It has been two years since I updated on this. However, I don’t think anyone cares, lol. Because I wasn’t making progress with the fanfics anyway, why bother taunting anyone, right? Because I actually made some progress of recent, so I thought it would make sense to get back into this.
The total number is still 69.
Past Fan Fic(s):
Hide & Seek – 25 Votes – It has been ten years. Can you believe it? Yes, that’s right. Ten years! It didn’t feel that way because I started it ten years ago but updated it slowly at first. Then the drag came five years ago when I was so stuck that it wasn’t even funny. At long last, I finished it. Thank you so much for those even supporting it, lol. It was a sloppy ending, sort of. But I felt because I did a good job with some of Vic and Cyndi’s other stories, I felt it was all right to end it like that. I meant, I wrote the ending ten years ago but didn’t tie it up until now. So I debated whether to change it or not. Or extending it to fifteen chapters even. But in the end, I didn’t. I felt that was enough. Not everything had to be showy. Like I said already, I felt I did a really good job for their other stories so I felt like going subtle with this one.
The Dating Game 6-7 – Yes, I left it in the background on purpose and finished it already. This was because I wrestled back and forth and kept deleting. I didn’t know what I wanted for Jacky. But finally, at long last, it’s done. No more edits regarding it. At least regarding storyline in general. If there are mistakes, I would go back and fix, of course. That’s about it. Also, it will continue posting until it’s done. To clarify, I was stuck for so long that I finally made some move late June and going into July, so managed to write some of them back to back just like that. I’m thinking of publishing two chapters per day to make up for the lack of updates for the past six years. YES, it has been six years. I was shocked when I read the time stamp on the last update too. But I guess life happened, huh?
Current Fan Fics:
Payback – 3 Votes – I have something going on for a while until I got stuck again and wanted to change my mind about the nature of the story. So yes, a little setback again.
The Business – 7 Votes – I had something going but I backspaced again so some more delay. But this was actually my first time pushing past some barriers and going all the way so I thought I reconsider about a reckless ending SO yes, that was why.
Honey In Tea – 9 Votes – The only one not moving at all so I thought I put it here. I’m not going to give up on it. But I just thought I put it on hold until after I finish with some of the other ones.
Stranded – 3 Votes – I had some notes going but I put it aside again, wondering if I should go in a certain direction with some of the plots so yes, it’s back on hold.
Upcoming Fan Fics:
The Dating Game 8 – YES, there is part 8 since I left it on a cliff hanger again. SORRY, but I just felt like ending it there. Hopefully, it won’t take another six years before I’m done with it, lol. But to give a little heads-up, I’m thinking this is heading toward a ten-part story. YES, ten. I might end it at 8 or 9 though. I don’t want to push it too much.
One-shots is now at 22. I initially wanted to post one of the stories I had in the background but I ended up scrapping it. YES, not a good thing when I’ve been lacking with updates. However, I felt it made sense since I no longer liked it. Perhaps, I’ll try to come up with something later.
So, what now? I can’t promise anything because this year has kicked up to a new level of craziness with the unpredictable. However, it’s safe to say that I’m focusing on finishing The Dating Game as soon as I can. Also, I have to get creative and stop before 2020 in the story’s timeline. Because seriously, who wants to deal with this year anyway? Even if in the fictional world. So yes, the story is going to stop at 2019–depending how much stuff I want to happen during that time. Unless, I can get away and skip the whole year with just a bunh of random vague summaries. However, I don’t think it’s plausible, becacuse seriously, the pandemic is unknown right now for the obvious reason, so I don’t want to skip ahead, especially since this isn’t a sci-fi.
Years ago when I was still active on Winglin and other online communities, there was an explosion of different authors and readers alike coming out with websites or their own page to critique different fan fiction authors. Whether it was to help the authors improve their writing techniques or just something fun to do, it was quite an experience. I never submitted my stories to any of those websites but found them intriguing because I learned of how an author’s perspective could be versus how readers see it. It’s so obvious for everyday, published authors to go through this process. But at that time when I started posting my stories online, it was a new experience for me and it opened my eyes to some levels.
So, what’s the point of this post, right? Especially when I’ve been lagging soooo much on stories. This is an attempt to get back into it. Because the following will be an activity like the title said. I’m going to have fun and critique all the fanfictions I’ve ever written. Yes, I won’t leave anything untouched. But before I do, here’s a disclaimer for those who haven’t read the stories yet (so don’t say I didn’t warn you):
NOTE: The following contains spoilers (obviously from the title), SO if you haven’t read my stories yet, DO NOT proceed.
The beginning of the story had great potential and felt refreshing. It paved a nice and peaceful picture and a hopeful feeling because it described the two major characters’ feelings and goals in life. The humorous exchanges between several characters led readers to believe it would be a fun story. Although it had some typical formula of a small-town family with the scenic backdrop to pave the way, there was some mystery with various characters that readers could look forward to exploring. All in all, it paved a promising picture.
The problem with this story was that it was too wordy. It was one of my first attempts at writing fanfiction so it got so messy with descriptions. It didn’t take into account “show instead of telling” so it felt flaky and corny. In addition, because there was a setback with the last few chapters so it dived into the morbid side without intending to in the first place. It completely took away from the main plot and its lighthearted feeling that was established in the first place. A bad call. Like the feeling when the writers totally gave up and just wanted to end it already like how I often criticize them, lol. Also, the feeling of the celebs chosen was so random and unorganized, like lumping a bunch of people together just because. It felt like a test run.
The setting at the beach at the beginning of the story was promising and lighthearted. It presented a typical picture yet also let readers see a glimpse into each major character’s personality with a dash of humor. It seemed like they didn’t change much over the years, except for the circumstances around them. Light humor continued to occupy the scene, paving the story and pushing the major characters together–or apart–as time went by. There were some surprising details to the plot but it lacked some details here and there, not allowing the full potential of the plot to be explored.
Like some other stories, it started out describing the scenery and then introducing the characters. The weather, once again, like some other stories, gave hints to what the plot was going to be like. There was some side humor but just subtle, not too much. It was saying like the story meant business and it was no time to joke around, not really.
It was an interesting concept although it didn’t take in a lot of rules of sci-fi and went off the rails regarding technicalities. However, what made up for it was the layout of the major characters. It kept consistent and featured three female leads. What broke the rule for the third one was leading into a happier, hopeful ending than was predicted. It also gave more character and depth to one of the so-called villains and even allowed for that person to redeem himself and had a start over.
This was a typical setup of two pairings that were living on the opposite side of society. They met and interacted and somehow became entangled in a complex scheme. It provided a sense of mystery to the overall story and made the readers want to know what was to come and where the story was heading toward. The ending was a bit of an unknown, especially after the intense confrontations between two of the major characters and how it went down. However, it proved to be going on a typical route with allowing all problems to be resolved in a more favorable manner.
This story attempted to mock the life of gangsters and how it was supposed to be yet failed because, in the end, it was equally cliche and was corny in a sense of allowing some bizarre details to come into play. Although having the theme of gang-related activities as the backdrop for the plot, it failed to achieve its intended effect because of the halfway compromise of the mood as an overall. Sometimes, it edged toward the side of intensity or darkness that could push past the barriers of safety but it was shy of making it into something much more.
The story started out really random, bordering childishness because of the constant fights between two of the major characters. However, it evolved into a sadder story because of what happened at the end. Although it attempted to resurrect the atmosphere with some side humor, the plot never recovered with the happiness felt at the beginning of the story. It was later explained in the second part why it was so and eventually leading the plot into a darker path than was originally intended to–or so it seemed when compared to the beginning of the first part. What the plot lacked severely was the explanation and more details into a certain mysterious organization that impacted some characters’ lives so many years and ongoing. Some of the undertones provided a hint about how they were a big deal and were not to be messed with. Yet it failed to back up the claim as the story went along and eventually wrapped up. It also never explained why Tammy’s character had so much impact on what Wallace’s life was going to be and yet left him alone after he had apparently restored his memories. Or was it because it was to emphasize how scary he was if he returned to his past self? Or because the organization didn’t care how things turned out and that it was only important they kept everything a secret? Some things were never answered.
This was a fun read, at least at the beginning. Sure, there were childish humor and constant competition between the two siblings–or so readers thought as it was with typical siblings rivalry. However, it took a dark turn, killing a major character unnecessarily. Was that an attempt to be overdramatic? Or was it because the writer just decided to give up and end it that way?
The story seemed really random but that wasn’t a bad thing. It hinted potential with so many major characters involved and how each was at a different point in their lives. It was fascinating to see how they all met and would become important–one way or another–in each other’s lives. The story shifted between humor and intensity and back again. Yet always managed to push the plot forward, introducing new characters or circumstances into their lives and how they would react to those situations.
Although the cast was so extended that it provided an outlet for many story arches yet because it was so crowded that it didn’t allow for a focus on some characters. Also, some of the characters had suffered from the inconsistency of personality, except for the main characters. It also created an unrealistic atmosphere with so many of their gatherings and their strong bonds over the years. It could be both good and bad but mostly it was unrealistic. Not to mention how ridiculously meddlesome most of them were of one another’s lives. The occasional stalking of various parties was equally bizarre.
The first scene already gave a snapshot of what the story was going to be about and how the dark mood predicted the inevitable ending for some characters. The weather foreshadowed a lot of the scenes that were to come for the story. The layout wasn’t bad yet the constant side randomness and humor involving the characters downplayed the overall theme for the majority of the story. It was actually character-based and not plot-based like it should have been. The lack of information on both gang’s background made it hard to relate and didn’t allow for more interest toward that side of the story. It became a wannabe gangster story because it didn’t say how or why they were fighting or fleeing for their lives. It was only covered briefly at the beginning of how both sides had been fighting since forever yet never revealed the real reason why.
The storytelling style was strange yet intriguing. It made readers want to read more and find out what was going on and what was the deal with these characters. Or if they could get out from the current prison they were in. However, there were only glimpses here and there and some side details of the characters. They could have been extended to a much more complex story.
This story started out introducing the main characters right away and hinted at their established relationship and how it would come into play later on. The story began lighthearted with some side humor and then took a more serious turn as the characters acknowledge much more complex issues surrounding their lives. In some sense, the story allowed the characters to face reality with a hard punch. But in other sense, it felt a little dramatic and forced. Yet the story was still written a dialed down sort of way, like some subtlety of daily life happenings that could edge toward blandness but jumped back with a kick to tell us that reality will strike again. It was a mixture of complexity and simplicity. It had this balance and one tip of the scale would lead the story spiraling away.
The story introduced some promising aspects, such as the story being told from the main character’s point of view. There were also inspirational quotes involved. So that sort of gave a feeling of a legit book. However, it took a shaky turn and ended up being a typical high school, mean girl type of war. There were some interesting ideas but the execution was terrible and the plot dull. If at all, that was.
Extremely disappointing because it seemed like an attempt to crank out something that involved the two main characters. It seemed like an unfinished story and didn’t involve a lot of details. It would have been better to wait for some sort of idea to come forth before continuing with the story. It should have been a one-shot, then it would make more sense.
So, aside from being random for this post, what’s the point here? Of all the stories I’ve written, I only liked True Friendship. Yes, that sad. I took it slow and made it through without feeling like I needed to rush anything or wanted to write to please readers. It wasn’t like I didn’t add in random conversations or some bizarre humor. The story had both. But what was different was how the two main characters didn’t end up together but also didn’t downplay their relationship throughout. It acknowledged some of the more realistic aspects of life, even if it didn’t allow for the story to cover all. I did get stuck on it at one time but the time spent thinking about the plot as an overall and side brainstorming, it had allowed me to change the ending for the better, at least to me.
I also realized some things about my writing styles. Well, I already realized it for a while now but here’s an outright confession, lol. Some characters, especially the main ones, tend to fall into one formula. So I think that’s something to take into account to try to make it different in the future. Or least mix it up a bit.
If anyone noticed, I think I got influenced by Gu Long and Jin Yong at times, lol. No jokes. Sad, but I read those two a lot so I got influenced, especially with describing sceneries and stuff. But of course, I couldn’t go to their level. Not yet. The reason I said “not yet” is because I at least want to reserve some hope that one day I could reach another level. Or like find my own styles. For now, just recognizing the flaws is enough.
So that’s the fun post. More to come in the future, hopefully.
NOTE: This post will be updated from time to write as I add more stories to my blog or finish the current ones.
I couldn’t help myself since once again, courtesy of Netflix that I dived into this one.
This was one of the few times that I watched Gao Yuan Yaun since I wasn’t a major fan of her back in the days. It wasn’t her fault–as I later realized–because she was often cast in similar roles so I thought her acting was lacking. However, I felt that she did better in modern series and/or movies than in ancient settings. She was so lively and lovable that lit up the whole movie and set the stage for what was to come. So, we soon found out that her life was much more complicated than the early morning wakeup scene led on. However, her sorrowful days were short-lived–thanks to her encounter with Kevin and how they ended up changing each other’s life perspectives for the best. That also unleashed a chain of events as she became more confident with herself and took notice of her surroundings thus leading to her finally meeting Sean. Her world became quite chaotic and unpredictable as her fate was tied with Sean for the upcoming years. However, in some ways, she still retained her innocence and kindness. Sure, she could get so mad and became so scary at times, but overall, she was a gentle person. I felt Yuan Yuan brought out all those sides of Chi Yan really well. It was like walking into her world and going on a journey with her–whether through the good or bad. It was somewhat addicting to watch in a sense. Sometimes the plot was ridiculous–to say the least, but her character was never dull.
Despite reading a bit of spoiler–mostly how the second movie was perceived, I felt like I enjoyed the second movie more. Yes, I said it. The first movie was somewhat innocent and genuine–mostly because of Chi Yan’s personality and how she saw the world along with Kevin’s character. Yet I felt the second movie had its own charm. Although there was a lot of repetition of the first movie playing itself into the second movie, I felt it worked well with tying in with the first one because it reminded us of how such details in life could repeat or could also happen to someone else. For instance, Paul and Yeung Yeung having a pet octopus, Genie, like how Chi Yan and Kevin had Froggie. Interestingly, both pairings also failed in the end. The similarity with how Sean also filmed Yeung Yeung and tried to guess her song–but failed. Hilariously, his ring ended up being used by Paul to propose to Yeung Yeung later when he told her he had figured out the song she was singing already.
Daniel’s lack of appearance in the second movie angered many people–as I read various reviews. I totally understand that for loyal fans of the first movie–and also for his own fans as well. However, I felt the addition of Mariam and Vic–although sending the plot off the rails–made the movie tenfold more hilarious and also cranked up the hype. Daniel fans will probably kill me for it, but I felt the first movie was really bland at times with Daniel’s story. I guessed his character was supposed to be a counterbalance to Louis’ craziness, considering how they were from the opposite spectrum. However, I think I lost interest in his character around the time he became perfect when he met up with Chi Yan again. I didn’t want him to continue moping in sadness and drowning in his wine. Yet I felt his perfection was a turn off for me, feeling like his character just stepped out of an idol drama, too good to be true. Although it completely made sense with Chi Yan’s decision at the end of the first movie with her choosing Kevin, I felt they could have developed her story with Kevin a little more. It was like Johnnie To was already planning the second movie hence leaving it open or something. Because seriously, I saw it coming a mile that it wasn’t going to end well, especially how she looked back when she saw Sean on the way to the restaurant right before the proposal happened. There was still too much baggage and too many unresolved feelings. Not to mention how I was never completely sold on their pairing because of their lack of chemistry. They radiated off the “friends” vibe major time. Yes, they had some intense scenes and even shared a passionate kiss near the end of the first movie, but I didn’t feel anything at all. Hell, I felt Yuan Yuan had way better chemistry with Vic–who was supposed to be portraying her brother. Perhaps, that was why Vic was chosen and how it ended up being a misunderstanding for the majority of the parties thus leading to the big fight near the end of the second movie.
Once again, although having Mariam and Vic in the second movie sent the plot off the rails, it had somehow in its twisted way helped majorly with the main plot. It ripped right through the so-called normal lives of the others–or how Chi Yan had wanted to move on and was ready for the wedding ahead. What brought the second movie to a whole new level of craziness was the confrontation between Sean and Chi Yan and eventually leading to the big fight in Suzhou. I couldn’t even imagine what in the world the plot was going toward even. Everything was so chaotic, so random yet had to happen for things to finally resolve. In fact, the big fight wasn’t the highest level of craziness either. Because at least that fight was somewhat relating back to the fight between Sean and Kevin like the first movie. In actuality, the plot reached peak craziness around the time the wedding rolled around. Who could have guessed Sean would pull such a move? He scared half of the population present to death–while the other half just wanted to film it on their cameras to share it online (probably). What made it crazier yet hilarious was the part where Paul decided to spring a proposal and added to the already chaotic atmosphere after Kevin and Paul had succeeded in rescuing Sean from his crazy climb. I literally laughed out loud because I couldn’t believe it. We got to hear Vic sing “It’s Not That Simple” (沒那麼簡單) but that was seriously random. Also, Paul acted like it wasn’t a big deal after he got rejected and then even jumped into the pool to retrieve Yeung Yeung’s other shoe before heading to the elevator to send her off and even helped her put ’em back on again.
Many are probably thinking that I side with Louis’ character, Sean, hence downplaying Daniel’s character, Kevin. But honestly, I didn’t even like Sean at all throughout. Partially, it had to do with the plot. But overall, he was a let down throughout. Okay, saying “at all” might be a stretch. I actually quite liked his character as the movie started–as it was with Daniel’s character as well. I initially thought his character had more depth than that. Seeing how he saw her and wanted to cheer her up. I knew he had a crush on her at the beginning and was trying to get her attention. It was cute and all. But it went completely downhill as in he was dead to me right after he fell to temptation and slept with Angelina. He didn’t have to explain anything to her, seriously. She misunderstood. If he didn’t show up, it was obvious that she got the wrong idea. So if he wanted to be a gentleman and explain, fine, do it and leave. Yet it turned out, he was just using his weakness as an excuse. Whether his high testosterone issues were a real medical condition or not, it was never addressed throughout. So that led me to assume that it was just there to add to the humor, which wasn’t funny to me. It just degraded women or put the blame on them just because he couldn’t control himself. With Angelina, it could be said that she tried to seduce him but it was his choice to react or not. But the other women appearing throughout in there? It was hard to swallow with making it like it was partially their fault or something for dressing sexily. Then there was also the whole saying about there were two types of men, etc. Sean wasn’t the only one who said it but Joyce also said it later to Sean. I felt it was a slap in the face that it was a principle in general that they just accepted. (Not to mention how it wasn’t just sending a message to women to just accept it or live alone in misery–or something to that extent, but also send out a message that men are all alike–aka generalizing them.) So yeah, those two things combined made me despise Sean even more. Sure, it was his life, he could live it however he wanted. But I found it super hypocritical that he would get overly jealous–whether it was Chi Yan or Yeung Yeung–when they were spending time with another man. Then what bugged me more was seeing how his turnaround after his failed proposal to Chi Yan had led to his out of control womanizing schemes. It reminded me of the whole disaster with How I Met Your Mother steering Barney right back to his old habits just like that and dismissing his past growth completely. Anyway, contrary to the character, I felt Louis’ portrayal was very convincing.
In a way, to sum up Sean, Chi Yan, and Kevin’s relationships all around, Kevin was actually the one who brought Sean and Chi Yan together. If it wasn’t for Kevin, Chi Yan wouldn’t be able to change her outlook on life and gain her confidence again thus finally seeing Sean–who was trying to get her attention for so long. Their links were different on many levels but it wasn’t possible without one or the other being because their course of actions had affected all one way or another. Again, I seriously felt Chi Yan was better off with Kevin like the first movie had ended, considering how it was ironic that she ended up with such a womanizer–and how she had detested what her ex-boyfriend did to her. But I guess the second movie wanted to take back Chi Yan’s safe choice and chose to let her end up with the one she actually loved–for better or for worse. It was just how Yeung Yeung said, telling her not to hide anymore.
Aside from that, I felt that it was such a shame that Paul and Yeung Yeung couldn’t end up together. It would be seriously chaotic if they did since Yeung Yeung and Sean would end up in the same family. Well, even more chaotic than before. But I felt it was just a shame that Vic and Mariam didn’t end up together. Their chemistry wasn’t bad at all. I enjoyed watching the scenes where they went out to eat and talked and just be random at times. Their interactions were so natural and so addicting to watch. The fact that both of their portrayals were so on par that saved the movie a little more.
After all that was said, my favorite character was surprisingly John. Yes, John was such a minor character or so it seemed yet I found him hilarious throughout. Regardless of how intense the main plot got, he was always there to contribute with much humor. Of course, he had no clue how comical he was yet his silly actions seemed to dissolve somewhat of the hectic atmosphere. I initially thought he would be Chi Yan’s asshole boss who would eventually fire her. The reason why I thought that was because during the meeting at the beginning of the first movie, he was trying super hard to deescalate the situation during the meeting and he was sweating so bad, I thought he would use Chi Yan as a scapegoat to get past that obstacle. But it turned out, he was really supportive of her and actually acknowledged that she was really hardworking and talented. He even risked his job to defend her when she saw Sean and called Sean “asshole” but he diverted it to himself. He also tried to convince Chi Yan not to quit and later became her ally with spying on different parties for her and reporting the events to her. It was refreshing, especially how it was known within those industries that there was major backstabbing going on. In the second movie, he was seen chiding Chi Yan and telling her that he shouldn’t be seen with her because he might get fired yet he still managed to give her information at times regarding Sean–or others. Yes, he seemed nosy overall but he truly cared for Chi Yan as a friend.
*All images were collected around the net hence belonging to their rightful owners.
It has been a while since I watched a serious movie. I especially watched this because of Vic. Yes, I liked some of the other cast members too, but when I saw Vic’s name while browsing on Netflix, I had to jump in. And for the record, I didn’t watch the previous movie, Z Storm. Like I said, I was just jumping in for a Vic movie, considering how I haven’t watched him since The Flame’s Daughter. So how was it?
First off, the many familiar faces were making me feel nostalgic for some reason. Then there were the fresh faces to keep the balance with the rest of the audience as well. It was a typical cop movie yet brought forth many interesting characters to crank up the hype for the plot. I especially enjoyed Louis and Julian’s, Luk Sir and Lau Sir, banters at various points. I also loved Ada’s Wong Man Ling’s cleverness and her quick-witted nature. She proved to be a great asset for the team with her deduction skills and her fast reactions at times. Moreover, Tammy Tam’s kickass scenes brought another level of greatness into the movie. We got to see her contribution to the team as an overall when she was with them, but also individually when she was sent to Shenzhen to track a certain lead. It was intense and showed her capabilities at the restaurant. Although she encountered a setback during the fight scene, it showed a realistic side of the situation. That little delay didn’t deter her though since she soon got up after having some help and chased after the two suspects and managed to get their license plate as well.
Perhaps, the weakest link among the many characters and/or cast was Dada Chan’s Ebby Lau. I felt her best scenes were actually with her brother, Lau Sir, and not Vic. The highlight of her appearance (and it showed through her acting) was the part at the bar where she confronted her brother–even if she didn’t say it out directly in regard to their relation, but just told their tragic story from her point of view. Moreover, the scene where she called Luk Sir to the bar wasn’t too much of a scene for her, but it showed that she cared for her brother, despite her tough words previously. It was hard not to soften a bit after witnessing her brother’s devasted state. Her second touching scene with her brother was obviously the scene where he came to negotiate the terms and exchange himself for her. It showed their bond and it made her realize that he had changed, no longer the gambling addict like in the past. He was willing to sacrifice himself for her, that they were family. If I was able to list all the good parts of her, why was she the weakest link, right? I thought her playful scenes were a bit out of place for the rest of the movie–although that was just a part of her character. I felt she was a bit unnatural when she was interacting with Vic’s character, trying to get him to notice her more. Perhaps, her playful side and her carefree nature were what drawn Song Yan Sheun in, and made him realize other things in life. Yet Dada’s performance wasn’t as solid as the scenes that I mentioned above. I liked the serious talk at times that she had with Vic’s character though. In those scenes, she seemed more natural. Perhaps, she wasn’t that good with comedy? I never watched her before so I don’t know. But that was my interpretation when I saw her in this movie.
Although I said Dada was the weakest link in here, she was still crucial to the plot–especially tying back to Vic’s character. However, I felt the most irrelevant character must be Bowie Lam’s Terry Lun. Sure, he was the one who leaked the information to ICAC about the misdeeds within the Jockey Club thus leading to the launch of the investigation in the first place, setting forth a chain of events. Yet I felt if it wasn’t him, it could just be anyone else discovering it and leaking the information out. That same principle applied to the pen that he discovered later thus leading to his death. Anyone else could have discovered and died too and it wouldn’t make a difference if his character wasn’t there. I felt having the character around was just a notch too bloated for the already crowded star-dubbed cast. It didn’t really contribute much to the plot as an overall. It only stretched out some more details and a side distraction regarding Luk Sir’s background. Sure, having his character there made him suspicious and sort of covered up who the real culprit within the club was–as it was revealed near the end. Yet again, as I mentioned before, they could have just plugged in some random person at that club and it would have the same effect. Considering how he wasn’t the main villain–or wasn’t even one of the masterminds of the grand scheme anyway, it was a waste of time for his story arch, to say the least.
The ending? It made me feel like I was choking by the time the final battle scene rolled around. The fact that they teased us with allowing Vic’s character, Song Yan Sheun, to be present for the most crucial moment was clever in some ways. However, it turned out to be a major disappointment as seconds passed and he was out of the picture again. It seemed like a slap in the face for Vic fans. I knew that Luk Sir and Lau Sir were the highlights of the movie, considering how they were introduced and how their story played out later. However, considering how Vic was listed among the top three main leads, I felt it was justified that the rest of us felt robbed. He also appeared first as a setup for the first nerve-racking chase scene and later became the reason for half of the police force’s headaches. Perhaps, having him appearing less throughout created this mysterious aura for him. Yet it didn’t make me feel better with all the teasing throughout with the occasional scenes here and there of his background. Then, it was humanizing him during the scenes with Ebby. To finally, dismissing him completely as another character among all these twisted schemes by the so-called masterminds.
What saved the ending for me was knowing that Shek Sau’s character, Ha Chi Yin, didn’t escape in the end. He was caught by Luk Sir’s team when he was at the airport, attempting to make a clean exit out of the country. If he had escaped, I don’t think anyone would’ve lived it down. But I had to admit having him being the villain was a surprising twist for me, considering how I was betting (pun intended) Bowie Lam’s character to be the villain-aka the one being in cahoot with the other dude.
So recommended? I felt it was a really good movie on its own. Since I didn’t watch the other movies relating to the theme–as said before, I can’t comment. But by itself, it was good. It was just not a good movie to catch for Vic fans. Sure, his role was unique in its own way. I felt he lived up to the challenge of taking on yet another role in a serious movie. However, if you were fangirling, there was no point, lol. Let’s face it, any fangirl would be greedy to want more of their favorites. I’m guilty of that too and I’m not going to lie.
*All images were collected around the net hence belonging to their rightful owners.
I finished this a while back but was waiting until I finished reading the novel as well before I actually review it. Yes, this was one of those rare adaptations of recent that I actually went to read the novel while watching. Then I just finished watching before reading so I had to wait. Anyway, I thought this was 70% accurate. Although there were some scenes being shuffled, some changes being made, and some additions that were needed to make the story more coherent, I felt the consistent dialogues and the majority of the characterizations were reserved. I actually preferred the series over the novel. Yes, this coming from someone who fought bitterly in the past regarding novel accuracy. I felt the production team did their best. Some of the stuff that was changed, I understood why and it made the flow a tad less confusing. I understood the way it was written, but I think when transferred to the screen, they had to refine the timeline more so it would be less confusing for viewers.
Dilraba Dilmurat (迪丽热巴) as Lie Ru Ge (烈如歌). She was amazing. I first watched her in Legend of the Ancient Sword and liked her–even though she only had a small part in there. Anyway, I thought she was perfect for this role. At first, I didn’t like how the red outfit was popping up again–yes, due to the overwhelming usage of red robes over the past few years. However, because I learned of her character and the reasons behind her liking red, it made sense. I tried to put that aside and enjoy the series. It wasn’t until I read the novel that I accepted it. This was because in the past years, even if the characters wore it, it was changed from the novel just for whatever reason they felt like it. Since the author chose it, I respect her choice on that. Character-wise, I liked her in the series better. I know she was still very young and inexperienced in a lot of matters and it was normal to react like so and so. However, I felt the organization of the series made her character stronger and smarter. Her stubbornness and determination and the elaborate schemes that she conjured up along with the others. It made her character so full of capabilities. Not to mention how they took her martial arts to another level, showing more and more how she was indeed suitable as the leader–if she wanted it. I think her character grew to another level with what had happened. I thank the author for creating such a story because the novel focused on romances more than wuxia/jianghu theme, I had to choose the series because it had more balance (although they did toss in a bunch of romances too, it was for the others, not just Ru Ge only).
Amy Zhang (张茗灿) as Childhood Ru Ge (小如歌). She was so cute. I could see the transition so nicely with the childhood version of Ru Ge and the older version.
Li Yi Xi (李羿希) as Baby Ru Ge (婴儿如歌). What can I say?
Vic Chou (周渝民) as Yin Xue (銀雪). At first, I felt kinda awkward because I didn’t understand his character. I thought it was supposed to be a serious role (mostly from the beginning scene and how he was chased down by a bunch of groups before meeting Ru Ge in the present time). Then I thought Vic was uncomfortable with the role hence the character not being consistent–and sometimes broke out into being silly. But I loved watching him regardless so I ignored that part and his character eventually grew on me–more or less. It wasn’t until I read the novel that I realized they (the scriptwriters) already toned down on his crazy side. He was seriously too silly in the novel and possibly couldn’t become the main lead if they kept everything, lol. Instead, they chose to portray his humorous side differently and kept his mishaps on the lower end. I actually had mixed feelings toward Yin Xue in the novel. I didn’t like it that he forced Ru Ge to like him throughout and kept pestering her. My favorite part of him in the novel was when he was crying and pretending to be wounded (or was he seriously just dramatic?) that she looked down upon him because he used to be in a brothel. It was funny and cute in a way, lol. Yet the rest of his tantrums, I didn’t care for. The series brought out some of his jealousy by coming up with different scenes than showing his tantrums, which made sense. I didn’t like it but felt it was a tad better. As for screen time, I thought his presence was severely lacking and was somehow doubting that he would end up with Ru Ge at the end. I was prepared for it. Yet when I read the novel, his appearance was even more lacking than ever. In fact, the scene when they were at that one town selling cakes, the novel completely glossed over that part. I felt robbed. (Not just that particular scene either but a lot of scenes throughout the novels were like barely being highlighted.) What was interesting was how the author mentioned she actually quite liked Xue yet killed him off anyway. So yeah.
Vin Zhang (张彬彬) as Zhan Feng (戰楓). The author actually wanted to kill Zhan Feng in the novel, but it didn’t work out so she didn’t force it. Anyway, I felt Vin was so perfect for the role that I thought I saw the character walked out of the novel. (I thought that was the same for the majority of the cast in here.) The scriptwriters actually wanted to spare him of such a tragic ending so they eliminated some details and tossed it to Yi Lang. For one, he actually killed his own father (and Yi Lang was spying but didn’t interfere like in the series). Although at times I didn’t understand his action (while watching), but I felt Vin’s acting was very convincing. His eyes were full of emotions and they held a mystery that was to be revealed later. Yet it was frustrating (in a sense of the plot).
Wu Ze Jin Xi (武泽锦熙) as Childhood Zhan Feng.
Ji Zi Xuan (纪子轩) as Baby Zhan Feng (婴儿战枫).
Wayne Liu (刘芮麟) as Yu Zi Han (玉自寒). I think I liked watching Wayne portray the role more than the character itself. Not that I was bitter about how it turned out in the novel, but I often steered away from too good to be true characters. He indeed exuded all of the auras that the author mentioned, royalty and stern vibe even if he seemed so fragile on the surface. Wayne’s expression was on point. There was a gentleness and kindness within him whenever he was with Ru Ge. Then there was a fierce, stubborn side of him that was seen at various points. He was actually a complex character, but maybe more so in the series than the novel. Or maybe the novel focused too much on his love for Ru Ge that made it sort of one-dimensional for me.
Dong Li Wu You (董李无忧) as Childhood Yu Zi Han (小玉自寒). Consistent enough for the younger version and the context of the story.
Jang Hyuk (张赫) as Lei Jing Hong (雷惊鴻). He was seriously obnoxious. But there was this side of playfulness and kindness that was hard to hate. In fact, he was one of the fun characters in here. Yet it turned out quite tragic for him. That was only for the series though. Sure, he’d gone through some hardships with Yi Lang’s schemes and all, but it turned out quite well for him. He was my favorite supporting character in here–aside from You Qin Hong.
Dai Si (代斯) as Dao Lie Xiang (刀冽香). She was only mentioned briefly in the novel as it was relevant to the Dao family’s link to Zhan Feng. She was never mentioned again after the wedding with Zhan Feng. The series gave her a bigger role since they did extend quite a few characters in here. Anyway, regarding the series, I think she was all right for the most part, especially how she was secretly helping them at first–mostly because they helped Yin Xue. I didn’t like it that she tricked and captured Lei Jing Hong that one time. Yes, I got it that those other dudes were her brothers and she was really conflicted. However, it was really painful to watch with her forcing him like that. I also got it that she thought that was the best in trying to save his life but that part with him being humiliated by her brother was really frustrating to watch.
Long Zheng Xuan (龙政璇) as Feng Huang (凤凰). The scriptwriters extended her role to that of a major one since she was only a minor character in the novel. It was mentioned when Ru Ge returned to Wan Hua Lou later that she became a rich dude’s ninth wife and didn’t really get along with the others within the resident. I was fine with the extension since it created a more complex plot and added some more characters to the overall plotline. But I think it cut a little into another character’s territory. Yet it wasn’t like I could do anything about it anyway.
He Suo (何索) as You Qin Hong (有琴泓). I think I felt for him the most out of all the characters that suffered throughout, at least with the supporting or minor characters. He’d been through betrayal and then Yin Xue took him in and guided him, helping him start over. Yet later, he sacrificed himself and all. It wasn’t too bad. His sacrifice seemed all for nothing but it wasn’t so later. He was very kind and loyal to Yin Xue. Yet in the novel, he turned out to be a spy planted by An Ye Luo–although it was shown he didn’t care much for An Ye Luo either at the wedding scene near the ending. Luckily, the series edited that part out and made it less tragic in that sense.
Gong Bei Bi (龚蓓苾) as An Ye Jue (暗夜绝). She was crazier in the novel–if that was even possible. The series, although gave us a bit of doubt or created a gray area for her character-with how she was hesitant to kill Lei Jing Hong at times and seemed to keep her words with her supposed husband. However, she seemed to treat Xun Yi about the same in the series and the novel. She manipulated to get her way or just plain ignored Xun Yi. The series sort of gave her a much better ending, even though she died in both versions. In the series, she died after being captured in a battle versus committing suicide because she was obsessed with her brother (the same way her brother was obsessed with his other sister). It was pretty pathetic, seriously. (And very gross too. Either way, not just her but An Ye Luo too.)
Lai Yi (赖艺) as An Ye Luo (暗夜罗). A lot of gross stuff going on, both because of his creepy appearance and because he was in love with his sister. I think it was mentioned in a flashback scene that they weren’t blood-related? That was the series, not the novel. Because in the novel, it said that she was really his sister. (Ewwww…) But he was really broken. Their parents were never mentioned? So I wasn’t sure how that worked into the whole thing. Or I just plain forgot since I was trying to block the images out of my head.
Ma De Ya (马德丫) as Xun Yi (薰衣). She played a bigger role in the novel regarding Zhan Feng than the series let on. The series let her off easier (like it did with Zhan Feng in some sense) because it said that she suspected or knew she was Lei Jing Hong’s sister early on but wasn’t involved with schemes of her mother until later. Also, it was emphasized that she had no choice but to comply because her mother had used Ji Jing Lei’s well-being against her. However, that didn’t seem to be so in the novel. She was actually the one who handed the manual to Zhan Feng when he was practicing An He Gong’s martial arts. She was pitiful either way because, in the novel, she didn’t even have her mother’s acknowledgment at all, considering how her mother didn’t think of her father as having any importance. He was just a tool to her and a sacrifice she needed to make to help her brother further his agenda.
Chen Ye Lin (陈烨林) as Ji Jing Lei (姬惊雷). They extended his role more in the series, which made sense because they needed to develop the stories more and give it better context regarding the big picture with the battles and all (not just mentioning it happening briefly like in the novel). I was really annoyed with him at first for attacking Ru Ge (or seemed to) and really supported Zhan Feng with being the leader until the point that he argued with the others. After he explained what Zhan Feng did for him that one time, I understood him more yet still was quite annoyed with him. Yet he gained my trust in him when he supported Ru Ge throughout the aftermaths after Lie Ming Jing’s death. Not just because he supported Ru Ge, but because he respected his master’s last wish. He argued and appealed to his master when the man was alive, but respected his words and even made sure it got carried out after the man was gone. It was tragic that he lost his sight. At least, in the end, he overcame his worst fears and had a new start.
James Li (李东恒) as Zhong Li Wu Lei (钟离无泪). He wasn’t supposed to have such a big of a role in the novel. In fact, he was the one who died the night Yi Lang set Lei Jing Hong up, not Die Yi. Yet I think they extended his character because Ru Ge needed another ally within Lie Ruo Shan Zhuang and needed more stories for the series to work. I sometimes suspected him, but he sure lived up to his reputation.
Zhang Ming Xuan (张铭轩) as Childhood Zhong Li Wu Lei (小钟离无泪).
Fan Yi Ning (樊驿宁) as Yi Lang (裔浪). He was already a power-driven maniac in the novel, I didn’t need the scriptwriters to pile it on anymore for me to hate him. However, they had to use him as a scapegoat for Zhan Feng and reduced his tragedies in the series. Even so, I felt I liked his ending in the series more, even if it seemed cruel to some people. Because seriously, he got away with it in the novel. It was mentioned briefly after Zhan Feng returned to Lie Huo Shan Zhuang and took over again, Yi Lang disappeared and was never seen again. Seriously, the person responsible for the ruptures and what happened to Lei Jing Hong’s sect got away with it all?
Huang Yi Kai (黄溢凯) as Childhood Yi Lang.
Zhao Jun Ze (赵俊泽) as 4 years old Yi Lang (4岁裔浪).
Qi Hang (亓航) as Dao Wu Xia (刀无暇). Dao Lie Xiang’s oldest brother. I didn’t know what to make of him at first, but he sure made up my mind soon after. And so NOT how he was described in the novel. If anyone felt offended, I think most novels are unrealistic with people’s appearances anyway.
Gao Yang (高阳) as Dao Wu Hen (刀无痕). Dao Lie Xiang’s second brother. Not what was described in the novel either.
Yuan Yu Xuan (袁雨萱) as Die Yi (蝶衣). She was sure cute. At first, I felt she was too loud and felt she was pestering Ru Ge too much. I was afraid she would be causing trouble when she snuck out that one time. However, it turned out she was the stubborn yet really caring type, unlike some other fake person. She wasn’t supposed to die in the novel but she was never mentioned again after Ru Ge left Lie Huo Shan Zhuang after Lie Ming Jing’s death.
Jin Bo Han (金泊含) as Ying Yi (莹衣). The majority of her scenes were accurate, including the part where Ru Ge promised her that she could leave after she told the truth regarding what happened. However, what veered off was how she followed Zhan Feng that one time and even got captured along with him, and then died later. She was never mentioned again after Ru Ge let her go and that was that.
Wan Mei Xi (万美汐) as Madame Hua (花大娘). She died in the series and that was why Feng Huang later became the new manager of Wan Hua Lou, but in the novel, she didn’t die. In fact, she wasn’t mentioned after Ru Ge and the others left Wan Hua Lou the second time around.
Xiao Rong Sheng (肖荣生) as Lie Ming Jing (烈明镜). Lie Ru Ge’s adopted father, Zhan Feng’s real father. He looked fierce upfront but was kind and gentle and a caring father behind it all. He was indeed patient and forgiving in the series. However, in the novel, he even mentioned to Ru Ge at one point that if Zhan Feng was a threat to her, just eliminate him (Zhan Feng), which was so cold to me. It was also quite cruel to Ru Ge hence her choosing to shield Zhan Feng from An Ye Luo’s final attack and not Yu Zi Han like she wanted to at first.
Zhang Hao Cheng (张皓承) as Young Lie Ming Jing.
Shao Feng (邵峰) as the king.
Wang Ren Jun (王仁君) as Prince Jing Xian (景献王).
Li Guang Xu (李广旭) as Prince Jing Yang (敬阳王).
Xu Min (徐敏) as Old Master of Piao Miao Sect (缥缈祖师).
Luo Si Wei (罗四维) as Xiang Er (香儿). Used to be at Wan Hua Lou, but was saved by Dao Wu Xia and stayed at the Dao resident as his servant.
Yan Jing Jie (颜敬杰) as Xuan Huang (玄璜). Loyal to Yu Zi Han and a reliable person. He was somewhat hot-headed at times but it just showed that he cared.
Sun Xiao Lun (孙晓伦) as Huang Cong (黄琮). She was so cool. I liked her regardless if I learned of how it was in the novel or not. Because she was very reliable and powerful.
Ge Shi Min (葛施敏) as Bi Er (碧儿).
Chen Kai (陈凯) as Mu Rong Tang Zhu (慕容堂主). He was indeed an important force of Lie Huo Shan Zhuang and one of the consistent characters throughout, unlike some in here that ganged up on Ru Ge and didn’t understand the situation. (They were deceived, but seriously.) I actually quite liked him–along with Zhong Li Tang Zhu–because he was smart and also an easygoing person–if time allowed.
Chen Yue (陈玥) as Ling Tang Zhu (凌堂主). Seriously, wishy-washy. I can’t blame him for falling for Yi Lang’s tricks but he didn’t help with the situations at times either.
Chen Ji Ming (陈继铭) as Lei Hen Tian (雷恨天). Lei Jing Hong’s father.
Wang Gang (王岗) as Xie Hou You (谢厚友). He was seriously unlucky.
Anson Shi (石悦安鑫) as Xie Xiao Feng (谢小风). At first, I was somewhat annoyed with the kid, but later enjoyed his arguments with Lei Jing Hong. They were indeed like a family at that part, just enjoying the simple life and all.
Fang Xiao Yue (方小月) as Huang Sao (黄嫂). Yi Lang’s mother. Perhaps, it was for the best that she didn’t know of Yi Lang’s fate? Because it would break her heart completely.
Wang Lu (王璐) as Zhan Fei Tian (战飞天). Believed to be Zhan Feng’s father, Lie Ru Ge’s real father.
Zhou Qi (周奇) as Eldest Student of Piao Miao Sect (飘渺大师兄).
Relationships / Pairings / Whatever:
Dilraba Dilmurat / Ru Ge and Vic Chou / Yin Xue. I didn’t feel their chemistry at first. I was intrigued as soon as I watched the opening scenes. However, I wasn’t feeling them until way later. Okay, possibly around the time they were at that one town, opening the shop and all. I didn’t like it that he kept placing his hands around her and trying to be as intimate as possible at times, taking advantage of the situation. Yet when their bond improved later, I decided to cut him some slacks, mostly because he had been waiting forever (almost) to be reunited with her after their fate was cut short in her previous life. There were actually quite a few fun and touching scenes between them.
Dilraba Dilmurat / Ru Ge and Vin Zhang / Zhan Feng. I thought they really had chemistry. It was that was the way the plot was so they couldn’t be together. It was kind of cute watching their younger versions interacting. Too bad, huh? But I think fans of the pairing shouldn’t be too disappointed since they starred in The King’s Women (秦时丽人明月心) together. (Although I think it’s another tragic drama, lol.)
Dilraba Dilmurat / Ru Ge and Wayne Liu / Yu Zi Han. They totally exuded the brother and sister vibe throughout the series so I was not torn that they didn’t end up together. Sure, they could work (like how it was in the novel) and there were some cute moments together. But I think their boundaries were clearly established in here (except for a few scenes), unlike how it was in the novel. They were much more intimate in the novel and it showed that they would eventually end up together.
Jang Hyuk / Lei Jing Hong and Dai Si / Dao Lie Xiang. They had really good chemistry and their story aided majorly with the scenes. I thought she was going to die–based on the main theme. Yet it turned out all right, despite all the tragedies happening between their two families. The ending was kind of funny and I was surprised how things turned out, but I was glad in the sense that they could mend their relationship. It wasn’t too out of the ordinary since he explained during the battles with An He Gong, he admitted that he finally realized of Lie Xiang’s situation and how he was being harsh on her. He went on to elaborate that his situation with An Ye Jue was complex as well, at times hating her for the schemes yet couldn’t help but thought of the times she let him go and possibly about the times she actually raised him. So yeah, not too out of nowhere with trying to get them back together at the end. However, I think the scriptwriters turned them into Romeo and Juliet just for dramatic purposes. Because in the novel, he ended up with Huang Cong. Yup, he and Huang Cong bonded and fell in love after that one time she escorted him back to Jiangnan–after the happenings at Lie Huo Shan Zhuang and Ru Ge had to break him out. That was why he became an active force in the final battles on the outside. I also think the scriptwriters transferred some of Huang Cong’s personalities to Lie Xiang because there was one particular scene that stood out (in fact, the second rare scene mentioning them together) that showed and somewhat explained their relationship. That was when Huang Cong snapped at him for wanting to use explosives to blow up An He Gong since that could possibly harm Yu Zi Han as well since they weren’t sure of his location, which Jing Hong stayed quiet because he didn’t want to upset her further. It was explained that he wasn’t the doormat type nor would easily give in to others yet he couldn’t do anything in regard to Huang Cong–because of his love for her, lol.
James Li / Zhong Li Wu Lei and Yuan Yu Xuan / Die Yi. Their story was so cute yet tragic. I thought they would make it through yet it wasn’t so. Wishful thinking really.
Music. That was the first thing that popped up in my mind when I thought of this section. Most of the songs in here were unique and addicting in their own way, which tied back to the story in some shape or form.
Casting. I felt all the cast did quite well with the portrayals of their characters. I liked them even better after reading the novel, because like I said above, it looked like they walked out of the novel. Well, for the majority since I did make some comments above about it.
Costumes / Makeup. It was almost exactly how it was described in the novel, which was really surprising.
Flashbacks. Yes, this was unavoidable, especially for recent dramas. But I was getting really annoyed at times with the flashbacks. I felt it was overused. Because some scenes were shown over and over again. I got that flashbacks were necessary in a sense and seriously don’t mean the flashbacks to when they were little at times. But the ones that were in the present timeline or already happened but kept being shown throughout. Moreover, the over usage of flashbacks stuck out like a sore thumb because I knew it was a way to extend the episodes. Not to mention to promote the songs, lol. I loved the songs, but seriously, they were pushing it.
Length. I think the previous point was responsible for the dragged out episodes. I thought the majority of the plot was all right. The pace was enough–although I didn’t like some of the stuff. It’s impossible to like everything in a series-regardless. Yet what made it a stretch for me was when it hit the 40-mark. Some parts could do without the repetition. If they need to make it to the 50th mark, I would say stop right there. The last two episodes were full of flashbacks and only dedicated a little toward explaining what happened to Yin Xue. Because in the novel, it actually ended at the part where Ru Ge made the cakes for Yu Zi Han so it seemed off with the last two episodes. (I felt the stretch even before finishing the novel.)
Zhan Feng lost either way. Yes, I saw some outrage when I was doing light searching for information about the drama. Many felt Ru Ge should have ended up with Zhan Feng since he never changed. How soon (52 episodes later more or less) they’d forgotten that he hurt her so badly–even if he had a good reason (or so he thought). It was even worse in the novel because he actually impregnated Ying Yi and caused her to miscarry. Even if it was her desperate attempt to stop the wedding that one time, but his actions showed where he stood on that. Anyway, either way, Zhan Feng wasn’t going to win. Like I mentioned above, the author disclosed in the afternote that she wanted to kill Zhan Feng at first, but because she felt that Ru Ge owed him (or more like that was how Ru Ge felt because of the switch), she didn’t want to kill him off just like that. Then the wedding scene near the ending was supposed to be set for Ru Ge and Zhan Feng, but again, the author wasn’t feeling that either so she scratched the idea. In the series, the scriptwriters (and the production team) favored Yin Xue and the novel favored Yu Zi Han. I side with the series because I felt the ending of the novel was unfair to both Yin Xue and Yu Zi Han. I liked it that Yu Zi Han was able to restore his sight and still reserved his abilities to walk and hear again. However, I didn’t like it that he was going to be stuck with the essence of Yin Xue inside him. Was Yin Xue going to pop up from time to time to disturb them? Seriously? Actually, even if they decided to let her be with Yu Zi Han in the series, I would be fine with it, but I didn’t like the merge. Regarding Zhan Feng, I preferred him in the series over Yu Zi Han, mostly because Yu Zi Han was just too perfect.
The author was influenced by Gu Long. I just noticed this and guessed. Not sure. Just want to discuss here. The reason was Gu Long was famous for writing short phrases and describing scenes. It made me think of him several times. Then there was also the whole theme behind using a brothel as a front for other activities or reasons. Not that only Gu Long used that direction in his plot, but he was known for a lot of daring plotlines.
Recommended? I think it was worth it. If you’re a Vic fan, it’s a must-watch because he portrayed a completely different role–once again. There were some hints of mischief like some past roles, but this one took on another path. Even if it seemed he appeared so little but it was worth it for me. In fact, I think the majority of the cast did quite well. The story lived up to it. Sure, I complained about some stuff but overall, it was a decent series.