Classic Tropes and New Chinese Dramas

It has been years since I have really been sucked into a modern Chinese drama so imagine my surprise when I suddenly find myself watching two. The Day of Becoming You and My Fated Boy have both become must-watch shows for me, and I am pretty sure it is due to their observance of classic drama tropes. Namely, soul swap and Noona (yes, I know that this is a Korean term, but I don’t know if there is a Chinese equivalent, so I’m going with it.) romance. So come find out why these tropes are working so well for me and whether you should join me in watching.

I had noticed lately that I am feeling a bit nostalgic for the style of dramas I enjoyed eleven years ago when I started binging Asian TV. Add the fact that I rarely have time to rewatch my favorites because of my commitments to the blog and podcast, and I don’t get to relive those early drama feels. So imagine my happiness at some of my favorite classic story arcs showing up in two new Chinese dramas.

The Day of Becoming You

This drama is your classic soul switch story. Cold and distance rich hottie end up in an accident and switches bodies with a perky fangirl. Comedy ensues, and you have twenty-six hours of fish out of water experiences. Not to mention discovering sentiments for each other.

I also love that this is a true soul switch romance. Often we get one character’s soul is sent back in time to a different person. Think Go Princess Go or the Eternal Love series. And while I adore those, there is something about two people having literally walk in each other’s shoes that just makes me happy.

The performance by Steven Zhang is probably the #1 reason I would give for others to try this show. He really shows his comedic chops when forced to play himself inhabited by an impulsive female. He kept my eyes glued to the screen at all times. From this day forward, I am officially a big fan.

In conclusion, if you want to recreate the feel of watching Secret Garden back in 2010, then give The Day of Becoming You a try.

My Fated Boy

Back in the day, I watched the Noona romance I Need Romance 3. The story of a boy who fell in love with his teenage piano teacher as a child. He left, grew up to be super hot and a celebrity, and then came back to discover if his childish feelings could be made into something real. To this day, it remains one of my favorite dramas of the noona romance trope. So when I was searching for something to binge, My Fated Boy caught my eye.

This is the story of a younger guy who grew up with the daughter of his parent’s best friends. He idolized her, and they were together constantly until he went overseas to study music. Years later, he returns an up-and-coming idol and is anxious to prove to his “wifey” that he is more than just a kid. What follows is a sweet and heartfelt romance between two people who must overcome an unconventional age difference.

Not only does this give us all the noona romance feels, but it provides a solid story and characters that are very likable and multi-faceted. So if you want that slight unconventional romance vibe, then check out My Fated Boy.

What are your favorite tropes and are they still being made or something that is classic and a thing of the past? Let me know in the comments and be sure to watch for more Chinese drama reviews in the podcast and the blog.

Til the next great drama,


Dramas With a Side of Kimchi

2 thoughts on “Classic Tropes and New Chinese Dramas

  1. Steven Zhang was really incredible in Day of Becoming You! Modern romcoms usually aren’t my thing since I prefer dramas like Word of Honor more but this was such a good drama! I’m excited to see Steven be in the upcoming Abyss BL drama adaptation.

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