Based on real stories about real people, China’s Covid-19 drama With You (formerly Together)在一起 finally lands on screens tonight. The drama is made up of a series of ten mini vignettes set in different locations all around the country. From civilians to military, medical workers, builders and ordinary citizens, With You aims to pay tribute to their sacrifices and the hardships they’ve overcome in this fight against the pandemic. Proving that yes, heroes also walk amongst us.
It’s really a wonderful thing to see the dedication of all the medical workers, volunteers, and front liners being honoured and appreciated this way. And my guess is several artists also have the same sentiments looking at the star-studded list of who’s who in the industry who signed up to play a role. Let’s see, there’s Zhang Jiayi, Lei Jiayin, Yang Yang, Zhu Yawen, Johnny Huang Jingyu, Chen Shu, Jin Dong, Deng Lun, Hai Qing and Liu Mintao. There’s also Ni Ni, Zhou Yiwei, Tan Zhuo, Zhao Jinmai, Li Xiaoran, Li Qin, Xu Lu, Feng Shaofeng, Jia Nailiang, Ni Dahong and Zhang Meng.
I Am Called Dalian and Uncle Rabbit
With You is the second COVID-19 drama in China to air after Heroes in Harm’s Way. Amongst the real life stories included in the vignettes, it seems there are crossovers as well with tributes paid to real heroes. Jiang Wenqian’s story (蒋文强) in particular serves as inspiration for Heroes in Harm’s Way’s “Uncle Rabbit” (兔子叔叔) played by Ma Tianyu and its equivalent in With You which is Deng Lun’s short story “I am Called Dalian” (在一起之我是大连). It is only one of the ten stories that make up the 20 episode Chinese anthology.
Jiang Wenqiang is a Dalian man who accidentally ended up in Wuhan after taking a wrong train. Stuck in the epicenter of the pandemic with no place to live, he desperately called the hospital and managed to find himself a job cleaning its isolation wards. Although he is by no means a health worker or a doctor, he is an ordinary citizen whose small contribution to clean and to be a positive light in everyone’s day made a difference to those whose lives he’d touched.
Release Date: September 29, 2020 on Dragon TV, Zhejiang TV, Jiangsu TV, primetime on Guangdong TV, Hunan TV, Beijing TV and online on Tencent, iQIYI, Youku