Sino-Japanese War TV Dramas Becoming Increasingly Ridiculous

Chinese martial artist splits an Imperial Japanese soldier in half with his bare hands in a Chinese TV historical war drama series.

Chinese martial artist splits an Imperial Japanese soldier in half with his bare hands in a Chinese TV historical war drama series.

The below video of the April 10th broadcast of CCTV news program News 1+1 criticizing Chinese anti-Japanese television dramas was uploaded yesterday April 11th and already has over 6 million views.

On Sina:

CCTV Criticizes The Churning Out of Low-Quality War of Resistance Against Japan TV Dramas: Competing to See Who Can Be More Vulgar

One hand grenade can blow up and bring down an invader’s airplane, one dagger actually being able to wipe out the enemy’s heavy artillery.
Wearing a leather jacket, Raybans, and riding a Harley, is this a War of Resistance Against Japan drama or a War of Resistance Against Japan science fiction series?

City resident:
All kinds of fighting and flying, with one kick reaching so far, so fake.

Acting in over 30 War of Resistance Against Japan dramas a year, being able to “die” 8 times in different casts and crews in one day.

Shi Zhongpeng, actor:
It’s because I make die relatively well on camera, so the directors like it very much.

Churning out without regard for quality, disregarding history, making entertainment out of suffering, some War of Resistance Against Japan TV dramas have already become unbearable for audiences.

chinaSMACK readers will recognize scenes shown in this video from another video we posted in an report last month about Chinese netizen reactions to a Chinese heroine being gang-raped by Imperial Japanese soldiers. Below is a summary of what is shown and discussed in the news program:

@5:30 in the video, the female host says: If just one of these TV dramas had a stupefying plot and character, you might blame it on the writers or director, but if series after series are seemingly competing to see who can be more low-brow, stupefying, or ridiculous, then what is going on?

A commentator is quoted as saying that these dramas are no longer patriotism but obscurantism, that they will have a very negative effect on the public, especially the youth, and television channels and investors should not wantonly use them simply for ratings.

“Then that is even more frightening. When youth see these so-called historical dramas, how will their perspective of history be distorted?”

The host continues to say such shows are not only used for entertainment but also for the communication of values. She hypothetically asks what if foreigners who were interested in this period of China’s history were to see these dramas, what kind of impression would they have? How would it reflect upon the character of the Chinese people? Perhaps some people will say these are not made for foreigners to watch but for our own people to watch. She says, “then that is even more frightening” because how will Chinese youth’s perspective of history be twisted and distorted?

The next part of the program describes how large the industry for such TV series set during the War of Resistance Against Japan period, and includes multiple interviewees sharing their thoughts. One says there are often as many as 5 different dramas of this kind on television each night while another one says how such dramas are very different from when he was young, that they have become more about entertainment now.

According to statistics published by Hengdian World Studios from January 30 to March 2, of the 17 days that can be checked, a total of 10,846 “Japanese devils” have been “killed” in productions. The hosts rhetorically asks if Japanese soldiers were this easy to kill, just what happened during the 8 years of the War of Resistance Against Japan?

“Now if Japanese devils were this easy to kill, then just what was the extremely difficult and bitter 8 year war of resistance about?”

A professor is interviewed on the phone and one question asked is why there are so many films and TV dramas on this subject recently. The professor says it may be because the subject is considered relatively safe and that it is unlikely to run into any political mistakes.

The host says ratings and profits for such dramas are high and although people saying such subject-matter and the intelligence of audiences should be treated with respect, how come the market seems to reward these kind of productions? And if the market rewards it, then writers and producers will continue making them, so how do we “break this vicious cycle?”

The professor is interviewed again here and says the solution should be three-pronged: One, the creators should restrain themselves, respecting themselves and history. Two, TV stations should not pander to audiences and instead try to guide them. Three, while there are some “young” audiences who like such “stupefying” plots, she believes audience in their hearts are still “clear” on what’s right and wrong. So, with efforts from all three, this phenomenon of vulgar TV dramas can be improved.


Written by Fauna

Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.


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