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Written by Funn Lim


"I would gladly watch ANY SHIRLEY YEUNG series TWICE than to watch this series even for a minute. Sorry to Shirley Yeung fans for using her as an example but this is to show how much I detest THIS series."


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SPOILERS ... SPOILERS ... SPOILERS


The Title Commented
I like the title of Marriage of Inconvenience. That's about what I like about this series.

Released In
2008

No. Of Episodes
20

Cast
Bobby Au Yeung
Angela Tong
Toby Leung
Patrick Tang
Raymond Wong
Astrid Chan
Winnie Yeung
Power Chan
Stephen Huynh
Mimi Lo
Ai Wai
Joel Chan
Lee Ka Sing
Rain Lau


Plot
While the owner of a marriage bureau himself, the candid Kong Hoi-chuen (Bobby Au Yeung) nevertheless has no luck in finding a girlfriend. He meets Miu Ling (Angela Tong), who has just been disappointed in love, by chance. With his words of consolation Ling is able to recover. Six months later, Ling agrees to marry Chuen. The marriage lasts happily for three years, husband and wife ended up working in the marriage bureau in a home they both adore. Just when Chuen thinks that he is the happiest husband in the world, Ling's ex-lover Ivan (Raymond Wong) returns. Several years ago Ivan left Ling because he didn't want to be 'tied down' in a relationship, but now he wants a second chance. When he meets with Ling again he kisses her, despite her resistance, and Chuen misinterprets the situation. Chuen is both angry and furious, getting himself helplessly drunk in his office, and when he wakes he finds himself beside one of his female clients, mainlander Ng Yi Wu-Jiu (Toby Leung). Ling sees this and like her husband, misinterprets the situation and demands a divorce.

The divorce proceeds almost smoothly, as Cheun and Ling both want out as soon as possible. Unfortunately it is not as simple as they thought. Ling, believing that she has been wronged, refuses to move out of her beloved house. Cheun, who sees the house as his, decides to arrange a fake marriage with Ng Yi Wu-Jiu. In exchange for staying at the house for free, she pretends to be his lover. The plan was that they would anger Ling enough to leave. While Cheun works on angering Ling in the house, she retailates by hiring Ivan to work in the bureau and patroning his restaurant, which angers Cheun.

Later they both learn that Ng Yi Wu-Jiu is in fact the girl of a triad leader, she has her own loyal followers and rival gangs trying to kill her. Ivan meanwhile has shown himself to be quite capable and no longer a worthless playboy, with good connections and plenty of wealth. As Chuen and Ling both learn, their fighting might have involved too many unknown elements...

Taken from Wikipedia

Comments
I was looking at Wikipedia and it wrote...

Award nominations
41st TVB Anniversary Awards (2008)

"Best Drama"

... which just shows any junk will be nominated just so it can fill the quota.

You may ask what is wrong with this comedy? After all a warring couple can be fun to watch, to those who likes warring couples. I like this sort of series if done well but unfortunately there are about possibly 3 warring couples in here and that is overcrowded and noisy. And stretched to 20 episodes of constant warring couples, it can be very tiring and draining. After a while it isn't funny anymore.

This series reminds me of another similar one, that starred Lawrence Ng and Kenix Kwok. I think it is Till Death Do us Part or something like that which in turn was based on a Japanese series. I was very tired of that series, but this one takes the title as the worst.

First up, the story itself can be settled in 10 episodes the most. It does seem to have lots of characters but their stories are each so wafer thin that after a while you start to wonder is there anything else. The series quickly started with Bobby and Angela having doubts about one another, Angela being pursued by her commitment phobe but way hunkier ex boyfriend, Raymond whilst Bobby was tricked into believing that he slept with a young China girl desperate to remain in HK waiting for her gangster boyfriend, Joel and that is Toby. Truth is Angela didn't want to go back with Raymond and Bobby did not sleep with Toby. However both parties busted with one another and ended up having a swift divorce. Then there was the question of their dream home, bought by Bobby so he's not willing to let go and decorated with loving care by Angela so she is not willing to let go. So they both shared the house with demarcation who gets what. Bobby trying to help Toby to stay in HK married her and that infuriated Angela and there began the constant fighting. I must say the words used in the quarrels are crude but real. So you have Bobby calling Angela the Chinese equivalent of Slut/adulteress each time, her lover the adulterer whilst Angela calls him basterd/adulterer and Toby the adulteress. This will go on for many many episodes until such time Angela began to date Raymond again. Besides them we have the surrounding friends, the perpetual commitment phobe Astrid (so you know who she ends up with right?) who sleeps around, innocent Toby and her protective friend Patrick who was Joel's gang member, an uptight gynochologist Winnie Yeung and an outwardly chauvinistic and seemed to obsessed with porn Power Chan (guess who he ends up with), a married Mimi Lo to a rather hunky guy (Stephen) and of course a nerdy computer guy Lee who didn't end up with anybody. Throw in also Joel the gangster with an ulterior motice, Ai Wai a seemingly bad gangster guy who is actually not what he seems and his assistant, whose name I do not know but he had a memorable role as a young gangster wannabe in King Of Comedy next to Stephen Chow.

It isn't even convulated, just repetetive. They fight over the house, fight over food, fight over toilet, throw in in laws and they fight some more, push around, and fight over the house again, kept calling each other names and that is only by the 8th episode. 12 episodes more to go. It is a very frustrating watch as they kept on fighting. And when they stopped fighting, there was always hints of reconciliation and then there was betrayal where Astrid slept with Raymond which hurt Angela again and yet Angela forgave him, incredibly and also forgave Astrid. Yet she couldn't forgive Bobby for sleeping with Toby, someone she didn't know. Truth be told, she got her priorities all wrong. Then there's the love story between Power and Winnie, fight fight fight, then understanding, then fight some more then finally got together because Power turns out to be a true romantic. The way the series go, an attractive intelligent woman like Winnie doesn't seem to have a break with man eventhough Power is ok, he is beneath her education, wealth and even intellectual wise. There are just no other man. The one woman the attractive intelligent guys go for is Angela whose character is I shall unreservedly say a dumb stupid idiot. What is so great about her that guys go gaga? Her looks perhaps?

Let's talk about looks then.

Is it me or as the series proceeds along, Angela's makeup is as thick as ever? And her clothes became lesser and lesser, tighter and tighter, to such point there was a scene in the almost end episode where she walked into the dream house with a huge hammer to destroy the house (since she can't sell it, she doesn't want Bobby to have it as she feels as long as the house is there she can't move on and marry Raymond) and the scene turns to her smashing the basins with the hammer wearing, if I can remember correctly black leather boots, laced stockin's, low spaghetti strapped top which gives her the leather dominatrix chick look? Is it that necessary at all? No one walks around dressed like that, not in broad daylight unless this is a special costume for smashing basins?

And then there totally inappropriate scenes that no young ones should watch. This series is highly sexualised without showing sex scenes. But they're very suggestive that I flinched watching them because it is supposed to be funny, I just found them disturbing and I thought why not just show Bobby jump on top of Toby and get on with it, which by the way there was such a scene towards the end. Bobby was imagining stuff and first he saw Toby acting rather sexy. It was all imagination but if a series would have an actress dressing like a dominatrix just to smash a basin bowl, what more about acting sexy? Toby is always in short skirts, since she is young. In such imagination scene, she would be kneeling on the bed, wind blowing her hair, slowly peeling off her outer sweater which inside reveals a ... spaghetti strap (a must have wardrobe in this series) as she slowly peel them off and her making kittenish sound as she urged Bobby to come closer... is it sexy? Well do you find Toby sexually stimulating?? To see Bobby's face red, eyes bulging... seems rather disturbing. Then there Angela, the sexier one doing the same thing but by that time it just feels wrong. Is humour only in quarrels and sex? Can't we have genuinely funny moments without cringing at the scenes? Not just once but more than 3 times. To be fair to Toby, she has a killer body so to speak but I just can't connect the body to the face... and the acting...

There are some funny moments, thanks to Ai Wai and the boy I do not know his name. They were genuinely funny and I enjoyed their scenes very much, however short lived. The rest were simply irritating. It is full of contradiction.

We all know from the outset Raymond is meant for Astrid, the 2 who sleeps around and can't commit. But Raymond wants Angela back, did all sort of things like opening a restaurant called Sahara, etc and yet he had no hesitation in sleeping with Astrid, at all. Even after that he still wants Angela and was going to marry her until he realises he loves Astrid, thus wasting the viewers' time with the whole predictable roundabout.

The problems with the side characters isn't as pronounced as that with the main ones. I like Toby's character even if she started the relationship on a lie. At least she has personality. Bobby's character when he is not busy fighting he is busy pining for Angela's character. And he seems more in love with her than she is with him. That's the impression I got. When he was so sad that Angela was back with Raymond, so love sick he actually couldn't walk. Angela did not visit, did not enquire, seems unconcerned at all. In fact for someone who later seeks Bobby to pretend they're still married with one another when her mother visited them, I felt she was so cold and Bobby should have said no. Throughout I never liked Angela's character and even in the end I despise her character. I find her character stupid and irrelevant, undecided and cruel and cold to Bobby. There is nothing appealing about that character and the fact that her character largely depended on what she wore for attention and perhaps ratings shows what a failure this series is. And usually Bobby has great chemistry with his leading ladies, but with Angela he fell flat on his face.

Problem is Angela herself. She got this first leading role after her much loved performance as the ugly duckling whose name I can't remember. She had minimal role in there but in here the focus is on her. In the past she was always someone's girlfriend or mistress, like Astrid who is always the sophisticated 3rd party. Unlike Astrid, Angela is now the leading lady in here, probably sharing almost equal screentime with Toby Leung if I may say so but what a bummer... I don't find her interesting at all. At times it is because of her character who is cold and heartless and uninteresting and also very badly written but sometimes it is because of Angela herself and her worried eyebrow look that gets to me big time. Either exceedingly angry or worried and never quite in between. She is a good actress and maybe this is not the role to showcase her talent in a leading role but damningly I would have wished she stayed in the background a little while longer.

Then there's Toby Leung. What is it about this girl that she keeps getting a big chunk of a role? What is it about her that she gets probably you can call 2nd lead or big screentime? She annoyed me in Drive Of Life, with her monotomous delivery of her lines and how they all kept saying she is pretty etc when frankly good looks isn't her forte. Same in this series. But looks isn't an impediment to an acting career. Good acting should be the basis. If this is really a comedy, Toby Leung fails big time. She isn't funny but her character has her charms and can be quite endearing except that her performance in terms of drama is also a big fail. Can someone just tell her to go for speech classes? She talks in such a lazy way I almost fell asleep everytime she opens her mouth. Imagine her in some big ancient drama series requiring her to say "MEN! FIGHT TO YOUR DEATH!!! FOR HONOUR OF YOUR EMPEROR!!!!!!!!!!" and I would guess not one would be spurred into action. I dread that kind of role being done by her without proper speech classes. Her acting itself somewhat improve from her earlier ones but it is still as Kate Tsui says "DEADFOOL!" as in dreadful. Why am I explaning myself?? Anyway she has hope, she is not hopeless and nope, cosmetic surgery won't help. I demand good acting over good looks. Good looks is to mask the fact you are a terrible actress, like a cushion for that impending fall but if you don't have natural good looks, talent does help. I wouldn't say Toby Leung can't be helped. She is young and however awful she is since she seems to be getting good or rather plump roles, I suppose she can learn on the job. I am just not sure I can suffer a few years of bad acting to wait for her to get moderately good. But one thing for sure; series like this DOESN'T HELP IN HER CAUSE.

Bobby... Bobbybobbybobbybobby... he is funny, and why this series was kinda enjoyable in the first place. Bobby is always watcheable but even he can't help this dud. Probably because his character is such a foul mouth (no swearing but everytime open mouth calls Angela adulteress!! adulteress!! can be quite irritating after a while). I just didn't like his performance in here solely because I just don't like this series.

One actress surprised me with her new found versatility is Winnie Yeung. I swear after she got married she is actually a better actress than she was before. I especially liked her performance in The Silver Chamber Of Sorrows whom I find classy and elegant. In here she is rather mean and crude as a spinster but is effective. She looks so dowdy. I enjoyed her chemistry with Power Chan, one of the few highlights of this series which unfortunately got bogged down with so much quarrels that I just didn't care anymore.

Power Chan is a fine actor but even a fine actor can't lift a bad script to not so bad script.

Astrid Chan is surprisingly watcheable even if unbelievable that her character can sleep with her best friend's boyfriend and got away with it even if she had to endure one slap. One slap is never enough!!

Raymond Wong is someone I am not familiar with. China actor perhaps? He speaks with an accent. He looks good, handsome, dark and well built. Unfortunately his character is a 1st class jerk, sleeping with best friend of girlfriend and GETTING AWAY WITH IT! No justice!! Performance wise, I thought he is a good actor even if his character has zero personality and after some time commenting on good looks, it became a snooze fest because how long can you stare at a beautiful but empty vase?

Ai Wai is the highlight of this series together with that young man. They're so funny and a series should be made of these 2 as brothers or parent and child or something. These two have more chemistry together than everybody else combined and the only reason why you should even bother watch the series even if you have to fast forward to find their scenes which isn't much.

Lee Ka Sing is someone I haven't quite seem for sometime. At first he looks rather nerdy and one of the funniest scene was how Bobby tried to help him to change his image as he crawled around crying with such low self esteem over his looks. Some haircut, nice suits and gone with the specs, he actually looks rather handsome! But alas, the rest of the series doesn't have that life changing effect.

There is Rain Lau in here but rather insignificant role.

I feel the talents of some of the actors in here are wasted on a poorly writen script, unexciting storyline, unsympathetic characters and downright offensive materials. I just think this series as it went along tried to capitalise on the sensuality of Angela who is rather sexy of course and I have never quite seen such revealing clothings in a series and she has a great body. But when sexy takes over the real nature of this series that is comedy, it spells trouble. BIG BIG TROUBLE.

Verdict
What a predictable messy crap!

Avoid AT ALL COST! Don't even pay 1 cent! Don't even download for free! Don't waste your time I beg you, I beg you never to torture yourself, never to waste that precious moments in your life for this crap! I would gladly watch ANY SHIRLEY YEUNG series TWICE than to watch this series even for a minute. Sorry to Shirley Yeung fans for using her as an example but this is to show how much I detest THIS series.

Interesting Argument
I came across some forum discussing how ugly Toby Leung is and how not so ugly Angela Tong is. Of course the forum is full of haters. I may say Toby is not pretty or even ugly but the reason I am not loving her is her bad acting and her lazy voice. Anyway the discussion went off tangent and into the territory that I felt was uncalled for; some posters said Toby was FAT. Fat? Seriously, fat? I thought she was slim! Not thin but for her height, she was slim. I thought she looked rather good in short skirt and I even thought she has a nice figure. Not like mature woman figure like Angela who has a nice figure as well but FAT? How do you define fat? I thought she was as slim as any other top TVB actresses, not as flat chested with strong looking legs BUT FAT? I know you hate her but please, have I called Shirley Yeung fat? I don't even call Bobby fat. Maybe the posters meant Toby Leung is PHAT?

Who knows? Nowadays people just don't know how to write anymore.


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3 comments:

  1. Raymond Wong is a HK actor, but he started out in movies. He only recently signed with TVB to get more exposure and hone his acting skill.
    He has also acted in a few ATV and Mainland series before.

    Here's his filmography.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raymond_Wong_Ho-Yin

    ReplyDelete
  2. I don't find it as awful has you felt. But, I enjoy watching the stories of the side characters more than the lead. Too bad they never develope on Mimi and Stephen's story. The series only dedicated 1/2 episode to them and ther conflict was resolved off camera. Is it because they are married, so, nothing to write? Or maybe they felt Stephen's acting not good enough to carry a bigger role, so didn't write this couple so much?

    Haha, Mimi and Stephen has played a couple trice already. In this series and D.I.E 1 & 2.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I didn't even remember Stephen was in it. I wanted to comment on him but just totally forgot! Kidd you're right I think. Stephen is an awful actor and less focus on him the better.

    However this series is about that 2 couple plus Toby. I hate this series. I feel it is exploitative and not even funny.

    ReplyDelete

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