Now there’s an interesting trend in China’s film and television industry: more and more time-travel themed dramas are made and aired. In these time-travel based TV plays, usually the protagonist is from the modern time and for some reasons and via some means, travels through time and all the way back to the ancient China where he/she will constantly experience the "culture shock" but gradually get used to it and eventually develop a romance in that era. Though obviously the Chinese audience is found of this genre of shows, the country’s authority -General Bureau of Radio, Film and Television, to be exact, is not happy about this trend and calls a halt to the making of this type of drama.
From the end of last year, the time-travel themed drama is becoming more and more popular. Most of these time-travel dramas are based on real historical stories but with many newly added, and usually exaggerated elements to make it funny and more attractive. Nothing is off limits in this television genre. While some find it hilarious, others think the exaggeration and even ridiculous elements added into the story is a real source of annoyance and is a disrespectful for history.
The authority’s decision was made on the Television Director Committee Meeting on April 1st. – but obviously it’s not a prank to fans of the drama genre. The authority has a good reason to go against the genre. "The time-travel drama is becoming a hot theme for TV and films. But its content and the exaggerated performance style are questionable. Many stories are totally made-up and are made to strain for an effect of novelty. The producers and writers are treating the serious history in a frivolous way, which should by no means be encouraged anymore."
Shen Hua (Myth) is the country’s first time-travel TV play and a successful one. The play depicts how a young adolescent travels through time to the China of 2000 years ago and becomes sworn brother with Xiang Yu and Liu Bang, (both are prominent military leaders and political figures during the late Qin Dynasty period of Chinese history) and eventually ends up being an army general leading troops of thousands of soldiers. On the same time, his twin brother and families in the modern days is fighting with a mystery man to find him.
Photos from the TV drama Shen Hua (Myth)
Shen Hua(Myth) is a success in terms of box office but too much made-up stories on the real once-exist historical person makes controversy inevitable. Also many people complain there’re too many mistakes on history facts, making it unbearable to watch.
Photo from Gong, another popular time-travel drama
Besides of the over-exaggerated time-travel dramas, the bureau is also making it clear that no more new film and TV versions of the Four Great Classical Novels should be produced and aired on the screen in the near future. Since 2010, dramas of the Four Great Classical Novels are respectively remade within one year. Attention are wide for sure, but people holds mixed opinion towards these remakes. The major opinion being that the remakes are made in a rush and with lots of changes of the original stories; the original TV version of the four great made years ago is classic and is not easy to be surpassed.