Top 10 Most Influential Chinese TV Series
Chinese people like watching TV series. Since 1980, China has seen many fantastic and influential TV dramas. Below are my picks of the most influential Chinese TV series. Each has real social impacts to Chinese people and their daily life.
1. The Bund (1980 TV series) 《上海滩》
The Bund is a 1980 Hong Kong TVB drama TV series starring Chow Yun and Angie Chiu. This is one of the most classic shows of all time. This series (Find The Bund at Amazon.com) has the four big elements of a good film: action, drama, suspense, and romance, all these make it an influential work with phenomenal performances. Even after so long, this is still fondly remembered as a classic and younger generation also like this.
2. Journey to the West (1986 TV series)《西游记》
This series was a traditional adaptation of the classic Chinese novel of the same title. It is about an adventure of the monk and his three disciples based on the actual pilgrimage of the monk Xuanzang to India in the Tang Dynasty (618-907). In 1986, the series topped the TV ratings. Even today Journey to the West will be played on many TV channels on summer vacation or Chinese New Year Festvial.
3. Dream of the Red Chamber (1987 TV series) 《红楼梦》
The series tells the story of two star-crossed lovers: Jia Baoyu and Lin Daiyu. It also tells the story about the feudal noble family’s rise and fall from prosperity to decline. The 1987 version is the best accepted and beloved by all the Chinese people from young to old (Find the 1987 version of A Dream of Red Mansions at Amazon.com). These original actor and actress really conveyed the souls of the book’s character and never can be performed or interpreted by anyone else as well as they did.
4. Ke Wang (1990 TV series) 《渴望》
The 50-part television series, called “Aspirations,” or “Kewang” as known in Chinese, caused a sensation in the 90s. Its audience rating reached an unprecedented 90.78%. It was one of the most successful TV shows in the history of Chinese TV drama.
5. New Legend of Madame White Snake (1992 TV series)《新白娘子传奇》
New Legend of Madame White Snake is a 1992 TV series starring Angie Chiu and Cecilia Yip. The drama tells a love story between a white snake called Bai Suzhen and a scholar named Xu Xian. Angie Chiu and Cecilia Yip perfectly interpret Chinese folk tale Legend of the White Snake, this drama is considered as a classic together with its melodious music.
6. A Beijinger in New York (1994 TV series) 《北京人在纽约》
A Beijinger in New York (1994) was the first Chinese TV series shot in the US. It was adapted from Glen Cao`s novel Beijinger in New York. The series tells the story of Qiming Wang and his wife Guo Yan about their immigration, employment, the rearing of their daughter, their eventual success and tragedy in the United States. The 25 episode television series was very popular in China.
7. Huan Zhu Ge Ge (1997 TV series)《还珠格格》
Princess Pearl (My Fair Princess or Huan Zhu Ge Ge ) is a Chinese television series adapted from Chiung Yao’s novel of the same title. The series enjoyed the highest viewership of any TV drama in Chinese history and became the television series with the most reruns broadcast from the 1990s to today.
8. Demi Gods And Semi Devils (1997 TV series) 《天龙八部》
Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils is adapted from Louis Cha’s novel of the same title. This drama had such an epic story with a fantastic plot and a great cast of characters. This drama is considered the best wuxia series by media!
9. Soldiers Sortie (2007 TV series) 《士兵突击》
Soldiers Sortie is a 2007 Chinese TV series directed by Kang Honglei. It tells a story about soldier Xu Sanduo, a naive and awkward village boy who later becomes the best soldier after going through many hardships. The TV series swept China in 2007. It has been played on almost every TV station in China and has a large group of devoted followers.
10. Legend of Zhen Huan (2011 TV series) 《后宫甄嬛传》
Legend of Concubine Zhen Huan is a Chinese TV series based on the Internet novel of the same name. It did not only enjoy huge success in China but also in parts of Southeast Asia. It was announced in 2013 that the drama will be exported to the U.S and re-edit into six TV movies and broadcast on mainstream TV channels in the U.S..