Thursday, April 14, 2011

Time travel is BAD, m'kay?

This link (left for me by Found In China's Stuart in a comment a few days ago) led me fortuitously to this insane-but-true China news story: the State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television (SARFT - rhymes with daft) has banned TV dramas about time travel.

Apparently, TV series in which modern-day young people miraculously travel back to the China of earlier historical eras - and find adventure and romance there - have become a bit of a vogue in the past year or two. But that's now been stopped in its tracks, because SARFT deems that "the producers and writers are treating serious history in a frivolous way, which should by no means be encouraged any more."

It's amazing where this government can find possible sources of 'disharmony'!! The New Yorker's media commentator Richard Brody probably has it right when he suggests that such escapist fantasies imply a dissatisfaction (inappropriate, unjustified, ungrateful, disloyal!) with present-day China: "The free play of imagination—the liberation of the inner life—is itself a higher stage of politics."

Reflecting on the theme of time travel prompted me to waste half an hour in idle noodling around on the Internet, which led to the discovery that the opening episode of the last series of Dr Who - which was first shown in the UK at this time last year - drew some criticism for being too sexy. Whatever next?!

So, there's absolutely no chance that it will ever be screened in China, then? I wonder if it's being blocked on Youku??


JES said...

I tried to explain this to The Missus after reading this the other day, but failed. For me, the best thing about your "...and now, the government has [fill in the blank]" stories is that it softens the harsh glitter of willful idiocy from the various levels of government here.

Froog said...

Glad to know you find it consoling, JES.

I suspect China has become the world's leading exporter of schadenfreude.