These three are the highlights of this drama! It’s a lovely setup that they’re housemates because I can’t get enough of their grumbling bromance. If you have watched and dropped this series after episode 1, I highly suggest you give it a second chance because the speed picked up significantly in episode 3 and 4 when all of our players are in the picture and gathered in one place. The cast is an excellent ensemble of capable actors, and the story might float on mundane happenings of daily life, is still highly entertaining with heartful moments scattered throughout the scenes.
Coffee Cat Mama Episode 1-4 Highlights:
The story opens with our deceased Mr. Bean, introducing us to the four most important women in his life. Meet Mr. Bean’s ex-wife, Marcia (Michelle Yim, left), who was married to him for 20 years before their marriage fell apart. They lived with each other despite not sharing the same bed for years. Marcia’s an impatient woman who values time above everything else. Five years ago, So Mei (Nancy Wu) entered their lives as the tutor for the pair’s oldest daughter and slowly developed feelings for Mr. Bean because of their shared morals and principles. However, So Mei decided to let go of her feeling before it escalated to the next level, knowing that he was still a married man.
It did not do the trick because three years later, Mr. Bean stumbled into So Mei once again, and this time his heart told him it was time to move on with his loveless marriage, now that his daughters are older. So Mei married him for two years before he passed away. Marcia does not get along with So Mei, insisting that her existence had something to do with her fallen marriage.
Aside from his ex-wife and current wife, Mr. Bean has two daughters. The oldest, Grace (Eliza Sam), is a medical student, studying in UK. The first two episodes depict her hesitation and uncertainty in choosing a life-long career. Does she want to be a doctor because she’s passionate about saving lives? Or is she following the road paved by her mother, Marcia? Because of her father’s love for coffee-making, Grace also enjoys days as a coffee barista. Of course, her mother thinks it’s silly dream as it is not a promising career in the long run. Mr. Bean’s youngest daughter is Sherman (Regen Cheung), your average high school teenager.
Our leading male character is Bao Tai Zi (Bosco Wong), known in the drama as the Coffee King; he works at the cafe below Marcia’s company, where he offends Grace at a chance encounter for belittling her measly order for a bigger order of 50 cups of coffee. Infuriated by his lack of professionalism, Grace files a complaint, which might have been part of the reason for the dual layoff of him and his timid co-worker.
Fired from his job, Tai Zi needs to find a new one soon as possible because he’s not a single man. He’s a father of kindergarten, Bau Zou Kwong (Alvin Lau). Ha. The pun on the son’s name is funny. His name means Landlord, hence why the other characters refer to him as such.
While Tai Zi idles around his house, we discover about his caring friends. Koo Ming Wah was So Gay in Divas in Distress and now he’s in here as So Sick (another pun on the name!) He also happens to be So Mei’s older brother. A man notorious for his loud mouth and lecherous behavior, he hooks Tai Zi up with a construction job at So Mei’s new cafe for the time being.
The third housemate to round out this hilarious trio is Yam Ka Ching (Vincent Wong, right), a high-school teacher. He specializes in making sure that the post-90s generations do not starve. His mannerism is quite feminine, top off with his expertise in cooking, cleaning, and sewing, and he’s a rare catch for any woman! We learn in the first two episodes that he used to be good friends with So Mei as well, but something happened two years ago that led to her severing ties with him. Despite being chased away by So Mei, Ka Ching still holds a torch for his first love. When he notices her exhausted face, he immediately makes an expensive pot of soup so that So Sick can give it to So Mei.
Instead of being appreciative of his effort, So Mei treats him coldly, reminding him he’s unwelcome in her cafe. Aw. Feeling dejected, he meekly squeaks out that it’s been two years already, couldn’t she forgive him for that betrayal? She sternly says, “Because of you, my mother hasn’t seen me in two years. Unless she forgives me, I won’t forgive you.”
And we finally understand the root of the problem. Luk Ka Yi (Mimi Chu), the mother of So Mei and So Sick, did not approve of the marriage because she thought of Mr. Bean as an old lecher trying to eat green grass. Her temper was further intensified when a drunk Ka Ching, broken-hearted over So Mei’s decision in marrying a man who could be her father, revealed more unsettling details to Ka Yi. As a mother and woman, she can’t believe that her daughter is a home-wrecker. She vowed that if So Mei marries the old geezer, she’d disown her.
But maternal instinct is an unbreakable bond. While she doesn’t directly see So Mei’s face, Ka Yi often visits So Sick’s apartment to give soup and get scoops about her daughter’s life.
LOL. This part cracks me up. Here Ka Yi retells the story of that fated night to the boys, Tai Zi and So Sick, how a drunk Ka Ching thought that she was So Mei and angrily threw a tantrum, along with a forced kiss, at his almost-mother-in-law. The boys literally roll around with the piece of disturbing yet gut-busting information as Ka Ching wallows in shame and embarrassment by clutching and burying his face in the pillow. So cute.
The conversation that follows is ever funnier, with So Sick and Tai Zi seeking for more details, “What happened after?” Ka Yi: “What do you think? This is not a drama where they show petals of a flower falling! I wouldn’t let him take advantage of me of course!” Seriously, dying. 😛
Since she adores Ka Ching, she wants him to pursue So Mei again, but Ka Ching denies the opportunity because he has “a very, very, nice girlfriend already.” And when will I get to see your super nice girlfriend, man? You’ve been saying that funny line for a while now!
Episode 4. Opening day of Mr. & Mrs Bean’s Cafe. So Mei receives a phone call from her friend, Norman, who’s supposed to be the coffee roaster for their shop, but he openly tells her that he, along with the other waitresses, has been offered a better deal at the neighboring cafe to work for them. He won’t be coming unless she pays them more. Fed up with that crap, So Mei hangs up on him. She turns to the available head in her cafe, which is when Tai Zi’s skill is employed and he secures a stable job for the next year.
When they’re still missing a waiter, So Sick mumbles that one person is on standby, available at her approving nod. So Mei hurriedly replies yes and from the corner of the shop, Ka Ching timidly steps into view. She pauses and is advised by Sherman that working him for free is a way to get back at his betrayal. Man, my heart feels for Ka Ching, he looks so happy just to be a waiter with no pay!
That night, Ka Ching, Tai Zi, So Sick, and Landlord go out for dinner, to celebrate the cafe’s opening. We then meet another main supporting character in Fan Fat (Jonathan Cheung). HAHHA. Is this pure coincidence that his surname has been Fan since Three Kingdom RPG? He’s also in Return of the Silver Tongue as Fan Kang, that I’m watching. Here, the pun on his name will make sense in a bit. He plays leader of a small gang and carries a lethal glare when Tai Zi attempts to get an apology from him for accidentally shoving Landlord’s back, resulting in his bleeding gum. Surprisingly, he apologizes to the small boy and appears quite interested in the group’s conversation.
Landlord observes that the gangster man is staring at them overtly and whispers to his dad, Tai Zhi. The men swallow a lump of fear and decide it’s best to race out of the stall if they want to survive this night. On a count of 1-2—————————————-BYE (Ka Ching is adorable slowed by a second!)
And thus they run and run, while Fan Fat and his gang continue to chase after them. At one point, the silly trio+kid trap themselves in a dead end and they resolve by running in circles. Ha. After a few rounds of wasting their energy, they collapse on the ground, which is when Fan Fat walks in and mockingly adds, “Didn’t you know you’re running around in circles in a dead-end?”
The men huddle together in a weakly formed shield to protect Landlord. At the sight Fan Fat’s tattoo and beautifully-tanned body, they shiver in fear and ask him to stay away. Turns out, he has heard about the new cafe and has a few questions, which quickly becomes a misunderstanding.
Fan Fat: “Where is this cafe you were talking about?”
Tai Zi: “He wants to kill someone at Mr & Mrs Bean…”
So Sick: “Please, it’s he who got you offended. Leave my sister’s cafe alone.”
Fan Fat: “My name is Fan Fat.” (His name means ‘Break the Law’, hahah!)
Ka Ching: “I don’t care if you are a felon. Break as many laws as you like…Go turn yourself in. Don’t you harm So Mei!!”
The terror resolves when they realize that our gangster is merely looking for a job as a coffee roaster. 😀
So Fan Fat becomes the cafe’s coffee roaster and strange behavior begins to materialize. Fan Fat consistently shows a tender side to Tai Zi. When cream is lathered on his lip, Fan Fat approaches with a wrapped finger to wipe if off and when Tai Zi struggles to put on the apron, Fan Fat sneaks up from behind to tie it. Others regard Fan Fat’s behavior with suspicion while Tai Zi merely thinks this new friend is being “easy-going.”
It’s funny because Fan Fat does all these actions with a super intense face and steady eyes. heh.
Kap: Episode 4 really hooked me. I don’t feel the overall theme of the drama yet but it needs not be straight cut because the grounded character interactions, much like that in Return of the Silver Tongue, is what I enjoy the most in both series. While Silver is slower in plot development, Coffee paces itself speedily, so it feels tighter because needless humor is abated.
I also like that everyone has a fair share of wonderful lines and screen time. It’s hard to point out who’s the main ones because together they’re one force to be reckon with. Eliza may not be a twentysomething girl, but her full cheeks and charming smile make her a better candidate for the bubbly role of Grace. Who knew she was in her thirties? She looks so young. The child actor, playing the son, isn’t the most natural, as I saw him looking at the camera and appearing unsure of what to do when the older actors were immersed in the moment and forgot that he was there. Can’t blame him since he’s still a baby.
Nancy looks beautiful in this series. I’m so glad her long locks are back because it seems forever that she has been sporting the short hair. Not only her, but many Tvb actresses love the short boy cut. Koo Ming Wah steals almost every scene he’s in because of his easygoing presence and humorous character displays. Love his moments with his housemates. Vincent is amazing in here! The way he talks, looks, and walks changed completely from the rascal he portrayed in Will Power.
And before I forget, I’m suddenly crushing on Jonathan Cheung! He looks hot and manly as Fan Fat, the gangster! I love his super focused eyes and arching eyebrows. It’s kinda….sexy? 😉 I thought he was new to Tvb but once I checked out his profile, he’s not a young lad I predicted. At the age of 32, he was in many Tvb dramas before getting noticed in Three Kingdom RPG. He’s also married and anticipating a child soon. Given the right role, I think he can follow the steps of Wayne Lai. A sudden burst of popularity and recognition?