First Impressions: Brother’s Keeper II (TVB, 2016)

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Brother’s Keeper II (巨輪II)

Genre: Modern Drama
Producer: Amy Wong
Length: 39 episodes

The Cast: Edwin Siu, Kristal Tin, Louis Yuen, Hugo Ng, Jade Leung, Grace Chan, Steven Cheung, Ruco Chan, Matt Yeung

There’s no time to miss Ruco. Right after A Fist Within Four Walls, Ruco returns once again as our favorite handsome and now-wise man and despite his lost soul in the first installment, he is back and still crossing boundaries and giving the new villain, Hugo Ng, a hard time. He is still as smart as his trendy glasses makes him look.

For the most part, Brother’s Keeper left a really bad taste in my mouth with the inconsistencies of Sam and him going down a shameless path for a while before redeeming his character. Ruco’s love for Linda was also too fairytale-like and idealistic for my liking, especially how Linda was always the first one to distrust Ruco when he’s going through a hard time. Who needs a woman like that?

Still, in episode five they finally had their fairytale ending, literally. Lucky her. I’d admit, the episode and scenes of Ruco and Edwin coming to town to track down Linda’s whereabouts were very nicely filmed, especially with all the tourist spots outside of HK that indeed made the production seemed grandeur and more adventurous. I can’t believe I actually shed a tear or two (and admitted that I did) when Ruco expresses his infinite love for her despite her handicapped situation. Their wedding location was beautiful and now that they have their happy ending, perhaps Linda will follow Ruco and return to the states and never return again. That means Ruco who was slated to be a recurring guest star will be gone after the fifth episode too.

My liking for Edwin and Kristal’s characters and storylines, even if it was merely a friendship, has always been more consistent and stable. It’s sad that Ruco is no longer a leading character for the sequel because he seems even hotter in this one than the last, but Edwin and Kristal can be strong leading characters as well.

I simply can’t get enough of Kristal’s sassiness and her ways of saying it like it is.

My assumption is that Edwin will go through something similar of that of what happened to Ruco. Of course, that’s not hard to imagine now that his single street food stall has expanded to a chain of business across Macau and HK. The profit-minded Hugo who has a knack for getting what he wants is no sheep.

Speaking of the devil, it’s nice to see Hugo back again as the villain; it’s refreshing to see someone other than KK Cheung with some charisma as the bad guy. While Jade Leung is also a new face, her beauty doesn’t fade and having to play the 46-year-old mother of 31-year-old actor, Steven Cheung, is taking it a bit far. For someone in his 50’s, Hugo definitely looks older than his age with all the gray hairs, but still appears very physically compatible with Jade.

Finally, Matt Yeung and Grace Chan joins the cast as an ex-convict and friend of Ruco and Edwin’s new love interest, respectively. I just learned that Grace is Hugo’s wild and free-spirited daughter and of course, that will be the case, creating a rift between Edwin and Grace when he has to choose between his business and principles or love.

Both Matt and Grace appears to be an promising addition, but the writers of Brother’s sure like to pair their diamond bachelors with goddess-like female soulmates.

Perhaps I was just tired of the from rags-to-riches story in the first installment not to mention, it spanned over a decade or two, cramming too many significant time periods in HK and Macau in 40 episodes, thus almost making it a period-driven drama more than a character-driven one, but since the sequel takes place in modern-day HK, it doesn’t have the liability of following some historical timeline to create conflict and unnecessary drama.

Either way, Brother’s made it to the sequel and it’s certainly the type of series that HK and TVB audiences seem to favor with the common themes revolving around, family, love, and business while the characters attempt to either challenge boundaries or find a mutually agreeable medium between those three.

What do you think?

What are your initial thoughts about the series?