The Family


Reviewed by: sukting

November 28, 2009

Rating: three

Foreword
This is a memorable drama by Cheng Yuk Ling and the late Tang Bik Wan. It also offers a strong cast that you will not see today. Are you interested to watch it?

Story/Introduction on characters

1. Ko Tin Kum – Kwan Hoi San
He and his friend, Lam Wai Sum smuggle drugs as they are the underworld bosses. They are suddenly ambushed by the police. Wai Sum is killed while Tin Kum escapes overseas. He returns to Hong Kong after 10 years to get united with his family.

His ancestors have a plot of land at Lantau Island. A Japanese property firm buys over the land to develop it into a hotel resort so he becomes rich overnight. He doesn’t like Gai Yuen’s braggart behaviour so he gets Kai Wah back to set up an estate management company. Tin Kum leaves all his fortune to Gai Hua. He gets to learn that Mei Gei’s baby belongs to Kin. He knows that he has little chance of winning his drug case so he kills himself.

2. Ng Wai Fong – Tang Bik Wan
She is a loving mother. Knowing that Gai Wah truly loves Yuk San, she helps to persuade Tin Kum to change his mind. She tries very hard to help Gai Yuen to get along with his siblings but he will not listen to her. She is heartbroken when Gai Yuen and Gai Mun fall out because of the will. She is contented when they finally patch up.

3. Cheung Kwai Ying – Heung Yee
She is Wai Sum’s wife who is badly affected by his death. She suspects that he is betrayed by Tin Kum. Whenever she appears, she has a horde of gangsters with her. Seeing that Kin can’t be a lawyer anymore, she wants to hand over the illegal business to him. She feels that Kin is too much to frame Gai Piew especially after knowing the truth but he doesn’t think so. Upon knowing that he has gone extreme, she doesn’t allow her men to take orders from him anymore.

4. Ko Gai Yuen – Chan Yan Kin
He is the first son who is a womanizer. He is a thick-skinned person who borrows money from Tin Kum’s friends so he has to settle the mess for him. He feels threatened when Gai Wah manages the business with him. He is pleased when Tin Kum scolds Gai Wah for going out with Yuk San but is dismayed when Tin Kum also scolds him for disregarding brotherhood.

He gets jealous and reveals the news of Gai Wah’s secret intention to develop a piece of land. Thus he looks for ways to sabotage him. He has never been happier to see workers go on strike. He is even more happier to know that Gai Wah becomes wheelchair bound. Upon knowing that the beneficiary is Gai Wah, he frames the lawyer to sleep with an under aged girl to force him to change to him. Gai Wah feels weird that this happens and this makes Gai Mun to check on it.

Cheong sends killers to pretend to assassinate the lawyer so the lawyer offers to clear the air out of rage. Gai Yuen forces Gai Wah to resign after his other family members move out as they can’t stand his act. He later loses the case when his act is discovered and runs into debts. He learns that Kin is responsible for all this and attacks him. But it is too late and he is jailed for 5 years. He requests Gai Mun and Kwai Fong to take care of Mei Gei. They forgive him and agree to his request after seeing that he knows his mistake. The whole family is in peace again when they are together.

5. Ko Gai Wah – Lam Kar Wah
He is the second son who works overseas after his graduation. He returns due to Tin Kum’s request. Even though he and Yuk san learn of the feud between their families, they have no intention to stop seeing each other. He leaves an important document on his desk before rushing off to register his marriage with Yuk San. Only Gai Mun and Zak Sang are their witnesses as they do not let their parents know about it.

The two families are stunned upon getting the news. Onl y Kwai Ying is overjoyed over it. Gai Wah returns to work to discover that the document actually informs him that the crane is malfunctioning. He is too late and a few workers are dead at the construction site. Their families refuse to accept the compensation and drive them away.

An employee loses his job and becomes mentally-unbalanced. Gai Yuen lures him to deal with Gai Wah. This man arms with a gun and shoots him at the back. He is then wheelchair bound from then on.

6. Ko Gai Mun – Cheng Yuk Ling
She is the only daughter who becomes a PR officer after her university graduation. She takes over the company after Gai Wah is hospitalized and discovers cases of bribery. She then seeks redress for those who have suffered with Cheong’s help.

7. Ko Gai Piew – Yim Chau Wah
He is the youngest son who is jobless after his secondary school education. He is deceived to burn cars and does not dare to return home as photographs of his act are taken. Kin learns it from Mei Gei and pretends to want to help him. He tricks him to keep tabs on his own family’s phone so that Kin will know their movements. Thanks to him, he learns about Tin Kum’s illegal activities.

Tin Kum learns of Gai Piew’s act and beats him up badly. Kin kills his girlfriend and frames him. Gai Piew is sentenced to jail. He learns of Tin Kum’s death while serving his sentence and informs Gai Mun that Kin is behind this. Knowing that Gai Mun is very revengeful, he warns her not to offend the Lams.

8. Lam Kin – Wong Kum Sum
He is Wai Sum’s only son who believes that Tin Kum is responsible for his father’s death too. He is badly affected and vows to seek revenge to get rid of all the Kos. He studies hard to become a lawyer and encourages Yuk San to be with Gai Wah.

Tin Kum’s company causes some deaths at the construction site. Gai Yuen sends an anonymous letter to Kin, wanting $5000 for information exchange. Kin then decides to take up the case to sue the Kos. Even though Tin Kum sends Gai Yuen to speak to him to settle the matter out of court, Kin rejects him till Yuk San asks him to help.

Kwai Ying blames Kin for being so forgiving to only ask for compensation from Tin Kum to close the case. Kin tells her that he needs time for revenge. Seeing that Mei Gei is lonely at the reception that Gai Wah plans in attracting customers, he seduces her to go to bed with him. He also throws away the anti-pregnancy pills away in secret. He calls Gai Yuen to tell him that Mei Gei is sleeping with a man. But he doesn’t expect this to cause Yuk San’s miscarriage indirectly.

Kin wants to start drug dealings with Tin Kum’s old friend, Gau after Tin Kum refuses to work with Tin Kum. Little does he know that Gai Yuen has conspired with Cheong. Gai Yuen records the conversation and later, Kin is arrested for Gau’s death when the tape is sent to the police. Luckily, there isn’t enough evidence against him and he is released.

He knows that Gai Yuen doesn’t get along with Gai Wah so he instills rivalry between them. Gai Yuen then instigates Gau’s subordinates to deal with Kin. Kin loses his lawyer license. He calls the police to arrest Tin Kum after knowing that he has drug deals with his ex-gang member. Even though Gai Yuen is in jail, he isn’t satisfied. He wants to bribe a gangster to torture him in jail but the man refuses as he is Cheong’s friend. Cheong later kills Kin and he himself is killed by the police.

9. Lam Yuk San – Liu On Lai
She is Wai Sum’s younger daughter and studies overseas. She befriends Gai Wah and becomes his girlfriend. Both return together and Tin Kum mistakens that she is the one who reveals their secrets to Kin. Seeing her being wronged for many times, Gai Wah suggests migrating overseas but they still stay due to their families. She is pregnant but has a miscarriage to fall down the stairs when Gai Yuen knocks into her.

She is badly affected and wants to move out of the family but Gai Wah is hesitant. Kwai Ying then brings her home but she is beside Gai Wah after his ordeal.

10. Chow Cheong – Cheung Lui
He is Tin Kum’s foster son who helps him in his illegal business. Seeing how Gai Yuen is attacked by his mistress’s husband, he shields him like his bodyguard but he only stuffs him money to see a doctor. Knowing that Mei Gei leaves home after quarreling with Gai Yuen, he gets her home but Gai Yuen wrongs him by thinking that he has designs on his wife.

Gai Mun intends to get Zak Sang to sue a magazine agency for deframing her. She has not said that Tin Kum gets rich through illegal means but it claims to be so. Zak Sang dissuades her as she has a low chance of winning. Cheong overhears this and beats the editor up.

Tin Kum entrusts him to protect a witness who can prove that he doesn’t cause Wai Sum’s death. However, he is killed and Cheong is framed of killing him. Zak Sang manages to clear his name but he leaves the Kos in guilt. He still helps Tin Kum in drug smuggling activities but his mission fails to land Tin Kum to get arrested. He then agrees to help Gai Mun to avenge for Tin Kum after his death but he pays with his life. He manages to let Gai Mun know about his love for her before his death.

11. Lo Mei Gei – Yiu Wai
She is Gai Yuen’s wife who only goes after material comforts. She knows of Gai Yuen’s philandering ways all along and is often sarcastic to him. She feels threatened when Yuk San marries into the family as she is childless. Even more so when Yuk San becomes pregnant. She is sarcastic to Gai Yuen and is beaten up by him. Her younger sister then finds a friend to sell a baby to her.

Her friend calls the Kos to look for Mei Gei but she is not around. Yuk San receives the call and happens to know about the whole matter. She promises to keep it a secret. But Cheong happens to see her and informs Gai Yuen. She creates a scene and others also get to know the truth. She later learns that she has wronged Yuk San. She becomes Kin’s mistress and discovers that she is pregnant.

Kin digs fun at her and lets Gai Yuen know about it. She later moves out of home to stay with Kin. She is touched when Kwai Fong is still concerned towards her and detects that Kin is an evil man. She moves out and meets Gai Yuen. Both are regretful of their actions.

12. Lee Lan Sai – Cheng Hor Wai
She is Gai Yuen’s mistress who has initially broken up with him but returns to him due to his insistence. She ends up becoming Gai Wah’s secretary to spy for him. Gai Yuen asks for the document for the crane malfunction. She steals it for him to photocopy. But she discovers the harm he has done to others. Guilty-stricken, she intends to tell Tin Kum the truth. Gai Yuen tries stopping her car but she has confesses everything to Tin Kum. So Tin Kum holds Gai Yuen responsible to close the case.

13. Ng Zak Sang – Shek Sau
He is Gai Mun’s lawyer friend. He helps Gai Mun in many areas except the construction tragedy case. Knowing that Tin Kum needs someone to bail him out, he readily helps him. He also uses his wits to rescue Gai Mun when she and Gai Wah are being held hostage by a mad man.

Favourite character
Gai Wah – he makes too many sacrifices for his family.

Most hated character
Kin, even though he knows the truth, he will not stop. I have a feeling that Cheung Chi Lek in ‘At the threshold of an era’ is exactly like him.

Song
The themesong is ‘I am accompanied by the wind and storm’ 風霜伴我行by the late famous Taiwanese singer, Deng Li Jun. This is only Cantonese themesong that she does for TVB and is fondly remembered after all this years. She had tried very hard to make the dictation as accurate as possible so thumbs up for her efforts!

Conclusion

Lately, I am quite frightened to walk past my neighbour’s flat. (Just a joke) She would keep on asking me to write on old drama reviews but my memory of them is really vague. This is one of them as both of us sang it in karaoke. But her being an excellent story-teller, she rekindled my interest to write on it.

I must say that themesong has overshadowed the drama. The karaoke clip we sang had scenes from the drama. It was a perfect match but the story falters towards the end. I don’t think a person can be so unreasonable to this extent. The part on both families always cutting throat at each other can be boring at times. However, the cast saves the day with their excellent acting. If not, it will remain to be a lower than average drama.

Sukting’s ratings :

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

On story : *** (Scale of 5)

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


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