Thursday, April 8, 2010

"E.U.": My Thoughts So Far....

I'm currently watching the TVB series "E.U." on DirecTV. I also purchased the DVD for the series (yes, it came out already -- see my previous post about the release of new series DVDs), which I will probably end up switching to when I start to grow impatient with waiting day after day to watch.

To be honest, I'm actually a tad bit disappointed that this series has not "engaged" me as much as anticipated (so far). What I mean by this is that I have not really been able to "get into" watching this series like I have with other "really good" series. Usually, I can tell when a series really "engages" me (my definition of a "really good series") when I get so engrossed with watching the series that I am not able to do anything else.  This is significant for me because I am a chronic multi-tasker (i.e.: doing stuff on my computer, talking, reading, eating, watching TV -- all at the same time, etc.) -- if the series is not as "good" (not saying it's a bad series, just doesn't engage me), I will usually do something else while I'm watching it because I don't want to waste time...the logic behind this is that the series isn't extremely engaging, so even if I miss some stuff here and there, it's no big deal (I won't feel "lost"). Of course, there have been a few series that I've watched recently that fell into the "good" category (more to come in later posts), but so far, "E.U." is not turning out to be one of them.

Maybe it's because I already had a little bit of bias going into it, since this is the 3rd installment in "The Academy" series and I wasn't a fan of the 1st or 2nd one (well, to be more specific, I'm not a fan of Ron Ng or Sammul Chan, so the "draw" to watch any series with them in it is the rest of the supporting cast). With regard to "E.U.", there were 2 primary reasons why I was looking forward to watching it: 1) it's a cop series, which usually are interesting because of the "mystery" aspect, and 2) the Veterans who returned to make the series -- Kathy Chow, Michael Miu, Lam Lei, etc.

To address the first point -- there actually was no "mystery" aspect to this series. One thing I failed to remember going into this is that "The Academy" trilogy is really different from other TVB "cop series" in that it does not consist of individual cases like the others do (for example DIF or UE, which is what made these 2 series so extremely popular). Instead, it's 1 big storyline that focuses more on talking about the various relationships among the characters than trying to solve individual cases. Of course, "E.U." (being part of the trilogy) follows the same model -- except its storyline focuses on the battle between 'good' (the cops) and 'evil' (the triads and gangs). No mysteries, no cases, just constant fighting for power.

So with the "mystery" / "investigation" aspect virtually non-existent (which makes reason #1 above a moot point), the only other "pull" to the series (for me) would be reason #2: the Veterans

In promoting this series, one of TVB's "selling points" was the comeback of veteran actress Kathy Chow (she is no longer active in the HK entertainment industry and has instead focused her career in mainland China). Since Kathy was one of my favorite actresses in the late 80s/early 90s and I hadn't seen a series of hers in a long time, this was definitely a sticking point for me in deciding to watch the series. From what I've seen so far (up to episode 8 or so), her acting is still excellent (no doubt aboutthat), but maybe because of the storyline or the way her character is written, I just don't really feel the "pull" or "excitement" from seeing her character...with the death of Lam Lei's character and the subsequent storyline of her getting together with Michael Miu's character, I am hoping that things will change....

There will definitely be more to come on this, since I am barely a 3rd of the way through the series....let's see if the "reason #2" that drew me to this series will continue to hold up....


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  2. First, I must give you plenty of points for enduring it. Second, sounds like it'll be a miss for me.

    I heard this set of installments are remakes of Tony Leung's Police Cadets. So it seems like it couldn't measure up at all.

    Anyway, looking for future updates as always.

  3. Well, I can say for sure that this trilogy is not going to come close to Tony Leung's Police Cadet trilogy...

    E.U. is tolerable because of th veterans (and because Ron and Sammul have "supporting" roles, but still...

    I'm hoping it gets better.