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An Oriental Odyssey starts out strong but does not place among established Chinese Dramas

An Oriental Odyssey
The featured poster for An Oriental Odyssey. Image Credit: Tencent Video

An Oriental Odyssey is one of the newest Chinese dramas to air. Though it initially started out strong and continues to grow in popularity, it is not enough to place among other established Chinese dramas.

Making its debut last Thursday on October 18, 2018, An Oriental Odyssey — also known as The Magical Nights of Glorious Tang — is a mystery period drama set to run 50 episodes. It stars Wu Qian (My Amazing Boyfriend, Ruyi’s Royal Love in the Palace), Zhang Yujian (Delicious Destiny, Ice Fantasy), and Zhang Yecheng (Legend of the Ancient Sword).

An Oriental Odyssey is about upper-class lady and amateur detective Ye Yuan-an (Qian) along with an amnesiac slave, Mu Le (Yecheng), and police detective, Zhao Lan-zhi (Yujian), as they solve cases together starting with one on a murdered courtesan. Unbeknownst to them, all the cases are connected to a disastrous attempt when a monk, Tian Qiao, tried to steal a holy artifact 19 years ago.

With each case solved, the trio gets closer to the real motive behind that disastrous event which causes Mu Le to steal that same artifact and escape to another country. Yuan-an, Lan-zhi, and Princee Ming Hui (Dong Qi) attempt to track him down, but soon discover there is a far larger conspiracy that goes beyond just a case of a stolen holy artifact.

An Oriental Odyssey comes in with a lot of competition

Despite Wu Qian’s popularity and its international backing through Rakuten Viki, An Oriental Odyssey had a lot of competition when it debuted. There were already certain Chinese dramas, most of them modern day and some period dramas just like it, that did better in viewership.

In China, Entrepreneurial Age dominated the viewership with 13,956 million in play volume. Other Chinese dramas to rank in the top ten for play volume include All Out of Love and Eagles And Youngster.

In the United States, viewers are more engaged with other more established Chinese dramas specifically Ruyi’s Royal Love in the Palace, Martial Universe, and Ashes of Love. An Oriental Odyssey will need to take some more time to garner a following given the three mentioned are period dramas just like it.

When older Chinese dramas end, An Oriental Odyssey might have its chance to build a far bigger following. Until then, it is enjoying at least a strong start with steady growth. An Oriental Odyssey airs on Tencent Video. For those in the United States and other English-speaking territories, it is available to watch on Rakuten Viki.

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War Omega is an entertainment news writer and painter that specializes in Asian entertainment. On Monsters & Critics, he writes about K-pop, K-dramas, and Chinese... read more
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