Sunday, 30 October 2016

United We Stand (生繡橋王) episode summary 1-6

I’ve had a mixed feeling about watching ‘United We Stand’ (Saan sau kiu wong 生繡橋王) since last year. Because, after watching it, basically that’s it. No more Michael/Barbara new series that I could watch. Not that the other ones were not good, but I do want more...

Anyway, the bad news is, I found NO English subtitle for UWS, which means that I either have to watch Cantonese raw or Mandarin raw. Thank God that and Youku have the Cantonese version. Both sites are not perfect. Yueyuyy is sourced from Tudou and VideoGet, all episodes are listed, but some links are broken. Yueyuyy also has loads of annoying ads. Youku’s ads are less annoying, but it’s missing many important episodes.

The other option is buying the original DVD from YesAsia, which I’ve done last week. It’s expensive (USD 45), but it arrived in Australia in less than two weeks (Update 11 Nov'16: shipped on 3 Nov, arrived on 11 Nov) and the quality is very good, considering it is an 1984 production (remastered in 2015).

Since I’ve actually watched the entire Dik Ching 1986 Cantonese raw without subtitles and provided the episode summaries, I think providing summary for UWS should be doable as well. It won’t be perfect, I yearn for a sudden ability to understand Cantonese (just listening will do, no need for writing). However, until someone translates the UWS into English, this is the only English summary available on the web. At least, to my knowledge. I hope you like it. Input into the general storyline, Cantonese romanisation etc. is definitely welcomed. Click here for all UWS episode guides.

UWS was set in the early British reign in early 20th century Hong Kong. From the ladies Western fashion, I think it was set before the twenties, for I didn’t see any flapper dress there. More of around or before the Titanic accident. UWS has 12 episodes about 60 min each, but Youku divides it into A and B sections. To make it more confusing, Yueyuyy counted each subsection as one, hence Yueyuyy lists it as 24 episodes (each 30 min). Also, some episodes in Youku are not complete either. Anyway, I’ll just jot down summaries for those episodes that I can watch, while waiting for my YesAsia shipment.

Tung Pang Fei (Michael Miu), A Leung (Michael Tao) and Lam Pui Ying (Barbara Yung)

Ep 1 Yueyu (Ep 1a Youku)

The opportunistic Tung Pang-fei arrived at the scene in Hong Kong

Episode opened by Michael Miu (Tung Pang Fei, or just “Fei”) saying something as he came off a rickshaw, smoking a pipe. He almost exuded CLH vibe when he spoke. Then we didn't see MM anymore throughout the Ep 1. Next we saw Babs as Lam Pui Ying. A Ying is a Wong Yung-like ponytailed girl whose family owned a small business. A Ying had a cheerful attitude, with a golden whip as her weapon (and she's pretty cool at that!). Really, think of Wong Yung without superb kung-fu, but she was definitely not a damsel in distress. A Ying’s friend was A Leung (Michael Tao), a good policeman, A Ying had a crush on him and vice versa, but both idiots didn't know how to impress each other. If they're pairing the rascal, ponytailed Babs with Michael Tao here, I don't mind, cos he's cute too!!

Ep 2 Yueyu (Ep 1b Youku)

A Ying and her little brother A Hoi got jailed because of a fight in town in which she was involved, but her mum released her secretly. A one-eyed guy called Fei Lu, looks like a bandit or a hooligan, appeared in the story. He often clashed with A Ying and her group. A Hoi had a crush with a flower girl called Fung Hua. We also saw Fei (Michael Miu) again, smiling as he saw Hoi got smitten with A Hua. MM might be involved in debt or another type of trouble. A young guy with “bad intention” written all over his face was waiting for him in his room, but Fei was all casual about it. Later, A Leung and A Hoi were involved in a fight with this guy inside a morgue. Fei somewhat came to the rescue (he was already inside one of the coffins, don’t ask what the context is cos I also want to know...). Together, Fei, Hoi and Leung beat the other guy.

Ep 3 Yueyu (Ep 2a Youku)

A Leung (Tao) received advice from Fei (Miu) about something. Leung met Ying and gave her grilled chicken or something to appease her (I like her! A foodie!). It seems the antagonist is Mr Ho, a rich guy who was respected by the local police head. Mr Ho was portrayed by Mr Lau Siu-ming (the Southern Emperor in LOCH 1983). I suspect Mr Ho would be revealed as elegant Babs's dad. Somehow A Leung and his police dad went undercover to unearth something, A Leung dressed up as a pretty girl, complete with boobs and pleats. He was actually prettier than A Ying here, hahaha!

The beautiful A Ling, I mean, Michael Tao!

Ep 4 Yueyu (Ep 2b Youku)

Fei (MM) and A Leung (MT) concocted a plan to get closer to the rich boss (for their own cause). MM picked up a girl at the harbour whom he thought was Mr Ho's daughter; she said her name was Mary. Apparently, she was Boss' niece instead, but she just played along with MM. By the way, the actress who portrayed Mary Sih was Chan On-ying (Shagua in LOCH 1983, the Spider-girl in HSDS 1986). Meanwhile, Boss' real daughter (her name here was also Barbara; Barbara Ho Doh-wan) tried to board a rickshaw driven by MT's friend but got rejected. She eventually arrived at the club where Boss Ho was playing card with another boss; MM already there, butting in, claiming that "I'm a friend of your daughter Mary." When the elegant Babs came in, MM became wrong-footed and escaped the room after a lame excuse. Meanwhile, the ponytailed A Ying got her mob capturing Fei Lu (Sit Siu Yan in CLH 1984, Chow Pak Tung/Zhou Botong in LOCH 1983).

Ep 5 Yueyu (Ep 3a Youku)

Cousin Mary, Barbara Ho (Barbara Yung) and Fei (Michael Miu)

MM tried to court Barbara when he saw her outside a dress shop with Cousin Mary, but Babs politely rejected his offer. Later, MM met A Ying while he was at a local poor guys casino. Since Ying looked like the elegant Barbara, MM asked MT who that girl was. MT answered absentmindedly, and didn't even care when Ying gave him a necklace, which made Ying runaway in anger. 

Tung Pang Fei (Michael Miu) and A Ying (Barbara Yung)

But somehow all things fixed, and A Ying and MT busily helped MM making Ying's mum (Mrs Li Heung-kam who portrayed the Old Lady Kam in CLH 1984 and Abbess Ruthless in HSDS 1986) getting married to Fei Lu, the 'one eyed' guy (Chow Pak-tung in LOCH 1983, Chun Wong in CLH 1984). A Ying's biological father had passed away long ago, by the way. We also got a glimpse if Barbara's family when she gave them gift from her UK (or European) trip. Barbara's dad had two mistresses in addition to his first wife, Barbara's mother.

Ep 6 Yueyu (Ep 3b Youku)

Somehow, Yin's mum got angry when she woke up the next day and found out she was married to Fei Lu (the one-eyed guy, not MM’s Tung Pang Fei). Was she duped?? Anyway, Yin got angry that MM and MT pranked her mum, but eventually Mrs Lam agreed to wed Fei Lu under certain conditions. Meanwhile, A Ying had a date with Bobby Chen, but somehow A Leung ruined it, so A Ying was mad at him. Meanwhile, MM continued to try courting elegant Barbara. He bought her a lovely red cheongsam and a nice jade pendant and sent her red roses. He accompanied her to the seashore and carried her and Mary's shopping boxes. I'm still not sure what the game is, cos he was all spy-like when he saw Big Boss' henchman around. Eventually, MM got to rescue Boss from a mob attack, but not sure if MM actually also orchestrated it (I think not).

Ep 7 Yueyu (Ep 4a Youku)

MM seemed to have orchestrated the little riot to gain approval of Yideng, I mean Boss Ho. Not sure why, and what I'd give to be able to understand Cantonese now! But at least it was done so that he was offered a job by Mr Ho. No elegant Barbara in this episode, but A Ying made a small appearance as she peeked into a conversation between her mum and one eye. Fei Lu became a policeman, A Hoi (Ying's brother) dated the flower girl A Hua, and Boss Ho still not completely trusted MM.

Ep 8 Yueyu (Ep 4b Youku)

A Leung (Michael Tao) became a gold fish when he saw Barbara

Barbara was exploring town with Mary when they passed by a restaurant where MT (Leung-gor) and A Ying's brother A Hoi were having lunch. A few minutes beforehand, A Ying just left the two boys to... dunno, change her clothes? When Barbara passed by the restaurant, MT was so taken by her beauty that he just became a gold fish out of water, hahaha! A Hoi confronted Barbara, thinking she was A Ying, but of course Barbara had no clue why he was so casual with her. Mary came to the rescue and barked an order such that A Hoi backed off. MT still acted like a gold fish upon Barbara's departure that A Ying, who came a few minutes later, was wondering what the heck was going on. 

Later, A Ying decided to dress up as a proper girl. She asked help from A Hua (the girl who selled flowers) and A Hoi. Together they went to a dressmaker. Since it was the dressmaker who always made dresses for Barbara, the dressmaker thought A Ying was Barbara. The dressmaker even gave A Ying two boxed containing Barbara's new dress (the smaller box might be the hat). A Ying tried it on; she looked good, like Snow White with a yellow ribbon. She then had a dinner date with A Leung at a Western restaurant. He wore a suit, she wore her Snow White dress. They ordered a complete 5-course meal, and it was a funny disaster. They eventually went home, A Ying limping due to her high heels. MM came in time with a rickshaw and offered A Ying to take his rickshaw, despite him originally thinking A Ying was Barbara. Later, MM introduced A Leung to the elegant Barbara in a cafe; A Leung again became a gold fish!  MM himseld started to be trusted by Barbara's dad; I still don't know what MM's game is other than being an opportunist. 

Meanwhile, Mrs Lam (A Ying's mum) went with A Hoi to the dressmaker with a pretext to return the dress, but she actually wanted to learn about Barbara. Did Mrs Lam (A Ying's mum) give birth to twins? Or did Mrs Ho (Barbara's mum) give birth to twins?

Ep 9 and 10 Yueyu (Ep 5a and 5 b Youku - Yueyu cannot be played)

Watch this one for the complete Ep 5a (the other Youku link only runs for 11 min).

A Ying's mum apparently indeed gave birth to twins. When she was spending time in a park with her two babies, one of them (Pui-yu, or Barbara) was kidnapped. I'm not sure if Barbara's adopted parents realised that their daughter was a kidnapped baby, but they loved Barbara very much. A Ying's mum found out that Barbara was her daughter because she, her neighbours and A Hoi (Ying's little brother) managed to trap Barbara such that they saw Barbara's birth mark on her hand. Barbara was shocked to see a woman she never knew cried over her. She later asked her Mummy what happened, and then she was told that she was adopted. Despite what happened, Barbara decided to always treat her adopted mother as her real mother. A Ying's mum also told A Ying about her twin.

Barbara told Mary about her being adopted/kidnapped while she was a baby. Mary set off to see Mrs Lam and arranged that Mrs Lam could see Barbara in a park. Barbara also met A Ying for the first time, but while the big sister Barbara was all polite and kind, A Ying was a mixture of tepid and indifferent. I think Barbara later told her adopted mother that she had seen her real mother.  

Barbara finally met her real mother

A Ying's tepid reception towards Barbara (Youku)

A Ying and Barbara decided to swap life for a few days so that Barbara could see her real mother while Mr and Mrs Ho were away. With the help of Cousin Mary and A Hoi, A Ying entered Barbara's life and dressed up like a doll ( well, a loud-mouth, uncouth doll...) while Barbara became the extremely polite and well-dressed version of A Ying. 

A Ying exchanged role with Barbara with Mary's help

A Ying's dressing up as Barbara fooled the women in the Ho household who gladly accepted her mahjong challenge. She fooled A Leung as well who fell head over heels at her. In turn, he made her happy due to his constant praises (which was actually directed at "Barbara "). However, A Ying's disguise didn't fool Fei who realised that Barbara wouldn't behave like this (e.g., dangling her heels while she was sitting so unladylike). Yet, Fei just played along and didn't disclose A Ying's secret, except when they were alone. It was a bit of Szeto Man Mo and Lam Chor Yin in the earlier episodes of Fearless Duo, except that this Chor Yin fell in love with another boy instead.

A Ying super happy because A Leung praised her (he thought she was Barbara)
A Ying was irritated when Fei appeared during her date with A Leung
A Ying's habit with shoes that made Fei realised she wasn't Barbara

Oh, while posing as Doh-wan, A Ying and A Fei (they were as thick as thieves actually) discovered that one of Mr Ho's mistresses had an affair with one of Mr Ho's business partners. A Ying just smirked when she found out about it. That attitude should have made the mistress suspicious, because Barbara Ho Doh-wan wouldn't do that, but this being a made-up series, the mistress just thought that Barbara found out about her and would one day report it to Mr Ho. Not sure what Tung Pang-fei said to A Ying about this, but she eventually swept it under the carpet.

Meanwhile, Barbara's presence in A Ying's house of course made her real mother very happy. Barbara was very polite and helpful around the house; she was also very filial to her deceased father (Mr Lam) and her step-father (the old fart Fei Lu). But I'm pissed off with Fei Lu who apparently had a mistress and was pretty casual about it! But I got my revenge, for A Leung's dad pranked Fei Lo with some chili-loaded noodles! Hah, take that!

Barbara (dressed as A Ying) meeting her mum Mrs Lam

Back to the Ho household, A Ying had another breakfast date with A Leung. She tried to fish information about A Leung's feelings to A Ying, asking if A Ying was someone special. To her disappointment, A Leung recited a series of A Ying's flaws instead, such that A Ying was angry and splashed coffee on A Leung's white shirt. That wasn't enough for the hot-headed A Ying. At that moment, Fei (MM) came and was just casually commenting that he'd return later lest he interrupted A Ying and A Leung. A Ying almost broke down in front of Fei-gor before she suddenly kissed him! Not in the mouth, dang, but a big peck on his cheek, which took both Fei and A Leung by surprise. A Ying shot some rants again at A Leung before she stomped off.

Dragon Ying royally vexed with A Leung

So when she ran into Fei-gor...
...who was about to excuse himself when she stopped him...

...she gave him a big peck on the cheek (that wasn't a French kiss...)
...which left him stunned afterwards!

The next day, A Leung came to apologise but A Ying didn't accept his apologies. Mary stormed into the conversation, informing A Ying that Mr and Mrs Ho arrived earlier than planned. Hilarious scenes ensued as A Ying in Barbara's dress stormed inside the house and, didn't bother to acknowledge her "parents", went inside her room and dismantled Barbara's bedroom before escaping through the window. Mary hastily went to A Ying's house to pick up the real Barbara. Later, upon being interrogated by her father, Barbara admitted that it was her little twin sister who disguised as herself for a few days. Mr Ho confronted his wife, who admitted that she had informed Barbara that she was adopted.

Ep 11 and 12 Yueyu (Ep 6a and 6b Youku - Yueyu cannot be played)

Ep 6a Youku only runs for 9 min. Here's another Youku with 30 min running time.

Barbara and her dad eventually made up, for Mr Ho remembered the days when he was a young dad, playing with little Barbara. A Leung continued to court Barbara, who didn't mind with his presence, but she seemed to be uncertain either. A Leung even slipped a note into a package for Barbara (containing her new dress), telling her all he felt for her. Barbara and Mary found the letter when they opened up the new package for her dress, but Babs just shoved the letter into her handbag for later reading.

Fei Lu seemed to got some loan from Mr Ho, hence Fei Lu was able to open a business (not sure of what nature, but legal). Fei Lu also seemed to give up on his mistress. However, his business didn't go well, and that's quite sad to see the cheerful Fei Lu deflated.

Barbara and Fei (MM) went on a date at night. Perhaps it wasn't even a date. Perhaps Fei just escorted Miss Ho at night to a casual dining place outside (like, it wasn't a cafe or a restaurant. It was a food street stall where you have to sit down on a low bench to eat). Anyway, Barbara's heel broke when she walked, so Fei helped her up and walked her to a nearby handyman to fix the heel. When waiting for the heel to get fixed, Barbara opened her little bag and found A Leung's letter. She read it with Fei, found the anonymous letter silly, and suggested that Fei just tear the paper. He tore the letter. 

Fei read the anonymous letter for Barbara

At that time, A Leung, who had been watching them since Fei helped Barbara with her heel problem, appeared. The understandably jealous A Leung accused Fei for stealing his girlfriend, Fei said it was a misunderstanding, a fight ensued. Barbara got hurt when A Leung hurled something at Fei (A Leung missed the target). Barbara was angry at A Leung and said that she never meant to date him or something to that effect. A Leung left in anger, making Fei wrong-footed.

A Leung accused Fei of stealing his girlfriend
But it was obvious that Barbara preferred Fei instead...
Which made Fei very uncomfortable...

Phew! It took me more than three hours to post this article! I hope you like it. Will continue next weekend if Heaven permits...


Anonymous said...

hey icha! I was chatting with on your other blogsite. so you got the UWS? Did you order if from yesasia? I'm still not sure about purchasing it. Was it "worth it" to you? I gladly bought the DVDs for CLH, LOCH, and Foundation bc I had seen them when I was a kid and loved them. I don't know about UWS since I have no memory of it. How did you like the storyline and acting? Worth it?

Icha said...

Hi Anon, thanks a lot for visiting me here!

I haven't received the UWS DVD which I ordered (from Yesasia). Once I receive it, I will tell everyone here on the post front page.

Was it worth it...? Well, I've watched UWS, and I like the story. Barbara was amazing, and Michael... my heart melts again for him. My poor heart...

UWS lacks the subtitle, of course, but I have a friend (Sandy) who's helping me digesting the overall story line. Also, I want to do screen shots and MVs of UWS, so... yes, it's worth it, as long as it arrives. Since I just bought it less than two weeks ago, and it's the free shipping (which can take up to one month to arrive), I haven't received it by now.

So perhaps you wanna wait for a month until I receive the DVD before you buy it? OTOH, if you buy it now, YesAsia will learn that people are interested in this DVD, hence they will not discontinue this series... We don't have CLH original DVD around (CMIIW), so it's nice to have UWS DVD around.

Icha said...

Hi Anon, I just checked my YesAsia account, and the tracking code stated that the DVD is already in Australia now. Which means I hopefully will be able to receive it by this weekend. I'll let you guys know...

Oh, YesAsia sent it on 3 Nov from China, and on 7 Nov (yesterday) it was already in Sydney. So it's been pretty good for a free shipment...

Anonymous said...

So good to hear that the DVD is on its way to you! My heart melts for MKW too! I don't think any other actor does that to me! Let me know how you like the DVD!

Icha said...

Will certainly do!! Thanks again!

Icha said...

Anon, the DVD has arrived today, less than two weeks after I ordered it. The quality is very good, considering it's a 1984 production (TVB released the DVD in 2015). Get it while you can!

Anonymous said...

hey icha, i'm tempted to buy the DVD but it is a bit pricey. did you feel it was "worth it"? was the plot good?

Icha said...

Hi Anon,

The plot is good. The details definitely beg a better understanding of Cantonese. For instance, I still have no clue what the background story for Andy Dai, but it's down to the absence of English sub and my near zilch Cantonese.

However, I can see that I'll enjoy this series more when I do finally get a good grip of Canto. I still enjoy it now despite the lack of subtitles. Michael and Barbara were so cute there, but Barbara also had good interactions with Michael Tao (A Leung), Mrs Lam and Mary.

In summary, I feel the DVD was worth the money. I would actually buy the second DVD for a safe keep if I have enough funding. But now I'm very happy with my DVD. It's of a good quality, and since it was released just last year (2015), it has not suffered long shelf-life to reduce its quality.

Where do you live? If you live in countries where YesAsia ships to, and if you live in certain countries like the US, Australia and some other developed countries, you can be entitled to free international shipping, which is always good!

Anonymous said...

hey icha! i live in the US and i understand cantonese so i'll get it! if there's anything you need me to help translate, just let me know!

Icha said...

Oh yeah! That's cool! Please let me know about the plots later, it would be great to be able to discuss this series with a Cantonese speaker.

Actually, I want to also translate UWS into English for non-Cantonese viewers. Some of us (like Sandy) speaks Cantonese, but if we combine forces, it will be easier. I will just do the timing or the like I can do without a full understanding of Cantonese.

Could you email me at southernriver74 at please? I'd like to regularly contact you from time to time if you don't mind, and discuss about the suggestion I made just now.

Anonymous said...

Sure! I've got to first order and watch it which might take awhile with the holidays coming up!

Icha said...

Oh you're right... It's almost December...

Well, mine took less than two weeks to arrive, so if you order before December, perhaps you'll also get it before Christmas! Let me know how it goes, I'm also giddy with excitement!