Ten Best Chinese TV Sitcoms

While most people would readily think of martial arts when it comes to Chinese TV Shows, the truth is that some of the best small screen programming to have come out of China are sitcoms that aren't dependent on people flying and beating each other up. Here are 10 that you really need to try out:

#1 - I Love My Home (Wo Ai WoJia) 1993-1994

Short Synopsis

It was the first Chinese situational comedy to air in mainland China and it ran for 120 episodes. The story revolved around a family with six members, their neighbors, and life in the mainland in general. Each episode was tightly written like a skit, and injected with a lot of humor.

You should watch it because:

  • It was directed by Ying Da, who is considered the godfather of Chinese sitcom
  • While it is incredibly funny, the sitcom also dealt with serious emotional content.
  • This was one of the best-casted sitcoms in China, with all of the actors having strong theatrical experience.

#2 - My Fair Princess (Huan Zhu GeGe) 1998-1999

Short Synopsis

This is about a street girl named Xiao Yan Zi who gets mistaken for another girl and somehow ends up as a princess. The storyline involves her getting used to the palace life, falling in love, and even making enemies with the Empress. The whole time, she also attempts to correct the mix up by trying to give back the title to the right girl, who also happens to be her sworn sister.

You Should Watch It Because:

  • This is considered as the first commercially successful sitcom in the Chinese language. It was a big hit in East and Southeast Asia.
  • You’re bound to enjoy watching it, especially if you like romance.
  • The period costumes are amazing.
  • The cast is really good.

#3 - My Own Swordsman (2006)

Short Synopsis

This Mainland martial arts sitcom which ran for 80 episodes revolved around the people of Tongfu Inn in the town of Qixia during the Ming Dynasty. The innkeeper and the people working at the inn struggle with the town’s redevelopment. Aside from dealing with a corrupt government official who threatens to buy up all the properties in the area, they also have to deal with their own personal problems.

You Should Watch It Because:

  • The martial arts bits are quite impressive. You’ll understand how these fight scenes are choreographed like a dance once you watch it.
  • The content is not shallow and the drama, quite well-written.
  • It’s a glimpse of the Ming Dynasty for the “commoners”.

#4 - It Started with a Kiss (2005-2006)

Short Synopsis

This is a love story between an intellectually-challenged high school girl named Xian Qin who has a crush on a boy genius named Jiang ZhiShu. Xian Qin confesses her feelings to ZhiShu one afternoon, but the latter just embarrassed her in front of their schoolmates because he didn’t feel the same way about her, and thought of her as the dumbest person he has ever met. That same afternoon, Xian Qin’s house is ruined by an earthquake, and by a twist of fate, she lives with Jiang ZhiShu and his family.

You should watch this because:

  • It’s a feel-good sitcom and is bound to entertain you with the classic storyline
  • The story is light without being too shallow.
  • It’s a well-casted sitcom and the actors are bound to leave you with a light and fluffy feeling after watching each episode.

#5 - Home with Kids (2004-2007)

Short Synopsis

The plot runs close to the American sitcom Growing Pains and is considered a milestone in Chinese sitcoms because it’s the first one that allowed child actors to take center stage. This sitcom lets audiences have a glimpse of how life is for families of divorcee parents who decide to get married.

You should watch this because:

  • It’s very funny and relatable.
  • The child actors and actresses are pretty good.
  • It’s a feel-good sitcom that might reflect your current situation.

#6 - Let’s Get Married (2012)

Short Synopsis

The couple Guo Dong Dong and Lulu has been going out for four years, and Guo Dong Dong wanted to plan an elaborate proposal for his bride-to-be, if she says yes. However, the plan goes amiss, and being naturally clumsy and awkward, he actually manages to trigger misunderstandings and hurt feelings between the two of them. The sitcom runs on this premise, and leaves the audience wondering if these two will even end up married in the end or not.

You should watch this because:

  • The soundtrack is very enjoyable.
  • It’s very contemporary and if you like modern romantic comedies in general, then you are bound to like this one.
  • It’s sentimental but not sappy.

#7 - Noble Bride: Regretless Love (2014)

Short Synopsis

Imagine three generations of ultra-rich families pining for the same top spot and you’ll get the gist of what this Chinese sitcom is all about. It was a bit beat up by the critics, but widely accepted, and even celebrated at times by the public. If it doesn’t resonate your current situation, it will probably reflect your dreams of becoming one of the ultra-rich.

You should watch this because:

  • There’s a reason why the public loves it so much, and that could be any number of reasons including having the right tone, or having really good-looking actors. Whatever it is, you will enjoy it.
  • You’ll be engaged in this sitcom whether you like it or not.
  • The actors really are good-looking in this one.

#8 - Little Daddy (2013)

Short Synopsis

This is about a child’s journey to China in search of his father. The child, Summer, lost his mother to a car accident, so he decided to go to China in search of Yuguo, who is an auto mechanic. One day, Yuguo receives a call to pick up a woman at the airport, only to find Summer there claiming to be his son.

You should watch this because

  • You will find it easy to empathize with the characters, despite the highly comic content.
  • You’ll find the series easy on the eyes.
  • It reflects life right now, which is a good thing for fans of slice-of-life series. The premise is small but meaningful.
  • The child actor shows a lot of promise, and if he gets famous one day, at least you can say that you watched one of his first sitcoms.

#9 - Hot Mom (2013)

Short Synopsis

This sitcom stars Sun Li as Xia Bing, a careless youth who suddenly finds herself catapulted into motherhood. This sitcom deals with the challenges she faces in her new life. The character still looks fabulous, though.

You should watch this because:

  • It’s a light comic sitcom that’s bound to help you relax after a long day at school or work.
  • The clothes worn by the lead character are amazing.
  • This sitcom is bound to attract the youngest generation of C-drama fans because of its premise and the characterization of the protagonist.
  • If you’re in the same boat, you might find this series pretty inspiring.

#10 - The Legend of Lu Zhen (2013)

Short Synopsis

This period sitcom is very controversial as it talks about the life of a female prime minister, Lu Zhen. It’s also a high-risk sitcom, considering the growing popularity of C-dramas which deal with the here and now. The sitcom deals with Lu Zhen’s adventures as she enters a predominantly-male institution during the Qi Dynasty, and while it involves a love story between her and the Prince, it’s quite empowering for women everywhere.

You should watch this because:

  • It screams “Girl Power!” and you would find yourself cheering for the protagonist every step of the way.
  • The costumes and backdrops are amazing.
  • It’s a period piece, which means that a lot of money and effort have been spend on putting up the production. There are a lot of things to enjoy in that sort of show.
  • If you’re a history buff, this is a nice series to watch. It might not be precise because it is fiction, after all, but it’s still an interesting show to watch.

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