Fun fact: All three leads graduated from the Central Academy of Drama, which has a reputation of producing well-known actors who are also good at their craft.
Like A Flowing River / River Of Time 大江大河 is a drama produced by Daylight Entertainment to celebrate the 40th anniversary of China’s open-door policy, and stars Wang Kai, Yang Shuo and Dong Zijian as representatives of a whole generation of people who took advantage of the economic reforms that were being rolled out.
Song Yunhui (Wang Kai) is a smart lad who was often discriminated against due to his background (his father worked as a doctor for the Kuomintang), but took advantage of the reinstitution of the university entrance exams. He starts working at a state-owned enterprise and slowly climbed his way to the top (including by marrying the factory owner’s daughter), but began to lose himself in the changing times.
His brother-in-law Lei Dongbao (Yang Shuo) comes from a rural village, and is always the first to respond to the latest trends in farming. He spearheaded village projects from setting up electricity to building factories, but is often set back by his short-sightedness and impulses.
From roaming the streets to sell bread to running a successful private company, Yang Xun (Dong Zijian) had to fight tooth and nail to where he is. The rapid growth of science and technology eventually allowed him to become part of China’s first group of successful entrepreneurs. However, even as he’s reached the upper echelons of society, Yang Xun still plays by street rules, causing major rifts between him and his business partner, female lead Liang Sishen.
The 100 episode drama is based on Ah-nai’s River of Time 大江东去 (they had to change the title since another drama had already used it), the original author of the Ode to Joy novel series. Directed by Kong Sheng (Nirvana in Fire II: The Wind Blows in Changlin) and Huang Wei and written by Yuan Keping (Rise of Entrepreneurship 下海), the drama will be split into two parts, and will air on Dragon TV in October 2018 and December 2019 respectively.