Television speaks so much louder than words.
We just found on Google Video a montage of scenes from the hilarious Foreign Babes in Beijing, the Chinese soap opera that inspired actress Racehl DeWoskin to write an excellent memoir of the strange cultural mirror that is television.
The scenes are delightfully kitsch, the acting wooden, the storyline as transparent as glass noodles, making Foreign Babes in Beijing an enlightening glimpse into modern Chinese attitudes according to TV.
Especially brilliant is a showdown between Robert, the American guy and his Chinese rival over Louise:
Robert: Why are you playing the game of wanting to learn English with Louise? What do you really want?
Tianliang: Don’t be so insulting, Mr Robert!
Robert: Yeah, I don’t think so. First you want English lessons. Now you’re putting your arms around her. Next you’ll have sex. Then a plane ticket to America. I know what you want… a green card!
Tianliang proceeds to kick the rude American’s ass.
Perhaps the most amusing thing is how the Chinese imagine they’re perceived. DeWoskin reports that they suppose Westerners consider Chinese people to be greedy and lazy. While Western girls are crazy, selfish and loose.
If only we could see the whole series. The only consolation is that a movie based on Foreign Babes in Beijing is in production.