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I finished watching Autumn’s Concerto aka Next Stop, Happiness. It is a Taiwanese drama, starring Vanness Wu playing Ren Guang Xi and Ady An, playing Liang Mu Cheng. This is one of the better Taiwanese dramas that I have seen. It had a tight story, with not too many digressions, there were no extraneous elements, as far as I could see, and there was good acting. Everyone in this drama acted superbly, up to and including the little child that played Xiao Le. Vanness Wu has improved from the last drama I saw him in (Peach Girl), and I enjoyed Ady An’s portrayal of Liang Mu Cheng, although she had this habit of shaking/angling her head that kind of got annoying after a while.
In the drama, Ren Guang Xi (a law student from the upper class) and Liang Mu Cheng (a working girl from the lower class) meet and fall in love. Guang Xi is a laid back individual, who hates his mother for her supposed infidelity to his father, makes bets on seducing girls, and does not care to study. His only purpose in life is to be a disappointment to his mother. Liang Mu Cheng lost her father at a young age; up until then she lived a lifestyle where she was pampered and loved. She was left with a stepmother, who grudgingly kept her. Mu Cheng, in gratitude and out of necessity, works all the time, and wants to study, but cannot afford to do so.
Guang Xi and Mu Cheng meet, fight, and then he tries to get a kiss from her for a bet. Although they kiss, Mu Cheng makes him think that she was making the fool out of him. Over time, the two grow closer as they share about their past, and talk about their lives. Guang Xi saves Mu Cheng from her perverted “stepfather” (actually her stepmother’s boyfriend), and defends her in student court for her supposed indiscretion. Mu Cheng is grateful, and seeing his dedication and gentleness, she falls in love with him. When she is realizing her love for him, Guang Xi finds out that he has a brain tumor with low chances of survival. He knows that even with surgery there is only a small chance that he will survive. He tries to pull away from Mu Cheng, but instead, the two end up making love.
Although, even with surgery, Guang Xi’s chances of surviving are low, there is a new technology out there that may save Guang Xi. Unfortunately, the technology is in the hands of a man that wants Guang Xi for his own daughter. Guang Xi’s mother spells out the situation for Mu Cheng and orders her to go quietly away once Guang Xi is in the operating room. In order to save Guang Xi, Mu Cheng decides to break up with him so that he can get the life-saving procedure. Guang Xi senses that something is wrong, and leaves the operating room to search for Mu Cheng. When Mu Cheng realizes that Guang Xi is following her and will not give up the pursuit, she makes Guang Xi believe that she would rather be with Tuo Ye (her best friend) than him (a broken individual). To add insult to injury, while watching Mu Cheng drive away, Guang Xi is stabbed by Mu Cheng’s “stepfather”, who wants revenge for his downfall at Guang Xi’s hands. Therefore, to Guang Xi, not only did Mu Cheng abandon him for another man, but she left him dying in the street.
Six years later, Guang Xi comes back into Mu Cheng’s life, not remembering anything of their past together. In the interim, Mu Cheng has given birth to Guang Xi’s child, naming him Xiao Le. Xiao Le has diabetes, and Mu Cheng struggles to raise her son and take care of his illness. Tuo Ye has been a steady friend all this time, taking Mu Cheng back with him to his hometown. Guang Xi has become a renowned attorney, and has fallen in love and gotten engaged to Yi Qian (the daughter of the man who controlled the procedure, and the one who was by his side through his recovery).
As Guang Xi gets to know Mu Cheng all over again, they become closer. Mu Cheng knows there can never be anything between them, and struggles with the love she still feels for him. Guang Xi is intrigued by Mu Cheng, asking her if they knew each other in the past. Mu Cheng denies knowing him. Guang Xi falls in love with Xiao Le (his own son), but he is forced to tell Xiao Le that he is not his father. Guang Xi is an honorable man and has no intention of breaking his promise to Yi Qian. And then, Guang Xi discovers pictures of his past relationship with Mu Cheng. He realizes that he has been lied to by everyone he knows and cares about. He remembers Mu Cheng abandoning him, and vows to get revenge.
Guang Xi and Mu Cheng marry, but trust is always an issue between the two. Although, Mu Cheng still loves Guang Xi, she feels that she cannot tell him the truth because it would worsen his relationship with his own mother. Guang Xi does not let go of his feelings of mistrust, believing that Mu Cheng has compromised by marrying him for the sake of their son. He still believes that Mu Cheng loves Tuo Ye, her best friend. It is only when Tuo Ye tells him the reason for Mu Cheng’s abandonment, that Guang Xi is able to move beyond the lies of their past. From there, the two can live happily ever after.
Vanness Wu does a great job as Guang Xi. When Guang Xi finds the pictures of him with Mu Cheng, Vanness Wu does a great job of portraying Guang Xi’s feelings of shock, betrayal, heartbreak, and anger. Ady An is a good Liang Mu Cheng, although most of the time, her dialogue delivery was so passionless, that I wanted to demand that she be more passionate. I can only rave about the little Xiao Le and his superb acting, and hope to see more of him soon.