HKTV: Voting In Progress

For fans of HKTV, super good news! They’re finally launching! That’s not all either because they had set up a poll on their website, asking the public to vote for which TV series should be broadcast first. Go here if you’re interested. Yes, people who have been tuning in – even if vaguely, might have learned that Ricky Wong managed to find a way so they could finally launch. The phrase “Where there’s a will, there’s a way” rings true in this case.

Anyway, the deadline for the voting is November 9. Results will be announced on the 10th.

NOTICE: HKTV died already, go here for the news article and analysis provided by llwy12.

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Twilight Investigation

I never thought my TVB drama of the year would actually start with this one. Serious! Well, I blame my sister because she was skipping around to watch her favorite Shek Sau, LOL! Though it couldn’t be counted for being new as of this year because I sort of step out of anything HK related for a while. But anyway, how was it? Average actually though I did watch from episode 1 to 20 without skipping around. Yes, I was that fair though I felt some parts could do without and others could be developed upon. But what do I expect when it’s a TVB drama, eh? Moving on, right?

The Goods:

  • Shek Sau as Yip Kwok Cheung (葉國昌). I don’t know. I just can’t stop laughing at him. He’s what they call “smart at work, dumb at home” type of person. ‘Cause honestly, he was so pro and cool when he worked on the cases but when he was at home, he was like so out of it, so lost. He had to take care of half of the people’s mess in here and seemed to let others take advantage of him. I wonder if the idea with the way he dressed was incorporated in so it showed the differences when he was at work or home. He was so slick at work with the hair up and all, but his hair was all ruffled up and his clothes laid-back at home. Well, it would make sense since most of us are that way, but the way he let Ho Yan took advantage of him was so pitiful.
  • Raymond Wong as Chow Ka Sing (周家昇). I’ve been enjoying his performances lately. It wasn’t because he was getting better roles (kind of but it has nothing to with the factor that would get me to like someone more or less), but more like I’m getting used to his way of acting. He sure surprised me with his funny side. Okay, he was funny in A Great Way to Care as well but it was different. He was acting so macho and all in here yet could be a big baby at times as well. The fact that they add even more to his personality made it addicting. The scene between him and Billy with his wanting to shoo Billy away was so touching, and then the part where Billy brought some food and his favorite drink for him was equally touching. (Sometimes it makes you wonder that bonds between two people transcend that of the bloodline. After all, Billy did live with him throughout all these years. It’s hard to just cut off the relation like that.)
  • Queenie Chu as Mandy. I wasn’t sure if I would like her in here though I did enjoy her other past performances. Yet I guess it would be safe to say that she was extremely misled at one point. She can’t be too perfect, right? Sad that it happened yet I’ll let it slide since the family of three reunited again.
  • Raymond and Queenie as a couple. I didn’t know if it was going to work or not. But I found it refreshing. It was actually better than some of his past co-stars. I’m so serious here. I could see sparks between them and then there was the whole feeling with their family.
  • Johnson Lee as Wang Siu Fu (王小虎). At first, I thought he was portraying some typical bad guy again. I’m serious. I didn’t read spoilers this time and it seemed suspicious. Yet there was this different story about it. His strong sense of loyalty to his boss sort of reminded me of his character in Split Second. But I was glad it led into a different path–or it would end in the usual, cliche route. Anyway, I think Johnson has a knack for comedy without trying too hard. He could keep a straight face while saying one of the funniest lines ever. Honestly, I couldn’t stop laughing because of how passive he was while he was saying those lines. It was of course intended for sarcastic humor–and he succeeded. (At least I thought so.)
  • Oceane Zhu as Bing Bing (冰冰). I like seeing her being the chameleon at times throughout different cases. She could be seductive or serious or cool at any moment. Cool character? Not sure because of that so it helped her acting more but not bad at all. I will hold my judgment since it is just my first series of her. (Or so I could remember.)
  • Johnson and Oceane. I’m a sucker for such a mysterious story. LOL! But they were quite cute together without trying too hard. One of the funniest parts with them was seeing how she had to rescue him out of the sticky situation when he got them busted, and then he had to stand aside and hold her purse while she fought off those men. LOL! Priceless! Oh yeah, the part near the end where she hired bodyguards stationed at the door to protect him was so funny as well. Gotta watch out for her man, eh? The most ironic thing was how he used to be in a gang so he should be able to fend for himself, right?
  • Power Chan as 977. Always like Power and another enjoyable performance. He made the scene even more lively with his enthusiasm and really brought out his character at various points with his charm.
  • Lau Dan as So Kam Lam (蘇鑑林). He was just around at times. Yet he got some more screen time in one of the cases to develop his character even more. Let’s just say the man hasn’t lost it. Kudos!
  • The bond between 977 (Power) and Uncle Kam (Lau Dan). I really liked it that 977 was so loyal to Uncle Kam, always supporting him and following him to different places even if the old man can’t see him (at least not the majority of the series). Their talk in prison was one of those memorable scenes between them, so touching. (Yeah, I’m a sucker for that as well.)

Other Notable Performances:

  • Lam King Kong as Tse Po Chuen (謝保全). I always liked him though he was in the background most of the time, portraying various roles. He doesn’t disappoint this time either. Quite convincing as the mentally challenged person. (And he did get a part where he played the possessed person–aka the part where Power’s character, 977, entered his body.)
  • Ram Tseung as Mok Chun Chung (莫鎮忠). I swear, I was so convinced he was innocent and got framed. Then I was so taken with the possessed part that I didn’t realize his character was actually responsible for the fire after all. He sure did it with acting all innocent and kind, but transferred to a revenge-fused madman. AND then out of control ghost. Or should we call him a ghoul? Or monster? Since the regular ghost (according to the to the plot) learn things bit-by-bit, not advance so much like him when he turned and was able to cause so much harm–due to the hatred that was inside him.
  • Jimmy Au as Cheng Nam (鄭南). Okay, he only appeared a bit throughout flashbacks and I’m so cheating here to put him in. Yet I found it somewhat refreshing to watch him in such a role instead of another typical villain. Maybe the story did help.

Torn:

  • Wong Hei as Encore. I guess I like him. Yet I can’t decide since the later parts ruined it somewhat with his mushy scenes with Linda. I don’t doubt his performance. But I think the plot ruined his character. The finale of the ending scenes leading up to his character’s death brought the story back on track. But that was that.

Somewhat Strange/Surprising:

  • Shek Sau and Rebecca? Honestly? Have they ever paired up in the past before? I’m just wondering since I did not watch every single TVB series. Kind of strange to take in at first yet I guess it’s not too bad because they do match to some extent that did not make it too odd in here.

ODD TO DEATH:

  • Wong Hei and Linda!!! What? Okay, I’m not picking on his age. Or hers. I do like older man and younger woman pairing to some extent. And I often leave the option open since some of the collaborations have surprised me in the past. But I find it really odd with this two together. I rather they (the scriptwriters) not include the romance part between these two. But I guess it’s always typical TVB to romanticize everything.

OUTRAGEOUS:

  • They demoted Ben Wong? Like again? I guess he wouldn’t want to be the goody-two shoe for too long or he would get rusty with his acting or be tossed into just one category. Yet I was getting used to seeing him trying out some roles such as the humorous dude, the cool cop, the somewhat clueless guy, etc. What happened? Is this going to turn into a pattern? Hope not. But he was convincing as the calm, patient boyfriend and father at first–and then showing his true colors later.

FEELING ROBBED:

  • How Siu Ho (Johnson) and Bing Bing (Oceane) got together. What? I know how they got together through some minor scenes and some of their recounts later on. Yet I felt robbed. I want more of the story development. If they had cut out some random/mushy scenes between Wong Hei and Linda, then it might work out. YES, mean, but I rather see more scenes of Johnson and Oceane. There could be more room to develop.
  • How in the world did that creep reporter get together with Leng Mui? I’m so serious here. I didn’t see that coming. I know surprises happen but it has to make sense. He seemed like a creep at that one gathering along with his jerk friends. What changed? Well, he could dump his girlfriend, etc YET I’m not totally convinced. I know I said I’m not into gift-wrapping and some things are good being left with some mystery and staying unexplained BUT this isn’t one of the cases that I could let slide.

SHORT CONCLUSION: Cases are nice to watch and some relations are fun to see BUT the main couple’s romance kind of suck.

Recommended? Kind of. Don’t take it seriously though since it’s mostly a comedy. (DUH, RIGHT?)

Guts of Man

I hesitated to watch this series from the beginning because I was not really a fan of either Ron or Sammul when they first started. However, this series was better than expected. The cast was a great choice and matched the characters very well. The storyline was interesting with all aspects of the martial arts and other elements combined. The comedy was not too much either since it did not aim to impress, therefore, made it through the series without making everything a joke as an overall. The storyline focused mostly on the mystery of the five ghosts (who were actually robbers–of course and not real ghosts).

Likes:

  • Ron Ng as Seung Foon. A tad different from his usual hot-headed roles. He was always kind and nice BUT was scared and/or reluctant of others. It wasn’t a surprise since his appearance and his voice made him lacked confidence. However, when he was given a chance with his scar gone and his voice normal, he was still a nice and kind person, still humble as always. He wasn’t cunning or mean BUT he wasn’t subtle or passive to the point of boredom either. He knew his own way around and had his own abilities.
  • Mandy Cho as Ying Hiu Suet. NOT her acting since she was really trying at times AND somehow was a bit passive at others. But her costume was all right and she managed. She was a stubborn person yet she had this righteous streak within her that she wasn’t all spoiled like the typical misses. (I love Mandy but sometimes I realize that she could do more to improve SO I just want to point that out and NOT be blind, lol. Just keeping myself in check, that’s all.) I really like it that she was stubborn yet she wasn’t unreasonable about things. She did have a kind heart and tried to help others.
  • Sammul Chan as Dung Fei. It wasn’t hard to figure out that Sammul was the stronger of the other two in acting. He–like some others–lacked in the comedy department BUT it was okay since his comedic moments in here wasn’t dragged out OR overboard like in some of the other ones that I’d seen. Though he went astray later, I didn’t really hate him since he wasn’t perfect. It showed a different character and a different personality than the other two. He was petty at times and was easily led astray but he managed to return to the good side again because he realized how important his sister was to him. He really learned his lesson.
  • Ron and Mandy. I’m biased here so I’m choosing them. BUT also it made sense that they ended up together though it was hard to swallow that he sort of took part in killing her father too (though she did take the stab for him when her father tried to kill him). Hiu Suet was too stubborn for her own good at times and I thought that Seung Foon’s calm personality suited her better. Slim chance but I honestly wish to see them together again in another project.
  • Seung Foon, Hiu Suet, and Dung Fei as 風塵三俠. Seriously, I loved that story and I thought they suited it well. At least in their own rights. I meant they were on the same level and how they loved to help others. It was an innocent friendship and quite admirable. There were fights or disagreements at times among them but it was shown as part of their friendship and how it developed over time. I liked the idea that it wasn’t cheesy with them getting along all the time.
  • Joyce Koi as Dung Lam. She was so funny. A strict older sister yet she was just so funny.
  • Yuen Wah as Dik Ying Wai. Interesting role.
  • Joyce and Yuen Wah. They were hilarious together all right. Always trying to outdo each other OR at least Joyce was.
  • Kwok Fung as Ying Jin Tong. I knew he wasn’t just portraying a typical cowardly and/or normal character. He was indeed the mastermind.
  • Balance between fighting and other scenes. Yes, loved it that it was like that. I do not care IF they were experts OR not. But at least it didn’t revolve around talking OR focused on love all the time. It was more about the mystery and then some fighting too. It did not linger for long OR drag it out.

Should have done the review ages ago BUT I still remember really liking it despite some of the events unfolding and how intense it was later on. BUT it was inevitable. It did not matter regarding the acting of some of the major characters since the plot was focused on and moved everything forward.

The Money-Maker Recipe

Phew! That was quite nerve-racking toward the end. The last few episodes were the most worth-watching than some other parts. The brain schemes and other double-crossing matters were what filled up the rest of the time. Not to mention how Szeto Luen Fai and his daughter turned out all right in the end. Thanks so much to Wing Shan for having such a kind heart, causing a turn of events. Not to mention the last few scenes of Chong made him worth the main character! Great set up between Chong, Janet, and Yu Ju near the end, causing things to turn out perfectly awesome. Bits of here and there with Yu Bo sacrificing herself for her family was quite touching and worth brownie points. Also funny but cute parts between her and Yuk Lun. There was also great scenes of Siu Tim and Wing Shan also. Quite touching with the whole mother-son relationship between Wing Shan and the little boy. So glad the ending didn’t turn out too lame. Cause and effects were applied and weren’t as forced. Not a bad series that was both entertaining and somewhat nerve-racking within the stock market battles. Learned a lot although most were quite exaggerated. Still not bad at all.

Acting/ Performances:

Kiki Sheung as Cheung Yu Ju was just both hilarious and witty. Although she let the fame get to her head in the turn of events, she soon learned from her mistakes and repented herself. Kiki portrayed the character really well–from scenes where she was really nice to slightly arrogant, back to the kind person that she was again. Must say her acting rocks big time versus when she was younger. Very lively and convincing.

Michael Tse as Wong Chi Chong was quite interesting. On the surface, Chong seemed to be the weak and/or unintelligent kind, but he was very smart and was just a kind person who didn’t want to harm others around him. He was a very straight-forward guy and didn’t back down even if the other person was of a higher authority figure. He was very brave in that sense. Michael Tse managed to bring out the character also and he has always been a great actor so no doubt about him. There were also funny side stories, which he portrayed really well in those scenes.

The chemistry between Michael and Kiki were quite odd at first, but it was all right and flowing later since according to the plot, they were an odd pair. Besides, they were quite a team and convincing enough for this type of story. Their interactions were funny and natural towards each other.

Joyce Tang as Janet. Her character seemed like nothing special for the majority of the series, but she was very clever and was the brain for the majority of Ding Siu Ging’s stock market wins. She had the capability to go beyond her skills, but could still distinguish between right and wrong thus always persuading Ding Siu Ging not to harm others for his benefit. Luckily, she managed to withdraw from it in time. Joyce has come a long way and I honestly think she’s one of those that have improved a lot since her first series. She used to exaggerate her characters, making it unbearable, but now she could control her expressions and delivered quite a performance. She really brought out the depth of Janet’s characters–different phases Janet went through, struggles with her father and her loneliness, etc. It was really great watching her.

Savio Tsang and Angela Tong – Quite a hilarious pair and I think this was one of the better roles for both although they seemed like odd characters, there were different levels to their characters–unlike usual typical characters. Savio’s actually wasn’t that classy compared to some of his other roles, but he did quite well with it. It was so convincing that I thought he was really those kind. It was also touching how he changed his bad habits for Yu Bo in the end. And also that through him, Yu Bo knew how to cherish the people around her.

Ellesmere Choi and Toby Leung – Not bad at all. Not sure if I’ve watched other performances of Toby Leung but she wasn’t bad at all as Wing Shan. The scenes between her and her son were very touching; and she managed to deliver out the parts with how she almost went psycho because she lost her son, etc. Her chemistry between Ellesmere wasn’t bad either. I think this was also one of Ellesmere’s better roles although he played more classy roles than this. This role’s depth was worth more than the exterior of others. It could help bring out his performance more than just wear a suit and deliver some lines.

Loved Law Lok Lam as always although he played the hateful rich dude Szeto Luen Fai for the majority of the series. But he did care about his family and would protect them no matter what. He also knew who was good to him and who wasn’t–thus leading him to finally stopping after knowing Wing Shan had a great heart for saving him although she could have died herself because of the situation. His willingness to change was really convincing and Law Lok Lam once again delivered a brilliant performance.

Rain Lau – She’s really getting better at the comedy acts and isn’t going overboard with her comedic scenes like the old days. It was really great to watch her in recent series so no complaints.

Mary Hon and the rest of the veteran cast were great also with making everything seemed lively and convincing for the plot itself.

It was a decent series overall with a mix of humor and intensity among the stock-market as well as daily life people bonding together in times of need.

Posted (on Xanga): October 7, 2008

Re-posted: Friday, April 16th, 2010