Ien Ang a Panellist at If You Are The One Forum

On Sunday 15 November, Professor Ien Ang will be a panellist at the University's If You Are The One forum, an event which will examine the cultural, social and linguistic impact of If You Are The One in Australia. 

With a viewing audience of up to 50 million per episode, this popular Chinese dating show is a cultural phenomenon. A lone male suitor must impress a panel of 24 single women, who can then register their interest or disinterest in him through the use of their podium lights while hugely popular host Meng Fei oversees the action in front of a large studio audience. The show is famous for its brutal honesty from both contestants and hosts, quirky personalities and fascinating insight into Chinese culture.

Two screenshots from If You Are The One with quotes from the female contestants. The first reads: 'Hello. When you came on stage you looked like a noodle. Sorry'. The second: 'Apart from your appearance you're a very good candidate'.The forum will feature a Q&A with Mr Meng Fei and program producer Ms Chen Chen. Audience members can submit their questions during the registration process and a selection will be answered on the night. The event will be MC'd by The Feed presenter Jan Fran with Wanning Sun (Professor of Media and Communication Studies, UTS), Joe Sweeney (former contestant) and Jing Han (organiser of the event, School of Humanities and Communication Arts lecturer and head of SBS Subtitling Department) joining Ien on the panel.

Photo of Meng Fei wearing a black suit and with a black background and photo of Chen Chen wearing a red check coat and green scarf. Above: Meng Fei and Chen Chen.

One of the topics discussed at the forum will be how the show fits within Australia's multicultural media landscape. Ien explains: 'Significantly, Australia is the only western country where the show is shown on national television, with subtitles in English. In other countries the show might be shown on Chinese language channels, which means that it isn't accessible to a non-Chinese speaking audience. The fact that SBS is showing the show with English subtitles means that it can reach a much broader audience in Australia, which I think is an excellent example of how SBS plays a role in familiarising Australian audiences with other cultures, in this case Chinese culture'.

'I think the dating show format is what attracts people to the show, and in the process they learn something about ordinary Chinese men and women today, their dreams and their outlook on life,' she explains.

In a recent article by GlobalPost (opens in a new window), forum panellist Jing (who has written subtitles for more than 150 episodes of the show) agrees that If You Are The One helps viewers better understand Chinese culture and that its popularity here is a reflection of the increasingly multiethnic Australia: 'Australia is a very Western-based country - Asian culture is only slowly getting interesting [to it]. Now people are more curious; that was necessary for the show to be a success'. She adds: 'The show draws candidates from all over China and from all different walks of life, something very rare for Chinese TV'.

Event Details

Date: Sunday 15 November 2015
Time: 7.00pm arrival for 7.30pm – 9.30pm
Venue: Ian and Nancy Turbott Auditorium (Building EE), Parramatta South campus, Western Sydney University
This event is now sold out but it will be live-steamed on the SBS2 YouTube (opens in a new window)channel

For further details on this event including guest and panellist biographies see the University website.

If You Are The One currently airs on SBS 2, weekends at 7.30pm, with encore screenings every weeknight at 6.30 pm. It can also be viewed online on the SBS website (opens in a new window).

Photos above courtesy of Jiangsu Broadcasting Corporation and SBS.

Posted: 6 November 2015.