Love Bond

Reviewed by: Craze

March 29, 2005

Rating: four

Length: 30 Episodes, 15 Tapes

Michael Tao - Lam Yat Gong/ Dai Lou
Kenix Kwok - Gei Hoi Sam
Moses Chan - Sit Sui/ Lam Sam Ho/ Sam Lou
Bernice Liu - Gei Mei Lai
Chun Pui - Gei Tin Man
So Chi Wai - Lam Yi Yong/ Yi Lou
Leong Lit Wai - Lam Sei Hoi/ Sei Lou
Natalie Tong - Lam Siu Wu/ Mui Mui
Wong Kar Lok - Tong Yan/ Yan Chai
Chan Kei - Money
Anne Heung - Cheong Pik Fun (Guest star)

Whew. This series has a long list of casts because of the big Lam family. There are even more, but I didn't list them out because I don't know their names and their roles in the show are small anyway.

This series is mainly about the relationship among the five siblings in the Lam family. It seems that this series reminds many people of "Shine on You", another series starring Michael and Kenix Kwok. I don't know because I haven't watched "Shine On You" yet. But all in all, it's a pretty good series because it really focuses on the family values and the importance of family unity.

I'll focus on the two couples because they're the main characters.

Lam Yat Gong (Michael) just returned to Hong Kong (HK) from the US, and he's back to mend his broken heart after breaking up with his girlfriend, Pik Fun (Anne Heung). Gong has three other siblings in HK - second brother Yi Yong (So Chi Wai) who owns a company selling artificial flowers with his girlfriend, Money (Chan Kei); fourth brother Sei Hoi (Leong Lit Wai) who's working as a salesman; and youngest sister - Siu Wu (Natalie Tong), a student. Gong came back with hopes to open a restaurant of his own, but he invested his savings in his brother's company because the company was facing some problems. Meanwhile, Gong is also trying to search his long-lost third brother.

Meanwhile, the Gei family turns out to be neighbours with the Lam family. The head of the family, Gei Tin Man (Chan Pui) is a security guard, his two daughters - Gei Hoi Sam (Kenix) works as a reporter while Gei Mei Lai (Bernice Liu) is working for the customs. The youngest son, Gei Chong Ming is still a student.

Hoi Sam quits her reporter job to open a coffeeshop with her boyfriend. But her boyfriend broke up with her because she's forcing herself to do something she doesn't like (Hoi Sam can't take coffee). So Hoi Sam decided to open a tea-shop instead, and that's when she meets the contractor recommended by her father - Sit Sui. They always argue whenever they meet, but eventually Sui is attracted to Hoi Sam, because her actions reminds him of his mother.

Later on Gong finds out that Sui is his long-lost brother. He's very excited and invites Sui to move to their apartment. Sui rejects but later accepts his offer because he has nowhere to stay. However, Sui is not well accepted by his other siblings, they talk bad about him, hoping that he'll leave.

Sui tries to court Hoi Sam but Hoi Sam has eyes on Gong. At last she and Sui dated because she realized Gong still cannot forget his ex-girlfriend. Just when everyone thought that their relationship will blossom, Hoi Sam asked for separation because she noticed that Sui is treating her as his mom's replacement, he doesn't really love her. Sui is also confused with his feelings. At last, they agreed to remain as good friends.

Gong starts to have feelings for Hoi Sam, but he's afraid others will say that he snatched his brother's girlfriend, so he kept a distance with Hoi Sam. Hoi Sam can sense that he has feelings for her, but she's getting all the wrong signals and gets frustrated. With the help of Mei Lai, they finally got together. Sui and Mei Lai also start to develop feelings for each other.

Gong finally proposes to Hoi Sam. Unfortunately, Pik Fun returns from America with a baby boy, and she reveals that Gong is the father. Hoi Sam is heartbroken and decides to break-up with Gong because she knows that Gong will choose his son over her. Gong is also torn apart, but finally chooses Pik Fun and his son over Hoi Sam. Hoi Sam is deeply hurt and tries to avoid Gong and Pik Fun.

Mei Lai and Sui starts to date after an 'accident' that happened in Sui's house. They're always teasing each other, especially Sui, always calling Mei Lai rough. Mei Lai discovers that she's pregnant, Sui's mother is thrilled and rushes them to get married.

On the other hand, Pik Fun finally decides to bring her son back to America with her - she realized that Gong chooses her solely because of their son, that he feels responsible towards her. She lies to him, saying that the boy is her friend's son, she used him hoping she can win Gong back.

Finally, the two couples got married and lived happily together. Hoi Sam got pregnant shortly after marriage. In the end, Hoi Sam gave birth to a baby girl while Mei Lai gave birth to a baby boy.

While many people say this show is similar to "Shine On You", I find it pretty similar to "Family Man" instead. This series really focuses on the family bonding, and one's responsibility in a family. I must say that the storyline is something pretty different from normal TVB series. It's pretty refreshing, with a theme of family bonding and flowers (each flower has a different meaning). You can really see the importance of family in this series, with Michael trying to unite all family members. One thing worth noticing is that the series, fortunately didn't really drag much, which is a norm for every TVB series. This series definitely has re-watch value, compared to the others known as 'classics' like "War and Beauty" (which I still don't understand till today why it's so popular)

Character Analysis:

Michael Tao - Lam Yat Gong
I haven't seen much of his acting in the recent years, not even "Shine On You". I've been quite a big fan of his during the "Detective Investigative Files" era, and have been looking forward to his series. Overall he was quite ok, he had the sensible look, age as the eldest brother and head of the family. His facial expressions here were pretty good too, especially when he was angry - the way he shouted was full of emotion. But somehow I feel the way he talks is funny. Oh, and another thing, he kept doing the funny act by covering his eyes and going 'AHHH!!' too many a times in the series that it annoyed me.

Kenix Kwok - Gei Hoi Sam
Haha, the first thing that came in my mind was the names given by their father. Gei Hoi Sam - translated to English means 'Quite happy'. Interesting name. Kenix has always been known as a versatile actress, however, I feel that she's trying a little too hard in this series, sometimes I feel she's overdoing it until it's just not her. Maybe it's because this character is slightly different from her past roles, but the way she potrays this character this time is a little unconvincing. Still pretty good acting overall.

Moses Chan - Sit Sui
Same thing that popped in my head - his name - Sit Sui! Haha! What a name! I never had a good impression on Moses Chan after watching his performances in "Healing Hands II", "Lok Sun" (Where the Legend Begins), and "Family Man", so I wasn't expecting much from him in this series. But he somehow impressed me in some ways - I must say that his acting has improved quite a bit. There's still some inconsistency at times, especially when he's angry, although one particular scene was good. I also liked the scene where he was arguing with Michael over the fourth brother. He managed to potray his character well, and his scenes with Bernice was exceptionally hilarious. Thumbs up this time!

Bernice Liu - Gei Mei Lai
Haha, same thing again - Gei Mei Lai, meaning 'quite pretty'. I don't know if that's a compliment or an insult - saying she's only 'quite pretty'. I don't know, but I think she looks awfully a lot like Lee San San, not so much in this series (but really similar in "Virtues of Harmony"), must be her hairstyle here. Her performance here was fairly ok, but she still has room for improvement, especially the way she speaks sometime, though she really got the tomboyish look, very unladylike, rough.

Chun Pui - Gei Tin Man
He seems to be appearing in a lot of series recently. As usual, great performance from this great actor. He never fails to convince the audience as the loving, caring and concerned father. He reprises his role from "Family Man", a single father taking care of his children.

So Chi Wai/ Chan Kei - Lam Yi Yong/ Money
This couple really got on my nerves from the beginning of the series till the end. I couldn't stand how Money loved to manipulate others and the second brother always standing on her side, listening to her like a coward. Money is really money-minded, she kept reminding the second brother that the company only belongs to them. The second brother is always blinded by her words, follows everything she says. But I'd say their acting was ok cause they managed to make me hate them.

Leong Lit Wai - Lam Sei Hoi
I totally hated this character. He's such a irresponsible, wussy guy. His acting is also not too good, the way he speaks and always pointing finger at others really ticked me off. He was like a defeated dog when he needed Hoi Sam's help, and he could turn around and be such a jolly face as if nothing ever happened! Then towards the end he was such a wuss, escaping after hurting poor Yan Chai. Lousy acting, lousy character.

Natalie Tong/ Wong Kar Lok - Lam Siu Wu/ Yan Chai
I'm guessing Natalie is a newbie, considering I haven't seen her in other series so far. She seems to be pretty popular, now being the host of K-100. Her character potrayal was ok, but she still has lots of room for improvement, especially her crying scenes towards the end. Her character is a little fickle minded - she wasn't sure if she was ok with Gong dating Hoi Sam, a part of her wanted Gong to be with Pik Fun. And she was like so happy when Gong broke off with Hoi Sam for Pik Fun. That was totally weird. I thought I'll include Yan Chai here too. He's always playing those 'keh leh fe' roles, but he's pretty cute. He totally has the innocent look, the way he speaks shows it completely. Oh, and did I mention they make quite a good couple' Their scenes together was pretty cute.

Anne Heung - Cheung Pik Fun (Guest Star)
Never in my life have I recalled having a guest star of a series reappearing SO MANY times. Not that Anne Heung is such a great actress, in fact, I dislike her from the first time I seen her acting. This series made me hate her even more. Notice the way she talks' She wants to be so gentle, but in such an irritating way. She tends to 'pull' her last words in every sentence most of the time, which drove me up the wall. Her appearance in the series was such a bore, and even dragged the series a little'and did I mention that her acting skills sucks'

Final Words:
I'll definitely recommend this series to anyone looking for something to watch, considering how hard it is nowadays to recommend any TVB series anymore. This series made me laugh and cry together with them. This series is a good start for the year 2005 after Shades of Truth (quite a nice series too). I'd say that "Love Bond" is easily one of the better series compared to some ridiculous series produced by TVB last year. Looks like there's still hope for TVB after all!

All in all, it is a highly recommended series despite some flaws here and there (Anne Heung being the fatal one!) I'd have given it a 4.5 rating, but because of some poor character development/acting, I decided to give it a 4.

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