Small Town Stories is a slice-of-life Chinese drama that excels in creating an extraordinary plot and characters. If you like any of the cast and enjoy the music, then this is a must-watch. Check out my review below!
Title: Small Town Stories (小城故事多)
Release Date: January 21, 2024
Genres: Music, Business, Romance, Life, Drama
Original Network: iQiyi
Available On: iQiyi
Synopsis and Plot Summary
Mu Di, a highly educated and skilled professional from Suo Na, returned home to recover from an injury. During her stay, she crosses paths with Bai Lang, an intelligent and capable company executive. A twist of fate compels them to embark on a joint business venture.
As they collaborate in building their business, Mu Di not only experiences a unique warmth from the people in the town but also discovers inspiration to blend traditional art with pop culture. Her perspective on the folk music she once cherished evolved, leading to remarkable improvements in her performances and garnering widespread praise. The initial challenges she faced with Bai Lang transformed into a positive and cooperative partnership.
In the culmination of their efforts, Mu Di and the folk orchestra members seize the opportunity to create traditional folk music that resonates with many. Bai Lang’s influence encourages Mu Di to break down her emotional barriers and follow her heart. This journey not only brings her a fulfilling career but also helps her find a place to call home, surrounded by love and support.
Small Town Stories Chinese Drama Ending Explained
Small Town Stories Chinese drama has a happy ending. In the closing scenes of the episode, back in Beijing during the entrance ceremony, Mu Di once again won over the hearts of all the teachers with his captivating suona performance.
In a significant development, the Weihai Municipal Commerce Bureau and the Culture and Tourism Bureau organized a press conference for the “Immersive Experience Environmental Folk Music Workshop,” centered around the theme of folk music.
Mu Di and Bailang hurried back in time to share the exciting news that the folk orchestra and the Beijing Experimental Symphony Orchestra had successfully reached a collaborative agreement. Renowned folk music experts from across the nation would regularly visit Weihai to establish a training base.
This turned out to be Mu Di’s surprise for Bai Lang, revealing his decision to stay in Weihai. He couldn’t bear to part with the place and everything he had come to love.
Thanks to the joint efforts of Mu Di, Bai Lang, and a group of enthusiastic young people from Weihai, this small city now shone with extraordinary brilliance and energy. The transformation was a testament to their dedication and passion, making Weihai a vibrant hub radiating positive vibes.
Small Town Stories Chinese Drama Review
This drama is an absolute must-watch if you enjoy slice-of-life themes that excel in meaningful plots and well-developed characters.
I initially approached this with low expectations, mainly because of my familiarity with Katrina’s (Female Lead) past works. It happened to be my first drama featuring the Male Lead, and to my pleasant surprise, his acting was outstanding, bringing the character to life in a relatable and lively manner.
Despite not being an idol, he proved himself as a commendable actor who deserves more recognition. The overall experience exceeded my expectations, with no dull moments in both the main and side storylines.
While the drama revolves around a slice-of-life theme, it avoids excessive drama, presenting realistic stories that are character-driven. The characters’ growth is organic and progressive, filled with touching and enlightening moments. Conflicts are resolved swiftly, without unnecessary fillers.
Even though I usually don’t pay much attention to side couples, this drama managed to captivate me with the development of the secondary couple storylines. Overall, it provided a therapeutic and healing experience, akin to my daily dose of chicken soup.
I feel confident in expressing my view after watching enough episodes – this drama is excellent. If you have a fondness for any of the cast members and appreciate music, this is a resounding yes for your watchlist.
Before the drama began, I had seen numerous Gao ZhiTing dramas and watched Rain Lu in several shows. The cast’s synergy is evident, and Gao ZhiTing continues to charm as he did in “A Love So Beautiful.” I always find myself rooting for his character to find love.
While I wouldn’t trade Karlina for Shen Yue, both actresses bring their own charm to the drama. Karlina, as the female lead, impressed me with her portrayal, complementing the unique instrument with a beautiful sound. Gao ZhiTing, as the male lead, served as an excellent Master of Ceremonies, and their on-screen dynamic was truly complimentary.
I sincerely hope to see these two actors collaborate in future dramas, as their chemistry is palpable. The drama’s pace, refreshingly fast, stands out positively compared to many others that tend to feel drawn out. The supporting cast, while not spectacular, is solid, and that’s exactly what the story needs.
The core of the story revolves around a talented, self-centered, and prideful small-town girl who plays the Suo Na, an instrument she once believed only worked well in a group setting. Her journey involves a fixated dream, a failed audition due to stress, and a subsequent return to her hometown, leading to newfound friendships, love, and self-discovery.
Aside from the female lead’s personal growth, the drama also delves into the rich Chinese culture of the small town, emphasizing themes of kindness, connection, and awareness. The mini-stories of the town folks, particularly centered around major life events like marriage and death, are both heartwarming and tear-jerking.
The main male lead, managing businesses in both wedding and funeral arrangements, is a well-written character struggling with limited life options yet facing challenges with resilience. The messages conveyed in these mini-stories highlight the importance of kindness, especially during difficult times.
One particular story, where the female lead rearranges a song and performs it at the funeral of a child who died in a car accident, left me profoundly moved. The resolution of the story was meaningful and healing, capturing emotions that words fail to describe.
The drama concludes on a joyous and warm note, tying up the main theme and character arcs. Despite the struggles and challenges faced by the characters, there’s a sense of optimism for the town, its people, and the couples involved.
The only drawback for international viewers is the subpar subtitles, but I hope this drama gains more recognition and publicity, prompting better-streaming platforms to provide improved subtitles for a broader international audience.
Small Town Stories Chinese Drama Cast
Karlina Zhang as Mu Di
Gao Zhi Ting as Bai Lang
Wu Xing Jian as Wei Lian
Song Jia Teng as Huang Jin
Zhu Rui as Mu Tong
Rain Lu as Qu Wen Wen
Xu Shao Ying as Ding Yi
Zhang Qi as Dr. Liu
Yang Xin Ming as Wang Da Yin
Shi Lei as Gang Zi
Yue Yang as Shen De Bao
Jin Tian Yu as Lao Pan
Chen Xin Xuan as Xu Huan
Liu Ya Jin as Dr. Wang
Fan Tian Tian as Sister Du
Wang Qing as Sister Ping
Dong Jing Chuan as Qi Fang
Chen Yu Zhe as Wei Lai
Overall, Small Town Stories is a Chinese drama with a great slice of life in plot and character creation. I recommend this for you to watch, it’s a must-watch if you’re looking for something connected to your world. My rating for Small Town Stories Chinese drama is 8,7/10.