George Soros has spoken – at Davos, Switzerland, no less – saying that it is time for the West to dump both Presidents Putin & Xi. Given US/NATO performance in Iraq & Afghanistan, it hardly makes sense to take on simultaneously Russia (one of the world’s prime sources of energy, minerals, and food) and China (the undisputed prime source of many manufactured products). But Soros talks, and our Political Class listens.
In addition to perhaps ending civilization, Soros’ call for action may have more immediate impacts, such as reducing the ability for us to see Chinese TV programs (as has already happened with Russian programs). Before that sad day, anyone with some time to waste and a modicum of interest might be intrigued by a 2020 Chinese TV police drama – the series “Reborn”.
A word of caution – Chinese TV series tend to be similar in style to Mexican telenovelas. Fortunately, “Reborn” is quite short by Chinese standards at a mere 28 episodes of 45 minutes each. The plot centers around the fallout from an unauthorized police raid which degenerated into a shoot-out that left everyone dead except for one seriously injured officer who cannot remember anything about the incident. Of course, in proper telenovela style, there are multiple sub-plots.
The series was filmed in and around Chongqing in western China, upriver from Wuhan – another one of those Chinese cities that are larger than London. One of the fascinating aspects of watching the series is, in a sense, seeing the similarities of life in China to that in (parts of) the West – the urban freeways, the massive suspension bridges over the river, the mass transit monorail, the high-speed rail station. The plot involves exclusive restaurants and greasy spoons, expensive lawyers and drug addicts, pop singers and prostitutes, high-end funeral homes and low-rent gambling establishments, tony boarding schools and charitable orphanages. There are all the elements one would expect in a western police drama – chases and gunfights, one-way mirrors and bomb squads – along with significant introspection.
The plot has room in 28 episodes for suitable twists & turns. The quality of the acting ranges from acceptable to excellent; Zhao Jin Mai (aka Angel Zhao), who plays the vengeance-obsessed teenage sister of one of the dead criminals, turns in a superb performance reminiscent of the young Jodi Foster. The film-making also hits some very high spots – such as a wonderfully executed scene set in a playground in which the beautiful psychologist helps Angel Zhao’s character to remember a traumatic incident from her childhood. For those prepared to handle sub-titles, this series is a worthwhile investment of time. See it before the opportunity is gone!