Audiences split on multi-endings
It’s almost common for a video game nowadays to have several different endings depending on the players’ choices during gameplay.
Now, these “multi-endings” have expanded to other industries, such as television. The most recent example is the Chinese wuxia drama series The Bride with White Hair, which finished last Sunday night on Hunan Satellite TV.
It’s not the first time the network has tried multi-endings. Just a few months ago the network experimented with the double-ending concept in its summer series Fairytale. Viewers voted online for the ending they wanted to see on TV, and the network broadcast the ending that received most votes. The alternate endings were made available online.
The same rules applied for The Bride with White Hair, which is loosely based on Liang Yusheng’s novel of the same title. But due to the popularity of the classic story, which has been adapted many times, and because the series starred well-known actors such as Nicky Wu, the multi-ending approach caused quite a stir.
“Now that audiences had the power to choose the ending, of course I wanted to see a happy one in which Zhuo Yihang and Lian Nishang end up together,” said Zhao Yiwen, 19, a freshman at East China Normal University.
Most fans of the series, like Zhao, went for the happy ending, which was aired on TV. However, as the original story has a different ending, another group of fans devoted to the novel felt the alternate endings were unreasonable.
“Different endings mean different stories. I think the revision didn’t respect the novel. Clearly a line has been crossed,” an Internet user commented on the series’ official Sina Weibo.
Despite the controversy, the series got high ratings. In an interview with Beijing Evening News, Wu said this was due to the new ideas producers introduced in the alternative version.
“Adaptations allow for certain changes, especially when the original story is more than 50 years old,” Wu said. “I think making such a story corresponds to the young generation’s taste.”
In the end, the producers’ efforts were rewarded with strong ratings, and audiences got to watch the happy ending they longed for. So, a happy ending for everyone.