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.
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.
Adapted from a novel of the same name by Meng Xi Shi, The Sleuth of the 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.
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.
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.