Just finished watching another good series during my 3 days of vacation – “Seven Sisters” starring Gallen Lo, Charmaine Sheh, Kwong Wah, Anne Heung, Florence Kwok, Annie Man, etc. I must say that I was initially attracted to this series because of the cast, since I’ve always liked both Gallen and Kwong Wah as actors, plus the rest of the cast is tolerable. But as I watched, I ended up liking the storyline as well -- the series really did a good job of combining romance, comedy, and drama all into one, which is very rare for a series, especially one from TVB. I must give the script-writers credit this time around for creating a story that brought tears to my eyes almost the entire time I watched – whether it was happy tears from all the funny (and at times silly) scenes or sad tears from the touching dramatic scenes (which there were also plenty of). It’s been awhile since I’ve watched a series that took me on such an emotional roller coaster (I think the last one I saw that had a similar effect was “Reaching Out”), but that’s ok, since someone like me who is constantly looking to watch “quality” shows and doesn’t want to waste time with ‘garbage’ shows welcomes these types of good series.
Of course, as with many of the series made after year 2000, the “quality” may not be able to live up to those of the 80s and 90s and this particular series certainly has its flaws, but overall, I still enjoyed this series greatly and truly felt that it was one of the better ones made during this era.
Gallen is paired up with Charmaine in this series, which is pretty refreshing to me because I don’t recall them being paired up before in a series (if my memory serves me right). I’ve always felt that Gallen’s acting is best brought forth when he is paired up with an actress who is closer to his age (such as Jessica Hsuan, Melissa Ng, Kenix Kwok, Flora Chan, etc.) and that’s why – despite how much I like his acting and his series – it pains me to watch the ones where he is paired up with ‘younger’ generation actresses who don’t match him at all (Myolie Wu, for example). Therefore, I was actually a bit surprised that I found Gallen and Charmaine’s pairing so refreshing – I think part of the credit can be given to the scriptwriters for not going too overboard with their relationship and making it both comedic (in the first half of the series) and tragic (in the second half)…in fact, I got a bit teary-eyed at the end with what happens to Gallen and Charmaine, even though I already knew it was going to happen, since the storyline was a bit predictable (especially for someone like me who has watched so many TVB series). Of course, Gallen’s superb acting (as usual) played a huge part in me liking the series – he never disappoints, no matter what type of role he is given and how good or bad the storyline is….this is why when I see that Gallen is part of the cast, I will try to watch the series in its entirety, even if it is painful to do (i.e.: the forgettable “When a Dog Loves A Cat”, which I hated) because to me, just watching him demonstrate his great acting skills is already a treat in itself (which is why he is among my short list of ‘favorite’ TV actors – right up there with Sunny Chan, Roger Kwok, Wayne Lai, and Damian Lau – just to name a few).
Charmaine’s character in the series actually reminded me of the role that made her famous – Gwan Ho from “Return of the Cuckoo” – young, loud-mouthed, talkative, willful, headstrong, spoiled brat…I actually felt that her character bordered on ‘annoying’ at certain parts, but I still feel that this was one of Charmaine’s better performances – and I must admit that her acting was quite convincing in this series. Also, at least with the way her character was written, it made sense that she would be ‘annoying’, since she’s a young rich girl who has been spoiled her entire life by her grandfather. And even though her relationship with Gallen in the series was predictable and follows the typical TVB pattern (bickering foes turned loving couple), I still found myself laughing during their bickering scenes and getting teary-eyed during their emotional life and death scenes.
In terms of the other ‘relationship’ in this series – the one between Anne Heung, Kwong Wah, and Florence Kwok – I felt that it was quite interesting. True, some parts of the storyline revolving around these 3 was very implausible and didn’t make sense at times, but it was moving enough that I was able to ‘forgive’ the improbable parts. With that said though, the one thing I didn’t like was how the storyline revolving around these 3 ended so abruptly – I mean, in the last 5 episodes or so, they were barely talked about at all…as I was watching the last few episodes, I kept thinking that there may be more to their story, but it turns out there wasn’t. I guess I was a little confused (and just a tad disappointed) because the way the rest of the series was set up, it seemed as though the storyline involving Kwong Wah, Anne, and Florence was the primary one and the one involving Gallen and Charmaine was secondary….but it turns out that it was the other way around. Not that I didn’t enjoy the Gallen and Charmaine storyline, but I just felt that the Anne/Kwong Wah/Florence one was more interesting – plus I really like Kwong Wah’s acting as well and with him being in so few series, it’s rare that I get to see him in action. I also really liked his character in this series so I was hoping to see more of him, but the way the series ended, the focus was pretty much on Gallen and Charmaine. Despite the fact that I really liked Kwong Wah’s character, I must say that I really hated Florence Kwok’s character in the series and even though I pretty much knew that Kwong Wah’s character would end up staying with her (another ‘typical’ pattern), I was sort of holding out hope that somehow, he wouldn’t – I definitely took to the Kwong Wah / Anne Heung pairing more (plus they've done several series together already, so their pairing gave me more of a 'familiar' feeling).
I don’t want to spoil the ending, so all I am going to say is that if I were the script writer, I would definitely handle the Kwong Wah / Anne / Florence storyline differently.
One of the things that I didn’t like was how some of the characters that were put into the series really didn’t need to be there – it was sort of pointless, since the characters served no real purpose and didn’t really further the storyline. Specifically, I am referring to Shirley Cheung’s Character Yuen Yuen (Gallen’s ex-girlfriend) and Eddie Cheung’s character Jan Cheung (the ‘villain’ who ends up taking Shirley away from Gallen). Both artists were in very few scenes and their storyline was actually sort of stupid (in my opinion), so I felt that it was just a waste of time for them as well as for the audience. I think that the series could have been cut down to 30 episodes (from 32) if they took out all of the ‘junk’ and other ‘fluff’ that really didn’t need to be there. It would have made the series better in terms of quality.
Despite its flaws and some nonsensical scenes, I still very much enjoyed this series and would definitely recommend it to others. A word of warning though – the series definitely takes the audience on an emotional roller coaster (happiness, sadness, anger, etc.), so I would recommend watching it with a box of tissues handy for one, and two, remember that it is only a TV series – don’t take it so seriously or else you may get yourself ‘riled up’ (like I did) at some of the ‘anger-provoking’ parts.