鬓边不是海棠红 Winter Begonia is a Chinese drama on air around March to April. It has been my lockdown drama apart from The World of the Married. You can find it on Youtube (Australia) and it has English subtitle for the 49 episodes.
This drama is about a peking opera singer, Shang xinrui. He is a brilliant peking opera performer who loves to changed the story to suit his understanding of the characters and he is also well-known to reform the tradition in peking opera because he feels performing his own story.
He made friend with a wealthy businessman, Cheng Fengtai. The two became friends in the Beiping during 1930s where China was having internal war between the communists and nationalist. Also, at the time, Japan has slowly invaded China.
Yu Zheng, the producer is also a producer of the Palace of Yanxi which was made famous in 2019. I do not personally like him after seeing his interview, he sounded very arrogant as a man and has put down Ru Yi’s Royal Love in the Palace. I personally like Ru Yi more than Yanxi because it was more real where as Yanxi to me is just a comedy. In saying that, I have to say Yu Zheng does have eyes because both were adapted from novels and the costumes and musical teams have again done an extremely a great job.
The only thing might be a bit hard for people, in the novel Shang and Cheng have a love relationship but due to China homophobic banned, the TV show only showed friendship. However, you do pick up the special relationship between the twos.
I do think this show might be hard for general public due to a lot of opera’s musics and it does differ from people in receiving them. to accept but give it a go, it is worth to watch and the story is great. I personally love Yin Zheng, Shang Xirui’s character and performance. He is not a young actor anymore but this show has made him so well known and well deserved popularity.
My only complaint about most of the Chinese tv serial is too long. Almost feel like, they dragged it on purpose to made it over 40 episodes or more. I personally would prefer shorter TV series hence those short series on Netflix are gunned for me.
Hope you like the show