Chinese Variety Shows That You Need to Watch

Chinese dramas are definitely addicting for their plots and overturn but can be pretty overwhelming at times. If you want to take a break and look for newer content, you may want to try watching Chinese variety shows. These shows are more light-hearted and easy-going and are surely entertaining. You can expect great laughter, fun talks, and thrilling excitements from these shows that you surely don’t wanna miss.

Here’s our short list of Chinese Variety Shows which you need to watch right now:

1. Great Escape (3 Seasons)

Season 3 casts from L-R: Wowkie Zhang, Yang Mi, Justin Huang, Deng Lun, Zhang Guo Wei
Photo credit: MGTV

If you are a fan of escape rooms, deciphering codes, and bits of jump scares, Great Escape is the show for you. 
The show always starts with members wearing eye masks and arriving at an unknown large escape room. Every two episodes run on a new plot with a background story where the cast need to use clues, interact with NPCs, and do missions to successfully escape the place. Just be wary of the jumps and screams of the guests and the cast members.

Great Escape is adapted from a South Korean show with the same name. The first season was released in 2019. Season 2 and season 3 of the show are available in English Subtitles on Mango TV App and Mango TV Youtube Channel.

2. Keep Running (9 Seasons)

Season 9 casts from L-R: Lucas (WayV), Zheng Kai, KUN, Li Chen, Sha Yi, Song Yu Qi ((G)-idle), Angelababy
Photo credit: Keep Running Weibo Account

(Previously known as Running Man China or Hurry up, Brother) is a spin-off from the popular South Korean variety show Running Man. This show takes its viewers around the most beautiful landmarks of China showcasing their proud heritage and culture. Running on its 9th season, Keep Running never fails to keep the adrenaline flowing by giving exciting and distinct touch to every of its mission and theme per episodes. Who would not be thrilled with the famous name-tag ripping game?

For international fans, seasons 3,4,5,6,8, and 9 of Keep Running are available in Vietnamese and English Subtitles in Keep Running Official Youtube Channel.

3. PLAY!FRIDGE (7 Seasons)

Photo credit: WeTV

(Previously known as Go Fridge) is a variety show concerning food, fun, and friendship. This show features the refrigerators of the guests where chefs will make different dishes depending on the ingredients present on the guest’s fridge. What to look for in the current season? The refreshing and more home-vibe setup that is entirely different from the past 6 seasons. This includes the mini games, guests’ funny stories, and discovery of stars that are also good cooks in real life. 

Currently, the cast of Play!Fridge includes: Chen Zi Ming, He Jiong, Jackson Wang, Liu Zhang (INTO1), and Nine (INTO1). Play!Fridge is currently available in WeTV App. 

4. Detectives’ Adventures (1 Season)

Season 1 casts from L-R: Na Ying, Sun Honglei, Sha Yi, Yang Di, Yang Zi, Huang Zitao, Song Yaxuan (TNT).
Photo credit: iQIYI

Detectives’ Adventures is a detective and mystery-solving show that revolves around stories adapted from classical IPs shows (e.g. Journey to the West, My Fair Princess, Legend of White Snake). The casts are required to adapt to unreasonable scripts and draw their acting skills to portray the characters in the play and act real scenes. The main questions are ‘Who do you trust?’ and ‘Which statements are reliable?’ Be ready for deception, quick wit, and plot twists in the games inside various IP worlds.

Detectives’ Adventures is currently available in iQIYI app.

5. Back To Field (5 Seasons)

Season 5 casts from L-R: Zhang Yixing, Peng Yuchang, Zhang Zifeng, Huang Lei, He Jiong
Photo Credit: Hunan TV

With the fast-paced, busy life the city presents, have you ever wondered what life in simplicity brings? This show is a gem, especially when you want something fun and relaxing after a stressful week. It makes you want to experience the simple rural life, where hard work through farming or constructing something will be rewarded with warm and delectable meals; and after a tiring day, everyone will dine together, have a hearty talk or sing and dance together. If you are appreciative of nature, you will enjoy the recent season’s location. You will also know how big the “mushroom family” is.

Back to field S2-S5 with english subtitles are available in China Hunan TV Official Youtube Channel and and Mango TV app.

Special Mentions:

*Welcome Back to Sound (1 Season)

Season 1 casts from L-R: Xie Na, He Jiong, Yi Yang Qian Xi

Welcome Back To Sound is simply heartwarming and uplifting show. It lets you feel the calmness, sense of companionship, and appreciation every episode. The show’s setup is radio-styled, where the MCs will listen and give their inspiring insights to stories from ordinary people through phone calls and hand-written letters. You can feel the sincerity, connectedness, and nostalgia through the stories that are sometimes cute, funny, touching, but mostly relatable. The airing of the first season was very timely as most parts of the world were on pause due to the pandemic. With restlessness and worries, a simple gesture of listening and making your presence felt makes a big difference.

Welcome Back to Sound is available on Mango TV Youtube Channel and Mango TV App.

*Happy Camp

Happy Camp Casts from L-R: Wu Xin, Li Wei Jia, He Jiong, Xia Na, Du Hai Tao
Photo credit: China Hunan TV

If you ask how many seasons this show has had as of the moment, I’m not really sure; it has been active non-stop since 1997. Happy Camp is one of the most popular shows in China and with the rise of Chinese entertainment internationally, this show deserves to be on top of your list.

Despite being in the entertainment game for a quite a while, the show does not disappoint its viewers and guests, boasting creative themes and interactive games and activities. The show stands out for being exciting, fun, and educational, which is advantageous for viewers locally and internationally. With it’s countless episodes, you can most likely find your faves appearing sometime, somehow. Every episode is a good catch where you can surely discover a new idol/star to stan.

In 2021, Happy Camp announced TNT’s Ding Cheng Xin as their newest cast and part of the Family. Happy Camp is available in China Hunan TV Official Youtube Channel and Mango TV App.

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