The Officer and the Lady


Reviewed by: sukting

May 15, 2004

Rating: three

20 episodes

Foreword
Do you wish to see Chin Siu Hou and Jian En Jun as pilots? This may be able to satisfy your curiosity. We have seen them in period dramas but do they look convincing in modern outfit and also in uniform? I am very sorry that I have a very poor memory and thus this review is very short.

I have watched it a long time ago. I could have gotten the names wrongly as they are being provided by a friend but the story development should be close. Please let me know if I make any errors.

Story/ Introduction on characters

1. Bian Xiang - Chin Siu Hou (the word "Xiang" here doesn't mean frangrance but means fly)
Xiang is a top scotch pilot in the army. He doesn't fly the plane but the helicopter. He has risen to the rank of captain within a few years. But his past still haunts him. He has caused the death of his colleague during a flying assignment. (Does this remind you of 'top gun'?) He feels very remorseful and tries to make it up to his widow, Xin Fang and also his son.

Being too caring towards them makes him ignore his personal life. He doesn't have time to look for a girlfriend. When he sets eyes on Mei Ling, he decides to court her. Mei Ling's dress is ruined when his motorcycle accidentally splashes mud on it. He isn't angry when she scolds him but is amused by her frankness. He then decides to ask her to be his dancing partner. This is sure a stunning scene when the lady officers turn up in their evening gowns while the male officers dress smartly in their white army uniform.

And my, this woman really knows how to seek revenge. She dresses elegantly but the way she behaves is sure atrocious. Xiang is annoyed when she deliberately steps on his shoes to leave marks on them and to make him feel painful. He controls his anger and reminds her that this puts her in bad light. Many have seen how he is suffering so she quickly stops the nonsense!

Xiang is very busy with his work. Because helicopter pilots are scarce, he is not just a normal pilot and he needs to train new batches of pilots too. He is strict with them because he doesn't wish them to commit mistakes like him. Sometimes, he is already exhausted after giving them lessons for the day. Once, he wants to take a bath after one lesson. He returns to his dorm and only unbuttons two buttons from his shirt. Suddenly, a recruit comes to tell him that he needs help. He quickly rushes out again!

One of them is Zhi Min who gives him endless trouble. I will relate more under that character introduction.
It is too late when he discovers that his younger brother, Hui goes astray and is connected to the underworld. He is anxious but he can't apply leave from the army easily and he can only see Hui on weekends. How can time be enough for the siblings to talk to each other?

It is very tragic when Xiang has to see him stepping closer and closer to the dark world and Hui doesn't listen to him. Mei Ling tries to help without success. Love blossoms between them instead. Hui always blames him for controlling him like a tyrant. This hurts Xiang as he always wants the best for him.

Knowing that Hui has become a drug addict, Xiang is shocked. He is devastated but is firm in not giving him the money to buy the drugs. Hui accidentally stabs him with a knife. I must say that Chin looks so real in this scene. He looks at Hui in shock and disbelief. He has rushed home after knowing what happens to Hui without even changing his pilot uniform. He never expects the attack so he holds his stomach wound in pain and grief. He even tries to run after him but collapses after feeling relieved that Zhi Min does the job for him while Mei Ling tends to him.

The stab leaves a deep scar on his body but a deeper one on his heart. He can't rest well because he is worried for Hui. He has wanted to sneak out of the hospital but he can't do it under Mei Ling's watchful eye. Upon his discharge, he looks for him and tries to protect him from being harmed from other gangsters. Poor man - he becomes the first person to be discharged and then readmitted on the same day in history!

His relationship with Mei Ling is always on the rocks because she blames him for neglecting her. He tries to make up to her by going to the movies and having strolls. He isn't a romantic person and is glad that she understands him. But they are in cold war when he believes that Zhi Min should be given a chance to change while she thinks the opposite. They only resolve their differences when Zhang comes to abduct her to threaten him. He manages to save her and both decide to get married after this ordeal.

As usual, Chin is good as the loving brother and friend. I don't know why I like him in Taiwanese dramas than in TVB ones. The Taiwanese producers are able to use his talents and come up with roles that allow him to display his potential to the fullest.

2. Yang Zhi Min - Jian En Jun
He is a new recruit but he promotes to the second lieutenant post quickly because of his good flying skills. He can be irresponsible at time to give Xiang headaches when he enjoys slipping into the cockpit to hold the handles. He is also a womanizer and the others envy him for seeing different women weekly, waiting for him outside the camp. He gets to know Li Juan at the ball. She is serious about him but he is only treating her like his plaything. Later he ditches her upon knowing that she is pregnant.

Actually he has a sad part of being abandoned by his mother. He visits her when she is dying. But being unable to forgive her, he runs away when she tries to hold his hand and asks for forgiveness.

This causes him not to take relationships easily. However, one day, he is ambushed by his enemies. They beat him up so badly that he becomes paralysed. He loses all interest in living. Xiang and Li Juan try hard to rebuild his confidence. Xiang finds it a big regret as he believes that he can recover if he tries. Finally, he is able to overcome the hurdle and settle with the family.

Jiao is good in portraying sad scenes and he is great as a womanizer! This is quite a rare chance from his usual goody roles. I take time to accept him in short crop hair, though.

3. Jiang Mei Ling - Tu Shan Ni
Mei Ling is a uniformed land army officer. She is petty, unreasonable and always jumps to conclusions easily. I wonder what Xiang sees in her. But still, she is kind in nature. Knowing that he is remorseful towards Xin Fang and her son, she accompanies him through the visits.

Her first impression of Xiang is bad because of Zhi Min. She has seen Zhi Min kissing other women openly on the streets and Xiang is with him. So she assumes that both are two of a kind. That is why she is so angry to want to make him a laughing stock at the ball. But she never predicts that he can be so stern to her this time, unlike the last time when he is so accommodating to her when he dirties her clothes!

To her, she thinks that he should not waste time on scums like Zhi Min and Hui. She doesn't know that Xiang can't leave them because he treats both as his brothers. She only realizes Xiang's desperation upon seeing how distressed he is when Hui dies. But when she knows that Li Juan is pregnant and Zhi Min refuses to marry her, she is angry with Zhi Min but still tries to hide the fact from their superior.

She also questions Xin Fang's concern for Xiang and thus both are in a cold war. Only when he saves her from Zhang then she knows how much he loves her. She finally changes for the better.

Tu is good in acting but I dislike this role. She is very demanding and also inflexible. Li Juan could have patch up faster with Zhi Min if not for her. I pity Xiang being her boyfriend. It seems that they quarreling time is longer than their happy times.

4. Li Li Juan - Zhang Ting
Li Juan is Mei Ling's colleague and close friend. She goes after handsome men and when she gets Zhi Min, she is proud of it. However, her ordeal happens. She is pregnant and is forced to go on leave. With no family and no one to help her, she becomes unstable and even tries to kill herself.

Mei Ling tries to give her more attention but this can't be compared to her need of Zhi Min. Unlike the strong Mei Ling, she is weak and only knows how to sob daily over her misfortune.

She is very forgiving. Upon knowing Zhi Min's past, she doesn't blame him and hopes to melt his heart with their unborn child. It sure works on him in the end. Zhang is very raw in her acting and we can see that she uses many eyedrops in crying scenes. But we will forgive her as she was a newcomer at that time.

5. Zhou Xin Fang - Huan Huan
She is a young widow who loves her husband deeply. That is why she never thinks of remarriage all this while. But she melts under Xiang's concern. She knows that all hopes are lost when Mei Ling appears with him at her home. Thus she stops harbouring thoughts. However, this doesn't manage to hide from Mei Ling's eye and Mei Ling quarrels with him.

She feels bad and tries to bring both together. She succeeds in the end and marries Xiang's another colleague who is also a captain. He has been beside her all along but she doesn't notice him because her eyes are only on Xiang!

6. Bian Hui
He is Xiang's younger brother who is led astray. He has always feel inferior of Xiang's success in work and thus he wallows in self-pity. Even though he knows Xiang cares for him, he avoids him. He is guilt-stricken when he accidentally stabs Xiang. He doesn't dare to show him his face in the daylight so he visits him secretly at night. When he finally realizes his mistake, it is too late to turn over a new leaf. When Zhang tries to kill Xiang and Mei Ling, he sacrifices his life to save them, making them upset.

7. Zhang Da Hai
He is the root of all the trouble. If not for him, Hui will not have died and Mei Ling will not be abducted. It is torturing to listen to him speaking in Hokkien at most times and there are no subtitles to help me to understand them. This extra doesn't worth mentioning as his acting is very raw.

Conclusion

Before I watched it, I was quite tempted and curious. How will Jiao and Chin act in modern dramas? We have seen their dashing styles in period dramas but will they be convincing as pilots? I must say that this drama is good. Although it has copied parts from "Top Gun", it is a native Taiwanese drama due to the background. The actors fit into the pilot roles comfortably and so do the supporting cast too. They really project a professional image. Although they are faced with family or love problems, they still fly the helicopters with a cool mind.

The actresses don't seem that professional, though. One is too weak while another is a spitfire who loses her cool easily. We only see the women talking about the guys instead
of their jobs. Moreover, they are the villain's targets easily. Luckily they don't fly planes - if not, they will make poor judgment and most likely, both will cause aircraft disasters.

The main lure is Chin. When it comes to the stabbing scene, it reminds me of how Ren Jie is injured in ¡®·çÔÆʱ´ú'. Luckily the producer allows him to survive. This serial is worth your time if you wish to see how the artistes look when younger.

Sukting's ratings :

On acting : ***(Scale of 5)

On story : ***(Scale of 5)


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