July 8, 2006

1980s Hong Kong Drama Series

To someone like me who grew up on a staple of Hong Kong TVB and ATV drama serials throughout the late 70s and 80s, drama serials from that period will always be THE quintessential Chinese drama serial - btw, Chinese drama serials, unlike soap operas or drama series in the States, are mostly only about 20 to 50 episodes long and usually have a clearly defined beginning and end. Although if the drama is very popular, they may make a sequel with a new story that is also about the same number of episodes - Somehow Chinese TV dramas from later periods do not have the same impact on me as those from that period although there were some that were very good as well.

It could be that the actors and actresses from that golden period of the Hong Kong TV industry were extremely charismatic and talented. Some of these actors, including Chow Yun Fatt, Andy Lau and Tony Leung Chiu Wai, subsequently ventured into movies with phenominal success that until now have not been surpassed by their successors. It also helped that drama serials from that period usually had such unique themes and strong storylines that subsequent movies and drama serials frequently copied from them.

Some of the dramas that made an impact on me include The Bund (a gangland drama set in Shanghai in the 1920s that starred Chow Yun Fatt), Looking Back In Anger, Duke of Mount Deer (with Andy Lau and Tony Leung) and The Condor Heroes among others. These drama serials were so good that I will definitely watch them a second or third time if given a chance :-) Btw, if you are interested in finding out more info on these drama serials, reviews can be found on http://www.spcnet.tv.

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