Like A Flowing River 大江大河 is a drama based on a novel by Ah Nai that stars Wang Kai, Yang Shuo and Dong Zijian. It tells the story of how 3 men struggle to achieve their dreams in 1978 China.
For the month of December, Like a Flowing River has ranked first in Chinese television. The drama’s screenwriter Tang Yao says that he never expected the response to be this good. Being a professional screenwriter, his experience taught him how to determine whether a drama will be good or bad. Just 3 days after it aired, he knew that it was going to be a hit.
Tang elaborated by saying that one of his goals was to draw in the younger audience by making the atmosphere from the drama’s time period believable and relatable to different ages.
In Like A Flowing River, Song Yunhui (Wang Kai) worked at a chemical plant after finishing university. Tang Yao took this chance to visit a chemical plant to observe the daily routine of people there. He admits he has always been interested in contemporary history and by going to a chemical plant to observe and better understand the life there, he can accurately depict it in the drama. It is important to see the living conditions of the people in that kind of environment, he said and the biggest reward from the experience is seeing ordinary characters and their relationships to each other. For him, that is the central idea of the story.
He also reveals that he is currently working on the script for the second season and that it’s even more difficult because of the character growth.
Like A Flowing River can simply be summarized as a story of change and awakening. As such, the drama centers around the personal struggles of Song Yunhui (Wang Kai), Lei Dongbao (Yang Shuo) and Yang Xun (Dong Zijian) within the backdrop of constant change and upheaval.