Confession: I kept putting off watching Kin. Chalk it up to my high-carb diet, bad posture or just the unappealing notion of committing to a long-running soap opera (same reasons I was never into Tanglin). Anyway, I started with 10 episodes. That became 20, 30, and before I knew it, I binge-watched 223 instalments in three weeks. (At time of writing, 238 eps have been aired.) Needless to say, I got hooked.
For those who just joined in, Kin, which premiered last October, follows two millennials — rich brat Ella Shelley (Jasmine Sim) and loan-shark runner Loh Ah Yoke (Rachel Wan) — whose lives are turned topsy-turvy when they find out they were switched at birth. The next thing you know (I’m skipping a few details, of course), the rich girl becomes poor and the poor girl rich, cats and dogs living together. Mass hysteria!
As a show that explores class conflict (as seen through the eyes of the loaded Shelleys and lowly Lohs) and the theme of nature-vs-nurture (are the lasses who they are because of their environment or their DNA?), Kin is pretty gripping. There are also subplots involving adultery, terminal illnesses, love triangles, organ trafficking and the usual boardroom games. The dialogue is sappy and cringe-free and the performances are naturalistic, funny and moving.
Between Ella and Ah Yoke, I’m rooting for the latter. No one really cares about Ella. Narcissistic, snobbish and reeking of entitlement, she’s built to be hated. (That’s also a roundabout way of saying Jasmine Sim is doing a swell job at being annoying.) Ah Yoke, on the other hand, is endearing. Rachel Wan is Kin’s secret weapon and she embraces the Ah Lian role with gusto and humour.
Rachel, 24, studied acting at LaSalle and has appeared on the social-worker themed Toggle docu-series Journey With Me and the working-mothers drama Lion Mums. She’s also regularly featured in the skits on the YouTube channel Night Owl Cinematics. 8days.sg recently sat down with Rachel at the Kin set at Infinite Studios where she tells us a few things about her biggest screen role to date.
With Kin’s first anniversary around the corner (Oct 1), what surprises do the producers have in store for viewers? The just-out TV spot mentions “something big” will happen. What can Rachel report on Ah Yoke’s shaky relationship status with Dr Shen (Brian Ng) and Matthew (Charlie Goh)? Is she single, attached or “it’s complicated”? Enquiring minds want to know, but Rachel’s lips are sealed.
“You’ll see Yoke in more identity dilemmas,” she says, carefully wording her reply, trying to avoid spoilers by being as vague as possible. “They are not going to be resolved any time soon because it requires her to undo 23 years of upbringing. We can see more inner conflicts with Yoke, still struggling to be part of the Shelleys’ world.”