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上瘾 (Shàngyǐn) “Heroin” also known as “Addiction”

Staff Pick Type: 
Author: 
Chai Jidan
Director: 
Ding Wei
Type: 
Web TV series (Mandarin with Simplified Chinese and English subtitles)
Date: 
January 29–February 23, 2016

A popular, entertaining 15-episode web drama following the lives of four male high school students in Beijing and a romance that develops among them. Made on a low budget and starring a cast of actors who are not well-known. Originally intended to stream in its entirety on Chinese websites, it was banned before its final three episodes aired, and all previous episodes were taken down. Although no official statement is available on why it was taken off the air, one can guess that it was likely due to the stipulation by new guidelines in China that “no television drama shall show abnormal sexual relationships and behaviors, such as incest, same-sex relationships, sexual perversion, sexual assault, sexual abuse, sexual violence, and so on.” However, the whole series can still be viewed on the official YouTube channel.

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