Review: Age of Rebellion

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 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 sounded dramatic. After a little research on plot and reviews,  I got the green light and clicked play. Boy I’m glad I did, it’s a total gem and shimmied towards one of my top dramas of 2018.

Thoughts: It’s not shiny, polished, and far from perfect. But it has heart and that something special. It has a real story to tell. By the time you get to the end, you can clearly see the thoughtfully planned plot. 

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 more dark than the second. It was surprising to find that I was so wealthy (the mother who funds the school) and well-connected with gangs. Ou evolved more than any other characters and it’s his action that unintentionally trigger a series of events.  It all really 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. 

The Good

  • 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 and supporting characters were fantastic. There were some cringful moments, that was for kinda cheesy moments and you could see the actors were a little uncomfortable. But those were only moments. and due to bring in the early days of their acting careers. For the most part they did great, especially portraying the violence and bullying behavior.
  • Monkey – is a total nutcase! I always looked forward to any scene he was in. He just could never stop! I am curious to his family situation. 
  • The story ended too soon! It held up till the end and since the story is totally wrapped up, there is no reason or point to a season two. Will miss these characters!

Bad:

  •  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 uncessiary over-the-top. Many of the gansters are guily of excessive emotions. This falw isn’t a deal breaker and can be tuned out. 
  • Some parts were a 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, tough 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 to. disturbing. Some serious food for thought. 

Interesting Facts: Peter Ho, the main actor is also the director, it is his first project direction.

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