A Loving Spirit

Reviewed by: hkopinions

March 08, 2008

Rating: two-point-five

Esther Kwan as Ah Ying
Lawrence Ng as Ching Ho Yeen
Cheng Zhi Sing as Chiu Hing Kok
Yuen King Dan as Ngun Jei

Intro: (Warning! Spoilers!)
Before I watched the series, the cast blew me away. As you can see, TVB enlisted a very star studded cast. Esther Kwan ("Lady Flower Fist") stars as Ah Ying, a girl who is very honest but has a very limited education. Lawrence Ng ("The New Heavenly Sword and Dragon Saber 2000") also stars as Ching Ho Yeen, a rich man, who is trying to continue is family's theater business that became haunted by ghosts. The series also costars Eileen Yeow, Cheng Zhi Sing ("Man's Best Friend"), and Yuen King Dang. Although the cast includes Esther and Lawrence, the series falls quite short. The story starts out quite promising but just gets too weird and boring in the middle. The first few episodes were rather dull and boring. The series picks up speed later but again dies down after the middle. The ending was quite disappointing as TVB kills of one of the main character, Lawrence. I was hoping for a happy ending since the entire series wasn't.

What about the story:
Esther lives with her brother and boyfriend's relatives in an apartment. Her boyfriend was at sea so Esther took care of his parents by selling squid in front of a haunted theater. The theater was going bankrupt because viewers were scared of the ghosts. Esther's friends help her get a job in the theater. One day, Esther accidentally released the ghost of Yuen King Dan. Esther told her boss but his wife fired her. She was allowed to keep her job if she closed up every night. Meanwhile, the owner of the theater was tired of his wife's bickering and called his son from the United States, Lawrence, to come and help him. As Esther went home one night, the ghost followed her home and decided to stay with Esther to watch TV. Lawrence comes and takes over the business but his step-mom and half-brother are not as welcoming. Lawrence's half-cousin, Mah Tai Lo, is in love with him, but she just tries too hard. Lawrence gets acquainted with Esther when he bumps into her at night when she was closing up.

One day, Esther hears news that her boyfriend's boat had sunk but she couldn't get information about him since she didn't know his English name. Lawrence stops and helps but is late for a very important appointment. Esther learns about the ghost. Yuen King Dan had worked for Lawrence's dad as a maid and took care of Lawrence. One day she fell in love with a man and he needed money to start a business. Yuen King Dan asked Lawrence to get money from his dad and so Lawrence got in trouble. Yuen King Dan was very upset and tried to find the man but accidentally fell into the ocean and died. Esther helps Lawrence pick out a movie to show; the movie brought in a lot of money so Lawrence took her to a fancy restaurant. Mah Tai Lo is very jealous so she frames Esther for stealing money but the ghost plays a trick on Mah Tai Lo for revenge. The manager of the theater was having an affair with Lawrence's step-mom and got Lawrence to buy bad films. Yuen King Dan finds out that he is stealing money and tells Esther. Esther in turns tells Lawrence who forgives them. Lawrence makes all the employees take English. Lawrence invites Esther to the beach and they have a great time.

Lawrence is now in love with Esther. Lawrence and his father learn that there is a ghost and Esther shows them Yuen King Dan. Cheng Zhi Sing, Esther's boyfriend, returns home but is very cold to Esther. Cheng Zhi Sing decides to start a business and so Esther borrows money from Lawrence to help him. Lawrence leaves for Macao with Yuen King Dan to find the man who had tricked her. Instead, Lawrence meets an American film company representative, Poon Chi Lee. They become business partners and Lawrence takes her on a tour around Hong Kong. Cheng Zhi Sing likes someone else, Eileen Yeow, but she comes from a very rich family. Cheng lies about his position while he was in Spain to get acquainted with her. Poon Chi Lee reveals her feeling to Lawrence but he pushes her away because he likes Esther.

Esther Kwan:
In this series, Esther did a very good job. The fault is of the script. The story just loses the attention of the viewers by the 5th or 6th episode. Her chemistry with Lawrence is a heartbreaker since he dies at the end.

Lawrence Ng:
Lawrence did an okay job in this series, although I find his character very flawed. The script did not allow Francis to show off his acting skills. TVB had to kill him off at the end.

Best supporting actor:
? as Lawrence's half-brother

Best supporting actress:
Yuen King Dan as Ngun Jei

Best villain portrayal:
Cheng Zhi Sing as Chiu Hing Kok

Worst character portrayal:
Eileen Yeow as Cheng's girlfriend

Watch it or forget it:
Don't even bother watching this series unless you have nothing else to do. The only positive comment about this series is Esther and Lawrence.

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