(In China, divorced women are often considered damaged goods.) Some critics called the show a revival of outdated arranged marriages (link in Chinese).
Many say it reflects the “Giant Infant” culture described by psychologist Wu Zhihong in her acclaimed book to be somewhat progressive.
One is stuck in conservative values (parents wanting virgins and baby makers), and another has become more open-minded (like the 23-year-old guy who wanted to defy his mother and choose the 40-year-old divorcee.) Some viewers have criticized the show for being overly dramatic and suspect it is scripted, which the producer denied in several interviews.
As a Chinese woman who myself has grown up in this divided time—caught in between conservative and progressive China—I found the show almost too real to the point that it’s painful to watch.
Executives for Avid Life Media, the parent company of the extramarital affairs, admitted to being investigated by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over the use of fembots in an interview with Reuters.
(That, says Zhao, was the extent of their fake relationship.
In a way, this wacky and cringeworthy show illustrates modern China’s divided values towards relationship and gender.
The 40-year-old divorcee’s story is an example of the tensions between two divided generations.
Former chief executive Noel Biderman stepped down after the leak.
Since then, the new executives have been trying to revive the brand.