To Love With Love


Reviewed by: sukting

December 17, 2008

Rating: two

How long
20 episodes

Foreword
It is a success story on how a woman gains success although she faces many setbacks. She isn't accepted by her husband's family initially but later gets their recognition and even opens a dumpling shop.

Story/Introduction on characters

1. Yu Chi Fung – Ho Bo Sang
He stays in Wai village and is back after completing his degree overseas. He manages the family restaurant and has a headache when his staff is poached by another restaurant. Luckily, Yan Ping settles for him. Yan Ping is trapped in a factory and knowing that she has a stomachache. He risks his life to climb the water pipe to get her out.

He breaks up with See Ngar and is down. Luckily, Yan Ping helps him to get over his sorrow. Both fall in love but their families oppose to it. Still, they go through all odds to get married. His family enters a financial crisis. Chi Fung cheats the bank to get caught. He is jailed for 2 years and his family goes bankrupt. He is upset to know that Yan Ping becomes a street hawker but he can't help her.

After his release, he helps her to buy machines for her new dumpling factory. The new machines are destroyed in a fire so Yan Ping gets her staff to work overtime. Chi Ping wishes to return to his ex-company but is unable to get an important post because of his criminal record. He becomes more positive under Nai Keung's advice to become a staff researcher.

He then transfers to work in a property estate company. Ying Tiem gets someone to buy a house from him. Chi Fung gets a promotion and only learns from his promotion celebration that he gets the post thorugh Yan Ping's popularity. He drinks to forget his unhappiness. Ying Tiem suddenly faints and he doesn't know about it. Yan Ping returns to find him dead. Chi Fung feels remorseful over it.

Chi Fung stays with Nai Keung and becomes a bartender at a karaoke. See Ngar learns about it. She pretends to get drunk and later tells Chi Fung that she has taken sleeping pills. Chi Fung, Nai Keung and Yan Ping send her to hospital. Chi Fung accompanies her to go out at sea after her recovery.

He becomes demoralized upon seeing how Yan Ping becomes a successful businesswoman. Upon knowing that Nai Keung has been secretly in love with Yan Ping, he gets mad to be with See Ngar again to escape from reality. On the day he is supposed to leave Hong Kong, he watches a television programme. He sees Yan Ping fainting and he rushes to the hospital. He then realizes his mistake and stays with her.

This man guards his pride but hurts people around. I fee like slaughtering him. Yan Ping sticks by him all the time but he wants to evade from responsibility to make her clear up the mess for him. Nai Keung is in love with Yan Ping in the past and is now devoted to Yuk Wor. This man is simply creating excuses for himself to put the blame on others.

It is obvious that TVB wanted to promote Bo Sang then to keep pairing him with Chung Ling. Although Bo Sang improves slightly, he is still stiff in many scenes and I am let down by his bland performance.

2. Tang Nai Keung – Lai Yiu Cheong
He is the couple's childhood friend at Wai village. He becomes the village head when he grows up. He is secretly in love with Yan Ping for a long time. Ha faints on the street one day and learns that he suffers from cancer. He endures his reluctance to introduce a boyfriend to Yuk Wor. But she gives her a piece of his mind to hug him later.

Seeing Yan Ping struggling for a living, he forks out his savings to help her set up a dumpling factory. Soon, Yan Ping's career becomes smooth sailing. His condition worsens and he decides to change his insurance policy beneficiary to Yuk Wor. Nai Keung goes to the U.S. for treatment but it fails and he returns to Hong Kong. It is his birthday so all celebrate with him.

Nai Keung pretends to be elated but suddenly faints. All then realize that he is dying. Yuk Hor is upset but insists of marrying him. They get married and he dies a year later, leaving her a son. Yiu Cheong proves to be a competent actor but TVB has underused him. This role is the repetitive sad one that we have seen in numerous dramas but he still injects life into it. However, he is just like Yan Ping – too good to be true.

3. Chu Tak Cheong – Wong Ching
He is Yan Ping's father who regards sons more important than daughters. That makes Yan Ping's brothers dependant on her. He is a chef in Yu's family restaurant. He demands a raise but Mrs Yu rejects him. Thus they quarrel whenever they meet. Luckily, Yan Ping works parttime to complete her studies. He scalds his hand badly and can't be a chef anymore. But Chi Fung manages to win his approval to marry Yan Ping with his sincerity.

4. Yu Ying Tiem – Cheung Ying Choy
He is Chi Fung's father who is very afraid of his wife. He lets her manage his restaurant. He borrows money from Chi Fung to help his friend. Mrs Yu thinks that Chi Fung uses the money to help Yan Ping to open a souvenir shop and kicks up a fuss. This man has no backbone – he only knows how to create trouble. Having an illegitimate daughter but too scared to admit it. Borrowing money from his son and doesn't dare to tell his wife. Sigh –is this the act from a man?

5. Yu Yuk Yee – Lam Heung Kei
She is Chi Fung's elder sister. She doesn't like him to work in the restaurant to share authority with her. She doctorates that accounts and keeps the money to open a French restaurant. Her parents initially stay with her after they become bankrupts but her husband chases them away as he is scared that they will reveal to her that he has another woman.

Still, she discovers his deed and wants to divorce him to get her children's custody. Yan Ping and See Ngar help her out. She finally irons out her rivalry with Mrs Yu. She is a replica of her mother – shrewd, overbearing and also petty.

6. Chu Yan Ping – Chan Chung Ling
She dreams of opening her own noodle stall but has to give up when her elder brother borrows her money to get married. She becomes Chi Fung's girlfriend after his breakup with his first girlfriend. She helps him to manage his family restaurant.

After marriage, she gets pregnant so Mrs Yu allows her to move into the family. But she soon has a miscarriage. Chi Fung gets jailed and their business folds up. Because of a moment of Chi Fung's folly, the family is left with nothing. Knowing that Yuk Yee has chased her parents-in-law out, she takes them in. She decides to be independent to become a dumpling seller. She buys a shop but gets cheated. So she can only become a street hawker as she has already made the dumplings. Soon her fame spreads far and wide. A magazine interviews her.

A famous Shanghai dumpling chef comes to Hong Kong to look for rivals. Yan Ping merges as the winner and becomes more famous now. She manages to win her husband back with her determination and endurance. Many have praised Chung Ling to be a credible actress but I find her signature expressions in every drama. I don't find her outstanding in here – she could have changed her hairstyle as she looks the same everywhere.

7. Yu Yuk Wor – Chan Yin Hang
he is Chi Fung's younger sister who is often neglected by Mrs Yu. A woman keeps on pestering Nai Keung so she pretends to be his girlfriend. She later knows why – she isn't her natural daughter and is Mr Yu's lover's daughter. She leaves home to look for her natural mother. She isn't accepted and gets so disappointed that she becomes a waitress at a bar.

Nai Keung finds her and persuades her to become a night school teacher instead. They become close friends. She starts to give Ying Tiem pocket money and he feels ashamed of himself. Nai Keung is nervous when Yu Wor is taking the exam but is relieved that she passes. He soon discovers that he likes her. They develop a short relationship but she treasures the little time they have together. This is the first time I see her as a sad role and she does quite well.

8. Cheng See Ngar – Cheung Wai Yee
She is Chi Fung's ex-girlfriend. She is very willful and often doesn't see eye to eye with Nai Keung. She breaks up with Chi Fung and later wishes to return to him. He rejects her but she never forgets him. She introduces Yan Ping to a Japanese manager to set up her dumpling factory. Seeing Chi Fung still loving with Yan Ping after his release from prison, she can do nothing but to numb herself with drugs.

She tells him that she wants to be with him again. Unhappy over depressing issues, Chi Fung kisses her out of impulse and Yan Ping witnesses this. Chi Fung also wakes up to return to Yan Ping. To seek revenge, she sues Yan Ping for infringing her copyrights. Why? See Ngar has used her own name to register the Wai village dumpling label. She never expects the ending to turn the other way round.

Yan Ping and Chi Fung decide to start all over again. She opens her own restaurant and Chi Fung's career is also smooth-sailing as they strike out on their own. She is still alone in the end. Wai Yee shows why she is so sort after – she really acts well as the third party. But probably too well as she is being assigned sluttish roles in many dramas – who can forget her formidable role as Wing in 'Armed Reaction IV?'

9. Mrs Yu – So Hing Hseun
She is at loggerheads with Yan Ping's father. That is why she can never agree to Yan Ping to marry into her family. She wants Chi Fung to continue seeing See Ngar but he discovers that he loves Yan Ping now. When her plan fails, she is so angry that she doesn't turn up on the day they register their marriage. She thinks of her as a greedy woman. Her impression of her changes after seeing how she helps her family.

Favourite character
None, as all look fake to me.

Most hated character
Mrs. Yu is on my top list. Nothing will please her. She only loves money and herself.

Conclusion

This drama is a Hong Kong version of Oshin. Yan Ping fails and then gains fame in the end. But like the other heroines, she must go through lots of hardship first. Infidelity, getting cheated, bullied by her mother-in-law, etc. Do we belong to the 50s? She keeps on enduring and keeping quiet. She is a deity – not a human as she is completely flawless. I find this role too unrealistic. Moreover, Chung Ling looks tired most of the time so it affects her performance.

Throw in a cancer patient to squeeze tears from us. Fortunately, we are spared of the blood vomiting scenes. Also include a vixen who tries to wreck her marriage. She gets close to the wife as a friend but later sets her up. We also see this in 'Fated Love' and other dramas so it shows that the formula can be recycled.

Her life is like waves at a beach. After a wave subsides, another will come. I simply get sick of this. This was shown on Malaysian television and the local television was also showing 'The Good Old Days' then.
Although the setting is different, the trait is exactly the same. Both heroines suffer from miscarriages too – is this too much of a coincidence?

Although TVB 'forces' Bo Sang to be Chung Ling's partner, I still feel that Ekin is the best match for her. Somehow, Bo Sang falls short of expectations. Both of them lack chemistry as a married couple. The only consolation is to see Yiu Cheung and Wai Yee shine in their supporting roles. If not, I could have discontinued watching. This drama is strictly for Chung Ling's fans.

Sukting's ratings :

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

On story : ** (Scale of 5)



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