Over the course of two years, especially after DramaFever shuttered their streaming service, Netflix has really upped their selection of Asian dramas proving that Netflix was serious about their foray was their original Asian drama productions.
In the last year alone, Netflix has produced its own original K-dramas and C-dramas (some through Taiwanese dramas). An example of the former, My First First Love. As for an example of the latter, Triad Princess.
Though Netflix is bearing fruit with Asian dramas, they don’t seem content on just staying with “the safe bets in Asian dramas,” them being Korea, Japan, and China.
They are expanding out which includes hybrids. Just this month, they released Giri/Haji, a hybrid UK drama and J-drama and it was a surprise hit among viewers.
Now, Netflix has another unique drama from Asia for viewers to enjoy, The Ghost Bride. Huang Pei-Jia and Kuang Tian delightfully surprise viewers in this wonderfully entertaining Taiwanese/Malaysian drama.
A bride marries the dead son of a wealthy family
The Ghost Bride (彼岸之嫁) is a Netflix Original created by the same creator of Carnival Row, Kai-Yu Wu. It is centered on the conflict of marrying for love or for status and money.
In the 1890s during Colonial Malacca, Pan Li-Lan (Huang Pei-Jia) is in the midst of the aforementioned situation as her father’s spice business is about to go bankrupt.
Taking advice from those around her, she tries to “find a solution” at a high-end, exclusive dinner party to “start something” with her childhood best friend, Lim Tian Bai (Ludi Lin), who recently returned from medical studies in Hong Kong.
Unfortunately, Li-Lan is side-swiped by Madame Lin, the host of the party. She tells Li-Lan’s father she wants Li-Lan to marry her dead son, Tian Ching (Kuang Tian). In exchange for Li-Lan spending the rest of her life mourning Ching, her family wouldn’t have to worry about money ever again.
Of course, the situation is a tough choice for Pan Li-Lan. Does she marry for love or for status and money? Things turn a bit dark when Li-Lan’s father suddenly becomes ill. Afterward, Tian Ching appears in Li-Lan’s dreams letting her know her father is in purgatory but slowly fading away to death.
Tian Ching is willing to help Pan Li-Lan save her father if she does a couple of things in return. The first is to help solve the case on who murdered Ching. The second, marry him.
Dark and spooky yet light-hearted and fun
Many who’ve watched The Ghost Bride have said the series might be a bit dark and spooky but it is delightfully entertaining. All the scary parts are light-hearted in nature so don’t expect any huge jump scares. In short, The Ghost Bride was probably made first and foremost to be a hybrid romance and murder mystery.
Ultimately, The Ghost Bride stands out from the rest of other Asian dramas. Traditionally, Asian dramas utilize a lot of long monologues or dialogues for “storytelling” the plot. Netflix taking the helm of Asian dramas is changing that as they are interested in telling an intriguing story with excellently presented characters with wonderful settings and backdrops.
And just so it is known, The Ghost Bride is safe to watch on a low-end PG-13 rating. The series shows no skin in a provocative way nor does it have any sexual interactions.
The Ghost Bride is available exclusively on Netflix. Viewers will need a subscription to the streaming service to watch the series.