Sunday, 18 December 2016

TVB Anniversary Awards Ceremony 2016 Review

2016 萬千星輝頒獎典禮 - 2016 TVB Anniversary Awards Ceremony

As you may have been aware, I have not blogged or posted anything about HKTVB dramas for a while, but this year I’ve managed to still watch the series that stood out, and have been anticipating this year’s awards ceremony to see who will grab the honours.

My overall thoughts of this year's award ceremony are that it was eye-opening, refreshing, majestical, at few moments emotional, in some ways ground-breaking, and at all times captivating.

Sounds like I really enjoyed the show? Well I did, for the most part, where this year’s award ceremony was like no other year. Although somewhat awkward and risqué, the banters were funny with some nice play of words and great uses of recent news and discussions from netizens, etc. The guest speakers were quite wonderful and brought back a lot of memories, from Virtues of Harmony, to Come Home Love, to Jessica Hsuan, Frankie Lam, Sheren Tang and the likes. It did feel weird though, with Sheren Tang there, who was obviously in bad terms with HKTVB since Beauty at War but glad to see her again. Also weird with Frankie Lam who was quite anti-TVB but glad to see him again as well and makes sense with him there since he filmed a series for TVB recently with Jessica.

First of all, what I enjoyed was the format of the show. I liked how this year they showed a list of finalist that was appropriately numbered to 3 and 5, showing their reactions once it was announced and less of the emotional background music from the other year. Even though sometimes the camera was off but I am not too bothered frankly. That being said, the pacing was definitely rushed but still took over two hours so was necessary I guess.

Second are some talented hosts. Thankfully this year there is none of the croaky voice from Dodo Cheng and neither was it just her talking most of the time. This year round, it was with the two duos (one short, one tall, both talented) and Sammy. I commend Sammy for being a very competent host who was sharp-minded and pulled some nice banters even if others might think he can be rather awkward or non-fluent, which takes confidence and experience to master. The parts where the camera focused away from the front stage to where Dodo was with the duo was light-heartened and quite funny to watch. I could tell that a lot of preparation and planning went towards which shown with the coordination, but again, some odd moments that didn’t matter too much.

What mattered, though, was feel and vibe of the ceremony. I did watch the StarHub and Malaysia Awards which was much more grand and looked bigger scale-wise in terms of audience and venue, and somehow surprisingly TVB took another direction and made it feel welcoming rather than being sombre like the other year. It was in essence felt very home-like and very Hong Kong like.

What matters more, of course, are the awards and the awards recipients. Some results were as expected, and some others, were surprising, for the better or worse.

TVB Anniversary Awards for Lifetime Achievement
Winner - Chow Chong

Thoughts – Very happy and glad that he got it and he was truly shocked. Great speech with him talking about him not wanting to retire and his passion for acting. Among the elder veterans, Chow Chong is not really the more famous bunch like Law Lan, Wu Fung, Lau Kong and the likes, and I see him as one of the humble ones who shows sincerity in this works. It was nice to see him star this year in House of Spirits where he gave a moving performance as someone who couldn’t let go of his beloved one, that is, Lan Yi. His most memorable performance for me was still in Moonlight Resonance as grandpa though. Again, very thrilled to see him get this award and hope to see him in more dramas for should I say the mega year for TVB’s 50th Anniversary next year?

Most Improved Female Artiste
Tracy Chu (“Speed of Life”, “K9 Cop”, “Over Run Over”)
Stephanie Ho (“Love as a Predatory Affair”, “Blue Veins”, “Dead Wrong”, “Jade Solid Gold”, “I Heart HK”)
Ali Lee (“Fashion War”, “Brother’s Keeper II”, “Law dis-Order”, “Sidewalk Scientist”, “Organized Dining”, “Anchors with Passport (Sr. 2)”)
Mayanne Mak (“Sidewalk Scientist”, “Anchors with Passport (Sr. 2)”, “A Starry Homecoming”, “Community Chest Charity Show”, “TVB Most Popular TV Commercial Awards 2016”, “I Heart HK”, “Sermon by Sir Ben”, “天與地”)
Moon Lau (“Angel In-the-Making”, “Over Run Over”, “Blue Veins”, “House of Spirits”, “A Fist Within Four Walls”, “Birth of 8 Records”)
Katy Kung (“The Executioner”, “Two Steps from Heaven”)

Hot favourites this year: Tracy Chu, Moon Lau, Katy Kung

Winner: Ali Lee

Thoughts – Quite a shocking result I say. I think Moon Lau was the expected one since she starred in a lot of dramas that stood out this year and her acting was natural and well-received. Compared to last year’s Raising the Bar, she improved tremendously and I definitely think this was her ‘harvesting year’. Ali Lee, on the other hand, didn’t actually get much noise despite heavy roles given to her, such as Fashion War and Law dis-order. I do believe that rigging and favouritism was involved for this award but nevertheless I am fine with Ali Lee as an actress even if she is a bit one-dimensional on her roles. Her most memorable role this year was Brothers Keeper II where I think she was more natural and gave a coherent performance there, but her most memorable role overall was from Overachievers as a convincing mistress. She is indeed convincing in the non-innocent roles based on appearance.

Most Improved Male Artiste
James Ng (“Blue Veins”, “Jade Solid Gold”, “Organized Dining”, “Music Power”, “J.S.G. Selections 2016 (Part 1)”, Big Boys Summer)
Matthew Ho (“Brother’s Keeper II”, “Law dis-Order”, “No Reserve”)
Hubert Wu (“Blue Veins”, “Taipei High Hi”, “Sermon by Sir Ben”)
Mark Ma (“Love as a Predatory Affair”, “Speed of Life”, “Short End of the Stick”, “Come Home Love: Dinner at 8”, “Presumed Accidents”, “Between Love & Desire”, “Inspector Gourmet”)
Bob Cheung (“Over Run Over”, “House of Spirits”, “Between Love & Desire”, “Daddy Dearest”, “Spirits on Vacation”)
Cheung Wing Hong (“The Last Healer in Forbidden City, “House of Spirits”, “A Fist Within Four Walls”, “Spirits on Vacation”)

Hot favourite(s) this year: Cheung Wing Hong

Winner – Cheung Wing Hong

Thoughts – For a usually extremely competitive category, this year it was weak with candidates that either hardly had any presence on TV, or had no word or mouth from the audience. That is of course, except for Cheung Wing Hong who was enjoyable to watch as Little Bo in this year’s House of Spirits. Most Improved Male Artiste though? Strictly speaking no because he gave a stiff performance for a pointless character in A Fist within Four Walls, which was his latter role. I do find him a competent actor, although perhaps limited, and can’t believe his transition from such a minor role as the Emperor’s slave in Beyond the Realm of Conscience to carrying supporting actor roles. His speech was again great and his wife cried her heart out. Kudos to Cheung Wing Hong for an actor who gained recognition by TVB.

Most Popular Series Partnership
Wayne Lai, Edwin Siu, Raymond Cho & Power Chan (“Short End of the Stick”)
Vincent Wong & Tracy Chu (“Over Run Over”)
Jimmy Au & Kim Li (“Come Home Love: Dinner at 8”)
Bowie Wu & Helena Law (“House of Spirits”)
Joyce Tang & Koni Lui (“House of Spirits”)
Ruco Chan & Benjamin Yuen (“A Fist Within Four Walls”)
Carat Cheung, Apple Chan, Chloe Nguyen & Doris Chow (“A Fist Within Four Walls”)
Alex Fong & Florence Kwok (“Law dis-Order”)
Eddie Kwan & Vivien Yeo (“My Lover from the Planet Meow”)
Bosco Wong, Edwin Siu & Louis Cheung (“Two Steps from Heaven”)

Hot Favourites this year: the ones from Short End of the Stick, Over Run Over, House of Spirits & Two Steps from Heaven.

Winner – Over Run Over

Thoughts – Not much thoughts but I did know for a fact that Vincent and Tracy had great chemistry in Over Run Over so well-deserved. Would have preferred Wayne Lai, Edwin Siu, Raymond Cho & Power Chan who were complementary and fantastic together as an ensemble and partnership. Again I am satisfied with the result.

Most Popular Series Song
我們都受傷 (“Angel In-the-Making”) – Jinny Ng
真我 (“Angel In-the-Making”) – Aaryn Cheung
相信明天 (“The Executioner”) – Hubert Wu
記住忘記我 (“Wu Xin the Monster Killer”) – Alfred Hui
愛情食物鏈 (“Love as a Predatory Affair”) – Stephanie Ho
同步 (“Speed of Life”) – Justin Lo
你懂我 (“K9 Cop”) – Linda Chung
聽海 (“K9 Cop”) – Vivian Koo
藍天白雲 (“Short End of the Stick”) – Edwin Siu
最真心一對 (“Over Run Over”) – Stephanie Ho
靈魂的痛 (“The Last Healer in Forbidden City”) – Hubert Wu
完美的生活 (“Come Home Love: Dinner at 8”) – Jinny Ng
諸神混亂 (“Blue Veins”) – Kay Tse
天地不容 (“Blue Veins”) – Hubert Wu
The Only One (“Blue Veins”) – Stephanie Ho
火線下 (“My Dangerous Mafia Retirement Plan”) – Fred Cheng
問天 (“Nirvana in Fire”) – Alfred Hui
可以背負更多 (“Nirvana in Fire”) – Jinny Ng
天地 (“Nirvana in Fire”) – Alfred Hui
命運的意外 (“Presumed Accidents”) – Hubert Wu
講 (“Come with Me”) – Sharon Chan, Louis Yuen, Grace Wong, Hoffman Cheng, Ronald Law & Stephanie Ho
愛的溫暖 (“House of Spirits”) – Edwin Siu
最後一次分手 (“Between Love & Desire”) – Jinny Ng
爸爸 (“Daddy Dearest”) – Hubert Wu
圍城 (“A Fist Within Four Walls”) – Ruco Chan
從未知道你最好 (“A Fist Within Four Walls”) – Ruco Chan & Nancy Wu
誰可改變 (“Brother’s Keeper II”) – Ruco Chan
誘心人 (“Inspector Gourmet”) – Jinny Ng
我記不起 (“Inspector Gourmet”) – Linda Chung
公義的抉擇 (“Law dis-Order”) – Hubert Wu
Can You See (“Law dis-Order”) – Kayee Tam
夢裡花 (“The Imperial Doctress”) – Stephanie Ho
孤嶺花 (“No Reserve”) – Kay Tse
喵喵 ft. C Kwan & Moses Chan (“My Lover from the Planet Meow”) – Alvin Ng, Auston Lam & Penny Chan
得寵 (“My Lover from the Planet Meow”) – Kristal Tin & Nancy Wu
造王 (“Two Steps from Heaven”) – Hubert Wu
不可告人 (“Dead Wrong”) – Vincent Wong
愛需要勇氣 (“Dead Wrong”) – Stephanie Ho

Hot favourites - 從未知道你最好, 愛的溫暖 and others

Winner - 從未知道你最好

Thoughts – It boiled down to the three songs that I generally liked, and I am glad and did expect Nancy and Ruco to win. Their song was well-sang and it did remind me of the series, and in that aspect, this song was well-deserving because it managed to relate back to the series and sound good. Other than that though, other songs were much more well-sang by the other professional singers and my favourite is still the theme song for House of Spirits that was heartwarming to listen to. It was very heartbreaking to hear when they mentioned a fan who loved this song and the series is currently in a coma and that’s when it started to feel sad. I do hope good he will get the chance to wake up and see this moment.

Best Supporting Actress
Elaine Yiu (“The Executioner”)
Akina Hong (“The Executioner”)
Rachel Kan (“Speed of Life”)
Lin Xia Wei (“Short End of the Stick”)
Yoyo Chen (“Short End of the Stick”)
Zoie Tam (“Over Run Over”)
Jeannie Chan (“Blue Veins”)
Elena Kong (“ICAC Investigators 2016”)
Kingdom Yuen (“My Dangerous Mafia Retirement Plan”)
Koni Lui (“House of Spirits”)
Joyce Tang (“House of Spirits”)
Helena Law (“House of Spirits”)
Roxanne Tong (“Between Love & Desire”)
Grace Wong (“A Fist Within Four Walls”)
Jade Leung (“Brother’s Keeper II”)
Florence Kwok (“Law dis-Order”)
Vivien Yeo (“My Lover from the Planet Meow”)
Moon Lau (“Two Steps from Heaven”)
Katy Kung (“Two Steps from Heaven”)
Rebecca Zhu (“Dead Wrong”)

Hot favourites this year - Joyce Tang, Grace Wong and Katy Kung

Winner – Katy Kung

Thoughts – Very happy indeed and sort of expected even though was unsure because this year it’s the Best Supporting Actress category that was the talk of the town. Joyce for her comeback in House of Spirits, Grace Wong for her intriguing performance in A Fist within Four Walls, and Katy Kung for her eye-watery performance in Two Steps from Heaven. I think all of them did a fantastic job and am glad that Katy Kung got it. I have seen Katy mature as an actress and she has indeed delivered top-notch performances and it shows with the award proving the nods from the panel & voters. Kudos to Katy Kung who gave an eye-watery speech to her amazement.

Best Supporting Actor
Law Lok Lam (“The Executioner”)
Oscar Leung (“K9 Cop”)
John Chiang (“Short End of the Stick”)
Wai Ka Hung (“Short End of the Stick”)
Raymond Cho (“Short End of the Stick”)
Power Chan (“Short End of the Stick”)
Pal Sinn (“Over Run Over”)
Joel Chan (“Blue Veins”)
Lai Lok Yi (“Presumed Accidents”)
Cheung Wing Hong (“House of Spirits”)
Philip Ng (“A Fist Within Four Walls”)
Carlo Ng (“A Fist Within Four Walls”)
Oscar Li (“A Fist Within Four Walls”)
Jimmy Au (“A Fist Within Four Walls”)
Hugo Ng (“Brother’s Keeper II”)
Mat Yeung (“Brother’s Keeper II”)
Matthew Ho (“Law dis-Order”)
Ram Chiang (“Law dis-Order”)
Luk Wing (“Two Steps from Heaven”)
Ku Ming Wah (“Dead Wrong”)

Hot favourites this year – Raymond Cho, Philip Ng, Carol Ng, Mat Yeung and others

Winner – Raymond Cho

Thoughts – First of all, truly shocking, with Luk Wing being one of the three finalists who Dodo said she didn’t know he got nominated (whether she was joking or not, pretty sure a lot of others didn’t know he got nominated at all as well) so that was very shocking among all others that could have been nominated. Other finalists include Hugo Ng, who I thought gave an over the top performance in Brothers Keeper that made him a caricature. That being said, I am very glad Raymond Cho got it for his fine-tuned performance in Short End of the Stick. I frankly thought I was dreaming when he got it because he didn’t get recognised for his work of acting for many years, and I shouldn’t have been surprised because the past few years it has been given to dark horse contenders and this year Raymond Cho’s first win before this HK awards ceremony should have given a clear indication that he would take it. Kudos to Raymond Cho!

Most Popular TV Female Character
Akina Hong (“The Executioner”)
Natalie Tong (“Speed of Life”)
Linda Chung (“K9 Cop”)
Lin Xia Wei (“Short End of the Stick”)
Tracy Chu (“Over Run Over”)
Angela Tong (“Come Home Love: Dinner at 8”)
Kay Tse (“Blue Veins”)
Eliza Sam (“My Dangerous Mafia Retirement Plan”)
Alice Chan (“My Dangerous Mafia Retirement Plan”)
Koni Lui (“House of Spirits”)
Joyce Tang (“House of Spirits”)
Grace Wong (“A Fist Within Four Walls”)
Yuen Chau (“A Fist Within Four Walls”)
Nancy Wu (“A Fist Within Four Walls”)
Kristal Tin (“Brother’s Keeper II”)
Jacqueline Wong (“Inspector Gourmet”)
Ali Lee (“Law dis-Order”)
Mandy Wong (“Law dis-Order”)
Priscilla Wong (“Two Steps from Heaven”)
Joey Meng (“Dead Wrong”)

Hot favourites – Joyce Tang, Grace Wong, Nancy Wu, Kristal Tin

Winner – Grace Wong

Thoughts – Another shocking result, in a great way. Shocking, in the sense that it is usually reserved for those who are nominated for Best Actress but didn’t get it or was a bonus award if she got it. Grace Wong should have gotten Best Actress anyway for her top-notch performance as Fa Man. She was eye-catching to say the least and very expressive. She too was shocked at her win and again another great speech. In the past I had an issue with Grace Wong for how she delivers her words. It sounded too curvy and was irritating to me, but I did notice her from Tiger Cubs where she got my attention and then Fa Man made me go wow. Kudos to Grace Wong!

Most Popular TV Male Character
Tony Hung (“Angel In-the-Making”)
Jason Chan (“Love as a Predatory Affair”)
Raymond Cho (“Short End of the Stick”)
Wayne Lai (“Short End of the Stick”)
Him Law (“Fashion War”)
Vincent Wong (“Over Run Over”)
Wong Kwong Leung (“My Dangerous Mafia Retirement Plan”)
Mat Yeung (“My Dangerous Mafia Retirement Plan”)
Eddie Cheung (“Come with Me”)
Bowie Wu (“House of Spirits”)
Bobby Au Yeung (“House of Spirits”)
Benjamin Yuen (“A Fist Within Four Walls”)
Ruco Chan (“A Fist Within Four Walls”)
Hugo Ng (“Brother’s Keeper II”)
Louis Yuen (“Brother’s Keeper II”)
Alex Fong (“Law dis-Order”)
Eddie Kwan (“My Lover from the Planet Meow”)
Louis Cheung (“Two Steps from Heaven”)
Bosco Wong (“Two Steps from Heaven”)
Roger Kwok (“Dead Wrong”)

Hot favourites this year – Vincent Wong, Bobby Au Yeung, Ruco Chan, Roger Kwok

Winner – Benjamin Yuen

Thoughts – Another shocking result. Am satisfied, even though I feel all the actors aforementioned in terms of acting-wise and popularity deserved it more. Benjamin had a very likeable role in A Fist within Four Walls who was calm, observant, and logical in his approaches yet caring and charismatic. His speech was probably the most memorable when he mentioned about Jennifer and not dedicating enough time and effort towards his close ones, such as his family. Everyone could tell that he still indeed loves her and it was likely Jennifer’s insecurity to be the reason but back to the awards kudos to Benjamin who I find rather humble even if his acting is raw.

Best Leading Actress
Maggie Shiu (“The Executioner”)
Kitty Yuen (“Love as a Predatory Affair”)
Samantha Ko (“Love as a Predatory Affair”)
Natalie Tong (“Speed of Life”)
Sisley Choi (“Speed of Life”)
Linda Chung (“K9 Cop”)
Tavia Yeung (“The Last Healer in Forbidden City”)
Teresa Mo (“Come Home Love: Dinner at 8”)
Grace Chan (“Blue Veins”)
Eliza Sam (“My Dangerous Mafia Retirement Plan”)
Alice Chan (“My Dangerous Mafia Retirement Plan”)
Selena Li (“Presumed Accidents”)
Sharon Chan (“Come with Me”)
Nancy Wu (“A Fist Within Four Walls”)
Kristal Tin (“Brother’s Keeper II”)
Ali Lee (“Law dis-Order”)
Mandy Wong (“Law dis-Order”)
Priscilla Wong (“Two Steps from Heaven”)
Joey Meng (“Dead Wrong”)

Hot favourites – Nancy Wu, Kristal Tin

Winner – Nancy Wu

Thoughts – In retrospect, this year’s Best Actress category was worst with really Nancy Wu getting all the praises and mentions from the general public, and Kristal Tin for her emotional scenes in Brother’s Keeper II. Acting wise, I still think there are some who are deserving, like Teresa Mo and Maggie Shiu who were commendable and deserves a mention at least but failed to create a hype like Nancy. Priscilla Wong’s scene with Bosco in the hospital bed and last ending moment when she slyly smiled while dying also deserves a mention. I thought I was dreaming again with Maggie Shiu being in top five because she doesn't seem to get recognised in awards ceremony much. Now back to Nancy Wu. I am satisfied she won because I quite liked her in here. She reminded me of Dodo Cheng as Francis Mo in her other series with the stinginess and shallowness but Nancy’s role was multi-dimensional that required her to be funny, likeable, unlikeable, pitied for, sort of like Charmaine’s Ting Jie role. I think Nancy did great in that scene where Yam Yam died and the moment she changed from being heartbroken of her death to hatred and coldness and then killing all the culprits. Very intriguing scene. Kudos to Nancy Wu.

Best Leading Actor
Kenny Wong (“The Executioner”)
Raymond Wong (“K9 Cop”)
Wayne Lai (“Short End of the Stick”)
Moses Chan (“Fashion War”)
Vincent Wong (“Over Run Over”)
Kevin Cheng (“Blue Veins”)
Kent Cheng (“My Dangerous Mafia Retirement Plan”)
Lawrence Ng (“Presumed Accidents”)
Bobby Au Yeung (“House of Spirits”)
Ben Wong (“Between Love & Desire”)
Johnson Lee (“Daddy Dearest”)
Benjamin Yuen (“A Fist Within Four Walls”)
Ruco Chan (“A Fist Within Four Walls”) *
Edwin Siu (“Brother’s Keeper II”)
Kenneth Ma (“Inspector Gourmet”)
Alex Fong (“Law dis-Order”)
Liu Kai Chi (“Law dis-Order”)
Louis Cheung (“Two Steps from Heaven”)
Bosco Wong (“Two Steps from Heaven”)
Roger Kwok (“Dead Wrong”) *

Hot favourites – Ruco Chan, Bobby Au Yueng, Roger Kwok

Winner – Ruco Chan

Thoughts – Rans of Ruco will cheer for his big win with him grabbing all three TV King awards this year. I personally prefer Roger Kwok who stole the limelight for his character a Vincent in Dead Wrong, and which again proved how versatile and masterful he is as an actor. When his series ending was shown a day before the awards ceremony, everyone predicted he would win but at the end of the day it’s still Ruco. I think Ruco was very expressive and top-notch with his role in A Fist Within Four Walls with his character was sort of drown in the sea of pointlessness, buried in the sinkhole of the series latter half. This win is pretty much Ruco’s verification of him being the biggest star of TVB right now, and he deserves it. Kudos to Ruco!

Best Series
“Angel In-the-Making”
“The Executioner”
“Love as a Predatory Affair”
“Speed of Life”
“K9 Cop”
“Short End of the Stick”
“Fashion War”
“Over Run Over”
“The Last Healer in Forbidden City”
“Come Home Love: Dinner at 8”
“Blue Veins”
“ICAC Investigators 2016”
“My Dangerous Mafia Retirement Plan”
“Presumed Accidents”
“Come with Me”
“House of Spirits”
“Between Love & Desire”
“Daddy Dearest”
“A Fist Within Four Walls”
“Brother’s Keeper II”
“Inspector Gourmet”
“Law dis-Order”
“No Reserve”
“My Lover from the Planet Meow”
“Two Steps from Heaven”
“Dead Wrong”

Hot favourites this year – House of Spirits, A Fist Within Four Walls

Winner – A Fist within Four Walls

Thoughts – Highly expected this result and again satisfied. It was a very intriguing show even if it died down to nothing really exciting. Great kung fu scenes, some nice dialogues, great characters and wonderful performances secured his series to be a high performer rating and word of mouth wise. House of Spirits on the hand, also stands in the high tier with fantastic chemistry of the casts, heart-warming performances and a story that was interesting yet but it didn’t all go out or wasn’t bold enough like A Fist Within Four Walls. A Fist Within Four Walls tried to be a master of everything, being comedic, being serious, being action-packed, being emotional, being heartwarming and everything but it lacked a coherent storyline. Nevertheless, kudos!

Other mentions goes to the professional artiste awards. First up was Koo Ming Wah with was surprising since he may be perceived as someone who is not a veteran and already someone who won a supporting actor role, thus not an expected person to be in the calibre of veterans list for this award but it was well-deserved after knowing how many years he has been in TVB and all the roles his dedicated and tried, minor or major, disgusting or sensible, despicable or likeable, he's done it all, professionally. Congratulations.

Congratulations to Carol Ng who deserved it despite his lack of presence in HKTVB in recent years. I always found him someone who is talented in comedy and a complementary actor in TV series and he managed to give a chilling performance as a villain in A Fist Within Four Walls. Great speech with him thanking his wife.

I don't remember the name of the last award recipient but he indeed has a face we are all familiar with. I can still remember him from War of the Genders and I feel he is a heartfelt actor who again puts in a lot of effort to his roles, big or small. Good to see him again and I congratulate him.

Ah yes. The chicken segment, was bold, and perhaps funny, at the same time. As you may know, HKTVB got fined last time for cross-promotion with the actors eating KFC chicken during the awards ceremony. This time they got chicken, but not by KFC, and made by the celebrity chefs from TVB. I laughed when this again and it was a bold move from HKTVB that perhaps showed their power and unapologetic from last time while promoting their original celebrity food shows. At least HKTVB's got guts.

This time round, also, Carol Cheng shined as a host. I started to dislike her with all the nuisance, loud and dominating vibe she gives when hosting, and it's still here, but she lightened up a bit this year and toned down to being funny and complementary with the other hosts. My favourite moment was when the trio was mocking what they should do when they get the award or when they do not. The award candidates also laughed.

I will not mention about the other awards but I feel in general all the award recipients were well-deserved. A big applause to TVB this year for being different, especially starting off with the mannequin challenge which got my attention straight away and it was refreshing to say the least. With the brilliant talent of the artists in TVB world, I hope next year there will be explosive series filled with plentiful performances that will make next year’s TVB Awards Ceremony a seriously competitive one!

Saturday, 13 February 2016

TVB Love as a Predatory Affair 愛情食物鏈 Review

This series knew it had nothing really much to offer, so it tried hard to make it interesting, meaningful and thought-proactive, when really it just tries to send one simple message; don't judge a book by it's cover.

If only I judged the serial's cover and decide not to watch it.

One of my least anticipated series of 2016, it was embarrassing to watch the sales presentation clip where the CGI was awful to say the least, the cast was weak and the storyline looked nothing particularly interesting. Does this mean this series is pure trash? Perhaps, but it was still watchable because of several redeeming factors.

The redeeming factors is the ok performance by the cast. King Kong as Hung Sin played a role that was obviously was tailored for him, with his Taiwanese background. What I don't understand is his perseverance and love towards Hestia (portrayed by Samantha Ko). He was amused at Hestia's eye-watching figure, but what else? Doesn't that make his blind love swallow? His character was silly to say the least but King Kong didn't fortunately tried the best to make his character watchable.

Lau Kong as Lau Kam was also fine. Not much to comment on his veteran performance but it was adequate. Lau Kong these days seem to the TVB producer's first choice for any veteran role (also because there aren't many left), but at least Lau Kong does the job. Hestia's mum/mom was also fine though she acts the same way. For instance I watched her performance in 'Beneath the Charm' which was 2005 series and now here her expressions was almost the same! At least she's consistent.

Same goes for Susan Tse whose performance was adequate although she is in the danger zone for getting sidekick roles now. In the past, she would have been offered grand roles with heaps of room to show her acting chops such as in Rosy Business, Beyond the Realm of Conscience and a few other series, but now she seems to be underappreciated as an actress. Pity I say.

Pat Poon as Lo Sat gave another adequate performance but a dejavu one. His facial expressions and interpretation in terms of characterisation was almost identical to his role in 'All That is Bitter is Sweet'. No much to comment since he didn't have much to do.

Not much to comment about Susan and Pat's children in the series, except that their acting abilities left much to desire.

Ronald Law gave a decent performance. He looked the part and played the part well. Same goes for Tavia's sister and Timothy. Credit however goes to the little kid who was rather funny and attention-grabbing as a spoiled and demanding son.

Should I get to the big three main character? Should I?

Ok. Samantha, Kitty and Jason did ok in their respective roles but again left much to be desired.

First, Samantha Ko. Have yet to have a favourite performance of her's except for maybe when she in 'Friendly Fire'. In here her role was also tailored to her. Someone looking dashing, but can't cook. She relies on her good friend Kitty who on the other hand can cook but short. I think Samantha gave a good performance as Hestia. At times she is a bit shaky, but she did fine in some scenes, especially those that required minimal but expressive indicators, like the slight gesture of guilt or uncertainty in her expressions. That being said, I still don't think she carried the series as being the lead and found her character to be highly insulting to those who have good looks but with good personality. Deep inside, she is a nice person, but her desires to be rich and be into fame and her wants to wipe her less flashy background setting makes her quite disgusting and blind in seeing what is right and what is wrong, what is worth it and what isn't, and what is decency. Put it this way, this character could have been multi-dimensional and Samantha make it two-dimensional although it could be four-dimensional. At least it wasn't one-dimensional.

Yep one-dimensional is Jason Chan. I am still baffled how like many others in this series can interpret his character in a similar light to all his other roles. His tone of speech, his repetitive hand movements, the uncertain or speechlike expressions and his effortless attempt at bringing his character to life. Give this to Raymond Lam or Ruco Chan or even to Kenneth Ma and I'm sure they would do a much better job. That being said, I will stop short of calling it a rubbish performance by Jason Chan but simply an inadequate one. He is stuck to one-dimensional expression and while he matched and managed to convince what his character is, a nice, well-mannered and gentle person. At the end, Jason gave a minimal and bland portrayal of what his Pete could display.

 Did Kitty fare any better? Yes she did. As Kwai-Fong she did fine although again nothing spectacular. The producers of this series focused on her and I think she is the lead in this series. Like her role 16 years again in 'War of the Genders' she is innocent-looking, bubbly and kind-heartened type of girl. Small, but does a big favour to others such as Hestia. She is someone you would want to be friends with. I do think Kitty gave a consistent performance.

It wasn't the performances though that dragged this series down, but rather the simplicity and underwhelming storyline of this series that might turn others off.

P.S Stephanie Ho was refreshing in this series. She didn't have much to add to the storyline in this series yet gave a memorable performance as a restaurant worker and self-driven type of person. Watch her performance to know what I mean.

There's one thing that I am sure some will tell me, don't like it, don't watch it. But I watched it before I failed to dislike it even though there were a lot of unlikeable aspects in this series. I managed to watch it without much problem. Primarily because it was simple to watch. It's an old formula that TVB producers have long produced once again and again, but I guess it was a watchable series. That being said, my verdict is watch it if you have time, watch it if you can swallow anything, and watch it expecting... well nothing.

TVB K9 Cop 警犬巴打 Brief Episode Thoughts - Ep 2

This episodes introduces us to Linda Chung, who is typecast into sweet lady roles. In here I like the fact that this character is perseverant, patient and professional. She has a compassion towards dogs and she will do whatever it takes to save them.

I think Linda is doing fine at the moment.

Thus far my favourite scene of Linda is her sweet I.Q retorts to Angel Chiang who was a sook and an annoying shopper or HK citizen.

In TVB's world, of course coincidences happen all the time and this time it appears that Linda was actually retorting to her brother's wife.

Oscar is back to raw acting but at times he was subtle. Not a bad performance.

Angel or Angie or Angle was again irritating as someone who disregards politeness and

This episode was mainly about Linda, so no comment about the others.

Am still hardly wowed by this series, but will still be watching.

TVB Short End Of The Stick - 公公出宮 Episode 1-4 Brief Thoughts

Back in 2012 I watched The Confident and ended up disliking the series for the rather empty plot and bland characterisations, which left me unamused for any sequels or spin-offs. But seems like this series can succeed without relying on the success on The Confident.

You can say Short End of the Stick is the spin-off sequel version of The Confidant. A lot of the main characters back, though different role. Same producer, but different formula. In this case, it's comedy and it's working great.

Episode 1 had me intrigued from the start to the end. It's refreshing to see a storyline on eunuchs who are dismissed after the collapse of the Qing Dynasty. Where will they be going? Are they going to be accepted in the society of the new revolution? So far, Wayne, Power and Raymond all master their roles as eunuchs. Some might think they look like sissies but they are funny without going over the top. 

Nancy Wu's costume looks great with a dose of authoritativeness and status attached to it, but I think she is lacking something at the moment. I find Nancy Wu a very competent actress but failed to see anything hilarious about her here. Her expressions thus far are rather bland. Either she is worried looking or silent. Perhaps she is a miscast and Sheren Tang or Charmaine Sheh might do a better job. 

Wayne is awesome and surprised me because of his great portrayal as a funny eunuch. He didn't hold back acting feminine (like he was in The Confidant). 

I have a few doubts about Edwin who has yet to prove how good or how bad he is. 

There are rather a few sore points thus far though. I am quite irritated by Grace Wong who speaks so bubbly, so fluffy and so high in all her roles, including this one. Yoyo also is rather inadequate with her one dimensional expressions at the moment. 

By the way, the theme song is well sung. 

So far, it's the main male leads and that little kid's great performances, along with some brilliant lines and story that makes me want to watch. Everything else is worth ignoring. 

TVB K9 Cop 警犬巴打 Episode Brief Thoughts - Episode 1

Watched the first episode.

Prior to watching this first episode I watched its sale presentation and was sort of anticipating it. For me I say the first episode was ok and very ordinary.

We are introduced to Fire Water Sir and Loser Sir (hope I got the names right) who are besties and also police colleagues (I find it bizarre how they are always together in the shifts). At the start of the episode we are introduced with some action scenes of Bosco trying to follow this guy who has a USB that contains evidence sufficient to arrest the main culprit, who is depicted as an supersized woman in this series. While Bosco was responsible in trying to find him, Raymond was in charge of making sure that woman doesn't go to the airport and leave. For the first ten minutes I was intrigued with the action, whilst I have some doubts on the cinematography, how the camera seems to be shaky unsteadily.

Another moment that I remember was Raymond and Tracy, who are a couple. Tracy doesn't like the fact that Raymond is a cop (due to its dangerous nature with the possibility of him being killed while on duty), and Raymond has no desire to manage his parent's rich business of restaurants and what's not. What an extraordinary storyline.

Here we also see two Koo Ming Wah (TVB had to make use the same actor for the two roles) and coincidentally one Ming Wah is friends with Bosco's sister while the other is back from jail and is angry at his brother for dubbing him in 8 years ago. Again I feel the plot is very familiar and nothing original.

Performance wise, Bosco is nicely cast into Fire Water Sir who makes the right expressions, without going over the top. Raymond is also fine at the moment. That Angel girl really reminded me of Come Home Love with that hairstyle, headphones and house-setting. Felt like she came right after acting for Come Home Love. As for Tracy, am not too keen on her voice that is a bit shaky and her rather off-key Cantonese (don't know why) but think she is ok.

Had trouble trying to watch the full of this episode and I am ready to be bashed by fans, as it seems like this series is getting a lot of positive reviews thus far. As for me, so far my impressions of this series is light-heartened, nothing too serious and nothing too funny. Can't say it's a comedy because I didn't laugh at all except found the scene where Bosco was ringing Tracy, then Raymond and then the restaurant to be a bit funny.

No Linda tonight.

I won't give up on this series yet.

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Love as a Predatory Affair - Thoughts so far

Haven't been addicted to TVB lately, but still watching some of their series, like Come Home Love II and Love as a Predatory Affair.

I was ready to blast this series but as it is ending, it's not bad. By not bad I mean some decent performances, even though strictly speaking Jason Chan was effective but not a sublte actor. 

The story isn't something extraordinary. Some might think it's cheesy, some might think it's old story and it is indeed. But even formulaic stories can be enjoyable to watch. 

Samantha Ko unexpectedly was fine as Gou Fen and Kitty was fine as well.

Might make a review on this series. 

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Overall Review of TVB Series in 2014

Since I have watched quite a lot of TVB series from 2014 I might as well make a round-up commentary about them. Some of them I only watched a little bit while others I watched all the episodes. 

Guide: The series title coloured in green means highly recommended for me, yellow means the series is so-so and red means must avoid at all cost!

NOTE: I only commented for some series as I left the rest and left it as a draft until now, and my thoughts of the other series I've watched are a bit blurry. Sorry!

TVB Series
Awards Won
Return of the Silver Tongue
Comment: I only watched bits and pieces of this series so no comment. 
Outbound Love
Comment: I only watched around half of the series so no comment. 
Storm in a Cocoon

Theme: Silk Business, Mystery, Period Drama

What I've got to say about this series:
This is a fantastic series that will get you guessing 'who killed the elder sister' and keep you anticipated for the next episode. It marks the comeback of Steven Ma who I think performed very well as some-one good-hearted yet unscrupulous in his actions. The plot is equally as good as the performances with red-herrings everywhere on who is the murderer. I admit the ending is lame but the performances from everyone redeemed the series. The English name itself is even outstanding; 'Storm in a Cocoon' - sounds mighty dramatic and relevant to the storyline. A Must Watch.

What people have said about this series: This series got quite a lot of noise from Steven Ma and Tavia Yeung fans. Netizens praised this series as unpredictable and highly addictive. Also, Tavia Yeung's "excessive" lip-gloss garnered a lot of comment. Ratings-wise this series performed well with a peak rating of 35.

Most Memorable Scene You Must Watch:
The wedding scene (in Episode 25) of 'Ka Yeung' and 'Bing Bing' and where Chi Yan protested their marriage. It was Tavia Yeung's best moment where she said "So what I am re-marrying? Why should I reject someone who truly loves me? I married to the wrong person last time, but this time I won't. I will remarry no matter what, and I will say it loudly and proudly!"The dialogue in that scene was perfect and at the same time it was very dramatic.

Swipe Tap Love
TVB Anniversary Awards 2014
·         Most Improved Female Artiste: Priscilla Wong
Ghost Dragon of Cold Mountain
Comment: Only watched a little bit so no comment. 
Rear Mirror
Comment: Only watched a little bit so no comment. 

What I've got to say about this series:

What other people have said about this series:

Most Memorable Scene:

All That is Bitter is Sweet

Theme: Medicine Business, Period Drama

What I've got to say about this series: I didn't feel much for the characters in this series. Linda Chung as "Gaai Kei' was painful to watch with her being so stressed all the time. On the other hand, Sammy Sum did great as someone ruthless and corrupted. Natalie Tong's character was too depressing for me to care. When I first watched the trailer in TVB's Sales Presentation I was thrilled to watch this as it seemed to be a series about empowerment and inspiration but at the end of the day it was more about corruption and power abuse and people with a big ego. The English name for this series in my opinion is too long, just like how the series itself was too long.

What other people have said about this series: This series didn't get much attention despite it being quite anticipated. Surprisingly Ruco did great but not much comment from fans about his performance in here. Overall, word of mouth and ratings suffered.

Most Memorable Scene: Definitely Raymond Wong's death scene. His tragic death was totally avoidable but he died on the hands of Linda's father who was too over-confident with his diagnosis. I liked the dialogue between Raymond and Linda where he said "We will live together in harmony and next second spat blood to Linda's father's face. Dramatic.

Come on, Cousin

Theme: Supermarket Business, Comedy, Modern

What I've got to say about this series: A very witty series. Despite all the criticism towards this series, I still found it very funny and clever, making it one of the most funniest TVB series I have ever watched. Wong Cho Lam did great as a scriptwriter with the funny gags that he thought of - the whole 'Shirley shark thing and I love eating shark fin thing', 'the I want to inherit my father's business mockery situation'. I found Roger Kwok's character to be very entertaining to watch with his now classical quote "How organic!" The downfall of this series though was that sometimes it was a bit lame and direction-less. One moment it focused on the supermarket business then it was something about awards ceremony. Compared to Inbound Troubles, this series lacked consistency but for me the chemistry of the cast and the performances redeemed this series.

What other people have said about this series: Even though it was one of three TVB Anniversary Series of the year, it didn't get a positive reception from the audience but apparently it was too lame for people to watch. Overall, people felt disappointed about this series.

Most Memorable Scene: For me it was definitely Roger Kwok's learning how to become a politician scene (in episode 19 I presume) where he had to convince the shoppers in the supermarket whether to buy pork or to not. One moment he said that pork is very nutritious for everyone to eat (convincing the shoppers to buy the pork), then warning them of the risks of eating pork (convincing the shoppers to feel too scared to buy pork), then saying pork's risk is actually very minimal (making them want to buy pork again) and then crying how because of fulfilling people's desire to eat pork a pig's life has to be sacrificed (making them not buy pork at the end). I found that scene to be very very very funny and proves why Roger Kwok is a brilliant actor. 
Coffee Cat Mama
Theme: Cafe Business, Comedy, Modern

What I've got to say about this series: A highly entertaining series that grabs your attention with the limitless funny scenes and refreshing cast. Even though I hated the ending of the series where it ended so miserably, I've got to say it was consistently engaging to watch with limitless funny gags and the great performances by Bosco, Eliza and Vincent. A must watch for a few good laughs but don't except a great storyline or plot because there isn't really. P.S The English name sounds too confusing.

What other people have said about this series: With a graveyard slot, unsurprisingly people were either out on holidays or overseas so probably not many people cared about this hidden gem. There was a rather debate from Nancy Wu's dedicated fans complaining about Eliza Sum being the leading lady when in fact Nancy Wu should of been. (I thought Eliza did fine in Coffee Cat Mama though).

Most Memorable Scene: There was this scene where Bao Chi Tai (Bosco Wong) was talking with his best friend how he was sorry he accused him of stealing money in the Cafe restaurant and it seemed like they were confessing their love to one another like a couple and then suddenly comes a bunch of ordinary HK people saying "It's ok you two are in love, Hong Kong is very open now so no need to be scared". I laughed at that scene so badly.