Speculations on Original Sin

This world giveth, and it taketh away. The spreading stain of Wokeness has taken away the US’s formerly world-leading position in the production of interesting movies and TV shows. At the same time, the development of streaming technology has given us Deplorables easy access to alternative global media – provided we are comfortable with subtitles.

In that spirit, let me recommend a 2018 Chinese TV crime drama series, “Original Sin” – 24 episodes of about 45 minutes each. This is definitely not a Woke series – the two principal characters are actually male, and not even homosexual! Even though there are important female characters in the drama, this is obviously not the kind of premise that any self-respecting politically-correct director from Disney or the BBC would touch today.

These two characters are a disbarred lawyer and an overly-intense police detective, each of whom in his own way is committed to justice rather than legality. The lawyer was disbarred for trying to save a battered wife from the charge of murdering her abusive husband – he destroyed evidence by burning the corpse. He now has a well-compensated, if stressful, life running mostly-legal front businesses for a dangerous crime boss. The driven detective is known to cross the line in trying to extract confessions from suspects, and is rumored to have shot dead his long-time detective partner.

Wheels within wheels compel these two antagonists to work together to investigate a sequence of gruesome murders, mostly driven by the human passions of jealousy, greed, & revenge. The situation is further complicated by both men being haunted by demons from their pasts, while a miasma of high-level corruption overshadows their efforts and sows distrust.

At their best, the complex plot lines of the various crimes approach the level of Shakespearean tragedies; the scripts are intelligent and emotionally powerful, with surprising twists; the acting is excellent; and the photography at times soars. Well worth watching, if one is attuned to the deliberate pacing of many Chinese productions.

Two other factors make this series interesting:

The first is that it was set in Malaysia rather than China, mostly in fictional Hua City, which looks rather like Kuala Lumpur. Perhaps the same economic factors which have driven US TV productions to Canada and “Hollywood” movies to anywhere but California are persuading Chinese producers to look overseas?

The second is the background of Hua City/Kuala Lumpur – with clean streets, vibrant art markets, bustling clubs, attractive street cafes, dramatic modern architecture, impressive urban freeways, smooth rapid transit. Back in the days when the English ruled the Malayan peninsula, they dismissed it as “A first-rate country for second-rate people”. Today, Kuala Lumpur is leaving declining London in its dust. The positive aspect here is that, even if Western Europe bumbles its way into nuclear annihilation, elsewhere on the planet the human race will continue to move forward.


Thank you. Very interesting. This is a link to the playlist on YouTube:


I hope the YouTube ads will not be too suffocating.