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.

Advertisements

Under the Veil

I wanted to watch something of Wayne’s so that was the reason for tuning in to this one. Then I realized Wayne and Sonija were collaborating again so the better for me since I had liked them together after watching Pages of Treasure (and felt they were kind of robbed as a couple in there). I also didn’t have any problem with the rest of the cast so I dove in. As I was patiently waiting for the plot to unfold, I thought it was just another palace related show. However, I was wrong. Yes, the main story arch was regarding the palace and the uprising of some arrogant dude who thought he would be a better ruler. It always happened that way. What made it different was how it brought back feelings of old series. Mostly feelings of ancient series of the old days. It wasn’t being controversial on purpose or try to dramatize everything. The story just flowed along. I found it funny at first that they had several characters in here in various roles and even their characters looked alike. I soon got past that and realized it would be an interesting one. At least it was different. Then I got pulled in by the story. Sure, some were repetitive and reminded me of Liao Zhai related stories. Yet it was refreshing in a sense of the chemistry between various characters. I felt it strange at first that they let Kristal portrayed a guy. It was almost as if they were running out of cast or something. But then the character grew on me and so did Kristal’s portrayal. (If they did some Mulan adaptation, she would make a perfect Mulan. Not kidding.)

Anyway, aside from the main story arch, I felt the rest of the couples had a fair share of stories. Although Yat Pan Heung was shown as a greedy, flirty, and despicable character at first but the background story for her made sense. She was a prostitute, what was she expected to do? Then she was living in such a place, how could she not come up with different schemes to triumph over others? Who was she supposed to trust? It made sense. The previous happening with the switch and all was only to teach Chu Yi Dan a lesson. It didn’t allow for Yat Pan Heung to justify herself more than that. Because he wasn’t her fate so he only seen her as the fun person, not like his boring wife–as he mistakenly thought. Chu Yi Dan finally learned that his wife was very talented in her own way and very strong. There were many things she’d done for him but he didn’t realize its importance until she was no longer doing them. It made him realized his unreasonableness and knowing that the wife he wanted had been by his side all along. When Yat Pan Heung finally met Hon Tin Loi, the story unfolded and she found her own happiness and what could be considered a normal life. I actually liked those characters more, lol. Call me bias but scholar versus awesome martial arts dude. But both Wayne and Sonija did quite well in bringing out their different roles.

Then there was the story of the Song prince and Princess Lap Ka. Their story was cute at first and then moved toward the tragic route. However, their story was spread out throughout and not bunch together. It created a sense of mystery to it, making you wonder if there would be some sort of miracle in the end, which there was. But it didn’t make it too corny. The story actually made sense in the fairy-tale or folktale kind of way.

The story regarding the fish spirit and Cheung Chan was a mixture of cuteness and tragedy. Although it turned out favorable in the end. But that story brought forth both humor and mystery. The ideal, sweet girl wasn’t who she posed as out in public and a supposedly fish demon wasn’t so evil like often portrayed in others’ eyes. Eliza actually did quite well portraying both roles. She brought out the innocent, cute side of the fish spirit nicely. Then there was the cunning, scheming side of the royal miss, Hung Mao Dan. Her chemistry with Bosco was cute and likable in their own way.

Aside from all the couples in here, I felt some of the notable mentions went to Lee Kwok Lun, portraying two roles (like some others in here) of the turtle spirit and Justice Bao. He was humorous as a the turtle spirit and somewhat grim as Justice Bao. Yet he was convincing in both roles. Koo Koon Chung was given a loyal, righteous role in here, which was hilarious. Well, okay, not like he’d never portrayed a good person type of role before, but I was more used to his cunning side or somewhat playful roles in the past. So having him in this role was a nice change. He was a great addition under the reins of Dyun Fung Sam. At the part where it was thought he had abandon Dyun as well, considering how he had a family and all, it was tragic but understandable. Yet he returned after having settled all his families at a safer place. It proved that he really meant what he said, i.e. caring for his family, and that he wasn’t afraid of death–like initially thought.

After all that was said and done, I think the most tragic couple must be Yuen Sam Yeung and Dyun So Sei. The ending for them was so sad. There was supposedly another chance for them at long last after all those years of waiting. However, in the end, they couldn’t be together. Both Raymond and Kristal acted out their scenes so well. Their chemistry wasn’t bad either.

There were many things about this series that made me wanted to defend TVB again, although I know they’re a lost cause for the most part. Most dramas nowadays are always leaning toward “love, love, love” and not so much for theme of patriotism so I thought this series sort of brought that back into focus. Yes, there were various love stories in here–and it would probably contradict my previous statement somewhat, but I think that they made the right calls for the main story arch, i.e. the side stories weren’t that dragged out for the sake of it. It was more plot driven than character driven so it made the pace likable and enjoyable in many ways.

The ending? Although not completely satisfying and I’m sure there were flaws somewhere, but I felt it was nicely executed for the most part. A typical ending with a battle between good versus evil. Yet it united some of the key characters for the epic ending. It was nice seeing Raymond in another role, but this time as Prince Wanyan Siu. He joined forces with them to help find the special liquid and also defeated the ultimate bad guy in here. It was a nice battle scene. Not overdone.They actually worked together to defeat the bad guy AND NOT make it like someone hogged the entire scene for some outright exaggerated battle. It brought forward a sense of joint effort like how it was from the beginning, having different characters participate in the events, not one or two person(s) all the time. One of the main reasons why I liked this series. And yes, it was indeed a major surprise that I’m praising it.

Guts of Man

I hesitated to watch this series from the beginning because I was not really a fan of either Ron or Sammul when they first started. However, this series was better than expected. The cast was a great choice and matched the characters very well. The storyline was interesting with all aspects of the martial arts and other elements combined. The comedy was not too much either since it did not aim to impress, therefore, made it through the series without making everything a joke as an overall. The storyline focused mostly on the mystery of the five ghosts (who were actually robbers–of course and not real ghosts).

Likes:

  • Ron Ng as Seung Foon. A tad different from his usual hot-headed roles. He was always kind and nice BUT was scared and/or reluctant of others. It wasn’t a surprise since his appearance and his voice made him lacked confidence. However, when he was given a chance with his scar gone and his voice normal, he was still a nice and kind person, still humble as always. He wasn’t cunning or mean BUT he wasn’t subtle or passive to the point of boredom either. He knew his own way around and had his own abilities.
  • Mandy Cho as Ying Hiu Suet. NOT her acting since she was really trying at times AND somehow was a bit passive at others. But her costume was all right and she managed. She was a stubborn person yet she had this righteous streak within her that she wasn’t all spoiled like the typical misses. (I love Mandy but sometimes I realize that she could do more to improve SO I just want to point that out and NOT be blind, lol. Just keeping myself in check, that’s all.) I really like it that she was stubborn yet she wasn’t unreasonable about things. She did have a kind heart and tried to help others.
  • Sammul Chan as Dung Fei. It wasn’t hard to figure out that Sammul was the stronger of the other two in acting. He–like some others–lacked in the comedy department BUT it was okay since his comedic moments in here wasn’t dragged out OR overboard like in some of the other ones that I’d seen. Though he went astray later, I didn’t really hate him since he wasn’t perfect. It showed a different character and a different personality than the other two. He was petty at times and was easily led astray but he managed to return to the good side again because he realized how important his sister was to him. He really learned his lesson.
  • Ron and Mandy. I’m biased here so I’m choosing them. BUT also it made sense that they ended up together though it was hard to swallow that he sort of took part in killing her father too (though she did take the stab for him when her father tried to kill him). Hiu Suet was too stubborn for her own good at times and I thought that Seung Foon’s calm personality suited her better. Slim chance but I honestly wish to see them together again in another project.
  • Seung Foon, Hiu Suet, and Dung Fei as 風塵三俠. Seriously, I loved that story and I thought they suited it well. At least in their own rights. I meant they were on the same level and how they loved to help others. It was an innocent friendship and quite admirable. There were fights or disagreements at times among them but it was shown as part of their friendship and how it developed over time. I liked the idea that it wasn’t cheesy with them getting along all the time.
  • Joyce Koi as Dung Lam. She was so funny. A strict older sister yet she was just so funny.
  • Yuen Wah as Dik Ying Wai. Interesting role.
  • Joyce and Yuen Wah. They were hilarious together all right. Always trying to outdo each other OR at least Joyce was.
  • Kwok Fung as Ying Jin Tong. I knew he wasn’t just portraying a typical cowardly and/or normal character. He was indeed the mastermind.
  • Balance between fighting and other scenes. Yes, loved it that it was like that. I do not care IF they were experts OR not. But at least it didn’t revolve around talking OR focused on love all the time. It was more about the mystery and then some fighting too. It did not linger for long OR drag it out.

Should have done the review ages ago BUT I still remember really liking it despite some of the events unfolding and how intense it was later on. BUT it was inevitable. It did not matter regarding the acting of some of the major characters since the plot was focused on and moved everything forward.

Welcome to the House

This was the first sitcom of TVB that I managed to finish and I must admit that it was one interesting journey. It took me several months, of course, because I had to spread them out.

Like(s):

  • Raymond Cho and Johnson Lee as Ah Dee and Ah Mieh. I really liked watching them together as friends. They were a really odd duo since one was super loud and mean at times versus the other being the nice and quiet guy. However, I really enjoyed their scenes– together or separate. I finally got to see Ray shine in here and how he just managed to be a smart aleck about everything. Although Ah Dee was really loud and kept taking advantage of Ah Mieh, he really appreciated Ah Mieh’s friendship. Their friendship was fun to watch throughout. I actually wanted to watch this for them and they didn’t disappoint with their performance. Great team.
  • Raymond Cho and Shermon Tang as siblings. It was really funny to watch them at times, always bickering and stealing food from each other. But we could see that they really cared about each other, especially all the times that he bought food for her and all the times she tried to help him.
  • Raymond Cho and Sharon Chan as Ah Dee and Ah Fah. They were so funny and cute together. All their stories cracked me up to no ends. (What was funnier was when they were using Ah Mieh as the shield so they could secretly date without others suspecting them. Poor Ah Mieh.) I was glad that Ah Dee finally learned to take care of others and somehow forgot about the brand stuff at the end (since he was too occupied). It was nice to see how they got back together at the end. Really nice in general to see Ah Dee cooking for everyone at the end.
  • Kingdom Yuen as Ko Lai. It was funny how she became one of my favorite characters later on. Her obsession with keeping everything clean was funny in a way. Maybe because she was so hard working that I didn’t mind seeing a different character. Although she did get random like the rest, she did not lose her touch. The story to introduce her character was a bit too funny with the whole misunderstanding and the eerie atmosphere.
  • Gill Mohindepaul Singh as Lo Hung Lei. This was my first time watching him and I found him really funny in here. I think he was one of those rare actors/actresses who could exaggerate without going overboard. (After all, this was a comedy, right?) Still a lot of funny scenes with him, especially after Hung Lei and Ko Lai became best friends.
  • Ram Tseung as So Gun. I really disliked him at first since he was so full of tricks and it was not even funny either. However, I liked him more later when I understood how he could be lonely all these times and just wanted to find some friends. It was a bit surprising that he ended up with Chu Lei Nga (Joyce Koi) but still funny to see it turning out that way. No complaints about his acting, of course.
  • Johnson Lee and Nancy Wu as Ah Mieh and Sugar. I really liked them in here but it was a bit disappointing to not know if they ended up later or not. But I guess they probably did. (Wishful thinking.)
  • Gill Mohindepaul Singh and Johnson Lee as a duo. It was really funny how everyone in the family thought that they would be taken advantage of when they joined this club. It ended up that they drove everyone there crazy so they were blacklisted.
  • Shermon Tang and Lai Lok Yi as Ma Duk On and Ko Yau Ching. I didn’t expect him to come back since everyone kept appearing and disappearing randomly after their story ended. But glad he came back since they did make a cute pairing.
  • Iris Wong as Chu Chi Ding. I think I was the only crazy one to like her but I did see it her way later on. She seemed mean but it was because she was independent and only relied on herself. It was so funny that she switched target later because of what the fortune-teller told her. It would’ve been funny if she was with Ah Mieh at the end though–I wouldn’t mind later on since she seemed mean on the outside but at least she was better than that fake author.

Dislike(s):

  • Assumptions. I guess it was trying to make fun of some people, but it got super annoying that no one ever shut up and gave others a chance to explain but just assumed away and jumped in all the time, causing even more misunderstandings. I could remember all the times that everyone didn’t even let Ah Mieh talk but it was until the end that they found out for themselves.
  • Christina Ng as Cheung Yu Moon. It was not as noticeable at first but later she tried too hard to steal the limelight that it got super annoying. She was not made out for comedy. Even if she was being cast in an older role in here but that didn’t help either. It was just too disturbing to watch her being a ‘know-it-all’. I did not even get that she did not know to do the most basic things, like changing the bed sheets. (I know they were trying to portray that she was just really scared of her husband’s situation but using that as an example was being exaggerated. Come on now! How old was she? Even if she didn’t do it, wouldn’t she know just by watching? All of us have that instinct. Unbelievable.)
  • Annie Chung as Ko Wai Ting. Her character was too ironic since she was so rude to her uncles and aunts but she acted all virtuous and sympathetic toward grandpa, which didn’t make sense at all. The script was trying too hard to make her sound filial but it was full of holes. I won’t say anything about her acting since this was the first time watching her, but her character was what irked me sometimes.

Anyway, this was a sitcom after all so it was about willing to waste time and watch it or not. I mean if you want to relax a bit from stress to laugh about all the randomness, it would be good for taking the stress off. But if you want to watch something more meaningful, you shouldn’t dive in.

Posted (on Xanga): August 12, 2009

Re-posted: Monday, March 29th, 2010