When you say ‘TVB series’ nowadays, the response tends to be – well, not so complimentary things. Whether it’s the low budget, or the recycled plots, or a bunch of newbies with questionable acting skills, or the same few people singing the theme songs… I can go on. However, Eye in the Sky is THE series a lot of people have been waiting for right? I mean, a series with Kevin Cheng, Tavia Yeung AND Ruco Chan? I don’t even need to read the synopsis to at least check out the first 5 episodes!
But here it is anyway (source – TVB):
Former regional crime unit officer SZETO SHUN (Kevin Cheng), who is suspected in connection to an alleged arson, has to resign from the police force and change his career to join a security company, where he encounters CHENG NIK-HANG (Ruco Chan). Although SHUN, the former elite cop, seems a bit aloof, he is very observant, and often recognizes rarely-known clues from surveillance videos to help solve criminal cases. NIK-HANG’s thoughts and tenor of his ways are similar to SHUN’s, and he is also excellent at work. Gradually, the two become good friends.
Their supervisor KONG WUI-HOI (Lau Kong) also considers the two as his right-hand men until a private detective NG CHUN-NI (Tavia Yeung) appears. CHUN-NI mistakes SHUN for her old friend, triggering a dispute between the two. That makes SHUN reflect on the past event that he almost forgets about, which turns out to be involving the suspected arsonist. CHUN-NI, who is gifted with an eidetic memory, goes to probe into the matter together with SHUN and NIK-HANG. Unexpectedly, the closer they get to the full truth, the more intense the conflict between reason and law becomes. On top of that, the relationship among the three also undergoes a drastic change……
Despite TVB’s not so great reputation nowadays they can still manage a decent beginning, especially for crime solving / police dramas. (Think: Line Walker, Lives of Omission). However, it can also descend to crazy town right at the end so let’s just say I’m not holding my breath. There was a lot of story covered in the first week though, stuff which usually happens over 20 eps?
Szeto Shun (Kevin Cheng) was born for investigative work. In the police force, he was able to use the vast CCTV systems to observe and catch criminals before everyone else realise what’s even going on. He believes the ‘eyes in the sky’ are the evidence he needs to catch criminals. No one can escape if they’re caught on camera.
However, Szeto was the prime suspect in an arson case – because security cameras caught him (or a guy who looks exactly like him) on the premises before the fire started. Despite having an alibi for the night of the arson, his colleagues at the police force doesn’t really believe him. So Szeto quits in order to investigate on his own.
In his new career as the chief security of a luxury serviced apartment building, Szeto hires the bright and capable Cheng Lik Hang / Ah Lik (Ruco Chan). Despite Szeto’s high expectations and not so friendly personality, there seems to be a ‘connection’ between Szeto and Ah Lik. They share similar interests and motivations so they become friends very, very quickly. Szeto’s mum even commented this is the first time Szeto brought a friend back home for dinner. Suspicious much? That’s because it was revealed in episode 5 that Szeto and Ah Lik are actually long lost twins!
I think it’s fairly obvious that Ah Lik was the arsonist. After an 18 month disappearance, Ah Lik changed his appearance completely so he no longer looks like Szeto. Of course the question is – why did Ah Lik come back? What are his motivations? Is he the evil twin?
Noticed I haven’t mentioned Jan (Tavia Yeung)’s role in this although she is quite critical here. I thought we were in for the quickest OTP in history when she and ‘Szeto Sir’ (not the real one) spent some sexy times together in the FIRST episode. I also thought their interactions in that little tryst were rather cute and I was quite ready to jump on that ship already. Except it’s rather confusing because that was the fake Szeto. I’m guessing the real Ruco Ah Lik can’t be as playful now as he is hiding his true identity. Damn. Who can resist a handsome bad guy?
I’m not sure the percentage of viewers who tuned in especially for this cast but I bet there’s a lot of them. Afterall, Kevin Cheng hasn’t appeared in a TVB series since 2012’s Ghetto Justice 2. In addition, Ruco Chan and Tavia Yeung are both established leading actors in their own right. So this trio is a win. I didn’t realise how much I missed Kevin Cheng on my screen! (Didn’t watch the dramas he made in China…) My little confession here is that I used to like him back in the 90s, when he had the nickname ‘Baseball Boy’… OMG I feel old. Not to mention The Seventh Day is one of my favourite series forever… AND he made some of the better TVB series in recent years (Last One Standing, A Fistful of Stances, Ghetto Justice etc).
However, despite my long, but not crazy history, in my opinion Ruco Chan has the slight upper hand (at least in week 1) because Ruco’s character is the ambiguous one – is he good or bad? (I’m assuming he is the evil one but at this early stage, it’s not very clear.) There is a lot of potential in Ruco’s character, not to mention bad guys are always more interesting. So at the moment I want to see more of Ruco’s backstory – what happened in the missing 18 months? How does he actually feel about Tavia? LOL.
Now Tavia is an actress I’ve always feel quite neutral about. I wouldn’t consider her ‘beautiful’ but her acting is quite natural. Her role here, Jan, reminds me a lot of Sai Lei Mui (from The Mysteries of Love)? Maybe it’s the styling and the personality? Not very ambitious and happy to stay in the background. The difference here, is that she is very talented. Since the use of CCTV hasn’t really been that prominently featured in this series (yet), maybe Jan is the real ‘eye in the sky’. Every single detail she sees, she stores it in her memory. She’s like a human video camera and can even go back years to find some obscure detail. The synopsis describes it as ‘eidetic memory’, which according to Wikipedia is “an ability to recall images, sounds, or objects in memory after only a few instants of exposure, with high precision for some time after exposure.” Interesting. Never heard that word before. Who says dramas are not useful?
With three strong main cast members I can’t be greedy and expect all the supporting actors to be good. I probably watch 2 or 3 TVB series a year and Samantha Ko seem to feature in a lot of them. Despite her high appearance rate, her acting isn’t all that great. She’s becoming more watchable though, and doesn’t offend.
In contrast, this is the first time I’ve seen Tony Hung in a series and… so far, he’s doing nothing for me. When he was trying to chat up Samantha’s character (Agatha), he’s just coming across as creepy and pervy. Not a great combination. He doesn’t have much to do yet which could be a blessing. The best thing about Tony’s character… is his fake name! The one he used to check into the serviced apartment. (Lun Tai Lun) OMG, I almost died laughing. The joke is a bit old now, but it’s still hilarious.
Looking forward to…
More smirking from Ah Lik – it’s funny to see the look on his face when Jan recounts her night with ‘fake’ Szeto. I wonder how long it’ll take the real Szeto to discover the truth though? Will it be in week 2 since everything is happening so quickly?
The love triangle – So far, I see potential in both couples. Especially when Szeto starts to mentor Jan to develop her investigative skills. Not to mention, Ah Lik must’ve felt *something* for her if they slept together right?!?! If Ah Lik is really the ‘bad guy’ though the ending is only going to head towards one direction (see the poster?). But there was a lot of chemistry between Ah Lik and Jan, at least in episode 1. But hang on, that was Kevin playing Ruco… but Ruco’s ‘real’ character is rather charming… hrm. More confusion!
After watching 3 HKTV series I definitely noticed the difference. That supposedly ‘luxury’ apartment building had such bad (and cheap) decor and the supposed rooftop has appeared in so many series now (I can think of Bounty Lady and Overachievers just off the top of my head) it’s becoming very unrealistic. However, the most important aspect of a drama – the story (the cast follows closely behind lol) is interesting and after 5 episodes, there’s enough to hook the audience in.
It is looking rather promising so far, but as usual, I don’t want to get my hopes up!