A Watchdog's Tale


Reviewed by: sukting

January 01, 2013

Rating: three

Foreword
It is about dogs and lives of villagers in Cheung Sing village. Do you wish to know what goes on?

Story/Introduction on characters
1. Lai Chun Sing – Cheng Zak See
He has been in the police force for 30 years. During one investigation, his assistant police dog sacrifices its life to save him. Chun Sing decides to join the Police Dog Unit. In 25 years, he becomes an instructor and he uses his retirement money to open a dog care center, allowing dog owners to bring their dogs for training and play. He is very strict with Tien Yau and even after his retirement, he still solves cases.

2. Lai Sin Yue – Chung Kar Yan
Sing's wife dies and he has no plans to remarry since she leaves him an obedient daughter, Sin Yue .She follows after her father and becomes a veterinarian. She decides to help her dad and moves to the countryside to help with his dog care center to open a clinic beside it. Her determination is driven by the fact that she wants to make sure all animals are treated lovingly. She opposes to Yung Kung ill-treating Ah Wong and often quarrels. A breakthrough to see Kar Yan to act as a tomboy.

3. Chow Yung Kung – Ma Chun Wai
His name means diligent but he is far from it. The rest do not like the way he ill-treats his dog, Ah Wong. He is the renovator who is in charge of preparing the dog care center. Sin Yue and Yung Kung eventually start developing feelings for each other as they spend more time together. Chun Sing refuses to accept Kung as his daughter's boyfriend as he has no education and no stable job. Also a breakthrough to see him as a rugged man often wearing bermudas, t-shirts and slippers.

4. Yun See See – Chu Wai Mun
To make things more complicated in love, Yung Kung's ex-girlfriend reappears with a vengeance to reveal that she has one-night stand with Yung Kung in the past. She lies that their son is dead and she has cancer. In reality, she has mental illness and is paid by Tin-ngo to break the couple up. She is later arrested when she tries to poison Sin Yue.

5. Chiang Tin-Ngo – Shiu Mei Kei
She is Tin-Hung’s younger sister who is a paranoid for cleanliness. After her escape from the kidnapper, Tin-Ngo wants to seek him out, thinking it is someone from Chow village. She monitors all of villagers closely. She even decides to move in. Tin-Hung, afraid that his sister might find out the kidnapper is him, moves to the countryside too.

He wants to stop Tin-Ngo from getting any serious evidence. While she is there, Tin-Ngo starts to develop feelings for Sing who helps her, but she is rejected and runs away. He later regrets his act and accepts her again. It is fun to see Mei Kei to let go and be cast in a comedic role. You will laugh to see how she plants gadgets on everyone to find out the real culprit.

6. Chiang Tin-Hung - Lee Kwok Lun
Tin-Hung has always been looked down upon by his father and sister as a failure. He wants to start his own business, but his father will not loan him the money, believing that he is incompetent. His sister refuses to help him, so Tin-Hung resorts to kidnapping Tin-Ngo and demanding their father for a large sum of money. He buries the money in the village but is shocked when the ground is turned into the dog centre. So he comes to work under Yung Kung as an electrician.

However, the villagers change him and he surrenders to the police after finding the money. He becomes down to earth to want to prove his worth to his father. Kwok Lun does a good job on a man struggling between conscience and greed. You will laugh when Yung-kung gets his help to try to kidnap Sin Yue to get Chun Sing’s approval. All his methods are being reproduced here.

7. Chow Ka-Man – Tong See Wing
She is Wai Wai’s daughter who is jobless all along. She later works as a dog groomer at a pet shop when Tin Yau laments that she doesn’t consider her future. Ka-Man has a crush on him, but Tin-Yau refuses to admit his feelings for her. However, the two eventually become a couple.

8. Ho Tin Yau – Wong Ho Yin
Tin-Yau is a striving police officer that wants to do the best he can at his job. He is also Chun-Sing's disciple and works well with his police dog, Bingo. He is bitter when he can’t get his promotion and is too eager to make Bingo work hard. In the end, Bingo has to retire early when his cataract is damaged when protecting Tin Yau from an attacker.

Tin Yau then transfers to Intelligence Crime to check on the drug case and Tin- Ngor’s kidnap. He wants to be more confident before he returns to be a dog trainer again.

9. Chow Wai-wai – Kwok Fung
He is Ka-Man's dad and is also a drug dealer. He feels guilty towards her as her mother dies after giving birth to her. Tin Ngor suspects him to be her kidnapper. He is scared that with Tin-Yau always around the house, he'll discover his hidden drugs. Wai Wai tells them to break up, but Ka-Man refuses. Unknown to her, Ka-Man is keeping a bowling ball stuffed with drugs that she thinks is a birthday present from her dad. He later turns over a new leaf.

10. Leung Ah-ping – Ching Hor Wai
She is Yung-Kung's foster mother and Tin-Yau's aunt. They respect her as she is kind and generous to the folks. She is famous for her good cooking. She wants Yung Kung to return to Wai-kuen but he chooses to stay with her.

11. Chiang Ying Kuan – Ng Fung
He is the siblings’ father. Woody is bought by his late wife and he treats it well. He is disappointed with Tin-hung over the kidnap and kicks him out of the family although he gets him out of trouble since Chun Sing hints to Tin Ngor to tell the police that both siblings are ill to drop the case.

12. Chan Mei Lin – Lam Heung Yee
She is Yung Fat's wife who is a spitfire. They quarrel but there is a chance of reconciliation but the nosy Yung Kung gets a lawyer to print the divorce papers. She signs on the divorce papers impulsively upon seeing that Yung Fat has not registered her name in the ancestors’ name book.

13. Chow Yung Fat – Chiang Chi Kong
He is Mei Len’s timid husband Yung-kung’s cousin. Yung-kung is annoyed when he keeps listening to his wife but he manages to appease Yung-kung’s anger every time with steamboat. He is attracted to Cheuk Ling’s figure but remains faithful to Mei Len. Too bad she doesn’t believe him although he tries hard. Also a breakthrough to see him in casual wear instead of a suit.

14. Ma Cheuk-Ling – Lui Wai Yee
She is Undercover Police Officer WPC66349. She is also Chiang Tin Hung's lover. She pretends to be a rich man’s mistress to check on Dai Keung’s case. All men drool over her sexy long legs. She is the pillar of support to get Tin Hung to surrender to the police as she is his fan of a drink produced by Ying Kuan to promote the message of being honest.

15. Ngan Dai Keung – Mak Cheung Ching
He is a triad leader thrown into jail due to drug possession but never forgets to want to look for it to dispatch his men. He keeps extorting from Wai Wai but luckily the others rescue him.

16. Wai Chai – Shin King Ying
He isn’t Leung Chiu Wai but he is the family butler who knows martial arts. The dog is closer to him than anyone else as he is the one at home taking care of it. He also helps to clean Tin Ngor’s apartment in the village.

17. Chow Doi Dei –
Lee Yee Mun Two villagers like her but she doesn’t like them. She only likes to make fun of them. She is Kar-mun’s close friend who spreads gossip like fire.

18. Chow Wai Kuen – Chan Mun Na
She is Yung-kung’s biological mother and Yung-fa’s aunt. Many dig fun of her name to mean that she is always hiding. She gives birth to Yung-kung out of wedlock so Mui passes him to Ah-ping. She comes to look for him and also clear the misunderstanding that she is Ka-mun’s mother. Ka-mun’s mother is actually her friend and she wraps the same cloth around her to pass to Wai-wai while keeping a similar piece of cloth for herself.

19. Wong Ya Mun – Tang Sheung Mun
She is Tin-yau’s colleague and also ex-classmate in cadet school. Ka-mun mistakens her to be her love rival. She is amused when Tin-Yau complains about her later gets concerned about her.

20. Chow Mui – Ling Lai Mun
He is the guys’ grandfather and Wai Kuen’s father. Knowing that he has dementia, he gets Yung-fat to be the next village head.

Interesting facts from wikipedia
Chun Wai and Kar Yan were paired for many times but it was the first that they looked so ordinary. Yung Kung is a kind man but he is lazy and petty. He liked it very much as this role was lustful and regretted that he did not get the chance to spout vulgarities to make the role more realistic. He learned some Hakka from the villagers for scolding scenes. Kar Yan really admired his efforts for making so much preparation. He was tired of being the good guy and yearned for a change.

The dog suddenly barked when Chun Wai was taking a photo with it for TVB cover page. All became nervous but Chun Wai knew that Ah Wong alerted him and wasn’t going to bite him for stepping on it. Many had the wrong idea that Bingo was fierce but it was the most gentle among the 3 dogs. He had dogs at home in the past so the dogs got close to him automatically.

Kar Yan found it tough to act as a tomboy as she is more femine. She wore a wig and all found that she resembled Wu Chun. She was happy that she did not have to apply much makeup except adding some baby cream and drawing of the eyeliners. That saved a lot of time for her.

Kar Yan only kept fish and terrapins at home so she needed some time to get close to the dogs. She felt safe with their owners around and was not afraid of them. However, Ah Wong did not like women and it nearly bit her in a scene that she was supposed to examine it. Luckily, Chun Wai and the rest were beside her and she completed the scene with one take.

Viewership for it was about 32 points. Yip Chui Chui had a role in the drama initially but TVB had to ‘store her in the bridge’ for 3 months due to negative news connected to her so it was given to someone else. Chun Wai and Kar Yan were delighted to work with Zak See again after ‘The Journey of Life’.

Below are the awards won :
TVB Anniversary Awards (2010)
Won: Most Improved Male Artiste (Wong Ho Yin)
Won: Most Improved Female Artiste (Tong See Wing)
Nominated: Best Drama, Best Actress (Siu Mei Kei), My Favourite Male Character (Ma Chun Wai) – Top5
Next TV Awards (2010)
Won: Top 10 TV series (No.8)
Won: Top 10 TV artists (Chung Kar Yan - No.6)

Most favourite character
Tin-Yau, he is a dedicated cop and is close to his cousins to solve problems for them.

Most hated character
Wai Kuen – she is a snob who forgets her roots completely after getting a rich boyfriend. But at least she has the conscience to look for her son.

Song
It is a cute song by Chun Wai and Kar Yan.

Conclusion
You don’t have to doubt the chemistry between the cast as this is an experienced cast. Kar-Yan and Chu nWai have worked many times together so their chemistry is already there. It can be fun to see the usually rich folks suddenly becoming common folks in the village. What stands out is that they are closely knitted and the love affairs can be very simple to tackle. The roles are well-played although the story is only average. It is quite enjoyable to see them making a refreshing change.

Sukting’s ratings :
On acting : *** (Scale of 5)
On story : *** (Scale of 5)
On song : *** (Scale of 5)


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