Home » Expanding Themes in Youth Campus Dramas: A Look at “Zeng Boy” and Other Popular Shows

Expanding Themes in Youth Campus Dramas: A Look at “Zeng Boy” and Other Popular Shows

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Youth Campus Drama Expands Themes and Audiences

Author: Shi Wenjing

The campus drama “Zeng Boy” is currently captivating viewers with its diverse group of youth characters and complex storylines. While youth campus dramas have traditionally focused on love stories, shows like “Zeng Boy” are pushing boundaries and attracting a wider audience.

Starring Zhang Yishan, Guan Xiaotong, and Fan Chengcheng, “Zeng Boy” revolves around the growth stories of Qin Chuan and Xie Qiao. Childhood friends, Qin Chuan and Xie Qiao, navigate their way through life, making different choices and ultimately realizing their feelings for one another.

With more than ten episodes aired, the show introduces over a dozen young characters. Qin Chuan, a Canadian student who was forced to immigrate, and Xie Qiao, who was admitted to university, are the main protagonists. Their love lives intertwine with other characters, creating a complex web of relationships. These intersecting love stories establish compelling and relatable young characters.

Unlike typical youth school dramas, “Zeng Boy” eschews clichéd storylines and instead portrays the laughter and tears of youth growth through multi-line love stories. Each couple’s youthful love is delicately portrayed, encompassing various emotions from uncertainty and anxiety to companionship and persistence. The plot also delves into family dramas and showcases characters’ personal growth and hard work. The series presents a rich and realistic portrayal of youth.

Another popular school drama, “When I Fly to You,” also explores themes of love and growth. The show follows Su Zaizai, a cheerful sixteen-year-old girl, as she meets Zhang Lurang, the school bully. The series not only depicts the ups and downs of campus life but also emphasizes positive values such as friendship, hard work, and responsibility.

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The trend of expanding the campus-themed drama genre is evident in recent years. Rather than solely focusing on love stories, these shows now tackle real issues and even incorporate fantasy elements. Themes of education, family, dreams, and societal problems are explored in newer youth school dramas. This shift has broadened the scope of expression for these shows and increased their appeal to a wider audience.

“The Days of Chasing Light” centers around the college entrance examination, showcasing the challenges faced by students and teachers. Last year’s hit drama “Big Exam” combined the campus college entrance examination theme with elements of family and the pandemic, creating a more nuanced narrative. Shows like “Basic Law of Genius” even venture into fantasy time travel, offering multiple possibilities in the characters’ growth journeys.

The emergence of “campus +” dramas has shattered stereotypes associated with youth school dramas. These shows have gone beyond the confines of love stories and dog-blood storylines, delivering more realistic and high-quality narratives. The creative expressions in these dramas have greatly expanded the thematic landscape of youth campus dramas.

As the popularity of shows like “Zeng Boy” and “When I Fly to You” continues to rise, it is evident that youth campus dramas are no longer limited to a specific genre. Viewers can now expect a diverse range of themes and compelling stories in this ever-evolving genre.

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