Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Talking about Reunion Dinner (Mediacorp show)

Who else is watching Mediacorp's Reunion Dinner? The last episode was last night...I've only caught this on up to Episode 18, can't wait to see how this ends. This is such a good show, I love it.

Everyone has been raving about Little Nyonya, but when I was back in Singapore, I caught one episode, and yucks, I found it thoroughly boring with bad acting and outlandish plot. The episode I watched was the one where Jeanette Aw's character convinces the big gangster who wanted to marry her to turn over a new leaf. That gangster then became her godbrother, goodness why does he act with his eyes perpetually wide opened like that? And from being so nasty, he suddenly changed so drastically, very unrealistic.

Reunion Dinner is so much more realistic and one can really feel empathy for the characters. Zhu Hou Ren as the senile grandpa and Wang Yu Qing as the timid "Suan Le Suan Le" devoted husband/father/office worker were particularly outstanding. I also loved Patricia Mok's acting here. Chen Han Wei and Chen Li Ping were good too.

All 3 main plots in the show were interesting and meaty. We have Patricia Mok acting as a typical SAHM with an incorrigible gambler for a husband. What a change of role for Chen Han Wei. The 3 kids are really funny too, but darn scary lah if they reflect what kids in Singapore are like these days. Except for the youngest one, really cute, spouting Chinese idioms any chance she gets.

And then we have Kym Ng acting as a beer lady who has a good-for-nothing graduate husband (can't really act this fella). Heartbreaking to see her in-laws giving their life savings to help their useless son. This one also has a subplot of a Peidu father (from China of course) and we see the sacrifices made by Chinese families to give their child a better future.

The final plot is the one with Chen Li Ping as the devoted wife, mother and daughter-in-law. The two daughters don't bring very much to the story. But her father-in-law, who is senile, provides lots of comical and also extremely sad scenes. While she's responsible and devoted to the family, the writers don't portray her as a suffer-in-silence type of wife. She nags and she complains too, as any real person would, so that makes this good tv for me. And the highlight has to be her husband Wang Yu Qing's understated and restrained acting. Aiyoh, watching him in the office suffering unnecessarily harsh scoldings by young upstarts was really painful. It highlights the plight of older workers who put in years of hard work with little complaint only to be sidelined by young bosses who think nothing of belittling their subordinates.

I like shows that make me think about life and that make me cry buckets; Reunion Dinner fits the bill, and this is one show Mediacorp got right.


monlim said...

Wah, in Moscow still can catch Mediacorp drama, solid lah!!

I never watch them myself but my kids are hooked on some of the ones at primetime (sometimes with not very edifying themes). I must admist there's something addictive about a drama series, I used to follow the SBC ones when I was younger.

Lilian said...

Hehe, actually, this is the first Mediacorp drama I watched since moving overseas. Dunno why got hooked after clicking a link from a forum.

I'm easily addicted to drama series, used to watch HK-TVB ones religiously when I was younger. But TVB shows these days don't entice anymore; the best days are gone, when we had actors like Tony Leung, Chow Yuen Fatt, Dodo Cheng, Maggie Cheung, Carina Lau, Andy Lau, gracing our tv screens.

So maybe part of the appeal of Reunion Dinner was that I knew most of the actors. They may not be eye candy but they have much better acting chops than the new actors. Old vs new wine.

tealeafs said...

I watched now and then when there's nothing on cable. And I like! You're right about the acting, they're all in atypical roles (well, most of them, Chen Liping is her most natural in that mommy role), and they're good!

Zhu Hou Ren surprised me the most. I remember him as some serious magnate in that gambling show with Zoe Tay and Li Nanxing. And now, "I am a policeman!"

Glad you can catch a bit of local life while being there. Blessed Lunar New Year!

Lilian said...

Hey, Gong Xi Fa Cai to you Stef. Hope you're having a swell one.

I like it when ZHR says to his grand-daughters, Good Girl, don't cry...or Bad Girl, Bad Girl. You're right, Chen Li Ping is in her element as an HDB auntie. Hope the catch the last two episodes when they come online tomorrow. Been waiting for days.