Drama Adaptation of Da Mo Yao Rumored to be on SARFT Blacklist

Some C-dramas finish filming and sit in the vault gathering dust for various reasons. It sucks and can’t find a broadcast network, there’s no money left to finish post-production, the drama can’t clear SARFT approval for whatever reason, anything goes in what feels like the Wild West of television programming in China. The typical wait is between 6 months to over a year for a completed drama to actually air, and it can either be an advantage or an unfortunate bust. The big ratings winner recently is Legend of Lu Zhen produced by Yu Zheng and starring Chen Xiao and Zhao Li Ying, and I really think the popularity and crazy hate heaped on Yu Zheng’s already aired The Swordsman added attention to Lu Zhen. It also helped that Chen Xiao was crazy good in The Swordsman so his star was on the rise already and Lu Zhen was like striking while the iron was hot in catapulting him to another level of fame. If ever there was a time to air the Tangren-produced C-drama Da Mo Yao (Ballad of the Desert) based on the same-name novel by writer Tong Hua, I feel like it’s passed this drama by. Now word on the street makes seeing DMY even less likely, what with a possible stint on the SARFT banned list.

Almost a year has passed since DMY completed filming but the drama hasn’t locked down a broadcast time slot or network yet. There have been murmurings that it can’t get SARFT approval, but this week the chatter increased in intensity with the rumor that DMY has been blacklisted by SARFT and will not be airing at all. The reasons are two fold, apparently Tangren went ahead and started filming before pre-approval came down from SARFT, and ultimately its subject matter in discussing real life historical figures such as General Huo Qu Bing and Emperor Wu of Han Liu Che in a certain way was unacceptable to the agency. Plenty of dramas twisting historical figures have aired so it’s not clear exactly why SARFT’s panties are in a bunch over this one, though I’m more inclined to think Tangren simply pissed someone off there or else the agency is merely using DMY as a warning to future dramas to toe the line. I wished I cared more but at this point I’ve moved on. I do wish Tangren released at least one concept trailer but since it hasn’t all we have to nibble on are a few more stills from the drama filming.


Drama Adaptation of Da Mo Yao Rumored to be on SARFT Blacklist — 18 Comments

  1. I think at this rate YZG might air first than DMY! I’ve totally lost interest in this one, what with LSS looking so weary in the stills, Eddie not looking cool enough for me to be HQB and Jiu-Ye looking 15 years older than his age. Sigh! At least YZG has Chen Xiao in it which I am so looking forward to, I think he’ll be awesome as LBY! But I can’t stand the actor playing Meng Jue (can’t even bothered to remember his name) so maybe I’ll just fast forward to all the Chen Xiao scenes ^o^

  2. I’m still not over it! I want to watch it! I’m still hoping that it’ll eventually air. But my guess is also that they made someone mad at SARFT as well and Yu Zheng has many many friends there since dramas seem to pass quickly for him.

  3. Maybe they can just go ahead releasing DVD or on the web instead of airing it on TV.Don’t tell me DVD releases also need to go through SARFT approval?!
    I’m sick of SARFT, give me all my dramas!

    • I think they can sell it abroad without permission… to Japan (I heard they love Chinese historicals over there) or Korea or Malaysia. I’m hoping for Malaysia myself because iirc their broadcasts have English subs?

      • MY bad I was thinking 大汉天子 but I don’t recall 汉武大帝 painting Liu Che in an absolute reversal of character.

        This case is more a damning on everyone else esp the war heroes Huo and Wei

    • If you recall, they cut several parts dealing with the Xiongnu that only resurfaced in the VCD (even the DVD is cut). Not as ridiculous as the wholesale raping they subjected 贞观之治 to, but still pretty substantial. And I love the Xiongnu stuff. ㅋㅋ

      I wasn’t thinking about touchy in terms of revisionism, but more like honestly showing the lights and shadows of his rule. Look at all the glorified Tang Taizong biopics with Tang Guoqiang and you’ll see the difference already. It was almost directly lifted off of 史記 and 汉书, so not much leeway for idolatry that wasn’t already there. But they did show the warts in spectacularly Shakespearean fashion, particularly towards the end of his rule. As for 大汉天子… ㅋㅋㅋ Teletubbies next to it.

      • I have no idea of what’s cut or not in 汉武大帝, I watched a ‘D9’,again whatever that is. Any deviation from ShiJi/HanShu/ZiZhiTongJian painting Han and XiongNu in reversal as in this case, will never see daylight, it’s just not gonna happen, as in a sympathetic to the KMT or the IJA Cdrama would be blacklisted from the get-go like this case (this silly drama filmed itself before getting any greenlight, thus pissing SARFT off, that’s the formal reason for the ban). And this is a shoujo Romeo and Juliet out of General Huo and a XiongNu hot wolfie babe, and everyone else are toads. We’ll have elopement, faking death, bun in oven and end scene of dashing towards a pretty sunset in the west XiongNuland kinda deal (coz miss shoujo author claims XiongNu the wolfie peeps are West of the Han and she’s writing more accurate history than Shiji). This will literally be Teletubbies coming out, wearing miniskirts and dancing to SNSD kinda deal. Or JonSnow falling for Cersei and thus birthing bastard child gen2.

      • 成王敗寇 he had to wipe that brownstuff somewhere. I’m all for them to show both sides of the shiz, but it would be ridiculous to expect SARFT saying finefinefine smeared it all on Han and ohpoorwolfieXNs let me hug you! <-Never.

  4. lol as much as I didn’t take DMY as seriously as I did BBJX, there were parts of it I really enjoyed. Seeing that third still of Eddie and ShiShi roused fond memories: that scene was just… SO FRIGGIN EPIC I loved it. I stared at that still for 10 minutes, sighing at the fact that i won’t get to see it on screen. But honestly, I doubt i would have enjoyed this DMY… ShiShi is enveloped with the ballerina aura mixed with a bit of playfulness… she doesn’t really have the wild ferocity that I imagine with this character– a girl who grew up among wolves and has her own sense of justice… =P I won’t go into JiuYe or HQB here XD

  5. Was soo looking forward to this series since Hu Ge has not acted in any TV series for so long. Probably Tangren didn’t make the proper ‘guanxi’ with any SARFT peeps, oh well hope the current SARFT ppl leave and hopefully Tangren will get to air this show …

  6. I’m still waiting for this baby to arrive. And I will continue waiting. Love love love the novel. It is one of those titles that let me believe in happy endings (this is especially needed after reading all other tong hua’s non-modern novels sob). And xiao huo is so close as an ideal man/bf/husband that I don’t care who plays him, as long as he gets played. Pls pls pls release internationally or via the net or via DVD release!!

  7. hmmmm…I still want to see this drama but Eddie Peng don’t look as hot as he used to. i wish they will air this because Im getting crazy thinking about the adaptation of the book.

  8. I love this novel, bought the Chinese novels and read it numerous times.
    It is sickening to take so long just to tell us it has been banned.
    The Chinese authorities truly like to demolish anything that can make a megahit like Bu Bu Jing Xin. BBJX has not only been awesome in the mainland but went so far as the overseas. After 2 years, it is still hot.
    If we all remembered, Xuan Yuan Jian, before being aired, was also rumored to be banned.
    Maybe of course, Tangren is not a pet of the authorities.

    YuZheng however, his dramas although could be hot like “Gong” , the “Swordsman 2013” and the recent Legend of Lu Zheng, his production are usually being attacked as “garbage”. His dramas even those which have high viewer ratings, a low in terms of quality.

    Tangren production are known to be on a higher level in terms of quality and how serious they put in all the details.
    Of course, I am not saying Tangren’s dramas are perfect (no one and nothing is perfect), I am saying, apart from some legal procedures, the mainland authorities will swap anything and anyone in its way who could pose as having social influences in its society.

    And I am guessing, Tangren did not spend enough ‘resource’ to buy its way through.

    Most dramas do not follow history or could distort history, but why can they be aired and so fast? Like Yu Zheng dramas? Money!!!

    I somehow pity Shishi and Hu ge because their fans like me has to wait a year to watch their drama.
    See how long has it been since Xuan Yuan Jian?

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