First of all, I started this drama when I was bored and it was really fun. Warm on a Cold Night is a Chinese fantasy historical investigative drama set in two fictional kingdoms that are on good terms. But several incidents worsened the relationship between the two. See the full Warm on a Cold Night review below. But I have spoilers, so please be careful.
Title: Warm on a Cold Night (九霄寒夜暖)
Release Date: February 25, 2023
Genres: Historical, Mystery, Romance, Fantasy
Original Network: iQIYI
Available On: iQIYI and Viki
Synopsis and Plot Summary
The storyline of the drama follows Su Jiu Er, a young, talented, and attractive policewoman with a sharp investigative mind. He was from the Qian Kingdom, which meant he had a spirit like a rabbit and he always felt cold.
He is drawn to warmth, wherever he can find it. During her investigation, she is forced to go undercover, where she meets Han Zheng, a member of the Qi Kingdom’s ruling family.
Han Zheng was imbued with a wolf-like spirit, which gave him phenomenal strength and agility. It also made his skin very warm to the touch and it made Su Jiu Er want to hug him. But he lacks interpersonal skills and is rude and rude to everyone he meets.
However, those opposites also drew the two of them closer. The unlikely duo then forms a bond that grows closer as they investigate strange murder cases involving their two kingdoms.
Warm on a Cold Night Chinese Drama Review
Warm on a Cold Night is a fantasy historical investigative drama set in the fictional kingdom of Qian. Qian was a wealthy kingdom that attracted immigration from the neighboring kingdom of Qi.
Qian is a smarter and more capable administrator with a strong legal framework and institutions. Meanwhile, Qi survives in the cold and harsh climate of the North and is ridden by internal strife.
They are more primitive shape-shifters with immense, fantastical physical strength. An old treaty allowed Qi immigrants to improve their lives in Qian defending the frontier and engaging in more physically demanding professions.
The plot follows young cop Qian, Su Jiu Er, who has hot-blooded Qi suspect Han Zheng in connection with a serial murder case.
He discovers that she has a strange ability to relieve an incurable cold illness that has befallen her and clings to her like a lifeline.
They then cooperate reluctantly after it turns out that Han Zheng is also after the suspect Mu Yan. They start a fight but supposedly fall in love with each other as they investigate a series of mysterious cases that spark tension between Qian and Qi in Qian’s capital.
They are assisted by friends in high places including Jiu Er’s admirer and budding playwright Prince Wen Jun, her brother Crown Prince Wen Ying, and the highly spectacular general Qi Chi Lan.
For the main romance carried by the chemistry of Li Yitong and Bi Wenjun. Their stunning visuals and incredible charisma.
Jiu Er is a smart and logical character, a very shrewd investigator of consequential crimes in Jiuxiao City. Except for when he regressed to childhood, talking to himself in whiny, high-pitched tones, and behaving like an idiot.
While Bi Wen Jun provides a more nuanced portrayal, Han Zheng as a character is equally good. He is sullen, jealous, loses his temper, and becomes reckless. This is a role with the potential to be interesting and multifaceted.
Another romance is the story of Chi Lan and Wen Ying which is much more complex and interesting. Both personas are clearly written by writers who are much more sophisticated and mature.
Chi Lan is a wonderful female role; measured, analytical, calm, and cold as a cucumber with a barely perceptible air of danger about him. This woman knows when her head is turned but when it pleases her, she allows it anyway.
And you don’t want to mess him up because he makes for a deadly foe on any battlefield. Her interactions with Wen Ying are full of tension and have real depth and complexity.
Wen Ying was his real match, another charming and layered personality who was cultured and genuine on the surface but very hard to really get to know.
They are the romance I care about and they are one of the reasons I didn’t cancel this drama. I’d love to see their story continue down the road. He Rui Xian proved to be the real star of the show with his amazing portrayal of the character.
For the side and support characters, some of them get enough background and good characters. But some of it feels less.
The acting is also very satisfying, all the actors, both main and supporting, do their job well and they should be appreciated for that.
What feels lacking is the number of unanswered questions, cases that have nothing to do with the main plot, but brings closer clues especially why Qi turned people into monkeys instead of wolves through the poison.
Monkeys and wolves don’t come from the same DNA stack and that’s totally out of the blue. Poisoning his own people just to make Han Zheng choose between his race and Su Jiu Er? MY is completely insane, yet develops a brotherly affection for Wen Jun that he himself cannot explain. maybe because both of them were outcasts and Wen-Jun was innocent and too kind.
The unnecessary cases that showed the Qian people were injured, definitely did not indicate MY plan that all Qian must die, but it actually set up Han Zheng to understand the two races in a new way.
I also wish the ending was wrapped up better. The fight was amazing and brutal but in that last episode, the choices, and flashbacks of Su Jiu Er and Han Zheng risking their lives to save her, while great, shouldn’t just fade to black.
It also includes an explanation by SJR that he saved her, with a quick cut to the wedding and an explanation of the agreement that was signed although we have no idea why.
Considering the main cast only got together a few episodes prior, the wedding should have been done right. You can save the comedy for the post-credits ending. So not a completely satisfying ending; it deserves better.
Warm on a Cold Night Chinese Drama Cast
Li Yi Tong as Su Jiu Er
Bi Wen Jun as Han Zheng
Chen He Yi as Wen Jun
He Rui Xian as Chi Lan
Yang Shi Ze as Wen Ying
Wang Mao Lei as Hu Ba Dao
Hu Cheng Yi as Ke Ha/Han Zheng’s guard
Li Shi Peng as Liu Fu [Wen Jun’s assistant/guard]
Ma Yue as He Yin
Deng Ying as Qin Xiang Yi
Sonya Fu as A Hua
Li Jing Yi as Bai Yin
Qi Ji as Han Lin
Liu Te as Mu Yan
Shao Feng as King Xue Qi
Overall, this is a good Chinese drama and would I recommend it? yes, this drama has a lot of good elements if you can get past some of the confusion.
Mostly great mysteries, great acting, albeit a very slow romance, great characters, and decent comedy. All in all, a good show. You will not waste your time with this.