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1. There must always be at least one romantically involved couple with problems at the start. But whatever happens, they always get together in the end.

2. Any dead protagonists along the plotline, especially the romantically involves ones, come back to life at the ending. There is also always a trademark heroine-runs-in-the-open, does-not-find-lover, lover-appears-behind-her scene to commemorate this event.

3. The antagonist takes an awful long time to die.

4. The protagonist is killed, resurrected by love, killed again and resurrected when heroine is near death after attacking the antagonist.

5. The antagonist takes an awful long time to die, claws back from the brink of death, stabs the hero at a happy point in the story, is stabbed back, takes 20 minutes to converse with the hero, falters, takes another 20 minutes to curse the hero on his dying breath, and dies.

6. Antagonist's son/wife/loyal underling/pet comes after protagonists in revenge sub-plot.

7. Hero/heroine gets disillusioned at some point near ending. Has to be shaken and stirred to come back to civilization and kick ass with even crazier kung fu stances than before.

8. A protagonist ends up dead. But suddenly, in the last half hour or so, the protagonist is shown in bed after the ministrations of a master sensei (damnit, there are no doctors like these anymore), drinking soup and being one very perky corpse.

9. See 8, only instead of sensei, one of the featured kung fu masters uses qi gong to save the dying. Usually happens for poisoned protagonists, and is ended with the saved protagonist spitting a mouthful of bad blood.

10. A protagonist says something untranslatably wise, protagonists part ways, realize how wrong that is, run after the other protagonists, and they all ride into the sunset.

And now you know why kung fu Chinese TV drama serials all take about 10 episodes just to end. Note to self: Get back to writing. Do not deviate.

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