Review is written by Funn Lim. All comments drop them into my MAILBOX.
By the way, is
there a "The" in the The Stamp Of Love? Doesn't matter larrrr.
Anne Heung Hoi Nam - So Mei Kam
This is a series about twisted family values, how meaningless loyalty and ones own integrity may be, and yet we will get to see some good people doing some good things for other people because of their kind hearts. And in the end, kindness pays.
Primarily this is a series about misunderstanding, greed, evil minds and prejudices, between two men against one fat lady, one fat lady against one poor girl, one poor girl against one fat lady, one ugly woman against one poor girl...you know what I could go on and on and on and on trying to summarize this series. Just read everything below.
WARNING! SPOILERSSSSS GALORE!
So Mei Kam was a
21 year old girl from Nanyang, exact country unknown. The country she stayed
was always rioting every other day, and her family, consisting of one mother,
one little sister and one younger brother was always harassed, and they have
little food to survive, because economic was really bad. Out of sheer
desperation, Mei Kam volunteered and became a Mail Order bride, where she will
be paid a certain sum and she will have to marry abroad. The man she was supposed to marry
was supposedly in his 30's, as seen in the pictures he sent
her and so she traveled to Hong Kong, all alone only to discover, after much
misunderstandings and hardships, that her Fung Wan kor was actually nearing
60's, rather than pushing 40's. Utterly devastated, she wanted to go home,
feeling somehow cheated, but Fung Wan was a kind man with an even kinder heart.
He let her stay on, and treated her like an honoured guest. His sister,
Rainbow disapproved of her, thinking of her as a gold digger, whilst later on,
Mei Kam befriended the tenants in the small apartment of Fung Wan's, a rather
flirtatious girl named Ho Jing Jing and a righteous but forever no money,
Cheung Kwan. After much consideration and thinking of her family's well being
in Nanyang, and knowing that Fung Wan will treat her well, Mei Kam at last
agreed to the marriage, but unfortunately on the day of her marriage, he died
from a heart attack, whilst she was left with nothing. Though Rainbow was angry
with Mei Kam for a while, but later on she agreed to let Mei Kam to stay with
her, and along the way, with the help of a man named Hanson, and all of these
tenants, Mei Kam began to rebuild her life and create a better future for
herself whilst entangled in confusing relationships with two men.
Second Most Important Element Apart From Mei Kam ...The Bao Family
Their mother died when they were very little, and the father, an old man by the name of Yau Tin married his assistant, a former gangster lady who was now a bit on the heavy side, Siu Yoke. The sons didn't like her, because frankly she was one misunderstood lady. Except for her prejudices towards Mei Kam, Siu Yoke was actually a very good woman, who ran her husband's businesses. But the sons always thought of her as the barrier between them, the father and the vast family fortune. So these two sons together with Kin Bong's wife, Sum Yee, from Episode One have been planning all sorts of devious, malicious and evil schemes to make their father die, thinking they will inherit the vast fortune. Little did they know that the father, before his second heart attack and subsequently became paralysed and unable to talk had actually changed his will and left all fortune and all power of attorney to Siu Yoke. Siu Yoke afraid that they will do the old man further harm with the words they say moved him into a secret chamber in the house. She always thought the old man wanted a family to stick together, so even however un-filial they may be, she patiently tried to teach them towards the path of goodness. But when these two animals of children found out the true contents of the will, they no longer wanted to kill the father but tried all the tricks in the world to make Siu Yoke suffer a heart attack and die earlier than Yau Tin. She didn't know they knew about the will. The first person that Kin Jung thought of who could possible make her so angry that she will die was So Mei Kam, the one person that Siu Yoke was prejudiced against, thinking she was some slutty gold digger. And Mei Kam, after hearing the sob sob stories by Kin Jung and Kin Bong was also prejudiced against Siu Yoke, and tried all she could to scream louder than Siu Yoke in any fighting match. But what they never expected was that these two women would unite, against all their own prejudices.
come Siu Yoke knows So Mei Kam?
Hanson never loved Mei Kam?
come Mei Kam then ended up with Kin Jung?
happened to Hanson?
Mei Kam still loves Hanson? And Hanson...
is Ho Jing Jing and how come she has $1m??
Jing Jing love Kin Bong?
about Yau Tin? Can't he say anything? Can't he do anything?!
Siu Yoke didn't know that and every time she would say; "I know how important it is to you to have a complete family, Yau Tin. I'll try my best to teach those two sons. I will keep this family together and I'll work hard to keep the business. Don't you worry."
Like Yau Tin we could all only "sighhhhhhhhhhhh....".
did Kin Jung & Kin Bong's evil plan succeed??
they succeed at last?
the two monsters got their well deserved punishment?
The problem was upon investigation everybody suspected and even accused Mei Kam, because they were not on good terms and all of a sudden Mei Kam was extra friendly towards Siu Yoke. Nobody believed the sincerity of Mei Kam's friendship and respect for Siu Yoke. Police arrested her, and Mei Kam begged Kin Jung to believe her but he began to accuse her of being wicked, evil.And that was when she knew; Kin Jung was in the plan to get rid of Siu Yoke all along and Mei Kam was filled with utter sadness. But Hanson stood by her and surprisingly, so did Yat Muk, Cheung Kwan and the not so noble Rainbow. Everybody that knew her did not believe she was capable of murder. But all evidence pointed towards her, and Yau Tin could not be found. Mei Kam thought she was surely going to jail and asked Hanson to take care of her family and to pay respect to Siu Yoke on the important days. He went to pay his respect and saw Yau Tin sitting in front of the grave. And so Yau Tin appeared in court and the two monsters were shocked. In the court, the old man revealed everything. Mei Kam was released and the two monsters were arrested. Kin Bong begged his father to help but the old man refused to look at them and went on his way. The two guys received decades of imprisonment.
the 2 monsters regretted their actions?
Mei Kam went to visit Kin Jung who told her never to visit him again. But Mei Kam told him they were once a couple and she will always feel gratitude for his helo with the shop and helping her to see her family again. But Kin Jung told her it was all done in the plan to hurt Siu Yoke but Mei Kam didn't care. Mei Kam asked him did he regretted his actions; and all he said was "One more step and I could have had it all". Nope, this one monster didn't regret at all.
So now we know who is the monster amongst all monsters. A good ending for these two.
about Sum Yee?
Yau Tin asked her to be his god daughter and she agreed. She will one day inherit the Bao fortune.
At the meantime, Hanson told her one night that he had loved her all along but she didn't believe him, until when he left she saw the card that he wrote before he went bankrupt months before. She ran after him but he had already left. So she folded the card into a paper plane, threw it into the wind and let nature takes its course. They met on a plane and hopefully will be reunited by this "plane".
Well, Hanson was walking and saw Yau Tin who was on his way to visit Mei Kam. They had a heart to heart talk and by pure fate, the paper plane landed on Hanson's feet. He realised they were fated to be with each other.
One day Mei Kam was accompanying Yau Tin to board a cruiser, a promise he made to Siu Yoke that he will do, and he whispered something to her. She ran back to the factory and saw Hanson there. They kissed passionately (quite a nice tender kiss done to almost perfection if only Kong Wah did not wear that hat of his and why did he have to wear a hat I wonder?!) and hugging each other they heard the trademark laughter of Siu Yoke and knew she was giving them her blessings.
Ho Jing Jing is one fake character. At first she appeared to be noble and nice, a loyal friend but she did not hesitate when she knew she will have to use Mei Kam to get her hands at more money. She pretended to be nice to Kin Bong. The truth is Kin Jung and King Bong are like a snake and a rat, both suited each other well. The more I see her the more I disliked her.
Lei Sum Yee is one weird character. She would talk bad things about Siu Yoke, sometimes even in front of Siu Yoke and has no qualms about wanting her to die. BUT when she was in trouble with Jing Jing's miscarriage and when Kin Bong wanted to chop her up because of this miscarriage which he cried "MURDERRRRRRRRRRRR", she quickly ran to Siu Yoke. I mean Siu Yoke helped her and yet this ungrateful little twit didn't even say THANK YOU!! Felt like slapping her.
And yes, I simply do not like So Mei Kam. I mean pitiful girl, traveling so far to get married to an old man who died on the wedding day, married Hanson and loved him even gave her virginity to him but rebuffed by that man, pursued and settled for a monster like Kin Jung who used her without any regrets, I mean pitifulllllll. BUT every time she raised her voice I felt like telling to just please shut up. I mean sure Siu Yoke was unreasonable, but the funny thing was like I said this is a series about prejudiced mind. Siu Yoke however prejudiced, however unreasonable was still the matriarch of the Bao family. To slam the door at her face, to call the nanny of the Bao family a servant, to raise her voice every time Siu Yoke raised her, to meddle into family matters without even finding out the truth first and ordering the servants around like she was the one who employed them I feel however nice a girl like Mei Kam towards everybody else, like Hanson, I feel there is something really wrong with So Mei Kam and I just disliked her. Sometimes Siu Yoke may be a bit too much, making life for Mei Kam difficult and I agreed she is overbearing but I feel to meddle into somebody's family matters is a big no- no, when you do not know anything. You just see what you want to see without seeing the real thing. Siu Yoke is somewhat right about her; Mei Kam is willing to marry anybody for money, changes her mind much too quickly over Hanson because she knew Kin Bong could provide for her. But this is a realistic world; no money, your family will starve to death, siblings can't go to schools, so Mei Kam was realistically materialistic, but not towards Gucci bags and Donna Karan dresses though like Ho Jing Jing but towards a stable income and a stable allowance to provide for her family. In that sense I pity the responsibilities she had to shoulder but I feel the way she reacted towards Siu Yoke's accusations were uncalled for, because however wronged you were, you must remember, you are living in the Bao mansion, not So mansion. This is one woman who does not know where her stand is, as in not knowing her place in the world. Pitiful, honourable but I still dislike her.
Misunderstood & Pitiful Character
Every time Siu Yoke appears with Yau Tin; such loving couple.
And the scene where Siu Yoke died was very sad and totally unexpected.
At first, when the father was hospitalised, their first questions were' "Is my father dead? Please tell me he died?!" and they were wishing he did die. The doctor looked at them confused. Later on, this time they changed their tune and asked "Is my father alright? Will he be ok?", and this doctor retorted; "I thought you wanted him dead?". It was very funny to watch the doctor's reaction. I guess everybody knew what "filial" sons they were, except maybe So Mei Kam.
Anyway, one more scene into this collective Ultimate Classic Scenes would be when Siu Yoke died, the two monsters went and told the father who was lying helplessly in the hospital and took out a few photos out and asked him to choose the coffin!!! Classic!
Ma Tai Lou was quite ok, except that she screams her lines much too often. But she was ok, she reminds me of her character in Kindred Spirit, Mei Mei though.
Yeung Ying Wai and Lau Dan, effective.
Jojo Chou Jung, Uncle Six's rumoured girlfriend because she looked like his first dead wife was quite ok in here. She still have that accent but well, she was ok.
Liu Kai Chi had nothing to do but he was his usual great.
Kong Wah is back to his usual great self after his disastrous Seven Sisters performance. Frankly he had nothing to do and having nothing to do he still did it well is a good achievement that no actor but a good one would be able to deliver. Though in here is looks a like a model doing the cat walk every time he walks, like swinging his arms let and right, trying to exude style but I thought he gave a solid performance but then his character had little to do except to stand next to Anne, looking handsome. The problem is his hairstyle though. He should change it. You know sometimes I feel he is more concerned with looking good and stylish than in his performance itself and this is what that disappoints me with this actor who is capable of delivering the goods but isn't trying hard. You could almost say that about his character in here but he is not that bad actually. He is the one with the most serious character in here and I think he handled it pretty well, but no breakthrough performance though. I will look forward to his role in A Step Into The Past where he plays a bad guy. His face in the posters looked so menacing, and yet very attractive. A Face with character. In here he is not attractive, he looks tired, and old and even haggard but performance wise he is the best. But I would hope he just stay away from Anne Heung. I am beginning to feel a bit sick seeing them together. By the way, I am glad to say he looks a bit bigger physically in here than he was in Seven Sisters and that is a good thing. But I doubt we girls will swoon at the sight of his naked chest.
Lam Seung Yi who has the most difficult role of all being a paralysed man. I thought he was pretty good with his eye acting, all the frustration and all the fear, especially the morgue scene. Very well done and very sad.
Anne Heung is another actress that I have struck her off from my Worst Actresses List. I once mentioned that with a change of voice or the tone in her voice, she gave a credible and breakthrough performance (in her career) in Love Is Beautiful. This actress certainly is capable of playing sinister characters, unreasonable characters. I didn't quite like her in Seven Sisters because she talks like the old Anne Heung whilst in Love Is Beautiful she was very different. I believe in real life this actress may smile sweetly at you, but I believe she is one independent and a lady you can't mess it, because she seems so at ease playing the bad one. In this series, So Mei Kam is not bad. I refuse to say she gave a good performance or the best because frankly she didn't. She improved, that much I admit.
Do tell me, is it a norm for young actresses that when they know their roles a bit more, when they're a bit more confident as an actress, they will start screaming their lines?
Look at Charmaine Sheh. She is screaming in all her new series, probably because she has more confidence, but her screaming was done to irritating effect.
Anne Heung screamed a lot in this series, and I feel she certainly did a credible job when she was arguing with Lydia Shum, she screamed rather convincingly, and she was effective when she had to look pitiful. She is not supposed to be pretty in here, supposed to be uneducated. Well, she looks haggard by Tape 5, which is always the case in all her series, by ending you'll pimples. But she is not really ugly, she has such a long neck and she though thin looked robust and strong. What made me feel she improved but not good enough to be good or best performances is this one fact; she is supposed to be uneducated and one scene had her learning English. The funny thing was she spoke better English than Kong Wah!! She can't act as someone she isn't. She is supposed to be a village girl but she exudes none of such innocence, none of the village girl simplicity. When her hair was let down and all her ghastly thick make up removed, she looked rather modern with her highlighted and layered hair. There was no change she went through to be more sophisticated and I feel that is a weakness. And the fact that she speaks such good English pretending to speak English badly, her performance could be said to be weak.
And what I found surprising is how fast she would raise her voice. There was no gradual raising of voice, one minute it was "Mrs Bao, I am sorry I am late..." and the next minute; "YOU FATTY! YOU'RE UNREASONABLE, WICKED!!!!!". The transition is much too fast and therefore unconvincing.
But why I said she improves is because of the way she stared at Lydia Shum, the loving eyes she looked at Kong Wah. This is one actress who is rather expressive when it comes to her eyes. Anyway, her body language still need improvement and frankly, her voice in here is like same old Anne Heung, sometimes she doesn't drag her words and she is fine, this is when she screams at Lydia which she handled very well but when she starts talking to every other people and draaaaaaaaaag her last words, like "Ah Man Ehhhhhhhh, don't be like thattttttttttt, You can still be better, do you expect to live like this foreverrrrrrrrr". She has this irritating trait and I hope I won't hear that in the next series.
of this moment, she gave an improved performance but it could have been
better. She still has some way to go before she is considered a good
The truth is when I first had to choose between Virtues Of Harmony, The Awakening and this series, I chose Virtues of Harmony, because I was swayed by the opinions on The Stamp Of Love. Many hated The Stamp Of Love calling it silly. But Virtues of Harmony, after just 2 tapes gave me an impression that everybody is acting like acting in there, with an all too familiar settings and storyline and worst of all, it has the same concept as Kindred Spirit. I stopped before I would be "stupified" by that ridiculous and a waste of time to watch of a series. So I was left with The Awakening and The Stamp Of Love. I don't want any more drama after Gods Of Honour, and I was getting ready for A Step Into The Past, and I really didn't like Liza Wong, so The Awakening which to me is rather predictable was a big turn off for me. So I was left with The Stamp Of Love, but well I was a bit sick of seeing you know who with you know who and this series has the worst poster and the most misleading title. I thought, well at least I could watch something funny like a mother in law bickering with her daughter in law, though I must admit this series has the worst trailer ever that concentrated on the wrong stuff. I thought I would be in for a silly fun of a series.
Like I said above, I was duped.
Mei Kam was never Siu Yoke's daughter in law, until Tape 8, where she was almost the daughter in law, and so we have only 1 tape for bickering and 1 more tape to close the story. I was a bit disappointed with the 1st tape but watched on. The moment Lau Dan died, and she married Kong Wah, you would realise this series isn't all about fun and Mei Kam. It was more about prejudiced mind, family unity, loyalty, friendship, kindness and the best of all, the portrayal of two un-filial sons and how much they were willing to go to get what they wanted. What Mei Kam was willing to do to secure a future for her family, so on and so forth. It was more like a social statement intermixed with a bit of twisted family values and non existing honour amongst what could have been smart people doing good things. This series is a classic example of a good mind wasted, in terms of Kin Jung.
I would say, surprisingly is one of the best series I have seen this year. Performances are nothing to shout about, and you would watch in disbelief how monsters the sons could be and you would laugh as well, because they disguised the monsters as some rather comical characters. But the truth was after laughing a bit, you would feel a bit guilty for laughing at something so sinister and so evil.
I definitely recommend you to watch this series and ignore the half baked trailer, misleading title and the presence of Anne Heung if you disliked her, and enjoy it as it is and discover what horrible monsters we have in here. If you're a fan of Anne Heung, this is the one for you because you could see her getting rather bitchy. Fans of Kong Wah might want to avoid this because he had nothing to do in here.
I would say watch it for the characters of Kin Jung & Kin Bong.
So Mei Kam, if you read it in another way is actually "Show Mei Kam" or Show US Dollars!!
The themesong was sung by Kong Wah. It was a nice song but badly sung by Kong Wah.
We never really know which part of Nanyang did Anne Heung's Mei Kam came from. By the looks of her mother's dressing in Malay dress, but they're Chinese and Christians, the fact that Mei Kam makes fried bananas and prawn crackers with coconut drinks, we will rule out Singapore. But Malaysia does not have any riots every other day and an unstable government like that of Mei Kam's home town, so my guess would be Indonesia.
It's a false thinking you know, that Chinese wears Malay dresses known as Baju Kurung. We may wear it for fun but we don't usually wear it like Mei Kam's mom. They're a bit dark as well and I thought they were Malay. But Indonesian Chinese are a bit darker than Malaysians.
That friend banana you see Mei Kam making for her shop is called, in Malay and in its proper name, Goreng Pisang (pronounced as go-ring-pee-sang). She sells one goreng pisang for HK$1, which is about 50 cents Malaysian money. THAT'S EXPENSIVE!!! We sell 3 pisangs for M$1! Expensive. And she used big bananas (don't you dare think something else!!), but the truth is the smaller the better. I like the sweet rather than salty types. And I am talking about the fruit ok?! There is Chinese type of frying and Malay type of frying. I prefer the Malay type because it is less powdery in its flour used and more crunchier. True, you have to eat them when they're golden brown and not hours later.
Those prawn crackers you see Mei Kam making, sure prawn crackers found in Malaysia. But did you know such "Keropok Udang" also has fish flavour? Even potato flavour? Fish is a bit difficult to eat because of all the fish smells. These are Chinese food you know. There is one type by Malays called Keropok or something else that I can't remember, that is made of fish and is very delicious with specially made thick chili sauce. Make sure you try it when you're in Malaysia. You'll know one when you see one. Sold by Malays, or more accurately Indonesians working part time in Malaysia. And try also the cempedak fruit fried the same was as the banana. Very nice. Don't get cheated. Usually it is 3 for RM1, sometimes more. But the best would be those leftover friend flour, if you know what I mean. Fattening, will probably kill you in the long run but if you haven't tried these fatty food you haven't really lived.
Very happy they have Malaysian food!! We have more! Like Kuih Udang, which is a Malay food, or Chapati and Tosse which are all low fat and very healthy (Indian food), we have dumplings and Chinese caked and dessert made of Coconut milk (santan)...ohhhhh, I feel like eating one now!! The best would be the sago dessert with coconut shreds or something like that, sold in Chinese shops. Very difficult to find. Also who can forget the many other stuff, like Chinese pan cake!
Mei Kam cooked something called Yuk Guat Cha, which is actually Bak Goot Teh, or you know, those dark coloured soup with big chunks of pork ribs, served with taufu, rice and Yau Char Guai. Don't believe Singapore's claim. Malaysia has the best Yuk Guat Cha and Chicken rice and Nasi Lemak. It's just that we don't know how to promote such food. Always Malay food, but we Chinese have also best seafood curry mee (expensive but worth the price of RM10 per bowl with all kinds of seafood in it), Ipoh Kuey Tiao Mee (not necessarily the best would be in Ipoh), Ipoh coffee (delicious and tasty). I mean for Chinese food you could go to Penang, the more famous Chinese food haven but frankly, I tried and nothing great. Expensive and I found better ones in KL. The only state that I have been to that made me wish I would want to move there is Taiping which is in Ipoh which is at the North of West Malaysia. The food there are reasonably priced, all very different, very delicious and I tasted the best Siu Yoke (pork) there. If you plan to visit Malaysia to eat, skip Penang and choose any store in Taiping or Ipoh. Then go to Penang and bleed yourself of all your money, especially Chinese New Year!
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