NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!! I can’t. I can’t. WHYYY?? The drama killed my tender and innocent heart 15 years ago. You might notice I no longer ship drama kids who grew up together anymore because THIS DRAMA RUINED ME. The bitterness in my heart… remains till this day. And now what? They want to remedy the wound with a movie?
Released in 2000, Return of the Cuckoowas a huge ratings hit for TVB and secured Charmaine Sheh and Julian Cheung as one of TVB’s most beloved onscreen pairings. Not sure if you guys have watched this drama since it’s very old but the story is almost tragic. The hero, Man Cho (Julian Cheung), is mute, no thanks to his cruel mother’s attempt at killing him by pouring detergent down the poor boy’s throat. She then abandoned him and he is luckily adopted by his mother’s best friend, Chu Sa Kiu (Nancy Sit). Sa Kiu’s daughter, Chuk Kwan Ho (Charmaine Sheh) is a tomboy and grew up alongside Man Cho, treating him as her brother. That is until her relationship with a well-off reporter, Szto Lai-Sun (Steven Ma), awakens feelings between the two siblings. Alas, Man Cho’s inferiority complex and Sa Kiu’s pleading push her to move to the US, believing that she is better off with her rich father and husband’s background. And that is where everything went wrong!
While I did not like how the romance played out, I love the theme of families in this drama. The majority of the kids in here grew up missing either one or both of their parents and it’s touching that they find parental figures in the people around them, knowing that they don’t have to be connected by blood to matter and be loved. I remember many scenes from this drama, and one that stands out always is the scene where Sa Kiu takes Man Cho to a distant city and tries to hook him up with a job faraway from her and Kwan Ho, after she learns that he might be having feelings for Kwan Ho. Realizing what this is all about, Man Cho turns around and fearfully asks her (in sign language), “What did I do wrong? Why do you want to abandon me?” WAHHHHHHHH. Tears. Tears. Without explicitly stating it, Sa Kiu wants the best things in life for her daughter…and he does not make the cut.
He knows it too and reassures her repeatedly that he has no romantic feelings for Kwan Ho and he too wants the best things in life for her… meaning, he knows he can’t be that person. 🙁
Michael Tong plays Man Cho’s best friend. He has a such a sad life too. It’s nice of them to invite him in the movie too.
Stills from the Movie/Promotions:
Chen Qiao En plays a deaf girl, the third leg in this love triangle! WHYYY you gotta pitch my girl crushes against each other?
- Charmaine has lost so much weight. She no longer has the soft chubby cheeks anymore, which is in line with her age. While some didn’t like her short haircut back then, I loved it. It was cute and chic compared to her current hair in the movie.
- I remember hating Steven Ma for years after the end of this drama. Lol. This was the pre-teen and well into my teen years where I had troubles separating the actor from the character.
- Honestly, I don’t know what they are gonna do with the story… Kwan Ho has kids…did her husband die? Oh, who am I kidding, TVB sequels automatically mean that the lover (in this case the husband) is for all intents and purposes, dead.
- What I’m worried about is the chemistry. I know they had amazing chemistry 15 years ago, but would they be able to act naturally in the same screen once again in the characters that brought so much hurt and suffering to the viewers at the time?
- The themesong played in the trailer above is by Julian Cheung. The title is a clever pun on the female lead’s name, Chuk Kwan Ho, literal meaning Wishing Kwan Well. And that is exactly what he did all drama long. One of TVB’s classic love themesongs.
- Julian performing the song live: Watch here and here. Lyrics Translation.