Brother’s Keeper; a series I enjoyed till its ending yesterday.


‘Brother’s Keeper’ (巨輪) is a Hong Kong’s TVB series that depicts the moral life struggles of two half-brothers Tin-seng (Ruco) and Wai-son (Edwin) during the late and post-colonial periods of Hong Kong and Macau between the years 1980 and 2013. It ran in 32 episodes and had just ended yesterday’s night with a rather satisfying and meaningful finale. The drama which is one of TVB’s grand production of the year starred Ruco Chan, Linda Chung, Edwin Siu, Krystal Tin, Louise Lee, Louis Yuen, Susan Tse, Leanne Li, etc.

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The first point I wish to compliment on this drama is the inclusion of true historical events that were set against the era, including Hong Kong’s 1980 Touch Base Policy, Macau’s relaxed immigration laws of 1982, the 1991 goldsmith robberies, the transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong and Macau to China in late 1990s, the 1998 Hong Kong financial crisis, the 1999 Macanese triad wars and chaos, the 2003 Hong Kong SARS outbreak, and the 2008 Hong Kong financial recession, of which serves as some of the key plot vehicles that drive the changing fates of the brothers and their families. It is a very good, interesting and logical approach to develop the story.

As for casts’ performance, the one that stood out is none other than Krystal Tin. She had a very good and appealing character and she nailed it. Often nicknamed as ‘Shrewish Ying’ in the drama, she delivered outstanding performance that should be recognized with award end of this year. As for Linda Chung, her character here is a bit too sloppy and thoughtless and it is not a breakthrough role for her. However, she did improved a lot on her expressions and crying scenes that I find not annoying anymore. Nevertheless, she is regarded as the top contender for best actress this year. Ruco Chan also did a great job as the main lead with convincing acting. He is no doubt a solid lead actor. As for Edwin Siu, he carried out his role well but not good enough. And I had to dislike his character at the part when he treat Ah Ying so bad with no emotion and had been wasting her youth for a decade.

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The story began in a quite an exciting and interesting pace, but then as usual to TVB’s pattern, everything will be dragged and slow in the middle portion while the final few episodes are a bit too rushed. The story is developed through flashback that went quite consistently but illogically. In 1980, Tin-seng and Wai-son roughly aged between 10 – 18. By 2013, they should be at least aged between 43 to 51, and they were still that energetic just like their younger days (especially Tin-seng that had to do all the actions to capture the triads) and they were all still ‘waiting’ for relationship outcome. The production team surely didn’t look into this error.

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I’m quite happy and satisfied with the ending of the drama. I’m happy that Tin-seng didn’t really turn bad and I do get the impact at the part when the others realized they had misunderstood him. The finale basically highlights Tin-seng’s situation, how others view him and more importantly how he views himself. Eventhough the ending provides not much of climax or intense scenes, but it still delivered with solid conclusion to all characters; everything solved while leaving open possibility only in the love relationship as well as Tin-seng’s unknown future. The last few dialogues in the finale leaves a meaningful message to our life. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Brother’s Keeper’ a total of 7.6. I thoroughly enjoyed this drama. It’s a very good one, and is considered one of the best this year. Next on my watch list would be the upcoming medical-themed sequel series, ‘The Hippocratic Crush II’.

(All images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

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5 Responses to “Brother’s Keeper; a series I enjoyed till its ending yesterday.”

  1. Vincent, that was a rather insightful analysis of Brother’s Keeper. However, much that I liked the performances from the actors, I think the scriptwriters and the production team had failed to make this potential series a classic, as at times they just didn’t explain things (e.g. Edwin’s reaction to Kristal’s miscarriage), (Kim Sir and Ruco’s biological dad’s reaction to his resignation from the police force) and etc. The missing scenes and the inconsistency of the times just ruined it for me. Also, did you realise that whilst Ruco was sentenced to 7 years in prison, his release date of 2013 was not 7 years, as if you look closely to the scene Ruco holding his ‘prisoner I.D thingy’, it stated, “22 September 2007”, and 7 years from that surely it means he can’t be released in 2013 (hope my maths is correct!). I do however like how this series is thought-provoking and the ending did redeem itself to be called a good series, but not enough to be called a fabulous series! Nevertheless, Ruco and Kristal’s performances were outstanding, Linda’s were very good, Edwin’s was ok… Haha I also liked the other actors and actresses such as Louise Lee and etc, their acting were adequate! Vincent, I am wondering what awards do you think Brother’s Keeper would be able to sweep from the TVB Anniversary Award or/and the TV Malaysia Awards? (I have read your article on the Malaysia Awards!)

    • vincentloy Says:

      Dear Anthony,

      Thanks for your comment. You must be paying very much attention while watching the drama, until you can notice 22 Sept 2007 stuff. You are right, the production crew didn’t put in effort on careless mistakes and details like that. But that is not a big error or anything that will not impact the quality of the series. The ending really save the series to have it be considered good. I think Brother’s Keeper has high potential of sweeping top 15 tv characters (Ruco, Linda, Krystal) at Star Awards 2013 Malaysia and also best actress for Linda at TVB Anniversary Awards 2013. There is no hot contender for best actress this year, and I think it’s time for Linda already (just like in previous years for Tavia and Myolie) eventhough her role in Brother’s Keeper was just ok only. What do you think?

      Vincent

      • Hi Vincent,
        I suspect that Ruco Chan has a very good chance to win Best Actor in a Leading Role for the TVB Anniversary Awards Ceremony. Francis Ng is a strong contender but his role wasn’t much of a challenge as compared to Ruco’s.
        Linda Chung was a hot favourite before the series even started but I think it was rather disappointing how she isn’t really focused throughout the series. Out of the four main leads, I think she has the least screentime, but who knows? Myolie was criticised for her role on ‘The Curse of the Royal Harem” but she got it. Tavia’s role in “SSSS” wasn’t nothing to ‘WOW’ for, but she got it. Perhaps Linda Chung might get it, since everyone think it’s the time.
        Kristal Tin should definitely get Best Supporting Actress. Her character is so challenging and so suited for her, even though I hated how she was always loud…
        Edwin Siu probably will get it since he is so popular now but he was pretty blunt for me. But this year there’s like no competition so might as well as give it to him.
        Louis Cheng probably doesn’t have any category to get an award but I think he was stunning as the badass.
        For TV Malaysia Awards I agree with what you said.

        Anthony

  2. SnoopyBird Says:

    About the 7 years of prison for Sam, actually in HK when they deduct holidays for your sentence. Very likely 7 years will make it to slightly less than 6 years, which then makes sense with the date of 22 Sept 2007.

    I am however confused on how can a prisoner leave 3 days earlier? I know how Sam would like to avoid his family, but I don’t think it is so flexible that you can choose which day to leave prison – neither earlier nor later??

    • Thanks SnoopyBird for the correction! Sorry I was not aware of the deduction of holiday terms so I should hereby apologise to the production crew of ‘Brother’s Keeper’ for the false accusation. But overall I did enjoy the series, even though it was a miss and hit.

      Anthony

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