VERY IMPORTANT NOTICE

A must read, if you don't already know ...








Written by Funn Lim


This review was posted many years ago, exactly when I am not sure but it should be within months from the original broadcast of this series. I am posting it as I have posted it originally.


SPOILERS ... SPOILERS ... SPOILERS



Why Colourful Life as the title
I forgot the Chinese Title but it has been a long time I come across a title that suits the "feel" of the series. This is indeed a very colourful series in terms of sets and a little bit does reflect on the storyline.

Length
Very rare these days for Longwinded TVB -10 tapes/20 episodes

Casts
Gigi Wong Sook Yee - 2nd Mdm Ching (Mom)-pic 6
*Unknown name- 3rd Mdm Ching (Mom)
*Unknown name- Ching Chi Seng -pic 9
Yuen Siu Cheung - Ching Chi Pok
Ronald Cheng - Cheng Chi Yoong
Frankie Lam - Ching Chi Hin
Myolie Wu Hang Yee - Ching Weng Chi
Soh Yoke Wah - 1st Sister In Law>
Florence Kwok - Sit Siu Siu (2nd sister in law)>
Mui Siu Wai - 3rd Sister in Law>
Annie Man - Dun Chu (4th Sister in Law)
Ellesmere Choi Chii Kin - Foong Tai Sang
Chu Mi Mi- Mei Wan (Mdm Foong)
Tang Siu Juen - Suen
Mark Kwok Yiu Ming - Man Bun ( Actually the correct spelling should be Mun Boon, but I am just too lazy to correct the spelling in this review so please do read Bun as Boon).
May Kwong - Mung Si
Wong Lam - Ah Si Mah

Summary
A Series about family divided by greed at last united by poverty and the process for which they discover a poor family that is united is far more stronger and happier than a rich family who is divided. And some on love relationships.

And that means...
This is a family drama, which focusses on the daily lives of all the Ching members, specifically on Annie Man and Frankie Lam's characters but still enough room in 10 tapes for the development of other important characters. Strictly family comedy with tiny teensy weensy bit of drama at the end.

The Plot/Storyline
Strictly speaking, this series has no big plot nor does it depend on its so called plot to engage us throughout the entire series. If you are expecting some sort of revenge plot, some like a girl who came far from another nation forced to marry a man she did not love and so she torturds him emotionally, blah blah blah.. this is not the series. This ain't Taiwanese series or even long winded and complete waste of time of some recent TVB series. The beauty of this series is that it does not pretend to be an intelligent series with thought provoking plot which really aren't thought provoking at all. Probably provoked you to swicth off the TV. And so this in my defination is a simple series with some relationship comedy and plot and not situation plot, so to speak.

Aiyor....the PLOT! Pleeeeeaaasssee
Before I proceed, I'd like to post a warning here for those who hates me for revealing the ending.because anything beyond this paragraph will reveal almost the entire content of this series. And so I have decided, in those rare times, to reveal my verdict first. For anything on the plot, the above suffices.

Verdict and Funn's Honest Recommendation
It has been a long time I have seen a series that is not pretentious and utterly enjoyable, up until the 20th episode. So if my word has any bearing to your choice in what series to watch, put this series on top of you "Must Watch If Not Thunder Will Strike" list. I would bet that you'll find it funny and quite charming really. Utterly and absoultely enjoyable up until the 20th episode would be my verdict. And my recommendation would be to RENT RENT RENT this one.


The PLOT

Once upon a time, in the wealthy and happy Tang Dynasty, lived the Ching family who specialises in the manufature of colourful Textiles and management of their one and only famous Textile shop, Kit Choi Fong. The Ching family was headed by Madam Ching, who was actually the second wife of the old Mr Ching that has died and was an unseen figure in the story, so we can forget about him. Then there's Kam Heng, the 3rd wife of dead Mr Ching. And both of them have their own set of children and in laws but no grandchildren. To simplify my explanation of the plot later on, below is a simple chart on the relationship. Nothing fanciful.



Who Son/Daughter Of Played By Married Who Rank in Family
Ching Chi Seng 1st Wife (died) Unknown So's character 1st in rank, last in respect
Ching Chi Pok Kam Heng-3rd Wife Yuen Siu Cheung Florence's Siu Siu & Tung Mui 2nd in rank
Ching Chi Yoong 2nd Wife Ronald Cheng Mui Siu Wai 3rd in rank
Ching Chi Hin 2nd Wife Frankie Lam Annie's Dun Chu 4th in rank, youngest son
Ching Weng Chi 3rd Wife Myolie Wu Choi's Tai Sang 5th in rank, only daughter
Each child has their own set of personality that is contrary to their names, and their very own set of of wives.

The CHing Children

Ching Chi Seng :He is the oldest in the family, the child of the unseen first dead of wife of the Ching family.Whe he was little, he suffered from high fever and thereafter his characteristics were that of a child who were naive and unable to protect himself. In the family, he is protected and loved by three person, one is his own wife, a girl from a rich prominent family that had no choice but to marry this man because they were engaged since young , his brother Chi Hin, and his very protective "mother", the 2nd Mdm Ching (Wong Sook Yee). He may not be the smartest, but in his own simplicity of his thinking, he is a very thoughful and understanding husband, a very loyal son and even when his own family accused him and taunted him as being stupid, he never had any hatred towards them.

His Name Means : If you just kinda twist the pronounciation a bit, his name means "The Smartest". Direct opposite from his own real self. Not that he was THAT stupid.

Ching Chi Pok : He is the 2nd son in the family and a failed scholar, the child of the annoying 3rd Mdm Ching, Kam Heng. Like his mother, he is calculative and greedy. Always feeling that he has little to gain in the CHing Family, he tried to wrestle the power for control over the shops, but ended up marrying the worst woman in this series and singlehandedly caused the entire family to go brankrupt, thought it wasn't his entire fault.

His Name Means : In another pronounciation, it could mean "The Most Hardworking", which he wasn't. Florence's name, Sit Siu Siu actually sounds like "Losing A Little of Profit" or a much more accurate translation, "Losing A Little".

Ching Chi Yoong : Third son in the Ching ranking and the eldest son for 2nd Mdm Ching, he married Mui Siu Wai and enjoyed good life, good food, good fashion, good everything that he kinda forgotten that one must work to enjoy life at the end of the day. He didn't work for the longest of time, and though he may be the son of 2nd Mdm Ching, she had little expectation on this son to take over the shops, though he tried hard to gain control after Mui insisted that he tried. But finding such wrestling of power meant he had less time playing with his favourite antiques, or sleep, he gave up after one big misunderstanding that was 2nd son's fault. He decided to enjoy life as he said: " Why should I work that hard when at the end of the day what 2nd brother earns for the family will go to me as I will have pocket allowance?". And so he went back to his old ways until the family fell into poverty and on then did he realised that working hard together as a family was far sweeter than enjoying life alone.

His Name Means : "The Bravest" ,clearly not.

Ching Chi Hin : 4th in the family and youngest son for 2nd Mdm Ching, beloved by most of the family because he was not interested in the race for control over the shop but wanted to sit the imperial exams and pass it and become a minister, he was forced to marry an unknown person who was given as a gift by the far away tribal people to the Tang King but was instead given to Chi Hin as a wife as the King wrongly assumed that this woman must be ugly after seeing some really ugly women from the same race, Chi Hin didn't want to marry her but was forced to do so. He hated her at first for her unruly ways, and especially when he loved to marry an intelligent and thoughtful wife who was a lady. Annie's Dun Chu (which actually sounds like "Stupid") was not the kind of woman he wanted to marry. But he became fast friends with her and studied hard for the imperial exams which Annie has caused him to miss it 3 years ago. He later took the exams never knowing his entire family was chased out of their ancestral home and was living on poverty until he came back as 1st in the exams and everything went back to normal, until he became embroiled in a deadly and shortlived power struggle that had a great deal to do with his background.

His Name Means : "The Most Humble", but at the beginning, he was rude and arrogant towards Annie but actually he is a nice guy who thought he married the wrong woman.

Ching Weng Chi : The only daughter in the family, she is the yougest child of 3rd Mdm Ching. The mother pressurred this young and intelligent girl to learn dancing, being ladylike, etc for one purpose; so that she can hopefully become a concubine. The mother who was actually a maid in the Ching family befroe she married Mr Ching hated the fact a former maid of hers caught the fancy of the present Tang King and became his favourite concubine. But little did she know that Dun Chu would influence her timid daughter to be her ownself. She fell deeply for the simple, hardworking but a very good man, Foong Tai Sang, and she was even willing to give up wealth to be with him. But the mother disapproved strongly because Tai Sang was the son of Chu Mi Mi and thus was of lowly status and because he wasn't the Tang King. Dun Chu helped them and at last they eloped only to come back to almost deadly consequences.

Her Name Means : No hidden meaning for this one. Pity though as I almost enjoyed dechiphering the hidden meanings of the names.

The Ching in-laws
Some of the more notable characteristics of the Ching daughter in laws.

1st in law-So Yoke Wah : She was the most well dressed in the family, and by the way they would talk about her behind her back, that she ate the best food, dress the best clothes, did not mind losing big in mahjong, and being so articulate in her speech and mild mannered and ladylike in her behavious, we all would know that she came from a wealthy and educated background. But why would such a perfect lady marry such an imperfect man that all called him as stupid? She didn't want to but since they were little children, and I assume it was before the big son got sick with that fever, they were engaged and the father probably had no choice but to honour that agreement. Clearly her father was not a powerful man, but rich because if he was powerful, she wouldn't have to marry him. She was a dutiful wife, given the important duties and tasks of running the household's finances whilst 2nd Mdm Ching ran the business. She tried her best to please everybody, tried her best to protect her huband, but we all know that there were times she wished he was the one doing all the protection. And she wanted children but clearly there was none. When her father became bankrupt, she was desperate enough, to believe Dun Chu's claim that by burying your gold in the hou'se backyard, it will grow more gold. She did not want anybody to know that her father was poor, because she knew if certain group of people know that, she would lose whatever little position she had in the Ching household. But 2nd Mdm Ching did not want her to lie anymore, and advised her to come clean and that she will forever be her favourite daughter in law. She finally let go of her ego and pride and admitted that she was poor and she would not be eating bord's nest as breakfast anymore. Nobody dared say anything because of 2nd Mdm Ching. And true enough, when she had an opportunity to leave this life to be with her wealthy cousin, there was no doubt in anybody's mind(like the viewers) that she would stay and refuse to elope. because frankly she has my vote as my most favourite character in this series for her loyalty, giving attitude and respect for her husband.

2nd in law-Florence Kwok : Not my favourite character at all. At the beginning she was calculative and greedy. Clearly because by her dressing and the gold on her head, she came from a poor family. Don't ask me why how come so poor can still marry into a rich family. But whatever you can call her, you can't call her as disloyal. even when her mother in law, Kam Heng insulted her for being barren, and poor, she dutifully served her. Right up until she was too arrogant and insulted a maid in the family named Tung Mui, who subsequently seduced her husband, Chi Pok and became pregnant. And she protested the fact that that woman could marry into the family but because Tung Mui was pregnant, she could say nothing. And Tung Mui pretended to be such an understanding person, even Mui Siu Wai's 3rd in law's character trusted her. SO much so that when they discovered voodoo dollsin her room, they believed the conniving Tung Mui than her, and so the husband, who actually forgave her divorced her at the insistence of Tung Mui who said she feared for her child's life. She went back to her family, and worked to earn her own money. Up until one day she bumped into Mui, who became friends with her again. But she refused to forgive her husband until the mom in law and husband begged her for forgiveness and 2nd Mdm Ching threatened to kick them out of the house.

2nd in law-Tung Mui : Seeing how poor the family, she stole all the money and gold and everything else and ran away. The Chings woke up to realise all was lost and they were kicked out of their house for unability to pay the debt. Tung mui was nowhere to be seen until five years later where we all knew she died, and her son became a thief that stole Chi Pok and Siu Siu's bag of money. When they knew who he was, Siu Siu not only took him back home but called him her son, though she already had a daughter by now. Yes, people can change I guess, for the better.

3rd in law -Mui Siu Wai : The one that talked like her husband..with a signature tone of their own.You ahve to ehar it to know what I am talking about. She came from a middle class family and when the series opened, she was already married to him for less than a year, and childless. She would always picked fights with SIu Siu, but she wasn't mean. When she thought she was pregnant, due to the mistake of the doctor, she went overboard and became arrogant up until she found out she wasn't pregnant. So she had to think of a way to pretend that she suffered a miscarriage and at that point, she was mean and you could have hated her. She deliberately bumped into Dun Chu and pretended to suffer miscarriage, including bribing the doctor. As a result Dun Chu was scolded by her husband and in laws, and so she and Ah Si Mah walked out of the house, up until she saw that Ambassador that I have mentioned above somewhere or maybe below because this review being so long and my brain only having 1mb of storage capacity, I can;t really remember what I wrote, and made an arrangement with him which I shall explain below. When the truth finally came out, they were apologetic and became a maid for a day for Dun Chu. Later on we will know that actually Mui was not THAT bad. Because you could call her anthing, but when it comes to her husband, to her nobody can call him useless. She was protective of her husband and during poor times stood by him and the Chings.

4th in law - Annie Man's Dun Chu : she ccame from the great General of the Tou Puo's family (a country that I assume of a mixture of Mongolian and Tibetan) but for 16 years she grew up with her bandit grandpa. Yes, the father married a bandit's daughter and when the mother ha dan argument with the father, took the child with her to her bandit father. So our Dun Chu was not ladylike, not smart at all but fiercely loyal to her clan and her future husband. She was forced to marry to China and though she wa srelcutant at first, but hearing that in China there were lots of warrior men, she went eagerly only to realise she married a physically weak scholar. Due to her curious nature, she was quite destrcutive in the Ching family, often causing problems to Mdm Ching. When they found out she was a bandit's grandchild, they were afarid of her and often accused her of stealing. Even her so called husband whom she often called useless did not believe her. that was when she walked out when she was accused of causing the miscarriage of Mui's unborn child. But whilst she was out there, she met teh Ambassador of Tou Puo and was told that if she could find his long lost child with three indications(a mole on his chest, a golden butterfly and a flower shaped jade), she could go home to Tou Puo. And so she devised a plan where she could go back to the Chings without begging and once there she thought Chi Hin was the one since he had that golden butterfly. And then she saw a barechested Tai Sang and saw his mole on the chest and that the butterfly was a gift from Tai Sang to Chi Hin. And she thought she found the long lost son. Using many many ways to get Mei Wan(Chu Mi Mi) to admit tah fact, and failed, for several irritating episodes we have her trying to drill the truth out of Chu Mi Mi. Rather boring at this point. Anyway after awhile she was reluctant to go home because by that time the mutual liking and friendship between Chi Hin and Dun Chu grew into mutual respect and Dun Chu wa sfalling for him but knew she couldn't say much because by this time Chi Hin was with Mung Si. But when Mung Si came back a married woman, that was when the relationship blossomed into love. But bigger problems awaits them when finally Mei Wan revealed thr truth about the mssing child that Dun Chu was looking for.

5th in law- Choi's Foong Tai Sang : Son of Mei Wan and nephew of Suen (Tang Siu Juen), she was not really educated and worked at the textile factory as an assistant.He became fast friends with Dun Chu and was a childhood friend of Chi Hin. He fell for Weng Chi and eloped with her. That was not the main plot here. Anyway Dun Chu thought he was the son of the Ambassador but could not confirm it with Mei Wan until the real truth came out. Nothing much to say about him actually.

You mentioned this....So, What Was The Deadly Consequences?
I mentioned ALMOST deadly consequences. You see, that all thanks to this despicable guy Mun Bun. Before Chi Hin married Dun Chu, he fell for this young girl called Mung Si whom he had barely met where she completed the difficult poem quite intelligently and he was impressed. Later they bumped into each other at his house and he discovered she was So's sister and they used to play together when they were little. there was a mutual liking and you could see the disppointment in Mung Si's face when Dun Chu was introduced as his wife. But because Dun Chi felt nothing for Chi Hin and she knew Chi Hin liked Mung Si and vice versa, and in a desperate attempt to go back to her own country she made a pact with the high ranking Minister from her country who was an ambassador to the Tang court to find his long lost son and that she be permitted to go home. And since she was going home anyway, and she suspected Chi Hin could be that long lost son due to various indication, she tried to help him hoping that he could help her. Openly they were husband and wife but behind closed doors, Chi Hin was already holding hands with Mung Si, with the express consent of Dun Chu. But later, Mung Si was pursued by the mega arrogant Mun Bun but she denied him until she realised that Dun Chu did many things unconciously for Chi Hin and that Chi Hin seemed to care more about Dun Chu than her. So going away for a while, she came back as a married woman. She married Mun Bun. Chi Hin was a bit devastated and by this time, Dun Chu was already in loved with him did many things to make him a happier man and thus, he fell for her unexpectantly. Meanwhile everybody thought that Mung Si was a happily married woman but behind closed doors, he heart was longing for Chi Hin and his husband, after one time of test where he started a rumour that Chi Hin was hurt and seeing her run desperately to the supposed scene of accident where Chi Hin was supposed to lie dying, he slapped her hard in public and from thereon the relationship worsen. Mun Bun being a small minded and hateful man, plotted against the Ching and caused the Ching to run into huge debt when Chi Pok wrongly listened to his advice. And so the family became bankrupt and was he a happier man? Not really because Mung Si now knew what kind of a man he was and so she was stuck in a loveless marriage with a possessive husband whilst Dun Chu was happily poor awaiting the return of her beloved husband.

So What's So Deadly About Being Bankrupt?
True no money not the end of the world right? But Chinese has a saying, "Must Have Money". Anyway, later there was a bigger so called plot at the 20th episode where at last we knew who were the supposed son of that ambassador from Tou Puo where Dun Chu came from, and that there were power struggle and the Ching family was accused to be involved in it and all were sentenced to death by "chop-chop".

Why can't you tell me now? Give me the ending!!!!
Wait. Some more to talk about on the earlier storyline.

Most Hated Character
It has to be Mun Bun. The way he treated Mung Si was not right. She may be wrong to be longing for another man, but he sould never have slapped her, pushed her. He may have given her nice dresses, good food but he failed terribly as a man because the very basic thing he sould have given her but never did; respect. This is a character with little integrity, and his ending was apt. In fact at the beginning of this series we should've known what kind of a man he was. A parrot that said bad thinsg about him, at first he seemed so generoud so as to forgive the bird but later, sent a man back to kill the bird. More so when his wife was longing for another man! Hated him..but he wasn't the worst in terms of "character". The one below takes the honour of being...

Most Despicable & Low Integrity Of A Character
I hated the way TVB handled the plot about the power struggle. You see all along we see the father of Mun Bun, a very high ranking nobleman as being a very fair, nourable and reasonable man. he was Mun Bun's voice of reason everytime Mun Bun always "short-circuit" in the integrity of his character. He was the one that the Ching family could depend on as they were old family friends. He was the one who gave the best advise to Mun Bun when Mun Bun couldn't decide who to give the sole manufacturing of government officials clothing's rights (he at last gave it to the best that was Ching family instead of those who bribed him). i almost saw hope in Mun Bun because of his honourable father.

BUT

TVB writers somehow deemed it fit to make this character to be unexepectedly a villian and a traitor who masterminded the almost beheading of the entire Ching family, all for what? $300m Tang dollars? It was unbelievable that for 19 episodes he was a great guy up until the last 30 minutes of 20th episode. And as a result, I have really low opinion of this character and felt nothing when he was jailed and I assume beheaded.

Most Despicable & Even Lower Intergrity Of A Character
Never expected that Ambassador of Tou Puo, Look Tung Chan who was a great guy from episode 1 right up until the 20th episode to be so low. Why TVB? Why such drastic change?

Biggest Jerk
Mun Bun. Reminded me of Gallen's Yip Weng Tim in ATE, but Yip Weng Tim was at least a bit remoseful for whatever he had done. This Mun Bun, classic small minded, "small hearted", mean jerk.

Most Difficult Person To Be
2nd Mdm Ching played by Wong Sook Yee. I pity her as a mother who has useless sons and daughter in laws, and also for the fact that all her efforst went unnoticed or rather, unappreciated by some members of the family. A very fair mom in law who couldn't really scream her heart out, i find being her too difficult. She could've ran away when husband died, or when the business died. She could' ve given her life's work to her own son, Ronald or Frankie but she was fair enough to give it to someone she thought could do a good job, someone like Chi Pok. But she was wrong and she wasn't even angry when thye lost everything. She moved on and tried to start a smaller business even when everybody said "nononono". Never complain, never giving up she is one true representatation of the notion; "when the horse dies, walk!". A very respectable character.

Biggest Changes
Below are some unexpected changes in some characters.

Most Unexpected Almost Of A Nice Guy
Mun Bun. like I said above, he was almost an ok guy, when we see him pursuing Mung Si I almost cheered for him you know, because well he was almost a nice guy. But then remember that parrot? Chinese has a saying; "A Kingdom can be easily changed but not a person's character". How true! What a pity was my reaction and when I saw him slapping Mung Si, I went "@##%^*@^&*@^#&*^R@%@^&$@$@#$@#@%$@%". And that was intended for TVB writers. Not the actor, Kwok Yiu Ming.

Most Unexpected Villian cum Traitor for a measely sum of $300m (ok, so that was a lot of money but still...) so that he can what?!Burn in hell for eternity?
Mun Bun's father for reasons stated above. this BIG change had me going "@##%^*@^&*@^#&*^R@%@^&$@$@#$@#@%$@%
@##%^*@^&*@^#&*^R@%@^&$@$@#$@#@%$@%
@##%^*@^&*@^#&*^R@%@^&$@$@#$@#@%$@%" for hours, even when I was writing this review.

Most Unexpected Good Changes
Well actually kinda expected. i mean so poor already and yet still fight? Nope. The CHing family became even more united than before producing some really touching moments in this series.

Some Favourite Touching Scenes
Not touch as in TOUCH as this series is PG rated, not X rated. Not even a KISS. Not even a PECk on the cheek.

One that I found touching was when they were poor, and Chi Pok and Chi Yoong was supposed to buy this colouring. on the way home, they were stopped by a robber and when the robber refused to believe that they had no money in their pockets and subsequely destroyed their one and only colouring, Chi Yoong charged at the robber with a sword and Chi Pok went after the robber and both were seriously injured and Chi Yoong carried Chi Pok all the way to the doctor only to vomit blood himself. At that moment the two brothers were united after years of bickering and I thought it was quite touching and funny too.

At the beginning of this series, Chi Seng was accused of stealing some lipstick that he had actually paid, and the whole family came. When the owner threatened to take Chi Seng to the police, they all pressured Chi Seng to admit he stole it and said quite loudly that Chi Seng "is stupid, useless, bainless, etc" so much so that Chi Seng believed those words and admitted the false accusation, until 2nd Mdm Ching came and defended him. It was very mean for that bunch of people to do so and I felt bad for Chi Seng.

Another touching scene was Chi Seng overheard 2nd Mdm Ching wanted to throw some useless thing and abandon it and when later that night when Mdm Ching lost her way in the forest she left Chi Seng there to look for help. She didn;t come back and when Chi Seng saw an abandoned dog, and remembered what he heard earlier, he though he was abandoned, and he stood in the cold heavy rain crying. But mdmd Ching didn't abandon him and when he woke up and begged her to not abandon him, Mdm Ching quickly explained to him that what she meant was his old and dirty pillow.

One of the more touching scene would be when So met her good looking cousin who was unmarried and the cousin seeing how poor she was and that she married such a useless man that can't even protect her when she was almost raped, pleaded with her to elope with him. Chi Sing saw what happened, and followed the wife who bought food supplies and packed her bags. Thinking that she wanted to elope with her cousin, he didn't even try to stop her but in fact, took the luggage that he thought she forgot to her, only to realise that the wife was not leaving at all and will stick by him through thick and thin. A very good scene.

For 29 episodes we see them bickering, biting each other's head off, insulting one another. When Florence was kicked out of the house by her husband Chi yoong because his new second wife, who was pregnant called Tung Mui who was a maid to So framed Florence of doing Voodoo, Mui Siu Wai laughed. But when she realised Tung mui was not as nice as she thought of her to be , she realised that it was better to "have a person who show you all her disgust and dislike for you on her face so that she is predicatable and you can be aware of such person rather than a woman who hides all her feelings, treats you nice and then without a sound bites you". When they were poor, she helped Florence when Florence was insulted by a pork seller. And for once they sat next to each other peacefully talking and drinking and blaming their ownself for being the most unreasonable of all. i personally liked that scene because it was almost poignant and yet quite a happy event.

Most Touching Scene
Not the scene where they were almost beheaded, no feel for that for reasons I shall state later. But i personally feel this scene though short and nothing great in terms of plot or drama but to me it was touching because it showed that being a family, you can't blame the other side for being unreasonable to you.

You see when they were poor, Kam Heng insisted on dividing the assets of the family, including the house they were living in, all in hald. Many protested but 2nd Mdm Ching let it be. SO they had dinner at one side whilst Kam Heng enjoyed her chiken at the other. Byt later that night Kam Heng fell seriously ill and was diagnosed as suffering from the Chicken virus. Her own son avoided her when the doctor said that it could spread. She was lying there begging for water and who was the one to give her water? Teh woman that she had accused of being domineering and controlling the finances of the family; the woman that she had all along smiled in front but cursed when she turned her back to her. She felt guilty then for being so mean to hert. And the entrie family pooled in all their money and bought her a $300 worth of medicine. When Kam Heng became well again, she didn't curse anymore, treated everybody with newfound respect, including Chu Mi Mi and even said that if only her daughter was here, she would have consented to the marriage. When she asked 2nd Mdm Ching why she helped her, fed her water, the reply was "we are family". How true. Because frankly, you may think that your friends will help you in your time of need, I won't be surprised that the brother or sister thant you hated would be the one to help you, though reluctantly but at least they still help or offer to help. however there are thos esmall minorit of people who have stones for hearts and do not know how to spell "compassion" and probably believe "water is thicker than blood". But of course there are those even rare ones who even when you say enough enough I can help myself now but they will still go after you wanting to help help help. This I guess are people who live by the maxim of "ke-po-chi" but well, forgive me for that remark. They are kind people. not ke-po-chis' But really if a person does not want to be helped, then stop helping him/her for goodness sakes. Why break a limb to help a person who is ungrateful? Like the chinese saying; "The Dog bit Lui Dung Bun; doesn't know the goodness of the person's heart". You see one of the 8 immortals, Lui Dung Bun helped a dog when teh dog was in dfanger and what did the dog do to say thank you? The dog bit this kind hearted sage. Of course you can say that dog was a DOG, not human. But I believe you do agree with me that sometimes Dogs may be more human in their feelings than humans themselves. BUT in this series, Kam Heng was not that dog. She was grateful and of she was that dog, she probably wagged her tail and licked the hand of Lui Dung Bun. She was THAT grateful and thankful.

Most Favourite Couple
For me, I liked Mui Siu Wai and Ronald Cheng because they provided the most laughs. And I liked the way that though Mui's character may be a bit mean sometimes, but she was always stood by her husband. In fact except Tung Mui and Mung Si , ALL women in this series stood by their husbands in the worst of times. I like that because love ain't about money. For a moment I thought Mui would run away, for someone who enjoyed good life for far too long but she didn't and I like that about this series.

Why Not Mung Si?
How can you stand by a possible traitor of a husband called Mun Bun who has slapped you and treated you worst than a dog? She didn't love him and married him so that Chi Hin can go on with his life with Dun Chu. A very giving woman. And she was the one who rescued Chi Hin when her father in law drugged them. And she was almost beheaded together with them BUT Chi Hin spoke on her behalf and she was saved.

Most Annoying Couple
I didn;t find their antics cute, but rather tiring. Personally I do not like Frankie Lam as an actor, I am not that keen on Annie Man as an actress even from ATV days. Individually they were quite entertaining but when they were together, a bit lacking in chemistry which was not Annie's fault but Frankie, Mr Boring's fault. And I just got tired of them teasing each other. Maybe I am getting old or something but nowadays I find very few things that people thought as cute as not cute at all. I would bet that you will vote them as the cutest couple. For me the cutest had to be Mui and Ronald.

Best Aspect(s)
The clothings and the sets. I admire the details of this series. To portray Florence as coming from a poor background with little allowance, she would wear some ordinary dresses and little head dressings. Whilst So who came froma rich family would have the best dress and the best head dressing in this series. The colourful cloths were a feast to our eyes. But the most amazing details would be Ronald's room. He was an avid collector of beautiful things,and so in his room in the background like on the shelves, you could see plenty of vase, porceleins, antiques. I love the details they put into the series. And I wish they'd put as much thought to the ending.

And one that I particularly like is that for the longest of time we rarely see a comedy family cum drama that preaches unity in the times of hardship. being spoilt by ATE I/II, we often see brothesr killing brothers, and only when father was sick or something they become a better person. All very complicated plot to make a person a good person. In this series, it was simple. They all had their own agenda, they all were greedy, well at least 2 pairs in this series BUT when they were poor, they became better person and stood by each other because since you losty everything you can't lose the most precious thing of all; your family. And though Ate took many many big events and about 5 times the length of this series to tell us that; this series told us all that in officially 1 episode. I am not trying to be prechy here but I kinda miss thsoe good old family unity type of drama that is not spoilt by big explosions, dying members of the family, deep hatred, impossible love relationships, etc.

And i like the idea that you may nag about or nag your husband, you may fight with everybody else, but you always defend your husband/wife's interest. We see that in Mui and Ronald's character.

Worst Aspect
The ending scenes with the dresses still the same as per five years ago. i eman please, give us a different wardrobe, were the Chings THAT poor?

The ending which i shall reveal right now.Because it is very inconsistent with the feel of this series.

From episode one, this is a light hearted comedy about love after marriage, life after being bankrupt, family divided, family united. Not very heavy duty stuff. And that was fine with me becuase I enjoyed light hearted series these days, and it delivered plenty of laughter. Even when sometimes I felt like slapping those women bickering non-stop. But then the character of Mun Bun apperaed and I thought what a mean man. Somehow when he met Mung Si, he seemed nicer, that I almost thought that for once TVb is going to show a bad guy turn nice guy all for a girl. But nope. It went downhill from thereon for this series, in terms of logic, but still entertaining as a series. Mun Bun became worse but the worst was to come in the final episode where all along this respectable character of Mun Bun's father, a great guy, fair and honourable ALL OF A SUDDEN became evil, just for money. Then the worst was Look Tung Chan, that ambassador from Tou Puo who asked Dun Chu to find his long lost son became a total jerk. The son was not Tai sang but actually was Chi Hin(Frankie Lam). His mom was a prostitute who fell for Chi Hin's father who was actually the King of Tou puo. That ambassador wanted to kill Chi Hin in a power struggle for the brother of the King, and worked with Mun Bun and his father. Chi Hin was a baby when his mother died and his father never came back for him due to work and his nation who was in trouble back then. And so the mother died and Mei Wan was like a sister to this woman who had a baby named Tai Sang. 2nd Mdm Ching at the same time gave birth to a son but he died on the way to a doctor. Knowing that Mdm Ching will not be able to take such news, and realising that she can't afford to take care of two children, mei Wan swapped the dead kid with Chi Hin and thus Chi Hin became Mdm Ching's son. Only in teh final moment before they were to be beheaded that Mei Wan told Chi Hin. She cried and rather not know. Back at Tou Puo where Dun Chu's father, a general whose loyalty was tested, served the King and toppled the plans for killing the king. Chi Hin and his father were reunited and he rushed back to save his adopted family. At last, Mun Bun and Mung Si and his father was caught but Mung Si was spared whilst Chi Hin deiced to stay back to serve his adopted mother, and five years later, eahc has a son, Weng Chi married Tai Sang and Dun Chu was pregnant.Ah Si Mah married Suen. It was a happy ending, and Mung Si became a NUN(lady monk). Happy happy ending.

Now what is your problem then with this ending?

It was too rushed. They became bankrupt, and then became united and suffered for 2 episodes and Chi Hin came back a minister and they were given back their home and shop. The came that plot about the power struggle, and in one episode,all noble characters became evil and it took 10 minutes at the most to topple the evil plan, and another 10 minutes to wrap this all up and give us that usual ending where everybody gathered within the camera range and smiled happily. We never saw what happened to Mun Bun and his father but I assumed they were beheaded. We never even get to see how Mung Si was after five years and in one line that you would probably miss anyway, we knew she became a nun. Why didn't they use one more episode to wrap it up nicely? Tung mMi conveniently died. It was much too rushed. What i wanted to see was what happened to Mun Bun? WHat about Look Tung Chan? At least give us a proper closure but they gave us a half baked ending. That was the biggest flaw with this series, the way they handled the ending. And I really wanted to see Mung Si's expression but there was none. Just that final one scene where she was in jail, looking sad. That was it.

I had a feeling this was what happened.

The writers at first wanted to make us hate Mun Bun but made him a nice guy so like Mung Si we were fooled into thinking that he was a good husband material. All of a sudden Chi Hin easily forgot about her. there was no confrontation for an explanation. But that was fine with me. And then all of a sudden they realised this series was too lighthearted, so let's add in some drama, so the bankruptcy plot, which was ok with me. But the they thought it was time to show a bit of sadness, to make us a feel a bit sad for a certain character, and so Mung Si became the scapegoat and Mun Bun's father and Look Tung Chan must become evil because they can't resist the temptation of making someone evil. There must be a villian in here. Which will be my biggest complaint and the biggest disappointment with this series. They should have stopped at them being united and how they rebuilt their lives.The story of Tai Sang possibly being the long lost son was far too long and far too boring. I lost track after a while of how many attempts Dun Chu made to confirm just that. but it was a nice twist that tai Sang wasn't the real one. But they should have made Tai Sang the one. They should have just make Mung Si really fall for Mun bun whow as actually not that bad but a bit spoilt. they should have just stick with Mun Bun's father being honourable and all. Or if they can't resist the temptation of creating a villian, at least steer clear from a character that wethought was nice. To make him mean and evil was totally wrong because there wasn't enough time to establish that sub-plot and I just didn't buy it. And perhaps give a proper ending to Mung Si-Frankie-Mun Bun-Dun Chu problem.

Remember Witness To A Prosecution? Where Bobby can't decide whether to go for Jessicca or Marianne so he married both of them? I didn't quite agree with that ending but I wished it was so for this series. We know Mung Si did not love Mun Bun and Mun Bun was bound to die anyway. And we know Mung Si loved Chi hin. So why not show Dun Chu being a giving wife just let him marry Mung Si? I am not into polygamy but I really thought this would be a better ending than having Mung Si to be a nun, and we can't even see her as a nun! There was no proper closure to her part of the story. Of course I don't expect to see her bald headed but at least one final scene between Mun Bun and her, talking peacefully or screaming or Chi Hin and Mung Si talking, properly ending whatever there was to end. But there was none of those. i felt short handed. Personally I like the story about Mung Si, with Mun Bun about how she was actually sufferring. We never even got to see Mung Si's sister being mad at the knowledge of Mung Si being an abused wife! And what a show this would be if Mung Si was shown as a suffering and abused wife. What would Chi Hin do? What would Dun Chu do? And when she risked her life to save them, what would they do? And they spoilt the ending by rushing it. this is one series that I wished it was a bit longer. Hated the final episode.

Best Performances
Wong Sook Yee that played 2nd Mdm Ching was very good, her reluctance, her sadness and disppointment. At first she seemed ackward at her role but later on she was really good. And her interpretation of a good and fair mother in law was superb. And I really do think of her as a very beautiful lady. Gentle and ladylike.

Chu Mi Mi was great too.

Florence Kwok would have my vote as the best female performance in here. She played a greedy, petty character who probably had little educationa nd the way she talked, the way she ate her food, the way she walked reminded me of such a person; a woman that you'll hate for being arrogant and totally deserved being divorced but not quite so because she was actually not malicious. Superb performance.

Mui Siu Wai. She looked really pretty in here. And I really did like her signature tone of a voice and her end words for every sentence.."mai Che Mah". Always she ended her lines with "Che Mah". I didn't like her character but she was really funny in here, and noisy too. perhaps too noisy in soem bickering scenes. But superb performance.

Yuen Siu Cheung was funny too and his signature tone of a voice. I hope if they dubbed this series, at least they adopt that "mat SHOO" way of saying the words.You wouldn't know what i am talking about until you watch it, and do watch the original version.

Tang Siu Juen was funny as the woman hater. Loooked kinda old lately but great performance.

My favourite character in this series and i personally thought she was glowing and very beautiful in here, So Yoke Wah was superb in here as the somewhat suffering wife. And did I say she was really beautiful and ladylike in here? Excellent performance.

OK Performances
Not best, not great but passable and still enjoyable to the extent that they did not spoil the series.

Frankie Lam is not my favourite actor, in fcat I find him boring. Good looking but boring. but he is an ok actor. Quite suit this role of a scholar actually, BUT i personally thought, before seeing the ending where Chi Hin was not the real son of 2nd Mdm Ching, I THOUGHT that perhaps Sunny Chan would be great for this role. He looked like a scholar, a bit naive, a bit unreasonable but could be a good gentleman, soft and easily pushed around and he and Wong Sook Yee talked alike with the same accent! But well Frankie was ok.

Annie Man in ATV was big sister. In TVB she was to play minor but importnat roles until this one came along. Though her face in the poster is pretty big comparedto the other faces, her role in here is of the same quantity in time as the others, and so i do not see her as the lead. She was ok, looked really young but i really do not like the way she talked. like her nose was stuck or something. And she wasn't that pretty anyway. BUT she was playful and energetic and so she was ok as Dun Chu. But frankly she and Frankie totally lacked chemistry. With Marco in Legendary Four Aces, both were having a great time I guess because I could see the chemistry and the playfulness and teasing each other endlessly. in here I put the blame on Frankie for the lack of chemistry in here.

Suprisingly, she was not annoying, probably because she had little role and so when she did speak, she was tolerable and I even found her cute and she injected the correct amount of desperation or sadness when she was not allowed to see Tai Sang. but we all could see how young Myolie Wu is, and she talked like a little kid. In mroe dramatic scenes, you could see she is still raw and fresh. but she didn;t do much in here and so I didn;t find her intrusive like Charmaine Sheh or Anne Heung. Perhaps this is the best way for her to improve, by giving her a small role so that she can have enough time and space to be a bad actress and we won't notice it and when she does become a lead ina series, she might have improved a bit by trial and error. Charmaine's problem is that she became a lead far too soon and so we could notice her lack of talent and her often lack lustre performances. For Myolie I found her tolerable and cute too.And with a funny accent if I may add.

And the same analysis applies for Wong Lam as Ah Si Mah. i found her really bad in Moonlight but in here she had a minor role and so she wasn;t that intrusive and she was quite ok though I can't stand her one word at a time of talking. Too slow.

May Kwong. Carina Lau lookalike, but minus the poise and elegance. I didn't like her in Kindred Spirit because she had a perfect, goody two shoes character that was unbelievable and boring. In Screenplay I find her loud but that was because of the character she played. In this series, she was tolerable and in some scenes she was really pretty. But she did not strike me as someone intelligent, gifted, scholarly, beautiful or even ladylike. Mung Si caught the attention of Chi Hin with her intelligence and gentleness. She caught the eye of Mun Bun because...well what is it with man that when thye see a half naked woman bathing in the river they will go gaga over? Anyway that was how Mun Bun saw her, almost naked and enjoying the swim, so I guess Mung Si must have been very attractive, perhaps far more attractive than Dun Chu herself. Well May as an actress as in her potrayal of Mung Si though did not fit the bill in temrs of looks, she was quite ok. Though I do not like the way she delivered her lines, as she has a habit ti drag her words, a bit lazy-ish in delivering her lines, but generally she was well, quite ok. I felt TVB should ahfve expended more on this charcatre because whatever she was facing, that was pretty dramatic in terms of plot value. But they did not and so her character was a bit neither here nor there. She did her best to let us have a glimsp of Mung Si's reluctance, suffering and for such a young actress to be able to convey so much with so little of screentime at the almost end, I thought she did pretty fine. She displayed the correct amount of frustration, reluctance, fear or even defiance in her Mung Si in one short 5 minutes segment that as a viewer you wil feel angry at Mun Bun and Chi Hin for not being there for her. To say she was great would be too much of a statement and to say she was not good would be wrong. I thought she was effective as Mung Si and I believe that this is one actress to look out for, and hopefully she will still be given minor roles so that she has enough space to perfect her art. As of this moment, she is tolerable.

Bad Performance
I hate to say this and I really do like Choi Chii Kin but he was the worst in here because he was wrongly cast and he clearly did not have the capacity to carry out a role opposite of wat we perceived of him as. I can't buy tehe fcat that Tai Sang was not of noble background, or that he can't read nor write. At times when Choi wanted us to see him as naive I see only a moron. bad word to use but for me Tai Sang was beyond stupid sometimes, the way Choi delivered his lines made me think of Tai Sang as somewhat beyond stupid though we all know that he must have been young and naive and innocent.

Most Excellent Performance
The best in this series, and the funniest. Ronald Cheng not only could sing well but he could really act, as a comedian. His Chi Yoong was so funny, and the way he delivered his lines was classic stuff. I loved his brand of comedy, and I personally thought that he should eb a comedian. he looked funny(well he ain't great looking but I am not saying being ugly is funny), he said funny stuff and the way he walked and talked and complained was so funny. In more dramatic scene he was just barely ok but I tell you, Ronald Cheng should be a comedian. he is a natural born comedian and ...well just watch it and you'll know. And wacth the original even for an episode. go for the ealrier episodes, he was the funniest there. Excellent performance. And who said the personal life of a star will affect the viewers' perception of them? I did not even remember that plane incident though i just hope he has stopped drinking since then. If he did not have such bad news, this is one singer-actor to look out for as a comedian and a singer.

Some Complaints
As if I haven't complain enough but there is one tiny fact I want to complain about. And that had to do with how Chi Hin dealt with his real father.

Let's just say you realise you're the only son of an aging King who needs you to succed him to avoid any possible invasion by foreign or internal power struggle. At one hand you have your adopted mother wanting you to stay but she never really said it. on the other your King, your father wanted yo to go with him? What would you do? let's just assume you are not a greedy person. your eally want to be a good person. Chi Hin chose to stay with his mom. Ok I guess and I do have a bit of respect for his fillial peity attitude. BUT what about the aging King? Personally i would have followed the King and train myself to be a good King and visit my mom once in a while vecause that was my destiny. i can;'t leave my mom alone but i can't abandon my father and my people. So I find the choice by Chi Hin a bit well, disappointing but nevertheless a good choice.

Special Mention
I hated the fact that I paid good money for one lousy tape and thye had the nerve to put ads in there. BUT this is one series that made me wait eagerly for the ad time, because in those few second before they break for ads, they will show NG scenes, where you'lls ee soem really funny moments where the actors said the wrong lines or made mistakes that you never get to see in the proper scenes. So do not fast forward it!

A Repeat : The Verdict
For all my critiscms and disattisfaction with the last episode, this is one of those rare TVB series that i enjoyed these days. I mean you won't rush out to rent it but it has enough to make you laugh. as a comedy it is effective. As a drama it is totally lacking. So watch it for the comedy element and you'll definately enjoy it.

Interesting Fact
This series was made for Chinese New Year that was why the posters had RED colours all over it. But why didn't they film a CNY music video at the end of the series like Tough Side Being A Lady?

Try to spot how many ATV actors/actresses you'll see. I spotted 2. One was Annie and the other i do not know his name.

Tang Siu Juen, I think all of you know it was the son of the late and mega famous opera crooner, San Mah Chai. when he died, grandmas of over 50 cried. But not as dramatic as when famous Tamil actor turned politician, MGR died where millions of Indians in India cried and shaved their heads even in Malaysia as a sign of mourning. In fact when he announced that he was dying of liver cancer or something, many wanted to donate their livers or something but he steadfastly refused and till now he is a legend in Southern India, admired and loved by all.Well, San Mah Chai was missed I guess.

WHen Mui Siu Wai broke up with long time boyfriend, i can't remember his name, Yuen Siu Cheung her ebst friend was so afarid that she might be too depressed moved in with her and stayed with her and consoling her and moved out only when she was better.

Wong Sook Yee was a really famous Big Sister of TVB in the 70's or so, same rank as Lisa Wong. Thne she retired. And recently she came back to act. But why? She I think is unmarried though I am not sure. i was told by my reliable source that she has cancer and has no money to pay for treatments. She was reluctant to ask her brother for help and so she is working now to pay for the treatments. I sincerely hope the best for her.

Interesting Past Rumour Turned Reality Turned Past News Turned a complete waste of time to write it here
Ronald Cheng's

plane quarrel-knocked on the head-sued-fined-to pay the whole cost of stopping and landing the plane just to detain him-alcoholic-bad publicity-but fans and friends came to his rescue-runour had it his behaviour was because parents divorced and he was upset-but rumour had it that he was a recovering alcoholic-but further rumour had it that he was not yet a recovering alcoholic-but really his popularity didn't go downhill so clearly showed that HK fans were either too supportive and forgiving or they didn't care for what wasn't their business to care-but I, Funn Lim felt that Ronald was way too much for his unruly behaviour like Edmund Leong said when asked for comments-but really none of my business right now-

incident. Do read it all in my The Sky's The Limit review. And I am sure everybody knows that he was the former BF of Miriam?

Interesting Fiction
Well, none for this series. but for anything on Tang Dynasty (and I have a feeling this is the Tang Dynasty of Lee Lung Gei-the king from Lady Yang since he had a sister named Princess Man Sing a character we saw in Legend of Lady Yang who was marreid off to a far away land for peaceful treaty) do refer to my Legend Of Lady Yang site.


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