As in most of the world, China has a lot of awful films and TV shows, Sure, once in a while a good one comes up, such as 潜伏 and Let The Bullets Fly, but the learning curve on these is way too steep for most international audiences, and the
four seven stock plots available don’t travel very well. China is coming up on a grand 20 years of whining about their soft power deficit, but while young Chinese audiences are gobbling up “How I Met Your Mother” and the Marvel Comics überfranchise, no Chinese film or TV show has really made an impact on American audiences in that time. So here are some SARFT-friendly suggestions:
- Bring Back Hong Kong Fuey Dubbing: Americans don’t read subtitles, and believe that you must know 30 ways to kill a man with a soy sauce packet if your voice is not synchronized with your lips. This is a strength, not a weakness. Chinese ambassadors should try it too.
- Less History: How much did you need to know about American history, or anything for that matter, to follow Transformers? Nothing. You just needed a dose of dramamine and ear plugs.
- Less Crying: Seriously, Chinese dramas are too weepy. There’s hardly an opening titles sequence in the last ten years without someone bawling their eyes out. And crying dudes, which is straight up UnAmerican.
- Copy Star Trek: China has a space station, and yet still no space operas. How is that possible? It’s about a galactic government that moved beyond capitalism and doesn’t interfere in other worlds’ internal affairs. Come to think of it, from now on tell all diplomats to complain that the United States is violating the Prime Directive.
- More Monster Movies: Godzilla became an international phenomenon with a dude in a rubber suit (Stay tuned for an upcoming post by Will deconstructing the Godzilla oeuvre). I always thought since Beijing was originally designed according to Nezha’s body, you could have the city form a concrete giant to defeat an invading Japanese monster. You’re welcome.
- Aim For The Children: Stop trying to win the Palm D’Or and take a few lessons from Pixar’s Cars, which is apparently crack-cocaine for the under 12 set. This also means…
- Outsource Animation to the Koreans: If its good enough for The Simpsons and South Park, its good enough for anybody. Focus on the content and stop building gigantic animation industry parks.
- Cats: If you’re going to keep remaking Chinese classic novels, at least try and maximize your internet meme potential and film it entirely with a cast of cats, with celebrity dubbing. Low overhead, too!
- James Franco: He’s in everything already, including a stint on General Hospital. Who wouldn’t want to see Franco as Sun Wukong or the Bull Demon King? Rise of the Planet of the Apes was #14 in terms of box office receipts in 2011, the man prints money. If you can’t get him, get Nick Cage.
- Stan Lee: Oh, wait, he’s already making a Chinese superhero movie. Well done.