101 TV Shows for Chinese Learners | Drama, Action, Comedy, and More!

Some people say watching TV isn’t good for us.

That might be true, but if you learn Mandarin Chinese, watching Chinese TV shows is the perfect excuse to lie on your couch all day.

Seriously, watching Chinese TV shows is a great way to improve your Mandarin.

The real problem is the same recommendations for TV shows get thrown around on the internet all of the time, and it’s time someone mixed things up.

But before we get on with the list, note the following…

  • The following TV shows are available in Mandarin Chinese with Chinese subtitles. If versions with English subtitles are available, I will make a note of it.
  • Links to where you can watch the shows have been added, but one or two might be missing. Most are available on YouTube, Youku, and a few on iQiyi. My searches haven’t been that deep, so if you know where to look, I’m sure you’ll be able to find every show somewhere on the Chinese internet.
  • If you’re trying to access sites only available in Mainland China, you might need a VPN. Pure VPN is my recommendation under these circumstances as it has servers in mainland China. If you want to watch stuff on Youku, there’s an unblock Youku Chrome extension. For a more in-depth guide to VPNs, click here.
  • The ‘Drama’ section is much longer than the others because the Chinese speaking world LOVES dramas. Most of the following recommendations are popular shows across the Chinese diaspora, and I’ve thrown in a few of my own personal favourites as well.
  • The list is quite long, so make sure you use the hyperlinks if you’re looking for a specific genre. Some shows cross over into other genres.

Historical Drama | Action | Fantasy | Drama | Comedy | Talk Shows | Talent and Game Shows | Animated


Empresses in the Palace | 后宫·甄嬛传

Based on an Internet novel by Liu Lianzi, this is a historical drama that takes place during the Qing dynasty (1636-1912). It showcases the harem system that was prevalent during this era.

  • Available on YouTube – English subtitles available (but not for every episode)
  • Available on Youku

The Secret of the Three Kingdoms | 三国机密之潜龙在渊
At the end of the Eastern Han dynasty, a concubine of Emporer Ling gives birth to twin boys who are raised separately. Eighteen years later, the twins meet again under some very strange circumstances.

  • Available on YouTube with Chinese and English subtitles.
  • Full series available on Tencent video through Youku.

Rosy Business | 巾帼枭雄
This show was produced in Hong Kong and involves an influential clan that controls a sizable rice trading business. After getting sick, patriarch Chiang Kiu temporarily hands over the reins to his fourth wife Hong Po-Kei, which causes trouble with his other wives and sons.

  • Available in Mandarin (dubbed) with English subtitles on YouTube.
  • Available in Mandarin (dubbed) with Chinese subtitles on Youku.

Ever Night | 将夜
Set during the Tang Dynasty. After a young man’s family is murdered family by an army general, he seeks revenge.

  • Available in full on Youku.
  • Season 2 available on YouTube with Chinese and English subtitles.

The King’s Woman | 秦时丽人明月心

Set during the time of China’s first emperor, this drama combines military themes, love, family honour, betrayal, and murder.

  • Available in full on Youku.


Nirvana in Fire | 琅琊榜

Much like the popular western dramas Cobra Kai and Into the Badlands, this show is themed around martial
arts. It was watched by millions of viewers, attaining record-high ratings during its broadcast.

  • Available on YouTube with English subs.
  • Available in full on Youku.

Lost in 1949′ | simp. 脱身 | trad. 脫身

Huang Li Wen returns to Shanghai to attend her husband’s funeral. As a Communist agent, her job is to get information for the Communist Party to help them in their quest for liberation. During her mission, Li Wen is reunited with her family members and becomes acquainted with the streetwise two streetwise twins that may or may not help her with her mission…

‘Triad Princess’ | simp. 极道千金 | trad. 極道千金

Growing up in the shadow of her Triad father, Angie craves an independent life of her own. Defying her father’s wishes, she takes on a gig as an undercover bodyguard for a famous actress at an agency, where she must navigate the unfamiliar world of glitz, glamour, and even love.

‘The Victim’s Game’ | simp. 谁是被害者 | trad. 誰是被害者

A forensic scientist and a journalist team up to solve murders, with the forensic expert’s daughter getting
caught up in a few crime scenes.


‘The Legend of Fuyao’ | simp. 扶摇 | trad. 扶搖

The universe of the Five Kingdoms is led by the Imperial City of Tianquan. Adopted as an orphan, Fuyao served as a slave for the Xuanyuan sect from the Taiyuan Kingdom. A series of tragedies result in a journey across the land to gather the magical artifacts that could lift the curse that has seriously messed up her life so far.

  • Available with English subs on YouTube.
  • Avilable in full on Youku.

‘Handsome Siblings’ | simp. 绝代双骄 | trad. 絕代雙驕

The story of twin brothers who separated at birth but grew up to be supreme martial artists. Raised to take revenge on each other, they soon find themselves becoming good friends. Together they vow to take the martial arts world by storm and search for their true identities.

  • Available in full on Youku.

‘Once Upon a Time in Lingjian Mountain’ | simp. 从前有座灵剑山 | trad. 從前有座靈劍山

A very intelligent youngster named Wang Lu ends up in the ‘Spirit Blade Sect’ and begins a journey towards immortality.

  • Available in full on YouTube in English subs (NO Mandarin subs)
  • Available on Youku.

‘The Ghost Bride’ | simp. 彼岸之嫁 | trad. 彼岸之嫁

A 2020 Taiwanese-Malaysian show based on the novel The Ghost Bride by Malaysian writer Yangsze Choo. Set in 1890s Colonial Malacca, a Malaysian Chinese woman agrees to a request from a wealthy family to be the ‘ghost bride’ to their dead son. it’s a decision that will save her family from a lifetime of debt, but she may have to spend the rest of her days haunted by a ghostly spouse.

‘The Untamed’ | simp. 陈情令 | trad. 陳情令

Two friends attempt to investigate the culprit of chaos in their land. It is action-packed, featuring some great fight scenes. While the original web novel by Mo Xiang Tong Xiu showed an explicit romance between the two main male characters, the Mainland adaptation was heavily censored due to China’s ban of LGBT portrayals in films.

‘Bloody Romance’ | simp. 媚者无疆 | trad. 媚者無疆

After the Tang dynasty collapses, a herbalist’s daughter is tricked and sold to a brothel. After a harrowing escape from death, she finds herself in a city of female assassins trying to overcome the obstacles in her way.

  • Available on YouTube with English and Chinese subtitles.
  • Available on Youku.


‘La Robe De Mariee Des Cieux’ AKA ‘Heaven’s Wedding Gown’ or ‘Bride from Paradise’ | simp. 天国的嫁衣 | trad. 天國的嫁衣

When two strangers meet in a Paris art shop and argue over a wooden horse, they soon realise that they have more in common than they thought…

  • Available on YouTube in both English and Chinese subs.

‘Meteor Garden’ | simp. 流星花园 | trad. 流星花園

a 2001 Taiwanese drama, this is the first live-action television adaptation of the Japanese shōjo manga series Boys Over Flowers (花より男子) by Yoko Kamio. A poor girl ends up at a university for rich people, and four male students end up falling in love with her. Their friendship is put to the test by their shared liking for the girl.

  • Available on YouTube in English subs (poor quality).
  • Available on Youku.

Heads up! There’s a 2018 remake of the original Meteor Garden, and it’s nowhere near as good.

‘The Prince of Tennis’ | simp. 奋斗吧,少年

A tennis prodigy struggles to balance his athletic career with academics and social life. He finds out that there is a lot to love and appreciate outside the world of tennis.

‘On Children’ | simp. 你的孩子不是你的孩子

This Taiwanese anthology drama has episodes about sociopolitical issues like peer pressure and mental health. It has been described as similar to Black Mirror with its themes and episode structure. It is one of the most popular Mandarin shows in recent times.

‘The Brightest Star in the Sky’ | simp. 夜空中最闪亮的星

 A coming-of-age story featuring love, friendship, and music, set in the backdrop of the Chinese music industry.

  • Available on YouTube with English and Chinese subtitles.
  • Available on Youku.

‘Ode to Joy’ | simp. 欢乐颂

This series revolves around five women that live on the same apartment floor in Shanghai. Together, they do their best to steer their career and love lives whilst solving problems and growing more resilient as time passes.

  • Available on YouTube in English and Mandarin subtitles
  • Available on Youku

‘When a Snail Falls in Love’ | simp. 如果蜗牛有爱情

This popular drama blends crime and romance to create a thrilling story. Ji Bai is a hard-faced team leader of the Violent Crime Unit, and Xu Xu is a new intern specializing in offender profiling. Tasked with solving some serious crimes that are somehow mysteriously connected, they develop feelings for each other.

  • Available on YouTube with English subs only.
  • Availabe on Youku.

‘In Time with You’ | trad. 我可能不會愛你

Cheng You Qing receives an e-mail about the symptoms of premature aging from Li Da Ren, her best friend of 14 years. She makes a bet with him to see who will marry first before they turn 35. As they both have trouble finding a decent match, they end up looking at each other differently, with the show slowly following their progress as a potential couple.

‘Love Me, If You Dare’ | simp. 他来了, 请闭眼

With the help of his young assistant, a super-smart criminal psychologist delves deep into the criminal mind. As the daughter of a veteran police investigator with a strong sense of justice, can Jenny (the assistant) help Simon (psychologist) open up emotionally as they work together to solve crimes?

  • Available on YouTube in English and Chinese subtitles
  • Available on Youku

‘Fated to Love You’ | trad. 命中注定我愛你 | simp. 命中注定我爱你

Taiwanese show about a normal girl working in an office who falls in love with a man that takes advantage of her kindness. However, things start to change for her during a cruise…

  • Available on YouTube ONLY English subs
  • I can only find more recent remakes available on Youku.

‘Autumn’s Concerto’ [Next Stop, Happiness] | simp. and trad. 下一站,幸福

Ren Guang Xi, a cocky law student, seems to lead the perfect life. He’s the heir to a big business and he’s also a talented ice hockey player. In reality, however, he’s lonely and there are many things missing in his life… Until he meets the new bento seller at school.

‘Drunken to Love You’ | trad. 醉後決定愛上你

This drama is a bit more on the cray side as far as Taiwanese dramas go. The plots are very similar to western soap operas, complete with false identities, complicated relationships, and lots and lots of drinking.

  • Available on YouTube in traditional Chinese subs.
  • Available on Youku

‘Brother’s Keeper’ | trad. 巨輪 | simp. 巨轮

This Hong Kong television series tells the story of two half-brothers separated during childhood. While things seem to be getting better after they are reunited, bad decisions force a rift between them.

‘Moonlight Resonance’ | trad. 溏心風暴之家好月圓

Moonlight Resonance is a television show that explores the lives of the elite in Hong Kong. Think of it as a Hong Kong version of the US series Gossip Girl, but with older characters.

  • Available on Youku in Mandarin

‘The Endless Love’ | simp. 路從今夜白之遇見青春

A love story with an arty twist. The main character is a male painter with color blindness who ends up discovering a love that can change the way he sees the world.

  • Most episodes available on Youtube with Mandarin and English subs.
  • Available in full on Youku.

‘Here to Heart’ | simp. 温暖的弦 | trad. 溫暖的弦

This drama is on the heavier side. It explores the effects of an accident on a young couple. Years later, they reunite. However, they now have new partners, and they will once again explore the strength of their love for each other.

  • Available on YouTube with English and Chinese subs.
  • Available on Youku.

‘Love Till the End of Summer’ | simp. 夏至未至

This drama spans ten years. It begins with the lives of high school friends, slowly progressing through into adulthood.

‘The Rise of Phoenixes’ | simp. 天盛长歌

If you want to watch something that is beautifully shot, then The Rise of Phoenixes has absolutely magnificent cinematography. The shots are gorgeous, but the plot is pretty good, too.

‘Ashes of Love’ | simp. 香蜜沉沉烬如霜

Ashes of Love is based on a bestselling novel and follows a romance between a goddess’ daughter and an emperor’s son.

  • Available on YouTube in English and Chinese subs.
  • Available on Youku.

‘Love O2O’ | simp. 微微一笑很倾城

This Chinese drama blends elements of video games and romance for a fun and lively watch. It is lighthearted, but there are elements of strong emotion. The romance between the leads is pretty cute.

‘Eternal Love’ | simp. 三生三世十里桃花

Eternal Love is a fantasy romance series centering on a fox spirit and the crowned prince. It blends in both mythological elements and contemporary tropes of love and relationships.

  • Some (not all) episodes available on YouTube with English and Chinese subs.
  • Available on Youku.

‘A Little Thing Called First Love’ | 初恋那件小事

An introverted, artsy girl called Xia Miaomiao has the hots for her classmate, and she must learn quickly about the real world if she’s to win his heart.

‘A Thousand Goodnights’ | trad. 一千個晚安

This drama revolves around a woman who retraces her ancestry to fulfill her father’s dying wish.

‘At the Dolphin Bay’ | trad. 海豚灣戀人

This Taiwanese series tells the story of two people who met as kids at an orphanage. It follows them as they grow up, find love, and try to fulfill an old promise.

‘Put Your Head on My Shoulder’ | simp. 致我们暖暖的小时光

A very popular show, this is a love story between an impulsive female student and a very smart college boy.

  • Available on YouTube with English and Mandarin subs.
  • Available on Netflix.

‘Unrequited Love’ | simp. 暗恋橘生淮南

The love story of Luo Zhi and Sheng Huainan spans fifteen years and is a story about a girl’s one-sided love for a boy that follows them until they bravely face their feelings for each other.

‘Sinful Debt’ | simp. 孽债

Five teens try to rediscover their estranged parents. They realise that their parents were not ready to have them when they were born, and they struggle to live on their own. This show was wildly popular at the time of release, particularly with those affected by the devastating Cultural Revolution (1966–76) and its Down to the Countryside Movement.

‘Silent Tears’ | simp. 女人不哭

A woman attempts to raise her brothers after their parent’s death.

  • Available on YouTube with Mandarin subtitles.
  • Available on Youku.

‘Struggle’ | simp. 奋斗 | trad. 奮鬥

A show that follows the life and struggles of China’s Post-80’s generation after graduation from college.

‘Beautiful Life’ | trad. 笑着活下去

This story follows the life of Yan Yang, a girl who was abandoned by her mother when she was 5 years old. This show is NOT to be confused with the movie ‘A Beautiful Life’ (不再讓你孤單) which is also pretty good.

‘Thank You for Having Loved Me’ | trad. 謝謝你曾經愛過我

From Hui-Ling Wang, the same guy who did the screenplay for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. When a working woman falls in love with a married man, will she choose him over her own career?

  • Some episode available on YouTube.

‘I Am A Boss’ | simp. 我是老板

A man is forced to leave his government career and ends up trying to become an entrepreneur. His often hilarious mistakes and mishaps highlight the disconnect between the Communist-Party-propagated ideal and the capitalistic reality in modern Chinese society.

  • Available on YouTube in Mandarin subtitles.
  • Available on Youku (through PPTV).

‘Sunshine of my Life’ | simp. 若你安好便是晴天

Tang Ming Xuan is the boss of a thriving fashion company. His fierce devotion to his role means he must stay single. However, one day he meets Mo Fei at a design fair, and she becomes somewhat of a distraction…

  • Available on YouTube in English subs only.

‘Will You Marry Me and My Family?’ | simp. 大女当嫁

A career woman frantically searches for a spouse as her family tries to find one first. The series portrays the phenomenon of sheng nu (剩女, lit. “leftover women”), which refers to a phenomenon in East Asian societies where urban women are getting married at a much older age.

  • Available on YouTube with Chinese subs.
  • Available on Youku.

‘Dear My Friends’ | simp. 亲爱的她们 | trad. 親愛的她們

In the midst of their twilight years, two friends do their best to help each other and relieve themselves of all worldly troubles.

‘Mother’s Life’ | simp. 娘道

A woman’s life is turned around when she is banished by her husband’s family after failing to produce a son.

  • Available on YouTube with Chinese subs.
  • Available on Youku.

‘Run Daddy Run’ | simp. 老爸快跑

A father must win a reality competition to keep his son from a wife who wants to divorce him.

‘Melody of Youth’ | simp. 少年如歌

A college senior struggles with a competitive job market.

My Sunshine’ | trad. 何以笙簫默

Seven years after breaking up, Zhao Mo Sheng returns home and spots her ex immediately in a crowded supermarket. Will the two college sweethearts be able to reunite?

  • Available on YouTube Chinese and English subs.
  • AVailable on iQIYI.

‘Sound of Colors’ | trad. 地下鐵

A beautiful story can take place anywhere, perhaps it’s in the mall, perhaps it’s in the cafe, or maybe it is in a subway… A beautiful coming together of lives and stories on a train in Taipei.

  • Available on YouTube with simplified Mandarin subs.
  • Available on Youku.

‘Paris Sonata’ | simp. 巴黎恋歌

Ji Wei is a gifted violinist and Yu Manzhi is a natural-born pianist. They become acquaintances after they participate in the philharmonic orchestra together, but Ji Wei leaves without saying goodbye. 10 years later they meet again, but is their story over, or has it just begun?

  • Available on YouTube with Mandarin subs.
  • Available on Youku.

‘Only You’ | simp. 非你不可

A love triangle taking place over A Beijing summer.

  • Available on YouTube with Mandarin subs.
  • Available on Youku.

‘Stages of Youth’ | simp. 青春舞台

A dancer is pressured by his father to take up archery.

‘All is Well’ | simp. 都挺好

This series depicts the conflicts and struggles of a white-collar worker and her family members.

  • Available on YouTube with Chinese and English subs.
  • Available on Youku.

‘Go Ahead’ | simp. 以家人之名

The heartwarming tale of a found family. This show follows three unrelated people who become each other’s family. They come together over their shared family troubles and support each other through the difficulties of life. The series follows them all the way through childhood, high school, college, and eventually adulthood.

  • Available on YouTube in Chinese and English subs.
  • Available on Youku.

‘Marriage Cuisine’ | simp. 婚姻料理

This show broke the record for Chinese viewer status in 2014 with 200 000 000 viewers in the mainland in only one week. The show follows a separated couple who end up falling in love again after deciding to date other people.

‘The Imperfect Sculpture’ | simp. 天缺一角

A sculpture carved during the Xihan Dynasty over 2199 years ago is the centerpiece of a small museum in western China. An archaeologist’s efforts to safeguard the sculpture earn him the respect of his colleagues, but a few problems as well.

  • Available on YouTube in Mandarin subtitles.

‘Housing’ simp. 安居

A very popular 2016 Chinese series, this drama tells the story of a shantytown in renewal in Beiliang, Baotou, Inner Mongolia.

‘The World Between Us’ | trad. 我們與惡的距離

The series follows the aftermath of a mass shooting at a movie theatre and the fates of all involved: the killer, the victims, the victims’ families, the media, and the legal defense team.

‘To Be a Better Man’ | simp. 好先生

A selfish man becomes a better person after falling in love.

  • Available on YouTube in English and Mandarin subs.
  • Available on Youku.

‘The First Half of My Life’ | simp. 我的前半生

With the help of He Han and Tang Jing, Zi Jun gets back into the workforce and tries to piece her life back together after her husband leaves her. But what happens when He Han and Zi Jun start to develop feelings for each other?

  • Available on YouTube with Mandarin and English subtitles.
  • Available on Youku.

‘Angelo’ | simp. 天使的幸福

A single mother’s daughter somehow contracts HIV. The doctor that helps them has lost his girlfriend to a terminal illness, but he must fulfill her dying wish…

  • Available on YouTube in Mandarin subs.
  • Available on Youku.

‘Drama Go! Go! Go!’ | simp. 姐姐立正向前走

A story that centers on the dysfunctional but weirdly satisfying love life of Wang Ming Ming.

‘Beijing Love Story’ | simp. 北京爱情故事

More than 1 billion views were recorded on Chinese video streaming sites for this show just 32 days after the first episode aired. It tells the story of three bandmates and good friends who face problems of love and career together.

  • Available on YouTube with Mandarin subtitles.
  • Available on iQIYI.

‘A Mobile Love Story’ | simp. 爱情占线

A marketing student falls in love with a Singaporean playboy.

‘Sealed With a Kiss’ | simp. 千山暮雪

This tells the story of a dominant and submissive relationship between a normal girl and a wealthy man. Calm yourself down, though. It’s nowhere near as saucy as 50 Shades of Gray.

  • Available on YouTube with English and Chinese subs.

‘Sunny Happiness’ | simp. 幸福最晴天

A company’s troubles get intertwined with a woman’s personal issues.

  • Available on YouTube with Chinese subtitles (not great quality).
  • Available on iQIYI.

The Girl in Blue’ | simp. 佳期如梦

A man suddenly begins to chase after his childhood best friend.

  • Available on YouTube with English and Mandarin subtitles.
  • Available on Youku.

‘Single Princesses and Blind Dates’ | simp. 单身公主相亲记

A woman’s life changes when her fiancé dumps her a few days before their wedding.

  • Available on YouTube with Mandarin subs.
  • Available on Youku.

‘See You Again’ | simp. 时间都知道

The story follows a woman who time travels to the past through her dreams.

‘Ad Mania’ | simp. 广告风云

The cut-throat advertising industry is the perfect place for Long Tian Jue’s extremely creative mind. The man has never experienced a setback in his life until he starts to wind up Ruan Xin Li. She leaves the company (along with her client list) to work for their competitor, so Long has to buckle down and be a team player to help their agency overcome the crisis.

‘The Interpreter’ | simp. 亲爱的翻译官

The highest-rated drama in China in 2016 with an average national viewership rating of 2.63%. The story follows a university student and aspiring French translator named Qiao Fei. Whilst working as a waitress, she gets into trouble with a guest and is taken to the police station, only to realise the guest is her future examiner…

  • Available on YouTube with Mandarin subs (blocked in quite a few regions)
  • Available on Youku.

‘Surgeons’ | simp. 外科风云

Medical malpractice sets off a chain of events in a group of doctor’s lives.

  • Available on YouTube in English and Mandarin subs.
  • Available on iQIYI

‘Game of Hunting’ | simp. 猎场

A 52-episode Chinese drama about the power struggles in the business world. The story focuses on Zheng Qiu Dong, a man with great enterprise and ambition.

‘My Girlfriend’ | simp. 我不能恋爱的女朋友

When Ding Xiaorou is 15 years old, a misunderstanding causes her to believe that she would never find true love in her life… Until she met Chi Xin. 

  • Available on YouTube with both English and Chinese subs.
  • Available on Youku.

‘Midsummer is Full of Love’ | simp. 仲夏满天心

A strong-minded young woman dreams of making it big as a songwriter but after a fallout with her friends, she’s forced to move out. With big ambitions of making it as a songwriter, she ends up meeting a pop superstar named Jin Ze Yi, who seems a bit of a nob at first, but then stuff happens…

  • Available on YouTube with English and Mandarin subs.
  • Available on Youku.

‘The Whirlwind Girl’ | simp. 旋风少女

The story tells the journey of a young girl with a fondness for Yuanwudao (a martial arts sport). After her parents die in a fire accident, shes is adopted and raised by Qu Xiangnan, the former world champion of Yuanwudao, whose skills and reputation have been defamed by his rivals.

  • Available on YouTube with Mandarin subs.
  • Available on Youku.


‘Wait, My Youth’ | simp. 等等啊我的青春

In this lighthearted drama, the protagonist returns to her hometown to find out her high school batchmates still act the same way. Not the most hilarious show on earth, but it’ll give you a tickle from time time.

‘iPartment’ | simp. 爱情公寓

This is a Chinese classic series and has stood the test of time. Often compared to the US show ‘Friends’, I must say it’s nothing like it, other than the characters being friends in an apartment building. Still, it’s one of the better Chinese TV shows I’ve seen.

  • Available on YouTube with Mandarin subs.
  • Available on Youku.

‘Surprise’ | simp. 万万没想到

A short web series, but really funny if you like general silliness. As a massive loser in career, medical science, and engagement, Wang Dachui’s daily life is pretty wild.

  • Available on YouTube with Mandarin subs.
  • Available on Youku.

‘I Love My Family’ | simp. 我爱我家

China’s first multi-camera sitcom originally aired from 1993 to 1994. Although it is a sitcom, each scene plays like a skit, combining humour and emotional content. It is notable for having a theatre-experienced cast.

  • Available on YouTube with Optional Mandarin subs.
  • Available on Youku.

‘Newlyweds Apartment’ | simp. 新婚公寓

This is a Chinese remake of ‘Mad About You’, an American sitcom. Some say it’s not as good as the American version, but I couldn’t possibly comment…

  • Available on YouTube in Mandarin and Vietnamese subs.
  • Available on Youku.

‘Nonstop’ | simp. 青春进行时

A Chinese remake of a popular Korean teen sitcom.

  • Available on YouTube in English and Mandarin subs.
  • Available on Youku.

‘Home With Kids’ | simp. 家有儿女

It is considered to be similar to the US sitcom ‘Growing Pains’. Unlike most Chinese multi-camera sitcoms, Home With Kids prominently uses child actors in main roles.

  • Available on YouTube with English and Chinese subtitles.


‘A Bright World’ | simp. 世界青年说

The show hosts a panel of foreigners living in China, holding discussions in Mandarin on various topics and issues. The atmosphere is meant to emulate a meeting of world leaders, but the show is presented with humor.

  • Available on YouTube with Chinese subs.
  • Available on Youku.

‘Informal Talks’ | 非正式会谈

People from countries all over the world discuss various topics in Chinese.

‘Day Day Up’ | 天天向上

A popular talk show in China that tackles somewhat sensitive topics (as sensitive as they can get in China). The discussions here go a bit deeper than the shows above.

‘Mr. Zhou Live Show’ | simp. 壹周立波秀

A live talk show hosted by comedian Zhou Libo. Like his stand-up, Zhou does not have scripts or notes. Instead, he creates his own material through improvisation. The show also includes guest interviews.


‘Sing China’ | simp. 中国好声音

The Chinese version of the popular singing competition, ‘The Voice.’

‘If You Are the One’ | simp.  非诚勿扰

Probably the first TV show recommended to every learner of Mandarin Chinese (other than Peppa Pig). This is the Chinese version of the dating show ‘Take Me Out’ with a few Chinese style add-ons, like the introduction of contestant’s parents in later seasons.

‘Keep Running’ | simp. 奔跑吧

A game-variety show based on the Korean version ‘Running Man.’

  • All episodes available on YouTube with Mandarin subs.

‘Kangsi Coming’ | trad. 康熙來了

A Taiwanese talk show featuring comedic hosts asking a panel of celebrities controversial questions.

  • Quite a few episodes on YouTube with subs in traditional Chinese.

‘China’s Got Talent’ | 中国达人秀

Created by high-trousered bellend Simon Cowell, the ‘Bla Bla’s Got Talent’ franchise is pretty big in China too. Featuring the same head-slapping bullshit as the rest of the world, with some hardcore nationalism thrown in for good measure.


‘Scissor Seven’ | 刺客伍六七

This animated show centers on a hairdresser with amnesia. The character lives on an island with his boss, who is a talking chicken.

‘The King’s Avatar’ | simp. 全职高手 | trad. 全職高手

A professional online gamer must change the way he does things if he wants to return to his former glory. This is a 2019 Chinese live-action streaming television series based on the web novel of the same name by Hu Dielan.

  • Available on YouTube in both English and Chinese subtitles.
  • Available on Youku.

‘Guardians of Night’ | simp. 王牌御史

In an almost identical alternate universe, humans have taken over the night from demons, causing them to rebel pretty strongly. The Department of Night, an organization of “guardians”, acts as the mediator between humans and demons in order to maintain peace in this era of light bulbs.

  • Available on YouTube with Chinese and English subs.
  • Available on Youku.

‘Zombie Brothers’ | 尸兄

A comedic look at how a zombie apocalypse might look. The episodes for this show are quite short, usually around 10 minutes long.

  • Available on YouTube with Chinese and English subtitles.
  • Available on Youku.

‘Rakshasa Street’ | 镇魂街

Rakshasa Street is a place where spirits and humans coexist, but not everyone can get in. If you like badass fight sequences among powerful spirits and humans then you will enjoy this one. Once again though, episodes are quite short.

  • Available on YouTube with Chinese and English subs.
  • Available on Youku.


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