Sinica Podcast
Did Netflix's Adaptation Ruin The Three-Body Problem?

Did Netflix's Adaptation Ruin The Three-Body Problem?

This week on Sinica, a discussion of Netflix's adaptation of Liu Cixin's The Three-Body Problem (or more accurately, Remembrance of Earth's Past). Joining me to chat about the big-budget show is Cindy Yu, host of The Spectator’s “Chinese Whispers” podcast, one of the very best China-focused podcasts; and Christopher T. Fan, who teaches English, Asian American Studies, and East Asian Studies at U.C. Irvine and is a co-founder of Hyphen magazine. Cindy and Chris both wrote reviews of the show and a bunch of other folks answered the call and contributed their thoughts as well.

6:46 – 3 Body Problem as Chinese IP and audience reception 

14:44 – The pros and cons of a more faithful adaptation, comparisons with Tencent’s adaptation

23:44 – How the show portrays its Chinese characters and China and audience responses

38:14 – Allegorical interpretations and real-world (political?) connections 

48:11 – What to look forward to in (possible?) future seasons 

51:14 – Chenchen Zhang’s humanity/autocracy binary and the 工业党 gōngyè dǎng 

57:02 A win for Chinese soft power? 


Cindy: The Overstory by Richard Powers 

Chris: Same Bed Different Dreams by Ed Park

Kaiser: Run and Hide by Pankaj Mishra; other novels by Pankaj Mishra, including Age of Anger: A History of the Present and From the Ruins of Empire: The Revolt Against the West and the Remaking of Asia; and other novels by Richard Powers, including Galatea 2.2, Operation Wandering Soul, and The Gold Bug Variations 

Sinica Podcast
A weekly discussion of current affairs in China that looks at books, ideas, new research, intellectual currents, and cultural trends that help us better understand what’s happening in China’s politics, foreign relations, economics, and society. Join each week for in-depth conversations that shed more light and bring less heat to the way we think and talk about China.