First Impressions: Two Steps From Heaven (TVB, 2016)

Two Steps From Heaven (幕後玩家)

Genre: Modern Drama/Romance
Length: 35 episodes
Producer: Joe Chan

Cast: Bosco Wong, Edwin Siu, Louis Cheung, Priscilla Wong, Katy Kung, Moon Lau, Sarah Sung, Alice Chan, Pat Poon, Jacquelin Chong, etc.

There is talk about potential breakthrough performances in Two Steps From Heaven even before the series started airing. I’m like, “What?!” After the first five episodes, this series that revolves around young (not really) and bright PR superstars Bosco, Edwin, and Louis is certainly exciting not only for the actor’s performances and complex characters, but also for the romance and unpredictability behind it. Is it really going to be a breakthrough performance for these guys?

I can’t tell yet, especially with 35 episodes, we will really have to see how the characters evolve. Two Steps From Heaven really shows that it has potential to be an anniversary series although it might not surpass the success of Fist Within Four Walls. This is the kind of exciting anniversary series that seems popular among HK audience: smart and ambitious characters who sacrifices family and friends to get what they want while slipping morals under the cracks.

As old as the formula is, it seems to work for many audiences.

Produced by Joe Chan who made Aqua Heroes in 2003 when Bosco and Edwin were still rookie stars, Two Steps reunites these two handsome faces with a bit more style and class in 2016. Bosco who plays Sheldon is clearly the star of the PR team and leads his friends Edwin and Louis in solving many PR crises while being backstabbed by Sarah Sung, who is jealous of his talent. In his personal life, he is married to Katy with a lovely six-year-old daughter while having an affair with his PR associate, Moon Lau.

While I’m quite disappointed in Katy’s “fake” performance as a professional writer and mature and soft-spoken wife, Moon’s Emma-by-day and Black Pearl-by-night split personality promises way more complexity. Moon’s emotions are clearly still raw even in her attempts to lure Bosco’s attention and tell Louis her unfortunate childhood of growing up in a single-parent home. Yet Moon still brings more enthusiasm, mystery, and sparks to her role despite her unclear Cantonese.

Perhaps the writers intended to contrast Katy and Moon’s characters, but I find it hard to see that anyone will ship the whole Bosco and Katy couple. Bosco is a loving father and meets the criteria of a good husband on paper, but why is in involved with Moon when he knows he’s not her final destination?

Bosco is clearly my primary motivation to watch Two Steps, but if you are a bit more old-schooled when it comes to love, you’d love the Edwin and Priscilla match. Although I’m a little heart-struck in his inability to express his love to his ex, Priscilla, Edwin’s loyalty to his college sweetheart might impress some. The best part is perhaps seeing a real life couple act as an onscreen couple again. Still, I was a little thrown off by Edwin’s inability to come up with a creative pick up line to make Priscilla stay, especially when he works in PR! C’mon seriously?

Louis continues to impress me as a natural and suave actor. Amongst the three men, he is the most humorous, usually with his failed and cheesy pick up lines. If you didn’t know better, you’d totally think he’s doing that purposely to screw with your mind. Unlike Edwin whom he always teases for thinking about his ex, Louis doesn’t take relationships as seriously despite his attempts to woo Moon when he frequent night clubs.

Whether this will turn out to be merely an idol drama or something more substantial, it’s a little too early too tell. I’m definitely continuing for Bosco, Louis, and possibly even Moon!

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