The Return of Wong Fei Hung

After watching this, I had to re-analyze all Andy Lau dramas back then when he was still with TVB. I used to think that Felix Wong was the one who got the short end of the stick, but Andy wasn’t too far behind. I have watched the majority of Andy’s TV series so I think I could say something about that. Anyway, back to this series–before I get too side-tracked. It wasn’t like that terrible, comparing to some other supposedly Golden ’80s series I watched before. However, it was so disorganized that I didn’t know what to think of it, except to treat it as one of those series where you watch for the stars only, not caring much about the story. (It’s like people make fun of Taiwanese idol dramas for having pretty faces only but nothing else. That was what I felt about this and some other TV series back then. They just came up with a loose story so we could stare at beautiful people.) The overall story wasn’t that bad, but I was talking about the focus at times and then the wrap up. It wasn’t doing anyone justice.
First off, the English title was misleading to say the least. The Chinese title was more accurate–Po Chi Lam (寶芝林), because it was the story about all of Wong Fei Hung’s disciples, not just him. The story was all right with how Wong Fei Hung met his disciples and how they eventually became his disciples. It was in a sense, they did have good and bad times and it wasn’t too cheesy that they were so perfect or always doing good. They had their moments and when it mattered, they stuck up for one another. Yet I had a feeling throughout that the disciples would lead to Wong’s downfall. But that wasn’t so. His son (portrayed by Lee Kwok Lun) was the one who died, and what a tragedy too. Not to mention so frustrating.
What got me mad about the whole story was like they had a good story about Wong Fei Hung’s side and the other local sect competing, but didn’t develop it well. It was like they wanted everything in the mix but wrapped up poorly. Like how there were different story arches with Kent Tong’s character helping his master with overthrowing the current king but also wanted to focus on the triangle with him, Yammie and Andy’s characters. The triangle annoyed me to no end. The fact that Andy and Yammie weren’t paired off was frustrating to me on many levels. I understood why and the fact that Heir To The Throne Is… (真命天子) was after this made it funnier since I watched the other one ages back already.
I actually quite like Yammie’s character, Au Yeung Ching Ching. She was very independent, even for women back then who were not allowed much freedom or rights. She worked hard and helped her mother to maintain a living by doing what she could. She knew the reality of situation and did not complain about the hardships her family had endured. She was also very understanding–as far as can be–regarding Lam Sai Wing (Andy Lau) and what he had to do. She knew everyone have their jobs to do and they were all trying to make the best of their lives. Yes, she did throw some side tantrums and was jealous of the attention his sister was getting at one point, but was reminded of that. She soon redeemed herself, trying to be more understanding. She came from a rich family at first too, so I thought she was already adapting quite well with not being a spoiled, rich snob. So as much as I didn’t like that she accepted Kent Tong’s character (since I knew he was in cahoot with his master in a lot of stuffs and I hated his fake attitude and how he jumped in the middle of Ching Ching and Lam Sai Wing’s relationship), I didn’t blame her–unlike most of the men around Lam Sai Wing. (I understood that they were his friends and sided with him and was being supportive of him yet they totally let him off so easily with blaming everything on her and saying she was just following some rich dude or whatever. Again, just because that was how it was back then didn’t mean that I have to accept it.)
As I was saying that everyone was working hard to make their lives better, so they only have some time to spend together, that included her and Lam Sai Wing. So I was really annoyed for her that he ended up not paying attention to her when she was playing her music for him or try to talk to him. She couldn’t really learn martial arts or mingle with the guys–that wasn’t what she was taught or used to. So the only way she knew to share with him was her music, but he went outside to practice his martial arts instead? That was just one example that got me annoyed. I didn’t want either of them forcing each other into pretending about their interests or anything. But I thought he at least made the effort since she was very supportive of him when knowing he was going to spend more time with martial arts practice and their time spent together was less. The fact that he seemed clueless or oblivious to her interests or didn’t at least try to understand her attempt to help him relax with her music annoyed me even more. Again, he wasn’t showing the least of effort. Yeah, I got it that it was back then, guys just assumed once the girls liked them, they were hitched forever and she supposedly belonged to him (major eye-roll here) so he didn’t feel the need to exert energy to try anymore. I know he wasn’t a terrible human being, but the way he was going, I was really frustrated for her. I loved the times they spent together, going on adventures–at least mini ones, like the time at the beach or whatever. I know they couldn’t just be happy forever and need to live in reality too, but I was disappointed that his initial care was so short-lived. It was like he was sure she liked him,  so he was done impressing her. I didn’t need it to be a game. I just wanted him to try as much as she did.
Now regarding Andy’s Lam Sai Wing. What was off for me from the start and played against Andy for me was the fact that I watched Sammo Hung’s Lam Sai Wing first, lol. So it was super weird seeing Andy portraying the role. After temporarily putting it aside, I liked his character. But I realized it was just because he was Andy and I tolerated it. Sure, he was righteous and very caring toward his sister. He was also quite kind at heart–if he didn’t let his temper get to him. Yet those didn’t make up for his stupidity at times and also causing trouble for the others. Sure, it was Nap Lan (Kent Tong) who did most of the scheming with his master to take Lam Sai Wing and Wong Fei Hung down, but Lam Sai Wing didn’t help with half of his actions throughout. Just because I hated Nap Lan didn’t mean that I would let Lam Sai Wing off easily. It was like he was pitiful on purpose so the others could sympathize with him or something. I didn’t want to force him into liking Ah Fong (Marylinn Wong)–like how the others tried to get them together, but I didn’t like that it was so his fault she had to marry that one dude. Sure, it was her choice and he was very devastated and angry after learning of Wong Chun Yee’s death. But he made it worse, not allowing her the chance to escape–if there was some sort of hope. Then it was like the script-writers decided that he just escape and return to Guangzhou, not caring if Ah Fong was forced into the other marriage situation. Yeah, I got it that the other guy was soooo powerful and he probably couldn’t do anything anyway. But he tried a lot harder when he found out Wong Chun Yee was dead. Why wasn’t he trying for Ah Fong? Again, it gave me the impression that women in here were disposables so it didn’t matter. So they could just move on. And here, I know he had to take Wong Chun Yee’s body back home to his master, but it was so cold to not try to save Ah Fong. Even if he didn’t like her in that way or whatever, but his righteousness was shown at one point in trying to save her from being sold into the brothel. That was when they barely knew each other. So what changed? That was one of the reasons why I was frustrated with the plot. The transition at times just didn’t make sense.
What was kind of off and/or confusing for me was how Ching Ching was torn at times after she found out what her husband had done (which in no way was her fault) and sometimes seemed to accept it? I don’t know. The script-writers were trying too hard to drag the episodes out or something. Or they were trying to drag her character through the dirt too so the men would look better. I don’t know. I just had that feeling. I tried to be fair to all characters but they were disappointing and it was going downhill even more as the series progressed. Even Chu Siu Bo’s character, even more sheltered and naive than most of the female population in here, managed to wake up from her obsessed mode and realized she was con hence redeeming herself. Yet Ching Ching was left to become a wishy-washy character in the end? Sure, I got it that Ching Ching didn’t want to exposed her husband. I liked her stubborn personality with how she didn’t put up with Nap Lan’s tantrums at times and his jealousy. I liked it that she pushed back and didn’t just cry away. She worked really hard at making her marriage work too, considering how she mentioned that she wasn’t forced to marry him, she accepted him on her own. So she tried. But it was like she was once again disappointed. I got it that he became paranoid that she snuck out and helped Lam Sai Wing escape that one time so it worked against her. But the other times, she already put him on top of everything, what else did he want? It was like the men in here didn’t want to try. Sure, he tried to impress her by learning music and the instrument that she played, etc. But that was initially and after they were married, he did try to make her happy, etc. Aside from that, he just expected it to be that way and frustrated when things didn’t go his way. It was mostly a control thing for him hence me not being sold on this couple either.
I think among all the couples in here, Leung Foon (Stephen Tung) and Chan Ying (Lau Suk Yee) were the luckiest. I thought they wouldn’t work out because of what happened with her brother. The fact that he almost died made it nerve-wracking too. I also felt frustrated that they threw in the whole jealousy thing with Leung Foon not accepting the fact that Wong Fei Hung taught Lam Sai Wing the special techniques first. It was like they were throwing Stephen Tung under the bus and making his character so cliche like his other series. And the script-writers had to go and stick it at the end too. Yet he redeemed himself and almost died trying to protect Lam Sai Wing. He and Chan Ying were a bickering couple. They were funny to watch at times and possibly the comedy relief of the show. I thought she would have followed her brother yet it wasn’t so. Sure, she cared for her brother, but also knew how well the others treated her. I thought she was quite brave, not caring that she was going to die when she was captured. When Lam Sai Wing came to save them, she yelled for him to not worry for her and just focus on Nap Lan. I was surprised, but that was when she became my favorite character in the series. I was done with other wishy-washy characters in here–or the too good to be true types. Her character was more grounded here. Luckily, it wasn’t destroyed like some others. Although I was also mad at Leung Foon for blaming Ching Ching regarding Lam Sai Wing too, but I just had to let it go and let him and Chan Ying be my favorite couple.
What else? Was this the start of Liu Wai Hung and Chan On Ying’s pairing? Because he later starred in Being Rich (富貴超人) with her, along with Roger Kwok and Margie Tsang. Interestingly, both series had her liking him first and then later him accepting her. He initially liked Chan Ying, but that went nowhere. It was funny to see how the other Po Chi Lam people tried to sabotage their date that one time at the opera event.
Aside from that, how was the ending? Like I said before, it was a mess. I thought the ending should have been saved for the face off between Wong Fei Hung and Yeung Chak Lam’s character, Duen Bo Tin. Yet they had to rush the face off and then forced us to endure the triangle again and then finished on a lame note. I got it how and why things were that way. I knew it was impossible for Lam Sai Wing and Ching Ching to ever be together again. I knew those things. I just wish the script-writers knew and just moved on. Letting the face off between Wong Fei Hung and Duen Bo Tin be the last moment of the series made more sense, because it tied in with the situation of their country. It tied every character together on a larger scale.
So recommended? If you want to watch for beautiful people, go ahead. I wouldn’t recommend it for the plot.

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The Fire of Love Never Stop Burning by Andy Lau

(Uploaded by: macoto20jyyyun)

Song Title: The Fire of Love Never Stop Burning (愛火燒不盡)

Lyricist: Andy Lau (劉德華)

Composer: Xu Jia Liang (徐嘉良)

Key:
Bold = Chinese
Blue = Pin Yin
Royal Blue = English
Lavender = Vietnamese

多麼不願意
duo me bu yuan yi
No matter how unwilling
Dù muôn lần không nỡ
觸動你生命的門鈴
chu dong ni sheng ming de men ling
To stir up your life’s doorbell
Chạm vào chuông cửa đời em
多麼不相信
duo me bu xiang xin
No matter how unwilling to believe
Dù muôn lần không muốn tin
緣起緣滅天註定
yuan qi yuan mie tian zhu ding
That fate is up to Heaven
Rằng duyên khởi duyên diệt là do ý trời

上了鎖的心
shang le suo de xin
The locked up heart
Trái tim đã khép kín
逃不了宿命的精靈
tao bu le su ming de jing ling
Couldn’t escape from fate’s spirit
Không thể nào thoát khỏi được linh hồn của vận mệnh
閉上了眼晴
bi shang le yan qing
Closing my eyes
Nhắm mắt lại
感覺忽遠又忽近
gan jue hu yuan hu jin
I have feelings of so far yet so close
Có được cảm giác càng xa lại càng gần

在夢裡找不到你蹤影
zai meng li zhao bu dao ni zong ying
Within the dream, I can’t find your presence
Trong giấc mộng lại tìm không thấy được bóng dáng em
卻又夢到你傷心
que you meng dao ni shang xin
Yet also dreamed of you hurting
Nhưng lại mơ thấy em đang đau lòng
紅塵裡
hong chen li
Within the mortal world
Chốn hồng trần
有誰可以找回
you shui ke yi zhao hui
Who could find
Ai có thể tìm lại được
過去的曾經
guo qu de ceng jing
The past that have already passed?
Dĩ vãng xưa?

愛火為你燒啊燒不盡
ai huo wei ni shao a shao bu jin
The fire of love is burning endlessly because of you
Lửa tình vì em mà cháy mãi không ngừng
淚水為你一生
lei shui wei ni yi sheng
In this lifetime, because of you
Nước mắt vì em mà cả đời
流也流不停
liu ye liu bu ting
Tears couldn’t stop flowing
Cứ chảy mãi không dứt
浮沉世間看不清
fu chen shi jian kan bu qing
The ups and downs of this world couldn’t be seen clearly
Sự thăng trầm của thế gian làm sao mà thấy rõ được
情是何物
qing shi he wu
What is love?
Tình là thứ gì?
實在深澳難明
shi zai shen ao nan ming
It’s actually very deep and hard to understand
Nó thật ra rất thâm sâu và khó hiểu

愛火為你燒啊燒不盡
ai huo wei ni shao a shao bu jin
The fire of love is burning endlessly because of you
Lửa tình vì em mà cháy mãi không ngừng
淚水為你一生
lei shui wei ni yi sheng
In this lifetime, because of you
Nước mắt vì em mà cả đời
流也流不停
liu ye liu bu ting
Tears couldn’t stop flowing
Cứ chảy mãi không dứt
愛火苦苦的追尋
ai huo ku ku de zhui xun
Strenuously searching for the fire of love
Tích cực đi tìm kiếm lửa tình
己經狠狠燒傷我和你
ji jing hen hen shao shang wo he ni
Has ruthlessly burned you and me
Đã làm tổn thương anh và em

*All translations were done by DTLCT.

Forbes China – Top 100 Successful Celebrities 2017

(image credit: Zhao Li Ying’s Studio Weibo)

I usually don’t do this, but I just thought I do it since year since I saw the list the other day.  (Go here for the list in its originality.) And I know she’s not ranked first, but I just like the picture, lol. Anyway, here goes the translation for the list:

  1. Fan Bing Bing / Phạm Băng Băng

  2. Lu Han / Lộc Hàm

  3. Yang Mi / Dương Mịch

  4. Zanilia Zhao Li Ying / Triệu Lệ Dĩnh

  5. Yang Yang / Dương Dương

  6. Tamia Liu Tao / Lưu Đào

  7. Jackie Chan / Thành Long

  8. Angelababy / Yang Ying / Dương Dĩnh

  9. Jay Chou / Châu Kiệt Luân

  10. Wu Yi Fan / Ngô Dịch Phàm

  11. Li Yi Feng / Lý Dịch Phong

  12. Deng Chao / Đặng Siêu

  13. Betty Sun Li / Tôn Lệ

  14. Tiffany Tang Yan / Đường Yên

  15. Chen Kun / Trần Khôn

  16. Huang Xiao Ming / Huỳnh Hiểu Minh

  17. TFBOYS

  18. Hu Ge / Hồ Ca

  19. Cecilia Liu Shi Shi / Lưu Thi Thi

  20. Lay Zhang Yi Xing / Trương Nghệ Hưng

  21. William Chan / Trần Vỹ Đình

  22. Wallace Huo / Hoắc Kiến Hoa

  23. Crystal Liu Yi Fei / Lưu Diệc Phi

  24. Jing Bo Ran / Tỉnh Bách Nhiên

  25. Huang Zi Tao / Hoàng Tử Thao

  26. Wu Xiu Bo / Ngô Tú Ba

  27. Andy Lau / Lưu Đức Hoa

  28. Vicki Zhao / Triệu Vy

  29. Li Bing Bing / Lý Băng Băng

  30. Huang Bo / Huỳnh Bột

  31. Wallace Chung / Chung Hán Lương

  32. Lin Chi Ling / Lâm Chí Linh

  33. Jia Nai Liang / Giả Nại Lương

  34. Chris Lee / Li Yu Chun / Lý Vũ Xuân

  35. Sally Jing Tian / Cảnh Điềm

  36. Mark Chao / Triệu Hựu Đình

  37. Di Li Re Ba / Địch Lệ Nhiệt Ba

  38. Tong Li Ya / Đồng Lệ Á

  39. Zheng Shuang / Trịnh Sảng

  40. Cheney Chen Xue Dong / Trần Học Đông

  41. He Jiong / Hà Cảnh

  42. Wang Kai / Vương Khải

  43. Kenny Lin Geng Xin / Lâm Canh Tân

  44. Xue Zhi Qian / Tuyết Chi Khiêm

  45. Faye Wong / Vương Phi

  46. Eddie Peng / Bành Vu Yến

  47. Lu Yi / Lục Nghị

  48. Shu Qi / Thư Kỳ

  49. Nicky Wu / Ngô Kỳ Long

  50. Jin Dong / Cận Đông

  51. @@@

  52. Liu Wen / Lưu Văn

  53. Guo De Gang / Quách Đức Cương

  54. Michael Chen He / Trần Hách

  55. Li Chen / Lý Thần

  56. Jiang Xin / Tưởng Hân

  57. Jacky Cheung / Trương Học Hữu

  58. Eason Chan / Trần Dịch Tấn

  59. Donnie Yen / Chân Tử Đan

  60. Zhou Xun / Châu Tấn

  61. Louis Koo / Cổ Thiên Lạc

  62. Huang Lei / Hoàng Lỗi

  63. Wu Lei / Ngô Lỗi

  64. Sun Hong Lei / Tôn Hồng Lôi

  65. Show Luo / La Chí Tường

  66. Tony Leung Chiu Wai / Lương Triều Vỹ

  67. Ryan Zheng / Trịnh Khải

  68. Ruby Lin / Lâm Tâm Như

  69. Sun Yang / Tôn Dương

  70. Zhang Yi Shan / Trương Nhứt Sơn

  71. Zhou Dong Yu / Châu Đông Vũ

  72. Ni Ni / Nghệ Ni

  73. Yang Zi / Dương Tử

  74. Victoria Song / Tống Tây

  75. Xie Na / Tạ Na

  76. Hawick Lau / Lưu Khải Uy

  77. Mayday

  78. Huang Xuan / Huỳnh Hiên

  79. Sandra Ma / Mã Tư Thuần

  80. Guan Xiao Tong / Quan Hiểu Đồng

  81. Chen Dao Ming / Trần Đạo Minh

  82. Carina Lau / Lưu Gia Linh

  83. Jolin Tsai / Thái Y Lâm

  84. Nicholas Tse / Tạ Đình Phong

  85. Aaron Kwok / Quách Phú Thành

  86. Gao Yuan Yuan / Cao Viên Viên

  87. Olivia Wang Zi Wen / Vương Tử Văn

  88. Kevin Tsai / Thái Khang Vĩnh

  89. Liu Hao Ran / Lưu Hạo Nhiên

  90. Han Han / Hàn Hàn

  91. Feng Xiao Gang / Phùng Tiểu Cương

  92. Xu Zheng / Từ Tranh

  93. Zhang Jia Yi / Trương Gia Trạch

  94. Zhang Ruo Yun / Trương Nhược Quân

  95. Ray Ma Tian Yu / Mã Thiên Vũ

  96. Jason Zhang Jie / Trương Kiệt

  97. Zhang Hui Mei / Trương Huệ Muội

  98. Zhang Yimou / Trương Nghệ Mưu

  99. William Feng Shao Feng / Phùng Thiệu Phong

  100. Lin Qin / Lý Thấm

Sai Lam Van La Anh by Nhat Hao

Vietnamese Title: Sai Lầm Vẫn Là Anh (Sai Lam Van La Anh)

English Translation: I Was The One Who Was Wrong/ The One At Fault Is Me/ The Fault Was All Mine

Music: From Andy Lau’s The Fault Was All Mine (錯的都是我)

Viet Lyrics by: Chu Minh Ký (Chu Minh Ky)

Anh biết khi tình đến trong vội vàng
I know that when love arrives in a haste
Tình mong manh dễ mau vội tan
Its fragility is easily dissolved
Nhưng lỡ yêu người với duyên muộn màng
But having already loved even with fate’s deterrence
Tình yêu anh xin không dối gian
I promise that there will be no deception involved

Ngày tháng êm đềm trôi ân tình đó tuyệt vời
Time peacefully passes with love blossoming beautifully
Đã bao mùa thu lá rơi
Several autumns have passed with leaves shedding
Chợt cơn giông tố vô tình trong một đêm vắng
Suddenly a heartless storm appears one silent night
Tan giấc mộng vừa dệt trong tim
Ruining a dream that has just been weaved in the heart

Anh biết khi tình đến trong muộn màng
I know that when love comes too late
Tình mong manh dễ mau vội tan
Its fragility will be easily dissolved
Nhưng đã yêu người với duyên bẽ bàng
But having already love even with fate’s hindrance
Tình yêu anh xin không dối gian
I promise that there will be no deception involved

Ngày tháng êm đềm trôi ân tình đã nhạt nhòa
Time peacefully passes with that love slowly fading away
Hỡi em người yêu dấu ơi
Oh my darling
Rồi em xa mãi trong lòng anh càng thương nhớ
And then you leave forever, causing the longing to intensify in my heart
Ngày tháng đẹp tuyệt vời không quên
Those wonderful, unforgettable times

Còn đêm nay lần cuối
With tonight being the last time
Cạn giột rượu nồng chút ấm áp bờ môi
Empty that last drop of wine, allowing it to warm the lips
Tàn một cuộc tình mai em đi cánh chim trời
Ending a (love) relationship, you’re leaving tomorrow just like the birds flapping its wings
Nếu có tiếc nuối cũng đến thế người ơi
Even if there is regret, it still couldn’t be changed

Tình yêu anh lầm lỡ
My love was a mistake
Cuộc đời còn lại những trống vắng mà thôi
Life now only consists of emptiness
Cuộc tình buồn hay anh đã mất em rồi?
Is it because of the sad relationship or because I already lost you?
Bao nhiêu thương đau sao chưa nghe đắng môi sầu?
With all the pain, how come the bitterness hasn’t reached those sorrowful lips yet?

*All English translations were done by DTLCT.

The Maverick

This was one of the rare ancient series that Chow Yun Fat participated in ages ago. It started out quite promising with the mystery and suspense building episode by episode and the major characters appearing one by one. But then it deteriorated because of some inconsistency. However, I think after watching some other series that I will not mention right now, I think this had somewhat gone up on my list. Moving along, lol.

Main Cast:

  • Lau Kong (劉江) as Shui She Wo (舍我). The reason why I placed him first was because how he appeared first. He was the storyteller and ended up being their leader for the majority of the story–with his vast knowledge and all. So I thought it was suitable. Not to mention he also closed the story with his narration. He was the level-headed one throughout and tried to guide them along as much as possible. Well, he was seen upset at one point or another, but it didn’t lead him into doing some stupid stuffs like some characters in here. He was just blaming himself for not seeing things faster or stopping some events from unfolding, but that was like impossible to stop or predict. He wasn’t only their leader, but also the glue to their group since he kept them focused and reminded them what the purpose was, etc. He was the voice of reasoning for most of them.
  • Chow Yun Fat (周潤發) as Liu Chi (柳迟). A mysterious wanderer whom had a mission of helping the weak and solving various conflicts in the name of righteousness. The story didn’t start with him, obviously, but he became one of the major characters throughout. In fact, he was the key to the puzzle all along–whether it was because of some superstition that had paved the path of the story. CYF showed his acting abilities throughout, no doubt about it. His character was a mixture of humorous moments (mostly at the beginning) and intensity. He had his intelligent moments as well as rash moves. With all that said, I didn’t think his character was boring at all. Far from it. It wasn’t like one-dimensional hero kind of thing that other dramas often depicted. He wasn’t the type of hero that was hogging the screen from episode 1 to episode 20 either. He was indeed absent from the main conflict at various points of the story, which made his character less “showy” and in a way more realistic.
  • Susanna Au Yeung ( 歐陽珮珊) as Tang Lei (唐蕾). A strong, hot-headed character then later turned into a very understanding, level-headed person. I think this was probably one of my favorite characters of hers–outside of the Condor trilogy realm, that was. She appeared mysterious and intelligent during the initial scenes because of her background and how she was on her way to investigate matters to clear her family’s name. Yet later it somehow showed she was more rash than the character appeared to be. That was all right since it showed her own personality unfolding and how she was different when not carrying out assignments for her father. What made her character real for me was how she was really jealous at first and was persistent to cut herself off from Liu Chi–not all talks; then later when she realized what was going on and all the misunderstandings were resolved, she owed it up to her past behaviors and apologized to Die Yi (although I didn’t think Die Yi was that innocent in the whole matter–or even Liu Chi was that innocent).
  • Oscar Lam (林偉健) as Hu Bu Xiao  (胡不肖). An inexperienced wanderer who was really ambitious with proving himself and becoming the best of the jianghu realm yet later learned to curve back his impulsive nature. He was probably the comedy relief in here–along with Zi Jun later on. Yet what was so unexpected was his death near the end. It was like totally uncalled for and only wanted to create some hype and/or frustration toward the main villain in the end. I mean, I already hated that other dude, no need to pile it on. What was ironic about Hu Bu Xiao’s death was how I didn’t really like him in the beginning. I meant, I thought he was funny but I didn’t like how he was so rash in interfering with other sects/clans conflicts at the beginning when he didn’t understand the rules. But his character slowly grew on me, especially how he’d become an odd team with Shui She Wo along the way.
  • Shirley Yim (雪梨) as Ou Yang Zi Jun (歐陽紫君). Liu Chi’s half-sister. I liked her the moment she appeared. She was brilliant and charming with her acting and her character helped heaps with a mixture of maturity and immaturity at times. Although I must admit the hype sort of died down when it went on and on with the family conflict and how I realized this was going to be a battle within the resident, with her being edged out because she was the only girl. However, she managed to shine past all her siblings, because her father finally realized she was the only capable one among all her siblings (minus Liu Chi since they didn’t know about his existence or relation to them until way later).
  • Kwan Chung (關聰) as Ou Yang Meng Fei (歐陽夢飛). He appeared to be weak (according to most people) at first, then progressed to posses a lust for power, wanting to conquer everything regardless of techniques. One could explain that he was driven to insanity by others around him. His master didn’t help either. Yet some of the flow of his character didn’t make sense. It was like they were convinced to make him the bad guy already so the other main characters could go ahead with their plan to take him down. Or perhaps, it was Kwan Chung’s lack of acting, I swear, lol. ‘Cause I do feel for his character at times, but the lack of emotions made it hard to relate. Or maybe the script-writers/directors/whole team wanted to rush the plot along, not working on some minor details that could impact the whole picture.
  • Patricia Chong (莊靜而) as Die Yi (蝶衣). I seriously thought that this would be her second role that I would like of her, but I was majorly disappointed after her initial appearance. She showed a promising start when she appeared to be knowledgeable of various subjects and her endurance and patience of others. Her analysis of Ou Yang Meng Fei was also spot on when he tagged her at the beginning. But I lost all respect for her when she tried to tag Liu Chi knowing that he was married. (NOT blaming just her since I thought Liu Chi was over the line as well, even if he had said it was nothing.) I didn’t care if she tried to cover it up by being extra helpful to others.

Others:

  • Samuel Kwok Fung (郭鋒) as Tang Kai (唐開). Tang Lei’s older brother. It was funny to see Samuel and Susanna together as siblings like this, knowing their real life relations. But I thought they weren’t a bad team. As far as the story went, I thought that Tang Kai was far nicer than what others depicted of him. Of course, that also had to do with all the fake stuffs Shan Zhong Lao Ren tried to pin on him by sending out different people to impersonate him. He was a really good brother to Tang Lei and really cared for his family. Such a tragic ending, but was glad others solved the mystery of his death.
  • Chu Tit Wo (朱鐵和) as aka  Guo Da Yu (郭大愚) aka Shan Zhong Lao Ren (山中老人). Very cunning from the start. However, his supposed “intelligent” had pushed him too far hence not seeing what was coming. Then I wonder if his name was on purpose, lol. He was the one who tried to drive Ou Yang Meng Fei insane and pushed him to the other side. Even if it was Meng Fei’s choice, but I thought he didn’t help at all with the constant pestering. He miscalculated because he thought he had everything under his thumb, thinking he could control Meng Fei yet it was too late. He lost the battle.
  • Andy Lau (劉德華) as Xiao Sha (小煞). He appeared in episode 14 and then a little more in episode 15. He was obsessed with wine and somehow got drawn into the mysterious place. He wasn’t mentioned again as the story moved on. But I had a feeling he had been used for other causes in that weird place. He was very easy to spot and Andy’s early acting roles showed great potential. I was almost reluctant to see that he was only appearing a bit, lol.

Relationships / Pairings / Friendships / Whatever else:

  • Chow Yun Fat and Susanna Au Yeung. I think it was a odd pairing at first yet they grew on me. To think of it, they weren’t the worst pairing of one another, because they had worse. I thought their acting made their chemistry work since they were quite compatible as characters. Although they were hot-headed and unreasonable at times, but they were indeed a match made in Heaven. I was glad they didn’t break apart regardless of what happened. Sometimes, I question if he really loved her and missed her or was just feeling sorry for her, considering he did cause her to lose her family at the beginning (by leaving them) and later how tragedies fell upon her whole family. Yet CYF’s acting had convinced me that he did indeed love her and miss her, and later appreciated her for who she was. In a way, they matured–for the better, because they truly understood what was more important–and not because they forced themselves to change to get along with one another. So all the times they were apart wasn’t for nothing.
  • Chow Yun Fat and Patricia Chong. I will have to admit hat he matched more with her appearance-wise hence it made me feel that he didn’t really love Tang Lei but felt sorry for Tang Lei. But later, I realized it was different. Sure, he probably liked Die Yi at one point and got along with her well. Yet Tang Lei’s absence from his life probably made him realized where his heart truly lied.
  • Kwan Chung and Patricia Chong. I don’t know what to say about them since they were probably a match on the surface yet were so different on other levels. I think what irked me was how it seemed like she was settling for him since she realized it was hopeless it was Liu Chi. Forgive me for receiving the wrong message, but her actions made me doubt her in many ways. Regardless of how he turned out later, I didn’t think it made her anymore likable by turning him into a complete asshole. I think I’m better off blaming the script-writer because the characters were so inconsistent. Or perhaps, it was because he really wanted to win her over, it was more of a challenge for him than loving her. Since it was like suddenly he wasn’t so into caring what she thought of him anymore, but just did whatever he wanted. It was explained many times that he changed, etc. But I think it was hard to convince. Again, inconsistency.
  • Oscar Lam and Shirley Yim. They were obviously the fun, bickering couple of the group. I loved them since their first meeting. They helped me get through all the boring scenes of Die Yi and Meng Fei. Also the frustrating parts as well. I thought they were the most convincing couple in here, because of how their story was. It was sort of typical that he wanted to prove to her and the others that he could be the best, etc. That was also his downfall throughout the story. When he finally was fighting for something worth it, he ended up losing his life. It was indeed quite tragic for them. The reason why I was so mad by the end. It was so sad for her, having to face the world alone after all they’d been through.
  • Lau Kong and Oscar Lam as master and student. Perhaps, it was a jinx that Shui She Wo finally accepted Hu Bu Xiao as a disciple near the end? Well, Shui She Wo did say that he would never accept anyone as his disciple. Like I said in the other section, I found their relation funny and enjoyable along the way. I thought it was odd that Hu Bu Xiao was suddenly listening to Shui She Wo, but it made sense that he wanted to survive and learned from the best. Their scenes were comic relief for the series (along with Bu Xiao and Zi Jun’s scenes).
  • Lau Kong and Chow Yun Fat as friends. Well, the former was more experienced in the jianghu realm and the latter relied on him for information–like the majority people in there would. However, I think their relationship was of equal, more like friends than an elder trying to pass on some knowledge to the younger generation–like how it was with Hu Bu Xiao. I felt like they were best friends or tea buddies, lol. They trusted one another throughout, not second guessing the other. Even if the other wasn’t around at the moment, but they stuck up for one another throughout.

Discussions / Questions / Others:

  • Did Liu Chi really loved Tang Lei or was that just out of gratitude for all she’d done for him? Was the the person he loved actually Die Yi? These two questions had been circulating in my head throughout the series. And I did mention this several times in the other sections already. I just wanted to put it here again to bring some attention on its own. Anyway, I couldn’t shake it off, considering how he was so interested in Die Yi at the beginning, like even neglecting Tang Lei to go talk to Die Yi. They indeed clicked and seemed to have an understanding. It seemed like he was really feeling responsible for Tang Lei and how he’d caused her to lose her family so I felt it wasn’t as strong. However, I think I believed him when he realized how he couldn’t live without Tang Lei after she left that one time–what was with their misunderstanding regarding her brother and all. Or perhaps CYF’s acting was so convincing with his longing for Tang Lei. He really tried to stay away from Die Yi from then on or didn’t seem as interested in her anymore. Perhaps he felt bad for leading her on so he actually was gentle toward her that one time when she was chasing after him to get him to talk to her when he was hiding from them all (after he chopped his own hand off).
  • Was the plot getting lame or what? I thought it was. It was like near the end, the writers didn’t want to try anymore. I meant like how it was super lame that Liu Chi killed his father just like that. Okay, so he saw the masked man revealing himself as Old Master Ou Yang and it was his right to get mad–if he was really deceived. Then he rushed back to confront the old man. Usually, I would laugh at people for talking too long with confrontation scenes since it would lead to the other party escaping. But this time, I think they cut it TOO SHORT. It was like, “How dared you deceive me!” and then chop chop. I got it that his anger was getting the better of him, but considering how he was really intelligent in the past, I would expect him to ask first and then kill. Regardless, the old man couldn’t get away anyway. Not like that guy was that innocent anyway, BUT that didn’t justify the really lame, short scene. If it was excuses, hear him out first. What else? I wasn’t surprised that Die Yi died since Ou Yang Meng Fei was getting more and more temperamental, but it was REALLY short too. Again, usually I roll my eyes at really long lovey-dovey goodbye/death scenes. But this time, it was really, really short too. Like she didn’t struggle, he didn’t struggle either, just “wham” kill her and get it over with. Even if he killed her in the heat of the moment, it would make sense to at least show some sort of like, “Omg, did I just kill the girl I love?” Or like, an emotional/over-dramatic, “Why did you make me kill you?” But NOPE. I didn’t feel anything. I think I felt more when Liu Chi had the funeral for Die Yi, even though I didn’t cheer for them. Which comes back to me pondering was it just Kwan Chung’s terrible acting or was it the script? But once again, another scene involving him proved my point. (OR so I like to think, lol.) That was the part when Hu Bu Xiao died. Again, NO major reaction, just the whole, “You want to die? I’ll kill you.” Then he beat him to death right in the cell. Um, he was waiting for Liu Chi to come. Sure, he didn’t need to keep his promise. But what kind of villain wouldn’t keep a bargaining chip around so he could make the main dude reconsider about going against him? Sure, one could argue he has no emotions so no emotions are needed along with his reactions, BUT I felt everything he did was in monotone.

So recommended? I will say it could be worse (after seeing a certain series), but I think you have to be a fan of the people mentioned here to watch it. It is one of CYF’s rare ancient series. The beginning was sort of worth it with the mystery and all. By my rant, of course, by the end it had deteriorated. But up to you really.