We decided to bring you another TVB drama review as many of you guys enjoy reading these and they're always fun to write! This is going to be a loooong one so break it down in parts by each author or however you want to do it if you don't have the time to read it all at once!
Over Run Over is a 2016 TVB drama, which has just recently finished airing (we are totally not like over two weeks late ;) ) But we sincerely apologize for this super late review as it has been difficult compiling our thoughts and we have been so so busy! Anyways, this time we are also featuring thoughts and opinions from our part-time contributor, Ah Tao!! We will be starting off with a basic overview of the drama as always and then breaking it down to each of our favourite parts, shocking moments, acting thoughts... Let's get started!!
Basic Overview: This is a spin-off of the EU Series from TVB. This time around, some characters in the drama have the ability to travel back in time for 3 days where they are given a second chance to complete their mission and right any wrongs. Ling San Fung played by Tracy Chu is the first character shown in the drama that is able to travel back in time. She is the commanding officer and se n rgeant of her E.U team. She comes from a village where many changes are happening. The village chief, Kwan Ding Ming played by Vincent Wong is nicknamed Kui Tou and initially gets on Madam's bad side. The two have many arguments and Fung suspects that he has to do with this crime involving a leader in the village plotting to traffic drugs and force properties from villagers. The more Fung goes back in time, the more she learns and the more things change. It seems like there will be no end to who dies and she realizes that she cannot save everyone, but if she can help, she will do it. On the other hand, her boyfriend, Kwok Sheung-Ching, played by Benjamin Yuen has many secrets that he is hiding from her. Including the fact that he once had a one night stand with Fung's best friend, cunning and resourceful reporter, Lee Chi-Ting played by Zoie Tam. This causes many problems and throughout the 9 times that Fund goes back in time, she sees many sides of her friend and starts to stray off from her case to help her get back on the right track. Meanwhile, driver of the E.U. Van, Chan King- Wai played by Pal Sinn is growing restless during work hours to care for his sick wife played by Rebecca Zhu. He too is a man of many secrets and soon works together with Tracy and Vincent to solve the case. Many corrupt cops and undercovers are in the series providing for a more dense plotline. Through the 10 times that Ling San Fung goes back to April 1st, she discovers that the world she thought she knew is nothing like how it actually is.
I enjoyed this drama for sure and it was an above-average production from TVB considering what's been on nowadays. I'm going to review the drama by analyzing some of the major characters and how well the actor/actress executed them.
Ling San Fung (Tracy Chu): This was Tracy's first main role and she definitely showed that she could handle a leading role. Overall, her acting was stable. Driven by her intention to reverse the sequence of events, she investigated and unraveled those nuances along with Vincent Wong. She had strong chemistry with Vincent Wong particularly in the ending, and you really felt their bond as it came to a climax. However, her acting could still use some smaller improvements. This could also be limited by her character - she was quick to jump to conclusions and made irrational decisions, forcing her EU unit to investigate the main crime plot.
With that, I found that she sometimes (primarily in the beginning) 'over-exerted' some of the anger and urgency she demanded those around her - this was partly due to her character and partly due to her acting. Despite that, I thought her acting was stable was because she otherwise felt consistently 'real' in this role - you felt for her and for the shock in her discoveries. She is ready to lead in a TVB drama and I really look to see her explore her potential - especially outside procedural (cop) dramas she tended to have roles in.
Kwan Ding Ming or Kui Tou (Vincent Wong): Vincent Wong was the real star of the drama and really showed his versatile acting here and oh god, he was hella funny. You should really watch the drama for the whole deal, but in short he provided comic relief. A former financial analyst turned village chief, his character seemed like a superficial crook at the beginning but as time went on we learned more about his complex identity - and through that he and Tracy Chu together seeked the truth behind it all. He seemed to act in his self interest so he could be free once again and able to pursue what he wants - but as time went on he got more drawn on into the intricate events as well. In one of the last time travel sequences, Tracy rescues him from the verge of death and as he is 'revived' on a new April 1st, they instantly realize how much they value each other and confess their love.
Vincent did very well here and really showed he cherished Tracy - something shown in the beginning of the drama with his narrated introduction to the drama and at the ending as well. At the end, his realization that time flow and fate is inevitable is accompanied by his wise words and actions, like refusing to time travel for the last time and letting things be - and that was the best way to end the drama. Even though the drama narrative centered on Tracy's character, Vincent's role introduced and tied the various plot details together. Vincent's execution of this role was hilarious yet he carried the small details of his underlying thoughts solidly and really, the drama was defined by his emotions and conclusions in the ending. The character was written very memorably and so was Vincent's portrayal - they were inseparable - and really helps him cement a 'first-line' status.
Kwok Sheung-Ching (Benjamin Yuen): His main weakness at this point in his career is how he doesn't convey much facial expression sometimes and in turn doesn't execute the complex background and motivations in his characters. This was the third time in a row he's played a cop (after the Fixer and the Speed of Life) and to be honest here, his role really didn't offer much to work with. Up until episode 18 or so, we saw him most of the time doubting Tracy's foresight, rescuing her in a pinch, and re-engaging briefly in a love affair with Zoie . And yes, he was somewhat expressionless in these scenes and adding on to the one-dimensional nature.
In the finale episodes from ep 19 to 22, however, the complexity in his character was demonstrated by the shocking revelation that his dad, a revered figure in his life, was the ultimate corrupt ('black') cop. Honestly, in this last bit, he fared pretty well. His bitterness and rage came through before his engagement party with Tracy Chu, and you could tell he was disheartened yet ultimately propelled to conceal the evidence. He seemed innocently swept into the crisis yet he was manipulative too. He was convincing when he put up a facade to Tracy both pleading her not to reveal the secret and afterwards telling her he will recover...until he was shown to be the final villain. So for this, I would say he did well in the drama considering his role's development - but we'll have to see if this holds in other dramas.
Lee Chin Ting (Zoie Tam): At the beginning, Zoie's role was very much the typical 'bestfriend' role in TVB drama plots, so I wasn't expecting her to be the second female lead (of sorts). She shined but didn't really. As an active reporter, she was eager to investigate things for Tracy and it seemed like she was the perfect sidekick to our female lead - until it was revealed that she once had a one-night stand with Benjamin before he dated Tracy. This love was re-ignited once, then erased due to time travel - but then it kept on occurring multiple times. Along with the fact she kept investigating every time in the sequence despite Tracy and Vincent no longer wanting her help once they time traveled a few times, her character showed that events will always somewhat occur the way they do.
Zoie was decent in her portrayal of this character; to me, she didn't shine all that much nor falter in being accurate. And even though in the middle of the drama she began to hold her own attitude towards the events, she didn't really serve that big of a point. She died in the ending, but it was quite frankly pointless. Again, part of this is the character not being fleshed out, but I felt Zoie didn't give off a 'leading role' vibe even when she had the screentime. Next time, I think I would prefer seeing her in a character that had a bit more relevance.
Chan King Wai (Pal Sinn): Known as Wei Ye in Tracy's EU unit, Pal Sinn's character was the catalyst in the plot. From his facial expressions and refusal to divert to a crime scene after being directed by Tracy, you could tell something was strange with him. The mysteriousness grew as the plot unfolded as he tried to convince Tracy not to dwell into the past - it sounded like he knew things. And yep, he did. As a time traveler to save his wife (Rebecca Zhu), he knew plenty of things before Tracy and Vincent could piece them out. But shielding this is the fact that their actings shifted Pal's plans and now he must work for the mastermind villain - Ho Chin Cheung (Vincent Lam). This lead Tracy and Vincent to think he was the 'black cop' - and really, he did seem like it as Pal portrayed the malicious side of his role.
Pal found himself in the 'grey realm' in the drama because he did seem sinister even though his ultimate motive was only to save his wife. Pal portrayed the character's self-serving interests well, which reminded me of his role in Tomorrow is Another Day, although with a much more 'human side.' He was quite devoted to caring for his wife, and that was really his only motive - and in the end, that motive pulled him toward a more moral direction. The scriptwriters did well writing in a more realistic side to him. If Pal wants to expand on his acting skills (and not rely on his comedian status to get roles), this role explains why TVB should see the value in at. Overall, a solid performance here.
In all and all...wow, that was a lot. I give this drama a 9/10 for the better-than-usual character development.
After seeing Ah Tao's breakdown of all the main characters and their contributions to the drama, I will be breaking down the time-travelling segment. Jay will continue the end of the drama.
When I first saw read about this drama, I was very skeptical of it because I was like "Oh no, this is just a copy of time-travelling movies, way to save up the creativity TVB". But after watching all 22 episodes, my view of this drama changed.
Original and first two time travels:
The first thing we hear is Vincent Wong's last words (it seems) and they're very sentimental about how he once failed to cherish the one he loved the most, Ah Fung (Tracy Chu). It was somewhat uneasy listening to those words the first time since Vincent had taken on a new village accent and his voice sounded broken. More on this later.
The real star was Vincent Wong in the beginning, he overshadowed Tracy Chu as the rowdy chief and his patterned shirts matched his personality well. Again we see Vincent Wong giving his all as a huge can of red paint is poured on his body. I really admire his professionalism in this aspect but after the Dead Wrong incident, I hope he doesn't sustain any injuries. One of my favourite sayings from him is how he says MADAM like MADUM. He's full of humour but he seemed to harbour some good feelings for Ah Fung even from the beginning. The first time she travels back in time, nothing much changes. The dad still dies and she is determined to change this fact and yells at the sky for another chance... but who knew she'd go back 8 more times to finally "finish" what she was set out to do. The second time travel is where it gets interesting I'd say. Her subordinate and good friend, Tim (Hugo Wong) suddenly alters the plot by killing off the enemies men. Now we see the butterfly effect and more secrets are brought to the surface, including an undercover in the story. Of course, you could say she's ruining what was alright to begin with everytime she goes back but I see this as a drama, so the more she goes back, the more entertaining it is. With that said, I found it very shocking to see Hugo Wong die and it was all really random to begin with. The one thing I like about this drama is how it gives you clues and then explains the motives behind each event.
I never expected Sau Kei to be the undercover since he almost sexually assaulted Zoie Tam and he is more of a kelefe. This doesn't take away from the drama though, and I'm happy to see TVB using their artists more so that the usual kelefes can be brought to light.
Fourth and fifth time travels:
By these episodes, Tracy is getting more natural in her role because the plot picks up and again, new things are discovered! So Ho Chin Cheung (Vincent Lam), is the real mastermind behind all of this and there is also another undercover. Storywise, I am surprised that this didn't get too messy. The characters thus far are well written compared to some other TVB dramas. The only question I had at this point was, what was up with Wai Yeh (Pal Sinn) and I was also wondering if they were ever going to stop going back. Turns out they don't (bravo to TVB for not making this boring) and more on Pal Sinn later! We are also introduced to Joyce Cheung (Christine Kuo) in these episodes and for some reason, she just doesn't appeal to me that much. Acting hasn't improved much and doesn't seem like she's going to be getting any more opportunities. She is a complication to the storyline and if she's already with Vincent, how is Vincent gonna end up with Tracy? And not to mention that Tracy seems to be at nearing the marriage stage with Ben Yuen. (side note, Christine was cringey throwing herself away like that to that nasty Ivan dude, but hey, there are people who do that). Back to the story, now Zoie Tam is also interested in the case and she messes this thing up even more! She thinks she's so good and so pro and at one point, I was like. STOP! She was the only annoying character in the drama though. I hated how she betrayed Tracy and kept making out with Ben Yuen like go awayyy! I just did not like how her character was written and it's crazy how Ah Fung was friends with her for that long to only realize how manipulative and cold she was at the end.She seems like the next Ali Lee to me as they're both from nowTV and have been getting bigger roles.
stop snooping around...
Sixth and seventh time travels:
Wow this is getting long haha. I think I'll try to shorten this up a bit but still keep the content good! Okk so this is where I really start enjoying the drama because Ah Fung's 6th time travel is also Kui Tou's first one and they start working together to find the black cop! Tracy is way better here because her character starts making more sense and she takes action appropriately now. I like how she keeps a board in her room but man, what if someone finds that? Anyways, Ah Gong, Fung's bro somehow ends up in an explosion...? So more crazy things are happening because of the butterfly effect and it's just getting way more complicated and the two of them seem to be straying away from the block cop because of all these distractions. Of course, as I said before, this deepens the plot without being too unnecessary. My only issue with these side distractions is how LO LOK LAM ENDED UP BEING ACCUSED OF MURDER. Like wow that was weird! This happens in the 7th time travel and I was like... what is even going on? Okay fine be a jealous husband but murder is a bit harsh, crazy scriptwriters. First the son gets bombed, then the dad gets accused of murder!
Eighth and ninth time travels:
By these two time travels, the black cop is finally nailed down to Pal Sinn, the suspicious Wai Yeh. It is hypothesized that he needs fast money to heal his wife and to provide her with a good home to rest, so he takes on the black cop role. Ah Fung does not believe this in the slightest but I actually sided with Kui Tou for this suspicion. Good for TVB for making him seem like a plausible villain. But like, seriously the evil guy is ALWAYS the retired high ranking dad and his son/daughter HAS to take over the dad's evil deeds. We knew from the FIRST time that the dad was introduced that he was evil. No doubt about this, classic, classic TVB. What can I say?
Anyways. in the ninth time travel, Tracy finds out that Wai Yeh is not the black cop and of course Vincent is a bit bummed since he wanted to get this thing over with and be with Christine.. Then Christine goes cray cray and is like, I am only playing with him! So wow. Ok then! I saw this coming but what a loyal man! It's incredible really how down to earth he is and Vincent really brings out these qualities. He's hitting those subtle spots now and I'm very excited to see his role in Dead Wrong! Meanwhile Ben Yuen starts going crazy because Ah Fung is starting to like Kui Tou (sorry I keep switching between the actor names and character names LOL)
Tenth and eleventh time travels:
Whew! I made it and big thank you to those of you who made it this far! If not, well... you wouldn't be seeing this but I do hope you checked out Jay's part! Okay, so one of my favourite scenes is pictured above!! This is the last time travel for Tracy and it is one I won't forget I think. The bond and the connection between the two characters is shown the most in this scene and their perseverance in climbing up the hole? ditch? thing together is just amazing. It was very real, no exaggeration at all! However, I was quite surprised that Wai Yeh kept switching sides and when he reveals he's been back 100 times, I kinda had the feeling that he could go back when the drama started. He did act cowardly before but his ending is beautifully written. TVB has been suffering from bad endings for a while lately, so this one is really a breakthrough. The action scenes were great here! It's sad to say that Zoie died? But then again, I didn't really like her and it was just a drama so I had no sympathy nor did I feel bad. TVB needs to have a couple deaths anyways, why not get rid of the most deserving one.
OK, I was however mad at how TRACY CHOSE TO DIE. Like that was really sad and Vincent really showed all his heart when he embraced her burnt body and told her to hold on. That weird beginning I got shivers from now made absolute sense. This scene could have brought me to tears if I was really paying 100% attention and really feeling it in the moment. Ben Yuen did well in these last episodes but his character was lacking at the beginning so even if he got interesting in the end, he is subpar to Vincent. The last time travel with only Vincent was heart breaking. I loved how he still went around and completed everything he and Tracy worked for. Those 10 time travels would not go to waste and I am so so happy that it is hinted that they will end up together. This drama surpassed a lot of my expectations. The more I write about it the more I love it LOLOL.
AHHH that was a mouthful! Or a handful ;) I am giving this an 8.8/10 for the good numbers. The marks off are for some shaky bits with Tracy, wooden bits with Ben, and some of the story was unnecessary.
Since Ah Tao and Cee have covered their thoughts on most aspects of the drama, I will give a short summary of my thoughts.
Thoughts: First of all, I apologize but this part where I share my opinions on the drama might be really unorganized and all over the place, since it's just literally me writing a stream of my thoughts out so I hope you don't mind. Now, moving back to the drama: I thought that overall, Over Run Over was very enjoyable, and it was definitely a pleasant surprise coming from TVB. The plot made sense for the most part and there weren't huge, crazy plot twists that were not reasonable. This isn't just any old time-travelling series like Captain of Destiny that made no sense, but it actually conveys some meaningful messages about telling us to move on and not to live in our past because things cannot last forever. In terms of acting, as emphasized by Ah Tao and Cee already, Vincent Wong shone with this role with excellent portrayal of Kui Tou, being able to bring tears to many audiences' eyes, especially near the end. Tracy Chu has shown vast improvement in acting as well. Of course, there are spots where she needs to refine on, like toning the emotion down a little or even in some cases, bringing it up. After seeing K9 Cop, it was kind of a huge transition from the role Tracy played as a
"港女" to this tomboyish, super serious madam. It was kind of a waste of Moon Lau as her role was so unimportant and small. At the beginning, I thought she would be the 2nd female lead, but it turns out that was Zoie Tam. Anyone could have acted as Ho Chin Cheung's sister and she only came out like some episodes. Speaking of Zoie, I was a little stunned to hear that she was 35, she looked like Tracy's age. Her acting was alright and it is the first time that she has gotten such a big role, so I would say she handled it quite well. Her character, however, lacked depth to make it memorable and she seemed like just another super passionate reporter, and not to mention not a very good friend at times. I also thought the guy who played Song Q, the faithful sidekick of Ho Chin Cheung was good acting like a crazy, mad dog ready to bite the traitors any second LOL. Not much to say about Rebecca Zhu; she played her part. I won't go over the other characters since most of the important ones have already been explained up there by my fellow collaborators.
However, I would like to mention that TVB did a pretty good job with maintaining the suspense throughout the series. It was great how like a half of the episodes had some great action scenes with shoot outs, explosions, etc. The first few episodes had basically the same scenes so it got a bit repetitive and for a while, I thought that the whole series would just be the same situation where they try to arrest those criminals encountered by Tracy during the first episode. Thank goodness, the story kept progressing and the mission changed every time they went back in time. I would say things started getting pretty interesting as Vincent started going back in time with Tracy and they worked together. Vincent and Tracy's love story was good and incorporated nicely, but it was sad to see they didn't get much time together as a couple and had to be separated with Tracy's death. I have been finding that most TVB dramas nowadays somehow lack an interesting love plot and if they have one, there isn't enough time for its development. For example, Angel In-the-Making had like the last few minutes with Tony and Eliza which kind of sucked. But with so much stuff going on in this drama, I'm surprised that Vincent and Tracy got a decent amount of screen time as lovers. Overall, I'm quite happy with the plot and things were executed at a good pace, without the audience ever getting bored or tired.
As for the ending, there was a lot of talk about what really happened to Ah Fung and if she actually remembered Kui Tou. I thought the ending was good and well fitting for this type of drama, since straight out happy endings would be kind of cheesy. This ending isn't the normal type of open-ended thing or cliff-hanger, it actually made the audience think about what happened and wasn't really associated with a certain emotion; that was for the audience to decide. I guess they wanted to put focus on the emotion brought forth at the very end by Vincent's last words which were very touching. Anyways, here's my interpretation of what happened with the last scene:
Tracy actually already died the 10th time she traveled back in time but she somehow made a connection of her memories with the hourglass necklace when she died and Vincent was able to bring the necklace back without knowing. Maybe he dropped the necklace accidentally on Tracy's lawn, the first time he went to her house during the 11th time travel. When Tracy picked the necklace up, her memories of the past time travel experiences are restored because the necklace magically contained her memories. This explains why she looks up at Vincent with a small smile of recognition. So my guess is that they had a happy ending - at least I hope they did. But that's only what I think and there are several possibilities out there. If you think there's another explanation to the ending, please share it with us by commenting!
My final thought is this was quite an awesome drama and it was wonderfully put together, since it could have been disastrous with the complexity of the plot. Great job, TVB for producing this. I honestly thought that this drama would just be an average police show but turns out, I was in for a good treat. I hope that TVB will continue to produce thrillers that are this intense and captivating. I will give this drama a 8.7/10 since it was more than an 8.5, and because it was a pretty cool drama! Btw, whoops, sorry this turned out to be longer than I thought!
Together this drama rounds to a ... 8.8/10!!! One of the best dramas this year to date!
Well, again thank you for reading!!! This time, we all know it was super loooongg but we had too much to say about this drama! Again, if you liked it or share any similar feelings, please comment! Any other thoughts are appreciated as well! Share with your friends and family if you liked this post.
Stay tuned for more coming up!
-CeeJay and Ah Tao :)