Master of Play

This was on my ‘to-watch’ list anyway so no surprise that I followed through. OMG, I read some spoilers coming into the series. BUT lucky I didn’t care for it since I had read some comments on how people who likes happy, fluffy stuffs might not like it. (AND that some people might not get it.) SO I was patient and followed throughout–without fast-forwarding. YES, I do admit that some parts were slow, but it was essential to the overall story. Because it revolved around psychological conflicts, I tried to be patient since I do enjoy those types of theme, and the mystery it often involved. I must say that I was quite impressed and have to say that it was cleverly done throughout. Honestly, the same creators who made When Heaven Burns and somewhat of a similar cast here and there, but it was worth it. I was really fascinated with the plot layout and the order the story was told in–in an attempt to focus on the emotional and psychological turmoils within more than just some lame plot about “OMG, it’s a psycho, we need to bring him in” type of thing. YES, the cops were there and they tried to bring the ‘psycho’ in too. YET it wasn’t so. Since the cops were just part of the background story. The major and minor characters in here were much more complicated than that. Again, like When Heaven Burns, it focused on how life wasn’t just full of black and white–though the discussions often bounced back and forth–here and there. Exploring the gray areas of life with how people react to certain situations and what they would go through to protect those around them was more realistic than just focusing on convincing ‘who was right’ or ‘who was actually wrong’ all along. Sure, there were the obvious sides of the ones who were supposedly good and the bad, but only the layout was that way because society like to separate, but the way it was made with what was going on, the creators of the show let us decide that on our own.
Main Cast:

  • Adam Cheng as Kan Siu Nam (靳兆楠). Finally a totally different role for Adam without the whole ‘heroic’ title attached. Though I found it a tad weird at the beginning and needed some getting used to but I soon focus on his character more to see what was going on. In a way, I found it cool to use that type of technique to solve cases at first. YET later, I found it stupid. Seriously, trying to attach yourself to the killer’s personality to get to him/her? It was crazy all right. It was too risky to say the least. I realized more and more later on that he was such a busybody. It was like saying he didn’t have to involve himself within the cases yet he did. He wasn’t a cop anyway, so why was he muddling in? I swore his fate was deserved because he kept digging and digging and all the stuffs that he got into made situations worse–to say the least. Though I understood his character’s conflicts at times, especially regarding his daughter–and the way he was getting himself involved so he could avoid the unavoidable with what happened to his daughter ages ago. (That was my guess.) YET he didn’t know when to stop. That was his downfall. He seriously messed with the wrong party and even if he had killed Ivan, he was going down. I’m not hinting at the psychological breakdown either but more like the whole getting burned to death at the end. Aside from all those things, I thought he was convincing in this role. Regardless of how he was too into his conflict with accepting his daughter’s death OR when he was losing it with becoming Ivan, he sort of created those worlds convincingly.
  • Maggie Siu as Esther Lee Chor Kiu (李楚蕎). Typical poor rich girl role. YET the later parts made her character different. Maggie’s short hair in here reminded me of her younger days when the short hair style was her trademark. But I really miss her longer hair, like how it was at the beginning of the series. Anyway, I felt so bad for her not because she got sacrificed (or more like sacrificed herself to save Ivan). But her family had a lot to do with her downfall. To have her own mother not supporting throughout, always pretending to care for her (and scolding Ivan) YET all the mother cared about was status and reputation. (Not to mention how her mother loved sons over daughters, AND I wonder what the hell she is? Is she not a woman herself?) Only Ivan was the one who was there for Esther when she went through such tragic situations. Ivan made her feel whole and important.
  • Moses Chan as  Ivan Cheung Sai Yin (章世言). This must be one of Moses’ most challenging roles. Not only did he have to act as Ivan in conflict with himself, but he had to switch to the other personalities also. By the time the story shifted to Esther finding out about Moses’ multiple personality problem, that scene was so brilliant. Moses was able to distinguish the differences between each personality. When he acted as all those personalities, it really reflected how the others were playing out their roles as his personalities. It was like looking into a mirror of personalities. (Great team.) I felt one couldn’t really hate Ivan because though he could be considered a killer, but he doesn’t just kill recklessly and as he liked. Either he’s forced to kill or he didn’t have a choice. (Saying “we always have a choice” IS LAME and unrealistic.) The choices he made caused the irreversible in the end, but from the beginning, he was tormented with his own guilt and whatever voice of the conscience is left.
  • Aimee Chan as  Natalie Cheung Sai Ting (章世婷). We were misled into thinking she was Kan Siu Nam and Angela’s missing daughter for the majority of the series. At least most of the clues pointed to her, until she later revealed it herself at the police station. (Actually, her conversation with Ivan before she left their house said it all with her telling him to clean up his act since there won’t be anyone around to do that for him anymore, and that because of him she had to lie to two very pitiful persons.) I was impressed with her performance throughout. She made me feel the liveliness of Natalie’s innocence side at the beginning, and the more complicated side later on as the story unfolded and she found out much more of her brother’s world that had caused her shift in attitude and/or reaction about life. (AND this is a comparison between all her other roles that I had watched, NOT hinting that she’s superior to others. YET I don’t think I need to prove my taste – or capability –  at all. People could think whatever they want. Honestly.)

Others:

  • Ram Tseung as John. The director at the local theater and also Kan Siu Nam’s best friend. He’s often the voice of reason to stop Kan Siu Nam from doing anything rash or getting into sticky situation. I must indeed agree he’s the wisest in here though he doesn’t judge. BUT I disagree with Kan Siu Nam that he would get killed for his own intelligence because Kan should be referring to himself regarding the whole getting hurt for being intelligent. (Since Kan kept meddling into others’ matters, which were not his.) I so agree with John when he told Kan that it wasn’t Kan’s job to put the balance back in the universe with his actions (i.e. what to do with Ivan’s case).
  • Rebecca Chan as Angela Mok Lai Hing (莫麗馨). I like her character in here, really like it. She’s not only wise but doesn’t care if she becomes the ‘bad’ person or get misunderstood when she tries to stop Kan from his craziness. It’s not like she doesn’t care for her daughter YET she knows how to stick with reality and moving on doesn’t mean not loving her daughter anymore. It just means she wants to cherish her life and not let the others in her life down.
  • Lily Ho as Tansy Kan Chi Ying (靳芷縈). The older version of Tansy. NOT the real Tansy but more like the imagined version of Tansy to which Kan Siu Nam was drawing up as part of his fantasy (aka not accepting that Tansy is already dead). I don’t know. I didn’t have any feelings toward her except knowing she was what Kan imagined his daughter would be like, a cute, lovable girl, etc.
  • Yu Yang as Steve Cheung Yat Kei (陳一奇). A very funny character. I know several dentists (OF COURSE with the necessary of having one BUT also personally), and his personality in here is too funny to relate to. Yet I guess all is possible since there are many dentist in this world and outside work, they’re normal human beings living their own lives after all. I really like his character because he’s really down to earth and could always turn negative moments into positive ones. Though what I found kind of unrealistic was him not getting suspicious or minding about Kan still being friends and hanging with them at meal times, etc. (NOT saying it’s impossible, it’s just awkward in so many ways–even if many years have passed already.) OMG, his death was so unexpected. I blame it on Kan for being the “unlucky star” and invited him over. (I wonder why he didn’t turn on the light BUT I guess he had a habit of listening music in the dark like that or just wanted to enjoy the music without turning the light on.)
  • Dickson Wong as Will Chan Cheuk Kwan. I felt like he was trying too hard at times or seemed like he was trying to remember the script. I swear, he looked that way. But regarding his character, I guess he was a supportive son at times.
  • Matt Yeung as Jasper/ Kong Sir (江Sir). I think he’s more suitable on the pyscho-killer route than being a cop. Seriously, he was just using his dead girlfriend as an excuse in every way he could to supposedly work hard and clean up the streets. He’s the one who should be cleared away. NOT only is he trying to “clean the street” BUT he’s really ungrateful toward his colleagues and others around him. Sure, Kan was quite a busybody and had a hand in fueling Jasper’s craziness even more, BUT his attitude was already terrible before. He treated his fellow cops as “dogs” (his words at one point) and always exude the arrogant aura. I think Matt did a good job portraying this character, convincing us Kong Sir was very well on his way to the psychopath route–without any help from anyone either.
  • Kenny Wong as Eric. Ivan’s evil persona. Creepy all right. Kenny’s rather challenging role instead of some other typical boring ones? I don’t know. I finally was convinced of his acting in this one. And think that he’s capable of some other roles instead of the typical ones he’d been portraying for a while. It’s not like he’s new, but he has been passive for a while so I felt it was refreshing he’d taken on this role.
  • Rachel Kan as Michelle. Ivan’s lust and envy persona. Convincing. She made me despise her so bad at first when I didn’t realize she was just Ivan’s personality.
  • Steven Ho as Martin. Ivan’s wrath and violence persona. He seriously was perfect with the rest of the crazy team.
  • Glen Lee as Edwin. Ivan’s pride and cunning persona. YUP, ever so convincing. With the additional makeup, it really aided his cause. And also how his eyes were always wandering that made me think he was always up to something. Cunning indeed.
  • Dia Yiu Ming as Henry. Ivan’s conscience. The voice that got snubbed out throughout the story and eventually disappeared since Ivan was already way past reasoning. (And I so don’t blame Ivan.) I guess Henry was one of the reasons why Ivan still kept it underwraps at times with his persuasion–even if his voice was practically blocked out by the other personalities.
  • Tsui Wing as the psycho-killer who chopped off people’s hands at the beginning. Seriously, he was crazy all right. But TW was convincing in that area.

Couples:

  • Adam and Rebecca. Though I got it but somehow I didn’t buy it.
  • Yu Yang and Rebecca. I felt like she, along with their son were one happy family all right. They complimented each other quite well with him being the comedic one to calm her down while she was the serious one.
  • Moses and Maggie. A touching story. Cheating aside (though trust me, I don’t like those situations), I loved them together. It was so sad and tragic that no word could describe it completely. Yet their goodbye scene before she turned herself in said it all. Regardless of the things he went and did behind her back, he was firm on not letting her go, i.e. not allowing his other personalities to drop her (even after he got famous).
  • Adam and Maggie. ODD TO DEATH. I understand the purpose of the plot, but I just didn’t buy it. Even from Kan’s side, I couldn’t feel that he cared for her. Sure, he was sad and frustrated when she died, but I felt that wasn’t love. Maybe it was more like he blamed himself for her death. (And he probably did but it wasn’t love.)

Themes/Elements:

  • Multiple personality disorder aka dissociative identity disorder. The Jekyll Bar was the obvious sign of Ivan having muti-personality problem (.i.e. hinting at Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde). This is one of the most popular theme used in any type of movies/tv series. TVB also love to use this one because it’s the most intriguing one. However, they often have like two sides fighting with one another, etc. This time, however, the creators of the show went all out with letting Moses’ character, Ivan, have five other personalities inside him. It was actually more realistic, considering what types of traumas Ivan went through since his childhood. I also liked it that they focused on the physiological side rather than just “capturing the bad guy”. They went to the core of the problems and acknowledged his internal conflicts more, what he was struggling through. AND that they looked beyond the whole “killer monster” thing. It doesn’t matter if some viewers might not get it. I was glad they went ahead and kept things consistent throughout.
  • Stage Plays. I might not remember all the literary materials I read in school, but I felt it was clever to incorporate that into the whole plot. It somehow did the talking for the incidents happening around their lives. Like it was correlating itself with the current situations they had to deal with. (It reminded me how the whole radio segments were the narratives for the incidents in When Heaven Burns versus stage plays for this one.)
  • Sand Paintings. I might not like all the quotes in here, but I found it fascinating with the art. I like the symbolism that was incorporated into the paintings. And it was a refreshing theme in a sense. At least something that haven’t been overdone just yet.

Controversies/Rants/Whatever:

  • The name “Ivan” and some comparison going on on Weibo (and possibly other websites). I saw some really arrogant comments regarding this AND couldn’t let it pass. Really people? Picking on someone’s name? Or saying that you only remember so and so? Okay, so I get it that people could only remember so much after watching so many series, etc. But to imply you only remember that particular one AND not care for others, go ahead and say it out. Stop hiding behind phrases and trying to dodge when time comes to clarify stuffs. So you thought a certain character was more memorable than others OR something. (I’m guessing since I’m not going to get all arrogant to say I’m right.) YET to play that little ‘game’ regarding names is funny. (There are a lot of common names in this world, do you want to go there? Implying that only a certain person matter? Just because someone was named – or had chosen – that particular name too makes them less significant?)
  • Too dark/morbid. Hello? If you didn’t want to be spoiled by the plot summary or whatever, at least watch the theme video first OR see the poster or something. It’s going to be morbid.
  • Too complicated for housewives to understand. Even if TVB had aimed to zoom in on housewives as the majority of the audience, the rest of us out there might want to watch too. AND that’s plain generalizing. Just because they’re now housewives DO NOT mean they could be stomped on and insulted like that. Sure, some might not get the complexity of the artistic view OR some other elements incorporated into the drama itself, but some of the situations occurred in there, they might have more contact with than those so-called ‘educated’ one. (I’m talking about people dealing with emotional conflicts and how losing a loved one OR having to protect someone might land them into such sticky situations.)

The ending? Did Kan Siu Nam died? Don’t you love open endings? (YUP, we’ve all been there, hate it. Yet I didn’t mind this time.) It leaves lots of rooms for questions. So here’s my interpretation. I think he did die. Because there was only 10 more seconds when Natalie stepped out of the tent and yelled for the others to stop the crank and let him go, etc. YET her voice was muffled by the crowd. Then it zoomed to Angela waking up and trying to look for him. The next part was him in his dream place playing with his daughter for the last time YET they didn’t complete the game. By the time it got to the dream he must have lost consciousness already hence being able to enter the dream realm. After he hugged his daughter, we see that she was finally gone yet he was the one holding the seeds in his hands. He was finally released from his own illusion of his daughter. I don’t think he could ever let go of his daughter unless he ends up dying. Like it was the final release. Because even when he had become Ivan completely (or so he thought), he kept repeating the fact like he wasn’t Kan Siu Nam because Kan Siu Nam was so pitiful and that Ivan was the one having a sister, etc. SO he rather lied to himself and live that lie than face the truth after that one last blow of thinking he found his daughter and losing her all over again. His psychological state was already going into the irreversible stage with him taking on Ivan’s role so convincingly hence when he finally found out the whole ‘daughter’ thing was just a lie, his emotional state collapsed at the same time. The whole going back and forth to reassure himself was already ‘screaming’ so loudly that he knew deep down he wasn’t Ivan YET he rather lived with still some hope of having a sister and his life starting anew rather than nothing at all. And what about the ending scene where they show backstage around his work area where the scripts were pinned here and there and scattered everywhere. The voices reading the dialogues? That sort of was a memorial scene for an once famous stage performer. Or it seemed so to me.
Recommended? If you like literature, morbid stuffs, psychological stuffs, AND are super patient, go for it. BUT if you rather go for a comedy and don’t want to think too much after a long day at school or work, DON’T BOTHER. It’s that complicated. I don’t want to insult anyone, but it’s a lot because of how it was crafted–like I mentioned earlier with the pieces of puzzles and all. It would drain you down with so much conflicts going on throughout after layers and layers of deception and confusion were tossed into place.
*NOTE*: I’m shutting down comments for this particular post because I had it with some of the hate rant regarding some cast members. AND possibly the plot. I get that this might not be everyone’s taste, but purposely dragging it down because of some aspects not related to the series itself IS LAME. I don’t have the energy to argue with anyone or try to prove my point anymore. AND I think I rather focus on bringing the positive side of this blog back to where it belonged–like how I first started it.

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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.

Be Home For Dinner

One of the worst sitcoms ever made. Or should I say it is the worst? I had high hopes for this one, partially because I thought the cast would be smarter than to involve themselves in this. But why should I expect more when creativity just couldn’t win in this time and day–and not to mention at TVB. Then the whole thing with everyone making a living and needed the money so they wouldn’t be fussy about it, right? Though I had lowered my standard of the overall the sitcom since it would be long anyway. Something would get lost–one way or another. Yet I couldn’t forgive the creators of this sitcom for putting in so much lame morality. I’ll elaborate later. But what I would like to point the finger toward right now is the story–at least the general story–was so creepily like When Dolphin Met Cat. Though I started watching When Dolphin Met Cat somewhere along the way of waiting for more episodes of this sitcom YET I could see already the creepy likeness of it. I had finished When Dolphin Met Cat like way before I finished this because let’s see 14 episodes (about an hour each episode) was much faster and easier to take than 100 and something. For one thing, When Dolphin Met Cat was made more than six years ago so that ruled out the whole finger-pointing at the drama for copying. I’m NOT implying that this one’s copying since I have no proofs. Yet it’s just so creepy that there were so many details alike. After finishing the other one, I decided to wait on the review so I could add more similarities before posting it. But I will post the other review in the future with a section of similarities for everyone to read also. However, I must say that When Dolphin Met Cat had a better ending though it had many frustrating plot elements as well. Why? It didn’t force the whole ‘family getting along’ like this one tried to so hard.

The Main Cast (sorry, going to use Mandarin pinyin though it’s a Canto production):

  • Elliot Yue as Zhong Guo Zhu (鍾國柱). His intro scene was very cool with how he was setting up the trap with sending in Tian Kai and Ou Gao Rong to test the food at the restaurant before actually emerging himself, exposing the others in the end. Then there was some foundation–though he wasn’t perfect. It was all right with me that he was a bit paranoid and crazy like the rest of his family. He had some sense of arrogance, which was expected of such a famous editor like him having a reputation, or as they called it ‘having an important footprint in jianghu’. (Can’t translate it accurately but basically it represents his importance.) But all that was lost until near the end when Jessie reemerged, making his character dumb as well for falling for such tricks.
  • Helen Ma as Dou Gui Sen (竇桂森). A kind and innocent elder of the Zhong family. She sure qualified for the naive character in here. I think of all the characters in here, I would understand if she falls for Jessie’s tricks BUT the others? Unacceptable. Perhaps because she has this kind nature that was hard to hate.
  • Stephen Au as Zhong Guo Dong (鍾國棟). Mixed feelings. I really liked his character at first until how he kept pushing Bei Er into mending things with her mother and sister. Then how he handled the whole Jessie thing. SO he wasn’t bright in that area YET the others made him dumber AND then when he found out, he still went through with it? Overall, not bad YET the plot ruined his character.
  • Kristal Tin as Carmen Cen Bei Er (岑貝兒). I always thought she was quite bright and reasonable. Not to mention graceful as well. Yet all that was lost near the end. What a shame. I felt really bad for her with being cornered by others and how they were putting the blame on her, making her cave in. YET I sometimes felt it was deserved, especially near the end when she didn’t fight back hard enough.
  • Yvonne Lam as Mary Suen/Sun (孫瑪利). The best character in here. I swear. It has been a long time since Yvonne Lam was given a great role. I liked it that she had been given a variety of roles over the years YET I wonder when she would receive a role worth mentioning again. Her performance had always been wonderful but this one was one of those roles that really made her shine above all characters. I really loved her witty humor and blunt personality. She was not fake at all. The fact that she was making snark remarks regarding Jessie’s wedding was funny and made her the smartest in here. I loved how she didn’t just force herself to go along with the others during that time. Sure, she would support her family when the situation presented itself. Yet that wedding was too much of a joke for her hence her making a joke out of it (which was what it was really). Can’t say enough about her character. Absolutely lovable.
  • Law Lok Lam as Mr. Ko/Kao. Awhile now that I saw him in a role worth mentioning because at times he would appear but just briefly or so. NOT sure if it was because I couldn’t catch the right one where he appeared more than a few episodes. Yet I remember the last one worth mentioning was for The Brink of Law and interestingly, he portrayed Elliot Yue’s brother (who was later killed by Elliot Yue). Great performance as always, so funny with the comedy yet his serious moments were worth mentioning as well.
  • Jason Chan as Sam Zhong Si Han (鍾思翰). Somewhat spoiled at times. Yet he had a good heart overall. He was quite determined and somewhat stubborn like his father. Acting? Can’t say much at this point except he was great eye candy. But then again, it was not like he exaggerated to the point of intolerable since his emotions were seen through his eyes. He needs to take on more challenging role (well, if he’s allowed) to see what else he could do with. Hopefully, we would get to see it.
  • Lily Ho as Qi Qi (琪琪). It was a bit odd to have her introduced so far into the story yet I guess that left something new for the audience to discover. Not too bad with her being so graceful and knowledgeable about various things. I thought Lily had improved with some of her past performances, especially how she had to carry such a role. Not the best but was still convincing enough.
  • Matt Yeung as Tian Kai (田凱). Matt finally made his way up again. Because I could remember the days when he was in The W Files playing a major role. I haven’t really watched him in recent years OR watched enough TVB series to know. Yet this could be an important role again. I had mixed feelings toward him one time or another. Mostly because of the plot that impacted the character. Yet I must admit he was a good friend to most people in here.
  • Katy Kung as Zhong Si Ya (鍾思雅). I don’t know. I wasn’t into her character at first after the whole incident with messing with Sam’s laptop and destroying valuable information. At least almost. Yet later on, her character somewhat grew on me when she finally grew up and was serious about work.
  • Raymond Chiu as Ou Gao Rong (歐高榮). Very clever. He talked less and did more, making him so mysterious yet cool at the same time. So Raymond doesn’t have the look yet he’s very charming and witty in his own way, making his character very convincing. I liked how he was always doing things silently and never took credit for his work. He was not arrogant either and not abusing his power like that one time when the others thought he was Mr. Ko’s son. Probably because of that hence Mr. Ko trusting him to do so much.
  • Oceane Zhu as Susan. I thought she was quite clumsy and somewhat fussy at the beginning. Yet I found her quite lovable later. Though she seemed weak on the outside but was quite strong inside. Like how she found out her boyfriend was cheating on her but kept her head high and continued on, not coming back to him after he begged. Also, she was very considerate of others though she could be so girly at times too. A different role for Oceane comparing to her role in Twilight Investigation yet her performance didn’t disappoint at all.
  • Queenie Chu as Qing Qing (菁菁). At first, I found her character so cool and multi-dimensional but due to the plot that had dragged some of the characters down as well, she sunk along with the others, coming out quite disappointing as well. I rather they brought back more of the Lolita persona to make her expose Jessie and more than have her NOT speak up at all–just like some others. I liked how she was yelling at Li Chun that one time at the restaurant. Why not use it later on too? But then again, the script sucks so it didn’t matter if she wanted to or not, she couldn’t control it. It was too unreasonable that she became quiet and somewhat a doormat again later on. Didn’t make sense. Yet it didn’t mean I disliked Queenie. Still convincing.
  • Celine Ma as Bai Mei Gui/ Rose. Never doubt her in the acting department. She made it quite convincing with her performance throughout. How she was so fierce and somewhat of a hateful person to a more likable one near the end. Though her straightforward personality still stood tall until the end, which made her different from some others, she became more tolerable as in her habits and how she treated others. She had always taken care of people around her yet she had tuned down on some bad habits. I liked how she was the other wise voice in the whole Jessie thing since she hated that too and didn’t even have a hand in it, even encouraging the cancellation of the wedding. It wasn’t like she was evil YET she just hated fake people.
  • Glen Lee as He Jia Ming (何家明). Odd and silly at times yet found his story touching with how he set up that one skit with the others to make his ‘Uncle’ proud.
  • Becky Lee as Cen Hai Er (岑海兒) aka Tang Jing Jing (唐晶晶). Mixed feelings. I didn’t really think much of her at the beginning but soon got used to her. Then the plot ruined it by making her sounding so unreasonable and inconsiderate with pushing Bei Er as well. YET I rather they focused on her bonds with the others at the newspaper place. Because I quite enjoyed her scenes with others at various points, especially the part where she tried to help Jia Ming with the whole meeting his ‘Uncle’.

Others:

  • Geoffrey Wong as Brian. It was a shame that he was the scapegoat for some other cause. I quite liked him and wonder if he would get any other serious role in the future aside from these comedic ones. Not that I don’t enjoy it but feel it’s a waste. Is this the price of leaving ATV? Like ATV was doing anything at that time but still. A shame.
  • Steven Ho as Liu Li Chun (劉立春). I really hated him at first for cheating and ruining his future like that. Yet I found him the wisest–among all those that were cheated and hurt by Jessie–later on. Because he was the one who asked the whole question about whether it was worth it to keep it from Guo Dong and all. I knew it wasn’t just some side jealous rant then because honestly, he had gotten over it and he was convincing in that area.
  • Griselda Yeung as Jessie and Rachel. I must say that it was quite convincing with her playing both roles of Jessie and Rachel since I had a feeling they were different characters. And sometimes I even wanted to side with her character, Jessie, more than the main people because they were seriously dumb enough to fall for it OR not even expose her so why not, right?
  • Mannor Chan as Ann. I found her somewhat despicable. I don’t know why she would still have face to ask Bei Er for favors later. OR even talk and chat like normal with Bei Er. So she admitted she spoiled Jessie hence the consequences now. YET she kept doing it and acted like everything was normal later, which was even more unacceptable. But I guess some people are just too forgiving OR WAY TOO NAIVE so she was able to pull it off as well as her daughter in playing the pitiful card.

Favorite Characters?

  • Mary Suen/Sun. I said it in the other section already and I will say it again, the only intelligent person throughout regardless of the obstacle. Very brave, blunt, and witty in many senses. Quite graceful as well. Never cease to surprise me with her jokes. Yet she always meant well. But she was never fake at all.
  • Bai Mei Gui/Rose. Another favorite character because of her straightforward personality and somewhat intelligent and witty nature. I guess for her case, it would be called cunning more than intelligence YET I felt she was a lot smarter than some characters in here so I clap her on. Except for that one time when she was trying to pull Bei Er and her family together too BUT I sort of forgive her for that because the positive just won over the annoyance.
  • Mr. Ko. YES, hilarious at times yet he was quite clever also. Well, if he didn’t let his emotions get in the way. I also found it funny that he and Ou Gao Rong were in it together that one time, not clarifying about their father and son status. Priceless actually. Another funny moment was how he was doing all the chores for the Zhong family and acting like one of their members, LOL!
  • Ou Gao Rong. An intelligent person and quite capable hence the trust and many assignments bestowed on his shoulders. Already said most of the things I want to say so don’t want to be that repetitive.
  • Susan. Need I say more? No. I sort of forgive her participation in the whole wedding because honestly, she just wanted to participate in the fun and didn’t know about the whole conspiracy–unlike some people who had all the pieces of the puzzle but clammed up.

Sadly as it was, I narrowed it down to only these choices. Why? It seemed like the majority had disappointed me immensely with their stupidity at one point or another. NOT that I want them to be perfect. Yet the scriptwriters ruined it by making a lot of things so complicated when it was just plain common sense. NOT to mention how half of them were like drinking some kind of stupid potion throughout or something. Like they were too eager to torture themselves that sometimes I just want to side with the villain just for kicks.

Pairings:

  • Elliot Yue and Helen Ma. Odd couple, considering their characters. Yet I found it touching at various points to learn how they met and fallen in love. Not too mushy yet could be a guide for their children to understand the story behind their past and respect them more as a couple.
  • Kristal Tin and Stephen Au. I was so rooting for them but halfway through, I got turned off. Mostly because the plot had ruined their foundation. Whenever they were together later on, I really liked it, but I can’t stop thinking about the stupid details that went along with that. Too bad.
  • Kristal Tin and Geoffrey Wong. Another collaboration as a couple. I really, really like them as a pairing since watching No. 8 Bus and TVB had really used that to their advantage each time trying to find some pairing with Kristal. YET too bad he always get the toss aside in here.
  • Law Lok Lam and Yvonne Lam. Man, the hilarious older couple in here. I really loved how their story started and developed in the later parts of the story. Many hilarious twists and turns as well as when the serious issues were addressed to test their relationship. It wasn’t just about love but respect. YET I was super convinced of their odd chemistry, not just because of the plot.
  • Jason Chan and Lily Ho. Was this a resurrection since their collaboration in Pages of Treasures? I must admit it was all right in the other one though I do not remember much anymore. Had mixed feelings with that series so I tend to tune the rest of the stuff out at times. But not bad since it was kind of cute with them and somehow, I liked how their relationship matured over time. Then there was the whole idea of her being all talented and graceful. Call me a sucker for it but yeah, I don’t mind their pairing.
  • Matt Yeung and Katy Kung. I was so glad that they paired up instead of Tian Kai ending up with Jing Jing. I don’t know. It made it somewhat cute that he was with his ‘xiao shi mei’ AND that it was fun watching them bicker and then working together at times.
  • Glen Lee and Becky Lee. Strange pairing but whatever works. I guess they had to gift-wrap everything hence letting them end up together as well. Not to mention how they had a good musical background and would be suitable, etc.
  • Raymond Chiu and Oceane Zhu. They were so cute together. I loved how they were friends at first and then developing into a romance. A typical cute love story. YET I didn’t mind because it fitted with her bubbly, sucker for romance character and his somewhat prince in shining armor one (even if he was just an average guy to some people). I also liked how their characters eventually got married in the end and shared the happiness with the rest of the characters, not just forgotten like that. (Or I would rant even more. NOT kidding here.)
  • Tsui Wing and Celine Ma. So unexpected since I thought Rose would end up alone in the end. YET that was so cute and funny in a sense. I guess her good heart paid off since she was able to marry a person she often dreamt of, having wealth and all. And I swear it was so deserving because she was kind enough to hang out with the kid and helped the kid, etc.

What was disappointing? Heaps actually, but to break it down, here goes:

  • The family conflict with Bei Er, Hei Er, and whatsoever. I don’t know who was right or wrong YET they had implied and stressed and even wanted to shove it in our faces with the importance of family–regardless of the details throughout. I seriously was sickened by the fact that they (the scriptwriters) paved it so lamely. I got so confused with all the recounts from different characters that I eventually gave up altogether on it. However, it never made sense how they put the blame on Bei Er’s father. I swear, it was so weak, considering how the mother left with Hai Er already. I meant okay, she explained that she knew the father loved Bei Er more hence taking the risk. YET it didn’t make sense because of possibly the fact that we were so used to the flashbacks of how Bei Er’s father was so sincere and nice and kind. OR it was her point of view. YET I just didn’t trust the other two, mostly because their portrayals were too poor or too fake OR something. At least at that point. I just wasn’t convinced. Then came that whole idea with how everyone was shoving and pushing for Bei Er to accept her mother when she had to overcome so much of finally realizing that Jing Jing was actually Hai Er and more. They were pushing her too much that I felt it was too sickening. AND I didn’t see the logic of just because “family is important” that they should push her. She needed space and time. Even if she remembered later and came to peace with her past, but I wasn’t convinced either. Considering how the others kept blaming Bei Er IF she chose to ignore them. They kept scolding her for being cold-blooded, etc BUT who the hell abandon her ages ago? How could she accept them in two shakes? Who’s the cold-blooded one now? I couldn’t help but associate this to Pages of Treasures in relation to Abbie (aka Shirley Yeung’s character in there). What the heck was that? I just couldn’t accept their twisted morality of forcing others to accept and admit when it was so weak with the setup of the plot. Then there were the whole recounts with blaming on the ‘China Town’ in the other country being close-minded and not understanding the situation with the Cen family. How lame was that? I don’t know. But it made me feel more suspicious than ever.
  • The love-hate thing and whatever else with Zhong Guo Dong and his ex-wife and the people involved. The other thing that made me want to throw things at people in here. I knew by the time that no one was saying anything that it would be up to Jessie to leave before anyone else made a move. Seriously. That was soooo bad AND stupid of everyone to think they should just hold it in. After all, Guo Dong was right that his only true friend was Mei Gui. Though afterward, he still chose to marry Jessie, which was LAME. So messed up YET Jessie wasn’t exposed properly that made me even more pissed. She was so scheming and manipulative yet the others tolerated her? It was like they thought it was okay that Guo Dong lived with such a psycho? SO fake. Seriously, in real life, IF you find out someone had harmed your family member in the past and was back to do it again, would you let them? Regardless of the reason, you would be more than protective. It doesn’t matter with past guilt OR not. You start putting up some radar–even IF you want it to work. What was even more despicable was how dumb Bei Er and Qing Qing were for not saying anything because they were the ones having pieces of the puzzles. I think after all that was done–wrong or what, Li Chun was smarter than the rest of them since he was asking Bei Er that one time at a cafe place about how they were letting Jessie return to Guo Dong’s side AND how if Guo Dong hadn’t been so successful now, would she jump in with him again? It wasn’t like she wasn’t rich herself. But it was like it was something for her to grip on, like seeking a perfect or successful person versus a loser such as Li Chun now (or so people would dub him as). Talking about Li Chun, that was the other frustrating thing about not exposing everything since Jessie manipulated the details, making it like she’d mistaken Li Chun for Guo Dong one time BUT it didn’t seem so with Li Chun’s recounts and some details here and there. HELLO, sometimes I just want to side with Jessie altogether and let her bring the rest of them down since they were so dumb.
  • How stupid people were. This could be combined with both of the choices above YET I want to emphasize even more. Anyone have common sense? I don’t believe in real life people would still react that way. Like loving to be someone else’s puppet and torturing themselves and others around them like that. It was like I rather side with the villain than them at times, especially the Zhong family and eventually Carmen as well as some others at the cooking classes/dessert shop.

What needed to be focused on more?

  • The main theme. YES, they still talked about food and all. YET somehow it got lost along the way. Though it resurfaced again through different stories but I felt it wasn’t developed enough.
  • The newspaper people. I rather they expand more funny stories or random ones so we could understand some of the employees there more than so much on family or love dramas of the Chung/Zhong family. Sure, they were the focus of the sitcom YET it was too lame when they were too focused on with trying to resolve some matters. I rather the scriptwriters went toward the random/nonsense route than attempt to teach us a bunch of twisted morality stuff.

Recommended? If you want to waste your time, go ahead. If you like their twisted morality story, go ahead as well. NOT that I disagree with the essence of it, but I hate how they approached it. Why in the world did I watch it and even continued if I thought it was so terrible? Typical me wanting to see if it would improve. Then there was the whole ‘good foundation’ at the beginning with some witty exchanges here and there. But I was wrong and it didn’t improve at all–despite the fact that some side stories were worth watching more than the ones involving some major characters. Then there was the whole thing about curiosity like I said before, wanting to see what else was similar to When Dolphin Met Cat and all.

Pages of Treasures

Okay, so finally finished watching this one after putting it off for a bit. Strange that they should try to pull the “triangle” thing like toward the very end of the series. There have been hints here and there with Alex and Hillary, but to start some mess toward the end is just pointless. It doesn’t prove anything at all. (I still see the chemistry between Alex and Hillary more than Alex with Abbie. Both appearances and personalities. Maybe because Eric seems very uncomfortable around Shirley although he’s trying hard to make it natural and it seems like his character, Alex, really loves her character, Abbie. We can see that through various gestures and things he did for her, but there’s something missing. Still too awkward if anything. For once, I would like to see the second leading guy ending up with someone else instead of the second leading girl. It’s just too typical that it’s not even interesting to watch or anticipate anything more. IF they had put at the beginning that he met both girls at the same time and somehow like both girls, having to choose–it would’ve been better and fairer for Hillary. That’s another typical plot but still better to see than the pointless scenes of meeting Hillary and having her play the bad person.) I think that they’re focusing too much on the whole Abbie, Alex, and Hillary triangle that they seem to stray from the story as an overall. I would like to see more of Wayne and Sonija scenes as Ming and Chung. It’s like although they appear a lot too, I feel they’ve been robbed as of their time spent together. It’s like the script just barely squeezes in their shared screen time or something. I love to watch Eric, but I feel that Wayne is once again robbed even if this is supposed to be his first leading role.

Aside from that frustration rant, ‘Like’ factors are:

  • The bond of the Fong family. Even if the mother seems unreasonable at times and is too pushy with making the whole family stay together, but everyone has a great bond overall. They are supportive of each other, especially the father toward them.
  • The chemistry between Wayne and Sonija as Ming and Chung. They’re just too funny together and their interactions are just too much to watch. It’s one of the most joyous moments of the series itself. Yes, there was the whole misunderstanding thing at the beginning of the series, but that was resolved quickly. They’ve become friends and the constant bickering and the support for each other is just great also.
  • The message of the importance of knowledge. The most disappointing factor is that it got lost among all of the other themes in here. But was brought back into focus with the last few episodes. Still, it does no justice.
  • Paul Chun and Mary Hon as husband and wife. I find it very refreshing that for once, Paul’s not portraying a man who takes care of his own kids by himself. It’s great to see the interaction between this old couple. Yes, Mary’s character is annoying at times but it really complements with Paul’s character who’s passionate about books and his calm side makes up for her stubbornness at times (and vice versa, depending on situations).
  • Stephen Huynh and Sharon Chan as a couple. It’s just hilarious how they got together and thus leading to Pansy getting the treatment she has always wished for (i.e. her scar).
  • Eric Suen and Vivien Yeo as a couple. Yes, I have to put them in even if I hate the triangle. I love their chemistry together. Even if they meant the characters to have so many flaws, but I like them together. Eric is so comfortable with Vivien that makes it better to watch them versus when he’s trying too hard to act lovey-dovey with Shirley.

Things that they should have focused on instead of the triangle:

  • More on the importance of reading and enhancing your knowledge and less on the romance (especially Alex’s side). I really like it that they emphasize this strongly and remind us not to abandon books over technology. However, it lost its purpose and message after developing too much into the romance department. We’ve seen the importance of the books through the father and how the bookstore was opened. But it seems to only exist so they could come in and chat or socialize instead of focusing on books as a major theme.
  • Sharon Chan as Pansy. I would rather they give Sharon’s character, Pansy, more background and develop her character more. She has some good in her but because she’s so aggressive to drive for her career and the fact that she has a scar that caused her to resort to selfish means thus looking out for herself only. However, I rather see how she learns to appreciate Chung slowly and let things continue to improve between them slowly than see that it gets squeezed in the last few episodes. Probably they don’t want to tone down her lively personality by making her too virtuous but squeezing in some last minute stuff isn’t all that believable either. However, Sharon’s acting is so charming and funny that it’s hard to hate Pansy. And maybe because there are fewer scenes of her so it’s hard to hate her.

Since I complained so much about the Abbie, Alex, and Hillary triangle, I guess I have to break it down and analyze further to explain why I actually dislike this triangle so much.

First off, Alex’s character:

  • Filial son and a good brother (to both siblings). In short, he’s a family man and always tries his best to provide for his family and gets along with everyone all around. He really wants his family to be happy so he will try to do anything to make it work with everyone’s expectations. There are conflicts at times between him and other family members, but they do calm down and try to understand in order to make it work.
  • Intelligent. It can’t be denied that he’s a very intelligent person–mostly because of his educational background.
  • Tech-freak. Yes, it’s his passion and his career. It’s noticeable how important it is to let him see the knowledge in the books versus his over obsessiveness with the tech-world.
  • The too perfect exterior. We see too much of him being the filial son and the caring brother, plus not to mention the considerate boyfriend with the whole “chat” at the beginning of the series. It paves out a great image for him, which is more ironic to see so many holes in the relationship with him and Abbie yet it still worked in the end because TVB said so.

Second, Abbie’s character:

  • Career woman. She’s a career woman not because she chooses to be that way but because she has no other choice than to be one since she doesn’t have any family left (except for her nephew).
  • Pessimist. This can’t be helped since considering how her past was with an abusive father and how her mother ran out like a coward to leave her in such a mess. So this is a great setup because the pitiful characters usually get more sympathy.
  • Intelligent. It sets out a great foundation for her with her reading knowledge and how well she gets along with Alex’s father. There goes her bonus point again.

Third, Hillary’s character:

  • Filial daughter. Whether the mother deserves it or not, but must admit that Hillary is a very good daughter. She cares for her mother a lot and shows it through various actions. Their mother-daughter relationship is really good. However, it reeks of irony no matter how you look at it. It seems like the mother’s trying to make up for her past wrong with putting so much love toward Hillary. It makes it sickening sometimes too that she thinks she could be forgiven. This also sets up a death-trap for Hillary since she automatically gets blamed because she gets all the love and attention thus she’s wrong. (Oh puh-lease, could the scriptwriter grow up for two seconds?) I feel even more pity for Hillary since she didn’t do anything wrong (just because she’s the one living by the mother’s side at that point). Hillary’s a good daughter that’s why she feels the need to defend her mother and try to understand her, but it doesn’t make her the shameless sister. (So why did they put in the typical boyfriend snatcher thing for her? To make her character more hated by others?)
  • Career woman. She’s dedicated to her work and welcomes new challenges. She’s also professional toward her work even if there are conflicts among her and other colleagues. It shows that during her intro scene and various scenes later into the series.
  • Romantic. She’s probably a hopeless romantic at times thus leading to her easily getting deceived by that one dude at the beginning of the series.
  • Not the wisest. The scriptwriter sets her out for destruction and probably a guaranteed way of getting the viewers to hate her by showing us how she was involved with a married man at the beginning. However, she does learn her lesson and decides to not be a third person in relationships anymore. It does show promise in her character but the good image has already been ruined since we would always remember her as the girl who once tried to ruin someone’s marriage. (Yes, stupidity even if she does learn to smart up a bit.)
  • Wishy-washy. She tends to get easily persuaded sometimes and doesn’t have enough self-control. Why does she have to go after the guy her sister dumped? It’s lame. Yes, he’s a potential candidate or good one, but come on now! WHY in the world did she look so happy when she hears that they’ve broken up? What was that?! Ugh! (I call it the scriptwriter’s conspiracy to bring her character down with this thing and score more points toward Abbie.) Yes, she gives up in the end because she knows how much Alex cares for Abbie.

The result? A mess. Definitely. From various points, Alex and Hillary match more in that they have this undeniable tacit understanding. However, if people want to argue that opposite attracts, it’s fine too. I think because of TVB’s attempt to give more advantages to Abbie’s character that it ruins the whole thing. It turns out making Alex the bad guy and the whole triangle just crumbles down to a bunch of nonsense.

Alex and Abbie as a couple:

  • Cute. Cute is actually a nice word for childish. Honestly, yes, the cute message is spread all over their interactions and forces us into believing that they’re actually meant for each other, etc. It makes me want to roll my eyes every time I see their “cute” interactions. It’s trying too hard to show their bond. It’s too much on the surface that it becomes fake. It’s more convincing when they’re alone thinking of each other or doing things for each other–more him than her–that they really care for each other, but it’s just plain odd when they’re together. (Like I said before, lack of chemistry. And possibly because he has to jump through too many hoops for her that it’s too unconvincing. His fault for choosing it, but the script sucks big time in the convincing department with how much they love each other.)
  • History. So they have some history together. Does that mean definite success in the relationship? Yes, it helps a lot so that’s why TVB decided to pair them off from the beginning to secure Abbie’s place in Alex’s heart and us viewers have to believe that Hillary is actually the evil sister and a boyfriend snatcher. (Yes, I’m rolling my eyes again.)
  • Hot-headedness. Yes, they seem very cute together–when they get along. But when he disobeys her? There’s the whole tantrum unleashing and the only way he could calm her down is to give in to her ideas or reasoning. Not to mention that he would try to apply logic into the whole matter, which is even more frustrating. What’s with that trying to explain to her when he already made a mistake? It only adds oil to the fire.
  • No Trust. Okay, the beginning of the story makes Abbie the reasonable girlfriend who trusts Alex completely with Hillary so it automatically is his fault for lying to her. (Lying is never good but his reasons are valid because he cares for Abbie’s feelings.) She’s upset when she comes into his company that one time so his automatic reaction would be to not trouble her with such small things. (Since he doesn’t think of Hillary in that way, right?) It’s probably a wrong move to make up an excuse like that, etc but his intention was good. (I’m not encouraging for people to lie away, but in this case, I just want to clarify that part since he wasn’t even thinking of cheating on her or wasn’t even dating Hillary behind her back.) Lie number 2 (if counting by sequence, it’s actually #1) is about the song that he said is still unfinished. Whether or not he wants to conceal it as his and Hillary’s song or not is debatable. However, I think it could possibly be that he does want to create a different song just for Abbie without Hillary’s help–or anyone’s help for that matter, considering how much he loves Abbie and only wants what’s unique for her. Yes, he seems so into the song when he’s playing it with Hillary at the musical instruments shop, but it’s because of his passion for music and their common interest. (To Abbie, it must have been a heavy blow since she only sees it through her POV, but I just want to debate a little about it from a viewer’s POV.) She has every right to get mad and I couldn’t care less, but I thought just to be fair, she did lie to him about already finding her mother and what has been going through her mind. He’s too dumb sometimes regarding not taking enough hints, so it’s better off if she says it. (Considering how they dated for several years already, she would’ve known him better than react that way. Same goes for him just to be fair to both sides. He’s an idiot for not handling things better. Not wanting to trouble her with stuff is one thing, but hiding too much stuff will make her paranoid.) So the whole hiding thing just proves that there’s no trust or lack of trust in this relationship. It’s just a fake exterior the scriptwriters created at the beginning for both characters just to spice up the “cute” relationship. This leads me to the next point.
  • Fake Commitment. Another reason why this relationship doesn’t work is because of false promises from both sides. Yes, Abbie seems quite unreasonable at times and only Alex could tolerate her (until he couldn’t take it anymore), but he DID promise to stick it through with her and try to help her with erasing the past memories she had of her brutal childhood. What did he do? Yes, he tries to get her to see that it’s not all scary with family and bring her into his family so she would feel a sense of belonging. However, it’s like he’s trying to do this as fast as he could in trying to convince her to stay in Hong Kong so he could be with his family before the two-year agreement expires. (HUH?) I honestly want to hit Alex over the head with something. (So he could become dumber and it would make more sense than see him in such an intelligent suit and yet he fails to use common sense.)
  • Conclusion. They’re so not ready for a relationship–the way I see it. ‘Cause honestly he’s dedicated to his family more and she has too much past baggage in her to carry on such a relationship. She actually doesn’t need a boyfriend but more like someone to spoil her rotten and make up for what she lost in the past. (I do NOT blame her for what happened but that is what she had become.) Alex is not ready for it either since he keeps pressing her and persuading her to stay in Hong Kong and accept his family. However, he doesn’t realize that’s not the point about accepting his family. It’s about her family. He needs to focus on getting help for her–like getting her psychological help. (Cliche but better than what he’s doing since they jump into trying to get the mother psychological help asap when they found out what might have happened to her so why not apply that with Abbie as well in the beginning?) Like all his mantra about how good his family is could help her put it all behind her. It does help a bit but it just doesn’t erase her nightmares away right there and then. They’re just too wrong for each other because both want to be right. Yes, he does try hard to make it work and she probably did too but the approaches are so off that it makes me wonder about their intelligence, especially his since he’s a bright guy (or it’s what the script meant for his character to be) yet he can’t seem to do it the realistic way. He did persuade her to stay in Hong Kong so that means he’s willing to sacrifice. So although that little “ice cream” thing is somewhat cute when he has to sneak around and eat it, it’s irrelevant and immature that he would complain when he knew what he was getting himself into when he wanted to help Abbie. Why does everyone else have to pity him when he signed the contract already? It’s his choice. (I like Alex a lot, but I just don’t see the twisted reasoning behind it all. It’s not like she forced him, he agreed to it without giving it a second thought. He should blame himself.)
  • The reason why they actually end up together: Because character-wise, it has been built in by TVB to seal Abbie’s place with Alex from the start. Not considering how it would earn her mega brownie points with the whole taking the stab for Alex’s mother. I don’t hate them as a couple but I just thought the script was trying too hard to make it work.

Alex and Hillary as a couple:

  • Serious yet carefree. It makes it almost ironic that Alex and serious should be associated together, considering his childish moments at times. However, he’s very comfortable with Hillary when they’re together with how they operate–considering they have the same mentality–at work; and when they’re together as friends. It gives off a very comfortable image and how he would be so happy that he is able to eat ice cream or enjoy other things. Their topic of conversation touches on the serious side more frequent yet there are traces of a playful side as well. (This is possibly due to the fact that because they are friends that he doesn’t feel pressured or the need to impress her, but it just seems so lighthearted and refreshing at times when they’re together.)
  • Tacit understanding. They have this bond toward each other that sometimes things don’t need to be said or explained but they get it. It’s very genuine.
  • Chemistry. Yes, it sort of got covered in other categories already but just want to put it separately to emphasize my point. It’s also the reason why I don’t see that she’s a rebound. (They do care for each other, but it’s just that the script seems to convince us that he loves Abbie more.) He’s really considerate toward her with switching places with her during the employees meeting organized by their boss at the hotel conference room. He’s really happy eating ice cream with her when they’re finally dating and seems to be more comfortable. There are other gestures too so it makes me feel like he feels guilty toward Abbie near the end and sort of unwilling to part with Hillary than love for Abbie. It’s too strange. (Or it’s just Eric’s acting!)
  • Height. A bit irrelevant but this is brought up lots of time. They’re both 173 cm so they’re the same height. But it’s because she’s wearing high heels the majority of the time so it looks like she’s taller than him.
  • The reason why they’re not together: TVB said so. And also because how their characters are set like that. I know it’s supposed to set up the hospital breakup scene for Hillary to finally let go because she sees how much Alex cares for Abbie, but it’s just wrong and sad that the way Alex looks at her when she leaves. It’s like he doesn’t want it to end. (How could it be so ironic? Blame Eric for forgetting he should be caring 100% for Shirley’s character and not Vivien’s, lol. Or it could have been guilt that he has caused Hillary grief hence the look.)
  • And maybe I shouldn’t have watched the Break-up Agency mini movie between Eric and Vivien because I was really anticipating the new collaboration between Eric and Shirley before that.

If this was a Taiwanese idol drama, they would’ve already made it work for Alex and Hillary with finding someone who understands you more and fighting to stay together. (LOL) Too bad. And the most twisted thing is Alex doesn’t like Hillary in that way but because Abbie keeps rubbing the matter in his face that he realizes of Hillary’s existence. (I mean he has always treated her as a friend and even if they have this strong bond, he still thinks of it as the two of them having this shared interest, etc. It doesn’t mean anything to him–until Abbie brought it to his attention.)

With all that said, I think that Vivien must have offended TVB majorly to deserve such types of roles on her all the time. The most likable one must be from Forensic Heroes and that doesn’t count for anything either. (Into Thin Air was another likable role for her but still minimal significance.)

So with all those rants, who did I hate the most in the whole series? Abbie and Hillary’s mother of course. They make it like she had no other choice but to run off and abandon her daughter. She escaped, why not take her daughter too? It wasn’t like she didn’t have any time. Yes, she was afraid that she might not be able to provide for Abbie, but was leaving her with such an abusive father a better alternative? Abbie was given false hope when she received such a great day planned by her mother, but then it all came down to nothing. (It was almost as if because the mother wanted to follow someone else but was afraid he wouldn’t accept it that she has a daughter already so just abandoned Abbie just like that. NO EXCUSE. She made a poor choice by choosing an abusive husband–and it was not like she was supposed to be perfect–but come on now, she just fled responsibility and left her daughter behind to face her consequences?) She just has the nerve to look so pitiful. Yes, she probably couldn’t think straight or right at that point when she decided to leave. But she understood more than anything that she couldn’t stay so what made her think that her daughter–a 5-year-old–could bare so much? Apologizing doesn’t help. No matter how she loves Hillary or seems to think of Hillary as Abbie at times, it doesn’t help. (The reason why I’m saying that she’s using Hillary as a substitute for Abbie at times is because of past recounts of how she remembered back to when Hillary was lost and how desperate she reacted during those times, etc seem to be so similar to Abbie–like losing a daughter. There’s also points where she remembered back to the day she took Abbie out to the park, etc. It’s obvious she cares for Abbie a lot, but the script is just stupid to make such weak points for her reason to leave but NOT to take Abbie with her. Either she cares for Abbie or not. She was probably confused at that time, but she still remembered to care and treat Abbie well, so how could she just turn around and leave just like that without Abbie by her side?) The most frustrating part is Alex’s mother wanting Abbie to forgive her just because she wants to keep her son by her side. Yes, it’s hard not to want such a thing with family reuniting, but she’s too harsh on Abbie and doesn’t understand that Abbie also left everything behind in the U.S. for Alex. So why can’t he do the same? It’s only fair for her. But Alex’s mother doesn’t understand what Abbie’s going through and just wants to get her way. It doesn’t matter how many times she’s saying that Abbie is cold-blooded, it still doesn’t change anything with how Abbie’s mother is such an irresponsible fake person. (Alex’s father is more reasonable and understanding since he knows how sad it is to lose her mother at such a young age. Maybe it’s ’cause he has experienced so much more and read so many books? I’m not trying to discriminate against the mother but that’s what it seems to imply here. It seems that only the father is the bigger person to let Alex go back to the U.S. with Abbie. Yes, he will probably miss his son too but it’s not like they’ll never come back. And like he said, they’re always family no matter what. The plan doesn’t go through but at least it’s good to know that he has his father’s full support.)

I sound really ironic for not liking Abbie yet defending her at various times with her mother’s situation. But in truth, I like her character and pity for her, but I don’t like the unconvincing elements paved into the plot by the scriptwriters in trying too hard to convince us of certain matters. It’s just too weak. This is the reason leading to not really liking her character much in the end. When a plot is so weak, everything will just crumble away.

If you want to watch this for a family drama or a comedy, it’s all right. But it’s really not made out as what it’s supposed to be. Yes, love the Fong family (as said before) and their bond but other side things just distract the purpose of the series. Pages of Treasures–doesn’t it relate to the whole theme of the importance of reading and enhancing your knowledge? They stray from the main theme so much that the whole message got lost.

If you’re honestly a fan of Wayne, Sonija, or Eric–or just watching to see the Fong family, just use the remote and fast-forward all the scenes of the triangle and that’s good enough. The last few episodes are sort of intense and funny in a sense about the psycho woman too, but it just goes right back to wanting to give Abbie credit again that it gets a tad lame (and overly dramatic). Yes, it made Alex’s mother realize that Abbie’s a great girl after all but it’s kind of weak and somewhat unrealistic to see Abbie forgiving her mother. Yes, she’s probably tired of fighting over that just ’cause of what happened in the past. But it seems too quick considering her strong reaction before. It’s also probably because she had encountered a near-death experience but still rushed.

I thought the triangle in Life Art with Kevin, Gigi, and Queenie was weak but looking back, this one is weaker and it dares to occupy the majority of the series. (I finally understand why the triangle in Life Art was so weak because it was more on how Gigi’s character came into acceptance with her disabilities and how Kevin’s character learned to appreciate the simplicity of life surrounding him. So it would make sense that it focused less on the triangle, but this one? No excuse since they put it WAY in the back of the series and try to show us that Alex and Abbie are meant to be together. It just doesn’t slide.)

With all those talks about various characters, almost forget about acting, so here goes:

  • Wayne Lai: No doubt he’s good and could pull off his role extremely well, making us believe that’s who he is. He doesn’t disappoint at all with his first leading role.
  • Sonija Kwok: She’s really improving nowadays and shows her emotions better and it’s not overdone at all.
  • Paul Chun: Was there ever doubt since he started acting like ages ago? Well, maybe some people probably would doubt him, but I think he’s one of the veteran actors who could still pull it through flawless nowadays.
  • Mary Hon: No doubt either ’cause of different types of roles from before. This is somewhat similar to some other roles but still love her.
  • Eric Suen: The reason I put him behind the others is that I’m a bit disappointed since he seems to do better in certain types of roles versus others. He’s the reason I fail to be convinced with the whole Alex and Abbie relationship. But it’s also partially due to the weak script. Again, it’s likely due to the fact that he’s more comfortable with Vivien because of their past collaboration. However, he should take it up to the challenge in interacting with various actresses. He has great chemistry with his past co-stars so I’m not sure why it doesn’t work this time around. (Stress? LOL!) I think I’m being too harsh on him ’cause the failed chemistry between Alex and Abbie. So to say something positive, I think his overall acting is good because during his interaction with the whole family is very natural and great.
  • Shirley Yeung: Slightly disappointed because I was actually impressed by her performance in several series. It’s like there are still traces of her character from The Brink of Law left over and she couldn’t pull out of it hence the fake acting sometimes (’cause the whole pitiful look reminds me of that character too much). She needs to sharpen up a bit. I do understand the pain that her character’s going through but her acting doesn’t convince as much, making it so weak at times.
  • Vivien Yeo: She’s getting there because she managed to portray different sides of her character and how complex it is.
  • Sharon Chan: I can see that she’s able to pull off various roles more comfortably nowadays and that’s a good thing to see with variety but hope to not see her in such a role too often. Yes, in the end, it actually shows that she values her friendship with Chung a lot since she actually tried to expose Chung’s brother before it’s too late. But it still lacks something to help her character build a stronger foundation toward the end. It’s like it’s rushed and tossed in at the last minute so they can wrap up the series nicely.
  • Jason Chan: The potential actor of the series. He’s actually quite charming and his acting isn’t bad. Hopefully, he doesn’t slip and gets careless later on ’cause I’m looking forward to some of his upcoming series.
  • Lily Ho: Mixed feelings but her acting’s a bit weaker comparing the same group of newcomers. She does better in some scenes versus the others. Still, there’s room for improvements so don’t want to be too harsh on her.
  • Fred Cheng: He is robbed once again. I thought he was rising after the whole Love Bond, The Charm Beneath, and all those series that he played a major role in. Why is he sinking again to play such a role? I know this makes him more versatile by playing all types of characters, but this is getting repetitive with making him bad or unimportant all the time recently. Still seeing potential in him with how he looks so convincing with turning a new leaf at the end again.
  • Stephen Huynh: Funny, but charming at the same time! Can’t complain about him since I’ve seen him in various roles already. However, hope he gets some other different roles before his acting slips ’cause of boredom.

This is almost a good series if it wasn’t for TVB trying to be creative again. So this has gone down to average or below average by the end of the series with unnecessary plot developments.

Posted (on Xanga): February 14, 2009

Re-posted: Monday, March 22nd, 2010