Sci-fi micro-short dramas are gaining popularity, but some concerns have emerged regarding their quality and content. In 2022, there were 149 science fiction micro-short dramas with 3,100 episodes planned and registered, with an additional 13 science fiction micro-short dramas with 250 episodes approved for online registration. This trend is expected to grow in 2023, but the quality of these productions is a concern.
Many of these micro-short dramas are facing criticism for lacking a solid understanding of science fiction culture and failing to deliver on high-quality content. Some creators are accused of pretending to be science fiction while actually telling fantasy or fictional stories, using misleading plots, inconsistent settings, and lack of imagination. The use of overly complex worldviews and crude special effects has also been called out, making it difficult for audiences to engage with the stories.
The root of these problems seems to be linked to creators’ lack of understanding of science fiction culture and the challenges of producing quality content within the micro-short drama format. Traditionally, science fiction has been associated with high costs, large investments, and long cycles, which doesn’t easily translate to the fast-paced, small-scale nature of micro-short dramas.
To address these challenges, creators should focus on more culturally significant topics and timely themes to stimulate the audience’s thinking and exploration. Additionally, they should leverage the unique narrative style of micro-short dramas, combining scientific imagination with genres such as suspense, romance, and comedy to deliver compelling stories.
Moreover, the unique vertical format of micro-short dramas offers the opportunity for creative presentation, allowing creators to explore more artistic expressions of science fiction themes.
While there are still challenges to overcome, including quality control and audience outreach, there is optimism that the future of science fiction micro-short dramas will evolve to fulfill both the creative and cultural potential. The Chinese government is also showing support for the development of science fiction film and television, providing convenience and a good environment for industry growth. Ultimately, with the concerted efforts of all stakeholders, the future of Chinese science fiction micro-short dramas looks promising, aiming to combine a cool shell with a solid cultural core.