TVB Captain of Destiny 張保仔 – Part 2

Hong Kong Drama — Captain of Destiny 張保仔

At this point of writing, the drama stands at 21 episodes out of the 32 episodes.

This review contains some spoilers.

Ok, the series warrants an update, because some of the things said before needs to 收返 (be retracted), and some to 补充 (be substantiated).

At this point, the series starts to get exciting, despite a dip in expectations the storyline around episode 15/16, which I had expected to be glued to my seat.

Tony Hung’s (as 張保仔) performance started waning in Episode 18 and 19. He totally cannot give off the “utterly broken” look. Those scenes were a huge disappointment. What a waste of the CGI…

Grace Chan’s (as 黄娣妹) performance lacked luster in Episode 18 and 19 as well. Her use of intonation / emphasis in her lines delved into a pattern, it was like she was just reading her lines for the sake of them and she was not into her role at all. I also don’t know what to make out of the scene where she set sail from 保仔’s ship to blast the cannon stationed at the cliff. What was her character trying to bring out? I have no idea. She was just reading her lines. And that was one of those scenes that’s pivotal to the storyline, meant for her to shine.

I might be wrong but they might have either started filming the series starting with scenes from these two episodes first, or they might have conducted the filming for these two episodes after a very long day.

Another mention, I do not know if this was deliberate or otherwise, but Susan Tse’s (as 淳貴妃, the concubine who was once loved by the emperor but now is neglected. Also the mother of Ruco Chan’s character, 十一貝勒) performance in episode 20 seemed to be less than her usual performance. I’m referring specifically to the scene where the senior eunuch 禮公公 advised her to change her expectations of her son 十一貝勒 (played by Ruco Chan). If she had meant to play it as the audience is expected to interpret, then I did not feel that she did a good job there. It was definitely less than her usual performance. However, if her character had a hidden intention* then I will be changing my views on this. At this point in the series, her intentions still stand as a kind concubine who wants to protect her children, especially her elder son 十一貝勒.

* Just like Mandy Wong’s character 朱淑君 earlier in the series, when she wanted to con Grace Chan’s character 黄娣妹, she put on a “fake front” by acting to be acting. At that time, I was thinking, Mandy’s acting seems weird! Less than her usual performance! But soon, the next episode reveals that she was pretending to be “weak and victimised” to gain support from Grace Chan (黄娣妹). So her performance got her high marks!! I rewatched the scenes by Mandy Wong and I think she delivered it very well. How do you pretend to be acting? It’s convoluted! Not easy at all.

Ruco Chan scores high marks starting in episode 20. The series finally delves more into his character and gives him more opportunities to play a more complex role in more complex situations. I think he will be getting a lot more screen time in future episodes.

My gripes about the series? There are some holes in the storyline I hoped will be explained later, like…

  • Where does 黄娣妹 get money to buy back her gun from a street hawker? She’s so adamant about standing by her principles and denounce the wealth gained from pirate activities, so where did her money come from?
  • 張保仔 says that 嬌姐 treats 黄娣妹 to a meal (hotpot) and requests that 保仔 go grab seafood to 加菜 (add to the meal)… but 黄娣妹 doesn’t have anyone else to turn to, so it’s expected that she’s living and eating off 保仔’s “family”, then why would that be treating 黄娣妹 to a meal?

Enjoy the show!

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