Silver Spoon, Sterling Shackles <名媛望族>
TVB Series 2012
Cast: Damien Lau, Kenneth Ma, Tavia Yeung, Idy Chan, Ron Ng, Rebecca Zhu, JJ Jia, Elena Kong, Mary Hon, Sire Ma, and Vincent Wong.
This is a watch as I write episodic thoughts and some information may not be accurate since this is memory based. Certain dialogue is reproduced with some creative license adopted. I apologise if there is any mistake. All opinion remains my own.
“It is not easy being the 2nd wife of Chung Cheuk Man. A man can marry many wives, but a woman can’t afford to make a mistake by marrying the wrong man. If you’re someone who can’t share your husband, take my advice, don’t marry into a polygamous relationship.”
Daily S.S.S.S variation;
Simple silly super sassy!
And that is how I feel after watching the brilliantly funny 1 Night 2 Days! Best variety show, ever! Still miss Lee Seunggi.
Anyway, before my recap, just wanna say I think I made a mistake in Ep 5 about Ben Wong’s character. His name is Chai Yat Fai, I think I wrote Choi Yat Fai! Heard it wrongly! I have also corrected that mistake in Episode 5’s recap.
Ok, recap. I think I will be brief, after too much laughing, I kinda forgot how this episode ends! Oh I remember but errr…. well, let’s see how much I remember. In this episode we see the ambitious Kwan in the name of love.
Kwan and Arthur having tea after her practice and basically he invites her to his house party in honour of his OBE where he says he will want to dance ballroom dancing with her. She is excited.
At home she borrows a gramophone and plays some western music and makes Yee Lan to practice dancing with her. By the way why does Yee Lan always look like she is sick?
Big day comes. Arthur gets to kneel before the governor I think as he gets knighted and henceforth he is Sir Arthur, thank you very much. Sir Arthur also gets the “soda cap” as Chinese calls it and it does look authentic. And we get a HUGE TV full flag of Great Britain! Long live the Queen!!
Party at the mansion. Yvonne teases 1st wife about getting ready for the 1st dance, 1st wife teases back and says she may not take to the floor when asked by Sir Arthur, so why not let Yvonne take her place in the dance and Yvonne says it wouldn’t be her, by status it should be the 1st wife. Moreover, “If you do fall down, who dare to laugh?”. 1st wife and Yvonne are both sorta pleased with this arrangement, because you know, as long as it is NOT Yee Yin. These girls just don’t know the real threat is coming!
Charles looking handsome in a tux with a heavily made up Kwan (I hate her hair! So huge, so messy looking and looks like a wig), her arms around his arm and Yvonne sees Kwan and says “Oh look at that actress, here she is with… Charles?” and 1st wife isn’t too pleased as Yvonne I think says “Why is Charles with THAT actress?”
Actress today is nothing, but back in 1920, the word used is “hei tzi” or those in entertainment world or in this context someone who performs in public for a living for others’ entertainment is a sneer. Charles in other words can marry any poor but decent girl as 1st wife BUT not an actress or a performer, because entertainment world is complicated back then, or so it is assumed. No rich family sees an actress as daughter in law potential since they don’t associate actresses with the word decent background. Which is still the same as today. So the sneer is an insult to Kwan.
Kwan thanks Charles for bringing her to the party (meaning he drove her here perhaps) and he gets her a champagne and Kwan takes a sip and grimaces as she says “Oh, it tastes sour” and Charles says “It is champagne, a fruity drink but don’t drink too much, you can get drunk” and she stops drinking. By the way she is wearing Arthur’s gift necklace to her.
Arthur entertains the guests, so does his 2 wives and Yee Yin is missing. Arthur welcomes Tung Ting Hang who sneers “Well congratulations on that fake medal from those westerners you so admire” and Shek Sau whose name I still didn’t catch with his westerner wife and his Chinese son played by Stefan Wong or Stephan Hyuhn with him corrects Tung and says it is an OBE, a great honour. Tung doesn’t care, Arthur doesn’t mind and when Arthur leaves, Tung laughs heartily, and Stefan laughs too until Shek Sau stares at him and he stops.
Kwan sitting with Charles who had to go to entertain guests and Jimmy with Ho Yee sits with her to entertain her and Jimmy asks “Should I call you Taukeh Choi or Miss Hong?” and Kwan smiles and says any of the names will do. Jimmy has to leave to entertain guests and Ho Yee sits with her to express her admiration for Kwan’s opera skills and finally she too left and 1st wife and Yvonne come over and sit and Kwan politely greets them and Yvonne says “I see you came here with our Charles..well, we have been trying to get Charles to find a girlfriend..” and Kwan tries to explain when Yvonne continues “But big sister, we have never been successful have we? Charles is to picky. He doesn’t even like those university graduates, educated, pretty, young, from good family background. No, he doesn’t like any of them” and Kwan gets angrier as she hears what they have to say, implying she is not good enough for Charles as 1st wife says bluntly “My son will never marry an entertainer like you as 1st wife. I will never allow it!” and Kwan angrily says “I have never intended to do that as well!” when Arthur walks over and says casually “I see the 3 of you having some nice chat” and Yvonne says “Charles was so rude to just leave his guest alone so big sister and I came over to chat with Taukeh Choi. Charles is so wrong to leave her here alone, since he brought her here as a date” and Kwan looks upset as Arthur says “Actually, I was the one who invited Taukeh Choi and she is here as my date”. Shocked looks all around. Arthur says “Taukeh Choi, may I have the honour of the first dance with you?” and Kwan smiles and stands up, her pride salvaged as 1st wife and Yvonne sulked at the shocking turnaround when 1st wife says to Yvonne, “I suppose I would not be as upset as you” as Yvonne says “Big sister, I have no problem with this. As long as it isn’t 2nd sister…” and I suppose 1st wife agrees. Petty petty women.
Meanwhile Arthur knows Yee Yin is nowhere to be seen and he isn’t happy.
Yee Yin in her room with her mom, and she isn’t dressed and her mom asks why not and Yee Yin says “I don’t feel like socialising today” as her mom chastises her “Your husband has this party in honour of his great achievement and you as his 2nd wife should be there, whether you like it or not! Sitting in this room, like a spoilt rotten child with your gege type temper isn’t helping things” as Yee Yin sulks as she says “Why should I go down there and show my face and pretend that everything is ok between us and so I was the one who was wrong and not him? He wronged me first mother!” as mom says “Yee Yin, sometimes he overindulges you too much! If you don’t go down there, guests will think he no longer favours you and your position in this family will be threatened! That other wives of his will win! Yee Yin, you must work hard to retain your position in this family and in his heart! One day when he is tired of your temper tantrums and throw you aside, then you will know the consequences of your actions today!” and the maid says “My lady, I may be only a servant but allow me to say this; master did bring those necklaces up to your room that day, it shows he is sincere in patching things up with you” and Yee Yin reflects on this.
Kwan dances with Arthur, rather awkwardly but he is smiling, she is happy when out of the corner of his eyes Arthur sees a dressed up Yee Yin with her mom walking towards the dance floor when they lock eyes and Arthur dances more energetically with an even wider smile, using Kwan to ignite Yee Yin’s jealousy and Yee Yin is jealous as she sees them spinning and spinning and Arthur eyeing her and Kwan smiling happily, unaware what is going on when Yee Yin feels faint and fainted with mom shouting “Yee Yin! Yee Yin!!” and Arthur sees her faint and he was spinning Kwan around and he suddenly stops, Kwan almost fall down but Arthur catches her hand in time and then just let go and abandon her at the middle of the dance floor and rushes to Yee Yin. All this in a split second moment and he quickly carries her into the mansion, and poor Kwan, humiliated, in the middle of the dance floor and Yee Yin’s mom walks to her and says “Girl, the show is over. Obviously Arthur was using you to make my daughter jealous. Don’t let all these get to your head. You are nothing but a chess piece used by Arthur just to get to my Yee Yin” and she walks away and Kwan almost in tears from the humiliation that turns into rejection.
Yee Yin in bed and Arthur starts to walk away when Yee Yin says “Don’t go, please don’t go, stay with me” and he sits down and smiles as she says “I am sorry I fainted. I spoilt your party” and Arthur says “Why didn’t you tell me you were sick?” and silence as Yee Yin says “I suppose I owe you an apology” as Arthur smiles “Don’t you mean I owe you an apology?” as Yee Yin says “About Chai Yat Fai… I..” and Arthur says “It doesn’t matter..” and Yee Yin smiles and Arthur says gently “Rest now…” and he gently push her down onto the bed and says “Close your eyes now..” and she smiles as she does so and he looks at her for a little while.
They reconciled. I seriously like this couple. I like how they’re not ruled by sex or by passion alone but by love and mutual respect. A very cordial and yet loving couple. I do think Yee Yin loves Arthur even if leaving him will mean a lot at stake.
Breakfast. Yvonne says “2nd sister you are so lucky. One faint and you have our husband rushing to you and staying with you the whole night” as Yee Yin apologises for spoiling the mood for being sick and Arthur says seriously “What is it with breakfast today, so much vinegar (chou in Chinese which is the same sound as jealousy) and Yee Yin smiles and Yvonne smiles smugly as well. Yee Yin says to 1st wife “Sister, I won’t be having dinner tonight. I will be at my mother’s place for dinner, Yee Hei is back from Japan” and 1st wife says “Send my regards to your mother”. Ho Yee meanwhile is hoping to find someone to take her to the theatre to watch Kwan in her first performance in HK before the public eye, no one is free to go.
Dinner at Yee Yin’s house and we see her brother, Yee Hei, making them green tea as Yee Yin asks “You learned only to make tea in Japan?” and Yee Hei says “Of course not sister, I also learn about business management” as Yee Yin says “Then you must also visit your brother in law” as Yee Hei says “Yes I must, after all he paid for my education all these years” as mom says to Yee Yin to ask Arthur for a job for Yee Hei and Yee Yin agrees to ask Arthur about a job.
I did hear Yee Yin calling her mom mom but from this scene I also heard like Yee Hei calling Yee Yin his half sister? So I suppose this mom is not her mom but Yee Hei’s mom? I am a bit confused here. Anyone can clarify?
Mom tells Yee Hei to go upstairs as she wants to talk to Yee Yin and so he leaves. Mom asks Yee Yin “How are you and Arthur now?”
And by the way she says Cheuk Man but for the sake of consistency I use Arthur. In fact only Arthur calls Charles.. Charles. And others don’t call Arthur.. Arthur but rather Mr Chung or husband or master or Cheuk Man but not to his face as Cheuk Man. Wives always call him “lou yeh” as in Husband. But they all call Jimmy.. Jimmy.
Yee Yin says “Better than before” as Mom says “Do remember your brother’s welfare if you intend to throw another gege type temper tantrum” as Yee Yin says “Mother, don’t you worry. I will never jeapordise Yee Hei’s future” and she says this in a genuine way.
Kwan’s 1st performance of the night, nervous but more upset as she doesn’t see Arthur but Ho Yee is there as Arthur takes her there and then leaves as he has something to do. Ho Yee tells Kwan “I am sure father will be attending one of your shows soon. After all, you are here for a year!” and she leaves excitedly and Kwan is not happy even as she performs to a full theatre. And here we see another scene interjects with this scene, for reasons I do not know why except it looks artistic doing that as we see a glaring Kwan performing (and poorly according to my fellow viewer next to me) and Arthur walking hand in hand with Yee Yin, happily, smiling.
Next scene we see is Kwan walking happily into a restaurant and says Mr Chung is expecting her and she walks in smiling, almost takes a seat when she turns and sees Yee Yin sitting down there. Shocked, Kwan says “I am sorry, there must be some mistake…” and she starts to walk away as Yee Yin says “Taukeh Choi, please do sit down. Arthur and I was spending some time together just now” and a guy comes to Yee Yin and says “Madam, Mr Chung says he won’t be able to join you for lunch today” and he walks away and Yee Yin smiles at Kwan and Kwan looks awkward and upset. Yee Yin says “Taukeh Choi, I heard your debut was a success. Congratulations. I am sorry Athur and I couldn’t attend, we were busy with some other engagements” and Kwan says it is ok though she looks quite upset and Kwan must have said something because Yee Yin then says “It is not easy being the 2nd wife of Chung Cheuk Man. A man can marry many wives, but a woman can’t afford to make a mistake by marrying the wrong man. If you’re someone who can’t share your husband, take my advice, don’t marry into a polygamous relationship. You know Arthur, he was upset with me but we have reconciled after the dance. I have promised myself never be upset with his antics anymore..” and Kwan doesn’t look happy at all.
My memory of this scene is poor so my recap is poor. In effect Yee Yin was telling her that Arthur was using her to get to Yee Yin and Yee Yin herself does not appreciate Kwan hoping to be wife no. 4.
I can’t remember if this scene was after the dance or after the lunch with Yee Yin or a combination of 2 scenes as one. But the dialogue did happened.
At home, Kwan is so upset she is almost in tears and Yee Lan says “If you don’t want to tell me, then don’t” and something happened in between as Yee Lan says “Like you said, he was rushing in aid to his fainted wife. You shouldn’t be upset over that” and Kwan says “I am not upset about that. I do not believe he is using me like a chess piece. I refuse to believe it!! He can’t have done all that and then just abandoned me! Not after all that he did! Who does he think I am? He has feelings for me, I know it. Someone who doesn’t have feelings for someone else will never have danced so happily the way he did. Never!! I will get to him; I will win his heart!”
And she was really really determined. I believe her too because Arthur doesn’t mind adding a 4th wife into his collection but I also believe Arthur genuinely loves Yee Yin. As for Yee Yin, I too believe she loves Arthur but she also has to live by Arthur’s rules for the sake of her mom and brother because Arthur pays for everything.
Yee Hei and mom visits Arthur who smiles happily, 1st wife wary and Yee Hei goes straight to the point to ask for a job with Arthur since he really wants to learn about business and he has studied business and admires the resilience of the Japanese and how quick thinking they’re in business. Arthur agrees and 1st wife says “You must start at the bottom level, after all you wouldn’t want anyone to say you are riding on your brother in law’s wealth for success” and Yee Yin says “Big sister, Yee Hei is independent since young and he certainly knows how to socialise with others and I can assure you he will be just fine”. In other words, my brother ain’t gonna start work as some clerk you biyatch! First time I see Yee Yin being slightly rude to 1st wife. Arthur agrees and will let Yee Hei work under Jimmy and Yee Hei is happy.
At night at the balcony, Arthur tells Jimmy to teach Yee Hei about business at Man Hang Trading and to use Yee Hei’s potential connections in aid of the business so as to widen the business which Jimmy wants to but Arthur won’t allow him to expand until they win some government contracts and that is where Yee Hei comes in and Jimmy quietly says “Father, what is there to teach? Yee Hei is more educated than me, he knows more than me probably and could probably learn everything and be independent faster than expected”. Arthur says “Jimmy, he may be better educated or knows more people, but if you work hard, be conscientious and be dedicated to your work, you don’t have to worry about Yee Hei being more successful than you” and Jimmy nods.
First day at the job, Jimmy is rather arrogant to Yee Hei as he pointedly tells Yee Hei to call Arthur Mr Chung since he is the boss and even if they’re family, this is the office and Yee Hei realises what is going on and says to Jimmy “Shall I then call you Mr Chung as well?” and Jimmy says nonchalantly “Up to you” which means of course as Jimmy tells him to drink the whiskey or whatever alcohol which is the good stuff and Yee Hei observes the drinks are even better than out there but surely a worker’s salary can’t afford all these (implying Jimmy uses company funds to supply for his lavish lifestyle) and Jimmy says “What do you mean?” and Yee Hei says “Look, we are both half orphans dependent on someone to help us climb up in our career, hoping for success. We are the same breed. We are not enemies, but we can be friends. If we can work together, we will be great partners” and Jimmy says “We can’t be friends… I believe by right you are my uncle and I should call you.. uncle?” and the frost is melted and both men laughs.
And story shifts to Kam Muk Shui, now very sick with fever, needs money to see doctor, silly Siu Yau agrees to collect a debt from someone on behalf of Lui Hai because Lui Hai promises to lend her that money so that she can take Shui to a doctor. She went with Shui’s friend who told her to wait as he goes to the toilet as he is nervous, as the debtor is someone difficult and she couldn’t wait and so she goes right up, it is an opium den and she demands the money from the debtor who said he will pay her if she agrees to sleep with him and he pushes her to the bed and yes, tried to rape her as Shui suddenly bursts in, punches everyone, takes her away and they run as the debtor’s men chase after them and as they reach some outer gate, he tells her to hide and run as fast as she can when he signals her and yet he faints there and there because he is doing all that with high fever. And what does Siu Yau do? Well, she screams “Shui Gor! Shui Gor! HELP! SOMEONE! HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” and I am surprised the debtor doesn’t hear where she is. What a silly reaction. Anyway we then see someone walking towards her and she looks up and we see a man’s feet, wearing westernised shoes. Take a big guess who that is!
I suppose that’s how she meets Charles. At this point I will say Charles likes Kwan but is not in love with her. They’re just childhood friends turn adulthood friends.
No jumpy scenes, no bad editing, all flowing well tonight with some good scenes. I really enjoy Damien and Idy’s scenes. They’re the ideal couple.
Ok, FUNN’S REPORT CARD for this episode.
E = Exceed expectations meaning truly awesome
A = Acceptable
B = Boleh lar (in Malay for Ok lar or can do lar)
C = Ceh! (in ordinary speak, you can say same as meh! or just so-so which is lesser than boleh lar)
D = Dreadful meaning terrible
F = Fail, worse than dreadful but nowhere near…
EF = EPIC FAIL which is worse than F by the way, so worse it is the pinnacle of worse as in worst.
An absolute A. This series is getting more enjoyable and although less focus on Kenneth’s Charles, I find there is a good balance at this moment. I especially enjoyed the cold war between Arthur and Yee Yin. I am still wondering about whether Yee Yin truly loves Arthur or likes him and bears with him for the sake of her family. My feeling is, she is proud of Arthur, respects him and in her own way loves him even if she does have to put down her pride for him.
All around A, especially Damien in his concerned husband mode. I am sorry to say, I just don’t buy his sexy seducer mode. That would have gotten a C from me. But tonight, more on husband in love with a wife he suspects doesn’t really love him mode and that is a strong A sort of performance.
Kenneth Ma, very little scenes.
Sire Ma is cute and bubbly, nothing much but serviceable and she gets an A from me.
Vincent Wong is still a miscast but he can act, no doubt about it. I give him an A because I like him.
Bak Yan is still an E for me. She is scary looking as well, and make up also E because it fits her character perfectly.
Idy Chan is better at those dignified quiet moments rather than dramatic parts. In episode 5 she was terrible but here, since most of those scenes are quiet angry wife, she is a strong A.
Mary Hon as a deeply jealous wife and Elena Kong as the cocky mouthed wife both also gave strong performances and so A and A for both.
Ron Ng is busy being sick so not much yet. And I don’t see any point to his role.
Rebecca Zhu is sometimes ok, sometimes not. She overacts a lot in this episode but certainly I believe this is her first role, if not first major role? She handles herself well and takes practice but the talent is there. I am eager to see her scenes with Kenneth Ma, how they fall for one another and I hope Kenneth gets to show his romantic side. And Rebecca gets to act as someone other than jumpy worried as she is for a few episodes now. So for this episode, she gets a C. Would have been a B if she didn’t screw up the last scene with her shouting since she was supposed to be hiding.
Everyone else is servicable.
Now, Tavia Yeung as Kwan. I will give her an E. Why? I expected HUHHHHH HUHHHH HUHHHHH again but she surprised me with a performance that is controlled without OTT outbursts in those scenes when she is angry or when she is very upset. She certainly shows the jealous side very well. As long as she is not the seductress or doing sexy scenes, to me she alternates between A and E. Tonight, a solid E because you can feel Kwan’s simmering anger, her jealousy and her eagerness to win Arthur’s heart. At first it may have been attraction, but after her humiliation, it will be all out war, just to show to Yee Yin and the wives and Arthur himself, she is not a chess piece to be used and thrown away. Tavia shows all that anger and determination in her eyes.
MAKE UP, WARDROBE & HAIR
A general B but for Kwan’s hair and most of the lady’s hair where there are various wigs and you can tell they’re wigs, a D. Kenneth’s hair gets an EF. I feel there must be some major setup by the make up department because he looks like he belongs in a comedy with that sort of hair.
PACING & EDITING
A, definitely. Getting exciting, editing is better, and pacing is tense. The last scene was certainly suspenseful.
DIRECTION OF THE SERIES
An F. Why? Episode 6, and I still have no idea what this series is about. Prominent family? Lust? Sex? Inheritance? What? I like a series with a direction and this one without a direction to me is like a series about anything and since there is no set rules, it means this series can give rubbish stuff or good stuff. I hope it won’t be like the rubbish Gong II, where there are no rules or rather the producer just breaks all of them in the name of entertainment and I got scarred by that stupid series. So far SSSS isn’t going that route yet. After watching Gong II, I am happy to say TVB will never ever stoop so low. Never! But TVB can self destruct which I hope they won’t.
A. Good episode tonight, getting better.
If you’re not watching, don’t give up until you reach episode 5. That’s where things stabilised and gets interesting. It is almost an unwritten rule for all TVB series. Episode 1 is terrible or OTT and so give it until episode 3 to 5 before abandoning it or continuing with it. But if this genre is not your type, better not start at all. It won’t fit into your type any which way you see it.
This Episodic Thoughts was written by Funn Lim, a Contributing Writer at JayneStars.com, and was originally posted at http://silverspoonsterlingschackles.blogspot.com.