Cash is King

Reviewed by: sukting

December 24, 2009

Rating: three

How long
30 episodes

This is a collaboration between ATV and Singapore Mediaworks. How did the cast work hand in hand? This is also Chan Kit Yee’s second drama after Healing Hands 2. It is fully shot in Singapore regarding the stock exchange and how it affects the lives of families.

Story/Introduction on characters

1. Qi Ren – Chin Han
He is eldest son of the family and the host of a television programe ‘ Cash is king’. He is very arrogant and bad-tempered. His mind works fast and has plenty of jokes to tell the audience. He is the popular star among the housewives. His beating of Bing Bing’s lover does not affect his career but the viewership goes up instead. Jin Hao sees that Ren is lonely and cheers him up.

He deliberately keeps a distance from Jin Hao when she stays with him. His tortoise crawls to the window edge and Jin Hao wants to save it. The others think that she is commiting suicide. Ren is anxious and saves her back. Both start to fall in love. He can’t sleep when Jin Hao and Xiao reach home late after watching a movie. Jin Hao is amused as she only treats Xiao as a brother.

After knowing that he is made used by Da Fu and Da Fu’s shares plunge to cause a lot of people to lose their total savings, Ren feels bad over it. Jin Hao consoles him and both pretend to argue in front of tohers to hide the fact that they are dating. Ren’s superior frames Ren and causes him to be dismissed. Shi Qin, Ren and An set up a new TCT stockbroking company

To calm Jin Hao, Ren calls Bing Bing personally to tell her that he has a girlfriend now. She is touched by his action. 4 years later, TCT has established its reputation. Ren can’t propose like Shi Qin to Si Si as he is afraid of marriage. However, they are together after she is being framed of murder.

Many hearts crack upon seeing Qin Han on television. Not because he age too much because of his voice. They can’t believe their ears when he has such a hoarse voice. This is so different from the dubbed voice heard in his younger-day movies. Acting wise, he tends to be over the top at times.

2. Qi Xiao – Lin Ming Lun
He is the second son who is a great cook so he manages the family chicken rice shop. He treats Yan Zhu like his own mother although he is her stepson. Yan Zhu is taken aback to know that he is gay and his lover is Tai Jin. Guilty stricken, he takes care of Tai Jin’s wife after his death.

3. Qi Lai – Wang Lu Jiang
She is Yan Zhu’s only son who is autistic. He stays on the chicken farm all along but Jin Hao brings him back to stay with the Qis. Through Jin Hao, Yan Zhu starts to accept Lai as he is. Jin Hao arranges him to study in a special school. Jin Hao discovers his talents in Mathematics and brings him to work for An.

4. Qi Guang Hui – Zhu Jun En
He is Ren’s 16 year old son who is bright. He likes to do things his way. He maintains a student and friend relationship with Jin Hao. He is very sensible after Bing Bing leaves home to console Ren instead. Jin Hao happens to know that all of Ren’s jokes come from Guang Hui and teases him. He buys something for Yan Zhu and Ren using the money that he earns from buying shares. Shi Qin has given the tips for him to win.

His family is angered upon knowing this as Ren’s father kills himself as he loses his shares. Jin Hao helps their relationship to improve again. But Guang Hui doesn’t like Jin Hao to date Ren. He straightens out his thoughts later and finally accepts her.

5. Qi Guang Hui – Zhan Jin Quan
He is Ren’s 20 year old son who studies economics in the university. He works in TCT so Ren trains him hard. Xiao Yi jumps into his car when he is rushing to Shi Qin’s wedding. He is late to deliver the weding ring and has to tell a policeman to do it. She owes the loan-sharks a lot of money so he has to arrange her to work in his family chicken rice shop. Love blossoms between them as Bing Bing brings them together. It is kind of weird to see him acting so young as he is no longer 20 years old.

6. Huang Jin Hao – Chan Kit Yee
She is Ren’s assistant in the TV station who gets the notes for him but this arrogant man never uses them. She dislikes her Chinese name so she calls herself Golden. Her name means ‘Gold is good’ which sounds very awful. She is smart and persistent in love. She feels lost upon knowing that her ex has married so she goes to the temple to get herself a love amulet. She loses it and it ends up with Ren. All colleagues guess that they are an item.

She accidentally burns her home down by putting cup noodles into the microwave oven and has to live at Shi Qin’s home. Ren wants to invite guests to his program and she invites a transvestite. Ren has wanted to reject it but has no choice when Guang Hui needs Jin Hao’s help in his work.

The program turns out to be a success and they work better. She stays in Ren’s home as she doesn’t want Mei Jun to think that she is trying to woo Shi Qin. After kissing Ren, she regrets and asks Shi Qin what he will do if she kisses him. Thinking that she is still interested in him, he invites her to move back but she declines, leaving him disappointed.

Jin Hao resigns with Ren to be with him after he is dismissed. She persuades him to become a stockbroker as she joins Da Fu Holdings with Shi Qin’s help. But she later joins TCT and is amused that Ren prevents her from working with Shi Qin by asking Shao Ling to be with Shi Qin. But Shi Qin doesn’t want Si Si to get jealous so he gets Ren to go with Shao Ling instead.

Knowing that he is going senile, Da Fu gets Jin Hao to work in Da Fu Holdings. Although there is a gap between her and Ren now, she promises that she will not change. Her persistence pays off when he finally marries her. Chan is a talent in singing and acting. She dominates the screen whenever she appears. Many scenes of her with Qin Han are hilarious. How I wish that she acts more frequent – too bad she is more involved in stage plays or musicals.

7. Huang Fen – Zhou Dai Lan
She is formally Da Fu’s nurse who has an affair with him. Jin Hao is his daughter but she doesn’t wish him to know about it. It still puzzles me why she gives her such a terrible name as her own name is so elegeant. Is she so in need of money? She brings her up on her own and has not accepted Ren as her future son—in-law initially. She leaves Da Fu as she doesn’t want to share a married man with other women. She comes to take care of Da Fu with Lan when he is injured.

8. Xian Yan Zhu – Wang Xiu Yun
Ren’s family runs a chicken rice shop. She marries Ren’s father when Ren is in his teens and most have thought that she looks like his elder sister instead. She spoils him and gives in to him all the time, resulting him to be egoistic. She has not wanted to face Lai as she considers him the bane of her life but Jin Hao manages to change her mind. She has to admit that Jin Hao has changed everyone since joining them. But all 3 sons are filial to her as they know how tough it is for her to bring them up after their father’s death.

9. Tao Si Si – Pang Chi Ching
She is An’s younger sister. She is intelligent but wants to win at all times. Her first meeting with Shi Qin is at a supermarket where she has an argument with the staff. Shi Qin helps her but she thinks that he is harvouring over her status. She is then attracted by Shi Qin’s coolness and outstanding working performance. She feels down upon seeing Shi Qin so close to Jin Hao.

Afraid that Guo Shen will find things difficult with Shi Qin, she intends to follow the two men to Hong Kong to discuss a deal. But she ends up too busy and is unable to join them. She misses Shi Qin when he is away so she finally sets off to find him to convey her feelings. Si Si can’t concentrate at work after her divorce with Shi Qin and signs a contract to let Peter handle the company duties. Chi Ching is never a credible actress as she tends to be overly self-conscious in the way she speaks. The same problem surfaces again here although it isn’t that frequent now.

10. Tao An – Shen Qing San
His mother is Da Fu’s second wife. She pretends to kill herself but ends up dead accidentally. She wants Da Fu to return to her from Fen. Like Si Si, he also goes all out to win. He regards his father as his sole rival. He later opens a new company with Ren and Xue Qin. Da Fu wants to see Si Si or An can be the assistant CEO. Si Si gets Shi Qin while An gets Guo Sen as assistants. Si Si gets the post and An doesn’t wish to be dependent on his father anymore.

He has not trusted Ren initially but time tells the truth. He sleeps with Shao Ling but tells her that he doesn’t intend to love as he doesn’t want to lose. Shao Ling finds him pitiful. He suffers from frequent headaches as he has brain cancer. An refuses to combine TCT with Da Fu Holdings as Jin Hao is an outsider to him. He is heartbroken when knowing that Shao Ling poisons him – that is Guo Sen’s ploy. He doesn’t believe that she is innocent before he goes overseas for treatment.

After he returns, he finds the accounts questionable. He leaves all his shares to Shao Ling. She is killed by Peter when he attempts to stab An. This becomes his biggest regret in life for not accepting her earlier.

11. Tao Da Fu – Xia Chuan
He is the company chairman and has thought that cash is king. He has 3 women and hurt all 3 to bring regret to his life. He sponsors ‘Cash is king’ to promote his shares and Ren is kept in the dark. Ren brings Jin Hao to meet Da Fu and Da Fu feels affinity with her. His children born by his first wife, Lan (Xu Qiong Fang) are ordinary and only An from his second wife is outstanding. But their relationship wirh his is strained unlike Ren who gets along well with Guang Hui although he has little money.

Fen is the woman whom he misses the most. He has a heart attack when Fen ignores him as he sees her at the café. He tells Peter to look for Fen. Da Fu is smart to sell all his shares before the stock market crashes but TCT suffers a loss instead. Even so, An refuses to return to Da Fu Holdings. All fork out their money to save the company. Da Fu is becoming senile but keeps from his family.

He wants to buy over TCT and ends up quarreling with An. He learns that Jin Hao is his daughter and meets her. Both are kidnapped. He suffers a gunshot on her behalf and Ren pretends to be a doctor to save them out. An is touched when Da Fu goes to his primary school to want to see him after school. He has pretended to be senile to see who the culprit is. He is seriously injured when Peter knocks him down with his car. Peter frames Jin Hao for it but Da Fu recovers from the attack to prove her innocence.

12. Shen Peter – Wang Yu Qing
He is Da Fu’s first son-in-law. His wife dies young and he has not remarried as he is thick-skinned to want to stay with the Taos. He is loyal to Tao Fu to work hard for him, hoping to get a bulk of his inheritance. Da Fu sees through his motive and looks down on him. He is the one who is the mastermind of the kidnap. He is sore to know that he is getting very little from Da Fu’s will.

Peter wants to kill Mei Qing after getting Shi Qin’s shares. He also plans to kill Da Fu but Guo Sen records everything down. The company lands in his hands after Da Fu’s hospitalization and Jin Hao’s arrest of attempting murdering him. Peter gets close to Bing Bing, wanting to get the tape back. He can’t find it in the basket as Bing Bing has kept it in her dressing table, unknowingly.

Lai has thought it to be a family tape and plays it front of the Qis. All are stunned to view the contents. Peter suddenly holds Bing Bing hostage. All nearly suffocate from a gas leak but are saved by Lai. Peter is on the run and goes under plastic surgery to look exactly like Ren. He wants to kill the Qis and Ren comes on time. The crowd does not know who to help when both fight with each other. Luckily, Jin Hao and Bign Bing can tell the difference as they have been with Ren for a long time. Peter is finally arrested for his deed.

13. Tang Guo Sen – Chang Fu Ning
He graduates from economics faculty from Harvard University and is An’s classmate. He is also Si Si’s boyfriend. But he betrays love and friends because of money. He often bullies Sh iQin who is a newcomer. He pretends to agree to help An to set up his personal company but he gives the details to Da Fu. Guo Sen is involved in the underworld stockmarket dealings. Ren and Jin Hao worry that he will implicate Da Fu.

Guo Sen gets to know Shi Qin’s complicated relationship between two women and plans to ruin his career. Guo Sen pretends to be Mei Qing’s husband and changes An’s medicine without Shao Ling’s knowledge. Si Si intends to divorce Shi Qin after knowing his affair. Peter stabs him over the tape but he manages to put it into Bing Bing’s basket before he dies.

14. Su Mei Qing – Lai See Kar
She is from Malaysia and loves Xue Qin from young. She goes to bed with Xue Qin, unaware that he is married when he is back in Malaysia for a business trip. Ren keeps the truth from Si Si. Shi Qin is very attentive towards a pregnant Si Si while he neglects a pregnant Mei Qing. He feels remorseful when she wants to discharge although she bleeds as she fears of Si Si discovering them.

The two pregnant women become friends when they are clueless of
each other’s status. Guo Sen pretends to be Mei Qing’s husband to keep extorting Shi Qin. She feels bad of ruining Shi Qin’s future when he chooses to be with her. She begs Si Si to forgive Shi Qin. She accidentally falls and dies after giving birth to their son. Si Si is touched by her and promises to look after her baby for her. Another tragic role for See Kar – I don’t see any breakthrough from her.

15. Qiu Shao Ling – Yi Xue Li
She is a pretty and sexy stockbroker. Xue Qin regards her as his close rival. She attracts many men with her beauty and doesn’t hesitate to go to bed with them in order to get business. She is interested in Shi Qin but fails to seduce him. She then lures Guo Sen to open a hotel room with her. Si Si discovers this and breaks up with Guo Sen.

An gets Shao Ling to join TCT and Shi Qin is shocked. She and An develop feelings for each other but he refuses to admit it. A lecher rich man Robert Zhao wants to get fresh with Shao Ling, she brings him home to show him her mad mother. Robert has ditched her to cause her to be in this state. She cries in An’s arms and both finally become a couple. She has mistaken that An looks down on her mother but An doesn’t want to implicate her due to his illness. She later knows the truth and is willing to give up her life for him.

16. Deng Shi Qin – Lo Hing Fai
He is one stockbroker that An hires to work for him from Malaysia. He is hardworking, cunning and ambitious. He cheers Jin Hao up when she is lost in love. He finds himself falling for her and is unhappy to see her hugging Ren when the two manage to give way the cash prize in their programme. He is troubled on how to pay off his debts as he also buys Da Fu’s shares but Si Si helps him out.

He feels humiliated when Si Si wrongs him that he sleeps with a client in order to get a deal. He intends to resign but Si Si apologises to him upon discovering her mistake. He has thought that the gap between Si Si and him is too wide and doesn’t intend to accept her. He is moved later and kisses her. Both are jealous when they see each other with Jin Hao and Guo Sen. They finally affirm their feelings.

Shi Qin frowns when An asks him and Ren to develop their business in Malaysia. He is happy that Si Si is pregnant and is more startled to know that Mei Qing is also pregnant. After serious consideration, Shi Qin gives up his shares to save Mei Qing from a kidnap and tells Si Si the truth to get slapped. He is back to Si Si again after Mei Qing’s death but Si Si knows that she can never replace Mei Qing in his heart.

This is the second time Hing Fai works with Chi Ching after ‘A Kindred Spirit’. They fare better in this drama as a couple. He isn’t as wooden here as in the past.

17. Ding Xiao Yi – Ou Yan Ping
She is attractive and outgoing to work as a reporter. Her gambler father owes the loansharks a lot of money and she finds it hard to pay off. She is attracted by Guang Hui’s individualistic personality. She becomes Jin Hao’s good friend. She has a one night stand with Guang Hui after he gets drunk. That starts their relationship but both only admit their feelings much later as both are equally stubborn.

18. Liang Bing Bing – Mai Shuet
Ren marries young because of responsibility. Bing Bing is a romantic and temperamental person. She likes shopping and their 16 year old relationship is only based on their son. He is enraged to know that Bing Bing has an affair with a pilot. She abandons her family for the man and he is left to take care of their son. She returns 8 years later after she is ditched by her boyfriend and has nowhere to stay.

She is hoping to return to Ren but everything has changed. He doesn’t want her to visit his family to cause any misunderstanding. She then works in Da Fu Holdings. Shi Qin wants to dismiss her on her first day of work. Ren also prevents Jin Hao from going to work but the two women finally see each other. She doesn’t fight for Ren now but boasts about Peter liking her. She doesn’t know there is a motive behind it.

Mai Shuet’s role is more like a guest but yet she shines as the ignorant woman. She is not that convincing as a mother, though as she looks too youthful in her long tresses. However, her pairing with Qin Han is a mismatch as both do not have chemistry with each other.

19. Gao Mei Jun – Li Zhi Qin
She is cheerful and lively. She is also witty and alert. She is Jin Hao’s classmate who has liked Shi Qin but Jin Hao finds Shi Qin too money-minded. Mei Jun later marries another man.

20. Mo Tai Jin – Doi Chin Kok
He is a dentist who is suave and handsome. He is attracted to Xiao and Xiao often suspects that he has a change of heart. True indeed, he closes down his clinic and intends to get married in Hong Kong. Xiao refuses to forgive him and he later dies in an accident.

Most favourite character
Jin Hao, she is a career woman who has wits and also guts. She is no different from a man at work but she is very feminine when with the man she loves. That is why Shi Qin and Ren both fall for her as she is so attractive and they can’t resist her charm.

Most hated character
Ren, he is too overbearing at times, thinking that he is the top of the world. No wonder Bing Bing can’t communicate with him. A close second is An who is overly obstinate – he has missed the golden years of his life to have terrible relationship with those around him.

The themsong is ‘Holding your hand’ while the subtheme is ‘Looking at you daily’. Both are romantic songs that are well delivered by Chan’s flawless voice. You will love them as much as I do when you have heard them. One of the best themsongs that I have heard so far.


Is cash really king? The drama proves otherwise. People might not be happy with a lot of money. Da Fu’s case shows that he is a man with regrets even though he is loaded as almost none of his kin is close to him. Having 3 women do not bring him happiness as he is the one who cause so much unhappiness. He dotes on An but he doesn’t show it. He only shows his love to Jin Hao as he feels that he owes her too much.

Shi Qin has given up his love for fortune but he also lets 2 women down, following Da Fu’s footsteps. He creates the same mistake and has to carry the burden throughout his life as well. Peter and Jason die in the name of greed as well for making the wrong choices. So cash is not really king.

In comparison, Ren is a happier man. Not because he is more capable but he is more easily contented. He remembers his late father’s mistake so even though he is a broker, he isn’t tempted by money. His wishy-washy behaviour is equally undesirable but luckily Jin Hao bears with him.

The part I can’t accept is the plastic surgery scene. How can a surgeon do it for a fugitive and will agree to change his face that belongs to a celebrity such as Ren who is famous? That simply does not make sense but I must say that Yu Qing does his villain part well.

I am sorry that Mediaworks closed down. It had tried hard to produce a good drama – the houses and offices are real – unlike most fake ones that are set up in TV studios we see in TCS dramas. They were lack of artistes but they had given their best to match with their Hong Kong counterparts. However, for most of them, their acting is mostly beneath the mark as their acting is very wooden. It is easily noticed that they just read lines from a script without feelings.

That also applied to those who joined Mediaworks from TCS. Besides Kit Yee, only Xue Li stands out. Even though her role is slutty, she puts in her best. And like Kit Yee, she is also a singer but has left showbuzz now. That sets me thinking – why many TCS artistes can’t act well after so many years? But singers offer surprises in their debut or rare acts. Huang Jin Lun is also another success in ‘Momo Love’. This shows that the artistes really have to work a lot harder.

The drama is fast paced and is one of the better ones that ATV has produced. It offers a refreshing feel for Singapore and Hong Kong artistes to work together. The stock exchange market is well depicted and realistc. The scriptwriter has foresight to show that the investment bubble has burst – that also happened to the world when Lehman Brothers Holdings declared bankruptcy in 2008. Till now, the economy has not recovered. Do watch it if you have the chance.

Sukting’s ratings :

On acting : *** (Scale of 5)

On story : *** (Scale of 5)

On songs : ***** (Scale of 5)

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