Modern police series The Thunder starring Johnny Huang, Wu Gang, Wang Jinsong, Simon Yam and Zhang Xilin became an instant hit with its hard-hitting action, fast pace and realistic take on the lives of the men in law enforcement. It was so good that many viewers were out for blood when the writing for the stellar show started to be less than satisfactory. The Thunder, which initially had a high Douban score of 8.6 and was especially lauded for its veteran cast ended up with a 7.2 as of this writing.
The following will contain spoilers.
Viewers complained about why the show had to kill off characters like Liang Shu played by Simon Yam. Many thought his was an unnecessary death to add a sense of loss and lamented that the main character waited for 20 over years just to see his father killed before his eyes without even getting the chance to call him father. People also hated on Chen Ke who was played by Li Mozhi for having too much unwarranted exposure.
On the day of the finale on May 30, The Thunder director Fu Dongyu had written up a personal goodbye seemingly in response to the criticisms. When he took on the job, he said that he was prepared to accept judgement, be it good or bad. He explains that the story shifted from being reactive to a more proactive one with the focus on taking down the Tajiu drug syndicate. Instead of simply getting emotionally familiar with the characters, it was about the realization that it was the police’s duty to go after the criminals.
He justifies Liang Shu’s death. It wasn’t to add dramatic effect but to convey the impermanence of a character. It was to show the strength of the human heart. Fu admits that while he has an understanding of how to integrate the plot with the character, he may not have the skills to pull it off just yet.
Fu Dongyu adds that the criticisms will serve as points for him to review and reflect upon. He also apologized for not fixing the mistakes while they were still filming. Fu ended his apology by thanking everyone, especially the netizens as they have shown him his shortcomings. He adds that he looks forward to bring to life more stories that will touch the audience.
Actor Johnny Huang who also wrote up his own thank you when the series wrapped giving fans some closure when he took the chance to speak on behalf of his character Li Fei. He said what his character couldn’t in the drama and addressed Liang Shu as his father.