Name : At The Threshold Of An Era I
Also Known As : Epic Drama / 100 episodes drama
How Long : First 50 episodes/First 25 tapes
Gallen Lo Ka Leung - Yip Wing Tim
Sunny Chan Kam Hung - Hui Man Biu (Michael)
Roger Kwok Chun Onn - Ma Chi Keung
Nicky Wu Chi Lung - Yip Wing Hang (Joe)
Louis Koo Tin Lok - Cheung Chi Lik
Michael Wong - Barry
Chun Pui - Yip Hau Lai (Howard)
Kenix Kwok Hoi Ying - Sum Wing Yan (Ivy)
Flora Chan Wai San - Fok Hei Yin (Helen)
Maggie Siu Mei Kei - Pang Chi Wai (Tina)
Ada Choi Siu Fun - Ting Ling
Lisa Wong Ming Chuen - Fong Kin Ping(Lisa)
Grace Ip - Yip Nga Man
Florence Kwok Siu Wan - Ho Pui Kei(Sandy)
Lam Kei Yan - Sabrina
What & Where : Spanning from 1990 to 2010,from HK to Taiwan to Philipines to China to Macau,this serial is predominantly about the business of real estate and the property market(buying and selling of land) and the effect it has on one man and the effect that this one man has on everybody else.
Huh?! : To put it simply ,or to be more accurate,this is how I see the premise of this serial.To say that it is about real estates and business dealings will be true but could be quite misleading.This serial is actually about human actions,decisions and the effect of these decisions has on various characters,good or bad it does not matter. It is also about one man's quest to be,to put it simply,bloody rich.So along the way,you could see a lot of dirty tactics,not-so-noble decisions and really selfish characters that somehow,has some sort of a spell on some really unselfish characters.So I would categorise,if you really want me to do so,this serial not as an Epic Drama (because I see nothing epic about it) but rather,a situation drama.More often than not,in this serial,you'll ask on behalf of the characters,"If I do this,what will happen?If I don't,what could I do?If I want this,what must I do to achieve it?".
Why Not Epic Drama : Some of you may disagree but the way I see it,a drama set in the modern times and is predominantly about the rise of ONE tycoon and its effect on OTHER tycoons and women in their lives is rarely an epic to me.Epic,in my definition would be something like Romance Of Three Kingdoms,a sense of hugeness,bigness ,meaningful and something dangerous lurking everywhere,that will not only cost the lives of few people,but the fate of a nation,where you could see plenty of noble and not so noble men and women and plenty of strategies.More importantly,though the length of time rarely matters nor is the number of generations past ever matters,an epic must be something spanning a wide variety of people but with a one mission,for the betterment of their purpose,usually nation/kingdom.So an epic would be about wars,struggles for the throne,to help mankind(ala Journey To The West),stories about the sturggles of few generations through the worst of times in a land .So for these reasons,I do not see this present serial reviewed as an epic.
What This Serial Isn't : It isn't Journey To The West.It does not even embody the spirit or the reasonings in Journey To The West,so do expect to be horrified and do not expect to feel good after watching this serial.And this serial must never ever be a learning tool to the philosophy of life and how to deal with certain things. Mybe I am a bit too preachy here,well then,just enjoy.
The storyline : Being 100 episodes long,you would expect a really long storyline.But rather,I find the storyline rather short and extremely repetetive.So here goes.This story starts with Gallen in year 2010 HK,recalling his past and admitted his mistakes but nevertheless never regretted his actions.And what actions?All in flashback mode,we see Gallen,Sunny and Roger and three best friends since school days.What started out as best friends became partners in a developer business to bitter rivals in both love and business and ultimately,hatred for one another.There are a whole lot of other characters that revolves around these three characters,that if not for their perspectives,the actions of particularly two characters,ie Sunny and Gallen may seem unjustified and unreasonable.They gave us a different view to their corrupted dealings with corrupted officials,and as they go deeper into their business,they also go deeper into the world of corporate crimes,murder,betrayal and ultimately,the ruin of their friendship.Could they then redeem themselves?
For Clarification sakes : You're probably confused after reading the storyline which will not be much anyway,there are some things that you must know.This reviewer herself is sometimes confused with the relationships(but never the plot),more so you who have not watched it.So for clarification sakes,below is a list of characters and their function in this serial.
The Main/Principle Character : As mentioned above,there are three characters,Sunny,Roger and Gallen.But the one true main character in this serial is Gallen's Yip Wing Tim.Every action that he does will somehow affect everybody that is either directly or indirectly associated with and to him.Every action by others will somehow be because of Gallen's actions or inactions.So basically,or even if I were to say detailed analysis,this serial is about one man's journey out and back to his conscience,that is Gallen Lo's character.
The Secondary Characters : The other two important characters in this serial that is more to giving excuses for actions by Gallen or justifications for his selfish acts and to lend more credit/discredit to Yip Wing Tim would be Sunny's and Roger's characters.They were best friends,but through many problems and circumstances created by they themselves,they became bitter rivals.But the serial does not revolve around them but without them,this serial will basically be a whole lot more "empty".
The Supporting Casts : Both literally and figuratively,would be the three main women in Gallen's life,Flora,Kenix and Ada.All of them are from different backgrounds,Flora a career woman(lawyer),Ada an independant woman (Dancer) and Kenix a dependant girl next door.But they all have a few things in common,they're all the nicest girls that you can encounter in TV-Dom,they're polite,soft and nice and theyr'e all madly,truly and deeply in love with one man,Gallen.Though Flora married Michael,Kenix married Sunny and Ada dating Louise,they all somehow could not forget their extreme affection and devotion to Gallen.And as always,in a serial that long,they must have love plots/interests,so these three provide plenty of these storyline.But though I am not a feminist,and of course never a chauvinist,I find the characterisation of these three women a bit distasteful,especially Kenix and Flora.Of course it is great to see women being protrayed as someone nice and gentle,but I am sick and tired of seeing them as supporting casts,in terms of screen time and their functions in this serial.To say that they're mere wallflowers would be too much but yet,that is what they are.Their needs and their wants caters around one man,Gallen,If he's sad/happy,they would be there,standing next to him, ever present presence,never a mind of their own.It is rare indeed to see an independant woman,with an agenda and a mind of their own,standing next to these men,not Beside or behind them.
Other less important characters that is a must for this serial : That would be characters such as Chun Pui,Kok Fung,Lisa Wong,Maggie Siu,Nicky Wu and others that has less screen time than above characters but is still pivotal to the plot.They provide further reasons and show us the aftermath of Gallen's actions,or to lend more plot and depth to the plot.With them,the plot sizzles a little more but without them,the plot would be meaningless,because there would be too much gaps.
Other less important characters used to fill in the necesarry blanks : Blanks as in some roles to show that these people exist,such as the parents of the characters,assistants,mistresses,etc who though aren't that important but is still privy to the plot.Usually,to lend more affection to the plot,to show us the more human side of these characters.
Totally unnecessary characters :Frankly,in a TV Serial there aren't any characters that are totally unnecessary.Everybody has a role to play,big or small will somehow fill in some minute gaps in the plot.So for this little section,there are no such characters.
How Come ...? : If you have some points that you still do not get,below is a list of such nagging questions.
Gallen's character hates Chun Pui : Chun Pui is actually the younger brother of Gallen's father,so he is his uncle.He is rich but his fortune is built on the misfortune of others,especially his own brother's where they were once partners but because they built a building not to the standard of the rules and regulations of property laws,Gallen's father was jailed(he was the architect) and Chun Pui was not(he was the developer).Having destroyed Gallen's father's life,Gallen harbours an extreme hatred for the Yip family,which also includes Nicky Wu,who is his first cousin.The second reason,other than from the fact that he wanted to be rich,for wanting to be big in real estates is to avenge for his father's humiliation.But instead,Gallen got humiliated several times by Chun Pui,and later on became a dog for Kok Fung.That is the price to pay to suck up to the rich and powerful and Gallen knew how to play the game well.As for his own father,he did not really hate Chun Pui since it had been years but still,the relationship was never quite the same again.
Kenix Fell For Gallen's character : The more appopriate question would be,how come all the women,below 30 and not related to him would fall so deeply for Gallen's character?This is one question that I can't answer because I really do not know.What baffles me is what do these women see in Gallen?For instance,take Kenix character.I can't see why she fell for a man who cheated the life savings out of her cancer-ridden mother and never even apologised for it?Why would Ada fall for a man that she met only for a day and weeks later left her alone in Taiwan and never even said Hi for years later?Why would Flora,an intelligent career woman fall for a man who could break laws like he made the laws?What do they all see in him?Perhaps they may have seen something that we don't,something good in that man.I must admit,he is a very determined man,who is willing to even sacrifice his own honour and integrity for the possibility of success,so it is understandable why these kind of men should succeed.But this is only so when you really look him hard into his eyes and you might have to squint your eyes to see that one goodness in him.This is the failure of the plot,because they rushed so fast into these love storyline that they forgot to tell us why.And the fact that they never forget about him is almost dumbfounding to me when they have better men besides them.Perhaps,women can never forget their first love,but from the chemistry between the man and the women,I see nothing intense,so I am still scratching my head over this question that has no answer,except the writers themselves.Perhaps,love is blind but to have three blind women is really too much!
Maggie left Sunny and went with Nicky : Maggie is one of the two most independant characters in this serial,and the fact that though she had been steady with Sunny for years,after being accused of being involved with a man she only thought of as a friend and boss,of course any reasonable and successful woman would have left.But is it for a better man is the more pertinant question?Earlier I would say No but later,Yes.
Sunny became evil overnight : Not evil,but really bad.As Claire has argued below,she finds it unbelievable why Sunny would be so suddenly,like that of the character of Lok Hiu Fung in Burning Flame.She went on to say;
"He has been living an honest, although, struggling life, and after one unfortunate event, he made a 180 degrees turn and stand on the opposite end of his former character. Having studied psychology, I know that an individual's personality doesn't change
overnight and it's rare to see any change at all. The way humans view life
and act is solely based on the many years of experience they have nurtured
due to family, work, school events that may or may not affect them. You
learn how to read, write, talk, walk, act, and basically socialize over a
long extended period of time, in fact, you're actually learning all your
life. So, when you suddenly done something out of your character, you'll be
shocked at first, but you don't change suddenly, it takes many more learning
experiences to compel you to change the things you have believed and learned
all your life. Like the old saying goes, "you can't change a man
As Men Tze has said," All Men are born innately good",and unbringing plays an important and pivotal role in shaping that goodness to be much more or worst,to break that goodness.So I too do agree with Claire's observation over Sunny's descend into murders,crime and selfishness was way too fast and all of a sudden.PErhaps the serial should have allocated more time to this one character but is is justifiable.I have never studied psychology but I have read books on philosophy,and there is this saying that chinese could have adopted it as national anthem,"Change with the times" and "Desperate Times Calls for Deperate MEasures",which is exactly why Sunny acted as he did.Though our upbringing plays an important part in the shaping of our charater,I do believe in every person there is this moral integrity that one impose on one self,formed by years of learning and social conditions.It acts like a check on our actions,such as Gallen's moral integrity is a bit low so his actions does not kill his conscience that much.Roger had a higher limit and so he lived his life as an honest man.But as I have said above,Sunny had a high limit but because of several events that tested this limit,he chose to break such a limit and from there on,no one act is governed by such a moral integrity that he had once voluantarily imposed and voluntarily broken,however much you would argue that he was forced by circumstances.Could man be forced into hedious acts because of such circumstance?Maybe but again,a man could choose not to commit such acts made by circumstances.It is a matter of self control.So when that self control, is no longer there,a person can turn into anything and do any act that is totally unexpected of them.So I could understand how come Sunny could change so fast in such a short time.But its great pity though,I liked him.
Nicky and Helen never became a pair : They were almost a pair,but Flora's mother(Lisa Wong) married Nicky's father(Chun Pui) so by law they're siblings in law.So being siblings,there is a taboo against such relationship.Which is the most ridiculous thing I have heard so far.You can marry your cousin who shares some DNA with you and yet you can't marry someone who is entirely not related to you by blood?This is just one of the most convenient ways for writers to kill off a very interesting would-be relationship.
Gallen has all the women and none for the others : The more accurate question would be,How come Gallen got to have some women first and still have them in their hearts?As explained above,I don't know.His character is not the debonair,attractive,devil may care attitude.That I see in Nicky.He is not the nicest,sweetest and gentlest man.That I see in Roger.He is also not the most calm,cool and reasonable character.That I see in Sunny before he went over to the dark side.So what is so great about this poor,unattrative and emotionally selfish man?His dedication?His extreme hard working-ness?They also go to show how mean and unsruplous he could be.I really don't know.
Gallen Can't Commit To One Woman : The woman he is involved with will eventually marry another and go back to him.But how come he could lose them in the first place?I don't know.For a man so committed in his quest for his first golden pot ,it is quite unbelievable he can't be committed to a woman.Not to say that he is flamboyant,it's just that he won't give himself entirely to that woman,thinking he would hurt them more if he did.But yet,he hurts them more by leaving them and thus compells them to someone that they don't love entirely.A very selfish man.
Kenix died : She was shot towards the end of the first 50 episodes,clutching Gallen and baby.How she was so,watch for yourself.Frankly,it is just to add more sentimental factor to this serial.
Sunny Died : Again,see for yourself.I would say this is to add to Redeem Thy SOul By Death factor.
So many older women falling for younger men plot : I don't know.This is beginning to be the latest trend form TVB,sex before marriage,one night stands,murders without concsience,justification with lame excuses after some terrible crimes,older women falling for younger men.I am not complaining,but it does reflect the social values of Hk today.
The Most Likeable Character : You might say Roger?Sure!But I liked Sunny's character,and I just hate it why he could become a villian.Why can't he be a neither here nor there villian?Why must he be 100% villian?Why can't it be Gallen?Sunny has the most dramatic character to play,an honest man with integrity and then a man that loss more than he has gain.Why?!
The Nicest Characters: Also my vote for The Most Unbelievable Characters and The Most Hopefully It Exists but Never Will chacraters would be Roger Kwok and Kenix Kwok.They're so nice that some may say they're stupid,but I would refer to them as naive and always giving.With a guy,this is fine but as this serial clearly illustrates,nice guys never gets the best girls,whilst bad boys like Gallen got not one but three nice girls and he lost them all of course.And kenix's character would have my vote as the Least Favourite Character,She tried to be strong after her mother's death and quite pitiful really,no family and an orphan and the man she loves gave her false hope and then married a scum and then got jailed and killed.But before all that,she seemed like she had no friends then all of a sudden,her world revolves around a small cirlcle of friends and then of course Gallen.She tried to be strong but actually,though she may have the kindest heart amongst all characters,she is also my vote for being the most naive and eventually,stupid stupid girl.She almost became a bankrupt for Gallen's sake,she stood by him eventhough she knew he called the police to capture the illegal workers when he had no money to pay their salaries,and yet she would look at him with such devotion,it is as if she is under his spell!It is the most illogical character and it was nice to see her with Sunny.
The Strongest Characters : LIsa Wong and Maggie Siu.They give womenhood a good name for being and having a mind of their own,strong,opinionated and could stand right next to a man and still be feminine and holding their own ground.I want to see more of such characters.
Also the Most Honourable Character who would be Felix
The Most Hated Character : You may say Sunny,some may say Chun Pui,some may say Kok Fung,some may even say everybody else but I personally feel nothing for Gallen's Yip Wing Tim.And I hated him at first.He gives good decent man a bad name.
The Best Scenes : Being so long,I can't remember any best scenes or any favourite scenes.
The Worst Scene : Some scenes are totally way too long,unecessary and just to fill in the time,like reflection of ones actions scenes.Or the scenes where we have a distraught Gallen and Flora running after him,comforting him.I mean,PUH-LEASEE!That man deserves a slap on his face.Why can't there be a woman,who would just ignore him like his own sister who would scream at him and tell him that his actions are wrong.
Most Favourite Pair : Plenty of pairs in here. But personally,I liked Kenix-Sunny.Don't ask me why.
Best Perfromances : Surprisingly (or maybe not),the veteran actors that are the ones who gave strong peformances,like Chun Pui,Kok Fung and even Lisa Wong,though there are some scenes where she is a bit pretentious in my opinion.Sunny is fine,Roger is absolutely adorable and Gallen as always,is good.I would have strangled his character if not for Gallen's fine performance that somehow,you know that this man is redeemable. But the one I really never thought great was Nicky Wu.Frankly,his character I really like at first.He is flamboyant and he does have some emotional depth,HE gave a strong performance though there may be overacting at some time.
Not The BEst But Still OK Performances : The other women,Flora,Kenix,Ada and everybody else not mentioned above.Kenix is getting too good at playing goody two shoes .Ada is ok,but there are some scenes where she overacts,which spoils the fun.And Flora?Many people praised her protrayal of Helen.I personally find her Helen a bit too soft,and too tolerant.And a bit too young for the actress' age.She does overacts sometimes,and then underacts in some scenes.And then there are some scenes she seemed a bit dazed,af if she weren't concentrating at all,or trying too hard like speaking Japanese.She could still improve.All of these actresses could improve in fact,but frankly,they aren't that great.
Worst Performances : By an actor/actress,the parents of Gallen Lo's character.They're two veteran actors that can't act,either with their body or with their voice,almost monotone.Luckilly,their scenes are few.And Michael Wong.I can't stand his 8 words of chinese,2 words of English routine with his little chicken voice and half baked acting skills.Looks aside,this man is just too bad for this serial that he deserves some mention in this category.
By a single act by an actor with an actress,that would be all the kissing scenes.I'll say,either you do it right or don't do it at all.Probably only Sunny could kiss decently in all his serials but the rest,men and women kissed like it is a torture to them.I see no passion nor affection in their kisses,which is all bland and not sexy at all.Perhaps they should take kissing classes with their love ones,or better yet,be a bit more professional and throw away any shyness and restriction and JUST KISS.
MOst Often Quoted Line : Mostly by Yip Wing Tim but also quite often by everybody else would be either ,"Don't worry,I know what to do" or "Don't worry,I know what I should do",when really,they don't know what to do and what they should really do,if not where can we have all this drama.And yet,if none of all this drama,where then do we have entertainment value in this serial? .
If I Were The Writers I would : Add a woman-villian.I have yet to see a woman as the main character,more so women as villians.It will be interesting to see a woman tycoon,who did a lot of bad things to get to the top for revenge.It is always the men.IS revenge in the business world only for boys?
Shorten the whole serial.Decrease the implausibility of the plot.In fact,I would scrap the whole idea of making this one and just reserve this "Epic Drama" or 100 episodes drama for better story like historical stories like Water Margin,Japanese Invasion to China,Revolution in China,Romance OF Three Kingdoms or even,a storyline that will span three generations,not this one where it is a story that spans more than a decade and involved that only one generation.
If I Were The Directors,I would : BE more consistent.Since they're already that consistent in what the characters carry for a handphone,give them the model of cars,suits and hairdos for those back in 1990.
So,Is It Worth Renting : One word after the . symbol. NO.
Why This Serial isn't a HUGE success : As I have explained earlier,and again just two lines above,it is understandable why this serial rarely garnered above 30 points and therefore,for all the budget invested in making and promoting it,it was a flop to my standards.Compared to smaller productions,it clearly lacked charm.What it had plenty of is BIGNESS.Big explosion scenes,big car chase scenes,big death scenes,big rape aftermath scenes,big murder scenes,that so much bigness that they forgot about the little and small things ,like a gripping storyline.The characterisation,though plenty of them and is explained adequtely over 50 episodes,and further explanation with 50 more episodes,it does not however reflect on the character itself.It's just one dramatic event after another,one tragedy after another,one misfortune after another,one heartbreak after another,but yet there isn't much of a spirit in it.There is so much description of some things but they forgot about the most important thing of a story;what is the point that you're trying to convey.PErhaps you may argues,well it conveys a message like be good,etc.The thing is,we and this review is reading too much into the serial itself.Take away everything,all you are left with is the usual bitter rivalry-revenge storyline.Pure entertainment value,and lack substance.Plus them all in like the serial itself,you have one long LONG soap opera situation(and this definition is reading way too much into the purpose of the plot) drama,that is why I have said earlier it can never be an epic.And it looks tiring,and I am sure by the time you reached this section of the review,you would be feeling "what is the point of all this comments",which is exactly what you will be asking yourself just 10 episodes into the serial.And my uncle,who brought to my family a box of 25 tapes of the serial.When a serial,after you have watched the first tape,and you would say to yourself,"Oh My,24 to go",you know something is seriously wrong with the serial.(of course,the viewers are always right!).And then thinking that there would be 25 more tapes(!),and you dread the propect like I did of watching it all,you would know my feelings when I watched just 25 tapes of it.And the reason this review is much shorter than it was originally intended to be,it is because I skipped tapes,by not paying attention at all.
Cut the Nonsense.What's The Verdict : Like I said,NO would be my answer.To elaborate further(like I haven't done so enough),you have three possiblities after watching this serial;you'll either curse my review,send me a hate mail and say,LONG LIVE ATE and look forward to ATE II OR You'll go bankrupt and say,I'll earn some more money for ATE II OR like I did,I fast forward many scenes and still feel tired watching it,and then write this one sentence in this review;"Glad it was free man,poor uncle who paid for it".
What To Expect in ATE II : Louise Koo as Villian,Michelle Saram(that chinese-Indian girl from Singapore,used to be in a commercial with Aaron Kwok),Ho Chiu Yee,Kenix again,more deaths,more car chasing scenes,more guns,more money and much much more torture(to me).
Is is ANY Different than…: At one glance,ATE looked like any other big budget poor man cum tycoon dramas.If we look closer,they're really different. If we are to talk about modern family dramas and the sufferings of some really rich people,below is a list to compare,contrast and to see which is better.
Flaming Brothers :One Brother wants to be rich,another wants to regain his integrity.Story styas mainly in the family,never beyond.So all we have is teh fight and love between two brothers and their mom.So not the same really.
Looking Back IN Anger : One brother is already rich,another wants to be richer than his brother.Again,story stays mainly in the family,never once beyond.Moreover,it is about brotherly love/hatred,rarely involves outsiders.So not really the same.
Cold Blood Warm Heart :One wants to be rich,another just wants to be as he is.But this one involves a whole lot more pf people,mainly because of the women they loved.Though could be quite the same as ATE,again it is limited to just 2 or 3 families,and less on business.So again,I would say not quite the same.
Greed Of Man :No one wants to be rich,but the main character wanst revenge,so must be richer than the enemy.It rarely involves dispute over women that they love,but more on business tactics and murders.Quite the same as ATE,but with a lesser scope and much more concetration not between two families but rather,between two men.
Secret Of The Heart :One used to be poor but became rich through blood ties.Another used to be rich but became poor because of blood ties.It is a story of rivalry between two brothers,and two families and the women they both loved.Plus a lot of unnecessary but still important to the plot characters,at one glance ATE would remind you of SOH,more so same actors in some leading roles.Chracterisation wise,it is entirely different.Plot wise,quite the same but though SOH is already too much in its plot,ATE involves a whole lot more of business tactics,strategies and love-relationships.But I would say SOH has more of familial relationships in its plot,because that is really the main theme in there.So similiar but could be different in some points.
Return To The Truth :One is poor,one used to be poor but wants to be rich.Bitter rivalry between two brothers,it is a sad story of familial relationship between a mother,an older brother and a youngest brother and they women they both loved.None really about about business tactics,entirely on human relationship aspects,and lesser in scope so really different from ATE.
Conclusion : Whatever it may be,all the above dramas(and they're all DRAMAS) have one predominant issue in their minds that TVB/ATV is quite good at;how one man's actions/inactions could affect other people that may or may not be related to him.Again,one strange fact,you never see a struggle between two women tycoons,or one man with one woman.A sad fact because mostly,women in these dramas are not the person who do something but rather they are the one to receive the effect of that one man's actions.So to be more precise or less politically correct,women in these serials are flower pots.You might argue,they are all freinds,confidants,whatever to these men but still,I see them as always giving,never receiving,and always.they're never the instigator,just standing besides them all.
Is It Better than : If it is ATV Vs TVB,Flaming Brothers would be my choice.It's shorter and take away all those bad editing jobs and some bad actings,you are left essentially with a very strong and solid script that make us feel something for it.
If TVB Vs TVB,my first and only choice would be the father of all this genre of serials,Looking BAck In Anger.Not only does it have a good and solid script with a great story to tell,it boasts some of the finest performances by some TVB top actors,plus you have a very young Maggie Siu in here.It is no wonder why this serial was voted,some years back as the most watched serial of all time by TVB.Who can forget the starting scenes,where the mother(Lam Kit Ying) was about to go to the gallows and we all cried for her when she did.Who can forget the expression of Felix Wong when he realised his brother was the one who did all the bad stuffs.WHo can forget the expression of Deric Wan when he wanted more than he could legitimately have.The title describes it all.THe chinese title is even more meaningful,Yee But Yung Ching,loosely translated as Forget/Abandone (About) Love/Affection and the sad song by Danny Chan(not Chan Hiu Tung but the dead Chan Pak Keung).If you want a solid story which is so much shorter but basically have the same length of contents as ATE,go for this one.Never would you have people rushing back from work,chinese,Indian and malays after a hard day of work to watch it,and have all of them dispute whether Carina Lau did come back alive or not.A classic.Something that ATE aspires to be but fails to even come close to being Good.
Redeeming Factors : However bad a serial is,or however inadequate that it is,there are some good points.This one has some of the best sets I have seen so far,the houses,office space,the dresses,the make up,the ballroom,the camera angles,the cars,absolutely amazing.And they all do feel rich and look rich as well.That ATV has to learn from TVB.
Actors you have never thought would be villians,like Sunny Chan and Louise Koo,at least something different.
Strange Observation : I am not familiar with stock dealings,like what was stated by Claire below.But for some oservation purposes;
1)Taiwan authorities is well known to be not as competent as we all like them to be.So whatever it may be,it is expected for serials to be depicting them as less than great.
2)Even in office,you have to suck up to secretaries who know more than you,more so in business dealings where you have to be like what Yip Wing Tim did,a dog-servant.
3)This is a show about people,not about forensics and investigation.So do expect some ridiculous fact finding.
4)You can sell your stock and buy them if you want.Different country different rules.Generally,you cannot deal on an information you knew obtained trough confidence,especially in the stock market.And the fact that the stocks and property prices in HK is so precarious is because they're less stricter in dealings than in all countries,being a laisser -faire country,so it is usual for them to be seen buying and then selling not minutes later,making the price go up and down.If this is restricted,a country's economy might as well be dead.That is the price of free economics,especially in HK.
And a company's shares may have some specifications that if you wanna sell,Option to purchase must first be given to the company,and if not,then you are free to sell to anyone you want,that is how people can obtain 51% shares in the company.That is the danger of having a public listed company.
5)An act does not become a crime until the law says so.And the law does not come into force until the perpertrator is caught and charged in the court of law.And even if you're charged in a court of law.you're not responsible for the crime until and unless you confessed( and the court accepts such confession),convicted and you will be acquitted if you have a valid reason/defence for such acts.So whatever criticsms you have in mind of the criminal actions of the characters in this serial,bear in mind this little paragraph.But that doesn't mean I like the way this serial depict how easily one can get away with crime,bribery.It is as if the law is dead and the police is stupid.Shameful,on HK of course.
Interesting Facts : Claire said it all.So scroll below.But on some gossips,Nicky Wu is seeing Ada Choi and rumour has it that Vicky Chao is seeing Nicky Wu which all of them denied.Louise Koo is seeing(reportedly) Wong GEi Ying,but also some reports said reportedly Louise Koo is seeing Michelle Saram,and again all of them denied.Flora Chan left half way because she said she was sick.Reportedly her relationship with her husband was not great so she too time off to patch things up.Of course,I truly believe she was sick.But you'll see her again towards the end of the serial.Anyway,because of her absence where TVb was thinking of expanding her role,instead they had to rely on Kenix who was very popular in the first 50 episodes.So she will reappear as the twin sister of Wing Yan,with a very opposite character.That I must say is such a cheap trick.Why can't TVB let sleeping dogs lie?Why can't just let her be dead,bring in a new face?Why can't they give chances to other junior actors?This is one serial where the main characters is occupied by big names and you'll see a lot of other small character actors.If only we can see people like Lam Ka Tung,Marco Ngai,Wong HEi in this serial,it will indeed be refreshing.
Interesting Fiction: Though relatively with the same casts,At The Thresehold Of An Era is NOT a sequel to Secret OF The Heart.Even if Gallen's character in these two serials seemed similiarly rotten at first.But in SOH,he had more integrity and much wiser,though never richer.
Unbelievable Fiction : Is the business world that tough with so many broken hearts,car chases,rape,deaths,murders?What about business strategies?
And what is it with that Tomagotchi being invented By Yip Wing Tim?Where is trademark laws when you need them?Absolute lies!
There was this song in th ealier episodes,"I feel it in my fingers,I feel it in my toes" which is Love Is All Around by Wet Wet Wet which does not exist until at least 5 years later.
Interesting Quotes : Not from this serial but from other sources that clearly reflects the philosophy of Yip Wing Tim.By the real life strategist/Prime Minister/tactician/overall genius man of the Old China,Zhuge Liang(or Kung Ming),a character you'll encounter in The Romance Of Three Kingdoms, just replace the words 'war',"king' and "combat" with business,leader and business tactics,these quotes could've been said by Yip Wing Tim himself:
"To overcome the intelligent by folly is contrary to the natural order of things; to overcome the foolish by intelligence is in accord with the natural order. To overcome the intelligent by intelligence, however, is a matter of opportunity. There are three avenues of opportunity: events, trends, and conditions. When opportunities occur through events but you are unable to respond, you are not smart. When opportunities become active through a trend and yet you cannot make plans, you are not wise. When opportunities emerge through conditions but you cannnot act on them, you are not bold. Those skilled in generalship always achieve their victories by taking advantage of opportunities."
(Zhuge Liang, ca. 200 AD, The Way of the General)
". . . an enlightened ruler does not worry about people not knowing him, he worries about not knowing people. He worries not about outsiders not knowing insiders, but about insiders not knowing outsiders. He worries not about subordinates not knowing superiors, but about superiors not knowing subordinates. He worries not about the lower classes not knowing the upper classes, but about the upper classes not knowing the lower classes."
(Zhuge Liang, ca. 200 AD, The Way of the General)
"Those who are skilled in combat do not become angered, those who are skilled at winning do not become afraid. Thus the wise win before they fight, while the ignorant fight to win."
(Zhuge Liang, 3rd century C.E.)
Name : At The Threshold Of An Era I