The Brightest Star in the Sky (2019): Episode 1 Recap

IMG_7068I’ve been looking forward to The Brightest Star in the Sky starring Huang Zi Tao and Wu Qian (Janice Wu) ever since the trailer dropped way back in 2017. I’m ecstatic that it finally started airing this month and that it is on YouTube with English subs thanks to PreciousZTaoBar 2.

I typically like to wait until a drama is almost done airing so that I can read reviews & marathon the drama all at once… but I’ve already waited for this one for so long so I thought I’d watch it and recap it. Here’s the trailer if you haven’t seen it.

Tao’s character seems similar to his actual idol persona and I think he and Wu Qian are a great match so fingers crossed that this will be a fun contemporary drama. If you want to avoid spoilers, I will write up a First Impressions post after I’ve watched ~5 episodes.

Here we go with the recap!

The Brightest Star in the Sky, Episode 1

Yang Zhen Zhen (Wu Qian) opens her email to another rejection, but then receives an invitation to interview at Star Entertainment. Clicking on the website, she finds that Zheng Bo Xu (Huang Zi Tao), who she participated in a talent show with a year ago, is signed to Star Entertainment and has become a star while she’s still struggling.

The next day, Zhen Zhen interviews at Star Entertainment. (The office sure is shiny, but I hate her outfit. You can’t see that her jeans are ripped in this screenshot but what happened to dress to impress??)

Meanwhile, inside Star Entertainment, Bo Xu is filming a music video but the director interrupts to yell at the dancers. Enraged by his disrespectful words, Bo Xu defends the dancer and makes the director apologize before he will continue.

Zhen Zhen is asked by her interviewers, the chief director Yu Hong (left) and the PR director Liu Yi Nan (right), to introduce herself, and she shares her dream of being a singer and how she’s faced disappointment after disappointment. I’m cringing here because this lengthy sob story is not how you introduce yourself in an interview, but I do appreciate the graphics and animation used to tell her story.

I’m definitely on the same page as Director Liu when he interrupts her and recaps what he’s probably heard countless times before. He tells her they aren’t recruiting singers, but Zhen Zhen says she’s here to apply for the assistant position. She hasn’t given up on her dream, but wants a stable job related to music. Director Liu is still skeptical, not wanting to hire these aspiring singers who just want this job to get close to famous idols and says they should hire science majors–but Zhen Zhen quickly chimes in to say that she studied computers in college and was 8th in her class.

On her way out, Zhen Zhen is amused to notice that their mugs are placed together to form a heart, and after she leaves, Director Liu gleefully tells Director Yu that even she noticed it. They discuss Zhen Zhen, and while Director Liu doesn’t think she has thick enough skin for their PR department, Director Yu has taken a liking to her.

Zhen Zhen leaves the interview and sees all the other applicants awaiting their turn, and looks worried for the first time about not getting the position. When she hears an employee asking for help with some boxes, she volunteers…

And as you probably guessed, of course something’s bound to go wrong. Zhen Zhen knocks over one of the dancers, causing the director to angrily storm up to the stage and yell at the employee, throwing his papers at him. This angers Bo Xu again, reminding the director that didn’t they just speak about treating people with respect.

Bo Xu asks his assistant for his phone but she fearfully says she cannot give it to him because she’s been yelled at by her boss due to his rogue Weibo posts. After he tells her to leave him alone, Zhen Zhen apologizes to him for interrupting the filming and asks if he remembers her, but he doesn’t.

Zhen Zhen returns to the office and this time overhears someone looking for assistance with fixing a computer. Of course she volunteers. Outside the office, Director Du pulls up in her nice car and enters the office that Zhen Zhen is fixing the computer in. Not realizing that someone is in her office, Director Du is on the phone telling someone that she married her husband for love but he’s been seen with another woman so she wants to end it with him. Zhen Zhen squirms uncomfortably and just as Director Du realizes that someone is at her desk, she stands up, telling Director Du that she’s applying for a job here and was just helping out with fixing her computer.

Zhen Zhen’s friend and roommate, Xia Yuan, sends her a message to see how her interview went, and Zhen Zhen says she’s heading home and will tell her in person. Xia Yuan prepares a surprise of flower petals for Zhen Zhen, telling her not to give up, and that there might be a prince at the end of the road waiting for her. (That’s so sweet.)

Bo Xu is working on his music at his house and asks his assistant for her feedback. She says she isn’t knowledgable about music, but he says that doesn’t matter, does the music make her feel anything? She’s unable to answer, but she does pass along a reminder from Director Liu that he should not be making those Weibo posts. Bo Xu tells her she should be on his side and shouldn’t be reporting to Director Liu about him going to a bar.

Zhen Zhen tells Xia Yuan that she ran into Bo Xu and how he’s arrogant and claimed not to remember her. Xia Yuan defends him, saying if she was a star she’d be arrogant, too, and not want to remember people associated with the difficult times of trying to make it. She gets an alert and they see Bo Xu’s latest Weibo post about his production team being unprofessional and requiring so many takes.

Director Du complains to her boss that they shouldn’t be focusing on Bo Xu, that once he becomes popular they won’t be able to control him. She disagrees with his methods of using his connections to boost Bo Xu’s popularity and says it’s unfair to those who have better voices than him. Having been a singer herself who experienced this unfairness, Director Du says she doesn’t want to perpetuate it, but her boss says that it’s because he experienced this unfairness as well that he will do what it takes.

Director Liu reprimands Bo Xu’s assistant, Xiao Jian, and Manager Sun that they shouldn’t let Bo Xu post, or at least review what he writes before he posts. The hate posts about Bo Xu are all over the internet. Xiao Jian says she fears him, how can she control him. Manager Sun uses flattery and tells Director Liu only he is capable of controlling Bo Xu.

They leave, and Zhen Zhen arrives, having gotten the job. Director Liu asks why she didn’t mention that she knows Director Du, and mentions that Director Du asked him to meet with her. He’s impressed that she is able to make connections so quickly and says he has a task for her.

And of course it’s relating to Bo Xu. Bo Xu gets out of the pool to answer his doorbell, assuming his assistant has lost her key. (LOL, of course there’s a shirtless scene in episode one! Giving the fans what they want!) After asking if she’s a fan or paparazzi, Zhen Zhen says she’s his colleague here to pass along a message from Director Liu. Bo Xu doesn’t want to hear it, so Zhen Zhen just yells the message as him as he walks away.

Director Liu calls Zhen Zhen into his office because Bo Xu has posted on Weibo that in an hour he is going to post some insider news, and he knows it can’t be anything good. He asks Zhen Zhen what she did that motivated him to post this in retaliation.

Manager Sun enters, saying that she and Xiao Jian can’t locate Bo Xu. Director Liu gives Zhen Zhen two choices: find Bo Xu or make him not post on Weibo. If she can’t do either, she can pack up her stuff and get out. Zhen Zhen asks him, what if she’s able to do both? Director Liu says if she can do both, then his name isn’t Liu Yi Nan, and she retorts, then is it Liu Yi Nǚ (since the Nan in his name means boy, she’s joking that then his name would be Nǚ for girl). This just makes Director Liu even angrier, and I have to give Zhen Zhen props for not being a pushover.

Bo Xu cheerily sits in a restaurant, looking forward to posting about Director Liu buying fake views and comments. But then he finds that he’s unable to log in to his account.

Manager Sun overhears two colleagues in the office talking about how they like that Bo Xu isn’t afraid to say whatever he wants and offend people, and that he’s dumbly cute. She rolls her eyes, because Bo Xu is a troublemaker and drives her crazy.

The time that Bo Xu is supposed to post passes, and Manager Sun calls Zhen Zhen into a conference room with Director Yu and Director Liu. They were all unable to get in touch with Bo Xu, so they think it must have been Zhen Zhen. After saying maybe Xiao Jian spoke to him, Zhen Zhen confesses that she changed Bo Xu’s password. Director Liu asks if she’s a hacker, but Zhen Zhen says it’s just a game they used to all play in college. Manager Sun snickers and asks Director Liu if she should call him Yi Nǚ now. Director Liu explains the bet to a confused Director Yu, and then says there were two conditions. She stopped him from posting but where is Bo Xu? And at that moment, Bo Xu angrily barges into the conference room.

Bo Xu demands to know who changed his password, and Director Liu acts like he has no idea about this matter, pretending to yell at his employees from the doorway about who did it. He takes Bo Xu away into his office, and Director Yu asks Manager Sun why she can’t sort out any of these problems and compliments Zhen Zhen on what a good job’s she done. Manager Sun rolls her eyes.

In Director Liu’s office, Bo Xu won’t let the matter go and Director Liu admits that it was Zhen Zhen, and that she’s just a new employee who doesn’t matter.

Just as Zhen Zhen is sending a message to her friend about what a great first day she’s had, she gets a call telling her to bring milk tea to the recording studio… and guess who’s waiting for her there?

My Thoughts:

Did you see the video clip of Tao yelling at the Produce101 (Chinese version) trainees when nobody stopped to help a girl who had fallen down? Honestly, that’s when Tao won me over and his character’s actions in this episode reminded me of that. I’m liking that Bo Xu genuinely cares about his music, but although he yelled at the MV director for being disrespectful, it’s not like he’s the picture of politeness himself.

I like that Zhen Zhen is more than just an aspiring singer and has a loyal friend by her side, and I just wish that there weren’t the moments where she looked down and seemed fearful/shy (in front of Director Du and in the conference room towards the end). She’s clearly not afraid to talk back to Director Liu or Bo Xu so those moments just felt out of character.

There are some interesting characters at Star Entertainment, and I remain hopeful about this drama so far!

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