The More You Watch “The Gutter”, The More You’ll Sink In It

ViuTV’s latest original drama series The Gutter <歎息橋> has finally premiered on Monday. Produced by Bowie Lam (林保怡), The Gutter follows the intertwined lives of six individuals in a story that spans 20 years. It stars Bowie Lam, Catherine Chau (周家怡), Michelle Wai (衛詩雅), and Hanjin Tan (陳奐仁).

The Gutter features the production crew behind ViuTV’s opening drama Margaret & David—Green Bean <瑪嘉烈與大衛系列綠豆>including directors Fatball (肥波), 25, and HKFA-winning scriptwriter Norris Wong (黃綺琳). It reunites Green Bean costars Bowie Lam and Catherine Chau, with the addition of Leila Tong (唐寧), Christine Ng (伍詠薇), Alan Luk (陸駿光), Angie Cheong (張慧儀), and Poon Chan-leung (潘燦良). It boasts a solid veteran supporting cast, including Paul Chun (秦沛), Lau Siu-ming (劉兆銘), Bonnie Wong (黃文慧), Wilson Tsui (艾威), Kwok Fung (郭鋒), and award-winning stage actress Luna Shaw (邵美君) in her television drama debut.

A co-production with China’s Youku, The Gutter was produced with a budget of over HK$10 million. A large section of the budget was put aside for on-location filming, including sites in Belgium. The 15-episode series aims to deliver a “cinematic” experience to its viewers. It includes original music composed by Mike Orange, and a theme song written by Chan Wing-him (陳詠謙), performed by Yoyo Sham (岑寧兒).

The Gutter introduces a new manner of story-telling to Hong Kong viewers in a style that netizens have described as “swampy”: the more you watch it, the more you sink in and unable to pull yourself out. The first 15 minutes of each episode starts off with a God’s eye view of introducing each main character in their youths. The final 45 minutes takes viewers back to the present, using a first person point of view to narrate the story in the eyes of six different characters.


This article is written by Addy for

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  1. Star studded cast for sure. And location filming and original score??? Things TVB will never have…

  2. Watched a few of this company s productions. Quite boring to follow through. The only thing that captivated me was the ghost detective drama but they managed to ruin the second one even with a star studded production….

    1. @m0m0
      I haven’t seen this series yet, but the ghost detective drama was good for sure. I too agree that the sequel sucked.

    1. @anon the link is a nice find! Thnx for sharing. Glad to see coverages outside of TVB. Ugh, but why, why did they have to bring up TVb in that article? Seriously… TVB must had pay for these questions lol.

      Anyways, I haven’t seen The Gutter yet but am looking forward to it. I like the idea telling from different people’s perspective, but not sure how “first person” played out. Maybe it’s lost im translation. It just meant third person limited instead third person omniscient? Also, I’m not liking the idea of flashbacks in the first 15 mins. Hopefully it won’t feel disjointed. Regardless, I’ll still go in with an open mind.

      This is slice of life so no BS or OTT gimmicks.

  3. Oh…watched the first 15 mins of the first episode and its so boring and couldnt get into the story!!..only tried to watch this because of Bowie….

    1. @applelim
      sounds like viutv style. the other viudrama w/ bowie in it was just as boring too. i watched a few of their production, one was an sci-fi anthology and another supernatural drama. both were as boring as watching paint dry

  4. “ using a first person point of view to narrate the story in the eyes of six different characters“ – wasn’t there a bunch of western drama did this? And none of them lasted more than 2 seasons -.- when you have so many characters, it’s just choppy, and you might get 1 good storyline but have to deal with the other 5 crappy one and those are like fillers! 1/6 isn’t a good ratio for good drama -.- not even bother trying after reading about the multiple characters POV

    1. @littlefish I started watching and its nothing like you described. Each episode does focus on a different character, but it’s all 1 storyline…the way they did it, we get to really see in depth into each character and how they develop. It’s actually not choppy at all….rather, it adds depth to the story. The purpose of the backstories with each character is to show how they became the way they are currently (the focus on character development in this series is wonderful, in my opinion)…

      I don’t know about you guys, but I love character-driven stories, so I’m enjoying this series so far. And the acting is awesome. Unlike TVB, the newbies in this series are actually really good — so far, I’m pretty impressed by the actor and actress who play the younger versions of Bowie (Kelvin Chan) and Catherine (Hedwig Tam). With this series, as an audience, I feel like I’m watching something intelligent that actually requires me to think and reflect (rather than have everything spelled out for me as TVB series usually do).

  5. Agree with others on assessment of initial 15-20 min of first episode. Just too boring for me to continue watching remainder of episode much less the subequent episodes. Can’t do TVB anymore but this series doesn’t do enough to pull me over.

  6. I watched the first episode but couldn’t finish it bcos it made me so sleepy & the story just not as captivating to keep me continue watching the 2nd half of the episode…LOL.

    Anybody have encouraging comments about the series that may urge me to give this series another try by skipping the boring parts?

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