TV series shows love is a battlefield

0 申博现金网址Print E-mail China Daily, February 6, 2020
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Love is not rational. It can strike at the most unexpected times and be all consuming. The exact opposite is not rational either. "Gamophobia" is a fear of commitment, particularly marriage. The person suffering from such a fear may even actually love another but when they say they love you and are ready to tie the knot, an intense dislike takes over.

Still Not Enough, a 46-episode TV series starring A-list actor Han Geng and actress Wang Xiaochen, addresses this quandary and highlights the fear of commitment. It has struck a chord with many viewers.

Since the drama was first broadcast on Jan 5, it has garnered over 360 million "clicks" online and has been ranked as one of the highest viewed dramas on provincial broadcasters Zhejiang Satellite Television and Jiangsu Satellite Television.

With the script penned by Huo Xin, a writer known for hit romances such as Cherish Our Love Forever, the series recounts events surrounding the unexpected meeting of a company downsizing specialist and his old flame, an employee that his client firm plans to fire.

The two, as the saying goes, have a history. Played by Han, the protagonist mysteriously "disappeared" just before their wedding ceremony five years previously. The plotline unfolds as the man's secret is unraveled: He witnessed first hand the quarrels and conflicts between his separated parents during his childhood and consequently he has secretly lived in fear of marriage and commitment.

Shot over four months mostly in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, and Krabi Island in southern Thailand, the series has also been released in some Southeast Asian countries and on the streaming platform YouTube.

Liu Sisi, chief producer of the series, recalls that most members of her production team were able to relate to the story written by scriptwriter Huo.

"I know some friends and colleagues who hesitated to get married because they are worried about the uncertainty of the future and the stress of supporting a family," says Liu.

Liu recalls that around 80 percent of the people who were interviewed before shooting of the series began, most of whom were born between the mid-1980s and 1990s, said falling in love was fine but marriage was another issue altogether.

Gender seemed to define their attitudes. Men were primarily worried about earning enough to support the family. Women, on the other hand, were concerned about relationships with future mothers-in-law and raising children, Liu points out.

"In one sense, it is a social phenomenon that prevails among young people in big cities, especially metropolises like Beijing and Shanghai," says Liu, also chairman of the Beijing-based studio Century Wana Film and Media.

As a veteran producer who has worked in the film and TV industries for over a decade, Liu also says she hopes Still Not Enough will raise public awareness and understanding of young people's reluctance to share commitment.

Liu believes that TV dramas concerning social issues strike a chord with a wider viewership, and says that the studio's forthcoming TV series, such as People's Justice and When Happiness Knocks at the Door, explore topics closely related to social issues.

Real-life stories and situations may sometimes be even more dramatic.

Li Huixin, founder of the Shenzhen-based psychological consultation institution CXKS, recalls that a man, one of her patients, once attempted to commit suicide rather than go through with his wedding ceremony. He was diagnosed with major depressive disorder as he had suffered the trauma of seeing his father abandon his mother.

Many of these cases are primarily caused by childhood or teenage experiences, especially seen in those who have endured conflict between parents or have experienced heartbreak, says Li, who also suggests that the public should have more understanding of, and show greater tolerance to, these individuals.

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