Tomorrow is Another Day (Series Review)

Q: Who’s the actual prisoner here?

A: This drama’s viewers.


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Characters:

  • Lawrence Ng as Man Seung Sing (“Man Sir”)
  • Kate Tsui as Yiu Ngoi Ka
  • Vincent Wong Kiu Ching Kiu (“Q Gei”)
  • Josie Ho as Ding Ho Ho
  • Kenny Wong as Yung Chun Wai
  • Tracy Chu as Chi Chun Kwong

Details:

  • Hong Kong (Cantonese)
  • 20 episodes
  • Original run: Oct 6 – Nov 1, 2014

Quick Rundown:

At Hong Kong’s Stanley Prison, Senior Correctional Services Officer, Man Seung Sing, must deal with not only the supervision and discipline of the inmates, but the safety of his officers as well. Inmates from all walks of life are incarcerated within these walls, and it’s up to Man Sir and the other officers to maintain order amongst them. While he seeks to have order in everything, with the help of fellow officers, Yiu Ngoi Ka and Kiu Ching Kiu, Man Sir learns to find a balance between his work and personal lives. But balance is hard to hold onto when every day at the prison presents its own set of challenges and problems that test the limits of the law and the walls that surround them.

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Anna’s Take

I’ve been tricked! By TVB, that is. Still on my drama high from Line Walker, I went into watching Tomorrow is Another Day with high expectations that I was in for another compelling and entertaining drama. With a great actor like Lawrence Ng headlining the show and an interesting concept to back it up, I actually thought this could be a genre-defying drama. Nope; the words, “compelling, entertaining, interesting,” do not apply to Tomorrow is Another Day at all. I was completely tricked by TVB into believing that dramas like Line Walker was going to be the new norm and that we were behind the days of mediocre, nonsensical dramas that contributed to all the recent “meh” reactions toward TVB dramas. Tomorrow is Another Day not only proved that those lackluster dramas still rule the station, but they are now being promoted by TVB as the new classics. Far, far from that, my friend.

My biggest issue with Tomorrow is how repulsively pretentious this drama was. Because we’re given the story from the correctional officers’ point of views, there was inevitably going to be some skewed perceptions. Bias is one thing, but total and utter lack of self-awareness is another. Throughout Tomorrow’s run, there was this “holier than thou” attitude surrounding it. I felt like I was constantly being lectured on the issues of morality and what’s right and wrong in every episode, and I’m not even the prisoner here! It was especially irritating because all of these characters were seriously flawed in their own ways, so they really didn’t have the right to be criticizing anyone else. Sure, their business cards may say that they’re better than the prisoners, but that doesn’t mean that they’re the be-all and end-all of life’s quandaries.

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While Tomorrow obviously prided itself on its self-righteousness, it apparently couldn’t make up its mind on what the actual plot of the drama was. After every five or so episodes, I’d think to myself that absolutely nothing has happened. I can’t even say that the drama was slow-paced because that would imply that it was building up to something. But in the case of Tomorrow, there was absolutely no foreseeable endgame. I think its biggest mistake was that the very first scene of the first episode was a flash forward to some big showdown at the prison. It makes you think that the rest of the drama is going to be the buildup to that scene, but those next 19 episodes were just a bunch of disjointed plotlines that served no real purpose to the story. Then, when we finally get to that “big scene,” it lasts for about 20 minutes, and it was so not worth the wait. Consider those previous 19 episodes to be a complete waste of your time.

There is no possible way that Tomorrow can be considered an elite drama when 80% of its characters and plotlines were unnecessary. Besides Lawrence Ng, Kate Tsui, Vincent Wong, and Josie Ho, no one else mattered. Like, who actually cares about learning about the parole officer’s beef with his dad? No one! This drama insisted on throwing in all these extra people and storylines thinking that it’d make it a more interesting show, but it only had the opposite effect. Even the big villain of the show was a disappointment. More often than not, I wanted to hit fast forward just to put myself out of the misery of watching them. And can I just mention how uncomfortable I was watching this drama because of all the inappropriate relationships in it? I don’t understand why they insisted on pairing up Lawrence and Kate even though he was her “uncle” and pretty much raised her. I’m sorry, but that doesn’t make their relationship interesting; it’s just gross. Theirs wasn’t the only inappropriate relationship in Tomorrow, but it definitely was the worst.

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For a drama that has Lawrence Ng as the lead, you’re probably expecting topnotch acting. Sorry to break it to you, but the acting in Tomorrow was pretty subpar. Maybe even Lawrence knew that this drama was gunna suck, so he only put in the minimum effort. I don’t blame him. Kate’s acting was acceptable, but still prone to overacting. Vincent Wong was a bright spot in the acting department, but I think that had more to do with how his character’s attitude and mannerisms were written and not because of his actual acting skills. I’m pretty whatever about all of them but omg, I feel SO sorry for Josie Ho. If you’re familiar with Hong Kong movies and its stars, or just good acting in general, then you’ll know that Josie is an absolute treasure. I don’t know if she lost a bet with someone at TVB or what, but that’s the only reason I can imagine why she’d be in a terrible drama like this. She obviously still owned her scenes and character because she’s awesome, but this drama did her absolutely no justice. And for a comeback drama, this one is way beneath her skills. Stick to the movies, girl!

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TVB raised my expectations with Line Walker, and then sent them waaay back down to earth with Tomorrow is Another Day. There was so much potential for this drama with its interesting angle on correctional officers and the likeable cast, but it was just never fulfilled. If Tomorrow was able to make up its mind on whether it wanted to be an educational drama or an action, plot-driven one, things could have been so much better. Instead, it aimed to be both of those things and just ended up as a muddled mess. Tomorrow is Another Day enticed its viewers with a captivating opening and unfortunately, it ended up being a 20 episode prison drama sentence where there was no escape. Don’t get trapped by Tomorrow is Another Day‘s false promises and potential, and you’ll be free to find a better drama.

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This & That:

  • Tomorrow is Another Day was filmed at several of Hong Kong’s prisons, including the actual Stanley Prison. Stanley Prison is is one of the six maximum security facilities in Hong Kong.
  • This is Josie Ho’s first TVB drama in 14 years. She was previously in the Hong Kong drama classics, At the Threshold of an Era I & II.
  • Tracy Chu and Jacqueline Wong (Lawrence Ng’s sister in the drama) were both contestants in the 2012 Miss Hong Kong pageant and placed 2nd runner up and runner up, respectively.
At least they're good looking?

At least they’re good looking?

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