With Chinese New Year celebrations kicking off around the country this week, we’ve gathered together a list of our favourite Chinese television series and movies to watch on Telstra TV. From jaw-dropping martial art skills to addictive dramas that’ll have you binging the night away, here’s six titles you won’t want to miss.
Story of the Yanxi Palace – Drama (Rakuten Viki)
Officially the most searched television series on Google in 2018, STORY OF THE YANXI PALACE on Viki has gained enormous popularity worldwide – with over 15 billion streams to date. The hugely popular series is set in 18th Century Beijing during Qian Long’s reign, and follows the journey of a palace maid as she ventures to the Forbidden City to investigate the mystery surrounding her sister’s murder and bring justice to the killer. Encountering political battles for power, ruthless backstabbing within the palace and struggles with crime and romance, prepare yourself for endless drama in this brilliant series that should be next on your watch-list.
Meteor Garden (Netflix)
There’s no shortness of coming-of-age series gracing our screens right now, but this highly popular Chinese drama deserves all the recognition it’s gained worldwide, with everything you’d expect from a high school rom-com, and more. METEOR GARDEN, available to binge on Netflix, focuses on the life of poor but highly intelligent student Dong Shancai who’s facing enormous hurdles both socially and financially. Determined to get into her dream university, she is thrown a curveball as she encounters a group of wealthy, entitled bullies who risk jeopardising her educational and romantic opportunities.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (BigPond Movies)
Raking in four Oscars at its release in 2000, this classic Chinese blockbuster has gained massive recognition worldwide as one of the highest-grossing foreign language films in US history. Featuring an all-star cast, including Crazy Rich Asian’s Michelle Yeoh, the film begins in 18th Century China during the Qing Dynasty, where a magical jade sword goes missing that kicks off an epic tale of betrayal, secret love interests, powerful martial art fights and entertaining fantasy scenes. If you’re yet to watch the powerful CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON, catch it on BigPond Movies this Chinese New Year.
Ip Man (Netflix)
This powerful biography is based on the fascinating life of martial arts grandmaster, Ip Man – the trainer responsible for growing and shaping Bruce Lee’s iconic skills. Set in the 1930s, IP MAN on Netflix touches on the Japanese invasion that saw his family losing most of their wealth, forcing him to prioritise teaching as workers ask for self-defence advice from the dangerous gangs that threaten their safety. Content with staying out of the limelight, the action-packed film shows how Ip Man was thrust into the public focus after pressure from kung fu opponents determined to improve their own reputation – but he continues to come off on top.
Kung Fu Jungle (SBS On Demand)
In this brilliant martial arts film, Hong Kong legend Donnie Yen stars as a talented and strong self-defence instructor who is convicted for manslaughter after accidentally killing a man. But when a dangerous killer starts targeting Kung Fu masters and threatens the women in his life, he offers police much-needed assistance in exchange for having his name cleared. KUNG FU JUNGLE on SBS On Demand is a welcome mix of mind-blowing martial arts moves and a thrilling fight for justice, perfect for a night in on the couch.
Ashes of Love (Rakuten Viki)
It’s unsurprising this romantic fantasy series has gathered a huge following all over the globe, with addictively dramatic storylines complemented by a stunning pastel hue providing the ultimate escapism after a long week at work. ASHES OF LOVE, available on both Viki and Netflix, follows the complex life of a frost flower fairy who is unable to experience emotions, but after becoming caught up in a love triangle with two powerful deities, she is forced to learn about love, loss and revenge. If soap operas are your thing, this powerful series is sure to have you hooked as the main characters experience everything from death and betrayal to blossoming love interests.
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