In 2018, Lunar New Year falls on Friday 16 February, with the start of the new lunar calendar set to be marked right around the world. In Australia, Asian communities have a huge array of festivities planned to celebrate the dawn of the Year of the Dog. And on SBS, we have curated a selection of programming that highlights the breadth and diversity of Asian culture.
‘Chinese Dating with the Parents’
In this dating show with a twist, contestants’ parents have all the power, screening their millennial kids’ prospective partners and grilling them to see if they come up to scratch. Nothing is off the table as Mum and Dad drill down on topics such as previous partners, income and potential grandchildren.
A blend of traditional (arranged marriages) and modern Chinese culture (the series is hosted by popular transgender personality Jin Xing), Chinese Dating with the Parents will appeal to fans of If You Are the One.
Watch Chinese Dating with the Parents on Saturday 24 February at 7:00pm on SBS VICELAND and afterwards at SBS On Demand.
‘If You Are the One’
Speaking of the Chinese dating juggernaut, If You Are the One continues with new episodes. Host Meng Fei guides would-be suitors through the selection process in the hopes that at least one of the panel of 24 women assembled leave their light on for him. It might seem like the single men have the odds in their favour, but the women are the ones with the real power here.
Watch If You Are the One Sundays at 7:30pm on SBS VICELAND and at SBS On Demand:
He might not say much, but from his calm presence to the fact that he’ll cook almost anything his customers want, the chef (Huang Lei) of the Midnight Diner enjoys a steady stream of business. Opening from midnight until 7am (thus the title), the unassuming restaurant is frequented by a chorus of quirky regulars and a variety of newcomers, who bring drama and intrigue.
Watch Midnight Diner at SBS On Demand:
‘The Naked Truth: China Queer’
Two years in the making, this report from Fusion’s investigative team looks at what it’s like to be LGBTQI in China. And it’s not pretty. Forced conversion therapy, censorship, intimidation of activists and surveillance make it a huge challenge to be out and proud in the world’s most populous nation. Narrated by actor Omar Sharif Jr, The Naked Truth: China Queer describes some of the horrific experiences of LGBTQI people in China and how the law falls short when it comes to their protection.
Watch The Naked Truth: China Queer on Tuesday 20 February and 27 February at 10:00pm on SBS and afterwards on SBS On Demand.
‘China’s Megatomb Revealed’
In 1974, thousands of terracotta statues were unearthed near Xianyang, China, discovered to have been buried in tribute to and in order to protect the nation’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang Di. In this National Geographic documentary, Albert Lin takes us inside the tomb to uncover the secrets the statues reveal and how their existence rewrites history.
Watch China’s Megatomb Revealed on Sunday 18 February at 8:30pm on SBS and afterwards at SBS On Demand.
‘Chinese New Year: The Biggest Celebration on Earth’
With one-sixth of the planet’s population celebrating Chinese New Year, it counts as one of the world’s biggest annual events. This three-parter follows the preparations for and passing of the big day in homes and cities across China. Presented by Kate Humble, Jing Lusi, Ant Anstead and The Hairy Bikers, the series delves into the history of the event, the way the modern Chinese population mark the occasion and the typical food enjoyed during festivities.
Watch ‘Chinese New Year: The Biggest Celebration on Earth’ on SBS On Demand:
‘Mojin: Secret of the Lost Legend’
A record-breaking box office hit, this adaptation of the Ghost Blows Out the Light series of adventure novels follows three grave robbers who are down and out in New York in the late ’80s. The trio are summoned back to China for a job with huge implications.
Watch Mojin: Secret of the Lost Legend on SBS On Demand:
‘Istanbul Aku Datang’
In this Malaysian rom-com, blogger Dian (Lisa Surihani) is hell-bent on getting her ultra-serious med student boyfriend to propose to her - so much so that she organises a three-month trip to Istanbul to spend time with him. But when he insists she get her own place – for appearances’ sakes – she unexpectedly finds herself sharing with artist Harris (Beto Kusyairy). Cue: love triangle.
Watch Istanbul Aku Datang on SBS On Demand:
‘The Protector 2’
This 2013 sequel to the 2005 Thai martial arts film The Protector sees elephant protector Kham (Tony Jaa) drawn into a series of plots involving various gangster types – including one played by Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA. He just wants to get his elephant back, but it’s not going to be anywhere near as simple as that.
Watch The Protector 2 on SBS On Demand: