Series Review: Return of the Silver Tongue #cantonese #comedicdrama #hongkong

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Picture from http://www.4hw.com.cn.

“Return of the Silver Tongue” is a Cantonese language comedy drama spanning 25 episodes, originally broadcast on Jade in Hong Kong. Primarily telling the story of a teacher turned lawyer in the time of the Qing dynasty, it also follows several other main characters and their intertwining stories. The villain in the show is a character called “Absurd King” (as it’s translated for the subtitles) who wields an inordinate amount of power in the Qing legal system that forms the backdrop for much of the show’s drama. His exploits in controlling others for his own evil ends form the machinations the main characters must struggle against.

The series is fun to watch, and you do care about the characters as it goes through. (To be honest, I really started to hate “Absurd King”, so Cheung Kwok-Keung did a great job with the character.) The drama is exaggerated for effect in many places, and where I may not have picked up on subtle humour my wife translated. Even without a native Cantonese speaker in the house, I think most audiences would enjoy this show – even subtitled. There is an over-arching romantic interest (as in many shows) which turns into a must-be-solved-eventually-love-triangle, and to the show’s credit it’s not always obvious which way it will be solved. Not every character makes it to the end of the series – another choice made by the shows producers that plays well and makes it interesting. If you’re ever in Hong Kong and can watch the show, or can find it online, then it’s a good way to spend some afternoons or evenings if you like comedic drama!

(As an aside, having watched the show, I must also get one of these:

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Picture from http://www.taichichuan.org.uk.

(It doesn’t have to be this particular one.)

Throughout the course of the show, all the main characters have a fan. Aside from being immensely practical for cooling yourself, they are often used as a complement to speech – closing a fan with the end of an argument in court, as an example. Additionally, they can be closed and used as a pointing device! It seems they have a myriad of conversational uses, and I hope to get myself a proper one! I’m sure people will think it odd at first, but I can’t see how it wouldn’t catch on as a trend. 😉 )

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