A Fistful of Stances to Air Finale

A Fistful of Stances TVB series

TVB series, “A Fistful of Stances,” (鐵馬尋橋) starring Kevin Cheng Ka Wing, Kenneth Ma Kwok Ming, Tavia Yeung Yi, Selena Li Sze Wan, Yuen Chau, and Jacky Heung Jor, will be airing its finale next week.  Last week, “A Fistful of Stances” had ratings of 27 points, peaking at 30 points.

In the finale, Kevin and Jacky will have a final combat scene, which may pull in a larger audience.  Although the results in the face-off between good and evil are easily predictable (and thus a weak selling point), “A Fistful of Stances” is one of the higher quality series currently broadcasting on the Jade Channel.

Producer Lee Tim Sing touted the series as featuring “real kung-fu,” packed with a tumultuous family saga and mother-and-son story arc.  This series was Yuen Chau’s first TVB series. Producer Lee increased the importance of the family story arc between Yuen Chau, Kevin, and Kenneth.  A recent scene featuring Yuen Chau and nemesis, Claire Wai Ying Hung, in a martial arts battle sequence was well received by the audience.

Fresh talent, Jacky Heung (son of China Star founder, Heung Wah Keung) is an interesting addition to the cast of “A Fistful of Stances.”  With his martial arts background, Jacky fits the arrogant and impulsive character perfectly.  “You can tell he’s a great fighter by just looking at him.”

Kevin, who portrayed Yuen Chau’s elder son, did not have any breakthroughs in this role.  As Yuen Chau’s second son, Kenneth Ma added a humorous flair to his character.  His character also showcased leadership qualities in him, due to his creative solutions in resolving the family’s problems.

Excerpt from Tom.com

Jayne:  Would like to watch “A Fistful of Stances” when possible. Is Jacky Heung the new “bad boy” in film?

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  1. I like the series so far! Spoiler Alert**

    Am a little confused. The article says “the results in the face-off between good and evil are easily predictable” and thus indicates that kevin will win but the synopsis of the story says otherwise. Oh well will have to find out next week.

    I agree that Kevin’s ‘older son’ character isn’t anything to shout about so far but his character came into the show pretty late thus not giving him much room to expand. However i did like his portrayal of the father. I think it was a good choice to cast him instead of Raymond. I think Raymond would have a little difficulty convincing me as the “father”.

  2. I enjoyed this series so far.. i think the ratings have only been so-so because of the very confusing beginning that I almost didn’t watch it. I agree that Kevin’s role is not so great in this series, a very 2-D character whereas Kenneth is much more likable.

  3. I also enjoy this series so far. I was a bit surprised Tavia’s role is so short. I would think someone that successful would have a bigger role. Perhaps she is also involved with another series during the filming?

    I also see the martial arts background of Jacky. His arrogant looks play the part well, but seems to be struggling on the verbal part of acting…?

    Either way, I can’t wait to watch the ending!

  4. Kevin was definitely more interesting as the father and paired up with Tavia than as the son.

    Jacky isn’t a great actor, but he does have one strength. He easily fits the part as the spoiled rich kid but more importantly, he looks very authentic in his fighting scenes. When he was facing off Kevin in the episode which aired Friday night, the contrast between the two (bodies) was very clear. But he has a really strange accent. I could imagine a lot of Chinese people be turned off by that, since I often hear people criticise Fala for speaking with an accent, though I personally find accents cute.

  5. Jacky Heung is a miscast. They could have find another better actor suited as a bad boy.

    Overall, the series was ok, it better series this far.

  6. I love this show.. to bad it has pretty low ratings. I think Jacky Heung’s acting isnt the best, but he kinda fits the role as the “spoiled rich kid”. overall i really like this show.. i hope it gets better ratings. Can’t wait to watch the ending!

  7. I like the story and the kungfu scenes. Tavia and Kevin make a nice couple; pity they were only at the beginning. The actor who shone was Kenneth. Except for the doctor and her sister, think the other girls demo poor acting, especially ex Miss Hong Kong Shirley Yeung. Have never liked her acting; too much melodrama.

  8. hahaha I love this series but that guy Jacky irks me when he speaks.. doesn’t look all that convincing to me. But looks wise yer he does fit the bad guy look cos I just want to slap him XD

    1. It is true that Jacky’s acting is very poor in this series, but, I still look forward to his every scene. This guy has charisma, and like Funn said, he’s mesmerizing.

      1. Mesmerizing? I want to slap his face and when talks I want to turn the TV off. The best guy in this series is Kenneth who has his breakthrough moments and shining above everyone else. Don’t mention Kevin he is useless and his acting pales miserably in comparison to Kenneth. Kevin can’t lead a series and let Kenneth walk all over over him.

      2. Kidd, we think alike. He is still mesmerizing. I don’t know why; his acting is terrible but he has such character, his looks fits the character. The acting is ermm.. well you can’t have it all.

        Kevin wasn’t THAT bad. He was in fact better in here than in other series but yes still terrible.

        Kenneth, honestly speaking did not walk all over Kevin. Kevin is easy to walk all over. Kenneth falters, sometimes but mostly the affection comes from his character, not his performance except for that crying scene next to Selena. Oh that made me love him. Kidd, remember the white cheongsam? Oh more of that and I am his die hard fan!

      3. @Funn

        You sound like you become a Kenneth fan after watching him in this series now doesn’t that make Kenneth has his breakthrough? Lmao

      4. Not really. I sort of half bash, half love. Love mostly for reasons unrelated to his performance. Bash mostly because of writing and performance. So not yet a fan. But yes that can be considered his breakthrough performance but I rather something else because breakthrough performance can mean

        a. very memorable role (yes, that fits)


        b. very memorable performance (no, not yet)

        Maybe he will be a better villain? Don’t know yet. But problem with AFOS is essentially the writing. So for that can’t really blame the actors for what I consider a very badly written series.

      5. @ Vivien

        Why am I not surprised at your comment? You are always so extreme.

        I agree that Kenneth’s acting is better than Kevin in this series. But, Kevin is not useless in this series. There are weak moments from him, but, on the whole, I think he’s decent. I agree with P.Tan’s evaluation of his Koo Yu Jeung and Kevin’s portrayal.

        As for ‘Kevin can’t lead a series and let Kenneth walk all over over him’, of course he can’t lead this series. This series true lead is Kenneth. The whole story is written for Koo Yu Tong to shine. How can Kevin lead a series where his character is only a supporting character?

      6. @Funn

        I heard some said that his villain role is a breakthrough and his role is written super awesome because they have this explanation on how he become a villain and he kill a lot of people as a villain. So maybe you’re right that he’s better as a villain because villain usually more interesting to watch than normal good good people. You guys did enjoy watching Jacky because he’s a villain didn’t you 😛

      7. @Kidd

        That don’t change that Kenneth better than Kevin in this series. Kevin has a Best Actor title in his hand and he’s older than Kenneth so by right Kevin should be better, but the result is not 😛

      8. Vivien, nothing like that! It is not because he’s a villain. I laughed whenever I see him appears, the way he walks, talks, super slow mo. It’s just his face, his looks. Somehow he’s just so great to stare at, not even look, but stare. He can play a farmer for all I care, even when he was doing muay thai, I was like staring at him. But most of the time I just laugh. So frankly my fascination with his is rather negative.

      9. Eh, award and age has nothing to do with quality of performance.

      10. @Kidd

        Jacky might shine a little but that’s only because he’s a VILLAIN. A villain is always more interesting to watch than good guys because they make the series moving but in this series I still find Kenneth more worthy to root for.

      11. Vivien, you’re wrong about Kidd on that. I am sure I speak for Kidd when I say we both find Tong the most fascinating character and no doubt, he is the nice guy and I myself like nice guy who is honourable and yet decisive. So I really like Koo Yue Tong. But what we both mean by Jacky being mesmerizing has nothing to do with him being a villain (a half bake villain at that!) or whatever, it’s just he is mesmerizing. That’s all. Kidd and I have been sharing comments over my episodic thoughts of this series and I think we both share the same fascination for Jacky for the same reasons.

      12. @ Vivien

        Like Funn said, Jacky did not shine because he’s a villain. Wing Man Kwan is a failed villain. He’s stupid, immature and rash. This is not a recipe for a shining villain. Jacky is fascinating because .. don’t know.. he just is. His acting is awful, but, somehow, he potrayed Wing Man Kwan in such a way that you want him to be redeemed.

      13. @Vivien I have to agree with you that Jacky’s acting is not only annoying to watch, but his face is distracting as well. This is my first time watching him, and I really can’t imagine him playing any good characters in the future or if he had already. He is naturally villain-looking, if you know what I mean. Although his eyes are intense, his acting and Cantonese is strongly lacking. He’s the type of actor who even if he wasn’t a villain, I wouldn’t want to watch him because of his face. It’s not ugly, but it’s just not pleasant to look at.

      14. But somehow I have a feeling he will do well in comedy. I was already laughing when this was a dead serious drama!

      15. @ Funn

        Poor Jacky. He’s unintentionally funny even when he’s trying to act serious.

        Hei, at least, he’s not boring. 😀

  9. omg i finally that dudes name, Jacky Heung. His acting sucks!!!!! everytime he speaks it looks like he is about to explode. he is soo stiff when he talks. i dont even know why would they pick someone that never acted to play that role.

  10. Since there are no articles as yet posted in this site regarding the finale, would like to say that producer Lee Tim Sing has done it again with this series. Although some would compare it with last year’s Rosy Business, this is altogether a different type of series, not so much a conflict within a big family but a conflict between two families, and as such should not be compared with Rosy Business. Having said that, the best qualities that are apparent in prodicer Lee’s previous series are clearly in evidence here. This is hands down the best TVB series thus far this year and also one of the better series from TVB in recent years, a list which could easily include producer Lee’s two earlier efforts, Safeguards and Rosy Business. And as an added advantage, this is a wholy original script as opposed to the complaints received from some quarters regarding Rosy Business being a carbon copy of a popular China TV series. The chief weakness of TVB series of late, be it heavy drama or light hearted comedy is the inability of the writers to strike a balance between the middle part and the end resulting in too-rushed endings which ties up everything ridiculously and illogically for the sake of ending the series at its stipulated episodes. Somehow, producer Lee’s series has managed to avoid this pitfall, and A Fistful Of Stances is no exception. The intelligent writing and well paced ending really brings satisfaction for the viewers who have invested in the series from the beginning. The real standout role in this series is of course Kenneth Ma who has finally been given the chance by TVB to really shine and the guy did not disappoint. He totally anchored the show and his relationship with Selena Li’s character is also very cute, sweet and touching. Kevin Cheng imho also did great here playing against type from his normal matured leading man role as an honest down-to-earth simple-minded fellow of stubborn grit and raw strength. And having a veteran like Dominic Lam playing the main villain is a genius in casting decision. TVB should do this more as most of their series with a veteran in the role of the main villain such as The Greed of Man and more recently Dicey Business has done exceptionally well. Dominic totally owns the role of Wing Tuck in his controlled smarmy performance without resorting to chewing up the scenery and stealing the thunder from his co-stars. The true weak link in the series is Jacky Heung. The guy can’t act to save his life which begs the question whether he got the role because of his father. He has a wooden and unclear way of speaking which renders his articulation in gruff incomprehensible growling, and the worst part is that the guy has the same expression throughout when he is happy, sad or angry. He still has miles to go in terms of acting but to be fair he did show some semblance of life in his last scenes in the finale. TVB should put him through their acting class first if they intend to use him more in future series. The other cast members main and supporting are good as befitting a Lee Ting Sim series and I for once am glad that TVB has started to give more main roles to Natalie Tong.

  11. SC2010, thanks for sharing your thorough analysis of the series! I love real kung fu, so I hope to watch this soon.

    It’s great to know that Kenneth Ma is getting more noticed for his acting now. Despite his shyness, I think the guy has a great sense of humor.

  12. Why was Raymond Lam replaced by Kevin Cheung? Because in the trailer i remeber raymond lam was in it instead of kevin cheung.

  13. I think Kevin Cheng played his parts well, first, as the father, and latterly, as his own son.So far, there is no problem with him acting as the father, though a very quiet sort of man because of his dominant father-in-law. He simply had no chance to assert himself though, in the end he did try to avenge his death by confronting Dominic himself and, in fact, died in doing so.
    In the 2nd part of the story when he did get back to his family, remember that though he was the oldest in the family of 6 his 2nd brother, Kenneth, had always been the leader. They were all educated, but not Kevin, who, being brought by scoundrels, was, on the other hand, uneducated( couldn’t even write his own name) and uncouth. Only Natalie understood and loved him as he was. You could see that he was confused and dazed by his new surroundings and way of living, far from the one he had had for 20 long years. So, his being “wooden” as most of you often quoted that he was, was right. He just did not know how to be the Tai Gor.Even when Nancy made advances and was clearly attracted to him he didn’t quite know how to react. So, I do think that he portrayed his part very well with all due respects to Kenneth and the rest of the cast.

    1. Kevin improved from his usual wooden self but his acting here is by no means exceptional. Kenneth on the other hand outshined him right until the end.

      1. Kevin’s body language was wooden. Kenneth as the silly happy go lucky guy is good, but as the serious guy, my god, keep that pout away man!

  14. “Fresh talent, Jacky Heung (son of China Star founder, Heung Wah Keung) is an interesting addition to the cast of “A Fistful of Stances.” With his martial arts background, Jacky fits the arrogant and impulsive character perfectly. “You can tell he’s a great fighter by just looking at him.””

    Martial arts maybe. He has the physique. BUT acting.. is… so… darn… horrible!! I laughed when I see him act. For a face with so much character, what a pity about the acting. Kinda like a lawyer who is so great at explaining but once in court just stutters.

    That sort.

    1. ““A Fistful of Stances” is one of the higher quality series currently broadcasting on the Jade Channel.”

      No it is not. It is Lee Tim Sing’s worse.

      And for a series on kung fu, it has very little element on kung fu.

      1. “Kevin, who portrayed Yuen Chau’s elder son, did not have any breakthroughs in this role.”

        Oh yes he did. If he can get through 30 minutes without shouting, that is a breakthrough. And if he can act credibly, that is a breakthrough. The fact that he portrays 2 distinctly different roles as well… different (one rarely shouts, the other shouts at will), that is breakthrough.

        This is Kevin Cheng; must lower expectations.

        “Kenneth Ma added a humorous flair to his character.”

        Indeed, he does best in those scenes

        “His character also showcased leadership qualities in him, due to his creative solutions in resolving the family’s problems”

        No it doesn’t It shows terrible writing on the part of writers and the fact that Kenneth ma can’t play leaders. He just doesn’t have that quality. Goofy yes but inspiring? No.

        One of the worst written, at the point I am watching. But still better than some productions.

      2. And I personally think most of them are miscast. Dominic Lam is a competent actor, but as a villain, his role is badly written, terribly developed and his performance not up to my expectations. And he is too old.

    2. Is TVB running out of artistes who can do martial arts for this part?

      They should just cast Bosco Wong instead and expand the character or cast Oscar Leung for the part. Both fight quite well in Grace Under Fire.

      I like Raymond Wong personally but he might be too gentle and too old for the part.

      To conclude the right casting should be Eric Li. He has an arrogant face and can fight decently too.

      1. Fred Cheng is a martial artist. But, I guess he will be too cute for the role.

      2. Fred is too cute. He can still pass as a schoolboy.

        In fact there are many young actors in TVB besides ‘JACKY HEUNG’ who can play this role but I guess he has the right connection.

      3. He is? Studied under who? Cute is ok as long as he can act serious.

      4. Jacky Heung actually ha a great face, the classic villain face you just wanna fly kick. He looks like he has a great body underneath. A shame he can’t act.

      5. @ Funn

        I don’t know who he studied under. I only know he knew martial art from the introduction by the MC during the ‘2001 World Singing Contest’. In the introduction for Fred, the MC said that Fred has won the Seattle Martial Art Championship before.

  15. I’ve only watch up to episode 4. So far, Kevin falters in some scene as the father, but, overall he did well.

    Maybe it will be more apparent later. But, up to episode 4 now, I didn’t see Kenneth outshine Kevin. I also didn’t find Kenneth’s acting all that great. Like Funn said he was good in the funny scenes, but, for emotional scenes, he kinda overdid it. But, then, maybe it’s the director’s requirement. I always feel the emotional scenes are too over. Small matter also they need to make into into a crying event.

    But, the worse are those noisy Moonlight Resonance’s happy family scenes. Is there really a need for some many of them? They even copied the crossdressing scene from Moonlight, which I found very inappropriate for this series.

    So far, I find the most interesting character is Wing Tak and Dominic Lam portrayed him very well.

  16. ” A recent scene featuring Yuen Chau and nemesis, Claire Wai Ying Hung, in a martial arts battle sequence was well received by the audience.”

    When did this scene happen? I’m up to episode 23 and still have not seen any fight between Kara Hui and Yuen Chau. Why Kara is called Claire here?

    “Kevin, who portrayed Yuen Chau’s elder son, did not have any breakthroughs in this role. “

    Is this news reporting or a series review? This line seem strange. The whole article seems to be promoting the series, writing alot of good thing about it, except for this line.

  17. Kevin is disappointing in this series. He’s acting is boring an unconvincing. He’s overshadowed by Kenneth who’s supposedly behind him. Shame on Kevin. Instead of Kevin, Kenneth achieve his breakthrough and did a great job!

    1. Please…As if you have any expectation of him doing good to begin with. What’s disappointing?

      When you dislike an actor, you hate him through and through. You exaggerated his fault and weakness 10x. When you like an actor, he can do no wrong and you exaggerate his virtue and awesomeness 10x.

      “He’s overshadowed by Kenneth who’s supposedly behind him. Shame on Kevin. Instead of Kevin, Kenneth achieve his breakthrough and did a great job!”

      Again, I repeat, Kenneth is not supposed to be behind him. Kevin might get the higher billing because of his status. But, anyone who has seen the series know who is the true lead, whose character is the central character and written to shine. No, Kenneth is not supposedly behind Kevin. Kenneth is front and center in the series.

      1. I agree with you Kidd. I did think Kenneth shined more and acted better in A Fistful of Stances than Kevin but it’s true that Kenneth is the true lead and not Kevin.

      2. Some people should differentiate actor and acting. As an example I like Kenneth a lot for his humbleness maturity and down to earth personality and I dislike Bosco for his spendthrift, smoking, playboy and because I don’t think he’s enough good for my favourite Myolie but I just finished Grace Under Fire and I can openly say that Bosco’s acting is better than Kenneth in this series.

    2. Actually, I still dun know what is so special with Kenneth in AFOS? I think Kenneth’s acting in old series is even better than AFOS.

      1. I think it’s more the character than Kenneth himself.

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