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Regionalization of Taiwanese Post-Confucian TV Dramas: A Case Study of Tsai Yueh-hsun’s White Tower and Black & White

  • Jocelyn Yi-hsuan Lai
Chapter
Part of the Creative Economy book series (CRE)

Abstract

This essay explores the mediation of ideas and values of Taiwanese film and TV producer-director Tsai Yueh-hsun’s regionally oriented productions, in particular, White Tower and Black & White. Tsai’s career has been conditioned by the globalization and regionalization of film and TV consumption and production in Taiwan. His films and TV productions are not related to Taiwan’s national politics. They are set in non-discernible, hence, denationalized urban societies. They appeal to audiences in both the Taiwanese and East Asian markets, with their post-Confucian presentation of personal and social issues of urban subjects. These productions stage the problems of Confucian patriarchal authority and highlight the significance of democracy in modern capitalistic East Asia. They make use of star power and take advantage of specific national markets at different times (in particular, Taiwan, Japan and China).

Tsai’s earlier works were not approved by Chinese censors smoothly and relied financially on Japanese appreciation of the works. As he started making more adult-oriented dramas that engaged serious political issues, his markets multiplied. Yet these markets lacked consensual (geo-)political viewpoints; thus, Tsai altered the settings of his works to be more conceptual and abstract, so as to appeal to more diverse audiences. He removed the political viewpoint commonly perceived in Taiwan, but not to the agreement of Chinese officialdom in the works.

Keywords

Black & White Chinese-language film and TV Confucianism Co-production East Asian pop culture ECFA Idol drama Meteor Garden Post-Confucian TV drama Taiwanese film and TV Tsai Yueh-hsun White Tower 

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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jocelyn Yi-hsuan Lai
    • 1
  1. 1.Fujian University of TechnologyFuzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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