10 of the Must-Watch Chinese Shows on Netflix (BONUS: Youtube)

10 of the Must-Watch Chinese Shows on Netflix (BONUS: Youtube)

If you’re looking for more reasons to just Netflix and Chill, you came to the right place! Watching Mandarin shows on Netflix is not only for entertainment; it can supplement your Chinese language learning.

No matter your learning style, these best Chinese shows on Netflix are a great way to learn Chinese. 

Thanks to the internet, there are many Chinese resources and watching Chinese shows and films is included.

In this article, we’ll share our favorite Mandarin shows on Netflix to binge-watch.

Want to memorize Chinese characters faster? 💡
Pandanese employs spaced repetition, mnemonics, and gamification to teach you 6,000 Mandarin vocabulary and hanzi.

The Best Chinese shows on Netflix in the US

1. Empresses in the Palace 

 Empress in the Palace Trailer

Historical dramas are all the rage right now in Chinese media. And the Empress in the Palace is praised as one of the best C-dramas in mainland China as this drama will transport you back to the lavish royal life and the imperial Chinese harem system. 

It is set during the Qing period as it chronicles the tale of Zhen Huan, a stunning concubine who must ascend her status up to as emperor’s favorite and become the most powerful concubine in the dynasty. 

This series will keep you on the edge of your seat from all the dynasty's palace design, plot, and drama. Not to mention, be in awe of the lavish costumes and outstanding performances of China’s top actors. Not only will this show entertain you, but it will also teach you a thing or two about Chinese history and culture. 

2. Take My Brother Away 

 Take My Brother Away Fan Music Video

Based on a Chinese web manhua series, Take My Brother Away is a great slice-of-life series that centers upon a brother and sister who quarrel as they navigate high school life. This Chinse show focuses on their discovery of friendships, school struggles, and daily life; this series will hook you with their tender moments and humorous gags! 

As it is set in modern times, this show is a great way to learn Chinese and everyday life. Their conversations are humorous yet easy to follow. You might even learn a few Chinese slangs that Gen Z uses! 

3. Meteor Garden 

 Netflix’s Meteor Garden trailer

This Netflix series is a remake of a popular Taiwanese drama with the same name and is a spin-off of the South Korean program Boys Over Flowers. 

This is an undoubtedly must-watch Chinese series if you enjoy coming-of-age stories and RomCom. It follows the life of Shancai, a college student who examines her love life and all the turbulence that comes with it. 

Meteor Garden is on Netflix, with 49 episodes and a complex storyline leaving you wanting to click to the next episode! It’s a great show to watch if you’re looking to level up your Mandarin language skills as there is a wide variety of simple and complex dialogue of this series.

4. The King’s Avatar: 

 The King’s Avatar Trailer

Are you a gamer?  If so, you’ll love this show! 

The King’s Avatar is a great drama about friendship and love for the gaming industry. The series’s protagonist is a top gamer who got kicked out of his gaming squad, and now he must form his team to regain his position as the undisputed king of glory. 

This drama is a great way to learn gaming and tech terminology in Chinese, such as in Esports or digital media. All in all, this series is a must-watch not only for the beautiful gaming sequence but also for the thrill of the game, camaraderie, and competitiveness of the sport.

5. The Victims’ Game 

Netflix’s The Victims’ Game Trailer

Are you a true crime junkie? 

If so, check out The Victims’ Game. This story is about a detective with Asperger’s syndrome who takes great risks to solve a case. Along the way, he discovers that his estranged daughter is connected to several unsolved and mysterious deaths. How will these circumstances effect him, his work, and his relationship with his daughter?

This Taiwanese series will keep you on your toes with its mystery, thrill, and drama. The cinematography is phenomenal, and the acting is superb. The Victims’ Game is a good show to brush up on Chinese vocabulary related to crime, law, and mental illness. 

It will also familiarize you with different Chinese accents, as this was filmed with Taiwanese actors. 

6. Chosen

Chosen (2018) Trailer

This Chinese show on Netflix is a remake of a Western thriller series of the same name, Chosen. It’s about a doctor forced to participate in a bizarre killing game or risk watching everyone they care about die. 

It is a must-watch Chinese thriller series, but it might be quite challenging for beginner with its advanced Chinese terminologies. However, there’s some English expressions used due to the series being set in Australia. 

Definitely worth watching if you love true crime and thriller series. 

7. Eternal Love 

 Eternal Love – Official Trailer

This fantasy C-drama is a fan favorite! Based off a Xianxia novel with the same time, it is one of the most watched C-dramas ever. 

Eternal Love is set in a fantasy world of gods and demons. It focuses on a 2,000-year-long romance (Wow, talk about forever!) between the Prince of Heavens and a Fox spirit as they fall in love. Find out if they are meant to be star-crossed lovers or find happiness in the next life after overcoming adversaries. 

The 58 episodes may seem daunting at first, but once you get over that hurdle, you’ll be left wanting more! This is an amazing Chinese drama with a great storyline and phenomenal acting! You won’t even notice you’re learning Chinese vocabulary and grammar when watching Eternal Love.

8. The Untamed

 An extended trailer of The Untamed

The Untamed is one of Netflix’s top Chinese dramas and for good reasons! As one of the highest-earning dramas of 2019, this series has fantasy elements, warfare, and an intricate storyline. If you’re a fan of Wuxia novels, the ancient Chinese martial arts, or historical fantasy drama then you’ll love this series.

It also focuses on the concept of soulmates, as two disciples from warring clans form a relationship with an overall dark mystery that jeopardizes the stability of their universe. As they take steps to stop the worst from happening, one of them dies and mysteriously returns to life after 15 years. 

With many awards and nominations, This show is a rising BL (boys love) drama with a great storyline, amazing animation, and acting! This is definitely a good way to learn Chinese if you love fantasy dramas. 

9. Ashes of Love

 Official trailer of Ashes of Love

Ashes of Love is set in the distant past that revolves around the Floral Goddess and the Heavenly Emperor’s son, who are so in love that they are willing to defy destiny despite forces that conspire against them. 

If you’re a fan of great love stories, then Ashes of Love is a good C-drama to watch! The story is beautifully written and executed and is a masterpiece. Truly spectacular and would leave you holding your breath! A must-watch if you want to learn Chinese and get hooked on a beautiful drama! 

10. Put Your Head On My Shoulder

 Put Your Head On My Shoulder 2021 WeTV trailer

Put Your Head On My Shoulder is one of Netflix’s most-watched C-dramas! It’s a feel-good Chinese series about a girl who is an accounting major about to graduate and is unsure of her future. She then meets a genius physics student who disrupts her routine. 

If you’re looking for a show to make you smile, this is a great C-drama to watch! Light-hearted and romantic, this is a great show to watch when you want to learn Chinese while watching something easygoing. 

Unlock your Mandarin language potential 📈
Learn Mandarin vocabulary and hanzi the smart way with our unique approach that combines spaced repetition, mnemonics, and gamification.

Bonus: Chinese Shows on Youtube

If you’re not a Netflix fan or don’t have a subscription, there are plenty of alternatives. We love watching Chinese shows on Youtube as well. Here are a couple of our favorites: 

1. Informal Talks 

 Informal Talks pilot episode

One of the most-watched Chinese TV programs, Informal Talks, features Mandarin-language discussions of various subjects. Each episode features a group of young foreigners residing in China to discuss topics important to millennials. You would be astonished by what they think and say due to cultural differences!

The ambiance of the presentation is intended to resemble a gathering of the world’s future leaders. The tone might, however, be serious, emotional, or hilarious. From “Should you hide social media updates from your parents” to “What would you do if today was your last day of life,” they discussed various subjects.

An informal, international, multicultural, and entertaining TV show that is perfect for Chinese beginners and those looking for some intellectual stimulation in a friendly and relaxed context.

2. A Bite of China 

 A Bite of China Episode 1

If you love food documentaries, watch A Bite of China. This Chinese docuseries gained high ratings and a large following as it introduced the history and background of different dishes from China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. 

It is a good show to watch if you’re a foodie who wants to learn Chinese and know more about Chinese culture through food. 

Each episode features different aspects of Chinese food. There's something for everyone, from Chinese street food to desserts and spices.

The best tool for learning Chinese through watching Chinese shows on Netflix:

1. Language Reactor

One of our favorite tools for learning Chinese while watching Netflix shows is Language Reactor. An effective toolkit for learning languages, it makes it easier for you to find, comprehend, and learn from native materials on Netflix (also available on Youtube!)

 How to use Language Reactor

How to add Language Reactor to your Chrome browser for watching Chinese shows on Netflix.

When watching any movies or TV shows on the Netflix website, the Chrome extension offers many extra features like dual language subtitles, a pop-up Chinese dictionary, and precise video playback settings to help you with your language learning.

  1. Install the Chrome browser extension:

    1. Install the Chrome browser extension and make sure that it is enabled when you’re watching shows on Netflix or Youtube to unlock additional language-learning capabilities.

  2. Enabling and using Language Reactor:

    1. Click the LR logo beside the volume toggle to enable or disable additional functionalities.

    2. Click the Gear icon located beside the LR logo to open settings.

    3. Click on the three lines on the upper right to view all available subtitles.

    4. Toggle the AP button to enable automatic playback at the end of every subtitle.

    5. Clicking on a word in the subtitle opens up a dictionary. You can right-click on the word to save it.

  3. Choosing translations:

    1. You can select to display machine or human translations in the settings. Because machine translation is sometimes literal, it might be useful for understanding how sentences are put together in the language you are learning.

    2. It occasionally has mistakes in it. Human translation is frequently helpful because it accurately translates idioms and expressions.

  4. Using keyboard shortcuts:

    1. Keyboard shortcuts can be used to control the player.

      1. For the previous subtitle, enter “A.”

      2. To repeat a subtitle, use “S.”

      3. The next subtitle is “D.”

      4. Use the spacebar to pause and resume playback.

    2. You can find more keyboard shortcuts in the settings.

2. Pandanese

If you’re watching any of these shows with Chinese subtitles, knowing and recognizing the characters and their meanings would be helpful. That’s when Pandanese come in.

By using Pandanese, you can learn over 6,000 Hanzi and Chinese vocabulary within a year, thanks to the combination of mnemonics and the SRS system. Basically the Chinese version of Anki where you will review Chinese radicals, characters and vocabulary at your own pace.

With Pandanese, you can recognize Chinese characters that appear on the screen. Soon, you won’t need subtitles to watch Chinese films, game shows, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions on Chinese Shows on Netflix

Does Netflix have Chinese subtitles?

Yes, Netflix offers both traditional and simplified Chinese subtitles.

Does Netflix have Chinese shows?

Yes, Netflix has many Chinese movies and shows to watch. Some well known Chinese Netflix shows include Expresses in the Palace, Take My Brother Away, Meteor Garden, The King’s Avatar, The Victims’ Games, Chosen, Eternal Love, The Untames, Ashes of Love, and Put Your Head On My Shoulder.

How can watching Chinese Netflix shows improve your Chinese skills?

It is perfect for any learning style. It will help you improve your Chinese listening skills by hearing the language with situational context and reading with the subtitles that are available.

The bottom line

What do you think of these best chinese shows on Netflix?

Watching Chinese shows as entertainment is a fun way to learn Chinese. You will have a deeper understanding of Chinese culture and reinforced knowledge from Chinese textbooks. It will also improve your ability to read and listen in Chinese and encourage you to learn conversational Chinese and slang. You won’t believe how much you learn by watching Chinese shows on Netflix.

There are many resources to look into, and you can discover many Chinese TV episodes and movies on Netflix, YouTube, and other streaming services. Most movies have Chinese subtitles, which is an excellent opportunity to learn Hanzi and its pronunciations

The key is finding a show that you truly enjoy watching and engaging with! This makes learning enjoyable and encourages you to keep up the consistency. So what are you waiting for? Bring out the popcorn, prop your feet up, and enjoy these must-watch Chinese shows on Netflix.

About Pandanese
Learn over 6,000 Hanzi with Pandanese’s Chinese characters flashcards with our easy mnemonic stories and SRS system to build your Chinese vocabulary.

The easiest way to learn Chinese & build vocabulary

Learn more than 6,000 hanzi and vocabulary in a single year.