A new dating show is sparking huge controversy online after inviting bachelors’ parents to judge if a candidate is a good match for their son, leaving the audience questioning whether Chinese men are overindulged and their families meddle too much in marriage.
The first episode of Chinese-style Blind Date premiered on Shanghai Dragon Television Saturday. It involves five single men, who are required to stay in a separated room offstage while watching a monitor as their parents interact with the single women.
During the process, family members can press the light in front of them if they are satisfied with the candidates.
When asked to describe their ideal daughter-in-law, parents almost unanimously agreed that she should be hardworking, intelligent, pretty and caring. Some of the standards seemed prejudiced. For example, the mother of a 23-year-old Tianjin native Zhao Haoran insisted that her son should not marry someone with cold hands, alleging that such a woman may give birth to unhealthy babies. Only one family said their son’s preference would come first.
The show culminated when a contestant, Lin Jiali, stepped onto the stage with her homemade soup, seemingly winning the hearts of all the family members and the bachelors. However their attitude changed dramatically when Lin revealed that she is, 40 years old, divorced and has a son. Only Zhao Haoran expressed interest in Lin but the two failed to "hold hands", under the strong objection of Zhao’s parents, who said that they would like two to three grandchildren, implying Lin is too old for that.
The show immediately provoked hot debate among viewers. Some netizens condemned it, saying it objectifies women and is a step backwards to the arranged marriage based on utilitarianism in feudalistic times. What do you think of the Chinese-style dating show?