The story is set during the period of the Chinese economic reform from 1978 until 1992 and the three men who relentlessly push the boundaries amidst trying times. Song Yunhui is highly intelligent but he has always been discriminated against due to his background. He grabs the chance to take the exams in 1978 and successfully becomes a qualified technician. However, just as he builds a foundation for his career, he also begins to lose himself in his thirst to climbs the ranks. Completely different from Song Yunhui is his brother-in-law Lei Dongbao. Being raised in a poor family, he is the typical rough and gruff man from the rural village. During the time of economic reform, he becomes a leader that the other villagers look up to, yet his lack of education ultimately impedes his initial motivations. Yang Xun on the other hand brings a different set of encounters. He aspires to be a self-made man as he rides the tide of change to find business opportunities, thus embarking on a road to becoming an entrepreneur. (Source: ChineseDrama.info) ~~ Based on the novel "Big River Goes East" by A Nai. Edit Translation
Cast & Credits
ABSOLUTELY SPLENDID!Seldom do I give a perfect score to a drama or rewatch it, but this was an incredible watch from start to end, and it deserves to be recognized as such. Like a Flowing River by its excellence single-handedly raises the bar of the quality of small-screen productions coming out of China. I highly recommend it.
Every single character from this drama has remained with me, and I felt as though I were part of the story, as though I were from Xiaoleijia. You get to live through that post cultural revolution period in Chinese history, and see, feel the impact of the progressive and socialist reforms implemented, the angst of a people at the end of a terrible era, and their excitement at the dawn of China's current economic revolution. Absolutely fascinating!
There has not been a day since the completion of this drama (about a month ago) that I have not thought about Xiaolejia or one of its characters in some way, shape or form.
Yang Shuo, Wang Kai, Tong Yao, and Dong Zijian delivered extraordinary performances; so did the rest of the cast, and they are commendable for it. The cinematography and directing were of sheer brilliance. Don't even get me started with the writing! Tang Yao penned the script (based on Ah Nai's novel River of Time) impeccably.
I cannot wait for Season 2, which is slated to air in December 2019 (11 long months away). I will rewatch the entire Season 1 then, prior to seeing Season 2.
What a kicker it would be if they can air it even earlier than the previously scheduled date!
Good storyAs a production, it is good. Actors are very good, in fact. The only issues about this production would be the ending (last ~10 episodes or so). The plot drifted and seemed unfocused (after Episode 38 or so), even though I enjoyed watching the 3 main characters and their story lines unfold. It is really regrettable that the last 2 episodes seemed so fragmented for the characters. (I know there may be another season! And, that's good news indeed.).
The main challenge here is whether the plot follows character development. I personally feel like the three main characters' developments aren't explicitly shown to the audience. That's regrettable. There is a lot of change in their lives. They must be changing as people. But, it is unclear...