I get asked this question now and again.... (note not to be taken too seriously)
And i'm going to kill the question by answering you all...
Has anybody read the book 1984 by Orwell? It's a good book. Julia works in the stories department where they use wheels which are turned round to make plots and characters for stories which are fed to the masses.... bit like Eastenders and Coronation street to be honest
Or those funky star trek plot generators here here and here
Chinese TV stations are the same, especially TVB, who are fucking cunts who I have beef with because they called me a fucking cunt...though it came out wrong and instead was you farking coont!
The premise of most Chinese dramas revolves around these central themes:
Revenge / Jealousy
Yup that's it.... revenge is easy to spot from badly dubbed 1970s Kung fu (wushu) movies
Blah blah you killed my [insert family member here] [friend] You must will now die!
I mean pretty much all of Chow Yun Fat's movies are modern variations of revenge but with guns.
7 Swords for instance
Is also about revenge
Crouching tiger hidden dragon
Same same about revenge, note mainland Chinese people think Zhiyang Zhi is ugly. But hey I'd tap dat!
Let me think of some big films off my head...
Jet Li's Hero- revenge
Fearless - revenge
So you got that back there?
Ok then you get Jealousy which covers everything else in the Chinese media universe.
You get period costume dramas from TVB all the time too, where people dress up and pretend to be in the royal court. Everything here is about jealousy..... usually the evil witch queen who is new or was previously of a high position wants her son to become emperor which is why she is so evil and nasty. This encompasses nearly the entire genre.
無頭東宮 is one of my favorites, or used to be namely because I watched it as a young man and wanted to tap Anne Heung badly...TCG has something about Miss Hong Kong winners and would tap a good 80% of them. Or bang them like a barn door in a gale.
(theme music only)
Now you get complicated ones, a really complicated script will combine BOTH jealousy AND revenge. A more complicated film may have revenge and jealousy which was what 無頭東宮 (Love is beautiful) is all about.
Therefore if you watch a Chinese film and don't quite understand, if you narrow the concepts down to either Jealousy or revenge you'll see how thin the plot is.
For instance 少年天子, somebody asked me the other day why is the ex-empresses such a fucking psycho bitch? Jealousy..... and it all makes sense...