How I came to be mildly obsessed with a 1980s Hong Kong TV series.

The video above is a promo for 驟雨中的陽光, one of the shows in Asia Television Limited’s classic lineup. 驟雨中的陽光 Google translates to “Showers in the Sun”, though I’ve also seen it referred to as “Love Story 1980”.

Why do I know all this? Because it’s pretty much all I watched on the hotel room TV set during my recent visit to Hong Kong. Not that I stayed in the hotel room the whole time or anything — remember, “mildly obsessed”…

If you didn’t already know, my girlfriend was born in Hong Kong and is fluent in Cantonese. Me, her pasty white boyfriend, was taught a stock phrase or two to be performed on command in front of her family, very much like a performing animal at a circus. And if my speaking skills are limited my comprehension is pretty much zero. Speak Cantonese to me and I’ll most likely have no idea what you’re saying, unless you’re using the world “gweilo” or holding a gun to my head.

But a hackneyed teenage romance? That I understand! Here’s what I’ve been able to surmise from watching 驟雨中的陽光, with minimal assistance:


Skinny nerd with glasses and shit-eating grin really likes girl with bad ’80s hair, but there’s a problem: His dad is a lowly mechanic who wears short shorts, while her dad is some rich fuck who has a Jaguar and a driver. Plus, there’s another slightly less-skinny dude who doesn’t smile as much and also likes the girl, and a fat kid who likes cake.

It’s like Romeo and Juliet all over again.

To give you a taste of the high drama each episode offers, one of them had the girl’s rich dad try to sell his Jag to the skinny kid’s father, but when mechanic dad tries to rip-off Jaguar-selling dad Jaguar-selling dad forbids his daughter from ever seeing skinny kid again. Intense.

According to the show’s Wikipedia entry (also in Chinese, yay…) the series lasted only twenty episodes. My girlfriend found a site where you can watch (I think) seventeen of them online. Myself, I spend enough time with my ass parked in front of the computer as is, so I’m downloading these five eps via BitTorrent to watch on the couch.

I’ll let you know how it turns out…