Many TVB series broadcast in the first quarter of 2010 did not pull in ratings above thirty points. The finale for Maggie Cheung Ho Yee and Michael Miu Kiu Wai’s “My Better Half” (老公萬歲) pulled in 31 points. Believing that ratings will improve by airing series with established fadans, TVB will show Flora Chan Wai San’s comeback series, “Suspects in Love” (搜下留情) on Monday, April 5th.
The last series Flora filmed for TVB was 2004’s “To Get Unstuck in Time.” In 2006, she secretly married her manager, Mike Chung Ka Hung, in the USA and had her daughter afterwards. Since then, Flora severely reduced her workload and filmed two to three ads and one film cameo role.
Allegedly, Mike currently has no income and an ad sponsor is suing the couple for $1.1 million (HKD) due to breach of contract. Since Flora was the bread-winner in the household, filming a TVB series would increase the couple’s income. Allegedly, during the filming of “Suspects in Love,” inside sources complained that Flora was ill-tempered and scolded at the crew. In one scene where Flora’s character got drunk, she NG-ed ten times before the successful take was completed.
According to Flora, the reason for her come-back was to allow her daughter to gain more independence. “Over the last six years, I have reduced my filming workload and was in a semi-retirement state. TVB often contacted me to offer me filming opportunities. I repeatedly turned down their offers, including ‘Born Rich.’ The role which was offered to me had many turbulent emotions, including a rape scene and suffering business failure. I have no feelings for this type of role anymore and will not be able to portray it aptly.”
The plot for “Suspects in Love” is much lighter and heart-warming. My character is closer to what you would find in reality.” In “Suspects in Love,” Flora’s character, Cheung Siu Yan, ran away from home when she was a teenager. She became a masseuse and wrongly believed that she was responsible for a murder. Flora’s character was pursued by the mafia and investigated by undercover policeman, Joe Ma Tak Chung. As a last resort, Flora returned to her father, Shek Sau’s, home to help him manage the family herbal tea shop.
Abandoning her trademark career woman role from past series, Flora will portray a besotted masseuse on the look-out for love. Flora spoke further about her character, “She values her relationship with her sister and is on the look-out for a husband. On this note, her character is very similar to me. Her education is not very high, thus her views are simplistic and she will face life on a day-to-day basis. When faced with a challenge, she will find a way to continue living her life.”
Since Flora appears as a teenager in numerous flashback sequences in “Suspects in Love” and the character is cheerful and naïve, netizens wondered whether Flora’s age was suitable in playing the role of such a youthful character.
Jayne: I like Flora as a strong, career-minded professional more. Her character as Belle in “Triumph in the Skies” was very weak-willed and could not make up her mind. Perhaps her strong image is deeply embedded in my mind, but I didn’t find the portrayal too convincing. We’ll see how “Suspects in Love” turns out. The character synopsis does sound a little young for the 39-year-old Flora.