Review: Three Kingdoms RPG (TVB, 2012)

Three Kingdoms RPG (回到三國)
Genre: Historical Fiction, Comedy
Length: 25 episodes
Producer: Lau Ka Ho

Rating: 3/5 stars

The Cast

Kenneth Ma as Vincent/Simi Sun aka “Wan Sun”
Raymond Lam as Zhuge Liang; Liu Bei’s strategist
Tavia Yeung as Song Yau; maid in Liu Bei’s household
Kaki Leung as Huang Yueying; Zhuge Liang’s wife
Lee Kwok Lun as Liu Bei
Jimmy Au as Guan Yu; Liu Bei’s sworn brother and general
Savio Tsang as Zhang Fei; Liu Bei’s sworn brother and general
Pierre Ngo as Sun Quan
Ruco Chan as Zhou Yu; Sun Quan’s strategist
Law Lok Lam as Cao Cao
Ram Tseung as Sun Yu; Cao Cao’s strategiest
Lee Sing Cheung as Hon Leung; Liu Bei, later Cao Cao’s strategist
Jonathan Cheung as Fan Gun; Sun’s friend
Sharon Chan as Xiao Qiao; Zhou Yu’s wife

and Deno Cheung, Rachel Kan, Iva Law, Mary Hon, Jack Wu, Vin Choi, Lau Kong, Cilla Kung, Ha Yu, etc.

The Review

Kenneth, Raymond, and Tavia are obviously the attractions for this “silly” drama regardless of whether or not it comes with a logical plot. Since joining the singing scene a few years ago and due to the low productivity of his works (one per year only), most fans will tune into Three Kingdoms, supporting their idol. I, for one, have lost some faith in Raymond’s performances ever since The Mysteries of Love days, but there still exist the slightly amount of hope that one day I like watching him onscreen again. Again, he proves me wrong because a fictional nerd from Mysteries of Love is better than a butchered, sleepy Zhuge Liang. Thank goodness this was a comedy, if not my image of one of the China’s greatest historical strategists will be ruined. Ahhhhh!

Okay, I’m not going to go into the plot this time because most of you guys probably have seen this one and if you haven’t, you will not be motivated to watch it after this review anyway. For a 25-episdode (initially, I thought it was 30 episodes) drama, not many historical events can took place and indeed, I don’t feel like much has happened. Sure, the main historical happenings (that everyone has probably heard of here and there) where Zhuge Liang “borrows arrows with straw men” from Cao Cao and where he borrows the “north wind” to burn Cao Cao’s chained ships was featured, but was carried out hastily and lazily with heavy computer graphics, especially the latter.

Our time traveler lead, Wan Sun, matured a great deal hanging out alongside his admired hero, Zhuge Liang for two years. And one of the elements of a good drama is observing the growth and maturity of its characters — though it’s only Wan Sun who matured while everyone else pretty much remained static throughout. This actually makes me believe that it’s a Kenneth Ma series and the scriptwriters did not even care to put in an adequate script. For a moment, I wasn’t sure whether it was Wan Sun who admired Zhuge Liang or vice versa.

Netizens claimed that Kenneth was exaggerated in his acting, but it was fine for a time-traveling comedy. Being the lazy video game slacker he was, his exaggeration actually brought out his childish side a bit. It was muy cute.

Zhuge Liang is a famous strategist during the Three Kingdoms era and is also one of my favorite historical figures as well, but I’m sorry that Raymond only portrayed his tired and sleepy side. I’m sure there is more substance to the wise guy than what Lau Ka Ho let us saw. Raymond, if you’re sleepy, go home. Now it makes sense why your ex (Mavis Pan) claimed that you guys had your first date in bed. The story is really coming together logically.

Tavia was a waste of talent for this role. Song Yau was a simple-minded, hardworking maid and there was nothing to her that was boring or interesting. She was her and just happened to run across Wan Sun, unfortunately, and have her heart broken. Any actress in TVB could have taken this role. It was probably better if a rising newcomer replaced her since Song Yau had a nice amount of screen time (depending on how you see it), but does not require someone with fadan-status to play the role.

Despite being ill a good chunk of the time, Kaki who plays Zhuge Liang’s wife, had an intelligent, calm, and virtuous character. She was likable, but still boring. Good match for Raymond’s Zhuge Liang. 😉

TVB is really draining in actors as I was surprised to see Lee Kwok Lun (who plays the villain in every TVB series) take on the role as the generous Liu Bei. Still, I thought the actor wasn’t a good fit for the role and Lee only looked like a distressed old man and definitely not a hero.

Pierre appeared too short for a ruler, but it was a nice test to see how well he looks for a historical figure. Not bad. He tried, but he didn’t have many scenes, considering he appeared pretty late in the series.

(Raymond’s) Zhuge Liang was no match for (Ruco’s) Zhou Yu. Seriously, a single fierce stare from Ruco can bring Raymond shying down to his knees. Even though Ruco didn’t appear until episode 19 (am I right?), yet when he did, he easily stole the spotlight from Raymond. Zhou Yu was petty and jealous of Zhuge Liang’s talent alright, but after watching, it would make us wonder why he had to be jealous. What does Zhuge Liang have that he needs to be jealous of? Oh right, his sleepiness. Furthermore, Ruco was fierce when he needed to be and tender when he cooked for his wife. Awwwww…

It’s the Three Kingdoms era, but Lau Ka Ho focuses the series mainly on Liu Bei’s household and Zhuge Liang. Cao Cao only comes into play when the two camps are at war. As good as Law Lok Lam makes for a veteran actor, he made Cao Cao look like a joke. And his eyebrows certainly doesn’t allow me to take him seriously either. Let me wax them for you.

The best actor here is easily Lee Sing Cheung who plays the despicable and petty-minded Hon Leung. He was initially in Liu Bei’s camp, but was jealous of Zhuge Liang’s talent. Later, he joins Cao Cao’s camp and creates more trouble. Though only a fictional character, he makes a rather big difference for the series I would say, considering both Cao Cao and Liu Bei were portrayed as a joke.

Noteworthy Scenes

Wan Sun, Zhuge Liang, Sun Quan, and Zhou Yu playing poker and applying it to the theory of allies.

Zhou Yu cooking for his wife, Xiao Qiao.

Wan Sun and Fan Gun’s chatting together under the tree.

Zhang Fei’s yelling lead to breaking the bridge.

When Hon Leung and his subordinate was sneaking away from Liu Bei’s camp and his subordinate said, “Adviser, I’m shot by an arrow” in which he replied, “It’s better for you to die than me.” Cao Cao did the same to him. Karma is a bitch.

Zhuge Liang and Wan Sun convincing Sun Quan the benefits of allying.

Wan Sun’s modern lingo.

Lady Cai and his son allied with Cao Cao and he killed them afterwards. Phew, but yay!

Liu Bei’s two wives fighting for Song Yau and when Zhang Fei said he’ll cut Song Yau in half, but stopped and went on friendly terms after that.

Lau Ka Ho’s butchering lead Xiao Qiao turn into a spoiled “kong lui.” LOL.

Wan Sun’s mother (from 21st century) says, “Be obedient, son.”

Overall Evaluation

This is certainly not a historical drama. Thank goodness, I didn’t go in thinking it was one otherwise this will be my last straw for TVB.

As much as I want to say it’s worth watching for the main cast, Raymond spoils it. Kenneth, Ruco, Jonathan, and Lee Sing Cheung were the acting highlights here. Tavia was mediocre at best, but I’ll blame the casting and script more. Everyone else was a joke and didn’t play a big part in carrying out the history.

Verdict

Only recommended for Kenneth fans and maybe as a time filler. It does have its humorous moments though.

Advertisements

One thought on “Review: Three Kingdoms RPG (TVB, 2012)

  1. TVB definitely ruined everything good about Three Kingdoms. Liu Bei is weak and Zhuge Liang is stupid. Zhou Yu and Han Leung are smarter than him. Hell, even his wife is smarter than him. Too much wasted time on Tavia the insignifiant maid. Could have had her in another role that would be more interesting, like part of the enemy camp. And WHAT WERE THEY THINKING ABOUT THE ENDING???????

    Full thoughts: http://casualtvb.blogspot.ca/2012/08/three-kingdoms-rpg-review.html

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s