A while ago, I stayed with my mum for the weekend, keeping her company while she watches some Chinese-language television live via satellite. And bloody hell it’s depressing. Even if I can’t understand a word of it. We have:
- A husband (who, after a stroke, is rendered dumb is immobile) is seen trying to commit suicide before his wife manages to wrestle the pills out of his mouth.
- Next scene is of said wife walking in a hospital garden with said husband in a wheelchair. Wife collapses for some reason, and the husband is unable to help her or call for help. So she dies.
- Next scene is in the hospital room, where the two sons of the husband come in, and taunt him, having switched his pills so he’ll slowly die, then they can steal his money. When the daughter comes in, they immediately switch to sobbing and grieving.
- Later on, having had a nightmare, he wheels himself down to the mortuary and gazes over his wife’s dead body. Credits roll.
If I could actually understand this in full, I’d be slashing my wrists by now. Or demanding that the writer and co-producer be hanged for their crimes …
Another moment from another Chinese daytime drama involved a boy and girl in ferocious argument against their desperate mum in the middle of ye olde China. The mother storms out of the cafe with very sad music, all eyes on the now sobbing girl, before the mother eventually, reluctantly, comes back to the cafe. Of course she’s punished for leaving them in the first place when said girl starts developing a fever.
Fortunately, Saturday evening entertainment came in the shape of Mr Hong Kong 2009, where ten Chinese boyband members – all with black spiky hair, cheesy grins, and well-defined chests – came in and strutted their stuff dancing with a lady dancer wearing a helmet, as well as walking in slow-motion through a water fountain. The finalists also had to do some kung-fu dancing/action…