Chinese culture maintains a strong sense of history. And it manifests in China’s obsession historical television dramas. Here’s is a list of historical dramas you can easily access online.
1 The King's War 楚汉传奇 (2012)
The epic war between Liu Bang and Xiang Yu produced the Han Dynasty, the most famous in Chinese history. The modern Chinese people (Han zu) and language (Han yu) derive their names from the Han Dynasty.
"The King's War" is available on Netflix. The 2012 show provides a detailed account of the period.
It was the most expensive TV show ever produced in China at the time it came out. Expect great battle scenes!
2 Story of Yan Xi Palace 延禧攻略 (2018)
Also available on Netflix, everyone was talking about this historical drama when it came out. Admittably, "Story of Yan Xi Palace" strays from history.
Still, the show depicts the manners of royals in the Qing Dynasty in great detail. Plus, the clothes and jewelry are ornate and accurate.
More importantly, it is fun to watch! With an engaging story and superb acting, this show is definitely worth your time.
3 The Era of Emperor Kangxi 康熙王朝 2001
Though an ethnic Manchurian, Kang Xi is often referenced a the greatest emperor ever. Kang Xi created an era of exuberance rarely matched by other periods in Chinese history.
"The Era of Emperor Kangxi" tells his story starting from childhood until his last moments. It can be a little difficult for Chinese learners. But it does have subtitles, so you can easily look up new words!
4 Romance of the Three Kingdoms 三国演义 （1994）
If anyone recommends a TV show from 1994, it must be really good. But this version of the "Three Kingdoms" is, in my opinion, better than all the remakes from the past three decades.
Anyone who claims to know Chinese history knows the story of the Three Kingdoms. If you're not ready to read the book, this TV show is a great alternative. It is truly a classic!
5 Ming Dynasty 1566 大明王朝1566 （2007）
Few TV shows about history win the praises of historians, and Ming Dynasty 1566 is one of them.
This drama examines the start of the Ming Dynasty's demise with historical accuracy. It may not be the most entertaining show ever, but it is a true feast for history nerds.