17 of the Best Chinese TV Shows
Are you looking for some of the best Chinese TV Shows? Well, look no further!
Here’s our complete list of 17 of the best Chinese TV shows with links to our comprehensive reviews on each.
By the way, before we start, if you want to find out the best ways to watch Chinese Movies and TV series Online… check out our quick guide.
This list of best Chinese TV Shows is in Alphabetical order.
#1 All is Well
All is Well (都挺好 dōu tǐng hǎo) is a Chinese drama surrounding the character of Su (苏 sū).
All Is Well shows excellent insight into the traditional Chinese family and Chinese education.
Su and her siblings had a tough childhood dealing with their strict parents. Now, as adults, they each have to take care of their elderly father after their mother’s death.
All is Well, depicts to struggles the struggles with education, work, life and each other.
See our full review of All is Well.
#2 Empresses in the Palace
Empresses in the Palace 后宫 甄嬛传 (hòugōng zhēnhuán zhuàn) surrounds the emperor 雍正 (Yōngzhèng) of China’s Qing Dynasty. He’s rich, powerful and a playboy who one day might like a wife and the next decide to kill her.
Such a wild card in the centre of everything makes for some edge of your seat drama. His many wives are set against one and other continually trying to improve their status in court.
See our full review of Empresses in the Palace.
Enjoying this list of the best Chinese TV shows? We’ve also made a list of top apps for learning Chinese.
#3 Go Go Squid – Best Chinese TV Shows
Go Go Squid (亲爱的，热爱的 qīn’ài de, rè’ài de) is a romantic series around two characters Tong Nian (佟年) a famous online singer and Han Shangyan (韩商言) an e-sports champion.
The show is top-rated in China as it highlights the intricacies of the youth’s relationships and dating in modern-day China.
See our full review of Go Go Squid.
#4 Half and Half
Half and Half 二分之一強 (Èr fēn zhī yī qiáng) is an interview variety show that uses the slogan “Women’s Palace” to show the dialogue of Feminism.
This title came from the fact that…
“men do not defeat new generations of women in terms of ability, economy, education, and work”.
Instead, independent women have already held up half the sky.
Each episode has men from around the world to talk about cultural differences, life experiences or talk about gender issues.
See our full review of Half and Half.
Wondering where to watch this list of the best Chinese TV shows? Check out all the streaming sites to watch Chinese TV shows online.
#5 Idol Producer
If you are on Chinese social media you probably already stumbled upon the name of “Idol Producer” or “Youth With You“.
Idol Producer is a widespread popular dance and singing competition.
Watching Idol Producer is a great way to listen to Chinese music AND get you emotionally invested in characters making you want to learn Chinese.
See our full review of Idol Producer.
Discover QQ Music, the best way to listen to Chinese music.
#6 If You Are the One
If You Are the One 非诚勿扰 (fēi chéng wù rǎo) is possibly the most popular dating game show in China.
It has been on the air for over ten years!
It’s famed internationally for being the Chinese dating show where one contestant after being asked if she would go on a date on a bicycle replied:
“I would rather cry in a BMW than be smiling on a bicycle”.
The incident caught the world’s attention.
The show has since reigned in some of its controversial and superficial elements.
If You Are The One follows the simple premise of 24 women standing in an arc on a stage with a light in front of them, and an eligible bachelor walks on stage and in rounds is asked questions and can ask questions back.
The show has some savage moments where-in men can get snubbed before even making it to the podium!
See our full review of If You Are The One.
#7 Iron Ladies – Best Chinese TV Shows
Iron Ladies 姊的時代 (jiě de shí dài) is not about Iron Man’s daughters fighting crime…
…but rather it’s a Taiwanese drama set in Taipei about three successful career women in their 30s.
The three characters Zhou Kaiting (周凱婷), Ma Lisha (玛丽莎) and Wang Qingqing (王青青) all work for an online cosmetic shopping platform all the while navigating their way through love and relationships.
Any poster with this much yellow in it you know is going to get the big LTL Mandarin School tick of approval.
See our full review of Iron Ladies
#8 Journey to the West – Kids Chinese TV Show
Journey to the West 西游记 (xīyóu jì) is based on a fictional book full of magic set in ancient China.
The book can be hard to get through with 100 chapters and written in traditional Chinese. However, like any school assignment, there’s always a TV show or movie to get through the book faster.
Journey to the West is the story involving Tang Seng (the Golden Cicada), the Monkey King, Zhu Baijie (a pig), Monk Sha and a horse who travel west to find ancient Buddhist writings.
Along the journey, they meet many other animals who will either help or try to stop them.
See our full review of Journey to the West.
#9 Keep Running
Keep Running is an Outdoor-sports reality show.
The show’s contestants are famous Chinese celebrities, so it’s a great way to learn the names and faces of Chinese celebs.
They play a variety of elimination games, but the main game in each episode is the 撕名牌 (Name-tag Elimination).
The crew that makes it to the final mission and wins will receive the prize related to the theme of the episode.
See our full review of Keep Running.
#10 Meteor Garden
Meteor Garden 流星花园 (liú xīng huā yuán) is rated one of the best Chinese drama series.
Meteor Garden follows Dong Shan Cai (董杉菜), a teenage girl who has made it into a prestigious university.
Dong Shan Cai finds herself clashing with the four most popular boys in school, the F4.
How does she navigate this?
See our full review of Meteor Garden.
#11 My Own Swordsman
My Own Swordsman takes place during the Ming Dynasty in a fictional town called Qixia Town.
The series follows a group of six people trying to escape from society and live a peaceful life.
However, things never go to plan.
Follow the gang on their trials and triumphs, all while learning Chinese!
See our full review of My Own Swordsman.
#12 The Way to Your Heart
The Way to Your Heart 漫游记 (màn yóujì) is one of the best Chinese TV shows about travelling and sightseeing.
There are two main hosts of the show 郭麒麟 (Qilin Guo) and 钟汉良 (Wallace Chung) who provide comical cometary for each episode. However, there are also many “flying guests” 飞行嘉宾 (fēixíng jiābīn) who feature in the show.
The Way to Your Heart doesn’t have the characteristics of other conventional travel shows in having set tasks or games. Instead, the itinerary is decided spontaneously by the guests.
See our full review of The Way to Your Heart.
#13 Ode to Joy – China’s Sex & The City
Ode to Joy (欢乐颂 huānlè sòng) is a drama set in Shanghai following five women in their 20s and 30s.
Ode to Joy is unofficially labelled the Chinese Sex and the City.
The strong independent women in the show coming from different background find themselves living in an apartment complex called Ode to Joy.
Ode to Joy is one of the best Chinese TV shows wherein you can see women navigating their way through life in modern China and facing the difficulties of relationships and work in a large international city.
Want to find out more…?
See our full review of Ode to Joy.
#14 The First Half of My Life
The First Half of My Life 我的前半生 (wǒ de qián bànshēng) is a show about modern Chinese culture.
The story follows Luo Zijun (罗子君), a devoted housewife who finds herself divorced after her husband leaves her for another woman…
… all this eight years into their marriage. Ouch!
With the help of her friend Tang Jing, she has to get her life together, having to work for the first time in 8 years.
Then the unthinkable happens!
See our full review of The First Half of My Life.
#15 The Untamed – Best Chinese TV Shows
The Untamed 陈情令 (chén qíng lìng) is a fantasy drama.
The drama follows Wei Wuxian (魏无羡) and Lan Wangji (蓝忘机) who meet in an incredible world.
Despite their opposing personalities, they find a way to overcome their differences and restore peace and order to the world.
See our full review of The Untamed.
#16 Well-Intended Love
Well-Intended Love 奈何老板要娶我 (nàihé lǎobǎn yào qǔ wǒ) is a Chinese drama series.
The story follows Xia Lin, an actress diagnosed with leukaemia who desperately needs a bone marrow donation.
The only donor compatible is Ling Yizhou, a rich and arrogant man who doesn’t want to help her.
Eventually, an arrangement facilitated by the families comes about, but it comes with plenty of plot-twists!
See our full review of Well Intended Love.
#17 Yanxi Palace
Yanxi Palace is one of the best Chinese TV shows in the historical drama category.
Yanxi Palace involves drama and arranged imperial weddings in ancient China.
The show revolves around Princess Zhaohua (昭华公主) the seventh daughter of Emperor Qianlong.
She is a very stubborn and strong-headed princess, so, as you can imagine, things don’t quite go as planned when her parents try to set her up with an arranged marriage.
See our full review of Yanxi Palace.
Comment below and let us know which one you like.
After more? Never fear, we’ve got plenty more where that came from!
Best Chinese TV Shows – FAQ’s
What are some popular, modern Chinese TV Shows?
Some great modern Chinese TV shows are: Go Go Squid, Iron Ladies, The Way to Your Heart and Ode to Joy.
How can I watch Chinese TV Shows?
Some great ways to watch Chinese TV shows are on YouTube, Netflix, YouKu and BiliBili. See our full list of Chinese streaming sites.
What are some popular historical Chinese TV Shows & Dramas?
Two great historical dramas you should see are Yanxi Palace and Empresses in the Palace .
Can I watch Chinese TV shows on Netflix?
Actually the best way to find Chinese TV shows on Netflix is to search ‘Chinese TV shows’ directly into the Netflix search.
Want more from LTL?
We offer a 7 day free trial to all new online students where you can study Mandarin 24/7. Come and check it out free of charge and see what you think!
If you wish to hear more from LTL Language School, why not join our mailing list.
Sign up below and become part of our ever growing community!