Land of Wealth

Reviewed by: juphelia

April 01, 2009

Rating: four-point-five

This is one of the most touching shows I’ve seen! The story was set in the latter part of the Qing dynasty, around turn of the century of the 18th – 19th century. It focused on the main character (Moses Chan), whose family, framed by the corrupt officials, were executed and dumped on public grounds to be eaten by wolves.

Moses got so disillusioned that he started wandering around. That was when he met Sonija Kwok and her brother, two Mongol horse merchants. Then he managed to seek work in a predecessor of the modern bank. Due to his diligence, capability, smarts, loyalty and hard work, he gained the impression and trust of the boss (Qiao) (John Chiang), who gave him promotions very quickly.

Boss Qiao’s brother-in-law Boss Cao, the troublemaker, wanted to oust Boss Qiao from his post, but the plan backfired and he was kicked out of the house together with his wife and son. Thus, he allied himself with the boss of another bank and went into competition with Boss Qiao.

Due to some circumstances, Sonija Kwok and her brother also found work at the Qiao household – she as a maid, he as an apprentice of the shop / bank. Enter Stephen Ma, who helped the brother and sister out, so the brother thought it was because of Stephen Ma that she wanted to remain. After Stephen gave him a telling-to, he realized it was because of him, that his sister wanted a good career for him, that he decided to work hard and not let her down.

Due to fate, Stephen met the younger daughter of Qiao (Tavia Yeung). They were instantly attracted to each other and started a relationship, but he had to go back to Beijing to take his Imperial exams. After passing his exams, he managed to go back to the town to be its official, but due to his idealism, he angered some of the higher ranking corrupt officials, who poisoned the mind of the Empress Dowager and he got fired.

Thus he had to go back to Beijing, but he asked Tavia and her parents to go along to meet his parents. However, his father was not approving of the match, thinking a mere merchant’s daughter, despite being rich, educated, knowledgeable and intelligent, was not a good enough match for the son of a high-ranking official.

This was when the story started to climax. So what is going to happen? Did Tavia and Stephen end up with each other? Did Moses and Sonija end up together? What is going to happen to the bank? Watch and find out the rest! ;-)

I would highly recommend this show not just because of the story, but the characters are well played out. One can see the emotions when the characters go through life's disappointments, that they know sometimes things do not flow as smoothly as they hoped. The costumes too are very nice and the accessories intricate. Scenery wise, the show was filmed in China, so there is beautiful scenery abundance. Thus to find out what happened in the end, do watch the show to find out!

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