Hits and misses of The Queen

How did this Channel 8 drama about female vigilantes fared on our books?

The Revenge Queen's final showdown with Hong Yan
The Revenge Queen's final showdown with Hong Yan
17 Mar 2016

The Revenge Queen's final showdown with Hong Yan

For a show about vigilantism, The Queen ended on a painfully realistic note. At the end of everything, Queen Bee Guan Xin (Jesseca Liu) is apprehended and serves jail time to make amends, driving home the fact that nothing escapes the eyes of the law.

The imaginative story-telling part about female crusaders kicking butt to avenge fellow womenfolk in distress was fun while it lasted, but the 20-episoder showed signs of waning appeal when the tables are turned with the cops in hot pursuit of our heroic female leads. Conclusion: The drama makes for an easy watch as long as you have your no-logic filters on. Read on to find out why.   

HIT: Xu Bin’s turn as a flamboyant bobo cop
HIT: Xu Bin’s turn as a flamboyant bobo cop
17 Mar 2016

HIT: Xu Bin’s turn as a flamboyant bobo cop

For better or worse, this drama shares a few similarities to another Ch8 drama, Against The Tide (ATT) – both share themes that revolve around a band of vigilantes going against the law and Xu Bin, once again, plays a CID character tasked to bring them to justice like he did in ATT.

While his performance in ATT leaves much to be desired, the actor, thankfully, redeems himself on The Queen. For all the comic relief he provided with his act yi ge antics, we dare say Zhang Minghui is one of the best things that happened to this drama -- popped collar, flowery ah beng shirts et al.

HIT: Jayley Woo & Xu Bin’s natural chemistry
HIT: Jayley Woo & Xu Bin’s natural chemistry
17 Mar 2016

HIT: Jayley Woo & Xu Bin’s natural chemistry

Some guys have all the luck and in this case Xu Bin struck gold when his chemistry with his other leading lady, Jayley (Wu Kai En), shone in the drama. The buildup of their friend-zoned relationship was surprisingly well-paced and well-developed too, considering how his relationship with her did not serve as one of the main plot twists featured in the drama (more on that in the next few slides).

If there was a case of the secondary couple stealing the limelight from the main drama couple, our vote goes to Minghui and Kai En. They were 10 times cuter to watch than the OTT (over-the-top) lovey-dovey bedroom antics between Darren Lim and Jesseca’s characters, fo’sho. 

HIT: Jayley’s maturity as an actress
HIT: Jayley’s maturity as an actress
17 Mar 2016

HIT: Jayley’s maturity as an actress

Let’s be upfront here: we are not fans of the drama’s use of ‘rape’ as a plot device and the idea of having the victim date her rapist Liu Zhenyang (played by Jeffrey Xu) and even consider settling down with him in the drama makes one sick to the stomach. Granted, the character of Kai En was a good opportunity for Jayley to grow and show what she’s capable off -- which she did, to her merit – after playing one too many girl-next-door type of characters in local TV.

Speaking of “the rape”, we don’t remember phones being that advanced back in the day and are puzzled about Biao-ge’s possession of rape evidence in his current smartphone. How did Biao-ge manage to shoot such clear footage and then preserve a copy of it for such a long period of time? And why did Kai En choose to confront her rapist alone at a secluded beach? Girl should know that she’s courting trouble, no?

Also, it's just not convincing to use 'school stress' as a reason behind the rape. There we said it. 

HIT AND MISS: The action scenes
HIT AND MISS: The action scenes
17 Mar 2016

HIT AND MISS: The action scenes

It is about time women are given screen time to kick ass on local TV and we’re glad the ladies had a chance to be all femme fatale in this show although they did have a tough time executing them stunts. The only niggly bit about their kicks and punches? We wished there was tighter action choreography for stronger impact.

Side note: We remember Guan Xin has troubles conceiving and had to be bedridden when she was discovered to be pregnant later in the show. Thus we’re puzzled as to how she managed to stay pregnant while being physically active and run – and fight – during her early stages of pregnancy.


HIT AND MISS: Strong start, weak ending
HIT AND MISS: Strong start, weak ending
17 Mar 2016

HIT AND MISS: Strong start, weak ending

Shuang Shuang’s (played by Mei Xin) arc was one of the drama’s most fun and engaging plots but the upbeat momentum was disrupted after Zhang Meifang’s (May Phua) money laundering case was concluded and the queens began a cat-and-mouse-chase with the cops and the “unknown” organisation behind Hong Yan (Michelle Chia) and co.

Much talk was said about the ‘big boss’ behind Hong Yan but there was no conclusion or big reveal about this mysterious man’s identity at the end of the drama. And while it’s expected of Wawa Pictures to leave their dramas with an “open ending”, the same treatment is not applied in this drama. It’s anybody’s guess as to who the big boss is (we're guessing it's Guoping's big boss in the police force).

For all it has endeavoured to achieve and portray about #girlpower, the ending feels rushed and uninspiring. Kind of like waking up in the morning to realise your $12 million TOTO windfall was all but a dream.

MISS: The case of loopholes in the drama
MISS: The case of loopholes in the drama
17 Mar 2016

MISS: The case of loopholes in the drama

1) The curious case of Guan Ying (Sheila Sim): We're confused. When did Guan Xin's sister die? Isn't she at IMH (Institute of Mental Health)? Or have we been seeing Guan Xin hallucinate about Guan Ying because she can't accept her sister's death?  So many questions, no concrete answers from the drama. There's a difference between showing distorted reality and outright confusion -- if Guan Ying exists as a hallucination, can the difference between reality and imagination be showed more obviously?

Ed's note: For those of you who are clueless about what really happened to Guan Ying, answers are found in this video.

2) The unexplained dark forces: It was all bright and sunny when Kai En entered the 'forest' but the scene suddenly changed to nightfall when Zhenyang catches up and rapes her . Maybe a solar eclipse happened...? 

MISS: The case of loopholes in the drama
MISS: The case of loopholes in the drama
17 Mar 2016

MISS: The case of loopholes in the drama

3) The mysterious case of the suspect who got away: This happens not once, but twice in the drama – first when the gang’s second-in-command Wang Dalong escapes from the police van enroute to the courts and again when Hong Yan pulls a Mas Selamat and escapes from jail unscathed. Her disappearance didn’t spark off a police chase (or at least we weren’t told about it in the drama) and she still managed to create havoc in the mortal realm i.e., kill the innocent, kidnap a police officer and almost kill him too.

Are the cops in this drama weaklings or just plain useless? Time to watch C.L.I.F. 4 to renew our confidence in the Singapore Police force.

Catch past episodes of The Queen on Toggle.

Related:
Love blossoms for Jesseca Liu and mystery man
Apple Hong returns to Singapore for love

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