Dead Wrong (Series Review)

The revenge saga that never was.


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Characters:

  • Roger Kwok as Vincent Wai Yat Sing
  • Joey Meng as Cathy Yuen Kiu
  • Vincent Wong as Max Hong Sing Chit
  • Kenny Wong as Lam Ho Yan
  • Rebecca Zhu as Queenie Yip Chau
  • Stephanie Ho as Tracy Lam Tsui Yee
  • Zoie Tam as Emma Kwok Cheuk See

Details:

  • Hong Kong
  • 28 episodes
  • Original run: November 20 – December 17, 2016

Quick Rundown:

During a routine business trip to Vietnam, Wai Yat Sing is kidnapped and imprisoned in a cave for 10 years. After finally escaping from his decade of captivity and returning to Hong Kong, he discovers that everything has completely changed. Not only has his wife remarried, his family also declared him to be legally dead. As he struggles to adjust to his new life, Wai Yat Sing discovers that there may be a larger conspiracy surrounding his kidnapping.

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Anna’s Take

Am I the only person who has a love-hate relationship with Roger Kwok doing dramatic roles? I can’t be, right? On one hand, I adore Roger and think his acting is probably the best amongst current TVB actors. But on the other, he’s just so freakin’ scary when he plays dramatic aka villainous roles! I went into watching Dead Wrong expecting it to be another “good guy Roger turns crazy evil and goes HAM and vengeful on everyone” drama. I was even hoping for it to turn out that way since I do love me a good revenge saga. Alas, Dead Wrong only showed faint sparks of that evil, scary Roger, but ultimately never allowing them to truly ignite into a fire of vengeful proportions.

At its core, Dead Wrong is the story of a man trying to regain control of his life after having ten years of it forcibly taken from him. If we’re basing our judgement of the drama on this, then yeah, I guess it did alright. But did I really want to watch 10+ episodes of Roger trying to climb up the corporate ladder? No, I absolutely did not. I wanted conspiracy theories, evil masterminds, vengeful plotting, and all that other good stuff that takes a typical drama into the melodramatic territory. I kept waiting and waiting (and waiting), but that version of Dead Wrong never showed up.

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Everytime there was a small inkling that something revealing or important was going to happen, it disappeared. It was like we spent all this time preparing ourselves for something exciting, only to have it never materialize. Instead of all the focus on Roger’s career and his coworkers (yawn), I wish that the drama spent a little more time developing the kidnapping portion of the plot. It was honestly the most interesting part about the drama, and it’s a shame that it began and ended in just the first episode. If Dead Wrong wanted to present this conspiratorial aura about what really happened to Roger in Vietnam, then the audience should have been given clues and hints in addition to a solid backstory. Without those things, the supposedly climactic reveals about the kidnapping felt like big letdowns.

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I honestly feel bad for Roger and the effort he put into this drama. He really shouldn’t have wasted the time and energy to lose 30 pounds(!) for this role. While his character wasn’t well-written at all, his acting was consistent and even great at times, particularly in the emotional scenes. I definitely would not consider this performance as one of his best, but his acting was miles ahead of his costars. No one had nuanced or developed characters in Dead Wrong, but the B and C-list actors that were cast to play them certainly didn’t help. If anything, this drama only deterred me from watching more Vincent Wong dramas. His character was a joke, and his acting only made the experience of watching him worse. Even Joey Meng, the only other sorta star in this drama, was dragged down by the overall meekness and fraility of her character. At this point, I’m not even sure if I should be displeased with the characters or the actors playing them.

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Melodramas and revenge sagas are usually TVB’s strong suit, but Dead Wrong turned out to be another case study in wasted opportunity and talent. There was so much momentum in the beginning of the drama, but it never unfolded into anything relatively thrilling or substantial. By not focusing more of the story on the actual kidnapping plotline, the drama lost out on the most interesting thing about it. Where was the drama? The intrigue? They were certainly nowhere to be found in this drama. Dead Wrong should be a lesson for TVB: give the audience what it wants.

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This & That:

  • Dead Wrong was one of three TVB anniversary dramas for 2016, and $30 million HKD was invested for this production.
  • The drama took over 5 months to film and three weeks were spent in Vietnam for location shooting.
  • Roger Kwok lost 30 pounds in preparation for his role as the kidnapped Wai Yat Sing. CGI was also added in post-production to make him look even thinner.
  • Dead Wrong was nominated for Best Drama and Roger Kwok for Best Actor at the 2016 TVB Anniversary Awards. Both lost out to A Fist Within Four Walls and its lead actor, Ruco Chan, respectively.
  • Roger Kwok and Joey Meng previously costarred in the 2014 anniversary drama, Come On, Cousin. (Ironically, Stephanie Ho who plays Tracy in Dead Wrong sang the “theme song” for the Roger-Joey couple in COC.)
  • The theme song, “Cannot Be Told,” is performed by Vincent Wong.
  • The sub-theme song, “Love Requires Courage,” is performed by Stephanie Ho. She was a former contestant on The Voice (HK), a singing competition.
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5 thoughts on “Dead Wrong (Series Review)

  1. I hear you sister! Though there were clues here and there in the beginning (I always felt certain of 2 culprits), the rest came at a surprise but damn! He might as well just forgave every damn body! I kept saying to myself, the writer is way more forgiving than I would ever be. As I’ve only watched a few TVB dramas, I really am not familiar with C or C actors. Though I gelt some did a pretty decent job, there were definitely some that lagged behind. I wanted a little romance, there was none; I wanted more intrigue, there was none; I wanted REVENGE on steroids because Roger’s character deserved it in spades!! And to make matters worse, I marathon watched the entire drama during the holiday break so I was done in 3 1/2 days! Yes, I feel your disappointment because it mirrored mine!!

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  2. I watched this on and off since my husband is back into the HK-Drama mode. Totally agree your comment there…. hahaha…. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Nice to know that I am not the only one… Have a blessed week ahead!

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