On Children (2018) poster

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  • Score: 8.0 (scored by 69 users)
  • Ranked: #99999
  • Popularity: #6988
  • Watchers: 264

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Completed
DevilsAdvocate
1 people found this review helpful
Jan 27, 2019
5 of 5 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 9.0
The best Mandarin drama I have watched, by a large margin. It's on Netflix right now, so TL;DR - It's a must watch, especially for those of Asian descent.

NON-SPOILER SUMMARY - On Children is very similar to Black Mirror, except re-contextualized to address the problems of Asian society and the over-prevalent competitive and stress culture present there. It is an anthology series of 5 episodes, each clocking in at around 90 minutes, so I wouldn't recommend binge watching (especially given how heavy each episode is).

STORY - A++. The story is slow but meaningfully paced and is seemingly absent of obvious plot holes. Each episode focuses on similar yet different problems with the way Asian society treats the kids of the future as little more than their grade-point averages. What puts this drama above and beyond (hence the A++) is how each episode manages to give out their own critique; it goes beyond expectations of being "just good art" and actually tries to send home a message for each episode.

CHARACTERS/ACTING - Nearly flawless. This is the most talented ensemble of actors/actresses I've seen, given just how much range and difficulty each main character in the episode undergoes. Because they don't focus on more characters than they have to, you really get to spend time with the actor/actress behind the character and see them spectacularly deliver a wide spectrum of subtle emotions.

My biggest "flaw" with the show was the pacing. Because On Children focuses heavily on the cinematic/artistic parts of sending home their messages, there's a lot of "empty/dead space" void of dialogue where it's often just shots of some background, and while I do appreciate it for its artistic value, I do think ~10 minutes can be cut off from each episode and still no scenes of dialogue/importance would be cut.

For those who are curious, my rankings of the episodes are EP2=EP4>EP1>EP3>EP5.

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