Taiwan's 'Drama Queen' halts TV career

31 December 2012 / 3 years 9 months ago

Source: AsiaoneAs idol dramas' viewership dwindles in Taiwan, Angie Chai, creator of the trail-blazing Meteor Garden, has confirmed that she is hitting the pause button on television production.Once celebrated as the mother of the fluffy, sugary genre of idol drama, the 50-year-old was behind the pop phenomenon known as F4 (Jerry Yan, Vic Chou, Ken Chu and Vanness Wu), who shot to stardom overnight in her 2001 adaptation of the Japanese girls' comic Boys Over Flowers.Her other successes include 2005's Devil Beside You, starring Mike Ha, and 2009's Hi My Sweetheart, starring Show Lo.Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Chai said she decided to halt her TV career because "these two years, my report card hasn't been good".Infernal Lover, her 2010 show starring Ha, scored ratings of only 0.11 per cent in Taiwan, said Apple Daily.Instead, she found far more success as a film producer last year, with the runaway romantic hit You Are The Apple Of My Eye, starring her proteges Kai Ko and Michelle Chen. Chai now plans to focus on film production and artist management, she said.Discussing her recent lacklustre TV outings, she blamed the drying up of funding in Taiwan and the brain drain to China."The budget from a Taiwanese broadcaster is only a quarter of the total production cost and we have to rely on overseas rights to break even," she said.Besides, many Taiwanese TV directors and writers are going to China where the pay is likely to be four times what they get back home, she added."We hope we can cultivate new actors but really, there is no way we can carry on without good scripts and good directors."Nownews website said she would not wind up her production companies Comic Ritz and Comic Field yet. But she said she did not know when she would pick up TV production again.The report said her TV team had stopped work entirely, abandoning a show which was to have starred Will Pan.Chai, a former producer of variety programmes, dreamt up Meteor Garden as a show for girls and women who are "desperate for love".The idol drama was a mega-hit not just in Taiwan but also in Hong Kong, China and even Indonesia, which was not a traditional market for Chinese-language content.But in recent years, Taiwanese shows have been upstaged in the region by Korean dramas.Back in Taiwan, the ratings records set by Meteor Garden and other adaptations of Japanese comics have been smashed by Hokkien-flavoured idol dramas such as 2008's You're My Destiny.Chai's announcement comes at the end of a dreary year for Taiwanese TV production.There have been no buzzworthy idol dramas since In Time With You and Office Girls last year and the most talked-about show in Taiwan this year is China's Empresses In The Palace.But Taiwanese TV players such as Mag Hsu, writer of In Time With You, are looking on the bright side, said Apple Daily.A crisis is often a turning point, she said.And several of her writer friends have gone to China and come back because Taiwan allows them more creative freedom.

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