Episodic Thoughts: “Three Kingdoms RPG” (Episode 9)
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.
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.
“You always think you’re not good enough for me. But the actual fact is I am not good enough for you. I have married a wonderful intelligent kind loving wife, whom I do not deserve.”
I am not sure how I feel about this episode. On one hand, I was entertained, laughing at the funny scenes and going yeah! at the serious scenes but in the end I felt this episode is wrong on so many levels. First is Shun’s idiotic intervention and the aftermath. Then there’s the disrespect for capable women, such as Yuet Ying. And finally Zhuge Liang’s reaction to the Yuet Ying dilemma. I understand his stand as if I look at modern basis, he is preserving his wife’s honour from all the verbal bullying by the insensitive men. But his shocking (well not so shocking since I already predicted it in Episode 8) decision made me feel what does Zhuge Liang feels about his role in this war? Why did he join in the first place? Where does his loyalty lies? And if had done what he wanted to do and Cao Cao reigns, will he still be able to live happily ever after with Yuet Ying when he is a smart man who is not ignorant?
I just feel all these were way to dramatic even when things needn’t be so dramatic. And one scene had me cringing because it was cliche, it was dumb and it was just out of place in the context of everything.
So basically, it is an entertaining episode but in the end it is just wrong.
And when watching this episode remember, Shun being the modern out of place guy can be silly and all that. So whatever he does is normal within the context.
Lau Bei looks like a pimp. I mean he is like a failed salesman, selling to ZGL the idea of marrying his niece, Mei Yu (in Cantonese Mei Yoke but ASTRO subtitles everything is Mandarin version except for Shun’s name). But ZGL immediately stood up and refused. He says “When I married my wife, I have promised myself I shall be in a monogamous relationship devoting all my love to one woman. I thank my lord’s consideration but I must decline!” but Lau Bei refuses to accept and continues to press on “Do you not find my niece suitable?” and ZGL says “She is a beautiful talented maiden but to force her to be my 2nd wife will be unfair to her” and Lau Bei says “I have talked with her parents and even Mei Yu, they’re alright with her being 2nd wife” but ZGL says “My lord, I must decline! I have no wish to marry another, ever” and Lau Bei got the message as he finally says “I think I am not suitable to be a matchmaker. Alright Adviser Zhuge, as you wish” but he said so with no bitterness, just resignation.
ZGL goes home and sees Hao Lin crying as she gives him a letter from Yuet Ying. I can’t remember everything so I am not reproducing word for word but it is a moving letter from a loving wife with some scenes of Yuet Ying writing the letter;
“My dearest husband,
By the time you have read this I shall have left you. I know what plans Master Lau Bei has in place for you and I will not object to your marriage to Miss Mei Yu. I have met her. She is as beautiful as she is talented and she will be a worthy wife for you. Worthier than I shall ever be and I feel with her you will not be put in a difficult position as you have been with me. I feel I have been a burden to you. How can I ever let my capable husband, capable of great things in life to be pulled down by a sickly wife, having to take care of a wife constantly in bed due to such sickness. Being married to you has the most joyous moments of my life. I have no regrets of marrying you. Whilst Miss Mei Yu is to be your 2nd wife, I feel this will be unfair to someone like Miss Mei Yu. Therefore I am leaving you and I shall anticipate your letter to divorce me soon. There are 7 reasons for divorcing a wife, and in our situation, you may use the reason of my sickness as the reason for divorce. I am grateful for the time I have had with you my dear husband. Those days I shall forever remember fondly.
Hao Lin cries “I don’t understand mistress! She has always felt she is not good enough for you, that she embarrasses you and I always tell her she is worthy for you but I guess she didn’t listen!!” and ZGL says “I have never thought of her that way..” as Hao Lin says “Master, you have no idea how people gossip behind her, saying hurtful things and calling her names! Like that Wan Shun! On that wedding night, he openly and loudly said mistress is ugly and sickly and not good enough for you! She heard everything and from thereon she has put those words in mind and I guess that is why she has run away!”
Oh Shun! You bastard!!
ZGL immediately goes to Lau Bei and 3 guys were there as ZGL says “My lord, I seek your permission to take a few days off” and Cheung Fei is like “But we are to chair the military meeting tomorrow!” and Lau Bei asks “What is the matter? Maybe I can help” and ZGL says “My wife has left. I need to find her” and Cheung Fei makes a lot of noise “But the meeting is more important. Why your wife ran away?” and ZGL explains “Because she wants to let me marry Miss Mei Yu as first wife” and Cheung Fei says “So? What is wrong with your wife? Little things and she runs away, ruining the men’s business with her little temper tantrums!” and ZGL doesn’t even have time to argue as Lau Bei says “We can have the meeting a few days later. You may go” and ZGL rushes out as Cheung Fei angrily says “All panicking over a woman!”
Cheung Fei is harsh. I am just surprised he sees her as some lowly person of no importance when she is the one who translates the books, she is the one who helps her husband figures things out, she is a smart and capable woman but I feel these few men are so sexist to the point they’re blinded.
ZGL went searching, to his in laws who scolded him and for a few days, no news. Dejected he returned back to mansion and Cheung Fei makes noises that ZGL is placing a mere woman above important matters like Cao Cao’s threats but Lau Bei let him be.
ZGL in his room and every where he turns he sees his wife. He misses her and then he sees the potted flowers and he remembers something.
Next scene we see ZGL at his old home at Wulong Village and he sees the flowers in his old house and he knows his wife is here. He rushes out and to the open field he sees his wife from afar, and this is where I said it is so cliche that I cringed. He sees her tending to the yellow flowers when she sees a butterfly and overjoyed she turns and turns and turns whilst smiling brightly until suddenly she stops as she sees a misty eyed ZGL and she stops smiling.
That scene proves to me perhaps she is happier without ZGL. For heaven’s sake, such a happy turn-smile-turn-smile-catch buttterfly-smile-turn scene. That was so out of place. She should be depressed, sad, crying as she is tending to her flowers but her happy reaction to that butterfly which I know is to show her at her prettiest and most contented with the simple things in life is however just wrong. I felt like ZGL should leave her alone in her misery because she seems rather happy doesn’t she?
ZGL rushes to her and she looks at him and says “How did you know I am here?” and he says emotionally “Those yellow flowers ..” and I suppose she has planted the same flowers at the old home as Yuet Ying says “You shouldn’t be here” as ZGL says a lot of things, all very loving, emotional and all but I can only remember a few; “You always think you’re not good enough for me. But the actual fact is I am not good enough for you. I have married a wonderful intelligent kind loving wife, whom I do not deserve. Do you remember the nights we spent chatting, discussing military strategies, and you have translated books for me late into the night? You have done so much for me, I do not deserve you. I can’t lose you. Marrying you has been the best thing for me. Please do not think ill of yourself. Come home with me. Be with me. If you leave me, I…I am nothing. I will be nothing without you. Without you, everything is meaningless. Whatever promotion, ambition, position, power, money, rank, all these I have never wished for, I only want you. Come back to me, my dearest wife, please” and Yuet Ying cries and he hugs her and so they have reconciled.
Very moving words. You can see ZGL loves and appreciates his wife very much. He sees her as equal in intelligence, as capable as he is, she is one half of him and in other words, if ZGL is Tom Cruise he will be saying “YOU… COMPLETE ME”. And a good performance from Raymond although he is still very breathy in the way he speaks like for a moment I thought he would grab her and just kiss her passionately. In fact he should grab her and kiss her passionately, if any scene demands for such an outward show of emotion, THIS IS IT! As for Kaki Leung, commendable effort but seriously, after I watched this scene and as I write that recap, I just can’t remember much of her. I find her good as I watched her but not memorable to stick in my mind. She is to me an ok actress but not a great performance.
ZGL meets with Lau Bei and everyone is sorta happy she is back although Cheung Fei is not happy. Lau Bei says “So we can have the meeting..” as ZGL says “My lord, before we proceed I would like to ask for your permission to retire to Wulong village”
And everybody goes WHAT?! as ZGL explains “My wife is poorly in health and I notice she is far better when at Wulong Village. For her health I like to retire” and Cheung Fei is like “WHAT? FOR A WOMAN YOU ARE FORSAKING YOUR COUNTRY?!?!?” as Lau Bei says “Perhaps we can talk about this …” as ZGL says “There is nothing to be discussed. I have decided.” and of course Cheung Fei looks like he will kill ZGL as he says “Why? WHY?! You wanna go to work for that sei pat poh?” as ZGL says “NO! I have already said I have refused her offer” as Lau Bei says “I know you’re a patriot who cares about the people and the Han kingdom. So I know you made this decision because of Mei Yu isn’t it? The arranged marriage?” and interestingly Cheung Fei (from now on, CF) and Guan Yu (from now on GY) both go “WHAT?!”. They didn’t know about the marriage thing?
Lau Bei says “Yes I admit, I wanted to arrange that marriage so as to make you part of a family, so you won’t leave us, I admit I am wrong” as ZGL says “My lord, if you’re cunning enough to think of such a devious scheme to bind me to you, then I do not worry for you. You can fend for yourself” as Lau Bei says “Adviser Zhuge, please listen to me. I meant no harm in that arrangement. I thought it was a good idea. Moreover I couldn’t have thought of that alone. Wan Shun suggested and he said you were forced into this marriage by your brother so I thought…” and ZGL eyes are wife when he hears Shun’s name as he says “And yet you have never trusted me and have doubted my loyalty after what happened with Lady Choi. If I do not have your trust, how can I ever serve you?” as Lau Bei says “I know. I apologise for everything. I should have trusted you, I should not have doubted you. Please Adviser Zhuge, accept my apologies” but ZGL leaves as CF still as harsh “All for that woman? Is she worth it?!” as GY says “BROTHER!”, that is to CF in a very exasperated voice.
CF is just very blunt. Of course women are of no importance back then to men’s ambition but I do not like how even these 3 dismiss Yuet Ying’s contribution. I find them unworthy of ZGL’s help. Maybe he should move to Cao Cao’s camp.
Shun seating, hearing someone coming he immediately pretended to work when he sees ZGL and immediately gets up, smiles and say “Brother, what are you doing here? I heard the missus is back! Come on, let’s toast to that” when ZGL angrily says and in a very polite way when in modern world, ZGL would have punched him;
“Why can’t you mind your own business? Because of your suggestion about the marriage, you have nearly wrecked my marriage!” and Shun shocks counters “Who doesn’t want to marry a pretty healthy wife? I was just thinking for your own good and now you’re so ungrateful for my efforts” as ZGL angrily says “Your efforts? For your efforts into my private business? My marriage, my wife and my personal life is none of your business. I thought you were smart but you think too highly of yourself. For that little wit you have, you think you can manipulate others and rule other’s life when all you did was to destroy. You still don’t realise what you did wrong! You’re a fool, a reckless fool!” as Shun cries “WHAT?! Who was it that helped you to solve that tax problem by Lady Choi? Who was it who thought of that fake knife? Who brought the 3 men to your house, if not you wouldn’t have such a career? In fact who was it who made sure the dowry arrived on time on your wedding day? If it wasn’t for me, you wouldn’t have married her! You’re not screaming at me for her?! You ungrateful bastard!!” as ZGL who knew there isn’t much to say anymore angrily (angriest I have ever seen him) said “YOU… YOU IDIOTIC IGNORANT FOOL!! YOU STIll DON’T GET WHAT YOU DID WRONG! FINE! FINE!” and he leaves as Shun cries “GO! GO AWAY!!! YOU NEVER APPRECIATED ME ANYWAY! YOU NEVER CHOSE ME TO BE YOUR ASSISTANT!! YOU NEVER WANTED ME ANYWAY!! GO!!!”
Yes, ZGL was nearly screaming and Shun was screaming. And a very well acted scene, like lovers’ quarrel. I am on team ZGL on this. Shun was like some jealous lover. At one point he seems to be accusing ZGL of favouring his wife over him! He feels he has helped him so much and all and doesn’t seem to understand ZGL loves Yuet Ying. Now I am sure he sees ZGL as enemy and Yuet Ying as public enemy no. 1. In fact I am sure Lau Bei, CF, GY also see Yuet Ying as enemy. I find Shun is crazy and ZGL is right to say he is an idiotic fool except the words coming out of ZGL’s mouth is more.. how shall I say.. more nicer. It wasn’t that bad but in essence that was what he called Shun; stupid ignorant fool.
At night under the moonlight with Kan massaging his shoulder, Shun angrily shoves the pearl to Kan and says “You take it! I don’t want it anymore!” and Kan says “But this is by Adviser Zhuge, you have always kept it..” as Shun says “I want that thing no more!! I HATE ZHUGE LIANG!! In fact when I return to HK, I shall not play as ZGL anymore. No no. I shall play as Chiu Chi Lung, handsome and heroic!!” and Kan innocently asks “Why not the generals Cheung Fei and Guan Yu?” and Shun says “One is hot headed, the other nothing much, nahhhh.. Chiu Chi Lung is my choice from now one. And ZGL!! I HATE YOU!!’
Sigh. Hissy fit again.
ZGL on his way back to his wife when he sees the 2 wives of Lau Bei and he hides and then when they’re gone he goes inside and his wife smiles “I see you have seen them, you must have hidden from them” as ZGL smiles and Yuet Ying says “They have been very nice. They were here not for me but for you, to persuade me to persuade you. Master Lau Bei even asks his doctor to see me, they’re making a lot of effort to persuade you to stay” and they sit down and ZGL says “I have decided to leave for Wulong village. I see the air there is good for your health” as wife says “If I want to stay?” and ZGL says “My wife..” as Yuet Ying continues “I want to stay here. Husband, I do not want your talent wasted. I am fine here. With the doctor’s medicine, I am actually feeling better. Husband, let us stay..”
and so ZGL agrees.
Yeah! If not no more story to tell!
I wish this series started with Shun going straight to Cao Cao. I love to see them going head to head.
Anyway ZGL is going to Mount Xiaoyao with Lau Bei and gang except Hon, Shun and the assistants of Hon. As ZGL leaves for Mount Xiaoyao, Shun sees him and ignores him and then they see Yuet Ying running to ZGL as she calls “Husband!” and jerk Shun says “Isn’t she supposed to be sick? She seems to be flying there?” as Hon’s other assistant also says “I thought she is dying or something? Looks healthy to me” and Shun goes “Hmphhhhh”.
The rest of the story doesn’t need too much recapping in details. Basically Shun gets a message from Sis that she looks forward to seeing him again as the next rip in time space continuum whatever is in 2 days. Wow, so fast 8 months already? So Shun decides not to do anything but enjoy. First up he wants sex. Yes, that is what he means. He goes to a street full of pretty girls. He meets a lovely singer at a local restaurant and wooed her with modern songs and also English songs such as Smoke Gets In Your Eyes and Always On My Mind. It as funny as it was silly but to me irrelevant in the end. Anyway he made a date to see her for the Lantern Festival but at night he got her letter than she has to leave because some relative is sick and so can only meet him on the 16th but by then on the 15th he would have left already. Crushed that he can enjoy good old olden day sex, or rather he really wants to date a pretty girl, Kan says “Why not Hao Lin? You did say she is pretty” and Shun immediately goes “DO NOT MENTION THAT NAME! I DON’T WANT TO HEAR ANYONE RELATED TO THAT ZGL AND HIS WIFE!!” and Kan says “Ok ok, what about.. Song Yau?” and Shun goes “No feeeeeeeeeeel!!!” and Kan says “Ok then, me then!” and I am sure he meant as company but Shun wants sex as Shun says “Better than nothing” as he sees Song Yau and rushes to her, asks her to meet him at the Lantern Festival and goes away leaving Song Yau rather surprised.
Lantern Festival, they have some good time with Shun putting floating candle lantern with wishes on the river. He asks for “I WANT TO BE RICH” when actually the lanterns are meant for love wishes and since he uses modern lingo (“ngo yiu fatt tat”) which no one understands he says “Oh I mean I want to go further in my relationship with.. her” pointing to Songyau and then he sings to her, Always On My Mind.
At home, Song Yau looks at the moon as she hums the same song.
Shit! Shun, what are you doing?!
Shun in the morning still sleeping and Kan asks him what he did and he groggily says lighting lanterns with Song Yau and Kan is shocked as he says “But.. I thought you liked that singer lady? So why you lit lanterns with Song Yau?” and Shun says “So what?!” as Kan says “You only light lanterns with the woman you are interested in” and Shun dismisses that as Kan says “What are you going to tell Song Yau?” and Shun says “Oh I will leave soon! Who cares?!” and he goes back to sleep.
Song Yau asks Kan where is Shun as she hasn’t seen him for 2 days and Kan lies he hasn’t seen him.
At the courtyard under the tree under the bright moon, Kan sees Shun and Shun gives him a HK$1 (coin) and Kan likes it as Shun explains it is money in HK and Shun says “You keep it. I will be leaving soon” as Kan says “What? Jizhou is still messy!” as Shun says “Nahhh HK is further away and it is peaceful. I miss HK” as Kan says “you miss here too don’t you?” as Shun says “Who says?” and Kan says “You have tears in your eyes …Maybe you can visit me sometimes” as Shun says “I am afraid it is too far” as Kan says “I can visit you!” and Shun says “No no, it is too far”. Kan teary eyed says “So I won’t see you anymore?” and Kan hugs Shun deeply and cries. And Shun cries a little too until he sees Song Yau walking past aimlessly and he hides. Song Yau sees Kan who waves woodenly and she leaves and he says “She is gone. Maybe you should just tell her how you feel…” and Shun says “I am leaving soon. Let it be”.
Coward. I hope Kan marries Song Yau. Shun is a jerk.
Song Yau alone at night and wondering “Why won’t he see me?”
Shun, jerk! Shun, idiot! Shun, coward! Shun, ke po chi! Shun, meddlesome busy body!
I don’t like Shun anymore. He is so irresponsible. ZGL was right to scold him. But I find most disgusting is all the men’s treatment of Yuet Ying. Just because she is ugly, they think of her as troublesome. Just because she is sick, they think of her as burdensome. She is smart and helps them as well but they do not consider her contribution. I just find all the men to be jerks.
Performance wise, Kenneth Ma a bit too OTT tonight. The singing, the poses, yes they’re funny but after a while I cringed. I do like his argument with ZGL which is rather logical the way he acted and countered.
Raymond Lam is holding back. Maybe because he thinks olden day people acts that way. But he is holding back like it was the most difficult thing to do. The way he speaks his line is too hush hush, he needs to be louder. But his argument scene with Kenneth is great to watch; at last some fire. But other scenes, his expressions seem rather muted. As for his romantic scene with Kaki Leung, a kiss ending the confession of love would have been sweet. But frankly I don’t feel the chemistry between him and Kaki Leung.
Tavia, I don’t understand why I keep reading her speech is wrong. She always speak in hush hush tones when in olden day series especially as a lady like maid. I thought her speeh was ok. But I just find her thick make up very distracting, apart from her age. Also the fact she is a miscast. I find her so underused as in so misused. Song Yau as a character is like a walk on role. Nothing significant.
Kaki Leung is ok except I don’t find her memorable. I just can’t remember much of her. I can only imagine the role in a better actress’ hands, how it will be. No doubt it would have been romantic, sensational, tragic. In Kaki Leung’s hands, it seems pretty standard, nothing I find as a breakthrough. Rather ordinary, rather mundane. Not to say she can’t act but frankly I feel she is not memorable.
Everybody else, no comments.
I am just wondering when can we see some battle action? Where is Sun Quan? Is this series gonna continue with this meandering silliness of Shun? I think I am beginning to feel a bit tired of his silliness. It is like back to square one.
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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Episodic Thoughts: “Three Kingdoms RPG” (Episode 9)