The year 2015 is quickly coming to a close. I really can’t believe how time flies because it felt like just yesterday when everyone was celebrating the end of 2014. 2015 was a busy year for many drama fans with the airing of many big budget dramas in Asia. Let’s see what 2016 will bring. Here is my list of the top 10 upcoming dramas of 2016.
10. Ice Fantasy
Based on the Chinese novel, City of Fantasy by Guo Jing Ming, Ice Fantasy (幻城) is an epic fantasy tale about warring empires. The synopsis is already too complicated so I will let you read it on Wikipedia. The promotional visuals immediately scream The Lord of the Rings because their costumes seem like it was borrowed from the Hollywood film. Actually, Dan Hennah, the set designer for The Lord of the Rings will design the sets for this drama. Ice Fantasy may certainly be worth watching for the visuals and story.
9. Madame Antoine
Starring Han Ye-Seul and Sung Joon, Madame Antoine is about a fortune teller who claims she is spiritually connected to Madame Antoinette and dreams of having love in a romantic film. She participates in a psychological test conducted by psychotherapist, Choi Soo-Hyun, who wants to prove that true love doesn’t exist. Coincidentally, his psychological treatment center is called Madame Antoine. I enjoyed watching Han Ye-Seul in Birth of a Beauty and this looks like another fun rom-com so I’ll definitely be waiting for this! This drama airs in Korea on January 22, 2016.
8. Never Let Me Go
Based on the novel of the same name by Ishiguro Kazuo, Never Let Me Go (わたしを離さないで) is a human drama that explores the concept of love, life, and the human soul. The original story is about three children who grow up at a boarding school known as Hailsham. These children are clones and are raised as organ donors eventually to be harvested. I’m not sure how this adaptation will differ from the novel (it seems characters and location names have been changed) but I’m still excited to watch this. The drama adaptation, set to air in Japan on January 15, 2016, will star Ayase Haruka, Miura Haruma, and Mizukawa Asami. For those that cannot wait, there is a British film adaptation with the same title.
7. The Princess Weiyoung
This story is based on a Chinese novel of the same name (錦繡未央) about Princess Feng Xin Er of Northern Liang in China. She was born in February on a day of bad luck and is shunned by everyone. Her family and palace was attacked and she became the lone survivor. This seems like another palace scheming drama in which an unfortunate heroine rises up in power and takes revenge. I’m not sure when the air date is since there is little to no information about this drama.
6. The Imperial Doctress
The Imperial Doctress (女醫·明妃傳) is about a famous female doctor in the Ming Dynasty. This drama stars Cecilia Liu, Wallace Huo and Huang Xuan. This is another Tangren production who also created the hit drama Bu Bu Jing Xin. Their style of aesthetics is still present with the elegant costumes that look so refined without being too over-the-top. But I’m not sure if I can take yet another drama with Cecilia Liu as the female lead since I just watched her Sound of the Desert. This drama was originally slated for 2015 but seems to have been pushed back. The air date is now February 13, 2016 according to Viki.
Memory (기억) is about detective Park Tae-Suk who is starting to suffer from Alzheimer’s. He takes on one last case before losing his memories. This drama stars Lee Sung-Min and Kim Ji-Soo and airs in March 2016. This sounds like mystery with a touch of human drama. Sounds promising to me! I’m not familiar with most of the actors except Kim Ji-Soo who delivered a stellar performance in Women of the Sun.
This is another detective drama, actually airing before Memory beginning on January 22, 2016. Signal (시그널) is about a detective from the present who communicates with a detective from the past via walkie-talkie to solve an old and unresolved serial murder case. I think the story is based on a true serial murder case. The added time travel aspect (via communication) seems really interesting.
3. Moon Lovers
Moon Lovers is the Korean adaptation to China’s hit novel, Bu Bu Jing Xin, by author Tong Hua. The setting will be Joseon Dynasty of Korea instead of China’s Qing Dynasty. Since it is based on actual events in Chinese history about the war for the throne between brothers, how will it play out in a Korean setting? Did Korea have similar events in history? This makes me curious… They’re currently still casting but the drama is set to air in the fall of 2016.
2. Princess of Lan Ling
Not to be confused by the previous Chinese drama, Prince of Lan Ling, this one is titled Princess of Lan Ling (蘭陵王妃). But honestly, the story is pretty much the exact same! Based on an internet novel, the story is about Duan Mu Ling, a girl who is trying to track down legendary treasures that would allow its owner to reunite the country. But in the wrong hands, it would bring chaos to the world. While on her journey, she meets Prince Gao Chang Gong of Northern Qi and Prince Yu Wen Yong of Northern Zhou and falls in love. I’m trying hard not to compare this to the former drama but even the female lead slightly resembles Ariel Lin. But I’m still eager to watch this.
1. Singing All Along
And finally, the drama I’ve been waiting for since 2013! Singing All Along (I feel that’s a weird English title, but its Chinese title is 秀麗江山之長歌行) was unfortunately pushed back again and again and is now finally slated to air in June 2016. This is another palace scheming drama set in the Han Dynasty with Ruby Lin as the female lead once again (how many of these roles can she play?). What’s different this time is that her character can fight. The male lead is Yuan Hong who was in Bu Bu Jing Xin as the 13th prince. I think the story is based on a time travel novel but unfortunately, due to SARFT’s censorship rules, the plot of the drama had to be revised to exclude the time travel element.
So there you have it, my top 10 upcoming dramas for 2016. I hope they all end up as promising as they sound! There are many more upcoming dramas besides the ones listed here. What are some of your most anticipated dramas of 2016?
This article is purely of my own thoughts and opinions. Your opinions may differ. Any offense caused by my rants and ramblings is unintentional. Thank you for understanding.