Most Popular 2020 Hong Kong Dramas in Mainland China

With the exception of Story of Yanxi Palace <延禧攻略>, Chinese dramas aren’t exactly the most well-received genre-type in Hong Kong. On the other hand, mainland China still has strong nostalgia for a solid Hong Kong piece. With ViuTV dramas rising in prominence, TVB’s monopoly on Hong Kong TV is being shaken.

As reported on Douban, China’s premier entertainment rating website, TVB sitcom Lo and Behold <·回家之開心速遞>—the fourth series of the long-running Come Home Love sitcom—is the highest-rated Hong Kong television drama series of 2020, achieving a solid 9 out of 10 stars on Douban. The beloved sitcom is one of Hong Kong’s longest-running television series, with over 1,000 episodes.

In terms of limited drama series of 2020, Viu TV’s The Gutter <歎息橋>, produced by and starring Bowie Lam (林保怡), has topped the list, earning a rating of 8.9 out of 10 stars on Douban. The Gutter’s strength comes from its success in blending nostalgic Hong Kong family drama into a modern format, in which different characters retell the same story in their own perspective.

Following The Gutter is TVB’s The Exorcist’s 2nd Meter <降魔的2.0>, which also happens to be a top favorite among Hong Kong audiences as well. A supernatural drama about a taxi driver who kills demons, The Exorcist’s 2nd Meter is a breath of fresh air in the television scene. Many of the angels and demons in the show are based on Buddhism and traditional Chinese mythology.

TVB thriller Brutally Young <十八年後的終極告白> earned an 8 out of 10 stars, putting it third on the highest-rated list. It starred Shaun Tam (譚俊彥) as standard middle class accountant whose life is turned upside down when an 18-year-old murder case resurfaces. The drama is well-received for its characterization.

Viu TV sci-fi romance drama Leap Day <二月廿九> closely follows with 7.9 stars, putting TVB in tough competition. TVB’s Death By Zero <殺手> has 7.3 stars, Viu TV’s Who Sells Bricks in Hong Kong <地產仔> has 7.2 stars, and TVB’s Of Greed and Ants <黃金有罪>—another drama selling nostalgia—has 7.1 stars.

TVB’s The Dripping Sauce <大醬園>, Life After Death <那些我愛過的人>, and Airport Strikers <機場特警> all scored only 6.3 stars. The former was criticized for being not unique. The wooden performances of Priscilla Wong (黃翠如) and Mat Yeung (楊明) were said to be the reason why Life After Death and Airport Strikers respectively failed to gain traction.

Forensic Heroes IV <法證先鋒IV>—despite being the most-watched Hong Kong drama series of 2020 in mainland China—had the lowest rating at 5.1 out of 10 stars. Lack of originality and wooden acting were said to be the reasons it failed.


This article is written by Addy for

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  1. Was this article necessary, as the world really needed Douban to state the obvious, TVB series are “Lack of originality and wooden acting”. And the whole, “Chinese dramas aren’t exactly the most well-received genre-type in Hong Kong” I really don’t think mainland production are crying over this.

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