Man in uniform meets female doctor seems to become a hype-themed drama nowadays. I just recently ended watching 3 Chinese dramas with that background. They are You Are My Hero, My Dear Guardian, and The Flaming Heart. The former two depict military life while the latter one portrays firefighters. As I adore more action-romance dramas that depict the almost real imagery of particular professions, I do find those 3 dramas are interesting and will be sorry to be missed. So, hereby I made a compilation review in one go for you. Are you with me?
You Are My Hero and My Dear Guardian was released this year, which the former premiered in March 2021 and the latter one was on last June 2021. Both dramas equally have 40 episodes that are considered mid-length episodes. Seeing their background story about military men meet female surgeon doctors, it is unavoidable that the first impression will remind us of the previous infamous Korean Drama back in 2016, Descendants of The Sun. But worry not, the overall story grows differently with just little similarities that I found after watching both dramas.
On the other side, The Flaming Heart which was just released in this early July has the shorter one with its 24 episodes. Unlike the former two, The Flaming Heart shows the heroic job of firefighters which maybe most of us never take a single glance to. The Flaming Heart is not a military in literal meaning, but I decided to include this in one article due to the similarity in having particular skill, uniform, and hierarchial rank just like in the military.
In this article, I’d like to share with you my opinion after watching those 3 dramas. I conclude them in 1 article rather than an individual review is simply because of their similar theme and I have limited energy to write them individually. So spectators, Will we get bored while watching along the way or the dramas are really worth our time? Spare yourself a thought after reading my perspective.
You Are My Hero
This drama depicts a love story between Xing Ke Lei (Bai Jing Ting) as a formidable SWAT captain and Mi Ka (Sandra Ma Si Chun) as a new resident of the neurosurgeon department. As a mandatory hospital orientation, all new resident doctors must pass the SAR training conducted by the collaboration between Ren Xin Hospital and Police Unit. And that’s how our main couple met.
But actually, they ever met each other 2 years ago when Mi Ka was accidentally trapped under hostage in a robbery ambush at a jewelry store. At that time, Mi Ka was forced to hold a hand bomb. Xing Ke Lei was in charge at that moment and manage to calm Mi Ka in the middle of danger with his own method. However, Xing Ke Lei was wearing a uniform mask so Mi Ka only recognize his eye gaze. After that rescue moment, Mi Ka harbors a special feeling to his rescuer.
When they are finally able to meet again, Xing Ke Lei recognize her in the first moment while Mi Ka is still in the dark. Due to Mi Ka’s frequently violating the rule during the training, her attitude displeased Xing Ke Lei so much and gain misunderstanding between them, thus he expelled her from the training. The truth is Mi Ka has her own strong reason for doing so.
Though she knew she was expelled, she stubbornly joins the training. No matter she will get the certificate or not, the main purpose she joined the training is to improve her skill in saving more people if one day she met an emergency.
In short, they are finally able to clear up the misunderstanding and later develop their love for each other. However, Xing Ke Lei didn’t reveal his true identity yet as Mi Ka’s “Uncle” savior. He wanted Mi Ka to love him the way he is rather than by feeling grateful as her savior.
1. No exaggerated plot, casual life conflicts
Most conflict lays between their conflicted schedule as they are both public officers and must be ready 24/7 and casual problems by their daily duties. So they really embrace their limited time to meet. No room for petty jealousy and breaking up by misunderstanding led by the third wheel. I like how the problem is solved straightforwardly than being draggy and exhausting.
There is one touchy moment where Xing Ke Lei and Mi Ka’s fate was under test when they both trapped in an underground mining cave during the rescue and have no way out.
2. Job rivalry
There is also a sort of job rivalry between Mi Ka and her considered best friend, Xu Yan Shan. Due to jealousy because their mentor favors Mi Ka over her, Xu Yan Shan deliberately deleted Mi Ka’s final thesis so she couldn’t submit it in time, thus hers were selected to be shared publicly in the medical journal.
Xu Yan Shan’s character is rather unique. Actually, she is a nice lady but due to improper parenting, she grew to become a person who priors her personal interest more than her obligation as a doctor. She always calculating every move in order not to fail, leading her to be a courageless woman. And that’s the real reason why her mentor favors Mi Ka most.
3. Notable character
I find a notable character too in this drama. That is Xing Ke Lei’s squad member, Li Nian. I always like his appearance because of his mischievousness and busybody person. Though he is a bit noisy, he is quick-witted and always gives his hand to help his leaders’ romance problems. Do you need a comedic scene? Find this guy hahaha…
4. Amusing SWAT team exceptional skill
There are plenty of attractive skills as the SWAT team showed in this drama. So, if you were curious about how the SWAT team works, you can take a peek through You Are My Hero.
5. Tells 3 love stories
There are 3 couple pairings in total for this drama and happy endings for all. I wonder why Chinese drama likes to pair up more than 2 couples as I see it only drain time duration.
I love how the story goes that give me butterfly in some parts.
I watched You Are my Hero through WeTV.
My Dear Guardian
The next military romance Chinese drama I would like to recommend is My Dear Guardian. The drama portrays a total military background. Start with our male lead, Liang Mu Ze (Johnny Huang) as a captain of elite troops Thunder and Xia Chu (Li Qin) as a resident of a cardiac surgeon in a military hospital.
Their first meeting occurred in Isaia, a fictive country, due to their respective mission. The first encounter happened unpleasantly and the following terrorist attack in the hospital where Xia Chu was assigned, leaving them in deep grudge to each other.
Their fate continues when Xia Chu discovers that the house she rented, for the time being, is apparently Liang Mu Ze’s. Thanks to their mother who befriend each other (but never be in one scene) and deliberately arrange this to matchmaking their children, who are already at the proper age for marriage.
Liang Mu Ze initially gives time to Xia Chu to find another house within a week. But due to multiple events that need their cooperation, they become open to one another, talking heart to heart, and make clear understanding to each other. Liang Mu Ze then feels reluctant to let Xia Chu go and making any kind of excuses to prevent her from leaving his home. Yeah, the man is gradually falling in love with his housemate.
Does the story end there? Of course not! This drama shoulders an interesting grand scheme that squeezes our curiosity. Here are some interesting points and reasons why you should not miss My Dear Guardian.
1. Great plot, unexpected plot twist, mesmerizing action scene
Unlike You Are My Hero that reflects casual cases of main leads’ respective jobs, My Dear Guardian depicts a grand scheme involving drugs and organs trafficking mafia, and a few medical cases in the middle. One by one episode points out the main culprit’s hidden intention and the grief of the past. In short, My Dear Guardian’s end story is to capture the big mafia head who has done illegal deeds.
We may hate the antagonist, but the My Dear Guardian’s antagonist should be praised for his treacherous scam. He is a smart and manipulative character but devoted to her mother. Nie Zi Hao who plays Zhuo Ran successfully made us hate his character whole-heartedly but also feel a bit of pity for him at the same time.
Guess what the unexpected twist is? The current Zhuo Ran is not the real Zhuo Ran. He is Pei Yu who takes Zhuo Ran’s identity. He switched spots with Zhuo Ran back then due to ZR’s desire to join the university enrollment test. So, the one who died in Liang Mu Ze troops’ past mission is the real Zhuo Ran not Pei Yu. Xia Chu eventually figures it out since she noticed the different attitude from the past Zhuo Ran she knew and the present one.
Not forget to mention that this drama also show mesmerizing action scene of the army troops. From each mission of the army’s duty, we will be shown the tension and the coolest fighting skill from the troops. By watching this, we could imagine what armies mostly do when on a mission. The most interesting action scene for me is the army competition among countries.
2. Strong building character backgrounds
The next thing I am amazed more in this drama is the strong ground of each character’s background which influences their present-day attitude.
Liang Mu Ze’s current stern attitude is a result of his bitter past. He lost his best friend, comrade, and captain in a mission. His captain died due to shielding him from the gunshot. Thus, he suffers insomnia since then and needs to consume sleeping pills regularly. After he met Xia Chu, his insomnia started to fade out and he now can sleep well enough without the pills.
When Liang Mu Ze succeeding the captain position, he shoulders another responsibility towards his squad member. That is not to let them injured nor die and come back home in the whole package as a team. That’s why he was furious after seeing Xia Chu’s reckless action which causing his deputy to be shot by the enemies.
Though his appearance is rude and kind of a man who puts action over speech, he also has a tender side to Xia Chu. From learning to bake a cake to cheer her up until taking a bite of durian, the fruit he hates most, just to see her happy laugh.
Xia Chu is a typical woman who is dedicated to her job and independent. She is an optimistic persona and always strives hard to find a solution to every arduous case she faces and never says give up even the chance is only 0.1%. Her persistence stunning her mentor and that’s why her mentor also favors her to be his disciple.
In her teenage day, she has a crush who suddenly missing without notice and can not be contacted at all. She has a sleeping disorder after that and has to consume sleeping pills for a while. Though she eventually reencounters her first love, she is not a person who easily feels nostalgic for the past. She prefers to cherish what she has today.
Zhuo Ran is the antagonist of the story. His past is miserable. His parents divorced and split him with his twin brother. Later on, he finds out that his father was involved in drug trafficking and died together with his bro. He thought that Liang Mu Ze’s team was the executor. Hence, he and his mother were abducted. He begged for their survival and eventually become the leader’s right-hand man by putting her mother as a hostage and a promise to cure his mother’s illness.
He then was ordered by the boss to bring Xia Chu’s father to their side in any way. He utilized this momentum to get Xia Chu’s heart back but failed since she already has Liang Mu Ze on her side.
My favorite scene is when Xia Chu slapped him hard after he was beaten ruthlessly by Liang Mu Ze for taking Tian Yong’s life. She slapped him with a stern warning not to mess with her man if he want to save his mother. Go Xia Chu!
Mi Gu is a type of woman who is easily blinded by love. She foolishly helped Zhuo Ran without knowing that she is only being used. Zhuo Ran never loved her. Until one day she knows all Zhuo Ran’s bad deeds and even dares to put Xia Chu’s life in danger, then she voluntarily cooperating with the police to capture him.
Another character that catches our attention is Liang Shao Xue, LMZ’s cousin who suffers from ADHD due to her bitter past as a rapist victim. Not only that, but she also comes from a broken home. Her parents got divorced not long after her incident.
Her early appearance is very noisy, annoying, and exaggerated, even she is hard to handle for our main CP. But as the story goes, her character development is rather cute and becomes an indirect cupid for the main CP. She is always at the right scene when our main CP needs a third party to voice out their heart content. I’d like to appoint her as the scene-stealer.
3. From rival to bestie
My Dear Guardian also tells about job rivalry that turns into bestie between Xia Chu and Xiao Xiao. They are fiercely competing with each other to be allowed to enter OR with her mentor. After being involved in a mission, they finally have mutual understanding and reconcile to be a best friend though sometimes they still trap in the argument that’s how they show their unique friendship.
4. Slow-burn but fluttering romance
This drama also has a slow-burn romance, just like The Sword and The Brocade. And I think this is the first drama that I saw where the main CP did not directly be in a relationship status after the male lead confessed his feeling. But this is understandable since his occupation bears high risk, Xia Chu becomes indecisive about whether she could bear the fear of the risk or not. However she also confessed her true feeling, it is just a matter of their official status.
Though the romance is slow-moving, the screenwriter still succeeds in making our hearts flutter due to the sweet interaction between them. I like how they both maturely supporting each other careers. We may get annoyed by their quarrel in the early episode, but after you pass 5 episodes, you will get their feeling to grow respectively. You might be surprised by Liang Mu Ze’s sweet words and treats only for Xia Chu.
Here are some memorable parts of Liang Mu Ze and Xia Chu’s moments:
- Liang Mu Ze reprimands Xia Chu for not returning home after argued with him. Her running away from home is a childish act. If she is angry, she is allowed to shout back but NOT allowed for NOT return. At that moment, they haven’t confess their feeling yet, but Liang Mu Ze’s skinship while reprimanding her shows it all.
- Liang Mu Ze carries Xia Chu all the way passing hospital lobby after she sprained her ankle. He then takes her to his camp so he could taking care of her accordingly. He is truly a man of action.
- Liang Mu Ze’s jealousy after being provoked by Zhuo Ran. Then he kissed Xia Chu in the middle of their quarrel–after being intervened by Shao Xue.
- Liang Mu Ze forbid her quitting her job and moving out from his home just because her father surpressed her. He then takes Xia Chu to meet her father and confront him for her–again after Shao Xue stepped in. The meeting results Xia Chu’s father is getting more resentful towards him. But for Xia Chu, it is a proof how he loves her and prior her interest over his image in front of his future father in law.
- Liang Mu Ze heroically save his soulmate when Xia Chu is abducted and appease her despite he is injured. Xia Chu then performs a rescue surgery and super worried over his condition.
- Xia Chu ignored hospital rules just to save Liang Mu Ze whose condition is getting worse after infected by rare bacteria. Of course, it was initiated by Zhuo Ran.
The most episode shows Liang Mu Ze’s compassion for Xia Chu that he would do anything to her at all cost. He is also able to appease her screwed heart after facing problems by problems. But there is also time for Xia Chu to appease back the downhearted Liang Mu Ze. He is an ordinary human too. Though he is a soldier, there is a time he feels so helpless and needs a shoulder to lean on.
5. Not a sweet happy ending for all
While watching My Dear Guardian, I realize that this drama does not offer a fluffy sweet romance but portrays real life. That is in life we will never taste only sweetness but also the pain of loss and bitterness of failure. If most other dramas present the happy ending for the couple pairing, you will find it not in this. There are 4 CPs that each two has a happy and sad ending. Let’s count!
Liang Mu Ze – Xia Chu
As the main CP of course the two MUST have a happy ending after all the struggle they face. Netizen may go berserk if the SW puts a sad ending for them.
Tian Yong – Liang Shao Xue
The most tragic couple in this story and Tian Yong is the pitiest character ever. He suffered a gunshot and must undergo cardiac surgery in the first episode due to covering Xia Chu. Then he met Shao Xue who ignites the feeling he never had before as an orphan. But due to the big age gap, he put a distance towards her, despite her stubbornness to woo him.
Heading to the end of the episode, he is put on a dangerous mission to capture the mafia boss. And as the result, he has to give up his life. Before this scene, we will be signaled that bad omen when Tian Yong signed up as an organ donator after he dies. And to add it more miserably, his heart is donated to Zhuo Ran’s mother. The culprit deliberately takes his life through his scheme. Do you feel what I feel?
I extremely feel sad for this couple. They both already had enough bitterness in their past but yet they can not have a better ending.
Zhang Yi Chi – Chen Meng Zhen
Zhang Yi Chi is Xia Chu’s mentor while Chen Meng Zhen is a widow with a son. She was a wife to Luo Liang, Liang Mu Ze’s late captain. They both meet when his son should undergo cardiac surgery due to congenital heart defects. Their love was also facing hardship when Zhang Yi Chi accidentally infected Hepatitis B after performing surgery. They also have to face Yi Chi’s parent’s disapproval toward their relationship, but in the end, they are managed to be together.
Trivia: the actors are a real married couple in real life.
Zhuo Ran – Mi Gu
Although Zhuo Ran deceives her in the beginning, due to their frequent communication we could see that he also has a little bit of feeling for her too. But since he is imprisoned and has to face the law, he knows there would be no happy ending for them, hence he denies that he ever loved her for once.
He is a subordinate of Rao Feng, Shao Xue’s father. The SW is also cruel enough to let him die while he is expecting his baby born. The heartbreak moment is when he hears his baby cries through the earphone before his last breath. Give me a tissue, please!
I give this a full mark since I find this drama is a complete meal for me. You get the romance, the remarkable plot, character development, compassion and lesson of life, tension in the fighting scene, non-draggy, soundtrack, etc.
I watched the drama through iQiyi.
The Flaming Heart
Standing different but similar to the former two, The Flaming Heart depicts the love story between firefighter vs emergency medical team.
Huo Yan (Simon Gong Jun) “meets” Yan Lan (Zhang Hui Wen) through a walkie-talkie. Huo Yan calls the emergency number to rescue the accident victim and ask for instruction. He is actually a firefighter member but off duty, so he doesn’t have the proper tools to execute the rescue. During the talks, Yan Lan falls in love with his voice and getting curious about the voice owner. However, she didn’t take it seriously as she thinks it is just a brief moment.
The next rescue let their voice “meet” again and she feels that she has a certain connection with this man. Xiao Bai, the nurse who befriends her, helped her to get the person but turns out it is the wrong one. However, they eventually meet in an awkward gathering.
On the other side, Yan Lan is Luo Jie’s (Pang Han Chen) crush for 10 years but is unrequited. She only takes him as his brother since they both grow together and their family is befriended each other. However, their parents are hoping to see them together and frequently matchmaking them. In the latest lunch, Luo Jie’s mother pushes him to propose but he politely refuses the idea since he knew where Yan Lan’s heart harbored to. Yan Lan also makes clear to their parents that she and Luo Jie will always be her best friend.
Fyi, Luo Jie is also a firefighter captain and in one team with Huo Yan. But Huo Yan who joined later to the team is being promoted first to be chief instead of him. Moreover, the girl he likes prefers Huo Yan to him. Hence, he feels bitter to this newcomer but still prioritizes the duty over the rivalry. He even once rescued him who was trapped in a fire.
Three of them were then entangled in a drugs conspiracy initiated by Han Pei. Han Pei approaches Luo Jie’s father who owns a pharmacy factory and is willing to cooperate to produce his newly invented medicine. However, the pills he wants to produce are dangerous to be consumed and he manipulated the data by force. The three investigates this problem surreptitiously but later get caught. How do they manage to reveal Han Pei’s dirty scam?
1. Dashing rescue scene
The Flaming Heart emphasizes how the rescue is being executed awesomely with romance and crime conflict as its side dishes. You will find the tension in every rescue scene but not as strong as in My Dear Guardian. I’m pretty satisfied with this rescue scene though.
2. Quick paced story with rough cut scene
Due to its short episode and need to fit all the story, I find the scene was cut recklessly so you will feel the scene is jumping. The romance progression is pretty fast, compared to the former two. There is no meaningful romance conflict other than the Love square.
Huo Yan and Yan Lan like each other. Luo Jie likes Yan Lan and tries to hinder her from meeting Huo Yan. Liu Xuan likes Luo Jie and tries to courting him and manages to capture his heart, despite Yan Lan is her rival in the hospital. And that’s all.
3. Pairing up all the team’s member
I find this drama has the most couple pairing. I don’t know what the SW thinks to pair up all the medical team with the firefighter team. Do you want to know them?
- Huo Yan – Yan Lan
- Luo Jie – Liu Xuan
- Ma Qiang Li – Bai Xiao Lin (jie jie – didi lover)
- Li Yan Liang – Ji Yuan (bromance)
- Wang Da Yin – Jiang Tong (exception for this one, they are team mate with love-hate relationship that turns into lover)
4. Shallow plot and lame ending
Why do I say The Flaming Heart has a shallow plot and lame ending? Here is my opinion.
In the first half of the drama, we were presented with rescue action and romance development among the characters, which I think it doesn’t a necessity to pair up all the couple and only prolonged the duration. It would be better if the writer was deepening the main case of illegal drug production since I found it is finished in a rush due to reaching the end of the episode.
And as the result, I feel disappointed with the ending where the villain is simply just died like that instead of being sent into jail to pay off his cursed deed.
The Flaming Heart also showed a mediocre plot like followed:
- Childhood memories, where apparently Huo Yan and Yan Lan was ever accidentally contact each other through the walkie-talkie which I feel the story is rather bizaree and forced. The part isn’t really important and could be taken out without influencing the adult version.
- Childhood enemy between Huo Yan vs Han Pei. Han Pei character was indeed a jerk since childhood and is only getting worse in his adulthood.
- Huo Yan broke up with Yan Lan due to his insecurity over his high risk profession. He is affraid if one day something happened to him and he must leave his beloved family in struggle like his mother did. His father died due to saving a little girl trapped in the fire. And you can easily guess who is that little girl. Yan Lan. And there is a little conflict arise when Hou Yan’s mother knowing the truth. However, she keep supporting his son’s relationship as she also cherishes Yan Lan too.
- Abduction. Yeah, this drama also consist of kidnapping plot since the trio hold the important document of Han Pei’s crime and they investigate it surreptitiously. The kidnapping scene should be executed in much better way but it is more to rubbish talk than a proper rescual for the victim. Phew.
One thing that I praise from The Flaming Heart is Luo Jie’s character. Though he knows that Huo Yan is his rival in both career and love aspects, he still pays respect to Huo Yan as his chief and prior the friendship over the grudge. He knows when to withdraw and didn’t force his unrequited love. Then, he also gets another girl who loves him well too.
5. Ear catchy theme songs
Another thing that I like about this drama is their soundtrack that feels so catchy to my ear. What about you?
I find this drama is enjoyable to watch, just a pity the story is not solid enough to make this a great drama.
Similarities with Descendants of The Sun Korean Drama
Though the main plot of those 3 is not exactly as same as Descendants of The Sun, I do spot some similarities among them. What are they?
As I mentioned earlier, the dramas depict the heroic job of the police unit, army, and fireman that entangled with the female doctors.
1. Disaster scene
Both You Are My Hero and The Flaming Heart have an earthquake as their disaster scene (just like DOTS), while My Dear Guardian emphasized flood calamity. And through the rescue mission in that scene that our CPs were getting closer to each other.
2. Aggressive second female lead
All four dramas tell the second female lead that aggressively pursues an inferior second male lead. Let’s mention it:
- Yoon Myeong Joo – Seo Dae Young (DOTS)
- Ruan Qing Xia – Shu Wen Bo (You Are My Hero)
- Liang Shao Xue – Tian Yong (My Dear Guardian)
- Liu Xuan – Luo Jie (The Flaming Heart – Luo JIe is not that inferior but Liu Xuan is indeed such an agressive one)
- Jiang Tong – Wang Da Yin (The Flaming Heart – Jiang Tong has both brain and status while Da Yin is an orphan without proper education. But I love how he is striving hard to enroll Fire and Rescue Academy, so at least as a man he could have equally balance with Jiang Tong)
3. Female rivalry
Every time I watched a romance drama, I always wonder why there is always a female rivalry plot? Does a woman is a super jealousy creature? And it is rare to find about the male rivalry. As long as I watched, I just remember 5 Chinese dramas that tell about male rivalry, but those also include female rivalry:
Except for the first 2, the rest of the 3 dramas have a good ending for both two male leads. In the end, they are joined hands to help each other tackling down the main villain.
4. Saving each other’s life
The drama would be unworthy if there is no any nerve-wracking scene without involving our main couple life and death. And so does for that 4 dramas, saving each other’s life scene is mandatory.
So that’s all my opinion and review about 3 similar dramas which you may attract to watch. The theme itself is kinda particular, so if you were not into the action-romance thing, you may easily get bored and dropped halfway. But if you had the same taste like me, I bet you couldn’t stop watching them.
In the end, please tell me which one is your favorite among those 3 dramas? For me, of course, My Dear Guardian is still unshakeable.