Home with Kids
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|Home with Kids
Home with Kids VCD cover
Zang Li (臧里)
|Creative director(s)||Li Hong (李洪)|
Andy Yang (first two seasons)
Ning Danlin (latter two seasons)
|Opening theme||"Sunshine boy sunshine girl" by TG4|
|Country of origin||China|
|No. of seasons||4|
|No. of episodes||367|
|Running time||20 minutes (approx.)|
Sky Ground People Media (天地人传媒)
|Original network||Beijing Television|
|Original release||12 February 2005– 2008|
Home with Kids (Chinese: 家有儿女; pinyin: Jiā yǒu érnǚ), is a sitcom/drama from Mainland China. There are four series of Home with Kids, i.e. Home with Kids 1, Home with Kids 2, Home with Kids 3 and Home with Kids 4, which were released respectively in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007. It is considered to be an equivalent to Growing Pains, a US sitcom. Unlike most Chinese multi-camera sitcoms, Home With Kids prominently uses child actors as main roles. The series also reunites Song Dandan and Wen Xingyu, who both starred in China's first multi-camera sitcom, I Love My Family.
The series has ended with 365 half-hour episodes.
Xia Donghai, a director of children's drama who has divorced, returns from the U.S. with his young son Xia Yu (commonly known as "Little Yu") and daughter Xia Xue (also known as "Little Xue") to start a family with a divorced woman Liu Mei, who has a son, Liu Xing, from her previous marriage. The five live happily in a flat in modern Beijing. The story is evolved around the family member's encounters to various issues in life and their attempts to cope/solve them, and most episodes involve the parents' attempts to act as a good example for their children and teach them know right from wrong. This family arrangement is atypical for modern Chinese families because of the one child per family policy.
The Xia Family
Xia Donghai (夏东海), portrayed by Gao Yalin, is the bespectacled father of Xia Xue and Xia Yu and stepfather of Liu Xing. As a director of children's drama, he is portrayed with a child-friendly personality of being kind, generous, humorous, and easygoing. As someone who has witnessed American education, his ways with the children involves mainly tolerance. understanding and signs of equality. He can also be quite lazy and incompetent at housework or sports. In the second season, he is fired from the spot of director and is recruited as the editor of a children's magazine.
Liu Mei (刘梅), portrayed by Song Dandan, is the mother of Liu Xing and stepmother of Xia Yu and Xia Xue. She is a director of nurses at a hospital and is in charge of the household. Being an adopter of more "traditional" ways of education, she often demonstrates a strong preference to Xia Xue, due to her outstanding school marks and many talents; also she often attempts to inflict corporal punishment on her misbehaving children (in particular her own son Liu Xing), but for most time she fails to do so. She is portrayed with a somewhat strong curiosity and slight overzealousness. Moreover, she constantly attempts to understand the three children and help them in all fashions possible.
Xia Xue (夏雪), portrayed by Andy Yang (in the first two seasons) and Ning Danlin (in the latter two seasons), is the elder daughter of Xia Donghai. She is a typical "smart girl" with excellent grades. She is confident, but also somewhat slightly arrogant, and is often the creator of the more "advanced" issues for her parents. In the first season, she distrusts her new stepmother and even tried to "scare her" by "developing" a trend for "puppy love" (which is strongly intolerated by the more "traditional" Chinese parents), but soon finds her very trustworthy. In the third season, she is depressed for not making the marks for Qinghua University, but soon overcomes the depression.
Liu Xing (刘星), portrayed by Zhang Yishan, is the son of Liu Mei. He is a rather poor student (especially at chemistry), but is quite witty and tactful. The resident troublemaker of the home, he receives most of the blame from his parents. Apart from that, he is sporty (both athletic and acrobatic), chivalrous, and always filled with ideas and advice for others (both good and bad).
Xia Yu (夏雨), portrayed by You Haoran, is the younger son of Xia Donghai. Being raised in America, he is capable of speaking good English (but prefers not to when he moved to Beijing) and has knowledge to many American customs. However, this knowledge is often countered in the episodes by his cluelessness over the usage of some Chinese language features (in particular set phrases and idioms) and Chinese traditions. He follows his stepbrother Liu Xing in his exploits, and will often be the potential troublemaker after Liu Xing. As a running gag, he often proudly announces as "the handsome little oversea-Chinese" when meeting strangers.
Grandpa or Yeye is Xia Donghai's father. He is interested in things that are for the common good, like saving electricity and saving water. He is a retired sports coach and is often very strict. Grandma calls him a Fascist.
Grandma or Laolao is Liu Mei's mother. She likes to spoil her grandchildren and spare them from any hardships and inconveniences. She dislikes Grandpa
Hu Yitong (胡一统)is the Liu Xing's hapless biological father. He often drops by unannounced, to the consternation of his ex-wife Liu Mei.
Mary or Ma Li (玛丽） is the biological mother of Xia Xue and Xia Yu. She likes to spoil them and blames Xia Donghai and Liu Mei whenever the children are upset. It is implied that she is wealthy, as she owns a BMW and carries around expensive purses.
Feifei (菲菲) is Xia Donghai's cousin.
Shubiao "Mouse" (鼠标) is Liu Xing's good friend. His parents are especially strict. His real name is Lin-ning (林宁）
Jianpan "Keyboard" (键盘）is Liu Xing's other good friend.
Duoduo (朵朵) is Xia Yu's close friend.
"Erpang" (二胖) is Xia Yu's friend. His father is called in the screenplay Laogao (老高）
- 如何面对 – Xiaxue has an admirer. He stands outside their apartment with sign saying that he likes Xiaxue. Liuxing and Xiadonghai try to discourage him because they think it is too early for Xiaxue to date. Liuxing knows him and invites inside to practice martial arts. In the end, Xiaxue manages to discourage her admirer.
- 英雄气概（上） – A neighbor, 牛牛 (Niuniu), picks on Xiayu. Liuxing gets even by beating him up, but Niuniu's uncle later confront him.
- 英雄气概（下） – After the embarrassment suffered in part one, Xiadonghai is feeling a loss of confidence. He earns the respect of Niuniu's uncle when he chases down a thief. Confidence is restored.
- 礼尚往来 – (Courtesy demands reciprocation) An actor trying out for a role in Xiadonghai's production leaves a DVD player in hopes of getting a part. This act leaves an impression on Liuxing and Xiayu. Liuxing has gotten in trouble again at school and he wants to avoid having his teacher come over on Father's day. Xiayu wants to get his dad the best gift for Father's day.
- 智慧的刘星 – Liuxing wants to install hardware-sharing software on his Dad's computer so that it will speed up his computer. He ends up taking care of favors for everyone to get his wish.
- 艺术镜框 – Grandpa buys a picture frame that the family does not appreciate. They plot to get rid of it.
- 迟到的表扬 – Liuxing does a good deed by protecting a younger neighbor. But when he doesn't get the praise he thinks he deserves, the next time he lets the his neighbor get beat up by not acting.
- 远方来客（上） – A distant relative 马拉拉 (Malala) shows to stay at the apartment. He is dropping out of college and often plays rock music.
- 远方来客（下） – Malala's father shows up.
- 一诺千金 – (An idiom roughly meaning a promise is very valuable) Xiayu is taking care of Duoduo's baby duck. Liumei loses the duck and tries very hard to replace it, to no avail.
- 外星人 – (Alien) Xiayu has a birthmark resembling a flying saucer on his backside. A rumor that he is the child of aliens circulates and he believes one day his parents will come back for him.
- 见义智为 – Two suspicious guys come looking for an old man.
- 飞来的鲜花 – (The Appearance of the Flowers) Xiadonghai comes back drunk from a get-together with his classmates. He drunkenly speaks about a girl he used to sit next to. The next day flowers arrive at the apartment. Liumei is afraid to push the situation, but she couldn't bear it.
- 给妈妈洗脚 – (Wash Mom's Feet) Xiaxue gets a school assignment to wash her mom's feet and to write about it (The idea is too teach them respect for their parents).
- 花瓶事件 – (The Matter of the Flower Vase) Xiaxue accidentally breaks a vase before school. She posts a note and cleans up the mess. Liumei praises her for her good deed and gives her a cellphone. Liuxing gets the idea to break a vase too, in order to get the same treatment.
- 给家里打工 – (Working at Home) Xiadonghai gets an idea to pay a dollar each time a chore is done by the kids. But the plan backfires with chores done unnecessarily or sloppily.
- 诱惑（上） – Xiadonghai gets an offer to become a head writer-director. The kids, Xiayu and Xiaxue are tempted to rejoin their mother. She entices them with promises of trips, fancy dinners and gifts.
- 诱惑（下） – Conclusion of previous episode.
- 奶糖与香烟 – (Milk Candy and Cigarettes) Xiayu gets caught sneaking candy. The family decides it is a problem and tries to make him quit. Grandma joins him and helps him by quitting smoking.
- 妈妈不在家 – (Mom's Not Home) Liumei goes on a business trip to Rome and Xiadonghai has to mind the kids.
- 换位 – Grandma takes in interest in learning English. Liuxing becomes her tutor.
- 少女作家 – (Lady Writer) A pair of editors get interested in Xiaxue's stories.
- 当爸爸 – (Being a Father) Huyitong believes he is to inherit 300000 yuan from a distant relative.
- 别出声 – (Don't Make a Sound) Liuxing starts watching horror films.
- 暑期特长班 – Liumei is afraid they are not getting the most out of Xiayu's potential and tries to enroll him in summer classes.
- 雪儿网站（上） – (Xiaxue's Website, Part 1) Xiaxue starts a website venture to make money.
- 雪儿网站（下） – (Xiaxue's Website, Part 2) Conclusion of previous episode.
- 家有图书馆 – (Home Has a Library) A comic writer friend of Xiadonghai is changing apartments and needs a place to store his comic books. The house becomes a library, lending comics to the neighborhood kids.
- 天才推销员 – A family friend who is a successful businessman takes on Xiaxue as a salesperson. Because the parents are afraid she might fail, they follow Xiaxue around town and arrange to buy her books.
- 生日蛋糕 – (Birthday Cake) Liuxing wants to show off by buying Linning an expensive birthday cake. He tries to sell his shoes to a rubbish collector. His friend Linning sees him selling his shoes, so Liuxing decides to give them to him. When his parents ask where his shoes are, Liuxing has to raise money to buy new shoes.
- 输与赢 – (Lose and Win) Grandpa is the favorite to win the area Chinese chess tournament, but his next opponent's son begs Xiadonghai to ask Grandpa to throw the match. If Grandpa's opponent loses, he will have a heart attack. The prize in this tournament is a stuffed golden chicken.
- 野菜的故事 – (The Story of the Wild Vegetables) Grandpa believes his grandchildren have it too easy, so he thinks that they should experience eating wild vegetables like he had to do when he was younger because his family was poor. By experiencing this, the children will appreciate the modern life more. Of course the family is not thrilled to have a meal to remember the hardships 忆苦饭. Grandma decides to dote the grandchildren and spoils Grandpa's plan.
- 亲秦宝贝（上） – (Dear Dear Baby, Part 1) An old friend of Liumei, Daming Ayi 大明阿姨, stops by and drops off her son, 欢欢Huanhuan, for the family to take care of while she goes on a business trip to Shenzhen.
- 亲秦宝贝（下） – (Dear Dear Baby, Part 2) As Huanhuan's stay grows longer, he misses his mother more and more. The kids have also started to tease him. When Daming Ayi returns she has to choose between a business appointment and Huanhuan.
- 双喜临门 – (Double Happiness at the Door) 苏洁阿姨 Sujie Ayi, a coworker of Liumei, visits and feels sorry for herself.
- 玩的艺术 – (The Art of Play) Liumei gets a tutor for Liuxing. The first tutor gets frustrated and leaves. The second tutor's easygoing style helps Liuxing improve his grades.
- 比赛风波 – (Competition Disturbance) Xiaxue's new interest in dancing upsets Liumei because she thinks it is a distraction to her studies.
- 假如我们变老 – (If We Became Old) Xiadonghai has hemorrhoids, so the parents aren't able to take care of the household. The parent's fear is if they get old, the kids aren't able to help them. This becomes a challenge and the kids switch roles, with them taking care of the parents.
- 阳光行动（上） – (Sunny Activity, Part 1) Xiadonghai's cousin Feifei 菲菲 has broken up with her boyfriend and has come over for a change of scenery.
- 阳光行动（下） – (Sunny Activity, Part 2) The family's attempt to cheer up Feifei are not working. Her boyfriend shows up at their house and the family tries to get them back together.
- 交友不慎 – (Making Friends without Caution)
- 偶像争夺战 – (Battle of the Idols) Xiaxue and Liuxing argue over whose idol is better.
- 铃铃的秘密（上） – (Lingling's Secret, Part 1) Neighbors have a daughter named Lingling that they push to practice piano. The pressure is too much and Lingling does not want to compete in a piano recital. Liuxing suggests that she take a laxative so that she becomes sick and won't have to compete. Lingling is seen by her parents drinking out of Liuxing's water bottle so they think he got her sick.
- 铃铃的秘密（下） – (Lingling's Secret, Part 2) Lingling's parents ask Xiadonghai and Liumei for restitution for the missed opportunity of competing in a piano recital because they think Liuxing got her sick.
- 节约用水 – (Conserve Water) Grandpa's new plan of conserving water meets resistance with the family.
- 靓女风波 – Feifei and her roommate stay at the house while their apartment gets repaired. Liumei gets anxious because she feels that their habits are rubbing off on the children.
- 班费 – (Class Fees) Liuxing overspends on food he buys for the class. On a subsequent task, Liuxing runs into the trouble with the class leader when he saves money but pockets the difference without returning it.
- 神奇巧克力 – (Amazing Chocolate) Xiayu has trouble singing in front of people, so Xiadonghai gives him special chocolate that will make his singing better.
- 购鞋按揭 – (Loan to Buy Shoes) Liuxing asks his dad for expensive shoes. Dad comes up with an installment plan to pay for them. Dad thinks it will be a good lesson for Liuxing, since he thinks it is too difficult to keep up with the loan.
- 我要去火星 – (I Want to Go to Mars) Liuxing's new dream is to go to Mars. The rest of the family tries to show him that it takes real effort to become an astronaut.
- 维权也疯狂 – Xiayu shoots Grandma with a fake gun. Grandpa moves to get the company to stop making the gun. News of his good deeds gets him into the newspaper. Grandma feels left out by the attention given to Grandpa, so she starts doing her own good deeds.
- 英雄老爸 – (Hero Dad) Liuxing's biological dad, Huyitong, reports a crime. He plays it up, but he's not really as brave as he pretends to be. Fearing revenge, he takes to hiding in the family's apartment.
- 手拉手 – (Hand in hand) Liuxing's new pen-pal is from the countryside. Since the children have trouble relating to his circumstances, they invite him to their home.
- 真正冠军 – (Real Champion) Liuxing builds a model of the human lung which he plans on entering into a competition. Due to Liuxing's teasing, Xiayu destroys his model. Liuxing decides to enter a model that Xiayu was going to give to his friend Duoduo for her birthday.
- 予人玫瑰 – (Beginning of an idiom: 予人玫瑰，手有余香) Mom and Dad try to set a good example by lending their belongings to their neighbors. This causes problems because the neighbors keep coming back to borrow items and they are unable to refuse them.
- 我有我的美丽 – (I Have My Own Beauty) When Xiadonghai and Xiayu come home, they find their house in disarray and suspect a robber. It was actually caused by Xiaxue, who turned over the house looking for her school uniform. This leads to a protest in the household against school uniforms.
- 无声天使 – (Quiet Angel) Liuxing has been going to Internet bars. Liumei worries because he is unsupervised and can get into trouble. They find out he goes to communicate with a mute teenage girl and is actually doing a good deed.
- 快乐星期天 – (Happy Sunday) After XiaDonghai plays a game with the children, Grandpa comes and tells him and Liumei to write something called "家规" or "house rules" to keep the children from doing anything mischievous or bad. They soon "destroy" it and continue to play fun games and have "happy Sundays."
- 如此荣誉 – When all three children in the household receive similar letters where they must pay to receive an award honoring their talents, Dad and Grandpa are suspicious and investigate.
- 狼来了 – (The Boy Who Cried Wolf) When Liuxing discovers how to fake a nosebleed, he uses it to get extra attention, avoid chores and skip tests. When 茜茜 Qianqian tells her the trouble she is having in school, Liuxing shows her how to fake a nosebleed. Qianqian's parent discover she is faking and tell Liuxing's parents.
- 左右为难 – (In a Dilemma) Xiayu goes under the pressure of having the deciding vote for class leader. Unable to sleep, he disrupts Liuxing as well.
- 我和老马是哥们 – (My Mom and I Are Pals) Liuxing stays out late at friend's birthday party and doesn't tell his mom and doesn't come home. At the party, he brags that his mom is friendly and lets him do whatever he wants. The next day Liumei shows up at school furious, embarrassing Liuxing in front of his friends. They make up a song to tease him. Later, Liumei has Liuxing invite his friends over to prove she is not as bad as they think.
- 拔苗助长 – (A saying that means to try help a seedling grow by pulling it upwards) Liumei gets the idea from a co-worker that Xiayu could be a child prodigy, so she sets upon tutoring him. To get the family to share in her enthusiasm over her idea, she invites the co-worker and the co-worker's prodigious son over.
- 小雪的家教 – (Xiaxue's tutor) Xiaxue gets a handsome tutor. She soon develops a crush on him.