7 Chinese TV Dramas You Can’t Miss – Historical #1 (2011-2017)

If you have been learning Chinese for many years, do you have one favourite Chinese TV show? If not, today’s article will give you a list of top 7 Chinese HISTORICAL TV dramas. If you are interested in Chinese history or ancient Chinese culture, it is also worth reading it!  😀



#1 三生三世十里桃花 (2017)To the Sky Kingdom

Sānshēng Sānshì Shílǐ Táohuā


If you like romance, you cannot miss this drama! It mainly talked about the love and the hate story between the fox goddess Bai Qian and the Prince of the nine heavens Ye Hua over their three lives. It is undeniable that the costumes in this show are the most beautiful and elegant among most Chinese dramas. It is ranked number 1 in both the Weibo (one of the most popular social media in China) and Baidu ‘most popular’ lists.



#2 芈月传(2015)The Legend of Mi Yue

Mǐyuè Zhuàn


‘The Legend of Mi Yue’ tells the story of the first influential stateswoman of China, who lived over 2000 years ago. The drama details her turbulent life, as Mi Yue becomes a concubine, gets separated her from first love Huang Xie, is banished, and eventually rises to power as the first Empress Dowager in China’s history.

The role of Mi Yue is played by renowned actress Sun Li (孙俪), who is one of my favourite Chinese actresses. ❤️



#3 琅琊榜 (2015)Nirvana in Fire

Lángyá Bǎng

‘Nirvana in Fire’ takes place in the early sixth century China. The story revolves around Lin Shu, the only son of General Lin Xie who was massacred during the war against the Liang force. Lin Shu escapes from death, he changed his face and name, does all he can to seek justice for him and his family.

One of my favourite Chinese dramas, highly recommend!❤️



#4 太子妃升职记(2015)Go Princess go

Tàizǐfēi shēngzhí jì

If you want to relax, this drama is for you! I watched it just for fun, and it relieves my stress effectively.  😎 

A modern playboy who travels back in time 1,000 years and finds himself in the body of a royal princess. A straight man inside a woman’s body, he enjoys flirting with his husband’s concubines and touching their bodies with impunity. But after discovering his more feminine side, he truly falls in love with his husband…



#5 武媚娘传奇(2014) The Empress of China

Wǔmèiniáng Chuánqí


If you are interested in the history of the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907). You should not miss it! The drama demonstrates the whole life of the only orthodox female emperor in Chinese history.

During Tang Dynasty’s 2nd reign, Wu Ruyi enters the palace at age 14 as an innocent Cairen (Talented Lady) and aspires to serve Emperor Taizong as his consort. The Emperor Taizong soon takes notice of her and falls in love with her, inciting many to grow jealous of her. They set out to destroy her numerous times by falsely accusing her of theft, murder and treachery. She survives by her wits and intelligence…

If you like Fan Bingbing, you should also watch this drama! ❤️



#6 甄嬛传 (2011) The Legend of Zhen Huan

Zhēnhuán Zhuàn

The story takes place in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912). Zhen Huan (甄嬛), an innocent 17-year-old girl is chosen for the Emperor’s harem. However, she quickly finds herself caught in the fierce infighting between the Empress and the concubines…



#7 步步惊心 (2011) Startling by Each Step

Bù bu jīng xīn


This is a time-travel TV series. Zhang Xiao(张晓), a young woman from the 21st century, suffers a near-fatal accident that sends her back in time to the Qing Dynasty during the Kangxi (康熙) Emperor’s reign. She finds herself trapped in the body of one of her previous incarnations: Ma’ertai Ruoxi (若曦), the teenage daughter of a Manchu general…


Well, what’s your favourite Chinese historical TV drama? 🙂

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Hi Ling,
Of course, my favorite TV drama is the story of 李香蘭 (Li Xiang Lan) !
In 1989, a joint Chinese/Japanese production was made. You can see the
opening credits of the four hour long show in this video:

all the other videos in the series are shown here: