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Family TV drama on key meal serves up generational differences

By Xu Fan | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-02-19 14:22

Poster of Islands [Photo provided to China Daily]

In Chinese tradition, all family members are expected to return home to have dinner together on Lunar New Year's Eve. Islands, a popular TV series unfolding with such a bustling and heartwarming scene, has resonated with many viewers, leading it to top the ratings for the same time slot.

The 40-episode drama, which has started airing on CCTV-1 and Tencent Video since Feb 13, saw its opening-week rating pass 3 percent, far exceeding the threshold of 1 percent, according to CVB, a television show statistics collector affiliated with the National Radio and Television Administration.

Adapted from Ta He Ta De Qun Dao (She and Her Islands), a popular novel published in 2022, the series follows three generations of an unlikely "matriarchal" family in modern society. Grandmother Qiao Haiyun, nearing her 80th birthday, is the family's pillar, enforcing the rule that all must return home for her birthday, which comes coincidentally with Lunar New Year's Eve. However, this tradition faces an unprecedented test when her 31-year-old granddaughter goes to her boyfriend's rural hometown without informing her mother.

A still features actress Xu Fan in the TV series Islands. [Photo provided to China Daily]

When the tension escalates between the young woman and her mother, who is also Qiao's eldest daughter, Qiao's other two daughters face challenges with their own daughters. Through highs and lows, these women rediscover each other, delving into the depths of marriage, love, career aspirations, and family bonds.

Yang Xiaopei, the artistic director and executive producer, said that the drama, offering a panoramic view of family issues, delves into various trendy topics including intergenerational communication, parent-child relationships, and the balancing act between career pursuits and family life.

She added that she hopes that after watching the show, the audience can deepen their understanding and support for their families, enabling the warmth of family to serve as a source of courage in facing life's challenges.

A scene features actress Ma Sichun. [Photo provided to China Daily]
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