Inspector Gourmet

I actually watched this ages back but never found time to review it. Then I totally forgot about the plot and had to watch it again, lol. Was it worth a second watch? I think it was sort of worth it because I looked at it with fresh eyes. It also helped that the series went by the formula of a case-by-case format.

Main Cast:

  • Kenneth Ma as Bill Kei Yeung Tak Kei (楊得基). This was one of Kenneth’s loudmouth roles. It wasn’t hard for him regading acting. But the character was fun to watch because you see his humorous side come on. Sometimes, he was too dramatic–probably for the purpose of the character. Although I admitted that he did quite well in terms of acting, as a personal opinion about his role, this wasn’t my favorite character. It was too pushy at times, which created this negative effect for me.
  • Eliza Sam as Tong Ka Ka (唐嘉嘉). She was a righteous person and was always passionate in helping others righting wrongs. The fact that she was so involved with the cases because she’d been reading and watching too much detective stuff made it funnier. Her perserverence was quite admirable though. Especially how she was determined to recruit Mak Sai at the beginning. She had an eye for talent and knew they needed him, so she found all the ways to convince him. It took a negotation but she wasn’t willing to let go, knowing there were still options left. It was a good trait to have if she wanted to be a good detecitve aka not giving up halfway and all. But she wasn’t so innocent or as easily conned by Bill–as Bill liked to think. She could get so mad at him too. Actually, she used to work for a newspaper doing investigative journalism yet her boss tried to conceal the truth, fearing that they would offend other businesses, so she quit. Her past experience had helped her immensely with the current job. So, she wasn’t all talks either. She was willing to merge into different roles they took on necessary for the stalking process. It was somewhat exaggerated, but it worked in the long run. Eliza did very well with expressing those sides of Ka Ka.
  • Louis Yuen as Mak Sai (麥犀). Louis had always been a wild card to me when it came to watching him–whether it was a series like such or a hosting gig. This time, it was on the positive side. Also, I was surprised. I actually remembered his character a lot more than the other cast involved, interestingly. Maybe because he was funny but didn’t try too hard to be. That was just how he was, carrying on like usual or what he thought was normal. Yet others found him weird and all. Regarding his push to get Ah Kiu and her father to reconcile, I saw where he came from, but he didn’t agree with it. Reason? He was in the wrong years ago–even if it was an accident his mom passed away–aka his attitude was terrible and he was arrogant. He hoped to get closure and have forgiveness from someone else hence he sympathized with Ah Kiu’s father. YET the victim shouldn’t be forced to forgive just because. He didn’t understand that it was two different situation. However, I will write this off as part of the scriptwiter’s flaws, considering they always pushed and use the parent card regardless of how wrong the parents’ side was, and NOT an overall character flaw as the character was expected to follow the flow of the story anyway.
  • Priscilla Wong as Sam Oi Kiu (岑愛嬌) aka Sister Kill (Kill姐). I completely forgot about this role of Priscilla. I guessed it was because this was my first time watching her and then I steered away from TVB series for a while and then double back to watch Line Walker hence not remembering about her until I finally did this review and realized she played a major part in Line Walker: The Prelude and then the third installment, Line Walker: Bull Fight. That was a major surprise all right. I didn’t know why, but I actually liked her in this series yet felt she was awkward in Line Walker: The Prelude. Maybe because she wasn’t considered first lead in here, so it took off the pressure? Not sure. But back to the role itself, I found her hilarious and witty in here. That intro scene of her was crazy and wicked, lol. She was a natural in here with bringing out the character’s personality, no awkwardness whatesoever.

Supporting:

  • Elvina Kong as Anna Chu Sau Na (朱秀娜). Bill’s older sister. Mixed feelings. I sided with her regarding her feud with her husband and all. But as a character in general, I didn’t really like her, which was strange because I usually like Elvina’s performances regardless of character. Yet I felt her too trying or too awkward in here for some reason. Not sure why.
  • Timothy Cheng as Ko Yan (高仁). Anna’s ex husband. Another despicable character under his belt and a character created to crank up the tension between other characters of the show. He treated women like disposables yet there were still brainwashed women who followed him senselessly and thought they were going to stay young forever, thinking they wouldn’t be replaced by him as well. He sure met his match when he got trapped by Lo Tai Wai. And it really served him right with all those girls leaving him. What did he think? He was going to replace them in the future anyway. He didn’t expect them to be loyal, did he? (Their rant about him messing with underage girl was seriously them trying to fall back on moral grounds though. They only left him because he would face legal consequences and was already out of money.)
  • Eric Li as Lo Tai Wai (盧大維). Despicable. He lacked talent yet wanted to fame. He acted like a typical jealous high school kid and seemed to never grew up. His jealous of Mak Sai caused a lot of the problems coming into the story. He continued to use all tactics to go against Mak Sai yet had no problem to use underhanded tricks to get intel from Mak Sai either. A beyond pathetic character overall. Oh yeah, super cliche that he was involved with Ko Man in the final case though.
  • Oscar Leung as Cheung Kwok Wah (張國華) aka Nga Dai Wah (淆底華). At first, I didn’t know what to think of him. It mostly had to do with how cowardly he was and his fear toward Lo Tai Wai. However, after seeing the big reveal later and the reasons for the blackmail schemes, I felt sorry for him. He had a legit reason to fear that despicable guy. It wasn’t like he could do anything else regarding the loan shark situation of ages ago. It was an emergency and he did pay them back already. It was just that Lo Tai Wai was despicable enough to use that against him. Considering how he was a model cop after all, how could he let those be released like that? I do feel bad for him. He just wanted a girlfriend and wanted to get married one day, a simple family plan. Yet he had to meet with a pyscho like that. However, his expectations was a bit too high. He expected her to see the light? Really? Misplaced trust or loyalty here. But whatever. Oscar’s acting at that point was really good, though, the torn feeling and all. Omg, I so didn’t remember when I watched the first time around that he got shot and stuff. Such a tragedy. I would have liked to see the others visiting him at the end of the story. Yet they found time for other senseless side stuff instead.
  • Jacqueline Wong as Janice Chow Ching (周晴). What to say? I didn’t find her character or story necessary for the series, except to cause ruptures and became a test between Bill and Ka Ka. Sure, it became another case among all the other cases in here. Yet it wasn’t like a “must-have” case in that sense. It was just another story arch that tried to crank up its hype with dramatization and all. Her case did prove how well the team worked together. However, I still didn’t like it. Like I said, unnecessary. But the only consolation toward the whole thing was not dragging the case out till the end. Luckily, it ended early to leave way for other cases.
  • Vivien Yeo as Lee Nga Choi (李亞彩). A mentally challenged girl who tried to look after Mak Tong. Vivien actually did quite well. She was quite convincing as the nervous yet kind person, trying to communicate as best as she could. I thought this role was more along Vivien’s caliber and didn’t seem to be a waste of time last some of the past roles that were quite similar. This gave her more space for acting–even if it was just a case of the overall story. It was a matter of delivering the character and not just appearing all the time yet not contributing anything to the plot.
  • Bowie Wu as Mak Tong (麥棠).
  • Lau Kong as Sam Wing (岑榮). A typical gambler. He thought it was right that he gambled away and caused the loan shark to come threaten and hurt his family YET felt he was wronged. Seriously? It was a miracle his daugther didn’t sell him out yet still paid his debts for him. Looking down on her and thinking that it was unlucky that he had a daugther instead of a son. Typical old traditional toxic thoughts. I had no sympathy for such person AND felt it was really stupid that others thought his daughter should think him like royal after all he put them through. Just because he was the father? Really? No wonder the abuse cycle continued with so many people. Although fictional but it still portrayed a fraction of real life stuff. The parent card was always used to justify terrible behaviors. I found it amusing that he’d been torturning the family all these years living in fear YET could just redeem himself for a short while and then expected others to forgive just like that. Once again, the mentality of the using the parent card to get past all barriers. I hated that Ah Kiu was forced to forgive him just because. Seriously?
  • Angelina Lo as Fung Ching Mui (馮靜梅). Didn’t like her character at all. She was an enabler. I don’t care for her excuses. I’m just really done with those repetitive characters in dramas so my patience wore really thin when it came to such characters. Her guilt wasn’t a good reason for all that madness.
  • Mark Ma as Sam King On (岑景安). Ah Kiu’s younger brother. Also part of the enabler team, so sorry if I didn’t sympathize with him. He somehwat was stuck in between several parties. But seriously, grow a backbone and support his sister a bit. Seriously.
  • Stephen Wong as Jason Pun Kai Tak (潘啟德). Ka Ka’s cousin. That was a bit amusing to see Bill overreacting during his appearances. He was only there to get Ka Ka into that final grand event to pull the scheme on Lo Tai Wai. Then he was just taunting Bill a bit. Well, not really taunting, but more like testing Bill a bit to make sure Bill was worthy of Ka Ka. He shouldn’t have eased off so soon though.

Others:

  • Océane Zhu as Fok Ling Ling (霍玲玲). Omg, her character was too much. Yet I felt it was more fun to watch than some of her other roles. I don’t know. After they failed her in Come Home Love, I didn’t think much of her anymore because it was like she was demoted after some initial attempt to try and promote her. So the majority of nowadays roles of hers are this random. I didn’t expect much but just felt I could take whatever they tossed our way, I guess. Although her gestures toward Bill was a bit over during her intro scene, I found her cute, lol. She was accused of stealing money fromt the cash register but it turned out her lady boss was careless hence causing the bill to be stuck in her shoes instead. She totally conned Bill, lol. Well, it wasn’t her fault that he thought he would get something out of it. Yet it was still funny seeing how he lost money, considering how he paid way over the price of the tickets. She did compensate him BUT of course, how would she know he spent A LOT more for it? And she managed to get out of the date, lol. Yeah, it was sad for him, but come on. He was smart when it came to cases, but regarding other stuff, not so much. It could have been a funny character. But too bad, it pinned her with being a third-party too. So yeah, it’s been nice knowing her. Nail in the coffin part was when she looked down on Bill for being a mere chef yet she didn’t see a problem with seducing other people’s husband. Seriously? (That boss, the cheater, was a scumbag anyway, but that didn’t make it right for her to jump in.)
  • Cilla Kung as Pun Siu Lin (潘小蓮).
  • Matt Yeung as Duncan Dung Sai Kan (鄧世勤).
  • Tracy Ip as Ko Man (高敏). I pity her. I seriously do. How could she think that it be normal to suddenly rush forth all these changes? She totally got conned.

Relationships – family, friends, romances, etc.:

  • Kenneth and Eliza. They were cute in a sense. I enjoyed their goofiness at times when they were out on a mission or together. It created a sweet feeling. Then it went all to hell later because of the extra case with Janice. So yeah, I stopped caring about them as a couple later.
  • Kenneth and Louis. OMG, their trolling of one other and senseless nicknames. It was childish to some extent but somehow created the right comedic moments for the show. Their ongoing feud with one another sort of created this strane atmosphere at work. Yet it also challenged one another at times.
  • Louis and Priscilla. They were the funny couple for me. Minus the whole trying to push the forgiveness stuff, I liked them together for the most part. They didn’t like each other at first because they started out as rivals somewhat on one of the cases. Yet learned to work together and found one another’s good sides and all. They became like best buddies before starting. It was a typical story of bickering couples. But their chemistry was interestingly better than some of her so-called better looking co-stars. I swear. It was strange, but it worked.
  • Eliza and Priscilla. At first, Ah Kiu ddin’t think much of Ka Ka and thought Ka Ka was only good at being beautiful. Yet during one of the cases that they worked together, Ah Kiu realized Ka Ka’s quick thinking and resourcefulness that caused her to change her view toward Ka Ka. Since then, they worked together quite well and even maintained a comfortable friendship.

Likes:

  • The comedy. While it lasted, that was. It went downhill later, but was hanging on by a hair because of the cases.
  • The food theme. I learned more about different food and its culture, history, etc. It was a fun journey on that front.

Dislikes:

  • The ending. I know, shocking. I don’t mean how it turned out with the cases. I meant how they completely forgot about Cheung Kwok Wah. Yeah, I know, he was in a coma. He might or might not recover. But maybe at least put in a scene of the hospital visit? It wasn’t hard to do. Maybe even a five-second zoom by to tell us would be good enough. They tried to squeeze in the kidnapping scenes and then tried to put in that senseless AD hence not even having time for updating us on Cheung Kwok Wah. Also, I didn’t like the cooked up scheme with forcing Ka Ka to accept Bill again. Yeah, give her some more time. Why can’t it be on her own terms? But it had to be forced to some outrageous schemes and making her feel guilty for taking time to think. Really? So, if you twist it around, it was all right if he turned her down or ask for time apart?

Recommended? I would say it depends. If you like a somewhat light-hearted detective show, this is for you. It’s good for entertainment purposes, obviously. Just something to watch over dinner. It’s not like life-changing or expect to be deep or anything. Just a fun series that somewhat surrounded food-related debates at times.

Between Love & Desire

Let’s say that this series was decent. Considering how I haven’t been back to watch TVB series for a while. I wanted to dive in because of the three main cast. There were mixed feelings since the beginning, especially how they decided to craft a certain character.

Main Cast:

  • Moses Chan as Hugo. This role was somewhere in the middle and I’m talking about the level of intensity comparing to his past roles. Yet I felt Moses did well. He didn’t disappoint. He was stubborn at the beginning and somewhat arrogant (because of his reputation in the field). I half-expected him to be the villain and Ben would be the actual hero. However, it flipped around and proved that things weren’t what it appeared. The background story helped his character heaps and made sense as to why he had become that way. Yet he had gone too far. In a way, he was still the same guy inside, but he was just using the professional front as an excuse for some of the sticky cases he was involved in. He managed to find a balance at the end, which wasn’t unbelievable.
  • Maggie Siu as Rebecca. I read some comments about how some people felt like Maggie’s character was too boring or had no entertainment value. I will say, yes, if you were looking for an overly dramatic performance or plot. To me, it was just right. Sure, there was intensity after her mother died and how she had to continue on, but the majority of her thoughts afterward were going back to stability or not that “exciting” like some people would put. However, I think it was suitable for her character, because she wasn’t a young girl anymore, unlike Roxanne’s character–who was still full of energy and innocence. Not to compare both women but I felt it was necessary in this case–since they were indeed at different points of their lives. Rebecca’s personality and reactions to matters (even if she was upset) were different from how Haley would react and let’s face it, it fitted with their age (and maturity level), depending on their life experiences thus far. I was glad the writer(s) and director(s) didn’t let Maggie go all jumpy like some young girl, because that would be too much. (I must say I wasn’t too thrilled with some of Maggie’s past trying to be cheerful ones like in When Heaven Burns at one point.) Flashbacks didn’t count in here since I know TVB was seriously cheap, trying to not cast an additional actress for a younger Rebecca (or even a younger version of Hugo).
  • Ben Wong as Patrick. Whose bright idea was it to make Patrick so hateful for the majority of the series and then turned it into a goofy character? I don’t know. It was hard not to hate him because of how he tagged Rebecca throughout and tried to jump in when she was the most vulnerable. (It was like perfect timing for him or something, but I was so glad Rebecca never caved in, regardless of how it turned out with her and Hugo.) I would prefer that the writers focused on developing his character along with Haley’s storyline more than just trying to pave him as a possible third-party and then switched gear during the second half of the series, making him into a comedic character. It was indeed different that his and Haley’s link was explained later (aside from being his assistant) but it didn’t help for his cause to make him out to be the bad guy (in someone’s marriage) and then tried to flip it around later. Luckily, Ben’s acting was so charming and great that I forgave him after the comedic scenes rolled around.
  • Roxanne Tong as Haley. Patrick’s assistant and sister-in-law. She wasn’t on the poster but I felt she deserved the main cast spot as much as the other three. Anyway, this was my third time watching Roxanne and I felt she have great potential. I first watched her in Come Home Love, then still waiting to see her character development in Come Home Love: Dinner At 8, and now this one. Her character this time was vibrant and really stood out. She was cute and cunning in her own way. Although I felt that it was an exaggeration with the way she ate at times with how she dragged out the “ummm, good” parts in the middle of tasting the foods that arrived. But that was just me. Overall though, she was quite charming with her comedic acts, which is rare nowadays since people tend to exaggerate too much and cause it to have the opposite effect.

Others:

  • Joseph Yeung as Martin. Another boss role for him. Although he seemed to be busy embroiling in the whole office battle from the start, but when he finally left, we realized he wasn’t just holding on to Hugo for the sake of the money. It was his words to Hugo that we realized he did recognize Hugo’s talent and would love to hire Hugo again one day when he made his comeback.
  • Rachel Kan as Rowena. Hugo’s arch-enemy. There were quite a few comments that I had read stating that Rowena should have gotten more screen time to enhance her witty side and to intensify her battle with Hugo, but I felt it was enough. Just because she wasn’t in the limelight for the majority of the show didn’t mean that she wasn’t smart or cunning. She was plenty of that. I think people need to be able to detect all the cues without it being outright dramatic all the time like some other catfight dramas or power-driven series. Although the plot had directed the attention away from Rowena and the law firm half of the time, but that didn’t mean Rowena wasn’t fighting, wasn’t scheming, wasn’t trying her best to climb to the top. We got to see her intimidating side when she was face-to-face with Hugo yet we got to see her harsh yet effective stances explained when she was talking to her assistant, Cindy.
  • Patrick Dunn as Scott. I honestly think he was the wisest in here. Although Hugo was known as the best but Hugo was still busy feeling the high of his fame to realize the situation around him. Rowena, on the other hand, was also quite confident and bordering on the arrogant side to see clearly at times although I do admit she did know how to play her games. Scott was the wisest because although he seemed to be MIA from the main battlefield, but he often saw more than he cared to say at times. He was able to analyze the situation and even advised Hugo at times when Hugo was stuck–or when Damon was running around trying to fend for himself while his bosses were fighting.
  • Mandy Lam as Carmen. One of the lawyers at Martin’s law firm. She jumped into Hugo’s car at one time, asking for their help in looking for her daughter. However when Hugo needed the backup at the law firm, she was indifferent. I totally understand why with the office politics and all yet I felt it was sooooo cold.
  • Joey Law as Damon. Hugo’s disciple. Loyal to Hugo yet quite raw in office politics hence kept getting the push around by others. I think Joey would go far. He sure got the looks and need more experiences to hone his skills.
  • Candy Chang as Cindy. Rowena’s disciple. I didn’t like her at first, mostly because of my bias, thinking she was in cahoot with Rowena, trying to mess with Damon for information. Hey, it was possible with the rivalry between the other two. Yet later when she told Damon of her past and how she wanted to work hard to get back on her feet, I dialed back with my bias. Not to mention she proved to be really strong and righteous in her own way when she attempted to “show” Damon of the proof Hugo needed to get off the assault charge.
  • William Chu as Justin. Cindy’s ex-husband. It was a bit of a shocker that he and Cindy were exes. But Cindy’s explanation made sense with how they wanted to keep it under-wrap as much as possible, not wanting to affect their careers. He didn’t appear much but seemed to get along well with others and even fended better than Damon. Once again, it made sense because he and Cindy wanted to work hard and start over with their careers, making up for lost time.
  • Lily Li as Rebecca’s mother. I had a little bit of a flashback since they’d been master and disciple in a past series. In fact, it was my first series of Maggie so that left an impression. Anyway, although she appeared just a little and then eventually only in flashbacks, but she really left an impression in here, especially how it paved for the way how Hugo and Rebecca’s relationship crumbled–considering how it was a major trauma in Rebecca’s life.
  • Brian Chu as Fred. Hugo’s brother. I thought that his acting wasn’t as terrible as some people paved it out to be. At least not to me. I could totally feel it after Rebecca’s mother died and he grieved her in his own way–with how he kept his promise to get a new phone for her. Then when he was struggling to deal with his own weaknesses and how he got stage fright and ran away. He was somewhat spoiled because of how protective his brother was of him and wanted what was best for him, aside from pushing him a tad too hard with the whole becoming a lawyer thing. Yet he was indeed quite filial to Rebecca’s mother–like said before, considering how she practically raised him. He also respected Rebecca and others around him. It was just that he was lost in life, not sure of what his aspirations were or what road he wanted to head for.
  • Momo Wu as Edith. Fred’s friend and crush. I wasn’t sure to like or not to like her at first. NOT because of her appearance but I was somewhat turned off with how she stole her master’s shop name to go in to business. Yet when her story unfolded more and how she was a very strong character–despite going through so much hardship, she gained my respect. She snapped right back at Hugo when they first met but proved to be consistent with her character when she insisted on paying Fred back, not wanting Hugo to misunderstand her for clinging onto Fred for his money. I ended up enjoying their banter from time to time whenever their lives were crossed, mostly because they had to look after Fred–with their own method.
  • Eileen Yeow as Ah Fong. Rebecca’s best friend. I really liked her for her spunky personality and her humorous reactions to matters. However, she lost points for me when she tried to push Rebecca toward Patrick at one point. Luckily, she didn’t keep to it until the end.
  • Ricky Wong Chun Tong as Cheng Wu aka Uncle Wu. A friend of the family to Hugo and Rebecca. I initially thought he was related to them somehow yet later realized it wasn’t so. Yet it proved that he was more reliable and supportive of them when they were enduring such hardships, unlike the so-called “family” they supposedly had after their father tragically died.

Relationships:

I initially didn’t want to do this section like I typically would because I felt it was unnecessary since I’ve been piling up on the “Discussions” section, but after debating with myself a bit, I thought I might as well put it in. Or more like move the topics to this one.

  • Moses/Hugo and Maggie/Rebecca. Like many TVB pairings, their collaboration seemed over-killed by now. Yet for me, I think this one was sort of long overdue. Or possibly I haven’t caught all the ones they were in together or paired up. But I felt this one topped it all, even if their other characters were more complicated. I just felt that they deserved a happy ending after When Heaven Burns and Master of Play.
  • Ben/Patrick and Roxanne/Haley. It was in a way “icky” for me, considering how he married her sister previously. Yet for Ben and Roxanne as a pairing, I felt it wasn’t too bad–despite their age gap. For some weird reason, I felt he suited with her more than some of his past co-stars, even if they were closer in age to him. I enjoyed their comedic moments. One of my favorite parts (and possibly for Hugo and Rebecca too) was the part where both men thought both women might have died from the gas inhalation so Patrick totally unleashed on Haley about how worried he was and how rash it was for her to do such thing without waiting for them, etc. It was hilarious how Haley laughed (which was typical her) but it was hilarious with both men saying almost, exact same thing. (I wonder how long they had to rehearse that together, lol.)
  • Joey/Damon and Candy/Cindy. It was sort of open ending, which was all right with me, but I felt they would eventually end up together.
  • Brian/Fred and Momo/Edith. Was I the only one not sore that they didn’t end up together? Not because of her somewhat shady past (according to some people) or his immature nature throughout. But it was more like it would be too gift-wrapped. I think that they were both still young and like Edith said, they still have a lot to work for with their life goals and/or dreams to strive for. Perhaps, one day when they meet up again, they might see a possibility to take their relationship to another level. But right at that point, I felt it was enough with their special friendship.

Discussions:

  • Was the ending rushed or not? Usually, I will argue that TVB endings are rushed, but in this case, I felt it was laid out fine. I didn’t want to be spoiled but my mom made me nervous so I had to go check on some reviews to get the idea if we should proceed after several episodes or not. Some mentioned how it was rushed or how certain characters changed overnight more or less. However, I think it wasn’t rushed for the majority of the characters. Hugo and Rebecca didn’t change overnight regarding how they decided to return to each other’s side. They had always had feelings for one another but they were both too stubborn in their beliefs that they didn’t want to cave in. Although Rebecca had said at one point or another that she didn’t know if it was love that she still stuck by his side after so many years or it was just gratitude for what he’d done for her, but I felt that she still cared for him. It was just that so many years of waiting had worn her down and not to mention her mother passed away so recent. Her world was falling apart and she didn’t know where to start with continuing on with her life. It wasn’t just about Hugo’s lack of attention either. Then there was Hugo, we learned from the flashbacks that he was quite kindhearted, hardworking, and considerate. It wasn’t like some viewers had said that he changed for the better overnight. It wasn’t so. He had lost his way along the way while trying to become rich and successful. He often struggled with his feelings and what he thought was more realistic throughout–even after the separation from Rebecca. He needed a push from Uncle Wu and then later from Scott’s kid to realize what his path should be or to make up his mind at long last. So when he was willing to let go of the competition and the battles within the law firm, he and Rebecca just fell back into being a team once again. Because even Rebecca realized at the end that she didn’t have to wait for him all the time, she could just step forward and walk along his side, facing difficulties together. What I felt was rush–YES, I will admit–was Patrick’s change of heart. But possibly it made sense. I meant Patrick was really disappointed and probably upset that Rebecca was willing to believe Hugo one more time after the incident where she was assaulted. Yet I think what convinced Patrick to let go somewhat was learning how much Hugo loved Rebecca, i.e. the part where Hugo lost his head and was willing to risk getting caught when he beat the uncle-in-law up for assaulting Rebecca previously. He wasn’t letting go completely but he realized Hugo wasn’t a monster like he paved Hugo out to be from the start, seeing how much Hugo hurt Rebecca–mostly from his point of view. He was able to see a different side of Hugo, even if violence wasn’t the best approach, but like Patrick himself said that it proved how much someone meant to you if you had lost your head over a situation. So later when he saw them (Hugo and Rebecca) at the hospital together and how they’d gotten along again, he was more convinced that they were going to get back together eventually. He looked hopeless, like his chance was totally slipping, no doubt about it. So it wasn’t like it was overnight. Perhaps, it was also because he didn’t realize he had somehow liked Haley hence the over-protectiveness, not just because he had promised her sister to take good care of her. It was somewhat a plot mess with that one, but it wasn’t too unconvincing. Moving on to Rowena, did she just plain win the office battle overnight? No, I think I answered this somewhat in the Character section, but to tie it in, Rowena was proven both intelligent and brutal. The time it took for her to take over completely wasn’t unreasonable, she had plans and schemes going on. Sure, it seemed she won because Hugo got distracted with his family issues or when Hugo let go, but it didn’t mean he totally gave it to her. She was fully capable of her own tricks. Again, like how she told Cindy at various points with her tactics, it wasn’t too unconvincing that she won in the end. Besides, you don’t win a battle by kicking and screaming for blood. Patience is the key because you need to be able to stay calm and wait for the right opportunity to strike. Sure, Rowena miscalculated several times and took several steps back, but she didn’t give up so easily. Her determination pulled her through at the end.
  • Should the series had focused more on the law side (aka cases over romances)? Although the background surrounding several major characters were at law firms and had to do with the law industry in general, however, the title still indicated that it wasn’t exactly about the law, but about several characters so I didn’t feel like it needed to focus on the law too much. I swear TVB had already done quite a few series regarding the law so I didn’t think it was lacking in that matter. They didn’t promise in the title so I wasn’t sore. This was about the conflict between Moses and Maggie’s characters more than a law focused drama.

Recommended? Up to you. I’m on my own wavelength like always. I felt it was a midway lighthearted series for me because Maggie didn’t die in here–since she usually died (or would encounter some major tragedy).

Be Home For Dinner

One of the worst sitcoms ever made. Or should I say it is the worst? I had high hopes for this one, partially because I thought the cast would be smarter than to involve themselves in this. But why should I expect more when creativity just couldn’t win in this time and day–and not to mention at TVB. Then the whole thing with everyone making a living and needed the money so they wouldn’t be fussy about it, right? Though I had lowered my standard of the overall the sitcom since it would be long anyway. Something would get lost–one way or another. Yet I couldn’t forgive the creators of this sitcom for putting in so much lame morality. I’ll elaborate later. But what I would like to point the finger toward right now is the story–at least the general story–was so creepily like When Dolphin Met Cat. Though I started watching When Dolphin Met Cat somewhere along the way of waiting for more episodes of this sitcom YET I could see already the creepy likeness of it. I had finished When Dolphin Met Cat like way before I finished this because let’s see 14 episodes (about an hour each episode) was much faster and easier to take than 100 and something. For one thing, When Dolphin Met Cat was made more than six years ago so that ruled out the whole finger-pointing at the drama for copying. I’m NOT implying that this one’s copying since I have no proofs. Yet it’s just so creepy that there were so many details alike. After finishing the other one, I decided to wait on the review so I could add more similarities before posting it. But I will post the other review in the future with a section of similarities for everyone to read also. However, I must say that When Dolphin Met Cat had a better ending though it had many frustrating plot elements as well. Why? It didn’t force the whole ‘family getting along’ like this one tried to so hard.

The Main Cast (sorry, going to use Mandarin pinyin though it’s a Canto production):

  • Elliot Yue as Zhong Guo Zhu (鍾國柱). His intro scene was very cool with how he was setting up the trap with sending in Tian Kai and Ou Gao Rong to test the food at the restaurant before actually emerging himself, exposing the others in the end. Then there was some foundation–though he wasn’t perfect. It was all right with me that he was a bit paranoid and crazy like the rest of his family. He had some sense of arrogance, which was expected of such a famous editor like him having a reputation, or as they called it ‘having an important footprint in jianghu’. (Can’t translate it accurately but basically it represents his importance.) But all that was lost until near the end when Jessie reemerged, making his character dumb as well for falling for such tricks.
  • Helen Ma as Dou Gui Sen (竇桂森). A kind and innocent elder of the Zhong family. She sure qualified for the naive character in here. I think of all the characters in here, I would understand if she falls for Jessie’s tricks BUT the others? Unacceptable. Perhaps because she has this kind nature that was hard to hate.
  • Stephen Au as Zhong Guo Dong (鍾國棟). Mixed feelings. I really liked his character at first until how he kept pushing Bei Er into mending things with her mother and sister. Then how he handled the whole Jessie thing. SO he wasn’t bright in that area YET the others made him dumber AND then when he found out, he still went through with it? Overall, not bad YET the plot ruined his character.
  • Kristal Tin as Carmen Cen Bei Er (岑貝兒). I always thought she was quite bright and reasonable. Not to mention graceful as well. Yet all that was lost near the end. What a shame. I felt really bad for her with being cornered by others and how they were putting the blame on her, making her cave in. YET I sometimes felt it was deserved, especially near the end when she didn’t fight back hard enough.
  • Yvonne Lam as Mary Suen/Sun (孫瑪利). The best character in here. I swear. It has been a long time since Yvonne Lam was given a great role. I liked it that she had been given a variety of roles over the years YET I wonder when she would receive a role worth mentioning again. Her performance had always been wonderful but this one was one of those roles that really made her shine above all characters. I really loved her witty humor and blunt personality. She was not fake at all. The fact that she was making snark remarks regarding Jessie’s wedding was funny and made her the smartest in here. I loved how she didn’t just force herself to go along with the others during that time. Sure, she would support her family when the situation presented itself. Yet that wedding was too much of a joke for her hence her making a joke out of it (which was what it was really). Can’t say enough about her character. Absolutely lovable.
  • Law Lok Lam as Mr. Ko/Kao. Awhile now that I saw him in a role worth mentioning because at times he would appear but just briefly or so. NOT sure if it was because I couldn’t catch the right one where he appeared more than a few episodes. Yet I remember the last one worth mentioning was for The Brink of Law and interestingly, he portrayed Elliot Yue’s brother (who was later killed by Elliot Yue). Great performance as always, so funny with the comedy yet his serious moments were worth mentioning as well.
  • Jason Chan as Sam Zhong Si Han (鍾思翰). Somewhat spoiled at times. Yet he had a good heart overall. He was quite determined and somewhat stubborn like his father. Acting? Can’t say much at this point except he was great eye candy. But then again, it was not like he exaggerated to the point of intolerable since his emotions were seen through his eyes. He needs to take on more challenging role (well, if he’s allowed) to see what else he could do with. Hopefully, we would get to see it.
  • Lily Ho as Qi Qi (琪琪). It was a bit odd to have her introduced so far into the story yet I guess that left something new for the audience to discover. Not too bad with her being so graceful and knowledgeable about various things. I thought Lily had improved with some of her past performances, especially how she had to carry such a role. Not the best but was still convincing enough.
  • Matt Yeung as Tian Kai (田凱). Matt finally made his way up again. Because I could remember the days when he was in The W Files playing a major role. I haven’t really watched him in recent years OR watched enough TVB series to know. Yet this could be an important role again. I had mixed feelings toward him one time or another. Mostly because of the plot that impacted the character. Yet I must admit he was a good friend to most people in here.
  • Katy Kung as Zhong Si Ya (鍾思雅). I don’t know. I wasn’t into her character at first after the whole incident with messing with Sam’s laptop and destroying valuable information. At least almost. Yet later on, her character somewhat grew on me when she finally grew up and was serious about work.
  • Raymond Chiu as Ou Gao Rong (歐高榮). Very clever. He talked less and did more, making him so mysterious yet cool at the same time. So Raymond doesn’t have the look yet he’s very charming and witty in his own way, making his character very convincing. I liked how he was always doing things silently and never took credit for his work. He was not arrogant either and not abusing his power like that one time when the others thought he was Mr. Ko’s son. Probably because of that hence Mr. Ko trusting him to do so much.
  • Oceane Zhu as Susan. I thought she was quite clumsy and somewhat fussy at the beginning. Yet I found her quite lovable later. Though she seemed weak on the outside but was quite strong inside. Like how she found out her boyfriend was cheating on her but kept her head high and continued on, not coming back to him after he begged. Also, she was very considerate of others though she could be so girly at times too. A different role for Oceane comparing to her role in Twilight Investigation yet her performance didn’t disappoint at all.
  • Queenie Chu as Qing Qing (菁菁). At first, I found her character so cool and multi-dimensional but due to the plot that had dragged some of the characters down as well, she sunk along with the others, coming out quite disappointing as well. I rather they brought back more of the Lolita persona to make her expose Jessie and more than have her NOT speak up at all–just like some others. I liked how she was yelling at Li Chun that one time at the restaurant. Why not use it later on too? But then again, the script sucks so it didn’t matter if she wanted to or not, she couldn’t control it. It was too unreasonable that she became quiet and somewhat a doormat again later on. Didn’t make sense. Yet it didn’t mean I disliked Queenie. Still convincing.
  • Celine Ma as Bai Mei Gui/ Rose. Never doubt her in the acting department. She made it quite convincing with her performance throughout. How she was so fierce and somewhat of a hateful person to a more likable one near the end. Though her straightforward personality still stood tall until the end, which made her different from some others, she became more tolerable as in her habits and how she treated others. She had always taken care of people around her yet she had tuned down on some bad habits. I liked how she was the other wise voice in the whole Jessie thing since she hated that too and didn’t even have a hand in it, even encouraging the cancellation of the wedding. It wasn’t like she was evil YET she just hated fake people.
  • Glen Lee as He Jia Ming (何家明). Odd and silly at times yet found his story touching with how he set up that one skit with the others to make his ‘Uncle’ proud.
  • Becky Lee as Cen Hai Er (岑海兒) aka Tang Jing Jing (唐晶晶). Mixed feelings. I didn’t really think much of her at the beginning but soon got used to her. Then the plot ruined it by making her sounding so unreasonable and inconsiderate with pushing Bei Er as well. YET I rather they focused on her bonds with the others at the newspaper place. Because I quite enjoyed her scenes with others at various points, especially the part where she tried to help Jia Ming with the whole meeting his ‘Uncle’.

Others:

  • Geoffrey Wong as Brian. It was a shame that he was the scapegoat for some other cause. I quite liked him and wonder if he would get any other serious role in the future aside from these comedic ones. Not that I don’t enjoy it but feel it’s a waste. Is this the price of leaving ATV? Like ATV was doing anything at that time but still. A shame.
  • Steven Ho as Liu Li Chun (劉立春). I really hated him at first for cheating and ruining his future like that. Yet I found him the wisest–among all those that were cheated and hurt by Jessie–later on. Because he was the one who asked the whole question about whether it was worth it to keep it from Guo Dong and all. I knew it wasn’t just some side jealous rant then because honestly, he had gotten over it and he was convincing in that area.
  • Griselda Yeung as Jessie and Rachel. I must say that it was quite convincing with her playing both roles of Jessie and Rachel since I had a feeling they were different characters. And sometimes I even wanted to side with her character, Jessie, more than the main people because they were seriously dumb enough to fall for it OR not even expose her so why not, right?
  • Mannor Chan as Ann. I found her somewhat despicable. I don’t know why she would still have face to ask Bei Er for favors later. OR even talk and chat like normal with Bei Er. So she admitted she spoiled Jessie hence the consequences now. YET she kept doing it and acted like everything was normal later, which was even more unacceptable. But I guess some people are just too forgiving OR WAY TOO NAIVE so she was able to pull it off as well as her daughter in playing the pitiful card.

Favorite Characters?

  • Mary Suen/Sun. I said it in the other section already and I will say it again, the only intelligent person throughout regardless of the obstacle. Very brave, blunt, and witty in many senses. Quite graceful as well. Never cease to surprise me with her jokes. Yet she always meant well. But she was never fake at all.
  • Bai Mei Gui/Rose. Another favorite character because of her straightforward personality and somewhat intelligent and witty nature. I guess for her case, it would be called cunning more than intelligence YET I felt she was a lot smarter than some characters in here so I clap her on. Except for that one time when she was trying to pull Bei Er and her family together too BUT I sort of forgave her for that because the positive just won over the annoyance.
  • Mr. Ko. YES, hilarious at times yet he was quite clever also. Well, if he didn’t let his emotions get in the way. I also found it funny that he and Ou Gao Rong were in it together that one time, not clarifying about their father and son status. Priceless actually. Another funny moment was how he was doing all the chores for the Zhong family and acting like one of their members, LOL!
  • Ou Gao Rong. An intelligent person and quite capable hence the trust and many assignments bestowed on his shoulders. Already said most of the things I want to say so don’t want to be that repetitive.
  • Susan. Need I say more? No. I sort of forgave her participation in the whole wedding because honestly, she just wanted to participate in the fun and didn’t know about the whole conspiracy–unlike some people who had all the pieces of the puzzle but clammed up.

Sadly as it was, I narrowed it down to only these choices. Why? It seemed like the majority had disappointed me immensely with their stupidity at one point or another. NOT that I want them to be perfect. Yet the scriptwriters ruined it by making a lot of things so complicated when it was just plain common sense. NOT to mention how half of them were like drinking some kind of stupid potion throughout or something. Like they were too eager to torture themselves that sometimes I just want to side with the villain just for kicks.

Pairings:

  • Elliot Yue and Helen Ma. Odd couple, considering their characters. Yet I found it touching at various points to learn how they met and fallen in love. Not too mushy yet could be a guide for their children to understand the story behind their past and respect them more as a couple.
  • Kristal Tin and Stephen Au. I was so rooting for them but halfway through, I got turned off. Mostly because the plot had ruined their foundation. Whenever they were together later on, I really liked it, but I can’t stop thinking about the stupid details that went along with that. Too bad.
  • Kristal Tin and Geoffrey Wong. Another collaboration as a couple. I really, really liked them as a pairing since watching No. 8 Bus and TVB had really used that to their advantage each time trying to find some pairing with Kristal. YET too bad he always get the toss aside in here.
  • Law Lok Lam and Yvonne Lam. Man, the hilarious older couple in here. I really loved how their story started and developed in the later parts of the story. Many hilarious twists and turns as well as when the serious issues were addressed to test their relationship. It wasn’t just about love but respect. YET I was super convinced of their odd chemistry, not just because of the plot.
  • Jason Chan and Lily Ho. Was this a resurrection since their collaboration in Pages of Treasures? I must admit it was all right in the other one though I do not remember much anymore. Had mixed feelings with that series so I tend to tune the rest of the stuff out at times. But not bad since it was kind of cute with them and somehow, I liked how their relationship matured over time. Then there was the whole idea of her being all talented and graceful. Call me a sucker for it but yeah, I don’t mind their pairing.
  • Matt Yeung and Katy Kung. I was so glad that they paired up instead of Tian Kai ending up with Jing Jing. I don’t know. It made it somewhat cute that he was with his ‘xiao shi mei’ AND that it was fun watching them bicker and then working together at times.
  • Glen Lee and Becky Lee. Strange pairing but whatever works. I guess they had to gift-wrap everything hence letting them end up together as well. Not to mention how they had a good musical background and would be suitable, etc.
  • Raymond Chiu and Oceane Zhu. They were so cute together. I loved how they were friends at first and then developing into a romance. A typical cute love story. YET I didn’t mind because it fitted with her bubbly, sucker for romance character and his somewhat prince in shining armor one (even if he was just an average guy to some people). I also liked how their characters eventually got married in the end and shared the happiness with the rest of the characters, not just forgotten like that. (Or I would rant even more. NOT kidding here.)
  • Tsui Wing and Celine Ma. So unexpected since I thought Rose would end up alone in the end. YET that was so cute and funny in a sense. I guess her good heart paid off since she was able to marry a person she often dreamt of, having wealth and all. And I swear it was so deserving because she was kind enough to hang out with the kid and helped the kid, etc.

What was disappointing? Heaps actually, but to break it down, here goes:

  • The family conflict with Bei Er, Hei Er, and whatsoever. I don’t know who was right or wrong YET they had implied and stressed and even wanted to shove it in our faces with the importance of family–regardless of the details throughout. I seriously was sickened by the fact that they (the scriptwriters) paved it so lamely. I got so confused with all the recounts from different characters that I eventually gave up altogether on it. However, it never made sense how they put the blame on Bei Er’s father. I swear, it was so weak, considering how the mother left with Hai Er already. I meant okay, she explained that she knew the father loved Bei Er more hence taking the risk. YET it didn’t make sense because of possibly the fact that we were so used to the flashbacks of how Bei Er’s father was so sincere and nice and kind. OR it was her point of view. YET I just didn’t trust the other two, mostly because their portrayals were too poor or too fake OR something. At least at that point. I just wasn’t convinced. Then came that whole idea with how everyone was shoving and pushing for Bei Er to accept her mother when she had to overcome so much of finally realizing that Jing Jing was actually Hai Er and more. They were pushing her too much that I felt it was too sickening. AND I didn’t see the logic of just because “family is important” that they should push her. She needed space and time. Even if she remembered later and came to peace with her past, but I wasn’t convinced either. Considering how the others kept blaming Bei Er IF she chose to ignore them. They kept scolding her for being cold-blooded, etc BUT who the hell abandon her ages ago? How could she accept them in two shakes? Who’s the cold-blooded one now? I couldn’t help but associate this to Pages of Treasures in relation to Abbie (aka Shirley Yeung’s character in there). What the heck was that? I just couldn’t accept their twisted morality of forcing others to accept and admit when it was so weak with the setup of the plot. Then there were the whole recounts with blaming on the ‘China Town’ in the other country being close-minded and not understanding the situation with the Cen family. How lame was that? I don’t know. But it made me feel more suspicious than ever.
  • The love-hate thing and whatever else with Zhong Guo Dong and his ex-wife and the people involved. The other thing that made me want to throw things at people in here. I knew by the time that no one was saying anything that it would be up to Jessie to leave before anyone else made a move. Seriously. That was soooo bad AND stupid of everyone to think they should just hold it in. After all, Guo Dong was right that his only true friend was Mei Gui. Though afterward, he still chose to marry Jessie, which was LAME. So messed up YET Jessie wasn’t exposed properly that made me even more pissed. She was so scheming and manipulative yet the others tolerated her? It was like they thought it was okay that Guo Dong lived with such a psycho? SO fake. Seriously, in real life, IF you find out someone had harmed your family member in the past and was back to do it again, would you let them? Regardless of the reason, you would be more than protective. It doesn’t matter with past guilt OR not. You start putting up some radar–even IF you want it to work. What was even more despicable was how dumb Bei Er and Qing Qing were for not saying anything because they were the ones having pieces of the puzzles. I think after all that was done–wrong or what, Li Chun was smarter than the rest of them since he was asking Bei Er that one time at a cafe place about how they were letting Jessie return to Guo Dong’s side AND how if Guo Dong hadn’t been so successful now, would she jump in with him again? It wasn’t like she wasn’t rich herself. But it was like it was something for her to grip on, like seeking a perfect or successful person versus a loser such as Li Chun now (or so people would dub him as). Talking about Li Chun, that was the other frustrating thing about not exposing everything since Jessie manipulated the details, making it like she’d mistaken Li Chun for Guo Dong one time BUT it didn’t seem so with Li Chun’s recounts and some details here and there. HELLO, sometimes I just want to side with Jessie altogether and let her bring the rest of them down since they were so dumb.
  • How stupid people were. This could be combined with both of the choices above YET I want to emphasize even more. Anyone have common sense? I don’t believe in real life people would still react that way. Like loving to be someone else’s puppet and torturing themselves and others around them like that. It was like I rather side with the villain than them at times, especially the Zhong family and eventually Carmen as well as some others at the cooking classes/dessert shop.

What needed to be focused on more?

  • The main theme. YES, they still talked about food and all. YET somehow it got lost along the way. Though it resurfaced again through different stories, I felt it wasn’t developed enough.
  • The newspaper people. I rather they expand more funny stories or random ones so we could understand some of the employees there more than so much on family or love dramas of the Chung/Zhong family. Sure, they were the focus of the sitcom YET it was too lame when they were too focused on with trying to resolve some matters. I rather the scriptwriters went toward the random/nonsense route than attempt to teach us a bunch of twisted morality stuff.

Recommended? If you want to waste your time, go ahead. If you like their twisted morality story, go ahead as well. NOT that I disagree with the essence of it, but I hate how they approached it. Why in the world did I watch it and even continued if I thought it was so terrible? Typical me wanting to see if it would improve. Then there was the whole ‘good foundation’ at the beginning with some witty exchanges here and there. But I was wrong and it didn’t improve at all–despite the fact that some side stories were worth watching more than the ones involving some major characters. Then there was the whole thing about curiosity like I said before, wanting to see what else was similar to When Dolphin Met Cat and all.

Placebo Cure

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted (on Xanga): December 2, 2008

Re-posted: Monday, April 19th, 2010

Phoenix Rising

As I said before in my other reviews, TVB seriously makes better Shanghai period series than those of the ancient or modern ones. This one was no exception since it was very well crafted and complex in many areas. The relationship between the three sisters and their fates really made it tragic and touching in a way.

Bad idea that I read the spoilers once again, but still it was a good series although I must say it somewhat dragged at some parts and could be quite repetitive. Let’s just say I didn’t take the ending as well as how I did for The Brink of Law since both major characters died in each of the series. But for the other one, it could be justified and actually made sense. But this one, it’s like one last step and then So Fei had to die just like that. It was unreasonable and made it all so frustrating. Yes, I know that was the turning point that Lai Nga had to finally end it all, but it was so unnecessary to make it tragic on purpose.

Other than that, ‘Like’ factors included:

  • Kristal Tin as Kong Lai Nga: Lai Nga was a very protective and caring sister toward her younger siblings. She was nice and kind in her own way. But she failed to understand and draw the line between right and wrong thus causing many problems to evolve later in the story. However, I’m glad that she actually acknowledged that in the very end instead of just blaming her sister for it (although Pui Woo actually did the killing) but because Lai Nga failed to stop Pui Woo and kept using herself as a shield to let Pui Woo keep doing it or wishing that Pui Woo would change, etc. Can’t blame her since she was just knowing how to protect her sibling and maintain a strong bond. However, I thought some things didn’t have to drag out so much. Sometimes she was very rash and liked to do it without thinking, such as the scene where she was already rescued but she kept wanting to go see the wedding, etc–causing more troubles. It is called an accident and clumsiness the first time, but what about the second time at the church? She was discovered by Eileen’s character and almost create more problems (which she did in the end but for a different reason). I think overall, Kristal was very good and convincing in it since she brought out all the character’s personalities very well, convincing us that she was a weakling (unlike her other strong characters) and only knew to care for others, etc.
  • Leila Tong as So Fei: I really, really, really like Leila’s character So Fei in here and probably also the reason why I hate it so much when they killed So Fei off–even if it was to make Lai Nga see that Pui Woo never changed at all. She was very intelligent and could see through all of Pui Woo’s acts and her deceiving words. She did break the law later in trying to save Lai Nga, but I thought she was a very good sibling considering how she suffered her future for her sister and tried to do her best in saving her. She was very selfless in her actions and never back down even if she was threatened with death. She might not agree with Lai Nga’s actions sometimes but she did listen to her. I must say Leila was really good in here. This was one of the greater roles for her but too bad it ended quite tragically. She was so good that I really did cry during So Fei’s last struggle to survive by trying to escape from the box. Too bad she didn’t succeed but she did leave clues behind for Lai Nga. It was very sad seeing that last scene played out.
  • The sisterly bond between Lai Nga and So Fei: No need to say too much but it was proven many times that they will do anything for each other and maintain such a good relationship despite any obstacles or misunderstandings. They always stay true to each other and trust each other throughout. It was probably also the reason why it led Lai Nga to have such strength to finally avenge So Fei’s death in the end.
  • Sunny and Kristal’s chemistry as a tragic couple: Although it was so frustrating at times because of how reluctant he was to let go of his status and future, it was somewhat understandable. Although lack of screen time but Sunny still managed to carry out his character quite well. He and Kristal made quite a good couple also.
  • Jack Wu as Ma Hak: Although he was a bit dumb sometimes, he was very kind and determined to help So Fei whenever she needed him to. He was also very patient and fast-thinking that he complemented So Fei’s stubborn personality quite well. I guess can’t really blame him with how things turned out in the end. It was just a shame that he never knew that So Fei really did want to go with him and was delayed because she was killed. Haven’t seen Jack Wu for a while and it was funny to see him not pairing off with Nancy. But it was all right seeing him in here as a major contribution to the plot and various conspiracies.
  • Nancy Wu as Yip Chi Shan: I couldn’t believe that her character died in here again but another wonderful performance. I really like her in recent series more than her past ones for some reason. She seemed to take it up to another level unlike her passive expression like before. Her character seems to have more depth also–even if she doesn’t get to appear much. Chi Shan’s death was probably another tear-jerker aside from So Fei’s death at the end. It was very surprising and brief since I thought she would live after so many things happening and how she overcame the loss of her husband and lived for her child.
  • Law Lok Lam’s appearance although lack of screen time: He was very kind and bright in here but too bad he had such an ending. It didn’t say if his character lived or die in the end (but I’m guessing he’s still in a coma). However, I’m glad to see his contribution was something more than just appearing as Ben Wong’s father in here. It was probably the turning point for everything and a final break when Pui Woo decided to bring him down and also an opportunity for a trap as well.
  • Excellent cast as an overall: Even if Sunny Chan didn’t have as much screen time because it appeared to be mostly an all-women series, I still thought it did quite well with picking out the cast with the exception of one–Louisa So. Although Louisa’s character, Pui Woo, was very hateful, I failed to be convinced of her acting. It seemed like she was picked for her beauty instead of her acting skills since there were other casts who could be better in that role. I hated her character through her actions but didn’t really care much after watching it. It was like it was not enough. Some of the minor characters in here did better than that. And maybe because of that, I failed to feel sorry for all the psychological and/or traumatizing events she went through during her childhood or how she had become. It was like never clear what she was doing. She can paste on an “evil” look but at the minimum and could only do so much. If it was someone else, I would have felt a tad pity for Pui Woo and why she had become such a person.

Other than that, I think it was good overall. It probably would land behind The Charm Beneath, Au Revoir Shanghai, and The Price of Greed even since like I said before, it tried to be too tragic with the ending. I know it’s not supposed to be all happy near the end–because none of the other ones were (except for The Charm Beneath) but it didn’t have to be all out with deaths. Just made things so repetitive.

Since I said earlier about an excellent cast, I must say also that this is one of the most underrated series of TVB since it seems people just ignore this type of series since they fail to see some cast that they recognize or like. But this is like The Price of Greed (a series that is good) but got ignored. People should definitely give this a chance.

Posted: December 25, 2008

Re-posted: Sunday, March 21st, 2010