Witness to a Prosecution II


Reviewed by: Jai AU YEUNG

June 29, 2005

Rating: four-point-five


Review of Witness To A Prosecution 2 (WTAP2)

MAIN CASTS

Bobby Au Yeung Chun Wah- Song Chi (Head of CID)
Charmaine Sheh Si Man- Yun Yuk Chu (Bobby’s lover)
Stephen Au Kam Tong- Chow Chi Long (Bobby’s student)
Joyce Tang Lai Min- Yong Tan Fong (Stephen’s lover)
Jay Lau - Princess Chi Ha
Halina Tam - Yun Yuk Po

SYNOPSIS

Bobby Au Yeung (Song Chi) was a Forensics Officer in China. He headed the Crime Investigation Department (CID) and was very famous among the people, as he was a fair and friendly officer. He always helped the people and never abused his power for his own interests. However, apart from being kind and good-natured person, Bobby was well-known as the ‘Unfortunate One’ and he believed he was fated to be alone and not expected to get married. However, in WTAP1 he ignored the belief and got married to Tong Si and Lip Fong (Jessica Hsuan and Marianne Chan).

WTAP2 started off with Bobby’s two wives dead in a burning motel. Bobby was very sad and he sailed off to Chong San. In Chong San, he got to know Stephen Au Kam Tong (Chow Chi Long), Charmaine Sheh Si Man (Yun Yuk Chu) and Joyce Tang Lai Ming (Yong Tan Fong), and four of them became good friends. Bobby then took Stephen to be his student. Charmaine later became Bobby’s girlfriend and Joyce became Stephen’s lover.

Together with Stephen, they solved many cases, including a murder case involving the King’s son-in-law who was married to Jay Lau (Princess Chi Ha). Jay Lau was so angry that she returned to Chong San after a year to take revenge against Bobby and his fiancée (Charmaine Sheh). In planning her revenge, Jay Lau was helped by another government officer (who was higher-ranked than Bobby) and Stephen. Stephen pretended to betray Bobby, but actually, he was trying to help Bobby and Charmaine. Jay Lau’s plan nearly caused Bobby and Charmaine to be beheaded. However, Bobby and Charmaine were safe when the 10th Prince and the Chief General arrived.

In order to get Jay Lau to admit her crime, Stephen and Bobby got her poisoned, but they wanted to cure her before she was dead. They just wanted her to admit her crime. Jay Lau did admit her crime, but she refused to be treated. She even stabbed Charmaine before her death. Charmaine was injured very badly then. Thus, Bobby blamed himself for being the ‘Unfortunate One’ and believed that he was the one who caused bad luck to Charmaine. He told everyone that he should leave and that Charmaine would recover only when he left. Even though Stephen and Joyce tried to comfort him, he still believed that he should leave. Thus, he sailed away.

And as what Bobby believed, Charmaine got better. She then left Chong San to find Bobby. She finally managed to find him and viewers were given a hint that they got together again (Bobby and Charmaine looked at each other and smiled happily).

EVALUATION ON THE SERIES

STORYLINE/PLOT

WTAP2 stands on its own and does not rely on the strength of WTAP1, even though the storyline somehow is a continuation of WTAP1. WTAP2 features new characters and new casts. The storyline is good, but the portrayal of too many cases that were solved within one or two episode can be boring and illogical. Almost all cases involved defendants to admit their crime (due to Bobby’s expertise in providing evidence or the determination of script writer to portray that Bobby is the best coroner?).

However, the story did present Bobby-Charmaine’s love story well. They went through many things together and as suggested by the plot, it is not surprising that they both got together at the end. Nonetheless, it could be better if Bobby were more romantic.

On the other hand, Stephen-Joyce’s relationship is somehow confusing. It was suggested that Stephen raped Joyce, but since the story ends with Stephen’s role staying a white character, no one knows whether Stephen really raped Joyce or not.

Bobby’s theory of examining dead bodies was also contradictory. At one point, Bobby taught Stephen that any injuries occurring on human’s body after death will have a white surface, as blood is not moving in dead bodies. However, during one of the trials, Bobby told Stephen that when a dead body is moved, blood would get out of the body. These two theories are really contradictory. However, it was not obvious and only viewers who have been watching WTAP2 many times would realize this.

In addition, some of the scenes are not necessary. If Stephen really stood for Bobby (when he is fighting with Jay Lau), why would Bobby go and negotiate with Stephen and try to get Stephen’s help? Bobby did not have to do it. The confusion increased when Stephen told everyone that in order to beat Jay Lau, he and Bobby worked together and planned something to get Jay Lau to admit her crime. If they really worked together, Bobby should have known that and any negotiation to get Stephen’s help was not needed at all.

CASTS/CHARACTERS

BOBBY AU YEUNG CHUN WAH AS SONG CHI

I think, Bobby Au Yeung really gave his best shot in WTAP2. He was as witty and funny as ever. Personally, I watched WTAP2 initially because of him. However, Bobby may be able to do better in sad and angry scenes. At one point when he ran out of Joyce’s restaurant with anger and cried in the rain, he did not look real. Maybe he is not used to expressing anger and sadness openly (due to his own cheerful and happy real-life personality), that he did not look real in sad and angry scenes. However, he was very good in happy scenes, like making fun of Stephen in the operatiing theatre and proposing to Charmaine by the beach. Personally, I like the scenes where Bobby proposed to Charmaine and the scene where Bobby was joking to Charmaine in the prison the most.

I think Bobby’s strength is his ability to give chemistry to his on-screen relationship, instead of depending on viewers' judgment whether the couple is compatible or not. He is able to make his partner appear to have ‘high chemistry’ with him. He appears to be as warm to everybody as his real-life character. His warmth manner somehow helps his cast mates to be comfortable along his side and as a result, Bobby and his partner always look as if they have been close to each other for years. However, it would be lovely if more scenes were made to describe the Bobby-Charmaine relationship. Bobby was portrayed as caring and funny, rather than romantic.

Above all, he was funny, especially when a bowl of noodles fell onto his head. He also gives ‘life’ to the series. Every time he appears in the scene, he breathes ‘life’ into the atmosphere. And for that, huge credit should go to him.

CHARMAINE SHEH SI MAN AS YUN YUK CHU

Charmaine was supposed to be a ‘rough and fierce lady’. She was fierce, no doubt, but not rough enough. However, she did improve a lot in WTAP2, compared to her previous series. She could do better in sad/crying scenes. Though she is much younger than Bobby, she surprisingly had good chemistry with Bobby, though the kissing scene looked so weird. She was excellent when she scolded Stephen in public and when she helped Bobby to clean up himself by the beach. Out of 10 stars, I would rate her performance 7 stars.

STEPHEN AU KAM TONG AS CHOW CHI LONG

His character is the most confusing. Did he really rape Joyce? Did he really work together with Bobby to fight Jay Lau? I do not like his character at all after he became a government officer. He looked mean and unreal, even though after Jay Lau’s death and he was known to be in Bobby’s side. He was also annoying when he keeps falling in love with ladies: Yun Yuk Po, Charmaine, and Joyce.

However, his character is the one that changes the most. From a good-for-nothing-lazy bum, he then became a very determined student of Bobby and finally became an established government officer and managed to help Bobby to clear his name. Stephen was good and he dealt with all changes quite well. He was extremely annoying every time he tried to trick Bobby and definitely, WTAP2 witnessed his first-class performance.

JOYCE TANG LAI MING AS YONG TAN FONG

I really like Joyce in this series. She was funny and she fits the Yong Tan Fong character very well. Her best scene in WTAP2 is when she bumped into Stephen before helping him to cut his hair. She really was concerned about Charmaine and Bobby. Joyce really appeared to be their best friend ever – though Joyce is really a good friend of Bobby off-screen. A solid performance by Joyce.

WHAT I WANT TO SEE MORE

1. Bobby and Charmaine's relationship as lovers.
2. Bobby and Stephen's relationship as student and teacher.
3. Charmaine and Stephen's relationship as good friends.
4. Stephen and Joyce's relationship as lovers.
5. Bobby’s role as Charmaine’s employee.
6. 10th prince, who is so funny and people’s leader

WHAT I WANT TO SEE LESS

1. Halina Tam
2. Pak Yu Mong
3. Yun Seng Cheong
4. Too many homicide cases (they are boring)

WHAT I HAVE NOTICED

1. The lady who played the role as the wife of the man
who died after he fell from the stairs in Yun Seng
Cheong’s restaurant. That lady was very good in
acting. 5 stars for her!

2. The man who played Judge Kei was a very good actor too.

3. Bobby is the ‘Unfortunate One’, yet the people love
him so much. However, the people treat Charmaine
coldly (she is another ‘Unfortunate One’). People in
Chong San are so confused, aye?

4. Joyce and her mother were forced to stop being fortune-
tellers because of Bobby. Yet, they had a good
relationship. However, Joyce and Stephen became
enemies because Stephen helped Bobby to reveal their
lies. Why didn't Joyce treat Bobby in the same way too?

5. Bobby adopted a good teaching technique – getting
Stephen involved in the investigation instead of
nailing him with theories. Bobby also used good
questioning technique to encourage thinking skill and
he used simple language in his explanation. He was
affective and humanist. The philosophy of his teaching
is very ‘Confucianism’. Anyone who is trained as
teachers (like me) and experienced teachers should
agree with me. Song Chi is a good teacher. Very
meaningful approach by the scriptwriter. Extremely
well done!


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