Both local and international media are reporting that American television and pop-culture sensation Desperate Housewives might be headed for Chinese television, with episodes dubbed in Mandarin airing by the end of the year. All 23 first-season episodes would air on CCTV-8’s “Overseas Theater” timeslot, two episodes a day, according to the Shanghai Daily.
We’re assuming the folks at CCTV-8 have seen the show — pirated DVDs are available on every street, with Chinese names like “Women’s Sinful Desires” and “Crazy Housewives” — and we wonder what makes them think that China’s prickly government censors will say OK. It wasn’t long ago that China balked on airing Friends because of its sexual content. “I had thought (the show) focused on friendship, but after a careful preview I found each episode had something to do with sex,” Qin Mingxin of China Central Television’s entertainment unit said at the time. “The attitudes of the six close-knit young friends … cannot be generally accepted by Chinese audiences yet.” Friends! He said this about Friends! Just a year and a half ago, too.
So what do you think Mr. Qin will have to say about this new group of friends? What do you think he’ll say about a show that some advertisers thought was too racy for American television? What do you think he’ll say about a show that features quotes like this:
I love sex. I love everything about it: the sensations, the smells. I especially love the feel of a man. All that muscle and sinew pressed against my body. And then when you add friction. MMMmmmm. The tactile sensation of running my tongue over a man’s nipple ever so gently. And then there’s the act itself; two bodies becoming one in that final eruption of pleasure. To be honest, the only thing I don’t like about sex is the scrotum. I mean obviously it has its practical applications but I’m just not a fan.
That was desperate housewife Bree, played by Melrose Place alum Marcia Cross. Here’s what Shanghaiist thinks will happen: CCTV will reject Desperate Housewives and instead announce plans to produce a locally produced version of the show with “Chinese characterstics” — that’s what happened with Friends and Sex and the City — and that show will be panned by critics and dismissed by audiences for being too wholesome and tame compared to the American show that inspired it. And then people will just wait — because pirated DVDs of the steamy second season of Desperate Housewives will no doubt appear on Shanghai’s streets before long.