I usually go to c-dramas for my period drama fix and k-dramas for everything else. This is admittedly for thinking that c-dramas weren’t up to par, at least from what I’ve seen before.
That said, I tried my first modern c-drama this year and it is ah-mazing. A Smile Is Beautiful is simply cuteness overload and here I am, writing up a watch list because of it.
Help spread the c-drama love by turning this into a group effort. If you would like to contribute your thoughts on a certain drama, contact us with a short writeup and we can include it directly in the post below.
Stay With Me
A highly-successful yet jaded fashion designer gets into an accident and wakes up with only memories of the time when she 23 years old and she tries to relive a life that has long been forgotten in the past.
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Candle in the Tomb
Title: Candle in the Tomb / Gui Chui Deng Zhi Jing Jue Gu Cheng / 鬼吹灯之精绝古城
Episodes and Genre: 21, Mystery, Action Adventure
Broadcast Period: Dec 2016 Tencent QQ
Jin Dong as Hu Ba Yi
Joe Chen as Shirley Yang
Hu Ba Yi, Shirley Yang and a group of explorers embark on an archeological expedition to Xinjiang yet their journey is fraught with chilling mysteries and inexplicable occurrences as though someone else is in control of their fate.
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Medical Examiner Dr. Qin
A brilliant forensic examiner, a female intern and a police officer team up to solve crime based on evidences left by the dead.
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Title: Memory Lost / Beauty for the FIlling / 美人为馅
Episodes and Genre: 12, Crime Suspense Romance
Broadcast Period: Oct. 24, 2016 iQiYi
Bai Yu as Han Chen
Yang Rong as Bai Jin Xi ( Su Mian )
Li Jian as Xu Si Bai
During a mission, Bai Jin Xi crosses paths with Han Chen, a mysterious man that she mistakes for a suspect and they meet again during an investigation for another case where she realizes that Han Chen is a police officer like herself. They learn to become partners but both suffer from distorted memories of the past.
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Ji Bai is a brilliant detective while Xu Xu is a newcomer but even so, she is incredibly gifted at criminal psychology. The two learn to work as a team and their partnership leads to a budding romance.
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My Rating: Must-Watch (5/5)
Title: Just One Smile Is Very Alluring / A Smile is Beautiful / Wei Wei’s Beautiful Smile / Love O2O / 微微一笑很倾城
Episodes and Genre: 30, College Romance
Broadcast Period: Aug 22, 2016
Zheng Shuang as Bei Wei Wei
Yang Yang as Xiao Nai
Mao Xiao Tong as Er Xi
Bai Yu as Cao Guang
Bei Wei Wei and Xiao Nai are college students who meet through online gaming in a cute and heart warming 21st century romance that continues on to real life.
It’s a simple story about a boy who likes a girl and the best part is that she likes him back. I miss rom-coms like this with loads of light-hearted good fun and that’s all you really need. Also check out our Love O2O review.
Guan Xiao Di is sexy, beautiful and a certified hottie but she finds herself becoming one of the hopefuls who undergo the most intensive training to become a full-fledged bodyguard.
Whirlwind Girl 2
Title: Whirlwind Girl 2 / Xuan Feng Nu 2 / Tornado Girl 2 / 旋风少女第二季
Episodes and Genre: 28, Youth Romance, Martial Arts
Broadcast Period: Jul 20, 2016
An Yue Xi as Qi Bai Cao
Ji Chang Wook as Chang An
Chen Xiang as Liang Da Wei
Qi Bai Cao has reached another milestone in her quest to become an accomplished martial artist but she loses purpose due to the loss of a loved one.
Chang An has been commissioned to train Bai Cao and even though his methods may seem cruel to most people, he actually has Bai Cao’s best interests at heart, pushing her beyond her limits in an inspirational tale about students with a passion for martial arts.
My Little Princess
Title: My Little Princess / Qin Ai De, Gong Zhu Bing / 亲爱的，公主病
Episodes and Genre: 40, School Romance
Broadcast Period: Aug 11, 2016
Mike D’Angelo as Jiang Nian Yu
Zhang Yuxi as Lin Xing Chen
Du Yan as Yu Yao Yao
Chen Bo Rong as Zheng Chu Yao
The oldest drama trope in the book gets a complete turnaround in a story about a spoiled rich girl with a kind heart and her seemingly innocent nemesis being the exact opposite.
Title: Les Interpretes / 亲爱的翻译官
Episodes and Genre: 44, Romance
Broadcast Period: May 24, 2016
Yang Mi as Qiao Fei
Huang Xuan as Cheng Jia Yang
Gao Weiguang as Gao Jiaming
Zhou Qiqi as Wen Xiaohua
A language student dreams of becoming an interpreter but she starts off on the wrong foot with the man who turns out to be her interviewer.
Title: Ode to Joy / Huan Le Song / 欢乐颂
Episodes and Genre: 45, Romance
Broadcast Period: Apr 2016 Zhejiang and Dragon TV
Liu Tao as An Di
Jiang Xin as Fan Sheng Mei
Olivia Wang as Qu Xiao Xiao
Yang Zi as Qiu Ying Ying
Qiao Xin as Guan Ju Er
Wang Kai as Zhao Qi Ping
Zu Feng as Wei Wei
Zhang Lu as Wang Bo Chuan
Zhang Xiao Qian as Yao Bin
Jin Dong as Tan Zong Ming
An Di has a successful career in New York but she has always been putting up a brave front to hide her inner demons. After quitting her job, she returns from overseas to look for her long-lost brother and to find the truth behind her identity.
She rents an apartment with Fan Sheng Mei, Guan Ju Er, Qiu Ying Ying and Xiao Xiao and their humble abode is called Ode to Joy. Each women of the house tells their own story in a heart-warming depiction of family, love and relationships.
The Love of Happiness
Xiao Nan is an independent and modern woman who holds cynical views on marriage, that is until the perfect man stands before her eyes. He is Kai Wen, a handsome college professor who is practically a match made for Xiao Nan. They fall in love, marry and move into a home to start their lives together. To Xiao Nan’s surprise, Kai Wen’s long-lost family has reappeared and she is suddenly living with him and his family.
Title: Love Me If You Dare / 他来了,请闭眼
Episodes and Genre: 45, Crime Suspense Romance
Broadcast Period: Oct 15, 2015
Wallace Huo as Bo Jin Yan
Ma Si Chun as Jian Yao
Wang Kai as Li Xun Ran
Zhang Lu Yi as Xie Han
Bo Jin Yan is a renowned criminal psychologist in a suspense thriller where he finds his lady love amidst relentless investigations.
Title: Diamond Lover / Carat Lover / Ke La Lian Ren / 克拉恋人
Episodes and Genre: 68, Romance Comedy, Workplace
Broadcast Period: Jan 2015
Tiffany Tang Yan as Mi Duo
Rain as Xiao Liang
Brought to us by DMG entertainment, Diamond Lovers is about Mi Duo, an overweight woman with low self-esteem who decides to turn her life around after being scorned by Xiao Liang, a CEO who is good-looking, well-mannered and gentlemanly yet loses his cool after a mistaken one-night stand with Mi Duo. Through surgery, exercise and encouragement from her good friend Lei Yi Ming, she completes her transformation and reappears as a whole new person.
Zhao Mo Shen is a student who falls in love at first sight with He Yi Chen, a French major who is undeniably swoon-worthy and so begins her active pursuit for his acceptance. The two eventually become college sweethearts but various misunderstandings pile up that ends in their breakup. After seven years, Mo Shen comes back from the US as an accomplished photographer and crosses paths with He Yi Chen once again. While their reasons to be apart have only multiplied over time, the pair cannot resist the strong feelings they once had.
My Rating: Downright Boring (1/5)
Title: The Lost Tomb / Dao Mu Bi Ji / 盗墓笔记
Episodes and Genre: 12, Fantasy, Action, Adventure
Broadcast Period: 2015 iQiYi
Li Yi Feng as Wu Xie
Yang Yang as Zhang Qi Ling
Tiffany Tang Yan as Ah Ning
Zhang Zhi Yao as Wu San Ye
Wu Xie comes from a family of tomb raiders. He finds an ancient artifact that attracts the unwanted attention of powerful men such that he and his comrades must solve the mystery to uncover the lost tomb.
I side with the bashers on this one – an underdeveloped plot threw away what could have been. But then again, I’m sure some people enjoyed it.
Boss and Me
Xue Shan Shan has a unique blood type that is exactly what Feng Teng needs. He is the CEO of a prestigious company and he hires her on that basis alone, feeding her without fail to keep her healthy. He also picks on her on more than one occasion and because of it, Shan Shan attempts to get back at him. However, she fails every single time though her resilience and earnestness eventually wins him over.
Go Single Lady
Title: Go Single Lady / My Pig Lady / 真愛遇到他 / 上流俗女
Episodes and Genre: 27, Romance Comedy
Broadcast Period: July 2014
Mike He as Fan Jiang Yu
Ady An as Wang Man Ling
Wang Man Ling comes from a family that has gained riches through raising pigs and she has matured into a woman with no inkling whatsoever on how to be a lady. After being abandoned by her ex-boyfriend and being laughed at for being a leftover woman that nobody wants, Man Ling vows to marry in one year or not marry at all. However, her blind date starts off on the wrong foot when it turns out to be with Fan Jiang Li, an unambitious socialite who only knows how to spend money.
Fan Jiang Li’s family goes bankrupt and he ends up working as a caretaker for pigs. To his dismay, Man Ling becomes his boss and she relishes the chance at sweet vengeance.
Loving Never Forgetting
Li Zhong Mou harbors a deep resentment towards his own father and he has taken it upon himself to destroy his father’s business. He is a man whose heart has hardened over the years until he meets Wu Tong a kind and gentle woman who fell in love with Li Zhong Mou five years ago and ended up having his baby after an unexpected turn of events..