Same old brand new look for 118 in Season 2

FIRST LOOK: The cast moves into a brand new set, 118 gets a modern revamp, and we speak to the new additions on board

The 'new' 118 family sees additions like Elvin Ng, Jeanette Aw and Bryan Wong
The 'new' 118 family sees additions like Elvin Ng, Jeanette Aw and Bryan Wong
07 Sep 2016

The 'new' 118 family sees additions like Elvin Ng, Jeanette Aw and Bryan Wong

The filming studio in the brand new Mediacorp campus rumbled to life on Monday afternoon as the cast of upcoming long-form drama, 118 Season 2, was assembled for a script-reading session with the directors, producer and scriptwriter of the drama. Although the entire set occupies a significantly smaller space than before, the studio was filled with nostalgic chatter and laughter as the actors fawned over the newly-revamped 118 (Yeo Yeo Huat or Yao Yao Fa) coffee shop, which is essentially, remodeled to look and feel like a café now.

If you remember, the original signboard which was brought home for safe-keeping by Chew Chor Meng (Hong Da Ming) after the first season ended its run, has been reinstated in its former glory and now hangs proudly in the coffee shop’s renovated interior.

As the 118 family, consisting of Pan Ling Ling (Liu Mei Mei), Xu Bin (Hong Shun Shui), Ya Hui (Hong Jin Zhi), Chen Han Wei (Li Wei Liang) and Sheila Sim (Hong Shan Shan) rehearsed lines and jokingly traded barbs with one another, they were joined by a brand new member, Elvin Ng (Deng Bo), who plays a bodyguard in the show.

(Continued on next page: Elvin’s short-term goal is getting into the 118 group chat)

Look out for a complicated relationship between Elvin and Ya Hui's characters this season
Look out for a complicated relationship between Elvin and Ya Hui's characters this season
07 Sep 2016

Look out for a complicated relationship between Elvin and Ya Hui's characters this season

Relatively quieter on set, as compared to the rowdy gang before him, “newcomer” Elvin later shared in an interview with Toggle that he feels “a little lost” and is still trying to gel with the family members. The 35-year-old is also in the midst of understanding his “cold and cool” military-trained bodyguard character (he is nicknamed “the terminator” by the 118 family) who has a gentler side too.

“My brother used to be a bodyguard for the Prime Minister (his brother belonged to the Singapore Police Force’s Security Command – SecCom, which is a bodyguard unit) and I did ask him how his friends are like. I asked if there is anyone that’s more outstanding, funny or quirky in the team and he told me they’re all ‘quite normal leh’,” chuckled Elvin, as he wondered out loud if his character should be “less serious” to fit in with the rest of the 118 crew.

Apart from working on the personification of Deng Bo, Elvin tells us he has a more urgent task on hand: Getting into the 118 group chat.

He laughed, “I’m not invited to join it yet. It’s like that, especially since you have a clique and I’m the newcomer – the new bird (laughs). They’ve gone out for dinners and I’ve joined them once just to get a feel of things.”

(Continued on next page: Jeanette Aw spars with Bryan Wong on set)

Jeanette morphs into her 'big sister' Taimei character on set
Jeanette morphs into her 'big sister' Taimei character on set
07 Sep 2016

Jeanette morphs into her 'big sister' Taimei character on set

Another newbie to the 118 family is Jeanette, who plays Li Tai Mei – a gang leader who is skilled in kungfu and not quite the ‘taimei’ (a Taiwan girl who frequents nightclubs and bars) we envisioned her to be.

During an interview with scriptwriter Ang Eng Tee, he revealed that he wanted to tailor-make a role for Jeanette and they have been exchanging ideas about her character via text message. “She’s a big sister character who is fearless and very tomboyish in nature… She (Tai Mei) is really skilled in kungfu too and that’s why Jeanette went to pick up Wing Chun.”

We had a brief glimpse of Jeanette’s kungfu moves during the script read, when she went through her lines with Bryan Wong, another new addition to the cast (he plays Liu Ji Zhou). “He’s easy to work with, a very talkative person and has got very high energy levels on set,” quipped Jeanette, “It’s very fun to be able to work with him and he has a lot of ideas as well, so we’d discuss about how to do things better and make it funny.”

The actress shared that she does not really beat Bryan up in the drama, but uses her kungfu moves to scare him. “We will try to make it light-hearted, funny and fun,” she added.

(Continued on next page: What can we expect to see in 118 Season 2?)

Actor-turned-director Lin Mingzhe demonstrates how things should be done to the actors
Actor-turned-director Lin Mingzhe demonstrates how things should be done to the actors
07 Sep 2016

Actor-turned-director Lin Mingzhe demonstrates how things should be done to the actors

The addition of new characters only means one thing: there are a lot more new storylines this season and more complications ahead of the happy-go-lucky 118 family. Scriptwriter Eng Tee admits that it will be challenging for viewers to accept these new characters—and at the same time, integrate them with the original cast.

The drama will also cover newsy events happening today, such as the recent Zika outbreak which will see Zhang Mei You (played by Roy Li) catching mosquitoes on set because his wife died from dengue fever and the Pokemon Go craze in which Zhang Tian Cheng (played by Chen Tian Wen) will go round catching Pokemon with a bunch of youngsters.

Scheduled to run for 218 episodes, he hopes to give off the same heartwarming vibes as the show did in its first season. “I hope to spread the message that there is still kindness everywhere – problems are always present in our lives, but I hope to give off positive vibes and show that when things get difficult, as long as family and friends work together, they can overcome everything.”


Click on for more photos of the cast and set at the drama’s script-reading session!

The 118 cast at the drama's script reading session
The 118 cast at the drama's script reading session
07 Sep 2016

The 118 cast at the drama's script reading session

Hong Ling, who is in the thick of filming Lunar New Year drama series Going Home, is glad she'd finally have the chance to experience what a "busy" actor's life will be like as she attempts to juggle between two dramas when 118 begins filming.

Related:
Hong Ling promoted to female lead in 'Going Home'

Elvin trying his best to blend in with the rest of the 118 actors
Elvin trying his best to blend in with the rest of the 118 actors
07 Sep 2016

Elvin trying his best to blend in with the rest of the 118 actors

The 118 cast at the drama's script reading session
The 118 cast at the drama's script reading session
07 Sep 2016

The 118 cast at the drama's script reading session

The 118 cast at the drama's script reading session
The 118 cast at the drama's script reading session
07 Sep 2016

The 118 cast at the drama's script reading session

The 118 cast at the drama's script reading session
The 118 cast at the drama's script reading session
07 Sep 2016

The 118 cast at the drama's script reading session

Shun Shui (Xu Bin) will take over the reins of running the coffee shop in season 2
Shun Shui (Xu Bin) will take over the reins of running the coffee shop in season 2
07 Sep 2016

Shun Shui (Xu Bin) will take over the reins of running the coffee shop in season 2

The 118 cast at the drama's script reading session
The 118 cast at the drama's script reading session
07 Sep 2016

The 118 cast at the drama's script reading session

118 Season 2 debuts November 29, 7.30pm on Channel 8.
Watch past episodes of 118 on Toggle.

Related:
Elvin Ng: Ya Hui has become more attractive
Xu Bin and Desmond Ng are afraid of Carrie Wong
Jeanette Aw ready to kick butt on 118 Season 2
How well does Jeanette think she can fight in real life?
Ya Hui wants to "go crazy" in 118 Season 2


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