hi! Can u give me some cdrama recommendations? Preferably historical and/or fantasy lol thanks
I love you, Anon!
All of these should be easily found with English subs, but if you are having trouble, message me. As you will see, I am fond of a decent amount of romance, and am a fangirl for some actors more than others. Plus, they are all (IMO) good entry points. I put in a MV for each.
Bu Bu Jing Xin/Startling By Each Step
To watch if you like beautiful visuals, time travel, heroines that grow, tragedies, romance.
Not to watch if you don’t like Qing hairstyles, slow pace, heroine loving more than one man in the course of the drama.
Eternal Love/Three Lives Three Worlds Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms
To watch if you like beautiful visuals, a lot of sort-of reincarnation, all-consuming romance, high fantasy and mythology.
Not to watch if you don’t like really slow starts, a lot of CGI, heroines that can be immature.
General and I
To watch if you like beautiful visuals (notice a theme?), a romance novel in period cdrama form, very competent leads in an enemies to lovers storyline, angst.
Not to watch if you don’t like long dramas, lengthy OTP separations, unrealistic medical conditions (welcome to wuxia! :P)
Gong/Palace/Jade Palace Lock Heart
To watch if you like beautiful visuals (notice a theme?), time travel, comedy, romance with a hero obsessed with heroine, seeing Boys Over Flowers in period form.
Not to watch if you hate Qing hairstyles, some goofiness, heroine spending early chunk of drama in love with someone else, a little bit of cartoonishness.
To watch if you like beautiful visuals (arguably most beautiful drama I’ve seen, design-wise), high fantasy, heroic quests, brotherly love, something that looks like a Tolkien AU, BAMF heroines, multiple romances, fairy tales.
Not to watch if you don’t like - major wigs and costumes, a certain simplicity that comes from fairy tale frame up, plot holes.
Lan Ling Wang/Prince of Lan Ling
To watch if you like romance novels in period form, killer dudes with long hair who are putty in hands of tiny heroines, married couples in love, evil harem intrigue, defying fate, masks and rose petals.
Not to watch if you don’t like stories that lack political complexity and look like shoujo manga come to life.
Legend of Condor Heroes 2008 version
To watch if you like wuxia, cool OTPs, smart heroines, a tragic antihero, fights fights fights.
Not to watch if you don’t like magic, crazy medicine, secondary characters in some insane make up.
To watch if you like something shorter than your usual cdrama, fantasy, romance, people with wings.
Not to watch if you don’t like a strong case of what looks like BDSM fixation on part of the writer, a bit of childishness, and an ending that is polarizing (fair warning - I am in the tiny minority who was OK with it.)
The Glamorous Imperial Concubine/Qing Shi Huang Fei
To watch if you like female centric stories, messed up love stories, evil families, secondary guys who are unhealthy intense but magnetic, a lot of hurt/comfort, arc where heroine goes from disney princess to cynical BAMF.
Not to watch if you don’t like family intrigue, messed up male leads, crazy secondaries.
Return of Condor Heroes 2006 version
To watch if you like wuxia, truly jaw-dropping visuals, beautiful deadly people madly in forbidden love (sometimes the whole drama feels like a cinematic swoon), battles. My first cdrama that got me hooked.
Not to watch if you don’t want to skip the first two-three eps (which are awful), are not OK with certain fairy tale logic.
Strange Hero Yi Zi Mei/Vigilantes in Masks
To watch if you like Robin Hood stories, fights, heroes who climb out of pit of self-loathing slowly, self-contained arcs.
Not to watch if you don’t like love stories that are secondary, mysteries.
To watch if you want a popcorn procedural about Ming constables who solve crimes and fall in love, some pretty fights, werewolves, awesome girl melting angsty cold jerk lead, multiple love stories.
Not to watch if you want some spectacular acting or deep plot.
To watch if you are like me and this is your number 1 drama ever. OK, seriously, if you like time travel, moral dilemmas, best hero ever, battles, tragedy, amazing character arcs. SERIOUSLY THE WAY EVERYONE ELSE FEELS ABOUT NIRVANA IN FIRE, I FEEL ABOUT THE MYTH.
Not to watch if you don’t want to be an ugly sobbing wreck. OK, and also if you want romance be number 1 (it’s in there and awesome but secondary) and also I skipped the modern storyline so no idea if it’s good but the period part of the drama is THE BEST THING EVER EVER EVER EVER.
The Young Warriors/Young Warriors of the Yang Clan
To watch if you like battles, a super cool family of fighters with their own personalities and issues, many love stories.
Not to watch if you don’t like ugly hats, a little bit older dramas, and disgustingly thorough heart crushing.
Three Kingdoms (2010 version)
To watch if you want a crazy smart political drama with complex characters, many battles, and political manipulation.
Not to watch if you don’t want a 90+ ep drama that spans a hundred years, has very few women and only one love story of note.
Pls note I did not list any drama set in the 20th century as not sure if it qualified as historical under your standards.