Title screen shot
|Created by||Lee Tim-shing|
|Written by||Cheung Wah-biu
|Theme music composer||Yip Kai-chung
|Opening theme||Red Butterfly (紅蝴蝶) performed by Ron Ng|
|Country of origin||Hong Kong|
|No. of episodes||25|
|Executive producer(s)||Lee Tim-shing|
|Running time||45 mins.|
|Picture format||576i (SDTV)
|Original run||27 April – 29 May 2009|
|Related shows||No Regrets (2010)|
|Literal meaning||Veiled Heroine, Ruthless Hero|
Rosy Business is a 2009 Hong Kong television drama produced by Television Broadcasts Limited (TVB) under executive producer Lee Tim-shing. It original aired on the Jade network from 27 April to 29 May 2009, consisting of 25 episodes. The final two episodes were aired back to back, including a Scoop (東張西望) showing insert, having the whole finale special last for two hours.
Set in Eastern China in the mid-19th century Qing Dynasty, Rosy Business tells a story of the mercantile Chiang family and the ambition and jealousy surrounding the issue of who will inherit the family business when Chiang Kiu dies. The story surrounds the life of Hong Po-kei, who marries into the Chiang family as Chiang Kiu's fourth wife. She gains ownership of Hing Fung Nin, the family rice shop, and guides the ambitious coolie Chai Kau to rise in the social status ladder.
The script was inspired by the successful Chinese television series, The Grand Gate Mansion (Chinese: 大宅門). Although the drama was met with mixed reviews in Mainland China due to its vital similarities to The Grand Gate Mansion, the drama was a popular critical success in Hong Kong and was the most successful drama in the first half of 2009. The final week of broadcast garnered a peak of 47 rating points with 3 million viewers. The drama and cast received twelve TVB Anniversary Award nominations and eight top 5 nominations, winning all eight of them. The awards include Best Drama, Best Actress (Sheren Tang), Best Actor (Wayne Lai), Best Supporting Actress (Susan Tse), My Favourite Male Character (Lai) and Most Improved Male Artiste (Ngo Ka-nin). A sister production, No Regrets, was released in 2010.
In the mid-1820s, a natural disaster strikes the city of Nantong, tarnishing most of the city's rice fields. Running out of food supply, city mayor Hong Chi-wing (Wong Wai Leung) decides to use the city's military food supply to feed the people. A few days after the disaster, an official from Beijing arrives to the city to check the military supply. Upon seeing an empty trailer, he sentences the Hong family to death. His daughter Hong Po-yin (Sheren Tang) escapes from punishment and becomes a maid in Prince Wai's mansion, living under the name Hong Po-kei.
Twenty years later, Po-kei reunites with the rich rice merchant Chiang Kiu (Elliot Ngok) at his manor in Wuxi, whom she was betrothed to before the disaster, while Prince Wai is there for a visit. Chiang Kiu's wife, Yan Fung-yee (Susan Tse) recognizes Po-kei and reveals her identity to Prince Wai. Kiu manages to convince the Prince to free her, and marries Po-kei as his fourth wife. He appreciates Po-kei's wisdom and persistence, and decides to entrust his business to her, telling her to find a suitable successor for him before he dies.
Hungry for power and eager to keep tradition, Fung-yee finds every opportunity for her son, the eldest child Bit-man (Ngo Ka-nin) to be the only heir of the family business. She tries to strip Po-kei from power even when Chiang Kiu's final will reads that Po-kei should be the full owner of the business.
Despite attacks from the family, Po-kei manages to keep the business in good shape. She is impressed with second son Bit-ching's (Ron Ng) intelligence and guides him to become the successor, but her efforts are met with Chai Kau's (Wayne Lai) challenges. Chai Kau seeks vengeance for being mistreated and wants a pay back from Bit-man and the Chiang's family uncle, Pang Hang (Henry Lee). After rounds of battle wits and fights, Po-kei and Chai Kau develop a deep friendship.
Chai Kau appreciates Po-kei's work ethics and pledges his loyalty to her. With their excellent cooperation and quick thinking, the business manages to survive through the locusts disasters and the Taiping Rebellion.
Development and concept
Before Lee Tim-shing began preparing for a new production, Sheren Tang approached Li and explained that she wanted to work on a drama with him. Eager to work with Lee, Tang said that she was willing to accommodate her schedules for the new production. Tang also suggested to work with Wayne Lai. Lee agreed to the project, and when both Tang's and Lai's scheduling were finalized, Lee began working on the production in early 2008. Along with producing coordinator Cheung Wah-biu, they submitted an initial script to Catherine Tsang, manager of TVB's production department. She was impressed with the script and development for the production formally began in July 2008. A press conference and costume fitting for the cast was held on July 25, 2008 with the working title "Red Powder Merchant" (紅粉商人). Filming began August and ended four months later in November 2008 in Hong Kong. Lee explained that the production was temporarily called "Wives and Concubines" (妻妾成群) when the initial script was first submitted, but was later renamed to "Red Powder Merchant." Colleagues criticized the new working title, and Lee later finalized the official title to "Veiled Heroine, Ruthless Hero" (巾幗梟雄) and its official English title to Rosy Business. "Veiled Heroine" (巾幗) represented Tang's role of the fourth wife, while "Ruthless Hero" (梟雄) represented Lai's role 'Chai Kau'. The drama was also sponsored by Bawang Shampoo.
The drama aired in TVB's main TVB Jade channel for five days a week, from April 27 to May 29, 2009, with a total of 24 episodes. While production planned for 25 episodes, the two final episodes were aired together. A special Scoop celebration aired during commercial breaks, with the whole finale lasting for approximately two straight hours.
Before the broadcast of grand production drama Beyond the Realm of Conscience, Rosy Business was 2009's most viewed drama, with an average rating of 33 points (2.1 million viewers) per episode. The finale episode peaked to 47 rating points (3.3 million viewers; 3.4 million including TVB's HDTV sister channel), the second highest in 2009. The highest peak of average ratings in one week reached to 42 points (2.8 million viewers), also the second highest in 2009.
Rosy Business has received commercial and critical acclaim in Hong Kong. While ratings went to as high as 47 points, critics claim that if the points included the viewers who watched the drama through TVB's HDTV and other sister networks, the rating results may have been comparative to the viewership success of Moonlight Resonance and Korean drama Jewel in the Palace, in which both dramas reached to a rating of 50 points. The roles of the "fourth wife" and "Chai Kau" propelled both Sheren Tang and Wayne Lai to stardom, and both respectively won the title as Best Actress and Best Actor at the 2009 TVB Anniversary Awards.
However, Rosy Business aired in Mainland China with mixed reviews. Viewers expressed that the story was too similar to The Grand Gate Mansion, and claimed that Hong Kong script writers were beginning to lack creativity, having remade a few Mainland dramas already in the past.
Cast and characters
- Sheren Tang as Hong Po-kei
- Wayne Lai as Chai Kau
- Elliot Ngok as Chiang Kiu
- Susan Tse as Yan Fung-yee
- Kiki Sheung as Pang Giu
- Kara Hui as Lau Fong
- Ron Ng as Chiang Bit-ching
- Suki Chui as Yau Man
- Ngo Ka-nin as Chiang Bit-man
- Kelvin Leung as Chiang Bit-mo
- Henry Lee as Pang Hang
- Nancy Wu as Suen Hoi-tong
- Suet Nei as Gui Yuk-yu
- Kwok Fung as Prince Wai
After the success of Rosy Business, TVB announced plans to produce a companion piece starring the original cast, slated to begin filming in March 2010. However, Fala Chen and Raymond Wong were cast to replace Kiki Sheung, Ron Ng, and Suki Chui, who were reported to be not taking part in the production due to scheduling conflicts.
Tentatively titled Rosy Business II (巾幗梟雄之義海豪情), a sales presentation trailer of the drama featuring a majority of the original cast was filmed on October 25, 2009 in TVB's filming studio. The three-minute trailer aired on the TVB Jade channel on December 6, 2009 to an overwhelmingly positive reception. 50 random locals were interviewed in the streets, and 58% chose Rosy Business II as their most anticipated drama. Several Mainland China news portals also listed Rosy Business II as one of the top 15 for most anticipating upcoming Hong Kong/Taiwanese dramas.
The reboot will take place during World War II in Guangzhou, approximately 100 years after the events of Rosy Business. Li explained that Rosy Business II will take a darker route in introducing the main characters, having that Tang will portray a villainous role. While the original did not have Tang and Lai dwell in a romantic relationship, the spin-off will concentrate on these developments, but it will merely be a side-story to the main plot.
|Week||Episodes||Average points (peak)||HK viewers
||April 27 — May 1, 2009||
||May 4 — 8, 2009||
||May 11 — 15, 2009||
||May 18 — 22, 2009||
||May 25 — 28, 2009||
|May 29, 2009||
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- "Chai Kau defeats Laughing Gor, original cast to film spin-off drama". QQ (in Chinese). 2009-06-03. p. 1. Retrieved 2009-06-03.
- "Wayne leads original cast to film sequel". Oriental Daily (in Chinese). 2009-10-26. Retrieved 2009-11-12.
- "The fourth wife not scared of Sheh and Yeung". The Sun (in Chinese). 2009-10-26. Retrieved 2009-11-12.
- "Audiences choose 'Rosy Business II' as most-anticipated drama". Sina (in Chinese). 2010-01-15.
- "58% choose 'Rosy Business II'". Singtao (in Chinese). 2010-01-15. Retrieved 2010-01-17.
- "2010's Top 15 Anticipated Hong Kong/Taiwanese dramas". Shxb.net (in Chinese). 2010-01-17.
- "Sheren Tang and Wayne Lai continues their fate in Rosy Business". Xinhua (in Chinese). 2010-03-12. Retrieved 2009-03-13.
- Week 1 Ratings
- Week 2 Ratings
- Week 3 Ratings
- Week 4 Ratings
- Week 5 Ratings
- Finale Ratings