An unexplainable phenomena finds college-going student, Li Shi Qing, trapped in a never-ending time loop where she is always stuck on a public service bus which is due to explode, bringing death & destruction to not only herself but to all on board. Desperate to find a way to escape not only the time loop but her tragic fate, Shi Qing inadvertently drags fellow bus passenger Xiao He Yun into the time loop as well. Together they try to find a way to alter their fate by ensuring the bus arrives safely at its destination, but attempting to do so proves anything but easy. (Source: MyDramaList) ~~ Adapted from the novel "Kai Duan" (开端) by Qi Dao Jun (祈祷君). Edit Translation
Where to Watch Reset
Cast & Credits
Starting All OverAs dramaland resets itself with the beginning of another year, viewers get the opportunity to kickstart 2022 with an awesome C-drama right here. Reset doesn’t come with much fanfare where at the beginning of its run, the availability of (good) subs was somewhat hampered by a lack of involvement from major OTT streaming platforms for international markets. Fortunately as the weeks went by and more viewers started watching it, the fanbase for the drama gradually grew, affording it the recognition that it deserves.
Reset is a “time-loop” drama in the mould of Groundhog Day, Deja Vu, Happy Death Day and Source Code. The protagonists, a college girl and a young game designer, mysteriously find themselves reliving a bus explosion each day. Why this is happening to them and, more importantly, how they free themselves of this catastrophic cycle are central to the narrative.
This drama is produced by Dongyang Noon Sunshine Film and Television Co., or more popularly and affectionately known as Daylight Entertainment which is famed for producing top quality dramas such as Nirvana in Fire, Battle of Changsha, The Story of Minglan and The Bond, among many others. It is co-directed by Sun Mo Long (Candle in the Tomb and Mining Town), Liu Hongyuan, and Lao Suan. The screenplay is adapted from the novel "Kai Duan" (开端) by Qi Dao Jun (祈祷君) who was also involved in the screenwriting process, alongside Qiu Yujie, Lao Suan, and Huang Kaiwen.
Principal photography took place from June to August 2021 in Xiamen. Reset is considered a short format production running at only 15 episodes of 42 minutes each. To date, viewership on Tencent Video platform for mainland China has exceeded 400 million views (at the time of writing), making it the most watched domestic production for the beginning of 2022.
What I Loved
The innovative concept of time loop in a contemporary C-drama setting. I don’t think this has been done before in a Chinese production, which usually focuses on time travels or alternate world fantasies as far as speculative fiction is concerned. The way this premise is established and conveyed via a rather absorbing and engaging approach to the storytelling is a major boon as well because my initial fears of confusion arising from inconsistent or illogical plot holes proved to be unfounded, for the most part. The parameters of when and how the time loop occurs are clearly defined for the viewers’ understanding as the story unfolds.
Along with the suspense and mystery of the overarching plot, the entire story has much depth to it with a balance of youth themes, slice-of-life human drama and even hints of a budding romance imbued into the development of the characterization and side stories. All of these elements are carefully laid out over the course of an eventful 15 episodes, where the second half in particular is filled with many surprising twists and turns.
The two leads may be central to the plot but the drama also carefully takes its time to explore the various side characters, namely the other passengers onboard the ill-fated bus ride and the police detectives assigned to the investigation. Most of these characters are realistically depicted as being extremely layered and fully fleshed out as the mystery gradually unravels.
The characters truly do come alive thanks in no small part to the superb performances of the cast. Bai Jing Ting delivers as the fresh-faced game designer Xiao He Yun, as he utterly embodies the conflicting emotions of someone who wants nothing to do with this calamity yet cannot extricate himself completely from caring about a total stranger. Zhao Jin Mai plays college girl Li Shi Qing in a somewhat more subdued role compared to her co-lead but no less convincing as a naive youngster inadvertently caught up in an incomprehensible and extreme situation.
To be perfectly honest, at the beginning I wasn’t really expecting romance in this drama. However, seeing both Bai Jing Ting and Zhao Jin Mai living dangerously throughout in attempting to survive this distressing time loop has sufficiently shifted my mindset to unequivocally root for them as a romantic couple. In addition to both their characters being adorably sweet and innocent, as well as the unintended comic relief and minor frustration at times from witnessing their numerous futile attempts at unravelling the mystery, the emotional connection they share that is borne of hardship and tragedy genuinely does tug at the heartstrings.
Of the supporting cast, as usual Liu Yi Jun impresses with his immense experience and mastery of his craft. Despite the limited screen presence, his character of police detective Zhang Cheng displays the necessary nuances that befits the characterisation and brings a touch of class to the drama. Likewise Liu Tao’s surprising appearance here as police inspector Du Ju, who elevates the cast list with some star power albeit while wearing a rather unsightly wig. That said, I would have loved to see more complexity from her character aside from delivering her now iconic line, “Perform drug test!”.
Special mention goes to the strong performances in the portrayal of certain other side characters who I shall not name to avoid spoiling the story. It's worth mentioning that You Jing Rou makes a rather brief but quite impactful appearance in the supporting role of Liu Yao.
This drama features music composed and arranged by South Korean composer Kim Hyun Do for 2 of the 3 tracks listed in the soundtrack. My personal favourite is the emotional theme song, the English-language love ballad My Only, performed exclusively by Zhou Shen.
My Only by Zhou Shen
Wake Up by Wang Xiaokun
Rebound by Chen Hui
Reset turned out to be a pleasant surprise indeed. It may not have the bearings of a big budget epic or colossal production headlined by an extensive cast list of star names. But it does the basics very well with a great script and storytelling approach, convincing acting with relatable characters and a hugely satisfying closure. I think this drama exceeded many viewers' expectations in the end, including mine.
An intense binge worthy drama!
I am so in love with this drama. I saw everyone praising it so I casually started it out of curiosity. I was just thinking about giving it a try for the hype. But now I am actually joining the crowd. I feel like praising everything about this drama.
Reset is an intense story that revolves around a few characters binded by a time loop. What I am happy about is that despite it being a time loop drama where certain things will keep on repeating it was executed in such a nice way that I couldn't even think of skipping anything. No matter how many times they repeat it, a right balance of new things came out that was interesting.
So the story starts with a university student named Li Shiqing (Zhao Jin Mai). She was on a bus and on her way to somewhere when the bus gets into an accident and she dies. But she wakes up the next second and just considers it as a bad dream but woah! this is the best part. Things seem to get repeated and she seems to die because of the same accident again and again. Once she realizes about this horrible time loop, her first instinct is to escape, she uses a boy sitting beside her who is Xiao Heyun (Bai Jing Ting), a game developer to get out of the bus but unexpectedly he enters into the same time loop with her. Oh my god! Just the first episode and I was hooked up. I couldn't wait to see how they would continue this story.
Afterwards there are just crazy things happening. They both try struggling in all ways possible to change this destinied accident. Not even a single second is irrelevant or like filler in the drama. Everything is there for a reason. Even the expressions of each actor and how should they react in a particular scene is so perfect.
Their bond. Like two people who are in a mess of time, fighting together and just like two teammates going through life and death together. You can observe how slowly and reasonably their bond develops. Romance is not the visible center of the drama but it's just present through those little moments between them. You can see the care in their eyes and just the will to accompany her/him in the trouble till the end.
I love how almost every character has their own story and stuff. It's short like 15 episodes of 45 minutes each but they do justice to every character present.
Favorite line — "Human is iron and rice is steel. You can only save the world when you are full"
So, in the end, I recommend this to everyone. To even those viewers who are like me and who hesitate to watch time loops… this was a great watch. A well organized plot, high quality production with actors who know their characters well. It's amazingly set with an interesting story which kept me on the edge of my seat and I was like always looking forward to watch more and more. Meanwhile I will be off to dig up some good behind the scenes videos to enjoy more of this :D