Red patriotic TV series dominate nominations for China’s Magnolia Awards, a sign of improvement for the genre
Published: Jun 01, 2021 04:53 PM
TV series The Awakening Age Photos: Courtesy of Yang Yipei

TV series The Awakening Age Photos: Courtesy of Yang Yipei

The nominations for the Magnolia Awards at the 27th Shanghai TV Festival were announced. A total of 10 TV series were nominated for Best Television Series, most of which featured patriotic themes such as poverty alleviation or the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea, a sign that the quality of red TV series have greatly improved.

The 10 nominated works include Minning Town, which focuses on poverty alleviation; Awakening Age, about the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC); and Zaiyiqi (lit: Get together), which tells the stories about the fight against the coronavirus in Wuhan.

The average rating for the 10 TV series on Chinese media review platform is 7.57/10, while more than half of them passed 8/10. The overall rating has improved compared to previous nominees.

The high percentage of patriotic TV works among the nominees has been seen by experts as a sign that such productions have improved.

Shi Wenxue, a film and cultural critic based in Beijing, told the Global Times on Tuesday that recent works on the small screen have been both topical and more artistic. They are a gift to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the CPC and are worthy of audience appreciation. 

Minning Town and Awakening Age, two works that are good examples of high quality patriotic TV dramas, are the biggest hopefuls in line to win Best TV Series, according to industry insiders. 

Their advantages include stories that resonant with audiences and vivid characters that come across as real people. Besides being meaningful, they remain entertaining and commercially competitive as well as praiseworthy in terms of their innovative artistic style.

No series that were exclusive to streaming platforms were nominated, leaving stunning dramas such as The Bad Kids out in the cold.

Some insiders recommended that the influential TV festival introduce more categories in order to allow more streaming series a chance to be recognized and to encourage the continued production of high-quality works. 

The Magnolia Awards are handed out to both international and national productions through voting by a panel made up of award-winning actors, producers, directors and writers. It is considered to be one of the most prestigious TV awards, alongside the Feitian Awards and the Golden Eagle Awards.