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Specially made, short-format reality shows are serving up staple mealtime companionship, Xing Wen reports.

By Xing Wen | China Daily Global | Updated: 2023-03-22 08:32

Cross-talk performer Guo Qilin (middle) joins the hosts as a guest in the new season of the show, Mao Xue Woof.[Photo provided to China Daily]

Singer Mao Buyi, entertainer Li Xueqin, and their pug share this living space, hosting friends and engaging in casual conversations about personal experiences and relevant topics that young people are concerned about.

"Mao and Li are genuine friends," says Zhao Jianzhong, the show's producer. "That helps to create a certain atmosphere in which more natural and spontaneous conversations are more likely to occur. The unscripted show then evinces authenticity."

The two hosts are originally from Northeast China and have a strong personal connection.

Li would often visit Mao's place, and the two would sit on the sofa for hours, talking about various topics, sharing each other's worries and finding solutions to problems together.

"Their real life bond inspired us to make the show," says Zhao.

So far, it has garnered a score of 7.3 out of 10 on the review site Douban.

"The show offers a glimpse into the everyday lives of young celebrities, revealing that they too experience struggles, emotional problems, and other challenges that are common to ordinary people," comments one Douban user. "It reminds me that no one is exempt from the physical and mental challenges we face in life, regardless of fame or wealth. This realization gives me solace when I am dealing with similar stresses and afflictions."

According to Zhao, the show has now achieved a total number of views and unique visitors comparable to that of a feature-length video program.

He suggests that producing several shows of a similar genre and quality could serve as a critical foundation for retaining active users on Tencent's video-sharing platform.

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