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


  1. When rules turn loose has got to be one of the few dramas I re-watch. I agree that it's just a lighthearted drama that has some funny moments and not too much drama. Shum Yat Yeen is probably my fav. Myolie's character from Catherine's side. She was just too adorable along with her dad Yat On. I love their scenes together and when he tells her a story to get something through her. I thought Myolie and Ha Yu had amazing chemistry. I adored Yat Yeen and Dick too esp. the scenes when she starts to fall for Dick but he's not aware of it. Their relationship was just so sweet and pure. I also loved Yat Yeen's close relationship with her brother in-law Raymond. Wayne did a great job, esp. with the crying scenes. I simply couldn't stop crying along.

  2. Hi there, soffia! Are you new here? :)

    I love how Rules is a lighthearted drama yet still has good script. It is enjoyable and not something to take too seriously, but still of good quality. It's not one of those lighthearted but mediocre and forgettable series.

    I agree that Yat Yin/Myolie and Yat On/Ha Yu have great father daughter chemistry!

    Sammul and Myolie are so adorable together and their relationship was indeed so sweet and pure. :)

    I love Wayne's character! His performance was just GREAT and his character was so caring.

  3. Not really, I've been a quite reader for some time ;)

    Lau Ka Ho should try produce more of these light-hearted family dramas so you won't feel like the end of the world coming when watching his family dramas =.=

  4. I'm happy that you decided to come out of your silent reader shell, soffia! Hope to see you around more often posting comments on my posts. :)

    Lol, that made me laugh! I didn't even realize WRTL and HOG/MR were made by the same producer. How can LKH create such polar opposite family series? :/