List of Popular Ancient Chinese TV Series 1993 - 2013

Very often, I look for recommendations on the next wuxia to watch. Thought I would share a list of popular ancient Chinese TV series, from my top 20 to the ones that you watch to pass time. 

There's just something special about the wuxia genre in addition to the exquisite costumes and beautiful scenery. In period dramas, the stakes are higher, honor means everything, I could go on... added a ratings widget so you can now rate your favorite dramas >.<

Mei Ren Zhi Zao
Mei Ren Zhi Zao, best cdrama 2014, Yang Rong wuxia

Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Ratings: Just Another Drama
Title:Mei Ren Zhi Zao / 美人制造
Episodes and Genre: 30, Fantasy / Comedy
Starring: 2013
Jin Shi Jia as He Lan Jun

Synopsis:
True to its namesake, the drama revolves around He Lan Jun, a highly skilled cosmetic surgeon and the adventures he encounters as he tries to make a name for himself.

Swordsman (Xiao Ao Jiang Hu)

2013 Version
Wallace Huo as the Swordsman 2013, drama withdrawals best wuxia
Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Ratings: Pretty Good for the most part 
Title:Swordsman / Xiao Ao Jiang Hu / 笑傲江湖
Episodes and Genre: 42, Action Romance
Starring: 2013
Wallace Huo as Ling Hu Chong
Chen Qiao En as Dong Fang Bu Bai

Synopsis:
Ling Hu Chong is a student of the Hua Shan Sect and this story revolves around his adventures as he makes a name for himself in the martial arts world.

Comments:
Based on novels by Louis Cha (Jin Yong). I decided to feature the most recent adaptation produced by Yu Zheng in 2013. Usually, Jin Yong novels are a must-watch for me but in this case, Yu Zheng took free reign at revising major plot points. I can accept some modifications such as Dong Fang Bu Bai being female rather than male but other story changes just didn't make sense.

It was frustrating to see how the original pairing was supposed to be Ling Hu Chong and Ren Ying Ying but we spend a huge chunk of the drama watching the development behind Ling Hu Chong and Dong Fang Bu Bai's possibly romantic relationship. 

Chen Qiao En as Dong Fang Bu Bai is captivating and she quickly became my favorite character so I was quite appalled when it dawned on me how this drama was supposed to play out. I stopped watching shortly before that could happen.
Chen Qiao En as Dong Fang Bu Bai, Swordsman 2013 best wuxia, drama withdrawal syndrome

Female Prime Minister
Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Ratings: Must-Watch
Title:Female Prime Minister / 陆贞传奇
Episodes and Genre: 59, Hunan TV
Starring: May 2013
Zhao Li Ying as Lu Zhen
Chen Xiao as Gao Zhan

Synopsis:
Lu Zhen is an intelligent and courageous young women who doesn't let gender inhibit her from succeeding in business. Upon her father's death, her evil stepmother leaves her with nothing and Lu Zhen ends up escaping to the palace where she relies on wits and talent to survive.

Rift of the Sky (Xuan Yuan Jian)
Rift of the Sky Hu Ge, Liu Shi Shi 2012 best fantasy wuxia, drama withdrawals
Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Ratings: Just Another Drama
Title:Rift of the Sky / Xuan Yuan Jian Zhi Tian Zhi Hen / 轩辕剑之天之痕
Episodes and Genre: 36, Action Romance / Fantasy
Starring: 2012
Hu Ge as Yu Wen Tuo
Jiang Jing Fu as Chen Jing Chou
Liu Shi Shi as Taba Yu Er 
Tiffany Tang as Ningke

Synopsis:
Yu Wen Tuo and Chen Jing Chou are destined to be enemies. Will they be able to set aside their differences and save the world?

Comments:
Produced by Tangren Media. 

Visually amazing as always, I watched it just for the sake of the cast and the colorful costumes. Can't say the same about the story tho. More pictures below because it's a waste not to post them.
Rift of the Sky Hu Ge, Liu Shi Shi 2012 best fantasy wuxia, drama withdrawalsRift of the Sky Hu Ge, Liu Shi Shi 2012 best fantasy wuxia, drama withdrawals

Rift of the Sky Hu Ge, Liu Shi Shi 2012 best fantasy wuxia, drama withdrawalsRift of the Sky Hu Ge, Liu Shi Shi 2012 best fantasy wuxia, drama withdrawals

Rift of the Sky Hu Ge, Liu Shi Shi 2012 best fantasy wuxia, drama withdrawals

The Emperor's Harem
The Emperor's Harem, 2011 chinese drama Ady An, Feng Shao Feng Best
Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Ratings: Just Another Drama
Title:The Emperor's Harem / Hou Gong / 后宫
Episodes and Genre: 46, Romance Drama
Starring: 2011
Ady An as Shao Chun Hua / Li Zi Yun
Feng Shao Feng as Yang Yong

Synopsis:
Despite coming from a noble background, Li Zi Yun was forced to live on the streets after her father was accused of treason. Fortunately, she was taken in by a nice family as a servant. However, the palace decreed that the family's only daughter be sent to the palace.

To repay her master's kindness, Zi Yun goes to the palace as Shao Chun Hwa where she gets entangled by the endless hierarchies and power play behind the palace's closed walls.

Gong - a ratings powerhouse!
Gong Suo Xin Yu c-drama, Yang Mi, Feng Shao Feng, drama withdrawals 2011

Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Ratings: Must Watch
Title:Gong / 宫-锁心玉
Episodes and Genre: 39, Romance, Fantasy Time Travel, Historical
Starring: 2011
Yang Mi as Luo Qing Chuan
Feng Shao Feng as Yin Se (8th Prince)

Synopsis:
Ever noticed a trend in dramas where similar themes come out all at ones. Gong is yet another time-travel drama which is a cross between Scarlet Heart and Boys Over Flowers. We have a feisty 21st century heroine constantly picked on by the boys / princes yet the stakes are much higher within the palace walls of Qing Dynasty where one wrong move can cost your life. 

Legend of Zhen Huan - a ratings powerhouse!

Legend of Zhen Huan Sun Li
Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

Title:Legend of Zhen Huan / Empresses in the Palace / Zhen Huan Zhuan / 后宫甄嬛传
Episodes and Genre: 76, Historical
Broadcast Period: 2012
Starring: 
Sun Li as Zhen Huan

Synopsis:
An innocent young woman marries the Qing Dynasty emperor and learns to thrive amidst the scheming within the inner court until she ascends into a position of utmost power.

Scarlet Heart (Bu Bu Jing Xin) - a ratings powerhouse!
Startling By Each Step 2011, Liu Shi Shi Nicky Wu, best wuxia, drama withdrawals
Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Ratings: Must Watch
Title:Scarlet Heart / Startling By Each Step / Bu Bu Jing Xin / 步步惊心
Episodes and Genre: 35, Romance, Fantasy Time Travel, Historical
Starring: 2011
Liu Shi Shi as Maertai Ruo Xi / Zhang Xiao
Nicky Wu as Yin Zhen (4th Prince)

Synopsis:
Zhang Xiao got into a fight with her boyfriend because she caught him cheating. However, she trips and is electrocuted. When she wakes up, she discovers that she has been transported back into the Qing Dynasty inside the body of Maertai Ruo Xi. 

Stuck with no idea on how to go back to the future, she tries to make the most of it but is struggling with the fact that she already knows how history will play out for everyone that she meets.

Comments:
Produced by Tangren Media. 



Strange Hero Yi Zhi Mei
Liu Shi Shi Wallace Huo, 2011 best wuxia, chinese drama withdrawals
Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Ratings: Pretty Good
Title:Strange Hero Yi Zhi Mei / The Vigilantes in Masks / Guai Xia Yi Zhi Mei / 怪侠一枝梅
Episodes and Genre: 30, Action
Starring: 2011
Wallace Huo as Li Ge Xiao
Liu Shi Shi as Yan San Niang

Synopsis:
Li Ge Xiao is a bandit that robs the rich to give to the poor. His group is called Yi Zhi Mei and they fight to protect the people.

Comments:
Produced by Tangren Media.

Meteor Butterfly Sword
Meteor Butterfly Sword 2010, Baron Chen Ivy Chen wuxia, chinese drama withdrawals
Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Ratings: Just Another Drama
Title:Meteor Butterfly Sword / Liu Xing Hu Die Jian / 流星蝴蝶剑
Episodes and Genre: 30, Action Romance
Starring: 2010
Baron Chen as Meng Xing Hun

Synopsis:
Meng Xing Hun is an assassin of the Happy Forest led by Sister Ko. They are experts in the field but Xing Hun is tired of their lifestyle and wants to start anew.

Comments:
Based on Gu Long novels. The movie version starring Tony Leung, Michelle Yeoh and many more is my favorite wuxia film but I didn't like the drama version as much.

Chinese Paladin 3 Hu Ge Yang Mi, best wuxia 2009 chinese, drama withdrawal syndrome
Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Ratings: Pretty Good
Title:Chinese Paladin 3 / Xian Jian Qi Xia Zhuan 3 / 仙剑奇侠传3
Episodes and Genre: 37, Action Romance / Fantasy
Starring: 2009
Hu Ge as Jing Tian
Yang Mi as Tang Xue Jian

Synopsis:
Jing Tian, a happy-go-lucky shop owner, embarks on a journey to save the world from darkness.

Comments:
Produced by Tangren Media. This is a prequel to Chinese Paladin

Heavenly Sword and Dragon Sabre (Yi Tian Tu Long Ji)
2009 Version
Yi Tian Tu Long Ji, Heavenly Sword and Dragon Sabre, classic wuxia, best c-drama Jin Yong, drama withdrawal syndrome
2003 Version
Yi Tian Tu Long Ji, Heavenly Sword and Dragon Sabre, classic wuxia, best c-drama Jin Yong, drama withdrawal syndrome
Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Ratings: Must Watch
Title:Heavenly Sword and Dragon Sabre / 倚天屠龙记
Episodes and Genre: 40, Action Romance
Starring: 2003
Alec Su (苏有朋) as Zhang Wu Ji (张无忌)
Alyssa Chia (贾静雯) as Zhao Min (赵敏)

2009
Deng Chao as Zhang Wu Ji
Ady An as Zhao Min

Synopsis:

The Martial Arts world is fighting over the Heavenly Sword and Dragon Sabre and it leads to the untimely deaths of Zhang Wu Ji's parents. Wu Zi has to decide between principle or revenge, love or hate as he becomes entangled in the fight over the Heavenly Sword and Dragon Sabre.

Comments:
Based on Louis Cha (Jin Yong) novels. Yang Xiao (杨逍) is my favorite character because of the 1993 version played by Sun Xing (孙兴). His portrayal of Yang Xiao left such an impression that I don't think other versions can ever compare. Here's Sun Xing from the 1993 version. Oh, the memories..
Yi Tian Tu Long Ji, Heavenly Sword and Dragon Sabre, classic wuxia, best c-drama Jin Yong, drama withdrawal syndrome, remembering Yan Xiao Sun Xing

Yi Tian Tu Long Ji, Heavenly Sword and Dragon Sabre, classic wuxia, best c-drama Jin Yong, drama withdrawal syndrome, remembering Yan Xiao Sun Xing

Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils (Tian Long Ba Bu)

2013 Version 
Tian Long Ba Bu classic Jin Yong Wuxia, chinese drama withdrawal syndrome
2003 Version
Tian Long Ba Bu classic Jin Yong Wuxia, chinese drama withdrawal syndrome
1997 Version
Tian Long Ba Bu classic Jin Yong Wuxia, chinese drama withdrawal syndrome
Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Ratings: Must Watch
Title:Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils / Tian Long Ba Bu / 天龙八部 (天龍八部)
Genre: Action / Romance
Starring: 1997 (TVB)
Huang Re Hua (黄日华) as Qiao Feng (乔峰)
Benny Chan (陈浩民) as Duan Yu (段誉)
Carman Lee (李若彤) as Wang Yu Yuan (王语嫣)

2003
Hu Jun as Qiao Feng  (乔峰)
Jimmy Lin as Duan Yu  (段誉)
Liu Yi Fei as Wang Yu Yan (王语嫣)

2013
Wallace Chung as Qiao Feng
Kim Ki Bum as Duan Yu
Han Dong as Xu Zhu

Synopsis:
Qiao Feng is the leader of the Beggar Clan who defends the Han people from the Qi Dan. Duan Yu is a prince of Da Li who despises fighting and violence. Xu Zhu is a monk who inadvertently gains immense martial arts powers that he did not want. The three become sworn brothers and this is their story.

Comments:
Based on Louis Cha (Jin Yong) novels. In my opinion, Jin Yong is like the Chinese version of George Lucas as he successfully created a franchise on stories filled with generations of unforgettable characters. 

I really think that if you like one, you'll like them all.

The Return of the Condor Heroes (Shen Diao Xia Lu)

2015 Version
2006 Version
Return of the Condor Heroes classic Jin Yong Wuxia, best chinese tv series, drama withdrawal syndrome
1998 Version
Return of the Condor Heroes classic Jin Yong Wuxia, best chinese tv series, drama withdrawal syndrome
1995 Version
Return of the Condor Heroes classic Jin Yong Wuxia, best chinese tv series, drama withdrawal syndrome
Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Ratings: Must Watch
Title: The Return of the Condor Heroes / 神雕侠侣
Genre: Action / Romance 
Starring: 1995 Version
Louis Koo (古天乐) as Yang Guo (杨过)
Carman Lee (李若彤) as Xiao Long Nu (小龙女)

1998 Version
Christopher Lee (李铭顺) as Yang Guo (杨过)
Fann Wong (范文芳) as Xiao Long Nu (小龙女)

2006 Version
Huang Xiao Ming (黄晓明) as Yang Guo (杨过)
Crystal Liu (刘亦菲) as Xiao Long Nu (小龙女)

2014 Version
Chen Xiao as Yang Guo
Michelle Chen as Xiao Long Nu

Synopsis: 
Yang Guo is judged by society for being the son of a traitor. He meets and falls in love with his martial arts teacher, Xiao Long Nu, and their relationship has been deemed unacceptable by society.

Comments: 
Based on Louis Cha (Jin Yong) novels. I really like Yang Guo, a character who is not your typical protagonist. He has a dark side and in spite of society's expectation that a traitor's son can do no good, he embodies the characteristics of a true hero.
Return of the Condor Heroes classic Jin Yong Wuxia, best chinese tv series, drama withdrawal syndrome, Singapore Fann Wong
I think the 2006 version by Crystal Liu (刘亦菲) is the most fitting for the part of ethereal beauty Xiao Long Nu but Fann Wong's portrayal, which is the first version that I ever saw will always be my favorite.

On the other hand, the 2014 upcoming version starring Michelle Chen seems to be getting a lot of flak for her casting and unwanted changes in the screenplay. I guess it's up to us to decide.

A Step Into the Past
A Step Into the Past, fusion wuxia best time travel, hk tv series, drama withdrawal syndrome Louis Koo
Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Ratings: Must Watch
Title:A Step into the Past / 尋秦記 / 寻秦记
Episodes: 40
Air Date and Genre: 2001, Time Travel / Comedy / Action / Romance
Starring:
Louis Koo (古天樂) as Xiang Shao Long (项少龙)
Raymond Lam (林峰) as Zhao Pan(赵盘)

Synopsis:
Hong Siu Lung is a Hong Kong Police Agent afraid to commit to his long-time girlfriend Kam Ching. It was only until Kam Ching marries another that Hong Siu Lung realizes what he lost. Determined to win Kam Ching back, Hong Siu Lung volunteers to travel back into the past in hopes of undoing the present. However, things go awry when he finds himself stuck in ancient China many thousand years ago.

Comments:
It was hilarious to watch Louis Koo (古天樂) as Hong Siu Lung (项少龙) speak English and walk around in a T-shirt in ancient China.

The Prince of Lan Ling (Lan Ling Wang) - a ratings powerhouse!


Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating: Must-Watch
Title:Lan Ling Wang aka the Prince of Lan Ling / 蘭陵王 /  兰陵王
Episodes: 46
Air Date and Genre: August 2013, Action / Romance
Starring:
Feng Shao Feng (冯绍峰) as Lan Ling Wang (兰陵王)
Ariel Lin (林依晨) as Yang Xue Wu (雪舞)
Daniel Chan (陈晓东) as Yu Wen Yong (宇文邕)

Synopsis:

During the turbulent times of the warring states, there are four men with the potential to unite the lands and bring forth peace, one of which is Lan Ling Wang, a general of Qi.  Lan Ling Wang meets Yang Xue Wu, the granddaughter of the last remaining priestess from the village of seers. It has been foretold that the one who gains her, gains the world. Despite the tragic prophecy that Lan Ling Wang will die in the hands of his own brother, Yang Xue Wu falls deeply in love. WIll they triumph against fate?

Comments: Loved the three leads & the supporting cast and hated Zhen Er with a passion thanks to her superb acting. It's rare for me to find new dramas to like so Lan Ling Wang seriously reminded me of the good old times when I first discovered period dramas.

Though I gotta admit, there was a fair-share of hair pulling moments when the drama started dragging midway but still an enjoyable ride overall.

Fairy From Wonderland (Tian Wai Fei Xian)
Tian Wai Fei Xian Ariel Lin, best wuxia, ancient chinese series drama withdrawal syndrome
Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Ratings: Must Watch
Title: Fairy From Wonderland / Tian Wai Fei Xian / 天外飞仙
Episodes: 39
Air Date and Genre: 2006, Romance Drama / Fantasy
Starring: 
Ariel Lin as Xiao Qi 
Hu Ge as Dong Yong

Synopsis:
Xiao Qi is the seventh daughter of the Jade Emperor but she violated heavenly rules and is sent to the mortal realm as punishment where she must accomplish 100 charitable acts in order to return. 

While on earth, she meets and falls in love with Dong Yong. However, it has always been forbidden for a goddess to be with a mortal. 

Comments:
Produced by Tangren Media. Stories between goddesses and mortals are almost always sad because it is forbidden in every fantasy drama that I have seen thus far.

Fox Volant of the Snowy Mountain
Fox Volant of the Snowy Mountain Athena Chu Gillian Cheung, 2006 wuxia drama withdrawals
Is it a must-watch, pretty darn good, just another drama or downright boring?

My Ratings: Just Another Drama
Title: Fox Volant of the Snowy Mountain / Xue Shan Fei Hu / 雪山飞狐
Episodes: 40
Air Date and Genre: 2006, Action Romance
Starring: 
Athena Chu as Yuan Zi Yi
Gilliang Cheung as Cheng Ling Su

Comments:
Hope I'm not being unfair but since I can barely recall the enough of the plot to write a synopsis, I'll be rating this as average. 


Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Ratings: Must Watch 
Title:Chinese Paladin / Xian Jian Qi Xia Zhuan / 仙剑奇侠传1
Episodes and Genre: 34, Action Romance / Fantasy
Starring: 2005
Hu Ge as Li Xiao Yao
Crystal Liu as Zhao Ling Er

Synopsis:
The main protagonist Li Xiao Yao has to battle the Lunar Moon Sect. On his journey, he meets the love of his life Zhao Ling Er, who is actually a half-human half-snake descendant of the Nu Wa goddess.

Comments:
Chinese Paladin is a must-watch simply because it was such an anticipated fantasy wuxia back then.

I'm beginning to think that an insanely good-looking cast, stunningly beautiful costumes and breathtakingly picturesque locations are always the pre-requisites to making an wuxia based on a RPG game. Maybe I should give credit where it's due as these Tangren productions never fail to disappoint.

Paradise (Shui Yue Dong Tian)
Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Ratings: Must Watch
Title: Shui Yue Dong Tian / Paradise / 水月洞天
Episodes: 30
Air Date and Genre: 2003, Action Romance / Fantasy
Starring: 
Yu Bo as Tong Bo
Ada Choi as Dou Dou

Synopsis:
Tong Bo is the eldest of the Tong Brothers and their clan lives in peace and seclusion in paradise. However, everything will change as an old enemy returns.

Flying Daggers
Flying Daggers Ruby Lin Julian Cheung, best 2003 wuxia drama withdrawal
Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Ratings: Must Watch
Title: Flying Daggers / Fei Dao You Jian Fei Dao / 飞刀又见飞刀
Episodes: 43
Air Date and Genre: 2003, Action Romance / Revenge
Starring: 
Ruby Lin as Xue Cai Yue
Julian Cheung as Li Huai

Synopsis:
Xue Cai Yue, is a cold and calculating assassin who swears revenge on the Li Family. She trains arduously to defeat the Flying Daggers, a martial arts stance practiced by the Li. 

Li Huai is an illegitimate son unwanted by his family but when the time comes, is he willing to defend his family's honor against the love of his life Xue Cai Yue?

Comments:
Based on novel by Gu Long. I don't have any more space in my top 10 but Flying Daggers is another all-time favorite!
Flying Daggers 2003 Ruby Lin Julian Cheung, drama withdrawal best wuxia

Treasure Raiders (Xiao Shi Yi Lang)

2002 Xiao Shi Yi Lang Treasure Raiders starring Nicky Wu and Athena Chu


Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

Ratings: Must Watch
Title: Xiao Shi Yi Lang / Treasure Raiders / 萧十一郎
Episodes: 40
Air Date and Genre: 2002, Action / Romance
Starring: 
Nicky Wu as Xiao Shi Yi Lang
Athena Chu as Shen Bi Jun

Synopsis:
Shen Bi Jun is the most beautiful woman in the realm of wuxia. She is engaged but falls in love with Xiao Shi Yi Lang and circumstances have forced Shen Bi Jun into a marriage that she does not want. Can these lovers find happiness again and can Xiao Shi Yi Lang find his true calling?

Comments:
I'm ecstatic for the latest adaptation coming out in 2016 especially because it's been years since I last saw this! I'm having a hard time finalizing the ranking for my top 10 favorites. Xiao Shi Yi Lang will have to settle for Rank #6 but seriously, it is one of my all-time favorites! 

Originally a novel written by Gu Long, there's so much angst and inner turmoil that Xiao Shi Yi Lang undergoes because of a relationship that seemed doomed right from the start but I'm loving every single bit of it. It's a drama that tugs at your heartstrings and frankly, I think dramas that have the ability to elicit that kind of a reaction are the best ones.

Xia Nu Chuang Tian Guan (Treasure Venture)
Treasure Venture Zhao Wei Nicky Wu 2000, best wuxia drama withdrawal syndrome
Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Ratings: Must Watch
Title: Xia Nu Chuang Tian Guan / Treasure Venture / 侠女闯天关
Episodes: 20
Air Date and Genre: 2000, Action / Romance
Starring: 
Nicky Wu as Shui Ruo Han
Zhao Wei as Lu Jian Ping

Synopsis:
Shui Ruo Han is an assassin but he falls in love with Lu Jiang Ping. Will he betray his mission?

Comments:
Another conflicted character in the persona of Shui Ruo Han who came into Lu Jian Ping's life with the sole purpose of stealing the Divine Book by any means necessary. Shui Ruo Han is played by Nicky Wu, the same actor in Xiao Shi Yi Lang and just the same, loved it!   

Royal Tramp / Duke of Mountain Deer

2008 Version
Royal Tramp 2008 Huang Xiao Ming, best wuxia drama withdrawals
2000 Version
Lu Ding Ji Duke of Mountain Deer, Dicky Cheung best wuxia 2000 drama withdrawals
Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Ratings: Must Watch
Title: Royal Tramp / Duke of Mountain Deer / Lu Ding Ji / 鹿鼎记
Episodes and Genre: 2000 version - 40, 2008 version - 50, Action Romance / Comedy
Starring:
2000 Version
Dicky Cheung as Wei Xiao Bao

2008 Version
Huang Xiao Ming as Wei Xiao Bao

Synopsis:
Wei Xiao Bao is an anti-hero. He's lazy, not adept at martial arts, and he relies on wit to get out of dangerous situations. He also loves women and easily falls for every girl that he meets. But beneath it all, he is a patriot on a mission to infiltrate the Palace.

He finally meets the Emperor of Qing Dynasty and they form an unlikely friendship.

Comments:
Based on Louis Cha (Jin Yong) novels. I caught wind of another adaptation in 2014 but since this is the 3rd version of the same drama, I don't think I will be watching. 

The Legend of the Condor Heroes (She Diao Ying Xiong Zhuan)

2008 Version - A Tang Ren Production
Legend of the Condor Heroes, Ariel Lin, classic wuxia Jin Yong, c-drama withdrawal syndrome
Legend of the Condor Heroes, Ariel Lin, classic wuxia Jin Yong, c-drama withdrawal syndrome
1994 Version
Legend of the Condor Heroes, Ariel Lin, classic wuxia Jin Yong, c-drama withdrawal syndrome
Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

 Pretty Good
Title:Legend of the Condor Heroes / 射雕英雄传
Episodes and Genre: 1994 Version - 35, 2008 Version - 50, Action Romance
1994 Version
Zhilin Cheung (张智霖) as Guo Jing(郭靖)
Athena Chu (朱茵) as Huang Rong(黄蓉)

2003 Version
Li Yapeng (李亚鹏) as Guo Jing(郭靖)
Zhou Xun (周迅) as Huang Rong(黄蓉)

2008 Version
Hu Ge (胡歌) as Guo Jing(郭靖)(main guy in Chinese Paladin)
Ariel Lin (林依晨) as Huang Rong(黄蓉)(main girl in It Started with a Kiss)

Synopsis: 
Guo Jing is slow and dim-witted but he is persevering and has a good heart. He meets Huang Rong who is his antithesis, smart, pretty and cunning. This novel adaptation revolves around their love story as well as Guo Jing's journey to becoming a great warrior who defends ancient China from the Jin empire.

Comments:
Based on Louis Cha (Jin Yong) novels. This series is the prequel to the Return of the Condor Heroes.


My Fair Princess - a ratings powerhouse!

2011 Version


1998 Version

Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

Ratings: Must Watch
Title:My Fair Princess / Princess Pearl / 还珠格格
Episodes and Genre: 1998-1999 Version - 72, 2011 Version - 90, Romance / Family Drama
Starring: 1998-1999
Vicky Zhao as Xiao Yan Zi
Ruby Lin as Xia Zi Wei

2009
Li Sheng as Xiao Yan Zi
Hai Lu as Xia Zi Wei

Synopsis:

Xiao Yan Zi is a fun-loving young girl who likes martial arts. She meets Xia Zi Wei, prim and proper and her polar opposite in personality. Xia Zi Wei is actually traveling to the Palace to meet her father Qian Long, the Emperor of Qing Dynasy. 

Eager to help, Xiao Yan Zi volunteers to go to the Palace but crazy circumstances lead the Emperor to assume that Xiao Yan Zi is his daughter hence granting her the title of Princess.

Comments:
Based on Chiung Yao novels. Princess Pearl is a mega-hit back in 1998 that paved the way for Vicky Zhao and Ruby Lin to stardom. In fact, Fan Bing Bing who was a supporting character in this very successful drama also shot to fame and even starred in X-Men Days of Future Past as Blink. I read pretty negative reviews about the 2009 version though so it's probably better to stick to the original.

This is not much of an wuxia but a classic in the Romance Drama genre. It has pretty one dimensional characters where the good are good and the antagonists Empress Dowager and Rong Muo Muo are monsters! Just kidding but you'll know what I mean.


Justice Bao
Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

Ratings: Must Watch
Title:Justice Bao / Bao Qing Tian / 包青天
Episodes and Genre: 1993-1994 Version - 236, Action Detective Drama
Starring: 
Jin Chao Chun as Bao Zheng
Kenny Ho as Zhan Zhao

Synopsis:
Justice Bao is a judge who seeks to uphold justice no matter what the price.

Comments:
This Taiwanese TV series has many episodes featuring different crimes solved by Justice Bao's team. I couldn't resist posting a picture of Kenny Ho as Zhan Zhao, everyone's favorite character.


For Chinese period dramas in 2014, click here.
For Korean period dramas, see best sageuk.

25 comments:

  1. After reviewing your list, I must say that I agree with most of your "must watch" selections. Also there are a few dramas that you have listed that I have not seen. I hope I agree with your category of "must watch" with these upcoming dramas. They are Chinese Paladin 3, Demi God and Semi Devils 2013, Flying Daggers, Legend of Condor Heroes 2008. Great blog!

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    1. Chinese Paladin 3 almost made my must-watch but there were parts that I didn't like.

      If you're looking for something to watch, I suggest Romance of the Condor Heroes (new drama) - I even blogged abt it coz it's pretty awesome=D

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    2. I agree. However my enjoyment was significantly curtailed because of the partial subbing of this drama even as I type. I need subtitles. Thanks for that suggestion though. I was also enjoying Demi God and Semi Devils 2013, yet I had to stop because of its' lack of subtitles.

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    3. What do you think about:

      "Blood stained intrigue"
      "Zu mountain saga"

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    4. I watched the Condor hero series and I must say even though Romance of Condor Hero was good, I still thought the Return of Condor Hero 2008 was better. Even though I love Michelle Chen, I didn't think her character really fit. Xia Long Nu's character is suppose to be more calm. I think Crystal from the 2008 one really brought her character to life. The only thing bad from the 2008 one is the graphics. Because it was from a couple years back, the CGI isn't that good. Which could bother some people, but the story line and acting is perfect <3

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    5. Sorry let me retype. True but I seriously think it's largely thanks to the fact that Crystal Liu is like a real-life Xiao Long Nu such that even though I like Michelle Chen in ROCH, I still think Crystal Liu and Chen Xiao would have made a better pair.

      Because even though I agree that the 2003 version was better overall, Crystal Liu's baby-face and Huang Xiao Ming's mature looks always struck me as slightly odd.

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    6. To be honest, i don't really like the 2008 version ( i only watch it because of crystal liu). Very dissapointed with the figthing scene, like hello ROTCH is a wuxia genre and a good fighting scene is a must for wuxia genre.

      Btw, Do you know where i can watch/download wuxia series with english subtitles?

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    7. you can try dramacool.to :)

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  2. Wow~Great!U and i hv the same taste...pls keep writing reviews :D
    Btw,I'm also a big fan of Nicky Wu :D

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! I kind of stopped watching for a while.. am looking for the next thing to watch. Let me know if you know of any=P

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  3. can u give more recommendations drama with genre harem same as Royal Tramp / Duke of Mountain Deer, i really like it when protagonist have a lot of wife ^_^

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    1. Wei Xiao Bao is the only prolific womanizer that I can think of other than maybe Duan Yu's father who is a side character in Tian Long Ba Bu.

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  4. Can you give me a good recommendation of sword of legends? Cause i just loved it and i want more! ^^

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    1. if you like Fantasy stuff that are usually based on gaming, I just know the old ones like Chinese Paladin etc.

      But if you're ok with anything, watch Romance of the Condor Heroes - it's in my wuxia list for 2015. one fo my favorites=D

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    2. Actually just started a new one it's called Journey of Flower

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0UTChUCFRk

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  5. I really agree with you about lan lin wang. It feels like good old times. I come here for the exact story like that. Ok, fine. I lied. I'm here because I want to find another wuxia drama starring Feng Shao Feng. Found one, but unfortunately can't find a website that have the eng sub. The world is so unfair. Website for korean drama is so many, I really hope someone make a website just for chinese drama. Anyway, I really really really strongly recommend you to watch lan ling wang. Feng shao feng is sooooo darn handsome, I could die. His smile, literally can kill people. Ok, fine. i lied again, but you get what I mean. Happy fangirling!!

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    Replies
    1. yes wish he'll make a drama soon seems like he's all about movies these days

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  6. u should watch royal tramp 1998...played by jordan chan...its for me the best version ever...really funny...

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  7. Where can I watch gong 2 & gong 3 with eng subs ?

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  8. after reading your list...
    i realise some list... didnt offer a bit older version of all...
    like:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Duke_of_Mount_Deer_%281984_TV_series%29
    duke of mount deer andy lay ver..

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Return_of_the_Condor_Heroes_%281983_TV_series%29

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Legend_of_the_Condor_Heroes#Television
    i like 1983 version

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Heavenly_Sword_and_Dragon_Sabre
    also HSDS tony leung vers...

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chu_Liuxiang
    is also famous... i only watch some ep starring adam cheng when small...

    maybe im watching less wuxia drama especially after 2005...
    i rarely watch... c drama again...

    but i admit... i like the wuxia during andy lau and tony leung era...

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    Replies
    1. Hi Budi thanks for commenting. Been meaning to watch the older TVB dramas but never got the chance. Will start with your list when I do.

      As for Chu Liuxiang, it is a pretty good wuxia but I kinda like Jin Yong's more:)

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  9. can u give a name of series that kind of same like romance of condor heroes and swordsman that have many sect.. tq..

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    Replies
    1. Hi those are Jin Yong classics so suggesting two more from the same author if you haven't seen yet: Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils, Heavenly Sword and Dragon Sabre

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  10. where can i watch martial arts series online
    any sites......

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    1. hi you can try here:) http://www.dramapanda.com/2015/08/where-can-i-watch.html

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