Chinese Dating Shows

Due to the lack of “good Chinese men” available there has been a big influx of dating shows on Chinese TV.  There is always a dating show somewhere on TV that you can watch and get inspired to find your special someone.

At first glance, these shows seem just like American dating shows.  There are a group of beautiful, women lined up with numbers attached to them.  Sometimes you can see their faces, sometimes they hold Halloween Masks, and sometimes they are behind white screens and you only see their outlined shape.  But the entire premiss is usually  about the same.   Boy sees girls…… Boy tells girls his job, money and background…… Boy sings stupid love song and dances like Michael Jackson…… Girls cry at the beauty of it….. Boy picks the most beautiful girl.

I personally find these shows a bit cheesy and unrealistic and several Chinese dating shows have been censored for being too materialistic.  They are usually singing, badly, dancing  strangely… or playing some very, silly game.

The Wall Street Journal‘s Lisa Movius stated  that dating show If You Are the Onefeatured a panel of 24 single women who brutally interrogated and often hastily rejected a succession of individual bachelors” and included a contestant who “became the Snooki of China by misquoting the Patrizia Reggiani quip: ‘I would rather weep in a Rolls-Royce than be happy on a bicycle.’

It seems that the government censors aren’t too happy… They have stepped in to regulate the show  If You Are the One and other shows, prohibiting them from sensationalize-ing unhealthy and incorrect perspectives on marriage and love, such as money worship.  I personally agree with the government on this one.  Some of these shows get out of hand, with the women drilling the men about their family background and material things.

The men in China have started to  look down, for younger, poorer and dumber women, while women are demanding men better than them. For example, a man of 40 with an apartment can get women 25 on up, while women won’t want someone lower. This leaves a lot of men to be single for the rest of their lives, such a waste.

One man on a television report stated… roughly translated by my husband… that all the city girls here are two million rmb girls, these old virgins of 26 to 40. They just want the house and the car, not the man. Rural girls are cheaper, but even they require a house.  However, after you think about it .. is this any different from in America and their dating shows? or America period?

I even saw a show the other night that had all foreign men looking for Chinese girls to date and marry.   The guys could speak Chinese pretty well and many of them asked the question: Why they would want to date a foreign man.   The answers ranged from handsome to kind to rich.   There were even some Black men on the panel…. which actually surprised me.   Unfortunately, the only show I have seen that has foreign women on … are ones that are already married to Chinese men and they are doing a Newlywed kind of game.   I guess there is  no dating game for us foreign women yet. We will get there… I will keep working on it.  (smile)

Funny enough, one dating show even featured a suspected murderer.  I guess he had enough money to be a good catch so they put him on the show. This is where a background check would have been  important.

39-year old music teacher Liu Hao was a contestant on the Chinese dating show “Happy League” in northeast China. Using his  singing talents to win over a young woman, beating out seven other men, he finally swayed her with his rendition of the running man to techno music. Priceless!

Unfortunately for the “lucky lady” who chose him, Liu Hao was actually  Wu Gang, a suspected serial killer responsible for the stabbing death of a man outside a restaurant in Jilin thirteen years ago.  A viewer saw him on the show and gave an anonymous tip.  Crimestoppers strikes all the way over here, awesome!

Although, there are is a lot of crazy singing, silly dancing, and brutal questions… every now and then you will see a couple that actually look good together .. and you can hope that they really love each other, well as much as you can on a dating show, and they will get married and have a beautiful and happy life….Well,  I can always dream can’t I?

until next time….


15 thoughts on “Chinese Dating Shows

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  6. Siva

    Hmm… honestly, I’m afraid your knowledge about “If you are the one” is a bit outdated. The show has actually become much better after being “censored”. By “better”, I mean more real, more diverse, more restrained on the money topics, and most importantly, more entertaining. It continues to attract the broadest viewership and for good reasons.

    And guess what, they do have foreign women on the show! I’ve seen quite a few Koreans, Russian, Ukrainian, American, Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, and recently even a girl from Mauritius!

    Have to admit though, that you still see the occasional stupid singing and dancing, but overall, it’s way better than when it was first aired.

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  8. Jack

    Its very interesting to look at China through the lens of mass media. It both reflect the current cultural paradigm and the period in which it is in. As you have mentioned before, China is like the 1920s America, where the society is very conservative, “materialistic” (women aim to marry into a good family, and often marriages are “arranged” through relatives); with TV shows that are similar to America of 1950s – China is basically progressing/catching up to America all at once, from multiple time-periods, as if its going through a “time compression”.

    Also, you were saying about the pressures you felt exerted on you and your husband from your in-laws to have kids. This made me think, because this is similar in the West particularly the religious crowd such as the Catholics – where the idea of a marriage is the “Consummation of marriage”.

    From wiki:
    “Consummation or consummation of a marriage, in many traditions and statutes of civil or religious law, is the first (or first officially credited) act of sexual intercourse between two individuals, following their marriage to each other. Its legal significance arises from theories of marriage as having the purpose of producing legally recognized descendants of the partners, or of providing sanction to their sexual acts together, or both, and amounts to treating a marriage ceremony as falling short of completing the creation of the state of being married. Thus in some Western traditions, a marriage is not considered a binding contract until and unless it has been consummated.

    Within the Catholic Church, a marriage that has not yet been consummated, regardless of the reason for non-consummation, can be dissolved by the Pope. Additionally, an inability or an intentional refusal to consummate the marriage is probable grounds for an annulment.”

    From this above perspective, this is not so strange; but it is strange that China is an ARELIGIOUS society because of Communist ideal. My intepretation of this is that China has replaced the void with consumerism/materialism (much like America and Europe) and to large extent – Chinese tradition. So Chinese tradition can probably be consider a ‘religion’ in itself. I am sure most expat would agree Chinese people holds “tradition” as if its a religion!

  9. elli mac

    Damn..told about pressure on the man and I thought American women were materialistic. I think it would be a good idea for China to have a dating game with foreign women in it, maybe this way Chinese men can see that not all women wants what they can give them, but who they are as a potential partner.

  10. I find gold diggers funny no matter what country they reside in…Really though, the happiest marriages are between two equals who support each other and love each other despite the negatives, not how much they’re worth. I think your marriage is proof of that as well 🙂

  11. “‘I would rather weep in a Rolls-Royce than be happy on a bicycle.’“ I died at this quote lol. Just wondering, What does “two million rmb girls” mean? I may be wrong, but it seems China is bit more progressive than Korea, no? I mean I don’t think there have been shows with foreigners trying to date or are married to Koreans. Even on the fake marriage show “We Got Married”, I feel pigs will fly before a non-Asian star will be featured. I could be wrong, though. As for the materialism, I don’t know how I feel about that. I guess coming from where I am from, the women here can stand to be a bit more demanding. I have seen far too many women settling (and are TAUGHT to settle) for less all for the sake of “love”, meanwhile the guy, in many instances, doesn’t even treat them right. Of course, I’m not even favor of the other extreme either.

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