We learned from the Shanghai Daily a few days ago that the hit US 90s sitcom Friends now has a Shanghai version. But you won’t be seeing it on TV, but on an even smaller screen — your computer screen (unless you have a really fancy computer). The series is being shot, episode by episode, on digital video and then uploaded onto a video sharing site.
Here’s the premise: Six young people, three guys and three gals, buy the same apartment after getting swindled by some unscrupulous real estate agent. Now they all have to find some way of living together.
The idea came to Xun Xiang, a female “employee,” who is a fan of the original show and thought that the stories and jokes that she shared with friends and colleagues provided enough fodder for their own show.
So they collaborated with video-sharing site Mofile and a Songjiang real estate developer, which provided them the apartment they use as their set, in exchange for some advertising time.
You can see at the bottom of this page the schedule for the release of each episode. They come about every three or four days.
The show is called Soul Partners in English, the translation of 《灵魂排挡》in Chinese.
How popular is it? The second episode already has 338,014 hits. On their home page, you can find information about the creators and the cast and crew. Three of the characters are from Shanghai, although only one (a girl) ever speaks in Shanghainese.
You can view the first two episodes here. The first episode is also embedded in this post (or at least it should be — they don’t make it easy).