For last year, Netflix has become more serious in diversifying their selection with more Chinese dramas.
The move most likely came about after it was recognized a niche needed to be filled after DramaFever shuttered its streaming service back in 2018, leaving Rakuten Viki the only streaming site to air them.
The move has been a fruitful one for Netflix as they have exclusive international airing rights to some of the most popular C-dramas produced recently, such as The King’s Avatar.
Netflix even moved onward to co-producing original C-dramas such as Triad Princess.
Now Netflix is airing another hit in C-dramas again with a historical drama series, Handsome Siblings. Viewers are enticed as they watch two twin brothers played by Chen Zhe-Yuan and Hu Yi-Tian “fight to the death” all for the revenge of their real enemy.
Two brothers set to kill each other
Handsome Siblings is the story of two brothers who were separated at childbirth just to be raised to kill each other in a plot for revenge. It is based on Gu Long’s wuxia novel.
Jiang Xiao-Yu (Hu Yi-Tian), better known as Xiao Yu-Er, was raised in the Wicked Valley, where the world’s most dangerous criminals reside. He is trained by the world’s top villains to become even better than his teachers.
Despite his villainous ways, he only uses his skill set against those who are bad as he has been able to keep his kind heart, something he inherited from his mother and father.
When Jiang Xiao-Yu leaves the Wicked Valley, he meets Hua Wu-Que (Chen Zhe-Yuan). Wu-Que is a martial artist who grew up in Yi Hua Palace under the care of Princess Yao Yue.
Unbeknownst to Jiang Xiao-Yu and Hua Wu-Que, they are brothers. Princess Yao Yue had a one-sided love for their father, Jiang Feng. When Jiang Feng chooses one of Princess Yao Yue’s maidens over her, she forces death upon the two leaving their newborn twin sons behind.
As revenge, Princess Yao Yue separates the two brothers in a scheme in which she hopes they would grow up to be bitter enemies and fight to the death.
The revenge Princess Yao Yue desires is sidelined as the brothers, though they don’t know they are brothers, become close friends and travel together on numerous adventures in the martial arts world.
However, Princess Yao Yue might get her revenge another way as a woman they’ve both become acquainted with through their adventures, Tie Xin-Lan (Liang Jing-Xian), holds a place in both of their hearts.
Utilizing the popular wuxia concept
If the plot for Handsome Siblings sounds very familiar, it is because the concept or plot has always been popular in wuxia stories. For example, the popular C-drama Ice Fantasy utilized a plot of two brothers separated at birth destined to fight one another.
And if the fact the wuxia concept being popular isn’t enough of a reason for it to be familiar in C-dramas, maybe the fact Handsome Siblings has multiple remakes and past shows might.
In defense of this, Handsome Siblings is often remade because it is one of the more popular stories and series ever aired on Chinese television.
Handsome Siblings is currently airing in China from January 16 to February 7, for 44 episodes. On weekdays, two episodes air back-to-back on iQiyi. For international viewers,
Handsome Siblings is exclusive to Netflix. Take note that viewers will need a subscription to the streaming service to watch the C-drama.