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Monday, July 9, 2012

No Good Either Way [TVB][TV][2012][COMPLETED]

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UPDATES - 09.07.2012
The entire post and comments have been reposted to Reviews Database. Any comment here will also be reposted there.

It is actually 21 episodes instead of 20 episodes and I like the ending. It is hopeful in its own way. I was so busy thinking who will end up with who but this series is beyond that. It isn't about who ends up with who but rather what actually happens to them. Goaltech company is saved as all 500 employees agree to delay their salary by 20 days so that Alex can fix the corrupted ES system. This is because they like Mr Ko who has my vote as the most understanding boss and husband ever. I really like his happy ending with his Thai wife. Interpal doesn't end up with Man's sister. I actually thought he would but he ends up as her business partner, finally finding a career he can show to his mom proudly. Man doesn't end up with the doctor but they became friends but he did get to be his Sales Manager, so good for him! Alex and Ling remain happily married. Violet, Kan, Aaron and Ko's business partner were arrested and charged and I assume Aaron got 1 year imprisonment because 1 year later he is delivering pizza, having learned his lesson. My biggest disappointment is Kin doesn't end up with Ho Jing Jik because I really want them to end up together. Instead she decided to take it slow and the ending seems to suggest things are not over between her and Aaron. What?! No! No! Let them be over. I really like Ho Jing Jik.

Seriously the last episode was really funny, that scene where everybody ends up at Violet's apartment. That is some witty writing there. And whilst I still think this will work better as a half hour sitcom, but as a series I enjoy the chemistry the cast has with one another.

I never liked Kristal Tin but in here I really appreciate her performance as the simple minded Ling. I think her subtle performance was so elegant, her face very expressive and she has this amazing chemistry with Ruco Chan, their hugs, kisses, all very very believable.

I am even quite impressed with Natalie Tong whose start of career reminds me of Raymond Lam of the past, that OTT dramatic reaction to absolutely everything. She doesn't need to be funny in here so thankfully, nothing forced. She did most scene well, toning down her OTT reaction although frankly her role in light of others are lesser so focus is lesser and so I was able to enjoy her performance.

Louis Yuen proves himself funny in one particular scene where he had to agree, deny and avoid all in succession as he was confronted by Kristal's Ling. That scene reminded me so much of Power Chan and his comic timing in.. what was that series with Charmaine and Dayo again? That classic scene. I am also glad this series doesn't force some romance on him.

Stephen Au was fantastic as the kind caring boss and there is a sincerity in his performance as Mr Ko. When Alex was being difficult, and Alex has his reasons, I felt Alex was being such a petulant child as against a much pressured Mr Ko. Stephen Au really showed his gentleness in this performance which to me is one of his best.

Never liked Matt Yeung but I ended up liking him. It just shows the right role will do wonders to change the perception of viewers.

Florence Kwok's Violet may be a silly character but I can't fault Florence's great performance as the ultimate office bitch.

I finally found out Interpal is Gill Mohindepaul Singh and this man deserves all the praises. Not that I want to see him shirtless (oh so hairy!!) and his character is silly; most of the time the trio find themselves in impossible stupid situation because of Interpal but Gill Mohindepaul Singh played his character with sincerity and the idea that an Indian can speak such good cantonese never gets old. This is one of the best aspect of this series and quite an eye opener, so many Indian actors who can speak perfect cantonese. In fact I suspect they're better at Cantonese than Hindi because their Hindi sounds like gibberish. Maybe they speak Tamil? Urdu?

Even Leanne Li with her limited role manage to impress upon me with her winning smile and cheerful disposition.

Ruco Chan impresses me as well. He can be funny but he can also play angry. However I feel at some scenes he was holding himself back when he didn't quite shout, and yet not quite whispering. However in retrospect it is because Alex is an educated man, who doesn't stoop so low as to shout as his wife even if he says hurtful things. So again I appreciate his subtlety. He doesn't look cunning evil thanks to his curly hair and glasses and I must mention again I love his chemistry with his co-stars, such as Louis Yuen and of course Kristal Tin.

Cheng Chi Seng (does he have English name?) also impresses as the devious minority shareholder of Goaltech. This guy can act. With the same look, he can play a devious guy or a really nice guy. That is what I called versatility.

The one I am disappointed with is Jason Chan. But he is given an impossible role; a character that just disgusts you till no end with the words he used against Kin. In that respect he played his role well but you can see he is very very very raw. I am doubtful if he can lead a series. He should stay the secondary actor for some time to observe and learn rather than being pushed into the limelight. If I feel Natalie Tong is too dramatic in her delivery of her lines, Jason reminds me of Selena Li who is fluffy. I don't like how his words are never strong enough. What I mean is look at Ruco; every word he delivers has conviction. He believes in his dialogue, his lines and you can hear his pronunciation, crisp and clear. Jason seems unsure. Given time he will be a better actor but right now I just find him wholly inadequate.

A sidenote. Leanne's doctor boyfriend is William Chak? Didn't know! No comment on his performance since he had so few scenes but since I didn't find anything glaringly obvious, I will say a job well done then.

Overall this is an amazingly witty series. Yes some situations are impossible, some even downright stupid. But concentrate on the characters and performances, ignore the situations. This is a character driven series and for me the writing is tight and the performances for the most part are above the usual standard fare. And I like the ending. It is not typical in its own weird way. For me this series is enjoyable because it chooses to be quirky. It is a funny interesting quirky series and if you can ignore some major plot holes, I believe this is the series for you. Fans of Ruco, Kristal and Natalie will want to watch this to see their favourite stars shine.

Highly recommended.


UPDATES - 06.07.2012
Finally that wrapped in towel running on street scene! And the BTS was way sexier than the real thing! Not just 2 actors had to run on the street wrapped in towel, so did 4 or 5 others! It was not very funny because BTS was funnier. I think this series should be ending soon and whilst the story is getting to be very ridiculous (how can Interpal sell Alex's  creation? That was just stupid!) but the dialogue is rather realistic even if I do think Alex is a bit too "siu hei". He can't expect the entire company to bend to HIS will!! Anyway are you watching this? No? WHY NOT? Watch it! It is rather funny!!

Where did they find all these Indian actors who can speak such fluent Cantonese? Even more fluent than me and than some of the actors in this series, from Hong Kong? And most of them can act, such as Interpal's cousin! Amazing! I still believe this series would work best as a half hour sitcom since it is slowing down. Frankly the official synopsis got it all wrong! A very enjoyable witty series with some very fine dialogue. If you're not watching this... well... you should be!

I am currently watching the new TVB series, No Good Either Way over at ASTRO AOD. Still in early stages as in episode 4 but I am smitten and am hoping it stays this good. For all the talks of changing their style and giving pretentious over dramatic storylines and direction and long useless monologues, to me this series is fresh and different in TVB sense. Look at it faraway and it is typical TVB but look closer, and this series actually has a storyline, characters have characterisation and personality, the dialogue is crisp and most importantly, it is witty. I thought I can predict the next step but this series in each episode surprises me with its clever witty twist and useful flashback. It doesn't drag. So I question some casting decision but so far everyone is ok, but to me my favourite as yet is the actor who plays Interpal Singh who has some of the best lines.

Ruco Chan is surprisingly good in lighthearted moments even if he still reminds me of an accountant serial killer, luckily this time less so because of his goofy curly hair and Stephen Au is darn funny whilst being darn serious. He in fact has the funniest moment in I believe Episode 4 with regards to his comatose wife, and certainly the big twist of the night.


Of all the female cast, I am glad Florence Kwok is given prominence again. This woman can act and here she is the ultimate bitch in the office who cares only for herself. I love how she almost stumbled and everyone was watching her and cheering for her to fall flat on her face! My problem is with Natalie Tong who isn't funny and is overdramatic in everything but thus far she is serviceable. And I don't like Crystal Tin but so far she is ok and she does have chemistry with Ruco. I do like how realistically they hug each other as engaged couples do. Jason Chan is I am sorry to say the least impressive with his very mediocre acting and I hate the way he spoke his lines; no force, no nothing. I am surprised he is picked to lead his next series but I suppose TVB needs new blood and they're banking on his looks and image. Based on performance alone, he is thus far just fluff. Some minor characters are given a lot of screentime to flesh their characters, ranging from eccentric (I love Louis Yuen's campy effeminate room mate!) to downright disgusting (Natalie Tong's boss! Yuck!).  I do not know the direction of this series as yet but then it is good because it is not quite predictable with some amusing surprises. To me THIS is the real deal thus far; all the talks about changing TVB and such, this series to me is the first sign of a good and interesting change. I won't be surprise if you tell me this is inspired (*cough*stolen idea*cough*) from a k-drama or J-drama or C-drama or whatever but what I love is it doesn't have  a so called shocking element as storyline as gimmick. The gimmick here is the dry wit. I pray that it stays that good. TVB! SURPRISE ME!!!

Malaysian viewers if you have AOD, watch daily over at CH901 from Mon-Fri with new episode every 8.30pm.


  1. Ruco Chan maybe the better actor but I like Jason Chan better. I think Jason Chan has more commercial element if TVB wants to pick one between these two to sell, but it's only me.

    Do you know that they are the same age? Only that Ruco looks 40 and Jason looks 25.

  2. So far I am not liking Jason Chan who is way way way behind Ruco in terms of acting abilities. I find him like Selena, rather fluffy. And I don't like the way he speaks. In a way Ruco speaks clearly all his words. I don't think Jason Chan has any more commercial element than Ruco. I am not a fan of Ruco but I know a good actor when I see one, serial killer or not! Same age eh? Ruco does look mature but Jason doesn't look 25. He looks his age.

  3. Funn,
    While the HK media did not mention that "No Good Idea Way" borrowed ideas from "Horrible Bosses," I'm pretty sure that was what originally inspired the series. The timing of the release and subject material indicates some correlation.

    The crisp dialogue to the "No Good Idea Way" may be due to some good improvised lines. I watched an interview segment and Ruco mentioned that Louis Yuen was a great acting partner. Louis would sometimes change his lines a little, surprising Ruco, but the end result worked.

    Also the cast of "Be Home for Dinner" is here. They have worked together for a long time and there is also good chemistry between them.

    Go watch "The Other Truth" and Ruco is very good there too. You might like his lawyer image. He gave a very subtle, layered performance and good court scenes. His fierce appearance is part of his charm.

  4. Sorry I might be the only one in tvb world who don't dig Ruco in even in The Truth. I think Ruco has the athmosphere of a supporting actor or a villanous character. There are more to an actor than just acting skills. That is why there are so many actors who has all the acting skills but are only supporting actors.

  5. That is why no matter how bad Linda Chung acting is, she gives the main actress athmosphere. I'm one of the few who understand why she landed in meaty parts straight from the pageants although her acting sucked back then.

  6. Jayne, Horrible Bosses is the Jennifer Aniston movie? I haven't seen it. So far this series is clean cut and very witty. Yes the chemistry is there.

    I am still waiting for TV to show The Other Truth. I think should be showing soon.

  7. Funn,
    Yes Jennifer Aniston is in "Horrible Bosses." Although I did not watch the movie either, the premise of nightmare bosses is already similiar to "No Good Either Way." The theme is close enough and likely inspired the TVB version.

    Do not miss "The Other Truth"! You must see Ruco as the handsome lawyer. Even if you don't like his looks, you will likely appreciate his acting. His court and cross-examination scenes are quite powerful.

  8. This series' cast seem to be made up of 'Be Home for Dinner' and 'The Other Truth' cast.

    Be Home for Dinner:
    Jason Chan
    Krystal Tin
    Stephen Au
    Matt Yeung
    Katy Kung
    Raymond Chiu
    Yeung Chiu Hoi
    Celine Ma
    Glen Lee
    Leanne Li
    Meini Cheung
    Candice Chiu

    The Other Truth:
    Louis Yuen
    Natalie Tong
    Ruco Chan
    Leanne Li
    Gil Paul
    Yeung Ying Wai
    Chun Wong
    Candice Chiu
    Mandy Lam

  9. Anyone knows the song they played for the wedding scene?

  10. I just finish watching this series. I agree with you that Ruco and Krystal's chemistry is great. They are really believable as a husband and wife. Contrast this with Micheal Tse and Tavia in 'Friendly Fire'. I've only watch 7 episodes of FF. Even those there are hugs and show of love in the beginning, I somehow feel no closeness. All those blissful action and expression seem a put on act. Ruco and Krystal instead, feels very natural.

  11. Don't tell Tavia's fans!! They will hutn you down.


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