Wednesday, September 1, 2010

TVB: Maiden’s Vow 鳳凰四重奏 (2006)

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No. of episodes: 30

(To be separated into the four different stories to depict the four generations as the same cast was casted in each story)

First generation:
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Charmaine Sheh - Ngai Yu Fung
Sammul Chan - Wang Yuk Lun (Sap Yee Siu)
Joe Ma - Yu Chi
Kiki Sheung - Tung Dai Hei
Wu Fung - Wang Sin Kei
Irene Wong - Yung Dak Sin
Chun Wong - Eunuch Cho
Lau Dan - Ngai Bing Fan
Maria Chan - Fa Chin Hung
Akina Hong - Wong Ka Cheung
Evergreen Mak - Lien Chong Hien
Lily Leung - Empress Dowager Chi Hei

Second Generation:
Charmaine Sheh - Wang Chi Kwan
Joe Ma - Lee Kat Cheung
Elaine Yiu - Cheung Lei
Eric Li - Dan Lai Chak
Kiki Sheung - Tung Dai Hei
Irene Wong - Yung Dak Sin
Akina Hong - Chuk Ngun Chi
June Chan - To Suk Han
Lily Lee - Koo Siu Mei
Cha Cha Chan - To Lai Gun

Third Generation:
Charmaine Sheh - Pak Wai Chan
Joe Ma - Dai Lap Yan
Joel Chan - Henry Bat Ha Kau
Law Koon Lan - Nanny Ying
Ram Chiang - Mo Yung Chiu
Annabelle Lau - Lui Ying Hung
Devily Leung - Chien Chi Seung
Ben Wong - Gai Yee Kin
Celine Ma - Woon Yuen Yau

Fourth Generation:
Charmaine Sheh - Dai Sze Ka
Joe Ma - Fong Ka On (KO)
Sammul Chan - Sheung Yat Kat
Sherming Yiu - Siu Yuk Jing
Ken Wong - Tang Pang

The story revolves around this Phoenix Chinese Restaurant from its origin and the relating events spanning for four generations in the family who started this business.
The story breaks up into the four different generations of the family; starting from the 1900s, set in the period of the end of the Qing Dynasty for the first generation.

Ngai Yu Fung was the only daughter of the Ngai family and was treated as the pride of the family. Her parents loved and provided for her, hoping that she would marry someone of the same social status of the family; if not better. However, Yu Fung only had eyes for her childhood companion who was also sadly, the servant boy who worked in the kitchen. Her parents disapproved of their blossoming relationship, despite the lovers’ pleas and cries. When they decide to elope, her mother begged her to stay back and agree to the marriage to save her father’s failing business and the whole family from crumbling apart. For the sake of her family, Yu Fung agreed to the marriage, breaking Yu Chi’s heart. He then left to study the arts of culinary skills from a retired eunuch from the palace.
Yu Fung’s marriage was doomed from the start.
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Her husband was not only the only son of the Wang family, but he was also a disobedient and spoilt child due to the fact that he was the only male descendant in the family.
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Everyone tried to please and protect him, and as a result, he was only interested in enjoying life and slowly, he swindled the family’s fortune and caused the death of his own father.
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Yu Fung rose to help the family, and slowly she revived the dying Phoenix Restaurant which was also supposed to be sold to pay her husband’s debts. However, in those last days before the restaurant was sold, she made a fortune and slowly, the Wangs climbed up the social ladder again. Yuk Lun then went back to his old ways, and even when Yu Fung gave birth to a baby daughter, he wanted to sell his daughter to fund his gamblings; causing Yu Fung to lose faith in him.
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Yu Chi came back and was the one who helped her throughout the family crisis, after he mastered his culinary skills but Yu Fung remained loyal to her husband although they have been accused of adultery. When the war broke out, Yu Fung and Yu Chi died in a tragic train accident, with each other still trying to reach out to the other.
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The story then fast forwarded to the 1920s where Wang Chi Kuan, the daughter of Yu Fung and Yuk Lun is now a student who was actively involved in the patriotism movements, much to the disapproval of her grandmother.
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She then did the unthinkable during that period; by falling for her teacher, Lee Kat Cheong and convinced him to reciprocate.
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The couple eloped and tried to make odds meet. When things turn for worse financially, Chi Kuan secretly found a job to serve in a restaurant and eventually agreeing to dance, much to her husband’s anger. Kat Cheong, on the other hand was trying to study to become a doctor and had to endure the hard labor in the mines.
Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo SharingWhen one of his fellow labor friends died due to the negligence of the mine company, he was persuaded by a friend to join the revolution. He finally agreed after his mother died and he left town while Chi Kuan found her way back to her family and helped to run the family restaurant. The couple was separated for two years and when Chi Kuan ran into Kat Cheong again, he appeared to be working for the Japanese and was branded a traitor to the country. However, the truth was that Kat Cheong was actually a spy agent and he wanted to overturn the Japanese ruling. He was eventually discovered and he had to flee the country; leaving Chi Kuan behind after spending a night with her on the train. After his departure, Chi Kuan was pregnant and she waited for him for the rest of her life.

In the 1960s, Chi Kuan was seen talking to a young little girl who eventually grew up to be Pak Wai Chan, Chi Kuan’s granddaughter. She was looking for a job on one fateful day when she bumped into Dai Lap Yan who saved her from the chaos on the streets and as fate would have it, she married the man.
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She became a housewife after their marriage as her husband was a male chauvinist who would not hear of his wife having to work to lighten the financial burden of the family.
Wai Chan became bored eventually and with the help of her nanny (Law Koon Lan), she found a job in an advertising company where she attracted the attention of the young entrepreneur of the company, Henry. When Lap Yan found out, he was furious, and this led to a rift in their relationship.
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Things turned worse when Lap Yan had to report to his wife with the merging of the company and the husband and wife then made a pact. Since Wai Chan was rising in her career, they would switch roles whereby Wai Chan would go back to her husband if he is willing to stay at home as a house husband while she goes to work.
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In truth, Wai Chan wanted to teach her husband a lesson to learn about her role as a housewife and to lose his pride and chauvinism. The couple then learnt to accept each other’s indifferences and they had a daughter. They migrated to San Francisco and died in a earthquake.

In the present, 2003, Dai Sze Ka, the daughter of Pak Wai Chan and Dai Lap Yan, is nothing successful like her previous ancestors.
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However, she was a very hard working, and independent young woman, albeit still struggling to make ends meet as a beverage waitress. She experienced a few failed relationships and no longer had faith in marriage.
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Fong Ka On, a prominent accountant/investment banker was stood up by his fiancée at the altar and when he bumped into Sze Ka, the two ended up in a one night stand. They slowly fell for each other, and moved in together. However, they were unable to tolerate their differences and had a few heated arguments where they broke up again. Sze Ka found out she was pregnant after their break up and although she wanted to tell Ka On, she was disappointed that he accused her of cheating on him with her ex-boyfriend, Sheung Yat Kat who was actually a homosexual. She gave birth to a baby boy, whom Ka On misunderstood as Kat’s son when he bumped into them at the launching of her new cookbook at her newly renovated family restaurant; the Phoenix restaurant. Ka On eventually found out the truth and tried to win her back again, in marriage.
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Review/My General Opinion
It was a very interesting twist in bringing the four different background stories together and intertwining them to maintain the continuity. The storyline centered on the difference of views and roles of women in different stages and how time changes the importance of the aspects of independence.

Character Analysis
First Generation

Ngai Yu Fung by Charmaine Sheh
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She was the gem of the family, where everything was for the best of her. However, for a woman living in that era, she was a strong-willed and determined woman who was willing to bend the traditions. Sadly, she did not have a choice when her family was put to the test and filial piety took over her choices in life. Although she was not happy in her marriage, she still fulfilled her duties as a wife and remained faithful despite being neglected in her marriage. She helped her in-laws in maintaining the family business despite her philandering husband and was true to the old traditions as a perfect wife.
I felt that she portrayed a true picture of mentally abused women and the concept of inferiority towards the weaker sex back then, but she also depicted the contrary whereby perception may not necessarily be the truth in physical.

Yu Chi by Joe Ma
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He was a loyal and poor servant boy who crossed the boundaries when he fell for his young mistress. Although he knew it was unacceptable and he would not be successful, he still tried to fight for his own love and future. He had to accept defeat when the one he loved chose to give up. Even though he could not comprehend her decision, he accepted it with a big heart and chose to leave. He eventually came back and stood by her side faithfully, protecting her from the vicious lies and drama in her marriage. He never lost his love for her, and maintained faithful till the end.
This is one excellent example of a perfect man for a husband! How many guys could remain faithful to you after all the years, or even after you are married?
It may sound silly, but this is a great portrayal of the power of love, and how pure it is and undying. It makes you want that kind of love which will never fail or break your heart!

Wang Yuk Lun by Sammul Chan
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This is one scumbag I would want to kick out of the scene from the start. He had no interest in his own life and his own family; in fact, he had no matters, nothing at all. Perhaps it was not his fault to start with as well, as the family seemed to spoil him since young and then pushed him against what they brought him up in. It must rather confusing to be allowed to do whatever you want then be told that you need to be serious. He was trying to grow up but he was still stuck as a playful and young boy. To a certain extent, he was rather pitiful as well.

Second Generation
Wang Chi Kuan by Charmaine Sheh
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She was determined like her mother, and was even more stubborn. She went against the tradition and she was more courageous when she eloped with her teacher and turned her back on all the conservative rules. She slowly matured into a more steady and understanding person after marriage and she remained devoted and trusting towards her husband even when the whole world accused him of being a traitor to the country. She was one classic example of the growing stage of a student towards a woman and I liked her courage in everything she does; her ability to speak up and believing in your own rights!

Lee Kat Cheong by Joe Ma
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It was so sad that for a male protagonist, he seemed so weak and helpless and just a cowardly. I hated how he could not admit that he had fallen in love too, and that he had to be forced by a young girl to confess his own feelings. This is a rigid character who held on to his own beliefs and rules; yes, he was overly bounded by the rules in his life that he never stopped to realize that there are choices. He was extremely stubborn as well, but he also slowly learnt to accept the differences and his transformation was imminent when he joined the revolution and fought for his country. I do despise him though, for leaving behind his wife and child when they needed him. He is really fortunate to have a wife who loved him so much to stand by him and waited for him.

Third Generation
Pak Wai Chan by Charmaine Sheh
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Sweet and lovely, she was so perfect as the caring and devoted wife who stayed at home and made sure her husband's needs were taken care of. It was interesting to see how intelligent she was as she breezed through all those classes her husband made her take. She was brave as well, when she decided to go against the odds to go to work without her husband's knowledge. I laughed when she did so much better than her chauvinistic husband and even had him reporting to her. She finally had it when he constantly discriminated her and she made them switch roles to teach him a lesson.
I loved the transformation from a doting and obedient wife to a powerful and independent career woman who spoke her own mind.

Dai Lap Yan by Joe Ma
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MALE CHAUVINISTIC pig! He was just so full of himself and expected his wife to just stay at home. He was in constant denial, well, perhaps that was understandable for men at that time when he realized that he was not capable enough to be considered for a promotion and worse still, his wife (the woman in the house) was doing so much better. However, I do admit his courage to bow down to his wife when he agreed to switch roles and that was where he transformed to become a more understanding husband.

Fourth Generation
Dai Sze Ka by Charmaine Sheh
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She may seemed a little eccentric (it was probably the hairstyle) but I felt she was a very independent and strong woman who did not want to rely on anyone to support her through her life. She shunned marriages and was not a crybaby when she realized that she was pregnant and that she had lost her man. She never even begged to go back to him or give in when they had arguments, because she believed that she had herself to fall back on. I truly loved this character who fought for her aspirations and achieving what she believed in.

Fong Ka On by Joe Ma
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He was rather successful, but yet he cannot have the best of both worlds when he lost his fiance to his wedding photographer. He tried to deal with it and ended up sleeping with another woman. While he tried to figure it out, I thought he was rather a coward compared to the woman he just slept with as she just shrugged it off. He displayed an OCD streak but it was impressive how he dealt with it for the sake of the woman he loved. This is a rather confusing character; and a selfish one no less, but he slowly overcame his own obstacles and listened to his heart!

What I Liked about the series was the focus on feminism issues; and the evolution of women’s role from one age to another. It was like a transition from conservative minds to the eventual declaration of independence which was truly inspiring. It also portrayed women as stronger than what was generally depicted and the importance of their roles in the family and society.

What I Disliked about the series was the recycling of the main actor and actress! LOL, although to a certain extent, I can understand that they were trying to do that to maintain a visual connection to link them back to the original storyline, but I think that would serve the purpose for Charmaine only, and Joe, does it make sense that Charmaine meets the same guy every generation? It seemed a little ridiculous and distorted the meaning of the show to some star-crossed lovers who were trying to rekindle a lost romance through reincarnation which was totally not the focus of the show!
It also seemed more like the cost-effective approach could really rip the meaning of the drama apart.

What could improve
I think the skipping of Pak Wai Chan’s origin was not really in tune with the storyline, as suddenly she just appeared and was said to be Chi Kuan’s granddaughter. I felt that if there was at least a little flashback into Chi Kuan’s daughter (even if she died early), it would be more coherent with the flow and continuity of the story.
Yes, and the varying of the cast, especially for the male character played by Joe Ma would certainly spice things up even more.

Special Credits
Bravo to Charmaine Sheh and Joe Ma for their excellent portrayals of all four characters, it was not easy to play four different people with distinct characteristics and behavior in one single drama and the transformation was just flawless.
Perfectly done, and I am truly impressed with their stamina to keep up with something which seemed like running four different dramas all at once!

My Conclusion/Verdict
It was a great watch, as it was different from all the other typical TVB dramas although I can’t say the same for each story within the whole drama. It felt like watching four different dramas with one same title; isn’t that effective?
It is also educational to learn about the roles of women and the differences in the perception and treatment towards women back then and now.

Rating: 7 out of 10

P2 (2007)

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The movie's synopsis was a thrilling read when I saw it on one of the posters advertising its due release in 2006.

I find the movie really good; despite the 2-star cast which was probably the reason the lack of popularity of this movie.
All the same, I find this movie really entertaining and really am amazed at how such a simple storyline could be turned into an exciting 2-hour roll.

Christmas season; and it's the eve of Christmas, 24th December and everyone's looking forward to get home for the holiday season to celebrate the joyous occasion.

Rachel Nichols is Angela Bridges; a businesswoman who also coincides with the word workaholic. She slaves her Christmas Eve away and was the last to leave the office to be home for dinner with her family.When she finally reaches the car park to her car, it was bad news that her car wouldn't start. It was even worse that the whole car park was deserted and she was unable to receive a signal on her cell phone.

She was surprised and doubtful when Thomas (Wes Bentley) came to her aid and invited her for dinner at the guard's office and she politely declined his offer, stating that she has plans with her family.Hosted by RockYouPhotos.comHosted by

When Angela was unable to get help from the building's security, she had to make her way back to the car park and she was knocked out where she found herself tied to a chair in Thomas's office; and she was all dressed up in a dress in front of a dining table and Thomas, the security guard was proposing a toast.

She pleads for her freedom and when her pleas fell on deaf ears, she screamed bloody murder and planned her own escape.
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She soon found out that this was all planned and that her car's breakdown was no accident. In fact, this Thomas guy has been observing her for months on what I should call an obsessive infatuation and he went to the extent of ramming the car into the guy whom he thought took advantage of her in the elevator months ago, and he did that in front of her very eyes!~
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The whole movie was a race against time to get out of the carpark and the guard's office on level P2 which proved to be futile since it's Christmas's Eve and no one's working!Hosted by

Even the cops who came over to check the place out left; much to her despair.
Anyway, as how all things come to an end, the movie did have a rather pleasant and much anticipated ending which left a huge relief in the audience when Angela finally managed to outwit Thomas and even killed him in defense and left that horrifying car park in her long long journey home.
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I liked the suspense created in the movie and how the director and scriptwriter just kept building the intense moments and the muffled screams in me, as I bite into my pillow and wished that Thomas could never find her and kept on wishing for the sweet and happy start of the movie.

Rachel Nichols did a brilliant job as a frustrated and distressed woman who was also terrified at the same time and Wes Bentley, gosh, if I had that same poker, I would knock his head out with it.And that dog....sorry to all the dog lovers, he was way too noisy and annoying in the movie.

It's not his fault anyway, but he had a bad and lousy owner!

If you are feeling bored and really wanna learn a trick or two about getting out of a car park and not staying late after work, give this movie a try:)

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Rating: 4 out of 5I still have the creeps of going down to the car park!And I love the white halter dress Rachel wore; she looked really hot in it too;)

(Taken from my xanga;

Warner Bros: Gossip Girl Season 1

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Gossip Girl Season 1

No. of episodes: 24
Producer: Warner Bros Pictures
Based on the book with the same name by Cecily von Ziegesar

Blake Lively - Serena Van Der Woodsen
Leighton Meester - Blair Wardorf
Chace Crawford - Nathaniel Archibald (Nate)
Ed Westwick - Chuck Bass
Penn Badgley - Dan Humphrey
Taylor Momsen - Jenny Humphrey
Kristen Bell - Voice of Gossip Girl

Supporting Cast:
Kelly Rutherford - Lily Van Der Woodsen
Matthew Settle - Rufus Humphrey
Connor Paolo - Eric Van Der Woodsen
Margaret Colin - Eleanor Wardorf-Rose
Jessica Szohr - Vanessa Abrams
Michelle Trachtenberg- Georgina Sparks
Robert John Burke - Bartholomew Bass (Bart)
Francie Swift - Anne Archibald
Sam Robards - Howard Archibald

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The story started with the return of Serena Van Der Woodsen, who was branded as the ‘It’ girl in the Constance Billard School; a prestigious school in the high streets of Manhattan. Gossip Girl played a major part in the entire series; with her voiceover and her revelations of the happenings in the up and high society in the Upper East side of Manhattan. Her identity was never revealed; but she was the one who blogged about all the social updates and had the entire school tuned into her influence.
Everyone seemed to have her cell phone number and yet no one could track her down; and that was how, she sent her updates and messages across to the high and mighty society in the upper social circle in the school.

Gossip Girl highlighted the surprising return of Serena; who mysteriously disappeared to attend a boarding school in Connecticut.
The news soon had the whole school buzzing with curiosity when they received the photo of Serena who was spotted at the train station.

Besides being a surprise, Serena’s return was not welcomed by most of the folks in the social circle; particularly her best friend, Blair Wardorf, who was the Queen Bee in the social circle in the school and in town. She was upset and disappointed in Serena’s sudden departure and could not comprehend the reason behind it.
Ironically, Blair’s boyfriend, Nate, was surprisingly enthusiastic with Serena’s return much to Blair’s chagrin.
The other prominent social figure, Chuck Bass, was also trying to threaten Serena based on what he knew about her previous doings before she left for boarding school.
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It was then revealed that Serena came back to visit and to withdraw her younger brother, Eric from the alcoholics’ rehabilitation centre; much to her mother’s protests. Serena was seen to be at loggerheads with her mother, Lily Van Der Woodsen due to this issue and it was later escalated when Lily was to wed Bart Bass, Chuck Bass’s father.

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While dealing with her own family conflicts, Serena sets to make amendments with her former best friend, Blair Wardorf who had started to make her life a living hell by shutting her out of her life and excluding her from all the exlusive parties.
The best friends soon realized they missed each other and decided to patch things up, but not for long, when Nate finally confessed his true feelings for Serena when things get serious with Blair. Nate revealed that he had sex with Serena before she left, leading Blair to end all ties with Serena once again and Serena was angry with Nate.

At the same time, a young girl, Jenny Humphrey tried to get close to Blair and into the social circle of the upper society in school, only to have Blair ordering her around. Her brother, Dan, was concerned with Jenny’s desperate behavior to fit into the group and tried to advise her. However, he ended up being in the social circle as well, despite his reluctance when he pursued Serena, the girl of his dreams.
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He constantly felt pushed out when he realized he does not belong to the company, and he felt upset when he found out about Serena’s fling with Nate; when Blair decided to announce it to him in front of Serena, Nate, and Chuck.
Dan had a bad impression of Chuck as well, who almost raped his little sister, Jenny at a party.
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Dan opted out of Serena’s life but gave in when the duo realized they were in love with each other.
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Nate and Blair broke up, when Blair could not take it anymore with Nate’s reluctance to discuss future plans and also his disinterest in her. During her break up with Nate, she attended a party which she ended up sleeping with Chuck.

Serena and Dan’s relationship progressed, which upset Nate who was facing pressure from his family to get back with Blair to improve their financial condition as his father was involved in business deals with Blair’s mother, a renowned fashion designer, Eleanor Wardorf.
Nate then reconciliated with Blair, much to Chuck’s disappointment as he realized he was falling for Blair and Blair was suspecting her own feelings for Chuck as well, but she dismissed it and slept with Nate.

Rumors then got out when Serena was caught buying pregnancy test kits in the pharmacy and she was then accused of being pregnant with Dan’s child. Dan’s father was worried, and this caused a small rift with Serena’s mother, who used to date Dan’s father during their younger days. Then Jenny overheard Serena telling Dan about the whole misunderstanding and how she was covering up for her best friend, Blair who may be pregnant with Chuck’s child. Jenny revealed this to Nate, and Chuck who was angered with Blair’s spite and he sent a message to Gossip Girl to inform her of the truth.

When the message got out to the entire school, Blair was suddenly shunned and thrown into public humiliation. She was being labeled a slut for sleeping with two best friends within the same week. Unable to handle the pressure, she begged her mother to send her to France to live with her dad for a semester to get away from the public scrutiny. Serena found out about it and pleaded with Blair to stay back on the day she was scheduled to depart for France.

Serena soon had her own problems to deal with when an old friend, Georgina Sparks came back into her life, threatening to blow their cover.
The truth is; Georgina knew the true reason Serena left town for boarding school and it seemed that Serena’s little rendezvous with Nate was not the main reason.
It was soon revealed that Serena and Georgina were partying that same night after Serena had sex with Nate and she fed drugs to a man who was in their company. The man died of drug overdose and Georgina told Serena to flee the scene.
Serena was overwhelmed with guilt ever since and left for boarding school.

Georgina’s return was to convert Serena back to her old ways, which she refused as she now had Dan. Georgina then threatened to blow her cover, leaving Serena in deep depression and she then sought the help of her best friends; Blair, Nate and Chuck in desperation. Dan was bewildered with Serena’s mysterious disappearance again and was led to believe that she slept with other guys; to which Serena just confirmed to make him go away. Georgina tried to threaten Serena by seducing Dan into sleeping with her.

The gang worked their ways to get back at Georgina; and Blair contacted Georgina’s parents which was a success. At the same time, Serena tried to get back to Dan, who was more than upset when he realized that Serena will never be the girl he wanted due to her standing in the social circle.
His best friend, Vanessa Abrams who came back in the middle of his relationship with Serena, wanting him back proved as a threat but Dan rejected her.

Vanessa soon became best friends with Nate, and it turned into something more than just friendship.
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Jenny, on the other hand, soared to popularity after Blair’s act, but was plummeted down to the earth again when Blair struck back. She hurt Eric, who was her best friend when she dated the guy who was Eric’s boyfriend as well which led to a public announcement of her boyfriend’s homosexual relationship with Eric.
At the same time, Lily was struggling with her own feelings with Rufus and Bart when Serena begged her to marry Bart instead of Rufus as she loved Dan and do not want to complicated things further.

The season ended with Chuck promising Blair a vacation together in Italy, while the rest went off on their summer break in the Hamptons; with Serena seen with Nate.

Character Analysis
Serena Van Der Woodsen by Blake Lively
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She was the ‘It’ Girl at one point, and was perceived as a daredevil and one who lived her life to the fullest. Best friends with the Queen Bee of the social circle in their upper students’ Manhattan society, she was equally as popular if not more popular. She almost ruined her friendship with her best friend when she slept with Nate; the boyfriend. Despite all her wild ways which frustrated her own mother, she was actually a warm-hearted person deep down inside who cared about everyone else in her life.
She was not the judgmental girl like any of the others in the social circle and she had an opinion of her own. She loved her younger brother and would do anything to protect him, including her own reputation at stake. Her feelings for Nate were subdued as she pledged her loyalty to her own best friend and brushed off Nate as just a mistake. She was loyal to Dan despite being misunderstood for numerous times. This was proven when she found out about her own mother’s feelings for Dan’s father which she could not fathom as it could jeopardize her own relationship with Dan. Serena is a complicated and yet simple character who was indeed, a true friend to all although I have to say she can be a rather confusing character as well, as she does not seem to have a strong hold on her own will to make things final.

Blair Wardorf by Leighton Meester
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Dubbed as the Queen Bee due to her social status as being the famous fashion designer, Eleanor Wardorf’s only daughter. Life seemed perfect for this young aspiring girl who strived to go to Yale University, until her parents were filing for divorce and her best friend left the town without informing her. Then she realized her own true love was not really in love with herself but slept with her best friend, and suddenly, her seemingly perfect world came crashing down. Life must have been pretty hard for this young lady.
To make matters worse, she lost her virginity to the most unimaginable guy who was in her own circle; who was known to have the most lewd reputation in town. All of a sudden, she was no longer the Queen Bee but was the trash in town where she was being judged as a slut for losing her chastity to two guys within one same week.
Not knowing how to deal with the pressure, she opted to leave the country but she was held back by her best friend and she was forced to face her own problems when she stayed back which included her true feelings for Chuck, the guy who first took her virginity which she was not willing to admit. Blair was definitely a strong female character, and can appear as your typical witch who crazed for power and fame. However, deep down inside, she is just human and she is just a pitiful girl who was thrown into tumultuous moments and having to appear brave in front of all.

Nate Archibald by Chace Crawford
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The Golden Boy in the Upper East Side, it is no wonder he was the most sought after by most of the girls in the school (or the area for that matter). He was like the male version of Blair Wardorf, who seemed to have it all; only that, it was just an illusion. His own parents pushed him to maintain a relationship with Blair to protect his father’s career and the family’s financial standing when he was truly in love with Serena. He was turned away by Serena over and over again and when he decided to get back with Blair, to start all over again, he found out in devastation that his supposedly ‘chaste’ girlfriend slept with his best friend, Chuck. To add to the drama, his own father was involved with drugs and was soon arrested by the authorities for embezzlement in the company, leaving his mother to shut him out of her life. Nate was forced to grow up and to watch over his mother who seemed to be disinterested in his father. It was not an easy thing for a teenage boy to deal with his own relationship issues and yet juggle with his own family crisis.
It is no wonder Nate struck me as one very confused boy in this whole series; especially in this first season. He did not seem to have an idea of what he wanted.

Chuck Bass by Ed Westwick
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This is definitely the pro yet antagonist in the show. Famous for his signature style; the colorful tie, Chuck was one of the most despised guys in the show for his various experiences with attractive girls in the school. He owned the reputation of being one of the playboys in the school and he even tried to rape Serena and Jenny. He was initially an accomplice to Blair for getting back at Serena and Nate, but his involvement with Blair began when he felt attracted to her and had sex with her in the back of his limo after a party which was after Blair broke up with Nate. He found that he had fallen for her when he was upset with the news that she wanted to get back with Nate. However, he could not bring himself to admit his true feelings despite being pressured by Blair. Chuck was a very cool and calm character but you could see that indecisiveness in his eyes. It was impressive how cool he could make himself look despite the jealousy and anger he had in his heart.

Dan Humphrey by Penn Badgley
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A simple guy who was just looking out for his sister, Dan soon got involved in a lot more than he bargained for when he got the attention of Serena, the ‘It’ Girl. He was simple, straightforward and an honest guy who did not belong to the upper social circle and he was trying to avoid them but he could not help his attraction to Serena, a girl he had been having crush on for sometime. It was only natural that he was excited and happy when she reciprocated his feelings. He was constantly doubtful of Serena and her company, especially after Blair told him about Serena’s little affair with Nate. Then Dan was upset that Serena did not choose to run to him whenever things happened and he was often jealous of Nate. He was comfortable confiding in his old best friend, whom he used to like before she left town and whom he rejected when she returned because his heart is now for Serena.
He is just another teenage boy sorting out his identity; and I thought it was quite sweet that he cherished chastity as something for love and not of lust when he thought that it was better to put off sex with Serena until they are sure of each other.

Jenny Humphrey by Taylor Momsen
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She was an aspiring young fashion designer and she was trying so hard to fit into the social circle and being accepted by Blair and her friends. Sometimes I think she was just trying too hard; as deep down inside, she was not a bad girl but because of her pride and wanting to be part of the ‘cool crowd’, she went beyond herself to make others happy. She lost her identity in the process and almost her own virginity to Chuck Bass. She started doing things to hurt others; including people who cared about her and that was really sad. When she finally lost everything, she realized her mistakes and bounced back into her life by focusing on her own aspiration to be a fashion designer. I preferred to see her when she is not so much of a bitch type.

Vanessa Abrams by Jessica Szohr
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Dan’s best friend and crush, she returned to rekindle that flame and relationship with Dan and was disappointed to find out that she had been replaced by Serena. She continued to support Dan and was behind him in everything he does, much to Serena’s envy and Blair’s disgust. Blair warned her to stay away from Dan, as Serena was her best friend and she would anything to protect her. To a certain extent, I find this character annoying as she was just creating tension everywhere she went and I do detest that all so Miss Perfect and Miss Happy-Go-lucky kind of character which just made me feel she is just so fake. At the end of the season, she seemed to have gotten quite close to Nate which signifies they may have something on in the next season. I just think this character can be a nuisance sometimes; butting herself here and there in everyone’s relationship and not really belonging there.

Blair Wardorf and Serena Van Der Woodsen
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They were best of friends, yet they were occasional rivals as well in their bid for attention and popularity, although the competition seems to be more active on Blair’s side. Blair was constantly the one who wanted to be ahead of Serena, as she believed her life was meant to be the more perfect one. She had a fashion designer mother, she had Yale in front of her, and the Golden Boy Nate was her boyfriend. She could not accept it when her mother chose Serena to model for her latest line of design nor could she forgive Serena for sleeping with her boyfriend. It was perfectly understandable that she fought the entire way to keep her life in piece. Over all, the two girls are still the best friends anyone could have; the way they stood up and encouraged each other in times of crises.
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Nate Archibald and Chuck Bass
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Boys will be boys, they are best buddies until Nate found out about Chuck sleeping with his ex-girlfriend, Blair. They fought and their friendship broke off after that, with Nate giving Chuck the cold shoulder. The truth is, Chuck was also jealous of the popularity and the good/Golden Boy image his best friend had, in contrast to his Bad boy image and how he was scorned by most people while Nate was worshipped and adored by most of the girls. Chuck was happy to discover Nate’s scandal with Serena but when things truly took off with Nate, he was afraid to lose his best friend as well. Despite being the bad guy he is, Chuck was still one good and loyal friend who would always mock but yet help when needed.

Dan and Vanessa
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They started off with not-so-much-of-a-platonic friendship; with both of them having feelings for each other but Vanessa took off and Dan left his feelings at that. He fell for Serena after that and when Vanessa returned, she expected to pick things up where they left off but was disappointed to find that there was no room in Dan’s heart for her anymore. She became that buddy for Dan, while still harboring her own feelings for him. The relationship slowly changed to platonic when Vanessa also started falling for Nate and the duo always had each other to turn to, away from the watchful eyes of the high and mighty clique.

Blair, Serena, Nate, Chuck
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Despite their complicated love lives with each other (or among each other), they were the best of friends who would help one another when in need. Their friendship was jeopardized by their flings with each other, not to mention their disloyalties to their partners and friendships. However, when Serena faced threats from bad girl Georgina, the gang teamed up to help Serena overcome the crisis and it was then that you can see how close the bond is as arch rivals patched their differences to unite against their enemy. They would always have feelings and affections for each other; and it is not hard to comprehend when you have equal number of both genders in the friends group and all are equally attractive.
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Serena and Eric
Serena was protective over her younger brother and she felt strongly towards her mother whom she felt was being manipulative when she put her brother in the alcoholics’ rehabilitation center and refused to bring him home. The siblings were trusting towards each other and to a certain extent, they were like best friends at home.

Dan and Jenny
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This pair of siblings is also similar to the above; whereby the elder brother always fought to protect his estranged little sister who is often too naïve to be trapped in the world of the upper society. She was lured into the materialistic world and having the power to command popularity and attention that she almost lost herself, and her virginity. Her older brother would always be there to make sure she stayed safe and sane while she was the pillar of strength and motivation for him to survive and to be happy in his own relationship.

Nate and Blair
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They were the golden couple; and Blair was so in love with Nate that she was ready to marry him. Nate, on the other hand, I suspected was not totally into Blair as he had been wondering about his own feelings for Serena as well. Otherwise, he would not have jumped at the chance to sleep with Serena immediately. They were more of a couple who wanted the publicity, and it was not a two-way relationship.
Blair was the only one trying to hold the relationship together; forgiving Nate's mistake with Serena and starting all over. Nate however, was not so forgiving when he found out about Blair losing her virginity to Chuck. They finally ended their relationship when they both could not bear to hold on much longer due to their dissolving feelings for each other after all the incidents.

Dan and Serena
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Dan had a crush on Serena for some time already and Serena also fell for him, although initially it was probably a rebound from her relationship with Nate and her guilt for sleeping with the best friend's boyfriend. However, when they both get involved with each other, they became serious and things were really hot and heavy between the two. Dan was the jealous type and I can't say I blame him, given Serena's clique and track record. Serena cared about him and was constantly seen to be running around explaining herself to him that I felt it was tiring. Perhaps she had a lousy record, but so what, there ought to be trust and faith when you start a relationship. Maybe they were not really that meant to be after all, furthermore, was it me or is Serena really taller than Dan?

Nate and Serena
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The two seemed to have a 'thing' for each other since the beginning as most of the characters seem to say. When they finally wound up in each other's arms, they both felt guilty about cheating on Blair (although I must say that Serena seemed to be the one feeling more guilty about it than Nate). Nate was hung up on Serena and could not get over her, but Serena pushed him away in loyalty to her own best friend.
There seemed to be a sign of a possible romance between the two at the end of the season.

Blair and Chuck
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They were some kind of accomplices for each other; with Chuck helping Blair to get back at Serena. When Blair broke up with Nate and lets her hair down one night, she ended up losing her virginity to Chuck and there was an unspoken affection between the two ever since. They both knew they had fallen for each other, even when Blair got back with Nate. When she broke up with Nate the second time, Chuck still would not admit he was in love with her and neither would she. Games pursued and the duo was just playing tango with each other towards the end of the season when Chuck finally hinted to Blair when he asked for a vacation which he chickened out at the very last minute.

Dan and Vanessa
More one-sided and platonic, as Dan only had eyes for Serena. Vanessa thought they could rekindle their almost romance while Dan ended it the moment Vanessa left town.
They remained best friends although Vanessa hoped for a relationship to blossom between them until she fell for Nate.

What I Liked about the series was how they incorporated the modern technology into the concept of the series. I liked how teenagers are portrayed in the contemporary style; whereby cell phones and the Internet plays a major role in their lives. It was an interesting insight and an incredibly imaginative background on the upper society of high school kids. I liked how most of the social issues were highlighted in the series as well through the stories of the characters.
Oh, I love the fashion and the trends as well; both the girls and the guys just looked great and fashionable in everything they wear! =)
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The cast was a great assemble of incredibly good looking young guys and equally beautiful and elegant girls, what is there not to like?

What I Disliked about the series was how loosely and freely sex was portrayed in here among the high school students. It could be a bad influence to the younger generation. Furthermore, the proud images of the cool crowd and the concept of cliques may also distort the notion of schooling and blending in with everyone. Then again, this is how the world works as well, isn’t it?

What could Improve
More scenes of their education in school and how they go through tests; you know the typical life of a student instead of just parties, etc which is not all realistic, is it?

My Verdict/Conclusion
An absolutely fascinating watch, especially if you love/miss high school life. Also, if you are truly into fashion and all those boy-chase-girl relationship, you would love it.
Of course, you’d know to differentiate the right and wrong before you watch it as well.
I know I am totally hooked! I can't wait for Season 2 =D

You know you loved it too….XOXO, Gossip Girl =)

Rating: 8 out of 10

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