The Family Link


Reviewed by: sukting

January 16, 2010

Rating: three-point-five

Foreword
It is a story on housewives. Do you wish to see how they achieve success without their husbands?

Story/Introduction on characters

1. Mung Ka Ka – Tng Sui Man
She gives birth to twins, Fong and Dat. She gets depression when Mai comes to stay over and suspecting Yim Jo to be a transvestite upon seeing him in female dressing on the street. Her breathing nearly stops upon sneaking to see him dancing in women clothes at his studio. This disturbs her so much when she tries to be hot with him in vain in bed and suffers from depression.

Upon knowing that he intends to resign to go into full time dancing, she opposes strongly. She is even willing to eat the humble pie and behaves like Mui Heung’s maid when attending to her guests at her new home so that Yim Jo can get his job back. She nearly wants to divorce him as she finds that they can’t communicate and they are in cold war as he moves out but they patch up later.

2. Fong Yim Jo – Tse Tin Wah
He is Ka Ka’s husband. He is a salesman and is Gum Biu’s subordinate. He finds that he isn’t cut out for the job and his passion is still dancing. To release stress, he works in a nightclub through cross-dressing. He forms a group with his subordinate and also 2 of Sing Chun’s employees.

After a dispute with a client who insults him when happens to see his photos taken at the pub, he quits and decides to go into full-time dancing. Ka Ka blames him for being selfish and not to consider for their family. He has considered of returning to his salesman job in order to keep his family intact but Ka Ka encourages him to pursue his dream. They are reunited after he performs on television. He changes the lyrics in ‘Monica’ to ‘Mong Ka Ka’ on stage to leave her touched.

3. Fong Mai – Yu Tze Ming
He stays with his elder son initially in Hawaii. After causing his son’s house to burn down when he tries to fix a bulb, he moves to stay with Yim Jo. He is a dangerous person to stay with. He often picks up unwanted furniture from the streets, wanting to save money by fixing them at home. However, he causes noise pollution to others and hurts himself in the process. Yim Jo’s home nearly burns down in the process and luckily his elder brother gives him an early warning. He is later helpful in taking care of his grandchildren.

4. Ding Mui Heung – Yip Tong
She has a daughter, Tin Nah. She once lives in a huge private apartment but has to move into the ordinary estate when Gum Biu’s business goes bust. Unlike the other two, she is more stylish and particular in her dressing. She looks older than Gum Biu but prides herself to be his first lady to call herself Hilary. She feels threatened when Angela comes close to Gum Biu. Thus, she dolls herself up with to attend their alumini meetup.

A girl is close to Angela by addressing her as ‘elder sister’ but not to her as she scolds her for calling her auntie. She falls into the pool and her make-up is ruined, scaring everyone. Knowing that Gum Biu needs to get a big contract signed by her, she bears with it as Angela invites him to sign it at her villa. Upon knowing that she wants to seduce him, she charges in and ruins his chance but he doesn’t mind it.

Her untrusting of him to rekindle their flame makes her drunk and nearly spends a night with a gigolo. She suspects Gum Biu of transferring a venereal disease with her by sleeping with Angela while Gum Biu insists that she is the one. This causes their marriage to break up as they sign the divorce papers impulsively. Both get married again and have their second honeymoon. She learns the truth when meeting Angela at the airport but the couple does not blame her.

5. Cheuk Gum Biu – Kwok Cheng Hung
He is Mui Heung’s husband who looks youthful and fit at his age as he often visits the gym. He may seem unscrupulous at times to gain success, unlike Yim Jo who is overly honest. He and Yim Jo work in the same company but his team’s sales are often better than his.

Angela is his ex who rejects him when he woos her in the past. Although she is attractive to him, he keeps reminding himself that he is married and places their family photo in his wallet. Angela tries all means to get him into bed with her. He does have the urge after drinking red wine and luckily Siu Man saves him out by pretending to be his mistress.

He is sad when his marriage doesn’t work and chides Mui Heung when Tin Nah suffers from depression due to their quarrels and Mui Heung getting her to learn piano or dancing which she dislikes. She loves to play soccer with the boys and he helps her to get into the soccer team. Both reunite later as they can’t live without each other.

6. Mrs Cheuk – Lee Fung
She is more like the housewife in the family doing everything for the couple. She is not that happy with Mui Heung. She is at loggerheads with Mai when he causes her to trip and fall. Both become friends when he helps her again as she sprains her ankle.

7. Ko Wing Kuen – Chiang Dai Wai
He is a retired health inspector who takes care of his young daughter after his wife’s death. He doesn’t think highly of the housewives as he finds them too petty to bargain. He also refuses to listen to the advice they give. Later, he finds that they are right to call him a fool of shopping at a more expensive store. If this goes on, he is going to lose all his pension in no time. He learns the ropes from Ka Ka to become a househusband and she also teaches him on how to take care of his daughter.

He notices that Ka Ka has depression and helps her to get out of it. He has gone through this process when losing his wife. He invests in their co-op and helps them to manage their finances. He supports them of going topless to improve their business. He finds himself falling for her but she rejects him as her heart still stays with Yim Jo.

8. Shu Siu Man – Tong Ning
She is Wing Kuen’s sister-in-law. She is a beautician but is a loafer. She doesn’t stay on a job for long. As her parents move to stay in China, she stays with Wing Kuen. She only provides him a little money for rent. Her good friend, Yo Yo commits suicide and dies. Yo Yo and Siu Man are as close as sisters. She has taken the blame for Yo Yo to get arrested in the U.S. when Yo Yo has drugs on her. She suspects Sing Chun of murdering her. She causes trouble at his eatery and forces him to give her a share of the eatery.

He obliges but forces her to work at his eatery. This way of training her to work hard for him within a week changes her to be hardworking and she starts to open her beauty salon at Wing Kuen’s home. She has also thought that the housewives spread ugly rumours of Yo Yo of being unfaithful to Sing Chun to cause her death. Thus, she shifts their attention to suspect their own husbands. They can find nothing as both deny. They only have business dealings with her in getting their new car and hi-fi set.

She discovers that she has wronged Sing Chun and starts to like him. She also becomes the housewives’ friend after learning that Yo Yo is indeed involved with a man. Sing Chun allows the housewives to use his farm crops. Both intend to migrate to the U.S. till she discovers the truth of her elder brother’s disappearance and Yo Yo’s death. She waits for his release while working at the co-op.

9. Cho Mei Ngor – Sheung Tin Ngor
She has a son Ping On who is average in studies but outstanding in sports. She doesn’t apply pressure on him as like the other two to send him to tuition classes as she isn’t well off. There is a funny scene when Dai Ha only gives her half the allowance. Thus, everything is halved for dinner – including the fish. She also warns Dai Ha only to watch television for an hour to save electricity. She also collects sauce from the eatery and shares breakfast with Ping On. She takes leftover vegetables from the market too.

Dai Ha leaves a big burden of debt of her to clear when he escapes to China. Her friends help her to save money by buying groceries together. Leaving her no choice, she lies to get government aid. She is crushed upon learning that Dai Ha has a mistress. The mistress threatens to tell the police about her deed. She is soft-hearted to even offer the mistress money but she is enraged to know that she isn’t pregnant. Initially gullible, she becomes firm later. Seeing how much she has suffered, Dai Ha finally returns to her.

10. Ma Dai Ha – Oi Wai
He is a housing contractor who has irregular income. When owing his employees money, he flees to China to leave all the troubles to Mei Ngor. He is hurt by his debtors in China. A woman saves him and becomes his mistress. He returns to Hong Kong and enjoys the best of both worlds. His mistress deceives him that she is pregnant and wants him to divorce Mei Ngor. He later learns that he is cheated and returns to Mei Ngor.

11. Kum Sing Chun – Ma Kok Ming
He is an eatery owner. Siu Man suspects that he murders Yo Yo for the money. He bears with Siu Man as she has done a lot for Yo Yo but he later becomes very strict with her. Both become a couple but he has hidden a fact from the others regarding Yo Yo’s death and Siu Man’s brother’s disappearance. Yo Yo is lonely as he is often in China. She gets drunk one night and goes into bed with Siu Man’s elder brother.

She regrets her action and wants to have a break up with him but he keeps harassing her. During an argument, Yo Yo stabs him to death. Sing Chun buries the body in his farm but Yo Yo feels too remorseful to face him so she kills herself. He intends to hide this secret to his grave but the housewives and Siu Man have suspected him of killing Yo Yo so he has to tell them the truth. After they promise to keep it a secret, he surrenders himself to the police and is released a year later.

12. Angela – Chan Fa La
She is Gum Piu’s ex who is a rich electrical appliance merchant’s daughter. She regrets rejecting him and tries to get close to him so that he can divorce Mui Heung. There is once she wants him to apply sunblock on her back when the whole company is having fun on a yacht. Not wanting to make Mui Heung misunderstand him, he applies on everyone’s back – regardless of gender except her. That makes her annoyed.

She ruins all their chances of reconciling and they end up divorcing each other. However, Gum Piu only maintains a good business relationship with her. How did the two get venereal disease when they do not sleep with anyone else? Angela is upset when knowing that Siu Man is Gum Piu’s mistress. She goes on holiday and goes to bed with a man by impulse. He passes the disease to her.

She overhears Mui Heung telling the others that she has tricked her. She is enraged and vows to seek revenge. She takes Gum Piu to a hotel room when he is drunk. She gets him to have a bath. She has switched the bath towel in the toilet to pass the disease to him although both have not slept together. The two women meet at the same clinic later. This is the day for Mui Heung to have the checkup while she is finally cleared of the disease. When the air is cleared, she is moved that both forgive her to chase the men away for her when he pesters her at the airport.

Favourite character
Ka Ka, she faces the most pressure but she is able to overcome all.

Most hated character
Angela, she is a slut indeed. She is very confident that she will win but she has neglected Gum Piu’s reliance and fidelity towards his family.

Song
The themesong is ‘Half of the sky’ by Yeung Chin Wah. Only passable.

Conclusion

The drama received an average episode rating of 32.4 (approx. 2.1 million viewers). Its single highest episode rating was 42. Tang and Tse worked best as they had worked in La Femme Seperado in 2006 before.

Bravo to the actresses who are neither housewives nor mothers in real life. Yet, they project the image of homemakers so strongly with minimal makeup. Have fun seeing them bargaining and comparing prices in markets and supermarkets. They can endure any hardship for the sake of their children.

Determined to make their co-op of selling natural organic products a success, they decide to go ‘nude’, causing an uproar in the neighbourhood. This also scares all their husbands and they try in vain to change their minds. Actually, it is only topless to bring out their shop concept. It becomes well received and they are proud after that. Who says that housewives have no ideals? They have besides taking care of their family.

There is another scene that set minds thinking. The two families go for their checkups. All turn out well except the housewives. They have focused their attention on the others but neglect themselves. This shows the sacrifices all mothers have made for their families. The supporting cast also did a marvelous job. How I wish TVB can produce more family dramas!

Sukting’s ratings :

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

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

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


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