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Popular TV series focuses on family fault lines

By Xu Fan | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-03-12 15:26

Poster of Islands [Photo provided to China Daily]

Islands, one of the most popular TV series at the start of the Year of the Dragon, concluded with a peak rating of 3.402 percent, surpassing the 1 percent threshold index, according to the industry information tracer CSM Media Research.

Focusing on three female generations in a single family, the final episodes aired on CCTV-1 on March 7, earning a rating of 7.3 out of 10 on the popular review aggregator Douban.

Xia Xiaohui, deputy head of the China Media Group's center for movies, TV shows and documentaries, said during a recent seminar in Beijing that topics related to the drama have racked up over 260 million views on Xiaohongshu, a social media online platform particularly popular with young women.

The series explores the topics of parenting and mental health issues among children, resonating widely with viewers, Xia said.

Additionally, the mother's relationships with her three daughters and granddaughters reflect the psychological transformation of Chinese women in parallel with the societal changes of the past several decades, Xia added.

Executive producer Yang Xiaopei shares her views of Islands at the seminar held in Beijing on March 7. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Yang Xiaopei, the show's executive producer, said that Chinese people often have a traditional mindset which dictates that family troubles should not be aired out to outsiders.

"However, many of us have encountered such moments of frustration — feeling overwhelmed by the trivialities within our families and yearning for understanding from others. We believe that the drama, portrayed in a bright and warm tone, serves as a way for the audience to recognize their own confusion and struggles," said Yang.

Actress Xu Fan at the Beijing seminar. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Principal roles are played by Xu Fan, Ma Sichun, Liang Jing and Song Chunli.

The 57-year-old Xu noted the parallels between her age and role as the eldest daughter in the family. "Playing this character has enriched my life. It has prompted me to reflect on the dynamics of parent-child relationships. As parents, we are also shaped by our children," she said.

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