Taiwanese drama (Chinese: 台灣電視劇; pinyin: Táiwān
Diànshìjù; commonly called T
Drama or TW
Drama by fans) refers to
dramatic programming of television programming extended stories
usually dramatizing relationships through the general range of ten to
forty one-hour episodes. They are produced in
Taiwan and have gained
increasing popularity in the Mandarin-speaking community
internationally. The term "Taiwanese drama" is applied to Taiwanese
miniseries in general, even including those with greater elements of
comedy than of drama.
1 Origins and range of popularity
3 Subject matter
4 List of Taiwanese dramas
5 Actors and actresses
6 See also
8 External links
Origins and range of popularity
Main article: Taiwanese Wave
During the rapid development of the Four Asian Tigers, the success of
Hong Kong entertainment industry and its TV drama programming
served as a major influence for television and entertainment
programming in the other rapidly-industrializing Asian nations, most
Taiwan and South Korea.
Many of these dramas have become popular throughout
East Asia and
Southeast Asia. Most popular Taiwanese dramas are also popular in
Mainland China, Vietnam,
Hong Kong and Macau, Japan, Thailand,
Indonesia and Philippines.
Taiwanese dramas are also well known among expatriate/overseas Asian
people. Fan clubs have appeared in other countries outside Taiwan
dedicated to the appreciation of Taiwanese drama. Fan clubs also
involved several countries in neighbouring Asian nations and
Taiwanese dramas are typically produced in Mandarin. Less commonly,
they may be produced in Taiwanese Hokkien. Commonly characters will
speak predominantly in Mandarin, but pepper their speech with
Taiwanese. Sometimes characters, usually those playing the parts of
parents or relatives coming from more rural and poorer areas, will
speak in Taiwanese-accented Mandarin.
Taiwanese dramas typically focus more on romance than other television
dramas. Crime dramas, police dramas, lawyer dramas,
and doctor dramas are less common in
Taiwan than romantic dramas.
Taiwanese dramas tend to have less violence and sexual content than
many other soap operas and primetime dramas.
Popular Taiwanese dramas generally divided into “idol dramas"
（偶像劇） and Taiwanese Minnan dramas (台語劇). "Idol dramas"
use the most popular singers and actors or actresses in the Taiwanese
entertainment industry, most of whom are in their late teens or 20s,
regardless of actual acting experience. The idol dramas cater
primarily to the teen or 20s age group. The phenomenon started with
2001's Meteor Garden.
Typical subjects can include first teenage experiences with
dating. Characters often have some dark secret or
painful past that makes it difficult for them to form lasting
relationships, and the drama may show characters finding a way to work
through their deep personal problems. Love triangles
are a common feature.
Taiwanese idol dramas share many similarities in genre with both
Japanese dramas and Korean dramas, although they differ considerably
in subject matter with Chinese dramas. For example, dramas based on
nationalist sentiment and politics are much less common. Mainland
Chinese dramas also use far more actors and actresses of varying ages.
In contrast, the male and female leads and supporting actors in "idol
dramas" are all exclusively in their late teens or 20s.
Many popular Taiwanese dramas are based on Japanese manga, using
shōjo manga in particular although some seinen manga have been made
into dramas as well. Some examples include
Meteor Garden (based on
Hana Yori Dango), It Started with a Kiss (based on Itazura na Kiss),
Marmalade Boy, Peach Girl, and Love Buffet. In these adaptations, the
characters' names are read as Chinese or are changed to more
Chinese-sounding names, and of course, the setting is moved to Taiwan.
Furthermore, the popularity of
Hong Kong dramas has resulted in the
launch of a TVB affiliate network in the country, TVBS, with the
network's entertainment channel sometimes producing local adaptations
Hong Kong dramatic programs.
Most Taiwanese speak Mandarin but the second common languages are
Hakka and Taiwanese Hokkien.
List of Taiwanese dramas
Further information: List of Taiwanese dramas
Actors and actresses
It is common for the actors and actresses in Taiwanese dramas -
especially "idol dramas" - to also be pop singers and rock musicians.
There are actors who are not from Taiwan, e.g. mainland China,
Singapore, or Malaysia. For example, Leon Jay Williams, Nicholas Teo,
and Stella), though have worked or based their career in Taiwan.
Television in Taiwan
List of Chinese-language television channels
Taiwanese television actors
Taiwanese television actresses
^ Ma, 1999 & p37
Taiwan Yearbook: Culture (Government Information Office)
Television drama series
List by country