Pros & Cons of the Chinese suspense drama The Longest Day in Chang’an

Do you wish there was a historical Chinese version of the Western TV Show 24? Well regardless of whether you ever thought of that concept, that is what we get in the new action/suspense drama The Longest Day in Chang’an. Come join me as I share (Spoiler Free) the Pros and Cons of this fast paced drama and whether you should choose it as your next binge watch.

Synopsis: Li Bi is the head of Chang’an’s anti-terror department and is tasked with investigating a group of mysterious Turks who have infiltrated the city. Zhang Xiao Jing is a former Imperial army officer turned constable, who is currently in prison after breaking the law, though is set free because Li Bi believes he is the only person who can solve the mystery. Zhang Xiao Jing’s familiarity with the city’s alleyways and the habits of the Turks leads him to the conclusion that their ultimate goal is to create havoc during the Lantern Festival. With less than a day left before the event, the two must race against time to protect the capital and its people. (MyDramaList)


**Disclaimer – I am on episode 8 so this is more a first impressions post.**


Cinematography – In my opinion, this is the #1 reason to check out this drama. I have adored this director ever since watching Tribes and Empires and, once again, he does not disappoint. The action scenes are so unique and crisp that I get shivers. You might also recognize a bunch of the cast from Tribes and Empires. It looks like he enjoys working with a known cast, which can only be considered a positive in my book.

Lei Jia Yin – This is the first drama I have watched starring Lei Jia Yin who plays the imprisoned constable turned Turkish terrorist hunter Zhang Xiao Jing. To say I am impressed would be an understatement. He doesn’t have the pretty boy looks that I have grown accustomed to in a lot of the historic dramas, but he makes it up to us in raw charisma. When he is on screen i can’t focus on anyone else. I might even have to go back and check out his filmography.

Unique Storytelling – I love that we are getting the US show 24 in olden Chinese settings. It works really well and I find the constant action fascinating. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Grassland Hottie – Not only does this drama have multiple actors from the director’s previous film but it has my FAVORITE actor Zhou Yi Wei in a supporting role. Now I personally wish my Grassland Hottie was one of the leads, but a supporting role will have to do. At least I will get to see his gorgeous eyes on my TV screen once again so I call this a win.

Sound Editing – Yes, I know i am totally a tech nerd but I can’t help but gush over how cool the sound effects are in this drama. Make special note of how they use bells and drums to set the mood of the scene. The first chase scene was especially brilliant, as my anticipation was ramped up by the increasing speed of the drums in the background. Absolutely brilliant.


Giant Cast of Characters – There is a whole lot of characters running and we are dropped right in the middle of the action. It took a while to get who everyone is set in my mind, and I am still having to readjust sometimes and I am seven episodes in.

Politicking is Prevalent – I, personally, do not find this a negative. However, for my readers that like to have their dramas political plot light, I thought I would give a warning.

Romance Free? – There also seems to be little to no romance so far. That isn’t to say that it won’t pop up in the future, but as of this blog post it is non existent.

There you have it! The many reasons you should check out this drama and the few, not so important negatives. I am excited to get back to the action so I am signing off to go watch episode 8!

See you at our next dramatic review,


Dramas With a Side of Kimchi

7 thoughts on “Pros & Cons of the Chinese suspense drama The Longest Day in Chang’an

  1. Giant cast of characters doesn’t bother me too much if they are portrayed or written decently. I like the premise of this and the costumes look great too. I’ll have to try the first couple episodes at the very least. Thanks for sharing!

  2. This is action drama I’m looking for. This is going to go down as on of my favorites ever if it continues to do well. I’m currently on ep 12.

  3. I am also on Episode 12 right now, and I am just enthralled by this drama. The acting, the cinematography, the historic context, the thrilling story, the pace, the politics… It just works beautifully together.

  4. I’m ep26 in. I would say Zhang Xiaojing and Tan Qi are fast becoming our fav couple. If you like Bonnie and Clyde style, then Yu Chang and Long Bo are as deadly as they come.

  5. This wasn’t even on my radar, but after reading this I had to check it out. 2 episodes in and I’m already hooked. You were right about that first chase scene. So well-done on every level.

  6. Oooooo…. I’ve been waffling on this one but now it’s definitely on the to-watch list! (Also, interesting side note, there’s a long history of cross-pollination between samurai films and spaghetti westerns…. it makes me curious about all the references that might be coming into play in a Chinese take on the genre. I bet there’s a lot there for a western fan)

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