New TV series sheds light on life in China’s cities after dark

Writer Xu Zhiyuan (right) meets Hu Huan, a bookshop owner in Changsha, Hunan province, in the program
Night Dreamers. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Vincent van Gogh once provided a poetic insight into the essence of the night, describing it as “more alive and more richly colored than the day”.

This perspective, viewed through a unique lens, continues to resonate in various forms of artistic expression.

A recently aired TV program titled Night Dreamer aims to not only explore the vibrant nightlife of different cities, but also delve into the personal and intimate moments that unfold when most of the world is asleep, by inviting celebrities to embark on nocturnal city tours.

“The night unlocks inner forces usually restrained by reason in the daytime, fostering a more pronounced release of emotions,” says Wang Shengzhi, the program’s director.

In the seven-episode program, notable personalities, namely, writer Xu Zhiyuan, actress Gao Yuanyuan, singer Hu Xia, anchorwoman Fang Qi, scriptwriter Wang Xiaoshuai and singer-songwriter Lao Lang guide viewers through the intriguing nooks and crannies of cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Changsha in Hunan province, along with Fuzhou and Xiamen in Fujian province.

The first episode follows Xu’s exploration of Changsha, a city blending deep historical roots with modern, trendy vibes.

In the ancient lanes of the city, he visits drummer Wen Feng, who resides amid historical landmarks, and listens to his original compositions. At a quaint bookstore tucked away in an alley, Xu encounters its young owner, Hu Huan, a former teacher who left her job to open the store. Hu enjoys the lively atmosphere of Changsha while finding solace in the tranquility of her bookstore. She has made friends with many interesting individuals, and Xu has the chance to meet some of them. Together, they play mahjong, take a leisurely stroll with a dog and delve into the poetry of Percy Bysshe Shelley.

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