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Ode to Joy in the eyes of millennial women in New York

O
de to Joy is a hit television drama launched in China in April 2016. It features five young, independent woman making it in Shanghai. Thousands of miles away in New York City, the show is popular among young Chinese women, and some say the show is relatable to them.
1 month ago
Jia Guo

Ode to Joy is China’s version of Sex and the City due to its frank portrayal of five young women making it in Shanghai.

The TV drama reached more than 10 billion views when the first season was launched in April 2016.

Do you like Ode to Joy?
Rachel Zhang:
I believe Ode to Joy is very real.

Mian Fan:
I don’t like Ode to Joy that much because it’s a bit dramatic.

What do you think of the storyline?
Rachel:
The storyline is a bit utopian. In the show, the girls across different social classes became friends just because they can help each other. However, in the meantime, they need each other. When I finished the show, I thought to myself, “How could this happen in real life?”

Is the show empowering women?
Mian:
I believe the director wanted the show to have a positive impact on people. The show raises some popular social issues, such as having the girl have shared ownership of the wedding house (when in China most guys buy the house for the wedding), or virginity complex. In general, half of the people share similar views on these issues while the other half have opposite views. In the end, the show exposes those issues to the public eye and this will have a positive impact on people.

Rachel:
I believe the show is empowering. Because when viewers see different people in the show, they will relate and validate their own lives. When viewers connect themselves to those characters in the show, it’s empowering. People could think, “Oh, my life is meaningful. Or my life looks like this in the show.”

Who’s the most memorable character?
Rachel:
Fan Shengmei. I feel like she’s very loyal to her friends, reliable, and looks like a big sister.

Mian:
I believe Fan Shengmei is a very real character. I feel neutral about her. Many of her traits are caused by society, but I understand her.

Click here to read a full article on the TV drama published by SupChina.

By Jia Guo
Jia Guo is from the coastal city of Qingdao. She has an M.A. in multimedia journalism from NYU and has worked at Facebook and Bloomberg TV in New York City.
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