Eternal Happiness

Reviewed by: Charmed^One

September 23, 2003

Rating: five

Michelle Yip as Mang Lai Kuan
Raymond Lam as Wong Poh Siu Wah
Joe Ma as Tit Muk Ee
Rain Lau as Weng Lan
Tavia Yeung as Ying Suet/So Wan
Mok Kar Yiu as Mang Chi Yu
Myolie Wu as Lau Yin Yuk
Natalie Ng as Fut Chan

When I first knew that Michelle Yip and Raymond Lam were going to be the leading actress and actor in this series, I was like, “What?!?! What the heck was TVB thinking??? Putting the not-so-famous actress and actor as the leading characters??? Especially this Michelle Yip, whose performance was already very bad in Reaching Out, and yet TVB still dared to put her as the lead actress?? Weren't they afraid of a big flop??” As for Raymond Lam, when I first saw him in A Step Into The Past, his performance was only ok, so I thought Raymond was not appropriate to take the lead actor because I was not familiar with his acting as well.

So, after much doubt and hesitation, I decided to try giving it a go, and boy, was I in for a real surprise!!! Since when and how did Michelle Yip become so good in acting? Her performance in this series was EXCELLENT!!!!!!!! It was like this actress had changed overnight. Like from zero to hero, 0% to 100%. It had me wondering, is this the same Michelle Yip I saw in Reaching Out? Till today, I am still wondering what really had made her become so good in acting??? As for Raymond, his performance in this series was better than in A Step In The Past, but all credit had to go to Michelle. The actress, whom at one time I thought was real bad in acting, had proved me wrong – in fact, the series itself had proved me wrong.

This series revolves around a girl named Mang Lai Kuan and her adventures to save her dad because her dad was framed by Lau Chit and Lau Fui Pik for being a terrorist. At the beginning of the story, she has Weng Lan to accompany her on her journey to save her dad, but later on, she meets with a lot of people along the way, namely the bandit queen and her four bandits. Apart from her adventures, she also has to deal with her love life. She has to choose between Wong Poh Siu Wah and Tit Muk Ee. Well of course, the synopsis I gave is not really complete and accurate because I do not want to give away too many spoilers.

Mang Lai Kuan played by Michelle Yip
Mang Lai Kuan is a girl who does not believe that only boys are allowed to get education. Because of this, she dresses up as a boy (and goes by the name of Ngai Chi Wan – and later as Lai Ming Tong when she becomes a Mongolian Judge) most of the time to wander around the streets and secretly go to school without her parents’ knowledge. She is the kind of girl who would go all out to show everyone that girls can also do whatever boys can do – and even better. She also does not believe in arranged marriages. Actually, her parents had already arranged her marriage to Wong Poh Siu Wah but she does not want to get married to him because she does not know who he is, plus, she had already fallen in love with someone else. Her only memory of Wong Poh Siu Wah is of a fat kid whom she had met when they were young. This character played by Michelle is, I have to say again, excellent, compared to her past performances. Well, of course she still needs some improvement, especially her crying skills, but overall, a great improvement by Michelle. You can see the difference between her past performances and this performance. Maybe after this, TVB should let this actress play these kinds of role more often in the future. She is very good in playing the strong, opinionated and independent girl. If Michelle keeps up her good work, she will certainly become one of the key actresses for TVB!

Wong Poh Siu Wah played by Raymond Lam
Wong Poh Siu Wah is a kind, gentle, brave, courageous, naïve, honest, noble guy. Not only is he all of the above, he is also very loyal towards love. You can say that he is the ‘perfect’ guy whom every girl would fall in love with. He is supposed to marry Lai Kuan and he is very happy about it, although he has never met the adult Lai Kuan. In the beginning, you may think that this character is dull compared to Tit Muk Ee, but I can assure you, by the end of this series, you will fall in love with him because I nearly did. This character was very well portrayed by Raymond. His performance in this series is much much better than in A Step In The Past and A Taste Of Love. I think this actor has the potential to be a rising star.

Tit Muk Ee played by Joe Ma
As far as I know, this actor always gets small roles or supporting actor roles for any drama series he acts in. Every time Tit Muk Ee appears on screen, I wanna fall asleep. He is the guy Lai Kuan falls in love with in the beginning… but I wonder how can she fall in love with him????? He is SO boring. The on-screen chemistry between the two of them is poor. They do not seem to match because Tit Muk Ee seems to be way older than Lai Kuan – and taller. Anyway, Tit Muk Ee is the Mongolian King, but all I can think about this character is that he is BORING. In my opinion, this actor is not that bad looking, but why is he still forever playing small or supporting actor roles? Is it because of his poor on-screen charisma? His performance in this series is like his other performances in other series. It is just his same old normal performance. It is nothing special, not good, not bad – just normal. Maybe it’s high time that TVB promote him because he seems to have been around for so long already.

Weng Lan played by Rain Lau
What can I say about this character? She is sooooo cute and funny. I cannot help but laugh everytime I see Weng Lan in a scene. Her cheeks are so chubby everytime she smiles, it made me want to pinch her cheeks. She is Lai Kuan’s maid, but they seem more like friends to me. Although Lai Kuan always seems to be bossing her around, Lai Kuan really cares for her and treats her like a friend at times. Good thing that TVB put her in this series, because I cannot imagine what it would be like without her. I think Rain Lau also played other types of characters in other drama series, but I cannot recall because she always playing either a small role or a supporting actress role. However, she is really good in this series as she adds more comedy to it.

Ying Suet/So Wan played by Tavia Yeung
Ying Suet is Lai Kuan’s childhood friend, but later on, when she becomes a princess, she goes by the name of So Wan. Her performance in here is good and natural. I am not so familiar with this actress; I have only seen her performance in The Awakening Story before this, so I am not going to comment much on her.

Mang Chi Yu played by Mok Kar Yiu
Mang Chi Yu is Lai Kuan’s brother. He is very funny in this series. He is very good with his facial expression, which makes him very funny. His acting in here is by far better than his past performances, but I never really notice this actor before, because he only plays very small roles (most of the time the bad guy) in past TVB series.

Lau Chit and Lau Fui Pik
They are the baddies in this series. Lau Chit is the father and Lau Fui Pik is the son. Both of them are the enemies of Lai Kuan and Siu Wah’s family. There is nothing much to say about their performances here. It is just a normal bad-guy-performance. But about their characters, I have to say that I really hate Lau Fui Pik!!! Always stirring trouble up for Lai Kuan and Siu Wah’s family. Even his own father cannot stand his attitude, because he is always causing trouble, leaving his father to clean up his mess. Lau Chit is no more better than his son, but I hate Lau Fui Pik more.

Lau Yin Yuk played by Myolie Wu
She is Lau Chit’s daughter and Lau Fui Pik’s half sister. She is the only good one in this bad family. She is forever trying to stop her father and half brother from doing bad stuff, but to no avail. And she also secretly admires Siu Wah, which later Lai Kuan becomes jealous of (these are some of the funny scenes). I have seen this actress’s performance in At Point Blank and Legal Entanglement, which I think is good. I like her performance in At Point Blank better. I thought TVB will give her a bigger role after that, but instead, they gave her a small and very stupid role in this series. I think it is because of the script and her role that made her received lots of bad comments about her. Personally, I think that this actress can act, has talent and the potential to be a rising star, but after her stupid role and script in here, let’s just hope that TVB has not ruined her acting career.

Fut Chan played by Natalie Ng
Fut Chan is the Queen – Tit Muk Ee’s wife. There is nothing much to say about this character here. This actress is not really good in acting, which explains why TVB always gives her small roles.

Most favourite scenes:

  • Any scenes with Rain Lau and Michelle together, Michelle and Raymond together.

  • When Michelle first met the bandit queen and her four bandits.

  • When the ‘male’ Michelle tries to woo the bandit queen, which was a success because the bandit queen really falls in love with the ‘male’ Michelle.

  • When Michelle’s brother carries a drunken Raymond to Michelle’s room by mistake (he’s supposed to carry him to the bandit queen’s room), and Michelle did not know about it – because she was asleep already – and she sleeps with him until morning. She was furious when she woke up the next day and found out that Raymond was by her side. Really funny!!!

  • When Raymond started to have feelings for the ‘male’ Michelle and he started to think that he was gay. Really hilarious!!!

  • When Raymond first found out that the ‘male’ Michelle is actually a girl, but still had no idea that she was his bride-to-be. He thought that she was his bride-to-be’s cousin. He was really really very stupid.

  • When Michelle confessed to Raymond out of desperation that she was actually his bride-to-be, but unfortunately, Raymond was unconscious at that time because he hit his head on the wall and was bleeding a lot.

  • When Michelle showed Raymond her kung fu. She accidentally slipped, and Raymond was quick to hold her to prevent her from falling. Awww…. How sweet….

  • When Michelle fell asleep on Raymond’s hand and Raymond did not wake her up. So, they slept like that until the next morning. That is sweet and romantic.

  • When Michelle found out that Tit Muk Ee is in fact the King.

  • The scene where Michelle asked Raymond if he had anything to say to her. Raymond said, “Yes, have you eaten already?” This made Michelle really frustrated, because this was not what she was expecting from him. Then, Michelle said, “No! I’m going to eat now. Goodbye!” Then, she walked away, but stopped halfway and turned her head back and said, “You really really don’t have anything to say to me?” The stupid and blur Raymond thought for a while and replied, “Oh yes. I don’t want to bother you eating.” And with that, the really frustrated Michelle said, “Goodbye!” and walked away. This scene was really really hilarious!!!

  • When the ‘male’ Michelle was selected and forced to marry the princess. She was so worried about it because her secret would be revealed this way. But in the end when she married the princess, she found out that the princess was actually Ying Suet, her long lost friend whom everyone thought was dead. They were both so happy about it because they have finally found each other.

  • And of course, when Michelle and Raymond were together……… at last!!!

Most touching scenes:

  • The scene where the night before Raymond had to marry Myolie, he sat in his room and thought about all the good times he had spent with Michelle. At first, he put away Michelle’s handkerchief and jade into a small box, indicating that he wanted to forget about her – but then he went back and took it back out and kept it inside his clothes because he could not forget and let go of her. This scene was really sad and touching because when this scene was on, the background music playing was the sub-theme song sang by Raymond – a really good combination. Although this scene was short, it did a good job by showing the viewers how sad and heartbroken Raymond really was. I admit that my eyes were a bit watery watching this scene. *Sob*

  • The scene where Raymond finally realized that Michelle was his bride to be. He called out her real name, Lai Kuan, and she answered him accidentally. But after that, she kept on insisting that she is not Lai Kuan but Raymond kept on insisting that she was. In the end, she confessed that she is Lai Kuan but “you are already married to someone else and who I am does not make any difference.” With that, she walked away leaving a very poor and heartbroken Raymond behind. Michelle did a good job here with the way she looked at Raymond when she said that sentence. The way they looked at each other here was very very…. heart-wrenching. Good crying skills by Raymond. He did a good job by showing the viewers that although he had realized who Michelle really is, he could do nothing about it anymore although he still loves her, because he was already married to someone else. *Sob*

Some complaints
I do have some minor complains for this series. I do not like all the scenes with Joe Ma in it, especially scenes in his palace where he is discussing country matters or whatever stuff with other important officers. This was really boring because they made these scenes too long sometimes. Another thing is that I do not really like the ending, although it was a happy ending. Maybe because it was too fast? Michelle and Raymond were finally together and – duh….. that was it?? I do not have any worst actor in this series, but I do have the worst actress. I will not say it is the actress who played the bandit queen because she is very new. My worst actress in this series goes to Natalie Ng. Never did like her acting anyway, and her performance in this series was really stiff.

This series really touched my heart and I will remember this series for quite a while. Michelle’s character had an impact on me. Especially her fiery confidence, which really had a great impact on my life and I shall forever remember the line she said a few times in this series: “Instead of depending on others for help, I will depend on myself”, because back in the days of ancient China, it was really hard for girls to depend on themselves and Michelle’s character could really depend on herself, which was really amazing! And oh yeah, the theme song and sub theme song sang by Kelly Chen and Raymond Lam respectively are great! I love the songs. And one more thing, Michelle and Raymond’s on-screen chemistry in this series was really great! They really matched each other and made a very cute and funny couple. It has been quite a while since I saw a really matching on-screen couple from a TVB production.

This is a very highly recommended series. Although the number of episodes for this series is 32, it is not draggy at all and has a fast pace. Just go rent it and watch it, and I promise you, your opinions on Michelle Yip will change and you will like her after watching it! I give this series a complete 5 out of 5!

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