Popular actors Yang Zi (杨紫) and Jing Boran (井柏然) will soon begin filming for the upcoming mainland Chinese psychology drama, The Psychologist <女心理师>. It is a film adaptation of one of renowned Chinese writer Bi Shumin‘s (毕淑敏) best-selling novels of the same name. A top Chinese psychological novel, the physical book’s sales volume reportedly exceeded 1 million, and it remains a strong influence in the industry.
The original book tells the story of Jiang Xiang, a country girl who lives with her mother after losing her father at a young age. Living in poverty, many of their neighbors had to sell their kidneys and bodies to survive. Jiangxiang’s mother had no choice but to sell her body to raise her daughter. Jiangxiang’s schoolmates often mocked and teased her for being the child of someone who “sold their eyes.” So when an outsider visited the village to look at cornea, Jiangxiang stopped her mother from “selling her eyes” and expressed her happiness at managing to do so. However, after her mother told her the true meaning behind these two words, “selling eyes,” the young girl’s life started to change completely.
At the age of 12, Jiangxiang was sexually assaulted by the butcher’s stepfather, and this memory remained in the deepest corner of her subconsciousness. Time flew by, and she ventured into adulthood while carrying a bizarre illness where her lower body would always be cold.
One day, she discovered her interest in psychology and sought to become a psychologist to solve her illness. She changed her name to He Dun and eventually opened her own clinic. He Dun received eerily strange clients, such as a patient with AIDS who wanted to shake her hand, a rich second generation who had a poisoned nanny at home, a retired veteran who possessed 101 dolls, and a wife who wanted to find a mistress for her husband to make him happy. It was hard to believe that these ordinary-looking people had personal stories that were so extraordinary.
One by one, their stories plunged into the deepest, darkest crevices of her soul. They began taking a toll on her mental health, and He Dun lost her motivation to continue running her clinic. She decides to supervise instead but still finds herself feeling lost and haunted by her darkest memory she locked away 19 years ago. While this memory made her believe there is no good man in the world, she finally fatefully encounters her Mr. Right, the useless son of her landlord. However, she is not tempted by such desires and works hard to get herself back together and reopen the clinic.
Such dark and psychological topics are rarely explored in Chinese dramas, but fans hope that the cast and production team will realistically reflect mental health issues deeply and reflectively. Though Yang Zi and Boran often act in idol dramas, this series will likely be a great challenge and opportunity to diversify their projects and mature their acting.
This article is written by Minna for JayneStars.com.