Inspector Gourmet

I actually watched this ages back but never found time to review it. Then I totally forgot about the plot and had to watch it again, lol. Was it worth a second watch? I think it was sort of worth it because I looked at it with fresh eyes. It also helped that the series went by the formula of a case-by-case format.

Main Cast:

  • Kenneth Ma as Bill Kei Yeung Tak Kei (楊得基). This was one of Kenneth’s loudmouth roles. It wasn’t hard for him regading acting. But the character was fun to watch because you see his humorous side come on. Sometimes, he was too dramatic–probably for the purpose of the character. Although I admitted that he did quite well in terms of acting, as a personal opinion about his role, this wasn’t my favorite character. It was too pushy at times, which created this negative effect for me.
  • Eliza Sam as Tong Ka Ka (唐嘉嘉). She was a righteous person and was always passionate in helping others righting wrongs. The fact that she was so involved with the cases because she’d been reading and watching too much detective stuff made it funnier. Her perserverence was quite admirable though. Especially how she was determined to recruit Mak Sai at the beginning. She had an eye for talent and knew they needed him, so she found all the ways to convince him. It took a negotation but she wasn’t willing to let go, knowing there were still options left. It was a good trait to have if she wanted to be a good detecitve aka not giving up halfway and all. But she wasn’t so innocent or as easily conned by Bill–as Bill liked to think. She could get so mad at him too. Actually, she used to work for a newspaper doing investigative journalism yet her boss tried to conceal the truth, fearing that they would offend other businesses, so she quit. Her past experience had helped her immensely with the current job. So, she wasn’t all talks either. She was willing to merge into different roles they took on necessary for the stalking process. It was somewhat exaggerated, but it worked in the long run. Eliza did very well with expressing those sides of Ka Ka.
  • Louis Yuen as Mak Sai (麥犀). Louis had always been a wild card to me when it came to watching him–whether it was a series like such or a hosting gig. This time, it was on the positive side. Also, I was surprised. I actually remembered his character a lot more than the other cast involved, interestingly. Maybe because he was funny but didn’t try too hard to be. That was just how he was, carrying on like usual or what he thought was normal. Yet others found him weird and all. Regarding his push to get Ah Kiu and her father to reconcile, I saw where he came from, but he didn’t agree with it. Reason? He was in the wrong years ago–even if it was an accident his mom passed away–aka his attitude was terrible and he was arrogant. He hoped to get closure and have forgiveness from someone else hence he sympathized with Ah Kiu’s father. YET the victim shouldn’t be forced to forgive just because. He didn’t understand that it was two different situation. However, I will write this off as part of the scriptwiter’s flaws, considering they always pushed and use the parent card regardless of how wrong the parents’ side was, and NOT an overall character flaw as the character was expected to follow the flow of the story anyway.
  • Priscilla Wong as Sam Oi Kiu (岑愛嬌) aka Sister Kill (Kill姐). I completely forgot about this role of Priscilla. I guessed it was because this was my first time watching her and then I steered away from TVB series for a while and then double back to watch Line Walker hence not remembering about her until I finally did this review and realized she played a major part in Line Walker: The Prelude and then the third installment, Line Walker: Bull Fight. That was a major surprise all right. I didn’t know why, but I actually liked her in this series yet felt she was awkward in Line Walker: The Prelude. Maybe because she wasn’t considered first lead in here, so it took off the pressure? Not sure. But back to the role itself, I found her hilarious and witty in here. That intro scene of her was crazy and wicked, lol. She was a natural in here with bringing out the character’s personality, no awkwardness whatesoever.

Supporting:

  • Elvina Kong as Anna Chu Sau Na (朱秀娜). Bill’s older sister. Mixed feelings. I sided with her regarding her feud with her husband and all. But as a character in general, I didn’t really like her, which was strange because I usually like Elvina’s performances regardless of character. Yet I felt her too trying or too awkward in here for some reason. Not sure why.
  • Timothy Cheng as Ko Yan (高仁). Anna’s ex husband. Another despicable character under his belt and a character created to crank up the tension between other characters of the show. He treated women like disposables yet there were still brainwashed women who followed him senselessly and thought they were going to stay young forever, thinking they wouldn’t be replaced by him as well. He sure met his match when he got trapped by Lo Tai Wai. And it really served him right with all those girls leaving him. What did he think? He was going to replace them in the future anyway. He didn’t expect them to be loyal, did he? (Their rant about him messing with underage girl was seriously them trying to fall back on moral grounds though. They only left him because he would face legal consequences and was already out of money.)
  • Eric Li as Lo Tai Wai (盧大維). Despicable. He lacked talent yet wanted to fame. He acted like a typical jealous high school kid and seemed to never grew up. His jealous of Mak Sai caused a lot of the problems coming into the story. He continued to use all tactics to go against Mak Sai yet had no problem to use underhanded tricks to get intel from Mak Sai either. A beyond pathetic character overall. Oh yeah, super cliche that he was involved with Ko Man in the final case though.
  • Oscar Leung as Cheung Kwok Wah (張國華) aka Nga Dai Wah (淆底華). At first, I didn’t know what to think of him. It mostly had to do with how cowardly he was and his fear toward Lo Tai Wai. However, after seeing the big reveal later and the reasons for the blackmail schemes, I felt sorry for him. He had a legit reason to fear that despicable guy. It wasn’t like he could do anything else regarding the loan shark situation of ages ago. It was an emergency and he did pay them back already. It was just that Lo Tai Wai was despicable enough to use that against him. Considering how he was a model cop after all, how could he let those be released like that? I do feel bad for him. He just wanted a girlfriend and wanted to get married one day, a simple family plan. Yet he had to meet with a pyscho like that. However, his expectations was a bit too high. He expected her to see the light? Really? Misplaced trust or loyalty here. But whatever. Oscar’s acting at that point was really good, though, the torn feeling and all. Omg, I so didn’t remember when I watched the first time around that he got shot and stuff. Such a tragedy. I would have liked to see the others visiting him at the end of the story. Yet they found time for other senseless side stuff instead.
  • Jacqueline Wong as Janice Chow Ching (周晴). What to say? I didn’t find her character or story necessary for the series, except to cause ruptures and became a test between Bill and Ka Ka. Sure, it became another case among all the other cases in here. Yet it wasn’t like a “must-have” case in that sense. It was just another story arch that tried to crank up its hype with dramatization and all. Her case did prove how well the team worked together. However, I still didn’t like it. Like I said, unnecessary. But the only consolation toward the whole thing was not dragging the case out till the end. Luckily, it ended early to leave way for other cases.
  • Vivien Yeo as Lee Nga Choi (李亞彩). A mentally challenged girl who tried to look after Mak Tong. Vivien actually did quite well. She was quite convincing as the nervous yet kind person, trying to communicate as best as she could. I thought this role was more along Vivien’s caliber and didn’t seem to be a waste of time last some of the past roles that were quite similar. This gave her more space for acting–even if it was just a case of the overall story. It was a matter of delivering the character and not just appearing all the time yet not contributing anything to the plot.
  • Bowie Wu as Mak Tong (麥棠).
  • Lau Kong as Sam Wing (岑榮). A typical gambler. He thought it was right that he gambled away and caused the loan shark to come threaten and hurt his family YET felt he was wronged. Seriously? It was a miracle his daugther didn’t sell him out yet still paid his debts for him. Looking down on her and thinking that it was unlucky that he had a daugther instead of a son. Typical old traditional toxic thoughts. I had no sympathy for such person AND felt it was really stupid that others thought his daughter should think him like royal after all he put them through. Just because he was the father? Really? No wonder the abuse cycle continued with so many people. Although fictional but it still portrayed a fraction of real life stuff. The parent card was always used to justify terrible behaviors. I found it amusing that he’d been torturning the family all these years living in fear YET could just redeem himself for a short while and then expected others to forgive just like that. Once again, the mentality of the using the parent card to get past all barriers. I hated that Ah Kiu was forced to forgive him just because. Seriously?
  • Angelina Lo as Fung Ching Mui (馮靜梅). Didn’t like her character at all. She was an enabler. I don’t care for her excuses. I’m just really done with those repetitive characters in dramas so my patience wore really thin when it came to such characters. Her guilt wasn’t a good reason for all that madness.
  • Mark Ma as Sam King On (岑景安). Ah Kiu’s younger brother. Also part of the enabler team, so sorry if I didn’t sympathize with him. He somehwat was stuck in between several parties. But seriously, grow a backbone and support his sister a bit. Seriously.
  • Stephen Wong as Jason Pun Kai Tak (潘啟德). Ka Ka’s cousin. That was a bit amusing to see Bill overreacting during his appearances. He was only there to get Ka Ka into that final grand event to pull the scheme on Lo Tai Wai. Then he was just taunting Bill a bit. Well, not really taunting, but more like testing Bill a bit to make sure Bill was worthy of Ka Ka. He shouldn’t have eased off so soon though.

Others:

  • Océane Zhu as Fok Ling Ling (霍玲玲). Omg, her character was too much. Yet I felt it was more fun to watch than some of her other roles. I don’t know. After they failed her in Come Home Love, I didn’t think much of her anymore because it was like she was demoted after some initial attempt to try and promote her. So the majority of nowadays roles of hers are this random. I didn’t expect much but just felt I could take whatever they tossed our way, I guess. Although her gestures toward Bill was a bit over during her intro scene, I found her cute, lol. She was accused of stealing money fromt the cash register but it turned out her lady boss was careless hence causing the bill to be stuck in her shoes instead. She totally conned Bill, lol. Well, it wasn’t her fault that he thought he would get something out of it. Yet it was still funny seeing how he lost money, considering how he paid way over the price of the tickets. She did compensate him BUT of course, how would she know he spent A LOT more for it? And she managed to get out of the date, lol. Yeah, it was sad for him, but come on. He was smart when it came to cases, but regarding other stuff, not so much. It could have been a funny character. But too bad, it pinned her with being a third-party too. So yeah, it’s been nice knowing her. Nail in the coffin part was when she looked down on Bill for being a mere chef yet she didn’t see a problem with seducing other people’s husband. Seriously? (That boss, the cheater, was a scumbag anyway, but that didn’t make it right for her to jump in.)
  • Cilla Kung as Pun Siu Lin (潘小蓮).
  • Matt Yeung as Duncan Dung Sai Kan (鄧世勤).
  • Tracy Ip as Ko Man (高敏). I pity her. I seriously do. How could she think that it be normal to suddenly rush forth all these changes? She totally got conned.

Relationships – family, friends, romances, etc.:

  • Kenneth and Eliza. They were cute in a sense. I enjoyed their goofiness at times when they were out on a mission or together. It created a sweet feeling. Then it went all to hell later because of the extra case with Janice. So yeah, I stopped caring about them as a couple later.
  • Kenneth and Louis. OMG, their trolling of one other and senseless nicknames. It was childish to some extent but somehow created the right comedic moments for the show. Their ongoing feud with one another sort of created this strane atmosphere at work. Yet it also challenged one another at times.
  • Louis and Priscilla. They were the funny couple for me. Minus the whole trying to push the forgiveness stuff, I liked them together for the most part. They didn’t like each other at first because they started out as rivals somewhat on one of the cases. Yet learned to work together and found one another’s good sides and all. They became like best buddies before starting. It was a typical story of bickering couples. But their chemistry was interestingly better than some of her so-called better looking co-stars. I swear. It was strange, but it worked.
  • Eliza and Priscilla. At first, Ah Kiu ddin’t think much of Ka Ka and thought Ka Ka was only good at being beautiful. Yet during one of the cases that they worked together, Ah Kiu realized Ka Ka’s quick thinking and resourcefulness that caused her to change her view toward Ka Ka. Since then, they worked together quite well and even maintained a comfortable friendship.

Likes:

  • The comedy. While it lasted, that was. It went downhill later, but was hanging on by a hair because of the cases.
  • The food theme. I learned more about different food and its culture, history, etc. It was a fun journey on that front.

Dislikes:

  • The ending. I know, shocking. I don’t mean how it turned out with the cases. I meant how they completely forgot about Cheung Kwok Wah. Yeah, I know, he was in a coma. He might or might not recover. But maybe at least put in a scene of the hospital visit? It wasn’t hard to do. Maybe even a five-second zoom by to tell us would be good enough. They tried to squeeze in the kidnapping scenes and then tried to put in that senseless AD hence not even having time for updating us on Cheung Kwok Wah. Also, I didn’t like the cooked up scheme with forcing Ka Ka to accept Bill again. Yeah, give her some more time. Why can’t it be on her own terms? But it had to be forced to some outrageous schemes and making her feel guilty for taking time to think. Really? So, if you twist it around, it was all right if he turned her down or ask for time apart?

Recommended? I would say it depends. If you like a somewhat light-hearted detective show, this is for you. It’s good for entertainment purposes, obviously. Just something to watch over dinner. It’s not like life-changing or expect to be deep or anything. Just a fun series that somewhat surrounded food-related debates at times.

Line Walker

If only I watched this series much earlier. Because this was actually one of the good ones in the past ten years regarding TVB series. I guess it was just that when I tried to dive into a series for the sake of Michael Miu, he was portraying some less than favorable character–or it was same old, same old. I didn’t feel there was a challenge for him. Even if he was in that one series with Felix Wong. Unlike some of the past series he was in since he returned, I felt like this was much more up to his par. Aside from that, the plot of this series was decent enough that it didn’t contain those characters that were just too good to be true aka unrealistic. This was a true gray areas series that got you thinking at times more than the tired same old you must let your enemies stomp on you left and right to be considered a good person, so yeah. I was surprised and glad that it stayed consistent throughout. Sure, there were corny moments, but it was just there to buffer the intensity of the main plot.

Main Cast:

  • Michael Miu as Cheuk Hoi (卓凱). Once again, this was one of those series of Michael’s since his return to TVB that I felt was worth it. The last I tried to watch of him was My Better Half with Maggie Cheung. I did like their chemistry together but didn’t like where the story was going, so I dropped it. I even dropped Gun Metal Grey, so there were was that. (Side Note: I felt Gun Metal Grey was just using him and Felix to promote the new generation SO it was a rip-off and not meant to be a Felix and Michael reunion at all, so I didn’t even bother to continue. Although I did like both of their portrayals and his chemistry with Jessica Hsuan in there. Yeah, it ties in with what I said above regarding Michael’s repetitive roles of the past few years.) Anyway, this one gave his character not only capabilities but some depth. He wasn’t a goody-two-shoes at times either. Sure, he wasn’t going to resort to the extreme or lose his head in situations (because of his experiences over the years) but he wasn’t going to sit in a jail cell and rot either. He knew he needed to get out and use his wide networks and resources to get answers. It made him more flexible and realistic than say some typical recent main character TVB often drew up. So yes, I felt Michael had more to work with and try to shape the character more. He, of course, had times when he was unsure of what to do or if he was being a good handler to the others, but he never lost his goal. He felt like he failed Bao Seed when he couldn’t reason with the latter but he knew he had to continue on. And I so fell for it when I thought he might be bad, lol. Not in the sense that the others thought. But I had a feeling like he was hiding something. Totally exuding the Yang Hong vibe at that moment, lol. Like was he really a good guy or nah, lol. But it was the part where he was all like trying really hard to nail Bao Seed. I thought his going to prison later had to do with him finally losing it because in trying to stop Bao Seed, he lost his head. That would be some major twist for the show all right. But it was all an act and we could see another level of acting with Michael himself but also his character as an undercover agent. He was showing them all his capabilities and why he was their handler, not just always sitting behind a desk to enjoy the AC–as some would put it. He was the real deal and he got the experience to back it up. It was a good turnaround all right.
  • Charmaine Sheh as Ding Siu Ka (丁小嘉) aka Ding Jie (釘姐). I think her character in here was a mixture of the characters in Angels of Mission and When Heaven Burns. Yes, the cop identity and how her humor reminded me of Angels of Mission and the goth appearance reminded me of When Heaven Burns. However, the similarities only ended there. Because the events of the plot development led on to other parts of her character that were more complicated. The trials and tribulations she went through shaped who she became later on. In fact, it was a test for her. Her most traumatizing scene must be at the hospital and learning that her adopted mothers had all passed away after that tragic event. It was so frightening and it shook her world to the core. Charmaine brought out that scene really well. Who could imagine? Her safe zone got breached and torn apart just like that. All in all, this was a character worth it for Charmaine fans who wanted to see her in more challenging roles.
  • Raymond Lam as Suet Ka Keung (雪家強) aka Bao Seed (爆Seed). I haven’t watched anything of his in a long, long time although I know he could act. I seriously miss it. But it was because I didn’t like any of the themes or cast he was involved in for the longest time. Sad, but true. I was glad to finally have a role of his that I liked in here and could actually look forward to seeing the sequel when he comes back again. Yes, I went and hunt down some news just out of curiosity and realized they made two more installments–aside from the movies. (Yeah, I’m that behind on TVB-related series and/or movies because I can block it out if I don’t care for it.) Anyway, he showed some acting depth in here. The character was full of layers and he totally delivered at each stage of the plot development. It was addicting to watch what else he was capable of and how his character evolved. It went on many layers of emotional rollercoasters and explored why he took to the extreme with his actions in the name of justice.

Supporting Cast:

  • Sammy as Lin Ho Kan (連浩勤) / Kobe. I actually quite liked him after watching some series that he was just some minor character. So I was glad to see him being a bigger part of the plot throughout. I enjoyed his character and his stories throughout. He sure got what it took to be an agent. Sure, he had his vulnerabilities and his worries at times, it was understandable and very real, considering how and what they had to deal with on daily basis. It was indeed really scary. What got me really mad was giving him that tumor. Seriously? The writers need to lay off the Korean soaps for a bit and steer it back onto the topic or something. I was really frustrated that he wasn’t able to stick it through to the final battle. Sure, he helped a lot while struggling to survive. Yet, I felt they’d taken him out of the game with the tumor on purpose. It made everything so antidramatic in that sense because he’d been there from the start. Now he’s out of the game? I liked the other characters too, but I felt he needed to be there front and center with the others. I welcome some new changes to the plot and not so typical outcomes, but this was pushing it for a cop versus gangsters series.
  • Sharon Chan as Mok Sin Yan (莫羨昕). I had mixed feelings for her when she first appeared. Partially biases because she kept stalking Cheuk Hoi and making it like he was a criminal. However, I tried to step back and see it from her point of view. She was just doing her job and indeed was just cautious. She was at least consistent in her principles and goals. She loved Kobe dearly but tried to keep a level head or at least tried to move on. Her professionalism was also shown throughout. She was always strong and stuck through it, not caring if she lost her job over some publicity game her bosses were playing. She found another way to help others, not just by being a face to the public only. So yes, her principles and consistency were what I loved about her character. Back to Sharon in the acting department though. I mean I think at times she stepped backward and forward. I think I could say she had improved in her old days, but I feel she was still stuck in the same phases at times that she couldn’t pull out of.
  • Benz Hui as Chum Foon Hei (潭關喜). I thought he was going to be a typical gangster that they would bust and then that was it. But it wasn’t so. Sure, he was always smiling (duh, his name, lol), but he could be so ruthless and chilling in many ways. Yet I didn’t think the writers would prop up Benz Hui in this series and even spanning it into two more installments. It was crazy to imagine but this was one of Benz’s amazing roles since whenever. I’m not praising or rooting for gangsters here. But I think plot-wise and characterization, it was really well written with the complexity of his character and how Benz brought forth with his portrayal throughout. You’re scared of him and you know he could carry out a lot of crazy schemes. But you could also laugh with him or cry with him even. For a gangster boss, he was sure relatable in many ways. Of course, I never doubted Benz’s acting since I grew up watching him, lol. But I was surprised TVB could allow the writers to shape his character so that it has become the highlight of the show. Considering how TVB always used veteran actors to prop up their latest batch of newbies. (I don’t hate new people, I just hate TVB politics at times. Also, again, totally poking at Gun Metal Grey.)

Others:

  • Oscar Leung as Cheung Muk Wing (張木榮) aka Muk Sat (木蝨). I swear, I thought he would make it till the end. I didn’t read spoilers or tried not to, so I didn’t realize he was going to be sacrificed as well. It made sense, but still not any less tragic. His death sort of united them as the golden three again, but also fused Bao Seed’s anger even more. He wanted to do something big but didn’t realize how far or how deep things could get with all sides fighting each other and he was caught up in it. It was a surprise that the scriptwriters made it that he liked Ding Jie, but whatever, it wasn’t like a major focus or anything. Once again, Oscar delivered his role convincingly.
  • Patrick Tang as Yip Siu Leung (葉兆良) / Marco. Head of OCTB and was often seen to be in disagreements with Cheuk Sir. It was revealed he was much more involved in the grand scheme than what was let on the surface with his constant rivalry with Cheuk Sir. I never really liked Patrick that much in the past, so this one made it easier to hate him, lol. That probably also meant he had improved in his acting. It would be hard if he hadn’t, lol. But seriously, have to give him credit for making the character despicable enough. The plot didn’t have to make him the mole as well, I already hated him before because he was being a huge asshole to Yan and how he pretended not to care YET had sought out revenge against others and eventually lashing out at her. Of course, he went to the extreme and it later revealed another side of him. I just initially thought that he was just corrupt and didn’t care if he crossed a line to win over Cheuk Sir. I meant everyone crossed the line one way or another at times in here. No one was a saint either way, especially if they wanted to survive when they were going undercover. But his disturbing actions off-work made it harder to like him, especially of his controlling behaviors toward Yan–as stated before. So, yeah, that was a little twist that he was also involved. I was just glad his character and/or story arch didn’t drag out until the end. That would be torture. The writers wanted to focus on the big picture, so it made sense to navigate toward letting the other characters see how big the scale was with the influences the latest gang had in society in general.
  • Lau Kong as Kwok Hok Wah (郭學華). I think I overlooked him, sort of. Because I drew the connection with him being Cheuk Sir’s master and how well they got along. Okay, I was more focused on the fact that they were father and son in The Legend of the Condor Heroes ’83, lol. It was hard not to see the connection, lol. Aside from that, I thought it was cool that they were collaborating on a grand scale in here. Okay, I might have suspected if he was in on it because after I wasn’t really paying attention to Yip Sir, thinking he was just a typical asshole, he turned out to be a mole. I wondered if Kwok knew about it, considering how higher up he was and it seemed like Yip Sir managed to get away with a lot of stuff. So yeah, that was when I suspected him.
  • Elena Kong as Mok Sin Ching (莫羨晴) / Katie. I was a bit taken aback when she first appeared. No, it wasn’t Elena, lol. I knew she was in there. But based on the main theme, she was involved in the court scenes, so I just didn’t expect her story to start from there. It made sense later and I was glad she was able to pull out of such a tragic situation–with some help from Cheuk Sir. I was also glad that they developed her story even more before allowing her to move on with more romance, which I will elaborate on below in the relationships section. Obviously, I had watched Elena since she was with ATV and loved her performances–regardless of roles. So, no complaints about her acting.
  • Law Lok Lam as Kwok Teng (郭正). I swear, I didn’t expect him to be involved as well. I meant, I thought he was just there as a side development to Katie’s story. It made sense for her to return to work and face challenges that would test her professionalism and her sense of justice. Yet his character had taken up another level. Yup, he sure was good at the innocent act all right. It made sense with the schemes they were in. They wouldn’t want to draw attention, just acting normal for the majority of the time.
  • Stephen Huynh as Pong Yin Ting (龐彥廷). He appeared later in the story but was a major character that shouldn’t be overlooked. He was indeed a strong opponent, which made a lot of sense because he was one of the masterminds. It would be a joke if he wasn’t always so cautious of his actions and be suspicious of those around him.
  • Samantha Ko as Lam Hei Mei (林希微) / Amy. I suspected from the start regardless of the fact that she turned out to be another undercover cop or not. She was too suspicious. I was glad they sprung a trap for her later and wasn’t too blinded by the fact that she was also a cop that they overlooked that bit.
  • Skype Chan as Tse On Yee (謝安儀) / Ada. Omg, I sorta suspected her and I felt so guilty for it, lol. Well, trigger response, but half of the population were suspicious at one time or another. You just never know with them. But seriously, she was a very cautious person and managed to aid Yan a lot while she was part of the team and was still alive. I thought she would survive till the end. Like she would somehow escape or fight back. But Yip Sir was indeed experienced with his routine and was prepared, so it had to be that way. She, of course, wouldn’t go down without putting up a good fight–and even left them some clues as well. Another tragic death and a character worth mentioning.
  • Toby Leung as Chiu Mei Yin (趙美賢) aka Yin Chai (賢仔). Cheuk Sir’s niece and also worked under his department. She was quite hot-headed at times when dealing with others. However, some of her anger wasn’t irrational. It showed her righteousness. She was all right I guess. She was just doing her job and possibly even more. I’m no longer sure if she still gets the heat for stuff, but I guess it’s a good idea to keep her out of the limelight for now, lol. This was years ago, but still.
  • Jimmy Au as Hong To Hang (康道行). The unlucky person who was killed off at the end of the first episode. Well, he had to die for the chain of events to unleash. But still, that was a shame not being able to see more of him. Although brief, I really liked his collaboration with Michael and how their characters were friends and understood one another’s mentality. They joked at times and also managed to give one another advice when the time called for it.
  • Chung King Fai as Chin Sui On (錢瑞安). So, he was the real mastermind. It was seriously full of twists and turns to see how it turned out. It took Cheuk Sir going undercover to unearth that one. Many people could see how innocent and harmless he looked, so that was a good twist. But it made sense with the number of people involved that he would have anything to do with it as well.
  • Sam Tsang as Lok Kei (骆祺) / LK. A lawyer. He was seen at times representing some people and was also a strong rival of Katie in the courtroom. However, I wasn’t too sure how much he knew. Probably not enough to get him killed? That they only needed his legal knowledge and what he could do at times? But he did give that weapon to Kwok Hok Wah, which he hid under the table, so I doubted that he was that oblivious to things.
  • Cheung Kwok Keung as Sum Kam (崇金). A rival of Chum Foon Hei who came back for revenge. He was sure scary and sure was crazy enough to measure up to Chum’s scale. However, he wasn’t cunning enough to win.
  • Ankie Beilke as On Lam (安琳) / Amrin. She was a very tragic character. I didn’t like her at first because duh. But seriously, I sympathized with her later, how her adopted father went through to keep her under control and used her for his revenge schemes. Her death was one of the most tragic in here and shook everyone involved to the core. It showed us once again that death was expected when involved in such a situation. We, as the viewers, thought she could finally escape and broke free of that horrible past. However, she chose to return to help and eventually lost her life.

Relationships/ Friendships/ Romances, etc

  • Michael Miu and Elena Kong. Surprisingly addicting to watch. I liked that their relationship started slow and then turning into romance. It wasn’t rushed or too forced, trying too hard to convince us. He accidentally discovered her domestic violence situation and couldn’t stay out of it. I mean, who could? Then he tried to help her and his investigation had led to an even more shocking discovery. Well, on some levels, she probably knew, but she was trying hard to stick around for her ex-husband because of his depression after losing his job and other stuff. But it turned out he was just using those excuses to finally carry out the final part of his plan (aka the final con to get her money). Cheuk Sir was meddling in her business, but he felt the truth was better than lying to herself. She was finally able to stand up on her own and started over. It wasn’t just in the matter of romance. But she learned to live for herself first and got her career back. There were some side encouragements from him and sometimes a little shove in the right direction, but he gave her space to build her own strength. Then they started their relationship. It felt right at different points of the story, not just rushed or randomly.
  • Charmaine and Raymond. I think this is my second favorite collaboration of them where they actually paired up. What was the first? It was actually Lethal Weapons of Love and Passion. Yes, that long ago. Because I didn’t like how their relationship was going to head toward in The Drive of Life–with both of their family histories and all. I gave up around the 20-something mark. I meant to go back but never really could. So I guess I don’t have to go back anymore since I got this one to fuel me. Because seriously, this one was a mixture of cuteness and seriousness rolled into one. They were so funny together when the time called for it and also had some of the most touching moments without making it too dramatic. Well, there were many dramatic scenes, but I felt like the way they portrayed their characters at those points and how they interacted with one another made it natural, not giving off the flakey feeling like in other dramas that created that intensity on purpose to draw in views. Sure, it was created that way, but it wasn’t too obvious because it made sense to the plot itself and the theme surrounding the gangs and all their conflicts. The most dramatic scene between the two of them was probably the part where she confronted him and asked why he didn’t do anything to save her adopted mothers. We, as viewers, knew that he tried and was held down and watched in helplessness. It was really hard to explain it without it sounding like an excuse. How could he say it when he was still processing everything? She also needed to let all her feelings out. But the turnaround to it was how they both needed to cool down and realized what had happened and why it did. He took it to the extreme by wanting to resort to all methods to punish the criminals yet she told him to let go because she reminded him they were supposed to be the lawful cops and doing it according to the books. Despite all the grief and pain that she went through, she was able to see clearly they couldn’t sink to the others’ levels and destroying themselves too. Sure, it mostly had to do with the fact that she had some time to calm down already. But I was amazed that she didn’t go that way. They went through so much together and their conflicts and the consequences of many events spilling out. It was so intense to the point that we weren’t sure if they could ever heal from it. Yet the turnaround wasn’t too corny either. At least, it made sense for me how they healed through time.
  • Sharon and Sammy. OMG, can the writers just leave these two alone? Please? Too late now, I know. But seriously, why must they endure such tragedies? It wasn’t enough that they had a misunderstanding, lost their baby, finally reunited at long last to be separated again because of a tumor? (throwing my hands up in frustration but mostly for dramatic purpose) I mean, come on! I loved watching them and was one of the rare times I didn’t mind such a dramatic romance in the midst of all the intensity. It was a different kind of story from others in here. But that was soooo sad. I mean it wasn’t like it was the first time a tumor separated lovebirds. But these two seriously need a break after all that they’d been through. Sure, she learned to live and she built herself up through his encouragements to help others, not just depend on him, but seriously? It wasn’t like she wasn’t capable before but losing him had really affected her in ways she didn’t realize.
  • The team as a whole. I felt each and every one of them had a bond that was unbreakable for the most part. They started out unsure of one another because of what happened to Hong Sir. Then they learned to work together–through all the events of the story. For some, it took drastic turns; for others, they learned to get past it. There was a variety of reactions that was more realistic than just keeping the constant positivity. They also developed various types of relationships throughout and became more understanding toward one another, which made sense because of how much they’d gone through together.
  • Elena and Sharon as sisters. I didn’t really feel it at first but got drawn into their relations a little more. Maybe it was because how Katie managed to start over and they had more time to bond after what happened. It was also how Yan managed to pull out of the other toxic relationship and was more determined to keep to her goals. Their care and worries for one another at times were enough and weren’t overkilled some other dramas seemed to let on with family relations. Sure, I know people react differently depending on bonds or if it was a family member and all. But I felt their story was more believable.

Recommended? I think this is one of the rare series that I recommend recently, especially for TVB. Hey, especially if you’re fans of the main cast. If you’re a Charray fan, definitely a must-watch.

Dropping By Cloud Nine

Since this was 10 episodes, I decided to give it a try. I meant what harm could it do, right? Only ten. YET…I was actually quite stumped how people couldn’t even get it right with short stories.

Opening, In-Between, and Ending:

  • Ron Ng as Jesse aka Professional Photographer.
  • Kate Tsui as June aka Tourist. Funny that she wasn’t scolding him for taking her picture at first but was just wanting him to take pictures of her right side more than left.
  • First Thought: Wow, obvious with how they appeared like that with the fate talk and all.
  • Second Thought: OMG! They’re not the main couple? Like really?
  • Third Thought: Okay…whatever…works…really…NOT…
  • Ron and Kate as a couple. I don’t know, after the whole The Brink of Law, I’m already sold. So I guess I’ll take whatever I could for this case. At least no one dies, right? Though they’re not linked either since he’s attached and she’s waiting for someone, playing the fate game.
Story #1: Let Go / Bu She Bu De (不捨不得)
  • Figaro Ceng as Li Li Jun (李勵軍). He’s laid-back as always with his composure. It’s nice to see him lead for a change (instead of those supporting roles–though I don’t mind him in those unique roles). Just want to see him lead, that’s all. (Better than some of the current TW leads actually.)
  • Mag Lam as Li Li Jun ( 李麗君). No comment since could be considered cute but the story’s too short to observe more.
  • Wong Cho Lam as Travel Agent. No surprise that he’s so enthusiastic toward convincing others to buy the travel packages, etc.
  • Wong Lai Yee as Xiao Yun (小韻). Kind of charming with her exchanges with the other two.
  • Thoughts: Would I get stuff tossed at me if I say I rather see Figaro with Wong Lai Lee? I meant just by their compatibility with one another when he sat down next to her at the restaurant and they had a little chat. Of course I’m missing the point here. Anyway, then when she checked on his phone’s screensaver, it reminded me of the field of flowers at the beginning of I Do?–and yes, that’s kind of creepy in a sense but whatever works since I’m sure it’s a coincidence. And imagine two people with the same name. At least the same sounding and all.
  • Definition of FATE: Two people who DO NOT do anything but somehow ended up meeting and ending up together. What is this story? Um…a mutual friend who intentionally, purposefully tossed a phone into one party’s bag when the other had accidentally forgotten about his phone. NICE? Sorry for being so sarcastic, but I usually think of fate as some unknown force of nature aka an invisible hand of some sort, NOT some planned action by a known being.
  • Other thoughts: Aww…that flower field was indeed quite beautiful and mesmerizing.
  • Question: They actually went to Taiwan to film it? I meant Figaro didn’t have to go anywhere. But I meant the TVB crew. Like seriously?
Story #2: Merry Single Christmas / Yi Ge Ren De Kuai Le Sheng Dan (一個人的快樂聖誕)
  • Jacqueline Chong as Emily. I don’t feel like she’s one of those hostile bosses though. Maybe it’s because she’s not good with socializing with her co-workers but that doesn’t make her like some evil being either. She’s just too occupied with her work but she still contributes in with paying the party’s fees–though she doesn’t participate actively. She only needs to slow down a bit and enjoy the simplest things.
  • Mandy Lam as Helen.
  • Kibby Lau as Sandy.
  • Derek Chow as Wei.
  • Kelvin Lee as David.
  • Match Lau as Joe.
  • Joey Yau as Linda.
  • Kim Li as Raymond.
  • Question: How in the world did they make such an interesting and exciting theme so boring? I’m so serious here! I’m like NOT that glued to the screen and multi-tasked like mad. AND of course, I had to pause it about a bunch of times before I got done watching it. Not that I didn’t enjoy the cast and the atmosphere, but it was just so lacking even if they tried to cover it all up with trying to make it so glamorous. (As always…like that would work…)
  • Moral of the story: Okay, got it. I was surprised I actually liked it. I meant they didn’t make it like it was a crime to be single. You could find happiness through yourself or how you view things as.
Story #3: Two Unchanging Hearts / Lian Ke Bu Bian Xin (兩顆不變心)
  • Stephanie Ho as Sue.
  • Yuang Cheung as Eric.
  • Miu Miu Ko as Abby. I found her extremely funny. GOSH, her plans backfired major time with the haunted house thing. Then she attempted to drive away Eric’s pursuers.
  • Calvin Chan as Ian. I found him extremely cute and funny also, trying to follow with Abby’s schemes.
  • Brian Tse as John. The poor clueless dude. Not too clueless since he sort of got Abby’s hint but it was sort of sad, lol. Oh well, not everyone can win.
  • Suyen Cheung as Celia.
  • I was impatient even with the first 2 minutes into it. YET glad I stayed since it sort of reminded me of those weird games in school days. Like matchmaking and crazy pranks.
  • Eric and Sue’s communication method and tacit understanding. I loved those subtle gestures at times. It was kind of cute. Like the part where they were in the library studying and Abby was sneaking up on them and watching from one of the bookshelves, Eric sort of sent a message to Sue that someone was there and she just pretended to search for something else while spotting Abby standing there–to which Abby was pretending to not notice and walk away, lol. (Busted I guess so had to get out of there…)
  • Abby and Ian as conspirators. Honestly, they were sort of somewhat more fun to watch. Crazy plans, etc. Mostly her plans and he followed along. Yet it was so funny seeing them cooking up new schemes to pull Eric and Sue together.
  • The grand finale. OMG! That was so unexpected! Eric liked Abby, NOT Sue. Man, that was so playing on the audience’s emotions big time. I meant it seemed Eric and Sue were meant for each other with their coincidences with picking the same book, etc. Then it was like he was always smiling at Sue, etc. But he was just trying to get Abby’s attention. I guess opposites attract, eh? LOL! I sort of favor this ending though since I thought Abby was so cute in her own way, trying so hard to matchmake but didn’t realize it that she was the one Eric was after.
Story #4: Romance on a Ride / Yi Cheng Che De Chun Tian (一程車的春天)
  • Sherry Chen as Jia Hui (嘉慧).
  • Lai Lok Yi as Qian (謙). Cute, nerdy glasses.
  • Cheung Wing Hong as Chun (春).
  • Sarah Song as Katy.
  • Chan Nim Gwun as Iris.
  • Rachel Kan as Carol.
  • Sherry and Lai Lok Yi. They were quite cute together as a couple.
  • The real version. Oh…so the ride only became romantic or full of happiness when she was thinking about her boyfriend AND not that dude who was sleeping away and leaning on her.
  • Moral of the story. Braveness. Okay, got it why she let the guy leaned on her for so long. I meant she wasn’t even brave enough to tell him off and all, sort of relating to her and her boyfriend’s situation. Yet she was glad she didn’t tell the person sitting next to her off since she learned something from him. But if it was real life, I think the situation would be different. Like would anyone let some dude lean on her like that? It didn’t matter if she sympathized with his fatigue or not. Back to the story, it was kind of interesting how she was observing different passengers and incorporating her story into her own with her boyfriend and friends, etc. Yup, what a time to reflect on life’s many possibilities.
Story #5: Marriage’s Secret Language / Jie Hun Mi Yu (結婚密語)
  • Elle Lee as as Grace.
  • Vincent Wong as Gary.
  • Jacky Lei as Jack.
  • Lam Sau Yi as Jacqueline.
  • Jones Lee as Tony.
  • Amy Tsang as Ada.
  • Kitterick Yiu as Wilson.
  • Eddie Law as Ben. Funny dude.
  • Jack and Grace. I so didn’t see that coming. I meant I thought it was a flashback of Gary and Grace years ago so they let different actor and actress portray the roles. YET it was actually Grace and Jack. So he remembered. But it was too late anyway. Doesn’t matter anymore.
  • Moral of the Story. Got it. So they were reflecting about the past with their exes, mostly Grace. Then Grace was realizing how she shouldn’t dwell on what couldn’t be more than focusing on what could really be (something that was within reach).
  • Thoughts. Not bad actually. But not the best either.
Story #6: Our Romantic Story / Wo Men De Liang Man Gu Shi (我們的浪漫故事)
  • Man Cheung as Jun (俊).
  • Yaka as Wincy.
  • Joel Chan as Ivan.
  • Macy Chan as Ying Ying (影影).
  • Hoffman Cheng as Wallace.
  • Alan Luk as Daniel.
  • Lydia Law as Jie Dai Yuan (接待員).
  • Chloe Nguyen as Sherry.
  • Kaka Chan as Theater Staff.
  • Thoughts. Surprisingly good to me. I meant I was looking for the typical ending just like what happened in that movie they saw at the theater that one time. Yet even though some details were the same, such as Wincy leaving her umbrella at that one restaurant or how she lost her wallet in the streets, but the outcome was different. Like how the restaurant staff brought Wincy’s umbrella out for her and her wallet was actually somewhere in one of those bushes (not in her purse all along). Then there was also the part where Wincy was saying how she hadn’t seen stars for so long but they just proceeded on with Jun eating his purchased food while Wincy browsed a magazine in her purse to pass time while they were waiting for the bus. I actually liked how the situation presented itself to them like the movie yet because of their similar circumstances (being dumped and getting over the relationship), their reactions were different. Despite the fact that they’d seen the movie together. And perhaps it was like how they were in the same circumstance so they didn’t take on the role of reassuring one or the other like the leading actor in the movie did.
  • The cast. I actually enjoyed the cast more this time around since I felt they weren’t really the usual main cast in the typical long series of TVB but they surpassed some of those cast major time. Not to mention how it made it more realistic because these situations happen to people holding a normal job too, not too glamorous but not too pitiful either.
  • The fact that they didn’t end up together. Well, not really or it was that way for us to dwell upon. But it was not cliche. Sure, there were people in your life you often encounter and could chat up a storm yet it didn’t mean you have to step further into it. It was just someone to talk to at times.
Story #7: Love’s Shift / Ai Qing Zhuan Yi (愛情轉移)
  • Lisa Ch’ng as Elaine. I’m not sure if I’d seen her before but have good impressions of her for portraying a somewhat strict, strange being to letting us see the real her in the end (aka from her point of view).
  • Kaki Leung as Ivy. Seriously, I think she was the one barking more than Elaine when she used the term ‘bark’ on Elaine and Mag Mag.
  • Jason Chan as Tom. Perhaps, he was the wisest in here, not judging Elaine or willing to participate in gossips with others. He knew from different details that it wasn’t like so thus not caving in with the rest of the public to sling even more mud on Elaine.
  • Edwin Siu as Victor. NO comment. He was portraying another asshole role so what should I say?
  • Eddie Lee as George. The poor guy who got rejected.
  • Calvin Lui as John.
  • Thoughts. I felt that this was getting better and better with the story. OR it was just me. People often criticize others for being blind with being the person in the situation versus those not involved are more clear-headed, etc. YET this proved wrong. Sometimes other people DO NOT know the real version or know the story exactly as it was. They just want to form their own conclusion. AND it was because they were not involved in the matter that they could say or give advice as they pleased, thinking it was the best solution YET they were not the ones having to deal with it all. It was those who were involved and had all the pieces of the puzzle who knew. That was why it was hard to deal with situations. They know whether they have too much to lose or not. Another good episode with the whole reflection and healing one–without the element of romance involved.
Story #8: Beautiful Daydream / Bai Ri Qi Meng (白日綺夢)
  • James Ng as Bai Zhan Ting (白占庭).
  • Alfred Hui as Gan Zu Xiong (甘祖雄).
  • Ria Tong as Zhong Xiao Qi (鍾曉淇).
  • Nicole Wan as Stacy.
  • Winnie Ma as Susan.
  • Kaka Chan as Natalie.
  • Koni Lui as special guest aka trophy presenter.
  • First Thought. Awww…the feeling of being used by someone so they could get through your friend. Well, if you experienced it before, it sucks big time–to the point that sometimes you just can’t get over it no matter how others told you it’s no big deal. They DO NOT get it.
  • Second Thought. OMG! It was all a dream like even the whole idea of the girl using him to get to his friend? Okay…at least he didn’t get used by others. PHEW!
  • Last Thought. I honestly don’t think Zhan Ting was too fat or too unattractive though. He just fit those schoolboy images perfectly though, with the dorky glasses and somewhat ruffled hair. It was probably his confidence–and maybe others’ views. Or his own paranoia. Or he was just bored or read too much manga to dream up of different stories so he could be involved in it.
Story #9: I Do / Wo Yuan Yi (我願意)
  • Phoebe Pang as Hu Ke Ling (胡可玲).
  • Sheldon Lo as Shi Zhi Qing (石志青).
  • Anita Kwan as Hu Ke Yi (胡可怡).
  • Cheng Tse Sing as Ling’s father.
  • Elena Kong May Yee as Ling’s mother.
  • Alvina Kong as 3rd Aunt.
  • Ko Jun Man as Qing’s father.
  • Tsang Wai Man as Qing’s mother.
  • Shek Sau as Uncle Zhu.
  • Mary Hon as Uncle Zhu’s wife.
  • Joseph Yeung as Wedding Host/Witness.
  • Ronald Leung as Alfred, Hu Ke Yi’s first husband.
  • Stephen Huynh as Ben, Hu Ke Yi’s second husband.
  • Jim Tang as John Hu Ke Yi’s third husband.
  • Thougts. Awww…that was so cute, especially the ending. Well, imagine playing the game of ‘getting married’ when they were little and growing up together, etc. Cliche but sometimes people prefer those who didn’t grow up with them since it was more of a family feeling than romance. Yet this one sort of fell back on that one and when the feeling was mutual, it was really cute.
  • Regarding marriage. I guess no one has the right to judge how many times one gets married OR if it’s real or not. Again, outsiders have no right to judge because they do not have all the pieces and they could form their own opinions however they want to.
  • The ending. I thought Ling Ling would catch it since her sister did signal to her. But then it was Zhi Qing who caught it and then handed the bouquet to her.
Story #10:  When an Old Sweater Met an Old Scarf / Dang Jiu Mao Yi Yu Shang Jiu Wei Jin (當舊毛衣遇上舊圍巾)
  • Gregory Wong as Wen (文).
  • Cheung Kwok Keung as Old Wen.
  • Candice Chiu as Lan (蘭).
  • Lisa Lui Yau Wai as Old Lan.
  • Janet Chow as Fion.
  • Thoughts. Man, I wasn’t sure if I was more involved with seeing how Cheung Kwok Keung and Lisa Lui portrayed the older version or the younger versions of Wen and Lan. Though the older couple only appeared a bit, their emotions said a lot with their expressions. It was interesting how things turned out because I thought his wife wouldn’t care anymore or how they would eventually end up together but separated years ago. But it wasn’t so. It was just those little memories and then they continued with their lives–to be reunited briefly again, but separated because of their different course of life. Call me a crybaby but I actually cried near the end when they were just crossing paths to walk in opposite directions. It was like so close, yet it was not meant to be.

Favorite story? At first, I thought it was kind of brainless because of the first few stories having nothing special except it was a bit different. But then I was wrong since the later stories were better (for me). So for me, it was a toss between story # 3, #6, #9, and #10. But I must say that the story that left the deepest impression was the last one. Honestly, that was so, so sad. Though I know it was kind of forbidden and was glad there was no cheating or breaking up some marriage’s involved yet it was like so sad. I guess they weren’t meant to be anyway since they would never say anything more than the initial exchange in response to the little lunch box she prepared for him that last time when she brought it to the airport.

Other thoughts? Honestly, aside from some familiar faces, I think this was just an attempt to introduce new faces to us. What better way than to do it with some short stories, right? What I did like about it was how it was planned was with those cute drawings that played into the theme video instead of the actual people and some song. The music was very soothing as well. But it was strange in a sense too because it would be more suitable for the autumn theme with the colors used and not Valentine’s Day theme as TVB had intended for it to be.

Recommended? Your choice really. ‘Cause I thought it was a series of light-hearted episodes to pass time, not something intense if you were looking for that. It was more along of those meaningful messages about life than typical dramas TVB tried so hard to push forth these past years.

*Cast names are listed by how they are known as by region, character names are listed by Mandarin Pinyin (as relevant).