While Chinese TV series is normally 30 to 40 episodes long (some even go up to 60 or 70 episodes), TV series in foreign countries are usually a little over 10 episodes for one season. Among the submissions for the Magnolia Awards, both competition and showcase, there are many great shows in a wide range of genres, such as The Good Fight and Better Call Saul, both of which have main characters as lawyers, Unreal about reality show production, Billions about business wars of the financial sector, Candice Renoir and C.L.I.F. both of which are about the police yet in different ways, Outlander about traveling back to ancient times, and Mr. Robot, a realistic show…These TV series are from different countries and they represent the high production quality of international TV series.
The Good Fight (the U.S.)
While Chinese TV series is normally 30 to 40 episodes long (some even go up to 60 or 70 episodes), TV series in foreign countries are usually a little over 10The Good Fight, the spin-off of The Good Wife, is a legal and political drama television series about women legal professionals. THE GOOD FIGHT picks up one year after the events of the final episode of “The Good Wife.” In the new series, an enormous financial scam has destroyed the reputation of a young lawyer, Maia Rindell, while simultaneously wiping out her mentor and godmother Diane Lockhart’s savings. Forced out of Lockhart & Lee, they join Lucca Quinn at one of Chicago’s preeminent law firms.
The Good Fight’s special preview on CBS placed first in its time period with an averaged audience of 7.17 million viewers. The show has a clear and quick pace, as a spin-off of The Good Wife, The Good Fight is no less brilliant. From plot to casting, the show is widely and deeply loved by the audience.
Better Call Saul Season2 (the U.S.)
As a spin-off prequel of Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul tells the story of the hero who changes from a kind-hearted lawyer to Saul Goodman six years later, a criminal lawyer walking on the boundary of laws. The storyline is set before Saul Goodman meets Walter White, about how Saul deals with all kinds of people.
As a prequel, it was highly praised by both the audience and the critics after the airing of season 1, and it scores as high as 8.7 on IMDb. Every character on the show has his or her own background or story, giving it lots of space to build the narrations. Every scene and every line has its special meanings; even a small prop flashing in a shot may mean a lot, so the audience couldn't afford to overlook even the smallest detail. This show is so great that fans should take their time savoring it.
Unreal Season2 (the U.S.)
Unreal tells a story about a popular dating show Everlasting. With two women producers being the main characters, the TV series reveals how a reality show is produced and the intricate relationships between those working on it. From a new perspective, the show gives a glimpse of staff’s hard work and hidden rules in making a reality show that attracts more viewers. Producers create “conflicts” said to be necessary on a reality show by manipulating relationships between contestants. The show not only reveals what LIVE program making business is like but also speaks for people with different life attitudes. How Rachel, the leading character who suffers from childhood traumas, would make choices in her personal and work life is also worth watching on the show.
Reality shows are full of drama. Besides scripted plots, aroused hormones and conflicts, staged dramatic scenes, explosive storyline development and contestants and overwhelmingly enormous information to take…all of these are the reasons why this show is so hard to drop.
Billions Season2 (the U.S.)
Starring Oscar nominee and Emmy and Golden Globe winner Paul Giamatti and Emmy and Golden Globe winner Damian Lewis, season two picks up immediately after the explosive season one finale, which ended in a head-to-head confrontation between hard-charging U.S. Attorney Chuck Rhoades (Giamatti) and billionaire hedge fund king Bobby "Axe" Axelrod (Lewis), giving no mercy in the scorched-earth battle to retain the power positions they’ve spent a lifetime building. With dueling investigations haunting Chuck and Bobby, both men are facing a full frontal assault that will force them to reconsider everything and everyone.
Billions involves some professional knowledge in finance, but it is not just a drama series about business. While the world we are living in is dominated by money and law, the battles between Chuck and Bobby are representation of the sharpest conflicts in it. The audience could see lots of impressive scenes there.
Candice Renoir revolves around a French police officer Candice Renior and her team solving different criminal cases in a port city of South France. Candice herself is a mother of 4 children and recently divorced. Her daily routine is between solving crimes, taking out fights with her superior, a much younger female police officer, getting her kids to school, handling their problems and keeping her team in line. It's a very funny and witty series with a lot of French charm and intelligent story writing. Not another dull crime series all over again. It's like a fresh French breeze on the TV screen.
C.L.I.F.4 tells stories about how police force and law enforcement in Singapore perform their duties as a team against the criminals. Reality is revealed through this show in terms of how the police would solve a case.
This season picks up where the previous season leaves off. Officer-in-charge of Crime Division Wei Lantian and Head of CID Huang Zhijie will welcome a new member to their family, but they have to face more and more questions. Wei Lantian is stuck in dilemma when facing challenges from work, love, friends, family and complicated cases. He keeps fighting everything in his life. As a police procedural action drama, C.L.I.F.4 is brilliant in creating mystery and exciting action scenes. The plot is also quite the reason for the viewers to stay in front of the TV.
My Decision (Iran)
The series tells a story about an eight-year-old boy named Arash. Arash is a shy little boy, so he often gets bullied by his classmate Mosso. The timid Arash has to give Mosso his stationary and meals. The bullying situation has been going on for a long time before Arash finally makes a wrong decision—he leaves the school, and even the city, to get away from Mosso. Will his plan work?
School bullying is not uncommon in real life, but few people would think about the issue from the perspectives of children’s. This TV show presents things from the perspective of a boy, Arash, and tells the audience what he thinks when being bullied.
Claire is a married combat nurse. When traveling with her husband in Scotland, she is swept back in time from 1945 to the Scotland of 1743. She is thrown into an unknown world where her life is threatened and is forced to marry Jamie Franser, a chivalrous and romantic young Scottish warrior. Two relationships with two totally different men tear Claire’s heart, and she also gets involved in a battle…
As a time travel TV series, Outlander broke the record on Starz upon its premier, which was view by 5 million viewers. Leading actors and actress are brilliant and beautiful. The serious and professional production also unveils the luxuries in a medieval French palace and the mysterious ancient folk cultures.
Mr. Robot is a drama-thriller digital punk television series with realistic elements. Elliot is a cybersecurity engineer who suffers from social anxiety disorder and schizophrenia. Another part of his consciousness, Mr. Robot, controls him to lead a hackers’ team to attack E-Corp. After the hacking comes chaos. The world economy collapses and more threatening viruses are secretly prevailing in society. The show is invitingly interesting and thought-provoking with its complicated plot and characters who keep smashing themselves onto the existing social norms.
The Full-Time Wife Escapist (Japan)
Mikuri Moriyama, the protagonist, is a graduate student who couldn’t find a job after graduation. Her father tells her to do housekeeping for Hiramasa Tsuzaki, a 35-year-old single white-collar man, in his house. After learning that her parents are about to move to the countryside, Mikuri feels insecure about her future and tells Hiramasa on her first day as a housekeeper: “How about we get married like it is just a job?” After giving serious thought about it, Hiramasa decides to enter a contract marriage with her. Keeping their contract only to themselves, the couple starts a strange marriage where the employer is the husband and the employee is the wife. Slowly, the girl who loves day dreaming and the old virgin begin to feel different sparkles between them.
The female lead is played by the popular actress Aragaki Yui and the male lead by Hoshino Gen. Last year, the show was quite a hit with the Chinese audience. The Japanese romance comedy is fun to watch, and topics the show discusses such as marriage and working women are also thought-provoking.
Two unidentified bodies are found in a warehouse in a suburb. After preliminary checks on the bodies, the police start to look into the case. One of the victims Leo finds himself still exist as a ghoust, and he could only communicate with a girl named Vanessa. Leo desperately wants to know what has happened, so he asks Vanessa for help. The story starts from there.
A ghost helps the police to find out why he is dead? This peculiar storyline keeps the audience in suspense from the very beginning. During the process of unraveling the case, the hero and the girl are drawn closer to each other, and something touching and warm is there alongside the mysterious main plotline…