"... I realise it's not good to put down an effort. People do try however talentless they may be. I see not one ounce of effort from Sonija Kwok."
SPOILERS! SPOILERS! SPOILERS!
Alex Fong - Leung Tak Wah/Lau Fook Wing
Sonija Kwok - Suen Siu Yuet
Michael Tse - Lau Fook Wing/Leung Tak Wah
Moses Chan - Ying Chun
Leila Tong - Mui
Matt Yeung - Ying Fung
Fiona Yuen - Ngau Yat Yat
Chu Mi Mi
Husband dies whilst driving his taxi thanks to one ruthless and flamboyant successful music producer. Husband is not supposed to die but the blundering death official made a mistake. Husband couldn't go back into his own body as his body was cremated. And so he was forced to go back to the living in the body of the man who caused his death. Once back in that body, he realised convincing his grieving wife, young daughter and old mother that he was their husband, father and son (respectively) was made difficult due to the fact that he can't reveal he is who he is if not he will be severely punished by the god of the underworld. The death official guided him and advised him to correct what that despicable music producer did when he was alive. As he went to right the wrong (more to save his own skin literally as due to his sins, that music producer's body was slowly decaying) and pursue his wife, he encountered problems after problems, from fending off the obssessed love of a colleague whom he had seduced from a good friend of his (when the music producer was the music producer) to making his wife fall for him all over again to fighting for her attention when she discovered who caused her husband's death and when the music producer's good friend pursued his wife as well. When he finally win the heart of his wife, he found out he was dying all over again. And when he wasn't dying after all, a more sinister spirit returned looking like he was. What a good man had to do so that he can be with his wife and child again?
This series has many elements that could make or break the flow of the story. Call it pros and cons.
A story about a beautiful grieving widow and her young child pining for their dead loved one who died way too early due to the blunder of a death official who was more concerned with video games than responsibility.
A story about a young husband coming back in the body of the man who caused his death vying for the love of his beloved wife and correcting the wrongs perpetrated by the man who caused his death.
A story about a confused widow who didn't know whether to love again or not but having loved again was jilted due to reasons she didn't know but she persevered to win the love of the man she hated whom she learned to love who was actually her husband.
And a story about a widow who could let go of her grief only to be confronted by a man looking like her dead husband and claiming to be one whilst her real husband in the body of another man could not explain how all this could have happened.
The themesong. Probably the only nice thing about this series, I feel the English title should be changed to Try Again. Anyway, Sammi Cheng sang that song. Decent effort.
I can tell you that the pros of this story is many and at times if done properly could have made a fabulous tear jerker.
Now the cons.
Finding actors ill suited for their respective parts, such as an actor who can't sing playing a singer, who can't dance playing a professional/talented dancer, someone who is not cute playing a cute little girl, ridiculous futuristic look for the underworld, loss of focus and the worst of all, an actor who can't act playing a grieving somebody whose expressions in many scene is priceless (as in expressions these days on TV is so expensive that producers must have directed the actors to please act as wooden as possible to ensure probably less pay since perhaps a grieving look may worth $10,000 in an actor's salary scale, who knows?).
Yes, the cons outweighs the pros for perhaps many reasons that are too glaring for me not to mention them.
I have no doubt Alex Fong is the reason why I endured the torture. He's a great looking guy, tall, dark, handsome, flirtatious and always at ease in scenes which requires him to well, get cozy with his lady co-stars. I remember his electrifying and manly turn as Wilson Tong Ming in Burning Flame II. I drooled over him night after night. I am sure many ladies drooled over him as well. Of course Wong Hei was the actor but Alex Fong was the sex symbol. And then came this dud. I must say Alex Fong was sometimes very interesting to watch because he can be comical. But the moment he started to cry or scream or portray explosive emotions, everything went downhill. However the problem with this series is really not Alex Fong. He did his best with the lame material and zombie like co-star. Oh yes, this series has problems no one can fixed unless of course firing a few people.
The Futuristic Look Of The Underworld
I hated that. I hated how Ngau Yat Yat was always carrying her teddy bear cum laptop cum whatever. I hated her look. I hated the feel of the underworld. I know technology will catch up even in the underworld but definitely not like this. Must everything be so darn modern even the way they talked which is so annoying? I don't think so. The costume of the underworld, whilst some may say visionary I will say pure silliness.
As in the Chinese title, which literally means "Husband Chasing After His Wife With All His Might". Huh?? What's wrong with the title people in TVB? Love And Again is quite alright but what are they up to with that really silly chinese title? This series is about something rather serious and the title totally kills the feel of it. I don't even think anybody would want to rent this series because of the title.
It's too repetetive. At first seems rather nice, building to an emotional beginning and perhaps to a more dramatic middle and then a very dramatic end. The problem is the pacing. Half the time we see Alex Fong feeling jealous, feeling angry, running after his wife. We see Sonija doubting this, doubting that, accepting and then denying. Blah blah blah. It's like an endless cycle of husband running after wife and then wife running after husband. Of course we have side stories but none interesting enough to take the boredom away from the main story. And the main story itself is very boring so really, that isn't saying much for the whole series. Though only 20 episodes, it's like a liefetime has passed and still the story is still here, never ending.
Did I mention Moses' dead girlfriend looked (surprise!) exactly like Sonija Kwok (not just because Sonija Kwok played two roles but because Sonija Kwok is Sonija Kwok in both roles)?
Casting The Wrong People In Uninteresting Roles
The characters are boring. The actors are worse.
I remember one scene where Moses took Sonija to watch two people dancing the ballroom dancing (Moses is an expert dancer and his specialty is ballroom dancing whilst Sonija is supposed to have immense talent in dancing). Moses introduced them and Sonija watched in awe as she said "They're the famous ballet dancers from ???". Moses beamed with happiness as Sonija took every step into her heart and soul. Now where is problem you may ask? I have never heard ballroom dancers who are ballet dancers and vice versa. Why not just find ballroom dancers to be ballroom dancers and ballet dancers to be ballet dancers? We have Sonija saying they're fanous ballet dancers and there they were, doing ballroom dancing. Am I missing something?
That's when the more glaring problems occured. About 60% of them is technical stuff.
I am sure Moses Chan is not a dancer and it shows. Far shots and we see a really good one strutting his stuff and up close, there's Moses. I won't deny he had the look of an artist but when he started shaking and dancing (if you could call that dancing), he looked like he is tensed. I don't see flexibility and he is supposed to be an expert.
Then we have Sonija Kwok, supposed to be a very talented ballerina/ballroom dancer (at this point I am lost as to the distinction). The way she dances is exactly like the way she acts; expressionless. Ballroom dancing when done by professionals is like two people entwined together in a passionate embrace as they move with ease and with passion to the music. When I see Sonija Kwok dance, I felt like I was watching a piece of log being pulled by a couple of strings. Put Moses in and we have two pieces of logs. I see neither passion nor whatever that is supposed to be there. No chemistry whatsoever. It was like watching two people pretending to be expert in a field that clearly they're not qualified to be in. Where is the training?
At this point you must be thinking why so fussy? It's just acting you must say. Give them a break. I am fussy and I hate it when the actors do not take their art seriously. If you are required to play a famous pianist, for heaven's sake (and for the viewers' sake) please at least pretend like you can play. But dancing is a bit more difficult, I admit. So train harder. Don't give the viewers' such lame performances. I felt shortchanged and so should the viewers. It's time we demand quality. Just because Moses is in this series doesn't mean everything he does is perfect. I demand perfection!
The worst had to be one single scene which totally made me laugh out so loud because of disbelief. I could not belief that scene would be shot the way it did. We have Leila Tong and that Nicholas Tse look alike singing. No music, just what I call unplug. I was wondering why can't TVB just find decent singers to sing and then these two actors lip synch? I do not know why and I do not wish to speculate. There they were singing, toneless, no emotion, no passion, no feel for the words, and in the words of Simon Cowell (of the American Idol fame) "If you were singing like that in a Karaoke bar, they would turn off the power". I agree. Then I had to hear them sing again and then dance. How much more of this pure nonsense must I endure??
Ok, basically what I listed above until now is technical stuff. Die hard fans will ignore them and criticise me as being too petty. Perhaps now I move to something even die hard fans can't ignore (I may be wrong though).
Illogical Scenes/TV Mistakes
For one, suddenly Alex Fong (now disguised as Michael Tse) suddenly appeared and all his family were thrown into confusion. They accepted that Ah Wing came back from the dead, irregardless of the fact that his body was cremated!
Then we have this scene Ah Wah (Alex Fong who is actually Michael Tse) had a fight with Ah Wing (Michael Tse who is actually Alex Fong). Wing (bad one) killed Wah (good one) so then Wing pulled Wah's spirit out of his own body. That spirit was looking like Alex Fong. I know there must be some confusion here so I must clarify some things; Michael Tse the good one entered the body of Alex Fong the bad one thus we see Alex Fong being the good one. So naturallu when the body (as in Alex Fong) dies, the spirit pulled out must be Michael Tse (who was occupying Alex's body) and yet we see Alex Fong pulled out of Alex Fong! Even the writers were confused.
And when Ah Wing suddenly disappeared in the final episode, Ah Wing's mom who so readily accepted his already cremated son coming back alive suddenly had nothing to say. The wife of course knew but before that she accepted him and yet felt no love for him even before she actually spoke to him in length. I feel such mistakes made this series into a child's play, even Harry Potter, a fantasy plot made more sense than this inconsistent series.
And of course one TV mistake is Sonija Kwok herself as I shall explain below.
For once I found one actress who is worst that Sonija Kwok in a single series and that is the little girl that plays her daughter. I guess like mother like daughter because that girl pretends to be cute and ended up looking, talking and moving in ways that annoys me big time. She can't act, to put it mildly. But since she is just a little girl, perhaps she should be encouraged to perhaps improve, and I guess given time she may be better. Who knows? She is definitely not anywhere in Jenny Shing's league.
Ok, now I come to the main one, the big one. Sonija Kwok has been acting for quite a number of years. Her beauty is admired by many (though I feel her thin lips give me an impression she has no lips and therefore no kissable lips). In fact I don't find her sexy though she is not immune to sexy clothing (still decent though compared to many what young stars wear these days). When she appears in interviews, she is not particularly articulate and she struggles to find correct words to represent her emotions without revealing too much of her private life. In her pursuit to find Mr Right, she has been linked to many men, fat short rich tall handsome ugly successful. At this moment she is very happy with Deric Wan. Even then there are negative news, much to the detriment of Mr Deric Wan whom many feel is beneath Sonija Kwok in popularity and fan base. Frankly I feel for whatever the messiness in Deric Wan's past history with his women, he is an immensely talented actor who can blend in any role. She is beneath him, and that is my frank opinion. So she may be popular now, but since she lacks both etheral good looks and talent, I doubt she will last as long as Deric. But for now in the country which is obsessed with good looks and pays little attention to talent, I guess Sonija Kwok will be famous for a while longer.
It is very difficult for me to comment about Sonija Kwok without reading some glowing comments about how much she has improved and how good she is now. I find it amazing that viewers' often dislike Charmaine and yet said nothing about Sonija Kwok. I read with dismay how some feels she is the greatest actress. I wonder what series were they watching because I want to watch the one where she really acts. Sonija Kwok is obviously not sleepwalking through the entire series. Sleepwalking is the privilege of talented actors who are given roles that is far too easy for them so they sleepwalk. Sonija Kwok is not even a wood in my opinion (except when she is dancing) because she tries to give emotions. The problem with her is basically, she can't act. She is expressionless, and I doubt Botox is the reason. When her husband died, she cries but my God, it's so hard for her to cry. She is supposed to be a very dependant wife, but of course intelligent and beautiful. She looks far too glamarous to be a grieving widow and she is far too expressionless to be someone who is capable of any emotion. Her character gives me an impression that she is a very cold person. So when I read she is playing a very professional and glamorous looking deadly agent in Angels of Mission, in a way I feel she might be perfect for that role. In fact she should not play villains or good persons. She should play a person who is cold, a wife who is feeling no love for her husband, perhaps disdain, a person who goes through life not feeling much. Or a comatose patient. Either one will do. But even with such roles, the fact that she can't act is probably why all her performances is the worst in my opinion. She could try harder, but it's not about trying harder. I don't think acting is all about effort though it is very important. Talent goes a long way but understanding your character is crucial and I guess that means more effort. Her worst moment that tops all horrible moments was towards the end when her husband was trying to tell her he's really him so he took her to a nice restaurant he had planned to take her to when he died a year ago. He asked the waiter to bring the present he left there a year ago and when she opened it she saw a pair of dancing shoes that she liked so much a year ago. She then knew that Alex Fong was really her husband in the body of a stranger. Her acting? Absolutely expresionless that I sat there in front of telly asking myself what on Earth was Sonija Kwok thinking? Did she know she had to act? I wasn't the only one complaining about her lack of acting. After watching this series, my whole family came to a conclusion that I concluded many many series before; Sonija Kwok has absolutely no talent whatsoever nor does she even have any understanding of her character, her emotions, her feelings, her circumstances. What I saw before me was not acting, it was play acting and since TVB is such a big organisation, amateurs are inevitable but amateurs acting like an amateur should be banned from acting.
After watching so many episodes of American Idol and hating the comment that "I doubt you are serious about this" by that brutally honest Simon Cowell, I realise it's not good to put down an effort. People do try however talentless they may be. I see not one ounce of effort from Sonija Kwok. Definitely a passionless delivery and performance. But then die hard fans will say this is her breakthrough role. I would say I am the one breaking through a wall trying to understand why on Earth was she casted in this role that is totally out of her league.
The Rest Of The Cast
Uninspired performances, including Leila Tong who has grown into a very boring actress. It's her character and her bad performance. She can't sing and yet she sings. She can't dance and yet she dances. When Chu Mi Mi and the other older actress (playing Moses' mom) sang, they could put all singers to shame. This uninspired performance includes Alex Fong as well whom I hate watching running after a woman. That woman should run after him! The only possible few people who did well are the older actors, Gregory Lee (who is quite interesting to watch and I wait for the day he plays a villain), Lee Ka Sing and of course Angela Tong (who played a career woman who is totally helpless when it comes to love so feminists out there may want to avoid this series). By the way, again Tse Tin Wah is sidelined like he was in Life For Life. The thing is I didn't miss his presence anyway.
All in all, this series fails big time because of bad casting, Sonija Kwok and really bad pacing for the story. Fans of Moses Chan may want to watch this though since there is a change of image and improvement in his acting skill and fans of Alex Fong may want to drool at his every scene though nothing to drool about in my opinion. Die hard fans of Sonija Kwok may want to watch this because for once she is the nice one in here and not the evil somebody. For everybody else, best avoid this unless you may want to feel your temperature rising everytime you see Sonija Kwok act/dance/breath and that is not because of lust/love/admiration. In fact even if you're the biggest fans of everybody in this series, best avoid this one because it's really really a very badly made, badly acted, badly paced and badly filmed series.
I find this series similar in some ways with the magnificent Life For Life. Mariann Chan was simply amazing in that series and Cutie Mui was for once given a role that is glamarous and yet bad. In fact I highly recommend Life For Life because at least in there you won't have someone who can't dance playing a dancer.
I also recommend Feminine Masculinity which is way better than this series because it has a strong cast and an interesting storyline. Kong Wah alone is worth the rental money.
What is it with talented actors dating talentless actressess? Because they're beautiful? Or maybe it is pure coincidence, that many actressess are talentless, just so happened that two of the most talented there is is dating perhaps two of the most talentless?
Ok, Shirley Yeung is not that bad, but frankly she is not that great either.