Joys of Life

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Joys of Life
(花样人间)
Joys of Life intertitle.jpg
GenrePeriod drama
Musical
Romance
Comedy
Written bySeah Choon Guan
Lim Gim Lan
Tan Ai Heng
Directed by黄光荣 (ep 1-10)
高淑怡 (ep 11-16)
谢益文 Edmund Tse (ep 17-26)
卢燕金 Loo Yin Kam (ep 27-35)
StarringChew Chor Meng
Alien Huang
Rui En
Chen Liping
Rayson Tan
Apple Hong
Zheng Geping
Huang Wenyong
Yao Wenlong
Zhang Yao Dong
Opening theme珍惜 by Power Station
Country of originSingapore
Original language(s)Chinese
No. of episodes35
Production
Producer(s)Winnie Wong
Running timeapprox. 42–46 minutes
Broadcast
Original channelMediaCorp Channel 8
Original run26 June 2012 – 13 Aug 2012
Chronology
Preceded byYours Fatefully
Followed byDon't Stop Believin'
Related showsWok of Life (1999)
Springs of Life (2002)
Together (2009)
A Tale of 2 Cities (2011)
Devotion (2011)
It's a Great, Great World (movie)
Your Hand In Mine (2009–2010)
External links
Website
 
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Joys of Life
(花样人间)
Joys of Life intertitle.jpg
GenrePeriod drama
Musical
Romance
Comedy
Written bySeah Choon Guan
Lim Gim Lan
Tan Ai Heng
Directed by黄光荣 (ep 1-10)
高淑怡 (ep 11-16)
谢益文 Edmund Tse (ep 17-26)
卢燕金 Loo Yin Kam (ep 27-35)
StarringChew Chor Meng
Alien Huang
Rui En
Chen Liping
Rayson Tan
Apple Hong
Zheng Geping
Huang Wenyong
Yao Wenlong
Zhang Yao Dong
Opening theme珍惜 by Power Station
Country of originSingapore
Original language(s)Chinese
No. of episodes35
Production
Producer(s)Winnie Wong
Running timeapprox. 42–46 minutes
Broadcast
Original channelMediaCorp Channel 8
Original run26 June 2012 – 13 Aug 2012
Chronology
Preceded byYours Fatefully
Followed byDon't Stop Believin'
Related showsWok of Life (1999)
Springs of Life (2002)
Together (2009)
A Tale of 2 Cities (2011)
Devotion (2011)
It's a Great, Great World (movie)
Your Hand In Mine (2009–2010)
External links
Website

Joys of Life (simplified Chinese: 花样人间) is a Singaporean Chinese drama which was telecasted on Singapore's free-to-air channel, MediaCorp Channel 8. It made its debut on 26 June 2012, consists of 35 episodes, and will be screened on every weekday night at 9:00 pm.

The series was produced to celebrate 30 years of Chinese language drama being broadcast in Singapore. Set in post-World War II Singapore, the story line spans the decade between the end of the Japanese occupation and the HDB's clearing of squatters during the late 1950s to early 1960s.[1] It is the first on-screen pairing of Rui En and Alien Huang.

Story[edit]

In an old tenement house at Huaxiang Street, several families live together and play out the acts in life every day. The story revolves around six friends - Zhao Mingxing (Ailen Huang), Qian Yiduo (Zhang Yaodong), Han Yongyong (Rui En) and her sister Rourou (Cynthia Wang) and Sun Zibin (Andie Chen) and his sister Lianjing (Kate Pang) - and their families as they go about their lives in post-World War II Singapore.

True to his name, Zhao Mingxing "Star", dreams of becoming a star. He is raised by his father, a movie billboard artist. Zhao Dagou (Chew Chor Meng), who has lived through the horrors of the Japanese Occupation, is a master storyteller. He and the ordinary-looking Sun Zibin are old friends. Zibin, who works in the office of the TV station, has a leftist younger sister, Sun Lianjing. His mother Cai Shuxian (Pan Lingling) married Uncle Roti (San Yow), a bread seller, through an arranged marriage. Shuxian often gripes that she is a victim of a feudal marriage. Han Yongyong is the adopted daughter of Han Jianren (Huang Wenyong), a cook whose love for women and booze forces his wife Liu Daiyu (Lin Meijiao) to be the breadwinner of the family. The couple had wanted to adopt a boy after Daiyu failed to conceive, but the child was swopped. Yongyong grew up being raised as a boy. Thereafter, they gave birth to three daughters. One of them, Han Rourou, is the beauty of Huaxiang Street. She is every man's dream girl, but her heart is set on marrying a foreigner.

The tenement house is owned by bakery owner Qian Caifa (Zheng Geping) and his wife Jin Yinjiao (Chen Liping). The couple has three sons. Qian Yiduo often leaves any dirty job to his indignant younger brother Qian Erduo (Romeo Tan)while he goes off to gallivant. This family occupies the big unit above the bakery. The other occupants are Caifa's cousin Qian Caiguang (Chen Guohua), the latter's wife, Wang Limei (Lin Liyun), who works in a charcoal shop, and their daughter Qian Meihua (Adeline Lim). The mean Caifa took them in only because he feels guilty of having schemed against his cousin to possess the bakery. Although Caifa is prosperous, his marriage is not entirely blissful for he has never gotten over the fact that Cousin Caiguang once embraced Yinjiao. Instead, he is a secret admirer of Shuxian who has more class.

Mingxing loses heart after several unsuccessful attempts to be a star search finalist. He decides to study acting in Japan. While openly opposing it, Dagou nevertheless secretly tries to raise money for his son's overseas education. Moved by this, the filial Mingxing eventually gives up the opportunity to study abroad. When Mingxing finds out that Lianjing is a closet fan of stars, the quarrelsome pair who shares a common interest start dating each other in secret. Dagou saves Zhang Xiaoyu (Apple Hong) who suffers from amnesia. While Mingxing is eager to pair his father with Xiaoyu, Dagou is against the idea.

Yiduo is unaware that he is being elbow out by Erduo. He meets with danger on several occasions, only to be saved by Yongyong who seems to be able to connect in mind with him. Yiduo grows fond of her. Zibin becomes an overnight sensation when he covers for a DJ on medical leave. Suffering from an inferiority complex, he pushes Mingxing to impersonate him to meet his fans, as well as to let Mingxing experience what it is like to be in the limelight. Yongyong takes up employment as a domestic help in a Caucasian family. A keen learner, she seizes the chance to learn English, and catches the fancy of Master Johnson (Bobby Tonelli). Envious and jealous, Rourou worms her way into the household, also as a domestic help, to get close to Johnson who has eyes only for Yongyong. Refusing to admit defeat, Rourou throws herself at Peterson (George Young), Johnson's friend, but is abandoned by him after she gets pregnant. Daiyu pretends to be the one pregnant so as to protect Rourou from shame, but the latter gives birth to a baby of mixed race. Thereafter, rumours spread, with everyone gossiping behind Rourou's back. Only Zibin stands steadfast beside her.

The getai business is at its peak. The three buddies start Xin Hua Xiang Stage Company. Recognising Dagou's talent as a standup comic, Xiaoyu encourages him to perform at getai shows. Just as Daogou's feelings for Xiaoyu grows, a Japanese by the name of Yamaguchi (Rayson Tan) appears claiming to be Xiaoyu's husband. Dagou is jolted to his senses. Mistaking Xiaoyu for a Japanese, he starts to distance himself from her, however, he feels anguish seeing how she is mistreated by Yamaguchi. The intense competition in the getai business compels Xin Hua Xiang to consider joining the bandwagon in offering striptease acts, to Zibin and Lianjing's objections. Song and dance versus striptease act, the former emerges as the loser.

Mingxing and Lianjing breaks off due to irreconcilable differences. Yamaguchi puts pressure on Xiaoyu to perform striptease to earn a living but she tearfully refuses. Unable to contain his anger, Dagou stops Xiaoyu from going on stage. Mingxing takes her place but is exposed by the audience. Their business suffers. Dagou and the witty Uncle Roti salvage the situation by taking centrestage. Surprisingly, they are a hit with the crowd, thus saving Xin Hua Xiang. Uncle Roti stands tall in front of his wife who has always despised him.

1963 sees the advent of the television. Rourou starts life afresh and drags Yongyong to participate in Talentime on TV. Mingxing invites them to perform at his getai, and they become the singing sensation of love ballads. Yiduo falls for Yongyong, but just as he is about to woo her, he discovers to his horror that Yongyong is his twin elder sister. It turns out that Yinjiao had a difficult labour and was unaware that she had given birth to twins. Yongyong was sold away at birth. When Jianren finds out that Caifa is Yongyong's biological father, he creates a ruckus by demanding his money back. Yongyong remains filial to her adoptive parents. On finding out that Caifa has given her up for Shuxian, the jealous Yinjiao flies into a rage and wants to drive her family out.

Set up by Erduo, Yiduo and Lianjing end up in bed together in a drunken stupor. The odd couple are forced to tie the knot. Xiaoyu regains her memory out of a sudden. The truth is revealed that Yamaguchi is the culprit behind her unfortunate state. After Yamaguchi is driven away, Dagou picks up courage to express his love to Xiaoyu. However, he is stunned when Xiaoyu reveals that she is a majie who has vowed celibacy. Meanwhile, Mingxing and Yongyong begin to appreciate each other's virtues, and their feelings for each other grows.

Unhappy that Yongyong is more popular than her, Rourou quits as a singing duo to go solo but fails to earn an audience. For the sake of money, Rourou resorts to performing striptease but is driven to perform in Kuala Lumpur following a police raid. Zibin stays faithfully by her side. When Rourou retires from singing and plumps herself in the bakery, Erduo sets fire to the shop out of resentment. Not only did he die in the fire, but the tenement house is razed to the ground. All the neighbours chip in to rebuild the house. Yongyong shoulders the heavy responsibility of re-opening the bakery. Under Mingxing's support and encouragement, the bakery rises like a phoenix from the ashes.

Love abounds when these men and women cross paths. Will lovebirds Mingxing and Yongyong end up as a blissful couple? Will Rourou's heart be melted by Zibin's accommodating nature and sincere love? Will the antagonistic pair Yiduo and Lianjing be together till their twilight years? As for Dagou and Xiaoyu, will there be a surprise ending for them?

Cast[edit]

Main Cast[edit]

Zhao family[edit]

CastRoleDescriptionEpisodes Appeared
Chew Chor MengZhao DagouMingxing's widowed father
Movie billboard artist and storyteller
Jialing's husband
Xiaoyu's boyfriend
1-35
Alien HuangZhao Mingxing
"Gou Zai"
Dagou's son
Have a dream of being a star
Lianjing's ex-boyfriend. Yong Yong's boyfriend
Singer and actor of the stage company.
1-10, 15-20, 22-35

Han family[edit]

CastRoleDescriptionEpisodes Appeared
Huang WenyongHan Jianren
"Chou Pi Ren"
Daiyu's husband
Gambler
1-29,35
Lin MeijiaoLiu Daiyu
"Chou Pi Sau"
Jianren's wife
Yongyong and Rourou's mother
1-5,7-29,35
Rui EnHan YongyongJianren and Daiyu's adopted daughter
Caifa and Yinjiao's biological daughter
Yiduo's biological twin sister.Mingxing's girlfriend
1-35
Cynthia WangHan RourouJianren and Daiyu's second daughter
Yongyong's sister
Had a child, Yaoyao, with Peterson.
Zibin's girlfriend.
1-23, 28-35
Vina LimHan ZhuzhuJianren and Daiyu's daughter1,2,11,12-22,26-35
Lorraine KohHan MeimeiJianren and Daiyu's daughter1,2,8,11,12-22,26-35

Qian family[edit]

CastRoleDescriptionEpisodes Appeared
Zheng GepingQian Caifa
"Towkay"
Yinjiao's husband
Owner of a bakery
Yongyong's biological father
2-4, 6-21, 23-35
Chen LipingJin Yinjiao
"Towkay Neo/ Fei Po Jiao"
Caifa's domineering wife
Yongyong's biological mother
1-21, 23-35
Rui EnHan YongyongJianren and Daiyu's adopted daughter
Caifa and Yinjiao's biological daughter
Yiduo's biological twin sister.Mingxing's girlfriend.
1-35
Zhang YaodongQian Yiduo
"Da Long"
Caifa and Yinjiao's eldest son
Yongyong's biological twin brother
Rourou's ex-boyfriend. Lianqing's husband
1-35
Romeo TanQian Erduo
"Lao Er"
Caifa and Yinjiao's second son
Villain
Became mentally unstable in episode 35
2,4,7,10-21,23-27,29-35
Ivan LoQian Sanduo
"Xiao Long"
Caifa and Yinjiao's youngest son2, 6-8,11-13,20-35
Bryan ChanQian CaiguangRelative of Qian Caifa
Died in episode 33
2-4,7,13,15,28-33,35
Lin LiyunWang LimeiQian Cai Guang's wife2-4,7,10,13,15,28-35
Adeline LimQian MeihuaQian Caiguang and Wang Limei's daughter2-4,32-35

Sun family[edit]

CastRoleDescriptionEpisodes Appeared
Yao WenlongSun Yaping
"Roti"
Xian Ya's Husband
"Roti" (bread) seller
1-35
Pan LinglingCai Shuxian
"Xianya"
Yaping's wife
A school teacher
1-3,5-35
Andie ChenSun Zibin
"Sun Zi Bin Fa"
Xian Ya and Yaping's son
Worked for a radio company
1-35
Kate PangSun Lianjing
"Lian Qing Qing"
Xian Ya and Yaping's daughter
Initially Mingxing's ex-girlfriend
Yiduo's wife
1,3,5-7,9-35

Other[edit]

CastRoleDescriptionEpisodes Appeared
Apple HongZhang XiaoyuYamaguchi's legal wife
Dagou's girlfriend
A ma-jie
11-22, 25, 28-35
Rayson TanYamaguchi Hideo
"Yama / Yama-san"
Xiaoyu's abusive Japanese husband
Villain
Caught by police in episode 34
20, 22, 25, 28, 29, 32-34

Supporting cast[edit]

CastRoleDescriptionEpisodes Appeared
Cai Jun PaoBing Shui-GeIceball seller1,19,26
Yak YilinYun Yun3,16-23,30-35
Silver AngGong Bao ZhuRourou's friend5,9,11,12
Hu Yi XiangMi Fen-SaoBeehoon seller5,10,15,19,26
Dick SuMalay film producer5,7
Bobby TonelliJohnsonMary's son. He was in love with Yongyong. He left for England in ep 30.7,9,11,12,14,16,26,27,30
George YoungPetersonA record executive of a company. Accidentally, after a one-night stand, he is the father of Rourou's baby. They were planning to get married but disappeared as their marriage was rejected by his father as of ep 21.12,13,16-19
Candyce TohChen Mei GuangSinger of Xin Hua Xiang Stage Company.16-19, 23, 30-35
Brandon WongWang XiaEx-comedy actor of Xin Hua Xiang Stage Company. He plays Skinny. He left for Malaya as he need to take care for his sick mother and act there as well.16-19, 23
Wu Jian HuaYan FengEx-comedy actor of Xin Hua Xiang Stage Company. He plays Fatty. He left for Malaya to join Wang Xia.16-19, 23
Joey FengMeng NaA dancer of Lulu's performances. She was also partly responsible for tearing Lulu's dress during her performance in ep 23.23, 24, 29
Jessica TanLu LuSinger of Wan Li Hong Stage Company.17, 19, 23, 26

Special Appearance[edit]

CastRoleDescriptionEpisodes Appeared
Jacelyn TayLee Ling HuaMovie celebrity1
Moses LimTan Ah KongLee Ling Hua's godfather1
Tan JunshengTan Ah TeckTan Ah Kong's grandson1
Florence TanLiu JialingDagou's ex-wife who died.2,4,9,10,17
Zhou QuanxiGan ShuWorker of the bakery2,4,8,13
Chen TianxiangHui ShuWorker of the bakery2,4,13
Lina NgLittle TrumpetShe is one of the cast in a radio drama.3,6
Li WenhaiWu Ren BiBlind fortune teller.5,8,12
Tracer WongMaryHan Yongyong's towkay when working at the Caucasian family; Johnson's mother.6,7,9,11,13,14,16,27,28
Cai Ping KaiQi Po/Er-gu6,13
Darren LimCai NanFilm producer7,8
Wang YuqingGui Li QiangVillain
A loan shark and local bully
Lulu's man
Shot dead by police in episode 28
15,17,19,23,25,26,28

30th Drama Anniversary Highlights[edit]

Joys of Life was filmed in conjunction with MediaCorp's 30th anniversary of local drama. It is a star-studded mid-year blockbuster drama which continues the legacy of famous getai works “Wok of Life” (福满人间) and “Springs of Life” (春到人间). Set in the ’60s to ’70s when mobile getai was all the rage, the story will allude to well-known entertainers of the day such as Sakura Teng and comedy icons Wang Sha and Ye Feng.

Chew Chor Meng makes a comeback after a brief absence due to illness alongside fellow veterans Chen Liping, Zheng Geping, Huang Wenyong, Lin Meijiao, Pan Lingling and Rayson Tan. The cast also includes younger local household names Rui En, Zhang Yao Dong, Andie Chen and Romeo Tan and Taiwanese idols Cynthia Wang and Alien Huang (Xiao Gui). Former artistes such as Cai Ping Kai, Chen Zhonghua, Lina Ng, Tracer Wong, Jacelyn Tay, Moses Lim and Darren Lim made special appearances.

Production[edit]

This drama is the first drama in almost 10 years to be filmed at the previously closed Tuas TV World. [2] It was used by the SBC and TCS and is now a training ground for police specialist training. Scenes of the main street and town were filmed there while the rest were filmed at the studios, on the compound of MediaCorp's Caldecott Hill headquarters and nature areas.[3] Another drama was initially planned but was scrapped and "merged" with Joys of Life instead. Filming began on 6 February 2012[4] and ended on 16 May 2012, and trailers started airing from 29 May 2012. It was directed by 4 directors in different episodes.

This was the third "人间" (period drama-comedy) produced by MediaCorp after Wok of Life (福满人间) and Springs of Life (春到人间). Only Chew Chor Meng has starred in all three.

Reception[edit]

Joys of Life was the highest-rated drama of the year in terms of viewership ratings with some 993,000 viewers for its finale, until Don't Stop Believin' overtook the record by breaking the 1 million mark for its finale in September 2012.[5]

Notes[edit]

Overseas broadcast[edit]

This drama is one of the first dramas to be broadcast exclusive in Malaysia after its first telecast of two weeks. But have possible plans to broadcast worldwide.

Country of BroadcastBroadcasting NetworkDebutFinalePreceded byFollowed by
 MalaysiaAstro Shuang Xing12 July 2012 at 4.30pm, weekdays
(encore on 13 July at 3.30pm, weekdays)
29 August 2012
(encore on 30 August)
Code of HonourDon't Stop Belivin'
Asia-wideMediaCorp 8i14 November 2012 at 8.00pm, weekdays1 January 2013Yours Fatefully
 MalaysiaAstro AEC21 December 2012 at 8.30pm, weekdays7 February 2013Code of Honour

Accolades[edit]

Joys of Life bagged 3 out of 13 nominations in the Star Awards, including Best Theme Song. It also won a "Highly Commended" award for the Asian Television Awards, which Kate Pang won for Best Actress in a Supporting Role

     –indicates awards that would be collected by representatives, in place of the nominee.
Nominee / WorkAwardAccoladeResult
Lorraine Koh Jia Xin 许佳欣Star Awards 2013 Show 1
红星大奖2013 亮闪八方
Young Talent Award
青苹果奖
Nominated
《珍惜》 sung by Power Station 动力火车Best Theme Song
最佳主题曲
Won
Loo Yin Kam 卢燕金Best Director
最佳导演
Nominated
Seah Choon Guan 谢俊源
Lim Gim Lan 林锦兰
Tan Ai Heng 陈海兴
Best Screenplay
最佳剧本
Nominated
Lee Heng Soon Tommy 李兴顺Best Drama Cameraman
最佳戏剧摄影
Nominated
Xu Ying Ying 徐盈盈Best Costume & Image Design
最佳服装与造型设计
Won
Zheng Kai Hua 郑凯华Best Music & Sound Design
最佳音乐与音效设计
Won
Alien Huang 黄鸿升Favourite Male Character
最喜爱男角色
Nominated
Alien Huang 黄鸿升
Rui En 瑞恩
Favourite On-screen Couple (Drama)
最喜爱银幕情侣
Nominated
Chew Chor Meng 周初明Star Awards 2013
红星大奖2013
Best Actor
最佳男主角
Nominated
Huang Wenyong 黄文永Best Supporting Actor
最佳男配角
Nominated
Romeo Tan 陈罗密欧Nominated
Kate Pang 庞蕾馨Best Supporting Actress
最佳女配角
Nominated
Asian Television Awards 2013Best Actress in a Supporting RoleHighly Commended

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ In the last episode, the characters were discussing about the government (HDB) taking over squatters and letting them choose their flats.
  2. ^ A visit to Tuas Movie City on MSN Video
  3. ^ "TV World in Tuas sees lights, cameras and action again". AsiaOne. 15 March 2012. 
  4. ^ #joysoflife 年中大戏 – 花样人间 – 人物介绍 Part 2 + 开镜仪式!
  5. ^ "Don’t Stop Believin’ crosses the million mark". xin.msn.com. 12 September 2012.