2022-04-27 22:00:00

Variety Programs for Magnolia Awards | To Immerse in Landscapes and Regional Flavors



In recent years, more and more variety programs, instead of being confined to studios, have tried to shoot outdoor to cast a lens on the magnificent rivers and mountains, everyday alleys and people's lives on the land of China, and unveil vivid and fascinating worldly stories. Among the entries for the Magnolia Awards of this year's Shanghai TV Festival (STVF), there is no lack of exquisitely-made outdoor documentary variety programs in the past year - PEOPLE’S PALATE zooms in on common people's lives and emotional memories behind the food; NIGHT OF GBA sees through every side of "human feelings" in a city through the bustling “food stall”; GO FIGHTING - A TOUR TO TIBET: THE GREEN SEASON FOR PUBLIC WELFARE puts into real actions the green and low carbon concepts among the beautiful mountains and rivers; TWELVE HOURS IN BEIJING is a chronological record of the city life in Beijing; HELLO LIFE Season 3 witnesses the charm of returning to nature in ordinary life; THE CHINESE RESTAURANT Season 5 awakens the audience's yearning for a better life... These programs, with enriched cultural connotations, convey people's passion and yearning for a better life today through cross-border collaboration.




The food explorer Nicholas Tse joins hands with guests such as Su Bingtian, Gao Yuanyuan, Tenzin Tsundue, who have unique life memories in different regions, to embark on a journey either deep into the mountains, or into the cities to explore the palates of common people as well as all kinds of life experiences. The program, adopting a documentary filming method of returning to nature, sets off a culinary exploration for the audience that spans mountains, rivers, streets and alleys and leads the audience to rediscover the beauty of life with the simplest home-cooked dishes that awaken common memories. In the process of exploring special delicacies, the program also presents the enchanting natural sceneries, rich folk customs and lively people's life from all over the country, thus broadening the creative spaces for variety shows of the same genre.




NIGHT OF GBA is a documentary variety program that brings real life in the Greater Bay Area into the spotlight to witness and record the nation’s development and promotes regional cultural exchanges. The program, set in the era background of the country's construction of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA), invites five guests from this area, Chen Xiaochun, Zhang Zhilin, Xie Tianhua, Lin Xiaofeng, and Liang Hanwen, to jointly operate a Hong Kong-style food stall in Guangzhou. The immersive documentary shooting technique, faithfully recording the business daily of the guests, warms the city night with food and music, heals the anxiety of the diners with sincerity and optimism, and awakens the common cultural memory of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao as a new chapter of cultural integration. The small "food stall" is just like the epitome of a city, mirroring the humane side of the Greater Bay Area.




The program, developed around the concept of lucid waters and lush mountains, invites guests to go deep into Inner Mongolia, Fujian, Xinjiang, the Yangtze River Delta and other places by hiking, self-driving, camping, etc., to search for the lovely mountains and rivers and folk culture, and personally practice the environmental concept of "lucid waters, and lush mountains are invaluable assets". In response to the theme of this season, the guests manage to cope with various tasks and challenges in a low-carbon and environmentally friendly way, making the "treasure hunt" process full of fun and scientific value. The program also focuses on the local "treasure shovelers" to showcase the valuable experience and specific practices in the development of the local green industry, as well as the new look of economic and social development in various places following the decisive battle against poverty.




As the first domestic innovative program that brings together business, tourism, culture and sports, TWELVE HOURS IN BEIJING adjusts the view to the most popular top business districts in Beijing. And while the guests visit the store at different times to try out the recommended items, a warm and healing tour around Beijing set off, thus bringing into birth a new concept of "real-world-inspired variety show". The program, revolving around the 12 two-hour periods of the day, is a record of the life trajectories of "dream chasers" in the city, such as the late-night chorus on Guijie Street from 1 am to 3 am, the ladybro stories at World Towers from 11 am to 1 pm, and the "Time-Honored Photo Studio" on Wangfujing Street in You Shi, etc., allowing the audience to feel the worldly air of Beijing and experience the flavors of life, while also vividly presenting the historical and cultural heritage of the city of Beijing.





In this season's program, hosts Ethan and Benny Sa lead the guests again to escape the noisy city and return to natural life. They go to teach in an elementary school in the mountainous area, renovate the house for an old grandma, clean up water with villagers, hold a wish concert, and wait for the sunset by the sea... In ordinary daily life, they try to explore the beauty of life and share their own life experiences with poetic sentiment. The program records the passionate life in rural China with a simple lens language and pays visits to those unknown "ordinary heroes" deep into the fields, telling the stories hidden behind the themes of the rural revitalization, the spirit of the Long March, the power of science and technology to boost the nation, and the environmental protection, and paying tribute to everyone who lives with heart and love.




THE CHINESE RESTAURANT Season 5 organically mixes the elements of business, experience, food and tourism involved in slow variety to take on a programming style of creative restaurant + local cuisine, and also innovatively incorporates the RV elements favored by the youth group currently, leading the audience to taste all kinds of flavors on a spiritual journey awakened by taste buds. In the program, the six partners turn an RV into a "mobile Chinese restaurant" and set off on a food exploration trip to Changsha, Guilin and Haikou in 21 days. While excavating the local food culture, they also carry out discussions around customs and anecdotes such as "authentic dialects" and "sweet and salty flavors", allowing the audience to recollect the original memory of their hometown.


Among the above entries, it is not difficult to find that the current outdoor documentary variety programs not only keep pace with the times, and boldly innovate in forms, but also improve value output with sustained efforts. And by recording and observing real social life, they bring audiences richer emotional experience and more valuable humanistic care. And this innovative concept has also opened up a new path for the transformation of variety programs today.


Which works can finally shine on the stage of the Magnolia Awards? Keep tuned to find the answer!

Host Units: State Administration of Radio and Television   China Media Group   Shanghai Municipal People's Government

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