Three Kingdoms RPG

Reviewed by: juphelia

February 14, 2013

Rating: three

I watched this show for the comic relief. Why comic relief? Because this show is funny, especially when you see how Szema Wan Shun (Kenneth Ma) tried to create "havoc" in the Three Kingdoms era when he was brought back in time due to a storm in modern day Hong Kong.

Three Kingdoms cannot do without Liu Bei (Lee Kwok Lun), Guan Yu (Au Sui Wai) and Zheng Fei (a very hairy and funny Savio Tsang), as well as Zhao Zilong (Deno Cheung), and not to mention the great Zhuge Liang (Raymond Lam) of course! Wan Shun became the advisor and good friend to Zhuge Liang, and lived in Liu Bei's household together with the rest of the guys, and apprently, the war strategies of the Three Kingdoms (Zhuge Liang borrowing the arrows from Cao Cao's army, Zhang Fei shouting down the bridge) were Wan Shun's ideas. So did he change history? One wonders if without him, these events would still happen.

Besides all these, Wan Shun taught them how to eat hot pot, how to make a hamburger (or ham sandwich using mantou), and how to do a BBQ. This show would be better if it's cut down to 20 episodes as I find some parts (Liu Bei's 2 wives squabbling over the maid, the "Heart of Greed" analogy with Madam Choi) all totally unnecessary!

Zhuge Liang is portrayed as a very romantic guy in this show. Even though his wife (Kaki Leung) is plain and sickly, he loves her so much that he was totally lost when she went off without a word, that he had to go chase her back and convince her of his love for him. When she was about to die, Wan Shun came across Hua Tuo (who was unknown then), and Hua Tuo then treated Mrs Zhuge and she recovered.

What was really funny was that Wan Shun's smartphone could still work in that time era, and he could exchange sms with his sister back in modern day Hong Kong. And the things he said, like telling Zhuge Liang he found out from Google how strong Madam Choi's army was, that one is really hilarious!

Zhou Yu (Ruco Chan) is portrayed as a petty, small-minded advisor to Sun Quan (Pierre Ngo), who was jealous of Zhuge Liang and did not wish for him to have any credit. But Sun Quan was not as easily manipulated as he thought. When Zhou Yu could not produce any good results, and even messed up some things, Sun Quan turned to Zhuge Liang to lead them in the battle of Red Cliff, much to the chagrin of Zhou Yu.

Zhou Yu's wife Xiao Qiao (Sharon Chan) is portrayed as someone ditsy and wilful. When Zhou Yu heard Wan Shun and Sun Quan praising Mrs Zhuge, he got really upset with his wife, as he did not wish to hear anything negative pertaining himself and his wife.

The end of the show is really a letdown. Wan Shun found the time portal again during the battle of Red Cliffs, and he decided to go back, intending to take Song Yau (Tavia Yeung) with him, but he was sucked back and she fell back down. The portal closed and he could not go back anymore.

In modern times, Wan Shun then set up a fast food chain with a Three Kingdoms theme, that later became a listed company. For the next thirty years, he kept looking at weather forecasts to see if any major storm would sweep Hong Kong again.

When he finally found it, he was already an old man with heart trouble. He went back to the same spot where the storm was, intending to go back and find Song Yau, but his heart acted up and he died before he could reach the portal. Right at the end, Song Yau came down and found him dead in front of her. It had been thirty years, and in the show, it seemed that the timeline was the same for both eras, so how come Song Yau never aged for thirty years?

The conclusion of Liu Bei, Zhuge Liang, et all was also ambiguous. Wan Shun left in the middle of the Battle of Red Cliffs, so what happened to everyone else? I guess because in history, Liu Bei and Sun Quan's camp won the war, hence perhaps the producers thought it was redundant to show as everyone knew the historical conclusion anyway, but still, I find the ending really unsatisfactory.

Having said that, this show is good entertainment. Kenneth Ma really suits this role as the funny, shallow and initially petty Szema Shun, but later grew to a more responsible, considerate and stable guy. As for Raymond Lam, I have no comments to his Zhuge Liang role, except he looks and sounds really serious in here, as compared to his previous more light-hearted roles. I guess since he was playing Zhuge Liang, he has to portray that serious look and tone all the time, with hardly any expression. Tavia Yeung is really under-utilised here, she serves no purpose except to serve as the unrequited love to Szema Shun. The other comic relief comes in the form of Savio Tsang as Zhang Fei. Even veteran actors like Lee Kwok Lun (who played Liu Bei) and Law Lok Lam (who played Cao Cao) seemed one dimensional in this show.

As I have mentioned, watch it for the comic relief, but not for a history lesson. This is the second time travelling show I watched from TVB, the first was A Step Into the Past, and I find that way better than this.

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