VERY IMPORTANT NOTICE

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








Written by Funn Lim



"Dayo Wong rarely acts in TV series but when he does, somehow it is a guarantee he will be great."






SPOILERS ... SPOILERS ... SPOILERS


Released In
2009

Cast-Character
Too long. You can check them out here

No. of Episodes
22

Official Synopsis
Taken from Wikipedia

A previous successful entrepreneur, Mak Tai Song (Dayo Wong) searches for his mentor's wife, Sheh Mo Lin (Theresa Lee)and helps pay off her debt because he feels guilty for his mentor's death. On the other hand, Tong Kat (Benz Hung) pleads Mak Tai Song to mentor him, hoping to accomplish something for his father's billionaire company. Song ends up mentoring Tong Kat on a part-time basis and take shelves of good wine as payments. Song then gets chase down on making payments for She Mo Lin's debt by Lam Miu Miu (Charmaine Sheh), the debt collection agent of Sheh Mo Lin. The conflicting personalities of Lam Miu Miu, a wild spender and Mak Tai Song, a free-loader, causes many laughing moments of the drama and in the end, both fall in love with each other. When Lam Miu Miu thinks things are finally turning out the way she wants, she gets confused by Song's sudden changes and evil-tactics against Ngon Jo Lin (Michael Tse), Song's step-brother. Perhaps Song's long-lost childhood will change him entirely and make him more distant to Lam Miu Miu...

The Real Synopsis
How can the official synopsis get so many things wrong??

First of, Johnny is not a stepbrother, he is (SPOILERS! AHHH WHO CARES?!) half brother. Same mother, different father. Song is not a previous successful entrepreneur. He could be successful if he wants but he doesn't want to be. So technically he is a successful entrepreneur. Tong Kat didn't plead Song to mentor him, his father did. And Song didn't mentor Tong Kat, he became his advisor in getting out of sticky situations. He did mentor in a way Johnny. Debt collection agent? Same as debt collector. Miu Miu is not really a wild spender, she is technically a shopaholic. Ok, Song is a free loader. But the falling in love part was AFTER the problem with Johnny is solved, not before or during. The whole "make him distant to Lam Miu Miu" is pure nonsense. During that time or anywhere after there wasn't such a crisis. Who wrote this wildly inaccurate synopsis?

On The Names
You might wonder why Song calls Miu Miu "Sam Sui Mui" as in "The girl with 3 "water" in her name" because 淼淼, that is Miu Miu, and I am talking about one Miu is made up of 3 words individually; that is water in chinese! Therefore, her name as 3 water in it. Her brother, 林木森 , each individual word is made of the word "wood" in chinese! All are Wood! Clever play of words I tell you!

Did you notice anything else in this series such as clever play of words in names? If yes, do use Post A Comment!

Comments
I anticipated this series because I haven't seen Dayo Wong for a long time and he is a funny guy so I anticipate this series to be funny, except I was dreading Charmaine Sheh since comedy is not her forte. However I find my fears somewhat unfounded.

This is clearly a vehicle for Dayo Wong. Without him, this series will never work. Even with him, sometimes there are just so many plot holes and last minute changes and what nots but thankfully, or rather I didn't care. I watch it for Dayo Wong and I shall suspend my disbelief for 22 episodes. About halfway through the series, I realise everybody else is a supporting cast to the clear leading actor and character that is Dayo Wong. And yet also halfway through this series, the stories seemed stretched out, like it was losing steam because it was going nowhere with Mo Lin and Tong Kat's stories which I believe it was then Michael Tse's Johnny was introduced to great effect. His part of the story let everybody else shine, instead of just Dayo's Song. In fact I personally believe Episode 14 (if I remember correctly) as the best and funniest episode and that was because of the character Lam Muk Sang and the brilliance of Power Chan who showed his power, all puns intended. That one single episode lifted this series to quality comedy, simple comedic moments coupled with some good acting and great comic timing by everyone, even the rather shunted aside Charmaine Sheh gave this series a certain pedigree in good writing and also defines what is good comedy. But seriously, if Michael Tse didn't enter this series, frankly even Dayo Wong can't carry this series any longer with the out of steam storyline. I will explain why.

You can say this series is divided into 3 segments in the story. First which takes out a whole chunk is primarily Mo Lin's story. Then the second is Johnny's story. And the briefest is Song and Miu Miu's story, which is their relationship. Throughout we have a bit of Tong Kat, a bit of Miu Miu, a bit of Muk Sang, the noodle shop, Miu Miu's father as well as the father's disciple, Choi Kei. Song comes in in every part of the story as at first the problem solver to every problem comes his way and later his story takes the central story, his childhood, his relationship with his mentor and at last his fear of commitment and his relationship with Miu Miu. It feels like an episodic story you know, and before Johnny came into the picture, the story seems to be fizzling out.

Johnny in a way saved the series. His appearance was funny, dynamic and really pushed the story along by introducing to us Song's mysterious and very sad past. Before long we know Johnny who is really a very nice guy even if he seems like a slacker who loves the limelight and act and sing rather than do business, which is the rice business. I like how Johnny and Song interract and whilst Song seems to be the villain in here, the lessons learnt by Johnny is something that will shape him later on.

Episode 14 (or was it episode 15?) as I have mentioned is the funniest because in this episode, we have Johnny being a failed singer (failed spectacularly, all engineered by Song who perhaps wanted him to return back to Earth rather than day dream about fame all the time) and his business plan or promoting rice together with his musical career also failed spectacularly was demoted and became Muk Sang's assistant. Now Muk Sang is the assistant to the CEO, before this was Johnny, then Johnny made the error and was demoted and so his twin sister, the strict and always by the book/time Bowie took over as CEO. Muk Sang himself is assisted by Miu Miu herself. So when Muk Sang learned that he has 2 assistants, and one of them the former CEO who will probably become CEO again one day since he is the only son, and yet the current CEO is warring with the ex CEO, he is stuck in a situation where he can't be nice to Johnny for fear of getting the wrong side of Bowie and yet can't be that bad to Johnny that when Johnny regains power he will benefit from that as well! To see him running back and forth between them and to see Miu Miu too stuck in the middle was the funniest of the entire series. Here Power Chan really showed his comedic timing, his big fake smiling face to both siblings whilst trying to please them both without annoying either of them was simply the classic moment of this series!

Another great moment was when Miu Miu realised she was in love with Song, her family knew and decided to test Song on how he felt for Miu Miu. And what better way than to hold a banquet thanking Song for his help for the family but the entire thing felt more like a wedding reception than a thank you banquet! Very funny stuff as Song realised the entire thing was to force him to confess his love for Miu Miu. So Miu Miu got rejected in the end and of course tried her best to ignore him. But these 2 are peculiar pair. When Song said "Let's try to fake dating first, just a try", she agreed. Then of course there's the "Let's try to fake propose marriage first" and she agreed. In fact he gave her a wedding ring box, in it was a coupon to redeem a wedding ring when she wants to! Then of course the last straw was "Let's try to practice our separation scene, just in case" and Miu Miu got so pissed off, she said why not just break up. Of course she really really liked him. If there is one rather romantic scene, it has to be the one where he kissed her as she complained "I don't know what you're thinking, I don't know what you want, I don't know anything about how you feel, you bottle up everything inside and refuse to let me know anything at all!" and suddenly, her face really red and blushing and as he tried to explain how he feels, she in turn just shut him up and just say "Go, go, you have more important things to do, what soup you want to drink? I will make it!". Very funny and a lovely kiss.

And throughout, there are gems of scenes thanks to Song with his wisdom in dealing certain situations until the series turned deadly serious with the return of his supposedly dead mentor, Martin and we see a sombre Song trapped between his guilt for causing the downfall of Martin (and his crippled leg) and not wanting to help Martin to regain his wealth by hurting the people he care about, like Miu Miu whom he is dating at that point and also his good friend Tong Kat and his aged father, old Mr Tong who trusts Song implicitly and without question. He felt terrible for betraying their trusts and yet couldn't bring himself to hurt Martin again. In fact at this point this series just became way too serious. Frankly I didn't quite enjoy the Martin story, I find it such a ridiculous part of the story and what a stupid man to throw away the trust by the Tong company and for what I wonder? In the end we found out Martin planned everything from the beginning, and push the blame on Song. If you're wondering, Song became obssessed with success and money and sold off Martin's company for a high profit. Supposedly Martin was so upset he drove over the sea or something and died. Of course he didn't die and some years later came back a crippled. But in the end he turned out to be perfectly normal, that he actually invested in something called accumulator and lost heavily and so engineered everything, faked his death and all. Song knew because he said he paid off Martin's debt. Now this was when I was like "Huh? Where did that come from?". Never had Song indicated anything about knowing Martin lost heavily in investment. Just one of those storyline that got changed as the series went along.

But the characters are pretty consistent except for some inconsistent issues. Like Song. How he has got the money to pay off the HKD5 million debt of Muk Sang? He borrowed from an old ally perhaps? When he started dating Miu Miu, she bought a whole lot of clothes and bags and told him to pay which he did. How did he pay? He didn't have money and I assume no credit cards at all. At the final proposal scene (which they terms as Redeem The Wedding Ring Banquet), the wedding ring was at least sponsored by Tong family. How did Miu Miu's ex boyfriend who was just earning some money from his recycling business could get such a fantastic apaertment and all those furniture? And how can they just close down the business when so many people's livelihood is at stake? So does it mean all those ex homeless people goes back to being homeless? And why wasn't Johnny at the engagement banquet? Because Michael Tse's contract for this series is over by that time? And when did Miu Miu quit her job as debt collector anyway? And what's the deal with that Hunter guy?

And the ending was pretty terrible. Of course it must involve love and toilet joke but I felt the ending brought down the entire series where it succeeds in balancing drama and comedy and frankly I will just ignore the ending. If you must know, it is a happy one where a couple who retrieves an engagement ring from a pile of you know what will of course be a successful couple in my opinion.

Performance wise, generally I must say very satisfactory, especially never expected one of them to be entertaining at all.

Michael Tse I believe was brought into the production to move the story along because he came out of nowhere and in the end went out of sight quite as suddenly. His character is the sort like all of us; dreaming of stardom and not doing anything else. I find him funny and engagingly gullible when he was gullible and a very likeable character. I never thought I would say this of Michael Tse who has this look of pure disdain whenever I see him on TV being interviewed. I am sure he is a cold but not rude sort of guy but he never gave me the impression that he is affectionate or friendly sort. In this character however he is everybody's friend and I find his performance excellent for the few short episode. A pity his character is not given a proper ending in the end. Would have love to see him at the wedding cheering on his brother/good friend, Song.

Benz Hui as Tong Kat is a rather strange sort of casting decision. Benz Hui, a rich middle aged playboy sort of guy? Would never have believed that and I didn't when the story in the beginning highlighted him. Then he disappeared from screen for a good number of episodes when Michael Tse appeared and when Michael Tse disappeared, Benz Hui reappeared and I liked him better when his character was kicked out of his father's house and the screentime is dominated by Benz and Dayo as 2 best friends. Tong Kat turned out to be a pretty great character and playboy as he is, he believed Song when Song was accused of working for rival company by Martin. Their friendship is believable and after a while I find Tong Kat lovable and also understandable why he is such a successful womaniser. So kudos to Benz Hui.

Cheung Kwok Keung is someone I haven't see for some time and that man, since time immemorial has always looked that way so I will conclude he hardly aged. His Martin is strange. I wonder was he a good guy turned villain because of what Song did? Or he became a villain because he himself lost a whole lot of money and pretended to die to mark up the share prices or was it mark down? Frankly I am absolutely confused over the business part. However he was despicable when it turns out he wasn't walking with a limp at all. I find this character confusing, probably because the writing is confusing. However Cheung Kwok Keung did very well in this very serious role where the comedy at this segment of the series seem to have been totally annihilated. Not that I am complaining since it deals with Song's guilt over what happened to his master. I just don't understand why Martin would continue to betray the Tong family who entrusted him such trust and gave him so much perks if money is his no. 1 agenda because the Tongs would probably reward him well. Is it jealousy over Song and to revenge against Song for selling his company? All of a sudden we are told Song actually paid off his huge debt and Martin knew and didn't feel grateful at all. At some point I think the whole storyline of why Martin hated Song so much just got thrown out of window.

Teresa Lee as Martin's wife is also someone I haven't seen for some time. Again she hardly aged and yes, she is no comedian but her role does not require her to be funny. Her cantonese is still choppy but then Mo Lin is supposed to be a girl born and bred in US so that is understandable to me. My problem with her character is after a while there wasn't much for her to do. She suffered, Song helped her, she avoided Song thinking Song liked her, then Song explained he didn't, she in turn fell for him and then he avoided her and then she realised it wasn't love, just a misunderstanding and so she left for US. Then Michael Tse came into the picture and when he left, she returned, having found Martin (or sly Martin found her but pretended he couldn't look for her for max pity points?), found out her husband is a scum and took Song's side and the left again and then returned again when he is in prison with the promise to wait for him and hoping he would change for the better. She comes, she goes, she comes back, goes again and comes back again. To me she is a Extra Special Guest Star. Her story is short and at some point absolutely done with, which is why Michael Tse came into the picture and she out of the picture. Acting wise, she displays the right amount of confusion, determination but frankly and thankfully she does not need to be funny at all because she falls flat in that. To watch her deliver her lines is a struggle. She is someone who can act pretty well but hindered by language. If in English, I am sure it will be more natural for her. Her best scene was when she thought her mother in law didn't recognise her and her anguish as she poured out her frustration to Dayo's Song that her life sucks is one of the best moments of this series.

Mandy Cho is a surprise. First, she looks sort of like Charmaine, and I think it is deliberate, since they play in laws and she being the older sister in law but probably close in age to Charmaine's Miu Miu, they have the same hair and the same obssession with handbags. I haven't seen much of Mandy Cho to tell you how she is in her performance since I have nothing much to compare with. Again she is not funny, Power Chan is but I like how they cling to one another. The fact that they play a "power" couple and a loving one at that with similar personalities is I thought brilliant. I like how Power Chan kept holding her and she in turn cling to him. I find their relationship believable. She wasn't horrible at all, since the focus is not on her and when the focus is on her, thankfully Power Chan is there to shift the focus. So frankly not much to comment at all. Ok, one comment. A bit too much make up.

Oscar Leung is funny when it comes to expression. Again his character doesn't seem to fit into the first half of the story, with his seduction of Mo Lin which frankly isn't really funny but as the story progresses to him as the successor of the noodle shop, he displayed his ability in handling the lighter side of the story as well as the dramatic bits. I think he is a competent actor.

Joel Chan finally has a role where he isn't some jerk or some sniggering villain. Even if his character is totally unbelievable and you have to suspend disbelief, I think his over idealistic and environment loving character who actually is afraid of failure so decided not to try at all rather well, ok. He is just one of the cases for Song to solve. However his ending bit with Charmaine where Miu Miu confesses she doesn't love him anymore and he was heartbroken was gentlemanly enough to understand things have indeed changed was one of the better acted moments in this series that does not involve Dayo Wong. A good performance.

Queenie Chu is tall. She is also perfectly cast as the "time is everything" sort of strict boss. I think she is a good actress, again not a comedian and therefore she does not provide the laughs but she does provide for some good acting chops even if one moment sort of killed that credibility that was when she found out Song is her half brother and frankly the reaction as in non-reaction was all wrong. That is one of those inconsistencies I talked about. Other than that she is actually a competent actress.

The older actors did competently in the dramatic department, except for Chow Chung with his over the top expression was rather funny even if he didn't mean to be funny although his acting is much better here than his previous offerings. Suet Nei for one is a far better actress than she was when I first saw her even if I find her character despicable. Of course the justification for her abandoning Song was that her current husband was not the third party, he was actually her husband from the start and Song's father was the third party sort of like exonorated her actions of abandoning Song but I don't think so. Of course she tried looking for him, half heartedly in my opinion because he is there! And when she thought he was jeapordising the relationship between Michael and Queenie as brother and sister, she said "I wished I have never given birth to you". That would sting I tell you. What an awful thing to say. To see Song in the end accepting her because he found out his father was the 3rd party was such an easy excuse isn't it to explain for the awful things she said?

Power Chan is one half of the 2 reasons why this series is so funny. In one episode alone which is the one focusing on Michael, Queenie and with him in the middle has got to be the best in the entire series. His exasperated expressions, his desperation to serve two bosses and not offend either of them and his antics in going about that as well as teaching Miu Miu and Johnny on how to prepare a company proposal in one night certainly made this series even funnier than it was! Earlier scenes where he os often introduced as if he is such a busy person, very important, no time at all were funny too as with his role in the thank you banquet held for Song where he was the big brother ushering in Song when it looked more like the brother of the bride escorting the groom to his wedding! Power Chan's performance is energetic, he has got the comic timing, and he has always been a very good actor, except sometimes languishing in villanous role. I always thought he and Wayne Lai are similar and since Wayne Lai is now super famous, I am hoping someday Power Chan will receive similar kudos for his talent in both drama and comedy.

Charmaine Sheh is an anomaly. I have been saying the same thing over and over and over about her inconsistency, whether in performance, in a scene, in a series, in everything. No doubt she is I believe TVB's no. 1 actress now, and this series was made I suppose before you can surely say she is no. 1 actress in TVB? Dayo Wong has the unique ability, like Bobby Au Yeung to have chemistry with all their female leads, well at least a majority of them and Charmaine is no difference. Her chemistry with Dayo is wonderful, and I really thought that one kiss they shared was one of the most beautiful kisses on screen and believable kiss as well. It was not disgusting, it was not inappropriate but rather just beautiful. There are a few things Charmaine excels in , that is crying (but silently not those loud ones) and a kissing scene. Their kiss gave off a sense of intimacy and it was lovely to watch. I love her clothes in this series, especially the bright red blouse and I think she looks very pretty and thankfully she plays someone sort of like her own age so it didn't feel unbelievable. And mind you, she is in a lot of boots and mini skirts. Her best scenes are with Dayo as always and I can pinpoint which is her funniest and which is her best. Her funniest was when she returned breathless from I suppose having ran to buy Johnny's breakfast on the orders of her brother whilst Johnny was running to buy breakfast for someone else. Her inability to talk as she swung her arm around was a genuinely funny part even if it was a mere seconds. Her best scenes were during which she had to play nice to Dayo's Song such as cooking for him, going to the market together like a mother leading her son and when she found out he thought of her like his mother, her performance there was funny and effective. Another good one was during the thank you banquet, she was like practically the shy beaming bride and her Miu Miu's sudden love for Song didn't look that sudden and I find it all believable and effective. Overall I think her performance generally was entertaining, cute sometimes and competent. Those are the good parts. And what made her cute is of course herself, Charmaine is likeable as long as she doesn't shout or talk loudly. But her entertaining and competence came from Dayo which she shares most of her screentime and Power Chan, who both took away much notice from her. Frankly I wasn't paying attention to her most of the time because Dayo's delivery of his lines demands full attention and Power Chan is just too hyper for me to look elsewhere. She is funny because they are funny. She alone is not funny. I find her having no comic timing. It is unfair to compare her to Dayo who is a comedian for a start whose every delivery is a punch line and every punch line delivered with perfect timing and with the right sense of irony or sarcasm which other characters often failed to detect. She however succeeds as the one next to him, the one trailing along with him. Let me be blunt; put anyone save for the most annoying ones or those who absolutely can't act, and they would do well. This Lam Miu Miu to me is without much personality on her own. I find her bland and frankly not very interesting if there is no Mak Tai Song next to her. And frankly, when she appeared, I kept thinking Ada Choi would be a better casting decision because Ada can play someone calculative, materialistic and such even if my opinion of her dramatic acting isn't very high. But Ada had played a similar role next to Dayo of course. But somehow I feel casting of Charmaine is not the worst decision but it did nothing at all to make Lam Miu Miu special at all. How should I articulate my thoughts to explain what I mean if you don't understand what I meant? Quite simply, Lam Miu Miu in this series is supposed to be the leading female character but after a while I find her blend into the back as just one of the characters. With or without her, the series will do well. Of course every hero needs a heroine but frankly for Lam Miu Miu's character, anyone can play this role. Charmaine did nothing to bring anything special or unique to this role, except maybe that beautiful kiss and her lovely wardrobe.


Dayo Wong rarely acts in TV series but when he does, somehow it is a guarantee he will be great. After all being funny is his life's work. But this series proves he can be more than funny. It is indeed like a great shame on all those so called veterans or siu sangs or fa dans or those who works on TV regularly churning out performance after performance because if you watch Dayo in here, even during dramatic bits, he was excellent. Of course he is funny. His delivery of every punchline was perfect, subtle but darn funny. Like Stephen Chow, he mastered the art of comic timing and punchlines. What I am impressed with him is the dramatic bits. I know he can act but I never knew he can act that well. The scenes of him looking at Michael Tse's Johnny who obviously had a better easier life and a mother's love and care, were they curiosity? Jealousy? Such contemplative expression! His best was when his mother confronted him, and in an emotionally charged scene as he kept denying his identity, he finally broke down and his voice shaking, his eyes sort of brimming with tears as he told off his mother, that scene or scenes as there were several was amazing to watch. He was like a guy trying to hold back pouring out his anger, his anguish, and it took him a lot of effort. Fantastic performance. One of the funniest scene was when his mother called him and trying to make him admit who he is, and he kept denying her questions, this one single scene show a classic comedy moment that haven't been seen much. The set up is so simple, the execution flawless and we have seen such a funny scene in the past and it is nice to see such classic scene again, and that was when he kept saying he wasn't who he is, suddenly old neighbourhood friends turned up and said hi! Even the shop owner suddenly appeared and recognised his mother as mrs so and so and he was so and so. Exceedingly funny scene! I like such old school stuff instead of the put on over the top comedy and Dayo's performance as Mak Tai Song does bring back good old memories of when comedy isn't that much just about slapstick as we see now but delivery, delivery, delivery! Excellent performance and the only reason to watch this series, without him, it will never work at all.

Verdict
This series has its brilliance that reminds me of when comedy is about subtlety, isn't about a whole lot of people in one scene doing something cute or funny but sitting down, delivering a line with perfection. Dayo Wong makes this series and Dayo Wong is a class act. And a great thing is he alone isn't the one best thing of this series; he ably supported by the others even if I may criticise the usefulness of their characters or even the relevance of their performances. Afer all You're Hired has only one leading actor and that is Dayo Wong and the rest are supporting actors. If you see it as that or unless you're the biggest fan of anyone in this series other than Dayo Wong and therefore will delude yourself into thinking such and such stands parri passu with the great Dayo Wong, this is a must watch. I see it as a compliment that everybody else is a supporting cast since he can't do everything by himself, and at some point without the likes of such supporting cast even Dayo seems to be running out of steam. Why he is so funny and so great is because of such support. So in the end for whatever reason you watch this series and even if this series is inconsistent and with more plot holes than a cheese, it is still to me a must watch because it is just so funny.

Interesting Fact
Dayo Wong is mainly in one costume throughout but somehow when he wore the tuxedo, I find him so very handsome. Indeed, a good tailored suit makes a man I tell you.

The themesong is as usual sung by Dayo Wong. He is a far better actor than a singer but I enjoyed the song and its lyrics.


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4 comments:

  1. Queenie and Michael playing twins is kinda unbelievable. Michael is 14 years older than Queenie and it shows. Hearing him called her 'big sister' when he obviously look older feels weird. Poor Queenie.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Play of words.

    On Jo Lin (Michael Tse) - Sounds like Angelina Jolie (on jo lin na jo lei) to me.

    Sheh Mo Lin (佘慕蓮)(Teresa Li) - I think this is derive from Yu Mo Lin (余慕蓮), the name of the actress who always play the cleaner lady.

    Wah Kiu (Mandy Cho) - sounds like 'chinese descent'

    Ho Man Tin (Cheung Kok Keung) - sounds like a place name in HK.

    That's all I can think of.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow, 14 years older? Queenie does look mature for her age actually and I didn't quite notice the age difference. Actually by that time I didn't care, just went with the flow since the series has loads more plot holes. But Michael acted very youthful in the series, rather impressed.

    What does Mak Tai Song mean? No play of words?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Don't really know what Mak Tai Song means. Don't seem to have any special meaning. It sounds a bit like Mike Tyson though. Lol.

    Mandy Cho improved a lot if you compare her performance in this series and the series she acted in before she left for study.

    ReplyDelete

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