China Won’t Be Keeping Up with the Kardashians



Bad news for the Kardashians’ world takeover, at least in the Asian market: SARFT, the Chinese State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, wants to refine Chinese television. The administration has ordered a reduction of all “vulgar,” excessively or “overly entertaining,” and “dark or gloomy” programs. Goodbye, future one-hit wonders of the ExAmerican Idolfactor and all of that lovely, midday “I’m home ill and Sunset Beach doesn’t start until 3 pm” chicken-noodle-soup-for-the-soul television. Farewell, Housewives, reality shows, game shows, talk shows, and talent contests. (And hello instead, “socialist core values.” Yikes.) During the peak hours of 7:30 pm to 10:00 pm, there will be no more than nine hours of frivolity allowed on Chinese satellite television, total, split between the country’s 34 satellite channels; no one channel will be allowed more than 90 minutes of this programming at a time, and no more than twice per week.
Perhaps television could do with a bit of a spit and a polish: a return to a purer time when Vh1 and MTV aimed to better impressionable young adults through their incisive documentaries, such as I Love the 80s and The History of the Mosh Pit. But has SARFT really considered all of the repercussions such a drastic order will have? Think of how costume parties will suffer without Jersey Shore for inspiration. And this whole “dark and gloomy” business—do they really mean to deprive the Chinese people of the sociological masterpiece that is The Wire? Silly SARFT, don’t they know that refinement is what the theater is for? (Or the opera and the ballet—we’ve heard China has plenty of both.)