Amid a film industry crackdown, the historically detailed Tang Dynasty epic is this summer’s breakout title.
As we’ve reported over the last few months, quite a few Chinese films have been pulled from major international film festivals or abruptly cancelled before hitting domestic theaters, with “market needs” or “technical difficulties” typically given as a dubious explanation. During this bleak stretch for the Chinese film industry, TV and web series have filled the entertainment gap, despite some obstacles. Now that June has passed and the “costume drama ban” announced in March has fallen away, dozens of costume series — some based on actual history, some fantasy — have burst onto the scene (and screens) this summer.
Among the currently airing series, The Longest Day in Chang’an — a co-production between streaming giant Youku, Liu Bai Entertainment and Yuyue Film Company — has emerged as the audience favorite. The show’s success is due to the surprisingly good acting skills of TFBoy Jackson Yee, an intense storyline adapted from historic novelist Ma Boyong’s popular original text, and a higher public awareness of the manners and fashions of the Tang Dynasty (618-907 CE), during which the story takes place.
The 48-episode series is set in the Tang capital of Chang’an (known today as Xi’an), during the most prosperous and cosmopolitan period in China’s imperial history. The plot revolves around imprisoned former detective Zhang Xiaojing (played by Lei Jiayin) and Taoist priest Li Bi (played by Yee), who team up to stop a terrorist attack on the city on the eve of Lantern Festival. Continue to read more about the hit web series on RADII.
The Longest Day in Chang’an is also streaming on Amazon Prime.
– This article originally appeared on radiichina.com.