Chinese Dramas Airing in March 2024



I complained in the last episode that we haven’t really had that many good Cdramas out for a while and then BAM, we got a flurry that now I’m a little overwhelmed. Too many to watch! That’s why we’re doing a mid-month drama update to catch you all up on what we’re watching.


We’ll talk about 5 dramas today!




Burning Flames 烈焰


This 40 episode drama started airing on March 13, 2024 on iQiyi. This is a fantasy drama that is  based on an animated series. It headlines 任嘉伦 as the main character, Xing Fei as the main female lead and 祝绪丹 or Bambi Zhu whom we’ve highlighted a while ago as the 2nd female lead.


The general premise is this: human clan Xin Kingdom prince Wu Geng ft Allen Ren Jia Lun is half human, half immortal clan. He experienced the death of his loved ones and became a slave to the immortal clan. His mother “killed” him but had another human body waiting for him in the form of a mentally challenged 阿狗。 With the help of Bai Cai ft Xing Fei who was friends with 阿狗, he learns to survive and thrive, while saving many others. His ultimate goal is to seek revenge for his family and overthrow the tyrannical rule of the immortal clan.


I wrote up a short review of the drama after binging the first 10 episodes or so. It’s fine. Not as bad as I thought. I gave it a 6.3/10. A drama that leans heavily on the source material, which is turning to be a double edged sword. The costumes and hairstyles for this drama is quite true to the animated series but does not look too great on the cast members.  Jiang Xin aka Consort Hua from Empresses in the Palace is also in this drama as an antagonist and the comments online are all like, Consort Hua, what are you doing here? I like you’re acting but the hairstyle is hideous.


It is better than I initially expected but this is not Ren Jia Lun’s best work. He’s using his own voice dub and man does it detract from the experience. He’s nasally and monotone throughout his performance here and it’s just not as captivating as it should be. The plot does move at a decent pace and you can tell it’s a big production drama but in the influx of other dramas, I’m definitely putting this on the backburner. It did breach 8500 on iQiyi’s popularity index but it is struggling to move any higher. 


In Blossom or 花间令。


This drama is a historical romance/detective drama that stars 鞠婧祎, 刘学义 and 郑合惠子. It’s 32 episodes long and premiered on Youku.


The highest level plot is that the main female lead is a character named 杨采薇. She was an official’s daughter but 10 years ago when she was quite young, her family was killed and she was cast out. In a violent attack, bandits or assassins slashed her face which left a large scar. She managed to survive and became coroner. She’s very diligent in her work but is often ridiculed for her looks and her profession. Years later, she runs into Pan Yue played by 刘学义 who apparently has been searching for her for the last 10 years. They had a marriage order decreed by the Emperor and Pan Yue has never forgotten it. The two meet and try to reconnect. 


I’m really struggling with this drama on how much to divulge even with this intro because I don’t know if it’ll spoil your viewing experience. I went in blind because I was seeing a ton of trending topics on Weibo so I thought, why not give it a try. I’m not a fan of 鞠婧祎 but I enjoy 刘学义.  


What I’m going to do is write up a ton of details on our website with my in-depth thoughts on the drama. But my recommendation is that this IS a romance drama to chase especially for the first few episodes. Afterwards though…come check out my review and thoughts to see if you agree. 


It is a romance drama I’ve been chasing, something that I feel like I haven’t done in a while. My initial review will most likely be in the 7 /10 range. 


This drama has been a surprise hit for Youku, breaching 10,000 multiple days since airing but it is mired in controversy. I’m really interested to see if you all agree with the controversy which I will explain further on my website which I’ll aim to post by the weekend. 



Next – let’s talk about Simple Days or 小日子


This drama began airing 2024年3月14日 on 东方卫视、浙江卫视. This 26 episode drama stars 

陈晓、童瑶、萨日娜、颖儿、乔振宇, with guest appearances from 俞灏明,杜海涛、岳红特邀主演,王媛可、赵君友


This cast is basically a whole smattering of millennial actors now appearing in family dramas instead of romance idol dramas. You can say that they’ve graduated up to these shows.


Here’s the basic premise:

顾茉莉(童瑶 饰)and 朱劲草(陈晓 饰)are a young married couple with one daughter. They’re trying their hardest to balance their small family, their careers, and their respective parents. The couple move into 朱劲草’s parent’s rather small 50 square meter apartment. 朱劲草’s parents set all of these antiquated household rules that causes a lot of friction between the young couple. It’s such an odd living experience that the 2 of them live in a room with bunk beds because the apartment isn’t big enough. One thing leads to another, and the two realize that perhaps marriage isn’t the best for the two of them and they get a divorce. 


顾茉莉’s parents fully support 顾茉莉 and buy her an apartment in Shanghai, shocking her ex-in laws. 顾茉莉 and 朱劲草 try to navigate their now new relationship as co parents. 


this drama has gotten 东方卫视收视率0.5671%,浙江卫视收视率0.3922%, which puts it at the top of the ratings for the same time slot. This is a pretty good win for 陈晓 as he’s been trying to branch out from his normal period dramas.


I’ve been casually following this drama on social media and I am rather conflicted about it. The main female character 顾茉莉 is in a marriage with the very nice but quite subservient 朱劲草. She is basically bullied by her in laws and gets no support from 朱劲草. She’s a working woman who is financially independent, why would she put up with this? I personally really dislike dramas where the Mother-in-Law is horrible to the daughter-in-law and this drama portrays that abusive relationship front and center. At least the couple finally divorce and 顾茉莉 is able to stick it to her ex-in laws. I guess the upside is that we see 顾茉莉 break free from that family and honestly, we see other women in the drama thrive in different ways. 朱劲草’s father is the worst character in the drama. He’s physically and verbally abusive but does get his comeuppance, which, I think that’s the point? 


Anyways – this drama is not my cup of tea, but hilariously all the comments are like – if I was married to 陈晓, I’d also put up with a lot. I’m like – yes, agree but also NO, don’t do it. Protect yourself!

The Legend of Shen Li 与凤行 


The biggest hit right now that just started airing on March 18 on both Tencent and MangoTV or Hunan television is The Legend of Shen Li or 与凤行. This is a comedy romance fantasy drama that sees a second pairing between 赵丽颖 and 林更新。 This is a massive deal for those who have been chasing Chinese dramas because the two starred in the insanely popular Princess Agents or 楚乔传 I think back in 2017. That drama was a huge hit but spoiler warning, the ending left much to be desired. There were plans for a sequel but it never came to fruition and fans of Princess Agents were desolate at never knowing what happened to the main stars.


Well, I don’t know what made the universe work, but the two leads are back as leads for this drama and that itself has been a huge draw to bring viewers in. Ever since filming began, there’s been a lot of interest BECAUSE the two main leads were in Princess Agents. 


Now, before I even get into the plot, let me tell you how popular this drama has been in the 2-3 since airing. On Tencent, it is the fastest drama to breach 30,000 – within the first 25 hours of airing. On Hunan television, it has I think 0.7% in viewership ratings, the highest for all regional television networks, and at times even beating out what’s airing on CCTV.  There is very high buzz all around on the various social media platforms and online sites. Weibo had like a million trending topics, the drama is hitting peaks on Baidu discussion and searches, it’s adding hundreds of millions of views on Chinese tik tok, I could go on.


As for the plot, I’m using my own translations for this so it definitely won’t match official ones but you’ll get the gist.  Zhao Li Ying plays a powerful spirit lord 沈璃 who tries to take control of her own destiny. In an effort to escape a forced marriage, she runs into a deity an immortal 行止. As they head off on adventures together, they begin to develop feelings for each other. As the last deity of old, 行止 has the burden to protect the heaven and the world itself. The two must face their own responsibilities to protect their people. 


I haven’t yet started watching it, but from the clips on social media, the drama takes a lighter air in the first couple of episodes. There’s this one scene where 行止 accidentally falls in the water yells out to 沈璃 that he doesn’t know how to swim. She basically just shrugs and says – I don’t know either! She then jumps in to try to save him. Honestly, for those of you who saw Princess Agent, you probably had the same thought, let’s just save 行止 from the water because that was how the cliffhanger at the end of that drama.


赵丽颖 is her usual beautiful self and a return to costume dramas after a gap of 4 years! That’s a long time. 林更行 – buddy, I really liked you 15 years ago in Startling with Each Step, you were oh so handsome, but come on, you got a little chubby and never lost the weight! I’ll still watch it for 赵丽颖 but man, I’m looking at 林更新, and trying to find that handsome young man underneath.

Finally, let’s talk about 追风者。In English, the posters say it’s called War of Faith. The drama was literally called 长风破浪 2 days ago and then for some reason, i don’t know of the central government stepped in or something but the name got changed. So now it’s called zhui feng zhe. Because you know? THat’s what the Chinese government does. Force a drama’s name to be completely different 2 days before airing.


Anyways. This drama stars 王一博, 李沁 and 王阳 in the title roles. The drama is set in the 1930s era of China. Wang Yi Bo plays a 23yo man 魏若来 with exceptional mental math skills and a photographic memory. He is accepted into a role at the Guo Min Dang central bank in Shang Hai. His talents are recognized by 沈图南 played by 王阳. But in the process, 魏若来 starts seeing the corruption in the finance world of the Guo Min Dang. Lost and disappointed, 沈近真 played by 李沁 who is a communist but also the sister of 沈图南 lights a path forward for 魏若来。


Top Chinese idol 王一博 tries his hand in this period piece. Though admittedly, I care more about 李沁 and 王阳. In all the behind the scenes clips, 王阳 is just so god dang handsome and charismatic. We will see how 王一博 does in this role and whether or not his acting improved at all. Fingers crossed. 


I have no idea how many episodes this drama has. What I do know is that it is airing on CCTV 8 and iQiyi. The fact that it’s on CCTV8 is a big deal for Wang Yi Bo fans because as we know, it means that the Chinese government is giving it their stamp of approval. We’ll see how ratings go given that it is up against the likes of the Legend of Shen Li. But perhaps the audience base is different. Like I’m pretty sure my dad would love to watch this drama while those watching In Blossoms will probably not be super interested in it. 


Right now in terms of popularity, it is without a doubt the Legend of Shen Li or 与凤行 that is number one. Next I would actually say is In Blossoms or 花间令, then Burning Flames or 烈焰 and then 小日子。We will see where War of Faith falls in this group. Will his hoards of fans turn out for 王一博 to support the ratings? Or will he be panned for his performance? I will be chasing this so you can see my review online over the next few weeks. 


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