My excuse for the recent months of MIA is that balancing the last semester of school and an almost full time job doesn’t really leave much time for blogging. To my defense, I did start on a few review/impression posts, but never have the time to go back to finish them, let alone post them here. But now that school is behind me and graduate school is something far far away, things are looking good for this blog.
To be quite honest, I’ve been going through a very severe drama slump. There is not one drama that can capture my heart, be it TVB, Korean, or Taiwanese dramas. But me, being me, I still keep constant tabs on TVB dramas even though I don’t necessary, y’know, like them (I know! It’s not healthy!). Here are some random, scattered and short thoughts on the currently airing dramas.
Beauty at War 金枝慾孽貳
You see, TVB hardly does sequels well. The success rates are like 1% (Moonlight Resonance is the only example I can think of right now of the very very few). But you took ten (!) friggin years to make this sequel, so you obviously know what you are doing and are putting A LOT of thoughts into it. Perhaps too much. That’s my issue with Beauty at War, it tries too hard. In the first few episodes, it tries to introduce and set up the characters yet it’s also withholding too much information in effort to intrigue. At the end of the day, everyone is confused as to what the heck is going on and who’s who. As oppose, in the original War and Beauty, everything was introduced and set up and the twists and turns came AFTER. You believed you know what was going on and then the story U-turned and went a whole different path, which was amazing. Obviously that was a much more engaging set up then say, creating a labyrinth of a story by dangling all these loose threads and go, “Oh, I am just throwing this and this and this out there, I will explain it later, just later!” But, come on, I can only be so patient with you! Also, in the recent episodes, there has been segments before and after the episodes where the stars of the drama brief you on the episodic plot progresses. Really, Drama? If you need to take such measures so the audience can understand and therefore enjoy your drama, you are doing something wrong. Also, it really doesn’t help this “sequel” that this version loses two of my favorite actors (and characters) from the original: Bowie Lam and Gigi Lai. Though with all this harping, it should be noted that the main cast is doing an excellent job (Sheren Teng as Niohuru Yu Yuet/Yu Fei is fan-friggin-tastic as usual and shout out to Ada Choi as Buyamuci Seung Ling, too), though the supporting cast, like, Tracy Yip and –you know you saw it coming– Christine Kuo leave much to be desired.
Bullet Brain 神探高倫布
After unprecedentedly crowned Television King for three years, Wayne Lai‘s dramas never suck. They may not be my cup of tea, but they don’t suck. Until Bullet Brain, that is. To be fair, I didn’t really see much of Bullet Brain, the little I did watch, I was turned wayyyy off. This drama is such a big piece of turd. The plot is so outrageous and what-the-fuck that I am just baffled how they got Wayne Lai to sign on. I mean, he is King status and he usually does a pretty darn good job picking his projects. I guess you’ve gotta mess up some time? It’s no wonder this drama had so much trouble keeping a female lead in its pre-production period, going through Nikki Chow, Elanne Kong and Chrissie Chau. These girls must’ve read the script and ran far far away. I don’t blame em.
Come Home Love 愛.回家
Believe it or not, this has been my go-to drama fix during this slump. Usually, I am not one to like long dramas because I have commitment issues. Yet, what is so great about hundred eps sitcoms like this one is that you can skip a few episodes, come back and would miss nothing. It’s so awesome how the episodes are short and sweet (at 20 minutes sans commercial) yet what needs to told is done within that one episode. On the other hand, the overarching character developments advance so gradually that if you end up missing a few episodes, it wont hurt (but you are really taking your sweet ass time, Alex Wan/Queenie Chu and John Ma/Chris Lai Lok Yi. Yes, I am firmly on the Alex & John boat, sorry, John and Ching Ching shippers). There is no pressure to follow up everyday, but I do because I enjoy this show so much. What’s most important, though, is that I think this show has heart and humor, my two favorite things. I remember one episode, in which the Ma Family thought Ma Fu has cancer and died on the sofa, I was laughing and crying at the same time. That’s quite a feat. I especially love watching the office storyline (except when it is themed Team Male v. Team Female which make me roll my eyes). The office interaction is so precious and natural. The actors embrace their roles so much that even when the camera or the storyline is not focused on them, they still retain their characters’ quirks and humor in the background/on the sides. It’s really no wonder this sitcom started out with little buzz but keeps on getting extensions.