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





Title Deciphered
This series actually has an English title but somehow everybody, including me love to refer to this series as QSSYMM. The English title is Romance In The Rain. Which is quite suitable for this series because 70% of the romance, as in kissing, hugging and crying take place when it is raining, not too heavily of course. But what does the Chinese title mean??

Ching Sum Sum Yu Mung Mung, which basically and literally means, "Deep Deep Love, Misty Misty Rain", so to be a bit more poetic, I guess you could say it means, "Deep Love In The Misty Rain", of course love could be Romance. The old version was called Ye Yu Mong Mong, meaning "Misty Rain In The Night". Anyway, all depressing titles don't you think? How can love, such a wonderful and lovely thing be associated with rain, more so misty rain? Shouldn't it be Deep Love, Colourful Rainbow? Well, this series will explain why, very adequately. You'll realise, love is painful, to love is also painful, to be loved is also painful, no love more painful. I can't remember who said this but quite true;

"To be loved by one woman is a the greatest happiness a man can have; to be loved by two women is the most painful experience of all".

Genre
Written by Qiong Yau, what do you expect? Politics? Family drama? Comedy? Nope! 101% love story!

Timeline
Didn't really say. But they mentioned in year 2000 Ruping will be 83 or so. This series she is 19. So the year should be about 1936, before WWII. Then Japanese attacked much later but yet when they were at war with Japanese, it was 1937 or so. My Asian history is not that good but was it in 1937 Japanese attacked China? Will confirm later.

Length
Much too long; 25 tapes/49 episodes.

Characters-Cast
I thank Jade*Hope and E-Buzz Mailing List chums for the cast list below; spelling may differ but well, since this series is so popular I am sure you have already watched it, so.....WHO CARES?!

By the way, I kept confusing He Shuhuan with He Shiwei! Shame shame I know. So if you see any He Shiwei in here, I meant He Shuhuan.

Lu Yiping - Vicki Zhao
Lu Ruping - Ruby Lin
He Shuhuan-Leo Koo
Du Fei - Alec Su
Lu Erhao - Gao Hsin
Li Keyun - Hsu Lu
Fang Yu - Li Yu
Lu Mungping - Le Ting Ting / Le Jia Hsing
Lu Zhenhua - Kou Zhen Hai
Wenpei - Hsu Xing
Xueqing - Wang Lin
Assistant Li - Tsao Qiu Gen
Yu Zhen- Zhang Lan
Er Jie-

Very few people huh? Actually this IS the full cast list. As in Qiong Yau's series, we have loads of ke-le-fes but she always concentrate the ENTIRE series' plot on a few people, in this series 2 pairs of triangular love and one pair of rectangular love, which I shall explain below.

Yiping-Shuhuan-Ruping-Du Fei

Keyun - Erhao - Fang Yu

Wenpei - Zhenhua - Xueqing -Mr Wei

Now let us answer the BILLION dollar question; WHO WILL END UP WITH WHO? Need you ask?!?!

Relationships Explained
Look at the chart cum poster above and if you're still not clear, read the whole plot line below. Warning though; I have included everything, endings and all related stuff. If you don't want me to spoil your viewing pleasure, SKIP THE PLOT REVEALED.

Plot Summarized
2 sisters fell for the same man. The man fell for the one who had loads of hatred in her, for years of neglect by her abusive father who didn't mean much harm, and insults hurled by his father's 9th wife towards her mother, the ousted 8th wife. Best of all, the man can't decide. After much love and romance in the rain, he was about to be engaged to the much happier and relaxed younger sister when the much angry older sister arrived, and instead of wrecking havoc through her behaviour, she actually wrecked the whole engagement party with her very presence; the man at last realised he loved her, ran after her and at this important moment; she couldn't recognise him and threatened to jump from the bridge.

I do know that the above only summary only talks about 80% of the storyline, but really, I do think the whole series is about this messy relationship. Will Yiping die? Will Ruping be able to face Shuhuan again? Will Shuhuan run back to Ruping and leave Yiping broken hearted, yet again? Or vice versa? Who will end up with who?? With Alec Su in this series, let's take a BIGGGGGG guess.

The Plot Revealed
Let us begin the painful journey of a love that will make us queasy for 10 lifetimes. No vomiting allowed.

Who is Luyiping and Lu Ruping?
Sisters with same father, Zhenhua, an ex-warlord/General and different mothers.

Yiping is the second daughter of both Zhenhua and Wenpei, his 8th wife. They had an older daughter, Xingping which Zhenhua loved more than anything in the world, but she died probably from illness or she fell from a horse. I am not sure. The mother and daughter are no longer living in the Lu household.

Ruping is the eldest daughter of both Zhenhua and Xueqing, his 9th, last and remaining wife who is still living with him, dominating the whole Lu household.

Why don't Yiping and mom live in the Lu household?
Simple; Yiping's mom was too soft, so she couldn't win the power play that was played by Xueqing. But the real reason was the father's abusive attitude. He was a military men, who married the ones he liked, within one look. He believed in discipline and rules. So when someone broke the rules, he punished them severely. All of Yiping's anger started when Xueqing mistreated Wenpei, Wenpei said nothing but was instead accused by Xueqing about many things she never did, not purposely anyway. Without listening to her explanation, Zhenhua kicked the mother, even punched the then very young Yiping. Yiping tearfully begged her mother to leave the Lu household, which was why they are not living with the Lus. But every month Yiping will return home to ask for money, since she has to eat and study as well. That year she was only 19 years old and that was the beginning of the secret war she waged against her father, out of hatred and her thirst for revenge.

Instead of simply giving her the money, the father refused at first, thanks too Xueqing's dagger like words. Out of anger and her own stubbornness, Yiping scolded the father, that he was an irresponsible father, that they were suffering because of him, etc etc etc and out of blind rage and anger, dear old Mr Lu ordered for his infamous horse whip and whipped the stubborn Yiping, until her clothes were torn. She cried in pain, but the tears were really because of her heart's tremendous hurt; the father she respected and loved, even though he had never visited her nor her mother was a monster. She ran out tearfully, swearing in front of the Lu family that she will never ask him for money, she will never beg, she will find ways to avenge for the pain and humiliation she suffered on that day. For a single moment, Mr Lu regretted his rash actions but what's done has been done and it was irreparable. From thereon, even though he sent his son, Erhao and daughter Ruping to deliver money to her house, Yiping steadfastly refused to accept the money and often such rejections ended in a big argument between these siblings, more so when Erhao never liked this half sister of his, whilst Ruping couldn't understand why she was so stubborn. Probably because Ruping had an easier life.

Between Yiping an Ruping, who is the stronger one?
Ruping was like a much loved daughter, given generous amount of allowances. Whilst Yiping had to find jobs and ways to feed her mother, that she was so frustrated she started crying and all her mother could do was to hold her, having such great responsibilities for such a young girl who should be studying, not worrying about food and clothes, Ruping had so much money she could buy all the bracelets she wanted.

Ruping could have been a spoilt brat, but she wasn't. Defying genetics, DNA and forces of nature and background, Ruping was actually a very kind hearted, happy go lucky and generous girl. She gave without expecting return, though she might hope and pray for some returns but she was never forceful. She was the opposite of Xueqing but yet she was the carbon copy of Wenpei, but stronger. Though she loved her mother and knew her mother was not a very kind mother and not a very good step mother and accepted all that as her mother's weaknesses without much protest, Ruping did once in a while stood up for herself. She was a person who acted with her heart and when it was right, she will do it, no matter what.

Yiping was the opposite. She could be Xueqing in nature, though her own mother was Wenpei. She could be hateful, vengeful, even at times unreasonable and stubborn. But all these were formed out of years of neglect by her father, that she felt her mother got a bad deal and that her mother deserved much better. For all her faults, she was actually a very kind and generous person, to those she thought deserved her generosity. One such person was her ex-servant, a young girl named Li Keyun, the daughter of her father's trusted second in command who left the house 6 years before, Assistant Li. When Yiping knew that the Li family was living in near poverty, (Mr Li was a trishaw puller and he was nearing 60 years old; how much business could he have earned?) and then she discovered Keyun became insane 6 years before, always crying for her dead son. Yiping who was without much cash herself offered financial and emotional support. Because of her desperation for money, for her own use and for Keyun's medical costs in consulting a psychologist, she went to work for The Grand Shanghai Nightclub as a singer under the big and feared mobster, Chin Wu Yeh. At that time to work in a nightclub during the 1930's was a big taboo; nice girl never work in such clubs. But she persevered and had enough money for her daily life; and she rejected her father's financial help with glee. She was at last independent, and she never had to go back to that dreaded Lu Mansion to beg for money and be belittled by that dreadful Xueqing.

To answer the question as to who was the stronger one emotionally, that will be Ruping and I shall explain why when I am done with this plot thing.

Where is He Shuhuan and Du Fei in the picture?
He Shuhuan was a journalist, and his best pal and housemate, Du Fei was a photographer, both working in the same newspaper agency as partners.

During one time where Du Fei took a picture on the streets and pursued by those wanting back the negatives, Shuhuan put the negatives into a young girl's bag who so happened to be Ruping. She fell for the dashing Shuhuan almost instantly. Much later, she gave back to them the negatives and realised they all share one thing in common; Ruping's older brother, 22 year old Erhao was a journalist in the same agency and they were all actually best pals. So Ruping from thereon had every legitimate reason to appear before Shuhuan and fell even more for him, whilst Du Fei fell for Ruping's kindheartedness and obviously because she was very pretty.

However Shuhuan had eyes only for Yiping whom he had met..I am not sure earlier or later. Anyhow, they met the night where she was whipped by her father and she ran out of the house into the misty rain and was knocked down by Shuhuan's bicycle. He offered to take her to his nearby apartment to clean herself and amazingly she trusted him enough to follow him. They had a nice and friendly chat though she never introduced herself. And they liked each other, up until the moment she was told that he knew the Lu family, suddenly her attitude towards him turned cold, even nasty and she simply stormed off, without explaining why and Shuhuan was by then in love with her, because admit it, Yiping was pretty, mysterious and she looked rather pitiful then. But the truth was he fell for her when she was performing on stage, since he looked mesmerized all the time.

Does Yiping fall for Shuhuan on that day itself?
Not really.

She disliked him for being friends with the Lu family, and she hated the fact that every time Du Fei mentioned Xueqing, he claimed that she was such a beautiful and nice mother, Erhao such a nice guy and Ruping such a nice girl. However, Shuhuan was one who never gave up. He came to watch her perform at the nightclub every night, ensuring her safety he escorted her home, without knowing her name. He only knew her stage name, Bai Mei Gwei (White Rose). And he often protected her, when drunken clients wanted to touch her, he was first to punch them. And he always won, because he knew great kung fu.

You see, Shuhuan was that kind of man all women want; nice, kind, generous, ever helpful, hard working, diligent, understanding, sensitive, supposedly good looking and very dashing, knew enough Kung Fu to beat the crap out of 50 people, all at once, opinionated and fearless (he stood up for Yiping many times before Erhao, Chin Wu Yeh, even her father when they hurled insults at her). He would protect her even if it meant giving up his own life. Heck! He would give up his own life even for a CAT! So you see Shuhuan was the ideal man. Of course Du Fei was just as nice, only that he was much shorter, very very clumsy, can't fight at all, needed glasses to see things,..but one good thing about Du Fei, he would stand up for his rights when the time called for such actions. So basically, we have two good guys in here but Ruping and Yiping had eyes only for Shuhuan.

Anyway, Yiping gradually fell for Shuhuan, even when she knew that he was supposedly Ruping's boyfriend. She kept a diary and in her diary she wrote her deepest feelings and fears. She wrote that the best way for revenge was to seduce Shuhuan, and she didn't really need to do that. Shuhuan was crazy about her, he couldn't take his eyes off her. And gradually she realised she was in love with Shuhuan and she even changed her stubborn attitude for Shuhuan; she was willing to forgive her father, she was willing to call Erhao her brother even after all that things that Erhao did to her and Keyun, she was even willing to go picnic with them. But all these were achieved through months of advise from Shuhuan. And she did all that because of her deep love for Shuhuan.

Why Shuhuan fell for Yiping and not Ruping?
Well, you see, he realised you just can't see the surface of things. Though Erhao called his own sister, the time bomb, Shuhuan knew better. Erhao never got to see nor did he had the interest and time to see Yiping when she was relaxed. The only time Yiping would be a time bomb would be around the Lu family, because of her anger. But when Yiping was alone with Keyun, she was loving and attentive. Shuhuan saw how she earned her money to pay for Keyun's medical costs, he saw her heartbreak every time the Lu word was mentioned and how close she was with her mother. He saw the many facets of her and though at first he couldn't accept all of her and even persuaded her to see her father, he later realised the problem was not actually Yiping but with the Lu family. Insults were hurled at her, Erhao poured alcohol to her face without much thought when she admitted that she will try her best to prevent Fang Yu, her best friend from seeing him again...though Yiping tried and may have induced the heated arguments between the Lus and herself, but it was always the Lus who used force and violence first. Shuhuan realised he had just have to accept that fact; she hated the Lus for a very good reason. And their relationship caused a rift between Erhao and Shuhuan. Erhao took pleasure in insulting Yiping , more so in his mind Yiping seduced his sister's (Ruping) boyfriend and was a spineless fox devil. The thing was that Shuhuan thought Ruping as a friend and yet nobody cared to see his point of view. Du Fei was stuck in the middle; he tried many ways to win Ruping's heart but she just refused him, again and again and again. She was waiting for the moment, the moment to possess Shuhuan. And the relationship between Shuhuan and Yiping was tested again and again and again, and all these came to a great big climax (break-up) with three unfortunate events; all involved the Lus.

Event One
Fang Yu was Yiping's best friend and Yiping felt a need to protect her best friend's interest. When she knew Fang Yu was being pursued by Erhao, she objected as she knew Erhao was not trustworthy and he was a playboy. He would break her heart. But Fang Yu insisted that his past was his past and she was his present and they would be the future. But when Yiping found out who was the cause of Keyun's insanity, she went as far as to urge Fang Yu to leave Erhao in front of Erhao, though Shuhuan tried to stop her.

You see, when Erhao was 16 years old he impregnated the then very young Keyun. Erhao didn't know. Xueqing forced the Li family to move away and Keyun gave birth to a son who died a year or so later. From thereon she became insane once in a while. When she was normal she was happy but when she was insane, she would be uncontrollable, crying for her dead son. She had once tried to look for Erhao when she was pregnant, but Erhao couldn't recognise her and he simply ignored her and went about with his new girlfriend. From thereon she was broken hearted, plus she was suffering from severe depression as a result of the death of her son that kind of accelerated her path towards insanity.

Yiping thought Erhao was unforgivable. Erhao confronted her about her behaviour, about urging Fang Yu to leave him and he was so angry, he almost punched her, screaming that he was an honourable man who had never hurt anybody. Out of blind rage, Yiping took Erhao to see Keyun, and Keyun upon seeing him and hearing his name became even more insane, banging her head against the wall repeatedly. Mr and Mrs Li blamed Erhao for their daughter's condition and even blamed Shuhuan for bring Erhao to see Keyun. But Yiping tried to explain it was her who did so but they couldn't blame the person who was paying the medical bills and the daughter of Li's most respected ex-boss.

Erhao was wrecked with guilt and regret. He didn't know what he should do, but he decided that he must tell Fang Yu himself of his past. Fang Yu, upon hearing what he did couldn't bring herself to look at him. She walked away, ending the relationship. She couldn't buy his excuse that he was young, he didn't know that all will lead to what was happening now.

When Erhao, Shuhuan and Du Fei were thinking of ways to win Fang Yu back, Du Fei said that the best person who could do so would be Yiping. And upon hearing her name, Erhao dismissed her and this angered Shuhuan. Their relationship was further strained. However Shuhuan approached Yiping with the idea of her coming to join them for a get together gathering in the hope of Erhao winning Fang Yu again, she simply said no. She will not do so because it was against her principals. This was the EVENT ONE. Their relationship was a bit strained because he thought she was unforgiving and stubborn and she thought after all that he saw how could he ask her to do what she could never do?

On the day of the gathering, everybody except Yiping came. Fang Yu after much persuasion and a promise by Erhao to participate in curing Keyun and doing all he could for her, forgave him and accepted him. And then then a guest arrived and it was Yiping who came smiling. She finally accepted the fact that Shuhuan was right; Fang Yu loved Erhao, Erhao loved Fang Yu and Fang Yu was her best friend. She would bless them and on that day everybody had a good time, and they all began their mission of curing Keyun and Fang Yu participated every step of the way and felt more and more sympathy for Keyun that she was always suggesting that Erhao and her part ways. But Erhao insisted that he loved only Fang Yu and he felt guilty towards Keyun, until one day Erhao could not stand it anymore, told Keyun that Fang Yu was his girlfriend. Instead of going insane again, she said something that Yiping told her out of frustration;

that Keyun was Erhao's past, Fang Yu was his present. But Ke Yun begged Fang Yu that she would want to be his future too, whether as his maid, servant or slave she would always be by his side. Erhao wanted to say no but Fang Yu couldn't bring herself to say no to the pitiful Keyun and nodded her head. And so Erhao officially had two girlfriends at one go, but in his heart he loved only Fang Yu.

Event Two
This one almost caused a rift between Yiping and Shuhuan and the one that made Shuhuan looked the other way towards the ever waiting Ruping.

After much arguments, breaking off and getting back together again, Shuhuan persuaded Yiping to quit her job and she said yes, more so when one day she was kidnapped, punched, kicked and almost raped if not for Shuhuan saving her. Nobody knew who did that to her but Yiping knew. She knew it was Xueqing who asked her lover, Mr Wei to hire some people to beat her. How she knew Mr Wei was her lover was simple; she accidentally bumped into them one day and saw Xueqing getting off Mr Wei's car together with Xueqing's youngest son, a spoilt little useless brat and she saw them again hugging in a rather intimate fashion walking on the streets. And when she confronted Xueqing, Xueqing didn't deny doing anything to her though Yiping didn't really said what she was confronting her for.

Anyway, Shuhuan proposed and after much thought, Yiping said yes and agreed to go with him to Nanjing to see his parents for the Chinese New Year. And then something tragic (however I saw it as a happy news that deserved to be celebrated, but then I may be cruel to say so) happened that involved Yiping, Shuhuan and the rude and heartless Mungping.

One night Yiping and Shuhuan were having some fun in The Grand Shanghai Nightclub and guess who they saw? A drunk Mungping with 3 of her male schoolmates. When Yiping and Shuhuan told her to stop drinking since those 3 guys were already groping her, she insulted Yiping because of her profession and Yiping who was too angry at that time to calm down walked away. All the bad memories of the rude and crude Mungping was probably flashing through her mind; how Mungping slapped her, kicked her so that she tripped and banged her head on the table, insulted her...But Shuhuan couldn't and tried to stop those men from taking her away and a fight ensued. He couldn't stop them because there were too many people and because Yiping stopped him and said; "Don't care about her, let her be". Shuhuan said, "But she is you sister" and angrily Yiping declared she had no such sister.

The next thing we knew, Mungping was raped by these 3 men, came home crying and saw Ruping who was waiting for her, because earlier Shuhuan called her and told her what happened at the club. Mungping told Ruping what had happened and they were afraid to tell their father.

When Shuhuan knew what happened to Mungping, this was what I called Event Two.

Shuhuan blamed himself for not saving her, he was wrecked with tremendous amount of unnecessary guilt, but that was because he was a nice guy, more so when he knew Mungping personally. He told a shocked Yiping what had happened to Mungping and the next thing, he accused her of stopping him from helping Mungping. He blamed her for what had happened, and unreasonably so. He even impliedly suggested that she had wanted the rape to happen to Mungping. He compared her to Ruping and that angered Yiping even more. And because of that Yiping screamed at him to leave and then their relationship was over. And he walked out.

However later they reconciled when the anger in Shuhuan subsided. He had after all promised to love her forever, to know the real her and to accept her for who she was.

But another tragedy happened.

Mungping was almost 3 months pregnant and her mom forced her to go for an abortion but that abortion was unsuccessful and she was rushed to a hospital. She got rid of the thing in her but she could never bear any children anymore. She became quiet and disassociated herself from her family. She became more mature and thought before she acted. Her father who knew about the pregnancy before the abortion had wanted her to give birth to the child and send the baby to an orphanage. However, one funny thing though. When Mungping claimed she was raped, her mother and father didn't believe her, until Shuhuan told them what happened. And the Lu men were so angry that together with Shuhuan and Du Fei they hunted the three scums, beat them half to death and dumped them in front of the police station, which will have no effect whatsover. Because Mungping clearly will not come forward to be a witness, since there was no accuser how can there be an accused? Pointless exercise of justice.

After all that had happened, Shuhuan never mentioned taking Yiping to Nanjing anymore and he left alone, though when they were at the train station, Yiping mentioned about his promise about Nanjing and Shuhuan said let's go. But she said no, so that she could spend Chinese New Year with her mother and she bade him farewell.

A few days later, a letter arrived and Shuhuan wrote that he realised after much thought, after all that had happened, he loved her deeply and that he will come back immediately just to be with her.

Ahhhhhhh....true love. So everything a-ok again.

Event Three
This was the final event that left Yiping emotionally depressed and suicidal, Ruping almost gaining a husband in Shuhuan and Du Fei almost losing his one chance at making Ruping love him.

When Shuhuan came back from Nanjing, all was happy until he was alone in Yiping's room and saw her diary. He read the first few pages, and he confronted Yiping. He read the passage where she claimed she might use him as a tool for revenge, that she never loved him and that she was using him to get to Lu Ruping since she was a Lu. Yiping tried to explain that that was the early part of the diary and that she had changed her mind. But Shuhuan was too broken hearted to listen to her, calling her a liar and a vengeful woman filled with hate. She threw him out of the house though her mother tried to stop him from leaving. But Yiping begged her mother to let her have some dignity and Shuhuan stormed out of the house and their relationship was over. Shuhuan felt used.

After much that had happened, Ruping finally knew her chance was now or never. In Shuhuan's most lost moment, she kissed him and said; "remember what I said? When you and Yiping are no longer together, there is always me, I will wait". But he rejected her and he went to the war as a war photographer.

At the meantime Yiping was lost emotionally. She couldn't cry and yet in her heart she was screaming for Shuhuan. She wrote him a letter, begging him for forgiveness and waited for him as written in the letter but he never read the letter. Fang Yu took the diary to Shuhuan, asking him to read it until the end but he told Du Fei to put the diary and the letter in his drawer, and kept the keys.

Mr Lu who was told that the reason of the breakup was because he had whipped her and he was wrecked with guilt at what he had done and even told Yiping he would find Shuhuan and demand for an explanation. But Yiping told him never to do so because for her father to do so that will tarnish his respectable image in her heart, an image that was once tarnished when he whipped her and rebuilt again after a year of meetings and understanding, thanks to constant advice of Assistant Li and that Yiping realise her father was not that bad after all.

Ruping missed Shuhuan so much that she begged Du Fei to take her to the army camp. They were almost killed by Japanese soldiers, she was almost robbed and raped, she was beaten and finally she saw him. And when Shuhuan realised how far she had travel just to see him, his restraints melted and he hugged her and kissed her. Now they were officially a couple.

When they went back home and told the Lu family about it, Xueqing was very pleased that her daughter had won over Yiping and quickly arranged for an engagement party, whilst Mr Lu was a bit apprehensive but decided that since Ruping loved Shuhuan, there was nothing more he could do. But Wenpei didn't think so. When Shuhuan came to Yiping and told her about the engagement party (since it was only appropriate that he informed her personally), Yiping was broken hearted but she acted strong. However Wenpei was the tearful one, begging him, asking him why he left her daughter. Mr Lu looked at Wenpei that what was he to do, both were his daughter and he loved both. However Wenpei looked at him and tearfully said; "You have two daughters and you loved both. But I have only one daughter and I love her" and thereafter she did something she had never done in her life; she walked into her own room and slammed the door at Mr Lu's face. And Mr Lu didn't know what more he could say.

At the meantime all Yiping could do was to cry. But on the day of the party, she bravely put on her best dress and went to the party. She wanted to show everybody that she could still go on living without Shuhuan and that she was strong. Actually she was stubborn and in actual fact she was crumbling, mentally and emotionally. Everybody was shocked to see her but she walked towards the couple, smiling and congratulating them. Ruping was happy she came whilst Shuhuan was too shocked to say anything. Yiping sang to them ,happily and then all of a sudden she fainted. Everybody rushed to her, she woke up and smiled saying she was ok and that she really had to leave. She left on Mr Li's trishaw but Shuhuan felt something was amiss. He followed her though Du Fei and Erhao tried to stop him. She arrived at the bridge, climbed on top of it and started singing. She was mentally unstable then. Though Shuhuan tearfully begged her to come down, she couldn't recognise him and kept saying she had to find her lost "thorns" (or something) and then she jumped. Shuhuan jumped along, saved her from drowning but she went into a delusional state of mind, mumbling, begging Shuhuan to come back to her and when she arrived at the hospital, she was already half dead and seriously losing her will to live. When Ruping heard what had happened to Yiping and how Shuhuan reacted to what had happened, she knew all her hopes and dreams were shattered. Instead of crying and screaming "injustice has been done to me", she accepted her fate and even prayed for Yiping's fast recovery. When finally Yiping woke up after days in coma, she was a bit blur but she remembered the party. She rejected Shuhuan because she was stubborn and she was too hurt. She told him to go back to Ruping. At first Shuhuan agreed to leave but then he came back and said he will never let go, he will never give up and that he loved her.

And at that moment, they patched things up, and Ruping and Yiping apologised to each other for what wasn't their fault and everybody was happy again.

What happened thereafter?
Pure unnecessary drama that was rather pointless.

Well, the war broke out, Japanese army was conquering poor China, good men went to war and died, women stayed at home praying for the return of their loved ones, at least in one piece.

Nothing more happened to the Lus is it?
Well, something rather dramatic.

Mr Lu finally found out that Xueqing have been having a affair with a Mr Wei and that Er Jie was not his real son. He knew because Xueqing who couldn't keep her mouth shut and her anger down, went to cause trouble with Yiping and her mom over Shuhuan and Ruping's problems. Everybody was there, including even Assistant Li who said he kinda suspected the affair a decade ago. Yiping threatened Xueqing that she will tell her papa about the truth if Xueqing didn't leave..well she didn't have to.. Mr Lu bursts into the house, crying, kicking, screaming and dragging Xueqing home, punched her, lifted poor Er Jie, a small child, however annoying he was, he was still a child and then threw him onto the ground but luckily Ruping dived and saved Er Jie. Then Mr Lu, the really violent extremist threw both mother and child into the store room, locked the door and warned that nobody will be allowed to feed them. He wanted them to die in there, starving as the punishment for the hurt that they caused him. Of course the famous gang couldn't do that, though Er Hao did agreed that his mom deserved to die for the treachery....you could almost hear the thunder strike when Er Hao said that..pure drama..

Anyway, Xueqing begged Ruping to go to see a certain person and she went. And that person was Mr Wei's assistant who in turn told Mr Wei who in turn went and rescued the mother and child, who left tearfully, clinging on to her two daughters. But what they didn't know was Mr Wei ordered his men to steal Mr Lu's money (his whole life's savings) in its hidden place in Mr Lu's study room.

What Ruping didn't realise was Erhao, Shuhuan and Yiping were all busy entertaining Mr Lu, making him drunk and stole the keys to the storeroom.

Well, Mr Lu was so angry, he kicked Ruping out of his study room and Ruping, feeling the greatest of guilt, took her father's gun, wrote a nice letter and went out with the sole purpose of killing herself. She didn't and she disappeared, whilst Mr Lu looked for her and feeling regret that he had said what he said to her.

Then the evil Japs came to China, bombs were everywhere, homes were wrecked, lives were shattered and children made orphaned. Whilst Mr Lu and gang was escorting Yiping and mom from their bombed house to the Lu Mansion for safety, the Japs were randomly opening fire on the streets, and Mr Lu got hit. He died, surrounded by his family, wishing Ruping was there and he only wanted to look at the picture of a Qing Dynasty dressed pretty girl named Ping Ping before he drew his last breath.

Who is Ping Ping?
I am getting to that.

Assistant Li told the gang about Ping Ping.

Many many many decades ago, whilst Mr Lu was still a young man and China was still under the Qing Dynasty, Mr Lu who was an orphan worked for a powerful Manchurian family as the horse stable boy. He met and feel deeply for the daughter of his Master, named Ping Ping who looked suspiciously like Wenpei when she was younger. They loved each other but daddy opposed. Mr Lu swore that he will go out, make a career that will make him a qualified suitor and marry Ping Ping. Ping Ping swore that she will wait for him. 15 years passed, Qing Dynasty no longer here, Mr Lu who by now was a General or War Lord Lu came back for his Ping Ping but alas...5 years before, she killed herself when she was forced to marry another. From thereon, whenever Mr Lu saw somebody who looked remotely like Ping Ping, like Wenpei who had her eyes, he will marry them. He truly loved this Ping Ping and looked for her substitute. And he named all his daughters RuPING, MungPING, YiPING, XingPING, all with PING in the memory of her. And now we all know why he loved Xingping so much...she looked like Ping Ping. Pure Mr Lu, a lovesick man who died thinking about Ping Ping and feeling regret, because he realised that he had been unfair to his 9 wives all these while.

And our gang, especially Yiping realised her father was not such a bad man after all.

What happened then? What? Ending?
Gotta drag for another 3 more episodes.

Since Mr Lu died, and everybody felt a bit lost in the war, Du Fei who was convinced Ruping was somewhere out there joined the war to look for her, whilst Erhao and Shuhuan joined the war to fight against the evil carrot tops (Japanese soldiers).

Yiping didn't stop him..in fact there was a time she considered leaving him because when Ruping disappeared, she blamed herself for everything.

Anyway, with all men gone except for Assistant Li, they all turned the Lu Mansion into an orphanage and Keyun,. who by then was cured of her delusional insanity could now take care of little children like her own. Mung ping took this opportunity to be a mother that she could never be, physically whilst Yiping went back to to The Grand Shanghai to sing, so that she could fund the orphanage. Everybody was happy and everybody waited for their men, sons and friends to return.

THE ENDING PLEASEEEEEEEE ?!
I am sure by the time you reach this part of the review, you would have felt like I did by the time I reached the last episode. I just wanted the darn series to end!

Well, 4 years later Du Fei found Ruping who didn't kill herself and joined the Medical team as a nurse, treating the injured soldiers. Du Fei was shot by a Japanese who was in turn shot by Ruping using her father's gun, she was so overwhelmed by his concern that she finally realised that she could love Du Fei and finally accepted his love. They married 2 months later at the camp and wrote a letter home, announcing the good news.

Everybody was happy for them.

At the meantime, after the seperation of more than 4 years, Erhao came back after the war in 1945 and immediately went to the waiting Fang Yu. Keyun was also there, as a friend. You see, earlier, before Erhao went to war, Fang Yu told Erhao she wanted to be a nun, but Keyun stopped her by saying a whole lot of unimportant lines, like how she finally woke up, how she finally realised she doesn't love Erhao anymore, how Fang Yu and Erhao were the actually and most compatible pair...well you know..those "I really don't want to be the 3rd party anymore and I hope you two have a great life ahead because I know you don't love me anymore and so I don't love you anymore" speech. Pointless.

BUT Shuhuan didn't come back on that train with Erhao. Erhao said a few months ago they were separated when Shuhuan was taken to the hospital as he was shot. Everybody Yiping waited for Shuhuan at the train station, dressed ever beautifully but he never came back. Until one last time, everybody had already left the station and there was no sign of Shuhuan. She walked back towards the exit of the station, feeling disappointed and worried about Shuhuan when Shuhuan slowly alighted from the empty train, his leg was hurt but amazingly he could still run to her, everybody gathered around them and the pair of lovers kissed like mad.

THE END.

You know... just out of curiosity, what happened to Xueqing?
Thought you didn't care....

Xueqing was wrecked with guilt that Ruping disappeared (she knew because the Lus printed a Missing Person ad in the newspaper) and also, Mr Wei was tired of her and was fooling around. Even Er Jie didn't acknowledge Mr Wei as his father. But Mr Wei was caught by the police because he was smuggling guns, illegally and presumably for the bad guys. Xueqing was also arrested, though she didn't kick up a fuss and she even testified against Mr Wei and will go to jail for 5-10 years. At the meantime, Yiping knew this story from Chin Eu Yeh who was responsible for the arrest of Mr Wei. Yiping asked Chin Wu Yeh a favour and a few days later, Er Jie, now slightly grown up came home to the Lu Mansion and everybody had a happy reunion.

THE END.

WAIT!! Don't we get to see Ruping coming home to the Lus?
Nope. Her story ended with the wedding at the war camp. After the war she didn't come back with Du Fei and where she went, you and I could only guess.

THE END.

The Hated Characters
Xueqing, who was Ruping, Erhao and Mungping's mother. I was so annoyed with her; she kept talking and talking and talking, never stopping. And all her words were equipped with daggers, enough to pierce through Yiping's heart. And though I understood her jealousy and her fear of losing her domineering presence in the Lu household, but I just wish she just shut up when she should. For someone who so fear her husband, she certainly never learned when to shut up and when to just stay away from a certain matter. She hated Yiping with all her heart; called her the "bitch" because she thought Yiping was the one who seduced Ruping's boyfriend, Shuhuan without giving much thought to one obvious fact; he never was Ruping's boyfriend. She was justified in her anger when her own daughter was dumped on her wedding day but to cause a havoc at the hospital was not a very lady-like thing to do. When Mungping was raped, she was the one who pushed for an abortion, all in the name of giving her daughter a chance of a decent future, and yet when all failed, she did blamed herself, but only for a millisecond. When things didn't go well, she would scream and say the most hurtful words towards a daughter; "You're useless, why I have such daughters like you." Mungping was just like her until the rape which changed her into a whole new person. Perhaps Xueqing wished she had Yiping as her daughter because at first they were both alike, though Yiping was never as malicious as Xueqing. The worst would be when she smiled happily, knowing Yiping was beaten by the thugs that her lover, Mr Wei hired. Talk about common decency and she had none.

She was one bad mother, a bad influence and it was a great wonder how Ruping could be so nice, on the surface. I will explain myself on this point. Did she loved her children? in front of Mr Wei she demonstrated her concern for her children and yet she didn't show much through actions. I believe she loved them but she was simply a failure when it came to showing how much she loved them. Anyway, I really really hated this woman and felt like slapping her every time she talked and talked and talked about how pitiful she was.

My second choice in here was that youngest son of Xueqing, Er Jie who was her love child with Mr Wei, unknown of course to everybody else. What a brat! And my God, he had little brain capacity to process things, because probably he was young. But please, what a spoilt brat. He was the first and the most eager participant in his father's habit of whipping people; he was the one who ran to get the whip and looked genuinely dissappointed when the father refused to use it.

My third choice is Yiping's mother, Wenpei. Perhaps all the humiliation and pain suffered by Yiping was due to her mother's own weakness, always afraid to speak up, never saying no, always the quiet one. It was such a wonder with such a weak mother Yiping could even survive beyond the age of one! But admittedly, she was a loving mother, who did all she could for her daughter, and even stood up for her when it came to Shuhuan and Ruping. But if you look carefully, though all the problems were fueled on by her husband, Zhenhua with his "I really don't care" attitude, she was the one who let it continue to be as such and it was her daughter who put a stop to it, and it made her daughter into a vengeful person, afraid to love and be loved, afraid to trust.

My fourth choice in here is our Mr Lu Zhenhua himself. Ok, I may have misunderstood him, so he is the least most hated person in my hate list, but for such a formidable war lord years before, he certainly became a chicken in his older years. Yes, a chicken. He let Xueqing talk the way she talked and walk the way she walked, probably because he agreed with her words. He probably disliked his own daughter Yiping because he didn't understand her nor did her take the time to understand her. He whipped her without thinking. Admittedly, he was probably a strict disciplinarian but the funny thing was, he should have told his wife to just shut up and yet he never really did so. He just said it softly in a rather threatening tone but this man was all threats and no cogent actions when it came to Xueqing. What I hate most about this failure of a father and a husband was when there was an argument, he ALWAYS resorted to violence; whipping, kicking, punching, throwing stuff (like glass wares, and even children) all towards his OWN DAUGHTER, Yiping. You can't blame Yiping for hating him. BUT...

The Most Unexpected Non-Villain
He was not the one who impregnated Keyun. I really thought he was the one, never thought of Erhao. The truth was he didn't know anything about what happened to Keyun since Assistant Li didn't want to tell him, out of sheer respect. But when he did, he took control of the situation. He demanded Erhao to marry Keyun and he could marry Fang Yu as the second wife. But Erhao said no. But he gave Erhao an order, not an option. Earlier he threw Erhao out of the house and then as viewers we will realise he always married the woman he wanted, giving them a decent name and a decent reputation whilst Erhao never married Keyun. But the thing is that he may have married them, but he certainly ruined these women's life, like Wenpei. However over the years he had mellowed a bit, after all he was 60 and he wasn't getting any younger.

He was an authoritarian when he was younger. But with the arrival of Wenpei's daughter, Xingping, he changed a whole lot more. He loved her more than anything else in the world, became much relaxed and I would assume he became bitter and angry when Xingping died of unknown tragic circumstances. Which explain why he could never control that fierce temper of his. You could just hate him but somehow you can't but feel a bit of respect for him later into the episodes. The way he treated Assistant Li and Keyun, the way he demanded Erhao to be a responsible man, the way he went all out to please Yiping and to win back his daughter's love and respect, the way he tried but couldn't do much to prevent the heartbreak that Shuhuan caused his two daughters and more importantly, the way he went after the rapists who raped his Mungping. He may have been a failure of a father years before but he was trying hard to be a better father for the future. But as a husband, he was a total failure.

The Most Hated Character
Without a doubt, Lu Erhao. Repeat after me..LU ERHAO the Jerk Of The Century.

I can never understand why a nice girl like Fang Yu ever fall for this crude man. He wasn't even a gentleman. Like his father he resorted to violence to settle matter. Always threatening to beat, slap and punch Yioping. How gentleman can this man be? Even if Yiping was unreasonable, a man, a properly educated gentleman must never ever raise his hands at a woman, more so a defenseless woman. Perhaps he was blind for 21 years of his life because surely he could understand why Yiping hated his mother. And yet he pretended he didn't or maybe he really didn't know. It will take a blind and deaf man not to know what was happening in the Lu household.The worst, and the one why his name is here was when he confronted Yiping about Yiping telling her best friend, Fang Yu never to see him again (before that reunion with Keyun scene). Guess what he did when he couldn't talk Yiping out of her own determination to put a stop to their budding love affair? He poured a glass of brandy to her face and insulted her. How gentleman can such a man be?? And then of course Keyun's problem. Keyun was also another pest. Anyway, he always said he didn't love her anymore and that he loved Fang Yu. I feel this will be the series' weakest point. How can a man who claimed that he forgotten about a childhood sweetheart, and then remembered her and then could remember everything said and done with her AND YET still claim he never loved her? I have a theory about men. They will always remember their first love, and they will always remember the things that they do with the person they have once truly loved. And yet he said he didn't love Keyun, not anymore. He always said he was young but do remember, they grew up together. He even insulted their memory by saying hurtful words that Keyun didn't matter and he just forgot about her. Either way this man is a total failure.

Look at it this way.

He doesn't remember the past and that will make him a heartless bastard, because you can never forget the one person whom you were so emotionally attached to for a decade of your life.

He remembers the past and yet claims he never loved her will also make his a heartless bastard. Because if you don't love her, how can you remember every single detail? You must at least feel something, not just guilt. Guilt is the present feeling but what were those of the memory of the past? Surely that must have been some sort of a left over love or something.

It's a lose-lose situation for this man's integrity.

I feel a nice girl like Fang Yu deserves better than this piece of rubbish. And he has my vote as the most hated person in this series, however much he changes, and however much he tries to have a better relationship with Yiping because of Fang Yu, he is a total failure when it comes to being a brother, a boyfriend, a son and a friend.

And talking about his failure as a son, when his father locked up his mother what did he do? He agreed that his mother should be killed for betraying her father's trust. In fact he himself wanted to kill her mother. People....Those who have not sinned please cast teh first stone..

I MEAN WHO IS HE TO CRITICISE HIS OWN MOTHER?! Has he forgotten how he impregnated Keyun, though he didn't know but has he forgotten how mean he was when he described their relationship? How dare he talked like that about his kotjer, who totally deserved to be punished but to be starved to death, with that poor little Er Jie was way too much man! Too heartless of the father (who was understandably angered) but the son?! Why was he so pissed? Assistant Li should have buried him alive then!

What a hypocrite. I really hate this character. HATE.

Most Useless "Get Over It!!" Character
There were times I felt like slapping Keyun, to make her wake up. Sure she was pitiful but when she became better after meeting Erhao, she became dependent on him. If he wasn't there, she would go bonkers. If he was, this woman has no qualms of kissing him in front of everybody.

The truth is Erhao was at fault for what he had done, something that he didn't know, almost didn't acknowledge when he knew. Though we can't push all responsibilities at him since he really didn't know Keyun was pregnant.

Anyway, this woman gotta stop being insane! When she was normal, she was normal. But when she was insane, she was so completely insane. She had delusional mind perhaps, or perhaps and I feel this will be her diagnosis if I were the doctor, that SHE WAS IN DENIAL. Pure and simple. What she needed is a one tight slap across her face, throw her into a big pool of ice water to wake her up. She could understand her parents suffering, she could understand what was happening around her and yet she can't get over Erhao and their memory. He certainly didn't deserve her utmost unconditional love.

And something is terribly wrong with Keyun. When they all first tried to make her remember the past, she claimed she didn't know who that man (Erhao) who was standing next to her was. And yet she felt no shame when he hugged her, dragged her into the forest and gave her a rather passionate kiss. Remember, to her he was a stranger. And when she remembered him, the only thing in her mind was kissing him and she did it in front of her parents who were too shocked to say anything. And in her mind she remembered their times together, the one sweetest memory was the one involving fireflies; that was when they first made love and they were surrounded by fireflies. Erhao was embarrassed but she wasn't. Give her credit for being such a passionate woman but I feel this woman had a serious problem with the lack of moral integrity. Perhaps love is all, love consumes a woman's heart and soul and she wouldn't mind giving her heart and soul. True only if you know that guy. I just can't get that scene out of my memory, where they kissed in the forest and that she didn't know him then. Maybe in her subconscious mind she did. Again she was in denial. And I get very annoyed with her and I just can't stand her.

Most Illogical Character
There was something not quite right with the character of Lu Ruping.

I have been to forums which discussed this character that was played by Ruby Lin. Though most criticisms were personal, attacking Ruby Lin by attacking Lu Ruping, however after watching this series in its entirety I could understand why Lu Ruping was such a criticized character. I am able to draw the line between the character and the actress, and so whatever I am saying below is not about Ruby Lin but rather her character, Lu Ruping.

Let me say this first; Lu Ruping reminds me of a predator, those predators that will wait for the victims to walk by, ever silently and when the right time is here, this predator will jump and catch the prey. The prey in here is He Shuhuan.

With her dog, I thought Ruping was a bimbo. But later we discover she was actually the kindest, nicest, gentlest, strongest soul in the series. She gave without much thought. She was friendly and charming, and though she was a rich man's daughter, she never had problems cooking, sewing and cleaning for Shuhuan and Du Fei. It was no great wonder she became a nurse because she really cared about the people around her.

And yet she was one innately devious character.

All that she had done was because she wanted to see Shuhuan. Plain and simple. Her actions were motivated by her deepest desire to make Shuhuan notice her and love her. In her mind she knew Shuhuan was never her boyfriend and so she did nothing when Shuhuan ran to Yiping. But this woman could be far scarier than that. She wasn't really such a nice person after all, when it came to love and her own happiness.

Whenever Du Fei told her that Yiping and Shuhuan had broken up, her reaction was always a bit surprised and then she will ask, "Really?". That "Really?" was actually her reaction to the situation in terms of "Ohhh...yeah!!!". She was always the first to cry when Yiping and Shuhuan made up, and she cried (in front of the reunited and reconciled couple) not because she was too happy for them, rather she cried because there goes her chance. She will always look at Shuhuan like a hopeful lover, hoping to get back her man and Shuhuan actually entertained such thoughts as well. When Shuhuan and Yiping broke up for real in Event Three, you would expect such a nice girl and a good sister like her would try to patch them up. But she never did, never said one word at all. When Shuhuan was acting like a mad man, kissing her she never pushed him away. Du Fei warned her that Shuhuan might rape her and yet she stayed behind. She bravely traveled across enemy territory to see Shuhuan, in her one last chance of getting him and when she finally got him, she was so happy, everything else didn't matter. On the day of the engagement, either she was too dumb to see what was happening or she was in denial, when Yiping came to congratulate them she said she was happy that Yiping came and it meant a lot to her that Yiping came.

The thing is I find the character of Lu Ruping terribly pretentious. She was not as nice as we would like to think of her but she was not that bad either. She was only a human and it didn't make sense. If she felt so much compassion for a stray cat or an old woman looking for her stray cat, couldn't she feel a bit more compassion for Yiping? Many blamed Yiping for taking away Shuhuan from Ruping but the truth was who was the third party in this messy relationship? When Yiping was hospitalised and Shuhuan rushed to her, the first thing that Ruping said above everything else was ; "It's finally over" and she cried. What she did thereafter was noble, praying for Yiping, etc but her every first statement was an indication of her character; she didn't really cared about Yiping at all. Her own interest come first. Well, we are selfish so I can't blame her.

When Du Fei tried to advise her not to go after Shuhuan when Shuhuan broke up with Yiping for the last time, Ruping told him in the face;

"Do you love me? If your really do please don't stop me; don't come between Shuhuan and me. Please help me"

And yet we all know who Shuhuan loved, so why didn't she volunteer to help Shuhuan and Yiping? Why she voluntarily came between the two of them?

When she wanted to go to find Shuhuan in the army camp, she begged Du Fei and Du Fei had to say yes, risking his life for a woman that told him many times she never loved him.

Pray do tell me....wouldn't a real person with the characteristics of Lu Ruping be called a manipulative and inconsiderate woman? She knew Du Fei loved her and she manipulated his love for her for her own gain.

When all was really over, her father looked at her and asked; "When you agreed to the engagement, didn't you already know this would happen? Didn't you already know Shuhuan loved Yiping more than he loved you?"

And she nodded, tearfully. She knew and yet she tried to squeeze herself into the already explosive relationship between Yiping and Shuhuan. What was she thinking? Like I said, people are selfish, especially when it comes to love. Love is a fair game, no such thing as first come first serve basis and the funny thing was Ruping was never in the game, because Shuhuan loved Yiping much too much to have loved Ruping, though he once entertained that thought and did love her to a certain extent. I would say Ruping is a woman who knows when to seize the opportunity. And for that I find her earlier principles of being such a nice person contradicting the later parts of the series. I find Ruping a pretentious, manipulative and inconsiderate woman, shielded in our memory of her kind, generosity in the earlier part.

To give her credit, to answer the question I posed above, who was the strongest between Yiping and Ruping, it had to be Ruping. One good thing about this woman that her mother should learn from her is she knew when to give up and move on. I give her credit for that.

I find Ruping's character very similar to Lee San San's character in DIF IV. Lee San San went after Sunny when Charmaine was in prison. But at least Lee San San did consulted Charmaine, and even advised Charmaine to think about Sunny before saying they're over. The key words are "CONSULTED" and "ADVISED". In this series, Ruping never once consulted nor advised Yiping. She simply jumped at the chance and threw herself at Shuhuan. I find that action of hers disturbing. Lee San San and Charmaine were the best of friends whilst Ruping and Yiping were sisters. Though they weren't very close, but Ruping kept saying Yiping was her sister. I do know that later they reconciled and each apologised to each other for the hurt that they have caused each other but what troubled me was Ruping's initial action; if she really cared that much for Yiping, why would she had threw herself unashamedly at Shuhuan? Wouldn't she know the consequences of her actions? What was indeed missing was Ruping seeing Yiping before the engagement party. What if Yiping killed herself and died? How would have Ruping acted? I truly believe she would have gone ahead with the engagement and then the wedding if she could have it her way. She simply struck me as a very determined woman in all that she does. Luckily she could easily let go of something too. Yiping could never do that. However at least Yiping will never "Wan Dou Duit Ngoi", meaning seducing another person's boyfriend/girlfriend.

Most Saddest Character
Lu Yiping. She could be very stubborn but to me, she was very pitiful, she was so pressured to put food on the table that she cried out of frustration. She felt hurt and rejected when her father whipped her. She felt loved and yet insecure when she was with Shuhuan. And when Shuhuan was about to be engaged to Ruping, she felt so hurt she almost killed herself and became delusional, like Keyun. She kept saying she wanted to find her "thorns". Shuhuan didn't know what she was talking about but Fang Yu knew. All her life, Yiping survived because of her immense hatred for the Lu family and towards her father. With Shuhuan, she let go of all the hate and concentrated her will to live on this one man. For that she was willing to know her father again and accept the Lu siblings as her own. But when Shuhuan left, she crumbled. She had no will to live. It was sad that a person should put so much attention to one person and even sadder when she no longer wanted to live. However she survived, but still as stubborn. She mellowed a bit and even smiled much more than she did. Shuhuan was a good thing and also a bad thing for her. Luckily the man loved her with all his heart. What if he didn't? What if he loved Ruping in the end? Well, we will have another Keyun.

The Nicest And Most Confused Character
In terms of characterisation, how nice that character was, He Shuhuan. Perfect guy but still he can't choose. He was actually in love with both women.

Some forum said that he accepted Ruping because she was too nice, and he couldn't refuse her. Not quite true. In the earlier part he already liked Ruping. He once told Yiping and even Ruping that if there wasn't Yiping, he would have fallen for Ruping. That gave Ruping more excuse to pursue him. Anyway, he was already in love with Ruping when things didn't go well with Yiping. He was beginning to see the more darker side of Yiping and he didn't like it. And so he looked at the ever sunshine, Ruping. When he agreed to the engagement, perhaps he wanted to be rid of Yiping in his mind but at the same time he wanted a relationship with the much relaxed Ruping. Got to admit this much; loving Yiping was much too difficult and so he finally chose a much easier option. The truth is that when he read the contents of the diary, he had already had this dissatisfaction for Yiping. He was looking for reasons perhaps to end their relationship. Of course the series never said it that way and that he was genuinely hurt by the contents of the diary but the truth was he never bothered reading the diary in it entirety. Wasn't that an indication perhaps he didn't bother anymore? He didn't care anymore because he was too tired loving Yiping? When Yiping wanted to jump from the bridge, he woke up and realised he would rather suffer loving Yiping than to lose her. He would have to accept the whole of her and he finally did.

So did he loved Ruping at all? My answer is yes, not friendly love but love. Not pity love, not sympathy love but love. But he loved Yiping more.

How come he loved Yiping more? Perhaps he wanted a challenge. Ruping was much easier to pursue and more accommodating. She practically THREW herself at him, begging and pleading for him to love her whilst Yiping had more character because she was more stubborn and she was, 99% of the time the first to break off the relationship.

Most Favourite Character
My vote will be for Fang Yu. Strong, pretty, intelligent and she had such a fierce determination to undo the wrongs that Erhao did. She was jealous of course when Keyun and Erhao reminisced about the past but she knew she had to be patient. I find her the strongest character amongst all the characters and I really like her. I just don't understand why a nice girl like her will end up with a jerk like Erhao. She deserved a man like Shuhuan.

Most Redundant Character
Du Fei. His character's sole purpose in this series was to be the one that Ruping will end up with at last. I didn't like the addition of this character and he was such a waste of time to watch when there were more important things to watch. I am sure you found him cute. I find him ridiculously clumsy and I could understand why Ruping never looked at him.

Most Ridiculous Reasons For Marrying 9 Women
Read the plot above and you would know what I mean.

Yiping called her father the most loving man in the world, the most sentimental for loving Ping Ping to his death. True BUT marrying 9 women who looked like her wasn't an act of a sentimental man, it was an act of a selfish man. I mean, My God...People! Live on, stop thinking about the dead for God's sakes! He practically gave these 9 women little choice but to marry him and in the end, he loved none of them except for the very dead Ping Ping. And ladies and gentleman....this is what I would term as "Destroying The Happiness Of Women By Marrying Them and If You Can't Love Them, Leave Them Alone!".

The Most "Unsentimental" Moment
War has ended and Er Jie, a bit grown up now finally came home. Yiping ran to him and everybody told him that they knew of his winning essay and asked him what was the title of the essay and he replied; "My Father" and in his essay he wrote that his father, the General was a brave man and a wonderful father and Yiping got teary-eyed and simply nodded.

Pray do tell me, what the heck is wrong with this scene, you must be asking?

JUST TWO EPISODES EARLIER, our Mr Lu picked Er Jie up above Mr Lu's head, and THREW him onto the floor, put the child in a room, locked him in there and wanted to starve him to death. When Xueqing screamed Er Jie was sick, which was true, he did nothing. He wanted the kid and the mom to die. Pure and simple. DIE.

Now you should realise what is so wrong with this scene about Er Jie and his essay.

Total crap if you ask me. What nonsense man!! Wanting to justify Mr Lu as a nice guy and wanting a bit of a sentimental moment, to make us all go "Ahhhhhhhhhh....", the writer included this unnecessary scene. When I was watching that scene, I was simply too stunned to say anything. I guess grown ups are right; Children will forget.

For once I must use this one word that I have avoided throughout my review writing hobby of mine;

STUPID SCENE.

Most Favourite Song
Ye Yu Mong Mong (Rain In The Misty Night), sung with such feelings by Vicki Zhao. I love the lyrics which goes something like this.....

I am afraid, most afraid of the rain in the misty night
Can't see clearly, can't see clearly your voice
I have once spoke of my pain to the Heaven
The Heaven is crying, I am crying but where are you?
The past is like the misty rain .......

Very poetic huh? I bet Qiong Yau wrote the lyrics...

Worst Scene(s)
Every time Du Fei messed things up. The worst had to be this one which was the Most "Moronic" Scene in the whole series. Du Fei gave Ruping a "Sha Gua" (a Wu Lou actually) and she lost it. In the market people were walking around and he kept screaming for his Sha gua like "My Sha Gua..my sha gua....my sha gua..." again and again and again, all the while he was destroying the whole market. And funny thing was those people walking around were so fake! Can't they see a guy screaming on the floor looking for something and yet they still bumped into him. That was the most tedious scene in this series and it was the worst scene. I fast forwarded it and it lasted about 10-15 minutes, a scene filled with total nonsense. After that scene I could have saw Du Fei as an idiot, if not for the one scene in the Best Scenes below.

Every time Keyun went insane and not even 5 people could hold her down. Again I fast fowarded those scenes.

The old lady with her cat. Fast fowarded that scene as well.

The war scene where Ruping went to search for Shuhuan whilst Yiping was at home, getting more depressed. Much too long and too boring. Nonsense.

The scene where Yiping was in the hospital and she was in coma for 4 days. Boring because it was much too long.

Every time our young gang in here have their gathering. Waste of time.

The way they tried to make Keyun better. Illogical and really stupid. Look, listen and AVOID!! You see, they all thought that to make Keyun better, they must make her remember the past with Erhao. And when she did it was messy. Can't they predict this; that when Keyun remembered she will be dependent on Erhao? They made him say things like how much he had loved her, the promises, he even kissed her and what did they do? They were smiling, feeling like they had done a good thing. In actual fact they made things more complicated. What Keyun needs is a good psychiatrist to talk to her, to listen to her. Anyway, this writer gave this mess an easy ending. In real life it would have been really messy. Very illogical and unsatisfactory ending.

The last 5 tapes, especially the ones about the war. Boring..boring..boring.

The final ending..anti-climax with nothing exceptional about it.

The Best Scenes
Every time our Mr Lu appears. Tension, tension tension.

Any scene with Xueqing in it. Tension tension tension.

Every time Xueqing, Yiping, Mr Lu and Mungping in one scene. Tension tension tension.

The first episode at how Wenpei married Zhenhua and how Zhenhua whipped Yiping. Tension tension tension.

The on/off relationship between Yiping and Shuhuan. Very realistic and I liked watching them as their relationship becomes stronger and yet tested time and time again.

The scene where Yiping was at the engagement party and then she jumped from the bridge. Very heart wrenching and very sad.

The volatile relationship between father and daughter (Zhenhua and Yiping).I really liked it when they reconciled.

Every time Yiping sings in the nightclub. I didn't like Vicki's performance in there but I loved the songs.

When Mungping was raped. I cheered. I am so mean huh? But you have just gotta see the attitude that Mungping had. When people refuse to listen, what more can you do?

The Ultimate Classic Scenes
There were two good scenes, one where Zhenhua whipped Yiping in episode one and the second was when after the engagement party was wrecked by the presence of Yiping, Xueqing was scolding her daughter, calling her useless for letting her man go and it was Du Fei who told Xueqing right in her face what a bad mother she was. I thought they were classic moments because they were very memorable.

What To Expect
Great songs wonderfully sung by Vicki, nice onstage costume, especially the one in white, romance in the rain, plenty of kissing and a really long winded storyline.

What Not To Expect
Songs sung by Ruby. None, which is a good thing.

Best Aspect
I may sound like a pervert for saying this but the truth is, this series boasts some of the best kissing scenes in the Entertainment business. Such tenderness, such passion, their lips just molded together so perfectly. Leo Koo and Vicki Zhao, even Hsu Lu and Gao Hsin or even everybody else who kissed in this series, done to perfection. Especially the way Leo Koo kissed Vicki Zhao, such passion. I do think the actor really like the actress.

And the songs. Always the songs and the lyrics.

Worst Aspect
The length of this series. Too much nonsense, like in most Qiong Yau series. I find that the worst aspect of this series, especially the war thing. Nothing much than to give a bit of suspense, like will Shuhuan die in the war, will Yiping ever see him again...well, now you know the answer.

The Performances Reviewed
Overall, quite good but some were simply wrong for their roles.

Best Performances
Gao Hsin, Le Ting Ting / Le Jia Hsing, Kou Zhen Hai , Hsu Xing, Wang Lin ,Tsao Qiu Gen and Zhang Lan were all very good, especially Hsu Xing who played Xueqing. And Qiong Yau is so good at finding older good looking actor, in the form of Kou Zhen Hai who played Zhenhua BUT what I can't understand is why find a young man to play a 60 year old man in the form of Assistant Li's Tsao Qiu Gen?

Good Performance
Alec Su. Ok, I thought Du Fei was a waste of time to watch but I thought Alec Su did an admirable job in here.

Bad Performances
Hsu Lu who plays Keyun. She is much too old to play a supposedly young Keyun in the flashbacks. Anyway, she was very inadequate and I was very annoyed with the way she delivered her lines, she will breath in a lot of air and talked in a high pierced tone as if she was lacking in air. Disappointing and frankly I didn't think she was pretty.

Li Yu who plays Fang Yu. I like her character, I love her hair, I thought at some angles she was very pretty though I do not like her eyes, but her performance was inadequate emotionally.

Leo Koo was simply wrong for He Shuhuan. In my mind He Shuhuan was debonair, articulate, smart, scholarly looking like a gentleman and physically believable as a fighter. I have said in my The Yue Ling Connection that if Ma Jingtao were years younger, he could have been He Shuhuan, because admittedly some scenes Leo Koo bore a striking resemblance to Steve Ma's He Shiwei from Green Green Grass By The River, although admittedly, Steve Ma with his thin frame wouldn't look believable as a fighter but when he was in his GGGBTR days, he will look believable as the gentle Shuhuan.

Now who could be Shuhuan?

I didn't say this but my friend did ok? She suggested Qiu Xinzhi. I thought maybe but if this was produced by TVB, and if he was a better actor than he is now, I would say Marco Lo Hing Fai.

Anyway, Leo was inadequate. Luckily they found him a good voiceover because we all know his real voice wasn't that manly. He had great chemistry with Vicki and the way they kissed was very tender and passionate. BUT my idea of Shuhuan wasn't Leo Koo, who was just too thin to be Shuhuan. Leo Koo looks like a decent cute guy but Shuhuan isn't cute, he is DEBONAIR. Which Leo Koo lacks. Apart from inadequacy in the looks department, he was a very bad actor when I first saw him act in TVB. I still remember him as a host of JSG and then he became a singer. Like his singing, his acting is sometimes soulless, almost wooden. Like his singing, he has the right voice, in fact he has one of the best singing voice in HK music industry but the problem is his delivery. He had no high pitch, no low pitch just one straight line, nothing dramatic or unexpected ever comes from Leo Koo. And this goes for his acting too. I am not saying he was an amateur actor giving immature performances but I am just saying when he could have done more, he didn't. When he is calm and stable, he looked wooden. When he is crying, he looks like he overacts. He needs a balance which I can't see in here. However his best moments were when he was with Vicki. With Vicki Zhao next to you, you have got to be better because she could make you look really bad. But overall, his was a disappointing performance, if not for the voiceover.

Most Excellent Performance
Vicki Zhao has finally come of age as an actress though I would wish she would just break away from Qiong Yau series. I have said enough in The Yue Ling Connection, so I will not repeat myself. Let's look at her performance.

I thought her worse was when she was performing on stage. She couldn't lip sing decently and I find that disappointing. And I didn't like it when she whispered her lines and looking at the floor. And when she cries she looks forced, crying is not her best asset as an actress. She could have done more with the character of Yiping but somehow I feel she must have been told to hold back a bit, don't do too much.

However she gave the best performance in here because of her eyes. She has such a challenging role in here which was only marred by the fact that her character became nicer much too soon. I love the scenes where she was hateful and angry. At least we have a heroine with personality for once in a Qiong Yau series which is rare. She has such an expressive eyes and you could see joy, hurt, pain, disappointment. It was such a joy to watch her act and in this series, without her the series would have lost its credibility. She, together with the older actors and actresses gave this series something called respectability. The story may be illogical or even awful at times, but her performance was always riveting and very in depth. She is indeed China/Taiwan's brightest star (forget about Zhang Ziyi for a moment ok?) and she made this series watchable. Look out for this woman; she might win an Oscar one day, if she chooses her scripts carefully. I just wished she stopped acting in Qiong Yau series. I admit Qiong Yau gave her all the meaty roles, so I think I should say she should stop acting in nonsensical TV dramas and aim for art house movies to build her reputation as an actress. Wonderful performance.

Worst Performance
Ruby Lin. Do read my comment on Ruby Lin in The Yue Ling Connection before you read this one, because I really do not want to receive hate mails from Ruby Fans. Seagull, you included.

I have told Seagull, when I watched the 1st episode, that Ruby did quite well. True. When she was arguing with Vicki I thought she did well and I couldn't understand why many said she was really bad in here. And then I realised why.

Many have said that she got a bad role, the role that was inadequate which was why she did badly. I disagree. Her role in Duke Of Mount Deer 2000 was inadequate, at times juvenile but she was cute in there because her character required her to be cute. Look more carefully and you'll realise that many praised her in DOMD 2000 because we like her. Simple.

In here she was given a role that had equal amount of screen time with Vicki Zhao and contrary to what has been said, a role that was equally developed as Vicki Zhao's role, but for the same amount of time that she had like Vicki, she didn't utilise them fully. I can understand why Qiong Yau said she wasn't very good in here. A very simple reason.

The problem lies not with Lu Ruping but with Ruby Lin.

First of all, Ruby is not an exceptional actress. Worst still, she is not a talented actress at all. As the series progresses, I have this feeling that Ruby wasn't paying attention. She seemed blur at times, in fact she seemed like she didn't want to be in the series. She delivered her lines like an automaton, like a robot programmed to deliver her lines. Her performance was shallow and her voice, except in the first episode was almost flat, without much expression. Did she study her character? Because if she did, she would realise she has quite a good character. We could have hated her Ruping but because Ruby is so likeable as a personality and as a star, we couldn't. So she already won some of the viewers. Why didn't she interpret her character with much more depth? Perhaps she couldn't find the inspiration for Ruping?

Except for HZGG I, Ruby has been consistently inadequate in all her roles, sometimes bad. And then I realised why. I re-read my comments on her in The Yue Ling Connection and I agreed with my own views. I like to look at her, I like her but as an actress she will never be able to satisfy my cravings for a good solid and thoughtful performance. In Vicki you could see her baring her soul to us, she worked really hard in all her performances, no matter how bad were the series/movies. In Ruby, I couldn't see that.The truth is I thought she looked dazed in this series. Perhaps her mind was somewhere else.

Anyway, if she was Charmaine Sheh, I would have blasted her for her bad performance. The truth is she is a far better actress than Charmaine Sheh but she doesn't work as hard or try as hard as Charmaine. Ruby is far too relaxed in all her performances. I really do like Ruby Lin but she is disappointing in here. If she doesn't buck up, her career is over before it even began on a proper note. Between Vicki and Ruby, I had to admit, Vicki will be the one who will win awards and have a lifetime to contribute to the Entertainment scene whilst Ruby, if she continued the way she is now, will always remain a teen idol and nothing more. Ruby, do better next time. Concentrate!

Verdict/Funn's Recommendation
Rent it for Vicki Zhao but not worth your money to buy. I was indeed entertained (for a while) and for a moment I was tempted to write that "this is Qiong Yau's best series that I have seen" but that will be so if they have ended this series 10 episodes earlier. Everything seemed wrong with this series as it progresses on which I have written below.

The truth is after 40 episodes of this series, I was beginning to lose interest. I rented Gods Of Honour and found myself chasing that series more than this series, though I have 5 more tapes waiting for me. I know it will be the same old grandmother story and it will be boring. Indeed, it was. The more this series goes towards the ending, the more this series became some sort of a failed story on human emotions. Sometimes I just have this feeling that the person who wrote the story and made it into a series was a coward; because much more could be explored with the intense and volatile relation between the Lus and Yiping and Yiping and Ruping with Shuhuan but yet they left us dangling half way with what everybody would have wanted; a happy ending for all. Wouldn't it be great that this series has a happy ending and a tragedy? Wouldn't it make us feel a bit more sadder for its characters or more happier? When Yiping threatened suicide and Shuhuan ran to her, and the scene shifted to a rather disappointed Ruping, I didn't feel much sadness for her, because with the presence of Du Fei, I knew she would end up with Du Fei, one way or another. Take away Du Fei and this series would have left us wondering; what will happen to Ruping? Will she be able to move on? The suicide was something which was unexpected from Yiping and I liked that scene. In fact you would be left with a tear or two. But you would know it will be a happy ending. The story of Fang Yu and Keyun was also without much suspense. We know who will end up with who.

The problem with this series lies not only with the wrong casting decisions for some, with unnecessary characters and unnecessarily long scenes, the real problem is that this series has no suspense whatsoever. It was predictable, from the beginning to the last. The only unpredictable thing was; Who was responsible for Keyun's pregnancy? I was thinking Mr Lu himself and it turned out to be his son. That was totally unexpected because I was expecting Mr Lu to be a big time villain. In the end, this series like ALL Qiong Yau series, there is no one BIG villain, just miserable desperate losers who wants our pity and often, I could not feel any pity for them. The only person that I remotely feel for was Vicki Zhao's Yiping but after a while, even she can't hold my attention much longer. The longer this series goes on, the worse it becomes. HZGG was short, sweet and to the point. This series had simply too much nonsense. I don't want to see Du Fei, I want to watch what happens to Yi Ping and the Lus. Whilst Du Fei does provide for comic relief, however I find his scenes rather tedious and way too long.

Placing the main events of this series right in the middle of WWII won't help much either...because this is a love story and we all know who will be with who but the war will prolong that supposed and predictable mystery. I fast fowarded the last 5 tapes and still didn't miss much. And one thing that was really annoying was the fact that everybody seemed to be giving a speech in here...really long dialogues and non stop as well. Very tiring and boring as hell.

Anyway, my sincere recommendation, if you're a die hard fan of any of the stars in this series or even Qiong Yau, give it a try. It is one of the better Qiong Yau series I have seen but I don't think you'll enjoy this series much for the above stated reasons though I am very happy to add that in this series, we have less crying and no over sentimental scenes which was a trademark of Qiong Yau's previous series. At least we don't have to suffer unneccesary crying and begging and 5 people trying to hold on to a hysterical jilted lover. Oops...we have that in Keyun. But at least only Keyun.

If you really are not their die hard fans, take my advice..AVOID.

And remember to buy the album. Can't find it? Download it. I have included many links and midi links as well in my B.A.R : Books And Albums Reviewed site.

If I Were Qiong Yau...
Get rid of the character of Du Fei. With Du Fei in here, the suspense of the triangular love between Shuhuan, Yiping and Ruping has no tragic effect. We all know Du Fei will end up with Ruping. Why not deny Ruping that chance? Take away Du Fei and what would Ruping do if she had no one else?

Make Ruping the villain. Instead of giving her such a nice and generous personality and yet at times selfish as hell though we are supposed to say she is such a nice girl, why not make her outright manipulative and bent of making Shuhuan her own? That will give Ruby some challenge. Imagine this; Ruping a mean crazed woman but yet we will like her because Ruby is a likeable person.

Change Leo Koo for a better and much more debonair actor. Make him a Taiwanese actor.

Change the story of Keyun, Erhao and Fang Yu. Why not make things a bit more interesting by making Erhao still in love with Keyun? That will make him a better man rather than a jerk he was.

I find it surprising that Mungping, after being raped never once accused Yiping of abandoning her in the nightclub. I would have expected that from her.

Make Vicki re-shoot all those performing on stage scene, where she lip sing.

End the series will a wedding scene of Shuhuan and Yiping.

Interesting Facts
Ruby Lin said she acted in this series as her way to repay for Qiong Yau discovering her and hiring her for HZGG I. OUCH!! Which was why Qiong Yau was very pissed off, made remarks that she didn't do too well (true) and how well Leo (not true) and Vicki (true) did.

Whenever Leo Koo was asked whether he had a thing for Vicki, he would always answer in this series he is head over heals in love with Yiping. Where is the answer?

Everybody kept saying the previous version was better which starred Chin Han and Liu Xuehua. Looking at that two names itself, I would say probably true. In fact, there was a Ruping in the story whom I was told killed herself at the end whilst there was no Du Fei, or any silly antics. I believe the older version should be much darker and therefore more enjoyable. And frankly, Liu Xuehua could cry much more beautifully than Vicki Zhao and Chin Han IS debonair though his acting is so-so.


1 comments:

  1. Dufei did exist in the 1986 version... and he really was heartbroken when Ruping killed herself. I saw the 1986 version and it was very sad.

    Speaking of Chin Han, I think he can really act his part as Shuhuan better than Leo Ku.

    I always thought that... Jerry Yan and Barbie Xu should have been Shuhuan and Yiping.

    ReplyDelete

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