A must read, if you don't already know ...

Written by Funn Lim

This review was posted many years ago, exactly when I am not sure but it should be within months from the original broadcast of this series. I am posting it as I have posted it originally.


This Is Not
The review for Armed Reaction II.

How Long
10 tapes/20 episodes

Bobby Au Yeung,Esther Kwan,Marco Ngai,Joyce Tang,Yew Lok Yee,Chu Mi Mi

What & Where
Modern 90's comedy-drama about armed policewomen and their love lives.

The storyline
Esther Kwan is your Ngor Che(Sister Ngor),a typical happily married woman with a loving husband and a good boy as a son .Because of this,she is very dependant on her husband and very reluctant to move up the ladder of police force,preferring to be her secretary to the Chief Police of the station.However,things took an unexpected turn when her boss' wife thought that they were having an affair and transferred to her to the Patrol Unit and then things took the worst turn when her husband left her for another woman.From there on,she had to depend on herself on everything.Luckilly,she had Joyce as her companion and her friend.Joyce is your typical single tomboy who wants to make her mark in the police force and so,she applied to go for the test to bear arms,together with Esther.Sometimes,being too ambitious is her downfall because she is always at loggerheads with her superior,Marco Ngai,you typical super-cop.Then there is of course Bobby,who is single,unattractive and very influential in what he does for a living,as a crime expert,not your typical policeman.Anyways,everything is make quite complicated when they fall in love,and fall out of love when Bobby's old enemy returned to haunt him and thus,turning Bobby into a fugitive,and Marco as the one whob had to arrest him.Will Esther and Joyce accept this as their duty and just carry out their oath as policewomen and will tehre be a happy ending?This being a TVB production,you wojld realise that everything will turn out fine in the end.

What Does Bobby Really Do
In the world of police investigations,there are many experts who specialise in many areas of speliasations.For example,you have Dr Lip from Untraceable Evidence as your Medical Examiner,your Frank Black from Millenium as your crminologist/forensic pathologist,your NYPD Blue people as the detectives and Esther and Joyce as your CID.So what Bobby is here is a cross of all these people,He doesn't run after criminals but he examines the scene of the crime,and more specifically,his area of specialty is the guns and bullets.So he is you expert that tells you which guns was used and looking at the angle of the bullets and all,he could roughly tell you what really happened at the crime scene.But of course,he does have power of arrest.Even you as citizen have power of arrest.

The Unreal factor
Unreal in the sense that this will never happen in real police workforce.a couple working in the same unit.Because there are strong implications such as they cover for each other,so the relationship between Joyce and Marco will never happen.If it does,one will have to apply to be transferred to another unit.

The Most Unreasonable Character
Joyce's character.When her uncle,that is Bobby became a fugitive and a suspect in a crime that he never committed,Marco as the investigating officer must arrest him.It is his duty,and Joyce as the investigating officer must not be given access to that case in case of some hanky-panky that she may do.Anyway,Joyce was extremely angry with Marco for wanting to arrest Bobby and did arrest him.She stormed into his office in front of his subordinates demanding for an explanation,Esther coming in and begging him not to arrest Bobby.That I see as unreasonable.Of course being a relative to Bobby,it is reasobale for them to be acting as such but yet,they of all people should understand this is the duty of Marco to investigate and arrest on the roders of his boss. Storming into his office and screaming at him is the most unprofessional action by Joyce as his subordinates.This is why couples can never be in the same unit.

The How Come factor

How come Bobby ain't your typical policeman?
He was a long long time ago,but in the pursuit of this criminal that eventually made him into a fugitive,he was shot at his ankle and thus ended his career as a CID or whatever he was because he can no longer run fast and for long periods of time.That is why he became a specialist.

How come Esther's husband left her when they were so loving?
Simply,Esther was very dependant to her husband and her husband felt suffocated in such a relationship.So he left her for another woman who is less dependant and also because that other woman is pregnant.

How come Marco fell for Joyce?
You meant in real life?I don't know but if you mean in the serial,well simple.They both have the same interest,they both liked and loved the same football team,they both enjoy each other's company and they see each other everyday.Moreover,Marco's quite a dish and Joyce is quite pretty.So they are made for each other.

How come Esther fell for Bobby?
I find the attraction that Bobby felt for Esther is a bit too abrupt,too fast and I didn't even know when he began to feel for her,more so fell for her.But as for Esther,simple.If a man is willing to withstand insults from you,is a great father and friend to your son,willing to carry tons and tons of water up the stairs like some 10 floors right to the front of your apartment and never even let you knwo it was him(though you do know),and is as lovable and likeable as Bobby,why not would be my question to your question.

How come Esther has a 10 year old child?
Putting aside any questions about the reproduction systems of men and women,I would assume your wuestion would be how a young woman like Esther could ahve such a big child.Supposedly she married right adfter school,that is 18 years of age,why not would be my question to your question.
How come Esther and Joyce applied to bear arms? Joyce is because she always wanted to be a police woman and to bear arms.Esther is because she wants a promotion and she wants to prove to herself that she can do it.

How come Bobby is an uncle to a very adult Joyce?
Well,why not ?Supposedly Bobby's brother(who died a long time ago,leaving Chu Mi Mi a widow with 3 daughters) is like so much more older than Bobby.In fact,there is one scene that tells us that Chu Mi Mi was the one who took care of Bobby,so simply,my question to your question would be Why Not?

The I Don't Get It Factor
I don't get it and I never will.In real and reel life,there is always this situation where the husband found another and having the excuse like she is pregnant and so he left his wife and his children,in Esther's case,his ten year old child.Funny you know,because he left his wife and child for another woman with child claiming he has to be responsible to that pregnant woman.So who then is the wife and the child?What are they in his heart?If you left a wife without a child for the above excuse,perhaps it is legitimate but in Esther's situation,it is just an excuse by the man to leave her for another woman because he does not love her anymore.Period.The chikld was never in the picture,and in real life if a man says that to you,sue him for maintainance fee instead of just letting him go and then cry yourself silly.

Any Drama factor
Strictly speaking,this is both a drama and a comedy,and it is not a situation drama but plain drama,if you know what I mean.However,this serial does have it's dramatic moments,like Bobby being a fugitive,Esther almost shot to death,AMrco's arguments with Joyce,the conflict between Bobby and his nieces about the supposedly reformed crminal,the kidnapping of both Esther and Joyce and how the men would try to save them.Not dramatic until you would scream but will keep you interested,at least.

Some Complaints
This serial is supposedly about women who carry guns as policewomen but somehow I felt it's just a plain old love story.Nothing serious was dealt into and I felt it is a quite a disappoinment in this aspect where the main theme was not serously dealt with.They show us some training scenes as to how they got their rights to bear arms,shot a few shots but that's it.If this serial is to show how strong women can be,I seriously doubt that it shows us in the positive light.At the end,we have 2 guys very frantically trying to find the location of the missing and trapped and about to be frozen to death Esther and Joyce.I am not a feminist but I just wish that for once they don't try to show strong women who at ned is weak and needed saving.It would be nice if the men needed saving.Perhaps PArt II may deal with this issue.

The Most Compatible Couple
Joyce and Marco?yeah.Bobby and Esther?Yup!They have this unspoken chemistry you know,such electricity between them.However,I really do feel that I could see more flirtatious glances between Kong Wah and Esther in Lady Flower Fist than between Bobby and Esther in all their serials together.

The BEst Performances
Without a doubt,the very funny Bobby.He is very good especially when he semmed reluctant to do something,like he was reluctant to let Esther go when she told him that she does not like him .Of course,I liked Marco too,because he does look like a very fit and capable policeman and I must admit,this is one actor that though he is not that great in his acting,he never fails to entertain viewers with his borderlien acting abilities.He could be better and he has this moldable face,one secind he can be evil and another he can be nice.Esther is good as usual,and here you could see her with her very nice hair.Anyways,she could get a bit too dependant-ish in her acting skills,meaning she can be too feminine in her acting abilites that you can never see her as otherwise.

The Ok Performance
Joyce Tang and before you start cursing me,let me tell you why.She is ok,but she is not great.She can be a bit too carried away in her acting skills but she is fine here,though a bit too thin to look at.Anyways,maybe it's her character that I don't like,character meaning her role not her persona.She is pretty,and she could be irritating like she was as Ah Suet in Kindred Spirit or cold and aloof as in DIF IV,so she does have some skills and some moldable face if you know what I mean.This is not a criticsm because she can improve.I am not her fan,and I will never be but nevertheless,I see potential.The one role that she may not be able to do is those Charmaine Sheh type,softspoken and irritatingly feminine.

Is it worth Renting
Sure,it's worthed it.I basically enjoyed the serial except for the ending,a bit anti-climax.But nice wedding gowns though.

What Not To Expect
Intense romance between the characters,but there is this one intense kissing scene between Marco and Joyce.The only time I saw Bobby and Esther kissed was in that ultra-long and ultra-boring Recipe For The HEart and after seeing that,I was so glad that there isn't such scene in this serial.

Is is BETTER than…
If you're referring to those police drama,I can't compare because like I said earlier,strictly speaking this is not a police drama but rather a love story.So if you asked me whether is it better than all those TVB love stories like Man's BestFriend,Recipe For The Heart,As Sure As Fate,ect,some yes and some no.All these serial have one thing in common,a not so engaging love story.If you want Titanic kind of love story,go for Titanic then.But if you want just pure entertainment value,go for Titanic and this one also.This is something light and something quite enjoyable though a bit too predictable.

Interesting Facts
If I have written this month ago,it could've been Interesting Rumour but now it is a fact.It was during the filming of this serial that love blossomed between Joyce and Marco.For all the effort that they used to deny a relationship between them,in the end they're an item and I don't see any fans hurling insults and bottles at them.So I would say such wasted ingenuity to deny the fact of a relationship.

This was a hit,and further propelled Esther as Big Sis of TVB.Of course now,the Big Sis of TVB is Jessica Hester Hsuan.Anyway,I always see a change in teh Big Sis position but never in the Big Brother of TVb position,so Bobby is still your Big Bro Of TVb,shared with Nick Cheung,and the real Big Bro,Gallen Lo.

There is a sequal out now.I heard that the begining part of the sequal does not concide with the ending of the prequel.For example,in this edning,you see they married each other,well not really,rather they were wearing wedding gowns and all.But in the sequal,Joyce and Marco married BUT Esther and Bobby marrying is just a dream by Bobby and until many many trial and tribulations later,do they really get together.I see this as a weak point in the drama.They should just let things be but noooo!It had to be a dream.A cheap gimmick.I am not sure if II is a hit,but in my TVb rental place,a lot of people is wathing Armed REaction II.There will be a review later on the sequel.

Unimportant Stuffs
The title,Armed Reaction,I quite like it,but it does not reflect the cantonese title,Tor Cheung Lui Ging,roughly translated as Arms Bearing Policewomen,which again does not reflect the true spirit of the contents of the serial itself.It should have been Armed Reaction : A Love Story.


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