Wasn’t it just yesterday when China announced a “Thou Shalt Not Be Too Entertained” ban on dramas to commemorate the solemnity of National Day celebrations? For a while, there was a drought in historical and idol-starred shows but all that has changed. Costume dramas are coming out left and right just before the year ends and there’s something for everybody.
So if you’re ready to binge on your next drama without having to worry if it’s even worth your popcorn and stolen hours of sleep, here is a list of recent costume dramas from November and December that have achieved top ratings on Douban.
1. Joy of Life 庆余年 (8.0/10 rating based on 105,905 votes)
For anyone who thought the novel was unique, well good news, because the drama stays pretty faithful with a story about a dying man who somehow wakes up in the body of an infant to get another chance to relive his life. Fan Xian (Zhang Ruoyun) grew up as the illegitimate son of the Imperial Secretariat. When he becomes betrothed to a princess, so starts his journey that takes him to the capital where he is thrown into the political intricacies of the palace.
Personally, I think the young Fan Xian does an amazing job. The boy is too convincing, you’d think he’s a grown man shrunk in a tiny body. Considering that the boy grew up to be Zhang Ruoyun, I’d say both are stellar picks for the role.
2. Royal Nirvana 鹤唳华亭 (7.5/10 rating based on 32,936 votes)
Royal Nirvana is about a Crown Prince (Luo Jin) whose life is like a series of unfortunate events with his father, the Emperor (Huang Zhizhong), only seeing him only as a threat to the throne, political interests complicating things and a romance with a woman (Li Yitong) that seems destined for tragedy. If you’re a masochist who doesn’t mind crying in every single episode, then this show is for you. Nonetheless, the show has received a lot of praise so maybe giving it a try wouldn’t be so bad either.
3. Once Upon a Time in Lingjian Mountain 从前有座灵剑山 (7.1/10 rating based on 30,736 votes)
I don’t think there’s any drama that’s more out there than Once Upon a Time in Lingjian Mountain which in itself is a parody of wuxia, xianxia and what have you. Believe it or not, there’s a plot point that will remind you of Naruto!
A young cultivating prodigy (Xu Kai) joins the Spirit Blade Sect where he meets the shameless Wang Wu (Sadrine Pinna) and becomes her disciple. If you want to be thoroughly entertained, then you definitely have to check out this drama!
4. Sword Dynasty 剑王朝 (6.6/10 rating based on 38,855 votes)
Having premiered this month, Sword Dynasty is the newest drama on the list and shows a great display of martial arts to lure its viewers. Ding Ning (Li Xian) is the only successor of a special technique from the famous sword master Liang Jingmeng. Because his master is wrongfully killed, Ding Ning joins hands with Zhangsun Qianxue (Li Yitong) on a mission to exact vengeance with the ultimate goal of assassinating the King.
Did your favorite make the cut? Don’t worry, we all have our preferences and no rating can dictate that. 😉