We all know what it means to be a laowai in China, language barriers, endless parties, and bizarre romances are just the tip of the iceberg. Now a new sitcom, No Pets Or Foreigners (《宠物与老外不得入住》) is set to take such experiences on to the small screen, well probably the internet at least.
The sitcom is apparently targeted at the Chinese market, but there is no doubt foreigners will be in on the joke too—how could they not be? No Pets or Foreigners is about two clueless laowai as they struggle to adapt to China, and their relationship with their bad-tempered landlord Mr Lee and his materialistic daughter Lingling. The comedy is going to be bilingual, though the creator initially wanted it to be in Chinese. “In order to enhance the stupidity of the foreigners, they had to be speaking in English. I just think it’s more representational of how life is in Beijing anyway: bilingual,” said the creator of the show Murray Clive Walker in an interview for Timeout Beijing.
Some quarters have already criticized the creators for engaging in self-censorship, as Walker said, “It’s mostly about taking the piss out of two foreigners. I’m aware of the whole mianzi thing with the Chinese so I won’t be making any digs at them and their culture.”
Since Walker has lived in China for the past seven years, we are expecting all the ins and outs of the foreign experience. “There’s a lot of toilet humor as well because I think that’s something we all wrestle with here what with the squat toilets. It’s not meant to be sophisticated but I do want to imbue the show with an emotional content. I’d like to find that balance between humor and emotion,” said Walker. The expat community awaits in bated breath.