Although Chinese dramas vary in length, there’s no question that they can be on the longer side. Among the recent ones, Love and Destiny had 60 episodes while The King’s Avatar had 40 episodes. In some instances, there are also behemoths like Ruyi’s Royal Love in the Palace which had 87 episodes!
According to recent reports, China’s National Radio and Television Administration (NRTA) is thinking of capping episode count at 40 to address a quality problem known in C-ent as Zhu Shui Ju (注水剧). It translates to dramas full of water which has become a term for dramas filled with unnecessary content to kill time. Nothing is set in stone as the NRTA are still deliberating and getting input from industry experts.
I don’t think I’m alone in acknowledging that the problem of draggy storylines is all too real. Some dramas just shouldn’t have been made to be so long, but then a part of me always appreciated that c-dramas were longer and could fully satisfy all my cravings as a fan. Is capping it at 40 really the solution? I don’t know, but I hope they find a good fix.