. We’ll have to see how it works out.

  3. On a pure aesthetic note, I just don’t want people to think Qing dynasty clothes are representative of Chinese clothing because they’re so unflattering…

    • They have their own charm… but they definitely aren’t that representative from a historical stand point…

    • I certainly agree! But it seems that Qing dramas are promoted overseas more than those of other eras, thus reinforcing the pigtailed chinamen stereotypes.

  4. Honest Answer:

    To tell you the truth, I have doubts about how well this will do being cut down like this…

    I think there’s a gap in cultural understanding and appreciation that still needs to be bridged and until it is, it is usually best to keep things in their separate spheres of influence. Those who are willing to really gain an understanding and appreciation of other cultures will do so by themselves. Trying to jump an entire populace that, in my opinion, hasn’t shown much of an interest for foreign cultures and sometimes snubs them first before coming to a complete understanding of them is not the way to go. This show may have done well in some areas of Asia but that is only because there is a history of cultural exchange and understanding. The amount of understanding and appreciation of Chinese culture in the United States is, in my opinion, not yet to a level that would give this drama the welcome I would like to see it have.

    If anything, I’m kind of scared about what may happen if it does get released. I have seen my fair share of writers and people in the media who are remarkably proficient in turning anything related to a “scapegoat country” into evidence of how backwards they are. I wouldn’t want a drama that has had a profound influence on me such as this one to be subject to such a situation.

    TLDR: I think the possibility of a negative outcome are way too high and it would be best to just leave the legacy of this drama as is instead of trying to jump markets at this point.

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