Since I already talked about some elements of the plot and its issues in a post, I might as well start one for the actors/actresses in the drama.
Whether the actors’ performances were well presented, it would depend on one’s own opinions and what it is said to be good acting. As for myself, I think it doesn’t have to be those over-hyped plots or well-known cast to make a drama good. If they’re able to deliver their part and could collaborate with one another to bring forth a convincing storyline, then the goal is achieved. I don’t believe in one actor/actress shining over their other co-stars to be good because they missed the point. They failed to contribute to the plot itself. If they could complement their co-stars well and make the story work, that is more important.
Dylan Kuo as Yu Hao/ Xiao Yu – Yu Hao was the leader of the group in his gang (or what could be called of a gang at all since they did not matter as much as some of the bigger gangs out there), so one would expect him to be tough and merciless. However, he had a very kind heart and was a very filial grandson. He was also very righteous toward his fellow gang members, never letting them down. He was not heading down the right path but that was because he was lost and misguided. He did not know of the correct way to do things when the society kept turning their heads away from him and his other friends who were in the same situation. He only knew how to behave in a certain way to survive. Perhaps, it was his reluctance to join a bigger gang and preventing them from getting into bigger trouble that made him admirable. He only wanted everyone to have someone to look up to and helped them whenever necessary and to survive. He did not want more than what was enough to survive. He was persistent in not joining but was tricked into joining. It was a decision that they could not turn back on, but he did not back down or ran away after he made the commitment. He had been by Dan Zi and Ah Qi’s side along with the others the whole time. He really deserved to be their leader.
Dylan is known as one of those people who care like 3x more about hygiene and other cleanliness matter so I must really credit him for diving into this role and is not afraid to get dirty for the role. (Although I think the crew must have taken care of some stuff and precautions for him also.) Whether he can act or not, it depends on each person’s standard, but I think he did well as Yu Hao. He was able to bring out different sides of Yu Hao and the emotional state Yu Hao was going through with many changes surrounding him. Dylan was both professional and hard-working because he even went through the trouble of researching his character out by watching some of the similar gang-related films to take tips on and also signed up for a course in acting specifically for this role. It was really worth the effort and admirable.
Ady An as Pei Yu Yan/ Xiao Yan Zi – Ady was really good in her performance as Pei Yu Yan, the innocent girl who stepped out of her own world to learn the truth behind the lives of the guys who were neglected by the majority of the society because of their behaviors. Her character was not just about the kind and gentle girl who transformed into a tougher person to defend herself. I feel it was much more than that. It was about how the girl stepped out of her comfort zone to explore something beyond. She wanted to fight for what she strongly believed in for the first time in her life. She could see what the others could not, but only used their eyes to judge and not their hearts to see. Her decision to run away was not only because of the love for a guy she should not be involved with but because of the other guys who she knew was good at heart.
A runaway episode mixed in with stubbornness was just the regular formula that was supposedly the general theme of the drama but there was also the intervention of the complex world that Yu Hao was involved in. Xiao Yan Zi–and even the other guys–did not realize that they would step onto a path of no return because of a trap by a gang leader. She soon encountered the worst and forced herself to change in order to protect herself and not become a burden of the guys who she cared for–who had become like a family to her.
Lan Cheng Long as Dan Li Jie/ Dan Zi – Dan Zi was perhaps the wisest among the three guys but he was as loyal to his friends as the other two guys were. He knew right from the start that it was a mistake to let Xiao Yan Zi join them because of the life they led. He also tried to scare Xiao Yan Zi off by telling her of what they do, but she was understanding of their situation after knowing how filial Yu Hao was to his grandmother; and how nice the guys were at heart and their touching brotherhood. Dan Zi was surprised at Xiao Yan Zi’s reactions during the motorcycle race scene. Although he could not stop Xiao Yan Zi from getting herself into their mess, he was still supportive of Yu Hao and Xiao Yan Zi, always managed to stick by their side and helped them with all that he could.
Blue portrayed the role quite well and was able to bring out the different sides of his character well. He was not just the guy who stood behind Yu Hao, but also the best friend who might not always agree with him but will support him regardless. On a personal note, I really like Blue with always taking on serious dramas than those other over-hyped ones (until recently).
Micheal Zhang as Yang Xun Qi/ Ah Qi – Ah Qi appeared to be the most straightforward among the three guys. He acted out a lot and did not care to conceal his behaviors thus scaring other people easily. Ah Qi was also the most hot-headed among them all. However, it was clear that his friendship and loyalty toward Yu Hao and Dan Zi were presentable. He proved true that he would done harm to those who hurt his friends.
I think Michael did really well as Ah Qi since I was quite scared of him at times too with his behaviors. Later, I understand his character more and realized how Ah Qi was really a good friend, who was always there to fight alongside with Yu Hao and Dan Zi. He was not afraid of anything.
Joelle Lu as Hong Dou – At first, I really disliked Hong Dou because of her actions and jealousy toward Xiao Yan Zi. However, I later learned to look from her point of view more, allowing me to understand her character better. I think she could not take it that Yu Hao actually chose some girl outside of their group and not to mention just an ordinary girl to them. However, she began to see the seriousness of how Yu Hao treated Xiao Yan Zi so she just had to step aside and support Yu Hao’s decision because she could not change it anyway, plus she did not want to risk losing a friend like him.
Joelle did pretty good as well, bringing out her aggressive side as well as her supportive and/or understanding side toward her friends.
So, as an overall, I think that this team had succeeded in fulfilling their jobs portraying their individual characters in here along with the rest of the cast to convince us of the plot that unfolded, one event after another. It was a successful combined effort to make the story become more lively with its depiction in each scene. I had a feeling that no one was stealing anyone’s spotlight or trying to outdo one another to shine. But it was all a team effort in making it happen.
The casting was very good for each role also. Not to mention the image that was given to them. It was convincing enough with each character and the role they played in the story.
*The first image was collected around the net hence belonging to their rightful owner, the rest were captured by DTLCT.