CEO’s doctor: Shenzhen Health Commission releases microdrama?

To the surprise of many, on 21 April, the Municipal Health Commission of Shenzhen released a microdrama video. Collaborating with Bilibili influencer Dr Koukou (口口医生), the 4-minute video is a spoof of all cliché tropes in the overbearing CEO microdrama genre including coughing blood, feigning illness, terminal illness, faking death and resurrection.

Dr Koukou plays a doctor who gets gradually more frustrated by the behaviours of other characters such as the CEO, who threatens to unalive her if she does not cure his girlfriend while she clearly stated that early-stage cancer can be treated. But it ends with the woman “resurrecting” after faking her death and receiving treatment, providing the doctor much long-needed solace.

On Weibo, China’s Twitter equivalent, the topic “Shenzhen Health Commission plays the doctor in overbearing CEO drama” (#深圳卫健委 霸总剧里当医生#) shot to number 5 on the Hot Search list with 13.67 million views. Netizens reacted warmly to the combination of spoofs of the illogical plotline and “psychotic” character motivation and reactions.

Although microdramas are considered entertaining for many, in particular for its illogical and melodramatic plots as (un)intentional comedy, a collection of spoofs of these tropes enhanced the comedy for viewers. However, the main point of the video is to debunk misconceptions about illness, especially early-stage cancer.

On 17 April, the China Association for Science and Technology published a survey result that in 2023, 14.14% of Chinese people had some science literacy and the authorities plan to increase that number to 15% by 2025. Commentators such as The Beijing News believe that the bold move by the Municipal Health Commission of Shenzhen points to a new and grounded direction for authorities to reach more people to popularise science literacy and debunk myths. This also shows that microdrama can be used not only for brand marketing but also for official messaging.


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