Reality Shows Present Slice of Indoor Life During Epidemic

Several television and online platforms are premiering shows shot within the confines of people’s homes, including those of celebrities.

Celebrity guests on Hunan TV’s hit reality show “Singer” film themselves at home during the coronavirus epidemic. From @湖南卫视 on Weibo

China’s reality shows have been given a twist as they broadcast the reality of having to stay indoors during the novel coronavirus epidemic.

The new virtual trend — aptly known as “cloud variety shows” (“云综艺”) — takes place in the living rooms of celebrities and lay-participants who sing, dance, and eagerly await their time in the spotlight. Several television and online platforms including Hunan TV, iQiyi, Tencent Video, and Youku have hopped on the bandwagon, launching nearly a dozen reality shows filmed remotely.

On Tuesday, Hunan TV’s hit reality show “Singer” showed scenes of celebrity guests filming themselves individually from their studios or homes. In a preview of the next episode, scheduled to air Friday, singers are seen on conference call split screens, waiting for their turn to perform.

Hunan TV, one of China’s biggest state-owned television networks, has launched two new reality shows documenting the lives of celebrities amid the COVID-19 epidemic. As many as 780 million people are said to be under some form of travel restrictions, and millions of others are either holed up at or working from home as authorities try to contain the spread of the virus that has killed more than 2,100 in China and infected over 75,000 globally.

“Hey, What Are You Doing?” is one of Hunan TV’s weekly programs in which the show’s three hosts video chat with their celebrity friends about their time indoors. In the style of a vlog, they’re seen cooking, interacting with friends and family, and working out.

Song Zhuo’er, a 23-year-old resident in the locked-down city of Enshi, Hubei province, is a fan of the novel format. In one episode, the show’s host, Li Weijia, plays an interactive game with his mother, which Song later tried out with her father during their self-quarantine. Continue to read the full article here.

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– This article originally appeared on Sixth Tone.