It is a known fact that most Chinese costume dramas are based on short novels, the authors of which can be both popular and obscure writers. It is no secret that screen adaptations can generate renewed interest in the original source, but not all TV adaptations can be called successful.
Here is a list of dramas that have proven to be failures compared to the original sources.
1. “Listening Snow Tower” (“Ting Xue Lou”)
The fantasy drama is based on the novel “Listening Snow Tower: Blood of the Rose” by author Cang Yue. The novel was rated 8.5 on Douban. The adaptation of the novel was not as successful as the original novel. Douban rating was only 4.5 points. The creators of the serial reduced some of the plot and also changed the characteristics of the characters (the original story told the love story of a phoenix and a dragon, but in the drama characters just have magical powers, they are not divine beings).
2. “Mirror: A Tale Of Twin Cities”
Another adaptation of the novel by Cang Yue was once again many times inferior to the original. The novel scored 8.6 points in the Douban rating, but the screen adaptation with Lee Yi Feng was a catastrophic failure with only 3.8 points. According to netizens, the creators of the drama removed the main essence that was in the novella, that’s why the series turned out to be very boring and faded.
3. “Song in the Clouds”
Author Tong Hua is considered a maestro in the Chinese industry. Many doramas have been staged based on her novellas, but there are some unsuccessful projects among them. For example, “Song in the Clouds”. The original novel is rated 8 on Douban. The drama of the same name struggled to score 3.6. The plot of the drama is full of failed moments, and the acting of Angelababy, who played the main role in the project, was also criticized.
4. “The Promise one”
It would seem that another adaptation of Tong Hua’s epic novel “The Promised One” (8 points on Douban) would be a new masterpiece, but not so. Even though the show was starring Victoria Song and Huang Xiao Ming, “The Promise One” only scored 3.1 on the Douban service. Many people noted the illogical, failed plot and strange ending.
5. Battle Through the Heavens
Tian Qian Tudou is a successful fantasy romance author. He is one of the top ten fantasy writers and has also become one of the top one hundred popular writers in online literature. Three doramas have been made based on Tian Tsang Tudou’s novels. All three adaptations did not achieve high ratings. “Battle Through the Heavens”, starring Wu Lei, scored 4.3 on Douban.
6. “Martial Universe”
“Martial Universe”, featuring Yang Yang, scored a 4.4 on Douban.
7. “The Great Lord”
The TV version of “The Great Lord” with Wang Yuan is rated only 5 points.
All three adaptations are large-scale and big-budget productions and prominent actors were invited to participate in the projects. However, the plots of the dramas were significantly changed, which was a disrespect to the original novels, and the characters became unattractive after the adaptation.
8. “Untouchable Lovers”
The drama is based on the popular novel “The Tale of the Two Phoenixes” by author Tianyi Yufeng. The rating of the drama on Douban was 3.8. The altered storyline influenced viewers’ ratings. Also many people disliked the acting of Wei-Lun Sun.
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