Invasion of Chinese teen idols, sometimes called 'young fresh meat', has triggered a backlash in an entertainment industry that is now beginning to insist on professional standards
It seems the "young fresh meat" phenomenon has reached a tipping point.
It is a Chinese slang term that refers to teen idols, especially male. Think of Justin Bieber when he was first breaking out.
For several years now, their androgynous faces have been splattered across billboards and screens, not to mention cyberspace, where their presence is overwhelming. Many started as members of boy bands and branched off to other platforms of showbiz.
Their meteoric rise caught many off guard. For example, some of them are reportedly dangling nine-figure asking prices…show more content… It featured Jing Boran and Lu Han, two of the boyish actors who, on screen, bantered like a couple. But the fact that the book the film was adapted from has been a veritable franchise must have accounted for something.
Last year's Mr. Six was both a critical and commercial sensation, but Wu and Li Yifeng played only supporting roles and were not viewed as responsible for the sustained word-of-mouth it garnered beyond the first few days of release.
Zhang Yimou's upcoming Great Wall, with a starry cast that includes Lu Han, Eddie Peng, Kenny Lin, Huang Xuan, Chen Xuedong and Karry Wang, may not take flight or crash on the strengths - or lack thereof - of the above heartthrobs alone. They come off more as icing on the cake than the key ingredient. Yes, to catapult a movie beyond the half-billion yuan mark, you'll need more than star power. You'll need word of mouth.
Economics can easily explain their over-the-top prices: They are too much in demand. But it cannot explain why some of them act like spoiled brats. Well, you can. Unprofessional behavior that is normally not tolerated by peers becomes simply well, quirky, once they know they are the draw of the…show more content… The term "young fresh meat" itself smacks of such brazenness. It is said to be an exclamation from female patrons who screen and vet gigolos. Whether or not it was used tongue-in-cheek, tens of millions of women who probably never guessed its origin just giddily called their idols by this moniker - and in the case of South Korean stars "husbands".
Kai Ko, one such boy toy, saw his career going down the drain when extreme fan fervor in the aftermath of his drug incident alarmed the authorities, who banned him from public appearances.
It is unfair to label all of them as spoiled. Some will emerge as reputable actors. But others seem to be acutely aware of their own limited potential as anything other than pretty poster boys and just want to cash in before reaching their expiration date. By the time the next pack of fresh meat rolls in, they'll be sitting on a mountain of nest