House of Cards er også kommet til Kina. Den blev offentliggjort på Sohu TV samtidig med Netflix. Og hvis du ikke har set alle afsnit endnu, så får du lige en spoiler alert. Det er ikke meget, men alligevel.
Kineserne er begejstrede for Frank Underwood. Spørgsmålet er, om de kinesiske censorer også er fans af serien, hvor den første episode allerede er blevet set millioner af gange. Er den snart på vej til at blive fjernet, lyder spørgsmålet i Kina.
For Kina er skurk og USAs fjende i House of Cards. Men modsat så mange andre film og tv-serier har de lavet ordentlig research og læst på lektien, så det er et veldrejet og nogenlunde korrekt billede, der bliver tegnet af Kina.
Der er dog detaljer. For eksempel er Xander Feng, seriens fiktive kinesiske toppolitiker og forretningsmand, alt for ung og smart, som kineserne også – med tungen solidt plantet i kinden – har påpeget på de sociale medier. Han ligner ikke ligefrem et medlem af Kinas Kommunistpartis Politburos Stående Komite.
Xander Feng skulle også to gange have været tiltalt for korruption. Og som en kinanørdet og noget
anal detaljeorienteret ven sagde til mig, så er det urealistisk, for i Kina bliver man ikke frikendt for korruption. Man bliver dømt. Og sagen når kun frem til domstolen, hvis partiet vil have en dom.
Men det er detaljer.
Som Xander Feng siger om sine politiske kolleger i Beijing: “Everyone in China who works on this level pays who they need to pay.” Korruption er en del af spillet. Her betaler du dem, som du har behov for at betale.
Og ærligheden er måske noget af det, som tiltrækker kineserne, mener Foreign Policy :
The attraction of House of Cards’ second season — which has already received over 9 million views in the first weekend compared to over 24 million for the first season, released March 2013 in China — appears two-fold. First and foremost, the show engages Communist Party corruption, elite infighting, and the often-outsized influence of the moneyed class with a directness that few domestic shows dare hazard. The colorul Feng, for example, alludes to scheming with members of the Chinese government to force a more liberal financial policy, not to mention bribing high officials outright. The result is a portrait of Chinese elite skullduggery convincing enough that one user wondered aloud in jest whether the show’s screenwriters had planted an undercover agent in party ranks.
Foreign Policy kommer også ind på debatten om, at serien snart bliver fjernet af censorerne:
If Chinese netizens have a major concern, it’s that the show is a candidate for “harmonization,” neo-Orwellian Chinese slang for online speech that offends authorities enough to trigger the censors’ invisible axe. On Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter, one user urged viewers to “hurry up and download it,” while a number of others wrote they had watched the show as quickly as they could in the expectation it would soon vanish. That’s because Chinese censors continue to come down hard on productions that cross an invisible red line; for example, when a Chinese series with the unfortunate English name Dwelling Narrowness aired in July 2009, it was a rare series set in contemporary China that tackled corruption head-on — until being pulled from most television stations before its conclusion. Here, House of Cards benefits from a double standard, whereby China’s government allows the online streaming of some U.S. content depicting violence or political content that would be intolerable in a domestic series.
Men, som den altid læsværdige William Wan skriver i Washington Post, så kunne der også være en anden grund til, at kineserne er vilde med serien. Og at den derfor ikke bliver fjernet fra Sohu:
But another reason the show may be a success here, some China experts in the United States fear, is because its unflattering portrayal of U.S. politics affirms Chinese government propaganda about American hypocrisy and bullying. In the show, actor Kevin Spacey plays Underwood, a congressional leader who is rejected for a Cabinet appointment, then claws his way to revenge and higher office.
“For Chinese, America is the big bugaboo in the world, so it makes sense that there’s interest in the intrigue and the power behind Washington,” said Michael Auslin, Asia expert at the American Enterprise Institute. “That said, it’s probably not a great thing if this is the only side they’re seeing. . . . To truly understand U.S. politics, I would prefer they watch C-SPAN, but that’s probably not realistic.”
Så selvfølgelig er serien ren fiktion. Også i dens portræt af amerikansk politik. Men den rammer plet i mange ting omkring Kina, som Wall Street Journal skriver:
The show deserves kudos for the unusual authenticity of its China story line, which has plot points ripped straight from the headlines. Chinese cyber-theft, currency manipulation, a trade dispute involving rare-earth minerals, and escalating tensions between China and Japan in the East China Sea all make an appearance in the show, rendered in the kind of detail that will ring mostly true with China watchers.
“When we created the story lines, we were certainly keeping our eye on what was happening (in China), and the happy result, I believe, is a story line that earns its relevance by resonating with the headlines,” Kenneth Lin, one of the writers on the show, told China Real Time by email.
The attention to detail even extends to a Chinese foreign ministry news briefing early on in the show, which replicates the real thing almost exactly, from the familiar blue backdrop to the terse and irritated tone. The only inaccuracy – it has the Chinese spokesman delivering his comments in English, which almost never happens – was likely introduced for expedience.
How did they get so many details right? By doing their homework, according to Mr. Lin, who said the writers spoke beforehand to a variety of China experts, including Columbia University political scientist Xiaobo Lu.
Mr. Lu told CRT he met the “House of Cards” writers on campus a year ago to discuss Chinese politics, society and U.S.-China relations. After watching the entire season “I thought, overall, the writers were successful in putting in the China storyline with a mix of sensational fiction and possible reality,” he said.
:: Opdateret 19-02-2014 med artikel fra WaPo