I can’t resist a mysterious, melodramatic premise! You Are My Starlight (also known as Look Up There’s Starlight) is a Chinese drama that’s currently airing, with episodes available on Tencent Video’s YouTube channel. Strangely enough, there are no English subtitles for this one, even though they’re uploading with subs for basically all their other dramas—Forget You Remember Love, As Long As You Love Me, The Love Equations, Held in the Lonely Castle, Imperfect Love. Yes, Tencent has quite a lineup out right now!
Anyways, back to You Are My Starlight. 18 of 40 episodes are available, and I’ve watched 16. I was planning to go back to the beginning to write some brief summaries about what’s happening in each episode but accidentally wrote an entire recap for episode one. Now that I’ve watched this episode multiple times, I can say that it definitely hooks you quickly! There’s a lot of mystery, and the cast is very easy on the eyes. The lead actress Liu Jia is so pretty, and I’m liking all the actors! (One of them isn’t in this episode but his character is so fun.)
Recommended if you like: mysterious/tragic backstory, secret identity, and second chance romance.
Episode 1 Recap
Three years ago, Xue Qiluo (Liu Jia) was happily in love with Lu Zhiyao (Niu Zifan). She accepted his marriage proposal, only to discover soonafter that Zhiyao was marrying someone else. After being trapped in a terrible fire, she woke up heavily bandaged next to another heavily bandaged person. In the voiceover, she says she was given another chance at life…
In present day, Zhiyao, the director of Lu Shi Gao Ding, wants to withdraw from a fashion competition when the beads on the dress are the wrong size. Seeking perfection, he’d rather not compete than tarnish his brand’s name. (Also, the model tries to hit on him, but he ignores her, single-mindedly focused on winning the competition.)
However, another competitor, Qing Shu Gao Ding, comes through at the last minute and allows him to borrow their beads. Overhearing Qing Shu Gao Ding’s designer’s voice gives Zhiyao pause; seeing her only from behind, he’s about to approach when Qin Weiran (Fu Jia) shows up.
Weiran is openly hostile towards Zhiyao, informing him that although their family business is in jewelry, Qing Shu Gao Ding is the company his younger sister Qin Shu started. He warns Zhiyao to keep his attention on his fiancée Bai Mingyu who is still in a coma.
An issue arises with Qin Shu’s design, so Zhiyao comes up with an idea to stall for time. On stage, they compete in a challenge to identify materials through touch. Their hands touch as they reach the final material, and Zhiyao feels a familiar spark again.
Qin Shu models her own creation, a white dress that looks plain but is programmed to light up in the dark. During the judging, Qin Shu emotionally explains that the reason for the materials used in her design is a fire three years ago that resulted in her skin being very sensitive. A flashback shows that three years ago, before the fire occurred it was Zhiyao who locked her in a wardrobe.
After her explanation, as Qin Shu slowly removes the mask from her face, showing her face for the first time in the episode, Zhiyao awaits with rapt attention.
Flashbacks are cut in dramatically of three years ago, when Qiluo saw Qin Shu, who looked eerily similar to herself, before and during the fire. In the hospital, Qin Shu passes away on the bed next to Qiluo’s.
Having seen Qin Shu’s face, Zhiyao stands up in surprise as she walks off the stage toward her brother and assistant Ada. As Qin Shu hugs her brother, Zhiyao remembers his own happy moments with Qiluo and wonders if it’s really her. Meanwhile, it’s announced that Adela will work with both Lu Shi Gao Ding and Qing Shu Gao Ding.
Celebrating with her brother and mother at dinner, Qin Shu hesitantly eats a piece of duck liver on her plate. Her mother notices but Qin Shu waves it off as being used to eating bland foods during her three years of recovery. Weiran seems especially considerate of Qin Shu, and tells her not to force herself to eat it.
That night, Qin Shu has a nightmare of seeing her younger brother A Ze’s face at the hospital as her bandaged body is wheeled away. Devastated, A Ze lashes out.
Qin Shu wakes up and her brother and mother rush into her room. They notice an allergic reaction on her neck as she passes out.
The doctor at the hospital tells them that Qin Shu is allergic to duck liver, but her mother wonders in disbelief how that is possible since Qin Shu has eaten so many duck livers since she was young. Weiran explains that after all those years of medicine and recovery there’s bound to be changes, which satisfies their mother.
The episode ends with Zhiyao competing in archery with another young man as an older man gives them a challenge.
That was dramatic, right?! This episode leaves you with so many questions: what happened on that day three years ago? Why did Zhiyao secretly have a fiancée? Did someone start the fire? How did Qiluo become Qin Shu? Does she have amnesia? Does her brother have suspicions? (How can he not?) What happened to A Ze?
Qin Shu’s mother and brother seem genuinely caring and I really like them—but it seems inevitable that one day they’ll discover the truth and become heartbroken.