In light of the recent craze in Singapore over real-life family drama, we are recommending a list of five top television drama serial on family feuds to help people cope with what they cannot comprehend in real life.
Big families are complicated. This is even more so if the family is rich, powerful and among the world’s elites. If you are having trouble trying to make sense of what’s going on in the recent big family squabble playing out in Singapore, maybe you can watch a few of these classic drama serial to get a sense of things.
Heart of Greed (溏心风暴) (2007), Hong Kong
Family unity has always been a big concern for multi-millionaire Tong Yan-Gai, his official wife Ling Hau and their adopted son Tong Chi-on. Gai’s mistress Wong Sau-Kam, on the other hand, is a calculating woman who always wants to secure herself a recognised status. Hau’s sister Ling Lei helps run Gai’s business and has been keeping a big secret for her brother-in-law. Once the secret is out, the Tong family starts to fall apart.
Portrait of Home (同心圆) (2004 to 2005), Singapore
The Fishball factory Tong Xin Yuan is a successful local business, with thriving sales in both Singapore and overseas. But behind the company lies a dark mystery.
The founder of Tong Xin Yuan, Zhou Dong, married a beautiful factory worker Li Tian many years ago. They had three sons – Dadi, Dashan and Daqiu. Zhou Dong disappeared after a kidnap attempt went awry; not even his body was found.
Without the master around, a faithful worker in Tong Xin Yuan, Lin Shitou took up the task of overlooking the factory. Three years later, Shitou married Li Tian and had another 3 sons – Dahai, Dayang and Dajiang. From then on, rumours abound that Shitou killed Zhou Dong and usurped both his factory and wife.
The Teochew Family (潮州家族）(1995), Singapore
The Teochew Family tells the story of Chaozhou rice merchant Cai Qingyang, who owns Tai Feng Zhan. Cai has two brothers, one of them who died early. Another is the useless playboy Cai Qingan. Cai also has a sister, Cai Chuning, who is a female scholar and a teacher. Cai Qingyang decides to arrange a marriage between his second brother’s widow with a poor scholar Xiao Denglong, who turns out to be Chuning’s lover. Chuning tries to get Denglong to leave Chaozhou with her, but Denglong declines. Chuning then argues with her brother, and leaves Chaozhou alone.
As Cai continues to expand his business over the years to become a rice tycoon, the drama then turns its attention to the second generation with the romances of Cai Meina, Qingyang’s niece and Hong San, Cai Chongwu and Mai Xiaodong.
Days of Our Lives (1965 to present), United States
Days of Our Lives is is one of the longest-running scripted television programs in the world, spanning 13,000 over episodes and still ongoing.
When Days of Our Lives premiered in 1965, the show revolved around the tragedies and triumphs of the suburban Horton family. Over time, additional families were brought to the show to interact with the Hortons and serve as springboards for more dramatic storylines. Originally led by patriarch Dr. Tom Horton and his wife, homemaker Alice, the Hortons remain a prominent fixture in current continuity.
Love Above All (真情满天下) (2008 to 2009), Taiwan
Love Above All is one of the longest running Taiwanese Hokkien television series spanning 311 episodes. The story revolves around the the ups and downs of a very large family running a grape farm and all the squabbling between the family members.