Wednesday, October 12, 2011

"No more time-travel drama", authority says it disrespects history

From QQ/ChinaHush:
Now there’s an interesting trend in China’s film and television industry: there is an influx of time-travel themed dramas being made and aired. In these time-travel based dramas, the protagonist is often than not from the modern time, and for some reasons and/orv circumstances ends up traveling through time all the way to ancient China where he/ or he will constantly experience "culture shock", but eventually get accustomed the life in ancient times, even developing romance(s) in that era.

Although it is obvious that this type of genre has found its niche amongst the Chinese audience and is gaining popularity, the country’s authority -General Bureau of Radio, Film and Television, is not happy about this trend and is calling for a halt to the production such dramas.

From the end of last year, time-travel themed dramas have become increasing popular, with most of the dramas being based on the actual history of ancient China, but with twists and turns of exaggerated elements to make it funny and more attractive. Anything goes in the time-travel genre. While some find it hilarious, others think the exaggeration and even ridiculous elements added into the story is a real source of annoyance and is disrespectful towards history.

Hence, the authority’s decision was made on the Television Director Committee Meeting on April 1st., "Time-travel dramas are becoming a hot theme for TV and films, but its content and the exaggerated performance style are questionable. Most of the stories are totally made-up for novelty's sake. The producers and writers are treating serious history in a frivolous way, which should by no means be encouraged anymore."
Shen Hua (Myth) is the country’s first time-travel TV play and a successful one. The play depicts how a young man travels through time to the China of 2000 years ago and becomes the sworn brother with Xiang Yu and Liu Bang, (both prominent military leaders and political figures during the late Qin Dynasty period). He eventually ends up being an army general leading troops of thousands of soldiers. At the same time in the modern world, his brother and family ends up fighting with a mystery man in their bid to find him.

Although Shen Hua(Myth) was a success in terms of box office, a large portion of fiction was intertwined with the actual historical events and persons, which would lead to controversies. There were also viewers who complained that there were too many mistakes on the historical facts, making it unbearable to watch.
Photo from Gong, another popular time-travel drama
Besides over-exaggerated time-travel dramas, the bureau is also making it clear that no more new films or television series of the Four Great Classical Novels should be produced and aired on the screen in the near future. Since 2010, dramas of the Four Great Classical Novels were respectively remade within one year. As there were too many remakes in a year of the same story, the original story would have to have slight amendments each time it was remade to the original story, causing viewer to have mixed feelings towards these remakes as the original (4 years ago) is deemed a classic and not easily surpassed.

I think overdoing it would cause an adverse effect on such themed dramas, but if done correctly and released in moderation, is pretty interesting to watch. Bu Bu Jing Xin (步步惊心) is one such show that I did enjoy, except for the open "sad" ending.


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