My Better Half (TVB 2010)

My Better Half <老公萬歲>

TVB Series, 2010
Number of episodes: 20

Maggie Cheung as Ko Lai Sum
Michael Miu as Ching Sum
Michael Tse as Ching Yee
Teresa Lee as Mui Ling Chi (Gigi)
Mandy Cho as Yau Ka Lei (Yuki)
Mimi Lo as Poon Nei Sin
Derek Kok as Kong San Sou

Plot (Warning: Spoilers!!)

Ko Lai Sum (Maggie Cheung) and Ching Sum (Michael Miu) has been married for several years but Lai Sum does not entirely trust her husband. As a result, she constantly checks her husband to ensure that he remains faithful to her. This was because she is convinced that on the night of her wedding, Ching Sum had an affair. However, she finally learnt that her husband was not unfaithful and the couple began to have a much more harmonious relationship.

Ching Yee (Michael Tse), who is Ching Sum’s brother has always lead a much more extravagant lifestyle with countless number of girlfriends. One night he meets Mui Ling Chi (Theresa Lee) and wanted to court her. However, he later learns that Chi was actually working for a rival company and her boss had deliberately placed her near Yee to steal his ideas. Chi’s plan was revealed and she was sacked by Yee and her boss. However, she managed to get her job back by convincing Yee’s boss that she was suitable for the role. Both Yee and Chi are forced to cooperate and work together. Meanwhile, Yee’s ex-girlfriend Yuki (Mandy Cho) returns from Japan with her husband who had a stroke. Yee began to develop feelings for Yuki once again but she left with her husband as soon as he recovered. Yee had a mental breakdown and Chi was left to comfort him. After a series of bickering and working together, the two develop feelings for each other.

Meanwhile, Ching Sum was forced by his wife to leave his steady office job selling medicine to work for Lei Sum’s family business. Whilst Ching Sum worked there, another boy was also recruited. He looked like a young version of Ching Sum. Lei Sum started to develop feelings for him but it turned out that he was an undercover police officer in search of a missing gun. Ching Sum had thought that his wife was having an affair with the boy and tried to catch them. However, he learnt that it was all part of an investigation and that there was no affair. Nevertheless, Lei Sum still thinks that she has feelings for the boy but Chi convinced her that these feelings were really towards her husband. She had fallen in love with her younger husband.

Yuki was convinced by her husband to return to Hong Kong because he realised that Yuki still had feelings for Yee. She returned just when Chi and Yee started to have feelings for each other and was about to take their relationship to another level. Yee often found himself in the middle of the two people bickering and fighting. Yuki was hired as a model for Yee’s company. During a filming session by the pool both Yuki and Chi fell down the water and Yee had to choose who to save. He went to save Yuki. He later discovered that he loved Chi more and he saved Yuki because she was a lot weaker than Chi. The two were together and Yuki left.

Lei Sum learnt that she was pregnant and she and Ching Sum bought a baby doll to practice looking after a baby from a man who often dressed as a female. Sadly, Lei Sum had a miscarriage and she lost her baby. The couple learnt that Ching Sum’s mother had cancer and she could only survive knowing that she was going to have a grandchild. They were too scared to tell her the truth about the miscarriage but she later discovered and did not blame them. Because of the miscarriage, Lei Sum could not become pregnant until a period of time.  Chi and Yee tried to have a child but Yee had a low sperm due to his previous relationships so the chances of conception was very unlikely. The two couple got together and thought of an idea where Chi would carry Lei Sum and Ching Sum’s child. Ching Sum’s mother accepted the idea.

A year later, Ching Sum’s mother had recovered from cancer. Chi gave birth to Ching sum and Lei Sum’s son. However, shortly after birth, the baby was snatched by the guy who dressed up as a female. He took the baby and was going to jump off a building with him. Lei Sum and Ching Sum managed to convince him to hand the baby over to them. He was about to hand the baby over but slipped and fell down the building and threw the baby upwards. However, Ching Sum managed to catch the baby.

Cast and Performance:

Maggie Cheung Ho Yee as Ko Lai Sum

This is Maggie’s first comeback series since returning. Maggie left TVB in 2004 after filming the Conqueror’s Story due to her illness. I have always enjoyed Maggie’s series and she has filmed a number of successful series such as The Awakening Story, War and Beauty and Old Time Buddy. However, this series is one of the worse series Maggie has ever filmed. I would have thought that she would have picked something a lot more interesting to film since she is returning. Her character in this series was very annoying and often paranoid. She did portray the bossiness of the character really well and her role as a wife is very different from previous younger characters she had portrayed. Nevertheless, I think that Maggie is much more capable of filming much better series.

Michael Miu as Ching Sum

I have always found that Michael is a rubbish series guarantee. Since his return to TVB, he has filmed very few good quality series apart from the Academy sequels which he didn’t really have the main role. Series where he is the leading actor such as Into Thin Air and Love Exchange are not very good. His character in this series is very weak and inferior who often finds himself caught between his mother and his wife. It makes men in Hong Kong seem really weak and scared of their wives. I often find his acting as average. He was supposed to portray a comedic role in this series but I could barely laugh.

Michael Tse as Ching Yee

Ever since the success of his Laughing Gor character, he still has the essence of Laughing Gor remaining in his acting and his dress style. I thought that his character in this series resembled Laughing Gor a lot and the constant mentioning of the name was no longer funny and became rather tiresome. Michael has always had great comedy skills and this was evident in this series. However, I still find that he has the hint of Laughing Gor which he should really detach from because he needs move on from this character to bring his acting skills to another level.

Theresa Lee as Mui Ling Chi

From the trailers I had thought that her character was going to be the sensible character. However, her character was very surprising and in some ways very likeable. Her character was fun, crazy and very different from previous  roles. Her acting skills after the Miss Hong Kong Pageant was below average and her Cantonese was very difficult to understand. In this series, her Cantonese has improved greatly and her acting is much more natural. I would say that her character is my favorite in this series.

Comments on Performances:

Best performance: Theresa Lee

Worse performance: Michael Miu

Best couple: Michael Tse and Theresa Lee

Best Scene: when Yuki left Ching Yee and he started crying like a baby. I laughed so much when I watched this part.

Most improved: Theresa Lee or Mandy Cho

Most annoying characters: Maggie Cheung, Suet Nei

Overall Comments on this Series:

I was quite looking forward to watching this series because I haven’t seen Maggie act for such a long time. However, this series is one big disappointment and I do not think it is worth watching unless you are very bored and have nothing better to do. There is no major storyline in this series, no purpose and it does not really do anything but make you annoyed. There were a couple of funny scenes that might make you laugh out loud but overall, it has to be one of the worse series I have seen this year. However, the storyline between Michael and Theresa is one of the best features of the series which kept me watching.

Series Rating:

Give it a go if you like the cast, for extremely bored or dedicated TVB fans like me!!!

Review written by Colly

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  1. Colly, I agree with your observation that Michael Miu has not produced exactly stellar performances since his return to TVB. As an established veteran, he is in the position to choose which series he wants to appear in.

    I have also noticed that in certain series such as “Au Revoir Shanghai,” Michael’s eyes were really unfocused, as if he were sleep walking through some of the scenes. In “Dicey Business,” his acting was borderline stiff, in comparison to the performances of Bobby Au Yeung and Jessica Hsuan, which leads me to question whether Michael Miu was truly such a strong dramatic actor to begin with. He certainly had loads of charisma as martial arts hero, “Chor Lau Heung” in the 1980s and screen presence, but he comes across as a businessman first and actor as second.

  2. Yap, I totally agree with Colly about Michael Miu’s acting, a little bit boring, even in Dicey Business, his face and his voice are not acceptable. Moreover, Michael Tse is boring also, in fact TVB shouldn’t make him like a BIG STAR and everyone loves him. And finally this series is very boring.

  3. Alec Nguyen is obviously in the minority when in his own words “everyone” loves Michael Tse — which is of course an exaggeration but the fact remains that a great many people do like him. And he certainly is no boring actor — if Alec thinks otherwise then he obviously hasn’t seen the variety of characters Michael T has portrayed over the years and which had been extremely well-received by audiences. Michael T is more worthy of TVB’s attention then a lot of other actors I can think of but won’t mention.

    As for Ching Yee, I’ve found him quite different from Laughing in all aspects and acted even more naturally than Laughing was. It is unfortunate that it’s a character that wasn’t too “special”, in a series that wasn’t too interesting, but that is not to detract from a solid performance. The crying scene for example could have been way over the top and uncomfortable to watch, but it was *just* right — touching at first and then amusing and then outright funny in the end. Great job.

    1. Couldn’t agree with you more, Ally. Very well illustrated!!

  4. Couldn’t agree with you more, Ally. Very well illustrated!!

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