Why No Really Serious Chinese Drama's ?

Discuss chinese drama series here.
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marie_23
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Why No Really Serious Chinese Drama's ?

Post by marie_23 » May 20th, '08, 19:42

I just started to notice that when it comes to Chinese dramas picked to be translated they always seem to be more comical or have a marital arts twist in the storyline.
I'm wondering are there any realistically emotional Chinese dramas that have been translated out, yet?! I do enjoy the comical one's that have been translated but there seems to be a serious lack of hard hitting mature dramas to be found on the internet.

Does anyone know of a group translating historic dramatic Chinese dramas?

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vancoland
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Post by vancoland » May 21st, '08, 00:08

There's plenty, maybe not all directly on d-addicts. Jem has some wonderful historical dramas. Romance of Three Kingdoms is a legendary historical drama. If you really want to watch something that best translate chinese idealology, then watch Young Warriors of Yang Clan.

I thought that that drama produced the best concept of emotional ties to their own country. Yes, it may be long, and it may have some comical scenes, but that's what makes a drama good. I watched the whole thing in 4 days, considering it was 43 episodes in 9 dvds

I highly doubt a historical documentary will make a good drama. Most historical movies have ficticious parts in them to make it interesting. theres plenty of stories on Kang Xi, Li Shi Ming, Yue Fei, Empress Wu and Zhuge Liang.
I want to see Li Bing Bing

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ginny_lunallena
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Post by ginny_lunallena » May 21st, '08, 03:21

there are also some non-comical dramas, like Mars, Love Contract..etc

but i agree, some dramas are waay too stupid (ahem brownsugarmacchiato**) sorry if i offended anyone :salut:
Currently watching: Bull Fighting, Love or Bread, Hot shot.

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Post by marie_23 » May 23rd, '08, 19:44

Thanks for the replies :lol I like the suggest of Young Warriors of Yang Clan and will look at it later on today.

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Post by abcd99 » May 23rd, '08, 19:52

I really love Treacherous Waters (Ni Shui Han), which I'm currently subbing. Its storyline is very complicated and has an interesting twist.

Also, try the Great Revival. Very good.

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Post by Ueda Jiro » May 24th, '08, 12:06

Young Warriors of the Young Clan is one drama not to be missed. It's my favorite CDrama ever! I'm a fan of period/historical dramas as well. Romance of the Three Kingdoms is epic. Nothing can beat it.

The Conquest is based on the same story as The Great Revival but has far more entertainment value. The Conqueror's Story is another historical series that has good entertainment value. As for more serious stuff, you can try Emperor Han Wu. Zheng Chenggong starring Kenny Ho and Warrior Period (Sun Zi Bing Fa) are also decent stuff.
marie_23 wrote:Does anyone know of a group translating historic dramatic Chinese dramas?
Not that I know of. Some historical stuff are on my list of dramas to sub but I doubt me and my group will ever get to them.

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Post by Blacky » May 24th, '08, 12:14

ginny_lunallena wrote:there are also some non-comical dramas, like Mars, Love Contract..etc

but i agree, some dramas are waay too stupid (ahem brownsugarmacchiato**) sorry if i offended anyone :salut:
Correct me if i'm wrong, but Love Contract is consider as TW Drama not a Chinese Drama?

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Post by idofgrahf » May 31st, '08, 02:57

A lot of the Chinese TV drama's have a trend, the show starts out light hearted but it gets more serious as it progressess IE 神鵰俠侶/The Return of Condor hero (2006 version), 仙剑奇侠传/Chinese paladin, Love at first fight, and 天外飞仙 all have a trend of being somewhat similar to a comedy show at the start but turns into a drama in the end especially 仙剑奇侠传 and 天外飞仙. So to answer your question, it depends on what you think is funny, there is cultural difference. What I, as a chinese consider as funny may not be considered to be funny to you or vice versa, it also depends on the translation, its is hard to translate some of the TV drama's shows set in ancient times since they use some really ambiougous terms that even I don't really understand IE 问世 is the same as 人世 the former is just more poetic. Because the difference in langauage, some phrases may not have been meant to be funny yet it came out in english to be that way, some of course are universal but others are not. My American friend was laughing in some secenes that he may not find it funny should he understand the language better instead of reading the subtitles.

Historical drama's wise, Romance of the Three kingdoms is, despite the name Romance, a serious show, but I can't really help you much since I always watch Chinese Dramas in Chinese so I don't know what is translated and what is not.

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Post by sotsotdei » Oct 1st, '08, 20:09

Romance in the Rain is a pretty serious drama all-around. It isn't an "ancient" drama, but there is still costuming involved because it's 1930's Shanghai (I think).

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Post by idarklight » Oct 3rd, '08, 20:30

Love Contract, Romance in the Rain, Mars, etc. are still considered "idol dramas" aka not serious.

I think it's because that people seems to translate mostly because they like how hot the actors/actresses are. Also, most "Chinese" dramas being translated are Taiwanese dramas, and Taiwanese dramas are generally not serious.
mainland dramas do a good job in realistic and serious dramas, but don't attract enough attention outside of mainland due to their realistic nature and lack of hot actor/actresses.

For example, I know a gazillion mainland dramas that totally deserves to be translated over some really pathetic dramas like "Love Storm" (yes, I know Vic Chou is hot, but that drama is absolutely horrible). But of course, no one cares.

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Post by Puppet Princess » Oct 3rd, '08, 21:03

There is only one reason why very few serious dramas get subbed: most fansubbers are teenage girls.

Naturally they will be more likely to sub shows which have a demographic for teenage girls. Which is all the RomCom idol dramas. Not the serious ones with older actors and people who look like normal people.

There is also the fact that Mainland dramas in general seem less popular. But I think this is a result of Mainland dramas being really hard to get WHILE they are airing. Hong Kong and Taiwan come out as it airs but all Mainland dramas I've seen I had to wait for it to air and the DVDs to come out before I could find a copy.
Last edited by Puppet Princess on Oct 3rd, '08, 21:04, edited 1 time in total.

sotsotdei
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Post by sotsotdei » Oct 3rd, '08, 21:03

idarklight wrote:Love Contract, Romance in the Rain, Mars, etc. are still considered "idol dramas" aka not serious.

I think it's because that people seems to translate mostly because they like how hot the actors/actresses are. Also, most "Chinese" dramas being translated are Taiwanese dramas, and Taiwanese dramas are generally not serious.
mainland dramas do a good job in realistic and serious dramas, but don't attract enough attention outside of mainland due to their realistic nature and lack of hot actor/actresses.

For example, I know a gazillion mainland dramas that totally deserves to be translated over some really pathetic dramas like "Love Storm" (yes, I know Vic Chou is hot, but that drama is absolutely horrible). But of course, no one cares.
Romance in the Rain is an "idol drama"? That's disappointing. It's not that I don't believe you because, yes, the lead actors really are idols. But I think the people that classify things like that are just haters (I'm not saying that YOU are one, please don't be offended. I'm just making a general statement).

Just because the lead actors/actresses are idols doesn't mean that they aren't capable of making serious dramas. Just like how some mainstream music (stuff played on the radio) is considered bad because it's performed by someone sugar-coated and pretty (a lot of it is pretty bad, but that's not to say that it is all bad).

That being said, I don't really like Mainland dramas....and NOT because they don't have as attractive actors as Taiwanese/HK dramas. I don't think Mainland dramas are dramatic/serious but rather that they are extremely melodramatic. Seriously, who cries that much in real life or has so many unfortunate events happen to them in a short period of time (it DOES happen, but how it is portrayed is overkill).

Lastly, I agree that most dramas are only translated because people usually look for dramas online because a certain actor/actress is in it. It's a shame that the more substantial dramas are being overlooked because of a pretty face.

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Post by sotsotdei » Oct 3rd, '08, 21:08

Puppet Princess wrote:There is only one reason why very few serious dramas get subbed: most fansubbers are teenage girls.

Naturally they will be more likely to sub shows which have a demographic for teenage girls. Which is all the RomCom idol dramas. Not the serious ones with older actors and people who look like normal people.

There is also the fact that Mainland dramas in general seem less popular. But I think this is a result of Mainland dramas are really hard to get WHILE they are airing. Hong Kong and Taiwan come out as it airs but all Mainland dramas I've seen I had to wait for it to air and the DVDs to come out before I could find a copy.
Oh, silly teenage girls. I guess "Moonlight Resonance" would be one of the dramas in this category however, I definitely find the older actors more appealing/worth watching than the younger ones. Michelle Yim, as bitchy as her character was, was by far my favorite actress in the drama, followed by Moses Chan and his witty quirkiness.

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Post by Puppet Princess » Oct 3rd, '08, 21:18

You know now that I think about it... I also blame it on the audience narrow-mindedness.
Think about it. How often do people talk about NEW actors they like? The truth is, new actors only gain attention from online viewers if they are little characters in someone famous' show, THEN people will look for other things they are in. The subbed Chinese dramas are all the same small group of actors.
Unheard of actors draw very little attention, even if are really good-looking and the show is good. People just skip past things when they don't recognize any of the names.

Case and point... why do you think so many people want the Mike He Marry Me drama subbed so bad but no one will sub it? They want it because Mike He is in it and he's hot. But.. no one will sub it because it's a HORRIBLE show. Do the fangirls care? Of course not.

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Post by Puppet Princess » Oct 3rd, '08, 21:19

sotsotdei wrote:Oh, silly teenage girls. I guess "Moonlight Resonance" would be one of the dramas in this category however, I definitely find the older actors more appealing/worth watching than the younger ones. Michelle Yim, as bitchy as her character was, was by far my favorite actress in the drama, followed by Moses Chan and his witty quirkiness.
Someone is 'supposed' to be working on that.

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idarklight
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Post by idarklight » Oct 4th, '08, 01:44

sotsotdei wrote:
idarklight wrote:Love Contract, Romance in the Rain, Mars, etc. are still considered "idol dramas" aka not serious.

I think it's because that people seems to translate mostly because they like how hot the actors/actresses are. Also, most "Chinese" dramas being translated are Taiwanese dramas, and Taiwanese dramas are generally not serious.
mainland dramas do a good job in realistic and serious dramas, but don't attract enough attention outside of mainland due to their realistic nature and lack of hot actor/actresses.

For example, I know a gazillion mainland dramas that totally deserves to be translated over some really pathetic dramas like "Love Storm" (yes, I know Vic Chou is hot, but that drama is absolutely horrible). But of course, no one cares.
Romance in the Rain is an "idol drama"? That's disappointing. It's not that I don't believe you because, yes, the lead actors really are idols. But I think the people that classify things like that are just haters (I'm not saying that YOU are one, please don't be offended. I'm just making a general statement).

Just because the lead actors/actresses are idols doesn't mean that they aren't capable of making serious dramas. Just like how some mainstream music (stuff played on the radio) is considered bad because it's performed by someone sugar-coated and pretty (a lot of it is pretty bad, but that's not to say that it is all bad).

That being said, I don't really like Mainland dramas....and NOT because they don't have as attractive actors as Taiwanese/HK dramas. I don't think Mainland dramas are dramatic/serious but rather that they are extremely melodramatic. Seriously, who cries that much in real life or has so many unfortunate events happen to them in a short period of time (it DOES happen, but how it is portrayed is overkill).

Lastly, I agree that most dramas are only translated because people usually look for dramas online because a certain actor/actress is in it. It's a shame that the more substantial dramas are being overlooked because of a pretty face.
I love Romance in the Rain. But since it's by Qiong Yao, it generally goes into the romance drama, which automatically makes not as serious.

I think we've been watching different mainland dramas. Which mainland dramas have you watched? Mainland dramas, to me, are the most realistic, with realistic problems and without unrealistic miracles and chances. Of course, recently, some mainland dramas have tried to go the idol drama route and are more melodramatic (Young Warriors of the Yang Clan, Love Strategies, Legend of the Condor Heroes 2008, etc.) But other dramas are quite realistic. For example, Jade Goddess of Mercy , the XX Wang Chao series, etc. Then there's the merchant-based series: "Da zhai men," "da ran fang," etc. , which are really well done and realistic (well, they're based on true stories...). I hear the marriage-based series are really good, too (Jin Hun, etc), but I don't think I'll be able to connect to them since I'm not married.

As I write this, I just realized something, maybe you were talking about dramas like Romance in the Rain as a mainland drama? It is, but it's not the "typical" mainland drama since Qiong Yao, the writer, is Taiwanese and her books/dramas are all super melodramatic. If you meant it that way, then I understand your melodramatic comment.

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Post by sotsotdei » Oct 4th, '08, 23:36

The way I see it, most watchers aren't interested in how realistic a drama is.....if they were interested in realistic, they wouldn't be watching TV. They would be out living life. I understand where you are coming from, but what I'm saying is also true. Take American series, for example. People don't watch Heroes or Lost because of how realistic they are. They watch them because it takes you into the characters' suspenseful world. Even series that can be more realistic, such as Grey's Anatomy or CSI, are more exciting because they focus on a certain aspect of life....plus or minus some sordid love triangles and dysfunctional human beings.

The Mainland dramas' focus on "realistic" may be the very reason why they AREN'T as popular as other dramas. I admit that I haven't seen very many Mainland dramas, but even in my time in Beijing, people seemed more interested in watching a dubbed "My Name is Kim Sam Soon" or a subbed "Friends."

As for being "idol dramas," I find that to be a bit of an insult to the actors/actresses in them (again, I'm not trying to offend you, I'm just saying what I think). Of course, people are going to watch dramas because they are familiar with an actor/actress in it. It's the same with movies. People like familiarity. New actors/actresses don't get interesting until the public has seen them in something else. That is just how people are. Don't be too hard on them. :thumleft:

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Post by aishii » Oct 6th, '08, 22:08

yeah i noticed in Devil beside you alot of unserious things XD
also in Bu Liang Xiao Hua XD
but it doesn't bother me ^^
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Post by idarklight » Oct 10th, '08, 23:29

sotsotdei wrote:The way I see it, most watchers aren't interested in how realistic a drama is.....if they were interested in realistic, they wouldn't be watching TV. They would be out living life. I understand where you are coming from, but what I'm saying is also true. Take American series, for example. People don't watch Heroes or Lost because of how realistic they are. They watch them because it takes you into the characters' suspenseful world. Even series that can be more realistic, such as Grey's Anatomy or CSI, are more exciting because they focus on a certain aspect of life....plus or minus some sordid love triangles and dysfunctional human beings.

The Mainland dramas' focus on "realistic" may be the very reason why they AREN'T as popular as other dramas. I admit that I haven't seen very many Mainland dramas, but even in my time in Beijing, people seemed more interested in watching a dubbed "My Name is Kim Sam Soon" or a subbed "Friends."

As for being "idol dramas," I find that to be a bit of an insult to the actors/actresses in them (again, I'm not trying to offend you, I'm just saying what I think). Of course, people are going to watch dramas because they are familiar with an actor/actress in it. It's the same with movies. People like familiarity. New actors/actresses don't get interesting until the public has seen them in something else. That is just how people are. Don't be too hard on them. :thumleft:
I would disagree. Actually, mainland realistic dramas do get the highest ratings in mainland, which is why, other than Hunan tv, the other TV stations do not invest much in idol dramas. For example, Da Zhai Men had a rating of 14.87. If you look at the viewership ratings, the top ten are all generally realistic but extremely well written dramas. Even the most popular idol dramas barely break 5 in the ratings (a few exceptions are Princess of Returning Pearl and Jewel in the Palace). It's sort of like Lord of the Rings vs. Mean Girls. Both are famous, but obvious few 30-year-old males will watch Mean Girls while almost everyone watched LoTR.

The difference is, no one's crazy about Da Zhai Men. They like it a lot and will watch it, but few will google everything about every actor and drool over them.Nevertheless, everybody watches it. Similarly, the most popular "idol drama" in mainland is "Fen dou," which is quite realistic compared to most. Realistic dramas appeal to people because they reflect real people's lives. Idol dramas appeal to people's fantasies.

There are different types of realism. There is realism in emotions and realism in setting. For example, Jin Yong dramas are obviously unrealistic in nature, but the emotions of the characters are completely realistic. On the other hand, can you actually imagine someone acting like anyone in ISWAK (however, II do consider Joe and Ariel among the few who can actually act)?

As for the idol drama label. I think it might not fit so well for Korean, Japanese and Cantonese dramas, because there are a lot of good actors in those dramas and it's hard to distinguish something as "idol." In mandarin-language dramas, however, I think there's a pretty cut line. I consider something an idol drama if after watching a drama, the main reaction of the audience is "XXX is so hot," especially when it's obvious that the main actors cannot act at all. For example, Romantic Princess, Brown Sugar Macchiato are so badly written and acted that anyone else acting in it would've insured a failure for the drama.

Since I'm on the kdrama/jdrama topic, I think the biggest problem in mandarin dramas is the clear distinction between serious and idol dramas. Idol drama actors stay idol drama actors, and serious drama actors stay serious drama actors. Idol dramas are always exagerrated to the extreme, and serious dramas are rarely light-hearted. Very few are in between. The only type that breaches both are wuxia dramas, but those seems to have its own set of actors, too.
All the good looking and good-at-acting actors mainly do movies or wuxias because they get paid more.
Thus, almost everyone that's in serious dramas are generally not pretty, and almost everyone in idol dramas can't act.

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Post by foxhana » Oct 11th, '08, 20:52

*sigh* a serious lacking definition and distinction of what you people are talking about. and i think you two are talking about different tings. HAHAHA!

idol dramas - 我的億萬麵包, 惡作劇之(2)吻, taiwanese hanakimi, 籃球火, 霹靂MIT, and many more.

serious dramas - 愛殺17, 白色巨塔(台灣), 痞子英雄, basically all jin yong novels 古裝 dramas like 鹿鼎記(黃小明) and 射雕英雄传(2008), 少年四大名埔2008(hk), 少年楊家將 等.

idol dramas are obviously, starring idols. however, they possess a common factor, jokes and funny factors. usually half the show is comedy, light hearted, half the time, maybe a third. Hanakimi (taiwan) is acted by Ella, who got a nomination, but a nomination does not make this a serious drama. it remains an idol drama because of its nature.

serious dramas like 愛殺17, who stars idols, remainss a serious drama. less jokes, dark (for certain dramas), although it stars angela, the nature of the story and script remains a serious drama. angela also got a nomination as best actress.

see the difference? both acted by idols, yet it is not an idol drama for 17.

i like chinese dramas. but chinesei meant mainly the Jin Yong novels. like 鹿鼎記 and 射雕英雄传(2008), 少年四大名埔2008(hk), 少年楊家將

Ariel Lin starred in both 惡作劇之(2)吻 and 射雕英雄传. 惡作劇之(2)吻 is idol drama, and 射雕英雄传(although was criticised that it was too "idol" because of the young actors - but did they every thought that the characters were also less than 20? and thepeople who have been acting the same story in the past were simply waaaaaay overaged. -_-) is a serious drama.

idols dramas are used for promoting idols, hence they use ways for making them seemed more unrealistic. meaning, more romantic, more dreamy, funnier younger jokes, younger actors or actors who attracts the younger group(teens).

and as you can see, as an actor grows(age and acting skills), he moves away from idol dramas, hence moves away from idol way of acting skills, and into the ways of bigger productions. bigger productions like movies and such do not tolerate idol way of acting. box office will plummet. idol dramas might hold because fans will watch no matter how heart wrenching the actors' acting skills, scripts or storyline are(like 蛋炒飯's ratings are so low because only the fans held them there, otherwise the ratings would be 0.00%).

serious dramas are used for telling stories. :) its that simple. :)
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Re: Why No Really Serious Chinese Drama's ?

Post by belovedpeartree » Dec 1st, '11, 23:55

marie_23 wrote:I just started to notice that when it comes to Chinese dramas picked to be translated they always seem to be more comical or have a marital arts twist in the storyline.
I'm wondering are there any realistically emotional Chinese dramas that have been translated out, yet?! I do enjoy the comical one's that have been translated but there seems to be a serious lack of hard hitting mature dramas to be found on the internet.

Does anyone know of a group translating historic dramatic Chinese dramas?

This is an old thread, but I have to agree completely. I've always wondered why Qiong Yao's best dramas have not been subbed, yet Princess Pearl is, even though it's way longer and not as good, in my humble opinion. "Wan Jun" and "Ghost Husband" are two absolutely amazing dramas from the late 80's and early 90's. They have aged extremely well, I have to say. We got a lot of classics and masterpieces that came out of the 90's, if you think about it. We got Titanic, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid (late 80's) in the West. From the East, in that same time period, we got the best Qiong Yao dramas, her magnus opuses, again it's in my humble opinion. Her dramas and her screenwriting has totally spoiled me in regards to Chinese language dramas. Besides Meteor Garden and maybe Mars, all these vacuous idol dramas are rather depressing, if you grew up watching the best. "Best" is open to interpretation, of course. I'm working on subbing select scenes from "Ghost Husband" at the moment. In the future, and over time I'd like to sub the whole series. Unless of course someone with better Mandarin comes along and is willing to do it, then I'd be overjoyed. Check out some of the first scenes I worked on over at youtube.com/belovedpeartree. Cheers!

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Post by Peggy » Jul 1st, '13, 06:56

I have watched many Chinese dramas both from mainland and Taiwan. I don't understand Mandarin or any Taiwan Chinese but I watch anyway and thoroughly enjoy many of the actors and the stories. They are mostly good actosr and the directors know how to put the story across so I can undersrand.. Very few Mainland dramas are subtitled.

For a serious drama I would suggest you watch 'Shanghai Bund'. It is strongstuff and not at all 'idol' cast. the OST is marvellous. I would like to see it again.

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Post by fiamou » Jul 1st, '13, 08:28

I am Greek and live in Greece, also I am new to this forum so let me express my humble opinion. I watched "Romance of the Three Kingdoms" out of curiosity and i was stunned with the scale of the production and also with the interpretations of the actors. All of them were wonderful and almost none of them were idols.
My attention caught the actor who played Zhou Yu Gongjin, Victor Huang or Huang Wei De. He was simply awesome!
There two other dramas of his that are translated "Paladins in Troubled Times" and "The Legend and the Hero II"
But he has done so many others that deserve to be translated. E.g. "Meteor Butterfly Sword", "Mother of Kings" and the latest "Gold Vein" which achieved very good ratings in Mainland China.
I believe the reason is because indeed the trnaslators are teenage girls who want to see their favourite idor and make his work known to the world. But that way many good things remain unknown.
I watch Chinese dramas altough I cant understand Chinese by translating with online translators the episode summaries. I get the general idea but many good things are lost.

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Post by lainiwaku » Jul 2nd, '13, 11:58

"black & white" very serious taiwanese drama !!

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