In the darkness the trees are full of starlight (henwy) wrote,
In the darkness the trees are full of starlight

  • Mood:

Memory's sweet and reality bitter

I used to watch a fair bit of chinese tv shows when I was a kid. My parents were basically all for assimilation, but they never took it to extremes like some immigrant families I've heard of. Supposedly, some chinese parents are so anxious for their kids to fit in and learn english that they actually raise them in an english-only environment at home. The fear was that to expose them to chinese would retard english acquisition. Still, it's not like I had an equal education in both. I went to chinese school on saturdays for around 3-4 years when I was a kid where I managed to exceptionally underperform. I had a GPA below c-level for most of the time there and never really did learn anything.

The two pieces of chinese tv I remember watching were a cartoon about a squirrel named Ban-Ban and some chinese kung-fu soap operas. They're both golden in my memories. The former was about a squirrel raised in the city by a cat who later has to go out into the forest to live with the other squirrels. I still remember this one happy episode where they all eat these red mushrooms with white dots and experience weird drug hallucinations and go insane. As for the soap operas, I also have very fond memories of them. They were great stories of people shooting beams of death out of their hands and finding secret kung-fu manuals left in dark caves that would turn ordinary people into super heroes.

I've now spent around 30 hours rewatching one of these old soap operas and it's pretty horrible. It's almost unbearably bad in parts. The protagonist learns kung-fu from a guy dressed up in a giant chicken outfit. Okay, I'm sure he's supposed to be a hawk or eagle or something, but who the fuck learns Kung-fu from a god damn 6' tall bird? You must be shitting me. The plot is unbelievably painful at times, though I imagine that's a trait it has in common with most soap operas. The lovely dovey stuff makes me want to puke and there hasn't been a single beam of death coming out of anyone's hand yet. I can only assume I must've mixed up multiple of these soap operas in my head since I recognize some of the characters but not the plot. Chances are, I just mashed the whole thing together into one in my recollection. Part of the problem is also that my chinese isn't all that great. I can understand the general conversation between characters as long as they're discussing everyday things. I can't understand the fucking voice-over narration at all because it's too flowery, nor when they start calling each other by obscure titles or referencing unusual items/things. It's like this....imagine you were watching a movie based on medieval europe. You can understand the characters when they talk to one another and generally relate but when they mention flails or maces or templars or the pope or when they start thee and thou'ing, you have no clue what they're talking about.

All in all, I'm rather sad about the whole thing. Everything was so much better as I used to remember it. I guess this means that I shouldn't go looking for copies of that squirrel cartoon either.
Tags: tv club, tv club: kung fu

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