Wednesday, March 17, 2010

TVB: E.U. (學警狙擊) 2009

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Also known as Emergency Unit, this is a spin-off from the storyline in The Academy and On the First Beat, this is the third installation which sees Chung Lap Man(Ron Ng) and Lee Pak Kiu (Sammul Chan) returning as the ambitious and enthusiastic cops in pursuit of upholding justice in the society.
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This series brings into focus a particular secret triad society run by To Yik Tin (Lam Lee) which had been under the watchful eyes of the police force for a while. The release of Kong Sai Hau (Michael Miu) from the Taiwan prison where he was jailed for the past ten years alerted the police, especially when he reunited with To.
The comeback of Michael Miu as Kong Sai Hau definitely spurred surprise from the audience but one must not associate him with the role he played in The Academy, as besides the striking resemblance of the characters, there is no association between this character and the inspector role in the former.
Kong Sai Hau’s release aroused the suspicion of the police force and at the same time, stirred turbulence in the triad societies whereby To elected Hau to be one of his top assistants.
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However, unknown to To, Hau’s intent was to establish his authority in the triad, and to plot for revenge, as To was the person responsible for his imprisonment for the past ten years.
He won the trust of To and also his wife, Ching Yeuk Sam (Kathy Chow) who helped him to connect with his daughter, Yao Yao (Elanne Kong) and at the same time, he tried to gain the trust from our two heroes; Man and Kiu in busting To in his illegal businesses.
Kiu, being the overly righteous as usual, refused to befriend someone of his status, while Man, keen to create a breakthrough for himself and the force, agreed to work with Hau.
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Kiu was furious when he found out, but Man was adamant and persisted even though Hau was just making use of him to ascend his position in the triad.
In the process, Hau’s plan succeeded and To was not just arrested but was also killed while trying to escape from jail.
With the position of the triad’s leader vacated, there was a struggle of power within the triad in deciding the next to ascend the rank and Laughing(Michael Tse), To’s most trusted assistant, was set against the rising of Hau to the position.
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However, Hau used To’s widowed wife, Sam, who had the trust of the elders in the triad to help him secure his position and soon, Hau was the new triad leader.
Laughing was initially resistant towards Hau but slowly, he obeyed Hau and gained his trust.
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In the meantime, with Hau’s ascension to the leadership, the authorities had their reason to worry about the rising rates of the crimes and illegal activities running under their noses and they decided to place undercover cops to assist them in gathering the evidences to bust the triad.
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Man, at the same time, was held under the disciplinary act of assisting Hau in the smuggling of drugs and his friendship to Hau, and was selected to be an undercover cop. He was first suspended from his duties and cut off all his relationship with his friends; including best friend, Pak Kiu.
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Man then started hanging out with his friend as a car jockey until he was introduced to Laughing who took him in as a subordinate.

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Initially, his presence displeased most of the triad members but his relationship with Yao Yao, Hao’s only daughter gained him the trust of Hao and Sam immediately and he was soon close to the objective of his mission.
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Unfortunately, Sam and Yao Yao discovered by accident that Man was actually an undercover cop and the latter was disappointed in him. Man persisted in busting Hau as he was getting closer to discovering the location of the drug production factory, and also at the same time, to avenge the death of Laughing, who by the way, was also another undercover cop in the triad for nine years.
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In the meantime, Hau grew suspicious of people around him as he was convinced that one of them betrayed him and in a misunderstanding, he killed Sam.
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Hau was busted in the end, and Man returned to the police force again.

The series started off a little slow, and it was boring with the monotonous colors flashing across the screen. However, the momentum picked up after To Yik Tin’s death and that was where all the real drama starts. The storyline was more than what I expected and truly, it was not easily predictable. I could jump to a conclusion but then, the next scene would prove me wrong.
It was a reality-based drama; something like Young and Dangerous, but only more touch of passion in the family and relationship factor.
It brings me to question; what is right and what is wrong in different contexts of life?
Do human beings really resort to anything in order to protect themselves? Are we such selfish beings?

I love the way they focused on the different types of relationships which complicate matters more, but at the same time, showing you the different roles we have to take when it comes to the different people in our lives.

Sammul Chan – Leung Ka Ki
Unable to forget his past and the loss of his fiancé, Fiona, Pak Kiu refused to plunge into another relationship even though he started falling for Yeuk Bou. However, he soon accepted her after a bomb threat and they even got married, which ended Pak Kiu’s trauma. Both husband and wife were righteous people but it was obvious that Yeuk Bou was even more obstinate compared to him. Pak Kiu had mature over the years and had taken a calm ulterior in handling different cases and tried to advise Bou, who still believed firmly in her beliefs. When Bou found out about her half-sister, Sam, she refused to face the facts until Kiu convinced her. I find this couple rather annoying; to a certain extent. Pak Kiu, as an individual was already frustrating as he was so persistent in bugging Man to give up and lectured him on befriending triads and yet, he does not realize that all the while, he was the one being obstinate and unrelenting in most matters. Yeuk Bou was worse; next to Pak Kiu, she seemed like the creature from the netherworld. I don’t know why, I find this actress really annoying and with her role as the “Oh, I am so-righteous” policewoman, I just can’t bear seeing on the screen.

Ron Ng – Elanne Kong
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This was actually a very sweet couple who were both really compatible with each other. Yao Yao was the long lost daughter of Kong Sai Hau; but Yao Yao refused to accept her father as she blamed him for leaving her in the hands of the police and not stepping out to rescue her. She had then resorted to the streets to earn a living, selling pirated DVDs. She had a profound interest in blogging and goes by the nickname of Little Princess, and in her blogging world, she made herself out to be a rich girl who had traveled everywhere around the world. She and Man hit off on the wrong note initially, but when she realized that Man was the Lucky Prince who always left comments on her blog, she pursued him. Man, however, refused to hurt Yao Yao due to his mission and also does not want to use her in accomplishing his mission, rejected her again and again.
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However, Man was also finally touched by her sincerity and they got together. Their happiness was short-lived as they had to overcome trials and tribulations when it comes to public duty and personal affections.
Yao Yao was devastated when she learnt that the two most important men in her lives were actually out against each other, and not wanting to lose either one of them, she stood in to prevent one from getting the other and finally, when her father was sent to jail again, she decided to leave Man who was intent to wait for her to change her mind someday.
It was nice to see how Yao Yao transformed from a street-wise girl into a mature and emotional person, learning to accept the good and bad in life and not just getting away with all her lies. At the same time, Man had also progressed from being a selfish and ambitious person to one who finally had space in his heart for another person.
I loved this couple, and it was sad that they had to part in the end.

Lam Lee – Kathy Chow – Michael Miu – Laughing
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Sam was respected due to her position as the wife of the triad, To. When To died, Sam was losing her position as well in the triad due to her past where she worked as a prostitute.
However, her kindness won the support from all the elders and became the target of Hau to ascend the ranks. Sam was actually a kind soul who believed in everyone and although she suspected Hau a few times, due to Laughing’s reminders, she still chose to believe in him and slowly fell for him. Her relationship with Laughing was complex; as Laughing confessed his feelings for her and then when she realized that Laughing was an undercover cop, she still stood by him and was upset when he was killed.
Her love for Hau was also futile as she was suspected of betraying him and was killed too.
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Hau initially only intended to use her to strengthen his position in the triad but then he realized that he had fallen in love with her.
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He was then condoned to believe that she was the one who betrayed him and in a fit of anger, he killed her with a shot. He was genuinely devastated when he realized that he had been wrong. Laughing’s affections for Sam? I am not sure whether it is entirely true since he seemed to have Wendy on his mind all the time and still blamed himself for her death; perhaps he was just like Hau, intending to gain Sam’s trust to obtain information on the triad.

Ron Ng – Laughing – Sammul Chan
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Three policemen and all intent on busting injustice and yet, they were all on loggerheads with each other. Man and Pak Kiu were best friends then turned enemies, as Man started going undercover while Kiu always think he was always right in his judgment.
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Man was also against Laughing and thought that Laughing was a despicable and selfish person who will always think for his own benefits.
It was only when Laughing was killed that he realized Laughing had been trying to protect him from Hau all the while and that he had misunderstood his intentions.
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Pak Kiu had also thought that he had done a righteous thing by killing Laughing when he saw Man in danger. When he found out that Laughing was an undercover cop, he backed off in doubt and realized that he may not have the best judgment after all.

Michael Miu – Elanne Kong – Ron Ng
Hau had always wanted to make up and apologize to his only daughter; for the wrong that he had unto her 20 years ago when he mistakenly smuggled stuffs and passed it to his daughter. When the cops arrested his daughter, he was nearby and yet he was too afraid to come out of his hiding place to rescue her. Yao Yao bore ill-feelings and hatred for her father since then, believing that he was a selfish person. At the same time, she could not help missing the close bond they used to have and it was this bond which brought her back to her father, of course, with Sam and Man’s help as well in reconciling the father and daughter. Hau tried to reprise her role and compensated his mistake by showering her with love and affection, and even to the extent of submitting to her relationship with Man, despite his suspicions of him. Yao Yao was at a loss when she realized that Man was an undercover cop and torn between the two, she tried to persuade Man to let her father off the hook and at the same time, hoping that her father would not kill Man.
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When Hau found out about Man’s hidden identity, he was furious about Yao Yao keeping it from him but he truly loved his daughter when he even agreed to let him off when he realized that Man truly loved his daughter.
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Kathy Chow – Angelina Low – Leung Ka Ki
Sam had almost the same background as Yao Yao where she was also abandoned as a child by her mother, Ma Ying Oi, who left her husband and daughter before taking off with another man. Sam blamed and hated her own mother for her fate where she had to take to the streets to survive on her own and in the end, she ended up in prostitution until she was saved by To, whom she married. When she discovered her birth mother was still alive, she was heart broken to see that she had another daughter and refused to accept her. However, Sam was actually a soft-hearted person and eventually, she forgave her mother. Yeuk Bou, on the other hand, being the cop who was annoyingly righteous (in her own ways), refused to accept that she had a birth sister who was in the triad as it was a major conflict with her current responsibility as a cop. This was definitely the most irritating character in the entire show as she was the only one who did not understand the right from the wrong and the right timing.

Michael Miu – Elanne Kong – Kathy Chow
Hau’s union with Yao Yao was all due to Sam’s help and Yao Yao had a very close bond with Sam, whom she trusted all along. Sometimes, I think, she trusted Sam more than her own father. Sam also treated Yao Yao as her own daughter, and they were so close to being a happy family until Sam was killed. Yao Yao was upset that her own beloved father was the murderer of the person who had loved and cared for her for the past years.

The series was surprisingly good, although it was boring in the beginning as I have mentioned at the start of this review. I was really impressed with the storyline and also, I must mention notable performances from:
Michael Tse who played Laughing
He was definitely one of the main reason I stuck with this drama until the end, and not the two main characters (Ron and Sammul). He had that charisma and his acting was just so lively and convincing that he kept it going until the climax of the drama. I had suspected that he was an undercover cop; perhaps due to the amount of screen time he had right from the start and also how he had been carrying himself all the while.
I was really sad when he died, he had my vote as the BEST and favorite character in the series and I am sure it was the same with everyone else who watched this series.
I just read from the Internet that he had such good feedback and his death received so many criticisms that the ending scene was intentionally made as a preview to the prequel of E.U. Excellent job by Michael, the best I have seen from him in years, although he had always been one of my favorite actors!

My vote for the MOST annoying performances:
I was trying to decide among the few people in the drama but I finally had to finalize it to the MAIN and the MOST irritating one:
Leung Ka Ki as Fa Yeuk Bo
I don’t know whether it’s the actress herself or the character but I think I conclude that it’s the combination of both.
This character was just OVERly annoying, and I really mean to the extent that you wished they would just erase her from the drama rather than Laughing. She was just trying to be so righteous in everything and always being so obstinate that she caused so many problems in everyone’s life. Si To Chiu, her mentor was right, she was just so useless in everything! I think she was really an unnecessary character in this drama, besides being the companion to Pak Kiu.
As for the actress, I found her slightly annoying as you can see that she is just trying too hard to act her role in the drama that it just comes out so unnatural. I cannot bear it when she appears on the screen as she seems to always speak with much forced strength and you could hear those heavy breaths and gasps lapsing when she speaks. I don’t know whether that’s intentional or not, but I just find her over-reacting to every little thing. She had a brief appearance in Forensic Heroes 2 as well, as one of the actresses who wanted to bid for the role of Madam Mui and she was really unnoticeable too, and I noticed her heavy breaths and gasps in there too.
I think almost all the viewers agree with me that this is one character to be eradicated from the upcoming installations (if any).

On a positive note, this series, definitely has my positive feedback as it gives you an insight into the triad’s world and how thin the line is between black and white; wrong and right.
Be careful with the choices you make in your life, and also, no matter what happens, cherish your loved ones =)

Note: Photos belongs to and

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