‘The Defected’ (鐵探) is a Hong Kong television drama that currently attracts a lot of audiences. The 30-episode series starred Benjamin Yuen as Inspector Sheung Sing, a policeman who becomes embroiled in a conspiracy plaguing the high-ranking officials due to an incident that almost cost him his life. The other main cast include Kara Wai, Philip Keung, Sisley Choi, Oscar Leung, Mat Yeung, Benz Hui, Ben Wong, Grace Wong, etc.
What I first like from this series is the focus on the rivalry of high-ranking police officials to get promoted rather than being another typical police drama that is all about showing undercovers and catching bad guys. The series at least went into a different direction with an uncommon plot. However, I find that the series didn’t do enough on exploring into this area.
Throughout the entire series, only Kara Wai’s character has the upper hand in almost every situation. The plot can be so much more exciting. One of my suggestions is to have several high-ranking officials (such characters with more prominent roles) plotting out some schemes to take down one another (and not just Kara Wai). There are such characters in the series such as Benz Hui, Ben Wong and Lee Shin-Cheong but they formed no important part of the story. What a wasted potential or opportunity to turn this series into one intense and memorable one.
This series had a great cast. Kara Wai is a good choice to portray the ruthless superior. She stands a chance for best actress win at the end of the year with this performance. She had win a lot from film awards but never from television awards. If the best actress competition this year is very weak, she do have a shot at it. However, in my opinion, there is not much from her role that requires her to deliver memorable acting. In most of the time, she just needs to get her eyes opened wide to show the anger while being confronted, and gets to cry for the death of her son near the end of the series. There is particularly no standout or explosive moment from her alone.
Philip Keung on the other hand nailed his role as the undercover named Bingo. He got me immersed into his performance and I particularly enjoyed his interaction with his mother (portrayed by Angelina Lo). He may have a shot at TV king title but I felt that his role is more of a supporting one (preferred him to get best supporting actor or most favourite male character). His character development is great except at the end when he died so suddenly without any honor for his contribution and sacrifice, and incomplete work that should have been finished by him too. Benjamin Yuen took that job since he is the main lead in this drama. His effort to lose weight and gets pale just for this drama is admired but there’s still huge room of improvement for his performance.
The series started off great with high expectation from me. However, it continues to be quite draggy and concluded with a rushed ending (not much climax even when it is near the end). At first, I saw similarity of quality of this series with ‘Line Walker’ (this series is very good). But in the end, ‘The Defected’ wasted most of its potential and becomes just a slightly above average drama this year to my disappointment. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘The Defected’ a total of 7.0.
(Images in this post are from various online sources)