Episode 2 of Rock N’ Road is not too bad – there are still classic slapstick Tw-drama moments, but the conflict in this episode is well done. Chris Wu is scary as Shu Yu, but he delivers the goods as the unpredictable and slightly eccentric musician.
Shu Yu is faced with a moral dilemma when he discovers that Jia Xin stole Wei Zhen’s father’s song. After quickly clearing up the initial misunderstanding that Wei Zhen is the one who plagiarised, Shu Yu is enraged that Jia Xin would do such a thing. Jia Xin makes things worse by refusing to credit Wei Zhen’s father for the song, because she had already told reporters that she’s including a self-written song in the album. So why not just take some time to write something else? The pressure from the chairman and public is too great for Jia Xin, who fears the delay would affect the publicity for her new album. Surely if the scandal erupts it would be worse?
This is where it gets interesting, because we see that Shu Yu is righteous enough to admit that they’ve made a mistake and wants them to do the right thing. But as the director of the company he also knows that it’s too late to change everything now that the album is set in full motion (and where in the music industry are they that efficient anyway? Everything happened so quickly). He grapples with his sense of righteousness and his loyalty towards Jia Xin. 8 years ago, Shu Yu was involved in a scandal, where something he said to reporters led to Ann (who I presume is a singer) committing suicide. This is probably why he avoids doing interviews. At the time Jia Xin spoke up in his defence and backed him as a producer. Since then, they’ve always worked together.
Wei Zhen’s development is not so pronounced, but we do see a more emotional side to her underneath her bubbly exterior. She wants to stake her claim on her father’s song; as it’s her dream to be the artist performing it, but Jia Xin has taken that away from her. It breaks her heart that she has to see her late father uncredited for the song, but ultimately she chooses to let her mother hear the finished product, without telling the whole truth of what she has given up. Shu Yu slips in her father’s actual recording of the song, with his voiceover declaring his love for Wei Zhen’s mother, at Jia Xin’s press conference. It was a goodwill gesture, just something to compensate Wei Zhen in what he could have done in that moment.
It’s no less upsetting for Wei Zhen though, as she is faced with her own sense of failure. She feels that she’s never going to be good enough to release an album and perform the song herself, so she ends up drinking her sorrows away. Shu Yu tries to give her some honest advice about stripping away her over-the-top antics while performing, but it all goes past Drunk Wei Zhen. It’s a tired trope, but I love watching drunken antics in dramas.
At this point, there’s very little sparks between Shu Yu and either Jia Xin and Wei Zhen, if I’m honest. Chris Wu does command attention in every scene that he’s in, and his portrayal of Shu Yu is interesting. I’ve watched Kimi in other dramas but only as supporting characters. I don’t really fancy her cute, bubbly act (mostly because of her voice) and her hair is horrid, which isn’t really her fault. I want to like her though, and hopefully Chris Wu will bring out some of her better acting.
Just thought I’d make a special note about the music used in the drama as well, since this is a drama based in the music industry. Wei Zhen’s father’s song (that Jia Xin stole) is also the ending theme song, performed by JiaJia. The title is 快乐快了, which mean happiness is coming soon, and the lyrics are just beautiful.
Also featured in the episode is a Mayday song 轧车, which Wei Zhen and her mother danced to. She was clad in a pink tracksuit and motorcycle helmet, lol. It’s a Mayday classic in Taiwanese dialect from their earlier days, and it brings out the local flavour in Wei Zhen and Mum, for sure.
Onion is a song that was originally released by Aska Yang (here’s his version), but it was written by Mayday’s AShin. It’s included in Mayday’s most recent Best Of compilation, as I recently discovered. The track featured on the show is only an instrumental version, but the song is classic, so I recognised it straight away.
More great goodies next time, I hope!