Soap operas on Tudou
I've been watching 欢迎爱光临 on Tudou. Anybody else seen it?
I've been finding at least a 1/3 of the language pretty easy, and the story is quite simple (how many cliches can one fit in 30 mins?), but I have to read the subtitles, and I'm often pausing to look stuff up.
Anyway, there were a couple of things that struck me. Firstly, there is a model cast in it, and she is really, really skinny. It didn't look healthy. So my question is whether anorexia is becoming more of a problem in China these days. I don't pay a huge amount of attention to supermodels over here, but I'm sure even Kate Moss is not that thin.
Secondly, the portrayal of the female role seems so... 1950s. I know it's the "idol drama" genre, but the woman seems so helpless and submissive in many ways. She can't even detach herself from a tree when her clothes get caught on it, and her knight in shining armour comes along to save her from the tree. Is that kind of female role appealing to the Chinese youth market?
I think I'll have to watch more of these. They do amuse me!
flibberdieNovember 22, 2010, 11:01 PM
Your link didn't work for me, but I'll go find the show you've been watching and give it a try.
Hey Patti, try the link again. Don't know why it didn't work the first time.
There are no English subtitles. I was trying to collect vocab for the first episode, but I kind of gave up half way. Too many new words!
The link does work now, but it took me to a short piece on the filming of the soap opera, with the lovely couple in the airport, and the girl working on her tears. :)
When I googled the title earlier, I got an episode to watch that was about 40 some minutes long.
You're right that the vocab is at a pretty familiar level. The shows also load quickly and play smoothly and, although there aren't English subtitles, it's great that there are Chinese subtitles.
I'll give the longer episode another run later when I leave the office.
Thanks for the recommendation, Sebire!
abelleNovember 22, 2010, 11:56 PM
Sebire: I can watch a cable channel in my area which originates from Taiwan. Last summer, I started watching the soap operas (no subtitles), but I became exasperated with them because they always show the women to be weak victims. The male characters either has a wife, fiancee, or girlfriend, but is also playing around with another woman on the side. So both women are constantly crying and the man doesn't seem repentant. I didn't need to understand every word to figure out what was going on. I watched 4-5 different ones and they seemed all the same to me--so sexist--so I said "suan le", and gave up watching them. I haven't seen a Mainland soap opera though and wonder if they are different. I also tried watching the Taiwan variety shows, but didn't find them very interesting. Since then I have bought DVDs of Zhao Ziyi and Gong Li movies. I watch them every once in a while and I think I can pick up more words each time. At least the characters they play are strong and interesting.
I think a lot of the soaps out there are targeted at an older female audience, so I was quite surprised to see the women portrayed in that way, as this is specifically pitched at the under 35s. It's not that the main character is portrayed negatively, she is just so unbelievably wholesome - hard-working, filial, humble, a romantic etc. I don't think that kind of character works with a Western audience.