Side dish: The briefing of Apple and Tai Shu took place in a movie theatre, but they did not have any snacks. They might have enjoyed Sweet Sesame Five-Spice Popcorn, from Rachael Ray. This is what typing “Chinese popcorn” into the search engine brought up.
Police officers, Apple (Priscilla Wong) and Tai Shu (Edwin Siu) have been assigned to go undercover as a married couple in order to solve a loan shark case, under protest. Initially, Apple’s boss coaxes them with compliments, but when the two cops continue to whine, he resorts to ordering them to do their duty.
Meanwhile, three female neighbours of Wan, the comatose criminal, appear to have a lot of time on their hands. The housewives snoop around their floor, and find out that the apartment of a recently deceased neighbour is being made ready for new occupants. Later, they all attempt to find out the condition of Wan Pan at the hospital, and run into each other.
It turns out that the three women all borrowed money from Wan for medical bills, school tuition and to start up a business. All are crumbling under the mounting debt, and hope Wan never wakes up.
What one of the housewives, Dan Dan (Mandy Wong) did not disclose to the others was that Wan was in possession of compromising photos of her. He threatened to release them to her husband and daughter if she could not pay off her debt on time. Money is tight, because though Dan Dan’s husband has been promoted to manager, there was no raise in pay.
The two other housewives have their own stressful situations. Fung Nei (Kaki Leung) lives under a constant barrage of complaints and criticisms from her mother-in-law, while her husband works out of town. Lin Heung (Rachel Kan) is unbelievably understanding when her ex-husband fails to pay alimony, because of his current wife’s medical bills. She also patiently caters to her rude and hostile son, played by an actor who is probably the same age as the actress who plays his mother.
Apple and Tai Shu enter a crash course in order to prepare them for their undercover operation. They are presented with Japanese drama and Korean drama versions of their back story, both of which they reject as being too ludicrous. The Hong Kong drama back story paints her as the rich girl, and him as the plumber who serviced her bathtub faucet. This scenario makes both Apple and Tai Shu swoon, though when they remember who they are sharing the fantasy with, they start bickering again.
The training to create a plausible married couple out of Apple and Tai Shu begins. The would-be couple take tango lessons, engage in trust exercises, and take wedding photos, taking pot shots at each other the entire time.
Both Apple and Tai Shu keep the details of their mission secret from their families, saying only that they are going to a special training camp. Tai Shu confidently shows up carrying only a backpack, predicting that the case will be solved in a few days. Predictably, Apple has five sets of luggage, which places her at Tai Shu’s mercy, since she cannot carry them all by herself. In the lobby of their new apartment, Tai Shu and Apple meet Dan Dan, and the two women appear to have the same suitcase, though Dan Dan’s is a knockoff.
Apple gets shoved by Tai Shu into the elevator with a group of rambunctious middle aged women. They grope her in admiration, then point out that Tai Shu looks like the actor Edwin Siu (haha). Later, when informed of the comparison, Tai Shu is so offended that he leaves Apple to deal with her suitcases on her own.
The women’s identical suitcases get swapped, and Apple finds nothing but skin products in Dan Dan’s suitcase. Meanwhile, Dan Dan opens Apple’s suitcase, and finds the wardrobe of her dreams. She and her daughter are acting like they are on a spending spree, when Dan Dan rips an article of Apple’s clothing in the process, just as the rightful owner knocks at her door.
The best part of this series is obviously the main couple of Apple and Tai Shu. Their clashes are frantic and exaggerated, and they are very entertaining, as a result. I haven’t bothered detailing their squabbling, because words would fail to do them justice.
The trio of housewives, and their financial difficulties cannot compare. It was especially painful to watch Fung Nei and Lin Heung pander to their abusive mother-in-law and son, respectively. I suppose that this is an attempt to make them more sympathetic, but they just appear pathetically docile.
As seen in the very first scene of the series, the housewives will continue to play a major part in the story. I can only hope that their part does not take away too much time from the main show.