The studious and obedient Lu Qi Yi forges an admission notice and, without the approval of her parents, enters the Southern University of Arts. Unexpectedly, the once "top of the class" Lu Qi Yi becomes a weirdo at the art academy. Introverted and bad at expressing herself, she struggles to fit in and improve. Luckily, Lu Qi Yi is favored by two handsome students: Fang Yan and Du Ang. Especially Fang Yan, whose relationship with Lu Qi Yi didn't start off on the right foot, seems to like more and more this brave and energetic girl... (Source: Douban, MyDramaList) Edit Translation
- magyar / magyar nyelv
Cast & Credits
A Drama Which Certainly Doesn’t Have A “ Shining” Charm…
‘ Shining Like You’ is one of those dramas which upon paper sounds brilliant. It isn’t particularly original concept of “female lead goes to art school behind her parents’ back” and the “potentially handsome love interests” but there was still a lot of unlimited ground to explore messages, character growth and social themes. However the end result of ‘ Shining Like You’ is a mixed bag of wasted screenwriting and character writing potential with poor-editing and a discordant buildup.
On a positive note the acting is decent enough ( aside from a few questionable line deliverances) and the drama is a fairly lighthearted watch. The premise isn’t overly complex and follows typically obsequious lead Lu Qi Yi ( Wang Xi Xuan) rebelling against the wishes of her parents to attend a course in foreign languages at university by instead enrolling in arts school. However due to her more timid nature Qi Yi soon finds herself an outcast by struggling to fit in amongst the more expressive and extroverted personalities on campus. After an initial awkward meeting Qi Yi soon attracts the attention of outgoing and popular art student Fang Yan ( Simon Gong).
So if the concept and the acting aren’t the drama’s major problems then what exactly lets down ‘ Shining Like You’? Ultimately the downfall for the show can be found through two main factors; character writing (one of the drama’s major cataclysmic letdowns) and of course plot coherency. To address the former issue it is important to establish that plot coherency is crucial within dramas for viewers to make sense often of a storyline or setup . Of course sometimes screenwriters can purposefully make plot coherency more enigmatic for viewers with the intention of reflecting themes or messages ( dependent on the plot or storyline ). However , in “ typical” romance dramas such as ‘ Shining Like You’’s plot coherency is nearly always quintessential to helping viewers root for certain characters, understand developments of relationships and keep us intrigued with events that are soon to follow .
Naturally ‘ Shining Like You’ isn’t devoid of a basic plot but its descent can be found as a consequence of a mismatched narrative and timeline as a consequence of sporadic subplots , arbitrary jump scenes and disjointed patchy editing. As a consequence a quintessential moment could suddenly be skipped by a sketch scene or an arbitrary moment, which became confusing for casual and devoted watchers alike to keep up.
This brings us onto the second dilemma of ‘ Shining Like You’; the characters. One of the biggest elephants in the room is evidently our female lead Qi Yi. Our main female lead is the epitome of a carte blanche female lead. She’s used by the screenwriter to move the plot along when necessary but she rarely has more definitive characteristics or traits to make her feel sentient. For example considering that it was one of the major focal points of the entire drama, there’s little explanation or depth given to her her goals or raison d’être for applying to the arts school in the first place . Arguably she does make a quick passing comment towards “chasing her dreams” yet it’s hard to really understand or relate to Qi Yi’s drive or exact motives for hiding her attendance from her parents, when the drama has rarely delved beyond the surface of her goals, past or exact motivations.
There’s naturally a big dilemma with the female lead’s “ personality” also. Qi Yi is intentionally supposed to be an “ introvert” but it often felt as though the series was never sure how to present her entire character persona. Introverted main characters can often be tackled in versatile ways by screenwriters from being simply “reserved” to “antisocial”, but opportunities for characters to grow, develop (or at least be explored in more depth) are often key to shaping out an introverted main character as an individual.
To some extent ‘ Shining Like You’ desperately tried to do this with Qi Yi and her “ difficultly to fit in” and “ reserved nature”. She’s supposed to be “shy and sweet” but it was hard to truly feel as though our female lead was seemingly struggling or suffering as a consequence of her personality. Qi Yi was often surrounded by allies or at least close acquaintances and therefore never really felt on the “ edge” of social exclusion ( as the series was desperately trying to make out in the beginning ), she was never really singled-out or excluded particularly by a greater majority of her peers( sans the cliche “ bully group” who picked upon more than just Qi Yi) and when she did exhibit “ antisocial” moments during the series her attitude was often petulant and childlike rather than moody or aggressive. Whilst the drama does try to offer a turn around by Qi Yi suddenly becoming “ prettier and more outgoing” , this was often ineffably unexplained.
Perhaps it wouldn’t be too bad if the series had offered that Qi Yi’s immaturity at times was a byproduct of the way her parents have treated her or her upbringing . However instead of at least giving Qi Yi time to mature or explore her feelings, the female lead was treated in a similar manner to a rag doll ; an object of affection for the male leads , whilst happily obliging to having her emotions torn apart by not just her potential love interests, but not putting her foot down against a fake friend in plain sight also.
This also brings us naturally onto the discussion of side characters in the drama. On one note the show does really shine through at times with how more unlikely characters have difficult pasts or can prove themselves to be true friends in time of need. However like a lot of cliche romance dramas ‘ Shine Like You’ and the dreaded “ best friends formula” is torn apart from “ friends to enemies” with the creme de la creme of cliches; “the dreaded love triangle”.
This brings us onto one of the biggest flaws of the drama between the actual lacklustre romantic series between Qi Yi and Fang Yan. Respectfully the chemistry between Wang Xi Xuan and Simon Gong is hardly passionate, but it is not where the major flaw of the series lies .
Whilst trope-worthy, screenwriters and directors can often strike gold by using time and scenes to allow characters to know one another or feel conflicted with their feelings. In ‘ Shining Like You’ it’s hard to really define one particular moment where these two characters really develop their relationship beyond being classmates or having early impressions of one another. There’s the evident side argument about their gradual feelings and helping one another out when it was necessary for the exposition, but this rarely allowed for more definitive writing opportunities.
Consequently it was bitterly ironic that it is was easier to root for who we were supposed to “ dislike” (as viewers), second male lead Du Ang ( Zhou Cheng Ao) , as he had more initial interactions and chemistry with the female lead. Of course rather than using this as an opportunity for the series to allow the male lead to come to terms with his own feelings or develop interactions between the main love interests, the drama enjoys using this time to make Fang Yan the typical “ moody, short-tempered and jealous potential love interest”. The ending consequently felt disappointing by failing to wrap up some major plot points.
So what is the ultimate takeaway from ‘ Shining Like You’ and is it actually worth watching? ‘ Shining Like You’ tries hard to create a “ lovely and cutesy love story” between our main leads. To an extent the series flourishes with satisfactory performances by our main cast and some more insightful side characters having their own backgrounds and pasts. On the other hand the series has a patchwork approach to storytelling and narrative with a feeling of discordant coherency between characters and the actual storyline. Slow pacing and sporadic plot jumps lead to poor and lacklustre character building and interactions between our main leads. Ultimately whilst ‘ Shining Like You’ might not make a bad binge-watch drama, there are certainly more entertaining, well-written, engaging and classic love stories in dramas to watch than this one.
One of the worst dramas of 2021Stay away from this one guys, it's horrible. Really, I can't find one single reason to watch this. I finished it with the strength of hate and lots os fast-fowarding.
There is nothing redeeming about this drama. The script is bad, the scenarios are boring, the characters are dumb, even the plot twists are awful.
It was supposed to be all fluffy, and teen, but iended up being 24 episodes of nothing. Really, they start with a plot, but they don't finish it. Then start another one, and guess what? They don't properly give it closure. I have the feeling that they got a drama that had 50 episodes, badly chopped it and then stitched it all in one that has 24 episodes of bad editing. There're so many loose ends that it almost makes no sense a lot of times.
Just save your time and put this one aside.