Name: Age of Rebellion
Writer/director: Peter Ho
Date: March – June, 2018
Number of episodes: 15
Genre: Crime, School, Youth Drama
Based on book/manga?: No
Why did I press play? Coming out of bouts of the period and romantic dramas, I was on the lookout for something different: modern, a little suspenseful, with a light sprinkle of romance. During this quest the promotional art of this drama caught my attention – it has a good asymmetrical balance and color palette. The name also sounds dramatic: Age of Rebellion. After a little research on plot and reviews, I got the green light and clicked play. I’m glad I did, it’s a total gem, and shimmied towards being one of the top dramas of 2018.
Thoughts: It’s not shiny, polished, and far from perfect. But it has heart and that “something special”. By the final episode, it’s clear this drama has a thoughtfully and comprehensively planned plot – a specific story to tell.
The story is dunked into the world of gangs, drugs, prostitution, violence, and bullying. This word is seen through the lens of underage teens are weaved into these dark enterprises. But it tells it from the perspective of the bottom of the chain people and as the show progresses you see the big, bigger and biggest honchos and the culture that comes with that. Some scenes are disturbing, but not overly so. The story doesn’t overdo and never crosses a line, and is watchable.
The first half is darker than the second. It is once they reveal how heavily connected wealthy (the mother who funds the school) are with certain gangs. Out of all the characters, Ou evolved the most, and it’s his action that unintentionally triggers a series of events. It all started with his dad’s mysterious death and emotionally unavailable mother, who despite being a housewife, did little to take care of him and the house. Had she been attentive and pulled herself together, he wouldn’t have got involved with the wrong crowd and hence avoid the negative serious of events.
- It is the only show this year that really captured my full attention and I looked forward to every episode.
- The main cast of teens are fantastic, specially portraying violence and bullying behavior – those are difficult sense to act with such realism. Unfortunately, there are several awkward moments when they had to do cheesy or silly things – you can see their embarrassment.
- Monkey – is a total nutcase! I always looked forward to any scene he is in. He just could never stop! I am curious about his family situation.
- The story ended too soon! It held up till the end. Since the story is totally wrapped up, there is no reason or point for season two. Will miss these characters!
- The police officers actor’s acting is diabolical, especially Jason Tsou. The whole police system is sloppy. For example. Waving guns left and right, lack of strategies, and idiotic behavior.
- Jeanine Yang’s (who plays Yu Xi, the female teacher/cop) acting leaves much to be desired. In many of her scenes, she is unnecessary over-the-top.
- Many of the gangsters are guilty of excessive emotions. This flaw isn’t a deal breaker and can be tuned out.
- Some parts were disturbing and weird, but considering the genre, it can be expected.
Who are the main cast? Who plays them?
Gao Yi played by Peter Ho
Jiang Yu Xin played by Jeanine Yang
Lin Mei Chen played by Tammy Chen
Sun Ruo Yu played by Nana Lee
Xue Zhi Wen played by Jason Tsou
Lu Yi Feng played by Zhang Ting Hu
Wang Wei/Lao K played by Wu Nien Hsuan
Ou Wen Zhou played by Chang Michael
Fang Xiao Fen/ Nini played by Yao Shiny
Shu Xiao Tong played by Zoey Lin
Theme: Life and be scary, though if you’re young and don’t have a safe home.
What it’s good for? A telling of a good story, that delves into crime underbelly without being too disturbing. Some serious food for thought.
Interesting Facts: Peter Ho, the main actor is also the director, it is his first project direction.