by Gerry Balt
Officer Balloon (BTV-2)
Enthusiastic police officer Xie Fei attaches helium balloons to his body and becomes Beijing's leading expert in high-rise crime and prevailing wind directions. This week, Officer Balloon is caught in a sudden updraft from a canning plant chimney in Shunyi and stumbles across a stockyard for stolen manhole covers located on an airship that permanently hovers hidden above the city's smog cloud.
Non-stop highlights from caucuses, steering committees and development cooperation groups around China, in a continuous montage of middle-aged men in suits shaking hands and exchanging document folders behind wide tables with prominently printed names on bits of card. Music taken from a mid-90s Prodigy album.
The Real Japan (CCTV-9)
English-language documentary series that unearths the most shameful episodes in Japanese history. Episode 12: The Imjin War, heavily emphasises Chinese involvement and points out that it has never been conclusively proved that the Japanese did not eat human babies during their two invasions of Korea in 1592 and 1597. Includes interview footage of Chinese citizens who were aged about six and lived near Nanjing in 1937, who conclude that this "sounds like exactly the sort of thing the Japanese would do".
Shenzhou Party (XJTV)
Last-ditch effort to squeeze final gasp of broadcasting out of recent space missions. Sequinned dancers cavort lamely about a stage adorned with flashing lights before the listless, seated audience are entertained by a succession of Super Voice Girl contestants, Siberians with trained animals and terrifying performing children. Looping rocket footage and papier maché spacesuits in background lend the proceeding a thin veneer of primary school-level space age atmosphere.