I don't understand cantonese, but have you ever watched cantonese dramas? I'm watching a time traveling one right now called "Captain of Destiny". I was wondering if anyone watched any in that Chinese dialect. And what were your impressions about them?
I grew up watching TVB and ATV series from the late 80s and early 90s. Imho they are some of the best dramas I've watched and it's a pity that not many know them because of their age and language. Only a handful of them are english subbed and to my knowledge there are no fansubbing groups for cantonese drama.
I also grew up watching a whole bunch of TVB dramas as a kid. My favorites are definitely Crime/Mystery dramas. They have a couple good romance dramas back from the early 2000s era too. I still watch some from time to time, but I do think the quality has actually gone down unfortunately. Lots of their actors/actresses are leaving and going to China instead.
I've heard from cantonese friend they are not very good, relative to China or Taiwan.
I've only seen movies, other than Ip Man, which half the western population has probably seen, I've watched L for Love, L for Lies, which is a romance/revenge-themed drama, it reminded of korean drama but definitely had its own style, I was told this is the typical style of their romance drama.
I agree with what has been said above with regards to some of the Hong Kong and Japanese dramas being too exaggerated/silly (where they often tend to retract from the flow of the drama) which is why I tend to prefer Korean dramas instead. I'm Cantonese-speaking and I did grow up watching dramas on TVB when I was a kid, but haven't done so in over a decade. A lot of my friends/family agree that the quality of them has been getting worse and worse over the years.
Some dramas from China are good too, though I'm personally not a big fan of the fact that they rely a lot on dubbing. It takes away from the authenticity and feels a bit unnatural/stiff/detached to me. Also, most of the better/more popular dramas from mainland China tend to be historical (and very long) and since I usually tend towards modern-setting dramas (which I've heard aren't as good compared to historical dramas), it's rare that I have the drive to start one of them. I have to be in a certain mood to be able to focus on a historical drama (excluding time-skip dramas, which for some reason I'm usually more intrigued by).
I agree that HK dramas post-2000 are of low quality story-wise, that's why I don't watch any of them. However, during the golden age of HK film and drama industry, some true classics were produced and they covered a wide range of genre, from comedy to historical dramas, and ofc modern-setting dramas. Especially revenge and social-critical dramas were quite popular (some of today's korean makjang dramas were probably inspired by them). It was also the period when actors like Chow Yun Fat, Tony Leung and Andy Lau started their acting career, with their first acting roles in dramas.