Hi everyone, Chibi here with a TVB drama guest review! I’ve recently finished watching TVB [Sisters of Pearl] and put this review together in hopes it will be an interesting and insightful look into the story and characters (along with my thoughts). Though TVB consistently pumps out drama after drama, there are usually only a handful really worth chasing. Read on to see if [Sisters of Pearl] makes the cut, and whether or not this unlikely cast is a make or break deal (Surely I wasn’t the only one who raised an eyebrow upon seeing this image? XD)
Warning: May contain some spoilers, though minimal
A pre-modern drama series about a rich (and somewhat twisted) family who runs a pearl family business. The whole story revolves around the family members, consisting of the three sisters Kiki, Jessica and Macy along with Bowie (Kiki’s husband) and their cousin, Michael. Most (if not all) of the members are eyeing on the family fortune and will take extreme measures to get their ‘fair’ share. To complicate matters; Joyce, a mysterious woman claims to be their late father’s mistress, pregnant with his child. With another threat in their way, who will come out on top? With so much bitterness, grudges and hatred, you almost forget they’re actually a family.
Well paced and leaving you wanting for more, [Sisters of Pearl] does a brilliant job in keeping the audience hanging. Often quite witty, the power-play between all the characters was remarkably interesting and amusing. Within an episode, within minutes- a character’s alliance shifts as they each make a move for the own selfish gains. It can be rather unpredictable at times as the winner varies from case to case, making the audience switch sides with the characters too. There’s a load of backstabbing and plotting, to the point where I find myself constantly frowning while watching the show. It definitely has a serious mood, and watching all these characters lose their minds with their extreme actions leaves me in disbelief at times. Can someone be this evil?
Jessica Hsuan as Chu Pik-Ha
Portrayed as the most intelligent character at first, Jessica’s scheme and wit shows there’s much more than meets the eye. Not pure, nor innocent, Jessica is often labelled as the villain in the series, though I digress as her character is lacking the hatred factor. Although her greedy nature and morals are questionable, the audience is always rooting for her and often wanting her to succeed. However, I find part of her charisma and appeal is lost after she loses her son, when she too has her eyes set on revenge. Jessica is a headstrong and determined character, often going to great lengths and even seducing her brother-in-law to get what she wants (pretty shameless if you ask me)
Kiki Sheung as Chu Pik-Wan
Kiki played out her role in a very convincing manner, to the point where I felt it reflected her real personality! A character with many flaws, she annoyed me too much for my liking. She is the irrational, temperamental older sister who is easy persuaded by her husband played by Bowie. Unintelligent and worrying more about her face more than anything else, Kiki is a possessive bully. There isn’t much to like about her as she is ‘stupid’ and immature- though we occasionally see some soft-sides, until Bowie fuels her again with hatred and jealousy. If there’s any character you’ll be annoyed by, it will be her. It would be nice to see Kiki play some different roles as her character’s personalities are usually the about the same.
Bowie Lam as Ho Cheung-Hing
The pitiful antagonist of [Sisters of Pearl], Bowie is the matrilocal husband of Kiki. The first time I cried in this drama was when Bowie held onto his kind beloved father who was unrighteously accused of stealing and dying in shame. What I found interesting about Bowie was that there were times I liked him, hated him, felt sorry for him and feared him. He can be a rather complex character and it was interesting wondering what was going through his mind. Bowie did an outstanding job in this role as he was able to convincingly play out his character with so many facets. He is one of the characters who became the way he did because of the way he was treated. Seeing how little respect he has in the family, I’m really not surprised why he became so ruthless. However, this multi-dimensional quality is lost after he simply becomes plain evil and turns into a complete monster. Never taking responsibility for his own actions, nor accepting any mistakes, Bowie loses all conscience and becomes quite a psycho. Bowie is definitely one of the most evil villains of 2010.
Michael Tao as Hung Yiu-Sang
Witty, sarcastic and cocky, Michael is the older cousin of the Chu sisters. Never short of ideas and with his eyes always on the money, Michael is a central character and driving force in the story. His character started off arrogant and rather pathetic, but quickly grew on me by what was below the surface. There’s so much substance in his character that makes him very human and three-dimensional. He’s not the goody two-shoe who is just and righteous, nor is he the plain out flat villain you want to burn to death from his very presence. He’s simply a man who loves his money and does everything in his best interest so his mother can live a comfortable life. I didn’t think someone so greedy and shameless could turn out to be so compassionate and humble. Becoming extremely selfless in the name of love, Michael put his heart into everything without wanting acknowledgement or credit. His character becomes quite likeable, though the occasional back stab keeps you on your toes. Kudos to Michael for his outstanding performance. I enjoyed his chemistry and interaction with both Jessica and Joyce. Michael is by the far the most interesting and unpredictable character in the drama. Also the most lovable.
Joyce Tang as So Lai-Sheung
Appearing as a rather mysterious character, Joyce’s role was a nice addition to the various personalities in the drama. Her interaction with Michael was both amusing and enjoyable, as there is obviously a large power imbalance between the two, with Michael giving orders and Joyce obeying his every word. There is just something really nice about the mutual understanding and trust they have for one another and Joyce always manages to pulls off a really cute, ‘losty’ face. Joyce did a great job playing the rather cowardly little woman hungry for money. However, her 180 degree character change came across quite as a surprise and I’m not sure if I buy the “I’ll do anything for my baby” mind-frame. It was a good change for her character, though it was perhaps a bit too drastic. She soon takes on a much more motherly role not only for her child, but also of the three pearl sisters. Likeable though selfish at times, Joyce’s character has enough sugar and spice to keep us interested, even though she faded in the background during the middle of the drama.
Macy Chan as Chu Pik-Lam
The youngest spoilt sister of the Chu family, Macy isn’t too interested in the company but is often manipulated by her sisters because of her shares. Macy doesn’t understand much of the politics that go around the house, which makes me wonder how she feels towards her sisters when they both constantly bite each other. A very passive character, Macy doesn’t drive the story much but is instead often the victim and chess piece used by others. Even now, I don’t understand how much faith she has in her sisters; she is inconsistent and constantly shifts sides between Jessica and Kiki, which is often frustrating. She is rather was annoying at first with her princess attitude, but later on when we see her missing her grandmother and when she starts falling for Joel, she becomes bearable. Possibly due to her lack of experience, I found Macy’s acting to be very mediocre and there’s definitely lot of room for improvement. Her acting seems exaggerated at times and it feels like she’s reading out a script instead of really expressing her character’s emotions.
Joel Chan as Chow Yuk-Tsai
Joel has always been cast in the typical evil roles, so it was a refreshing and nice change seeing him play a ‘good’ character. Although his role isn’t as demanding, I feel Joel did a great job and his character was quite likeable. His character is a huge contrast to the many major characters as he trusts and helps others unconditionally. A man with a big heart and true to his words, it was only a matter of time before he was accepted by Macy. I enjoyed watching him or perhaps I missed seeing some good people with a heart, something lacking severely in this drama.
Overall, a solid performance from the [Sisters of Pearl] cast. The actors had great chemistry, particularly between Jessica and Michael. The script was brilliantly put together though at times the plain evil things that occur can make it feel exaggerated. It can also feel tiresome hearing the sisters argue and bickering on a daily basis. It’s all about greed, selfishness, vengeance, and money. However, this is one of the better TVB drama of 2010 and definitely one to check out. The most impressive aspect of this drama is the characterisations and how each of them changed and developed through the story. Each character had a mind of their own and the actors played it out in a believable manner. The back-stories for each character was a nice addition, giving them depth and substance. Intriguing from the first episode, it’s an addictive series. If you like something humorous and light-heartened, this drama probably isn’t for you.
Never judge a drama by its cover, you’ll be surprised 🙂
Overall Rating 3.8/5