Twenty Chinese TV and film works, including ‘Nothing but Thirty,’ named 2020’s top programs with excellent overseas influence
Published: Feb 24, 2021 08:38 PM

Poster of Nothing but Thirty Photo: VCG

On Tuesday, China's National Radio and Television Administration published a list of 20 Chinese TV and film programs with excellent overseas influence, which included two series focusing on women's issues - the popular reality show Sisters Who Make Waves and drama Nothing but Thirty, which is a huge hit in South Korea. 

The 20 works, which stood out from 254 candidates, cover a range of programs, from dramas to documentaries and reality shows. In addition to Nothing but Thirty, another four series included on the list, all of which have been launched on overseas streaming platforms such as Netflix and Hulu, have been introduced at foreign TV stations.

The administration said that these works have distinct themes, reflect reality, are well produced and have had outstanding impact on overseas exchanges. It also expressed the hope that related institutes will help excellent works such as these spread overseas in order to tell China's stories and enhance the international influence of Chinese culture.

Nothing but Thirty, a realistic drama that reflects the anxiety and confusion of ordinary people's lives, has performed well in South Korea.

South Korean top idol Oh Sehun has also been enraptured by the show's charm, according to a recent social media post in which he recommended it.

The work has sparked heated discussion among South Korean netizens, which many noting that they have been touched by the stories in the show to the point they couldn't hold back their tears. 

The online payment methods and consumer power of Shanghai residents seen in the show were also a fresh surprise for overseas netizens.

The rise in the show's popularity has also been accompanied by some controversies. For instance, the Chinese actress who plays one of lead characters in the drama became the center of a controversy because of her name.

Actress Jiang Shuying has grabbed the attentions of domestic and overseas viewers with her performance. However, while Jiang was born in Shanghai, some South Korean netizens have claimed that they think she is ethnic Korean as they say her name sounds very much like a South Korean name and that she looks to be of Korean descent. 

These comments enraged Chinese netizens, who noted that the "Shuying" part of Jiang's name is from an ancient Chinese poem. 

"Those who put forward this question need to learn more history and classic Chinese literature," one Sina Weibo user commented.

Jiang responded on Instagram about the controversy, posting the line of poetry from which her name came, a move that received complements from Chinese netizens.

Another work surrounding women above 30 years old, Sisters Who Make Waves, also appeared on the list. After the reality show aired on Mango TV, "make waves" became a hot word on social media.

Poster of Sisters Who Make Waves Photo: courtesy of Mango TV

One employee of Mango TV told the Global Times on Wednesday that videos on YouTube related to the show have each earned more than 500,000 views.

Viewers from countries like Japan and South Korea have shown support for the show's cast of middle-age Chinese stars. 

"The program has aired on a Singapore TV since July 2020 and many other countries as well as regions are also negotiating to introduce this style of show and buy the copyright from us," the employee said. 

Another show on the list focuses on the fight against COVID-19. Together has been broadcasted in several countries, including Singapore, Australia and Mongolia, Tencent News reported.

The report said that many Mongolian viewers have praised the series and commented that the Chinese fight against COVID-19 was of great significance.

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