Chinese Dramas

Here are three I recommend:


Go Go Squid: this is a cute funny, silly romance with lots of delightful side characters and friendships. The lead male is the owner of an e-sports  team and that’s where a lot of the drama comes from.  Not an e-sports fan or antifan, but I still enjoyed this.

The Story of Ming Lan- historical drama, romance, some comedy and some martial arts- with a lot of the drama from the scene of the inner courtyards and rivalries and warfare between wives and concubines and their kids.


Ming Lane is the youngest child in a family with six children, two concubines, one wife. Her mother is a concubine who dies in childbirth when Minglan is young. Circumstances are sus. Her grandmother raises her. Her legal parents (dad & the main wife) care more about appearances than about anything else, especially Ming Lane. She meets Hi TingYe, second son and heir to his father’s dukedom when they are kids and he comes to First Sister’s wedding.bhe is already known for being wild, careless, flouring convention, unfilial (a huge sin).

They meet again later when he is part of a small school she and her siblings attend along with a couple other family connections.

There is the warfare in the women’s courtyard, and also warfare in the land as there is a rebellion against the Emperor and Gu  has gone for a soldier.

This sounds more soap opera like than it is. There was some very good social commentary, explanations of how things worked, or didn’t, plenty of interesting, well written characters and good dialogue. There is also some fighting, martial arts, various discussions of poetry and literature. The main love story is fabulous. Delightful. He does step in in the nick of time just too too often and too too perfectly but I did not care. She is smart as a whip and holds her own much like a young Daniel come to judgement.

This is one of the best subtitling teams ever- you can learn a lot about Chinese history, customs, and poetry. You will have to pause to read the subtitles, though.

Really loved this.

Rebel Princess- currently airing, only a third through.  So I may hate the ending, but right now I am blown away by the lavish costumes, the gorgeous music, the incredible acting. So addictive I watched without subtitles while waiting impatiently for subtitles to come, and the acting is good that I usually could guess the gist of what they were saying.

Awu is a doted on young Princess- she is everybody’s favourite. Her uncle is the Emperor, her mother is his little sister, her dad is prime minister. She is in love with one of the princes and he lives her, but neither of them care about palace politics at all, or are even aware of them. Everything is perfect.

Except in reality, palace politics are ugly and messy and she is an unwitting pawn. Her world begins collapsing and for political reasons she must endure the disgrace of being married off to a military general who was born a commoner and made a prince so he could legally marry her.  He wants no part of it either, but cannot disobey. Everybody wants his army for their side and he just wants to protect his country’s borders and stability.

Naturally, they fall in love and foil the political schemers. So far.

The acting here is phenomenal. He rescues her repeatedly in most unlikely scenarios and I don’t care. That is a lie. I cared so much I rewatched two of those rescues half a dozen times.

But also, out of the palace, breathing fresh air and enduring some hardships, Awu stretches and grows and it turns out she is a pretty smart cookie herself, with a decent instinctive understanding of strategy and policy. She cares about common people and has a social conscience. She is also unafraid to do hard things, like have bad people beheaded or whatever.


I think all of these are available on YouTube, and also on Viki.


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  1. Cat
    Posted February 1, 2021 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    I was starting to get worried that I hadn’t seen a post from you since early January – glad to see you’ve been having a good time watching Cdramas!

    Someone else whose blog I read is watching Rebel Princess and loving it. Ming Lan is another of her favourites. I’ve been enjoying her liveblogging of it a lot.

    • Headmistress
      Posted February 7, 2021 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

      Oh, what’s the blog? I am curious if there are others like Ming Lane and Rebel Princess.

      • Cat
        Posted February 8, 2021 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

        She’s at – right now she’s watching Rebel Princess and half a dozen or so other shows. I have The Blessed Girl on my shortlist of dramas to watch 100% because of Mousie hyping it, haha. Her taste is not always the same as mine but her posts about things are very lively and fun to read.

        Because I remembered seeing her post this a while ago – here’s a link to her reply to someone who asked for recommendations for something similar to Story of Minglan:

        • Headmistress
          Posted February 18, 2021 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

          I find tumbler really difficult to follow, but I am loving her commentary and her taste- I like most of the shows she does, so clearly she has good standards.=)

  2. Stephanie
    Posted February 3, 2021 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    I have not really gotten into Chinese Dramas. It’s been so busy with school, that I barely even watch Kdramas right now. My favorite one this winter was 18 Again. I’m glad to see you posted. I was missing you.

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