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Episodic Thoughts: “Three Kingdoms RPG” (Episode 15)

By on July 31, 2012

Episodic Thoughts: “Three Kingdoms RPG” (Episode 15) thumbnail

Three Kingdoms RPG <回到三國>
TVB Series 2012

Cast: Kenneth Ma, Raymond Lam, Tavia Yeung, Sharon Chan, Ruco Chan, Kaki Leung, Joseph Lee, Savio Tsang, Jimmy Au, Law Lok Lam, and Ha Yu.

Disclaimer

This is a watch as I write episodic thoughts and some information may not be accurate since this is memory based. Certain dialogue is reproduced with some creative license adopted. I apologise if there is any mistake. All opinion remains my own.

EPISODE 15

“But I have never even seen this Sun Quan, will he agree to be my ally?”

A very short recap because I was busy watching Olympics and my mind wasn’t into this episode and if I was, I would have vomited more blood. Moreover Episode 14 was great but Episode 15 is a complete dud because of character assassination by TVB over one pivotal character. This series is coming close towards melodrama and it is losing momentum.

Basically as I have stated in previous episodes, Lau Kei at Jiangxi is not well equipped to house so many refugees and though sincere, he had to relocate the refugees to an out of bounds sort of place for the refugees. Lau  Bei understands his reasons and visited that place and he is confronted by horror of 3 families in one tiny rundown home that leaks, not enough food, lands that can’t be cultivated and basically really bad suffering. Lau Bei is heartsick that he has brought his people to this place as he says with anguish in his voice, “I have uprooted them from a good home in Xinye to this hell hole in Jiangxi. Why did I do it? Why did I ever lead my people to more suffering when they could have been better staying in Xinye?” and no one could relieve him from his anguish, more so when the people are so optimistically upbeat it was like almost a joke. But they all love him you see so they don’t mind.

Meanwhile at Cao Cao’s camp, Hon advises Cao Cao to eat Jingzhou and then take I think Jiangxi and interestingly, Cao Cao looks at Man Yeuk who nods and so Cao Cao agrees. See how he still refer to Man Yeuk?

At Jingzhou Cao Cao is welcomed by sei pat poh and Lau Chung and all Cao Cao says as he sits down casually is “You both have done well. Rest and enjoy life here.. and need not bother with anything else” and cue Lady Choi’s face now darkened because what Cao Cao means is you’re out of the game. Stupid woman isn’t it?

But Lady Choi makes one huge mistake. She boasts of her relationship with General Ha Hau Dun which Cao Cao hates, she boasts of her ties with other great generals and lords within the Han dynasty and this alerts Cao Cao as to her ambition as he says later “This woman has great ambitions!” but Man Yeuk is right when he says “My Lord, she is not ambitious. She is stupid” as Hon says “Yeah, to boasts about such relations, how stupid. She should have know my lord hates such close relationships between generals and other ministers! My lord, why not get rid of them? I mean they’ve outlived their usefulness” and Man Yeuk quickly says “No my lord! If you kill the widow and her son, many will think my lord as someone ungrateful and cruel…unless…it can’t be blamed on you…that is they’re asked to see the Emperor himself and on their way there, they’re.. ambushed…” and so they are ambushed, but deliberately ambushed and so ends the miserable existence of Lady Choi and Lau Chung, both repeatedly slashed to their death.

Pause.

Can’t blame Cao Cao.

Continue.

Lau Kei finds out the news and tell Lau Bei as Lau Kei says “Cao Cao is cruel! My brother and stepmother had already pledged their loyalties to Cao Cao and yet he did not hesitate to kill them!” and Lau Bei is deeply troubled. He is scared of Cao Cao’s army whom by this time is speculated to reach 1 million men and Lau Bei is convinced they will attack Jingzhou and they will all be doomed. So in a huge moment of weakness, Lau Bei is considering surrendering to Cao Cao which of course is objected by everyone. Lau Bei doesn’t want another war. Still troubled he doesn’t want to care about anything else, not even the fact that their current place is too small to fit everything and uncharacteristically snapped at Shun who asks what about 2nd missus’ funeral and he delegates this to someone else.

By the way Cheung Fei doesn’t feel sad at Lady Choi’s parting. I feel he and Guan Yu in a way agree she had it coming.

Night of funeral, Song Yau finally finds out 2nd missus is dead and so she pays her respect with 2nd missus’ favourite desserts. However I thought she didn’t know she is dead so how she can make the desserts so soon? My guess is she was on her way to find 2nd missus when she found out.

Meanwhile Kan and Shun finds a similar place for their night time chat which if you look carefully, is the same place. Shun displays his maturity when he admits not loving Song Yau but recognising she is a great person which Kan wholeheartedly agrees and Shun decides not to confront her as suggested by Kan because she is still recovering and he doesn’t want to hurt her in case she will kill herself. Kan looks at Shun amazed and says “Brother Wan Shun, you have grown so much more mature and manly!!” and Shun pleased asks “Really?” and smiles at Kan’s sincere observation and Kan is of course right.

Meeting and Lau Bei still wants to surrender when he asks ZGL for his opinion. And what does ZGL do?

Just imagine we have a panicking master, who is so panicking he is considering delivering himself to the clutches of the evil cruel Cao Cao to save everybody. We have potentially 1 million men ready to attack an impoverished Jiangxi who does not have enough land or food to feed everyone. Everybody tries to be optimistic but everyone is miserable. More so the master. And what does chief master number 1 guy strategist do? He is in even deeper despair and drinks himself to being drunk and Shun has to carry him back to his place and Yuet Ying doesn’t appreciate Shun teaching her husband who rarely drinks to drink so much and Shun directing her how to take care of her husband so she snaps at him rightfully “If you will please leave, I will tend to my husband and I don’t need you to teach me how” as Shun snaps “What’s wrong with her? Can’t even take care of her own husband properly and now snapping at me” as he leaves. She of course hears him.

Pause.

And I was like how much more insult TVB can hurl at ZGL? Apparently much more. In fact my sis was joking how ZGL gets his ideas in this series is first by Yuet Ying saying something, feeding him the idea, he seizes the idea and Yuet Ying being the dutiful wife says “Because I know you my husband, I know you will think of the same idea” and so the idea becomes his officially when he thought of no such thing in the first place. My sis and I both agree that Yuet Ying should be the real ZGL because this ZGL is useless. I know human drama and all, I was pretty shocked to see Lau Bei so despondent and looking so useless but then Lau Bei is Lau Bei. He is kind and compassionate. He thinks of his people first although the way the scenes were written it was as if he was afraid for his life which isn’t the case. But ZGL is supposed to be the steady mature quick thinking one, everyone looks at him for ideas. Moments of weakness I understand but complete breakdown in composure in front of everyone? As a citizen shouldn’t you be very very afraid that even the chief strategist has a complete breakdown in composure? How useless this ZGL is? Oh but the classic scene is not here yet. Just you wait!!

Continue.

Next morning ZGL is late for meeting and everyone knows he was drunk the night before. Not good for confidence. ZGL himself confesses to his wife his fears and dilemmas. I am surprised Yuet Ying didn’t take up a sword and say “Ok, I will kill Cao Cao for you” and I won’t be surprised if she can. Anyway no answer as yet to the idea of surrendering although rain is still heavy at Dongwu. Bigger problem now is there is a disease spreading and Shun and Song Yau do some investigations and realises every time they say pig, the residents slams the door at them. And indeed it is the errr.. pigs carrying disease and they need to kill all pigs and with food sources so low, no one wants to. Shun  being the one with advance 1000 years in medical knowledge suggests vinegar as a way to kill germs and I was thinking Wah To, your role has been denied!! ZGL looks at Shun with marvel in his eyes. Seriously, how much more must we have ZGL being denied his rightful place amongst the heroes? Even Shun knows more! ZGL of course did say before to his wife “I am not a doctor, I don’t know how to cure the diseases”. Excuse me, you’re a renaissance man, you should know since you read books, you experiment. The real ZGL will leave hom and hike and search books and find solutions and do tests and what nots, not this ZGL whose butt is firmly attached to his chair at home and his heart with his wife!! Arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anyway solution comes in the form of…

GUESS! GUESSSSS!!!!!!!!

No wait! Before guessing, Lau Kei suggests opening one of their reserves of rice or whatever that they have been keeping for years. They’re not sure if those are still edible and I thought isn’t Jiangxi so darn poor? Why didn’t they open it years before?! Anyway the raw rice or whatever smells bad but…

Where was I? Oh yes.. a repeat…

Anyway solution comes in the form of…

GUESS! GUESSSSS!!!!!!!!
No, not ZGL, not even Shun but Yuet Ying!!

She makes those rice or I think flour into chapati or naan like bread and made curry. For a state without much rice, flour, whatever they certainly have enough spices to make a decent curry. Shun recognises the curry and everyone declares it as delicious and covers the awful smell of those rice/flour/whatever/ Again, Yuet Ying to the rescue.

And so problem solved, pigs killed, disease under control, food source manageable and less Lau Bei goes back to “I WANNA SURRENDER!!” and ZGL to “I don’t know what to do” and *sob*sob*, the rain stops as ZGL and Shun are having a chat outside as ZGL thanks Shun again for everything he has done and Shun smiles shyly and ZGL means it, “Without you… I could not have done all these” and rightly so because ZGL, you should have said to Shun “YOU… COMPLETE … ME”. Anyway ZGL sees the clear skies and say the obvious “The rain has stopped!” and rejoices with Shun that better days are coming and indeed,  news come that Dongwu’s flood is now a-ok, everybody cheers and .. most inconceivable moment of gratitude to ZGL who so far has done nothing…

Shun to ZGL “Brother Zhuge, you are right! The skies have cleared! Better days are coming!” and everybody cheers ZGL for simply saying the obvious, as if he personally stopped the rain. I was like thinking this is like complimenting for compliments sake when ZGL has done nothing to deserve such compliments when Shun deserves much more. After all, he found out what spread the disease, etc.

Anyway and so Shun declares “Brother Zhuge, you’re back!! YOU ARE BACK!!!” as because previously he was so much in despair he wasn’t ZGL. Nonsense. This is not ZGL at all in the first place. At least Man Yeuk gives strategies. All ZGL hopes for in this war is for his master to have a share of the kingdom that everybody would know Cao Cao has no wish to share. How naive! They were sitting in Jiangxi hoping Cao Cao will leave them alone. Crazy.

And so finally ZGL says something of some use. As they looked at the opposite of the sea, plans are made to train a group of army as sailors because if Cao Cao attacks, it will be by sea and they must win by sea. And so Lau Bei looks at Dongwu as ZGL urges him to pay Sun Quan a visit and Sun Quan might be an ally since Sun Quan  listens to Zhou Yu and Lau Bei says “But I have never even seen this Sun Quan, will he agree to be my ally?” and a good question as Shun remembers to himself “Wasn’t it the case where the saying goes why would the world have Zhuge Liang when it has Zhou Yu?” and so he worries.

I think I might have gotten the quote wrong but what it means basically is it is a well known fact Zhuge Liang and Zhou Yu does not get along well as each man sees the other as cunning and arrogant and serving different masters. But I am sure they will cast aside their differences to bring down Cao Cao when Cao Cao comes to attack in the battle of Red Cliff. However I am sure this series will show Zhou Yu as the arrogant one since our this ZGL can’t be all that arrogant, not even cunning.

So finally Sun Quan will appear! Like Lau Bei I am wondering too!

Least to say I am very disappointed how this series makes my ZGL so useless. You don’t need to see for sure, just read between the lines. I want to see a cool calm ZGL who is also human BUT doesn’t crumble. All these human scenes for ZGL just destroys ZGL’s credibility. No wonder Jiangxi now is a mess. Lau Bei is a mess, ZGL is also a mess and with 2 main leaders being a total mess, what more can you expect? I expect Cao Cao to win, because at least he knows what he is doing.

By the way love Law Lok Lam’s portrayal of Cao Cao. I think he must have done botox or did something to his face; He looks younger, fresher and his Cao Cao is kinda flamboyant with the way he sits, resting on one arm, so casual when there is nothing casual about Cao Cao. Still a long way to go as compared to those China adaptation but at least he is still Cao Cao-ish as opposed to ZGL and even Lau Bei in some scenes.

I did not talk about the theme song until now and all I can say is isn’t this series a comedy? What happened to a lighthearted comedy-ish theme song? In fact this series stopped being funny since 2 episodes ago. Now it is serious stuff although the characterisation of ZGL in itself is funny.

I also like how Yuet Ying has a temper. She doesn’t like Shun, that’s for sure!!

This Episodic Thoughts was written by Funn Lim, a Contributing Writer at JayneStars.com, and was originally posted at http://3kingdomsrpg.blogspot.com

Read more Episodic Thoughts for “Three Kingdoms RPG”!

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  • Readers' Comments (18)

    1. Leba says:

      Hey Funn! Thanks for the review! I totally agree with you about ZGL and Lau Bei. Lau Bei is not Lau Bei enough. He’s far too emotional to be involved in big man’s politics! ZGL seems too worried and troubled and too tired to be brilliant and intelligent and witty…. It’s either something went wrong in the script… Or the actors misinterpreted how their character ought to be portrayed with the same given lines…. Big Sighs…

    2. clamine says:

      Funn Lim, I swear you have more wit and more witty than RL’s ZGL, as depicted in your commentary. lol! Laughing as I read. Who need to watch the series when your writing is so alive and picturesque. Bravo!

    3. Leba says:

      Yeah, agree with u clamine! Funn, your reviews crack me up more than Sima Shun nowadays! Haha.

      And i would like to add that probably, ZGL and Lau Bei dun turn out the way we expected is not only due to the script but also the actors interpretation of their characters and therefore their portrayal of it… Like ZGL could have more witty, quiet, deep-in-thought poses, than his usual troubled sighs everytime the men are having their conferences. And Lau Bei could have had some more manly cries instead of going all weepy and being so easily trodden on when he’s defeated. Lee Kwok Lun lacks that manly charisma that made Lau Bei so attractive in history. And it’s all these silent gestures and postures and the use of eye-expressions that tells me Lam Fung and Lee Kwok Lun probably grasped a different version of ZGL and Lau Bei respectively. That’s why we’re not getting what we want to see. Sorry LF fans….

      And if the script was that problematic in depicting character, then Cao Cao wouldn’t be more convincingly portrayed by Law Lok Lam. Not the best portrayal. But definitely more effectively done than the above-mentioned two….

      And i believe that with or without Kenneth’s Sima Shun, ZGL should and ought to still shine as the intelligent and witty ZGL in history. And it really depends very much on how the actor is going to make his character shine….

    4. fenzi says:

      Kenneth Ma can’t act to save his life.
      Raymond Lam is hell boring.
      Tavia Yeung is the worst actress & a long nose.
      This three kingdom RPG can’t compete with WI. Boycott it and watch WI for better.

    5. purplepaw says:

      in the part where tavia and kenneth went to investigate the pigs, they covered their faces up. i couldn’t help but notice how tavia’s nose was super pointy LOL. it made her face towel/mask thing stick out xD

    6. y2k says:

      Kenneth and Tavia look like Muslim cover with hijab when doing investigate on pig which is haram inder islam ,i wonder how muslim in iran or pakistan reaction on this drama since kenneth and tavia wearing muslim hijab ,will they be jihad against 3 kingdom 3D.

    7. Hannahh says:

      Love your work Funn! Thanks

    8. Veejay says:

      @Funn,

      Nice work like usual :)

      however, I disagree with majority commentors here who said LF did bad job as ZGL..I think he did well in facial expression. His acting has certainly improved alot.

    9. Leba says:

      I’m at episode 16 now. I must say that ZGL is finally picking up speed again after being not so there for the past few episodes. He’s becoming the brain again…. and suggesting good strategies (meaning fewer bright sparks from Yuet Ying and Wan Shun). So maybe his lacklustre performance in the previous episodes were really due to the script… haha. But there’s still room for him to have more aura as ZGL… maybe more energetic and witty and egoistic? That’ll seem more like a ZGL to me…. But that’s of course my own personal opinion.. =)

      AND, the maids in Sun Quan’s residence look the same as those in Lau Bei’s!!! Just different uniform that’s all! TVB seriously lacking in manpower….

    10. elin says:

      zgl is a disappointment…. but he does hve hs mmoments … i must say shun is a big improvement…

    11. Leba says:

      For those who are already feeling bored with the series, press on to watch ep. 16! Ruco’s appearance is refreshing. So is Pierre. But Ruco’s charisma is really attractive. Charisma and aura is the word! Something that has been lacking in Lau Bei and ZGL, who are the leaders in Jingzhou and whom we have been watching for the first 15 episodes!

    12. fenzi says:

      Boycott three kingdom RPG and watch WI for better. Three kingdom RPG is totally very bad.

      • dorito says:

        WI is not a great series and the producer don’t know what genre it’s going, but it has good acting and quite enjoyable. You have the good guy hottie hero and the good girl troubled heroine and the secretly villain father.

    13. Fox says:

      Eps 16 is the last chap to me. I quit it.

      Sun Quan and Chow Yu and of course, Chukot Leung are all far from heroes. None of the character are manly enough for a hero. Sun Quan isn’t mature enough? Chow Yu is very petty and jealousy. Chukot Leung? Stupid? Kind of. In the battle scene, Sun Quan looks like a small general more than a king.

      And Sima Shun! Boring him. Can he please stop the puppy eyes? Before he was funny, ok sometimes OTT, but still ok and watchable. After stopping the funny scenes, he gets boring.

      LKH only can make family series. 3K is full of family smell. Lolz, ppl are spending too much for some very unimportant story, waste many precious times. The war isn’t really the war. I can’t understand what make all the generals spent time to help a maid? For wat? Useless.

      The script of LKH series are always inconsistent. Wanna idol series? Ok, maybe this series can suit you a bit since it’s kinda idol type. Wanna a family series? For you. Wanna a serious series? Get as far as you can from this one.

      It started better than I expected and getting worse than I expected.

      • TVBFanatic says:

        This is disappointing to hear… I was hoping for a good serious series related to this story :(

    14. Rainie says:

      Honestly , where do you guys watch the show with english sub ?send me the link ?

    Readers are no longer able to comment on this old article.

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