If You Are the One (FCWR) is now the most popular reality TV dating show. It is the Chinese version of Take Me Out, which is a dating game show broadcasted in UK and Australia. The show invites 18 ladies per week, gives them several rounds to get to know four gentlemen and to decide whom to date with. In June 2006, If You Are the One surpassed the Happy Camp of HNTV and became the No.1 in Chinese weekend TV shows.
The show’s success should be partly attributed to the well design. Learning from Take Me Out, FCWR uses fancy lighting, popular music and modern stage in the show. The ladies are young and attractive. The process of the show is compact and fast. All the elements match the needs of current TV audience.
Besides, FCWR catches some hot issues in China, which is the other important reason for its success.
The first one is marriage. In a recent nationwide survey about marital status, over 500 thousand female in Beijing are “the Left Girls”—a popular Chinese phrase to call the girls hard to get married. With the development of education, Chinese youth graduate much later than before. The pressure of finding jobs makes the youth anxious of stepping into the real society. Many of them choose to remain the mindset of children to avoid work and marriage. Nowadays, all kinds of dating shows are occupying the screen at majority prime time; group miai meetings are held in hundreds of cities, each could attract thousands of people to attend; millions of parents are worrying about their children’s marital status and are forcing them to date youth.
The second one is the changes of social atmosphere. In the past, marriage is a very private issue. Chinese couples even didn’t know each other’s appearance before they got married. It is the parents that decide whom their children should get married with. But now the atmosphere of the society has become more open. People are willing to show themselves to the public and are dare to pursue their true-love publicly.
The show also reflects the changes in social values. Usually, cautious, quiet, honest and modest are the most appreciated characters of males. But in the current shows we can find that these kind of males are not that popular as before. Females now tend to date with the talkative, funny, clean and rich males. Many citizens criticized the show and its ladies guests as mammonish. In traditional Chinese culture, females should be quiet, tender, compliant and conservative. But now, Chinese girls are becoming more open and self-confident. They have begun to realize that their beauty and intelligence is a precious resource, which they should utilize to seek for a more equal position in the patriarchal society.