The Grand Canal
(Hoàng Hà Ðại Phong Vân)
A TVB production - 1987 (Posted 01/12/02)
|Felix Wong Yat Wah
||Huỳnh Nhật Hòa
||Lương Triều Vĩ
||Trương Tam Lang
||Âu Thoại Vĩ
||Lưu Thanh Vân
||Lý Thế Vân
||Ngô Khải Hòa
|Liu Kai Chi
||Lưu Khải Trí
||Trần Ngọc Liên
||Dương Lan Linh
||Trần Tú Châu
||Tôn Quê Phu Nhân
|Cheng Yim Foong
||Trịnh Diễm Phương
||Lý Xuân Nhi
|Wong Yee Gum
||Huỳnh Vĩ Cầm
||Trương Xúc Trần
||Tăng Hoa Thiên
||Trưởng Tôn Vô Cấu
||Lạc ứng Quần
||Lưu Văn Tịnh
- This is one of the "grandest" TVB production with a huge cast and great plot.
I have to refer you to Long's page since he already did such a detailed and excellent summary.
- This series has many villains, heroes and beauties; it does not revolve around just a couple of stars. All the characters are main but also supporting at the same time. There was such a balance of screen time, and everybody's costumes were gorgeous. In addition, the whole cast looks good (yes, even the villains).
- If I were the scriptwriter: Felix would have a love interest: either Idy or Margie,
that would add more heats to the conflicts that he already had with Tony or Sean, respectively!
Felix was just basically a "power hungry" and wicked man; he needed to obsess
either one of the above lovely ladies in addition to his ambition. Wouldn't you agree that the series
would be even more interesting?
- Likes: all the songs (especially the theme music); costumes, make up, hairdos;
fighting scenes; but most of all, the superb performance of this strong cast!
- The characters:
The most interesting character with a mix of good and dangerous traits: intelligent, great martial art skills, ambitious, conniving, "fake" gentleman. The audience does not know that he is a villain until the second half of the series. I feel terribly deceived by this character who could "camouflage" himself that well. As I mention above, no lady for him? What a pity....Look at Trương Tam Lang and Lý Tịnh, they have to struggle with more than one woman!
Trương Tam Lang
Very straightforward, talented, loyal with friends and lover, but too gullible with the women. Ironically, many women were attracted to him easily. A little bit weird with the beard, and his laugh could irritate the princess in the beginning of the series :-). The only woman he loved was our stubborn and beautiful princess. I like the part when they were trapped in the cave, and he used her as an analogy with the poisonous mushroom: pretty but dangerous! By the way, he could use a more romantic analogy: he should compare her as a beautiful rose with thorns (still means pretty but dangerous); he used "fungus" instead ;-)! LOL!
The nice version of Lý Mật because he only possessed the good qualities. Through many obstacles (even being misunderstood by his lovely wife), he was the one that could burst Lý Mật's devious conspiracy. Although he totally loved his wife (Trương Xúc Trần), he did have second thoughts of another woman (Tôn Quê Phu Nhân). This is one of the parts that glued me to the chair anticipating about his decision....I believed that he would be romantically involved with Tôn Quê Phu Nhân if his wife did not find them in time. That would be interesting to see. As you can tell, I always want all of these characters' love life to be more complicated.
|Lý Thế Vân
He's the "man" of the entire series: he was calm, patient, generous, meticulous, smart, and he honored his family, friendship and love. He first appeared on the scene that he apologized to Lý Tịnh for his family's unfriendly behavior. He always came to the right decision although he had to struggle among the value of family, friendship, and the king. His love life was simple since he only loved Trưởng Tôn Vô Cấu. You could see the sadness in his eyes when she initially had a crush on Tam Lang.
A major villain of the series. I had a hard time determining who was more wicked: Lý Mật or Dương Quãng? And the award went to....Dương Quãng. To name a few, he strangled his sister-in-law and her sister; choked his mother; stabbed his father; framed his older brother several times then finally stabbed him as well; and killed his uncle. You may ask "why did he kill all of the relatives?" The answer: just because he was the younger child and was not born to be the heir of the throne. So this guy stopped at nothing in order to become the king. Under his harsh ruling, the peasants suffered in paying high taxes and had to build the Grand Canal, so he could tour Giang Nam on the dragon boat. Stealing others' wife was one of his hobbies. He even wanted to court one of his father's cocumbines!
The sweetest guy of the show. He was too sweet and too nice that made me wanting to become his friend, but I honestly don't think he would be a great king as Lý Thế Vân. As a leader of the kingdom, of course kindness is one of the top qualifications; however, he also needs to be firm, consistent, determined and cannot be blinded by the loved ones. Dương Dũng paid the price of his parents and wife's life (and eventually the throne) due to his absolute trust in his younger brother despite so many warnings from other people.
Dương Lan Linh
A self-determining and obstinate princess. She's very down to earth. Like Dương Dũng, she could not stand it when people warned her about the real Dương Quãng. I was not too impressed about the way she handled issues when she was framed for some crimes that she did not commit. Outspoken and clever as she was, I expect her to do a better job at self-defensing; however, she got herself in worse situation after aggravating others.
Trương Xúc Trần
Another tough lady. It took a lot of nerves to tell a guy about your feelings towards him at that ancient time. She did it! She even ran away with him. Lý Tịnh and she made such a perfect couple. While everybody guessed that her husband would take Tôn Quê Phu Nhân on the simple route, she decided to search for them through the mountains, and she was correct. If she did not find them in time, who knows what might happen with them two! They probably stayed in the mountains with a couple of rabbits :-). Although she forgave her husband, but she was tortured and always wanted to know whether he kept a second woman's image in his heart. Her doubts were ended when he honestly confessed his feelings in front of Tôn Quê Phu Nhân's grave.
Tôn Quê Phu Nhân
I consider her as the most unfortunate character. As a princess of a former empire, she became one of the new king's cocumbines. Luckily, he treated her nicely; however, he had one of the most horrible sons, Dương Quãng. (He tried to rape her once although his father was still alive). Knowing the secret of the king's death, she was hunted down by different sides. She eventually got rescued by Lý Tịnh, but hey, he's a married guy as well! His conflicts between his wife and her were another highlight of the plot.
Trưởng Tôn Vô Cấu
Playful and a little childish, yet this character was gradually developed as the series progressed. Who wouldn't be more mature when dating a serious guy like Lý Thế Vân? Anyway, she would look so adorable with Lý Mật! (Note: a "little" subjective here), hehe.
Ah ha, another villain! He's Dương Dũng and Dương Quãng's uncle, and he chose to back up the younger prince because the older one did not give much respect. He thought that he could control Dương Quãng, but he was wrong.
Most annoying characters:
Lý Xuân Nhi :
Her good-evil cycle irated me: she started out as a naive and innocent girl---got bad influence from her brother---tricked, poisened, killed and framed people---lost her memory---good again.
While her brother did not obsess anybody, she really obessed with Tam Lang! Although she saved Tam Lang's life at the end, I still find her as a real pain in the b...tt!
Lưu Văn Tịnh:
I cannot stand his gesture (his evil eyes and the way he always rubbed the corner of his mouth when he was thinking).
He was faithful to his master, and he used it as an excuse to do whatever he wanted (even to go
as far as attempting to kill anybody that he thought would be a threat to his master).
Most interesting part: Felix was revealed as the "trouble maker." Not
just to Jimmy's shock/disgrace, it was to the audience's as well.