Editor’s note: This is a nostalgic theater.
In 1992, the legal drama File of Justice, produced by Gary Tang and starring Bobby Au—Yeung, Chen Xiuwen, Tao Dayu, Su Yongkang, Liu Meijuan and Luo Yingjun, premiered on TVB.
Poster of No.1 Imperial Court
This classic Hong Kong drama of 30 years ago was only a unit drama at first, with a short length of 13 episodes of 45 minutes each. Through 13 cases, it tells the story of several Hong Kong lawyers arguing in court and making love songs outside the court.
When casting the first part of "No.1 Imperial Court", the current first-line actors were not used, and almost all the leading characters were second-line and third-line. The first part was chosen to be broadcast on Sunday, and after going out of the street, it got the best ratings ever at the same time, so the second part was shot at an extra price, and it was still broadcast on Sunday. When the response was good, it was changed to prime time.
Because of the good ratings, from 1992 to 1997, "No.1 Imperial Court" was filmed as many as five films. From the first 13 episodes to the last 45 episodes in the fifth film, Bobby Au—Yeung, Tao Dayu, and Lin Baoyi, Wu Qihua and other actors who joined in one after another have also become Hong Kong’s teacher-milk killers. Going out to buy clothes can cause Filipino maids with a whole glass window to watch and take pictures, and the limelight is the same.
What kind of charm does "No.1 Imperial Court" have and can it become a classic in the eyes of the audience?
In 2017, the series of "No.1 Imperial Court" was replayed, and a group of actors reunited.
"Cheap Four", a laundry list of jokes.
On the video website, the author saw that some netizens posted a barrage, which was called "the humble quartet", that is, the four male characters who have been appearing as the main characters in this series-Yu Zaichun (Bobby Au—Yeung), Jiang Chengyu (Tao Dayu), lawyer Zhou Zhihui (Su Yongkang) and Zhou Wenbin (Luo Yingjun).
The four old friends and ghosts can be regarded as the "barrage" of this drama. They can make people laugh all night with a gag about blowing water, and they have nothing to do with stepping on their brothers and standing up for something, especially the spiteful Aben Yu Zaichun and the naughty Michael Jiang Chengyu.
It is a man’s nature to like Ye Pu. Most of the scenes in the play are concentrated in courts, bars and living room sofas at home, and the scale of conversation is also large. We talk about cases, each other and women, and we step on every sentence. Therefore, the "humble quartet" is named.
Bobby Au—Yeung plays Yu Zaichun.
In the 1990s, as a fashion drama showing the life of the middle class, No.1 Imperial Court can be said to be the originator of legal themes in Hong Kong. Although the female role changes like a lantern, the male role on the main line is always these four people.
The night talk of the four people in the bar shows the middle-class thinking and lifestyle at that time. They are sometimes chic, sometimes in trouble, sometimes male chauvinism, and sometimes they go around pick up hot chicks. They like to label people and hang around, and they always believe that they are good men. In the current language, they are four older "ordinary men".
Miraculously, once they switch back to the court mode, they will be as serious as the Yellow River, for money, for justice and for women.
For example, Ben, who clearly discriminates against people who are different from his sexual orientation in private, once he goes to court, he speaks for his clients with a pair of righteous words, in exchange for Michael’s grunting and supercilious eyes.
One minute it’s annoying, and the other minute it’s exciting. If it weren’t for Bobby Au—Yeung, someone else might not be able to perform such a joke, and he would have been scolded for ten blocks.
Jiang Chengyu’s classic lines: It’s not evidence, it’s doubt.
Michael is a young gentleman in the eyes of everyone. It is a daily thing to assemble bows in the west. He is a flower in the mouth. His speech is humorous and affectionate, and he is eloquent among the flowers, but he wants to stay naked.
Unfortunately, Michael’s destiny is a woman, a good-looking and bad karma woman. For two consecutive films, Liang Wanjing played the twin sisters, causing a rash, and each ending was either the defendant or the victim. Without these ill-fated sisters, Michael’s happiness index would be at least five stars.
However, the love of challenging is also the most attractive thing about Michael. Unlike Ben, he is not eager to label people. When something big happens, he can analyze the pros and cons without prejudice. In the quartet, Ben seems to be in control, but the real core is Michael, who is the person in the relationship. His sister and mother are also the main characters in the first three films, and most of the stories revolve around the Jiang family.
Uncle Raymond is a typical gentleman’s style, and it is also a standard object that meets the requirements of most girls in real life. However, in his personality, there is always an awkward energy that needs to be released, which makes him often hesitate when he meets feelings and often falls into a love triangle.
Old cousin Sir is an outsider’s perspective. Although he has a good relationship with the other three people, his talk and thinking are too grounded, his personality is careless, he is honest and honest, and he has a passion for handling cases, but he acts impulsively and his love is also hot.
Individualized female roles are frequent.
If the "humble quartet" is regarded as the pistachio of this play and the motivation for the author to open the play at first, then the independent and personalized female hosts are the key to attracting the author to keep watching it.
Helen in court
Michael’s sister Helen is the author’s favorite female character in this play. She is cheerful, confident, joking and approachable; In court, you can also be calm, neither humble nor supercilious, and speak for the parties. Liu Meijuan brought Jiang Chengzhou, a barrister, to life.
Especially when my boyfriend Zhou Shaocong (Jiang Zhiguang) cheated on me and pulled out the bad reason of "You are strong and you deserve to be dumped", Helen’s response won my heart-
"Just because I can bear the blow doesn’t mean I have to face this kind of pain."
Helen’s breakup declaration
Compared with many women in early TVB career dramas, Helen’s treatment is more pleasing. Unfortunately, I don’t know whether it’s the plot setting or the big change of blood in Casper, so this role will go to America in the fourth film.
Also leaving the drama in the later period, there is the only prosecutor who can control Ben, Ding Rou (Chen Xiuwen). Michelle, like Helen, is a female character who can best represent middle-class intellectuals in No.1 Imperial Court. She is decisive in her work, has emotional problems in private, and will not drag her feet.
The relationship between Michelle and Ben is also a highlight of the play. Although it seems that Ben loves more, without his knowledge, Michelle went overseas for medical treatment in order to give each other a chance to have children. Unfortunately, Ben didn’t cherish it. The derailed forensic doctor Yin Zhijie (Deng Cuiwen) eventually led to the end of their marriage.
Ben and Michelle have been in love for several years, and once entered the marriage, but their feelings were finally defeated by a third party.
In addition to Helen and Michelle in the first three films, there are also many impressive female characters in the fourth and fifth films: barrister Cheng Ruohui and sister Cheng Ruoxi played by Jessica Hester Hsuan and Chen Zhijing, barrister Ou Ziqiang played by Chen Huishan, forensic doctor Yin Zhijie played by Deng Cuiwen and so on. It is a pity that "No.1 Imperial Court" paid less attention to the law itself in the later period, and their play mainly focused on emotional entanglements. Instead, they lost their first appearance and became auxiliary.
"How many people have seen adore you’s face when he was young?"
In these five series of dramas, in addition to the original cast mentioned at the beginning of this article, there are many familiar faces you didn’t expect, and some of them became top singers in the future, such as Sammi Cheng and Faye Wong. Some Xipi are sentimental because of drama, such as Chen Zhijing and Tan Yaowen; Others work silently and finally get the respect, like Li Yaoxiang, who has a guest appearance in almost every movie …
In my opinion, one of the greatest values of "No.1 Imperial Court" is to preserve the beautiful face of a group of Hong Kong stars when they were young. Those actors who became famous later, when they were a walk-on, were cute, which can be said to be a must for all fans in archaeology.
Part I: Sammi Cheng, Li Yaoxiang, Ku Kui Kei, Chen Jieyi;
Part II: Faye Wong, Lin Jiadong, Li Yaoxiang, Jiang Zhiguang and Liang Wanjing;
Part III: Lin Baoyi, Lin Jiadong, Li Yaoxiang, Zhangyan, Yuan Fengying and Tan Yaowen;
Part IV: Lin Baoyi, Jessica Hester Hsuan, Deng Cuiwen, Chen Zhijing, Li Yaoxiang, Ma Junwei and Ruco Chan;
Part V: Lin Baoyi, Jessica Hester Hsuan, Ada Choi, Wu Qihua, Chen Huishan and Gai Minghui.
Many people don’t know that Sammi Cheng, the diva of music, once appeared in "No.1 Imperial Court 1", playing Fang Jiaqi, a fledgling intern lawyer, and had emotional entanglements with the three male actors in the play. First, she secretly fell in love with Ben, and then she was caught between Michael and Raymond. Sammi Cheng also sang "Love Me", the ending song of "No.1 Imperial Court 1".
Fang Jiaqi, played by Sammi Cheng, appeared in the first film. Although the fourth part of this role also returned, it was replaced by another actor.
Faye Wong, who is also the diva of the music world, also played Tang Yuwen, a competent prosecutor and appreciated by her boss, in No.1 Imperial Court 2, and she and Kianna were regarded as Raymond’s predecessors. This is one of the few TV dramas in Faye Wong. Chen Shaoqi wrote lyrics, Yuan Weiren composed music and Faye Wong sang "Perseverance", which also became the ending song of the play.
Faye Wong also appeared in the second film.
In "No.1 Imperial Court 3", Zhangyan, a man and woman familiar to mainland audiences, appeared. In fact, many viewers don’t know that her road to entertainment began with TVB. At first, Zhangyan joined TVB through a beauty contest in Guangdong. From 1993 to 1995, she participated in many Hong Kong dramas, and she was the innocent little nurse who chased after Tao Dayu and Bobby Au—Yeung successively in No.1 Imperial Court 3.
Bobby Au—Yeung, Zhangyan.
Among them, Li Yaoxiang, who has appeared most frequently, is the one who relies on the rosy business series. He plays different roles in different parts of the series "No.1 Imperial Court": some fall in love with female stars, but dare not let her testify in court as a time witness, and finally can only secretly watch her marry another woman’s underground lover; There are helpless people who dare not openly admit their ex-boyfriends in Hong Kong, where the folk customs were conservative at that time; There are also autistic otaku who are introverted at first, but have the courage to break through themselves and return to school, and finally return to school, and still have a beautiful woman.
In 2017, when the series of "No.1 Imperial Court" was replayed, many original guest actors also took screenshots to punch in and missed the lush years.
Ku Kui Kei guest karaoke singer.
Ruco Chan plays the little fresh meat.
The previous case was short and pithy, and the later case was filled with blood and love.
No matter from the content, plot setting or lineup, No.1 Imperial Court 4 is a watershed.
In the first three films, how short and pithy the case is, after the opening song of each episode, a subtitle will appear as the introduction of the episode. In terms of the case, it can be solved within half an hour, and the thinking is clear and concise. Even if the emotional drama is put aside, it is very enjoyable to watch the court drama cut. Because of one case and one episode, the handling of the case itself is also simple, and it is not slow. Even if there is a aftertaste, it will be explained quickly at the end.
In terms of subject matter, there are many cases about female victims, and examples of domestic violence and rape are not uncommon. From a husband raping his wife to a father raping his daughter and a brother raping his sister, even Madam Lin Xueyi, played by Lin Yiqi, can’t escape the script of being humiliated, and shows her story to persuade female victims to testify in court.
Lin Xueyi (Lin Yiqi) tells the victim Wang Xueyi (Yuan Fengying) the story that she was raped.
In addition to paying attention to individual female cases, No.1 Imperial Court also pays attention to the big environmental problems that rural women groups encounter gender discrimination.
In the countryside, women have no status. In the village, they are discriminated against by men, treated unfairly, unable to inherit property, and beaten by their husbands when they can’t give birth to sons … Without legal protection, most women can only submit to it, submit to humiliation or go astray.
The female victim told her story with her mother in court.
Who knows, I was interrupted before I finished. As soon as the camera zoomed out, the male villager sitting behind protested, "Women are like this."
The women’s strength shown in it and encouraging women to speak out about the difficulties they face, whether it is the setting of the plot or the expression of lines, are also of practical significance even after 30 years.
As the second part of the drama was broadcast in 1993, when the death penalty was officially abolished in Hong Kong, with the promotion of the drama series, the No.1 Imperial Court also showed sentencing in different periods and regions.
Lines about "the death penalty"
In 1995, "No.1 Imperial Court 4" changed from a unit drama to a series for the first time, and the cases faced by the protagonist were more complicated. Therefore, in the role setting of the play, in addition to the established lawyers and policemen, the forensic doctor played by Deng Cuiwen was added as the main character for the first time.
In "No.1 Imperial Court 5", the drama series was expanded to 45 episodes at once, and Sir Bin was transferred to the Major Crimes Unit and became the subordinate of Xu Weijie (Wu Qihua), a senior inspector. The cases involved in the drama were even bloodier, and the rape case was suddenly upgraded to a serial murder case and a field dismemberment case, and the shooting scale of the modus operandi was also larger.
In Part Four and Part Five, No.1 Imperial Court has a controversial villain: Fang Weihao played by Lin Baoyi. From the point of view of right and wrong, Kelvin should be hated, but no matter how many mistakes he has made, he always has a sincerity that does not match his IQ with the woman he loves. He treats Zhijie like this, and so does Yingying. Abuse to the extreme, the love of moths to the fire, really makes people hate it.
Ben, Michael and Kelvin.
Whether it is Ben, Michael or Kelvin, in the "Gary Tang Universe", most of the male characters they created have a lot of problems, but they always maintain a childlike heart. "I smoke and drink, but I am a good man." Even if it is bad, it will not be bad to the end.
And Xu Weijie, is a special case.
The role of Mr. Xu is the biggest reason why the author insists on finishing the fifth part. He worked as an undercover in the underworld for many years, and returned to the police force as a senior inspector after catching the prisoner. But his body, but not the kind of temperament that the public thought, but was performed by Wu Qihua as a kind of bookish, gentle and gentle, as if he could be calm in the face of anything except family.
He was abandoned by his biological mother since he was a child. Many years later, his biological mother came to see him. He was also kind and accepted his mother without any resentment. Especially when the two met again, his crying scene was delicate and slightly sad and regrettable, which made people feel distressed.
The crying scene of Wu Qihua’s reunion with his biological mother
Sir Xu’s kindness and righteousness to the young and dangerous brothers who saved themselves and killed others, though worth a thousand dollars, cannot be shaken by it. Black is black, white is white, and he has long recognized it.
One thing said, this brotherhood of Xu Sir is quite good.
Xu Weijie, arguably the most perfect of Wu Qihua’s many roles, can hardly find anything wrong. Unfortunately, such perfection will eventually be broken and make way for the protagonist. In the end, Sir Xu died tragically, and thomas lee, Ada Choi’s girlfriend, went far away, went for a walk and followed Ben again. Perhaps, some roles just hurt the audience.
Although the case has escalated, the emotional drama of the last two "No.1 Imperial Court" is also more obvious. I am afraid that two-thirds of the 45-episode drama is about love, and only one-third is still talking about the case, which really falls into the court drama and has less weight. If the romance is good, it’s just that. Unfortunately, the rhythm of the emotional drama is not good, especially at the end, several pairs of Xipi broke up inexplicably and got back together without warning. The degree of dog blood is really confusing.
Although the plot structure is not perfect, it is because of dog blood that the ratings of "No.1 Imperial Court" are still good after five films. In 1998, the second year after Hong Kong’s return to China, producer Gary Tang used several leading characters of No.1 Imperial Court 5 in medical drama’s A Wonderful Hand and a Kind Heart, such as Wu Qihua, Lin Baoyi, Ada Choi, Chen Huishan, Su Yongkang, Ma Junwei, Chen Zhijing, etc., and was able to make new achievements in the play. TVB also set sail in the era of big drama in workplace drama.
Poster of "Wonderful Hands and Kindness"
Bobby Au—Yeung and Lin Baoyi were also rare together as the awarding guests at the award ceremony of Wan Qian Xing Hui held in January this year. They mentioned the time when they filmed "No.1 Imperial Court" together, and cued Tao Dayu, who was not present, but became popular because of "Inverted Earth".
Lin Baoyi and Bobby Au—Yeung were honored guests.
After 30 years, many criminal investigation methods and interrogation techniques in No.1 Imperial Court seem too simple. If we use today’s forensic technology and big data information to reorganize those cases, it will probably save a lot of detours.
Just like today’s us, it is hard to believe that a person can not change his phone number for decades. The contact information of the people in the play, such as call machine, landline, telephone booth and mobile phone without caller ID, makes people miss many opportunities, which are emotional and emotional.
However, in that environment of that year, the details of the chain of evidence, which were run, checked and dug out a little bit, were simple but sincere. Reminiscent sincerity. Many cases in the play, whether it is criminal investigation itself or court drama, have left many classic models for later similar themes.
Love, too, the protagonists are on and off, going around, sad and hurting. What you get as easy as blowing off dust may not be cherished.
If one day, you overhear Dim Lights, What Will I Do, or That’s Why You Go Away, you might as well look back at the play and relive those people and things.
[Specially published by Shanghai Literature and Art Review Special Fund]