Review: “Triumph in the Skies 2” (By VCN)

By on October 22, 2013 in REVIEWS, TV Dramas

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Triumph in the Skies 2 <衝上雲霄II>
Hong Kong TVB Drama 2013

Producer: Sharon Au, Joe Chan
Genre: Modern, Romance
Episodes: 41

Rating: 

Cast
Francis Ng as Samuel Tong
Chilam Cheung as Jayden Koo
Fala Chen as Holiday Ho
Myolie Wu as Zoe So/ Summer Ko
Ron Ng as Issac Tong
Kenneth Ma as Roy Ko
Elena Kong as Heather Fong
Nancy Wu as Coco Ling
Him Law as Jim Jim
Michelle Yim as Manna
Toby Leung as Apple Tung
Eliza Sam as Tracy Mok
Kelly Fu as Jose
Patrick Dunn as Tony Ching

Synopsis

Ten years have elapsed since the original Triumph in the Skies concluded. The renowned Captain Samuel Tong, once the stoical perfectionist, is now a widower grieving the loss of his young wife, Zoe So. This series follow Sam as he learns to cope with his grief and return to a life of normalcy. Meanwhile, Sam’s brother, Isaac Tong, and his friend, Roy Ko, aspire to be the youngest Captain of Skylette airlines. Alongside them, flight attendant CoCo Ling has matured and confronts her own struggles against social convention. New comers to the series include the charismatic pilot, Captain Jayden Koo, and the free spirited Holiday Ho as they individually endure life changing events while seeking true love and discovering their real purpose(s) in life. Also, the brooding and sullen Summer Koo finds her emotions and learns to give voice to these feelings. Using Hong Kong’s International Airport as the background, a myriad of other cast members, both young and old, populate the series as they go through life on their journeys of self discovery and romance.

Title

Even in the original series, the English title, Triumph in the Skies, was criticized for being grossly inadequate because it does not encompass the love stories that unfolded during the series. For the same reasons, the current title, Triumph in the Skies 2, continues to fall short of being accurate. However, this title is marginally more acceptable because it is the ideal title for no reason other than continuity’s sake. Although I tend to dislike the lengthy titles employed by TVB producers, I think a more descriptive title might be appropriate for this series. Suggestions include Triumph in the Skies: 10 Years Later, Romancing Love or The Triangel Chronicles.

Acting

Triumph in the Skies 2 Fala Chen Chilam CheungThe characters, Holiday Ho and Captain Jayden Koo, are the most complex characters in the series and for that same reason, they are also the most interesting characters to watch. Not to mention that both Chilam Cheung and Fala Chan turned in their best performances. Chilam’s portrayal of the charming and charismatic Captain Koo is convincing and captivating. Though not a completely original role, Fala’s Holiday Ho is alternately entertaining and heartrending while she exhibits minimal restraint in depicting the bohemian free spirit. Furthermore, her youth and physical appearance fits the bill for a free spirited girl and that alone finished half her work for her. Regarding Francis Ng’s Sam Tong, my opinion of his English remains the same. (See review of the original series.) I just think that if Damian Lau can learn English for his role in Silver Spoons and Sterling Shackles, so can Francis. How difficult can it be! Despite this, he executed the role of Sam quite adequately. Ron Ng’s Isaac Tong, Myolie Wu’s Zoe So and Nancy Wu’s CoCo Ling are also nicely reprised. However, Myolie Wu’s performance of Summer Koo is unfortunately hindered by her character’s stoical personality.

Content

From the filming technique to the plot structure, it is obvious that this series is not crafted by the creative team from the original series. Every scene from this series has been westernized for better or for worse. Even the unusual relationships seem to be culled from the American hit comedy, Friends. These airline pilots and their coworkers are constantly huddled over coffee and booze, gossiping about each other. Every relationship is an awkwardly situated love triangle (or pentagon in some cases). Equally shallow in content, most of these romances lack a credible sense of raison d’être. Simply speaking, there are just too many relationships. This series offered more romantic combinations than the movie, Love Actually. Forty-one episodes of screen time should not equal 41 relationships. A few very well-developed ones should be sufficient. This series very nearly suffered death by too many romances.

Despite these shortcomings, this series succeeds in offering more subtle nuances, parallels and foreshadowing than the original series. The conclusion of the series and its resulting romances are quickly and artistically alluded to in as early as the initial five episodes of the series. For example, Holiday flies by Jayden en route to a warm and friendly embrace with her former lover’s sister. Similarly, Roy’s romantic interest is decided for him when he inadvertently eats Tony’s choice dinner entree. Likewise, Nick’s many failed attempts at proposing also foretells the doom of his relationship with CoCo. Even Sam’s and Holiday’s abilities to temporarily quell each other’s misery predict the finale with ease. Many more hints are delivered throughout the series if the audience is attentive and attuned to metaphoric techniques.

Triumph in the Skies 2 endingThe success of the original series rested heavily on its travelogue style, taking the audience on a whirlwind tour of Rome, Hokkaido and Adelaide. Despite the high-budget stops in London and Paris, the travelogues in this series appear lacking in scope and in style. Even the panoramic sequences fail to awe viewers after repetitive use of the same sets during different visits by different couples. A note to the producers: You’re in Paris, the capital city of romance. There are eight neighborhoods and countless scenic views in Paris–please make good use of them.

As a free-standing story, Triumph in the Skies 2 is adequate, but as a sequel, it falls very far from perfection. In a successful follow-up, the reprising roles are expected to carry the burden of consequences from the previous series. Here, only Sam and Holiday possess a palpable and genuine past. We are left wondering what happened to Isaac, CoCo and Roy. How did the arrogant Isaac Tong of yesteryear morph into this altruistic Sam-like personage? Did Isaac get assimilated into the Sam collective? (Forgive the pun.) And what happened to his last love interest, Zita? Are they still friends as the previous ending promised or did she marry Donald after all? Last but not least, what happened to Roy? Wasn’t he a gawkish cadet with minimal lines? What event caused this cataclysmic 180 degree transformation? To deliver a successful sequel, the producers owe the audience these answers either through flashbacks or character  conversations.

Like all TVB dramas before this one, there seems to be absolutely nothing new here. Every romance has been told before and every character has been played before. Do we not recognize the sweet innocent diary themes, love triangles, the bohemian girl and the cocky playboy alongside the shy good-willed perfectionist? But, STOP! and rewind. Unlike previous TVB productions, this series surprisingly embrace the rarely used character-driven storyline that most great dramas are based upon. For this very reason, the action rolls along at a relatively slower pace than a plot-driven story. All action relies on the meditations and motivation of each character. Even if this series falls short of perfection, these producers deserve tepid applause for the courageous attempt to create this artistic and philosophical piece of work.

The Characters

A proper analysis of a character-driven story necessitates a discussion of character development. Because the primary love triangle between Sam, Holiday and Jayden seem to be the most confounding for audiences, I will only evaluate these three characters in a humble attempt to explain their actions and decisions.

Samuel Tong

Triumph in the Skies 2 Francis Ng 5Captain Samuel Tong is a traditionalist and seems to be ignorantly clueless of how the times have changed over the course of ten years–people are more relaxed; culture has taken a sidestep; relationships are more casual than ever. Only Sam can be oblivious to the changing times. Given his unawareness, one would think that he has been a recluse for ten plus years when in fact he had only taken a two year hiatus from the world of aviation to care and grieve for Zoe. Sam is also not a free thinker. He is best described as a tightly bound volume of regulations and remains as pedantic as ever. Sam finds everyone’s behavior reproachable, unworthy of his or her stature as an airline pilot. His vision is myopic and he believes that being a pilot represents an innate ability to show discipline and reason, to act maturely and speak technically. He does not believe that that professional etiquette can be acquired through education, experience and time. He also does not believe that individual uniqueness brings about change and hopefully, improvements. If he is stigmatized against someone, that individual is condemned to failure with no chance of redemption.

Triumph in the Skies 2 Myolie Wu Francis Ng 3But, Sam was not always like this. Recall that the Sam from the original series was a much more reasonable and admirable character. His generosity in this series seems petty compared to his altruism in the original series. In certain aspects, he has lost his magic the very day that he allowed Zoe to run away and die alone in Kaohsiung. Consequently, a devastated Sam exiles himself to cake baking in London instead of returning to his passion of being a pilot. The whole world mistakes his misery for grief, but it is guilt that imprisons him because he failed to understand Zoe in her last days. His reluctance to surrender to the reality that Zoe’s lease on life has expired nearly destroys their relationship. Zoe understands that love and life are not everlasting things and urges Sam to return to work. His refusal to accept the fragility of these things drove Zoe away from him. Because he cannot come to terms with this truth, he deceives himself and his family into believing that Zoe died peacefully in his embrace. For the same reason, he dodges all mention of Kaohsiung and avoids all flights to the city.

After Holiday chooses Sam over Jayden, the inevitable question arises, Does Sam love Holiday as much as he loved Zoe? To properly answer this question, one must ask, Did Sam even know how to love Zoe? Sam was not fully cognizant of how to love Zoe. Otherwise, he would not have allowed her to slip away from him unnoticed. In the climactic scene in the finale, Sam is given a new chance to learn from his mistakes. Paralleling Zoe’s illness to the near death experience of episode 41, Sam is given the choice to either repeat old errors and live with enduring regret or to take a chance, to openly acknowledge and celebrate love. Life is just as fleeting as love itself. With this in mind, the love story of Sam and Zoe comes full circle and becomes the love story of Sam and Holiday. Thus, the answer to the premise is a resounding Yes!

Jayden Koo

Triumph in the Skies 2 chilam Chueng2aCaptain Jayden Koo, the celebrity pilot, is young, handsome and skilled in aviation after serving in the Australian Air Force. He basks in his superstar status as the celebrity pilot of Skylette airlines and he indulges in his lifestyle of endless parties and women. On multiple occasions, he likens himself to the DC comic book hero, Batman, a wealthy playboy by day and a vigilante crime fighter by night, alluding to his ability to accomplish heroic deeds should the need arise. But despite the confidant and nonchalant facade, he is very human and as confused about life as the rest of humanity. He has no lucid dreams to pursue and he does not plan extensively for the future. He simply lives his life on a day-to-day basis, finding the next great party, trying to mend his broken relationship with his sister and maintaining his famed existence.

Ostensibly, Jayden is the reincarnation of Sam’s bosom buddy, Vincent Ling, at least in philandering spirit. However, that is not the case; Jayden is not the typical womanizer portrayed in TVB productions. Even he denies being a womanizer. He only admits to a profligate lifestyle that involves women because he genuinely admires the unique beauty of every woman. As a romantic, he believes that love is not meant to be safe and everlasting nor is it meant to enslave or hold one captive. Locking love and throwing away the keys is “stupid” in his opinion. In fact, he openly denounces the act while strolling with Holiday on the Pont des Arts in Paris. Instead, he subscribes to the notion that love is inherently vulnerable and that to love is to embrace its fragility and to give one’s beloved complete freedom in exchange for a very slight chance of retaining his or her undying gratitude or love. This philosophy of love is the Parisienne’s definition of love.

This is the great love that Jayden offers Holiday. He gives her a love that allows her to be true to herself by condoning her mischief and urging her toward her goals without trying to tame her like a wild beast. His love for her also breaks through his mask; he finally shares his personal issues, matters that he has previously guarded with fierce privacy. Only with her does he describe his anguish over his broken promise to Summer and only with her does he share the true story of his origins without resorting to grand tales of the Aisin Gioro or fabulous wealth. Despite his own imminent suffering, he respects her decision to leave him and frees her from their relationship. Contrary to the comments of other critics, Holiday does touch Jayden. She brings him a sense of home and family, something he has never had, in his lonely chaotic world of excesses. This is best represented when Jayden begins to mope around his apartment, waiting for dinner from his sister instead of dining out and clubbing at bars, after their separation. Furthermore, Jayden learns to appreciate and embrace family life, visiting Summer on a regular basis and staying with his half-sister, Alizee, in Paris. He emerges from their romance a changed man. If that is not love, what is?

Holiday Ho

Triumph in the Skies 2 Fala Chen 3Holiday Ho is a quirky British born Chinese girl, who is heartbroken after the disappearance of her lover, Daniel. Like Sam, she is in denial of his flight accident and subsequent death. Lovesick, she quits both her job and family to wander the world and later pursues a career as a pilot. Being a free spirit, Holiday is a romantic at heart, absconding with her flight instructor as her newly discovered lover. Her interest in the Greek myth of Europa further attests to her hope and trust that love is a romantic affair. Her love with Daniel was her personal tale of great love, but Daniel’s untimely death turned it into her cage, imprisoning her until Jayden rescues her from her suffering.

Jayden and Holiday’s romance seems to be the most plausible relationship in the entire series. Whether or not Jayden knows it, he happens to be present at practically all of Holiday’s darkest moments, supporting her and protecting her. Throughout the series, Jayden remains steadfastly by her side regardless of her decision to leave him for another man. Together, they emerge from their biggest obstacle, comforting each other throughout their separate ordeals. These experiences should be the guiding light to love; however, Holiday inexplicably chooses Sam, the most unlikely choice. This baffling decision leaves the audience completely confused.

Haunted by shadows from her past, Holiday makes her choice out of fear. By choosing Sam, Holiday picks the safest choice that a girl can elect. Sam does not take risks of any kind and he always takes precautionary measures to ensure safety at all cost. He would not pilot an airplane through a lightening storm for all the fanfare in the world. More importantly, her reason for choosing Sam is because she could not possibly endure another loss and another heartbreak. She acknowledges Jayden’s similarities to her dead lover, Daniel. Both men are popular with ladies and both of them has a penchant for spoiling her. Similarly, they are capable of disappearing without notice; Daniel was swallowed up by a storm and Jayden is nearly incinerated in a voluntary rescue operation. Holiday is naturally drawn to Jayden because of these similarities to Daniel. Sadly, these similarities are also the sole reason why she so desperately runs away from him. By the end, she admits that Jayden remains a very tempting choice for her when she tearfully begs him to stop treating her with such tender affection for fear that she would no longer be capable of resisting him.

Conclusion

Quite frankly, Triumph in the Skies 2 is a story about different romances and the theme of the series is romantic love. The message is to not pass over love while fussing over insignificant matters. Love is too precious to miss; it is the greatest emotion, so celebrate it while it lasts. In the end of the series, one realizes that the drama only pretends to extol the Parisienne philosophy of love because it ends with Holiday, the leading lady, embracing a risk-free love with Sam. Countless other relationships conclude in marriage, engagement or a promising courtship. These relationships and the Triangel/Guardian Angel all imply the safety net of a permanent love and point away from the ephemerally romantic side of love, thereby closing the series with uncertainty and declaring love a sentimental expression. By the end, only Jayden dares to start a new love affair with heroism, a romantic theme that has spanned time itself.

In conclusion, the producers of Triumph in the Skies 2 tried to convey the philosophy of love in layman terms, admittedly a very difficult task to undertake. Their attempt resulted in an ambiguous ending; however, the courage to try deserves commendation. As to stars, I think this drama series, Triumph in the Skies 2, is worthy of 4 stars out of 5. So, if this series is still a bore and a complete disaster to you, I can only respond with Captain Jayden Koo’s trademark answer, “Excuse me?”

This review was written by VCN, a Contributing Writer at JayneStars.com.

40 comments to Review: “Triumph in the Skies 2” (By VCN)

  1. Jack says:

    Eh, I hope not one takes their cues from TV for romantic advice. I would say it would be better not to be in a relationship when you haven’t gotten over somebody else. The show wasn’t as bad as I expected but, even in print, Holiday is a difficult character for me to like. It takes a special kind of actress to make Holiday likeable for me but that person isn’t Fala.

    Nice review, vcn!

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  2. miriamfanz says:

    Wow, great review! Although I disagree with your evaluation of Fala’s acting, I’m amazed by your thorough analysis of the characters!

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  3. msxie says:

    Holiday Ho, Summer Ko, Apple Tung…..who thinks up these names? No wonder east Asian neighbors snicker at Chinese/HK/Taiwanese who crave western identities.

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    • HeTieShou replied:

      I was wondering the same thing. I once had a classmate that was named Happy. I thought it was unique but strange at the same time.

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    • June replied:

      How about Kiwi and Pink Pink???

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    • Yuyu replied:

      Angelababy?

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  4. Hannah says:

    Really enjoyed your writing. Hope to read more reviews. Hehe

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  5. dxlam28 says:

    Well god damn. This review is one of the best ones I’ve read. The analysis is wonderful, though I don’t necessarily agree with everything but the argument almost had me sold. 10/10 for this review. lol jk. I am in no position to rate anything.

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  6. Smart Aleck says:

    You review was amazing! I’m so glad you saw the foreshadowing object like I did because no one tends to notice them. I agree with your overall review. I hated how they had no mention of some of the old characters like Belle or Zita. As fans, we want to know what happened to them. Then also, some of the characters changed so much from the first one it’s not logical. I agree that Holiday’s character is interesting, but being portrayed but Fala was a mistake. In some parts, she made the character very awkward. I think Holiday could have definitely been better if she was portrayed by someone else like Michelle Ye.

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  7. polypeptide says:

    In-depth review, but i don’t agree on Fala’s part, she is inadequate in most scenes, and she made it really over the top sometimes. She was a miscast.. and frankly i think the scriptwriters screwed over the character Holiday.

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  8. mickeynot says:

    ten years? please get your review right.
    the timeline in the movie is actually just 2 years after the death of Zoe.

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    • Cm replied:

      I think the reviewer meant ten years since series 1 aired on TV.

      Regardless, I like the flight analogy that was used by another review. This series was definately like a joyflight which teased and promised to excite, but never really delivered. The script was poor and didn’t really go anywhere storywise and it was only really saved by the 2 male leads. I think Fala improved marginally, but thats not saying much given her past performances. She’s still only an average actor at best

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      • Angiepooh replied:

        Very well said! I totally agree!

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  9. Alana says:

    Fantastic review (alot better than the other one i read, especially on this same series). Totally agree with your analysis of the characters

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  10. LeUna says:

    Even though this is a successful series in terms of the hype and ratings and all… (and I’ve watched it no less than 20x now), I’m still disappointed at how many significant gaps the entire plot left out. It’s not complete at all and after watching the 20th time, the ending still leaves me hanging.

    For example, did Sam & Holiday actually broke up during the process? The part where Jayden asked Holly to leave HK with him for a trip… Holly says Goodbye to Issac and Coco (as in she’s leaving for a trip), Sam responded by saying ‘you can still stay here if you want’. Doesn’t mean they’ve ended their relationship?

    Also, then when Holly comes back and Sam was hurrying to bring her luggage up, Holiday tells him that she’ll stay until she finds a place to move. Doesn’t it all signal they’re done?

    But… omg, i hate it. What happens after doesn’t even connect to those events. Drives me freaking crazy!

    Also, I feel like the scene where their plane is almost crashing, they should put in some flashback on the three. Because the ending of Sam telling Holly “I only thought of you” just doesn’t cut it!

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    • Jinalow replied:

      I totally agree with you! I seriously hated Sam for pushing Holiday away again and again. I would’ve leave him the first time he decided to push me towards Jayden if I was Holiday.
      Remember how Jayden got into trouble because he got caught drinking the night before he does his SIM check? It was so frustrating to watch because the lady clearly took the video with Jayden’s phone, so even if she sent it to her own phone, Jayden should still have the clip to prove he wasn’t harassing a married woman. Everything would be easily settled but I guess they HAD to make it much more complicated than that

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      • Moon replied:

        We have to “thank” the scriptwriter.

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      • June replied:

        “I totally agree with you! I seriously hated Sam for pushing Holiday away again and again. I would’ve leave him the first time he decided to push me towards Jayden if I was Holiday.

        —-> I don’t think Sam pushes Holly away even though it seemed like he did. I think it is Sam’s personality. Sam and Jayden have two opposite personalities.

        Jayden is the one who never gives up without a fight and he will fight to get what he wants until his last breath, including love. Jayden told Summer that Holly is like a “fish” and if he doesn’t catch it, someone else will. That’s why Jayden always shows his tender love to Holly, persists that she should pick him over Sam. This leaves Holly no doubt about Jayden’s love for her coz she can see it very clearly.

        Sam, on the other hand, thinks love is something one shouldn’t fight over. It should be a choice, not a a fight. One should choose who he/she loves most to live with. That’s why he always steps back and let Holly choose. He doesn’t want to treat her like an object. Remember their trip to Taiwan, Holly told Sam don’t push her to Jayden anymore coz she might pick Jayden over him. Sam’s response was: “I’m not conceding. I’m just not fighting. You’re not an object. You should think for yourself. I’m giving you a chance to think over.” Then Holly asked Sam to say that he loves her, but Sam didn’t. Sam only said that after Holly revealed that even if he didn’t, she still wouldn’t leave. That is Sam’s theory about love. He wants her to stay because she loves him, not because he begs her to. The same thing happened on the London bridge. However,looking from a girl’s point of view, Holly isn’t too happy about that.

        Conclusion, Sam didn’t push Holly away. He just didn’t say the right thing to keep her coz he doesn’t want to treat her like an object as he once put it.

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      • VCN replied:

        @ Jinalow: the tribunal already ruled that the harassment case is a personal issue. However, they cannot determine whether or not Jayden imbibed alcohol within 12 hours of flying, based on the provided facts. That’s why Jayden is slated to stand trial in civil court for his violation. Given the circumstances, standing trial is neither an advantageous nor enviable position to be in. That’s why Sam’s help in swaying Michelle Pang, Jayden’s accuser, to tell the truth is so crucial to Jayden’s case. There technically is no other way out of it.

        Note: Jayden does have the original video. He played it for Holiday in Bath after her management check when he confessed his love for her once more.

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    • June replied:

      1. did Sam & Holiday actually broke up during the process? –> yes, they kinda did.

      2. “The part where Jayden asked Holly to leave HK with him for a trip… Holly says Goodbye to Issac and Coco (as in she’s leaving for a trip), Sam responded by saying ‘you can still stay here if you want’. Doesn’t mean they’ve ended their relationship?” –> it seemed so, but only Sam and Holiday knew the reason. Both Issac and Coco were confused coz they didn’t know anything about what Jayden told Holiday.

      3. “then when Holly comes back and Sam was hurrying to bring her luggage up, Holiday tells him that she’ll stay until she finds a place to move. Doesn’t it all signal they’re done?” –> Yes, they were done apparently. But it seemed like both didn’t want to and they just said and acted so coz they were both angry and misunderstood about each other (Holiday was mad since Sam kept pushing her toward Jayden and Sam was mad coz Holiday chose to leave and pick Jayden to fight a battle with her). That’s why Holiday said Sam was the one who cares for her the most and got hurt when Sam said “good luck” to her and Jayden.

      According to what I understand, Sam and Holly broke up. But then after Holly found out that Sam was the one who helped Jayden and also was the one who hinted the meaning of the uniform, Holly kind of understands how much Sam loves her. That’s why Holly gave Sam another chance to confront his love for her on their flight together to London/Paris. However, Sam didn’t take the chance. I guess that is his personality. Sam didn’t want to fight over Holly. He thought Holly should be the one who decides what is best for her, who is the one she really loves. That’s why Sam never forces Holly to pick him over Jayden even he really loves Holly. But looking as a girl’s point of view, I think Holly wanted him to confront the love.
      Holly to Sam: “Don’t you think you are giving him(Jayden) a chance? Don’t you care?”
      Sam: “You have the right to choose, not him.”
      Holly: “Are you saying that you won’t stop me if I want to leave?”
      Sam: ” you don’t need me that much. You can take care of yourself now.”
      Then they broke up.

      The meaning is kind of rush in my view but it did say something. If you watch it correctly, you see that Holly was still in a dilemma right before her line check. That’s why she told Jayden she needed more time. But when the flight crash happened, she finally knows who she loves the most. Sam finally also speaks out for the 1st time how much he loves Holly. That’s why they ended up.

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      • June replied:

        “The meaning”–> Sorry, I meant “the ending”

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      • VCN replied:

        @ June: thanks for recalling that scene. Even with this scene in mind, I still find it uncanny and unconvincing that Sam’s altruistic gestures are enough reason for Holiday to love Sam most. Jayden is equally altruistic when he confesses his love for her in Bath, conceding that it would pain him too much to force her to choose. Furthermore, he reassures her that no matter what happens, he would want nothing more that complete happiness for her. Recall that Jayden had once admitted to his sister that he would gladly exchange his fame and fortune for the return of his parents and his sibling relationship with Summer. Now he is a changed man and that dream can be extrapolated to his relationship with Holiday. He values that relationship so much that he wouldn’t let Holiday give up her dreams of becoming a pilot even if it means giving up the chance to grasp his dream of love and family with Holiday when they attempt to run away from their problems together. Even when I consider my “safety” theory, I still wonder why Holiday picks Sam when it is Jayden, who physically rescues the entire plane with his superior flight skills. Is that not enough security for her?

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      • June replied:

        @VCN: To be honest, I totally agree with you on your review about the movie most of the point from the acting and characters and stuff except when it come to the “safe love theory”.

        Many people complained about Fala’s acting skills but I think Fala did a great job in this drama. Except for her crying scene and some of the emotional parts, she did pretty well overall.

        For Jayden, I don’t think his character is that complicated. If I have to say, I think Holiday and Sam characters are two most comlicated ones. But that’s only my opinion.

        About the “safety” theory like you said, I disagree with you to most of the point.

        1. I don’t think Holiday pick Sam over Jayden because she wants to be safe. Watching the drama more than 1OX time, I think Holiday picks Sam because Sam is the only one she loves(besides her dead bf) from the beginning till the end. Recall how fast she falls in love with Jayden and they have a good time together in Paris, including causual sex and stuff, then she moves in with him, blab ..blad… With all that happens just in a blink of eye, Holly finally realized that it is Daniel that she’s still in love with, not Jayden. She clearly said that Jayden is only a substitute and nothing more. That’s why she unlocked the bangle when Jayden tried to put it on her again.

        Yes, I agree that Holly is happy when she’s with Jayden since he never scolds her like Sam. Jayden would go to a spin with her, jump into the water with her, etc. like he told her when he confesses his love for her in Taiwan, but that doesn’t mean that she should love him.
        I think Holly thinks about Jayden like a close male friend. Remember when Jayden said he hurt every woman he met, Holly smiled and said except her. That means she never got hurt after breaking up with him. She didn’t even care if Jayden still went out with XYZ girls when they were dating and living together. She even rejected to live with him and said that she would move out when her apparment got fixed.

        However, Holly treats Sam completely different. She gets hurt everytime Sam got mad over her for whatever reason. She cares about Sam’s feelings. She tried very hard to please Sam, to be a suitable partner with him. Remember when she got drunk, she told Jayden that Sam never called her “sweatheart or honey”, she said she wanted Sam to show his intense love to her. On the next day, she appologized to Sam even it wasn’t her fault. She said she was drunk and only asked Jayden as a company, she hoped that Sam wouldn’t mind. Her break-up scene with Sam is so emotional and touching compared to with Jayden. That means it hurt her a lot.

        I don’t agree when you say “she admits that Jayden remains a very tempting choice for her when she tearfully begs him to stop treating her with such tender affection for fear that she would no longer be capable of resisting him”.
        I think she only says that because she doesn’t want to hurt Jayden since he’s so nice to her. If she loved him, she would have just pick him when he confessed his love to her in the Bath because like you said, that scene was so touching and Jayden clearly revealed his intense love sincerely. But Holly still asked Sam whether he would stop her if she leave on the London Bridge. She was giving him a chance hoping that he would say something to keep her. To be honest, I don’t know why the scriptwriter makes it seem like Holly in a dilemma because to me, it’s very clear that Holly loves Sam. If she has to choose, then she loves neither. So I guess the reason Holly is in her dilemma because Sam just didn’t say the right thing to keep her and the way Sam let Holly choose make she thinks that he’s pushing her away.

        2.” I still wonder why Holiday picks Sam when it is Jayden, who physically rescues the entire plane with his superior flight skills. Is that not enough security for her?”
        —> well, Jayden is a well-trained pilot and it is his duty to save the plane. Holly never doubts about his skills. But that doesn’t neccessary mean that she should love him or pick him over Sam. If Sam was on that pilot seat, I’m sure Sam can do the same thing since he’s also a well-trained pilot himself.

        3. “Furthermore, he reassures her that no matter what happens, he would want nothing more that complete happiness for her. Now he is a changed man and that dream can be …… …and family with Holiday when they attempt to run away from their problems together.”
        —–> Well, I agree but he only changed after Holly broke up with him. He didn’t change when they were togather and now it is too late since she’s in love with Sam. I think it’s good for him to change but it doesn’t mean that Holly should fall for him just because he was bad before and he is good now. I mean, she is in love with Sam, so it doesn’t matter anymore.

        Plus, if you think Jayden gave up the chance to run away with Holly is his way to show his love, well, think about Sam. Didn’t Sam do the same thing as well??
        First, Holly misunderstood Sam when he failed Jayden. Then, when Holly came back home after she decided not to run away anymore, Sam could have just say something nice to keep her. But he said “good luck” to her and said Jayden was the right one for her. Then he silently go to see the woman to help Jayden, hinted the meaning of the uniform. Doing all that stuff, Sam didn’t reveal anything until Holly confronted him. After that, Sam still didn’t force Holly to stay. In some indirect ways, Sam is doing Jayden a favor too, don’t you think? If Sam just be a little more intense, Holly will never have to be in a dilemma. However, in my view, even if Holly didn’t go with Sam at the end, I can’t picture how she would go for Jayden on her own.

        4. ” He values that relationship so much that he wouldn’t let Holiday give up her dreams of becoming a pilot”
        —–> Sam values the relationship as well. But the way he shows it is different. I agree Sam is trict with Holly but he treated Issac the same when Issac was new. I guess when you love and care for someone too much, you have high expectation for that person. Sam wants Holly to become a good pilot just like him, that’s why he picks on every single mistake she made. And it causes a burden on their relationship because Holly coudn’t stand him to treat her like that. That’s why they fight all the time when it comes to flying. Nonetheless, he cares for her so much. Remember when Holly got sick when she played in the rain, Sam took care of her the whole night and called in sick for her. Holly misunderstood Sam coz he never explained to her why. He cried when he realized that he was too hard on her and scared that he might lose her. After Roy proposed to Heather, the scene when Holly looked at Sam and he pretended that he was doing the paperwork, his eyes were full with tears when Holly walked away. Honestly, I think Sam loves Holly a lot more than she loves him but he just didn’t show it.

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      • VCN replied:

        @ June: it looks like we’ll never be able to agree on this one, but I will put in my two cents once more and put it to rest after this.

        Regarding this statement, “She didn’t even care if Jayden still went out with XYZ girls when they were dating and living together,” I don’t think it should be so literally interpreted to mean what is said. They are bantering, having a lover’s quarrel. Additionally, they are constantly chiding each other about who will get hurt the most when they go their separate ways. Furthermore, she is not distraught or upset with his late night date; she is simply irritated by his tardiness. Her subsequent moodiness is a result of Daisy’s test message. Immediately reminded of her ex-boyfriend, she becomes sad and hides her features under the bedding, most likely because she does not want Jayden to know that she is sad. When Jayden cajoles her, misinterpreting her sadness for disappointment in him, she asks him to take her flying and cloud photographing, a favorite pastime of Daniel’s. She is once again caught in a Daniel moment where she wants him back so desperately. It will seem that she will be haunted by these feelings for the rest of her life. Even when she is feverish and being cared for by Sam, he whimpers in her sleep, obviously experiencing some nightmare.

        I never indicated that Holiday is ever in love with Jayden. She is simply attracted to him because of his Daniel-like qualities. I think she unlocks the bracelet because she doesn’t ever want to return to her imprisonment, her lovesick days without but yearning for Daniel. To go back would be too painful for her. In the Taiwan scene where Jayden locks the bracelet back onto her wrist, she becomes so entranced by him that she stands in front of him, poised for the kiss he tries to give her. She rejects him only after she snaps out of this spellbinding attraction. Note also that he returns the key to her after locking her, symbolically giving her the option to chose between Sam and him. He doesn’t force her into a decision and he leaves quietly when Holiday embraces Sam frantically, demanding that Sam stakes his claim on her and express his love for her. Again, Jayden smiles before he turns to leave, signifying that he will not force her into anything against her will and that her happiness is what matters to him. Furthermore, Holiday grieves silently for Jayden in her room on the night before her big exam when he is missing in action from the rescue mission. She clutches the cloud pictures in her hands that they have taken together while she mourns. The attraction is undeniably present.

        If Holiday is only assuaging Jayden’s ego when she tells him that he is a tempting choice for her, then she’s really one confused messed-up case. That statement is so misleading that it would only add fuel to the Jayden vs. Sam battle for Holiday. She’s saying it because his genuine affection for her touches her and makes Sam’s lack of affection more prominently painful to her. In a way, she wishes Sam could be more kind and gentle like Jayden.

        Sam would never have enough patience to explain the uniform-responsibility analogy to Holiday. That’s why he passes that duty to Jayden. Recall that Jayden questions Sam’s motive for ordering a “management check” on Holiday’s performance as a second officer. Jayden reminds Sam that the test would crush Holiday and further alienate them in their already troubled relationship. Jayden then asks if Sam is giving him a chance to win Holiday back. A frustrated Sam lashes out that he doesn’t know how to deal with her temperamental and capricious personality. This response is a perfect example of Sam’s impatience and intolerance.

        I don’t doubt Sam’s good intentions for the people he loves, the aviation industry and his passengers. He cares for Holiday because he owes Manna, Holiday’s mom, this favor to watch over Holiday and he tells Isaac that he feels Zoe all-around him all the time and that Zoe sent Holiday to him as his new guardian angel. I agree that Sam possesses feelings for Holiday, but he really doesn’t know how to love anyone. (I just think the schmuck got really lucky in the end – no offense to the Sam fans.)

        Lastly, Sam admits after a training exercise in London that his skills as a pilot are below Jayden’s because he was only trained to pilot commercial planes. What I really meant to say was that it was symbolically contradictory to the implied “safety” theme. The “safety” theme is very real one because there are so many pointers to it. One hint is manifested in Holiday’s nightmare when she sleeps with Jayden. Recall that she wakes and bolts upright, terrified, because neither Jayden nor Daniel can save her. To further illustrate this, a very sleepy and oblivious Jayden gets up to ask her if it’s time to rise. She placates him, urging him to go back to sleep, and he does, completely unaware of her nightmare.

        Anyways, have fun watching more of the series, June. You have your theory and I have mine. It’s been a fun debate for me.

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      • Funn Lim replied:

        ” I still wonder why Holiday picks Sam when it is Jayden, who physically rescues the entire plane with his superior flight skills. Is that not enough security for her?”

        Because

        1. The 1st lead is Francis Ng
        2. After all the BS and if she doesn’t end up with Sam will be like total waste of time
        3. See Jayden as passionate love and she fell for him for all the wrong reasons
        4. Even if Jayden saved the whole plane, the first person she clings to during bad times is Sam unconciously. It means her heart is with Sam.

        Although I do agree if I were her I will choose Jayden who is more supportive.

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      • June replied:

        Thanks for your input as well VCN. I do agree with you at some points but still have some disagreements here and there. But it’s okay like you said. You have yours and I have mine. And since you said you would put it to rest, I don’t think it’s necessary to say more.

        P/S: well, Jayden probably didn’t force Holly to choose but I have to say he’s a little pushy compared to Sam. That’s why I said if Jayden wasn’t too pushy, I don’t know how Holly can go back to him on her own. But of course, it’s up to you to integrate the situation.

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  11. Vinny879 says:

    the entire series, i thought the actors were flying for Scarlet airlines barbecue of the way they pronounced it.

    was hoping Joe Ma would guest star. did they mention what his character is up to?

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    • mickeynot replied:

      did you watch the first series?
      if memory serves me right, his character died in paris/london after being hit by car/lorry.

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    • Nigel replied:

      If not mistaken his character died!

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      • jokes replied:

        the series did mention on joe dealth coco said after his brother died she was lucky enough to have samual and issac as brothers looking after her

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    • Funn Lim replied:

      If Myolie can play dual roles, maybe Joe can be the unknown twin of his first character in a series that will be populated by lookalikes?

      Anyway he can’t guest star since he died but he can always be in flashbacks. I find TITS 2 rather cold in the sense how the past characters were never remembered BUT Sam/Coco did mention Joe a few times even if not by name.

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  12. This article is all about the stupid triumph in the skies ii and holiday is one of my nick name holidaytvbLOL…….and holiday ko in that show Is quite good but holiday is such a crazy hen because she is likes to learn to drive a aeroplane n wants to become a pliot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  13. Oh yeah!!!!!! I still remember that she was was having a baby and Samuel and issac have to look after her………and holiday ko had no where to live because she went to Samuel’s house to live and she is like a crazy hen seriously not lying 100%

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    • June replied:

      Since when did Holly have a baby?? If I’m not mistaken, it was Coco who had a baby, not Holly.

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      • Jess replied:

        June, yes is was Coco that given birth to a bb boy. I do agreed with most of the points you mention above. I think Fala play this role pretty well except some scenes she didn’t stay very focused….hmmm, could it be her Cantonese is not proficient?!

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  14. VCN says:

    Thank you, everyone, for reading my review! It was a pleasure to write it.

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  15. Bonnie says:

    VCN, while I might not agree with all the points in your review, I think that this might be one of the best written pieces I’ve read on this site.

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    • VCN replied:

      Thank you, Bonnie! I hope you enjoyed it.

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  16. Rika says:

    Finished the entire series and too much romance IMO. In fact, I ended up skipping a lot of sappy scenes by scrolling through some episodes.

    Watching the Japanese dorama “Miss Pilot” which is also about a clueless girl who decides to become a pilot. It suits my taste better.

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  17. mich says:

    Chen fala’s acting is horrific. I feel bad that someone of francis ng’s calibre would have to play his love interest. Francis ng’s acting is superior and clearly a notch above the rest!

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