La Femme Desperado

Reviewed by: frostbite

September 08, 2006

Rating: four

Number Of Episodes: 22
Producer: Poon Ka Tak

Cast: Melissa Ng, Sheren Tang, Raymond Lam, Michael Tse, Kate Tsui, Kenneth Ma

"It's hard to be a woman", the title tells you what this series is about simply and clearly. In this series, you'll see women of different ages, occupations and personalities, each of them facing different problems with their family, love lives, career and the society.

The Women

For various reasons, Hilda (Sheren Teng) lost faith in men absolutely. She believes that women can survive without men. However, beneath the surface of a successful career, Hilda has a lonely heart. No friends, no lover, no family… This triggers her desire to ‘borrow sperm' for a baby, resorting to many extreme means to do so. In the end, she meets Ah Man (Michael Tse), and also had her very own daughter Hayley. These two people changed her life and her perception of what true family is completely…

Ko Ling (Melissa Ng) is the one who believes in true love, even though she had gone through a failed marriage. However, her journey was a tough one as her true love happened to be Siu Chai (Raymond Lam) who is 7 years younger than her. Ko Ling tries everything to gain her family's acceptance; she also learns to be stronger, but in her heart, she feels insecure about the relationship, and at a point, found the relationship too hard to sustain…

Besides the two main characters, you will also see many different women. Ida (Kate Tsui) is the young and enthusiastic one, determined to prove her ability. Venus (Jacqueline Law) is the ‘rich wife' type, who faces many problems with her marriage, and tries everything to cling onto it. Crystal (Cindy Au) is the sophisticated type, hopefully in search of her ideal romance. Melissa's mother is also an important supporting character you have to take note of. She starts off as a ‘small woman', but slowly learns to stand on her own. However, she continues to tolerate her ‘chauvinist' husband because she wants everyone to be happy. Towards the end, you might even start to admire her character.

The Men

Sad to say, even though none of the men here are horrible, you will not find ONE perfect man in the entire series. Perhaps the producers were trying to emphasize how hard it is to be a woman.

Let's start with Michael's character. Ah Man starts off as a cheap jerk everyone hates to the core, but we slowly see the lonely and also warm side of him as the story progresses. As the audience, you might start to love him. However, Ah Man just keeps switching from good to evil, so there is no way you can call him the ‘perfect man'.

Raymond's character starts off as a total PERFECT man. I was obsessed with Raymond's character at the beginning because his character was awesome and stylish. However, things started to change after Raymond and Melissa got married. Even though we know that Raymond is really good at handling his work, he is young, his post is low and his salary is low. Having married Melissa, Raymond can't stay carefree anymore. He tries hard to prove himself, sometimes too hard. Raymond started acting childishly, and doing more and more silly things. At the point where he risks everything just to take revenge at Michael, you will find it pretty hard to forgive. You will keep asking why Raymond became like this. I guess social pressure ruined everything…

Ko Chi Lik (Kenneth Ma) is the most stubborn ‘chauvinist'. For someone his age, the way he discriminates against women and all of his rigid mentalities can be really appalling. Perhaps it is due to the influence of his father Uncle Tim (Law Ka Yan). By the way, Law Ka Yan's chauvinist character can annoy you to death, but you will still enjoy his great performance. Another character I want to mention is Ko Chi Nung (Lee Ka Ching). He is a little dumb, but diligent, loving and loyal. This guy may be the only one who passes as the ‘perfect man'. Lucky wife…

The Good

The ones who can act:
Sheren Teng tops this spot totally with her solid performance. Gosh, her performance was totally awesome and this character seems tailor-made for her! Besides her, Melissa, Raymond and Michael also put up an awesome show. Even the supporting characters like Jacquelin Law and Law Ka Yan aced. These performances brought the series to life, and without them, LFD would not be what it is.

Raymond's character, part one:
Hot, cute, stylish, most importantly, smart. I love it the best when Raymond fought back at Michael to help Melissa. From episodes 1 to 8, you will love Raymond's character with all your heart… You will also love Raymond's unique performance, making Siu Chai not just any hot guy, but one with lots of style…

Melissa and Raymond's chemistry part one:
Right from the beginning, this was the pairing which got the most attention, because the "older women younger man" thing was pretty much breaking the ‘convention'. However, it is really not hard to accept Raymond and Melissa as a pair, because they were so cute together, and their unique chemistry was rocking ever since they first met at the gym. I loved them together SO MUCH, right until they got married, then things became different... You will not hate them together towards the end, but you will start to miss the beginning times of perfect romance, perfect comedy…

Michael, Sheren + Hayley, the most unique relationship
This is really hard to explain. Hayley is Michael's daughter, but Sheren doesn't want Michael to know it. However, Michael still loves Hayley like a real daughter. At the beginning, it is only Hayley who connects Michael and Sheren, but then the two started falling in love for real. This relationship went through many ups and downs, as Sheren and Michael kept switching from enemies to allies. But anyway, I still love it. This family relationship feels very different, but the love is definitely present…

The sub-theme song:
Kudos to Justin and Miriam, this is the most perfect song for the series!

The Bad

Melissa and Raymond's chemistry part two:
You see, after Raymond and Melissa got married, their families started putting pressure on them, slowly breaking them apart. Melissa started feeling very insecure, Raymond started doing silly things to prove himself right and to prove others wrong, totally unlike the acts of his ‘smart' character at the beginning. You can understand why they did that, you will also pity them for the discrimination they face, but sometimes you will still be annoyed, especially when Melissa kicked Sheren away, and when Raymond paid such a big price just to defeat Michael. And the next thing you know, Ms Cindy Au comes in to be the ‘third factor'. We know Raymond will never love her, but her presence is enough to destroy everything… Nevertheless, don't blame Raymond, don't blame Melissa. Blame their families, blame the society, blame the stupid fortune teller, blame Cindy Au, blame Michael…

The story towards the end + the final episode:
Towards the end, the story started getting confusing, and turning around in circles. Besides some emotional scenes (you will see them later), I didn't really like the last few episodes, especially the LAST episode (which ironically, got the highest ratings). The whole Sheren and her tumour thing was really not needed. The whole Melissa having a baby and Raymond's so-called ‘plan' thing was also redundant. I just hoped Raymond and Melissa could get back together for a better reason…

The Chemistry
Overall, the two chemistries which stood out the most were the Raymond-Melissa chemistry and the Sheren-Michael chemistry. You will love them and dislike them for various reasons. If you want to know more, you can scroll up to read my review again.

The Best Scenes:

- The office scene where Raymond sings the lullaby for Melissa
- When Raymond tells the story about how he fell in love with Melissa since he was a child, it was really funny, but also sweet.
- When Melissa tries to ‘seduce' Raymond, gosh, this was one of the best parts
- When Raymond and Melissa were sheltering under the boat and Raymond said "I didn't train up just to shelter you from the rain, but to protect you for life". That was such a ‘beauty' scene, I just love it!
- Basically, all the scenes with Raymond and Melissa at the beginning. Their chemistry built up perfectly.
- Whenever Michael sings, your heart melts
- When Sheren and Michael played the ‘drinking game', where they asked each other lots of questions, and found out that they are very similar. As the audience, we also learn a lot about their characters, who they really are, and how lonely they are deep down, kinda emotional…
- At the jetty, after Raymond defeated Michael, Melissa tells her that is not what she wants. Raymond realizes that all he has done was meaningless, and that Melissa was going to leave. Melissa was crying, Raymond's eyes were red, that was also very emotional…
- In episode 21, when Raymond and Melissa had their ‘final date'. Raymond thought everything was going fine, but Melissa knows that their relationship was not going to work. It was really sad. The way Raymond said ‘I love you' to Melissa can also melt all our hearts. The next day, they had the saddest break-up, so heartbreaking…
- When Raymond and Melissa reunited at the end, calling each other ‘Daddy' and ‘Mommy'. I found Raymond's so-called ‘plan' stupid, but I still loved the way they got back together, it was so sweet!
- At the end, when Sheren tried to tell Michael that Hayley was his real daughter, but Michael just couldn't understand. The look on Sheren's face was priceless!

The Performances

For the females, I think both Sheren and Melissa did a great job. Sheren's performance was solid, but Melissa's performance also gives me a very comfortable feeling. Hence, I want them to share my ‘best actress' title. As for the newcomer Kate, her acting is not bad, but it just doesn't feel natural enough sometimes. For the males, Raymond and Michael are the best, Kenneth is about the same. Thankfully, there was not one performance which made me puke. Usually, you will find one or two in each series. Hehe…

Worth watching?

Of course! Women, men, young or old, different people will gain different things from this series, just don't expect too much from the ending...

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