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Crime Crackdown: Bold drama series that shows strength of truthfulness

Updated:2021-09-07 15:41:54   

A stage photo of Crime Crackdown

The drama series is a collective portrait of those involved in fighting against gang crimes.

Knowing that a central supervising group was to be stationed in Lüteng city, a woman who had petitioned for her missing husband for 14 years decided to stop their car. She knelt down on the expressway and held up a camera with evidence in it, waiting for the group’s approaching. However, it was a sanitation sprinkler that approached her first. In broad daylight, the informer was killed. The tune "I wish you peace!" rang in the sprinkler while the murderer was handling her blood.

A young waiter accidentally discovered the secret of a man who escaped the death penalty, and by placing his cell phone at the crack under a restroom door, he smartly recorded a video clip of the criminal telling the truth. Unexpectedly, the waiter’s “smartness” brought a tragic end to himself and his sister.

These are shocking scenes appearing first in the recent TV drama series "Crime Crackdown", which has made a hit in China. Isn't it a bold beginning?

Evils do exist in the world, so there must be someone to carry the burden to fight against them. Soon after its unveiling, Crime Crackdown won a high mark of 8.0 on Douban.com, a Chinese social network that offers "lifestyle and culture" services.

“Running on streaming site Tencent Video from Aug 9, the drama series has garnered 2.7 billion "clicks" online and got attention overseas,” said a China Daily report on September 2, adding some audiences had asked for English subtitles on the fans-aggregating Mydramalist.com. 


Lin Hao played by Zhang Yixing (central, front) and Li Chengyang played by Sun Honglei (Photo/Tencent)  

The drama series tells the story of Li Chengyang, legal adviser of Xinshuai Group outwardly, and Lin Hao, a young criminal police, and they both join hands with He Yong, the leader of a special task force. Under the guidance of the national anti-graft steering group, the police eventually crack down the evil gangs and the corrupted local officials, who actually serve as the “protective umbrella” behind the evils.

Drama series by Wu Bai, a Chinese director good at narratives, feature suspensions and psychological games, and so does Crime Crackdown. However, the story is especially bold and exciting this time.

The setting of Crime Crackdown is Lüteng, the focus of national crackdown on criminal gangs. In recent Chinese crime dramas and movies, the fictional Lüteng city recurs as a hub of criminal activities.

Although the city, as well as most of the plots and characters, becomes fictional via artistic creation, a sensitive audience could still feel sort of familiar and be reminded of something in reality. He is right. The drama series is appealing because it is based on real-life cases.

In early 2018, the CPC Central Committee and the State Council issued a document that stressed a campaign on organized crime should involve fighting corruption and deal with “protective umbrellas” of gang crime. Over the years, the campaign swept the criminal underworld and the evils that caused social disorders.

Crime Crackdown is adapted from files of real-life cases provided by the national office of crackdown on organized and gang-related  crimes, and the troupe was thus supported by national authorities and agencies. Having read the files in detail and visited the sites where the crimes happened, they selected excerpts from the shocking cases of gang leaders: Sun Xiaoguo, Wen Liehong, Hong Hongfa and more. Then, the adaptation began.

In the drama, drunkard Sun Xing, who evokes widespread indignation among the audience, stands before a mirror in a restroom, and in a state of absent-mindedness, he reveals he murdered someone and his real name was Gao He.


Sun Xing played by Wu Xiaoliang (Photo/Tencent) 

The Sun Xing story is adapted from the sensational case of Sun Xiaoguo. In reality, a death sentence was put to Sun Xiaoguo, but he survived somehow: The death penalty was changed into a death sentence with reprieve, which was followed by a succession of cuts. Using his parents’ social influence, Sun Xiaoguo remained active outside the prison in the pseudonym of Li Linchen, running companies and entertaining facilities haunted by illegal dealings.

The drama also touches upon campus loans, naked loans, pornography, gambling, drug abuse and trafficking. The campus loan mostly targets less privileged university students, while in nude loans, girls use their naked pictures or videos as a collateral. These plots are based on realities and the numerous victims in news and reports.

The truthfulness of Crime Crackdown also comes from its in-depth characterization of the grass root anti-criminal workers and the persons with a strong sense of justice.

A viewer commented that the series shows it hard to be a good man. “I’ve hardly seen a TV series with such unshakable antagonists.” The drama series has made it clear that fighting against gang crimes can never be a quick battle. A seemingly simple step forward may cost the collective effort for years.

Li Chengyang, played by Sun Honglei in the drama, is actually a former criminal police. Framed and depressed, Li quitted from local police force, but he never gives up tracing the hidden truth. Experienced and sophisticated, Li attempted to look into the case by himself, but his efforts turned out to be futile in the ensuing years, dotted by repeated setbacks and failures.

Lin Hao, a young criminal police, acts bravely in the public interests, and he also showed smartness in prolonged tussles against the criminals. As the storyline progressed, the misunderstandings between Li and Lin were replaced by mutual assistance in their joint pursuit of truth and justice.

Crime Crackdown is a collective portrait of those involved in fighting against gang crimes. In the drama series, the Lüteng crackdown is steered by the central supervision group and carried out by grass-root criminal police officers. Huang Xi, an investigative reporter, and Dajiang, Li's dearest  buddy, also contribute a lot to dealing with the gangsters.

Having brought to justice all the villains and their “protective umbrellas,” a peaceful and harmonious society will emerge, together with a political ecology of brightness and openness. However, such accomplishment can never be attained by any single individual. It calls for joint efforts.

Crime Crackdown, a bold and shocking drama with 28 episodes, has proved the strength of truthfulness. Only by holding the attitude of facing realities, can the TV series producers create touching works.

Writing by Shen Jiequn (China Youth Daily); Trans-editing by Wang Shixue

Keywords:   Crime Crackdown bold drama