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To Spread Love Media Forum(No.103) Professor Zhang Bin shares ‘the creation of Chinese TV dramas in recent years’

On the evening of October 29th, Professor Zhang Bin, professor and doctoral supervisor of Shanghai Film Academy, Shanghai University, vice chairman and secretary General of Film and Television Criticism Committee of China University Film and Television Association, was invited to be the guest speaker of ‘To Spread Love Media Forum’cloud lecture series of School of Journalism and Communication, Nanjing Normal University.Professor Zhang Bin's main research fields are film and television theory and criticism, new media and film industry, media theory, etc.On this rare opportunity, Professor Zhang Bin Shared his research results with the students on the hot issues in ‘the creation of Chinese TV dramas in recent years’.The lecture will be presided over by Dr. You Xiaoguang.


Professor Zhang discussed three common tendencies in the creation of Chinese TV plays in recent years. The first one is that under the background of the initial development of the genre of Chinese TV plays, the theme and content of Chinese TV plays appear to be misplaced.Question 1: "The plot content of A TV series cannot support the grand setting of the subject matter." Usually the subject matter is large and the content is weak.The plot branch line is numerous but wonderful link is not much; The dilemma of the departure of subject matter and type logic.Question 2: "stories from the core of the subject setting elements, forming the contrast between the story and subject matter", the subject itself has some content directivity, but ignored by creators consciously or unconsciously, and some branch line plot and secondary content, such as common feelings line is disproportionately amplified, so as to cover up and seized the subject itself, even the plot tend to be vulgar.Question 3: "The content of the play does not conform to the historical context set by the subject and does not restore the typical environment". He emphasizes that if the plot and scene of the TV play are too far away from the historical era that the play wants to show, then its authenticity in the eyes of the audience will be greatly compromised, thus making it difficult for the audience to enter the scene of the play.In addition, the lack of details makes the solemn and serious subject matter lose the environment on which it relies, and is questioned by the audience in terms of "authenticity".


The second common phenomenon is the "dislocation between actors and roles", which is mainly reflected in the transformation of the "little fresh meat" phenomenon and the "late cold" situation of old actors and characters, which leads to the consideration of the "suitability" between actors and roles.


They include "the gap between the age of actors and the age of roles is too large, which affects the audience's recognition of the role", "whether the temperament and image of actors are suitable for the audience's imagination of a role" and "the typicality of the role".If the temperament and image of the actor are in a harmonious relationship with the audience's imagination of the role, through the appropriate choice between the two, sometimes the star and the role can even achieve each other, complete the transformation from "flow" to "actor", which is also more conducive to the spread of the film.The marxist theory of literature and art holds that the so-called typicality means the typical characters in the typical environment, which should be higher, more intense, more concentrated, more typical, more ideal, and therefore more universal than ordinary actual life.Professor Zhang believes that there is a problem of confusing "typical" and "alternative" in today's TV series, which needs to be paid attention to.


The third common problem is "dislocation of artistic creation and expression of value", which is mainly reflected in "dislocation of artistic expression in audio-visual style"."The setting of character identity is loosely connected with character personality and plot logic"; "The value orientation expressed in the plot is difficult to adapt to the mainstream values of the current society, forming the dislocation between the artistic treatment of the creator and the value demands of the audience".


Then Professor Zhang introduced the TV series sequel phenomenon. The "sequel" firstly confirms the value of the previous work, carries the unfinished mission of the previous work, and satisfies the desire of the audience and their favorite works to "renew the leading position". However, nowadays, it also presents the contradictory phenomenon of "high output, low quality, high popularity and low evaluation".From the study of the overall situation of TV series sequels in mainland China during the 30 years from 1988 to 2018, four phenomena behind the development of TV series sequels are summarized.


According to data analysis, between 1998 and 2018, TV sequels actually accounted for between 4% and 5%, not as much as one might think.Before 2005, the annual output of Rouen for TV sequels in mainland China fluctuated in single digits. From 2006 to 2014, the annual output of TV sequels fluctuated regularly, and the phenomenon of "big and small years" for TV sequels was closely related to TV policies.


Finally, Professor Zhang Shared with us the phenomenon of "water injection", a TV series he is currently working on.The research background is based on the analysis of the average number of TV series in mainland China from 2004 to 2019. Based on the relevant regulations issued by The State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, the historical analysis of the phenomenon of "water injection" in TV series is carried out.According to the survey data, the average number of TV series in China was 24.3 episodes in 2004, and reached a high of 44.6 episodes in 2016, while the overall decline remained above 40 episodes in 2017.Fragrant honey heavy grains such as frost, from the Angle of the ‘the princess agents’ ‘The Empress of China’and so on .the case study channel TV, TV drama "injection" was accompanied by TV market and industrial prosperity and appear a compelling long-term phenomenon, cause the audience, the creator and many adverse reaction of the market, to the benign development of TV art quality and industry in China brings negative effect. Then Professor Zhang combined with typical cases to summarize the specific characteristics of the drama "water injection", including the plot water injection, line water injection, editing water injection and other "tricks".Under such situation, says zhang TV series "water" is a complex phenomenon, its existence is influenced by TV industry development, capital market, the influence of the business model, and by the drama art influence of change of production concept and structure of audience, so in a long time to become a prominent phenomenon."Waterflood drama" not only affects the artistic quality of TV plays, destroys the viewing contract with the audience, but also fails to meet the demand for high-quality TV plays in the new era. Under the new regulatory requirements and the competitive pressure formed by the media art ecology, TV dramas are bound to embark on the road of "dehydrated" new development.


The lecture was full of goods and attracted more than 130 students to participate online.Finally, the moderator Dr. You Xiaoguang made a summary of the meeting.Dr. You praised Professor Zhang for leading us to analyze the phenomena existing in domestic TV plays in recent years from the perspectives of art, market, audience and policy. He explained in a simple and profound way the phenomena from the most basic level of drama, performance and audiovisual level. The content was very real and we enjoyed it very much.From the perspective of academic research, it provides students with an excellent example of how to combine qualitative analysis with quantitative research. From the perspective of creation, Teacher Zhang mentioned that "the story line should be clear", "the character should be related to the plot logic", and "the image and temperament of actors should be matched with the role", which are all the key issues in the creation of daily students. On behalf of the students, Dr. You thanked Professor Zhang for his sharing. Professor Zhang welcomed the students and teachers to Shanghai Film Academy for communication.