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In a way, this wacky and cringeworthy show illustrates modern China’s divided values towards relationship and gender.
The 40-year-old divorcee’s story is an example of the tensions between two divided generations.
(In China, divorced women are often considered damaged goods.) Some critics called the show a revival of outdated arranged marriages (link in Chinese).
Many say it reflects the “Giant Infant” culture described by psychologist Wu Zhihong in her acclaimed book to be somewhat progressive.
For comparison's sake, America's popular dating show pulls 21% of the national population.
The program is produced by Jiangsu Broadcasting, but like all Chinese television shows, it's ultimately controlled by the government.
Sometimes, the women would just want to take jabs at the poor guy’s ego.
The six-year-old show, which broadcasts every Saturday night and lasts an hour and a half, starts with an introductory video about the man and then the women decide if they would go on a date with him.President Hu Jintao warned of the influence of Western culture as the decision was announced. It's filmed on a stage with one male bachelor and 24 female candidates.The women stand at individual podiums and use their podium lights to indicate interest in dating the bachelor in question.It's understood that it has led to a few marriages and many relationships.It's easy argue that Chinese women have higher standards than women in the west.
If a male candidate joining the Chinese dating show “If You Are The One” isn’t rich, handsome, manly and successful (read: perfect) enough, he should at least have very thick skin to absorb the flurry of insults he is bound to the receive from the Chinese lady contestants.