Sunday, April 25, 2010

Comparing AFOS and MR: The Characters


Although 2010 series A Fistful of Stances has gotten better as it progressed, it's hard to ignore the similarities between it and 2008's critically acclaimed and award winning (don't forget overrated) grand production Moonlight Resonance. One of the hardest similarities to ignore would be the characters. Some characters from both productions seem so alike that A Fistful of Stances seem like they based them off of Moonlight's. Some simply bear some of the same qualities and/or characteristics, while some look like they were practically plagiarized.

Yuen Qiu 's "Au Yeung Wai Lan" vs. Lee Sze Kei's "Hor Ma"

The similarities aren't exactly hard to notice. Both are caring mothers who raised big families on their own. Both have suffered much hardship including losing their husbands. They are both however tough and extremely "good" in that way TVB characters are.

Take your pick. Easy. Yuen Qiu's "Au Yeung Wei Lan." While both are very caring and kindhearted, Wei Lan comes off more realistic. Then again, maybe I'm just biased. I've never seen Lee Sze Kei as a versatile actress, and it's refreshing to see Yuen Qiu as I've never seen her in a series before. However, I'm a lot more fond of Wei Lan because of her tough qualities and talent in kung fu. I'd pick those two over Hor Ma's lousy gags anyway.

Kevin Cheng's "Koo Yu Cheung" vs. Moses Chan's "Kam Wing Ka"

Ah Cheung and Ah Ka are both the eldest brother in the family. However, in both cases, they barely act like it. The role of the eldest brother is taken over by the second brother (Ah Tong in Ah Cheung's case and Goon Ga Jai in Ah Ka's case). This is a result of both characters being 'useless.' Ah Cheung only calls himself useless because he is still new to the family and not familiar with all his family members, making him more modest and understandable. Ah Ka on the other hand initially wasted his life by getting addicted to the stock market, was irresponsible, and silly.
Take your pick. Koo Yu Cheung. While I'm not fond of the character too much, he doesn't feel as much of a waste of my time as Ah Ka was. At the least, he was more hardworking. He also didn't fall in love with a girl (like Ah Ka towards Ka-Mei) just because she was "hot." The character is likable after he puts all his anger issues aside.

Kenneth Ma's "Koo Yu Tong" vs. Raymond Lam's "Kam Wing Ho/Goon Ga Jai"

Although only the second eldest, both guys do a good job of acting as the eldest. They are the father figure of their household. They care for their family and put their family first no matter what. Lastly, both fall for the daughters of the villain.

Take your pick. Koo Yu Tong all the way! While "Goon Ga Jai" is sweet, he lacks layers. His character couldn't be any more simple, and was rather boring. In fact, Goon Ga Jai was so 'good' he was unrealistic (in the way Hor Ma also is). Meanwhile, Koo Yu Tong is intelligent despite his lack of education, clever, funny, and so much more. His character is complex and written well. He's entertaining and so much more lovable. Kenneth also had a lot more to work with than Raymond did, resulting in a fantastic performance, especially when it came down to his emotional scenes.

Natalie Tong's "Ying Ngan Ming" vs. Tavia Yeung's "Suen Ho Yuet"

The similarity is just too obvious. Ah Ngan and Ah Yuet were both adopted at a young age by kind mothers so they grew up with large families. In addition, both fell in love with their non-blood related elder brother.

Take your pick. Tie, I loved both. It's hard to come to a decision because while Ah Yuet and Ah Ngan come from the same background as well as love issues, their personalities are very contrasting. Ah Yuet is outspoken, righteous, but impulsive. Ah Ngan is more vulnerable and shy. The character of Ah Yuet was a bit overrated but Tavia is a fine actress and portrayed her very well. Meanwhile, Natalie continues to improve and I found her so lovable and sweet as the naive Ah Ngan.

Selena Li's "Wing Chi Ching" vs. Linda Chung's "Yue So Chau"

Chi Ching and Yue So Chau, despite having good hearts, struggle with having a parent that have done countless bad deeds. They find it hard to deal with their villain parent. Not only that, both fall for the son of the family their parent hate.

Take your pick. Wing Chi Ching! Let's not even relive the horrible, weak, and annoying Yue So Chau. I think most people share the same view of her (though some are more harsh than others).

Dominic Lam's Wing Tak vs. Michelle Yim's "Yan Hung"

It is inevitable that all the things Wing Tak did (murder three people) were much, much worse than what Yan Hung did. However, both share the characteristic where they are not satisfied until they completely ruin the family they hate. In both cases, the reason why they hate that specific family so much is never justified, making it come off as ridiculous. I lost track of how many times I mentally yelled to Wing Tak "Hey, you're the one who killed three of the Koo's family members. They should be the ones carrying all that unhealthy hate, not you."

Take your pick. None. Wait, maybe I should say Yan Hung just because she wasn't as 'evil.' Then again, it is easier to make a villain more evil in ancient and premodern series. Oh, whatever. Both characters are perfectly hate able.

Lee Sing Cheung's "Au Yeung Cheung" vs. Susanna Kwan's "Chung Siu Sa"

Both get excited at the sight of money. It's that simple. They're greedy and selfish. However, Ah Cheung is just a background character to make the Koo household a bit more noiser and fun. While Chung Siu Sa proved to be incredibly annoying at times, she was one of the main characters who was greatly developed.

Take your pick. Chung Siu Sa of course. Yes, she was annoying at times, but I loved the change she underwent. She had multiple layers and you could sympathize with the character. Of course, the character wouldn't be nearly as entertaining and easy to love if it weren't for the talented Susanna.

Nancy Wu's "Chow Bing Bing" vs. Kate Tsui's "Lo Ka Mei"

Chow Bing Bing is practically a complete copy of Lo Ka Mei. They both give off the impression that they are 'sweet and innocent' when they are truthfully conniving with a heart full of...envy? They have a past of messy relationships. One is an adulteress and gold digger while the other became pregnant as a teen and cruelly put her son into an orphanage (and may I add was so stupid as to get pregnant accidentally again with the same guy). As they both fall for a man, they quickly realize that the man's non blood related sister is in love with them. Even though both women don't do anything to pursue the relationship further, Chow Bing Bing and Lo Ka Mei were keen on ruining their love rival's lives.

Take your pick. Chow Bing Bing. Don't get the wrong idea, I hate both. Chow Bing Bing barely made an impact on the overall plot and merely served the purpose of coming between Koo Yu Cheung and Ah Ngan. Ka Mei however makes Moonlight Resonance go downhill with plenty of screen time and ridiculous schemes. Also, Nancy is a much better actress than Kate.

It's amusing how despite all the similarities between the characters of A Fistful of Stances have to Moonlight Resonance, I liked all the characters of Fistful more (except Au Yeung Cheung vs. Chung Siu Sa). Hey, A Fistful of Stances may have borrowed quite a bit from Moonlight Resonance, but at least they made it better!


  1. hmmm agree, well u must have those elements to start off a big family drama ^^ the villains are 'evil' due to the fact they want more and more, selfish, like bing bing, she's selfish, that turned her a 'hateable' character :( nancy did a good job this time :) i don't like Kate Tsui either ==

  2. @KAY - Hey! Thanks for commenting. :) What annoyed me about Bing Bing was not cuz she was selfish, but she was 'two faced.' She fooled everyone into believing she was good and innocent, 'sacrificing' herself for her family. I was surprised she had so little screen time tho. Her character was never revisited. Nancy was still good in the role but her roles keep getting smaller. :( Kate is a very determined and hardworking person, and I like her for that. It's just she's not a good actress.

  3. wow i didn't even watch this yet hahah but i can't help but read ahead even if it might spoil it for me. the coincidences are just waaaay too similar, it's sorta funny now hahah. they have like the exact same characters and even the characters relationship with each other such as between kevin, natalie, and nancy and between moses, tavia, and any chance are they the same producer?

  4. ^ not the same producer, but the same scriptwriter. I agree with everything you wrote except I like Gam Wing Ka more than Gu Yu Cheung. Although Cheung is a more useful character, I enjoy watching Ka cos I guess he gave me some sort of comical relief from all the yelling in MR. Also because Mo > Kevin. Heh, I guess you can say my views on a chracter can be influenced by how an artiste portrays it. :)

  5. i'm impressed you are able to compare both shows! it's indeed true how similar both shows are after reading your post! while i agree with your character comparisons (as in who versus who), i have quite some different opinions because i'm a fan of MR. ;)

  6. Aw, nice! 3 comments! I see my 'comeback' post (after not posting anything real for over 2 months) is a success. :D Thanks everyone!

    Rachel - Aw, I hope my post didn't contain too many spoilers then. Thanks Lee for answering your question. She's right, MR was produced by Lau Ka Ho while AFOS was produced by Lee Tim Sing. I didn't know it was by the same script writer tho, but that explains why they're so alike, haha. :D

    Lee - Yeah, Ah Ka was the comic relief for MR. He still annoyed me at times but he still made me laugh. The two characters are more of a tie but I'm leaning more towards Ah Cheung, just a personal preference. However, I like Mo more than Kevin too. Yep, my views on a character can be influenced by how an artiste portrays it too. :)

    queen_owl - Thanks for your sweet words, haha. :) I'm not too much of a MR fan, but it's hard to say whether I like MR or AFOS better. It's been a long time since I watched MR so it's hard to judge. I do think that AFOS has better overall characterization as every character except the very minor ones are developed decently. MR on the other hand had a couple characters that were written extremely well such as Cho Pa and Ah Sa but several of the other characters such as Goon Ga Chai and Ah Chau were pretty flat and one sided. Just a thought. ;)

  7. haven't commented for ages on your site! sorry, i've been busy! nice comeback post!! (:
    although i've not watched Fistful, the resemblances seem uncanny; i guess they figured since the characters in MR were loved so much, they reinvented them, and nothing would go wrong (:
    even with the alterations and a supposed better storyline and development, i was surprised that the viewership wasn't very good. oh well, isn't that always the case? can't trust the HK viewers hahahahh :D
    thanks again for your post! really enjoyed reading it!!