Young Detective Files II

Reviewed by: Gin Lee

January 01, 2008

Rating: four

(Shao Nian Bao Qing Tian II)

Main Casts: Lu Yi, Ren Quan, Shi Xiao Long, Fan Bing Bing, Li Hui
Production: Mainland China
Episodes: 30
Type: Suspense Detective
Themesong: Wu Kui Yu Xin (Sun Nan)
Sub-themesong: Zhi Yao You Ni (Sun Nan and Na Ying)

Justice prevails.......With a good blend of the existing and new casts, this sequel sets to bring more suspense and arises mixed feelings in you, your bearing hate for the heinous characters, your sympathy for victims, etc. Adopting a different approach from the first, this show is another new experience........

Character Analysis:
Bao Zheng (Lu Yi)
The youthful Bao Zheng, young, daring, analytical, intelligent, righteous with a slight sense of humour. He is great at solving cases and is very particular even to the most detailed evidence. He manages to solve all the cases.

Lu Yi makes a good Bao Zheng. I like his attempt as a rather mature, yet with traces of childlike personality. I can relate it better to the middle age Bao Zheng who seems to be so solemn most of the time. His acting is quite good to the extend that he is able to carry himself well and with good flair as a honourable person even with informality with his friends, he doesn't lose control of himself. As far as I know, Lu Yi is quite a sunny, playful guy in real life, so I think it is a good attempt from his side.

Gong Sun Ce (Ren Quan)
Sidekick of Bao Zheng who helps him to solve many cases. Knowledgeable, intelligent, righteous, and with an open heart. He provides many useful information for Bao Zheng and in the end, he is willing to help him obtain justice instead of trying to outshine him.

I think Ren Quan is the best performer in this series. One can see three sides of Gong Sun Ce. In the beginning, his eagerness to outshine Bao Zheng before he becomes blind. The blind, rather depressed Gong Sun Ce and finally the confident, humorous him after he regains his sight. Ren Quan is able to bring out the different feelings, thoughts, etc of him very well esp. when he is blind. I felt so pitiful for him, yet admire him for his willingness to help Bao Zheng. He isn't inferior to Bao Zheng. He can outshine him, but he thinks things through and decided to be his sidekick, a combined power to pin down injustice. Very admirable of him and Ren Quan is able to bring out this wonderful personality of Gong Sun Ce. He makes this character convincing and real. Thumbs up for Ren Quan. He is very suitable for good intellectual roles.

Zhan Zhao (Shi Xiao Long)
May I consider him as Bao Zheng and Gong Sun Ce's bodyguard since both intelligent men are not skilled in martial arts. Skilful in martial arts. Serious in fighting, but is still a happy child.

Shi Xiao Long is good in stunts and convincing as Zhan Zhao. His smiles are pretty attractive too as he seems so happy, carefree and funny. Though, not many breakthroughs in this role, he still manages to bring life to this character.

Xiao Qing Ting (Fan Bing Bing)
Bao Zheng's female friend. Witty, spiteful, intelligent and emotional. Very good in Qing Gong (floating skills).

Fan Bing Bing is a little too exaggerating in this show as I think her actions and facial expressions are a little too obvious. However, she can bring out inner feelings of sadness well during the segment of investigating the death of her foster father. She is still quite convincing as Xiao Qing Ting. She is also pretty in this show.

Lu Xiang Xiang (Li Hui)
Ren Quan's fianc´┐Że in the show. Spiteful, wilful, not so clever, but with determination to reach out for her goal of healing Ren Quan's eyes.

Li Hui is also quite exaggerating in this show too. However, she is quite adorable and I like her determination. However, her exaggeration seems to be quite fake as compared to Fan Bing Bing. She is not convincing as Lu Xiang Xiang.

In this sequel, the director works on a more anguish and sadness approach to the show. This show is still quite funny, but more emphasis is on bringing the 'injustice' anguish in the audience. In story 'Tou Tian Huan Ri' (the one about Fan Bing Bing's foster father), the sinister character is created to be so despicable and inhuman that he imprisons Fan Bing Bing's foster father and robs his works, the paintings. Any human person would feel great injustice about this immoral act. Fan's foster father has not done anything wrong to suffer a hellish treatment from someone who is not in any position to make him imprisonment. This makes the audience terribly angry and hoping that Bao Zheng would solve the case and bring these people to justice! In 'Cang Long Wo Hu', the same approach is used. This is also the story whereby the main focus is Gong Sun Ce and the audience can see the very much appreciated him in solving the case even though he is blind.

Another point I would like to highlight is the message of acceptance and willingness of Gong Sun Ce to be Bao Zheng's side kick. As I have mentioned earlier, he is not inferior to Bao Zheng. In fact, I think he is more knowledgeable than him even though Bao Zheng is more analytical. The inner struggle of him, changing from a competitive person to someone who can think things through and accept the fact that he should help Bao Zheng. He has become wiser, much more admirable and happier. I think this process of a changing Gong Sun Ce is very enjoyable and is a good sub story to the main ones.

The cases are quite predictable though in terms of you can easily guess who are behind the cases. However, the process of how these people commit crimes is more unique and one really needs to stay focus at every episode to fully understand the whole story. There are also many little facts in this show e.g. the ancient Chinese poison, medicine, etc. I do not know if these 'facts' are factual. I presume they are and the scriptwriter has taken great pains to relate facts to suspense and link them up to a completed, unique case. I remember in a case, they use the theory of Wayang Kulit show (Shadow Show) to deceive people that the person is in the room. This seems quite interesting to relate knowledge outside China to bring out the cases.

The themesong and sub-themesong are quite pleasant to ear esp. the sub-themesong, Zi yao you ni. The themesong seems pretty appropriate to an ancient series and I like the lyrics of the themesong. Sun Nan's voice is good (esp. when I also taken the theme and sub-theme songs of Xiang Wu, Xiang Yu, You Xiang Feng into consideration.) I prefer the latter though. :)

In conclusion, the main focus of this show is the suspense in investigation, blend with feelings of hate, anger and sympathy for the mass audiences.

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Young Detective Files II

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