Highlighting 4 Upcoming Dramas Adapted from BL Works

Chinese dramas adapted from BL (danmei)

If past dramas are any indication, there has long been a big market for dramas that are based on BL works and the successes of Guardian in 2018 and The Untamed this year are a testament to that. Producers seem to have realized this as there are as many as 59 BL drama adaptations on the list this year.

It's no secret that shows in China need government approval before airing. The good news is that from the list, 3 completed dramas are currently awaiting broadcast, 1 has just started filming and 9 more are in the planning stage. The remaining 46 are works that have sold the copyright for their stories to be adapted to the small screen. It's going to be a long way for these dramas that are in such early stages to come to fruition, if it even really happens, so let's take a look at the ones that have been completed. 

winter begonia cp huang xiaoming yin zheng
Adapted from a novel of the same name by Shui Ru Tian Er, Winter Begonia 鬓边不是海棠红 is another one of Yu Zheng's dramas.  Instead of focusing on the imperial courts of ancient China like his previous shows, Winter Begonia is set in the 1930's and shines the spotlight on the traditional art of Chinese opera.  It stars Huang Xiaoming and Yin Zheng whose characters are eventually caught in the fight against Japanese occupation.

The Sleuth of Ming Dynasty bromance
Adapted from a novel of the same name by Meng Xi Shi, The Sleuth of Ming Dynasty 成化十四年 is Jackie Chan's first foray into producing web dramas.  The story follows Darren Chen and Fu Meng-po's characters as they solve seemingly random crimes that ultimately lead them to uncover a greater conspiracy.  Similar to the novel which focuses on the mystery-solving, the show promises to be an exciting thrill ride complete with action-packed scenes.

Legend of Youth bromance
Adapted from a manhua by Han Lu, Legend of Youth 热血少年, which was originally entitled Yan Shi Fan, stars Huang Zitao and Jackson Yee.  Despite coming from different family backgrounds, both Zitao and Jackson's characters unite and rely on each other as they are tasked with defending the imperial rule until their ideals get in the way of their friendship.  Having both Huang Zitao and Jackson Yee is enough for most people to anticipate Legend of Youth with bated breath, considering that both of them have large fanbases.  Aside from that, the visuals and action scenes look to be impressive.  

flying phoenix filming
Adapted from a novel of the same name by Feng Nong, Flying Phoenix 凤于九天 has just started filming on August 18, 2018. Actor/singer Dai Jingyao and Shu Yaxin are rumored as the two male leads.  

The 9 dramas that are in the planning stages include: 
Sha Po Lang 杀破狼 by Priest
Faraway Wanderers 天涯客 by Priest
Dali Siqing 大理寺卿
Thousand Autumns 千秋 by Meng Xi Shi
General Order (lit.) 将军令 by Tou Tou Xue Wen
Golden Assistant 金牌助理 by Fei Tian Ye Xiang 
Dinghai Bliss (lit.) 定海浮生录 by Fei Tian Ye Xiang 
Xiang Jian Huan 相见欢 by Fei Tian Ye Xiang 
19 Days 19天  by Old Xian

Successful BL adaptations have set the bar quite high for others hoping to follow in its footsteps though in actuality, there are probably more fails than successes.  Hopefully, producers have been taking notes and these upcoming dramas can satisfy their viewers. 




22 comments:

  1. I'm against this such trashs..it treats holy and important thing named family in the future.. i don't like these actors no more even if they are my favorites

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    1. You are entitled to your OPINION. Sounds a bit self-righteous though. Does this mean you won't watch any palace dramas with concubines? Or is that okay?

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  2. China needs to stop with bs BL

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    1. What's with bl? After all bl drama has strict censorship. So it is only will be left with bromance, brotherhood and friendship. While romance drama have kissing deeply, hugging and go to bed scene. It is really teach children to date and married early when mistake happen when they are too into their own world (not thinking about their future at all).

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    2. I don't think bromance is going to last any longer. Gay...that's the biggest taboo.

      Brotherhood and friendship, close enough to bromance, not going to last long either.

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  3. I hope that one day, we can have an actual romance instead of brotherhood. I don't know about the others, but I watched the trailers for Legend of Youth, and not once did I think that there was a special connection between the leads, I truly just saw it as friendship.

    It's a bit of a shame, because I just recently finished watching the Untamed, and it's one of my favorite dramas ever. While the romance was toned down, at least it was clear from beginning to end that Lan Wang Ji and Wei Wu Xian are soulmates. A truly lovely story, except for the unnecessarily confusing end.

    Anyways, one can only hope that everything LGBTQ+ related will receive less censorship in the future, after all, it is just as much a part of life and nature as heterosexuality.

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    1. Ok, I just realized that I actually have no idea who in Legend of Youth is supposed to be part of the BL pairing. Does anyone know where I can read about the story (or if there are any translations available)?

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    2. How was the ending confusing? He heard Lanzhan call his name "Wei Ying" and when he turned around and smiled, well, there's only one person he would smile that way for: Lanzhan. Considering censorship, that was a very nice ending.

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    3. I know that too. I just mean that there was no need to separate them to begin with, was there? Or did that also happen in the novel? I can't really remember. I also found the last few scenes a bit awkwardly put together, they could have added a bit more dialogue to make it understandable.

      While I do get that the censorship is probably partly at fault, but would it have been that bad if they had shown them walking together at the end, to indicate that they are now going to live for themselves?

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  4. Wait, is the Flying Phoenix already confirmed/clarified ? Because i saw on weibo during the filming announcement, the book author took it to weibo and said didn't know anything about filming because nobody contacted the author.

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  5. Yesss. I love bromance drama after the untamed. Hope all of this drama as good as the untamed

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  6. I'm very curious about The Sleuth of Ming Dynasty. It looks interesting especially with Jackie Chan producing it and choreographing the fight scenes for it. With The Untamed setting the bar so high this year, it's going to be intriguing to see if any of these dramas can replicate its massive success.

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    1. I checked in mydramalist the sleuth of ming dynasty has girl as main character while the other guy only support character so i doubt they would get another massive sucessful like the untamed since they change it to usual romance bg (romance like that is many almost 10 from 10 while bromance is only sometimes 1 to 9 sometimes there are none) the untamed is really the best bromance out there. The only special about this is jackie chan but he only stay as directors. So don't know what would this be.

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    2. Dramalist is hardly the most accurate source around. Fans can rearrange the cast however they like.
      Have you even read the plot? The two main leads are Darren Chen and Fu Mengpo and even on the poster, its them + Liu Yaoyuan.
      The girl you all claim is the female lead is only a cameo in the drama, and is not even officially listed in Chinese websites yet.

      The only one that includes a girl as main lead is Legend of Youth.

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    3. Is that so? I never read the novel yet. If it is really like that then i really want to watch the sleuth of ming dynasty. While legend of youth, yeah the trailer made it seems like some romance drama in republician era while the other guy really feel like just some support character than a main.

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  7. I think bl is really gross to watch how ever when it is changed into brotherhood & true friendship it is great drama to watch... Really loved untamed but not the Guardian

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    1. Then don't watch. I think it's really gross to watch dramas about multiple women confined in the their houses or forced to marry when they are 14 years old, so I don't watch palace dramas. Simple as that!

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  8. LOL @ the hate comments. Ah, different strokes for different folks. On another note, I do admit that compared to the amount of real-life BL works available out there, very few are done well. Maybe because most actors don't know how to naturally play against another actor in romantic scenes.

    In terms of real life application, there's nothing in 'hard science' that's against relationships between same gendered people. A lot of the taboo is to do with 'soft sciences' such as religion and social sciences. That is to say, since the dawn of time if religion and societal need to produce 'life insurance' (traditional culture depends on their kids to provide for them in their twilight age), there shouldn't be a taboo against same sex relationships.

    Question: Is Huang Zitao a good actor? If he is, is there a particular work you'd recommend? I don't think there's ever been recommended works I've watched that has him in it.

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    1. You're 100% correct and I think the hate comments here are from one person tbh.

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    2. Ah, I think you might be right, they're all anonymous troll comments aren't they? It's always amusing to see hate comments proclaiming what others should/shouldn't do because *obviously* their beliefs makes them a happier person in life :P

      In response to your other comment, I am also looking forward to The Sleuth of Ming Dynasty because it's supposed to be comedy and with Jackie Chan choreography I am hoping to see those classical martial art comedy a la Jackie Chan's HK movies (the comedic fumbling and near-misses). As long as it's done well with storytelling, the bromance would just be a bonus.

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  9. Personally looking forward to The Sleuth of Ming Dynasty and Flying Phoenix because I like historical dramas.

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  10. Lesson to those hating on BL dramas: If you don't like it, don't watch. Simple as that.

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