Time Before Time Thoughts

Finally, it took me forever to find this series. After reading MetalAZNWarrior’s review on this series back in April I believe in 2008, I was determine to watch this. After searching online, going to numerous of video stores, that told me it was out of print and that it was too old for them to carry, I finally found it. It took me one year and 3 months before I finally got to watch this series. Of course I could have watched it online since I believe it has been uploaded on Tudou, but I like watching my TVB series on the big screen. I was overjoyed when my dad finally brought home this series in VCD for me.

A typical love story, about a ghost searching for (normally), her long lost lover from when she was alive. As good as this story was, it was a bit typical as there are many adaption of how a ghost searches for her lover on earth, which is believed to be a live. In some cases they are and in some cases they aren’t. Hong Kong movie such as Rouge, (1988) to TVB’s Time Before Time, based their storyline on a girl ghost appearing onto this world to search for the long lost lover that they have left behind. With this base, the storyline of course are all different. Time Before Time had a mystery involved on how this pair of lovers died. This created a love story and a mystery for the audience to watch.

The story started off as a couple, which seem to have died together. Fu Yung (Kathy Chow) was actually the one that eventually died but her spirit was trapped inside an umbrella. Man Kwong (Gordan Lam), didn’t actually die, he lived but he died soon later, and was killed by his brother. Fu Yung who was accidentally released from the umbrella is here on earth to find her long lost love, hoping to find out that he is still alive. Under all the investigation, Man Kwong was killed soon after her and probably reincarnated, which was now Tai Kwong(Gordan Lam). One night, Tai Kwong recall his past life with Fu Yung and he slowly falls in love with her because he knew he loved her in his past life, but now he also had a wife, Mei Ying (Florence Kwok). This caused a love triangle between two humans and a ghost. Along with this love triangle, there were more problems to be dealt with along the storyline.

Man Kwong and Tai Kwong are both very love-able characters. Man was more of the serious type of person while Tai was more of the playful funny guy. They are both very different in character. Tai Kwong’s character really made me angry when he cared for Fu Yung more then Mei Ying. I found him a bit foolish in the way that he couldn’t tell what was real love, something that he had with Mei Ying, not Fu Yung. He only loved Fu Yung because he realized he used to love her in another life. Other then that fact, I thought he was pretty cute as he was pretty funny in some scenes.

Che Tat Fu is also one of those love-able character. He wasn’t selfish like his dad and even tried to fix his dads old ways to help him become a better person. Tat Fu is one of those characters you feel sorry for as he never gets the girl he wanted even though he was always by her side, the girl only loves another guy. Yet he still doesn’t mind and stood by her side through everything. Even when he died and was also a ghost like Fu Yung, he would rather stay a ghost in the world then to go to the peaceful after world.

Fu Yung is very unrealistic with my thinking. Could you really love someone that long? Even when the person you love can’t love you and when there is another guy who does like you and care for you is in front of you, you still can’t seem to let go? Maybe girls do tend to be the one that can love someone longer. I do love her character because she is so determined to find her lover again. I found as if her character is too dependent on love, which I guess could be a girl thing also. I feel bad for her in a way and sometimes I do wish she would just go away. I pity her in the sense that her old lover isn’t here with her anymore and I wish she would go away in the sense that I didn’t want her presence to ruin the relationship between Tai Kwong and Mei Ying. I guess you can’t make her go away since she is the main reason for the story.

I love Mei Ying. She is such a cute character. I just adored her. She was so innocent in this whole series. She did nothing wrong and yet she still had to fight with a ghost for the feelings of a guy that she was with since they were little. I also found her character very carefree which was love able too.

I thought the relationship of Fu Yung and Tai Kwong would be great and I thought I would love seeing them together as they developed their ghost and human love relationship, as I read many great reviews on this relationship. I was pretty much wrong, as I didn’t really like their love part of their relationship. For some reason it kind of bugged me.  I just thought it was foolish how obsesses Tai Kwong was with Fu Yung, he only loved her because he realized in his past life he loved her. To me I don’t think its that great and its not real love because Tai Kwong isn’t Man Kwong, Tai Kwong don’t love Fu Yung, its Man Kwong that does. Honestly I felt as if it would have been better if Tai Kwong just slowly fell in love with her instead of him remembering how he loved her and that is why he loved her. All I have to say is that as cute as this couple should be, I don’t think Tai Kwong should fall in love with Fu Yung, at least for not this reason of loving her in his past life.

On the other hand I love Fu Yung with Man Kwong. I think they were cute; Man Kwong was willing to sacrifice his fame and fortune to be with the one he loved. I mean how many men could do that, willing to give up everything and to be poor again just to be with someone. I felt as if their love was more genuine then Tai Kwong and Fu Yung. Their chemistry is great here, I could feel their love as I watched them together. This relationship was more real and honest compare to Tai Kwong. I honestly wished they had more scenes together or more flashbacks.

Mei Ying and Tai Kwong were very cute together. They were like the high school sweethearts, they messed with each other and they loved each other. They are too adorable together.  I really enjoyed watching their chemistry together. Maybe that is one of the reasons I didn’t like the way Tai Kwong started to like Fu Yung. I felt bad for Mei Ying, as she watched her husband love a ghost. It was very unfair to Mei Ying as she had to win her husbands affection with a ghost, not human but a ghost. Tai Kwong should have only love Ying as in this life, she is his and Fu Yung only belonged to him in his past life. At the end of the series, Mei Ying and Tai Kwong were together until the end and lived a happy life with each other.

I found Che Tat Fu and Fu Yung a bit more cuter then the relationship of Fu Yung with Tai Kwong. You can really see how much Tat Fu loved her, he was always by her side when she was sad. No matter how much Tat Fu liked her and showed how much he cared for her, Fu Yung didn’t seem to care too much for him in the romantic way. All she wanted was Tai Kwong/Man Kwong. Even though they didn’t get together I really do love watching their scenes together, especially in the beginning on how he played the piano for her. I wish they did get together when Tat Fu died and became a ghost couple. Sadly, that couldn’t happen since I guess writers really want Fu Yung’s character to be loyal to her old lover.

The last few episodes kinda bored me and I found it a bit pointless. I guess it was a good intense hair grabbing, if I have to say mini storyline. Mainly, it just pissed me off in some ways as it didn’t have to do anything with well…the storyline of Mei Ying and Tai Kwong or Man Kwong. It just talked about super powers. I found it a bit pointless to the overall storyline and things could have ended early with the series if this part didn’t happen.

The ending was a good one. Tai Kwong was to live the rest of his life as Man Kwong and took over the business. He was able to spend the rest of his life with Ying and he died peacefully while he accidentally dozed off. In his after life he saw Fu Yung waiting of him to die so they can reincarnate together so they will have a chance on being together in the next life. I found it cute and not cute at the same time since Fu Yung was able to wait for Tai/Man Kwong but Tai Kwong won’t wait for Mei Ying to die so they could reincarnate together. In this new life, Tat Fu, Tai Kwong and Fu Yung were together but not Mei Ying. This makes me a bit sad as she was left out.
In the end, I was glad that Tai/Man Kwong was able to find Fu Yung in this new life and was hinted that their new love story will start soon.

The theme song was great too. 抱緊眼前人. The lyrics were very fitting to the storyline.I recall listening to that same song when I was little. It really brought back some memories. This really reminded me of how there were a lot of great songs during the 90’s, they all had such deep meanings behind them. Out of all the songs the late Anita Mui had ever sang, I think this has got to be my favorite one. This song was so fitting too, as Anita’s deep voice filled the dramatic scenery of it all. From listening to this song, it really gave me the kick to listen to the 90’s canto pop music again.

The storyline mostly was based on the Chinese view of the after life and how people do live again and how ghost works. It didn’t really interest me too much as believe that once you die, you die, you don’t reincarnate. Your soul will go to heaven and stay there forever. Of course its only my belief, no one exactly knows what happens after you die, only stories could be told. Everyone will one day know the answer to that once you leave this earth.  It was still nice to see how the Chinese culture saw the after life as. The love story in the storyline was great as it was romantic. Can love stand the test of time?

The acting done by everyone in this cast was great, I felt as if everyone did their part and contributed to making this series memorable. What really stood out of course was Gordon Lam. I never actually saw him in a series this serious, well besides all those comedic parts, he was a good actor. He did a great job playing both Man Kwong and Tai Kwong, which I thought was pretty difficult to do as they were both very different character but he played it like his only role in the series. On the other hand with Kathy Chow, I didn’t love her too much. I mean I think she was perfect for the casting of Fu Yung, but she isn’t one of my favorite actresses. With her, I like her sometimes and the other times I don’t, you can say I have a love hate relationship with her. There are times in this series I think she is so great with her acting and all but then when she looked pitiful I don’t like her. I guess to me I don’t like the way she is sad, it’s exaggerated? to me. All in all, I have to say each actor and actress portray each character nicely and perfectly.

All in all, I think this series is a must watch for a lot of TVB fans. It might be hard to find in my case, but I am pretty sure you can watch it on-line on Tudou, or maybe you are luckier then me and are able to find it on VCD at any video store in Chinatown. However your case is, you should get your hands on this series. It doesn’t drag and it’s pretty short also so it’s a plus if you think you don’t have time for a long series, or even a normal 20 episode series. There was never a really big dull moment in this series. This series is perfect for ones who are looking for a good nice love story or comedy or even some suspense.