Hit TV drama sparks debate on how teenagers identify and accept themselves

By Ji Yuqiao Source: Published: 2020/2/18 22:28:55

Tourists view the Taipei 101 skyscraper, a landmark in Taipei, southeast China's Taiwan, Jan. 2, 2017. (Xinhua/Zhu Xiang)

Someday or One Day, a hit time-travel TV series from the island of Taiwan, has swept social media with its entertaining plots and high production quality, also sparking rampant discussion about how teenagers can identify and accept themselves no matter who they are.

The TV series, first broadcast on November 17, 2019 has a 9.2/10 on Chinese media review platform Douban to become one of the top hit TV dramas on the same platform.

The drama tells a time travelling romance story in which a 27-year-old woman’s soul enters the body of 18-year-old high school student Chen Yunru after being hit by a car and then falls in love with her schoolmate. But more mysteries and conspiracies arrive as she continues to live in a world from 11 years ago.

Can true love find a way to bridge a seemingly insurmountable time gap?

Netizens have been sucked in by the TV show’s twisting and unpredictable storylines, regarding it as a breakthrough for Taiwan’s romantic dramas.

Each character in the TV series has their own distinct personality that has struck a chord with netizens. Many netizens have joined in on discussions on social media about how young people identify and accept themselves.

“We should let our children know that not all young people can become brilliant like Huang Yuxuan (one of lead roles). If you are another Chen Yunru, just an ordinary and unsociable person, you are still able to stand tall and face the future with confidence and dignity,” one Sina Weibo user commented.

“When we were younger, most of us may have been Chen Yunru. The scriptwriter and director of this TV drama are conveying a message to us, telling us not to deny ourselves and embrace our true selves,” another netizen wrote.

Some audiences associated the story with social problems such as excessive facial plastic surgery. 

“Some young women, even teenage girls, have had plastic surgery many times because they cannot accept what they look like and feel ashamed,” Wan Fen, a fan of the drama in Beijing, told the Global Times on Sunday. 

“They think they can gain confidence after becoming beautiful, but pursuing beauty is an endless road. This is an unhealthy mental state.”
Wan said that accepting one’s true self can make people more confident and that this is a truely effective method that can allow people to become more beautiful.

Other roles in the TV series have a variety of problems that confuse them such as disabilities and different gender orientations and they all isolate themselves to one extent or another.

Shi Wenxue, a film critic as well as a teacher at the Beijing Film Academy, told the Global Times on Tuesday that tolerance is a very important part of society for young people.

“How to recognize and accept one’s mediocrity, imperfection and differences from others, and how to break down stereotypes, these all need tolerance throughout the entirety of society,” Shi said. 

“Society should allow everyone to become who they are and find a place for everyone.”

TV shows and films are good channels to inspire the public to reflect on and work to improve some social problems.

Better Days, a film also focusing on teenagers that exposes the dark world of bullying and the social pressure to achieve that is facing today’s youth, helped raise concern toward school bullying on Chinese social media.

The film, which has an 8.3/10 on Douban, earned 12 nominations at the 39th Hong Kong Film Awards, according to a newly released nomination list from the awards.

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