Sunday, September 21, 2008

Entertaining the Masses

I don't watch Chinese TV that often... there usually isn't much on that's interesting unless you like dramas about the Chinese revolution, imperial dynasties or silly comedic humour.

But while we were in Xian we flipped to a channel that had three young foreigners on a variety show... speaking perfect Chinese... much to my shame.

One was a black girl from the United States, a Caucasian guy from Canada, and a Chinese-Filipino guy who was on the chubby side.

There were four hosts dressed in variations of white and turquoise outfits, young and curious about what foreigners think about China.

The trio made observations that I have as well, but they articulated them well to much hilarity to the studio audience.

For instance, when people outside of China finish a telephone conversation with someone, they usually say, "Bye", or "talk to you later". But here in China, they usually grunt "en" and then hang up. "What's with that?" the girl asked.

Everyone laughed because it was true.

They also talked about how local people drop their jaws when they speak Chinese... but I also did a double take impressed by how fluent their Chinese was. The girl said she learned most of it from singing Chinese songs and started belting out "Shanghai Bund" which thrilled the crowd.

The Filipino guy, dressed in a Chinese-style silk top and black pants, played up his portly size and tried to do some Chinese dancing with one of the female hosts.

He also competed against one of the hosts in writing as many Chinese characters as he could for the pronunciation of "ai" in a set period of time. I think it was practically a tie.

It's too bad the Canadian guy didn't have much to offer besides his language skills. He wasn't too funny and didn't have any witty remarks to make. He almost looked like those kids I see in Hong Kong trying to convert people to Christianity, dressed in a white shirt, black pants and black tie.

But the black girl really has potential to become the Chinese Oprah. She's funny, entertaining and has lots to say and not afraid to say it.

Hope the Chinese TV stations are thinking of this idea. She could host her own show and be a big hit.

Watch out Dashan! You've got some competition...

No comments: