*Warning: Spoilers Ahead*
I was catching up on Best Selling Secrets today, and it happened to be on a very good story arc within the series. So, I decided to do a short feature segment on this particular set of episodes because it really stood out to me. I still have a while to go before I finish the series, so there may be more than one of these "Story Spotlight" segments, but essentially, what this segment will be about is a focus on what I think are the best story arcs in Best Selling Secrets. This is a bit unique to long sitcom type series like Best Selling Secrets because there are multiple characters with numerous story arcs. For normal series, this type of analysis is not very rational since normal series are not that long. But these series are hundreds of episodes in length, so it makes more sense to do. Before we start, I have to say, please credit me and this site if you use the summary, analysis, and/or screen caps I have posted here on another website. The work posted here is original unless otherwise stated. Anyway, without further delay, let's get into it!
First and foremost, it was great seeing Louisa So appear in these couple of episodes. It was nice to see that she would be portraying an antagonistic role opposite of the wonderful Esther Kwan. Her role in this set of episodes reminded me a bit of her role in Phoenix Rising with Krystal Tin and Leila Tong. However, in that role, she was more purely evil and conniving than she turned out to be in Best Selling Secrets. Here, there was more of a pitiful back story for her than in Phoenix.
We meet her character as the widow of a very wealthy businessman. She approaches "Ying" and "Jo Yi Jim" to prepare a commercial for her. Ah Chit(Vin Choi's character) discovers a picture of his father and Louisa's character in wedding attire, basically their wedding pictures. This sends him into panic mode as he had always thought that his father only loved his mother, Wong Ga Nam (Esther's Character).
After some research and help from Vincent (Geoffrey Wong's character), Ah Chit finds the marriage papers between Louisa and his father. From she tells him, Ah Chit gathers that his father was going to America to break up with Ga Nam, not to bring her back to Hong Kong. Soon, Ga Nam finds the wedding pictures, and develops a psychological problem after hearing what Louisa had to say. She breaks down, something that is not characteristic of Ga Nam at all, and basically loses it for a bit.
Fortunately, she had Vincent there. In order to get the truth from Louisa, he ate a beggar's food. Finally, Louisa reveals the true story behind the pictures. She was once an immigrant with no permanent residency in HK. However, she met Ah Chit's father, Luk Geen, who helped her gain residency by faking their marriage. However, she falls in love with Ah Geen, who tells her that he already has the love of his life waiting for him. Over the years, she married a rich man who was older than her by 30 years and acquired a wealthy company, but she still remembers Ah Geen and how he helped her in her time of need. She blames Ga Nam for Ah Geen's death because he wouldn't have gone on the airplane if not for her. That's why she has been going against Ga Nam this entire time. By the end of the story arc, she has let go of her past grievances and no longer looks for revenge. As an added bonus, Ga Nam realizes how she must treasure those before her, and she FINALLY accepts Vincent's advances toward her.
Thoughts and Analysis:
Well, putting aside my bias toward both Esther and Louisa (they're both wonderful actresses), the story itself was very touching, in my opinion. The only time that Ga Nam shows her vulnerability is when she is dealing with her past with Ah Geen or when she is concerned for Ah Chit. Those are the two men who can cause her to lose her self-control and strong demeanor. One of the most memorable scenes within these episodes is when Louisa's character decides to go into Ga Nam's office and tell her her side of the story. She tells her how Ah Geen only loved her, and that the reason why he went on the plane was to break up with Ga Nam.
Esther breaks down in this scene, and the two essentially have a yelling match; Ga Nam yelling that Ah Geen only loved her, and Louisa yelling that Ah Geen never loved Ga Nam. I don't think Esther has been able to show such intense emotion in the previous 247 episodes. To be honest, her character in Best Selling Secrets is rather boring. I only find it interesting when her past is discussed, because that's when her character shows a lot of depth and Esther is able to use her amazing acting ability. Otherwise, she is calm and confident in what she does, portraying the wise mother of Ah Chit but sacrificing some of the excitement of her character.
Another great scene is when Ng Si Fu (Elaine Kam's character) confronts Louisa in her office. She tells her that she has already forgiven Ga Nam for anything in the past. Although she once hated Ga Nam for inadvertently causing her son's death, she has now forgiven her. Ga nam has also proven herself to be a good mother, a good wife, and a good daughter-in-law. She tells Louisa that the difference between Ga Nam and Louisa's character is how they handle the past. Ga Nam is able to transform her pain about Ah Geen into Love for her family, whereas Louisa can only change her pain into hate. This, along with her promise to Vincent if he ate the beggar's food, was what convinced Louisa to tell the truth about what happened between her and Ah Geen. Another reason I like this scene is because it shows the dynamics between Ga Nam and Ng Si Fu. Their relationship has evolved so much since the the first episode where Ng Si Fu hates Ga Nam until now, when she can go and defend her daughter-in-law out of concern and sincerity.
And of course, the end of this series of episodes marks the beginning of a new relationship. The experience with Louisa has caused Ga Nam to realize that she mustn't dwell too much on the past and that her relationship with someone else does not affect her feelings for her deceased husband. She can still remember Ah Geen in her heart and through her mother-in-law and son, while pursuing a new relationship. I should also add that I have been waiting for this moment for a very, very long time. FINALLY, Vincent and Ga Nam are together! Too bad, Esther had to leave before the end. I wonder how they'll tie up this long awaited relationship since Esther isn't in the finale? I guess we'll have to see!
So, that was the first Story Spotlight segment! It's much easier to do short segments on one story arc than to do a whole long summary and review of the entire series, especially at this length. Anyway, hope you guys enjoyed reading it! It was a lot of fun to do!
P.S. Remember to credit if you use any of the material in this post. Thanks!