China Cancels TV Show Depicting Urban Housing Bubble

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In America we cancel soap operas because the genre is a dinosaur of television and no longer totes the amount of viewers it once had 20-plus years ago. "The Guiding Light" was yanked off the air last year after a 72-year run. Yes, even sex, scandal, and adultery could no longer keep "The Guiding Light" rocking with viewers. But in Communist China it's a whole different story. Though the TV show, "Wo Ju" (translation: "Snail House"), was immensely popular, it still got the ax from the People's Republic's airwaves. It seems that the show's portrayal of the urban housing crunch hit too close to home.

"Snail House" featured shady Communist officials, their sultry mistresses, sleazy financial deals, corruption, and deceit--basically all the requisite ingredients needed for a good soap opera. But the show also focused on China's skyrocketing home prices, sleazy developers and the Dubai-style bubble that might burst in China's housing market:
The trials of a young couple trying to find affordable housing may not sound like gripping television fare, but with real-estate prices spiraling out of control in China, "Snail House" was a hit when it went on the air in July. The gritty plot –- revolving around two sisters trying to establish themselves in a fictional city that looks a lot like Shanghai -- hit so close to the bone that Chinese authorities cancelled the show after only 10 episodes. It quickly found a new life online, where some 30 million people have viewed it.
Yes, despite it's huge popularity, "Snail House" was yanked from the air; no longer can the Chinese enjoy the show that centered on two sisters who become fangnu (mortgage slaves) and struggle to pay their bills in a country where 85% of the population is priced out of the housing market.

Some avid fans of the show have decided to protest the pulling of "Snail House" via the Internet. How do they fight back against The Man? By posting pictures of the Chinese official who viewed the show as vulgar along with his recent extravagant property purchases. Get this: in a posh suburb of Beijing, one residential homestead sold for a whopping $4,300 per square foot.

Good-bye "Snail House." Who'd ever think that the realities of outrageous housing prices would be the most vulgar thing you could air on Chinese television?

Want a taste of "Snail House"? You can watch right here on the Interwebs.

Housing Bubble Threatens China's Boom [The Globe and Mail]
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