The Price of Greed


Reviewed by: irrationally adept

May 21, 2007

Rating: three

Cast:
Bosco Wong - Lui To
Sammul Chan - Tsu Fung (Mao Zhi)
Kate Tsui - Lam Ping
Shirley Yeung - Yue Mei (Mui Mui)
Kingdom Yuen - Lo Leung (Lo Sze Leung)

Overview

When Lui To and Mui Mui were young, they were kidnapped by Lo Leung and the gang of eight conmen. Their target was Mui Mui but Lui To tried to help her so the both of them got kidnapped. This group of con men planned to hack their limbs and force them to beg for money. However, Lui To helped them to escape. Later when Lui To and Mui Mui were about to get caught, they were saved by Lo Leung. After 10 years, Lui To became a policeman and Mui Mui became a violinist. When Lo Leung and Tui To were attending her concert, they recalled the flashbacks and it turned out that, once, Mui Mui had a high fever but they did not have enough money on them, hence they were fooled by a con man who gave Mui Mui some “remedy”. She became dumb after drinking that.

Lam Ping appeared soon and she was obsessed with her fiancée who left her a year ago for some unknown reason. She and Lui To became good friends and he helped her to check the whereabouts of her fiancée. Because of this, Lam Ping had strained relationships with her father. Her father was a rich businessman selling jewellery and he hopes Lam Ping can take over his business one day. After several episodes of pining and seeking, she realised that Tsu Feng is dead and her step mother has been trying to fool Lam Ping so that her son can take over the business. However, his husband realised her plot and sent her away. Lam Ping is resigned to the fact that Tsu Feng is dead, however, at this point of time, Tsu Feng appeared and revealed what he had gone through the past year. However, Lui To had his suspicions with the testimony of Mui Mui’s friend, Lau Xingxing who was conned by Tsu Feng before. However, with the help of the other eight con men, Tsu Feng managed to convince Lam Ping and her family. Lui To had no choice but to give up and he quit his job.

At this point in time, the eight con men came to visit Lo Leung and threatened to hurt Mui Mui and Lui To if she continues to stay here. Hence, the three of them moved to another province and they earn a living by selling porridge. On the other side, Tsu Feng and Lam Ping got married and they have a son. Life was “blissful” for them. The other eight con men have also made their way into the Lam family. Xiao Fei, one of the members of the eight conmen, dates Lam Ping’s brother to keep tabs of the Lams. Later, he suspected that something is wrong because Tsu Feng had dismissed all the old staff and replaced them with his people. Moreover, the accounts were in a mess. Nobody believed him, hence he told his uncle about it. To get rid of the uncle, the head of this eight con men group got Xiao Fei to “sleep” with him and this resulted in animosity between the uncle and nephew. Lam Ping’s uncle was so guilty that he hung himself. Lam Ping’s brother got addicted to gambling and he mistakenly thought he killed someone, hence he ran away.

The whole tragedy is unfolding again in Lam Ping’s family. Lam Ping’s father, being a smart man, begins to have doubts about Tsu Feng after he knew that Tsu Feng has been feeding him chronic poison. At this time, Lam Ping’s friend, Zi Qian, and his wife, Wu Sang appeared. It appeared that Wu Sang’s father is the head of the national treasury hence Tsu Feng changed his target and tried to please her. Lam Ping’s father did some checking and before he passed away, he told Lam Ping everything and left almost all of his fortune to her. Lam Ping finally realised what kind of person Tsu Feng is. She attempts to run away with her son with the help of Zi Qian. However, Tsu Feng knows of their plan and tampered their car. The two of them got into an accident and Tsu Feng uses this as an excuse and told Wu Sang that the two of them attempted to elope. Tsu Feng then tries to win over her heart.

At this point in time, Lui To realises what happened at the Lam Family hence he went back with Lo Leung to help Lam Ping. Mui Mui was so anxious about them that she came to look for them, however, she witnessed Tsu Feng killing Zi Qian. Frightened, Mui Mui ran home and told Lo Leung and Lui To everything. She even has a blood stained paper that Tsu Feng touched as proof. Later, when Wu Sang’s father came, the gang tried to please him to invest money in Tsu Feng’s business. Lo Leung, Lui To and Mui Mui came and accused Tsu Feng of murder. When they were asked to provide proof, Lui To said they will provide the proof in 5 days. On the other hand, the gang were desperately waiting for Lam Ping to wake up so that they can take over her fortune. Lam Ping was fetched home and locked in her room so that she cannot escape. Actually Lam Ping woke up already and she has been trying ways to escape. She finally escaped with Lui To’s help.

5 days later, they provided the evidence but Tsu Feng made up a story and acted pitiful and got away with it. Later, Lui To told the general that he has a recording of their crimes and promised to present it after few days. This time, the gang panicked and they plan to escape even though Tsu Feng assured them that there is no way Lui To can tape their conversation down. The content of the tape was unknown but the members of the gang got killed one by one by the general’s henchman while Tsu Feng tampered with the chief’s car.

The truth is finally out and Tsu Feng is wanted by both Wu Sang’s father and the police. He threatens Lam Ping of their son’s safely and wants money. Wu Sang turns up and told him she is expecting their child. However, he didn’t believe her and kicked her in her stomach. He was shot by Lui To at his chest when he was about to escape. Even when Tsu Feng was about to be hanged, he didn’t reveal his son’s whereabouts. The show ends with Mui Mui going to Vienna to further her music and Lam Ping and Lui To continue searching for her son.

Lui To
He is a righteous but impulsive policeman. He dotes on Mui Mui a lot and dislikes con men because of what happened to them and Mui Mui. He fell in love with Lam Ping at first sight and is always there for her. When Lam Ping decides to put down the past and start afresh, he thought he will have a chance. However, Tsu Feng’s appearance dashed all his hopes. Later, when he realised that Tsu Feng is a con man, he tried any and every means of exposing him even at the expense of losing his job.

Bosco Wong on Lui To
Not a bad performance but nothing outstanding, Bosco has been one of my favourite actors but he fails to impress me in this show, perhaps his character is meant to be like that. One thing that is good is his expression of emotions. For example, when Mui Mui is going to Vienna, he is very reluctant to let her go. I could sense his reluctance and concern. It was very nicely done. He portrayed the impulsive but righteous policeman very well. I like the childish side of him when he was playing with Mui Mui. Although I do not like him with Kate, the two different sides of him were very distinctive. Overall, I have no complaints about him. He is definitely able to pull off the show as the main lead.
Rating - 3.5/5

Lam Ping
Lam Ping is a woman who is hopelessly devoted to love to the extent that it was exaggerated. This type of woman was definitely an easy target for con men. She is supposed to be clever but somehow I find the character dumb. After so many things that happened in the family, she didn’t even suspect anything. Even when Zi Qian told her about the chronic poison, she lashed out at him for suspecting him. Also, when she was shown a photo of Tsu Fung and his pervious victim, Lau Xing Xing, she didn’t even suspect and claimed that it must be the another person. Perhaps she is too trusting - that makes me feel that she is really dumb. I totally hated this character. She was the one who causes everything; the downfall of her family, her uncle and father’s death etc... People around her have been advising her yet she remains hopelessly faithful to him. However, I like the part where she finally realises his true colours and puts on an act before him. That was what I expected of a human being with a normal IQ. Please do not get me wrong, it is not Kate’s problem. Blame it on the scriptwriter.

Kate Tsui on Lam Ping
This is the first series I saw Kate in and I heard that she is quite new in this industry. Her acting is definitely not there yet but it is considered quite decent for a newcomer. I don’t like the fact that she is leading over Shirley because clearly, Shirley has more experience than her but I don’t think Shirley can pull off that mature woman look. Anyway, Kate does have the elegance of a rich man’s daughter but whenever she speaks, she is always pouting and it is really obvious. Moreover she looks really haggard and pale in the show, before or after she is happily married. I think her make-up was obviously not enough. Nothing spectacular about her acting in the first 15 episodes, in fact she was quite boring. After she realised the truth and attempts to scheme against Tsu Feng, she is quite convincing. That part where she was dancing with Tsu Feng was very well portrayed because I feel that she is more confident and her facial expressions portrayed that confident look well - maybe because in the first 15 episodes she was such a bore that this change in her is refreshing. Generally, her acting is still quite raw and she definitely needs to work hard on the way she speaks and expressing her emotions in a better way.
Rating - 2.5/5

Tsu Feng (Mao Zhi)
This guy is definitely more ruthless and heartless than I thought. I thought he will just cheat women of their love and money but he even attempts to kill them and their family. I hated this character a lot too. Tsu Feng is very smart and he knows how to get into people’s good shoes. His forte is to act pitiful and gain sympathy. The last part in the prison was kind of fake and I knew immediately that he was faking. I do not pity him for suffering a tragic death since he caused so many people’s deaths. I think his death was definitely well deserved.

Sammul Chan - Tsu Feng
He is definitely good but somewhat not quite there. He can pull off the die-hard romantic saint very well, but the evil look on him was not intense. It is there but not very well portrayed. Perhaps he does not have the bad guy look, hence it is harder to convince the audience. His acting has always been quite good and I do think that he deserved a leading role. However, he looks too fair and whenever he stands behind Bosco, who has a six pack, he looks weak. One thing that is good about him is his compatibility with both Kate Tsui and Vivian Yeo (Wu Sang).
Rating - 3.5/5

Yuet Mui (Mui Mui)
Actually I do like this character. She likes Lui To a lot yet he doesn’t know and match made her with other guys. She is willing to do anything to help Lui To and when she knows that Lui To likes Lam Ping, she wishes them all the best. She is very genuine in her concern for her brother or friends. Also, she is very easily content with just her family and violin by her side. If she wasn’t kidnapped, she will still be a rich man's daughter living an affluent lifestyle, however I think she is happier this way. She is very simple-minded and she trusts Lui To a lot and what differs her from Lam Ping is that she trusts in the right person.

Shirley Yeung on Yuet Mui
Not a bad performance compared to other shows I saw her in. Her sign language was good. However, I feel that she is quite desperate to make her presence known, like the way she jumps and waves for attention. She looks good with Bosco. I like their scenes together; they were cute. I was expecting and hoping them to get together. I am not a fan of hers but she definitely improved and compared to Kate, she is more qualified to take the female lead. What bothers me is that her character is quite useless in this show, not much of a breakthrough and I still do not like her crying skills, they are still very childish.
Rating - 3/5

Kingdom Yuen
Nothing much to say about her, it was a solid performance. Emotions were well done. I like the part where she was scared out of her wits when she saw the eight con men clan again. Generally, I like all the parts with her and the two siblings. Their relationship was very close-knit. I like how her tears naturally flow in the first episode - excellent. I like how her character cares for her children so much that she is willing to chop off her finger even though they are not her natural children. Good peformance.
Rating - 4/5

Supporting Cast
Wu Sang (Vivian Yeo)
In my opinion, she is the prettiest in this show but her acting is still quite raw, especially the part in the church. I think she needs to brush up on her Cantonese. Her crying skills are not that good too. I don’t like her character at all. Zi Qian really does love her yet she actually doubts him. She knows Zi Qian for so long yet she believes the mere words of someone she barely knows. I think she will have potential if she works harder. She definitely has the leading role look.
Rating - 2/5

Zi Qian
I like him the most in this show. He is such a nice guy, yet he died so tragically. He loves his wife yet his wife does not trust him and have an affair with another guy. I feel sorry for him, he need not get himself involved. If it wasn’t to help Lam Ping and her father, I guess he will still be living a blissful life with Wu Sang.
A solid performance by him too but I wish his role will be bigger and more significant. I have not seen him since "Kindred Spirit" and I definitely wish to see him in more shows.
Rating - 4/5

Likes
- Any parts with Lui To, Mui Mui and Lo Leung. The relationship between them is just heartwarming.
- Any parts with Lui To and Mui Mui. The two of them were very cute and they lightened the serious mood of the show.
- From Episode 11 onwards, the climate starts building up.
- The plot by Lo Leung and Lui To. First Lui To says he has proof of Tsu Feng killing Zi Qian. The gang thought he was lying because Lo Leung looked nervous, but he did produce the evidence. Next, when Lui To claimed he taped their conversations, they believed him and escaped. Lo Leung even acted nervous to convince them that she was lying. Good.
- When Lam Ping was supposed to still be in a coma, she tried to escape and ate sleeping pills so that the gang will not suspect her.
- The part where Lui To wanted to match made Yuet Mui with another guy. Later Yuet Mei rejected that guy and hugged Lui To telling him she just wants the three of them to always be together and that is enough. Lui To told her that he is sorry and he won't do it again. That is the only Bosco and Shirley sweet part.

Dislikes
-Episode 3 to 11. Lam Ping looking for Tsu Feng. It was boring and not necessary to the plot.
-Lam Ping’s Brother. Seriously, he cannot act and it is torture to watch him.
-Lam Ping. This character is boring and I feel like killing her for indirectly causing the downfall of the family. It makes me so mad that she kept lashing out at whoever suspects Tsu Feng. I hate the way where she kept praying to God for a sign. It is seriously stupid. I mean, I believe in God but they way she kept testing God and kept asking signs when God has gave her an answer is seriously irritating
- Tsu Feng and Lam Ping’s parts, I skipped all of them because it was really boring.

Questionable Points

So did Lui To really had evidence in the form of a recording tape against the gang?

In my opinion, I think no. If he had, he wouldn’t make Mui Mui get it. I mean she can't even protect herself, how can she bring it to the police station? Moreover, Tsu Feng was right. There is no way Lui To can get up to Kate’s room, it was locked. Even if Lui was to place the tape somewhere else in the house, how did he get it back later without even realising it? This idea is definitely feasible but I don’t think they will employ this idea. I think Lui To and Lo Leung play on their physiological mindd since Lo Leung knows them so well.
In that case, why were the gang members killed by the general’s henchman?

I think Lui To must have asked the general to observe the gang since the gang thought that he has evidence against them. If they really do escape, that means they are guilty of all those deceits.

I find it very amazing that while Lui To and Lo Leung took years to understand and learn sign language, Lam Ping took only months? At about episode 7 or 8 in the show, she understands what Mui Mui is conversing. In episode 10, she is able to interpret what Mui Mui is saying to Tsu Feng. Normal people like us take years to understand a language, more so for sign language which is so complex. Perhaps TVB is trying to portray Lam Ping as clever, but it is very unrealistic.

Overall

This show is quite exciting and enjoyable, especially after episode 11. If it wasn’t for the boring parts from episode 3 to 9, I would have given it a 3.5. I think the scriptwriter should allocate lesser time on Kate looking for Tsu Feng and allocate more time to explain the questionable points or focus more on the plot by Lo Leung and Lui To.


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