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Aqua Heroes
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Aqua Heroes (20 Episodes)
* reviewed by Bridget

Main Characters:
Edwin Siu Jing Lam as Tong Gai Lok (Edwin)
Bobo Chan Mun Woon as Yau Han (Busy Jeh)
Bosco Wong Jung Jak as Chui Siu Lui (Louis)
Leila Tong Ling as Yau Wing (Rain)

Supporting Cast:
Stephy Tang (from Cookies) as Siu Fung (Stephy)
Theresa Fu (from Cookies) as Wun Yau (Theresa)
Chapman To as Sam

Plot Summary [ warning: SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS ]
Busy and Rain are sisters who were separated at a very young age. Due to a misunderstanding between their parents, Busy stayed in Hong Kong and grew up under the care of their father, while Rain was taken to the US by their mother and grew up there. Their parents, however, never got a divorce since they are still deeply in love with each other. The reason they separated all those years ago is because they each thought the other was having an affair. Busy has grown up to become a sweet, thoughtful, and selfless girl. She is especially sympathetic and nicer than the average person because she grew up with a disability- Busy was born with one leg longer than the other. Since she was a child she has had to wear special shoes, and when walking or running she often trips and falls. Rain has grown up to become extremely competitive and ambitious, a spoiled little brat who nonetheless has a good heart.

Fast forward around 18 years, and we begin the series in the summer of Hong Kong, where the youth of the series are enjoying their summer vacation and the main theme of the series is introduced- swimming. Busy's father Yau Dak was an extremely famous swimmer back in his day, and for years Busy has lived with him and her father's close friends and "students" of the same teacher, all well-known and accomplished swimmers who have retired. However, when Yau Dak's swim team comes under the threat of being kicked out of the local swimming association, Yau Dak comes out of retirement to try and save his team. This is futile, however, since he does not have enough time to prepare before the deciding competition. His swim team is therefore stuck with the 6am-8am time slot only, and this proves problematic since his so-called "team" consists of young children who would onetheless find it difficult to wake up that early.

Rain returns to Hong Kong when she discovers that her father is not dead, but actually alive and living with the older sister she also has never known. Rain also happens to be a top swimmer who takes after her talented father. However, she refuses to acknowledge their relationship when she witnesses Yau Dak's inferiority in swimming and when she discovers the misunderstanding between her parents. She also refuses to acknowledge the existence of Busy as her blood older sister because Busy and good friend Stephy tricked her after misunderstanding that Rain was bullying an old man.

As for Busy, she has stalked Edwin for two years, following and staring at him every morning in the park where he jogs. Feeling inferior due to her disability, Busy has not yet worked up the courage to introduce herself, much to the chagrin of good friend Stephy. By coincidence, however, Edwin shows up at the pool. Stephy makes good use of this chance and forces Busy to introduce herself to him, and they become friends. When it is revealed that Edwin was at the pool to write an evaluation against Yau Dak, however, Busy is disappointed and ends
their friendship. Louis, who has been good friends with Busy and Edwin for years, helps them make up, which angers Rain since she has started to fall in love with Edwin. Louis, however, also has a thing for Rain- she is the girl he "proposed" to online.

Rain straightforwardly tells Edwin that she has fallen in love with him, who is confused about his own feelings between Busy and Rain. Busy keeps her own feelings quiet, and Rain is overjoyed when Edwin doesn't reject her love. She also joins Yau Dak's swim team in an effort to save their position in the local swimming association. Busy is forced to swim in a competition when Theresa comes down with a stomachache, and she is rewarded with media attention, sponsorship for their team, and also a position as spokesperson for the team. This angers
Rain and she becomes ruthlessly jealous, as she has always been the most talented and hardworking swimmer on the team. Rain becomes more angry and jealous when Edwin breaks up with her and when she realizes that he has always loved Busy, so without notifying Yau Dak's team (named the Angel team in opposition to the other team called Evil or Devils) Rain rejoins the Devils team. The Devils team is headed by Lok Hau Yun, who happens to be Yau Dak's "see dai" and also the man who he suspected had an affair with his wife. In reality, they never had the affair although Yun has tried to pursue Yau Dak's wife Yee for years.

Yun is also the villain of the series, stealing the Angel team's design for a specialized bathing suit and also badmouthing Yau Dak in front of Yee. He also proposes to Yee, who accepts but then runs away before the honeymoon when she realizes that she still loves Yau Dak. The misunderstanding between he parents is revealed, and they get back together. Yun uses steroids to ensure that his Devils team will be victorious in the upcoming competition, and when Rain has terrible reactions to the drugs, Yun kicks her off the team. It is then that
Rain acknowledges her true friends and family, and rejoins the Angel team. However, it is revealed that her contract with the Devils team can only be terminated if she is able to cough up five million dollars, which means one thing- Busy must replace her.

But there is yet another problem. Busy trains so hard that her leg comes down with an infection, and she is unable to swim and must also go under a risky operation. She also treats Edwin coldly, who admits to being in love with her but didn't admit it in front of his other friends. Joe comes and saves the day- he is another guy on the Angel team who has always been laughed at for being poor and cheap. In reality, he is filthy rich but acts poor per his father's request because he was once kidnapped as a child. He provides the five million dollars and Rain trains for the Angel team again. Edwin decides to leave to Italy with his parents when he believes that Busy will never forgive him and doesn't trust that he truly loves her. The day he leaves, Busy suddenly decides that she will forgive him, and rushes to the airport with one of her friends. On the way, she gets into an accident and goes into a coma. This is also the day of the competition. Rain insists they compete because this is Busy's one true wish, and so they head for the pool.

The competition is tense and dramatic, and the Devils team wins by a nanosecond. Dejected, the Angel team rushes to the hospital to see Busy, and there they see the Devils team being wheeled in, each member looking very unhealthy from the drugs. The truth about Yun using steroids is revealed, and the boss/sponsor of
the Devils team fires Yun on the spot. The Angel team, Yau Dak, and Yee all boo him on the spot. Because the use of steroids disqualifies the Devils team, the Angel team automatically becomes champion. Overjoyed, they rush back to the pool and bring back the trophy to the hospital to show Busy, but are horrified when they see Busy being wheeled in for an operation...

Fast forward one month. Joe and Theresa are going out, and Sam and Stephy have formed a mini-singer band called Double S. Rain is touched by Louis' profession of love, but must return to the US to finish her university degree. However, she agrees to continue being Louis' "online wife" and Louis is estatic. Edwin returns from Italy, and shows Busy the pair of shoes he has designed for her. She is in a wheelchair, and Edwin tells her that he is willing to push her for the rest of her life. When he starts to put the shoe on Busy's foot, she kicks him in the pool. The operation not only cured her infection, but the doctor was also able to fix her disability and now Busy can walk like any average person with normal shoes. The whole group comes out to the pool and cheers when Edwin
pulls Busy into the pool with him, and the group jumps into the pool after them. Happy ending for everyone.


Series Links
Series information from TVB Official site (Chinese)



Evaluation of the Cast and Characters
- Bobo Chan as Busy (Yau Han)
A decent job considering she's an amateur actress. At certain times she was cute, but as the series went on it seems that Bobo got less and less pretty. Some of her facial expressions were quite comic, and her best scene was when she broke down in tears when Busy revealed to her friend that she was terrified about the operation. Of course, this series is solely founded on singers-gone-actors, so not much is expected. However, Bobo Chan did do an average job, with not too much overacting. The love that her character had for Edwin's character seemed a bit too much- even when she thinks she's about to die during the car accident Busy is still thinking of Edwin.

- Edwin Siu as Edwin (Tong Gai Lok)
The worst acting out of the newbie actors. He isn't that bad, but compared to the other new actors Edwin Siu is the worst. He is good-looking, and looked best in the jogging gear and casual gear (his "formal" look with vest, slacks and shirt is no good). The problem with him is that this character was clear-cut carbon-copy made for Edwin- Tong Gai Lok is a decent, good-looking, nice guy. There is nothing too outstanding about him. I can only say that his acting was below average and his character didn't give him much to work with. His character, however, was quite cruel when he revealed his love for Busy, but then didn't have the courage to admit it when asked about her by his other friends. Also, Edwin doesn't look good with Bobo or Leila, although the chemistry was okay.

- Bosco Wong as Louis (Chui Siu Lui)
An average job by a new actor I've never seen before. Not much to say, since it seems that this character was also carbon-copy made for the actor. However, his character's love and devotion to Rain was touching and pretty reflective of puppy love between young people.

- Leila Tong as Rain (Yau Wing)
The best job from the new actors. She portrayed the spoiled, competitive, and blunt character of Rain very well and her crying scenes were also well done. Leila's best scenes were when she realizes that her coach gave her steroids, and when she breaks down in tears in the hospital. A good casting decision but she does not look very sister-like with Bobo.

- Other Performances
Stephy: An okay job but too much overacting in a role that was also carbon-copy made for her. However, she is pretty and even cute in some scenes. Theresa: She really appears TB in this series but looks okay with the actor who plays Joe. The actor who plays Joe and Chapman To did average jobs acting- they didn't have much to work with.


There are too many ridiculous and unbelievable things in this series. Most of them consist of the swimming "skills" that are actually completely unfeasible even with steroids- this includes the "peen sek june sunn" (which consists of the swimmer bouncing on the water like a pebble when turning- this is actually against the rules in a real swimming competition because the swimmer is not allowed to exit the surface of the water when turning) and the "por bing june sek" (which consists of the swimmer flying through the water like a turbo-screwdriver). The high-tech analysis machines and laptops were also unbelievable; I doubt even teams training for the Olympics have this kind of equipment. The subplots involving medicine and doctors were even more ridiculous. How was Stephy able to get her hands on a real X-ray to help Busy get out of her dilemma? And at the end, Busy reveals that her doctors were not only able to cure her infection, but also able to cure her leg disability. How is this possible? Earlier on in the series it was stated that her long-short leg problem could not be solved because she was born with this disability. Also, Busy's friend from the hospital is in a wheelchair, but he's able to drive?! How is this possible?!

Other things were just cheesy. Edwin, Stephy, and Theresa all have the same character names in real life and in the series. The fantasy scene where Busy imagines herself as Cinderella and Edwin as Prince Charming was also very cheesy. It was cheesy but also predictable to have Stephy attain her dream of becoming a singer in the series.


In General
I began watching this series with literally zero expectations. Why? Because Bobo, Edwin, Stephy, Theresa, Leila...literally every single main character was to be played by brand-new actors who mostly crossed over from singing careers. I expected this series to be the ultimately cheesy teenybopper series that was targeted at 15-year-olds who idolized new teen stars Cookies and Edwin Siu. However, I was actually pleasantly surprised. Although the acting is underaverage, it was not as bad as I imagined it to be (Leila Tong, for example, does a decent job). The plot is also relatively interesting, and most importantly, doesn't drag. There were some comic scenes, and although the cast consists of all-new singer-crossover actors, they did an average job holding up the series and undoubtedly, because the cast consists of 20 year-olds playing 20-year-olds, their acting becomes even more believable and so does the story. The swimming aspect, although ridiculous at times, does add some spice to the story and the lessons of teamwork are not preached but presented in a believable way. But remember, the acting is indeed below average but what to expect of a series led by a bunch of teenybopper singers? I would recommend this series, but only to someone who truly has nothing to do and wants to kill time. If you do decide to watch it, go in with absolutely no expectations and you may be pleasantly surprised.

Rating (scale of 1-5, the higest is 5):3 - OK



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