The Ranger, Superior and Demon Girl

I recently stumbled upon this series from ATV so I ended up watching it. Of course, it took a while since I have lots of stuff to do. Anyway, it was an old series so there was a severe lack of information regarding the drama. From what I know, it was an adaptation from a Liang Yu Sheng novel of the same name. It was supposedly 70% accurate since like most adaptations, it was hard to keep to the novel. Some characters were merged and/or sacrificed along the way. I really want to look for it to read and compare, but no such luck. This seemed to not be as popular as Liang Yu Sheng’s other novels hence it being hard to find. The furthest I could go was reading the summary and/or character descriptions on Baidu. Nothing beats reading the novel itself. Although I do appreciate whoever created a page for it in the first place.
Main Cast:

  • Ban Ban (斑斑) as Liu Qing Yao (柳青瑶). She was awesome. I liked how she started out what seemed to be a rash, self-righteous person yet eventually turned into one of the leaders of the robbers. It was so amazing to see how her character evolved. I thought she was going to be a side protagonist that ended up making the leading guys look good by rescuing her or something. Yet she had her own story development and journey to leadership and all. She was raw at first with her experiences and martial arts skills. After having traveled the realms of jianghu for some time, she earned her reputation and respect from different groups as well as hatred from others. Regardless, most feared her wrath and took her seriously–even if some did not want to admit it. What I also liked was how she never lost her way despite having gained so much fame and support from others. Like how the previous leader of the robbers had used his own reputation of “going against the Jin people” so he could kidnap girls and do whatever he wanted. (That was why in the other section I mentioned how I didn’t like that to become a reason for immunity toward the characters.) She focused on her main goal, reuniting their country and made heroes among thieves (not discouraging them nor condemning them just because of their background) thus leading them to fight for a bigger cause. Aside from all of that, she also had her personal struggles and vulnerabilities. The actress sure brought out the many sides of Qing Yao. I didn’t realize that she portrayed Han Xiao Ying (韓小莹) in TVB’s 1983 adaptation of The Legend of the Condor Heroes, but I knew she looked familiar. It was refreshing to see her in a leading role and seeing how she got to show off her acting capabilities.
  • Yu Tien Lung (游天龙) as Hua Gu Han (谷涵). I didn’t know what to make of him at first, even if I knew he was one of the main characters. He sure lived up to his reputation with being an odd hero. I liked his carefree attitude (for the most part) and how he wasn’t a bragging type. However, what got me frustrated was his attempt to conceal the mystery that almost cost Qing Yao’s life and possibly his. I meant the part where Qing Yao’s uncle pretended to be her long-lost father and ended up poisoning her hence the fiasco of later. So aside from that, I thought he was fine for the most part.
  • Lau Wan Fung (劉雲峰) as Tan Yu Chong (檀羽冲). For being a main character, he was sure detached from the main plot for the majority of the story. Sure, he was chased down from the Jin emperor and company since he went against the king’s tyranny. However, he wasn’t involved and I liked it that the other characters respected his boundary and didn’t force him into helping them as long as he wasn’t harming others. I just found it funny that he wasn’t involved until Long Yu scolded him for being a coward and not standing up to his king. It got him thinking and actually wanted to join forces with the others to help them. So that was how he was there during the final battle.
  • Fred Carpio (弗烈) as Geng Zhao (耿照). I think Geng Zhao was more involved with the main plot than some people in here. It wasn’t because he had to deliver the secret documents from his father to the king either. That was mostly the reason. But it was because he was righteous and showed his patriotism from the start. Even before he learned about his father’s fake surrender to the Jin emperor. He had big plans and wanted to help his country. Then tragedy stroke and he was forced to flee his home and endured all the pain of having killed his uncle (or so he thought, not knowing of the schemes behind it all). His sense of responsibility was admirable on many levels. What made it bittersweet was that he finally achieved what his father sent him out to do and managed to overcome all his obstacles yet in the end, he couldn’t escape his fate. Not just the fact that he died at the end but how he lost all the ones whom he loved and also the ones who loved him. Again, I don’t know if he was supposed to survive in the novel or not, but that was surely choking. Even if he had sacrificed himself for the greater good. I’m not so sure their stupid king would appreciate it.
  • Elaine Chow (周秀蘭) as He Lian Qing Yun (赫连清云) and He Lian Qing Bo (赫连清波). Impressed. Okay, I already loved Elaine since watching Duke of Mt. Deer and seeing her portray Shuang Er. I saw great potential with her during her earlier years. Yet every time I watched a series of hers, she was tossed some similar pitiful role. It happened a lot with some of the past stars of TVB too. I was glad she left TVB and joined ATV. Because this series proved that she was amazing. She was able to portray two roles seamlessly, making us think that she was indeed two persons. It was fascinating to watch her innocent and mischievous Qing Yun moments versus her cunning and deceptive Qing Bo scenes as well.
  • Willie Lau (煒烈) as Gongsun Qi (公孙奇). I didn’t like him from the start. Not just because of how he was going against his father and entering the Sang resident. He was just so suspicious and full of jealousy of others. Although I got it that he was having trouble seeking love and attention from his father, I didn’t like it that he used it as an excuse to sacrifice everything in his path to gain achievements. I felt his ending was so weak. They just wanted to wrap it up so they made him apologize with some half-ass regrets and that was it. He was going to die anyway because Qing Hong already died so no one could help with curing him. No sympathy right from the start.

Supporting:

  • Lee Ying Tung (李映彤) as Qin Long Yu (秦弄玉). I thought she wasn’t involved in the main plot since her association was with Geng Zhao at the beginning. Again, because I didn’t read the novels and didn’t know what to expect of the plot at that point. She was another brave character in sacrificing herself for the greater cause. It was really sad and tragic that she and Geng Zhao couldn’t be together after so much had happened.
  • Kingdom Yuen (苑瓊丹) as Yu Shan Hu (玉珊瑚). I never thought there was a day when I use the word “cute” to describe Kingdom. But that was how it was with her character in here. I only watched her past series where she was blunt, cunning, hilarious, obnoxious or was at times involved in touching storylines but never as toned down. In here, she was actually calm and possibly on the bland side. Yet that wasn’t so. She brought out the many sides of her character that I thought wouldn’t be possible since she was continuously cast in similar roles by TVB in her later years. One of the other more toned down roles of hers that I had watched was actually The Blood Sword. Anyway, back to this one, I really loved her character because she was quite rash and hot-headed at the beginning (and rightly so since her whole family and sect were killed and burned down after all) and then later transitioned into a calmer and careful person. I hated it even more that she was raped. What the hell was that? I know that reflected reality like how no one could see that coming and tragedies happened yet I hated it that the scene was only used to make us hate Meng Zhao even more. I think the audience already got that part, no need to keep piling it on. I don’t know if she lived in the novel, but it was seriously messed up killing her like that before wrapping up the series after the final battle.
  • Cho Tat Wah (曹達華) as Gongsun Yin (公孙隐). Mixed feelings. I know it was really hard for him to just accept it that his son was an evil person who would harm anyone and resort to anything to achieve his goals. It was his son after all, but I hated that he acted like Sang Qing Hong was an evil bitch because of how she implemented her revenge method. Seriously? He was the last one to speak. They already spared his feelings on a lot of things, just because they respected him.
  • Tam Wing Kit (谭荣杰) as Meng Zhao (孟钊). I don’t know if he was trying to compete with Gongsun Qi to be the most hated character, but it felt that way for now. He was getting ridiculous as the series progressed. It was like endless with his unreasonableness. He claimed to love San Hu or cared for her yet didn’t believe her words against that one girl. They grew up together, seriously. I understood that he was forced to participate in the Sang family’s conflicts and there were many things he wasn’t able to control at the beginning. However, he just became worse and worse. Or more like his true character was coming out. I was hoping it was for dramatic purposes that they dragged out his misunderstandings at one point. Hell, I even made excuses (for San Hu’s sake) and hoped that he would see past all the ridiculous misunderstandings. However, he became unredeemable when he finally pushed past the barrier and raped her. I wanted to jump into the screen and strangle him by then. I felt his death was too fast–although I was glad San Hu was able to carry through–and wished he had suffered more.

Likes:

  • The cast. Some of them weren’t that famous–or considered big names, but they acted well. They weren’t trying and even if I haven’t read the novel, just analyzing with the stories given, I felt they were those characters.
  • The music. The singers were lovely in their performance, and how it added to the series as an overall. The song represented the overall series quite well. It brought back feelings of old wuxia series for me.
  • The female characters in here. Regardless if I liked them or not, I felt the story was dominated by strong female characters with mixed emotions and personalities, especially in a wuxia like this. They weren’t so one-dimensional like other stories. There were similar conflicts that the characters from other TV series and novels had to face, but I felt in this one, the storyline was much stronger in that it accepted how each of the female characters chose their paths or lack of one. They weren’t trying to be super perfect or chase after an unrealistic perfect image. I also like it that the female characters weren’t just there as the male leads’ love interests. They had romances and triangles or whatever else in here, but each female character had her own story and conflicts she had to face. I’m not sure how faithful of that aspect they stick to the novel. If I had known, I would’ve read Liang Yu Sheng’s novels ages ago. (Yes, sadly I’ve never completely read a Liang Yu Sheng novel to its full extent.) I’m also awed by the fact that Liao Qing Yao was part of the main leads in here. I meant other wuxia novels and/or TV series, they had strong female leads too and all, but like I said, I felt at times they didn’t focus on the female lead’s side of the journey. They just existed as a companion for the male leads and their characters were never explored so fully. This one, they followed Liao Qing Yao when she was a newbie in the jianghu realm and later established to be a leader that earned a lot of respect and led the fight in restoring her country (or attempted to).
  • The jianghu feeling from a traditional wuxia. Usually, I’m very accepting of new ideas and genres. Hey, I still watch and like some ideas incorporated in some TV series of recent. However, at times, I really missed how old wuxia TV series were. Like now the majority of the dramas are character-driven. I get it, they’re trying to get your favorite stars (or at least the ones they’re promoting) more exposure and screen time. I like to see my favorites in more scenes too. Yet at times it could be so tiring with repetitive plots and endless unnecessary dramas. So this one sort of brought back old feelings for me. This was definitely plot-driven. Many of the characters were gone for a large portion of the story at one point or another. That didn’t mean they weren’t important. That made the story flowed well as an overall. I rather they appeared and actually contributed to the plot than just stood around and/or talked unnecessarily for how many episodes they (the creators of the show) could drag out. Then there was the whole feeling of how many of the heroes and/or heroines in here met and ended up being sworn siblings just because. Like how Hua Gu Han and Qing Yun were, and how Geng Zhao and San Hu also ended up becoming sworn siblings. Or how Hua Gu Han and Tan Yu Chong admired one another’s talents but didn’t force one or another to side with them at times. They helped each other when in need and respected the other’s views and/or decisions. Hua Gu Han and Tan Yu Chong’s meeting sort of reminded of how Qu Yang (曲洋) and Liu Zheng Feng (劉正風) from Xiao Ao Jiang Hu (笑傲江湖) met. Although they met through music, their admiration of one another was through righteousness. Not to mention this series’ focus wasn’t on music and/or the conflicts of jianghu but the main picture was that of their country and the patriotism involved.

Dislikes:

  • Definitely San Hu being raped by Meng Zhao. I hate all of those scenes regardless of TV series or novels. It doesn’t matter the number of details shown. I just hate it in general–even if I know that it is an ongoing issue and how people still refuse to acknowledge the damages of it. Anyway, I don’t know if this was part of the novel or not, but I felt the setup was terrible. Okay, poor choice of words, but I felt they could have prevented it. It sounds like victim-shaming, but San Hu was really sick at that time, it was hard to move her, but can’t the others pay some others to move her in a carriage back to the mountains so she could rest? At least have Qing Yao’s other good sister help take care of her at that time. Yet they just left her at the inn where everyone and their cousins could enter? They knew Meng Zhao was always up to no good, why take the chance? And I want to clarify that if it didn’t happen to San Hu but to someone else, I would be equally pissed. Again, hate those scenes.
  • The Sang (桑) family in general. I didn’t care if they were against the Jin people (金国). That didn’t make up for all the harassment and suffering they caused toward the locals. Those endless scenes of their lackeys going into town and demanding money was beyond despicable and showed their true colors. Regarding Sang Qing Hong (桑青虹), mixed feelings throughout. I didn’t like that she forced Geng Zhao into learning her family’s skills, even if that was supposed to help him in the future. If it was some random person on the street, would she care? She sounded righteous but didn’t help much with the locals either. She was also in her own family’s bubbles. I felt bad for her regarding the revenge plot and all, and how brave she was to sacrifice so much. Yet I couldn’t really sympathize with her on a larger scale. She didn’t really contribute to the overall plot except for being responsible for Geng Zhao’s martial arts improvements.

After all that, do I recommend it? I definitely would. Or more like I would definitely recommend it for fans of the traditional wuxia. The actors and actresses in here did really good in bringing out the story and their characters. Sure, it was a bittersweet ending but I felt it was a worth it series for wuxia fans.

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The Wild Bunch

First off, I had to scratch my initial comments since I felt I was still too lenient with the criticisms. Having watched most of Felix’s series already, I think I have the right to have a say in this. Like his other series, it usually starts with an interesting idea and it seems promising. Yet sooner or later, it would go downhill–minus all the Jin Yong adaptations and a few rare series. This was supposedly the Golden 80s so I expected A LOT. I just have to agree that they have good acting (for the majority) and nice costumes for ancient series. Those were the highlights. Plot-wise? NOT so much. It’s just that series nowadays at times lacks in the acting department so the plot sticks out like a sore thumb if it sucks. The good acting and the good costumes often masquerade some of the plot flaws back then. What was the whole deal about the plot that got me so disappointed? For the first ten episodes (aside from the first or so episode of the somewhat fast pace of introducing some key characters), the pace went from slow to a halt. Sometimes, there were somewhat of a happening that could be considered mystery because of the suspicious mute guy trying to assassinate Lei Hak Yung (or it looked like it), which I thought was the true hightlight of the show–since I expected the side dramas among the other adopted sons (with their competitions and all). Yet they waited until the almost last episode to reveal more about him and wrap up the series loosely. Seriously? Of the things that happened in the first ten episodes, about five (exaggerating but not too far from it) of them were focused on disagreements or side bickers between Felix and Idy’s characters. Then there was the obvious conflict between Lei Hak Yung and Jyu Wan–whether regarding the woman they supposedly “love” or for power. It was bouncing back and forth about how both paved the other out to be the monster yet I felt it was on the dot when On Ging Si’s adopted father said that both weren’t any better with their senseless fights. Oh yeah, did I mention it was never revealed what was the purpose of all these whole conflicts until near the end? It was revealed by the mute guy that Lei Hak Yung wanted to eliminate threats and major powers before overthrowing the current king to become the king himself. Sure, most of his recruitment of various talented characters in here showed that he was in for some big plan YET it wasn’t focused on to see where the plot was going. I didn’t mean that the plot was confusing, I just meant the writers didn’t know what they wanted so they just tossed in some random stuffs until the end to wrap it up. It was just a mess, like so unorganized that by the time it was wrapping up, you didn’t learn much or care anymore. I’m saving other rants for later.

Main Cast:

  • Felix Wong as On Ging Si. It wasn’t like he was dumb, not totally, but his character like some in here lacked consistency. Sometimes he was bright–or seemed that way. Yet another time, he was just plain clueless. I’m not talking about love stuffs either. I’m talking about the whole knowing Hong Kwan Lei was a devious character and not knowing how to draw up a good plan for it.
  • Idy Chan as Princess Wan Lo. Mixed feelings throughout. Like others in here, the writers didn’t know how to develop her character either. At times, we could see she was righteous and care for others (the part where she helped with that one case of the missing women). At other times, she was the typical spoiled brat (which was the recurring theme throughout). Yet it wasn’t all that either. I got it that she was complicated and have the right to be just like any one of us. But I felt either the writers were trying to get us to hate her or was just unclear of what they wanted for her. The constant arguments with On Ging Si at first had fused a lot of frustrating moments to say the least. Although I was glad they didn’t make Idy boring BUT I didn’t think it was a good idea to make her character so inconsistent either. I didn’t mean she had to act one way or another at times, but some of the things she said in one scene conflicted itself in another scene. One could argue she had matured since some previous episodes, but it just didn’t make sense or allow for character developments to convince.
  • Kent Tong as Hong Kwan Lei aka Ching Lung. He was beyond despicable and possibly even scarier than Lei Hak Yung. Yet too bad they decided to not use his character well in the last few episodes. It was like building his character up and ready for the final battle yet the final battle was SOOOOO anti-climatic.
  • Stephen Tung as Sik Seut. The comedian in the series. Yes, every series had one of those yet he delivered nicely and was probably my second favorite character in here. He was much, much smarter and it helped a lot more since he was cunning. It was a good one to have when trying to go against Hong Kwan Lei. I was scared he was going to die at one point since every other characters were dropping dead left and right. Sure, I know the consequences when they were all stuck in the mess, but that didn’t help with hoping that at least he survived. Ironically, I got my wish and the other characters’ ending were tragic.
  • Austin Wai as Si Ging Si. He was actually my favorite in here yet he just had to face with another tragic ending. Yes, his character was my favorite and he used to be one of my favorite actors. He was both smart and talented in his martial arts. He was just hot-headed sometimes thus leading to some of the major problems later. I was impressed with him when he managed to help his “siblings” avoided the falling down the spikes trap in one of the episodes.
  • Paul Chun as Lei Hak Yung. It was obvious he was up to something from the start, but the execution of the plot just made him less powerful. I know, they had to focus on developing other characters and subplots in here too, not just focus on him all the time YET like I said, it felt unorganized when the writers didn’t focus on the right stuffs regarding him–as well. His character was menacing, but when it mattered, the writers didn’t go forward with it. They just showed some cunning and scheming here and then moved on to another story-arch and then kept downplaying his techniques so he became somewhat of a background character for Hong Kwan Lei’s traps (and interestingly HKL also got tossed aside like I said earlier to make way for some other story-arch to wrap up the series).
  • Lau Siu Ming as Jyu Wan. At times, it wasn’t really clear if he was any better than Lei Hak Yung but I think he had loyalty on his side since the majority of his “brothers” were always there for him versus the whole betrayal thing on the other side.
  • Maggie Li as Sam Mung Sin. She was part of the reasons the men fight but I thought that was just a lame excuse to fight so I didn’t blame her on that front. What I did blame her for was not keeping her words with Lei Hak Yung. Yeah, it would be insane to say that I side with Lei Hak Yung for anything. But I felt it was despicable of her to trick him into saving her husband that one time and then saying that Lei Hak Yung was despicable. You can’t criticize him or think the worst of him when you’re using him in the same way for your means. Seriously?

Others:

  • Elaine Chow as Ling Lung. I never  got over how she got killed off just like that. I knew it was inevitable since they needed to move on and sacrifice her so he could enter the Lei resident and also somehow fall in love with Wan Lo. But seriously? I felt like Ling Lung ended up being a plot device to enhance Ging Si’s character with how loyal he was, still keeping her old gifts, etc.
  • Bak Man Biao as On Gaai Fu. On Ging Si’s adoptive father. I think he was the most right about both Lei and Jyu when he told Ging Si about about the fighting with both sides. Yet I guess that was why he had to be killed off to further other people’s means.
  • Isabella Wong as Siu Fung. She wasn’t really my favorite for some series I watched of hers, but I felt this one was more than meets the eyes. Yet they also made it somewhat inconsistent like Idy’s or trying to go into a loop with the plot at times regarding her situation. But what was outright obvious at the end was her bravery. I knew something was up when she was looking at the structures. Like I knew she was forming a plan in her mind yet didn’t realize she went that far.
  • Lau Mei Man as Ah Taan. Wan Lo’s maid. I thought she was cute at the beginning. Didn’t realize she became a major character later, which was cool. Interestingly, she made it to the end. Not that I didn’t like that but like once the plot finally moved forward, I thought she would get trapped in the ongoing battles–which she did–and somehow lose her life too (which didn’t happen).
  • Lau Kwok Shing as Lei Chyun Gong aka the 3rd general. Got killed off by Ching Lung in one of the earlier episodes. He was used as a tool to fuse the others’ hatred for Jyu Wan. Although Ching Lung did the killing but Lei Hak Yung was tenfold more despicable on that front.
  • Cheng Ka Sang as Lei Chyun Lung aka the 4th general. He was seriously in for good as well, thinking he was on the right side by the time the plot was wrapping up. Yet too bad.
  • Tse Ming Chong as On Yau Yau. A servant. He was overlooked by others (and even viewers) from the start. Then near the end played a major part, which was a nice twist yet wasn’t properly developed.
  • Stephen Yip as Mou Yin Hung. Jyu Wan’s general. One of the loyal people by Jyu Wan.

Relationships:

  • Felix and Idy. The fact that their somewhat of a romance started right after Lung Ling died didn’t help their case for me, especially with Mister I’ll-Never-Love-Anyone-Else-For-The-Rest-Of-My-Life. Yes, I had to put that in since there was one point he was talking to Sik Seut and Sik Seut asking him if he wanted to consider Wan Lo. Yet later on, I just had to get used to it. It could work, but Lung Ling left an impression on me so I wasn’t really sold on this couple. The other reason was that I kept thinking the whole time while watching was Felix/Barbara and Andy/Idy. YES, although this one was before the other two series, but I watched those first and it had left an impression on me (as well as others who had watched it ages ago). Their chemistry wasn’t too bad but I felt it was somewhat lacking comparing to their other co-stars. Although I must say she was a better match with Tony (although I didn’t like her in The Grand Canal at all.)
  • Felix and Elaine. It wasn’t like their chemistry was amazing or anything, but their simple story at first stuck with me. Many might say she was boring, typical “good” girls of back then–and usually I hate those gentle ones too (just because they were usually fake with how the plot loved to develop it or tried so hard) yet Elaine’s acting had pulled me in with her character. Although she just appeared for like two episodes but she made an impression for me throughout. I seriously like her with Tony more, of course, but plot-wise for in here, I really liked her.
  • Austin and Isabella. The tragic couple. I had a gut feeling they wouldn’t make it. I meant the happy ending theme, considering how his past stories went in other dramas I watched–although this was before. I think they were considered an actual couple in here that no one had doubts about, most series has one. They were it and somehow with their story, it managed to move the plot forward. Whoever called it, it worked. Yet I wished they had made better decision for the main plot.
  • Lau Siu Ming and Maggie Li. Creepy. Okay, that was mean, but I’m not used to watching older people getting all mushy and cuddly, lol. I guess they weren’t bad together but I was just more interested in the main plot. I thought they along with Lei Hak Yung would drive forward the plot but it kept bouncing back and forth between who was right or wrong or whatever.

Flaws/Goofs/What-in-the-world moments:

  • Inconsistency. A LOT of it like I said throughout this review. If it wasn’t character inconsistency (minus people trying to keep secrets–of course–or if there was a reason for them to change their minds, I got that those parts were essential), it was plot gaps. So they managed it with some of the mystery, but the whole conflicting details at times made it frustrating. Not to mention mind boggling since I wonder if they had anyone to check the whole product before they released it. The problems didn’t start with recent series, BUT it had been way back.
  • Obvious GOOFs. One of the scenes it happened was when Hong Kwan Lei tried to poison Jyu Wan at the bath/spa room/whatever the world they called it back then that I forgot (lol) and he ran out after having somewhat recover. The battle continued up until the confrontation with On Ging Si and Si Ging Si at the arranged meeting location for some battle, which On Ging Si had convinced Si Ging Si not to kill Jyu Wan when he had been injured like that (i.e. not using despicable means or take advantage of the situation). All that made sense, but I’m talking about the episode jump. Like the beginning of the next episode, Jyu Wan was still running YET he was now fully clothed. He was wearing the white robe earlier SO how in the world did he manage to stop for clothes in the mist of running? They had an invisible rest stop I wasn’t aware of? Seriously? What were they trying to pull? Again, does anyone ever watch it again to check? (This had happened in LOTCH too and that was a major production so don’t start throwing excuses around.) Anyway, there were other goofs but this one stuck out the most with me.
  • WORST FINALE EVER. NOT because the majority of the cast died, including the leading lady. First, they killed Hong Kwan Lei with just two people–who were defeated by him previously. Okay, that one could be explained that over time On Ging Si’s skills had improved and even Sik Seut’s skills improved after the last attacks. However, On Ging Si said that he was afraid he might not win since Hong Kwan Lei’s skills had reached another level. SO what was that? Him lying to Wan Lo so they have more cuddle time? Or was that just his pessimistic nature? Then there were the other two who helped Hong Kwan Lei during the battle. I got it that Hong Kwan Lei could have won in the past because of his underhanded techniques and tricks. I got that throughout. Interestingly, Hong Kwan Lei was the only formula that never changed in the whole plot. He was consistent throughout–with his skills and personality. Yet I felt the final battle was so anti-climatic and ended in just seconds. Then what did the writers do for the rest of the time? Finally revealing that On Yau Yau was the actual son of Lei Hak Yung, which was a major surprise–and a good move. YET it went downhill from there (like it could get any worse but it did). Because they soon let him become Hong Kwan Lei #2–well in the making since he didn’t have the cunning that was Hong Kwan Lei. But it was just a mess after trying to rush forward with convincing us that the focus was on him, which wasn’t really. He lacked the trickery of his father as well so it wasn’t like we could see him as a threat for anyone. The mute guy was finally revealed in like the second last episode (or so) and a rush of explanation of his role in this. It made sense to keep the suspense going for a while with his identity BUT I felt it should have been revealed a little earlier so the final focus would be them trying to go against Lei Hak Yung. They let Hong Kwan Lei ruled the scenes for the majority of the time and then killed him off in seconds, then decide that they should now focus on bringing Lei Hak Yung down? Seriously? Not to mention the scenes leading up to how things became the way they did, which led to my next point.
  • WORST HOSTAGE SITUATION EVER. I felt that was really insulting the viewers. I think it’s safe to say that not all of us have been in hostage situations, but we at least get the idea what it’s about. How in the world did the writers make our hero that dumb? On Ging Si had a good plan–supposedly to save Wan Lo. He won Lei Hak Yung by element of surprise and captured him. He eventually used Lei Hak Yung as a hostage to save Wan Lo. Then he had to blow it! What possessed him to go in the house AND not request that On Yau Yau bring Wan Lo out as an exchange? Didn’t he see all those guards surrounding the house? Another thing he could have done was tell them to bring out the horses (which it was a request later BUT after they were trapped in a cage already). Seriously? Yes, I said that a lot already but I couldn’t believe it got dumber and dumber by the second. Then talking about On Yau Yau’s side, I swore they all knew Lei Hak Yung was in On Ging Si’s hands YET they still shot a bunch of arrows up there? What were they expecting? That the arrows bounced right back? Seriously! I initially thought On Yau Yau wanted to use the chance to off his father as well so he could take over sooner. YET it didn’t seem like the case and it was an accident with the incident. All of it was dumb and unnecessary. Yet the only explanation was to let Sik Seut show off his skills in fending the enemy and helped with the getaway.

Recommended? Ignore the freaking damn plot (or lack of it) and you might enjoy it for the cast. Just look at the beautiful people and forget about logic and reasoning or what the world the purpose is supposed to be. Yeah, that was it for me.