A dashing detective bursts into a secret villa and uncovers huge stacks of cash stuffed in fridges, closets and beds. Meanwhile, the villa’s owner - a government official - crawls on the floor and begs for his life.
一帮来势汹汹的刑警闯入一座隐秘的别墅，查获了私藏在冰箱、衣柜和床下的大量现金。与此同时，别墅的主人 - 一名政府官员 - 正在地板上、床下匍匐前进，逃避抓捕。
This is the dramatic opening scene in China’s latest hit TV show, In the Name of the People, which made its high-profile debut last month.
The series, about China’s anti-corruption campaign, has gripped millions of viewers across the country. Some have compared it to the American political drama House of Cards, which has a huge Chinese following.
In the show, local government leaders try to sabotage a top justice’s arrest order; laid-off workers hold violent protests against a corrupt deal between the government and a corporation; and fake police drive bulldozers into forced eviction sites.
Viewers have been lapping it up. "This TV drama feels so real. It really cheers people up," one viewer wrote on social media network Weibo.
I shed tears after watching this drama. This is the tumour of corruption that has been harming the people, said another Weibo commenter.
What makes In The Name of the People remarkable is not just how frankly it depicts the ugly side of Chinese politics, but that it also has the blessing of the country’s powerful top prosecutors’ office.
More than a decade ago, anti-corruption dramas suddenly disappeared from Chinese primetime television. Authorities in 2004 had decided to restrict the production of such dramas as too many were of poor quality.
But when Chinese President Xi Jinping took power in 2012 and launched a sweeping campaign against graft, anti-corruption got back in vogue.
Chinese state media has extensively covered crackdowns on corrupt officials, and TV networks have rolled out documentaries showing officials confessing on camera and sobbing with remorse.
In The Name of The People is thus the latest piece of propaganda aimed at portraying the government’s victory in its anti-corruption campaign.
At least it does a decent job in entertaining viewers, building suspense and intrigue. In one episode an investigator gets hit by a truck just as he is about to meet an informant, while in another the deputy mayor flees the country with the help of a mysterious government mole.