Why Chinese Like to Watch “The Great Changjin” – Zhang Ying and Wu Han

From The Southern Weekend, via Press Interpreter:

Korean television drama “The Great Changjin” contains obsolete plot-lines, formulaic characters and dogmatic values. So why is it as popular as “My Sassy Girlfriend”?

Even Li Bingxun, the director of “The Great Changjin”, didn’t expect that this piece could be so popular in China. “I think it is because we share similar culture and values. Changjin is an average person. The theme of struggling for success meets people’s desire for success. People everywhere, regardless of their nationality, are touched by stories that describe the average person’s endurance of hardships and eventual success.”

Shi Yuanhua, director of the Korean Study Center at Fudan University [in Shanghai], pointed out that the high quality of “The Great Changjin” contributes to its success. In South Korean, it cost 1~1.5 times as much to film a period episode as a contempory one. Normally, it costs 15 billion WON [approx. 1.05 million RMB or 130,000 USD] to film one episode, but “The Great Changjin” costs 20 billion WON [approx. 1.4 million RMB or 160,000 USD] per episode. Its success is not accidental. In addition, the actors and actresses are very devoted; and the story is quite interesting. Furthermore, the high-quality settings and traditional Eastern morals attract many people.

Translated by Carol Fang

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