First Impressions: Daddy Dearest (TVB, 2016)

Daddy Dearest (超能老豆)

Genre: Modern Drama/Family
Length: 20 episodes
Producer: Poon Ka Tak

The Cast: Johnson Lee, Mandy Wong, Jason Chan, Candice Chiu, Alice Chan, Pat Poon, etc.

I’m a little surprised that Poon Ka Tak is the producer for this low-budget, though cute and warm family drama, as he has harnessed quite a few more meaningful dramas that I liked in the past. Nevertheless, the fact that this series was postponed three times before it made it to air aroused a degree of curiosity in me.

This is either something so bad that TVB has to keep postponing it (so lets throw it up, around, and under and hope for the best) or it may be good because it’s airing during the summer when people have more time to watch TV. Anyway, five episodes in and it’s still hard to tell.

The promos were ultra cute and credit is due to the kids. Like most family dramas (aside from heavy, melodramatic Heart of Greed and it’s successors) it’s a bit slow for my liking, but a good kind of background noise when I’m alone in my room. The first few episodes were definitely less annoying and not as loud as House of Spirits, which surprisingly, I end up finishing and after episode 8, the series became more warm and after syncing in with the characters.

The series focuses on two families and Johnson and Jason are the daddies (duh). Although Jason has a promising career as an architect, he makes the unrealistic and uncommon decision to quit his corporate job and leave the working world for half a year to spend quality time with his children, especially his introverted son who is behind in school. He is the father who would sacrifice his career for his children. Johnson, on the other hand, is quite the opposite and sacrifices spending time with his son in order to “make money.” Jason and Candice also has an ideal, happy family while Johnson is divorced and his ex left for a honeymoon vacation with her new lover while leaving their son for him to care for.

Johnson’s stingy character and underhand tactics is too much like any other role he has played in the past. Jason is more likable here as a good father, but his role is a bit too ideal. Candice has improved and is so natural when she comes to playing a mother, but this also comes with more screen time. I can’t help but feel Mandy isn’t reaching her potential as a goody-two shoes teacher here. Her short bob cut, thick-rimmed glasses, and soft voice is too stereotypical. One thing for sure is that she does look like Alice, who plays her elder sister here. If there is anyone who makes the series unpleasant, it’s Pat Poon, who plays Jason’s stubborn, patriarchal father.

I feel a little silly reviewing this series as it seems like something to be enjoyed rather than analyzed. I’ll probably end up finishing this (because I made it to the end for House of Spirits despite calling the first few episodes lame) when I have time. It’s mindless, but not completely uninspiring.