Colorful Life

Reviewed by: origami51

April 15, 2008

Rating: four

Ching Family household:
2nd mother-in-law
3rd mother-in-law, Kam Hing
1st son, Chi Sing
1st daughter-in-law, Chow Mung Anh
2nd son, Chi Pok
2nd daughter-in-law, Sik Siu Siu
3rd son, Chi Yoong
3rd daughter-in-law, Cheng Yeen
4th son, Chi Heen
4th daughter-in-law, Dun Chu
5th daughter, Wen Chi

Other Characters:
Ching nanny, Fung Mei Wan
Mei Wan's son, Fung Tai Sung
Mei Wan's younger brother, Ho Nam
Chow Mung Anh's sister, Chow Mung See
Dun Chu's servant girl, Ah Yee Ma
Mung Anh's servant and later 2nd wife to Chi Pok, Tung Mui
Tang Official, Cheung Suen Hoa Yea
Tang official's son, Cheung Suen Mun Boon
Tou Pok's leader, Jaun Bou
Tou Pok's ambassador, Luk Dung Jaun

Warning! Spoilers!
Character Sketches
Background of the Ching Family:
They own a dyeing factory as well as a store selling clothing materials. The family is very well known for its clothing material. Some of their cloths were sold to the palace for uniforms for the imperial officials. The family is very well respected in the town.

2nd mother-in-law played by Wong Suk Yee. She was also known as 2nd Madame Ching. She is in charge of the Ching household because her husband and the 1st Madame Ching passed away. She is kind and responsible and she hopes that her family can stay united as well as keeping the family business running.

3rd mother-in-law played by Lo Yuen Yan. Also known as 3rd Madame Ching. She used to be a servant of the Chings and later was married into the family as the third wife. She is materialistic and envies 2nd Madame Ching. She only wants her son, Chi Pok, to run the family businesses. She also hopes that Wen Chi, her daughter, would be able to marry into the Imperial Palace and become one of the king's concubines.

1st Ching Son is played by ???. Chi Sing was the son of the 1st Madame Ching that passed away a long time ago. At the age of 10 he became sick and had a high fever. He was able to recover, but his mentality stayed at the age of 10. As a result, 3rd Madame Ching and her family looks down on him and secretly hopes that the family business would not be passed onto him but to Chi Pok. He married Mung Anh, who is a daughter of a rich family. Their marriage was arranged when they were young.

Mung Anh played by Louisa So. Mung Anh's family has always been rich and as result she always had the better things in life. She always ate the better stuff and wore better clothes. She is kind and sincere and tries very hard to cope with her life at the Ching family as well as her husband. Her only flaw may be that she's too afraid of rumors going around the household. Even after her family went bankrupt, she tried desperately to conceal the fact. She is highly educated because of her background and she often tries to teach her husband new things. Her marriage with her husband may not be the happiest one, but she still is very loyal to her husband.

Chi Pok played by Yuen Siu Cheung. He is the second son of the Ching family, but is actually the 1st and only son of 3rd Madame. His mother often favors him and, as a result, he is very spoiled and egotistic. In the beginning of the series he was also going to the scholarly exams with Chi Heen. He was caught cheating and was banned from taking the exams again. However, later he will become in charge of the family textile business. He is in constant competition with Chi Yoong.

Sik Siu Siu played by Florence Kwok. She came from a poor family. Because of her poor background, she often resents Mung Anh, 1st daughter-in-law. She was married into the family for about four years. Her mother-in-law often criticized her for not being able to get pregnant. Sik Siu Siu often bickers with the 3rd daughter-in-law, whether it's over mahjong or about their husband.

Chi Yoong played by Ronald Cheng. He is the 1st son of 2nd Madame Ching. He was very picky in what he eats and wears. He was very funny every time he claims that he could not go to work because the sun was too hot or some other excuses. He likes to avoid work to go to sleep or go shopping for antiques. He was viewed as the laziest out of the whole family. All this will change much later in the story.

Cheng Yeen played by Mui Siu Wai. Her family background was middle class. She enjoys showing off even if there is nothing to show off about. She is extremely loyal to her husband and will stand up for her husband if anybody tried to criticize him. She tries to motivate Chi Yoong to work in front of his mother so that his mother would think of leaving the family business to him. She does all this for the good of her husband. Also another note, Cheng Yeen talks with a certain tone in her voice that makes her character special and funny.

Chi Heen played by Frankie Lam. He was the most school oriented. His hope is to pass the scholarly exams and become a government official. He is obedient and stubborn. Later he marries a girl, Dun Chu from Tou Pok. At first he dislikes her because he felt she was always causing trouble and breaking his stuff. He actually has a crush on his 1st sister-on-law's sister, Mung See.

Dun Chu, played by Annie Man, was a girl from Tou Pok. She was married into the Ching Family in exchange for the Tang Princess marriage to Jaun Bou, the leader of Tou Pok. Dun Chu was mischievous and adventurous. She is often scheming with her handmaid, Ah Yee Mah. She knew martial arts and her father was the general of Tou Pok. She did not like her husband at first because she felt that he was weak and was disappointed to find out that her husband did not know any martial arts. She desperately wants to go home because she felt everybody in the Ching Family dislike her.

Wen Chi played by Myolie Wu. Wen Chi is the only daughter of the Ching Family, and 3rd Madame was often very strict on her. She made her learn painting, piano, and other things. She was seldom let out of the house. 3rd Madame hopes that Wen Chi will become the king's concubine one day. Unfortunately, Wen Chi would fall in love with a factory worker, Tai Sung.

The story begins with the introduction of the Ching family. The only people missing are the 2nd and 4th son. They are studying for the scholarly exams somewhere else. The family was busy preparing a gift to give to Princess Mun Sing in celebration of her marriage to Tou Pok leader as a symbol of peace between Tou Pok and the country. The Ching family, being in the cloth dyeing business, prepared a special cloth (Fung Wong Jaun Yeen) that was able to glow in the dark. However, 3rd Madame said something not to the liking of Lady Gwai, the king's favorite concubine, and as a result, Lady Gwai insulted the Chings by using their gift as a carpet for the princess to walk on the day of the ceremony. A Tou Pok girl was arranged to be married to the only unmarried son of the Ching family, Chi Heen. Thus Dun Chu was introduced. On the way to the Ching house, Dun Chu met Chi Heen. Of course, then, she did not know that the guy was her husband to be. They got into an argument. Dun Chu accused him of stealing her bags and injured Chi Heen. On the day of the wedding when they found out they were marrying each other, they got into a fight. Because the marriage was declared by the Tang King, they could not refuse it. So they stayed in the same room but were not actually husband and wife. Chi Heen detested Dun Chu, and Dun Chu wanted nothing to do with him. The story continues and many things happened.

Dun Chu was able to convince Luk Dung Jaun to take her back to Tou Bok, as soon as she finds his long lost son. There were three clues to indicate who was the son. The clues were a golden butterfly, a jade, and that the son had a birthmark on his chest. At first she suspected that Chi Heen was actually Luk Dung Jaun's son because he had the golden butterfly. Later on, Dun Chu found out that Tai Sung gave the butterfly to Chi Heen, and Tai Sung had a mark on his chest. As she tries to find out the truth, Dun Chu became friends with Chi Heen as well as Tai Sung. She tried to set up Chi Heen with Mung See and Tai Sung with Wen Chi. As time goes on, Dun Chu fell in love with Chi Heen and Mung See sensing that Chi Heen may also like Dun Chu, decided to end the relationship. She married Mun Boon, a government official in charge of uniforms for the government. Mun Boon was a very jealous man. He sees that Mung See might still have feelings for Chi Heen, and so he tried to plot the downfall of the Ching family. When Chi Heen was away to take the scholarly exams, the family business went bankrupt because Chi Pok invested too much money on materials and increasing the family debt. Chi Pok's second wife, Tung Mui, stole whatever money the Ching family had left and ran away. So the Ching family was forced to live in a much smaller and cramped house.

Wen Chi and Tai Sung had already eloped with the help of Dun Chu because 3rd Madame disapproved of their love and tried to break them up. The 2nd daughter-in-law, Sik Siu Siu, was divorced by Chi Pok when they thought she tried to make Tung Mui suffer a miscarriage. She went back to her parents' home. While living as a poor family, 2nd Madame insisted that they try to recover the family business. After many obstacles, the Ching family was finally united. Chi Pok also apologized to Sik Siu Siu and she forgave him. Chi Heen came back and he had passed his exams and was given a position in the government. The family was able to repossess their wealth, house, and business. Chi Heen discovers that he does indeed love Dun Chu. Later on, Dun Chu discovered that Chi Heen also has a birthmark on his chest, so she questioned him. They tried to find out who was really Luk Dung Jaun's son by trying to get a confession out of the family nanny. It turns out that Chi Heen was not 2nd Madame's son, but the son of a close friend of the nanny. The real 4th son was sickly and had died at birth. Chi Heen's mother had also passed away. So the babies were exchanged. Dun Chu took Chi Heen to see Luk Dung Jaun so that he could reunite with his "father." Instead of a happy reunion between the two, Luk Dung Jaun tries to kill him. Just in time, a warrior from Tou Pok was able to save Dun Chu and Chi Heen. The truth comes out. Chi Heen was actually the son of Tou Pok's leader, Jaun Bou. So that makes him the prince of Tou Pok and heir to the throne. Luk Dung Jaun was bribed by Jaun Bou's brother to help take over the throne as well as finding the heir to the throne and killing him. Jaun Bou and Princess Mung Sing were imprisoned. Dun Chu and Chi Heen goes to Tou Pok to try to save Jaun Bou. Mun Boon and his father set up the Ching family. They were to be executed. Wen Chi and Tai Sung was also to be executed because they try to go back home to see their family. They were accused of being traders and helping Tou Bok imprison princess Mun Sing.

While in Tou Pok, Dun Chu and her father was able to help free Jaun Bou and Princess Mung Sing. Chi Heen was sent back home to clear up the charges placed on his family before they were executed. Mun Boon and his father were jailed for treason and Mung See becomes a nun. Towards the end of the series, Chi Heen chose to stay with the Chings instead of going back to Tou Pok. His father was proud that he had such a filial son. 5 years later, the entire family was very happy. The 2nd and 3rd daughter-in-law had given birth to 2 daughters. Wen Chi was happily married to Tai Sung. Chi Sing, Chi Pok, and Chi Yoong were the bosses of the family business, and they also expanded the business. Dun Chu and Chi Heen was a very loving couple. In the end, the whole family planned a surprise for 2nd Madame for her birthday. They were able to dye Fung Wong Jaun Yeen. Also they found Tung Mui and Chi Pok's son as well as the family treasure stolen by Tung Mui. Lastly Dun Chu announced that she was pregnant! The End.

I absolutely loved this series. I thought that the casting, scenes, and storyline were great. I thought Annie Man was very cute playing the playful and adventurous Dun Chu, and as for Frankie Lam, he was very good portraying his character. Other acting that should be well noted is Mui Siu Wai and Ronald Cheng. They were hilarious as a couple. The costumes were wonderful. The only bad thing I have to comment about the series was perhaps the ending was too rushed. They could have developed the end a little more.

Favorite Scenes:
When Dun Chu was at the wishing tree in the rain wishing that Chi Heen would pass his exams. She got sick and Chi Heen felt really bad and was even considering skipping his scholarly exams for her. Luckily she recovered. I thought that scene was so sweet..

When the relations of Chi Heen and Dun Chu improved and love was starting to develop between them.

The scenes when a doctor had made a mistake, and 3rd daughter-in-law thought she was pregnant. Later on, Chi Yoong and her found out she was not pregnant, and they wanted to try to keep on pretending with the pregnancy, but Dun Chu found out. They tried to stage a miscarriage and blame Dun Chu. The whole family became against her and so she left. Later, Dun Chu was able to clear her name and played a joke on Chi Yoong and his wife, as well as Chi Heen when they begged her to come back home.

I also liked the scenes when Dun Chu tried to hide the affairs of Chi Heen and Mung See. The scene when all three of them were alone in the little wooden house.

I loved any scenes with Ronald Cheng and Mui Siu Wai. I loved the tone that Mui Siu Wai used for her character. It was very sweet how Mui Siu Wai's character always stood up for her husband. Also, I loved Ronald's portrayal of a spoiled and picky son.

I liked any scenes that had the 2nd and 3rd daughter-in-law bickering at each other or whenever the ladies were bad mouthing someone else or each other.

I especially loved the scenes when the Ching family was very poor and how the entire family came together and endured everything.

Someone I forgot to mention in the summary was the guy who played Ho Nam. He was this scrawny guy who was cheated 3 times in marriage and as a result he became a women hater. He and Ah Yee Mah would always argue with each other. In the end, they got married and had a daughter. I thought they were great together. I loved how they always argued over the littlest things.

I liked how they concluded the series. It was very sweet and happy..

Favorite Characters:
Dun Chu and Chi Heen (of course)
Chi Yoong and wife
Mung Anh
Sik Siu Siu (2nd daughter-in-law)
Ho Nam
Ah Yee Mah
Wen Chi
2nd Madame
Tai Sung

Other Comments:
I like the girl who played Wen Chi but her acting skills needed brushing up. Again I have to mention all the costumes, especially the ladies costumes, were wonderful.

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