The Participants And Targeted Audience Cultural Studies Essay

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With the continuous development of human civilization and the progress of science and technology of the society, the blind date has broken through the traditional mode; the mass media has promoted the appearance of the new form of TV dating, which creates a new era of dating (Sands 2011). In recent years, large living service program "You Are the One" has become an important social networking platform for the overage youth; and it also gets more and more praise and concern by all walks of life around the world. It cares much about the phenomenon of the leftover women and men and reflects the values of the marriage value of contemporary young people. The most important reason for the widespread attention is that it captures people's inner deep psychological issues and profound perception for the social reality. This paper will have a critical analysis of the chosen participants and the targeted audience of this program, and then there will be a critical thinking of the correct and wrong values reflected by the program. This program reinforces the mainstream culture, and it also challenges the traditional marriage to some degree.

2.0 The participants and targeted audience

2.1 Participants

There are 24 female participants and one male participant in the program. Most of the participants of the program are so-called leftover women and men, who are more than 22 years old. In term of the leftover women, there are some features of them. First, most of them receive high education and have high income. They are competitive stubborn women, who are independent and self-centered. The character of them often make the confidence and self-esteem of the men challenged. It is difficult for them to make boyfriend in the real life. Second, there are few chances for them to contact with the opposite sex in the work, and on holiday, most of them tend to stay at home. Third, they often look forward to love but often be afraid of falling in love with others because of the hurt in the previous love. The male guests have two main features. Some of them are perfectionists; they receive high education and have a decent job, handsome and rich, so they have high requirement for the spouse. Some of the male guests focus much on career. In their 20s, they strive for their dream, and when getting older, they are eager to have a girlfriend.

It seems it is a program serving the public, but most of the participants are high-educated, young, rich and beautiful female. For those who don't receive high education, poor and ordinary-looking, there is little opportunity for them to stand on the stage. At the same time, everyone has the right of pursuing happiness, but few divorced women are accessible to the program, so in term of the participants, there is not a perfect and sound arrangement for them. Besides the arrangement of the participants, there is some negative information about the program in the previous periods. It was pointed out that some of the guests participate in the program with false identity. The identities of the participants are different from those in real life. For example, Han Min is an online shop owner and the BMW woman Ma Nuo is a makeup artist in the program, but in fact, both of them are models in the same company. The highly popular Xie Jia is a designer and Wu Xiao is a hotpot restaurant boss in the program, but both of them are students in a musical college. The use of false identity is the result of pursuing high audience rating, and it shows the irresponsibility for the audience and causes the doubt of the audience for the program.

2.2 Targeted audience

The target audience of the TV program is the receiver of the information of the program. In "You Are the One", there are two kinds of target audience. Because it is dating show, it aims to serve the single male and female, so the main audience is the young male and female (Lancioni 2009). First, entertainment is the instinct needs of people. With the acceleration of the life pace and the higher pressure of the work, young people tend to like light and funny programs. Though "You Are the One" is a dating show, it contains the entertainment element. Second, the peeping is a kind of human being's instinct. The producer grasps the psychological characteristics of people' tendency of prying privacy; the young people can know the marriage values of the opposite sex through this program. Besides the young people, middle-age people are also the target audience. It is reported that most of the single persons are the only child in the family. The marriage is taken as the most important affair in the family. They care about their children, but many of them don't know their values on love and marriage. Besides the entertainment brought by the program, the elder can know why there are some many leftover women and men through "You Are the One". Besides the above audience, there are also some academic staffs that tend to study the TV dating phenomenon.

Contemporary values reflected by the program

The program "You Are the One" reflects the view of mate-selecting in contemporary times. The traditional view of being matched for marriage is also insisted by both male and female at present. Filial piety and kindness are still two standards to select the opposite sex in the considering. At the same time, the traditional gender concept that male play the key role in the society while female are confined to the family chores is also reflected in the program(Hephaestus Books 2011). Besides, in terms of male, the appearance of female is also the most important factor in selecting the girl friend. The beautiful girl is always the focus in the program. No matter whether the male is rich or poor, handsome or ugly, old or young, they tend to choose the beautiful girl (Blakely 2010). Then the male tend to select the female who gets high academic qualification, and the last consideration is the job of the female. On the contrary, the female think the material condition is the most important. They emphasize much on the material basis. They don't tend to choose a poor man no matter how much love expressed by him. They think sufficient material condition is the guarantee of life. It seems that female is more realistic than male (Thomas 2012).

The program "You Are the One" shows popular views of the young people. Everyone likes beauty and there is nothing wrong to emphasize the economic condition. But the comments of some female guests in the program also reflect the rise of the consumerism to some degree. There are many realistic and picky women scoffing and ridiculing the poor man, and they are very particular with men. Men should be rich and perfect in their view of mate-selecting. They think the money is indispensable in their daily life. For example, the famous BMW woman Ma Nuo once said: "she would rather cry in a BMW than laugh on the bike" and she asks the property of the male guest publicly. There is a saying of "learning well is inferior to marrying well", which challenges the view that women should hold up half the sky. Desire and materialism become popular in the marriage value in the society (Mapes 2006). At the same time, more and more lightning marriage, lightning divorce and trial marriage which show the irresponsibility of young people toward the marriage. What's more serious, some of the female guests' sex pictures are available in the internet, which reflects the collapse of the moral values.

In all, the "You Are the One" doesn't only reflect the inheritance of the traditional marriage values, but also show the special values of young people in contemporary society to some degree. On the one hand, there are some traditional views such as "a marriage between families of equal social rank"; on the other hand, it reflects that more and more female emphasize on so-called material basis such as income, house and car and so on. Money worship is more and more popular.

Relationship between the program and the mainstream culture

The program "You Are the One" reinforces the mainstream culture to some degree. First, the appearance of the program shows marriage is an important event in life. No matter what the age, gender and family background of people are, they need to find a proper spouse to spend together. The emergence of TV dating reinforces the importance of love and marriage. Second, the view of "be matched for marriage" is deeply rooted in the Chinese heart. In old times, it is suitable for marriage if the social status and economic condition of the male match those of the female. Nowadays, people still think it is reasonable. In this program, both of the male and female tend to choose that who have the same and similar life background. Third, though most male believe the first impression is important, they don't give up the traditional standards of selecting the spouse---gentleness and kindness, and most of male guests hope the girlfriend is beautiful, gentle and kind-hearted, which reinforces the mainstream concept of mate-selecting. Last but not the least, the discussion between the guests and teachers about love, marriage and responsibility and so on in the program shows people's emphasis on the family and lover; different people's opinions and attitudes towards love and marriage also make audience have deep insights of the family affection and love.

The program also presents a challenge for the popular culture. China is traditional country; though the status of female is increasingly higher and higher, the male is always in dominant position in choosing spouse (Rosemond 1995). Compared with the old dating show in 90s, the "You Are the One" breaks down the situation where there is equal number of male and female in the traditional dating show. There are 24 female guests commenting on a male guest; the disparity in the quantity causes the differences in psychology. The male guests is selected, commented and examined by the female, and the female guests attack the male guests who they dislike verbally; even the female guests degrade the dignity of the male guests. Whether the male is left or stayed depends on the female. In the process, the female act actively to get rid of the passive situation. This kind of arrangement impacts women's subordinate status in the past years, which realizes the deconstruction of traditional patriarchy smoothly and strengthens feminism to some degree. Additionally, the value of money worship reflected by the program is also a challenge for the mainstream culture. Though material basis is very important in marriage, most people marry others because of love, but not for money, so once mammonish values is shown, there is uproar in the public immediately.


The program" You Are the One" is an innovation of the dating shows. It doesn't only provide a dating place, what is more important is that it creates a public sphere, which reflects the public's pursuit of love and marriage. The unique programming mode and fashionable form conform to the audience's psychological needs; and it reflects the contemporary youth's marriage values. With unique way of communication, the program provides an access for us to understand the social culture. It carries with high-value of media culture and popular culture, which is worthy of further study.