As part of the cultural crackdown in China, State Administration of Radio Film and Television (SARFT) has decided to discourage plots using time travel or other surreal devices in its TV shows.
According to CNN: they are discouraging plot lines that contain elements of “fantasy, time-travel, random compilations of mythical stories, bizarre plots, absurd techniques, even propagating feudal superstitions, fatalism and reincarnation, ambiguous moral lessons, and a lack of positive thinking.”
If you have ever watched a Chinese epic drama you may be perplexed how they are going to do this. The Chinese classic ‘Journey to the West’ centers around a Monkey born out of a stone egg who eats a magic peach and then gains immortal powers. His powers include the ability to pluck hairs from his body, blow on them and convert them into whatever he wants.
I remain naively hopeful that the SARFT regulations are more of an attempt to stamp out lazy writing devices