You Are My Glory (你是我的荣耀) First Impression

INTRODUCTION

This review is based on the episodes aired during the first week of its run, specifically episode 1-9. You Are My Glory is 32 episode Chinese drama on the streaming platform Tencent, airing between Jul 26, 2021 – Aug 16, 2021. The episodes are around 35 minutes, they are quite digestible and easy to fit into a busy schedule.

I had planned to watch the show with my sister, to pace myself to watch two episodes a day, but that has failed. I found myself binge watch watching, and only stopped at episode 9 because it 11pm and I needed sleep.

Firstly, I must confess that Gu Man one of my favourite Chinese romance writers. I like her writing, unlike most of the other Chinese romance writer’s that I have come across, her stories aren’t plagued with misunderstandings and unnecessary supporting characters. The stories are concise and easy to digest, and You Are My Glory is no different.

The original novel (of the same name) which this drama is based was published in 2019. In the same year the intellectual rights to converting the novel into a drama were bought. Gu Man is also the only credited writer for the show, and when it came to casting, she expressed her desire to have Yang Yang1 play male protagonist, Yu Tu.

Going into the drama I had seen a number of works by both leads (Yang Yang and Dilraba Dilmurat). Therefore, I am quite familiar with their style of acting. Yang Yang is known for being very 高冷2 and Dilraba has a very bubbly personality and onscreen presence – in my opinion the casting is very spot on.

SYNOPSIS

Yu Tu and Jing Jing are former classmates high school. They haven’t seen each other for 10 years. During their time of separation Jing Jing became a celebrity and Yu Tu has been working as an aerospace engineer.

They coincidentally meet again when Jing Jing uses an old qq account which she had used in her school days to create a gaming account. She gets invited to join in a group match and performs poorly, and from then onwards Yu Tu starts teaching her how to play the game.

REVIEW

During the first few episodes there were random flashbacks their (Yu Tu and Jing Jing’s) school days, it was a really nice contrast to see how they as individuals have grown. In his younger days Yu Tu has more care free and doing what he loves, but what he loves doesn’t pay well and he is now he is struggling this with his responsibility to his parents. Contrastingly, Jing Jing maintains the same optimistic down-to-earth personality, she has different worries, but money is not one of them.

The game characters and board are seen as part of the background 😍 One of my favourite scenes that far is of Jing Jing loosing her sense of reality and imagines a hero from the game moving around her apartment, and in a dramatic fashion she only snaps out of it when the avatar shots are her. This optimises the visual mode of story telling. The reason this can done a higher graphic standard that than we are used to when watching C-drama’s is because Tencent is a gaming company.

Gaming is huge element of this drama, the whole reason our main couple reconnect is because Jing Jing agrees to be a spokes person for game and she needs to learn how to play it. Rightly, them playing the game is what has taken up most of the screen time. I like that we, as the audience get so much of the game. Later on, after Jing Jing has had her grand performance on stage, showcasing her gaming skills, she get’s on with life and immerses herself in film related stuff.

In the novel the audience doesn’t know much about Yu Tu’s work, other than that he works he works as an aerospace engineer. Whenever he is asked about what he is working the response is secret governmental stuff, it’s “confidential” (this is not a direct quote, it’s my own interpretation of what I read). In the show we get more background on his work, we see that he has a relationship with more than one or two from the research centre.

Some of the dialogues have been restructured, for dramatic affect. The one prominent example that I can recall is of the conversation between Yu Tu and Jing Jing after she finds out about plans for a career change. If I remember correctly, in the novel she expresses her dismay immediately after. However, in the show she hears it and kind of goes quiet and in her thoughts and doesn’t press him for details nor express her disappointment until 2 or three episodes later.

Personally, I felt that the events following their disagreement in episode 9 were too fast paced and the transition could have been better executed. Granted, this is the sequential order in which everything happened in the novel, however the change of media means somethings have to be changed to accommodate the switch. In the book it doesn’t feel so rushed because it takes more than page worth of writing to describe the argument scene. However, in the drama after 7 also minutes of dialogue exchanges with the Yu Tu’s professor, Yu Tu and Jing Jing abruptly parting because of it – receiving the call from the aerospace centre – there was just too much happening. I think it would have translated better on screen if we had a minute or two of Yu Tu brooding and him questioning his own response to Jing Jing standing up for him to the professor. He could have gotten the call the next day, as he is getting ready to Jing Jing’s. In accordance with his character, a small argument isn’t going to stop him from instructing her on how to play games.

Thus far the interaction between the different character are believable. With Jing Jing depending on what position the people around her a in, they speak and treat her differently. For example, she has a friendly relationship with both her manager and assistant, she is more domineering in her relationship with the latter party being the one who is instructions and so forth. Whereas, with the manager Jing Jing receives a lot of instruction from her on how to conduct herself to get maximum return for her work; the auditioning arrangements and her what her market value is as the “public figure Jing Jing”. I don’t think the manager is superior, in contrast to the assistant just just takes instructions, Jing Jing’s relationship with her manager is more collaborative.

As for the progression of the drama, I am a bit worried about whether there is enough substance from the original source material for 32 episodes. The novel is comprised of 37 chapters and 356 pages – it’s a very short read. More than anything, my hope is that the pace of the drama can be maintained. You Are My Glory is not a story about huge interpersonal conflicts and this is a large part of why I like the novel.

CONCLUSION

Thus far, I am very content with the 9 episodes I have seen. This is primarily due to how true to the novel the drama has been. Having gouged the comment sections of mydramalist and the likes, I know that my good opinion of this drama is within the majority, especially amongst those viewers who have also read the novel.

As for future episodes, I hope we get more sweet romantic moment’s of Jing Jing and Yu Tu as a couple. This is something I yearned for when reading the book, Gu Man probably her mistake, hence why there are 16 epilogues. To my disappointment, in the novel, they get together at the end. Initially I rated the novel 3 stars on good reads, after reading it again (in preparation of the drama) I enjoyed it a bit more and bumped the score up to 4 stars.

Before they official become a couple, I also want to see some of Yu Tu’s internal monologue. In the moment of the scene, I especially wanted know to know whether he believed her lie about the “broken humidifier” and just went along with it 😚

You Are My Glory is the rom-com of 2021, within three days of its airing it had already surpassed 500 million viewership. Nothing that is currently in the works airing this year is going to reach the same numbers.

I definitely recommend if you enjoy simple romances. However, please note this drama is not going to make you appreciate Yang Yang and Dilraba Dilmurat as actors. If you have not enjoyed either of their previous works, skip this one. Romance wise, it’s a bit of slow burn (my opinion), and I happen to like it.

“You are the rabbit3 that has seen the most stars”.

Until next time,

Jo

FOOTNOTES

1 Yang Yang had previously played the main protagonist in another of Gu Man’s novel to drama adaptions, Lover O2O aka One Smile is Very Alluring

2 高冷 is a character classed as being tall, handsome and indifferent to their surrounding.

3 This is a play on his real name 于途 (yú tú) and internet id 于兔which means jade rabbit. The tú in his real name means way/road whereas the internet id tú means rabbit.

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