Drunken Fist I

This was a series I recently stumbled upon. Anyway, this had a promising start. Then it just tanked episode by episode. Or should I say scene by scene? I went and did some research and realized it was from a comic series. I didn’t mind the corny costumes or the side senseless humor at the beginning. Well, I actually thought those parts were funny. I think it went downhill after the initial conflicts and setup of how different parties were at odds–whether the good vs evil or evil vs evil, whatever those were. Or more specifically, it went downhill right after it revealed who Lei Gang’s real father really was and how his mother died, etc.
Main Cast:

  • Kong Ng (吳剛) as Wang Wu Ji (王無忌). I used to watch him in old TVB series but didn’t realize he used to star in series too. He was charming and funny in the beginning. The character seriously had potential, but it also tanked like some others in here. What tripped me was his journey to find his father’s sword and also trying to master the drunken martial arts skills. Yes, those were realistic goals for him, but it made me think that the drunken martial arts got forgotten until like the last five minutes of the series. He got time to master some of the other skills but didn’t really practice that actively at times. I got it that they were going through some issues and he wasn’t able to practice properly except for that one time when was stuck in the cave with Xian Er. But that was for a totally different type of martial arts. So yeah. The development crammed his character major time.
  • Moon Lee (李賽鳳) as Liu Xian Er (柳仙兒). Moon did an excellent job of portraying her character. I really felt for her. I initially didn’t like her character because she was so scheming and all. I thought it wouldn’t turn out good for her. However, the turnaround wasn’t too bad. They managed to show how she was forced into listening to her father (because he was her father after all and they only had each other for the most part) and how she realized she shouldn’t use those people who trusted her. The struggles were real (or it was convincing). She tried to convince her father to let it go with the other situation (and he couldn’t really change the reality of it anyway–with Lian Bi Xie already ahead of them). Whatever it was that happened to her character, Moon conveyed it really well. I think her acting was one of the reasons that helped me sympathize with her thus bringing me back to her side after the manipulation schemes.
  • Yip Yuk Ping (葉玉萍 ) as Drunken Girl (醉娃). Her character turned out to be a major disappointment. The actress did fine, but I thought her character could have done more regarding matters. Or was that just the plot? I thought she was funny at first and somewhat mischievous later. I was fine with that since I didn’t need her to be perfect or bland. Those mischievous moments showed the audience who she was as a character. What got me annoyed wasn’t the fact that she liked Lei Gang. She couldn’t help it. What made me disappointed was how she was so into him that ended up causing more trouble. Sure, she couldn’t kill him or outright severe ties with him (even if she tried). Yet what annoyed me was running off to look for him hence causing even more trouble for others, even her grandpa’s death later. Yes, I totally blame that one on her, considering how she was lying about worrying for the other two yet it was because she wanted to go down the mountains to search for Lei Gang. Then her grandpa had to go find her and then the inevitable. The plot also wasn’t helping her, cutting into her character development. I thought it was so cool she became the disciple of the God of Sword. Then she also claimed the leader title after having won the matches with her sect. I thought she would get a chance to achieve major accomplishments. Well, even if not major, at least minor ones along the way that would lead to her helping others in the long run. Not just the other group to defeat Lian Bi Xie, but could just be helping the local citizens in general. Yet her life seriously just revolved around Lei Gang and causing troubles whenever she appeared.
  • Johnny Wang (王龍威) as Lian Bi Xie (練辟邪). I didn’t care for him at all. Although, I have to admit I fell into his trap at one point, thinking that something must have happened for him to be so bitter. Yet I realized he was just playing victim versus others whom he hurt along the way. He was just trying to justify his actions in accomplishing his cruel master plan.
  • Lau Ga Yung (劉家勇) as Lei Gang (雷剛). I don’t know if he was just a bad actor or his character was just plain terrible to begin with. But it wasn’t helping either way. His best part was probably when he confronted Lian Bi Xie, saying that LBX wasn’t his father and then stormed off after letting out his frustration. It was justified that he was mad about what happened and thought that LBX was trying to manipulate him and turning his adoptive father against him (which was true). Somehow along the way, he managed to have a talk with LBX (after the cave scene and LBX saved him from the boulders) and it made sense that he wanted to learn about his real father. However, what got me frustrated to no end was how he kept switching sides. It was endless. He kept jumping ship. I got it that he could change his mind either way. Yet the switching sides was like a time loop of some sort. He wasn’t reconsidering matters seriously or seemed so later on. He just switched whenever it was convenient. He seemed to want to redeem himself after he fell off the cliff that one time. Then he went back to LBX again. It was a possibility that he was conning them about turning good. But the plot just continued to make him change sides until it was getting ridiculous. Sure, he could be the selfish type and only cared for himself and doing things that were only beneficial to him. However, it didn’t make sense again how many times he changed sides. He kept arguing with both sides about not understanding him as well. It made sense the first few times that he was confused. But then later, he was just plain switching whenever convenient or whatever. That made my second point about his acting being terrible. He wasn’t able to show his emotions (except for the part mentioned above) and how everything he did or said seemed in monotone or robotic mode for some reason. So it was very hard for me to be convinced of anything regarding him.

Supporting:

  • Ming Leung (良鳴) as Drunken Immortal (醉仙) / Drunken Cat (醉貓). He was fun at times. Well, they both were. Too bad they also paid a heavy price in here. It was very frustrating since the series was almost ending and then they just died.
  • Law Lok Lam (羅樂林) as Lei Jian Fei (雷劍飛) aka God of Sword (劍仙). I had my doubts about him at the beginning. It was mostly due to the fact that he was too righteous, too strict, and too into keeping up the sect’s reputation. It made me feel there was something off. And I must admit that Lian Bi Xie made me have some doubts–like why there was such hatred and also what the Demonic Immortal said about him being the fake righteous type. So yeah, I was holding my breath–although I wanted to like him. Then just like that, he was killed off by Lei Gang. It was tragic but also quite frustrating.
  • Cheng Lui (鄭雷) as Demonic Immortal (魔仙). I thought he was going to be another hard enemy for them to deal with in the long run. Yet it turned out differently, mostly because he was driven to take Lian Bi Xie down, not caring about them being a threat as much. Then later, it was because he wanted his daughter to be happy. It was so unexpected that he turned out to be a likable character, considering how he caused some major problems at first too.

Others:

  • Eddy Ko (高雄) as Mighty Sword, Wang Wu (大刀王五). Seriously, that was so sad that he just died like that. I understand it was because of the way the plot was and how his son was the main character of the series. Yet having him in it sort of brightened up the show a bit.
  • Cho Tat Wah (曹達華) as Drunken Beggar (醉乞). Omg, I can’t believe that he was only there for some episodes at the beginning. I thought he was going to be a major character that would influence Wu Ji hence the “drunken” part of the title. Yet it wasn’t so. Even if Wu Ji promised to practice his skills, the drunken martial arts was forgotten until like five minutes before the show ended (like said above). I loved his character, it made the corny humor less corny. It made me laugh when he was getting into mischiefs with Wu Ji. I know they couldn’t pause the plot at that point all the time, but I rather see them as a mischievous team from time to time than Lei Gang’s repetitive switching sides scenes.

I will skip the extended discussions and just go straight to whether I would recommend this series or not. Definitely a no for me. I mean if you have time to kill and want to check it out, you can go ahead for old series’ sake. But I thought this was one of the worst ones. The two saving graces of this series were the cast–many whom we came to love–and Deric Wan’s song to lead the drama. Regarding the second point, I didn’t pay attention at first and then I realized it sounded like Deric singing. It was strange hearing him sing in an old ATV series. Yet when I looked it up, it was true. Anyway, what made this series so lame for me that it was unredeemable was like I said above, many repetitive scenes–which happened to be most of Lei Gang’s scenes. Then there was the whole killing ALL of the major characters in here. Like the previous generation. Even in the end, they (the scriptwriters) had to kill all the monks too to prove that Lei Gang had to go. Really? It was getting ridiculous. I was sad to see some of the elders dying at first but thought it was supposed to bring out our frustration and made Wu Ji more determined to seek out revenge and/or justice for them. I realized later it wasn’t so. They were just doing that because they can. So yes, major disappointment as the series progressed. That was the reason why I didn’t want to watch season 2. Maybe if I have some time to kill in the future, I will check it out just for kicks.

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The Chinese Ghost Buster

I recently stumbled upon this series. I am a fan of Law Lok Lam so of course I dived in and watched. I must admit that it was disappointing for an ATV series. Yes, I usually liked it for most ATV series that I watched in the past. There were exceptions, but not by much. This time, I went from excitement to disappointment so fast it wasn’t even funny. I got it that back then some effects weren’t that good yet for the fantasy/folktale themes. It was 1988 after all. Yet what I was disappointed in was the plot. All the cast involved, I thought, did really good. However, the plot was getting repetitive after some of the initial stories. It just deteriorated after like the first three cases and then stretched out the main plot to the point of excruciating. Not to mention the character developments seemed non-existent. Then near the end, they just wrapped it by making some fast changes. The series as a whole crashed and burned just because of the lack of development and poor planning on the pace as an overall.
I liked the Zhong siblings’ closeness throughout. They were both so stubborn, so like one another–yet it was because they cared for one another. Considering how both of their parents passed away when they were so young. They only had each other. I also liked it that she wasn’t easily pushed around like I initially thought she would be the weakling, crying girl waiting for people to save her. It passed after some initial scenes. It was understandable that she was freaked out coming into contact with some paranormal beings. I liked it that she was able to fend for herself afterward–more or less.
The other relationship or bonding I liked in here was Zhong Gui (鍾馗) and Du Ping (杜平)’s friendship. At first, Du Ping was also scared of Zhong Gui–because of his appearance–like everyone else. However, he later became a loyal friend and even put down his pride to accept lesser payments for his drawings so he could bring Zhong Gui’s body back home. After learning that Zhong Gui got revived to fulfill his new destiny in slaying ghosts/demons, he stayed and helped. At least, it was as much as he could. He wasn’t doing it just because of Zhong Gui’s sister either. He was serious about it.
Now, what I had a beef with was how sloppy it was with character developments. The only person consistent throughout was Zhong Gui since he was stubborn at times, righteous at others, and have his weaknesses yet he was a good person overall. I couldn’t say the same for Du Ping and Zhong Ling (鍾靈). Du Ping seemed to like Zhong Ling at first–or so I thought. Yet it wasn’t so, which I wouldn’t want to force him either. Then he went on his journey and met his destined lover (or so it seemed), then a tragedy happened so they weren’t able to stay together. It was clear. Yet what lacking for me was how eventually he accepted Zhong Ling as well. I got it, he had to move on eventually and I didn’t want him to stay sad and miserable and moping over her all of his life either. But he claimed so persistently in the past that he wasn’t interested in Zhong Ling, he just didn’t feel it. Then all the sudden he accepted her just like that? The plot was a mess. It didn’t make sense. I got the argument with how Zhong Ling was hurting so much that she wanted to pretend he was dead so she could move on and how he was upset that she would treat him as if he was dead. Yet I didn’t get how fast they got together just after that brief argument. It was like the script-writers just wanted to give up.
Now, with Zhong Ling, it was also a mess on her own story/character, not just in relations to Du Ping either. Like I said, I liked it that she managed to take care of herself for the most part, considering how she also knew martial arts. It was something her brother didn’t have to worry about as much–although he couldn’t stop worrying completely. However, I didn’t like it that the script-writers kept moving her character back and forth between being reasonable and unreasonable. I got it that some of her reactions were due majorly to her stubborn nature. Like how she didn’t understand how Du Ping didn’t like her. It hurt her pride. However, it made her character reasonable when she finally met Du Ping’s beloved and realized the other lady wasn’t what she made her out to be. I liked it that she was upfront about it too and apologized for misunderstanding the latter. I also got it that she was upset when she found out the other lady was actually a ghost and was possibly conning Du Ping. The worst part was that Du Ping didn’t believe her, even misunderstanding her for making up a story so Du Ping would change his mind. Yet what bugged me to no end was how she jumped from sympathizing with Du Ping and his lover’s fate to aggressively chasing Du Ping again briefly after the other lady’s death. It was uncalled for. Or again, the writers just wanted to give up. I know they wanted to get those two together yet still include the tragic romance with the ghost lady. It was all right with me, but they didn’t pace it right. Then made Zhong Ling too desperate that it became annoying. They totally threw her character under the bus, thinking that was the way to go. I clap her feisty nature, but I didn’t like how the script-writers killed it with pace. They should have planned it better. They had plenty of time to waste on episode fillers for the later stories–which was non-existence with the development until the last episode. Did they rush the story just to ruin Zhong Ling’s character completely? She didn’t need to be a doormat character, but there had to be some balance with the pace. It made her really unreasonable–like said before.
I think the later parts of the story, even the demons’ side had more story developments–with their scheming and all–than the supposedly good side. What irked me even more was how they allowed Du Ping’s character to grow and even learned some martial arts and also some abilities to help Zhong Gui later yet didn’t do anything to Zhong Ling’s character. She was just there to fight over a man? That was it? Sure, she did some stuffs near the end that the script-writers wanted to make it seemed epic. But that was so anti-climatic to me that I just wanted to roll my eyes at them. They just made her character appeared useless by the end.
Perhaps, the reason why I was so upset with the way things turned out with the series was because I am a major fan of Law Lok Lam and also Choi Sin Yee. They portrayed a couple in The Four Detective Guards, which I really liked them for in that series yet they had a tragic ending. Of course, because of their roles in this story, it would be too weird to think of that. But I liked Choi Sin Yee and would have loved it if they gave her some other things to do besides throwing tantrums because she didn’t get the man. Or worse, making her appear so brainless at times, although she meant well for the most part regarding her concerns for her brother. I wouldn’t want to her to hog the scene too much since Law Lok Lam was the main character after all. But she was indeed one of the main cast and they did somewhat made her seemed like an important character yet didn’t let her contribute in a meaningful way at all. It was just romances throughout and somewhat of a loose contribution in the finale.
So recommended? NOPE. One of the rare times I don’t recommend an ATV series.

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.

Officer Geomancer

It was a major disappointment to say the least. I was actually looking forward to see this one, that was why it got to me more than it should have, considering how TVB series these days are. I didn’t mind all the randomness, because hello–the title. What I minded was how some of the things didn’t fit.

Main Cast:

  • Johnson Lee as Sit Dan Yan (薛丹仁). A police officer but often relied on some fortune telling techniques to solve cases. Okay, that would be underestimating him too much since he was actually quite good with the required police investigating skills. He was brilliant. However, whenever he was stuck, like trying to figure out if someone was still alive or others’ locations, he used the alternative method. What was a bit disappointing about him was his physical abilities. Like he wasn’t too good with fighting or chasing. Okay, he could give a chase, but he wasn’t really up to it. First time leading? It seemed so. I wasn’t paying attention. I was excited but felt a bit disappointed. Maybe he was a bit trying. Perhaps pressures? I felt his best scene was when he found out his childhood friend was already gone–or more like not whom he imagined to be. That was tragic and his reactions said it all, because how he had tried to find the young boy all these years.
  • Joey Meng as Che Gwai Fei (車季菲). A madam role for Joey. She didn’t disappoint in being fierce and all since it seemed to be a typical role for her. However, she was a bit uncomfortable–or so it seemed–for scenes with Johnson, especially when they were being close. I thought their chemistry would be awesome (after all of those rumors flying around during filming and all), but it seemed disappointing. And Joey was an awesome actress way back when. She hadn’t slipped so what was up?
  • Oscar Leung as Leung Sing Kau (梁醒裘). Beyond silly and random like some of the people in here. But he didn’t disappoint.
  • Fred Cheng as Che Kwai Kwan (車季君). Being the youngest in the house, he had to be more easygoing. He–and his second sister–were too sheltered and protected by his oldest sister. He was easygoing for the majority of time, except near the end when he wanted to prove himself. It made sense since Gwai Fei had to learn and let go–with them being all grown up already. Fred, once again, didn’t disappoint.
  • Rebecca Zhu as Tit Leung Chi (鐵良芷). I found her awesome and powerful at first with her speed and capabilities. Yet later, she was so random like the majority of them already.
  • Sisley Choi as Sou Sin Man (蘇倩敏). Bubbly and funny. At first, I thought she was nuts. Indeed she was in a way. Yet she was quite cute. She disappeared (or was not mentioned anymore) after a case but appeared later on again to participate in a case and eventually began dating Kwai Kwan.
  • Harriet Yeung as Che Gwai Mei (車季美). She was another crazy character. She was probably my other favorite female character aside from Gwai Fei and Siu Man. Her sense of humor and outlook on life was what kept her going. She was capable within her newspaper place hence being given some of the toughest assignments.
  • William Chak as Roy Caa Gam Loi (查淦萊). I don’t know what to say about him. Yes, he was indeed a hardworking person and knew what he was doing. Yet I didn’t really think much of him in the overall picture.
  • Law Lok Lam as Ha Man Zik (夏文值). This was probably one of his recent worth-mentioning roles. Because he was awesome in here yet also possessed a great sense of humor. It was hard not to have a sense of humor, considering how he lived with two of the craziest guys. He was also a talented chef. What was funnier was how he was too talented hence the two women fought over him, time after time. He was tired of it, but wasn’t able to do anything.

Supporting:

  • Mimi Chu as Fong Yuen Yuen (方圓圓). Funny but could be wise at times. She was leading the cops after all so couldn’t be too silly. She had her moments when she wanted to pursue Zik Gor Gor. (LOL!)
  • Mak Ling Ling as Sofia. Another silly character. She was best friends with Fong Yuen Yuen once upon a time yet they fell out due to some guy. Yes, typical story. But somehow they managed to get along somewhat later. Still, they couldn’t just quit fighting over Zik Gor Gor.
  • Helena Law Lan as  (莊夢蝶). Sit Dan Yan’s mother. Although she was a fortune teller but didn’t possess the skills like her son. So her skills were minimal to say the least. She hated Gwai Fei at first but later learned to get along with her and even ended up liking her. Of course after all Gwai Fei had done for Dan Yan, she was touched.
  • Chan Wing Chun as Mak (麥乃生). Nosy gangster boss usually circulate the tea house. It was hilarious even if his role was yet another random one.
  • Candice Chiu as Shirley. She actually already passed away (or more like killed and got her identity taken). I felt it was tragic how things turned out. I didn’t think it was fair to blame her/him. ‘Cause he lost his parents at an early age and then later lived with relatives whom abused him (just because he was different and wasn’t able to change who he was), then his only way out–or so he thought was to have an operation. I didn’t think it was his fault ultimately how things turned out. He was just trying to cling on to the last bit of his past. Sure, at first I hated Shirley for being so scheming, but after I learned the truth, it was so sad. I didn’t like it that they blamed him for the ending. Okay, maybe Dan Yan’s mother blamed him, but I thought it was too sad. It needed more closure than that. Regardless, Candice did a good job here.

Others:

  • Rosanne Lui as Chan Yiu Ngo (陳兆娥).
  • Hebe Chan as Cheung Oi Lam (張愛琳).
  • Lam King Kong as Yeung (楊劍洪).
  • Sam Tsang as  (成在天). Haven’t seen him in ages. Can’t believe he has returned to TVB.
  • Leo Lee as (袁尚風).
  • Cheung Kwok Keung as (鐵石琛). Um, random role much? He’s Leung Chi’s father. He was arrogant in a way and didn’t care much for others, except what he had to say or what was important to him.

Recommended? Not really. Unless you want to see for yourself. OR you just don’t mind a random drama.

Forensic Heroes III

I just finished watching this so I wanted to talk about it. This was probably one of 2011’s better series. Though some might disagree, I wasn’t disappointed at all–even if I had some doubts at first. I was probably in the minority group that didn’t care about the cast change (because it was associated with the last two parts). Look at it this way, this is another team out in the field working, not just always the same team. Or it’s okay. I wouldn’t want to force anyone into accepting. I must say that the result was pretty good because it made sense for the most part. The cases weren’t that complicated yet it wasn’t that terrible either. If you compared it to the first two, the complexity had gone WAY down regarding how it was planned, etc at times. However, it didn’t mean that there was a lack of planning in some cases. Most were relating to accidental deaths or impulse killing/those in the moment of the heat or anger type. Yet don’t those cases happen more often in real life than those super complicated ones? We like to watch more complicated ones because it makes us think. And these ones, some were so stupid after we found out the result or how it had happened in the first place, but don’t half of those reflect real-life situations? I swear it’s not going to get that interesting. Because of the too messed up world today (whether we want to admit it or not), sometimes killings happen for senseless reasons OR just some dumb argument. It’s scary that it’s just that simple and some people couldn’t control themselves. But wasn’t too dumb. To turn back to the cases though, the way they handled the forensic parts and investigation wasn’t too lame.

The Team:

  • Wayne Lai as Pro Sir. OMG! A clever and witty character yet didn’t turn out disappointing at all. I was so scared that his character would go downhill by the time his wife returned. Yet he was so firm on his belief and it was so consistent with his character that I had to clap the writers on. Should I even compliment Wayne even more? Hey, I’ve been supporting him since forever so no need. LOL!
  • Maggie Cheung as Mandy. Maggie was really on par with Wayne’s character in here and they didn’t lose a beat. That was so cool though. Her character was consistent enough and Maggie made it both cute and clever at the same time.
  • Ron Ng as Wind. What can I say about Wind? It was really funny at first. Then it got even sadder for him since the whole incident with his family. But lucky all of that passed. Yet I still liked to see his humorous side more. His ‘NG47’ nickname was so funny as well. I meant, come on now. Was that a hint? Interestingly enough since I was watching Wax & Wane at the same time, I found his performances so different. I’m so serious here. It was like he was much more comfortable and more natural in here. Okay, so the cool character helped. But did anyone notice the ‘rocking motion of his body’ in the other one, especially when he was talking to Roger or the others in Wax & Wane? (Except with Kate since after several collaborations, he should be quite comfortable with her.) In here, he was like more laid-back and more composed. I don’t know what happened. Even if he did appear a lot in series this year (2011), I still noticed some differences. Just don’t want to take points off just because TVB scheduled series back-to-back just like that.
  • Kate Tsui as Ada. At first, I had some doubt about Kate being a madam. So unfair to her but I still wanted to see how it would work. Though I already saw her as a cop in A Great Way to Care, she wasn’t a madam in there so it would be interesting to see how that went. I thought she was convincing enough as the leader since she did manage the pose at the appropriate times. Then she was also relaxed off-work. That made her character not too one-layered. SO I was glad the scriptwriters didn’t try to make her into another ‘Madame Leung’ or ‘Madame Ma’.
  • Edwin Siu as Ken Ho. Interestingly, he got an important role in here. NOT that I oppose it since I actually wanted to see him in different types of roles too and this role really suited him. OR he made it convincing enough.
  • Aimee Chan as Angel Chiang. A tomboyish role for her. Kind of repetitive but it was all right. I liked it that she didn’t stand out so much but still had some sort of story. I so didn’t know she would die later but honestly, that was SAD. Kind of somewhat unexpected and unnecessary BUT I guess I’m not so sore about it anymore.
  • Ram Tseung as Paul Yau. After watching his portrayal in Twilight Investigation, it was interesting to see him back on this side of the scale. LOL! (Not that it wasn’t fun to see how he could portray the other one so convincingly.) I liked how he was a veteran and amazed how his character was experienced in so many areas. It was funny that he was telling his stories when the others asked, thinking they were worshiping him but when he looked, he realized they had gone back to work already! Awww…but still funny. And I had a good scare thinking that his son was actually involved but glad he didn’t have to suffer too much.

Others:

  • Ruco Chan as Jim Fong. Was it just me or was it since he returned to TVB, he didn’t look so hot anymore? (OR so people like to use with ‘hot’ or whatever.) Not that I would like him any less. But I think he needs to sharpen it up a bit more, not get too comfortable. It was like they had given him certain parameters and how he returned to the ‘box of TVB’, not so impressive anymore. YET not disappointing either. Perhaps I would restore my faith in him when I muster up the courage to watch The Other Truth. But we’ll see. It wasn’t like his character wasn’t great. But it was like his acting style got crammed, like not allowing so much creativity anymore.
  • Nancy Wu as Eva Chow. I honestly think Nancy’s better with those roles where she’s the semi-villain. I meant she wasn’t technically bad in general. YET she possessed those fatal personalities with being so driven by her ambition and would do anything to achieve it–regardless of techniques or consequences. She showed that side quite well. Yet what I was thinking the whole time (and thanks to my mom for pointing it out) if it was her acting or the script with the part where she was celebrating too early and sort of smiled and Pro Sir saw her. It was the scene in court where she heard that the witness couldn’t come and she smiled. (The girl was portrayed by Lily Ho.) If according to her character, she was a clever and cunning lawyer, so why would she let such a small detail make her celebrate so early and smile just like that in front of everyone? She had to repress herself upon hearing that right? Or did they, the scriptwriters, need something for Pro Sir to suspect hence making her character smile like that? Too contradictory so I could only think of it as script error. AND I so thought or guess that she was going to get killed by Felix Lok later YET I was wrong. I meant she messed with fire so she gotta pay? I thought the plot was steering in that direction. But okay, whatever works. Lesson for this one: Curiosity kills the cat. She should’ve walked away when Pro Sir warned her of danger, etc. Or was her pride getting in the way again? (Aka proving to him and others that she could crack the case. We all know she was capable, didn’t need to prove it too much. Or was it for fame? Still not worth her life.)
  • Geoffrey Wong as CIP Jason Ko. Another silly role for him. It was so funny that the others had misunderstood him AND they kept thinking that Wind would beat him yet it wasn’t so. They finally get to witness his famous ‘shadowless foot’ technique. LOL!
  • Yuen Wah as Pro Sir’s father. So funny. What made it funnier was him keep trying to matchmake Pro Sir with others YET ended bringing trouble upon himself. I got a good laugh out of that. Always liked Yuen Wah since the old days so enjoyed his performance.
  • Angela Tong as Rebeca. Hilarious! I found it extremely amazing that she was able to make her character so funny. Though just a few scenes here and there but she made my day more than some characters in here.
  • Mary Hon as Ada’s mother. Mixed feelings. I don’t doubt Mary’s acting since I’ve been seeing her act like forever. NOT that long but it has been too long. What bugged me was her character at times. I found her extremely funny for using Wind as her handyman at first and all. Yet it was quite disturbing when she took those packages of goodies from Wind’s mother. It sort of made her and her daughter look bad. Fine if she didn’t like the woman (and I didn’t like Wind’s mother either) BUT that move made her less graceful. She scolded the woman and then took her things? The least she could do was paid in full so the other party wouldn’t think of her as some flaky person. (OR so it seemed.) The other thing that was funny of her was how she was arguing with Mandy’s grandfather and mistaken Jim for Ada’s boyfriend that one time.
  • Rosanne Lui as Wind’s mother. Annoying. Not sure if I was still biased against her since after watching Be Home For Dinner but her performance in here was similar even if the character was different. I don’t know. I used to be less bugged by her though saw her in other series already. BUT for some reason, she has been bugging me lately. OR was it because she got more important roles and couldn’t handle it? Too ironic that she was disappointing, considering her age. I guess this was one of those cases that veteran artist did not mean good acting? I don’t know. Her character didn’t help her case either.
  • Law Lok Lam as the main villain. Well, sort of since he had to do with the last case. Creepy. I swear I thought they had to deal with Felix Lok’s character since he was mentioned as a character that wasn’t easily messed with. BUT it was Law Lok Lam’s character. Haven’t seen him in an important villain role for a while now. (At least I probably didn’t watch the right series, LOL…) He was convincing as being creepy all right. And I must say after watching Be Home For Dinner with his silly role, this was proof that he hadn’t lost it with being versatile since he looked so silly (or funny, lol) in the other one yet this one was like quite chilling to the bones.

Pairings:

  • Wayne and Maggie. It had been a long time now since I’ve seen a favorite couple. I meant it more in terms of characters than as actor and actress yet it could just be both. If I hadn’t mentioned it before (though I’m sure I did), I always like it when couples would match wit-per-wit instead of having one extremely smart and the other brainless. OR at least have each with a strong area instead of those helpless weaklings (or make the main girl/guy dumb on purpose). SO it was really enjoyable to watch for me with these two. They were so in-sync with one another when they were still partners and/or friends. That was so amazing. Then when they were finally a couple, they showed both respect and love for one another that made it even more special. They didn’t just say those words yet proved true throughout. I was so scared they would make his character so wishy-washy when his ex-wife return and all. After all, they were married for years before. YET he had made his point clear and what was really priceless was seeing Pro Sir always bringing Mandy along on trips when Eva demanded his attention or some type of meeting. It was sad for Eva, BUT I was glad he didn’t cause any misunderstandings by leading Eva on accidentally–if he had appeared alone, etc. I was glad the scriptwriter didn’t reduce his character to nothing for once. I was so sick of the recent main guys always making the ‘oops’ because they thought it was unnecessary to inform the current gf about stuff if the ex-gf/wife had pulled some stunts–and the typical thinking he shouldn’t trouble her. I was soooo glad they steered away from that formula. Though I’m sure Mandy was the understanding type and wouldn’t be swayed or feel threatened by Eva’s subtle threats yet I found it necessary to see those scenes with how Pro Sir had always made it clear. It let us–as the audience–see that Pro Sir was determined to make his relationship work with Mandy–and how his character was consistent throughout with him being smart, etc. One of the scenes I loved the most was seeing how in-sync they were at that one restaurant/bar when he ordered her drink and food for her already and later when she finally came, he asked about the lectures, then they shared the food, etc. It was so cute YET showed their tacit interactions. SO wrong of me to enjoy it when Eva was there but it made me so convinced that Pro Sir and Mandy belonged together. Not to mention how the scene repeated itself later on too, not just that one time. Wayne and Maggie sure made the effort to build this chemistry. (Because I wasn’t so sure on this pairing at first though I wouldn’t mind seeing this fresh pairing. Now I’m convinced.)
  • Ron and Kate. How many times have they collaborated already? Well, as a pairing. I guess TVB’s still compensating–or trying to compensate–us for that one time in The Brink of Law AND I think it’s WAY over now. Once in a while is good, but too many times a year? I love them together–and that’s saying something about current pairings. But please spread it out. LOL! I enjoyed their chemistry in here, of course, and found it different–or so they managed to make it work. It was so funny that she was so wacko when she got drunk. Scared the world out of him the first time around. She even dragged him into all those crazy things, LOL!
  • Edwin and Aimee. Mmmm…would never imagined them together yet I got into the storyline. It depends on people’s taste, but I thought I was fine with it. Then the ending just brought forth more tears than ever. Mostly because of Edwin’s convincing act with the mourning and all. I didn’t know why they killed her off until the last scenes of him remembering back to what she said to him at various times.
  • Wayne and Nancy. Seriously, that was odd. Maybe because it was the age lapse or they just looked weird together. They were the correct choices for their roles BUT extremely odd together. I sort of cringed when they were being intimate at various points at the beginning. I don’t know. It was so odd for me. NOT picking on one or the other. I guess it was just one of those couples that didn’t work. Their story was all right I guess. However, what I found was odd was why she loved him so much YET was willing to give such a promising marriage up for that one job? I meant okay, it seemed to be projecting that she was lured in by those luxuries (jewelry store scene with her taking that watch) and the mansion (Felix Lok took her to the mountainside and told her to look down at the row of houses at this one place). OR was her pride getting in the way? Like how she was trying to prove Pro Sir wrong with how he was saying it wasn’t good to mix the other dude? NOT too sure but I’ll just let it go since it’s not worth getting mad over. BUT it wasn’t too unrealistic with couples suddenly breaking up out of nowhere.

The two worlds – FH I & II vs. FH III. YES, had to include this section since I know people love to compare. And I’m somewhat curious too.

  • The LEADERS: Bobby vs. Wayne – Tim Sir vs. Pro Sir. NOT bad on both counts. I swear they did look cool as the boss. And were equally intelligent–with their own methods. Though I must say I prefer Wayne over Bobby. NOT the characters, but the actor. Maybe it was because I never abandoned Wayne before–even if he was in the shadow in the past all these years versus Bobby (whom I lost track for a while). It’s my own personal lapse AND not because Bobby was not cool.
  • The DOCTORS: Frankie vs. Maggie – Dr. Koo vs. Dr. Chung. Yes, I chose Maggie to represent the doctor side though technically both she and Wayne were. YET Wayne had to represent the leader spot. Character-wise, I actually felt Frankie’s character was crafted more complex and had a better foundation. Perhaps his life wasn’t so dramatic. But that wasn’t Maggie’s fault for getting the role of a victim in some case as well. But what made it interesting was how he was also an author. Dr. Chung was very creative and intelligent in her own way, but Dr. Koo’s character was really well written and more unique. However, I thought the love story with Dr. Chung was crafted better. Why? I guess being paired up with the main guy made it a better advantage since she was the first female lead. Dr. Koo’s love story was all right I guess but I didn’t care for it much because of his other half. So it was half and half for both instances. But I like Frankie and Maggie equally so no choosing there.
  • The MADAMES: Yoyo vs. Charmaine vs. Kate – Madame Nicole Leung vs. Madame Bell Ma vs. Madame Ada Ling. Madame Leung was strong and independent, and not to mention aggressive. That made her name ‘yau’ (柔) even more ironic because it meant ‘gentle’. She was also a ‘no-nonsense’ type of person. Madame Ma looked aggressive and was intimidating at one point yet she had a soft heart at others (and had developed her strong exterior because she had to protect her mother). Madame Ling, on the other hand, was more tolerant of her subordinates when they got random and were messing around during meetings. Though there was no doubt she could use her power to make the others work. But I thought Yoyo was the more powerful one with the vibe that she exuded. Not that Charmaine and Kate didn’t look aggressive enough since both were shown as capable leaders as well. I just felt like Yoyo pulled it off better as a ‘madame’. Not bringing Charmaine or Kate down because I actually liked both (by now if I hadn’t in the past), but that was what I felt. However, I must say I like all three equally in their own way so no points lost actually.
  • The SIDE-KICKS: Raymond Cho vs. Ron Ng – Shum Hung vs. Wind. Shum Hung, they didn’t say much about him in all the two parts that he appeared? I forgot already since that was years ago since I watched both installments. YET he really stood out as Madame Leung’s side-kick every time he appeared. And his rash personality made him all the more lovable. Not to mention how he had such a sense of humor as well. I couldn’t remember quite well with his capabilities either. But I swear he got robbed–even if he was still up there in the cast list. I think with the character development, Wind had it made out better with him being the side-kick and how his background story with him being a rich boy, NOT just a typical cop. Not to mention how he also knew taekwondo and competed in this one competition with Ko Sir. All in all though, I liked both characters just fine. They were different in their own way. Acting? Raymond Cho’s actually the better one here. I’m not saying that because Ray’s like one of my favorites. But Ray started out better than Ron and is still so–even if he kept getting pushed aside at times. The other thing was how little information Ray had with his character but was able to make his character shine out, making it memorable. Perhaps his loyalty to Madame Leung and his colleagues made it the most memorable.
  • The ROOKIES: Linda Chung vs. Aimee Chan – Lam Ding Ding vs. Angel Chiang. Honestly, I didn’t want to put them in since it would get too personal. But since I already put the others on the table, why not? I thought both developments of their characters were about enough, not too much and not too little either. So people shouldn’t even complain about it. Both characters were meant to be cute and charming with their curiosity, etc. Both died as well. Though I must say even if they dressed Linda in cute outfits and letting her wear those braids, I didn’t like her that much either. I meant the character, SO don’t say I’m picking on Linda. In fact, I never forgive her for sneezing into that one evidence while Fred (Madame Leung’s brother) was doing the test for it hence causing it to become invalid, and not to mention causing trouble for Fred. (YUP, he got scold at–though he was nice enough to not blame her.) Angel, though she was too silly with her different views at times and even clash in cultures, but was more professional. Her death, I swear made sense even more–though it was frustrating. Who do I prefer then? Aimee actually. Because I never liked Linda since she started. People are throwing stuff at me for making that decision since everyone’s putting dirt on Aimee right now. Yet I felt Aimee exuded the cute look better though she was the tomboy type of character in here.
  • The OTHER FORENSIC TECHNICIANS: Fred Cheng vs. Edwin Siu – Fred Leung vs. Ken Ho. Yes, interestingly Fred was also named Fred in here though his Chinese name was different. (PHEW!) Anyway, Fred was sort of a pushover because of having a madame sister–and to complete the irony of it all, his name was actually ‘kong’ (剛)–meaning strong. Though he was really hardworking. Ken Ho, on the other hand, was a funny type of guy who wouldn’t mind striking up an argument. I thought that his character somewhat reminded me of Ray’s Shum Hung. OR was that it but they just tossed him toward the forensic side so it was less obvious? Yet both managed to deliver even if there was lack of screen time for Fred.
  • The OTHER GIRL COPS: Vivien Yeo vs. Jessie Shum –  Josie vs. Calorie. Lack of memory, but I remember Vivien’s character, Josie, being in the background most of the time, except it was until she had to help the others retrieve statements from different witnesses, etc. Yet I liked her being around with the rest of the team. Calorie was the loud one in here but still had her own moments.

Goofs/Complaints/whatever else:

  • The tip of scale between both teams. Though I soon got used to the teams. But I must admit the tip of scale at times for both teams–cops and forensics. Why the tip? The reason was putting both Wayne and Maggie on the forensic side (though under different specialized areas). They should have separated the two to maintain equilibrium. However, was the creators’ intention to make it different from the other two installments? NOT sure. Probably so though since putting both Wayne and Maggie on the same side paved the story for their characters better as a couple, how in-sync they were, etc. But I didn’t think that Ron and Kate were useless even if Wayne and Maggie had put most of the pieces of the puzzles together. Because this was after all ‘forensic heroes’ so they had to put more stresses toward the ‘forensic’ side. Ron and Kate had action scenes when it was needed or necessary for the cases. So both teams actually collaborated quite well with one another. Not too bad actually if analyze a bit more.
  • CSIs DO NOT carry guns. During the 7th case when Angel was in one of the rooms (the study?) collecting evidence, Hilbert (Wind’s uncle) walked in and was chatting with her on how she helped him one time in New York running after a culprit with a gun. He had assumed that she was a cop, but she explained to him that she wasn’t because the difference between CSI of both New York (or the States?) and Hong Kong was that NY CSIs could carry guns while Hong Kong CSIs do not. YET that was basing it on the TV Series, NOT real life. Because technically in real life, CSIs DO NOT carry guns regardless in the States. SO, therefore, that little detail was a glitch. Were the scriptwriters basing it on those TV Series instead of doing actual research on the real CSIs in the States? CSIs could only carry pepper sprays–if they wanted something to protect themselves. I wanted to let it go. YET I couldn’t because they repeated it again in a later episode so I didn’t want to let it go.
  • A Hana Kimi took over? I’m so serious here! I know it was a coincidence and could happen to anyone (or probably from other series too). But I couldn’t help thinking of it when they mentioned Ken Ho’s character not being able to drink wine or he would go crazy. Later it was revealed that he would go on a kissing rampage. Same as what happened with Quan in Hana Kimi when he got drunk (and had kissed the main girl too).
  • Eva’s death and the aftermaths. Was it just me or it seemed like they moved forward in two shakes? YES, Pro Sir did blame himself for not answering to her suggestion/request YET Wind had told him to not feel guilty but focused on solving the case to seek justice for Eva. SO that part made sense. Yet I honestly hoped the ending was like several months later OR until Pro Sir and Eva’s kid recovered. ‘Cause she cried like mad when her parents divorced and all. SO it would be too strange to see her all happy and looking forward to Pro Sir and Mandy’s wedding. According to some exchanges between them and Ken Ho that Ken had asked for a leave to go take care of Angel’s situation and returning the ashes to her parents in the States. SO I hope some time had passed for everyone to recover regarding Eva as well.
  • Were the cases too easy? This was NOT a complaint on my part but more like I heard some people talking about it. I think it was in a sense. YET the deduction made it fascinating. Even if the cases seemed too brainless or weren’t as complex as the cases in the first installment but it wasn’t too unreasonable either. Why not? If comparing to CSIs/Criminal Minds or those other ones, not every one of those cases had to be so mind-blowing to make it a case, right? Let’s just file these under the everyday type of crime. It wasn’t too unreasonable because people nowadays might just kill for no reason. NOT good or reassuring to know what type of messed up environment we might live in. Yet it wasn’t too off either. The only complaint I had was Wind’s case was toooo long. Okay, maybe I was just impatient that the family just pissed me off so much with their inconsiderate nature, except for Wind. SO yeah… (I put this up there at the beginning of the review already, BUT thought I would ‘bullet point’ it too! LOL!)

What made up for it all? The technology actually. And the way the deduction was made. They really managed to take advantage of the technology all right. It reminded me of one of the most recent seasons of Criminal Minds where everyone was carrying a tablet with them. Pretty cool to think about. (Though not sure if everyone was as equipped in the real environment, lol.)

Recommended? NOT recommended if you’re going to compare it to parts 1 and 2. I did it too, I know. YET I didn’t have a problem with it. Why? It was a cop series. But I must say that it was the only series from 2011 that I managed to finish. What about the others? Dropped halfway through or somewhere along the way. OR I didn’t bother. So that said something. But maybe because I’m too easily rattled. Your choice really.