“Brave Heart” is a 76-episode large-scale wartime legendary drama by Guo Jingyu and Bai Shan as the general director. It is also directed by Liu Ye and stars Yang Zhigang, Yu Yi, Zhang Shaohua, and Du Ruoxi. It is jointly produced by the Hebei Provincial Advertising Department, Chengde Committee Government, Tianshi Satellite Media Co., Ltd, Jiangsu Provincial Radio and Television Station, Beijing iQiyi Technology Co., Ltd, Heilongjiang Dragon Cultural Arts and Media Co., Ltd, Beijing Perfect Jianxin Television Culture Co., Ltd, Beijing Perfect Television Co., Ltd, Beijing Century Partners Cultural Media Co., Ltd, Tianjin Radio and Television Station, Shandong Radio and Television Station, Jiangsu Provincial Radio and Television General Station, Beijing TV Station, Chengde Perfect Jianxin Television Culture Co., Ltd, and Chengde City Cultural Bureau.
The drama premiered on Shandong Satellite TV, Beijing Satellite TV, Tianjin Satellite TV, and Jiangsu Satellite TV in August 2014. It was broadcasted simultaneously on iQiyi, Sohu Video, and Tencent. In November 2014, it was broadcast the second round on CCTV ’s domestic channel.
Similar to Guo Jingyu’s other legendary films such as “Iron Pear”, “Red Lady”, and “Dog Stick”, “Brave Heart” portrays the heart and soul of the citizens of the Republic of China. In comparison, however, “Brave Heart” has a softer side compared to other Guo Jingyu’s films. In this series, the two “brothers” stumbles from the juvenile stage to become the pillars of society.
Huo Xiaolin (acted by Yang Zhigang) offends security commander Zhao Jinhu (acted by Shen Junyi) and escapes from Xiyang, a province in China. Zhao Jinhu dresses up as a bandit and kills Huo Xiaolin’s family. Huo Xiaolin pays homage to Xi Wu as a teacher and assassinates Zhao Jinhu with the cooperation of Mei Mei (Duo Ruoxi). Huo Xiaolin and Mei Mei are likes each other but cannot escape together. Huo Xiaolin struggles in society and becomes a gangster in Hankou who would kill anyone at any time in order to survive. Lady Mei appears like a phantom and disappears in a dream. Only when Huo Xiaolin encounters difficulties can he discover the existence of Lady Mei. After meeting the Communist Han Qinren (acted by Jiang Tao), Huo Xiaolin finally realizes that he has gone astray, and he decides to leave Hankou with his family to return to his hometown of Rehe. In 1933, the Anti-Japanese War breaks out in Rehe, Huo Xiaolin who cannot bear to watch the Chinese land be tragically trampled by the invaders, sets up the Rehe Volunteer Army, which is later known to the world. Han Qinren and Mei Mei both come to Rehe to support the Anti-Japanese Volunteers in various forms. The Japanese invaders especially transfer troops from Tokyo to deal with Huo Xiaolin, whom they could never defeat. In order to let the world know there is someone who will also be there to defend the nation from the invaders, Huo Xiaolin leaves his wife and son and decides to sacrifice one’s life for one’s country.
The drama “Brave Heart” sets its background in the period of the Anti-Japanese Resistance War. Continuing the legendary line of works on legendary heroes, “Brave Heart” is produced as director Guo Jingyu’s sixth similar-themed series that also has elements of periodic turbulence, loyalty, and story of ordinary people. “Brave Heart” continues the emotional and touching elements of “Dog Stick” in protecting the family and country during difficult times. Te plot is full of ups and downs and a breakthrough is achieved with characters’ makeup and image portrayal. Instead of just fighting the enemies, the narratives focus instead on the inner transformation process of the protagonist after a change of fateful events. Especially for Huo Xiaolin, the main character of the show was designed to be a timid and cowardly person to a cold gangster, who after transformative fateful events becomes a brave man that steps on the journey to protect the country.
Since its launch in August 2014, Brave Hearts has hit records. According to CCTV ’s CSM50 City Provincial Satellite TV Golden Theater TV show rankings, the drama series has been broadcast from August 21 to September 17 and has won the viewership rating champion for 18 days. “Brave Heart” has become the longest TV show on all broadcast platforms. “Brave Heart” has been achieving the championship position in all 4 Satellite TV. On September 14th, 15th and 16th, Jiangsu Satellite TV, and Shandong Satellite TV follow to break 2% in ratings.
This continued all the way to the broadcast of the final episode which brought all 4 Satellite TV Channels to break records hand-in-hand. According to central CSM rating data on shows from 1900 to 2400 hours, all four Satellite TV Channels occupy the Top 4 of the lists, with all ratings breaking 2%, and a cumulative rating of 8.466%. The national network data shows that the rating of Shandong Satellite TV was as high as 3.5%. In addition, according to central CSM, the ranking data for prime time across all provincial satellite TV shows the cumulative ratings of the four TV stations were as high as 8.492%, and the market share was as high as 23.24%.
As the model for similarly themed dramas, the tv series “Brave Heart” performed excellently, creating remarkable achievements in viewership ratings. “Brave Heart” won the outstanding TV drama award on the annual National TV Drama Broadcasting Union, becoming the deserving first place of the year. The show has also received the “2014 BTV Gold Award” on the BTV New Year Party for Film and Television Appreciation in the year 2015.