This show just went epic nuts at the Bird’s Nest. Tracy and I were watching reruns of the grand finale of The Voice of China.
Obviously, I was in the main room, so I only caught the last parts. But those last parts made it all the more worthwhile. They also formed a very heated debate with other academics in a meeting just a few hours after we watched it at home.
Advertising is all the rage in China — and as long as it’s not “unhealthy” or seriously political, chances are, they’ll let it run. The super-expensive spot — played just before they announced the nationwide winner — tried to really “suck it up” to Jay Chow and his rap. It was basically a rip-off of a Jay Chow kung-fu (?) rap — plugging in a car site, Xin.com.
We saw it — and the whole wide Web went bolonzos. ▶
Circulated rumours that you have to claim wages by presenting official receipts seem to be the least of China Central TV’s issues, apparently. The bigger issue is how CCTV can — yes, remain itself.
To many an outsider, CCTV is that one monster that seems untouchable. Those not retransmitting its “flagship” 19:00 news programme are far more the exception than the rule. And yet, the TV channel itself is under massive pressure to be:
- an outlet for official government news / propaganda; and
- increasingly financially self-sustaining as Beijing feeds it less cash; and
- as of around 2003, a service public broadcaster.
Talk about tall orders! ▶
TV has been a little too real as of late.
I was taking a short ride today on Beijing’s Subway Line 2. Whilst waiting for the train, I had a look at the replay of last night’s semifinal between Germany and Italy, where the latter, quite unexpectedly (in our part of the world as we see it), prevailed. They had some pretty cool moves and I mentally and nearly physically tried to mimic these moves.
Unfortunately, I was about a dozen centimetres from the boundary of the platform. Right underneath these is that high tension third rail. If I made a kick the wrong time, or with the wrong “swing” — bzzt! — I’d end up electrocuted.
Something in me says that either they need to stop showing soccer at Subway stations or — better yet — install platform screen doors. ▶
A little bit of shocking news here: the authorities in charge of radio, TV and film are thinking of limiting entertainment programmes to after the 22:00 “Chinese watershed” of sorts. Moreover, “moral guidance programmes” are to be shown more and more.
Lest you think this is “re-communization” in the works (moving Beijing closer to North Korea than to the West), here’s a look at some of the “media events” that have happened in the past years that may have gotten the censors — well, more than a little ballistic… ▶
For my MA in presenting and linguistics at the Communication University of China, my thesis was on first comparisons between main news shows in China and those in other countries. About three years passed since I got my MA, so I thought it would be a good time to do a return visit to my professor’s class and to give them up an update on how things were doing in recent years.
I had all of my video clips as presented in my original thesis ready, and quite a few of these were rather more updated. Obviously, due to the fact that my thesis compared Chinese news with those from a host of other countries — including Switzerland, Germany, and even North Korea, this from the outset was going to be something completely different. The highlight, interestingly, was from North Korean TV, where the propaganda announcer read the news in a hysterical voice which sounded like totally unlike any other news channel I focused on. Some found it funny; others were just staring trying to figure out what was being said. ▶