Thursday, March 29, 2012

[TVB2012] The Hippocratic Crush 《On Call 36小時》 Review

Genre: Modern, medical, romance
# of Episodes: 25
Producer: Poon Ka Tak
- Kenneth Ma as Cheung Yat Kin (Yat Kin Tau)
- Tavia Yeung as Fan Chi Yu (Yu Jai)
- Him Law as Yeung Pui Chung
- Mandy Wong as Hung Mei Suet
- Benjamin Yuen as Lau Bing Chan (Benjamin)
- Candy Chang as Kan Jing Jing
- Ben Wong as John Chong
- Nathan Ngai as Cheung Yat Hong
- Derek Kwok as Lui Siu Yik
- Paisley Hu as To Ka Man

What's It About?
Housemen, trainees, doctors, surgeons, nurses and patients for the characters; illness, surgery, rivalry, family, friendship and romance for the plot. And lots of newbies, lots...

- Spoilers Alert -

THC has all the elements of an addictive and popular TVB series, and was made to be accepted by the audience of all ages. I want to first clarify that I never watch Healing Hands so this is my first time watching a TVB medical series. I heard some people said that the Healing Hands series focused too much on the relationship stuff and neglected the medical aspect of it. Well, to be honest, THC did great in the first half by focusing alot in the professions and the setting was mostly in the hospital. However, the number of these scenes slowly decreased as it went on, starting with the Tavia-Mandy sister plot. Ok, the fact that they were not half-sisters may be surprising but if you look at it as a whole, it really was a pain in the neck, for me at least. From then on, this series seemed to have diverted from its main theme and focused more on the relationships.

THC has some tear-jerking moments, but I think that was largely due to the script-writing and how everything was put together, rather than the actings of individuals. Now I'm not saying that they acted badly, I just want to point out that the execution was effective here. In every episode, there's always something that keeps you watching and wanting for more. I think it was successful in capturing the audience hearts and attention.

This series was produced to promote the newbies so we can spot a lot of them here. Everyone got a chance to shine, some had more screen time than others but at least all of them got something to say. Him Law and Mandy Wong, I don't think I should call them newbies anymore because they got a significant amount of screen time here. In fact, they are the second leads. Him was likeable, he has improved but I think he's more natural when he's playful. I just can't take him seriously when he tried to act like a professional. Mandy's role wasn't the greatest here. Her character was annoying and her sulky face just made it worse. However, if I have to say something nice about her, I would say I like her confident look when she was treating the patients (not the time when she almost killed the patient though). Candy Chang did ok for a newbie I guess. She really looks like Bernice Liu here, I think a lot of people noticed that too. She did surprisingly well in the scene where Yat Hong died, but when she defended Him Law in the conference room, her body language just ruined it for me. Nathan Ngai, just like Him, was really likeable here. I think his best scene is when he was by the sea and feeling down, and Yue Jai got him a stand-up wheelchair. However, the biggest surprise here got to be Benjamin Yuen. I never actually like him as an actor before THC but here, he has proved to be capable of acting and was rather natural in his role.

Now move onto the main lead, Kenneth Ma. After watching the whole series, I concluded that Kenneth wasn't consistent in his role. Yes, he can cry, he can yell but he wasn't fierce enough. Just by putting on a straight face doesn't make you look like a boss, Kenneth. I also don't think he blended all the emotions well enough into his role, which made him seem quite bipolar sometimes. But don't worry Kenneth, I still like you!! He has the look and he certainly has room for improvement. This is not his best role imo. The best one is still from A Fistful of Stances.

Next, we have Tavia. I said before that she showed some improvement in her performance here in THC. I also expressed how much I like her character Yu Jai. But Tavia herself is still boring. It's her look, her acting style, the roles she got that make her unflattering. In fact, she has been stagnant ever since Beyond The Realm of Conscience, not that I'm saying she was great there (Really!! She wasn't). Tavia is not a bad actress herself, she definitely can act but her acting has been too formulaic in recent years. I feel like she has become a second Jessica Hsuan. Tavia, if you want to advance further in your acting career, you need to abandon that formula of yours and give us audience something fresh!!

Last but not least, the sequel. I bet everyone was so excited when they announced there would be a sequel for THC. Well, me too, but how it will turn out is still a question. If they are to keep the same characters and develop more on the storyline, they'd better not kill off Yu Jai. And if they are to write a whole new story, I prefer they keep the same cast but make their characters really different this time. Still, it's now too early to say anything but let's keep our fingers crossed.

Nevertheless, THC is definitely one of the better series that aired this year and it's really addictive. I think everyone should give it a try and there's a high chance that you'll get hooked.

The Goods:
- The theme song sung by Joey Yung is still the best here
- Yu Jai (again, I love her character!!)
- All the operation scenes
- All the elevator scenes

The Bads:
- The title - I still don't like the English title
- The sisters plot (urgh!!)
- The childish cartoons for the operations
- All the parts with Ben Wong, his wife and Yat Kin

My Rating: 7.7/10

Worth watching? Yes, definitely. But beware, you'll get hooked.

**Credit: The pictures are taken from and just for illustration purpose** 

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