The Red Kid

Reviewed by: sukting

April 17, 2010

Rating: two

How long
60 episodes

Do you wish to watch this drama where many are considered as A-listers in the present China television scene? It is collaboration between ATV and also CTV. However, some TCS artistes are also involved in the production.

Story/Introduction on characters

1. Cow Demon King – Jiao En Jun
He is initially trusting his wife but later chooses to believe the nine tail fox's lies. This causes the couple to break up. Hong Hai Er chooses to leave with his mother. Cow Demon king finally realises that he is tricked and saves his family out. But he loses his memory and goes missing. Hong Hai Er sets out to search for him but can't recognize him as he changes his looks. He only remembers his identity after lightning strikes him and he is reunited with his family in the end.

By right, Cow Demon King should be ferocious but he seems too much like a doting father. A firm no to this transformation.

2. The nine tail fox – Tian Hai Rong
She is an evil demon. She seduces Cow Demon King to make use of him to get a secret pearl from Princess Iron Fan's fan in order to find a treasure. Cow Demon King isn't tempted by her but she knows that Princess Iron Fan can't get along with her mother-in-law so she gets close to the old woman instead.

She ends up being her god-daughter to discipline Hong Hai Er. Both of them keep finding fault with Princess Iron Fan. She later imprisons the old lady to force Princess Iron Fan to hand over her fan. The 3 head dragon is interested in her but she isn't interested in him but to make use of him instead. Cow Demon King finally kills her. She is quite competent in her acting. Sexy, seductive and also daring.

3. Hong Hai Er – Ding Yu Jia
He is a very naughty boy who often gets into trouble. His only flaw is he only stays at 8 years old. Pricness Iron Fan is so upset that she has heartaches frequently. Hong Hai Er believes from the nine tail fox that eating Tang Sen's flesh can cure her so he kidnaps him. After Goddess of Mercy tames him down, he returns to his parents. Although I am very open to changes, I can’t stomach such a devilish Hong Hai Er even after transformation.

4. Goddess of Mercy – Zhang Qian
After Wu Kong fails to save his master from Hong Hai Er, he asks Goddess of Mercy for help. She traps him in her jade bottle when he uses the San Wei fire to harm her. That burns Wu Kong but that doesn’t injure her. She nurses Princess Iron Fan back to health by using the bamboo water from her bottle. Hong Hai Er wants to steal the bamboo and comes into the purple forest.

She isn't there but the red lotus seat is. He then sits on it, pretending to be her. Suddenly, the lotus becomes knives to pierce into his legs. She notices that Hong Hai Er is very witty. She feels that his parents have failed so she decides to teach him a lesson by throwing him into the mortal world. She strips him of his skills and teaches him a good lesson.

She explains to him that it is everyone’s destiny to meet with different fortunes. She discovers that he has turned from a menace to a likeable child. She suggests to him if he wants to be her disciple to do more good deeds. Hong Hai Er is touched by her words so he agrees readily. He then becomes the fortune child to assist her to help the misfortunate. She has never been more beautiful here as in other dramas. All should watch her in here as she is often given forgettable roles.

5. Princess Iron Fan – Yip Tong
She can be narrow-minded at times but her love for her husband is genuine. After knowing that Cow Demon King has fallen for Lu Zhu, she forces Hong Hai Er to make a choice between her and Cow Demon King. When knowing that the 3 head dragon is after the pearl on her fan, she gives in. the pearl contains the location of the golden harvest. Anyone who gets it can become a Buddha. She finally makes up with Cow Demon King after defeating 3 head dragon.

They open the box but only finds a small strand of hay. The Goddess of Mercy explains that wealth isn't the treasure but food is the key. No life means nothing. All realize the importance so Cow Demon King uses the seeds to grow crops for the villagers. As usual, Yip offers stage-like acting that you will need time to accept.

6. Pai Ma Wen – Yue Yao Li/Lau Kam Kwong
Cow demon king gives this single horn horse to Hong Hai Er as a birthday present. In reality, he is a small deity banished from the heaven. He is actually eyeing on Cow demon king's wealth but is later touched that Hong Hai Er treats him like a friend. So he treats him sincerely later. His mission is accomplished when he protects Hong Hai Er from harm and returns to heaven. Hong Hai Er promises to visit him when he is free. This is a role that involves two actors. Both are renowned as comedians so they place their best in here.

7. Sun Wu Kong – Weng Qing Hai
When Tang Sen is kidnapped by Hong Hai Er, Wu Kong tries to save him. it is then he realizes that he has offended Princess Iron Fan a long time ago. She has wanted to have a handsome son who can stay at age 18. Thus she is pregnant for 18 years. Due to Wu Kong’s mistake, Hong Hai Er’s birth becomes premature and his age forever stays at 8 years old. That is why she hates him.

He steals the fan from Princess Iron Fan in order to diminish the fire on fire mountain in order to continue the journey to the west. But alas, the fire turns stronger and nearly burns him to death as the fan is fake. Leaving him no choice, he disguises as Cow Demon King to get the real one. While sparing with Cow Demon King to seize the iron fan, he becomes friends with him. To make up for his mistake, he imparts the changing of 72 styles to him.

Poor chap – he is only famous of playing Sun Wu Kong in all dramas that he acted in. It seems that all television stations only make use of his martial arts background. No wonder he opened a wushu school to groom talents now.

8. Huan Zhu – Guo Fei Li
She is a poor village girl and is nearly raped by Dragon Prince. Hong Hai Er saves her and she swallows Dragon Prince’s pearl by mistake. She later saves Cow Demon King and both fall for each other. She is bothered when he suddenly has bits of memories of the past. Ever since Cow Demon King imparts part of his energy to Dragon Prince, he becomes ill.

In order to help him to recover, she cuts off her flesh as the antidote to make him well. Cow Demon King is touched and decides to marry her. Even though she knows that he is a married man later, she is selfish and wants him never to remember anything to lead a seclude life. She even prevents Hong Hai Er from acknowledging his father.

This decision proves fatal when the 3 head dragon makes use of her to deal with Cow Demon King. She repents and saves Cow Demon King but becomes blind. Princess Iron Fan saves her although she is jealous. Huan Zhu remains blind but she survives. I always think she has problems struggling in emotional scenes. It proves the same in here. Somehow, I think that she should switch roles with Qian. She is more suitable for the Goddess of Mercy role in her outlook as she has a mole on her forehead.

9. Dragon Prince – Cui Peng
He fails to rape Huan Zhu and loses his pearl due to Hong Hai Er. He then sets a trap to get the pearl back. However, he falls down the cliff to get killed instead. His mother vows to flood the whole fishing village but Hong Hai Er resolves the problem. He gets to reborn when 10,000 burns joss sticks to him.

Cow Demon King allows him to suck his power in order to save the other villagers. Seeing that he doesn’t repent, the dragon king has no choice but to bring him to Goddess of Mercy to subdue him. Dragon Prince never stops his thought of revenge. However, his energy is absorbed by the 3-headed dragon and remains in his stomach. It is a pity that TCS never promotes him properly. He shines in mainland productions even as villains. There is no exception in here too.

10. Xiao Li – Chen Zi Han
She is the nine tail fox's sister who often helps her in her evil deeds. She is in love with 3 head dragon but this causes her whole clan to be demolished by him. The 3 head dragon also falls for her and can’t bear to kill her although the demon king wants him to kill her in order to exchange for greater power. She is also okay in her acting as she first started out here.

Most favourite character/Most hated character
None as all look fake to me.

Interesting facts

When it was shown in Hong Kong, the ratings beat TVB's 'Dance of passion'. The mainland TV station considered it as a golden drama as the story breaks tradition to talk about how Hong Hai Er is educated. The modern conflicts between family members is also presented in the drama. Even the outlook is more modern too.

Jiao told the reporters that he had expected to wear a fake nose but was pleased to be so nicely dressed. He did not look as cruel as in the folktale but seemed more to be a caring father. The only additions were only horns to his head. His costume was made of cow skin and it was a real Cow demon king.

Yip Tong was not that fortunate. Besides the small fan on her head, she had to handle a big and heavy one in her hand. It was like waving a big flag. Luckily, she had different fans that came in different sizes so different weights were used. As for Hong Hai Er, he had spiky hair like his father. With the addition of a spear and fire wheels, people had the wrong impression that he was acting as Ne Zha.   

The cow demon family turn from evil to good. They spoil him rotten but upon seeing him committing serious mistakes, they have to send him to the mortal world to have a feel of the agony faced by adults. Thus this drama can be considered as a family drama to En Jun. But Yip Tong smiled as many parts were comical so that children will not find it heavy going.

Cow demon king is troubled as his mother and his wife are often at loggerheads with each other. That was the highlight. Many kids were enrolled to act as devils in the drama. En Jun has 2 daughters and Yu Jie's age was close to his daughter so they got along well. He admitted that he was in mainland for a long time and could only visit his children monthly. They could only communicate through emails but he was able to know what they think. But due to the big number, the studio was like a big kindergarten.

Initially, I thought it was meant to be a joke upon knowing that it won over 'Dance of Passion'. It is a big nightmare for me. Why? The special effects were too cheesy for me to bear. The clothes look like they are from a second hand store.

Moreover, Hong Hai Er isn't an adorable child. The producer has chosen the whole child actor. He looks too old and it doesn't help with the over-the-top hairdo. Can you imagine that he has a pigtail instead of the cute plaits that the folktale has presented?

Somehow. I am not used to see how Cow Demon family turns to be good guys in the end. The beginning is quite truthful to the folktale 'Journey to the West'. However, this is only a small portion of it. Plus a whole group of demons who come out of the blue. You can hardly tell who is who.

I lost my sense of direction after Sun Wu Kong disappears completely from the scene. I can't stomach the part where Cow Demon King loses his memory to become so normal. It is too dramatic. The producer has stretched his imagination too far. It has done injustice to the cast which work so hard. Luckily, their careers are not affected by this drama.

Please skip this drama – it is not worth your money and your time. I have made the wrong decision to spend 60 solid hours in order to give it a fair review.

Sukting's ratings:

On acting : **1/2 (Scale of 5)

On story : ** (Scale of 5)

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