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New Chinese drama ‘Legend of Fu Yao’ sees sharp contrast in domestic and overseas reviews

New Chinese drama ‘Legend of Fu Yao’ sees sharp contrast in domestic and overseas reviews

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New Chinese drama ‘Legend of Fu Yao’ sees sharp contrast in domestic and overseas reviews

(Global Times) New TV drama Legend of Fu Yao, starring well-known Chinese actress Yang Mi and actor Ruan Jingtian, has seen mixed reactions among audiences both in China and abroad since it debuted on June 18.

Airing on Zhejiang Television and, a major video streaming platform in China, the period fantasy show tells the story of Fu Yao, a young woman from the bottom rung of society who experiences all kinds of hardships as she adventures through dangerous and surprising foreign lands.

The TV series is based on a Chinese novel that has large fan base in the country. The first episode received more than 300 million views within a few hours of its debut. However, while viewership has been high, reviews have been harsh. Currently the show holds only a 4.8/10 on Douban, a major Chinese media review platform.

Criticism of the show has mainly focused on what viewers consider cliché plots and a “Mary Sue” protagonist. Other viewers have taken issue with storylines that they feel are very “similar” to those found in the novel Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

Despite the wide criticism at home, the show has had quite the opposite reception overseas. The drama is currently one of the top popular Chinese shows on, an online platform where Asian TV shows with multi-language subtitles are available. The show has a high grade of 9.7/10, the same as that of the hugely popular 2015 historical drama Nirvana in Fire. Praise and applause for the show have filled the comment section on the platform. 

“She [the main character Yang Mi] is perfect here with just the right mix of playfulness, intelligence, charm, skill and beauty. Wonderful performance that easily reminds me of her star turn in Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms,” netizen bailey1 commented in a post that has received 196 likes.

“Everything in this drama works so well and I wish it could go on forever,” commented another netizen gabbi_watches_dramas.

The show has also made it to the pages of overseas media outlets. The Daily Pakistan has reported that the show has garnered “appreciation in Pakistan,” while calling the show “a wonderful presentation of Chinese characteristics. Each scene in it looks like a Chinese ink painting.”

However, despite divided reviews, the show’s popularity remains high both at home and abroad.

China’s unique Xianxia (Lit: immortal hero) dramas, which feature a mix of Chinese martial arts and mythology, have been drawing in a growing number of overseas fans in recent years with their imaginative plots and fantastical worlds. 

Shows such as Nirvana in Fire, The Journey of Flowers, Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms and Noble Aspirations have gained large numbers of fans overseas, along with the original novels on which these dramas are based. Stars in those shows, including Wang Kai, Yang Mi and Zhao Liying, have also earned themselves loyal fan bases outside of China.

The high reviews overseas is possibly the result of this combination of “Xianxia fever” and strong support from overseas fans of these Chinese stars.

Source: Global Times by He Keyao 

Source: CEN
New Chinese drama ‘Legend of Fu Yao’ sees sharp contrast in domestic and overseas reviews