Singapore Dramas

As a Singaporean, I can proudly say that Singapore dramas are good too!
One can watch them using Youtube, daily motion or  toggle. Dramas in toggle catch-up tv may not be free after sometime.
Will update as soon as I can. Doing mostly based on memory.

Coming up next:

Sealed with a Kiss (2015) 吻我吧,住家男

Genre: Romance, Comedy, Fantasy

starring Elvin Ng as Zhu Jianan, Rebecca Lim as Du Junning, Carrie Wong as Tian Zhenzhen, Zhang Zhenhuan as Zheng Danle, Jeffrey Xu as Xu Zhicheng, Charles Lee as Zhou Yaowen.

Zoom into characters: Zhu Jianan is a jinx. Whoever that touches him is bound to suffer misfortune ranging from tripping over things to things falling on them. Because of that, he lives in solitude with only one friend, avoiding people at all cost. After an occasion, he starts to crush on Junning and as a drama addict imagines all sorts of romantic scenarios. However, in reality he is running away from her whenever he sees her. Junning is living her ideal life with her exceptional ability to please people. She also creates her perfect world through webs of white lies. Everything including her career is in her control until Jianan does a CPR on her. Due to the event, both their lives change completely: Jianan becomes extremely lucky while Junning puts people off with her bluntness.

When he was young, Jianan even has to wear a bell to signal his arrival so that he will not run into his beloved aunt.

The truth seekers (2016) 真探

Starring Chen Han Wei as Qingxiong, Rebecca Lim as Yuyang, Desmond Tan as Junyan, Yusuke Fukuchi as Haifeng

This drama makes me wonder if people can die so easily. Like it is so easy to strangle someone, causing so many strangling murder cases? It is funny how the cases that the polices cannot crack are so easily solved by the CCI (Cold case investigators), including those very old cases. Liked how the cases become more and more complicated in terms of why the person wants the case to be solved as the clients change from purely trying to prove his own innocence to other motives.

The case that is the most interesting to me is the case that involves a magician. He is super smart and sneaky, managing to put bugs in CCI office to eavesdrop their conversations. What surprises me is the scenes when he tries to escape with all his magic tricks abilities: when Yuyang (if i am not wrong) grabs his arm, he manages to release a fake arm and lose Yuyang’s grip, and also putting fire on another one of them to escape. Ian Fang portrays the magician well with a feeling of eeriness and mystery.

Beside that, the 2 cases that struck me as a bit disturbing are the three children being killed and placed side by side, and the one that a hand sticks out from the luggage haha… Shall not give any spoilers.

Liked the development of characters of the people in CCI, knew that some of the cases will revolve around the private investigators. Qingxiong is observant, not only being a step ahead of his team members when solving cases but also being able to offer them good advice about their lives. The twist comes when he actually made unforgivable mistakes such as adultery in the past and is suddenly revealed that he has 2 other children that he failed to protect. His illegitimate child’s missing case is heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time, leaving a deep impression on me.

Yuyang’s parentage is complicated in this drama and she called 2 people “Father’ wrongly haha… Her character is quite emotional at times but she is steadfast when approaching cases and direct when dealing with people around her. Her ability in fighting and throwing people to the ground is admirable. Didnt like Desmond Tan’s hairstyle in this drama but luckily his character shines in the drama. His character Junyan is so hilarious when he talks, calling people funny nicknames, and making ridiculous assumptions about the cases. When he wears the animal head thing used for sleeping to scare people, it makes me laugh my head off. Liked the development of relationship between them although they dont seem compatible… It is amazing how Junyan can lip-read, a skill I dont think I can ever get.

On a side note, the third investigator, Haifeng, is calm when dealing with cases but not so when dealing with relationships. He is quite cool when acting in disguise and getting evidence, much better than the other two of them haha. Funny how CCI people like to act as couple, property agents, reporters (most useful) or people that want to buy house as disguise. Pan Lingling acted well as Yuyang’s mother and I was a bit surprised by how her character suppressed her dark truth so well. It is contradicting how people in CCI always persist on finding the truth but when it is their own cases they do not want the truth to come to light. Is the truth really so cruel? I hope I dont have to face any cruel truth.

Love the theme song of this drama!

Hero (2016) 大英雄

Genre: Family, Romance, Neighborhood, Comedy

Enjoyment: 9/10  Pace: 8/10

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starring Shaun Chen as Zhou Fada, Chen Hanwei as Ye Xiaoying, Jesseca Liu as Zhang Weixiong, Ian Fang as Zhang Weikang, Paige Chua as Ou Jinxuan, Andie Chen as Ou Jinguang, Bonnie Loo as Guan Meimei, He Yingying as Guan Meiyu, Sheila Sim as Fan Fangfang

Zoom into characters: Zhou Fada is smart and resourceful but only limits himself to his poor Dakota neighborhood due to his belief that the rich tend to end up with negative outcomes since his rich father is being betrayed by his best friend after their business became successful, and committed suicide. Zhang Weixiong is seen as the most successful in the neighborhood as she is about to be a lawyer since she excels in her studies. Both of their helpfulness is well-known in the neighborhood. They bicker often and Fada understands Weixiong well but they are far from being a couple at the start. Ye Xiaoying uses all his money on starting businesses but none of them become successful. In the process, he also makes people lose a lot of money when they lend him money or buy a product at high price believing it helps them in life. Despite that, he is very loyal towards his crush Ou Jinxuan and often spend any money he has on her.

This drama is so funny when it started, was laughing my head off. Fada is smart and appears out of nowhere many times, and he is often saying weird things or a lot of philosophical wise words. Jinguang’s hairstyle and how he talks so slowly is so funny. Weixiong’s brother, Weikang, is a good-for-nothing and his interaction with Meiyu is interesting, especially hilarious when he was splashed with pepper accidentally by Meiyu’s sister, Meimei. And more… Never seen such a comedy in Singapore dramas so far.

Watched this drama partially because of Shaun Chen and partially because my mother happened to switch on the television. Liked Fada’s character a lot in this drama and my sister also liked that character after watching even though she is not a Shaun Chen fan like me haha. You will know why if you watch it haha. It is surprising that the drama has a reflective voice in it and there are many questions the drama posed like “what you want to do if there is only one thing left you can do”, and “will you still do something if what you do now will affect what you are tomorrow”.

I thought Jinguang will end up with Fangfang, so unexpected who he ends up with hahaha. (Shall not give any spoiler). Other special mentions to Bonnie Loo and Paige Chua, Pan Ling Ling who acted well in the drama. Moved by how Pan Ling Ling’s character and his husband are so loyal towards each other even though they are poor. Their trust towards each other is just so heartwarming. No matter how her mother-in-law tries to frame her, her husband still believes in her totally. And it is funny how her mother-in-law totally “slap her own face” when she opposes to her granddaughter, Weixiong, marrying seemingly poor Fada and Pan Ling Ling’s character says that it is fine since her husband (the mother-in-law’s son) is poor but good. Bonnie acted well as the naive and silly girl but her love story with the rich guy didn’t pull off well.

Wanted to dismiss this drama at first since the trailer is not attractive beside Andie Chen saying that the audience is his hero haha… But it turned out well at least until it suddenly had a plot twist which threw me off and almost made me drop it. That is after Fada leaves to use his talent in stock investing and comes back to find people in the neighborhood behaving completely differently. I skipped some episodes here and there, especially towards the end, including the part when Fangfang is betrayed by her boyfriend.

Soul Reaper (2016) 勾魂使者

soulreaper

This is a pretty short drama consisting of just 8 episodes. Attracted to this drama because of Romeo Tan’s mysterious acting as a soul reaper in the trailer but end up liking Ian Fang’s character, Soul. His name totally matches this drama haha… How I wish Ian Fang (or maybe all the actors) has this hairstyle more often in dramas (am I being influenced by kdramas haha?).

The background music really creeps me out but somehow this drama makes me feel that it is kind of unreal, no matter it is the detaching of the life strings attached to the person during death or how the people facing death can exchange their own death for another’s. It is fun to watch how Chief and Soul communicate without talking, and how they can be anything they want to be to get closer to their next assignment’s target.

Despite how morbid it is, it was a good and fast watch. The stories of the different characters are quite interesting as I can see how some are selfish while others bravely face death. Liked the line “Fulfill you wishes and accept death calmly” If I am really given a choice, I hope that by then, I have no regrets and can leave peacefully without any lingering feeling and be happy to be part of nature. (Sounds unlucky, especially since it is Chinese New Year haha?) This drama makes me think twice about life and realise the superficiality and hypocrisy in the world. Felt that Soul should not have searched for the truth behind his father’s death, seems quite fruitless and even becomes tragic but then this whole journey wouldnt have started without that.

Was moved when Shane Pow’s character’s younger brother so willingly offer to sacrifice for his immature elder brother despite how poorly he is being treated by everyone in that family. I unexpectedly feel tears in my eyes when watching that 2 episodes, when I see how naive and simple his mentally challenged brother is when he gives up his life for him and only wishes for his elder brother’s company for his remaining days, not fearing death and not even understanding what death totally means, as well as watching how guilty his elder brother is after his death. The child’s death is one of the most selfless one as the child only hopes for the parents to stop arguing, love each other like before and have another child that replaces her.

Watch it on toggle.sg

The Dream Job (2016) 绝世好工

Genre: Family, Revenge, Romance, Business

Enjoyment: 10/10  Pace: 8.5/10

the dream job

starring Hugo Ng as Zhang Qingdong, Shaun Chen as Zhang Junfeng, Jeanette Aw as Cheng Huishan, Rebecca Lim as Jiang Xinya, Zhang Zhenhuan as Zhang Lixing, Ian Fang as Lin Zijie, Sheila Sim as Yiqing, Bonnie as Xinya’s sister, Hong Ling as Xiaoxue

Plot: Many people harbour the hope of a ‘dream job’, one that pays well, offers great benefits, and with a boss who treats them like his own. A television commercial pops up, advertising three “exceptional job positions” – to act as the children of and help in the business of a mysterious wealthy businessman, Zhang Qingdong (Hugo Ng).  Despite many applications, the lawyer Li Junfeng (Shaun Chen) who is hired to coordinate the employment has already received orders to decide on financial advisor Cheng Huishan (Jeanette Aw), a doctor (but ends up choosing nurse Xinya), and a model-actor Lin Zijie (Ian Fang). With Qingdong’s only son, Zhang Lixing, they work to live amicably together to make their boss happy. However, Junfeng with revenge in mind and being unable to forgive his father for not staying loyal to his mother gains Qingdong’s trust and is out to destroy Qingdong’s happiness. It also turns out that Zijie and Huishan are Qingdong’s biological children. Will Qingdong be able to reunite with all of his children and die without any regret?

Greatly enjoyed the plot of using the offer of dream jobs to reunite with his children. Enjoyed how Hugo Ng acted as the father who is trying to make up for the time he did not manage to have to personally raise his children. His character is fun-loving and good at coming up with weird ideas or solutions. I wonder if he is a good father or not due to his womanising behaviour but at the same time there are the heartwarming scenes where he consoles or guides his children and hope for the best for each of them. It was fun to watch the selection process, especially the shocking (but funny) attack on Qingdong which aims to observe the participants’ reaction in times of danger if they are working for Qingdong. Even Junfeng is shocked by the sudden situation.

The children are very different in the way they behave which makes the process of them living together and working with each other more interesting to watch. Huishan is good at finance and capable in managing projects but she can be too stubborn and suspicious. Zijie is a carefree and creative person who likes to act and good at sweet-talking but he does not have much plan for the future and is overconfident. Lixing who spends the most time with their father is actually an adoptive child who thinks for his father and accepts the three people who are chosen by his father without a second thought. Xinya, although considered the outsider due to not having any blood relations to Qingdong, is well-liked by Qingdong for her compassion and her ability to nurse him. It is funny how their job scope includes being present on family day, going for morning exercises and even playing frisbee with Qingdong in the park. I laughed at how Huishan and Zijie do not like to be under the sun and overly prepare themselves with sunglasses and fans.

Felt heartbreaking at the touching scene when Junfeng finally gets to confront his father and let out all his hatred, sufferings and nightmares he endured without a father around. Shaun Chen portrays his character’s emotions well as well as how his character has two-sided: one with an ulterior motive and the side of kindness which is suppressed but sometimes unintentionally leaks out. Junfeng’s character of being observant and clever at manipulating people to suit his revenge plan adds more suspense and thrill to the family drama. I guess we should treasure family relationships when we can but would I be able to forgive family members if they make me go through so much hardships?

Enjoyed the development of relationship between Junfeng and Xinya. At first, I disliked how Xinya is willing to do anything for money but as the drama goes, her dedication to improve her sister’s health condition and her comfort provided when Junfeng needs it changes how I think about her. I also looked forward to scenes with Xinya’s sister, Xinling, and liked her growth as she changes from a despair person due to her handicap to a optimistic person who is eager to be able to walk again. It is nice to watch how she tries to match-make Junfeng and Xinya, and her excitement to have Junfeng as her brother-in-law.

Watched this drama due to Shaun Chen haha and of course the unusual plot of offering people with “dream jobs”. However, I felt that this drama is a bit slow in its pace towards the end. The crying scenes by Rebecca Lim and Shaun Chen could have looked better and more natural at the scene where Junfeng’s grandmother passed away haha. Special mentions to Sheila Sim and Hong Ling who acted well in this drama too even though I didnt write about them in this review. The ending rounded up the drama neatly and the children have a partner each. It is hilarious (but in a way acceptable) how they attempted to tie the ending to the start by making Junfeng give Xinya a dream job to become his wife. (I shall not give anymore spoilers haha.) Enjoyed it very much and was a bit sad to see it end.

Click here to watch.

The dream job theme song

If only I could (2016) 十年…你还好吗?

Genre: Time-travel, Romance, Family, Fantasy, Melodrama

if only i could  

starring Andie Chen, Rui En, Elvin Ng, Paige Chua

It is a so-called time-travelling drama where people who are met with despair travel back to the past and try to make changes in an attempt to make the future better. I was slightly interested at first since I like fantasy. However, as the drama goes, it is too negative for my liking and I didn’t continue watching every episode. No matter how the characters try to change their past decisions, they are still back to square one. Perhaps this drama is trying to convey the message that we should live the present to the fullest, be contented and not dwell in past regrets. However, it just makes me feel like no matter what we do, we are just part of an evil cycle of strong winds and cannot escape out of it thus the helplessness in life. Even if life is filled with harsh realities it shouldn’t be so bad should it haha?

Despite that, I still think that the cast: Andie Chen, Rui En, Elvin Ng, Paige Chua acted well and brought out their characters and the characters’ emotions. I also liked the short (black and white) scenes of the characters reflecting about things which further brings out the complexity and depth of the characters, enhancing their emotions. Elvin Ng is unexpectedly acting as the evil villain(Degang) who tears down Xiwen’s family despite his strong love for her. As a fan of Elvin Ng, I think that it is a good role that he chose to act rather than his usual good guy roles haha. I am also glad that Andie Chen’s career seems to be taking off and he is taking more significant good guy lead character roles unlike his past characters. I totally sympathise with the characters at the end and felt that it is such a pity.

Since my sister was watching this drama, I can’t help but peek at times when she watched haha so I managed to see through parts of it to the end. She was supportive of the couple Daxian (Andie Chen) and Zhenhao (Rui En). The couple genuinely love each other but Daxian is poor and often lend money to his friends or give it to his mother for gambling. The good thing is Zhenhao and Daxian’s love managed to shine through the whole drama and is in contrast to Xiwen from a rich family who can’t help but love and marry the wrong guy, causing her family to be destroyed twice.

Throughout this drama, I was hoping to see some improvement in their lives but was disappointed whenever I thought I saw some improvement. For example, Xiwen managed to prevent her mother from dying from stroke by not marrying Degang without her parents’ consent but later her mother still passed away from shock that Degang committed adultery. From this drama, I also see how people actually don’t know what they want considering that Zhenhao and Xiwen return to the past with determination of not marrying the same guy but they still do, especially Zhenhao who went straight to finding Daxian. The most funny and slightly ridiculous part to me is that Daxian also time-travelled and is trying to avoid Zhenhao so that she won’t marry him and end up getting cancer due to working too hard for his family. Of course, this won’t happen since Zhenhao is looking high and low for him and can’t wait to express her love…haha. (sry for the spoiler)

Click here to watch.

If only I could theme song

Tiger Mum (2015) 虎妈来了

Genre: Romance, Family, Comedy

Enjoyment: 10/10  Pace: 9/10

TigerMumsingapore

starring Huang Biren as He Xuemei/Tiger mum, Yao Wenlong as Chen Kai, Julie Tan as Chen Huixin, Ian Fang as Chen Haowei, Aloysius Pang as Chen Haolian, Bonnie Loo as Chen Huiyan and Jeffrey Xu as Zhang Guoqiang.

Plot: He Xuemei (Huang Biren) is a senior prison officer with a stern demeanor while Chen Kai is a single parent of four children. Xuemei likes Chen Kai’s sincerity and Chen Kai is moved as Xuemei does not mind his four children so they decided to date with a blessed marriage as their goal. The four children resist Xuemei’s intrusion into their lives and are determined to join hands to fend off “the invasion of Tiger Mum”. In the end, will Xuemei the “Tigress” win the children’s hearts? Will her relationship with Chen Kai receive their blessings?

Zoom into characters: Although Xuemei is feared by the prisoners because of her toughness and cold look, she is actually kind at heart and tries her best to help them. Chen Kai tries hard to balance work and family. However, while he is trying to provide for the family, the relationship between him and his children started to become more and more distant to the point that he does not seem to understand them anymore. Huixin has a talent in designing. Once a caring older sister to her 3 siblings, she starts to lock herself in her room after her breakup and survive each day with just cup noodles. Haowei lacks confident as he feels that he is stupid. As compared to his intelligent younger brother, Haolian, he feels a lot lacking and cannot even win his brother in both physical fights and verbal arguments. Haolian is in a troubled relationship with a girl he likes as the girl has no choice but to be a prostitute to pay off her debt and does not want to accept Haolian. Huiyan, the youngest child, is materialistic and seeks all ways to get more money from her father.

Why must Singapore Dramas make the character’s name have double meaning? Is it for comical effect? In this drama, Haolian’s name sounds like another Chinese word which means boastful. This does serve a bit of purpose in this drama since it matches his personality. Haha. It is hilarious to see many people being afraid of Xuemei. Even rebellious Haolian did her biding on their first meeting. It is funny how Huixin turns out to be ghost-like after locking herself in the room for many years. Liked her angry looks a lot in this drama. She even lost her way back home and went into other people’s house. I enjoyed the scene where the family goes out to find Haolian after he left the house in anger. Haowei even musters his courage to demand the gangsters to let go of Haolian and stands his ground until Xuemei arrives. Liked the process of how Haowei becomes more confident of himself and securing his job. It was unexpected that the girl Haowei liked did not marry him…

Liked how Xuemei understands people so well that she can predict the children’s actions and help them out. I am impressed with her ability to provide maternal guidance even though she is not a mother yet. It is funny when she is asked to look after her sister’s 2 children. She confiscates their electronic gadgets, makes them play board games and do homework, much to the children’s unhappiness. Even the domestic helper secretly wishes that she is the children’s mother. Haha. It is fun to watch Guoqiang, an ex-prisoner, chasing after Xuemei, trying to win her heart. Especially when he calls her Xiaomei as if he is older than her, chocking Xuemei as a result whenever she hears it. The 4 children’s aunt is kind of annoying to me… She can neither solve the children’s problems nor can she settle her own personal affairs. The only good thing about her is that she accepts her husband’s children as her own. Liked how Margaret, the aunt’s daughter, adds humour to the drama.

Looks like children really need a person to guide them after all. It is difficult for them to grow well without the attention and moral support of an adult. While the children feel that Tiger Mum has interfered with their lives, making their lives more complicated by including them in other family members’ affairs, they are actually thankful to feel that they are a part of the family. My last takeaway: Family members should care for one another and not only bother about their personal affairs. A real family is one that members can share their woes and happiness and not live in their own worlds.

Why you should watch: All the characters are portrayed very well. Especially liked Ian Fang’s acting and Julie Tan’s acting. Liked how the children have distinct characteristics and enjoyed their process of accepting Tiger Mum into their lives. Wonder why dramas with Huang Biren in it will have high rating. Is it because they are family related dramas (for now)?

Click here to watch.

Tiger mum opening theme song

You can be an angel too (2015) 你也可以是天使

Genre: Medical, Family, Romance

Enjoyment: 9/10  Pace: 8/10

you can be an angel too

starring Zoe Tay 郑惠玉as Wang Ruojun 王若君, Bryan Wong 王禄江as Xie Yaozong 谢耀宗, Elvin Ng 黄俊雄 as Fu Jiazi 傅家梓,Rebecca Lim 林慧玲 as Guan Xinni  关馨霓 , Xu Bin 徐彬 as Fu Jiaren 傅家任 , Sheila Sim 沈惠怡 as Liu Youle 刘佑乐, Jayley Woo 胡佳琪 as Dai Xiwen 戴希雯, Aloysius Pang 冯伟衷as Li Longhua 李龙华.

Plot: This drama shows the dedication of nurses and how they affect the lives of the patients they care for with all their heart and a warm smile.

Zoom into characters: Xie Yaozong commonly known as XYZ is a nurse manager. While he seems to be very stingy, he is very generous towards others, especially those in need. Due to many misunderstandings towards XYZ, Xinni loathes him and even spoils his wedding plans. After that, XYZ tries very hard to win Xinni’s heart and clear all the misunderstandings with her. Fu Jiazi becomes a nurse due to guilt, despite his mother’s initial opposition. As he was unable to perform first aid for his friend when they had a car accident, his friend lost his life even though he escaped death. He hangs out with his friend’s sister, Xiwen, at first out of guilt and faces difficulty in confessing to Youle later. Youle becomes a caring nurse out of gratitude for Ruojun who saved her life when she was attacked and took good care of her during her hospital stay. Jiaren and Longhua also decide to take up this occupation which provides a stable income after being influenced by people they know.

The case that touches me the most is Tianxiang’s case. He is a teenager who suffers from brain cancer and passes away soon after. While his peers may be envious of his long leave from school, he just wants to be well and doing what his peers are doing, including sitting for examinations. I cannot imagine the suffering due to the physical pain and mental depression a patient like this faces. It is heartbreaking to see him pass away at such a young age, especially when his parents desperately want him to live. At least he manages to realise his dream and experience being a pilot. This suggests that a short life with dreams is more meaningful than a long life without goals. I don’t think I will ever want to be a doctor or nurse. Although I can help to alleviate their pain, I cannot prevent a patient from passing away. Imagine seeing so many heartbreaking cases in my everyday life…

Bryan Wong’s character added a lot of humour into this drama with his funny, incredulous blurt of “What?!” whenever he does not understand Xinni or with the  funny descriptions he makes. I admire how he is so thrifty (or to the extent of stingy) yet he gives others so generously. He even washes his clothes and bathes at the same time to save money from using his house’s water. When he can simply buy and give others, he would rather make it himself, no matter it is food or clothes. Even his planned wedding does not include a grand banquet as he thinks that it is the affair of just the 2 of them. On the contrary, he gives the grandmother who sells magazines $100 and helps many families in need with his time and money. When he is hospitalised and almost died, I am touched that many of his beneficiaries want to visit him and give him well-wishes.

It is shocking to see (between Xinni and XYZ) that there can be so many misunderstandings one can make of another person. It is sad to see that many of the patients have unfilial children. Some even have no choice but to make another patient his/her guardian who helps to make decisions which is kind of ridiculous. I sympathise with Youle for being badly treated at her brother’s house. In order to make money, her brother and his wife made Youle sleep in a cramp storeroom so that they can rent out Youle’s room. There are many unfair restrictions and “neglect” Youle faced. On the other hand, when her brother faces financial problems and addiction to gambling, she does not hesitate to help out. It is funny how Jiaren keeps changing job from a person who writes critics to lifeguard to actor…

Why you should watch: Was looking forward to this drama starring Elvin Ng, Sheila Sim, Xu Bin, Aloysius Pang and Jayley Woo when The journey: the tumultuous times was on screen. However, when it really comes on screen, I was too busy to watch it and interest  towards it suddenly dropped. Anyway, I still managed to watch most of it but not in episode order. It is another heartwarming drama related to the job of the nurses which shows the importance of nurses in a patient’s life. Liked the relationships between the patients and nurses + Jiazi and Youle. I feel that Aloysius Pang’s acting using his eyes has improved since his good acting in Against the Tide.

Click here to watch.

You can be an angel too opening theme song

The journey: The tumultuous times (2014) 信约: 动荡的年代

Genre: Japanese Occupation++, Action, Romance, Melodrama

journey tt singapore

Since I often skip dramas that contain much cruelty or war related scenes or complicated marriage relationships, I am going to skip this one too. However, I did watch the last 3 episodes and some episodes here and there so I am going to do a quick recap/review with assumptions.

This drama is a continuation of the previous generation in the voyage to Nanyang. Stone (Desmond Tan) and Yazi (Jeanette Aw) have a son, Dangyong, (Andie Chen) and a daughter, Minghui, (Jeanette Aw). Zhang Min and Zhang Jia become orphans during Japanese Occupation when their parents are killed and are somehow separated. Zhang Jia (Shaun Chen) is brought up by a selfish criminal (Chen Hanwei) who robs/ steals from others and later serves the Japanese as an informant. However, he was good to Zhang Jia, shown by various actions such as stuffing rice into Zhang Jia’s mouth to ensure his survival.

Zhang Jia becomes a gangster who cheats death many times with his intelligence and luck. Zhang Min is a school teacher involved in the Hock Lee Bus Riot with Dangyong (if I am not wrong). Dangyong’s parents are the richer people who own companies but their son actually leads the protest. Romeo Tan as Zhang Yan is playing the bad guy in this drama. He does not care about the workers in the factories or even his friends and only has his interest at heart. He is scheming and often up to bad deeds. He even sells off the company/land, causing his father (Li Nanxing) to die of heart attack when he hears about it. As Dangyong is put under the wanted list by Zhang Yan, he lives like a fugitive and is separated from Zhang Min. Dangyong is able to survive with the help of Zhang Jia who has great loyalty. Minghui is a nurse who shares some of Zhang Jia’s woes and ends up with Zhang Jia in the end.

It is not the first time that Jeanette Aw acts as both the mother and daughter and she is really good at it! If not for the cruelty of the Japanese occupation++, I would have considered watching it. It is up to you to decide if you want to watch it. What is most interesting in this drama to me is the part on Zhang Jia as he changes from a rich family’s son to a criminal’s son to a gangster with no family…Liked Shaun Chen’s acting in this drama, the only reason that I may give it another chance. Haha.

Click here to watch.

The journey: The tumultuous times opening theme song

3 wishes (2014) 三个愿望

Genre: Mystery, Romance, Fantasy, Family, Comedy

Enjoyment: 10/10  Pace: 8/10

3 wishes

starring Thomas Ong 王沺裁 as Zhao Yaozong, Huang Biren 黄碧仁 as Yaozong’s wife (Shanmei) , Shane Pow 包勋评as Zhao Youting, Julie Tan 陈欣淇 as Zhao Xiaomin, Tan Junsheng 陈俊生 as Zhao Chenglong/ Xiaolong, Zhu Houren 朱厚任 as Yaozong’s father, Jin Yinji 金银姬as Yaozong’s mother, Yao Wenlong 姚玟隆 as Zhao Yaozu, Apple Hong 洪乙心 as Yaozu’s wife, Hayley Woo as Winnie.

Plot: Greed rules it all in this mystery drama which explores the spell of three wishes which seems impossible to break. One night, in a drunken stupor, Yaozong bumps into an old woman who grants him three wishes. He is skeptical but uses them anyway when he faces difficulties in his life. When he realises that the wishes do indeed come true, he wants more. However, there is a price to pay after the first 3 wishes and his family bears the consequences. As every family member gives in to the temptation of making a wish when they think there is no other way, what will be the fate of the family? Will they become happier or more heartbroken?

Zoom into characters: Although Yaozong is a loving father, filial son and forgiving brother, he does not have much plan for his future. He loves to work with horses and wishes to be a horse trainer but is looked down on, framed and loses his job as a result. Shanmei, Yaozong’s wife, is an active mother who hopes that her children can do well. Her children think that she is an overly strict mother at first and slowly realise her purpose. Xiaomin is a crazy fan who stalks celebrity by appearing wherever he is, to the extent that she gets into his car’s boot to follow him and almost suffocates to death. Youting dreams to be a coach of his own gym which is thought as impractical by Shanmei as he does not have a fixed pay. He loves Winnie who cannot speak normally but comes from a rich family. Xiaolong is not a hardworking student and prefers playing video games and reading comics to studying. Yaozu, Yaozong’s brother, who still has a bit of conscience is being controlled by his wife due to his greed to become the world’s richest person.

It makes me wonder if the old woman comes for the better or worse of the family. If she did not come and give them wishes, Shanmei would have died of cancer and Xiaomin would have suffocated to death. However, with the temptation of making more wishes, Xiaomin bears the consequence which makes her lose her legs, hindering her from achieving her dream to become a singer. Besides that, Yaozong may die as the old woman is waiting eagerly to take his life after he makes the 3 wishes (after 1st 3 wishes). Yaozong’s father sustains serious injuries while getting into a fight with his unfilial son, Yaozu, who plans with his wife and seeks every opportunity to steal the wishing coin to become rich.

It is funny whenever Shanmei forces the children to say the phrase “我能,我行,我可以。”( Yes, I can do it!) with her at the starting part of the drama. She just had a thorough medical check-up which shows that she has cancer. Because of that, she starts to be more strict on her children and wants them to do housework or be independent. It is ironic that she believes in real actions with planning and not wishes yet she makes Yaozong make the first wish (a chance to go back to the stable to work). The gesture Yaozong uses to throw the coin out when making a wish is cool! Shanmei is a respectable parent to me. When her daughter loses her legs, Shanmei even travels around in a wheelchair to understand her pain and helps her pull herself together to start life anew. In addition, she helps Xiaomin get an autograph from her favourite celebrity and helps Xiaolong with his homework all the time.

I find Yaozu’s wife very evil. She uses all means to get the wishing coin even kidnapping Xiaolong when she is pregnant and faking pregnancy. She also makes Youting the scapegoat when selling illegal goods for her benefit. When Yaozu’s parents go to their house, she does not give them a comfortable environment in order to make them leave fast. It is ridiculous that Xiaolong gets 270 for Primary School Leaving Examinations and still says that many people get the same marks as him. Haha. Probably it is not out of 300… Wishes may seem like a taboo in this drama but as long as we work hard and have a clear conscience, we can still celebrate sweet success.

When Xiaomin loses her legs, she blames her father and wants to make another wish. I guess when there is an easy way out, people tend to choose it rather than overcome the challenge directly. If it is me, I would rather make a wish to prevent losing my family members than facing reality. I feel sorry for her at first but am glad that she manages to overcome it and can walk normally with the prosthetic legs. Her first boyfriend’s ending turns out to be quite unexpected…It is funny when Yaozong’s mother acts like she wants to run away from home and waits for her grandchildren to hold her back yet Xiaolong will choose that moment to give her her ezlink card for transportation.

Why you should watch: It is a heartwarming drama about family which shows us the importance of contentment. It has many twists around the corner due to the people’s decisions when dealing with the wishing coins. I put much feelings into it and is quite happy with the ending even though it is a pity Yaozong loses most of his memory (sry for the spoiler). The old lady who sells tissue with the magical coins is very mysterious and kind of frightening at the same time like a spirit. She uses people’s desire for more to haunt them effectively. Thomas Ong seems to be able to make his character likeable in his dramas and I will continue to watch dramas with him in it. Haha.

Click here to watch.

3 wishes opening theme song

Against the tide (2014) 逆潮

Genre: Mystery, Romance, Crime

Enjoyment: 7/10

against the tide

Since I may not watch the whole drama (unless I feel like it), I will just pick out characters that I want to write about.

Di Shen (Christopher Lee 李铭顺) is a crime novelist who makes it his mission to expose the evil in humans, as he believes all humans are born depraved. He hopes to uphold justice even to the extent of punishing criminals personally until he realises that he is not giving criminals a chance to turn over a new leaf or speak out their minds. While he may stop his doings and just writes books, he is the prime suspect as a culprit naming himself “Shadow Walker” uses his books’ content to commit crimes. Actually, it is not clever of the culprit to use the book content, especially since the culprit is following strictly to the book content so crimes are easily solved as long as Di Shen is there. However, after watching more episodes, I realised that the culprit just wants to relay the message and he has achieved his purpose as long as he is not caught.
The case that makes Di Shen regret the most is Xueqing’s father’s case. Di Shen thought that Xueqing’s father (a professor) killed his sister’s friend (a student) to cover up their relationship and protect his reputation. However, he later discovers that his sister’s friend had delusional disorder and is not really dating the professor. Xueqing’s father even gave a student who secretly took photographs of his sister’s friend a chance to start anew by covering his crimes up. The photographs made him more suspicious then. Xueqing’s father was just trying to protect his students. Di Shen did not give him a chance to explain and killed him when trying to make him confess.

Qiu Xueqing (Rui En 瑞恩) is a psychiatrist who is sensitive to people’s emotions and has the special talent to put herself in the criminals’ perspectives, helping the police a lot. Unlike Di Shen, Xueqing thinks that all criminals should be given a chance to turn over a new leaf and have their reasons for doing things. She believes in the criminals, guiding and helping criminals lead life afresh.
One of the cases that leaves a deep impression on me is how she believes in a criminal, Tianrui (Yuan Shuai). He has the psychological illness that will make him kill underage girls, thinking that they are vampires. Until the end, Xueqing still believes that Tianrui has changed for the better and is trying his best to control himself. What she believed was right! He cut his own palm instead of hurting his neighbour’s daughter. However, as she tries to understand evil, evil gets to her too. She starts to use her hypnosis treatment to harm people and even thinks of killing people herself.

Zhou Jianfeng (Desmond Tan 陈泂江) is a police officer who has a crush on Xueqing. Although he has the support of Xueqing’s uncle, Xueqing prefers Di Shen to Jianfeng. It is funny whenever Jianfeng asks “What has this case got to do with that novelist?” often angrily and in exasperation. I guess I can understand his feelings. He is always trying his best to solve crimes but to no avail yet Di Shen can get to the bottom of things very quickly. Jianfeng always suspects Di Shen and he has reasons to think so. However, what I do not like about him is that he is most of the time quite inflexible when dealing with criminals, not allowing any negotiation. I am touched by how much he likes Xueqing, especially as it comes towards the end, but too bad they are just not meant to be a couple.

Zebang (Shane Pow 包勋评) sincerely hopes that his sister can get a kidney transplant and recover. His hopes are dashed when the doctor gave the kidney to someone else after being bribed and pretending that his sister is not suitable to be operated on. In order to seek justice, Zebang takes matters into his own hands and releases tear gas bombs at people related to the doctor, aiming to make the doctor confess. I am  touched by his relationship with his sister and how much he is willing to do for her. Too bad he has to leave Di Shen’s sister, Di Yao. I think they are quite a matching pair, especially since he can communicate the best with Di Yao. Haha.  It is quite clever of him to put a underwear in his bag to cover up the bombs hidden in it. Di Shen is so worked up that Di Yao’s “friend” is a pervert and did not see the bombs underneath. Are there other options to uphold justice in that circumstance?

Keji (Aloysius Pang 冯伟衷) had broken his leg before when he attempted suicide with a group of people who had the idea that the world was about to end. Keji has a crush on Xueqing when she showed concern for him. Keji’s imaginary father makes use of kinship ties to give Keji the responsibility to complete missions and kill people who “deserves” to be dead. Actually, Keji is just having a psychological illness that his father is still alive and forcing him to do things. Xueqing is unable to help him in time and Keji kills her uncle (her only kin) out of revenge or perhaps it is just to satisfy his hunger to kill. Xueqing starts to turn evil as she makes Keji jump down the building using her hypnosis treatment. Looks like the hypnosis treatment is a double-edged sword which can provide help if used correctly but can cause harm when misused.

I would not say this is a very interesting/addictive drama but it did broaden my horizons as I step into the criminal and psychology world.

Click here to watch.

Against the tide opening theme song

Mystic Whispers (2014) 听

Genre: Mystery, Romance, Horror, Comedy

Enjoyment: 9/10  Pace: 8/10

starring Romeo Tan as Zhang Jien 张吉恩and Sheila Sim as Mo Xiaoyun莫晓芸.

Plot: This drama shows the journey of Jien and Xiaoyun as their relationship develop with every ghost they help to leave without regret. Each ghost who remains on Earth is filled with grievance and wants to finish what they did not manage to do when they are alive. Jien and Xiaoyun often go to the same cafe and argue over the bread that Xiaoyun always manage to snatch when there is only 1 left, marking the start of their relationship. Xiaoyun only starts to see ghosts when she is with Jien and Jien can see ghosts only when he is holding on to Xiaoyun’s hand.

Zoom into characters: Mo Xiaoyun lost her sense of hearing in her left ear after an accident one year ago and started hearing strange sounds. She has a hunch that she is hearing strange sounds from another world, but chooses to feign ignorance, hoping that she will be fine if she ignores it. Zhang Ji’en is an exorcist cum mortician who have many equipment to deal with ghosts but they may not be effective. He also do the make-up for the dead. Actually, Zhang Jien caused the car accident of Xiaoyun. He was in a rush to be by his girlfriend’s deathbed so he beats the red light and caused Xiaoyun’s accident indirectly. He feels regretful that he cannot see the last sight of his girlfriend and remorseful towards Xiaoyun.

The most funny scene is when Xiaoyun 1st discovered that she can see ghosts. Jien cannot even see the ghost, Ken, yet still say he caught the ghost and get paid for it. Jien is always enthusiastic about seeing ghosts but when he really sees them when Xiaoyun holds on to him, he is always so frightened and escapes whenever possible. Ken (Yuan Shuai)  is such a hardworking ghost and even thinks about handing in his completed work after his death. Too bad he cannot stay alive for a while more or he would have been promoted to creative director. Although he may be competent, he still needs rest. At least his boss takes notice of him or it would have been a waste. We should take care of our health, resting when needed and not be too eager to meet tight deadlines.

Other ghosts are a fat woman who wants to slim down, a boy addicted to smartphones who does not want his parents to divorce because of his death, a maid who wants to protect her young master, a man who does not want to leave the house as he thinks his children are murderers of his wife, another man that wants to prevent the car accident of his wife and daughter and Jien’s ex-girlfriend. I guess all of the ghosts appear in a threatening way as they are filled with unhappiness and hope they can “force” people into helping them. Isn’t gaining sympathy good enough?

The ghost of the fat woman even possessed Xiaoyun to eat a lot of food while the ghost of the boy addicted to smartphone (Aloysius Pang) possessed Jien to surf the net all he wants and at the same time catch Xiaoyun’s attention. It is such a coincidence that the boy addicted to smartphone is killed by an I pad that is thrown out from a building. Haha. We should not care about our appearance so much as what matters may not be our appearance but our attitude and mindset. The fat woman could have led a happy life and not choke to death as there is someone who likes her positive attitude towards life despite her appearance. As part of phubber generation (低頭族), we should take more notice of our surrounding and care for the people around us while we can.

Why you should watch: I am not a fan of horror movies but since Romeo Tan is acting in it with lots of humour, I decided to try it with the sounds off. I did not expect it to be heartwarming as the drama unfolds. It is comical at times when they try to escape from the ghosts but to no avail with the horrified expression on their faces. There are many learning points and one learns to live life without regrets.

Click here to watch.

Mystic whispers original theme song  Mystic whispers spooky opening

Blessings (2014) 祖先保佑

Genre: Mystery, Romance, Time-travel, Comedy, Family

Enjoyment: 10/10  Pace: 10/10

sg_zhuxianbaoyou

starring Shaun Chen 陈泓宇as Lian Wen Ding, Jesseca Liu as Mei Ren/ Xiao Mei, You Yi, Chen Hanwei 陈汉玮 as Daxi, Yao Wenlong 姚玟隆 as Shuang Xi, Chen Shucheng 陈澍城 as Wen Ding’s son, Sora Ma as Wen Ding’s fiancee in the past and Yvonne Lim as Shuang Xi’s wife.

Plot: “ Xiji” was a traditional Teochew pastry shop in the 40s. Business was brisk, thanks to founder Lian Xue Geng’s good business acumen and son Lian Wen Ding’s talented baking skills. In 2014, “Xiji”is being run by Daxi and ShuangXi, the fourth generation Lian brothers but business is bleak. As Daxi’s prayers of  “祖先保佑” is answered, Wen Ding travels through time into the present and helps them with the business. At the same time, he meets someone who resembles his lover which he hoped to marry in the past and his son, the mentally unwell father of Daxi and Shuangxi, who did not receive much father love due to his early demise. He manages to solve the mystery on what is about to happen and changes the past after he returns.

Zoom into characters: Wen Ding is about to marry someone he does not like. Due to tradition, he has to obey his parents’ wishes and give up on his love for Xiao Mei or take her in as mistress. Before the day of marriage, Xiao Mei committed suicide after she lost her mother. Wen Ding tries to save her and ends up time-travelling to 2014. He has nowhere to go so he looks for Xiji which is run by Daxi and Shuangxi but no one believes he is their grandfather. Hence, he uses other identities to continue living in their house and helping them with business. At the same time, he meets Mei Ren who looks like Xiao Mei who he will fall in love with despite their contrasting views. Mei Ren opens a cake shop and is a straightforward and sincere person who thinks well for the customers and serve the customers up to their satisfaction. Daxi is a good writer but cannot fulfill his dream as he is the eldest son and naturally has to run the family business. Shuangxi, on the other hand, has the talent in baking but is lazy and only comes up with “good” ideas to increase the number of customers in the shop.

It is quite interesting especially the way Lian Wen Ding talks like the people in the past. It is funny when he tries to preach people on the traditional values of the past such as ”养儿防老“(have more children so as to have them to depend on at old age) or women should listen to their husbands and stay at home to take care of their children which obviously no one listens to him. It is funny that when Daxi did a DNA test on Wen Ding and realises he matches his own father’s, they straightaway thought he is his father’s illegitimate son rather than believing he is their grandfather. I am touched by Wen Ding’s relationship with his son. Wen Ding often blames himself for his son’s misfortune and only his son recognises him. Wonder why Wen Ding only has one son even though he always preaches people on the importance of continuing the family line. Haha.

I learnt that in order to preserve traditions, innovation is needed. As the mindset of the people changes with time, one should not stick to the traditions when promoting the same product. If not, no one would be interested in them even if it has a long history. Customer’s satisfaction is the most important when selling a product. When doing business, trust is important. Paying actors to buy goods from the shop may gain more customers but will lose the trust of long-term customers after they find out. Only Shuangxi’s daughter believes that Wen Ding time-travels. Is it because children are naive or is it while people grow into adult, their imagination is gone and they become practical and realistic?

Why you should watch: At first, I did not want to watch this as I thought it was a typical long series Singapore Drama. Then, I read the newspapers and suddenly came across its plot which is time-travelling. Haha. That caught my attention and I decided to try it after all. One of the few Singapore dramas that makes me feel a strong tinge of sadness after I finished watching it. Not sure if it is because the drama has come to an end or because Mei Ren and Wen Ding did not end up together. I am very satisfied with the ending and plot of this drama. Shaun Chen acted very well as Wen Ding.

Click here to watch.

Blessings opening theme song

World at your feet (2014) 球在你脚下

Genre: Football, Romance, Family, Comedy

Enjoyment: 9/10  Pace: 7/10

world at your feet        world at your feet2

starring Ha Yu, Tay Ping Hui, Elvin Ng, Jeanette AwZhang Zhenhuan, Vivian Lai, Zheng GepingAileen Tan, Brandon Wong, Yvonne Lim, Dennis Chew, Xu Bin, Ian Fang, Kimberly Chia, Aloysius Pang, Chantelle Ng, Douglas Kung, KK Cheung,Richard Low, Wang Yuqing, Jeremy Chan, Chen Huihui, Silver Ang, Ivan Lo, Tan Jun Sheng, Tosh Zhang, Wang Weiliang, Noah Yap, Maxi Lim, Charlie Goh.

Too many episodes for me… but satisfying ending. Skipped many and managed to finish it! Things only start to get interesting after episode 20+.

This drama is mainly about soccer (in view of the World Cup) and the struggles faced by the many people involved in this game. Wei Xiong (Elvin Ng) is about to go blind after contracting eye disease. Both Guo Tian (Zhang Zhenhuan) and him like a girl called Yu Qing (Jeanette Aw) who is optimistic and cheers them on during matches. She may treat both of them as friends but she prefers Wei Xiong over Guo Tian as a boyfriend. One day, Wei Xiong decided to break up with her and went to jail for what he thought he did wrong. He also did not want to act as a burden to Yu Qing.

Besides that, at the end of it the players gained things (short summary):
Somebody gained a son. Somebody gained a father.
2 people are going for treatment for cancer.
At least 4 couples formed.
A family was not separated.
3 people remained as friends.

The names for the people are very funny, such as Gao Guo Tian (高过天), Lan Yang Yang (蓝阳阳>懒洋洋), Gao Shou(高首>高手), Wu Wei Xiong (吴伟雄>无尾熊)etc. All have a funny word to match with. To me, the younger casts could have had more screening time. The matches are quite entertaining and we see how a team made up of people with many weaknesses can defeat the arrogant opponents. The coach, Mei Ren Xin, does have many way to train the team players, ranging from training their team spirit, stamina, speed, control of the ball and many others. He even managed to train Wei Xiong when he was 60% blind. Team spirit is indeed important! When Shijing was caught between letting his son win or preventing the ball from going in, it was a tough decision. I don’t know what decision I would have made. Episode 15- the separation of the family brought me to tears as I feel the children’s feelings when they are being separated. I found Zhou Chongqing’s character, Lan Yang Yang, quite comical, always using “ya” to end a sentence.

Click here to watch.

World at your feet opening theme song

The caregivers (2014) Missy 先生

Genre: Medical, Family, Romance

Enjoyment: 9/10  Pace: 8/10

the caregivers singapore     the caregivers singapore2

starring Chris Tong 童冰玉 as Fang Yiting, Thomas Ong 王沺裁 as Yang Hao Tian
杨浩天, Terence Cao as Lin Jiaming, Cheryl Wee as nurse Liu Xuewen, Jayley Woo 胡佳琪 as Hao Tian’s sister and James Seah as Hao Tian’s brother.

Plot: 40-year-old Yang Haotian, a home nurse, makes house calls to old and feeble chronic patients to provide regular home nursing services. Cheery in nature, he brings joy to his patients. Doctor Lin Jiaming runs a 24-hour mobile medical service centre. Yang Haotian has been working at the centre for about six years and is the only male nurse there. On the day he receives the Best Nursing Staff award, he meets Doctor Fang Yiting, who has just joined the centre. Yiting wants a change of environment after being in a private hospital. Jiaming likes her and hopes to win her heart but she is only interested in her work. Making up Yang Haotian’s medical team are Nurse Liu Xuewen and Dr. Fang Yiting.

Zoom into characters: Hao Tian is not only a good nurse who does not mind extra work just to give his patients more care, but also a worried elder brother who puts his immature siblings as priority. Both siblings have very dangerous hobbies. His younger brother likes to car race while his younger sister likes to hike. His siblings often argue and their relationship is very bad. Doctor Fang Yiting has just transferred and is very strict about the medical centre’s rules and regulations. She does not allow Hao Tian to answer calls from other patients when he is working or break any rule such as getting involved in the patients’ personal lives. She feels that Hao Tian is doing too much for the patients, crossing over the line. Her mother has a mental illness while her grandfather wants her to marry Doctor Jiaming.

I enjoyed how Hao Tian always has many jokes or riddles in his head and ready to use them to make the patients laugh (or more often said to his colleagues who find that his jokes are lame). He even gains himself an admirer, a nurse Xuewen who respects him and starts following his actions such as saying jokes. The most touching cases to me are Edwin Goh’s character’s (who is a filial grandson) case and Zhouying’s character’s case. While Edwin’s character tries his best to take care of his grandmother, it takes up a lot of his time to study and he even loses his girlfriend. While his grandmother beats him without knowing it, he still bears with it and refuses to send his grandmother to a nursing home. In Zhouying’s character’s case, Hao Tian helps her adoptive mother fall asleep and makes her adoptive mother’s birthday party perfect, even promising that he will marry her adoptive daughter to help her rest in peace. Surprisingly, the adoptive daughter treats her a lot better than her real sons. I am impressed that Hao Tian does a really good job as a nurse, knowing the patients and their family matters in and out.

It is funny when Hao Tian’s siblings take turns to worry him and cause him to lose sleep at night. It seems that he is more of their parents than elder brother. Towards the end, his sister even falls off a hill/mountain. I am touched that his sister’s boyfriend (Yuan Shuai) did not abandon her and continues to take care of her when she is in coma. Not only does he shares her interest (hiking), he also shares her woes. I like the funny and creative warm-up exercise Hao Tian created. It is effective and catchy.

Why you should watch: The chemistry between the lead couple is great. While they face the challenge of Hao Tian being of lower job status and have contradicting views at first, they still find comfort in each other as the drama goes. It is a heartwarming medical drama that focuses on the jobs of a nurse.

Click here to watch on toggle.

The caregivers opening theme song

Served hot (2014) 烧卖 Channel U

Genre: Food, Romance, Family, Kinship

Enjoyment: 9/10  Pace: 9/10

ServedHOT

starring Lee Teng 李腾 as He Taihu, Aloysius Pang 冯伟衷 as He Tailong, Ya Hui 雅慧 as Zeng Mei Wei, Ian Fang 方伟杰 as Chen Owen and Shane Pow 包勋评 as Zhuang Haolun.

Plot: Served Hot is a story revolving around friendship and kinship of three ex-convicts and a chef’s daughter overcoming adversities which revolve food.  Li Yueniang runs a Nanyang cuisine eatery and is famous for her laksa. Ever since someone offered her $1 million, many people have tried to cheat the recipe out of her. He Tailong, Chen Owen and Zhuang Haolun turn up at the eatery as well. As Tailong is able to detect the special ingredient in the laksa, Yueniang agrees to take him in and impart the recipe to him. He is hesitant, as he cannot cook. As the drama goes, they try their best to run the business and prevent the eatery from being snatched away after Yueniang passes away.

Zoom into characters: Tailong has a special tongue that can taste the ingredients in the food. Owen nicknamed Char Siew King is very good at roasting authentic char siew related food which no one can beat. Haolun is the talker who helps them think of ideas to continue business and attract more customers. Mei Wei is good at cooking but her father who was once a chef forbids her from cooking to prevent her from ending up like him. Once good brothers, Taihu, Tailong’s older brother,  starts to hate Tailong because Tailong often criticises Taihu’s cooking with his talent.

Liked how the relationship developed between Tailong, Owen, Haolun and Mei Wei. I admire Owen’s spirit for insisting on the authenticity of food, especially Char Siew, and goes through hard times. Even his friends does not believe in him when he challenged a famous chef on a Char Siew related dish. While there are many innovations made on food, many people still prefer the original version. I did not expect the name Mei Wei to come from delicious in Chinese…Haha. Mei Wei’s character is one I should learn from: persistent and giving one’s all. It is funny when they use Mei Wei’s senile grandfather to persuade Mei Wei’s father to allow her to be chef. If he is able to go back to normal the moment he eats the food, they pass the test and he will agree. Haolun’s role in this drama seems a lot less significant as compared to his friends but I enjoyed seeing him change from the troublemaker to his friend’s great helper.

It is a waste that Tailong loses his sense of taste+ the special ability at the end (sry for the spoiler). However, I feel that being able to taste like normal is a blessing. If a food is already not tasty, it is even more unpleasant to know what disgusting ingredients make up the food. A good cook is one that is able to make the dish by feeling and not taste as portrayed in this drama. Tasting should be more on accepting people’s sincerity and not  when cooking but I guess it is easier said than done. Haha. I am touched when Tailong eats the dish his brother prepared even though it is mixed with dog food or other disgusting things. I guess I can understand Taihu for hating his brother but that does not mean he can go against his conscience as a chef.

 Why you should watch: It is a heartwarming drama related to food starring Aloysius Pang, Ian Fang and Shane Pow. The special ability Tailong has makes it more interesting. The many “crises” they faced at the eatery including those caused by Taihu make the drama engaging.

Click here to watch.

Served hot opening theme song  Served hot MV + ending theme song

Gonna Make It (2013) 小小传奇

Enjoyment: 8/10  Pace: 8/10

gonna make it

starring Bryan Wong 王禄江 Xiaoxiao’s hairstyling teacher, Xu Bin 徐彬 as Oscar, Julie Tan 陈欣淇 as Su Xiaoxiao,  Edwin Goh 吴劲威 as Li Feilong.

Twenty-two-year-old Su Xiaoxiao, who has a passion for hairstyling, is sentenced to two years’ imprisonment for causing grievous hurt. After serving her term, she avoids her old friends, Li Feilong and his gang. Oscar Yang Yuanshuai, the young master of a hairdressing salon chain, returns from America after completing his studies, but avoids his aunts right after his arrival.

Gonna make it opening theme song      Ending theme song

Sudden (2013) 骤变

Genre: Law, Action, Romance

Enjoyment: 8/10  Pace: 8/10

     sudden

starring Romeo Tan as Fang Qiliang, Rui En as Cheng Chuning, Rebecca Lim as Huang Yixin and Guo Weiqian, Zhang Zhen Huan as Sun Dalun, Ian Fang as Zhong Wentai and Yuan Shuai as Lin Shenghua, Yixin’s boyfriend.

Plot: A horrific accident complicates the lives of four lawyers – Fang Qiliang, Cheng Chuning, Guo Weiqian and Sun Dalun. Losing his mobility as a result of the accident while helping Yixin, Qiliang drifts apart from his girlfriend Chuning because of the pain and misgivings he had. Meanwhile, Chuning realised that her memory is receding and she fears that she may soon forget Qiliang. Weiqian lost her father in the same accident, and his last words were conveyed to her by Sun Dalun, an eye witness who missed his appointment for a promising position in a prestigious law firm.

Zoom into characters: Qiliang and Chuning work together side by side as lawyers, helping each other and have a stable relationship. However, everything changed after Qiliang suddenly became wheelchair-bound and he looks down on himself and breaks up with Chuning. Chuning does not forgive her father as she thought that his father had an extramarital affair and made her mother leave. She tried to make Qiliang change his mind at first but she breaks up with him after knowing her illness. Wentai, Qiliang’s cousin, dreams to become a lawyer but still has a lot to learn. He is very supportive of Qiliang and stays by his side through thick and thin. Dalun is a self-centered person who believes that no one can change him. Weiqian is a kind person who is considerate and thoughtful, making it difficult for her to become a good lawyer assistant who has to gather evidence and witness. She is able to change Dalun as time goes. Her long-lost (twin looks) sister, Yixin, is unhappy about the misfortune she has to go through and is jealous of her sister who has everything. Hence, she plans several bad deeds secretly with her boyfriend.

Feel sorry for Qiliang but a handicapped person is not equal to a useless person. It is funny when Qiliang and Wentai is at the taxi stand and everyone allows him to go first as he is physically disabled, making Qiliang more depressed even though Wentai is very happy about the benefits they get. I feel sad that Chuning’s dog has to die to protect Qiliang. It is funny when Wentai has a one-sided crush on Weiqian. I did not expect Shenghua who lives off Qiliang would be planning… As the drama goes, Dalun starts to mix up Weiqian and Yixin as both falls in love with him. (sry for the spoiler) At the very end, Dalun needs to save one of them in the fire and he saves the one that asked him to save the other. Until now, I still wonder if he made the right decision and really saved the one he loves. Is it possible for evil Yixin to change so fast? Is it possible for people who look alike to have the same character?

Why you should watch: Love the romance between the lead couple as the drama develops. They work together then against each other and at last overcome their difficulties together. I also enjoyed the different lawsuits involved and how they defend each cases. As it reaches the end, it evolves from romance to thriller and ends off on a high note. Rebecca Lim acted the sisters with extreme opposite characters very well.

Click here to watch.

Sudden opening theme song

I’m in charge (2013) 小子当家

Enjoyment: 9/10  Pace: 9/10

i am incharge singapore   

starring Elvin Ng as Liu Guo Wei, Sheila Sim as Wang Xiaohui, Aloysius Pang as Wang Jiahao, Elizabeth Lee as Jiang Haiying, Eric Lee as Lollipop, Jasper Chua as Otahman, Melody Low as Coco, Charles Phua as Benson Lee, Foo Fang Rong as Wang Jiemin, Carole Lin as Liu Xiufen and Oh Ling En as Wang Jieshan.

This is a 20-episode drama-series about a youth who has to shoulder the responsibility of being the man of the house while his mother (single parent) is hospitalised. Not only does the boy have to support the family, he must also bear the responsibility of looking after his two younger sisters (one aged 14 and the other aged 12). He also overcomes his fear of water and wins Haiying’s heart. When she wakes up, she will find that her family has turned into one filled with warmth and her children have become sensible and responsible.

Zoom into characters: Wang Jiahao does not appreciate his mother’s sacrifice and spends his time aimlessly with Lollipop, Otahman and Coco. He only starts to change after his mother remains in coma and he has to manage the house on his own. He falls in love with Haiying at first sight and chooses to work near a swimming pool which Haiying usually swims even though he has a phobia of entering a pool. Jiemin, like Jiahao is a rebellious child who creates much trouble. Jieshan seems like the only good child in the family. She is good at studying and often throws out Chinese idioms at her older siblings. Jiahao’s aunt, Wang Xiaohui, works in a production company under Yang Dadao. Her dream is to shoot a movie someday. She is exploited by Dadao, who gives her the menial and troublesome tasks. Guo Wei, Xiufen’s brother, once a gangster is finally released from prison and stays at their house. In order to prevent the children from going astray, Xiaohui decides to move into their house but ends up falling in love with Guo Wei.

I’m in charge opening theme song

Beyond (2013) X 元素

Enjoyment: 10/10  Pace: 10/10

beyond sgdrama poster   beyondsingaporedrama

Best fantasy drama of Singapore that I watched so far.
There are many mysterious encounters such as:
-time-travel in coma state (saving someone or killing someone)
-13.5 storey (mysterious level in the building that people can live their desire)
-travelling to another world on the same axis (meeting yourself who feels inferior instead)
-spooky mirrors (let your inner self overcome you)
-stealing peoples’ age to live for eternity (looking younger or living longer but more miserably)
-sleepwalking to an island that does not exist and being trapped there

The bespectacled girl (Jeanette Aw) can see peoples’ soul image when she takes off her spectacles. If the person has no freedom, she can see the person as chained up. If a person lives in the past, the words he says will be the opposite way around. It is just awesomely spectacular! This drama leaves a very deep impression on me because of its fantasy elements and thought provoking scenes. A pity that this drama didn’t get much awards.

Beyond opening theme song

Break free (2013) 曙光

Enjoyment: 9/10  Pace: 7/10

breakfree

starring Tay Ping Hui as 黎天明 Li Tian Ming, Terence Cao as 金勇诚 Jin Yong Cheng, Zhang Zhen Huan as 叶志斌 Ye Zhi Bin, Andie Chen as Xu Haolong 徐浩龙.

Li Tianming, Jin Yongcheng, Ye Zhibin and Xu Haolong share a prison cell. The convicts vow to remain in contact after their release. Tianming was sent to prison after he injured his brother-in-law on account of his mother. Zhibin had misappropriated funds for his wife’s sake. Yongcheng killed someone while driving under the influence of alcohol. Haolong was a nurse. In the course of his work, he caught Aids from a prostitute and injured her in a fit of revenge. Zhibin offends Huo and causes the foursome to be sent for counseling. Their counselor is Tian Shishi. Tianming asks Shishi for help, as his wife, Huang Haitang, wants to leave with their children after the divorce papers are signed. She is refusing to wait until Tianming is released. Embittered, he flies into a rage when she visits him.

I skipped some episodes here and there but liked how the relationship among the 4 criminals develop even though they come from different backgrounds and committed different crimes. They continue to help each other even after they are released from jail. It is a pity that Haolong gets Aids and may die anytime. If I am not wrong, he aims to become a lawyer as the drama goes and even helps one of his 3 friends defend for a case. I guess the people of different status commit different types of crimes. Comparing  Zhibin to the rest, his crime is on a different and higher level and needs intelligence. Do not really like his wife who gives him mental stress even until the end of the drama. I actually started watching it due to curiosity of character Haolong’s part in this drama. Haha. It is an inspiring drama that shows that there is still hope for ex-convicts to lead their lives afresh.

Break free opening theme song

Don’t Stop Believing (2012) 我们等你

Enjoyment: 10/10  Pace: 9/10

Don't Stop Believin' - 我们等你!

Secondary school drama. Du Siman (Felicia Chin) is a passionate teacher of a top school. After clashing with the principal over a student, she decides to join Brilliante Secondary School, the school with the worst academic results in Singapore as it accepts pupils who have failed the Primary School Leaving Examinations at least twice. Through sheer determination, she manages to convince the principal, Zhou Yaoguang (Cavin Soh) and vice principal Li Shengchun (Constance Song), to recruit her and after some time gain the students’ trust. She will fall in love with the counselor of the school, Wu Yan Bin (Elvin Ng) with a bad past who has hearing problem at first and did not hear her confession, resulting in her dating with a chef, Romeo Tan as Jin Zhennan, instead.

The story of the students are quite touching as they each have their own story to tell. Don’t ever give up on students. They have their own problems and challenges to overcome. It is still possible to discover the potential of every student and let them work to their best ability. The interesting thing is there are many innovative ways put in place to help the students such as calm zone in every class where students do not have to response to teachers and placards which show whether they understand what is being taught.

Don’t stop believing opening theme song

Code of honour (2012) 正义武馆

Enjoyment: 8/10  Pace: 6/10

starring Elvin Ng 黄俊雄 as Yuan Chenxi 元晨曦/ Song Yazai 宋亚仔, Zheng Geping 郑各评as Yuan Zhen Fei 元振飞, Andie Chen 陈邦鋆 as Ou Jian Feng 欧剑锋, Rui En 瑞恩 as Ou Ke Lu 欧可璐, Chris Tong 童冰玉 as Long Wan Yi 龙婉怡

It is 1963 and the Yuan Clan Martial Arts Association is in turmoil. Clan head Yuan Zhen Fei suffered several personal tragedies; his wife suffered brain damage and their son Chen Xi was killed in a road accident. Unknown to Zhen Fei, his wife had an affair with Song Zhi Zhong and had twin boys. To cover up the affair, she took one twin, Chen Xi, while Song took the other, Ya Zai, and moved away to Malaysia. Song Ya Zai is a fisherman who lives a contented life without ambition for fame or fortune. By circumstance he was taken into the Yuan clan as he was mistaken for Chen Xi but is eventually accepted by Zhen Fei. Zhen Fei’s rogue disciple Duan Tian has been wreaking havoc around town by using his martial arts skills for evil purposes with the intent of unseating Zhen Fei as head. Ya Zai soon finds himself in the middle of a long and bloody family feud between his ancestral clan and the Yuans. When his sweetheart Wanyi dies in the bitter struggle, a distraught Ya Zai decides he has had enough of the fighting and exiles himself to a small village.

However, a local tycoon has been eyeing the villagers’ land and hires Duan Tian He to chase them out by force. Ya Zai defeats Tian He and kills him but the family feud has reached a boiling point. Another of Zhen Fei’s former disciples Ou Jian Feng devises a complicated plan to end it once and for all. Can Jian Feng and Ya Zai put to bed a long-lasting animosity and hatred?

Watched this sometime ago. Although I did not manage to finish it, I was attracted to it as there is a hidden twin involved and both twins are acted by Elvin Ng! To me, it is a very complicated plot but it was fun to watch when people start to discover the existence of twins. Too bad Chenxi had to die so early, I wanted the twins to interact more (not sure if they did meet) Is it possible for people to like a different person with the same looks? If I did not remember wrongly, Kelu who likes Chenxi also likes Yazai after Chenxi passes away. I think Yazai and Wan Yi make a good pair. It is quite a sad drama that the couples did not end up with a happy ending.

Code of honour opening theme song

Poetic Justice (2012) 微笑正义

Genre: Action, Comedy, Romance, Crime

Enjoyment: 10/10  Pace: 9/10

Poetic_Justice

starring Rui En as Liu Yanzhi (刘言之) and Dai Yang Tian as Fang Zhengye (方正业). Other casts: Rebecca Lim as Feng Luo Ling (冯若凌), Sora Ma as Zhong Rui Yao (钟芮瑶),  Desmond Tan as Tang Zhisheng (唐智胜) and Yuan Shuai as Lin Zhong Lun (林仲伦).
The plot revolves around a group of young professionals involved in investigative journalism. Two journalists team up with a wealthy businessman and a lawyer to help solve cases for those in need. As they investigate further, they uncover more secrets and dark truths behind some of the crimes.

Zoom into characters: Luo Ling is an objective broadcast journalist+ reporter. She is always determined to get hold of the truth no matter how dangerous it is. Yanzhi, on the other hand, is a reporter who places justice as the priority. She is always looking for his ex-boyfriend, Zhong Lun, but to no avail. She raises her niece up on her own after her parents passed away in an accident. Her niece may act like an adult but is still a child after all. Zhengye is a rich businessman who becomes a reporter to woo Luo Ling but ends up falling in love with Yanzhi after he thought Luo Ling broke up with him. Zhisheng is a lawyer that has a crush on Yanzhi at first but woos Rui Yao in the end. Zhong Lun returns to Yanzhi mentally shaken after being framed by Zhengye’s father for a crime he did not commit.

Reporters need to uphold justice too. They have a huge responsibility as they have huge influence on the people. Reporting news that helps people may save a person’s life while reporting news that hurts people may cause unhappiness or even someone’s death. Not all truth have to be reported. Reporters have to know how to differentiate between what can be reported and what cannot. Conscience can be used as a guide.

Love the couple Yanzhi and Zhengye+Rui Yao and Zhisheng. I thought that Zhengye should have confessed about who he loves earlier to prevent both Luo Ling and Yanzhi from getting hurt. I am happy that he is able to save Yanzhi’s life and start afresh with her. (sry for the spoiler) A relationship should be mutual. If only one person is overly possessive/contributing to the relationship, then it is not healthy. It is funny when Zhisheng confessed to Rui Yao. It is childish yet romantic (?). It is hilarious when Yanzhi and Zhengye first met. Yanzhi wanted to tell him to throw the litter into the bin and he thought that Yanzhi is confessing to him. What a narcissistic prince! Haha. As the drama goes, both Yanzhi and Rui Yao gets a chance to be a broadcast journalist and people comment on their different styles. Do broadcast journalists in real life have different styles of reporting news? Haha.

Why you should watch: There are many different cases involved and one will enjoy the development in the relationship between the couples. It is interesting as we get to see how people react to what is seen on the news and how news affect people directly or indirectly. One of the Singapore Dramas that I enjoyed a lot due to the meaningful and interesting plot. Besides the main characters, I especially liked the character played by Sora Ma in this drama who has a happy ending unlike the other characters she played so far. Probably became a fan of Dai Yang Tian because of this drama.

Watch it on irisxi.

Poetic justice theme song  Poetic justice opening theme song  好难得 by 丁噹

Jump! (2012) 跳浪Channel U

Enjoyment: 9/10  Pace: 9/10

jumptiaolang

starring Jeanette Aw as Xiao Chunli 萧春丽 and Zhang Zhenhuan as Xu Dele “Speed” 徐德乐. Another secondary school drama. Xiao Chunli is a Chinese teacher at Blue Sky Secondary School, neighbourhood school notorious for its rock-bottom results and delinquency. Her efforts to help her students are hampered by Mr Yan, the school principal who cares more about KPIs than the students themselves. One of the teachers Xu Dele (with ulterior motive) is a master with the skipping rope and he begins recruiting students to participate in a double dutch competition. Much to Miss Xiao and Mr Xu’s frustration, several of the more problematic students or those rejected by other CCAs are “dumped” into the team. Mr Xu and his students embark on a quest to win a medal at the competition. The students learn some valuable lessons about life and teamwork along the way.

If I am not wrong: One of the students is a transfer student from a branded school but he is unable to get along with the students there. He is threatened to do things so as to become friends with the bully. He is pressured to do well in his studies. Edwin Goh’s character likes one of the other students who has to take care of her brother. They eventually managed to recruit the bully and a plump boy. Can’t remember what happened but there are definitely some family problems which may cause some of them to drop out of the team for a while. With these matters resolved and the will power of the students, they are able to make up for each others’ weaknesses and create a strong team for the competition.

It was great seeing the pupils successfully perform double dutch after such a difficult journey and even doing well in their studies!

Jump! opening theme song

Absolutely Charming (2012) 糊里糊涂爱上它

Enjoyment: 9/10  Pace: 9/10

starring Elvin Ng 黄俊雄 as Hao Min, Cherry Hsia as Fox spirit, Zhang Zhen Huan 张振寰 and Zhou Ying 周颖 as En Lin.

Deities in the Celestial Court swoon over the sensual Fox Spirit. To attain immortality, Fox Spirit tries hard to suppress her feelings of love, to no avail. Knowing that Fox Spirit has to undergo the test of mortal love, the Queen Mother of Heaven and the Jade Emperor banish Fox Spirit to the mortal world, and stipulated that Fox Spirit will be permitted to return to the Celestial Court only if a man is willing to sacrifice his life to love her. Fox Spirit is confident that with her enchanting looks, she will be able to find a man to love her, within three days. Much to her horror, Fox Spirit has turned into an ugly woman with a slap mark on her face after being banished to the mortal world. Worse, the moment she attempts to seduce a man, she develops an acrid body odour…. Transformed into the ugly Hu Liqin and taunted by men, the desperate Fox Spirit finds refuge in old man Song Tiancheng’s residence through trickery, biding her time to snare a lover in the hope of achieving her goal of returning to the Celestial Court.

Something new and liked the fantasy in this drama. Highly recommended fantasy drama.

Absolute Charming opening theme song

CLIF Courage, Loyalty, Integrity, Fairness (2011) 警徽天职

Genre: Crime, Romance

Enjoyment: 9/10  Pace: 8/10

starring Qi Yuwu 戚玉武 as SI Tang Yew Jia (唐耀佳) and Joanne Peh 白薇秀 as ASP Leow Xin Yi (廖心怡)Elvin Ng 黄俊雄 as Sgt Teo Kwee Xiang (张贵祥) and Tracy Lee 李美玲 as Cpl Han Xiao Yang (韩晓洋).

The series showcases various kinds of cases police units deal with, from complicated and sensitive cases such as illegal immigrants and hostage situations to textbook crimes such as arson, drug trafficking, rape and burglary. The police force is tasked with handling security at the World Security Summit, which is to take place in several months. Over the weeks prior to the summit the different departments and police units at Tanglin Police Division are kept busy with their various cases while preparing for the summit.

Like CLIF 1 the best. I feel that it is more original and I like the chemistry between Yao Jia and Xin Yi + Gui Xiang and Xiao Yang. It’s my first drama with Romeo Tan in it and his character passed away in the drama while catching a murderer which leaves a deep impression on me. Still remember seeing him taking a photograph beside “his funeral” in a magazine haha.

I like how Qi Yuwu and Elvin Ng portray their characters. Yao Jia is an orphan who has a brother whose dream was to be a policeman but ends up becoming a businessman for money, causing their relationship to be distant. He has a weird personality and likes to be alone. He would rather play at the arcade than eat a meal with his colleagues. Gui Xiang is a lazy lower rank policeman while his partner, Xiao Yang, is hardworking and likes to take risk but from a rich family. He has close relationship with Romeo’s character who has big dreams. After Romeo’s character was stabbed, Gui Xiang faces the consequence of accidentally killing the murderer + is depressed of his friend’s demise which leads to more mental struggles and conflict which is also acted out well. Wonder why couples cannot work together in a police team. Is it they will become distracted? Haha. I remember them separated into different groups at the end.

Watch it on irisxi.

CLIF opening theme song

Secret Garden (2010) 秘密花园

Genre: Romance, Medical, Mystery

Enjoyment: 9/10

secretgardensing

Cao Qi Ming (Tender Huang), aka Dr Beng, is an unconventional psychiatrist who specializes in treating children and young people. Although he appears to be lazy and uncouth, he is really a perceptive and sensitive doctor at heart. Dr Beng is a squatter at his ex-schoolmate, Swan’s (Yvonne Lim) clinic. Swan is a no-nonsense art therapist, she comes across as aloof and cold but is patient, professional and devoted to her patients. Tracy (Paige Chua) is a rookie social worker. She is acquainted with Dr Beng when she brought her first case, a schizophrenic youth, to him. Initially disagreeable of his method, she changes her mind when she sees his effective way of treating the patients.

Dr Beng has been searching relentlessly for the culprit of an accident that killed his twin brother 18 years ago. Swan accidentally discovers the truth but holds back from Dr Beng, she even prevents him from finding out the truth. What is the secret behind the accident? Dr Beng is caught between Swan and Tracy, who is the one he truly loves?

I am not sure if I did finish watching but I don’t think I miss any episode of such a psychology related drama. Haha. Don’t mix it up with Secret Garden Korean Drama. It is totally different. This one is on medical cases of many different patients who have emotional or psychiatric problems. Dr Beng with problems of his own has brilliant ways to identify patients and treat them which is why I enjoyed this drama so much. A must-watch if you are interested in psychology related dramas.

Watch it on irisxi.

Breakout (2010) 破天网

Genre: Romance, Family, Revenge, Action

Enjoyment: 7/10  Pace: 7/10

breakout

On her 12th birthday, Tang Ying (younger portrayed by Regine Lim, older portrayed by Zhou Ying) lost her parents and older brother to a tragic road “accident”. When she came out of her coma, she was stunned to realize that she was no longer a 12 year old girl but a 25 year old young woman. Trapped in an older body with her memory still frozen at age 12, Tang Ying struggles to cope with reality which includes the cruel truth that her family is dead and embarks on a rigorous routine to learn, find out the truth and to familiarize herself with a society that has changed tremendously in the years.

During this time, she befriends Zou Jieming (portrayed by Elvin Ng), an autistic but highly intelligent savant, and Situ Dongcheng (portrayed by Christopher Lee), a down-and-out former lawyer who has lost everything he treasured in his life. Together, they embark on a battle against Yang Tianwei (portrayed by Guo Liang), a cruel, ruthless and cunning man who will stop at nothing in his quest to avenge his dead son Zhenjie. Tianwei’s children, Chris Yang Zhenfeng (portrayed by Dai Yang Tian) and Nianqing (portrayed by Jeanette Aw), assist him in his evil deeds. It is revealed that Yang Tianwei had planned the murder of the Tang Yaozu and his family for a past grudge using a road accident and it was not an isolated incident. Will Tang Ying, Jieming and Dongcheng be able to bring him to justice before he ruins more lives?

Can’t really remember exactly what happened. However, I know that Elvin Ng left a deep impression on me and I started watching dramas with him in it thereafter. His character is autistic and is good at math and science. He has a watch which has an alarm which reminds him to do something. The most memorable is 吃巧克力时间 (time to eat chocolates). Haha… Love the time Jieming and Tang Ying spent together. It is funny that Jieming likes Tang Ying more than his parents much to his mother’s jealousy. Jeanette Aw acted as a mentally unwell person quite well. Nianqing and Dongcheng are quite a matching pair. I did not really like the ending but I guess it may have put everything back to its original position?

Watch it on irisxi.

Breakout opening theme song

Priceless wonder (2010) 游戏人生

Genre: Gambling, Family, Romance, Comedy

Enjoyment: 8/10  Pace: 8/10

priceless wonder

starring Tiffany Leong as Xu Yuxuan 徐宇萱 and Zzen Zhang as Li Caishun 李财顺. Other casts: Alan Tern as Xu Guoxing 徐国兴, Priscelia Chan as Lin Zhenni 林珍妮 (Guoxing’s wife), Xiang Yun as Su Bizhu 苏碧珠 (Yuxuan’s mother) and Nat Ho as Li Cailai 李财来.

Plot: The drama is about how gambling is related to Caishun and how he kicked off this bad habit. Caishun decides to quit gambling for good but his resolve is tested when a tragedy hits his family and his and his father’s past catches up with them. Is it possible to quit gambling just for someone you love? Gambling may change a person’s life or the lives of the people around them.

Zoom into characters: Li Caishun is a bookie who followed in his father’s footsteps. Despite this, he has a heart of gold and has been taking care of his mother Qiao E and brother Cailai ever since his father has been in and out of prison. He falls for Yuxuan, who works as a teller for a 4-D stand. Her widowed mother Bizhu gambled away their inheritance and made her ex-boyfriend addicted to gambling. Hence, Yuxuan detests all things related to gambling and jilts Caishun after finding out his real “occupation”. Ironically, her older brother Guoxing is a CID officer who specialises in investigating gambling syndicates and often comes into conflict with his conscience after having to arrest his own mother on more than one occasions.

It is funny that Yuxuan hates gambling but works as a teller for a 4D stand. Perhaps she is still slightly influenced by her family member? Caishun always has to pretend that he is holding a funeral to avoid getting caught while setting up a gambling den there. It was funny when he jumped into the coffin as the police arrived and when he come out of the coffin he frightened Yuxuan who happens to be there and thought the dead is revived. As Caishun expose the other gambling dens, wouldn’t he cause more unhappiness and trouble than the “help” he give to make people quit gambling? It is not easy to quit something once you are addicted to it.

Guoxing is often hot on Caishun’s heels, trying to arrest him but to no avail. Guoxing believes that Caishun will never change as the leopard will never change its spots and advices Yuxuan to stay away from him. Bizhu should not have influenced the people around her to gamble such as Guoxing’s wife. Because of that, she caused dispute between the couple and they almost divorced. She also made her granddaughter help her by giving her lucky numbers and asked her friends to come to her house to gamble with her when no one is at home. Caishun’s real parents should not have told him his identity right after his operation. They should have waited for him to recover and spare him the agony. I do not really like them. How could they use their son as a gambling bet? (sry for the spoiler)

Why you should watch: It is a very unique drama about gambling that leaves a deep impression on me. The character, Caishun, makes it more interesting with his unknown identity and the changes he made to make him more compatible with Yuxuan. He is also very romantic and funny when trying to win the heart of Yuxuan.

Watch it on youtube.

Priceless wonder opening theme song

A Child’s Hope (2003) 孩有明天

Genre: Romance, Family, Comedy

Enjoyment: 9/10  Pace: 8/10

a child's hope

starring Tay Ping Hui as Huang Junsheng 黄俊生, Phyllis Quek as Zhang Shanni 张珊霓, Yvonne Lim as Fang Xiuyue 方秀月, Florence Tan as Fan Danmei 范丹美, Dasmond Koh as Hong Zhonggeng 洪忠耿.

I just finished watching this. It is a children-related medical drama that I had wanted to watch since sometime ago. Will be watching A Child’s Hope 2 (2004) as soon as possible. Just wanted to feel more appreciative of the life I have now and feel my emotions stir. Haha. Even the theme song is so meaningful and saddening. I am sure that these 2 dramas of the past are worth watching.

Zoom into characters: Dr Huang Junsheng (Tay Ping Hui) is the responsible and committed pediatrician who dedicates too much time at the hospital and as a result neglects his girlfriend; Shanni (Phyllis Quek) is the social worker who believes in giving her best to care for the patients and their families. The nurse interns are the bubbly but muddle-headed, Fan Danmei (Florence Tan), the cool and matured Fang Xiuyue (Yvonne Lim) and the mission driven Hong Zhonggeng (Dasmond Koh).

The 2 children that leave the deepest impression on me are Weiliang (Aloysius Pang) and Tommy (Jarren Ho). They really look adorable when they are young haha.

Weiliang is a thoughtful boy who has to do many hours of kidney dialysis per day. Rather than staying at home and keeping up with his daily treatment, he resorts to cheating others to make money for his family. His parents who are poor are looked down upon by relatives and are ignored whenever they try to borrow money. His parents are even cheated to sell their house with the promise of Weiliang’s overseas kidney transplant and treatment. As he is often outside earning money and does not look after his health, his condition gradually deteriorated and he eventually passes away. It was really sad to watch how the family become poorer and poorer in wealth and health. It is torturous for Weiliang to keep up with the treatment not to say that the family has  financial problems. I feel that Weiliang is kind of foolish. He chooses money instead of health (or perhaps he is trying to get both?). Perhaps dying faster will really help the family? However, they will be heartbroken when he passes away.

Tommy is a young child who always seeks for his mother. He has respiratory problems quite often which makes his visits to the hospital common and prevents him from doing many activities. Tommy’s mother almost committed suicide with her mother and Tommy when she is in despair after losing her job and stroke hits her mother. The scene that touches me the most is when he uses the cassette tape to record what he wants to say to his mother. His mother has decided to abandon him in a way to marry a rich man who can afford to give Tommy the best treatment. The way he sniffles and asks his mother why she leaves without saying goodbye, even singing a song for his mother to end it is just heartbreaking.

Shanni and Junsheng are really a good pair since they are willing to do so much for the patients. They are able to comfort each other and give each other valuable advice. Shanni even helps Junsheng clear a misunderstanding with his friend. That case is also quite significant in the drama. Junsheng’s friend works hard as a taxi driver all day long to pay for the hefty brain related surgeries and hospitalisation bills and almost becomes paralysed from a car accident. Fortunately, the girl is given a second chance in life and awakes from her brain-dead state. The family thereafter treasures each other a lot more.

Surprised that Dasmond Koh does dramas. Haha. His character is interesting as he has a Traditional Chinese Medicine background but chooses to be a nurse at a hospital instead despite disapproval. It is fun seeing him trying to win the heart of the troubled yet cool Xiuyue while being pestered by the cheery and troublemaker Danmei.

Watch it on irisxi.

A child’s hope opening theme song

I am open to suggestions so feel free to give feedback. I have just started doing reviews and still have a lot of areas for improvement.
Thanks for visiting. Wish you a good day! 

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26 thoughts on “Singapore Dramas

  1. Hello from ireland “As a Singaporean, I can proudly say that Singapore dramas are good too!”
    I agree. One of the best dramas I saw this year was tumultous times. I watched it before the first of the trilogy by mistake. I;m on the third part now, But I think the middle part was the best.
    I’ve only seen a few other singapore dramas. One I started, but never got around to watching was Little Nyona. I think the first series i watched was code of llaw What surprised and deligted me was that the dialogue was for the most part in english. I remember part of a review I wrote about it, said something like “I like the fact that
    the people who commit the crimes are just as much victims as the actual victims.

    Some questions. We all know of the many cliches in korean dramas. Are there cliches
    to look out for in the ones from your country.

    Are there singapore dramas, with members of pop bands in lead roles.
    It’s not that I want to watch them. I’m a 56 year old male, and straight 🙂

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    1. Hi!
      For “The Journey” trilogy, I just skipped the first one haha. Ya, the second one is not bad even though I don’t really like this type of drama. I am still considering watching the third one.
      Are you recommending Code of Law? Haha. Actually, I prefer dramas with Chinese audio or subtitle. I even used to watch Korean dramas with both Chinese audio and subtitle. Those dramas that I rated 10/10 for enjoyment are my favourite so you can consider them.

      The first question about cliches is kind of unexpected. I can usually expect scenes to happen when I am watching but I don’t really observe that closely.
      The obvious ones and those that I remember at this moment:
      – Police always catches the criminals somehow so the law is not that easily manipulated in crime and law dramas unlike in Korean Dramas
      – Likely to be a happy ending, don’t remember one that is not (unless perhaps historical types?)
      – A lot of morals to be taught to the extent that they have to add those directly into speeches and dialogues
      – Although there is love triangle, I never experienced second lead syndrome as lead is much more compatible than second lead.
      – There are bickering between couples but a lot more amiable than in Korean Dramas and I don’t think a girl will transform a bad guy to a good guy
      – Anything (people, scenes) that is not/ cannot be true in Singapore will not be in our dramas. (most important one haha)
      I guess I will look out for others after this haha. It was fun listing them down.

      Singapore’s media industry for artistes is not that well-developed as compared to other countries. I personally do not know/ follow any Singapore pop bands. I guess it is more possible for (solo) singers to get roles in dramas.

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      1. Hi. Thank’s for your reply.
        “Are you recommending Code of Law?”
        Hmm, I liked it. It’sd certainly different that what you would get on something like csi. I don’t recommend things. We all have different tastes.
        On the clliches.
        ” Anything (people, scenes) that is not/ cannot be true in Singapore will not be in our dramas. (most important one haha)
        Okay, I’m not quiet sure if I understand this, Can you say
        it another way?

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      2. Like Singapore is strict about security so police will catch criminals somehow in the dramas. The hospitals in the dramas won’t make mistake of swapping babies at birth and kidnapping of other people’s children for revenge will not happen. Never allowing corruption to pass too.

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  2. hi.
    can you recommend some Singapore dramas which is like heartless city kdrama?
    i mean with most surprise plot twists,and violence and dramatic?

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    1. Hi! I didnt watch heartless city as it isnt my favourite genre but if u want me to recommend based on your description, I heard Unriddle 1 is quite melodramatic and violent and Unriddle 2 has a strong plot twist. Besides, I watched Against the tide and it has quite a good plot twist, is kind of violent due to the different criminal activities and quite dramatic with Rui En’s acting. U can also try the CLIF series which has some extent of violence and drama or “The journey” trilogy series which i think “Tumultuous times” has the most action and violence while “Our homeland” has the most surprising plot twist and a hotel collapsed while some are in it. Hope it helps!

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  3. i saw heartless city ,in episode 4 twist, i become very shocking but in episode 12 its very unbelivable and more shocking.
    in episode 18 all my hairs rise up.i was in shock for many days. i saw many movies and tv series with twists but i think and anybody saw it,thinks its most shocking and biggest twist.
    and i dont mean melodramatic.
    i mean dramatic cinematography which has very graphicy picture like comic books.
    i prefer dark tv series and psychological twist than happy.
    can you recommend a dark tv series with twist?

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    1. Wow, ur reaction to heartless city piqued my curiosity of the drama totally.
      For the dark Singapore tv series with psychological twist, Against the tide and Unriddle series fit the criteria so u can try them first. Mind game may fit the criteria but I didnt watch it. 3 wishes is a bit dark too as it plays on people’s greed and desire. There is also a Singapore web drama called Soul Reaper which is about death and a bit spooky but more to heartbreaking type.
      Actually, i not sure about the dramatic cinematography.
      If you want Korean Dramas too (just in case), I remember you (mostly first few episodes) and Gap Dong are dark and have psychological twists but somehow to me just not dark enough maybe because got some romance involved. I am not sure if u would call W-2 worlds dark but in some aspect it is and it should have the dramatic cinematography u mentioned. Hope it helps!

      Just realised that I dont watch enough dark dramas due to preference, especially those with psychological twist haha.

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  4. hi. i want to download and see unriddle and Against the tide first.
    but i can’t find them for free download.
    i searched google and youtube but i couldn’t find.
    can i download them in here or can you help me for finding a site that i can download them for free?
    thank you a lot.

    Like

  5. thanks.
    my compter hasn’t network so i use my phone to watch them but it doesnt work.
    i just can download them if they exist for download.

    Like

  6. hi.
    i want to know the name of an asian historical drama.
    i have picture of it. can you help me ,can you see it and tell me its name?

    Like

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