General

Year 2016 in Recap

year_review
Year 3 in doing this. I really want to keep doing this, but I felt that 2016 had been a complete letdown on my part. Granted, it was a terrible year on many levels. It had affected me so much, draining me emotionally that I didn’t feel like keeping some kind of streak anymore. I only did some posts when I felt like it. Then I also tried to pick myself up by the end of the year by trying to release songs translations back-to-back at times, not even saving them for later so cushion posts could do the honor. I just didn’t feel like updating a lot of things. At first, I had prepared a post about a particular pairing, but I felt like I’m better than that. Not to mention how I wouldn’t want to cause even more misunderstandings between fans. At times, it’s very hard to restrain. But in the end, real life got in the way. I took the actions that wonderful couple took, instead of arguing with senseless people who are full of evil thoughts for them. Yet I will say that can’t be epic like them so maybe one day I will break out of my silence to go at it in one post to unleash all the bottled up frustrations. Because I know one of those days I will just blow up.

Total Posts in 2016: 77 (6.5% of all time).
January: 18 (23% of the year)
February: 3 (4%)
March: 1 (1%)
April: 3 (4%)
May: 9 (12%)
June: 7 (9%)
July: 14 (18%)
August: 3 (4%)
September: 3 (4%)
October: 6 (8%)
November: 2 (3%)
December: 8 (10%)

Notice that I took the poll out for the stars. Partially, it was due to what happened earlier this year. The other part was because I felt kind of wrong with teasing readers about possible updates if they voted more or whatever. I’m grateful to those who participated and continue to follow my blog–even in silence. I appreciate the constant likes and all as well. I really do. It’s just that I don’t want to be leaving you hanging on that. Sure, I will continue to update for my favorites from time to time, but that will depend on how long before I take care of some real life matters.

Books Reviews:

Movies + TV Series Reviews/Episode Summaries:

Fan Fiction: I think the year reached a new low for fan fiction updates because of my distractions of other stuffs. I can’t promise it’ll get any better this coming year. I’m sorry that I made those of you who are reading those story wait for too long. But I can promise you that I will finish regardless of obstacles since I don’t usually scrap stories away when it’s well on its way. I’ll try to do a separate fan fiction update later this year to clarify some matters.

  • Payback – Chapters 4-5

Songs Translations: Using Rebirth to start the year didn’t help at all. Despite the fact that I was having high hopes at that time. The year continued to dive with a lot of forced positiveness. But what else could I do, right? Hopefully the coming year will be better.

So, what now? I don’t think there is any other choice except to move forward. I want to keep being positive, ignoring trolls in general and just focus on my own matters. I want to get back on writing posts about Jun Ya and Xiao Xiao Yu. I have been active on Xiao Xiao Yu for the first part of the year and then somehow faded. But I did update more on Qiao Qiao in the later parts of the year. I just have to continue on that track. Not to mention getting back into fan fics, because I seriously miss them. Focusing on just real life stuffs really suck all the energy right out of me. I’ll try to work on a balance. Somehow. Because I seriously miss this blog. What I did do though was letting this blog becoming somewhat official with its own domain. Yes, that was a mini-Christmas present for myself since I managed to find a deal. Oh yeah, how could I forget Janine? Although I did update on her this year but I was somewhat neglecting her and only updating randomly. I also want to get back to Penny. More importantly, I want to actually watch and finish reviewing some dramas I’ve been holding back on.

This might possibly be the last year I do this type of update since I don’t find the fun in it anymore. Maybe resorting back to the typical data from WordPress next year. Not sure. But we’ll see.

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Eddie Cheung, Gallen Lo, Hong Kong Entertainment

Battle in the Royal Court

This was one of the better series of the ’80s. I seriously think it might have been better than some of the productions that the five tigers were in. Although there were more deaths than I would prefer but I guess it had to be that way, considering the theme.

Main Cast:

  • Gallen Lo as Shen Zhi (沈). One of Gallen’s best roles actually. It surprised me since I didn’t watch him until his series in the ’90s and even if it was awesome and that the majority loved his characters yet I felt it was too over-hype for some reason. Yet this one made me appreciate him as an actor even more since he shone like way before that. He delivered quite well, showing all ranges of emotions–from the smart leader to the somewhat mischievous person that he was at times alongside Margie’s Princess Yi Lan to being a filial son to his fathers (his real father and the adopted one). As a righteous hero, he wasn’t perfect, but his determination made him noble.
  • Margie Tsang as Princess Yi Lan (伊公主). Margie didn’t disappoint with her character. She was witty and charming, which helped with her character heaps. As Princess Yi Lan, she was intelligent and cunning hence her father trusted her to give her such a huge responsibility. I was glad to see Margie shine in this role and although she did suffer so much for the main guy yet didn’t have to die like some other series that got me frustrated. I was so glad she had a happy ending this time in a serious series.
  • Eddie Cheung as Zhu Qi Yu (朱祈钰 ). Eddie delivered effortlessly. At first, he indeed gave the impression that he was a genuine person, just looking for someone to help him with overthrowing his brothers and somehow restore peace so that the citizens could live happily again. Yet it wasn’t so. Many said that he changed yet I think he said at one point (which we could all trust) that he never changed, it was just that he had to resort to anything to ascend the throne. He was just good at pretending and manipulating everyone around him. He was also patient. Even if somehow he was good at one point, his lust for power (aka becoming king) had overwhelmed all the reasoning that was left in him.
  • Eugina Lau as Fang Guan Hua (方冠華). When I first saw her, I thought it was another boring role since I had stumbled across quite a few of those from her. Yet this one was a tad different. Although she did fall for the wrong person or someone she thought she could trust and marry, she didn’t tolerate his evil side or tried to convince others to forgive him just because he said he loved her. She still loved him (like she said at the end when they were both trapped in the cave) yet she wasn’t going to let him hurt others, especially all the innocent lives that was forced to participate in a war that no one wanted in the first place. I had to admire her for that. What got me a tad disappointed was that she became inactive for the majority of the series later on. I wasn’t referring to screen time but her role as an overall, like how we saw her teaming up with Shen Zhi in defeating this one evil monk with their swords technique yet she was dismissed of her talents later on and it seemed they totally forgot or cared for that special swords technique for the rest of the drama or something. But I guess it was forgivable since they (the script-writers) were trying to bring the focus back on the battles among the different powers in here that were trying to rise to the top. Oh yeah, I was seriously confused whether she died or not at the end. The way it seemed was that she did, but I wasn’t too sure.
  • Nathan Chan as Shen Hong (沈鸿). I swear I thought he would be the bad one among the three guys. Yet I was wrong, and in a way I was glad. Because I swear, I liked his character, although a tad hot-headed but was really loyal to his sect and cared for his siblings dearly. He was also quite righteous. What got me really pissed off though was how he was killed off when the series was almost over. Seriously? I guessed they had to emphasis the consequences of being involved in some nasty battle between different parties. But it didn’t make it any less frustrating.
  • Josephine Lam as Zhang Xin Xin (張欣欣). I didn’t realize Josephine was around for that long, lol. I probably didn’t watch the right series to know. Anyway, loved her character in here. Although she was misled when she first appeared yet her character was quite lovable as the series progressed. It was also quite sad to discover that her father had lied to her and had anticipated to fulfill some big plan for his own gain. It was also quite sad that became her downfall later on as she realized her father wasn’t going to repent for his past misdeeds and had caused the death of Shen Hong hence her wanting to end her own life as well.

Others:

  • Bobby Au Yeung as Zhu Qi Zhen (朱祈镇). I didn’t know whether to feel pity for him and think of him as weak at other times. I don’t mean that he was sick the majority of the time either. But I mean how wishy-washy he was later on. I guess it was understandable that since he was weak since little, he didn’t get to learn or experience with daily life stuffs. However, sometimes I got impatient with seeing when he would mature. Yet after all that happened, I had a sinking feeling he would turned out exactly like his other siblings. I meant okay, it was good that he was determined on some matters, not wanting to let some parties get away with their past misdeeds yet his determination to go after those parties, like getting rid of them all made it chilling to some degree. Bobby’s acting was really good, seeing the transition between the confused, kindhearted person that he was at the beginning and turning into a possibly scary person at the end. I think that was also why Shen Zhi decided to fake his death and leave with Princess Yi Lan since he had seen enough and had been through enough of those conflicts. (Not to mention how Shen Zhi had lost more than enough in his life. When he felt like he wasn’t able to convince Zhu Qi Zhen into toning down his aggression, he thought it was better to leave. Who could blame Shen Zhi, right?) Maybe that little skit also somewhat convince Zhu Qi Zhen to let go somewhat and thought of what Shen Zhi said before it all went down. Because looking at Shen Zhi’s supposed body at the end, we were able to see how Zhu Qi Zhen gaining some past glint of his kindness in his eyes.
  • Cary Choi as  Qu Ying Zhi (曲盈枝). Her character was mysterious and intelligent when she first appeared. Her charm and beauty just came along with that. It was subtle and didn’t overshadow her intelligence and grace. What I meant was she had this natural but not elegance beauty like some others in here yet that didn’t dim her character. She had a somewhat of a cold-face image about her yet she was probably one of the kindest persons. It was like one of those image we often saw in the ancient beauty, where they were seemed cold-faced yet wasn’t so if we got to know them sort of thing. Even more so, it created this mystic aura around her. Perhaps, she was too kindhearted that it became her downfall. Cary didn’t fail to convince me and she was probably my favorite female character in here-although I liked the other characters too. That was also why her death made me even more pissed off and making me want to reach into the screen and slap Zhu Qi Zhen for not believing her. (Can’t blame him since the scheme was indeed elaborate yet it made her trust and love for him a joke.)
  • Cheung Ying Choi (張英才) as the late king. He was portraying his typical role as the weak-minded king who might or might not be swayed by some schemes like in this case some voodoo stuffs. When he realized what was going on, it was too late. Not only with his other two sons but also with his supposedly “good” son.
  • Chu Tit Wo (朱鐵和) as Shen Hong’s father and Shen Zhi’s adopted father. He was one of my favorite veteran actors in the old days. Not sure what’s going on with him now or if he’s still active. But although brief appearance, but he made his role worthwhile to watch. One of his tragic roles.
  • Kitty Lau as Shen Chu Ba (沈初八). Shen Hong’s older sister. Having only watched her portraying wealthy roles for some of the series that I managed to catch of her in the ’90s, I was surprised to see her in this type of role, associating with jianghu conflicts and all. What made me confused at one point was whether she was dead or not, but I was guessing yes since she didn’t appear in the later parts. What got me confused was how they didn’t mourn her enough like some characters in here. She was after all the main leads’ sister.
  • Sin Ho Ying as Leng Feng (冷峰). For the majority of the series, I was scared that he would die yet he didn’t. He had a close call at the beginning of the series when he was captured along with Shen Hong.
  • (???) as Taoist Qing Feng (清風道長). He was probably one of the smartest persons in the Bai Lian Sect. He was level-headed for the majority of the time and was able to plan his moves carefully. He was probably one of the most important persons around Shen Hong when Shen Zhi was MIA, considering how Shen Hong could be so hot-headed at times.
  • Cutie Mui as Ying Er (颖儿). She appeared briefly as Guan Hua’s maid and contributed to the somewhat hilarious atmosphere at the  beginning of the drama. Yet she died tragically along with most of the Fang household members.

Couples:

  • Gallen / Shen Zhi and Margie / Princess Yi Lan. I was really, really surprised of their chemistry. Perhaps it was because I never thought of them pairing up together. But it was strangely natural. I swear that they were Zhang Wu Ji and Zhao Min on some level, lol. Of course, the exception was there were no third parties involved, except for that one time she misunderstood there was something going on between him and his adopted sister. I actually enjoyed their story for the majority of the time. Sometimes, I pondered if they were going to work out or if it was the tragic route–like how it was with some of Margie’s past roles with her dying. I also liked it that they didn’t make her perfect or more likable (like too good to be true for the main girl in nowadays dramas). Yes, she did eventually change her mind after having been around the Ming people for a long time, realizing that citizens there weren’t any different than her citizens, also wanting peace. But she didn’t dial down her liveliness. She was still intelligent and cunning, but she directed her efforts elsewhere. I also liked it that he didn’t change completely either after meeting her or after being with her. That sort of defeated the purpose of liking the persons they were in the first place–at least to me. They both kept on being themselves, but the only change–which made sense–was thinking for one another as a couple.
  • Eddie / Zhu Qi Yu and Eugina / Fang Guan Hua. Seriously, their relationship sure fazed out fast. Possibly because his lust for power was way stronger than his compassionate side for others. Their relationship started as a bickering relationship and actually had foundation at first. Probably that was why it hurt so bad with his betrayal later on and eventually tossing her out like some disposables. It was seriously cold. What I liked about their relationship at the beginning was their love for swordsmanship and how they practiced together and/or compete. It was also somewhat nice to see that he had created a sword for her and all. It would have been nice to see him die by the sword he made for her. But I guess TVB needed a battle between the main guys to end it all.
  • Nathan / Shen Hong and Josephine / Zhang Xin Xin. Their relationship started out as a bickering couple yet ended tragically. I swear TVB just have to go and kill them like the last minute of the series. It was seriously messed up and one of the reasons I was sore about. But I had a gut feeling that his ending had to do with her father’s doing although I had anticipated it differently. Still, it didn’t ease my anger a tad when the scene of him lying dead rolled around. I hoped for a miracle that the scene in the main theme only meant she found him lying around (because of the angle of the scene) and would bring him back so the others could save him. But it wasn’t so. I actually did cry during that scene (like how I did when Ying Zhi died).
  • Bobby / Zhu Qi Zhen and Cary / Qu Ying Zhi. Tragic. I think I felt tenfold more sorry for him during their ending. I felt what hurt the most was that he didn’t believe her. It was the last scene they were together, the part where he visited in her cell and asked her if she’d betrayed him. She was, of course, heartbroken–completely, saying that it didn’t matter if the others didn’t believe her yet what matter was that he believed her. In the end, he had questioned her motive so what was left for her? I was intrigued by their meeting from the start, wondering how it would work out and wonder if he would die. I had a higher bet that he would be killed off by his so-called “brothers” than surviving till the end. Yet it was her who died tragically because of how his so-called “brother” tried to frame her and eliminate her from his twisted plot.

Recommended? Worth it? I thought it was actually a good series on its own, not comparing to others. It might not be much to some people since they weren’t considered star-dubbed like there were no member of the five tigers involved or their other famous co-stars. (Margie was considered famous back then since she did star in quite a few major productions with the five tigers, but I felt like she wasn’t cherished by TVB hence her not getting enough exposure like some others I didn’t care about.) Yet this one had a good plot, even if it had turned out frustrating at times. It was a series about the battles to gain the throne so of course there were bloody deaths or sacrifices so it wasn’t like uncalled for. But it didn’t feel over-hype. The pace was just right, not too slow and not too fast that it was confusing. So you didn’t feel the drag of the plot. Not to mention the focus wasn’t just on a few characters and that was it, they were more engaging with the side characters as well. Yes, there were goofs or unknown areas, but I felt it was good enough as an overall. All in all, this was a 4 out of 5 for me, because of some factors I mentioned that I was sore about.

Gallen Lo, Hong Kong Entertainment, Law Lok Lam, Power Chan, Wayne Lai

Tales From Beyond

Being a semi-fan of ghost/supernatural stuffs, I had to give this a try. Not to mention it’s considered an old TVB series, right?
First Story: Romance Between Human and Ghost (人鬼情)

  • Sam Tsang and Elaine Ho. 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 multi-personality disorder. AND then it got me into thinking if he really encounter with a ghost OR was suffering from psychological problems. Still 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’s continuing and it’s not 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 into 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 do 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 situation.
  • Amy Hu. Haven’t seen her ages so watching old series has 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 get to portray the rich, successful guy for like 10 minutes.
  • This really shed light into how the rich becomes successful in the first place since it’s not as easy with all the fame and fortune as people seen BUT there must be a lot of effort going into it with a hard-working 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 now their names
  • This story actually reminds us to respect others – whether alive or dead. I totally agree–whether they believe OR NOT. But it’s a given that respect should be given, especially in the situation where the girls are 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 BUT 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 looks like Felix Wong. (I swear!) Anyway, always like him and good to see that he’s 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 makes 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 at the camping trip place.
  • Gallen Lo. Gallen in those old days. (NOT that he doesn’t look good now but still good memories.)
  • This reminds me oddly of ‘Psycho’. Thanks to my mom for reminding me once again!
  • Joey Leung is the crazy kid? Really? Didn’t realize it. It was clearer when he was arrested though.
  • So was it multi-personality OR was he being 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 realize that he looks better in 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 does have charm in here and I wouldn’t mind watching him in something else since this is a creepy one. (He honestly reminds me of Lam Lei! LOL! They look 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 seems 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 teaches us NOT to be greedy. And also sometimes knowing the future beforehand isn’t a good idea.
  • Here they were promoting Hacken Lee again! NOT that I mind. I miss this song. Sort of.
  • The ending shows how it’s 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 about 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 pondering 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 reality world. Ironic?

Eleventh Story: Searching (尋)

  • Jimmy Au. One of those worth-watching roles of Jimmy since he was both hilarious and clever. His trade-mark 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.
  • 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 knows 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 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. 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.

Hong Kong Entertainment

Swordsman Lai Bo Yee

I stumbled upon this and re-watched it again just for old time’s sake. Honestly, I used to think this series was average when I first watch it. But the second time around, it seemed to be extremely awesome. Maybe it was due to the fact that I’ve stumbled across numerous beyond terrible serials recently so this one seemed superior to the recent ones for some reason.
Some facts to straighten out matters before I get started:

  • Lai Bo Yee should not be confused with Li Bo Yee. Lai Bo Yee was a real person and the series had used his background and incorporated it into the series. But of course it was loosely based on for the purpose of the dramatic moments. Li Bo Yee was a character in Wen Rui An’s story, which was where Face to Fate was based on.

Likes:

  • Patrick Tam as Lai Bo Yee. For what it matters, I DO NOT think it is fair to blame Patrick for looking morbid OR seemed to be such a pessimist at times. It wasn’t his fault BUT the script was made out that way, considering how the character was young and inexperienced. He had not reach the point of enlightenment yet SO it should not be hold against him for not delivering. Patrick did his part in portraying the character and I thought he did wonderful with letting us see Bo Yee’s emotional state throughout the trials and events he encountered. Michael Miu’s version was more of a comedy and this one was on a serious level. (I love Michael’s version too BUT I thought I should point it out and do not think anyone should be so hard on Patrick for that matter.)
  • Noel Leung as Fong Ching Mui. Ching Mui, like her father, is very straight-forward and have a very sharp tongue at times. YET what was admirable and probably likable about her character was just that. Everyone knew what she was thinking about and would not be led astray by her beliefs and opinions about things. Noel carried her character through and that was what I expected, nothing less.
  • Patrick and Noel as a couple. Seriously, this was where it started and I think TVB took advantage of this pairing with the next two projects as well. They were really funny at first and they both learned and grow through time. It was really convincing with their relationship and the changes afterward. Patrick and Noel had great chemistry in here and it showed with the other two projects also. The part where Bo Yee thought Ching Mui died was really tragic. (I totally felt that one with Bo Yee at the river and letting the paper boats drift in the water.)
  • Timmy Ho as Fu Tin Wah. I just thought it was interesting that Timmy agreed to take on this role and jeopardized his reputation/ image. Very brave indeed. I thought he did well to show his scheming sides and sometimes the struggles in between (like when he was still reconsidering about killing Bo Yee OR NOT). Oh yeah, NOT to forget the part near the end where he was super wooden and scary with his turning into some kind of zombie already. (I DO NOT mean his acting is wooden BUT the character since he was already learning that strange type of skill AND was turning into almost a zombie or monster.) Timmy was convincing all right, freaky enough.
  • Lai Hon Chi as Lai Dang San. One of the most missed veterans for me since seeing him again with the re-watch reminds me of how many great veterans TVB had back then. One of my favorites and always managed to deliver whichever role he was given. I felt it extremely interestingly to see him as Patrick’s father in here. His character died off in the earlier part of the series but it was all right. Enjoyable while it lasted.
  • Bak Piao as Chun Hui. NO, I do not like this person OR often seem in many stories and serials BUT Bak Piao’s portrayal was well done. Another memorable role and performance from him.
  • Josephine Lam as Yuen Ngan Fung. I did not realize how much I like her character until this re-watch. I barely remember some plots revolving her character but did not realize it was that great and complex. She looked great as a princess and was up to the part.
  • Patrick and Josephine as a couple. Though not as compatible as Patrick and Noel but I love their characters together. Not to mention how he actually liked her later and it wasn’t the pity thing at all. It really showed when they were roaming around together to help people and see the sights. AND was I the only who cried when she died? I knew it was coming since this was a re-watch (like I mentioned before) BUT I couldn’t help crying at that scene. (Patrick helped drove that tragic scene forward and made it one of the most memorable scenes.)
  • Wu Yuet San as General Yeung. I think this must be his best role (or so that I’ve seen–might change my mind later when I hunt deeper into past serials though). He has a better image in here and also the best character though was stubborn and bitter at first. BUT really don’t blame him, considering the times and things that were happening around them. A memorable character in his own right aside the others. I was so scared that he was going to get killed by Timmy’s character since I didn’t remember as much. Luckily, he survived and managed to get in some actions at the end as well.
  • Flower in the Mist by Chris Wong. At first I thought it was sang by Patrick–though I had no idea why I had that feeling BUT lucky I found out who and found this guy’s voice really warm and addicting to listen to. Really nice song for this series. (And somehow TVB had taken advantage of another good song again.) Need a sample? Try here.
  • The fact that Bo Yee chose Ngan Fung over Chiu Yung. Honestly, I found it interesting. But it wasn’t surprising since though both knew martial arts and were stubborn in their own rights BUT I found Ngan Fung more lovable and likable. Ngan Fung was someone who loved her country and looked at the bigger picture more than just being a nagging person like how Chiu Yung was. Bo Yee fell into making the decision about marrying both girls at one time or another YET he found himself attracted to Ngan Fung for various reasons.

Dislikes:

  • Elizabeth Lee as Princess of Song aka Chiu Yung. I do not know IF the make-up team did not do her justice OR if she does not look good in ancient series but I did not see her elegance or grace as the princess. And she seemed quite uncomfortable in those attires as well. Maybe that was why her portrayal was all right or seemed reluctant.
  • Gordon Liu as General Yue Fei. I did not mean that I don’t like Yue Fei, but Gordon Liu as him. Perhaps I’m biased since I prefer Norman Tsui as Yue Fei. Norman looks more or exude a closer image to that of Yue Fei (or what was often believed to be that of the characteristics of Yue Fei). AND while we’re at it, why was Yue Fei so dumb? I knew he was just an obedient person AND how he was being loyal to his emperor BUT that emperor was so dumb, listening to the wrong people and only cared for himeslf. Why sacrifice for him?

A must watch or no? Depends on what your idea of a good series is.