205 – Chinese television
Much of Chinese television seems to be pretty low brow. Of course most Australian TV is too, but perhaps this is another area where the Chinese have overtaken us.
My experience of Chinese TV was gained during a visit there last October. I didn’t watch much, just enough to get a biased impression probably, but what I did see (mainly in public areas) was gold.
The best was a soapy based around beach volleyball and kung fu. Ridiculously attractive, tall, western-looking Chinese girls wearing tiny bikinis play each other at beach volleyball. It seems to be professional, as there are big crowds watching, but it could just be that they are so attractive, I suppose. There are plenty of slow-motion shots and close-ups of body parts. One of the teams is “good” (sweet, poor, excellent at kung fu) and the other team is “evil” (bitchy, rich, with henchmen to do the kung fu for them). In between volleyball matches, when they are not dancing or hanging out at the beach, kung fu fights break out between the teams, with the good girls and their friends on one side and the evil girls’ henchmen on the other. The evil girls need to get better henchmen because they always lose the kung fu, even though they are dressed up like Men in Black, there are more of them, and they are fighting a couple of willowy girls. There is a touching love interest, with the incredibly handsome brother of the evil girls being in love with one of the good girls, and vice verse, but of course this makes things complicated! The boy’s mother and sisters are not happy about his taste in girlfriends because she is poor. They regularly order him to leave her, which he gallantly refuses. This gives the evils an excuse to send in the henchmen whenever they feel like it, only to see them humiliated yet again.
One of the airlines on an internal flight thoughtfully provided two episodes of this excellent show, to distract us from the fact that the plane with us in it was delayed at the departure gate for 90 minutes. It was riveting. Why can’t we have programs of this quality and interest in Australia?
If anybody knows the name of the program, I’d love to know.