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Trashy Soap Opera of the Month Club


roddy
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I came across this forum too late to watch 中国式离婚 with you guys. I just finished watching all of the episodes and really enjoyed it, even though my Mandarin is quite weak. I really think this is a great way to learn a language naturally. I didn't really look up too many words while watching the show, unless they were repeated time and time again. But I still feel like I absorbed the gist of the meaning of several new words and phrases. Anyways, now I've started watching 生死劫 but it really doesn't compare to the quality of 中国式离婚. The camera work-and acting are bad, and the story is not nearly as riveting, but at least there is a lot of conversation. Can anyone recommend any other good Chinese shows?

Mike

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hey all. I finished watching 生死劫 and recommend it for language learning. Lots of conversation, fairly clearly spoken, and picked up well by the microphone boom that pops down in front of the camera in about every 2nd scene, lol. I've downloaded tons of soaps and have finally found another one that has good audio, no mumbling, and a modern day setting. It's a 20 episode show called 一网情深. The only downside is no subtitles, however this could be a plus. While watching 生死劫, about a quarter of the time I covered up the subtitles so I could focus purely on my listening skills. Since the main point in my opinion of watching these soaps is to absorb the language naturally, I think no subs may be a good thing. But subs definitely have their advantages.

Btw, I've been using BSPlayer to watch these files (mostly rm and rmvb). The good thing about BSPlayer is that it has a slick interface and has bookmarks so you can quickly jump to where you last left off, so it's easy to watch 5 or 10 minutes of a show throughout the day and not have to search for where you last stopped each time. To use BSPlayer with rm/rmvb files, I had to install the Matroska codec pack.

Mike

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi all. I just want to recommend a famous tv show called 北京人在纽约, starring a great actor, 姜文. It was made in 1988. I'm on episode 8 of 21 and really enjoying it. There's some English mixed in as well, since this was filmed in New York. The audio in some places isn't that great, but that's the only negative. It's available on verycd.com and you can also find the e-book if you do a search with e-mule.

Mike

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  • 1 year later...

DONE!

Today, I finished 中国式离婚 (and accidentally made my prophecy from page 4 of this thread come true). It was way over my head when I first started watching it, I had to watch every episode three times: once to see how much I could understand (not a lot), once going through it with frequent pauses to look up any unknown words (a lot) and once to see how many of the new words I had retained (not a lot).

It is encouraging to see how much easier it was after about one and a half years in China, I barely had to look up anything anymore and could do without the subtitles in all but a few instances, too. I also noticed that watching the soap had a beneficial impact on my pronunciation; on several occasions I found myself inadvertently mimicking one of the characters' way of speaking.

As to the plot, I have mixed feelings. On one hand, it was quite catchy and kept you anticipating the next episode (especially towards the end, when the producer finally seemed to have realized that it makes more sense to end an episode just before the climax instead of after). On the other hand, I found a lot of things over the top and hardly believable. I would have preferred if instead of yet another far-fetched subplot, another level of depth would have been introduced here and there. But then again, that's probably not what a soap opera is supposed to do.

All in all, I still enjoyed this and if somebody wants to do this again, I would like to participate.

Having said that, I might as well give the book of the month October 2005 another shot...

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Or you could try reading the book of 中国式离婚. I picked it up a few months ago when I came across it by chance in a bookstore. The tv series follows it quite closely, although there are a couple of minor differences. Knowing the story beforehand also makes reading the book a lot easier.

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  • 1 month later...

I'm real late to the game but I started watching yesterday and now I am on episode 6. As far as Chinese soaps its one of the better ones because it doesn't contain much propaganda (at least yet.) I like watching the political dramas but its always 为了我们国家, 为党服务 blah blah.

Does anyone get the feeling this show is really cramped and almost clausterphobic in terms of the setting? Almost every scene is shot in some small room, either in their apartment, the wife's parents place, the hospital or a small 客房. I guess thats fairly representative of Chinese culture, but it can get kind of annoying.

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I never noticed that first time round, but I can see what you mean. I do think it's fairly representative of where they would be living and working, but perhaps it's also meant to reflect the way the characters actually feel - a bit claustrophobic and trapped.

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True, but I think those are only fleeting scenes. I am only on episode 9 (tudou is missing 8:( )

Anyone looking to organize another TV drama group study/viewing? Just about anything is on tudou or youqu, which would make this possible for overseas viewers.

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