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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.


SPOILERS ... SPOILERS ... SPOILERS



Which Is : An extremely powerful tale about a man's struggle with his own loss of a family,and the betrayal and deception by his very own family,that is his brother and finally the idea of forgiveness which this man may not be ready to give.

How Long : Can't remember but definately beyond 30 tapes/60 episodes

Who : Felix Wong Yat Wah,Deric Wan Siu Lun,Cathy Chow Hoi Mei,Carina Lau Ka Ling,Maggie Siu Mei Kei,Yammie Lam,Sheung Tin Ngor,and plenty of veteran actors and actresses.


Remember : This would be the oldest serial reviewed in E-Buzz I guess because this is old.Imagine,Maggie Siu still young and fresh,a newcomer Cathy Chow and Carina Lau and Felix WOng the undisputed Ah Kor then(and still is of course),and a very very very young Yammie.But do not worry,this is one serial I can remember everything about it and so I might as well give my verdict before the ultra long reveiw that will be more of a thesis about the human heart and human behaviour,an analysis of what makes a scum;If you expect a normal review,this won't be it.

Verdict : Personally,way before Secret of the Heart,Greed Of Man,ATE,Flaming Brothers and whatever else of the almost-same genre ,this I still feel is THE best of ALL TVB modern serial,and my all time favourite and an all time classic,and according to one poll conducted,the most rented TVB series of all time.The casting was perfect,though there were some raw performances here,and you would cry out for Felix's character.And it has such a powerful title,Looking back In Anger and you would be curious,what's the anger all about?In chinese,the title is even more powerful,and the most perfect title for a serial,"Yee But Yung Ching",translated roughly as No More Love,but the Ching word connotes a much wider sense of love.This may not be an accurate translation but 80% of the translation is that meaning.Usually such a statement is made when a person is angry and wanted revenge and so you would use this statement to describe the feelings of hurt,and betrayal and no more mercy.Right,the better translation is "No More Mercy or Show No More Mercy".So you would ask,what mercy?What hatred that would lead to such a title?And the title song by Danny Chan(not Daniel Chan) Bak Keong,the song's loneliness in its words described it all ,the few lines that I've remembered are as below:

"Looking back....I have gained nothing..I am unable to explain what I've gained and lost and the wrongs I've done and the opportunities that I've missed...I really do not know who to pursue for such losses....All My life's wants and dreams...I have never really achieved and never really owned ...and after everything that I've done and everything lost,what I've lost at last are my own.."

These few lines basically described Felix's character and Deric's character.Even as I listened to those words again,I felt sad because it was sad.

So my verdict is simple.Watch this one and you'll cry like nobody's business.And we shall go into the debate of the real ending of this serial and this serial will show to you why I have so much harsh criticsms for the lack of quality of TVB serial these days.The performances may not be great but the characterisations were simply flawless.An example of the superiority of TVB in the good old days and why Felix Wong is Felix Wong and why Deric Wan is Deric Wan(though you may ask,where is he now?).

I shall repeat,THE BEST OF ALL TVB(OR ANY OTHER TV STATION FOR THAT MATTER) MODERN DRAMA.(of my time of course)

The Plot : The start itself was already a tragedy with the ritcher scale of 8.0.Yammie is reallt poor,husband nowhere to be seen,and has a young son,Felix Wong.They were so poor that during New Years time,they ahd to hide to avoid giving ang pows.But theya re good people,who unfortuantely has the worst luck of all.The mother stumbled across a theft that caused the death fo a man,and she was arrested just because she so happened to be there.She was tried,and though her lawyers tried his damndest to save her,she was to be hanged.(At this juncture,you might ask,HK got death penalty meh?Yes,but they rarely uses it).But,this I can't be too sure but if I am not mistaken this with another series,Yammie was pregnant and gave birth to Deric in Prison.The lawyer,I think(I can't remember) took care of the baby,and whilst she was to be hanged againthe lawyer tried to appeal her cae.Almost succeeded but then he failed,and this time she was really hanged.Felix and Deric became orphans but I think the lawyer took care of them.However,maybe he was jinxed,maybe pure coincidence,the lawyer died of a heart attack whilst taking care of Deric the bay,and the wife of the lawyer*or wife of whoever thatw a staking care of him) hated Deric ever since and terated him coldly,but loved his brother the most.

Then years passed,they grew up.Felix a nice young idealistic man and Deric a smart but unloved man.Both will later take a different path in life,but at the end of the day,their path will cross again with disastrous results.


How Can Any Be Worse ??: Jealousy played a big part in Deric's transformation from an ok guy to a really bad guy.You see,brother Felix may not be as smart as him,be with his honesty he made it good in the business world.Exactlt how I honestly and frankly can't remember.But he made it good,and Deric wanted more.So though he could have just followed the path of Ming Chi Kitt in Flaming Brothers or even Kelvin Kam in Secret Of The HEart ie he found his "Diana" in Maggie Siu,but Maggies Siu could not help him advance his not so blossoming career.So the best way,as in the tradition og al bad guys wanting to take th easy way out,he didn't really sell drugs or something like that but it was perfectly legal for him to dump the nice guy for another rich girl,who so happened(and indeed it was not a coincidence) to be the his bosses' only child.But the thing with this series,as with all current trend of the 90's,the rich girl(Sheung Tin Ngor) was not an ogre but a pretty decent lady herself.She fell for the right man for all the wrong reason,thinking he was a good man who genuinely loved her,but alas,as fate would have it,Deric would always pined for his Maggie.But later,Maggie became a liability to his big dreams of marrying this girl for his career,and however much it may hurt him(and this is rethoric statement),and though Maggie was heavily pregnant,he killed her.Pushed her out of the train whilst vacationing in Malaysia.Somehow,as fate would have it,his adopted mother that despised him and treated him with coldness all his life,giving him the cold stare,cold shoulder and anything that will freeze a man,she found out.Pls do not ask me how because I forgot about that details.And so,in the tradition of a man obsessed in achieving the ultimate the easy way,he actually took the most dangerous road and he killed this hated adopted mom of his and buried her in the jungle,went home,amrried the girl.But because he never really loved that woman,he never really cared,so it was easy for him to cause her a serious accident and made her slipped into a long long coma(I really don't think she woke up at all) when she found his true intentions to be quite undesirable.At the end,he had everything.But alas,he was not a good businessman,as with the tradition of all bad guys(I mean,look at Flaming Brothers' Ming Chi Kitt),and I think he suffered some great business loss,but at the same time his brother was really rich.Wanting to get his hands on his brother's money(if I am not mistaken),he proceeded to fully transform himself into the Number One Scum of TVB during the 80's,by attempting to poison his brother's wife(Carina Lau) and the brother's young son,so that he will be the only legal beneficiary if his brother were to meet an early demise.The wife survived,boy didn't,and the brother knew in his heart who did it.The wife became angry and bitter that he did not nothing about this bad brother of his,in fcat he even pretended nothing happened and gave him a good position in the compnay.And so the wife left,never knowing that Felix had something in store for his own little brother when he sent him away on a business trip to the states.


So What Was The Plan??? : Later on that one.Because I intend to tell you more about Felix and you'll kinda understand why he did what he did.

He loved his mother,and seeing her go through the death penalty twice,he had early in life wanted to be some sort of a surrogate maother/father to his little jinxed brother.He knew Deric was unloved and so he tried to love him more,since he was his real baby brother.And thatw as why he never suspected that his brother could be a scum,an animal worse than an animal.Even when his wife told him so,he didn't believe it,until he found out in Deric's possession(if I am not mistaken) a jade belonging to his dead beloved adopted mother,whom they had already found her decomposing body in the Malaysia jungle.And he knew ,but I think he tried to forgive him,to give him a chance until he found out of his son's death and his own baby brother's intentions.I truly believed he loved this brother more,since he is his only living family of the same blood source but then now,he wanted to forgive him but he couldn't because he was a man with a great conscience.And so he sent his brother out on a business trip,Deric happily went along not realising what was in store for him.What Deric didn;t know,but hwat Felix knew was that the plane Deric was in will land in KL,Malaysia where a bunch of policemen will be waiting to arrest Deric on the murder charge of his adopted mother.It was I think the Most Classic Scene when Felix visited him in prison,and Deric finally realising his wrongdoings tried to ask for forgiveness and begged the brother to save him.In Malaysia,if convicted of Murder,you'll be hanged until you die,even now.Felix told him "You must be held responsible for all the deaths,and if you knew this would happen,why did you do it in the first place?",and he walked away.One of the final scenes was a rain scene if I am not mistaken,Deric was hanged and Felix walked away a truly empty man,because though the brother did all the bad stuff,I do think Felix forgave him,even though with a heavy heart and when his brother died,I guess a part of him died too.

And now,Felix was truly a rich man.The wife left him to travel,and he got news that she might have been buried alive in an earthquake somewhere else.He was afraid,and so he went to the church and prayed all day and all night.This would be really the most disputed scene in the history of TVB Classic dramas,especially amongst my friends that can't agree as which was the correct version.

So you decide.The final scene had Felis tired from the praying,fell asleep on the church bench.A woman walked in,her legs suspiciously like Carina Lau's though we are all not sure becasue they showed only her legs walking ever so slowly towards Felix and she stopped right in front so him.I think that was THE END.It could have been one of the other friend in this series,which was why we are not sure.If we were to follow the song by Danny Chan closely,as I have translated above,then the wife would've died and Felix will for the rest of his life owned everything but in the end had nothing at all to his possession.But I like to think of a happy ending,though this may be pure denial.I liked to think that she survived,went home after years of seperation and in the end,those legs symbolised hope.I hope.

Like I said,you decide.

The Most Hated Character Ever : I really hated this character,and in fact,it was unfortunate that I first saw her in this character,because whatever roles she played in future,this character came to mind,because she was so damn good playing the most hated female character in my viewing history.All my friends agreed and they hated here evr since.I can't remember the character's name now but the actress was Cathy Chow Hoi Mei.She played a young girl,pretty and all who fell deeply in love with Felix.Nothing really that bad actually,but felix loved Carina and I rooted for Carina,until of course they have to show Cathy being in a plane crash and she was paralysed neck down,with only one of the hands being able to move a little.Now there was trouble in paradise for Carina and Felix.Everytime they went on an outing,Cathy was there.Everytime Carina tried to be nice to her,she became oh so bitchy and started throwing trantrums and having this impossible temper,though she was paralysed.Sure poor thing but what she was doing was to cling on to a man that was neither responsible for her condition nor was her in love with her.She was totally the most annoying and irritating and the most hated presence of this series and any other series after this series.And the second most classic scene,and the one that made us all hated her even more would be Felix and Carina's wedding night.They were busy celebrating,and though she may not have any more reasons to live anymore,but did she really have to time her suicide in time with their wedding night?
And it was a great wonder that she could even slashed her own wrists since we all do know she was so paralysed.But it took quite an effort,and Iw as thinking why don't she take an even more effort to live on and move on?Because we all know she couldn't get the man and this was her last chance to make him regret for the rest of his life.She was being selfish,but hwta she didn't realise was that Carina and Felix will take care of her for the rest of HER life,though there may not be pyhsical and emotional love between her and Felix.

And she was right.This death of hers played an important part in causing one big rift betwen these two clearly loving couple,and they became like a reluctant couple wrecked with guilt,but it wasn't even their fault.But poor Cathy,all the effort and her plans backfired.They had a child,and the rest was history.

Deric would not have my choice as the most hated character ever because if Iw as him,I would have killed that aopted mother of his.Sulky face all the time.BUT killing Maggie was over the line and killing the nephew was teh last straw of human decenc y and human desperation.I would have done what Felix did,though it may be killing me inside,or probably I would have gladly surrendered him to the police,not like Felix who did it with a heavy heart.I mean,why can't he just tell his brother about his financial situation?The brother would have helped.And when Deric wanted to be a nice guy al again,it was far too late.

In Kong Wah and Jackie Lui's version(Return To The Truth) of two brothers on the opposite end,they hated each other at the end,and Kong Wah walked away hating his brother and never loving him anymore,never caring what happened to him anymore.But in this one,Felix still cared because of his one promise to take care of his brother when he was an orphan baby and he was the big borther.He could never really walked away and the reason why he turned his brother in was because of the notion of responsibility,not revenge.A man has to be responsible for all his actions.And this was Deric's only way of redeeming his soul,by paying for his crime.It was a truly sad series.

Best Scenes : Everybody that watched this series will always remember the first few episodes,with a young Felix(as in boy) and Yammie the poor mother who loved her child but desperate for moneya ndthen framed for a crime she never committed.When she was led to be hanged in her red cheongsam,scenes of her cying,not being able to walk,being dragged to the podium,urinating because she was scared,being put those noose around her tender neck,and scenes of the lawyer(was it Wu Fung?I can't remember),having obtained an injuction( an order by court to order somebody to stop doing something) to stop the execution pending appeal(meaning the hangman can't hang her yet because her case is still going to be appealed/heard before a higher court),running up the steps,but he was old,but he made it,and she was svaed.And then the court agreed with the lower court's decision,but this time Yammie did not cry not did she scream nor did she urinated.She just calmly accepted her fate.Everybody cried watching this classic scene.

Best Performances : Perfect casting decision,though Sheung Tin Ngor may be abit too old in her appearance to match the young Deric Wan.

Carina though very raw in her acting and her cantonese was impressive as the suffering GF and the suffering wife of Felix.

Yammie was clearly effective as the woman condemned to death,because she had this really innocent and girly face that you'll grow to like.

Those who saw Return To The Truth will know which boy I am talking about right now.That boy that will later grow into Jackie Lui,this time this boy will grow into Felix Wong.That boy was a natural talent who never liked acting,but eh could act so good,and so well,he could put any grown actor to shame.When he cried,we all cried.When he smiled,we all smiled.That boy is not a teenager,and reportedly quite a smart boy.I do not know his name but he came from an acting family.Excellent performance by this young boy,now a big boy with glasses.

There was and still is something about Felix Wong's face.Even when he played a supposedly hot tempered guy,he was a hit tempered guy with integrity.He could never play a bad guy role,not because he couldn't but because we the viewers will never accept that.He has an honest,good old chinese face,not too handsome until guys will never be able to connect with him or too ugly that will turn off a girl's interest in him.He has a perfectly ordinary but honest face,a face that you know you can trust.And he is very smart too,ask him about social affiars,he'll probably know the answer.Though he has been with TVB for years,he was quite loyal,and he walked into TVB as a young actor,with not much looks,some talent and he had,ever since his first starring role played opposites gorgeous woman in roles that most actors would want,the good guy/hero/main character roles.He has never played second fiddle,and though he is appearing in smaller productions now due to his age,he still is the main guy in those smaller productions.IF it is a big productions,the focus wil always be on him,though teh story may not be all about him.But I have to say,he is not an excellent actor,but he has charisma and a face that all will grow to like.And which was why he was perfect in this role,as was with every other roles he played in his long illustrous career with TVB.And I hope to see more of him,and who knows,his acting skills may actually imrpove so much,he could be Chun Pui when he is in his late 50's or so.Hopefully he is still acting then.But anyway,he is a good actor,and a very consistent one,though sometimes you may see him a bit raw in really emotional scenes,but in his rawness you see sincereity and honesty in his acting,which explains why people like him so much.By the way,he was never in a comedy,right?

Deric Wan was very young,and very good looking.He is in China now,and terribly thin.But then,he wasn't that thin.Even now,he is terribly good as an actor,as was he them.He was young but he understood his role and he played it with glee.He was very good,as he was very good in all subsequent roles with TVB or any other TV stations.A great pity we are seeing less of him now.

Maggie Siu was young,fresh and very pretty.She wasn't great as an actress then,but she was casted perfectly as the suffering mistress that was killed,and she didn't even know!

Cathy Chow.I hated her character but i guess that as an actress with your character you can still be hated after so many eyars,you must have been good.So her name deserves a mention her.Anyway,I still don't like hert but i have to admit,her series are quite enjoyable,and she is one actress that people always predict is just another pretty face,but look,she is still here!


Most Compatible Couple : Deric Wan and Maggie Siu.In ALL of their series together.

Funniest Scene : It was supposed to be romantic but being a Malaysian who knows the distance between these two states ,the romantic scene of Maggie Siu running and flirting with Deric Wan on foot in malaysia was funny.One scene they were running around,playing hide and seek in Malacca and the next same scene,same clothe,same everything,they ran to Kuala Lumpur!I mean you need like at least an hour's drive to reach KL from Malacca, more so on foot?

Is it worth Renting : If there is a VCD version,buy it and get prepared with your box of tissue.

Interesting Facts : Some years ago,there was a poll conducted by TVB and the question was

"What was the most rented TV Series BY TVB of the decae(of All Time)?"

There was a top ten list,and this series,Looking Back In Anger,was the most rented series of all time.

This series was so popular in malaysia when it was shown on local TV,almost 10 commercials per break,and everybody rushed home to watch it,chinese,malays and indians.However the one that caused the biggest uproar in having almost 15 commercials per break and almost caused heavy traffic jams everyday that it was shown was Man In The Net,the one with Chow Yun Fatt.

I feel that this is one of the last great series with a really catchy and really powerful title,Looking Back IN Anger.even in chinese ,it is also that good,as I have explained above.

Now on gossips.We all know Maggie broke up with Ekin,old news.But almost the latest one,Yammie was discovered some time back to be very emotionally unstable,but she ahs since recovered.

Felix Wong's wife was suspected for having an affair with another man,photos taken as to them being very very intimate.No,not kissing and stuff,then that would be so obvious,BUT the way she stood next to that guy,how she would so lovingly wipe away the sweat on his forehead.Felix said it was all a misunderstanding,the wife said it was all crap,but to me,something is not quite right.But then you can have a perfectly intimate platonic relationship with a guy,why not?


Interesting Comparisons : Though you may name Greed OF Men,they have nothing in common.Maybe Flaming Brothers,Return To The Truth and with a stretch of imagination,perhaps even Secret Of The Heart.MAybe also Cold Blood Warm Heart,but this series was way before all of the above.I know,maybe before LBIA there must have been something similiar to this series but certainly not as memorable,as powerful and as sad as this one.This is actually a very sad and lonely kinda series.

Interesting Observation :Felix Wong,except for a few wrinkles,this guy looks the same all these years!

Anyway,I have answered this above but I will repeat it here.

"HK got death penalty meh?"

Apparently,yes,only that they never hang anyone because most cases,governer will pardon them.Now,maybe Uncle Tung will be the one,or maybe they have abolished death penalty,I do not know.

"Malaysia got death penalty meh?"

Yes,YESSSS!You kill someone(murder),you die.You kidnap someone for ransom,you die!!!You rob someone with a gun,don't even need a trial because the police will probably shoor you to death when you walk out of the shop,unless you got away first.You carry a gun,you die.You carry bullet,you die.You carry some part of a gun,you die.UNLESS YOU HAVE PERMIT.You traffick drugs,even if you did not intend to sell it,but carry the drugs from one place to another,you definately will die.Piracy(not VCD piracy but you know,pirates as in the high seas on really big ships?),I think you also die.treason definately will die,so never ever be a running dog!

"Singapore got death penalty meh?"

Eh,this series was made in HK and Malaysia lar!But since we are so close to one another,my answer is yes.Better ask Seagull.SEAGULLLLLL!!!!!Singapore got death penalty or not?


5 comments:

  1. Thank you for re-posting this review. I found it last year on Geocities before it shut down and I enjoyed reading it so much. LBIA was such a great modern drama and influenced so many other series. Felix and Carina broke my heart. And Deric Wan was such a baddie. I love him in villain roles. :)

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  2. Thank you for reading! Deric Wan is an excellent actor. A pity rarely seen these days. He still looks good though doesn't he? I am glad to know Felix is back in TVB.

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  3. I had a big crush on Deric in the early 90s. I've seen some of his recent pictures and he certainly has aged but that's to be expected. I still love watching his old series. They're so good.

    Don't know exactly where he disappeared to. Filmed some series in China, I think. It's always the same pattern isn't it? Make a name for yourself at TVB, jump to ATV/Taiwan/China and the world forgets you, then make a comeback at TVB. Is that what Felix is trying to do now?

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  4. Anonymous26.3.13

    I've just started this series... And I must say I don't like it at all! What's wrong with them? Why so much unhappiness? Seriously? The auntie and Felix are so freaking annoying, and I'm feeling like I'll stand with "vilain" Deric who only wants to get out of that unhappy misery life! But then, I'm only at the beginning of the drama, so I'd like you guys to reassure me and tell me it's gonna get better thereafter! Because I really can't understand why it has so much praising on the web so far...

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  5. Anonymous6.11.14

    Just borrowed it on DVD after first seeing it on VHS in 1989 and VCD in 2004.

    The mother's lawyer wasn't the one who took in the kids after she was executed. That was the father's former boss. But that didn't last long because the boss died from a stroke, leaving his wife to look after four children.

    The female character I hate the most was a very minor character: the wife of the accused child molester who falsely accused the mother of murder to save his own ass. She lip-synched to him the answer after the mother's lawyer challenged his nearsightedness by asking him to make out what it was in the picture the lawyer was holding. Since the molester worked in a school for the deaf, he could read lips and his vision, even without his glasses, was not so bad that he couldn't read what his wife was trying to say from the front row.

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