Review: “Men With No Shadows” (TVB 2011)

By on October 14, 2011 in NEWS, REVIEWS

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Men With No Shadows  <不速之約>
TVB 2011
Producer: Poon Ka Tak
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Number of episodes: 20

Rating:

Who’s In It?

Cast in no particular order:
Bobby Au Yeung as “Kong Tung Kin” or “Dr. O”
Raymond Lam as “Toi Fung”
Tavia Yeung as “Fong Siu Fong”
Sire Ma as “Kong Wai Mui”
Gigi Wong as “Sung Chor Kiu” or “Dr. Sung?”
John Chiang as “Tong King Tin”
Power Chan as “Tong Wing Shun” or “Vincent”
Catherine Chau as “Man Ka Ling” or “Dr. Man”
and some other characters

What’s This About?

Kong Tung Kin, or Dr. O, is a caring doctor and highly praised pharmacologist. Several years ago, he happened to meet Fong Siu Fong in a chance encounter and it was love at first sight. Fong herself, has a skin allergy to “stuff,” and this has affected her livelihood since who knows when. Unbeknownst to Fong, Kong begins to develop a new drug designed to fight her skin allergy. Three years later, Dr. O bumps into Fong again, and is ready to confess his love, but along comes a mysterious character, Toi Fung, who appears to be something more than human. Dr. O soon finds out that Toi Fung’s appearance may not only be hostile, his motives may be more sinister than he could ever imagine.

Review Formally Begins Here

After 2010’s Fly With Me <飛女正傳> TVB had not ventured into more adventurous territory for its stories. Not that Fly With Me was particularly good since it lacked any direction one may call a “story.” In 2011, TVB releases the series under scrutiny here. So is the story adventurous? Not really, it is really just about revenge, and all revenge is partially prompted by delusion. Is the direction adventurous then? Even if it is revenge revenge revenge, it may unfold so suspenseful, so original and so unpredictable that it leaves audiences in shock and awe. Nope, not here. Events just occur one after another, with arguably lots of toing and froing. Are the themes at least adventurous? Is it about the entrepreneurial strife of the corrupted pharmaceutical industry and one man’s conflict within that? Of course not, or did you somehow forget who produced this series?

Now my main concern is not that this series was not adventurous despite how it was advertised. To be fair, TVB never promised it was about the supernatural. We just assumed it because we were wrongfully misled by our inner devil. My main concern is rather at the “tail on head” narrative device. This is when a story is premised on some fact or circumstances assumed by characters in the narrative that later reveal to be invalid. Another similar narrative device is when some genius intentionally proffers viewers an incorrect or partial version of the story. In both devices, there is a final revelation and epiphany for the viewers. The difference between these two devices is that, the first one is a deception of the characters within the narrative, while the second only needs to deceive the viewers. The second device is usually a more intricate type of storytelling but may totally alienate viewers. The first device is more easily understood but may frustrate viewers who have a keen eye for dumb characters. The well-known, and oft hated, narrative that uses both these devices is the “it was all a dream” extreme, and often leaves you asking: So I watched what? 

But I have a point with this half-baked lesson on narrative aesthetics. Without revealing the guts of this series, I have resorted to being conceptual. The problem is when you start using the devices of deception in a narrative, you’re provoking viewers to react in two possible ways. Either viewers will think “this story is quite ingenious” or “this story is quite ludicrous”. This series employs said narrative devices, either one, two or both, and the consequences are not that amusing when coupled with the story direction. Why? Firstly, most of the characters, bar Toi Fung, should have made certain inquiries to clarify the deception. Second the whole “look and feel” of how the series, executed as another run-of-the-mill TVB drama, just does not fit with the somewhat more fantastical concepts. This is an artistic issue, but it is important to get the atmosphere right when we’re in the realm of angels and demons. Third, someone with a little academic stock knowledge on psychology may find the “deceptions” highly improbable if not outright implausible. All these issues flow onto the next major problem. Just what is the real genre here? For less discerning viewers this is a non-issue, but defined genres often help viewers interpret narrative events, and when something that was supposed to be fantasy dwindles into a mere modern drama, it really messes up the whole narrative direction and structure. So ingenious or ludicrous, take your pick. 

Other Bits For Thought

Direction aside, there is the whole good/evil and human nature babble littered in the narration. It might be fitting while you watch the series, but on reflection, it is a lot of pseudo-philosophical meandering on issues most persons with the Internet should be socially aware. Do you really need to be told humans are disposed to asking for more? Embarrassingly, Toi Fung, the resident devil’s advocate, never pits Dr. O to the test. He merely makes Dr. O’s life more difficult, but never provokes Dr. O to face them in corporeal any format. Furthermore, Dr. O is essentially a good guy and he never loses our faith. What the series should tell me about is why Vincent and Dr. Man, two characters who seem to be logically functioning human beings, think it is appropriate for Vincent to betray his father by selling company secrets to “prove his aptitude.” How does this prove he is worthy? That he is simultaneously unethical, immoral and dares to break the law? How brave!

Then there’s the whole drug-research aspect. Are we convinced Dr. O is a qualified pharmacologist? This isn’t Bobby’s fault. It’s just that we are never shown what Dr. O actually does to make him so praiseworthy. He could have been a mechanic or electrician, and as a result of using dodgy tools, causes the death of say, someone, leading to revenge. The point is the pharmaceutical backdrop has only slight relevance. Further compounding this problem is Tong King Tin, who despite running an alleged billion dollar business, shows no signs of being thus rich or entrepreneurial. Instead he employs Toi Fung, someone who allegedly has no academic or work credentials. To make matters worse, his whole business seems to revolve around a handful of people. It’s hard enough to believe large pharmaceutical enterprises are born in Hong Kong, it is even harder to believe such an alleged leader in the medicinal market, has only a few great minds behind the gears. I would have preferred a series solely focused on this industry. It would be quite fresh. But given it’s likely to become a family feud power struggle in TVB’s hands, I guess any freshness will be slightly off by the end.

Acting, Acting, Acting

Do the characters save this series? Only if you’re a fan of sky-prince Raymond Lam, and it would be more blind adherence than anything. Bobby turns in, I believe, one of his most uninteresting performances in memory. Bobby has never been great in serious roles. His knack lies in “semi-serious affable prone-to-jealousy middle-aged little-man house-husband girlfriend-slave food-loving sarcastic-eclectic” roles. It is “his” personality. Here he is only channelling a third of that personality, and it really shows how less enjoyable he is. Not that he is “bad” here, it is just his usual personality was absent. This means Bobby’s value is greatly diminished. He has done ultra-serious before, like in Take My Word For It <談判專家> and it was good, but he is neither his usual affable self here nor did the story craft him into someone who is believably of the deadly serious type. Me thinks Bowie Lam or Steven Ma may have been an more appropriate fill for the role. 

What of the sky-prince? As much as I want to desecrate his good name, there’s not much to say about Raymond’s performance. Raymond discharges his duty in an all-round manner as the sometimes aloof and sometimes intense Toi Fung. The character itself is a bit of a misfit, as one would expect Toi Fung to be affecting everyone else psychologically. However, Toi Fung only presents a mild physical obstacle to select characters, like an itch unable to be scratched. Personally I would have just run with the story premise and kicked out the downer ending to give Mr. Lam more room to flex his demonic tendencies. Oh and did anyone ever figure out why no one asks exactly what religion Mr. Demon belongs? Strange? Can’t really kill a “demon” if you don’t know its origins right? But I digress. One complaint though is Raymond isn’t particularly convincing when doing intimidation or sinister or just high-class cerebral. He makes either blank or polished expressions that makes you think he has a plan, but that it is probably only a sketchy first draft type plan. He can do trauma and explosive, but he has yet to hone his skills with tumultuous. Nor can he express controlled aggression. Perhaps part of the blame is the quick transition the character makes in the final episodes, and the other part on how the character failed to live up to expectations. 

I can’t really say much about Tavia, a role, which I found to be quite unattractive. Her chemistry with Bobby is lacking as she seems to have the same happy-happy chemistry with all other co-stars, which seems odd. Her character doesn’t have much personality, other than she hates lies and liars.  Tavia is a little better here than her other recent performances, as I feel she is marginally less robotic, and seems to embrace or “be involved” with her co-stars a little more, showing the weight of events impinging on her. But because her character is so uninteresting, I paid little attention to what Tavia did. Let us agree she did competently but nothing career-defining.

Notable Mentions 

Mandy Wong deserves all the mentions here because she received an even smaller role this time round. I don’t know the filming order of Ghetto Justice <怒火街頭> and Lives of Omission <潛行狙擊> but she seems to be on a streak ever since her largest debut in Home Troopers <居家兵團>. Sire Ma was also quite likeable, but she has obvious difficulty with the more intense emotions, making her seem uneven and unnatural. She makes quite a convincing daughter and younger sibling to earn a mention. Her sub-plot with Gigi Wong is not as awful as it could have been given that TVB plugs in, at a rate of 40-60% of the time, a long-lost son/daughter sub-plot into its series. 

There are some scripting flaws I wish to point out. One is why does Dr. O keep asking Toi Fung how he can be so “insensitive” and why he constantly wants to “take him away.” If he is the devil, the answers are implied Doctor! Two, show me a brand of motor vehicle that can lock passengers inside using a remote (see episode 12). Or is this one of those handy Chinese manufacturer faults? Three, Toi Fung never eats his apples in full does he? He just takes two bites and swallows it whole right? Four, since when do entrepreneurs go on live TV and openly taunt rivals the way Felix Lok does it? I could go on but you get the point. 

Overall Appraisal

While there is a reasonable storyline and no major debacles in the acting department, it will take a leap of faith to really buy the plot here. If you find yourself experiencing some emotion or meaning by watching this series, let me warn you, you may be injecting into the narrative with more content than it actually conveys. Finding meaning in a narrative can be done in many ways, and just because it somehow hits a nerve with you does not mean the narrative itself was well written. The story itself was paper thin, and the major characters don’t grow a brain about what to do with Toi Fung. Adding to this problem are the annoying episodic flaws I could spot, and the absence of defined momentum in a series that was billed to be anything but insipid, you end up with something that just doesn’t tickle any of the entertainment bones in me. 

Verdict

The series narrative will either be ingenious or ludicrous, though a disposition for Raymond Lam may help to move you into a third category of viewers, but in any case no praises are deserving. 

   

Obligatory disclaimer: This article is not intended to be critical in any serious or partly serious and partly non-serious or any other remotely serious manner, and all readers must acknowledge and accept that the purpose of the article is not to prove or argue a point, state a definitively researched view, present a substantiated idea or one likely to be substantiated,  or provide any reasoned or reasonable opinions, but to avoid any doubt, readers may still leave the writer all sorts of negative replies as if this article was written to further a cause.

This review was written by SDS, a Contributing Writer at JayneStars.com.

JayneStars Media LLC reserves all copyrights. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. By using the JayneStars website, you accept and agree to our Terms and Conditions of Use.


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Review: “Men With No Shadows” (TVB 2011)

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  • 72 comments to Review: “Men With No Shadows” (TVB 2011)

    1. jayne says:

      SDS,
      What do you propose would have been a better “twist” to make “Men With No Shadows” live up to its hype, more suspenseful and unpredictable?

      I found the premise of the series to be interesting, although can’t really comment on the execution.

      Login or Register before you can reply to jayne
      • SDS replied:

        Well I admit that I can see why people may like this series because the premise and finale can be regarded as ingenious. Problem for me was that the way to the finale was fairly repetitious. They did not use Ray’s character to a level that made me in anyway feel concern for what he was doing to others.

        Twists? Its not that the ending was a bad twist, but getting their was fairly uneventful. I did not believe Ray was ‘the devil’ at any point, maybe influenced by one, because his powers were not proportional to his status. Actual twists: kill some characters, make Tavia an accomplice with Ray, make Bobby the devil, introduce a exorcist, let David Chiang be a real intelligent schmuck that ‘plays’ with the devil.

        The series was in between genres, that’s one of the main problems. It needed to ditch the usual TVB trappings. But in the end it played the reality card. The series begins unpredictable but continually debunks itself with the nonsensical developments.

        Login or Register before you can reply to SDS
      • Canto replied:

        SDS

        This is my first review I read written by you. Then I went back and read all the recent reviews by you.

        Are you an English major? Really enjoyed your writing and your wit.

        Hate the spoilers cos I haven’t been able to watch these latest shows yet as they are not airing in my bandwidth.

        Thanks for your reviews!

        Login or Register before you can reply to Canto
        • jayne replied:

          SDS is indeed an excellent writer, hehe New York Times film critic quality. JayneStars is honored to have SDS write for us indeed. 🙂

          Thanks to all the Contributing Writers who have made the site’s content richer!

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        • SDS replied:

          Haha thanks. I didn’t major in English, but I have to use it a lot in my degrees and work (minus all the jokes of course).

          I’ve been trying to cut down on spoilers, it was a little difficult with this series cause some of its flaws were directly related to its ending which would be a spoiler if I said too much. So yea… Though it seems not many people watched this one or bothered to try. Either way… it wasn’t anything outstanding (note: my bar is quite high sometimes).

          Login or Register before you can reply to SDS
      • Ah K replied:

        @Jayne:

        “SDS is indeed an excellent writer, hehe New York Times film critic quality. JayneStars is honored to have SDS write for us indeed.”

        Absolutely agree! 😀 As I always say, @SDS’ has an impeccable grasp of English writing skills! 🙂

        I must say that I haven’t been commenting on her articles not because I don’t like it but because I haven’t watched the dramas she has reviewed, heehee my cable tv is very backward in terms of broadcasting, we are still on “The Rippling Blossom” and “Only You”! -_-“

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        • SDS replied:

          I have a feeling though, the level of English I’m using may be alienating some of the readers 😛

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        • Norika replied:

          Hi miss SDS,

          oh i think you are a “he” coz your writings are very ‘man’. like reading your reviews, very interesting ar

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        • Norika replied:

          typo: i mean i ‘thought’

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        • SDS replied:

          Lol I was waiting for that, very perceptive

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    2. WhoAmI says:

      Maybe a gay devil and a lesbian house wife. Anyway, must wait a long time to have this series broadcast on cable in my native language so no serious comments can be made yet.

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    3. MARS says:

      It is a very good show, i really like fung character, and i love the theme song too its very touching.

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      • none replied:

        not so good

        Login or Register before you can reply to none
    4. Joan says:

      overrated & over-hyped, big disappointment!

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    5. Funn Lim says:

      I will read this carefully when my feeling is stable. Just finished BBJX and am having a headache from all the crying. Never shed one tear for MWNS but for BBJX, last 3 episodes itself had me crying non stop. And yes, I cried when kevin cried as well. God, the men in that series can all cry!

      I am emotionally spent. Will comment on MWNS later.

      Login or Register before you can reply to Funn Lim
      • Vivien replied:

        damn Funn has become Kevin’s fan ROFL

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        • josie replied:

          Yes Funn, come to the dark side. Don’t hate him b/c he’s beautiful.

          Login or Register before you can reply to josie
        • Canto replied:

          I have watched Kelvin acted for years and absolutely felt zero for him.

          But it took BBJX, a China series, to showcase his charisma as an actor that eluded before.

          I suddenly realise how hunky his frame looked, noticed his kind and gentle smile, and twinkling eyes. His virtuousness as 8th prince, manliness and power hungry ambitions.

          But I am lagging on episodes 14, feel it a bit draggy. I am also losing support of the main heroine Ruoxi, due to the inconsistencies of her character that Funn mentioned.

          Guess I will still try to finish the series, though not at such a keen pace.

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      • jayne replied:

        Funn,
        Are you the type to easily shed tears while watching films? Wah, BBJX such a tear jerker? You finished the series very quickly!

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        • Funn Lim replied:

          Jayne, I am not an all out crier when watching series or movie but I do have like lingering tears. But this one, all out crying because you invested 35 episodes worth of emotion, and I have my favourite and he died and I cried. And last 3 episodes so many people dying, crying, dying, crying, non stop so I cried, just cried. BBJX is a tear jerker if you can look beyond the draggy parts, you like the characters and the actors all cried and the scenes are sad. Like waiting for the most loved who never turned up, the death of a loyal friend, the death of in the end an honourable character, etc etc.

          Vivien I am not Kevin’s fan but he I must admit did the best at those dejected scenes and the way he cried (minus the sound since dubbed) looks wise in the one very important scene was impressive. He looked like he just howled and howled which should be the case.

          Login or Register before you can reply to Funn Lim
        • jayne replied:

          Funn,
          I cried when I watched “Brokeback Mountain.” Tragic love stories usually do that to me. Books tend to move me more easily to tears than a film or series though because more of the right elements (acting, music, mood of scene) have to be working properly together.

          Login or Register before you can reply to jayne
        • Funn Lim replied:

          Jayne BBJX is tragic love stories times 1000. What more tragic than 2 people in love but separated by 300 years? Anyway, if B.M can make you cry, you will need more tissues for BBJX. I practically rushed through the last 10 episodes because it was draggy, I had to get pass it if not I will never finish the series. But 2nd half cannot be compared to the excellence of the 1st half but the last 3 episodes that got to me. I have my complaints. Now I just need to recollect my thoughts and write a review for it.

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        • anni replied:

          hey Funn Lim: who is kevin being paired up with in BBJX? isn’t the main girl a lil too young for him?

          Login or Register before you can reply to anni
        • Kidd replied:

          @ annie

          ” isn’t the main girl a lil too young for him?”

          Please note that this series is set in Qing Dynasty.

          Login or Register before you can reply to Kidd
        • Funn Lim replied:

          Anni,

          the actress Cecilia Liu isn’t too young. But the character in the series started at 13 and I suppose the romance started at 17. Age difference is about 10 years. In Qing dynasty the prince are usually married at 13 or 14 and the wife usually as young. So she isn’t too young. Of course kevin in real life is probably 2 decades older than the actress. But again, nothing surprising.

          The actress playing his 1st wife is rather young too, born in the 80s though she looks mature. Credit to Kevin that he looks younger than his actual age.

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      • Funn Lim replied:

        P/S Any huge Nicky Wu fan here? Wanna ask, does he really know how to ride a horse?

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        • HeTieShou replied:

          I am not he biggest fan of his but from what I know he does know how to ride a horse. A lot of the artists from the circle do as well and need to learn for filming ancient series. But in some cases, I think they have a double do it for them too. However, a lot of them do know how to..

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        • Funn Lim replied:

          Wow then he definitely is very good. I see the way he climb up, jump down, looks like a confident rider and it is him on the tall horse and he is sorta tiny. Thanks for the answer. Just found out he is 40. He and Kevin, what do they eat? Never grow old. Funny is the younger ones looking older.

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      • claimine replied:

        Looking forward to your BBJX’ review. After Kangxi’s death, the series really dragged a bit for me. Ruo Xi has become a typical Chiung Yao’s heroine with her virtuous & righteous & angsty & sad character but loved by many. And all the main characters have forgotten how to smile. If I didn’t know any better I would have thought the later part was written by CY but then the dialogues would have been more refined and polished than this one, which sound really modern to me.

        And yeah, Ruoxi is a very atypical modern day lady with her impressive array of talents and possessing a high EQ to boot, Xiao Yan Zi would do well to learn from her.

        I was so impatient with the going to and fro on the emotion front in between that I forward to the last two episodes to check out the ending. Truly a tear-jerker.

        Login or Register before you can reply to claimine
        • Funn Lim replied:

          I can imagine how Qiong Yau will end her series. No she’s not like QY heroine. I find it reasonable why she is always so sad and morose. Doesn’t mean I agree with all the sadness but it is essential. QY’s heroines will cry if even a dog dies. It takes more than that to get Ruoxi this sad. Doesn’t make the actress a good one though. I am afraid if I start writing it will become a thesis. Am afraid to even start because when writing tends to be picky. This series is not flawless and you’re right, after ep 25 everything just went downhill. But don’t skip the last 3 episodes. It kinda redeems the last 7 episodes’ almost masochistic sadness. You must understand Ruoxi was at the palace for I think 20 years or so. But series started when she was 16, so minus 3 years or so. If 20 years she still hasn’t learn how to make a good cup of tea, she should have been dead by then! I shall say no more since this is MWNS and not BBJX. Until someone post a review for BBJX, I shall comment more. I wonder can I post mine here though?

          Jayne, do you accept reviews for other series than HK series??

          Login or Register before you can reply to Funn Lim
        • Jayne replied:

          Funn,
          “do you accept reviews for other series than HK series??”

          Yes, reviews for films/ series from other Asian countries are accepted at JayneStars.com. We welcome reviews submitted for Hong Kong, mainland China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, etc. projects.

          It would be wonderful if you can submit a review for Bu Bu Jing Xin, as it sounds like a well-made series.

          Login or Register before you can reply to Jayne
        • Funn Lim replied:

          Oh good Jayne! But I am sure by the time I send you the review some others would have posted theirs since mine is already a thesis even before I reached my comments.

          Login or Register before you can reply to Funn Lim
    6. Kidd says:

      ” Two, show me a brand of motor vehicle that can lock passengers inside using a remote (see episode 12)”

      I notice this flaw too when I was watching that scene. I also ask ‘Why can’t they open the door from the inside’? I just put ii as the door knob being fully embedded and can’t be pull out and this is one of those cars that can off the internal control button.

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      • Funn Lim replied:

        Child lock can look someone in the car.

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      • sarah replied:

        I have a car that has child lock (that means someone can’t open it from the inside) but that’s just for the back doors, not the front ones.

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      • NX replied:

        =)) Broken car!!! My old car had problems with the door and one of them can only be open from outside 🙂

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    7. dai si jie says:

      Funn. Where do you watch BBJX in Malaysia? On Astro? I’m waiting for the DVD set to come out. Any word on when it will be released in KL?

      Login or Register before you can reply to dai si jie
      • Funn Lim replied:

        ASTRO? No! Youtube! Or rather I downloaded the DVD version to watch. I was waiting for the DVD but after finishing it I decided one viewing is enough. Don’t want to give myself headache. Unless it comes with English subtitles. And special features. And I just realise except for maybe the first 4 male actors, all the others are younger than me. Scary. And I am not used to seeing them (except Kevin) with hair. Rather good looking a few of them.

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    8. Larry 3 says:

      It was so-so series. The execution didnt plan out well. First episode SUCKS! It did drag in the middle. I like the ending.

      This is really not the best Bobby series in a long time, sad to say.

      Raymond Lam acting well, too bad the series didn’t receive high ratings every week.

      Tavia, is too much Tavia this year.

      Power Chan subpar.

      Cathrine Chau was amazing.

      Sire Ma, iffy.

      Overall, I give it a pass, TVB is getting the unusual side of this field and I commend it. But, they need more creativity and more quality control. Long ways to work with to get into making great tv series drama.

      BTW, CGI in this series SUCKS BALLS!

      2.75 out of 5 stars.

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    9. ada says:

      This series cant live up to it’s hype.

      And what’s with LF & his eating apple act? Kinda dumb. Why they made him do it?

      The best thing about the whole show was LF’s wardrobe.

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    10. ABC says:

      There’s one part that doesnt make sense(now that we know Toi Fung only hypnotized his victims).
      When Dr.O got into the accident in Episode 1 itself, he was pushed into the operation theatre and declared dead. Even FongFong had to inform his family of his unfortunate death. Since Toi Fung was only a normal human, he couldnt possibly be in the operation theatre to hypnotize everyone. this is like one of the greatest flaws in the drama.

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      • CY replied:

        @ ABC

        Maybe it’s Lazarus syndrome? But yes, that’s true. The writers seem to conveniently leave that out.

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      • SDS replied:

        Good point. I hated the first episode so my mind has been brain washed of that. I can’t remember much of the rest either 🙂

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      • josie replied:

        Maybe Dr. O did make a deal w/ the devil. Just that the real devil hasn’t come to collect yet.

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    11. HKreviewer says:

      Stupid show that make no sense! Tottaly a waste of time!

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    12. Norika says:

      I quite like its graphic design (of the ads) with the casts in front of the plate with apple. but when i started watching it the opening graphics was so simple and not that appealing. should have made it better!

      The theme attracted me a lot before airing but its just turned out lacking something!

      I like the part when Dr Man starts to fall for Vinecnt. their acting are quite good!

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    13. P.Tan says:

      To begin with I had no plans to watch MWNS but the negative reviews I seem to get on the series made me curious enough to buy the DVD. Now I hope I shall be able to view it as objectively as possible and not be too biased by what has been said previously.

      More interestingly is Funn’s intention to review BBJX. This is my first C drama and I happened to come across it by accident and when I found that Kevin was to be one of the main leads I became really interested and since then have watched the series from the beginning to the end! I enjoyed the series very much and would like to hear others’ comments.

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      • Funn Lim replied:

        Why so interesting about my intention?

        I just bought the DVD and realised I will have to watch it all over again.

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      • Funn Lim replied:

        Oh and my review will take some time. Frankly I am a bit out of touch with many things after being away just for 9 days. In short, the more I watch, the more I love the series, and since I have watched Gong, I appreciate BBJX more. I suppose I like the elegance of it. I know it is rather pretentious to say elegance and sophistication but that’s how I feel; elegant subtlety is how I see BBJX. More so when I read so many fans’ explanation of the story in terms of the book itself which I curse the fact I can’t read Chinese because the book sounds like it was very well written. However the more I watch the more I dislike the Ruoxi character.

        Anyway all I can say about the DVD is it was darn expensive BUT even more expensive online. The book is cheaper but online so darn expensive. And I can’t decide between the DVD and H-DVD not knowing what’s the difference and was wanting to buy the newly released version and I bought the DVD thinking it was region 6 and I shall have to rip it and thank goodness China knows how to make DVDs as it is region free and the quality is just… beautiful. The DVD is worth buying, if you’re in China and do get the H-DVD version which is much cheaper, to my eternal regret.

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    14. Kidd says:

      Watching a Japanese drama call Orthros now. Only when watching Orthros, I can see that this MWNS only scratch on the surface of its study of human nature. I still feel that MWNS is pretty good, but, Orthros is so much better and dealt deeper into these stuff. But, I wonder if a series like Orthros will be successful in HK. This series doesn’t have have cute funny moments, romance is minimal (if any) and very little shouting match.

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      • Kidd replied:

        Sorry, the full name of the series is ‘Orthros no Inu’.

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      • Fox replied:

        **MAJOR SPOILERS for Orthros Dog**

        I like it from the first concept: Good man with Devil hand and Bad man with God hand. But I feel it’s quite typical (to a JE work) when Aoi and Ryuzaki are brother :P.

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      • Kidd replied:

        Can Jayne or Ah K please removed Fox’s comment?

        It got huge spoiler.

        Fox, please be more considerate. Not everyone have watch the series. I hate it when I accidentally read part of a spoiler for the series early on. Please don’t spoil it for others.

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        • Fox replied:

          Huh, you haven’t finished it? I thought you are so wanna discuss with you.

          And I hope you can be a little nicer with words in above comment. First, Orthros Dog is an aired series, it finished the airing time so can assume that ppl already watched it. Second, if ppl don’t want to read spoiler, they can ignore it themselves because like in first point, the assumption is that everyone watched it because it’s aired. Like your reaction, can’t never discuss on any series because there might be some person who haven’t watched it or finished it. Yes, I feel offense with your above post.

          BTW, I doubt that much ppl here watch JE series, so maybe you are the only one who concern for Orthros Dog with me.

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        • Kidd replied:

          I have finish the series. But, I said it for the benefit of other potential viewers who have not watch this series.

          Unlike romance drama and such, this is a suspense series. Besides the philosophy, part of the enjoyability of this series is the suspense, the unexpectedness. Keeping the level of suspense is important for this series.

          People come into this MWNS might be expecting to read spoiler of MWNS and be prepared for it. But, they don’t expect to be spoiled for another series. Your spoiler for Orthros is unexpected and unforeseen. How people gonna avoid? Did you write ‘spoiler’ before that comment?

          Notice that my comment about Orthros didn’t reveal much plot? I purposely write like this as not to reveal any spoiler.

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        • Fox replied:

          It’s your own view.

          Like ppl came here to talk about BBJX or to ROW review and talk about Country Spirit and other series, just the same way. It isn’t expected or not. You don’t want to see, you won’t see. You want to see, watever way, you can see.

          Ok, I can assume that nobody here watch Othros Dog or everybody watched this series, SO what’s up with my comment? It isn’t a spoiler because in fact the series is aired already and available for ppl to watch in full, from the beginning to the end.

          I’m seriously offense by your comment above. You like to put spoiler in, I don’t want because I viewed spoiled thingy the different way with you. You are who to request to remove my post? You can complain to ME, ok, but say “Can Jayne or Ah K please removed Fox’s comment?” – who give you this right?

          In the end, you have your own way to write and I have mine. Writing spoiler in the post? It’s useless, sorry to say that. If ppl want to see, they will see for watever with the word spoiler or not.

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        • Fox replied:

          **MAJOR SPOILERS for Orthros Dog**

          P/S: Honesty, if I haven’t watched Orthros Dog nor MWNS, reading your above comment about Orthros Dog, sorry, I don’t think I want to watch this series. What you’ve reviewed without revealing a little about the plot is unappealing to me. However, if I read about Good man with Devil hand and Bad man with God hand, Aoi and Ryuzaki are brother I will feel more curious (because I want to notice you that Aoi is normally a girl’s name in Japanese).

          Then, it’s up to the choice of the viewers, not everyone think the same way with you.

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        • Kidd replied:

          ‘Good man with Devil hand and Bad man with God hand’ is not a spoiler since it’s written as the synopsis of the series. But, the other line is a spoiler.

          ” If ppl want to see, they will see for watever with the word spoiler or not.”

          When people see ‘spoiler’, at least, they have warning. You don’t even give people this choice of want to see or not to see.

          Be offended all you want. I ask Jayne and Ah K to remove the comment because of the big spoiler and I don’t think I did wrong. Whether to remove it or not is up to them.

          P/S. All your points (the series is available to see, your comment pique more interest while mine turn people off, people don’t want to see won’t see etc) is just to defend your spoiler mess up.

          This is my last post regarding this subject. You can post a refutation or multiple refutations if you want since you always want to win and have the last word. I won’t go a merry go round with you.

          Jayne/Ah K can decide on what to do with the post. If they want, they can also delete my initial Orthros post and this whole argument. I won’t be the one who cause a spoiler for the viewers.

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        • Fox replied:

          I also speechless with you in this matter. Not to win or else, just it isn’t your right to say and force ppl to think the same way with you.

          It’s really tired to talk when you think you are too high from the very beginning.

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        • jayne replied:

          @Kidd @Fox
          In the future, if there are going to be spoilers in your comments, it is best to put “SPOILERS” in your comment. This is a common courtesy procedure found in many forums, in which commentators will alert readers that there are spoilers in the thread. It is then up to the reader to determine whether they wish to go ahead and read the spoilers or not.

          I don’t mind that an article/ review generates tangent discussions, as I believe many commentators enjoy this freedom to discuss topics of their choice.

          However, if your comments will be affecting others, such as their potential enjoyment of a series, then simply inserting the words, “SPOILERS” requires very little effort, yet at the same time does not spoil a series for others uneccessarily. At least you give people a warning and choice on whether they wish to find out or not.

          I don’t think Kidd intended to force people to think the same way as herself, but she is trying to be considerate of people who may not wish to read spoilers without the adequate warning. Fox, at the same time, simple decorum such as alerting others of spoilers in a thread requires very little effort. In this case, we can all accommodate each other a bit to continue to make commenting on JayneStars.com enjoyable for everyone.

          Btw, I edited Fox’s comment to include “MAJOR SPOILERS” and hope that everyone will follow this simple practice in the future as consideration for other fans.

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        • Funn Lim replied:

          Can just next time just write SPOILER? Even if minor SPOILER? That can solve a lot of issues.

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        • Fox replied:

          After one day to think and calm down and of course, to search about Orthros Dog again, I don’t find my post have a huge spoiler because I saw the text to say Aoi and Ryu are brother in Orthros Dog’s intro. In the intro clip, there is a part when Aoi said “Oni!” which mean “Brother”. “Good man with Devil hand and Bad man with God hand” is said in the intro, “Brother” is called by Aoi, where is the spoiler?

          That’s all. I still think “spoiler” word is useless but I won’t discuss about “spoiler” anymore in Jayne. From now, I’ll only talk about the artists and scandals.

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        • josie replied:

          Since this can of worms has been opened, I might as well add my view.

          I don’t think anybody intentionally plans to spoil a series for others. When u see someone discussing a series and u want to add your 2 cents, u just quickly post it. Is that so unforgivable that we must narc on each other now?

          I can understand censoring foul language but is an accidental spoiler more offensive than some of the vulgar statements made in other threads? Should we object and request someone’s post be deleted or edited b/c we don’t like what they said? I feel like that’s restricting people’s genuine comments.

          Anyway, since jayne has already stated her wish, I will respect that. I just want to clarify these spoiler rules. How long after a series has released, do we need to write spoiler? 3 months, 6 months, or forever? If we are replying to a review of the series, do we still need to declare spoiler? And if we are discussing a currently airing series, do we still need to worry about spoiler since we don’t even know the ending yet?

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        • Fox replied:

          Josie, I can’t help to say thank you.

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        • HeTieShou replied:

          I personally don’t see what the big deal is when you review a spoiler but that is just me. Each time anyone tells me spoilers, I always imagine it in my head but then when I actually watch it, it is completely different from what I imagined. Therefore, it is still new to me. Also, many people can describe the same exact scene but it can be many different things to many different people which is why I don’t believe that spoilers are the biggest deal at all. I agree with Josie…

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        • sehseh replied:

          Typing a simple SPOILER before posting one, like Jayne said is a basic courtesy practiced in many forums. I don’t see what’s so hard abt that either.

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        • Funn Lim replied:

          I have at times posted spoilers unintentionally, so I apologise if I did. To answer to Josie;

          How long after a series has released, do we need to write spoiler? 3 months, 6 months, or forever?
          Preferably forever but if a series has been released since 10 years and still there are people who hasn’t watched, then the onus is on those who hasn’t watched. Spoilers is everywhere anyway but as a matter of courtesy, a simple SPOILERS will do.

          If we are replying to a review of the series, do we still need to declare spoiler?
          If the series did not contain such a spoiler, yes. If the series did and it is further clarification that will involve more spoilers, yes. For eg, spoiler in review says A kills B. If you wish to explain why A killed B, put a spoilers tag. If you just wish to repeat that A Killed B, no need. Some things don’t need spoilers. Like for eg BBJX, 4th prince became the emperor. That anyone who bothers to read history will know. So that doesn’t count as spoilers.

          And if we are discussing a currently airing series, do we still need to worry about spoiler since we don’t even know the ending yet?
          YES. MORE SO.

          Come on people. S-P-O-I-L-E-R-S is like 8 alphabets. Is it THAT hard to just write these 8 alphabets?

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        • josie replied:

          Haha, yes “spoilers” is 8 letters but u need to include some asterisks and space around the warning too. People cannot stop reading that fast, ya know.

          I just hope this doesn’t deter people f/ adding their quick comments. Like the person thinks to themself:
          Is my comment a spoiler? Will someone get mad at me? Ah, forget it. I won’t even bother.

          Anyway, since we live in a politically correct world, I will try to be considerate w/ spoilers f/ now on.

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    15. P.Tan says:

      Actually, before reading the section on ‘comments’ on a certain series or book one should have already ready seen or read it, then the problem of ‘spoilers’ does not come in. That is , of course, if one does not mind knowing what is being revealed. As for myself I don’t mind the spoilers at all. However, I respect Jayne’s suggestion of warning readers first which is not difficult to do.

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    16. k says:

      “critics are people who failed to be actors” a quote by a wise person that makes sense, why else would critics be so critical?

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      • Funn Lim replied:

        And critics of critics? A person who fails to have an opinion perhaps? Actors are failed directors? Directors are failed scriptwriters? Scriptwriters are failed authors? Everybody has a role to play, something to contribute. If a critic is not critical, there is always fan forums to fan the ego of stars who can’t take the heat. Don’t people always say celebrities are the new royalty? And royalty in today’s context is useless?

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