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24 July 2007 | 07:47 pm
NS show scores on characters, chemistry

24 July 2007


STARRING: Huang Wenyong, Tay Ping Hui, Bryan Wong, Rui En, Nat Ho, Felicia Chin
SHOWING ON: Channel 8, weekdays, 9pm, starting tonight
RATING: ****

I DIDN’T quite expect it, but new local series Honour And Passion is a winner.

It’s one of those sponsored shows (by the Singapore Armed Forces this time) and MediaCorp’s record has been pretty hit-and-miss with that.

But it turns out to be a pretty likable drama about National Service.

Plot has never been a strong point with local shows. Plus, it is never easy to judge a story based on the two episodes reviewers get to watch.

So I go with these questions. Is the characterisation good? Is there chemistry between the actors? And do I enjoy the two hours I spend with them?

Yes to all.

Honour And Passion is about a military warrant officer (Huang Wenyong) and his four children (Tay Ping Hui, Bryan Wong, Rui En, Nat Ho).

Ping Hui is a commando officer, Bryan that rare thing, a male with empathy, Rui En a tomboy and Nat an undisciplined runt.

Somehow, for a bunch so good-looking, they are all losers at romance.

There’s also a terrorist subplot in there somewhere.

The most interesting casting choice is Felicia Chin as an artillery instructor. I’ve never seen a female soldier that hot in real life.

Women everywhere should ask what sunblock her character Ouyang Peipei uses, because nobody exposed to that much sun remains that pink-cheeked and snowy white.

A truly ludicrous introduction is when one student whispers to another: “I don’t even know if anybody would want her.”

I know that’s supposed to play on the (unfair) stereotype that military women are butchy, but come on.

Still, I guess her casting works in the sense that the part of the brain that says “that’s unbelievable” is quickly overpowered by the part that says “that’s unbelievably hot”.

It might have something to do with me and uniforms though.

That said, it is the other female lead, Rui En, who steals the show.

Her character – tomboyish yet vulnerable, with a tremendously low tolerance for alcohol – is by far the most interesting.

As an actress, Rui En has always seemed a bit standoffish, but her character gets so much grief in the first two episodes that she is easy to relate to. Even lovable!

I am looking forward to her character’s interactions with Pierre Png’s. They make quite the amusing pair.


Their meeting is pretty stereotypical (I don’t know how many MediaCorp drama serials has had boy crash into girl, get angry with each other, eventually become lovers) but the twist – she has no idea that Pierre hates her – is clever.

***** Excellent
**** Good
*** Average
** Mediocre
* Don’t bother

Source: The New Paper

Categorised in Honour and Passion 宝家卫国, The New Paper.