2017 was a much better year for dramas in general (I’m actually more excited for 2018-2019, as all the movie actors are returning to the small screen), with several shows hitting it out of the park in terms of ratings and/or online popularity.
Web dramas really started to gain traction this year – in fact, I’m marathoning tworight now, and each one stands out for various reasons, whether it be high production values or tight storytelling. These online shows have become an outlet for creativity due to the strict censorship rules applied to television dramas, though SARPPFT has decided to nip it in the bud by making web dramas undergo the same rigorous process before premiering online. Hopefully the streaming sites continue to come up with quality fare in the future despite the roadblocks that are being put in place.
Undercover/The Undercover to Return 卧底归来 takes inspiration from true events, and focuses on the conflict between China’s anti-narcotics forces and drug dealers. The most recent teaser can be found here.
Last seen battling the illegal drug trade in Hua Kai Ban Xia 花开半夏 together, Li Qin and Lin Shen team up again in Undercover 卧底归来. Lin Shen plays an undercover cop set to infiltrate a drug cartel. He gains the cartel’s trust and becomes the bodyguard of its leader’s daughter (Li Qin). They are joined by Zhang Jiayi, Liu Yijun, Fu Jing (the very model of perfection in her role in Educated Youth), and Zhai Tianlin.