The best of The Dream Makers 2

How did Channel 8’s 2015 year-end blockbuster series fare in our books?

The Dream Makers 2 ends off on a happy note for all main characters
The Dream Makers 2 ends off on a happy note for all main characters
18 Jan 2016

The Dream Makers 2 ends off on a happy note for all main characters

The Dream Makers returned last December with a highly-anticipated sequel after fleshing out a lesser-seen and known side of the entertainment business in its first instalment two years ago.

Although the story picks up from where the first series ends and both dramas are set in a similar environment, they are nothing like each other. Instead of telling stories about the inner workings of showbiz, The Dream Makers 2 shifts focus with more emphasis on its characters’ personal lives as an ambitious undertaking to expand the show’s universe. The inside jokes about showbiz remain but there is more melodrama, tears and angst as tragedy – in one form of another – befalls upon the show’s lead characters; its supporting characters are not spared either with plethora of revenge plots and story threads running concurrently. Would a leaner storyline work in its favour? Perhaps.

Now that we've come to the end of the series, we’ve put together a fun feature highlighting the “best” of The Dream Makers 2 to remember all the tears, laughter and rage. Enjoy!

UPDATE: The Dream Makers 2 final episode crossed the million viewership mark with 1.02 million viewers yesterday, bringing the total number of episodes in this series that have crossed the million mark to four episodes. The drama series is currently ranked as Toggle's most-viewed programme to date. 

The most genuine repentant in the drama: Guan Xie En
The most genuine repentant in the drama: Guan Xie En
18 Jan 2016

The most genuine repentant in the drama: Guan Xie En

We saw plenty of tears (and snot) from the characters this season with each of them going through a personal crisis. The baddies, in particular, Huang Biren’s standoffish character, Xie En, had to overcome several challenges and obstacles before she had a chance to repent and make amends for her mistakes and gain her children’s forgiveness. As a brand new character introduced in the second season, Xie En is probably one of the “new faces” who had a better developed back story, with a proper start, transition and ending – unlike the character on the next slide.

The most unbelievable transformation in the drama: Joey
The most unbelievable transformation in the drama: Joey
18 Jan 2016

The most unbelievable transformation in the drama: Joey

While Xie En had to live in guilt and atone for her sins over a couple of episodes, the same can’t be said for Joey (Ian Fang). For the longest time, he rebelled against his aunt, called her names, accused her of killing his parents and stunting his career in showbiz, but the moment he is brought to his parents’ niches, he turns remorseful and regrets his mistakes. He saw the light, repented for a grand total of about 5 minutes on TV and became the “good boy” he used to be immediately after.

Was that fast or was that fast? And don’t get us started on Dong Zi Huai’s sudden decision to turn over a new leaf too. We’re not convinced and you’ll find out why on the next slide.

The most elaborate revenge schemer in the drama: Dong Zi Huai plotting against her family
The most elaborate revenge schemer in the drama: Dong Zi Huai plotting against her family
18 Jan 2016

The most elaborate revenge schemer in the drama: Dong Zi Huai plotting against her family

Too many cooks spoil the broth and such is the case when you have not one but three revenge plots happening at the same time in the drama: Lin Tao’s (Li Nanxing) personal feud with Richard Ma (Rayson Tan); Chen Guang’s (Zhang Zhen Huan) plot to avenge his dead brother; and Zi Huai’s sinister scheme to plot against her family.

For Zi Huai, we’re talking about a character whose motivation for revenge, which stems from the lack of love and privileges growing up, is both illogical and feeble. Yet she takes the cake for orchestrating the most elaborate plan ever and for getting away almost scot-free with everything – with little to no payoff.

Well, she did get a one year jail sentence for all the crazy things (driving her sister insane and hiding a knife in a bear – just to name a few) committed, but isn’t she mentally unsound or borderline psychotic for carrying out those deeds? Let’s not forget she tried to drive a wedge between a pair of lovers on their wedding day, planned all sorts of maniac events to cause the downfall of Zhao Fei’er and single-handedly drove her insane and indirectly caused Fang Tonglin’s unfortunate on-set accident.

Poor girl needs psychiatric attention – stat. And no amount of tears or (pen) knife stabs would prove otherwise. 

Food for thought: How did Zihuai go from short bob (when she left the prison) to long red curls at the end of the series? 

The most ‘sway’ (unlucky) character in the drama: Zhou Weiyun
The most ‘sway’ (unlucky) character in the drama: Zhou Weiyun
18 Jan 2016

The most ‘sway’ (unlucky) character in the drama: Zhou Weiyun

In the first series, Weiyun (Zoe Tay) lost her baby in a miscarriage and her boyfriend-turned-husband died a sudden death in the TV station. Just when you thought life could not get any worse in the second series, Weiyun’s life is turned topsy-turvy again with the arrival of a new competitor at her workplace. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Her brother and sister-in-law died while on vacation mid-series and towards the end of the series, she nearly dies again, after getting into a car accident -- again.

If there’s a Dream Makers 2 character most in need of a flower bath to get rid of bad luck, that’d be – without a doubt – Weiyun. 

The most victimised character in the drama: Zhao Fei’er
The most victimised character in the drama: Zhao Fei’er
18 Jan 2016

The most victimised character in the drama: Zhao Fei’er

It’s true when parents tell their children that nothing good will come out of joining the entertainment business because after witnessing what Fei’er (Jeanette Aw) and Tonglin are put through in this sequel, we think the drama deserves to be renamed as “The Dream Makers 2: The unfortunate lives of actresses” (one loses her beauty and is half-blind while the other nearly loses her mind). ‘Nuff said.

As if pining over an unrequited love and losing your best friends aren’t bad enough, Fei’er goes through hell – no thanks to her insane long-lost sister Zihuai – and eventually succumbs to depression. The show feels unusually heavy this season and we’ve never seen a more depressed character on local TV than Fei’er. Her tear ducts are in overdrive constantly and her breakdowns are heartbreaking.

On a more upbeat note, we can’t think of a better role embodied by Jeanette than Fei’er and definitely saw mirror images of the actress’ ups and downs in showbiz through her character. Jeanette’s connection with her character was palpable and it boosted her portrayal of a dejected and crestfallen Fei’er.

The most au naturel performance by an actor in the drama: Qi Yuwu
The most au naturel performance by an actor in the drama: Qi Yuwu
18 Jan 2016

The most au naturel performance by an actor in the drama: Qi Yuwu

The main actors in this drama all delivered strong performances, but the best acting-but-not-acting performance goes to Yuwu.

Never for a single moment throughout the drama’s run did we get the impression that he is “acting” because he put up such a nuanced and natural performance as Jason – so much that it feels almost effortless on his part. Ah Wu is Jason and Jason is Ah Wu. What sorcery is this? A new level of acting enlightenment? And the best part? He didn’t even need a tragic backstory to boost his performance. We’re impressed – give that man an award!

The most likeable character in the drama: Zhong Yiming
The most likeable character in the drama: Zhong Yiming
18 Jan 2016

The most likeable character in the drama: Zhong Yiming

Despite his OCD, haughty behaviour and self-absorbed ways, Yiming’s actually quite the crowd pleaser on screen. He’s a harmless superstar who is more concerned about his physical looks and goody-boy image than anything else. Thanks to that, he cracks us up with his idiosyncrasies and is much-needed comic relief in the show – until he grew up and matured from his petty ways. We’re sure Romeo has won over a fair bit of new fans with this character too.

PS: Are we the only ones sad to see the himbo Yiming turn good?

The most enjoyable scenes in the drama: At home with the Fang siblings and Jason
The most enjoyable scenes in the drama: At home with the Fang siblings and Jason
18 Jan 2016

The most enjoyable scenes in the drama: At home with the Fang siblings and Jason

For its depressing nature and content, most of the laugh-out-loud and feel good moments in the drama are provided by the Fang siblings and Jason. The cute rapport between Fang Yuanren (Dennis Chew) and Tonglin (Rui En) is an accurate portrayal of how siblings behave in real life and we can’t get enough of Tonglin and Jason ganging up against big bro Yuanren’s protective instincts. Put the three of them together in a scene and it’s a riot, guaranteed to be laugh-a-minute funny. No wonder the trio’s scenes had the most number of NG (no good) takes in real life. 

The most outstanding hair & makeup work done in the drama: Post-accident Fang Tonglin
The most outstanding hair & makeup work done in the drama: Post-accident Fang Tonglin
18 Jan 2016

The most outstanding hair & makeup work done in the drama: Post-accident Fang Tonglin

We can’t imagine anyone going through the same pain in real life and just like the above screenshots, the raw, red and scarred makeup done on post-accident Tonglin is so painful to look at, we’d flinch at the sight of it. Award-worthy makeup skills and techniques y’all. Are we the only ones who got a little teary-eyed during the hospital scene where she removed her bandages for her first time? Kleenex please.

The most well-executed stunt scene in the drama: The “Final Destination” accident
The most well-executed stunt scene in the drama: The “Final Destination” accident
18 Jan 2016

The most well-executed stunt scene in the drama: The “Final Destination” accident

For a drama based on showbiz, we had a primer about how stunts are coordinated on set through fictional stuntman Eddy (Edwin Goh). But – to sound insanely Meta – we are dying to find out how Tonglin’s horrifyingly morbid and painfully detailed "Final Destination" accident scene was conceptualised and executed. Hands down one of the most impressive scenes in the drama, it definitely highlighted the importance of observing workplace safety in the office, like why was there a bottle of acid on the top of the cupboard in the first place?! 

The most unnecessary reunion in the drama: The ending
The most unnecessary reunion in the drama: The ending
18 Jan 2016

The most unnecessary reunion in the drama: The ending

We only have one thing to say about the ending: which self-respected chairman (Damian Lau) will allow himself to get beaten and be reduced to a state of sobbing mess on national television, much less a LIVE programme? If anything, the ending is a good reminder for everyone not to take anything in showbiz, including events in this drama, seriously. 

Related:
The Dream Makers 2 actors offer their characters one piece of advice

Watch past episodes of The Dream Makers 2 on Toggle.
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