Saturday, October 6, 2012

[TVB2012] No Good Either Way 《衝呀!瘦薪兵團》 Review

Genre: Modern, comedy
# of Episodes: 21
Producer: Amy Wong
- Ruco Chan as Mo Nga Lik (Alex)
- Kristal Tin as Ling Ning Ching (Ling)
- Louis Yuen as Man Ka Wah (Man Siu Siu / Steve)
- Natalie Tong as Mo Kin Yi (Kin)
- Gill Mohindepaul Singh (Q Bobo) as Interpal Singh (Sing Siu Lung)
- Jason Chan as Yiu Yi Long (Aaron)
- Florence Kwok as Che Wing Han (Violet)
- Stephen Au as Ko Wai Ting (Mr. Ko / Sam)
- Matt Yeung as Ho Jing Jik (Jacky)
- Leanne Li as Shum Hei Man (Flora)

What's It About? A group of working class people experienced through thick and thin as they had to cope with their unreasonable superiors while trying to survive in today world of work.

- Spoilers Alert -

No Good Either Way is much better than I expected. It is one of the funniest series I've watched in such a long time. If you're looking for a decent comedy, this is it. Even though there was nothing special about the storyline and it may not be exceptionally good, I think it was nicely scripted. The witty script-writing is what made this series so enjoyable to watch. It brought out the comedic skills of many artistes, especially Florence Kwok and surprisingly Kaki Leung. The casts also had so much chemistry together. NGEW is such an eye opener because I never thought that there were so many Indians who could speak Cantonese so fluently, even more fluently than a lot of TVB actresses O_o

The story mostly took place at a company called Goaltech. Unlike any other institutions described in the beginning, the boss of Goaltech Mr. Ko is super nice, and I mean SUPER nice to the point that it's kinda unrealistic. However, most of the time he couldn't go to work because his wife was in a coma. Although he was nice, at home, he was bullied all the time by his father-in-law, who kept calling him "idiot", and at work, Goaltech's general manager Violet used this chance trying to take control of everything. This left Alex and Steve in great distress since Violet always picked on them.

The ranking in Goaltech looks something like this:
(Mr. Ko would look less fierce though...)

Ruco Chan as Alex Mo
Alex is the chief product designer for Goaltech. Although he was smart and creative, Alex behaved pretty much like a kid. He would sneak out to play during working hours. He would procrastinate and pull an all-nighter right before the due date. He would pretend to be working hard when someone checked on him. He would be eager to prove to everyone that he was a capable person. He would complain to his big daddy aka Mr. Ko how he felt mistreated at work... There were also times when he became unreasonable, like how he refused help from A3 (A4 excluding Aaron) with the ES project and even mistreated them himself. All in all, Alex wasn't a perfect person. He was capable, but he was also unreasonable at times. He even scolded Ling and Kin for no obvious reason sometimes.

Although I wouldn't say Ruco's performance was flawless, I think he was pretty good in his role. Alex can be difficult but he also had his reasons, and at times, Ruco did convince me to side with his Alex. The way he said his lines was so convincing that even when he was wrong, he made it seemed like he was right. Ruco has this confident look himself, his diction was clear and his intonation was just right, which helped make his portrayal of Alex more believable. Ruco was ok with comedy and was quite good in those light-hearted moments, but he seemed rather weak in the emotional scenes. Maybe it was his confident look that made him a little awkward when he was acting emotional.

Kristal Tin as Ling
Alex's wife Ling on the other hand was a much more simple-minded person. To her, every complicated problem would have a simple solution. However, most of the time things didn't work out the way she wanted. And everything just got worse when she became Alex's superior. Her principles were different from his, which eventually led to their quarrel. Kristal was really natural in her role. Her Ling may seem easygoing but she was not without temper, but whilst she had temper, she still reserved her gentleness. I really like the subtlety in her performance. Kristal also excelled in those emotional scenes, especially when she sat alone and cried quietly. Ruco and Kristal made a sweet couple. Their intimate scenes were not gross at all but rather believable. However, I'm sorry to say that even though they had the majority of the screen time, their storyline was rather bland and uninteresting comparing to others. They had the more serious parts of the story which didn't manage to make them shine. Their characters also weren't as special as the supporting characters so they failed to leave a deep impression on the audience.

Louis Yuen as Steve and Q Bobo as Interpal
They were best buds and their chemistry was amazing. These two were born with comedic talents because they were funny even when they tried to be serious, especially Q Bobo, he's funny by default. Steve was the assistant manager of the marketing department of Goaltech. He was a rather unlucky guy who always got into troubles at work. Feeling that he had no future at Goaltech, Steve and Interpal decided to run various small business on their own for extra income. However, with no experience in business, he was soon back at square one. And to make things worse, Steve also had to take care of his sister and her son because her husband was being a jerk. All in all, a rather unlucky character that you'll feel bad for BUT at the same time, I'm glad that he didn't end up with Dr. Shum (Leanne Li) at the end because it would definitely irk me if that happened!! Not every single main character has to be paired with someone!!

Q Bobo was amazing because like I said, he's funny. Although there isn't much to talk about his character, I laughed so hard at this one scene where he said "What kind of world is this? One job requires you to know Chinese while another job requires you to not know Chinese!!" And when he had to listen to Kin's boss flirting with this rich lady in the car and must pretend that he didn't understand them, oh boy... that face and that expression he had really cracked me up!!

Special mention to Ho Yuen Tung (何遠東), the actor who played Mr. Diu (Steve's tenant). I don't remember seeing him anywhere else but his short appearance here was hilarious. I especially love the part where Steve and Interpal pretended to be gay so Mr. Diu can "back off"!! (Everything he did was so misleading... lol) Great interaction with both Louis and Bobo!! I missed him already!!

Natalie Tong as Kin, Jason Chan as Aaron, Matt Yeung as Jacky
Love Kin and Jacky but hate Aaron to the core!! Kin is Alex's sister. She worked at an insurance company at first but her boss treated her like crap so she quit. Later she worked as a property agent under Jacky, who eventually had a crush on her. Kin, however, only liked Jacky as a friend because she was in love with Alex's subordinate Aaron (Why, Kin? WHY??) Both Natalie and Matt did a good job here. They were natural in their roles and quite a pleasant to watch, especially Matt. I love the part where he confessed to Kin: "Here's my health record and here's my financial status. I'm healthy and I can support you. Will you go out with me?" (or something along those lines). Quite cute!!

On the other hand, Aaron is the true bastard of the series. Everything he does and says just ticks me off so much. I don't understand how Kin can deal with him. If I were her, I would dump him from the very beginning. This guy was born to be hated!! He was lazy, arrogant, jealous, manipulative, and a despicable liar who just loved to show off, definitely not a guy you can rely on. He was just fake in general. Jailing him for only a year wasn't enough for all the stupid things he did. And I don't like how they hinted Kin and him might get back together at the end. Aaron was bad and Jason's acting just made it worse. He tried too hard to act arrogant and always put up a sulky face which just made him even faker. I don't know what TVB was thinking when they decided to cast him as the lead in his upcoming series with Linda Chung. I rather watch Matt than Jason.

Florence Kwok as Violet
One word: hilarious!! Her character Violet wasn't meant to be likeable at all but I just couldn't stop loving Florence in the role. There was never a dull moment whenever she's onscreen. Violet is the de facto ruler of Goaltech. When Mr. Ko was absent, she acted as if she was Mrs. Ko and bossed everyone around. She even purposedly got closed to Mr. Ko and tried to seduce him, hence creating tons of funny moments. I love how there's always some barking noise in the background whenever she's onscreen lol :D Florence did her part very well, her performance was flawless. Such an underrated actress!! I especially love her interaction with her cousin played by Kaki Leung. They tried to be mischievous, but always turned out silly in the end. One of the funniest parts of this series was in the last episode when everyone ended up hiding inside Violet's apartment and got recorded by Kaki. She then later eagerly told Violet how she busted everyone and even asked Violet to thank her. Genius!! Their expressions at that moment were priceless!!

Stephen Au as Mr. Ko
Stephen was excellent in his role as the kind boss of Goaltech. Mr. Ko is probably the nicest boss you'll ever know. He was caring, thoughtful, humble... a saint in general. You can see a big daddy figure in Mr. Ko. Because he was all nice and such, people often exploited his kindness and tried to mess up his Goaltech. I like watching his interaction with his father-in-law the most. Although he was a big boss himself, he often got whacked on the head and acted much like a servant when being around his wife's family. Poor guy!! I felt sorry for him.

For some reasons, the reactions towards this series are quite contradicting. Some enjoyed it (like me!!), some don't like it, and some don't even bother to try it. Why though? I admit that it didn't interest me at first. After watching the first episode, I wanted to drop it as well. (But luckily I didn't!!) And from the second episode onwards, I just couldn't stop watching. The first few episodes were great with Florence and Q Bobo stealing the limelight. It did drag in the middle and got rather annoying with Ruco and Jason's characters, but again, Florence's reappearance saved it. (Yah, Florence is technically the star of the series!!) Personally, I think that this series would work better as a sitcom. Nevertheless, this is a decent comedy and one of the better series that aired this year.

My Rating: 7.6/10

Worth watching? Yes, highly recommended.

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


  1. haha I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed this series! I totally agree that this is one of the better comedies...along with Daddy Good Deeds in a while. Unfortunately, it wasn't so popular :P Maybe because the cast wasn't so attractive? Since it looks like a sitcom haha.

    But anyways, totally enjoyed it! I will miss Q Bobo so much....seriously don't want him to leave Q.Q He's so awesome in comedies!!!

  2. Hahaha, I love the dog pictures! Yes, I think Florence and Kaki were awesome, especially that last scene you described. Honestly, Kaki surprised me. She should have more of these roles rather than the weak, sick type. I wrote a review for NGEW too: