In Whose Name?
In Whose Name?
“Anticorruption Dramas” and Their Ideological Implications
This chapter focuses on the anticorruption televisual subgenre, which enjoys a much wider viewership than its counterpart, the anticorruption novel. Many of the anticorruption novels by such writers as Lu Tianming, Zhang Ping, and Zhou Meisen have been adapted into television drama. In some cases, such as that of Lu Tianming, what was originally conceived as a television drama script became a novel. This genre crossing in popular representations of corruption was partially driven by the market and partially attributable to the fact that popular culture’s representations of anticorruption themes essentially functioned as popular expressions of discontent. The chapter examines the “formulaic” narrative style of the anticorruption novel and its mass culture adaptations by, first, fully acknowledging its melodramatic characteristics and, then, examining the melodramatic codes and the politics (and their historicity) within. More specifically, it explores the extent to which televisual representations of corruption and anticorruption activities pertain to some frequently evoked notions such as fa (law), fazhi (rule by law), fazhi (rule of law), quanli (power), and quanli (rights), and various structural, ideological, and sociocultural issues related to them.
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