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Web-based series like 'Heartbreak ER' are the future of television
While there is friction lately between China and the US focused around tariffs of items like steel and soybeans, some respite from this clamour can be found in the cooperation between professionals of the two countries on creative endeavours.

The film industries of these two superpowers have become increasingly integrated and this trend is making its way into other mediums as well. The generational trend of viewers moving from traditional broadcast TV to web-based programming is expanding exponentially. This allows for an ease in terms of international viewers living around the world. 

The series Heartbreak ER is a collaboration of professionals in the U.S. and China which has become a massive hit as an entirely web-based sitcom-drama. What was once an emerging market exhibits indicators that the entertainment of the future will follow the template of Heartbreak ER and the like. It's also proof that there are mutually beneficial gains which still exist for the people of these two countries.

Love is the universal language. Of course, that universality may not be enough to pull English speaking viewers to Heartbreak ER but the same skill set needed to produce a first rate program such as this most certainly does. While the internet has most certainly affected the entertainment industry, programs such as this illustrate that new opportunities are capable by casting a global net. Cultural sensibilities about love and comedy are not applicable to everyone who views Heartbreak ER but the focus is not on reaching everyone but rather in accumulating fans from "anywhere." For example, shows like Friends which was a massive hit in the English speaking world found almost no interest in locations of other languages. However, many years later the show still has ravenous fans in pockets around the planet. In comparison, Heartbreak ER has viewings already numbering in the millions in spite of being a new production.

The plot of Heartbreak ER centers around two friends, a bachelor (Ziyou Wang) living with his friend (Hao Luo), who is a rich and handsome psychological counsellor. When these two friends meet a beautiful scriptwriter (Xiao Xiao) who relates her disappointing experiences between herself and various boyfriends, the men work together to heal Xiao Xiao's broken heart. Ziyou Wang has an ulterior motive of using the knowledge gained to pick up girls and convinces Hao Luo to establish the Heartbreak ER. Both men gain empathy throughout the process which changes their patients and themselves.

One of the great challenges of a production like Heartbreak ER is coordinating the work. Logistics Producer Colour Keyan Miao was responsible for ensuring everything ran smooth on the production. She states, "Due to the different working system between Chinese and U.S. productions, I needed to make sure that everyone met their deadlines by balancing the time and connecting all the different departments. The time difference and multiple components of the production was very demanding but the reaction the show received proved that it was well worth it. After we released Heartbreak ER online, the buzz was undeniable. It has brought us multiple new opportunities to work with other major online platforms such as Iqiyi and Youku in mainland China."

The stories of Heartbreak ER remind us that we all share certain core ideas and needs. While commerce can sometimes sow division, romance and comedy bring us together. The arts also have this characteristic and creating productions such as Heartbreak ER may apply to commerce as well. The possibilities are as exciting as they are benevolent.

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