TV Dramas

《田耕纪》Romance on the Farm – A good choice for learning Chinese

Main Actors曾舜晞,田曦薇
Length26 episodes (45min each)
GenreHistorical, Romance, Family
DifficultyUpper Intermediate


From MyDramaList

Lian Maner, a modern girl, accidentally finds herself in an ancient rural village where she encounters the eccentric Lian family, who are her distant relatives. She also meets the enigmatic and “tsundere” Shen Nuo. Together, they confront troublesome relatives, engage in farming and business ventures, and strive for prosperity. As they go through various hilarious and chaotic situations, their relationship deepens, and they promise to accompany each other through life. With chickens flying and dogs jumping, and with the gathering of relatives and the cultivation of rice, everyone is invited to join in the farming journey.


My Thoughts

The synopsis above is taken directly from MyDramaList and I have a feeling that’s was translated from the webnovel version! So instead, here’s my summary of this drama …

A university student takes part in testing a “farming” game to earn some money for her university fees (this was clearly just an excuse to pass the transmigration censorship because the gaming side was shortly forgotten). The real plot is a big village family, with many selfish members, having a massive giant fight for 20 episodes. The main character does manage to grow some produce and start a small business in between trying to protect her money and property from the preying eyes (and hands) of her family. At the same time, she meets a handsome man (of course, he has to be handsome) with a secret mission (of course, why else would a handsome man be in a small poor village). A tropey drama isn’t a tropey drama without a handsome second male love interest, this time we have the young village doctor!

Honestly, what can I say about this drama? It’s full of tropes (just see that summary). I suppose this is pretty refreshing for the current Chinese TV drama industry. In recent years, I haven’t seen any family conflict drama that focuses on the common people so it is pretty different and refreshing in that sense.

For me, it was my initial expectation that damaged my own experience of this drama. I went into this with the completely wrong impression (I blame this all on the original trailer!). I was under the impression this would be a fun and relaxing slice-of-life drama with lots of farming and money making, instead, what we got were SCREAMING village people and the main character constantly getting bullied by her own family members! The repeative loop of the main character making money, then have it taken by a self member of the family got a little frustrating after a while, I just wanted her to do well and for it to last a little more than 10 seconds.

I can go on and on about this, but let me just say that, it’s actually not a bad drama, it was just the wrong timing for me! If I had known, I think I wouldn’t have been so annoyed and frustrated as I do like a good family conflict drama.

On a more positive note, the acting was top-notch!

As a Chinese learning material…

Despite not enjoying this drama that much myself, I do believe this is a good drama for a Chinese learner. It’s not often we’ll come across a drama showcasing the life of farmers in historical periods. 田耕纪 (Romance on the Farm) focuses on the everyday lives and struggles of rural villagers, resulting in less formal and fancy vocabulary and sentence structures compared to historical dramas involving powerful and high-status families. This makes it more accessible for those with limited experience in the historical genre.

For those completely new to Chinese historical fictional content or have little knowledge of Chinese family honorifics, the introduction of the various characters and their relationship could be a little confusing. With a few dictionary look-ups and guessing from context, it won’t be difficult to figure out their relationships.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *