I think I’ve found my new crack drama. Which is good because In a Good Way is ending soon and I’ll need another drama to replace it. The find? Rock N’ Road (A咖的路). (Side note: The English title is a cute take on the Chinese title, which literally means The Path to being an A-lister). It’s actually been airing for a while on TVBS, but hasn’t been very popular in Taiwan (it’s the lowest rated of its timeslot). Which is such a shame because it’s an underrated gem with a strong acting performance by Chris Wu and an amazing OST (not surprising since it’s a drama about music).
Rock N’ Road is about a washed up child star Lin Wei Zhen (Kimi Hsia) who meets hotshot producer Zhou Shu Yu (Chris Wu). He’s a notoriously prickly perfectionist, a fact that stems from his passion for music. Too bad this passion has been lost from his former bandmate Xu Li Da (Mike Lee), and his girlfriend, A-list star Yang Jia Xin (Nita Lei), who betray Shu Yu for their own careers. Finding only Wei Zhen still at his side, Shu Yu sets out to make her an A-list star.
Chris Wu is really captivating here, as he always is. His character is actually extremely flawed and seems to care little about other people in his pursuit for perfect music. Except, Chris plays his character with such charisma that you manage to overlook the fact that he routinely makes his team work overtime to satisfy his demands (i see him as a Steve Jobs character of sort).
On the other hand, I’ve actually never seen any of the other actors/actresses before. I found Kimi to be quite annoying at times (as most TW female leads tend to be). I think it’s partly the writing and the way she’s characterized, and partly the acting, but her cute act gets old fast. Plus her naiveté is frustrating. Why can’t we have more realistic female leads? She wouldn’t survive a minute in the real world. How I miss You Qing from ITWY. Luckily, she’s been toning it down a bit, and she has great chemistry with Chris. Mike Lee is serviceable and Nita Lei does a good job with her role. She’s also ridiculously gorgeous, which helps make her believable as A-lister Yang Jia Xin. A similar role was played by Tiffany Hsu in Drunken to Love You (aka the star that values her career more than her boyfriend that she has to hide), and I prefer Nita’s characterization to Tiffany’s (though to be fair, I hate these kinds of characters in general).
I have some general qualms with the plot, especially with the naivete of the leads. I understand it’s endorsing this innocence as a good thing, but it’s also so unrealistic that I can’t but wish they’d be slapped in the face with reality and fail. Also, while it’s a good thing that they play Wei Zhen’s failure to become a star as a result of her lack of direction instead of her lack of talents (though is it really necessary – plenty of people fail to become stars despite having great voices), I still found it unrealistic for her to continue pursuing this dream of becoming a star. I’d say to cut your losses and switch to something more realistic at that point (she’s been at it for years).
But the music, the music saves it all. It’s wonderfully woven into the drama and the songs are just so fun. They do plenty of covers of songs and it’s lovely hearing the different versions. The opening song is so catchy and motivational that I keep catching myself humming the tune over and over again.
So I’ve included some of the OST songs below!
Opening Song: You’re the Only One (你是唯一) by MayDay
Closing Song: Happiness Soon (快樂快了) by JiaJia
Nita Lei’s of Happiness Soon (in the drama, this is her song)
Chris Wu’s cover of The Onion (洋蔥) by MayDay
The song that Wei Zhen always does her ridiculous audition to:
Chocolate (巧克力) by Jia Jia
Wei Zhen crashes a cover of this song: 睡衣Party (Slumber Party) by Jia Jia
The version from the drama by MaMi:
The song that Wei Zhen was practicing: Friends (original version)