Friday, December 19, 2014

Overview - Noblese Oblige

Nuns-to-be Tavia Yeung and Cilla Kung are desperate to find money to treat the head nun's illness. By coincidence, they meet the wealthy heir of a bank (Kenneth Ma) and are forced to become maids at his household to repay their debts. Tavia often has to save Kenneth from trouble with her superior martial arts skills. Although they disagree with each other, they still support each other during critical times and unconsciously develop a strong bond. With the help of a nobleman, Kenneth becomes a magistrate. His career goes smoothly with help from his brother Joel Chan, who is a governor, and good friend Benjamin Yuen. However, Kenneth soon discovers the corruption and abuse of power in the political world. People around him will act in perverse ways for the sake of personal gain. When he discovers the truth behind the massacre of Tavia's family when she was young, it gets them both thrown into jail...

Noblesse Oblige Promo Clips

As one kind fan pointed out, "noblesse oblige" is a French phrase that means "obligation of nobility". It is the idea that people of noble status have an obligation to act kindly and generously towards others, particularly those of lower status. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Overachievers Review

Producer: Marco Law
Genre: Modern, business
Cast: Wayne Lai, Raymond Wong, Power Chan, Raymond Cho, Edwin Siu, Nancy Wu, Susanna Kwan, Maggie Siu

This series is exactly like the wealthy family that it is depicting – glamorous on the outside, but rotten on the inside. As an anniversary series, Overachievers has a grand appearance: an all-star cast, extravagant sets, glamorous clothing... okay, maybe not so nice hairstyles... but the plot was a disaster.

It's easy to understand why the Chinese title was changed from "Business Wars", because business was certainly the least of the worries in here. The first two episodes feature a seemingly intense war between father and son. But after that, it is almost forgotten and replaced with pointless drama between irrelevant characters. The Raymond-Nancy love-sickness was a drag. Power Chan and Maggie Siu, while both are entertaining, add almost nothing to the overall plot. The entire Edwin-Sisley line was neither entertaining nor necessary. After twenty episodes, you will realize you've gotten nowhere. Then in the last week or so, the plot takes a turn for the worse and we suddenly have a few wackos at our hands. Until finally, everything is wrapped up in a ridiculous ending.

The biggest problem was certainly the dramatic character changes. Elliot Ngok's character suddenly decides he's going to push away all his children with his unreasonableness and Raymond Wong's character becomes an insane serial killer. I get that these two characters drive the series to its climax, but it is really hard to watch when everything stems from such illogicialness. The character that was actually the most interesting, but ultimately wasted, was Susanna Kwan. From the way she handled her husband's infidelity, she was made to seem like a smart, calculating lady who patiently awaits her chance for revenge. Yet in the end, she proves incapable of managing the corporation or getting revenge on her son's true killer.

Wayne Lai seems to have lost his touch and now only acts as various versions of Chai Gau in his dramas. Raymond Wong has too much "force" in his acting, like the way he pushes his dialogue out or the way he grabs his female co-stars. Edwin Siu is over-exaggerative in his attempt to deliver comedy. Raymond Cho is good as the useless son, but this is not a break-through for him. Power Chan is the best of the "Five Tigers", as he always finds a way to make his characters stand out. Elliot Ngok acting is just right as the patriarch and is also convincing in the scenes after his stroke. Amazingly, Jason Chan's acting was not cringe-worthy in this series. There was only about one scene where I noticed his hands gesturing randomly. Fred Cheng is cute in his performance.

Nancy Wu is a capable actress, but she never attracts attention on the screen. In contrast, Maggie Siu can grab attention with her expressions or movements even when she is not talking. Susanna Kwan was the perfect choice for the semi-villainous step-mother. Unfortunately, her character didn't use all of her potential. Grace Chan was impressive in her debut. She is natural and at ease next to the veterans, and her crying scenes can already beat out some actresses with more experience. Sisley Choi also made a good debut, but she has a weaker screen presence compared to Grace. Ali Lee was quite noticeable too.

Rating: 3/5. Overachievers underachieved.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Officer Geomancer - Preview of Cases

Case #1: Missing Person
Wealthy businessman Eric Chung's wife (Rosanne Lui) has reported that her daughter is missing. Joey Meng orders Johnson Lee to investigate, but he is too busy investigating the neighbours' missing underwear cases. Joey is about to blow her top, but Johnson insists on following his instinct, which is to look for the underwear thief first...

Case #2: Strangeness on Campus
Joey re-encounters her crush from seven years ago, who is now a university professor (Ricky Fan). Johnson points out that Ricky has black clouds hanging over his head, but Joey believes all the strange occurrences are only unlucky coincidences. But when a series of cases occur in which the victim is murdered using bright lights and Ricky goes missing, Joey starts to believe Johnson...

Case #3: Lost Gun & Lost Memories
Mimi Chu comes across her old rival Mak Ling Ling at a gathering. Afterwards, Mimi, along with her gun, go missing. She is later found at the hospital with partial memory loss. But each time she sees Law Lok Lam, she will call him "Big Brother" and refer to herself as a child.

Case #4: Zombie Fright
When Joey receives a call about the discovery of a corpse, Harriet Yeung follows along to get first-hand news. Harriet instantly recognizes that the deceased had once tried to steal her purse. Later, a witness claims that they saw a "zombie" crazily biting people. As Oscar Leung is helping Johnson chase the zombie, he is bitten...

Case #5: Return of a Rival
Oscar encounters his father's former business partner (Sam Tsang) who had caused the family's bankruptcy. Now Sam offers Oscar an opportunity and they become friends. But Johnson can tell that Sam is up to no good and tries to convince Oscar to quit as soon as possible.

Case #6: Life or Death Uncertainty
Johnson meets a social worker, Candice Chiu. It evokes dark childhood memories of being kidnapped and his foster father (Vincent Lam) being killed. There will be a shocking result and Joey will be endangered because of it.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

TVB Raspberry Awards

The Golden Raspberry Awards are presented annually to the worst of Hollywood. So why not hand out some “Razzies” to TVB’s biggest flops?

Most Unnecessary Character: Edwin Siu (Overachievers) – Completely irrelevant to the main plot and took up an annoying amount of screen-time.

Most Annoying Song: “More Difficult, More Love” (Line Walker) – Flat singing by Jinny Ng and mercilessly looped in every episode.

Most "Ugh" Moment: Opening ending for Storm in a Cocoon – Is it too much to ask for to have a happy ending for Stevia?

Most Over-hyped Series: Come On, Cousin – The success of the first series didn't translate into success for the sequel. A random mash-up of nothingness that did not deserve to be the anniversary series.

Least Improved: Ron Ng (Ruse of Engagement & Black Heart White Soul) – Almost ten years since The Academy and he is still the same hot-headed cop with the same angry expression.

Worst Debut: Gloria Tang (The Ultimate Addiction) – Recited all her lines in the same emotionless way.

Worst Supporting Actress: Sharon Chan (The Ultimate Addiction & Line Walker) – Two times as a madam, two times the horror.

Worst Supporting Actor: Oscar Leung (Line Walker) – Went way overboard with the gangster style.

And finally, the biggest awards of the night... Drumroll, please...

Worst Actor: Wong Cho Lam (Come On, Cousin) – Exaggerated acting with unnecessary accent; overall lame attempt at humour.

Worst Actress: Linda Chung (All That Is Bitter Is Sweet) – Slow reactions and fake expressions; she never fitted in with the rest of the drama.