Looks like it’s back to the waiting board for two long finished drama adaptations of Tong Hua novels. It’s been over two years since Da Mo Yao (Ballad of the Desert which is now called Song of the Desert) was filmed and over a year since its sequel Yun Zhong Ge (Song in the Clouds) wrapped production. Both were supposed to air this Summer but last week all the Summer period drama airings have been called into question with the official announcement by SARFT (State Administration of Radio, Film and Television) that the agency wanted all networks to broadcast shows from July through October that further exemplify “The Chinese Dream”. Accompanying the SARFT announcement was a list of 127 suggested dramas that have all passed SARFT review and been deemed to fit this theme. There were no wuxia or period dramas are the the list, naturally since the very genre has nothing to do with the Chinese dream unless the modern Chinese dream involves fighting for the throne or learning kickass martial arts skill to defeat a villain.
Many of the networks have pull its Summer airing schedule down for further review and shuffling though this news didn’t come as a surprise. This is why there have been a slew of period dramas airing recently before the July cut-off date, including ones that I watched like Perfect Couple and Incisive Great Teacher. SARFT also has it out for dramas that distort history or are deemed not constructive such a time-travel dramas. It allowed Bu Bu Jing Qing to air in April but forced the production to butcher the entire drama by editing out any reference to time-travel or the fact that the leading lady had time-traveled in Bu Bu Jing Xin. In addition to Yun Zhong Ge and Da Mo Yao getting delayed, other scheduled on deck period dramas Hua Xu Yin (Lure of the Hua Xu Tune) and Gu Jian Qi Tan (Ancient Sword Fantasy) may also get held back until after October when whole China dream movement ends. It’s frustrating as all out but what can viewers do other than wait and sigh. Have some of the official previews of those C-dramas to tide us over until it finally arrives. Continue reading