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.
“So with my bare hands, I dug. I dug and dug and dug and finally dug my own way out of the darkness. All with my bare hands.”
Daily SSSS variation;
Slower Suffer Shifty Scam
Ok, this is running thin. Novelty is gone. Next recap, no more SSSS variation. By the time I finish thinking of any SSSS variation, I forgot about the plot. And I actually forgot about a really important one from Episode 5 which I shall explain later.
First, Charles proves why he is bachelor no. 1 aka catch of the millennium. So he’s boring, got a silly hairstyle, a more flamboyant father, 2 potential mothers in law from hell and very little dialogue but hey, he’s gallant, he doesn’t discriminate, he is kind, he has no temper and he is terribly nice.
All that Siu Yau will discover in…
It is Charles!! And I assume Charles carried or called a taxi to take Siu Yau and Shui to hospital because later we see him in the hospital and said to Siu Yau he has paid the hospital bill. Siu Yau asks a genuine question; “Why are you helping us?” and he answers “I know that man, Kam Muk Shui” and she goes “Are you both friends?” and he answers “Sort of” and Siu Yau asks “What is your name?” and he answers “Chung Kai Sun” and off he flew out of the window and into the night, his cape fluttering behind him.
Kidding about the last part but to me, oh so dreamy.
Shui wakes up and naturally Siu Yau tells him everything and Siu Yau insists they thank him personally later and Shui is like “Why should I? I mean we are not even friends. I mean he lives on the hills, those rich people area, and me, we could never mix!” and of course Siu Yau is right to worry-pout. She worries (and then add another expression into that sentence) a lot.
Yvonne isn’t happy with the newspaper reporting claiming Arthur and Kwan are having a sordid affair. She sneers “Can you believe this? That actress? With THAT actress?”
Note the word is hei tzi, very insulting term in this context.
“Big sister, don’t you think the newspaper is getting it all wrong? And how dare that actress dare to seduce our husband?” and 1st wife does not have much to say whilst Jimmy says “3rd mother, these are just rumours. I have rumours everyday, no big deal” but Yvonne persisted “2nd sister, what do you think of this sordid scandalous rumour?” and Yee Yin says “I don’t really read such news. It doesn’t matter” and Yvonne angrily says “Doesn’t matter? Wait this till actress enters our household and insults us with her very presence, see what you will think! I am a banker’s daughter, a woman of wealth and education with a good background and am I expected to be associated with this.. this.. ACTRESS? What is husband thinking?!” and right on cue Arthur enters, and asks benignly “Well well well, a discussion I see. What is it about?” and Yvonne rushes to him with the papers, put on a cutesy voice and says “Husband, look! Look! These papers are writing rubbish about you and Taukeh Choi!” and Arthur holds her and asks gently “And do you believe any of it?” and Yvonne shakes her head and he asks 1st wife who says “Unless you yourself admit it” and he looks at Yee Yin who shakes her head as well and Arthur says “Then that settles it then. It is just a rumour. Continue on with your.. discussion…” and he smiles as he walks away.
Kwan rushes (she didn’t run in but rather walked briskly in I suppose) into the restaurant and sits opposite Arthur who in point blank says “You have been busy in retelling our non existent sordid affair to the press”
Last episode she asks Yee Lan to contact some press people because she wants to do something and I suppose she leaks the so called news herself. This is the part I missed in the recap.
Kwan is shocked that Arthur knows and she says “I don’t know what you’re talking about” and Arthur smiles but sternly says “Do you think with just a few falsified news you can cause a wedge between my wives and I? And cause a rift in my family’s relationship with me?” and Kwan angrily says “I am not a chess piece to be used as a reconciliation tool between your 2nd wife and you!” and Arthur says “Did I ever said you are one? And do you think you alone could have reconciled my 2nd wife and I? Maybe you have overestimated your own ability”
“Look, if I have said anything or done anything to cause you to misunderstand my intentions, I apologise. I should be more careful and I will. You and I are just an employer and an employee, and nothing more. I hope I have made myself clear” and Kwan so upset looks at him and says with gritted teeth “Yes, you have made yourself absolutely clear. I apologise I can’t finish this tea” and she leaves angrily with angry tears whilst Arthur looks at her.
I believe he has plans but too soon for that now. And double ouch for Kwan! Imagine humiliated, insulted, abandoned and now rejected. Not that much any normal girl could take in the space of a few days. But Kwan isn’t normal.
Kwan storms down the streets when her heels broke and she hobbled along the way until a car stops and in it… isn’t Arthur BUT Shek Sau and again didn’t catch his name except for Barrister Fok I think. He wants to give her a ride, she refuses and he says she better get in before she embarrasses herself since she is Choi Fung Wong. She gets in and Shek Sau knows why she is upset and says maybe it is time she makes new friends and dances with new people who can help her to rise up in the society and her ears perk up to listen.
How silly to fraternise with the man who helps her tormentor.
Big scene, lots of people lining up, Yvonne is doing some “give free rice to people” drive and Ho Yee and Jimmy are there as well. The cops aren’t happy as they say to themselves “These rich people, they call this charity when it is just another publicity drive for them and here we have to protect them. What nonsense.” and one of the cops is none other than the super critical Yung Dat Chi. Ho Yee sees one of the old man so cold he nearly fainted and she rushes to him and tells him to sit by the side but he refuses as he will be giving up his place in the queue. Ho Yee rushes to Yvonne and asks if they can start giving away the rice now but Yvonne says “Not now. We have some more people to wait for” and Ho Yee protests and says “But 3rd mother, they are cold…they can’t wait long..” but Yvonne shoos Ho Yee away. Ho Yee rushes to Jimmy but Jimmy whispers “I am not in charge here, 3rd mother is” and Ho Yee upset says “But isn’t this supposed to be charity? Why are we making them wait, for the publicity? This is so against charity” and Jimmy says “Ho Yee, THIS IS for publicity, why do you think 3rd mother even bothers”. The people cry out “Can you start giving rice now? We have waited too long!!” and Jimmy rushes to Yvonne and persuades her since reputation at stake and Yvonne goes to them and announces they can start to collect their rice. And pandemonium as everyone rushes forward, police lost control and Ho Yee rushes forward to stop them but was knocked down instead and hurt her hand. Chi (the police) comes to her aid, drags her away from danger and as he roughly handles her he scolds her “You rich people just don’t get it! You do publicity in the name of charity. How selfish, how insincere. Look at the mess now, how can we control them, with the problems you rich people created!” and Ho Yee looks apologetic but Jimmy comes forward, pushes Chi away and says “Who are you? Just a small time cop. You as the police should be controlling the crowd but here you are, how dare you even touch my sister and you hurt her fingers and now you even scold her? Do you know who she is? She is Chung’s young daughter, and who are you, nothing but a cop and how dare you lecture her!” and Chi argues he is right, Ho Yee wants to say something when Yvonne comes over and arrogantly looks at Chi and says “What’s your name?” and he says “Yung Dat Chi” and she continues “I will remember your name. I will report you” and he dares her and she looks at him and says “Why I even bother to talk to someone as lowly as you. A waste of my time” and she walks away. Chi looks furious.
Well he shouldn’t take his frustration out on Ho Yee. I understand his anger but he has no tact. And frankly I don’t like Adrian Chau as Yung Dat Chi. Dat Chi is so naggy and Adrian Chau is too “black faced” aka sulky faced.
Can’t remember which scene exactly was this but I remember Dat Chi got scolded by his superior who told him to go see the Chungs and apologise, if not everyone will be fired, superior included.
Chung mansion, Charles is not there, Arthur not there also. Jimmy is complaining to 1st wife about the rude cop, 1st wife is heart sick Ho Yee’s hands is injured, Ho Yee tries to explain but 1st wife says no one is gonna scold her darling daughter, not even her dad scolds her. Well she is very properly brought up. You get a sense that Ho Yee and Charles are both very well brought up, good manners, good education and you can see Arthur is very proud of his children, Jimmy included. Ho Yee explains it isn’t the cop’s fault but Yvonne says “It doesn’t matter. It is not his position to scold you. Who does he think he is?”. 1st wife agrees with Yvonne and Jimmy. And then servant comes up and announces the cop is here. Jimmy wonders why is he here since Yvonne already made an official complaint and so Jimmy and servant go down first, and sees Dat Chi holding some basket (probably fruits and obviously is here to apologise). Jimmy keeps talking to the servant, refuses to acknowledge Dat Chi’s existence as Jimmy says “Some people think just because they’re cops they can talk back. I mean just a cop, who the bloody hell does he think he is? He dares to hurt my sister, scold her and even chastise us. That small nobody, please tell that nobody to get lost”. Dat Chi is angry and so he turns to leave when the rest comes down and Yvonne arrogantly asks “Why are you even here?” as 1st wife scolded “So you are the one who dared hurt my daughter” and Dat Chi says “I came to apologise” and Yvonne counters “What did you just say?” and Dat Chi says loudly “I CAME HERE TO APOLOGISE!!!!!” and right on cue Arthur comes home and asks sternly “Who is this and what is going on?” and Dat Chi said things he shouldn’t have said; “But I am leaving. I will never apologise to you arrogant bunch of rich people who thinks just because you are rich you can bully us all!” and Arthur sternly asks “What did you just say?” and Dat Chi turns to him and says “The gods have eyes, be careful of the last few years of your life!!” and Arthur now very angry said in English he wants Dat Chi to leave, acknowledge the fact that Dat Chi has no class and he will refuse to entertain such insolent (his words) man and he went upstairs and Dat Chi stomps away.
When in Chinese you say to someone “be careful of the last few years of your life” basically is telling people to GO TO HELL but not immediately in the English version, rather in the last few years. That is not a friendly hello and goodbye and is even worse than GO TO HELL. It is a curse, not as in the F word sort of curse but an actual curse. Naturally Arthur is furious. And I think Dat Chi overstepped the line to curse Arthur, however angry he was. What a stupid man.
Shui is busy putting down plates of dishes onto the table, Dat Chi asks “Why do you even ask a member of that arrogant family for dinner?” and Shui says “It was Siu Yau’s idea, not mine! She says I must thank that Chung Kai Sun!” and ..
Chung Kai Sun.
Chung Kai Sun who?
Chung Kai Sun will snatch your Siu Yau’s heart away from you!!
Charles looking handsome in his suit (I blocked out the hair) and he is most welcomed by grandma and all. Charles even apologised on behalf of his family for their treatment towards Dat Chi who accepts the apology. Siu Yau is especially nice to him and anyway Shui agrees to work to pay back the medical cost to Charles, and Siu Yau wants to see Kwan to find work and Shui does not agree she works but she insists and Charles says he can take her there tomorrow since he wants to see Kwan, Shui says maybe he can take Siu Yau but Siu Yau reminds him he has to collect some debt for Lui Hai and so Shui asks Charles to take Siu Yau since it ain’t safe out there for an innocent girl like her and Charles agree. Meanwhile Charles is very humble and polite and gentlemanly and awww shucks short of guy (aww w shucks is me, he is like serious wooden stable pillar sort of guy) and compliments the simple dishes and Siu Yau is surprise a man of his taste and wealth could eat such simple dishes and Charles says politely “Food is food, there can be no difference to delicious food”.
How can anyone not fall for the boring Charles? Maybe Siu Yau’s English name will be Diana.. wait that’s tragic… Camilla!!
Next day Siu Yau sees Kwan who totally transforms herself into more westernised, she is learning English, she uses western perfume..basically she is doing everything just to attract Arthur’s attention which to me is just wrong. Suddenly she lost her personality. Anyway she is still nice to Siu Yau although there is a hint of bitchiness in her I tell you! She gives Siu Yau the job of a cook and Siu Yau is happy.
Why can’t Charles give Siu Yau a job?!
Anyway Siu Yau stands quietly until Kwan asks what more and Siu Yau says Charles wants to see her and why doesn’t she wants to see Charles who is obviously concerned about her?
No answer because next scene Charles at the balcony restaurant (lovely view by the way) and Siu Yau comes to him, looking meek and apologetic. He says “I am not punishing you by standing there. Please, do sit” and she sits and she says “I am sorry. She refuses to see you. I can’t even do a simple thing you asked me” and Charles smiles “It is not a big deal. Anyway I understand why she is avoiding me. After all those sordid rumours with my father, maybe she is embarrassed”
Oh Charles, how naive! Siu Yau is the girl for you!
He invites her to try the biscuits and cakes, she feels bad for Charles for having her as company and Charles dismisses that and notes there shouldn’t be any such class differences and she eats the pastry and she likes them very much and Charles says she can takeaway some for the family and she eagerly thanks him.
Oh Charles, stop charming me!!!
At home Siu Yau happily says she got a job and then she gives them the pastries and Shui refuses to eat as he says “That Chung Kai Sun paid for these didn’t he? What devious intention he has with you eh?” and Siu Yau says “He is a good man!” and Shui says “Good man? Siu Yau, no rich man is a good man!” and Siu Yau teases “So if next time you’re rich, then you’re not a good man?” and Shui jokingly gets angry and chases Siu Yau around. Meanwhile, Dat Chi eats the cakes and likes them and Shui also eats and says “Eh, tastes good!” and Dat Chi says “Thought you are not eating?” and Shui says “What?! Since these pastries are here, I will eat them all!!” and he happily chomps away.
Meanwhile, Arthur goes to Chamber of Commerce office and happily greets Tung who tells him he has invited in a new member and turns out to be Chai Yat Fai who didn’t take up Arthur’s offer and came to HK instead. After all the ha has and oh ahs, Arthur leaves the building when Chai chases after him and says bluntly “I am a man who doesn’t like to twist my words Mr Chung so I shall be blunt. You are not happy to see me. I can understand why. I was about to leave for London when I got the message that Yee Yin married you. But I am afraid you have misinterpreted my concern for her. We are old friends and all I want to know is if she is happy and living a comfortable life. That is all I want to know. I meant no harm” and Arthur smiles and says “Well why don’t you see for yourself? Dinner tonight at my place?”. Chai, surprised says yes. Arthur smiles.
He is smiling too much.
At home, 1st wife says everyone must be ready to greet a guest, no idea who when Arthur walks in with Chai who brings gifts, he is introduced to each of them and the children when Yee Yin walks in and to the shock of her life, see Chai.
Now here I feel Arthur is devious in a sense he should have told her Chai is coming. It could have been a test but in Arthur’s own logic which is logical what he is doing is to introduce them in the public so as to avoid any made up scandal. A good move, but still an underhanded one.
1st wife and Yvonne noticed but said nothing.
Dinner time, Chai compliments Arthur on the food, Yvonne asks why he is back and he explains he is Chinese, he wants to come back to motherland and help the economy and Yvonne asks what was he before he went to San Francisco? and Chai explains he was a rickshaw puller, had some good luck was liked by his boss and sent to London to do business and here he is. 1st wife comments it must have been a hard life in the mines and as a Chinese in foreign land, being bullied and all and Chai brushes that off as the past stays in the past.
Here is where Ben Wong was rather brilliant. The way he dismisses that but yet with a sense of reluctance, a fleeting moment where you see that indeed he must have suffered a lot. Brilliant.
Arthur asks Ho Yee to play some music on the piano in what will probably be the worst miming (finger wise) of piano music ever, since music is fast, fingers are slow. Chai compliments Arthur on his family, says he is happy for Yee Yin and thinks she is in good hands and Yee Yin and Arthur hold hands lovingly and Chai of course notices very clearly. Chai is also holding a party and inviting all big guns, Arthur included but Arthur says he can’t go but Chai urges him to go.
At night, Arthur walks into Yee Yin’s room and Yee Yin says “I know you will be here so I waited for you…Husband, thank you for what you did today. I am very happy to see Yat Fai again and to now he is doing well. And did I past the test?” and Arthur smiles and says she did and then she says she is having a headache (meaning hubby, no sex tonight please) and he is also tired (meaning honey, I understand) so they slept holding one another but probably unbeknown to one another, neither could sleep that night.
And I hate that in the end she still elopes with Chai. I like her with Arthur!! But then Chai seems to be a man of his words, a man of integrity. I hope he doesn’t get any funny ideas like toppling Arthur and all that nonsense.
Yee Yin realises that day is Chai’s banquet and against any wishes, she prepares herself to go, and if asked, she is attending a friend’s dinner which is true.
Arthur is with the men at Chamber of Commerce and is surprised to know so many big guns are going and though he isn’t threatened but he is curious as to what sort of charm this Chai has to have everyone there and he considers going as well.
Chai at the banquet, Kwan is there with Shek Sau and dressing extravagantly in fur as she keeps looking around (for Arthur probably so as to stun him with her exquisite beauty or whatever) and Chai goes up on stage to make a speech and in the darkness Yee Yin arrives and stands at the door as Chai says…
“I have been a very very lucky man to have had the opportunities at the right time materialising before me. But it is not all luck. I was a rickshaw puller, when I decided to leave for San Francisco and be a miner. It was a hard road, a terribly hard road but I worked hard. I couldn’t read nor write but I worked very hard. All I needed then was a chance and one day that chance came. I was asked to show my boss around the mines and the mines collapsed when we were in it. Encased in darkness without food or water except for the drops of water from the roof of the caves, I didn’t know how long or how many days passed. My boss was terrified and I remember I kept telling him, don’t be afraid, don’t be afraid. The truth was, I was very afraid myself. I thought, this is it. I am dead and I will die on foreign land. And then I touched my pockets and held in my hands a gift someone very important to me gave me…”
and flashback of them eloping and no money and Yee Yin gives her jade bangle to Chai to sell but Chai refuses and Chai promised her that he will not be poor forever so as to give her a comfortable life she deserves …
“..and I remembered my promise which was what brought me to that country in the first place; my promise to the woman I love that one day I will return a successful man to marry her. With that promise, I realised I have to get out of that place. So with my bare hands, I dug. I dug and dug and dug and finally dug my own way out of the darkness. All with my bare hands. From thereon my employer trained me in business, which took me to London and finally to home, here I am, the man you see today..”
and Yee Yin was crying quietly when a woman asks “And did you fulfil your promise?” and he says sadly “No, I couldn’t but I am happy if she is happy, I am happy if she is loved and she is comfortable, that is what I ask for”
and thunderous claps all around and as he looks around and as Yee Yin wipes her tears Chai sees her and she sees him and they locked eyes at one another, both of them surprised with Yee Yin trying to hide but couldn’t.
Yeah, she still loves him. He also gives up. But I suppose Arthur’s jealousy and then marrying 2 more wives will eventually bring them back together. It was however quite a moving story. He is a self made man, from hard work. So is Arthur in some ways but I think Arthur’s father was already a prominent man whilst Chai is the 1st generation to be so.
Ok, FUNN’s DAILY REPORT CARD;
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.
A solid A for sure. Yee Yin’s story is interesting and strange how Chai will think she may be unmarried since they parted for decades. What happened? Also Kwan’s over zealousness in trying to catch Arthur’s attention which she already did but Arthur too busy worrying about Chai and Yee Yin. Please don’t tell me Arthur did some devious thing that drives Chai and Yee Yin back together again, that is so cliche!! I want the BBJX 8th prince thing; he just investigated, he didn’t do anything!
All around A for everyone, even Ron Ng who is getting better as Kam Muk Shui where he has some funny scenes. He is a rough guy and he is best at comedy-ish situation.
However, Adrian Chau (who is he?) as Yung Dat Chi gets a D. Acting is actually a C but overall is a D because he has zero charisma and likability, I find him too damn serious and he is so naggy. Character is a problem, acting also a problem.
Rebecca Zhu gets a B for a newbie and she does well when she is not hyper. She matches well with Kenneth, because she is very young looking, he is not so young looking and the age difference is obvious and so is the so called class difference. She is earnest in her portrayal, her Cantonese is mostly off but she tries and even if she is hyper and all, I do like her. She seems fresh, unlike many actresses who may seem too jaded for this role. I can see why Fala Chen was first offered the role. She has that innocent freshness to her, that innate elegance but what Rebecca has is youth. And this role demands for someone young.
Ben Wong is a solid A even if he is a miscast in terms of age. Andy Lau should have been a VVVVVIP guest star for this role!
Tavia Yeung is a solid A as well for her anger, her dissatisfaction, her over eagerness. Her Kwan is a huge bitch in the making and that is what I want to see from Tavia; some firepower.
Kenneth Ma is a B to me. Yes I love his Charles but that is his character description. Acting wise, he is too mundane, and like his character, rather wooden in some parts, some expressions in others but then the writing for this character is inadequate right now.He is hardly facing any dilemma (except for Kwan not speaking to him but he is not in love with her), he hardly has any crisis, he is like the prince charming right now. I do like Kenneth and I do love Charles but I feel character wise nothing much to do and Kenneth himself isn’t exactly a charmer. He is too serious but with the silliest hair which still gets an EF from me. Definitely not charming chaebol dude but still chaebol. I want some personality but all I get is a more serious less puppy dog look which is ok right now but can’t be forever that.
Shek Sau is a D even if he has little role. Imagine if he has more role, probably EF unless he is Madame Tussuad’s display wax figure. That would be E.
Love the qiapos, the westernised dress even the suits and especially Damian’s very nice gangster type shoes (or do you call those swinger’s type shoes)? All A. Except for Tavia’s red dress when Siu Yau goes to find her for a job, that is EF because she looks pregnant when she is not. The waist thing is not right.
The balcony restaurant in Shanghai-like scenery (it is supposed to be HK by the way) alone will get an E from me!
Chai Yat Fai’s moving speech and Yee Yin’s reaction which won’t please Arthur one bit. That gets an E from me. The speech makes sense. Ben Wong makes sense even if I say he is a miscast purely because Idy Chan is sorta too old for him.
A solid A for this episode.
Story is getting more interesting. I am waiting with abated breath when Kwan unleashes her inner biyatch in dealing with Yvonne but I think we may have to wait for another few more episodes. Poor Kwan , she is getting desperate. Her entire being now is revolving around Arthur and frankly, I don’t like that much and I hope Arthur just marries her and put her out of her misery. Well probably we will know in an episode or 2 later. Probably it will start with an affair then a marriage.
This Episodic Thoughts was written by Funn Lim, a Contributing Writer at JayneStars.com, and was originally posted at http://silverspoonsterlingschackles.blogspot.com.
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