1st Edition

Chinese Television in the Twenty-First Century Entertaining the Nation

Edited By Ruoyun Bai, Geng Song Copyright 2015
    200 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    220 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    The past two decades witnessed the rise of television entertainment in China. Although television networks are still state-owned and Party-controlled in China, the ideological landscape of television programs has become increasingly diverse and even paradoxical, simultaneously subservient and defiant, nationalistic and cosmopolitan, moralistic and fun-loving, extravagant and mundane. Studying Chinese television as a key node in the network of power relationships, therefore, provides us with a unique opportunity to understand the tension-fraught and , paradox-permeated conditions of Chinese post-socialism.

    This book argues for a serious engagement with television entertainment. rethinking, It addresses the following questions. How is entertainment television politically and culturally significant in the Chinese context? How have political, industrial, and technological changes in the 2000s affected the way Chinese television relates to the state and society? How can we think of media regulation and censorship without perpetuating the myth of a self-serving authoritarian regime vs. a subdued cultural workforce? What do popular televisual texts tell us about the unsettled and reconfigured relations between commercial television and the state? The book presents a number of studies of popular television programs that are sensitive to the changing production and regulatory contexts for Chinese television in the twenty-first century.

    As an interdisciplinary study of the television industry, this book covers a number of important issues in China today, such as censorship, nationalism, consumerism, social justice, and the central and local authorities. As such, it will appeal to a broad audience including students and scholars of Chinese culture and society, media studies, television studies, and cultural studies.

    Introduction, Ruoyun Bai and Geng Song  Part I: Entertaining TV - A New Territory of Significance 1, Teaching People How to Live: Shenghuo Programs on Chinese Television, Wanning Sun 2. "The New Family Mediator": TV Mediation Programs in China’s "Harmonious Society", Shuyu Kong and Colin S. Howes 3. The Long Commute: Mobile Television and the Seamless Social, Joshua Neves  Part II: "Curbing Entertainment" 4. "Clean Up the Screen": Regulating Television Entertainment in the 2000’s, Ruoyun Bai 5. Rethinking Censorship in China—The Case of Snail House, How Wee Ng  Part III: Commercial Television and the Reconfiguration of History, Memory, and Nationalism 6. Imagining the Other: Foreigners on the Chinese TV Screen, Geng Song 7. When Foreigners Perform the Chinese Nation: Televised Global Chinese Language Competitions, Lauren Gorfinkel and Andrew Chubb 8. Make the Present Serve the Past: Restaging On Guard beneath the Neon Lights in Contemporary China, Rong Cai 9. Remoulding Heroes: The Erasure of Class Discourse in the Red Classics Television Drama Adaptation, Qian Gong 10. Tianxia Revisited: Family and Empire on the Television Screen, Kun Qian


    Ruoyun Bai is Assistant Professor in the Department of Arts, Culture, and Media and Centre of Comparative Literature at the University of Toronto, Canada.

    Geng Song is Associate Professor in the School of Chinese at the University of Hong Kong.

    Contributors used various techniques―textual analysis, interviews, correspondence--to gather data, and they support their arguments with interesting examples of particular shows, copious endnotes, and full bibliographies. - J. A. Lent, independent scholar