Winter Begonia

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Winter Begonia
Promotional image
Also known as
  • Temple Sides are not Begonia Red
  • 鬓边不是海棠红
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese鬢邊不是海棠紅
Simplified Chinese鬓边不是海棠红
GenreHistorical fiction
Created byShui Ru Tian Er
Based onTemple Sides are not Begonia Red
Written by
  • Shui Rui Tian Er
  • Yu Zhou
  • Jiu Ren
Directed byHui Kaidong
Theme music composerLu Hu
Opening theme"Winter Begonia (鬓边不是海棠红)" by Lu Hu
Ending theme"This Life (此生)" by Xin
Country of originChina
Original languageMandarin
No. of episodes49
Executive producersYu Zheng
Dai Ying
ProducersMa Tian
Wang Xiaohui
Yang Le
Production locationsMainland China
Hengdian Studios
CinematographyPeng Zhen
Running time45 minutes
Production companies
  • Huan Yu Film and Television
  • Jumo Film and Television
Original release
ReleaseMarch 20 (2020-03-20) –
May 5, 2020 (2020-05-05)

Winter Begonia (Chinese: 鬓边不是海棠红; pinyin: Bìn Biān Bùshì Hǎitánghóng) is a 2020 Chinese television series starring Huang Xiaoming, Yin Zheng, and Charmaine Sheh, based on Shui Ru Tian Er's BL web novel of the same name. It aired exclusively on iQiyi and tells the story of the close relationship between a shrewd businessman and a Peking opera genius right before the World War II.[1] While the original web novel depicted the relationship between the two main men as romantic, the adaptation changed this depiction into a "bromance".

The show has been praised for its story, visuals and tasteful promotion of Chinese traditional culture, particularly Peking opera.[citation needed] iQiyi released a talk show named Wang Peiyu Peking Opera Show alongside the drama, which features Peking opera performer Wang Peiyu as she elaborates about operatic repertoire/traditions found in Winter Begonia and in real life.[2]

The series began airing on August 7 on Beijing TV at 19:30 CST.[3]


In 1930s Beijing, Shang Xirui (Yin Zheng) is a famous Peking opera dan performer known for his talent and passion for his art. He meets Cheng Fengtai (Huang Xiaoming), a businessman who saves him from an unruly audience during a performance. Cheng becomes interested in Peking opera and the two men become close. Together, they overcome many obstacles including the objection of Fengtai's wife (Charmaine Sheh), and must struggle to preserve their art in the face of the approaching Japanese occupation.[4]




  • Tan Jianci as Chen Renxiang
  • Merxat as Fan Lian
  • Tang Zengcao as Cao Guixiu
  • Liu Min as Cheng Meixin
  • Huang Shengyi as Gu Dali
  • Li Zefeng as Du Qi
  • Chin Shih-chieh as Jiang Rongshou
  • Du Chun as Yuan Xiaodi
  • Bai Bing as Jiang Mengping
  • Li Chunai as Xiao Lai
  • Wang Xichao as Jiang Dengbao
  • Ma Su as Yue Liang
  • Anna Fang as Shi Jiu
  • Tang Jingmei as Ceng Aiyu
  • Zhang Yixi as Cha Chaer
  • Huang Xingyou as Zhou Xiangyun
  • Cheng Feng as Xue Qianshan
  • Chi Shuai as Chang Zhixin
  • Wang Maolei as Shang Juzhen
  • Li Yixiao as Cheng Mu
  • Hei Zi as Cao Siling
  • Michelle Yim as Lao Fujin
  • Gao Yu'er as Yu Qing
  • Hou Yansong as Liu Hanyu
  • Zhang Gongshi as Wang Qi
  • Lei Han as Ning Jiulang
  • Wen Haibo as Chairman Zheng
  • Liu Boxiao as Lao Ge
  • Sun Di as Si Xi'er
  • Zhang Tianyun as Chun Xing
  • Shen Baoping as Hou Yukui



The previous 55 episodes were shortened to 49 in June 2018.[4] Shooting began on December 13, 2018 at Hengdian World Studios. Principal photography ended on April 29, 2019, and entered post-production.[5]

Peking opera depictions[edit]

The character Shang Xirui is a dan specialist, as pictured above.

To accurately depict the traditions of Peking opera on the small screen, production brought in experts of the craft to train the actors. The crew also invited 90-year old Peking Opera performing artist Bi Guyun as a drama consultant. Yin Zheng also received one month of closed training from the master.[6] The crew also invited practitioners of specific styles of Peking opera, such as Hui opera, to direct the plays that are performed in the drama. As there were many scenes featuring Kunqu opera, it is reported that two Kunqu opera directors were needed.[7]

Sets and costumes[edit]

The two theaters featured were one-on-one reconstructions of Beijing-Guangzhou Hall and Hu Guang Hall. The Cheng Fu Pavilion and Shui Yun Tower were also completely built by production, necessitating around 20,000 square meters.[8]

More than 200 sets of costumes were used in the drama, with more than 100 of them customized by the production team. The Peking make-up and hairstyle on actors were also supervised by professional opera teachers. Art design was headed by Luan Hexin, while clothing design was headed by Song Xiaotao and Li Anqi. Li Xiaoli was in charge of makeup.[citation needed]

Original soundtrack[edit]

Winter Begonia
Original Soundtrack (OST)
Soundtrack album by
Various artists
ReleasedMarch 19, 2020
LabelDongyang Huanyu Film

Winter Begonia Original Soundtrack was compiled and released on March 19, 2020 as an extended play.[9]

1."Winter Begonia (鬓边不是海棠红)" (Opening theme song )Yu ZhengLu HuLu Hu4:49
2."This Life (此生)" (Ending theme song)Yu ZhengLu HuXin4:09
3."This Life at this Time (此生此时)"Yu ZhengWang YaoguangWang Yizhe4:39
4."Begonia (海棠)" (Hong Kong title song)Yang XiZhang JiachengZhen Junhong 


Winter Begonia has been well received by viewers and critics. Its first 12 episodes debuted with a 7.3 out of 10 on Douban.[citation needed] By its conclusion, the show subsequently rose to an 8.1, aggregated by over 100,000 user reviews.[10] The series reportedly went viral on Sina Weibo, in which the show's hashtag received 480 million clicks.[11]

Beijing Youth Entertainment praised Huang Xiaoming and Yin Zheng's acting as well as the drama's depiction of Peking opera, highlighting it as an example of the potential for film and television to help spread traditional Chinese art and culture.[8] People's Entertainment praised the show's visuals and the interesting depiction of female characters and their relationships.[12]

Award and nominations[edit]

Award Category Nominee Result ref.
26th Shanghai Television Festival Best Television Series Winter Begonia Nominated [13]
Best Adapted Screenplay Yu Zhou, Shui Ru Tian'er, Jiu Ren Nominated
Best Cinematography Wang Chengxin Nominated
Best Art Direction Luan Hexin Nominated


  1. ^ "《鬓边不是海棠红》黄晓明佘诗曼演夫妻 尹正演绎京剧旦角名伶_YNET.com北青网". Archived from the original on 2020-06-05. Retrieved 2020-06-04.
  2. ^ Inc, iQIYI. "iQIYI's Original Drama Series "Winter Begonia" Taps into Technology and Platform Ecosystem to Promote Peking Opera". (Press release). Archived from the original on 2020-06-05. Retrieved 2020-06-05. {{cite press release}}: |last= has generic name (help)
  3. ^ 创业邦 (2020-07-22). "积压剧"翻身"上一线卫视黄金档?这事儿没想象中简单". Archived from the original on 2022-10-24. Retrieved 2020-08-06.
  4. ^ a b "电视剧拍摄制作备案公示表. 鬓边不是海棠红". SARFT. Archived from the original on June 5, 2020. Retrieved June 4, 2020.
  5. ^ "于正《鬓边不是海棠红》开机 黄晓明尹正重现梨园风华". Archived from the original on 2020-06-05. Retrieved 2020-06-04.
  6. ^ "《鬓边不是海棠红》亮相 黄晓明尹正唱响梨园情 传媒 人民网". May 12, 2020. Archived from the original on 2019-05-12. Retrieved 2020-06-04.
  7. ^ 网易 (2020-03-18). "《鬓边不是海棠红》京剧特辑曝光风雨梨园好戏开演". Archived from the original on 2020-06-05. Retrieved 2020-06-04.
  8. ^ a b "《鬓边不是海棠红》首周口碑出炉 华美梨园风惊艳全网_YNET.com北青网". Archived from the original on 2020-06-05. Retrieved 2020-06-04.
  9. ^ "鬓边不是海棠红 影视剧原声带 - QQ音乐-千万正版音乐海量无损曲库新歌热歌天天畅听的高品质音乐平台!". Archived from the original on 2023-10-24. Retrieved 2020-06-09.
  10. ^ "鬓边不是海棠红 (豆瓣)". Archived from the original on 2020-06-05. Retrieved 2020-06-04.
  11. ^ 傅瑞. "Streaming tale of ties -". Archived from the original on 2020-06-05. Retrieved 2020-06-05.
  12. ^ "《鬓边不是海棠红》:展现戏曲魅力 讲述处世之道人民网娱乐频道 人民网". Archived from the original on 2020-05-01. Retrieved 2020-06-05.
  13. ^ "第26届上海电视节白玉兰奖入围名单公布". China News (in Chinese). July 17, 2020. Archived from the original on July 11, 2021. Retrieved July 17, 2020.

External links[edit]