Saturday, May 06, 2017

Things we'll never know

Today was International Law revision day. I've actually been looking forward to it after all that Trusts/Commercial. (And Employment you know is just better off as coursework unit.)

So anyway, I read on Twitter that one of my IL profs was running a roundtable with fellow academics, barristers, public servants, etc on two recent cases that appeared to me to be on issues of immunity and jurisdiction.

And then I went.

I'm not sure what made me go since it was 3.5 hours of one revision day. I suspect a big part of it was because I'm into my last couple of weeks in an academic setting and I really wanted to make full use of it. I have never been the sort to study for the sake of results, and to me it is much more important that I learn meaningful and interesting things. That is why I chose Sociology then, and I don't think that part of me has changed very much.

Anyway so then I went.

I was the only non-PhD student there so I felt really out of place (ok I also felt out of place because I only understood like 30% of what was going on), especially with all that networking going on... it felt like good old days at work. The prof tried to make me talk as well which was even worse because at least, back in the good old days of work, there was still some sort of holding line I could give.

At some point during the networking the prof and another prof (the legendary one who taught us Juris last year) came by to talk to me and one of their first questions to me was ARE YOU THINKING OF DOING FURTHER STUDIES?

I guess because the other students there were PhD or post-doctorate. And I guess if you attend this sort of session people expect that you're passionate about this kind of topic. (I mean it says a lot that I went for this one but skipped the Environmental Law seminar a couple of weeks back. I could've presented my FYRP at that one but I decided not to go.)

Obviously neither of them know that this whole law thing was supposed to be 'further studies' in its own right considering I already have a degree, but because I was so stunned by the question, I mumbled something along the lines of having no plans to because I heard it's quite difficult to get in.

So second prof said, with a laugh, "well 'hard' is relative, and there are people who would find it 'hard' to get into this law school but here you are."

See that is the thing that people don't get. And they never do. There is this silent expectation that everyone who is in law school came here rather naturally.


Wang Lee Hom didn't write this song for me to abuse it like that, but the title says it all for me.

Some people have problems getting into law school, some people have problems surviving law school, some people have problems getting a job after law school and some people will never consider doing further studies in law because it is just too 'hard' for them.

These profs, being brilliant as they are (I like both of them very much so this is not sarcastic), will never know.

PS: Regarding my last entry, I'm taking it as case closed because nothing conclusive was told to me about criminal liability.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

我。 完。 了。

冷到會下雪, 冷到要穿羽絨服
但再冷 天空還是很美的 每日出太陽

我們去了法國 迪斯尼樂園
不知爲何 每隔幾年都會有想去迪斯尼的衝動
今年不例外 但今年在歐洲 所以去了法國的


錢包在法國被人偷 真的不會太驚人
是自己的疏忽 所以我也沒怨天尤人
還有裏頭 珍藏已久 這幾年看過的演唱會門票,駕駛執照,身份證等等




可以説 連開始都還沒有

我。 完。 了。


一個 我還沒當律師 就一定要吸取的教訓

所謂 人都會犯錯 應該是這個意思吧

不過今日起 我再也沒辦法 用這個綽號了

真心希望 可以平安度過
不過到了這個時候 也好像只能求神明保佑

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

[drama review] 我瞞結婚了 Married But Available

It's one of those dramas you kinda know won't be good but you watch it anyway because you're a sucker for the cast.

Starring Tony Hung and Priscilla Wong, who have paired up so many times since making their debut as hosts of a travelogue and Raymond Wong, whom we haven't seen in a long time, Married But Available was a stupid tale of how a couple decided to get married on a whim but found themselves forced to hide it from their colleagues. Because nobody knows they are married, colleagues and acquaintances from a long time ago start finding their way into their relationship.

A post shared by Wongtsuiyu (@wongtsuiyu) on

Stupid doesn't even cut it. It's unrealistic and pathetic compared to the other dramas we've seen this trio in. Like Swipe. Tap. Love.. I gave STL a pretty weak review back in 2014, but looking back it was a pretty decent drama I probably wouldn't mind watching again.

Back to the cast. I was first annoyed that Tony Hung was playing the male lead and Raymond Wong the second. Why? Because Raymond Wong is freaking established compared to Tony Hung and after STL I would kill to watch Raymond Wong and Priscilla Wong play a couple again. Do I want to watch Tony Hung and Priscilla Wong play a couple - knowing their real-life relationship?

Not really.

Do I want to watch Raymond Wong as the irritating second male lead considering the last time I saw him he was an unforgivable jerk in Overachievers? (He did make a cameo in Every Step You Take, but that barely counts.)

Definitely not.

We also have Priscilla Wong and Alice Chan crossing swords again, mere months after Two Steps from Heaven. And Kelly Fu, who was actually also in STL! But nobody remembers she was in there - I do however remember that I just watched her a couple of weeks ago in Burning Hands. If she's gunning to steal Most Improved from the likes of Moon Lau and Sisley Choi I'd say she's almost there or there already. (These days it feels like TVB's left with nobody so we keep watching the same faces. The side characters in this are also people we see in every other drama these days, like C Kwan and Jacquelin Chng.)

But there were two members of the cast I was extremely happy to watch. One of them was Hugo Goh, who is most famous for being a rapist in Brothers' Keeper II and an abusive father in Burning Hands. This role of his' was mildly comedic and very amicable.

The other is Joseph Lee Kwok Lun, who is a familiar face to anyone who watches TVB. Except he's usually so cruelly evil that nobody likes him. Here he played an extremely compelling village chief. Irritating, but very adorable. He's definitely a strong contender for Best Supporting this year.

If you think I'm going on too much about the cast and not telling you much about the story it's because there wasn't much of a story to begin with. The biggest question was whether Priscilla Wong would end up with Raymond Wong or Tony Hung and even that question wasn't very important anymore once Tony Hung slept with Kelly Fu.

Told you stupid doesn't even cut it!

The ending is even more ridiculous. But you have to watch it to know because even though I've already revealed a huge spoiler here, it's so ridiculous that you should watch it for yourself.

I am going to rave about the theme song, though, because I love it.

The MV is a little awkward since Stephanie Ho x Fred Cheng don't quite make a handsome couple. But the two are individually awesome, particularly Fred Cheng who is all the rage now (he did the closing theme for the currently airing Gallen Lo drama Provocateur, for which he is also the impressive second male lead, and also for the new Kenneth Ma drama Mind Hunter).

All in all, I'm surprised I even survived this drama. But truth be told, I only survived it cos I barely watched any of it. Each episode took me about 10min. Conclusion: don't waste your time. I'm currently watching Provocateur and I'd admit it's super draggy and predictable, but at least the story is a bit more sensible. The cast is pretty impressive too.

And if you've given up on TVB altogether, Taiwan's got a pretty decent line-up of late.

There's Just For You starring Jolin Chien, Patrick Lee, Vera Yen and Esther Huang on weekdays (I absolutely adore Jolin and will watch anything with him in it these days - he's amazing as usual and finally playing male lead; the Patrick Lee and Esther Huang couple is also rather interesting to watch), and The Perfect Match starring Ivy Shao, Wu Kang Ren, Ben Wu and Lawrence Liu,on Fridays (yes, the thought of Wu Kang Ren in a sugar-coated SETTV drama is weird af. The tabloids think he's back to repay the favour - since he did make it big after SETTV cast him in Autumn's Concerto several years ago - while he claimed he's back to 'fight a war' against the lack of resources in the industry now). There is also The Masked Lover starring Weber Yang, Deyn Li and Peter Kuan, and an upcoming Vidol drama The Man From Future starring the nation's younger brother Derek Chang and Lyan Cheng.

Sunday, March 05, 2017

[Drama review] 在一起,就好 Stand By Me

One of those dramas I clicked on when I was distracted and unwilling to study. I think I managed 11 episodes in 3 hours, because it was that boring.

I'm not going to lie - I pressed on because I found the lead actor Hans Chung hot. Not cute, not handsome, but hot.

But I'm also not going to pretend and sing praises of his acting cos he was incredibly bad at some points. It didn't help that the Du Wei Ting character was really stupid as well.

Like several other Taiwanese dramas these days, the saving grace was the chemistry between the cast - and the very strong female lead, Pets Tseng.

Like Nana Lee and Queen Wei, Pets Tseng is one of those names I know because it appears on YouTube. Like Nana Lee and Queen Wei, Pets Tseng was a contestant on the second season of One Million Star. But unlike Nana Lee I never knew Pets Tseng was also an actress, and unlike Queen Wei she's a really decent actress and singer.

I feel like it's a good thing all these people get acting opportunities because if not people like me will never know of their prowess. I really liked Pets Tseng's portrayal of Han Xiao Qi in Stand By Me, and I really liked her contribution to the soundtrack as well.

I think Stand By Me was a refreshing watch because the cast was so unheard of and the only face I found really familiar was Ian Chen. It was a good thing that he was in it because after I grew sick of Hans Chung (good looks just cannot make up for bad acting I'm afraid) he was the one I looked forward to watching.

Zhang Ding Fang was such a likable 'other guy' that I wished she ended up with him... yeah, it's that type. But what's probably more important for Ian Chen's career is the fact that the theme song is probably the best thing he has ever released.

Stand By Me follows the life of a survivor of the 921 earthquake, who is awfully passionate about TV production. She finds herself a job in a TV station that not only carried several secrets regarding the death of her parents, but was also the subject of serious politicking and underhanded business practices. It therefore raised questions about the role and responsibilities of a news agency/media outlet. Which is very, very timely; and interestingly not the only media-related drama Taiwan has produced of late.

But apart from having an interesting historical element and all, Stand By Me had an awfully weak story which dealt very poorly with issues like PTSD. I get that production funding is going to come from product placement, but what kind of message are you trying to send by making VR the solution to her claustrophobia?

I'm really into these two because of this show, though, so I'm still glad they made it. But even if you have all the time and patience in the world I still feel like there are better things to watch.

Like V-Focus, which is more or less on the same subject, also has a male lead that can't really act (but is better than Hans Chung), also has a strong OST but has very good acting and chemistry from the rest of the cast and decent scripting / story.

Or Tiger Mom Blues, which is probably the most meaningful and realistic drama TVB has ever produced in three years (or more).

Saturday, January 14, 2017

[Drama Review] High 5 Basketball High 5 制霸青春

I don't intend to say much about this at all, but to just record this surprise of a show.

If you're as much of a dramabuff as me you'd be able to list a couple of Taiwanese dramas that feature basketball as a theme.

My MVP Valentine

Hot Shot

Hooping Dulcinea
A couple of other attempts have also been made to feature other sports.

High Jump
But basketball remains the drama writer's favourite. Perhaps because it is one of Taiwan's favourite sports, and the schools take it extremely seriously.

Lists like this one were all around the sports complex I ran past when I was in Taipei last year:

But in Taiwanese dramas we like to see a good bromance. What's even better if we have an entire team of attractive boys learning to work with each other. Basketball offers the best basis (among most sports) which makes it the best sport to feature in Taiwanese dramas. 

Taken at face value, High 5 Basketball is not much different from dramas like My MVP Valentine. 

The story kicks off with a conflict between the captain of the Da Ren Basketball team and a new freshman. 

Left: brazen freshman Zhan Zhi Kai (SpeXial's Simon)
Right: basketball team captain Ke Wei Zhen (SpeXial's Wes)
And an ambitious basketball coach who soon decides to leave the team in pursuit of a HBL championship title. 

Basketball coach Zhang Bai Sheng (Lee Lee-Zen)
Fresh from a betrayal, the team is left with an assistant coach, who is really more of an older brother figure, and their new coach who was really all but a sports journalist.

Left: Assistant coach A-Ming (Going Kao Ying Hsuan)
Right: Sports journalist-turned-coach Lin Jia Lu (Janet)
They are soon introduced to a physical trainer, who is obviously in the story to add some conflict (and romance) to the coaching team. 

Physical trainer Si Bo Ran (Johnny Lu)
An on the side, of course, are two juniors, one of whom really really likes Zhan Zhi Kai, and the other somehow ends up being Ke Wei Zhen's training buddy.

Left: Zhan Zhi Kai fangirl Liu Xiao Hua (Cosmos Lin)
Right: TCM heiress Huang Ya Lun (Lyan Cheng)
(I'm cracking up at my descriptions above.)

The team comes out fresh from the opening round of the HBL championships to news that their coach was about to leave them to coach another team, specifically one that he believes gives him a stronger shot at getting the title. These are young, impressionable, idealistic boys and they end up heartbroken at this news. 

They take a long time to get over this.

Like a freaking long time.

In fact, it takes a slap for Ke Wei Zhen to finally wake up and realize that nothing is going to change.

And in between we have other drama, such as another team member being forced to choose piano over basketball, and Ke Wei Zhen's back injury. In addition to Janet's violin-playing skills, we are introduced to some super high-tech physiotherapy equipment. There's even a guest appearance from Chou Jun-San, a top basketball player from the 90s.

Lin Jia Lu's coaching style may be entirely different from Zhang Bai Sheng's, but she ends up working magic in terms of helping the team come together. Even the weakest members get to play, she says. 

Unlike most Taiwanese dramas the romance was really weak in this one. But I would say the couples looked really good together even if we didn't have much of them to watch.

The lack of a focus on romance in High 5 Basketball, however, speaks volumes about the production as a whole. Unlike the dramas listed above, High 5 Basketball isn't about selling a dream or the perfect life. Instead, it properly captures the essence of youth: with its ups and downs, tears and laughter.

Most importantly, High 5 Basketball was about going all out, but walking off court with no regrets even if it doesn't turn out your way. 

I am not saying that High 5 Basketball was a brilliant production, but it certainly was very impressive for its type. 

I like stories with a moral, but it cannot be too cheesy. High 5 Basketball was just that. Dream big, work hard, but it doesn't always have to turn out your way for a happy ending. 

I like dramas with good acting, but more so when it comes from everyone in the cast. High 5 Basketball had just that. I started watching this for Going Kao (who I last watched in Love or Spend), but I was drawn in further by the two SpeXial boys. Janet and Lyan Cheng were both pretty decent as well. 

I like dramas. 

Shinhwa in Heaven

AKA The Best of 2017, even if we're only half a month into the new year.

Shinhwa started the new year with a ultra sexy track named Touch.

While Touch is groundbreaking in its own right (bet you thought only girl bands were capable of releasing such titles) and impressive in terms of vocal performance, I'm enjoying another track off their 13th album.

Heaven is not just groundbreaking. It's freaking legendary.

When I first heard it (one evening when I finally grew bored of Shi Shi's Between album), I was stunned. I refused to move on to Track 2 (Touch) and the rest of the album because as the first track of the album, Heaven is just that good.

Heaven is not just title track-worthy. It should be that one song they're known for.

Like TVXQ!'s Love in the Ice, which Heaven actually reminds me very much of. Thank goodness they decided to perform it for comeback stage. Because way too many bands choose the wrong song to perform for comeback stage.

Every band has this one song in which the lead vocalists are outshone, and Heaven is this one song for Shinhwa. Everyone knows I love Shin Hyesung. But even though his voice is perfect/technique is flawless as always, check out Minwoo stealing the show.

Thank you for existing. And for your unchanging commitment to music.