Year 2015 in Recap

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Oh joy, I’m bringing this back since it’s another year of madness. How did it go? Let’s check the number first, lol. Yes, before I start bragging and realized it wasn’t worth bragging over, lol. But before I actually go into the stats, I would like to thank The New World and iHero for making some of the impossibles happen. Because if it wasn’t for the dramas, I wouldn’t have updated so much or kept it so consistent for the better half of the year. Also, anyone wanting to check out the stat report from WordPress, click here.

Total Posts in 2015: 365 (35% of all time). Yes, I took a challenge of trying to keep up posts for 365 days SO had to brag here. It wasn’t easy and some posts were less impressing than others. However, I think it was already tough that I managed it all year long. For this year, will I be continuing on this pattern? I want to but I would say no. Since quality trumps quantity so I’ll still be updating, still be my random self at times, but I won’t force it as an everyday thing. If it happens, it happens. Now, moving on to the breakdown of different categories.

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Times Updated on People on the Poll
: 284 (78% of overall). I took out Ady and Hu Ge early on so I didn’t feel like I needed to include them in this section. Anyway, because I did the 365-day challenge, everyone benefited–one way or another. However, Achel had a surge, leaving Jun Ya behind with only 22 posts, because Wallace, Joanne, Bianca, and Jacky ended up having more posts than him for the year. That knocked him off top 5 for the year yet didn’t damage his overall record too much. Talking about that, he was the reason why I held off so long of not publishing this post since I needed to calculate some of the posts again. Yet I decided to gamble and take out some and possibly double back next year to correct it all. Oh yeah, I didn’t count general updates for some people, especially those with higher numbers already.
Wallace Huo: 26 (9% of the year)
Janine Chang: 16 (6%)
Vic Chou: 12 (4%)
Joanne Zeng: 25 (9%)
Nicholas Teo: 18 (6%)
Xiu Jie Kai: 12 (4%)
Angela Chang: 12 (4%)
Zhao Jun Ya: 22 (8%)
Yvonne Yao: 7 (2%)
Penny Lin: 16 (6%)
Achel Chang/ Zhang Xin Yu: 34 (12%)
Sophia Chou: 6 (2%)
Ruby Lin: 16 (6%)
Van Fan: 9 (3%)
Eric Suen: 5 (2%)
Bianca Bai: 25 (9%)
Jacky Chu: 23 (8%)

Books Reviews:

Music Reviews:

Movies + TV Series Reviews/Episode Summaries: I will say that I was both proud and also a bit ashamed, because I was cheating for several dramas by inserting placeholders. I was trying to motivate myself to watch faster and/or fill the spaces yet things got in the way and I fell behind once again.

Fan Fiction:

Songs Translations: I think that it was too obvious that it was a Phil Chang year for me. Yes, I love that guy. Okay, mostly his songs, lol. But he is funny. Getting back to this, totally outdone myself on some levels. Overall, I translated 51 songs. OMG, that’s like major achievement for me in this area. The previous year, I only did 12, but that was because I didn’t really take it as a challenge. I think this number will drop the upcoming year since I won’t be forcing myself to update every day.

Chinese: 46

Vietnamese: 5

Side Updates: 130 posts – My randomness seriously has gone way past normal. I didn’t count some of the side stuffs. But The New World and iHero obviously dominated the scene for the beginning of the year.

For this year, I hope to bring out more quality posts, like I said earlier. I also hope to finish up the placeholder posts that I haven’t previously. Wish me luck and see you all next year!

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Ruse of Engagement

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

Main Cast:

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

Supporting:

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

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

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

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 stuff to do than random walking. Even if I just said above that I will address it as a ‘standalone’ first, it still felt off that the main lead was standing around doing senseless stuff 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 advice 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 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. The rest? 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 advice 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-racking 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 worked together after all. And it would be too repetitive if Dr. Ko once again ended 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 scriptwriters 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 was her kid when the kid was in good, tip-top “smelling good” condition versus how it was 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 “payback” but it felt strange. I was indeed touched by 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 liked it that the randomness continued into this series like it had shown 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 were 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 was 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 stuff 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 scriptwriters 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 likable 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. They were 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 the 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 didn’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 stuff 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 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.

Master of Play

This was on my ‘to-watch’ list anyway so no surprise that I followed through. OMG, I read some spoilers coming into the series. BUT lucky I didn’t care for it since I had read some comments on how people who like happy, fluffy stuff might not like it. (AND that some people might not get it.) SO I was patient and followed throughout–without fast-forwarding. YES, I do admit that some parts were slow, but it was essential to the overall story. Because it revolved around psychological conflicts, I tried to be patient since I do enjoy those types of theme, and the mystery it often involved. I must say that I was quite impressed and have to say that it was cleverly done throughout. Honestly, the same creators who made When Heaven Burns and somewhat of a similar cast here and there, but it was worth it. I was really fascinated with the plot layout and the order the story was told in–in an attempt to focus on the emotional and psychological turmoils within more than just some lame plot about “OMG, it’s a psycho, we need to bring him in” type of thing. YES, the cops were there and they tried to bring the “psycho” in too. YET it wasn’t so. Since the cops were just part of the background story. The major and minor characters in here were much more complicated than that. Again, like When Heaven Burns, it focused on how life wasn’t just full of black and white–though the discussions often bounced back and forth–here and there. Exploring the gray areas of life with how people react to certain situations and what they would go through to protect those around them was more realistic than just focusing on convincing ‘who was right’ or ‘who was actually wrong’ all along. Sure, there were the obvious sides of the ones who were supposedly good and the bad, but only the layout was that way because society liked to separate. However, the way it was made with what was going on, the creators of the show let us decide that on our own.

Main Cast:

  • Adam Cheng as Kan Siu Nam (靳兆楠). Finally, a totally different role for Adam without the whole ‘heroic’ title attached. Though I found it a tad weird at the beginning and needed some getting used to, I soon focused on his character more to see what was going on. In a way, I found it cool to use that type of technique to solve cases at first. YET later, I found it stupid. Seriously, trying to attach yourself to the killer’s personality to get to him/her? It was crazy all right. It was too risky, to say the least. I realized more and more later on that he was such a busybody. It was like saying he didn’t have to involve himself within the cases yet he did. He wasn’t a cop anyway, so why was he meddling? I swore his fate was deserved because he kept digging and digging and all the stuff that he got into made situations worse–to say the least. Though I understood his character’s conflicts at times, especially regarding his daughter–and the way he was getting himself involved so he could avoid the unavoidable with what happened to his daughter ages ago. (That was my guess.) YET he didn’t know when to stop. That was his downfall. He seriously messed with the wrong party and even if he had killed Ivan, he was going down. I’m not hinting at the psychological breakdown either but more like the whole getting burned to death at the end. Aside from all those things, I thought he was convincing in this role. Regardless of how he was too into his conflict with accepting his daughter’s death OR when he was losing it with becoming Ivan, he sort of created those worlds convincingly.
  • Maggie Siu as Esther Lee Chor Kiu (李楚蕎). Typical poor rich girl role. YET the later parts made her character different. Maggie’s short hair in here reminded me of her younger days when the short hairstyle was her trademark. But I really miss her longer hair, like how it was at the beginning of the series. Anyway, I felt so bad for her not because she got sacrificed (or more like sacrificed herself to save Ivan). But her family had a lot to do with her downfall. To have her own mother not supporting throughout, always pretending to care for her (and scolding Ivan) YET all the mother cared about was status and reputation. (Not to mention how her mother loved sons over daughters, AND I wonder what the hell she is? Is she not a woman herself?) Only Ivan was the one who was there for Esther when she went through such tragic situations. Ivan made her feel whole and important.
  • Moses Chan as  Ivan Cheung Sai Yin (章世言). This must be one of Moses’ most challenging roles. Not only did he have to act as Ivan in conflict with himself, but he had to switch to the other personalities also. By the time the story shifted to Esther finding out about Moses’ multiple personality problem, that scene was so brilliant. Moses was able to distinguish the differences among each personality. When he acted as all those personalities, it really reflected how the others were playing out their roles as his personalities. It was like looking into a mirror of personalities. (Great team.) I felt one couldn’t really hate Ivan because though he could be considered a killer, but he didn’t just kill recklessly and as he liked. Either he was forced to kill or he didn’t have a choice. (Saying “we always have a choice” IS LAME and unrealistic.) The choices he made caused the irreversible in the end, but from the beginning, he was tormented with his own guilt and whatever voice of the conscience was left.
  • Aimee Chan as Natalie Cheung Sai Ting (章世婷). We were misled into thinking she was Kan Siu Nam and Angela’s missing daughter for the majority of the series. At least most of the clues pointed to her, until she later revealed it herself at the police station. (Actually, her conversation with Ivan before she left their house said it all with her telling him to clean up his act since there won’t be anyone around to do that for him anymore, and that because of him she had to lie to two very pitiful persons.) I was impressed with her performance throughout. She made me feel the liveliness of Natalie’s innocence side at the beginning, and the more complicated side later on as the story unfolded and she found out much more of her brother’s world that had caused her shift in attitude and/or reaction about life. (AND this was a comparison among all her other roles that I had watched, NOT hinting that she was superior to others. YET I don’t think I need to prove my taste–or capability–at all. People could think whatever they want. Honestly.)

Others:

  • Ram Tseung as John. The director at the local theater and also Kan Siu Nam’s best friend. He was often the voice of reason to stop Kan Siu Nam from doing anything rash or getting into sticky situations. I must indeed agree he was the wisest in here though he didn’t judge. BUT I disagreed with Kan Siu Nam that he would get killed for his own intelligence because Kan should be referring to himself regarding the whole getting hurt for being intelligent. (Since Kan kept meddling into others’ matters, which were not his.) I so agreed with John when he told Kan that it wasn’t Kan’s job to put the balance back in the universe with his actions (i.e. what to do with Ivan’s case).
  • Rebecca Chan as Angela Mok Lai Hing (莫麗馨). I liked her character in here, really liked it. She was not only wise but didn’t care if she became the ‘bad’ person or got misunderstood when she tried to stop Kan from his craziness. It wasn’t like she didn’t care for her daughter YET she knew how to stick with reality and moving on didn’t mean not loving her daughter anymore. It just meant she wanted to cherish her life and not let the others in her life down.
  • Lily Ho as Tansy Kan Chi Ying (靳芷縈). The older version of Tansy. NOT the real Tansy but more like the imagined version of Tansy to which Kan Siu Nam was drawing up as part of his fantasy (aka not accepting that Tansy was already dead). I don’t know. I didn’t have any feelings toward her except knowing she was what Kan imagined his daughter would be like, a cute, lovable girl, etc.
  • Yu Yang as Steve Chan Yat Kei (陳一奇). A very funny character. I know several dentists (OF COURSE with the necessity of having one BUT also personally), and his personality in here was too funny to relate to. Yet I guess all is possible since there are many dentists in this world and outside work, they’re normal human beings living their own lives after all. I really liked his character because he was really down to earth and could always turn negative moments into positive ones. Though what I found kind of unrealistic was him not getting suspicious or minding about Kan still being friends and hanging with them at mealtimes, etc. (NOT saying it’s impossible, it’s just awkward in so many ways–even if many years have passed already.) OMG, his death was so unexpected. I blame it on Kan for being the “unlucky star” and invited him over. (I wonder why he didn’t turn on the light BUT I guess he had a habit of listening music in the dark like that or just wanted to enjoy the music without turning the light on.)
  • Dickson Wong as Will Chan Cheuk Kwan (陳卓鈞). I felt like he was trying too hard at times or seemed like he was trying to remember the script. I swear, he looked that way. But regarding his character, I guess he was a supportive son at times.
  • Matt Yeung as Jasper/ Kong Sir (江Sir). I thought he was more suitable on the pyscho-killer route than being a cop. Seriously, he was just using his dead girlfriend as an excuse in every way he could to supposedly work hard and clean up the streets. He’s the one who should be cleared away. NOT only was he trying to “clean the street” BUT he was really ungrateful toward his colleagues and others around him. Sure, Kan was quite a busybody and had a hand in fueling Jasper’s craziness even more, BUT his attitude was already terrible before. He treated his fellow cops as “dogs” (his words at one point) and always exude the arrogant aura. I thought Matt did a good job portraying this character, convincing us Kong Sir was very well on his way to the psychopath route–without any help from anyone either.
  • Kenny Wong as Eric. Ivan’s evil persona. Creepy all right. Kenny’s rather challenging role instead of some other typical boring ones? I don’t know. I finally was convinced of his acting in this one. And I actually thought that he was capable of some other roles instead of the typical ones he’d been portraying for a while. It wasn’t like he was new, but he had been passive for a while so I felt it was refreshing he’d taken on this role.
  • Rachel Kan as Michelle. Ivan’s lust and envy persona. Convincing. She made me despise her so bad at first when I didn’t realize she was just Ivan’s personality.
  • Steven Ho as Martin. Ivan’s wrath and violence persona. He seriously was perfect with the rest of the crazy team.
  • Glen Lee as Edwin. Ivan’s pride and cunning persona. YUP, ever so convincing. With the additional makeup, it really aided his cause. And also how his eyes were always wandering that made me think he was always up to something. Cunning indeed.
  • Dia Yiu Ming as Henry. Ivan’s conscience. The voice that got snubbed out throughout the story and eventually disappeared since Ivan was already way past reasoning. (And I so don’t blame Ivan.) I guess Henry was one of the reasons why Ivan still kept it under wraps at times with his persuasion–even if his voice was practically blocked out by the other personalities.
  • Tsui Wing as the psycho-killer who chopped off people’s hands at the beginning. Seriously, he was crazy all right. But TW was convincing in that area.

Couples:

  • Adam and Rebecca. Though I got it, somehow I didn’t buy it.
  • Yu Yang and Rebecca. I felt like she–along with their son–were one happy family all right. They complemented each other quite well with him being the comedic one to calm her down while she was the serious one.
  • Moses and Maggie. A touching story. Cheating aside (though trust me, I don’t like those situations), I loved them together. It was so sad and tragic that no word could describe it completely. Yet their goodbye scene before she turned herself in said it all. Regardless of the things he went and did behind her back, he was firm on not letting her go, i.e. not allowing his other personalities to drop her (even after he got famous).
  • Adam and Maggie. ODD TO DEATH. I understand the purpose of the plot, but I just didn’t buy it. Even from Kan’s side, I couldn’t feel that he cared for her. Sure, he was sad and frustrated when she died, but I felt that wasn’t love. Maybe it was more like he blamed himself for her death. (And he probably did but it wasn’t love.)

Themes/Elements:

  • Multiple personality disorder aka dissociative identity disorder. The Jekyll Bar was the obvious sign of Ivan having a multi-personality problem (.i.e. hinting at Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde). This is one of the most popular themes used in any type of movies/TV series. TVB also love to use this one because it’s the most intriguing one. However, they often have like two sides fighting with one another, etc. This time, however, the creators of the show went all out with letting Moses’ character, Ivan, have five other personalities inside him. It was actually more realistic, considering what types of traumas Ivan went through since his childhood. I also liked it that they focused on the physiological side rather than just “capturing the bad guy.” They went to the core of the problems and acknowledged his internal conflicts more, what he was struggling through. AND that they looked beyond the whole “killer monster” thing. It didn’t matter if some viewers might not get it. I was glad they went ahead and kept things consistent throughout.
  • Stage Plays. I might not remember all the literary materials I read in school, but I felt it was clever to incorporate that into the whole plot. It somehow did the talking for the incidents happening around their lives. Like it was correlating itself with the current situations they had to deal with. (It reminded me how the whole radio segments were the narratives for the incidents in When Heaven Burns versus stage plays for this one.)
  • Sand Paintings. I might not like all the quotes in here, but I found it fascinating with the art. I liked the symbolism that was incorporated into the paintings. And it was a refreshing theme in a sense. At least something that hasn’t been overdone just yet.

Controversies/Rants/Whatever:

  • The name “Ivan” and some comparison going on on Weibo (and possibly other websites). I saw some really arrogant comments regarding this AND couldn’t let it pass. Really people? Picking on someone’s name? Or saying that you only remember so and so? Okay, so I get it that people could only remember so much after watching so many series, etc. But to imply you only remember that particular one AND not care for others, go ahead and say it out. Stop hiding behind phrases and trying to dodge when the time comes to clarify stuff. So you thought a certain character was more memorable than others OR something. (I’m guessing since I’m not going to get all arrogant to say I’m right.) YET to play that little ‘game’ regarding names is funny. (There are a lot of common names in this world, do you want to go there? Implying that only a certain person matter? Just because someone was named–or had chosen–that particular name too made them less significant?)
  • Too dark/morbid. Hello? If you didn’t want to be spoiled by the plot summary or whatever, at least watch the theme video first OR see the poster or something. It’s going to be morbid.
  • Too complicated for housewives to understand. Even if TVB had aimed to zoom in on housewives as the majority of the audience, the rest of us out there might want to watch too. AND that’s plain generalizing. Just because they’re now housewives DO NOT mean they could be stomped on and insulted like that. Sure, some might not get the complexity of the artistic view OR some other elements incorporated into the drama itself, but some of the situations occurred in there, they might have more contact with than those so-called ‘educated’ one. (I’m talking about people dealing with emotional conflicts and how losing a loved one OR having to protect someone might land them into such sticky situations.)

The ending? Did Kan Siu Nam die? Don’t you love open endings? (YUP, we’ve all been there, hate it. Yet I didn’t mind this time.) It left lots of rooms for questions. So here’s my interpretation. I think he did die. Because there was only 10 more seconds when Natalie stepped out of the tent and yelled for the others to stop the crank and let him go, etc. YET her voice was muffled by the crowd. Then it zoomed to Angela waking up and trying to look for him. The next part was him in his dream place playing with his daughter for the last time YET they didn’t complete the game. By the time it got to the dream he must have lost consciousness already hence being able to enter the dream realm. After he hugged his daughter, we saw that she was finally gone yet he was the one holding the seeds in his hands. He was finally released from his own illusion of his daughter. I don’t think he could ever let go of his daughter unless he ends up dying. Like it was the final release. Because even when he had become Ivan completely (or so he thought), he kept repeating the fact like he wasn’t Kan Siu Nam because Kan Siu Nam was so pitiful and that Ivan was the one having a sister, etc. SO he rather lied to himself and lived that lie than face the truth after that one last blow of thinking he found his daughter and losing her all over again. His psychological state was already going into the irreversible stage with him taking on Ivan’s role so convincingly hence when he finally found out the whole ‘daughter’ thing was just a lie, his emotional state collapsed at the same time. The whole going back and forth to reassure himself was already ‘screaming’ so loudly that he knew deep down he wasn’t Ivan YET he rather lived with still some hope of having a sister and his life starting anew rather than nothing at all. And what about the ending scene where they showed backstage around his work area where the scripts were pinned here and there and scattered everywhere? The voices reading the dialogues? That sort of was a memorial scene for a once-famous stage performer. Or it seemed so to me.

Recommended? If you like literature, morbid stuff, psychological stuff, AND are super patient, go for it. BUT if you rather go for a comedy and don’t want to think too much after a long day at school or work, DON’T BOTHER. It’s that complicated. I don’t want to insult anyone, but it’s a lot because of how it was crafted–like I mentioned earlier with the pieces of puzzles and all. It would drain you down with so much conflicts going on throughout after layers and layers of deception and confusion were tossed into place.

NOTE: I’m shutting down comments for this particular post because I had it with some of the hate rants regarding some cast members. AND possibly the plot. I get that this might not be everyone’s taste, but purposely dragging it down because of some aspects not related to the series itself IS LAME. I don’t have the energy to argue with anyone or try to prove my point anymore. AND I think I rather focus on bringing the positive side of this blog back to where it belonged–like how I first started it.

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.