Review: “Tiger Cubs” (By Miriamfanz)
Tiger Cubs <飛虎>
Hong Kong TVB Drama 2012
Producer: Lam Chi Wah
Genre: Action, Police Procedural Drama
Number of episodes: 13
Joe Ma as Chin Hon To
Jessica Hsuen as Chong Cheuk Wah
Oscar Leung as Chong Cheuk Yeun
Him Law as Yu Hok Lai
Vincent Wong as Yau Chun Hin
Mandy Wong as So Man Keung
Christine Kuo as Ting Wai Wai
The highly trained Special Duties Unit (SDU), commanded by Joe Ma, faces a slew of criminals, masterminds and kingpins. Out come the weapons and armour and off they go, always returning with the mission completed. They take down everyone from drug dealers, bombers and kidnappers, a crazy psychiatrist, and the “King of Thieves” Kenneth Ma.
This is a masterful creation by TVB; a model for police dramas. This is what TVB is capable of when they put effort and resources into a production. This series features action, action and more action. There’s a lot of explosive scenes, shooting, fighting, the like… When the SDU is not on a mission, they’re doing training exercises. They’re running, climbing and jumping around. You can still admire their physical prowess. There’s always movement on the screen, always excitement in the air that will keep you at the edge of your seat.
I really like the format of this series. No plot, just case after case. Each case takes the span of about one episode. It is different from other police shows in that this is not an “investigation” series (i.e. collect clues, put two and two together, etc). You will likely recognize the bad guy right away since it’s a well-known guest star. This series focuses on the action. Out of nowhere, the SDU will be notified of the suspect and location. They will come in, break down doors, scour the place and subdue the bad guys. You won’t even see much planning or tactical strategy from the SDU.
Outside of the action, there’s the love side. Luckily, TVB does not ruin this show by allocating too much screen time for the relationships. First, there’s the love triangle between Joe, Oscar and Christine. But it isn’t much of a triangle because neither of them really loves her. They choose their friendship over fighting for a girl. After that, Christine sort of just continues hanging around the group.
Then there’s the budding relationship between Joe and Jessica. At first Jessica is suicidal over her fiancé’s death, which makes you wonder how she can continue being a cop. But eventually she’s able to let go with Joe’s encouragement. Their relationship is quite subtle and bearable even for people who hate watching romantic scenes (like me).
Acting-wise, there’s honestly very little acting required to run around with guns and armor. There were complaints about Christine Kuo, but she has little importance to the story anyways. I liked Oscar Leung the most. He’s very charming with his winks and he’s actually quite built-up.
The ending… someone dies, but it is not illogical and unnecessary, unlike previous dramas (*coughcough*Lau Ka Ho Dramas*). The death was necessary to set up the final epic showdown between the SDU and Kenneth.
One thing I think was missing: I hoped to actually see how Mandy Wong passes through the selection process and becomes a front-line SDU member. This is not shown; you only know because she’s sitting beside Him Law in full armor in the last shot.
You can either enjoy this series for the action or for the masculinity. I enjoyed both aspects.
This review is written by Miriamfanz, a Contributing Writer at JayneStars.com. Visit Miriamfanz’ blog!