Episodic Thoughts: “Three Kingdoms RPG” (Episode 3)
Three Kingdoms RPG <回到三國>
TVB Series 2012
Cast: Kenneth Ma, Raymond Lam, Tavia Yeung, Sharon Chan, Ruco Chan, and Ha Yu.
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.
This episode recap I must apologise for its brevity because a lot of its dialogue is about politics and I couldn’t quite catch the dialogue or the names so basically a lot is either left out or massive creative license is used. I am however disappointed about the continued use of CHOK for Raymond (really getting very very old). Fans of Tavia will be disappointed because she has yet to be introduced. However fans of Kenneth Ma may dislike Wan Shun but they will love his performance because this episode has one of the funniest scene thus far although compared to Episode 2, it is less funny. I am also a bit disappointed Shun could adjust so well and so easily to this time. I was hoping for some fainting by the toilet scene because if he finds the soap disgusting, what about the toilet? What about the costume? What about his hair which should be very itchy by now underneath that wig. Sometimes you may think I am too obsessed with details but these are the details which will remind us Shun is from the future, instead of the overuse of modern lingo which at present is still bearable but by episode 5 if this is still the way to go, I am afraid I will start tearing my hair off. Admitted politics of the day means gotta move the story along fast but surely, 1 more episode to show how Shun copes, how he views money in the past, the simplest task made very difficult in the past would have made better comedy than just lingo?
Shun meets the 3 guys he names Lau Gwan Cheung aka Lau Bei, Gwan Yu and Cheung Fei and he quickly rushes in to shake the hand of Lau Bei whom he calls “The virtous Lau Bei!! So honoured to meet you! Oh.. Gwan Yu!! The brave Gwan Yu!!!” and Cheung Fei pushes his hands away from Lau Bei angrily as Shun says “ahh the temperamental brash Cheung Fei!!” and Cheung Fei was like “What did ya call me?!” look as Lau Bei welcomes Shun’s warm welcome although he doesn’t get the meaning of the handshake and Shun smiles widely and quickly says “I am so happy to meet the 3 of you! So honoured! You know, I know Zhuge Liang very well too!” and all 2 sworn brothers look at Lau Bei as I think Cheung Fei says “Brother, he knows the man we are seeking” and one guy at the back doesn’t look too happy and at that point I don’t know who he is. Anyway Lau Bei says “You know Zhuge Liang?” and Shun says “Yeah yeah I do” and he says “Can you lead the way to his residence for us? We seek his help” and Shun was like “OK!!! LET’s GO!!!!”
So funny!! So… it was Shun who helps the 3 to find Zhuge Liang and the famous 3 times seeking Zhuge Liang in the Romance of The Three Kingdoms??
They reached his place and Shun rushes in to find Zhuge Liang as he knows in his limited knowledge that Lau Bei will ask Zhuge Liang 3 times to be his strategist/advisor. Whilst inside, Lau Bei and gang outside could see the word carving by each side of the door something to the effect that Zhuge Liang seeks only peace and tranquility and not be too bothered with the politics of men, or something like that. I think. Anyway Shun rushes in and can’t find Zhuge Liang at all. Outside Cheung Fei is not too happy waiting and is complaining to Lau Bei “Brother, this Zhuge Liang is such an insolent man! He dares to make you, the great Imperial Uncle wait!”
They all call Lau Bei “Wong sook” which I take to mean “Imperial Uncle” and I believe Lau Bei IS related to the Han emperor, maybe not that related. Which is why he claims he has heaven’s mandate to rule as opposed to usurper Cao Cao. I think.
Lau Bei looks worried (because the actor looks worried) but calm as he says “We are here to seek a great man to assist us. We must be patient my brother” whilst Guan Yu says nothing. Shun comes out and apologised that Zhuge Liang is not here and Cheung Fei immediately launched a verbal attack on him as he says “See! See!! I told you this man can’t be trusted. He says he knows Zhuge Liang? Yeah right!! Where is Zhuge Liang?” and Shun says “I do know him very well, he is my very good friend! I am not lying!” and Guan Yu says “Are you sure you’re not making us wait and look like a fool?!” and Shun mumbles “I can lie to anybody but I definitely can’t lie to Brother Guan.”
He said Guan Yi Gor and in modern day, you all must know Guan Gong represents loyalty above all else. That was what Shun meant and I thought that was rather funny. Imagine you always pray to Guan Gong asking for his help to grant wishes and here he is, flesh and blood. Shun wouldn’t dare to lie to Guan Gong!
So they left, disappointed and grumbling but not Lau Bei. By the mountain view, Cheung Fei (very vocal as opposed to Guan Yu who is always quiet) says “Brother, can we trust this Zhuge Liang? We don’t even know who he is and whether he can help us!” and Lau Bei says wisely “Mister Tsui Shu…”
Tsui Shu was Lau Bei’s advisor, capable man but was tricked to serve Cao Cao when I think Cao Cao held his father ransom or something as dire as that. So before Sui Keng Tsui Shu went to serve Cao Cao, Tsui Shu recommended a young man by the name of Zhuge Liang to Lau Bei, as he claims Zhuge Liang is 2 or 10 times smarter and more capable than he is. And then Tsui Shu leaves to serve Cao Cao, and I would say loyally I think. Not sure what happens next. So that’s why Lau Bei is very patient with Zhuge Liang, because Sui Keng Tsui Shu recommends him to Lau Bei.
Clarification: I wrote at first the name Sui Keng because that was what I heard. But Kidd clarifies (and I have since changed all names to Tsui Shu) after having watched the same scene a few times as follows:-
It’s not Sui Keng, it’s Tsui Shu. When Cheung Fei and Guan Yu doubted the ability of Zhuge, Lau Bei replied “The ability of Tsui Shu, you all have seen. Mr.Sui Keng is also a very wise man. They both high recommended Mr.Zhuge to me. So, can see that Mr.Zhuge is no ordinary person.”. Then Lau Bei talk about how Tsui Shu was forced by Cao Cao to serve him and before Tsui Shu went, he recommended Zhuge to him. If the wiki cast list is correct, that useless brother in-law in ‘No Good Either Way’ is Tsui Shu. (Kidd)
“Mister Tsui Shu before he was forced to leave my service to serve Cao Cao recommended this man to me and I must trust Mister Tsui Shu’s judgment. We must be patient. We have no choice but to wait. I believe in Mister Tsui Shu’s recommendation, and you both must too. I am lucky to have you 2 brothers and General Chiu Chi Lung on my side, now we must wait for this Mister Zhuge.”
The unnamed asistant doesn’t look too happy and then we find out he is Lau Bei’s other military strategist and advisor, Mister Hon Leong, henceforth Advisor Hon. Aka Han Liang. Seems like the bad guy.
Anyway Shun waits and sees the servant and he asks “Where is Mr Zhuge? The Imperial Uncle just came by to pay him a visit!” and servant says “He and Madam just left for Madam’s house to visit the in laws and will be back on the 2nd” and Shun figures that since it will be 2nd in the day after tomorrow, he must inform Lau Bei to come back on the 2nd. This is very important date by the way with what happens later as off camera Shun writes a letter to Lau Bei to remind him to come back on the 2nd.
I forgot if he will be back on 2nd or 3rd. Assuming I am wrong, just replace 1st with 2nd and 2nd with 3rd.
In the market, Cheung Fei is very upset because Zhuge Liang is not at home so he thinks Zhuge Liang is being arrogant and Shun has lied to them, again. They bump into Shun and Shun was like “Eh, why are you all here? Today is the 1st” and Cheung Fei says “You say to come back on the 1st!” and Shun is like “No, I wrote to come back on the 2nd” and Advisor Hon says “I read your letter personally. You wrote 1st” and Shun arguing with him face to face now says “Hey, I know how to write the number 2 ok! It is TWO strokes! I wrote 2nd! Why would I write 1st if I know he is not back on 1st but on 2nd?” and Hon argues “You wrote 1st!!” and Shun says “No, I wrote 2nd!” and it went on a bit like this:
And Lau Bei or someone told them to stop and just take out the letter to confirm and suddenly Hon changes gear and says “I did not bring the letter” and Shun immediately knows something is fishy with Hon when Lau Bei or someone says “But Advisor Hon, you have always been careful and meticulous, how can you forget to bring the letter?’ and suddenly Hon says “Ahhh the letter is here!” and he opens it and right at the bottom of the letter, the chinese word for ONE but the bottom looks torn. Shun remembers writing the correct number with some space left at the bottom so he knows immediately Hon tore away the bottom end and make it look like 1st. Shun knows he can’t accuse Hon, no one will believe him and so he smiles and say “Ok ok I am sorry. It is 1st. I made a mistake. BUT I SWEAR he will be back on the 2nd ok! Please come back on the 2nd!!” and so they agree.
Alone with Kan I think, Shun says “I almost screwed up history today! That guy nearly ruined everything just because he is afraid Brother Kungming will take over his position. All out of jealousy! I must make sure they all meet tomorrow. That will be the 3rd time and the last try! Zhuge Liang must meet them on the 3rd time! If not.. I reall will have screwed up history and you, Kan, you and I will not be .. us…” and Kan says “Huh? Does this mean I won’t be farming? Nooooooooooo!!!”
So simple-minded this Kan!!
Next day Shun rushes to Zhuge Liang’s place and wonders “Eh, so quiet.. oh gawd, he’s not here?!” and he sees Zhuge Liang walking out holding hs favourite goose feather fan and Shun rushes to him and smiles widely “Brother Kungming!! You are here! I am so glad! Let’s go inside, we gotta talk!” and practically drags a confused Zhuge Liang inside and they sat down and he told Zhuge Liang about Lau Bei’s visits. So he asked him to wait a bit but Zhuge Liang says “But I have made appointments to see Brother Kong Yuen and Brother Zhor Ping to see the chrysanthemums” and Shun was like “WHAT?! COME ON!! Lau Bei is coming!!” but Zhuge Liang refuses and Shun decides to I think make him drink so as to delay his plans and after a long while Zhuge Liang becomes drunk (not before Shun says to himself that Zhuge Liang drinks like nobody’s business and still isn’t drunk) and he says “I am afraid I am a little drunk. I need to lie down for a while” and Shun says “Yes yes do lie down” and so Zhuge Liang lies down in the Cleopatra pose, rather sexy I must add. I mean what a way to lie down.
Anyway 3 dudes are here to visit and Shun explains Zhuge Liang is having a nap.
Rumour has it Zhuge Liang was rather arrogant in not greeting Lau Bei and when 3rd time Lau Bei came, Zhuge Liang was having his afternoon nap and Lau Bei being gracious decided not to bother him and actually waited until he woke up. This was one of the reason that moved Zhuge Liang, the man’s patience and thoughtfulness. In TVB version, Zhuge Liang was drunk and all thanks to Shun.So Shun actually played an important part in history! I don’t know why but I find that very amusing. It is seamless though, so I have no complaints.
They walk in and sees him napping and Lau Bei decides to wait and Zhuge Liang wakes up and apologises for his rudeness and long story short, Guan Yu, Cheung Fei and Shun all wait outside as Zhuge Liang and Lau Bei are inside and discussing politics. Too hard to recap but basically Lau Bei asks for Zhuge Liang’s opinion on how best to resolve the problems and Zhuge Liang suggests 3 kingdoms, each to their own. Right now not to fight with either Sun Quan or Cao Cao and in fact let them fight it out. To go conquer King Chow and Kik Chow or something like that because great place, plenty of resources, etc. Lau Bei is very impressed and seeks Zhuge Liang as his advisor and Zhuge Liang agrees and must move to Xinye (Lau Bei’s stronghold) as soon as possible.
At home, Shun is very happy with the turn of events. When Kan tells him that Zhuge Liang will have to bring along assistants, he imagines himself as the assistant. Meanwhile Zhuge Liang and his wife Yuet Ying is packing or she is packing or something as he apologises that she will have to move so far away and she says she is ok with that as this is his opportunity. I can’t remember the rest except he is very loving to her, she is very gentle and loving to him. That sort of “mou fan fu chai” as the saying goes, if I get that saying right.
Clarification: I made a mistake in this scene in the sense she wasn’t packing. The actual scene is as transcribed by Kidd:
In the scene I saw, Zhuge woke up at night and found himself alone. He went to the study and found his wife coughing while writing something. He quickly took of his cap to give it to his wife and this conversation took place:-
Zhuge: No wonder you are so tired these few days. Turns out it’s because, every night, you help me translate war manual.
HYY: The war strategies recorded in this War Manual of The Arsacid Empire might be useful to you. I have to finish translating it as soon as possible.
Zhuge: But, you needn’t be so rush.
HYY: You have to leave in a few days time. I’m afraid I won’t be able to finish it in time.
Zhuge: Wife, your health are not good and you still work so hard for me. I really feel very regretful.
HYY: It’s ok. After you left, I’ll go back to my parents’ home to recuperate. You need not worry about me. You also don’t need to worry that I will be lonely. I have father, mother and Hau Lin to accompany me. You go and attend to your important business.
Zhuge: You really think I will go to Xinye by myself so that I won’t have any worry?
Zhuge: But, all these while, I’ve been planning to bring you with me. I’ve never thought of leaving you behind.
Zhuge: Only having you by my side, I can truly have no worry. I hope to go through thick and thin with you, happy and sad moments with you. 2 people become one.
HYY: Husband, you have always thought this way?
Zhuge: I hope I have you by my side every day.
And he hug his wife. My recap is not as romantic. The scene with expression and all is very romantic.
Somewhere between here and next scene or whatever, Shun checks on his handphone and his sister replies that when he time traveled, there were like 7 stars or whatever lined up together and opened some time space whatever and his sister says her professor says that the next opening is on August 15th which is 8 months away. Which is why Shun thinks he should join Zhuge Liang as assistant since he has time. And by the way his sister says police found the drug dealer who confirms selling drugs to the bad guy so Shun is not longer a fugitive. Well, that was easy. I was hoping he will return to future as some smart guy to defend himself or something.
Next day Shun meets with Zhuge Liang who at that time is with his friends, Kong Yuen and Zhor Ping.
And what happens after has got to be the highlight of this episode in a very very funny way.
Shun smiles widely as he sat down and shyly tells Zhuge Liang “You’re moving to Xinye soon?” and Zhuge Liang says “Yes indeed, we are leaving *didn’t catch when but must be very soon*” and Shun says “So soon? How to pack everything?” and Zhuge Liang innocently says “Not much to pack, my wife has packed everything” and Shun says “Well, no worries. I can just leave with this clothes on me!!” and Zhuge Liang is like “You?” and Shun says “Yeah! I can go at a moment’s notice! I know you need assistants. As long as there’s money, food and horses as transport, I am ready to go!” and Zhuge Liang says “But there is very little money, scarce food and no horses..” and Shun disappointed says “None? Never mind! I can handle it, I mean I can handle anything since I will be your assistant!!” and Zhuge Liang says “My assistant? I am afraid Brother Wan Shun you are mistaken” and Shun all hopes crushing says “I am not your assistant? Then who is?” and Zhuge Liang named his 2 friends sitting there and Shun goes quiet and says “Oh.. I see… I am so sorry to bother you then…” and quickly rushes out, part disappointment, part embarrassment. Outside, Shun loudly complains “How can he not take me?! How can I not be his assistant! After all that I have done for him! After all that the help I gave him! He calls me his Brother Wan Shun, but he doesn’t treat me like a brother!!!” and guess what?
Zhuge Liang and friends could hear him!!!! It was so funny!! I was like laughing so hard!! Zhuge Liang says to his friends “I better go see if he is ok…” and as he walks out Shun mumbles “So he is out now to apologise” which he expects Zhuge Liang to do so. Zhuge Liang walks up to Shun and says “Brother Wan Shun…” and Shun immediately jumps up…
and the height difference between Kenneth Ma and Raymond Lam is very obvious, prompting my sister to exclaim “Wow, Raymond is so short!!”
and Shun says in a challenging voice “So you’re here to apologise and beg me to be your assistant? Ok, I am ready!” and Zhuge Liang is like “I am here to see if you’re ok Brother Wan Shun” and I think he walks back in as Shun angrily chases after him and says “Why? WHY NOT ME? WHY THEM? WHY AM I NOT GOOD ENOUGH COMPARED TO THEM?! I TREAT YOU LIKE MY BEST FRIEND EVER! WHY DO YOU TREAT ME SO CALLOUSLY!!” and Zhuge Liang taken aback gently says “Brother Wan Shun, I am happy you think of me as a close dear friend even though we only recently know one another but I have my reasons. It is not because I don’t think you’re not smart enough. Your HK Men 18 Stratagems is particularly persuasive. It is just that we are going into war, dangerous territories and I don’t want you to get hurt” and Shun cries “BUT WHY THEM!!” as he points to his 2 friends as Zhuge Liang politely and gently says “They’re experienced, they know what they’re going into Brother Wan Shun” and Shun angrily and sort of tearfully cries “Stop calling me brother Wan Shun! You call me brother but you treat me like dirt! After all the things I have done for you, after I have given you the clue to drive away the Laus and bringing Lau Bei to you and help you getting your adviser position, you just discard me aside, like.. like I am nothing to you! Am I that to you? That I am nothing? How could you treat me like this? HOW COULD YOU?! I treat you like my best friend but you… you take me for granted!!” and he runs out as Zhuge Liang stares in disbelief at the outburst.
This is why I still love this series despite the modern lingoes. Here we have 2 perfectly heterosexual guys having a very obvious lovers’ quarrel! True! My translation and recap does no justice to this scene in Cantonese and original. The way Shun says those words, it is like from one jilted lover to another or rather from someone whose love for another was rejected! It was seriously witty and funny and here, great performance by the 2 main guys. Poor Zhuge Liang doesn’t even know what hit him whilst Shun is understandably upset because his hero, his idol just rejected him!
Shun is drowning his sorrow with alcohol at the local “pub” as Kan tries to stop him and Shun keeps saying how Zhuge Liang has hurt him deeply and Hon hears everything and comes to sit down and says slyly “I know how you feel” and Shun cries “You’re evil!” and Hon says “My friend, I can only imagine how Zhuge Liang is going to treat a nobody like me if he could treat his best friend such as yourself like you just described.”
Pause for a second. A reminder. Zhuge Liang only knows Shun at best 5 days. 5 DAYS. Not exactly best friends level.
“But let me help you to get back at him, to make sure he knows what he misses!” and Kan says “But Mr Zhuge is not like that” and Shun shouts at him “SHUT UP AND EAT!!”
I could like Shun but sometimes I don’t like him with the way he handles things. Poor Kan.
Shun says “I want him to pay!! But why would you want me?” and Hon says “As opposed to Zhuge Liang, I know a talent when I see one. I shall have uses for your talent” and Shun smiles and says “FINE! I will be your assistant! Kan, you come along too!” and Hon throws Shun a bag of money and says “Good! Together we can bring Zhuge Liang down! Get yourself some new clothes!!”
At Xinye, Zhuge Liang arrives with his 2 friends but is confronted by Shun, Kan and Hon, Shun now dresses fancily and looking at Zhuge Liang smugly as he says “You.. are.. late” and his friends say “Brother Kungming, did you ask Brother Wan Shun to join us?” and Shun loudly says “Oh he wouldn’t have such good taste! I am now Advisor Hon’s assistant!” and Zhuge Liang just smiled as they’re all welcomed by Lau Bei and gang as I think Cheung Fei looks at Shun and says “Aren’t you friends with Mr Zhuge? How come you are with Advisor Hon?” and Shun smugly says “Brother Zhuge doesn’t think of me worthy to be his friend, I am afraid that is the case…” and everyone confused but Zhuge Liang just calmly smiled. Anyway meeting time and news has it Cao Cao is training soldiers for water battle aka forming a navy and Lau Bei asks Zhuge Liang for advice and Zhuge Liang calmly says “I do not have any solution at this moment” and Shun loudly says “And you call yourself an advisor?!” and Zhuge Liang just smiles but even Lau Bei knows there are 2 camps of advisers but everyone is just to damn polite to tell Shun to shut up. So he asks Hon and Hon suggests they too form a navy or something like that.
Alone with his friends, Zhuge Liang and gang knows what Hon is up to as his friends say “He is using Brother Wan Shun to disturb us!” and can’t remember what Zhuge Liang says except perhaps he just smiles and thinks better get on with the job and not be bothered by anything else.
Meanwhile Guan Yu and Cheung Fei thinks Zhuge Liang has zero talent since he has no answer but at least Hon has answers but Lai Bei, being a man with great foresight says wisely “Hon’s suggestion is not a solution. Zhuge Liang may not have a solution now but he is wise to admit he doesn’t have one. It shows he is a man who thinks before he speaks and a wise man. I believe he will be great help to our cause.”
Hon offers his residence to Zhuge Liang and wife and the maid says “Advisor Hon seems like a nice man” and everyone fretted and Mrs Zhuge says wisely “Something is bothering all of you” and someone says “Madam, you’re wise. This Advisor Hon is mean spirited. Everything he does is to make Master Zhuge look bad” and anyway nothing much happens. Later that day Zhuge Liang receives a table full of reports for him to read. At night alone with his reading, Yuet Ying came in with a pot and I can’t remember the exact words but …
1. Zhuge Liang quoted Shun’s modern lingo in describing his situation now, perhaps a first sign Zhuge Liang is falling in love with fan boy Shun
2. He is sorry to leave Yuet Ying alone and lonely at this huge house and volunteers to stop work and accompany her
3. she is not sorry at all and wants so support his career and says she reads to occupy her time and learnt to make CURRY. YES, CURRY
4. They tasted the curry, with Zhuge feeding his wife and then feeds himself and discover they don’t like curry that much
5. BUT they laughed happily and lovingly
Frankly, I really like this very romantic side of Zhuge Liang and the way he feeds his wife and they interact. Is it too much to ask for a kissing scene? A peck on the cheek?
Meanwhile Shun is so happy to have humiliated Zhuge Liang and as he looks at the dark sky and sees the bright moon (Liang) covered by the dark clouds (he imagines that being Zhuge Liang’s expression when he thinks he outsmarted Zhuge Liang earlier that day), he laughs out loudly as he mumbles “That will show you for rejecting me! You deserve this Zhuge Liang!!”
Ahhhhhhhhhhh another lover’s tiff, this time with the moon representing Zhuge Liang. Shun the fan boy is upset, very upset! Just too funny to even recap properly. Do pay attention to this scene. Shun really is like a rejected lover!
Meanwhile Kan joins the Lau Bei army and proves himself to be a good strong fighter and Chiu Chi Lung fought with him and is so impressed with Kan as he says “You are strong but if you have one weakness, it is your legs! BUT GOOD WORK!!” and Kan innocently says “I will work on my legs sir!!”. Zhuge Liang smiles and he says to General Chiu “You have done well here. The most important aspect of an army is not just strength physically but strength in unity. To win a battle, a united army is what it takes. Do work on the emotional unity of the men here, General” and he walks away as Hon snickers whilst Cheung Fei says “What utter rubbish. Emotional unity?” and Chiu Chi Lung wisely says “Advisor Zhuge is perhaps right. He does have a point…”
Next day someone killed a spy working for Cao Cao and he was delivering some maps and they need to find out who passed the map to this dead Cao Cao man. No one has any idea but Zhuge Liang says “I.. have an idea” and he explains “The dead informant was meeting someone from our camp in the forest and in the ensuing fight, his clothes had a lot of grasses (seriously don’t know what it is called) attached to him and these are only found in that region. So I deduce we removed all the people who couldn’t have been there first and narrow down the search” and … this is the funny part… Shun thinks to himself “Wow, my idol is still so awesomely brilliant!” and he thinks of that very proudly as he smiles and then realises he is supposed to be angry with him and so he stops smiling. Anyway the search goes on, narrowed down to 8 I think and all of them has those grass and so Hon now says loudly “There can only be one traitor but now we have 8 candidates. How now?”
… And all eyes look at Zhuge Liang who looks very serious and he thinks of a solution…
Next episode we shall know the brilliance of Zhuge Liang and perhaps Shun will stop having some hissy fit although the lovers’ quarrel is funny.
You know what is so funny about this episode? Shun’s fan boy reaction and his quarrel with Zhuge Liang. Poor Zhuge Liang was like confused as Shun speaks as if they have known one another for decades which Zhuge Liang says is very touching but in reality they only know each for just a few days!!! It is the way Shun reacted and how Zhuge Liang reacted that made those few scenes so funny. Yes Shun is childish but I suppose he was really really hurt. Of course Zhuge Liang wouldn’t choose him; it is dangerous and he is not sure if he can trust Shun. To Shun that was like the ultimate rejection. However Shun’s enthusiasm is getting to Zhuge Liang who did quote Shun in his conversation with his wife.
Performance wise, I heard some grumbling why that veteran actor is Lau Bei when Lau Bei is supposed to be very benevolent and stuff. First, TVB lacks older actor. If Wong Wai is still alive and well, he would have been Lau Bei. Second, I think the actor is ok even though he does lack that royal grace that one expects from Lau Bei. The other veterans are ok, no comments.
So I shall concentrate on Kenneth Ma first. He is still loud and brash and very expressive but I find all that suitable within the context of today’s episode. I feel his turn as a fan boy is so funny and I get a distinct feeling Raymond was trying hard not to laugh at that scene where Shun goes emo on Zhuge Liang. I like that small simple scene where he admired Zhuge Liang for his brilliance and then remembered he is supposed to be angry with hiim, that sudden shift in Kenneth’s expression is very very good. I am not saying he is comic king or whatever but clearly he has great chemistry with Raymond and I just recall he is Kusanagi to Raymond’s Yukawa in that god awful Mysteries Of Love. And Kenneth Ma is so tall.
Now on Raymond. This episode alone shows his cunning side, his romantic side and his reluctant side. Whilst I think some of his movements is a bit forced, I find he simply moved too much between 2 people when he is delivering his lines, and he does look very very tired, but I suppose Zhuge Liang should look wary of other people. Some scenes he seems deliberate like I said, but some scenes, like how Shun tried to provoke him and he looks at him and smiled that tiny smile, in a cunning knowing way, that I love. I also love how gentle he was when he was with Kaki Leung. I won’t say they have chemistry but it works. I am just surprised Yuet Ying has quite a prominent role in this episode and I would have wished for a more well known actress as a guest starring role, like Tavia Yeung, who unfortunately will pair up with Kenneth. Anyway Raymond did very well, but he does seem very tired and that takes away a bit of his energetic performance making Zhuge Liang more wary than cunning. But the subtlety is all there.
The contrast between the 2 actors can’t be more obvious. One is big expression, big movements. The other subtle movements. I won’t say who is better, but subtlety wise, Raymond Lam is indeed a better actor in that sense. But I hope he throws away the all too deliberate movements for a more natural flow, like how he was when he was sitting down staring at Kenneth’s Shun to stop telling him his wife is plain. That scene was Raymond at his best in these 2 episodes he has appeared thus far.
So far this series is still exciting. Can’t wait for Sun Quan to appear because this series makes him out like he knows what he is doing, he is a threat and he can fight Cao Cao. So how will Pierre Ngo fare I wonder? Hopefully with grace and a bit of hesitation because Sun Quan is supposed to be a young ruler as well.
This Episodic Thoughts was written by Funn Lim, a Contributing Writer at JayneStars.com, and was originally posted at http://3kingdomsrpg.blogspot.com. Kidd also contributed in fact-checking this Episodic Thoughts.
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