Interesting concept and one I’d like to see handle with a thoughtful, positive outlook. The first 4 episodes of TVB’s latest drama involves taking a spoiled city teenager and placing him in the middle of a rural life, without access to his everyday luxury goods. No cellphone, no internet, no toothpaste! Or is that even possible? Kids these days! It’s a growing problem when a 6 year-old is playing games on his latest Ipad gift instead of spending time outdoor.
We open the drama meeting our leading man, Ha Yat Cheung (Ruco Chan), also known as Summer. (Odd name for a guy.) Sporting casual but a dirty outfit, he enters his home to hear shuffling noises in the bathroom and grabs a nearby knife. When he readies to attack the intruder, the lady screams, and he stops before a bloody accident occurs. This is Lau Chui Wan (Louise Lee), his foster mother who stops by to check up on him. Through their brief talk, we learn that he recently broke up with his girlfriend because she expected his undivided attention at all time, which apparently didn’t bode well with his active career as a senior director.
Taking his beloved mother out to breakfast at a food court, they stumble upon a few high school students with behavior you’d deem distasteful. Not only do they bully the old grannies to leave the table, they also have no respect for the elders, using a camera to force an old owner into apologizing.
Initially, Yat Cheung looks at them with disgust until we see a bright glint sparkles in his eyes. He follows the kids outside and listens to their obnoxious conversation. The leader of the group is Cheung Chun Kit (Hero Yuen), an impatient youth who easily spent 3K to buy a pair of limited edition shoes.
When they’re alone, Yat Cheung asks Kit to star as the lead in his upcoming reality show during the summer holidays. Thinking that his good looks got him noticed, Kit begins fixing and smoothing his hair, little does he know what he signs up for. Is it me but this kid remind you of 2PM’s Wooyoung?
To round out the crew, Yat Cheung hires a new production assistant in the form of Hui Mei Fung (Priscilla Wong). Everyone calls her May. She returns to Hong Kong by herself and searches for a new job in order to prove to her father that she is no less in value compared to her older brothers. Her motto: “I work as hard as an ox!”
And of course, shooting in the countryside requires the handy work of a cameraman, so Yat Cheung seeks out his best friend Leung Chung Shun (Evergreen Mak). Following along is his timid student, Wong Wai Hong (Stanley Cheung). Aww, it’s Ka Ming from When Heaven Burns! He looks older and manlier with the short cut.
While there are other characters that are introduced in episode 1, I’ll leave out the details for your viewing experience (they are not relevant in this story arc). The premiere ends when Kit takes a good first look at the village he’ll be residing in for the next 14 days. Amazed by the expansive mountain scenery, he claims, “Wow, this place is beautiful!”
This is Lau’s village, and our crew of four will be staying with the Lau’s household, consisting of 3 well-mannered kids (Ching Ching, Chong, older brother schooling away), content parents, and happy grandparents. Due to lack of space, Kit is arranged to share a room with the young son, Chong, and his disapproving face says it all. There’s no air conditioner so our grumpypants has to head to the bed early. I like that his feelings are as transparent as a glass of water. Any hint of dislike is swiftly caught by the crew and they hurriedly film the realistic facial expressions.
It’s early morning of Day 2 and the first thing Kit does before he gets out of bed is fixing his flat bed hair. I laughed so hard at the horror on his face when he sees the comb little Chong brought to him. And the disgruntled faces of the crew when he moves to use the camera as his personal mirror. 😀
Work time. What? You think he’s there to view the beautiful scenery? Kid has to engross himself completely in the daily life of country folks. Without knowledge of where he’s headed, Kit skips his way to the destination before he realizes it’s a pigsty. Mixing the feed is the easy part for him because he compares it to the video games he played at home. Afterwards, he falls flat on his butt while cleaning the pigsty. Embarrassed of his dirty state, he runs to a nearby lake to clean himself.
But what’s more frustrating to the poor kid is why the crew keeps on shooting scenes where he’s caught uncomfortably on camera. He begins sobbing, complaining that they brought him here to make him a laughingstock. May and Hong feel guilty and decidedly stop filming his crying moments. Of course hardcore Yat Cheung and Shun aren’t present to oppose.
Well, honeybun, let me borrow Nikita’s wise words: “It has to get worse before it gets better!”
Kit deserves it to be honest. He’s short-tempered and shows no respect to anyone. A little hardship and he whines about going home.
Beautiful landscape! Ruco and the background. 😛
Kap: Aww…I’m gonna miss the countryside segment after they return to the city because I can smell family drama from 10 miles away!
Kit definitely needs the discipline, all the better in a rural village. Like many other teenagers (and some adults) , he doesn’t like criticisms and is quick to bite back even when he’s wrong. Experiencing the process of labor and seeing for himself the sweat behind every cent will open up his eyes for good. Also, learning that respect is earned not given.
Nowadays, kids often get expensive gadgets placed readily on their laps (I’ve SEEN IT ALL!). And that’s the problem. These youngins only want to look cool in front of their friends and base everything on price labels. Never do they stop and look beyond the cost. For Kit, he never contemplates how many sandwiches his dad had to sold to obtain the money. I feel bad for the father although it’s partially his fault for working around the clock and having less time to teach Kit properly. It’s a cultural dilemma where one needs to make ends meet and simply doesn’t have the time. For many parents, these lavish gifts is a compensation method to lessen the guilt they feel for not being there.
Acting-wise, everyone is doing a great job so far, especially Ruco and Evergreen. I love Ruco’s casual look, but he’s a bit too dark right now. So far, I don’t particularly like or dislike his character. He could be less forceful towards the young kid. Like he’s the representative of Tough Love (Frankly, I sometimes worried about his camera.) Newbie Priscilla Wong is doing okay, she doesn’t bother me and I was slightly impressed in the scene she speaks about her father. You can hear the choke in her quivering voice. She looks quite young, and I guessed mid twenties (same for Stanley) but they were both born in 1981! Which makes them 32 this year. Seriously?!