Thursday, 28 January 2016

The Executioner 刀下留人 - Thoughts and Opinions

Hey! We are back with another drama "review" but we decided to call this our Thoughts and Opinions since we weren't paying much attention to this drama. We didn't finish all the episodes because it was usually seen around dinner time and nobody really felt good watching it when we were eating so we dropped the series around ep 15. Also we were too distracted/bored to write a more in depth review. So apologies for that! And also apologies for this coming out so late!!!

Basic Overview: Midwife Fa Yui-Hung (Maggie Siu) and executioner Yip Sheung-Luk (Kenny Wong) come together, while one welcomes life and the other takes away life. They come across this new life that they must protect against the imperial Ming government. Their stories then intertwine with the Emperor's story. Fa is a well renowned mid-wife and is brought into the palace to aid with Consort Wan (Akina Hong)'s childbirth. The two become close only to find that there are many secrets and two-faced people in the royal family.

On the other hand, Tsee Chau (Matt Yeung) comes back home to take care of his older sister played by Rachel Kan. Rachel Kan's character is a prostitute who works at the brothel and Matt Yeung who is raised there gets bullied a lot because of his upbringing. Meanwhile Siu Moon (Katy Kung) falls for Tsee Chau (Matt Yeung) but she is only a lowly maid at the brothel. The two go through hardships together and fall in love with each other. Everyone ends up having a connection to each other and together, they bring both life and death.

Opinions from us together:

On a more general note this drama started off all mysterious and got very slow in the middle. We were very lost with what was going on even though nothing much was going on haha. We don't even know how TVB manages to do that.

First off, as we said before, this was played during dinner time and nobody really wanted to watch executions when they were eating so it was hard for us to watch it. Second of all, it was broadcasted during the holiday season so we had to skip it on Christmas Eve, Christmas, a birthday, New Year's Eve and New Years day, The momentum of the plot was slow too so we didn't feel the urge to binge watch like five episodes the next day. We're also finding that ancient dramas produced by TVB just aren't as good anymore. They tend to be the same thing over and over again with the same ancient street and costumes. If it's not a funny one with Bobby, it's some palace one. And this one is a palace one again only there's another storyline with the normal people. It felt very disconnected and forced to see these two stories intertwine at the beginning. We felt that this was an interesting idea for the plot and we liked the central theme of life and death, but TVB failed to the series remarkable.

Acting wise, no doubt Maggie was the real star in this drama even though we felt nothing special from her. Maybe it's because we haven't seen the ending and everyone says the ending is the best part. We found her character naive the times we saw her on-screen. She was really great at playing her part as the aloof but compassionate mid-wife but we just didn't like her character. However, her crying scene was great and deserves more recognition than actresses who can't even squeeze a tear out! We're actually not liking how TVB is making a lot of their female leads really aloof and oblivious. This comment is more directed at the recent characters of Grace Chan's Wong Tai Mui, Sisley Choi's Bui Sum Yau in Speed of Life and even Samantha Ko's Ko Gwai Fun is really irritating sometimes. Louisa So's character in Lord of Shanghai was the same thing! We want to see a stronger female lead that is more three dimensional like Alice Chan's Yiu Gwai Sang in Lord of Shanghai and Charmaine Sheh's character from Line Walker.

As for Kenny Wong, we have no comment. He's just in character being wooden and stern, much like his character in Speed of Life. The only thing worth mentioning or remembering about him was the way he would stare down people's necks hahaha. Ok, in all fairness, Kenny Wong is Kenny Wong, and there's not much we expect.

We both felt that Rachel Kan and Akina Hong did well in their roles. Something that surprised us was that Akina Hong is actually in War of the Genders! We've been rewatching it recently and saw her as a guest star. Can't believe she's been acting for so long, we're really out of the loop for veterans haha. We read that she left TVB, so we feel sad about it since she is a mature beauty. Of course, we have to mention Matt Yeung and Katy Kung but in all seriousness, they did nothing. They were kinda just a side story and sometimes caused trouble to stir up the plot. Their acting has improved but it's not anything spectacular. Although the series did not look appealing with the cast for many people, we feel that overall it wasn't too bad and none of the actors were cringe-worthy.

Although the storyline felt forced at times, it's just complying to TVB's normal cliches. Acting was good and for this timeslot, it's actually quite good.

We didn't watch it all but for the parts we saw, 7/10.

-CeeJay

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