Dickson Lee, Hong Kong Entertainment, Law Lok Lam, Ruco Chan, Vivien Yeo, Yoyo Mung

Ruse of Engagement

I must say that this was one of the most anticipated dramas for me since it was delayed for a while. I can’t wait to see a collaboration between Ruco and Ron. However, it was a disappointment to say the least. Sure, it started out nicely and built the suspense bit-by-bit. But it began to crumble just as fast as it gained my confidence that the series would do well. Mostly because of certain characters. It picked up in the suspense department later on but fell short of being an epic drama because of how much frustration was going on throughout the series. Sure, frustration was one of the key elements contributing to the suspense but they didn’t have to depend on it to drag out the episodes. Why did they drag us through all that to end with such a tragic ending? Not like I couldn’t accept that since it was all possible with how things turned out. Yet some things didn’t make sense. Where to start?

Main Cast:

  • Ruco Chan as Carson Chong Yau Ching. Very arrogant and hot-headed at first. However, he wasn’t all bad. He was mischievous and not as obedient as some people. But he was indeed quite smart and resourceful. He was also capable of enduring all types of pain to take the most dangerous missions. I felt this role was quite good for Ruco. Yet the side things made it kind of frustrating, mostly in the romance area. But his acting was awesome in here, compensating for past senseless roles that he had to endure to finally take lead roles.
  • Yoyo Mung as Yip Ting. One of my favorite Yoyo roles up to date. In many ways, she was unpredictable so I felt hope for the series. Yes, she was a reporter but she wasn’t too annoying. There were many layers to her character and not so one-dimensional like other reporters in the past. She was stubborn but was also quite intelligent. There were times she needed rescuing but there were other times that she was able to fend for herself. She wouldn’t go down without a fight.
  • Ron Ng as Alfred Chong Yau Kit. Disappointed. I was looking forward to this role of Ron and didn’t care to read spoilers. Yet I felt they (the script-writers) didn’t need to throw Ron under the bus for this. Sure, I got that not everyone could be a hero and they were trying to make it different for this one. But I think there were too many plots with brothers competing (both for capabilities and girls) so for once I wish they would lay off this. Also, NOT cool that he was moving in on Jessica briefly after his brother’s death AND the most despicable of all using his brother’s tactics to win over Jessica. Things didn’t turn out as he wished later but Carson sure was right in accusing him of wanting to get rid of Carson because of Jessica. (Although that was all misunderstandings BUT I felt since Alfred idolized his brother, the least he could do was believe his brother AND to remember what happened the last time and consider it was all undercover or some other reason.)
  • Aimee Chan as Jessica Chung Yat Ka. At first, I thought her character was cool. But she lost ground for me when Carson supposedly died. She was at a vulnerable moment of her life, but I felt it was just too easy to move on with Alfred shortly after Carson’s death. So when she was jealous of Carson and Yip Ting when Carson was just helping Yip Ting that one time and taking care of Yip Ting, I didn’t care. Jealousy didn’t have to make sense, BUT I felt like hey, who was she to act like such? Then I think that some things didn’t make sense in the end. I felt that it was too fast trying to make Jessica crazy and trying to end it on a tragic note since she suddenly wanted to do the same as her father with selling the stuffs to foreign countries or other shady parties? Um, yeah, I got it that through various points, it seemed that Jessica was really fake. But we, the audience, only got it as we see, they (the script-writers) need to work on the plot better to let them (the characters) see that she was the cunning type, not suddenly going crazy and taking the easy way out after declaring that Carson had betrayed her. Well, he did BUT it was like everything was rushed and all jumbled in the last episode. OR something. Other than that, I felt that Aimee did a very good job for the role.

Supporting:

  • Eddie Kwan as Steven Shum Chi Ngo. Their boss but was suspected throughout as the bad guy.
  • Lai Lok Yi as Fu Wang-leung. He was said to be the mole later on YET was only used to further others’ agenda.
  • Dickson Lee as Paul Sir. One of the bosses. Tough.
  • Kenny Wong as Ko Wai. One of the bosses. I’m so sick and tired of seeing him everywhere and playing important roles. That was it.
  • Louise Lee as Tong Shuk Fun. Carson and Alfred’s mother.
  • Law Lok Lam as Kiu Kim Hang. Yip Ting’s adopted father.
  • Lee Kwok Lun as Chung Lai Him. Jessica’s father.
  • Vivien Yeo as Yeung Lok Man. Seduced and used Kiu Kim Hang at one point to further her agenda. Although Vivien’s acting was fantastic but I felt it was a waste of time for her. It was just another bad girl role. So at least it wasn’t senseless, but still not worth mentioning since they kept sinking her.
  • Leanne Li as Betty / Beauty Yeung Yan Mei. One of the AFT members.
  • Fred Cheng as Eric Lee Kam. Another waste of time. I don’t know. He was just there.

The ending? Seriously? Okay, I didn’t have a hard time believing that Carson truly loved Jessica. I just have a hard time believing that Carson was that irresponsible to leave his mother behind for Alfred to take care. He had always been very filial to his mother–regardless of situations. So why did he do it? Well, he was devastated after how things turned out and how Jessica had accused him of betraying their love. Human behaviors are indeed unpredictable, but seriously? I got why Carson didn’t accept Yip Ting and actually felt it fitted his stubborn nature and how loyal he was to Jessica despite Jessica’s accusations. Yes, he did betray her trust by using her to extract some information yet he was trying to patch things up and somehow let her off easily. She was the one who went right to his brother after his supposed death the first time around, hello, in case anyone wanted to point fingers. I also felt the ending tried too much to make the whole Carson and Jessica thing worked that they had unknowingly throw Yip Ting under the bus. I didn’t think it was in Yip Ting’s nature to force Carson to accept her that fast right after Jessica’s death. So her offer proved that Carson wasn’t easily wavered, showing how loyal he was to Jessica. However, it didn’t fit with Yip Ting’s personality. Sure, she was upset when it seemed like he was sacrificing her for whatever was going on previously. But she wasn’t the type to just jump right in like that after all the chaos.

So recommended? Unless you want to choke to death with the ending, don’t. If you want to watch Ruco and Aimee as a pairing, I heard Outbound Love (單戀雙城) is a much better choice. (I haven’t watched it yet but will leave up to the fans for that one.) On the other hand, I felt robbed because I actually quite liked the collaboration between Ruco and Ron, however it was ruined when they decided to let the brothers fight over the same girl. Then there was the thing with crafting Yip Ting’s character so nicely to be tossed aside totally in the end. I understood why some of the stuffs happened and Carson was too  in love with Jessica to care about the other girl, but I felt it was such a shame that there was nothing going on between them except for the conspiracy they were in at one point. I totally would watch if one day Ruco and Yoyo collaborate again. Perhaps a better script, not just a compensation for it like some other past pairings (and failed). Maybe it was better not to try too hard to make the main leads end up together or something. Yet I felt the whole throwing Yip Ting under the bus was already a stretch. Because I quite liked it that Yip Ting continued to strive forward at the end on her own. Just that the last bit to wrap up in favor of Carson and Jessica’s story made it kind of low.

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Evergreen Mak, Hong Kong Entertainment, Kevin Cheng, Only You, Yoyo Mung

Only You: Episode 2

(image cap: DTLCT)

This episode continues with Mandy’s job search. She’s so picky, LOL! Well, I guess she has a point regarding the requirements with knowing how to drink, please others, etc. It begins to feel like some special ‘socializing’ abilities rather than just the normal professionalism that employees have to acquire for their job titles. Anyway, Mandy soon meets with her mother at a restaurant for tea time (?) and finds out that her mother has set up a meeting with the match-maker, Chong Sze Tim. (Yeah, the same match-maker/wedding planner who helped Dee with the whole wedding arrangement in the previous episode.) Mandy’s still hostile – or at least semi-hostile – to the her while exchanging some words. Her mother of course interferes. However, Mandy’s attitude changes when the subject changes to that of wedding arrangements. Yup, she has already talked to Ling regarding the whole making money out of the wedding business when they met up for lunch, so it’s only right that she snatches at the opportunity when Madame Chong brought it up. Like it’s an easy road since her attitude just kills everything and Madame Chong wouldn’t want to commit suicide by accepting Mandy as a student. LOL! That would lead to major blood pressure problems in the near future. On a personal note, I don’t know, but I like Yoyo’s character so far. It’s kind of different from her previous roles. It’s not too good, too dumb, too kind, or too cruel. There’s this mixture of caring for her family yet she has this attitude that just drives people insane at times. In other words, NOT perfect yet not completely hateful either.
To steer away from that side of the main cast to the other side, LOL! Yeah, so I didn’t mention about Madame Chong’s family, right? So here goes, Evergreen Mak and Kristal Tin are part of that clan. Then there’s their son Zhong Chung Leung (Vin Choi) – more like stepson to Mrs. Zhong. There is also Ma Hui Ching (Natalie Tong) who is Madame Chong’s daughter. In a way, they’re a family business. In the previous episode, we found out that Chung Leung didn’t transfer his tuition fees to Hui Ching so now he couldn’t go to Australia to study because he had enrolled somewhere else to pursue a girl. His father is more than mad but couldn’t do anything about it – even after some major persuasion with the school. To top it off, they have another thing to worry about. Their main photographer, Summer (Kevin Cheng), is not back yet because of delays and couldn’t make it in time to take pictures for one of their clients. Mrs. Zhong immediately comes up with some medical excuse for Summer and tries to edge out of it. Nice? It seems that Kevin’s portraying somewhat of an irresponsible person – for once? NOT sure, but we’ll find out in a bit.
Because of Summer’s inability to appear at the time, King (Lai Lok Yi) tried to cover for him by offering his service when he was turned down by the customers since they did not trust him – though he was supposed to be backup photographer and was more than qualified to help them with the photograph session. After much frustration, he left again. So much for being nice and trying to help, I guess.
On the other hand, Madame Chong was offered a case to help this one family with an upcoming wedding but one of the requirements was that she was still happily married. This was the thing that couldn’t be fulfilled but Phoebe (Kristal Tin) jumped in to say that it was true and used crafty words to seal the deal. Madame Chong couldn’t turn it down so she had to seek out her disciple to handle the ceremony. She had no idea that her loud mouth disciple was the reason for her downfall. Or what seemed so because the disciple engaged in an argument with Lady Wong and accidentally spilled the beans regarding Madame Chong’s past. That got into the tabloids and caused Madame Chong’s reputation. I seriously do not blame Phoebe in this case since she wasn’t totally lying. Yes, she was manipulating the words to make it sound good yet she wasn’t bashing or picking on Madame Chong. She was just using good words to make Madame Chong’s reputation good. I blame the nosy disciple for not knowing when to shut up. Anyway, Madame Chong went to their client’s office to try and explain but the rep wouldn’t hear her. Luckily, the boss came and told them that she would see Madame Chong. After some explanation, the lady boss said that she didn’t care about Madame Chong’s past but admired her for her talents and wanted her to arrange the wedding and be there for the ceremony.
Back to Mandy’s side, Mandy somehow landed a job since it was Ling’s cousin’s wedding. She tried to pull it off but failed major time because she wasn’t paying attention when Ling was passing on information to her. Despite her crafty words and manipulation, she wasn’t convincing. But coincidences of all coincidences or maybe it was just planned that way so the plot would unfold later, but Madame Chong’s reception was also at the same hotel/restaurant. So they went head to head and had some exchanges. Mandy was still the typical Mandy, arrogant as always, LOL! Madame Chong didn’t want to argue with her anymore. Yet the little respect Mandy showed toward Madame Chong was letting her get into the Taxi first. But Madame Chong refused and so Mandy abandoned her courtesy and headed home. Yup, Madame Chong was shaking her head.
The episode ended with Mandy sitting on her bed and counting the  red packets. It showed that she had failed major time. Need to be more convincing. If only she would know that she still has a lot to learn.

Evergreen Mak, Hong Kong Entertainment, Kevin Cheng, Only You, Yoyo Mung

Only You: Episode 1

(image cap: DTLCT)

After watching the first episode, I must say I’m impressed. It might be too early to say anything regardless because I’ve read some spoilers but I’m willing to stay positive – for once (at least recently). This series is of course about weddings or more like the preparations for weddings. Well, it could be counted as everything surrounding weddings, such as preparations – as mentioned above – and the hardships they’ve gone through for it. The reasons for such a fancy and glamorous preparations could be for the the sake of saving face – as in this case, but actually turns out into a different reason and could account for a whole different reason in the end. I must admit I was thinking along the line of dragging formula as the wall crumbles when Mandy (Yoyo Mung) exclaims out her frustration and spills the beans about her recent job lost. But the whole event turns around all right in the end. It seems that this series would be a case per case thing instead of dragging it out with the whole jumble of stories like in the past series. Then they would save it for everything to resolve in the end or near the end. But it’s not. I like this approach better when it comes to theme related ones. I must say I’m not much of a fan of some of the cast members but watch anyway since I at least like some of the cast. Glad I carry on anyway because I like the development thus far and how the characters are – even if they seem annoying at one point or another. It is more on a serious level than some of the recent nonsense ones. However, you shouldn’t dive in if you just can’t stand the main cast because you wouldn’t enjoy it anyway. I’m willing to continue because the plot has convinced me somewhat and how the characters promise some sense of variety. There is of course the overall plot that ties the main cast together but most of the couples in here are probably appearing as guests for each case the wedding planners do. Can’t wait to see what else would happen.
So anyone wants spoilers? Well, the first story started with Mandy’s family preparing for Dee (Eddie Lee) and Rainbow (Leanne Li)’s wedding. Dee and Rainbow only wants a simple get together party among family and friends, but it has turned into a whole catastrophe because Mandy wants to show off to her other relatives and save face for the family. Then there’s also the whole thing with their mother (Suet Nei) wanting to do a traditional wedding after witnessing a professional match-maker/wedding planner going through the ceremony with a relative’s wedding. This professional match-maker is of course portrayed by Louise Lee. She is pestered by all family members before and after Mandy’s job lost, causing quite a nuisance for her. However, upon hearing the mother’s confession of how important it is to her to witness a traditional wedding and bringing luck towards her son and future daughter-in-law, the match-maker is touched and proceeds to do her best directing the mother throughout the preparations. On the other hand, Mandy is very frustrated with her job lost that she finally takes it out on her brother after finding out about the huge bill from the wedding pictures. So all parties are on the out that night, shutting themselves in their rooms – except for the mother. Their mother is worried and wants to cancel all arrangements with the match-maker the next day because of Dee’s rude behavior and hostility. However after some encouragements and persuasions, she proceeds with the planning. That night, Dee returns home to see his mother in the kitchen – more like just a glimpse of her in the kitchen – and mumbles about the nuisance of preparations in his drunk state. Yet the next day Dee finally understands his mother’s feelings towards the whole thing. Even Rainbow is touched by what her mother-in-law has done for her – and cooperates with the arrangements throughout, no longer complaining about the unfairness of not being able to plan out her own wedding, etc. Another touching moment occur when Mandy produces two watches as the wedding gift for her brother, which Dee remembers the promise Mandy has made to him since they were still young. After that flashback, Dee tearfully says that Mandy has remembered and Mandy returns by reminding him that she would never forget what she promised to him. See what I mean with a touching episode? Well, who knows what else could happen in the future but that moment really brings meaning into the whole theme. It brings forth more hope for weddings and/or marriages. (I’m a sucker for it.)