Reaching For the Stars


Reviewed by: sukting

January 28, 2006

Rating: two

Length: 22 episodes

Foreword
How does S.H.E. fare again after their success in 'the Rose?? The three female characters are born on the same day so will their fate be the same too?

Story/Introduction on characters

1. Zhou Xin Lei - Selina
She is the step-daughter of Mr. Zhou. When he dies on her birthday, he states that he wants his natural daughter, Xiao Nuo, to take over the business. So the princess turns into a side-fiddle overnight. She discovers that her love is not really in the business but in cooking. When the pauper Xiao Nuo comes, she can't get along with her. When she manages to help make her endorse the company's products and saves her from kidnappers, they become close. But upon knowing that Jie is only faking to be Xiao Nuo, she loses her trust in her. She is still thankful to Jie so she destroys evidence against Jie. She tries in vain to win Zheng Hao's heart but she gives up.

2. Ren Jie - Ella
She holds many jobs to pay off her younger brother's hospital bills. Upon knowing that it's her birthday, Zheng Hao offers to pay her to impersonate Xiao Nuo. She has no choice but to agree to it. It ends up in disaster as she knows nothing about doing business but she is willing to learn. She learns dancing barefooted from Zheng Hao. Her first dance with Ya Wei at a function ends in disaster as her heel breaks. Zheng Hao comes to her aid. Thus she trusts Zheng Hao completely and he ends up loving her and decides to protect her from harm instead. She falls for Zheng Hao during the process.

She feels miserable upon seeing Xin Lei clinging to Zheng Hao. She tries to avoid him by having personal dates but Zheng Hao is insistent. Both finally fall in love after the kidnap but she forbids him to tell her. Zheng Hao is touched by her attentiveness to Xin Lei and obeys, keeping Xin Lei company - but at a distance. When Xin Lei knows the truth, Jie leaves the company and Zheng Hao under Shi Qiang's threat. Her heart dies after her brother's death. But later they meet together at Xiao Rou's wedding.

3. Shen Xiao Rou - Hebe
She is a former policewoman but quits her job out of impulse. She has to look after her senile grandmother. Later, she is engaged to Jie's bodyguard. She has bitter memories when Kai becomes a two-timer. You will laugh at the first time Ya Wei tries to joke with her. He points her back with his finger, pretending it to be a gun and she sends him sprawling on the floor. But later, he brings her into the kitchen to offer her food upon seeing that she isn't allowed into the family venue for the party without an invitation card.

She can't forget Kai and forgives him after he requests a reconciliation. When he dies trying to shield her from the kidnappers, she sinks into despair. Ya Wei nurses her broken heart but it takes long before Mrs. Xiao approves their marriage. She is later found to be the right heir to the business when Uncle Fu recognizes her grandmother. Mr. Zhou divorces her mother and she takes her away from him.

4. Mrs Zhou
She is a money-digger who looks down on Jie who first arrives. She tries to create chances for Xin Lei to be with Ya Wei as her husband leaves her nothing. She suspects Jie's parentage and gets Kai to check on her background. But after the kidnap, she straightens her thoughts and trusts Jie. She also hopes that Xin Lei will be happy and approves her relationship with Zheng Hao. She treats Xiao Rou like her own daughter and plans an elaborate wedding for her.

5. Mrs Xiao
Another money-digger - she wants Ya Wei to be with Jie. But she nearly explodes when he wants to be with Xiao Rou instead. So she hatches plans to break them up. Later, upon eavesdropping that Xiao Rou wants her consent before getting married, she changes her impression of her.

6. Xiao Ya Wei - Chen Zhi Kai
He is the son of a hotelier. Although he is pampered and is lousy in sports, he is actually a nice guy. Mrs. Xiao wants him to give a gift to Jie and he ends up quarreling with Xiao Rou in a parking lot. During the function, he finds her different from other girls and decides to woo her. He asks Jie out, expecting Xiao Rou to be with her but is disappointed when she doesn't turn up. Seeing him so insistent, Jie decides to help him. He goes to Xiao Rou's home and knows her predicament.

He offers to take care of her grandmother and she gets softened. Kai's presence dashes his hopes and is angered when seeing him with Mrs. Zhou. Afraid that he will hurt Xiao Rou, he warns Kai but gets beaten. Later, he finally wins her over by showing her true concern and cares for her grandmother. He even leaves home as a form of silent protest to open a café with Xiao Rou.

7. Liang Zheng Hao - Guo Yan Yun
He is the senior manager in the company but is Shi Qiang's accomplice to gather shares and control for him. The women trust him in everything. His only target in life is to get what his father deserves for losing his company, until he meets Jie. People will find him a mismatch with Jie as he is highly educated while she isn't. But Jie warms him up and he starts to get concerned about her. Besides teaching her how to dance, he also tends to her wound when she is attacked by workers on strike. By training her to be a chairman and helping her to look after her younger brother, he starts to become more positive.

But he is still paid for the job and is in a dilemma. He knows Xin Lei likes him but his heart is not with her. He gets uneasy when she buys him a goldfish wanting him to take care of it as the way he takes care of her. He brings Jie to meet his mother and reveals to Xin Lei that Jie is his girlfriend. He is willing to give up everything for Jie but she decides not to hinder his future. After Jie goes missing, Zheng Hao gets frantic. He tries calling her but is dismayed to find that her handphone is at his own home instead.

He is not in the mood to work and takes a long leave to search for her. He becomes ill when he can't find her. Later, he concentrates on his work upon getting his promotion. Upon knowing that Shi Qiang forces his father to commit suicide, he betrays him to hand over all evidence to Mrs. Zhou. He also leaves the company and decides to open a tea garden to be with Jie.

8. Chen Kai - Di Zhi Jie
He is a former policeman who becomes a private investigator. Mrs. Zhou wants him to check on Jie and he is dismayed to know that Xiao Rou is her bodyguard. Knowing his mistake to let Xiao Rou down, he pays with his life and manages to say he loves her before he dies.

9. Liu Shi Qiang - Lin Wei
He is the evil vice-chairman of the company. His plan is to make use of Jie and later dispose of her. He is delighted when the shares soar when she arrives. Of course, he gets angry with Zheng Hao when he betrays him to treats Jie so well. He gets his just desserts when he is retrenched for his ill deeds.

10. Uncle Fu
He is the Zhous? housekeeper and is loyal to them all along. He treats all the gals equally well.

Most favourite character/Most hated character
None

Song
The theme song, by S.H.E., is acceptable - 'We're not Friends'. I like the subtheme song 'Owning it Once Again' by Singaporean newcomer, Gong Shi Jia.

Interesting facts

Many have thought that this serial might cause rumours as Selina was involved with 3 actors in here but alas her rumour to be a pair with Luo Zhi Xiang made news instead. Hebe attracted the two actors. Zhi Kai confessed that he became giddy by her singing voice while Zhi Jie kept praising her to have inner depth and knowledge. Maybe she talked little and thus her admirers did not dare to take the initiative.

Ella is very popular with guys. Every serial would create a rumour. So was this one. Yan Yun was a newcomer so she took good care of him. They kept chatting off screen and on screen they had kissing scenes. But both denied being in love - is this a kind of gimmick?

Yan Yun is still studying in Taibei Sports Academy and had acted in S.H.E.'s MV before. The three gals admired his muscles and Selina kept asking him to go swimming with her to offer better tips. His younger twin, Yan Pu, is also an actor and fellow classmate there. Both are famous models; they are called 'the male version of Lin Zhi Ling?. Zhi Kai is 184m tall and had also acted in make-up commercials with S.H.E. Zhi Jie is more famous for acting in stage plays.

The three lamented that they were not used to wear high heels. It was worse for Ella when coming to the dancing scene. They complained that the 3 actors were too tall for them. Hebe was the N.G. queen.

This serial was shown after 'The Prince Who Turns Into a Frog'. Sad to say, its viewership never made it more than 3% as many did not really like the story. I totally agreed with that!

Conclusion
'The Rose' proves that S.H.E. can act but this serial proves the reverse. I don't find myself missing much although I reach home late for some episodes. The newcomers are quite raw in acting while the veterans don't give their best either. This is such a boring drama where the cancer and crying scenes become so unbearable for me to watch. They really can't cry and even anger scenes are badly done.

Unlike 'The Rose', Ella lacks the punch to look tired and bored. Selina looks like a doll without emotions while Hebe looks too frail to be a cop. It is Zhi Kai's first attempt and he is only okay. The only surprise comes from Yan Yun although he can be over the top in shouting scenes.

It is obvious to all I am not inspired to write this review. I really don't have much to say. Only watch if you have nothing to do or are faithful fans of S.H.E. Otherwise, please stay away as it take up 22 hours.

Sukting's ratings :

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

On story : *** (Scale of 5)

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


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