The first episode of Stand By Me (在一起，就好) basically boils down to battles between a shrewd producer vs. an even more manipulative general manager. Everyone else are just collateral damage. Sorry. Foot soldiers in their war. But it seems their war has nothing to do with making good TV and everything to do with with a decades-old misreported news on one of the most devastating earthquake to hit Taiwan. And our rookie director may be the root of their animosity, even if they don’t know it yet.
Stand By Me Episode 1 RECAP:
Twenty jobs interviews later, Han Xiaoqi is still woefully unemployed as a director and her dream of making a sincere television program that touches the hearts of viewers continues to remain an elusive dream. Good thing she is nothing if not stubborn. She pumps herself up for one last interview: ACE network.
There, she meets Du Weiting for the very first time. The man is the most sough after producer of his generation with countless hit shows under his belt. But for her, specifically, he is THE man who produced THE highest rated soap opera that her mother is currently hopelessly addicted to. She seizes unexpected encounter to ask him a question that has been puzzling her: Why are his shows getting so crappy? The heroine in his latest drama is threatening to kill herself in order to prove her love to her no good cheating boyfriend. The storyline is terrible.
He proves he is the best in his field by turning her criticism into an opportunity to promote his new show. He tells her that the tragic female character who doesn’t give up on her love is his way of encouraging his viewers to not lose hope in their dreams. And his new show is all about achieving one’s dream. And with that, she is completely sold.
They part ways happy and fill with hope. But soon they encounter their first crisis of the day. Different but no less troubling. She finds herself without toilet paper. He finds himself the center of a scandal. And only one person can save them from their hell.
Actress Jiang Yuwei is that person. The star actress of ACE network happens to be in the same bathroom as Xiaoqi and is kind enough to pass her the much needed toilet paper. Not one to pass an opportunity, Xiaoqi asks for her autograph for dear mom… on a toilet paper. But credits to her for noticing that there is something wrong with the actress. Apparently, the tabloids alleged her and the producer were dating and that she cried her eyes out after he cruelly dumped her.
The actress has no intention of squashing that rumor. Instead, she asks Weiting to the roof so she can accuse him of wrong doing in person. He, however, responds that she is using him to increase her exposure and is freaking out because she doesn’t know how to rein in the story. She denies the accusation and threatens to jump off the roof to prove it. Xiaoqi is shocked to hear that he is the real life no good boyfriend from his hit drama. She tries to stop the actress from jumping by ordering him to apologize. Their back and forth is captured by a news reporter who has been tailing the actress. Their interaction then goes LIVE on the news when the police and ambulance arrive.
The actress cannot be consoled. A tug of war causes the would-be-rescuers to fall off the rooftop and on to an air pad. While trying to stand up, Xiaoqi falls on top of Weiting. Not once, not twice, but three times. He has the long suffering expression the victims of unwanted skin contact usually have.
By the time they extracted themselves from each other, Xiaoqi is late to her interview by a lot. The disappointment of missing the interview oozes out of her when mom berates her over the phone for foolishly jumping off a building. But all hope is not lost. While looking for something to eat to perk up her dejected spirit, she bumps into her would-have-been-job-interviewer while helping an eccentric restaurant owner solve his lunch time ordering chaos.
Her interviewing manager has been stuck at that restaurant for over an hour waiting for his meal. Because of the happy resolution of his lunch problem, thanks to her, he offers her the job on the spot. Hooray!
During the same period, Weiting is at the hospital with the actress. Turns out, everything that happened on rooftop is indeed an act. They are working together to shake the network’s general manager off their backs. They hadn’t anticipate the manager would get the police and the ambulance involve to blow the scandal into epic proportion.
The reason for their manufactured scandal may have something to do with the general manager trying to cover up the fact that her husband was cheating with their star actress, or she is trying to hide the truth behind Weiting’s father’s misreported news decades ago. Either reason, the scandal pushes Weiting out of his executive producer’s job at the parent company.
Exiling him to ASTAR, the subsidiary company, where the woman from justice league who called him a “garbage for an excuse no good piece of dirt” also works at.
But wait. It is no exile. He has proof of the actress’ affair with the manager’s husband, which can clear his name. But he is willing to be the fall guy and be transferred to ASTAR, the lowest rated channel in ACE network. In exchange, he will improve the channel’s rating then be transferred back as the executive producer for both news and drama departments. It seems like he deals a hard bargain but it is not his only motive. He believes Manager Yang of ASTAR knows the truth about what happened to his father and is paid to keep quiet. That must the only reason the general manager hasn’t canceled ASTAR despite it’s abysmal rating.
Meanwhile, Xiaoqi tries to make nice with the new producer. All excited about working for a brighter television future that gives viewers hope, dream, and strength. He busts her bubble straight out of gate. TV is to sell the illusion of hope and dream, anything that gets the rating. She vehemently disagrees. He, in turn, tells her to put her money where her mouth is.
That evening, Weiting drops by the eccentric owner’s restaurant for a meal and intel. Yes, they know each since their college days. He asks the owner to find out everything about Han Xiaoqi. How does a country girl from a third-rated college with no formal TV production experience get a job with ACE network?
His question may be right on the money because that same evening Manager Yang reports to the general manager that he has hired Xiaoqi as per her instruction. She then tells him to watch out for Weiting. It seems suspicious that he asks to be transferred to ASTAR just when Xiaoqi begins working there.
Weiting returns to the office to find Xiaoqi falling asleep to the TV noise and waking up the moment he turns TV off… Like an elderly person. Even more disturbing is her ability to sense earthquake before it actually happens.
She suddenly pulls him under table and not a moment too soon. Light starts flickering and the office starts shaking. Just as suddenly, she slides out from under the desk to retrieve her DV and bumps her head while doing it. Weiting lambasted her rash action, risking her life for a crappy video recorder. His scolding reminds her of a similar scolding from her childhood. Which leads her to ask, “Are you my cousin once removed?”