TV series aims to 'decode' China

Updated: 2014-06-18 08:06

By He Wei (China Daily)

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TV series aims to 'decode' China

Photo provided to China Daily

"We had heated debate when determining the theme of each episode. It has to reflect critical social phenomena and needs to appeal to an international audience," says Zhu Xiaoqian, head of the feature department at ICS.

TV series aims to 'decode' China

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TV series aims to 'decode' China

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So they have decided to look into a broad spectrum of complex economic, social and governance issues, from separate social classes that make healthcare and education inaccessible to some; to the lack of beliefs and values that have received scant attention in earlier media coverage.

"For instance, healthcare affects every-one, and China's system suffered in the transition from a planned to a market economy. But nobody is satisfied, and we have to find out why," says Wang Shuo, director of the first episode Are the Chinese Happy?

An episode at Ren Ji Hospital, among Shanghai's best, shows a hospital overburdened with patients and doctors who are overworked and underpaid. Kuhn asks: Is this a prime example of how urgently healthcare system reforms are needed?

Other topics include housing price problems-a major headache for the government, which is trying to control the prices while not undermining the real estate market.

One way of creating a TV series that will appeal to a global audience is to use smaller events and narratives to draw viewers, says series director Peter Getzels.