Monday, March 5, 2012

TVB: Ten Brothers (十兄弟) (2007)

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No. of episodes: 20

Frankie Lam Man Lung - Chan Tai Ha
Kenix Kwok Ho Ying - Kei Hau Yee
Chris Lai Lok Yi - Eldest Brother/ Thousand Mile Eye (千里眼)
Jason Lam - 2nd Brother/ Distant Hearing (順風耳)
Jack Wu - 3rd Brother/ Strong Guy Three (大力三)
Don Li - 4th Brother/ Stretchy or Elastic Four (奀皮四)
Nicky Law - 5th Brother/Flying Five (飛天五)
Kwok Cheng - 6th Brother/Iron Head Six (銅頭六)
Matt Yeung - 7th Brother/ Long Leg Seven (高腳七)
Russell Cheung - 8th Brother/ Digger Eight (遁地八)
Adam Ip - 9th Brother/Big Mouth Nine (大口九)
Jeffrey Wong - 10th Brother/Crying Ten (大喊十)

Supporting Cast:
Liu Kai Chi - Man Sai Hung
Leila Tong - Hung Siu Lan
Nancy Wu - Yuen Tung Tung
Ellesmere Choy - Chow Ka Lai
Felix Lok - Kei Fat Chi
Poon Fong Fong - Jiu Mei Han
Natalie Wong - Chui Kiu
Chan On Ying - Wong Ma
Johnson Lee - Ho Yat Sing
Wilson Tsui - Kei Yan

Chan Tai Ha (Frankie Lam) makes a living selling traditional Chinese dessert soups on the streets; close to the home of the wealthy Kei family as he harbors feelings for Kei's only daughter, Kei Hau Yee (Kenix Kwok). Ha remembered Hau Yee as someone who had saved him many years ago when she gave him a bowl of dessert soup and since then, he had fallen in love with her and took to selling desserts near her home, in the hope that she could remember him.

Hau Yee, on the other hand, was interested in Chow Ka Lai (Ellesmere Choy) whom her father introduced to her. However, Chow was more interested in pursuing his own career and left abruptly without expressing his interest in Hau Yee, much to her disappointment.
While Tai Ha tries to get the attention of Hau Yee, he ends up angering her. He was heading home one night after selling his desserts when he accidentally picked up ten magic beans without him realizing it. Thinking it was rotten beans, he put them aside while cooking his desserts.

One day, Hau Yee and her servant girl fell down a hill and Tai Ha, who happened to be there, saved them and brought them to his hut. The servant girl went to the kitchen and poured herself a bowl of dessert, where she puts in the magic beans and gave it to Hau Yee who drank the soup with all the beans. After taking the magic beans and returning home, Hau Yee was feeling unwell and when they summoned a doctor to the house, her father was angered to find that Hau Yee was pregnant.
As it was frowned upon and also a taboo at that time to be pregnant before marriage, Hau Yee's father wanted to cover the incident but the whole village had found out and the villagers asked for Hau Yee to be executed. Tai Ha, who heard of the incident, rushed and admitted that he was the father, saving her from execution.
However, Hau Yee was disowned by her father although she claimed her innocence and she had to live with Tai Ha in his humble hut, despite her feeling angry with him for admitting in public that they had an affair.

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Hau Yee's pregnancy grew at an alarming rate, and in less than a month, she gave birth to ten babies. Alarmed at the number of babies, Hau Yee and Tai Ha were further shocked when their children grew up into adults in one night, with the exception of the tenth son. The terrified parents did not know what to do, and left their children in the village town, where they caused havoc.
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Two and Three were taken in by an evil marshal, Man Sai Hung's (Liu Kai Chi) wife, who wanted to cover up the fact that the marshal's own sons had died a few years ago.
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When their havoc becomes unbearable, the remaining eight brothers were caught by the villagers and were to executed.

In the meantime, shortly after Tai Ha and Hau Yee separated ways, she returned to her father(Felix Lok), who was pleased to see that she is no longer pregnant. However, to avoid further problems, he arranged for Hau Yee to marry a rich man in the neighboring village to be his concubine. On Hau Yee's wedding day, Tai Ha runs to inform her of the children's execution and she ran away from her father, to the execution spot to save her children, as she truly cared about her children.
Tai Ha and Hau Yee brought their eight children back home, where they started building their own family together and at the same time, trying to find the other two children.
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Due to their impoverished condition, Tai Ha and Hau Yee had to sell Four and Ten to a performing group to learn skills and have a better chance of living.
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The owner of the group is a selfish and mean guy who abused his performers, and Four and Ten were constantly punished and bullied, not to mention malnourished. Nine was also sold to an elderly couple whom he saved, and he led a much better life as they were richer. Hau Yee took care of the remaining children, and One, being the eldest, was also the most mature and he helped Tai Ha at his business in town.
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Two and Three had been trained by the evil marshal to be mean and bullies, extorting money out of the people selling things on the streets in town.
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The marshal loved them as he believed them to be his long lost sons from his first wife in the village, much to the displeasure of his fourth wife (Natalie Wong).

In a twist of incidents, Four, Ten and Nine returned to be reunited with the family. Four and One ended up falling for the same girl (Leila Tong), who was Four's colleague in the performing group. Siu Lan was in love with One, rather than Four, and they ended up with each other when Four finally gave in to their true love.

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The brothers also slowly discovered that each of them possess a unique special power; with One being able to see things within a thousand miles, earning him the nickname of Thousand Miles, Four was able to stretch himself into any form or shape, thus becoming Stretchy/Elastic Four; Five was able to fly, being Flying Five; Six with a special bald patch that was as hard as steel, Iron Head Six; Seven being able to sprout extremely long legs, Long Leg Seven; Eight being able to tunnel himself into the ground and run underground, Digger Eight, Nine with an extremely loud mouth was able to shake and blow things away when he opens his mouth, Big Mouth Nine; and Ten, who just seemed to cry and floods places with his tears, Crying Ten.
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Two and Three did not discover their own powers that soon, until they were found to be fakes and that the marshal's sons had indeed died. When they returned to their family, after identifying their bean birthmark like the rest of the brothers, Two realized that he could hear things from a distance, Distance Hearing; and Three, was mighty strong; Strong Guy Three.

Ten's crying ability was discovered when he accidentally saved his grandfather from an illness after crying over him. It was then that Hau Yee realized that his tears could heal, and they used Ten to heal most of the injuries and illnesses.
The ten do have a specific weakness as well, as it was depicted in the drama. Gun powder seemed to weaken their powers.

The Marshal was angered to have lost his sons, and when he was threatened by the sudden appearance of Chow Ka Lai, whom he suspected to be an undercover spy sent by the capital, he was worried he might be caught and imprisoned by the federal government due to his evil doings and thus began building his own army. He learnt of Two and Three's special powers and tried to seek his niece, Tung Tung's (Nancy Wu), help, as he knew that Tung Tung was in love with Three.
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When he found out that the ten brothers are all owners of special powers, he captured Tai Ha and the boys to force them to coerce with him, however they refused.
Elsewhere, Hau Yee was pleased with Ka Lai's return, much to Tai Ha's dismay, but was angry with Ka Lai when she found out that he was a spy and he involved her children in his dangerous activities, causing them to be injured.

After going through so much trials with Tai Ha, Hau Yee realized that the one she truly loved was Tai Ha and no longer Ka Lai and the two finally got married after the evil marshal was defeated.
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It was then that One had a vision of a white-haired old man (Wilson Tsui) who was actually the owner of the ten magic beans. He told them that they had to leave on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month or they will die, as they do not belong to this world. Initially they did not believe them, but Tai Ha refused to take chances.
The family continued to live happily with each other for the remaining two weeks leading to the 15th and Hau Yee, though with a heavy heart, let them go on the 15th where they disappeared and became ten shining stars in the sky.

In the finale of the series, Hau Yee and Tai Ha had their own son and he was seen pointing to the stars in the sky where he acknowledges them as his brothers.

Christy's Review:
Ten Brothers is based on an old Chinese myth of the same name, about ten brothers who exhibit super powers each. The main storyline followed closely to the story, although of course, the storyline would require a little more imagination and creativity to add drama.
Don't expect it to be a logical drama, as after all, this is a story about super powers which are out of this world.

Likes about this series:
The combined strengths of the ten brothers in defeating the evil marshal, or also whenever they are with each other. Great chemistry which brings warmth to the viewers.

Dislikes about this series:
The unnecessary romance between Siu Lan and One, and also Tung Tung and Three, although they were quite sweet as well, and I guess something to spice up the story which would be quite bland without romance. Not really a major dislike, but well, I just find it a little out of place ikn the series sometimes.
Also, the overacting of Liu Kai Chi as the general was a little annoying too.

The verdict:
Only watch if you have tolerance for weird and illogical storyline, otherwise, this is not a drama for you.

Rating: 3/5

*Images belong to and are only for illustration purposes*

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