- Title: Bright Eyes in the Dark
- Also Known As: 他从火光中走来,He Walks From the Fire, Walking Through Fire for You, Ta Cong Huo Guang Zhong Zou Lai
- Screenwriter: Liu Hong Yan
- Director: Tian Yi
- Cast: Johnny Huang, Zhang Jing Yi
- Genres: Action, Romance, Drama
- Type: Drama
- Episodes: 40
- Date of Release: Sep 19, 2023 – Oct 6, 2023
- Original Network: iQiyi
- Where to Watch: iQiyi, WeTV
- Adapted from the novel “Walking Through Fire for You” by Er Dong Tu Zi
Hola readers, 2023 is the year of the firefighter. After William Chen’s A Date with the Future and Yang Yang’s Firework of My Heart, we now have Johnny Huang’s Bright Eyes in the Dark drama.
As someone who loves to see handsome men in uniform, I certainly would not miss this one. This drama was different from my expectations, but still, I enjoyed every episode. In this drama review post, I will tell you about the reasons behind it. So, stay tuned!
Bright Eyes in the Dark Synopsis
Lin Lu Xiao is a dedicated firefighter. It seems as if he was born to be a firefighter. His courage and talent have surpassed his peers. As the head of the Special Division of Beishao Station, Lin Lu Xiao shouldered the problems of his colleagues.
To Lin Lu Xiao, they were more than friends. They were his brother-in-arms and his family. While juggling from fire to fire, Lin Lu Xiao’s love life began to blossom when he met the beautiful Nan Chu.
Fate brought Nan Chu and Lin Lu Xiao together earlier than they realized. Back then, the 16-year-old Nan Chu was rescued by Lin Lu Xiao from a fire that burned down her apartment building. Nan Chu mistakenly thought that Lin Lu Xiao was Leader Xu, who had died on a mission. But this did not erase Nan Chu’s gratitude and admiration for the firefighters.
Five years later, Nan Chu had become a talented dancer. She signed a contract with an entertainment company to earn money for her dance club, Dream Dance. Her company assigned her to participate in a reality show about firefighters called “Flaming Youth”. Coincidentally, the show was going to be filmed at the Heping Road Special Division Station, where Lin Lu Xiao worked.
When two people are destined to be together, nothing could stand in their way. Their feelings for each other grew through constant interaction. Unfortunately, the nature of their professions became an obstacle for them. As a firefighter, Lin Lu Xiao’s life was always at stake. He was busy helping people and rarely had time for himself.
Meanwhile, Nan Chu had just entered the entertainment industry. This was the place where people were eager to be in the spotlight and would do anything to get it. She lost her freedom and had to be cautious in her actions because the gossipmongers were cruel.
Lin Lu Xiao and Nan Chu were not the only ones with problems. Their family and colleagues also have their own difficulties. Lin Qi, Lin Yu Xiao’s brother, and Nan Chu’s friend, had to face the fact that the entertainment industry was not as friendly as he thought.
Yu Qilei was torn apart because his job conflicted with his relationship. Lou Ming Ye wanted to bring in new technologies but had to face rejection from his subordinates. Yang Zhen Gang had to deal with depression after an accident left him permanently injured. And two firefighters rookies, Shao Yi Jiu and Qin Shi Quan had to adjust to the harsh reality of their new job.
However, no matter how hard their lives have been, everyone tries hard to do their best. Lin Lu Xiao and Nan Chu do the same. Especially Nan Chu. When her name and reputation soared, she had to struggle hard not to lose herself, her Dream Dance, and her relationship. But when all is said and done, will history repeat itself?
Bright Eyes in the Dark Review
Another promising story by Er Dong Tu Zi, who is also the original creator of Our Secret and Here We Meet Again. Our Secret and Here We Meet Again was a light and youthful love story. So I thought this one would be less of the same.
But oh boy! I was wrong. The story of Bright Eyes in the Dark was much more intense and realistic. There have been many firefighter dramas, but none of them could deliver this kind of intensity. I was left with mixed emotions after every emotional episode.
I was hoping for a deep romance drama when I read the synopsis. But Bright Eyes in the Dark was more of a workplace drama. The story emphasizes Lin Lu Xiao’s side; his job, his friends, and the emotional rollercoaster they have to face when they witness heartbreaking disasters or lose their comrades.
The Chinese drama industry loves firefighters. There have been several dramas about them. Just this year, besides Bright Eyes in the Dark, we also got Fireworks of My Heart and A Date with the Future drama. And these three dramas stole my heart. For one obvious reason: I was such a sucker for a handsome male lead in a uniform.
However, there were stark differences between Bright Eyes in the Dark and the other two dramas. Fireworks of My Heart and A Date with the Future were romance dramas. but they use firefighters as a background story. But in Bright Eyes in the Dark, firefighting itself became the main theme.
The realistic portrayal of firefighters’ lives was something that I specifically wanted to address. The emotional rollercoaster that the characters go through was something that I felt as well. I lost count of how many times I shed tears while watching this drama.
The first episode was so tense that I was exhausted just watching it. It was the scene of an earthquake that destroyed a county. Lin Lu Xiao and his team worked to rescue children from a secondary school that collapsed during the day. They worked for 124 hours straight in a rescue mission.
The scene contained a disturbing image for me because the victims of the disaster were mostly children. There was also a scene when Lin Lu Xiao failed to rescue two siblings who were buried under the rubble. This is not the only disturbing scene. So, if you cannot stand this kind of scene, you should probably remove Bright Eyes in the Dark from your watch list.
Although you may feel tired after watching the first few episodes, do not worry. The pace of the story slowed down in the first half of the drama. This was the time when the story started to build.
Later, in the second half of the drama, the conflict starts to arise and you’ll get your intense plot back. And I also have to remind you that there would be several deaths in this drama. Personally, I hate it when there are too many deaths, especially when it happens to good characters in the drama.
The story runs in the least expected direction. Too much sadness and too much pain for me to feel. But it made this story feel authentic. In real life, there was no superhero who could escape every calamity. In the world of firefighting, death was an occupational risk that every firefighter faced on a daily basis. Cruel, indeed. But it was reality.
The romance was not what I expected. I wanted a hot and passionate one, but instead, it feels like a decent and polite romance. But I was still happy because Nan Chu and Lin Lu Xiao were together in episode 15. Chinese drama is known for its slow-burning romance. Sometimes you have to wait for more than half of the drama before the main characters become a couple. So episode 15 was good enough…
After 40 episodes, I still don’t feel the strong chemistry between Johnny Huang and Zhang Jing Yi. They looked good together, no doubt about it. But I’ve seen better chemistry between Johnny Huang and Li Qin in My Dear Guardian. So, I don’t think I would ship them.
But I thought the brotherhood in this Bright Eyes in the Dark was extraordinary. I love seeing the interaction between the firefighters. Their everyday jokes and banters were amusing. But the empathy and solidarity were touching. Really the best part of the drama.
My favorite part was laughing at Liu Ru Yi’s antics. Yes, he was indeed dramatic. But I love the “Energizer Bunny” energy that comes from him. The tight-fitting shirt may seem tacky, but it suits his personality very well.
Johnny Huang did a very good job as Lin Lu Xiao. He managed to show us every emotion that Lin Lu Xiao felt. You could see his happiness when he was around his comrades, his longing when he thought of Nan Chu and his frustration when he could not do anything to help Lei Da Gang or Yu Qi Lei. The kissing scene was also quite good. All in all, he was a perfect fit for the role of Lin Lu Xiao, who was calm but hid so many emotions underneath.
This is the first collaboration between Zhang Jing Yi and Johnny Huang. Personally, I thought Zhang Jing Yi’s appearance was too young to be Nan Chu, there was no trace of a hard life and stubbornness in her appearance. Or maybe it was just me who could not shake off the image of Zhu Yun (Lighter & Princess) off her. Anyway, although her acting and dancing were good, I still wished for someone with a mature appearance to be with Johnny Huang.
I am sure you are excited about the idea of having Johnny Huang and Zhang Ling He as siblings. His father would be proud to see two handsome sons of his. Although they have different temperaments and passions.
I just love to see the masculine Johnny Huang acting as a protective older brother to the soft and kind Zhang Ling He. They are my eye candy throughout the show. Unfortunately, there were not many scenes where they stood side by side.
Zhang Ling He was not the only surprise in this drama. There were also Tang Xiao Tian and Wang Zi Qi in supporting roles. After appearing as Su Ming Yu in The Ingenious One, we got to see Tang Xiao Tian with short hair and modern clothes. I could not decide which looked better on him, the historical costume or the modern one.
What do you think dear readers? And there is also Wang Zi Qi, who shows you a different side of him. This time, Wang Zi Qi appeared with a poker face and an apathetic attitude. Totally different from the love-struck Xin Qi in The Love You Gave Me drama.
There were many familiar faces to see if you were a fan of Johhny Huang like me, there were several actors who had worked with him in other dramas such as Zhao Xun, Hu Yi, Zhang Yin, Guan Ya Jun, and Xu Hong Hao.
The first face I remember clearly was Zhao Xun, who appeared as Xu Jian Fei or Leader Xu. He used to be Johnny Huang’s partner in My Dear Guardian, where he played Tian Yong, who tragically died in the line of duty. And this time his fate was the same. And my reaction was exactly the same: I cried…
Of course, this was no coincidence, as Tian Yi, our director of Bright Eyes in the Dark, was also the man behind Chasing the Undercurrent, Ace Troops, and My Dear Guardian. I bet he could see that the chemistry between these actors was good, so he chose them to be together in another drama production. Tian Yi also did a good job with this drama, his attention to detail was something to be praised.
The screenwriter, Liu Hong Yan, is also familiar with Tian Yi and Johnny Huang as he is also the man behind Chasing the Undercurrent drama. The same director, screenwriter, and actor and also the same drama theme made me feel like they just changed the drama title because everything feels so familiar to me.
Another thing I liked about this drama was the amount of information they gave us in each episode. Before the final scene, there would be fire safety tips for us to see. Like how to use a fire extinguisher in episode 5 or fire safety cigarettes in episode 16.
I should say that Bright Eyes in the Dark was a very well-made drama, especially in the cinematography aspect. Although the station sets looked unrealistic (the food depot looked like a school pantry with firefighter cartoon stickers), the fire on the buildings and the earthquake disaster sets looked quite real.
However, the forest fire looked very man-made, which was understandable since creating a set as large as a forest fire was very expensive for a drama.
The make-up department must be praised and criticized at the same time. They did a good job on the disaster victims. The face full of ashes and dust was quite real. However, for Zhang Jing Yi, it was quite the opposite. Her character, Nan Chu, had been trapped in a fire several times.
But she always left the fiery scene with a clean face. I once accidentally burned my own kitchen. It took me less than 5 minutes to put out the fire, but my house was already full of smoke. And when I looked at myself in the mirror, there was a lot of black dust on my face, especially on my nose.
So, I wondered why Nan Chu’s face was so clean when she came out of the burnt place. and the same thing happened to Lin Lu Xiao. He always looked clean and handsome even after a strenuous mission.
”Even if we wouldn’t be able to save everybody, we will still do our best in our next rescue. It’s our duty”, said Lu Lin Xiao in episode 10.
The story of Bright Eyes in the Dark began in 2014 when Lin Lu Xiao rescued Nan Chu. However, because Lin Lu Xiao was accidentally wearing his colleague’s uniform, Nan Chu mistook him for Leader Xu, who later died during an earthquake rescue mission. In 2019, they met again when her landlady falsely called 119 (fire service in China) to kick Dream Dance out of her building.
The romance only started when they participated in The Flaming Youth, a firefighter reality drama featuring several celebrities such as Nan Chu, Yan Dai, Xu Zhi Yi, and Jiang Ge. This program is Nan Chu’s first job as an artist. She did a good job because she had experienced being in a dire situation before.
Unlike the other celebrities, Nan Chu was more composed, which attracted Lin Lu Xiao’s interest in her. As the cold and handsome director of the Special Division Station, Lin Lu Xiao did not realize that the female celebrities were fighting for his attention. So when the fans of the show sensed that something was going on between Lin Lu Xiao and Nan Chu, they began to ship them.
And it angered Yan Dai and Xu Zhi Yi. Although this show ended abruptly because of Ran Dong Yan’s stupidity, it brought positive improvement to Lin Lu Xiao, Nan Chu, Jiang Ge, and Lin Qi.
Lin Lu Xiao and Nan Chu realized their feelings for each other and soon got together. Meanwhile, this drama gave a heavy blow to Jiang Ge’s first career. He began to think seriously about his life. Later, Jiang Ge and Lin Qi, who used to be enemies, started a music platform that was a huge success.
At that time, Lin Qi’s life was also not in a good situation. Lin Qi’s agency mistreated him, but he could not leave without paying a huge amount of compensation. It was Jiang Ge who helped him. He recognized Lin Qi’s talent in creating music. So Jiang Ge did not hesitate to help Lin Qi and asked him to be his working partner.
Jiang Ge also treated Lin Qi as his only friend when he was heartbroken over the relationship between Nan Chu and Lin Lu Xiao. It was funny to see their interaction since Jiang Ge and Lin Qi used to hate each other. It is true that sometimes your enemy knows you better than your friend.
Even though Nan Chu and Lin Lu Xiao finally got together, there were still some problems regarding their work that hindered their relationship. First of all, Nan Chu and Lin Lu Xiao’s relationship was exposed when they participated in the Flaming Youth.
The reporters and fans already knew about their relationship. So when Nan Chu and Lin Lu Xiao were exposed, they became the prey of the paparazzi. Lin Lu Xiao did not care about his reputation, but he was worried that the news would affect Nan Chu and his special division.
Meanwhile, Nan Chu felt the same way, worried about Lin Lu Xiao’s career and his colleagues. But they could not hide their affection, so Nan Chu and Lin Lu Xiao tried to stay under the radar.
But it was not easy. Things get complicated for Nan Chu and Lin Lu Xiao when they do not have time for each other. Nan Chu, who has just started to become a superstar, has many projects that take up all her time. Lin Lu Xiao is also very busy saving others. Their schedules did not match, and they only had to rely on their phones to communicate.
Yu Qi Lei also had the same problems with his marriage. Mi Lan, his wife, demanded Yu Qi Lei to be close to his family. She was already dissatisfied when Yu Qi Lei left her before their wedding. When she had trouble giving birth to Miao Miao, Yu Qi Lei was also far away from her.
Whenever Miao Miao was sick or had school events, Yu Qi Lei was always absent. It was so bad that Miao Miao’s friend bullied her because of Yu Qi Lei’s absence. It should not be a big deal if they could just live closer to each other. I did not know why Yu Qi Lei and Mi Lan did not try to find a closer home so he could visit them anytime.
There were many individual problems in the Special Division that made Lin Lu Xiao rack his brain to find a way out for his comrades. When Yang Zhen Gang lost his leg during a mission, he was depressed. It was Lin Lu Xiao who helped him through the hard times.
Lei Da Gang had to borrow money from his friends for his mother’s hospital expenses. He did not tell his friends the real reason, so they all thought he was involved in some kind of financial fraud. But when they found out the real reason, everyone at the station offered to help Lei Da Gang.
After Yang Zhen Gang was transferred from the Special Division, Lin Lu Xiao was also transferred to the headquarters. It was Lou Ming Ye who personally stepped forward and asked Captain Meng for the position of director. However, he had a different approach compared to Lin Lu Xiao.
Lou Ming Ye demanded a high standard from his team. So he set up a competition. Anyone who had the ability, regardless of seniority and experience, was worthy of promotion. And those who failed would lose their positions. This system broke the bond between the firefighters. Especially Liu Ru Yi, who openly opposed Lou Ming Ye.
One thing that made me love this drama was that there were many dialogue lines that had a deep meaning. One of my favorites was “No matter where you are, as long as you don’t forget why you chose this path, you will never lose your way”. It was Captain Meng’s words to Lin Lu Xiao when he decided to leave Beixun City and join the Forest Firefighters in episode 35.
The ending of Bright Eyes in the Dark was not as I expected it to be. This drama was the most tragic drama I’ve ever watched. Too many deaths in the story. I should have known that the ending would be sad. How could it be sad and tragic? What happened to Nan Chu and Lin Lu Xiao? You can visit post of Bright Eyes in the Dark Ending Explained.
Lin Lu Xiao
Lin Lu Xiao (played by Johnny Huang) is a dedicated firefighter. He was born as a second-generation firefighter after his father. Mr. Lin Senior has two sons, Lin Lu Xiao and Lin Qi. He treated Lin Lu Xiao more strictly than Lin Qi because he had so much hope for him.
However, it drove the father-son relationship apart. Every time Lin Lu Xiao went to visit him, he would stand rigidly at the door, waiting for his father to allow him to enter the house.
I might miss their relationship as colleagues. But it seemed that before his retirement, Mr. Lin senior had been a higher-ranking officer. And considering his good relationship with Captain Meng, I thought my hypothesis was not entirely wrong. Therefore, this justified why Lin Lu Xiao was very polite to him.
As a firefighter, Lin Lu Xiao was talented and courageous. His methods were often unconventional, and his courage was born out of impulsiveness. Over the years, he learned from his mistakes and the pain of losing people he cared about. Lin Lu Xiao transformed himself into a role model for his peers and subordinates.
Right now, Lin Lu Xiao has become a calm and composed person. He became an anchor for his comrades. Whenever they were in need, they would look up to him, knowing that Lin Lu Xiao would do anything to help them. In the eyes of the people around him, Lin Lu Xiao was someone they could rely on.
Nan Chu (played by Zhang Jing) is known for her persistence and stubbornness. Once she made up her mind, she never gave up. In my eyes, Nan Chu is one of the strongest characters I’ve ever known. She is a hardworking and self-confident person. She was not afraid of difficulties. Nan Chu always strived to move forward. And she has never lost herself to circumstances. She is always true to herself.
Nan Chu is an only child who took her mother’s surname. She had no siblings and her father died early. She never saw his picture because her mother never talked about him. Nan Chu’s mother, Nan Yueru, lives in the USA. Her identity, profession, and everything else were mysterious. However, Nan Yueru seemed to have a good relationship with director Han of Beiyao Entertainment.
Nan Chu’s passion was dancing, and her baby was a dance club called Dream Dance. She used to run the club with her senior. But later he gave up and let Nan Chu take over all the management. Later, Nan Chu agreed to join Beiyao Entertainment because by becoming a celebrity, she could earn money to support the dance club.
Yu Qi Lei
Yu Qi Lei (played by Zhang Jin) became a firefighter in 2014 after joining the rescue team on an earthquake rescue mission. It was Lin Lu Xiao who asked him to join the team. It did not take long for him to go to Beixun City, leaving his pregnant wife at home. Yu Qi Lei loves his job and his family. But he could not find a balance in his life.
Mi Lan and Miao Miao, Yu Qi Lei’s wife and daughter, live far from him. Whenever Yu Qi Lei had a leave from work, he could not stay for long because his work prohibited him from doing so. He could not attend his daughter’s important events, nor could he help his wife when she needed him.
As the only structural engineer on the team, Yu Qi Lei’s presence was important in many of their missions. He helped the team when they had to deal with the destroyed buildings. In the eyes of the team members, Yu Qi Lei was like a giant tree where people could take shelter. He is quiet, friendly, and warm. His favorite activity is playing Jenga. And for years, no one could ever beat him.
Yang Zhen Gang
Yang Zhen Gang (played by Lu Si Yu) is the instructor of the Special Division of Beishao Station. He is Lin Lu Xiao’s partner and close friend. They share the same room in the dormitory.
Yang Zhen Gang is not married yet. But he had a crush on Li Lei, who worked at the headquarters. He is a kind, understanding, and friendly person.
Lou Ming Ye
There was a time when Lin Lu Xiao, Lou Ming Ye (played by Wang Zi Qi), and Yang Zhen Gang always walked side by side and joked with each other. But it was not long before the earthquake rescue mission in Mingshi County became the cause of a rift between Lin Lu Xiao and Lou Ming Ye.
After they quarreled at a meeting, Lou Ming Ye decided to study abroad. He returned to China to take up the position of inspector and was determined to reform the system.
Lou Ming Ye believed that China’s fire and rescue services should be like the ones he had seen abroad. They should use advanced technology instead of relying on people. Lou Ming Ye had high expectations and standards for those who worked under his leadership. Even though Lou Ming Ye looked rigid and apathetic, he was not a callous person. He just never showed his kindness and never talked about it.
Lin Qi (played by Zhang Ling He) is Lin Lu Xiao’s younger brother and Nan Chu’s friend. He makes his living as a violinist. Lin Qi used to study music abroad, where he met Nan Chu, who was also studying dance abroad. Lin Qi seemed to have some affection for Nan Chu, but after he learned that his brother Lin Lu Xiao also liked her, he decided to step back and stay as a friend.
Although they were brothers, Lin Qi and Lin Lu Xiao’s relationship with their father was on a different level. Mr. Lin Senior was stricter with Lin Lu Xiao and nicer with Lin Qi. And it’s all because Lin Lu Xiao was a firefighter, so their father put more hope on his shoulders. So Lin Qi often acts as a mediator between them. This role suits him perfectly because Lin Qi has more tolerance compared to his father and brother. He is also kinder and more attentive.
Jiang Ge (played by Tang Xiao Tian) was born a spoiled brat from a wealthy family. His father was the owner of a big entertainment company. He loved extreme sports and was better at wall climbing than Lin Lu Xiao. Jiang Ge was still immature and a hot-tempered person.
He met Lin Qi and Nan Chu in Milan and was arrested by the local police because of them. At that time he drunkenly entered the Italian cafe where Nan Chu worked and stubbornly asked for laobing (Chinese pancakes).
Nan Chu and Lin Qi tried to politely tell him that the cafe was not a Chinese restaurant and they did not make any laobing. But later Jiang Ge forced his way into the kitchen to make his own laobing, so Nan Chu had to call the police. And that was the beginning of his hatred for Nan Chu and Lin Qi.
However, after being involved with the Flaming Youth, Jiang Ge began to develop a fondness for Nan Chu, and he was heartbroken when he learned that Nan Chu and Lin Lu Xiao were together.
Although Mr. Jiang Senior was wealthy, he hoped that his son would start working instead of pursuing his hobbies. However, he did not believe in his abilities at all. Jiang Ge’s first project was The Flaming Youth. The show was good, but some celebrities ruined it. However, after he joined the fire brigade, Jiang Ge felt that the entertainment industry was no longer his passion.
Bright Eyes in the Dark was a firefighter drama you should not miss this year. The story was realistic, the actors were good, and the cinematography was exceptional. However, there was one thing to watch out for. There were many disturbing scenes, especially when Lin Lu Xiao and his team were on a rescue mission. So if you could not handle such intensity, you might want to watch a different kind of drama.
In my opinion, Bright Eyes in the Dark was not suitable for binge-watching. It was made for your daily dose of drama. The story was a tad slow in the beginning but very intense in the end. If you binge-watch it, you’ll get bored before the fun part starts. Besides, would it be more exciting to see the beautiful faces of Johnny Huang, Zhang Jing Yi, Zhang Ling He, and Wang Zi Q in 3 weeks instead of 3 days?
So what would you choose? Would you drop this drama or maybe you have already started to watch the first episode? No matter what you choose, don’t forget to tell me your opinion about Bright Eyes in the Dark. You could leave your comment below. I’ll see you in another drama review post. Ciao!