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.


How Long
20 episodes/10 tapes

Nick Cheung,Jesicca Hester Hsuen,Yuen Keng Tan,Chin Ka Lok,others

What & Where
Basically,a family drama build on the premise of tricksters and the games they play that affects several people’s lives.Or maybe it’s just a drama about one man’s realisation of how horrible he was and how he changed into a better man for the love of a woman.Set in China,costume period time.Circa 1800 I think.

The storyline
Nick Cheung and his childhood friend,Chin Ka Lok are trickters,useless people who tricks people,deceiving them and thus earning their money to live day by day.Actually Chin Ka Lok is the decent one coz he has a conscience whilst Nick Cheung had none.Their parents didn’t know of their occupation,in fact Wu Fung,father of Nick thought his son was like a decent,honest man,which he’s isn’t.Anyway,Jessicca here plays the role of a woman pretending to be a man all her life.She is actually like those people working for auction house where they clarifies the authencity of certain artifacts for a fee.She is smart and very very knowledgeable but the trouble was that the rule of the business is only man can carry the pivotal job of authentification so that was why all her life she dressed like a man,even has a fiancee in the form of a mega rich man’s daughter,who is spoilt.Jesicca tolerated her because she felt guilt for after all she cheated the girl’s happiness in a way.Anyway,many things happened,she and Nick Chenug ended up being married to each other for the sake of the business(and they hated each other),the young spoilt girl ended up with so much hate in her that she went and become a prostitute so that she can continue to have all the luxuries she was used to whilst she plot her revenge against Nick and Jessicca,Chin Ka Lok who was crazy about the young spoilt girl ended up liking Jesicca’s protector/servant,Yuen Keng Tan who in turned liked him like eons ago.In between,there’s a lot of cases going on and that involved the King himself in a very touchy issue of power play.

The HATE factor
Probably,at the beginning you’ll hate Nick Cheung for being so bad to Jesicca but he redeems himself at the end.Then you’ll probably hate that young spoilt girl(I dunno her name) because she was like so spoilt and she was like so bad to everyone else,but at the end she redeemed herself.Then probably you’ll hate Chin Ka Lok because that man is just so naïve and so stupid,being cheated by the young girl again and again but he still like loves her,but in the end he redeemed himself.Then you’ll hate all the baddies in this serial that hurts so many people for maybe money/power/revenge and in the end,they had no chance to redeem themselves coz they’re dead.

The PITY factor
I would have to say Jessicca.I mean she’s a girl who wants to be a girl but because of family pressure,to carry on with the business she dressed up as a boy all her life,even had to act like one.Then when she can become a girl again,she had to marry Nick Cheung against her will.She reminds me of a reluctant Mulan.Poor girl,who had to have duty first.Her own priorites and interests never was important to her sick father.But of course,all wells ends well.The man she married isn’t such a bad guy after all.Maybe some will say the pity factor is that young spoilt girl because after all ,her father died,bankrupt and all of a sudden a princess now a nothing!But really,she brought it onto herself for all the hate she had in her.After all,her father did commited a hideous act that deserves what he got at the end.What hideous act?Go watch the serials.

Most Adored Couple
You’ll probably say Jessicca and Nick cheung but frankly,they can be annoying at timesMy vote will be for Chin Ka Lok and Yuen Keng Tan,they’re just so funny.I know I know,the woman’s a bit old for Chin Ka Lok but Chin Ka Lok is a bit too dumb for her.So I guess theyr’e equal.They provide the best laughs in the serials.Quite a match.

Most Annoying couple
As stated above,Nick Cheung and Jessicca.They started out as enemies,then became husband and wives,then friends then lovers then real husband and wife.But along the way,we had to endure his meaness to her and her sarcasm to him.Quite a delight to watch but after awhile,you would just wish they get along together,which luckilly you don’t have to wait that long.Another annoying couple would be Jesicca’s father and Wu Fung,Nick’s father.They are the real tricksters in the serial,for having cheated their children to marry!And they can be really unreasonable at times.

Most Memorable Bits
Plenty.I especially like the last story that involves that spoilt young girl now the prostitute to a rich and powerful minister that even the King feared,how she redeemed herself by unselfishly giving herself to that man because at last she realised that hate does her no good because she had once really loved Jessicca and having been loved and having loved is actually the best thing in life.AAWWW!Another would be Jesicca and Nick whom by almost the end divorced each other and she liked hated him for all the things he had done but actually he did it for a purpose but he had to pretend that he wasn’t nice anymore,how at last she knew the truth she went to him and very gently with the greatest of affection wiped his face clean whilst Nick looked at her with his eyes filled with tears.I mean you don’t have to kiss and kiss and kiss to show how in love they are.So this scene suceeds where others have failed,that is showing how in love they’re with each other.How a simple gesture brings out the emaning of affection and love.

Most Memorable Performance
I would say Nick Cheung.I must admit,he’s not THAT funny,and to say that he is the next Stephen Chau would be an over statement but there are times in this serial that he is quite funny.At least,funniest amongst all.What I don’t like it in this serial is that he tends to shout out his lines,which can be quite irritating at times.Another one to watch for would be Chin Ka Lok.Yeah,he looks dumb in this serial which he is supposed to be but he can be quite funny.He can’t act but that man got some cuteness written all over him.And he and Nick is quite a funny combination.

Most ‘Not So Good’ Performance
Choi Chi Kin,who played the King.The man is excellent as a host to many travelogue series but he just can’t act!he doesn’t have the nobility of a king,and he just can’t ….ACT!Another would be Jessicca.Yeah yeah,she is a great actress,I would admit.But she just doesn’t fit into the custome period.She looked too modern and she isn’t funny.Maybe she isn’t supposed to be funny.I can’t think of who else for the role but I would dare say that Jessicca is wrong for the part.

Putting aside whatever criticisms I may have for this serials,I enjoyed it thoroughly,and you would too.Starting was slow,in fact there were times it could be boring but after a while,towards the end it picks up and I just love the ending.Very poignant,very good.That minister deserved what he got.And if you’re a fan of Nick Cheung,go see it.He is in every frame of the serials.Don’t’ expect him to be a bad guy here as in Secret of the Heart.Here,he’s just a mean trickster ou to redeem himself.

Is is BETTER than…
I can’t think of any trickster shows at the moment.So I can’t compare.But amongst all the released serials at the moment,this is one of the better ones.You know,there was a time TVB became so stale that everybody watched Huan Zhu Ge Ge instead but this one is ok.Maybe it won’t garner the Classic label or high high ratings but it still great for family fun/entertainment.

Interesting Facts/Fiction
If you watched this serial,notice how Nick Cheung and everyone else talk to the King.they would look at him in the eyes,directly and talked with such challenging tone.They would stand higher than the king and they would talked with their fingers pointing at the king.If this really happened,they would all have been beheaded.The truth is this is direct disrespect to the king and thus the throne and thus the country in itself.So this serial isn’t that accurate.For accuracy of how to speak to a king,go watch Happy Ever After.There if you noticed,Bobby’s eyes never met the Kings and he was always standing not that straight,with a little hunchback.And his tone was always almost like a whisper.And that story about the King Kuen Lung being the child of a Han person and not the child of Manchurian blood,never ever believe that.I know,all serials have consistently portray Kuen Lung as the Child of Han parentage but the truth is he was the child of the King Yung Ching and his Empress.So do not,I repeat DO NOT believe everything you see on TV.


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