Thursday, January 26, 2023

Chinese Dramas: My Obsession with Asian Entertainment

I have a new obsession: Chinese dramas. Actually, I'm surprised it took me this long to discover my love for Asian entertainment. Especially after Zhang Yimou's work blew me away in the film House of Flying Daggers. Now, I'm kicking myself for not doing thorough research to fully understand the entire genres that were ready at my disposal. Instead of diving into Wuxia, Xianxia, and other Chinese fantasy dramas,  I simply looked up the cast and director and watched more Yimou Zhang films. I then watched Memoirs of a Geisha (an American movie) but didn't realize there were entire genres of Chinese gems for me to watch.

As an English speaker, I never minded reading subtitles but I slowly reverted back to English-speaking films and lost out on hundreds of beautiful works of art that could have graced my television screens. This all changed when Netflix recommended Alchemy of Souls. I was hooked and binge-watched every episode! The story was so beautiful and it was a very nice change from the blood and gore from many shows that I watch on premium cable (i.e. HBO and Showtime). I watched House of the Dragon in 2022 but found much of the content disturbing if not triggering. 

After Alchemy of Souls, I tried some more South Korean films and television series and then followed another of Netflix's recommendations: everything changed! I binge-watched the series Love Between Fairy and Devil and now my whole life has been rocked.

I couldn't believe the beauty on screen and the story was romantic, yet wholesome and innocent. I guess Chinese censorship has its advantages, eh?

After Love Between Fairy and Devil, I searched for Chinese dramas on Netflix, Prime, and Hulu. After my careful research, I decided to ditch two of my premium cable channels for Rakuten Viki and iQIYI (I'm hooked). 

There are over 200 dramas for me to watch and my biggest problem now is budgeting my screen time while resisting the urge to check out the YT and TikTok video edits from my favorite series!

If you've never watched a Chinese drama, I recommend you do so. There is a level of filmmaking in Asian entertainment (I seriously believe Chinese stands above the rest) that is unparalleled. The beauty, the attention to detail, and the plots are just wonderful.

As I continue with my obsession, expect to see more content here about what I'm watching, what Chinese drama is expected to air this year, and maybe a little celebrity news on some of the Chinese and other Asian stars I'm following. 

One of the funniest things that have occurred since diving into the Asian entertainment world, is AI seems to think I'm also Asian!

My Netflix recommendations are now all Asian, I'm getting ads across YouTube that are speaking Chinese, Mandarin, and Korean, and Prime is recommending Asian series to me as well. Don't worry, I'm not going to pull a Gwen Stefani and announce I'm now Chinese!!! Good grief, that was just ridiculous!

Since binge-watching Alchemy of Souls, I haven't watched an American movie or series. At this point, I  have little desire to either. I'm tired of the graphic violence and gratuitous sex scenes just to feed many Americans' need for lust and gore.

The storylines and journeys each character takes during these dramas far surpass what American entertainment is offering.

Here are a few trailers and videos for some of my favorite Asian dramas.

Alchemy of Souls

Love Between Fairy and Devil Trailer

Novoland: Pearl Eclipse (Trailer)

What do you think? Do you watch Chinese dramas and Asian entertainment?

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