CULTURAL BUTONG #1 Chinese Youth Don’t Watch Dramas

*不同 / butong (English translation: ” different“). In this series, it takes on the meaning “differences”

Say what?

Chinese teenagers and young adults don’t watch their own country’s TV series?! Last year, I found my answer when I asked around some peeps from my Beijing summer class courses.  Recently, I encountered similar answers from my new friends, overseas college students. What surprises me the most is how they were not even aware of some of the new series broadcasting in China. How can you not when they are promoted in subway stations, TV, and on advertisements via street venders (because who doesn’t reuse magazines for makeshift gift wrapping). My friend tells me that it’s mostly because Chinese students are busy with school work (which I can understand), but also she notes that she especially doesn’t watch historical dramas. Well she OBVIOUSLY didn’t know about these adorable dramas…The general consensious is that dramas in general are a waste of time. With many of them involving non-stop episodes and sometimes terrible plot lines, I could see why watching dramas just seems like “housewife” entertainment. One key deduction I made from these response is that Chinese young generation do not watch dramas because they feel as if they have no connection with the material. It is a rare sight to see a high school or college-like actor in Chinese dramaland. Let’s face it, we don’t really do school dramas. For China, it’s mostly Qing/Tang dynasty palace intrigue, wuxia dramas about a legendary hero, or modern love story for the workplace generations or catfighting in-laws. (recently there are vast improvement in the modern Chinese TV dramas) Since I’m pretty sure school dramas involving teenagers are present in Taiwanese, Japanese, and Korean entertainment…. This prompts the question: do Japanese youth watch Jdramas? I mean, they got Hana Yori Dango, Gokusen, Seigi no Mikata, and Asuko March!  These greatly appeal to teens especially because they are the target audience.


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About Bumbleberri

Founder and editor of Asian Entertainment Blog, UnderratedGems. What I do in my free time: trying to get more sleep and satisfying my TV addiction. Currently in the process of a grueling job hunt.

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