Commonly used plots are easy to understand
Viewers can comprehend what’s going on within minutes of watching
Dramatic plots may be repetitive, but still get high TV ratings
Taiwan dramas feature long episodes, ridiculous plots, and actors speaking in Taiwanese. It’s assumed that most viewers are 40 to 80 year old women. These viewers often have spare time to watch TV after 8pm, and Taiwan dramas get the prime time broadcast slots. Therefore, Taiwanese women can enjoy watching dramas every day. The plots are easy to understand, and viewers can comprehend what the characters are talking about in few minutes of watching, even though a series may have been on the air for thousands of episodes. In these dramas, there are five classic scenes writers always use:
In reality, car accidents are a huge tragedy, so they are often used as a story climax in Taiwanese dramas. Most of the car accidents in Taiwan dramas involve the police; a criminal will try to flee, but the police will get the information to catch him. Also, there’s always at least one person who flies out of the car. They might fall down a cliff or into the sea which should mean instant and certain death. In Taiwanese dramas, however,this is often not the case.
So many people die in accidents in dramas. However, sometimes, it’s hard for the screenwriters to keep the drama going when they kill off too many characters. The major solution they often use is to resurrect dead characters. They may change their appearance and voice when they return, and they often come back for revenge.
While car accidents are a common incident for male characters, slapping seems to be an everyday phenomenon for female characters. It occurs a lot when a wife sees her husband cheat on her, or another woman comes to fight with her. It can make the audience feel frantic as they might have seen a similar experience in real life, and it evokes a sense of justice. Most people really enjoy watching this.
DNA tests are an advanced technology, and are also very useful to our lives for identifying our relatives. Since this technology has appeared, soap operas have used it hundreds of times. Classic scenes with it, for instance, include rich parents finding their missing daughter when their son is about to marry her, or when a rich family is snatching property up against each other, only to find out that there’s only one person with any blood relation to the owner. The news once had reported that a Taiwan drama had use this trope twelve times in two hundreds episodes.
Due to the long episodes, the screenwriters have enough screen time to explore the world within the drama, and most take current affairs as a sources for their story. For example, writers of one show composed a story about homosexuality when the public was discussing Taiwan’s civil law that didn’t protect same sex marriage. The episodes became so popular that some foreign news sites covered it. Taiwan drama seems to be another kind of news that lets the public know about important trends.
Although Taiwanese drama plots are seen as repetitive, they still get lots of attention and high TV ratings. The sentimental plots touch people’s hearts and relieve pressure with some funny or dramatic escapism. Even though Taiwanese soap operas are often forced to compete with overwrought Korean dramas, they still maintain their loyal audience with their unique and alluring plots.