Episodic Thoughts: “Three Kingdoms RPG” (Episode 4)

By on July 15, 2012 in NEWS, REVIEWS

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Three Kingdoms RPG <回到三國>
TVB Series 2012

Cast: Kenneth Ma, Raymond Lam, Tavia Yeung, Sharon Chan, Ruco Chan, 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 4

“SEIIIIIIIIII PATTTTTTTTTTT POHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Tavia appears!! Just let me get this out of my chest. Lau Bei has 2 wives and not me, an observer next to me says “She looks older than the 2 wives” and she is supposed to have served the 2nd wife for a decade more. Which means she is young. According to TVB, she is supposed to be 23. I am more convinced when she appeared on screen Tavia should have been Mrs Zhuge instead of Song Yau. She is simply too mature looking. And this is where it gets to me; Tavia looks lovely; she plays her role sincerely and I really do like her but the problem is she is simply wrongly cast. Perhaps her role should have been older maid or a widow whose husband was one of the soldier who died. Because for all the travel back to past story, how come when a man travels back in time, he is always paired with the virginal young girl? Since there are so much modern ideals and phrases, why can’t our Shun being a modern man fall for a widow? And marries her, being the break in the norm by getting the narrow minded people to accept his love for this widow, who better yet has a child? Rather than pushing Tavia into this young maiden role when seriously, she does look way older than Lau Bei’s 2nd wife and unless Lau Bei married his 2nd wife when she was a child, there is no way Song Yau is younger than the wife. Of course you can say she is a maid, so she would age faster but Lau Bei loves her like his own daughter, and since she is so smart, she is probably not used for menial jobs. It bothers me to see Tavia in a role that would have been better cast with someone else or at least up her age and her background. Not all perfect relationship comes from future guy and virginal maiden. Being a modern guy it would be better to push the ideal of love in a more embracing sense in such a time, such as 1 wife sort of husband (monogamy) and marrying a widow, against all perceptions of olden day society with the blessing of Lau Bei.

Anyway recap first. It is getting harder and harder to recap this series because the politics is coming in droves and the names can be confusing. I shall try my best.

And so all eyes turn to Zhuge Liang and frankly he does not know the answer. Which is perfectly logical. Lau Bei turns to Adviser Hon who made a bold statement; “Since Adviser Zhuge has found us 8 possible candidates, one of them is definitely the traitor, my Lord, better we be careful than be sorry. Execute all 8 of them” and of course the 8 grumble and Zhuge Liang says or rather begs “My Lord, to kill all 8 is injustice. This can’t be done!” but I can’t remember who said this but I think Cheung Fei so I just assume it is him; “Brother, this traitor has betrayed us. According to the military law, he must be executed. Since we are not sure who, then I agree to execute all of them!” and Adviser Hon says to the 8 men “Please understand, we are in a dilemma. One of you has betrayed My Lord and put us all at risk. Since we are not sure who, all of you must die” and surprisingly Lau Bei doesn’t protest!! Meanwhile Zhuge Liang looks stricken whilst Shun notices one soldier was fidgeting and immediately he says “I KNOW WHO IS THE TRAITOR! HE IS!!” and he points to the fidgeting soldier and was challenged to prove his statement where he says “From where I come from, we learn the art of observation of a person’s behaviour and I have noticed this soldier has been fidgeting, his feet shifting side by side like he is making a gesture, like he is about to run away if he has a chance and he stutters too! Clearly he is hiding something! ADMIT IT!” and the soldier immediately crumbles to the floor and cries “My Lord, spare my life, forgive me! My parents were kidnapped by Cao Cao, I was forced to do this! I didn’t want to! Please forgive me!!!” but I think Cheung Fei ordered him to be arrested and to be dealt with later and so he was dragged out. Everyone admired Shun and we find out why he came to that conclusion; flashback to 1st episode where he was watching I believe Every Move You Make starring Bowie who said the same thing to an accused who was sitting shiftily. Yes, you do learn something from TV!! Adviser Hon congratulates Shun and Shun looks back and see Zhuge Liang looking at him, nodding slightly and very graciously smile at him and Shun I suppose smiled back in that “I WON!” way. Lau Bei of course is very happy as Adviser Hon says “My lord, Wan Shun and I have been studying the evidence the whole night!” and Lau Bei especially thank Hon for an assistant like Shun and proclaims his happiness at having suc great advisers.

Next day Lau Bei and gang pay a special visit to Shun to thank him and gave him a bunch of very expensive grapes. Shun was very happy and later he was walking at the courtyard when he bumped into Zhuge Liang and one of his 2 buddies and Shun was holding 2 wine bottles and Zhuge Liang very graciously congratulated Shun on his success and being looked highly upon by Lau Bei and Shun of course was enjoying the attention and the fact he upped his idol and he boasted he got a bunch of grapes some of which he pressed them and put them into the bottles he is holding, prompting Zhuge Liang’s friend to exclaim “What a waste of good fruit!” and Shun of course counters that man knows nothing of finer things in life and each went their own way. All throughout Zhuge Liang remains silent and smiles benignly.

Pause.

I suppose he sees Shun as someone to be admired because he seems to stare at Shun a lot more these days. Not to say he didn’t think of Shun as threat or equal but frankly he didn’t think much of Shun and I suppose he now feels he has underestimated Shun but not in a bad way like Adviser Hon against Zhuge Liang but rather the fact that he was mildly amused that Shun is actually a capable person.

Continue.

2 palanquin arrive with some armed guards and stop in front of Lau Bei’s mansion in Xinye. Immediately Lau Bei’s guard says “Who is there?” and we are introduced to Madam Choi (Wiki says Lady Choi so I shall use Lady Choi from now on) and her son, Lau Chung  I think, who is 2nd son of the one we heard of in previous episode, Lau Biu (who is not Lau Bei). Lady Choi haughtily demands “My son and I wish to see Lau Bei. Lead the way” but the guards say “Lady Choi, your men are to leave their weapons here before entering” and Lady Choi flies into rage as she demands “I am Lady Choi, the wife of your master’s master, Lau Biu, the rule of these lands. This is therefore my mansion, which was lent to your master. How dare you demand I leave my weapons out here?!” and guards say “We are sorry Lady Choi but our master’s order is the law” and woah… even the son goes hissy fit until Lau Bei came outside with his 2 sworn brothers and smilingly welcomed Lady Choi who is not too pleased with being made to stand out there as she says “Xuande (Lau Bei’s other name), Guan Yunchang (Guan Yu’s other name), Yide (Cheung Fei’s other name), all of 3 of you, how do you teach your soldiers to demand that I remove my weapons before going into your mansion? Have you forgotten how you came to my husband, your master for help and he took you in and gave you Xinye 6 years ago (like implying he never leave after that)? Is this how you treat your master’s wife?” and Lau Bei looking rather stressed say benignly “Lady Choi, I meant you no disrespect. But I must apply the law equally if I am to expect loyalty from my soldiers. You must remove your weapons” and she refuses and he says “Well then, if there is something to discuss we can discuss out here. Bring a table!!” and I was like smart move. Lady Choi pretends to faint and so in the end everyone moves into the main hall.

In the hall she sits on Lau Bei’s seat and her son next to her and the rest below, She says in a very arrogant voice “Xuande, I am here today on an important business. My people in Jingzhou is suffering. We do not have enough funds and my husband, being sickly has entrusted me to run the states. I am in a difficult position and you have been paying 20% taxes all these while. It is simply not enough. You have been running this state for 6 years. That is a long time. I am sure you have the capabilities so I now require you pay 40% taxes” and Guan Yu says “We hardly make enough for the 20%” and Lady Choi says “If you think you can’t fulfil your obligation, you’re welcomed to return to Xinye to me for me to govern” and so she leaves for Lau Bei to decide. Lau Bei is outraged and so is Cheung Fei and Guan Yu as they all as Adviser Hon also knows, this is a plot to get them to return Xinye to her. They also know Lau Biu is not well or indisposed so they will have to deal with her. They also know Lady Choi hates Lau Bei because during a fight for intended successor, Lau Bei advised Lau Biu to pick his eldest, Lau Kei and so from thereon Lady Choi whose son is Lau Chung becomes his enemy.

Shun hearing all these asks “I wonder why is her name Lady Choi? Isn’t her husband Lau Biu? Shouldn’t she be called Mrs Lau?” and Zhuge Liang explains “This is because she hails from a prominent family in Jingzhou and so she is under no obligation to adopt her husband’s surname” and Shun like “I already know that. Just testing if you know…” and everyone is upset with Lady Choi and her demands which effectively means to drive them out of Xinye and Shun loudly says “Yes this Sei Pat Poh!!”

Pause.

In English, literally the Gossipy Bitch or bitch. It is I suppose a modern-ish lingo.

Continue.

Guan Yu asks “What is a Sei Pat Poh?” and Shun explains “It is my hometown’s language. It refers to a woman so despicable, so hateful, you just call her Sei Pat Poh” and Cheung Fei says “Sei Pat Poh… what an accurate term to describe this despicable woman. Sei Pat Poh” and everyone agrees even Guan Yu calls her so and they say “What then do we do with this Sei Pat Poh?” and all was silent when… and this is really funny…Lau Bei suddenly scream at the top of his lungs with so much hatred and emotion; “SEIIIIIIIIII PATTTTTTTTTTT POHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” and all was shocked at his outburst. Very very funny!!

At night Zhuge Liang at his study room and notices all the tax reports nicely arranged and his wife left a note saying she took the initiave to arrange them for him and gratefully he sits down and begins to read. He notices multiple entries with the name of Choi Mook in it and he realises something. Meanwhile Hon forces Shun to think of a solution and he can’t sleep until 3 in the morning. That is when he decides to SMS his sister for some background check on Lady Choi.

Meanwhile Cheung Fei is very emotional and with his errr… knife (?) he charges to meet Lady Choi to as he says kill that sei pat poh but Guan stops him and tries to reason with him but in the end decides to the deed himself. So 2 of them fighting one another to kill that sei pat poh when suddenly Lau Bei appears and looking extra stressed (which the actor is good at) he stops them and says “My brothers, why are you being so foolish? You my brother (Cheung Fei), I know you’re brash but this is nonsense! And you (Guan Yu), of all, I never expected you to join brother (Cheung Fei) in this madness!! So what if you killed her? It will not solve anything. We will instead be accused of disloyalty to those who has helped us! Would it be worth being executed? No! And then what about me? We are in the noble quest my brothers, and since we have sworn to become brothers, we have been through thick and thin! Will you now leave me all alone in this quest?” and Cheung Fei realises his faults and says “My brother, I am sorry. I promise I will not act so hastily in future” and Guan Yu too promises to not kill Sei Pat Poh and “to serve you my brother, as we have sworn to do so” and so Lau Bei holds their hands and emotionally look at them.

Pause.

I remember reading Romance Of Three Kingdoms and what I get from there is that these men love to cry. Cao Cao will shed a tear or two, Lau Bei will cry too. They’re very emotional men. So basically I feel this scene does in a way pay homage to those noble men depicted in the book.

Continue.

Next day or sometime later, Lady Choi and son is back. This woman is clearly a sei pat poh. Anyway everyone calls her that by now, behind her back. So she demands 40% or return Xianye to her and Lau Bei probably advised by Zhuge Liang confidently says “Yes we will agree to your demands” and that surprised mother and son as he continues “But we will pay direct to *the treasury at Jingzhou I assume since I didn’t catch the name*” and Lady Choi says “No need. Pay as you always have, to *some other name which is under her control*” and Lau Bei says “But we must ensure the money reaches the people, if not, what is the point?” and Lady Choi darkens as she says “Are you suggesting I am pocketing the money?” and Lau Bei or someone says “We are merely suggesting the money reaches the right people” and Zhuge Liang says “When I was checking the tax records I notice a man by the name of Choi Mook receiving the taxes and I checked; Choi Mook is your *I think he said brother, or some relative*” and Lady Choi darkens further as she says loudly “And what do you wish to imply from that? That Choi Mook is my middleman?” and Zhuge Liang says “We are not suggesting anything but these can be checked easily” and Lau Bei says “But rather than auditing the accounts where everything will be revealed why not just let things be as they are?” and Lau Bei feels confident on trumping that sei pat poh when suddenly she bursts into loud tears and say loudly “YES I ADMIT, I have been keeping a sum from all the taxes! Why you ask? I ahve 600,000 mouths to feed in Jingzhou and my husband who is sickly is not good at accounts. If I hadn’t kept a sum, all these sum will be spent, wasted!!! Whilst I a doing my people at Jingzhou a favour, you Lau Xuande has been accusing me of wrongdoings. I am doing this for my people and yet you, you refuse to even pay 40% of the taxes! How dare you accuse me when you yourself is unwilling to help the people of Jingzhou?!” and Lau Bei knows he is lost and so everyone else feels the same when Shun thinks to himself “This sei pat poh is formidable. she can twist the facts to her favour. Let me check what sis has to say” and he quietly checks his SMS and his sister says not much is known about her except she runs Jingzhou which has 900,000 people. Shun is like 900,000? Didn’t she say 600,000? and he says this to Zhuge Liang and Lau Bei and gang and immediately Lau Bei face Lady Choi and say “You said Jingzhou has a population of 600,000?” and she says “Yes that is correct” and Lau Bei says “But my sources tell me it is actually 900,000” and her face darkens as she says “are you doubting my words?” and I think Zhuge Liang or Lau Bei says “We can always check the official records” and she says “So what it is 900,000?” and then  thought for a moment and then suddenly she says “Never mind. You can continue to be where you are. The tax remains at 20%” and she quickly leaves with her son. Everyone rejoices and Cheung Fei asks “Why she is so afraid of us checking the population number?” and Lau Bei says “Because a percentage of people must be volunteered as soldier from the total number of the population and since she reports less people, it means she has been keeping aside some men to train as her own army, probably to later dispose off Lau Biu” and so everyone knows why she left so soon. Now everyone asks how Shun knows the population number and he says “Oh I used Kuku”

Pause here.

I think he meant he used Google!!

Continue.

Nobody knows what he means but they just take what he says as truth. Anyway again Shun gets the glory and Zhuge Liang seems very very proud of him even if he is probably wondering where is this Shun from.

I can’t remember where, when but again after Zhuge Liang displays his brilliance, Shun says to himself in a perfect fan boy way “My idol is so smart! Very chok!!”. Well he does see him as handsome and smart and all. So maybe the jilted lover stage is over?

As the sei pat poh trouble is solved (for now), another is coming up. Lau Bei is having a big dilemma and this dilemma concerns his 2 wives.

Pause.

I find the sudden change of mood very disconcerting. For me Shun can be silly, fan boy, stupid, whatever and that is funny. But to see Lau Bei in a similar situation, where he can’t even control his 2 wives, how can he ever run a country? And the following scene I am about to recap shows him having comical expressions and situations. Normally I wouldn’t question much but to show Lau Bei the way he is, just to show he being a normal mortal man also have familial problems and a way to introduce Song Yau, is to me.. just confusing. I don’t like this aspect.

Continue.

Wife no. 1 has just given birth and son is I think Oh-Dau (E-Dou) and wants the services of a maid called Song Yau. Wife no. 2 refuses to give up Song Yau who has served her for the past 10 years or so. So both pushes Lau Bei for the services of Song Yau. Lau Bei looks very tired and is sleepy during a meeting and Zhuge Liang notices and asks “My Lord, are you alright?” and Shun says “My Lord, you have panda eyes!!” and everyone agrees Shun rightly depicts Lau Bei’s current look and Lau Bei says “I have problems..” and I think it was Cheung Fei or someone who says “With the 2 misses?” and Hon asks “Maybe Adviser Zhuge can advise My Lord since he just got married” and Zhuge looks reluctant as he says “I have just recently married and I am afraid I am in no position to advise My Lord on this issue” and then I think Cheung Fei or someone says “Perhaps Shun with his 18 stratagems of HK Men may have a trick or two” and Shun confidently says “Of all the 18 stratagems I have, none deals with women. I mean I have at one point 9 women at one go (and everyone is impressed) but believe me, women are problematic. I would normally suggest My Lord to run away but since you obviously can’t … maybe my lord, you can spend alternate nights with one and the other nights with the other or maybe half a day with one and the other half with the other” and Lau Bei sighs as he says “I am afraid the problem is not of me. They are not arguing over me but they’re arguing over Song Yau” and Shun is like “Who is she?” and Lau Bei says “She is my maid” and one of the guys say “She is beloved by everyone in the family. A very smart girl” and Lau Bei says “I saved her when she was a child during one expedition and she has served me since. But 10 years ago she began to serve my 2nd wife but now my 1st wife insists on having her as maid to take care of my son” and Shun says to himself “All the fuss over a maid?”.

Cheung Fei has a drink with Hon and Hon laments he is being sidelined in favour of Zhuge Liang who has yet to display his brilliance as rumoured. Cheung Fei who dislikes Zhuge Liang does exactly what Hon expects him to do; he confronts Lau Bei and complains about the uselessness of Zhuge Liang and how he shouldn’t favour him so obviously over Hon and Lau Bei thundered “Adviser Hon himself volunteered to give his residence to Adviser Zhuge, now he is complaining? Fine! Fine! Let him have his first pick of the gifts and any amount he wants”. At this point I am thinking luckily Hon doesn’t betray them to Sun Quan or Cao Cao. I mean he knows things!

Anyway 2 wives badgering Lau Bei again who previously tried to placate them with beautiful necklaces, who is having a meeting with Guan Yu and Cheung Fei. Each has her point but 1st wife feels 2nd wife is disrespecting her, 2nd wife feels 1st wife is taking away Song Yau when she rejected her some time ago and each wants Song Yau and they are so noisy to the point Lau Bei shouts “I HAVE HAD ENOUGH!!!!!!! I WILL NOT DEAL WITH THIS!! I HAVE MORE IMPORTANT THINGS TO DO!!!!! YOU TWO SETTLE THIS!!!” and he runs away. So it is up to Guan Yu and Cheung Fei and they both are again arguing to the point Cheung Fei screams “I CAN’T TAKE THIS ANYMORE!!!! You know what? I will chop Song Yau into two, you 2 can have one part of her!!” and he rushes out with his err.. knife (?) and runs in search of Song Yau, he is looking very scary and Guan Yu and 2 wives running after him and after all the commotion the 2 women suddenly says “You know what? Sister, you can have Song Yau” and the other says “No no, sister, you can have Song Yau”.

Problem solved.

Pause.

I have issues with the silliness of these 2 wives who neither look graceful nor elegant to be the wife of a supposedly elegant Lau Bei. They look like pat pohs themselves. I know this series is a comedy, I know this is a comical situation to highlight even Lau Bei has marital problems but the 2 wives are so annoying. The actresses are not fit to be his wife because I expect them to be classier. And if I am not mistaken, the 1st wife will later sacrifice herself to let Chiu Chi Lung save her son to bring back to Lau Bei, that is if this version follows that version. Which shows the 1st wife as someone giving, compassionate and places her husband above all else. These 2… were like pat pohs.

Continue.

2 wives now come to Lau Bei and says each can have Song Yau and so Lau Bei decides 1st wife can have Song Yau until baby turns one which is soon and then Song Yau will return to 2nd wife. The 2 wives agree and then both agrees Cheung Fei is crazy and that Lau Bei should ditch him if not he will kill the wives one day and they worry for their own lives.

Pause.

This is the problem. Lau Bei’s wives wouldn’t have pushed their husband to abandon his sworn brother who fought with him side by side and they probably would have known Cheung Fei for many years and know his character. For them to suggest such a betrayal, it is to me an insult to the real story and it is not funny. It is in fact a plot hole in my opinion; how can Lau Bei marry such stupid selfish wives?

Continue.

Lau Bei looks reluctant and refuses reluctantly which is totally out of character and then he confesses Cheung Fei was pretending to be mad. Wives were curious and we see …

FLASHBACK!!

Shun in that meeting says “I have an idea, the story of King Solomon!! Once there was this King Solomon who was confronted with 2 women claiming to be the mother of a baby. Neither refuses to back away and so Solomon ordered the baby to be chopped into 2. One woman agrees and the other gives up and allows the other woman to take care of the baby. This way Solomon could determine who really loves the baby. Maybe My Lord can ask General Cheung Fei to pretend to want to chop up Song Yau and so we will know who loves Song Yau more and that madam shall have Song Yau”

The 2 wives weren’t pleased. In fact they looked at Lau Bei who grew scared and said “I never expected the 2 of you to relent. My dearest, surely you can’t blame me?” and the 2 wives say “No we don’t. But we both know who to blame; that Wan Shun better be careful the next time he sees us…” and Lau Bei gulped.

Shun who is then being massaged by Kan suddenly sneezes, a lot and Kan says if he sneezes more than 5 times then it is bad luck. Kan himself sneezes 3 times. And I can tell you why they sneeze; both idiots were sitting in the courtyard with very little clothing and it was night and windy. Stupid aren’t they? Anyway Shun was wiping his nose with a piece of paper and Kan says “So are you going to meet Song Yau like she asks in the letter? She says she wants to thank you” and Shun says “Yeah, and hopefully not like the olden days thanking by surrendering body and soul…” and Kan says “Maybe she will marry you out of gratitude!” and Shun was like no way. Anyway he doesn’t go see her as he lays in bed sick whole night and groggily he could see a girl serving him and calling his name. In the morning, he wakes up feeling better and a girl appears and she introduces herself as Song Yau as she says “I waited the whole night for you sir. I just want to thank you for helping me solve my problem” and Shun says no big deal. I didn’t catch the gist of the conversation but Song Yau is being very gentle and nice to him and even obedient in a way and all Shun could think is “Sigh… a typical maid mindset” and he doesn’t really see her as someone wonderful and all.

Later Shun with Kan I think and they were doing something I can’t remember. All I can remember is Kan suggests maybe something might develop between Shun and Song Yau since she is so grateful and nice to him and Shun immediately says “No no. She’s not very pretty. In fact she is plain. For me, cui cai kau sok lui!”

Pause.

Zhuge Liang’s view of marriage is “cui cai kau suk lui” as in a man seeks to marry a decent woman which he did. Shun’s version is “cui cai kau sok lui” as in a man seeks to marry a hot girl (sok lui). Jerk!! So he doesn’t see her as pretty? No wonder he thinks Mrs Zhuge is plain. Very high standards. Question is why would a sok lui want him?

Anyway Tavia’s first scene as Song Yau is to me too much powder, but still rather pretty. But I stand by my observation that she should have been Mrs Zhuge. Because seriously the 2nd wife of Lau Bei looks much younger than Song Yau who supposedly served her since a decade ago and I assume since she was a child. The casting is just way off.

Continue.

Shun is in his room when Song Yau arrives and I think volunteers to sew for him. Then Hon appears and Hon seeing Song Yau there begins to say loudly “Shun, you must be very tired! I mean we both do all the work and that Zhuge Liang, what does he do? Nothing! He is just all words and no action” and Shun knows Hon is trying to say all these to Song Yau who is Lau Bei’s favourite maid and Song Yau continues to sew when Shun pretends to sneeze and say “Yeah yeah I am sick. Better leave now! Ahhh-choo!!” and comically Hon runs away. Shun turns to Song Yau and says apologetically “I am sorry for that. Zhuge Liang isn’t that useless. He is actually a brilliant man” and Song Yau smiles and says “This is not the first time. Adviser Hon has done it many times, since he thinks such words will reach my mistress who in turn will tell my master. My mistress (2nd wife) once told me I must learn when to listen and when not to listen. Since I am not good at that, I learn never to listen” and Shun thinks to himself “No wonder they both like you so much, very smart”. Song Yau then looks at Shun and says shyly “I heard Master Wan Shun is from Jizhou. I was from Jizhou too but I was away since child so I know very little of Jizhou. Maybe Master Wan Shun can tell me a bit about Jizhou and your funny lingoes” and Shun happily says “I am from Jizhou’s state, Hong Kong! In Hong Kong we have 2 big parks; one which has that 4 pandas and the other has life sized mouse!” and Song Yau listened with attention and gasped “Life sized mouse? That must be a dirty place. Nobody cleans that park?” and Shun says “It is very clean. The mouse is very friendly and nice. It is a very nice place…” and so he goes on as Song Yau listens intently.

If you’re wondering what mouse park he is talking about, it is DISNEYLAND!! Anyway is Jizhou that far? No one seems to contradict Shun at all. Anyway I think this is where this episode ends.

Story wise, I am annoyed by the 2 wives which to me does not fit into the whole story with their behaviour. I know it is comedy but it doesn’t make sense. For me Shun can be silly and all but everyone else must thread carefully if not a witty series will become plain stupid, and this episode is where it dangerously almost is. As for Song Yau, I am ok with her character. Every household must have a smart and capable maid and Song Yau seems like such. Personally I am ok with Tavia Yeung as well but I am very much bothered by the fact she is totally wrong for the role of Song Yau no matter how charming she is. And I do find Tavia charming in ancient roles, as I remember her role in Land Of Wealth fondly and her amazing chemistry with Steven Ma. In here, just wrong! How can 2nd wife of Lau Bei be so much younger? Should she have been the 2nd wife or even 1st wife? I still think she will do well as Zhuge Liang’s wife. Tavia can play those “mou fan  fu chai” type. Other than obvious age issue, since Shun doesn’t think Song Yau is a “sok loi”, I am ok with Song Yau’s looks then via Tavia Yeung. By the way, she has way too much make up.

A bit of comment on the veterans.

For Lee Kwok Lun as Lau Bei, my companion sitting next to me says he is a miscast. She is influenced by all the adaptation of 3 Kingdoms and I agree in a way. He is a wonderful actor, he can play stressed, very very well but Lau Bei has 2 men and countless  others who are loyal to him to no end and it must mean he has leadership quality, in the sense that he is benevolent and giving with good temperament. I feel Lee Kwok Lun does not have those qualities and I hate the fact that the script dares show him  reluctant when wives suggested his Lau Bei to ditch Cheung Fei. Something is just missing.

Savio Tsang surprisingly makes a good Cheung Fei even if he doesn’t have the face of a man whose looks could kill. For me if Lau Bei was younger (since Cao Cao is being played by a very much older actor so I understand the difficulty in casting Lau Bei), Savio Tsang would make a convincing Lau Bei. Savio Tsang is a pretty good actor and he can be a pretty elegant actor too.

Au Sui Wai as Guan Yu is to me ok. He is a pretty good actor and he plays Guan Yu as someone righteous and stands very very straight even if his Guan Yu is short, he looks somewhat formidable. But I wished for a taller actor and to me perhaps Stephen Au would be my choice as Guan Yu because Stephen Au is a fantastic actor and he is tall and more importantly, he has  a certain sense of elegance as an actor that I feel Au Sui Wai lacks as Guan Yu.

Someone mentioned Kevin Cheng whom I feel can make a credible Chiu Chi Lung who is always depicted as someone rather handsome. But I have no complaints about Cheung Chung Chi as Chiu Chi Ling, someone against type since he is always playing jerks and villains.

What’s the name of the actor who plays Adviser Hon? He is brilliant. His subtlety, the way he insinuates, his very expressive eyes, I find him quite seriously the best veteran here with his manipulative Adviser Hon.

Mary Hon looks scary which fits her sei pat poh label. From now on when I see Mary Hon I see sei pat poh! So much powder on her face. I find her performance.. a bit.. over the top. I don’t know, I just feel she is just too brash, too loud. For someone from prominent family, yes Lady Choi is a total bitch but perhaps she would be more threatening if she whispered her lines rather than almost shouting it?

Cheung Wing Hong may not be the best actor, not the most experienced but his wide eyed innocence as the loyal Fan Kan is to me convincing. I am not sure where Fan Kan is heading but I hope towards being someone heroic.

The 2 pesky wives of Lau Bei, the 1st wife I know is Rachel Kan. She is getting more and more prominent roles these days. I have no comment. 2nd wife, from Wikipedia, is she Lady Mei and so wikipedia says Iva Law? Anyway does not matter because her performance was at best forgettable, at worst darn annoying. Her voice, I can’t stand her voice. And her acting, did you see her go “humphh” like as if this is some rehearsal scene from an acting class? Worst acting of the night.

I am getting used to Raymond Lam as Zhuge Liang but he seems subdued in this episode. Maybe tired but he also looks wary. The focus isn’t so much on him in this episode though his influence is everywhere. After all Shun acts the way he does because of Zhuge Liang. But I am glad to say Raymond has that elegance I spoke about to portray Zhuge Liang although I still feel his movements is awkward.

Kenneth Ma is as good as he was for the past 3 episodes. He seems rather seamless with his modern speak and ancient speak but I must stress, can he stop with the chok from now on? It is not getting old, it is getting embarrassing! Anyway Kenneth Ma, his acting has improved. I see less of that pouty lips way of speaking, less “manja” (malay for pampered) way of talking and less bending his back to have same level with others when talking, since he is tall but that is an annoying habit and very bad posture (Joe Ma!!). However is he the best actor for this role? In TVB now, yes. I wonder if a decade ago can Dicky Cheung do this role? I think so. Another decade more? Stephen Chow. And this example shows you that as we go further back, I can name better actors for this role. But Kenneth Ma is the best person for now, but he is not the only person. His acting has improved, but I feel there are still room for improvement. For me each role is tailored to him so it works. But he doesn’t tailor himself to a role per se. It is like you feel he is suitable because the role is suitable but very rarely is there an actor who can change himself to fit a role. Kenneth Ma is not that level yet. So no, I won’t say he is da best. No he isn’t. But he is funny when he should be without being embarrassing to watch but is he a comic king? No. Slapstick king? No.  Does he have comic timing? Yes of course if not he wouldn’t be able to deliver those lines. But could he have delivered a truly funny punch line with perfect timing?

Now that belongs to the one funniest moment in this episode; and that credit goes to Lee Kwok Lun with his outburst “SEIIIIII PATTTTT POHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!” with such anguish and pain and hatred, that to Lau Bei that is his anger moment, to us viewers for his choice of words, made it one truly funny moment.

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

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15 comments to Episodic Thoughts: “Three Kingdoms RPG” (Episode 4)

  1. a-pop says:

    For me, Tavia elegance gesture, soft way of speech suppose cast her for ladies that born in educated and rich family background.
    LKH miscast her as maid

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  2. subtleness says:

    KM isnt as annoying as he was before in the first few episodes

    RL prob looks tired cus it was during his worst period after the breakup

    Agree that TY looks too old for her role

    Looking forward to reading more of your reviews!

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    • Funn Lim replied:

      Yes I just realise for Raymond this was during the Mavis gate. But it suits his character; tired, wary and all that.

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  3. Fox says:

    Eps 4 is so LKH and kind of off topic, so I don’t focus on this one.

    Iva Law is pretty :D, and I admire her prettiness.

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    • yogo replied:

      who’s iva law?
      the second wife?

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  4. ks says:

    I have been wondering who is the actor who plays ‘Kan’, shun’s buddy.

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    • Funn Lim replied:

      His name is according to Wiki is Jonathan Cheung Wing Hong

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      • ks replied:

        Thanks. I have to say he is doing a good job.

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  5. iampheng says:

    I find it very endearing when Kenneth is such a fanboy of Raymond’s character despite taking up his adviser role out of anger and revenge.

    I also think Tavia looks quite pretty and elegant in this series. I think the maids of highborn women do not necessarily have to be “maid like” (excuse me for the lack of a better word). Having a maid like this is a good reflection of the household.

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  6. y2k says:

    what is chok and kai mean in this drama as kenneth refer raymond as chok ?

    i ask this because in am non chinese and i from bosnia and i
    learning chinese now in Kuala lumpur ,what is chinese mean for these word ?

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    • Kidd replied:

      Kai means stupid.

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      • Funn Lim replied:

        Yeah I remember Kan I think saying “kai dai” and that’s when I realise it is one half of the word. Not just stupid but a fool.

        Chok as we all know is a poser. But in this series it seems it is meant in a positive way to mean handsome, stylish.

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  7. elin says:

    loving ths series

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  8. Larry 3 says:

    Sei Batt Pour is their punch line in this episode. It wasnt even amusing.

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    • Larry 3 replied:

      Tavia’s appearance…. I think she is way tooo old. The make up didnt work it out.

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