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Perish in the Name of Love
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Perish in the Name of Love (32 episodes)
*reviewed by TVB Square

Main Storyline
The story sets at the end of Ming Dynasty, when the country is facing many problems, including lots of wars against the enemies who wants to take over the dynasty. There are two major parts to the main story, one involves with how the Emperor Chongzhen (Moses Chan) facing the problems within the country, and the struggles around him. The other is the love story of Princess Chang Ping (Charmaine Sheh) and Chow Sai Hin (Steven Ma), they went through lots of difficulties together, they also separated apart and reunited six different times...


Characters and Performances
Charmaine Sheh - Princess Chang Ping

She is the favorite daughter of the Emperor, she is very kind, very nice, she always threats everyone the warmest way, which makes lots of people love her, except her sister Sonija. Charamine did an awesome job as Princess Chang Ping, I especially loves the way she treats people, makes me feel touching. People always doesn't like her at the beginning, but she didn't mind, and still threats them the best way. There is once, she was sent to do the kitchen work in the palace, the main chef there is really mean, and wants to send her away from the palace very badly. But Charmaine wanted to learn everything from him, she even shares her love story to the chef, which makes him changes his attitude towards Charmaine completely. There is another time, when Annie Man (who is engaged to Steven Ma) realized Charmaine and Steven are in love, Annie was really mad, and hurt herself while riding a horse. Charmaine felt bad, and she is willing to leave Steven, she also tries to find the best medicine for Annie, her efforts touches Annie, and they became really good friends, good enough that Annie died because of helping her... There is also one time, the emperor orders Charmaine to marry a some solider, so that he will not go against the emperor. Charmaine accepts the marriage, and tells the emperor she is willing to do anything for him and the country, the emperor realized how good his daughter is, and appointed Steven to be her husband... Anyway, I think you know the point here, as long as you nice to others, you will get something nice in return, except some extreme circumstances, such as having a evil sister like Sonija, who will always against you no matter what

Steven Ma - Chow Sai Hin
This is a main character, but he always gives me a feeling that he doesn't do much... Don't give me wrong, I love Steven, and I think he is perfect for this role. However, all this character has to offer is his love to Charmaine, his cannons, and his army. Well, his army is not that strong, he lost lots of soldiers, thanks to Moses, who didn't trust him enough. His cannons are not that good, thanks to the enemies, who has cannons which are ten times better. He also has very much love for Charmaine, of course, they began to date since they were six years old. But, you don't get to see them together that much, thanks to the six times they had to separate apart. Everytime they reunion, they will be calling each other's name first, then gives a big hug, then some tears, then we move on to the next scene... Basically, you got the idea of what I think of this character, I don't see much importance of him... However, Steven did very good here, I just love him, he looks great in those ancient outfit, he looks great with his sad look, and he looks great with Charmaine

Moses Chan - Emperor Chongzhen
Here comes my favorite character of this series, and the best acting award also goes to Moses. First of all, this Emperor is little stupid at the beginning, who trust too many bad officials, and send the Empress (Maggie Siu) and her daughters away from the palace. Second of all, he gets little crazy and becoming crazier and crazier towards the end, because of the fact the country is falling apart, and everyone around him are either stupid or evil. The good thing is, Maggie Siu and Charmaine came back to the palace and helping him, it was a little late, but they still helped a lot. Then, there is Steven, who also helps him in some wars. Third of all, he uses lots of efforts to save his country towards the end, he uses too much efforts, his tries very hard, even he is willing to give away one of his concubine Chan Yuen Yuen (Anne Heung) to his favorite soldier Ng Sam Gwai (Marco Ngai), however, everything just failed like they meant to be, the dynasty is over... I feel lots of pity for this character, because all of the works he did to save the country, save his solider, and winning his war, but nothing just went right for him. I remember there is a famous saying came out of this emperor (in the real history), he said before his death, "the emperor is not the reason why this dynasty ends, it is because of the people who work for the emperor". In this series, you can tell he was right, because he trust too many evil people at the beginning, which allow them to do lots of bad things to the country... I also felt very impressed by Moses' acting skills, I think he also put lots of efforts to play this Emperor. I see a huge improvement from him, ever since "Family Man", I begin to like him more and more, and this series just brings his acting skills to the next level

Maggie Siu - Empress Chow

Maggie Siu is a perfect actress, she always gives the best efforts, best performances, however she is just not perfect for this role. I think she looks way to young to play Charmaine and Sonija's mother. The make up just don't seem right, especially when she plays as a servant for the Emperor, she looks like Chairmane and Sonija's sister, not a mother. Plus, she doesn't act as a mother, there is once, Sonija steals some money to run her own business, Maggie went around and begged everyone to borrow some money... this just doesn't feel right... there are lots of things she does, just doesn't feel right... gives me a strange feeling... don't know how to describe it, I guess you will know what I am saying once you watch the series

Michael Tong - Chor Sing Hing
I also loves this character very much, because he is funny, he is bold, he also has lots of love for Charmaine, but Charmaine only loves Steven. Michael knew that, and accept this fact, but he is still willing to help Charmaine, and sacrifice anything for her, including a fake marriage. He had to marry Charmaine once, in order to protect her from the Qing soldiers (the enemy of the Ming Dynasty). He is the best friend of Steven and Charmaine, the perfect friend everyone dreams to have. Michael gives a wonderful performances in this series, he makes you laugh lots of times, which makes his character very enjoyable. You will appreciate every single thing he does for Charmaine...

Sonija Kwok - Princess Chiu Yan
She is Charmaine's sister, she is Moses and Maggie's daughter, but why is she so evil? First of all, she is Sonija, she is meant to be playing this evil role, remember "Where the Legend Begins"? It is hard to compare which Sonija is more evil, but it is easy to say her performances are still suck. Second of all, whenever you see a nice girl, who is way too nice, and makes you feel surreal, she always and always has an evil sister. I have very little to say about this character, what is there to talk about? She makes too many people suffer, and tills the end, I still have no idea what she truly wants, is it love, money, power, or all of above? This character is too hateful, and you just don't want to see her face too often...

Jay Lau - Tin Fei
She is another evil character in the series, who made the Maggie and Charmaine suffered a lot. She is also has major responsibility for the end of the dynasty. Jay is very good for evil roles, and she is the best when she is pretending to be nice. You can totally feel the differenences.

Annie Man - Lee Yuk Han

She loves Steven very much, however he is not meant to be with her, so she dies, in a very stupid way: felt on the ground, and hit the stairs, and that is it. She dies because she wants to help Charmaine, but Charmaine was charged for the death of Annie. Charmaine also got locked up in jail, then the whole thing just got forgotten, tills the end, no one mentions why and how she dies, only us, the audiences know...

Anne Heung - Chan Yuen Yuen
In the real history, she is the major cause of the end of Ming Dynasty, because of love. She and Marco are deeply in loved, but due to some misunderstanding, Anne becomes the Emperor's concubine. When Anne and Marco reunions in the palace, the Emperor discovered their affair, but he wants to keep Marco so bad, that he is willing to give Anne to Marco. However, things didn't go the right way... Anne's part was really really small, she didn't appear much, there are no much importance of this character other than the fact that she is the one causes Marco to leave the Empero

Marco Ngai - Ng Sam Gwai
Basically, he didn't work for the Emperor and his country because of one woman, the woman he loves deeply, which makes him went crazy enough, and ignoring the country suffering. You can say he is stupid and extremely stupid, because all he thinks about is love, and no one else


Key Points
The Themesong
I totally love the main themesong sang by Charmaine and Steven, that song is so touching, and I remembered the lyrics frontwards and backwards. Seems like my favorite song of the year so far. Also, the ending song, sing by Steven alone, the slow one, also very beautiful... I loves Steven's voice, he is perfect to sing sad songs because he has very deep voices

The Outfits
There are lots of outfits I really really like to own! For example, the wedding dress Charmaine was wearing, also some of Sonija's outfits, no matter how much I dislike that character, I still likes her outfits. The Emperor's outfit is pretty good too, and the best one is Steven's, his wedding outfit looks so cool

The Performances
Actually, everyone did pretty good job in this series other than Sonija, which nothing surprises me, because we got lots of good actors and actress in this series, and we still get the evil Sonija, so you pretty much can imaging the performances you will expect. Moses was the only "big" surprises for me, because I was not expecting his role to be that major. Charmaine was pretty good as well, like I said, her performances are pretty touching. Steven is also a great actor, however, I didn't get to see his tears, what is up with that?

The Love Story
I will say the love story takes about 40% of the story, because Charmaine and Steven were in love the first moment we see them, then we just get to see them separate and reunion, then we see some struggles, difficulties happened when they were together, which causes them to separate and reunion again... that goes six times. Everytime they are apart, they pray to God, so that they can meet again soon, which is very touching, but everytime they get back together, it wasn't very long, then they had to separate, which is torture... Especially the last one, Charmaine was sent away to be a nun, and Steven was send away to unknown place. They hugged for a long time, and they were forced to say goodbye. Anyways you don't get to see them together so often, but the chemistry still really great. However, you are not going to expect to see any kissing scenes what so ever, all Chairmane and Steven did was hugs, hmm.... what is up with that?

The Story
If you want to learn a history lesson, then you should not pay too much attention to this series. I think the story is only about 30% accurate to the real history, especially that ending, totally screw-up the whole thing (see below for details). Also, the emperor in the real history is a lot more worse than Moses, trust me, because his saying about "the emperor is not the reason why this dynasty ends, it is because of the people who work for the emperor" was like a joke in the history, because it is the way he wants people not blaming on him. But, in this series, that saying fits the story perfectly, and you will feel pity for the emperor. Other than the accuracy factor, there are lots of factors in the series you just don't care much about, don't give me wrong, the series was not dragging, there are lots of things happening, but, you can feel less care about some little factors within the story. You basically will be like, "ok... so what?!" Anyways, you don't get much point out of it, that is what I meant

The Ending
If you don't think the ending is suck, then there is something wrong with you. I don't want to give away too much, but I want to tell you, you will hate this ending! Not only screw up the themesong, it also screw up the whole story, screw up the beginning, and screw up the whole idea! I just hope the camera will stop at this one point, doesn't go any further, and make it a cut, I will feel so much better... If you have no clue what I am talking about, go see the ending youself

The Recommendation
Let me summarize with an equation, if you don't like any factors, or don't belong to any of the factors in my Perish in the Name of Love Equation, then this series is not for you, OK, here goes: Moses Chan lovers + Charmaine, Steven, Michael fans + 30% of history lesson + evil Sonija + 32 episodes of a torture love story + a suck ending + something you don't really care + a great themesong + wants to kill sometime + see how a dynasty ends, so that you will never do the same thing = Perish in the Name of Love

The Review
Believe me or not, I wrote this review for two and a half hours total, I hope you enjoying reading it, and get something out of it, but you don't have to agree every single thing I wrote, thanks for reading this far, I think you should take a short break, and don't forget to take a look at the screen captures, I have a lot!



Perish in the Name of Love
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