Filthy Rich

This was a light comedy and a rare gem of the ’90s. Seriously, many might not think much of it, but I thought it was awesome. Well, okay, not awesome, but probably one of those that I could just sit back and enjoy without it spoiling because of some lame ending or overly complicated, unnecessary dramas.

Main Cast:

  • Liu Wai Hung as Hung Chau Sang (洪秋生). An electrician that worked for a fussy boss. His luck turned when he rescued a wealthy man and got an opportunity to work at a large company (due to public pressure mostly because the incident was published in various news media). He seemed quite strange and possibly bordering on the greedy side initially. However, he was quite hardworking. It was just that he refused to be bullied at times and could appear to be a busybody at other times. He wasn’t despicable or scheming in any way. He accidentally got the opportunity but wasn’t too into wanting to push his connections with the big boss onward. Everything seemed to happen so fast at first and because the big boss had misled him with some promises. What I liked about him even more was how he didn’t use Yik Lian’s connection to forward his cause later nor did he go on some lame ego trip with their different backgrounds either. Yes, he was indeed discouraged when called upon by Yik Lian’s father and was given some ‘down talk’. Yet he didn’t dwell long. Instead of taking it out on her or others around him, he chose to work hard in understanding the company and their business deals even more. He also learned various languages on the side and their customs to help with business and other formal gatherings. It wasn’t like he was some clueless guy either, but it was shown that he was an excellent dancer (via the scene where they had that one dance-off in the restaurant). He was just a down to earth type of guy that didn’t show off all the time like some people always put up that ‘air’ like they were royal. This was the second time watching Liu Wai Hung portraying a character who worked for a cheap, rich boss. He delivered quite nicely and distinguished well between both characters. It made me realized he wasn’t typecast.
  • Sheren Tang as Kam Yik Lian (金忆莲). A successful, independent career woman. Also the daughter of Kam Chi Wai yet her talent rose above that of just depending on family connections. It was just that she had chosen to help her father. She lived up to being a smart heroine. Not having that title just for the sake of some background info and then ending up losing ground like some other female leads in other dramas. She knew to stay away from certain shady parties and also knew when to apologize if she had misunderstood someone. Her only weakness–which no one could fault her for was her constant sleep episodes. I have to say that Sheren wasn’t on the top of my ‘favorite’ list among all the ’80s actors/actresses–although I had watched the majority of her dramas of back then. This one changed my mind regarding her completely. Her character in here wasn’t just on one spectrum of the scale or the other. The mixture of personalities her character possessed in here made her much more interesting and her acting lively–and real. Even if this drama wasn’t much according to some people who rather watch the so-called ‘high-quality one’ with ‘star-dubbed’ cast, BUT this one allowed me to love Sheren.
  • Marco Ngai as Lee Ching Wan (李青云). Hung Chau Sang’s roommate. He was a down to earth guy and somewhat silly at times but good in general. He was funny in his own way and seemed a bit dumb at times yet he was indeed quite sincere. He wasn’t a doormat type of character either. It was a bit hard to figure out his character at times–not because of Marco’s acting or the script either. But it was because I realized they did not make his character one dimensional (like they often did with honest characters for other dramas).
  • Wong Siu Yen as Hung Wing Yi (洪咏仪). Hung Chau Sang’s younger sister. A nurse at the local hospital. She had her moments at times yet was a nice person in general. At times she seemed like a girly girl but she wasn’t like that either. Sure, she wanted to dress nicely and impress her supposedly doctor boyfriend (whom all the nurses found out were cheating on them). Yet she wasn’t a doormat either. Like I said, she had her moments but she was just protecting herself. She wasn’t a bully either though, even if she seemed impatient with Sing Ci that one time. (He was just too fussy.)
  • Bryan Leung as Kam Chi Wai (金志威). Another silly role for him. I didn’t mind that he was acting weird and strange at times and even got into senseless arguments with his partner (of the company). However, what I minded was when he cheated on his wife with that one woman. It didn’t matter if she seduced him or whatever, he reacted. That was all on him. I thought that ruined that bit of the story in general and how he got away too easily–and was forgiven too easily.
  • Lau Siu Ming as Mou Tin Dok (毛天铎). A wealthy man yet cheap in many ways. What was puzzling was how he had two wives. Seriously? Two wives equal more spending and much more. Or was he following the whole thing with marrying to have a son for the bloodline? If so, that would explain it. (Since Sing Ci was born after Hak Kan.) A funny role for Ming Sir in general and he delivered nicely. Even if I didn’t care for his indecisive character and how it became that way. It wasn’t like I could change it, lol.

Others:

  • Wayne Lai as Mou Hak Kan (毛克勤). Mou Tin Dok and Bak Lan Fa’s son. A beyond silly role for Wayne. It was still the back then days and I realized this could be a bigger role for him during that time. Yet he didn’t fail to impress at all. There were many sides of him that were hateful, like being a player and all. But it was Wayne’s portrayal that made it less hateful or annoying in many ways.
  • Bessie Chan as Kam Man Yuk (金曼玉). Kam Chi Wai’s daughter, Kam Yik Lian’s younger sister, Mou Hak Kan’s wife. Annoying in many ways yet I guessed she found her match made in heaven all right. She was fake and annoying and quite spoiled too. Of course, all that had to do with her father for spoiling her rotten. Or was that just her? Since Yik Lian also grew up in the same household yet wasn’t so. Initially, Hung Chau Sang liked her and dubbed her as his goddess. However, after discovering her true personality, he realized that she liked to put on a ‘face’ for others to see. The actress was convincing though.
  • Johnny Tang as Mou Sing Ci (毛星驰). Mou Tin Dok and Chong Hui Zung’s son. Often was sick and was restricted, but it wasn’t unreasonable since he indeed had too many incidents in the past. Yet after meeting Ching Wan, he learned a lot of things and was able to build a stronger body so he wasn’t so sick anymore. What was admirable about him was how his mother and step-mother were fighting yet he wasn’t taking side nor acting cruelly to his brother. Perhaps being sick most of his life took the toll on his health already but unlike some others who took the sickness to get what they wanted, he only wanted peace. He later became a cop and worked happily alongside his girlfriend.
  • Cho Tat Wah as Hung Yun Fat (洪润发). Hung Chau Sang and Hung Wing Yi’s father. He appeared quite greedy at times or at least his talk seemed to imply he prefer richness over all things. However, it was mostly because he had a lot to prove with one of his buddies who was always challenging him and bragging or showing off. It was clarified later that he valued honesty and virtue the most and it was all talks about ‘money’ most of the time. It was mentioned after he found out about Ching Wan and Wing Yi dating.
  • Fung So Bor as Chong Hui Zung (庄慧中). Mou Tin Dok’s first wife, Mou Sing Ci’s mother. Fussy and snarky yet it was because she had to prove herself.
  • Bak Yan as Bak Lan Fa (白兰花). Mou Tin Dok’s second wife, Mou Hak Kan’s mother. Appeared to be scheming and calculating at times yet it had to do a lot with wanting to prove herself against Hui Zung.
  • Lee Gui Ying as Rosanna. One of Hung Chau Sang’s co-workers. She was snappy at times, but it had to do a lot with how the others were teasing her with having no boyfriend. She had an attitude, but what was nice was how she didn’t care to suck up to the bosses or anyone having connections. She just did her work and that was that. Sure, she had her funny moments of sending flowers to herself (and got caught) yet it only added to the comedy.
  • Gordon Lam as Bak Kei Lung (白奇隆). Bak Lan Fa’s younger brother, Mou Hak Kan’s uncle. He was probably the slimeball of this series. The old days when Gordon was still acting in not so likable roles. He was indeed despicable and cunning all right. Yet he sure got the ending which the audience could laugh about.
  • Angelina Lo as Cheung Fung Giu (张凤娇). Kam Chi Wai’s wife, Kam Yik Lian and Kam Man Yuk’s mother. Never seen such a silly role from Angelina before. But it was indeed refreshing. However, I felt she let her husband off too easily with the cheating thing.
  • Kenneth Chan as a lawyer. I totally forgot his name in here since I watched this a while back. But he was one of Sheren’s ex-boyfriends. At first, it seemed like he didn’t care for money, only justice, etc. Yet he couldn’t pass the temptation test either. This was in the old days so Kenneth was still very young (of course, duh, I know) and also not getting anywhere yet. But he showed great potential already.

What I found extremely funny and soon made the connection was how the majority of the characters in here were named after famous stars.

  • Anthony Wong
  • Sandy Lam
  • Sean Lau
  • Anita Yuen
  • Hacken Lee
  • Maggie Cheung Man Yuk
  • Stephen Chow
  • Chow Yun Fat
  • Nicky Wu

Friendships / Romances / Others:

  • Liu Wai Hung/Hung Chau Sang and Marco Ngai/Lee Ching Wan as friends. Although there was a lot of stuff going on around them and they didn’t talk much except the randomness at times after work or bumping into each other elsewhere, I thought their friendship was interesting. It wasn’t trying too hard to be a supportive friend or making it like some epic relationship. Their friendship was normal and natural, something others could relate to with going from day to day and giving each other advice and joke around. It was funny how Ching Wan told Chau Sang that he was going to work for the same rich boss as Chau Sang and Chau Sang warned Ching Wan against the cheapskate boss. Indeed, Chau Sang was right. Ching Wan was in for a roller-coaster ride.
  • Liu Wai Hung/Hung Chau Sang and Sheren Tang/Kam Yik Lian as a couple. If people had told me, I wouldn’t believe these two belong in the same universe. Okay, that was mean. But seriously, when people talk about Sheren, they link her with other leads who were more on the ‘dashing’ side. Yet I thought she and Liu Wai Hung made a really cute couple in here. The fact that both of their characters were likable in here made the chemistry more addicting to watch and it was easy to relate to. They had a rough start but later become friends and fell in love. They had to overcome the hurdle of coming from different backgrounds and statuses. Yet they kept it real most of the time. Of course, they were worried, like how she thought he might just disappear like her past boyfriends too, but that was understandable–with her luck and all (aka her father jumping in and sabotaging them–which he did try). Then there was how he could possibly be lured into taking the money and leaving her. Hey, no one could blame him if he just chose to run–with the money or not since her father was crazy. Yet he overcame that too. Like said in his character description, he didn’t give up so easily or let his ego get in the way. He tried harder and learned various things to prove to others he could merge in. It wasn’t just to impress her or her father, but it showed he was capable of getting there. He wasn’t the type to sit around and mope or get too dreamy. He was quite in touch with reality. So yes, loved them in here. Their mischievousness was really funny too. That one time when they tried to go around and sabotage others. Or that other time when they tried to make this one couple feel so awkward that that couple had to leave (so they could claim their table back).
  • Marco Ngai/Lee Ching Wan and Wong Siu Yen/Hung Wing Yi as a couple. Loved them. They were the funny couple in here. He could be so clueless at times or seemed kind of silly. But it was funny how he got so jealous and tried to sabotage her dates. OR possibly just getting overly paranoid. One of the funniest scenes was where she was talking on the phone and he was over in the corner taking care of the plant for her father but he almost chopped off the whole thing (or at another time shown almost drowning the plant). It was a riot. Then there was the part where they thought Sing Ci was dying so they decided to let him enjoy life a bit hence her posing as Sing Ci’s girlfriend. He had to go and monitor them and it was a riot how he got so jealous yet still allowed the whole thing. (Well, if it wasn’t too much.)
  • Bryan Leung/Kam Chi Wai and Liu Siu Ming/Mou Tin Dok as frenemies. Crazy! I didn’t even understand why they share the company when they were always bickering like that, getting at one another’s throats. Yet it was revealed they used to be best friends yet fought over some lady thus souring their friendship. Ironically, they both ran away from her when they learned she’d grew old and fat. Seriously? They were both getting old and hair turning gray or going bald too. But that was, of course, for dramatic purpose and a comical moment. It was indeed hilarious though. Silly.
  • Wayne Lai/Mou Hak Kan and Bessie Chan/Kam Man Yuk as a couple. Didn’t like them and didn’t care for them at first, especially since their personalities were too whatever. Yet I sort of found them funny later, especially how he still dared to go out and find other girls–when she was like a tiger. I guess he had a death wish or something.

Recommended? I felt it was hilarious and short. One of the rare nonsensical comedies that I actually enjoyed because of the cast’s wonderful acting.

Mystery of the Parchment

Probably the second TVB series that I watched. And this one was one of those I could chant along with it as it played on screen. That told you how many times I’d watched it already.

The likes:

  • Canti Lau. He was funny at first, serious later after going through some trials, and somehow goofy again near the end where it seemed after everything was over. Did I doubt his acting? No, he was convincing with his role–even if I’d doubted the plot at times, I did not doubt him.
  • Kitty Lai. It was one of those rare Kitty roles that I really liked in those days and possibly it was because it was the first role that I saw of her so I really liked it.
  • Canti and Kitty. I back-watched so this was actually the first of them. Must admit they were addicting to watch. It was so funny how they didn’t even get along at first–like those typical ones–YET they weren’t that off like she wouldn’t even cave into him regardless. Too bad their relationship had become subtle later due to other subplots–AND possibly unnecessary.
  • Gallen Lo. At the first watch, it was normal to hate him. Come on now, the villain. Somehow, I found his character to be essential later on. In fact, he was a bit pitiful. Well, slightly, since in the later parts, he was kind of one of those typical characters who chose the path of ‘throne’ rather than ‘friendship’. One couldn’t really blame him since he was royalty after all SO it was normal to re-gain his throne. BUT I felt he was only able to live peacefully IF he knew he did not have a chance. It was like he didn’t want to live such a boring life. He was so reluctant, SO when he realized he had a chance again, he just had to jump at it. I thought it was a constant battle with his character since he was struggling with what his father and the others were molding him since young versus the whole idea of what that one monk said one time with how all of us would become nothing anyway, so why fight (i.e. kill each other to get what we want BUT can’t take with us)? In the end, the greed side won out AND it was also his ending when he betrayed his lover, going against his words. Maybe I should feel pity for him more than hate.
  • Gallen and Betty Mak as a couple. I don’t know. This was my first co-star of Gallen so it left some impression with their story, so tragic. They really cared for each other YET as I stated before, he just couldn’t put the whole royalty background down to live with her in a normal place. What was even sadder was when he ended up coaxing her and using her to benefit himself as well, causing the worst. AND for once, I didn’t feel it was an easy out for him when he went crazy and lost his memory (or what it seemed to be). ‘Cause it was like he had lost everything, even her since he had betrayed her trust–like she said. It wasn’t about face OR about Canti’s character that she forced Gallen’s character to keep his words, BUT it was for his sake AND how both sides could live peacefully, not fighting each other’s countries. YET he had used those ‘promises’ to lure her into telling him the information.
  • Betty Mak. I honestly pitied her to the point that I couldn’t name anyone else on top of my head that I could pity more. ‘Cause she was used by everyone in here–her father, her lover, and her so-called friends. YES, all stated to have some legitimate reasons for their doings BUT it didn’t justify using her like that, pretending to care for her yet they just wanted to satisfy and/or fulfill their wishes. She was kind and nice and intelligent. Maybe because she was too intelligent that she became an asset for others. Perhaps, the only person who actually cared for her–aside from her dead mother–was the crazy woman who her father kept in the cell for a period of time.
  • The ancient feelings of it. It was 1990 but they still managed to keep it ancient enough. The humor was truly hilarious AND it moved forward fast enough, except in the middle, which was a shame. The downhill parts were due to the whole triangles–partially AND then the scheming parts, which was kind of essential. BUT I was overly frustrated with some lacking parts, which will be mentioned later on in the next section.
  • The comedy. As said above, you could actually laugh without feeling it was corny because Canti and the other supporting cast were so funny. The rest of the supporting cast DID NOT have to be big shot stars like in recent series. And being just some supporting actors, they were able to make us laugh. Their ability to do comedy was better than some people who take the leading roles. (Seriously.)
  • The supporting cast. This was the time where they didn’t slap a bunch of characters in front of your face with ‘star-cast’ OR so they liked to do it. It’s already mentioned in the previous one but I have to put it here to stress my point even more.
  • Wayne Lai as one of the beggars. Okay, this was one of those things with watching old series–AGAIN. You get to spot the most insignificant actors back then. But then the funniest thing was NO ONE cared about them the first time around YET now claimed that they were so good and no wonder they got promoted. (I would be like, “Yeah, really? Where were you when they were playing those really small roles?”)
  • Gordon Lam as one of the beggars. Same as Wayne Lai! LOl!
  • Wilson Tsui as one of the beggars. Awww…he was getting demoted? He was doing so good in the other roles in the ’80s.

Dislikes:

  • Donna Chu as the Beggar Clan leader’s daughter. She later became the leader of the Beggar Clan, of course. I couldn’t find myself liking her regardless of what she was going through in the later parts of the story. Maybe because she was the first runner up of Miss HK 1989 that she got some meaty role? AND that Kitty’s screen time was cut? (It looked like that way to me.) I rather they focused more on the whole conflicts and fighting OR random humor than seeing her character appear so much, later on, sacrificing Kitty’s role–as I said before.
  • The inconsistency of Canti’s character later on. Well, possibly it was because he had become the king SO he had changed? Like they all were in those days OR so we were often told? BUT it was super LAME seeing he would grab at a chance to stare at girls OR act like he didn’t care about Kitty’s character anymore. There was a distance between them, BUT it was like he who chose to ignore it–or something. It was more toward the ending since it showed that he cared for Kitty A LOT as the story was still developing.
  • The fact that Canti ended up with both girls. Well, it was hard NOT to since he was the king after all. BUT I just didn’t like Donna Chu’s character as I said before so it kind of defeated the purpose of seeing that happen. It was too random. Sure, he liked her ’cause she was sort of fun to mess around with. BUT it was a joke letting him ending up with her as well. It made Canti and Kitty’s relationship a bigger joke.
  • The fact that they made Wong Wai the BIG BAD GUY. I meant I knew he was evil and hated his character throughout. YET some of the reasoning behind it did not make sense at all. ANY NORMAL guy would be offended IF his bride ran off to who knew where and abandoned him on their supposed wedding day. Any guy would be pissed off. Though being greedy MIGHT NOT be as big of a crime to pay the price of being killed BUT in a way it made sense that he killed off her family and everyone else. I meant that dude was driven to insanity with false promise, losing face, etc. It would’ve been better IF the other lady just plain turned him down. Her father obviously knew she was with his second disciple (aka second senior to her) BUT still wanted to arrange the marriage because of the heavy gift Wong Wai’s character gave him. AND in a sense, Wong Wai’s character still loved the other lady A LOT to even spare her life since he already learned all the martial arts from her family and even the secret one that she and the second senior created (though he had no idea about the last part). If they (the scriptwriters) had come up with better reasons for his evilness–aside from how he wanted to take over the world (sort of since he wanted to be king), it would hold a better plot. It was too lame and typical. The only thing I felt he deserved of his fate was being greedy with his wanting to be king AND that he had deceived his disciple. It had in a way gone full circle since it was sending a message about how IF you decided to deceive someone, you would meet your fate. It wasn’t exactly a great idea to deceive his wacko disciple.

It was good overall IF you didn’t have to think about it as much but just watch it as another typical ancient series with a lot of conflicts, etc. And not to mention, something you didn’t have to care about. But if analyzed further, it had a lot of holes. YET the only thing that I felt still hold true regarding it was still holding some elements of those traditional wuxia themes where the humor wasn’t overly cheesy yet. They still kept it about right. Just some inconsistency here and there.

Miss Hong Kong 1996

Okay, I didn’t watch ’97 BUT I seriously have a feeling that ’96 was the last year worth watching regarding beauty and entertainment. I know that ’98 got so many stars and all too, but it seemed that was the only thing that saved the ceremony.

Interesting and funny opening since Eric and Natalis were posing as James Bond wannabes! LOL! Actually, Eric was 097 and Natalis was some similar agent. The contestants were supposed to introduce themselves by the star/artist that others said they looked like. Lee San San was so funny, saying that she was like Eric ’cause of her performance: SUPER.

Though they used Eric and Natalis a lot as the entertainers, those two were too funny. They seemed to be so natural with their stabs at one another. It was still witty back then versus now, getting WAY overboard.

I loved this approach though I know it was another attempt for TVB to recruit talents. They were being separated into groups to either act, sing, dance, host, etc. Then they were being scored and 4 would be eliminated, lol. Man, during the singing thing, I finally feel tortured and feel everyone was really brave since only #2 and #19 could sing without making me shiver, LOL. Wow! The hosting thing was really good! Regardless, I must say they were really fast. They were so creative!

Ooohhh…break time aka more showing off with their beautiful outfits, lol. (While they await the results of course.) Following the evening gown was the swimsuits, lol. Then, of course, the elimination.

Questioning time! How fun, eh? Most of them were very creative, even if they did not know the real answer. Not disappointing at all. It was kind of sad that someone didn’t know about Bruce Lee. Even if she was from overseas, she should’ve heard about it or know some basic stuff. (After all, Bruce Lee was born in the U.S.) Natalis’ secret! LOL! He said he didn’t know it but she know? So funny.

Man…the hosts are killing me! They’re so random and yet it was just to stall for time so the scoring could be locked in. They were bringing up all the past Miss Hong Kongs with the stories. Man, they were crossing out practically everyone! LOL! In fact, they crossed out everyone. So funny! Dripping of sarcasm, aren’t they? Then they were moving into ‘praising themselves’? LOL!

Adam Cheng singing! Yay! Man, miss the guy’s songs.

So after the long rant, we get to see the results (with the contestants wearing colorful long traditional dresses). Oh, almost forgot that they needed to announce the talented Miss Hong Kong, which of course was collected by Lee San San. Talented all right. (Too bad she didn’t get too many chances to show off her skills later on. Perhaps it was the price of winning the prize.) Then it was followed by Miss Photogenic, which was also won by Lee San San.

Results (as announced): #16, #7, #2, #16, #13, #5, #1, #6, #15, #9, #19, #17 (Wait, I heard wrong? How come there are two 16? Hmmm…oh well…)

Moving on to the second part, lol.

Nice opening. Grand… They managed to get the band from the Hong Kong Royal Police to help with the opening. It was grand all right. Faye Wong was next up.

The contestants were brought out and they had to say what roles they would like to take on in the future. (CUE: ANOTHER TVB ATTEMPT TO RECRUIT TALENTS) It was still great to see and hear what the contestants had to say. Some of them were really fake, BUT the ones who said they wanted to portray obnoxious, mean, evil roles were the more honest ones, lol.

Okay, the next part was where they introduced all the four seasons and we were told that the contestants would dressed accordingly. Of course, there would be singers to lead them along. More rants from Eric and Natalis but I don’t mind. They’re probably stalling for time so the contestants could change into their spring outfits. Hacken Lee and his classic hits! Awww…who could forget “Never Change In A Lifetime”, right? (My ultimate favorite of Hacken.) What’s the next season? Summer of course! LOL! Who’s up? Harlem Yu! (I never realized it was him, okay? I wasn’t paying attention to Taiwanese entertainment back then.)

Questioning–finally, lol. They were divided into groups of three for the questionings. Creativity, fast-thinking, and witty replies. Well, at least they got to show their talents–IF they had any. (Mean, I know, but it was pretty obvious who was intelligent and who was not.) #2 was really funny, lol. Well, at least she thought of a story. OKAY, that was mean! Still making fun of Deric Wan and the whole ‘debt collecting’ thing. Lee San San was witty! LOL! Natalis kept mentioning Cecilia! (LOL) #19 wasn’t bad either. I sort of phased out of some others. LOL! NO idea. I was laughing too hard when Eric kept making fun of them to care.

Autumn! Finally! My favorite season after spring. BUT then it was too funny seeing that Eric and Natalis were shut out after they were performing for a bit, LOL. Julian Cheung (ChiLam IF you guys rather go by that name) part after that. The real performance. Since they were just teasing us with Eric and Natalis before. I’m not familiar with his songs so I won’t say much. But must complain about the dresses. The backdrop looked nice, but must they make them wear black? Or was that dark green? Oh well…

BUT I liked the winter theme though! It was too funny! Eric and Natalis still trying to hog the camera! It was so funny when they were introduced. Funny descriptions, lol. They were so sarcastic yet witty! Too bad they were sabotaged by Gallen and Gordon! Man, I love that song! (They were singing “This Winter Isn’t Too Cold” (這個冬天不太冷) by Jacky Cheung.) Eric and Natalis were still trying to sabotage Gallen and Gordon! LOL! Eric was saying how Gallen and Gordon were trying to copy Jacky, lol. What a comeback! Too bad they were cut short by Sunny’s appearance. Yup, remake of Shanghai Bund year so they had to promote it. (Typical TVB…) But it was sooo funny. (I think after Sunny’s done with all those lines, he needs a plastic bag! Honestly, they were so mushy! LOL! Poor Sunny!) Lee San San’s comment–so funny! The only one worth listening to really.

Aww…the four seasons ended already. BUT at least Edmond Leung and Andy Hui were worth looking forward to. Yay! They were so funny. And it was so cool seeing them outside (aka off stage). It was always enjoyable to see the beautiful scenery. Andy was the honest one while Edmond was the mischievous one, lol. Still cute. They were cracking me up big time. They rather be stuck on earth with the beauties than returned to their place and dealt with Eric and Natalis? Hilarious! Of course like any other year, the performance was taken onstage again.

Like usual, time to announce Miss Congeniality and then top 5. Eric was commenting on how they had to learn the art of changing clothes as well, lol. True, since they were speedy all right.

Miss Congeniality was #2. (They called it ‘Miss International Goodwill’.) Definitely a good choice since Fiona was really sweet looking and her smile said it all. Really friendly.

Top 5: #18, #1, #19, #13, #2

This was the part where they had to answer questions from the judges. (This sort of reminded me of how the Western beauty pageants are designed, especially the last part with selecting the judges to get questions.)

#1 got Mr. Wong, #13 got Adam (LOL). Eric was commenting on how Lee San San already passed without answering, LOL. (At least passing the door.)  Adam was asking about the strongest point of Hong Kong–to which Lee San San answered with the economy. #19 got Anita, lol. Tough question since it was regarding the food. #18 wasn’t bad.

Last part aka the skit they did while the final scoring was done. Leon, Carina, Alex, and others. Aww…too bad it wasn’t Tony. (I’m too obsessed, lol.) Leon was the painter, Carina was the main actress, and Alex was portraying the male lead (aka the prince). Kind of mushy so it was sore of a snore for me. But still glamorous in its own way.

Okay, finally the hectic yet exciting moment of the night! They had to stand on this one step and answered why they chose that spot–of course, it was labeled as 1-3. #1 was so confident, LOL. #2 guessed she was third, that was cool! She was right! LOL! #13 guessed she was first? Good guess! Confidence but not arrogant (unlike #1 who was in La-La Land, lol). #18 wanted to be taller than her father? Cute! LOL! #19 guessed second for her. Not too arrogant, nice. Second runner up was #2. First runner up was, of course, #18. Those two should’ve been swapped. But still all right. NOT too bad. The winner was, of course, #13! Yay! Lee San San was sooo tall. Anyway, it was so funny how Eric was teasing #1 by saying that the winner was #1, LOL! Natalis was saying how Eric got to be kidding, LOL. But Eric was saying it was 1 + 3 = 13. OKAY….not sure how that works mathematically but funny.

Great results. At least I didn’t feel robbed this year. The last good year.

Tales From Beyond

Being a semi-fan of ghost/supernatural stuff, I had to give this a try. Not to mention it was considered an old TVB series, right?

First Story: Romance Between Human and Ghost (人鬼情)

  • Sam Tsang and Elaine Ho. I always liked their “Still Friends After Bidding Farewell” (再 見亦是朋友) and was interesting to see them collaborate in here. Even if it was one of those ghost stories. Creepy in a way but still sad. And a song from them at the end of the story.
  • Gordon Lam as one of the guys. So funny to see him back in the old days.
  • Comedy. Okay, that was interesting that they added the comedy bit into the story though it was supposed to be a romantic one or so I thought. With Gordon and the others attempting to get rid of the ghost was really funny.
  • Possessed or psycho? It was interesting at how others thought he was suffering from multiple personality disorder. AND then it got me into thinking if he really encountered a ghost OR was suffering from psychological problems. Still, it was something to think about.

Second Story: Smoking Prohibited (不准吸煙)

  • Gordon Lam as a cop. It was funny to see him yet again BUT this time as a cop.
  • Ha Yu. I miss the older days of him. For some reason, I thought he was better back then. OR perhaps the roles.
  • And more comedy. Yes, it was continuing and it wasn’t that corny for once.
  • Ghost’s smoking territory/ Multi-dimensional world. Interesting concept OR at least I thought what it was. Was that the creator’s way of interpreting where people go when they die? Like how they would go to the same place IF they smoke (in Ha Yu’s case). AND it was even more interesting that he didn’t smoke when he was in that world. It was like they were portraying another dimension. It got even more interesting as it progressed so it was hard to understand OR seemed unpredictable. But was still something to think about. It probably aimed to educate and scare people to quit smoking BUT still too funny and exaggerated.
  • Adam Cheng song. One of my favorite songs and felt it was suitable for this situation.

Third Story: Men Have Responsibilities (男子有責)

  • Liu Wai Hung. I miss this guy! His sense of responsibility was too strong so he could not leave the world just like that.
  • Helena Law. It wouldn’t be a ghost story without Helena, right?
  • It was ironic that he didn’t die because of the other guy BUT because of the woman who knocked the plant pot down.
  • Also, something to think about with the power of the mind. It was like he was able to control himself and his mind was concentrating hard on stopping the event from happening and not leaving the world at all

Fourth Story: A Belief of Revival (再生的信念)

  • Another interesting story and another interesting concept.
  • Wong Wei and Maggie Chan. Interesting pairing. They did have chemistry. Even if they were an older couple but still enjoyable to watch.
  • Carol Yeung. Freaky…
  • The plot. I knew it! It was too strange and unbelievable. NOT that those stories DO NOT happen but it was a conspiracy. Yet what was even more chilling was that Maggie’s character, Jun, actually returned later. That was really, really sad that they made him believe so he went and try to make another miracle happen. That was freaky.

Fifth Story: Manipulating the Universe (運轉乾坤)

  • Benz Hui. Poor guy. Honestly, that was WAY over with how he was bullied. But that was typical of those situations.
  • Amy Hu. Haven’t seen her ages so watching old series had its benefits.
  • Benz and Amy. Funny how they were having that conversation at the beginning. He was so kidding about running/walking to work AND she was like “Good idea.”
  • Law Lok Lam. Aww…look at him in the good old days.
  • Josephine Lam. Wow…
  • Law Lok Lam and Josephine? Wow…Yup, was interesting BUT I guess they were portraying how he was successful and marrying a beautiful young wife.
  • Benz and Law Lok Lam as friends. Cool. I don’t know. All I can say is I love those collaborations between my favorite veteran actors. But poor Law Lok Lam, only got to portray the rich, successful guy for like 10 minutes.
  • This really shed light into how the rich became successful in the first place since it wasn’t as easy with all the fame and fortune as people saw BUT there must be a lot of effort going into it with a hardworking attitude combined with talents and/or abilities
  • That was hilarious that he tried to fall again BUT it didn’t work. Guess it was implying that once you made a decision, you can’t turn back

Sixth Story: The Happy, Crazy Fowl (快樂癲雞)

  • Freaky ghost house theme
  • Know some of the cast but do not know their names
  • This story actually reminded us to respect others–whether alive or dead. I totally agree–whether they believe OR NOT. But it was a given that respect should be given, especially in the situation where the girls were at the other people’s place.
  • David Siu. Wow…didn’t expect him to be in here but not impossible since it was in the old days.
  • Wayne Lai. Honestly, I did not know it was him until later when he was eating the banana and making a face.
  • Ken vs. Ryu. Hahahaha. Although it was supposed to be really hectic, I found it funny that they were fighting through the game.
  • Okay, that was a surprise ending since I thought that it was about love BUT it was because he was her father. So that was why he felt responsible for her safety.

Seventh Story: Variation of Kindling (變異的火種)

  • Lee Kwok Lun. I always have the feeling that he looked like Felix Wong. (I swear!) Anyway, always liked him and good to see that he was leading in this short story.
  • Creepy footsteps and sound effects. I think the hallmark of those ghost stories since that scared the world out of me.
  • The suspense. Another important formula since it made it creepier–IF the sound effects didn’t get to you already.
  • Blast from the Past. Wow! I miss these types of things. I meant this kind of thing how the main lead thought he was able to save everyone and undo the past. What was even more appealing was he succeeded. It was confusing YET he sacrificed his present self to save his past self.

Eighth Story: Demons (魔)

  • Gordon Lam and some others. Well, at least they appeared at the beginning of the camping trip place.
  • Gallen Lo. Gallen in those old days. (NOT that he doesn’t look good now but still good memories.)
  • This reminded me oddly of Psycho. Thanks to my mom for reminding me once again!
  • Joey Leung was the crazy kid? Really? Didn’t realize it. It was clearer when he was arrested though.
  • So was it multiple personalities OR was he possessed? Such a tragic story. Gallen delivered with both personalities and its extremes.

Ninth Story: A Flourishing Journey (發達之旅)

  • Hugo Ng. I just realized that he looked better in a modern series than ancient ones. (Or perhaps those roles he was given was too morbid or tragic that it was hard to smile?) Anyway, he did have charm in here and I wouldn’t mind watching him in something else since this was a creepy one. (He honestly reminded me of Lam Lei! LOL! They looked like each other from some angles.)
  • Bau Fong. Creepy! Chilling all right. Man, he scared the world out of me, especially with his waving hands and the laugh.
  • My mom just reminded me this seemed like Early Edition. (Just that the newspaper for the other one was used to help people AND not used for other benefits.)
  • I would love to know the song used in the episode. The one where they were singing and cheering for their newly acquired fortune.
  • This definitely was a lesson NOT to be greedy. And also sometimes knowing the future beforehand wasn’t a good idea.
  • Here they were promoting Hacken Lee again! NOT that I mind. I miss that song. Sort of.
  • The ending showed how it was an endless, unbreakable cycle. Since we will always continue to ponder and be curious about things.
  • The scariest story so far!

Tenth Story: Entering Dream (入夢)

  • Ekin Cheng.
  • I won’t comment on the political status since I DO NOT know much to discuss it and wouldn’t want to offend anyone.
  • The concept of vampire/zombie. That was creepy. At first, I thought nothing was happening and was wondering what was going on. However, that was scary all right. Suddenly the bodies were just popping out of the ground like that.
  • Wolf sounds. Another essential effect to achieve fear. And could only be done at night OR no one would fall for it.
  • Ghost world/ Zombie-land. Ooooohhh…
  • The world of imagination. So that was it? No wonder he was mentioning about how that one guy wanted to live in his own dream world. He also wanted to live in that world since he was not able to escape from the real world. Ironic?

Eleventh Story: Searching (尋)

  • Jimmy Au. One of those worth-watching roles of Jimmy since he was both hilarious and clever. His trademark was shooting six bullets into suspects/murderers.
  • Another hilarious one.
  • Gordon Lam. Whoa! He came back as the other dude. NOT really since Jimmy was imagining it.
  • That was creepy all right.

Twelfth Story: Debt of Sin (孽債)

  • Michael Tao and Ada Choi. Wow, interesting collaboration, considering it was a ghost theme.
  • Power Chan. He wasn’t around all the time but really enjoyed his scenes.
  • A creepy story about curses and whatnot.
  • Moral of the story: IF you promise something, KEEP it. The price of having to pay for broken promises.
  • AND oh yeah, DON’T mess with those people who know how to do those curses. Honestly, she was creepy all right.
  • Who was the smartest one? Power Chan of course! He warned Michael against it BUT he (Michael) didn’t listen and fell into Ada’s trap.
  • I just realized that she didn’t really love him OR wasn’t really serious about it. It seemed like she was setting up this trap of seduction and other dramas just to find a way to steal his youth and his girlfriend’s too. Well, Michael should’ve listened to Power about it and be careful.

Thirteenth Story: Portrait Within A Person (相中人)

  • Know who they are but don’t know their names
  • Gordon Lam. He’s back for the last one! Great or what?
  • Darn, that was creepy…
  • Moral of the story: DO NOT take anything that isn’t yours
  • Passing it on, huh? Indeed it was another endless cycle where greed would always exist

Why did the narrator look so familiar? (Oh yeah, he was in The Hunter’s Prey as the undercover agent, Kong Ng. Just realized it after watching him more closely.)

Anyway, missed those old days when things were more creative and seemed like there were lots to explore. A lot of interesting concepts being introduced. Short stories were always better than the draggy ones they do nowadays.