If you’ve taken but one metro ride in a Chinese city and glanced over at commuters’ phone screens, you know that camp historical dramas are the TV opiate of choice for millennials and aunties alike. Based on the trend forecast for 2017, it seems that historical dramas aren’t going anywhere. But what else is having its moment in the sun? Here is what China is watching on TV in 2017.
Chinese Name: 三生三世十里桃花
Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Romance
Starring: Yang Mi, Mark Chao
Although the series only began broadcasting on January 30th, 2017, it has already risen up the ranks to become the number one rated television drama on both search engine Baidu and Chinese Twitter equivalent Weibo’s ‘most popular’ lists. Based on the romantic fantasy novel of the same name by Tang Qi, the story follows the cross-century love story of goddess Bai Qian and mortal Ye Hua. The story involves deception, heartbreak, war, rebirth, memory-wiping, and the universal theme of souls drawn to each other for eternity.
Rush to the Dead of Summer
Chinese Name: 夏至未至
Genre: Drama, Romance, Coming of Age
Starring: Chen Xuedong, Zheng Shuang, Bai Jinting
With a release date of June 2017, Rush to the Dead of Summer has already garnered quite a fan base in anticipation of its premier. Based on Guo Jingming’s novel of the same name, Rush to the Dead of Summer spans 10 years in the life of a group of friends, from high school to entering society. In high school, Li Xia, Fu Xiaosi, and Lu Zhiang were inseparable, but real life proves hard on their friendship as the trio face abandonment, betrayal, and loss. As they grow up and grow apart, the friends question what even brought them together in the first place and the warmth of their young summers starts to fade away.
Because of You
Chinese Name: 因为遇见你
Genre: Drama, Coming of Age
Starring: Sun Yi, Deng Lun, Wu You
Set in a wonton shop in the town of Xiping, Because of You tells an inspirational story about growing up under the most bizarre of circumstances. The show centers around the mysterious young female character Jin Yibei, the daughter of a famous embroiderer. Through an unexpected series of events, Jin Yibei gains a rival in her mother’s embroidery apprentice, and the two set off on a journey towards fashion industry fame, meeting a pair of brothers along the way who might just change everything.
Chinese Name: 快乐大本营
Genre: Variety Show
Hosts: He Jiong, Li Weijia, Xie Na, Du Haitao, Wu Xin
On air since 1997, Happy Camp is one of the longest running and most popular Chinese TV shows. Each episode sees a different celebrity guest star show off his or her talents, participate in interviews, and play party games. Its viewership is consistently in the tens of millions, and the show has even been able to attract celebrities from outside of China to participate, namely those from Japan and South Korea.
Love, Just Come
Chinese Name: 爱来的刚好
Genre: Drama, Romance
Starring: Han Dong, Jiang Kaitong, Li Wei, Zhang Xiyuan, Wang Wei, Liang Aiqi
Love, Just Come premiered in January 2017 to a large, receptive audience. Now airing every day of the week, the series centers around orphan Qing Ling, whose perfect sense of smell inspires her to become a perfume maker. She must overcome adversity on the path to her dreams, but that doesn’t stop her from finding love, sometimes in the most unexpected of places.
Fighter of the Destiny
Chinese Name: 择天记
Genre: Period Drama, Fantasy, Martial Arts
Starring: Lu Han, Guli Nazha, Janice Wu, Joseph Zeng
A recently conducted Weibo poll of most anticipated new shows of 2017 revealed that Chinese people already can’t get enough of Fighter of the Destiny. Based on the novel of the same name by Mao Ni and starring former K-Pop pretty boy Lu Han, the TV show has all the makings of an instant Chinese classic: time travel, Taoist destiny, mysticism, a hero’s journey, romance. The story follows the time traveling quest of an orphan with a royal bloodline, Chen Changsheng, as he leaves his master in search of a cure for his terminal illness. Along the way, he meets Xu Yourong, and the two fall in love and conquer trials and tribulations together.