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C-dramas make waves with overseas viewers

Producers of Chinese TV series find success in foreign markets, gaining more fans for the country's stories, Xu Fan reports.

By XU FAN | China Daily | Updated: 2024-06-15 08:56
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Amid the wave of Chinese TV dramas going abroad, a string of smash hits at home has also gained popularity overseas, exemplified by The Joy of Life 2. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Ian Stevenson, a 62-year-old native of Gisborne in northern New Zealand, has been an avid follower of Chinese dramas, or C-dramas, for five years. Currently managing his accounting firm in Tauranga, Stevenson says that his preferred series is Princess Agents, a saga depicting the legendary journey of a slave who rises to become a female general amid the chaos during the Southern and Northern Dynasties (420-581).

He says that the allure of this costume drama, which stars Zhao Liying and Lin Gengxin, lies in its meticulously woven blend of martial arts combat, poignant plot twists and captivating historical narratives set against an ancient, mystical backdrop.

"My favorite genre is dramas set in ancient China with historical backgrounds and vivid depictions of conflicts," he explains further.

Misha Lee, a 65-year-old South Korean chef who immigrated to New Zealand almost 27 years ago, is also a seasoned fan of Chinese dramas.

Recalling her habit of closely following new Chinese dramas for over 30 years, Lee lists some of her favorite series, which have also been phenomenal hits in China.

These titles include the 2017 series Eternal Love, which tells of a romance between a fox family's princess and a crowned prince from the Heavenly Palace; the 2019 costume drama Joy of Life, centered around a young man with a mysterious origin; and the 2022 ancient China-set Love like the Galaxy, depicting the love story of a young general and the estranged daughter of a high-ranking official.

As an increasing number of domestic television programs journey overseas, a burgeoning wave of Chinese dramas has unfurled.

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