To Grow With Love


Reviewed by: AngryBaby

November 27, 2006

Rating: one

The Main Story

This is the story of a girl named Fat Meadow (Myolie Wu) and her noble quest for true love. She was in her mid-20's, a single daughter of a very rich man and lived in the Philippines. Since she lived off her father, never needing to earn a dollar, she was free to indulge in every eating whim, dress in the nicest clothes, fancy herself a talented seamstress and most importantly, had the time to entertain herself with nonsensical fantasies of love. With her rich Daddy she would've been a desirable catch except she had one problem - she was fat.

Now this wouldn't have been a problem for any other girl except her father realized his daughter had been surrounded by servants all her life and so spoilt she wouldn't have been able to survive in the real world. So he introduced respectable young men to her, in particular one gentleman Kenneth Ma (can't remember his name in the series). But Fat Meadow brushed them aside and would only marry her one true love. After making a very good guess that her one and only would be Chinese and lived in Hong Kong – she went to find him.

On the plane, she sat next to a fashion designer called Hei (Andy Hui) and annoyed him for the whole trip, talking to her Dad loudly with puppets like a five-year-old. Once there she leeched onto her cousin and after several weeks of wandering around aimlessly, she came up with the brilliant plan of finding her true love by graffiting an advertisement – drawing petals of sunflowers facing the sun. So if her prince happened to pass by he would also feel the need to deface the wall by drawing stalks to complete the flowers.

This person turned out to be the guy she had been annoying on the plane - Hei. Now Hei already had a long-term girlfriend, Rachel, who used to be a model and had worked hard to become sales manager of the company to prove that she was more than looks. They were very happy and well-suited, but that didn't stop Fat Meadow from believing that he belonged to her and soon had convinced herself and those around her ('mo liew' enough to join in with her) that she was the sorry victim of the whole situation.

Fat Meadow used connections of another well-meaning guy, Matthew (whom she had been toying with) and managed to get a job with Hei's designer company. She spent her time daydreaming whilst others were trying to teach her, running off from work whenever she felt like it and generally being a pest for Hei, including deleting his project designs and thinking it was quite funny.

After a while it was evident Fat Meadow wasn't made to work in fashion design and Hei realised the company couldn't keep her. But recognising her good intentions, he kindheartedly spent a lot of time teaching her (boy was it painful) and preparing her for another job. Rachel understood and was considerate enough for him to continue to spend time with another girl.

Fat Meadow than wedged herself between Hei and Rachel by revealing to Rachel how her boyfriend had been sharing his unhappy moments with her - when really he was just drunk and she happened to be there to drag him home. Although this caused arguments between the couple it didn't seem to do the trick, so when Fat Meadow's Dad came over to check on his daughter, Fat Meadow decided to lie to her father and set up a trap for Hei in which she announced to the world that he was her boyfriend.

So when Fat Meadow's Dad saw Hei making amends with Rachel he thought he was cheating on his daughter and punched him to the ground. In front of a crowd, poor bewildered Hei copped a verbal thrashing whilst his girlfriend ran off in tears. You can imagine how absolutely livid with anger Hei was when he met Fat Meadow again. In their confrontation, he truthfully told her how he only helped her because she wasn't suited for her job and that because of her size she didn't have the right to wear the clothes he designed (since he only designed them for skinny people).

Poor poor Fat Meadow what did she do to deserve all this? Even though it's true, how dare he tell her she was fat? So what if he had a girlfriend, how dare he reject her? Feeling bitter and cheated (for some reason) she runs back to her rich Daddy and spends a while nursing her broken heart with a little bit more idleness and food binges.

With her gone, everyone goes back to happy normal lives, with Hei and Rachel together again. Soon however Rachel is sent to Philippines on a project. Hei travels there to surprise her and goes to a jewellery shop to get her a present where he meets Kenneth. However the two get involved in a car accident and Hei wakes up in a hospital having lost all his memory. Fat Meadow hears that Kenneth is in a coma because of her and comes to visit – only to totally forget about him after she realises Hei was also there.

So this poor guy just recovering from a bad accident, stranded in a foreign country, all alone in a place where he knew nobody and having no idea who he was – who could blame Fat Meadow for taking advantage of him? Why should she even think of calling his family or girlfriend in Hong Kong to let them know what happened to him? She tells Hei that she is his girlfriend and him, being fully dependent on her, takes the bait. Fat Meadow's friends arrive at the Philippines to join the bullying. They have a lot of fun tormenting him with Fat Meadow playing the abusive girlfriend and forcing him eat non-stop. Hei seems to like this sadistic relationship and develops real feelings for Fat Meadow. After he gains weight Fat Meadow gets bored with this game and decides she wants to play 'victim' again. So she notifies Rachel to come and collect her overweight boyfriend. Meanwhile Hei recovers his memory, realizes the nightmare he's been in and well you can imagine the colourful things he said to Fat Meadow before going back to Hong Kong.

Fat Meadow is not to be beaten and also returns to Hong Kong to wreak a bit more havoc. To her credit, she manages to do a runner at the alter and break Kenneth's heart in front of his family and friends for the Nth time, wreck another wedding and best of all – break off Hei and Rachel's engagement by stealing the fiancé whilst acting as their wedding planner. Talk about wrong career move.

To put the icing on her cake, Fat Meadow and Hei decide to invade Rachel's apartment together and tell her she was dumped after 4 years of relationship. Rachel was gracious enough to realize what they didn't have the guts to say to her face and retained her composure. Although broken-hearted, she didn't throw a tantrum (which she had every right to) and all she asked Hei to do for her was to do what was give up his design of large sized clothing for the good of the company.

Without a hint of guilt or sadness Hei refuses and continues his designs, working hard to make his line of fat clothes a success which for some reason would prove to Fat Meadow that she was someone of worth! After a lot of over the top corny scenes between Hei and Fat Meadow (designed to make viewers gag and froth in the mouth), Hei decides to hand his ownership of the company to those who really cared about it (Rachel and his partner), probably because he realized he could live off Fat Meadow's inheritance. Fat Meadow marries Hei in her dream wedding and they lived happily ever after.*

Oh and Kenneth survives his coma, not that it matters so long as Fat Meadow gets her true love!

*Disclaimer: Not quite sure about 'ever after' as in the last scene Fat Meadow is thrown quite high in the air and I question whether Hei, standing underneath, realised what he was up against when she comes crashing down – don't really care he was the one who threw her up, just hope the other guests get out of the way

Moral of the Story:
You don't need to be skinny and beautiful, you can be fat, below average and still be a selfish cow.

FAQs:

Question: Is this synopsis approved by TVB?

Answer: No, it's not endorsed by TVB but you will find it quite faithful to the facts.

Question: Is there a better title translation than "to grow with love"

Answer: Yeah, if you directly translate the Chinese and put an accent on the last character you'll get "Fat Meadow builds sh*t"

Question: Why are you so slack to Fat Meadow, what's wrong with overweight people?

Answer:
For Myolie diehard fans - Just imagine that Fat Meadow isn't Myolie, just an average girl and not overweight, can you really say that she wasn't one of the most self-centred, meddling, annoying character you've watched? For other viewers - NOTHING is wrong with people of a healthy size or being overweight – but realize this series says that if you are overweight, you deserve more sympathy and better treatment from everyone else.

Question: You missed out on the bit where Rachel is evil at the end?

Answer: Yes, I chose to ignore that split second of 'evilness' as it was clearly out character and appears to be a last minute desperate attempt by script writers to taint her and justify Hei and Fat Meadow - well it seems they gave up trying anyway.

Question: Why did Andy agree to this role?

Answer: Don't think he read the script properly

Question: Why didn't TVB give an award for this series or to Myolie?

Answer: They read the script properly and realized it would look too dodgy to give an award even for TVB fixing standards.

Acting/ Costume/ Sets:
Not worth talking about.


Conclusion:
I don't understand how it could go so wrong, TVB had Bridget Jones and Kim Sam Soon they could basically just reproduce a Chinese version. The new standard for lead characters appear to be "do whatever you feel like and don't worry about anyone else; it's their fault for getting in your way".

Massive amount of media hype, huge amount of my time gone, big star wasted, average songs, written by small talent, little substance and a smidgeon of entertainment.


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