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Virginity issue reflected in TV drama

By Zhang Xingjian | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-06-06 10:00

Virginity issue reflected in TV drama

Poster of urban TV drama Ode to Joy 2 [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Renowned as a Chinese version of Sex and the City, Chinese popular urban drama Ode to Joy returned to the small screen on May 11, its premiere gaining a high viewership rate of 1.34 percent and 1.55 percent on Dragon TV and Zhejiang Satellite TV, respectively.

Ode to Joy mainly follows the story of five young women who live on the same floor in an apartment building, also called "Ode to Joy" in Shanghai city.

The five female protagonists, ranging in age from their mid-20s to early 30s, come from different social and educational backgrounds, but all want a better life both in love and at work. However, things don't always go the way they expect them to.

Romance, careers, friendship and the difficulties women encounter in the metropolis highlight the TV drama.

Twenty-two-year-old Guan Ju'er, for instance, is a diligent young woman with mediocre prospects working at a Top 500 company. As an obedient girl, she is loyal to her friends but has no plan for her future.

Her best friend, Qiu Yingying, only one year older, is a reckless and whimsical woman who is crazy about love. Coming from a small city, she was forced by her parents to stay in Shanghai and make something of herself.

The two young woman share a rented apartment with a 32-year-old woman, Fan Shengmei. Kind-hearted as she is, she always dreams of marrying a rich man and keeping far from her troublesome family business.

Their neighbor is a intelligent and helpful lady named Andy He. As a powerful and decisive overseas returnee, she is not good at dealing with human relationships and her miserable childhood has left a shadow deep in her heart.

The most controversial role in the drama is Qu Xiaoxiao, a 25-year woman who was born into a rich family. She lives a seemingly bright life, but she has to fight against her stepbrother on inheriting the family enterprise and huge wealth.

Despite its popularity the show has drawn many critics who disapprove of too much embedded marketing, disputes in social status differences and controversial moral and social issues in the series.

However, one thing that a majority of viewers agree on is that the down-to-earth TV drama truly reflects the mindset and lifestyle of China's urban middle class, which has experienced tremendous changes over the decades.

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