By Karen and Cathy
Chasing DramasNov 10, 2023
The Longest Day In Chang'An - Ep 22: Return to Jing An Si
In episode 22, Zhang Xiao Jing and Tan Qi successfully capture Yu Chang and bring her to the custody of Li Bi at Jing An Si. Based on Yu Chang's words and Yao Ru Neng's memories of the day, Li Bi makes the decision to summon the officials back to Jing An Si to continue their search for "Long Bo", the closest lead they've had. Long Bo decides to mount a rescue. Meanwhile, the Right Chancellor is summoned to the palace by General Guo and they engage in some spectacular verbal sparring about the Emperor's intentions.
In the Know - Chinese Pop Culture News: Chinese Reality/Variety Show Landscape
Karen shares some high level observations of the current landscape of Chinese variety and reality tv shows.
The Longest Day In Chang'An - Ep 21: Prince of Parkour
Yisi and Zhang XIao Jing chase after an assassin on the rooftops of Chang An where Yisi shows off his rather impressive parkouring skills. They didn't catch the assassin's at this point but managed to trick them later and captured one for questioning. In the meantime, Yu Chang arrives to remove any loose threads.
The Longest Day in Chang'An - Ep 20: Off to Church!
Li Bi finally makes a breakthrough with the dying Cao Po Yan. His final clue leads them to the Lotus Cross and their leader You Cha. Zhang Xiao Jing and Tan Qi head off undercover in search of a Persian monastery but instead find themselves at a Nestorian church or the Church of the East. Their quest hits a snag as an eager deacon gets in their way. Meanwhile, Wen Ran escapes and regroups with Long Bo. Yu Chang is furious that Long Bo didn't send her on a mission
In The Know - Divas Hit The Road 花儿与少年 Season 5
Top Chinese celebrity/actress Dilireba joins season 5 of Divas Hit The Road or 花儿与少年 alongside Qin Lan, Qin Hai Lu, Xin Zhi Lei, Zhao Zhao Yi, Wang An Yu, and Hu Xian Xu. This variety show from Hunan television has this group of actors/actresses travel through various countries to perform different tasks. While previous seasons had varying levels of drama, this season is mostly funny. Karen and Cathy crack up with our thoughts on the first few episodes of the show!
The Longest Day in Chang'An - Ep 19: Dancing on Coals
The attempted prison break goes awry as Zhang Xiao Jing, Tan Qi, and Yao Ru Neng get captured by General Gan, the leader of the Right Cavalry. He cruelly orders Tan Qi to dance on hot coals or else Zhang Xiao Jing will be branded by hot iron. Tan Qi agrees and performs a beautiful dance despite Zhang Xiao Jing's protestations. The trio are saved by General Guo and reconvene with Li Bi to hear the news that more Crouching Fire is hidden in the city. Meanwhile, Wen Ran escapes prison with her own secret fragrance.
November 2023 Chinese Drama Updates - New dramas from Zhou Ye, Bai Lu, Dylan Wang He Di, Jing Tian, Tian Xi Wei
October dramas include A Scent of Time featuring Zhou Ye, Romance on the Farm with Tian Xi Wei and Zeng Shun Xi and Pearl River Family which is smashing tv viewership numbers but does not have much online buzz. Into November, Gong Jun has a new modern day romance and so does Bai Lu and Dylan Wang He Di. Xu Kai and Jing Tian have a historical romance, Wonderland of Love slated to air.
The Longest Day in Chang'An - Ep 18: Prison Break Attempt
In episode 18, Tan Qi tries to rescue Zhang Xiao Jing with the help of a surprise accomplice, Yao Ru Neng. Unfortunately, things don't go as planned for this trio. Li Bi tries to solve the puzzle as to why Director He decided to close the case by visiting the aging man. After a conversation, Li Bi finds himself drugged and close to death. One man in the house is not who he seems. Listen to our latest episode on The Longest Day in Chang An!
In The Know - Chinese Pop Culture News - Insider Scoop!
We share the inside scoop of the Chinese entertainment industry from our cousins who work there! This includes why major cities aren't named anymore in Chinese dramas, to what to expect when visiting Heng Dian, to various restrictions on costumes and set design and more!
The Longest Day in Chang'An - Ep 17: Case Closed...
With Zhang Xiao Jing's apparent victory over the Wolf Squad members, the Emperor orders the case to be closed. No one is recognized for their efforts, which greatly angers Cui Qi. Zhang Xiao Jing is back in chains, first at Jing An Si, and then transferred to the Right Cavalry. Cui Qi abandons Li Bi for greater chances of glory elsewhere and takes Zhang Xiao Jing as his prize. The rest of the men at Jing An Si also take their leave but just as they do so, Xu Bin arrives to inform them that there are actually 300 barrels of petrol hiding in Chang An.
In The Know - Chinese Pop Culture News: Crazy Horse
Lisa from Blackpink was embroiled in controversy for performing in a Parisian cabaret show called Crazy Horse. At least 2 Chinese female actresses, Angelababy and Zhang Jia Ni, were photographed to have attended. We discuss what the controversy is and the arguments from Chinese social media.
The Longest Day in Chang'An - Ep 16: The Fiery Chase
Zhang Xiao Jing finally catches up to the remaining Wolf Squad members and their carriages of Crouching Fire. Many in Jing An Si are doubtful that Zhang Xiao Jing will succeed but Li Bi puts his faith in him. Meanwhile, a traitor is revealed amongst their midst and Yuan Zai continues to woo Wang Yun Xiu.
The Longest Day in Chang'An - Ep 15: The Answer is Bamboo
With his reputation severely damaged, Xu Bin still decides to sneak out of Jing An Si. Li Bi pursues him to find out that Xu Bin is the inventor and owner of a Bamboo production making factory. Xu Bin wanted to find a way to help the empire and his grand idea was to produce more paper. Li Bi's suspicion of him recedes. In the meanwhile, the Right Chancellor also takes an interest in Xu Bin and finds that Xu Bin's funder was none other than He Fu, the adopted son of Director He. With this information, the Right Chancellor has what he needs to strike at the Crown Prince and his close ally, Director He
October 2023 Chinese Drama Updates - Parallel Worlds, Alliance, Faithful and Bright Eyes in the Dark
The October slate of dramas of interest include Parallel Worlds 西出玉门 featuring Ni Ni and Bai Yu in a modern day but supernatural show. Huang Jing Yu and Zhang Jing Yi bring us another romance around firefighters that is often compared to Fireworks of My Heart. Alliance 好事成双 has divorce, cheating, sisterhood and getting back at an awful ex with Zhang Xiao Fei, Huang Xiao Ming and Zhang Jia Ni. Faithful 九义人 with Wu Qian and Li Jia Hang is your historical mystery while Tiger and Crane 虎鹤妖师录 ft Jiang Long and Zhang Ling He offer a historical demon catching tale.
The Longest Day in Chang'An - Ep 14: The Crouching Fire
In the aftermath of the fire, Zhang Xiao Jing must race to save people, including the Wolf Squad member Cao Po Yan for clues. The blast was heard from all over Chang An and we come to learn that the bombs were called Crouching Fire. Li Bi interrogates Xu Bin about his relationship with Zhang Xiao Jing. Xu Bin finally admits that he chose Zhang Xiao Jing for this mission due to personal reasons.
In the know - Chinese Pop Culture News - The Battle for the Top Spot
For Chinese dramas and movies, having top billing or Yi Fan 一番 is a huge deal for actors or actresses. Well, at least the fans think so. Karen and Cathy discuss what Fan Wei 番位 or billing spots mean in the Chinese drama/movie world and what types of spats happen by fans who try to push for their star to get the top spot.
The Longest Day in Chang'An - Ep 13: The Black Ink
In episode 13, Cen Sen and Xu Bin finally discover the secret of Que Le Huo Duo - ink stones made from oil will be the catalyst to burn down all of Chang An. The lowly Yuan Zai meets with Feng Da Lun but quickly discovers that the woman the Blaze Gang captured is more than meets the eye. He seizes his opportunity to climb up the ranks. In the meanwhile, Li Bi turns his suspicions to Xu Bin.
In The Know - Chinese Pop Culture News - Drama with Livestreaming
Livestreaming is a particularly popular activity in China with many products being sold via livestreams on popular apps and social media platforms. Recently, one of the most famous livestreamers Li Jia Qi was embroiled in controversy with how he behaved during a particular session. Tune in to listen to what happened and learn more about the world of livestreaming in China!
The Longest Day in Chang'An - Ep 12: Grasping for Opportunities
In episode 12, Zhang Xiao Jing and Cui Qi resume their hunt for Wen Ran and the remaining Wolf Squad members. Long Bo has other plans for these Wolf Squad members. We are introduced to a very peculiar man, Yuan Zai, who is determined to grasp his opportunity to climb the ranks in Chang An. Li Bi in the meanwhile believes there's a mole within Jing An Si and publicly arrests Xu Bin in an attempt to find the mole. Things are looking grim for both Li Bi and Zhang Xiao Jing
In The Know - 2023 Summer Chinese Drama Recap - Winners and Losers
With the summer over, Karen and Cathy share then completely and entirely "objective" thoughts on the winners and losers from this slate of summer dramas. Interestingly, there was no massive hit this summer akin to The Love Between Fairy and Devil last year. Outside of Wei Da Xun, there wasn't any other major breakout star. Yang Zi held her own and brought decent popularity with Lost You Forever Season One but didn't quite capture the same magic. On the flip side, there were quite a few losers, some more serious than others. Take a listen and let us know your thoughts!
The Longest Day in Chang'An - Ep 11: Reading Between the Lines
An esteemed general/eunuch Guo Li Shi arrives with a decree from the Emperor for Li Bi which on the surface is congratulatory but is actually filled with his displeasure. Zhang Xiao Jing enlists the help of a special Chinese dog to follow Wen Ran's scent while Wen Ran brings her captors to meet Long Bo. Tan Qi brings Zhang Xiao Jing's message to the Prince of Yong who somehow immediately follows Zhang Xiao Jing's orders.
September 2023 Chinese Drama Updates - Xiao Zhan, Esther Yu, Zhang Lin He, all lead a slate of new dramas
Ending August and starting September, we have a new slate of dramas including The Legend of Zhuo Hua starring Feng Shao Feng and Jing Tian, Love you Seven Times starring Yang Chao Yue and Ding Yu Xi, Wrong Carriage Right Groom starring Tian Xi Wei and Ao Rui Peng, Sunshine By Me starring Xiao Zhan and Bai Bai He, and My Journey To You starring Esther Yu and Zhang Lin He. Listen to our latest podcast as Cathy discusses our thoughts on them!
The Longest Day in Chang An - Ep 10: "Complete" Victory
General Cui Qi announces via the watchtowers that they had complete and total victory in eliminating all members of the wolf squad. Which is entirely untrue. Cao Po Yan and Ma Ge Er are both alive and have abducted Wen Ran to boot. Zhang Xiao Jing awakes and with Tan Qi's help, cleans up to start his second chase. Meanwhile, the news of victory is impactful both to the crown prince and the right chancellor.
In The Know - Chinese Pop Culture News - Call Me By Fire Season 3
A new season of Call Me By Fire is upon us! 32 Brothers compete to form a new boy band! In this In the Know episodes, Karen and Cathy are excited to discuss the brothers, their history in the Chinese speaking entertainment industry, and the ones we are most familiar with! We have Jimmy Lin, Nicholas Teo, Tiger Hu, Cai Guo Qing and so many more!
The Longest Day in Chang An - Ep 9: Superstar Concert
Zhang Xiao Jing is getting beaten up by the wolf squad members and figuring out how to escape while Captain Cui Qi is treated to a stunning performance by the superstar Xu He Zi who performs her rendition of the Short Ballad.
The Longest Day in Chang An - Ep 8: Old Ties
Zhang Xiao Jing has chased the wolf squad members to Xiu Zheng Fang but unexpectedly meets the young woman, Wen Ran, who seems to know too much about the Wolf Squad. Through flashbacks and also Li Bi's investigation, Zhang Xiao Jing old connections with Wen Ran's father during the military are discovered. Meanwhile, general Cui Qi is dragging his feet to help Zhang Xiao Jing while encountering a grand parade.
In The Know - Chinese Pop Culture News - Back to School!
In our latest In the Know episode, Karen and Cathy discuss the top 3 Drama and Theater Academies that have shaped the Chinese entertainment industry. Alumni from these schools have since become household names and major stars. Listen to hear about what each school is known for and why so many apply to these elite schools!
The Longest Day in Chang An - Ep 7: Upping the Ante
After an intense standoff in the last episode, in episode 7, Zhang Xiao Jing finally obtains crucial information about Long Bo and where the Wolf Squad might be hidden. The courtesan, Tong Er, who wanted to elope with her lover, is devastated to find that she is once again discarded by the man she loves. For Zhang Xiao Jing, this information comes at a cost. He can no longer rely on his old men for any information and must seek out Long Bo alone. Li Bi meanwhile stakes his own reputation and life on this mission, upping the ante for the entire Department of City Security
In The Know - Chinese Pop Culture News - Latest Chinese Slang of 2023
Do you know what Xian Yan Bao means, what about Tai Ku La, YYDS, u1s1? Listen to our latest In the know episode on the trending Chinese phrases and slang that's taking over Chinese pop culture this year! Be on the lookout for these phrases in interviews and reality shows and perhaps you'll spot them!
The Longest Day in Chang An - Ep 6: The Underground World
In episode 6 of the Longest Day in Chang'An, to find information about the token, Zhang Xiao Jing must negotiated with the leader of Chang'An's underground, a one Ge Lao. The information has a cost and Zhang Xiao Jing must decide if he will betray one of his own for the safety of all of Chang An. Listen to our latest podcast episode on this intense episode and a surprise guest appearance in the drama!
August 2023 Chinese Drama Updates - Dilraba Dilmurat, Gong Jun, Yang Zi, Cheng Yi all lead a slate of new dramas
Karen and Cathy discuss 4 new Chinese dramas currently airing in August 2023. Dilraba Dilmurat and Gong Jun headline The Legend of An Le 安乐传. Yang Zi stars in the first season of 长相思 or Lost You Forever with Tan Jian Ci, Zhang Wan Yi, and Deng Wei. Cheng Yi stars in Mysterious Lotus Casebook 莲花楼 with Zeng Shun Xi and Xiao Shun Rao. Finally, the sequel to 2019's 大宋少年志 or Yong Blood is also airing. Listen to our latest podcast to hear our initial thoughts about these dramas!
The Longest Day in Chang An - Ep 5: Expanded Threads
In episode 5 of The Longest Day in Chang'An, we're finally introduced to the mysterious Long Bo and get a good look at the woman Yu Chang. They have nefarious plans in place. Elsewhere, two women, Wen Yan and Wang Yun Xiu, are marching towards the Wolf Squad hideout hoping to capture some of them but are quickly outnumbered. Zhang Xiao Jing must find more clues and comes to the famous red light district of Ping Kang Fang. Answers do not come by easily and he must travel to the underground for more information. Listen to our latest podcast episode for more!
In The Know - Chinese Pop Culture News - What does "oily" mean in Chinese media
In this episode, we explain to you what the term “Oily” or 油腻 in Chinese media means. The reason why 油腻 or Oily is so topical is because poor Yang Yang has been blasted as 油 or greasy for his portrayal as Song Yan in Fireworks of my Heart or 我的人间烟火. Some go so far as to call him the new Oil King. Listen to our latest episode on the origins of this phrase and how it's currently used in Chinese pop culture
The Longest Day in Chang An - Ep 4: The Political Games Begin
Zhang Xiao Jing warns of an impending fire apocalypse but the political factions must weigh his words against the larger chest board at play. The battle between the Crown Prince and the Right Chancellor. Everyone has chosen a side, except for Zhang Xiao Jing but he must chose for the subjects of Chang'An instead. Listen to our latest as to how various factions react to the news and the struggle for power of Jing An Si
In The Know - Chinese Pop Culture News - Breakout Star of the Summer Wei Da xun
We’re solidly in the middle of summer and we’ve had plenty of Chinese dramas air already that were hoping to be that breakout hit of the summer. But, there has been a single person who has exploded this summer.
Who is this person? It is Wei Da Xun! He skyrocketed to popularity based his guest appearance as Meng Yan Chen in Fireworks of My Heart which stars Yang Yang and Wang Chu Ran. Listen to our latest podcast episode to find out why!
The Longest Day in Chang An - Ep 3: The Mystery of the Apocalypse
Zhang Xiao Jing chases the Wolf Squad member right into a religious ceremony. However, in the ensuing chaos, innocent bystanders and the Wolf Squad member are killed. Zhang Xiao Jing hears of a clue Que Le Huo Duo but cannot decipher it. He's quickly apprehended and sent to jail for causing this commotion, but in reality, it is to save his life from the mob. Zhang Xiao and the scholar Cheng Sen figure out the clue - an impending apocalypse. Elsewhere, we are introduced the Right Chancellor Lin Jiu Lang who clearly states that he opposes the Crown Prince.
In The Know - Chinese Pop Culture News - Coco Lee
*Note: This podcast episode contains discussions on suicide, depression and other mental health related issues. Please skip this episode if this is content that might be triggering for you.
Acclaimed singer and performer Coco Lee passed away suddenly on July 5th. It was a shock to the Chinese entertainment industry and perhaps a bigger shock to everyone when the death was ruled a suicide. Coco Lee paved a path for Asian artists over the past 30 years of her career. In this episode we discuss her career and the current aftermath of her death.
The Longest Day in Chang An - Ep 2: The Chase Begins
Zhang Xiao Jing is officially released from prison to find the missing Wolf Squad. He leverages his old spy networks to find clues about who sold the maps of Chang'An to the Wolf Squad and gives chase when he finds one in the city. In the meantime, Li Bi and the Crown Prince must plan their next move against a looming threat.
July 2023 Chinese Drama Updates - SO MANY SUMMER DRAMAS - Xiao Zhan, Angelababy, Yang Yang, Allen Ren Jia Lun, Bai Jing Ting, Zhao Lu Si + more all have new dramas out
Karen and Cathy discuss 8, yes 8, Chinese dramas currently airing in July. Xiao Zhan brings The Longest Promise or 玉骨遥. Angelababy has 2 dramas out: Twilight or 暮色心约 with Ren Jia Lun and 尘缘 Divine Destiny with Ma Tian Yu. Yang Yang stars in 我的人间烟火 or Fireworks of My Heart with his rumored real life girlfriend Wang Chu Ran. There's also Destined 长风渡 with rumored real life couple Bai Jing Ting and Song Yi, Hidden Love or 偷偷藏不住 with Zhao Lu Si, Snow Eagle Lord or 雪鹰领主 with Gu Li Na Zha and Xu Kai and 闪耀的她 or Stand or fall with Qin Lan and Wang Yang.
The Longest Day in Chang An - Ep 1pt 2: More than A Lone Wolf
The escaped member of the Wolf Squad, Cao Po Yan, murdered an elderly man who scooped him out of the river and heads to a barber to shave his beard to better escape in the crowd. Meanwhile, Zhang Xiao Jing recovers a detailed map of Chang An that the Wolf Squad were seeking, indicating a bigger plot is afoot in Chang An, bigger than just finding the lone survivor of the Wolf Squad.
In The Know - Chinese Pop Culture News - Too much Tea!
There's been a flurry of scandals these past two weeks. Pop Idol Cai Xu Kun was exposed with having slept with a fan and ordering her to get an abortion. In Taiwan, multiple celebrities including former Fahrenheit boy band member Aaron Yan have been accused of sexual assault or harassment. The 28th Chinese Television Magnolia Awards were held last week and fans were rather discontent with the winners. Listen to our latest podcast episode for the latest tea!
The Longest Day In Chang'An - Ep 1 pt 1: Welcome to Chang'An
Karen and Cathy discuss the first 20 min of episode one of The Longest Day In Chang'An. They introduce the layout of the city and how "fangs" work as well as the curfew system during the Tang dynasty. They provide an overview of how time was announced then and then introduce the main characters of Zhang Xiao Jing and Li Bi. Zhang Xiao Jing is an inmate on death row selected by Li Bi to track down a member of the Wolf Squad who escaped capture that may be intent on causing harm in Chang An.
Chinese Drama Reviews: Xiao Zhan's The Youth Memories 梦中那片海 and DiliReba's Prosecution Elite 公诉
The Chinese entertainment industry's biggest stars had dramas air in June. Xiao Zhan had success with The Youth Memories 梦中那片海 and Dilireba educated us on cybercrimes with Prosecution Elite. Karen and Cathy provide their thoughts on the drama and some ratings commentary for how these dramas performed in their initial airing periods.
The Longest Day in Chang'An 长安十二时辰- Intro to the Drama
We kick off our 4th season of Chinese history through Chinese dramas by starting our discussion of the Longest Day in Chang'An 长安十二时辰。 Based off of a 2017 book of the same name, this drama was nominated for and won numerous awards for acting, cinematography, production design among others. We provide a high level overview of the drama, discuss the setting in the Tang dynasty during Emperor Tang Xuan Zong's reign and introduce the two main leads, Lei Jia Yin and Yi Yang Qian Xi.
In The Know - Chinese Pop Culture News - Recap of Zhang Zhe Han's Downfall - Visit to a Shrine
In our latest In the Know podcast, we discuss the events that led up to the blacklist of actor Zhang Zhe Han in 2021. Fresh off his success in Word of Honor, the future was looking bright for the actor. However, photos of him visiting a Japanese shrine were uncovered in the summer of 2021. The backlash online and the government was swift and severe. He was quickly blacklisted from the Chinese entertainment industry. Listen to our latest podcast to hear the whole story.
The Story of Yanxi Palace - Wrap Up: Final Thoughts
In our wrap up episode for the Story of Yanxi Palace with the history of Fu Heng, Emperor Qian Long, and our lead Wei Ying Luo! We then discuss the impact this drama has had on our main cast including Wu Jin Yan, Charmaine Sheh, Qin Lan, Nie Yuan, and Xu Kai. Finally, we share our thoughts on our favorite characters and stories in this drama! Come listen to our final goodbye to this drama
In The Know - Chinese Pop Culture News - Popular CDramas Censored/Removed in China
As we round out our discussion on The Story of Yanxi Palace, did you know that it, along with RuYi's Love in the Palace are both actually unavailable to stream in China? Both dramas were removed and may never be available for Chinese audiences. We discuss theories on why these dramas were removed as well as a few other dramas that are still available abroad but have either been edited or removed in China.
The Story of Yanxi Palace - Ep 70: The Purged Empress
In a final confrontation on the dragon boat, the Empress Nala is dragged off after she cuts her hair as a way to curse the Empress Dowager and Emperor. The Prince of He similarly receives his just punishment for treason. As for Yuan Chun Wang? His background is finally revealed even though there are several questions that remain. We wrap up episode 70 with a plot recap and a discussion on what happened to Empress Nala in history.
June 2023 Chinese Drama Updates - Dilireba stars in Prosecution Elites while Xiao Zhan leads Where Dreams Begin; Ju Jing Yi, Vin Zhang Bin Bin and William Chan also bring new dramas
In June 2023, the Chinese entertainment megastars Dilireba 迪丽热巴 and Xiao Zhan 肖战 take over Chinese network television with separate new Chinese dramas. Re Ba plays a prosecutor in Prosecution Elites 公诉. a modern day drama about online crimes. Xiao Zhan plays a young man from Beijing in the 70s in Where Dreams Begin 梦中那片海 alongside Li Qin 李沁. Ju Jing Yi 鞠婧祎 brings a fantasy drama Hua Rong 花戎, Zhang Bin Bin and Wu Qian star in the modern day romance Here We Meet Again 三分野 and William Chan is a firefighter in A Date with the Future 照亮你。
The Story of Yanxi Palace - Ep 69: Treason on the Dragon Boat
We're nearing the final episode! On the fourth southern inspection tour, the Prince of He makes devious plans to overthrow the Emperor. The Empress, while not fully aware of his plans, agrees to play along. She believes that the Emperor has fully abandoned her. At night, rebels storm the dragon boat and a large fire breaks out. With the Emperor and Empress Dowager nowhere to be found, the Prince of He almost declares himself ruler. He is shocked to find the Emperor still alive. The Emperor coldly points out his treasonous behavior. Everyone in the room, including the Empress, is about to be betrayed by an unlikely person. Listen to our latest podcast episode!