You may have heard of Lei Qing-Yao 雷庆瑶, who lost her arms as a child in an accident involving a high-voltage transformer. You may also have heard that she starred in a feature movie called Invisible Wings 隐形的翅膀 www.imdb.com/title/tt1573843/, a fictional story that was partly autobiographical. This movie has been dubbed into Telugu, but not as far as I know into English.
You may be surprised to learn she has also played a starring role in a TV sitcom, apparently named “青春大爆炸” which translates as “Youth Big Bang” or “Youth Explosion”, released in 2012. I have watched a few of the episodes, and while I don’t understand Mandarin, I can still make out that it is a high-quality production, featuring good acting and direction, and elaborately fashionable sets full of product placements, particularly a number of goods from good old US company Apple, Inc. And the cast wear nice clothing as well. Clearly it is intended for prime-time viewing. And you can tell it is a comedy because of the laugh track.
Qing-Yao is one of the six regular cast (three young women and three young men), who all live in a remarkably upmarket-looking house. Each has their own sizeable bedroom, and every room is elaborately decorated. The remarkable thing is how normally everyone treats her: nobody (not even those outside the regular cast) gives her a second glance, or (as far as I can tell) makes any particular remark about her lacking arms, or using her feet as hands as she occasionally does. Though her character (also named “Qing-Yao”) is portrayed as having a rather powerful kick, which does come into play once or twice.
She participates equally in the life of the household, even doing the cooking in a couple of episodes. There almost never seems to be any issue made about her disability. One minor exception is in the second episode, when all the principal cast move into the house for the first time. The last to turn up is the somewhat fey (and vain) Wu-Xiao. He goes around shaking hands with the others, comes to Qing-Yao, who glares at him, so he changes his mind and hugs her. Oddly enough, in a later episode, she readily offers her foot to shake hands with another cast member.
Later in the series, there is a more remarkable occurrence. Here the six of them go out to eat in a Western-style restaurant, but due to a reservation mixup there is no table available to seat all of them, so they have to pair off at three separate tables. Qing-Yao is seated with Wu-Xiao. You see him chatting merrily to someone on a hands-free phone for several minutes while cutting his entire steak into small pieces, without taking a single bite. Meanwhile Qing-Yao is picking desultorily at her steak with a fork. Finally, Wu-Xiao finishes his call and swaps their plates, letting Qing-Yao have the one with all the precut pieces on it, to save her the trouble of trying to manage both a knife and fork. She looks surprised at this, but is apparently touched by the thoughtfulness of her roommate.
The Telugu dub of the Invisible Wings movie can be viewed in a camcorded version of somewhat mixed quality here www.dailymotion.com/video/x1vm…. And you can find the TV series (20 episodes’ worth!) among the rest of the videos uploaded by user Devoworld here www.dailymotion.com/user/devow…, including a lot of other items about our Ms Lei.