Relic of an Emissary (TVB 2011)

Relic of an Emissary  <洪武三十二>

Number of Episodes: 30


Joe Ma as Prince Yin (King’s Brother)

Michael Tse as Ngo Siu Fung

Sammul Chan as Sam Bo (aka Zheng He; Prince Yin’s bodyguard and advisor)

Kate Tsui as Lady Chin Sam and Chor Chor(Brothel owner)

Elanne Kong as Princess Wing Yeung

Joel Chan as Emperor Kin Man (aka Chu Wan Man)

Synopsis (May contain spoilers. Read at your own risk!!):

The story began with the introduction of an imperial guard named Ngo Siu Fung (Michael Tse).  He was an ambitious, cocky, and focused individual until one day he was out on a mission in a ship, which exploded and left him suffering from amnesia.  Trying to repent his past wrong doings, he went through a personality change and wanted to find out who he really was.  This discovery led to a huge dynamic in the game playing process in the kingdom, his entire existence and most importantly, who should he be loyal to?


Drama in a Whirlwind: If I have to describe this drama in a whirlwind, you take a shot of MacBeth’s storyline, a Casa Nova character, ideas of usurping the throne, attempt at a big testosterone production and women trying to get their way being seductive or annoying with a high squeaky voice.

The sound track of the movie is a little weird when I keep hearing the X-File motif whenever the characters are trying to figure out something.  It’s weird because it questioned me to ask such a science fiction based sound is used in a Chinese epic drama. Really?

The costume and make up is not bad.  I loved Kate Tsui’s costumes and make up transformation as she plays two different characters.  A sexy one verses an innocent character. I really believe great acting is not complete without its aesthetics.  Girls know this. Girls feel different when they slap on some 5 inch stilettos.  I love the dark red/blue color theme on her and the hair style.

The plot/ story line is……really boring, pretentious, and awkward to me. I have to be honest here, I only watched like 80% of this.  I tried; I would put this on play and go cook dinner.  But since no one wrote a review on it, I thought I’d take this opportunity to just write about how I feel.

TVB trying to be sexy…failed.  I’ve been watching TVB dramas for 20 years.  I know they’ve been trying to go the sexy route and I just find it soooo awkward.  It’s not sexy at all.  It’s not believable.  Now there’s only a few that can maybe pull it off and that is Joe Ma in this drama.  Michael Tse, on the other hand is not whom I would cast for this character.  The role is depicted as a Chinese Casa Nova. All the girls fall in love with him and he tries to be slick. The only girl who I thought he’d end up with which is Chin Sam Leung’s twin, Chor Chor, whom never even had a chance.  I don’t know why, but this bothered me.  They didn’t even have more than 5 minutes with each other in this 30 episode drama.  But anyway, I always find it a turn off when TVB tries to make a sexy scene in their drama.  It just doesn’t match.

Also, I do NOT appreciate watching Prince Yin (Joe Ma) enjoy getting whipped while I sit next to my parents.

Funniest Scene. I thought it was too much when Princess Wing Yeung escaped from the palace and Ngo Siu Fung went to protect her and both of them got stuck in a cave over night.  Ngo Siu Fung suffered from a wound and needed stitches.  Conveniently, Princess Wing Yeung has a needle and thread.  A princess would carry that? A spoiled and naïve one at that?  Then the next day after fighting off some palace guards they’re in the middle of nowhere trying to get back to the kingdom and Siu Fung who is already wounded, rolled down the hill.  I don’t know about you, but I was laughing so hard at this entire sequence of events.  And in a matter of minutes, the stupid Princess who never did any hard labor or had any practical thinking, built a really nice, functional and sturdy stretcher out of twigs in a matter of minutes! Ok, fine it was an hour or two in the story. But still! And then they fall in love with each other overnight it seems.

Not the best acting in a drama as a cast.  Other than Ngo Siu Fung and Prince Yin, Chin Sam, the other 9012783 characters don’t really stand out.  Their acting didn’t really get to shine but I just think the acting is mediocre overall in this drama.  Nothing stands out to me.  But I did enjoy the over production.



Yina: It was a crazy week for me, so I didn’t plan on writing a review until no one else did.  It’s been a week since the ending; would people still care to comment on the drama?

Note: This “Relic of an Emissary” review was written by Yina for Please visit Yina’s blog at


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  1. I have watched only the early episodes of “Relic of an Emissary,” but the premise seems very promising. I like the political struggle and strategies employed by the characters to outsmart each other.

    The content is rather intense and amnesia, although an overused plot device in TVB dramas, adds conflict and “Momento-like” mystery to the series. The amnesia works because it occurred so early in the series; frankly, we don’t even know too much about Michael’s background and where his loyalties lie.

    I don’t mind the testoserone driven cast since it is more battle of the wits with valid historical backdrop rather than another ancient comedy. I appreciate the care employed in crafting character details in “Relic of an Emissary” and the more formal language used by the characters.

    I’ll rather more TVB series exhibited this ferocity, rather than subdued family comedies with too much slapstick and lack of content, shows you watch and forget a month from now. “Relic of an Emissary” does stand out from the crowd of dramas produced in the last few years due to its distinct content and passionate characters.

    I think Michael Tse is fine as a Casa Nova character; he does possess a flirtatious spark in his eyes. My problem is with his kindness displayed after his amnesia. I prefer his more ruthless character from the first episode. He plays characters with a cruel streak better rather than kind-hearted characters.

    1. Thanks for your comments Jayne! I feel better about this series after reading them. The amnesia plot is used a lot in Taiwanese series and Korean series that I am getting sick of it… I feels kind of strange that they are originally so mean and ruthless but then become all kind after losing their memory. I guess it is because they no longer know anything about themselves or the world anymore…

    2. Surprised you said this stands out from the rest. I’m sure I’ll forget this drama quick.

      The ending to this drama? zzzzzzzzzz

      1. Was the ending that bad?? Sometimes a drama can be really good, but then a bad ending can mess it all up… I am hearing good and bad about this series. I guess I will have to see it for myself. I think I may like it…

      2. @HTS, The ending was a happy one for the most part which I find a bit ironic and strange since the series did have its dark moments. It wasn’t a memorable one, but since you haven’t watched the series yet, I don’t want to spoil it for you.

      3. @Chriselle,
        Thanks for the info! As long as it a complete ending that makes sense then it should be ok. My mom hates ending that are not complete and open ended ones. Gosh, she hates those… I think it is ok for a series with dark moments to have a happy ending as long as it makes sense.

      4. @HTS, Lol, I’m quite the opposite. Open endings are more memorable for me, but it’s still most important for the ending to be appropriate.

        Spoilers Alert:

        Personally, I didn’t quite like how Chor Chor ended up with Chu Dai. I can see how Chu Dai is attracted to Chin Sam’s intelligence, but Chor Chor is like a weaker replica of his wife. Also, like others complained, there was never any closure to the romance between Ngo Siu Fung and Chor Chor. If Ngo Siu Fung was Chor Chor’s first love and she was whining to her sister about how she didn’t let them be together, I would think that after her sister’s death, she would go back to Ngo Siu Fung. The idea of Chor Chor coming to Chu Dai’s place to obtain revenge for her sister was quite bizarre. She didn’t seem to have a mind for herself and blindly followed the directions of everyone.

      5. @Chriselle,
        Thanks for the spoilers and I must say that the ending seems like it is not complete then… I don’t mind open endings, but it is just my mom that hates them… She just wants to have a complete ending with everything closed and resolved. She hates those endings where things are left hanging, unless there is going to be a sequel…

  2. Agree with you Jayne. I really love this drama. I even watched it on the go on my Iphone. Actually I re watch it again. I normally don’t like watching Samuel Chan much in his series but he is really good in this drama.

  3. Can I talk about the poster?

    I just notice how crowded it is. It is like Michael says I’ve got 3 men and 2 women on my side and Joe says I’ve got 2 men and 3 women! Michael says “I’ve got a sword!!” and Joe says “I’ve got a BIGGER sword!” and Michael says “I look damn serious” and Joe says “I look even more damn serious!”

    and notice how a little more front is Michael as opposed to Joe who is a little bit more back? I think this poster is just silly. One will be king, the other is who? At least give the one would be king a more dignified pose.

    As for the series I am always very interested with such stories. I won’t argue about the intimate scenes except to say this is for TV and so TVB can’t go overboard. But I like the suggestive scenes. I mean the emperor in real life was that sort of shady character.

    I still can’t reconcile the real Emperor and the one I see through Zheng He’s eyes. I mean how can such a brutal Emperor ever be responsible for the greatest diplomatic voyages mankind has ever seen? Don’t give me the BS that he disguised it as such when in reality he wanted Zheng He to sail the world to find that dethroned emperor. In most probably he may have had that emperor quietly killed for all I know. But same theory as in In The Eye Of The Beholder which spoke very well of Zheng He.

    I just wish TVB did a series proper on Zheng He. That would be an interesting story.

    1. By the way is it me or is these days TVB is more into SHOCK series or slapstick rather than storytelling? You know what I mean?

  4. I just started this series and I think that most of the male leads are doing a decent job…I’m only on episode 3 though. I find that the women, well one woman–Elanne, is a bit cartoonish and unreasonable. Micheal’s character saved her…and then she smacked him? As a princess, I’m sure one would have a high opinion of your beauty and attractiveness…but damn girl! You just smacked your about ungrateful little twit. I’m thinking her character is not going to improve much as the series goes on according to this review. I think Charmaine Li looks quite elegant as the maid…more so than Elanne whose eyes look so huge and cartoonish sometimes. In addition, I find Joel Chan’s prince a little fake..I think he’s supposed to be fairly young, which would explain his demeanor, but it’s just not believable for me. Kaki Leung is playing another kind hearted smiley character.

    I’ll will try to work my way through the rest of this series, but my opinion so far is it’s a little bit corny…well in the fighting scenes at least. Perhaps the series will grow on me. I also think the the original premise was quite attractive and I will watch a couple of more episodes to see if the characters become more likable.

    1. Elanne wore those circle lenses while filmign thats why it looks cartoonish, which is stupid because no one has circle lenses back then -_-

      The ending was horrible in my opinion. The only good part is Charmaine Li’s and Sammul Chan’s ending everyones elses was too random.

      1. If the point of circle lenses are to enhance the size of her eyes, there is no need for her to do that. Her eyes are big enough without them already. They do look cartoonish, lol.

      2. The point is to enhance the iris, more expressive and alert. Amazing what these lenses could do. Am tempted to get one myself!

      3. I’m going to go back and freeze frame her scenes haha because I don’t ever see ppl wear the contacts in person, so I don’t know how to readily identify the more natural looking ones…but damn her eyes were HUGE…it’s like Ady An’s eyes in Terracotta Warrior with Du Chun.

        These are the type of eyes where romance novels talk about “getting lost in”, right? Well…erm, sounds better on paper than looks, I guess.

    2. Iampheng,
      Joel Chan does come across as unconvincing in this role; it probably has to do with his bombastic personality in real life. However, Joel looks quite handsome here and his appearance does resemble a noble emperor.

      I think Sammul Chan would have played the emperor with more ease. Sammul looks like someone of noble birth as well. Had Ron Ng been able to partake in this series (since the producer wanted the EU cast), he would likely have been cast as the naive emperor.

      Sammul was strangely more masculine as an eunuch in “Relic of an Emissary” rather than in “The Four.” Perhaps it has to do with his age and the way he carries himself now. I saw him as a pretty boy in the past, but he has an attractive masculine appearance onscreen now.

      Sammul is a solid actor and fans may have complained that he did not get favorable roles in the past, always playing sidekick to Ron or Bosco. However, the fact that Sammul was not overworked to death allowed him to slow down and analyze his performances further. I will miss Sammul’s presence in TVB series.

      1. I still have a feeling that Sammul will come back to TVB one day… I mean even someone like Amy Chan who was blacklisted was able to come back so why wouldn’t Sammul be able to?? As time passes by, I think TVB and Sammul will forget all of the things that happened betweem them.

      2. @Chriselle,
        I don’t remember… We talked about this here before. I think it was something like she filmed for ATV while filming for TVB?? Something like that… Maybe Kidd or others can provide more info for you because sorry that I don’t remember. But the point is, even someone that was blacklisted even came back so why wouldn’t Sammul be able to??

  5. Kaki Leung? OMG, that’s funny.. Kaki means legs in Malay and it’s just plain funny and silly these names TVB artists came up with..

    @Funn Lim

    Slapstick yes, very very silly and annoying slapstick but I don’t understand what you mean by shock.

    1. I also thought the name is silly. I mean actors should have memorable names but imagine… “And the winner is.. KAKI LEUNG”

      Same as “BABY LEE” or something like that.

      Shock means… that the particular series derive its entire premise on being shocking; like shocking deaths, shocking betrayal, shocking kissing, shocking killing, etc that nothing is subtle, and stories are not longer just about good storytelling.

      Like telling the story of walking from point A to point B. Usual stories would probably add how difficult the walk was, how far it was, how he was stopped by perhaps cars, and taxis and what nots, traffics.

      TVB style these days is like not just potholes, but major accidents, flying motorcycles, thieves on wheels, pregnant woman giving birth in the middle of the street.. so many shocking major moments that in the end what drives the plots are revelations after revelations and no longer the subtlety of a good story well told.

      For example; 12 Angry Men. 12 jury locked in a room to decide on the fate of a coloured man. The movie was 2 hours and they never left the room. Just that and we know the background of each juror, the crime, etc.

      TVB style will be each of them to leave the room, we follow them on their journey and family heartbreak, etc, we see defendant crying his head off, we hear protests outside, rocks being flung, etc.

      Not a bad way to tell a story but so dramatic, so shocking sort of way that in the end we tend to forget the story is about prejudices and how 1 juror convinced the other 11 to confront their own demons and to decide the defendant’s fate fairly.

      Fantastic movie by the way.

      1. Did you watch the b&w 12 angry men or the recent re-make one? I remember when I watched the b&w like eons ago, I was so riveted by the movie, a b&w movie no less and just about 12 men being locked inside the same room arguing back and forth for most of the movie. Nothing much melodramatic or shocking happened yet, I was totally hooked with the cast’s amazing performances and the pure human emotions spilling over over with ugly warts and everything human.

        But I didn’t enjoy the re-make much, guess because I knew the basic story already.

      2. The remake, a little and frankly it didn’t work as well. There was a black actor in it? Why it was so relevant and good for the old one is because of deep rotted racism and there isn’t a black man in the jury. Henry Fonda was such an amazing actor, yes he looked like he got a cactus up his butt all the time but amazing nonetheless.

        Remakes never really do as well do they?

        I was talking about the original, B&W version

      3. @ Funn

        It’s an unwritten law in Hollywood nowadays. All films must have a token minority in it.

      4. Nowadays, yes but sometimes you can’t force a minority into a storyline. Like every movie must have a gay best friend.

    2. OMG Baby Lee as well?? Seriously what are these people thinking?!? I mean names like Apple, Lemon, Fish and the like a few years ago waere bad enough but now they have just gone over to the ridiculous side..

      Oh, okok so that’s what you mean by shock.. Err I guess so because honestly I haven’t the patience to follow every single series that comes from TVB anymore. I just pick the ones with the people I like or seem nice and watch those. But yes TVB do like their big booms and death defying action scenes these days (in the series I do watch), haih like you said, the subtle art of story telling is gone. It’s sad really. It seems like every series that they do have must involve at least one major accident or fight scene.. ugh.. and I also don’t like their camera effects anymore with the sudden close up and flashing..

      Oh, 12 angry men sound like a nice movie.. I should try and watch that sometime. I really like movies like Schindler’s List, Boy in the striped pajamas, Creation, Agora etc, these movies tell a very powerful and moving story without the need for big special effects or shockingly ridiculous events.

  6. I have high hopes for this drama and hope that it will not disappoint me since I have not seen a good ancient series from TVB for a long time.Where are all of the golden days of TVB?? I guess they are all long gone now. I have to see this for myself..

    1. @HTS, Look elsewhere. It had a good historical background, good set of characters, but a poorly put together plot. It was too predictable and the battle of wits between the Prince of Yin and the Emperor was not intense of enough. Ultimately, we know that the war was over before it began not because we read history, but because the Prince of Yin was much more fierce, ambitious, and ruthless. He employed all the talented men: Sam Bo, Ngo Siu Fung, and the monk. He was even lucky to have the emotionless Lady Chin Sam to sacrifice her life for him. And all we saw of the Emperor was him sitting on the the throne listening to orders that his officials gave him. Sadly, the only time his mellow character showed some intensity and character was when everyone objected to his affair with Luk Yuen Ting (Yoyo Chen).

      1. Perhaps that’s why in history he was really dethroned. But in the series he never put up a good fight?

      2. @Funn, He was pretty much always in defense and didn’t possess the personality, intelligent mind, and capable officials to help him. I thought everything was to too much in favor for the Prince of Yin and he was going to get the throne sooner or later. Of course, he fought in defense, but it wasn’t convincing at all. You think he put up a good fight in the series?

        Also, can I complain that the presentation of the war scenes were too cheesy? It was all crammed at the end and it was mostly narrated about how good the Prince of Yin’s army was. TVB really needs to go deeper not only in their presentation of their battle scenes, but also the backgrounds of their characters.

      3. @Chriselle,
        THanks for the info! I am not shocked if this has a poor plot since many TVB series aren’t so great these days. But I still may watch it once just to see how it is. The strangest thing is a series that is not popular is a series that I usually end up liking…

  7. What’s a Casa Nova character? Flirtatious is the criteria?

      1. well his is not a player, it’s just stupid when all the girls are falling for him without any specific reason.

      2. I find ancient maidens tend to fall for guys easily…or throw themselves at their heroes…so much for being old fashioned.

  8. I also want to say that the costumes in here are really nice and sort of reminds me of the old days. However, they seem to be missing something that the costumes from the old days had…

  9. I would have to disagree with the review; my family has very high standards for tv series and we all know how disappointing, corny, and predictable most tvb productions are and have been in the past. We have put Relic of an Emissary at the top of our list of our favorite tvb series of all time.

    I don’t see how the plot is mundane or boring. The main cast really performed well, especially Sammuel Chan, Michael Tse, Joe Ma. Kate Tsui was very solid and the split personalities was very impressive. Initially I thought Elanne Kong was too modern and immature to portray a princess during the olden times. However, her acting was very solid and was consistent throughout the series. The scene when Elanne is crying and begging the Queen to release her and let her see/marry Michael Tse really shows her improvement. Overall I was very pleased with the acting.

    The mystery plots kept on coming. I was always very excited to see what was coming next. As a Chinese American, I don’t really have much knowledge of Chinese history but the storyline did a great job of teaching me and making me interested in it.

    In the end, my family and I were sad when the series ended at the 30th episode. We are hoping there will be a sequel with the same cast. Tvb did not intend to make this series and “epic” but it was one for me and my family.

    1. Well said Warren. I didn’t really expect to watch this series because it never promote like Sister Fa.

      I then saw the 1st episode and I continuing watching even I was at the restaurant eating. I watched on my phone. My husband keep asking me “You still watching that”. I am watch it again.

      I always like Joe Ma in the series. Overall Joe, Sammul, and Michael are so good in this. The plot is good. Joe’s role is good, it portrays his ruthless and compassion side. I also hope there will be another sequel.

      1. @JN,
        Are you only liking it because it is a TVB series?? Many are complaining about the plot but you said that you like it. Ok, I really need to see it for myself then… Too bad Sammul may not be in TVB series anymore but that doesn’t bother me since I watch series from all countries and not just TVB.

    2. I think it will hard to get Sammul acting for TVB at the moment… Maybe if a sequel is made years later, then maybe he will come back. But as of now, I don’t see that happening..

      1. I love watching TVB series. I am addicted to TVB series but I still can tell if it is a boring series or a good one. I already done watching this series and now I watching it again.

        Like my other post I don’t like Korean, Japanese or Taiwanese, or even Vietnamese series and I am Vietnamese.

        Mainland ancient series I do watch because the portray close to the history of China. But sometimes in the end of the series they change a little bit. Therefore, most of the time read the book first then back up with the series.

        I always like Joe Ma in this role. He was in one of the Mainland series and colaborate with Damien Lau, Sonja and I cannot recall the name of the series. His name in that series was Emperor Ngo Phu Sai (Vietnamese translate) *_*

      2. I can tell that you are diehard TVB fan. My cousin and friend are the same way and refuse to watch anything that is not TVB. I used to watch TVB mostly back in the days, but not anymore…

        If you haven’t even seen Korean, Japanese, Taiwanese or Vietnamese series, then how do you know if they are good or not?? I used to not like Korean series and Taiwanese series but gave them a try and actually really them now(certain ones just like with any country). I urge you to give them a try since you never know, you may end up liking them.

        I am glad that you at least watch ancient Mainland series, but I thought that you said you don’t watch anything except for TVB?? Actually, a lot of the historical series from China change history a lot which makes my mom mad since she has read a lot of the books as well. I am guessing that you have not watched enough of them to realize that yet.

        I don’t know which one you are referring to since there are way too many series to keep track of. I know Vietnamese too so I know who you are talking about… I don’t like to watch series in Vietnamese because the translations are inaccurate and off at times…

      3. “Like my other post I don’t like Korean, Japanese or Taiwanese, or even Vietnamese series and I am Vietnamese.”

        Doesn’t that made it plainly clear she has watched these productions before and doesn’t like them?

        Generally Thais and Vietnamese are huge fans of TVB, just show how far reaching is TVB’s influence. Also Korean series.

        Korean and Taiwanese series are a mixed bunch. When they’re good, they’re very entertaining, but most are just boring or the usual cliched stuff. I suppose if usual TVB vs Usual Korean, I guess fans might choose TVB because they understand Cantonese as opposed to reading subtitles which I had to sometimes with Taiwanese and their lazy way of talking (the new generation that is).

        Story wise, if you like something about love but with dramatic tones, Korean series is your cup of tea. I got so fed up with their melancholy I stopped watching until their stories change and now everything is rather at least a little bit happier.

        If you like fluff, fantasy sort of situation that appeals to the girly you or the guy you, Taiwanese series is your cup of tea. But Taiwanese has 2 branches; modern or costume.

        If you like historical depictions, Mainland series does a good job in those old time series. I place no faith in their modern series. However as I am watching All Men Are Brothers based on Water Margin, and I did enjoy some of the stories, most acting, love the costumes, I can’t help but feel the storytelling or rather the way the story was told sucks. I felt it lack humanity. I think Mainland China series mostly lack heart. Heart not as in dedication or technique but compassion, something TVB can wring out of that cold cold audiences. I find Mainland China series very impersonal, it is like storytelling through a lense. Not that bad if you’re tired of all those highly personalised storytelling but for me, for every 1 mainland china series I watch, I return to TVB about 10 times the amount.

        TVB sucks sometimes, I may complain, I may cry, I may criticise, but at the end of the day I return to TVB because I can understand the language, it is more personalised sometimes, and when TVB is great, they’re great.

        Mainland China series is sweepingly grand for those emperor series, I enjoyed some I have watched, beautiful cinematography, great costume, some fine actors but in the end I still find them to be a bit cold.

      4. Trust me, there are some people that don’t even watch Korean, Taiwanese, Japanese or Vietnamese series without even watching them or giving them a chance. They just say that they do not like them and that’s it… A good example is one of my cousins who refuses to watch anything but TVB. She refuses to even give any other productions a chance and just says straight out that she doesn’t like them. She has never seen any series outside of TVB. In fact, she doesn’t even watch series from ATV. Therefore, just because someone just says that they don’t like series from a certain country doesn’t mean that they have actually seen them… They just don’t like to even give any of them a try…

      5. Oops, meant to say don’t even “like”. I actually enjoy mainland ancient Chinese series and Taiwanese series since my Mandarin is better than my Cantonese.

      6. Generally Thais and Vietnamese are huge fans of TVB, just show how far reaching is TVB’s influence. Also Korean series.

        I dunno about Thais but Vietnamese are not huge fans of TVB. Korean and Chinese series more. TVB has a large amount of audience in Vietnam but I’m sure less than Korean and Chinese series. Lol, the TV channels also prefer to air Korean and Chinese series as they are often given free series of such languages. TVB series on TV, mostly are Chinese dubbed (as it’s cheaper than buying directly from TVB) or through a company which was agent of TVB series (not now but still have copyright for old TVB series).

        I personally hate Korean series. As for Chinese series, one thing I dislike is the rymth of the series. Very slow.

      7. Trust me, there are some people that don’t even watch Korean, Taiwanese, Japanese or Vietnamese series without even watching them or giving them a chance.

        Not only happen to Korean, Taiwanese, Japanese or Vietnamese series. Lots of TVB fans dun give a TVB series a chance without watching an eps (just see the trailer or cast list or summary).

        Lol, I’m one of them.

      8. Thank you Funn for writing a perfect post. @HTS I watch everything and I gave every production a chance. To tell the truth I even watched Malaysian movie. But somehow it never worked.

        I used to watch Taiwanese series a lot. But most of the time when you watch series or movies it is an entertainment but after finish a series I am more depressed and having a headache. Plus I get used to Hong Kong modernize city and technology and busy day to day. Taiwan background is not appeal to me.

      9. @Fox,
        Are you one of the fans that only watch TVB too?? I actually only watched some Korean series since they were aired on one of the channels. Therefore, I gave them a chance and some of them are pretty good. There are a lot of good mainland Chinese series too. I don’t care much for the modern ones but there are some really good ancient ones.

        Ok glad that you do give the other productions a chance. But there will still be some good ones out of a group that you will like or will not like. I gave up on Vietnamese series since I kept on giving them a chance, however, none of them appealed to me. Back then I only watched ancient Taiwanese series and do admit that they were not as good as TVB. However, that was back in the days when TVB still golden. I still watch TVB but not as much as before because once in awhile TVB does have some pretty good series. I just don’t want you to stereotype and think that everything from TVB is good while everything from other countries is bad. It just varies…

      10. @ HTS: To tell you truth, I dun watch many TVB series now, lol. I watch even more Chinese and Taiwanese series than TVB, as they are aired on my TV. For series, I watch Suite life of Zack & Cody (all 4 seasons) the most.

        Lol, Chinese series are still too slow.

      11. @Fox,
        I am similar to you now that I don’t really watch TVB as much. However, at the moment I am since that is what my brother rents. Luckily, he rents and buys a variety of them since he wants to try them all.
        A number of CHina series are slow, but there are a number of them that are really good. You just have to watch enough of them to see that just like with any country’s/production’s series. I watch Taiwanese and sometimes Korean as well. Some Korean series are pretty good, but I still don’t like them as much as Mainland and some TVB ones. THe point is there are good and bad series from every country/production.

      12. Wat make you assume that I watch less China series than you, HTS? I don’t have to do such thing. My right is watch watever I want.

  10. Sorry I meant to say: Tvb did not intend to make this series an epic but it was one for me and my family.

  11. One of Joe’s best acting performance IMO. Michael and Sam’s character really stood out to me. As for the female cast…I agree no one was really strong to lead the females. I actually enjoyed the series myself. I usually hate it when Princes rebel to take over the throne but in this case I was actually supporting Joe in doing so!

  12. I don’t why but since Michael Tse got popular after Laughing Gor madness he look arrogant in every single of his series and all his interviews or offscreen appearance.

    1. He has always looked that way. I would think he is the king of chok.

      1. He’s not that chok before. It’s like success got to his head? He wasn’t like that all the time before the success of Laughing Gor. He’s not chok in LFD.

    2. I don’t feel that way at all. I think he radiates a lot more confidence and to me, that is absolutely attractive. He carries himself so much better compared to his younger days and the saying that *Men Age Better* certainly rings true with Michael. He is actually a very humble person and he adores his wife. His wife teases him a lot in her weibo 🙂

      1. I don’t know about him and his wife but I feel that he shows a chok face onscreen and offscreen even more than Raymond. I noticed he always has an arrogant chok expression since after Laughing Gor phenomenon. It might be his way of showing confidence as you said but what got to me is an arrogant expression and it’s in all his series such as Cupid Stupid, Better Half, TRB and ROE.

      2. Totally agree with you blubelle. And people who say he’s “chok” all the time definitely hasn’t seen him in some of the variety shows. Plus when people say he’s arrogant in Cupid Stupid and TRB, c’mon, he’s *meant* to be so. He was very far from arrogant in Better Half though, which had some of the most relaxed and natural acting from him ever.

      3. @Huh,

        Oh, I love watching Michael in variety shows. He’s funny, spontaneous and very relaxed. If you saw the interview with Elaine and Michael for the Community Chest Charity show, you’d know how humble Michael is. Even Elaine said that she’s very proud of him and that he’s an extremely hardworking and dedicated artist.

      4. @blubelle: Exactly. It’s very frustrating when people insist on judging him without having met him or having seen much of his interviews and variety shows — even just looking at other forum or weibo comments whenever he appears on such shows would reveal that he’s a really fun person on the shows, *very* far from being arrogant or “chok”. His interaction with his colleagues have always been great to see too 🙂

  13. People are expecting more now. Looking back to the older TV series, you see that the people have “less expressions” compared to the ones that we have now.

  14. Spoiler Alert: I don’t know, I was kind of disappointed with how the storyline between Michael and Kate Tsui/Chor Chor played out. I mean they didn’t even bother to give them a proper ending. The whole she left him thinking that the person that he had slept and loved was actually her sister, Chin Sam just did not cut it for me. I mean come on, throughout the whole series, they were pining away for each other. I kept watching just to see what would happen. When would he find Chor Chor and learn the truth? When would he give her the replacement hairpin? How could a love that was supposedly so strong just end as if nothing ever happened? How could she be with Joe Ma and act like the love between her and Michael was in the past? How could she be w/the man that was part of the reason that Chin Sam died? Although, Joe Ma didn’t actually kill her, he did use her. I enjoyed the series, but hated that Michael and Chor Chor did not end up together. I would much rather see her end up w/Michael and the princess than be with Joe Ma. It just did not fit with the story. The series spend almost 3/4 of the series about Michael/Chor Chor’s love. The love scenes, Michael not being able to figure out who this mysterious woman is, the hairpin’s owner, etc. and then it just ends up with a quick excuse on Chor Chor’s part. It didn’t leave me satisfied at all.

    1. im the beginning i thought there were only 1 person that she suffered from some split personality or something similar. Yeah it was indeed a crappy series if it wasn’t for Joe since i know how good he is in this kind of character i would skipped it a long time ago.

  15. There are a few points here that I have to disagree with the reviewer:

    “Boring storyline”. Really? I thought this series was much more interesting than many previous one, namingly, Beyond the Realm of Conscience? While Beyond was easy to predict and all the characters are either too good or too bad, the storyline here is dynamic and keeps us guessing. The characters are fully developed too. Since I don’t know much about Chinese history, I won’t comment on the storyline. I watch this like it’s fiction and like the way the story is presented.

    “The scene about princess Wing Yeung having needle and thread with her”
    I think you probably skipped some scenes before that’s why you didn’t see that the needles and thread were given to Wing Yeung by Chor Chor when WY’s dress was torn. It was a lucky coincidence, not a meaningless scene. And I also don’t find anything wrong with a princess making a stretcher and pulling someone who just saved her. If a person who just saved me is about to die, I’ll probably do my best to save him too. I think the romance will be lost if such technicality is observed too seriously.

    While I agree that Elanne’s acting in here was mediocre, she did improved toward the end. Although I don’t like her story line with Michael, I did think that the love story was developed enough and not just “over night”

    Some of the people that I absolutely hate in this series are:
    Sire Ma – worst acting ever, I don’t even know why she was included in the cast. Maybe like the reviewer has said, it was just to make Michael looks like a man loved by many women.
    Kaki – ugh, Yin Wong’s wife Skye Chan was so much better than her. Kaki just cannot show the elegance and grace of an empress. Her crying scene is the worst.
    Chor Chor – I can’t really say Kate, because I love love love her role as Chin Sam, but I hate it when she became Chor Chor. I mean, why is it that whenever Kate plays a “nice” role her mouth always pouts when talking? While Chin Sam is sexy and elegant, Chor Chor was annoying, from beginning to end.

    Besides those people, I think the rest are either Ok acting or not important enough to affect the series. The main characters (except Elanne) were wonderful. I love Joe Ma and Samuel Chan the most in here. Michael’s character was okay. Ever since he played “Laughing Gor” the role seems to have stuck in his face. When he’s trying to do a serious face, it’s so awkard and funny. I hope he stops trying to look cool from now on. Otherwise, when he has amnesia, he relaxes and becomes much better.

    1. “The scene about princess Wing Yeung having needle and thread with her”
      I think you probably skipped some scenes before that’s why you didn’t see that the needles and thread were given to Wing Yeung by Chor Chor when WY’s dress was torn.”

      –The reviewer did mention watching only 80% of the drama.-

      1. I am surprised that she still wrote a review if she only watched 80% of the drama. I don’t think it is fair to judge a series if you have not seen the whole thing.

      2. @hetieshou

        Is it fair to say, I tried watching it but it didn’t capture my attention and I wandered off doing other things? I had to rewatch some eps because this was totally killing me with boredom. So if I say it was the responsibility of the drama to keep me entertained, then I’m being fair…right?

    2. ““Boring storyline”. Really? I thought this series was much more interesting than many previous one, namingly, Beyond the Realm of Conscience? While Beyond was easy to predict and all the characters are either too good or too bad, the storyline here is dynamic and keeps us guessing. The characters are fully developed too. Since I don’t know much about Chinese history, I won’t comment on the storyline. I watch this like it’s fiction and like the way the story is presented.”

      The story was somewhat boring, but much better than BTROC. BTROC was too predictable and the scheming in these two series are somewhat different. Personally, I like the males battling for the throne more than the females fighting for the Emperor’s favor. I like learning the strategies each side employ to counter the other; however, we don’t really see this fully in here because the Emperor was mediocre at best. I guess the fight wasn’t intense enough for me. When it comes to TVB’s ancient series in the battling of wits, my favorite is still The Grand Canal.

      Agree, didn’t like Sire’s acting, Kaki wasn’t pretty enough to play the Empress, and it’s amusing how Kate was so comfortable as Chin Sam, but cringeworthy as Chor Chor. I always thought Chin Sam resembled Kate’s personality in real life. However, we can see that there are limits to Kate’s acting.

      If TVB isn’t following history in most of their historical dramas anyway, I don’t understand why they had to cast Kaki as the Empress. A pretty face would be much more comfortable to watch. Her emotional scenes were the worst.

      And I agree with those who commented that Michael Tse seems quite arrogant after her fame in Laughing Gor. His knitted eyebrows and stern look in TRB was quite depressing to watch and he had the same look for almost the entire series.

      1. Maybe it is just the way that Micheal Tse naturally looks?? Some people may look mean and arrogant doesn’t mean that they truly are…

      2. @HTS, Michael was really funny back in Virtues of Harmony and he performed really well in La Femme Desperado. From what I’m feeling, because the audience loved the character, Laughing Gor, so much, he tries to play the same character in his other roles. He gives the same expression in most of his roles after that. It’s still a mystery to me why everyone loved the character so much. His acting was good in there, but I’m not sure if it was deserving of all the fame he received.

      3. @Chriselle,
        IS the character Laughing Gor from the series La Femme Desperado? I did not see that series so I don’t know. How is that character?? I did see VOH and he was really funny. Well, there are many characters played by some actors/actresses that I don’t think deserve all of the fame that it does, but yet they still get it. It just comes as luck and timing as well I guess.

      4. @HTS, No. Laughing Gor is from E.U. Lol, I’m surprised that you don’t know that since it was all over HK entertainment news and he won an award and filmed a movie for that role if you follow HK news.

        My point was that he performed better before his Laughing Gor fame.

      5. @Chriselle,
        Thanks for the info! Is EU a modern or ancient series?? If it is a modern series, then I am not shocked because I only started watching modern series lately. Back then I only watched the classic modern series only and watched mainly only ancient series.I also have not watched TVB as much as before too. I also get lazy to read new articles as well…

      6. @Chriselle,

        Michael used to be given a more diverse role to play.. *Jeen Man* in LFD is memorable and Joe in TFL is controversial but very engaging. Since debuting as Laughing Gor and gaining fame through this role, he has fallen into a trap of accepting roles that mirrors Laughing too much. Hiu in TRB is a complex character with a dark mood and as much as I like Michael, I couldn’t finish watching the series. And again as Ngo Siu Fung, his characteristics are motivations also channels Laughing. I do hope that he would not be forever typecasted into this kind of roles.

      7. Chriselle, perhaps the “Laughing” acting style from partly the characters Michael gets whom all has “Laughing”‘s streak of arrogance and partly from Michael himself who might still trapped in “Laughing”.

        My suggestion as said below is to bring him back to comedy and letting him play a humbler character without the “arrogance”.

      8. I think Michael trapped himself in the role as much as the casting trapped him. I wish he would stop calling himself Laughing Gor.

      9. People, be fair, and be clear when you mean the character and not the actor. Michael’s character in TRB was meant to be like that — it was specifically written by the scriptwriters that he only relaxes when he’s being tender towards his girlfriend. And I really *don’t* get how people are seeing Laughing in this role — hello, Laughing was sooooo far from being stern and frowning all the time!

      10. I don’t think it’s being fair to suggest Michael isn’t deserving of all the fame he received — it wasn’t as if the audience response back then was engineered (not like some other highly-promoted series and roles), it was spontaneous and unprecedented, and I find it rather mean to look back at it only now, two years later, questioning the phenomenon and placing doubts in other people’s minds. Plus, it’s not as if Michael hasn’t had a number of acclaimed roles before — it was certainly time for him to get some well-deserved recognition with Laughing finally.

      11. Did anyone here said he doesn’t deserve popularity after Laughing Gor because I don’t see any. People just comment that after he got popular with Laughing Gor he keep acting like Laughing Gor in every series with same expressions

      12. I can’t decide if Michael is trapped in the fame that he received after Laughing Gor or he’s trapped in the personality of Laughing Gor. Personally, I feel that it’s the former. I hate to say he’s arrogant in real life (I really don’t know) because he seems to have a fun personality offscreen. If I remember correctly, he was a little upset that he didn’t win My Favorite Male Character that year.

        Personally, I did think his fame was a little undeserved despite being him being a good actor. He was good in his portrayal of Laughing Gor, but I didn’t think it was anything that spectacular. After all, it was more of the character (Laughing Gor) that the audience liked and not Michael Tse’s acting, I feel?? Anyone else feels that his acting was more outstanding in La Femme Desperado?

        I agree that TVB is probably milking the cow and typecasting him in the same roles over and over. I just don’t like that repeated frown he wears on his forehead in all his roles and he should probably spice it up a bit more because it’s definitely not making him a well-rounded and talented actor. His player-status character in My Better Half was actually entertaining to watch even though the series was crappy as a whole.

      13. Agree with Huh that it is hard at times to separate the actor and the character that they play. Sometimes you like an actor because of the character that they play while you can also hate them as well. There are times when an actor/actress cannot get out of the character that they played. It is sad at times just like with Leslie and Yammie.. I wonder if that is happening with Micheal as well??

      14. Chriselle said so, but there was no reply link to her comment so I had to use your link.

      15. @Chriselle: “I hate to say he’s arrogant in real life (I really don’t know) because he seems to have a fun personality offscreen.” — that sounds rather contradictory to me, and if you really don’t know, then why are you saying so.

        I think you’re totally wrong and hardly fair to think that it was more of the character that the audience liked and not his acting — when a character gets THAT much love, how can you separate the acting from it?? It is afterall the actor who brought the character to life and endeared him to the audience. If you’d been around the various forums and blogs back then, they were simply flooded with praises for his acting, even from episode 1. So no, I most definitely don’t feel that his acting was more outstanding in LFD — Michael did a great job as Jeen Man but he simply *sparkled* as Laughing, bringing him so very vividly alive, IMHO.

        Finally, you said it, his character in My Better Half was entertaining to watch — hardly a frown in there eh? So why say he wears a repeated frown in all his roles? My Better Half was also post-Laughing you know. The only series in which his character frowns all the time is TRB, and unfortunately it looks like this character has poisoned many people’s minds regarding him. In Relic he only had that blank emotionless mask for the first half of the first episode, after that the feel is totally different — and there were actually complaints that he “spiced it up” a bit too much and had *too many* expressions then, and expressed wishes for the emotionless frowning character from episode one to return instead — and I don’t even want to go into how Laughing is completely different as well, being the sunniest undercover on the planet with his lousy gags and all.

    3. Yeah I noticed too about how Michael Tse carried himself in a “Laughing” air nowadays. I thought it was just me but I see now that some of you pointed this here.

      Michael’s prominent roles back then before “Laughing” to me were in Virtues of Harmony and La Femme Desperado. I didn’t like him in The Family Link. Perhaps he should be given a comedy role again to get himself off the “Laughing” air.

      By the way, his weibo is謝天華Laughing . Haha he’s indeed loving “Laughing”. Perhaps that explains the “Laughing” air everytime he’s around 😛

      1. Michael is justafiably proud of Laughing. But another thing that people may not have considered is, TVB *wants* him to remain as Laughing, because they want to milk everything they can out of this character. And with his contract, Michael probably doesn’t have much say in this matter.

      2. @Huh,

        It’s not only TVB. When Michael is on stage or whenever he participated in any events or shows, fans and fellow artists will call him Laughing. They might call him Tin Wah every now and then but I am sure *Laughing* will follow him for a long long time.

      3. @Huh

        Rofl but TVB don’t own weibo. The artists create their own weibo by themselves

      4. @Vivien: I said, Michael is justafiably proud of Laughing, and when so many people including colleagues and friends know him as Laughing and call him Laughing, it *has* become synonymous with his name. Nothing wrong with naming his weibo thus — there’d definitely be more people instantly recognising it than 謝天華Michael afterall. Why shouldn’t he show his love for Laughing and why pick on him when there’s also 3Gor and 3So, for instance?

        @blubelle: Exactly. Event and show managers actually *request* that he turn up in Laughing persona. So much as there’re people who prefer not to see Laughing again, the fact is that there’s really a market out there for him, and both TVB and Michael definitely won’t be saying no to that anytime soon.

    4. It’s funny you say that because from comments all around it seems most people prefer him in episode one when he was *being* cool (and not “trying to look cool” as you put it).

      1. Everyone has their own opinion I guess. As for me, I’ve seen Michael as Hiu in Rippling Blossom and his “cool” face as Ngo Siu Fung in ep 1 and I really don’t like it. It’s really stiff.

      2. @Huh

        Agree with iciel everyone has their own opinion. For me Michael has the same chok expression in TRB and ROE. Kidd and masaharu are right Michael trapped himself in Laughing Gor and not just the fault of the casting alone.

      3. Oh, I’m well aware everyone has their own opinion, I was merely trying to highlight that there *are* different opinions out there. So I’d just state mine again that Michael was only chok in TRB out of character necessity, in ROE he was “cool” only in episode one and the fact is more people actually preferred that side of him to later episodes, his MBH character was post-Laughing as well and there wasn’t a single bit of chok-ness in him, and I definitely don’t see how he’s “trapped himself in Laughing” when all these characters are nowhere near similar to Laughing with his vibrant personality.

    5. @iciel,

      first off thank you so much for a thorough comment on what you think of my review.

      I didn’t say there was anything wrong with the princess making the stretcher. I just thought it was so funny that she can actually make a fully functional stretcher. Blame it on the director and prop person. This entire scene was not believable and a joke.

  16. The most wow thing of this series, I give to Joe’s SM scene. Lol.

  17. I didnt think TVB could compete w/ Korean drama anymore…

    1. It is not just TVB and Korea. But now TVB has to compete with China,Taiwan, Singapore, Japan,etc.. so more pressure is on them. Back in the days, there was only them competing with Taiwan and ATV mostly. They of course won since they used to have a lot good producers, script writers, actors/actresses,etc… But now everything has changed and times are different now… I wonder if TVB will ever go back the golden old days again??? I guess that may never happen… I feel so sad and really miss the olden days so much.

      1. Never!, TVB senior directors, producers, writers from the 70/80/90s… most of them already move on or went on the other side.

        We all hope TVB and even ATV to go back to the golden days. Its a dream for now on…. sad 🙁

      2. Yea, I know which is why I am kind of sad. At least some of them are still alive, but they don’t work for TVB anymore. One example is highly acclaimed kung fu director Ching Siu Tong. He is now doing movies and series sometimes in Mainland China. It is great to see works directed by him again.

        All of the series from the golden ages are now classics and are the only things left for us to treasure the past… Whenever I watch them, I feel like I am going back to the olden days… Ok, I am getting nostalgic again…

      3. @Larry 3,
        Actually, I don’t really consider the 90s as golden, but still some pretty good series. Some series of today are good too but for some reason, I just feel as if something is missing from them… I guess it is just me missing the old days too much.

      4. I disagree, there were a handful of great series in the 90s that are golden especially like “The Greed of Man 大時代” one of the best drama in the early era in 90s…. and I wish it carry over to the 2000s which it did . . . not help! 2003 to be exact when TVB series went bad, must have been the SARS scare and lot of major stars have passed on….

      5. Not really. A part because before there is no internet. Now ppl is flooded with stuffs.

        Ching Siu Tong has ever worked for TVB?

      6. “It is not just TVB and Korea. But now TVB has to compete with China,Taiwan, Singapore, Japan,etc.. so more pressure is on them. ”

        You’re placing TOO MUCH emphasis on the supposed threat by Singapore TV. Let me tell you about Singapore TV. They’re family drama.. more family drama.. ANOTHER family drama, hey isn’t that yet another family drama?

        Yes, no threat at all. Those who watch Singapore dramas will not abandon TVB and switch sides because Singapore drama is a filler, not the main dish so to speak. And frankly NOT ALL singapore dramas are good and their depiction of their law and law enforcement is even worse than TVB.

        Taiwan.. no comment/.

        China.. already explained.

        Japan.. is a different breed. They’re very stylised, very Japanese and those who enjoys Japanese drama may not really enjoy TVB and vice versa so they’re mutually exclusive. And I watch both and I can say I can enjoy both on their own seperate terms. Moreover TVB copies from Japanese drama and those series are loved by fans so frankly.. what Japanese drama again?

        Korea… no comment as well.

        For me, TVB has no competition. Whatever their quality, competition is not TVB fighting others but others breaking into the Asian market like TVB did and share a chunk of that market. TV these days love showing K-dramas because they’re popular, k-dramas are in demand and I suspect, cheaper to purchase although not sure how much is TVB’s broadcasting rights. But K-drama also require dubbing so in the end who benefits? TVB if they bought the rights and dub it. They win ratings war. So there is no competition per se. Same goes for Japanese dramas.

        So far TVB still is tops because they have their own set of actors, studio based system and worldwide distribution. BUT who can trump TVB is perhaps cable TV with their purchasing of these foreign series as well as hollywood series. I don’t even think Mainland China series is even close, not even gaining preference.

        For viewers, depend on their taste. They watch whatever they prefer but there are those who watches something from everything such as myself and I can tell you why Mainland China series is not gonna have a sudden explosion of hysterical popularity the likes of Taiwanese or Korean series or even Japanese series.

        HeTieShou sorry to burst your bubble but quality wise, everyone have their preference, distribution wise TVB is still far reaching and viewership wise, I see TVB has a huge fanbase overseas, like I said Thais and Vietnamese.

      7. @Larry 3,
        Well I did not mean to say that the 90s was not golden at all because I do agree that there were some really good series from the 90s too. But there are many more in the 80s in my opinion. However, not all of the 80s series were good.. It once again just varies.

        I actually don’t feel that you are bursting my bubble at all. I feel that it is YOUR personal opinion and it is bias since you are a big TVB fan, so that is understandable. As you know, everyone’s preference is different which is why many are not watching TVB as much due to their depleting quality, but TVB also still has a lot of loyal fans that would only watch them. Oh well, think what you want because you are one of those big and loyal TVB fans that you stay loyal to them regardless…

      8. @Fox,
        Yea, Ching Siu Tong used to work for TVB a long time ago. He was the kung fu director for many of the most popular wuxia series back then. He is now working in CHina. One of the best series from China that I remember where he directed the fighting scenes was Tian Xia Di Yi. THat was one the best series from mainland China with some cast from Taiwan and HK as well.

      9. @HTS, What are the criteria for a classic series for you? What makes the 80s golden over the 90s when both eras had its good and bad set of series?

      10. @ HTS: Tony Ching dun work for TVB. He worked for Shaw Brothers but not TVB.

        At the same time, he also worked for both: HK and China. BTW, I blv that Tony Ching is working in movie field more than series.

        In my opinion, Tian Xia Di Yi is a so-so series, but Michelle Yip’s role is shined.

      11. @Chriselle,
        Well in my opinion, the 80s had more good series overall than the 90s. But of course, they both had good and bad just like with any era. I guess my criteria is first of all, a good story line/plot, good script, good cast/acting, nice costumes and other aspects but those are the main ones that I can remember right now. First of all, the 80s acting to me in general is better than the 90s since there were the 5 tigers,late actress Barbara Yung,AU Yeung Pui San, and others that the 90s did not have. The 90s still had a lot of great actors too but I felt that it was sort of empty without Barbara and 4 of the 5 tigers since I really liked their acting. If you want to talk about costumes, the 80s had a lot of really nice ones and they changed a lot too. IN the 90s, the costumes were more dull and they did not change as much. Some series from the 90s did have nice costumes but did not change as much. I remember some actors and actresses only had 1-2 outfits at most in a whole series.
        I liked the 90s as well and while they both had good and bad series, the 80s had more good series than the 90s overall. However, that’s just my opinion. I think the 80s also meant a lot to me because they were my childhood days that I sort of miss…

      12. @FOx,
        Are you sure he did not work for TVB?? I remember seeing his name as the kung fu director in so many series back then at the end credits. I am not sure if you can still consider that working for Shaw Brothers only and/or for TVB too.
        I personally enjoyed TIan Xia Di Yi a lot. Yea, I know that Ching Siu TOng mostly does movies now, but I think once in awhile, he does do series if they ask him to.

      13. Tony Ching did the action director for Shaw Brothers. Shaw Brothers is like father of TVB but obviously not one.

        In series, Tony Ching only do action director. So actually his work dun affect to the script.

        I’m watching back some series in 80s and being honest, the script is nothing better than now. It also has holes. As for the acting, sorry but I also dun feel it’s anything to super good than now, except Tony Leung, haha. For example, Idy Chan’s acting in a 80s series (I dunno its Eng name) really irked me a lot. Other than her pretty face, her acting is totally wooden. It’s a series she paired up with Bill Chan. Maybe wat in the past is always more beautiful than present.

      14. @ HTS: I dunno if you have watched Legend of the Book and Sword 1987 or not but Pang Man Kin is an example of bad actor. His acting can compare to the worst TVB actor now. But he still has a lot of leading role because he is quite handsome. So actually talent and face are not only go together in present but also in the past.

      15. @fox, Bill Chan and Shek Sau are the same person, right? I believe you are referring to The Battlefield in 1985. I, too, couldn’t finish the series despite Idy Chan being in it. Perhaps her wooden acting had to do with her character. Even though I never got to finish the series, I recall her character was quite resistent to Shek Sau’s advances on her (as he was attracted to her beauty). She was emotionless most of the time.

        IMO, my favorite series of Idy is still The Grand Canal. Her acting isn’t wooden in there, yet I still hear some complaints from non-fans that her voice is scratchy and her character was spoiled, ignorant to her her brother’s (played by Lawrence Ng) evil intentions, and annoying which I find isn’t true.

        Every actor/actress have always had their fair share of fans and non-fans/haters. For instance, I was surprised to hear some criticize Felix Wong’s acting on this blog as there has only been praises about this veteran from my experiences in past forums. The only actor whom comes to mind and that I haven’t heard any complaints about is Tony Leung, who is a truly irreplaceable actor. I believe Wayne Lai is close, if not up to par in terms of acting to Tony minus the good looks.

      16. @ Chriselle: Maybe if you mention of Wayne before Rosy Business then I’ll agree with you that there is no complains about his acting. But when he has leading roles, he started to have complains, especially for his performance in the series with Sonija Kwok.

        In my opinion, Felix isn’t a good actor when he first start. He is handsome, yes, but his acting is so so only, if dun want to say that he is quite wooden in romantic scenes. So you don’t need to feel surprises.

      17. @fox, IMO, Wayne’s role in Pages of Treasure was kinda blah, but he was still funny and I enjoyed the family series overall. However, he doesn’t match with Sonija, who is known for her beauty. I think he matches with more mature actresses like Sheren Tang Maggie Cheung Ho Yee, who will play his co-star in FH3.

        What were some of the complaints about Wayne in Pages of Treasures?

      18. You can read the comments on HKdiscuss. They complained that Wayne is too old for the role or tried too hard to act young. Some said Wayne can’t kiss.

      19. @Chriselle: I’d say every actor will get complaints or at the very least indifference, bar none. There were actually quite a lot of complaints about Wayne overacting in RB2 on HKD. And even Tony Leung doesn’t get praised by one and all for each and every role he does.

      20. @Huh, Nope, I didn’t say that Tony was praised for every one of his roles, just that he didn’t get complained for bad acting. 🙂

      21. I should add, sometimes it’s just that the role is poorly written or just doesn’t stand out and an actor can only do so much but sadly many people simply blame the actor by default, and sometimes people who complain on forums have hidden agendas or are biased, whether they’re actually aware of it or not.

      22. @Chriselle: Erm, how about bland acting? It’s not exactly bad but just not interesting… would you count that as a complaint? I’ve seen some comments that he’s Tony Leung in all his movies, too… :p But perhaps that’s the price of fame — he’s just too well-known as Tony Leung the actor, some people just can’t see the character he’s playing.

      23. @Huh, Of course, there will always be some bland and boring characters that every actor/actress plays. And we shouldn’t blame it on the artist themselves, but just some bad writing of the character or the script itself by the scriptwriters. But if you read closely, you should know I was referring to Tony’s acting and not his characters, the script, etc. Despite being a fan of Tony’s, I certainly don’t like every one of his roles and some of them are indeed not as interesting as others to watch.

      24. @ Chriselle

        Tony indeed get very few complains. But, I have heard some before. I read a review of a comedy movie Tony starred in and the review said Tony just phoned in his performance.

      25. @Chriselle: I *was* talking about his acting, and what I’ve seen some people say about it. Really, I think there’s no such absolute thing as a 100% infallible actor with zero complaints from every single audience member all the time. But I was also pointing out, to be fair, that some people may not actually differentiate problems with the actor’s character from problems with the actor’s performance — and that goes for every actor out there.

      26. @FOx,
        Thanks for the info! Well, I must say the 80s are also well known for the good ancient kung fu series and a lot of it is because of Tony CHing’s good work as action director. The script can be good and bad depending on the series and that applies to now and back then.
        Talent as well as looks is in the eye of the beholder. You may not think Idy is talented and all but many others did. I think she is a good actress overall, but that is just my opinion.
        Yes, I did watch Book and Sword 87 many times and liked it overall.I just rewatched it recently and still love it. Nelson Pang(the lead actor) was not the best actor for it, but he did a decent job since it was his first time being the lead ever. I believe that it was Fiona Leung’s first time as leading actress as well. I think that was the only time that Nelson ever got the lead since I don’t think that he ever got it in any other series.
        It is true that there were a number of talentless actors/actresses back then as well. However, many of the productions were still pretty good and TVB had many more good series back then than they do now. However, whether the script, acting,etc.. are good or not are all down to a matter of each person’s opinion.

      27. I think regardless of how good, handsome, nice or talented anyone is, they will get criticized no matter what. No one can be liked by everyone. Tony did get some complaints every now and then, but that is normal. He seems like a natural born talent and I have always enjoyed his acting. I just rewatched Police Cadet and really enjoyed it. I felt as if I was going back into the past since there were no cell phones back then. All they used was the house phone…

      28. @Fox,
        Sorry I forgot to say that I did not mean to say that every series from the 80s was good because a number of them were not. There is good and bad to every era, but I still feel that overall the 80s had more good than bad series. I personally did not like XAJH, the Battlefield and some other series from the 80s too. They were so not good in my opinion..

      29. @HTS: Wow, you think Pang Man Kin is not bad? Hmm, if you consider his null expression in any scene is not bad, then I suppose that most of TVB artists now are not bad, too.

        Pang Man Kin is second lead in a series with Ekin but I dun rmb name. He dun appear in a lot of series but in his short career, most of the time he is lead/second lead. BTW, I guess he found out that acting career dun suit him so he changed job.

        XAJH is wat?

        Well, so we can go to a common comment that every era has good and bad stuffs.

  18. hmm i meant for the word ‘conditioned’ instead of ‘questioned’ but oh wells.

    Yes, this drama was SUCH A SNOOZEFEST. Yes, I know this is based on Chinese history, but I do not care for that. I am focused on reviewing the drama as its own. I’m looking for creativity, concept, acting, aesthetics, directing style, or whatever the director is trying to emphasize on.

    This drama is trying to be something it’s not. It’s so painful to watch, Trying too hard to be some testosterone driven drama, trying to be adventurous, sexy, cool, dramatic, but ended up being monotonous, boring and at times really corny and laughable. I had to rewatch the last few episodes to write a review.

    1. Oh by the way, I do not follow Chinese entertainment news, I don’t even know these actors’ names. So yea, when I’m watching a drama, I only know of their roles.

  19. Fact 1: Michael Tse lost his charisma along with his memory.

    Fact 2: Kate Tsui’s character was a waste of time.

    Fact 3: Elanne Kong’s voice is diverting.

    Fact 4: Sammul Chan’s character was unnecessary.

    Fact 5: Action scene music had a nice beat despite the cringeworthy sword ringing.

    Fact 6: Kate Tsui’s other character was also a waste of time.

    Fact 7: Joe Ma does not speak English here.

    Fact 8: History aside, the reason for the rebellion appears boils down to a woman.

    Fact 9: So where is this ‘relic’ and what does the ’emissary’ have to do with it?

    Fact 10: [antispoiler] A king is overthrown. C’mon don’t tell me you didn’t see that coming?

    1. Kate Tsui is actually ok in her first character but terrible in her second nicer character. That evil look suit her face rofl

      1. Umm yea. ‘she’ is ok. but her characters werent necessary or affected the plot in any real way other than ‘o look another star to watch out for’

    2. I thought Michael Tse is still charismatic after he lost his memory.

      The only emissary in this series is Ma Sam Bo who will become Zheng He at the end of the series and Zheng He is Zhu Di’s ambassador. I don’t get the Relic either. Maybe it’s Zheng He’s diary?

      1. Interesting. I would’ve thought the emissary refers to Michael Tse’s character how he was sent by Joe Ma to be an ‘undercover’. However since he didn’t really have a defined ‘mission’ I didn’t buy him being the ’emissary’.

      2. Am I the only one who can’t stand Michael Tse in everything he does? I do like him in … oh my god, what’s that series? You’re Hired? Yeah that one but other times I just can’t stand him. He just looks like he is in constant pain, his face…

      3. @Funn

        I think Michael Tse has limited expression too and that constipated chok expression is one of his most favourite.

  20. I have not finish watching the series. My take on the series up to where I’ve watched. I posted this in spcnet. So, I just copy and paste it here again.

    This series has one weakness. The storytelling is too scattered, too much mystery. And unlike the usual mystery series where the mysteries were solved one and a time. We have 2 mystery running concurrently and a lot of people acting mysterious and fill with secrets. Today, I fast forward Ngo Siu Fung’s part and just concentrate on the fake currency case. I will watch back Ngo Siu Fung’s story tomorrow. Haha, I find watching this way more interesting.

    Ok, sorry, not one weakness. It should be two. The princess is still as annoying as ever. All she does is either tag along Sam Bo or tag along Ngo Siu Fung and being noisy.

    Love the relationship between Sam Bo and Prince Yin. The part where the Prince Yin give Sam Bo freedom is so touching. Sam Bo is not tied to Prince Yin anymore, but, they relationship has actually become closer.

  21. 2 questions, wonder if anyone can help me.
    1) Who was the one that sleep with Michael in the begining, was it the evil Kate or the nice twin of Kate?
    2) That maid girl get rape and have HIV? But then Michael also sleep with her in one scene. Wow! I would never dare to sleep with a HIV person.

    1. 1) Nice Kate
      2) She did not contract HIV. She contracted Syphilis. The lady physician said after taking medicine she will heal. So, by the time Micheal slept with her, she already healed.

  22. I see, someone here posted she got HIV, I was like what the heck!! Thanks for explain.
    So the nice Kate (younger sister) Chor Chor right? But later Chor Chor fall in love with Joe and have a baby with Joe and stay in the palace with Joe at the end right?

  23. I just finished this series last week and I love this series! however I don’t like the battle parts..

    How I wish the princess is played by Ella koon instead. She seem to hv that kind of playful expression..i love her acting along with Sammul chan in Survivor Law ll..

  24. VERY LATE COMMENT BUT this series is airing here in Canada so I’m watching it! I’m actually loving this series but the overly-sexual scenes were a tad awkward when I watched with my parents!

    This is playing at the same time as Ghetto Justice and let me say that Relic of an Emissary > Ghetto Justice.

    Sorry. 😀

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