TV Binge: The Neighborhood (2014)

Another TV Binge here!

I thought it was fantastic to see Taiwanese series on Netflix but now, Hong Kong TV series are also gradually flocking  there. Its nice to see it, even if the bigger series haven’t quite landed there yet. There are some awesome shows that honestly, I’ve missed out on in the last few years. While those shows are good, it is hard to not admit that Hong Kong series are quite predictable and very formulaic, including dialogue. However, perhaps its a sense of nostalgia and the fact that I really enjoy watching certain actors and actresses and just the idea of something really simple that I like to spend my downtime to relax and give those a go. While Netflix isn’t showing any incredible Hong Kong series, the ones I’ve seen on there are actually pretty meaningful. Like this one for example, The Neighborhood, released in 2014 and a rather short series funded partially by the government in collaboration with RTHK radio station to encourage caring for and building the community in each neighborhood.

Let’s check it out!

The Neighborhood (2014)

The Neighborhood 2014

Cast: Chin Siu Ho, Xian Se Li, Chan Lai Wun, Ma Chi Wai, Mang Hoi, MastaMic, Det Dik

When laundromat owner in a neighborhood goes missing, everyone starts wondering where he is and starts realizing how little they know about the people they deal with every day. Until the laundromat owner’s estranged daughter Zoe shows up and ends up staying there. Her arrival and reluctance slowly change as she gets more involved in the community and she changes everyone as much as everyone changes her. The short form of this fifteen episode TV series is generally that. While this community does show a lot of people, the focus is on a few people that cover the different demographic and really how much each of these people regardless if they want it, do need to be cared for, even if they have everything planned like the mysterious old lady who sits at the top of the stairs everyday or a the crazy man called CIA who wanders about jotting down everyone’s information but breaking out into random made up silly songs or the patrol cop who sees the people in the neighborhood to be odd and quirky. Everyone has their story and in each episode, they hone into a different part of them as they grow closer together with the changes in the community and the fact that things may change but the people we know sometimes will leave a mark in our hearts.

The Neighborhood does a really good job at being a neighborhood. Sure, there are some predictable moments and its pretty obvious how things will turn out but still, there is still some sort of mystery behind these characters as we peel back the layers one episode after the next to reveal their inspirations and who each of them are. Not everyone is a good person but yet, for a 30 minute episode length, it does help flesh out the character a little more and with each appearance in the episodes, all the characters do feel very personal. However, this isn’t a drama so while it is very much in the line of Asian cinema to be very dramatic (particularly in series), this one knows how to keep it lighthearted and positive. Perhaps the jokes might not translate completely well in the subtitles however the essence of the show is still there. The Neighborhood

The focal point is definitely on Zoe, who is the younger generation along with the “young blood” of the neighborhood, Kei. While they are the first to meet each other and rather newer to the neighborhood, the differences in their point of views of how much to invest their time and feelings into their community are quite opposites and in many ways, they grow together. While you may expect a love story to blossom, surprisingly, the core of the show is not about that. Everything works out in a believable way. It definitely does lead the way and forge a path for certain relationships to build and there is a sense of it all being rehearsed and probably too coincidental, however, if you take out some of these factors and see that sometimes life does hand us these relationships that are forever or passing but still hold some meaning.

Perhaps, my love and exposure of the Hong Kong series has made me a little easier on this one, However, The Neighborhood holds its own meaning especially for a very densely populated city like Hong Kong and where everyone is always on the go and life is very routine. This series not only highlights a very important message perhaps even more for those living in Hong Kong and their community but also the fact that it does strive to show off the different areas of Hong Kong, using real life shots of the area to highlight its distinctive characteristics in each neighborhood. It was fun and entertaining and for me, that is all I ask for, plus its not overly long so its a refreshing breath of air to just relax and enjoy a series like this one.

What’s Up…#2: One of Those Days…

It has been a while since one of these What’s Up things. Actually, I had been putting them off as a buffer thinking that it had been so recent. Apparently, I was wrong. Either way, I was supposed to have a double feature go up today for Violet & Daisy and The Gift but it isn’t done. This week has been odd. Busy and crazy and yet not really  motivated to do much when I get home especially after working on my family’s income tax since I’m the numbers person in the house. It isn’t particularly complicated, just time consuming, especially when my real life job is of the number-crunching variety and it has been super busy as well.

Aside from that, this morning has been just really ridiculous. I don’t want to complain but its one of those, “Can I just crawl back into bed?” days. However, I do have one other post that needs to get up in a timely fashion for Game Warp stuff. If only Google Drive app didn’t want to be stupid this morning, it probably would have been fine. Okay, I’ll stop now.

Anyways, not really sure what to do for this What’s Up segment but let’s give it a go!

Watching & Binging

My Neighborhood

My Neighborhood

The Client List

Riverdale

Riverdale is in its last few episodes before Season 1 ends. I’m really looking forward to writing up that post, while I have a feeling, I need to rewatch Season 4 of Gilmore Girls at this point. I’m getting all the seasons mixed up together and its why those recaps aren’t up yet. The Client List is still happening but I took a break because I need to write Season 1 recap and Season 2 is having a pretty slow start. For something more light and fluffy, I’m watchingt his Hong Kong series called The Neighborhood. Its not great but it is a ton of fun to watch and a change in pace from the norm. Especially as I wait to go home and watch the next episode of Riverdale tonight. Actually, I haven’t finished Gotham Season 1 yet but I haven’t watched that for over a month, not sure it still applies as binging it 😉

Reading

Freshly started reading this graphic novel this morning! Titan: An Alternate History from AH Comics and also one that I picked up at Toronto ComiCon. So far, I’m about halfway through and it is pretty good. Very creative and the art is fantastic. There’s this really cool contrast. Anyways, not reviewing it now. I’ll do it soon once I’m done. It has been quiet on the reading front mostly because I’m waiting for my f-ing books to arrive and its one of the reasons that has me a little down. Although I’m a little better now. #firstworldproblems, am I right? 😉 Anyways, the resolution now is a replacement order which I’m going to pick up at an Indigo store myself because apparently our postal service can’t get these orders to me without any hiccups.

No complaints…I’m taking a deep breath…let’s continue! I am thinking of starting Ready Player One and Cinder now. However, there are 3 books that take priority to it because some of our darling bloggers and writers were kind enough to send them to me to review so I’m stoked about that.

See, I told you this would get positive. 😉

Playing
(and the list is so much longer…)

I’ve been absolutely obsessed with PinOut which is a mobile pinball game on a time limit. I actually beat it just the other day and went into overtime, which I have no idea what that means but I’ve been jumping back into it and trying to unlock a few more achievements plus its just a really nice game to pass short bits of time. On the other hand, I’ve been spending lots of time on Steam. April’s Game Warp featured game is Guacamelee: Super Turbo Championship Edition and I only have just a bit left. Battleblock Theater is one I finished Chapter 1. I don’t think I can do chapter by chapter playthroughs as it gets harder but the first chapter was decently fun and simple.

However, I did get a stream for Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series – Episode 1 which was released on Tuesday. I actually posted up the playthrough. I had to remove songs because it turned on copyright claims so I’m sorry if its boring and if you sometimes hear me snickering in the background. It was the footage from the stream.

I’ll be doing an overview and quick review of Episode 1 over at That Moment In soon. Its been a tad busy and a few things to roll out before.

Listening

I’m still following The Voice Season 12. There’s some pretty good talent although a good part of the ones I like are gone. My fave is Johnny Hayes who unfortunately got cut. How I stay positive is that even though he is cut at least I now know of his existence and that he actually is in a band and I’ll be following that. His voice and style is awesome. Seriously love it! 🙂

That’s it for today!
Writing this up has been fun and honestly, I’m feeling a lot better. But its time for a little chill session.
One of the reasons for some structural change here is to make it stay fresh and fun.
I’ll make up for the missing segments in the next weekend. Gotta get some of the backlog out.

What have you been watching, reading, playing and/or listening?