TVB dramas in 2008: the year in reviewJanuary 8, 2010
i realised i didn’t see enough dramas in 2009 to write something comprehensive, so i decided to cover 2008’s dramas, as i’ve watched almost all of them!
then i decided to cover both 2008 and 2009’s dramas, but the 2008 section was too long, so i split them into 2 posts! :)
Wars of In-Laws II (野蠻奶奶大戰戈師奶) – watched; LOVE IT!
i didn’t really watch Part 1, however, it’s a spin-off, and not a real sequel, so it didn’t matter. inspired by “The Devil Wears Prada”, Liza amused me with her OTT dress sense and myriad of expressions. the chemistry between all the cast members was brilliant! i was surprised that supporting cast like Patrick Tang, Nancy Wu, Stephen Hyunh and Eileen Yeow appeared in really minor roles! the only bad thing was that Bosco Wong’s hair irritated me so much! it was not purely a love story (there were basically 3 couples: Bosco, Myolie, Vivien and Vincent – 4 sided love square; Joyce and Derek; Liza and Benz), but it also concentrated a lot on the fashion magazine ELVA. overall, the series was very enjoyable – it touched on basically everything — love, family, business, revenge… :)
The Gentle Crackdown II (秀才愛上兵) – skipped; the last few episodes were exciting though.
i couldn’t get through the 1st 10 minutes. the ultra stupid comedy was unbearable. Yumiko Cheng can’t act well; her attempt to replace Niki, who was in Part I was unsuccessful. i happened to catch the last few episodes, and they were great! there was not a tinge of the ‘stupid-ness’ that put me off in the first place; it was suspense, suspense and more suspense – Wayne and Steven are great onscreen partners, and Wayne did an excellent job — no wonder he got Best Supporting Actor for his role here!
if you can get over the stupidness, it’s quite good.
Wasabi Mon Amour (和味濃情) – watched; gave up halfway.
i’m not a fan of Michael Tao or Louisa So. i was not excited about this series at all, but it concentrated on food – and none other than my favourite Japanese cuisine! i decided to give it a try, only to conclude that this is one of the lamest TVB dramas i’ve seen. Louisa So was so irritating, and Michael Tao was boring. the series was not going anywhere. i gave up.
The Seventh Day (最美麗的第七天) – watched; LOVE IT!
a spin-off of 2006’s “Under the Canopy of Love”, with main cast Kevin Cheng, Niki Chow and Bosco Wong, with Natalie Tong. this was such a sweet drama! i loved how they used this comic strip approach to link the characters and happenings! although the story was pretty stereotypical, like a Korean drama where the female lead suffers from a terminal illness, it was not a miserable love story. there were many funny moments, and although Bosco and Natalie’s story was really exaggerated, it was sweet in its own way. as for Kevin and Niki’s story, it was touching – the most annoying part was Selena Li’s appearance, and of course Kevin’s awful father. this is probably one of the best TVB love stories i’ve seen! :)
The Master of Tai Chi (太極) – watched; was disappointed.
with its stellar cast -Vincent Zhao, Raymond Lam, Melissa Ng, Myolie Wu, Kenneth Ma, Selena Li, Derek Kwok etc. – and interesting theme, i expected more than it gave. it was so slow! although the action sequences were pretty exciting, the rest of the show droned. i even fell asleep at some points. the cinematography method made it different; it focused a lot on the characters and their dialogue, and their interactions with each other. i still find it hard to believe how a barbarian like Vincent Zhao’s character could suddenly become a civilised man. overall, the characters were not very likable, and the plot was bland.
don’t bother. it’s slow and boring.
D.I.E. (古靈精探) – watched; LOVE IT!
this series was very engaging! it was a very fresh series, with new pairings – Roger Kwok and Sonija Kwok; Sonija Kwok and Kenneth Ma; and the return of Margie Tsang, who pairs with Derek Kwok. TVB managed to bring forth a police-investigative series with a comedic twist, and this was a success. i loved how this series was basically about rejects in the police force, and the characters were all unique in their owns ways. i like the bond all members of D.I.E. form as the show progresses. as police series go, cases involve their own people, and almost every single character has a past which is dug up in the form of a case; characters had depth, and it was interesting to see how they struggled internally to solve cases lawfully and not involve their emotions. this is a very enjoyable series which, although quite exaggerated most times, brings laughs, and the cases are pretty special too! :)
recommended! :D the alternative ending was really stupid and irrelevant but it would explain why Roger didn’t die and how they could make a sequel!
A Journey Called Life (金石良缘) – watched; LOVE IT!
this series surprised me. it was different kind of family drama. its English titled is very apt – it’s really about life. this series covered so many aspects of life – family, love, career, money, choices, sacrifices, heartbreak, disappointment, greed, accomplishment, failure… each character had enough space to develop and grow; the plot was touching and brought social messages to the audience. when i started watching, i couldn’t stop; it was so addictive! every character had problems, past and issues they had to overcome and it was very real – it wasn’t a happy ending for everyone. through the trails and tribulations, characters grew stronger and more united. i was moved by this series; it was a powerful and touched me deeply :)
Catch Me Now (原來愛上賊) – watched; LOVE IT!
i gave up after 6 episodes in my first attempt. it wasn’t engaging enough. i decided to try again, and i was addicted! it was really cool and slick! Damien and Joe are great onscreen partners, or in this case, nemesis. this series is really cool – it’s a modern Robin Hood story, where Damien is the thief who steals from the rich – and not just any rich guy but those who get rich doing shady business – and gives it to the poor. i loved the interaction between all of Damien’s team-members – each of them had their expertise and were dedicated to their double-lives — as thieves no less hahahh :D the interesting part was Joe’s quest to find the culprits of his mentor’s murder. it turned out that Joe’s respected mentor was in Damien’s team. this series was not just about black and white; bad and good; it encompassed many many grey areas which characters struggled to come to terms with.
recommended! :D i forgot to mention Evergreen Mak was amazing as the villain! the ending was really sad. the alternative ending was slightly better; it all depends whether you prefer Damien dead or not.
The Silver Chamber of Sorrows (銀樓金粉) – watched; it was pretty good.
set in the 1930s, it involved one family, headed by Paul Chun, who had 4 wives. his first wife, Nancy Sit, managed the household and has one daughter, Charmaine Li; second wife, Rebecca Chan, was Nancy Sit’s servant whom Paul took a liking for and she is powerful for she gave birth to the sole heir; third wife, Christine Ng married into the family as she had no choice, as her intended groom, Paul’s younger brother disappeared on the wedding day. in order not to loose face, she decided to marry Paul as his third wife. fourth wife is Nancy Wu, a songstress from Shanghai, who is young and sultry. this series was really dramatic and suspenseful; yet it was miserable. the women engaged in a never-ending power struggle; others tried to break free of the feudalism. ultimately, Paul was a super evil guy who wanted to burn his entire family to death in the end!
worth watching!! beware: your blood pressure might rise due to the number of evil people in the series XD
Forensic Heroes II (法證先鋒 II) – watched; LOVE IT!
Bobby was still at the helm of the series, but they killed Linda off, injured Yoyo and wrote in Charmaine Sheh and Kevin Cheng. Charmaine appeared as this aloof and super cool and arrogant NB (narcotics bureau) head, who later headed Yoyo’s team. in the meantime, Frankie was depressed at Linda’s demise, and it was timely that his childhood buddy Kevin Cheng returned, and helped him through his difficult time. the cases were not awesome, but i really enjoyed the new chemistry between the characters! even though many people didn’t like how the ‘original four’ were no more, i enjoyed watching the love triangle between Charmaine, Kevin and Frankie (click for my post on this at my personal blog). what i enjoyed most was the good friendship which Frankie, Kevin and Bobby formed. it gave out a very warm feeling. i was so addicted that when it finished, i missed this series dearly…
worth watching!! :D i would have recommended it, but that’s being too bias on my part already :)
The Money-Maker Recipe (師奶股神) – skipped but saw bits and pieces; lame.
a spin-off of “The Family Link”, but without Sheren Tang, Cecila Yip and Derek Kwok! this series was about Kiki Sheung and Michael Tse. new cast members include Dominic Lam, Joyce Tang, Ellesmere Choi etc. it was basically about stocks and shares. the ‘師奶 (housewife)’ element which made “The Family Link” a silent success was over done here. there was too much emphasis on saving money, making money and much more nagging! however, do look out for Dominic’s great evil performance. Joyce is always a joy to watch too :)
Speech of Silence (甜言蜜語) – watched; enjoyed it!
i’m not a fan of Kate’s, but this series was really addictive and really touching. it was all about dubbing, and this is the first TVB series i’ve seen about it! Kenneth was very likable and his chemistry with Kate’s is nothing to complain about. i especially loved the Lai Lok Yi and Elaine Yiu pairing – they’re both my favourites :) all the dubbers were interesting characters who basically talked too much for their own good – they were forever up to nonsense, and talking behind others’ backs! i’ve forgotten to mention Claire Yiu, who was the beauty of the series; i didn’t like how her character cling on to Kenneth. overall, this series was very refreshing, and made me see another side of the entertainment industry.
recommended! :D the ending was too cliche though.
Love Exchange (疑情別戀) – watched; it was ok…
i watched this after “Forensic Heroes II”, and i was disappointed ‘cos it started really slowly! the trailers were all about suspense and secrets, but the first few episodes were rather bland. i had expected something like “Last One Standing”, but it was not to be. however, it got better as the show progressed, and i grew to love Anita Yuen’s character. she and Michael Miu made a really sweet couple! i’m not a fan of Crystal Tin’s, and her character irritated me non-stop! thank goodness for Power Chan, ‘cos he’s a brilliant actor; and surprise surprise, he’s evil again! he was such a greedy and unscrupulous fellow! i felt that concept where the spouses of suspected adulterers befriended each other, and later fell in love was pretty novel. overall, the series did not live up to expectations.
it was ok…
When a Dog Loves a Cat (當狗愛上貓) – watched; blah.
wow, Gallen’s return to TVB! this series was basically about dogs and cats, and something about an advertising campaign. it’s pretty forgettable – and i watched every single episode! Myolie was with Raymond Wong in the beginning, and Gallen was an awful guy who was arrogant and full of himself. he had a sad past which no one knew about; he was a very private guy. his family was dysfunctional, as his father and mother divorced when he was young; he lived without family by his side and even battled cancer by himself. as for Myolie, she grew up in a family where she was sheltered, and she single-handedly ruined her family’s business. ok, where am i going with this? oh i almost forgot – Bernice Liu, Margie Tsang and Lui Fong were in this series too.
don’t bother. you wouldn’t miss anything.
Moonlight Resonance (溏心風暴之家好月圓) – watched; LOVE IT!
my ultimate favourite TVB drama of all time!! i watched it twice, and was equally enraged and touched both times! a spin-off of “Heart of Greed”, it more than surpassed expectations – i was never a fan of “Heart of Greed”. although the love triangle between Linda, Bosco and Claire was so draggy and very boring, that was probably the only downside of the series. i enjoyed every moment Hor-ma was with her children, when Sa-yi was up to her nonsense, when Ah-Hung was ruining the family and the business, when Jo-Ba turned over a new leaf and cared for his family, when the Ma-ma stood up to defend Hor-ma and put Ah-Hung down, when Ka-mei was scheming and lying through her teeth… i loved Ah-Ka and Ah-Yuet’s budding love; Goon Ga Jai and Yu So Tsau’s relationship; Ah-Hing’s really sweet character… there were so many touching moments which brought me to tears… this series is absolutely brilliant!
highly recommended!!! :D
Legend of the Demigods (搜神傳) – watched; it was ok…
at first, i boycotted this series ‘cos i thought it was going to be really really stupid and mindless. and it was! but it was strangely addictive. my sis and i would look at each other, bemused on why we were so addicted to this series! XD the acting from the main leads – Linda, Sunny and Benny – was nothing special. Halina Tam did a great job as the villainous snake demon, and i enjoyed Stephen Au’s appearance as the sword spirit! this was a series where it seemed like the scriptwriters were making the story up as each episode went by. when obstacles were created, solutions were found, and they were on a quest to overcome the various obstacles, only to go back to square one again. haha, what a strange series!
don’t bother. trust me, you really wouldn’t miss anything! XD
Your Class or Mine (尖子攻略) – watched; enjoyed it!
i didn’t expect anything from this series. i was afraid it was going to be another Bobby Auyeung disappointment, like the disastrous “Marriage of Inconvenience”. only it surprised me and i enjoyed this series so much! with only Bobby, Sheren, Derek and Benz being the only notable stars, this series was deemed as a filler (that’s what Iris told me), especially with a bunch of virtually unknown young guys and it being sports and school themed. from this series, i found out more about the education system in Hong Kong. Bobby and Sheren worked really well onscreen, and their feud in the beginning where they were trying to outdo each other was really hilarious! i was touched by how Bobby’s motives changed for the better towards the middle, when he really cared about the students. oh yes, and i really liked how TVB wrote Kenneth Ma’s “Survivor’s Law II” character in to fight a case for them! :)
worth watching! :)
The Four (少年四大名捕) – watched; enjoyed it!
i enjoyed this series a lot! there was enough action and scheming; evil people and fighting scenes. the love element was weak, but it was an action series. the acting was also up to par :)
Last One Standing (與敵同行) – watched; LOVE IT!
wow. this series really took my breath away! it was suspenseful, it involved revenge, deceit, greed, outwitting and outsmarting the ultra evil guy… it kept me at the edge of my seat for a long long time! Roger Kwok was absolutely brilliant – his best performance to date! his evil state and general cunning appearance sent chills down my spine! Kevin Cheng was great! :D being a huge Kevin Cheng fan, he looked so hot (i’m sorry, getting too personal XD) and his performance was great too – so many expressions; internal conflicts. the supporting cast also did a great job – Ellesmere Choi as Kevin’s brother-in-law was like a scared rabbit who was afraid of everything, especially losing face. Evergreen Mak was also great as this super honest guy. the pace is wonderful; it’s such a breath-taking show!!
recommended! :D brilliant plot and performances by Roger and Kevin!
The Gem of Life (珠光寶氣) – skipped but saw bits and pieces; a waste of time.
i think this was the greatest disappointment; with all the glamorous filming locations and star-studded cast, it was a formula for success. only it wasn’t. the plot was directionless and it was so draggy… characters were all in their own worlds – it wasn’t realistic at all.
i don’t think anyone would recommend it. don’t bother. and 80 episodes of directionless droning plot which isn’t even entertaining is really not worth it.
When Easterly Showers Fall on the Sunny West (東山飄雨西關晴) – watched; it was ok…
this series resembles “The Silver Chamber of Sorrows” a lot! i like watching these series where Chinese were embracing that times have progressed and they no longer cared about feudal traditions. it was the usual story of poor girl and rich guy; Raymond Wong was the rich guy who fell in love with Charmaine; his mother, Liza Wang, objected. her sole purpose was to do everything in the interests of the family. Liza Wang annoyed me so much! it was all about the family and reputation… Joe Ma is the long-lost son who comes back to the family and later turns really evil. Charmaine’s role is nothing special, but she, together with Selena Li, represent the new generation of independent women. i enjoyed Selena Li’s pairing with Edwin Siu the most :)
it was ok… “The Silver Chamber of Sorrows” was better :)
Pages of Treasures (Click入黃金屋) – watched; enjoyed it!
i watched the preview of the 1st episode and was so engaged i wanted to watch more! i ended up buying the DVD and it lived up to expectations! the chemistry between all cast members was awesome! the story was basically about Paul Chun and Mary Hon’s 2 sons returning for good – Wayne is the eldest, and has been working in a factory in Mauritius for over 20 years, the factory closed down and therefore he was back in Hong Kong; Eric Suen is the 2nd son, and is a high-flyer in an IT firm in the US, he was back in Hong Kong for a holiday, and ended up joining a HK firm and staying for good. the love triangle between Eric, Shirley Yeung and Vivien Yeo really annoyed me, but the rest of the show was great! Sonija Kwok and Wayne Lai hated each other from the beginning, but later became a sweet couple. i laughed so much watching this series! Paul Chun and Wayne Lai were really amazing :)
worth watching! :)
yayy! done! finally! :D please tell me what you think!
look out for my 2009 year in review post coming soon!!!! :)