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[TVB drama] [Drama Critique] The Awakening Story

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发表于 2009-3-21 15:55:28 |显示全部楼层
Year:
2001
Section:
TVB Series
Average Rating:
      (out of 3 reviews)

 

Review from:

http://www.spcnet.tv/TVB-Series/The-Awakening-Story-review-r1833.html

Feel free to discuss, I copied this from the above site, all copyrights and perspective belong to the author

 

 

Reviewed by: Maggie DN
Rating:      

 

Foreword
Since there are already many summary essays out there, I choose to take a different approach for this review - an approach very different than what you normally read. Because I don't have a lot of time to write review for every single series I saw, when I do, I want to make it worth my time writing it. So in return it would worth your time reading it. Thus, my analysis offers something else for you to think about.

 

In this analysis, you will find that I make close observation to only a few characters and some specific scenes. This does not mean that the rest of the series or other characters are bogus or has no hidden messages in it. Due to my time, and space limit, I can only tackle a few major points/characters. I hope to leave room for you, as a reader, to interpret it your own way if mine is so much to disagree with yours.

 

Lastly, I understand that this psychoanalysis maybe too political and harsh for some of you, but it is the way best expressed in my arguments. Take it not personally. Take it an awakening approach.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

An Awakening Approach

Nowadays, few TVB series could gather a heavy acting oriented cast. There have been attempts to gather such a composition, but most groups turn out to be a popularity-oriented cast, in which the actors are popular but not necessarily actors who can act. The Awakening Story (hereafter TAS) caters a diversity number of talents that help a potentially great plot to stand out in series of its time.

 

Not Your Typical Family Drama
The family-style plot gives great affection to the Asian communities who favor the essence of family and unity. There is a universal agreement that says: to be the best is to be your own kind. In this way, the west admires the east's Confucian society because that is our best export. Similarly, the east admires the west's liberalism and modernity because that is their best export. In the last three decades, TVB series produces many modern TV series that modeled on the west's way of life. Increasingly, the series caught up with the trend to create stories about medical technology, detective criminology, business ideology, and so on. But all of these are not originally our kind, at least not the way TVB has been modeling on. So TAS, like most other series, offers a family ritual to bring the plot closer to the primarily Asian audience. This is what TAS has as its strength.

 

Alright, so you think it is a typical family drama, but there are more about it that you might have missed. The series pinpoints the strength of unity that is increasingly lacking in modern Asian families in developed urban areas such as Hong Kong, Japan, as well as overseas. Many may not notice this because most people I have come across overlooked the sociology behind each series but primarily who's dating whom, who's ending up with whom, or who should have more screen time than whom. Trivial questions have driven them mad. The strength of series like TAS is the social machine that drives the families together. In TAS, it is less so done through mushy conversations like it usually does, but achieved through the length of time. Sixteen years in length, the Suen family basically has been waiting for a corpse to come alive. It is a hope that could easily falls apart no matter how virtuous you think your family is. Medical cost alone can be a major force to break a family in worse condition.

 

In practice, with the growth of capitalism'the values of the traditional family system have rapidly broken down. As a result, there is little solidarity amongst family members. Few family members chip in when a health emergency strikes or when a family member is seriously injured or disabled.

 

As you can see in TAS, Phillip finds a new companion, Susan. Ah Yan and Stephen divert their care to self-socialization. Rose is the only person that remains faithful to her hope; to keep the family together. But Rose is not just a troubled and depressed daughter who is selfish and desperate for her family to be together. She represents the increasingly lacking adhesive that keeps a family together. Rose is the adhesive because we see how she patrols between her mother's sickbed and her office's desk most frequent in her sixteen years of grief. This shows a struggle that our Confucian society is being torn apart by the modern society and capitalism that encourages us to have a social self-image of individualism, and tells us to be materialistic'Get this new outfit! Attend this concert! Listen to this CD! Watch this movie! Buy this car! Purchase this house! Make that much money! Achieve this position! You may never notice this, but watch how Rose lives her life in the first few episodes. At work she eagerly helps her father. She dresses professionally and attends social functions with distinguished individuals. After work, she invests her time nursing her mother, watches over her sister, brother, and grandmother. Rose's role outside of work is similar to a typical, traditional housewife.

 

Ah Suet is not just a semi-dead body, she is the Confucian society left behind by the modern capitalist society. Sixteen years ago, a traditional housewife on her way back from shopping for her children got hit by a taxi'automobile is a symbol of western export'and put her into a coma. In other word, the west attacks the east. Years after, her body lays there on the bed, showing that family value is still being practiced, but perhaps it is dying or decaying, or have never improved in a heavily modernized society like Hong Kong.

 

Meanwhile, Phillip quickly emerges to the modern society after his wife becomes a vegetable person. He finds a new companion and skyrockets his career. His new companion, Susan, is the western modernity that has the essence of success at the cost of dehumanizing social kinship. Susan tries to influence Phillip with her western and liberal ideas. She does not value long time friendship with Alan like Phillip does. She does not like food purchasing on the street because they are dirty, not realizing that is the authentic way of Chinese shops. In this way, Rose's role of the cultural adhesive signifies her pulling together Ah Suet counterpart of a Confucian society and Phillip counterpart of a Chinese society being influenced by western ideology.

 

Meanwhile, Ah Yan and Stephen come and go without much care. They represent the new age of na've and clueless young adults being torn apart by western and eastern values. They exert their care only when a matter gets serious, otherwise, they would mind their own business and enjoy themselves. They are responsible and obedient children to their parents, but also self-centered individuals striving for their own dream despite what their parents have prepared for them. That is not to say western ideology of family value is bad. However, I am willing to argue that western ideology focuses on the individual. Everything is about me. I want this. My need is the most essential.

 

On the other hand, eastern ideology leans toward community as a whole. Everything is for our sake. We want this. Everyone matters. Therefore, throughout the series, Ah Yan and Stephen switch back and forth between these two cultural clash ideologies. Watch how they deal with the cultural adhesive Rose. It's very interesting if you look at it closely enough and find yourself surprised at all the motifs and symbolic details that suggest what I am saying. Hence, TAS is not a typical family drama because it has a sociology dogma entrenched in its character and plot.

 

Cons of Individual Showcase
Throughout the first half of this series, TAS gives a brilliant analogy to the sociology of urban Asia. But up to the moment where TVB gives Ah Suet a makeover, it becomes a disaster! Until the makeover, Ah Suet is intelligently portrayed'entails many great symbolic messages behind her character. However, the makeover reveals that this person is no longer Ah Suet, this is Liza Wang. Liza Wang is a strong, independent woman who is supposedly kind and loved by everyone around her. Moreover, Liza Wang is well dressed and understands matters better than everyone. That's nothing like Ah Suet. The showcasing of Liza Wang is particularly irritating and ruining everything.

 

Two reasons that weaken Ah Suet's character after her makeover. First, it shows that a person who is old-fashioned in term of external appearance will be fooled by bullies, rejected by their husband, and always need to be cared by men (Stephen or Ko Sir) or modern working women (Rose, Ah Yan, or Susan). Second, it is not realistic that a beauty parlor to its patron can substitute the role of Professor Higgins to Eliza Dolittle (reference to My Fair Lady). I will explain each of these reasons in details.

 

Ah Suet before the makeover is a slow person, bullied, rejected, weak, and naive. All these qualities can be reasonable for a person who is sixteen years behind contemporary society. Symbolically, traditional family value is being revamped throughout the universe by both east and west cultures because of the increasing rate of divorce and family breakups. Thus, the portrayal of the na've Ah Suet makes sense because supposedly the system is still shy from the powerfully cynical modern society.

 

 

It would be brilliant if the series had allowed Ah Suet to adapt to modern society, still dressing like an old-fashioned 'si lai.' Instead, the series let Ah Suet to change herself externally. A poor ideology came along: as long as she looks hot, everyone will change their view about her. Gee, what does that say about our social self-image, I wonder? The disaster is that Ah Suet, the traditional family value counterpart, is being sold cheap to capitalism.

 

Now, one may argue that Ah Suet updates herself to the new society so that she could fit in and still be an excellent housewife'hence, modern society. That may be true, that we need to update our traditional value to fit with our new way of life. But the way TVB is doing says you have to look great in order to be witty, smart and be accepted. So, I guess you can say that this part is badly portrayed.

 

Ah Suet after the makeover does not do stupid things like before. In fact, she is pretty damn smart'in terms of business planning, she is smarter than Susan and Phillip, and in terms of family values she is smarter than Granny and Rose. Up to this point, the whole concept of her being a traditional value counterpart is shattered.

 

It is as if the character Ah Suet has disappeared all of a sudden! Liza Wang is taking over, and Liza will be playing herself. It's a ridiculous individual showcase that is not necessary.

 

Moreover, given that Ah Suet transforms herself from stupid to cupid, I would like to know which beauty parlor has the power to change, not only her external appearance, but also her voice, walk, and the whole damn ideology she somehow adopted after the makeover. Fortunately, the series offers such a great group of talents that despite the failing Ah Suet-Liza transformation, you would still enjoy this series with great pleasure.

 

Oscar, Anyone?
The best part about watching TAS is the acting. In fact, I dare say it is 'the best' in 10 years. If you don't agree, email me and I will return to you a ten-page analysis on why I think so. I'll make you read until you drop dead :D

 

It is no use for me to describe each character's performances because that is redundant and perhaps my descriptions won't be able to match up to each of their brilliant performances. I will comment on several noticeable performances and their strength.

 

Maggie Cheung actually has a supporting role in this series. Despite the nature of her role, I give her even more of my utmost respect for taking a smaller role but with immense challenges. In scenes where Maggie is merely a flower vase to react to the other characters, her performance is rather subtle. But in scenes where she is the focus, she shines like a nuclear bomb exploding in the ocean. For example, in scenes like when Dickson breaks up with Rose, when Rose confronts Ah Suet about her father having an affair with Susan, or when Rose gets upset with her family for tolerating the divorce, Maggie shows a poignant poise in her eyes. This poise convinces empathy without weeping herself all over the place to beg for sympathy, which many actresses use it to get away from being called 'bad actor.' In this sense, Maggie plays her character well for she allows her character to tolerate failures, disappointment, and anger in the body of a woman with strengths.

She is not merely a self-centered and bad temper bitch that many may have described her character in this series. Because one's strength does not necessarily have to be shown to through facial expression, dressing code, or decision-making, but also in handling challenging matters. In the end, you see Rose come through most of her problems, each with effort of holding back her tears. She cried only when she forces herself to, otherwise, Rose never intended to weep because there is no use. We remember Rose advises her brother, 'If you do a good job, it's your responsibility. If you do a terrible job, nobody will feel sorry for you.' Indeed, Rose lives by that dogma. She feels that it's her responsibility to take care of her family. When her family breaks up, she feels that she has failed, but she knows damn well nobody will feel sorry for her so she leaves her family to gather herself together.

People like that do not cry for support even in their worst stages. If they do cry, it is to let out their anger, not to make themselves look pitiful. At her wedding, Rose managed to speak with her greatest emotion without making a mess out of herself. Because Rose has the strength that holds the east and west values together, even though it is weak at times, but she holds on to it. This also shows that the adhesive that is still holding both customs is still managing the two intertwined cultures.

 

Louisa So once again proves that she is more capable as an actress than one could imagine. She should be considered a leading actress in this series. Why is she still labeled 'supporting actress' I recommend you to ask the geniuses at TVB. Ah So's performance can be considered flawless in this series. Absolutely brilliant! In fact, I am willing to make a far-fetched statement as to say she has what it takes to be an Oscar contender if given the right role. The role Susan is probably one of the best Ah So got. Coincidentally, most of Ah So's best performances are linked with Maggie Cheung, namely "One Good Turn Deserves Another" and "Plain Love II" of their many collaboration. Ah So proves that a good actress does not have to be famous. Likewise, a famous actress is not necessarily a good actress.

Ah So's acting is matured with details and affections. What I mean by that is even the slightest tweak on her eyes or the smallest coarse in her voice that seems so natural are important parts of her acting. Ah So doesn't read from the script, she acts out her character. And she acts out from the heart.

 

Unlike Maggie, who still acts using facial features, Ah So has emerged to act with her soul. Some people would dismiss that statement as: Whatever that means. But if you are fortunate to see Ah So's performance as brilliant, more power to you. Perhaps this is the goal that Maggie can set to improve. In this way, it's rather hard to describe Ah So's incomparable acting through my simple words. I would not conclude that Ah So's acting 'is great' or 'the best' because as generic and repetitive as it may have sounded upon being used by other fans to their idols, whatever the performance is really like, her acting ability is beyond words.

 

I would leave it where I anchored my comments on Ah So's performance, that is to say her capability to handle acting shall be rewarded one day if she continues to be offered in-depth roles like this. Whatever the rewards may be, money, fame, or respect, Ah So knows she is capable because she has a love for acting, not to be popular.

 

Other cast members including Liza Wang, Damian Lau, Helena Law, Patrick Tang, Tavia Yeung, and Joe Ma among gave equally excellent performances. But I choose to mention Maggie and Louisa in details because, undeniably, they gave the best performances. If I were to host my own award show, Louisa So would be Best Leading Actress, with Liza Wang behind her tail.

 

Best Leading Actor would go to Damian Lau, and no competitions there.

 

Best Supporting Actress is rather a tough call because there are great ones in this series. I was thrilled that Helena Law is not typecasted as a spooky old lady but a feisty Granny who exerts many great moments in the series. I was contended to find newcomers are not all that bad with Tavia Yeung's performance. Alright, she's a bitch in the series, that's so me sometime. I just have to laugh it off and applaud her for taking on a decent approach toward the role. She plays the role so sincere I would have trouble imagining Tavia as anyone else but Ah Yan in real life. There is a charm in her acting that tells me, this is the kind of potential that will grow, and one day will burst to surprise everyone. And this should be the kind of potential actresses TVB should invest more on, if their eyes and brains are being well treated. No, I would not consider Myolie Wu's performance in this category because her performance is very weak compared to this strong cast. But I would consider Lui Yuen Yan, who play Fong Shing Him's mom. She is a terrific actress not just in this series but variety of other productions as well. Unfortunately, does not give her more room to showcase her talent. So surely Maggie gets Best Supporting Actress.

 

 

As for Best Supporting Actor, it's really a competition between Patrick Tang and Joe Ma. I would give it to Patrick Tang even though I love Joe in here. But the script does not allow much exposure to Joe's performance. On the other hand, Patrick gives an astonishing performance as the quirky Stephen. What really surprises me is that there are times Patrick's performance seemed to be attacking Liza Wang's and Damian Lau's performances. It throws me off the chair some time. But that doesn't give him the ability to be better than everyone else. Patrick still has a lot to improve because he has rich potential. Like Tavia, Patrick manage to pull off his performance in a natural essence, giving him a decency which is lacking in most newcomers who are, who are rushing for stardom, but too busy worrying about their cosmetic fa'ade and plastic idol image.

 

Almost Perfect, Almost
If you have made it this far in my lengthy analysis, kudos to you. TAS has an almost great script if time were given to polish and detail the twists and turns. Unfortunately, TVB standard is limited (in their control) and they have ruined the plot by neglecting details that can enhance this potentially brilliant plot to only an average storyline that gets you by the hours without beating your head over the television set.

 

There is a reason why you see and hear people saying this is the best-written TV series in the past year. Well, not the best, I would argue, but best among the series of 2000-1? Hell yeah. Feel free to take it up with me, my email is up above this page.

 

What I do not like about TAS is the drags on Liza's and Damian's screen times, particularly Liza's, while cutting short others' screen time. And I am not specifically talking about Maggie. Yes, yes, I am wiling to say Liza Wang and equally Damian Lau are good actors, but TVB and producer Poon Ka Tak must know that a great production entails group work, not individual showcases. Most importantly, it weakens the production when there are too many unnecessary shots that show a character's emotion or shots of Liza (and Damian) talking nonsense about her strength. Strength and emotions need not to be told or explained, it should be showed in the length of time and conveyed in the stepping-stones of decision-making. Maybe Liza has something to learn from Ah So and Maggie. Damian is fine. In fact, I feel guilty not claiming that he has also given an excellent performance. But hey, I've already given him my Best Leading Actor award.

 

So, is TAS worth a shot? Definitely. Find it boring as you may, but surely you'll be entertained with brilliant performances you can rarely find nowadays.

As similarly stated in my review for Plain Love II, I don't easily give an excellent series a high score because I do believe one day there will be an opportunity for me to give it to the perfect series. I have not seen such a perfect series in the past 15 years. Although I was disappointed with several flaws that could have made the series much more brilliant, I enjoyed this series very much. Meanwhile, I encourage one to look closer at this series or any other series and try to find meanings behind it. It's a wonderful experience and very healthy as well.

小豬這周一定要中Mark 6


参与松居书籍:《碧海情天》,《男人之苦》, 《原来爱上贼》和 《天地孩儿》http://bbs.lauchungyan.com/viewt ... &extra=page%3D1

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发表于 2009-3-21 15:57:44 |显示全部楼层
 

Review from:

http://www.spcnet.tv/TVB-Series/The-Awakening-Story-review-r1726.html

Feel free to discuss, I copied this from the above site, all copyrights and perspective belong to the author

 

 

Reviewed by: Tammy
Rating:      

Warning! Spoilers!

Cantonese Cast List:
Damien Lau as Philip Suen Hok Kei
Liza Wang as Lam Ho Shuet
Louisa So as Susan Chiu Cheuk Lam
Maggie Cheung as Rose Suen Hing Ga
Joe Ma as Fong Sing Heem
Patrick Tang as Stephen Suen Hing Chai
Myolie Wu as Sheung Ping Ping
Tavia Yeung as Suen Hing Yun
Ellesmere Choy as Chan Wing Lok
Lo Yuen Yan as Foon
Lo Hoi Pang as Fong Gam Pang
Law Lan as Guan Sing Nam
Jeung Hak as Dickson Tong Lap Shun
Natalie Wong as Rachel Au Seen Ying
Simon Lo as Kim

Mandarin Cast List:
Damien Lau as Philip Sun Xue Qi
Liza Wang as Lin Hao Xue
Louisa So as Susan Zhao Zhuo Lin
Maggie Cheung as Rose Sun Qing Jia
Joe Ma as Fang Cheng Qian
Patrick Tang as Stephen Sun Qing Qi
Myolie Wu as Chang Ping Ping
Tavia Yeung as Sun Qing Xin
Ellesmere Choy as Chen Yong Le
Lo Yuen Yan as Huan
Lo Hoi Pang as Fang Jin Pang
Law Lan as Guan Sheng Nan
Jeung Hak as Dickson Tang Li Xin
Natalie Wong as Rachel O Qian Ying
Simon Lo as Kim

 

Character Descriptions:
Philip Suen Hok Kei: He is a proper businessman, who is also kind, fair and reasonable. His wife, Shuet, was hit by a taxi and she was in a coma for 16 years. He has three children, Rose, Stephen, and Yun. For the last 16 years, he has been waiting for his wife to wake up. However, in the last 10 years, he has also been dating Susan, his business partner.


 

Lam Ho Shuet: She was in a coma for 16 years. When she woke up, she had to learn everything over and adjust to the new surroundings. She later found out about Philip and Susan and wanted a divorce. After the divorce, she worked on her own and became a successful businesswoman.

Susan Chiu Cheuk Lam: Susan has been Philip's girlfriend for 10 years. She loves him dearly and hopes that Shuet will wake up from the coma. However, she is also afraid that when Shuet wakes up, she'll lose Philip. She is also his partner and works with him very closely. She is always insulted by Rose, who dislikes her. She does get along with Stephen and Yun however.

 

Rose Suen Hing Ga: She is the eldest daughter of Philip and Shuet. She blames herself for her mother's accident because on the day her mother was hit, she threw a tantrum. She thought it was because of her that caused this accident. Since then, she placed a lot of pressure on herself. She was first dating Dickson, her business partner, however, she later broke up with him when she found out he was cheating on her. She later married Fong Sing Heem, a doctor who treated her mother.

 

Fong Sing Heem: His father, Fong Gam Pang, was the driver who had hit Shuet 16 years ago. Heem didn't have a good relationship with his father because of this accident. However, when Shuet and Philip divorced, Rose moved out and went to him for help. Heem and Rose became good friends and slowly fell in love. He knew that Rose wanted to "spice" up his balcony so he completed her dream. He later got married with Rose.

Stephen Suen Hing Chai: He is the only son of Philip and Shuet. His dream is to become a hair stylist but his father refused to let him become one. Out of the three children, he is the only one who is calm and wise. He volunteers at a salon with his friend Kim. He dislikes the way Kim treats his girlfriend Ping Ping and often helps Kim. He later falls in love with Ping Ping, who broke up with Kim.

Sheung Ping Ping: She is from China and is Kim's girlfriend. She is very soft-spoken and generous. She does everything for Kim, only to find him courting other girls. She finally breaks up with him and helps Stephen complete his dream as a hair stylist. She later falls in love with the generous Stephen, who also loves her back very much.

 

Suen Hing Yun: She is the youngest daughter of the Suens and is the first one to get married. She is stubborn and unreasonable. She and Rose are sisters but they fight a lot. She wants Rose to loosen a bit. She later meets Wing Lok and fell in love with him. They want to be married but Philip still thinks that Yun is too young to be married. Luckily, Philip loosens up and Yun got married. She got pregnant and gave birth to a son.

 

Chan Wing Lok: He is the nephew of a therapist who helped Shuet. He first met Yun and thought she was hard-headed. Nevertheless, he fell in love with her and wanted to marry her. Because he was jobless, Philip didn't really like him but he proved to Philip that he was useful and that he was serious about Yun.

 

Philip-Shuet-Susan
Philip and Shuet were going through hard times together with their children. Nevertheless, they both loved each other deeply. Up until he fell in love with Susan, he had loved Shuet very much. Although she was in a coma, he never gave up on her. He was also the one who didn't want a divorce. However, he did divorce her and married Susan.

 

Time passes and Susan realizes that their relationship is falling apart because he finds himself in love with Shuet. Susan and Philip depart and she goes to Shanghai for the company. At the end, Shuet and Philip never did get together.

 

Rose-Heem-Dickson-Rachel
Rose was first dating Dickson for some years. However, Dickson was tired of her. She always seemed to focused on herself and never actually cared for Dickson, but in fact, she really loved him. Dickson was also dating Rachel, Heem's former girlfriend who he still liked. Rose didn't really like Heem because his father was the man who got her mother into a coma. His father was the taxi driver that ran her over. But later, they became friends anyway.

Rose broke up with Dickson and he was free to be with Rachel. Meanwhile, Rose was being bothered by her family problems and left her family. Heem allowed her to stay at his house. As time flies by, Rose and Heem fell in love with each other but never bothered to say anything about it. When her relationship with her family was getting better, Rose decided to move out and go back to her house. At this time, Dickson broke up with Rachel. Rachel wanted Heem back. So she moved into Heem's house and kinda annoyed his parents because they liked Rose more than Rachel. Heem came up with a plan: he proposed to Rachel, however, at the same time, Dickson got kidnapped and Rachel was very worried about him. Both Dickson and Rachel realized who they really loved. Heem didn't get married with Rachel since he really loved Rose. So they arrange for a date (for the third time---both didn't make it to the first 2 dates because problems arose on those 2 dates). They arranged to meet in front of a restaurant but the restaurant moved to a new location. Rose couldn't find it and Heem couldn't find her, so they ended up walking aimlessly in the streets. They later catch up with each other at a park. Heem proposes to Rose and she gladly accepts. And soon, they were wed.

 

 

Stephen and Ping Ping
No triangle love here! Stephen and Ping Ping started out as friends, working together at the same salon. Stephen didn't like the way Ping Ping's boyfriend, Kim, was treating her. Stephen thought Ping Ping was sweet and caring but she was too scared of Kim. She did everything for this Kim, including helping him with debts, letting him sleep with other girls, etc. Ping Ping finally broke up with Kim and stayed at Stephen's house. At the same time, Stephen falls in love with Ping Ping and tries to tell her but she claims that she wasn't ready for another relationship. So they had some time off. Later, Ping Ping hinted to him that she was ready but he was too stupid to understand her. Ping Ping decided to move out since her family had a new apartment. Rose knew what was going on with Stephen and Ping Ping, so she told Stephen that he should tell Ping Ping how he feels. What he did instead was tell Ping Ping's parents that he loves her which made her nervous. He apologized later for saying it, which made her think that he was only joking. However, Stephen once again confesses his love for her and they began dating.

 

Hing Yun and Wing Lok
Hing Yun met Wing Lok when she was on her way to her ex-boyfriend's house. She was about to leave when she bumped into Wing Lok and knocked her contact lenses out. So, she couldn't see who she bumped into. Wing Lok picked up a key chain (I think) that was left by her. Some time later, Wing Lok bumped into Hing Yun again, but she didn't know who he was. She finally finds out that he was the nephew of her mother's physical therapist. They started off on very bad terms. Hing Yun went to Nam Ah Island and saw Wing Lok again. She was riding her bike and stopped by to help a kid get his kite off from a tree. The kid got the kite back but Yun couldn't get off the tree. The kid ran away to tell an adult but never came back. She injured her ankle from falling off the tree. Around evening, the kid finally told an adult (Wing Lok) that a woman was stuck up on a tree. He started to search for her and found Hing Yun sleeping on the grass. He sat her on the sidewalk. They started to argue again and Wing Lok pretended to leave. She started crying and Wing Lok came back. Then they did something which caused both of them to be nervous. That was when they had some "feel" for each other. Yun's family came to the island to find her. After her ankle healed, the family spent a day at the island. When they were about to leave, Wing Lok told Yun that he loved her. Soon, Wing Lok proposed to her and she said yes. The problem was that Philip thought that Yun was too young to be married. However in the end, these two did get married. However, during their marriage, they had a lot of arguements but since they really loved each other, they overcame everything. At the end, they had a son.

 

Favorite Female Character: Rose. She's the strong type but she is really sensitive. I loved seeing her argue with her father about Susan and how she stood up to Susan. She's a courageous person and also an understanding person (in the end). Not many women can be like Rose but the way she treated her mother when her mother was getting divorced was not good. Nevertheless, Rose was a pretty difficult character.

 

Favorite Male Character: This one would gave to to STEPHEN!!! I love this fella, although his hair doesn't look too good to me. BUT, Stephen is the only one who I consider "unselfish". He was the only child standing by his mother after the divorce. Rose left, Yun spent time with Wing Lok, and he was the only one who was really there for her. I love Stephen for being so dumb especially when he was around Ping Ping.

 

Favorite Actress: Maggie Cheung Ho Yee. She has always been good at acting. I think her portrayal of Rose was excellent. She played a bossy older sister, yet sensitive and generous. I think Maggie should have won a "Favorite Actress" award for her role in this series.

 

Favorite Actor(s): Patrick Tang and Joe Ma. Despite the fact that Patrick's hair is ugly, he can act. He doesn't act that well but it's acceptable. The last time I saw him was in "Wars of Genders" as the "goody two shoes" Ah Man. As for Joe Ma, I can see that TVB is trying to promote him more which is good news. It's good that they put him in the series as a good guy instead of the villain.

 

Themesong:
The theme song is sang by Faye Wong. I think it's slow but it does matches the series quite well. I think the main idea is this: Love yourself first then you will be able to love others. What do you think?

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发表于 2009-3-21 16:00:17 |显示全部楼层

Review from:

http://www.spcnet.tv/TVB-Series/The-Awakening-Story-review-r1642.html

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Reviewed by: tvbobsessions
Rating:      

Chinese Title: 婚前昏後
Episodes: 25

 

Cast:
Damian Lau – Suen Hok Kei (Philip)
Louisa So – Chiu Cheuk Lam (Susan)
Liza Wang – Lam Ho Suet
Maggie Cheung Hor Yee – Suen Hing Ga (Rose)
Patrick Tang – Suen Hing Chai (Stephen)
Tavia Yeung – Suen Hing Yan
Joe Ma – Fong Sing Heem
Myolie Wu – Sheung Ping Ping
Ellesmere Choi – Chan Wing Lok

 

Theme Song by: Faye Wong

Favourite Relationship: Rose, Stephen and Hing Yan (Maggie, Patrick and Tavia – siblings)
Favourite Character: Susan, Stephen and Hing Yan (Louisa, Patrick and Tavia)
Favourite Pairing: Philip and Susan (Damian and Louisa)
Best Actress: Louisa So
Best Actor: Damian Lau/Patrick Tang
Who Looks Good: Damian Lau, Louisa So, Maggie Cheung, Patrick Tang, Myolie Wu
Who Should Get More Screentime: Patrick Tang

 

Summary: (I'll use the names of the actors/actresses instead of the names of the characters)

Liza has been in a coma for nearly two decades, and when she finally wakes up, she finds everything changed, unfamiliar and distant. When Liza fell into a coma 16 years ago, she left behind three kids (Maggie, Patrick and Tavia) and a husband.

 

During the time of her coma, her husband Damian, developed a relationship with his co-worker Louisa. Ironically, it was Louisa who was by her side when she woke up from her coma. Not wanting to agitate her, Liza was kept in the dark about Louisa's relationship with Damian. During this period of time, Louisa was Liza's close confidante, and confided in her about her worries and troubles.

 

Everyone in the family seemed to have moved on and just be around her now and then because of her title...everyone with the exception of Maggie. Maggie tries desperately to keep her family together in hope that when her mother wakes up, everything will be 'perfect' again. However, she realizes that the task is not easy at all. Her first obstacle is Louisa - Maggie sees Louisa as a third party. The rest of the family, however, approves of Damian's relationship with her, leaving Maggie helpless and frustrated.

Meanwhile, Tavia falls in love with Ellesmere, and they get married after a period of dating.

 

Liza is full of praise for Louisa, hence irritating Maggie greatly. She finally blurts out that Louisa and Damian are not purely co-workers. Confused and dejected, Liza confides in her doctor. However, she finally accepts the fact and even wishes them well. She suggests a divorce, and to Maggie's horror, Louisa and Damian get married with the blessings of everyone else.

 

Unable to face her family after she flared at her mother for being so happy for their marriage, Maggie decides to move out. However, she does not have many close friends, and finally her doctor friend Joe takes her in.

 

Coupled with the breakup with her long time boyfriend, Maggie is depressed and performs poorly at work. Louisa continues to help her, and Maggie finally accepts her.

 

While living with Joe and his parents, Maggie develops feelings with him, and they start dating.

 

Meanwhile, Damian finds Louisa too business-oriented and starts to prefer the family oriented life with Liza back then. Finally they go their separate ways and Louisa goes on a business trip. Before she left, she met up with Liza and told her that Damian belonged to her, for she was the one he loved. Their conversation ended with Liza telling Louisa that they would always be good friends no matter what.

Joe and Maggie gets married, and Damian prepares a special fireworks display for Liza, just as he had promised her years ago. With the fireworks in the background, Liza replied that she was happy, and they smiled sweetly at each other...

 

Script:
Interesting script, this series is not a typical series with a typical boring storyline.

 

Character/Performance:
Philip Suen
Successful and resourceful, Philip has a high position in a well-known company. Strict and often controlling, he demands them to work hard and have successful careers. Although he often means well, he comes across as demanding. However, when his wife wakes up, he learns that his children have to lead their own life and make their own decisions, for he cannot be there for them always. Faithful and devoted, Philip waited several years before developing a relationship with Susan. From a business oriented man, Suet has changed him back into a family man, and hence he breaks up with the career oriented Susan…

 

Damian Lau as Philip
Another great performance from Damian! I simply loved his pairing with Louisa, what a pity their characters did not end up together.

 

Susan Chiu
Intelligent and capable, Susan works in the same company as Philip and has a high position as well. She has two suitors, but Damian is the only one she loves. Ironically, Susan is the person that Suet trusts the most and feel the most comfortable around after she woke up from her coma. Towards the end, Susan becomes even more business-oriented and Philip feels neglected. Finally they part on good terms and she leaves on a business trip.

 

Louisa So as Susan
Louisa is such an underrated actress at TVB! She portrayed a great Susan and I enjoyed her pairing with Damian in here. For me, it was such a pity that their characters did not end up together.

 

Lam Ho Suet
After waking up from a 16-year coma, Ho Suet finds everything around her changed and unfamiliar. Her children have grown up so much, her husband has another love, and technology has advanced so much. She has to grapple with all this, and when she finally succeeds in doing so, she decides to go for a makeover and start a career. Understanding and forgiving, Suet is a good mother. All these time, Suet remains good friends with both Philip and Susan, and even wishes them well.

 

Liza Wang as Ho Suet
Liza portrayed her character well, and her expressions of fear and confusion when she first went home were so realistic. Good job overall, though I would have preferred it if she maintained her naïve look instead of the more modern one she had after the makeover, for I felt she looked nicer with that.

 

Rose Suen
Independent and stubborn, Rose works in the same company as her father. She tries so hard to keep her family together in hopes of having it back in 'perfect' condition after her mother wakes up from her coma. However, when things don't work out, she decides to do things that make her happy and more fulfilled instead. She is prejudiced against Susan, for she feels that Susan is the one responsible for breaking up her parents. However, when Susan continues to help her unconditionally, she is moved and accepts her. Sing Heem helps her through her troubles, and they get married.

 

Maggie Cheung as Rose
Great performance from Maggie, as usual! She potrayed Rose so very genuinely and well, and her chemistry with her co-stars was good.

 

Stephen Suen
The only son, Stephen is understanding and easy going. He accepts the decisions made by his mum and does not probe unnecessarily. He strives to be a hairdresser despite his father's objections. He falls in love with Ping Ping.

 

Patrick Tang as Stephen
This was the first show of Patrick I watched, and I must say he is very good. He is so natural and adorable, I cannot help but love his character a lot. His chemistry with his co-stars is good as well.

 

Suen Hing Yan
The youngest of the siblings, Yan is stubborn and reckless occasionally, yet her sweetness is irresistible. She falls in love with Wing Lok and is the first of the siblings to get married. She also gets pregnant towards the end of the series.

 

Tavia Yeung as Hing Yan
Tavia was specifically casted for the character because of her resemblance to Maggie back then. She potrayed her character well, and made her role really likeable. Especially her crying scenes, her eyes just fill so naturally and beautifully with tears. Her chemistry with her co-stars is good, and she just looks so innocent and sweet!

 

Chemistry:
Maggie, Patrick and Tavia
They had great chemistry as siblings, and have several adorable scenes together. Irresistibly sweet!

Damian and Louisa
This is a great pairing, despite their age difference. A good actor paired with a good actress, what else could be said? I simply loved this pairing, and it was such a disappointment for me that they did not end up together.

Damian and Liza
Good pairing, though I prefer Damian's pairing with Louisa.

Maggie and Joe
They look so nice together, don't you think? They had good chemistry together, and I wished they had more screentime, don't you?

Patrick and Myolie
Myolie looked so sweet, and Patrick was so adorable! What an adorable and sweet pairing! I liked the way Patrick would protect Myolie, so sweet!

Tavia and Ellesmere
Their romance was just so sweet and romantic! They had good chemistry, and I liked this pairing a lot!

 

Plus Points:
1. Nice theme song.
2. Great instrumental background song! It brings out the emotions so very well!
3. Great cast, great performance!
4. The script was interesting and not boring.
5. New pairings – Ellesmere and Tavia ; Maggie and Joe

 

Minus Points:
1. For me, the ending. I was a Philip-Susan supporter, if it isn't obvious enough.
2. Not enough scenes with Yan and Wing Lok!
3. Not enough scenes with Rose and Sing Heem.

 

Overall:
Appealing cast, great performance, good chemistry, The Awakening Story is an enjoyable series.

 

Conclusion:
Highly recommended, especially for Louisa, Tavia, Maggie and Damian fans. The Awakening Story is an enjoyable series with a strong cast not to be missed.

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发表于 2009-9-4 21:58:29 |显示全部楼层
After watching this drama on channel 55,all i could say is 'Damian is super charming.' His frameless specs,his sunglasses and his colourful shirts...:[54] The storyline is average but i like the ending(not a Philip-Susan supporter) And Damian's performance is still awesome.:[42]
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发表于 2009-9-7 10:38:08 |显示全部楼层
When it was my first time watching this show on Wdrama, hehe..the first scene i saw was BOSS!!..*giggling*..i like him wearing frameless spectacles which he look so charismatic and western suit..just somehow feel that no matter what clothes he wear he look nice! =) hmm..talking about the storyline..i like phllips and ah xue together!! =D..overall..its A NICE SHOW!! =)
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发表于 2009-9-7 11:58:08 |显示全部楼层
Actually I like Louisa So performance very much, not just this drama, but also others. Both Damian and Louisa are so match.
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发表于 2009-12-19 22:49:23 |显示全部楼层
I would like to watch this drama again. Anyone know where I can download this drama. I cannot find it on megaupload.
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发表于 2010-1-12 20:21:44 |显示全部楼层
This drama is finally being shown on Malaysia TV adain starting today, Hooray!
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发表于 2010-1-26 14:29:16 |显示全部楼层
Just finished watching this series on DVD (yes, there actually a region 1 version of it :lol) and I found that the story line was simple yet complex.  Its simple because its a fairly common love story.  However, the love story that needed to be portrayed was rather complex.  When I saw this series for the first time, I was rather young and had no love relationship experience so I did not quite understand the hardships that the characters felt.   I had no clue why Philip couldn't just be with the one he loved and why the one he loved later didn't want to be with him.  Today after seeing the series again and of course being much older, I understand the feelings of each characters a lot better and I feel that all the actors and actresses did an awesome job in portraying those emotions.   I never really rooted for Damian to be with Lisa nor with Louisa because I felt the story emphasis more on the concept of accepting/respecting each others different goals, views, and pace in life.  I did feel that both Lisa and Louisa had good chemistry with Damian. 

Note: For those buying the DVD (region 1 version), part of the series is cut from when it originally aired on TV :'(.  They did leave the theme song to played on every episode unlike the VCD version of others TVB series.
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sharonpek + 20 thanks for your views!

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发表于 2010-1-26 22:53:17 |显示全部楼层
Hi Awm, I think your analysis is excellent. This is not the typical love story but one of sacrifice, responsibilities, love, family and so many things thrown in. I like your thoughts about experiencing different emotions when watching a series with or without certain experience and at certain stages in life because I find it so true. Even when reading a book, I experience that sometimes. We tend to relate with the characters and at times feel their pain because we have experienced similar pain. :[79] I think Ah Suet insisting to divorce Philip was an act of love and sacrifice. Philip insisting not to divorce was also an act of love and sacrifice. Susan insisting that Philip do not leave Ah Suet is also an act of love and sacrifice. It was so pure at that stage. Later on however, when Susan started feeling jealous of Ah Suet, then it is becoming more our typical love where we tend to want to possess our other half and that is when a lot of human nature comes in. Life would be just so simple if every love is purely love and sacrifice. :D
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sharonpek + 20 Agree!

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发表于 2010-1-27 02:21:06 |显示全部楼层
Original posted by VictorPenny at 2010-1-26 09:53 AM Hi Awm, I think your analysis is excellent. This is not the typical love story but one of sacrifice, responsibilities, love, family and so many things thrown in. I like your thoughts about experiencin ...


Thank you!  I concurred.  Your love and sacrifice analysis is very well written.  :[79]
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发表于 2010-1-27 06:59:26 |显示全部楼层
This is perhaps one of my favorite TVB series! I've watched it mutiple times already:lol But everytime I watch it, I just want to skip the ending = P
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