Drama ReviewsMysteryShining For One Thing Drama Review

"It had sweet romances combined with a darker mystery. It balances everything."

Shining For One Thing Drama Review

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  • Title: Shining For One Thing
  • Also Known As: 一闪一闪亮星星, Let’s Start Together at the End of the Universe
  • Screenwriter: Duan Yu Le, Wang Chen
  • Director: Chen Xiao Ming, Zhang Pan
  • Genres: Mystery, Romance, Melodrama, Youth
  • Country: China
  • Episodes: 24
  • Year: 2022
  • Original Network: iQiyi
  • Where to watch: iQiyi, Viki

Shining For One Thing Synopsis

Shining For One Thing is a Chinese mistery drama, with some taste of romance. The Story was about Lin Beixing. Her life was never good recently. Her boyfriend of 8 years broke up with her, two weeks before their wedding. The broke up took its toll on her life and career. She got fired from her job at Nanchuan Zoo. And top of that, she found out that her boyfriend cheated on her with her best friend.

One day, she met a man who told her that her future lies in her past. The next day, Lin Beixing discovered that through her old Nokia phone, she could time-traveled back to the past. Precisely, her 3rd grade of high school period.

Shining For One Thing - poster

As someone unsatisfied with her life, Lin Beixing is determined to fix her life. But first, she had to pass the College Entrance Examination. And Lin Beixing did not hold back herself. She aimed to be number one. Therefore, when she traveled back to the present time, she memorized all the answers for her College Entrance Exam. Lin Beixing’s efforts were for naught. Right after the College Entrance Examination, she returned to the present time, but her life did not change a bit.

After a series of going back and forth in time, Lin Beixing realizes that her return to the present time is related to the death of her classmate, Zhang Wansen. Lin Beixing insisted on altering her fate. Therefore, she decided to return to the past once again, and do everything she could to help Zhang Wansen avert his death.

Whilst she goes all out as Zhang Wansen’s (and her future) guardian, Lin Beixing is unaware of the fact that she was fascinated by Zhang Wansen’s charm and kindness. The 30 years old Lin Beixing once again fell in love with her classmate.

However, before she could protect Zhang Wansen, Lin Beixing must reveal the mystery that surrounds his death. What was happening in the lighthouse that night? What was the connection between her and Zhang Wansen’s death?

Lin Beixing was determined to unravel all the mystery, even though she must pay the price with her lifetime happiness…

Shining For One Thing Review

Zhang Jia Ning and Qu Chu Xiao used to play in the same drama, which was Ruyi’s Royal Love in The Palace. Zhang Jia Ning acted as one of Qianlong’s consorts, while Qu Chu Xiao used to act as Qianlong’s 5th son. Never had I imagined they could act as high school sweethearts. However, that’s the beauty of Cdrama that I love. It was full of surprises.

Just like this one.

Shining For One Thing - poster 2

More Than I Expected

Shining For One Thing drama caught me unguarded. I’ve never thought a mystery movie could be as good as this one. I was laughing out loud, but then I cried like a baby. The mystery was the main key to unraveling a rollercoaster romance of high school students.

But then after some serious thinking, I decided to say that this drama is all about ill-fated love. It’s sweet and heartwarming, but it would break your heart and leave you weeping throughout the last two episodes. In the end, I regret that I watched this drama. Too beautiful and at the same time, too painful to watch.

It was a delight to watch Shining For One Thing. The story was engaging. I barely slept a wink when I decided to watch it. I really appreciate this movie because it progressed with good pacing. Not too fast or too slow. My favorite part was the first 16 episodes when the love was blooming between Lin Beixing and Zhang Wansen. The rest of the episode was hard to follow because the story was heavy. Too many sad scenes that make me cry like a baby.

Nothing was perfect in this world, including the Cdama realm. The thing that made me unsatisfied with this drama, was the ending. It was a sad open ending. And I didn’t like open ending drama because it leads to many interpretations. Those interpretation would play a “what ifs” games in my head, and it would stay at my brain, rent free, for a certain amount of time. And I don’t like it.

Shining For One Thing also lacked of explanation. What really happened to Zhang Wansen. His parents move abroad in a hurry and there were no funeral after the accident. So, I just presumed that he was dead already.

Casts and Characters

Lin Beixing

Lin Beixing, played perfectly by Zhang Jia Ning is an immature adult who was having a stroke of tough luck in life. Her boyfriend left her for her best friend two weeks before their wedding. Shortly after that, her boss fired her.

Shining For One Thing - Zhang Jia Ning as Lin Beixing
Zhang Jia Ning as Lin Beixing

Lin Beixing’s career was a mess. She worked as an obligation to society, and she has never been enthusiastic about her job. She would put 18 alarms in the morning but failed to wake her up. The craziest things were her boss even reached her mother to wake her up for an important meeting and also tracked her phone. Only to know whether she was at home or on the street. It is understandable why they fired her.🤷‍♀️

Lin Beixing has spent more than ten years of her life chasing Zhan Yu (played by Wu Xize). She fell in love with him since he saved her from a fire. When they sat in the same class at senior high school, she started to pursue him in an aggressive manner. Lin Beixing follows him every time and everywhere. She would buy him things, such as snacks, breakfast, or shoes. Even though all of them mean nothing to him.

Lin Beixing managed to be his girlfriend in the present time. They spent eight years before they broke up. And he was cheat on her with her best friend/classmate in high school. The one who always encourages her to chase Zhan Yu.

it was such a delight to see Lin Beixing. She was funny, kind, bold, daring, confident, and stubborn. You might want to slap her head because sometimes she was unreasonable and impulsive, but you can’t hate her. She had her shortcomings but was still adorable. Her love for her family and friends was unconditional.

Zhang Wansen

Zhang Wansen, played by Qu Chu Xiao, is a typical genius boy in dramaland. He was a shy, timid, and serious person. His fast-moving strategic brain was able to conceal his awkward nature. Zhang Wansen’s words didn’t show that he was nervous, but we all could see from his microexpression or small gestures. And that makes him such an adorable male lead.

Shining For One Thing - Qu Chu Xiao as Zhang Wansen
Qu Chu Xiao as Zhang Wansen

Qu Chu Xiao didn’t have that heavenly handsomeness that a male lead used to have. He looked very thoughtful and downcast as if he always worrying about something (of course, he was worried for Lin Beixing… duh!). But somehow, it makes your heart flutter every time you saw him.

If Lin Beixing spent more than ten years loving and chasing Zhan Yu, Zhang Wansen had been more foolish than her. He fell in love with Lin Beixing when they met at the zoo. And then they went into the same elementary school. Zhang Wansen always wanted to be near her. Therefore, he intentionally made his exam score low, so their name could be next to each other. Because at that time, Lin Beixing could only earn a rank of 99. Zhang Wansen, who could reach to be in the first rank, was happy to earn number 98.😅

It didn’t stop there, dear readers. Zhang Wansen’s love-struck continues to middle school when he learns to play basketball, only because he overheard that Lin Beixing likes a boy who could play basketball. Ahhh… nothing could be compared to young love. They were soooo.. amusing.😆

Their Friends

Gao Ge (Played by Fu Jing)

If the first rank in Nanchuan High School always belongs to Zhang Wansen. The second rank would belong to Gao Ge. She was the dark-side female version of Zhang Wansen. She was smart. But compared to the shy Zhang Wansen, she was bold and daring. She was not afraid to show her opposition to her father, Gao Guangming, the school dean. She would try many ways to annoy him.

Shining For One Thing - Fu Jing as Gao Ge
Fu Jing as Gao Ge

Gao Ge actually loves her father. But as a single parent, he was super busy taking care of the school and students that he often neglected his daughter. And to get his attention, Gao Ge becomes a rebel.

She was talented in art. Gao Ge always wanted to pursue a career as a painter. But her father had another idea. To get back at her father, she often skipped class or neglected her homework. But her grade was always good. I guess, if you are smart, you need extra work to be stupid compared to staying smart.

Fu Jing played Gao Ge, perfectly. She could portray the rebellion phase of a teenager without missing a beat. I really like her, except for the wigs. She looked so much prettier in her own hair.

Fun fact, Fu Jing sang one of the soundtracks for this drama.

Yang Chaoyang (Played by Luo Ming Jie)

Yang Chaoyang used to be Lin Beixing’s deskmate before she moved into Zhang Wansen’s class. He was a good friend, a nice, supportive, and helpful person. Yang Chaoyang was obsessed with crosstalk, and he always wanted to be a crosstalk master. Lin Beixing knew that in the future, Yang Chaoyang will become a big star in the crosstalk industry. So, she always supports him, no matter what.

Shining For One Thing - Luo Ming Jie as Yang Chaoyang

His relationship with Gao Ge was never fruitful. Both of them were too busy to plan for their future. But in the end, after long years of building the career, he finally made a move on her.

I didn’t actually understand what crosstalk meant. Only after a small research, I found out that crosstalk was some kind of traditional Chinese stand-up comedy. But if you could enlighten me about this crosstalk matter, dear readers, please do.😊

Zhan Yu (Played by Wu Xize)

Zhan Yu was the most narcissistic person in this drama. He was a person who was full of themselves. He despises Lin Beixing who followed him everywhere and craving for his attention. Zhan Yu also makes sure that everyone around him knows it. But secretly, he enjoys all the attention. Therefore, when Lin Beixing stopped following him, he tried to win her over. The one who hated being pestered has turned into the one who pestered others.🤦🏻‍♀️🙅🏻‍♀️

Shining For One Thing - Wi Xize as Zhan Yu

In my opinion, that was the main reason why he ended up in the relationship with Lin Beixing in the present time. When they almost get married, he realizes that he might lose the fun of being chased by Lin Beixing. Therefore, he cheats on Lin Beixing with Han Teng Teng, who was also fallen in love with him since high school. A new person equals new excitement.

I couldn’t find a good reason to praise his character except for being good-looking, a famous basketball star kind-of-type guy. Cheating is my bottom line in a relationship. But if you cheat with my best friend, you are waaaaayyyyy out of my bottom line. So get lost Zhan Yu! 😡

Maizi (Played by Jiang Yun Lin)

Maizi was the one who sparked Lin Beixing’s curiosity about Zhang Wansen’s death. She saw her beating Zhang Wansen in the background of an old video. Therefore, he was Lin Beixing’s primary target when she decided to protect Zhang Wansen.

Shining For One Thing - Jiang Yun Lin as Maizi

His friendship with Zhang Wansen lasted long enough, even after Zhang Wansen’s death. He keeps some mementos from their friendship. Their photo, Zhang Wansen’s diary, and a parrot that he steals from the zoo, just because it was trained by Zhang Wansen to say “I like you”.

Maizi played the most crucial role when Zhang Wansen protect Lin Beixing from the thugs. He was able to provide him with inside information because he was one of the thugs. Maizi was assigned to kidnap Lin Beixing when he knew that she was the one that Zhang Wansen liked. Since then, he helped Zhang Wansen to hide Lin Beixing from the thugs.

Zhang Wansen’s death shocked Maizi. The guilt burdened him until he decided to tell everything he knew about Zhang Wansen’s feelings and what he had done for her to Lin Beixing.

The Ending (beware of the spoiler)

It was hard for me to write the ending of Shining For One Thing. It was complicated and sad. The polar opposite of the first 16 episodes, where everything was merry. You could watch them with full optimism that both Lin Beixing and Zhang Wansen would have a good life and a perfect ending. I even looked forward to their wedding scene.

But alas! There was no wedding scene because Lin Beixing and Zhang Wansen’s love was an ill-fated love story. They shouldn’t be together in the first place.

It begins with Lin Dahai, Lin Beixing’s brother, who was obsessed with having a cosmetic store. But he was not a good businessman because he lacked instincts and knowledge. That lead him to his doomed. Lin Dahai borrowed some money from a loan shark, Mr. Lei. He was Maizi’s boss. Lin Dahai couldn’t afford to pay back the debt and the interest. So Mr. Lei tried to find a way to extort money from him. Mr. Lei assigned Maizi to kidnap Dahai’s sister as a hostage. The girl was Lin Beixing.

Shining For One Thing - poster 3

Zhang Wansen tried his best to protect Lin Beixing. He even uses his own money to pay back the debt. But Mr.Lei didn’t want to release Dahai from his clutches. He took Zhang Wansen’s money but still chased after her.

Zhang Wansen always pays attention to Mr. Lei’s movement. He makes sure the thugs won’t find Lin Beixing too. Until one day at the lighthouse. Zhang Wansen and Lin Beixing were cornered at the top of the lighthouse. Zhang Wansen hid her, but Lin Beixing was still able to see the outside from the door crack. She saw the thugs beat Zhang Wansen up.

Shaken up by the violent fight, Lin Beixing trembling hand tried to reach her phone. But before the call to the police was made, she heard Zhang Wansen shout to her “Lin Beixing, I like you” before he fall from the lighthouse. Stunned, Lin Beixing eyes stared in horror to see Zhang Wansen fall to his death. But the next second, she returned to the present.

Shocked by the revelation, Lin Beixing started to find a way to return to the past. She needs to confess her feeling for him. But every time they said ” I like you”, Lin Beixing was thrown to the present.

Lin Beixing accidentally met Maizi who gave her Zhan Wansen’s diary. When she read that, she finds out a shocking fact. It was not Zhang Wansen’s death that stopped her from time travel. But it was their confession. Whenever they confess, whether say it directly or indirectly through short messages, her time in the past was stopped and her present life was not changed.

Therefore, when Lin Beixing had the last chance to fix her life and saved Zhang Wansen. She made sure that Zhang Wansen would hate her, with a series of heartbreaking moments when she pretend to annoyed by him. But Zhang Wansen was stubborn and he understood the situation after he read her diary.

While Lin Dahai still needs Lin Beixing’s help to deal with Mr. Lei. But unbeknownst to them, the one who helped them in the end, was Zhang Wansen. He spies on Mr. Lei to get evidences of his illegal business. His strategy works. Mr Lei’s subordinate was furious when he saw the video of his boss planning to make him a scapegoat. They fought and resulting in Mr. Lei,s death in a fire.

It’s so sad that the only way to fix their life was to avoid each other. Lin Beixing stayed at Nanchuang and continued to work at the zoo. But right now, she’s having a good life and a good career. While Zhang Wansen flies abroad to chase his childhood dream. A veterinarian without borders.

Shining For One Thing - poster 4

The last scene was when the first snowfall in Nanchuan. Lin Beixing was crossing the street when suddenly an umbrella shielded her from the snow. Lin beixing was stunned before she smile widely. And the person who hold the umbrella was never revealed, even though most people, and me, were sure that he was Zhang Wansen.

The Conclusion

This is the longest review I’ve ever write for a 24 episode drama. But it was worth it. The story was engaging and I had a great time watching this drama. But if I got a chance to do a time travel such as Lin Beixing, I would tell my self to stop watching at episode 16. There is no need to continue the episodes only to have my eyes swollen like a frog.

If you like a mystery melodrama romance drama. Go for this one. It had sweet romances combined with a darker mystery. It balances everything. Very suitable for a good relaxed weekend.

Go grab some snack, a nice couch, and tons of tissues. Then you’ll be ready for a good time. Happy Watching, dear readers!

Iya Moyya
Iya Moyya
"I contemplate everything, everyday"

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Shining For One Thing Drama Review"It had sweet romances combined with a darker mystery. It balances everything."
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