Here to Heart | 温暖的弦 | Chinese Drama | Review | Episode Guide

Available on: Viki, YouTube, Netflix

Total episode #: 46

Dumpling-rating scale:  2.5/5

2.5 dumplings

Here to Heart 温暖的弦 is a ‘modern’ Cdrama based on a popular novel with the same name by An Ning 安宁. It stars Zhang Han 张翰 as billionaire tech-founder Zhan Nan Xian and Janine Chang 張鈞甯 as the intelligent but dis-empowered Wen Nuan.

The drama begins with Wen Nuan’s decision to return to China after working in the UK as a successful executive. With the help of her long-term pretend boyfriend Zhu Linlu (portrayed by Jing Chao 经超), also a tech billionaire, she ends up working for her ex Nan Xian as his personal secretary…

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How an executive comes to work as secretary blows my mind. The way it is explained is: working for Nanxian on the 66th level of his building is an honour and is in itself a managerial position. Once we have accepted that premise we are also asked to accept that Wen Nuan is also okay with working with her ex (with whom she shares a very messy/protracted history) while being in a relationship with his direct competitor, Linlu (albeit a pretend relationship). Despite the awkward working situation, her and Nanxian try to rekindle the love that they once shared…

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I always feel a little uncomfortable watching ‘modern’ Cdramas — they always seem to be toeing the line (and sometimes just jumping across it) between romantic pursuit and sexual harassment/assault. While Here to Heart wasn’t quite on the same level as My Sunshine 何以笙簫默, Zhan Nanxian’s aggressive and controlling behavior made the contrived romantic moments difficult to watch. Hopefully, (like Kdramas have) Cdramas with time will eventually move away from this male ideal.

Here to Heart c-drama Presscon

More in line with modern Kdramas, this drama is rich with product placement. Nivea products feature heavily — I mean who knew you could use an empty cream container as a photo frame! Another issue is pacing — this story, already problematic, was just not designed to be drawn out across 46 episodes. The consequence is a lot of repetition and unnecessarily long scenes (some with no dialogue at all just silence…)

Conscious that I have just sledged this drama, I will say that the acting and chemistry between the characters was quite good. There seemed to be a genuine friendship between the actors and is the sole reason I finished watching this drama.

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For those who still want to watch this drama, I have set out my episode guide recapping the key moments below. However, beware there will be ‼️spoilers‼️:

  • Part 1 | Episodes 1 – 27 | Miscommunication and regrets
  • Part 2 | Episodes 28 – 46 | Righting past wrongs

Part 1 | Episode 1 – 28 | Miscommunication and Regrets

Wen Nuan decides to return to Shanghai after spending 7 years in the UK. Her pretend boyfriend Linlu — pretending for reputation and his family — is thrilled and helps her apply for various roles after she makes it clear that she does not want to work for him at Dai Zhong.

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Wen Nuan ends up working for Qian Yu, as her ex Zhan Nan Xian’s executive assistant. Wen Ruo, Wen Nuan’s older and protective sister, is not thrilled with the arrangement and tries to speak to Nan Xian about it.  Linxi — a famous actress, childhood friend of both Wen Nuan and Nan Xian’s pretend girlfriend — is similarly not impressed that Wen Nuan is back. However, Nan Xian seems to enjoy pushing Wen Nuan around and telling her what to do.

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Wen Nuan’s return to Shanghai happens to coincide with a deal that both Dai Zhong and Qian Yu are trying to close, that is the acquisition of Alpha. Alpha is Wen Nuan personified. In episode 5, Nan Xian tries to recreate romantic memories with Wen Nuan, however these moments are overshadowed by the fact that Qian Yu poaches Alpha personnel as Dai Zhong acquires it.

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Wen Ruo sides with Linlu against Nan Xian. In order to help Linlu manage Dai Zhong’s internal affairs, Wen Ruo begins working for him in the finance department. Yi Xin threatened by Wen Nuan’s return, with the help of her fan/stalker/love interest Pan Weining, makes a series of plans to sabotage her. Yi Xin persistent attempts to destroy Wen Nuan — including by using a scorned employee and her abusive/dying father’s return against her — result in a misunderstanding between Wen Nuan and Nan Xian which leads to her resignation.

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Wen Ruo at some point explains to Nan Xian that Wen Nuan broke up with him all those years ago because she witnessed her confess to Nan Xian. Wen Nuan not wanting to make Wen Ruo uncomfortable/jealous broke up with him and uses Linlu as a scapegoat.

Nan Xian unable to accept Wen Nuan’s resignation basically abducts her and takes her to a mansion. The mansion is a replica of one that Wen Nuan described during their college romance days. Wen Nuan moved by Nan Xian’s gesture of undying love returns home to collect portraits of him that she has been drawing over the past 7 years.


Both Wen Nuan and Nan Xian realise that they are still very much in love with each other and in episodes 27-28 confess, consummate their love and start living together in the dream mansion. However, as there are still about 20 more episodes to go, it does not end here!

Side stories —

Wen Ruo begins a workplace romance with the much younger Liu Rui. Lui Rui helps Wen Ruo overcome her past trauma and her alcoholic habits.

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Pan Weining continues to blindly pursue Yi Xin. They consummate their relationship at a time when Yi Xin is particularly hurt by Nan Xian’s lack of affection toward her (note – Yi Xin was there for Nan Xian after Wen Nuan broke up with him and they are pretending to be in a relationship for her reputation, after she was caught in a scandal with a married man in Hong Kong), and

Another workplace romance between executive assistance, Ding Xiao Dai and director of Qian Yu, Guan Ti. Guan Ti, on the premise of developing his ‘robot girlfriend’ app, begins spending time with Xiao Dai but start having real feelings for her.

Here to Heart c-drama

Part 2 | Episode 29 – 46 | Righting past wrongs

Linlu, Yi Xin and Pan Weining escalate their plans to end Wen Nuan and Nan Xian’s relationship (all motivated by their own reasons). Linlu commences proceedings against Nan Xian for poaching Alpha personnel (assisted by Pan Weining) and Yi Xin tells Nan Xian’s mum about Wen Nuan’s return.

Nan Xian goes to London to defend legal proceedings while his mum (at Yi Xin’s bidding) confronts Wen Nuan. Wen Nuan, faced with the past, decides to leave Shanghai again. After she disappears Wen Ruo contacts Nan Xian and tells him the whole story…

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Basically, after Wen Ruo confessed to Nan Xian, Wen Nuan broke up with him and became depressed. Wen Nuan and Wen Ruo’s father (together with, Nan Xian’s father) decides to hurry back to Shanghai to be with his grief-stricken children. The airplane both fathers were travelling on has an accident and they both die. Wen Ruo unable to get over the guilt of causing her father’s death attempts suicide. Wen Nuan finds and saves her. However, the consecutive ‘disasters’ cause Wen Nuan to break down mentally and she begins to suffer from vivid nightmare and memory loss. In the end Linlu takes her to London and seek treatment.

Nan Xian finally understands Wen Ruo (finally… seriously)… and Wen Ruo returns to London to further seek treatment. Meanwhile, Nan Xian’s company is in total disarray due to the the law suit brought against him by Linlu for poaching key personnel from Alpha. Linlu’s company is also not doing great — that is, following the revelation that his cousin (and uncle) have been embezzling company funds and then subsequently selling their  shares to Pan Wei Ning. It is also reveled that Wen Ruo’s young boyfriend was Wei Ning’s spy…

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In the end, everyone gangs up together to destroy Wei Ning and take back their companies — and they succeed. This is all amongst the backdrop of the parental disapproval arc which commences at around episode 40. Nan Xian’s mother disapproves of Wen Nuan and Wei Ning’s father disapproves of a now pregnant Yi Xin.

The family drama culminates in a fake wedding… while Wei Ning steps up and takes back Yi Xin, Wen Nuan gets stuck in traffic and leaves Nan Xian stranded (he then heads to the UK for a Wen Nuan style R&R).

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In Nan Xian’s absence, Wen Nuan manages the company and does so exceeding well. This wins over Nan Xian’s mother. Once Wen Nuan receives a nod approval she heads to the UK to search for Nan Xian… and they meet, make-up and it is revealed that they are also pregnant.

Wen Ruo ends up with Liu Rui, Xiao Dai with Guan Ti and Linlu alone (although he has his company and parental support). Miscommunication is the word for this drama — if only the characters were direct and open, we could have avoided a whole lot of pain agony.

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Here to Heart had some good moment but the repetition was excruciating… the number of times a character had to ‘disappear’, I would not be able to count on one hand — seriously. CDrama heavens, for next time please restrict modern dramas to the twenty-something episode.

What did you think of Here to Heart?











  1. Great review. Yes, the bullying that goes on is not fair. Quite a few modern C-Dramas have this issue with bullying of the female character. Sometimes it’s quite cruel and goes beyond common sense. These dramas have an opportunity to correct this type of behavior. What I don’t understand is why the character would allow this type of behavior (why would their society). Are women so insecure they are willing to put up with any type of behavior?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great review! I agree with you on many points – especially the aggressive and controlling behaviour of Nan Xian!

    I also felt like the show was stretched far too long. It could’ve been easily wrapped up in less than 20 episodes. I feel like so many extra scenes were added in just to extend the show. Like the whole office drama between Wen Nuan and the secretary who pretended to be pregnant and get revenge against her? So weird.

    I also didn’t like how heavily the show focused on Xi Yin and Pan Wei’s romance. It felt so weirdly shoed in – the show was supposed to be about Nan Xian and Wen Nuan and instead I felt like a significant part of it was devoted to Xi Yin. Not a fan. I would’ve rather they just cut down and focus on the leads and ended it earlier.

    But I agree – the acting and chemistry were really great. Shame the writing wasn’t.


  3. I like these kind of drama but I noticed most of these Chinese love story that I watched, the ending is sucks! It’s so much drama in the beginning and when it came to the end, it’s just simple as that; there is no thrill that the viewer will be satisfied.


  4. This story hit in so many romantic wats it kept you interested. Then the wheels turned and the non communication between the two was hard to take at times. The union of the greedy, nasty, obnoxious ex friend was truly overbearing and crude. She should have been told to back off by ex boyfriend. The game playing between thoughts two was brutal. The mother lies was off the spectrum of normality. I don’t care if it’s their custom. REALLY!!! The love between the two was heartbreaking and unreal to have let her endure all of his inflicted pain and she was only to cowardly take the abuse, then turn and walk away damaged even more. We got to see more romantic side of the friend and him. Than with the true love couple. REALLY!!!! The ending was one of disbelief and unfelt romantic union. Then their married and having a baby. If they’d cut out the nasty friend and added more of the true love couple. I would have been a true happy person. All in all I was happy I guess. Please have a second season.


  5. I agree with the comments that there was way too much abuse of the main female character. There were also too many story lines that took away from the main couple.I found that her character was traumatized and was a bit beaten down, and therefore acted accordingly. The main couple were both superb and I hope that there will be a season2. Hans Zhang and Janine Chang can act and they both sing too!


  6. Such asinine comments from folks who truly don’t understand nuances. I’ve watched the show 4 times and it gets better. The angst in the drama and the angst are wedded together. I truly liked and enjoyed the drama.


  7. As much as I enjoyed this drama, the emotional interaction between the two main leads was heart wrenching….their chemistry was simply mind blowing! I totally agree with comments the storyline should have focused more on them with more screen time. Handsome Linlu added flavor to the drama with his humor 😊. Casting and acting was credit worthy. However, the abrupt ending was disappointing. Hope they consider season 2 🤞.
    With her radiating simplicity, beauty and superb acting, Janine Chang has become one of my favorite actresses.


  8. Agree that the drama was much too long…too repetitive. The amazing chemistry between the lead characters…..I am wondering how they are off set. I didn’t mind his abrupt behavior…thats what the character was so seemed believable. Linlu along with his handsome self brought in some humor. I couldn’t stop watching!


  9. It gets a little boring with her getting so hard to get , gotta stop making these movies so drawn out and your ending so short
    Gets boring as hell


  10. I like the Asian shows but some are too silly and the dramas are so drawn out. Omg gets tiring her hard to get it’s too annoying , takes too long


  11. Agree to having the ending pan out more than just a dance, etc. I’ve watched this drama that I actually memorized the song they sang together…but again, a lot would have gained more if the ending was stretched out to show the wedding, etc. I just hoped they had the novel in English; would have loved to read the “true” fiction of the story…………..


  12. I’m black and I loved it! I have fallen in love with Zhang Han! I sit in front of the TV and read every subtitle! I can’t believe there will not be a season 2. Please reconsider!


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