Judge Dee’s Mystery [大唐狄公案] aka Celebrated Cases of Judge Dee is a Chinese detective series that aired in February 2024.

Cast

Zhou Yi Wei (周一围) aka Alex Zhou as Judge Dee
A very popular actor with numerous productions on the go. We have seen him in a number of productions but the one that stands out the most was in The Longest Day in Chang’an.

Wang Li Kun (王丽坤) aka Claudia Want as Cao An
Another popular actress but we’ve only seen her in productions where she is playing a supporting cast.

Zhang Ruo Yun (张若昀) as Diao Xiao Guan
Although not in the main cast, he was a notable guest star. Best known recently for his role in Joy of Life for which season 2 has waiting for release and of course many others including Snow Sword Stride.

Review

This was a really good drama, one of the better Judge Dee shows I’ve ever seen.

There was one overall story and then some individual sub-stories/mysteries which lasted 3 or more episodes.  The story telling was solid and in the typical style of a good detective series.

What I didn’t expect was Judge Dee to have a couple of helpers and a romance. I don’t ever recall seeing that in other Judge Dee’s films.

The story was broken up with some humour, mainly from Dee’s sidekicks, which made the show very watchable.

A lot of effort went into special effects and the fighting scenes. We were surprised to learn that the boat was not CGI but actually made from scratch, they went to a lot of effort for those few episodes.

There were some bits that didn’t go well:

  • Some of the CGI was badly done, you could tell it was green screen.
  • Like other Chinese dramas, characters riding horses we so badly done, they can’t seem to get it right. One could tell they were on a plastic horse with a green screen in the background.
  • Some scenes were dubbed. I understand that its expensive to film outside and get the audio right which is why the actors pretend to speak their lines and dub them on later by speaking into a microphone in the studio.

The last 2-3 episodes wrapped up the series well but they even had a few clips from season 2. Yes, you will be pleased to hear that there will be another season.

Summary

An all round great show, solid story and great actors. I will give it a 4.5/5. I dropped half a point for the negatives I pointed above.

Where Can I Watch

Netflix has picked up the series. However, we watched it elsewhere. I’m not keen watching Asian shows on Netflix as they make more mistakes on the translations than other companies.