This is a tough one. The show is entertaining to watch, but some aspects of it really dampen the overall experience. I know nothing about production/set design and have no idea if the sets used in this show are beyond average, but after a while, the Chinatown set; and most of the other locations/sets throughout the show; were repetitive and boring to look at. I think that really affected what was happening from an immersive and entertainment point of view. Because of that, I believe the atmosphere of the show grew dull very quickly.
There's a decent amount of nudity and graphic violence, which is something to be expected from a show on Cinemax, probably. And I don't quite remember, but I think there was a sex scene or two in three episodes in a row, starting with the show's premiere. I don't really care about that, although it's understandable if that may annoy some people, and looking back on it, they were probably a little gratuitous. But the sex scenes were eased off after the first three episodes of the first season, I think.
And the graphic violence in the show was fairly prominent, I guess. The only instances which particularly stood out that I remember were the fight sequence in the ninth episode of the first season and the ending of the fight sequence in the seventh episode of the second season with Ah Toy and Lai. Personally, I can't seem to remember all of the instances of nudity and graphic violence, and general violence. I must be desensitized to stuff like that, but those two things are present in this show, so if you haven't watched this show yet, know that there is some nudity, one too many sex scenes in the first few episodes of the show, and some graphic instances of violence.
The cinematography is one of the better elements of the show - in the second season. The cinematography didn't really stick out to me that much in the first season. It wasn't bad. But for some reason, when I think back on the first season, all I can think about is that the quality of the general cinematography looked grainy. It wasn't exactly grainy, but that's the only descriptive word I can think of. That was only in the first scene of the series premiere. The rest of the cinematography after that throughout the first season was fairly decent and better in quality. But the second season is where it's at, cinematography-wise. The sixth episode was a work of beauty in that regard. There must've been a bigger budget, and the cinematographers were able to do a better job. As far as the second season is concerned, the cinematography is definitely one of the highlights.
I think the best aspect of this show is the fight sequences and the choreography of them. They're grounded. They're gritty. And the actors do a good job at performing the fight choreography by Brett Chan, the fight coordinator. And that may also include Craig Macrae and Haiyang Zhang, two stunt coordinators. I don't know the difference between both professions. The only other show I've seen with fight choreography rivaling the fight choreography in this show is Into the Badlands. And while this is probably an unpopular opinion - personally, I liked the fight choreography in that show more. But that's not to say that the fight choreography in this show is bad.
I've seen a lot of people bring up that this show is massively underrated. And, quite frankly, I don't really get it. I can understand the sentiment that it's not that popular, but a show would have to be very good for it to be considered underrated, depending on the amount of popularity it has. And I don't think this show is as great as people are saying. But I guess it's good enough to where it should be way more popular and more known.
However, I do think this is a show worth watching. But perhaps not in the way most people would say. It's worth watching because of certain characters and the fight sequences. Some of the scores used were pretty nice, too. And the cinematography, too - in the second season, especially. But the story, the plotlines, and the plot threads aren't very engaging. The thing is, looking on the bright side, I'm the odd one of the bunch plenty of times, so I imagine most people who haven't watched this show will have a different outlook towards it and that they'll think it's one of the greatest shows to exist. So, it's likely that if you're someone who hasn't watched it yet, you'll absolutely love it. Personally, I wouldn't go as far as to say that I loved it, but it was entertaining. Sometimes, that has to be enough.