The costume comedy drama "Hilarious Family" is currently airing and has gained popularity. It is a female-oriented family comedy that revolves around the daily lives and matchmaking adventures of a widowed mother and her four daughters.
In the drama, Du Ru Yu, who lost her husband early on, single-handedly raises her four daughters, each with a distinct personality. In order to find suitable husbands for them, the family moves to the bustling city of Jiang Lin. Despite the challenges they face in the matchmaking process, the daughters' destined partners unexpectedly appear, leading to a series of comical and entertaining stories.
From the main storyline and character development, "Hilarious Family" possesses a distinct comedic quality that appeals to a wide range of audiences. Since its premiere, the drama has maintained a good level of popularity, with its ratings even surpassing the legendary "Legend of the Undercover Chef" which was led by the renowned comedian Zhao Benshan.
While there have been some controversies regarding certain aspects of the show's content and humor, "Hilarious Family" may not be considered an exceptionally outstanding comedy. However, its current achievements do indicate that it has successfully captured and retained the audience's attention to a certain extent, despite the daily one-episode release schedule.
Humorous and profound reflections
As a comedy, the primary secret of "Hilarious Family" lies in its humor. The comedic elements of the drama primarily stem from the exaggerated character traits and the use of information gaps among the characters, which are common techniques in comedy.
The mother, Du Ru Yu, is tough on the outside but soft-hearted on the inside, constantly worrying about her daughters' marriages. After moving to Jiang Lin, she enthusiastically engages with matchmakers and participates in blind dates. Dealing with troublesome daughters, potential suitors who are still pending, and infatuated pursuers like Guo Zhen Sheng, she leads a chaotic yet heartwarming life.
The eldest daughter, Chun Jin Rong, is vain, money-minded, and lazy, longing to marry into a wealthy family. The second daughter, Chun Pei Lan, is honest, diligent, and overlooked, responsible for managing the household chores. The third daughter, Chun Ban Xia, is indifferent to family ties and obsessed with studying, capable of reporting her own mother to the authorities. The youngest daughter, Chun Ke Ling, is lively, willful, and enjoys helping the weak while opposing the strong, often absent from home.
Their destined partners include the naive and domineering son of the Wang family, the kind-hearted Lu Bu Ping, the outspoken and strong-willed Shen Wang Yan, and the innocent and upright Fourth Prince. With this group of people coming together, one can imagine the lively scenes that unfold. By amplifying their character traits, comical and entertaining incidents naturally occur.
Chun Jin Rong suffering in the awkward situation of being dressed in expensive clothes in the presence of her friend Xiao Xiao exemplify the exaggerated aspect of her vanity. Chun Pei Lan's belief in luck leads her to eat unidentified mushrooms, resulting in her falling ill, which exaggerates her frugality. Compared to real life, these exaggerations are undoubtedly exaggerated, but the comedic effect is undeniably good.
Building upon the exaggerated character traits, "Hilarious Family" also creates humor through the information gaps between characters and between characters and the audience.
For example, when Chun Pei Lan is robbed, Lu Bu Ping comes to her aid and knocks out the gang leader. However, he mistakenly believes that he has killed someone and is forced to work as a low-level servant in the Chun family. The Shi Zi mistakenly believes that Chun Jin Rong is the object of affection for the Fourth Prince and hopes to form an alliance with her, which leads Chun Jin Rong to mistakenly believe that the Shi Zi likes her.
Whether it is the son of the martial arts alliance leader becoming a punching bag or the Shi Zi being unable to express his anger towards a commoner, the numerous misunderstandings that result in awkward situations provide ample laughter for the audience.
Secondly, "Hilarious Family" explores some realistic family topics, deepening the story's thickness while also further resonating with the audience. Among the four daughters of the Chun family, Chun Pei Lan, who is the most sensible, is always the easiest to be overlooked. She is a typical self-sacrificing personality, eager to prove her existence through doing household chores. However, her loved ones still forget her birthday and rarely care about her feelings, and she herself does not dare to be coquettish and make demands to her mother like her other sisters.
Du Ru Yu has been a widow for eighteen years, and raising her daughters to adulthood is by no means an easy task. Although the plot is not extensively explained, the sacrifices of this Chinese-style mother are enough to make people empathize. As the eldest daughter of the family, the drama specifically mentions that Chun Jin Rong's delayed marriage is related to taking care of her sisters. The grievances and warmth in these family relationships are a true reflection of real life, and each viewer may have different thoughts and feelings about this.
In addition, in "Hilarious Family," Du Ru Yu often criticizes her own children when talking to outsiders, and is directly refuted by the straightforward Chun Banxia. There is also the humorous irony of Chun Jin Rong and Xiaoxiao, this pair of fake best friends, and Chun Pei Lan's frugal personality, which satirizes some not-so-correct phenomena in real life. Besides being funny, "Hilarious Family" also provokes deep thoughts. It fulfills the functional requirements of a comedy and is a good drama suitable for the whole family to watch.
Comedy needs to grasp the scale
When judging the quality of a costume series, the actors' performances are equally important as the story. Looking at them separately, Liu Lin, who plays Du Ru Yu, and Yang Haoyu, who plays Guo Zhensheng, are impeccable. The former's boldness reminds people of the Lady Sheng from "The Story of Ming Lan," and the latter's lovesick is funny and pitiful, giving a strong sense of the couple of the older generation.
As for the younger generation, the most outstanding is undoubtedly Han Yunyun, who plays Chun Jin Rong. She is a comedian from the Mahua Fun Age and previously played Wang Qin in "Hi, Mom!" In this drama, Han Yunyun manages to handle the gorgeous and charming appearance of Chun Jinrong, and also portrays a generous and capable feeling, which is surprising.
Other actors such as Li Jiaqi, Ren Hao, Wu Jiayi, Gu Zicheng, Chang Long, etc., all fit their roles well. In terms of costume and makeup, "Hilarious Family" does not follow the simplistic style of most comedies, but rather ingeniously restores the beauty of traditional Song Dynasty costumes. Lotus leaf hats, mountain-shaped crowns, hairpins, and pearl makeup all add color to the story and characters.
However, in terms of the fundamental story, "Hilarious Family" also has some obvious shortcomings. Although it is an exaggerated and somewhat absurd comedy, it still needs to grasp the scale. The controversy surrounding the character of the fourth sister, Chun Ke Ling, is mainly centered around her. Upon arriving in Jianglin, she forms her own gang and aspires to be a chivalrous hero who punishes evil and promotes good, but unfortunately, her style is more like a reckless ruffian.
Even though viewers are aware that they are watching a fictionalized and exaggerated comedy, they are still unconsciously judging the plot with realistic values and pointing out the irrationalities. The official matches of the other sisters of the Chun family are also either rich or wealthy, and it is equally controversial whether this setting is too suspended.
It's not just Chun Ke Ling, but there are a lot of scenes in "Hilarious Family" that rely on slapping to create laughs, such as Lu Bu Ping father's educational style of slapping him and then giving him a hug, which makes some viewers feel uncomfortable.
Furthermore, the positive portrayal of certain characters in the drama is not convincingly done, or rather, the foreshadowing is excessively lengthy. The independent and confident side of Chun Jin Rong's character is only revealed towards the end when she begins a romantic relationship with the crown prince. As for the previously unlikable Chun Ke Ling, it remains uncertain if there will be any redeeming qualities in her character by the end.
This does not align with the audience's psychological expectation for the drama to primarily feature positive characters, and it is estimated that this may lead to the loss of some viewers. After all, there are quite a few negative comments about Chun Jin Rong and Chun Ke Ling on social media platforms.
The screenwriter may have intended to present the value of "no one is perfect," but in order for the audience to connect emotionally with the characters, there still needs to be a positive character arc or complex emotional path for the characters. Just like how Du Ru Yu simultaneously criticizes and teaches her daughter, while also searching for an ideal husband for her throughout the entire drama, creating a tough exterior but a soft interior.
Pending comedy costume cdrama
In the past two months, Chinese comedies have received both critical acclaim and popularity. The ancient martial arts comedy "Legend of the Undercover Chef" with a strong presence of Zhao Benshan has garnered a high score of 8.2 on Douban, while the new work of director Bi Xinye, "Be with You," has achieved a high score of 8.5 on Douban. The drama "Hilarious Family," has also received a score of 7.7 on Douban.
Although they cannot be considered explosive hits, they have consistently attracted attention during their broadcast. For example, the popularity of "Hilarious Family" in the past two weeks is even on par with the highly anticipated big-budget production "Parallel World" on social media. In the current decline of comedy, the market performance of these three works is undoubtedly inspiring.
Currently, major long-video platforms still have many comedy productions in reserve. In August of this year, Tencent Video launched a new comedy lineup, following the broadcast of "Legend of the Undercover Chef." With the outstanding performance of the first two works, the upcoming dramas are even more highly anticipated.
The ancient costume comedy "The Happy Seven in Changan" is directed by Wu Yuzhe, and stars Ma Tianyu, Bu Guanjin, Zhang Yiduo, and Cheng Guo. The story focuses on the young people who first arrived in Chang'an, and it is also a narrative of an ensemble cast.
"Wan Chun Dou Xiao She" is jointly produced by Deyun She, with Guo Degang and Han Zhijie serving as executive producers. It stars Meng Hetang, Zhou Jiuliang, Luan Yunping, Zhang Helun, and other actors from Deyun Society. It is said to tell the story of the early days of Deyun She.
iQiyi has already aired four productions: "The Accidental Physicians," "The Theatre Stories," and "The Lord of Losers Season 2." Among them, "The Lord of Losers Season 2" has also received a high score of 8.6 on Douban. iQiyi also intends to turn the post-competition episodes of the "Super Sketch Show" into a new series, including adaptations of the popular programs.
There are more comedy productions in the complete lineup of various video platforms. Although this category may no longer have the same prestige as before, the laughter and insights that comedies bring to the audience are still genuine.
As long as laughter remains an indispensable tonic in life, comedy still holds its value. We also hope that among these upcoming dramas, there will be more high-quality works that can establish a solid foothold in the new context of comedy.