Brothers Under The Skin

Actually, I just remember that this was actually my first TVB series ever and not Road for the Hereos like I mentioned before. But I didn’t count it as official because I was roaming around and playing with my cousins when we were little, so didn’t really watch much or remember some of the details. I only remember that Felix was quite annoying, bullying Liu Kai Chi. But when I watch it properly this time around, I like it a tad more–until it went downhill that was.
What was so good about it?

  • Felix Wong. He was a big bully at first, but as the series progressed, I really enjoy watching him. So hilarious yet so charming at the same time. Yes, he could be super mean at times, but I actually enjoy it. (Until it got out of hand, of course.) Man, Felix’s acting take it to the max during episode 18 with his soul and this guy’s soul being switched! It was just so addicting watching how he carried on the arrogant attitude. (The other guy was good also, so convincing as the honest and kind dude.) He was honestly robbed in this one. His acting showed he was able to do it YET the whole thing was so messed up. I do understand that one could turn the whole show around. It was actually because of him that I hung on ’til the end YET the plot was killing me so badly.
  • Liu Kai Chi. At first, it seemed like he was really honest and easy to step on. But he was just nice and kind. He didn’t get stepped on easily though, which was great. BUT he even gained such an edge that I sort of despise. I don’t doubt his acting, but his character was turning worse and worse as it proceeded. I think he got influenced from the servant girl so there was this smart-aleck edge to his attitude that I really, really hate later as well. His acting’s still good, it’s just that his character was getting quite annoying in the later parts off the series.
  • Felix and Liu Kai Chi as master and servant. They were just too funny to watch. Felix would get the upper hand because he was the young master BUT LKC would get the ultimatum later on because he was the one who could read and write better than Felix. Watching them bicker and fight over Sheren was too funny. But too bad their friendship/loyalty to one another wasn’t stressed so strongly anymore. It was like they focused on other annoying things more.
  • Sheren Tang. I didn’t like Sheren much in those days, except for maybe one series or so. And it didn’t help that she was really annoying at the beginning. But it grew on me later and glad she wasn’t going to portray a typical screeching girl like others. She was quite brilliant when she put her stubbornness aside. This role also gave Sheren more room for acting. Yet her character was a different story. She was no different than a villain except kept chanting the typical ‘good guy’ mantra. The fact that she used any types of tactics to deceive others made it even more despicable, especially in Helena’s case. Oh yeah, I think she should’ve used this approach to act her role ‘Zhou Zhi Ruo’ than using that ‘long face’ for ZZR. Since this one made her look so fake with her pitiful behaviors. I couldn’t even stand it anymore. Regardless of how gentle she was later on. Oh yeah, one more complaint, her skills seemed to be VERY impressive at the beginning, WHY did it deteriorate so bad? Probably too focused on Felix? OR had the script-writer(s) forget about that as well? Another pathetic attempt to make her gentle BUT failed. It was like the consistency in her character wasn’t even there and the change did not stick like it should. It was convincing at first yet the whole roller coaster attitude later made it like she was two different characters for some reason. Poor transition. Of course the script, NOT her acting.
  • Felix and Sheren as a couple. I didn’t realize how cute they were together until now. Their characters really match wit per wit. YET I no longer care for them later due to script errors AND many other lame scenes. I wish there was some other ones that would be more worth watching since they did have great chemistry together.
  • Benz Hui. Always like seeing him around. A righteous character yet hilarious at the same time. But like others in here, I end up feeling I really, really despise him too. Like how he encouraged the whole forgetting Kiki totally and just focus on Felix and Sheren’s wedding. Yes, Felix should marry the one he loves, BUT he did promise to take care of Kiki before. SO it was a scheme to get the antidote that one time, BUT Felix still tricked Kiki regardless. It was the antidote for him, how could he just forget Kiki like that? How could he encourage his disciples’ behaviors like that? He should’ve just stay out of the whole triangle and let them decide or fight or whatever.
  • Benz Hui, Felix, and Liu Kai Chi as master and disciples. I really like watching those scenes, especially when they conspired with one another to make other people’s lives miserable. It really showed that LKC’s character wasn’t that dumb. He often contributed his ideas for different plots too. I rather they focus on building their good bond more than just the dragging on and on with the triangle. (I got too happy too early because of how fast the Felix-Sheren-Liu Kai Chi triangle ended. Did not realize Felix’s other triangle was even more unbearable.)
  • Benz Hui and Lui Yau Wai as a couple. It’s rare that I pay attention too closely to older couples in series. But I love them together in here.
  • Lui Yau Wai. I think I could only like her character in here throughout because she was supposedly following master’s orders before but turned good. YET her character was consistent throughout. Unless she was possessed and was doing things she did not want to, other times, she was kind and nice.
  • Kiki Sheung. Another one that I didn’t really like back then but maybe it was because she was given the wrong roles, etc. But this character was really cool. It allowed for more development and allowed her to show off her acting skills. I honestly feel sorry for her for being used so much though. I can’t believe that the others made her out to be unreasonable. She was being used and she was so hurt to the point that she ended up hurting others. It wasn’t a good excuse, BUT I honestly hate the idea of seeing her sinking further like that and no one sympathize with her. I was rooting for her at times since others were getting on my nerves. They seemed to deserve it the way they were leading on like that. I swear she liked Felix for who he was since the part when his soul was switched, she said she like him for who he was, NOT his appearance. BUT it was lame trying to make her loud and fierce SO Sheren’s character could score some points. Believe me, between her and Sheren, I used to like Sheren slightly better BUT for this one, I’m just judging for character AND this time Kiki won my attention. I think her best choice must be in the temple. Though I hate people who uses the temple to hide, but I think with Kiki’s character, I actually feel genuine towards it because she seemed to have understood it already, letting go of her stubbornness and her past.
  • Felix and Kiki. OMG! I didn’t even realize how much chemistry they had. LOL! Though he was trying to con her to get the meds for his master BUT their scenes were so funny, especially how flaky he sounded BUT she still fell for it since she really like him. It became really sad as the plot unfolded and her background was revealed. I honestly felt bad for her for having such high hopes in his and her future, like at least there was him yet it wasn’t so after she realize her life was more complicated than just being on the wrong side of the battle between her father and Felix’s master. Everything was coming to her at once, especially how she was betrayed by both what she believed to be the truth but wasn’t so–on so many levels. Then I can’t seem to blame her for doing that curse on him either since she sacrificed herself for Felix yet she found out it was just a lie. I’ve never liked the other girl more than the main girl until now.
  • Lai Hon Chi. Though his character was really annoying at the beginning but he’s one of the great actors. The fact that he ends up being the one of the rare characters that I like make it even more ironic.
  • Helena Law Lan. A ghost/fantasy related series without her? Never! She was so convincing as always. I honestly feel pity for her. She lost her daughter, went on the wrong approach to seek justice for this world, thought she could find someone to replace her daughter’s position in her heart. YET she was just a tool for others to use and dispose of so easily. The saddest thing was she soon joined the forces with the others to gang up on Kiki later on as well. Too bad. Don’t feel sad for her anymore.

What was bad? Yes, there are bad sides of it too. In fact, WAY too many, but a few points would sum it up already.

  • The majority of the main cast blamed Kiki’s character for being unreasonable. I mentioned this above already BUT I just have to emphasize it here again. Come on now! What they did were so wrong! I know that Felix Lok’s character was scheming and they needed the antidote to save Benz. BUT that was messed up with letting Felix seduce Kiki and that almost cost her life. IF she had die, what would they do? I wouldn’t be surprised if they just moved on. They probably have it that she rather died since they wouldn’t be bothered anymore. I honestly hated that they kept saying it was her fault later on. YES, it was she whom caused some of those troubles. BUT if they hadn’t used her and then tossed her aside like they couldn’t care less, then she wouldn’t have done what she did. It was really stupid that they insisted on being right and it sounded reasonable that they had no choice BUT to use Kiki. IF they were so good, they could have gone inside and steal the antidote on their own OR fight Felix Lok to get it. BUT they had to sink so low as to use Kiki like that AND then blamed her for being unreasonable later. They weren’t the only ones having feelings. She had some too AND she really fell for Felix. So how could she just forget about it? An on and off switch? Great… Perhaps the only thing that makes me forgive them a little more IS Felix saying that he owed her more than he could ever repay so he can’t just leave her alone. At least someone found his heart. YET things just got worse and worse and worse with the lot acting all righteous on the surface BUT using such despicable tactics to achieve their means throughout. The fact that they shrugged Kiki and her father’s attempts to help time after time IS just beyond tolerance. The funniest thing and most despicable thing is that they would call Kiki and her father in the most respectable tone and act in the most respectable manner when they need something, BUT when it’s done, they would shrug it off and make it like those two killed all their ancestors SO they had no choice but to ‘X’ them out. Ridiculous to no end!
  • Sheren’s servant girl. I don’t know. I can’t seem to stand her. She’s rude, loud, and ignorant. Unreasonable too. Yes, she’s just a servant and we can say forget it about her being educated BUT it just gets on my nerves each time she interrupts and make things worse. What right did she have to issue the orders to beat Kiki up that one time? AND what right did she have to scold at Helena’s character? Helena was really nice and kind to her and her master when they stayed in Helena’s place. BUT what did she get back? The rude treatment and the scolding marathon. So disrespectful. AND gosh, her loudness is like killing my patience. It’s like she never knows how to shut up! It’s like she was a mute in her past life so now she has to compensate for it. Oh yeah, when she needs to talk to provide info, she doesn’t. BUT other times, she doesn’t know when to shut up.
  • Inconsistency with characters and plot. It kind of made sense with some parts BUT it was too lame seeing how the majority of the characters forgot what the heck they were saying before. Promises were forgotten just like that even if it was just minutes ago. It made all characters so freaking annoying because they couldn’t even keep a promise. It was like trying our patience too much. NO one kept their promises in here. It was just lame.
  • The greatest sin IS blaming Heaven. Pathetic attempt to make it tragic. They kept promising, promising, promising and going back on their words YET were never punished. Then the last part, they tried to make everything super tragic with Felix and Sheren’s part. What the heck? They gone back on their words numerous times already and kept making Kiki and her father out to be bad when the two helped them so much. Now, they were punished and wanted to blame Heaven, saying that they would fight against Heaven no matter what to stay together since loving each other is NOT a crime? I know there was the difference because Sheren had promised with blood SO it became even more serious YET it was pathetic to even think they were good people in the first place.

The fact that this series had such a good cast made it even more pitiful in the end. The plot had potential BUT the character developments were the worst of it all. I hate it that all the supposedly good people in here are so hypocritical. They just use others to their advantage AND still think it’s just right to do that. Messed up!  I said it many times in the past already, I don’t care if the character isn’t perfect or has other shortfalls, BUT using others like that is just wrong in my book. Somehow, I was just rooting for Felix Lok to kill them all off. They were just hypocrites attempting to make Kiki’s character bad by acting ridiculously pitiful.
So much for being part of the ’80s classics! Honesty, the worst out of the lot. AGAIN, only the acting was good. The rest were just pure crap due to poor character developments and plot. Couldn’t even hold true to anything when TVB tries to divert away from those Jin Yong adaptations. I swear IF they had focused on the comedy scenes more, I would be less pissed. Since I rather they be random more than acting like super annoying, despicable beings. Because I found everyone charming in those scenes (well minus that annoying servant girl BUT still the rest of the cast made up for it).
I sort of remember how Felix said about TVB slamming some series toward him because he was disobeying? Was this one of it? (Or did I remember wrong?)

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Swordsman Lai Bo Yee

I stumbled upon this and rewatched it again just for old time’s sake. Honestly, I used to think this series was average when I first watched it. But the second time around, it seemed to be extremely awesome. Maybe it was due to the fact that I’d stumbled across numerous beyond terrible series 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 mattered, I DID NOT think it was 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 reached the point of enlightenment yet SO it should not be held 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 loved 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.)
  • Noelle Leung as Fong Ching Mui. Ching Mui, like her father, was very straightforward and had 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. Noelle carried her character through and that was what I expected, nothing less.
  • Patrick and Noelle 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 grew through time. It was really convincing with their relationship and the changes afterward. Patrick and Noelle 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 was 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 reminded 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 series 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 liked her character until this re-watch. I barely remembered 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 Noelle, I loved 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’d seen–might change my mind later when I hunt deeper into past series though). He had a better image in here and also the best character though was stubborn and bitter at first. BUT I really didn’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 sung by Patrick–though I had no idea why I had that feeling, 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.)
  • 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 wasn’t sure IF the makeup team did not do her justice OR if she didn’t 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 looked more or exuded 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 were 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 himself. Why sacrifice for him?

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