Mara Jade
by Mara Jade

We are halfway through The Making of an Ordinary Woman S2, and have learnt much about Chia-Ling and her family. While each episode gives us plenty of laughs and memorable moments, here are our favourite scenes from each episode.


Episode 1 - Young Chia-Ling Lost Her Way Leading to a Revelation


Instead of sending her to tuition, which is a distance away, Chia-Ling’s mom decides to train her independence by making her take the public bus. Except that Chia-Ling ends up falling asleep and gets off the wrong stop. Meanwhile, her mother has been following her on the scooter, ensuring she reaches her destination. Upon discovering that, Chia-Ling flares up at her mother.

This scene reveals that her mother does all this to train Chia-Ling to get ahead in life, as she is ashamed of her lack of education. She had to start work since she was 13 to help support her family. And she did not want that to happen to Chia-Ling. This shows the length parents would go to for their children and how communication between parents and children is critical.


Episode 2 - A Doctor’s Checkup Leads to A Devastating Discovery


There comes a time when it will suddenly hit you that perhaps, age is catching up, and Chia-Ling realises this pivotal moment during a routine checkup. Her doctor asks if she plans for kids as she isn’t getting any younger, only for Chia-Ling to share that she still has time. But alas, the doctor has bad news for her. She is entering an early menopausal stage, leaving Chia-Ling to discover that time is not on her side after all.

This is a scene that many women of a certain age may identify with. In that short scene, all a woman’s fears and insecurities bubble into the surface. And it’s not a pretty sight.


Episode 3 - The English Competition


Chia-Ling invites her not-so-pleasant client to her parent’s home for lunch, which elicits plenty of feelings in her dad, who is beyond proud of his daughter speaking good English. It also shows how Chia-Ling cares for her dad, with little gestures such as stroking her dad’s back. This accidental visit back home reveals the rare warm fuzzy family dynamics.

The scene ends up in hysterics with her parents trying to speak English to compete with one another, and it is by far, the funniest scene in the series.


Episode 4 - The Arrival of the Tutor


Chia-Ling's mother engages a tutor for her, and the tutor enjoys a meal with the family. While the family pulls out all the stops for a sumptuous dinner, the tutor laments about killing innocent pigs for their meat.

The dinner scene harkens back to vibrant "kampong" days where the whole family gathers with the grandmother's home-cooked food at the end of each day and the warm hospitality of village folks.

Episode 5 - The Nighttime Soap Opera Scene


Chia-ling’s mom and her grandmother concoct a plan to get her grandfather to retire in a hilarious nighttime soap fashion. While both women want the grandfather to retire and leave the business to Chia Ling's dad, each woman has her agenda. The scene could have been a straight-forward one but instead, is beautifully done with deliberate over-dramatization to turn up the entertainment factor.

This scene also illustrates the dynamics and complexities of relationships between mothers and daughters in law.