Gặp nhau cuối năm
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|Gặp nhau cuối năm|
|Creative director(s)||Đỗ Thanh Hải|
|Presented by||Thảo Vân|
|No. of episodes||18 (as of 2020)|
|Running time||90–180 minutes|
|Picture format||SD: 576i , HDTV: 1080i|
|Original release||January 31, 2003 –|
January 24, 2020
Gặp nhau cuối năm (lit. "Year-end gathering"), also commonly known as Táo Quân, is a Vietnamese annual TV satirical comedy that airs on New Year's Eve on VTV. The show is widely popular in Vietnam, and is considered a traditional show of lunar new year on television. The show was originally a new-year special episode of VTV's famous comedy show "Gap Nhau Cuoi Tuan"
The main plot of the show is based on the Vietnamese folk tales of Tao Quan. "Gap Nhau Cuoi Nam" is famous for its comedic view of the problems in Vietnamese economy and society throughout the year. VFC has been producing this show for VTV since 2003. The show features some of the biggest names in comedy in Vietnam such as Quốc Khánh, Vân Dung, Quang Thắng, Tự Long, Công Lý, Xuân Bắc and so on.
Plot and format
The show is mainly set in Heaven ruled by Ngọc Hoàng (Jade Emperor or God). He has two assistants, Nam Tào and Bắc Đẩu (named after two stars Crux and Big Dipper) helping him managing affairs of the kingdom below them. There are a few other casts mentioned in this Heaven, but usually only Thiên Lôi (God of Thunder) is on screen and often has to run Heaven's errands.
Every year, Ngọc Hoàng assembles the Táo Quân(s) (Kitchen God) to the Heaven to report to him the affairs in Vietnam throughout the year. Unlike the original legend, there could be multiple Táo(s), each in charge of one aspect of the country (mostly based on social issues, such as Transportation, Economy, Education, Culture or Tourism, but no politics, military or defense). The Táo(s) are typically named after the division they are in charge of, although in 2015 they are actually named after the Five Elementals (Wu Xing).
Táo(s) report directly to Ngọc Hoàng with the presence of Nam Tào and Bắc Đẩu, who often find faults in their reports and run into arguments. Ngọc Hoàng typically hears the story and make comments, but he can be sarcastic and show unexpected talents and remarks. Although most reports are done by prose, sometimes report can be told by other forms, such as dancing, singing or short plays. The reports highlight the social issues in Vietnam in the year, often told in a more comedic and light hearted manner despite their original seriousness.
At the end of the assemble, all of the Táo(s) gather together, and Ngọc Hoàng read the final remarks. The show ends with all the cast and MC Thảo Vân announce the happy new year greetings.
Starting from 2009, although the main plot retains the same, the show includes an alongside theme and scenario.
- In 2009, Tao Quan presented Hoa Táo, a parody of beauty competition Miss Vietnam.
- In 2011, the show was named Táo Idol with the format based on Vietnam Idol.
- In 2013, the show was designed based on The Voice of Vietnam. In addition, by order of Ngọc Hoàng, Nam Tào and Bắc Đẩu switched bodies, unbeknown to the Táo Quân(s).
- In 2014, Ngọc Hoàng had a sore throat and could not attend the assemble. Nam Tào and Bắc Đẩu had to find a lookalike, Tèo, a car security (but still acted by Quốc Khánh) and trained him to act as a temporary replacement for Ngọc Hoàng.
- In 2015, the show was based on the television show Ai là triệu phú (Who wants to be a millionaire?) and Ơn giời cậu đây rồi (Thank God You're Here!)
- In 2016, the last part of the show featured a wheel from Chiếc nón kì diệu (Wheels of Fortune) to find out which Táo is corrupt.
Music and Performance
The show frequently features music and dance throughout. Although the setting and costume are set in imperial time, for necessity the singers (and even the actors themselves) can change to modern outfit if necessary. The show also frequently parodies many Vietnamese and foreign songs by rewriting the lyrics for storytelling purposes. Many performances later become Internet memes. The incomplete list include:
- "I Have a Dream" (ABBA)
- Em là hoa hồng nhỏ (Trịnh Công Sơn)
- Vợ người ta (Phan Mạnh Quỳnh)
The cast of Táo Quân features multiple famous comedians and actors from the Northern of Vietnam. Among all actors, Quốc Khánh (as the ruler of Heaven), Xuân Bắc (as Nam Tào) and Công Lý (as Bắc Đẩu) have their role fixed and repeated it every year. Whereas, the remaining different God roles would be decided and assigned to different actors and actresses based on the Vietnamese social's reality problems throughout the year.
- Quốc Khánh (Ngọc Hoàng, since 2004): ruler of Heaven. Every year, he listens to reports from Táo on matters in the Earth, or Vietnam. He worries a lot for common people and is anxious on how to improve their life and well beings. He sometimes can be childish or flirtatious.
- Công Lý (Bắc Đẩu): She is a transwoman. Starting from 2016, following the rule of accepting transgender, Bắc Đẩu can officially declare to be a woman. "She" (refer to the character, not the actor) has softer personality than Nam Tào, although on reports matter she can be sharp and critical. She often quarrels with Nam Tào on many affairs; however, they generally work well with each other. She respects Ngọc Hoàng, but sometimes speaks behind his back.
- Xuân Bắc (Nam Tào): a strict person who manages the affairs in the Heaven. He is not afraid of harsh statements towards Táo in their reports, although he is prone of corruption and many times he has accepted bribery from Táo to let matters slide.
Recurring roles Táo quân
Since the roles of Táo change every year, the following list goes by actor.
- Vân Dung (2003–current): she alternates in different years between Táo Y tế (Healthcare) and Táo Giáo dục (Education).
- Quang Thắng (2003–current): often enters with grand entrance. He generally takes the role of Táo Kinh tế (Economy), although sometimes he did play the role of Táo Giáo dục (Education).
- Chí Trung (2005–current): he generally takes the role of Táo Giao thông (Transportation) or equivalent.
- Tự Long (2003–current): a comedian originated from chèo, hence his acts often incorporate songs and performances. Generally he takes over the role of Táo Văn hoá (Culture).
- Minh Hằng (2005-2007, 2009, 2012-2015, 2018): she played different roles throughout the history of the show. Most notably Táo Đầu Tư (Investment) in 2006 and Táo Điện Lực (Electricity) in 2009. In 2018 show she played Táo Môi Trường (Environment).
- Quốc Trượng (as Ngọc Hoàng) (2003)
- Minh Vượng (2004–2008, 2018)
- Thành Trung (2007–2014)
- Thu Hương (2003)
- Hiệp Gà (2004, 2009, 2010, 2011): play the role of Gia Cát Dự. He claims to be a descendant of Zhuge Liang at his divine power of prediction, although he usually predicts everything wrong. In 2011, he took the role of Táo Quy Hoạch (City planner).
- Phạm Bằng (2005, 2006)
- Anh Tuấn (2009)
- Bá Anh (2007–2008)
- Văn Hiệp (2006)
- Quốc Quân (2004, 2006, 2012)
- Bình Trọng (2006, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012)
- Đức Hải (2010)
- Đức Khuê (2010)
- Đỗ Duy Nam (2014, 2017-2019)
- Trung Ruồi (2017-2019)
Every year, the show includes many celebrities and comedians as supporting characters. Celebrities joined as supporting characters are listed below in order of year of appearance:
- Tiến Quang (2003, 2005–06)
- Phú Đôn (2003–04)
- Giang Còi (2003, 2005)
- Bình Trọng (at the God of Thunder) (2006, 2008–09, 2011–12)
- Hoàng Sơn (2006)
- Mai Sơn (2006)
- Viết Thái (2006)
- Tạ Am (2006)
- Nhật Cường (2006)
- Thế Anh (2007)
- Chiến Thắng (2008)
- Hải Anh (2008)
- Phan Anh (2011)
- Kiên Trung (2011, 2014)
- Quốc Anh (2012)
- Minh Quân (2013–2016, 2018)
- Việt Bắc (2014, 2018)
- Tiến Minh (2014)
- Chí Tài (2015)
- Việt Hương (2015)
- Tuấn Hưng (2015)
- Bình Minh (2016)
- Quân Anh (2016–18)
- Xuân Bắc's sons (2018)
- Đức Hùng (fashion designer) (2018)
- Lan Hương (2019)
Timeline of actors/ actresses
- Featured as a main character.
- Featured as a supporting character.
|Name of celebrity||1 (2003)||2 (2004)||3 (2005)||4 (2006)||5 (2007)||6 (2008)||7 (2009)||8 (2010)||9 (2011)||10 (2012)||11 (2013)||12 (2014)||13 (2015)||14 (2016)||15 (2017)||16 (2018)||17 (2019)|
|Quốc Khánh||Ngọc Hoàng||Ngọc Hoàng / Tèo (car valet)||Ngọc Hoàng|
|Xuân Bắc||Nam Tào||Nam Tào|
|Công Lý||Bắc Đẩu||Bắc Đẩu|
|Quang Thắng||Táo Quân||Táo Quốc lộ (Highway)||Táo Giáo dục (Education)||Táo Giao thông (Transportation)||Táo Quy hoạch (City Planner)||Táo Kinh tế (Economy)||Táo Tiền Vàng (Gold & Money)||Táo Kinh tế (Economy)||Táo Hoả (Fire)||Táo Kinh tế (Economy)||Táo Kinh Công (Economy-Industry & Trade)||Táo Kinh tế (Economy)|
|Tự Long||Supporting role||Táo Hải sản (Seafood)||Miss De Jang-geum||Táo Thể thao (Sports)||Supporting role||Táo Thoát nước (Drainage)||Táo Giáo dục (Education)||Táo Văn hoá - Xã hội (Culture & Society)||Táo Thể thao (Sports)||Thổ địa||Táo Giao thông (Transportation)||Táo Mộc (Wood)||Táo Tinh thần (Morale)||Táo Môi trường (Environment)||Táo Xã hội (Society)||Táo Giao thông (Transportation)|
|Vân Dung||Táo Xã hội (Society)||Táo Dược phẩm (Medicament)||Táo Y tế (Healthcare)||Táo Kinh tế (Economy)||Táo Báo chí (Journalism)||Táo Tiêu dùng (Consumption)||Táo Cộng đồng (Community)||Táo Điện lực (Electricity)||Táo Y tế (Healthcare)||Táo Dân sinh (Livelihood)||Táo Y tế (Healthcare)||Táo Thuỷ (Water)||Táo Giáo dục (Education)||Táo Y tế (Healthcare)||Táo Xã hội (Society)|
|Chí Trung||Táo Giao thông (Transportation)||Táo Xây dựng (Construction)||Táo Quan chức (Officials)||Táo Giao thông (Transportation)||Táo Điện lực (Electricity)||Táo Thổ (Earth)||Táo Xã hội (Society)||Táo Công chức (Officials)||Táo Quy hoạch (City Planner)||Táo Giáo dục (Education)|
|Minh Hằng||Mama Chuê||Táo Đầu tư (Investment)||Táo Văn hoá (Culture)||Táo Điện lực (Electricity)||Táo Giáo dục (Education)||Táo Văn thể (Culture-Sport)||Táo Kim (Metal)||Táo Môi trường (Environment)|
|Phạm Bằng||Táo Văn nghệ (Art)||Táo Tài nguyên (Natural Resources)|
|Quốc Trượng||Ngọc Hoàng|
|Thu Hương||Táo Văn hóa (Culture)|
|Văn Hiệp||Supporting role||Táo Công nghiệp (Industry)|
|Minh Vượng||Supporting role||Táo Kinh tế (Economy)||Táo Cơ chế (System)||Táo Đời sống (Life)||Táo Hưu trí (Retirement)|
|Đức Khuê||Táo Dân sinh (Livelihood)|
|Đức Hải||Táo Thực phẩm (Food)|
|Quốc Quân||Táo Giáo dục (Education)||Supporting role||Supporting role|
|Bá Anh||Táo Giáo dục (Education)||Táo Kinh tế (Economy)|
|Hồ Liên||Táo Giáo dục (Education)|
|Thành Trung||Táo Y tế (Healthcare)||Táo Nông dân (Farmer)||Táo Quy hoạch (City Planner)||God of Thunder's relative||Táo Điện lực (Electricity)||Supporting role|
|Anh Tuấn||Táo Y tế (Healthcare)|
|Diễm Hương||Táo Văn hoá (Culture)|
|Hiệp Gà||Supporting role||Táo Blog||Gia Cát Dự||Táo Quy hoạch (City Planner)|
|Episode number||Air date|
|1||31 January 2003|
|2||21 January 2004|
|3||8 February 2005|
|4||28 January 2006|
|5||16 February 2007|
|6||6 February 2008|
|7||25 January 2009|
|8||13 February 2010|
|9||2 February 2011|
|10||22 January 2012|
|11||9 February 2013|
|12||30 January 2014|
|13||18 February 2015|
|14||7 February 2016|
|15||27 January 2017|
|16||15 February 2018|
|17||4 February 2019|
Filming and Broadcasting
The show is premiered on VTV on Lunar New Year's Eve every year since its conception. From 2010 to 2013, in addition, the show was released on DVD a week before the air date. The DVD version has the full recording and is usually longer and slightly different from the TV version. However, since 2014, VTV stopped releasing DVD and started releasing the show digitally. The 2014 release was handled by CNC and the 2015 to 2017 release was distributed by VTV Digital (VTV Go). 2018 show was released exclusively on VTV's new multi-platform entertainment portal VTVGiaiTri.
Because of its popularity, many other TV channels have copied Tao Quan's format but none of them have ever achieved the same level of success.
On YouTube, the show has achieved more than 320 million views (this includes all of the versions and performances).
The actors have about two months to prepare for the show, which occurs one week before the television air date. The show is shot in 3 days, afterwards the best cuts are combined and edited to fit in the 2-hour block on television. A longer version, typically around 3 hours, is subsequently released.
Since Lunar New Year is also the busy time for Vietnamese comedians, they often have to rehearse at night time, which takes a toll on their health and personal life. For example, in 2017, Quốc Khánh (as the Emperor) lost his mother at the time of rehearsal and had to carry both the funeral as well as rehearsing. Such demanding schedule; however, don't deter the big names from making commitments throughout the show.
In 2009, 2 performances by Tao Dien Luc ("Electrical Manager") (played by Minh Hang), in which she was singing songs asking for government fund, were censored. One performance was completely removed from the broadcast and the other was replaced by a later re-recorded version with changes in its lyrics. In that same special, a verse (also about asking the government for money) from a song called "Lut Tu Nga Tu Duong Pho" (Flood From The Crossroads) performed by Tao Thoat Nuoc ("Drainaging Manager") was also removed from the broadcast. However, all the original uncut performances from the special were later leaked onto the internet.
In 2013, VFC & VTV were requested to edit the show to censor some of the jokes that were considered offensive and inappropriate by the Department of Arts and Performance (Vietnamese: Cục Nghệ thuật Biểu diễn or just NTBD). Because of so, the DVD production was delayed and the release came 4 days later than the planned release date.
In 2015, the Department of Arts and Performance asked VFC to submit the full script of the show to be reviewed before taping but the request was denied by VFC. Do Thanh Hai - the show's general director - strongly spoke against the department's move. To avoid censorship from NTBD, the show's taping location had to move to Studio 14 of VTV, a venue that is smaller than Viet Xo Friendship Labour Cultural Place (Vietnamese: Cung Văn hóa Lao động Hữu nghị Việt Xô), where the show had previously took place.
In 2017, some of the show's jokes were censored by VTV. However, VFC later released the original cut of the show on YouTube.