Led by heartthrobs Wang Yibo 王一博 (of Korean-Chinese boyband UNIQ) and Xiao Zhan 肖战 (of fellow idol group X NINE), Tencent’s The Untamed has been one of the biggest TV hits of the summer in China — and now it’s coming to Netflix.
As we noted in our previous story on the big streaming wins over the summer months, The Untamed actually “started off with a low rating on Douban, but reached high numbers by the end of [its run] thanks to delicate art design and quality storytelling.”
Named 陈情令 Chén Qínglìng in Chinese, the show is adapted from a popular novel and animated series, and sees Wang and Xiao playing mystical “cultivators” from two different worlds thrust together to solve a series of murder mysteries. There are plenty of BL (“boy love”) overtones and the series has undoubtedly benefited from the star power of its two male leads, though they have also split opinion at times with rival fan groups supposedly posting false information about each other’s idols in order to smear them.
The Untamed will drop on Netflix on Friday 25 October.
The following week, on Thursday 31 October, the streaming giant will release it’s first Chinese-language original series, Nowhere Man. The Taiwanese production follows a prisoner on death row, A Quan (played by Joseph Chang), who is portrayed in multiple timelines through his dreams recalling the scene of his crime. He finds a way to break out of prison after his wife (played by Alyssa Chia), asks him to do so to exchange his life for that of their son, who has been taken hostage.
Though it’s the first Mandarin Netflix original, Nowhere Man is not the first Chinese-language series produced by foreign companies. Earlier this year, a co-production between HBO Asia and Taiwan Public Television Service, The World Between Us, earned exceptionally high ratings throughout Chinese review sites, later scoring a re-release in Mainland China on Tencent Video. The ten-episode series focuses on the aftermath of several groups of people involved in an indiscriminate, mass killing. The leading actress in The World Between Us was also Alyssa Chia, who won Best Actress at this years’ Golden Bell Awards for her role.
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We don’t yet know what HBO Asia’s next project will be, but there are two more Mandarin-language Netflix original series scheduled to begin airing within a few months of Nowhere Man: Triad Princess and The Ghost Bride.
By Fan Shuhong and Jake Newby.
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