Saturday, November 27, 2010

Rambling 2: A Journey Called Life

Posted 27 April 2008 - 11:05 PM
Initially, I had reservations about AJCL being a good series mainly because of its female cast, and Kent being an unknown actor to me. But now I love this series, a true keeper for my TVB series collection.

Its very title, A Journey called Life, sounds ponderous if not a little grandstanding, almost religious-like - a title more appropriate for a bible study group or a self-awareness group discussion than for tv entertainmet. Its Chinese title is even worse, so cliché, so uninspired.

AJCL indeed constitutes the theme of this series, but as a title it is far too broad and way too impersonal to reflect its very touching and intimate story. Conversely, the theme song, A Little Story, brilliantly captured the heart of the story; a story that is indeed little in the scheme of things but monumental to the cast of characters involved. Surprisingly, the series turns out to be both entertaining and thought provoking; a very rare combination in a low-budget tv series. Rarer still are its well-written script, its attention to character development and interactions, and last but not least, its marvelous cast.

Understand that first and foremost, AJCL was written to entertain, but if at the same time, the audience got more out of it than entertainment, then so much the better. What I like most about this series is how the series incorporated morality, society ills, and tragedy into a heartwarming and delightful series without resorting to pompous moralization.

Unlike most TV series which are plot driven, AJCL is character driven. The main characters are meticulously written with their own distinctive personalities & idiosyncrasies, ambitions & desires, morals and values. Even the two Kam Sek employees’ characterization was well sketched out. Why did the death scenes of the characters so heart wrenching to watch? Because the characters touched us, the audience. And when an audience is touched by the characters, the series becomes memorable, as AJCL is to me.

1 comment:

  1. Completely agree!

    In all my years of watching TVB series (20+ years), there have been very few series that actually pulled at my heartstrings so much that it made me teary-eyed or made me cry outright (even some of the series that I adore so much from the 80s and 90s don't have that effect). Yet, AJCL was one of those few series (countable on one hand, pretty much) that absolutely made me cry -- even after watching it twice already and now going on 3rd time...the storyline itself as well as the performance by the cast members (though not flawless) were indeed brilliant!

    Btw, there are very few series that I watch more than once, especially those made in the past decade (most of the ones from the 80s/90s I've watched several times) for me to watch AJCL 3 times, that already says something about how much I liked the series.