貧窮貴公子 / Ping Qiong Gui Gong Zi
Poor Prince Taro (Yamada Taro Monogatori)
With 15 episodes, this CTS drama was broadcasted on the year 2001, and was adapted from the Japanese drama and manga Yamada Taro Monogatori. Its opening song was provided by Dragon 5, entitled I Want To Hold Your Hand, and its ending song provided by Annie Yi entitled, Are You My Happiness?Ni Shi Wo De Xing Fu Ma (你是我的幸福嗎).
From the Japanese manga Yamadataro Monogatari. Tai Lang(Taro) is the smart, capable, and good at everything. He is the most popular with girls at school not just due to his qualities but also because of rumors that his family is the richest of the MANY very rich families at his school. But the truth is, Tai Lang lives in a poor one-room home with his mother and six siblings, scraping for every single cent and his skills come only from being the man and woman of the house. Unintentionally hiding his poverty, Taro is a kind person which makes him all the more lovable. When Long Zi falls for his exterior, she tries to seduce him to get out of the low-middle-class life she is living until she discovers the truth about his "riches"...
Full Synopsis! Warning! Spoilers!
His classmate, Long Zi is adamant to know rich guys in the university. She sees the handsome Tai Lang and thinks that he is rich. Many wonder why Tai Lang disappears after his lessons. You will smile at certain scenes. Once, a coin drops into her chest but he can’t get it. He bents to greet her so that she will return his greeting to get it! She looks at him dreamily, not knowing his intention. Another occasion, she thinks that he cares for her but he only cares for the food voucher which she steps on!
She is even tricked to be an animated actress in the amusement park so that he can get the commission.
After work, they pass by a supermarket. She is so ashamed to see her mother grabbing things at a sale. She doesn’t wish to be like her and wants to escape. But later, her dreams are shattered upon knowing that he is just like her mom – going for sales (that is very uncultured to her). Tai Lang is so impressed on how she does the snatching and wants her to be his teacher!
She later finds out that he is poor and working as a supermarket cashier and construction worker. She decides to give him up and look for another rich guy. Tai Lang and his siblings look alike. All promise to try to use their good looks to get admirers to give them free food during Valentines’ day. Tai Lang’s senior, San Pu acts cool as he is always the centre of attraction – but this time it is because he forgets to zip his trousers. He is angry when all girls either give chocolates to Tai Lang or Yu Chun.
Tai Lang is in the economics faulty for the first year. He is the first in class and is good in basketball or horse riding. However, he is not in any club. All rumour him to be very rich. Yearly, he and Yu Chun will get the most chocolates. All girls will crowd around them. Yu Chun is his classmate and close friend who is the only one to know his dark secret. He keeps it from others because it will not be fun if others know about it. He is always amused over his real identity.
Many think that Tai Lang has his own tailor but in reality, they are handmade at home. He likes food that last long too. San Pu feels useless when Tai Lang is strong to carry things that he can’t. And also in answering junior’s questions in schoolwork when he can’t answer. So he tries to make Tai Lang a fool by revealing to others that Tai Lang steals lots of toilet rolls home. Tai Lang is at a loss but Yu Chun lies that he needs them as he has a cold.
Finally on Valentine’s day, San Pu steals Tai Lang’s table so that he will not get anything. But Tai Lang still has a big paper bag full of presents. Yu Chun even gives his share to him. San Pu wants to burn them. Tai Lang traces him by detecting the chocolate smell. San Pu is suddenly attracted by his innocent look and gives him the share he has as apology. He nearly faints of delight when Tai Lang hugs him.
Yu Chun suspects San Pu’s motive. At the end of the day, each sibling gets 20 gifts from their classmates. But they have no more home expenses to buy new uniform when their spendthrift mother spends it on a new uniform for herself to wear for fun. Yu Chun sees that Tai Lang is troubled. He gives him a coffee treat. Tai Lang is so happy that he sits on Yu Chun’s lap!
You will laugh when Tai Lang goes to every table to fill his empty mug with the sugar that the outlet has for every table! Er Lang wants to work but Tai Lang tells him to study hard to get to university to help him out to work then. He even wants to get insurance money for meals to pretend to get hurt but it doesn’t work as the box that hit his head is empty.
Si Mei makes sweets for Tai Lang’s admirers using the sugar that he brings home. Many are overjoyed and are willing to donate their old uniforms. He even eyes on his plump classmates’ uniform so that he will make 2 sets for Qi Lang! Some wonder why he asks for their old bras too – Si Mei needs them because she is growing. He has tried to make one singlet using old stockings but it looks too gross.
Niao Ju wants Tai Lang to take care of her rabbits and later they are missing. Upon seeing the scratches on his face, she thinks that his whole family has eaten them. But later, San Pu finds them and he is cleared of the crime. Niao Ju decides to give him food as compensation. But at this time, Er Lang brings a dog home to standby in case they don’t have any more foodstuff. Feeling terrified, she runs away with the food boxes.
San Pu goes to the forest to retreat for a few days. He thinks that dipping himself in the waterfall can help to calm himself. But his face still turns red upon seeing Tai Lang working in his mother’s shop. Upon knowing that he wants food (but he doesn’t know that he is bringing them home for dinner), he gives him all the leftover vegetables. San Pu shows Tai Lang the ropes and treats him to pizza. Tai Lang is angry with him for wasting the incomplete pizza by throwing away and storms away.
San Pu’s younger sister, Mei Jia is attracted to Tai Lang. Tai Lang agrees to be her tutor when she pays him $500 an hour. But he is unmoved by Mei Jia’s advances. He talks to her – only wanting to bring leftovers home for his siblings. Can you believe that Tai Lang can kiss her just to get an extra banana back home?? San Pu tries to show concern for him by cooking meals for him.
Yu Chun leaves with Tai Lang to school. San Pu’s heart is broken to pieces upon seeing them holding hands together. Yu Chun finds San Pu suspicious so he deliberately hugs Tai Lang from the back to make him angry! He lies to Tai Lang that he is afraid that Tai Lang will feel cold because he only wears a short-sleeved shirt. Yu Chun asks Tai Lang to be his servant during the vacation for 1 week to earn $5000. He has to pretend to be a maid as his grandpa (hilarious performance delivered by famous compere, Ba Ge) only wants maids. Tai Lang will have to wear a girls’ uniform then.
Tai Lang agrees to it as there will be free lodging and meals. He can even bring food home too. Grandpa gets suspicious because he has never seen a girl as tall as 1.8m. Upon seeing Yu Chun treating Tai Lang so well, the old man says that he doesn’t want such a tall future granddaughter-in-law. He questions why Yu Chun like tomboys and wants to force Tai Lang to leave.
These are the only scenes that I find amusing. Ba Ge is really good in creating humour. Grandpa asks Tai Lang to mend his clothes. He finishes it in a night which his tailor can’t do it. That is because Tai Lang has sewn so many clothes for his siblings for 15 years. Tai Lang’s culinary skills are impressive. He also manages to keep the house spick and span.
Grandpa still doesn’t give up and wants to introduce shorter girls to Yu Chun through calligraphy lessons. Then a thought strikes him to test Tai Lang’s skills, trying to make him a fool as he looks uneasy. To his dismay, Tai Lang does it well too as he writes couplets to earn money during Chinese New Year. Grandpa is distressed – what is he going to do with such an ugly future granddaughter-in-law!
He skips his dinner but is hungry later. Tai Lang makes his favourite salt rice balls for him. The old man recalls how he ate them with his late wife. He admits defeat as he finds him a good ‘girl’. Later, Grandpa nearly faints upon seeing Tai Lang standing in the toilet to discover that he is a man! But he is satisfied with his services and allows him to continue working for him.
San Pu faints during a PE lesson and Tai Lang carries him to the sick bay. Tai Lang encourages him to work hard for the final year exam. However, this man works too hard and falls sick, unable to take the exam and has to be retained for a year. His love rival and sister, Mei Jia is entering the university with her good results and will compete with him for Tai Lang.
Tai Lang’s father, He Fu returns after disappearing from home for 2 years. Tai Lang is angry with him for bring a new Western girlfriend, Mary home. He forgives him upon seeing him still in love with Ling Zi. He has problems ditching Mary. They finally scare her away by threatening to kill her dog – in exchange for his freedom and also for more cans of food. San Pu finally knows of Tai Lang’s secret but agrees to help him to keep it from their school friends.
Long Zi sees He Fu pedaling his drawings on the street and is attracted to him. Later, she finds him reminding her of Tai Lang – asking to bring the remaining cookies home. But she dismisses the thought after knowing that he graduated from a famous Japanese university. She is later shocked to know that he is indeed Tai Lang’s father. He Fu says that he wants to borrow sauce from a neighbour and doesn’t return. The siblings know that he runs away again. Ling Zi is angry with him as this time, she is pregnant again!
Tai Lang meets a girl and trembles easily. Yu Chun decides to help him to date her. She is flattered to know that a handsome guy likes her but is hesitant because she is older than him. Tai Lang then wonders whether he loves men or women. His heart beats faster when her male colleagues walk into the restaurant. It is so bad that he faints. Yu Chun, Er Lang and Si Mei are at the second floor of the restaurant to see how things work. Yu Chun gives them a big treat and is dismayed to see Ti Lang fainting.
He later recognizes the men working as managers in a bank. He knows them because Grandpa contacts them. It must be the money scent that they have on them since they work there. So Tai Lang is too sensitive to see too many of them at once that he can’t take it! San Pu is upset as he thinks that Tai Lang is working so hard to save money for his unborn son. A thief breaks into Tai Lang’s home to steal money. But he is touched by Ling Zi’s sweetness that he ends up buying things for them.
San Pu deduces that Mei Jia is having Tai Lang’s child. Si Mei brings Tai Lang’s homework to Yu Chun’s home. Grandpa likes her and wants her to be his future granddaughter-in-law. Tai Lang objects as Yu Chun is only 18 years old like him and Si Mei is only 14! Grandpa chides him for ruining her happiness as she can eat endlessly at his home. He even wants Si Mei to work for him at $500 an hour. Her job is to keep him company. Si Mei agrees as her home needs the money.
Si Mei changes into the maid clothes and Grandpa finds her cute. He wants her to massage for him but Tai Lang replaces her. Grandpa protests at first but likes it later – Tai Lang is an expert after doing it for old women for 15 years. Yu Chun teaches Si Mei to play the zither. She starts to fall for him and Grandpa is happy to see them getting along well.
Grandpa’s students come to look for Yu Chun. They wear very nice cheongsams and Yu Chun sees that she is eager to try them out. So he gets her his elder sister’s old dress. Tai Lang starts to feel guilty as he doesn’t know his own sister’s likes. Yu Chun promises to give Si Mei a swimsuit and bring her to the beach on Sunday if she learns how to play the zither well.
This woman is an extra only appearing in 2 episodes but she is simply fabulous! Mei Yao (played by Yi Xin) clings to Yu Chun like a spider. Grandpa frowns to see her still around and warns her not to spoil Yu Chun’s date. She laughs, saying that Yu Chun will not like a kid. But she is shocked when Yu Chun admits that it is really a date and wants her not to interfere. To show what he means, he places his hands on Si Mei’s shoulders! Tai Lang is worried and decides to follow them in secret. Si Mei is still so young – will Yu Chun still take advantage of her at a public place?
Tai Lang ends up forgetting his mission when he is outside a fastfood outlet. They are looking for part-time workers and Tai Lang earns $500 in 3 hours. When he remembers his purpose in coming, both have returned home. Mei Yao goes to the beach and finds Yu Chun stupid not to use the pool at home to come to a crowded place. She deduces that he must be doing it against his will. Si Mei applies suntan lotion on Yu Chun’s back, saying that it smells fragrant to eat. Yu Chun frowns at her thinking of food all the time.
Mei Yao is jealous upon seeing it. How can she touch his skin??? She offers to do it for him but he rejects her. Si Mei feels inferior upon seeing a matured Mei Yao with big breasts – can she be as big 5 years later? Will he love Mei Yao now? She requests him to wait for her to grow up and he agrees. Mei Yao pretends to have a leg cramp and tricks Yu Chun to carry her to the shore.
Si Mei is happy to find sea cockroaches and a water snake for dinner. Mei Yao screams and faints upon seeing them. Mei Yao thinks that Yu Chun is only treating Si Mei like a younger sister since he is the youngest in the family. She is so jealous to see both feeding each other with biscuits and tells Si Mei to back off. Yu Chun returns with drinks and overhears what she tells Si Mei. I really laugh at this part – he tells Mei Yao that he doesn’t like mature women so Si Mei is more suitable for him. Mei Yao really jumps when Yu Chun holds Si Mei’s hand and walks away with her!
Niao Ju wants Tai Lang to sit for the masters’ exam but he declines because of financial difficulties. She looks for her senior, Shui Yuan for help. He wants her to marry him in exchange. Niao Ju is hesitant because he has always made fun of her but she agrees in the end because she really likes him. But to her dismay, he rejects her as he wants her to agree readily. Shui Yuan secretly visits Tai Lang’s home and decides to propose to the school’s board to give him free education. Tai Lang will have to maintain his good results yearly in order to attain free monthly home maintenance aid.
Shui Yuan asks Niao Ju out for a date. He finds the matter getting more and more interesting. He starts to treat both Niao Ju and Tai Lang like his toys. Shui Yuan’s classmate, Da Qi comes to look for him. He is Shui Yuan’ sponsor for his biology research. Shui Yuan makes use of him and finds him irritating now. He lies that he is getting married to Tai Lang.
Da Qi comes to teach and gets to know Tai Lang. Tai Lang’s perfect skin, hair and strong muscles make him jealous. He decides to bully him and tries to find out his weakness from Niao Ju. To his dismay, he can find none. Shui Yuan asks Niao Ju for a date on her birthday and she agrees to it. But later, she rejects him after finding Shui Yuan’s photograph in Da Qi’s wallet.
She decides not to meet him. Shui Yuan suspects something happening and comes to see her. Sure enough, he finds Da Qi revealing his secret. Still, he proposes to her with a ring. Tai Lang is also there and sees that she is indecisive. He wants the ring if Niao Ju rejects it but Shui Yuan slips it into her finger tightly. Shui Yuan also tells Da Qi that he will be gentle and not as suave now after his marriage. Da Qi will definitely dislike him then. This is his ploy to shake him off.
Liu Mei gets the top position in school and longs for Tai Lang to go for the prize presentation ceremony instead of going to work. Ling Zi and San Lang turn up to give her support but she is still unhappy when Tai Lang isn’t there. He is trapped in the freezer with Shan Pu when both try to get stocks from there. Fortunately, he is there on time to listen to Liu Mei’s speech, praising him. The teachers are so impressed that they give Liu Mei more stationary in the end.
Yu Chun’s 2 elder sisters want Yu Chun to accompany them for horse riding. Yu Chun declines as he wants to study for his exams. They want to disturb Si Mei so he follows them reluctantly. On their way back, the women see Tai Lang working at the petrol station and are attracted. They tell Tai Lang to attend their friend’s engagement party to spite back at her for saying that they are spinsters. Both are dismayed to see him running after the $10 coin that Yu Chun throws. Thus they decide to change him.
They bring him to a boutique. He tries 40 suits and nearly faints when each is NT60, 800. He only wants a suit although they are willing to pay for all of them. Next, they bring him to a salon. The hairdresser finds that his hair is soft and asks him his secret. He doesn’t believe that Tai Lang only uses soap and the school’s shampoo! The blow costs NT5200 and both sisters are speechless to see his new look. They find him handsome like Hua Zhe Lei but still needs to brush up his etiquette skills.
They train Tai Lang to control himself from eating too much. It is common for parties to throw leftovers. Tai Lang sees food and finds it irresistible. Yu Chun has to drag him away from food. The bride-to-be is attracted to Tai Lang even though she is engaged! Yu Chun hands him a small cup of champagne and he enjoys it. But upon seeing the 3 women throwing food at each other, he gets very angry and canes them with a feather duster. He is drunk just after drinking it!
Tai Lang gets to know Ah Tian who works with him part time at the amusement park. Both smell each other out and know they belong to the same category! Both pick up every single coin they see and try to pack extra lunchboxes home for their siblings. Ah Tian has a younger brother and a younger sister. The graduating class tries hard to get Tai Lang to be the lead of a play. He declines at first because he is working part time. After knowing that he will be sponsored with 6925 boxes of biscuits, he agrees to it. All are won over by his natural acting of a poor man in the play – not knowing that he is just being himself!
Ling Zi injures a dog and Er Lang keeps a female classmate company for an afternoon just to get some money to pay the owner. Tai Lang sees it and forbids the act! But he himself becomes a young escort at the bar – he even has to dress as a female nurse to please older women. San Pu knows it and joins him. His doctor grandparents (played by real life married couple, Ou Yang Long and Fu Jian (ex-Princess Xiang Xiang from Taiwan version of ‘The book and the sword’) – you will see how much she has changed here!)) return from Africa after working as volunteers there for a visit. They discover Tai Lang and promise to keep it a secret before going home with him.
Tai Lang keeps them so that they can help in the delivery of his siblings and he can save on the hospital expenses . But it turns out that all are not at home when Ling Zi is in labour and San Pu does the job! Tai Lang nearly has a heart attack when she gives birth to triplets – two more girls and a boy. This means that the housing expenses has increased tremendously again. Ling Zi has wanted to give him a surprise – which is sure a big one! His grandparents thank him before leaving – Tai Lang is dismayed to know that Ling Zi gives them a lot of money without telling him!
Later, he thinks of names for the newborn – Ba Mei, Jiu Lang and Shi Lang. All his other siblings find them unoriginal. They then receive a postcard from He Fu – giving the same names. Tai Lang is pissed off when they say that their father is creative. Tai Lang is reluctant to take the masters entrance exam. He is afraid that he can’t do part time anymore. Niao Ju convinces him that he can get a study scholarship and also a family support loan. She tricks him that he can even get honey dews from oversized cucumbers or fruits from the vegetable farm if he gets into the agricultural faculty. Ling Zi is sick on the exam day and Tai Lang brings the triplets to school. He counts himself lucky to be the only person in the exam room.
All examiners are bored with the candidates’ inflexible answers. Shui Yuan finds it funny to see Tai Lang with the 3 babies. Tai Lang feeds Jiu Lang with milk and changes his diapers on the spot. Shui Yuan keeps on smiling while waiting – he even asks Tai Lang whether he needs any help. In the end, the three examiners can’t control themselves and roar in laughter. Niao Ju asks about the result and he can’t stop laughing when recalling it! He decides to give Tai Lang the scholarship in the end.
Shen Pu sees Si Mei and likes her. Si Mei sews his shirt button back for him and he wonders why she is so gentle and unlike Mei Jia. He decides that he likes girls after all. When after seeing all other children who resemble Tai Lang so much, he faints! He later panicks – should he choose Si Mei or Tai Lang? He then decides to stick to like Tai Lang only.
A classmate, Ah Mei tells the rest that Tai Lang is poor after following him home. They question Yu Chun as Tai Lang is sick at home. Long Zi thinks that he will keep mum as his best friend. To her dismay, he confesses it and says they really stay in a very small house. Since he is going to graduate, the earlier they know the truth the better. Of course, all don’t believe him!
Yu Chun visits Tai Lang and laughs upon knowing that Tai Lang is sick after knowing that his family is going to inherit a large fortune from a distant relative. He Fu returns and Ling Zi is happy. All move into the big house. (This house is exactly the same one that Daomingsi stays in ‘Meteor Garden’). Tai Lang wants to go home – he is not used to this environment. He faints after knowing that everything is expensive there. On the same day, Ah Mei takes pictures of the empty house to show the others.
Tai Lang worries about the electricity bills and the broken glasses that his family has broken. He always shivers when touching the expensive China cups. Ah Mei tells the rest that Tai Lang must be feigning sick to hide at home to avoid their questioning. Tai Lang cycles to school the next day but his home chauffeur drives to school to follow him to give him his books. All are dumbstruck. So is Long Zi – this means that Tia Lang is really rich now.
Tai Lang is still not used to the new home. It is more fun and lively in the old home. The home is so big that his siblings always go missing. The friends they bring home keep breaking their things. All also find the old clothes more comfortable to wear. But Si Mei still finds Tai Lang absurd to have a paper box fixed like his old home in his room! Shen Pu is happy for them too. Tai Lang encourages him to work hard so that they can study masters together. He Fu earns a lot of money from his drawings.
He Fu teaches Shen Pu driving while his girl friend, You Mei teaches Tai Lang. Seeing that Shen Pu is always not paying attention, He Fu jokes that he is as sexy as her. On one occasion, he even lands on the car cover, telling her to back off! The new red sports car that He Fu buys is expensive so Tai Lang drives it very carefully. If anything happens, his heart will break again. You Mei is impressed and knowing that he is thrifty, she agrees to give him $1000 if he passes the driving test. Shen Pu is distracted to see them together and looks sidesways ending up injuring himself and He Fu.
Both guys arrange to go for the driving test together. But Shen Pu fractures his arms after jumping down from the bus. In the end, Tai Lang passes the test but Shen Pu has to stay in hospital. He screams aloud when Tai Lang and Yu Chun remove his dirty clothes to change for him. Tai Lang still wants to get leftovers home but Yu Chun throws them and warns him not to pick up any coins again. He reminds Tai Lang that his identity has changed and he has to change all his habits.
Tai Lang brings Ah Tian and his siblings home when they can’t return their home loan and loiter on the streets. He pays for them but they make another blunder by eating the landlord’s fortune turtle. He Fu suddenly disappears. Tai Lang decides to sell the new home to pay the debt for them. They are going to move back to the old home but a landlord is going to charge them rent. All are still happy over it. Si Mei even makes biscuits for Yu Chun. Yu Chun shakes his head – what will Tai Lang think if he knows that foodstock is already diminishing from home and yet Si Mei gives him?
He returns home eating the biscuits while surfing the net. His sisters try to snatch the biscuits and he hits their hands. He gives them all the chocolates that he gets on Valentines’ Day in exchange. All pack home and are surprised to know that Yu Chun is their major landlord and he owns 80% of the share. 5% belongs to San Pu. Who holds the last 15% - it is He Fu! (I have thought that the last person is Long Zi – quite a disappointment but I guess she isn’t chosen as she is as poor as Tai Lang.) He is missing because he tries to sell all his paintings away. Tai Lang talks to Yu Chun in vain to lower the rent. Nevertheless, he is grateful to them for their help.
Characters and Cast
As Tai Lang
In every beginning scene of an episode, you will get to see Tai Lang asking for more food and money when he does his morning masses in the church. He is even willing to trade in his results for them. He picks up coins when he sees them to buy food. He can be so cunning to think of ways to get money. But it is hard to hate him as he is forced by circumstances. He often sleeps in class because he is too tired doing part time daily. He doesn’t want his other siblings to work as this will affect their studies.
Gao Hao Jun as Yu Chen
Li Jin Hong as San Pu
Ken Zhu as He Fu
Annie Yi as Ling Zi
Sandrine Pinna as Si Mei
Liu Han Ya as Long Zi
Stella Chang as Niao Ju
Wu Ti Ni as Mei Jia
Lin You Wei as Ah Tian
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Edited by ♥Kitsiee, 18 April 2009 - 03:11 PM.