Deciphering The Title
The English title simply refers to Anne's character, who is a mail order bride from Nanyang. What I absolutely hate is the Chinese title because I have been duped! The Chinese title is "Fei Po Lai Lai, Lau Gai Sik", which basically means The Fat Mother In Law and Her Spoilt Daughter In Law. If you read my whole review, you will know why this Chinese title in NO WAY represents the story in this series. Nope, you'll feel shortchanged because of this title.
By the way, is there a "The" in the The Stamp Of Love? Doesn't matter larrrr.
10 tapes/20 episodes
Thanks to Jennifer for this cast list.
Anne Heung Hoi Nam - So Mei Kam
Lau Dan - Lou Fung Wan
Kong Wah - Hanson Sung Hon Man
Lam Seung Yi - Bao Yau Tin
Lydia Sum - Siu Yuk
Ma Tai Lou - Rainbow Lou Choi Hung
Yeung Ying Wai - Cheung Kwan.
Hui Chau Yi - Ho Jing Jing
Jau Hoi San - JoJo
Onn Dak Juen - Bao Kin Bong
Marco Lo Hing Fai - Bao Kin Jung
Jo Jo Chou Jung - Lei Sam Yee
Liu Kai Chi - Koo Yat Muk
Anna - June Chan Kei
Har Ping - The Bao family nanny
Nope, not about an unreasonable mom in law and her spoilt daughter in law with a wimp of a son, like I first thought. Nope, not about a hungry mother in law, a cook of a daughter in law and a non interfering son in law. Nope, not about every other thing you're thinking about.
This is a series about twisted family values, how meaningless loyalty and ones own integrity may be, and yet we will get to see some good people doing some good things for other people because of their kind hearts. And in the end, kindness pays.
Primarily this is a series about misunderstanding, greed, evil minds and prejudices, between two men against one fat lady, one fat lady against one poor girl, one poor girl against one fat lady, one ugly woman against one poor girl...you know what I could go on and on and on and on trying to summarize this series. Just read everything below.
WARNING! SPOILERSSSSS GALORE!
Very simple storyline that is easily summarized, for the 1st part of the series.
So Mei Kam was a 21 year old girl from Nanyang, exact country unknown. The country she stayed was always rioting every other day, and her family, consisting of one mother, one little sister and one younger brother was always harassed, and they have little food to survive, because economic was really bad. Out of sheer desperation, Mei Kam volunteered and became a Mail Order bride, where she will be paid a certain sum and she will have to marry abroad. The man she was supposed to marry was supposedly in his 30's, as seen in the pictures he sent her and so she traveled to Hong Kong, all alone only to discover, after much misunderstandings and hardships, that her Fung Wan kor was actually nearing 60's, rather than pushing 40's. Utterly devastated, she wanted to go home, feeling somehow cheated, but Fung Wan was a kind man with an even kinder heart. He let her stay on, and treated her like an honoured guest. His sister, Rainbow disapproved of her, thinking of her as a gold digger, whilst later on, Mei Kam befriended the tenants in the small apartment of Fung Wan's, a rather flirtatious girl named Ho Jing Jing and a righteous but forever no money, Cheung Kwan. After much consideration and thinking of her family's well being in Nanyang, and knowing that Fung Wan will treat her well, Mei Kam at last agreed to the marriage, but unfortunately on the day of her marriage, he died from a heart attack, whilst she was left with nothing. Though Rainbow was angry with Mei Kam for a while, but later on she agreed to let Mei Kam to stay with her, and along the way, with the help of a man named Hanson, and all of these tenants, Mei Kam began to rebuild her life and create a better future for herself whilst entangled in confusing relationships with two men.
You Must Be Kidding! That's it?!
No lar. Much longer, coz frankly, I don't see this series as all about So Mei Kam, but rather about prejudices and how far will one go to achieve their goals. As usual, I shall vomit out to you the details to illustrate to you the real meaning and the real description of this story. Whatever I wrote above in The Storyline, is only 20% of the story.
The Second Most Important Element Apart From Mei Kam ...The Bao Family
From Episode One onwards, we know the Bao family was one dysfunctional family for a very simple TWO reasons; the two un-filial sons, Kin Bong and Kin Jung. They were the prime examples of the most useless of all useless sons.
Their mother died when they were very little, and the father, an old man by the name of Yau Tin married his assistant, a former gangster lady who was now a bit on the heavy side, Siu Yoke. The sons didn't like her, because frankly she was one misunderstood lady. Except for her prejudices towards Mei Kam, Siu Yoke was actually a very good woman, who ran her husband's businesses. But the sons always thought of her as the barrier between them, the father and the vast family fortune. So these two sons together with Kin Bong's wife, Sum Yee, from Episode One have been planning all sorts of devious, malicious and evil schemes to make their father die, thinking they will inherit the vast fortune. Little did they know that the father, before his second heart attack and subsequently became paralysed and unable to talk had actually changed his will and left all fortune and all power of attorney to Siu Yoke. Siu Yoke afraid that they will do the old man further harm with the words they say moved him into a secret chamber in the house. She always thought the old man wanted a family to stick together, so even however un-filial they may be, she patiently tried to teach them towards the path of goodness. But when these two animals of children found out the true contents of the will, they no longer wanted to kill the father but tried all the tricks in the world to make Siu Yoke suffer a heart attack and die earlier than Yau Tin. She didn't know they knew about the will. The first person that Kin Jung thought of who could possible make her so angry that she will die was So Mei Kam, the one person that Siu Yoke was prejudiced against, thinking she was some slutty gold digger. And Mei Kam, after hearing the sob sob stories by Kin Jung and Kin Bong was also prejudiced against Siu Yoke, and tried all she could to scream louder than Siu Yoke in any fighting match. But what they never expected was that these two women would unite, against all their own prejudices.
How come Siu Yoke knows So Mei Kam?
Siu Yoke and Yau Tin knew Fung Wan whowas Yau Tin's favourite fortune teller. But Siu Yoke actually met Mei Kam earlier in a misunderstanding, where Siu Yoke accidentally poured some chili sauce onto Mei Kam's favourite shirt, and Mei Kam raised her voice out of anger. Bad first impression. And days before Fung Wan's wedding, they were invited to the company annual dinner and Mei Kam wanted to part time as Cheung Kwan's assistant in the magic stint. Siu Yoke passed the changing room and saw Cheung Kwan leaning very close to Mei Kam, and she thought Mei Kam was seducing Cheung Kwan, since in her mind she was a mail order bride willing to marry a man decades older and so Mei Kam, in her conclusion was a gold digger. Her conclusionwas not unreasonable since Mei Kam indeed wanted to marry Fung Wan for money but for a very good reason. The third time was when Fung Wan died and not long after Mei Kam married Hanson Sung and Siu Yoke hated her. And of course, when Hanson left all of a sudden after his failures in his investment career, unknown to Siu Yoke and Mei Kam, Kin Jung pursued Mei Kam for a very sinister reason and Mei Kam was touched by his sincerity and so moved into the Bao mansion. And thanks to Ho Jing Jing's previous scams on the beauty parlour ran by Siu Yoke and Sam Yee, and Siu Yoke thought that Mei Kam was involved in the scams, Siu Yoke got very very angry every time she saw Mei Kam. And Mei Kam thought that Siu Yoke was a bad step mother for not allowing the two "filial" sons to see their sick father, wanting to keep all fortune to herself and always unfairly accusing Mei Kam of all sinister stuff, Mei Kam was more than happy to retort back at Siu Yoke every time Siu Yoke picked on her faults. That was how the prejudice began and fueled on by these two useless sons.
Who's Hanson Sung?
A man that Mei Kam met on the plane to Hong Kong and later this man, without any condition, without any expectation, helped her financially and even married her so that she could get a PR in HK and so that she could work. He was the one who encouraged her to open a dessert shop and financed her as well. When after one night, in a drunken stupor he slept with her, he overheard Mei Kam calling her mom and telling her mother that she was very happy that she found a good husband. After all, Hanson was good looking, very nice, very successful as an investment manager and he was very helpful. Mei Kam clicked with this man because this man was an orphan and knew how hard success can come by, and Mei Kam was in a similar situation where life was made more difficult for them than for others because of circumstances. So naturally she fell for him. But Hanson never loved her but actually respected her and that one night stand was in his mind, a mistake. He genuinely wanted to help her, especially when long long time before they married, Hanson because of an operation to remove a tumour in his brain was left blinded for a while and Mei Kam was the one who stood by him, and took care of him. He felt only gratitude for her. Until one day he realised that when he needed someone the most, Mei Kam was there and he realised he loved her, he actually wrote down his feelings in a card in the simplest Chinese for Mei Kam, who was nor very educated to read but on that day he suffered the worst crisis in his life; his investment went bust because you may be able to predict how a share will rise or fall but you can never predict a country's government being forcibly taken over. In one day he lost everything, he resigned as a way to explain for his bad investment judgement, and knowing that he will never be able to work in the investment line again, without a word and trace, he disappeared, leaving Mei Kam worried and stranded. But Mei Kam against all hardships opened her dessert shop, with a little help from the insincere Kin Jung and she actually wanted to wait for Hanson to come home and so that he could run her shop for her. But he never came back and at last she moved in with Kin Jung.
So Hanson never loved Mei Kam?
He does love her but he went away because of a career crisis.
How come Mei Kam then ended up with Kin Jung?
The two monsters, Kin Jung and Kin Bong knew that the only way that could make Siu Yoke die is to get Mei Kam near her, because she hated Mei Kam and Mei Kam despised her. And so Kin Jung borrowed $1m from Ho Jing Jing and pursed Mei Kam by renovating her shop, buying her things and the killer wooing technique of all, bring her whole family from Nanyang to visit Mei Kam. Mei Kam was of course touched and after hearing mom's advice that it is far better to marry for money than for love, Mei Kam moved in with Kin Jung, a man whom she saw as gentle and kind. And that was the start of the nightmare for Bao household.
What happened to Hanson?
He disappeared for a while until Mei Kam saw him again in an article in the newspaper, about a city guy farming for a living. She went to see him and saw his poor living conditions. She tried to encourage him to try in a different career but Hanson seemed very affected by his last failure and chose to live a simple life with no responsibilities. When he needed money, he will do part time job. All Mei Kam could do was to stand by him.
So, Mei Kam still loves Hanson? And Hanson...
In a way, Mei Kam feels deep gratitude to this man and in a way she loves him still and so she stood by him, but yet she also loves Kin Jung. But the truth is she cares for Hanson deeply, whilst Hanson who was willing to clear things uyop for her with Siu Yoke seems indifferent towards her, but actually I would say he was ashamed of his failure and so couldn't bring himself to confess his love. At this moment their relationship was exceedingly cordial and friendly. In fact sickeningly friendly and cordial, because WE ALL KNOW WHAT THE ENDING WILL BE but we don't know HOW AHHHHHHHH?!?!?!?!
Who is Ho Jing Jing and how come she has $1m??
Ho Jing Jing was a tenant who at first appeared to be a very loyal friend who liked money. Later Jing Jing using a false sincerity seduced Kin Bong and became pregnant with his child and Kin Bong moved her into the Bao household, having the intention to divorce Sum Yee. Siu Yoke hated Jing Jing because she was her former employee and she had cheated the company of false sick leaves, falsely accused Siu Yoke as a bad boss and even complained all the way to the Labour Court and Siu Yoke knew she was a gold digger. Sum Yee was angry at Kin Bong but could do nothing, until one day accidentally she caused Jing Jong to fall down the stairs and subsequently she suffered a miscarriage. Jing Jing wanted to sue Sum Yee and make sure she goes to jail until Siu Yoke approached her with a deal she can never refuse, and overheard by Mei Kam who thought Jing Jing was being harassed by Siu Yoke who was trying to buy Jing Jing's honour and integrity with money, the deal was almost terminated, until Jing Jing called Siu Yoke secretly and she agreed to leave Kin Bong and not pursue the matter for $2m. She left and Kin Bong went looking for her but can't find her. Until one day Kin Jung saw her in a bank with lots of money, told Kin Bong and Jing Jing told a lie that she was threatened to accept the deal and she had to. In the end, as said earlier, Kin Jung gave Jing Jing an offer she can't refuse; 5% of the vast fortune that she will get for the $1m loan to woo Mei Kam and surprisingly, Jing Jing always a loyal friend agreed. I guess greed is the worst weakness one can have, so much so Jing Jing was willing to sell her loyalty and friendship.
Does Jing Jing love Kin Bong?
Nope. She loved his money, however little he had at this moment whilst the man genuinedly loved Jing Jing because he thought she was giving, kind and not money minded.
What about Yau Tin? Can't he say anything? Can't he do anything?!
He was paralysed, can't speak in fact. However we get to hear his thoughts. Every time Siu Yoke told him about the two sons, he would say; "Siu Yoke, I have already given up on these two un-filial monsters. Just give them the fortune, sell the sauce factory and we will have enough to spend for the rest of our lives. Just disown them!!".
Siu Yoke didn't know that and every time she would say; "I know how important it is to you to have a complete family, Yau Tin. I'll try my best to teach those two sons. I will keep this family together and I'll work hard to keep the business. Don't you worry."
Like Yau Tin we could all only "sighhhhhhhhhhhh....".
So did Kin Jung & Kin Bong's evil plan succeed??
Almost, but not yet. Siu Yoke was very angry at Mei Kam, more so when on TV she saw Mei Kam with Hanson during a storm that caused a landslide and Mei Kam and Hanson were there. That was the plan of the two monsters, they wanted Siu Yoke to hate Mei Kam more and cause a big fight. Siu Yoke did scream at Mei Kam, calling her a slut and Mei Kam vowed more than ever that she will never leave the Bao household, as she hated being falsely accused of something she never was. But Hanson came to see Siu Yoke privately, (they knew each other years before because Kin Jung went to the same school as Hanson) and explained things to her from the beginning. Siu Yoke also saw how Mei Kam tried to secretly cook nutritious food to Siu Yoke to eat, after one big argument between the two of them after the landslide incident which left Siu Yoke's high blood pressure shooting up to dangerous level. Mei Kam felt responsible and tried to be nice to her. One night Mei Kam saw Siu Yoke going into a secret chamber and saw Yau Tin in there. Yau Tin have met Mei Kam before and he liked her. On that day Mei Kam realised that King Jung may not be as nice as she thought, as Siu Yoke explained things to her. But Mei Kam felt she could change him. Mei Kam went to Hanson and asked him about Kin Jung but Hanson refused to say anything and told her to ask around and she be the judge. And so she went to Cheung Kwan who was an employee in the sauce factory of the Baos and asked him about Kin Jung's crazy ex-wife, Anna (whom Kin Jung claimed was driven to madness by the overbearing and unreasonable Siu Yoke over a lottery ticket) but an older employee explained that it was Kin Jung who drove the wife to madness. You see the wife asked Kin Jung to buy a lottery ticket and she won $30m but Kin Jung "ate" all the money and left her with nothing. The wife searched day and night for proof that Kin Jung "ate" her money but couldn't and went insane, even when Siu Yoke gave her $30m and expensive treatments. Only then did Mei Kam realised she had misunderstood Siu Yoke and when she went home, her relationship with Siu Yoke was on more cordial terms, and that surprised both Kin Jung and Kin Bong. In fact Siu Yoke's relationship with Mei Kam was so friendly, Siu Yoke invited Mei Kam and Hanson to work in the sauce factory, because Siu Yoke thought that with such a nice future daughter in law, Siu Yoke might be able to change Kin Jung into a better person. Boy was she wrong. Because Kin Jung knew his plan failed, and so he changed tactics. He changed all pills that were for reducing the blood pressure into pills containing high in fat milk powder. He even changed the blood pressure tool that was used to measure her blood pressure bought by Mei Kam. The only person who knew what was going on and saw Kin Jung changing the pills were the paralysed Yau Tin who tried all he could to tell Siu Yoke but couldn't. He could only witness what was going on helplessly.
So, they succeed at last?
In the saddest scene in this series that will make you shed a tear or two, Siu Yoke was busy gardening happily, doing exercise whilst Yau Tin sat there and screaming in his thoughts that she should rest and do less work because her blood pressure was shooting to dangerous level. But Siu Yoke was happily chatting away, planning for Kin Jung and Mei Kam's would be wedding, that they will take a cruise together, that Mei Kam will change Kin Jung and the two old ones could at last enjoy life together, and whilst she was busy carrying the pots everywhere, all of a sudden she felt dizzy but she went on talking happily. And then she just dropped and died. Yau Tin saw what was happening quickly fell off his wheelchair and wanted to reach her but then he fainted. Back at the hospital, only Mei Kam and the nanny was really crying whilst Kin Jung, Kin Bong and Sam Yee were actually laughing. That night Yau Tin had a terrible dream and suddenly woke up screaming Siu Yoke's name. He was able to walk again and walked to the morgue and said his good byes to Siu Yoke. And then he disappeared.
Did the two monsters got their well deserved punishment?
Like being hanged, chopped, cooked, kicked? NOT REALLY.
The problem was upon investigation everybody suspected and even accused Mei Kam, because they were not on good terms and all of a sudden Mei Kam was extra friendly towards Siu Yoke. Nobody believed the sincerity of Mei Kam's friendship and respect for Siu Yoke. Police arrested her, and Mei Kam begged Kin Jung to believe her but he began to accuse her of being wicked, evil.And that was when she knew; Kin Jung was in the plan to get rid of Siu Yoke all along and Mei Kam was filled with utter sadness. But Hanson stood by her and surprisingly, so did Yat Muk, Cheung Kwan and the not so noble Rainbow. Everybody that knew her did not believe she was capable of murder. But all evidence pointed towards her, and Yau Tin could not be found. Mei Kam thought she was surely going to jail and asked Hanson to take care of her family and to pay respect to Siu Yoke on the important days. He went to pay his respect and saw Yau Tin sitting in front of the grave. And so Yau Tin appeared in court and the two monsters were shocked. In the court, the old man revealed everything. Mei Kam was released and the two monsters were arrested. Kin Bong begged his father to help but the old man refused to look at them and went on his way. The two guys received decades of imprisonment.
Did the 2 monsters regretted their actions?
Kin Bong saw Jing Jing in prison and Jing Jing finally revealed her true self, saying all she wanted was money and that she was leaving him. At last Kin Bong realised he had hurt his own family and he screamed and kicked and cried that he should be killed because he finally realised family was more important than money.
Mei Kam went to visit Kin Jung who told her never to visit him again. But Mei Kam told him they were once a couple and she will always feel gratitude for his helo with the shop and helping her to see her family again. But Kin Jung told her it was all done in the plan to hurt Siu Yoke but Mei Kam didn't care. Mei Kam asked him did he regretted his actions; and all he said was "One more step and I could have had it all". Nope, this one monster didn't regret at all.
So now we know who is the monster amongst all monsters. A good ending for these two.
What about Sum Yee?
She became insane after a fight with Jing Jing over some antiques they were trying to steal from the Bao Mansion and Sum Yee knocked her head on the flower pot. Jing Jing was disfigured in the fight.
Happy ending then?
A very happy one and very satisfying indeed, for Mei Kam. for a while I thought TVB was going to give us crap like separation for a few years, met again, love again. No such crap in here, we have a straight forward ending, for once!
Yau Tin asked her to be his god daughter and she agreed. She will one day inherit the Bao fortune.
At the meantime, Hanson told her one night that he had loved her all along but she didn't believe him, until when he left she saw the card that he wrote before he went bankrupt months before. She ran after him but he had already left. So she folded the card into a paper plane, threw it into the wind and let nature takes its course. They met on a plane and hopefully will be reunited by this "plane".
Well, Hanson was walking and saw Yau Tin who was on his way to visit Mei Kam. They had a heart to heart talk and by pure fate, the paper plane landed on Hanson's feet. He realised they were fated to be with each other.
One day Mei Kam was accompanying Yau Tin to board a cruiser, a promise he made to Siu Yoke that he will do, and he whispered something to her. She ran back to the factory and saw Hanson there. They kissed passionately (quite a nice tender kiss done to almost perfection if only Kong Wah did not wear that hat of his and why did he have to wear a hat I wonder?!) and hugging each other they heard the trademark laughter of Siu Yoke and knew she was giving them her blessings.
Most Hated Characters
Without a doubt, those two useless sons and monsters, Kin Jung and Kin Bong. Such people do exist but in here it is a comedy. In real life, they will be very sinister person, capable of doing everything except a straightforward murder just to get to the fortune that was never theirs. They spent so much time in trying to think of ways for daddy and Siu Yoke to die, if only they put such energy into their work and career, they might actually be billionaires themselves. You must agree that they're extremely resourceful and tricky but FOR ALL THE WRONG REASONS! Useless monster. The classic un-filial sons, they even supersede Lee Chi Seng's Lei Chi Hou of Kindred Spirit in terms of un-filial sons. Definitely you will want to kick them and along the way, chop them into pieces and cook them in curry for dogs to eat. Sickening! Vomit inducing characters! Let me fly kick them one more time. Hiiiiiiiiii-yahhhhhhh! I'll use my mantis kung fu style and cobra kung fu style as well! Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh.....
Most Disliked Characters
A little hate but not too much, would be three characters..
Ho Jing Jing is one fake character. At first she appeared to be noble and nice, a loyal friend but she did not hesitate when she knew she will have to use Mei Kam to get her hands at more money. She pretended to be nice to Kin Bong. The truth is Kin Jung and King Bong are like a snake and a rat, both suited each other well. The more I see her the more I disliked her.
Lei Sum Yee is one weird character. She would talk bad things about Siu Yoke, sometimes even in front of Siu Yoke and has no qualms about wanting her to die. BUT when she was in trouble with Jing Jing's miscarriage and when Kin Bong wanted to chop her up because of this miscarriage which he cried "MURDERRRRRRRRRRRR", she quickly ran to Siu Yoke. I mean Siu Yoke helped her and yet this ungrateful little twit didn't even say THANK YOU!! Felt like slapping her.
And yes, I simply do not like So Mei Kam. I mean pitiful girl, traveling so far to get married to an old man who died on the wedding day, married Hanson and loved him even gave her virginity to him but rebuffed by that man, pursued and settled for a monster like Kin Jung who used her without any regrets, I mean pitifulllllll. BUT every time she raised her voice I felt like telling to just please shut up. I mean sure Siu Yoke was unreasonable, but the funny thing was like I said this is a series about prejudiced mind. Siu Yoke however prejudiced, however unreasonable was still the matriarch of the Bao family. To slam the door at her face, to call the nanny of the Bao family a servant, to raise her voice every time Siu Yoke raised her, to meddle into family matters without even finding out the truth first and ordering the servants around like she was the one who employed them I feel however nice a girl like Mei Kam towards everybody else, like Hanson, I feel there is something really wrong with So Mei Kam and I just disliked her. Sometimes Siu Yoke may be a bit too much, making life for Mei Kam difficult and I agreed she is overbearing but I feel to meddle into somebody's family matters is a big no- no, when you do not know anything. You just see what you want to see without seeing the real thing. Siu Yoke is somewhat right about her; Mei Kam is willing to marry anybody for money, changes her mind much too quickly over Hanson because she knew Kin Bong could provide for her. But this is a realistic world; no money, your family will starve to death, siblings can't go to schools, so Mei Kam was realistically materialistic, but not towards Gucci bags and Donna Karan dresses though like Ho Jing Jing but towards a stable income and a stable allowance to provide for her family. In that sense I pity the responsibilities she had to shoulder but I feel the way she reacted towards Siu Yoke's accusations were uncalled for, because however wronged you were, you must remember, you are living in the Bao mansion, not So mansion. This is one woman who does not know where her stand is, as in not knowing her place in the world. Pitiful, honourable but I still dislike her.
Most Misunderstood & Pitiful Character
Definitely Siu Yoke. Pitiful as to her ending as well. She is actually a very capable woman who may be prejudiced in her mind but she can be reasoned with, if you just tell her the truth. For all she did for the Bao family, those two stupid sons couldn't see that. She actually intended to give back the factory and all money to the two sons, if they prove themselves worthy of such fortune but they never did. She tried to maintain the Bao family because she thought that was what Yau Tin wanted. She was loving towards Yau Tin and showed much care and attention towards Yau Tin, something that Mei Kam saw at last and couldn't understand how a loving wife could be so bad like Kin Jung said. Of course she was unreasonable at her accusations towards Mei Kam, sometimes she went overboard and you could understand Mei Kam's frustration towards this woman but I actually like Siu Yoke because I feel against these 2 monsters, she is still standing throughout and this is something to be admired; her will of steel. Totally deserves your respect when in actual fact, as Mrs Bao she got a bad deal, when it comes to these two monsters for sons. Ignore her prejudices, ignore her unreasonableness and treatment towards Mei Kam, Siu Yoke is respectful towards fellow employees and is actually a very respectable character. She didn't deserve her ending. I felt like crying when Yau Tin looked at her body, filled with tears and regret that he could do nothing to stop the tragedy.
The Nicest Character
Definitely Hanson. Ok so at first he may not seem as nice when Mei Kam first met him on the plane but later on this man helped this woman beyond what he should do, marrying her and etc, I thought he is a really great guy, never once expected any returns. Compare him with Kin Jung, who pretended to be really nice to Mei Kam because he wanted to use her to anger Siu Yoke. Look at Jing Jing who treated Kin Bong nicely because she wanted his money. Everybody has some ulterior motive, something to gain but Hanson wanted nothing. He helped Mei Kam because he thought she was a nice girl and he wanted to help her. So he was really nice. But of course he is not my favourite character.
Most Favourite Character
I really really like Bao Yau Tin, that old man. He is really really cute even when he could say nothing and couldn't even move. His eyes speaks volumes. And often we hear his thoughts and you would know how he wish he could talk and just tell Siu Yoke to just give them the money, let them die, let them suffer whilst they go on a holiday together, without these two useless sons. Every time Siu Yoke is away, he fears for his life because he knew these two sons will do something to him. When they were really nice to him, Yau Tin was understandably confused but decided to just accept the good times and be fully prepared for the bad times. He treats Siu Yoke with loving care and is the only one in the whole series who sees people as they're; he knew Mei Kam is a nice girl, his sons bad. He was never really prejudiced. Which is why I really like this character. Pitiful also don't you think? Such sons! But at last he gained a good "daughter" and possibly a better "son" in Hanson!
Most Loyal Character
At first I thought Ho Jing Jing but surprise surprise, it was the loud mouth and totally no class whatsoever, Rainbow! Very loyal and has a higher integrity scale than Ho Jing Jing and many other characters.
Most Redundant Character
Except to con Rainbow's money and be forgiven for that, I can never understand what is the use of Liu Kai Chi's Yat Muk. Simply NOTHING to do. His performance was the usual great but nothing to do!
There are really no worst scenes in this series, because all scenes are interconnected with the next scene. The draggy part is between Rainbow and Ah Muk, and sometimes between Hanson and Mei Kam. And also between Jing Jing and Kin Bong, and the scenes where Kin Jung wooed Mei Kam. Much too long and very very boring. I want the mean stuff!
Every time Mei Kam and Siu Yoke have their screaming match, every time the brothers schemed to murder Siu Yoke and Yau Tin, the first few scenes as to how the two sons tried to make the father suffer a heart attack. All great scenes, sinister but funny as hell.
Every time Siu Yoke appears with Yau Tin; such loving couple.
And the scene where Siu Yoke died was very sad and totally unexpected.
Ultimate Classic Scene(s)
Collectively, every time the father appears, the two sons will run to him. At first, they will say hurtful things, like how many people they raped, how one of them is gay, etc etc etc just to make the father rapture some blood vessel. But after reading his will, they ran to the father and spoke with such fake concern like "Are you ok? Father, I am soooooo glad you're alright, we are good sons now!!". And the funny thing was the family doctor's reaction.
At first, when the father was hospitalised, their first questions were' "Is my father dead? Please tell me he died?!" and they were wishing he did die. The doctor looked at them confused. Later on, this time they changed their tune and asked "Is my father alright? Will he be ok?", and this doctor retorted; "I thought you wanted him dead?". It was very funny to watch the doctor's reaction. I guess everybody knew what "filial" sons they were, except maybe So Mei Kam.
Anyway, one more scene into this collective Ultimate Classic Scenes would be when Siu Yoke died, the two monsters went and told the father who was lying helplessly in the hospital and took out a few photos out and asked him to choose the coffin!!! Classic!
The Performances Reviewed
One over the top, a few good ones, two improved performances and none that were exceptionally great that deserved "Most Excellent performance". This is a series with average to above average performances.
Lydia Shum seemed more comical and cartoonish at first, but after a while, her charm works on you like no other. Unlike Nancy Sit who is very cartoonish in all her performances, rather opera type of acting, Lydia Shum gives a more grounded performance and whenever she goes into a screaming match with Anne Heung, wow, she looks really really fierce. She looks different in here, with her different hairstyle and different specs. She has such beautiful fair flawless skin, don't you think? She certainly looks younger than her 50 odd age. Anyway, she is very watchable in here, thought frankly, Lydia Shum is never a marvellous actress, just good.
Ma Tai Lou was quite ok, except that she screams her lines much too often. But she was ok, she reminds me of her character in Kindred Spirit, Mei Mei though.
Yeung Ying Wai and Lau Dan, effective.
Jojo Chou Jung, Uncle Six's rumoured girlfriend because she looked like his first dead wife was quite ok in here. She still have that accent but well, she was ok.
Liu Kai Chi had nothing to do but he was his usual great.
Hui Chau Yee was Red Baby in JTTW I, and I will always remember her as that spoilt rotten kid that dared to challenge Monkey King and got herself into a whole lot of trouble. She was magnificent in there and in here I feel she gives a solid performance as Ho Jing Jing. I was a bit surprised to see such a different person, long hair, attractive, a bit flirtatious, she was very good and however I disliked Ho Jing Jing, I feel she was magnificent as Ho Jing Jing.
Kong Wah is back to his usual great self after his disastrous Seven Sisters performance. Frankly he had nothing to do and having nothing to do he still did it well is a good achievement that no actor but a good one would be able to deliver. Though in here is looks a like a model doing the cat walk every time he walks, like swinging his arms let and right, trying to exude style but I thought he gave a solid performance but then his character had little to do except to stand next to Anne, looking handsome. The problem is his hairstyle though. He should change it. You know sometimes I feel he is more concerned with looking good and stylish than in his performance itself and this is what that disappoints me with this actor who is capable of delivering the goods but isn't trying hard. You could almost say that about his character in here but he is not that bad actually. He is the one with the most serious character in here and I think he handled it pretty well, but no breakthrough performance though. I will look forward to his role in A Step Into The Past where he plays a bad guy. His face in the posters looked so menacing, and yet very attractive. A Face with character. In here he is not attractive, he looks tired, and old and even haggard but performance wise he is the best. But I would hope he just stay away from Anne Heung. I am beginning to feel a bit sick seeing them together. By the way, I am glad to say he looks a bit bigger physically in here than he was in Seven Sisters and that is a good thing. But I doubt we girls will swoon at the sight of his naked chest.
Lam Seung Yi who has the most difficult role of all being a paralysed man. I thought he was pretty good with his eye acting, all the frustration and all the fear, especially the morgue scene. Very well done and very sad.
Onn Tak Juen was horrible. I can't say he can't act but he is more like a man dazed when he is acting. He talks funny, he is not even serious when he is acting, when it is supposed to be a comedy, I see a stark raving mad lunatic screaming. He gave the worst performance and he made the whole series like a silly venture, when it is more than that. Disappointing.
Most Improved Performance(s)
Marco Lo is one actor that still amazes me with every of his series. I won't say he is Best or Good yet because he is still not there yet. But he has certainly improved a lot. I hated his Kin Jung but this good looking actor certainly deserves the credit for making his Kin Jung the classic un-filial spendrift of a son. He still amazes me. When I was about to write him off as the worst, he gave a credible performance in Gods Of Honour. And in here, he improved a lot.
Anne Heung is another actress that I have struck her off from my Worst Actresses List. I once mentioned that with a change of voice or the tone in her voice, she gave a credible and breakthrough performance (in her career) in Love Is Beautiful. This actress certainly is capable of playing sinister characters, unreasonable characters. I didn't quite like her in Seven Sisters because she talks like the old Anne Heung whilst in Love Is Beautiful she was very different. I believe in real life this actress may smile sweetly at you, but I believe she is one independent and a lady you can't mess it, because she seems so at ease playing the bad one. In this series, So Mei Kam is not bad. I refuse to say she gave a good performance or the best because frankly she didn't. She improved, that much I admit.
Do tell me, is it a norm for young actresses that when they know their roles a bit more, when they're a bit more confident as an actress, they will start screaming their lines?
Look at Charmaine Sheh. She is screaming in all her new series, probably because she has more confidence, but her screaming was done to irritating effect.
Anne Heung screamed a lot in this series, and I feel she certainly did a credible job when she was arguing with Lydia Shum, she screamed rather convincingly, and she was effective when she had to look pitiful. She is not supposed to be pretty in here, supposed to be uneducated. Well, she looks haggard by Tape 5, which is always the case in all her series, by ending you'll pimples. But she is not really ugly, she has such a long neck and she though thin looked robust and strong. What made me feel she improved but not good enough to be good or best performances is this one fact; she is supposed to be uneducated and one scene had her learning English. The funny thing was she spoke better English than Kong Wah!! She can't act as someone she isn't. She is supposed to be a village girl but she exudes none of such innocence, none of the village girl simplicity. When her hair was let down and all her ghastly thick make up removed, she looked rather modern with her highlighted and layered hair. There was no change she went through to be more sophisticated and I feel that is a weakness. And the fact that she speaks such good English pretending to speak English badly, her performance could be said to be weak.
And what I found surprising is how fast she would raise her voice. There was no gradual raising of voice, one minute it was "Mrs Bao, I am sorry I am late..." and the next minute; "YOU FATTY! YOU'RE UNREASONABLE, WICKED!!!!!". The transition is much too fast and therefore unconvincing.
But why I said she improves is because of the way she stared at Lydia Shum, the loving eyes she looked at Kong Wah. This is one actress who is rather expressive when it comes to her eyes. Anyway, her body language still need improvement and frankly, her voice in here is like same old Anne Heung, sometimes she doesn't drag her words and she is fine, this is when she screams at Lydia which she handled very well but when she starts talking to every other people and draaaaaaaaaag her last words, like "Ah Man Ehhhhhhhh, don't be like thattttttttttt, You can still be better, do you expect to live like this foreverrrrrrrrr". She has this irritating trait and I hope I won't hear that in the next series.
As of this moment, she gave an improved performance but it could have been better. She still has some way to go before she is considered a good actress.
I didn't know that the ending for Lydia Shum's Siu Yoke would be as such. A big surprise.
The truth is when I first had to choose between Virtues Of Harmony, The Awakening and this series, I chose Virtues of Harmony, because I was swayed by the opinions on The Stamp Of Love. Many hated The Stamp Of Love calling it silly. But Virtues of Harmony, after just 2 tapes gave me an impression that everybody is acting like acting in there, with an all too familiar settings and storyline and worst of all, it has the same concept as Kindred Spirit. I stopped before I would be "stupified" by that ridiculous and a waste of time to watch of a series. So I was left with The Awakening and The Stamp Of Love. I don't want any more drama after Gods Of Honour, and I was getting ready for A Step Into The Past, and I really didn't like Liza Wong, so The Awakening which to me is rather predictable was a big turn off for me. So I was left with The Stamp Of Love, but well I was a bit sick of seeing you know who with you know who and this series has the worst poster and the most misleading title. I thought, well at least I could watch something funny like a mother in law bickering with her daughter in law, though I must admit this series has the worst trailer ever that concentrated on the wrong stuff. I thought I would be in for a silly fun of a series.
Like I said above, I was duped.
Mei Kam was never Siu Yoke's daughter in law, until Tape 8, where she was almost the daughter in law, and so we have only 1 tape for bickering and 1 more tape to close the story. I was a bit disappointed with the 1st tape but watched on. The moment Lau Dan died, and she married Kong Wah, you would realise this series isn't all about fun and Mei Kam. It was more about prejudiced mind, family unity, loyalty, friendship, kindness and the best of all, the portrayal of two un-filial sons and how much they were willing to go to get what they wanted. What Mei Kam was willing to do to secure a future for her family, so on and so forth. It was more like a social statement intermixed with a bit of twisted family values and non existing honour amongst what could have been smart people doing good things. This series is a classic example of a good mind wasted, in terms of Kin Jung.
I would say, surprisingly is one of the best series I have seen this year. Performances are nothing to shout about, and you would watch in disbelief how monsters the sons could be and you would laugh as well, because they disguised the monsters as some rather comical characters. But the truth was after laughing a bit, you would feel a bit guilty for laughing at something so sinister and so evil.
I definitely recommend you to watch this series and ignore the half baked trailer, misleading title and the presence of Anne Heung if you disliked her, and enjoy it as it is and discover what horrible monsters we have in here. If you're a fan of Anne Heung, this is the one for you because you could see her getting rather bitchy. Fans of Kong Wah might want to avoid this because he had nothing to do in here.
I would say watch it for the characters of Kin Jung & Kin Bong.
Mostly on the food that you'll see in here.
So Mei Kam, if you read it in another way is actually "Show Mei Kam" or Show US Dollars!!
The themesong was sung by Kong Wah. It was a nice song but badly sung by Kong Wah.
We never really know which part of Nanyang did Anne Heung's Mei Kam came from. By the looks of her mother's dressing in Malay dress, but they're Chinese and Christians, the fact that Mei Kam makes fried bananas and prawn crackers with coconut drinks, we will rule out Singapore. But Malaysia does not have any riots every other day and an unstable government like that of Mei Kam's home town, so my guess would be Indonesia.
It's a false thinking you know, that Chinese wears Malay dresses known as Baju Kurung. We may wear it for fun but we don't usually wear it like Mei Kam's mom. They're a bit dark as well and I thought they were Malay. But Indonesian Chinese are a bit darker than Malaysians.
That friend banana you see Mei Kam making for her shop is called, in Malay and in its proper name, Goreng Pisang (pronounced as go-ring-pee-sang). She sells one goreng pisang for HK$1, which is about 50 cents Malaysian money. THAT'S EXPENSIVE!!! We sell 3 pisangs for M$1! Expensive. And she used big bananas (don't you dare think something else!!), but the truth is the smaller the better. I like the sweet rather than salty types. And I am talking about the fruit ok?! There is Chinese type of frying and Malay type of frying. I prefer the Malay type because it is less powdery in its flour used and more crunchier. True, you have to eat them when they're golden brown and not hours later.
Those prawn crackers you see Mei Kam making, sure prawn crackers found in Malaysia. But did you know such "Keropok Udang" also has fish flavour? Even potato flavour? Fish is a bit difficult to eat because of all the fish smells. These are Chinese food you know. There is one type by Malays called Keropok or something else that I can't remember, that is made of fish and is very delicious with specially made thick chili sauce. Make sure you try it when you're in Malaysia. You'll know one when you see one. Sold by Malays, or more accurately Indonesians working part time in Malaysia. And try also the cempedak fruit fried the same was as the banana. Very nice. Don't get cheated. Usually it is 3 for RM1, sometimes more. But the best would be those leftover friend flour, if you know what I mean. Fattening, will probably kill you in the long run but if you haven't tried these fatty food you haven't really lived.
Very happy they have Malaysian food!! We have more! Like Kuih Udang, which is a Malay food, or Chapati and Tosse which are all low fat and very healthy (Indian food), we have dumplings and Chinese caked and dessert made of Coconut milk (santan)...ohhhhh, I feel like eating one now!! The best would be the sago dessert with coconut shreds or something like that, sold in Chinese shops. Very difficult to find. Also who can forget the many other stuff, like Chinese pan cake!
Mei Kam cooked something called Yuk Guat Cha, which is actually Bak Goot Teh, or you know, those dark coloured soup with big chunks of pork ribs, served with taufu, rice and Yau Char Guai. Don't believe Singapore's claim. Malaysia has the best Yuk Guat Cha and Chicken rice and Nasi Lemak. It's just that we don't know how to promote such food. Always Malay food, but we Chinese have also best seafood curry mee (expensive but worth the price of RM10 per bowl with all kinds of seafood in it), Ipoh Kuey Tiao Mee (not necessarily the best would be in Ipoh), Ipoh coffee (delicious and tasty). I mean for Chinese food you could go to Penang, the more famous Chinese food haven but frankly, I tried and nothing great. Expensive and I found better ones in KL. The only state that I have been to that made me wish I would want to move there is Taiping which is in Ipoh which is at the North of West Malaysia. The food there are reasonably priced, all very different, very delicious and I tasted the best Siu Yoke (pork) there. If you plan to visit Malaysia to eat, skip Penang and choose any store in Taiping or Ipoh. Then go to Penang and bleed yourself of all your money, especially Chinese New Year!
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