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


  1. wah... 4.5 stars! While the series is intriguing enough to make me chase it non stop, it's not so much the kind of genre for me. i prefer police/mystery/comedy more than about rich feuding families. bowie's acting impressed me and freaked me out in some scenes. haha..

  2. queen_owl - I've changed the rating for 4 stars. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that the series was a bit tiring to watch at times due to all the feuding and backstabbing. The script was solid for a majority of the series, it was just too much. My favorite series are police/case solving/lawyer series. :) Bowie's acting was great, so creepy!