I finished this series awhile back (when I was rushing to catch up on it after my Hawaii trip!) but haven’t had the chance to come around to jot down some of my thoughts. My thoughts are a bit all over the place, so please excuse the fact I am jumping around…. ^^; Hopefully it’ll still make some sense to those of you who have watched it. To read the synopsis, go here: 守業者
*Warning- contains spoilers!*
- Overall this is one of the better series of 2014. I quite like the cast and I thought the story line was quite engaging throughout most of the series.
- The story revolves around the Poon Family’s silk business/factory “Wing Tai Lung”. Yueh Hua, being the father, has 4 children: Eldest son Evergreen Mak- “Poon Ka-Hin 潘家顯”, 2nd sister Akina Hong- “Poon Hau-Yee 潘巧兒”, 3rd son Steven Ma- “Poon Ka-Yeung 潘家揚”, and 4th son “Poon Ka Seng 潘家聲”.
- The 2nd sister unexpectedly ‘commits suicide’ in the first episode and the first 20 episodes were mainly around resolving the mystery behind her death. [*spoiler alert*]
The truth turns out to be quite unexpected and a bit of a twist, but also felt slightly anti-climatic ^^; The 4th brother killing his own 2nd sister??[*spoiler end*]. The story line is quite tragic and sadly, very unrealistic in a lot of respects (but to create a dramatic effect). The last 10 episodes continue with the ‘tragic’ theme with Evergreen and Tavia’s characters, but gives us a happy ending as a form of closure.
- One of the highlights of this story was Steven Ma’s character- he is so charming and clever! When he is around, you just feel that the business is in good hands. I liked finding out more about his background and all the hardships he faced during war as the military doctor, where his values were challenged and human morals of life and death were becoming a blur. He tried so hard to escape to see his family, yet incidents after incidents occur which makes him question whether he should have returned home as he uncovers more and more dirty secrets in his family. Because he has ‘seen the world’ he is a lot more educated, liberal, moves away from traditional thoughts and is a lot more open minded; something which is different to the norm for that time period. Similarly, his 2nd sister (which I also found pretty cool in the drama- sadly short-lived) is very much like a person in the modern time, modern thoughts in how she deals with business, love and society….
- Tavia Yeung -“Tong Bing Bing 唐冰冰” plays an silk-worker for Steven’s family silk business. She is very righteous and has a strong belief in what she believes is right or wrong (however later learns about the gray areas). Her character was a bit annoying to watch, especially with her ‘over-the-top yelling’ around Steven for the first half of the series but she tones down later on as she matures and becomes more likable. Tavia and Steven start from being a quarreling couple as they investigate Akina’s death together, go through life-death situations; fall in love with each other, battle against society’s expectations (since she is already widowed and the fact Steven killed Tavia’s fiance played by Raymond Cho) and fighting hard to have his parent’s accept her due to their differences in social status. Just as the two finally get married, Steven gets arrested by the military on their wedding day and the two are separated once again as Tavia struggles to hold up the family business as it goes through crisis. After finally reuniting, Tavia and Steven’s marriage is put to the test again when Tavia realises Steven had used her against her own biological father. Their love for each other brings the two back together when a flood strikes their town; however get separated again as Steven gets washed away protecting Tavia. In the end, Tavia finally reunites with Steven years later…what a drama!
- I really enjoyed watching Steven and Tavia’s romantic scenes! Steven Ma is soooooo sweet. I loved how he constantly reassured his love for her and how he declared his love for her in front of the other workers, and stood up against his parents who looked down on Tavia’s poor background/ low-status. When Tavia had doubts because of the bad luck she has brought to the men around her; he reassured her that they were the perfect pair because he has faced many life and death situations which he managed to miraculously survive.
- I thought the last few ending episodes were suspenseful when Steven ended up using/tricking Tavia into harming her own biological father and deceiving her in the process; much like how Tavia’s father stuffed up Steven’s family. Again, tragic- but seemingly the only way Steven could get his revenge and protect his family. I had a feeling that Steven’s DNA results were fake when he told Tavia that she and the Villain were not father and daughter.
- I thought the ending was quite unrealistic. How can Steven Ma survive in the flood after being hit in the head with a log/table not once, but twice?! He fainted the first time but was awaken by Tavia calling out his name (P.s Tavia sitting on the board reminded me of Jack and Rose from Titanic ^^). For the second time there was a lot of blood coming out and we watch him get washed away as Tavia cries out in pain. They must be trying really hard to tell us miracles do exist. 4 years later when the business is up and running again, Tavia and her 4 year old son find Steven Ma who has lost his memories. He finally recalls them as Tavia and their son sing ‘their song’ together as we watch the ending credits roll…. The ending seemed too good to be true lol I’m still glad they ended up together though
- Evergreen Mak (eldest brother) was another interesting character. Although he shared a different mother from his other siblings, they treated each other like they were ‘full-blood related, and it’s quite touching (almost unrealistic) how much Evergreen sacrificed for his family (to protect his 4th brother and 2nd sister). He was also ‘forced’ to marry Tracey Ip who he did not have feelings for and gave up his love for Maggie Shui -“Sin Bik Wan 冼碧雲” (another silk-worker) for his family. I felt extremely sorry for him for what he got in return (the comment from his father and step-mother) and it is completely understandable on how the villain was able to manipulate Evergreen to take revenge on the family. Evergreen was such a kind-hearted guy who had no desire to compete with his siblings for a stake in the business. I refused to believe he was the one behind 2nd sister’s death (I’m glad he wasn’t!) However, he changed so much towards the end and eventually caused his own father’s death.
- Maggie Shui- Did anyone else feel her character seemed ‘semi- bad’ at the start because she was up against Tavia? Later on when she and Tavia become friends she seemed good the whole way and quite loyal towards the “Poon” Family despite the way Evergreen’s step mother treated her. The part I felt sorry for her the most was when we see a flashback scene of her having an abortion (that scene was semi-gross to watch too) when Evergreen seemingly refused to elope with her and married Tracy Ip instead. From then on, she put her hair up and sworn to stay away from men and remain single for the rest of her life. I was really happy for her when Evergreen went back to find her. Sad that at the end, she kills herself in hope to turn Evergreen ‘good’. I didn’t feel her sacrifice was worth it! I only felt sorry for her because her actions were stupid -_- *sigh*
- Natalie Tong plays a liar who goes around tricking people’s money in hope to save her father. At the end, she is touched by her fellow work colleagues and turns good….I felt her supporting role wasn’t really needed for the story.
- I didn’t like the 4th brother- I thought he was rather useless and weak. I would have liked the 2nd sister to have more screen time. Her character stands out a lot in this series although she only made it through the first episode.
- I felt there were too many deaths towards the end that it felt forced and unnecessary. One being Maggie’s which I mentioned above. I actually pitied the Uncle’s death because just before he died, despite what a jerk he was throughout the series, he stood up for his family values and refused to do business with the Japanese because what they did to his father. To me it showed he still had a heart for the family. Chor-Gow’s death was again, unnecessary! They tried to give his character a bit more importance towards the end but it didn’t work for me. He overheard the villain’s secret and started running away as Evergreen was chasing him to the point he slips and falls down a mountain. Why did he have to run away from Evergreen for?? Why was he so scared?? The villain wasn’t even with him, why couldn’t he have just told him the truth he heard? After falling down a mountain, he manages to pull himself home back to see Steven and his love Natalie before dying in her arms.
- Loved the themesong by Steven Ma- especially the dramatic start