Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Storm in a Cocoon Review

Producer: Leung Choi-yuen
Genre: Mystery, family
Cast: Steven Ma, Tavia Yeung, Evergreen Mak, Maggie Siu, Natalie Tong

I’ll admit I thought Storm in a Cocoon would have the cliché family infighting storyline. The series turned out to a pleasant surprise. It had an excellent cast and a solidly written plot. The series is essentially divided into two parts: a whodunit mystery for the first 20 episodes and then “property protecting”, as the Chinese title suggests, for the last 12 episodes.

The mystery part was very intriguing and suspenseful. There is a long suspect list as everyone seems to have something to hide. It was fun crossing off the names along with Ka Yeung (Steven) and Bing Bing (Tavia) in the series. With each crossed-off name, a new secret is exposed and a new direction must be taken. The whole story was woven together masterfully, with each clue, secret or partial flashback leading the audience to think that one person did it, but there turns out to be a very logical explanation for their actions. As a rule, the ultimate culprit will be the least unexpected one. Overall, a delightful segment to watch.

The second part of the series reverts to a power struggle and revenge story. While it is a classic set-up, this series manages to throw in many creative plot twists to keep the audience on the edge. Unfortunately, the scriptwriters run out of creative juices a little too soon and put together a finale that rips-off Titanic and TVB’s own Beyond the Realm of Conscience. It is still a good part two to follow up the thrilling mystery.

The series features a strong cast, anchored by Stevia. Steven and Tavia undoubtedly share great chemistry, this being their fourth partnership. They are a couple that balked against all tradition and adversity. Their deep love is apparent with the way they interact and look into each other’s eyes. As for their individual performances, Steven does an excellent job portraying Ka Yeung, a man who was forever changed by his experiences in the military. He is able to show that inner turmoil in the scenes where he is alone. Meanwhile, I didn’t like Tavia’s loud-mouthed character in the beginning, but thankfully, she tones it down when she was put in charge of the silk factory. I love the scene where she collapses against the wall, crying. It shows how despite her fortitude, she is still, at the very heart, a woman deeply affected by her husband’s absence.

In contrast, Evergreen Mak and Maggie Siu were a couple that was unable to survive through the adversities. They are both strong veteran actors who were able to display this tragedy on-screen. However, Evergreen lacked presence until he turned evil. Even then, he didn't give off an evil vibe, but that could be because his character isn't really evil at the core. Maggie, on the other hand, was brilliant in portraying a woman who is both strong and weak – strong in defending her sorority against harm, but weakened by her love for Evergreen. In the end, her character was useless in preventing his misdeeds and died an unnecessary death.

Matt Yeung and Natalie Tong were a side story, though they had their cute moments. Matt excels in these shy, boy-next-door roles. Yeung Chiu Hoi was decent being a traumatized younger brother. Stephen Wong is suitable as a villain. Akina Hong had many layers in her performance of a very interesting character. KK Cheung makes a great villain and he even had the local accent (Shunde is actually his native town). All others unmentioned are okay, but no standout performances.

Rating: 4.5/5


  1. Loved reading your review, you described the series very well! :)

    I'm glad you also enjoyed this series and gave it high ratings!!! I had pretty high expectations for it and was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed it....minus the last 20 minutes of the finale -__- haha. but yeah, I agree with most of what you said. absolutely LOVED the mystery aspect! Always been a fan of mystery dramas and was on the edge of my seat trying to figure out all the secrets and the murderer and am pretty proud of TVB for pulling off something so masterfully created and suspenseful.

    As for the second half, "property protecting" I didn't enjoy it quite as much because it was just drama after drama which I found a little too excessive, but it was still unpredictable which was a plus! I don't think I've enjoyed a TVB series quite like this in a long long time!

    And of course Stevia just makes it wonderful! hahah :) their amount of chemistry is simply wonderful! I'm not quite satisfied with the open ending, but I'll take it over a tragic death any day. haha.

  2. LOVE STEVIA! I am in Tavia withdrawal and going back to see her series one after the other! I hope to see more of STEVIA in the near future! Chemistry was sizzling! I must admit I like STEVIA better than FUNGYI!

  3. Hi Miriamfanz!

    Same here, I thought this would be a cliché drama too (I don't think they did a very good job with the promos, it was hard to figure out what the series was really about) but then it turned out to be a good mystery series with twists that actually made sense! I also give credit to the script writers for putting in hard work and effort. Steven (like you said) did excellent and I think the role really fitted him well.

    The ending was the typical TVB, let's make it suspenseful and leave it open for the audience. Which I never understood, since it's the last episode anyway, why can't they just give people what they want?! So I figured I'd make another one of my videos to wrap it up a bit more by showing Ka Yeung actually remembering Bing Bing, haha! Here's the link if you have some time and wouldn't mind giving me of your thoughts? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHBQfVdA8Pw

    As always, thank you for your wonderful reviews!


  4. I don't understand the part where kk cheung wanted to persuade people to kill Evergreen via "pig cage"? I thought Evergreen is his son?

    1. He already knew that Evergreen wasn't his son. It was all a ploy.