Even Chinese television execs know when too much is too much, apparently. "China's television regulator has ordered a crack down on dramas about the country's battles with Japan during and before World War Two and demanded they be more serious, state media said on Friday, following viewer complaints about ludicrous storylines," Reuters reports.
Anybody watch Happy Camp (快乐大本营), Hunan TV's flagship variety show? Turn on the TV because it’s probably airing right now. The show inexplicably has five hosts. There's He Jiong, unarguably the Ryan Seacrest of the show, then the charming Xie Na, and then three others who stand nearby and occasionally say and/or hold something. Every once in awhile, just to remind us he's still there, host Du Haitao steps into the frame and cracks a one-liner.
Authorities approved 303 new TV shows last year, according to Economic Observer, with more than half carrying a revolutionary theme. Would it surprise anyone that out of those, the majority expressed anti-Japanese sentiment?
Today is World Health Day, and to commemorate, the creative, slightly mischievous folk over at Durex have just released this commercial featuring Mike Sui -- he of the many dialects -- in a dinosaur costume.
Also making an appearance is Wushu World Champion and Jet Li stunt double Alfred Hsing -- he's the muscly man -- who we last saw producing this funny, dark, disturbing kung-fu video.
How did you enjoy the season debut of Game of Thrones yesterday? (No spoilers, please.) Enough to watch its opening cinematic co-opted by baijiu brand Jian Nan for a commercial?
The video is a few months old, but it was just posted on That's Beijing yesterday, with RFH writing:
ot sure what explains the Game of Thrones connection, other than that Chinese history is too long, often unwieldy, tortuously complicated, filled with names you cannot remember and most of the last few hundred years is to be found in the Fantasy section.
The Duggar flock -- 19 children (and counting!), their parents and a gaggle of grandchildren -- recently traveled to Beijing, Tokyo and Kyoto to film the three-part special installment “19 Kids and Counting: Duggers Do Asia.”
The Arkansas-based brood, all of whom have a name that starts with the letter J, have achieved a degree of notoriety on their native turf for their fundamentalist Christian beliefs and baby-making lifestyle, which have come under attack for being environmentally irresponsible and what some argue is an archaic ideology that has unnecessarily contributed to global overpopulation.
In a scene that would make even the producers of the Starz original series Spartacus reel, check out this Chinese warrior literally tear a Japanese soldier in half. As described by Ministry of Tofu: Chinese-made anti-Japanese patriotic television dramas have been the object of an awful lot of ridicule on Sina Weibo, the Chinese twitter, after netizens... Read more »
In a Super Bowl filled with moments, including Jacoby Jones’s 108-yard kickoff return, Colin Kaepernick’s touchdown scramble (longest TD run by a quarterback in Super Bowl history) that pulled the 49ers within two from 22 points down, Ed Reed’s interception, double-murderer Ray Lewis’s missed tackles, THE POWER OUTAGE (that enabled all of us to play... Read more »
The story of the software developer who outsourced his job to China is a bit old, but we're okay with a rehash if it means Conan O'Brien and Andy get to do another China skit. Check out Asian Andy Richter give a star performance. Hire that man!
Conan O'Brien will never be as popular in the US as he was in the weeks immediately following his very public resignation from The Tonight Show, but his stock is only rising in China. Largely thanks to his on-air, cross-ocean, short-lived and funny "feud" with Dong Chengpeng, host of the show Da Peng Debade, Chinese producers recognize Conan's name, and so it was that the people in charge of the popular soap opera "Return of the Pearl Princess" sought him and his sidekick, Andy, for a recent project.
Hong Kong and the mainland can’t seem to stop offending one another. The latest rumpus, as explained by Bad Canto, began after the Hong Kong TV series Friendly Fire depicted two pregnant women — one local and one from the mainland — arguing in a hospital. The controversial scene is above. Via Singapore Yahoo:
The Sunday Times, in its now-famous (or infamous) piece on Neil Heywood (still paywalled, but it's here if you want to purchase), alluded to a certain Channel 4 documentary on the man. Quote: "After a year-long investigation for Channel 4's Dispatches, based on numerous conversations with friends, business colleagues, diplomatic sources and a Chinese contact who knew both Heywood and the Bo family intimately, we can reveal the real Neil Heywood."
By TAR Nation and RFH
Ed's note: TAR and RFH have diametrically opposed opinions about Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom, starring Jeff Daniels as a news anchor who, in one lapse of honesty, sees his world turned upside-down. Characters sing "arias of facts," as the New Yorker's review put it, which sounds a lot like what news organizations closer to home -- in China -- do. So, TAR and RFH set aside their disagreements about The Newsroom to write a pitch for a show called Chinese Newsroom. TV producers out there: pick this up!
This episode's old, but it's still relevant, isn't it? "Lu Kim, the owner of City Sushi invited City sushi owner, Junichi Takayama to a school meeting claiming it to be about the diversity of Asian people," reads the YouTube description. "Little does Takayama know is that the meeting would be a trap to embarrass him."
Below is a truly eye-opening video that neatly summarizes almost every conversation I've had with Beijingers about African-Americans (or people with dark skin in general). I enjoy the fact that simply by having an online show called Xiao Shuo (晓说) -- and spending a bit of time abroad -- this guy has become an authority on all things African American. Though I've seen the host's face on billboards all over Beijing, I hadn't actually watched the show until recently - a quick Baidu search revealed that the host is in fact the well known drunk driver Gao Xiaosong.
The Good Doctor, who wrote about rock climbing last month, apparently isn't the only one who believes rock climbers are "fucking cool." Last week, while climbing at Ritan Park, the crew of a Chinese game show showed up to film at the wall. Contestants climbed in pairs -- neon team vs. fuchsia team -- and we're told that for the most part they did not do very well.
Shaq is a spokesman for Harbin Beer while Tracy McGrady shills for Sedrin. Who's better in their respective ads, shown back-to-back in the above?
I think I've had Sedrin before, but it obviously was not very memorable. Also, the name reminds me of sleep medicine. Harbin, meanwhile, is absolutely non-notable in every way. I'd call it "insipid," but that's much too fancy a description for such a bland, bland thing.
Chinafornia is The Daily Show meets The Simpsons, California meets China. In other words, a live-action version of China Daily Show meets Beijing Cream! (Too far?) We don’t see how it can go wrong, especially in the expert hands of animator and filmmaker (writer/producer/etc.) Ellie Lee, a five-time Emmy Award nominee and the brains behind this project. Like many... Read more »
The winner of this four-episode exchange? Conan, for now having his videos all over Youku, Tudou, Chinese blogs, etc.
Also, Da Peng... for not getting called out (again) for being a defensive and unfunny nit in his first response.
By RFH We wanted to highlight our school suicide story earlier this week because we felt many of the elements surrounding the official reaction – subterfuge, censorship, a lack of respect for both the living and dead – were unfortunately far too common. Now comes another bleak story of teenage suicide – and the disgraceful... Read more »