TV Dramas

《兰闺喜事》Hilarious Family – An ideal Chinese historical drama for learners

Main Actors刘琳,李嘉琦,杨皓宇,任豪
Length24 episodes (45min each)
GenreHistorical, Family, Comedy, Romance

There was a period in the golden era of Hong Kong family dramas where historical shows based on the everyday life of a regular family were very popular. I really enjoyed watching those shows as they were relaxing and usually very funny.

This isn’t the type of show I’ve seen from mainland China in recent years, so I was extremely excited to start this drama. And I was not disappointed. I’ll happily watch this again, as it’s the perfect show to watch while doing something else; I watched most of it while working out at the gym! It’s also a great show to learn Chinese from!

《兰闺喜事》Hilarious Family is available to watch on Tencent Video’s international streaming service, WeTV. This is one of my favourite streaming platforms for Chinese content.


杜如玉, a widowed single mother, is determined to marry her four daughters into good families. Despite enormous financial pressure, she bought a house in the capital city, left their old life behind and moved in with her four daughters. However, she didn’t find the wealthy son-in-law she had hoped for; instead, a series of young men unexpectedly entered their lives one after another.


The Watching Experience

《兰闺喜事》Hilarious Family is a heartwarming and funny drama that revolves around the daily lives of an ordinary family, a mother and her four daughters, as they discover love, find their path and develop as individual independent women. Each character has their traits, perks/peeves, and goals in life, but when difficult times dawn on them, they will put everything aside to get through this as a family.

The episodes are paced well with a balance of various themes like family struggles, friendship, romance, sibling bonds and more. I felt that the mother and the four daughters each had enough screen time for their own story to be told in a well-paced manner.

This TV drama is relaxing, laid back, well-balanced, and free from the intense drama often found in heavier historical shows, particularly those centred around imperial courts or complex family dynamics.

This historical drama is ideal for learners

This is a brilliant drama for historical beginners, great material to learn Chinese with and suitable for Chinese language learners of all levels; not only is it a fantastic show to watch, but the language used is simple with a low historical flavour.

The plot is simple and easy to follow, making it accessible even for learners with lower listening comprehension.

Image from the Chinese historical TV Drama 《兰闺喜事 》Hilarious Family

Final Thoughts

Dramas that focus on the romantic journey of the main couple often don’t appeal to me as I don’t usually enjoy the overly cheesy and trope-following romance scenes, which rule out a large portion of laid-back and relaxing historical dramas.

So I was very happy and over the moon when 《兰闺喜事》Hilarious Family aired due to its focus on family bonds and individual character development. It’s a massive breath of fresh air in this current Chinese drama industry that’s oversaturated with romance-heavy historical dramas. That’s not to say there’s no romance; there is definitely some, but it’s not overly cheesy and executed more naturally and relatable.

《兰闺喜事》Hilarious Family is my favourite drama for 2023, and I highly recommend this to anyone, Chinese learner and native, who is looking for a relaxing, relatable and funny historical drama.

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