Well, Triumph in the Skies was one eventful ride despite it getting it a bit too ridiculous as the drama progressed. There were good and bad aspects coming from this drama; it had its only adventurous journey throughout its run. There were a lot to love about it but at the same time there was a lot of frustration going on. Compared to other TVB dramas, this one was on for quite a long run. And this extended period of air time meant that the drama inevitably went onto the path of having some draggy, non-nonsensical and ludicrous storylines. Despite all this, I actually quite enjoyed this drama; there were tender and sweet moments among all the madness which was actually a nice watch. Admittedly, this drama wasn’t all that great but this is definitely the best TVB drama of 2013, which, I am crossing my fingers for, will be a good sign for upcoming dramas, especially for The Hippocratic Crush II, which I am particularly looking forward to watching.
I really appreciated the production efforts behind the drama because it really transfers on-screen. The travel destinations that the crew visited really helped to capture the feeling of travel and aviation. I highly enjoyed watching the characters spend their time in a place other than Hong Kong. They might have visited the same riverbank and ate at the same restaurant every time the visited London, met at the same garden every time the visited France and spent their time at the same hotel every time they visited Taiwan, but I can overlook that because by showing a realistic scenery of these places, that was enough to evoke the sense of travel. However, there were also let-downs with the production. There was quite a number of scenes unevenly cut out which made the drama appear choppy at times.
There was high expectations for this drama; it not only has a star-studded cast, world-famous filming locations but it also came of from the hit sequel Triumph in the Skies. However, I have never seen TITS so I can only base on opinion of TITSII based on what I saw here, which is obvious that the drama had a lot of hits and misses. The general plot very decently written, because it follows off from a drama of the same genre which achieved amazing success. However, that was the general feeling. When you start to dissect it, its flaws really start to become apparent. The biggest issue with the plot was that it was jam-packed with love-lines and majority of these either involved some kind of complex love triangle or it was underdeveloped. Not only that, but the love relationships got caught in the profession so much so that it created an imbalance between the profession and the love lines.
There is no denial that certain relationships got messy and ridiculous. This is most applicable to the Summer Koo (Myolie Wu), Issac Tong (Ron Ng) and Jose (Kelly Fu) love triangle, which I could barely manage to keep a straight face while watching it develop. Their relationship was just ridiculous and messy. Jose has a huge crush on Issac. She is ill and uses her sickness to pull him towards her. Summer likes Issac but pushes him towards Jose because she thinks that this will be better for him and Jose. Issac allows him to be pushed despite on having any feelings for Jose. Furthermore, after he was pushed away by Summer, he started being cold and selfish towards her. And then when she confesses her feelings to him, he pushes her away and she has change herself for him. Urghhh! Summer and Issac needs to have an in-depth lesson on what it means to chase after the one you love. They ought to take a lesson from Jose. Their relationship was just so frustrating to watch because there were so many undecided feelings.
At least Holiday Ho (Fala Chen), Samuel Tong (Francis Ng) and Jayden Koo (Julian Cheung)’s love triangle was not of such a mess as the other predominant love triangle in the drama. However, this does not mean that it was a well-written relationship, though I did enjoy watching the love triangle over the other love triangle. The problem with this love triangle was that it didn’t communicate the “falling in love” aspect through enough. It showed both Holiday and Sam learning to let go of their former other halves and how they came to fall each other due to their losses. However, it did not develop on how they fell for each other. It was definitely more evident with Holiday that she was growing feelings for Sam but that was definitely not seen in Sam, but then suddenly they are a couple. It was not any more pronounced in Jayden and Holiday’s relationship. When Jayden and Holiday got together during the PPP, it felt like it was on a whim. However, I could see past that as their relationship was never intended to be serious. However, later on the drama Jayden says that he loves Holiday. I was shocked because there was no feelings that he had fallen in love with her. Don’t get me wrong, I understood and saw how this complexity of relationships came to be, it is just that there wasn’t enough development on why is became so.
My favourite pairing of the drama was just not meant to be. I was on the Coco Ling (Nancy Wu) and Nick Cheung (Hugo Wong) ship right from the very beginning up to the very end. I was hoping that Coco would end up with Nick rather than with Jim Jim (Him Law). I really enjoyed watching Coco and Nick’s relationship. They might not have started with courtship and falling in love but I didn’t need to see that because they had already built on a strong and genuine relationship. However, the best that came out of their relationship was not when they was together but after they broke up. Despite having broken up, Coco and Nick are still on friendly terms and they still care for each other. It was very touching to see Nick have their first talk after their break-up; it was filled with mutual care and friendliness. I just love how this break-up was not an obstacle for them; it was just a stepping stone for them to grow as individual people. I think that what this relationship offered for Coco and Nick was that it allowed them to realise that they are two very different people with different outlooks towards life.
I absolutely love the family interactions of this drama. It was adorable! I especially love the relationship between the Tong brothers and Coco. I really love their close bonds and how they are there supporting each other. The reunion between Summer and Jayden was one of the best scenes of the drama. It was so sweet to see them able to put the past behind them and move on. I also really loved the bromance between the male leads. Even though it wasn’t technically bromance between the men, but their chemistry was brilliant.
One thing that I was really frustrated about was the inconsistencies with the characters’ screen-time. I was so annoyed that Jayden disappeared half-way through the drama for no apparent reason. He left for France but there wasn’t any explanation for that. So there I was watching the drama wondering what happened to Jayden and wondering whether I skipped an ep. Coco and Jim Jim also disappeared for quite a number of eps ever since they got together. This lead to their relationship having a weak sense to it whereas Coco and Nick had already developed a solid relationship.
This drama really brought out a variety of acting skills. Francis and Julian displayed amazing skills; I really loved their portrayal of their characters. They both gave out a very solid performance allowing their characters to come to life, though I did not expect anything less coming from them. Ron has really improved as an actor. His acting has matured immensely and he no longer feels stiff with his skills. Nancy continues to prove what a versatile actress she is. She portrayed Coco brilliantly, really allowing Coco to become a three-dimensional character. The scene in Sanya where Coco emotionally collapsed was perfectly portrayed. Summer was a good character for Myolie to expand her acting skills. She portrayed the poker face Summer with consistence but Summer was written too “bland” which consequently did not allow for Myolie show her acting capabilities. There is no question that Fala’s acting was not on par compared to the other actors. She was very weak, and in a large number of scenes she failed to reach the benchmark. She requires a lot more work with her emotional scenes because watching those scenes feel quite emotionless.
Aside of the opening theme song which was very out-dated for the drama. I loved the drama’s use of music, they are actually brilliant choices. I have replayed a number of the featured songs over and over again, especially the ending theme song, Aerial Lovers by Mag Lam and the subtheme song Eternally Yours by Tim Ellis. I am sick of TVB using the same background music over and over again for every single drama, TVB needs to use a variety for songs like what it did here. TVB needs to have more dramas with a comprehensive selection of songs used! I really enjoyed the music choice as they really helped to capture the scene beautifully. It just goes to show how music can help to set a mood to the scene.
I enjoyed how the ending was closed off from Jayden. He was the perfect person to tie off the drama. He might have ended up alone but that is not going to stop him from moving on. I also enjoyed the Triangel story; that had a very deep meaning because there was a story about from the first instalment. Furthermore, the “guardian angel” was a nice way to finish off the drama concluding that everyone has a guardian angel to guard them. Everyone had their happy ending, though it did feel as if it was a mad rush to squish the ending together. I am glad that this drama ended happily. (: This was 43 eps that was well spent. (I have wasted numerous hours this year watching from crappy drama). This is definitely a good watch despite its flaws.