A Postmodern Analysis of Intralingual Subtitles in China’s Web-Only Variety Shows: A Case of Mars Intelligence Agency
Under the dynamic and diversified online mediascape in China, the traditional roles of intralingual subtitles have gradually shifted as they have become an integral part of entertainment and one of the main content types for consumption. This study addresses a relatively underresearched but growing practice of intralingual subtitles used on Web-only shows in China. Using examples from Mars Intelligence Agency, this study attempts to describe the nature and characteristics of intralingual subtitles and to explore their sociocultural significance in today’s digital environment from a postmodern perspective. The results show that the changing role of intralingual subtitles, from traditional referentiality to a more emancipatory form of spectatorial consumption, challenges the power structures in traditional TV and exhibits a postmodern way of consumption. This shift lies at the heart of the dynamism of online mediascape in China and is inseparable from the formation of a Chinese postmodern consciousness.