On Monday, June 19, Tanglin officially aired its 500th episode. Even with a whopping 183 hours already under its belt, we still can’t get enough of the happy reunions, betrayals, misunderstandings and sacrifices that beset the families. But hold your kopi siu dai; for now, let's celebrate the long-form series with these behind-the-scenes trivia.
About 4000 eggs have been used since the start of the show, thanks to it being a key ingredient in Tanglin Coffeehouse (TCH), with 60-90 eggs being cooked every 10 episodes! Prepared in all sorts of ways, from scrambled to soft-boiled to steamed, it is a staple ‘prop’ in TCH favourites like mee siam, laksa, mee rubus and breakfast sets. Nat Ho is apparently the biggest fan of the protein and helps to reduce food wastage by gobbling up the eggs like how every self-respecting gym bunny would.
2. One Huge Family
There are 42 main cast members, and approximately 1000 extras have been cast to date. Guest stars include former-MTV VJ Utt, national athlete Shanti Pereira, swimmer and Paralympic medalist Theresa Goh and Taufik Batisah, who has since been upgraded to permanent cast member. The former Singapore Idol plays one of the drama's antagonist while the two athletes appeared as themselves.
It’s hard to believe, but in order to transform into matriarch Lim Bee Li, Margaret Lim needs one and a half hours just for hair and make-up. The character requires Lim to be fitted with a wig and false eyelashes, resulting in the longest make-up time of any Tanglin artiste. And she’s gone through six wigs to date!
4.Real food, real deal.
About 1,500 plates of mee siam for TCH have been cooked (and devoured by the cast and crew) on the show. If you’re wondering who prepared all the hearty grub, no, it’s not some catering service. They’re all prepared by chef Isabel Lee of www.belle.kitchen, which specialises in decorated cakes and customised desserts. On set is a work station for Lee to store and prepare all the food required for the daily shoot.
Hong Kong, Taiwan, Okinawa, Chiang Mai. That’s where Tanglin has travelled to for overseas shoots, clocking five days in each location. During the Okinawa shoot, crew members, including the executive producer, had to double up as extras due to budget and schedule constraints. Here's a direct-from-Taiwan piece of goss: A running sequence filmed there between Kayly Loh (who plays Felicia) and Paul Nagaoka (who plays Jared) revealed that the actress has way better stamina than the actor. Surprise surprise.
6.Love Is In The Air
If you’re a die-hard fan, you might know Jun Kai (Nat Ho) and Diana (Jae Liew) shared their first kiss in ep 268. But do you know Tanglin, as of the 500th episode, has had a total of 25 lips-to-lips kisses, 39 non-lips-to-lips kisses, and a total kissing screen time that spans a lip-smacking 107 seconds? Now you know.
Tanglin airs on Ch 5, weekdays, 8.30pm. You can catch it on Toggle too.