Reality television shows have become the rage in China lately, amassing huge viewership across the world.
Out of so many rising Chinese reality TV shows, I personally like “Where Are We Going, Dad?” the best. So do the other 600 million viewers in China.
Imagine this: Michael Phelps, Jay Z, Alec Baldwin, Ben Affleck, and Justin Timberlake are stuck on an island together, with nothing but … their kids. (Also imagine that they all have young children, aged 4-5.)
That’s the premise for “Where Are We Going, Dad?.” The show is about fatherhood, and is not only the top Chinese TV show of 2013, but also is shining a brave (and wildly entertaining) new light on the modern Chinese family.
It takes five Chinese celebrities — a pop star, an actor, a director, a former Olympic diver, and a fashion model — and their young children on three-day excursions to idyllic countryside vacation destinations in China, where they “rough-it” in less-than-luxurious accommodations, and compete against each other through mini Survivor-esque tasks.
Why do people love this TV show so much?
- Well, it doesn’t hurt that the dads are famous.
Jimmy Lin is a Taiwanese singer, actor, and professional race-car driver.
- And hot.
Father Liang Zhang is currently the top one male model in China.
- And it’s no setback that the mum and dad make such a cute couple.
- And the show definitely has its fair share of family feel-good moments that will make even the most cynical viewer say “aww…”
“Where Are We Going, Dad?” Theme Song:
- But the real merit of “Where Are We Going, Dad?” is the window it provides into the modern Chinese family. The show features a new generation of Chinese fathers, who, as part of the country’s burgeoning middle class, have faced more exposure to modern child-rearing techniques such as taking an active role with their children.
Audiences revel in watching the failed attempts of celebrity dads making dinner, braiding hair, and disciplining children—tasks often left to mothers in a society still influenced by the notion that “men rule outside and women rule inside.”
Some funnt/heart-warming clips from the show:
The children—and their bumbling fathers—show remarkable candor. “I’m best at washing up, I can’t do anything else,” confides one dad to another as they squat, doing the dishes after everyone had eaten dinner.