Chinese Fables of Wealth and Power

MCLC Resource Center is pleased to announce publication of “Chinese Fables of Wealth and Power: The TV Drama Well-intended Love,” by Marco Fumian. The full essay appears at its online home: Find a teaser below. My thanks to Professor Fumian for sharing his work with the MCLC community.

Kirk Denton, MCLC

Chinese Fables of Wealth and Power:
The TV Drama Well-Intended Love

By Marco Fumian

MCLC Resource Center Publication (Copyright July 2023)

In this essay, I present a reading of the Chinese TV drama Well-intended Love 奈何BOSS要娶我 (lit. “How to make the BOSS marry me”), a 20-episode series released in China in 2019 that I have been watching with the students of an MA course on Chinese language this year and discussed in a paper I presented at a workshop at the Oriental University of Naples (fig. 1).[1]

Figure 1: Promotional poster for Well-Intended Love.

I selected this particular TV drama for two reasons. First, I wanted to introduce my students to a series focused on the representation of contemporary Chinese society, to observe with them what kind of themes, values, and social relations it gives expression to, and how and why. I also sought to analyze the content of the series in light of the dominant ideological structures shaping mainstream cultural expression in contemporary China, where the processes of cultural production are typically supervised by the agencies of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) with the aim of infusing cultural works, especially in the realm of popular culture, with the narratives and values most supportive of the government’s views of social order.[2] The series, produced by the private studios Huachen Meichuang 华晨美创 and Wenhua Chuanmei 文化传媒, was the recipient of a number of prizes at the Fourth Edition Golden Bud Network Film and Television Festival—an event mostly designed to award film and TV works produced for the internet—including that for “one of the best 10 TV dramas of the year” and that for the “most popular director of the year,” awarded to the director Wu Qiang 吴强. If not necessarily a guarantee of the quality of the series, the awards are at least a sign that the drama was quite representative of the tastes of Chinese viewers, as well as of the organizers of the prize. . . [READ THE FULL ESSAY HERE]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *