The Journey Across the Night (2020) poster
Your Rating: 0/10
Ratings: 8.1/10 from 587 users
# of Watchers: 2,804
Reviews: 10 users
Ranked #1704
Popularity #4374
Watchers 587

A young man goes to Hong Kong to study psychiatry for a pressing reason. His family has a genetic disease that caused his mother and brother to be diagnosed with schizophrenia at age 24 and he is desperate to escape the same fate. (Source: DramaWiki) Edit Translation

  • English
  • 한국어
  • Русский
  • Ελληνικά
  • Country: China
  • Type: Drama
  • Episodes: 26
  • Aired: Sep 21, 2020 - Oct 21, 2020
  • Aired On: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
  • Original Network: Youku
  • Duration: 45 min.
  • Score: 8.1 (scored by 587 users)
  • Ranked: #1704
  • Popularity: #4374
  • Content Rating: Not Yet Rated

Where to Watch The Journey Across the Night

YOUKU (优酷)
Free (sub)

Cast & Credits


The Journey Across the Night (2020) photo
The Journey Across the Night (2020) photo
The Journey Across the Night (2020) photo
The Journey Across the Night (2020) photo
The Journey Across the Night (2020) photo
The Journey Across the Night (2020) photo


18 people found this review helpful
Nov 24, 2020
26 of 26 episodes seen
Completed 1
Overall 8.5
Story 8.5
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 9.5
Rewatch Value 8.0
This review may contain spoilers

Fear of the unknown

This drama tells the story of Li Jia, a young man whose family is afflicted with a genetic mental health disorder that has caused the deaths of his mother and brother. Although this condition is hereditary, he searches desperately for a cure that will save him from suffering the same tragic end. His search takes him to Hong Kong where his idol, a renowned expert in the field of psychiatry, seemingly has a way to treat his affliction…

Thus begins Li Jia’s journey of healing and hope. Along the way, he forms strong bonds of friendship. He even experiences love for the first time in his life. Together with his new found friends, they repeatedly encounter strange and unusual occurrences that seem to intertwine with each of their lives.

The Journey Across the Night’s very intriguing premise plays out very slowly but surely, with some dramatic and thrilling moments at the conclusion of multiple story arcs or chapters throughout the 26 episodes. These chapters are “mini-mysteries” that focuses on unexpected incidents affecting various peculiar characters and gets resolved within 4 to 5 episodes, while the overarching plot concerning Li Jia and his affliction eventually reaches its zenith in the final episode.

The screenplay is generally quite good. The major and supporting characters were well written while the main plot and the various sub plots were neatly interwoven. The way that they intersected with the various characters were smoothly transitioned without appearing awkward or contrived. The mini story arcs were particularly engaging and very creative, especially the one about heterochromia and red velvet. That plot twist at the end wasn’t exactly unexpected but it somehow fits with Li Jia’s narrative in the whole show, so kudos to the writers for not being predictable.

The main cast did a fine job with their portrayal where the friendship as well as romantic themes were fully depicted. I particularly enjoyed the bromance between Li Jia and Shi Cheng played by Joseph Zeng and Zhou Cheng Ao respectively. Cherrie Ngan’s Zhang Cha Cha experienced tremendous character growth as well, which is fortunate as I was initially a little annoyed with her immaturity. Having seen Joseph Zeng in Heavenly Sword and Dragon Slaying Sabre last year, I thought his acting range has improved immensely in this drama where he had to portray “more than one role”. The most interesting character for me is actually Xiao Si, brilliantly acted by Feng Jian Yu. Even as a support role with diminished screen time and totally no dialogue at all, Xiao Si aroused the most curiosity and that dramatically poignant scene undoubtedly evoked a whole myriad of emotions. The HK veteran Lawrence Ng did a decent but unremarkable job of portraying the show’s “mild antagonist”, Chen Ming Xuan.

I really enjoyed the entire OST (track listing in the comments board) and felt that the music really is appropriate for the rather dark subject matter that the show dealt with. The opening theme Dark Night Rose (Joseph Zeng) projected the essence of the show while during the funeral scene where the Cantonese song Listen to the Wind (Rao Wei) was played captured the mood of the moment perfectly. My personal favourite is actually the hauntingly beautiful ending theme sung by Feng Jian Yu (who plays Xiao Si).

26 episodes for a modern C-drama is usually about right. However, there were noticeable pacing issues at certain points. I felt that the chapter on green nails was a tad overlong, while the Halloween sequence dragged on for a bit. But probably what irked me the most was the rushed ending. The most important part of any drama, aside from a strong beginning, and the writers didn’t do justice to the entire show with that dissatisfying ending.

Overall, this drama is an acquired taste. Not everyone is into this theme and genre, especially with such slowburn evolution, no less. I would say that I savoured certain moments in this drama and appreciated the premise of the story as well as the way the cast acted out their roles. This is most definitely not a light and easy watch, and probably not the kind of show meant for binge watching. It’s thoughtfully written and induces some form of introspection at various stages. I would recommend that you watch the first episode to see if this fits your current viewing mood.

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16 people found this review helpful
Feb 7, 2021
26 of 26 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 5.5
Story 5.5
Acting/Cast 6.0
Music 5.0
Rewatch Value 6.0

A “ Journey” Into The Unknown Depths Of The Human Psyche...

It remains apparent in recent years, Chinese productions are trying to offer a more liberal expression ( despite the enforced censorship laws) over their own culture. It is undeniable that director Ju Xing Mao ‘s contemporary psychological drama “ Journey Across The Night”, attempts to do this by portraying the “ grittier” issue of mental health in its urban setting of bustling Hong Kong.

The show was intriguing with its overarching episodes feeding into different topical issues and cases of psychological horror ( paranoia, schizophrenia, psychosis, repressed trauma and depression to name just several) and fairly original, yet nonetheless, the show didn’t truly seem to live up to what should have been a “ brilliant” psychological drama either. By default, “ Journey Across The Night” had all the right elements of being a good drama; a wonderful cast, captivating cinematography, an intriguing premise and characters, but, as the show progressed, it was soon apparent that the drama became its very own worst enemy from a pacing and story - development perspective.

Joseph Zeng stars as psychology student Li Jia , a new arriver in Hong Kong, hoping to finally study at University and find a way to escape his family’s dark and ill-fated history of schizophrenia . Enlisting the help of his professor and trained psychologist Cheng Ming Xuan ( Laurence Ng), Li Jia’s hopes to find some form of normality in Hong Kong, are dashed when he ends up getting involved with Zhang Cha Cha ( Cherry Ngan) and Shi Cheng ( Zhou Cheng Ao) , two individuals who are revealed to have their own onslaught of problems which will gradually push and test Li Jia to all of his limits.

For a show which built itself upon a seemingly unexpected and fast-paced ride into the unknown, the drama’s biggest dilemma was that it was incredibly slow-paced at times. Arguably, this is sometimes necessary for story development , and did allow for some characters such as Cha Cha to shift from being the “ annoying” -sister type for our male lead to more of a complicated love interest. On the other hand, numerous characters in the drama were often cast-aside in favour of either a new “ horror” tale or the slightly lacklustre “ romance” factor present , yet, none so was this more apparent than with our own male lead Li Jia.

Thanks to the talents of Joseph Zheng, Li Jia was arguably one of the most intriguing characters of the show ; a mysterious new arrival in Hong Kong with a prominent desire for normality and to “ save” himself from his family’s ill-fate, a traumatic past and a unique ability to attract new friends and people into his life. Nevertheless Li Jia’s biggest flaw was that he lacked a lot of actual character depth. Whilst it is evident that the show wanted to keep us in the dark about certain elements of Li Jia as a character, it’s hard to truly assess or come to terms with what we see with Li Jia’s “ growth” or “ traumas” being switched-off and on in favour of being used as a plot device, rather than actual characterisation or growth by the ending of the drama .

Whilst Journey Across The Night had an intriguing premise and a fairly decent cast , the show intrinsically lacked a driving factor ( sans Li Jia’s reasons for travelling to Hong Kong) which often made overarching storylines feel disjointed as well as many characters ( including our main protagonist) introduced in the show, one-dimensional.

As past reviews have mentioned, the ending of The Journey Across The Night is a matter of personal opinion more than anything else . An appropriate, yet unexpected twist for a psychological drama , the actual delivered finale just felt too abrupt, sudden and lacking in actual depth to wrap off the many encountered loose ties of the series , than to be counted as a delivered ending. Overall, a decent show if you’re looking for something to binge-watch, but there are certainly better psychological dramas out there than this one.

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Recent Discussions

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  • Drama: The Journey Across the Night
  • Country: China
  • Episodes: 26
  • Aired: Sep 21, 2020 - Oct 21, 2020
  • Aired On: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
  • Original Network: Youku
  • Duration: 45 min.
  • Content Rating: Not Yet Rated


  • Score: 8.1 (scored by 587 users)
  • Ranked: #1704
  • Popularity: #4374
  • Watchers: 2,804

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