A Great Way to Care II

If looking at this as a standalone series–like I was advised, this was decent by itself. It could be considered a cop drama also. However, on the sequel front, it failed miserably on several levels. I’ll do a breakdown (like I usually do) to clarify a bit more.

First off, cast:

  • Alex Fong as Dr. Ko Lap Yan. I felt he was robbed. YES, he was just walking around randomly (like some people had said) at times and not even doing anything important. As the main lead, I swear he should’ve been given more stuffs to do than random walking. Even if I just said above that I will address it as a ‘standalone’ first, it still feel off that the main lead was standing around doing senseless stuffs more than being involved in the big picture. Despite all that, I felt Alex’s acting was still solid when he appeared, not slacking off even if he was ‘robbed’,  unlike some people who would only do the best when they’re given more meaty roles.
  • Ram Tseung as Dr. Lien Chi Sum. Once again, Dr. Lien carried the comedian role like the previous one. He was still the compassionate doctor who cared for his patients and keeping to the morals. However, I felt it was unnecessary to include a possible “extramarital affair” into his story. Perhaps, they were trying to put in the whole possible test with how he was away from his wife, etc. But still unnecessary. He should be involved with the cases and giving professional advices like Dr. Ko and not waste time with other matters.
  • Tavia Yeung as Yan. What to say about her? At first it didn’t click for me. Later on, her character grew on me. Yet it wasn’t enough for me to like her completely. AND I’m not sore about what happened in the past year or so (in case anyone was thinking it). But I felt like something was missing. It wasn’t the fact that she became the villain later either. It was more like maybe she–along with some others–were given unnecessary side stories as well. But I think she got luckier than the other characters since after all, it did tie in with her character in general about discovering her true background.
  • Ben Wong as Chung Kwok Ban. A more developed character here. Yet I felt something was missing. Like how he was so fierce and/or ruthless in the other one yet so dashingly handsome. This on, it seemed to show that he had gone soft. Though he was still stern with some of them when they were making fun of him and that one ‘girl’ who claimed to be his ‘girlfriend’, something was still missing. Then there was the image for him. I’m not saying he should stay the same as a character after all these years. Yet I felt if they were consistent with making Alex and Ram looked almost like the first part, at least pay attention to Ben’s image.
  • Yoyo Mung as Louise/ Kiu. Okay, I agree with some people she was robbed. It wasn’t that Yoyo’s acting was lacking but she was given such a random role. And I don’t care if she didn’t hog the screen all the time. I just cared if she contributed to the plot with its relevancy in regards to the theme. Yet like after Law Lok Lam’s case, her character seemed to go downhill in the development area. I loved how she interacted with the others but like the others, I felt there were just too many random scenes versus focusing on the main cases.
  • Edwin Siu as Jackson. I don’t know what to say about his character at first. Yet I got used to his character later. Sure, he was quite a smart-aleck and drove others in insane at times. The other times, he showed bravery and wasn’t willing to compromise a doctor’s integrity for money or pressure of losing work. At other times, I guess he was witty enough. Edwin had managed to make it work somehow–even if he was like others who were given more random moments than important cases related duties.
  • Aimee Chan as Jade Lai. Not sure what to say about her. Not that I would pick on her like others. It was cool to see her as a psychologist who had studied abroad with so much intelligence in her. But I felt it was hard to believe at times when she was giving Dr. Lien advices regarding him and his assistant. I got it that she could know and understand the signs, but I felt it was strange with her being the one pointing it out to him. So they did work at the same place so it was hard to not notice but I felt like it just didn’t fit. Just me though.
  • Christine Kuo as Scarlett. I was surprised to like her character in here and didn’t find her acting as annoying as some other ones. Or maybe it was the role and she wasn’t giving me the feeling she was “trying” to be cute. She showed a brave side of herself when she united with the others to fight against Henry later on. Quite noble and admirable in that sense.
  • Eric Li as Pauli. I always liked him. Glad he was rising again with some sort of important role or once in awhile not seeing him as a villain. He, like the others on the medical side, got robbed regarding their participation in the cases, but he didn’t lack charm during other side scenes.
  • Oscar Leung as Edgar Wong. It was really funny for me to see him in here as a doctor because of how vividly I remember him as a psycho in the first part. Yet I guess he did his part in here and managed to convince.
  • Power Chan as Sunny. Totally delivered but after that one case with him helping a certain patient and stepping forward to “take the fall” and more, his role got reduced like the others, unless it was some random scenes.
  • Cheung Kwok Keung as Henry Law. Again, appearing as the “despicable” doctor who had somehow convinced Dr. Ko to join the team. Yet later on he found out how Dr. Ko was protecting other doctors and wasn’t going to bend to his “rules”, he tried to kick Dr. Ko out by framing Dr. Ko for malpractice. Indeed, he met with his deserved fate. Somehow, his role also got reduced somewhat and made way for other randomness as well. I got it that he was already causing troubles in the first one and needed to be one of the ‘bad’ ones to wrap this part up but I felt it was loose in a sense.
  • Jimmy Au as Lao Gui (老鬼). I was surprised to find him in here. Was he in the other one? I don’t even remember anymore. But it was interesting how he was under Chung Sir’s commands. He later was given a major role when Chung Sir was in the coma. It was actually cool seeing him wearing the suit and all. I swear they’d given him a better image for the “boss” type than Ben in here. What in the world? Consistency people.
  • Amy Fan as Dr. Ko’s high school sweetheart. OMG, I found it was the funniest scenes were when she appeared. Sure, it was a tad nerve-wrecking for Louise that one time when she appeared and had tried to latch onto Dr. Ko. But it was so funny how one of the doctors pretended to be Dr. Ko (after all these years) and she saw right through it. I think I only managed to laugh out loud the hardest during that scene when she pushed that other doctor aside to reach Dr. Ko. (Then it was even more hilarious when Jackson was stopping Louise from preventing the other doctor to go ‘pretend to be Dr. Ko’ because he said maybe it would work, considering how Dr. Ko might look like that in several more decades. SAD for the other doctor but still funny.)

Pairings:

  • Alex and Yoyo. I was so happy that they were together since I enjoyed their pairing a lot in other ones. However, I’m the odd one out when it comes to wanting a large role for Yoyo or not. Because speaking on my point of view as an immature writer, the main guy doesn’t always end up with some major character in my stories, so I was fine with that arrangement. Even if Yoyo’s character wasn’t like having some ‘breakthrough’ role, I accepted the flow of the story for her and how it eventually came to develop the relationship with Dr. Ko. The foundation was laid out from the start. It wasn’t like it was random. They work together after all. And it would be too repetitive if Dr. Ko once again end up with a cop. NOT impossible that he would marry a cop again, but it seemed repetitive for this type of story. The only thing felt kind of beat to death and pathetic was how she chased him down (along with some others) to get him (and them) to donate “sperms” for her. NOT that I’m not open-minded enough to accept the scientific breakthrough. But I felt the way the script-writers made her approach them was really insulting and reduced her IQ to about 10. Aside from that, the ending scene was really cute with them bickering by the seaside. Then how he was saying how if she would say it’s her kid when the kid was in good, tip top “smelling good” condition versus how it’s his kid when the baby needed a change of diapers (i.e. being all “smelly”).
  • Ben and Tavia. Um…I felt their characters had chemistry through their interactions. It was so cute how he was the shy one and seemed to be so reserved, etc. She was the one doing all the teasing at the beginning. Then later they dated and he was really protective of her, etc. Yet as actor and actress, I felt Ben and Tavia didn’t exude enough chemistry for me to get overly obsessed with them. (I like some of her other parings better.) And perhaps it was the ‘lapse’ in his image for this one that had made him less compatible with Tavia–like I mentioned earlier. I actually felt it was touching how he was willing to “bend” some corners or try to talk her out of it, trying to help her when he finally realized she was “the killer”. Yet too bad things couldn’t be better for him. Sure, he got out of the coma (which was a miracle), but it wouldn’t be good after knowing what had happened to her.
  • Edwin and Aimee. Was this a compensation for Forensic Heroes III? I was glad that their characters were somewhat different. Yet I didn’t like the whole idea with her being the “third party” at one point. Sure, she didn’t know and later even teamed up with Scarlett to “pay back” but it felt strange. I was indeed touched with how he didn’t mind that she had surgery in the past and was able to overcome not looking at her appearance. But maybe it was because I wanted more focus on the “cases” that I feel their relationship was also a random side thing to fill up the gaps of the episodes.
  • Edwin and Christine. One-sided feeling at first. Later, it was sweet to me. It was such a shame they didn’t work. I was surprised she got over him so fast. Yet it wasn’t too weird since there were times in between. Just too bad.
  • Power and Christine. That was seriously random. I guess that was why the other guys couldn’t guess either. But was this an attempt to create a new odd pairing? Just wondering, lol. So did they get back together in the end or no? I wouldn’t mind.

As a sequel, how was it? Like I said before, it’s a sad story. After Law Lok Lam’s case, it went downhill from there on the medical side. Dr. Ko still got recruited from time to time, like some of the other medical staff to give advice for a case or two. But that was it. It seemed like the rest of the time, they were just fighting randomly at the office or doing whatever. Like I said before, I like it that the randomness continued into this series like it had showed in the past when they were off-work. Yet this one just continued on and on with their randomness throughout the working day, making their characters more like a joke than serious about their work. Sure, they were entitled to make a stab of a joke or two at times to lighten up and not get affected by the cases itself AND it would be easier to help patients if they’re calmed, but the random talk overlapped the actual analyzing of different mental problems or other issues patients might be going through. AND I had a feeling this was more like Forensic Heroes IV than A Great Way to Care II. Mostly it was because they focused on the cops and forensic teams working together more than the cop and medical sides like in the first part. I was fine with them needing the forensic team at times, especially with processing the scenes. But the focus here was supposed to be psychological cases.

Replacement counterparts. This is mostly my guess because I swear it seemed that way at times.

  • Tavia Yeung and Yoyo Mung for Kate Tsui. If I put in ‘Tavia for Kate’, I don’t think fans would let me off that well, especially after all that madness from the anniversary stuffs and the awards last year. AND because I heard both Tavia and Yoyo were female leads for this part so it was safe to put them in together. The script-writers tried to make both Tavia and Yoyo different from Kate’s character so that was the good part. But it lacked some essence with Yoyo’s character, like I said before. I would at least expect her to be more involved with the cases like how I said numerous times already.
  • Edwin Siu for Raymond Wong. I felt Edwin fended fine alongside Alex and Ram. Because it wouldn’t be the same if it was all another ‘copy character’ with someone like Raymond’s Chun. They made Edwin tenfold more ‘smart-aleck’ in his ways. And how Edwin’s character was a doctor and not a nurse made it different as well.
  • Aimee Chan for Vivien Yeo. The reason why I put the two in comparison was because of who they were paired up with later on. I still like Vivien’s Ka Bik more. Perhaps it was because of Ka Bik’s irresistibly cute and bubbly nature. Again, not picking on Aimee (unlike some people who hadn’t let that ‘dead horse’ rest in peace yet), but it was more like a comparison of characters.
  • Edwin Siu, Eric Li, Oscar Leung, and Christine Kuo for Ruco Chan, Ellesmere Choi, Timmy Hung, and Yoyo Chen. It felt that way to me with the setup of them gathering at times to discuss cases. Though the group of 3 from the first part were still interns and were preparing for their tests. I would’ve added Power Chan to the new team but he was sort of by himself more than gathering with the others at times so I left him alone for now. As for this case, I felt the guys fend better than Christine at first. Yet some foundation was put in for her later so it wasn’t too bad.
  • Power Chan for Ellesmere Choi. It seemed like both suffered through nervousness and/or confidence problems hence not passing a certain exam yet.
  • Oceane Zhu for Iris Wong. I just remember recently. Their characters and personalities were different, just that they were both nurses so I thought I place them against each other. I felt Iris’ character Daisy was really funny, even if she seemed flirty at times. She brought in a sense of charm to her role. Though I do like Oceane as an actress (considering the new group), but I didn’t really feel it was as funny or likeable as Daisy. (And I so didn’t see it that Oceane’s character was a spy for Henry later. SAD…)

The Missing Members:

  • Kate Tsui as Mandy/Monkey. Honestly, that was lame. Even some characters who got killed off in the past got more screen time than that. I don’t expect it to go on for episodes and waste even more time on personal matters, but at least have her appear in the first episode? And I remember reading about how someone had said that, “Kate was the heart of A Great Way to Care” and for once, I couldn’t agree more. It’s not about comparing or wanting to pick on new members. The new additions could be there to add in variety to the cast. Yet I felt it was soooo wrong to not wait for Kate. She and Alex have created this special chemistry that felt just right for the series itself, either it was personal or working together. To think that Kate was so excited for the sequel.
  • Raymond Wong and Vivien Yeo. Was mentioned but that was it. I felt robbed because I just watched The Days of Days awhile back and they were in there, but taking on some senseless comedic roles. And back to this one, I felt it was just too frustrating to not include them for more cute scenes between the two in here. After all, their relationship was already established so the story could move onto their married life; and it could always be written as they move business back OR have some expansion of the business hence it would make sense for them to be back in town.
  • Astrid Chan. OMG, I enjoyed her pairing with Ram and how their team of husband and wife cracked me up so much in the first part. It doesn’t have to focus on them all the time in here, since the other one was like that too, but it showed consistency. However, I didn’t feel as robbed with her story of going overseas to accompany her son while he was studying abroad. At least she wasn’t killed off.
  • Elliot Yue. Really? The main lead’s father wasn’t around. No one’s going to believe that one. Okay, it’s not unreasonable that he’s not around and about all the time. BUT he wasn’t just Dr. Ko’s father’s BUT also Chung Sir’s godfather. So it was hard to imagine Chung Sir didn’t visit him or vice versa. Dr. Ko did receive a call from him later on questioning about the future “daughter-in-law” but that wasn’t enough.
  • Ruco, Ellesmere, Timmy, and Yoyo Chen. For once, I didn’t have any complaints. First, I was disappointed, but then reality kicked in for me and I realized that it was unrealistic that the interns were still around. Sure, they could still work there, but it would make sense they would want to venture out there to get more experiences. And sometimes their specialized areas are different and they would want to find the hospital or facility that is suitable for their practices.
  • Iris Wong as Daisy. It would make sense IF she was still there. But perhaps it was because how she had ended up with Brian (Ellesmere) already so she would follow him to a new place.

Cases? Not as complex as the first part, because the first part was more deeply rooted to psychological stuffs and complex diagnosis. Even if it wasn’t as complicated at times, but still stick to the medical related issues.

So when Ben Wong said that this part was better than the first installment, he meant it was better for him because it was more focused on him and the police side more than the doctor and/or medical team side. If it was a spin-off, then I don’t think some of us would make such a big deal out of it. But it wasn’t so that meant it veered way off course from the previous one.

I’m not saying that it was terrible since I said it was decent as a standalone series. Just that when compared, it failed to deliver according to its main theme. Watch it as a standalone series then it would be more enjoyable.

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'Tis the Season to Celebrate

I saw it earlier already but didn’t put one up. After getting rid of the headache already, I’m in a celebrating mood.
Congrats to Wayne Lai for winning the 3rd time as ‘Best Actor’!
Also, congrats to Kenneth and Kate for winning the ‘Favorite Characters Awards’! When I saw their names, I automatically thought of Speech of Silence, which was funny. But pretty cool!
Oh yeah, Oscar and Mandy won for ‘most improved’ artists. (Though I felt they were fine before too SO I never get some of the winners for these categories as much. But that’s just me.)
Last BUT not least, a major “YAY!” for “When Heaven Burns” winning the best series!
(*NOTE*: I seriously don’t care IF anyone got ripped off or not. Trying to celebrate for my favorites here SO if you have any beef with TVB, don’t take it out on me. And wow, I just rhymed, lol.)

Forensic Heroes III

I just finished watching this so I wanted to talk about it. This was probably one of 2011’s better series. Though some might disagree, I wasn’t disappointed at all–even if I had some doubts at first. I was probably in the minority group that didn’t care about the cast change (because it was associated with the last two parts). Look at it this way, this is another team out in the field working, not just always the same team. Or it’s okay. I wouldn’t want to force anyone into accepting. I must say that the result was pretty good because it made sense for the most part. The cases weren’t that complicated yet it wasn’t that terrible either. If you compared it to the first two, the complexity had gone WAY down regarding how it was planned, etc at times. However, it didn’t mean that there was a lack of planning in some cases. Most were relating to accidental deaths or impulse killing/those in the moment of the heat or anger type. Yet don’t those cases happen more often in real life than those super complicated ones? We like to watch more complicated ones because it makes us think. And these ones, some were so stupid after we found out the result or how it had happened in the first place, but don’t half of those reflect real-life situations? I swear it’s not going to get that interesting. Because of the too messed up world today (whether we want to admit it or not), sometimes killings happen for senseless reasons OR just some dumb argument. It’s scary that it’s just that simple and some people couldn’t control themselves. But wasn’t too dumb. To turn back to the cases though, the way they handled the forensic parts and investigation wasn’t too lame.

The Team:

  • Wayne Lai as Pro Sir. OMG! A clever and witty character yet didn’t turn out disappointing at all. I was so scared that his character would go downhill by the time his wife returned. Yet he was so firm on his belief and it was so consistent with his character that I had to clap the writers on. Should I even compliment Wayne even more? Hey, I’ve been supporting him since forever so no need. LOL!
  • Maggie Cheung as Mandy. Maggie was really on par with Wayne’s character in here and they didn’t lose a beat. That was so cool though. Her character was consistent enough and Maggie made it both cute and clever at the same time.
  • Ron Ng as Wind. What can I say about Wind? It was really funny at first. Then it got even sadder for him since the whole incident with his family. But lucky all of that passed. Yet I still liked to see his humorous side more. His ‘NG47’ nickname was so funny as well. I meant, come on now. Was that a hint? Interestingly enough since I was watching Wax & Wane at the same time, I found his performances so different. I’m so serious here. It was like he was much more comfortable and more natural in here. Okay, so the cool character helped. But did anyone notice the ‘rocking motion of his body’ in the other one, especially when he was talking to Roger or the others in Wax & Wane? (Except with Kate since after several collaborations, he should be quite comfortable with her.) In here, he was like more laid-back and more composed. I don’t know what happened. Even if he did appear a lot in series this year (2011), I still noticed some differences. Just don’t want to take points off just because TVB scheduled series back-to-back just like that.
  • Kate Tsui as Ada. At first, I had some doubt about Kate being a madam. So unfair to her but I still wanted to see how it would work. Though I already saw her as a cop in A Great Way to Care, she wasn’t a madam in there so it would be interesting to see how that went. I thought she was convincing enough as the leader since she did manage the pose at the appropriate times. Then she was also relaxed off-work. That made her character not too one-layered. SO I was glad the scriptwriters didn’t try to make her into another ‘Madame Leung’ or ‘Madame Ma’.
  • Edwin Siu as Ken Ho. Interestingly, he got an important role in here. NOT that I oppose it since I actually wanted to see him in different types of roles too and this role really suited him. OR he made it convincing enough.
  • Aimee Chan as Angel Chiang. A tomboyish role for her. Kind of repetitive but it was all right. I liked it that she didn’t stand out so much but still had some sort of story. I so didn’t know she would die later but honestly, that was SAD. Kind of somewhat unexpected and unnecessary BUT I guess I’m not so sore about it anymore.
  • Ram Tseung as Paul Yau. After watching his portrayal in Twilight Investigation, it was interesting to see him back on this side of the scale. LOL! (Not that it wasn’t fun to see how he could portray the other one so convincingly.) I liked how he was a veteran and amazed how his character was experienced in so many areas. It was funny that he was telling his stories when the others asked, thinking they were worshiping him but when he looked, he realized they had gone back to work already! Awww…but still funny. And I had a good scare thinking that his son was actually involved but glad he didn’t have to suffer too much.

Others:

  • Ruco Chan as Jim Fong. Was it just me or was it since he returned to TVB, he didn’t look so hot anymore? (OR so people like to use with ‘hot’ or whatever.) Not that I would like him any less. But I think he needs to sharpen it up a bit more, not get too comfortable. It was like they had given him certain parameters and how he returned to the ‘box of TVB’, not so impressive anymore. YET not disappointing either. Perhaps I would restore my faith in him when I muster up the courage to watch The Other Truth. But we’ll see. It wasn’t like his character wasn’t great. But it was like his acting style got crammed, like not allowing so much creativity anymore.
  • Nancy Wu as Eva Chow. I honestly think Nancy’s better with those roles where she’s the semi-villain. I meant she wasn’t technically bad in general. YET she possessed those fatal personalities with being so driven by her ambition and would do anything to achieve it–regardless of techniques or consequences. She showed that side quite well. Yet what I was thinking the whole time (and thanks to my mom for pointing it out) if it was her acting or the script with the part where she was celebrating too early and sort of smiled and Pro Sir saw her. It was the scene in court where she heard that the witness couldn’t come and she smiled. (The girl was portrayed by Lily Ho.) If according to her character, she was a clever and cunning lawyer, so why would she let such a small detail make her celebrate so early and smile just like that in front of everyone? She had to repress herself upon hearing that right? Or did they, the scriptwriters, need something for Pro Sir to suspect hence making her character smile like that? Too contradictory so I could only think of it as script error. AND I so thought or guess that she was going to get killed by Felix Lok later YET I was wrong. I meant she messed with fire so she gotta pay? I thought the plot was steering in that direction. But okay, whatever works. Lesson for this one: Curiosity kills the cat. She should’ve walked away when Pro Sir warned her of danger, etc. Or was her pride getting in the way again? (Aka proving to him and others that she could crack the case. We all know she was capable, didn’t need to prove it too much. Or was it for fame? Still not worth her life.)
  • Geoffrey Wong as CIP Jason Ko. Another silly role for him. It was so funny that the others had misunderstood him AND they kept thinking that Wind would beat him yet it wasn’t so. They finally get to witness his famous ‘shadowless foot’ technique. LOL!
  • Yuen Wah as Pro Sir’s father. So funny. What made it funnier was him keep trying to matchmake Pro Sir with others YET ended bringing trouble upon himself. I got a good laugh out of that. Always liked Yuen Wah since the old days so enjoyed his performance.
  • Angela Tong as Rebeca. Hilarious! I found it extremely amazing that she was able to make her character so funny. Though just a few scenes here and there but she made my day more than some characters in here.
  • Mary Hon as Ada’s mother. Mixed feelings. I don’t doubt Mary’s acting since I’ve been seeing her act like forever. NOT that long but it has been too long. What bugged me was her character at times. I found her extremely funny for using Wind as her handyman at first and all. Yet it was quite disturbing when she took those packages of goodies from Wind’s mother. It sort of made her and her daughter look bad. Fine if she didn’t like the woman (and I didn’t like Wind’s mother either) BUT that move made her less graceful. She scolded the woman and then took her things? The least she could do was paid in full so the other party wouldn’t think of her as some flaky person. (OR so it seemed.) The other thing that was funny of her was how she was arguing with Mandy’s grandfather and mistaken Jim for Ada’s boyfriend that one time.
  • Rosanne Lui as Wind’s mother. Annoying. Not sure if I was still biased against her since after watching Be Home For Dinner but her performance in here was similar even if the character was different. I don’t know. I used to be less bugged by her though saw her in other series already. BUT for some reason, she has been bugging me lately. OR was it because she got more important roles and couldn’t handle it? Too ironic that she was disappointing, considering her age. I guess this was one of those cases that veteran artist did not mean good acting? I don’t know. Her character didn’t help her case either.
  • Law Lok Lam as the main villain. Well, sort of since he had to do with the last case. Creepy. I swear I thought they had to deal with Felix Lok’s character since he was mentioned as a character that wasn’t easily messed with. BUT it was Law Lok Lam’s character. Haven’t seen him in an important villain role for a while now. (At least I probably didn’t watch the right series, LOL…) He was convincing as being creepy all right. And I must say after watching Be Home For Dinner with his silly role, this was proof that he hadn’t lost it with being versatile since he looked so silly (or funny, lol) in the other one yet this one was like quite chilling to the bones.

Pairings:

  • Wayne and Maggie. It had been a long time now since I’ve seen a favorite couple. I meant it more in terms of characters than as actor and actress yet it could just be both. If I hadn’t mentioned it before (though I’m sure I did), I always like it when couples would match wit-per-wit instead of having one extremely smart and the other brainless. OR at least have each with a strong area instead of those helpless weaklings (or make the main girl/guy dumb on purpose). SO it was really enjoyable to watch for me with these two. They were so in-sync with one another when they were still partners and/or friends. That was so amazing. Then when they were finally a couple, they showed both respect and love for one another that made it even more special. They didn’t just say those words yet proved true throughout. I was so scared they would make his character so wishy-washy when his ex-wife return and all. After all, they were married for years before. YET he had made his point clear and what was really priceless was seeing Pro Sir always bringing Mandy along on trips when Eva demanded his attention or some type of meeting. It was sad for Eva, BUT I was glad he didn’t cause any misunderstandings by leading Eva on accidentally–if he had appeared alone, etc. I was glad the scriptwriter didn’t reduce his character to nothing for once. I was so sick of the recent main guys always making the ‘oops’ because they thought it was unnecessary to inform the current gf about stuff if the ex-gf/wife had pulled some stunts–and the typical thinking he shouldn’t trouble her. I was soooo glad they steered away from that formula. Though I’m sure Mandy was the understanding type and wouldn’t be swayed or feel threatened by Eva’s subtle threats yet I found it necessary to see those scenes with how Pro Sir had always made it clear. It let us–as the audience–see that Pro Sir was determined to make his relationship work with Mandy–and how his character was consistent throughout with him being smart, etc. One of the scenes I loved the most was seeing how in-sync they were at that one restaurant/bar when he ordered her drink and food for her already and later when she finally came, he asked about the lectures, then they shared the food, etc. It was so cute YET showed their tacit interactions. SO wrong of me to enjoy it when Eva was there but it made me so convinced that Pro Sir and Mandy belonged together. Not to mention how the scene repeated itself later on too, not just that one time. Wayne and Maggie sure made the effort to build this chemistry. (Because I wasn’t so sure on this pairing at first though I wouldn’t mind seeing this fresh pairing. Now I’m convinced.)
  • Ron and Kate. How many times have they collaborated already? Well, as a pairing. I guess TVB’s still compensating–or trying to compensate–us for that one time in The Brink of Law AND I think it’s WAY over now. Once in a while is good, but too many times a year? I love them together–and that’s saying something about current pairings. But please spread it out. LOL! I enjoyed their chemistry in here, of course, and found it different–or so they managed to make it work. It was so funny that she was so wacko when she got drunk. Scared the world out of him the first time around. She even dragged him into all those crazy things, LOL!
  • Edwin and Aimee. Mmmm…would never imagined them together yet I got into the storyline. It depends on people’s taste, but I thought I was fine with it. Then the ending just brought forth more tears than ever. Mostly because of Edwin’s convincing act with the mourning and all. I didn’t know why they killed her off until the last scenes of him remembering back to what she said to him at various times.
  • Wayne and Nancy. Seriously, that was odd. Maybe because it was the age lapse or they just looked weird together. They were the correct choices for their roles BUT extremely odd together. I sort of cringed when they were being intimate at various points at the beginning. I don’t know. It was so odd for me. NOT picking on one or the other. I guess it was just one of those couples that didn’t work. Their story was all right I guess. However, what I found was odd was why she loved him so much YET was willing to give such a promising marriage up for that one job? I meant okay, it seemed to be projecting that she was lured in by those luxuries (jewelry store scene with her taking that watch) and the mansion (Felix Lok took her to the mountainside and told her to look down at the row of houses at this one place). OR was her pride getting in the way? Like how she was trying to prove Pro Sir wrong with how he was saying it wasn’t good to mix the other dude? NOT too sure but I’ll just let it go since it’s not worth getting mad over. BUT it wasn’t too unrealistic with couples suddenly breaking up out of nowhere.

The two worlds – FH I & II vs. FH III. YES, had to include this section since I know people love to compare. And I’m somewhat curious too.

  • The LEADERS: Bobby vs. Wayne – Tim Sir vs. Pro Sir. NOT bad on both counts. I swear they did look cool as the boss. And were equally intelligent–with their own methods. Though I must say I prefer Wayne over Bobby. NOT the characters, but the actor. Maybe it was because I never abandoned Wayne before–even if he was in the shadow in the past all these years versus Bobby (whom I lost track for a while). It’s my own personal lapse AND not because Bobby was not cool.
  • The DOCTORS: Frankie vs. Maggie – Dr. Koo vs. Dr. Chung. Yes, I chose Maggie to represent the doctor side though technically both she and Wayne were. YET Wayne had to represent the leader spot. Character-wise, I actually felt Frankie’s character was crafted more complex and had a better foundation. Perhaps his life wasn’t so dramatic. But that wasn’t Maggie’s fault for getting the role of a victim in some case as well. But what made it interesting was how he was also an author. Dr. Chung was very creative and intelligent in her own way, but Dr. Koo’s character was really well written and more unique. However, I thought the love story with Dr. Chung was crafted better. Why? I guess being paired up with the main guy made it a better advantage since she was the first female lead. Dr. Koo’s love story was all right I guess but I didn’t care for it much because of his other half. So it was half and half for both instances. But I like Frankie and Maggie equally so no choosing there.
  • The MADAMES: Yoyo vs. Charmaine vs. Kate – Madame Nicole Leung vs. Madame Bell Ma vs. Madame Ada Ling. Madame Leung was strong and independent, and not to mention aggressive. That made her name ‘yau’ (柔) even more ironic because it meant ‘gentle’. She was also a ‘no-nonsense’ type of person. Madame Ma looked aggressive and was intimidating at one point yet she had a soft heart at others (and had developed her strong exterior because she had to protect her mother). Madame Ling, on the other hand, was more tolerant of her subordinates when they got random and were messing around during meetings. Though there was no doubt she could use her power to make the others work. But I thought Yoyo was the more powerful one with the vibe that she exuded. Not that Charmaine and Kate didn’t look aggressive enough since both were shown as capable leaders as well. I just felt like Yoyo pulled it off better as a ‘madame’. Not bringing Charmaine or Kate down because I actually liked both (by now if I hadn’t in the past), but that was what I felt. However, I must say I like all three equally in their own way so no points lost actually.
  • The SIDE-KICKS: Raymond Cho vs. Ron Ng – Shum Hung vs. Wind. Shum Hung, they didn’t say much about him in all the two parts that he appeared? I forgot already since that was years ago since I watched both installments. YET he really stood out as Madame Leung’s side-kick every time he appeared. And his rash personality made him all the more lovable. Not to mention how he had such a sense of humor as well. I couldn’t remember quite well with his capabilities either. But I swear he got robbed–even if he was still up there in the cast list. I think with the character development, Wind had it made out better with him being the side-kick and how his background story with him being a rich boy, NOT just a typical cop. Not to mention how he also knew taekwondo and competed in this one competition with Ko Sir. All in all though, I liked both characters just fine. They were different in their own way. Acting? Raymond Cho’s actually the better one here. I’m not saying that because Ray’s like one of my favorites. But Ray started out better than Ron and is still so–even if he kept getting pushed aside at times. The other thing was how little information Ray had with his character but was able to make his character shine out, making it memorable. Perhaps his loyalty to Madame Leung and his colleagues made it the most memorable.
  • The ROOKIES: Linda Chung vs. Aimee Chan – Lam Ding Ding vs. Angel Chiang. Honestly, I didn’t want to put them in since it would get too personal. But since I already put the others on the table, why not? I thought both developments of their characters were about enough, not too much and not too little either. So people shouldn’t even complain about it. Both characters were meant to be cute and charming with their curiosity, etc. Both died as well. Though I must say even if they dressed Linda in cute outfits and letting her wear those braids, I didn’t like her that much either. I meant the character, SO don’t say I’m picking on Linda. In fact, I never forgive her for sneezing into that one evidence while Fred (Madame Leung’s brother) was doing the test for it hence causing it to become invalid, and not to mention causing trouble for Fred. (YUP, he got scold at–though he was nice enough to not blame her.) Angel, though she was too silly with her different views at times and even clash in cultures, but was more professional. Her death, I swear made sense even more–though it was frustrating. Who do I prefer then? Aimee actually. Because I never liked Linda since she started. People are throwing stuff at me for making that decision since everyone’s putting dirt on Aimee right now. Yet I felt Aimee exuded the cute look better though she was the tomboy type of character in here.
  • The OTHER FORENSIC TECHNICIANS: Fred Cheng vs. Edwin Siu – Fred Leung vs. Ken Ho. Yes, interestingly Fred was also named Fred in here though his Chinese name was different. (PHEW!) Anyway, Fred was sort of a pushover because of having a madame sister–and to complete the irony of it all, his name was actually ‘kong’ (剛)–meaning strong. Though he was really hardworking. Ken Ho, on the other hand, was a funny type of guy who wouldn’t mind striking up an argument. I thought that his character somewhat reminded me of Ray’s Shum Hung. OR was that it but they just tossed him toward the forensic side so it was less obvious? Yet both managed to deliver even if there was lack of screen time for Fred.
  • The OTHER GIRL COPS: Vivien Yeo vs. Jessie Shum –  Josie vs. Calorie. Lack of memory, but I remember Vivien’s character, Josie, being in the background most of the time, except it was until she had to help the others retrieve statements from different witnesses, etc. Yet I liked her being around with the rest of the team. Calorie was the loud one in here but still had her own moments.

Goofs/Complaints/whatever else:

  • The tip of scale between both teams. Though I soon got used to the teams. But I must admit the tip of scale at times for both teams–cops and forensics. Why the tip? The reason was putting both Wayne and Maggie on the forensic side (though under different specialized areas). They should have separated the two to maintain equilibrium. However, was the creators’ intention to make it different from the other two installments? NOT sure. Probably so though since putting both Wayne and Maggie on the same side paved the story for their characters better as a couple, how in-sync they were, etc. But I didn’t think that Ron and Kate were useless even if Wayne and Maggie had put most of the pieces of the puzzles together. Because this was after all ‘forensic heroes’ so they had to put more stresses toward the ‘forensic’ side. Ron and Kate had action scenes when it was needed or necessary for the cases. So both teams actually collaborated quite well with one another. Not too bad actually if analyze a bit more.
  • CSIs DO NOT carry guns. During the 7th case when Angel was in one of the rooms (the study?) collecting evidence, Hilbert (Wind’s uncle) walked in and was chatting with her on how she helped him one time in New York running after a culprit with a gun. He had assumed that she was a cop, but she explained to him that she wasn’t because the difference between CSI of both New York (or the States?) and Hong Kong was that NY CSIs could carry guns while Hong Kong CSIs do not. YET that was basing it on the TV Series, NOT real life. Because technically in real life, CSIs DO NOT carry guns regardless in the States. SO, therefore, that little detail was a glitch. Were the scriptwriters basing it on those TV Series instead of doing actual research on the real CSIs in the States? CSIs could only carry pepper sprays–if they wanted something to protect themselves. I wanted to let it go. YET I couldn’t because they repeated it again in a later episode so I didn’t want to let it go.
  • A Hana Kimi took over? I’m so serious here! I know it was a coincidence and could happen to anyone (or probably from other series too). But I couldn’t help thinking of it when they mentioned Ken Ho’s character not being able to drink wine or he would go crazy. Later it was revealed that he would go on a kissing rampage. Same as what happened with Quan in Hana Kimi when he got drunk (and had kissed the main girl too).
  • Eva’s death and the aftermaths. Was it just me or it seemed like they moved forward in two shakes? YES, Pro Sir did blame himself for not answering to her suggestion/request YET Wind had told him to not feel guilty but focused on solving the case to seek justice for Eva. SO that part made sense. Yet I honestly hoped the ending was like several months later OR until Pro Sir and Eva’s kid recovered. ‘Cause she cried like mad when her parents divorced and all. SO it would be too strange to see her all happy and looking forward to Pro Sir and Mandy’s wedding. According to some exchanges between them and Ken Ho that Ken had asked for a leave to go take care of Angel’s situation and returning the ashes to her parents in the States. SO I hope some time had passed for everyone to recover regarding Eva as well.
  • Were the cases too easy? This was NOT a complaint on my part but more like I heard some people talking about it. I think it was in a sense. YET the deduction made it fascinating. Even if the cases seemed too brainless or weren’t as complex as the cases in the first installment but it wasn’t too unreasonable either. Why not? If comparing to CSIs/Criminal Minds or those other ones, not every one of those cases had to be so mind-blowing to make it a case, right? Let’s just file these under the everyday type of crime. It wasn’t too unreasonable because people nowadays might just kill for no reason. NOT good or reassuring to know what type of messed up environment we might live in. Yet it wasn’t too off either. The only complaint I had was Wind’s case was toooo long. Okay, maybe I was just impatient that the family just pissed me off so much with their inconsiderate nature, except for Wind. SO yeah… (I put this up there at the beginning of the review already, BUT thought I would ‘bullet point’ it too! LOL!)

What made up for it all? The technology actually. And the way the deduction was made. They really managed to take advantage of the technology all right. It reminded me of one of the most recent seasons of Criminal Minds where everyone was carrying a tablet with them. Pretty cool to think about. (Though not sure if everyone was as equipped in the real environment, lol.)

Recommended? NOT recommended if you’re going to compare it to parts 1 and 2. I did it too, I know. YET I didn’t have a problem with it. Why? It was a cop series. But I must say that it was the only series from 2011 that I managed to finish. What about the others? Dropped halfway through or somewhere along the way. OR I didn’t bother. So that said something. But maybe because I’m too easily rattled. Your choice really.

Dropping By Cloud Nine

Since this was 10 episodes, I decided to give it a try. I meant what harm could it do, right? Only ten. YET…I was actually quite stumped how people couldn’t even get it right with short stories.

Opening, In-Between, and Ending:

  • Ron Ng as Jesse aka Professional Photographer.
  • Kate Tsui as June aka Tourist. Funny that she wasn’t scolding him for taking her picture at first but was just wanting him to take pictures of her right side more than left.
  • First Thought: Wow, obvious with how they appeared like that with the fate talk and all.
  • Second Thought: OMG! They’re not the main couple? Like really?
  • Third Thought: Okay…whatever…works…really…NOT…
  • Ron and Kate as a couple. I don’t know, after the whole The Brink of Law, I’m already sold. So I guess I’ll take whatever I could for this case. At least no one dies, right? Though they’re not linked either since he’s attached and she’s waiting for someone, playing the fate game.

Story #1: Let Go / Bu She Bu De (不捨不得)

  • Figaro Ceng as Li Li Jun (李勵軍). He’s laid-back as always with his composure. It’s nice to see him lead for a change (instead of those supporting roles–though I don’t mind him in those unique roles). Just want to see him lead, that’s all. (Better than some of the current TW leads actually.)
  • Mag Lam as Li Li Jun ( 李麗君). No comment since could be considered cute but the story’s too short to observe more.
  • Wong Cho Lam as Travel Agent. No surprise that he’s so enthusiastic toward convincing others to buy the travel packages, etc.
  • Wong Lai Yee as Xiao Yun (小韻). Kind of charming with her exchanges with the other two.
  • Thoughts: Would I get stuff tossed at me if I say I rather see Figaro with Wong Lai Lee? I meant just by their compatibility with one another when he sat down next to her at the restaurant and they had a little chat. Of course I’m missing the point here. Anyway, then when she checked on his phone’s screensaver, it reminded me of the field of flowers at the beginning of I Do?–and yes, that’s kind of creepy in a sense but whatever works since I’m sure it’s a coincidence. And imagine two people with the same name. At least the same sounding and all.
  • Definition of FATE: Two people who DO NOT do anything but somehow ended up meeting and ending up together. What is this story? Um…a mutual friend who intentionally, purposefully tossed a phone into one party’s bag when the other had accidentally forgotten about his phone. NICE? Sorry for being so sarcastic, but I usually think of fate as some unknown force of nature aka an invisible hand of some sort, NOT some planned action by a known being.
  • Other thoughts: Aww…that flower field was indeed quite beautiful and mesmerizing.
  • Question: They actually went to Taiwan to film it? I meant Figaro didn’t have to go anywhere. But I meant the TVB crew. Like seriously?

Story #2: Merry Single Christmas / Yi Ge Ren De Kuai Le Sheng Dan (一個人的快樂聖誕)

  • Jacqueline Chong as Emily. I don’t feel like she’s one of those hostile bosses though. Maybe it’s because she’s not good with socializing with her co-workers but that doesn’t make her like some evil being either. She’s just too occupied with her work but she still contributes in with paying the party’s fees–though she doesn’t participate actively. She only needs to slow down a bit and enjoy the simplest things.
  • Mandy Lam as Helen.
  • Kibby Lau as Sandy.
  • Derek Chow as Wei.
  • Kelvin Lee as David.
  • Match Lau as Joe.
  • Joey Yau as Linda.
  • Kim Li as Raymond.
  • Question: How in the world did they make such an interesting and exciting theme so boring? I’m so serious here! I’m like NOT that glued to the screen and multi-tasked like mad. AND of course, I had to pause it about a bunch of times before I got done watching it. Not that I didn’t enjoy the cast and the atmosphere, but it was just so lacking even if they tried to cover it all up with trying to make it so glamorous. (As always…like that would work…)
  • Moral of the story: Okay, got it. I was surprised I actually liked it. I meant they didn’t make it like it was a crime to be single. You could find happiness through yourself or how you view things as.

Story #3: Two Unchanging Hearts / Lian Ke Bu Bian Xin (兩顆不變心)

  • Stephanie Ho as Sue.
  • Yuang Cheung as Eric.
  • Miu Miu Ko as Abby. I found her extremely funny. GOSH, her plans backfired major time with the haunted house thing. Then she attempted to drive away Eric’s pursuers.
  • Calvin Chan as Ian. I found him extremely cute and funny also, trying to follow with Abby’s schemes.
  • Brian Tse as John. The poor clueless dude. Not too clueless since he sort of got Abby’s hint but it was sort of sad, lol. Oh well, not everyone can win.
  • Suyen Cheung as Celia.
  • I was impatient even with the first 2 minutes into it. YET glad I stayed since it sort of reminded me of those weird games in school days. Like matchmaking and crazy pranks.
  • Eric and Sue’s communication method and tacit understanding. I loved those subtle gestures at times. It was kind of cute. Like the part where they were in the library studying and Abby was sneaking up on them and watching from one of the bookshelves, Eric sort of sent a message to Sue that someone was there and she just pretended to search for something else while spotting Abby standing there–to which Abby was pretending to not notice and walk away, lol. (Busted I guess so had to get out of there…)
  • Abby and Ian as conspirators. Honestly, they were sort of somewhat more fun to watch. Crazy plans, etc. Mostly her plans and he followed along. Yet it was so funny seeing them cooking up new schemes to pull Eric and Sue together.
  • The grand finale. OMG! That was so unexpected! Eric liked Abby, NOT Sue. Man, that was so playing on the audience’s emotions big time. I meant it seemed Eric and Sue were meant for each other with their coincidences with picking the same book, etc. Then it was like he was always smiling at Sue, etc. But he was just trying to get Abby’s attention. I guess opposites attract, eh? LOL! I sort of favor this ending though since I thought Abby was so cute in her own way, trying so hard to matchmake but didn’t realize it that she was the one Eric was after.

Story #4: Romance on a Ride / Yi Cheng Che De Chun Tian (一程車的春天)

  • Sherry Chen as Jia Hui (嘉慧).
  • Lai Lok Yi as Qian (謙). Cute, nerdy glasses.
  • Cheung Wing Hong as Chun (春).
  • Sarah Song as Katy.
  • Chan Nim Gwun as Iris.
  • Rachel Kan as Carol.
  • Sherry and Lai Lok Yi. They were quite cute together as a couple.
  • The real version. Oh…so the ride only became romantic or full of happiness when she was thinking about her boyfriend AND not that dude who was sleeping away and leaning on her.
  • Moral of the story. Braveness. Okay, got it why she let the guy leaned on her for so long. I meant she wasn’t even brave enough to tell him off and all, sort of relating to her and her boyfriend’s situation. Yet she was glad she didn’t tell the person sitting next to her off since she learned something from him. But if it was real life, I think the situation would be different. Like would anyone let some dude lean on her like that? It didn’t matter if she sympathized with his fatigue or not. Back to the story, it was kind of interesting how she was observing different passengers and incorporating her story into her own with her boyfriend and friends, etc. Yup, what a time to reflect on life’s many possibilities.

Story #5: Marriage’s Secret Language / Jie Hun Mi Yu (結婚密語)

  • Elle Lee as as Grace.
  • Vincent Wong as Gary.
  • Jacky Lei as Jack.
  • Lam Sau Yi as Jacqueline.
  • Jones Lee as Tony.
  • Amy Tsang as Ada.
  • Kitterick Yiu as Wilson.
  • Eddie Law as Ben. Funny dude.
  • Jack and Grace. I so didn’t see that coming. I meant I thought it was a flashback of Gary and Grace years ago so they let different actor and actress portray the roles. YET it was actually Grace and Jack. So he remembered. But it was too late anyway. Doesn’t matter anymore.
  • Moral of the Story. Got it. So they were reflecting about the past with their exes, mostly Grace. Then Grace was realizing how she shouldn’t dwell on what couldn’t be more than focusing on what could really be (something that was within reach).
  • Thoughts. Not bad actually. But not the best either.

Story #6: Our Romantic Story / Wo Men De Liang Man Gu Shi (我們的浪漫故事)

  • Man Cheung as Jun (俊).
  • Yaka as Wincy.
  • Joel Chan as Ivan.
  • Macy Chan as Ying Ying (影影).
  • Hoffman Cheng as Wallace.
  • Alan Luk as Daniel.
  • Lydia Law as Jie Dai Yuan (接待員).
  • Chloe Nguyen as Sherry.
  • Kaka Chan as Theater Staff.
  • Thoughts. Surprisingly good to me. I meant I was looking for the typical ending just like what happened in that movie they saw at the theater that one time. Yet even though some details were the same, such as Wincy leaving her umbrella at that one restaurant or how she lost her wallet in the streets, but the outcome was different. Like how the restaurant staff brought Wincy’s umbrella out for her and her wallet was actually somewhere in one of those bushes (not in her purse all along). Then there was also the part where Wincy was saying how she hadn’t seen stars for so long but they just proceeded on with Jun eating his purchased food while Wincy browsed a magazine in her purse to pass time while they were waiting for the bus. I actually liked how the situation presented itself to them like the movie yet because of their similar circumstances (being dumped and getting over the relationship), their reactions were different. Despite the fact that they’d seen the movie together. And perhaps it was like how they were in the same circumstance so they didn’t take on the role of reassuring one or the other like the leading actor in the movie did.
  • The cast. I actually enjoyed the cast more this time around since I felt they weren’t really the usual main cast in the typical long series of TVB but they surpassed some of those cast major time. Not to mention how it made it more realistic because these situations happen to people holding a normal job too, not too glamorous but not too pitiful either.
  • The fact that they didn’t end up together. Well, not really or it was that way for us to dwell upon. But it was not cliche. Sure, there were people in your life you often encounter and could chat up a storm yet it didn’t mean you have to step further into it. It was just someone to talk to at times.

Story #7: Love’s Shift / Ai Qing Zhuan Yi (愛情轉移)

  • Lisa Ch’ng as Elaine. I’m not sure if I’d seen her before but have good impressions of her for portraying a somewhat strict, strange being to letting us see the real her in the end (aka from her point of view).
  • Kaki Leung as Ivy. Seriously, I think she was the one barking more than Elaine when she used the term ‘bark’ on Elaine and Mag Mag.
  • Jason Chan as Tom. Perhaps, he was the wisest in here, not judging Elaine or willing to participate in gossips with others. He knew from different details that it wasn’t like so thus not caving in with the rest of the public to sling even more mud on Elaine.
  • Edwin Siu as Victor. NO comment. He was portraying another asshole role so what should I say?
  • Eddie Lee as George. The poor guy who got rejected.
  • Calvin Lui as John.
  • Thoughts. I felt that this was getting better and better with the story. OR it was just me. People often criticize others for being blind with being the person in the situation versus those not involved are more clear-headed, etc. YET this proved wrong. Sometimes other people DO NOT know the real version or know the story exactly as it was. They just want to form their own conclusion. AND it was because they were not involved in the matter that they could say or give advice as they pleased, thinking it was the best solution YET they were not the ones having to deal with it all. It was those who were involved and had all the pieces of the puzzle who knew. That was why it was hard to deal with situations. They know whether they have too much to lose or not. Another good episode with the whole reflection and healing one–without the element of romance involved.

Story #8: Beautiful Daydream / Bai Ri Qi Meng (白日綺夢)

  • James Ng as Bai Zhan Ting (白占庭).
  • Alfred Hui as Gan Zu Xiong (甘祖雄).
  • Ria Tong as Zhong Xiao Qi (鍾曉淇).
  • Nicole Wan as Stacy.
  • Winnie Ma as Susan.
  • Kaka Chan as Natalie.
  • Koni Lui as special guest aka trophy presenter.
  • First Thought. Awww…the feeling of being used by someone so they could get through your friend. Well, if you experienced it before, it sucks big time–to the point that sometimes you just can’t get over it no matter how others told you it’s no big deal. They DO NOT get it.
  • Second Thought. OMG! It was all a dream like even the whole idea of the girl using him to get to his friend? Okay…at least he didn’t get used by others. PHEW!
  • Last Thought. I honestly don’t think Zhan Ting was too fat or too unattractive though. He just fit those schoolboy images perfectly though, with the dorky glasses and somewhat ruffled hair. It was probably his confidence–and maybe others’ views. Or his own paranoia. Or he was just bored or read too much manga to dream up of different stories so he could be involved in it.

Story #9: I Do / Wo Yuan Yi (我願意)

  • Phoebe Pang as Hu Ke Ling (胡可玲).
  • Sheldon Lo as Shi Zhi Qing (石志青).
  • Anita Kwan as Hu Ke Yi (胡可怡).
  • Cheng Tse Sing as Ling’s father.
  • Elena Kong May Yee as Ling’s mother.
  • Alvina Kong as 3rd Aunt.
  • Ko Jun Man as Qing’s father.
  • Tsang Wai Man as Qing’s mother.
  • Shek Sau as Uncle Zhu.
  • Mary Hon as Uncle Zhu’s wife.
  • Joseph Yeung as Wedding Host/Witness.
  • Ronald Leung as Alfred, Hu Ke Yi’s first husband.
  • Stephen Huynh as Ben, Hu Ke Yi’s second husband.
  • Jim Tang as John Hu Ke Yi’s third husband.
  • Thougts. Awww…that was so cute, especially the ending. Well, imagine playing the game of ‘getting married’ when they were little and growing up together, etc. Cliche but sometimes people prefer those who didn’t grow up with them since it was more of a family feeling than romance. Yet this one sort of fell back on that one and when the feeling was mutual, it was really cute.
  • Regarding marriage. I guess no one has the right to judge how many times one gets married OR if it’s real or not. Again, outsiders have no right to judge because they do not have all the pieces and they could form their own opinions however they want to.
  • The ending. I thought Ling Ling would catch it since her sister did signal to her. But then it was Zhi Qing who caught it and then handed the bouquet to her.

Story #10:  When an Old Sweater Met an Old Scarf / Dang Jiu Mao Yi Yu Shang Jiu Wei Jin (當舊毛衣遇上舊圍巾)

  • Gregory Wong as Wen (文).
  • Cheung Kwok Keung as Old Wen.
  • Candice Chiu as Lan (蘭).
  • Lisa Lui Yau Wai as Old Lan.
  • Janet Chow as Fion.
  • Thoughts. Man, I wasn’t sure if I was more involved with seeing how Cheung Kwok Keung and Lisa Lui portrayed the older version or the younger versions of Wen and Lan. Though the older couple only appeared a bit, their emotions said a lot with their expressions. It was interesting how things turned out because I thought his wife wouldn’t care anymore or how they would eventually end up together but separated years ago. But it wasn’t so. It was just those little memories and then they continued with their lives–to be reunited briefly again, but separated because of their different course of life. Call me a crybaby but I actually cried near the end when they were just crossing paths to walk in opposite directions. It was like so close, yet it was not meant to be.

Favorite story? At first, I thought it was kind of brainless because of the first few stories having nothing special except it was a bit different. But then I was wrong since the later stories were better (for me). So for me, it was a toss between story # 3, #6, #9, and #10. But I must say that the story that left the deepest impression was the last one. Honestly, that was so, so sad. Though I know it was kind of forbidden and was glad there was no cheating or breaking up some marriage’s involved yet it was like so sad. I guess they weren’t meant to be anyway since they would never say anything more than the initial exchange in response to the little lunch box she prepared for him that last time when she brought it to the airport.

Other thoughts? Honestly, aside from some familiar faces, I think this was just an attempt to introduce new faces to us. What better way than to do it with some short stories, right? What I did like about it was how it was planned was with those cute drawings that played into the theme video instead of the actual people and some song. The music was very soothing as well. But it was strange in a sense too because it would be more suitable for the autumn theme with the colors used and not Valentine’s Day theme as TVB had intended for it to be.

Recommended? Your choice really. ‘Cause I thought it was a series of light-hearted episodes to pass time, not something intense if you were looking for that. It was more along of those meaningful messages about life than typical dramas TVB tried so hard to push forth these past years.

*Cast names are listed by how they are known as by region, character names are listed by Mandarin Pinyin (as relevant).

14 Blades

WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD. If you DO NOT want to be spoiled, please DO NOT read. You have been warned.

Wow! I didn’t even expect much of it, considering how long it was I last seen a movie. I didn’t expect to enjoy it so much from all the cast. I thought that what was even better was having a decent plot to move the story along and then leaving a lot of time for fighting scenes. Of course there were romances too but it was only briefly and only existed between one couple in here and I was glad. They focused on the right elements so the whole movie did not drag at all.

Donnie Yen was great as always in his fighting sequences. It was an interesting collaboration between him and the rest of the cast. What I thought was interesting and found quite fascinating was having seen Donnie’s interactions with Vicki, Chun, and Kate. Their relationships were very different yet each played an essential part to the story. It brought out his and their characters as well. There was no lack of screen time for anyone OR at least I thought it was relevant for the story and was not overdone.

So who was Donnie Yen really in here? Donnie portrayed Qing Long (青龍 aka Green Dragon), a leader of Jin Yi Wei (錦衣衛 – Cẩm Y Vệ), who possessed 14 blades. With those 14 blades, he had the power to off anyone to protect the emperor and defend the dynasty. All in all, it seemed like the best position. However, that was not easy since he was set up by Eunuch Jia Jing Zhong (賈精忠–who gave him the orders to kill Councilor Zhao Shen Yan) and betrayed by his own fellow guards (except for Bai Hu and Zhu Que who were killed off by Xuan Wu and Tuo Tuo respectively). However, he managed to escape and seek shelter elsewhere until he was able to recover the Imperial Seal (which was snatched from him while he was in the middle of confronting the councilor).

Vicki Zhao portrayed Qiao Hua (喬花), the daughter of Qiao Yong (喬永–who was the head of the Righteous Escort Agency – 正義镖局). She encountered Qing Long when Qing Long arrived at the doorstep of their agency, offering them money for their service. This time, they had to safeguard him out of the city. It was not a problem since Qiao Yong was thinking of marrying his daughter off and was ready to set out with her within several days. After some corny jokes from Qiao Yong’s old friend–and some offering of money (of course), the group was able to pass since Qing Long was hidden inside the bride’s carriage. They found out Qing Long’s truth identity when they were ambushed in the woods. Qing Long took Qiao Hua as a hostage after fighting off all the guards and told Qiao Yong and his men to head east to divert attention from himself. They were to meet him at a village up ahead so he could return Qiao Hua to them unharmed. Along the way, Qiao Hua discovered that Qing Long was not a cruel or rough person liked it was led on at first. They exchanged some witty comments at this one rest stop and somehow explored more about each other along the way.

Wu Zun came into the picture when Qing Long and Qiao Hua arrived at the pre-planned village. He was seen spying on them from a distance at first. He was introduced as the leader of the Heavenly Eagles Clan (天鹰幫 aka Tian Ying Bang). He was actually the real World’s Number One Sabre (天下第一刀 aka Tian Xia Di Yi Dao), ‘Judge of the Desert’ (大漠判官 aka Da Mo Pan Guan), not like the impersonator of that one group who tried to rob Qiao Hua’s agency in the woods (and was also killed off by the guards awhile after). Anyway, he challenged Qing Long at the inn. It proved that they were a match for each other and Qing Long decided to join forces with them to go against the eunuchs, the guards, and Prince Qing (whom Qing Long found out had join forces with the eunuchs in an attempt to overthrow the emperor). In exchange for their help, Qing Long offered the golds that were transported by the guards. It was impossible and seemed too easy yet Qing Long convinced the Heavenly Eagles Clan that he wouldn’t go back on his words (aka letting the clan have all the golds).

What was admirable about Da Mo Pan Guan was not only the fact that he kept his words to help Qing Long, but he even interfered with the battle–aiding Qing Long when Qing Long was surrounded by the guards. Qing Long took a quick glance at him before turning his cautious eyes back on Xuan Wu, asking, “Da Mo Pan Guan, don’t you just know how to rob?” He returned those words by uttering, “I love to rob, but I love fighting more.” Witty exchange. Probably their first time fighting alongside one another and it was also the last since Mr. Heavenly Eagles Clan’s Leader got killed off after saving Qiao Hua and sending her off with his last words to Qing Long.

Kate Tsui appeared at various points of the movie and was known as the adopted daughter of Prince Qing. Her name was Tuo Tuo (脱脱) and she was one powerful fighter all right. She had major scenes with both Donnie and Chun. The fact that she was responsible for both guys’ death was even more chilling. It was hard to swallow but somehow that was some of the most powerful scenes. Tuo Tuo was not only skillful but she was so chillingly scary. She was one of the most powerful fighters in here yet in a way she was very pitiful because she was only her adopted father’s tool. She was only a killing machine. She ended up paying a price for all her dirty works. It was mentioned that Prince Qing had shed tears upon hearing about Tuo Tuo’s death but was it true? Not impossible but what was the point after she was dead? Or was it because he trusted her so he bestowed upon her shoulders of such duties? Something to think about really.

What was really cool about the whole thing was the number of gadgets each character possessed and/or specialized in. Vicki did not get to use as much since she did not have many fighting scenes though Qiao Hua’s bravery and intelligence made up for it. Among the other three characters, Donnie’s Qing Long beat the other two by miles since he had 14 blades, to begin with. There was also the whole idea with his wires that he manipulated to move from one location to others or hang loosely high above. He also had some of the other weapons inside the blade box, which was equally useful and not to be taken lightly by anyone–friends or enemies.

Chun came in second with Da Mo Pan Guan’s razor-sharp saber, lethal flying double saber, and hidden little arrows strapped on his leg. There were also the golden coins that he used as weapons, flicking it in the air–saving Qiao Hua that one time from her near death experience. Then the last one could be said as part of his clan’s weapon, which was the special bow and explosive arrows they shoot out to inflict damage from a distance. And did anyone realize how his image sort of looked like Jack Sparrow? (Okay, that was just me since it was a big difference between being a pirate and some person famous for roaming the sands.)

Kate’s Tuo Tuo came in third with only two gadgets–her long flexible rope and the sharp stick she used to strike at her enemies. Because she was extremely skillful, the lack of gadgets did not decrease her powerful stances either.

The other cast was as great though they only appeared at various points. Damian Lau was Councilor Zhao Shen Yan so he only appeared at the beginning and the little of the ending part because he was imprisoned for the majority of the movie. Still, that was a relief that he was alive and was able to reunite with his family. Law Kar Ying was portraying Eunuch Jia Jing Zhong–who taught Xuan Wu about the importance of success and only others were able to see that part of the achievement, not all the means that one used to reach that point; and was ironically killed by Xuan Wu for that same philosophy. Sammo Hung was Prince Qing–who was seen giving orders to Tuo Tuo at the beginning and then was seen near the end with the voice-over of Qiao Hua telling the audience that he committed suicide before his execution date. It was interesting to see Wu Ma as Vicki’s father in here also–though brief but convincing. The production team should not be forgotten either because, without them, it was not possible.

The plot aka the story itself was another typical corrupted officials, eunuchs, incapable kings, heroes among thieves with the mixture of subtle romance, friendship, and companionship. Yet what made up for the rest of the story was the fighting sequences. It was enjoyable that it made way for lots and lots of fighting scenes yet the story still made sense. They did not linger long to drag out the feelings between Qing Long and Qiao Hua nor were they stressing too much of the ‘knowing the hero, respecting the hero’ concept between Qing Long and Da Mo Pan Guan.

It was there through the stories told or brief words exchanged. It was not dragged out or overly dramatic about the themes mentioned. The humor was subtle, really subtle so I was glad of that. You know it was there, but it was not dragged out OR to the point where you roll your eyes and mutter, “Lame.” It was in there at certain points to ease the moment or showed to some extent that they were not in danger–yet. All in all, the fighting scenes were well done. That was the hallmark of the movie and they had succeeded.

Acting? This was like 90% fighting between the main cast so I won’t say much but I thought they did their part to make it happen and that was what mattered. I thought it was a great opportunity for various cast members to learn from some of the veterans and/or the ones before them. Chun got his wish to work with Donnie and that was great. Not sure about Kate but I’m sure she learned and interacted with all the cast members well enough to make it work. She had fun with her action scenes–it seemed, but probably a lot of hard work for everyone involved, including herself. One thing I noticed was practically everyone had to maintain their cool looks throughout. It was hard not to, considering how the story was. Everything was so intense. So that was an easy part? OR was that a challenge to try and not laugh?

Recommended or not? I thought it was worth it for action movie fans. But it depends on your standard. I am no expert, so I can’t speak out of professionalism. But I thought it was one of the best out there.

*All images were scanned and/or captured by DTLCT