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Written by Funn Lim




"I think the entire basis of this series is to capitalise on her much speculated love life with real life lover, Christopher Lee and to promote her songs, because this series is like one long MTV."





SPOILERS! SPOILERS! SPOILERS!









Cast

Fann Wong

Christopher Lee

San Yow

Vivian Lai

Ix Shen

Cynthia Koh



Episodes

12



Produced by

MediaCorp, Singapore



Plot

The entire series is about a girl named Orange (Fann Wong), from her childhood to her chance meeting with a hairdresser named Henry (Christopher Lee), their love affair over the space of I think 5 years, their separation, the return of Henry, this time as a lawyer with focus on Orange as a successful manager in an insurance company and their blossoming love (again) which was disrupted by the appearance of Ke-Ai who claims she is the daughter of Henry and one of old flame, who so happens to be a very rich woman who intends to use her daughter to reclaim lost love and of course Orange's growing closeness to Ke Ai and her reluctance to take away a father from his daughter and her mother and a further I think 2 years separation. Maybe 3, can't remember. The point is I started watching this series in episode 10 because I didn't know it was being broadcast, at all.



Anyway, the long one taken from MediaCorp website.



Somewhat of a chronicle of Orange's life (from late teens to mid-thirties), Looking for Stars offers fast paced development and a movie-like feel that turns this twelve-parter into a captivating story. The story goes that Orange was born a happy child, even though she had only her mother with her. However, her life nose-dipped during her Varsity days when her mother suddenly left the country with her lover, leaving Orange all alone in Singapore. Replete with resentment not just for her mother but everyone else, Orange diverts all her energy and attention to her insurance career and becomes ambitious, even unscrupulous. That is, until she meets Henry (Christopher) in Japan and has a one-night stand with him. However, both parties write off the encounter as a frivolous romp but chance has them come together again. Back home in Singapore when they unexpectedly meet, their romance seems to have taken a turn for the worst as Orange and Henry come off on the wrong foot. As love dawns on the pair, wider riffs tear them apart as old loves and fear of commitment hold Orange back. Things worsen when her former boyfriend returns with hopes of salvaging their relationship. Confusion sends Orange to seek solace at the beach and as she gazes at the stars, she is washed with memories. When Henry wins her over with a pair of star shaped earrings, friction again drives them apart as the seemingly different individuals get the better of each other. Despite the changes that the couple forces onto their lives, they decide to part their ways eventually. Henry matures as he strives to prove to Orange and himself that he is capable of success. Orange too finds herself changing as under Henry's influence, she learns sensitivity and although apart, their love for each other remains. Then curiously in Japan, the place where they first met, Henry sees Orange again and notices the star shaped earrings that have held so much significance to them both, so elegantly worn by Orange. At that, the couple remembers love and realizes that their love for each other will never change.



Comments

My only reason for watching this series is because of Fann Wong who looked gorgeous in here, and very thin but very nice hairdo. It was nice to see faces that I can put a name to but I can't remember their characters' name, maybe one or two. When you have a series where the lead was called Orange, and her best friend was an effeminate hair dresser named Tequila, frankly, I have no other expectation for this series other than to see Fann Wong looking gorgeous. You can't take a series like this seriously when they can't even name their characters properly.



The one thing that struck me when I saw this series was the lens used, because it was blur and the cinematography was gorgeous. And with Fann Wong in high heeled boots and Christopher Lee in suits in sunny Singapore, it is interesting to see both of them looking fresh and attractive all the time. Her waif like figure was distracting, and so was Christopher Lee's waif like figure. I can't decide who was thinner by looking it on a gender basis. I do realise Vivian Lai was really not that thin and she looked very different from her Holland V character but sadly that was the only difference.



Plot wise, this series is seriously lacking, performance wise not much realism and sentiments wise, I really want to like this series but wanting and actual feeling is very much different.



Plot

This series boasts the minimum of plot. I may have missed 80% of it, but from what I read, I didn't miss much. This series doesn't try to pretend to be serious in any way nor is it a serious commentary on the issues with regards to love or even single parenthood. It is merely a series which feels very much like Fann Wong's MTV with the same bloody song playing again and again and again in every other scene. It feels like an overlong MTV, to cut the long story short.



But there was a plot, albeit a very basic one. We see things through Orange (why not Strawberry or Mango I wonder?) who was eternal sunshine from where I was starting to watch, ever nice, ever soft, polite, optimistic, in short full of the goodness of Vitamin C. Then we see Henry, the serious one but still one hell of a bloke. They parted ways 5 years ago, where since then Orange has matured, Henry has got his law degree from, surprise surprise, Cambridge and they missed each other terribly. I think they met in Japan, Tokyo to be precise and had a one night stand and had a very explosive relationship and parted on very bad terms. But this I read from the MediaCorp site, not the most dependable infosite when it comes to summaries. All well should end well but suddenly a daughter appears. I think this girl is the saving grace of this series because she is such a good actress and she does indeed live up to her name, Ke-Ai (cute). But how she appeared and how Orange suddenly just persuade Henry to accept her without first checking her background, doing some DNA tests and being angry as any new girlfriend would in her situation is beyond my understanding. She went all out to make the girl feel at home and loved the girl like her own, and then the mother (Cynthia Koh) appears who is a direct contrast to Fann. First, Cynthia has this red lipstick on as opposed to bubblegum colour of Fann's and she looks ultra serious whilst Fann looks demure, all the time. There were no serious fight over the man, just Cynthia holding him one night begging him to come back to her (after so many years apart) and Fann on the day of her wedding suffered serious injury to her head when she fell down after trying to persuade Ke-Ai to come down from the beams (I do not know the name of those things that one usually finds in a park). Ke-Ai was very emotional because she just found out daddy was marrying another. There was a brief coma, she woke up and then she left so that Ke-Ai can have her father. And guess what? Henry actually married the mother but the mother demanded for a divorce 2 years later and told him to go look for Orange and then he found her and they fell in love again.



For me this is a pointless exercise. I do not believe a person must marry the other for the sake of a child because at the end of the day there is no happiness in forcing a fake love from someone. Affection maybe, but not love and the child will suffer too for the lack of love between parents. What is unbelievable about this series is it is trying to create a climax that may make audiences go "Oh no, poor Orange, poor Henry, can they ever be together ever again?" The answer is obvious isn't it? And that is why this series is such a bad series. It is predictable at all the places it shouldn't be and not very predictable in all the places which ended predictably. I dislike the fact that in an attempt to make Henry more father-like or Orange more agreeable that these two characters just play along with the ploy of the child's mother who isn't the villain but should have been.



There was a sub plot on Orange's best friends, Tequila (San Yow) an effiminate hair dresser and his wife (Vivian Lai), a very materialistic insurance agent under Orange's management. The wife was clearly having an affair with a far richer client to which her husband was clueless about and how Orange tried to persuade her to not be stupid and she blamed Orange for everything and how at last after a mistake she did by submitting a signed agreement late which could result in non-compensation to a poor family and her losing her job & seeing her rich love with another pretty girl all in 1 episode she suddenly ran back to her husband, very apologetic and wanting him again.



The entire series is just too pretentious and too light hearted in dealing with very serious and heavy issues that I find it ... well ... I just can't take it seriously. If not for Fann Wong, I would say this has got to be the worst series I have seen coming from MediaCorp thus far.



Maybe there are reasons to watch it ... there must be ...



Performances Evaluated

For me, it was Fann Wong. One reason, one person. Acting wise, she is always good but diversity wise, she is getting too stagnant, too predictable and too complacent with the same look. Hairstyle may be different, but that demure look and polite whisper is getting a bit too pretentious for me. I want to see her in a different role, a villainous role perhaps or a role that requires real acting and not just prancing around looking good and hugging her real life lover whilst denying they aren't lovers when we all know they are. This series is like a child's play for her, she can just sleep walk through the entire series, acting is not a priority, looking good is. I am very disappointed. I thought she has had it with demure roles and I was pretty happy with her performance in Brotherhood but then she comes out with this dud and I am disappointed. She is capable of so much more, like Vicky Zhao she is capable of more better roles, as she is beautiful, she is a great actress and she has such tremendous presence. But like Vicky Zhao, she has very poor taste in selecting scripts. I think the entire basis of this series is to capitalise on her much speculated love life with real life lover, Christopher Lee and to promote her songs, because this series is like one long MTV. It doesn't test her acting wise and that makes me angry.



Christopher Lee is interesting for me to comment on. I last saw him in Brotherhood where he gave a above average performance of a man that I find it hard to take pity on. It is good that he takes such challenging role but sometimes his acting limitations limits his well, capabilities as an actor. In this series, his character is a character any average actor can act in so it is important that he offers something more than just acting, he must offer something interesting to hold the viewers' attention. I like the fact that we Malaysia showed to the Asian world we have such a tall good looking male actor, we are not just short pimply dark skinned skinny guys. We have tall, dark skinned, good looking, flawless complexion skinny guys. But that's where it all ends. Christopher Lee is a very suffering looking actor. I feel he will be perfect for a character that has been through much and seen it all because he looks naturally sad and morose. You may say he looks serious but I find his face morose, sad and depressing looking. He is a capable actor of the average sort, and he shares a great chemistry with Fann, very few real life loves do. But the problem is he is only interesting when he is around Fann Wong, on screen. He becomes boring when he is alone in a scene. I read that he is a cheerful guy in real life and I just wish that cheerfulness translates into his on screen persona but very rare, very rare.



San Yow is one actor who is constantly surprising me, because he has yet to be in the same two roles that I have seen thus far. He is always different but not very refreshing because how refreshing can an actor be when he is in every series I have watched thus far albeit in different roles? But acting wise, this is one good actor but thanks to his very convincing performance in Holland V, I still can't shake off his lusty and abusive image. This of course speaks volume of this man's immense talent. But unfortunately there is a limit to that talent and his limit is in this series. He plays an effiminate man, but he looks way too deliberately effiminate without any spontaneity. I realise with much regret he is not Xie Shaoguang and his performance in here is seriously lacking in ... what was the word I used? Oh yes, spontaneity. I do not like his performance in here.



Vivian Lai is one actress I never liked. I thought she was the worst in Holland V but she garnered a following after that series. I saw some of her scenes in Double Happiness and I thought she looked no more different than in Holland V, except I remember she looked a bit messy and she was walking funny. I saw some episodes of Three Women And A Half, and her dressing there was similar to this series, as in sexy and with very nice make up and a very deliberately done hair. Acting wise, she was no different from Holland V. She gives an illusion to the viewers that she is a good actress, because she has thus far played different roles but the only difference I see thus far is the characters she played (as in description), but not the actress or the acting itself. She is the same, all over. And even when she is the same and I compare herself with herself, she is totally inadequate as an actress. Her emoting abilities in this series itself, like vindictive, slutty, angry, dissatisfied, all translates into mild annoyances on her part. She just looks mildly annoyed but not much more. I wonder is there fire in this woman. Her voice is forever even toned, sometimes I wonder is there life in her voice? And when she does raise her voice, it is only by a few notches but not much. She is a Taiwanese, that I do know and her Chinese is very clear, her diction very good. But with her even toned voice and her deliberate attempt to talk calmly and in even tone, she gives me an impression she is hosting a language course and not acting. I find her over rated and I hope to see less of her unless she gives something different.



Cynthia Koh surprises me with her ultra serious and uninspired performance. She looked tired and she makes me feel tired.



I was very surprised to learn that the guy who plays Christopher's rival in this series for Fann's affection is Ix Shen, the current beau of Ericia Lee and one of those lucky few selected by MediaCorp in the cross over. And watching him in this series makes my blood boil not because of the man himself but because he got selected and the one I was expecting to be selected didn't. I must say he is a very tall man, but looks wise is seriously lacking and acting wise, even more so. Maybe he can host, or maybe he can sing but I wasn't impressed with his acting. My reaction towards him is the same as my reaction towards Qi Yuwu, and it was "Is that it?!". Apparently, yes.



Verdict

Strictly for fans of the stars in this series. By the way Fann Wong's hair looks gorgeous.



Rating





Interesting Scene

One very interesting one where Christopher was seen in a swimming trunk (and I rather not have seen that scene) whilst Fann was not in a swim suit but in short pants and white shirt. Why not a swimsuit??



Interesting Question

Is MediaCorp in serious need of a teen idol? A heart throb? A new lead as the older ones are growing older and pudgier or skinnier each day?



I would argue yes. Who could be a candidate? Some say Tay Ping Hui who has been around forever. I agree, because he is good looking, he is surprisingly a good actor and I like him. On the younger front, there is this much promoted Qi Yuwu (or 715 as his fans called him) from China and frankly, he is tall, he is skinny and he looks like Ah Beng to me. Worse still is his acting. I refuse to comment on his acting because that would only give many an impression I am celebrating mediocrity. No, less than mediocrity. He has zero presence. He can stand there and I still wouldn't notice him.



Oh yes, MediaCorp needs a new guy. I am not going to say who because I want my man to break away from MediaCorp and go global.



As for women, is MediaCorp in need of a new queen / princess? Fann Wong still looks young, she can still take on lead roles but Zoe Tay may be more happier as a mother after the birth of her first child. The others do not exist because it was always Zoe or Fann. But let's look at the older ones... I like Jaclyn Tay, I find her a class act and I find her a very good actress. One name often mentioned amongst the old timers (and she is not old) is Huang Biren but I find her range too limited. On the younger front there's the emerging 2nd princess, Jeanette Aw who thanks to her .. ok I won't be bitter about it. But she is a rising star but acting wise ... looks wise ... presence wise ... she is not in the league of Fann Wong or even Zoe Tay. She will be a star but that is thanks to the PR dept of MediaCorp. I heard of Felicia Chin but she got bombarded more than praised.



What do you think? Who can be the new King/Queen of MediaCorp and the new Prince/Princess?





1 comments:

  1. Ix Shen was one the first few to join Mediaworks so you can gauge roughly how old this serial is. Shown on TV in 2000 in fact.

    I only remember watching a few episodes of this. I don't remember having any negative feelings for it.

    I don't think Fann and Christorpher were an item then but they had a great on screen chemistry. And it was only 2 years back when they acted in Return of the Condor Heroes as Xiao Longnu and Yang Guo.

    Some trivia about Ix if you had not heard it before. Ix Shen and Christopher Lee both participated in the same Star Search. Ix won the male champion for that year and Jacelyn Tay was the female champion. Ix won that fair and square. Christopher was the runner up but becuase he was more dashing, TCS(before it became Mediacorp) promoted him heavily. Chris became an A lister while Ix languished in supporting roles.

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