Natalie Tong (Ben's girlfriend)
Michelle Chia (Ray's fan)
Note* I refer to the actor or actress as themselves, and not by the character's name.
'Yummy Yummy', in the beginning, revolves around a game show which had a Singapore team and a Hong Kong team. Winning the competition also means winning a store. It opens with the Hong Kong team arriving in Singapore for the first part of the competition. Since becoming teammates, the 4 (Kevin, Raymond, Tavia, and Ben) become good friends because as they were competing they learned about each other, understood each other, and were always supporting and encouraging one another. As for Charmaine, she was their mom who cared about them and stood up to her boss for them. Each round, a team loses, then a member of a team, then another. Until you're down to Raymond and Shaun (Shaun Chen - Singapore).
Kevin - Very loyal, very honest, and a boy who sells chicken as it is his mom and dad's business. We find that Kevin, even with no education, can still be said as the intelligent man.
Raymond - Very caring, very goal-oriented and ambitious, and is the youngest and only boy in his family, who is quite rich, owns a restaurant. He has 3 older sisters. The oldest, very motherly, mean, bossy, but cares for Raymond. She causes a lot of problems also.
Charmaine - Independent, smart, kind, and comes from a mixed-up family. Her mom died long before, and she claims her dad did also. Turns out when she was little her dad fell in love, and it's to a woman that's not her mom, and there, her dad left her and her mom for another woman. Charmaine currently has a house of her own, and lives with a housekeeper and her loving cat.
Tavia - Clumsy but a hard worker, always dependent on other people as much as she tries to get things done herself, self-motivator, and the weakest out of the 5. During the competition on the game show, there's always a problem with her, and she always looks so distracted. Tavia's character comes from a poor household, though she has a mom and a dad, and with her and her dad, they're the bosses of a small company. This company however, is not something that brings in money and has many problems.
Ben - Funny, kind-hearted, the "yes yes" guy, sensitive and understanding. Ben is the Singaporean actor, but came to love the other four. Ben, known as the "yes yes" guy, never says "no", especially to his mom. He's scared of her, and he admits it. When talking to his mom whenever she's angry, he looks to the floor and just keeps shaking his head "yes". Later, you understand the only reason he joined the gameshow was to find his girlfriend from way back. In joining the show, he also got his mom mad because she thought he wasn't taking his future seriously and wants him to get into college. His dad is no help since he's just as afraid of his mom like Ben is.
After losing the Yummy Yummy show, each scatters and goes back to their own life and doing their own thing. Until one time, Tavia goes to Kevin and suggests getting the group together and going out somewhere. Both feel a little strange since the competition is over, will they be able to be friends? Both feel they were friends on the show, but what about now? In the end Kevin text messages everyone and they all come.
From then on, so many things happen to bring them closer to each other and their friendships stronger. We're also able to see each one falling in love. Then something miraculous happens: it turns out on Yummy Yummy, the other team cheated and therefore, the prize of a store goes to Raymond afterall. Raymond believing it was the effort of the whole group, decides to share the store and each of them being the boss when it opens. It was a noodle store because Kevin, learned his career was to make delicious noodles - taught by a master. They all tasted Kevin's noodles and knew it was good so everyone agreed to opening the noodle store.
Their noodle store did well and business boomed, though after awhile problems occur. Raymond felt the pressure and was trying hard not to let the store and everyone down (especially his family). Kevin felt Raymond was always making decisions and not listening to the others' opinions before going about doing things. Ben usually got into arguments with Raymond, because whenever something went wrong Ben was the one who caused it, so Raymond blamed and yelled at him. Ben felt bad but also mad that Raymond didn't think about their friendship and yelled at him so much. Ben felt Raymond was rude. After awhile, things got even worse, finally Ben felt sad and ignored (everyone was too busy doing their own thing), that he decided to go back to Singapore. Before leaving, he invited everyone to a big dinner, cooking dishes that should trigger some memories of those times when they were on the show and how their friendship was. No one got it, so he wrote a letter, decribing his feelings, and left.
The four felt Ben was right. After closing down the store, Kevin and Raymond go to Singapore to look for him and apologize. Later, they were joined by Tavia and Charmaine. The 5 of them, with their problems resolved, start again and create another store, with a variety of foods - Singaporean food brought to Hong Kong.
It ends with the five being on Yummy Yummy again.
The most skilled actor was Kevin Cheng. He brought to the screen every aspect of his character and made you realize why those 2 girls could fall in love with him. I got to know him like he was my best friend and not someone on T.V. He forgave and forgot, and he also taught Charmaine to do that to. He didn't take things too seriously and really brings the meaning to "You only got one life, so live it good". He really stands up to his morals and is a good person. He's the helpful and kind person that everyone would love to be friends with and have in their life. He was the positive person who through bad things happening to him, looks at it with another perspective and sees the good. And with Kevin's many faces, attitudes, and arms wrapping around people's shoulders, you really get the fun-loving Kevin. He was carefree and funny.
An important factor of the character -
A huge part of the series, deals with how each person was before, and after. So Raymond has to undergo character development and growth. Raymond was the spoiled yet ambitious rich kid. But he never admits to be spoiled and although he never realizes it, the only reason he's never in any real jams is because his family is always there, fixing it for him. Until his huge fight with his dad and his oldest sister, he finds out his dad was what was helping him keep his magazine (food magazine, a business his dad bought to see if Raymond could handle it), from doing so well. So as soon as the fight, he told his dad he didn't need his help and so, his dad got rid of all the people that supported the magazine. Turns out, it was harder to get back up than Raymond expected. The magazine started declining from there, and then there was a glimmer of hope. As Raymond was going to see his dad and his oldest sister, to apologize and hopeing they'd help him, a phone call from Charmaine who was also working with him at the magazine), saying they found a huge company who wanted to advertise. Raymond, so excited and so full of hope, ran, only to find out this huge company only came because a girl (his friend, or his number 1 fan), told him to. After finding out, he realized he was uslesss and hopeless. He figured him for being spoiled and everyone always helping him. When he was trying to do well on his own, he couldn't and people around him had to always help him. He realized he was always bragging and always making himself seem bigger and better than he is, and he was really actually worthless. After this, he wanted to prove to himself, and everyone else, but mostly to himself, that he could do anything if only he knew he can and if no one helped he would still be able to. So he went on a rock climbing trip, alone, and told no one his exact destination, and climbed by himself. He climbed and fell, then climbed, then fell, the rope almost completely failing, then got stuck and almost called, but knew if he did, he had failed. So he threw away his cellphone and continued to climb, even with an injured leg.
Raymond's portrayal of his character's growth, when he was up climbing the mountain, was excellent. Raymond has no problem showing his character's ambitious side and drive and power to succeed.
Rich and Spoiled
Raymond in the beginning shows the rich boy who tries to be boss in command and wants everyone to listen to him. He doesn't lose this completely, but Raymond didn't exactly grow out of his "rich boy days". Raymond shows the drive and motivation to change, but he didn't actually show his character changing and made us believe his character did.
I had a laugh with this one. When Raymond briefly really liked Charmaine, and cornered her in the elevator (they were alone and the elevator broke down). His face was serious, yet you wanted to laugh at him. He looked like a person ready to jump onto Charmaine and trap her, yet still not losing the sense of the good guy.
Raymond and Michelle - Michelle, is exactly like Raymond, without the ambition. She's rich, spoiled, and is annoying sometimes, like Raymond. They're so cute together, but Michelle's like a little girl, and Raymond to her, is her hero. I find that adorable and it fits.
Tavia begins with no confidence, to Kevin teaching her how to interact and get people to like her, and taught her how to be more of a boss and not be so afraid. Charmaine, gave her the extra boost since Charmaine acted like an older sister, always protecting and looking out for her.
I guess nothing big actually gets to be shown with Tavia, but you really did stop finding her so annoying, always being so nervous and unsure of herself.
Kevin and her really do match up. Though I can take it that they may see each other like brother and sisters, but didn't she really love Kevin? How did she stop so easily? Especially near the end. But their relationship is really like brother and sister, they don't seem uncomfortable or lovey dovey with each other.
There was a scene where Tavia went into the bathroom, turned on the shower, and cried. I thought it was sad, but I didn't cry with her. Tavia is easily pitied. Her family life is horrible - her dad's sick but later recovers, she seems so alone with her company, trying to manage, and we later find out something a little unexpected but can be accepted. So there were times when I wanted to cry for her.
She stayed the same from beginning to end, I'd say. Though she got to cry a lot. From her boyfriend cheating on her, then she forgave, then cheated on her again, then to her finding out the big truth, then forgiving.
Charmaine finally gets a role where she's not the sweet and innocent girl everyone wants to take care. She's more independent and more self-sufficient. Though I still don't find her drive that much enpowering, like Raymond's strong and confident self, she did okay.
She doesn't get angry enough when she stands up for Tavia, but when she's yelling at Tavia, it improves though not by much.
I think Charmaine's always been good at crying. But when she cries, her face stays the same. When most people cry, their face scrutch up and a tighten a little, and with their eyes half-way closed. I think suited to her level of skill, her best crying scene was when she was sitting in the dark, drinking champange, tears slipping down.
I think out of all her qualities, smiling is the best one. I'm referring to her acting qualities. She didn't used to be able to smile and make you feel it. But now, her smile actually goes to her eyes and you envy her happiness.
Ben goes from saying "yes" all day long, to being able to say "no" here and there. Ben's also the mumbling, sweet, kind of quiet and pushover kind of guy.
Yes to No
The scene when Ben said he would go with his mom and dad, back to Singapore, but in the end saying no. Before meeting up with his folks, he finally found his old girlfriend, but she said she wouldn't take him back, because she hated him for never being able to say "no" to his mom. It was a slap in the face, because he did so much just so he could finally be able to be her boyfriend again. So when Kevin took him to see his mom and dad, so they could catch the plane, Ben stood there. His dad told him to go get his suitcases. He said no. His mom started yelling. He just stood there. Finally, he said no. I didn't feel the satisfaction of him finally being able to say no for a change. I still felt a little jumpy and wanted to yell for him. Which annoyed me. The waiting for him to say the big no was enough, but him saying it with not that much feeling and anger really annoyed me.
Him and Natalie, are so adorable. Though you really pity him because even in love, he doesn't even get to be boss and gets controlled by Natalie a lot. He listens to her like a dog, but you don't really mind, because you know Natalie really likes him. In the beginning she really looks out and does a lot of things for him when he was trying to get his old girlfriend back. This poor couple, because Natalie's parents misunderstood them a lot. And poor Ben, never can get a word out, whereas Natalie's dad yells and yells, and it's hard enough for a strong-willed person to get a word in, never mind poor Ben.
Ben's so sweet. If he's smiling, you really know everything's going to turn out fine. He was the one that kept the mood a little uplifting.
Ben can't be mad. It's more of a "annoyed at him, but I still like him". But it works for his character.
I used to love Charmaine, then somehow I got to hate her, and now I start liking her again. It's one of the series where Charmaine gets the good lead. The lead where the others fall for her, and she's strong and a good person. The five each played a part in everything. Kevin was the smart one and always there for everyone, Charmaine was the talker who got things done in the toughest situations, Ben was the helper, and Tavia was the encouragement, and Raymond was the one making the decisions.
Final words - Overall
Charmaine - had a lot to work with, she could have provided more depth and make it better.
Kevin - He seemed natural and comfortable. But he didn't stumble at all. Why'd they make his character so close to perfect?
Raymond - I imagine him like a chattering chipmunk, always on the run, never stopping, and always talking. It was like he couldn't sit still.
Tavia - She's so low key. She was the weak one after all.
Ben - Poor guy. What a character to play. So many problems with him and everything else. But he was funny and cute. You could never get mad and hate the guy.
I really think everyone should give this a try. The story is straight forward and likable. Every person turns out to be really lovable.
I would also like to mention Kiki Sheung (Kevin's mom) and Eileen Yeow (Ray's oldest sis) because they really played their part well.
Bu Bu Jing Xinstarring Cecilia Liu Shi Shi, Kevin Cheng, Nicky Wu, Yuan Hong
The New Adventure Of Chor Lau Heung (DVD, English subs)starring Miu Kiu Wai, Barbara Yung