Drama Review: Black and White

Black and White... it's my currently favorite Chinese drama as of late. While it may suggest at first it wouldn't be that good with Vic Zhou taking the lead role as Chen Zai Tien, it turned out different. It was in fact a pretty good script if I'm to say so, with the twist and turns, murders, deception and crime solving which involves a lot of personalities from the police officers to the antagonists while chasing after a huge syndicate they never knew of, while trying to put an end to the local mafia known as the San Lian Hui.  For acting, it was really well done even for Vic Zhou who was at first berated for his lack of effort. Mark Chao acting out as Wu Ying Xiong even if he's not that good but he had a respectable performance. The rest, well they did their best but not anything spectacular compared to Vic Zhou's rise to improvement in this series.

Vic Zhou and Mark Chao's parts as contrasting cops was something. Vic Zhou who is somewhat corrupt and simple minded in contrast to Mark Chao who is straight, professional and almost emotionless, not to mention he can get pretty arrogant to answer back at his superiors if they slack off. And of course, when their team-up begins, Vic Zhou's character Chen Zai Tien starts to flesh out throughout the whole series as he and Wu Ying Xiong get caught in a bigger picture that there is more than San Lian Hui that's causing trouble. They were later joined by Xiu Je Kai who acted out as Mao Xiao Ming, who was also in Mars together with Vic Zhou.  The three would soon become a team that would tackle Sarkozy.

There were a few hints of love interests. Janine Zhang's character as Lan Xi Ying was hinted with either Wu Xing Yiong or Chen Zai Tien and the same was with Ivy Chen who played as Chen Lin, daughter of the San Lian Hui's boss Lao Tu (Paul Chun). I have to give my credit to these two ladies.  Janine Zhang who I first saw in "The Hospital" would later return here with other fellow cast from the same series.  Her role here was what I'd call beyond the medical.  While she is a forensics expert, she turns out to be one kickass doctor.  Lan Xi Ying always remains the ever ready portable laboratory of sorts.  As for Ivy Chen, her performance as Chen Lin is convincing for a bratty daughter of a Mafia lord.  After all she didn't play with dolls but with toy guns since she was very young.

They were trapped in a series of confusions especially with the paternity issues since Chen Zai Tien and later Wu Ying Xiong were once though to be the half-brother of Ivy Chen. However it was later discovered Wu Ying Xiong was the illegitimate son of a politician who was allies with the San Lian Hui.

What was also interesting is that despite the existence of San Lian Hui, they weren't the most evil characters, rather they were merely anti-heroes of sorts.  They may be mafia but they had a high code of honor compared to that of Sarkozy.  So at first I was led to think that the Sarkozy were what I'd call the main villains in the show when they were not.  It also because an issue that Chen Zai Tien was actually connected to San Lian Hui and that its boss was responsible for his surgery and identity change.  That of course the issue is that being a somewhat corrupt cop, he actually was taking bribes from a local mafia who would later help them tackle a greater evil in Sarkozy.  And of course Chen Lin the only daughter (and child) of the Mafia lord is one who is destined to inherit the gangs.

I kind of thought that I never expected Allen Chao's character the South District Director to be a traitor in the script and that the police station was infiltrated from the start. And whose doing? Well a rich senator named Fan Tian Cheng (played by Zhang Fu Chian) hired an international syndicate known as Sarkozy to help him do the job. I enjoyed how the plot developed from the San Lian Hui to the Sarkozy, to the big chase against the Senator. I thought that Vic Zhou would die in this script but he didn't.  Oh it's just kinda depressing to see how many people died in this particular series.  If you do a careful count, this has one of the highest body counts in any Chinese drama series.

What gets MORE interesting is when Wu Ying Xiong discovers that he is the illegitimate child of the nation's president.  The Senator has controlled the Sarkozy to do his dirty job for him, even forcing the President to admit his extramarital affair.  This is really a big ploy for the evil Senator to take over the nation, that of course nobody is aware that he masterminded the whole scheme until the pieces of the puzzle are put together.  Then comes an entirely epic chase involving Chen Zai Tian, Wu Ying Xiong, Mao Xiao Ming and Lan Xi Ying tied to a very action packed finale.  They manage to put everything together since it's highly irregular for Sarkozy to get THAT MUCH protection.  They figure out that the Senator has been behind everything.  What follows after a series of epic fights especially where Chen Zai Tien manages to fire the gun at one of Sarkozy's greatest goons.  Lan Xi Ying also shows SHE COULD KILL a scoundrel.  What is followed of course is a final chase.

For the final chase, I would say it's pretty much where the values of a slacker and a serious guy are put to the rest, accompanied by a boat chase against the Senator.  So it looks like the corrupt Senator was definitely going to win UNTIL they do catch him.  With his scams exposed, the Senator gets arrested.  So anyway, even with a quite a bit hanging ending (well there's no such thing as a very definite ending for TV drama... ha ha), it was a pretty enjoyable script especially with how the heroes passed through the mazes of hardship and deception and ultimately catching the big fish in a sea of deception.  The epilogue manages to show even if the Senator did manage to escape, he had a laser guided karma after all.

Rating?  9.5/10- Best F4 series ever.  Vic Zhou you've really went that far to the top!!!!


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