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No Regrets' finale touches many

| Friday, December 3, 2010 | |

TVB's anniversary drama No Regrets and sitcom Someday aired their final episodes the night before at TVB City, with 800 people watching the finale together with them. Last year, Rosy Business's Chai Gau held peacefully as he held 4th Wife's hands, making many people cry; in No Regrets, Gau Mui and Lau Sing only met each other after 30 years apart and lived the rest of their lives together. The ending of this drama was already revealed by gossip magazines long ago, making the back-stage crew very angry. However, even people like Sheren Tang, Helen Ma, Elena Kong etc, who knew the ending long ago couldn't help but cry with the rest of the audience.

TVB's award ceremony will be held this coming Sunday, and voting has already ended the night before. According to TVB, the finale of No Regrets averaged 44 points (highest 47 points, not including myTV views). The highest point was recorded at 11.23 pm, when both Lau Sing and Gau Mui were viewing the sunset together, with 99% of the audience tuning in to watch that scene. The ratings have also beaten Can't Buy Me Love's ratings of 42 points (highest 45 points), therefore becoming the highest-rated TVB drama for year 2010.

Applause: Long Gwan killing Siu Hong
Tears: Lau Sing meeting Gau Mui 30 years later
The audience thought that Ching Ching's death was a bit bland. One said, "It's a bit boring by just reading the diary." However, the scene where Long Gwan shot Siu Hong 4 times drew applause from the audience. At the end, when Gau Mui was in danger, Lau Sing arrived on time and said, "If you want to kill her, you'll have to kill me first, step over my body before you can kill her!". This scene also drew appaluse from the audience

Lau Sing's and Gau Mui's relationship attracted much attention. Although their relationship was portrayed using flashbacks accompanied with touching music, but it succeeded in moving the audience to tears. After the 2 of them separated, Gau Mui would relentlessly post advertisements on newspapers, trying to find out Lau Sing's whereabouts. This scene made many people cry. At last, when the 2 of them met each other at Ju Long Lei, with Gau Mui calling "Lau Sing!" and Lau Sing looking back, this scene moved many people to tears and drew applause as well. When the drama finally ended, many female artistes and the audience were seen dabbing away their tears. Even the host of the event was so choked with emotions that she could not speak for a while, and had to request for a breather before continuing with the recording.

The background of this drama is difficult to grasp. Are they being too ambitious?
No Regrets is one of the rare few TVB dramas that touch on national identity and history. The Japanese Occupation, the internal strifes, the Cultural Revolution - it is already half a century of China's history. This is a very big risk, considering the fact that they have limited resources, and TVB is not good in making such dramas. Also, the Hong Kongers do not like to see these kind of dramas. No Regrets is able to get good ratings for its premiere week because of the good character development. However, the ratings did not rise increase a lot, and some viewers have said that this drama lacks the "war-time" feel.

Producer Lee: The main point is not about national identity, but on people and feelings
To this, Producer Lee said, "The drama is not about national identity. We want to portray the lives of ordinary citizens during that era, and how they had no control over their fate. Of course we had to bring in some of the atrocities committed by the Japanese, but that is only the background. If I watched The Memories and Nanking! Nanking!, I would only watch them once in my lifetime. No matter how good the production is, and how close it is to history, it is still very depressing. No matter how objective we try to be when we are creating the drama, we also want to input morals, values and how these people feel and live. This will make people think and reflect, which is also what makes this drama comes alive."

Sheren Tang: We may be inexperienced, but I support our ambition
Sheren Tang, who has all along been very frank, confessed, "Yes, No Regrets doesn't really have the "war-time" feel, and our outdoor scenes are not very convincing. We have already tried out best in filming the scenes in the concentration camp. Before filming, we have agreed that the clothes we wear must be ripped and tattered. However, we see clean and tidy clothes all the time, and we knew that it couldn't be possible in those times. We tried to "ruin" the clothes, but we only managed to rub the colours off the clothes. They ended up looking like clean rags at worst. TVB is just a company, and it is quite difficult to pay attention to every minute detail in the drama, but we have already tried our best. I think this is because we are inexperienced in such matters." Sheren emphasised, "However, I hope the audience feel our sincerity. Under such circumstances, we have undertaken a very big risk. The creators of this drama must have the guts to undertake this challenge. When we received the scripts to this drama, we already knew that this was not going to be easy, but we support these ambitious plans!"

Audience: We don't care about history, we care more about the fate of the characters
Regarding the history aspect of the drama, the audience and the critics don't see eye-to-eye. One said, "I thought the production crew spent quite a lot of effort in this. For example, when Gau Mui returned to Guangzhou in 1979, Pai Guat was holding an old-fasion thermos flask. The cracked and old paint on the walls and the black-and-white photos really looked like the 1980s. Actually, I don't really bother about how the background of the drama is portrayed. I'm more concerned with the way the characters in the drama develop. The ending was good and full of feelings. It makes me want to rewatch those episodes that I've missed." Another said, "I can accept the flaws in production. But I really like Lau Sing's and Gau Mui's relationship. They may not have many intimate scenes together, but there's really lots of feeling!"

Flaws in this drama 
Fala Chen's character, Ching Ching, loves to write her diary. However, the audience are irritated with Ching Ching's incessant readings of her diary. Some netizens have even said that this scene is the perfect time for going to the toilet. When Ching Ching died, Yeung Yeung still had to read her diary during her funeral to recount her happy memories at Ju Long Lei.

Producer Lee explained, "This is just another filming technique, that's all. In the past, people have the habit of writing diaries, especially the girls. The diary expresses Ching Ching's thoughts, and can also help to "shift" time and bring across less important scenes. If not for the diary, we would not be able to film the beginnings of the Japanese Occupation, because we can't even find the truck that is used in that era. However, some people request that we put in climax in every episodes without leaving space to breathe. I do not wish to accommodate them."

Lee Tim Shing signs on for 2 more years; Sheren and Wayne prepare their "armour"

Today's guests: Lee Tim Shing, Sheren Tang, Wayne Lai

No Regrets' ratings beat Can't Buy Me Love, increasing the competition between Sheren and Charmaine Sheh, Wayne and Moses Chan. No Regrets is supposed to be Lee Tim Shing's last work for TVB before retiring. However, he will stay on for another 2 years. "Mr Norman Leung treated me to dinner, and asked me to renew my contract. I didn't want to reject him, so I agreed."

"Has your salary increased?"


"Is it because they want you to film Rosy Business 3?"

"I'm not sure what I'll film, but I'm afraid it won't be the Rosy Business series anymore. It's too tiring, and I don't think I can take it."

"Will the next script involve this golden pairing (Sheren and Wayne) again?"

"Not sure. I have to see the script before I decide who is suitable. I rarely write scripts to suit an artiste."

On 1st November 2010, when Sheren Tang came onto my programme to do an interview, she said that she won't be attending the awards ceremony on 5th December 2010. 3 weeks alter, she changed her mind. Sheren said happily, "Since I gave my all, I might as attend. I rejected offers from people to attend the ceremony. Wyman Wong has agreed to help me choose my dress, and there are already sponsors for my accessories." Wayne is also preparing his "armour", but hasn't thought of what to say yet. "If I really win, I will say what I want to say from my heart. The list of people whom I want to thank is already in my head. As for my feelings, I will leave it till then."

Wayne sees No Regrets as his representative work. "The whole team is really good, because everybody gave their all.". Sheren said, "While filming this drama, I realised that if you love someone, you don't necessarily have to get married. Gau Mui and Lau Sing have given their all to protect each other. This kind of love is very romantic."

Final thoughts
Producer Lee: The pacing of the last 2 episodes is slower. Actually, both me and Cheung Wah Biu didn't see eye-to-eye in this aspect. Should we write about people killing and burning down each other's houses? After which, we decided against it and wrote more about feelings instead. If it's a sad ending, the audience will not like it. So we decided to give up on our initial plan and wrote more about feelings instead."

Sheren Tang: I like the scene where Lau Sing and Gau Mui were talking about life and death. I said, "Who will wait for me in heaven if I die?" He said, "Let's see who goes first. If I leave first, I'll wait for you." What touches me the most is that to love is to endure till the very end. Even if the person isn't by your side, and even if there is no chance in meeting each other again, but so long as the person is in your heart, you can walk till the end together.

Wayne Lai: I have no regrets filming this drama. On the whole, there are still some regrets. Because of the budget constraint, some scenes were not up to our expectations. However, there will always be cons when there are pros.

- Credits to Southern Metropolis Daily

Comments: Phew, I've finally finished translating this article! =D It's really very long, but for people to know more about how much effort the No Regrets' crew have put into this drama, it's worth it. Read to find out why certain scenes are like that, and why other scenes are like that. Once again, I really want to thank the crew for their tremendous effort! *salutes*




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