True Love

Reviewed by: sukting

April 21, 2009

Rating: three

How long
20 episodes


A drama made by ‘Rouge’ (It helped the late Mui Yim Fong to garner a Golden Horse Best Actress Award as she acted as a ghost. Co-stars include Man Tse Leung and the late Cheung Kok Wing.) director, Kwan Kum Pang. It also helped to bring Lau Chung Yan and Chiu Ngar Chi together. Many have thought that ‘Point of No Return’ spelt Chiu’s comeback to Hong Kong screen but this drama was shot earlier than it.


The eldest uncle of the Chiu family is back. Shirley brings her daughters, Fong and Coco to receive him. Her husband died when both were young. She becomes a sales personal to bring them up. Fong is an accountant while Coco is a nurse.

Fong is close to her aunt, Yee Mui. The plane arrives late and their uncle scolds Coco later for rushing back to the hospital to work. All have a nice gathering. In the meantime, Bong is busy sending his ex-wife, Lisa back to Canada. Although both have divorced for a long time, they remain as close friends as their son Terry still binds them together. Terry is an air steward who returns to Hong Kong a year ago to stay with Bong. He happens to meet Shirley at the airport and both have a chat.

They are actually lovers. Bong is a fireman and has been interviewed on television on fire safety. Thus Shirley teases him over it and even points out his mistakes. She intends to renovate her home and Bong offers to get his friends to help. But Shirley still cites that she is reconsidering and evades his suggestion of marriage. He doesn’t know why she behaves so.

Yee Mui sees the two shopping and gets nervous to ask Fong for details. Fong has disliked them to be together all along but still keeps it from Yee Mui. Coco’s Singaporean boyfriend, Gai is going to end his freshman term soon in the hospital. He is willing to stay in Hong Kong for her. Her colleagues congratulate her but she has no clue over it. She later learns that Gai has informed others his intention of marrying her. Shirley is overjoyed when Yee raises the issue of marriage.

Shirley goes to the temple with Yee Mui to pay respects to her late husband. Fong discovers that her father’s photo is torn and demands an explanation from the temple authorities. All decide to shift his tablet to another place. Bong accompanies Shirley to visit her father to know about this. He feels unhappy that she treats him as an outsider and both have a quarrel. (Who likes to be kept in the dark over such a serious matter? I completely agree with Bong’s opinion.)

Coco brings Terry and her friends to a discotheque to celebrate her coming wedding. Coco introduces her friend Candy to Terry. Both fall in love at first sight. But Terry is very westernized to bring girlfriends of different nationalities home. Coco worries for them, fearing that they will break up soon. (Her fears are not unfounded as they prove to be so later.)

Fong raises the issue of lowering the entertainment cost at work. Her supervisor, Maggie quarrels with her and even threatens to fire the staff. The other colleagues get frightened upon hearing that and push the blame to Fong. This angers her as she is put into a fix. She returns home with Chung for dinner.

Upon knowing that Shirley wants to renovate, buy a new flat and also getting 4 ancestral tablets, she starts talking back at her. Shirley feels that she is showing disrespect and reprimands her. (If you watch this scene, you will be startled by how defiant Fong is – none of us will dare to talk back at our own mothers this way.)

Fong storms away and Chung consoles her. Both are a loving couple but Fong is troubled on how to get the money to buy a tablet. Coco wishes to make a contribution but Gai seems that he is indifferent over it. He only wants her to keep his parents company when they arrive in Hong Kong. (This man’s selfish nature surfaces but Coco is too deeply in love to notice that.)

Fong did not take her wedding photos with Chung as they were in financial difficulties then. Fong incidentally notices that her colleagues have a nice wedding photo album and accompanies Coco to try her wedding gown. The handsome photographer, Jason is struck by Fong. (This scene is puzzling as Coco is the one trying the gown and not her but he is nevertheless attracted.)

He woos her and moves Fong – she has never experienced the courtship process when with Chung. Fong then realizes that love is sweet – she starts to divide her time between the two men. She comes up with excuses that she has to work overtime. Chung doesn’t take it to heart as he is into biology research too. (You will be pissed off by her attitude as she never shows signs of repent when lying to Chung.)

Terry doesn’t like to be tied down and still patronize the pubs at night. The overly suspicious Candy is unhappy with him and their relationship is on the rocks. Coco reprimands Terry for not taking things seriously while he points out that she rushes into marriage too easily. Terry doesn’t like to be under Candy’s control and decides to ask for a breakup.

Gai’s parents come to Hong Kong and his mother feels that Candy has no job prospects if she stays on. She should move to Singapore with them after marriage. Candy is unwilling to migrate. Parents from both sides meet and Shirley feels that they are proud despite being polite. Upon knowing their intention, she worries for Coco. (Seeing the two elderly mannerisms can surely scare everyone away. They sound nice but their thumping air shows that they MUST be obeyed.)

Bong bares his feelings to her and she is touched. Her late husband’s tablet is resettled. Fong goes to the gym with Jason and is wary when Jason announces to his friends that she is his girlfriend. Fong starts sewing for Chung and is cold to Jason’s telephone invitation. (I guess now, she finally fears that someone will get to know her affair as she wants to keep it under wraps. Jason also has no brains to show her off.)

Fong’s client passes a football jersey to her and she hands it over to Chung .But he doesn’t appreciate it. Thus she starts asking Jason out again. Suddenly, she gets Chung’s call to wish her to return home. This call makes her ponder over her relationship with Jason. She feels pressurized by him and thus wants to back out of their relationship. Jason misses her and refuses to give up. (Of course, he is deeply in love with her.)

Fong wishes to rekindle her family ties with Chung but he doesn’t value her. She finds it hard to manage and is disappointed. (Chung is a person who needs plenty of hints. It is partly Fong’s fault to drop him none.) It is mooncake festival and Shirley arrives home with Bong. Yee Mui accepts them but Gai doesn’t. (I start to find Gai a stick-in-the-mud.)

Chung passes by the bridal studio to discover Fong’s photo in a bridal gown. He also sees Jason’s handphone with their photos together. He asks her and she tries to explain. But he can’t accept it and decides to divorce her. He starts packing his things but Fong returns to Shirley instead. (All will pity him as he is completely shattered and badly affected.)
Gai feels that Coco’s family’s love problems are complicated and this disgraces him. He wants to hold their wedding in Singapore instead, not showing Coco any respect. Coco feels mad over it and decides to call off the wedding. She vents her anger on Fong and Shirley. The three quarrel and Fong breaks down in tears. (She is too pressurized by her own problem.)

Gai still boasts about himself in front of his colleagues. Coco can’t take it anymore and blurts that they have cancelled their wedding. (All should have seen Gai’s expression – it is as if that someone has just splashed mud all over his face. Yet he can’t deal with Coco openly as he has claimed to be a gentleman.)

Lisa has a job assignment and returns to Hong Kong with Terry. This makes Bong and Shirley embarrassed as they have started cohabiting. (It is quite puzzling to me on this part as I have thought that the conservative Shirley will never agree to this.) Shirley feels that she becomes an outsider with the three and returns home to stay.

Lisa can’t forget Bong all along and has parted with her boyfriend. She invites Bong and Shirley out for a meal. Bong puts all his attention on Shirley and neglects Lisa. Lisa detects that their relationship has ended. Fong seeks Chung’s forgiveness and moves back again. Lisa wishes them well through phone when both register their marriage. Coco only concentrates on her nursing career. Shirley and her daughters have overcome their difficulties in love lives to continue a new life.

Introduction on characters

1. Shirley - Chiu Ngar Chi
Her husband died of an illness and she takes over the responsibility to bring up her two daughters. She does sales on health products. After becoming a widow, she befriends Bong and both are interested in each other. But she is wary of her family’s opposition so she can’t make their relationship public because of this. To her, family matters the most. Without her family’s approval, marriage is the last thing on her mind.

Of course, Chiu’s beauty can’t be compared to her earlier days but her acting powers stays. As she also has her own children, she projects the image of Shirley well as a doting mother. I have waited for long for her to work with Chung Yan after ‘God Of Sabre’. (Maybe close to 20 years!) It took me so long to see them again and their chemistry is still strong.

2. Bong – Lau Chung Yan
He is a fireman and is a divorcee. But he manages to keep close relations with his ex-wife. But Terry is not brought up by him so both have a barrier between them. Thus he decides to make him stay with him after her remarriage. Initially, he is very Westernized while he is very traditional. They take a long time to smoothen out their differences. He is relieved when Terry doesn’t appose to him having a girlfriend. In fact, he is amused when Terry suggests tips to him!

Bong has wished to marry Shirley for a long time – he is overjoyed when she finally says yes to him. Chung Yan slips into any role given to him. I sympathsize with this man – he has waited for too long! Whenever he brings up the issue, she evades it. Who doesn’t feel upset when always to be the last person to know the happenings? Chung Yan shines as always in this fatherly and also dedicated lover.

3. Lai Fong – Kwok Oi Ming
She is Shirley’s elder daughter who is an accountant in a small factory. She marries Chung right after her university graduation. She believes in small family concept to change flat units frequently to upgrade. That is why the couple hardly have romantic moments together as both are very occupied with work. She is more involved in monetary issues to save up for the future.

Fong also upholds traditional values and dislike Shirley to like another man. When the chance pounces on her lap, she finally realizes how Shirley faces the struggle. She starts to lie her way through to enjoy the love from both men. But she is playing with fire – to get burned in the end. Even though she ends her affair and tries to make up to Chung, she finds him hardly a romantic and starts to miss Jason. That is why she returns to him. But after her affair is discovered and Chung leaves her, she finally knows what she needs.
Although Oi Ming seldom acts these days, her acting skills needs little toning as she can act with anyone from any country/station. This is the first time she gets such an unfavourable role but she still does well. But this station really needs to improve the make-up effects as she looks so unattractive and haggard. Even the wedding gown can’t bring out her supposed beauty.

4. Coco – Choi On Kiu
She is Shirley’s younger daughter who is a nurse under training. She can be pure and innocent but she doesn’t hold strict values like Lai Fong as she is much younger than her. Lai Fong is born in the 80s while she is born in the 90s. They belong to two entirely different worlds. She has grown up with Terry and both are as close as siblings. This is weird that she isn’t that close to her own sister as she finds it hard to communicate with her.

Although she is younger, she is more matured than him. Both have endless topics to chat about. She is in the process of marrying Gai when she discovers that they have conflicting issues. Thus, she has no regrets breaking up with him. As a person who stands by her beliefs, she will not give in easily. I have not seen this actress before but I must say that she acts fairly well.

5. Mun Chung – Tse Kuan Ho
He is Lai Fong’s husband and gives in to her all the time. Both have been a loving couple all along and he puts most of his time on biological research, neglecting her. He is not that uptight with money and wonders why she chooses to slog so hard. He has ignored the basic necessities of life and seems to be deprived of most feelings due to this. Upon knowing that Lai Fong has an affair, he suggests a divorce but he is very forgiving to let her return later.

Although his role is a simple man who seems not to have any ambition in life, he is a 100% family man who makes a good son and husband. He is calm when dealing to other family issues when he faces a dilemma on his own, he is put into a fix.

When has this golden horse best actor winner and well acclaimed stage actor failed us? Unlike the glamourous clothes designer in ‘Dream of colours‘, he dresses simply – most of the time in t-shirts and jeans with Ekin’s lengthy hair. But he still manages to stand out from a crowd.

6. Terry – Yan Chi Wai
He is Bong’s son and is an air steward. Unlike the introvert Bong, he is outgoing. Bong is very amused when he treats him more like an elder brother than his father. He has lots of women and he doesn’t like being tied down. Bong frowns whenever he brings different women home but he doesn’t want any change.

But he treats his future sisters as his true siblings. Chi Wai is raised up overseas. Thus he behaves like a Caucasian as he does have the young, dangerous and rebellious look. However, this can be his shortcoming as he is often stereotyped as the liberal guy.

7. Candy – Higuchi Asuka
She is Coco’s close friend who treats relationships seriously. In fact, she will disallow Terry to still enjoy nightlife after knowing her. She will keep tabs on him till he can’t take it. That is why both break up. If any man has her as a girlfriend, he will be in dire straits because there is hardly a moment of freedom as she keeps calling her boyfriend and insists to know who he is with.

It is surprising that Kwan ropes in a Japanese for this role. But she is able to take off smoothly and blends well with the cast.

8. Gai – Wang Chong Wei
He is Coco’s fiancé who is a doctor. He is willing to stay for Coco in Hong Kong although he is a Singaporean but he is very full of himself. He wants his other half to have a ‘clean record’ so he is very displeased with Coco’s family having complicated relationships.

All Singaporeans will find him a disgrace if this man turns out to be true in life. He is a 100% snob and a MCP. If he really looks down on Coco’s status, he should have wooed other nurses or get someone close to his status in the first place. The words that he snaps at others can be cut-throat hurting. Although Wang has acted in some TCS dramas, he is still raw as compared to others.

9. Jason – Zhang Rui Zhe
He is a handsome photographer and it is love at first sight for him. Although Coco is the one getting married, he manages to persuade Fong to be his model to take a wedding photo. Since then, he can’t stop looking at it and seduces her to be unfaithful to Chung. He has never thought that he is in the wrong as he believes that everyone has the right to pursue true love.

He is a caring and sensitive new age guy as this trait is required in his line of work. His charm is irresistible so Lai Fong falls for him helplessly. But relationships wise, he is unable to handle them up. He wrecks up Fong’s marriage and hopes that she will marry him.

10. Choy – Ho Wah Chiu
He is considered to be Bong and Shirley’s matchmaker. He is Bong’s colleague and good friend. He introduces him to Shirley, intending to make her remarry and not become lonely when old.

11. Yee Mui – Chan Kit Ling
She is Shirley’s sister-in-law. Unlike other oldish aunts, she is very trendy in dressing. In fact, Fong frowns whenever Yee Mui dyes her hair while she herself doesn’t. Still, Yee Mui upholds traditional values and believes that Shirley should stick to her late brother even though he isn’t around. Somehow, I feel that she is the one to influence Fong not to allow Shirley to remarry.

She is also nosey to keep probing into everyone’s affairs. I have never seen her acting before although I’ve seen and heard her singing in ‘Fei Wong’ concert. She is extremely funny here with her comical dialogues. It is a pity that she isn’t given a chance to sing any themesong for this drama.

12. Liza – Ng Yin Ngai
She is Bong’s ex-wife. She goes for another man to migrate to Canada – giving Terry to Bong. She can be very irresponsible. Sometimes, all will feel that Terry takes after her. But on second thoughts, she discovers that her ex-husband is still the best and thus she returns for him. Although this famous movie star has retired for many years, she is still strong in acting. She is very attractive with her mixed Caucasian looks. She is best when acting with Chi Wai. That is because she is his mother in real life!

Favourite character

Bong, he has been the self-sacrificing lover for a long time. He is also attentive to his son. No one can deny that he has been doing both duties well.

Most hated character

Fong. She is born in the 80s but I find that her mindset belongs to the 50s. Her thinking is even more traditional than Yee Mui. How can she deny her mother of her happiness? She is utterly selfish and thinks for herself – not for others. She only knows how to depress her mother with sharp remarks. Only when she has an affair, she can lie to Chung without blinking. I definitely detest her act.

The runner up is Liza – she is in the wrong in the first place. It is a miracle that her ex-husband and son do not blame her for her infidelity. They are very noble and overly gracious.


The song is ‘I only care about you’ . It is an old song by the late famous Taiwanese singer, Deng Li Jun but it is a new version of her with veteran action actor, Shing Long. He has missed this friend for long and has come up with this idea of cutting clips of them together, injecting new life to it by mixing some new lyrics and tunes. I normally detest the horrid idea of remixing but this attempt is a good one.

I am not sure if many get the chance to watch the clip. But it shows that both people did care for each other in the past. A song which is very suitable for lovers – it is well written and also brings out the love between couples well. It definitely suits the drama well – on how they love one another.


It is a pity that this drama doesn’t get enough promotion to project a big impact into the audience’s memory. Kwan is very experienced in shooting ‘feminine movies’. There is no exception for this one. The director is used to shoot movies that he has brought the techniques in shooting this drama. With a strong cast, it shows well the choices in a marriage – regardless of tears, joy, anger and fear.

The acting is above average although this is also the first time they work together. I pretty much like all the characters in the show; particularly Chan Kit Ling’s Yee Mui. Her dialogues are often extremely humourous. Although it seems that Yee Mui opposes most to Shirley dating again, she is the bridge to shorten the gap between Shirley and Fong. She is faster than Fong to straighten her thoughts to wish Shirley and Bong well.

It has a very good story exposing the difficulties of an elder woman in Hong Kong with a combination and East and West philosophies and cultures. It also shows how tough women face love struggles in their lives to make tough choices. It may appeal more to the female audience. The whole cast is good – this proves that looks doesn’t really matter. They come from different countries (Japan, Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong.) but they manage to mingle well with each other. Thus credits must be given to them.

Sukting’s ratings :

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

On story : *** (Scale of 5)

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

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