Top 15 Chinese Dramas in 2021

Here you will find the 15 best, most popular Chinese TV dramas of 2021!

Even if you are already addicted to Chinese dramas, you may discover something new on this list.  Don’t forget to turn on the English subtitles! And make sure you comment below for your favorite C-drama, too. Watch most of these at OnDemand China for free with English subs!

     1. Ancient Love Poetry

Starring Zhou Dongyu and Xu Kai, Ancient Love Poetry, produced by Yang Xiaopei and Fang Fang, tells a fantastic romance between Shang Gu, once a leader of the four immortals, and her lover Bai Jue, who waited for her for 60,000 years after Shang sacrificed herself during a trial. Not only are the flying cloud and water spirits at the Mogao Caves represented, but also other elements like the warm colors found in the cave murals can be seen in the drama’s set dressing. Thanks to these elements and stories, the drama has been well-received overseas. 

     2. Ossan’s Love

Adapted from the Japanese drama “Uncle’s Love”, the publicity claims that this is the first BL drama in Hong Kong history. Of course, it is a big publicity stunt, but the success of the drama has also subverted the traditional Hong Kong drama’s values ​​of homosexuality. Generally, Hong Kong dramas involve homosexual themes, either they are ostentatious and exaggerated, or they have become perverted murderers in horror dramas. There are very few that really describe the inner world of a homosexual. One of the main factors for the success of this play is that there is no grandstanding in the plot. The entangled homosexual relationship is made funny, but also with a sense of being close to daily lives. The characters are like people living by you and me, and the world is in harmony. 

     3. Crime Crackdown

“Crime Crackdown” is a tribute to the special struggle against crime and evil. The cases in the play are adapted from real case materials, including the national sensation Sun Xiaoguo case, the corpse burial case in the playground, the criminal case involving Wen Liehong in Hunan, and the Huang Hongfa case in Hainan. Etc., this creative background made the play receive a high degree of attention at the beginning of its broadcast. After 18 years of filming the drama involved in the case again, Sun Honglei played a positive and evil role at the beginning of the show, and Liu Yijun, who played a positive role this time, also played a negative role for a long time, causing the audience to repeatedly guess his true identity. Almost all the big and small characters appearing in the play have their own characteristics. The underworld leader Ma Shuai who was killed at the beginning is played by the superb acting Ning Li. The beginning of the story is the game scene of Sun Honglei, Ning Li, and Liu Yijun. The actors’ acting skills are not crotch and even frequent dramas, which greatly increases the viewability of the play.

     4. The Bond

“The Bond” did accurately step on the audience’s sweet point: whether it was moved, sad crying, or gritted teeth. At the same time, it has successfully created a three-dimensional and plump group portrait. With the support of the actors’ acting skills, these roles can help the survival and ups and downs of small people in those times, resonate with modern families and the real experiences of individuals, and the relationship between families. Conflict and reconciliation are presented clearly and vividly in front of the audience. And this kind of family and emotional drama full of drama conflicts has a fixed audience base. Audiences in the 60s and 70s can see their own growth, and audiences with marriage, family, sibling relationships, etc. will also have a different sense of substitution and experience in it. Family, emotional drama, especially such family emotional drama with a background of the times, can radiate a wider range of people.

      5. Douluo Continent

The live-action version of “Douluo Continent” starring Xiao Zhan is currently on the air. Since its launch on February 5th, the show has attracted everyone’s attention. In addition, the show has been broadcast on the CCTV8 TV drama channel, which has a wider range of dissemination. Although “Douluo Dalu” is very popular, the reputation of the show is mixed. Many netizens have pointed out that its drama live-action version of “Douluo Continent” is indeed different from the original, but they are all within an acceptable range, and the plot is changed to pass the trial. I personally think Xiao Zhan interprets the role of Tang San very well, very charming, and the acting skills of other actors are also pretty good.

      6. The Long Ballad

“The Long Ballad” is adapted from the cartoon of the same name by Xia Da. It tells the story of Li Changge, the daughter of Prince Li Jiancheng, the daughter of Princess Yongning, after the changes in the Xuanwu Gate in the Tang Dynasty. The military commander’s twists and turns and beautiful love story. After the broadcast, the evaluation is very good, the story is intriguing, and the actors are also very professional! Dili reba’s( Li Changge)in “The Long Ballad” is the daughter of prince Li Jiancheng. Her biological mother is the royal family of Huihe. After a tragedy, Li Changge changed from the beloved county lord of Yongning to exile. A civil fugitive girl, she was originally dedicated to revenge for her parents, but in the conflict of interests between the family and the country, she finally gave up her revenge and became an envoy of national reconciliation with Ashle Falcon.

       7. The Court Lady

Although both “The Long Ballad” and “The Court Lady” are about the Tang Dynasty, they are different environments and have different emphases. Many people on the Internet are comparing these two dramas. In fact, I feel that it is unnecessary. “The Long Ballad” is supported by a large number of fans. “Li Ge Xing” is to uses a relaxed and funny atmosphere to drive the audience, everyone has different preferences. The male protagonist likes the female protagonist, he tries to enter the female protagonist’s home, climbing on trees in front of the female protagonist’s house in the middle of the night to peek at the female protagonist. Xu Kai, the actor, expresses his emotions very well. Like many of his previous works, it is very attractive and makes people unable to help but laugh.

        8. The Legend of Fei

On the contrary, when I watched “You Fei”, it is another wonderful display of the domestic costume martial arts drama in its beauty and a brave exploration in female martial arts. To some extent, Zhou Fei is not only the protagonist of the story but also the guide of the whole story, as the character of the drama. The main business of the character is an adventure, but it is the heroic woman who rushes into the rivers and lakes. In the first second, the character was stillborn and died, making people sweat for her destiny; the next second, she dispelled the tension into the invisible with free and easy ridicule. Zhao Liying’s interpretation is based on the background and tenacity of the role, and at the same time, it combines the innocence of the girl and the innocence of the world. Zhao Liying used a variety of small expressions, stubborn, wronged, and ignorant, to perform a chivalrous girl who has just emerged from the world.

        9. Fighting Youth

This drama is different from the ones above. It is a modern drama that takes place in the business field. The internationally renowned cosmetics company SW in Greater China is growing, but general manager Shu Wanting is facing a serious crisis of “being replaced”: the boss who has been protecting her “backer” is about to retire. The momentum has attracted the attention of the headquarters and has become the biggest threat to replace her.

       10. Rattan

This drama has lured many fans due to its interesting plot, popular main leads, and background. Many years ago, the plant-alien hybrid Si Teng was hunted down by a Xuanmen hunter. Chased across Shanghai, Si Teng fled for her life but escaping the relentless hunter proved impossible. In an act of cruel piety, the hunter killed Si Teng and buried her remains at the base of a great cliff. There she would have remained for all eternity, had fate not chosen to intervene. Resurrected by the unwitting actions of a young architect by the name of Qin Fang, Si Teng finds herself in a strange new world. Confused by the fragmented memories in her head, Si Teng insists Qin Fang help her regain her memories, while at the same time helping her understand life in this modern age. Despite their rocky start, Qin Fang eventually agrees to Si Teng’s demands. With Qin Fang by her side, Si Teng learns what it means to live and love but the fragmented memories of her past continue to torment her. 

       11. Lady Tough

This is a great story about the stress of adulting and coping with loss. It is a nice change from all the rom-com shows that seem to make up a third of the C-drama market. Liu Lian is a 30-year-old single woman who has a tendency to not go by the book. She is contended in simply enjoying her own life. Her mother’s sudden passing leaves her unsure about how to cope, so she decides to give herself a short holiday break. She may approach life with sarcasm and contempt but deep inside, she seeks reconciliation between her mother and herself.

       12. Minning Town

You’ll love this one if you like culture and history! “Minning Town,” tells the story of villagers from Ningxia who migrated and built Minning Town from scratch. The government wants to build the rural housing land and encourages the farmers of Xiji Country to migrate or relocate. However, the conditions of the desert are too harsh. The villagers who moved there mostly left the second day. Ma Defu tries his best to get the villagers to stay and build the Minning Town. In 1996, the Party Central Committee made a strategic plan to promote counterpart cooperation between the East and the West, which identified Fujian counterparts to promote poverty alleviation work in Ningxia. 

       13. You Are My Glory

Who wouldn’t like a drama that combines one of the most good-looking actors and actresses together? This is a story that follows an aerospace engineer Yu Tu and the shining star Qiao Jing Jing. A decision is made to start gaming in order to save her endorsement deal brings her face to face with an old crush. As they grow closer, the two forge ahead to become each other’s glory. Being a well-known celebrity, Qiao Jing Jing has to keep up with appearances in order to maintain her multi-faceted image. Alas, one starts to crack when someone leaks a video of her playing an online game and being terrible at it which is completely inconsistent with the image she has created for herself as the game’s ambassador. Thus, she joins a gaming competition to prove her skills and to prevent herself from losing her endorsements.

       14. Storm Eye

“Storm Eye” story about a team of agents is told from the perspective of An Jing and Ma Shang. Showing no fear in their mission to uphold justice, these officers work hard to protect national interests. Ma Shang is a national security agent who receives a special mission to trail a spy from beyond the borders all the way to Shuangqing City. While performing surveillance work, Ma Shang discovers that the spy is but a small fry in their grander scheme of things and that their goal is to steal the top-secret research of Huading Group.

       15. One And Only

Last but not least, the most heart-clenching Chinese costume drama in 2021!  The Chinese drama follows the love story between Zhou Sheng Chen, Prince Nan Chen, an accomplished general who is loyal to the country, and Cui Shi Yi, daughter of an esteemed family, and the appointed Crown Princess since birth. The regrets that Zhou Shengchen and Shi Yi could not together, plus the superb acting skills of the leading actor’s Ren Jialun and Bai Lu, simply earned the audience’s tears! In addition to the plot, the lines in the play also play an important role. Presumably, the most tear-jerking line is “this life, I lived up to the world, but lost Eleven.”

Whatever it may be, 2021 might be the year we turn the tables and give our mother tongue and its cinematic creations a little more love. The fifteen best Chinese dramas here are so good and work exploring!

What do you think?

Written by Lina Zhou

Esther Yu : The expressive goddess of Chinese entertainment industry

Zhao Liying : From a smalltown Cinderella to the movie star