‘Love Battle’ (爱情保卫战): Cross-Cultural Couples Collide in Chinese TV Show

Can you resolve your cross-cultural dating dilemmas and boost your Chinese at the same time? Maybe, if you’re watching the Tianjin-based Chinese reality show Love Battle (爱情保卫战), where couples in crisis present their problems in front of a panel of “dating doctors,” who later offer their advice before a live studio audience. (Talk about “bearing your soul”!)

It’s not exactly what you’d call relationship counseling — in the few episodes I did watch, the panelists (who range from matchmaking experts to even actors and TV personalities) doled out a lot of pointed, even tough-love advice to troubled couples, a sharp contrast to how real counselors and psychologists usually handle couples therapy. But that’s reality TV for you.

What is interesting about Love Battle (爱情保卫战), however, is the fact that the show welcomes cross-cultural and international couples to take part, touching on a number of issues common to such couples. Even issues that resonate with me.

For example, there’s an African woman who doubts her Chinese boyfriend because he won’t introduce her to his parents. The reason (which I won’t reveal — you’ll have to watch this short clip for yourself) is one that I once faced in a relationship (and it ultimately led to our breakup).

In another segment, a Chinese man doesn’t understand why his Russian girlfriend wants her own space and independence in the relationship. Meanwhile, she thinks he’s too clingy and can’t understand why he doubts her commitment. Sound familiar?

Here’s a selection of a few other episodes of Love Battle (爱情保卫战) with international, cross-cultural couples if you’re curious and would like to watch:

  • Episode 20140821, with a Kenyan man and a Chinese woman, and a Russian man and a Chinese woman
  • Episode 20151231, with a Chinese man and a Kenyan woman, a Chinese man and a Russian woman, a German man and a Chinese woman, an Equatorial Guinean man and a Chinese woman
  • A segment published in April 2017 with a Russian man and a Korean woman
  • Episode 20170809, with a Kenyan man and a Chinese woman, and a Turkmen man and a Chinese woman

For those of you in China who can’t get on Youtube, watch episodes from the show here at CNTV.

Have you ever watched Love Battle (爱情保卫战)? What do you think of the show?

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