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The controversial reality show, which challenges the more traditional dating program format, features humor, conflicts, and all kinds of turns and twists. In every episode, there is a lineup of 24 female guests and five male bachelors. The female guests will learn more about each male hopeful through watching video clips and on-the-site interactions. Then they decide whether they should dismiss him by switching the podium light off.

The man who survives three rounds of test will gain the right to vie for the heart of his dream girl. The show has attracted a great number of "older singles", males and females, from across the country and abroad. More and more foreigners hoping to find their soul mates have also appeared on the show. More than an ordinary dating showing, the program reflects the younger generation's outlook on life, values and society.

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In fact, a couple of academic colleagues in Sydney have confessed to me that they are fascinated by it. In the past couple of years, whenever I have given a guest lecture to students of journalism on Chinese media, I have talked extensively about the show, usually to make two points. First, Chinese media can be simultaneously spectacular and mundane, ideologically overbearing and extremely entertaining, and subservient and defiant of the Party-state.

Second, ideological warfare does not always take place in news propaganda; instead, it can be fought in the domain of fun-packed entertainment. By the end of the class, Australian students, half expecting an hour of lecture on news censorship, control, and propaganda—all the things usually associated with China and its media—feel suitably entertained, if not enlightened. Its popularity has led to numerous copycats, ensuring a ratings war among provincial satellite television stations. There are now around thirty dating shows on Chinese television. If You Are the One is a high-end studio production with a live studio audience, and promises to deliver spectacles of glamour, fashion, and unmitigated entertainment.

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The show regularly features foreign contestants. In recent years, to meet growing demand outside China, intermittent episodes have been produced on location in a variety of cities outside China for simultaneous worldwide screening. The format is as follows: The female guests learn something about each male hopeful through watching three video clips and interacting with him on-site. The first video gives his life background.

The second tells us what he wants in a woman. In the third his friends say what think of him. Female guests on the show can question him following the screening of each video clip.


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As they learn more about each candidate, women who lose interest in him turn off the light that illuminates their individual stations. The man who survives three rounds of interrogation gains the right to vie for the heart of his dream girl. The man can choose to ask one of six questions to the women. He can choose to go on a date with a woman who has kept her light on, or he can he choose to go with his favourite who has turned off her light.

Negotiating love and life on Fei Cheng Wu Rao/If You Are The One – (1) Introduction

If she rejects him, he goes home empty handed. Having said that, he can also decide to give up his right to date, and goes home without a date. However, that may not necessarily be the end of his pursuit. If You Are the One maintains an extremely extensive and well-resourced website http: It is possible that further opportunities present themselves after the episode is broadcast. The format of the show is innovative, the hosts are unfailingly cool and humorous, and the show is often littered with brutally frank conversations between guests and hosts.

Featuring young women talking bluntly, and sometimes cruelly, about what they like and do not like about a man, means the show both shocks and resonates with the audience, who know too well that, brutal as they may be, these remarks are true reflections of the prevailing materialistic values in the society, even though ideals such as kindness, honesty and loyalty are still often mentioned by contestants as desirable attributes.


These shows are aimed at entertaining, but equally importantly, they provide information, life advice, and practical everyday instruction not only on questions of what to eat and how to stay healthy but also on how to conduct oneself in intimate relationships. Various aspects of self-fashioning are evident in the large number of dating shows, reality television and talk shows, which centre around the themes of love, romance, and sexual intimacy, and specialise in emotional and psychological counselling and relationship therapy.

One way of accounting for the popularity of such reality television is the rapid and profound social transition experienced by both television industry and the population alike. Consequently, the Chinese people find that they now have to make choices and decisions about how to conduct themselves and how to relate to each other in the society.

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A wide range of media genres and formats have emerged to tap into these collective concerns. They defuse discontent or even anger which comes from various types of social inequality, be it along the line of gender, class, and place Sun These programs are useful to viewers on two levels.

[Eng Sub] If You Are The One. S6E45. Meng Xue Leaves
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