HK TV Series Worth Watching

This is the Hong Kong list, as promised in the other post.  This will be longer, mostly because I started watching HK ones first. And I also started this two years ago but didn’t launch it until now.

Ancient:

A Tough Side of a Lady – Mulan story going haywire. YET consider it a comedy and enjoy it for its humor. Wong Hei and Marianne Chan made such a cute couple in here.

Better Halves – A fun, light-hearted (for the most part, lol) drama. Nice collaboration between Steven and Maggie.

Destined to Rebel – Ignore the history and you’ll enjoy this since the cast’s really nice to watch. Tragic ending yet it wasn’t too lame.

Heroic Legend of the Yang Family – I don’t remember much anymore, but it was indeed a grand production that was worth it.

In the Realms of Joy – Many people might not even remember or care about this but I thought it was one of those best comedies because they managed to include major and minor characters into the plot. I hate it when they kept focusing on one or two persons SO it would get boring so fast.

King Maker – Was surprised. There were times that it veered off the road, BUT I guess compared to some recent ones, had to say it was good enough.

Lethal Weapons of Love and Passion – This was an adaptation of Huang Yi’s novel, which had gone haywire somewhat because of the alterations in characters and plot in general. Nothing new because adaptations could never match that of the original author’s intention and it often had to do with the capability to do it or not. But regarding characters, I think they did it on purpose with making some people ‘too good’ so as not to damage some reputations. (PUH-LEASE.) I wasn’t so against the cast though I had my doubts regarding some people. YET I watched anyway since I just love those ancient series and how it was wuxia too. Surprisingly, I enjoyed it.

Mystery of the Parchment – Some stuff didn’t make sense. Yet it was one of those if you don’t pay attention as much, you end up enjoying it for its ancient setting.

Road for the Heroes – Half comedy and half-serious. But it still retained some of the ancient feelings that didn’t make it corny at all.

Road to Eternity – This was surprisingly good without ruining it too much. This has a lot of Buddhism in it (obviously) and Zen stuff.

Safe Guards – What can I say? I’m a sucker for the Steven and Wayne team.

Square Pegs – The ending sort of killed it. Yet I guess it couldn’t be any other way. But it was too frustrating. Still worth the time with some parts though.

Swordsman Lai Bo Yee – It was quite draggy at one point too. But the overall was pretty good for an ancient one.

Ten Tigers of Guangdong – Major production from ATV. Can’t say there weren’t frustrated moments. But it was somewhat worth it with those series back then.

The Buddha Jin – One of the earlier adaptations of Ji Gong that was worth it.

The Commandments – I used to hate it when I was little since I didn’t get why people were so gossipy, etc. YET I learned to love this little comedy later on for its intention.

The Duke of Mount Deer 1984 – Interestingly, it was the version that got all the chronological orders right with how the main dude met all the girls/women in his life. Though the personalities and plot elements had gotten lost for some people. (YES, I’m technical so sue me.) There was also the start of the whole ‘Andy and Tony’ team that had grabbed the audience over the years when they reunite in another movie/series. Oh yeah, Elaine Chow Siu Lan actually got a role worth mentioning in that one.

The Gentle Crackdown II – One of the rare times that the sequel was better than the 1st part. Maybe because some parts made a lot more sense.

The Great General – The sequel of “Heroic Legend of the Yang Family”. Wasn’t super perfect, but was really interesting for the most part, not to mention excellent acting from the majority of the cast.

The Greatness of a Hero – One of the rare surprises of recent years.

The Hunter’s Prey – Despite the ending that left some of us felt like we were choking but the overall plot wasn’t bad. Eddie Cheung got sacrificed as usual but what else was new? (YET people still dare to say that he just got sacrificed recently just to boost some younger faces. YEAH RIGHT, he got sacrificed a longgggggg time ago. STOP making it into some stupid fan war to bash the new generation.)

The Legend of the Condor Heroes 1982 – Actually a big and long production that was worth it? The plot got shuffled around a bit but I guess the overall wasn’t too bad. (Don’t convince me how phenomenon it was or how “classic” it was, I watched it! Like more than 10 times too. AND then read the book right afterward so I know what the hell got shuffled and sacrificed. Despite being a grand production, it wasn’t that accurate either. IF you have the resource, at least DO IT RIGHT.)

The New Adventures of Chor Lau Heung 1984 – Despite the fact that it distorted sooooooo much from Gu Long’s novels, except for some parts, it was pretty good if look as a totally different series. (AND don’t even get me started on how they tarnished Gu Long’s vision of the actual story, the point got missed major time but turned into a popular route instead, which was a super shame BECAUSE those who watched this first will never appreciate the more accurate adaptations of the later years. OR should I say the ones that came before as well?)

The New Heavenly Sword and Dragon Sabre 1986 – Let’s just say, the first part of the parents’ generation was much more interesting than the rest. YET it was okay overall. You just watch for the cast ’cause if you really think about it, it was kind of frustrating at times. Not to mention it had distorted some parts and characters.

The Return of the Condor Heroes 1983 – OMG, it was more accurate to the novel than the first part. That was what made it even better to watch. (NOT saying it was better than part 1 here because technically this is just part of the trilogy, just saying it was more accurate hence making it even more enjoyable on its own.)

The Slicing of the Demon – Another surprise in recent years. Maybe because it didn’t go the typical, formulaic route with playing safe and all.

The Smiling, Proud Wanderer 1984 – OMG, this was awesome from the music to the acting, etc. Honestly, CYF was awesome as LHC. The story got shuffled around, some characters were tone down to be more endurable YET they sacrificed others to make a certain character looked better. But like that was news. The overall was good if you skip around more. Then I just did a re-watch of recent and I found the ending unendurable. I swear, NOT picking on this BUT XAJH is technically my favorite (after DOMD) BUT TVB killed the ending. (YES, it was so dragging with them trying to make heroes out of the lamest characters.) It’s sooo sad that they never do a correct adaptation for this one OR the casting is so off. I don’t know if there will ever be one that actually does the novel justice, BUT even this version didn’t satisfy me. Despite awesome acting with some people. AND oh yeah, the song that became the drive for LCH’s journey was practically forgotten halfway through already. OR maybe a third way through. What the hell was that? Then I pulled myself together and reminded myself that at least it focused on jianghu related stuff more than on the soaps side (cough cough). Not to mention they didn’t cut out some of my favorite characters just to make room for some characters that only got 2-minute fame in the actual novel.

The Two Most Honorable Knights 1988 – Umm…the cast made it good. I don’t know. There wasn’t much to go on because they butchered the plot. Once again, Gu Long got robbed but what else was new, right? I hated the whole ‘merge in characters’ for some people. I heard the ’70s version was more accurate but I can’t be sure since I didn’t watch that yet. And there was also the whole thing with me not finishing the novel yet.

Vampire Expert II – Those traditional vampire capturing stories. Great stories of various sorts, but also included some comedies as well.

Where The Legend Begins – Only some people made it good. Yet it was an interesting take from the other side of the whole ‘three kingdoms’ stories.

Pre-Modern:

Au Revoir Shanghai – NOT because I liked most of the cast involved. That helped. But I thought it was well thought out. In fact, most Shanghai related series are good. I said ‘MOST’, NOT ‘all’.

Coincidentally – The first series that Frankie and Annie paired up together–despite the fact that they’ve been in several series together already.

Fist of Fury – It was awesome! One of those ATV classics.

Good Against Evil – I loved it. Not only because of Deric but how the plot seemed to have a mixture of mystery, comedy. etc.

Phoenix Rising – I was surprised to really enjoy this. A lot of gray areas come into play. And sometimes you really wonder if you should take some people’s words for it. Some were obvious, but others were hard to figure.

The Charm Beneath – One of those surprisingly good ones. Regardless of the cast. Or if the plot might be frustrating at times.

The Legend of Dragon Pearl – OMG, I didn’t expect to enjoy it so much. The comedy was mad and random, but it was really charming because of everyone’s acting. OR more like most people’s acting.

The Price of Greed – Despite some poor acting in place, the plot was really good. It had really carried out some chilling effects with all the plots and schemes.

The W Files – Sci-fi/detective/crime-solving one. Pretty cool actually since it addressed a mixture of cases that had to do with the phenomenon side.

Thou Shalt Not Cheat – OMG, it was a riot! Despite some frustrations here and there, the series was good overall. The comedy wasn’t too over either.

Modern:

A Great Way to Care – Ignore the somewhat lame title since it was overlooked somewhat because of that. I didn’t regret diving in though I had my initial doubts.

Black Heart, White Soul – Need I say more? It’s been a while since I enjoyed something so this one had to be placed in after I was done with the series.

Catch Me Now – One of the surprisingly good ones. YET the ending sort of killed it. But I guess it wasn’t the worst of them all when it was trying to kill the main character.

CIB Files – The only series ever that I could like Bowie Lam. (Don’t know why, just that he always seems to be intimidating regardless.) It was creative in the way it was shot at the beginning and led us into the story. The office dramas were reflected throughout and it was fun to see. Though the Wong Hei and Maggie Siu pairing was kind of odd but wasn’t the worst and was still cute in a way.

Cross Border Daddy – Inspirational one. NOT perfect since there were quite a few parts that could do without. Yet it turned out fine.

D.I.E. – The first one was enough. There were mixes of madness among other things since most characters were quite weird. Yet some of the foundations got ruined in the later parts, especially near the ending. But it was decent overall.

Family Man – I lost count on how many times I watched this already. Quite meaningful though not flawless. A good mixture of comedy and romance.

Forensic Heroes I & II – YES, I listed 2 as well because I still liked it despite it sacrificing some characters. The cases were all right.

Forensic Heroes III – MOST people were against it because of its link to the previous installments but it was really decent for a standalone series. There were glitches within the plot (like most TVB series) but it was NOT that terrible like some claimed.

Hearts of Fencing – A light-hearted, youth drama. Many might not care for it. But I thought it was worth watching if you want to reminisce about the old school days. AND for the first time, the ages of the students weren’t off since they used some fresh faces (at the time) to fit the roles.

Just Love II – It honestly was better than part 1 for some reason. Since the foundation was better with some clarifications. And perhaps I rather deal with Johnson’s Mr. 13 than some annoying ‘father-in-law’.

Last One Standing – Quite intense and mind games were involved. The deception and conspiracies from both sides were quite nerve-wracking at times. Yet worth it.

Life Art – Many will disagree since it seemed so average. Yet I felt it was one of those light-hearted ones. There were dramatic moments that the characters went through. But overall, it was really genuine.

Master of Play – Psychological theme, and other dark themes. Add in some more art. NOT everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s one of those that forces one to think about life in general and the choices people make (and much more).

My Date With A Vampire I, II, & III – YES, I’m the rare one who liked all three. Though there were parts that could do without and there were frustrations, I think I valued it for the story, the acting, and interesting interpretations at times. (LOL!)

Not Just A Pretty Face – Hilarious!

Odd Man Out – MOST people probably didn’t remember this or might not know of its existence. It was one of those nonsense comedies but didn’t go into the ‘lame’ boundary.

One Step Beyond – It was mad random and bordering on nonsensical at times. But it managed to capture some of the unpredictable at times.

Placebo Cure – I was surprised since I didn’t think much of it when it came out. But I checked it out anyway later.

Project Ji Xiang – I’m a sucker for those ghost-related ones. Not to mention it was a decent one overall with the plot NOT moving too fast or too slowly.

Reincarnated II – Didn’t watch the other version, and didn’t read the novel either, but enjoyed the series overall.

Seed of Hope – Loved it, very meaningful and not too much. Though I hated some of the ending stuff that happened to Kenix’s character, I tried to just erase that part for its traumatic effects. Patrick and Kenix also made an interesting pairing.

Shade Of Darkness – Ghost revenge type of series. Surprisingly interesting.

Speech of Silence – Another surprise.

Steps (aka The Whole City Is Dancing) – Steven & Bernice. AND Wayne. NOT the best since the ending sort of killed it. But decent overall.

The Brink of Law – Quite exciting and actually unpredictable at various points.

The Ghostbusters Gang – It was mixed with comedy and ghost-related stuff. But really nice to watch the cast battle it out at times.

The Hero From Shanghai – Good Gallen and Maggie collaboration. Didn’t realize they had so much chemistry and were quite cute together. There were also nice fighting scenes, lol.

The King of Yesterday and Tomorrow – Fun, time travel drama. Loved the cast and acting.

Tiger Cubs – Short and simple. The end.

When Heaven Burns – A major surprise for me. Many things I already mentioned in the review since I actually did a long one for the series, but it honestly was worth it. Some might not like it because of the ‘slow’ pace but I didn’t think it was slow at all. Sure, there were times that I got impatient but I was worried the ending would get ruined. But the details were essential for later parts.

Who Is The Killer – Old, but good overall.

Sitcoms:

Be My Guest – It was sooo long ago, but I remember loving it.

Off Peddar – Despite the fact that the ending ruined it, it was pretty good overall.

Welcome to the House – Some of the cast annoyed the world out of me, but the rest made up for it. And besides, it was mostly a senseless comedy so I didn’t really mind.

NOTE: This list will be updated from time to time. Also, the list is by alpha order AND not by significance. And this will also be included in the “Helpful + Fun Posts” in case anyone’s interested.

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Project Ji Xiang

It was about time that I blog about this, considering how I watched it three times already. It was so funny how I did not remember all the details or the main reason why–thus leading to a continuance of interest surrounding the series. Not to mention the reasons why I liked it so much and still able to watch it that many times.

Likes:

  • Kenneth Chan as Yam Gut Cheung. I always liked Kenneth and liked it even more that he was finally leading. He had the main guy presence but still managed to stick close to his role without looking like he was trying too hard (like most guys who were finally given opportunity). He managed to exude the ‘guy next door’ image in here (though his link to the paranormal made it hard to be someone normal).
  • Joey Meng as Dai Si Hing. Another role linked to the ghost theme yet this time she was more of a non-believer (at least at first). But I really liked it seeing her as a cop. She was serious yet there was a vulnerable side to her too, NOT just the whole unreasonably stubborn and tough exterior. It was not one-dimensional. And I was glad since I thought it was just another typical role BUT it wasn’t.
  • Kenneth and Joey as a couple. I really liked this pairing after watching and they will always remain one of my favorites. I was surprised that they matched so well since after the whole My Date With A Vampire sagas and their roles on the opposite sides had let on. Their chemistry was really interesting and lovable that almost made me wish that they were together in MDWAV III (which was funny since their characters said otherwise, lol). I liked that the scriptwriters made both their characters strong and were equal in talents and with a similar mentality. I rather see that than making the main female lead a weakling so the main male lead could shine since that plot is more than overkilled. There was this strong bond between the two of them–seen more at the later part of the series–that said a lot. They were different when they were with each other than when Gut Cheung was with Sally or when Si Hing was with Yat Yat. It was funny that they dated the siblings (Gut Cheung with Sally and Si Hing with Yat Yat of course) before getting together. I had a feeling like they were soulmates when they were together versus when they were with the other two.
  • Kenny Lin as Lui Yat Yat. I usually don’t like the too nice guy roles that were often portrayed by the other guy who will never get the girl, lol. (Since they were often made to be too good and often made you pity them, which I don’t like that tactic used to approach, seeking sympathy from the audience.) But I have to make an exception for Kenny since I liked his character and how there was no hype over his character. At least NOT that often slapped around like other series like to portray. He was just another guy and just someone moving along in life.
  • Kenny and Joey as a pairing. I know that it was a bit ironic to like both pairings but blame it on them for having chemistry as well. AND the fact that Kenny lost to the main guy again! (Poor Kenny!) When Si Hing was with Gut Cheung, we–the viewers–got to see her aggressive, strong personality but when she was with Yat Yat, there was this gentle, kind personality. She was really comfortable with him and acted more considerate toward him for a reason. Yet it was easy to see that because she was holding back some things with him that it seemed they did not work out as a couple and were better off as friends.
  • Ricky Chan as Johnson. I did not notice Ricky until watching this and found it interestingly funny that he was Kenneth’s sidekick in here. It was nice seeing him as a sort of bum role and how he was overly obsessed with networking, etc. It was really funny also that Johnson seemed like a cool dude but was able to think up of all sort of plans and giving love advice, lol. It seemed like he wasn’t around that much the later parts of the series but it was all right since he was not forgotten either AND considering the intensity of other things set in, it was understandable.
  • Wailis Pang as Yung Siu Lan. At times, I found her kind of snobby BUT then Wailis was so cute and lovable at times that it was forgivable. It was all right that she was spoiled, at least she wasn’t hateful like other series like to portray of the ‘other girl’. I actually felt quite sorry for her since she witnessed such a traumatizing event since young and it had affected her later on, causing an emotional breakdown.
  • Ricky and Wailis as a couple. They really matched wit per wit all right. Both having an equally strong tongue and how they bickered, in the beginning, was really funny. It was funny how they had so much similar qualities yet was unable to get along at first. Another one of the pairings that had some similar personalities and was able to compete against each other–like how Kenneth and Joey were, but on a different level. It was somewhat cute that they met again at that one cybercafe at the end. They were probably meant to be together since they kept bumping into each other.
  • Kenneth and Wailis as a couple. Okay, so another one that I couldn’t resist but put in. But I felt they were really comfortable with each other when together and did have some chemistry. There was something obviously missing in their relationship but it was still cute that she was willing to go through to help him at various times or try to get his attention. When Gut Cheung was with Sally, there was this obvious look of them being the glamorous couple yet and matched really well. What was a bit annoying was when Gut Cheung was trying to think, he was not able to since Sally was always ranting about something. Maybe they were showing how the two didn’t click as well at times so it was inevitable that they did not end up together. The hint with the light was also telling us that they would not work out. The most obvious hint was the whole idea with her father responsible for his parents’ death. Though she was not responsible, it would be too weird to have them end up together. It wasn’t just happily ever after, they had to live with that for the rest of their lives.
  • Berg Ng as Hong Yau Wai. An interestingly funny character. Though he was in the gang, I found him really funny since his actions said otherwise (which we found out later why).
  • Kong Mei Yee as Dai Lai Hing. Every time she appeared, I wanted to laugh. Well, except for the parts where the incidents with her father and all. She was really witty in her way and was a comedic relief where the plot was concerned.
  • Berg and Kong Mei Yee as a couple. They were probably the comedic couple in here. Every time they appeared together, they caused laughter or other hilarious scenes. The funniest thing was I noticed how they were another couple matching wit per wit. YES, it seemed the same formula was used BUT at least there was no dominance between the two genders in here since I’m rather sick and tired of the whole who was stronger or had a stronger personality between different couples. At least they had a different story and relationship from the other two pairings. I really enjoyed those times when he let her bully him into various things and how he had on that expression like, “She had no idea.” It was really lovable how she kept pretending to NOT like him OR how she kept stalking him BUT had to come up with a reason for stalking him. It was really silly but lovable. Their wedding was utterly hilarious too since they made it sound like they were forced to marry each other but silently cheering for it to happen too. Then the most hilarious part was her finally getting her wish of arresting him at the end and making him serve a life sentence of taking care of her and her baby. AND he had no problem with that since he was more than ready to hang up his hat with his undercover job.
  • Bak Piao as Yam Suen. Funny to see Bak Piao in such a comedic role. But he did well–as if there were any doubts.
  • Yam Suen (Bak Piao) and Gut Cheung (Kenneth) as father and son. Though they weren’t really blood-related, I found it really likable with their father and son bond. It wasn’t cheesy or overkilled with stressing how important they were to one another. There was this comedic element to it. They appreciated each other, BUT it wasn’t stressed or implied too much through words but could be seen through the actions and interactions throughout. It was really funny too that Yam Suen wanted to leave OR attempted to leave after the whole thing with him revealing the truth about Gut Cheung’s identity. His luggage was empty AND he was just pretending BUT it was extremely funny that he pulled such a thing. Then Gut Cheung found him out!
  • Ruco Chan as Yung Siu Lung. It wasn’t the character but more like his portrayal of the character. He had the potential and the look but it wasn’t his time and it was okay for me since he did have a major part to play in the main plot (though he didn’t appear a lot).
  • The majority of the cast. Regardless of the role they portrayed, I thought it was a good cast. Everyone fit well with their given role. I did not feel the hype so I felt it was a success. These people worked together before, but somehow I didn’t feel bored OR feel overkilled when they were grouped together for this production as well.
  • The fact that every time Lai Hing walked out of Si Hing’s office, she bumped into Gut Cheung. It was funny all right and Lai Hing always pointed that out. It was funnier that Lai Hing was the one seeing how only Gut Cheung was the one for Si Hing, always encouraging them on AND that she kept saying to Gut Cheung, “Take good care of my sister.” Perhaps, it was because Lai Hing knew both a lot more and how they would match well.
  • How the pairings seemed to reflect a different feeling. I just realized it and placed it in when thinking and typing for the other pairings. Like I felt differently about when Kenneth was with Joey or Wailis OR how Joey was with Kenneth or Kenny. It must be really something and how they portrayed their roles because they seriously were convincing with their interactions with each partner.

Sorry, no ‘Dislikes’ for this one, considering how I tend to lean more towards ATV regardless of what problems they had internally OR how others hated them. Not recommended for those who DO NOT care for supernatural stuff OR care to understand it. (There’s a difference between understanding it versus believing. You DO NOT have to believe it to understand.)