As one of the most-watched TV dramas in the first half 2019, Over the Sea I Come to You recently drew some experts to discuss its influence at a seminar in Beijing.
Helmed by veteran Yao Xiaofeng, known for excelling at urban-themed series, the 46-episode tale follows patrons from three families who travel with their overseas-educated children to a foreign country to take care of them.
As China has seen a rise in parents sending children below the age of 18 overseas to study, the series has struck a chord with a large audience.
Statistics from producers show the drama has topped the rating charts on its broadcasters Zhejiang Television and Dragon TV in the first half 2019, and has reached 2.33 billion views on the streaming site Tencent Video.
It was also a most-searched topic on Sina Weibo 23 times, a key barometer for popularity, and posts discussing it were seen over 2.36 billion times on the site.
Zhang Dexiang, vice-chairman of the China Literary Critics Association, says the series “is realistic, plot-driven and features distinctive characters”, adding the tale has aroused deep thoughts about parenting and education.
Yi Kai, deputy secretary general of the China TV Arts Committee, echoed the sentiment, saying the drama is thought-provoking and examines problems in Chinese parents’ education values.
In recent years, sending children to study overseas is no longer a privilege exclusive to wealthy families. More middle-class families now have such an option, but it has also stirred controversy as some teenagers are unable to discipline themselves in a far-flung environment and some act out, in extreme cases trying drugs, Yi explained.
Yao, alongside actor Sun Honglei and chief producer Zhang Shuwei, also attended the seminar. Saying he spent five years on the script writing and shooting, Yao says he interviewed many overseas-studying students and their parents, and adapted some of their stories into the show.