Challenging the status quo of C-dramaland’s latest offerings are The Knockout 狂飙 and Three Body 三体, both of which have been drumming up buzz for its themes. Moreover, both dramas appear to have also been given the CCTV stamp of approval since The Knockout and Three Body have been picked up by the state broadcasting giant and is currently airing.
Set between the year 2000 and the present, The Knockout helmed by Zhang Yi and Zhang Songwen tackles the theme about the fight against deeply entrenched corruption. Also starring Li Yitong, Zhang Zhijian and Wu Gang, the crime drama tells the life and death struggle between policeman An Xin (Zhang Yi) and the city’s criminal underworld whilst also giving viewers a firsthand view of the evolution of a crime boss (Zhang Songwen) from a small fry fishmonger to a big time gangster. As basic human values continue to be stripped away, their two decades long fight between good and evil gets underway.
As of press time, the drama has already received an 8.9 Douban rating based on 78.1 thousand audience votes. While acting opposite award-winning actor Zhang Yi, Zhang Songwen’s performance as a crime boss in particular has been receiving rave reviews with many praising his performance and acting skills since he made it appear so effortless – “it feels like he’s not acting at all”.
As far as c-ent is concerned, sci-fi dramas are few and far between. Three Body which was shot in 2020 finally hit the small screen this year. It comes at the heels of The Wandering Earth which was a box office success in 2019 and is once again making a killing with The Wandering Earth 2 for Spring Festival. Also based on a novel by Liu Cixin, the Three Body drama adaptation had a lot of hype from the start. In fact, an upcoming Netflix series starring Doctor Strange’s Benedict Wong as Wang Miao is also in the works.
As of press time, the Chinese version of Three Body has already received an 8.0 Douban rating based on 151.7 thousand audience votes. It appears faithful to the original work with some saying it may be a slow burn for viewers.
In 2007, mysterious occurrences on earth cause the scientific community to be in turmoil. Amidst the panic and unusual suicides of scientists all over, nano-scientist Wang Miao teams up with police officer Shi Qiang to investigate and crack open the truth. Throughout the course of their investigation, Wang Miao stumbles upon the secret organisation ETO and the VR game they developed called Three Body. Little did they know that the world inside the game actually exists and the world (and the human race) as they know it is under threat. Three Body stars Zhang Luyi, Yu Hewei, Chen Jin, Wang Ziwen, Lin Yongjian and Li Xiaoran.