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Friday, May 5, 2017

When nostalgia strikes - the golden age of Hong Kong dramas

There used to be a time when I was very into Hong Kong dramas. In those days especially during the 90s, cable TV wasn't that widely available and affordable and online streaming was not as prevalent as it is today. As such, there were limited ways to feed my craving for these dramas. Nonetheless, compared to J-dramas, it was lucky that there were more sources I could tap on for HK-dramas. I could wait for the broadcast of older dramas dubbed in Mandarin on free-to-air channels, watch the broadcast in the original Cantonese track on Malaysian TV or shell out money to rent video tapes. I preferred watching the Cantonese versions and actually picked up the dialect through watching these dramas. I guess that was a great takeaway from the hours spent on watching these dramas.

Being a poor student then, it was not possible to use my limited pocket money to rent video tapes for every drama. Most of the time, I resorted to watching the dramas on TV but there was only one drama which I did rent video tapes for - Detective Investigation Files II (刑事侦缉档案II) which goes to show much I love this drama. I have a thing for detective / thriller / suspense stories and this drama has a nice blend of these elements with bromance and a very interesting love triangle featuring Michael Tao (陶大宇), Kenix Kwok (郭可盈) and Amy Kwok (郭藹明).

Recently, this drama has returned for yet another re-run on cable TV and I'm watching it for the nth time (can't remember how many times I have watched this to date). Although I know the story inside out, I still continue watching it and have never lost interest in this all these years.

However, when it comes to the HK dramas in the last 10 years or so, I struggle to come up with a title which gives me the same amount of satisfaction and the motivation to keep watching it over and over again. Perhaps it is due to the fact that many of the big-name HK drama actors and actresses have left the TV station so the casting choices do seem quite limited these days. However, I feel that the issue of dissatisfaction lies more with the storyline rather than the cast. There were a few dramas which were engaging from the beginning but faltered right at the end which was a great pity. Many were lacklustre for a variety of reasons.

As I rewatch Detective Investigation Files II for another round, I can't help but wonder when I will come across another good and enthralling HK drama again.

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