One of the things I look forward to every Chinese New Year is the fancy eight-course meals.
It begins with the customary yee sang toss, then followed by a piping hot serving of fish maw soup (say no to shark fin soup please!) to get your appetite going.
The mains are next, marked by meatier dishes like crispy roast chicken, steamed fish and king prawns (which is the highlight of the meal, if you asked me). Stir-fried broccoli with chinese mushrooms gets thrown in somewhere in between.
A plate of steamed glutinous rice guarantees you a full stomach and finally, a sweet bowl of tong sui caps off the night.
CNY TV viewing is a lot like an eight-course meal. There’s lighter fare like variety shows and live music shows, heavy family dramas that are filled with meaning and sweet, sentimental love stories.
Here’s a run-down of what to watch on the first day of CNY (look out for the list for the second day tomorrow). We hope you’ll find something that’ll satisfy your viewing appetite.
TV3, Astro Ch 103/HyppTV Ch 103, Noon
The Year of the Monkey has been a lucky year for Wai Meng as his business has been thriving. But success is getting to his head, as he becomes more and more greedy and selfish. His wife Mei Mei tries to make him realise that wealth means nothing without his loved ones by his side to celebrate with him. Will she succeed? Starring Vince Chong, Aenie Wong and Hanif Safuan.
8TV, Astro Ch 708/HyppTV Ch 108, 2pm
Stephen Chow combines kung fu with football in Shaolin Soccer, and scores. Sing is a Shaolin monk who has been trying to find a way to promote kung fu. The perfect opportunity arises when he meets a former football star offering to coach him and his fellow Shaolin monks, using their kung fu moves to their advantage in the sport. Zhao Wei and Ng Man Tat co-star.
TV2, Astro Ch 102/HyppTV Ch 102, 2pm
Ambitious May Ling plans to set up a zumba and yoga business but her boyfriend doesn’t want her to. Will she choose ambition over love? Starring Megan Tan and Zoee Tan.
Astro AEC, Ch 301, 3.30pm
The Kid From The Big Apple generated quite a bit of buzz last year after picking up four awards at the 7th Macau International Movie Festival. The heartwarming family drama focuses on 11-year-old Sarah whose entire life in New York gets uprooted all of a sudden when she has to move and stay with her grandfather in Malaysia. They don’t get along with each other, but the loving grandpa never stops trying. Starring Jessica Hester Hsuan, Lung Ti and Tan Qin Lin.
Let’s Sing Kids Season Four
Astro Xiao Tai Yang, Ch 325, 7.30pm
You may have seen Malaysian singer Adinda Tasya Mansor’s rendition of Celine Dion’s I Surrender, which went viral last year on this show. Watch her entire journey as a contestant on Let’s Sing Kids, a version of Voice Of China for children under 14, in this marathon special.
Astro Wah Lai Toi, Ch 311, 8.30pm
A mermaid plots to assassinate a developer who is working on a project that requires eradicating all sea life living in her area. But what happens when the two begin to fall for each other? Starring Deng Chao, Lin Yun and Show Luo.
Celestial Movies, Astro Ch 322, 9pm
The Hong Kong Film Critics Society has named Trivisa the best film of last year. Wondering what the fuss is all about? Set in 1997 just before Britain handed over of Hong Kong to China, rumours are swirling that three notorious thieves are planning one last heist. One of the men hears the rumour and gets inspired, initiating contact with the other two. Starring Gordon Lam, Richie Jen and Jordan Chan.
The Ark Of Mr Chow
SCM HD, HyppTV Ch 228, 10.30pm
A group of teen geniuses are selected to be a part of a university programme. As they’re a little rebellious and rough around the edges, they don’t quite fit in with the university’s studious, bespectacled crowd. Starring Sun Honglei, Zhou Dongyu and Dong Zijian.