Chinese TV series ‘The Story of Ming Lan’ becomes another ‘Story of Yanxi Palace’ after US debut
Published: May 11, 2020 08:33 PM

Promotion material for The Story of Minglan Photo: IC

Chinese TV drama The Story of Ming Lan, set during the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279), has debuted in the US following broadcasts in countries such as Japan, South Korea and Canada, becoming another channel to spread traditional Chinese culture.

The reception of the TV drama has been approaching the level of another popular Chinese period drama, The Story of Yanxi Palace. Set during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), Yanxi Palace was the most googled TV show of 2018.

Chinese netizens were proud to hear that the drama was being broadcast on AATTV, the only Chinese television station in the US state of Washington. The hashtag "The Story of Ming Lan airing in the US" has been viewed 220 million times as of Monday afternoon on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo.

"I am impressed with the vivid characters, wonderful plots and delicate traditional costumes in the drama. The series even recreated banquets and a wedding ceremony of the Southern Song Dynasty, so I think overseas audiences will be able to better understand Chinese culture through this brilliant work," a netizens commented on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo.

Promotional material for Story of Yanxi Palace Photo: IC

 According to some 30-second trailers released on AATTV, the drama has been airing on the channel since April 1.

The TV series of 78 episodes, starring Zhao Liying and Feng Shaofeng, tells the story of a woman's growth from an unloved daughter to an influential figure in her family. During the process, the lead character finds her true love and builds a happy family with her lover.

The Story of Ming Lan premiered on Hunan TV in December 2018 and has been viewed more than 11 billion times online in China. It was then broadcast in overseas in countries including Japan, Canada and Singapore with local language subtitles. 

"Through the release on Chinese TV stations in these countries, the TV drama has gained influence and reputation among overseas Chinese," Shi Wenxue, a cultural critic and a teacher at the Beijing Film Academy, told the Global Times on Monday.

 Yanxi Palace was also broadcast in more than 70 countries globally. Shi said such films and TV shows featuring Chinese culture and history have found success overseas because they can ease the homesickness of overseas Chinese and satisfy the curiosity of other overseas audiences.