Don’t Go Breaking My Heart

I couldn’t help myself since once again, courtesy of Netflix that I dived into this one.

This was one of the few times that I watched Gao Yuan Yaun since I wasn’t a major fan of her back in the days. It wasn’t her fault–as I later realized–because she was often cast in similar roles so I thought her acting was lacking. However, I felt that she did better in modern series and/or movies than in ancient settings. She was so lively and lovable that lit up the whole movie and set the stage for what was to come. So, we soon found out that her life was much more complicated than the early morning wakeup scene led on. However, her sorrowful days were short-lived–thanks to her encounter with Kevin and how they ended up changing each other’s life perspectives for the best. That also unleashed a chain of events as she became more confident with herself and took notice of her surroundings thus leading to her finally meeting Sean. Her world became quite chaotic and unpredictable as her fate was tied with Sean for the upcoming years. However, in some ways, she still retained her innocence and kindness. Sure, she could get so mad and became so scary at times, but overall, she was a gentle person. I felt Yuan Yuan brought out all those sides of Chi Yan really well. It was like walking into her world and going on a journey with her–whether through the goods or bads. It was somewhat addicting to watch in sense. Sometimes the plot was ridiculous–to say the least, but her character was never dull.

Despite reading a bit of spoiler–mostly how the second movie was perceived, I felt like I enjoyed the second movie more. Yes, I said it. The first movie was somewhat innocent and genuine–mostly because of Chi Yan’s personality and how she saw the world along with Kevin’s character. Yet I felt the second movie had its own charm. Although there was a lot of repetition of the first movie playing itself into the second movie, I felt it worked well with tying in with the first one because it reminded us of how such details in life could repeat or could also happen to someone else. For instance, Paul and Yeung Yeung having a pet octopus, Genie, like how Chi Yan and Kevin had Froggie. Interestingly, both pairings also failed in the end. The similarity with how Sean also filmed Yeung Yeung and tried to guess her song–but failed. Hilariously, his ring ended up being used by Paul to propose to Yeung Yeung later when he told her he had figured out the song she was singing already.

Daniel’s lack of appearance in the second movie angered many people–as I read various reviews. I totally understand that for loyal fans of the first movie–and also for his own fans as well. However, I felt the addition of Mariam and Vic–although sending the plot off the rails–made the movie tenfold more hilarious and also cranked up the hype. Daniel fans will probably kill me for it, but I felt the first movie was really bland at times with Daniel’s story. I guessed his character was supposed to be a counterbalance to Louis’ craziness, considering how they were from the opposite spectrum. However, I think I lost interest in his character around the time he became perfect when he met up with Chi Yan again. I didn’t want him to continue moping in sadness and drowning in his wine. Yet I felt his perfection was a turn off for me, feeling like his character just stepped out of an idol drama, too good to be true. Although it completely made sense with Chi Yan’s decision at the end of the first movie with her choosing Kevin, I felt they could have developed her story with Kevin a little more. It was like Johnnie To was already planning the second movie hence leaving it open or something. Because seriously, I saw it coming a mile that it wasn’t going to end well, especially how she looked back when she saw Sean on the way to the restaurant right before the proposal happened. There was still too much baggage and too many unresolved feelings. Not to mention how I was never completely sold on their pairing because of their lack of chemistry. They radiated off the “friends” vibe major time. Yes, they had some intense scenes and even shared a passionate kiss near the end of the first movie, but I didn’t feel anything at all. Hell, I felt Yuan Yuan had way better chemistry with Vic–who was supposed to be portraying her brother. Perhaps, that was why Vic was chosen and how it ended up being a misunderstanding for the majority of the parties thus leading to the big fight near the end of the second movie.

Once again, although having Mariam and Vic in the second movie sent the plot off the rails, it had somehow in its twisted way helped majorly with the main plot. It ripped right through the so-called normal lives of the others–or how Chi Yan had wanted to move on and was ready for the wedding ahead. What brought the second movie to a whole new level of craziness was the confrontation between Sean and Chi Yan and eventually leading to the big fight in Suzhou. I couldn’t even imagine what in the world the plot was going toward even. Everything was so chaotic, so random yet had to happen for things to finally resolve. In fact, the big fight wasn’t the highest level of craziness either. Because at least that fight was somewhat relating back to the fight between Sean and Kevin like the first movie. In actuality, the plot reached peak craziness around the time the wedding rolled around. Who could have guessed Sean would pull such a move? He scared half of the population present to death–while the other half just wanted to film it on their cameras to share it online (probably). What made it crazier yet hilarious was the part where Paul decided to spring a proposal and added to the already chaotic atmosphere after Kevin and Paul had succeeded in rescuing Sean from his crazy climb. I literally laughed out loud because I couldn’t believe it. We got to hear Vic sing “It’s Not That Simple” (沒那麼簡單) but that was seriously random. Also, Paul acted like it wasn’t a big deal after he got rejected and then even jumped into the pool to retrieve Yeung Yeung’s other shoe before heading to the elevator to send her off and even helped her put ’em back on again.

Many are probably thinking that I side with Louis’ character, Sean, hence downplaying Daniel’s character, Kevin. But honestly, I didn’t even like Sean at all throughout. Partially, it had to do with the plot. But overall, he was a let down throughout. Okay, saying “at all” might be a stretch. I actually quite liked his character as the movie started–as it was with Daniel’s character as well. I initially thought his character had more depth than that. Seeing how he saw her and wanted to cheer her up. I knew he had a crush on her at the beginning and was trying to get her attention. It was cute and all. But it went completely downhill as in he was dead to me right after he fell to temptation and slept with Angelina. He didn’t have to explain anything to her, seriously. She misunderstood. If he didn’t show up, it was obvious that she got the wrong idea. So if he wanted to be a gentleman and explain, fine, do it and leave. Yet it turned out, he was just using his weakness as an excuse. Whether his high testosterone issues were a real medical condition or not, it was never addressed throughout. So that led me to assume that it was just there to add to the humor, which wasn’t funny to me. It just degraded women or put the blame on them just because he couldn’t control himself. With Angelina, it could be said that she tried to seduce him but it was his choice to react or not. But the other women appearing throughout in there? It was hard to swallow with making it like it was partially their fault or something for dressing sexily. Then there was also the whole saying about there were two types of men, etc. Sean wasn’t the only one who said it but Joyce also said it later to Sean. I felt it was a slap in the face that it was a principle in general that they just accepted. So yeah, those two things combined made me despise Sean even more. Sure, it was his life, he could live it however he wanted. But I found it super hypocritical that he would get overly jealous–whether it was Chi Yan or Yeung Yeung–when they were spending time with another man. Then what bugged me more was seeing how his turnaround after his failed proposal to Chi Yan had led to his out of control womanizing schemes. It reminded me of the whole disaster with How I Met Your Mother steering Barney right back to his old habits just like that and dismissing his past growth completely. Anyway, contrary to the character, I felt Louis’ portrayal was very convincing.

In a way, to sum up Sean, Chi Yan, and Kevin’s relationships all around, Kevin was actually the one who brought Sean and Chi Yan together. If it wasn’t for Kevin, Chi Yan wouldn’t be able to change her outlook on life and gain her confidence again thus finally seeing Sean–who was trying to get her attention for so long. Their links were different on many levels but it wasn’t possible without one or the other being their course of actions had affected all one way or another. Again, I seriously felt Chi Yan was better off with Kevin like the first movie had ended, considering how it was ironic that she ended up with such a womanizer–and how she had detested what her ex-boyfriend did to her. But I guess the second movie wanted to take back Chi Yan’s safe choice and chose to let her end up with the one she actually loved–for better or for worse. It was just how Yeung Yeung said, telling her not to hide anymore.

Aside from that, I felt that it was such a shame that Paul and Yeung Yeung couldn’t end up together. It would be seriously chaotic if they did since Yeung Yeung and Sean would end up in the same family. Well, even more chaotic than before. But I felt it was just a shame that Vic and Mariam didn’t end up together. Their chemistry wasn’t bad at all. I enjoyed watching the scenes where they went out to eat and talked and just be random at times. Their interactions were so natural and so addicting to watch. The fact that both of their portrayals were so on par that saved the movie a little more.

After all that was said, my favorite character was surprisingly John. Yes, John was such a minor character or so it seemed yet I found him hilarious throughout. Regardless of how intense the main plot got, he was always there to contribute with much humor. Of course, he had no clue how comical he was yet his silly actions seemed to dissolve somewhat of the hectic atmosphere. I initially thought he would be Chi Yan’s asshole boss who would eventually fire her. The reason why I thought that was because during the meeting at the beginning of the first movie, he was trying super hard to deescalate the situation during the meeting and he was sweating so bad, I thought he would use Chi Yan as a scapegoat to get past that obstacle. But it turned out, he was really supportive of her and actually acknowledged that she was really hardworking and talented. He even risked his job to defend her when she saw Sean and called Sean “asshole” but he diverted it to himself. He also tried to convince Chi Yan not to quit and later became her ally with spying on different parties for her and reporting the events to her. It was refreshing, especially how it was known within those industries that there was major backstabbing going on. In the second movie, he was seen chiding Chi Yan and telling her that he shouldn’t be seen with her because he might get fired yet he still managed to give her information at times regarding Sean–or others. Yes, he seemed nosy overall but he truly cared for Chi Yan as a friend.

*All images were collected around the net hence belonging to their rightful owners.

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All About Wallace Huo

So I decided to start some kind of saga to share about the things I love and hate about my favorites. Who’s the first one on the plate? Who else but Mr. Huo, right? But before I get started, DO REMEMBER that these are my personal likes and dislikes SO if you don’t agree with me, IT’S OKAY. I’m just sharing, NOT forcing anyone to agree with me.

HIS ROLES:

Best Character EVER: Tang Lang (from Detective Tang Lang), intelligent and hilarious. NOT completely perfect but super righteous at times. Also, his kick-ass martial arts in here.

2ND Best Character EVER: Lu Yun Xiang (from Sound of Colors), OMG, he’s an artist! Super hot-headed character at times, but he’s so sweet and cute at other times.

Favorite Swordsman Character: Gui Hai Yi Dao (from Tian Xia Di Yi). (I would’ve put “Ling Hu Chong” BUT thanks to YZ, I can’t anymore, because I can’t ignore the fact that his character got ruined really badly in there.) So anyway, this was the character that brought me into being one of his fans. He really convinced me in here and come on now, his martial arts skills really ruled too! (Did he do the stunts himself back then? At least some of it?)

Devilishly Witty Character: Xing Wang (from Westside Story), a genius and bordering on the side of nerd, but was also quite awesome with various talents.

Most Hateful Character (in my book): Li Wei Xiang (from 100% Senorita), NOT because of the other girl, but I hated the fact that he was portraying a supposedly intelligent lawyer and supposedly a very understanding boyfriend YET he was more than stupid could describe. Like how he didn’t forgive his ‘godfather’ until he needed the old man for a favor near the end to help his girlfriend. Then there was the whole thing with claiming to be supportive and understanding toward his girlfriend, he acted super annoying with kept confronting her and forcing her to see how ‘hurt’ he was YET didn’t think to investigate into her strange behaviors for some ‘side’ story. It could also be the stupid plot’s fault with affecting his poor character development BUT still, I didn’t like it one bit though I felt Wallace did a really good job with portraying such an annoying role when he was still struggling between roles and trying to make it happen during the beginning of his career.

Annoying YET Can’t Hate Character: Li Ya Shou (from Wu Shi Lang). I don’t know. I couldn’t explain why I didn’t hate him. Well, partially it was Wallace and how hilarious his character was at times that I couldn’t blame him for being up to no good with his ‘getting rich’ schemes. Perhaps, it was also the fact that he knew his father died from hunger that he got so freaked out with the whole landing into the same fate as his father so I was sort of sympathizing him on that front too. And Wallace’s haunting eyes at times when he looked after Shi Lang that made it sooo hard to hate him. (Besides, I don’t really like those insanely ‘good’ characters nowadays. It’s just too flaky.)

HIS DRAMAS:

Best Drama Ever: Detective Tang Lang, just because I’m a fan of detective/police stuff and action/martial arts stuff as well. It’s a mixture of both and Wallace so kicked ass in here with his moves. The cases were quite interesting and the pace was fast enough. Plus most of the characters made it lively most of the time and hilarious during others. This drama wasn’t flawless but I seriously felt it was one of Wallace’s best choices BECAUSE though at times he picked good roles BUT failed to pay attention to the plot that made it SUPER hard for some people to watch. (I seriously am not that ‘obsessed’ yet obviously to go through every single one of his series.)

Most Touching Drama: Sound of Colors. Okay, I think some of the others were quite touching as well, but I felt this one with how it made me cry more than usual, even during re-watchs, deserved the spot the most. Jimmy Liao’s adapted story, wasn’t perfect and I could detect all the goofs throughout. Yet the overall story was quite good and touching. The ending was worth a box of tissues already. But I didn’t hate it. Sure, I felt bitter after watching the ending for the first time and it stuck with me for several days (or more). Then I became more accepting of it and even felt in a way, it was meaningful. Perhaps, it was somewhat paving its way and dropping hints with how things would eventually come to that point (aka making sense), so I was able to accept it better as well.

Worst Drama Ever: 100% Senorita. NOT just because I hated his character, but I felt so robbed with how it was supposed to be a revenge plot. Then it got side-track AND got so draggy that I ended up hating almost all the characters in there. Then only the last 10 episodes seemed to be worth watching. (Or so I thought.) And the fact that Deric Wan was part of it puzzled me even more since he could DO WAY BETTER than got stuck with this stupid stuff.

TOO BAD: Xiao Ao Jiang Hu, seriously, I think it’s too obvious. It’s one disastrous, nerve-racking journey from the start. It’s a train-wreck that most of us should see it coming YET refuse to believe BECAUSE some of us actually believe in Mr. Huo’s judgment and how he would be able to control more factors coming into this drama–with his going somewhere and reading the script and studying it to death with other information before taking the role. YET he got conned as well with the scrip changes. AND of course it’s NOT something new that scripts get change in the industry, sometimes it happens the night before even. BUT the fact that he barely could do anything about it was so frustrating. He wanted more of the ‘martial arts’ side and less ‘romance’ side (like how a typical wuxia should be) YET he couldn’t fight too much with the rest of the production team and make it ‘difficult’ for them. (OR so I heard. I also heard two of them were women so he couldn’t ‘bully’ them too much.) He only won over some of the fighting scenes with Howie Huang (aka he was able to suggest certain scenes and that was it). After what happened though, the next time I see Mr. Huo caving in and agreeing to some YZ production again, HE’S ON HIS OWN. (People say you could only fall for something one time AND the next time it’s your fault, so that’s that for me. I won’t abandon him BUT just won’t watch it if he’s going to fall for YZ’s trap again.) AND what else? Um…the fact that Wallace criticized TW soaps for keep having the same formulas (and I agreed with him when he listed all the repetitive formulas during that one interview) YET accepted and went through with YZ’s schemes? WOW! Being in YZ’s production is actually worse than starring in a TW soap, I’m telling you. At least most of the TW soaps make sense with some twists–even if it could be frustrating.

HIS CO-STARS:

Favorite Female Co-Star: Ruby Lin. YES, unlike some of the fans of his who are like attacking her, she’s actually my favorite among all his co-stars. And I felt they were actually quite cute together. If only they would work together again and there would be a happy ending at last! (How many times do the guy have to die for her, really? LOL…)

2nd Favorite Female Co-Star: Alina Zhang. Words have it that they’re more like ‘sisters’ in real life OR something like that. But I really enjoyed their chemistry in Detective Tang Lang. They didn’t click for me at first yet in the later parts, it got to me with how funny they were with the constant arguments and many more.

3rd Favorite Female Co-Star: Mariam Yeung. How can I not like it that she got him out of his shell after their collaboration? It was so cool that they were getting along so well afterward and she even invited him to co-star again in one of her MVs. Aside from that, I thought they were quite funny in WSL together.

Favorite 2nd Female Lead Pairing: Yvonne Yao. To be honest, I have to skip around to watch his and Yvonne’s scenes only when I was watching since I couldn’t stand the main story when I was reading the spoilers. That was too bad that she would only be ‘second’ in his heart. I didn’t see the big deal with the main girl. One of the rare times when I actually get quite bitter with the main characters. And when I say the ‘main girl’, I meant the character AND not the actress so don’t misunderstand. Maybe one day I will watch it the right way with how the plot go and get it. But as of now, NOT happening.

Favorite Male Co-Star: Hu Ge. I really enjoyed their chemistry as buddies in Chinese Paladin III and sometimes WAY even more than seeing them with their significant others BECAUSE I eventually found almost all the females in there annoying. If they were to work together again in some project, that would be cool. Maybe this time act as enemies instead to see how that go? (Just to test their acting abilities, of course.)

2nd Favorite Male Co-Star: Wei Qian Xiang. OMG, they were a hilarious team in Detective Tang Lang. Both were so crazy at times yet didn’t fail to impress.

Most Pitiful Co-Star: Yuan Shan Shan. Seriously, people might not like her. But I felt she was sooooo robbed with her scenes being stolen when she was the ‘main lead’ AND then bashed to high Heaven. Then what else? Her character got reduced to some silly girl instead of the supposedly awesome, witty character I was looking forward to. (Like seriously, I thought I could trust people when they say she’s one of YZ’s favorites! Never know she got sacrificed and got thrown ‘invisible rocks’ at while YZ stand laughing and shaking his head.) I’m not saying YSS is a great actress OR trying to convince anyone to like her, I just felt soooo sorry for her with what happened. (People might also be saying she’s a grown-up and could take care of herself and who cares, etc. But for me personally, I couldn’t hold it in anymore. It’s just ridiculous.) AND I seriously don’t care about those who are telling the rest of us who read the novel to “shut up” because we actually took the time to read the novel. AND without the freaking novel, it would be just another stupid soap. AND most importantly, Ren Ying Ying IS actually my favorite Jin Yong female protagonist ever so of course I’m pissed off. (SO YZ wasn’t the first one who created the ‘soap’ with twisting some characters within XAJH since I felt XAJH had always been the most butchered novel ever regardless of adaptations. It’s still such a shame that people have the resources to make this the best BUT didn’t?)

Compensation Paring: Penny Lin. I felt robbed from the stupid 100% Senorita drama. They had great chemistry and I could see the sparks BUT I hated how the plot was and his stupid character in there. I wish they could work on another project together and with an ideal plot.

Missed Chance Pairing: Tammy Chen. Honestly, I felt soooo disappointed that they didn’t get to star in Lucky Days together.

Didn’t Happen Pairing: Angela Chang. Okay, I admit, I was skimming too with some scenes when I was checking on At the Dolphin Bay. I might one day go back to proper watch it. But I really like this pairing too. Too bad.

Could Have Been the Ideal NEW “Ling Hu Chong and Ren Ying Ying” Team: Cecilia Han Xue. Okay, I heard they don’t get along in real life? (Where was that rumor from or was it real?) But seriously, it was interesting that they were cast as Ling Hu Chong and Ren Ying Ying but from different production teams. Too bad the other side got snubbed. YET I swear I could enjoy it with this second collaboration. With some alterations here and there to compromise, I felt the other side did a better job creating the wardrobe for Ren Ying Ying. Even if she had to wear pink and white (for one of her outfits), I felt it projected the whole “thánh cô” (聖姑) vibe better.

AS A SINGER:

Favorite Song: Ni Hao Jiu Hao. He sang it with such passion. And I especially like the intro at the beginning of the song as well.

Favorite Theme Song:

Bottom line? He needs to bring out another album. (And possibly sing a song or two with Angela Chang, lol.)

REAL LIFE:

Veteran Actors:

Liu Kai Chi. There was this one article I read with how he was talking about Liu Kai Chi as his mentor at one point of their collaboration and the way he described it, it seemed he really respected LKC.

Kent Cheng. Wallace recently visited Kent while both were in Hengdian filming, and then later when Kent was on break, he returned the favor as well. It was cool to see how Kent was posting it up on Weibo and they seemed to be getting along fine.

*Will be updated as I catch up like INSANE with all his “works” (EXCEPT for anything YZ related since I swore off YZ dramas after Tian Di Bu Rong BUT had to make an exception for XAJH because of Mr. Huo. Now? I’m really out!)

*Images were collected around the net, therefore, belonging to their rightful owners

TREAD CAREFULLY! I’m monitoring COMMENTS. (YES, it’s one of those times when I’m turning on my ‘maniac’ attitude. Mention anyone NOT on my favorite list, I will delete without warning.)

Miss Hong Kong 1998

The hosts for this year were Eric Tsang, Lawrence Cheng, and Bobby Au Yeung. The year that it started to deteriorate. Trust me, the hairstyles the contestants were wearing at the beginning were enough to turn everyone off. The stylists should be fired. Even if the contestants weren’t that pretty, the make-up artists and the stylists made it even worse. It was hard to swallow and took a lot of energy to continue watching. Jacky was one of the judges so it was something to look forward to. NOT to mention we would get to see him perform later. (Gallen Lo was also among the judges.) Must agree with the result that #6 was the best among the first group since her answer was the strongest. I swear I don’t know what half of them were saying. Worth millions of yawns. I was waiting for the questioning parts to be over so I could listen to some of the songs, lol. Eric was the hardest, Lawrence was minimal, and Bobby was the easiest. The short version? If one couldn’t pass Bobby, one doesn’t deserve to be there. Eric’s comment regarding the quality of beauty that year! LOL! I must agree though. #13 – I don’t like her but must admit she was the smoothest among all the second group who answered. #14 was WAY off-topic. She was so stuck up that I didn’t pity her at all when Lawrence was picking on her. #17 was standing at the wrong place! LOL! #20 got killed by Lawrence! My gosh! Eric was so funny! He said if he was #20, he would’ve slapped Lawrence already! LOL! #19 won for that group with the best answer. Agreed since Anne got creamed major time!

They moved on, but Eric and Lawrence were trapping Bobby with questions! LOL! Okay, entertainment part. Sort of since this year, they had to use some of their artists. The girls were divided into four groups. Michael Tse performed with the first group and then the contestants had to talk about different strengths of Hong Kong. The first group talked about the economy of Hong Kong and their experiences. The second group performed with Halina Tam. (I didn’t recognize her. Strange…) The second group of contestants talked about toys and their personal experiences. Eason Chan was leading the third group. This group talked about electronics. Hawick Lau wrapped up the performances with the fourth group. The last group talked about jewelry. This was definitely a sign of TVB using artists internally and not being able to invite outside guests as much anymore. (OR at least they were trying to cut back on inviting mega-stars, LOL.)

Anne Heung won over the contestants with the last performance. Not a surprise since she seemed to shine out the most among all the contestants–regardless of the horrendous make-up and styling. Anyway, it was funny that Lawrence said Jacky was the best ’cause he didn’t wait for Lawrence to open the envelope. (LOL!) Jacky was the most courteous all right.

The contestants were then changed into different outfits designed by four famous designers and was led by four different gentlemen. Ben Wong led the first group! (I almost forgot that one!) Marco Ngai led the third group. Anne won again for this round.

Okay, moving onto pre-recorded performances that showed they’d traveled to different places. Who performed during these scenes? Edmond Leung, Mariam Yeung, and Nicholas Tse. The girls looked better in these scenes. Probably because the horrendous hairstyle was gone already. And then the performers were brought on stage.

Eric was trying to sneak into the judges’ panel and pry the answers out of their mouths! LOL! Nancy Sit was telling Jacky to keep quiet! Hilarious! At least there was something to look forward to.

By this time, I wasn’t surprised that Anne kept winning. New method to know who got in. I guess they needed something to create some hype for the show. Each of the hosts led a contestant one at a time and had them placed their ticket into the machine. They either got a ‘Welcome’ or a ‘Sorry’. Eric = sure win, Lawrence = NO WAY, Bobby = mixed. (Well, only 1 slipped with Eric’s guidance, LOL. Good enough! Lawrence got one in, lol. Poor Lawrence. YET #14 got in. Darn! Why didn’t Lawrence jinx her too? She was seriously stuck up!) Eric was so smart, he led Anne since she had been winning so it was easy to say, “If you lose, I won’t host the pageant anymore.”

The second part’s theme was International. The best part was having Jacky opened the performance. What could go wrong, right? Something else that was encouraging–they got rid of that weird hairstyle at the beginning. That was horrendous all right. After the contestants told us about their supposedly ‘goal/wish’, Jacky came out to wrap up the performance once again.

Natalis Chan replaced Bobby Au Yeung and Philip replaced Lawrence in this part. Great to have Philip back! (Eric even welcomed Philip back personally.) After the brief talk, Jacky was back with his hit song “頭髮亂了“.

They ended up doing the theme with different continents. And Africa was first. Ekin Cheng performed first. The contestants looked slightly better in these types of costumes but still…some couldn’t even change my opinion regardless. I liked the next part more. Eric was trying to talk and then he spotted Natalis and Philip filling out the forms, saying stuff about him, LOL. They said it was only a sample! (LOL!)

Asia was the next stop after the random talk. Pretty cool since the contestants were in various oriental outfits. Definitely TVB’s attempt to recruit new artists since they were tested with the voice among other things. Andy Hui was the main singer for this one. He had to change into several outfits, considering it was relevant for different regions of Asia.

They moved onto the swimsuit part and like usual, they would squeeze in the questioning part. #1 seriously got straight to the point. She was definitely jealous of Anne, wanting Anne to disappear. Eric got her big time all right, exposing her intention and all. #6 got guts. Man, I can’t believe she would resort to those methods. Okay, it was getting worse and worse. One of the contestants didn’t even get what Eric was saying. They need to filter out these people. Not understanding the language fully and participating? Seriously? (I know I can’t have a say but probably any country would want someone who is fluent in their language.) Man, I loved Eric’s mocking and Philip’s constant stabs. Philip hasn’t lost it at all. In fact, he was entertaining the audience more than the contestants could ever impress with the answers. By the time it got to #17, though her answer should be considered minimal, I thought she was the best thus far, not stepping past the lines. Yay! Agree that #17 should get the prize since she had the best answer. Anne was all right but #17 had to think more to word it correctly and/or appropriately.

Of course, it wouldn’t be the same without a skit from Eric and Natalis. Almost forgot that Jordan Chan was also in this one. Cool! Once again, the girls looked better during the shoot for the scenes outside. Not sure what happened. (Some of them still look so-so but most of them somehow look less unattractive.) Funny that he was dreaming! LOL!

Another highlight of the show (though most of the performances from the guests were great) was the part where Andy was portraying the prince who was in love with his servant. (The servant was of course portrayed by the previous Miss Hong Kong since it was like a tradition to have the previous Miss Hong Kong participate in some scene and/or story.) A nice and cute story. (It would’ve been perfect if #14 wasn’t hugging the camera so much! Gosh, get a grip girl!)

Eric, Philip, and Natalis were back at backstabbing each other. They were a riot. Moving on (again…), the contestants got to show their talents in different sports. (Sort of like Olympics theme.)

Seriously? #14 is Miss Goodwill? Honestly? Seriously? She looked like she wanted to challenge half of the world. But I guess it passed already and nothing happened so never mind. Doesn’t matter anymore. At least she wasn’t in the top 5.

I so forget that Aaron and Sammi were also in here! Seriously? How could I forget? But I guess it was kind of long… Another cool performance.

Umm…before they announced the top #5, Anne managed to snatch another award! AND of course, #1 must be even more jealous and feeling beyond threatened by now.

Top 5 (as announced): #9, #20, #19, #6, #17

The funniest part and probably tough–since they had to answer to the criticisms written on the forms.

#6 – Darn…she dived right out of that one…

#9 – She managed fine BUT I must agree regarding how it was a pageant after all.

#17 – Cute! LOL!

#19 – She managed all right. So funny! Eric was so funny. At least she didn’t insult anyone.

#20 – Smart!

Yay! It wouldn’t be the same without Jacky closing the show up.

The results were too obvious. Though I prefer #17 to have one of the spots, I guess it wasn’t too bad.

ICAC 2009: Episode 4

*WARNING*: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD. If you DO NOT want to be spoiled, please DO NOT read. You have been warned.

This case was surrounding the idea of the conspiracy between several parties and construction projects.

It started out with Henry (Raymond Wong) and Kenny (Pakho Chau) following closely behind their suspect Lam Gwong Yiu (portrayed by Kenny Wong). He was a consultant whose job covered the areas of finding and assigning building projects to construction companies. It was believed that he was trying to make inside deals with contractors of different construction companies and benefited more than that was of his salary. What was more shocking of the whole incident was he would assign projects or make agreements with the construction companies and then back out after the companies had already gone through the production process, causing a loss for them in the end.

Another man named Lau Gau (portrayed by Lam Suet) was also known to be involved in such acts, including the boss of the construction company.

As they were following Lam Gwong Yiu, Henry discovered of Kenny’s rash behaviors, like following the suspects too closely and causing possible exposure. He reported it to Carrie (Maggie Siu) and sought advice from her. Carrie called Kenny in to tell him that she was going to transfer him over to do more office work, especially research to train his patience.

Kenny felt frustrated and trapped while doing office work. However, he was encouraged by one of his seniors, Madame Matilda Yeung (Mariam Yeung). She also gave him advice along the way as she was taking a break from her latest case.

While that was going on, we learned that Lau Gau’s daughter, Karen (Carolyn Chan), recently graduated and was going to start work soon. Coincidence of all coincidences, Karen soon learned that the industry that she worked in was rather rocky with many twists to it. She accidentally learned of the con jobs her company was doing, which her father was also involved. She was shattered by the information since their pair of father and daughter was very close.

The ICAC investigators finally found enough evidence to bring Lau Gau in and tried to get him to confess. He was hesitant at first but was later convinced to cooperate with the police for his daughter’s sake.

The last piece of the puzzle fell into place when Kenny’s hard-working attitude paid off. He finally took in the advice of looking through the most unrelated piece of information and they were able to capture Lam Gwong Yiu at last when he was trying to make an escape.

The episode ended with the ICAC team chatting among themselves and sharing some food. However, the atmosphere was broken by Carrie’s attempt to crack a joke as the others tried to laugh (although they did not find it amusing at all). It was still a fun ending with seeing the bonding of the team again with Matilda joining also.

*All images were captured by DTLCT

ICAC 2009

I especially like this approach to investigation dramas more than the dragging storyline of the same characters over and over. It could be nice to watch when the storyline is good with a mix of crimes and personal life, but in these cases, it’s better not to have too much randomness. This was 5 episodes long so 1 episode per case.

Anyway, the ICAC Investigators included:
Jessica Hsuan as Annie (Episode 1)
Raymond Wong as Henry (Episodes 1-4)
Pakho Chau as Kenny (Episodes 1-4)
Gregory Lee (Episodes 1-2, 4)
Fiona Sit as Sam Sam (Episodes 2-3)
Maggie Siu as Carrie (Episodes 3-4)
Mariam Yeung as Matilda Yeung (Episode 4)
Andy Hui (Episode 5)
Sammul Chan as Ka Ming (Episode 5)

Cases:

Episode 1 was about the crafty handling of money between a couple and one of the assistants at the husband’s company. There were also others involved in the acts (including Ellesmere Choi). Bowie Lam and Krystal Tin portrayed the husband and wife while Vivien Yeo was the assistant. Jessica was leading the case while Raymond Wong, Pakho Chau, Gregory Lee, and various other ICAC investigators were following the suspects. Lau Kong made an appearance as Krystal’s father.

Episode 2 involved a conspiracy between a group of friends who had inside information regarding a building project in an attempt to benefit from the compensation fees. Sonjia Kwok, Yoyo Mung, and Halina Tam were best friends while Derek Kwok portrayed Sonija’s husband and Raymond Cho was Yoyo’s boyfriend. The ICAC investigators involved in this case were Raymond Wong, Pakho Chau, Fiona Sit, and Gregory Lee.

Episode 3 was about three guys trying to con the insurance company by faking a death with all the legit information throughout the whole process of buying the insurance policy to the death scenes. Johnny Ngan was the guy who posed as the deceased’s brother. Maggie Siu was leading the team this time around with Raymond Wong, Fiona Sit, Pakho Chau, and the others involving in the case. Jason Chan also made an appearance as Fiona’s boyfriend.

Episode 4 was dealing with some clever tricks between the construction workers, the agents (which could be called middlemen), and the actual company that needed people to work on their projects. Kenny Wong portrayed the middleman. Maggie Siu was leading the team again with Raymond Wong, Pakho Chau, and some others as the investigators. Mariam Yeung also made a special appearance as one of the madams of ICAC.

Episode 5 was trying to shoot two birds with one stone since it involved two cases–one major and one side one though it intersected with each other, affecting one’s progress and both had to do with cars. Evergreen Mak and Louis Yuen were the bad guys this time around while Stephen made an appearance for the other case. Andy Hui was the person in charge while Sammul Chan and others were investigators.

*Note*: Click into the links to read detailed episode summary and analysis.