Review: “No Good Either Way” (By Funn)

By on July 10, 2012 in NEWS, REVIEWS

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No Good Either Way <衝呀!瘦薪兵團>
Hong Kong TVB Drama 2012

Producer: Amy Wong
Genre: Office Comedy
Number of episodes: 21

Cast
Ruco Chan as “Alex Mo”
Louis Yuen as “Steve Man”
Kristal Tin as “Ling”
Jason Chan as “Aaron Yiu”
Gill Mohindepaul Singh as “Interpal Singh”
Leanne Li as “Dr. Flora Shum”
Natalie Tong as “Kin”
Florence Kwok as “Violet Che”
Stephen Au as “Sam Ko”
Matt Yeung as “Jacky Ho”

A Very Brief Review

No Good Either Way is actually 21 episodes instead of 20 episodes and I like the ending. It is hopeful in its own way. I was so busy thinking who will end up with who but this series is beyond that. It isn’t about who ends up with who but rather what actually happens to them. Goaltech company is saved as all 500 employees agree to delay their salary by 20 days so that Alex can fix the corrupted ES system. This is because they like Mr. Ko who has my vote as the most understanding boss and husband ever. I really like his happy ending with his Thai wife. Interpal doesn’t end up with Man’s sister. I actually thought he would but he ends up as her business partner, finally finding a career he can show to his mom proudly. Man doesn’t end up with the doctor but they became friends but he did get to be his Sales Manager, so good for him! Alex and Ling remain happily married. Violet, Kan, Aaron and Ko’s business partner were arrested and charged and I assume Aaron got 1 year imprisonment because 1 year later he is delivering pizza, having learned his lesson. My biggest disappointment is Kin doesn’t end up with Ho Jing Jik because I really want them to end up together. Instead she decided to take it slow and the ending seems to suggest things are not over between her and Aaron. What?! No! No! Let them be over. I really like Ho Jing Jik. 

Seriously the last episode was really funny, that scene where everybody ended up at Violet’s apartment. That is some witty writing there. And whilst I still think this will work better as a half hour sitcom, but as a series I enjoy the chemistry the cast has with one another. 

I never liked Kristal Tin but in here I really appreciate her performance as the simple minded Ling. I think her subtle performance was so elegant, her face very expressive and she has this amazing chemistry with Ruco Chan, their hugs, kisses, all very very believable. 

I am even quite impressed with Natalie Tong whose start of career reminds me of Raymond Lam of the past, that OTT dramatic reaction to absolutely everything. She doesn’t need to be funny in here so thankfully, nothing forced. She did most scene well, toning down her OTT reaction although frankly her role in light of others are lesser so focus is lesser and so I was able to enjoy her performance. 

Louis Yuen proves himself funny in one particular scene where he had to agree, deny and avoid all in succession as he was confronted by Kristal’s Ling. That scene reminded me so much of Power Chan and his comic timing in.. what was that series with Charmaine and Dayo again? That classic scene. I am also glad this series doesn’t force some romance on him. 

Stephen Au was fantastic as the kind caring boss and there is a sincerity in his performance as Mr Ko. When Alex was being difficult, and Alex has his reasons, I felt Alex was being such a petulant child as against a much pressured Mr Ko. Stephen Au really showed his gentleness in this performance which to me is one of his best. 

Never liked Matt Yeung but I ended up liking him. It just shows the right role will do wonders to change the perception of viewers. 

Florence Kwok’s Violet may be a silly character but I can’t fault Florence’s great performance as the ultimate office bitch. 

I finally found out Interpal is Gill Mohindepaul Singh and this man deserves all the praises. Not that I want to see him shirtless (oh so hairy!!) and his character is silly; most of the time the trio find themselves in impossible stupid situation because of Interpal but Gill Mohindepaul Singh played his character with sincerity and the idea that an Indian can speak such good cantonese never gets old. This is one of the best aspect of this series and quite an eye opener, so many Indian actors who can speak perfect cantonese. In fact I suspect they’re better at Cantonese than Hindi because their Hindi sounds like gibberish. Maybe they speak Tamil? Urdu? 

Even Leanne Li with her limited role manage to impress upon me with her winning smile and cheerful disposition. 

Ruco Chan impresses me as well. He can be funny but he can also play angry. However I feel at some scenes he was holding himself back when he didn’t quite shout, and yet not quite whispering. However in retrospect it is because Alex is an educated man, who doesn’t stoop so low as to shout as his wife even if he says hurtful things. So again I appreciate his subtlety. He doesn’t look cunning evil thanks to his curly hair and glasses and I must mention again I love his chemistry with his co-stars, such as Louis Yuen and of course Kristal Tin.

Cheng Chi Seng (does he have English name?) also impresses as the devious minority shareholder of Goaltech. This guy can act. With the same look, he can play a devious guy or a really nice guy. That is what I called versatility. 

The one I am disappointed with is Jason Chan. But he is given an impossible role; a character that just disgusts you till no end with the words he used against Kin. In that respect he played his role well but you can see he is very very very raw. I am doubtful if he can lead a series. He should stay the secondary actor for some time to observe and learn rather than being pushed into the limelight. If I feel Natalie Tong is too dramatic in her delivery of her lines, Jason reminds me of Selena Li who is fluffy. I don’t like how his words are never strong enough. What I mean is look at Ruco; every word he delivers has conviction. He believes in his dialogue, his lines and you can hear his pronunciation, crisp and clear. Jason seems unsure. Given time he will be a better actor but right now I just find him wholly inadequate.

A sidenote. Leanne’s doctor boyfriend is William Chak? Didn’t know! No comment on his performance since he had so few scenes but since I didn’t find anything glaringly obvious, I will say a job well done then. 

Overall this is an amazingly witty series. Yes some situations are impossible, some even downright stupid. But concentrate on the characters and performances, ignore the situations. This is a character driven series and for me the writing is tight and the performances for the most part are above the usual standard fare. And I like the ending. It is not typical in its own weird way. For me this series is enjoyable because it chooses to be quirky. It is a funny interesting quirky series and if you can ignore some major plot holes, I believe this is the series for you. Fans of Ruco, Kristal and Natalie will want to watch this to see their favourite stars shine. 

Verdict

Highly recommended.

   

This review is written by Funn Lim, a Contributing Writer at JayneStars.com, and was originally posted at Point2e.com.

24 comments to Review: “No Good Either Way” (By Funn)

  1. gold4canada says:

    this was a decent time waster if you have time

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  2. exoidus says:

    One of the few series I cared to waste time on. I like every charachter in this series, but didn’t really like Jason.

    Agree Funn, I was cheering for Natalie and Matt as well.

    Btw you forget to mention Louis’s fat tenant I thought he was hilarious 😀

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    • Funn Lim replied:

      Yes I actually forgot about him as well as Stephen Au’s wife in this series. Yes the tenant is hilarious. This is one series I find the supporting characters to be equally as well written as the main characters.

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      • exoidus replied:

        Yeah, the wife and her father 🙂 was funny as well. Her acting is really not bad still remember her performance in TOT.

        You could feel that the supporting characters were real i.e they were not just a bunch of mindless puppets, LOL.

        Btw forget to say that I really enjoyed reading this review (I assumed you knew which is ofcourse a false assumption). Very well written with good analyis without being too detailed.

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      • sandcherry replied:

        Funn:

        Agree with what “exoidus” said “Very well written with good analysis without being too detailed.”

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      • Funn Lim replied:

        Thanks! I shall learn to be brief. I suppose everyone knows the plot already. NExt time I just zoom in to performances.

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  3. sandcherry says:

    Funn:

    I enjoyed reading your review ….. adequate but not too long. Also, you gave all the artistes good and reasonable comments.

    Personally, I liked Florence Kwok the most. She acted her mean and bossy character so well. Chan Chin Pang did well, too, though his character was not “flawless”.

    I agree that overall the acting was good in this drama series. Jason Chan was the weakest one ….. not much expressions and emotions. Some people even had problems in understanding his dialogues. He did not move his lips much when he spoke his dialogues …… not as articulate when he was compared with other artistes, such as Chan Chin Pang, Florence Kwok, Louis Yuen, Stephen Au, and even Gill Bo Bo.

    I also found that Natalie Tong had improved a lot in speaking her dialogues. She was a lot more clear and knew how to control her high-pitched voice. It was not irritating at all.

    Overall, I liked the acting in this drama series, but I didn’t like the storyline much …… a bit dragging in the middle of the series.

    Forgot to mention the excellent acting of Louis Yuen’s so-called “gay” tenant, Ho Yuen Tung. He brought us a lot of laughs in his scenes. I lost quite a bit of interest in “chasing” the series after he moved out of the apartment.

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    • Funn Lim replied:

      Yes I forgot about him too. All those underwear in the toilet, how can I forget! I also forgot about Raja, Interpal’s cousin. Seriously funny bunch of supporting actors.

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  4. Larry 3 says:

    I am borderline recommend this series. I didnt watch it daily… Main reason that I didnt watch is Jason’s horrible lead actor. 🙁

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  5. Joanne says:

    The first 5 episodes are quite boring but the story gets better and funnier after that. I would rate it 3.7 out of 5. Gotta love Chan Chin Pang, Kristal Tin, Kiu Bobo, Florence Kwok, Stephen Au, Matt Yeung, Natalie Tong and Mandy Lam (Stephen Au’s wife in the series). Basically what I want to say about them is as stated by Funn Lim…and I also agree Jason Chan still need more roles before getting the job of a male lead so fast. His performance is saved by his good looks..Not bad but not good either..sigh…

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  6. Malai Kou says:

    I think there is a misconception here by the writer. Gill Mohindepaul Singh is not an Indian and I believe he doesn’t speak Hindi or even Urdu.

    He is a Punjabi and their language is Majhi.

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    • Funn Lim replied:

      No misconception. Just generalisation. And every Indian here pretends to speak Hindi.

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    • Moses replied:

      Punjab states was split between India and Pakistan and he is non muslim so he is indian origin .

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  7. Hannahh says:

    The series was good and something to entertain when u have time.

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  8. Dorothy says:

    it didnt take 20 days to finish ES cuz after aaron was put into jail they got the usb back so they just had to remake the demo. i think that only took 3 days or something.
    and i loved this series 5/5

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  9. Norika says:

    Funn, thanks for the review! I’m also disappointed of Matt is not dating Nat! But phew, she dumped Aaron. Rejecting Matt was unexpected but I quite like her reasoning.

    these are my picks of the funiest:
    – When Louise had his hand stitched by William Chak
    – the ‘last super’ at Violet’s house. Is that UpTech guy call “Johhny Lung??” he and the Bosco were so pissed off lol.

    Violet and Mr.Go, the main and side casts were all outstanding. Only didn’t like it when the plot are sometimes draggy.

    Interesting plots/ characters are:
    Ho Jing Jik, Francis Kan, the Fat Guy,
    Gibert Chan (Karate & toilet rumors) World’s Hug and Kiss Day (Mr.Ko’s hug),
    Professor King, The weather report device & big-head Ling & my fav Ruco!!!

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  10. iampheng says:

    I thought that this was a very good “office” type series. It is refreshing to watch a series where the lead male and female protagonist are already a couple from the beginning so there aren’t really any love triangles, just people caught up in work situations which were depicted in a true and realistic manner. Each supporting character was very interesting.

    I actually thought Natalie Tong’s character was a bit annoying…but I know that girls like her really do exist lol

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  11. sandcherry says:

    Jayne:

    I hope to read more reviews on your website. I always enjoyed reading them.

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  12. sandcherry says:

    I am so glad to watch a TVB drama series eventually with no killing, murdering or death scenes of one of the characters, and, on top of that, it had such a good and happy ending.

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  13. Chew says:

    This show is one of the few very good ones for a long time. I like the fat tenant and Interpal’s acting. To get the dialogue to sound funny is pretty hard and both of them did a good job. Sad to know Interpal has to leave Hong Kong soon.

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  14. Hi says:

    I didn’t like how Aaron’s job was delivering pizza at the end but it was okay! Totally agree that Interpal’s acting was excellent and Kin should of been with Ho Jing Jik! =)

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    • Funn Lim replied:

      At first I too am not ok with him delivering pizza. But then he probably was convicted of CBT or something like that (although only 1 year jail?!) and so no company will ever hire him again. He probably could have opened his own computer shop.

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  15. Yooky says:

    I AGREE. Interpal Singh is so hilarious!! I don’t really like Aaron’s acting in the show too but since he’s handsome..Okay la! 😉

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  16. peanut candy says:

    i also enjoyed the scenes with violet and her cousin :D, especially the last scene

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