SPOILERS! SPOILERS! SPOILERS!
Siu Hon Fong Wan
Adam Cheng – Huang Tian
Ekin Cheng – Bao Wen Long
Roger Kwok – Pan Lang Qing
Nadia Chan – Lin Zhen Lie
Amy Kwok – Huang Lei
Leo Koo – Bao Wen Hu
It’s been a very long time since I last watched this serial but I’ll try give the brief storyline. The serial started off with Adam Cheng as a big-time businessman. Being such a well-known figure in the commercial world, he had lots of problems with his rivals who used to work with him in a way or another. Hence, it’s quite expected that he got framed by one of his rivals. Ekin Cheng played an ICAC officer in the beginning of the serial, who was sent to investigate Adam’s case. However, Adam soon gained Ekin’s utmost respect as he worked on the case. Coupled for their acquired tastes for soup (u know how HKers like to brew herbal soup for health…), they soon became the best of friends.
Well, even the most successful man has his own set of problems. Adam had divorced his wife and got custody of their younger daughter, while his elder daughter, Amy Kwok, stayed with her mother. Apparently, Amy had always misunderstood Adam, and thought that he was the one who let her mum down which led to the divorce. Of course it wasn’t true. Once the matter was clarified, Amy began to work for Adam. However, Amy was dependent on her mother. So when her mother was killed in a car crash, she began to turn to Ekin, her ex-classmate, for solace and looked upon him as her boyfriend, causing much conflict and unhappiness.
I really forgot what happened but Ekin had lost his job at the ICAC after a few episodes. If I’m not wrong, should be because of some investigation. Anyway, it was because of this that he got to work for Adam, along with his good friend Roger Kwok. His love for Nadia was undying, but was plagued with lots of difficulties, finally ending in a tragedy.
Because of some misunderstandings, Nadia had rented the Bao’s extra apartment, which they had initially planned to keep for Roger’s dad after his release from jail. She was an introvert who loved to tell lies and gave a lot of trouble to the Bao family. After the Baos became bankrupt because of a business failure, they decided to take back the smaller apartment they had rented to Nadia. Since Ekin and Nadia had become relatively good friends by then, Ekin invited Nadia to stay with them as she had no where to go. Love blossomed after that, but her inferior complexity had caused much misunderstandings in the relationship.
Roger was Ekin’s good friend cos his dad was the Bao’s family friend. However, he despised his dad for being an ex-convict and treated him really badly. Yet, when he knew that his dad was actually Adam’s buddy, he immediately made use of him to get close to Adam. An ambitious guy, he would be the bad guy of serial, who caused many deaths, including Amy’s mum and Nadia. He even tried to woo Amy, and later Amy younger sis, while two-timing another woman, to get into Adam’s good books. Caused much misery to the poor girls.
Well, the story doesn’t end here, of course, but it’s really too long to relate fully. Go rent the tapes to know the whole thing.
Pity/ touching factors
Nadia: A poor orphaned girl with a sad past, which caused her to withdraw from people and into her own world with her dog, Zhen Zhen. This had also made her lose confidence in herself, which explains why she kept getting suspicious of the Ekin and Amy over the slightest matters. It was not that she didn’t trust Ekin, she just didn’t trust herself.
Once, Ekin had celebrated her 21st birthday. As he lighted up the candles on the birthday cake, he asked Nadia what she did on her 5th, 10th and the 20th birthday (if I’m not wrong). However, each one of them was ‘celebrated’ in sorrow. Ekin then promised her that from her 21st birthday onwards, he would promise her happy birthdays for years to come. Sadly, she had to lose her life just when she had the sweet taste of a stable relationship with Ekin.
Ekin: A filial son and a trusted friend. Sincere and genuine in handling relationships. But a little too kind-hearted, which often puts him in a disadvantageous position. His love for Nadia was undying, yet he had to bear the pain of losing his loved one to his once best friend.
Ekin’s mum: The pillar of the Bao family. She single-handedly held the family together when the family business under her husband had fallen, and even when her husband was keeping a mistress in China.
Adam: Tolerated the humiliation of his wife having an affair with another man, while allowing Amy to misunderstand him only because he wanted Amy to have a good impression of her. After he retired into the village with his lawyer girlfriend, he had to bear the painful reality that his girlfriend, stricken with cancer, would leave him any moment. Still, he stood by her throughout.
Roger’s father: For having a Roger as a son…
The last 2 episodes were too long and draggy. Sure, they have to show how upset Ekin was when Nadia was struggling for her life after suffering from serious burns. But they should have just made it short and sweet. The lengthiness marred the sorrowful effects till you want Nadia to just die and get on with the story.
Definitely Roger for the above reasons. He even tricked his dad into signing some contracts for his ‘new company’, later allowing him to make his dad the scapegoat for his all his illegal doings. When the ICAC caught up with his dad, Adam was forced to give up his business in a bid to save his long- time friend.
Ekin’s dad was also has his share. He disapproved of Leo’s Mainland girlfriend cos he thought that all girls from the Mainland were out for money only. However, he later had a mistress as he was working in Dongguan. He knew his wife knew about it, but he made no attempt to end the relationship with the girl, but instead tried to ‘reason’ with his wife about how nice the girl was. He even had the cheek to ask his wife for a huge sum of money cos the girl ‘needed’ it. His wife decided to leave the money on the table at home, and was prepared to give him a second chance if he had refused the money. Imagine the disappointment she had when all he did was to take the money and leave quietly! It was retribution that he was eventually cheated of his money. However, I feel that his wife shouldn’t have forgiven him. Then again, it was useless sacrificing the family just to spite him. The bond was more important.
Maybe Leo Koo (Ekin’s younger brother) and his girlfriend from the Mainland. Also, not forgetting Nadia’s Shetland sheepdog. Appearing almost every time Ekin and Nadia were together, it was the witness to the love between the 2, some sort of ‘symbol’ that represented the both of them. Nonetheless, it was cute.
Ekin and Nadia for their excellent chemistry and their long-lasting love for each other.
It’s a tough fight. Basically, everyone was excellent here.
Draggy it may be, some scenes where Nadia was dying were indeed heart-wrenching. One notable one would be when Ekin held their wedding in the hospital. He tried to put the ring onto Nadia’s finger but couldn’t cos she was wrapped from head to toes in bandages. He became really upset and begged Nadia to wake up as he sobbed uncontrollably.
Is it worth renting?
Definitely! Great storyline, excellent casting, beautiful script (if not for the last 2 episodes). One of the best TVB dramas in its time. I couldn’t help but think that many big productions nowadays bear some resemblance to this one. The ending was good also. Amy had written some encouraging words on some notes to Ekin. She spent those notes and years later, it was to circulate until it went into the hands of Ekin who was in England. How sweet and touching…