Are you learning Chinese and looking for TV shows to binge? Looking to test your Mandarin Chinese listening comprehension skills? Inspired by the article on Chinese Movies for Chinese Learners, I have compiled a list of a few Chinese TV series I found to be both entertaining and enriching for language learners. Better get that Pleco app ready because you’re going head first into language immersion.
Idol Producer (偶像练习生)
Stream in Chinese on iQiYi
Have you ever heard of Nine Percent? Nine Percent is one of the most popular Chinese pop (CPop) boy groups in China alongside TFBoys and several others. Nine Percent was formed through a competition where 100 Chinese idol trainees competed to debut in a group of nine, hence the name Nine Percent. Idol Producer is a music survival show where CPop trainees compete to debut as a boy group with the other top trainees. Idol Producer is not your One Direction/Fifth Harmony out of X-Factor type of show. This is a hilarious, heartwrenching and completely addictive show that will keep you on your toes. Please, do yourself a favor and watch this show! Worst case scenario, you find an artist that you love. Even if they are voted off of the show, I found myself following their music career! You can find this information on iQiYi!
Rap of China (中国新说唱)
Stream in Chinese on iQiYi
I would be lying if I said I didn’t fangirl throughout this whole show. Super talented rappers from all over China (including foreigners, may I add) compete to find the best rapper in China. Both Chinese and foreign participants compete to be named the best rapper in China. Trainers include successful artists such as G.E.M., Kris Wu, and even Jackson Wang makes a guest appearance. Full of performances and lighthearted fun, Rap of China is definitely highly ranked on my list of TV series to binge. Hey, you’ll even catch some English in the raps. If you are an intermediate to advanced learner of Chinese, you will find this to be a perfect show to test your understanding. As a result, you will even pick up some Chinese slang! You can find Rap of China on iQiYi.
Love O2O (微微一笑倾城)
Stream in Chinese on Viki
Highly considered for its mixture of historical fantasy, action, and romance, Love O2O is a loveable Chinese drama for its plot AND consequently its fair share of cringe. Love O2O is a story about a couple overcoming several obstacles as they fall in love through online gaming. I certainly found this show to be entertaining. I even went as far as to put the show on my list of “Shows to Watch with Language Partners.” Maybe I’ll show Love O2O in “Live Action Fanfiction” watch parties (premiering soon). Love O2O will melt your heart. I love Love O2O so I … Love O2O. Above all, with thirty 45 minute-long episodes, you will find this show to be substantial enough to be binge worthy. So, check it out on Viki!
Keep Running (奔跑吧)
Stream in Chinese on YouTube
Keep Running was previously changed from Hurry Up, Brother (奔跑吧兄弟) or Running Man China, which may sound familiar to avid consumers of Korean entertainment. Keep Running is a comedy show that first aired in China in 2014. I had to admit several times that I did not understand Chinese humor when I was in China, however this show is what I call global funny. In short, the show is ridiculous in the best ways. I love this show. Take it from me, you certainly want to give this show a chance. You can find episodes of Keep Running on YouTube under the original title, Running Man China.
Do you want to speak Mandarin Chinese with native speakers in your area? Are you ready to take the next steps in your language learning journey? Your next language partner could be right around the corner! So, make sure to schedule a lex and meet language exchange partners in your local area!