And you thought reality TV in the USA was bad: China brings us If You Are The One , wherein “another contestant, the 20-year-old son of a wealthy businessman, showed off his multicolored sports cars and bank statements that indicated a balance of six million renminbi (about $884,000)” and “when a female contestant was asked by a possible date whether she would like to go for a bicycle ride. ‘I’d rather sit and cry in the back of a BMW,’ she said”.
This being China, the government has stepped in (emphasis added)…
By June, a triumvirate of news organizations run by the Communist Party, the Xinhua news agency, People’s Daily and China Central Television all ran reports extremely critical of the show’s attempt to win ratings at the expense of quality. The State Administration of Radio, Film and Television stepped in.
[…] The shows are now forbidden to “hype up marginal issues, show the ugly side of things, or overly depressing, dark or decadent topics,” according to the directive. Instead, the shows have to “maintain core Socialist values.”
…just in case you’d forgotten which country you were in. (Although judging by the behaviour of China’s bureaucrats, I thought naked greed was a “core Socialist value”.) But, ha ha ha ha ha…
Ratings have slumped since the changes, according to a spokeswoman for the show who declined to be identified. She attributed the drop to competition with the World Cup, even though the show did not compete directly with live soccer broadcasts.
And then there are the fan reactions. “Volunteering? How fake is that?” said Du Shibin, 48. “Who doesn’t ask about houses and cars these days when looking for someone to marry?”