Dickson Lee, Hong Kong Entertainment, Law Lok Lam, Ruco Chan, Vivien Yeo, Yoyo Mung

Ruse of Engagement

I must say that this was one of the most anticipated dramas for me since it was delayed for a while. I can’t wait to see a collaboration between Ruco and Ron. However, it was a disappointment to say that least. Sure, it started out nicely and built the suspense bit by bit. But it began to crumble just as fast as it gained my confidence that the series would do well. Mostly because of certain characters. It picked up in the suspense department later on but fell short of being an epic drama because of how much frustration was going on throughout the series. Sure, frustration was one of the key elements contributing to the suspense but they didn’t have to depend on it to drag out the episodes. Why did they drag us through all that to end with such a tragic ending? Not like I couldn’t accept that since it was all possible with how things turned out. Yet some things didn’t make sense. Where to start?

Main Cast:

  • Ruco Chan as Carson Chong Yau Ching. Very arrogant and hot-headed at first. However, he wasn’t all bad. He was mischievous and not as obedient as some people. But he was indeed quite smart and resourceful. He was also capable of enduring all types of pain to take the most dangerous missions. I felt this role was quite good for Ruco. Yet the side things made it kind of frustrating, mostly in the romance area. But his acting was awesome in here, compensating for past senseless roles that he had to endure to finally take lead roles.
  • Yoyo Mung as Yip Ting. One of my favorite Yoyo roles up to date. In many ways, she was unpredictable so I felt hope for the series. Yes, she was a reporter but she wasn’t too annoying. There were many layers to her character and not so one-dimensional like other reporters in the past. She was stubborn but was also quite intelligent. There were times she needed rescuing but there were other times that she was able to fend for herself. She wouldn’t go down without a fight.
  • Ron Ng as Alfred Chong Yau Kit. Disappointed. I was looking forward to this role of Ron and didn’t care to read spoilers. Yet I felt they (the script-writers) didn’t need to throw Ron under the bus for this. Sure, I got that not everyone could be a hero and they were trying to make it different for this one. But I think there were too many plots with brothers competing (both for capabilities and girls) so for once I wish they would lay off this. Also, NOT cool that he was moving in on Jessica briefly after his brother’s death AND the most despicable of all using his brother’s tactics to win over Jessica. Things didn’t turn out as he wished later but Carson sure was right in accusing him of wanting to get rid of Carson because of Jessica. (Although that was all misunderstandings BUT I felt since Alfred idolized his brother, the least he could do was believe his brother AND to remember what happened the last time and consider it was all undercover or some other reason.)
  • Aimee Chan as Jessica Chung Yat Ka. At first, I thought her character was cool. But she lost ground for me when Carson supposedly died. She was at a vulnerable moment of her life, but I felt it was just too easy to move on with Alfred shortly after Carson’s death. So when she was jealous of Carson and Yip Ting when Carson was just helping Yip Ting that one time and taking care of Yip Ting, I didn’t care. Jealousy didn’t have to make sense, BUT I felt like hey, who was she to act like such? Then I think that some things didn’t make sense in the end. I felt that it was too fast trying to make Jessica crazy and trying to end it on a tragic note since she suddenly wanted to do the same as her father with selling the stuffs to foreign countries or other shady parties? Um, yeah, I got it that through various points, it seemed that Jessica was really fake. But we, the audience, only got it as we see, they (the script-writers) need to work on the plot better to let them (the characters) see that she was the cunning type, not suddenly going crazy and taking the easy way out after declaring that Carson had betrayed her. Well, he did BUT it was like everything was rushed and all jumbled in the last episode. OR something. Other than that, I felt that Aimee did a very good job for the role.

Supporting:

  • Eddie Kwan as Steven Shum Chi Ngo. Their boss but was suspected throughout as the bad guy.
  • Lai Lok Yi as Fu Wang-leung. He was said to be the mole later on YET was only used to further others’ agenda.
  • Dickson Lee as Paul Sir. One of the bosses. Tough.
  • Kenny Wong as Ko Wai. One of the bosses. I’m so sick and tired of seeing him everywhere and playing important roles. That was it.
  • Louise Lee as Tong Shuk Fun. Carson and Alfred’s mother.
  • Law Lok Lam as Kiu Kim Hang. Yip Ting’s adopted father.
  • Lee Kwok Lun as Chung Lai Him. Jessica’s father.
  • Vivien Yeo as Yeung Lok Man. Seduced and used Kiu Kim Hang at one point to further her agenda. Although Vivien’s acting was fantastic but I felt it was a waste of time for her. It was just another bad girl role. So at least it wasn’t senseless, but still not worth mentioning since they kept sinking her.
  • Leanne Li as Betty / Beauty Yeung Yan Mei. One of the AFT members.
  • Fred Cheng as Eric Lee Kam. Another waste of time. I don’t know. He was just there.

The ending? Seriously? Okay, I didn’t have a hard time believing that Carson truly loved Jessica. I just have a hard time believing that Carson was that irresponsible to leave his mother behind for Alfred to take care. He had always been very filial to his mother–regardless of situations. So why did he do it? Well, he was devastated after how things turned out and how Jessica had accused him of betraying their love. Human behaviors are indeed unpredictable, but seriously? I got why Carson didn’t accept Yip Ting and actually felt it fitted his stubborn nature and how loyal he was to Jessica despite Jessica’s accusations. Yes, he did betray her trust by using her to extract some information yet he was trying to patch things up and somehow let her off easily. She was the one who went right to his brother after his supposed death the first time around, hello, in case anyone wanted to point fingers. I also felt the ending tried too much to make the whole Carson and Jessica thing worked that they had unknowingly throw Yip Ting under the bus. I didn’t think it was in Yip Ting’s nature to force Carson to accept her that fast right after Jessica’s death. So her offer proved that Carson wasn’t easily wavered, showing how loyal he was to Jessica. However, it didn’t fit with Yip Ting’s personality. Sure, she was upset when it seemed like he was sacrificing her for whatever was going on previously. But she wasn’t the type to just jump right in like that after all the chaos.

So recommended? Unless you want to choke to death with the ending, don’t. If you want to watch Ruco and Aimee as a pairing, I heard Outbound Love (單戀雙城) is a much better choice. (I haven’t watched it yet but will leave up to the fans for that one.) On the other hand, I felt robbed because I actually quite liked the collaboration between Ruco and Ron, however it was ruined when they decided to let the brothers fight over the same girl. Then there was the thing with crafting Yip Ting’s character so nicely to be tossed aside totally in the end. I understood why some of the stuffs happened and Carson was too  in love with Jessica to care about the other girl, but I felt it was such a shame that there was nothing going on between them except for the conspiracy they were in at one point. I totally would watch if one day Ruco and Yoyo collaborate again. Perhaps a better script, not just a compensation for it like some other past pairings (and failed). Maybe it was better not to try too hard to make the main leads end up together or something. Yet I felt the whole throwing Yip Ting under the bus was already a stretch. Because I quite liked it that Yip Ting continued to strive forward at the end on her own. Just that the last bit to wrap up in favor of Carson and Jessica’s story made it kind of low.

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