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 with 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 had my doubts regarding some people. YET I watched anyway since I just love those ancient serials 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-minutes 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 seem 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 with 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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Swordsman Lai Bo Yee

I stumbled upon this and rewatched it again just for old time’s sake. Honestly, I used to think this series was average when I first watched it. But the second time around, it seemed to be extremely awesome. Maybe it was due to the fact that I’d stumbled across numerous beyond terrible series recently so this one seemed superior to the recent ones for some reason.

Some facts to straighten out matters before I get started:

  • Lai Bo Yee should not be confused with Li Bo Yee. Lai Bo Yee was a real person and the series had used his background and incorporated it into the series. But of course, it was loosely based on for the purpose of the dramatic moments. Li Bo Yee was a character in Wen Rui An’s story, which was where Face to Fate was based on.

Likes:

  • Patrick Tam as Lai Bo Yee. For what mattered, I DID NOT think it was fair to blame Patrick for looking morbid OR seemed to be such a pessimist at times. It wasn’t his fault BUT the script was made out that way, considering how the character was young and inexperienced. He had not reached the point of enlightenment yet SO it should not be held against him for not delivering. Patrick did his part in portraying the character and I thought he did wonderful with letting us see Bo Yee’s emotional state throughout the trials and events he encountered. Michael Miu’s version was more of a comedy and this one was on a serious level. (I loved Michael’s version too BUT I thought I should point it out and do not think anyone should be so hard on Patrick for that matter.)
  • Noelle Leung as Fong Ching Mui. Ching Mui, like her father, was very straightforward and had a very sharp tongue at times. YET what was admirable and probably likable about her character was just that. Everyone knew what she was thinking about and would not be led astray by her beliefs and opinions about things. Noelle carried her character through and that was what I expected, nothing less.
  • Patrick and Noelle as a couple. Seriously, this was where it started and I think TVB took advantage of this pairing with the next two projects as well. They were really funny at first and they both learned and grew through time. It was really convincing with their relationship and the changes afterward. Patrick and Noelle had great chemistry in here and it showed with the other two projects also. The part where Bo Yee thought Ching Mui died was really tragic. (I totally felt that one with Bo Yee at the river and letting the paper boats drift in the water.)
  • Timmy Ho as Fu Tin Wah. I just thought it was interesting that Timmy agreed to take on this role and jeopardized his reputation/image. Very brave indeed. I thought he did well to show his scheming sides and sometimes the struggles in between (like when he was still reconsidering about killing Bo Yee OR NOT). Oh yeah, NOT to forget the part near the end where he was super wooden and scary with his turning into some kind of zombie already. (I DO NOT mean his acting was wooden BUT the character since he was already learning that strange type of skill AND was turning into almost a zombie or monster.) Timmy was convincing all right, freaky enough.
  • Lai Hon Chi as Lai Dang San. One of the most missed veterans for me since seeing him again with the re-watch reminded me of how many great veterans TVB had back then. One of my favorites and always managed to deliver whichever role he was given. I felt it extremely interestingly to see him as Patrick’s father in here. His character died off in the earlier part of the series but it was all right. Enjoyable while it lasted.
  • Bak Piao as Chun Hui. NO, I do not like this person OR often seem in many stories and series BUT Bak Piao’s portrayal was well done. Another memorable role and performance from him.
  • Josephine Lam as Yuen Ngan Fung. I did not realize how much I liked her character until this re-watch. I barely remembered some plots revolving her character but did not realize it was that great and complex. She looked great as a princess and was up to the part.
  • Patrick and Josephine as a couple. Though not as compatible as Patrick and Noelle, I loved their characters together. Not to mention how he actually liked her later and it wasn’t the pity thing at all. It really showed when they were roaming around together to help people and see the sights. AND was I the only who cried when she died? I knew it was coming since this was a re-watch (like I mentioned before) BUT I couldn’t help crying at that scene. (Patrick helped drove that tragic scene forward and made it one of the most memorable scenes.)
  • Wu Yuet San as General Yeung. I think this must be his best role (or so that I’d seen–might change my mind later when I hunt deeper into past series though). He had a better image in here and also the best character though was stubborn and bitter at first. BUT I really didn’t blame him, considering the times and things that were happening around them. A memorable character in his own right aside the others. I was so scared that he was going to get killed by Timmy’s character since I didn’t remember as much. Luckily, he survived and managed to get in some actions at the end as well.
  • Flower in the Mist by Chris Wong. At first, I thought it was sung by Patrick–though I had no idea why I had that feeling, lucky I found out who and found this guy’s voice really warm and addicting to listen to. Really nice song for this series. (And somehow TVB had taken advantage of another good song again.)
  • The fact that Bo Yee chose Ngan Fung over Chiu Yung. Honestly, I found it interesting. But it wasn’t surprising since though both knew martial arts and were stubborn in their own rights BUT I found Ngan Fung more lovable and likable. Ngan Fung was someone who loved her country and looked at the bigger picture more than just being a nagging person like how Chiu Yung was. Bo Yee fell into making the decision about marrying both girls at one time or another YET he found himself attracted to Ngan Fung for various reasons.

Dislikes:

  • Elizabeth Lee as Princess of Song aka Chiu Yung. I wasn’t sure IF the makeup team did not do her justice OR if she didn’t look good in ancient series but I did not see her elegance or grace as the princess. And she seemed quite uncomfortable in those attires as well. Maybe that was why her portrayal was all right or seemed reluctant.
  • Gordon Liu as General Yue Fei. I did not mean that I don’t like Yue Fei, but Gordon Liu as him. Perhaps I’m biased since I prefer Norman Tsui as Yue Fei. Norman looked more or exuded a closer image to that of Yue Fei (or what was often believed to be that of the characteristics of Yue Fei). AND while we were at it, why was Yue Fei so dumb? I knew he was just an obedient person AND how he was being loyal to his emperor BUT that emperor was so dumb, listening to the wrong people and only cared for himself. Why sacrifice for him?

A must watch or no? Depends on what your idea of a good series is.