Posted by: koolcampus | September 29, 2010

UNRIDDLE 最火搭档 Singapore Drama. YOU Don’t MESS with this RIDDLING.

“UNRIDDLE” 最火搭档 Singapore Drama Series REVIEW

To be devoutly honest …..

ONCE an avid supporter of the Singapore MediaCorp dramas, WHY is my interest starting to wane?

Too much hype, more form than actual substance?

Yeah, and the scripts are getting unbelievably stereotyped.

Made-in-SINGAPORE dramas are definitely skewed towards the Singapore audience because, other than in MALAYSIA where the two countries are recently actively participating in joint-ventures, it’s unlikely that legion of people  outside these shores would sit up and take notice because they have better choices.

Of course, there are the lovely, rare exceptions of THE LITTLE NONYA and TOGETHER …..

Bless JEANETTE AW. She was in BOTH of them.

So much being said, well  ….

Here goes for the “dramatic” UNRIDDLE:

UNRIDDLE is really one avant garde verb, so I am beseeching myself not to be riddled.

Call me bamboozled, but some questions are never meant to be answered.

The bullets are flying helter-skelter in the UNRIDDLE drama series.

Storming onto the goggle box in the living room are two unlikely heroines misses CHEN LI PING and RUI EN ……

first pitching – and then pitting their efforts against each other in their first-time collaboration.

Miss RUI EN is genteel and oh-so-slender in appearance.

She slips into this tough-as-nail role that you can liken to ANGELINA JOLIE’s in SALT.

She even wields a gun. (gasp!)

Come to think of it, there could be some semblance … in ANGELINA’s and RUI EN’s “stiff upper lip”?

RUI EN is the consummate actress to watch out for this year.

Top brass in the SINGAPORE TV Station liken her to TVB actress 鄧萃雯 SHEREN TANG

Coincidentally, I’ll be on a work project with SHEREN next year, and it will be an interesting point to note.

RUI EN is in a diversity of roles – as a besotted starry-eyed live wire in HAPPY FAMILY, a widow-in-distress in WITH YOU and now she is leading a crime team in UNRIDDLE.

Her long flowing hair adds a certain amount of alluring maturity and chic to her personality.

CHEN LI PING is trying not to pose chub.

How can she?  CHEN LI PING is CHEN LI PING.

We love her cute figure …. lock, stock and barrel.

Yet these two dames play “dont-mess-with-me”  iron cookies in in this AUGUST 2010 offering from MediaCorp SINGAPORE.

The mood is intended to be dead-set hot and scorching.

But no, this is where the disappointment sneaks in.

Some parts can be so tiresomely draggy and yawny …..

Pose not too many questions in this prime-time CSI-formulaic plotline series because one riddle piles atop another before you can complete the whole jig saw puzzle.

Sit, relax, enjoy and be justly entertained.

But to be honest, I am NOT pleasantly surprised.

Expect extensive shoot-outs amid the mad scampering of cops and robbers as the bullets are “let fly” in super-clean Singapore, but it ain’t any DANTE LAM type drama as they only have a definite budget per episode, mind you.

So rule out precarious stunts, vivid explosions and enticing props.

The CG effects “where bullets fly” are like ineffective fireworks and the car speeding scenes are laughable.

“UNRIDDLE” is a SINGAPORE police drama with women cops on the beat, leading the way.

Now, where are the HUNKS in the anti-crime force?

An unlikely situation in SINGAPORE, but mind you, this is drama time taking a swipe at the regular TVB’s Hong Kong cop series, thus answering our first riddle.

Second riddle:

Why is my favorite Singapore actress CHEN LI PING cast as a comic relief albeit rough-and-tumble stool pigeon in this police-flavored series?

It’s just like roping in veteran artiste LOUISE LI TSE KEI from TVB to play a similar role.

This is how real or reel it can be in the casting exercise.

Fresh from a frightfully dreadful 180 series called YOUR HAND IN MINE (everyone I encounter and the gossip mill can attest to this) into this one is not taking our MISS CHEN anywhere.

An excellent actress typecast in ambiguous roles. Kinda sad because she was la manifique in REUNION DINNER and THE GOLDEN PATH (sigh).

I have no answer for this second riddle.

ZOE TAY, where are you?

We could make use of some of your “glam” here.

Next …..

This made-in-Singapore drama series is definitely crafted for a Singaporean audience.

At best, it may reach a captive audience in Malaysia.

Repeat, there’s more hype than substance here.

With all the fanfare, I was expecting a quality production along the line of LITTLE NONYA or TOGETHER … but ….

UNRIDDLE promises a lot, but delivers little.

For sure the actors and actresses gave their best, you can’t fault them …..

TAY PING HUI, CHEN LIPING and RUI EN rendered commendable performances.

But much can be said about a insipid script this time, dumb lines and an absurd plot with silly twists.

You don’t reject a 60 million dollar inheritance, do you?

It’s pure common sense that you don’t put your own sister out there to lure a serial killer, and the protector then rushes off to another crime scene, right?

Have you watched hapless gals committing suicide in frenzied zombie-style, standing on ledge of high buildings with glazed looks and falling beautifully backward?

Poetry in motion ….

Wow, some more …..

Dispense disbelief when these silly incidents exist to mar your intelligence.

Only dinner time aunties, uncles and kids may buy that.

Trying very hard to be in the line of the American series CSI, this Singapore series is nowhere near this.

There’s much to be said about inconsistencies in the directing department.

Beef up, fellas!

Sure, it’s true that one man’s meat is another man’s poison.

Also true, everyone is entitled to his own opinions.

Clearly said, this Reviewer tries to be as objective as possible.

After suspending so much disbeliefs here, the suspension string just breaks apart here.

The last episode which is the 20th, spawns “red herrings” suggesting that there could be a sequel in the planning.

I am sure there will be a standing ovation from die-hard fans.

For me?

No – Sir, thank you so very much …..


Responses

  1. I have to start with, “CSI” (all of them) is one of the worst and least realistic police dramas ever to come out of Hollywood. It may serve as entertainment but it is in no way a credible depiction of crime investigation. I say this after having spent fifteen years in law enforcement and another ten with the attorney general’s office.

    Now with that off my chest…

    I will agree with some of elements in this review of Unriddle. The primary plot could have been executed better throughout the series, however, it was plausible (even if not probable) enough to serve as the storyline that ran from beginning to end. I enjoyed both leads, with a preference toward “Bun” over “Boney Shrew”. All-in-all, I found the series quite “watchable” with only a few hiccups.

    I’ve never been to Singapore, or any part of Asia for that matter, but still found the story, setting, and characters very interesting. I realize that like everything else, opinions vary. Still, it remains that my opinion of Unriddle is it was better than most crime dramas I’ve seen over the years, and far more enjoyable that anything CSI has spewed out.


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