[TV Recaps] “The Election” Episode 1

The Election <選戰>
HKTV Series 2014

Cast: Angelica Lee, Liu Kai Chi, Poon Chan Leung, Savio Tsang

Episode 1 Recap

The series starts with the 2017 Chief Executive election. Despite the efforts of the Occupy Movement, Hong Kong still only has a restricted form of democratic elections. While the votes are still being counted, the leading candidate, Wai Man Hin (Poon Chan Leung) enters an old apartment building to meet with a secret group of people that had orchestrated his election win. He promises that once he becomes Chief Executive, they will no longer have to be in hiding and can work with him as part of his government. He says that tomorrow will be the beginning of a new era for Hong Kong, marked by fairness and equality. They cheer and celebrate Wai’s pending victory.

At the convention center where the votes are being counted, Wai’s wife, Yip Ching (Angelica Lee) is anxious about the whereabouts of her husband. Over the phone, Wai reassures her that he will be back before the counting is over.

The final tally is announced. Wai is declared to be the next Chief Executive, but he is nowhere to be seen. Meanwhile, firefighters are working frantically in the rain to pull someone out from a flipped car. The bloodied man turns out to be Wai. The caption says that his death is ruled to be an accident and that after much debate, it was decided that the current Chief Executive would remain for another term, until 2022.

Fast forward to four years later. Yip Ching is now leader of a labor union. Dock workers have been on strike for 34 days. Upset at the stalled talks, the workers want to start a violent protest, but Yip Ching reminds them that the reason they have gotten support from the public is because they have insisted on peaceful protests from the start.

Their insistence on remaining peaceful is the same as the ideology of the Occupy Movement. The worker strike alludes to the Hong Kong dock strikes in 2013 (Wikipedia).

Yip Ching is invited to meet with the management of the dock company. To her surprise, they agree to meet all the demands of the workers, with only one condition – Yip Ching must personally announce that the strike is over. She questions why management has a sudden change of heart and the CEO reveals that they have been offered a deal by someone from the DNRA Party – if they agreed to the workers’ demands, the party will block legislation that would have allowed new competition to the industry. Yip Ching guesses who set up this deal.

The DNRA Party refers to the DAB (Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong), which is the biggest pro-Beijing party in Hong Kong.

Luk Wai To (Savio Tsang) had just announced his intention to run in the 2022 Chief Executive elections, but is discovered unconscious and undressed inside a car with a woman.

Luk Wai To resembles Henry Tang, who has family ties to the Communist Party and was the early favorite in the 2012 Chief Executive election, only to be brought down by scandals.

Cheung Kwai Lung (Gregory Wong), who had been part of Wai’s secret campaign team and is now Luk’s campaign manager, wakes up to find many voice messages telling him about Luk’s scandal. Cheung rushes out, but Yip Ching is waiting for him. She demands to know why he set up the deal with the dock company. He says that he has planned this for a whole year and tells her to trust him, as he had always helped her with her labour movements over the past few years. Yip Ching reluctantly agrees to do as he says.

Members of the DNRA hold an internal meeting to discuss how they should handle Luk’s scandal. They vote to decide whether to continue supporting Luk’s candidacy. The vote is tied and the president, Song Man San (Liu Kai Chi), has the deciding vote. He votes no.

Song Man San can be comparable to Jasper Tsang, who is the current president of the Legislative Council and also former chairman of the DAB.

The Election Liu Kai ChiAfter the meeting, Song receives a call from a Mr. Wong. His face falls as he talks to Mr. Wong in Mandarin. Afterwards, he goes out to tell everyone to forget about the meeting and that the entire DNRA Party is to support Luk’s campaign. Cheung comes in to say that he has a plan on how to deal with the scandal, but he is yelled at by Song, who insists that the scandal was his responsibility. Song tells him to either quit or be fired. Cheung angrily quits, but not before calling everyone in the party idiots for blindly supporting the idiot Luk.

The Mandarin speaking Mr. Wong represents the voice of the Chinese government.

Meanwhile, Yip Ching makes the announcement to the workers about the successful negotiations. Cheung calls her and tells her to immediately announce that she intends to run in the 2022 Chief Executive election, but she refuses.

The Election Angelica Lee 1That night, Cheung tries to convince Yip Ching to run for Chief Executive. He says that this is the only chance for her to find out the real truth about her husband’s death. He shows her the document that had been used to rule her husband’s death as an accident, which was missing an appendix on the last page. The only way for them to access the confidential document would be if she became Chief Executive.

Yip Ching receives a call from a reporter who said she had interviewed Wai Man Hin a few days before his death. They meet up and the reporter gives her a copy of the interview, where Wai talks about his dream of re-establishing Hong Kong as a fair and just society. He says that his dream was inspired by his wife, Yip Ching.

The next day, Yip Ching holds a press conference to announce her intention of running in the 2022 election, in order to continue her husband’s legacy and hope for a just society. Watching the broadcast on TV, Song looks on thoughtfully. Cheung is also watching the broadcast in a bedroom with a woman. He praises the woman for making up such a touching interview, otherwise Yip Ching would not have decided to run….

Election countdown: 141 days

“The Election” Trailer

[vsw id=”0tvh0hHzZEk” source=”youtube” width=”500″ height=”375″ autoplay=”no”]

The episode recap is written by Miriamfanz, a Contributing Writer at JayneStars.com. Visit Miriamfanz’s blog!

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  1. Looks interesting though Angeline’s Cantonese sounded funny

    1. @Nigel, that’s because her mother tongue is hokkien (minnan dialect) & not hakka. Hakka people tend to speak better cantonese.

  2. Election one of the last series filmed. That’s possibly why it’s the best. I believe the teams managed by Ricky matured under the HKTV system.

  3. love the election, probably my fav out of all 4 hktv shows that came out, and all of them have been very good

  4. ricky kinda acts like a jerk and is arrogant in the media…but u cant deny that hktv is great so far

    1. He did but I read somewhere that he admitted he was cocky at the beginning of everything. Now he changed into a “normal” person.

  5. So far everything that has come out has been great. But Election and To Be or Not to Be in terms of script, dialogue, music, has been a notch ahead imo. The hands off approach towards creativity has really paid off for HKTV, they’ve got something special going and they don’t shy from sensitive topics which I think will hit a chord with the locals.

    智叔 (Liu Kai-Chi) has simply been fantastic with his portray of Sung Man San. Angelica Lee has been superb too but overshadowed by his presence.

    Eva Chan who sung “I’ll be there” has also made guest appearances as one of the hostages 🙂

    Glad they will have season 2 for this if they keep this kind of quality up.

    1. Totally agree with everything you said, SD! Sure, people may hate Ricky Wong for being arrogant (and unreasonably hate HKTV as well because of it), but the reality is, the guy definitely knows what he is doing….got to applaud him for his ‘complete creative freedom’ approach with 100% focus on the script and ‘no interference’ mandate – that approach is what makes HKTV unique and it’s absolutely reflected in their series.  When you let the script be the main driving force of the series (as opposed to the people and the politics being the driving force, which is the TVB way), the difference is astounding!  Goes to show that Ricky Wong and his team truly understand what ‘creative freedom’ means….

    2. Liu Kai Chi has always been a fantastic actor but always underrated. Glad people are recognizing his efforts. Way to go !!!

      1. he won 2 times as best supporting movie-actor and was nominated several times,thus i dont think he is underrated.actually he is a very respected actor in the industry.

  6. The Election is one of the more interesting TV series in my opinion. Some people say there are some elements that are very similar to US series “House of Cards, but I have not watched House of Cards, so I can’t judge on that. Even if there are similarities, personally I don’t mind. Even TVB series/shows have been accussed of copying things of other series/shows.

    Even the advertisements placed inside the TV series are sometimes very funny. When people engage in skinship, a condom brand will appear on screen lol.

    I just hope that HKTV will get a TV license soon, so more people will get to know their TV-series.

    More TV series should be good for everyone that like to watch TV series in Cantonese.

  7. hktv is what modern television should be like…im tired and bored of tvb, every room is the same room, walls are the same, they change the furniture but reuse the same props each series, every restaurant scene is that same restaurant set, each ancient series u see that same garden and those exact same streets, even costumes and outfits are reused…its so cheap…talk about the exact same topics and use the same music and sounds

    im done complaining lol…but its really time to put more effort into making tv shows

    1. Agreed! But unfortunately….unless all the current TVB management get fired and they bring in all new people who understand what ‘creative freedom’ is all about to manage the station – otherwise, they probably won’t change anytime soon.  TVB has been doing things the same way for 47 years – it’s already so ingrained in everyone’s brains over there that it has become a ‘way of life’ of sorts.  Perhaps this is why TVB recently announced that their focus for 2015 (and forward) will be on the Mainland China market rather than on the HK market – to me, this is a sign that they (TVB) are not willing to change (they would rather remain complacent and shift their focus to a market that will continue to put up with their complacency)….it’s disappointing, but not entirely surprising…

    2. hahahah wow we think the same. totally agree, everything is the same for years. LOL

    3. @bebe, just one sentence to describe TVB current state…….’TVB has lost its mojo’……hehehe….

    1. Agreed. He’s scary, but at the same time you feel for his character and why he is like that.

      Also, he is totally another person in Borderline.

      Probably the best actor of his generation from HK.

  8. if u combine hktv’s production efforts and script writers with tvbs larger amount of younger better looking and some talented actors and actresses, then hk television has a bright future

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