Shade of Darkness

Wow! This was so good I’m still feeling the chills. This is actually one of TVB’s better serials even though it has such a tragic ending. Yes, it was justified what happened at the end, but it was somewhat too sad. It was probably intentional also for the purposes of the storyline. Moreover, I think this was one of the best horror series ever made. And not to mention that it actually worked even if the main character end up dead at the very end. When first heard of, most people would think that it would suck big time to make the main character die, but it actually made sense in the end with how things turned out.

Like Factors:

  • Canti Lau as Lo Leung/ Chan Man Bok: I think Canti’s one of TVB’s (and not to mention HK’s) most lost cause. It’s a shame that what happened in the past and it ruined the whole thing. He’s one of the greatest actors at that time and also a potential singer. Too bad. Anyway, as both characters in conflict with each other, he was really good. (And also the scenes where he was possessed–it was really scary.)
  • Fiona Leung as Wai: I really miss watching her on TVB screen ’cause she’s one of the most missed actresses. She can really bring out her character in here without trying too hard or over-reacting. Her eyes are always full of emotions and shows different stages of what her character’s going through. I really like that and miss this type of acting.
  • Ada Choi as Canti’s cousin: This series showed potential for Ada and she could really act. It was really convincing to see her in this role as the pitiful girl with such a tragic past. She’s one of the few ones who can act pitiful without you feeling it is too fake. (That’s really good.)
  • Kenix Kwok: Just her performance as both characters because I don’t like the first character very much. However, this series showed great potential for Kenix also. It really paved on a path for her thus leading to her success with upcoming serials.
  • The friendship between Canti, Fiona, Elaine, the young cop, & the reporter: Although they have their differences and come into conflicts from time to time, but they do learn to appreciate one another’s differences and each’s personalities.
  • Effects: That was way too creepy watching the scenes. The lighting is right for the eerie atmosphere. Not to mention those creepy sound effects.
  • The moral etched right into the series: This is one of those rare times where I don’t mind TVB slapping those “moral slogans” into a series. It really freaks people out and scares you into not making the wrong choices. (But of course people don’t believe in such supernatual events so it would mean nothing anyway. Like I completely believe in it but still something worth note-worthy.)
  • What happened to Chan To in the end. I really like it that they didn’t make him die in the hands of the ghosts because that would probably be too cliche. He died because of karma. It really was a great kick in the end. He never seen it coming. He always thought it was Canti.

Complaints (yes, this is hard to avoid when one is watching a TVB series):

  • Medical knowledge/ anything involving hospital scenes: WAY TOO FAKE. Why? Come on now, anyone would know that you don’t perform certain procedures like that even if you’re not a doctor. When they were trying to revive Kenix’s character during the hospital scene, it was super painful to watch. Seriously, he’s a doctor, right? Why didn’t he know that you can’t just perform the procedure like that? She was under thick blankets not to mention layers of clothes. This was the director, script-writer, and producer’s fault though. They should know the flaws. There were many other errors as well. It was ridiculous to see those flaws considering it’s not hard to learn the basics of medical procedures just for the purpose of filming those scenes. (Luckily, recent serials that involved medical scenes improved.)
  • Kenix’s character: Her original character of course. I’m glad that she was in this series but her character sort of didn’t contribute anything to the story although it was a leverage for Ada’s character at one point to experience and live once again. The scenes with her in it and some parts in the middle of the series was kind of draggy and repetitive. Luckily it wasn’t super annoying though.

So what was the ultimate moral of this series? If you win the lottery, DON’T ever tell it to anyone. Not even your own family, considering this scary world we live in today.

Posted (on Xanga): February 17, 2009

Re-posted: Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

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7 Replies to “Shade of Darkness”

  1. This series was so good! I just finished it and went looking for some reviews and came across this entry/blog. 🙂

    I do agree that overall this was one of TVB’s better attempts at a horror drama. Everything came together: the plot, the acting, the dialogue, etc. However I was disappointed with the ending because he ended up with Ada. Fiona was 10 times more awesome than her.

  2. @Little Beggar – Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Though I like it that he ends up with Fiona but I think considering how the story turned out, it would be too cheesy to attempt that path. So it was acceptable for me in a sense.

    1. No, sorry! I watched it a long time ago from renting at the local store videos. NOT sure if the video rental stores have it anymore since I know local stores love to get rid of old series as soon as possible and go with the new ones, if you know what I mean.

  3. I just finished this TV series for the 2nd time last night (first time was 7 years ago), and it remained one of the best horror series made by TVB. While I would like to see the ending in which Fiona and Canti would end up together; however, Canti’s death made more sense for the revenge story arch. There is no way to end the revenge unless he died. And I agree with you that Chan To died because of karma is very fitting for his character. Letting the ghosts kill him would be too cliche or too predictable. I forgot how he died since I first watched it 7 years ago, and I was surprised to see how the ending turned out.

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