Square Pegs (戆夫成龙)

Title: Square Pegs (戆夫成龙)

Production Year: 2003 (TVB HK)

Length: 20 episode(s)

Main Theme: “愛情勇敢 by Hacken Lee and Emme Wong

Cast(s)/Role(s):

* Roger Kwok – Ding Chang Wang / Li Ji Zong

* Jessica Hsuan – Ling Cai Feng

* Raymond Cho – Pao Ji Zong

* Leila Tong – Ling Cai Tie

* Winnie Yeung – Yang Pei Jun

Synopsis:

Cai Feng is the eldest of the Ling’s family. Her father long absent from home meant that she was left at home with her stepmother and half sister, Cai Tie. Because of her father’s past failure business, the family has no means to hire servants. Thus it was Cai Feng who has to take care of household chores and constantly has to protect her father’s antique collection from her stepmother who liked to gamble (she liked to sell off the antiques to cover her gambling’s loss).

Mrs. Ling gambling’s addiction finally catches up with her when Mrs. Ding (Ah-Wang’s mother) comes to ask her to repay the debt in form of asking Cai Tie to marry his son. Unfortunately, Ah-Wang isn’t normal adult. He might has the appearance of an adult but he has a brain of a 7 years old who take marriage as to have somebody with him all the time as his playmate. Unwilling to marry off her real daughter to such a man, she deliberately arranges for two marriages at the same day, one with Ah-Wang as the bridegroom and the other with Pao Ji Zong (the son of wealthy man, Master Pao) as the bridegroom. At the day of marriages, Mrs. Ling switched the brides so that Cai Feng is married to Ah-Wang and Cai Tie is married to Ji Zong (It was Cai Feng that Ji Zong actually loves).

After Cai Feng realized the plot, it was too late. Ah Wong takes an instant liking of Cai Feng, much to her dismay. When the girls’ father returns from his trip and realizes that both his daughters have been married off, he takes off to the Ding and demands to have Cai Feng back. He isn’t successful for obvious reason but father and daughter comes out of plans to have Mrs. Ding disown her as daughter-in-laws. The plans don’t work out eventually and Cai Feng resign to the fact that she is now Ah-Wang’s “Lo Po Zai” (Little wife in Cantonese).

That is until a mysterious girl, Pei Jun, comes to the town. She claims that Ah-Wang is actually her lost fiancée, the one that has been missing for two years. It is turn out that Ah-Wang is actually the biological son of Master Pao and the real heir to the Pao’s wealth. Ah-Wang former self is Li Ji Zong, a bright scholar in a little town. 2 years ago, he mysteriously disappeared from the town and when he appeared at Mr. & Mrs. Ding’s house full of injuries, the couple took him in as their son.

Cai Feng sees the opportunity to get rid of her burden (in form of Ah-Wang) and wants to return him to Pei Jun. Thus, she helps Pei Jun to uncover the truth behind Ah-Wang real identity. Just as Ah-Wang shows the sign of recovering his memories, Cai Feng also discovers that she is actually falling in love with Ah-Wang…

Character(s) Analysis:

* Ding Chang Wang

He wasn’t born stupid, in fact his former self, Li Jizong, was a bright scholar who earned a scholarship and had a fiancée. One night, he mysteriously showed up at Ding House badly beaten and Mrs. Ding (who lost her son years back) acknowledged him as the son she lost. When he woke up, he is now Ding Chang Wang, an adult with a brain of 7 years old. Ah Wang proven to behave like a child, very simple minded, and innocent. He took an instant liking of Cai Feng and was very exited when Cai Feng become his wife. He adores his “Lo Po Zai” (little wife in Cantonese) very much. His motto is, “If Lo Po Zai happy, then I am happy”.

On Roger Kwok: A very surprising and wonderful portrayal of Ah-Wang! I can now relate to Roger’s raising fame after this series. I am so used to Roger’s portrayal as cool, bright, dashing look in “Detective Files Investigation IV” and honest, friendly Ma Zhiqiang in “At The Threshold of An Era”, that I have doubt I like him in “Square Pegs”. I was totally wrong! I love him as child-like Ah-Wang. I can’t think of any other actors that could fit into “Ah-Wang” as wonderful as Roger Kwok could.

* Ling Cai Feng

She is the eldest daughter in the family. She has a stepmother and half sister. She is a smart, stubborn and hardworking girl who wishes to re-open her deceased mother’s Tea House. Cai Feng was force to marry the child-like Ah Wang under a pretense that she was actually marrying Ji Zong, the town’s wealthy son. She disliked Ah-Wang at first and tried to find ways to get rid of the “burden”. When Pei Jun arrived in town and claimed Ah-Wang to be her fiancée, she readily helped Pei Jun to discover Ah-Wong real identity. At the end, just when Ah Wang showed sign of recovery, Cai Feng found herself helplessly in love with Ah-Wong

On Jessica Hsuan: I find her character’s a bit annoying at the beginning of the series, especially the very few episodes when she got married with Ah-Wang. Yet, I think I can understand her behavior. She was force to marry a man with a child’s brain, even tough Ah-Wang really does adore her, and he is not exactly her knight in shining armor. Jessica shares a good chemistry with Roger Kwok.

* Yang Pei Jun

She appears mysteriously one day in town to find her fiancée. When a thief stole her money, Cai Feng brought her to her father’s tea house and helped her settle down. Little did Cai Feng know that Pei Jun’s fiancée was actually Ah-Wang. She determined to help Ah-Wang remembered the past. Initially Cai Feng went along with her until Pei Jun discover – to her dismay – that Cai Feng actually fall in love with Ah-Wang.

On Winnie Yeung: She is ok overall but I don’t feel that she had much chemistry with Roger Kwok. She is pretty stiff in some of the scenes, but maybe that her character should be.

* Pao Ji Zong

An orphan turn Pao’s young master is actually the pretender heir. His parents died when he was young and he was sold as slave until Pao Da Fu discover him and take him to his uncle – Master Pao – as his son. Ji Zong has no idea of the fact and treated Master Pao like his own father. When his identity is revealed, he is hesitated to tell Master Pao. It is not because of Pao’s wealth, rather because he didn’t want to lose his father. Pao Da Fu forced him to choose between Master Pao or Ah-Wang (which one he choose to kill). He chose Ah-Wang but didn’t have the heart to kill him, instead he planned to sell him off. At the last minute, however, he informed Cai Feng and asked her to rescue Ah-Wang.

On Raymond Cho: The last time I saw him was in Healing Hands II. I like him then and I like him now. His character in Square Pegs is mild and well mannered young man and he played it well. I can sense his conflict when he found out about his identity and his reluctant to go back to his previous way of living (which very bad as a slave). Overall, a job well done.

* Ling Cai Tie

The younger sister of Cai Feng is a sweet girl who loves her sister. She had a crush on Pao Jizong but unfortunately the latter likes Cai Feng instead. Cai Tie was supposedly the one who has to get married to Ah-Wang, but her mother selfishly sacrificed Cai Feng instead of her own daughter. So she was married to Jizong, the heir to Pao’s. In turn of fate, the real heir is Ah-Wang instead. After her marriage to Jizong, she went through a period of “I love you why don’t you love me back” with Jizong. Alas, her sincerely finally won Jizong’s heart. She stayed with Jizhong wholehearted even after she discovered Jizong’s real identity.

On Leila Tong: I know I saw her somewhere but just can’t place her face. Then when my cousin re-watched “Return to The Truth”, I finally remembered. She was the little girl who played Kong Wah and Jackie Lui’s childhood best friend. She was great on that series. For “Square Pegs”, she fit the role of mild temper and sweet Cai Tie. However, I feel that there are still rooms for improvements.

My Comments:

I wasn’t even planning to watch “Square Pegs” at the first place. I heard about it but I had my reservation toward it. First of all, it was period/ancient drama and I prefer modern drama. Secondly, to have Roger Kwok act as a child? It wasn’t that appealing. I am curious enough to read some of the reviews on the internet and most of them are positive reviews. I still got points on my rental membership so what the heck! I’ll give it a shot. Boy! I did make my rental worth it. I was laughing out loud through out the DVDs and I enjoyed Roger Kwok’s performance very much. He gave me totally different look at him beyond the suave, cool and bright character that usually associated with him. His chemistry with Jessica Hsuan is wonderful that I found myself rooting for Ah-Wang and Cai Feng to have a sweet happy ending.

* Favorite scene(s):

Any scenes with Ah-Wang and Cai Feng. Ah-Wang is really acted like a big child whenever he is with his “Lo Po Zai”.

* Least favorite scene(s):

I don’t really like the ending. A more or less of cliffhanger, I don’t see the significant of that scene. Who did Ah-Wang choose? The fiancée that went to college and once share the same dream with him or the wife that took care of him when he lost his memories. If anybody can explain the significant of that last scene, please do e-mail me.

* Best Chemistry:

It’s Roger Kwok and Jessica Hsuan. I think I explained my reasons already, so I won’t repeat myself.

* Last but not least:

There are many other supporting casts that done a wonderful job too, but I just won’t go through their characters one by one. Like any good drama, lead actors/actress need good supporting casts to balance. Do rent this piece if you have spare time. I think you will find yourself laugh, cry and then laugh again with the characters.

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