I just finished watching this series and I must say that I enjoyed it. I actually have the DVD of this series and was actually planning to watch it when I had time, but didn’t get around to it. Coincidentally, it came on TV, so I started watching it – and I ended up liking it. It’s one of the better ancient series that I’ve seen in a long time – and funny too (well, it’s a comedy, so that’s not surprise).
Ok, I have to admit that one of the primary reasons why I liked this series was because of the main leads: Frankie Lam and Annie Man. Frankie is one of my favorites in terms of TV actors – somehow, every time I watch his series, I’m always drawn in by his acting and end up liking each character he plays…this series was no exception. Frankie plays the ‘4th young master’ in a well-to-do family that runs a cloth-dyeing business – his character is very scholarly, so he is actually not interested in the family business… instead, his goal is to pass the prestigious state examination so that he could obtain a position in the bureaucracy. His mother (played by Gigi Wong) is concerned that he has not married yet (since his 3 older brothers all married already and she is anxious for grandchildren) and so she ‘finds’ a wife for him –an ‘untamed’ girl from a neighboring country (Annie Man) who excels in martial arts and is quite outspoken as well as clumsy. Since Frankie is forced to marry Annie out of obedience to a decree from the emperor (and also to make his mother happy) and their personalities are complete opposites, they are constantly arguing with each other…so basically, their relationship is pretty much strained because they have to “put up” with each other but there’s no love between them. After some things that happen, they end up falling in love with each other and become a loving couple.
At first, I had mixed feelings about Frankie and Annie as a couple, but as I watched the series, I really started to like the pairing – age-wise, they may not be that great of a match, since Frankie is obviously older than Annie and therefore more mature…but actually, I felt that they made a pretty cute couple. Plus I like Annie anyway, since I’ve seen a few of her series back when she was at ATV and they were quite good.
In addition to Frankie, Annie, and Gigi, the rest of the cast consisted of Ronald Cheng, Cutie Mui, Louis Yuen, Florence Kwok, Louisa So, Ellesmere Choi, Angelina Lo, Mimi Chu, etc. – actually a pretty big cast considering this was a standard 20 episode series. But I’m actually not too surprised with the choice of artists, since this is series is supposed to be a fun comedy, so of course most of the cast will consist of comedic actors and actresses.
The only ‘complaint’ that I have with the series is the predictability of the storyline --it pretty much followed a formula that TVB has used before many times…just repackaged differently. Basically, I was able to guess what was going to happen from one scene to the next, which did take some of the excitement out of it. BUT, I’m actually ok with the so-so storyline because the cast pretty much made up for it. Plus, I didn’t find the series ‘boring’ at all and was actually looking forward to watching each episode (unlike a lot of the series that are made nowadays where I can barely sit through the first 5 episodes).
Also, the last episode of the series – the finale – seemed a bit rushed to me…I mean, it made sense the way they ended it and of course it would be a happy ending in accordance with the theme, but I just felt that the pace of the last episode was way too fast, to the point where it was a bit choppy. There were certain scenes were I felt like I may have missed something or it didn’t make sense how a certain part of the plot could happen so quickly – but I think this may be attributed to a poor editing job on the series (perhaps some scenes were cut out) rather than an actual issue with the script.
Overall, I really enjoyed this series and got quite a few good laughs out of it. Yes, there were some ‘cheesy’ parts, but nothing too ‘over-the-top’….for me at least, I felt that it combined the perfect amount of comedy and light drama. I would definitely recommend this series, especially for anyone who wants to watch a short comedic series that is both light-hearted and funny.