Finally, the 2009 TVB Grand Production is over, which took me a good 3 months to complete (haha, way too long xD). I thought [Beyond the Realm of Conscience] was well worth watching- there were many good things about this series that kept us chasing for the next episode. But I must say, along the way of watching [Beyond the Realm of Conscience], there were quite a few things that really got on my nerves or I found disappointing. If you’ve been following my 33 episode synopsis, you would have heard me express some of these frustrations. (If you haven’t read them, go on and check them out. They’re pretty good read if I do say so myself :))
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not here to rip this drama apart, but I thought it was a good chance to get it out and hear your opinions on them too! So here they are…5 Downfalls of [Beyond the Realm of Conscience]- Are you ready? 🙂
5. Did anyone ever tell you how wonderful you are?.. And wonderful?
If you’ve been paying attention to the dialogue, you’ll notice the characters are constantly complimenting each other. 80% of their talk is filled with praises, whether they are sincere or not. I don’t know about you, but I end up being rather bored by all the useless sweet-talk that didn’t push the story anywhere. All characters commit this crime, but praising Charmaine’s Lau Sam Ho in particular made my eyes-roll big time. We get the point, she’s wonderful in every way but why does everyone feel the need to STATE THE OBVIOUS? Do the characters have to constantly remind us that she’s Mary Sue? Please spare me the “Do good things, Speak good words, Show goodwill” talk. It was interesting the first time, but definitely not the other 1000 times it was told- I think it was a bit overkill which made it rather cheesy.
As for the insincere talk, characters like Tavia abuse this heavily when talking to Mary about Selena. Good grief, get me outta here!! XD This probably highlights the fact people always had to sweet-talk about one another in order to gain “friendship” and to be favoured. Still, we can’t deny it’s boring to watch when it’s repetitive.
4. You guys bullied me but now I don’t care!
Tavia getting picked on as a servant
Tavia turning into a concubine had no direct relationship with the House of Proceeding.
I thought the appeal of the drama was that Tavia would be picked on so much by evil bitches that she is soon pushed to her limits, and takes revenge on them all once in power. Did she even get picked on much? The scene where Susanna was smacking her lips was only under Susan’s order (and although unreasonable, it was possible). I don’t think the palace proceeding really did much to her @_@
Once she finally becomes the concubine, she doesn’t even see them anymore! Tavia suddenly has nothing to do with them, and is faced with new challenges- Selena the spoilt princess. For the first 10 episodes or so with Tavia being a servant, what was the point building on her relationship with Susanna, if at a later stage it’s completely irrelevant? Tavia becoming a concubine had nothing to do with wanting revenge. She simply wanted to be in a position where she is no longer exposed to bullying.
She’s no goddess, but the real turning point of her become really evil was because of Selena and her baby’s death. So, where’s the connection? From there on, there seems to be two totally different stories; Tavia and Selena wanting Moses and Susanna and Michelle wanting to be the Head. Does anyone else find the Sales Presentation for [Beyond the Realm of Conscience] to be more enticing and wicked?
Tavia and Charmaine’s character being picked on heavily (Depicted in TVB 2009 Sales Presentation)
3. Miss Mary-Sue Charmaine Lau Sam Ho
This may sound like point number 1, but there is a clear difference I’m trying to make. Point 5 is about the character’s dialogue but here it’s about the portrayal of Charmaine as Lau Sam Ho, the goodie-two-shoe of the drama.
She is a living goddess, so sweet, kind-natured, good-willed, so talented, perfect in every way, beautiful inside and out, filial, the women of every man’s dream *cough*.
All these wonderful and positive attributes made her character incredibly flat and boring. It’s unrealistic to be that “pure” which makes it hard for the audience to relate to. Surely there are good people in this world with a sense of justice…but to this extent? I’m sorry, I just don’t buy it.
At first, I didn’t mind watching her, but what added to this annoyance factor was the situations her character always seems to be in- she’s a helpless damsel in distress. Yes, I’m cringing at the thought of the snake-bite scene right now. *shivers*
2. Character development issues
Some characters develop and grow over the entire series, yet for others it occurs overnight. Were we really supposed to believe that Selena isn’t really a complete spoilt bitch but in fact a goddess who values the life of rabbits?! It was one of the most awkward and ridiculous transitions I’ve seen in this drama. Did the script writers really plan her character out properly? They give us a big reason to hate her for being so nasty, and then suddenly make her really sweet and expect us to like her. Wow.. I’m surprised they didn’t make Tavia turn into a complete goddess in the end too. I mean why not? They did that to Selena!
Although Tavia is the character who develops the most, this natural progression came to a sudden halt when she became excessively hateful and bitter. What happened?! She always had a reason for her actions (even if irrational, they were understandable). In order to make the story reach its peak, the script writers exaggerated everything and blew it out of proportion.
It was like a message to Tavia (Yiu Gam Ling) fans: “STOP LIKING TAVIA, YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO LOVE AND ROOT FOR CHARMAINE. TAVIA IS PLAIN EVIL, OK?.” It felt rather forced which I didn’t like very much either.
1. Palace Scheming..? We want more!
Don’t we look nice and evil? (As depicted in TVB 2009 Sales Presentation)
Finally, I feel a bit disappointed by the sheer amount of good characters compared to the bad. Especially for the first half of the series, I feel there could have been a lot more evil-calculating, scheming going on. There is really only 2 main villains in this drama- Kwok Lun and Tavia. Tavia doesn’t really do that much until 2/3 into the drama and Kwok Lun just kills people we don’t even care too much about.
There were several characters with potential to be more evil: Tracy (Edwin’s concubine), Edwin (Ex-Emperor), Ching Hor Wai, Kara (Head of Food), Rosanne (Ex-head of Furnishing), Yi Kei (Selena’s mother), and June. However, none of them were evil enough for me to hate them. Each of them have thought about scheming but either didn’t get there, didn’t act it out or never had the chance and was killed off. The possibilities were unlimited yet the story writers didn’t give them opportunity to develop. As a result, all the main casts are pretty much good guys. More focus on the Palace proceedings maids could make it more interesting too (Most gossip and do nothing else)
And there you have it- 5 Downfalls of Beyond the Realm of Conscience in my humble opinion. What about you? Do you disagree with any of the points I made? Were there other aspects which could have made it in the list? This is your last chance to rant or express your thoughts on this drama, so don’t be shy 🙂