37 Times a Chinese Dating Show Got Too Real

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Picky Families in New Reality-TV Dating Show Cause a Stir

Since I talked about online dating in the last post, I figured I might as well jump into the wild world of Chinese dating game shows today. Alongside the explosion of the online dating market in China, game shows full of young Chinese who are single and ready to mingle have also gotten incredibly popular in recent years. Twenty-four women stand in an arc on stage and are greeted by a single man.

Each lady is situated behind a lit up podium. To begin, a few short videos are shown to introduce the guy.

Today, dating shows are an important ingredient in China’s cultural diet, with popular shows like “If You Are the One” and “One Out of a to this shift: as TV became more commercialized, so, too, did love and marriage.

It was first broadcast on January 15, , and originally aired twice a week on Saturdays and Sundays until December Starting from January , it air on Saturday nights at pm. Episodes are also widely distributed online. The show is viewed internationally over the internet and satellite television. The show’s popularity and social commentary has drawn attention of academics and foreign media, and after concerns from Chinese regulators in the show’s format was tweaked to de-emphasize factors such as financial wealth.

In December , it was announced that If You Are the One will be returning to the original format in January for the 10th anniversary celebrations. Huang Han and Huang Lei returns for the celebratory episodes, whilst Chen Ming was announced as Jiang Zhenyu’s replacement as guest speaker for the season following the end of the revised format. The idea of the show was brought to Jiangsu Television by veteran television producer Wang Peijie, who worked in collaboration with Columbia University-educated Xing Wenning.

China dating show

Pan Wang does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment. Compared with Western cultures, China has traditionally had a vastly different value system towards marriages and family. But over the past 30 years, these customs have been upended. In many ways, dating shows became a powerful way to facilitate these changes.

By looking at the development of Chinese television dating shows, we can see how love and marriage changed from a ritualized system mired in the past to the liberated, Western-style version we see today.

Then, last winter, my college ex-boyfriend, David, appeared as a contestant on a popular Chinese dating show called Fei Cheng Wu Rao, or If.

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This Singaporean guy shares how it’s like as a contestant on a dating show in China

For a small but increasingly high-profile number of young women in modern-day China, true love is all about the numbers. A potential suitor may have a good sense of humor and reasonable good looks, but what they say really matters is if he owns an apartment and how many square feet it is. A sizable bank account is also a must, and, some say, so is a luxury car.

Problem: The dating reality show If You Are the One, won the largest audience rating in. China after 2 weeks of its debut. The sudden popularity led to more and​.

Earlier this year, Twitter user touchmybobby posted a string of meme-style screenshots from a very relatable Chinese dating show. The show, If You Are the One , is actually a beloved ratings beast. The format, loosely based on another Australian dating show called Taken Out , is as follows: One male suitor is introduced to 24 women, who stand in an arc in a live arena, each one behind a light-up podium. At any point, the women are free to shut off their podium lights to symbolize their disinterest.

If all the lights go off, the suitor goes home empty-handed. The format is peculiar, yet strangely familiar in an age when dating is done through a series of swipes and double taps. Tinder can sometimes feel no less brutal than pitching your fuckability to 24 people simultaneously on nationwide TV. On dating apps, the whole game is one of first impressions, and deadpan humor often falls flat in the DMs. The Chinese show is also set in a world a. Sometimes the men on If You Are the One toil away work in thankles IT jobs, and bitch about it, other times they speak happily of working in fast food joints or writing poetry.

Meanwhile, so far I have not seen a female contestant whose occupation is a professional twin. With men and women often on even financial footing, If You Are the On e almost accidentally subverts the tropes of western dating game shows. The set-up alone — 24 women facing one man — is a good visual for modern dating in China. If You Are the One demonstrates the difficulty of finding a female date in ways that are pretty baffling to the western eye.

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The latest reality-TV scandal to transfix the nation involves Ma Nuo, a year-old model from Beijing who appeared on China’s most popular.

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In a soft-focus flashback, she wanders alone through a generic cityscape, accompanied by somber piano music. She lounges outside a coffee shop, paging through highlighted books with her glittery fingernails, and crossing a bridge unsettlingly similar to one near where I live in Pittsburgh. She also nails one of my favorite docudramatic standards: contemplatively staring off into the sunset.

I never expected be on a reality dating show. Not only did I never plan to appear in person, but I also never expected to watch myself portrayed on one by an actress. We keep in occasional contact, so I knew David had already been on TV a couple times before. When it premiered in , it broke ratings records, boasting more than 50 million viewers. Its recent sixth season drew 36 million—about as many people as watched the last Oscars in the U.

By comparison, its American prime-time counterpart, The Bachelor , brought in only 8. Knowing that the number of people who saw my appearance on If You Are the One equaled the population of some countries was only part of the embarrassment I experienced. The first time I saw the video clip of myself, I called a Mandarin-speaking friend at 11 p.

Why do the books have to be used?

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