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.

Recommendation: Spectacular

This review is written by Miriamfanz, a Contributing Writer at Visit Miriamfanz’ blog! 

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  1. TC is defitnitely differ from other cops drama, it’s none stop action with fastpace story line. It kept me watching and want more, which I hope there is a sequel since the ending is quite open. Everyone did very well apart from Christine.

    Oscar sure really stand out and with his wink wink, he made me melt hahaha

    1. love the wink *wink* haha. agree, everyone did great except christine

  2. The main cast did a great job (with the exception of Christine.) I also have to commend the guest stars, especially JJ Jia, Kenneth, Elena Kong, Yoyo and Natalie! It was interesting the whole way and the acting was great.

  3. Jessica, Joe, Oscar, ma minh, Natalia, vincent are the best in the series.

  4. Yep agree with the above comments 🙂
    fell more in love with Kenneth Ma especially towards the love he had towards JJ naw even baddies cherish their love for one another.

  5. I really like this drama as it’s so exiting! I actually sit there and watch it instead of doing something else and only watch when the scene interest me like other dramas. Joe and Jessica were great! I love Oscar character too! So happy to know there may be a part 2!

  6. Yes, 5 stars. So far this is 2nd TVB drama I vote as best beside Oncall 36, thought one is love drama and one is action. This is best action drama that every sense leads us to non-stop 🙂
    Some errors that production staff need to improve as too many drinking senses. I read on web that the requirement for flying tiger in HK is no drink, no smoke. Why Oscar cheered up Natalie by liquor instead of beer? It’s violate the code even no one check you 24/24. Why Mandy keeps drinking beer, should she goes with cocktail or juice? They are flying tiger, discipline is must restrict.

  7. I really hope there will be part 2. I loved this drama and I fell in love with Oscar. He is super hot in this. The storyline and the whole entire cast were great. It would have been better though if they had someone else play Christine’s role. Sorry but her speaking and bad acting ruined it for me.

    1. Absolutely agreed!! Pleaseeee remove Christine character. Can’t stand her in every way. She ruined the entire series. Without her I would rate this series 5/5.

      1. They should’ve replaced Christine with Yoyo Chen, and replace someone else for Yoyo’s case LOL. I want another Oscar and Yoyo pairing ;_; But Joe and Yoyo? Er…

  8. Hope TVB will execute sequel coming months while audience is in favorite mood to support it. But first they need to grab Jessica in contract. Jessica is golden actress in this drama. Without her, Tiger Cubs loose many audience as who will fit Joe as co-star? I see Joe Ma has very few co-star actress to fit it as he’s too talk and not too abstract. Jessica is one of the most co-start fit with him. Go to Jessica! In tiger cubs special recording, Jessica said things are not in confirmed yet, still in process. Seems she prefers to have suite contract and she wants to see how the script looks like before sign contract. I think Jessica is great actress to value herself and does things she enjoys and likes. She is no longer working for $$$, it’s 2nd or 3rd priority. Also she said from Tiger Cubs she found out that she can act in discipline character as Madame Chong, instead of comedy or prof lawyer roles.

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