TVB’s “Brutally Young” Receives Rave Reviews from Netizens

TVB drama Brutally Young <十八年後的終極告白> has become the late-night snack series that many netizens don’t mind staying at home for.

Produced by Simon Wong (王偉仁), the 20-episode mystery thriller centers on a murder that had occurred 18 years ago: seven teenage boys get into a fight with a local gangster, resulting in the gangster’s death. 18 years later, the body of the gangster is discovered from a car accident, and the seven boys—now well into adulthood—have to face the consequences of their actions.

Praised for its gripping storyline and strong characterization, Brutally Young is being hailed by netizens as Hong Kong’s “legendary drama” of 2020. Although the drama isn’t airing in mainland China, the series received an 8.5 out of 10 rating on China’s entertainment database Douban. The last Hong Kong TV drama to receive a rating over 8 was 2019’s Barrack O’Karma <金宵大廈>, which received a rating of 8.3 out of 10.

Hong Kong netizens have commented that Brutally Young is reminiscent of the highly-acclaimed 2011 TVB drama When Heaven Burns <天與地>, which had also dealt with the aftermath of a murder.

Shaun Tam (譚俊彥) plays Sam Lam, a senior accountant and one of the seven boys involved in the murder. Intelligent and resourceful, Sam is a morally gray character who flips back and forth between selfishness and righteousness. Once critically panned for his wooden acting, Brutally Young is shining a new light on Shaun, with netizens praising Shaun for his good portrayal of Sam’s ambiguity.

Joel Chan (陳山聰)—who also starred in Barrack O’Karma—plays Ah Yat, also one of the seven boys. Despite being an aggressive triad leader, Ah Yat is extremely loyal and stands up for justice. His romantic subplot with Ah Sin (portrayed by Vivien Yeo 楊秀惠), who is deaf and mute, is a compelling part of the series. TVB-style romantic subplots have never been regarded highly by netizens, but Ah Yat and Ah Sin’s subtle romance adds more humaneness to the otherwise dark tale.

Brutally Young also stars Mandy Wong (黃智雯), Dominic Lam (林嘉華), Anthony Ho (何遠東), Candice Chiu (趙希洛), Elvina Kong (江欣燕), Griselda Yeung (楊卓娜), Mary Hon (韓馬利), and Auston Lam (林師傑).


This article is written by Addy for

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  1. For once TVB is doing a thriller style drama some good. The location scenes, dialogue, styling of the characters are all really good so far. I totally LOL’ed when I saw Dominic Lam in the drama. His character must some villain for TVB to get him to come back to film this one lol.
    Joel’s role reminds me of his triad role in E.U. Hopefully the plot continues to be gripping cause all dramas this year have been a bore.

  2. Enjoy this drama so far, the plot has been suspenseful. It’s a shame it’ll only be 20 episodes long. Really like the acting of the Fat Guy and Joel and Vivien and the tomboy girl.
    Can TVB please cast Shaun as a character with emotions? I see no diversity from FH4 and him now. He always has a stern look on him with a monotone voice.
    It’ll be funny if Joel and Selena gets nominated again this year during the awards haha.

  3. It’s good and easily best series of the year so far and likely will stay that way. However it’s Still far, far off the complex mental character development of When Heavens Burn. This series is far more fast paced. The only character that has a bit of depth and Shauns. The lack of veteran support and lack decent female lead also shows. Still a poor man ‘when Heavens Burn’ is better than anything these days…

  4. When the media needs to hype this drama to make comparisons to “When Heaven Burns”, I already know it’s nothing close to the original – from the leading to the supporting casts.

  5. Great drama better than airport striker ! Airport striker I was just fast forwarding the episodes , dreading for it to finish ! But brutally young was really good ! Keeps you on the edge and you are sympathizing Sam the criminal in question throughout the drama and hoping he doesnt get caught. It`s such a dilemma to the audience . We know he is wrong but we dont want him to get caught !

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