Monday, August 11, 2008

Best Selling Secrets - Sitcom Overview

Best Selling Secrets, sitcom overview

Year 2007 marks the arrival of a new sitcom, the return of Esther Kwan, and the start of something that would eventually be loved. Starring Esther, Best Selling Secrets was a sitcom that undertook high expectations from the very start. After leaving TVB for seven long years, clearly all the attention and focus were set on TVB Best Actress Esther Kwan. And of course Esther did not disappoint the audience. Esther plays Wong Ka Nam, daughter-in-law to Tai Chi master Ng Hang (Elaine Jin), mother to Xing’s trainee photographer Luk Jit (Vin Choi), long time friend and crush of Yin's Group's CEO Vincent Yin Wai-Shun (Geoffrey Wong), and new rival of advertising company Xing's CEO Diana Man On-Na (Elvina Kong).

In the past nineteen years, Nam has been on bad terms with Hang. Hang blames Nam for not being a good mother to Jit, thus Hang doesn’t let Jit know that Nam is in fact his mother. With the help of Vincent, Nam becomes Jit's superior, and the mother and son start working together at Xing. Nam is constantly guilty for not being there for Jit, thus she hopes to make it up to him by treating him extremely well. Not knowing the truth, Jit once thought Nam had a crush on him. Misunderstandings soon cleared up and Nam was able to rebuild her relationship with Hang and Jit by moving in to live with the two. Being able to fix her relationship with her family, Nam has Vincent to thank. Vincent has secretly loved Ka Nam for nineteen years, but has kept his love to himself because she was the wife of his best friend, Luk Kin. Even after Kin passed away Vincent still dared not confess his feelings for Nam, afraid that it might ruin their friendship, and also because Nam only has Kin in her heart. Vincent chose to stand by Nam and be a silent protector. Nam eventually finds out about the crush, but insists that they remain friends because she refuses to let anyone in her heart. Nam believes that no one can take Kin's place in her heart. Only after going head to head with Kin’s suspected lover Lai Poon Yu-Yuk (Louisa So) and meeting with psychiatrist Chan Chi Yin (Sunny Chan) did Ka Nam realize that Vincent was in her heart all along. She learned that losing her loved one doesn’t mean her love world has come to an end. In fact, it should teach her how to love properly in the future. Kin will never disappear in Nam's heart, but it is really time to move on, sealing Kin in that special place in her heart and set her eyes towards the future. Nam learns to cherish her relationship with Vincent and let her feelings lead the way, taking over her always conscience mind. The two eventually gets married and expecting a baby girl.

As the sitcom progressed, the main focus was no longer only set on Esther. More familiar names regained the audience’s liking. More familiar faces were finally being recognized. The sitcom gained success because it has certain aspects that manage to capture the audiences’ attention and manages to touch the audience’s heart. Hilarious plot allowed the audience to relax after a long day of school or a stressful day at work, while intense plot keeps the audience glued to the television screen.

As time passed, the audience eventually watched the sitcom on a daily basis; watching it became a habit and a must-do. The characters were eventually humanized because we can always find someone we know that resembles certain aspects of certain characters. Best Selling Secrets was no longer politics based; the working environment of the office was no longer isolated. The audience became a part of Xing’s bunch. As we watch the evolution of each character, we ourselves are also changing. Just how much of our daily lives are we missing out on? Are we taking too much for granted? What exactly are we searching for in life?

Diana and assistant Kau Chun (Tsui Wing) has worked together for over ten years. In this past decade she has never considered him to be anything more to her but a useless follower. His contributions to her always went unnoticed. She knew he was loyal to her, she knew he liked her, but she didn’t think she needed anyone by her side. Everything changed when Chun left her to work for Vincent, only then did she realize his importance. Only after the two had parted did Diana begin to see Chun’s true potential, only then did she realize that her feelings for Chun had long evolved into love. Even though the two were eventually able to get together, Chun knows that they’re at two different social levels. Chun painfully leaves Diana in hopes to one day return, providing her with the best in the world. His hard efforts paid off and he returns as Tony Ko, CEO of Mag Castle, a hotel empire. The two walk off hand-in-hand as they excitedly greet the next phase in their lives, marriage.

David Mo Kei-Yung (Stephen Au) was Xing’s senior administrative assistant. He never had much ambition in his life, at least not after his ex-wife (Queenie Chan) dumped him after making all his money hers. Yung admired Wong Ka Nam and once wanted to court her because he thought she was interested in him. Yung backed off once he discovered that everything Nam did was for her son Jit, she had no interest in starting a new relationship after her husband passed away. Yung’s true destined one was actually Diana’s competitor and sister Queenie Man Shing-Kwan (Florence Kwok). From encounter to endless quarrels, the two had developed a little something for each other and eventually confronted their true feelings. However, Queenie is still an ambitious woman who hungers for more power and social standard. She accepted childhood friend, Vincent’s older brother, Yin Wai Pun (Timothy Cheng)’s love, knowing that she can use him to gain power. Saddened by Queenie’s two timing attitude, Yung leaves Hong Kong to start a new career with Kau Chun. Before Yung's departure, Pun reveals that Queenie's one and only love was Yung. Yung still decides to leave Hong Kong to persue his career. However, within two weeks Yung returns. The two eventually weds and becomes parents to two adorable children.

After graduating from high school, Jit negotiated with grandmother Hang to let him work at Xing for a period of time before starting university life. He meets Maymay Yuen Mei-Yiu (Jeanette Leung) and the two quickly become lovers. Kawaii Ho Tung-Tung (Yoyo Chen), who also likes Jit, is sadden when she discovers that her best friend Maymay and her crush Jit are now a couple. She sadly leaves the company to study photography with a famous Japanese photographer. She returns shortly after Jit and Maymay breakup, she is hired as Xing's photographer and works with Jit at Xing again. Upon her return, Jit discovers a completely different Kawaii, a mature and evolved Kawaii. He began to see the other side of Kawaii which he failed to see before. Jit started to like Kawaii, so he confronted her and the two finally became a couple. As their relationship progressed, their feelings of love towards each other slowly subsided. They realized this when Jit and his new colleague Dai Ngan Loi (Aimee Chan)’s friendship got a little too complicated to explain. The three eventually becomes good friends; they realize that it was best for the three of them to stay that way.

The character Doris (Rachel Kan) originally had limited screen time, she was arranged to be Vincent’s secretary at Yin’s Group. As the sitcom progressed, she eventually became Nam’s and Diana’s secretary respectively. Don't be fooled by her workaholic personality, after suffering from marital failure, she has lost faith in all men. She spends all her time devoted to her work, wanting to become an independent woman who relies on herself. Everything changed when Maymay’s brother Yuen Man Cheung (Wayne Lai) and Hang’s then boyfriend Tin Joi Shan (Bill Shek) opened a canteen to serve the workers of Yin’s Group and Xing. At first Doris and Cheung hated each other, but the two eventually became close friends when they started to realize that they shared similar experiences. Their friendship blossomed into love and they became an inseparable pair.

Receptionist Lily Lau Ting-Ying (Mikako Leung), Gary Lee Man-Kei (Jim Tang), Marco Lau Ka-Wor (Raymond Chiu), Michelle Tam Yuk-Ying (Janice Shum), Candy Chung Oi-Ting (Summer Joe), Ann Tse Yan-Yan (Helena Wong) all once worked for Xing. They eventually left Xing to persue their desired career. Over this past year, the group slowly gained popularity amongst the audience as each one of them was featured in certain episodes of the sitcom.

Best Selling Secrets was original and creative; it has brought much laughter to the audience in the past year. However, it seemed to completely turn downhill after Esther’s departure. The only thing to look forward to was the progression in the relationships between Diana and Kau Chun, Doris and Cheung, along with Yung and Queenie. However, the above pairings' screen time was also quite limited. In the sitcom’s last two months, the scriptwriters turned it into quite a horrifying "thing". The usually thoughtful and considerate Nam suddenly proposed to Vincent. Even though I'm a Vincent-Nam fan, this still seems a bit strange. Nam proposing? Well, I guess this is the best we're given. Hang broke up with Shan with rapid speed, claiming that their feelings for each other suddenly changed. Vincent’s father, Yin Ying Ming (Chan Hung Lit) quickly became Hang’s love interest even though she had no feelings for him not long ago when he confessed to her. Ming is then unexpectedly sucked into a possible lawsuit, wasting three precious episodes that could be used to explain other relationships in the sitcom. Pun entered into the relationship between Queenie and Yung only during the last week of the sitcom, kissed Queenie in one episode and broke up with her in the next, after discovering that her true love is Yung. Chun and Yung left their loved ones to go work elsewhere in one episode, while two years had already passed by in the next episode. The finale turned into something completely unwatchable. Xing creative director Wai Yat (Brian Burrell) and wife Ming Leung (Angela Tong), along with Vincent and Ka Nam are expecting their first baby [I guess that's a good thing]. Yung and Queenie are parents to two babies. Everyone except Yat left the company, Nam’s evil brother Wong Kwok Lap (Samson Yeung) suddenly turned good, Chun became the CEO of a famous hotel empire, he and Diana got back together and married two minutes before the sitcom ended. Everything is rushed and became quite unrealistic. Even though the sitcom finishes with a happy ending, I must say it’s quite a messed up happy ending. Nevertheless, at least it's a happy one.

Best Selling Secrets has indeed created many wonderful memories and will be remembered in our generation as an enjoyable piece of work. Many of the storylines were extremely well written, and probably could have been even better if Ka Nam's character wasn't arranged to leave the sitcom. Of all the relationships, my all-time favorite has to be the Vincent-Ka Nam love chase, followed by the adorable yet tempting Diana-Kau Chun love. Over these past 300+ episodes I've obtained and found a lot: my previous love for Esther Kwan, re-introduction of Elvina Kong, Stephen Au, and Tsui Wing, addiction to the ending sub "Only Once" even after listening to it for over one year, I'm still in love with the song. Even though university life is stressful, Anime hopes to seek a balance between work, homework and the world of TVB. Anime anticipates the new sitcom starring the cast of Best Selling Secrets and awaits that Esther will one day return to TVB.

Anime's Favorites

Favorite Episode – Episode 247: Who Is Kin’s Most Loved

Best Scripted Episode – Episode 241: The Position Part II

Most Anticipated Episode – Episode 247: Who Is Kin’s Most Loved

Most Comfortable Episode – Episode 140: Full Moon Union

Most Enjoyable Episode – Episode 252: My Girlfriend Is Wong Ka Nam

Most Heartbreaking Episode – Episode 258: How To Say Goodbye

Most Hilarious Episode – Episode 146: The Casual Wear Competition

Most Intense Episode – Episode 246: The Mystery of Love

Most Meaningful Episode - Episode 241: The Position Part II

Most Romantic Episode – Episode 257: Ka Nam’s Wish

Most Touching Episode – Episode 35: Doraemon’s Ending Part II

Also Recommended Episodes

- Episode 69: Return Of The Prince
- Episode 142: The Representation of Power
- Episode 151: Burglar And Superman
- Episode 164: Son Against Mother
- Episode 183: Falling In Love With Master Ng
- Episode 187: Hard To Love
- Episode 210: The Letter Never Received
- Episode 212: Tale Of Baby Bear
- Episode 250: Vincent's Most Loved One
- Episode 265: Ka Nam's Reply
- Episode 297: Lovers At Long Last
- Episode 298: At All Cost
- Episode 301: Jealousy Flies
- Episode 311: Queenie's Game
- Episode 317: Becoming Truth
- Episode 334: At Fate's Hands
- Episode 335: The Love Testing Challenge
- Episode 342: Cheung's Dream

* Of course the above opinion and favorite list may be slightly bias as it’s my personal liking and I am a super Esther fan.

Posted on 08/11/2008