This Review  is written by Funn Lim. All comments drop them into my MAILBOX.


Legal Entanglement

Deciphering The Title
I really like this English title which sounds so complicated but alas, the whole series is very very predictable and very very un-legal entanglement-like except for a few cases/scenarios.

11 tapes/22 episodes

Hacken Lee - Mark Ko Chi Long
Ng Yi Lei  - Marva Chan Siu Ling
Michael Tse - Joe Yeung Ming
Kenix Kwok - Sammi Sum Hok Yee
Patricia Liu - Tracy Fong Kit Man
Sek Sau - CT Kwan
Lam Yi Kei - Cheong Yoke Jan aka Mrs Ko
Leo Lee Wai Kei - Raymond Lam

Tang Ho Kwong - Chung Kwok Cheung
Lam Kei Yan - Miu
Au Gam Tung - Fai
Chor Yuen  - Mr Sum (Father of Sammi)
Myolie  Wu Hang Yee - Toby 

The Storyline
Very simple storyline that is easily summarized. 

6 years before the present day in the series, Sammi was a law student with a bright future in law as a career and has a very strict father who was a former judge. Unfortunately, she fell in love, got pregnant and subsequently married a rich man's son who was known to be a playboy named Raymond. Barely one year into their marriage, she caught him in bed with her best friend and that was the end of their marriage. But that was not all. Her husband hired a very good attorney who successively won and took away her baby's custody which was awarded to the father. So on a rainy day, she lost her beloved son, Q Q (real name was Lam Jung Bo) who was barely a few months old and she screamed I Hate You to the lawyer who helped facilitate the separation between mother and child for the next 6 years, that was Mark Ko.

6 years later, she was studying hard to be a lawyer and she worked in a friendly law firm called LC Firm. In there, she was on very good terms with the buck tooth and boring senior partner of the firm, Joe and she was often insulted for her poor taste in clothes by the "I think I am so sophisticated" Marva, another senior partner. However, things didn't prepare her for the worst. The man who helped took away her child Mark Ko became a senior partner and she was cold and aloof towards him. The more she knew him professionally, the more she detested him because Mark Ko was the perfect lawyer; he didn't care for human compassion, he just cared about his client's best interest. Often they crossed path and Mark was beginning to question why she hated him so. And then he remembered her and tried to compensate for her lost of her child by treating her extra nice. And that was when she began to understand him. Beneath the all cool exterior lies a man who was tortured by his past; a past where his beloved mother eloped with his most respected teacher, another great attorney, CT Kwan and his beloved father died of depression some time later. He never forgave CT, and avoided him whenever they were in the same vicinity but he was on very good terms with his mother, who refused to marry CT because she knew her son would never accept their marriage. And that was when Sammi fell in love with the clueless Mark, who in turn fell for his ex-fellow pupil in chambers with CT, that was Tracy who worked for DOJ as a prosecutor who herself had a sordid past that only Mark knew. 

After a run around of cases and more emotional events, Mark realised that he loved Sammi, but Sammi, knowing that she was the cause of Mark and Tracy's breakup refused to walk a step further in their already intense relationship. And that was when she found her son again, who was now a good looking 6 year old boy. She fought for his custody and won. But her baby son couldn't accept her, after all he lived with his father for 6 long years.

After much struggle and after much ups and downs, Sammi made a decision that will change her life forever, as she did 6 years before by marrying Raymond.

Come On! Say it! Give me the details!
Plenty of details and yet very few to talk about. This series did not consist only of Mark and Sammi of course. How can they then drag till 11 tapes?

Joe & Marva
Joe fell for Sammi but realised she felt nothing for him. And so he began a rather unexpected relationship with the cold and arrogant Marva with a one night stand, and from thereon Marva pursued him and he accepted her but with a condition; that their relationship must be underground type of relationship. He liked classical music but she liked disco music. He enjoyed nothing more than a night at home listening to his beloved CDs whilst Marva enjoyed nothing more than dancing the night away in a crowded discotheque which I though was already out of fashion, but apparently not. How can a party girl form a serious relationship with a boring serious guy? Well, they could but not without some major sacrifices on their favourite stuff. However, during one time and one big argument later on how they tried to accommodate each other's needs but failed to do so, they broke up. It was then Marva realised she was pregnant and when he knew she was pregnant, (it was revealed to the whole office by the ever gossiping bunch of office workers), he went all the way, even to court to make Marva admit the child was his. But she refused until he boldly sang and pleaded with Marva in the court for forgiveness and thus, the baby had a father and a mother from thereon. Let us all clap with gleeeeee.

Tracy & Fai & Toby
No triangular love here since Toby had eyes only for Fai who saved her from a rapist and Fai only had eyes for Tracy, whom he protected and saved countless of times when she was threatened with threatening phone calls and Mark hired Fai to investigate the matter. Toby was never in the picture. 

However, Fai was paid a whole lot of money to investigate Tracy's background who was cold towards men, except for Mark whom she formed a brief but intense relationship. Fai found out that years and years ago, her mother was very sick and she had little money to purse her education. And so she signed a contract to be the mistress of a very rich man, who was now in politics, for 2 years, whereby he will pay for the medical and living expenses for Tracy to pursue her studies. Years later she became a prosecutor but this scandal will wreck her future. Fai couldn't take the other half of the money as he fell for her but his assistant did. Tracy, heart broken and reputation gone, left for Europe and Fai followed her, but never revealing himself. A year later she came back and told Toby how lucky she was that when she lost her passport someone found her passport for her, etc etc etc. It was then Tracy realised perhaps Fai had been following and secretly protecting her and as she walked on the pier, she realised she loved him and voila! Poof! There he was, smiling and she was crying and they were hugging and so a happy ending.

Did I rhyme? Did I?

CT Kwan & Mark & Mommy
Very complicated. Mark hated CT, Mommy loved both CT and Mark. Mark hated CT for assigning him away to a case in England for 3 months and when he came back, and on his wedding day to the unseen fiancée, mommy ran away with CT, which he saw as the ultimate betrayal of trust. He never forgave him. But when mommy fell into a deep coma and the doctors told him mommy had fractured bones, he suspected it was CT who beat his mommy. It turned out that she bumped her head in a nasty fall and thus fell into a coma. And the fractures was actually caused by severe beating by Mark's highly stressed and highly possessive dead father. And so Mark realised no one was to be blamed and thus gave their marriage the much needed blessing. Mommy woke up a happy and later, married woman.

Mark & Sammi & QQ
Mark was suspended for 6 months from praticising law because he punched CT out of anger with what happened to his mommy without investigating the matter and took all the responsibilities to himself, leaving CT a free man. And so he had nothing to do and took the time to bond with QQ since Sammi was busy being CT's pupil. But during one time he was late in a contractual matter because of QQ's football qualifying test, he was sued and in the end had to pay $5m in compensation. He tried to beg, he tried to plead but that nasty old fat bald guy refused to let Mark go. And so his only way to redeem his career was to go to England to help LC in an International claim for damages case. He refused to go because he couldn't leave Sammi. But Sammi persuaded him to go and so he left. And from thereon, our QQ narrated the ending and guess what? Sammi became a lawyer, lost her her very first case and missed Mark so much that she became depressed when he couldn't come back in time to celebrate QQ's birthday.


Mark left and suddenly, Sammi asked QQ would it be ok if they followed Mark to England? And he said as long as Mommy is happy and so they followed Mark to England and a year later, they were a happy family in England. She never realised her dream to be a lawyer. 


Wait!! Who is Chung Kwok Cheung? : Sleazy lawyer who used dirty tricks to win his cases but always lost his cases because of these dirty tricks. Nothing significant. 


Some terminology explained
What the heck is PG, PNG and DOJ?

These are not English terms but they're legal terms.

PG and PNG are used in the criminal law sense. Like when you did a crime, or maybe didn't you will be presented before the judge who will take your plea, whether you plead guilty (PG) or you plead not guilty (PNG). In other words, whether you admit doing what they accused you of doing or you don't. I am not going to go into the legalities or the procedures but in this series you will get some insights into HK's legal procedures which by the way, quite similar with Malaysia and Singapore since we all followed the British structure who was followed by India who was followed by most Commonwealth countries.

For example, you get to see cases being called by numbers, lawyers running forward to state what they want, like maybe another date, maybe continue with the trial, and you get to see the difference between a lawyer and a legal assistant. In Malaysia, a legal assistant is a lawyer but those junior type. In HK, I am not sure if they use the term legal assistant but I shall use it to mean people without a practising license. My only complaints of these scenes are too few people. Any person who has been to a court will know that the whole court room will be crowded with lawyers and people, and the whole scene will be like in a market, crowded but not noisy though.

And so, what is a practising license? You may have a law degree but you must sit for an exam to qualify you to present a case in court, though a lay person can always defend themselves.

In here Sammi sat for an exam called PCLL. In Malaysia, it is known as CLP. In England, the Bar exams. All the same. You sit for this exam, and when you pass, you're a lawyer!! If you don't, you're still an assistant; someone with a law degree but has no right to represent a client in court.

But why Sammi could represent herself in the custody case you might ask? I think perhaps in a custody case, the procedure and process is less formal. Moreover, like I said, you can always argue your own case, lawyer or not.

But you may ask, why sometimes Mark wears a robe, then no robe, then got wig, and then  no wig? Well, I am not so sure myself. Because I thought HK amended the rules a bit and so they need not wear wigs but still wear those robes. I don't know.

However, you might also ask what Sammi asked CT. Why behind a lawyer's robe there is a pouch or a pocket? CT said that pouch means once you accepted a case and a client's money, you must fight all your best for the case. True. But I was told that long long long long time ago, like the medical profession, law was a noble profession. You accept a case but how much to pay depended on how much you could afford. And so a client will put money into that pouch/pocket and the lawyer must accept that money, however small sum it may be. But that was a long long long time ago where justice is still un-businesslike.

And in this series, you get to see a disciplinary proceedings or more accurately, when a lawyer did something that is against the rules or the profession's rules of ethics, they will be answerable to a bunch of people and there will be some questionings. If found guilty, you could be fined, suspended or the worst of all, kicked out of the profession forever. Yes, forever.

You might ask, well Mark just punched CT, that wasn't anything about legal stuff, just personal matters. Well, as lawyers whatever we do , our actions represent the legal profession. You can't simply punch people, or scream or cheat or lie, even if it has no connection whatsoever with your job as a lawyer. In that aspect, I find this series very real.

And in some scenes you'll hear the judge saying things like the monetary claim in this case is beyond this court's jurisdiction and so I'll transfer this case to a higher court. Well, that is very true. Each court has it's limits in monetary claim or punishment, and if your case exceeds that certain limit, it will go higher in court. In Malaysia, a death penalty case will be heard in High Court, all motor accident cases of whatever monetary claim in a lower court called Sessions Court. Just make sure you file your cases in the right court.

And in one scene, you'll hear a judge played by Joe Jr explaining to Sammi why the statue seen somewhere in HK and England's court is blind folded. I have mentioned this before in my FOJ review but I'll repeat it here. Sammi was angry that Mark Ko could defend a known rapist. She couldn't understand why we are so blind when law is about justice. And perhaps the best way to explain this is to look at the statue of a woman, with a ..what do you call those weighing thing? Anyway, one weighing thing in one hand, a sword in another (if I am not mistaken) and she is blindfolded. Does that mean, the weighing thing is used to weigh how much money you have which means money is important in winning a case? What about the sword? To kill poor people and take away all their money? And worst of all, blindfold means justice IS blind? No way!! The statue represents the ideals of the legal profession, as explained. The weighing thing means everybody is equal before the eyes of the law, the sword probably to execute justice and blindfold simply means, the law knows no colour, race, wealth nor reputation. You're all equal. And that is why Sammi must realise why Mark Ko did all his best for the rapist. Because everybody deserves the best possible defense, whether guilty or not guilty because you're innocent until proven guilty in the court of law. This does apply even to a civil case.

And what the heck is a civil case? I am sure you know criminal case. Civil case is when someone is claiming something, like money, order, custody, etc from another person. In other words, it is a case between two individuals which includes corporations and the government.

As for what is DOJ, I suspect it is Department Of Justice. Correct me if I am wrong.

Best Scenes
I can't think of a best or ultimate best scene that sticks in my mind. I can't because nothing is memorable in here, except for the first time in TVB history, they gave us quite an accurate description of the legal procedures. Perhaps that is what was memorable about this series. But don't expect accurate description of legal procedures. They skip the boring details like evidence and just go straight to the exciting stuff like examinations and cross examinations. 

Worst Scenes
The last 2 episodes were the worst. I can't stand how they ended the story between Joe and Marva, and perhaps, even Mark and Sammi.

I'll talk more on this point below.

The Bad Stuff : My criticisms of this series
This series started out very interestingly, but the ending was poorly handled.

Throughout this series, we were given cases after cases, and then there were love stories and then back to cases and then more love stories and then it was a neither here nor there ending. I find that very disappointing.

For example, the relationship between Joe and Marva. It was nice at first, especially how their relationship began. How Marva tried to listen to those classical CDs and figure out which were the drums and which were the trombones whilst Joe practised disco dancing. I find these scenes very well done, which kind of illustrated their ever difficult relationship. And then suddenly, this relationship took a drastic turn. They broke up, she got pregnant and he was always pleading with her. It didn't help with the half baked performances by Ng Yi Lei as Marva. Joe was more like a love sick puppy than a brilliant lawyer. The ending was simply corny and I find it laughable. In the court room Joe pleaded for a second chance with Marva and everybody clapped. In another place maybe that would be a good scene but not in a court room. I find that scene ridiculous and very idiotic. If they expected me to clap with glee, I was only laughing my heads of. This series should never gone through the sentimental road and in the end, Joe who always thought of the court room as a place to settle disputes, became a laughing stock to me. The court room was made into a match making room and it was plain silly to see all that happening. And it didn't help when the judge made a supposedly funny remark, like "I'll dismiss the contempt charges against you the petitioner (Joe) if you will marry the respondent (Marva)". By the way, I am a bit rusty with terminologies and so if I got it wrong, don't laugh. I find that utterly stupid and TVB made this series looked so childish with that scene.

The two endings was also a problem. We have QQ narrating one ending which turned out to be false and so we were given the real ending. I don't like this trickery and double scenes. Give me a straight forward answer, a cliff hanger or nothing at all. Don't give me this ending, making me feel a bit sad for Sammi and then there was another real ending. And in the end, you'll be left thinking, which was the ending anyway? The answer is clear but to make the viewers ask such a question to begin with will be disastrous in the long run. Because we don't want to be confused. I can take endings with no endings, I can take ending with more questions, I can take ending with answers that create more questions with no answers but just don't play with me and give me two endings. What am I supposed to do? Clap? Scream with joy? I don't like that one bit. The ending was very weak and badly done.

I know why they gave Michael Tse's Joe those buck teeth, because it will be the reason for Joe's low self esteem and why he couldn't bring himself to admit his relationship with Marva who was supposedly more sophisticated than he was. He thought the relationship would never last. But I have read several comments and some reviews and I feel TVB have failed in their purpose of those buck teeth. Many wrote that they find his teeth funny, and they thought this was a comedy. I felt this series was rather serious. I didn't find his buck teeth funny at all, but I thought for once Michael Tse was playing someone different. I welcome that change but not how most would perceive that change. I find it disagreeable to laugh at someone's lack of perfection. Which I guess TVB failed big time.

Many found the script witty. The only script I thought was witty was the brilliant War of the Genders. This series was not witty or had a witty script. What it had was an informative script in the legal point of view and darn boring in the love point of view. I find the legal aspects in this series so much more satisfying than Files of Justice 1 to 5. In FOJ, the cases were so darn simple that it was almost stupid. But in this series, you get to see some intelligent legal argument which was legally wrong in some part but delivered in a rather intelligent way. Some cases were simply wrong but you would forgive TVB for their legal inaccuracies because all was presented in a nice package. 

For example of a good case, the surrogate mother's case which was quite an interesting point in the series. This doctor paid this woman (played by Akina Hong Wah) some money, and slept with her several times to make her pregnant. Let us forget the fact that artificial insemination exists since this doctor wanted the REAL thing. Anyway, she got pregnant, gave birth to a child and refused to hand the child over to the father. And so the custody battle began. I am very sure the series didn't go the way of the contractual argument which was great because I am very sure such contracts are illegal in HK. And so the question was the matter of custody; who could provide more for the child. In the end, none because the mother was an ex junkie and had no fixed income and the father had a wife who couldn't accept the child. The child was given to the welfare people for the time being until the custody will be decided much later. I find this case very real and very well done.

And example of a not so good case would be the case of a transvestite, now a bona fide woman who was denied her rights in a contract that was created orally. I am not sure about the law in HK but I am quite sure in Malaysia the ending might be a bit different unless there is something else to support that woman's case. Anyway, the bad guy's argument was, when he hired her to be his representative of some aroma therapy business was because of her rather feminine allure and beautiful features. And then he found out she was a he and so the contract was not valid and legal to begin with because she was supposed to be a woman to enter the contract. She argued he wanted to sleep with her and when she didn't, this was what he did. Joe argued that it didn't matter whether she was a she or she was a he. That would be discrimination since she/he brought in good business and so she did not violate the terms of the contract. 

But my question is, was there a valid contract to begin with? This series jumped the gun on this legal point. Where is the breach if there is no contract? Assuming there was a contract, I feel the argument should not have been discrimination point of view. Because bad guy specifically said, I want a woman like you to represent my products. This is  a very real legal problem. I do not have past cases or precedents to give a conclusion but I would have asked that bad guy, why did you hire her? Didn't she meet your criteria when you didn't know she was a woman? And the sales records will prove her capabilities. The issue isn't whether there was discrimination but whether she/he is a she in the man's eyes. We can give definitions of a woman to present our case but he hired her because she met his criteria. He never once asked if she was a woman and she never once lied. She just kept quiet and moreover, as Joe intelligently put it in his argument, all her legal documents indicated her as a she and not a he. Well, the legal arguments may be weak but it was presented in a rather intelligent way. By the way, I am sure even if you were recognised by law in USA or where ever that you're a she instead of a he, but if the country that you're arguing your case does not recognise such he/ she thing, you're forever a he in the eyes of the law, no matter how many breasts you have. Sad but true. Should we legalise gay marriages? Ok, off topic.

One of the series weakest point would be the very presentation of the series itself. Ok, the office looks nice, really nice, the costumes quite chic and very professional but please, answer me..

1. Why must they PG and PNG all the time? Meaning why must they say such terms like it is an every day's term? I find this rather pretentious. Like in FOJ or UE or HH, when TVB portrays professionals, such as doctors or lawyers, all of a sudden we see people with big apartments (well, they're rich,I understand), beautiful cars (I understand), into one night stands (maybe stress or something) AND they talk in a mix of Chinese and English, and put in a few legal terms into  everyday conversation, voila! We have the true depiction of  a professional. I find all these very fake. It has been such a long long long time since I have seen TVB depicting a professional eating at a road side store or wear pajamas in the apartment. All of a sudden all these are just too low class for these people? It is just not true. Just because you have a law degree or a medical degree doesn't make you sophisticated, smart, chic, modern, highly sexed and bloody rich. I feel they should have showed us a more human type of professional, though in this series we will see one in Chung Kwok Cheung, a very bad lawyer, and very human.

2. Why must the actors, when they're portraying lawyers always take a pen into their hands and point left right up down and centre when they're arguing their case? That is so rude!

3. Why must they always show the losing lawyer looking all sad and unhappy when they lost a case even when they know they deserved to lose? Why can't they show them smiling for once that they were happy to have lost a case because they knew that person they were trying to convict was guilty as hell? Are lawyers all so egoistical such sore losers? Don't you DARE say yes!!

4. Why must they show lawyers looking really surprised when something unexpected was presented in court? In a civil case, there would be no surprise because everything would have to be pleaded in the paper filed into court. Criminal case maybe. And why all look like a sore loser?

5. Why must TVB plagiarize from other series? Untraceable Evidence Dr Lip was actually Dr Scarpetta from the books by Patricia Cornwall but was she acknowledged? There were glaring similarities but UE was a poor copy of the excellent books, because Dr Lip seem more preoccupied with love than with corpses and her job. In this series we see some real thing. We see Mark and Joe working until 2 am. Very real. BUT one scene was very laughable. Any fan of The Practice would have noticed that scene. Toby was assaulted by  a masked rapist but she was saved in the nick of time by Fai. But she saw his tattoos and remembered him. Mark was defending an old friend of Fai, a former police for another case and Sammi found out he was the wanted rapist. But Mark being the professional guy said they cannot reveal the fact that he was the rapist since they were defending him and moreover he really didn't do this case they were defending him. He was too busy assaulting Toby to rape another woman in another place. And so Sammi was angry with him but understood the term professionalism. And then Mark suddenly called Sammi's house which Toby lived there as well and the answering machine recorded what he said. He reminded Sammi in the phone call not to reveal the fact that the man they were defending was actually the wanted rapist. Toby heard that and ran to report the truth. Later Sammi realised Mark deliberately do what he did, so that the culprit is captured.

Now, where have we seen this scene before? Not the same case but same scenario? Yes, The Practice. Bobby Donnell knew the man he was defending was  a bad guy and so he called home to his fiancée who was living with her best friend the prosecutor and  prosecutor heard the tape and made an arrest. Did TVB credit The Practice? Nope.

By the way, what would you have done? As a lawyer you have a duty to protect your client's interest and so you can't reveal even the fact that he admitted to killing someone but as an officer of the court you owe a higher duty to court in the name of justice. And you have your conscience to deal with. How? What would you have done?

6. This is the one aspect I can't stand. I have never watched a TVB series that depicts bickering co-workers. NEVER. All are so darn sweet to each other, so supportive though most would be hypocrites. In this series, we see more workers gossiping than working and that is just so fake! We have nice understanding bosses, gossipy but not malicious co-workers. Where is the dog eats dog world? Give us a more accurate portrayal perhaps.

7. One funny fact which is not really a criticism. In the first scene and then in the almost last scene, we see Kenix sleeping on top of documents, piles and piles of papers and books. On  a far look, I would applaud TVB's attention to details but on closer look, except for those legal documents, everything else was out of place. Kenix was supposedly doing research, but all her text books were Legal dictionaries. There wasn't even one legal journal or a case book. See the problem here?

8. This one I don't like. We knew how much Mark loved his father, how his father carried him in the rain to see a doctor, how he gave him the best education even though they were poor. By Mark's story, we knew the father died of depression when mommy left. Mark blamed it all on CT Kwan for seducing the mother and thus all these years he couldn't accept CT and mommy didn't want to marry CT because of just that. BUT must they end it with daddy being an abuser and mommy was abused? Why justify Mark's acceptance of CT by showing how bad daddy was? Why can't they just show adults fall in and out of love, mommy did elope with another man and CT did seduced other people's wife and mother? Would it be easier for us to accept CT if daddy had been a bad guy? We all know some fathers abused their wives but loved their children very much but I thought the ending in this series was inappropriate and it was a coward of an ending. Why can't they just show Mark accept CT. No conditions, no terms, no bad daddy image? I don't like this ending at all.

The Good Stuff
Some good performances, really nice looking apartments, lovely office, interesting cases, some good fashion.

The Performances Reviewed
Some good ones, two bad ones, one worst  and not one was exceptionally great.

Good Performances
I never really liked Kenix Kwok as an actress. I always thought she looked so thin. In here, she had hairs to cover her "thin-ness" but nevertheless she looked haggard which was perfect for this role. After all, Sammi was constantly working and looking for her son. But Kenix did not strike me as a mother. She simply had no chemistry with that kid who did quite  a good job and quite a handsome kid if I may add. She had a whole lot more of chemistry with Hacken Lee which was very nice actually. The thing is you see Kenix here is like seeing Kenix in DIF series or any other series, except she looks older and more mature. She has this bad habit of pointing at people when she talks and she moves around too much and when she cries, she looks tortured. But take away all these, I think she gave a decent performance in this series, showing enough anguish and sadness when her son woke up in the middle of the night to call his daddy. One the most heartfelt moment was when Kenix with that boy, however little mother and son chemistry they may have had. She just didn't strike me as a mother. I'll put her name under this heading but the truth was, her performance was nothing exceptional. It was not bland and yet it was not great. As always she delivers but just the same amount, never a whole lot more. Probably the problem is because this series focuses on others as well.

I think Michael Tse gave one of his most heartfelt performance as the shy and boring Joe, right up until the writers decided to make him into a boring wimp. But nevertheless Michael looked refreshed in here unlike his previous few series where he looked haggard.

Sek Sau was quite ok as the formidable and dashing CT Kwan. Not much comments.

Au Gam Tung was quite ok as Fai though he had little to do and little expressions to portray. In other words, he was made redundant and his chemistry with Patricia was non existent at best.

Myolie Wu had nothing to do in here but she was very cute and charming and trust my word; she has what it takes to be big in TVB. But she is still young. I really thought she would have made a good Lin Fah in Gods Of Honour.

Lam Yi Kei was too young to be Hacken Lee's mother but she was ok.

Bad Performances
Patricia Liu is probably the only one in this series that looks like a lawyer, other than Michael Tse and that guy who plays CT. She walks and talks like a lawyer and it was thrilling to see someone so rightly cast. Unfortunately she is all looks but no substance. Her Tracy is quite a good character to portray with all the conflicts and heart breaks but Patricia Liu gave a very weak performance, especially when she is faced with conflicts. You could see that she used Eye Mo for the tear drops and I find her performance very inadequate but she is not the worst.

Leo Lee became a household name thanks to ATE II and of course, Love Is Beautiful. Every other day I will receive a mail asking me where they could get pictures of General Man San. I have seen him in a travelogue where he was energetic, cute, at ease and very good looking. Tall as well, like Joe Ma. But this actor has a serious problem in this series. At the beginning he seemed to be too playful, like he wasn't serious in his performance and when he became serious in his performance, he totally bored me to sleep because he had no charisma whatsoever. He can act but he could act minimally. Between the two, I would say Joe Ma is a better actor than Leo Lee. In this series, he had quite  a few scenes but frankly, I wasn't impressed.

Worst Peformance
Ng Yi Lei looked and behaved like a supermodel in this series; nose up  high and stared at people like she wanted to inflict serious harm. She gave neither substance nor emotional depth to the character of the cold and arrogant Marva. On the surface, Ng Yi Lei looked like she did a good job since she looked cold, aloof and arrogant even in real life. I find it funny that one scene she was asking Kenix about what it was like to be a mother and let us all remember Kenix was never a mother but Ng Yi Lei is a mother to a baby girl with Jackie Chan. That is besides the point. My point is she was rather shallow as the supposedly brilliant and sophisticated Marva. She looked like a lawyer but she behaved like a childish pampered kid. Her best scenes was with Michael, true but another better actress would have given more depth than this actress that could only sulk, stare, smile and look dazed. Worst performance of all in this series, but in here she was slightly better than in Side Beat and everything else. Perhaps being a mother matured her in some way, but did nothing to increase her talent in acting, sadly. I feel the best person for this role would be Melissa Ng Mei Hang.

Best Performance
Hacken Lee is a wonderful singer with a beautiful voice. He is also an accomplished actor, capable in both comedy and serious drama. He looks nothing like a lawyer and his hairstyle in here is a bit too....not that great. But you know what? He pulls it through just fine. He gave a heartfelt performance of Mark whom we loved to hate at first and when he began to peel off the many layers of Mark the professional to Mark the human being, we see a transformation. We can't hate him that much. In fact I like the character Mark who is the ever professional. Sammi could irritate you with her idealistic point of views but Mark is your typical realistic down to Earth kinda guy and I like Mark very much. Hacken Lee had some good chemistry with Sammi but they do look like an odd couple together. Both as thin and hairs looking as sickly. But Hacken Lee was simply the best in here. He wasn't brilliant, that would be too much to say but he gave the best performance in here because he gave his Mark so much of emotional depth and such emotional layers. His best scene was how he tried to choke back tears when he was talking about his dead father, and the disbelief in his eyes when he knew his father abused his mother. In another scene, you see his surprise when Kenix hugged him, and you knew that was when Mark realised he loved Sammi. Or that scene when Sammi was falling asleep on a bus and he deliberately adjusted his sitting position so that her head would lie on his shoulders.  You just have to notice the small changes in his eyes and mannerisms. Some may say he is wooden but I thought he was the best in here. And some may say he doesn't look a bit intelligent to be a lawyer but the truth is, many lawyers aren't that brilliant in real life. I suspect Hacken Lee is a very intelligent man, because I have seen his sarcastic and witty side and he makes a very good host because he thinks very fast. I find him intelligent and as Mark, I felt he gave a very good performance.

Funn's Recommendation / Verdict
I hated the theme song. So dead and so boring but this series was quite ok. My criticisms would be towards some of the performances plus some of the story in this series but overall, I enjoyed this small production of a series and I feel though it might not have the best endings or the most witty lines, it has enough to provoke your mind into thinking, pondering certain real issues. Just ignore the predictable love stories, the boring last 2 episodes, the corny declaration of love in the court room.

By the way, if there is a soundtrack, buy the soundtrack. The bests were surprisingly the English songs which suited the mood of this series well. Just don't ask me who sang the songs; let me declare it now...


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Copyright (c) Oct 2001 Funn Lim. All Rights Reserved.

Uploaded on 5-Oct-2001