Westside Story


Reviewed by: sukting

April 08, 2004

Rating: two

How long
25 episodes

Foreword
Channel U showed this serial almost at the same time it was shown in Taiwan. This is a drama adaptation of a Taiwanese comic book. No manga adaptation was produced before this.

The series covers their opinions of adults, their love, friendship, youth, laugher and tears. From their experiences, they learn to cherish all people around them and to be responsible. All these students are in their 3rd year of high school. They form a 203 group and Ya Yu is their leader – you can call him the Westside ruler in short.

Story/Introduction on characters

1. You Ya Yu (nickname – lots – bad king, speed king, power king)– Sun Xie Zhi
Ya Yu is 17 years old. When he was young, his mother liked to dress him in a white t-shirt and overalls. He had hair with the shape of ears with butterfly hairclips. This reminds all of ‘Hello Kitty’. But he is also forced to eat food which is made in ‘Hello Kitty’ shapes. In daytime, he takes up all assignments.
At night, he is a modern ranger. He uses his powerful skills in wrestling, skateboarding and cycling to help the weak. Although he is a headache to the conservative adults, his rebellious exterior covers a kind heart.

Ya Yu’s aim in life is to punish the evil. He is driven out of school when he admits to stealing money in school when his younger brother, Ya Gui suddenly gets new shoes and a school bag. His brother is so sad over it that he refuses to talk to him from then. He becomes the Westside Street ‘bully’. He worries for his mother who is always in ‘Hello Kitty’ dreamland. To help his younger brother, he handles the responsibility like a father. He is righteous and is with good friends to uphold justice. Ya Yu also studies on his own, referring to Xing Wang or Ai Sen for help.

When Ya Yu and Yu Li plan to fall in love, they stop upon finding that they might be siblings. He has seen Lan Lan hugging Yu Li’s father and crying when she worries about his illness. He suddenly recalls that Lan Lan tells him that his father’s surname has the Chinese character ‘ten’. Yu Li’s surname is Lan. He is shattered and ignores Yu Li when a glass piece gets into one eye. The doctors tell him that he will be blind. Yu Li uses her DV to tape all Westside scenes. He gets touched and weeps – the glass rolls out automatically! Can you believe this? Yu Li puts it into her glass bottle accessory linked with her necklace.

Ya Yu entrusts Wang to take care of her. But he can’t help feeling jealous upon seeing them together. He later knows that they are not siblings. Mr Lan’s surname has the Chinese ‘grass’ stroke and not the ‘first’ character stroke as claimed by someone. The fellow is too weak in Chinese to tell the difference. However, he still feels inferior to Xin Wang. So he still decides to give her up. But later, he realizes that he is wrong and picks up his books again. However, the school still refuses to believe that he is innocent.

He hates Zheng for neglecting him and Lan Lan. Later, he knows the reason. Ya Yu is so upset that he knocks Xing Wang when both are on motorcycles. He wants to lose his memory. He is unconscious for months. His friends try to wake him up – which he does after Yu Li leaves to study in London. He laments that Yu Li squeezes his arm hard and he dislikes Xing Wang reading English books to him. He wished to wake up but fails to do so. He returns to school and is in the same class with Yu Li. Both are an item again.

If you can accept Xie Zhi with long hair and he ties his hair in a pony tail, you may get to like him in this serial. To me, he is only okay in here. For me, I still prefer him as Prince in ‘my MVP valentine’.

2. Wang Xing Jie (nickname Wang Xing, the devoted one) - Wang Ren Pu
Xing Jie is also 17. He dresses himself in Hawaii shirts and hats, wanting to show his sunshine nature. His mother runs away with the money she cheats and he grows up with his father. He seems to look down on women but he longs for eternal love. He idolizes Hong Kong director, Wong Ching. When he is free, he repeats his jokes from his movies. His father is a performance troupe comedian. So Xing Jie grows up listening to his stories. He gives the group ideas when they need him.

He is interested in Yin He although he declares openly that he dislikes gold diggers. He tries to woo her. He writes a film script for her, putting her as the lead. He is devastated upon knowing that she was Xing Wang’s kept woman although nothing happens between them. He later knows of Ya Yu’s ex-principal’s affair with the school administrator. So he tapes the whole thing to screen it in public. This clears Ya Yu’s name return to school.

Knowing that Ya Yu misses Zheng, he calls him together with Jiao Mei and Ai Sen, feigning to be Ya Yu. The three worry before he comes but are relieved when he does nothing to them. He knows that they are his good friends and do not blame them for deceiving him. He also tries to hide Yin He’s expulsion from school from Tian Le and is mad that Xing Wang spills the beans. But later he approves of his decision. In the end, he is elated when he gets engaged by the television station to be a script writer. So happy that he throws his books away and decides not to return to study.

3. Gu Tian Le (nickname lock opener, a killer psycho) – Wang Shao Wei
Tian Le is 20. I laughed non-stop when I see him for the first time. Shao Wei really imitates Tin Lok well – wearing black t-shirts and dark shades. Wonder who is so daring to use this time although the surname is different but sounds the same?

His character has limited exposure – he lands up in prison right in the 3rd episode. But this man is so highly skilled that Xing Wang and Ya Yu are not his match. He does not appear till the 16th episode. What a pity! He returns there again after seeing that his woman has loved another man when he sneaks out to see her.

He is strong, cool and wild. Yet, he is a gentle man by nature. The whole world rejects his love, Yin He. But he treats her like a lotus flower. He falls for her love at first sight. He is willing to sacrifice his future and freedom because of her. That is also why Yin He feels bad for falling for Wang when he is in prison.

He is concerned when Yin He is unhappy over her expel from school. He tells Xing Wang that he decides to give up upon knowing that he is her lover. He knows that he treats her very well. He even escapes from jail to suggest a breakup. He knows that 16 years is too long for her to wait so he sets her free.

4. Feng Ai Sen (nickname – Einstein) – Xu Meng Zhe
Ai Sen is 16. The normal world treats him like a fool. He likes to make different inventions. He is a truthful person who loves to examine new things and will always come up with a long string of theories. Even his parents don’t know what to do with him. His teachers have given up on this smart kid. 203 gang understands him – if not this precious jade will be buried underground forever.

He has once fallen in love with a Japanese girl but she breaks his heart. He needs a long time to recover from the pain. Knowing that Ya Yu is down, he combines with the others to fix the 203 bus to wait for his return with Yu Li. I really laugh when he finally likes Jiao Mei. They are a total mismatch in character.

5. Xing Wang(nickname given by Ya Yu – doll) – Huo Zhen Hua
He is only 17 but is studying for his masters in Harvard University. He is labeled as the most promising gifted star. His friends around him belong to the high IQ group. He is perfect – handsome, rich and tall. But he feels that life is incomplete for him. He envies those who have family warmth.

On his 17th birthday, he hands in his graduation thesis and wishes to visit his mother. He has not seen her for a long time because of studies and has planned to bring her to Disneyland to foster a better relationship. But she suddenly dies in an accident and leaves him shattered. He gives up his chance to study for his doctorate and stays in the Westside. He wants to get away from the usual boring routines in studying and lead a normal life. He challenges people to all kinds of matches because he simply doesn’t know how to communicate with them. But he finds himself in the end.

He gets Ya Yu’s attention when he throws the baseball as far as him. He puts on an arrogant front to challenge him. In reality, he longs for his friendship. Wang is at first indifferent when Ya Yu requests him to take care of Yu Li. He finds her a nuisance. On the eve of his birthday, he decides to try out working different jobs. The first is a taxi driver. It is so coincidental that Yu Li is his customer.

After sending her to the hill to admire the scenery, he leaves her there when she has no money to pay NT750 fare back. Even the watch she gives him as the trip there isn’t enough to cover the cost. Then she eats in a restaurant. She is angered to see him as a waiter there. When she sees him standing near the water sink, asking for tips right in the toilet when she walks out of the cubicle, she screams! She thinks he is going to take advantage of her. But in reality, it is a unisex toilet so anyone can come in.

After eating, she has no money to pay and luckily her friend comes to her rescue. Both decide to take the bus back. The bus driver is Xing Wang again. She is adamant not to get on but her friend has no money to take a cab. Both alight reluctantly and are enraged when they have to push the bus when it breaks down!

Xing Wang works as an animated character distributing flyers the next day. Yu Li is amused to see the flyer in 4 languages – from English, Chinese, Japanese to French. She realises that it is indeed his birthday and shares a small cake he buys. He has lied that he has only enough money to buy it. He tells Yu Li to put a NT50 coin in it and write some encouraging words on a red packet. That will be his birthday present.

When he reaches home, he says bitterly to Yin He that he has not received red eggs ever since his mother’s death. Later, he finds the 2 red eggs that Yin He makes for him. He then requests to hug her in bed before getting to school. He is too lonely. The next day, he tells his housekeeper to give her money.

He falls for Yu Li after a kidnap. His icy personality changes when he smiles daily upon seeing her. Wanting his father’s love, he plans his own kidnap but Ya Yu sees through his plan. The police capture him and his lawyer finally gets him to sign the legal documents to close the case by using his mother’s name.
The lawyer contacts his father. Mr Xing says he is childish to want his attention. The lawyer laments that it is no wonder that his wife kills herself since there is no love at home. Xing Wang is shocked – he is so tortured that his father has kept a mistress all along which leads to his mother’s death. He is so upset that he throws a chair to the television set, breaking it!

However, he can be selfish when he discovers that Ya Yu is not Yu Li’s elder brother. He keeps the truth from them. He uses NT30 million to keep Yin He when Tian Le is in jail. Actually he is only giving her financial aid. He wants to give her up when she intends to marry Tian Le. But, he realizes that he truly loves her. She feels guilty about it – it is no longer a monetary transaction so she asks for a breakup.

Xin Wang finds Ya Yu moody after separating from Yu Li. So he tries hard to cheer him up by drinking together. He then laments that he is so different from Zheng. Ya Yu is shocked that he has seen him in Argentina. A few years ago, Zheng was involved in an underground transaction and has questioned Wang’s existence in the restaurant. He was there as a tourist.

Wang pretended not to understand Spanish. Trying to save his own skin, he saw a newspaper report on Ya Yu on the wall and impersonated as him! Zheng hugged him and said that he was his son. He brought him home but he fled because he was scared what he would do after discovering the truth. Overcame by curiosity, he went Weststreet to look for Ya Yu. He admitted that he was sore that Ya Yu was so stuck up to reject him when he wanted to be his friend. So he kept the truth from him till now.

Knowing that Ya Yu longed to see his father, he wrote Zheng’s number on his arm. Ya Yu wants to clean it but Wang erases the number from his handphone. He has no choice but to let it stay on his arm. He is helpless when Yin He behaves strangely after being expelled. He discovers that besides knowing how to do homework, he knows nothing else. Tian Le has to sneak out of jail to console her to help him out.

Knowing that Yin He desires to be a student again, Wang enrolls her into York University and pays for her basic expenses. He wants her to be independent to support herself there. He is not satisfied with his father who talks to him over the television but is overjoyed when his father leaves his job aside to talk to him personally face to face. He decides to find a job – he becomes Yu Li and Ya Yu’s form teacher!

6. Lan Yu Li (nickname Priestess – Zhi Ruo’s teacher in HSDS) - Liu Pin Yan
She is 16. She grows up in a common family. Her father is an ex-doctor turned principal (played by Qiong Yao dramas lead, Li Zhi Xi). Her life is simple and thus she is innocent. She is very naïve and knows no evil of the realistic world. But this special air in her attracts Xing Wang and Ya Yu to like her.

Since young, she declared her ambition to be a swordswoman when she grows up in her essays. But she is born into the present period. So she finds a place to carry out her ambition – Westside. From her first step, she finds it a place of evil as it contains pedalers selling pirated VCDs/CDs who cheat the commoners of their money. Her next step is to punish those who cheat young girls to be social escorts. She often punishes them using manoeuvres with her umbrella but she is better off using her piercing screams to defeat foes.

At first, Yu Li suspects Ya Yu to be a molester. She tells her friend to test Ya Yu. They deliberately wear mini-skirts to see if he will get attracted. He doesn’t and does a reasonable flip to catch hold of her friend – and even manages to keep a distance from him when holding her. She later likes Ya Yu but Ya Yu suspects that they might be half-siblings. So he lies to the rest in the coffee outlet that he has never liked her. He doesn’t know that she is around and hears him.

Yu Li is devastated to know that Ya Yu might be her half-brother. She cries and keeps her tears in the bottle accessory in her necklace together with the glass piece. She is annoyed with Mr Lan for creating the mistake and is hostile to him. She then takes up karate lessons and is dismayed that Ya Yu is the instructor.

She is upset to be sent to England. She throws a note out of the window, hoping that Ya Yu gets to read it. Yes, he does but it is wet by the grass and he can’t make out the words. He finally knows about it and goes after the car when she is sent to the airport. He manages to grab her away but promises to send her back in the morning. Both finally get to go by the shop near the railway and get to know Zheng’s past.

Ya Yu sends her home and Yu Li gives him the necklace that contains his tear. She doesn’t want to wear his unhappiness around her neck. She still has to go to England. Both exchange gifts. Ya Yu gets back the books that she writes on how to be a heroine in class. She returns to the shop owner to get Lan Lan’s things back to show him Zheng’s diary that Zheng is not irresponsible after all.

When Ya Yu is unconscious, she reads to him daily on the swordfighting novel that she has written, hoping that this will wake him up. She bursts into tears when she is leaving for London but he is still asleep. Ya Yu is crushed when all his letters are returned to him after he wakes up. However, he is overjoyed when she doesn’t go there at all and decides to study with him in Taiwan.

7. Shen Yin He(nickname female star) – Wang Xin Ling
This name is more daring than Tian Le because the 3 Chinese characters are the same as the famous Korean actress! She looks innocent and knows how to talk in a sweet voice. All guys will do things willingly for her. They buy expensive gifts for her but they only get to have an afternoon tea date in return and lose out.
She is a teenage escort but sneaks into public libraries to read books for the whole night. She has multiple faces with intelligence in studies. She wishes to use the money to complete her studies overseas. After that, she doesn’t need to depend on any man anymore to be a useful person to take care of her younger siblings.

Being a teenage escort in fishnet stockings is just a step board to her success. Her father is a drunkard while her mother dies from cancer when she is young. So she is willing to do anything to bring up her 7 younger siblings. She knows what Wang has done for her and falls hopelessly for him. When the school finds out that she is his kept woman, they expel her.

She is very upset and tries to jump down from Xing Wang’s apartment. Xing Wang. He tries to stop her and slaps her. Upon seeing blood on her face, he is alarmed. He doesn’t even know that the blood comes from his palm. He has accidentally cut himself when both fall on broken bottles earlier.

After having a good talk with Tian Le, she straightens her thoughts and is grateful when Xing Wang helps her to make her study dream come true.

8.You Lan Lan – Zhong Qin
She is Ya Yu’s mother but is very immature in her thinking. She has treated Ya Yu like a lover or elder brother. She doesn’t seem to have worries at all because she has transferred all the problems to him! Her whole room is pink. Many think it is Ya Yu’s younger sister’s room. Whenever Ya Yu tries to find out more about Zheng, it hits her and cries non-stop. Ya Yu has to stop asking to prevent provoking her. Although Ya Yu has tried to be mature, she still lacks security and wishes for her husband to return.

She was under aged when she was pregnant with Ya Yu. Zheng had to run for his dear life when the ganglord was after his blood. Mr Lan was a ‘dark street’ doctor and delivered Ya Yu. However, his licence was invoked because he broke the law – doctors are not supposed to deliver babies for the under aged.

She was quite pathetic. She tried to return home with Ya Yu 1 year after his birth but her father rejected her. She was so mad that she had a one night stand with a stranger. She has Ya Gui after that. She could not even remember the fellow’s face. This causes so much hurt to Ya Gui and he ignores her. He also feels guilty for causing Ya Yu to be fatherless that he wants to leave home.

Lan Lan reunites with Zheng and tells him how Ya Yu abducts Yu Li. At this time, Ya Yu learns from an old shopkeeper that she tried running away from home at 15 years old. She likes the Hello Kitty toys to please Zheng. She thought that the book had nothing to do with reality since she was with Zheng. So she leaves it with the shop owner. Yu Li asks for the book but the owner replies that he has given to Zheng 3 years later he met Lan Lan. Ya Yu is enraged that he didn’t visit them. Finally, she stays with her two sons and change for the better. They are so glad that they no longer need to eat anymore Hello Kitty meals.

I find her too young to be the mother. This role actually reminds me of how Yi Neng Jing acts as Taro’s mother in ‘Rich Boy Taro.’ But I think Yi is better and more natural as Zhong Qin looks irritating instead.

9. Gao Hong Jian- Li Xing Quan( He acts as Dong Qi Shen in MVP valentine)
He is a policeman who loves gambling and often runs into debts. He is very careless in his work and thus he is still a low rank after 18 years. However, he is genuinely in love with Lan Lan and can even wear Hello Kitty clothes to please her. He can be so stupid to tell her his secret that he loses the gun and in the end, all residents in Westside Street know about it and despise him.

10. Liu Jiao Mei – Chou Li Chen
She is a tomboy who always dresses herself like a boy and only expresses interest in girls. She is the only female in the gang. She wants all to call her David because she is a David Beckham craze. She dislikes her demure name so much that she decides to change it to when she reaches 18 years old.

She has a sentimental side. She plays all sorts of stunts that guys know and also knows how to fold paper roses to please the gals. Many guys envy her when the gals she is with are so pretty. Even Ya Yu and Xing Jie are jealous too. They ask her for tactics to woo women. Her only wish is to make all gals fall for her like gentle sheep by her side – she calls this the ‘sheep conspiracy’.

Despite her rugged look, she has a soft heart, upon seeing that Ya Yu can’t see Yu Li in the open, she becomes the string to bind them together. She calls her home and then after talking to her mother, she will pass her phone to Ya Yu to continue his conversation with her.

However, her rich grandmother wants her to find a boyfriend. Otherwise she will not have a chance to inherit her fortune. She has no choice but to get Ya Yu to pretend to be her boyfriend. Ya Yu suddenly goes missing so she has no alternative but to get help from Ai Sen. He is stunned to see her so pretty in a skirt and decides to woo her. Both like each other but they are ‘brothers’ so they have no encourage to reveal their feelings. Later she gets jealous over a girl Xiao Qing and both finally acknowledge their relationship. However, this combination may seem weird to you. Jiao Mei resembles a guy while Ai Sen resembles a gal!

11. Lan Feng Shu – Li Zhi Qi
He is Yu Li’s father and is a girls’ high school principal after he is forced to give up his doctor license. Although Yu Li is a student there, he doesn’t’ give her special treatment. He gives her the freedom she desires. But he gets worried when she is involved with Ya Yu. He prevents them from meeting each other, worrying that she might become another Lan Lan.

But his impression of Ya Yu hasn’t changed. In his eyes, Ya Yu resembles Zheng – equally irresponsible. When Ya Yu sends Yu Li back on time, his impression changes again. He agrees to let him resume his studies if he can clear the entrance examinations in a month. I really laugh when Ya Yu is the only guy in his school. The uniform is specially made for him. He also allows the young lovers to be together.

12. Di Wu Zheng – Tam Yiu Mun
He is Ya Yu’s father who has gone missing for years. He cares for Lan Lan and Ya Yu. He was a gangster in Westside but later he ventured overseas to be a ganglord. He knows Ya Yu well in keeping promises although the two have not met. He assures Feng Shu that Ya Yu will return Yu Li to home safely.

How did he get to know Lan Lan? He was injured in an attack and Lan Lan thought that the apple that he dropped from the sky knocked him out. In order not to implicate her, he lied that he liked childish girls who adore Hello Kitty dolls and not bookworms. He didn’t expect her to change completely for him. He is touched and both went steady. He had wanted the killing to be his last deal before Ya Yu was born but was separated from them in an attack.

He is arrested overseas and is jailed for 3 years. Upon returning, he finds Lan Lan pregnant and leaves. He never returns to the underworld again after his release.The conversation he shares with others on killing is actually on killing cows. He is in the beef business and is so successful that it becomes one of the 7 largest company in Spain. He never expects himself to be a legend in another country. He confesses that he has passed his prime in Westside so it is time for Ya Yu and others to take over.

Actually he sees through Xing Wang’s ploy to pretend to be Ya Yu. He finds him suspicious so he captures him. No. 1 – someone from Westside will never read an English tourist guide book. No2 – no one will wish to admit that he is from Westside. No 3 – Xin Wang even pronounces Ya Yu’s name wrongly. When Ya Yu recovers, he accompanies him to make up for lost time. He invites Ya Yu to join him but he declines. He then has to return to Argentina alone.

13. Du Zhi – Chen Xiao Xuan
She is a fortune teller but she hides her eyes behind shades. She looks secretive and mysterious to all. It comes to a surprise to all that she is secretly in love with Wu Zheng. She is a killer but she falls for him. She actually saves him from the attack and sends him on the ship. Her ploy is to separate him from Lan Lan.

She knows his whereabouts and goes to Lan Lan’s place at night. Why? She knows that Wu Zheng will write to her even in jail. So she steals all the letters to make Lan Lan give up on him. Jealousy has clouded her mind to separate him from his family. Xing Wang finds out the truth and gets the letters from her to return to Lan Lan. Du Zhi is remorseful and finally plucks up courage to apologise to Lan Lan personally.


Songs
The theme song ‘legend’(??) is sung by 5566 – it sounds like a rap. The subtheme song include a duet of ‘suffer’ Xie Zhi with Xin Ling. Ren Pu and Xie Zhi sings ‘Your Existence’ (??)well – this is the song I like the most among the four. The last will be Ren Pu’s attempt to sing ‘stupid lover’ alone.

Interesting facts
The debut episode had 8.4% viewership, which was higher than ‘MVP valentine’ final episode at 7.8% in Singapore. This showed how hot 5566 is – it was only shown 1 week later the serial is shown in Taiwan.

The producers were said to be unhappy that 5566 refused to promote the serial. However, 5566 explained that they had not been free to get away from work. On the actual day, the 3 showed up except Xie Zhi. It was not that he threw his tantrums as said but he was still filming in the studio.

Zhong Qin found it tough to call Xie Zhi as ‘baby’ or ‘sweetheart’ in the serial. She joked that Ren Pu is terrific in showing the feminine side. The way he addressed her as Auntie Lan rose goose pimples! When Zhong Qin requested to touch Xie Zhi to show the closeness between the mother and son in the serial, Xie Zhi joked that she could touch him anytime. So she gave him hugs and also scratches – as requested in the serial. Xie Zhi is jovial like others to fool around on variety shows. But when it comes to filming television serials, he is very serious and professional. Many scenes required one take and it was done.

Zhong Qin always loved to laugh when there were minor mistakes made. However, she suppressed herself from doing it in this serial. Xie Zhi got involved in the role very quickly and only allowed himself to finish every scene in one take because he was very busy. They almost had no NGs at all. Xie Zhi confessed that he liked the scenes with Zhong Qin most – not because he was very close to her. But when he was with her, he was only required to talk and he could take a rest!

Jian Hua often shot till 2 to 3am and had to rush to another shooting spot at 6am. He almost had no time to sleep at all. Xie Zhi placed in his best. He seldom needed no stuntman for the fighting scenes and wanted to do all actions on his own. In the end, he lost a lot of weight. Many rumoured that Jian Hua and Xie Zhi quarreled on the set but it was later found that both liked to joke with each other in private. Xie Zhi didn’t lose his temper at all and none of them is late for filming.

When others were not required to act, they tried to steal sleep – even one hour was a luxury. Meng Zhe and Ren Pu seemed to have endless energy. They could still joke and make fun of people! Xie Zhi often brought them out for meals. He was very generous to treat all Japanese cuisine too.

Many ask why Xiao Dao doesn’t even show his face in here. He was under physiotherapy treatment in the US. He came to visit his friends after the operation on his back. I was astonished by his new look – he had a crew cut and actually he resembled Yan Xing Shu (Duan Cheng Feng in ‘MVP valentine’) in looks. They could have gotten him to act as Cheng Feng’s younger brother if there is a ‘MVP valentine 2’!

The recording company was so attracted by his appearance that they placed him to stand in the centre among the other members in their second album photograph shoot although he didn’t sing in it. Why did he cut his hair? He was recognized by fans in the US hospital in an hour’s time after seeking treatment. Not wishing to disturb other patients, he decided to make a change. And he looked terrific, isn’t it?

5566 fans commented that Pin Yan doesn’t know how to act and is not good enough for Xie Zhi. Many said her brolly is handy in shielding her from rotten eggs thrown by 556 devotees who are offended by her remark that Xie Zhi is not very handsome. Still, it had the highest viewership at 3.66 in Taiwan while the comic also came in first in sales.

Parents find it a bad influence. 5566 members are quick to conclude that it is actually educational in telling others that it is wrong to fight against each other. Many youngsters start buying bicycles to learn the stunts from the serial. 5566 members warn them to be careful as it is very comical and is like a science fiction. Xie Zhi had treated this serial as his representative work and even jumped off from the fourth storey.

Xin Ling and Xie Zhi showed others the scars that they obtain from the serial. Xin Ling was injured by Shao Wei who left the scratch on her when he used too much force. Xie Zhi knocked into another bicycle. Shao Wei joked that it was a love present from him but quickly added that he used sincerity and also concern to help her to wrap up her wound.

On the last day at the railway station, Xie Zhi told Pin Yan seriously that he promised to send her back home before daylight. He did fulfill his promise. All rejected lots of hosting jobs and wanted to look for chances to earn the money back in 2004. One way was to hold concerts. When the 4 members came to Singapore to promote the serial, 10000 fans nearly went mad. 33 fainted and 4 landed in hospital.

Xiao Dao came with them 2 months later for their 2nd album ‘Zhi Ai – most loved’ autograph session. This time, the crowd grew to 15,000 which broke record to become the longest event. 5566 arrived in a police van to tighten security. They signed non-stop for 4 hours and had to turn away 1500 fans because of limited time. They lost their appetite completely. They headed for a hot bath to relax while poor Xiao Dao rested in bed quickly. His back injury reoccurred again as he sat for too long.

The television station roped in Tam Yiu Mun to act as Xiao Yu’s father. He was hesitant at first because he was going to have such a big kid. But because of him, he can let Xiao Yu and Yu Li fall in love. So he accepted it. The love scenes between Chen Xiao Xuan and Zhong Qin weren’t tough for him. The difficult part was the tango dancing. What’s more to shoot it in public! But within half an hour, he was able to handle the steps well. Many laughed – he was a singer and yet he didn’t know dancing well??

Singapore’s local student paper ‘Friday Weekly’ had students choosing Sun Xie Zhi as no. 1 of the list. Wang Ren Pu comes in 13th. Sun Xie Zhi was shy as he has never expected to win over veteran actresses Zheng Hui Yu and Fan Wen Fang. He admitted that he only spent a day to get involved in the role unlike the role ‘Prince’ in ‘MVP valentine’. He also exercised regularly to show off his biceps.

5566 aned Wang Xin Ling performed on Singapore's 39th national day celebrational concerts. Xin Ling sang 'suffer' with the pop group, K1. I wonder why - to avoid rumours flying by not working with Xie Zhi? But 5566 sang the theme song well. I went to watch them singing 'live' and I felt the newcomers were still raw.5566 is still better than them.

Conclusion

Many may question why I write a ‘diluted’ review. The plot is a big mess. I don’t really fancy the images of the guys being so punky, especially Xie Zhi having a pony tail with a long fringe. Certain plots are childish while others may find it indigenous than polished.

I prefer ‘MVP valentine’ with its more serious storyline. I miss the characters there. Moreover, the actors really display their basketball talents to the fullest. In here, the acting is terrible. They deliver the lines in monotonous voices and unconvincing expressions. Why? And yet they are more popular than before. Are viewers sure that this is a better serial or is it because they idolize 5566 blindly?

It is too unbelievable to see them rollerblading or skateboarding from one shophouse to another. No doubt we get to see lots of stunts but they are unrealistic to happen in real life. With lots of fighting which I disapprove too to use violence to settle problems. Can you believe that they use baseball bats to smash television sets?? Is this act righteous? I doubt it.

The garish Hawaiian or denim shirts worn by the leads are a nightmare. It is the worst that I have watched so far. Ren Pu and Xie Zhi aren’t tall and the boots they wear are simply unsuitable. No wonder many top-class designers reportedly refuse to dress 5566. My attention only goes to Huo Jian Hua – this is quite unexpected. He is young but promising. His many changes in personality and appearance is a lure to watch. Moreover, he is attractive looking and has a strong commanding presence. Xie Zhi really pales in comparison with his hooligan outlook this time.

Maybe the cast find it awkward to portray less than 20 year old characters. It seems that only Meng Zhe and Pin Yan suit the ages. But if you truly love adventure, don’t mind the thin plot or are faithful fans of 5566, it suits you. I don’t recommend it to others – it is not worth your time.

Sukting’s ratings :

On acting : *** (Scale of 5)

On story : ** (Scale of 5)


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