Monday, October 4, 2010

Super Girl represents a victory of the grass roots over the elite culture,"

argues Beijing sociologist Li Yinhe. ..
"It is vulgar and manipulative," intoned an official statement from China Central TV (CCTV), the national state-run broadcaster, which added that the program was not high-toned enough due to the gaudy clothing worn by contestants and that the show could be canceled next season due to its "worldliness."
Technically, CCTV officials can shut down Super Chinese Girl, since they hold a monopoly position on broadcast decisions. Many ordinary Chinese say that it won't be worldliness that prompts any shutdown but the fact that CCTV's advertising revenue on Friday night was lower than that of its modest Hunan competitor. A pilot of an official version of Super Girl produced by CCTV reportedly failed.
"Most Chinese TV is formulaic," says Luo, a young Beijing University graduate, who would only give his first name. "We can figure out after 15 minutes what will happen, but on Super Chinese Girl we can't predict what they will say about the cute Chinese girl."
  Young Chinese girl interviewed say that they want to see examples of confident females interacting spontaneously in Chinese public culture, rather than through an official script.
Private choice, public event.
For some students, the exciting part of China Super Girl is making a private choice in a public matter. A daring few, online and usually anonymously, link the concept to political voting.
In recent years, and for the first time, China has experimented with online votes , though topics are usually scoured by authorities and sensitivities removed. (One recent online vote in the Xinhua news service asked the question, "Do you think Japan should become a member of the UN Security Council?" The vote was a nearly unanimous, "no.")
One indication that authorities are targeting Super Chinese Girl was the number of traditional folk songs sung. At one point, a matriarch from the People's Liberation Army, wearing a green uniform swathed in ribbons and medals, sang a patriotic song in what many younger Chinese interpreted as a way of appeasing the central government authorities.
The new and slightly giddying freedoms of a mass-media program also , it is pointed out by the male viewers, makes a program about the girls, more
appealing. Zhao, an engineering student, was passing out fliers about Li Yuchun at People's University on Friday. The fliers gave step-by- step instruction for cellphone voting on one side, and a particularly love- struck message, penned by Zhao, on the other. Li Yuchun, Zhao said, is a "no frills, natural girl who has control of the stage, and is not easily disturbed.
She has no long skirts or long hair, and will challenge the traditional female idea. She is the Super Chinese Girl in my heart."