The Pavilion – Duan Yihong, Hao Lei, Zu Feng, Wu Yue, Bai Yufan. Nineteen years ago, the Xuan family’s youngest sister is murdered, and the family is splintered. Almost two decades later, the broken family reunites after the oldest brother becomes the suspect of a fresh murder.
Last year’s Light On program gave us two critically successful dramas in The Bad Kids and The Long Night – any guesses as to which dramas will stand out from the pack this year? (My pick is The Pavilion, based on cast performance alone)
A belated review for one of my favorite dramas of the past year, My Best Friend’s Story 流金岁月. The series by director Shen Yan is a rare Chinese modern series that romanticizes women and the relationship between them with an almost wuxia-like camaraderie. The women are imperfect. They can be greedy and worldly, idealistic and naive, ambitious and ruthless, old-fashioned and spoiled, but they’re also humans who grow and change and who are there for each other. They can be in-laws, sisters, friends, love rivals, or business rivals, but they rarely have innate jealousy for other women. Instead, unspoken loyalty (义气) is prevalent throughout most of the female and some male characters. Combined with gorgeous outfits and some enlightened casting choices, the drama is definitely one of my recent favorites.
Liu Shishi and Ni Ni star as Jiang Nansun and Zhu Suosuo, two best friends who seem to be polar opposites but are bound by their loyalty and willingness to give everything to people they love. While Jiang Nansun’s plotline is better written in both character development for its star and her relationships, Zhu Suosuo’s line succeeds with its plethora of excellent actors who added so much complexity to their characters. .
iQiyi has released a handful of trailers and posters for its upcoming dramas. The successful Light On programme is back for a second round, and the streaming platform has also lumped its romance dramas into a Sweet On schedule, which is set to begin this month. Which dramas are you looking forward to most?
First up is Luoyang, and the trailer is giving me huge The Longest Day in Chang’an vibes. Huang Xuan‘s character seems pretty similar to Lei Jiayin’s, in that they’re both former government officials who are tasked with solving intriguing mysteries.
Assassin in Red (A Writer’s Odyssey in overseas markets)stars Lei Jiayin as the father who is out to save his daughter from a monster, and Dong Zijian as the novelist who created it. Yang Mi plays the antagonist’s henchwoman. Costars include Guo Jingfei, Yu Hewei, Dong Jie and Tong Liya.
Directed by Lu Yang (Brotherhood of Blades series), the film will premiere on Chinese New Year’s Day.
My Best Friend’s Story stars Liu Shishi and Ni Ni as friends who support each other through thick and thin. I’m halfway through the other friendship drama Dear Missy, and I think it would be wise to view this as a drama that focuses on each of the female lead’s romances, with a touch of womance sprinkled on top.
The 38 episode drama airs 2 episodes daily on CCTV-8.
Like A Flowing River 2 will continue to focus on Song Yunhui’s (Wang Kai) climb up the corporate ladder, Lei Dongbao’s (Yang Shuo) rural reforms and Yang Xun’s (Dong Zijian) entrepreneurial journey. Yang Caiyu costars as Liang Sishen, Song Yunhui’s colleague and second wife.
The 39 episode drama airs daily on Dragon TV / Zhejiang TV beginning tonight (20th CN time).
Assassin in Red stars Lei Jiayin as the father who is tasked with killing a novelist (Dong Zijian) to save his daughter, yet ends up getting written into the novel himself. Yang Mi plays the alluring assassin Tuling.
Directed by Lu Yang (Brotherhood of Blades), the film is set for a 12 February 2021 release.
Over the past week, Mango TV, Tencent and iQiyi have released teasers and promos for select dramas that will probably air next year (follow the links for more information). Which ones are you looking forward to most?
iQiyi crime thriller Who Is Murderer 谁是凶手 comes from director Sun Hao (Joy of Life, Bad Guys Must Die) and stars Xiao Yang and Dong Zijian as police officers and Zhao Liying as a doctor. Initial sources reported the drama as an adaption of the Baiyin Murders. The original synopsis is translated below:
In 2006, rookie police officer Leng Xiaobing (Xiao Yang) comes face to face with the serial killer responsible for the rape-murders of eight women. However, he is unable to fire, and the killer disappears from sight. Ten years later, police academy graduate Xia Mu (Dong Zijian) joins the local detective team. Unbeknowst to most, Xia Mu is the sole witness of the last murder, and suddenly, all the clues begin to converge.