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
60+ episodes

Felix Wong,Gallen Lo,Amy Kwok,Cathy Chow,Nick Cheung,Ada Choi,Jesicca Hester Hsuan,Sunny Chan,Chun Pui,Wu Fung,Lam Hiu Fung,Yew Ying Ying and that annoying woman who can't act.

What & Where
Modern 90's drama made in 1997,set in HK.Basically,about love,hate,revenge and plenty of spineless men and really confused women.To be more accurate,it centres around the rivalry and bitter argument between two families,the poor Cheng and the super rich Kam.

Though the story may centre on Nick Cheung and his brother,Sunny Chan,the real hero in this story,in terms of screen time is none other than TVB's big brother,Gallen Lo.His character is not related to anybody in this serial,by blood but is very much involved by the ties of law.

The storyline
Very interesting really.It starts of with Gallen Lo being a gambleholic living in Canada,no use,spineless and really no class.But his story is not our focus here.The main focus is the one below.

You see,Mrs Cheng,many many years ago together with her husband Mr Cheng was quite comfortable in their little factory,until one day they did a good deed that turned into a nightmare.They rescued two persons,a man(Chun Pui) and a woman,who was his wife from the immigration authorities.Taking pity on them,Chun was offered a job at the factory.Being very 'grateful',he not only raped Mrs Cheng which he loved dearly,he went on to bankrupt the whole factory and bought it as his own and building his empire thereon from this pile of lies and deceptions.Then Mr and Mrs Cheng,together with their two daughters(Amy Kwok,Cathy Chow) ran away .Mrs Cheng discovered she was pregnant and gave birth to Sunny Chan who was actually Chun's son and the next year,she gave birth to her beloved Nick Cheung.She detested Sunny and tortured him,never physically but emotionally,giving him not love but contempt.Then one day,Chun's wife found her and knew that she gave birth to Chun's son.Having no son of her own,she wanted to adopt that son as her own,claiming Mrs Cheng died.Mrs Cheng could've given her Sunny but because her Nick was always sick and needed money for an operation she could never afford,being a very giving mother,she gave that son away and keeping the son she never wanted.Many many years later,as fate would have it,her Sunny(a very idiotic looking boy) grew up into a very naive but fine man,met and became friends with his boss,coincidentally Nick,who grew up to be an educated,refined and very gentleman gentleman.All was well and fine,until one day Chun wanted to sue the hell out of Sunny because of his dispute with Nick over something which I can't remember and dear Mrs Cheng blurted the whole secret out.From then on,Nick was never quite the same again and that I personally feel was the start of the real story of Secret Of The Heart.

So What About The Others?Just Ke-Le-Fe?
No,no they all play a very important and intergral part in this serial,it's just that they're not really the main theme in this story.To better illustrate my point,look below.

Amy Kwok
She plays the eldest sister,30 years old and about to be married until she discovered that her fiancee was actually two timing her.She didn't care at first but well,she realised that the man was not worthed it and she instead went and worked for Felix Wong.She fell for Gallen,then broke up because of Gallen's unforgettable love for Apple (Yew Ying Ying) who died,so that's the end of their love affair and they became the best of friends.Then she fell for Felix after many many wooing sessions by Felix,married him ,only to divorce him,went back to Gallen only to want to go back to Felix becuase Felix was in a pitiful state and then,at the end of all of this nonsense,she went back to Gallen.
Now,you may ask,what has she got to do with Nick-Sunny dispute?Well,some actually.She was the first one to make contact with her long lost beloved little brother whom they called B-Chai(Little B) and in one of the most touching scene in this serial,she told Nick how she remembered him when he was little and he couldn't quite recall.And of course,she was almost killed by Nick,went into a long coma,woke up and still,Nick could not be caught.But from there on,no more love between the siblings.

Cathy Chow
She plays the second daughter,a stewardess with Nick's company,extremely vain and very opinionated.But compared to Diana,she is like a saint because overall,she's a pretty nice girl.She fell for a poor artist,dumped him,hated Felix when she first met him but somehow,fell deeply in love with him.Too deeply in fact.When Felix failed to woo Amy,he went out with her and then,they broke off and Felix finally got Amy.On the night when they were married,Felix found out from Gallen that Cathy was about to give birth to his child.Confused and really shocked by the news,he tried to be a good father but Cathy somehow wanted more out of him.Though knowing that he is her brother in law,she would dress up and waited for him to come to her house and use the baby as a tool to get closer to him.When at last she felt that she could let go of her love for him,the sister found out about them,feeling betrayed ,went into hiding and wanted a divorce.During one time when they both found out where she was,they travelled with the baby only that their car was hit by a truck.Felix survived but Cathy and the baby did not.Poor Felix became the most hated person by the Cheng family but I really beg to differ.I'll tell you why further below.

Sunny Chan
The third in the family,his real surname is Kam and not Cheng but he will not know this until many many episodes later.A fine young man,never ambitious,never materialistic and very very naive(but I'll say Idiotic and sometimes really stupid).He grew up with his mom and sisters but was never ever loved by the mother,Mrs Cheng.He lived in the balcony turned into a room,tried to be the best son but well,the mom just couldn't stand the sight of him.He could be the best son,brother but really frustrating as a BF.He fell deeply for his goddess,Ada Choi,only to lose her to his own younger brother,Nick.So he settled for Jessica Hsuan,only to find out that he might have a second chance with her,but lost to a gangster.Then he finally does have a chance,he couldn't because there's Jessica.When finally Jessica's out of the way,when Ada finally realised that she loved him the most,he lost her to Mr Death.So,even at the end when he had all the money,all the power,he didn't and will never have his Diana aka Ada.Being a nice guy until the end,he didn't hate his brother.

Nick Cheung
A Cheng instead of a Kam,he was pampered and well loved by his adopted father Chun Pui and mom too.So he grew into a fine young man,educated and very confident of himself.But when he discovered that he is not a Kam,he didn't really change.He was still nice until one day,he noticed that his father's attitude kinda changed,the mom and sis ignored him.So he began to be more closer to the Cheng,but greed got the better of him.With his educational background,he could've leave HK and start a new life somewhere.With a mom,a bro and two sis that clearly loves him,he could've just be contented.With the undying love and support of Ada,he could've just married her and settled down for a life more ordinary.But he couldn't.He wanted more,he wanted money and he wanted power.And during one desperate time where he owed some people some money,he had to run to Taiwan and was cheated out of all his money by a so called friend.Desperate,he turned to the Taiwan Mob and worked for them.He schemed so much that you would begin to hate him rather than pity him.And in the end,he not only lost his money,company,parental love and the woman who loved him,he lost his own life in a scene which I have hoped to be much more dramatic.

Ada Choi
A China Mainland girl,materialistic but beautiful,she had marrying a millionaire as her ambition.So she spoilt her own good name though she never ever slept with them.Hotly pursued by Sunny,she felt nothing for him other than gratefullness.Then she met Nick and fell for him instantly.So money was a big attraction but if you see the earlier Nick,you too would have fallen to his charms coz he was so bloody nice.They were happy but Kam daddy wasn't.So he kinda brushed her aside.Then when he discovered that he wasn never a Kam,he went after Jessica for connection purposes and dumped Ada in the most ungentlemanly fashion.The thing with Jessica couldn't work out,and Ada was like gone becuase she by now have fallen for a gangster.Wanting her back to his side after he got all his money,he literally beat the guy to death and caused Sunny almost to go to jail.Wanting to catch this evil man,Ada sacrificed herself by pretending to want him back and became his mistress.But alas,he found out(only an idiot won't) and he beat her.Whether he killed her or not is still in dispute coz we never really see her dead.But with all the blood in the apartment,I would say Yeah,she's a corpse.But her corpse were never found.She could've been beaten half to death and then hid somewhere and probably starved to death,according to Kelvin Kam.

Felix Wong
The baby brother of Chun Pui,he hated his brother because dear brother fraudulently acquired a company belonging to his former fiance many many years ago.So he decided to strike it out on his own but failed miserably.With the support of Amy his ever loyal secretary,he rebuilt his empire and fell for Amy,rejected went to Cathy,then back to Amy,married and lied about the baby thing.Then as written above,when Cathy died,Amy and everybody could not forgive him.The thing is,I really do thing he is the most honourable character in this serial.So he may go a bit mad after he lost Amy to Gallen but he really thought Gallen lied about him kicking Gallen into the sea,attempting to kill him when it was actually Nick.He hated Gallen so much he harrassed him everyday.But when he found out that he was mistaken,he apologised and protected Gallen from an explosion,which he was blinded.So Cathy's dead but it wasn't his fault,not even a little.First of all Cathy deserved some blame for hoping for something that she could never ever have.Perhaps Felix should've told Amy the whole truth but he was afraid.But the real person to be blamed here is Amy herself.Why did she have to go into hiding?Why can't she act like an adult and talk it over instead of crying and screaming about her husband being unfaithful when he was not even given a chance to explain?Perhaps Felix should've just told the wife,and personaly adopted the son.The thing is,Amy would've still wanted a divorce and insisted that Felix be with Cathy.But how can one force love?

Gallen Lo
A character that is not the main theme here but is central somehow because all the things we see is seen through his eyes and perception.Living in Canada,he was a gambleholic.He cared for no one,not even dear Apple who would give him anything,even money to gamble it all off.Then one time when Apple begged him not to gamble anymore,he went to place bets whilst Apple was begging him not to in front of everybody.So she left him(for a very honourable reason) and went back to Canada.He stayed and realised he missed her,became a salesman and worked hard to earn enough money to go back and propose,only to find her engaged to someone else.Dejected,he went back to gambling until Amy came to his rescue.He changed into a better man and fell for Amy and vice versa.But things couldn't work out when one day he found out that Apple left him not because of another man but because she was dying of cancer.And she was on her deathbed in Canada,Gallen blamed himself for her loneliness even at death,and well,Amy had to just wait like until the last episode to be reunited with him again.Then he was the one who started this really big mess with Felix.During one time when he was really drunk and he was in the midst of rivalry with Felix,Felix walked away but Nick came and kicked him into the sea,almost drowning him.He thought Felix did it but didn't really hate him.But poor Felix had to go to jail for a crime he never committed.So Felix gave him a hard time and the last straw was when Wu Fung,his father was beaten almost to death.Then many things happened,and because Felix lost his eyesight for him,they forgave each other and became good friends.In the end,he went back to Amy.

Chun Pui
Mean old man who moulded his own adopted son,Nick into as unscrupulous as he was.Later he got his own medicine,by having Parkinson's disease.However much he was hated by his own little brother,when he was sick,Felix forgot all the bad blood between them and came back to try to rescue the company.Somehow,you could never believe a man like him could've a son like Sunny.

Mrs Cheng
Finally,the woman who should have kept her big mouth shut.She was the cause of all the mess.But a mother,however much she hated her son could never see Sunny go to jail so she had to tell the truth to Chun Pui so that he will let him go.She should've chosen another road.She should've just go that man,begged him,seduce him a little coz the man loved her dearly.But nooooo!She told the truth and so Nick's future was destroyed in one day and because of one sentence and that was the start of the domino effect.I hated this character and I hated this actress.

The Most Unimportant Characters
Wu Fung,Lam Hiu Fung and the rest of the gang that is here just for completion sake of this review.

The Most Pitiful Character
You might say Nick's Kelvin Kam but I would say,after a while,no.I mean,pitiful for a while ,yes but look at it this way.LIVE ON lar!So what you lost all the money?Still have Diana,mom,brother,sisters,friends.After what he did to Diana,you would hate him.

You might say Sunny's Ka Hung who lost his beloved Diana.But the way he treated Jessica,I just don't like him.

Jessica perhaps?Yep,quite pitiful.Not only lost her own family,her brother,then she very bravely lived on,and very independant.And Sunny had to like run to Ada whenever Ada had a slight problem like toe nails too long.And poor Jessica,sick with high fever and BF who clearly loves another wasn't there.And then she was murdered by Nick.And you know what?Sunny didn't even mourn for her death like he did for Ada.S.O.B.

Ada's Diana?Definately.So she was really mean at first,but however mean,she was never evil and to lose her life the way she did,is a bit surreal to me.Cruel to some.
But I would say that if she had been more careful,maybe she would be ok.

Why you may ask?
In one of the most embarrassing and most idiotic scene in TV history,apart from Flaming Brother's failure of comprehending what is meant by good editing skills,there is this one scene where Diana planted a camera to record Kelvin typing his password in the computer in his study roon.WHen he was sleeping,she went to retrieve it.That you might ask,since he is like working in the morning,why not retrieve it then?Of course,being a spy camera you might have expected something smaller or hid in somewhere more secluded,more hard to be seen.But well,the camera she used was a big old model camcorder,hid right in front of his view on top of a book shelve,in a big BIG box with a BIG BIG hole.I mean,only a blind guy could not see it.If Diana was ever a spy,she would have died a thousand times!

The Most Saddest Character
Also the Most Honourable Character who would be Felix Wong.Honourable because he is a man with principles.If he was wrong,he would say he is sorry.Unlike Gallen who never said sorry for Felix's jail time.Saddest because he lost his eyesight.Being a vivacious and a man full of energy,losing his eyesight would be like dying.That is why I would say he is the saddest character.More so when wife is in love with another man.

And Cathy's character also.In love with a man who didn't love her.Sad.

The Most Irritating Character
Amy Kwok's character.Ok,so you might say the most beloved but I would say because she was so bloody unreasonable to Felix,she became irritating after a while.And I would still say that she caused Cathy's death,so you can get that gun of yours away from my temple.

And Sunny too.The way he would run to Diana reminded me of how a dog would run to his master,eagerly and really fast.So he could be quite sad because well,no more Diana but the way he reacted when Jessica died was like,So What?!As long as Diana is ok.I really hate this wimp.And he's an idiot too.But I must admit,you will never find a naive idiot like him in the world anymore.So unrefined but terribly loyal to his mother that never ever loved him.Best as son and brother.Never be his GF unless you're Diana.

The Most Difficult Person To Be...
The writers.With so many up and cmoing stars of TVb,who to kill and who not to kill?Sigh!!!!

The Most Hated Character
The mother,Chun Pui and of course,Nick's Kelvin Kam.

The Best Scenes
Every scene that involves Nick.

The Worst Scene
None really noteworthy.But I would say the worst acting here is by that Mrs Cheng.She can't act,and the way she talks is like she needed big gulps of oxigen.She is worst of course in Happy Ever After but that doesn't mean she is ok here.She should just either go back to acting classes,stop breathing so deeply or perhaps just retire.

Most Favourite Pair
Plenty of pairs in here.But I would say none for me.The love plots is much too confusing to me.

Best Perfromances
Definately Nick Cheung who became a somebody after this serial.HE may have over acted in some scene,you could even see his veins on his neck bulging out,but he is the reason that makes this serial so interesting.And Gallen Lo.He was never a good actor before this one but somehow,he must have found out how to act really well.So his character is a bit weak in characterisation,and you might hate his actions but his performance is superb.Ada Choi who I never really liked but her performamce here is very good,though she could do something about her voice.Or maybe it's her accent.

Why Do I Hate This Ending
So it was a happy ending,for some.But I would've wished for a more dramatic death for Nick,as dramatic as Ada's.I mean,something fell on him,went into a coma for 3(?) years,woke up to talk about some rubbish that we never heard as viewers and then died?Very very anti-climax.

If I Were The Writers I would
Change the death ending for Nick.He deserved to be shot to death looking like a beehive, go to jail and tortured to death.Or die of some incurable disease with the maximum of suffereings and toruure.Something really horrible for him.
And give Felix a woman.He deserves one.

Is Kelvin Kam A Rebel With A Justified Cause ?
Well,can't really say yes or no because he does have his reasons for his 'insanity'.But let us compare,and then we see the verdict.
Let us now compare his reasons for his evil deeds with some notable bad boys (or good boys) of ATV/TVB-dom.
Please be noted that all the characters below had either killed or caused someone's downfall or someone's misery in their respective schemes or purpose.

Ming Chi Kitt in Flaming Brothers
He wanted money,he wanted power and he wanted to be better than his brother,Lei Siu Tin,in terms of position. So he killed.Justified?Maybe for someone who was so poor,having tasted riches he would have wanted more.And since everybody was so discouraging in his effort and he wanted to do it the fast way,killing would be the way.

Yong Zheng in Secret Battle Of The Majesty
He wanted to be the Emperor of China.So was he justified to kill his brothers,strangle his own father ?I would say,Yes.

Lau Ching Wan in The Greed Of Man
He caused the deaths of Ting Hai's four sons.Justified?Looking at how his own family was thrown off the building by those evil people,I would say definately.Revenge is always a legitimate reason,more so you want to avenge for your family's deaths.

Lui Jung Yin in Return To The Truth
He wanted to catch up on his lost years the fast way so he deceived and killed his own mother.Justified?No.He could've got all those money without even killing for he was already the most beloved son of his very rich mother.

Lei Chi Hou of Kindred Spirit
He was greedy and he wanted more so he married a woman he never loved,deceived,schemed and almost killed Lui Fong,twice.Justified just for cash?With a man of his brains,he could have make it on his own,so a definate no.

Yang Guo Jung of Legend Of Lady Yang
He wanted power,he wanted money so he deceived and mistreated people on his way to be a Prime Minister to Tang Dynasty's Lei Long Kei.Justified?Sometimes no so he deserved his ending.He could've been loyal to the King.But sometimes,he had no choice because in order to protect his own life from the enemies he made,he had to have more power and the only way to do so is to kill,kill and kill.So maybe is my answer.

Little Swallow and her gang in Huan Zhu Ge Ge II
Here,their deception of the King in their little scheme to rescue the Xiang Fei out of the palace to be reunited with her lover is the most frivolous thing I have seen on TV.To lie to the father who so dearly love them is like treason to me.Xiang Fei was a gift from her country to settle a dispute and for a peace treaty.And they want her to leave the King?Even if the King wanted to it would be sign of great disrespect for the Xiang Fei's birth counrty and could be seen as a breach of a peace agreement and could start a war.So this gang,though with the best of intentions never really could think beyond the term,love.So I would say,it is never justified to put a country at risk.

Tong Sam Jong in Journey To The West
Yes,even a noble monk such as this one in his aim of going to India for Mankind have caused the sufferings of some people,notably his own disciple,Monkey King.He even deceived Monkey King into wearing that gloden thing on his head and giving him headeachs.Justified?Definately,for mankind,any schemes that does not involve killing an innocent life is justified.Of course,Monkey King deserved it.It was his punishment and his way of redemption for his sins by protecting this monk and becoming his slave,bodyguard,waiter,servant,student,disciple,advisor,companion all the way to India for 15 years.

So,is Kelvin Kam's actions justified?
It is never justified to kill for money.Life is much more precious than that.He should've accompanied Tong Sam Jong to India,so then maybe he'll understand the true meaning of purpose in life.

Is it worth Renting
You want drama?You want action?You want love?You want to be so emotional watching serial that you could almost scream?GO NOW AND RENT THIS ONE.You might love it,or hate it but you have to admit,it's pretty good.

Is is BETTER than…
Similiar family -revenge-sibling rivalries drama?Mostly yes but still,Looking Back In Anger,Greed Of Man,Flaming Brothers,Secret Battle,Return To The Truth were better in every sense.

Interesting Facts
This serial was a big big hit,so big a bit that they added 2 episodes to the original ending.Gallen won the most popular actor award,Nick Cheung for Best Newcomer and Ada even won, but being too happy,she thanked everybody in Healing Hands instead of this one.But Healing Hands won Best Drama.
Nick Cheung became like so famous that he can now carry his head high instead of being called Mrs Kwan Wing Ho.Another example of a villian role that gave so much more exposure than a good guy role.And Ada gained more fans.

There was this special discussion 1 hour show before the ending was shown in HK where the casts discussed their roles.Ordinary people felt that Kelvin is the most pitiful character and they all felt that what he did was justified.Many felt that he should die by being shot to death by the police with machine guns,or caught and sentenced to life imprisonment(which never ever happens in this kind of serial).
About the love pairs,many felt that Sunny's Ka Hung could be the best son/brother but really bad as a husband.Though Ada personally felt that she would want a guy like Ka Hung as her BF,most ordinary people said that Ka Hung is way too idiotic,wimpish and really weak to be a good and dependable BF.Surprisinghly,many felt that the characters of Amy Kowk and Felix Wong should have an ending as a married pair instead of Gallen with Amy as some thought that Felix is much more compatible with her.And finally,everybody agreed that Felix's character is a man of principles,a man of honour.That I agree wholeheartedly.

Interesting Fiction
Though relatively with the same casts,At The Thresehold Of An Era is NOT a sequel to Secret OF The Heart.


Post a Comment

All replies and discussions will be posted in this review itself, so do remember to bookmark this review and check back from time to time for any replies.Thank you for your active participation.