2011 Series Review

Below is my quick judgement on all the series released in 2011 by TVB. I'm not going to give a synopsis, so I'm just assuming that you know the basic plot for everything. I have actually watched every series that they released so far, but I don't necessarily give my review by comparing them to each other. I do have my own biases and preferences so take that into consideration if you read this. Also, beware of spoilers. I try not to give anything big away but there might be some plot points spoiled.

7 Days In Life: This series started out strong but I think the 7 days concept for this series was too limited to stretch out to 20 episodes. Only some of the characters were interesting so when it focused on others, I found myself really bored. My favorite scenes involve Bosco and Joyce (who may not be the best actress but is very cute in this role). I found Steven Ma's character to be really annoying (even though he had a motive) and didn't really find him believable as this playboy type.

Rest of the 2011 Series-

A Great Way To Care: I am not a fan of series with Alex Fong in it because I usually find his characters really boring. It was interesting to see a cop series which uses the help of a psychiatrist to help solve their cases, but in general, I was pretty bored. The bright spots would have to be the supporting characters since I really like Ram Chiang and Raymond Wong and his relationship with Vivien Yeo. 

Be Home For Dinner: The problem I have with these long sitcom series is that they don't seem to really plan out the complete storyline and it gets really draggy. I liked some characters such as Yvonne Lam, Kristal Tin, and Stephen Au and I would like when episodes focused on them but there was also a lot of episodes I didn't care for. 

Bottled Passion: I thought this was a very entertaining series. Raymond Wong did a very good job here, although I'm not sure I was a great fan of his character. I was rooting for Niki to be with Jack Wu in the series, mainly because Raymond kept treating her horribly even though he didn't really have to. Also, I can't really sympathize with his character because he was trying to get revenge on his adopted family, even though the father was innocent but still got hurt in the crossfire. Also, the ending was pretty bad- not because I don't like sad endings, but because it was so unreasonable! Basically, for a good ending, you can just stop at episode 20 and not watch 21. Overall, I would definitely recommend this series because it was very good as a whole.

Curse of the Royal Harem: I actually think this is the best series of the year from a storytelling standpoint. When you finish watching the series, you will realize that they laid a great foundation for why everything happens and why it ended the way it did. Each actor and character, whether they were leading or supporting, had it's own little storyline and had a shining moment in the series. Though many of them had a tragic ending, every death had a meaning and they didn't kill of characters just for dramatic effect. My favorite parts include the relationship between Myolie and Joel, Sunny and Jessica, and KK Cheung and Gigi Wong. 

Forensic Heroes 3: I have to begin by saying that I am biased because I really liked the first 2 series and I couldn't help but compare this installment to the first one. I tried not to since I am a big fan of Wayne but the series was just very weak to me. There is no chemistry between Wayne and Maggie or the whole cast in general. The cases were predictable and it also made the cops look stupid since the forensic team basically did all the work for them and had to clue them in on everything. Nancy was one of the shining part of this series and played a very complex character well, as well as having fantastic chemistry with Wayne. I might not have thought this series was that great, but obviously a lot of people disagreed with me since it has the highest ratings of the year.

Ghetto Justice: This is probably my favorite series of the year. It had interesting characters and cases and those cases also moved the story along. The scenes between the 4 main guys were funny and Kevin and Myolie had great chemistry as well. I think one of the main things I liked about this was the unusual casting (such as Jazz Lam as a refined gentleman instead of the loud gangster type and Kevin Cheng not being a Prince Charming) and the interesting pairings (such as Jazz and Joyce). I wish more series would take chances in their casting.

Grace Under Fire: I thought that Liu Xuan did a pretty good job for leading her first series. The story starts out pretty slow but picks up towards the end but I don't think the series itself was very memorable because I can barely remember anything about it! I did like Fala and Bosco's pairing in this though.

Home Troopers: I actually really liked this series and I'm probably one of the few people who was happy that Liza got into the Top 5 for the Best Actress nominees for this role. She played a very convincing role as a housewife who is sometimes viewed as the bad guy even though she's just trying to work hard to make sure all the children succeed. Though it's somewhat a typical family drama, I liked seeing them work together. 

Links to Temptation: Yoyo Mung and Johnson Li are basically the only bright spots of this rather boring series. It's very hard to maintain a mystery for 20 episodes while keeping the storyline going so TVB needs to think of either making super short series or scrap that idea altogether. The characters are weird too. Steven basically lusts after Fala, but since she's keeping so many secrets, she keeps pushing him away or wanting to break up with him. This series did not appeal to me at all.

Lives of Omission: I was very entertained and intrigued watching this series but I also wouldn't say that it was great. I liked how it started with Michael joining the police again and that he kept his Laughing personality but then it gets a little ridiculous with him going undercover again. Why would the triads be so dumb to believe that he's still not a cop? I just thought that there wasn't enough development and there were many plot holes in this series. Did Damien really move on that quickly after the death of his wife? I wish they showed more of him and Elena interacting. Even though I can't quite give it a positive review, I would still recommend it since I think people would enjoy it.

Men With No Shadows: This was another series that they tried to stretch out a concept into 20 episodes and didn't work out. I thought that this was an interesting concept but the thought behind the series was better than the execution. 

My Sister of Eternal Flower: There was a lot of criticism directed towards Charmaine's acting in this series but I don't think she did that bad of a job! She was very cute (in a ridiculous haircut) but I wish they delved deeper into how Raymond would handle being in a relationship with her. I also thought Toby did a great job in this series and had tremendous improvement this year with her roles. I wish she had been nominated for the Most Improved Actress award.

Only You:  This was also one of my favorite series of the year. I liked the many different wedding stories that showed off a variety of relationships and how love conquers all. I was not a fan of one part of the ending since it was really tragic for such an uplifting series, but I also get why they did it. 

Relic of an Emissary: I didn't care for this series at all and was barely paying attention to the plot, but then I also read reviews on how some people really liked it and how they thought that Joe was robbed of a Best Actor nomination. I have never been a fan of Joe's so that's probably another reason I didn't care for this series.

River of Wine: Pierre Ngo is so annoying in this series. He basically plays the same character he typically plays- someone who never learns his lesson and keeps doing bad things until he learns his lesson in the end. I thought that Sunny and Linda were very cute together and enjoyed watching their scenes.

Show Me The Happy: The cast makes the series look promising but it didn't utilize the cast like they should have. Overall, it wasn't very funny and at times, it was very boring.

Super Snoops: You will either find this super silly and over-the-top series really funny or think that this is complete crap. For me, I really liked it for the most part and found myself laughing at the stupidest things. 

The Life and Times of A Sentinel: Overall, I liked this series and it had a very exciting and unexpected ending.  Steven, Kenneth, Selena, Natalie, and Elaine did a good job. 

The Other Truth: I think this series had good potential but did not really deliver. If this is a lawyer series, a lot of these cases are not really resolved in court and they seemed to take the easy way out in ending a case. For example, I thought the cop case was really intriguing and exciting and wanted to see how they would handle such a complicated case. I wanted to see Raymond not back down because he's a lawyer and believes in the law. Instead, they made the case silly by having the whole department corrupted except for the one undercover. I felt cheated. Also, there was also a case that revolved around the jurors which included Louis's mom. I liked that she didn't back down from what she believed in but isn't it illegal for her to go to the scene of the crime and test out her own theory. As a juror, she is supposed to judge based on the evidence presented in front of her, not by doing her own tests. The finale was also disappointing since they focused on Louis and Kristal, when most people probably wanted to see more Ruco, Tavia, and Raymond.

The Rippling Blossom: I loved this series. Chilam, Myolie, and Damien were all really funny and they make this series the best comedy of the year. Michael and Tavia's part were a little boring in comparison but I didn't mind the contrast between serious and funny.

Til Love Do Us Lie: (Not Official Poster) I'm only up to episode 25 but I really like this sitcom so far. My favorite episodes are the ones that revolve around Joyce Tang and Hanjin Tan. 

Wax and Wane: There are only 2 reasons to watch this series. The first is Toby who plays one of the few likable characters in this series and the next is Roger. I've always thought that Roger was a really good actor who probably excelled mainly in comedic roles, but he did a fantastic job portraying all the dimensions of his character here. He shined even though the story was bad which also led to the low ratings. I hope they give more opportunities to Roger to play more complex characters because with a better storyline, he can get another Best Actor award!

When Heaven Burns: I only just started to watch this so my opinion may change when I get to the end. For now, I'll just say that Charmaine looks amazing in this series.
edit: Okay, so I just finished watching the series and the whole thing was pretty boring, but I thought the last episode was really great. I get the idea and themes that the series was trying to portray, but it was not well executed. Even though I think this series is trying to portray itself as something TVB has never done, I actually think it had a lot of classic TVB elements such as the theme of retribution and (spoiler alert!) someone trying to save someone just to fly really far and end up hitting their head with blood spurting out of their mouth before they die. 

Yes, Sir. Sorry, Sir.: This series was not very good either. I hated the pairing of Moses and Tavia here (even though I loved them together in Moonlight Resonance), Ron was barely used in this series, and Linda didn't show up until later in the series. I think they should have utilized Ron and Linda more and the overall series was quite silly.

Wow, now that I finished all my reviews, I realized that I gave more negative reviews than positive. I enjoy watching TVB series in general so even if I didn't enjoy the overall series, there were probably moments that I  did like. What series did you like or not like this year?

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