Tuesday, May 8, 2012

[TVB2012] Queens of Diamonds and Hearts 《東西宮略》 Review

Genre: Ancient, comedy
# of Episodes: 25
Producer: Wong Wai Sing
- Roger Kwok as King Chai Suen
- Fala Chen as Chung Mo Yim
- Sharon Chan as Ha Ying Chun
- Ben Wong as Shun Yeung Kwan
- Louis Yuen as Ngan Ying
- Oscar Leung as Duen Muk Ching
- Koni Lui as Chung Mo Wai
- Raymond Cho as Keung Chik Yan
- Yoyo Chen as Tsui Kei
- Bella Lam as Princess Cheung

What's It About? Inner beauty vs. outer beauty in an ancient setting, topped with exaggerating comedic elements. In the end, you will realize that the whole thing is rather pointless.

- Spoilers Alert -

This is one messed up series. I don't like how the story begins, develops and ends. The beginning started off boring, to the point that I decided to drop it after 5 episodes. If it wasn't because of dinner time and I caught some of its funny moments, I guess I wouldn't have finished it. So I missed a few episodes but then I watched most of it, especially towards the end. So did the story get better? Well, towards the middle, it did pick up a little with the storyline. It got some funny parts, it got some potential but sadly it failed to deliver a climax, which I think it's supposed to. But that's not the worst part. The ending got the honour of being the worst part of the whole thing.

So was it really that bad? Well, I guess it's ok if you look at its general theme. Inner beauty vs. physical beauty, yes it's meaningful, it got a lesson to teach, but I feel that this series couldn't do it convincingly, or at least nicely, because to be honest, sometimes I felt disgusted from watching it. Why? It's probably because of the acting and its overall style. For a series like this, a comedy will make it more enjoyable to watch, but the exaggerating part will just kill it. Watching Fala, Sharon and Roger in those intimate scenes was plain wrong, especially when they don't have convincing chemistry. I don't know about other people but it was definitely a horrible experience for me.

Like I said before, the story was a bit better in the middle because the scriptwriters put a little bit more effort in it. The plotting by Ben Wong's character was much more interesting to watch than all the 'Chung Mo Yim vs. Ha Ying Chun' parts. His character got brains, and the series managed to make the audience want to find out what would happen next. Ben Wong's portrayal of his character Shun Yeung Kwan was also hilarious. Every time his plan failed, his reaction was priceless because it was so fake. And then there's the role switching part. Twice to be exact. First time between King Chai and Chung Mo Yim, second time between Chung Mo Yim and Ha Ying Chun. This part is actually ok too because it's nice to watch each character in other's shoes. I like it for the funny moments and situations it created. But sadly, the story went off the track and got really messed up right afterwards, making what had happened so far in the series rather pointless. How can a person decide to kill someone who's been through so much together with you? And how can that someone easily forgive the person who couldn't trust you even after making all the promises? How? Because of love? Well sorry I don't buy it. It made no sense to me at all and it got me mad for how stupid and lame it was!! And yes, I'm talking about the ending too. Both Chung Mo Yim and Ha Ying Chun disappeared at the end, saying how they didn't want to be with King Chai and making him go look for them to prove his love, but guess what, 2 minutes later they were all happy again like nothing happened. Oh, how I wish both of them died (no, too harsh!!) or got married to someone else to make him jealous and regret it for the rest of his life!! The ending has seriously left a bad scar on my hope for TVB. Really bad I'm telling you!!

So the story was bad enough, what about the performances? To be fair, let's divide the casts into 2 groups: main and supporting. Main casts were...... OTT. I'm very disappointed to be honest. I like both Roger and Fala but their performances ruined it for me this time. The only time Roger was nice to watch was when he switched role with Fala because he actually got serious. Fala was actually given a chance to shine here because she got to switch roles twice. However, each time she switched, the series became more painful to watch. Very disappointed!! Sharon Chan, after watching this, I concluded that she's not ready to be in lead roles yet. She may be a strong supporting actress but there's still something missing that made me divert my attention from her. Lacking charisma? I don't know. Her performance here was not as good as in Ghetto Justice. And when she switched role with Fala, I just couldn't take her seriously in the role of Chung Mo Yim after watching her as Ha Ying Chun for so many episodes.

The supporting crew was the saviour of this series. They were actually more interesting to watch than the main casts. Everyone from Ben Wong to Oscar Leung, Louis Yuen, Koni Lui, Yoyo Chen and even Bella Lam didn't disappoint me. Their interactions with each other were also great. Thumbs up to the supporting crew!!

The palace setting of this series is actually new for me, probably because I haven't watched anything from this time period. And did TVB actually lose a lot of people? Just take a look at the palace, I doubt there were even 20 people in total. Such an empty palace, I wondered where everyone had disappeared to O_o

My Rating: 5.8/10

Worth watching? No. I'm sure that you will have better things to do than spending ~18 hours or so watching this.

People were comparing Queens with Love is Beautiful 《無頭東宮》
I haven't watched this yet but heard that it was good.


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

1 comment:

  1. Nice review :D hehe I especially love your rant about that series because I totally agree!

    You should give Love is Beautiful a try when you have the chance. Though my criticism for the series would be that the main character (Marianne Chan) is wayyyyy to nice beyond belief. But still bearable I suppose because her acting was good :) This series delivered a more touching and heart-felt story than Queens :P