Game Plan (千方百计) Hot
Game Plan (千方百计) is a Singaporean Chinese drama which debuted on 9 October 2012. This series was produced by Wawa Pictures. The original title was "Tricked" (中计), but was changed later on. The Chinese title (千方百计) is an idiom which is literally translated as "thousand ways, hundred plans", and means to use every method available in order to achieve one's goal, which loosely implies "by hook or by crook".
User Ratings Summary
User rating summary from: 4 user(s)
I really enjoyed this show. I kind off like the actors that starred in this movie as their acting was incredible and at some points in the show I had could feel tears in my eyes. Especially when there are emotional scenes, like when someone dies, or sacrifices themselves for someone they love or care for.
As this drama had a concept of swindling, I found the plot unique. The tricks that the swindlers used are really smart, and I envy their knowledge. This also made their job harder, because they had to act while acting. I am glad that the producers and writers decided to use this concept because it really spiced up the story a lot.
Overall this is a very satisfying drama and if you just want relax and laugh over a good drama, this is the one for you.
This is one of the most unique and refreshing Singapore drama series I ever watched.
The story revolves around a group of swindlers and how a former member of the group seek to bring down that group. Each episode is filled with logical plot twists that simply make your mouth open as you watch the mystery unfold.
The villains of the drama are made realistically humane and you can’t help but sympathise with them. They aren’t there just to make the protagonists suffer. Each character is driven by their own objectives and that’s what make the show enjoyable to watch.
Game Plan started off on a really good note. The unique themes that Game Plan explores about the swindling industry definitely impressed me a lot - yes I'm a sucker for plots and schemes and other nefarious plans. Not to mention, they had a stellar cast consisting of Christopher Lee, Jesseca Liu, and even Jacelyn Tay (yes, the Jacelyn Tay)!
Game Plan in fact showcases a very different perspective on swindling - from the point of view of the swindlers themselves. Christopher Lee was definitely amazing as Hao Ren, the experienced swindler with the tragic past. His acting was exceedingly convincing and his tender romantic moments made me empathise with his character - so much to the extent that I shed a tear or two.
But while the first half of the drama serial did an amazing job in capturing my attention, the second half of the serial sadly made a turn for the worse. The plot got repetitive - and worse, confusing. Jesseca Liu's main female lead character turned against her lover for the shortest period of time, and I would really have loved to see more of her as the bad guy, but no - she became more whiny than ever after that. There was rather little character development for Jacelyn Tay's villain. I thought the notion of her turning against Hao Ren due to her hurt from being snubbed could have been better developed, but she simply settles for waving a bottle of wine around and glaring as evilly as possible into a glass pane while plotting her revenge.
Overall, Game Plan is definitely still one of the most unique Mediacorp serials ever produced, and while the second half was a huge letdown, I have to say - the conclusion blowed me over.
Very Relevant to Singaporeans
This TV series started off with a kind-hearted and innocent girl called Zhao Xin Tong (acted by Jesseca Liu) being tricked by a swindler. Not only was she cheated of her life savings, the swindler got her into debt. She wanted to commit suicide but a lady informed her about another swindler who would soon be released from prison. This swindler was first-rate and would be able to help her.
Xin Tong waited for the swindler upon his release and approached him for help. This swindler was called Zeng Hao Ren (acted by Christopher Lee). Hao Ren took her money and abandoned her.
This entire scene was similar to the opening scene from the manga Liar Game which was first serialised in 2005. At first, I was disappointed. In the past, Mediacorp was known to copy their plots from other shows or books, but over time, their shows became more original. I thought in the beginning that Mediacorp had regressed, but later I realised that although the opening scene was not original, the subsequent episodes were.
In Liar Game, the girl and the swindler with other players would play a series of zero-sum games where each team would start with the same amount of money. The winning team would end up with the losing team's money, and the losing team would get into debt. To win a game, each team must come up with a strategy based on the game's rules to defeat the other team. Usually the girl or some other team members would mess up and cause the team to nearly lose, but the swindler always turned the table on the other parties to win the games. The theme behind Liar Game is Game Theory, which is a subject under Mathematics.
The Game Plan is not about game theory. It's about how con-artists work, and they usually work as a team. I believe this show was inspired by the scams that happened to Singaporeans, and the objective was to educate Singaporeans on how con-artists work, and what they should do to avoid being scammed.
At first the show gave the impression that it was cool to be a con-artist. In the beginning Hao Ren and his team which included Xin Tong used their skills at deception to help the victims of various scams. You begin to admire their intelligence. However, the show ended with the moral that swindling is a crime, and it hurts people. Being good and doing the right thing should be a person's objective in life.
In terms of plot, it was not as creative as Liar Game, and in some parts, I felt it was really bad, like when a cute girl called Xiao Gui (acted by Tang Ling Yi) died. I didn't like her death because she was a memorable character.
Overall, I like the show, despite its imperfect storyline. I find the greatest redeeming aspect of the show is its relevance to Singaporeans and its final condemnation of swindling as bad and inglorious.