Friday, October 17, 2014

[O] ALL THAT IS BITTER IS SWEET / 大藥坊 [2014][TVB]


This is a collection of various commentaries and opinions about this series under one post. If you see this at the top, this means it is updated. For more under this post, do click the Read More button. I welcome your comments and your thoughts as well so do use Post A Comment and do indicate which episode you're talking about. Since this is a threaded comment system, you can reply directly to any given comments you wish to reply to. When this is done, I will move this to Reviews Database.



Chinese title
大藥坊

This is
formerly known as Big Apothecary!

Produced by
TVB [HK]

Year released
2014

First Date of 1st broadcast
08.09.2014

End Date of 1st broadcast
17.10.2014

No. of Episode
30

Synopsis
All I know is it is about a female TCM doctor portrayed by Linda Chung stuck between 2 men (Raymond and Ruco) at the turn of the century.

Cast-Character


All names in Mandarin. I will change them to Cantonese as I go along.

Du Yan Ge as Du Shen / Dou Sam
Linda Chung as Du Jia Qi/Dou Kai Kei
Pierre Ngo as Du Rong/Dou Yung
Shirley Yeung as Feng Yu Qin/Yuk Kam
Raymond Wong as Zhuang Ji Zu (Chong Kai Cho) and Zhuang Ji Zong (Chong Kai Chung)
Natalie Tong as Xu Jun Yue/Hui Kwan Yuek
Pat Poon as Zhuang Dun Ru/Chong Duen Yu
Susan Tse as Wei Qiu Qing
Ruco Chan as Ding Yi Yuan/Ting Yat Yuen
Sammy Sum as Wei Jun/Wai Chun
Samantha Ko as Pian Pian
Elliot Yue as The General Hui Shung Ming
Alex/Jazz Lam
Ching Hor Wai
Choi Kwok Hing
Bak Yan
Choi Kwok Hing as Dr Sheung
Wai Ka Hung as unknown


Episodic Thoughts

Full recaps until Episode 11 here.

Related Posts
- At Jaynestars
- At Wikipedia

18.10.2014
EPISODE 29 & 30 - LAST EPISODE
Rubbish ending. What a rubbish ending that is!! Not Ruco's fault, not quite Linda's fault, it is just a stupid rubbish ending and Ruco wasn't even there for  the last scene. At least Pierre had a better ending and the best has got to be Ngai Chun. Love how everyone took turns to beat him, even Minister Wong and in the end it was Kwan Yeuk who decidedly shot him dead with a bullet to his forehead. Kai Kei? Her weakness caused the death of one innocent cop! I don't get the whole Yat Yuen "Close your eyes and count to 3" sequence. I don't get why the ambiguity; I don't get that at all. Absolutely rubbish ending when for a while, Ngai Chun made this series worthwhile.




14.10.2014
EPISODE ... NEED TO RECHECK
I lost count at which episode but this is the one where two girls did the same unselfish act; for love.

Pin Pin's death scene is long and yet it felt just right. I was choking back in tears. So moving, so sad. Was Yat Yuen lying when he said he loved her? I doubt it. I do think he loved her but was afraid to commit. When he finally explained why, and said he will probably meet her again when he dies at the age of 35 which means he will accompany her in after life so she won't be lonely, she unselfishly told him to live a long life, to be with Kai Kei who is his true love and be happy. By that time mannnn I was choking back my tears. Unlike Flea's death scene in Line Walker which was ridiculous, this one didn't feel that way. It felt just so beautifully done. I mourn for a nice girl like Pin Pin and I hate Ngai Chun. And yet I can't hate Ngai Chun 100%. His love for Kwan Yeuk was real, he never took advantage of her, if he wasn't such a bastard, I would have said Kwan Yeuk was so stupid to reject him. But Ngai Chun did ram into Pin Pin and he did rightfully scolded Pin Pin for being so "fan chin" which is the worst insult you can give to anyone really and something you can't find an English word equivalent. I don't know, I am undecided about Ngai Chun. Anyway he even slapped her before he left and mind you she was lying dead in a pool of blood by that time.

I am very decided about Kai Chung. He is a pain in the arse.

Anyway second shocking moment was General Hui shooting his OWN DAUGHTER accidentally in the head and she fell bumping her head on the table. The bullet grazed her temple but the worst was the hit on the table; she is now in coma. Guess who can safe her? Well not surprising I am sure when it is revealed in the next few episodes. But please no cliche like amnesia!! General Hui is also another strange creature. You hate him and yet you can't deny he really loved Kwan Yeuk and in a way as General Hui I too wanna shoot Kai Chung dead. Kai Chung is super annoying. Like how I wanna shoot Kai Kei dead. In fact the women in this series hate her before they either die or whatever. Let's count the names...

Kwan Yeuk - First Kai Cho loved Kai Kei, then Kai Chung also loved Kai Kei. Both men who Kwan Yeuk loved ended up loving Kai Kei and in deep deep trouble.

Pin Pin - She loved Yat Yuen but Yat Yuen seems to pay too much attention to Kai Kei.

Jazz's mom - she hates Kai Kei for distracting Yat Yuen from Pin Pin

Kai Chung's mom - oh she hates Kai Kei for many reasons, however unreasonable.

Kai Kei's own grandma - also hate that know it all.

See! 80% of the women hates her, I also hate Kai Kei.

Poor poor Pin Pin. What a sad moment and Samantha Ko delivered her lines with such earnest sincerity, you gotta feel for that poor girl.

30.09.2014
EPISODE ... NEED TO RECHECK
All that is bitter is getting quite sweet!!

Now that this series is settling down, it is actually getting better!

I love Jazz, Wai, Ruco and one more guy's name I do not know. They're funny! At the right time, unlike Line Walker.

Anyway Yat Yuen is officially my most favourite male character for now. Handsome? Check! Smart? Check! Sensible? Check! Sensitive? Check! Visionary? Check! Deceptive in a good way? Check! Heroic? Check! Ruco Chan? Check! Check! Heart disease? Bummer but who cares? I will marry him in a heartbeat even if I will be a widow in a day. One day with Yat Yuen is all I ever need. No wonder Kai Kei sorta kinda perhaps maybe like him.

Samantha Ko is the mysterious Pin Pin and I like her much much better in here than in Line Walker. Let her be the street smart sexy woman any time and she is convincing.

Natalie Tong continues to shine in this series even if she seriously needs to laugh. She looks so mournful. And the same goes for Sammy Shum who doesn't look mournful but devious. I like him so much in here than in Line Walker. I like his Ngai Chun who isn't likable but you know what I mean.

Raymond's Kai Chung right now is just angry angry angry. Let him settle down first and perhaps we can have a move on.

This series was almost destroyed by the stupidity of the storyline about the herbs left in the closed shop. Only Kai Kei thinks she can continue to keep everything there without Ngai Chun knowing the herbs are still there. Which is why I love the episode where Yat Yuen and gang wrote, directed and starred in a grand production called The Burning Of The Herbs for Ngai Chun to see. That scene was funny and was a blast to watch.

This series is getting better for now and I am enjoying it very much. As for Linda, less pretentious and I like how she scolded her stupid uncle who never ever ever learn. However she still looks like she is suffering, not at ease, like she never really get a hang on to her Kai Kei. Never mind, still plenty of episodes to go, maybe I will just get use to her woeful acting by then. But this is not TV Queen performance. Sorry Linda, I love you but right now, I have yet to see one moment that convinces me this is TV Queen. Not yet.


27.09.2014
EPISODES 15
All that is bitter is still very bitter.

What on earth is wrong with Linda? She seems so awkward, so ill at ease. When she should be doing something with her hands, she just stood there, delivered her lines and did absolutely no movement.

For this episode all I can say is good for her uncle to be caned 20 times; 10 times for giving bribe to police and 10 times for selling fake herbs. If he had admitted to selling true herbs from Sheung Chung Tong it would have been 10 years imprisonment!

I will say no more except to say Sammy Shum is so much better in here than in Line Walker. He is rather scary in here.

Natalie continues to impress even if I hope she has an actual moment where she will happily and joyously smile.

Ruco? Why no mention of Ruco eh? Because he is still not doing much yet even if he is in a lot of scenes. Nothing to say about a performance with nothing to complain about. But I bet if you put Ruco in a wig, put on some makeup and 2 fake small melons as breasts, he would have made an awesome Kai Kei.

Linda oh Linda, what on earth is wrong with you? Rushing through her lines, overemphasised soft spoken, unmoving hands, zero body language, facial expressions don't match with whatever she is saying, acting general not only subdued but rather non existent. Why Linda? Why are you so scared of this role? And sometimes so disconnected?


26.09.2014
EPISODES 12, 13 AND 14
Not much has happened except some curious things with the men in this series. No no, Kai Chung is still hot headed. I am talking about the general, the uncle and the policeman.

The general displays his softer side with his daughter and makes me almost sympathise with  him when he thinks he will be facing the music at Nanjing. Not sure why he think so.

The uncle is sometimes nice, sometimes terrible and back to nice to his sister in law (Yuk Kam) who is not as dumb as she is made out to be but is still naively stupid.

The policeman is sometimes reasonable when it comes to Kwan Yeuk but he is corrupt, no doubt about it. But he talks reason and things that are true when he is with Kwan Yeuk.

All these 3 have flaws in their character and yet sometimes display a small window to their human side and some sense of humanity. This is what made these 3 episodes interesting.

The rest.. not so. Mostly about Kai Kei being a doctor at Dr Sheung's clinic (since people like her, especially female patients) and Dr Sheung is also liking her even if he is harsh with her. Yat Yuen is there to help and thus far he is the story's moral conscience and observer and nothing more. Kwan Yeuk is the logical level headed one in this series even if he is prone to anger at Kai Chung (for using her, and she slapped him) and jealousy at Kai Kei (because Kai Kei has everything or rather she had Kai Cho's love). She is not a villain. She in fact knows she is wrong to be angry or jealous but can't help it. I find Kwan Yeuk incredibly classy in the scheme of things although I have yet to see her smile, at all.

Now Kai Kei is a strange beast. I should love her, but at this point I kinda like her but she has yet to show me enough to make me really like her. She is hardly involved in her family squabble. I mean she is there but she is hardly leading them. I want to see her grabbing her uncle by the balls and squeeze hard and then say "I AM DA BOSS!!!". But understandably she is involved in testing the herbs and it will be a loooooooooooooong process.

Like I said, 3 episodes, not much, mostly on Kai Kei and her practice of medicine and how she is building up clienteles. For Kai Chung, it is about him battling corruption. I really do feel Sammy Shum did so much better here than in Line Walker, especially that scene where Kai Chung barged into his room, shouted at him and he looked quite unperturbed and tried to play the nice guy because Kwan Yeuk is there. He is most improved in here, not in Line Walker.

So far not much to talk about.



13 comments:

  1. It looks like Linda agrees with you. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3bYYTcLfF8&sns=em She feels like she just memorized her lines and her acting is fake.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Find lots of fave scenes in Epi 16.
    Mr. One Dollar looks so handsome :) I love his line "do you believe me?"
    Finally I can see what I want to see. I've been so curious why Mr. One Dollar looks so sharply at Kaichong in the opening song.

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  3. I am glad, i am glad the drama is picking up pace just when it looks like even Funn is about to give up on it. Funn, please continue writing your review and your observation about Ruco, they are funny and help me get what's out in my chest since I don't have anybody in my circle of friends/family who is watching HK drama let alone know who Ruco is. My husband is very jealous that I am so into Ruco

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  4. I love to see the brotherhood relationship of Ruco and his ganks. Jazz is the funniest for he talks the most. He is faithful to his bro. Once he almost died for not telling where Yat Yuen hid Kaichong. Can't imagine how he can be so faithful.He cares and knows his bro Yat Yuen so well. Once he grumbled that how his dearest bro can make him steal his mom's firewood. His bro is kinda a gentleman who never drinks and goes to the brothel. This 'fireplace or kitchen' scene is just so funny to see. Later in Epi 17 he is broadcasting his bro Yat Yuen's love story to his other buddies incl dr Sheung, in order to make Yat Yun not feel awkward. He's so funny but in other way, he cares for his bro. The other buddies are just so obedient & support him to what ever Yat Yuen did just like when they plotted the "burning" herb agenda.
    Love to see Ruco and his gank so much...... hillarious and brotherhood in one package. :)

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  5. I love your writing especially about Ruco. Please write more review about this series. I love Ruco in this so much although I despise Linda's acting her character. Luckily Ruco is there to save Linda from sinking the ship.

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    Replies
    1. Agree withyou totally

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  6. Funn..... how r u? u miss some episodes again?
    I've seen till in Epi 24, don't miss the underwater kiss :)
    I love Epi 22.... but all just because of one person named One Dollar.

    Snoopybird is asking me if u have known that Ruco got Best Actor Starhubs Awards 2014. He also got "My Fave Male Character" ,

    Dunno why I can't go into "Ruco Chan Part 2" so I post here. Hope u don't mind.

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  7. Special scene in Epi 27 : I luv to see Ruco's acting in putting up in-grief face after the death of Pin Pin. I can see his anger red teary eyes when holding d gun. It's a great acting, in my eyes.

    It's a pity that after good episodes of 26-27, we "lose" Yat Yuen again in epi 28. He shows up only in 2 scenes. I wonder why Ruco's scenes are just too few remembering he's the lead male actor. And.....too bad his characterization is too flat for me. There's not much development. He is just so helpful to Kaikei by helping her many times. I love all Ruco's scenes esp in Epi 16 when he's facing Kaicong. He's just so cool. Ruco looks really handsome in this drama, I enjoy all his scenes. Even in some scenes he looks pale, but he is still so handsome.

    But I think it'll be more conflicting when there's more about his character. Perhaps, at first he shows up as a cunning and heartless businessman. He can be cruel to Kaikei who begs him for help. But he has a background story why he is heartless... why he doesn't believe that if someone doing good, someone will get something good in return. Then because of Kaikei or he's saved by her, he changed from being cruel into being helpful and supportive to Kaikei. Or....he can be a cold businessman on the outside, but actually deep inside his heart, he's a soft warm person.
    Sorry... I'm just sharing my opinion.

    It's really a pity..... such a handsome and great actor has to role in a drama with weak plot and characterization. What a waste of a talent!!

    I will not watch this drama if there's no Ruco. The only reason why I keep on watching is Ruco !

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  8. I hate the ending..... , too!

    I hate the scene how Kaikei felt distracted with Ngai Chun's curse.Then she gave the med to the baddie first. OH my!! Then for 2nd time, she ran again to check what happened to the baddie. And poisoned Yat Yuen came to rescue her.... and this results a fatal effect :(

    I'd like to add Funn's comment above.... Kaikei's weakness not only caused one innocent cop dead, but also caused Yat Yuen's poison coudn't be cured. Because of helping her, Yat Yuen use all his stength and energy that made his conditon got worst. So though he drank the medicine, it did not give any effect on his body. :( :(

    It's so unbearable to see this scene. I hate the scriptwriter.....!

    Final epi: I just see how great is Ruco's acting as a dying person....his eyes looks so weak, and his body language follows. He lowered down his shoulder a bit while sitting by the beach.

    I burst into tears when he called his ganks... and asked them to let him "go" naturally. I believe his brothers did sth to help him disappear when Kai Kei closed her eyes.



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But he didn't die. In the end he is still there. I believe his weakened state was due to his heart condition, or maybe the writer just forgot about consistency. But no he didn't die unless Kai Kei was falling off the cliff and sees Yat Yuen coming to greet her!

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  9. I am just referring to Dr. sheung's sentence, "Because of saving you (kai kei), Yat Yuen's heart........ "

    I conclude that bec of saving Kai Kei frm Ngai Chun, Yat Yuen's condition got worst, and as a result the pill doesn't work on him.


    I'll re-watch this part again to make sure when the Eng subs are available.

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  10. I hate the ending, and what happened to Linda Chung? When I was watching the series where she acts as the bad street girl who fell for Steven Ma, I thought she has a TV Queen potential! But now, not anymore.

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  11. Not a good series!

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