Visions of the 18th century: The charms of Qing TV

IT'S a good time to be a Manchu on television. Costume dramas such as “Palace” and “Bu Bu Jing Xin”, which feature modern-day protagonists flung back in time to the days of the Qing emperors, rank among the most-watched programmes on China's video-sharing sites. And while these series would seem to mine every possible fish-out-of-water plot element for effect, nobody seems to question that a young woman speaking modern Mandarin would have any trouble communicating with her new Manchu boyfriend.