ATV’s Who Is The Killer

I haven’t watched anything that inspired me to blog about it in awhile. At least not the HK related ones. Yet this one just made me jump to blog without caring if it was good or not. I meant I started writing since I started the series and continued watching on throughout. Hey, ATV addict alert, so yeah…always so good to see the old gang portraying different roles. Not to mention it was a cop one so I was glued from the start.

Main Cast/ Characters:

  • Stephen Au as Bat Ga Yung (畢家勇) aka Bat Sir (畢Sir). It had been a while since watching a Stephen role that was worth mentioning. Glad that I stumbled upon it. Anyway, he was clever and witty. But that didn’t mean he was so into the cases that he forgot to live his life (like as often portrayed with those main guy cop roles). We got to learn more about him throughout and between the cases. For instance, he was such a good chef that he would use his delicacies to bribe his team to work harder, lol. Then it was later revealed that he used to be a chef at some restaurant hence his good culinary skills and laid-back nature. He also had a spunky sister (who was kind of on the nut side, lol).
  • Joey Meng as Bonnie. A cop role and not to mention a stubborn, kind of smart-aleck one. YES, fitted all of her usual roles at times, mostly the stubborn and smart-aleck combination. Yet it was different because she was not a pro like some of the other ones yet still ran her mouth at times. It didn’t mean she was not good at anything though since her advantage of being transferred from the Missing Persons Department helped them and got Bat Sir quite impressed with her during the first meeting (after the initial fallout since she was late to the crime scene). Her comments at times and her analysis helped drive the case forward also. ‘Cause her perspective was different from them so it helped with some missing details or how they would think too complicatedly about certain matters. Her connections definitely helped also. Though she was from a rich family, but she was not spoiled at all, kind of sarcastic at times, but not rude or plain disrespectful to anyone on the team. Then there was her huge appetite that made it so hilarious. We also learned that she was allergic to flowers when her lawyer boyfriend sent her some flowers and she sneezed on sight and even tossed it into the trash afterward.
  • Yung Kam Cheung. Finally a role worth watching after years. I meant I remembered him portraying bigger roles for ATV than the usual for TVB. BUT like that was news so let’s not even go there, right? A very sharp character, always knowing his way around and proved to be a great senior for Bonnie and others. Though it seemed like there was not much background information on him but his history came forward with the third case regarding how he became a cop because of his brother.
  • Yeung Chak Lam as Uncle Kong. One of my favorite veteran actors and funny that I don’t remember seeing him in modern series as much as ancient. Really enjoyed his performance as the veteran cop in here, knowing his way around yet trying to adapt to the changing technology around him. And this was proving to people that he honestly didn’t need an exaggerated script or like super ‘breakthrough’ role to make his character shine without trying too hard. He had his own part in the team and how his character was so brilliant yet sarcastic made it so hilarious. It was interesting to watch him portray a comedic character–at least off-work. Then professionally, he was just so brilliant and cunning. People nowadays were so dept on wanting an important role and the right script, but he proved that he didn’t need those ‘overhype’ roles to make his character interesting. It was all about good acting, NOT those caviars.
  • Gilbert Lam as Robert. Cute. LOL! Though projecting a nerd look but he still managed to make his character so charming and brilliant at the same time. He didn’t appear much but I loved the little that he did since it managed to bring forth some hilarious and/or witty exchange between him and the rest of the team. Though he was not really considered to be a main character, since he was part of the team, I just wanted to include him.

The Team:

  • The bond between the four main characters. I loved it that they could get so random that it turned into being ridiculous yet also maintained its charm between the cases. Their conversations filled up the character background and some developments throughout.
  • Uncle Kong and Bonnie. It was funny how he often used his ‘veteran’ status to ‘teach’ her. LOL! It was really funny and not overly done. Like she was willing to admit that he was right though they didn’t say as much (or it would be overkilled). Or he would be willing to admit that she had some talent. But then there were signs that he was willing to help her with all his sincerity at times, like opening that one drawer for her. Or how she was giving him compliments.

Pairings:

  • Stephen Au and Joey Meng as Bat Sir and Bonnie. It was funny that she was joking about following him for the rest of his life upon tasting his delicacies. And that was messed up that his sister teamed up with the others to play a trick on him regarding how she said she confirmed that Bonnie liked Bat Sir. LOL! I had a hard time believing that she didn’t like him though since she seemed really suspicious. Plus how she reacted upon knowing about his sister, she got all friendly instead of somewhat of an awkward situation and somewhat wanting to distance herself from the so-called ‘girlfriend’. If there were more episodes, they might have gotten together? Still funny.
  • Gilbert Lam and Joey Meng as Robert and Bonnie. I found it interestingly cute that he was introducing himself to Bonnie before proceeding to tell them of what he found out through the search on the computer (while they were discussing some details of the case). Then there was also the part where he was roused up in the middle of the night by the others to search some information for them, so he was getting kind of touchy (but just slightly) because they kept rushing him. But when Bonnie made a request for him to zoom into the photo, he said, “Anything for you” with a smile. That was cute all right. (This reminded me of Crossborder Daddy though this series was before that. Need to hunt down past series where they were actually a pair–and for a longer time than that of what happened in Crossborder Daddy. Were there any?)

Cases:

  • Case #1: A warm-up, right? Seemed too easy. Catfight, kidnapping, accident, murder, and cover-up. But it had some character development with the main cast and how each used his/her talent to work the cases. Sometimes it didn’t take technology to solve it, but brainwork. Average regarding complexity but showed that they didn’t need to rely so heavily on technology to solve the case.
  • Case #2: I think it was supposed to be Case #1 since they were focusing on this one serial killer but got side-tracked ’cause of the copy-cat schemes from the other one. Sad, very sad ending really.
  • Case #3: It really emphasized the point of the bonds between the sworn brothers yet too bad someone had to use their trust for his own benefit. Quite meaningful and touching on some levels.
  • Case #4: Tragic to death.
  • Case #5: Great one since it was very confusing and complex with how everyone was moving the body around. A lot of brainwork involved.

Careless Bits (YES, they had these. Though I’m an ATV fan but I’m not delusional, I know when they’re not perfect.):

  • GLOVES. Hello, people. They were going to get their fingerprints on there too if they handled the evidence found at the scenes like that. Though during the first case, it was shown how they were carefully using a pen to lift the hair out of the bathtub but might want to wear gloves to make sure it was not contaminated. (Weren’t they prepared for anything when they were doing a house search?) Then during the second case, I noticed how Bonnie was being scolded for not wearing gloves. It made sense since they had to be careful. Yet what was odd was they only wear gloves or seemed to be wearing gloves when they were investigating the crime scene like the first time during discovery. Then other times, it was like they didn’t need to or didn’t care to. Not sure. But should’ve been more careful than that.

KEEP IN MIND:

  • Time frame so NOT as advanced technology. So you might want to check it out for the cast (or some of the cast) BUT don’t be stumped by the outdated technological tools/devices/gadgets. PLEASE keep in mind it was 1996. What did you expect?

Even though it was really short but I really liked it–regardless of its careless flaws at times. There was more brainwork that made up for it. Then there was also the lack of side-story. YES, people might think that it was annoying with so little of character focus with the main cast and there were no love relations–at least not so intense like other series. Yet I found it really nice that way since I hate it overlapping cases, making it a romance more than a cop story. So that was good that they didn’t stretch it out to the point of annoying on relationships. They managed to get in character development with the main cast throughout. It wasn’t like anyone of the cast was robbed yet they still created a vivid personality for each. Through the cases and some side conversations, we know of their personalities. So it was a great one for me with most of the focuses on the case.

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Miss Hong Kong 2001

Definite signs of deterioration. No doubt about it. Though the opening was interesting but still…the entertainment parts were always way better for some reason. I must say that each year they managed to come up with a different theme. Not bad. The contestants were introduced and they had to list why they were eligible to enter the next round. Man, most of them were definitely bragging. Guess they were testing to see if the contestants could be witty without being arrogant. BUT it was hard.

The hosts: Eric, Louis, and Sonija…

Judges: Pauline, Gallen, Charmaine, Hacken, and some others…

Definitely signs of TVB using internal resources more than ever. Gallen looked so handsome though! (mwuhahaha) Charm looked so cute in that outfit. (Okay, I know half of the population hates her but I love her since she won me over.)

Scenes when they were outside usually made them look better for some reason. Strange…

After Patrick Tang and some people performed, we were finally led into the questioning part. PHEW…not sure how worse it could get but whatever. Sonija got to introduce the contestants while Eric and Louis were in charge of grilling the contestants. GOSH…it was killing me. Eric and Louis should’ve killed them all already so they couldn’t pass. #6 was all right. At least she didn’t stutter. (Though it was all right that she mixed her languages.) Where in the world did they get all these contestants? AND poor Eric, had to look up so much. These girls were honestly too tall. #18’s question was funny. George Washington was still holding the ax, LOL! Darn! These girls were killing me. Shirley’s question was the easiest BUT she didn’t get it? How slow could she get? Only like about three could provide some decent answers.

Jordan Chan will take them to Japan? Poor Jordan! I actually liked the effects where Jordan was drawing/painting and the pictures came to live. That was about it. Then there was also the part they were transported to the city and other areas. Very exotic and cool. That was about it. No comment regarding the ‘beauties’. I thought they looked better when they covered up because their bodies were too much of a sight to me. (Seriously, I must agree with Eric that most of them looked like they haven’t gone through puberty yet.)

Last part before they picked top 12? Joey Yung and Ekin Cheng. (What a coincidence!) Joey Yung looked better than the contestants! (I know that was mean but honestly.) Interesting story. Kind of cute… I’d already gone out of the ‘Ekin’ phase so I wasn’t really paying attention. (But I think Ekin must have improved in his singing or something? Since he sounded better than the last time.) The settings were quite grand though. The crew totally made it happen.

Miss Photogenic? Shirley got it? Umm…no comment. I guess she seemed better than most of them for some reason.

They were each given a lamp and would take the label off. The ones who got the ‘X’ would be out.

Gilbert Lam was the person who introduced the judges at the beginning of the second part? Cool! I totally forgot about him! He’s so cool. Too bad he didn’t get to stick around much. Or perhaps that was better since it would be too much to stand.

(I didn’t want to say it before but I was seeing the pattern of Angels of Missions people in here. BUT of course, AOM was after this. Still interesting to see.)

I totally forgot that Leon was in here also since he opened up the show with his performance. (Snore-land though it was an upbeat song.) The whole time he was singing, I was like, “Hand it to Aaron already.” Mean, I know. But I was yawning too much. He’s not suitable for upbeat songs.

The next part was funnier though–much more entertaining–since Hacken was seen walking along with Natalis and Alan on the camels, trying to find their way to the show, LOL. Natalis and Alan were pondering if they were lost, LOL. And then Hacken was saying they heard Leon’s voice so they must be going in the right direction. Alan was even saying how Hacken was easily fooled by Eric’s words (i.e. he was the one who told them the directions, lol). Then the contestants got to tell everyone their dreams and/or goals. But Natalis, Alan, and Hacken’s rants were funnier. Eric had been in some sort of accident (according to their recounts) so he was unable to make it.

The next part was cool since they managed to invite this one pro acrobat lady to do some really cool tricks. Then Bernice Liu came out, dancing and singing. Cool. Suitable for the theme. She was so glamorous. Okay, the contestants had to use the objects given to describe one another. They were divided into pairs, of course. I loved Alan and Hacken! They were so funny, arguing with each other like that instead of asking the questions, LOL. Bernice changed again to continue the song–or at least until the next sets of contestants came out. Watching the contestants try to find some compliments to praise each other with the objects given was too funny! At least they were improving. OR it seemed to get a tad better than having them answering trivial questions. Bernice changed again! Whoa! That was fast. Anyway, still cool.

Okay, the next part of questioning–more trivial questions, LOL. There were three sets of questions–middle school, high school, and college. (OR something like that.) If they answered correctly, they would advance one step up. If not, they would be lowered one level. The questioning would start at their current educational level. The contestants changed outfits again. Nice outfits, LOL. I think the contestants were better in these set of questions since they were more used to the straight fact question/answer than the critical thinking ones. At least it was reassuring on some level since it would be more encouraging to watch. Shirley did slightly better in this one.

The next part was a really cute yet entertaining story. Aaron Kwok and Coco Lee. (I was a bit surprised that they were able to invite Coco to participate.) Aaron got to sing his “Para Para” song! LOL! (This sort of solved my question with why Aaron wasn’t opening before. This was more fun.)

Anyway, after that, we got to witness the contestants sing and dance with 60 children. The children were so cute! (I don’t know, I just didn’t care as much for the contestants regardless of how much they improved for this round.)

They were trying to do it differently this year. Getting rid of three at a time until they reached the top 5. Don’t know it would come to that but I guess it was something to keep people tune in. Hacken was so funny!

Eric’s return. Awww…Alan was subbing for Eric. Just when Eric returned, they made him be the bad guy to eliminate three contestants, LOL. Still funny. What was Hacken looking at, kept staring at Eric’s head? So funny that Eric was reassuring the others to come back next year, LOL.

More questionings. They were given a statement and then they had to pick if they agreed with the phrase or not. Then they had to argue for or against it. Alan was too funny! He lost during the first time! He and Hacken were cracking me up! Hacken was saying how Alan was only the witness and did not have to input. It got even funnier when they were attempting to translate for this one contestant. Then Alan translated before she was even finished. Natalis was poking at Alan for it. (Actually, he was pretending to talk about Alan with Hacken, LOL.) Man, it was way funnier watching the hosts argue. Man, Natalis’ comment!

They invited Anne to help with determining who had beautiful skin? Shirley got it. I guess the judges were careful and inspected everything so no complaints.#3, #9, and #18 got the creativity prize since they were able to impress the judges with their cooking skills and creativity.

I totally forgot that Jacky was in here! Cool! I guess it wouldn’t be complete without him. Jacky and Kelly Chen? OKAY…but for all the fun of it. Funny ending since he was just dreaming and his wife (portrayed by Kelly) was rousing him up. So much for it…(LOL) Again, save the best for last, right? Since it was supposed to be the last performance before they eliminated three more. But the top 12 got to return so they could announce the ‘most improved’ prize and the Miss International Goodwill. #4 got ‘most improved’ and #6 got Miss International Goodwill. Not bad. I don’t know. Somehow they looked better around this time.

Alan, Hacken, and Natalis were arguing over who should sing for the last part? But they ended up using the dancing routines to determine who was the top 4. At least they didn’t have to argue. That was interesting that Johnson Lee was one of the ones holding the sign up when they were answering the last round of questions. #2 and #3 got eliminated after that.

The ones who were eliminated had to come out and tell us who they supported to be the winner. #6 got third place, #4 got second, and of course, Shirley got first. Not bad. NOT the best of all time, but I guess it will have to do.

Placebo Cure

I must give the scriptwriters credit for wrapping it up quite well without feeling awkward. I also loved it that they kept Joyce’s character, San, persistent throughout and how she stuck with her principles. Yes, she did like Joe since little because he played with her and didn’t make fun of her like the other kids. However, he broke her heart that one time by using her to get back at his ex-girlfriend so she didn’t blindly ignore it afterward. It was good that she tried to maintain a friendship with both guys but finally choosing Wallace later since she realized how he took everything slowly and didn’t rush into relationships, plus how he always helped her no matter what. Moreover, he made her feel comfortable and safe when she was around him. It was good that she ignored the whole “horoscope” thing and went with Wallace instead of choosing Joe when Joe finally took her serious. Joe didn’t deserve a second chance because although he was a good person and a great friend, he was always such a player in love. No one could guarantee when one day his facade fell, what else he would do. The series wrapped up not too wrapped and got us thinking. But still nice.

One of my favorite scenes must be at San’s birthday where everyone made her dance with one of the guys (since it was her special day and she must lead them all) and she ended up choosing her junior! That was way too funny. Thought she would pick Joe because she still felt somewhat awkward with Wallace’s confession but she picked her junior so no one would feel bad (lol) and she didn’t want to give the wrong impression.

And maybe the reason why I liked this series so much was that it wasn’t too wrapped since Joe (Kevin) didn’t end up with anyone. It was a funny scene at the end that everyone had a dance partner, except him. But then he saw Wallace’s sister so they just ended up being dance partners! That was funny! (And I sort of remember how they were siblings in Life Art!)

All three of the main cast did well actually, mostly Sunny and Joyce since Kevin seemed a bit lagging–maybe because of the character. But I think he really improved in his recent series. I was mostly impressed with Joyce since she seemed so natural compared to her first series–which was a pain to watch because of her exaggeration. Now, it seemed like she got the hang of it. I’m glad to say that she pulled the majority of this series with Sunny throughout. The cases with Sunny as the psychologist were a mix of good and bad ones but I must say my most favorite one would be of Liu Kai Chi and his daughter. It was so touching that I managed a few tears to see the story unfold.

It was interesting to see Gilbert Lam keep popping up here and there within cases but still fun. I’m sorry to say that TVB rarely gives Gilbert good roles although he’s a decent actor. Oh well. His role was all right in here but not the best. My favorite must be the one in HK Criminal Files and then Crossborder Daddy.

Talking about Gilbert, I especially liked the whole family. It was a nice family and good casting of them. Nice to see that Natalie got a little story of her own too.

Posted (on Xanga): December 2, 2008

Re-posted: Monday, April 19th, 2010

Where The Legend Begins

I must say that I have never read Three Kingdoms properly so I do not know how accurate it was. But it was not that hard to tell that Cao Cao was supposed to be the villain. That was interesting to see that they showed him as an honorable person to his sons at the beginning. It also presented a different perspective on the story of the Three Kingdoms.

This focused around the Cao household and what roughly happened during the wars among Cao Cao, Sun Quan, and Liu Bei. They briefly mentioned some historical context to move the story forward but Sun Quan and Liu Bei never appeared, which was understandable since if the others were to appear, it would’ve stolen the spotlight from Cao Cao and therefore defeating the purpose of revolving the story around Cao Cao in the first place. But they managed to put in the famous ‘Battle of Red Cliff’ (Chi Bi) and how badly Cao Cao was defeated, causing his downfall (or at least made him lose the will to fight any longer).

This story began with Yan Fuk’s dream of Lok Sun being punished for causing the rift between her husband and this other god. It was all a misunderstanding but Lok Sun still got punished and the other two gods were spared of the punishment. (Because the female population was always responsible for the male population’s actions, right? Sarcasm and insert major eye roll here.) Yan Fuk was actually the reincarnation of Lok Sun.

Yan Fuk suffered the same fate as Lok Sun because she was stuck between two men–who were brothers (and incidentally Cao Cao’s sons). Yan Fuk’s only fault was that of her beauty. If that was even supposed to be a fault at all. Even Cao Cao himself had fallen for Yan Fuk at one time though Yan Fuk skillfully persuaded him that he was her respectable elder since he was her father’s friend. He finally thought it through and decided to resolve the conflicts that his two sons were going through to win Yan Fuk’s heart. Yan Fuk, of course, favored Cho Chi Kin (portrayed by Steven Ma) from the start because of their shared love for poetry and the likes. They had this tacit understanding and complemented each other very well. Chi Kin’s older brother, Cho Chi Woon, claimed from the beginning that women were trouble and those beauties only destroy men (and the country in general). He even wanted to kill Yan Fuk at first but when he finally met face to face with her, he immediately fell in love with her. That led to the conflicts between him and his brother.

At first, Cao Cao wanted Chi Kin to succeed him as the leader of the Cao/Cho household, but he later reconsidered and changed his mind, letting Chi Woon be the leader. He never knew that Chi Woon was not using his own talents to win over Chi Kin for the power. Others failed in vain in convincing him that there was some stronger power behind Chi Woon helping him. They were right and that was the pretentious Si Ma Yi. Chi Kin did not want to fight with his brother but he was driven to the wall with his brother’s despicable/underhanded method of winning that he was pulled into the conflict in gaining power as well. (Not to mention how he knew that only he could help the citizens live a better life after gaining power. Chi Woon was not a good choice where citizens were concerned because he would do anything to gain power. Chi Woon was like their father in that way.) Cao Cao also knew that Chi Woon was not the best choice so he wanted to marry Yan Fuk to Chi Woon so she could be his adviser and guide him in the right direction. However, he never realized there were other parties and forces involved so his plan was crumbling apart. Aside from Si Ma Yi’s constant schemes to get rid of Chi Kin’s allies, there was also Yan Fuk’s supposedly good sister Kwok Huen stirring things up to sabotage Yan Fuk due to jealousy.

There were too many things going on at the same time that it was hard to explain. You just have to watch it to know what really happened and understand the conflicts better. Who was the big winner in the end? Si Ma Yi, of course, since Cao Cao failed to listen to the others and gave too much power to Chi Woon that when he finally found out about Chi Woon’s beyond cure state, it was too late.

Aside from all those political conflicts and side romance stories, I found several scenes memorable–touching even, which were:

  • The part where Lau Sik Sik died. I actually cried at that part because of her tragic ending. She was an orphan who was brought into the brothel to be trained as a singer and later was recruited by Cao Cao’s first wife to fight against Yan Fuk. Yet, she was not a petty person. She knew and understood that Yan Fuk was a talented person and someone whom she could befriend since they shared some common interests. I felt that she was more on par with Yan Fuk and could be considered as the good sister than that of Kwok Huen. (Since although Kwok Huen used to be from a rich family and her beauty was stressed at various times but she could not be compared to Sik Sik’s elegance or grace.) The conflicts between Cao Cao’s wives had caused Sik Sik’s death. Not to mention how Kwok Huen had sided with Cao Cao’s second wife to try and replace Sik Sik by copying Sik Sik’s singing style. Sik Sik, like Yan Fuk, only wanted to live a simple life–but it was impossible with the circumstances surrounding them. Priscilla was a good choice for the role and her voice matched one of those ancient singers.
  • The part where Yeung So died. Yes, death was an unavoidable thing around the Cao household since Cao Cao was a very suspicious person, always thinking that others were plotting against him if they did anything out of the ordinary–according to him. Yeung So’s death was caused by his stubbornness and unwilling to let go and some traces of arrogance that had made others feel threatened by his talents thus wanting to get rid of him. Perhaps he should’ve listened to his master before taking actions or at least be more cautious toward what was going on. However, he should not be blamed in totality since he was desperate to help his good friend, Chi Kin. In fact, he was a loyal friend. He had never shown jealousy toward Chi Kin or Yan Fuk considering how others had compared them to him with their ability to solve various problems. His death scene was really tragic considering how they showed Chi Kin and Yan Fuk remembering back to the past about their group of friends going to the inn to drink and talk about various matters. Also, the poem he uttered out before his death and the song version came on accompanying the whole scene was very well done. A very touching moment. (Not to mention the letter that Yeung So left behind for Chi Kin.) Though lack of screen time (or what it seemed like), Gilbert did very well in portraying his character with his brilliant side and the somewhat stubborn side as well.
  • The part where Chui Fau died. Though ironic since she was an annoying character throughout with her petty antics in trying to get rid of Yan Fuk yet she turned out all right in the end. Her only fault was her stupidity since she did not understand Cao Cao’s plans yet only wanted to support her husband throughout. It was really pathetic and beyond frustrating that when Chi Kin was telling Cao Cao how he did not like Chui Fau but Cao Cao did not listen. He brushed it off and proceeded with their marriage anyway. However, when he discovered why it was a big mistake in letting Chui Fau marry Chi Kin, he immediately sought to eliminate the obstacle (or so he thought) for Chi Kin. I felt that it was very ironic since Chi Kin finally learned to accept her and she finally learned how to become a good wife (minus the whole high dreams of wanting to be a queen one day). What was even more tragic was leaving behind their son without a mother. I felt that scene was equally memorable with the other two death scenes since it highlighted the conflicts and enhanced the rift between Chi Kin and his father. She did not deserve to die however stupid she was.
  • The part where Yan Fuk died. It was sad yet frustrating at the same time though I knew from the beginning that she would die. It was probably her fate and if tying in with her Lok Sun identity, it could be explained that her time in the human world was done and she had served out her sentence after learning all the things about the human world. Yet it was giving Kwok Huen and Si Ma Yi the satisfaction of her death since they eliminated the biggest obstacle of their lives.

What I found the most frustrating and pathetic was Chi Woon knew from the start that Chi Kin and Yan Fuk was the real couple yet he kept wanting to win over Chi Kin and marry Yan Fuk. Yet afterward, he would blame Yan Fuk for being unfaithful when she had tried her best to make it work–because of what she could not change with the forced marriage. It was probably Cao Cao’s fault also for thinking that he could just plan anything and it would go accordingly. However, I just felt it was really dumb to blame everything on Chi Kin and Yan Fuk when Chi Woon was the one being unreasonable and unfaithful throughout. Chi Woon never loved Yan Fuk to begin with, he was only obsessed with her beauty and how badly he wanted to win over Chi Kin. (If not, why would he fall for Kwok Huen’s schemes?) But in a way, it emphasized Cao Cao’s downfall and how his family would never gain power for a long time so that was their deserved fate. But I felt Chi Kin and Yan Fuk were the victims of time, considering how they only wanted to have a simple life yet were forced into such conflicts.

What I found the most admirable was the friendship among Chi Kin, Yan Fuk, Shik Shik, and Yeung So. They knew each other’s talents and capabilities and shared interests thus becoming good friends yet they seemed to live in the wrong time (as mentioned above). They were so comfortable with one another and was really happy at that one inn where they would meet and talk about various topics, composing poems, or drink to their friendship. Their bond was what made Shik Shik and Yeung So’s deaths even more tragic and touching. No one was able to stop it from happening, especially in Yeung So’s case. Shik Shik was unexpected. But Yeung So’s was predictable considering how he was taking such actions but he chose it anyway, knowing it would bring him trouble. The others did not have any power to prevent it from happening and could only witness it in frustration or sadness. The scene with Yan Fuk reminiscing about the past and Chi Kin practicing his swords skills while Yeung So was being transported to the appointed site for the beheading process reflected their state of emotions well. Each time, it was like the ones who were left behind would hurt more with continuing to carry on no matter how hard it was. It was like until the end that Chi Kin finally died as well that their bond finally broke. Though their story would probably remain behind with those who knew them.

What was a bit interesting and amusing all at once was the relationship between masters and servants in here for several cases. What I meant was Yan Fuk and Yau Seen versus Kwok Huen and Song Yau. Both servants were loyal to their masters but one out of gratitude and respect contrary to the other with blind trust/beliefs. It was interesting how Kwok Huen was able to brainwash Song Yau into helping her throughout with the various plots. It was ironic that Song Yau said Kwok Huen saved her so she would do anything to protect Kwok Huen yet if it wasn’t for Yan Fuk saving Kwok Huen in the first place, none of that would’ve happened. But Song Yau got what she deserved in the end for being so blind with helping Kwok Huen. I also felt that June was better in portraying her role so her character was more convincing and May Kwong was not as good so it was hard to understand how her character was becoming that way.

Acting? Honestly, Steven and Ada were the ones that I was really impressed with among the four main cast. Moses was all right but I thought he could not make me sympathize with him even when he was being underestimated by his father. I guess it was mostly due to the fact of his ironic character, stating that women were trouble but he just dived right into it and could not resist temptation and just turned around blaming them in the end. It was pathetic. And for some reason, I could not feel the bond between him and Steven as brothers but could feel more with Steven and Evergreen Mak’s. Maybe it was because how Chi Woon had always been so calculative (aka keeping scores) and had been silently jealous of Chi Kin that made it hard to see their brotherly bond. Yes, there were traces of their bonding with how they played that one game at the beginning of the series, but I felt it was always Chi Kin/Steven pulling the weight or effort to mend things with Chi Woon/Moses. Evergreen’s acting seemed stronger than Moses’ though he was not placed into one of the lead roles. He still delivered his part and made his loyalty toward Chi Kin/ Steven convincing and admirable. He was an honest person but he knew the importance of family–unlike Chi Woon who was blinded by jealousy. Perhaps, putting Moses alongside Steven was a bad idea since Steven would shine without trying. Ada probably looked more compatible with Moses than Steven (or what I thought of at the beginning) but Steven and Ada’s acting made up for it with their chemistry and interactions throughout. What about Sonija? Let’s just say that she did better in her recent roles. Because honestly, Sonija was what made it hard to see what was the fuss about her beauty. Maybe it was only Chi Woon who was blinded by Kwok Huen’s words and seduction method but there wasn’t anything important about her. Possibly that was why Kwok Huen was so jealous of Yan Fuk and wanted to get rid of her. Even Irene Wong did WAY better than Sonija in portraying her role. Although it was a different type of character considering their characters’ personalities, Sonija failed to capture the essence of the character thus making it unconvincing or show any signs of significance.

However frustrating that was, I still find it one of the better TVB series since it managed to capture an interesting side of the story. It was another perspective to consider since we were always told from the point of view of the other two famous figures, Sun Quan and Liu Bei. What I wanted to complain about was the makeup for the cast. The guys were all right but the girls were more noticeable. Except for Priscilla’s makeup, the rest of the female population seemed too pale or too old somehow. I’m not saying that they’re old, I’m just saying that the makeup made them look that way. All the female cast chosen were not ugly at all yet the makeup failed to bring out their beauty. Even though Ada looked stunning in her costumes but she still looked like she was too tired or something.