I see a ray of hope in the deadly boring line-up of the currently airing Sunday dramas. The pilot episode records a decent 0.61 ratings, I’ll say it’s decent because it’s airing on CTS, a channel which used to be popular in the past (Hana Kimi, Why Why Love, At the Dolphin Bay) and have now loses its popularity as it turns to focus on importing foreign dramas instead of broadcasting local dramas. The average ratings for their weekend dramas have been ranging from 0.2 to 0.4 so you could say 0.61 for a pilot episode is a pretty huge success for the wilting channel.
While Ep1 of Rock ‘n’ Road (A咖的路) is not without its flaws, it definitely showed its potential storywise, characters wise and I’m excited to see how the two people who are standing on extremely different spectrum will get together. Zhou Shu-Yu (Chris Wu) is a sharp, snappy, perfectionist and critically acclaimed song producer that’s the current trend in Taiwan. In other words, he’s the big thing! On the other hand, Lin Wei-Zhen (Kimi Hsia) is a struggling small celebrity who used to be popular as a child-star back then. She is determined to succeed despite facing numerous failures through auditions. They met once when Wei-Zhen was still a hot-shot child-star and Shu-Yu’s band was still unknown but ironically, fate brought them to two completely different directions. Wei-Zhen loses her popularity, while Shu-Yu’s band succeeded in becoming an A-list star and he even own a recording label, BS company.
If the leads are going to get together, they will be facing many obstacles as besides the differences in status, Shu-Yu also have a long-time stable girlfriend, Yang Jia-Xin (Nita Lei), a superstar under his label. However, their relationship is beginning to show signs of cracks due to their differences in values and ideals and Jia-Xin is stepping onto the dark side as she steals the song written by Wei-Zhen’s dad as her own. Furthermore, Wei-Zhen did not leave the best impression on the grumpy Shu-Yu so I can say that they set their foot on the wrong side but I believe that Shu-Yu appreciates Wei-Zhen’s determination to succeed. The story setting appeals to me more than my expectation as there’s complicated romance and above all, dreams and inspiration to success.
Even though Kimi Hsia does tend to overreact as Wei-Zhen, I still have faith in her and believe all that super-bubbly-act is just required by her character as she shown better performance in the recent heartwarming drama Kiss Me, Mom! (媽親一下！). Emotional and serious scenes are more of her forte so I’m anticipating her character’s growth. Chris Wu is charismatic as usual and even when he was facing veteran actors, he stood out and I ADORE his haircut. I used to be pretty neutral about him but I find him pretty hot in this drama and his face is soooo small that he makes me jealous, I think I understand why actresses dislike standing beside him as it makes their face looks big in comparison to his tiny little head. Nita Lei reminds me so much of Tiffany Hsu, it must be because of their facial features or their westernized-accent or their unnatural style of acting. I think Nita is still very green as an actress so I hope I can see her improvement in the future. On the up side, the supporting cast are pretty strong, especially Xu Li-Da (Mike Lee) as the long-time friend of Shu-Yu and Jia-Xin, he got the comedic timing just right but he can also act on serious scenes. Notable mentions will be Boss Ge (Chin Shih-Chieh) who is a veteran actor with ample of experience on theatre acts, you guys may recognize him from In Time With You (我可能不會愛你)
What I love the most about the drama is how vibrant the colors are! Not many Taiwanese dramas adjust their lighting, saturation setting so most of the screens look dull but Rock ‘n’ Road looks amazing on HD, that alone earns brownie points from me! I also realized the director for Rock ‘n’ Road is the same director for ToGetHer (愛就宅一起). I didn’t finished that drama but I remember their pleasant cinematography.
TVBS is really ambitious as the drama look pretty well-made, even better than their previous drama Kiss Me, Mom. If they continue producing quality dramas, in the near future, SETTV may face stiff competition from TVBS and hopefully, it will motivate them to produce better dramas. The most aggravating flaw of this drama will be how obvious the leads are when they’re lipsyncing and Nita’s voice doesn’t fit Jia-Jia’s deep, husky vocals. It distracts my attention but I’ll let it slide as the soundtracks are really good and overall, I like the drama. I don’t think I will write long reviews or recaps on Rock ‘n’ Road in the future but I will translate their official video previews and may include my brief thoughts from time to time in the future..
Notes: Please do not copy and paste the translations elsewhere,
just copy the whole credit section and link back to this post.
Translation Credits: http://wp.me/p2tDC3-pY
Ep2 Video Preview 1:
Ep2 Video Preview 1 Translations
I will sue her to death!
But this song is written by my dad!
Give me an explanation!
Tell me, why did you guys do such a thing?
I will take the responsibility for my own’s doing.
How could the song that our BS company released be a stolen work of others!
It will not only destroy you, but also destroy the image of our BS company, do you not understand!?
Then, don’t expose all these things!
Not planning to release this song under my dad’s name?
Now, give around of applause for our Yang Jia-Xin…
Ep2 Video Preview 2:
Ep2 Video Preview 2 Translations
All of the Taiwanese media will think that this song is composed by Yang Jia-Xin!
How could you all be like this!?
Find the evidence left by your dad for me.
That song is a love confession to me from your shy and stuffy but loyal dad.
But even before he left, I never heard him say the word “I love you” to me.