Synopsis of CTI’s New Drama “The Hakka Women”

A blessing ceremony for CTI’s eighth drama, The Hakka Women <客家女人>, was held on October 18. The family drama stars Maggie Cheung (張可頤) and Prudence Liew (劉美君) as twin sisters of Hakka heritage who were separated at a young age. Although both sisters are leading successful lives to their own right, they have accumulated behind longstanding grudges and bitterness towards each other and their family.

The Hakka Women also stars Poon Chan Leung (潘燦良), Zac Kao (高皓正), Lam Lei (林利), Savio Tsang (曾偉權), and May Tse (謝月美) as the sisters’ acquaintances. The drama will be produced by former TVB scriptwriter Choi Suk Yin (蔡淑賢), and directed by former TVB director Luk Tin Wah (陸天華). The script will be helmed by Alex Pao (鮑偉聰), who is best known for writing the scripts of Secret of the Heart <天地豪情> and comedy, War of the Genders <男親女愛>.

Although the drama is a family-oriented drama, the main theme concerns the ongoing “culture wars” between Hong Kong and mainland China. Is Chinese culture in mainland China the same as Chinese culture in Hong Kong? Would the two cultures combine in the future, or grow separate and clash ever more?

Below is the translated synopsis of The Hakka Women:

Leung Mei Hang (Maggie Cheung) is part of the executive committee at an influential PR consultant firm. She currently lives in Residence Bel-Air, one of the most prestigious residential areas in Hong Kong. Proud, arrogant, and fussy, Hang is the epitome of a “Kong Girl” – but Hang was actually from a humble Hakka village in mainland China. She arrived to Hong Kong thirty years ago bare-handed and unarmed, and it took every bit of perseverance and determination to bring nothing into everything.

Leung Mei Tin (Prudence Liew) is Hang’s older twin sister who is still living in mainland China. Although not as educated as her sister, she is talented, intelligent, and has a knack for business. She is currently the owner of a small Hakka restaurant, the manager of a large countryside factory, and a representative of her village. There is no one in her town who hasn’t heard of her. She has truly become the “Light of Hakka.”

But the two sisters rarely contacted each other. When they reunite, past grudges and resentments are manifested. The once-close sisters are never the same again.


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  1. Why Savio? Why are you there?

    Hakka women, teow chew women, shanghainese women, all same storyline. Maybe we will see some hakka delicacy.

    1. In the 1990s Singapore TV went through a phase in which they kept making dramas about Teochew Family, Hakka Family, Hainanese Family, etc. It was basically the same family drama storylines over and over again, just that the characters’ occupations and the delicacies they ate were different.

  2. It’s been awhile since I last saw a photo Prudence Liew. She looks a lot older than I remembered.

    1. For a 48 years old woman with teenage children, she looks good.

      I think Maggie looks older.

  3. Is Hakka a minority ethnic group in China not Han or Tang Chinese?

    1. Hakka are Han. They are more of a linguistic group than an ethnic group iirc.

    2. Tang is simply a different name for Han. We’re also called Hua.

      1. Nope, consider the dynasty, Tang is different to Han. But the major ethnic of Chinese is Han.

        The major dynasty: Qin – Han – Tang – Song – Yuen – Ming – Qing

  4. I love maggie and looking forward to this but need some younger well-known actor/actress in the series.

  5. This is similar to the real story of the Malaysian twins that got separated? I am glad Savio is actually being notice again, he is a good actor.

  6. In Hong Kong most people speak cantonese , people like Alex Man , Chow Yan Fatt & Andy Lau are Hakka people but they speak cantonese only.

    1. One more the dead Leslie Cheong aslo Hakka people wow almost good looking guys are Hakka people !

  7. I know twins don’t have to be identical but damn… Looks like a big age and height difference.

  8. Isn’t 張可頤 a diva? Why is she still getting all these filming opportunities?
    I read about her being cocky and stuff so it feels wrong when watching her act in the current tvb drama as a nicey nice woman.

  9. They need a stronger male lead to pair with Maggie, if not it’ll be pointless from the start.

  10. i hope CTI make a series similar to secret of the heart(TVB) or flaming brother(ATV)!!

  11. who is the actor on the left? he kinda has michael miu style

    1. That’s Poon Chan Leung – he’s a renown theater actor. He’s been doing theater for over 20 years and this will be his first attempt at filming television series. Also, just FYI….he’s actress Louisa So’s boyfriend in real life (not that it matters, but in case people were interested in knowing)…

  12. My question would be where can you watch CTI TV series outside HK? TVB TV series can be seen all over the world but CTI?

    張可頤 still looks a bit puffy in the face…

    1. We have to wait when the lazy Hong Kong government finally finalized the tv license and get the show going. You will likely see those dramas instantly on torrent or your friendly download sites. Maybe they could illegally live stream; but, who the f knows!

    2. Well, let’s see it:

      99% of CTI’s ppl including the artists, scriptwriters, directors, producers etc. are from Txb. So in Txb these ppl can’t give out good series, what to say that they can produce good series in CTI?

      CTI is running out of money :P. Even their “CTI city” – studio planned for months hasn’t been started to built. Now they are renting ATV’s old filming studio to film.

      The license hasn’t been issued yet and it has just been denied once again by HK govt.

      To compare, Frankie Lam – we can consider him as one of the most famous artists in CTI now – went to film in the same place with Derek Kwok – a supporting actor in Txb. And Frankie Lam has 1 news 1 pic on newspaper while Derek Kwok has 3-4 news.

      1. Oh, so that means Derek Kwok is now more famous than Frankie Lam? LOL

      2. To be fair, most of the former TVB artists and crew who left them for CTI have proven they can produce excellent work. But due to TVB poor salary and the tendency to overwork them, the quality of their work may have suffered.

        The whole delay license for CTI could might as well be a PR strategy to get people to talk about CTI.

        Frankie Lam has never been a red hot PR guy to begin with. Having more news doesn’t necessary mean you’re more popular. It depends on what type of news.

      3. No one is saying that CTI’s series will for sure succeed, but that doesn’t mean they will fail either. Personally, I’m looking forward to seeing more TV stations in HK because of the much needed competition that it will bring to the market, which will inevitably drive improvement – it’s actually a win/win situation for the HK television industry and that’s one of the main reasons why many of the artists who went to CTI decided to do so. It’s not necessarily about the money, but rather, supporting ‘freedom of the arts’ in general.

        Also, in terms of the scripts, one thing we should keep in mind (which is one of the biggest differences between TVB and CTI currently) is that at CTI, they do not start filming a series until the COMPLETE SCRIPT has been written. The artists are given the COMPLETE SCRIPT way in advance of filming so that they can get the chance to study their roles and do their homework. With TVB, majority of the scripts are written “on the fly” – meaning that when filming starts, the script isn’t complete yet and is pretty much written on the go…..if you ask any consummate actor / actress, of course their preference is always going to be receiving the complete script prior to filming so that they can analyze their role and thereby give a more ‘high quality’ performance….this is another reason some of the artists chose to go with CTI.

        Basically, the point I’m trying to get at is….to be fair, given these types of circumstances, it’s not necessarily the scriptwriters / directors / artists’ fault that the series are bad quality – it also has a lot to do with the environment they are in as well.

        P.S.: Just to clarify…the government didn’t “deny” CTI’s license….up to this point, the government has pretty much been giving the same VAGUE response that they gave back in May: they are “making progress” in reviewing the free TV license applications. That does not mean “approval” and that surely doesn’t mean “denial” either…..

      4. I suppose one upside of the delay is that there will be more time for post-production work on these dramas.

        I don’t think we can say for sure yet whether CTI’s dramas will be better or worse than TVB’s. That CTI hired many ex-TVB staff doesn’t mean that these staff will produce the same quality of work as before. Given a different work environment and management direction, these same artistes / writers / directors might flourish, or they might go downhill, we don’t know yet.

        @llwy12 I wonder why TVB can’t make it standard operating procedure for scripts to be completed before filming commences. Schedule-wise they should be able to accommodate it, since it seems many series complete filming with generous time to spare before they are scheduled to air. Hong Kong series are unlike, say, U.S. drama series which can run for many seasons and the writers have to produce scripts not knowing how long the show is going to last, and the show’s production is ongoing even as it airs.

      5. @Tegan: My understanding is that it’s hard for TVB to do so because of the huge volume of series that they come out with every year. Just like many of their artists film series pretty much back to back (and in some cases, may have to balance filming more than one series at the same time), their scriptwriters follow a very similar routine. Most of the time, the scriptwriters have several ‘projects’ in the works and even though they might not necessarily start on all of the scripts at the same time, they will generally jump on the script for the next project as soon as they complete the one they are currently working on. Basically, think of it as they are constantly churning out scripts with very little rest and time to ‘recharge’ in between (speaking from a writer’s perspective, it’s hard to come up with creative ideas when your brain is already so worn out from writing non-stop…)… that’s why it’s not surprising that some of the scripts start to look similar after awhile.
        One thing I will say though is that whether CTI will be able to maintain this ‘advantage’ of completing their scripts prior to filming remains to be seen, since they are just starting up and have so few series in their ‘inventory’. If they ever get to the point of being able to produce as many series as TVB, it will be interesting to see if they will end up falling into the same pattern of ‘on the fly’ scripts…

  13. I don’t really care of what the hell Ricky Wong really is up to. As a huge fan of TVB since the 90′, I will always support them wholeheartedly. Moreover, I don’t think CTI will survive longer with the excessive paid and expenses to lure the actors to work for them. Ricky Wong was in ATV before, but now just look at its fate. TVB has been produced TV shows for more than 40 years. Many excellent shows were produced by them. They have a stable foundation. I personally don’t think the idea of paying actors 7or 8 times their actual salary to have them worked for you is a wise decision. It will not do you any good.

    1. What’s their “actual salary” though? Do you have the actual market rate of actors and actresses?
      Even if we don’t compare Hollywood with TVB salaries, TVB salaries are still way lower than their mainland counterparts. First line mainland actors and actresses can get 500k per episode. When Kevin works in mainland he can get 400k per episode. How much do first line actors get per episode filming in TVB series? 50k to 100k?
      Is TVB using their position to shortchange artistes and their production staff?

      1. What I mean here is the amount that they earn per episode from TVB. I’m not saying the market rate or anything else. I totally disagree on what you said here. Mainland actors and actresses can get 500k per episode. Do you mean HKD or CNY? Also, not every actors can get 500k/ep. It actually depends on how popular they are. Kevin Cheng indeed is famous. He’s popular. If the mainlan producer wants him to film, they would definitely give him a great offer. Chilam can get 80k HKD per episode from TVB. If you want to know how much Ricky Wong has offered to pay, you can look for the article in this site. For example, Maggie Cheung (120k HKD)

      2. Nori,. the numbers that I have, are only from the top actors/actresses, since those are the ones with the most news on them.
        I do agree with you, that most actors and actresses are not able to get that rate, but do you know how badly they are paid in TVB? One actor from TVB, Deno Cheung, said that he didn’t get a pay raise in 12 years! How sad is that? When I heard that I was shocked, because most profiteering companies review pay levels every 12 months! Do you think it’s fair that TVB continue paying low popularity artistes/production crew their low wages from 10 years back, that don’t even take into account inflation rates? If it’s not for Ricky wong, these people will still be suppressed, because TVB was the only TV station they can work for, if they want to remain in Hong Kong.
        I hope you can feel for the common people. TVB is a huge corporation making billions every year. Even if they pay all their production staff and low wage artistes twice their current pay, they will still be able to turn a profit. How big the profit, determines how greedy they are.

      3. oops, should be ‘profiting’ instead of profiteering 😛

    2. @Nori: Point well-taken, though the only thing I would like to clarify is that Ricky Wong wasn’t at ATV for long (he was only there 2 weeks) and he went in during a time when ATV was already in shambles (back in December 2008) – so it’s hardly fair to blame the ‘demise’ of ATV on him, since ATV had been declining for years prior to that already.

      And yes, very true that TVB has a solid foundation and if you want to hear my personal opinion, I really don’t feel that having new stations in HK will affect them much – meaning that it’s not like TVB is going to ‘close down’ just because other TV stations exist. If anything, it will motivate them to improve the quality of their programs because there will be the added pressure of other competitors pushing them to be better. That’s why I don’t understand why TVB is so vehemently opposed to having other stations join the market and co-exist together with them – the only ‘reasoning’ I can come up with is that TVB is greedy and power-hungry: they don’t want to share the ‘financial pie’ with others and want to continue to monopolize the market as they are doing now.

      IMO, the station that should REALLY be concerned about shutting down if more stations come into the market is ATV due to the sorry state that they’re already in – that’s why I’m not surprised in the least why they would resort to legal means and do everything in their power to prevent other stations from getting licenses….

  14. I just want them to get their license to see the kind of shows they’ll produce. I haven’t finished a TVB show in at least 6 months…that’s how bad and formulaic their stuff has gotten.

    And to be honest, TVB’s actors are only more popular because TVB has had a staying power and their name will always be a draw. They already have their own hype machine and they still promote the same 10-15 actors/actresses in lead roles. I wish they had more variety in subject matter and casting, but that’s never going to happen.

  15. I don’t see any male leads. Who are the male leads? Or are Maggie and Prudence the only leads?

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