My Father's Son


Reviewed by: sukting

November 24, 2008

Rating: three-point-five

How long : 30 episodes

Foreword
Are you interested to see how Chow Sing Chee and Ng Kwan Yu act as a pair of lovers in this drama? This is the story on 2 pairs of the brothers. It focuses on their kinship and love lives. The older brothers are at loggerheads with each other but their wives are close. One brother falls in love with his cousin – how are they going to settle this mess?

Story
Yan Wai falls for Siu Kiu and often finds excuses to send chickens to her home. She is initially rich but invests in the wrong shares to become a bankrupt. So she cries over it. Yan Wai consoles her and both decide to marry. Yuk Hin knows that Yan Wai has been a widower for a long time and is happy for him. However, both brothers feel uneasy with a woman around.

Kar Fat buys a lottery ticket but exchanges with Chor Yat by mistake. He discovers that he has won the first prize. He presses her to return without avail and both come into blows. Kar Fat finds Siu Kiu a hypocrite to get into Grandaunt’s good books. He only pretends to be on good terms with her in Yan Wai’s presence. Siu Kiu pretends to be unable to remove a diamond ring as she tries out their wedding ring. Yan Wai has no choice but to buy it for her. (It is surely hilarious and all must watch it.)

Yuk Hin can’t get into the university after his high school exams. So he works as a salesman for a departmental store. He is shy and scared of others easily. A woman keeps wooing him till he becomes scared of her so Siu Kiu helps him out. Siu Kiu goes for a shopping spree and has no money to pay the cab driver. Han returns home from overseas and pays her fare for her.

Kar Fat buys lottery again but his luck vanishes when a ladies’ bra drops on his head. He thinks that it is Chor Yat’s doing again. Yuk Hin is attracted to Yee who patronises at Yan Wai’s shop. But she maintains that she only treats him as a friend. Kar Fat complains to Yan Wai and Grandaunt about Siu Kiu not doing housework at home and making the house messy. But she clears the rubbish before all return home so he is speechless. Yan Wai detects that Yan Wai is often restless at work.

He suspects that Siu Kiu has drained him all of his energy at night. It is comical when he finds out the truth. (I really have a good laugh at this part.) Actually, she only plays his favourite card game till dawn. Siu Kiu and Han are robbed by a drug addict. Han is puzzled when Siu Kiu lets him off. She gets robbed again the next day and Oi Lun comes to help. Both become friends.

Yan Kit learns that his father is ill and intends to come to Hong Kong. Yan Wai is mad over the news. He is the offspring of the second wife. His father migrates to be his lawful wife and Yan Kit in the U.S., leaving his mother and him behind. Mr Tang is successful in his frozen meat businee but Yan Kit’s mother forbids him to send money home. Yan Wai has to be independent to open his chicken shop.

Kinship wins over him and he prepares a comfortable environment for him. What awaits him at the airport is his father’s ashes. Yan Kit is back to develop the frozen meat business and to stay at his home. Yan Wai feels the ground has engulfed him. Yan Kit has intended to let Yan Wai bury the ashes with Yan Wai’s mother’s ashes. But Yan Wai mistakens him to hinder them to meet the last time in order to let him get part of his will. Both brothers are hostile to each other.

Yan Wai’s home is forced to pull down so he has to move in to stay with Yan Kit. Yan Kit meets Han and becomes uneasy. She is his mistress. She has an ex-boyfriend who leaves her pregnant. He dies in a car accident so she tricks him to believe that he is Yee’s father. Yan Kit arranges both women to live apart and Han is remorseful not to force Yan Kit to divorce so she returns to Hong Kong.

Yuk Hin tails Yan Kit secretly and he lies that he is Han’s husband’s friend. Siu Kiu looks for Oi Lun and Han to become her shareholders for a beauty salon. Yee nearly blurts the truth to Oi Lun during the dinner but Han stops her. Han finds it hard to back out of the deal. Yan Kit’s new shop is opened and Yan Wai doesn’t turn up. Han finds Oi Lun very hard and is unbearable to hurt her. They have more time together than with him. Yan Kit feels that he is going nuts when he is divided to be with the two women.

Chor Yat goes to the fortune teller to find out when she is going to get married. Kar Fat overhears everything and spreads the news. A few match meetings end up in disaster as she is too tomboyish. This time, she dresses better. Kar Fat tails and jeers at her in front of her match. She can’t tolerate him and her boorish nature resurfaces. So she fails again.

Yuk Hin is jobless after retrenchment but he keeps from his family. Kar Fat and Chor Yat sign for a Cantonese opera class. Their teacher keeps choosing them to practice with each other. Both keep making fun of each other instead. Yan Kit is aware that Yuk Hin comes to his company to seek for a job. Knowing that he is hardworking, he hires him. But Yuk Hin is very scared to let Yan Kit know about it.

Yan Kit makes Han happy by deciding to go on a trip with her. Siu Kiu wants to go on tour so Yan Wai suggests going to Thailand. She finds excuses not to go as she doesn’t want her parentage to be revealed. Grandaunt washes Yuk Hin’s shirt to discover his namecard to learn that he is working for Yan Kit. She promises to keep it a secret.

Grandaunt’s friend recognizes Siu Kiu as her previous maid. Ever since Han goes on holiday, Yee has more contact with Oi Lun and starts to like her too. Feeling troubled, she gets drunk so Yuk Hin cheers her up. She remembers that he is her cousin so she controls her feelings. Yan Wai grows suspicious when Siu Kiu keeps asking him for money. He thinks that she is having another man and shadows her.

He then finds out her true parentage. She is the daughter of a dance hostess. Her elder brother is a drug addict who keeps on robbing others. Thus she has to become a maid to earn a living. All women shed tears over her misfortune. Yan Wai forces her elder brother to open a porridge stall to become independent. Han is back from Japan with Yan Kit. Yee comes to receive them and happens to see Yuk Hin. He smells a fish but she provides no answer.

Yuk Hin has a promotion and a raise. Yan Kit gets to know about it and flies into a rage but gives in upon seeing him have a good start. It is Yee’s birthday so Yan Kit gets Yuk Hin to give her a necklace on his behalf. Kar Fat and Chor Yat become good friends after getting to know each other better. Yan Kit intends to bring Han to the New Territory but Oi Lun is sick. She gets him to take care of her. Oi Lun sees Ye bored at home so she invites her over for a meal. She feels shy meeting her father.

Yee feels miserable upon seeing how close the two are. Yat Kit wants to sell their father’s land to earn money but Yan Wai protests against it. Both brothers get into a cold war. Siu Kiu arranges the family to have a barbecue with Chor Yat. She coaxes Kar Fat to get close to her but the plan backfires. Yat Wai knows that something queer is happening between Yan Wai and Han and reveals their affair.

All decide to keep it from Yee (Yuk Hin has thought that she doesn’t know about it.) and Oi Lun. Chor Yat finally dresses up nicely on Kar Fat’s first date. This makes him delighted. Yat Wai sees that his friend is interested in Han so he creates chances for them. Yan Kit gets jealous and quarrels with Han. Oi Lun tries to persuade Yan Wai to sell the land. He blurts out Yan Kit’s affair in fury. This hurts her and can’t forgive him. Siu Kiu doesn’t support Yan Wai’s doing too.

Yan Wai regrets his act but there is no turning back. Han begs for Oi Lun’s forgiveness without avail too. Yee can’t take the pressure to get drunk with Yuk Hin. Both sleep for the night unknowingly and Yuk Hin promises to keep it a secret. He proposes to her but she rejects him. Oi Lun decides to divorce Yan Kit to return to the U.S. alone. He tries in vain to make her stay.

Han develops love well with Yan Wai’s friend. So she decides to migrate to the U.S. with him. All are happy for her. Yan Kit’s friend tricks him in a business hoax scandal. He can’t let his woes to anyone as he is detained. Yee thinks that she is commits incest with Yuk Hin and attempts suicide. Luckily, she is saved and Han reveals the truth to her. That is why she doesn’t stop Yuk Hin from wooing her.

Both become a couple. Yan Wai knows that Yan Kit is innocent and tries hard to finds witnesses for him. That clears his name. Yan Kit realizes how much he cares for him and they finally get along well. Oi Lun discovers that she is pregnant. All persuade her to reaccept Yan Kit again.
Siu Kiu brings Chor Yat to the traditional bridal shop to test her red wedding dress. Kar Fat is grateful to her and she is delighted when he finally calls her ‘mother’.

Seeing how cheekily when he adds on a flower to Chor Yat’s hair to remind her to be more demure makes her laugh. The two families finally stay in peace to take up the two storeys of their house. Oi Lun gives birth to a son and all fuss over him. The two brothers have complained that they do not want such a little younger brother. But they grow to like him so much that they make lots of future plans for him.

Introduction on characters

1. Tang Yan Wai – Ha Yu
He is the younger brother but he has been very independent and disciplined since young. He has little education but he plans well for his future. He falls for Siu Kiu and woos her openly, to the dismay of his sons. He knows his sons lack motherly love and feels that Siu Kiu will be a good mother to them.

His choice proves to be wrong initially as she is very lazy. He can be very stubborn at times although he is very softhearted. Still, he manages to iron out his differences with Yan Kit later. Ha Yu slips into the role comfortably. He does it with ease in handling the chickens. My father still calls him ‘Kai Lo’ (chicken seller) even now when he sometimes can’t recall his name.

2. Tang Yan Kit – Lau Dan
He is the elder brother but has a comfortable life since young. He feels bad snatching Yan Wai’s father away from him and tries all means to make up to him. But he doesn’t appreciate his efforts. Being equally hot-tempered, both often quarrel even though they stay under the same roof.

His ordeal shows that a man should not handle two families at the same time. There is no way to balance the best of both worlds to enjoy the attention of two women. See how many sleepless nights he has and how he tries to prevent both ‘wives’ from meeting each other will surely amuse you. But he can be such a nitwit – how can he not count the number of months that he knows Han before Yee is born? She will be out of her mother’s stomach within 6 months!

3. Tang Kar Fat – Chow Sing Chee
He is Yan Wai’s elder son. As he receives little education, he helps out at the chicken stall. He is quite superstitious and stays away from different taboos before he buys lottery. But Chor Yat is always there to ruin all his chances. Thus digging fun at her is his greatest enjoyment. Both often pick on each other but they end up getting married.

He dislikes Siu Kiu and often complains about her. Slowly, he accepts her short-comings. They become a true family as he feels sorry over her past too. Sing Chee shows that he can do serious roles well although he is even better in comic scenes.

4. Tang Yuk Hin – Lee Kar Shing
He is Yan Wai’s younger son. Being better educated, he chooses a white-collar job. Unlike Kar Fat, he accepts Siu Kiu willingly. Probably because he doesn’t know how lazy she is because he is often home late, unlike Kar Fat who knows her inside out as he closes the stall early.

Still, he often helps out at the chicken stall when he is free. He falls for Yee and woos her with all his might. He doesn’t know why she keeps a distance from him. He is relieved when they are not related. He only gives a lukewarm performance but he does best in kinship scenes with Sing Chee. He makes it believable that they are truly brothers.

5. Chung Han – Chan Kar Yee
She is Yee’s mother. I find her very selfish. She only wants to find a father for Yee – to the extent of breaking up Yan Kit’s family. She is so willing to share a husband with another woman for so many years but has she thought how she will hurt Oi Lun? Yet, she can be so careless when she sees them together. I don’t think she deserves to be happy in the end.

6. Chung Yee – Lo Ming Chu
Yee is Han’s daughter who has no knowledge of her own parentage. This is so unfair to her. Han is just giving excuses that she needs a father. I think she only wants to depend on a man. Yet, she has such luck to have such a filial daughter. She knows Yuk Hin as both work in the departmental store. She majors in fashion designing and both get to meet often.

She has caused undue suffering to Yee – who suppresses so hard to prevent liking her ‘cousin’, Yuk Hin and fails! Who does such pale and ghastly make-up for her? She is already fair and the make-up makes her look worse. Her slang in speaking English is weird indeed – doesn’t sound like a person who just returns after staying overseas for a long time.

7. Lee Siu Kiu – Lo Yuen Yan
She has a sad past as she is born in Thailand as a dance hostess daughter. She and her elder brother are abandoned since young. So she has no wish to return there again. But having low self-esteem, she doesn’t want Yan Wai to know that she is a maid. Thus she pretends that her owner’s house is hers and she often wears her mistress’s clothes when she is out! Knowing that this lie can’t be covered for long, she feigns that she becomes a bankrupt so that she can resign to move out of it. What a smart move!

And she hardly has material stuffs to satisfy – that is why Sai Wai has to get her the ring for her. Marrying him changes her in a way. She is initially lazy but later becomes hardworking. Being righteous and easy-going, she gets to know Oi Lun and Han. The three become close – not just in work but also in ties.

8. Lam Oi Lun – Wong Hoi Yan

She is Yan Kit’s wife who is childless for many years. That is why she envies Sai Wai and treats his sons as her own. The guys can be nasty to Yan Kit due to Yan Wai’s influence but they are very kind to her. She has problems adapting to Hong Kong as she has stayed in the U.S. for a long time. She is grateful to Siu Kiu for showing her the ropes and to Han as a friend.

She has not expected her to be the third party into her marriage. But being very forgiving, she forgives the both of them. Although she finally has her own son at old age, she is delighted but still treat the two brothers the same as before.

9. Wong Chor Yat – Ng Kwan Yu
She is a vegetable seller and is very tomboyish. We will never see her in skirts and she speaks with a loud or coarse voice. All will shake her head over her behaviour in scaring away all her prospective matches. She can bear with that but not with Kar Fat around as he is so annoying to provoke her. Even spilling her beans in public. Both often get into a cat’s war. I must say the highlight of this drama is also due to Kwan Yu as she makes an excellent comical pair with Sing Chee with her hilarious dialogues.

10. Grandaunt – Ha Ping
She is the loving grandaunt that all will wish to have. She has thought that bringing up Yan Wai has ended her responsibility. She has never expected his wife to die young to let her take over again to bring up his sons. Both are very filial to her and she will keep their secrets to prevent Yan Wai to get angry with them.

Song
It is by Tam Wing Lun. But unlike other nice theme songs, this one is boring and the tune is lousy. He should not have taken up this task to sing it at all.

Conclusion

We never know there are so many secrets among the family members in a household – even though they stay under a roof. Yan Kit has a secret mistress for years, Siu Kiu concealing her past, Yuk Hin keeping from Yan Wai that he works for Yan Kit and other minor secrets. How unexpected!

Yet, this cast does it so well with its down-to-nature acting. I would say that Ha Yu is an edge above Lau Dan in including Yan Wai’s inner feelings. Lau Dan is stiff in some scenes – we can sense that he can’t cry well - unlike Ha Yu who will yell or protest with all his might.

It is a stepping stone for Sing Chee. We know how and why he shoots to stardom. He isn’t the handsome male lead but he wins hearts with his earnest acting. Kwan Yu also provides light entertainment with her good sense of humour. I have countless fantastic moments watching them together. All must watch this drama. It shows why both garnered the best actor and actress awards in the movie circle. They truly deserve the glamour and attention.

Sukting’s ratings :

On acting : ***1/2 (Scale of 5)
On story : **1/2 (Scale of 5)
On song : *** (Scale of 5)



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