TV drama to feature more realistic stories

Xu Wei Dai Mengyi
A TV industry forum hears how an increasing number of productions based on real-life stories have emerged in recent years and were gaining in popularity with wider audiences.
Xu Wei Dai Mengyi

More realistic dramas reflecting the changes of the era and the lives of Chinese people will be produced, TV professionals told a forum on Wednesday at the ongoing Shanghai TV Festival.

The "New Trends in High-Quality TV Drama Production" forum gathered famous TV producers, directors and scriptwriters.

It heard how a number of acclaimed dramas based on real-life stories and characters had emerged in recent years, with TV industry insiders realizing reality is the core of creation.

Zhang Yongxin, director of "The Age of Awakening," spent a lot of time reading and studying historical materials about the era 100 years ago. Costumes, props and sets were strictly based on historical facts.

"Additionally, we also had many talks with actors to ensure that they had a good understanding of that era and history and their acting was true to life," Zhang said.

Scriptwriter Wang Sanmao recalled that before he wrote the script for "Minning Town," he visited local families and interviewed many people to conceive the story about people's achievements in poverty alleviation.

"We were also exploring a new way to make mainstream dramas which can appeal to a wide audience today," Wang said.

Lu Chao, chairman and CEO of Youhug Media, said that when it produced documentary-style drama "Be Together," they were impressed by the power of authenticity. 

The drama tells touching stories of the country's unsung heroes who fought against COVID-19 with courage and solidarity. Many people were moved to tears after watching the drama.

"We will keep telling good China stories about the country's rapid development and vicissitudes," Lu said. "Our new projects will be about the innovation of the manufacturing industry and young people's enthusiasm about traditional Chinese medicine."

Gao Changli, an official at the National Radio and Television Administration, said a successful realistic drama can always resonate well with audiences in terms of the real-life story, true human emotion, and positive energy and values.

Several new realistic dramas, including "The Age of Awakening," "Faith Makes Great" and "Minning Town," have gained increasing popularity among the younger generation, proving that high-quality productions can break the stereotype of mainstream works.

"In the past, young people held certain stereotypes of mainstream TV productions thinking they are boring," director Fu Dongyu said at a briefing of the jury panel for the TV festival's Magnolia Awards.

He said a high-quality mainstream production should feature in-depth exploration of humanity, a true portrait of history and intriguing storytelling.

Special Reports