By Xueping Zhong
Serialized tv drama (dianshiju), might be the most well-liked and influential cultural shape in China over the last 3 a long time, deals a large and penetrating examine the tensions and contradictions of the post-revolutionary and pro-market interval. Zhong Xueping's well timed new paintings attracts realization to the a number of cultural and historic legacies that coexist and problem one another inside of this dominant kind of storytelling. even if students are inclined to concentration their awareness on elite cultural developments and avant-garde pursuits in literature and movie, Zhong argues for spotting the complexity of dianshiju's melodramatic mode and its quite a few subgenres, in influence "refocusing" mainstream chinese language tradition. Mainstream tradition Refocused opens with an exam of tv as a story motif in 3 modern chinese language art-house motion pictures. Zhong then turns her consciousness to dianshiju's most vital subgenres: "emperor dramas," "anti-corruption dramas," "youth dramas," and "family-marriage dramas." The Epilogue returns to the connection among intellectuals and the creation of mainstream cultural that means within the context of China's post-revolutionary social, financial, and cultural transformation.
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Extra info for Mainstream Culture Refocused: Television Drama, Society, and the Production of Meaning in Reform-Era China
She is strong-willed, driven, prone to competition, and does not hesitate to stand her ground when, for example, she chooses to make money to buy a television set (as opposed to extending the house as her husband wants), she chooses to end the relationship with Xiazi, or when she chooses to continue to sell noodles back in the township, knowing that what is out there in the larger world can be alluring. 6 In this discussion it is neither whether she is condescendingly represented nor whether she is actually a strong woman that is at issue; at issue is how all of these things combined point to the conflicted nature of the sociocultural changes in China and how the contradictions within them motivate, shape, and (mis)inform.
Similar motifs—rebellious youths turned off by mainstream culture, which could be rich parents and their lifestyle or radio or television—are employed in films from different countries made at different times including Rebel without a Cause (dir. Nicholas Ray, 1955), The Four Hundred Blows (dir. Francois Truffaut, 1959), A Time to Live and a Time to Die (dir. Hou Hsiao-Hsien, 1985), to name 4 0 : c h a p t e r one just a few. At the same time, it is conceptually problematic to lump these films together without also realizing the temporal differences and historical particularities that are differently signified.
The participation of these writers in television drama production has contributed to the formation of certain subgenres as well as to the lack of clear-cut boundaries between subgenres. Zhou Meisen’s novels, for example, have been adapted into popular dramas that tend to be identified as “anticorruption” dramas. 88 Writings by women writers such as Chi Li and Wang Hailing have been adapted into television dramas and identified as jiating hunyin ju (family-marriage drama), nüxing jiating hunyin ju (women family-marriage drama), or jiating lunli ju (family ethics drama).