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Yi Shu's novel adapted into hit drama

By Xu Fan | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-04-12 14:40

A still of  Best Choice Ever features actress Yang Zi as a Shanghai native. [Photo provided to China Daily]

In 1996, Yi Shu, one of Hong Kong's most beloved novelists, ventured into the intricate realm of parent-child relationships with the publication of Cheng Huan Ji (Bringing Joy to Parents). Now, 28 years later, this story has been transformed into the new drama, Best Choice Ever, which has swiftly become a hit since its recent debut, surpassing a popularity index of 2 on the streaming site Tencent Video.

Starring actresses Yang Zi and He Saifei as a 29-year-old woman from Shanghai and her commanding mother, the drama delves into the protagonist's struggle as she navigates between fulfilling her mother's expectations regarding marriage and pursuing her own desires for love and professional success.

Li Jingling, the scriptwriter, was drawn to the original novel, noting its unique position among Yi Shu's works, particularly in its exploration of parent-child and family relationships, a departure from the author's previous themes. While the novel was originally set in Hong Kong in 1995, the adaptation has localized the story to a more recent period in Shanghai, incorporating new details to seamlessly integrate the characters into the city's fabric.

A still of Best Choice Ever features actress He Saifei as the protagonist's domineering mother. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Despite the fact that director Tian Yu and most of the key creators are not natives of Shanghai, Li mentioned that the director extensively immersed himself in the city's atmosphere. This involved a three-month visit to Shanghai, during which the director explored local attractions, cafes, and restaurants to intimately understand the city's distinctive essence.

Furthermore, Li expressed the aspiration that the series would inspire younger viewers to better comprehend and embrace their parents, learning the delicate art of balancing filial piety with the pursuit of their own aspirations.

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