Initial Impressions of “Legal Mavericks 2020”

After much anticipation, TVB’s legal drama Legal Mavericks 2020 <踩過界II> finally premiered on November 16. Receiving widespread praise for the suspenseful storytelling in its first episode, all the elements are in the right place to make viewers want to see more of the thrilling drama.

Hope Man Commits Suicide?

Taking a different route than normal legal dramas, the opening scene does not show main character Hope Man (Vincent Wong 王浩信) battling a court case. Instead, it eclipses a suspenseful scene which shows him ready to commit suicide by plunging a knife into his heart after listening to a voice recording of ex-girlfriend Tracy Chu (朱千雪). Just as Hope Man is about to stab himself, the scene flips back to  one year before Hope Man’s suicide attempt. The clever opening garners enough suspense to leave viewers hanging and eager to see what will happen when this scene comes up again in two weeks.

New Characters Add to Intriguing Plot

Although expectations are high for the sequel because of the success of the first installment which aired three years ago, Legal Mavericks 2020 did not waste a single second in the 40-minute premiere. Sisley Choi (蔡思貝) and Owen Cheung (張振朗) resume their roles as Hope Man’s closest friends, while new characters played by Kelly Cheung (張曦雯), Paul Chun (秦沛), and Jessica Kan (簡淑兒) make their entrances. 

Kan Siu Wang (Paul Chun) and Eva Shaw (Kelly Cheung) are on opposing sides with blind barrister Hope Man and their rivalry will be a major focus in the drama. During Kan Siu Wang and Hope Man’s speeches, their rivalry and hatred seems to be deeply rooted from the past. The first meeting between Hope Man and Eva in the rain was fleeting–while it did not result in much interaction between the two characters, their rivalry will eventually turn into an unexpected love.

The first episode also managed to incorporate 1.5 legal cases, which featured “The Case of the Wife Murderer” and introduces the second case where Amber Tang (鄧卓殷) jumps off a building and lands on Sisley’s car. With exciting cases and scenes to come, viewers are gearing up for the ensuing episodes to air this week.

With the TVB Anniversary Awards just around the corner, Legal Mavericks 2020 is expected to be a hot contender for major awards.

Highlights from “Legal Mavericks 2020” Episode One:

Source: HK01

This article is written by Su for

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  1. the opening of Legal Mavericks with Hope man attempting suicide is a clever start…heroes don’t die, so it attracts viewers to continue. Paul’s character in this drama is called ‘James’. LM2 is a hot contender for major awards this year with LW3. Vincent’s character as Hope man garners enough interest to watch the entire drama.

    1. @janet72
      the west, i can’t think of any but in hk film, the tactic is almost overused. didn’t they use the same idea with the other mafia drama w/ vincent and owen? it started with them inside the resturant. back in the 80s, they did it alot. one i can think of is the one featuring man zi leung and dodo (i think). didn’t the drama start w/ dodo in her death bed or hospital bed something like that and went backwards. also many dramas featuring derrick wen did the same thing

  2. Good grief, the so-called “clever opening” has been used over and over in American and other western dramas. The most easy that comes to mind legal drama How To Get Away With Murder. And TVB is so predictable, character is blind, thus he must wear sunglasses. There is nothing original or creative about this drama.

  3. Pretty sure I can already rule out of BA for this series since the chances of Vincent winning again on the same role is next to zero. Its cast is no where near as big as LW3 or Death by Zero, so it won’t win Best Drama. Seeing how Sisley already got Fav Character with Dino, rule out again. Owen has a chance with Gogo. Not sure what else it will be in serious contention for, since Vincent and Owen will probably get nominated for Al Capp for best partnership. I mean, Kelly will get a nom for BA but lol.

    1. @bubbles23 Completely agree, its super rare for someone to win BA again with the same role and series. As for Best Drama I also don’t see it happening, I don’t think this will be better than than the first one.
      I have seen a lot of comments online saying Sisley should win BA, not sure for her performance in LM2 or LW3.

    1. @tocar
      Yes he did. There were special glasses which went with it. However, after Yannice died (in the last episode) and a number of other things which happened, he ditched those glasses. There was also all that about how he lost his ability to “see with his heart” after he regained his vision. There was a re-run of LM1 before LM2 was aired here. Else I would have forgotten too….

  4. Hope this doesn’t repeat, but try #2.

    I have only been able to see 4 episodes thus far, so my thoughts may be unfair at this point. The “unique” opening came off as melodramatic/eye-rolly because we know he’s not going to commit suicide and we don’t know Eva’s character yet so it is hard to feel any emotions about the situation. I liked LM1’s opening better with the 4 main characters’ voice overs. I do like the same theme song, instrumentals, and lighting used in each episode. They bring great familiarity and warmth to each episode. The bond between the returning 3 is excellent and they haven’t missed a step. If Eva is supposed to be like Never, they failed. Never had a strong sense of justice, Eva is manipulative, competitive, and more self serving. If “crossing the boundaries” is supposed be theirs and Hope Man’s similar points, it missed the mark of “why” they cross.

    Kelly isn’t doing a bad job with her though. She is beautiful and I can see why Gogo is attracted to her, but calling her his goddess seems too premature based on her personality.

    The dancing in the rain scene with Vincent was also a different vibe than with Ali. Hope Man trusted her, the scene started off with him emotionally suffering, her concerned and unsure how to help, and ending in a joyous release. It wasn’t about physical attraction only. He liked her convictions, her sense of adventure, and they had fun together. Kelly’s scene was a seduction by a stranger with ulterior motives. And they didn’t even look wet from the rain. Besides being unoriginal, I am annoyed at how this is supposed to make him attracted to her because it was superficial.

    I don’t understand, even if drunk, why Deanie would talk to Eva and spill all her secrets. Never learned about Hope Man by talking to him and hanging out with him, not by deceiving his friends. The subsequent dance scene didn’t help because it wasn’t organic and felt like another manipulation.

    The cases so far are interesting. Griselda is great in these roles. She really should get recognition. She is a great actress and should be utilized in other roles.

  5. I just finished it finally… spoilers ahead –

    The first few episodes are a bit slow and them trying to get Eva to replace never was a stupid choice, it was forced and a waste of time. The minute Eva stopped obsessing over Hope Man, she instantly was much better. Kelly did a great job though and she’s obviously so pretty, the writers just screwed her over in the beginning.

    I still stand by my thoughts that Dino was unbearable this time up until the last two episodes but I have to say that because of that, I finally got to see Vincent in his true best actor form. I definitely think his story was very very overshadowed this time. I didn’t feel like there was much of a storyline. Dino getting attacked and put into a coma was shocking for me but she’s obviously going to wake up. I like that she became a lawyer and that was needed. I wish she kept some of her quirky qualities.

    Jessica and Paul’s characters I loved. Throughout the series I was conflicted about Paul but I think that’s why I liked him so much. When Vincent called him shifu at the end, that was emotional for me lol. I did enjoy the cases a lot more as the series went on, they were definitely more interesting but again, hope Man’s approach to each case was so relaxed and mostly relied on people around him to do the work, i didn’t like that. Honestly felt like Vincent was very under used in this series.

    The ending was very abrupt, maybe because of COVID impacting their filming? Seems like there is hope for LM3 but not sure how that will work now that Vincent is with Shaw. He could just do what Selena did with Barrack 2.

    I’m going to watch this again and skip all the Eva parts in the beginning lol. Definitely better than LW3 for me.

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