As we are approaching the end of the year, I thought I’d finish off my Sisters of Pearl review! Written it quite a long time ago (back in May?) but didn’t get around to finalising it, well here it is!
*Contains Major Spoilers*
Sisters of Pearl is one of my favourite TVB releases of 2010. It has an interesting plot and something about it keeps me wanting to watch more as the series goes on. It is a series filled with lots of scheming and backstabbing with twists here and there.
As the characters are introduced, every character seems to be suspicious at some point, and I found that it hard to decide on which character to side with. You might like a character at one point, but then find out they’re not like what they seem. Most characters are selfish and have their own motive. Even when characters are “forced” to ally with each other, there can still be betrayal and you don’t always know who is genuinely helping and who is deliberately causing problems. As the story unfolds, the real villain of the story becomes more clear…
While Sisters of Pearl has solid acting throughout the series, the story is not without its flaws. There are instances where there appears to be some inconsistency, and at other times appears unrealistic (not forgetting to mention the obvious one being the ending) or “too good to be true” or simply “what the heck?”
Early on in the series, I also felt slightly tired from watching the episodes and felt I needed a break after an episode because there was so much scheming and backstabbing and the series was getting a bit heavy. How can a family be this scary? How can after all this- they can still live in the same house? How can you still trust them after they have betrayed you over and over again? As I watched on, it only got more and more interesting and the series grew on me- I became so hooked! The “unrealistic-ness” and dramatic events were no longer an issue to me. The storyline was exciting and it kept me watching- the love triangle was enticing. I wanted to see to what extremes would the characters go. What are the characters plotting and how would it interfere with others’ plans? Who is using who? How would their characters change? Will Jessica and Michael end up together? How much are they willing to give up and sacrifice to achieve their goals? Will their plan work or fail? Who will ultimately win in the end?
I loved how Jessica was introduced in the first episode. She appeared helpless when a man came up to her with a knife and threatened her to give all her valuables, but when he took her wedding ring she becomes vicious and started aggressively attacking back and fighting for herself. Woah. Her husband must mean a lot to her… After that, she calmly returns to her son with a new balloon and they continue returning “home”. She gave off a mysteries aura-the way they portrayed her was quite scary. I was excited, especially how she manipulates to gain her sisters’ sympathy and then regain her father’s favouritism- She’s so intelligent in many ways! Boy am I impressed (and slightly freaked out) at how well she has raised her son…it’s like he’s one of her tools…acts and says what she wishes..(might I add he’s so adorable!) I really love watching the bond between the mother and son and especially felt sorry for them when she was forced to be separated from him. Those were very emotional scene 🙁 The child is innocent yet had to be involved in the mess…
TVB claims Jessica of being the villain in the series but I don’t think that is true. If she is the villain, then everyone else is too. When I think about it- she came back because her husband passed away and she needed money to repay her husband’s debts. Adding to that it was obvious she was not treated well by her mother in-law. I could also tell she genuinely wanted to come back home to help her father’s business (although it means taking over it too..) Being the most educated in the family, she is an entrepreneur and thinks Kiki is incapable. Surely her intentions are not nice towards her sister and constantly has clashes with her, but she wouldn’t ever do anything as horrible to (physically) hurt/kill her other family members on purpose (unlike Kiki who wanted her sister to die!).
As the story progressed, I didn’t feel that her character was as much of a threat anymore and started to feel sorry for her when she was in a disadvantaged position e.g. forced to ally with Michael and sell “black” pearls.
The highlight of story was definitely the love triangle which sprouted between her, Bowie and Michael! I liked how Bowie had feelings for Jessica because it’d mean he was “stuck” in between the sisters and at the same time I kept wondering ” When will Jessica use Bowie to take revenge on her sister? Can she make Bowie side with her? Will she seduce him?”
Jessica was crossing the line- I was shocked at their kissing scene! Kissing your brother in-law- HELLO?? I couldn’t believe it was happening lol…(and they got caught out too :S ) At the same time- she was playing with fire.. for she had not imagined Bowie’s love for her was so strong that he was willing to divorce his wife, even giving up on his life for her…
Bowie started off as a good guy (or so I thought…). He appeared to be a loving husband to Kiki and worked hard in running the pearl business. He was not treated well in the family though- being “married into” the Chu family and was not treated with much respect. Adding to that, Kiki was always so bossy towards him and he always had to cheer her up or let her have her way. He constantly defended for his wife and took the blames and dare not speak back to his father in-law. He married into Chu family because he was a filial son and fulfilled his father’s wishes of repaying the Chu family. What was more interesting was the fact the one he loved was Jessica- Kiki’s sister. I felt sorry for him as he tried to be a good “Chu” son- he was not even given the permission to visit his own father’s grave for his birthday to attend his father in-law’s funeral. And then at his father-in-law’s funeral- he was not allowed to hold the photo and lead the family in sending him off despite being the son of the “Chu” family…
We soon discover his real intentions and motives in getting back what he think he deserves. On top of scheming to gain power in the company, he wanted the Chu family(particularly Kiki) to pay for accusing his father who ultimately killed himself because he could not face the humiliation after being released from jail. I can see where his hatred was coming from and I guess it is justifiable, but why must he take revenge on the entire family? : (
He is constantly in the middle flaming the hatred between the two sisters. Despite loving children, he makes Kiki fall off the stairs so she won’t be able to have children. Even though he doesn’t have feelings for his wife, they’ve been together for so long! He accuses Joel and Joyce of having an affair and burns down their pearl-farm. He gets the two sisters arrested and does everything he can to bribe the police in not letting them off! When he finds out Michael was the one who saved them, he accuses him of drug dealings too! I enjoy watching the rivalry between Bowie and Michael. Time and again, these two arch enemies are at each others’ throats…
Adding to that, Bowie kills the grandma and even tells his brother to hang himself for his own selfish reasons! How can he be so selfish??? He also attempted to kill Michael where Michael’s legs became disabled for life- no other character in the series is this deadly evil..
Bowie’s greatest weakness is his love for Jessica..I was wow-ed by the fact he was willing to give up everything and leave with her. He was even willing to give up his life to protect her…But equally when he found out she was simply deceiving his feelings, he became so scary…(I had a bad feeling Bowie was overhearing Jessica and Michael’s conversation!! ><)
He continued to play along with her and even attempted to “rape” her while in the act. At some points through the series I thought he had given up on her, i.e when he snapped her hair clip and yet he still ended up keeping it. There were also times where I felt he did things because of Jessica- the part where he was trying to help Jessica get back her son, I felt he did that out of a good-heart and got used by Kiki in the process. At the end, he successfully became the chairman of “Ho-Yeut” by using Jessica in return and gaining Joyce’s support. He drugs Kiki and successfully accuses her for false insurance claims. At the same time, he takes over the business, kicking out all three sisters and even then- he wouldn’t let them off. He wants them to be miserable for the rest of their lives.
His hatred and jealousy just kept growing…and it seemed like there was no way of turning back. Bowie can be classified as one of those villains “good turned evil” but I cannot accept the ending…He just did too many bad things for me to forgive him.
I think Kiki’s character is dumb, whiny and irrational. Why does she always play these annoying roles? She’s not very intelligent and easily manipulated and influenced by Bowie. She claims to love her sister Macy yet tried to set up her up to marry someone she did not like for the interest of their business. When Jessica and Joyce were kidnapped, she refused to save them! In life and death situation she still had to think so much? Joyce was also pregnant- that’s three lives at stake! Bowie also persuaded her to fudge the accounts- that’s corporate fraud! Where’s the morals and ethics?
It was interesting to see when Kiki was jealous and threatened by Jessica, she was able to successfully plot her revenge by making Jessica lose custody of her son. I found it to be the most unforgivable actions..I can’t believe someone could do that to their own sister!! She was jealous of her sister and Bowie’s attention towards her and also she always believe that it was Jessica who caused her to never have children. Accusing her father in-law for covering her up was bad..I understand being the selfish person she was, and obviously she didn’t give much respect to him..but Jessica..who she claims to love a lot when they were younger- how could she do this? I was getting excited when Jessica was using Bowie to piss her off because clearly Kiki deserved it! I can’t believe she’s even “smart” enough to plot all that. HOW SELFISH can this person get for not only accusing her father in-law for scamming Insurance, but do it again on Joel’s sister and see no big deal out of it? How can someone like that become so “oh-so “guilty” when she found out Bowie’s father commit suicide because of her, yet did not feel the least bit guilty back when he was accused in the first place??
She became a total mess in the end and still loved him so much..
She changed so much and did everything for her husband from the thought of losing him. And then she felt guilty. Even til the end I did not like Kik’s character- she’s so annoying!
Michael has got to be the highlight of the series!! He is such a awesome character! Michael’s character is fun to watch, and I enjoy hating him too. Playing the cousin of the sisters, this guy is such a jerk. He is constantly ripping off the family because he believes the Chu family owes him. He and his mother are always greedy for money. He also seems to have all these connections like Lulu, the police, Long-Sill etc which comes in handy with his plans. At first I was like”blehh..he’s one of those stupid guys lol” . The way he moves between Kiki and Jessica is amusing. He comes off as a really unreliable person but when I think about it-all Michael’s actions are justifiable.
He and Joyce are so funny together XD All he cares is about money, but then we see a side of him where he really cares for Joel and Joyce. I slowly started to like him.
Michael’s character always seems to discover the truths in many situations, like Grandma’s death, Bowie’s intentions for revenge.
The love triangle brought the series to another level XD It was intriguing..I really admire everything he was willing to do for Jessica! It was obvious that feelings were there! Somehow when I was watching the series early on, I had a feeling he was going to turn good and that something could potentially occur between him and Jessica (even though they’re cousins). It also helps having Jessica link his arm’s on the poster XD He is the “hero” of the series. If the three sisters didn’t have his intelligence and mind, I can’t see how they could possibly go against Bowie. I thought Michael developed feelings for Jessica when he cared over her son. Michael did so much for Jessica it was sweet and touching at the same time, but he wouldn’t really admit it. He claims to be someone who would not do things unless he benefits from it, was so selfless when it came to Jessica. Hewas even willing to give up Joyce (i.e money) to save Jessica when she was falling off a cliff. It was nice that Joyce “reminded”/brought this up during her conversation with Jessica about Michael and Bowie’s feelings for her but some things just didn’t need to be said really XD He cared about her a lot, and I didn’t believe Michael would betray Jessica for money/because he thought she simply pitied him. In the process of protecting Jessica, Michael get’s bombed and legs becomes disabled for life 🙁 He did not give up and I really appreciated watching how optimistic he tried to be. From the point where he cared a lot of Joel, how filial he was to his mother, felt guilty for indirectly causing Jessica’ husband’s death made me see he was not a bad guy. When he found out he indirectly caused the death of Jessica’s husband, he started to change and was wiling to put in his house etc to save him.
I totally loved watching Michael and Jessica’s relationship grow and their their trust for each other. Their get-together scene was sweet when he held her hands 🙂 and I like the church scene where they have a very sentimental talk, so romantic xD He didn’t want to leave her, so sad!..He’s my favourite character in the series 🙂 His death was so tragic yet sacrificial – And yes, my favourite episode was when Michael kissed Jessica and told her that it was because he was jealous XD although Jessica didn’t quite believe his words lol
Macy Chan- I don’t really have much to say about her character except I’m relieved she’s not a scheming evil woman like her sisters. I don’t really have much to say about Macy except she wasn’t very likable- Spoilt and not quite intelligent- though I’m glad she’s not part of the scheming…she’s often used by others though.
Joel Chan, what a naive innocent guy! I’m glad he stayed the same throughout the series.It was comforting to see that in their world there were still nice people. Joel and Macy were pretty cute together later on when they started developing feelings for each other and glad things worked for him. This image is really different for Joel.
Joyce’s character was really interesting. I liked her grand appearance in the series- a mysterious woman who stood in front of their father’s ceremony, tears uncontrollably fell from her eyes. Who could this woman be? I was shocked to find out she was part of Michael’s tools in scheming the Chu family’s business, but then I was relieved to see a total different side to Joyce. She was rather scared and didn’t have much power in the family as the three sisters schemed to get rid of her and did not accept her as part of their family. I kinda felt sorry for her- but I was secretly rooting for the sisters to get rid of this “evol woman” who stuck to their father simply for money. She was rather cute. She didn’t really have evil intentions and really there only for money. She was greedy even for petty things like some ointment Michael Tao had- that scene was pretty funny lol. She was also really nice to Joel because they came from the same area. I pitied her when I found out about her past though and enjoyed watching her partnership with Michael because of what they went through in the past. Joyce wasn’t really a threat to the family but as the story progress, we started to see Joyce have a mind of her own. She starting acting more and more as the head of the family and went against Micahel’s wishes. He started to lose trust in Joyce too and thought she deliberately did things for her own benefit.
Joyce becomes a much stronger woman- also in business, betrayed Michael and sided with Bowie. Its understandable though. During life and death situation, Michael didn’t save her as he chose to save Jessica. Her baby was almost killed along with her but Bowie saves them both and even helps deliver her baby. Joyce’s son was the most important person to her, which was also her weakness which led Bowie to use her a lot towards the end. She was trying to protect what belonged to her. She betrayed the sisters by changing the evidence against Bowie drugging his wife. I could see where she was coming from- she did really wanted to help the sisters but her son was at stake. At the end, she finally redeems herself by allying with Michael Tao to get Bowie down and officially became a part of the Chu family. I loved the scheme where she matured and become strong person- taking her son back!
I really like the theme video and themesong by Myolie Wu- it captures the mood of the series perfectly 🙂
There’s probably a lot more I can say, so feel free to share your thoughts and bring up topics, love to discuss 😀