Sequel to hit TV drama about Chinese youth draws huge interest among viewers
Published: Aug 11, 2022 11:38 PM
Lin Miaomiao (left) and Qian Sanyi Photo: Courtesy of Tencent Video
Lin Miaomiao (left) and Qian Sanyi

News of a follow up to the hit 2019 Chinese TV drama Growing Pain about campus life and family relationships caused a huge amount of excitement on social media, as the high quality of the first season had drawn loyal viewers of different ages.

Growing Pain 2 came out in the 2022 summer vacation, with Chinese audiences eager to find out what happened to the four young people in their careers and how they got on with their parents and lovers.

"The script has been developed since 2019," Ren Shuangyou, chief producer of the series, told the Global Times, noting that they felt a lot of pressure because of the success of the first season.

The first series focused on four Chinese high school students, including Lin Miaomiao (Zhao Jinmai) and Qian Sanyi (Guo Junchen), who faced challenges and pressure from exams as they tried to get into university.

Under the pressure of getting into university, the four teenagers especially Lin develop tighter relations with their parents. Lin's mother Wang Shengnan even decided to move house so that Lin could go to school more easily, and she urged her to study hard.

The genuine family stories and emotions of the characters won many plaudits for the series.

In the sequel, the four teenagers have graduated from university and found jobs, bringing them a new round of challenges.

The sequel aims for a broader range of themes, covering the family, workplace, social life and other aspects, even including domestic violence and the difficulties women face in the workplace.

The production team selected different professions according to the four roles' characteristics and background, Ren said. For instance, Lin loved literature at school so she found a job in the media and Jiang Tianhao became a young entrepreneur who started his business and experienced various failures.

The sequel also tries to flesh out other characters in the show, and through Lin it tells the stories of many ordinary people who are easily overlooked in daily life, including delivery workers and urban cleaning staff.

Ren said that the production team has been carefully considering about how to connect with social issues and reflect real life. 

Besides the main young characters, middle-aged people are not overlooked in the sequel. Lin's mom experiences bias in the workplace because of her age and the need to look after her family, and Lin's boss experiences domestic violence from her husband.

Ren talked about how to balance the stories of younger and older generations in the series, saying that intergenerational communication and two-way growth have always been at the heart of the series.

"Young people leave the campus and enter society with new challenges to face, while middle-aged people face greater pressure and responsibilities. Although they struggle in different ways, they help each other," the producer noted.