In answer to the rise of Taiwanese idol dramas, in 2003 TVB produced its own 11-episode youth drama Hearts of Fencing
. From the newcomer cast to the wistful story to the fresh shooting technique, Hearts of Fencing
was quite different from traditional TVB series, and successfully left a deep impression on viewers. Met with both popularity and acclaim, the drama is not only a youth classic for Hong Kong television, but also one of TVB's more memorable productions of the early oughties. Hearts of Fencing
is completely headlined by newcomers of the time with TVB protege Chris Lai Lok Yi and singers Don Li and Race Wong of 2R leading the show, along with Natalie Tong, Sam Chan, Eddie Lee, Elaine Yiu, Kelly Fu, and Renee Tai. Singer Edmond Leung and Eileen Yeow take supporting roles as teachers. The drama also generated buzz with a bevy of celebrity cameos including Nicholas Tse, Eason Chan, Alex Fong, Edison Chen, Mini Cookies, Boy'z, Shine, Joey Yung, Yumiko Cheng, and Bobo Chen.
Hearts of Fencing revolves around the friendship, romance, and coming-of-age trials among a group of high school friends. Brothers Yat (Chris Lai) and Lok (Don Li) are like day and night when it comes to personality and grades, but they end up both falling for the same girl (Race Wong) and the sport of fencing. Along with arrogant rich kid Don (Eddie Lee), loyal sidekick Lung (Sam Chan), fangirl Ching (Natalie Tong), innocent bookworm Man (Elaine Yiu), food lover Yee (Renee Tai), and romance expert Mui (Kelly Fu), the friends go through the ups and downs of youth, but the price of growing up is higher than they could have ever imagined.