Can't Buy Me Love (TV series)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Can't Buy Me Love
Genre Costume drama, romantic comedy
Starring Charmaine Sheh
Moses Chan
Linda Chung
Raymond Wong Ho-yin
Fala Chen
Kenneth Ma
Susanna Kwan
Lee Heung Kam
Louis Yuen
Selena Li
Sharon Chan
Edwin Siu
Opening theme Man Chin Chung Ngoi (萬千寵愛) performed by Susanna Kwan
Country of origin Hong Kong
Original language(s) Cantonese
No. of episodes 31 (Hong Kong)
32 (Overseas) (list of episodes)
Producer(s) Mui Siu-ching
Running time 45 minutes per episode
Production company(s) TVB Jade
Picture format 576i (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Original release 23 August (2010-08-23) – 3 October 2010 (2010-10-03)
Related shows Beyond the Realm of Conscience (2009)
External links
Can't Buy Me Love
Traditional Chinese 公主嫁到
Simplified Chinese 公主嫁到
Literal meaning "The Princess Comes in Marriage"

Can't Buy Me Love (Chinese: 公主嫁到)is a 2010 Hong Kong television series. It is a grand production by TVB and starred Charmaine Sheh, Moses Chan, Linda Chung, Raymond Wong Ho-yin, Kenneth Ma, Fala Chen, Louis Yuen, Selena Li, Susanna Kwan, Lee Heung Kam, Edwin Siu and Sharon Chan.

The television series was released in Hong Kong on TVB Jade network on 23 August 2010, in the third line time slot (starting at around 21:30 in GMT+8), airing between Monday-Friday every night at this hour.


Set during the Tang Dynasty of China, Can't Buy Me Love tells the story of the Third Princess, Princess Chiu Yeung (Charmaine Sheh), of the Tang Emperor (Samuel Kwok), who is beautiful but very unreasonable, and, as such, no one wants to marry her.

The Kam family is the largest gold manufacturer in the grand capital Chang'an, but because they are deceived, the business runs into troubles. The second son of the Kam family Kam Tuo Luk (Moses Chan) has to marry the Third Princess to save the family business, because then they will have the right to manufacture gold pieces for the Tang Palace, the Third Princess only agreeing to the marriage because otherwise she would be married off to the Tibetan king Songtsän Gampo, as schemed by the evil Concubine Wei (Kara Hui).

The Princess brings lots of servants to the Kam family after marrying Kam Tuo Luk, and constantly comes into conflict with the members of the Kam family (Lee Heung Kam, Susanna Kwan, Louis Yuen, Raymond Wong Ho-yin). The Princess brings Szeto Ngan Ping (Fala Chen), with her to the Kam family, who has been awarded "Best Servant" by the Concubine Dowager Chui (Susan Tse) and later became wife of Ding Yau Wai (Kenneth Ma).

The Princess originally decides to leave the house, but when she misunderstands that the Kam family speaks negatively of her, she stubbornly stays. Later, she and Kam Tuo Luk fall in love. When the Kam family is convicted of a capital offence, she divorces Kam Tuo Luk to secretly save the Kam family.


After the huge success of Beyond the Realm of Conscience, the filming of a similarly set costume drama comedy was announced. Can't Buy Me Love was featured in the TVB 2010 sales presentation clip, which was released shortly after the TVB Awards Presentation, and became a highly anticipated drama of 2010 in Hong Kong.

The drama became popularly compared to Beyond the Realm of Conscience due to its extremely similar lavish costumes and sets, cast members, and close time period (both set during the Tang Dynasty of China). They were also compared to as Can't Buy Me Love also had links with the Tang imperial palace, though it had far more scenes out of the palace. It has also been widely and popularly named the indirect sequel (although it should really be a prequel, due to it being set during Taizong's reign) to the other drama, despite their entirely different genres (Can't Buy Me Love being a romance/comedy, while Beyond the Realm of Conscience being a historical palace epic). The two series share the same producer, Mui Siu Ching.

In order to capture the grandeur of the Tang Dynasty, custom-made elaborate costumes and sets were created for the series, resembling those of Beyond the Realm of Conscience in a comical way. Elaborate costumes have been made for grand series produced by TVB in the past, especially costume dramas such as War and Beauty, The Charm Beneath and others. Costumes highly resembling those of the latter include those of the members of the Imperial Household Bureau and personal maids. Other costumes also greatly reminded the audience. A costume fitting was held on 17 December 2009 at 12:30pm in Hong Kong, in front of the Shaolin Temple in TVB City's Ancient Street, Tseung Kwan O, with most of the cast members attending.

Especially grand was Charmaine Sheh's wedding ceremony headgear. A blessing ceremony was held for Can't Buy Me Love on 26 February 2010. The heavy headwear proved to be difficult for the cast; it resulted in injuries and discomforts for the members of the cast during filming. Television Broadcasts Limited created a lot of hype prior to the release of the series, having numerous news on the progress of the series' filming published on TVB Weekly magazine and letting out news on the filming progress.

The filming completed in April 2010. Three official trailers were released near the date of release, the first making a parody out of Beyond the Realm of Conscience. Malaysia's Astro On Demand channel also showed previews of the drama. Because of the drama's high ratings during the early episodes (the series reportedly managed to gain a peak of 36 points in its first few episodes; a celebration event was promised if the drama reached over 30 points in viewership ratings during its first week of broadcast), a celebration party was scheduled.

However, because of the hostage-taking incident in The Philippines, the celebration event was cancelled, due to the tragedy, the Hong Kong Broadcasting Authority received complaints for a comedy being aired at a tragic time.


The television series is a romantic comedy costume drama, featuring lavish costumes and sets intended to capture the luxury and grandeur of the Tang Dynasty, and makes parodies out of other Hong Kong television shows, including dramas and varieties.

The drama is set to have 32 episodes, with a definitive beginning and ending to the story. Each episode is 45 minutes long. This drama format is hugely popular throughout East Asia and also in Southeast Asia. The bickering is a major part of the comedic aspect of the drama. Apart from this romantic plot, the series also focuses on a plot where the protagonists' lives are under threat from the villains, and therefore part of the plot has focus on scheming in the palace. Dramas involving scheming people in the palace (especially those within the imperial harem, such as imperial concubines) have long been in existence in TVB dramas, especially after the hit 2004 TVB series War and Beauty.

The series, apart from the main couple, Charmaine Sheh and Moses Chan, also has the romantic plots of two main supporting couples, Linda Chung and Raymond Wong Ho-yin, Fala Chen and Kenneth Ma.

Historical Trivia[edit]

  • None of the princesses featured in the drama are historically recorded princesses, though their names are loosely based on popular characters given to imperial princesses. The princesses in the drama are named, in descending age or ranking, Princess Yonghe the Eldest (Sharon Chan), Princess Qingyun (Tracy Ip), Princess Zhaoyang (Charmaine Sheh), Princess Qinping (Yoyo Chen), Princess Qinhui (Charmaine Li) and Princess Dexin (Linda Chung), nome of whom are historically recorded imperial princesses.
  • It is revealed that the fictional Princess Yonghe's (Sharon Chan) mother was Empress Zhangsun, who is revered as one of the most benevolent empresses of Chinese history. Empress Zhangsun made notable contributions to peasantry and labour, and even towards Chinese technology despite her elevated status as an Empress during her lifetime.
  • The Emperor featured in the series is Emperor Taizong of Tang, the second Emperor of the Tang Dynasty. Princess Zhaoyang (Charmaine Sheh) explicitly admires her father. Emperor Taizong, while still only a duke's son, assisted his father, then the Duke of Tang, to overthrow the brief Sui Dynasty, thus establishing the Tang Dynasty and paving the road for one of China's golden ages.
  • The series reveals (fictionally) a reason for Princess Wencheng's famed political marriage to Songtsän Gampo of the Tibetan Empire. Princess Wencheng was probably not an imperial princess but a niece or maid of Emperor Taizong's or the Imperial Household's, who was married to Songtsän Gampo, forging an alliance between the Tang Empire and the Tibetan Empire. Princess Wencheng would later help to develop technology and more civilised and idealistic standards of living in Tuoba, which was then regarded by the Chinese as an almost barbaric empire.
  • The series mentions (and probably exaggerates) gender equality during the Tang Dynasty. The Tang Dynasty was in fact a period of a Chinese history in which women were fairly liberated, with records of outspoken courtesans and women of prominent families playing the Persian sport of polo with gentry men. The first instance of feminism in the Tang Dynasty was established very early on, when the daughter of the Tang's founding father Emperor Gaozu, Princess Pingyang, made large military contributions and in fact led military forces to help overthrow the Sui and establish the Tang.
  • Emperor Taizong was the first husband of the young Wu Zetian, who would later become a favourite of Emperor Gaozong's, then his Empress consort, a regent power and eventually an Empress regnant in her own right, interrupting the Tang Dynasty's early stages with the Later Zhou. Wu Zetian would rule as the only historically recorded female imperial monarch of Chinese history, and she would even further contribute to gender equality in the Tang after Princess Pingyang. Her efforts would include the installing Shangguan Wan'er as a political and literary scholar.
  • The series references trade with foreign empires. China at the time was by far the world's largest economy, and many foreign empires and states paid homage to China and traded with China. Trade with the West flourished for China under the Tang. China also imported aspects of foreign culture. Chang'an, the Tang capital, was a cosmopolitan area boasting a huge population. Christianity reached China for the first time around the time setting of the series. Buddhism was imported during the Northern and Southern Dynasties from India and its presence was solidified under the Tang. Chinese hanfu also made major alterations, adopting some of the court styles of the Persian Empire. Sports, philosophies and consumer goods were all imported, as well as exported.


Note: Some of the characters' names are in Cantonese romanisation.

The Kam Family[edit]

Cast Role Description
Lee Heung-kam Kam Tai Fu Yan
Ding Loi Hei's mother-in-law
Kam Tuo Fuk, Kam Tuo Luk, Kam Tuo Sao's grandmother
Suffered from Alzheimer's disease later and cured due to religion
Susanna Kwan Ding Loi Hei
Boss of Kam Kam Ho Gold Shop
Kam Tai Fu Yan's daughter-in-law
Kam Tuo Fuk and Kam Tuo Luk's stepmother
Kam Tuo Sao's mother
Ding Choi Wong's cousin and enemy/rival later became friends
Louis Yuen Kam Duo Fok
Eldest son of Kam family
Kam Tai Fu Yan's grandson
Ding Loi Hei's stepson
Yuen Siu Yuk's husband and have 5 children while his wife is pregnant with another
Selena Li Yuen Siu Yuk
Kam Tuo Fuk's wife
Have 4 daughters and a son while pregnant with another
Moses Chan Kam Duo Lok
Second son of Kam family
Kam Tai Fu Yan's grandson
Ding Loi Hei's stepson
Princess Chiu Yeung's husband.Also has a daughter in episode 32
Charmaine Sheh Princess Chiu Yeung
Third Princess of Tang Palace
Kam Tuo Luk's wife

Had a daughter in Episode 32

Raymond Wong Ho-yin Kam Duo Sao
Third son of Kam family
Kam Tai Fu Yan's grandson
Ding Loi Hei's son
Ng Si Tak's husband in Episode 32
Linda Chung Ng Sei Tak
Kam family's maid, then housekeeper, later as 3rd Princess, then Princess Chiu Yeung's sister Kam Duo Sao's wife in Episode 32

The Palace[edit]

Cast Role Description
Samuel Kwok Emperor Taizong of Tang
Princesses Yonghe, Qingyun, Zhaoyang, Chuanping, Chunhui's father
Deshan's adoptive father
Concubine Wei and Concubine Xuan's husband
Susan Tse Concubine Dowager Cui
Emperor Gaozu of Tang's concubine
Kara Hui Concubine Wei
Emperor Taizong of Tang's concubine
Enemy of Princess Zhaoyang and Kam's family
Committed suicide (by stabbing a sharp headpiece into her chest) in Episode 28
(Main Villain)
Griselda Yeung Concubine Xun
Emperor Taizong of Tang's concubine
Sharon Chan Princess Yonghe
First Princess
Chiu Wan's wife
Daughter of Emperor Taizong of Tang and Empress Zhangsun
Enemy of Princess Zhaoyang
Depreciated to a commoner, expelled from the Palace and goes mentally unstable in Episode 15
Was mentioned to be mending her ways later
Edwin Siu Chiu Wan
Princess Wing Ho's abused husband
Leave the Palace to live with Princess Wing Ho in Episode 15
Tracy Ip Princess Qingyun
Second Princess
Hung Che-gong's wife
Enemy of Princess Zhaoyang later friends
Matthew Ko Hung Che-gong
Princess Qingyun's husband
Charmaine Sheh Princess Zhaoyang
Third Princess
Kam Duo Luk's wife
Moses Chan Kam Duo Luk
Princess Zhaoyang's husband
Yoyo Chen Princess Chuanping
Fourth Princess
Cheng Po Wife
Enemy of Princess Chiu Yeung later friends
Eric Li Cheng Po
Princess Chuanping's husband
Charmaine Li Princess Jinhuai
Fifth Princess
Age 26

Tai Dak Leung Wife but divorced in Episode 28
Enemy of Princess Zhaoyang later friends

Jonathan Cheung Tai Dak Leung
Princess Chuanhuai's husband, but divorced because he can't stand her attitude in Episode 28
Linda Chung Princess Deshan
德善公主/ Ng Sei Tak
Emperor Taizong's adoptive daughter/Princess Zhaoyang's sister
Raymond Wong Kam Tuo Sao
Princess Deshan's lover
Later as Princess Deshan's husband in Episode 32
Fala Chen Szeto Ngan Ping
Third Princess's servant and friend as well as body guard
Concubine Dowager Cui awards her "No. 1 Servant"
Ding Yau Wai's wife

Ding's family[edit]

Cast Role Description
Joseph Lee (李國麟) Ding Choi Wong
Boss of Ding Fung Ho Gold Shop
Ding Loi Hei's cousin and enemy
Mai Yan Che's husband
Ding Yau Wai's adopted father
Mary Hon Mai Yan Che
Ding Choi Wong's wife
Ding Yau Wai's adopted mother
Kenneth Ma Ding Yau Wai
An official matchmaker
Ding Choi Wong and Mai Yan Che's adopted son
Lo Tou-yun's son
Szeto Ngan Ping's husband
Fala Chen Szeto Ngan Ping
Ding Yau Wai's wife

Lo's family[edit]

Cast Role Description
Ram Chiang (蔣志光) Lo Tou-yun
Turkic peoples
Fong Hak-lan's husband
Ding Yau-wai's father
Yu-Man Kit's subordinate
Determined to overthrow Tang Dynasty with Yu-Man Kit
Killed and sacrificed himself to protect his recently found son when fighting with Wong Mang in Episode 32
(Main villain)
Meini Cheung (張美妮) Fong Hak-lan
Lo Tou-yun's wife
Ding Yau Wai's mother
Kenneth Ma Ding Yau Wai
Lo Tou-yun and Fong Hak-lan's son
Szeto Ngan Ping's husband

Other Casts[edit]

Cast Role Description
Vincent Wong Yu-Man kit
A disguised philanthropist, actually a Turkic prince
Lo Tuo-yun and Wong Mang's supervisor
Determined to overthrow Tang Dynasty with Lo Tou-yun and Wong Mang
Committed suicide when his plans failed and caught by Tang army in Episode 32
(Main villain)
Tai Chi-wai (戴志偉) Wong Mang
A Turkic General
Yu-Man Kit's subordinate
Determined to overthrow Tang Dynasty with Yu-Man Kit
Killed when fighting with Lo Tou-yun in Episode 32
Yu Tsz-ming (余子明) Uncle Wing
Kam Kam Ho's ex-shop manager, then Ding Fung Ho's ex-shop manager
Threatened Kam Kam Ho to pay for his gambling debts
Fired by Kam Kam Ho and Ding Fung Ho successively
Tsui Wing Uncle Po
Ding Fung Ho's shop manager
Plot with gangsters to kidnapped Mai Yan Che, but killed by gangsters in Episode 16
Elaine Yiu Cho Kiu
楚 翹
A prostitute
Kam Tuo Luk's dream woman
Bribed by Princess Wing Ho to seduce Kam Duo Luk and separate him and Chiu Yeong
Lily Li Aunt Mei
媚 姨
A brothel's operator
Bribed by Princess Wing Ho to assist Cho Kiu to seduce Kam Duo Luk
Deno Cheung (張松枝) Boss Mak
Boss of Mak Lee Ho, another gold store
Incriminated Kam Kam Ho to sell fake gold
Au Sui-wai (歐瑞偉) Wong Ka-tung
An assassin
Ordered by Concubine Wai to determine to kill Princess Chiu Yeung
Killed by poisoning by Concubine Wai in Episode 23
Rosanne Lui (呂珊) Chui Sim
Proclaimed to be Ding Choi-wong's cousin
Stole Lo Tou-yun's son (i.e. Ding Yau-wai) and sold him to Ding Choi-wong
Killed by Lo Tou-yun in Episode 26
Li Hung-kit (李鴻杰) Buk Yat Buk
A fortune-teller
Kam Tuo-luk's friend
Promoted to court astronomer for being very accurate in his predictions in Episode 31
Stephen Huynh Luk Tung-chan
An Tibetan ambassador
Tam Bing-man (譚炳文) Uncle Lam Tin
A former gang leader
Fung So Bor (馮素波) - Grandmother of Princess Chiu Yeung
Chuk Man-kwan - Mother of Ding Loi Hei
Incriminated by Ding Choi Wong

Awards and nominations[edit]

42nd Ming Pao Anniversary Awards 2010[edit]

  • Won: My Most Supportive Performance (Charmaine Sheh)
  • Won: Outstanding Actor in Television (Moses Chan)
  • Won: Outstanding Actress in Television (Charmaine Sheh)
  • Nominated: Outstanding Programme
  • Nominated: Outstanding Actress in Television (Fala Chen)

TVB Anniversary Awards (2010)[edit]

  • Won: Best Drama
  • Nominated: Best Actor (Moses Chan) (Top 5)
  • Nominated: Best Actress (Charmaine Sheh) (Top 5)
  • Nominated: Best Supporting Actor (Louis Yuen) (Top 15)
  • Nominated: Best Supporting Actress (Susanna Kwan) (Top 5)
  • Nominated: My Favourite Male Character (Moses Chan) (Top 5)
  • Nominated: My Favourite Male Character (Louis Yuen) (Top 15)
  • Won: My Favourite Female Character (Charmaine Sheh)
  • Nominated: My Favourite Female Character (Linda Chung) (Top 5)
  • Nominated: My Favourite Female Character (Fala Chen) (Top 15)
  • Nominated: My Favourite Female Character (Susanna Kwan) (Top 15)
  • Nominated: My Favourite Female Character (Lee Heung Kam) (Top 15)
  • Won: Most Improved Actor (Raymond Wong)
  • Nominated: Most Improved Actress (Selena Li)

16th Asian Television Awards 2011[edit]

  • Won: Best Actress in a Leading Role (Charmaine Sheh)
  • Nominated: Best Drama Series

Viewership ratings[edit]

Week Episodes Average Points Peaking Points References
23–27 August 2010
1 — 5
30 August – 3 September 2010
6 — 10
6–10 September 2010
11 — 15
13–16 September 2010
16 — 19
20–24 September 2010
20 — 24
27 September – 1 October 2010
25 — 29
2 October 2010
3 October 2010
31 — 32


External links[edit]