The Dream Makers (TV series)
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|The Dream Makers
|Written by||Rebecca Leow 洪汐|
|Directed by||Wong Foong Hwee 黄芬菲
Loo Yin Kam 卢燕金
|Opening theme||幸福不难 by Serene Koong|
|Ending theme||十万毫升泪水 by Tanya Chua
交换 by Jacky Chew
|Country of origin||Singapore|
|No. of episodes||30 (list of episodes)|
|Producer(s)||Winnie Wong 王尤红|
|Running time||approx. 45 minutes (exc. advertisements)|
|Original network||MediaCorp Channel 8|
|Original release||24 June 2013 – 2 Aug 2013|
|Preceded by||I'm in Charge|
|Followed by||Love At Risk|
|Related shows||The Dream Catchers (2009)
No Limits (2010)
A Song to Remember (2011)
Poetic Justice (2012)
The Dream Makers II (2015)
The Dream Makers (Chinese: 志在四方) is a 30-episode drama serial that aired on MediaCorp Channel 8 from 24 June 2013, to 2 August 2013. It featured Zoe Tay, Jeanette Aw, Rui En, Chen Liping, Qi Yuwu, Chen Hanwei, Guo Liang, Shaun Chen, Rebecca Lim and Desmond Tan as the main cast of the series. This was the second show on Channel 8 to celebrate MediaCorp's TV50, after variety series The Joy Truck, and before end-year blockbuster The Journey: A Voyage. A sequel to the series was announced in end-2014 to air 4 December 2015.
The series was the 2nd highest-rated drama serial in 2013, with an average viewership of 885,000, beating the records set by It's a Wonderful Life and Break Free (both with 835,000), behind C.L.I.F. 2 (with 901,000).
Life is like a show and a show is like a replay of life. The goggle box that is called a television set telecasts gripping drama serials on a daily basis. Isn’t everyone’s life like a show? Who doesn't fight and struggle between work and family? Who is not affected by the various stages in life and vicissitudes of life? The seemingly splendid life everybody leads in fact hides a life of loneliness. Friends may be many but buddies are few. In the “City of Media”, everyone has his life story. Everyone is a scriptwriter and a producer. How one’s story should end lies in one’s hands…
Zhou Weiyun (Zoe Tay), heads a variety channel. The aloof Weiyun appears distant all the time. Weiyun lives with her demented mother, and younger brother’s family. Although Weiyun’s mother, Yalian, (Cai Ping Kai) has severe dementia and doesn't remember who she is, Weiyun is the only one fillial to her. Weiyun’s brother, Jialong (Lin Weiwen) is unable to hold down a job and hides the fact that he is financially dependent on Weiyun from his wife. Weiyun’s sister-in-law, Xu Guixiang (May Phua) is a housewife who grouses against Weiyun for staying with them in their already small flat, burdening the family. For Yalian's sake, Weiyun puts up with it for the general good.
Luo Zhiming (Desmond Shen) is Weiyun’s boyfriend of 4 years. Zhiming’s job takes him to different countries all the time, leaving them little time together. Friends suspect that Zhiming is a married man but Weiyun firmly believes that he will not deceive her. His marital status is finally revealed to Weiyun on one occasion. Reeling from the shock, Weiyun realizes that she has been the third party in the dark for 4 years. Weiyun initiates a breakup, but Zhiming pleads with her not to leave him, claiming that he has a strained relationship with his wife and will divorce her. Caught between morality and love, Weiyun waits for him helplessly. When rumours of Weiyun being the third party spreads and fingers point to her as the mistress, she suffers in silence. Finally, Zhiming tells Weiyun that he and his wife, Shanshan (Le Yao) are divorced, however, he has to go over to China to plead with Shanshan's father (who is a mafia boss) to agree to the divorce. However, he gets kidnapped by the mafia and most likely is killed. Weiyun is not able to contact him, and finally believes that he didn't want to marry her anymore. She slides into the abyss of misery. It is at this time that Weiyun’s good friend and partner, Yu Fan (Chen Hanwei), enters into her world.
Yu Fan is a Professor of Psychology cum eloquent celebrity host. He hosts a programme that resonates with the people, thereby guaranteeing high TV ratings. Yu Fan has no dearth of women around him, yet none has captured his heart. He is suspected of being gay, and that the women surrounding him are only a smokescreen. The truth is, Yu Fan had a wife, Yun Xiaoqi (Lynn Poh) who contracted depression. Sapped from taking care of her and after quarreling with her one-day, his wife died from knocking her head into an ornament at their house. Thereafter, Yu Fan fears entering into another relationship out of remorse. To cover up his guilt, he pretends to be a happy-go-lucky person. Ever since he witnesses Weiyun hurt by love, his empathy towards her turns into love. Unfortunately, the fear of being trapped in the web of love again makes them determined to suppress their love for each other. He can only eye her with interest. Yu Fan’s reputation takes a beating after reporters reveal what he did to Xiaoqi. The ratings for his programme drop drastically and his career hits rock bottom. Weiyun faces tremendous pressure and is threatened by her subordinate. Weiyun ponders over the meaning of life, and no longer wishes to waste the rest of her life struggling hard for her job. She finally confesses to Yu Fan that she is willing to give up everything to lead an ordinary life.
Reigning supreme in the drama channel is Yao-Zhu Kangli (Chen Liping). Nicknamed “Drama Queen”, her speech and life are ever so dramatic. Being a perfectionist makes her life tormenting. Yao Jianguo (Guo Liang), Kangli’s husband, is a well-known plastic surgeon who often cheats on her. Kangli is aware of Jianguo’s philandering ways but puts up with it as long as he loves only her. They have a six-year-old autistic son Naonao. To save face, Kangli hides his condition from everyone and bears the brunt of Naonao's unpredictable behavior by herself. Kangli struggles to juggle her career with her responsibilities as a wife, mother and daughter-in-law. Her only source of comfort is her elderly mother-in-law who is apologetic over her son's behavior.
Unknown to Kangli, Jianguo has felt like a failure due to Naonao's condition and subconsciously pushes responsibility for caring for Naonao onto his wife. His extramarital affairs were merely a veiled attempt to escape his unhappy home life. Kangli suffers a breakdown when she discovers that Jianguo has fallen for his lover and tries to salvage the marriage. Instead, Jianguo wants a divorce so that he can be with his lover. However Jianguo's mother (Zhu Xiufeng) had long saw through her son's escapist attitude and opposes his decision.
With help from his good friend, Yu Fan, Jianguo gradually regains his old self and makes a great effort to win Kangli's heart back. Unable to forgive Jianguo, Kangli becomes cynical. She is particularly hostile towards Weiyun who has been accused of being a marriage-breaker, and makes many enemies. However, it is Weiyun who gets Kangli out of trouble when she keeps making mistakes at work. Kangli feels her colleague’s concern and begins to let her armour down. Finally, after losing her position, she sees the light. For the sake of her son, she chooses to accept the repentant Jianguo. The family is reunited, and she settles down to being a contented housewife devoted to her husband, mother-in-law and son.
Super career women face pressure from all fronts while the young struggle in their career. Zhao Fei Er (Jeanette Aw) is a very hardworking second-tier to third-tier artiste waiting hard for her big break. Fei Er comes from a broken family; her mother is an adulteress while her father, Zhao De (Richard Low), is a useless bum who drinks and gambles. The only person she considers a family member is the paternal grandfather (Zhang Wei) who dotes on her. Fei Er vows to leave her past life behind and works very hard in her acting job. Finally, she rises to become a first-tier actress, thanks to Kangli’s recognition of her talent. Jason (Qi Yu Wu) is Fei Er’s boyfriend from her university days. An outstanding ad director, he ardently supports her dream. In order to take care of, and protect his girlfriend, Jason becomes a freelance director at the TV station. Fei Er starts to change after her new-found fame. An inferiority complex makes her hide the truth of their relationship. She even hides the fact that Zhao De is a drunkard and her paternal grandfather is living in an old folks’ home from the media. Fei Er’s hectic schedule leaves her no time to look after her grandfather. She has no choice but to place her in an old folks’ home. When her grandfather is critically ill and dies, Fei Er is in the midst of filming and fails to attend his funeral. She feels guilty and this makes her even more determined to be successful. It pains Jason to see Fei Er fighting hard to gain fame and fortune. Their relationship takes an unexpected turn because of opposing views.
At this time, Fang Tonglin (Rui En), producer of Variety Unit, falls in love with Jason at first sight, the reason being that he looks uncannily like her late faithful father. Tonglin and Jason hit it off real well. She supports him in many ways after finding out about his problematic relationship. Her unwavering admiration for Jason’s disregard for conventions ends in a one-sided love affair that she tries very hard to sustain. A stroke of luck lands Tonglin a spot on TV which is widely received by viewers and she even gains an acting role. By now a celebrity, Fei Er views Tonglin’s presence as a threat. After Tonglin’s transformation, Du Zhanpeng (Shaun Chen), Head of Artiste Liaison Unit, makes the surprise move of courting her. A product of Singapore’s elite system, Zhanpeng has never tasted failure. Touched by his earnest courtship, Tonglin accepts his love.
Gao Jian (Desmond Tan), a wealthy heir, has eyes for Fei Er. He showers her with a number of advertising contracts to endorse products, sponsors her programmes, chauffeurs her around in a luxury car, provides a listening ear to her and stands up for her secretly. His actions touched Fei Er tremendously. As she gradually realizes that hard work is not enough to get one far in showbiz, Fei Er learns to curry favour to establish relationships and leans on Gao Jian as her backer. Jason senses that he is drifting apart from Fei Er. On the other hand, he seems to click with Tonglin because they share the same views. Unable to contain his anger anymore, Jason confronts Fei Er on her relationship with the heir. Fei Er is incensed, and decides to break off with Jason to be with Gao Jian.
This is a big blow to Jason and he sinks into misery. Tonglin’s tender loving care of him finally makes Zhanpeng see that his girlfriend’s heart is with Jason. The bitter Zhanpeng gives up on Tonglin and because of her, his friendship with Jason is strained. Not only is Zhanpeng’s love life in the pits, his personal life is in shambles after a legal suit ruins him. At this juncture, Xiao Lixia (Rebecca Lim), enters his life. A sales manager, Lixia is Zhanpeng’s good friend.
Jason is devastated after being jilted by Fei Er. Life has totally lost its meaning for him. With Tonglin constantly by his side encouraging and consoling him, he picks himself up again. For a period of time, he devotes himself into his work, produces a number of commendable programmes, wins the award for Best Director in consecutive years and receives offers from international movie directors. On finding out that Tonglin is secretly in love with him, he is touched and accepts her love. Tonglin is finally together with Jason. Their relationship blossoms. However, Tonglin senses that, compared with Fei Er, Jason is less loving towards her. This is especially obvious when Fei Er is in their presence, and Jason somehow behaves awkwardly. Tonglin feels that she is always placed in a helpless situation to the extent of having to betray her own principles. Kangli and Weiyun, who have been hardened by their life experiences, advises Jason not to follow in their footsteps of losing himself. Jason starts to examine his life and decides to rein himself in before it is too late.
The Gao family cannot accept Fei Er. Gao Jian is under pressure to break off with Fei Er and marry a rich man’s daughter. Fei Er loses hope in herself and turns malicious. A string of scandalous news causes her popularity to go downhill. Feeling extremely empty and succumbing under the strain of criticisms, she knows that remaining in Singapore is no longer possible. She claims to have gone to Hong Kong to develop her career, but ends up miserably as an extra. Estranged from her kin and kith, and suffering untold loneliness, Fei Er regrets losing herself for the sake of fame and fortune. She still loves Jason, but considers herself unworthy of him. The sight of Fei Er in such a sorry state pierces his heart… Tonglin is perfectly aware that Jason has never stopped loving Fei Er. She is determined to fulfil his wish, but tells him that if he ever needs her, he should know where to look for her. Faced with two women who have an emotional hold on him, who will his heart go to?
In the mundane world, everyone wears a mask in his life. What is more tragic is not the inability to pull off one’s mask but forgetting that one is still wearing it. How many people have lost themselves, yet do not have the courage to seek their original self?
|Zoe Tay 郑惠玉||Zhou Weiyun 周薇云||VBS' Head of Variety Unit. Luo Zhiming's ex-girlfriend and later Yu Fan's girlfriend.||1-6,8-|
|Chen Liping 陳莉萍||Yao-Zhu Kangli 姚朱康莉||VBS' Head of Drama Unit. Sometimes dubbed 'Drama Queen'. Yao Jianguo's wife.||1-3,5-|
|Jeanette Aw 欧萱||Zhao Fei'er 赵非儿||A C-list-turned-A-list actress ('Ah Jie'). Jason's ex-girlfriend and later Gao Jian's ex-girlfriend.||1-2,4,6,7,9-11,14,17,19,20,22-26, 28-30|
|Rui En 瑞恩||Fang Tonglin 方彤琳||Yuanren's younger sister, a variety show producer-turned-host/actress. Zhanpeng's ex-girlfriend and later Jason's girlfriend.||3,4,6-9,12-15,17-20,22-24,26,28-30|
|Qi Yuwu 戚玉武||Jason 蓝钦辉||Independent commercials director who later re-joins his former company VBS. Fei'er's ex-boyfriend and later Tonglin's boyfriend.||1-|
|Shaun Chen 陈泓宇||Du Zhanpeng 杜展鹏||VBS' Head of Artiste Management Unit. Tonglin's ex-boyfriend.||3-|
|Chen Hanwei 陈汉玮||Yu Fan 余凡||Host of Truth In The City. Weiyun's boyfriend. Died in the last episode due to a heart attack||1-2,4|
|Guo Liang 郭亮||Yao Jianguo 姚建国||Kangli's husband, a renowned plastic surgeon whose clientele comprises mainly celebrities.||1,|
|Rebecca Lim 林慧玲||Lisa Xiao Lixia 萧丽霞||VBS' Senior Manager of Sales. Good friend of Weiyun and Kangli.||2,|
|Desmond Tan 陈泂江||Gao Jian 高建||Rich heir. Liuxin's ex-boyfriend and later Fei'er's ex-boyfriend.||2,7,|
|Desmond Shen 沈金兴||Luo Zhiming 罗智明||Weiyun's ex-boyfriend, Shanshan's husband.||1-|
|Ian Fang 方伟杰||Joey Zhou Yaozu 周耀祖||Weiyun's nephew, Guixiang's son who is an aspiring artiste.||3-|
|Jayley Woo 胡佳琪||Rain Pei Xiaoqing 裴晓晴||Ding Wei's estranged step-daughter.||8-|
|Dennis Chew 周崇庆||Fang Yuanren 方元仁||Tonglin's elder brother, a tabloid reporter who thrives on juicy scoops.||2-|
|Le Yao 乐瑶||Shanshan 姗姗||Zhiming's wife whose father belongs to the Hong Kong mafia.||2-5, 9|
|Dawn Yeoh 姚懿珊||Xie Liuxin 谢柳欣||VBS' former 'Ah Jie' who falls from grace. Gao Jian's ex-girlfriend.||1-|
|Vincent Ng 翁清海||Ding Wei 丁威||Lisa's ex-husband, Rain's estranged step-father.||8-|
|Joey Feng 冯瑾瑜||Catherine||Liuxin's former personal assistant and later Fei'er's PA.|
|Wang Yuqing 王昱清||An EP (Executive Producer) of VBS' Drama Unit.|
|Li Wenhai 李文海||Mr Chong||A retiring Managing Director of VBS looking for a successor.|
|Nicholas Teo 张吴宇轩||Fang Yuanren 方元仁||Flashback of Yuanren when he was young with Tonglin.|
|Amanda Lee 李思敏||Fang Tonglin 方彤琳||Flashback of Tonglin when he was young with Yuanren.|
The theme song 《幸福不难》 is written, produced and performed by Serene Koong, while the sub-theme song is 《十万毫升泪水》 by Tanya Chua. Both songs became extremely popular amongst audiences and grew in popularity together with the success of the drama series. Serene Koong won "MeRadio Top Downloaded Female Artist" at the 18th Singapore Hit Awards, as well as “Best Theme Song” at 2014 Star Awards. She also received a nomination for “Best Theme Song” at the 2014 Asian Television Awards. Tanya Chua won "Best Local Composition" at the 18th Singapore Hit Awards.
- This drama is the first that celebrates 50 years of Singapore television as well as Channel 8's 50th anniversary.
- Dawn Yeoh's comeback series after Daddy at Home and her first villainous role.
- Vincent Ng's comeback series after Man of the House and his showbiz hiatus.
- Throughout the course of the series, posters of drama series such as Breakout, Be Happy, Love Thy Neighbour and Joys of Life can be seen, re-imagined as series produced by VBS.
- Jeanette Aw's first drama collaboration with Zoe Tay.
- Rui En's first drama collaboration with Dennis Chew as siblings.
- Zoe Tay, Chen Hanwei, Dennis Chew, Guo Liang and Rebecca Lim performed skits during Star Awards 20 Show 1, alongside Mark Lee. The show Truth In The City is also used for the Favourite Male Character segment.
- In a spoof performance of the '7 Princesses of Caldecott Hill' in Star Awards 2015, Chua En Lai, starring as Joanne Peh, referred to the Mandarin title as 'The Mole Makers' (痣在四方), claiming that there are "many moles in MediaCorp". He placed his prosthetic mole in different parts of his face to show Chua En Lai, Phua Chu Kang, Rui En (Kate Pang) and Joanne Peh.
Star Awards Accolades
|Nominee / Work||Award||Accolade||Result|
|Alston Yeo Jun Yi 杨峻毅||Star Awards 20 Show 1
|Young Talent Award
|《幸福不难》 by Serene Koong 龔芝怡||Best Theme Song
|Doreen Neo Min Qi 梁敏琪||Best Programme Promo
|Wong Foong Hwee 黄芬菲||Best Director
|Loo Yin Kam 卢燕金||Nominated|
|Rebecca Leow 洪汐||Best Screenplay
|Jeanette Aw 欧萱||Favourite Female Character
|Rui En 瑞恩||Nominated|
|Zoe Tay 郑惠玉||Nominated|
|Qi Yuwu 戚玉武 and Jeanette Aw 欧萱||Favourite Onscreen Couple
|Qi Yuwu 戚玉武 and Rui En 瑞恩||Top three|
|Qi Yuwu 戚玉武||Star Awards 20 Show 2
|Chen Hanwei 陈汉玮||Nominated|
|Chen Liping 陈莉萍||Best Actress
|Jeanette Aw 欧萱||Nominated|
|Rui En 瑞恩||Nominated|
|Dennis Chew 周崇庆||Best Supporting Actor
|Shaun Chen 陈泓宇||Nominated|
|Guo Liang 郭亮||Won|
|Rebecca Lim 林慧玲||Best Supporting Actress
|The Dream Makers 志在四方||Best Drama Serial