Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sister of Pearl Review

Sister of Pearl joins A Fistful of Stances and In the Eye of the Beholder in my "Few Great Series of 2010 List." It may even top them both. The series is intense,but not overly dramatic, from beginning to end. Practically each episode ends with a cliffhanger, making Sister of Pearl an addictive 30 episode ride.

Character and Performance Analysis

Almost every character is intriguing. In the beginning, almost everyone seemed like a villain, or at least a "semi-villain." As you continue on, you realize they are all complex. They're people with both strengths and weaknesses (including greediness). Ho Cheung Hing is the true psycho...I mean villain. It was interesting to see how all the characters changed through out the story, whether it was for the better or the worse.

Chu Pik Ha (Jessica Hsuan)

Strength: clever and determined
Weakness: conniving and almost shameless

Although it is understandable that Pik Ha returned to her maiden home to take over her father's pearl business in order to pay off her deceased husband's debts, I can't figure out a logical reason as to why Pik Ha would fight and plot against her older sister Pik Wan. As stated above, Pik Ha can be almost shameless in order to gain what she wants. Pik Ha seduced Pik Wan's husband Cheung Hing so that she can get information from him.

Performance: None of her roles have been very memorable, but it is refreshing to see Jessica as a clever schemer. She is a natural actress though I'm not extremely fond of her.

Chu Pik Wan (Kiki Sheung)

Strength: hardworker
Weakness: unconditionally loved Cheung Hing too much despite all the evil things he'd done to her, selfish

Pik Wan may be the eldest, but she acted the most immature. She annoyed me way too many times though I felt slight pity for her. Despite all the things she'd done (and how annoying she could be), I didn't believe she deserved someone like Cheung Hing.

Performance: Kiki isn't a bad actress, but she lacks the youthfulness and charm. She also always gets the same annoying characters.
Hung Yiu Sang (Michael Tao)

Strengths: clever, caring, kind at heart
Weaknesses: bad luck, said phrases like "I'm not dead yet" too much, initially selfish and greedy, used the method of blackmail too much

I loved the development of Hung Yiu Sang. He went from being selfish and greedy to caring and sacrificing towards the ones he loved. In order to get money in the beginning of the series, Ah Sang collaborates with Lai Sheung to make her Chu Siu Cheung's secret mistress. Yet in the end, he did everything he could to protect Pik Ha. Although he died a pitiful death, how he sacrificed himself for Pik Ha made him even more respectable. I especially loved his scenes with Pik Ha's son Tim Jai. Those were so cute.

Performance: Normally, I would hate characters who talked with the cockiness and arrogance Hung Yiu Sang did, but Michael's great acting skills made it amusing. Michael gave a fantastic performance. I wouldn't have liked Hung Yiu Sang as much if it weren't for the actor portraying it.

Ho Cheung Hing (Bowie Lam)

Strengths: Can't think of any.
Weaknesses: He's a freakish spiteful psycho blinded by revenge.

One of the most despicable characters of the year. Although it's understandable Cheung Hing holds anger towards the Chu's, it was no reason for his immoral actions. He didn't stop at any means to seek revenge for his father. He was determined to send his wife Pik Wan to jail, as he blames her for his father's suicide. As annoying as I found Pik Wan, Cheung Hing did not deserve to still have his wife after loosing his memory and becoming mental.

Performance: Haunting and convincing performance by Bowie. He's a great actor despite his lack of good looks.

So Lai Sheung (Joyce Tang)

Strengths: Motherly instincts, her change to a smart, strong, and independent businesswoman
Weaknesses: Would do anything if it would do good for her son and keep him safe

When she first appears, she is a naive and greedy woman. Her only goal is to get money from the Chu's. Eventually during her pregnancy, she grows to love her unborn son. After his birth, she is willing to do anything to keep her safe. Lai Sheung's change into the tough and intelligent woman was abrupt but still entertaining.

Performance: Joyce was very cute in the beginning as the naive and innocent Lai Sheung. Her scenes with Michael were so amusing, especially with the background music. Of course, Joyce is great at portraying a tough woman as well.

Chu Pik Lam (Macy Chan)

Strengths: Caring
Weaknesses: Immature, can be whiny

Pik Lam is spoiled and tends to be whiny. Her sudden decision to marry Benjamin Yuen's character (who I can't remember the name of) for the sake of getting over and making her ex-boyfriend jealous resulted in a mess. Her marriage with Yuk Chai was even more disastrous. Eventually, Pik Lam starts to fall in love with Yuk Chai.

Performance: Macy's performance wasn't as great as her others, and Pik Lam wasn't too likable of a character. Macy and Joel were quite cute though.

Chow Yuk Chai (Joel Chan)

Strengths: Honest and kindhearted
Weaknesses: Is too honest, naive, and thinks everyone and everything is "good"

Such a character is unrealistic but he was a refreshing contrast from the rest of the cast. His plot line with Macy and the character itself was good comic relief. Without him, the series would be too dark. There'd be no good people, just evil. And if there are only evil people, how can there be good?

Performance: Joel is a bit exaggerative at times, but it's refreshing to see him in a good role. Luckily for him, the exaggeration works decently with his role.


In terms of script, characterization, and performances, Sister of Pearl is a very strong series. It is entertaining, dark, and intense. However, the series holds so many schemes and plot twists it's hard to keep track. At a few points while I was watching the series, I could no longer follow the plot. The series is too heavy and it can be challenging to watch. My suggestion, if you want to watch something lighthearted, look somewhere else. The scheming and backstabbing is endless. Although it is more clever and intelligent, the reasons behind it are just as unreasonable and ridiculous as other similar series featuring backstabbing. Even so, TVB offers a pleasant surprise with Pearl.

Rating: 4 stars

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Happy 1st Blog Anniversary TVB Interaction! :D

This year has flown by! Believe it or not, it's officially been a year since the creation of TVB Interaction. What first started out as a small fry blog has turned into a unique blog with many wonderful loyal readers. Speaking of loyal readers, please take a look at this banner that was created as a tribute to our first anniversary:

The banner above was made by TVB Interaction's #1 reader herself, Krystal from TVB Focus! Krystal, I'd like to thank you for this banner tribute and being such a loyal reader in general. :) Featuring three of my favorite characters from D.I.E. Again, this banner is the first graphic Krystal ever created on Photoshop. She even made this before the first Photoshop banner for her own blog! As stated in the email she sent to me with the banner attached: "I wanted my 1st Photoshop creation to be TVB Interaction's 1st Anniversary banner :)" Awww, thanks Krystal! :D

This leads me to what I want to talk about next: I can not stress enough how amazing it is to create a blog and meet people through it. People say you shouldn't make friends online (i.e., through MySpace and dating sites), but this is the one exception. It's truly special to build a friendship with someone online. Not only are the TVB bloggers I've met friendly, but they share the same interests as me and read (as well as support) my hard work. This has allowed me to make some very close friends. A year ago, I never would've thought that some of the people I'm closest with would be people I met via the Internet!

What TVB Interaction Has Done For Me

I believe TVB Interaction has changed me. I know that sounds cheesy, but it's true. If you know me very well, you would know that I'm one of those people with a tough exterior and warm interior. There are so many people at school who annoy and/or aggravate me. I consider myself a generally nice person, but I can easily get ticked off by certain people. As a result, I can appear very sarcastic and cold towards others. Some people consider me mean. However, it was different when I was online. TVB Interaction allowed me to just be me. I was able to be who I really wanted to be: A nice and friendly person. For some reason, it was just so easy for me to do so online. I didn't feel the need to be the type of person who gives sarcastic remarks to people to get them to shut up. I could just be sweet little me, the kind of person I would not be hesitant to be in real life if people weren't so cruel or untrustworthy.

It also allowed me to hang out with a crowd I felt much more comfortable in. Due to my more mature yet awkward personality, I find it hard to socialize with my peers. I can only find so much in common with them. I am the type of person who is mature in the way that I think more sensibly and be more responsible. As a contrast, the people my age at my school are only mature in the way that they're dating way too early and talking about stuff they should in no way be talking about. The TVB bloggers I've met are different. They're grown up, actually mature, and are genuine, great people. Even if I'm not close to them, I can have friendly conversations with them. These are the kinds of people I feel so much more comfortable with. They are the ones I would hang out with in real life if I had the choice. To put it simply, they gave me the chance to be the person I wanted to be.

TVB Interaction has also helped me decide my future. I know that may sound silly. Why would a TVB blog cause me to realize what I want to do with my life? I've always loved writing. And over the year that I've been updating TVB Interaction, my writing skills have improved dramatically from before. I developed different writing skills such as analyzing, critiquing, and writing satire. These are skills that I learned myself. As a result, it's made me realize that I want to do something with my interest in writing. I keep saying that I'll only write as a hobby and find an alternative career, but that hasn't been working for me. I want to make a career out of writing. It'll be hard, and chances are the job wouldn't be stable nor worth a lot of pay. Right now, I'm actually looking towards becoming a web designer. The job consists of one of my other interests (web design) and can also lead to me becoming a writer. (If you become successful as a web designer, you can actually write for blogs as part of your career!) And I won't give up on the possibility of becoming a writer on the side. One of these days, you will see my [real] name on some sort of publication at the book store. It's a big aspiration, but I am determined in making it.

It May Be Getting Worse, But I'm Forever a Fan

Yes, TVB is getting worse. Yes, I'm becoming more interested in American series than those produced by TVB. You shouldn't bite the hand that fed you though. Blogging for TVB Interaction was the first step in becoming "discovered" for me. For once, there were people who read what I did, critiqued, and complimented it. Plus, no matter how bad the series gets, there's still certain fun in being a TVB fan. This includes being able to recognize all the artistes, following a series process (from the costume fitting to the actual filming and etc), and anticipating upcoming productions.

I'll Always Be Here

I plan on sticking around for years to come. Perhaps what I'm most proud of about TVB Interaction is that it's my first successful commitment. I'll admit that commitment is one of the things I have trouble with. Prior to creating this blog, I was constantly creating new blogs and abandoning old ones. This blog and past year has proved to me that I am capable of commitment. TVB Interaction will always be one of my priorities. Yes, I'm an aspiring writer. I want to branch out of just writing for TVB. I am currently trying to do so with my other blog Speak4Myself. I also want to write stories. But I'll never forget my "baby."

Iris Says Thanks Again

I've probably said this hundreds of times, but thank you! Thanks to all my wonderful readers who've been supporting this blog. You guys mean the world to me. It feels great to know that I have so many loyal readers, both silent and active. To those who have left me countless tags and comments, thanks for letting me hear your thoughts! To those who are silent, let me hear from you! I was once also a silent reader, and trust me when I say it's so much fun being a "loud" reader. So go ahead and leave me a comment now if you haven't already! Don't worry, I won't bite. ;)

Cheers to a great year and let's hope for many more to come!

Monday, June 7, 2010

When Rules Turn Loose Review

After series like Heart of Greed and Moonlight Resonance, I've lost all confidence in the family genre. However, When Rules Turn Loose reminds me it's Moonlight I disliked, not the genre itself. Rules is a great family series with an endearing charm.

Characters & Performances

Liza Wang - Suen Man Yee

As usual, Liza is professional and convincing in her role as "Lawyer Mom." That's all that needs to be said here.

Ha Yu - Shum Yat On

What an inspirational character! I love how Yat On was so optimistic. Instead of sulking and worrying about his heart disease, he cherished life. He didn't let his disease get the best of him. His historical stories and philosophies were entertaining and interesting. They were meaningful and didn't fail to make you think. Ha Yu gave a fantastic performance. Dick Ching may be sweet, but in terms of great characterization, he just can not match up to Shum Yat On. My favorite character for this entire series.

Myolie Wu - Shum Yat Yin

Myolie looked so young and so much like a kid back then! She was natural and incredibly cute. As always, Myolie nails her emotional scenes. Her most well done scene in the series is definitely when she is battling her first case in court. Such a powerful scene! It was also sweet yet sad to see Yat Yin mourn the death of her father.

Sammul Chan - Ching Hok Kan (Dick)

Although a great lawyer and a very caring son, brother, boyfriend, and person in general, Dick was static the entire series. He had no real development. I thought that a major plotline within the series would be Man Yee training him to be a better lawyer. The series quickly starts moving onto the topic of family and shys away from giving Dick real development. I was looking forward to seeing him grow as a lawyer. He was the same at the end of the series as he was at the start. Despite that, Sammul was cute, adorable, natural, and charming. I found myself falling in love with his character (and Sammul himself) all over again. I'm thrilled that he was able to portray a lawyer again after Survivor's Law, giving him the opportunity to shine instead of being out shined by Raymond. Sammul has excellent speaking skills and makes a very convincing lawyer. What a shame Sammul left TVB just after he landed his first lead role. If he hadn't, he would be one of TVB's top leading young men by now.

Patricia Liu - Shum Yat Sum

While I love the character's outer elegant appearance, I found myself extremely annoyed and irritated by Yat Sum. She didn't cherish her husband and even started an affair. Nevertheless, I enjoyed watching Yat Sum realize her mistakes. I'm happy that she become good friends with Raymond instead of simply getting back together again. Patricia is pretty, but her performance is just mediocre.

Marco Ngai - Yuen Sai Hei (Keith)

As a villain, Keith was not developed enough. In fact, his character is the most boring (ironically enough). Marco's performance was also dull, and he can't portray a lawyer. Despite being older (and supposedly more experienced), Sammul is superior to Marco in terms of portraying a lawyer.

Wayne Lai - Hung Ji Dat (Raymond)

Boy, would I love to have a man like that in my life. Caring of his wife but also hardworking, Raymond is capable of balancing work as well as spending time with his wife. Raymond was extremely likable and I pitied him when he was made the scrape goat in his divorce with his wife. Wayne delivers a great performance as always. I know Wayne is of lead status now, but it's still sweet watching some of his older performances as a supporting actor. His roles were small, but he always shined.

Nancy Wu - Cheung Lai Kei

Nancy was adorable in her role and very pretty. I loved watching her friendship with Myolie. The actress must work on her emotional scenes though. I was sad to see her leave after just six episodes, but I was surprised that I didn't miss her character (especially after Yat Yin and Dick got together). In the future, I hope that Nancy and Sammul get the chance to pair up, though it seems very unlikely.

Kate Tsui - Ada

Kate's performance wasn't horrid. Then again, it's also not a far cry from some of her more recent performances. She was decent though I felt her voice was lower than usual. It felt awkward, as if Kate was doing that on purpose. I would have to say that she doesn't look her best in this series either. I was surprised to see that Sammul and Kate aren't terrible together (even if it was just as friends).

  • Myolie and Sammul have amazing chemistry. They make such a cute couple! I loved all the scenes where Sammul was trying to court Myolie. One of my new favorite couples!
  • Sammul's lawyer scenes. Like I've said several times before, he makes a great (onscreen) lawyer. Plus, I'm always interested in hearing lawyer cases.
  • Ha Yu's character, and his bond with his youngest daughter Shum Yat Yin.
  • The change Yat Sum underwent after realizing all that she's done wrong.

The Draggy

  • Lee Sing Cheung's character in general. He was not a villain. He was just selfish and greedy. His character was a waste of my time.
  • Keith and his poor development. I wanted to slap him off the screen with his cocky looks and the way he treated Yat Sum. Plus, it drove me crazy how he always had his Bluetooth in his ear. It made him look so arrogant.

The Last Episode

Episode 21 was great. The series wrapped up wonderfully. Yat On's death was sad, but it gives everyone a chance to mature and growth. "Lawyer Mom" finally slows down and continues to travel to everywhere she had planned to go to with Yat On. Although it hits Yat Yin the hardest, she matures. Dealing with her father's death was the stepping stone to growth and becoming a new person. This new person was a stronger and smarter lawyer. Raymond and Yat Sum are very happy together as close friends, which causes them to be closer than they were ever before. Yat Sum is also given a new look which in my opinion, makes her look even more radiant as well as happy. Lastly, we see Keith hurrying off with yet another new girlfriend who informs him that the ICAC is looking for him. What a short and sweet ending to such a draggy and annoying character! Rules has a very satisfying ending. If there were anything to be added, I thought that Dick should've proposed to Yat Yin. Hey, just a thought.


When Rules Turn Loose is just what I needed. A lighthearted series full of warm moments, smiles, laughs, cries, and morals. It is TVB at one of it's most wholesome and squeaky clean, but in a completely good way. I greatly enjoyed Rules.

Rating: 4 1/2 stars