The Rough Ride

I finally watched this series though I have it on my to-watch list awhile back. Watching this series somehow affected me more than I thought. Possibly because both Barbara Yung and Susanna Au Yeung passed away already. Not to mention Anita Mui, who sang the main theme so beautifully. There were many moments that I got teary-eyed, not because of the plot, but because of seeing old faces.
Anyway, back to the plot. At first, I thought TVB was going the daring route–because they rarely do that, mostly safe within their traditional shells as not to upset the viewers. However, I was wrong. What do I mean? I thought they were letting Lau Dan and Ha Yu portray a couple who was raising an adopted child and trying to survive in society, especially one might not be accepting them. It seemed that way with some details at the beginning. Even when they were trying to explain at the police station after that one time getting into a fight and the police officers were trying to get them to tell their story. I thought from their hesitation, the whole fighting over Jian Hong’s mother was a made-up story. Yet it seemed like it was true except for some details that were never clarified, because the plot didn’t want to focus there. Even Zhou Rong’s mother was chiding him for staying with Zhou Zhang You all these years–when he came home that one time to visit her after another dispute with the latter. Seriously, I was wrong. That was okay though since they had to move on, but I felt the plot was scattered everywhere thus causing details to be muddled throughout. I liked it that they were moving back and forth among different characters, but I didn’t like it that they were so inconsistent with different characters at times. It was frustrating to say the least.
Main Cast:

  • Tony Leung (梁朝偉) as Zhou Jian Hong (周劍虹). I felt this role wasn’t that special as in part of the Tony legacy in the old days. I think it was sort of a break for him. I think his best scene was his argument with Bi Hua/Barbara Yung when she was acting distance toward him since she didn’t want to cling to him just because he became rich. It was emotional and added more to their bond, because they finally talked about some things that actually mattered instead of feeling like they were stuck in a loop of not being able to communicate like previously. I guess his passiveness at times was a balance to some people’s extremeness in here. I liked him fine, until he listened to his father Zhou Rong to try to propose to Bi Hua so he could control her. Of course, he didn’t think it in that way, but I felt the proposal wasn’t as genuine as when they finally got back together at the end. I think he finally understood Bi Hua’s importance or realized he should cherish her more, because he admitted at one point that he used to think Bi Hua was more serious about their relationship than him. It was like a pride thing for him, but he figured he was going to have to gain her confidence in him again, not just taking her for granted like before. I guess I liked him for the most part, but what I was annoyed about was how he–along with the others–treated Shao Wen like she was Tian Wei’s possession or like a sure deal (even when they weren’t together yet). He didn’t like Shao Wen romantically and no one could force him, but I didn’t like how he and the others seemed to force Shao Wen to go with Tian Wei as well. Just because Tian Wei liked her, not letting her decide at all.
  • Barbara Yung (翁美玲) as Xie Bi Hua (謝碧華). I was watching the Viet-dubbed version so the person who dubbed for Huang Rong dubbed for her in here too so it was really funny and somewhat bittersweet at the same time. She was so stubborn and probably short of all the things Huang Rong could do and get away with, lol. But I really liked her. At least she was straightforward with her attitude. I liked that she was able to go train in England and became an even better cop with her new skills later. There were times that I didn’t like it either that she was using her boss as a shield, but I felt I could forgive her somewhat since at the beginning when she was trying to get rid of that one annoying pest, she actually asked her boss for help so he knew about it. Then later, it was her jealousy getting in the way so I felt like I should cut her some slacks and she did apologize to him (her boss) later. (I think, I hope.)
  • Ray Lui (呂良偉) as Jiang Tian Wei (江天偉). I didn’t think I could hate Ray Lui for a role he portrayed. Well, in Shanghai Bund, I think I was annoyed yet wasn’t feeling this strong hate toward his character. Aside from those assault scenes toward Shao Wen, I think the rest of Ray scenes were kind of subtle. Then it seemed interesting when he was undercover for the cops. Yet I felt the ending scenes were just there to bring his character up again or trying to make him active to wrap up the show. Or trying to make up for his past wrongs, which I didn’t care for. Yes, his character for me was fine. They had to ruin it like that. When, perhaps, the writers had this mentality about “love” or “assault” was how you get a girl OR whatever. But I didn’t want to let it slide just because. The writers totally downplayed those horrifying moments and brushed if off completely later on. Anyway, I also thought his character would become the villain later since his jealousy of Jian Hong escalated after some disagreements at the company yet it wasn’t so. In fact, he was probably the dumbass of the show. Sounds mean, but he was so easily manipulated by his uncle that I eventually got frustrated too. I got where he was coming from and felt sad for him that his mom was manipulating him and pressuring him, but the others stuffs he did, I couldn’t forgive him for.
  • Barbara Chan (陳敏兒) as Lin Shao Wen (林少文). A lawyer. I liked her having an awesome lawyer role. However, some of the plots sort of brought her character down. I actually liked the approach they (script-writers) did with making her so expressive and being almost best buddies with Jian Hong and how they seemed to have this connection. Yet the writers had to bring her character down later by making it confusing and manipulative in a way. I wondered if it was so they could somehow justify Tian Wei’s actions and then bring them together. I didn’t like the pressures people were giving her, her mother and others. Yet I didn’t like how she tried to jump in between Jian Hong and Bi Hua either.
  • Lau Dan (劉丹) as Zhou Rong (周榮). Jian Hong’s father. Mixed feelings throughout. I liked it that he wasn’t greedy and didn’t care for those fortune he suddenly stumbled into. Yet I felt he was too hot-headed at times. Also, I didn’t like how he treated Bi Hua later. It wasn’t like she was backing down, but he was seriously unreasonable. Who could stand it?
  • Ha Yu (夏雨) as Zou Zhang You (鄒長有). Jian Hong’s other father. Mixed feelings throughout as well. I was surprised he was more accepting of Bi Hua later on (brushing aside the conflicts with her father previously). Yet I was glad and in a way, he gained my point in that. I also liked that he wasn’t as greedy as he seemed to project at first. He didn’t latch onto Jiang Hong or Zhou Rong to get some advantage at the Yang family.
  • Susanna Au Yeung (歐陽珮珊) as He Pei Pei (何佩佩). It was a different role for her for me. I guess it was because I mostly saw her portray mature roles in the past so it was strange. NOT that her acting was strange, because she was a natural in it. She made her character lively and relatable. Although she was supposedly “not a good role model” or “good person” as some people had said in here or at least at first, but I really liked her. Perhaps, it was because of Susanna’s portrayal. Not to mention how Pei Pei’s character was redeemable, unlike her mother and sister whom conspired with others to trap Zhou Zhang You that one time. She didn’t have proper guidance growing up, but once she broke out of that toxic cycle and with the help of the people who truly cared for her, she was able to overcome her hardships and became  her own person again.
  • Lau Kong (劉江) as Yang Zhi Jian (楊志堅). Jian Hong and Tian Wei’s uncle. I felt like he wasn’t getting a break for the villain roles he was involved in back then, lol. Because I guess he did his part, but I felt it wasn’t anything new. Have to admit the character was indeed devious and despicable. He got what he deserved. Or maybe it was still too kind? I don’t know.

Supporting:

  • Lee Kwok Lun (李國麟) as Bi Hua’s boss. He was actually the true gentleman in here and was actually deserving of the nice guy title. But he wasn’t up in your face kind of nice guy and demanded that he should get something in return type of nice guys often seen in movies or TV series either. I felt like he was the most admirable among the young guys in here. As a cop, he was a good leader and everyone loved him. Although there wasn’t much to go on, but it was obvious with the way the other cops were reacting to him that he was a good boss and also a good friend. They really respected him during work and joked around with him when they were off work. He also liked Bi Hua, but he didn’t say it out until near the end. Yet he didn’t expect Bi Hua to accept him or anything, he was just joking that she was breaking his heart, lol. He didn’t mind that she used him to get Jian Hong jealous, but didn’t think it was good for them (Bi Hua and Jian Hong that was). People might be saying he had a doormat attitude and maybe that was why I liked him, but I felt like he was actually genuine among all the guys in here, even surpassing Jiang Hong. Perhaps, it was Lee Kwok Lun’s acting that made it so believable and not exuding any fake exterior, etc. (NOT saying Jian Hong was fake or Tony’s portrayal was poor. Just that like I mentioned above, I was sort of annoyed with Jian Hong for some stuffs too.)
  • Lau Siu Ming (劉兆銘) as Bi Hua’s father and Shao Wen’s legal assistant. Ming Sir and Barbara Yung also portrayed father and daughter in United We Stand (生銹橋王). It was interesting to see a different type of relation in here. Although he wasn’t my favorite character and was super annoying with his greedy nature at the beginning, I soon understand where he was coming from. It was so hard to earn money and all to survive. It wasn’t a good thing to do with how he was pulling his tricks at times, but I could forgive him for that, considering how he’d been trying his best all these years. Mixed feelings throughout but probably not the most hated character for me either.
  • Chun Wong (秦煌) as Da Peng (大鵬). Jian Hong and Tian Wei’s uncle. He was so cute in here, lol. He was probably the only kind person in the Yang family and truly cared for his family, unlike some others. He also was independent and had his own restaurant, pursuing his own passion. I actually thought he was the smartest because he wasn’t involved in those senseless family conflicts. And I never saw Chun Wong portrayed such a kind role before–or I might have missed it. Because he was always either too silly, stubborn, or was just plain annoying. So this was refreshing for me even though it was such an old series.
  • Bonnie Wong (黃文慧) as Bi Hua’s aunt. She was so funny and cool in here. I loved her character the most among the female side, aside from Bi Hua’s that was. She was really smart and witty. I liked it that she got guts and didn’t care what others think of her. But what sort of off with her character was how she let that annoying dude pursuing Bi Hua into the house time after time. Sure, she was just being polite, but I thought she shouldn’t let him in or give him information regarding their trip that one time. Yet that soon passed and I enjoyed her scenes majorly with Da Peng, because they both loved food and enjoyed many delicacies and fun moments together.
  • Paul Chun (秦沛) as Tian Wei’s father. He had a short story at the beginning of the story and then just phased into the background again. It was fine that no one was hogging he camera for too long, but I felt it wasn’t doing him justice. Or was it better he was one of the parties not causing trouble too?
  • Bak Yan (白茵) as Shao Wen’s mother. I usually like her role yet I didn’t really like it in here. Her acting was top-notch, but I just didn’t care for the character throughout. Yes, I felt very bad for her, having such a tragic life. Luckily, she was able to start anew in the end and knowing her family was all right again. However, I didn’t like it that she also contributed to forcing Shao Wen to get married or at least acknowledge Tian Wei. She later realized what was going on and sort of let her daughter choose, but it was sort of too late.
  • Bai Man Biao (白文彪) as Shao Wen’s father. He was sure despicable all right. They sure let him off easy later.
  • Kwan Hoi San (關海山) as Yang Zhao An (楊兆安). Jian Hong’s and Tian Wei’s grandfather. Although I understood that he wanted to protect his family and was somewhat saving face too, but I couldn’t forgive him for what happened. He knew Yang Zhi Jian was beyond help yet forbade Third Uncle to harm Yang Zhi Jian regardless. Like what? How was he supposed to help when he couldn’t take action? If he was strong enough, he could have just toss his son in prison and saved the rest of the family the trouble. Was saving face so important? Seriously. I didn’t like his miserable, pitiful acts either. Yeah, I know he was heartbroken and devastated of what happened, but I just didn’t care for him after I realized he wasn’t going to do anything anyway.
  • Felix Lok (駱應鈞) as Yang Zhi Jian’s right hand man. He was just latching on to the Yang family and only knew how to party so he wasn’t that useful. However, I thought he’d done his part of damage to the overall plot.
  • Richard Ng as a gangster boss. Well, not as much as some others in here, but he contributed in messing up other people’s lives so that counted for me.
  • Chu Tit Wo (朱鐵和) as Third Uncle. He was a gangster boss yet was somewhat too rash for his own good. He tried but he was responsible for harming Jian Hong at one point before investigating thoroughly so I didn’t blame the others for not trusting him later.

Others:

  • Bobby Au Yeung (歐陽震華) as car owner at the beginning. He was the guy who had his car inspected in the beginning yet was yelled at, lol. It was funny seeing him in there like that. He appeared later as well, but I wasn’t sure if it was the same role or just some random second role.
  • Tony Leung Hung Wah (梁鴻華) as Jian Hong’s friend. I liked him in The Return of Luk Siu Fung and Duke of Mount. Deer yet I couldn’t find anything to like him for in here. He was annoying. He was a terrible friend, having thrown Jian Hong under the bus too many times to be considered a friend. He also pestered Bi Hua to the point of excruciating that made me want to jump into the screen and slap him. He was basically like Tian Wei, except he wasn’t main so it was easy for people to hate him versus Tian Wei, but I felt they were almost the same. If Bi Hua wasn’t able to fend for herself and had others to help her, he would progressed to the point of Tian Wei too. Sure, he liked her and wanted to pursue her YET when he finally got turned down with a strong “no”, he didn’t get it and thought she was playing hard to get or whatever else. Bi Hua wasn’t that type of person and made it clear. (I didn’t like that one time she used him to extract information regarding Jian Hong either since that was seriously poor taste.) He was just trying to wear her down (like he admitted at one point). The fact that he tried to use suicide to get to Bi Hua was equally pathetic and somewhat hit too close to home. (Coincidentally, Barbara committed suicide at that time the drama was in the middle of airing using gas so that got me even more annoyed. Although I know TVB didn’t know and no one knew either regarding that, but that scene just added to the things that rubbed me wrong in here regarding the character.) And no, I don’t hate the actor, but found him exaggerating somewhat in here too versus his more natural act in other series.
  • Amy Hu (胡美儀) as Zou Zhang You’s on and off girlfriend. She appeared at the beginning of the series and then somehow disappeared and then appeared again near the end. I liked her, she was cute and funny in her own way.
  • Maria Chan (陳立品) as Jian Hong’s grand-aunt. I got where she was coming from but I didn’t like how she was acting high and mighty at times. Well, Yang Zhao An deserved it, but I didn’t think Pei Pei or Bi Hua deserved her rants at all. I got it that she was following her traditional ways or whatever, but that was so judgmental and so hard to relate to. Especially how she thought Bi Hua was jinxing her grand-nephew and how she wanted Bi Hua to quit her job just because Bi Hua was getting married to Jian Hong.
  • Kenneth Tsang (曾江) as Pei Pei’s rich boyfriend. Was that him? LOL! I swear it looked like him when he appeared briefly. The fact that he wore sunglasses didn’t help.
  • Michael Tao (陶大宇) as Bi Hua’s younger brother. I was initially annoyed with him because how he was so lazy and all. Yet I found him hilarious later.
  • Hui Kin Bong (許建邦) as Tian Wei’s assistant. I wasn’t sure if he was an analyst, a lawyer or another assistant at the office since he only appeared twice. But I thought his character had more potential for development than some in here.
  • Sandra Ng (吳君如) as Yang Zhi Jian’s lover. That was a surprise but that was back then so it wasn’t too strange to see Sandra appearing a little.
  • Shik Kien (石堅) as gangster boss. He was the real deal with all the badass gangsters in here since even Third Uncle was afraid of him.
  • Maggie Siu (邵美琪) as Anna. She owned a bar and was into Tian Wei when he was acting as a mole for the cop. Maggie was so gorgeous in here, and the role was mischievous yet playful that I felt it was too bad she wasn’t taking on some major role. What a shame yet I guess it had to be that way. Not to mention what surprised me was how it departed from her usual pitiful and/or tragic roles of back then. Yes, although her character was supposedly bad and didn’t care if Tian Wei was married or whatever, but I felt she was more honest about her motives than some people in here.
  • Wong Yat Fei (黃一飛) as boat owner at the pier. He was around at the second last episode where Yang Zhi Jian was trying to find a boat to escape. It was fun seeing him at long last. He was like Waldo of TVB, lol. You have to find him because he might not be getting an important role at times yet he was fun to watch and locate.

So, after all that rant, how was it overall? I thought Tony and Barbara Yung were cute together. Even though my mom mentioned that Barbara looked older than him, but I thought they were still cute. (Note, my mom loved Barbara too so it wasn’t like she was picking on her.) If the tragedy didn’t occur, I wonder if they had collaborated more for future series. It was one of those what-ifs in life. Second favorite couple in here must be Chun Wong and Bonnie Wong because they made me feel hopeful about humanity in general in the series’ world–at least. Aside from that, I felt that Susanna and Lau Dan weren’t that bad of a couple but their triangle involving Ha Yu really dragged the pace at one point and made me feel frustrated with the two men’s childish antics. Though I found it interesting that Susanna and Lau Dan also paired up in ATV’s The Ghostbuster Gang (捉鬼家族) years later, but I had watched that one first.
What about Ray Lui and Barbara Chan? I felt their characters ruined it for enjoying their chemistry–if at all. I got it that Shao Wen later realized with worrying for Tian Wei that she did love him, etc. (That was near the ending that she had the conversation with Jian Hong in the hospital during her mother’s operation.) Yet I didn’t like their initial start or the in-between at all. I didn’t like the emotional tortures that she had to go through with his pestering (and it was like how I mentioned it was with Bi Hua being pestered by that one guy as well). The fact that the assault scene happened and also bordering on rape (it wasn’t shown so I didn’t want to assume). I’m talking about that one time he was super frustrated and wanted to get her to talk BUT ended up force kissing her and she was terrified and yelled for him to stop and then the scene just jumped to the next day that she seemed to accept him. It was a terrible plot device and it totally thrown his character toward the hateful zone for me, even if it wasn’t before. I didn’t like that the writers used that type of setup for the characters to eventually get together and forced her to re-think. I already said that above when discussing their characters, but I felt like I need to put it here once again. The script-writers were downplaying assault and/or rape, not taking it seriously at all. What was even more terrible was how Tian Wei kept uttering out that she didn’t have to love him but couldn’t stop him from loving her. He could love her, BUT directly attacking her like that and forcing her? Even if the world was different back then, it still didn’t make it right AND I don’t have to accept it regardless. I thought it was best if they let the characters take it slowly and understand each other instead of forcing her like that. That scene was so traumatizing that it left a very bad impression on him throughout. The ending had a better setup. It seemed lame that she accepted him for saving her mother, but it wasn’t so since she realized when he disappeared that she cared for him. Why didn’t they go with that approach first? I didn’t like it either that there was plot inconsistency with people assuming they were together just because he liked her–at first. Then they dragged her character through the mud with her getting in-between Jian Hong and Bi Hua just to downplay Tian Wei’s assault scene–or all the things he did in general toward her.
Anyway, there were gaps and inconsistency at various points (as I said at the beginning of the review), like how some characters already knew each other or already got introduced yet was expected to be introduced again later. Or one of those like they seemed to have a gap. Other things, I already mentioned above so do not want to be too repetitive. But what was too obvious was the aqua/green dress with pink and yellow rims around the neck Barbara Yung wore at one episode near the beginning ended up being Barbara Chan’s sleepwear near the end. It was hilarious really.
What was fun to watch about this series that I have to admit was the majority of the cast–whether major or minor–were linked to the Condor trilogy one way or another. However, I still wouldn’t recommend as much for the plot. To me, it was one of Tony’s weaker series because I think the majority of Tony’s old series were quite good or considered good overall. It was just some details were inconsistent and frustration that I didn’t like it as much. It wasn’t the worse series of back then, because if you’d seen my reviews of my back-watching, some were worse.

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Road for the Heroes

Old TVB series and one of those should watch ones. I think this was one of my very first TVB series OR even one of the first series that I remember watching OR focusing on, considering how I did not care to watch series or TV too much when I was younger. It was also this series that I began to know of Roger Kwok and became one of his fans.

What was so good about this series? Lots of reasons actually.

  • Jacky Cheung sang the theme songs. The series started out with the powerful song “Hong Ye Wu Qiu Shan” (紅葉舞秋山) by Jacky Cheung. (Though I did know of his popularity at that time BUT it wasn’t hard to figure out he was an awesome singer when listening to the song.) Anyway, the song really fitted in with the theme of the series, considering how it described the conflicts in the story perfectly. (Hong Ye and Qiu Shan used to be one sect, which was called Qiu Shan Hong Ye. It was split up after Bau Fong (the master)’s death. Qiu Shan was considered as the righteous and good sect with Bak Piao leading it while Hong Ye was led by Law Lok Lam who did the opposite just to go against his senior. Therefore, the song Hong Ye Wu Qiu Shan was hinting at how both could not coexist, considering the conflicts between the two leaders. Very meaningful, huh? It also made sense that Jacky sang the song since he was able to bring out the powerful message and made it even livelier with his voice.) The title of the main theme is translated literally as ‘red leaves dancing on the autumn mountain’, which described the ruptures and changing of events thus fitting in with the overall theme of the series anyway. Double meaning, great or what? Or at least I like to think of it that way. And then I just thought of something else as I was trying to interpret the song and incorporate it into the series itself. What if it also meant that if Qiu Shan and Hong Ye were united, then it would bring harmony to mankind but if it was separated, it would become unpredictable and bringing forth an earth-shattering storm? Too many possibilities or perhaps I’m just reading too much into the song itself. Still…a very complex song. The sub-theme was sung by Jacky and Karen Tong, which was an equally memorable song. (*NOTE*: I just found out through llwy12 that the theme song was actually from a Jacky Cheung album titled “真情流露” SO it wasn’t actually made for this series. It was just that TVB managed to find the right song for the theme of the series in general–with how the jianghu world was complicated with many conflicts and change of events; and how one would rather live a carefree life than being involved in those conflicts.)
  • Roger Kwok. Come on now! Even IF that was my first time watching him, I knew he could act. I remember laughing at the parts where he was super clueless and was too honest for his own good and crying at the scenes where he was suffering so badly for the faults of the others.
  • Alvina Kong. The only actress I could remember watching that has a natural performance of portraying a guy role. I meant she DID NOT know she was a girl at the beginning and her character grew up under the impression that she was a guy SO she did an awesome job portraying her character. She was comfortable and convincing. It made me believe she really thought she was a guy. She maintained that characteristic throughout, even when after she learned that she was a girl. She was slowly adapting to being a girl, but it was hard for her and she still preserved those obvious traces and/or bad habits of being a guy.
  • Roger and Alvina as a couple. Perhaps this will be my favorite collaboration ever and probably will remain my favorite Roger pairing since it was my very first time watching them both. They matched wit per wit and did a splendid job as good brothers at the beginning and then later becoming a couple.
  • Michael Tao. Perhaps I did not appreciate him much in the old days BUT I do realize he has the potential to portray the bad guys OR the serious roles more than comedic ones. (I only remember liking him in one humorous role, which was with Michael Miu and Barbara Yung in United We Stand.) Anyway, he made me hate him so bad I was convinced he was none other than evil. Evil characters were much more complex back then and DID NOT try too hard to draw attention. They were there for the essential element to drive the story forward, NOT meant to portray a certain role to shine. Michael did his part and it contributed to the story.
  • Bau Fong. He had a brief appearance at the beginning as Bak Piao and Law Lok Lam’s master. He often portrayed roles of the enlightened ones and he was excellent as those. (Though there were times he was seen as the villain, which he was able to deliver as well.) Anyway, his cleverness was seen near the end of the story (though his character already passed away) with the trap he planted at the supposed ‘treasure’ site. His words, which was supposed to be a premonition for the future was very powerful and was really something. It actually ties with our minds in real life–with each of us longing or searching for something. Sometimes, it just takes simple things to be happy about and maintaining a satisfied mind. Sometimes, some of us are not able to stop ourselves because we could never be satisfied with what we already have, making us sink deeper into the pit. It really gets us thinking what life is all about without making it too cheesy.  (In case anyone wants to know, the phrases are: “There are no treasures in this world. The treasures really lie in our hearts.” Deep, right?)
  • Helena Law Lan. She had a comedic role in here–unlike her usual serious or spooky roles. But it was interesting and enjoyable all the same. Her presence made the series livelier and created a comedic atmosphere each time she appeared. It was interesting to see that she was actually Roger’s sworn sister in here, lol.
  • Bak Piao versus Law Lok Lam. They are probably two of my favorite veteran actors and it was interesting to see them together. Though not sure which one was the worst with how their characters were at times, but must say they did well with their roles. Probably Law Lok Lam’s character was a tad better since he admitted in being the evil one while Bak Piao’s character was too fake with claiming to be the ‘good, righteous’ being, vowing to destroy all evils. Too bad they were outwitted by Michael’s character. It was interesting that they did not die but ended up following their little sect sister into the temple at the end. At least they finally came to terms with their own selves and was able to let go of everything. It was not about winning or losing anymore, but about letting go of their hate for one another.
  • Lau Kong. One of his very rare roles of portraying the good guys in the old days, lol. But he did a good job all the same. I actually pitied him very much the first time watching and the rewatches were as emotional. He was tricked by his senior (Bak Piao) and was forced to flee civilization to hide his senior’s kid and protect her. Not to mention his kind nature of rescuing Roger’s character also. He was an honest and heroic character in his own way. I remembered crying at his death scene–with much help from Roger and Alvina’s actions during the scene.
  • The bond between Lau Kong, Roger, and Alvina. I totally feel their bond as one family at the beginning. Therefore, it was really convincing with Lau Kong’s death scene later and the other two’s reactions. It was totally worth it after all since the two really respected and loved him for who he was, appreciating him–though Alvina was obnoxious at times. It also showed their love for him when they remembered him at various times later on, especially when Roger was missing him and actually wanted to cry at times. And how Alvina never trusted anyone, even her own father when he (her real father) tried to get the jade piece from her. There was also the fact that Alvina remembered Lau Kong’s words and truly believed him when he said that she was a guy, not questioning him at all (even if she was the cunning one of the two kids). The part where she totally broke down and cried and even cursed him when she found out that she was actually a girl made it very emotional as well. It was the part in the temple when she hid from the others and confronted him, asking why he lied to her and tricked her saying that she was special, BUT she found out the real reason why she was different from Roger was because she was a girl.
  • The rest of the cast. The ones that I did not mention yet but contributed majorly to the story regardless of their roles. They were considered the supporting team or just average characters but I felt it would not be the same without them. But I had the feeling they blended right in with the rest of the cast and no one shine over the other. They were a team working to make it happen. It was really enjoyable watching everyone get along, especially their group of friends traveling along the way that one time, vowing to get away from the turmoil of jianghu and seek for their own peaceful destination to live.
  • The just right comedic moments. I was impressed and probably am still used to the mixture of humor and NOT over top humor like in series nowadays. (Yes, those corny, random, lame humor of nowadays DO NOT amuse me with it trying too hard in those ancient ones.) The charm led on by several parties drove the series along just at the right times, making it not too hectic at times. One of the most interesting scenes was seeing how three other girls were fighting over Alvina’s character at the beginning, considering how Alvina had quite a mouth when she was still a guy. Alvina was really convincing (as I said before) and it made sense that the three girls should cling to her like that. There was also the scene of seeing how Alvina was seen as the love interest of that one guy who bullied her and Roger at the beginning.
  • The mixture of fighting and talking scenes. I did not feel the drag of things even IF they were talking too much at times. Maybe because it was much more interesting back then with the plots or details. There were times when you could see they were switching the actors/actresses to the stunt double BUT it did not matter that much. I rather see that than the blind effects (aka CGI).
  • No over-hyped feeling. I did not feel the hype of the series or the ‘try too hard’ element like series nowadays. It was just right and no one was trying too hard to shine. They did their part and the series was a success. No one was hogging the camera and seemed to want a ‘breakthrough’ role. It just happened.
  • The ending. It was really well done and DID not seem rush like most TVB series nowadays. It was really good. There were closures here and there. It did not answer everything but it was relevant to leave some things hanging. It was part of life, not everything had to be answered, and it made sense.

I totally recommend this one for those who love the cast and love old TVB series.