Just finished my first TVB series of the year, ‘Noblesse Oblige’.


‘Noblesse Oblige’ ( 宦海奇官 ) is a Hong Kong drama sets during Qing dynasty that starred Kenneth Ma as To Chan Fung, a lazy but good-hearted county magistrate who is given the task to clear the government from corrupted officials. Tavia Yeung starred as Kenneth’s sidekick, Wai Lam whom is a Buddhist nun. The 21-episodes long drama also starred Joel Chan, Ram Chiang, Susan Tse, Lau Dan, Benjamin Yuen, Cilia Lok, Yoyo Chen, Lee Shing Cheung, etc.

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This is the first TVB drama of the year that I watched, and the series ended just now with its two finale episodes on Saturday’s evening. I enjoyed this series because while it is a light-hearted production, the plot also includes in some serious matters (mostly on politics and corruptions) to create some exciting dramas. At one point, you get to be entertained by quite a number of good laughs from the series, while as the scene switches, you get to see real ‘business’ going on.

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At the very beginning, the series reminded me of ‘Rosy Business’, a very critically-acclaimed drama back in 2009. That series, along with ‘Noblesse Oblige’ were also produced by Lee Tim Sheng. He usually stood out on delivering some very good quality series to save TVB. Of course, ‘Noblesse Oblige’ is not as serious or as intensely good like ‘Rosy Business’. This time, Lee puts a bit more emphasis on comedy to this series (for something different) and it still worked, eventhough ‘Rosy Business’ is still better. As the series progresses, ‘Noblesse Oblige’ gets back to ‘typical’ low-drama moments that many present TVB series are experiencing. That’s a bit of disappointment there. Luckily, this series is short and won’t waste much of our time on further pointless story development.

Kenneth Ma is mostly exaggerated on his acting in this series. I think it is needed for his type of role here to push things slightly beyond boundary a bit for better result. However, his acting doesn’t really improves. Same goes to Tavia Yeung. She is mostly shy, quiet and easily ignored in the series despite she is the first female lead. Even her fellow mate, Wai Yu (portrayed by Cilia Lok) had far more interesting and catchy role here. Tavia’s character is only needed to protect and love Kenneth. Her past story, revealed only in the last two or three episodes of the series appeared to be ‘forced’ into the drama and is unappealing. Ram Chiang is good as supporting role here (he is always good in this kind of role).

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Fortunately, the drama’s ending is not bad. It’s a happy conclusion to Kenneth and Tavia (always like to see them as an on-screen pair. They are very compatible) and to his family and friends too. The main villain (Lee Shing Cheung) died, but I actually preferred him to be put to justice by the emperor himself rather than being killed by revenge. This implies to us that taking revenge like this is reasonable. That’s not the way it is supposed to be. The killing scene is also quite similar to that of ‘Overachievers’ drama last month in its finale episode too. Before I forgot, Lee Shing Cheung did absolutely brilliant as the villain here. Very good veteran actor. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Noblesse Oblige’ a total of 7.4. Better than many typical TVB dramas nowadays, but still not that good to the point that I can remember this for long.

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

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