The Quarters (2012 TV series)
|Written by||Koh Teng Liang|
Moo Yan Yee
|Opening theme||故事 by Cheryl Wee|
|Ending theme||戏说从头 by Wei En|
|Country of origin||Malaysia
|No. of episodes||30 (list of episodes)|
|Producer(s)||Yeo Saik Pin
Kok Tzyy Haw
|Distributor||ntv7, MediaCorp TV|
|Original channel||ntv7 (Malaysia)
Mediacorp Channel 8 (Singapore)
|Picture format||16:9 HDTV|
|Original release||3 September 2012 – 12 October 2012|
|Preceded by||Journey to the West|
|Followed by||Justice In The City|
|Related shows||Together (2009)|
The Quarters (猪仔馆人家) is the fifth Malaysian production by MediaCorp Studios Malaysia. Filming began in September 2011 and took place in Muar, Johor, Malaysia and its rural surroundings. It debuted in Singapore on 3 September 2012.
The series is set during an era of samsui women, opium dens, pulled rickshaws and the laid back "kampung" lifestyle. It was also a time when waves of migrant workers and coolies from China settled in Singapore. Many of them were housed in large buildings such that as depicted by Zhu Zai House and multiple tenants would occupy a single room usually meant for one or two persons.
Set during the 1940s, the story revolves around the lives of the tenants living in an old building called No.8 "Zhu Zai House" (八号猪仔馆), which was left behind by Bai Duchang to his three grandsons Jinchuan, Jinfeng and Jinhai. They share the large building with a number of tenants. Most are labourers and unskilled workers while a few such as Jinhai and his friend Luo Hanguo have had any sort of "book learning". As labourers and workers these tenants rarely have any free time so they make the most of it by sitting around to chat and gossip or play mahjong together. Hence they form a tightly-knit community.
Bai Duchang, whose name literally means "pomfret", is an irascible old man who came from a wealthy family whose fortunes took a downturn. His family has some bad history in the town and the temperamental Bai Duchang is unpopular with townsfolk. He dotes on the mentally handicapped Jinchuan and often scolds the sensible Jinhai for no reason at all. The naive Jinchuan is often the subject of mockery by some villagers due to his supposed low IQ. In reality, this was due to brain damage from the abuse he suffered at the hands of Japanese soldiers during the Japanese Occupation. His favouritsm towards Jinchuan infuriated Jinchuan's rebellious second brother Jinfeng, who moved out and rarely visits.
On the other hand, the good-natured Jinhai is well-liked by his neighbours and he would often tell them stories and folktales. He often ends up taking the backlash from villagers offended by his grandfather and finds himself in sandwiched in between his grandfather and estranged brother Jinfeng. During off-time, he finds solace in hanging out with his bosom friends Luo Hanguo and Liu Tianshui. The stingy Hanguo is one of the few residents who had some education and holds a white-collar job. The straight-talking Tianshui is a manual labourer and the least educated of the trio but is fiercely loyal to his friends.
In another side of town, the widowed Guan Chunlong has a pawn shop business. The Guans are much more Westernised than most villagers and extremely wealthy. His daughter Naidong has returned from university overseas for the holidays. As headstrong as she is pretty, Naidong detests her father for choosing a much younger woman and one who coincidentally was her old enemy in primary school. By chance, she meets Jinhai and later finds her way to Zhu Zai House. Inevitably, the two worlds collide and meet.
Unfortunately, disaster hits Zhu Zai House's inhabitants. Bai Duchang forced Jinfeng to give up his girlfriend to be married to Jinchuan but the grief-stricken bride committed suicide in their wedding chambers before the marriage was consummated. Later, Jinfeng gambled away his money and even lost Zhu Zai House's title deed in a bet. His creditors demand payment and threaten to sell off Zhu Zai House and evict its tenants. Shortly after, Bai Duchang died in his sleep and entrusted Zhu Zai House to a distraught Jinhai. Zhu Zai House is thrown into chaos. An olden phrase sheds light on kinship - blood is thicker than water. Can the bonds of family and common ancestry truly withstand the test of time?
|Yap Chin Fong||Bai Duchang 白肚鲳||Owner of Zhu Zai House|
|Yao Wenlong||Bai Jinchuan 白金川
(神经刀 "Crazy Knife")
|Constance Song||Spring Shi Jinchun 石锦春
(十三幺 "Thirteen Wonders")
|Chen Guichuan||Bai Jinfeng 白金峰||Second oldest|
|Dai Xiangyu||Bai Jinhai 白金海
(咕哩仔 "Coolie Boy")
|Zzen Zhang||Luo Hanguo 罗翰国
|Works as a clerk
Bai Jinhai and Liu Tianshui's best friend
|Josh Lai||Liu Tianshui 刘天水
Bai Jinhai and Luo Hanguo's best friend
|Zhou Ying||Huang Qiumei 黄秋妹
(打石妹 "Quarry Girl")
|A samsui woman
|Tiffany Leong||Mao Dawan 毛大碗
|A samsui woman
Relative of Qiumei
Chicken King's girlfriend
|Ling Tang||"Washing Aunty" 洗衣嫂||A tenant|
|Candy Lim||"Persian Cat" 波斯猫||A tenant|
|Moo Yan Yee||Guan Naidong 关耐冬
(消叮咚 "Crazy Dong")
|Ling Xiao||Guan Chunlong 关春龙
(棺材脸 "Coffin Face")
|Guan Naidong's father
Boss of a pawn shop
|Pamelyn Chee||Tao Hualing 陶华玲
(桃花眼 "Flirty Eyes")
|Guan Chunlong's wife|
|Zhang Wenxiang||Chicken King 阉鸡王||Butcher|
|Wang Zhaoming||Uncle Shi 石三公||Jinchun's father
- Night Market Life was planned to broadcast every night after Journey to the West ended on 30 August 2012. However, the channel wanted to broadcast Malaysian productions first, thus the everyday broadcast of the drama may be brought back or not at all.
- Another co-production The Enchanted was to be broadcast first but The Quarters was moved ahead instead as it was produced first.
- This drama marks Dai Xiangyu's return to Singapore television after almost a year.
- Originally the Chinese title is 猪仔馆 (literally, "Pigsties"), but was changed later on.
Star Awards 2013 nominations
- Wong Lee Chin was nominated for Best Music and Sound Design, but the award went to Zheng Kai Hua for Joys of Life.
- Dai Xiangyu and Zhou Ying are nominated for Favourite On-screen Couple, but the award went to Elvin Ng and Rui En for Unriddle 2.
- "Highlights from "The Quarters" lensing ceremony". xin.msn.com. September 2011.
- "Past present - Why period shows will always be popular". TODAY Online. 4 September 2012.
- "Dai Yang Tian Returns To Shine In "The Quarters 猪仔馆"!". blogs.xin.sg. 12 September 2011.
- The Quarters (English) on Mediacorp website