Midnight Diner 深夜食堂 is a 40-episode Chinese drama adapted from the Japanese manga Shinya Shokudō written by Yaro Abe. It tells a collection of extraordinarily touching stories through the simple joys of eating. The meaningful interactions take place inside a modest diner that is open from midnight until seven in the morning and its owner is a man of few words who creates a comfortable environment for people to bond over food.
If you have been to this blog before, you probably won’t be surprised when I admit to paying attention to this only after hearing that Mark Chao is in it. Bad hair aside, I understand now just how superficial my previous reasoning was.
Shinya Shokudō, which was first published in 2006 is a best selling manga that has earned multiple adaptations that include several seasons of a hit Japanese drama (one of which was picked up by Netflix), a Japanese movie and a Korean drama. Provided they do it right, I won’t be surprised if the Chinese version also achieves the same success.
In this one, an insecure dancer meets a retired dancing legend and finds encouragement through her words. Two friends who stopped being friends start to find common ground because of the food that they both like. A terminally-ill patient runs into a girl who shares the same fate as him. A corporate worker dead set on achieving his ambitions learns the value of less tangible things in life.
Huang Lei leads the gigantic ensemble cast as the unnamed owner while many of the remaining cast members are patrons passing by to share their stories in unexpected ways. The series also stars Mark Chao, Hai Qing, Janine Chang, He Jiong, Ivy Chen, Liu Hao Ran, Jam Hsiao, Richie Ren, Ma Su, Qi Wei, Cherrie Ying, Xu Jiao, Wu Xin, Tanny Tien Niu, Xiu Jie Kai and Kan Qing Zi to name a few.
It is directed by Tsai Yueh Hsun, the producer and director of the Black and White franchise, which is probably why there are a number of stars from Taiwan, many of whom were in Black and White. On a completely unrelated note, I really wonder whether Mark Chao has any scenes with Janine Chang.
Release Date: June 12, 2017 Beijing TV and Zhejiang TV
Rate your favorite Chinese dramas in 2017.
Source: Official Weibo