If you ignore the corny English title, this is actually very good. The funniest thing is if you watch this and The Threshold of a Persona at the same time, you will realize the majority of the supporting cast is the same. It might cause confusion also but it’s still interesting to see how each portray their roles for both series.
Anyway, first off, what was TVB thinking in warehousing this series? I understand that they aired The Threshold of a Persona because of Roger’s popularity. But warehousing this one is a big mistake. (Or perhaps it’s the reason that I mentioned above about the similarity with the supporting cast.) This is quite fast pace and interesting because of different psychological issues addressed throughout this series. It’s surprisingly good because of all the cases involved and it is not draggy since it managed to stay on topic for the majority of the time. There are side stories and romances too but it does not dwell long. It lets the cases integrate with their daily life problems too so it’s just right.
- Alex Fong as Dr. Ko Lap Yan. I was actually doubtful about watching this since I’m not much of an Alex fan or think much about his acting. However, I really admit he does have it to pull through, making us love him at times as the brilliant doctor but hates him sometimes for using sharp words. Dr. Ko is actually very kind and really cares for his patients. But he’s harsh toward his interns because he wants them to succeed and be good at what they do. (If he’s not harsh and they rely on him too much or would not work hard enough, what would happen when they become real doctors and get careless, which could result in the worst?)
- Ram Tseung as Dr. Lien Chi Sum. Having like Ram for his performances in several series, I really like the role given to him in here. He is such a funny character yet there is this apparent morality within him that one must respect. He seems to be really laid-back and could almost be dubbed as being lazy but his sense of sincerity and care given to his patients are really admirable. He takes his job seriously with proper responsbilities of each patient. Although he has his moments of immaturity but it is only within friends and off-work that shows another side of his character. And although he seems weak or easily persuaded with his behaviors, but he is very firm on his belief and would not use any other means to gain status over other colleagues. It seems like he does not really care for what is being done at home either or seems careless but he really does care and support his wife in time of need, not taking one side or another. The conversations they have various times show that he does support her and not just ignore it or dismiss it altogether. He does treat it in seriousness, considering all angles, not like other husbands who only take one side or the other. He tries hard to sort everything out and making it work for his family accordingly.
- Raymond Wong as Lee Ying Chun. I’m not really a fan of Raymond Wong–mostly because of how he portrays his characters in other series. He is not the worst but I just don’t like his style. However, I must admit I really like his character and portrayal in here. I like the character of Chun because he’s very caring toward patients and would not mind the nature of his job but really love it for what it is. It does not matter that others might misunderstand or look down on him, but he feels happy that he could help others. It is also very nice to see the balance in his character that he would not get stepped on easily. I like the part where he found out his girlfriend cheated on him and insulted him of his weakness. At first, he was all quiet and I was getting disapointed that he might be all talks and would weakened by all the words. But then it showed that he was only thinking and he actually took the action to severe the ties right away, i.e. destroying all the furnitures in the room. (It sounds violent but shows that he could stand up for himself, not being someone’s doormat.) I must give TVB credit for giving him the right image in here. It’s like he doesn’t seem to shine much, just the typical nice guy character but there’s this sense of mystery within him, making him more complex.
- Vivien Yeo as Suen Ka Bik. For the first time, I feel that Vivien isn’t robbed of a role. It’s about time too. Her character as Ka Bik is really strange at first if you do not understand her. But we, as the audience,’ are lead in to her story and what actually happened that led to her self-destructive mode and depression. Although her character is an obessed person, but I really like it that it acknowledge and associates it with her internal and external conflicts, tying in with the main theme. Vivien’s really cute in here (when she actually appears as her thin self again). Not that she wasn’t cute at the beginning but it was hard to tell through the prop. Her character is really bubbly and childish in a way but it’s really funny and surprisingly cute how innocent she is.
- Ben Wong as Chung Kwok Ban. I know he seems really, really mean at the beginning but I start to like his character in the later episodes. In a way, he just feels that newbies usually have this great enthusiasm but no talents so he worries for Mandy’s safety if she were to jump in and do it without thinking of the consequences (which was true that almost cost her life several times). However, he is still capable of seeing through that she does have what it takes to be a cop. He also is not an unreasonable person who doesn’t have a brain but only wants to be bossy about everything. He actually could think up of different solutions and connect the dots pretty well. He cares for others but just doesn’t know how to express it properly. Since I’m watching like this and Threshold and at the same time, I must say that I’m impressed with Ben’s portrayal for both roles. It contains humor and kindness for the other one versus the whole intense character in here with a mixed of brilliant elements. (Must give TVB credit also for giving the right image for both characters, seeing him as a simple cop in the other one yet in this one, it gives more confidence with the suit, plus the hairdo. He looks really handsome in here–if I have to admit it, lol.) Anyway, another interesting character and I think Ben has gone a long way since his very first series that made me cringed when I was watching it and never finished. Although it takes awhile to actually be impressed with his performances but I think he does work really hard and knows his weaknesses or takes it into note to improve and get to this point.
- The friendship between Ko Lap Yan (Alex Fong), Lien Chi Sum (Ram Tseung), and Lee Ying Chun (Raymond Wong). Although the other two are doctors and Ying Chun is a nurse, but the three men got along really good, sharing jokes and seeking advice from each other when in need. The fact that Ying Chun lives with Dr. Ko is funnier. They get into these weird fights about who should have the power to speak or decide at times but it shows how close they are to not be afraid to speak up about matters. Although they talk nonsense the majority of the time and only are serious some of the time but it does show the bond of their friendship and the ability to make one another forget their stress for the time being.
- The relationship between Dr. Ko (Alex Fong), Dr. Leung (Chung King Fai), and Mandy (Kate Tsui). I think it’s a bit funny how Dr. Leung knows them both–because one is his student and the other is his god-daughter, but they do not know it–at first.
- The interns. I especially like the relationship between the interns and the doctors in here, except for some doctor who’s taking advantage of the situation–that is. I also like how Nelson (Timmy Hung), Leo (Chan Chin Pang), and Brian (Ellesmere Choi) get along and discuss cases together, sharing experiences. I do not like Martha (Yoyo Chen) as much although I understand where she’s coming from. There are side stories with them too and the randomness between the interns and it gets funny at times but not too much as into the whole ‘corny’ zone. Their interactions show some bonding among the interns with how they’re all going through it together. Of course there are conflicts at times but it does not lose its elements with making it too dramatic either.
- The guests stars. The guest stars in each case makes it interesting and you get to see how each actor/ actress would portray their role in here as well as their characters contributing to the overall story.
- The ensemble. Yes, I got tired of listing every single character or actor/ actress so just put in this one since I really like it that they’re not making someone shine on purpose. But everyone is in it together to make everything work out well. You could feel the realness of it, just normal people trying to work and get on with their daily life. (There’s the whole deal with the excitement of the cases but it’s there for the purpose of the series’ theme.) I didn’t have the feeling of anyone hogging the camera on purpose, except for one person, which I will discuss in the next section. Other than that, this group works really well together. (Kudos to the production team for making everything possible.)
- Not too cheesy. I like it that there are actually some acknowledgement that it should not be too gift-wrapped. Yes, there are closure and some kind of ending for everyone but they did not put in pairings for every single character. Like how we were misled into believing that Ko Sau Yee (Elliot Yue) would end up with his old fiancee or at least have a great friendship throughout the story with her giving up gambling and all. However, things happen and what she passed onto her son caught up with her. It goes into the whole thing with wanting something to happen versus its actual outcome. There’s also the part where Ko Sau Yee lost one leg due to the accident (that was not so accidental) and the internal conflicts afterward. Everything’s not perfect but it worked out as long as they learned to accept and look on the bright side.
- Suet Nei as Ram’s mother. Seriously, I’m getting sick of seeing her in series. Can’t they find someone else? I mean I’m all right if she’s around sometimes but like most of the time? I guess I do not watch the right series to avoid her but her pattern is quite repetitive. Although she tries to shine through her portrayal but it gets super fake and annoying more than attract the appropriate attention. Lucky she’s only around for a while or if it focuses on her too much, I would’ve gone mad.
- Raymond Wong and Vivien Yeo as Lee Ying Chun and Suen Ka Bik. They have a really cute story together and I really like the development of it. It’s kind of different from other dramas that it actually shows that he doesn’t care for appearances and learn to love the real her, not just with words but his actual actions. It shows that because they made it that Ka Bik is really fat at the beginning and he’s still willing to help her overcome the worst and gain confidence again. (Other series, it’s all about talks about not minding but we never get to see the test. It sounds too much like nonsense sweet words used to reassure one party or the other. But this one just goes right into addressing it about minding it or not.)
- Alex Fong and Kate Tsui as Dr. Ko and Mandy. Their relationship is interesting in a sense because I would’ve never liked it when I first heard of the collaboration–considering TVB’s recent casting with older men with younger women, but I must give them credit for making it work this time around. Actually setting his age at the about right level make it more realistic since making him portray a younger character than his actual age would be too fake. They even addressed and stressed the age difference throughout the series so it’s not too fake or seemed like they’re trying to hide something. It could’ve been worse if they put in some corny lines like, “Age doesn’t matter as long as there are feelings.” I like it there’s the talk between Dr. Ko and Mandy about all the possible issues although he has feelings for her, which she takes it as a joke that he’s such a worry-wart at first but actually reassures him with the seriousness of the situation and how she understands, etc.
- Ram Tseung and Astrid Chan as Dr. Lien and Sau Wai. I like how their team of husband and wife work together. It’s funny how it seems that he’s really scared of her and would leave everything up to her. But they really support each other when trouble comes along. He has his silly moments and she would complement it with her reasoning. It’s just too funny with their interactions at times. She seems to be the naggy-slash-controlling wife but that’s just the harsh words she used sometimes to keep him in line about his craziness, like trying to buy a car just to show off to one of the rival doctors.
- Ellesmere Choi and Iris Wong as Brian and Daisy. They’re just too funny at times. They work in the same clinic yet there are only constant interaction related to their work. However, they get to know each other better through a religious group. It’s just funny to see how he sort of turned her down and she was sort of embarrassed but managed to dive out of it safely. I was a bit disappointed that nothing more happened but was happy to see that they ended up together after all. Perhaps he lacks confidence and doesn’t feel it’s the right time? Or he doesn’t know and he’s too busy in trying to pass the exams that he couldn’t focus on relationships? Still a cute couple.
Posted (on Xanga): August 7, 2009
Re-posted: Saturday, March 27th, 2010