China is one of the biggest media-consuming and media-producing countries on Earth. However, many of the TV series they produce can be daunting to international viewers, as the storylines may not be what they’re used to and there are often a lot of episodes. That doesn’t mean you have to miss out on great content!
These 10 C-Dramas are very beginner-friendly and can certainly be easily loved by K-Drama fans!
1. Meteor Garden
A poor, ordinary girl is admitted to the most prestigious school in the country. There she encounters F4, an exclusive group comprised of the four wealthiest and most handsome boys in the school. Through time, the boys recognize her unyielding confidence, and she starts to see the good in them.
Yes, this is a Boys Over Flowers remake. However, out of all of the Hana Yori Dango remakes, many say that this was one of the best ones. Still, if you didn’t like the Korean version, it will probably be difficult for you to like this one.
2. The Untamed
Wei Wu Xian (Xiao Zhan) and Lan Wang Ji (Wang Yibo) meet during demon cultivation training and accidentally discover a secret that can take over the world. They decide to fight this ominous threat, but Wei Wu Xian dies. Sixteen years later, Wei Wu Xian is brought back to life in the body of someone who summoned him. Wei Wu Xian reunites with Lan Wang Ji, and they work together to find the truth of the present and the past.
This C-Drama had everyone talking when it came out. Everyone was watching it, even people who have never seen a single Asian drama before. It’s a historical fantasy (also called xiaxia) but is extremely easy to get into as it’s thrilling, funny, heart-wrenching, and heart-warming all in one.
A large reason why it became popular was also because of the outstanding performances by former UNIQ member Wang Yibo and the extremely popular X-NINE member, Xiao Zhan. It also caused controversy as the novel it was adapted from featured the main characters as gay lovers, which the TV series did not show.
Shu Zhan (Li Wen Han) is a superstar; however, people don’t know that he has a severe fear of touching people. Xiao Xing (Bella Du), a girl who is unable to act in front of a camera without freezing up, is the only person able to make contact with him.
Former member of UNIQ and UNINE, Li Wen Han is truly what made this show. His chemistry with the female lead is so adorable that the butterflies in your stomach will never leave.
4. Put Your Head On My Shoulder
An accounting major searching for her career after college winds up living with a genius physics student who shakes up her daily routine.
Yes, the story sounds simple; however, this is often called one of the best youth C-Dramas ever made. It’s smooth, realistic, and the leads’ chemistry is through the roof.
5. Love Me If You Dare
Bo Jin Yan (Wallace Huo), a criminal psychologist, has the ability to get into the minds of even the most mysterious and violent criminals. With the help of his young assistant, Jian Yao (Sandra Ma), Jin Yan dives into the criminal world to solve cases and find love along the way.
For those seeking a more crime-focused C-Drama, this series has thrills in every single episode. It’s extremely engaging; however, admittedly, the leads may take some getting used to.
6. Love O2O
Xiao Nai (Yang Yang) is a gaming expert, basketball player, swimmer, genius, game company president, and the most popular boy in school. When he first meets computer science major Bei Wei Wei (Zheng Shuang), he instantly falls in love. However, he does not notice her beauty but her amazing gaming skills. Now, Xiao Nai must try both in real life and online to capture Wei Wei’s heart.
This C-Drama is an absolute classic, often recommended by many to be someone’s first C-Drama. The story is extremely simple (maybe even too simple for some), and there is no angst (that is common in many Chinese Dramas), making it perfect for someone nervous to start.
7. A Love So Beautiful
Chen Xiao Xi (Shen Yue), a cheerful girl with low grades, openly admires Jiang Chen (Hu Yi Tian), the popular boy with high grades. Together with their classmates, they journey through high school to university to adult life.
This is another classic C-Drama. It’s adorable, light-hearted, and effortless to get into.
8. Accidentally In Love
Chen Qing Qing (Amy Sun) is the daughter of a rich family and desperately wants to avoid an arranged marriage. On her wedding day, she runs away and enrolls in her parents’ old college, hoping to find more about their deaths. Her school desk-mate turns out to be the famous singer, Si Tu Feng (Fiction Guo), who she often argues.
This is an adorable C-Drama that takes a common plot and makes it unique and fun.
9. Nirvana in Fire
In sixth-century China, Emperor Xiaoxuan (Ding Yong Dai) of Southern Liang orders the unjust execution of his brother-in-law General Lin Xie, as well as his family, his 70,000 army soldiers, and Crown Prince Qi. Secretly surviving the massacre, Lin Xie’s son, Lin Shu (Hu Ge), changes his appearance and name, later forming the Jiangzuo Alliance. Twelve years later, Lin Shu returns to the capital with a plan to assist Prince Jing (Wang Kai), the unfavoured son of Emperor Wu.
This action-filled show is cinematically gorgeous, as well as incredibly entertaining. It was hugely popular in both China and overseas and makes China’s often very long TV series bearable.
10. Ode to Joy
Five women live on the same floor of the same apartment building. They each have their own struggles in their career, family, and love life but help each other through it.
This TV series is similar to the popular Korean drama Age of Youth, so fans of that show will love this. It’s especially perfect for those going through a life transition (high school to college, college to adulthood, etc.) as these girls are relatable and entertaining.