Tired of the frivolous treatment being given to the serious business of history, the Chinese government has imposed a ban on movies and television shows about time travel.
Time travel is apparently all the rage in Chinese films and television these days, typically in the form of fish-out-of-water tales about modern folk transported back to the past, where they must adjust to life without the everyday conveniences they've come to take for granted while finding true love and resolving some previously intractable historical brouhaha. It goes without saying that hilarity ensues.
It also goes without saying that the government of China is not down with hilarity, especially when it comes to weighty matters like history. So at the Television Director Committee Meeting on April 1, which apparently was an entirely coincidental date, the General Bureau of Radio, Film and Television declared that no more history-warping dramas will be permitted.
"The time-travel drama is becoming a hot theme for TV and films. But its content and the exaggerated performance style are questionable," the committee decreed. "Many stories are totally made-up and are made to strain for an effect of novelty. The producers and writers are treating the serious history in a frivolous way, which should by no means be encouraged anymore."
There's a little confusion about whether all such time-traveling movies are verboten or just ones that don't treat famous Chinese historical figures with sufficient respect, although I'm having a hard time imagining how you'd reconcile one with the other anyway. I don't think you can say "this is my boomstick" in any language without it sounding most non-triumphant.