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Thread: Top 5 Wuxia Series of All Time (TVB)

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    Senior Member Ghaleon's Avatar
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    Default Top 5 Wuxia Series Ever (TVB)

    What would be your top 5 wuxia tvb series of all time???

    I've watched tons of them from the 80's, 90's and 00's and here are the top 5 that are the best in my opinion.


    TOP 5 WUXIA SERIES OF ALL TIME


    1) Demi Gods and Semi Devils 1997

    DGSD is my favorite Jin Yong adaptation and favorite wuxia series of all time. It had such an epic story with a fantastic plot and a great cast of characters. I never seen a more epic storyline. TVB did a great job adaptating this novel and casting the actors and actresses. Felix Wong as Kiu Fong was legendary. This was definitely my favorite wuxia series of all time. The execution and pacing of the plot was perfect generating lots of momentum and hooking the viewers with exciting mysteries and plot threads. The fight scenes, the mysteries, the epic plot, the awesome martial arts (especially the 18 dragon palms and 6 Meridians Swords), the invinicible kiu fong,... the series had it ALL. This series was so good that whenever I think of the word "wuxia", I think of DGSD. DGSD is wuxia at its absolute best!!

    2) Legend of Condor Heroes 1982

    This was one of the earliest wuxia series i encountered. This series probably had the best cast of characters i ever seen in a wuxia serial. GJ, HR, HYS, ZBT, H7G, YH.... were all amazing. All of these actors and actressees did a superb job, quite possibly some of the best acting jobs done in a wuxia serial. This series also had the greatest villain of all time in the form of Miu Kiu Wai's YH. Out of all the wuxia series I have, LOCH 82 was the one i have re-watched the most. The series is pure FUN!

    3) State of Divinity 1996

    SOD has the best storyline ever. TVB did a perfect adaptation of Jin Yong's greatest work. This series is hailed by many as the most accurate adaptation of a Jin Yong novel ever. So it's no wonder that SOD 1996 has the best storyline out of all the wuxia series out there. Jacky did a superb job acting as LHC. In fact whenever i think of LHC i think of Jacky. SOD 1996 is TVB at its finest with an absolutely PERFECT plot.

    4) Chor Lau Heung 1979

    This was probably the very first wuxia series i ever seen so it has a special place in my heart. I still remember the catchy themesong song by Adam Cheng after all these years. Adam Cheng's CLH was my idol growing up back in the days. This series did a great job executing the mystery plotline keeping the viewers in suspense. This was probably the best mystery-driven and adventure-driven wuxia series ever. It's my favorite Gu Long adaptation.

    5) Heaven Sword and Dragon Sabre 1986 (tie)

    This has always been my favorite story out of the Condor Trilogy. Out of the many adaptations of HSDS throughout each decade (1978, 1986, 1994, 2000, 2003), i found the 1986 to be the best. Unlike the other adaptations, they actually included the prelude in the story with the young Z3F. I also think this adaptation has the best family relationships particular amongst the Wutang 7 heroes. This series is a classic.

    5) Against the Blade of Honor 1997 (tie)

    This series was probably the darkest wuxia series i ever seen. Though it differed a lot from the original novel, the end product was a series that was thought-provoking. The series had complex moral themes and characters that were shades of grey. Everything was not black and white in this wuxia world. Moral ambuigity ruled the landscape. Out of all the wuxia series i watched, none were as thought-provoking and intellectually stimulating as ATBOH 97.
    Last edited by Ghaleon; 07-03-09 at 02:30 PM.

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    Junior Member namix's Avatar
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    great list ghaleon

    Namix top 5 wuxia of all time (TVB)

    in this order:



    Legend of the condor heroes(83?)

    Without a doubt, the best wuxia ever(in my oppinion). As ghaleon stated earlier, the cast was and still is to today...UNTOUCHABLE!! This series was so awesome that even the mere intro theme brings back waves of nostalgia! Now that is powerful! I thought the scene where Yang Kang dies was one of the most memorable moments in TVB history. Good stuff.




    Demi Gods and Semi Devils (82?)
    This series was powerful to me because, more than most other series of the time (which centers around the tired subject of love), it was about the bond of friendship...through thick and thin. Though the underlying theme of class and racial prejudice runs rampant throughout the series, it was the moment when the three sworn brothers are together that were the most powerful. Led by Brian leung as Xiao Fong, the DG&SD eclipsed lots of other series in term of ensemble and chemistry. Dope, dope series!




    Heavenly Sword and Dragon Sabre

    Tony Leung...need i say more?? Besides the comedic flair that he was known for at the time, this series introduce a drama-seasoned Tony Leung. Taking place about 100 years after ROCH, this series was a worthy finale to the wonderful Jin Yong "Condor" trilogy. I grew with Tony throughout the course of his character's development. from early adolescent issues such as "puppy love" to more mature conflicts such as race and society, this series had one of the story and character progression EVER!



    The Return of Luk Siu Fung

    A playboy with a knack for getting into people's business....yep, that's the characteristic of luk siu fung. What i really like about this series was the chemistry of all the central characters! Again, similar to the DG&SD, when all the characters are together, there's this magic. And without the proper chemistry, that could not have happened. Another strength of the series were the intricacy of the plot. This series plays out like a wuxia version of sherlock holmes or csi and one can't help but stay glued to the series to find out who or what was going on. Alex Mann's portrayal of luk siu fung was more powerful than damian lau (IMO). He played the role to perfection, from the apathetic playboy to the dramatic turn when he found out that his girlfriend was actually the leader of the hated "Tibetan" sect lol.



    The Yang's Saga


    Why's the Yang Saga in my top 5? If for nothing else, then for being a freakin tvb EVENT that brought together the who's of young tvb future legends in one room! Wuxia is still alive....



    HONORABLE MENTIONS:

    Zu Mountain Saga
    the grand canal
    Last edited by namix; 07-04-09 at 06:17 PM.

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    Senior Member Ghaleon's Avatar
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    Good list too, namix. I loved Zu Mountain Saga too but i think its more fantasy than wuxia.

    Yeah, LOCH '82 was a monster series. i probably say its the most FUN series i ever watched. The cast and acting was absolutely incredible. ZBT cracks me up whenever he's on screen. HYS was HYS, living up to his East Heretic name and having a powerful and intimidating aura. Kenneth gets my respect for playing that role to perfection. H7G was charmingly lazy and charmingly kind-hearted. HR was both intelligent and full of energy. Barbara gave a charming and energetic performance. Felix Wong as the slow and naiive GJ gave another legendary performance. Miu Kiu Wais' YK was a cool cool cool villain. This series had such a colorful cast of characters! I've re-watched this series so many times it's not funny.
    Last edited by Ghaleon; 07-04-09 at 11:05 PM.

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    1) Demi Gods and Semi Devils 1997

    DGSD is my favorite Jin Yong adaptation and favorite wuxia series of all time. It had such an epic story with a fantastic plot and a great cast of characters. I never seen a more epic storyline. TVB did a great job adaptating this novel and casting the actors and actresses. Felix Wong as Kiu Fong was legendary. This was definitely my favorite wuxia series of all time. The execution and pacing of the plot was perfect generating lots of momentum and hooking the viewers with exciting mysteries and plot threads. The fight scenes, the mysteries, the epic plot, the awesome martial arts (especially the 18 dragon palms and 6 Meridians Swords), the invinicible kiu fong,... the series had it ALL. This series was so good that whenever I think of the word "wuxia", I think of DGSD. DGSD is wuxia at its absolute best!!
    I have nothing to add, but that series is AWESOME!!! Felix as Kiu Fung is the greatest.....
    有了你開心D乜都清心滿意鹹魚白菜也好好味

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    Junior Member jSMl2046's Avatar
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    my top five list:

    1. legend of the condor heroes 1982
    2. demi gods and semi devils 1982
    3. heaven sword and dragon sabre 1986
    4. the smiling proud wanderer 1984
    5. flying fox of the snowy mountain 1985


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    Senior Member Ghaleon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jSMl2046 View Post
    my top five list:

    1. legend of the condor heroes 1982
    2. demi gods and semi devils 1982
    3. heaven sword and dragon sabre 1986
    4. the smiling proud wanderer 1984
    5. flying fox of the snowy mountain 1985

    You're pretty 80's biased lol. Smiling Proud Wanderer 1984 made your list? wow. I heard that the series is mediocre. You should check out State of Divinity 1996. That's a far better adaptation

    yeah flying fox was a great 80's series. that one is pretty underrated
    Last edited by Ghaleon; 07-06-09 at 08:25 PM.

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    Senior Member Ian Liew's Avatar
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    I'm naming them according to how they were when they were released, as obviously some of them may be less watchable today partly due to technology, and also partly due to changes in culture. Some of them may be considered draggy by today's standards. Not really ranked in order as there's no real clear winner.

    LOCH 82
    All About Tin
    State of Divinity 96
    Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils 97
    One Sword

    Not sure if this counts as wuxia, if it does I'd rank it even above LOCH 82. Duke of Mount Deer 85.

    Given that list, it's probably no coincidence that when Jin Yong stopped allowing TVB to produce his stories TVB wuxia died. All About Tin is the only non Jin Yong serial in my list (One Sword is effectively Smiling Proud Wanderer for the most part).

    Honourable mentions go to a lot of Gu Long serials, but somehow they don't carry the same gripping attraction the Jin Yong serials have.

    Alex Man and Damian Lau's Luk Siu Fungs
    Adam Cheng and Michael Miu's Chor Lau Heungs
    Tony Leung and Hugo Ng's Legendary Siblings
    Paul Chu's Romantic Swordsman (Eddie Kwan's was really really dull)
    Hugo Ng's Bordertown Wanderer

    They're all very very good, but not quite my top five.
    Last edited by Ian Liew; 07-06-09 at 10:41 PM.

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    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    1. LOCH '82 (for sheer ambition, you couldn't beat it)

    2. LUK SIU FUNG (original series; for sheer accuracy, you couldn't beat it)

    3. THE ROMANTIC SWORDSMAN (original series; done with a lot of class)

    4. DGSD '81 (so it wasn't the most accurate adaptation ever, but for sheer entertainment value, it's up there)

    5. HSDS '86 (solid production)

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    Senior Member Ghaleon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng View Post
    1. LOCH '82 (for sheer ambition, you couldn't beat it)

    2. LUK SIU FUNG (original series; for sheer accuracy, you couldn't beat it)

    3. THE ROMANTIC SWORDSMAN (original series; done with a lot of class)

    4. DGSD '81 (so it wasn't the most accurate adaptation ever, but for sheer entertainment value, it's up there)

    5. HSDS '86 (solid production)
    What do you think of the dialog in Luk Siu Fong? I heard it was pretty accurate to the novel.... The way they talked was very peculiar i found.

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    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghaleon View Post
    What do you think of the dialog in Luk Siu Fong? I heard it was pretty accurate to the novel.... The way they talked was very peculiar i found.
    The dialogue from the 1970s LUK SIU FUNG series was practically carbon-copied, word for word, from the novel. It gave the series a unique flow that I've never seen in any other wuxia adaptation.

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    Senior Member Ghaleon's Avatar
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    Great list Ian! Eddie's Romantic Swordman was probably dull but i thought the villain chick was pretty hot

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng View Post
    The dialogue from the 1970s LUK SIU FUNG series was practically carbon-copied, word for word, from the novel. It gave the series a unique flow that I've never seen in any other wuxia adaptation.
    Yeah the dialog flow was definitely unique... I never seen anything like it. Sometimes it takes a while to get the point across in their conversations. They say each line slowly and clearly that it almost becomes a dialog marathon. I guess you can say its poetic. Wow, carbon-copied word for word? That's pretty damn accurate. Might as well not have a script.

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    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghaleon View Post
    Great list Ian! Eddie's Romantic Swordman was probably dull but i thought the villain chick was pretty hot



    Yeah the dialog flow was definitely unique... I never seen anything like it. Sometimes it takes a while to get the point across in their conversations. They say each line slowly and clearly that it almost becomes a dialog marathon. I guess you can say its poetic. Wow, carbon-copied word for word? That's pretty damn accurate. Might as well not have a script.
    I sometimes wonder if TVB did. LUK SIU FUNG, the adaptation, seemed almost *too* accurate. It's almost as if TVB was too lazy to write a script and decided to basically just videotape the novel verbatim.

    In later years, of course, wuxia fans could only *wish* TVB would do that again.

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    Senior Member Ian Liew's Avatar
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    Romantic Swordsman (the Paul Chu version) also felt like it was carbon copied in terms of script. Very prosaic in the way they speak, and it's hard to imagine anyone other than Gu Long coming up with such lines:-

    "He who should have come, did not come. He who should not have come, came"

    "If want to leave, then should not come. Since already come, why leave?"

    "Li Xunhuan is Li Xunhuan indeed" "Isn't Shangguan Jinhong also Shangguan Jinhong?"

    and so on.. a bit repetitive, but it sure adds to the atmosphere.

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    Junior Member jSMl2046's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghaleon View Post
    You're pretty 80's biased lol. Smiling Proud Wanderer 1984 made your list? wow. I heard that the series is mediocre. You should check out State of Divinity 1996. That's a far better adaptation

    yeah flying fox was a great 80's series. that one is pretty underrated
    sorry most of the series i watched was during that era, never much followed the tvb adaptations of wu xia novels in the 90s or recent times ...

    but recently i watched demi gods and semi devils (the felix wong version) and i thought it was equally great ...

    will check out the state of divinity 96 version, thanks!

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    Moderator Han Solo's Avatar
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    Not going to elaborate, my fav wuxia series by TVB

    1) DGSD 96
    2) SOD 96
    3) DOMD 85
    4) LOCH 82
    5) ROCH 84

    Han S
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    Senior Member Ghaleon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng View Post
    I sometimes wonder if TVB did. LUK SIU FUNG, the adaptation, seemed almost *too* accurate. It's almost as if TVB was too lazy to write a script and decided to basically just videotape the novel verbatim.

    In later years, of course, wuxia fans could only *wish* TVB would do that again.
    I guess the closest they came was State of Divinity 1996. It's a tragedy that the 80's didn't have a good adaptation of it (leaving you with a sour taste of LHC's character), because many people consider XAJH to be Jin Yong's masterpiece.

    Quote Originally Posted by jSMl2046 View Post
    sorry most of the series i watched was during that era, never much followed the tvb adaptations of wu xia novels in the 90s or recent times ...

    but recently i watched demi gods and semi devils (the felix wong version) and i thought it was equally great ...

    will check out the state of divinity 96 version, thanks!
    Yeah check it out, it's good. In recent times, like this past decade, i would say XAJH 2001 is the best series. Tian Xia Di Yi was also a strong series.

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    Senior Member yanfeng's Avatar
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    Took a lot of thinking and still no definitive list, but here's my try

    1) New HSDS 86
    Everything worked, script, acting, characterizations- as mentioned many times, this version really hit the "brotherhood" theme on the head as Jin yong mentioned is the focus of HSDS, and yet managed to pull away from the awkward romance that Jin yong envisioned and gave us a wonderful ZM ... plus it stars Dodo Cheng, Simon Yam, and actors I don't even recall the names for as 1st wudang disciple, Zhang San Feng, Golden haired lion (famed for his Hong Qi Gong role), 2nd, 4th, 6th disciples of Wudang, Wei yi xiao (bat king), etc... all very strong actors in their own right, and yet all gathered together to give us a short, sweet HSDS. Do I even need to mention the sublime Tony Leung and the four lead ladies- Kitty Lai, Sheren Tang, Maggie Siu, Idy Chan? The cast list is a name-dropping exercise!

    I think this is the only Wuxia which I've loved unreservedly- perhaps because I watched it before I was very selective, but still I've watched it many times, most recently 3 years ago, and it's still my favorite!

    These next seven I've really liked, but can't figure out their actual 'merits' as "top wuxia of all time" (no particularly order)

    1) SOD 96
    Fantastic as noted above specially due to the charisma of the lead actor, though I have to say that the supporting cast was good but not wildly fantastic

    2) HSDS 01
    Fabulous script and insightful casting of Gigi Lai, Lawrence Ng, Charmaine Sheh... not to mention the dream team of Damian Lau and Michelle Yip. I've raved about this already in a long review here, so nothing more to add.

    3) HSDS 03
    The idol version of HSDS- what can I say, sorry HSDS is my favorite wuxia story bar none!

    4) LOCH 83
    Fabulous cast, I loved ALL of them except Felix, which is why it's not my favorite TV series... all my favorite supporting actors are here- it's beyond classic!

    5) Twin of Brothers 04
    I never thought I'd see a wuxia serial even close to the ones from the 80's and this is not exactly full of great actors (in fact I was pretty disappointed by Leila Tong and Ron Ng, who are two of the leads), but the script gave a really memorable cast of villians and cool, larger-than-life story line that I consider a hallmark of wuxia. Not to mention Raymond Lam and Li Qian gave us a beautifully developed love story and who can resist a tragic ending?

    6) Chor Lau Heung 79
    Adam Cheng was the debonair swordsman of the 70's and I remember when I was a wee thing, I tried to imitate his fan tricks too!

    7) Condor in September 86
    Classic Gulong in my opinion- I was left guessing who the real villian was until the last moment and even after that, the resolution was a big surprise to me. Fabulous script and good, subtle execution led by Damian Lau and his lovely leading lady whose name I don't even know!

    Here're some wuxia greats on the movie front that I feel can't be ignored! (No order beyond 1)

    1) New Dragon Gate Inn 1992
    Tsui Hark, Brigitte Lin, Maggie Cheung, Donnie Yen- enough said on cast and director! Another 'beyond classic' masterpiece- my fav wuxia movie of all time! Humor, drama, action with an elegant touch of romance.

    2) Swordsman I and II & Bride with White Hair
    Brigitte Lin as Dong Fang Bu Bai is a wuxia icon for the ages, plus we must have Leslie Cheng on this list somewhere mustn't we?

    3) Ashes of Time
    I loved the atmosphere, and how the story gets revealed one slow, seductive layer at a time- and the final shot of Maggie Cheung just sitting there- funny how she can steal a 2 hour show with just 2 minutes of screen time and no lines (nearly)!

    4) Pick-your-favorite-mo-lei-tau wuxia movie
    We need a funny wuxia entry if we're talking a HK genre- I mean what's HK cinema without "mo lei tau" shows? There are literally masses of theses to pick from, many of whom star great comic talents like Eric Tsang, the taller Tony Leung, Jacky Cheung, etc. Can't see wuxia being where it is without this admittedly super-silly and irreverent and often self-parodying genre.

    5) Hero
    I do like the new age wuxia genre, the unbelieveably beautiful sets and scenery, costumes and colors- irresistable! Love the idea of alternate story lines as well- and who can resist a Maggie Cheung-Tony Leung love story?
    Last edited by yanfeng; 07-07-09 at 12:51 PM.

  18. #18
    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yanfeng View Post

    2) HSDS 01
    Fabulous script and insightful casting of Gigi Lai, Lawrence Ng, Charmaine Sheh... not to mention the dream team of Damian Lau and Michelle Yip. I've raved about this already in a long review here, so nothing more to add.
    You're the first person I've ever seen single out this adaptation for praise. Most people hate it. Jin Yong himself hated it so badly that he pulled the license to adapt his material from TVB forever after more than twenty years of successful collaboration.

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    Senior Member Ghaleon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng View Post
    You're the first person I've ever seen single out this adaptation for praise. Most people hate it. Jin Yong himself hated it so badly that he pulled the license to adapt his material from TVB forever after more than twenty years of successful collaboration.
    I think Yanfeng is a HSDS fan

    The series really over-did it with the special effects and they casted Lawrence Ng who's too old to play ZWJ. The music of the series also drove me crazy. But I guess what saved it was the fantastic storyline (being HSDS and all).

    5) Twin of Brothers 04
    I never thought I'd see a wuxia serial even close to the ones from the 80's and this is not exactly full of great actors (in fact I was pretty disappointed by Leila Tong and Ron Ng, who are two of the leads), but the script gave a really memorable cast of villians and cool, larger-than-life story line that I consider a hallmark of wuxia. Not to mention Raymond Lam and Li Qian gave us a beautifully developed love story and who can resist a tragic ending?
    Yeah i thought this was probably the best TVB wuxia series this decade. I particularly liked the second half of the series with its focus on the Buddhism storyline and the Evil sect. I liked how they mixed battle strategies (like Romance of the Three Kingdoms) with wuxia elements.

    2) Swordsman I and II & Bride with White Hair
    Brigitte Lin as Dong Fang Bu Bai is a wuxia icon for the ages, plus we must have Leslie Cheng on this list somewhere mustn't we?
    These were really GREAT wuxia movies of the 90's. Unfortunately they don't get as much love around here. But back then all my friends were raving about Swordsman II and Bride with White Hair.
    Last edited by Ghaleon; 07-07-09 at 01:49 PM.

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    Senior Member yanfeng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng View Post
    You're the first person I've ever seen single out this adaptation for praise. Most people hate it. Jin Yong himself hated it so badly that he pulled the license to adapt his material from TVB forever after more than twenty years of successful collaboration.
    Hi Ken, I know, I'm a bit of a minority here (perhaps massively so!) but I do think the script tries to give some context to the characters- in particular the thing I disliked the most about ZM in the novel is how she abandoned her family, nation, duties as a princess in one fell swoop and left with ZWJ.

    In 2001, she's showed to plan to, and actually go back- she left only to make sure ZWJ was safe and then she leaves him and returns with the intention of giving her life for her family and her underlings. I felt that gave her a sort of dignity that I liked. (For other things I liked and disliked about this version, I'll shamelessly put in a plug for the review.)

    I've mentioned it before, but the HSDS novel has quite a few loop holes and some characterizations that I find not to my taste, and it is actually the serial adaptations that I first fell in love with and still like more even after I read the novel. With apologies to Jin yong!

    (I'll have to dig a little to find the thread, but there was some discussion here where someone claimed that it wasn't, as popularly thought, due to HSDS 01 that Jin yong pulled his rights, but Flying Fox(?) I don't recall which the errant serial was- and I wish there was a good solid wiki driven reference for this!)

    Hi Ghaleon, you think I qualify as a HSDS fan? What are your favorite wuxia movies of all time?

    PS I do really like Tian Xia Di Yi (actually rewatched it a few times), and SOD 2001, though the former had a little too weak acting from the younger leads (as much as love as I do the characters of Hai Tang and Yi Dao) plus a bit oddly paced storyline. SOD 2001, was amazingly grand, had superb action- great wire work with none of the gimmicky CGI's so popular today, solid storyline and of course Zhou Xun was in this... but I couldn't get over the lackluster LHC from Li Ya Peng and somehow grand and well-scripted as it was, the story never engaged me. It's a bit of a mystery to me still why not but I absolutely see where people who put it as their top 5 of all time are coming from.
    Last edited by yanfeng; 07-07-09 at 02:02 PM.

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