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The Longest Day in Chang'an (长安十二时辰; Cháng Ān Shī Èr Shí Chén) is a 2019 Chinese series. It's based on the novel of the same name by Ma Bo Yong and stars Lei Jia Yin and Jackson Yee.

A group of terrorists plan to attack Chang'an, capital of the Tang dynasty, on the Lantern Festival. Zhang Xiao Jing, a criminal awaiting execution, is ordered to catch them in twenty-four hours with the help of Li Bi.

It can be watched on Viki with English subtitles.

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Contains examples of:

  • Aluminium Christmas Trees: Ge Lao is a black man in ancient China. It's not as impossible as it sounds; the Tang Dynasty had contact with many places, including the Byzantine Empire, and people from all over the world came to China.
  • Ax-Crazy: Yu Chang. Even Long Bo is shocked by her cruelty, especially when she defies his orders not to kill a girl.
  • Badass Boast: Li Bi's response to Xiao Jing's pessimism about the future.
    Li Bi: The Tang Dynasty has me for its future. note 
  • Big Bad: Long Bo is the real threat to the city.
  • Big Eater: When he's first sent on his mission Xiao Jing is more interested in eating at every restaurant he sees than hunting the Wolf Squad.
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  • Bloodier and Gorier / Darker and Edgier: The series has more graphic violence than the majority of Chinese dramas. Among other things it features a man getting a knife driven into his hand on-screen and a woman being Buried Alive. Not to mention the man who had his eyes gouged out, and who appears in several scenes with his face covered in blood. Or Yu Chang getting her arm caught in the tower's cogs and cutting it off to free herself.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: A villainous version that isn't actually the end of the series. Long Bo dies when he charges into the soldiers gathered to kill him.
  • Break the Haughty: At the start of the series Li Bi is head of the Peacekeeper Corps, has considerable influence in the city, and has a high opinion of himself. Half-way through he loses his office, is outsmarted by Long Bo, and gets locked up with no way of contacting his friends.
  • Boxed Crook: Li Bi tells Xiao Jing he'll be freed if he catches the terrorists.
  • Buried Alive: Happens to Tan Qi. Yuan Zhi locks her in a coffin even though he knows she's still alive, then has his allies throw the coffin in a grave and start to fill the grave in. The whole time Tan Qi is awake and screaming to be let out. She's rescued just before she loses consciousness.
  • Clockworks Area: The mechanisms powering the lantern tower. Xiao Jing and Yu Chang fight a duel on top of the clockwork.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The desaturated version is used frequently, usually for flashbacks.
  • Dual Wielding: Yu Chang wields two swords at once. Long Bo does the same just before his death.
  • Eat the Evidence: Liu Lang ate a document containing important information before he was killed. Xiao Jing has to cut his corpse open to retrieve it.
  • Epic Tracking Shot / The Oner: Used frequently through the series. The opening scene is two minutes long, only one shot, and moves all over the city. Later in episode one the fight at the warehouse is also all one shot and pans through the whole warehouse.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: The series is forty-eight episodes long, and most of it takes place in a single day.
  • Extreme Mêlée Revenge: How Xiao Jing ends up on death row. He killed thirty-four members of the gang that killed his former commanding officer, then also killed his current commanding officer.
  • Eye Scream: Long Bo gouges out a man's eyes. Afterwards the viewer gets several delightful scenes of him with blood around his eyelids and running down his face.
  • The Farmer and the Viper: Jiao Sui pulls Po Yan out of the river. Po Yan repays him by robbing and killing him.
  • A Fête Worse Than Death: The terrorists get into the city just before the Lantern Festival, one of the biggest festivals in China.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: In flashbacks Long Bo is a relatively insignificant soldier working with Xiao Jing. In the main series he's planning to blow up half of Chang'an to kill the emperor.
  • Gorgeous Period Dress: All over the place, on both men and women.
  • Happiness in Slavery: Tan Qi is Li Bi's slave, and at first she's perfectly happy with this. Early in the series she outright refuses his offer to set her free. Subverted later, when she finally realises he has never seen her as a person.
  • Historical Beauty Upgrade: Portraits of the real Li Bi are scarce, but it's safe to assume he didn't look like Jackson Yee.
  • Historical Domain Character: Many characters are based on real people, including Xiao Jing and Li Bi.
  • Historical In-Joke: Early in the series Li Bi recites part of a poem written by the real Li Bi.
  • Knowledge Broker: Ge Lao collects information and sells it to people willing to pay enough for it.
  • Laughing Mad: A Zhi, at first. She calms down later.
  • Man on Fire: Several people are engulfed in flames in the aftermath of the first explosion.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: After capturing Li Bi, Long Bo gets uncomfortably close to him and touches him or grabs his clothes at every chance he gets.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Li Bi escapes and leaves Tan Qi behind even though he knows she's in danger. She gets Buried Alive and barely survives. When she sees Li Bi again she tells him exactly what she thinks of him for his behaviour.
    Tan Qi does this in order to publicly cut her ties with Li Bi and not to implicate him by any of her following activities.
  • Recruiting the Criminal: How Zhang Xiao Jing gets involved in the plot. Li Bi recruited another criminal before the series starts; when he's killed Xiao Jing is chosen as a replacement.
  • Red Baron: Xiao Jing is known as "the King of Hell".
  • Shown Their Work: The series is exquisitely researched in its historical aspects, from the clothing and armour to the role of "foreign" groups like the Zoroastrians and Turks in the Tang Dynasty to small details like characters sipping pomegranate juice through straws.
  • Slashed Throat: Wang Run Xiu takes Wen Ran hostage and holds a knife at her throat. Wen Ran uses the knife to cut her own throat.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: The terrorists' goal is to blow up all of Chang'an. They succeed in blowing up one of their former hide-outs. Xiao Jing narrowly escapes. Some of the soldiers with him didn't.
  • Tongue Trauma: Cui Liu Lang died of blood loss after his tongue was torn out.

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