La Femme Desperado

Reviewed by: Quinn

August 17, 2006

Rating: three

Cast List:
Sheren Tang as Hilda
Melissa Ng as Go Ling
Michael Tse as Ah Man
Raymond Lam as Siu Chai
Kate Tsui as Ida
Kenneth Ma as Ah Lik

La Femme Desperado revolves around 4 main people, which are our two leading females and our two leading males. Melissa Ng (Go Ling) can be summed up as the typical woman who represents the woman that’s continuously dominated by men. Total opposite of Go Ling (Melissa), is Hilda (Sheren) who is someone that's driven and highly intelligent. She's very independent and knows how to get what she wants, even sometimes doing some wrong things along the way. Both women work for Pluto (a company), Sheren's position is higher than Melissa's. But, both become friends despite their personalities representing the sun and the moon, north and the south; opposites. The company Pluto, is also in competition with another company, Please, which Ah Man (Michael) is working at, but he’s not quite a high position as Sheren. Ah Man is a guy who was married with Go Ling, but was caught cheating, which led to divorce. Ah Man (Michael) was a man who was a "gold-digger" (a person who’s eyes glow at the sight of money- type of person), and someone who did whatever he needed to get to his goal, even if it meant hurting others in the process. Siu Chai (Raymond) met Go Ling (Melissa) when he was young. Siu Chai knew Go Ling through her little brother, who Siu Chai was friends with. The little brother felt bad for Siu Chai after seeing little Siu Chai looking depressed and asked what was wrong. Siu Chai had achieved bad grades and didn't know what to do, so the little brother offered his sister (Go Ling) to tutor him. So ever since, Siu Chai had fallen in love with Go Ling, even though she was seven years older.


Sheren Tang and Michael Tse really sold the series for me. They were the reasons the series had the interesting story and touching moments. Sheren on her own is a fabulous actress and no right words could describe her professional on screen performance. Michael I loved as well. Together, they clash perfectly. It was a match made in heaven.

Female Roles:

Leading Ladies

Sheren Tang

Sheren has really grown as a professional person. She’s able to seem like an actress but at the same time, seem real. She has this charisma that really goes out to you, and everything looks natural. In this series, Hilda was a very in control lady and was always quite clear headed whenever she faced a problem. In any situation she always knew what to do. Sheren knows how to do it without being too over the top that you start hating her.

Sheren cries really well, and in this business, crying is an ability you must have. TVB may be able to supply the eye drops but it's just a prop unless you can really sell it and make it look real. Sheren does just that. She cries without losing the cool or strong and confident self Hilda (her character) has. Without passion and emotion, and sad moments, no matter how good the actress is, there will always be something missing. After all, without the sad parts the happiness won't be as happy or even happy at all. Sheren has the crying down so she's on the road to success. I give Sheren 4.5/5 and her loss on the 0.5 is because she's a "silent cryer", and I want her to break out of that a little and bring some raging emotion.

I'm not talking just love chemistry between the opposite sexes, but also between every person they encounter.
Between Sheren and Go Ling (Melissa), Melissa is like a little sister to Hilda (Sheren's character). Hilda teaches Go Ling how to become more empowering and how not to always suffer under the influence of men. She really changes Go Ling into a less annoying person, because Go Ling was always doing everything wrong but scared to do anything wrong. Go Ling was a person who always tried to make everyone happy. Sheren and Melissa have sisterly chemistry, but it's still lacking some love. The love that really makes you admire and wished you had a sister or a friend that was there for you and someone who you went through many things with. But I believe that this lacking quality wasn't Sheren's fault, but was on Melissa's part.

Hilda (Sheren) and Ida (Kate). Ida is Hilda's actual little sister, who because of some problems left for the U.S to go to school and cut off any communications with her sister (Hilda). (MAY BE A SPOILER:) Hilda was a controlling sister to her younger sister because ever since they were young, both girls' dad was a jerk and left the family. Her mom was always so depressed that she became emotionally sick and then eventually died. Hilda was left to take care of Ida. Afterwards, Hilda met and really cared for a guy, who was actually plotting to become the head of a company. He was working to be on top and wanted to take over. Hilda also worked there, but the guy she fell for, used her and turned the tables on her to make her look like the bad guy in the company. The two men who had been in her life had both proved to her men are not trustworthy and from then on she didn't respect any men at all. This belief led to her to being very overprotective of her sister and scared off any guy Ida was ever was interested in. Hilda became a sister who made every decision for Ida, including picking her school for her in the states.
Sheren and Kate seem like sisters, but not the sisters that went through so much together. Kate can't cry which on her part, ruins the effectiveness of Ida caring for her sister. Sheren was very open towards Kate and it helps prove the point that Hilda would always want Ida to be happy. Whereas Ida, Kate, always got mad at Hilda (Sheren) a lot because of multiple misunderstandings. Kate doesn't really fit with Sheren because she's too innocent, stubborn and a bit whiny. Mixed in with being too strong willed she loses that sisterly bond with Sheren.

Sheren Tang and Michael Tse, are absolutely wonderful. I thought they were very cute together and both were very good actors and actresses on their own. Most of my favorite scenes involved these two. You can't help but like the chemistry between these two because they're personalities were similar but Sheren played the "hard to get" girl.

Showing the love, I think Sheren accomplished it. In the series she had to become a mother, and it's sweet seeing her holding her kid and acting all "kidish" herself. Showing her love for Michael wasn't satisfying but it made the couple lovable all the same.

Melissa Ng

I personally don't see her ability to act well. She's plain in my eyes. Her face is kind of annoying, because it doesn't react properly to play Go Ling. Sometimes when she's suppose to be full of emotion and dramatic, she looks deadbeat and tired. This loses a lot of good moments and possible terrific scenes. She has a better story line to go on than Sheren, but yet Sheren's is more enjoyable. I mean Melissa has so much to play off, since Go Ling has so many problems going on, and Go Ling is the main woman in the story. I'm a little disappointed and not satisfied but she's able to be average enough for the series to continue going.

Melissa really sucks at the emotionally moments, mainly crying. I don't recall her ever crying, and if she followed the script, I suspect there would have been at least 4 crying scenes. She ruined the scene where the series is supposed to send viewers bawling (SPOILER: the scene where Go Ling writes a note to leave Siu Chai asking for a divorce. It's raining and Siu Chai catches up to her and pulls her back). When Melissa acts, I don't feel anything from her. I don't feel a connection at all with the character, therefore I don't cry when she cries, and I don't feel angry on her behalf. (SPOILER: I was only relieved for her once. That was when Go Ling caught Ah Man cheating and divorced him. Her family found out and went to Ah Man. Ah Man turned everything around and said Go Ling was the one cheating on him. All her family glared at her like she was some disgusting person. I believe the relief came from the others who were obsessively stupid. I found it really annoying they did not believe her and not because Melissa’s acting was good. Again, I had no tears. Her anger wasn't expressed right and even she annoyed me.)

Melissa and Sheren. If it wasn't for Sheren's expertise, Melissa would have been completely annoying to watch, her character was so weak and sometimes useless. With Melissa playing Go Ling, she lacks anything that would make you like Go Ling.

Melissa and Raymond Lam. Raymond I don't think he's a very skilled actor, but at least he's full of emotions. His emotions are a little over the top and it leads to his acting to look exaggerated or fake. Raymond just doesn't seem skilled, but he's new. Raymond joined with Melissa is just mush and messy. All of their scenes are boring for me though not completely pointless.

Raymond Lam

Accompanied with being a new actor, he's not extremely good yet. I have to give it to him, at least he tries. When he cries, you actually see tears, and he actually uses his whole body to show the agony and pain. I think Raymond's a little blah, you still can't hate him or not like him. He suits the little boy type, the ones that makes rash decisions and doesn't think too much. It’d be strange for me to see him in a role as one of the intelligent types. There are moments when there's that happy music in the series when everything was going wrong but, then there's that glimmer of hope. Raymond can give that to you and make you feel happy for him and have your hopes up for him. He's better off playing happy, hopeful, people over distraught and passionate people.

Raymond brings new meaning "Men cannot cry. Men have to be strong", for me I felt weird seeing him cry. Like he's a man! He shouldn't cry - sort of thing. Whereas seeing Michael cry, it was sad. Sometimes tears comes out, sometimes you don't see any. Raymond does set his face and changes it to something more sad, like as if he's trying to recall a sad moment to help him act but still not living in the sad memory to let you cry with him.

Raymond and Melissa
Raymond always seems to look good with anyone or with any love interest. What I look for and fall in love with though, is the perfect matching couple. Raymond and Melissa don't seem to be it. Melissa's already 7 years older than Raymond so it's even more important for Raymond to be strong and more skilled to make you really pity the couple and the obstacles they have to go through. I didn't really think too much about them.

Raymond and Michael
These scenes involving these two, I've come to see as the plot unfolding with making the viewer see the contrast between a man and a boy. This made me see him more of a little boy and how much younger he is to Melissa, like he's 7 years immature.

Raymond and Kenneth
I think although these two are suppose to be really good friends, there was barely any screen time. You don't seem to think that Kenneth and Raymond are good friends, because Kenneth's the strong type, like his father. His face is always set on this "I'm very annoyed and if you get me upset I'll punch you" look, but yet it's not too serious, whereas Raymond isn't at all serious. The two don't seem to be good friends at all I think. Kenneth seemed more of an older brother than a friend.

< u>Michael Tse

I think on some level Sheren surpasses him. He's still an actor and I respect him for his talent. I also love him for the cuteness quality he brings in Ah Man and so much so that I didn't ever hate the guy. He can switch back and forth from being the big jerk, to the sweet and loving guy, to the revenge-seeking guy, and then to the nicest guy. Although his character was annoying at times because he was too snotty and pompous in the end you still hope good stuff happens to him. This is the first series I've seen Michael in, and I'm a new fan of his. He's natural and soulful.

Michael is indeed of the best criers out there for me. Gigi, Sheren, and Michael. Gigi is the overdramatic crier, where her mouth sort of twists and it looks like she's very hurt. Sheren is the silent crier where it looks like she's strong on the outside but hurting and in pain on the inside. Michael is the one where you really want to give your heart to him. In the series, I just saw the beginning of a rush of tears where you want someone to be there for him. I think I wasn't able to see him in full action since in the scene Sheren was there to console him. The two times I cried in this whole series, (and I haven't cried watching tvb series for a long time now), was both involving Michael, and Sheren. Mostly because I was pitying Michael. Michael's facial expressions sometimes make me laugh, like him squinting his eyes to look mean but not at all to me looking like someone you should hate. Then again, the same face with slight differences does have different effects and I find that kind of cool. He's the master of faces I enjoyed Ah Man.

Michael and Sheren. The chemistry is great between the two. It was so cute! (SPOILER: The scene when Michael starts taking care of Sheren, when he first found out she was pregnant and she agreed to let him be the "dad". He walked into her office and started doing so many things at once, talking and blabbing about how the temperature might be too cold, etc. even while Melissa was in the room too. I was smiling all over).

Michael and Please's (The head of the competition company against Pluto) granddaughter.
I thought this relationship was not really interesting, but it was entertaining. Michael was a little too old for the girl who played this granddaughter. He lies a lot, and she is an expert in reading people's actions, so she always could tell when he lies. After catching him so many times, he gives up and gets a little scared but annoyed so he tries to avoid her. Ah Man was usually the one in control of relationships, and it was funny to see him being all tongue tied or flustered when he was around her at first.

Michael and Melissa.
Weirdest set-up, but they weren't even together for more than 3 seconds. Together as in dating, or married so it wasn't important if they seemed well together or not. Melissa seemed more likable when she was with Michael though. I think it was because Michael was always teasing her while being a bit mean, and Melissa's trying to ignore him and always so speechless (leaves her mouth open) whenever he does something she doesn't approve of.

Supporting Roles:
(Reviewer's Note: Since Kate and Kenneth are supporting roles, I'll write a brief evaluation).

Kate Tsui as Ida
I think if they're trying to pick the girl who really believes women are equal to men, I think they picked the right girl. In Romancing Hong Kong, her character was also a very outgoing girl. (MAY BE A SPOILER: She's cute when she does that shy smile when Kenneth does those nice things for her.)
When she needs to act like a younger sister who cares for her big sister, it doesn't seem real, or real enough. (SPOILER: Like when she found out Hilda may have something wrong with her and she may die.). She can't cry either, one of those actresses who can't shed any tears. Whenever she gets mad, it's a little annoying, but at least it's a bit natural and you believe it.

Kenneth Ma as Ah Lik
This guy provided the humor for this series. (SPOILER: I loved the scene where he was trying to copy Ah Man and Hilda's teaching to get a girl. Being "romantic". Where Ah Man was playing the piano and singing a romantic song, Ah Lik (Kenneth) copied by pounding the drums and yelling. It was just noise and racket. It was so funny!) I enjoy Kenneth being Ah Lik than Kenneth in "Lost in the Chambers of Love". Ah Lik is all about "looking good" and sometimes being selfish. He's easily tricked but is always honest. Like his dad in the series, he always has a hot temper and when he goes off, all he wants to do is fight. Like his dad, he also believes women should always listen to men, and men should know how to control their women. Whereas Kenneth in "Lost in the Chambers of Love", he was smart, sweet, and patient. Kenneth can always put some funnyness into his roles, but his hot temper and not so smart guy when it comes to romantic, I love more.

Sheren provides the depth, Michael provides the love and emotions, Raymond & Melissa's love situations provide the more interesting storyline, Kenneth provides the laughs, and Kate provides the change in Kenneth.

I believe Michael is a great actor (Michael's performance: 4/5) and Sheren I strongly believe are one of the best actresses out there! (Sheren's performance: 4.5/5). Raymond no doubt will always be lovable and brings the lovable self towards every character he plays. You want to like Raymond either way. (Raymond's performance: 3.5/5) Melissa is enough, but she can still be better, a lot better. (Melissa's performance: 3/5)

Side Notes
1st Hated : Please's granddaughter.
2nd Hated: Please (the head of the company).
3rd Hated: Go Ling (Melissa's) dad. He jumped to conclusions so much, he caused so much problems. And his personality isn't all that great either.
4th Hated: Go Ling.

Michael Tse reminded me of Michael Jackson. Now .. not so much, but a little haha

Michael Tse also sings an English song. Very cute.

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