Good, sustainable writing isn’t always easy to find in dramas, especially long-form Chinese dramas. Since 2020, however, FIVE Wang Xiong Cheng dramas have made their way to the screen, proving that this writer–who has come out of nowhere–has what it takes to make a story worth watching from beginning to end. Come see what makes Wang Xiong Cheng’s dramas special, and decide for yourself if you want to watch his newest works – Hi Venus and Meet Yourself.
There isn’t a lot of biographical information about Wang Xiong Cheng, except that he’s male and was born in China. Looking at the dramas he’s penned, including Find Yourself, Go Ahead, The Day of Becoming You, Hi Venus, and Meet Yourself, he definitely understands families, both biological and found, as well as slow-burn romances built on the foundation of strong friendship. His portrayal of mothers bears some examination, as the mothers in Go Ahead ran the spectrum from controlling to neglectful to outright psychotic, yet the ties between the families were palpably strong.
What Makes a Wang Xiong Cheng Drama Worth Watching?
Mother issues aside, Wang Xiong Cheng pens heartfelt characters who have depth and emotion and absolutely radiate goodness. Ensemble casts support each other through their ups and downs, creating a found family that lives on in the viewer’s memory. OTPs are allowed to live and breathe, instead of filling a stereotype, and they grow together. The plots are serious and humorous by turns, drawing the viewer in with warmth and light, then letting them stew in the characters’ difficulties and coming around to their sides. We’ve discussed Go Ahead and The Day of Becoming You extensively on the blog and the podcast – they showcase not only Writer Wang’s ability, but how well the directors helming those stories understood his vision.
In The Day of Becoming You, Director Wang Zheng handles the body-switching with finesse, and Zhang Xin Cheng and Liang Jie are more than comfortable to watch as they learn to inhabit each other’s lives. On the other hand, Director Ding Zi Guang excelled at portraying the accidental found family in Go Ahead, complementing Writer Wang and Writer Shui Qian Mo’s delicate emotional bonds with excellent acting from Tan Song Yun, Song Wei Long, Zhang Xin Cheng (again!), Tu Song Yan, and Zhang Xi Lin.
Overcoming Obstacles with Hi Venus
In a serendipitous turn of events, Writer Wang has two dramas out at the same time! The Day of Becoming You Director Wang Zheng is at the helm of Hi Venus, which is easy to feel from the bright colors and understated humor that pulled me in from the first episode. He excels at Writer Wang’s fish-out-of-water characterizations, and that feeling continues when our slow-burning OTP (one true pairing) moves from the countryside, where they met, back to the big city where they work. Doctor Ye Shi Lan, played by Liang Jie, is taking a charitable turn as a service physician when she meets hospital director Lu Zhao Xi, who ended up in the village after a landslide trapped his car. She doesn’t believe he is who he says he is and makes him do menial chores and charges him outrageous amounts for the food he eats. But a late night drinking session together bonds them, and Lu Zhao Xi does everything he can to bring Ye Shi Lan back to the hospital where she belongs.
Not that it makes her life any easier. Without malice, Lu Zhao Xi gets Ye Shi Lan back for every outrageous thing she made him do in the countryside. However, he also protects her in the best way possible when hospital politics conspire to leave her twiddling her thumbs during her shifts, both giving her purpose and gaining insights from her on how to better run things.
Moving Forward with Meet Yourself
Meet Yourself is the story of a woman who loses her best friend to cancer and turns to a restful vacation in Yunnan to heal her soul. Xu Hongdu, played by Crystal Liu, was working her way up in the hotel industry as the reliable and skilled head of the lobby staff. Her best friend, played with humor and gravitas by Janice Wu (LOVE HER), sends Hongdu off into the countryside with her dying wish. There Hongdu meets Xie Zhi Yao, played by Li Xian of Go Go Squid fame, the chief of the village who strives to keep the peace, bring prosperity, and maybe even keep his half-brother in line. Reminiscent of Chief Hong from Hometown Cha Cha Cha, Xie Zhi Yao is sunny and good-natured and immediately aware of Hongdu.
Rounding out the ensemble cast are the village families, including Xie Zhi Yao’s grandmother and aunties, and the tenants of the long-term stay, including Tu Song Yan (Go Ahead noodle dad – yay!) as a man more focused on meditation than the world around him. The feel of the village is inclusive and warm, just like Go Ahead, which is no surprise with Director Ding Zi Guang at the helm once again.
Would I Recommend?
Ha! Of course I would recommend Wang Xiong Cheng’s dramas. Meet Yourself and Hi Venus are both my go-to dramas right now, and I’m enjoying every minute of them. I plan to watch Find Yourself very soon, completing my Wang Xiong Cheng marathon, and I’ll just be counting down the months until another drama of his comes to my screen. Hi Venus and Meet Yourself are both streaming on Viki.
Until the next found family ensemble drama, I remain –
Karie the Maknae
Dramas with a Side of Kimchi