In the world of online literature, the rural farming genre has been popular for many years and is one of the most beloved types. Nowadays, this trend in content is blowing towards the film and entertainment industry.
Last year, the industry's first rural farming drama called "Romance on the Farm" was announced and immediately gained attention with a few leaked photos, attracting the full attention of audiences across the internet. In the first half of this year, the new variety show "Become a Farmer" launched by iQiyi also received enthusiastic praise from young audiences.
Recently, the highly anticipated "Romance on the Farm", which audiences have been eagerly waiting for nearly a year, has officially premiered. Since its debut, its popularity has been steadily increasing, with rural countryside and family anecdotes appearing in the sight of more and more people. This clearly demonstrates the exceptional success of this new drama. Audiences have expressed their satisfaction, stating that they have finally seen a truly authentic rural farming drama that fulfills all their expectations for this genre.
The relaxed plot of Romance on the Farm
The appeal of "Romance on the Farm" lies in its precise grasp of the two core elements of the rural farming genre: farming and management. It skillfully combines these two elements, creating a light-hearted and healing atmosphere while maintaining a fast pace and constant highlights, providing audiences with a unique viewing experience.
"Romance on the Farm" takes the backdrop of rural farming life as its story. The female protagonist, Lian Man'er, breaks through numerous obstacles. She outwits her difficult relatives and seizes business opportunities to become prosperous. Not only does she successfully change her own destiny, but she also achieves self-reliance and prosperity for her family and career. The perspective of the common people naturally allows the audience to empathize with Lian Man'er, and we cannot help but follow her through challenges and experience the thrill of leveling up along the way.
One of the main reasons why historical agricultural themes capture so many readers is the protagonist's ability to dominate the ancient world with modern wisdom. "Romance on the Farm" inherits this essence. The female lead cleverly utilizes modern fan economy, having the handsome male lead, Shen Nuo, set up a stall to write letters on behalf of fans, attracting them to eagerly patronize, thus earning her first pot of gold.
In order to expand and strengthen the peanut business, she brings the franchising business model to ancient times, achieving a strategic blow from a commercial perspective. The collision of ancient and modern ideas at this intellectual level provides a sense of satisfaction for the audience far beyond the simple instructions of the script.
"Romance on the Farm" presents a lively and vibrant depiction of rural daily life, providing viewers with a relaxed and stress-relieving drama experience. The perfectly timed comedic elements, combined with the dynamic and vivid performances of the entire cast, contribute to one memorable scene after another, eliciting laughter from the audience throughout the viewing process.
Whether it is the game system setting that runs through the entire drama, the mission chests dropped at the beginning, or the profit calculations at the end of each episode, by incorporating gaming elements, "Romance on the Farm" not only allows viewers to truly experience the thrill of simulated management, but also the sense of achievement from completing the game.
Within a few days of its premiere, "Romance on the Farm" has already become a series that many viewers can't get enough of. Many people have expressed that they binge-watched from the first episode to the latest, unable to stop. The increasing enthusiasm of viewers for this drama has also contributed to its soaring ratings.
The template of Chinese family relationships in the drama
What allows viewers to immerse themselves in "Romance on the Farm", empathizing with the characters and sharing in their joys and sorrows, is its authentic portrayal of the various aspects of ancient rural family life and the delicate depiction of Chinese emotional relationships. It reflects the familiar patterns of family interaction that we have grown up with, and everyone can see themselves and the people around them in it.
The protagonist's family represents a typical traditional farming model, with parents who are not eloquent and family members who are all distinct personalities, resulting in one lively and eventful everyday occurrence after another.
Moreover, as the plot unfolds, viewers will discover the complexities within them, generating a sense of understanding and empathy. The usually accommodating and conflict-avoidant mother will step forward for her daughter in critical moments, confronting the pressures of male elders. The second aunt, who is usually lazy and cowardly, will even fight against villains when her niece is in danger.
In addition to the well-rounded and three-dimensional characters, "Romance on the Farm" also serves as a model for Chinese family and neighborhood relationships. The calculations and maneuverings between relatives to maintain their respective family interests and gain favoritism from elders may make the audience's blood boil. However, the blood ties and the willingness to set aside past grievances and come together as a family in times of difficulty will also make viewers reflect on the saying, "After all, we are family."
Regardless of the bond between mothers and daughters or the affection between fathers and sons, the portrayal of family ties in "Romance on the Farm" has left a deep impression on the audience. The female protagonist gains the missing affection she lacked in reality and experiences a warmth she has never felt before. From the noisy and chaotic family disputes to the unbreakable and shared blood ties, these authentic and complex Chinese family and neighborhood relationships have a human touch that soothes the hearts of ordinary people.
Appreciating the Chinese pastoral charm
"Romance on the Farm" presents the customs and traditions of the Song Dynasty, such as daily meals, farming and harvest, and seasonal rituals. It not only showcases the authenticity and simplicity, but also creates a serene and healing "Chinese-style romance," fulfilling our fantasies of an Eastern countryside like the Peach Blossom Spring, especially for those who have long lived in cities.
The real landscape of continuous mountains, golden rice fields, and rising smoke from cooking fires immerses the audience in this pastoral world from all angles. Even the sounds of frogs singing and insects chirping, along with the calls of birds urging the plowing, are realistically reproduced, providing a poetic enjoyment of "the fragrance of rice flowers in the air, listening to the chorus of frogs". The scenes of the male and female leads discussing their life ideals under the ginkgo tree and strolling through the golden rice fields adorned with lanterns are truly captivating for many viewers.
The depiction of traditional folk customs like the Mid-Autumn Festival dance fills us with delight. The joy of the farmers' bountiful harvest and their unrestrained emotions are vividly captured through the lens, making the audience join in the celebration and dance. Scenes like the Mid-Autumn Festival moon worship and the sharing of fruits among family members reveal the reverence of the rural people towards the heavens and earth, evoking deep emotions in the viewers.
"Romance on the Farm" meticulously portrays the details of farming life, allowing the audience to deeply feel that they are truly like farmers from ancient times. For instance, after harvesting peanuts, the old man would use a small knife to scrape off the mud from the soles of his shoes. The family would discuss household matters while cutting rice, never slowing down with their sickles. Neighbors would engage in conversations on the field embankments while on their way to work in the fields. The scene of the father and son harvesting peanuts in the rain showcases the hardships of the farmers, who persist in their work regardless of the weather.
Awakening collective memories of spring plowing and autumn harvest
The popularity of "Romance on the Farm" reminds us of last year's hit drama "New Life Begins." It achieved great success by capturing the public's demand for healing period comedies. On social platforms like Douban, netizens have unanimously recognized the production quality of "Romance on the Farm," making it another well-received and acclaimed drama.
Through "Romance on the Farm," iQiyi has demonstrated the right approach for agricultural dramas. In the current trend of frequent palace intrigues and dynastic changes in period dramas, having a farming drama like this awakens our desire to experience the human touch in film and television, seek inner solace in traditional culture, and embrace Eastern romance through the cycle of spring sowing and autumn harvest. By innovatively combining farming with gaming, "Romance on the Farm" strikes a chord with the younger generation, catering to their longing for an ideal countryside and a slower-paced life.
From the awakening of the pastoral ideal in "Become a Farmer" to the healing power conveyed by "Romance on the Farm," the influence of iQiyi's content innovation has propelled the agricultural drama genre. It is no longer just a genre found in online literature but a content racecourse with great potential in the entertainment industry. After iQiyi's successful exploration of agricultural dramas, we believe that more similar works will emerge in the future.