Saturday, 25 December 2010

Twilight Investigation

My first post on a series part of the TVB 44th Anniversary. I must admit I fell in love with this series. The plot is actually quite engaging and interesting, it is definitely one of TVB's best comedy/mystery series. I just found this series a bit different to the normal fare of TVB and the cast is decent. I would definitely put it as one of my favourite TVB series this year and it will be a strong contender, for me, in the 44th Anniversary Awards. It's a shame that it's broadcast time is just after the awards ceremony and right around the Christmas period, generally a filler position. It's ratings haven't been high, which is a shame, because Twilight deserves much better than 28/29 points.

Clich├ęd but there's a gap in my life without Twilight Investigation! Very few TVB series have made me feel this way but this year three managed that, A Fistful of Stances, No Regrets and now Twilight Investigation. The ending however left me split. I didn't really know how to react, though I must say it was a very good ending. But should I feel sad that Wong Hei died? Or should I be happy that he is reunited with Linda Chung, both as humans. It feels so weird that a happy ending requires the main lead to die. However in my heart I always knew if there was a "logical" happy ending Wong Hei would need to die and meet Linda again. Whilst I loved how they filmed the final scenes where they were reunited as children I think it would have been even better if they linked it back with how Linda told Wong Hei how he could find her, like the dried prawns thing.

There were flaws in the story, I admit. The cases were at times typical of TVB standards. However most of the cases were generally engaging but I found the last case, which rounded off the series, a bit bland. It was quite obvious how the story was going to develop. However what made this series, in my opinion, better than many of its kind, was that it focused on developing one main plot - the relationship of Wong Hei and Linda Chung, the cases were only a side comment to the series. Yes there were many other interesting relationships, which is another key to its success, but it did spend enough time in making the romantic link between Wong Hei and Linda believable. I find many TVB series just make the romantic link and then leave it, nothing continues, the story seems to head in other directions when they get together but in Twilight Investigation they kept that main plot going.

Acting wise nobody really gave an award winning performance but I think they all had their strengths and I would happily consider many actors or actresses in this series for awards. So here are, yet again, my nominations...

Best Actor
Wong Hei
I haven't liked most of Wong Hei's recent characters but Gei On Gui, love the name, was a good character for him. Wong Hei still provided some quite cringe-worthy moments, he doesn't deliver comedy that naturally so it was a challenge for Wong Hei. However I liked Wong Hei in this series, he and Linda had an interesting chemistry. But I think Wong Hei has past his heyday, his best portrayals were when he was playing the brash, tough and slightly arrogant characters he did 10 years ago such as Burning Flame I and II, definitely not III because III was boring - that's why TVB don't make a Forensic Heroes III - I'm not a huge fan of Forensic Heroes but it doesn't need any extra episodes!

Anyway it was quite funny when Linda used Johnson to tell Wong Hei that he should wear looser shirts, he did like to wear shirts which were a bit too tight - I wonder if it was his own wardrobe or styled?

Best Actress
Linda Chung
Many may argue that Linda Chung overacted in this series but I think that was necessary to make her character seem rather childish and slightly over the top. Yes there were times when Linda may have slightly overdone it but in general Linda did very well in this role. It's interesting to see Linda play this type of character as she is always likeable and quite cute in these roles, just like in Legend of the Demigods. I think the role of a ghost really made this character one of the best in her repertoire, I was so shocked to find out that Linda Chung was actually a ghost, that was really the turning point in this series - the point when I became intrigued.

Whilst Linda won't win any awards for this character I think she deserved to be considered for Best Character at least because Tuk Chai was just so adorable.

Best Supporting Actor
Raymond Wong
Another series of Raymond Wong, but I'm still not tired of seeing him! He does still have his stiff moments where his eyes look like they are about to pop out of his skull, they just don't seem to convey as much emotion as the rest of his body. But I liked Raymond's comedy input into this series. One side mention, his character was quite well dressed! I think his charisma really helps viewers gravitate towards him.

Power Chan
I really liked Power, especially in his earlier scenes when he just got to know Linda (when Linda still didn't know she was a ghost). I'm not sure Power's character was allowed to develop that much but out of the three (Wong Hei, Linda Chung and Power Chan) Power Chan was the most consistent, acting wise, but that also may be because he wasn't in as many scenes. It's amazing seeing Power Chan transform with every role, he manages to portray these quite outspoken characters despite being nothing like that in real life. It's time Power Chan got some recognition! Sadly TVB will never consider him in a series like this. I would have liked to see Power's character develop a bit more, the part when he stayed in jail because he thought he needed to repent was a bit rushed in my opinion.

Best Supporting Actress
Rebecca Chan
Twilight Investigation allowed Rebecca to shine through based solely on her acting merit. Her character was engaging and actually quite lovable. I loved her name Gei Ho Yan (which sounds like "slightly nice person" in chinese, fits with her character perfectly). I haven't seen Rebecca portray many characters like this but it gave her a lot of memorable screen time and she stood out from most of the cast.

Queenie Chu
Without a doubt Queenie Chu performs the best acting as a serious, commanding woman. Her best portrayals seem to be when she is as a policewoman. Yet again there are still some obvious flaws in her acting but I enjoyed the story so much I didn't really focus too much attention of them. I think Queenie should develop along this route, portray "strong woman" characters and carry on from there. She is actually very believable as a policewoman and she seems to get her "discerning, thinking, angry" expressions very well.

I just have to add, it was really funny seeing how many actors got to try their hand at Linda's character (as Linda occasionally "used their bodies!") but Queenie's scene was one of the most amusing. Queenie was in a coma but her boyfriend, Ben Wong, wanted her to die, Linda saw all of this and used Queenie's body to stop him. The scene that led from this was just so funny, seeing Queenie so exaggerated and Ben so scared that she had suddenly sprung alive and then went back into a coma - priceless.

Best Couple
Linda Chung and Wong Hei
On paper this pair would never work but it did in Twilight Investigation. Maybe it was more to do with the story but I really got to like the Linda/Hei couple.

Raymond Wong (Agassi Cheng) and Queenie Chu
Something about this pairing just worked even when the two weren't together! I wanted to see a lot more scenes of them! But this couple would be incomplete without mentioning their son Agassi Cheng. The fighting and bickering between the two just really worked. From the get go I loved this pair, I remember Queenie was interrogating Raymond at the police station and then Raymond's phone rang, he then asked Queenie in front of everyone in the police station, whether he was going to their sons school or her. I just love those moments in this drama. Twilight Investigation seems to do really well at changing what your initial conception into something else.

Most Improved Actor
No Nominees

Most Improved Actress
Lee Yee Man
Lee Yee Man has been in a few series but I don't really remember any of them but here she did relatively well - good job.

Queenie Chu
Expect to see Queenie in my Top 5 for Most Improved at my 44th Anniversary Awards!

Favourite Male Character
Raymond Wong
Funny and charismatic Raymond Wong's character Chow Ka-sing really stood out as an extremely likeable character and his relationship with his son was adorable.

Favourite Female Character
Linda Chung

Breakthrough Performance
Oceane Zhu
I believe this is Oceane's first TVB series, already I'm loving her! It would be nice if she could speak in Cantonese, as it'll limit the roles she'll be able to take in the future, but in this series it was integrated well and her acting is very realistic.

Best Chemistry
Everybody that could see Linda Chung

The Wong Hei-Power Chan-Linda Chung trio and Wong Hei-Johnson Lee-Raymond Wong-Linda Chung quartet were both great, especially the trio, it was heart-warming to see the three reunited in the ending.

Most Annoying Character
Ram Tseung
Why destroy the harmony! The car crash he caused was so damn evil! And he tried to use being mentally ill as an excuse for his crimes! His character was plain annoying but then couple that with Ram Tseung! I like Ram but his laugh just annoys me, especially when he tries to laugh evilly!

Recognition Award
Johnson Lee
Whilst individually I don't think he was strong enough to be nominated he made a great duo with Raymond Wong, it was weird seeing TVB writing a bromance relationship!
Agassi Cheng
Agassi was such an adorable kid and definitely one of the more natural child actors on TVB.

Mandy Lam
Mandy needs some recognition! She's beautiful and actually a very good actress.

Macy Chan
A good performance from Macy, her character was also very interesting.

Janice Shum

Sorry can't find a good image of her but I was slightly teary when I saw her in the interrogation room admitting her crimes she was so emotional.

Now I leave you with a fabulous graphics to round off my first review for a TVB 44th Anniversary series.


  1. wonder if there is a sequel afterall the ending we see wong hei as a cop so maybe its a set up for a sequel?

    1. Whilst I would quite like a sequel I really doubt that there would be one. Firstly I don't see Wong Hei going back to TVB and more importantly the series didn't leave a lasting impression on the Hong Kong audience.

  2. when they were reunited, did they remember each other from their past life, or do they just see each other as children?