Archive for drama

Drama review for TVB’s ‘Apple-Colada’.

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 13, 2018 by vincentloy

‘Apple-Colada’ (果欄中的江湖大嫂) is a Hong Kong television series that centered on the life in fruit market. It starred Alice Chan as a debt-ridden retired actress who move back to Hong Kong from Malaysia to seek refuge with her niece (Eliza Sam) after her nasty divorce with ex-husband. They together run a fruit market previously owned by her deceased older brother and has been seized by a man (Tommy Wong) and his son (Raymond Wong). This drama has 30 episodes and is seen as an unrelated sequel to the 2016’s ‘My Dangerous Mafia Retirement Plan’ that saw some similar cast. The drama also starred Mat Yeung, Crystal Fung, Carlo Ng, Lau Kong, Kaman Kong, Andrew Yuen, etc.

The drama at first (its first few episodes) is quite interesting and that has successfully got me to catch up to the rest of the series. However, as the drama progresses, I find that the storyline to be draggy with nothing much particularly exciting or interesting going on. The plot is also very much predictable especially with the sudden appearance of Carlo Ng and Raymond Wong’s biological parents in the series. From there on, I already knew Carlo Ng would be the bad guy and yup, I was right. There is nothing new or anything worth mentioning from this series.

It is still a light-hearted drama with some funny scenes and warm family or romantic moments. But doing just that will make the series being easily not memorable and in average. I couldn’t pay my attention while watching it as there is no climax or cool stuff to get me engaged into the story and the characters. Alice Chan is a good actress and I’m fine with her leading the series. She also fits well to this role. On the other hand, Eliza Sam is awful in this series. I couldn’t stand her acting in this drama as she kept on forcing herself to raise her voice to suit her character in this drama which is totally unnecessary and annoying. She really needs to improve on her acting. With much lesser leading actresses in TVB now, she really has to do a lot of work. She felt very unnatural and I couldn’t avoid noticing that in almost every scene she was in. Raymond Wong is fine but his role with that wild and bad judgement makes his character unlikable.

The series concluded with a happy ending as predicted. Nothing new again. There are still some things (story arc) not completely resolved like unknown conclusion to Eliza Sam’s cousin brother who fall in love with Mat Yeung’s sister from the first time he met her, Lau Kong’s health condition after the trouble with the gangster hiding drugs in his fruit boxes, Andrew Yuen letting Alice Chan go so easily without much heartbreak, etc. There is not much effort and passion put in to make this a good drama, and that’s a waste considering I do have interest on its main story that is based on the fruit market setting. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Apple-Colada’ a total of 6.3.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

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TVB Anniversary Awards 2017 ended with some shocks yet again.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 22, 2018 by vincentloy

TVB love to deliver shocks in their annual awards presentation by announcing result that is surprising to the majority of people. It is no exception for this year as well. The Hong Kong’s TVB Anniversary Awards 2017 is delayed a month to make way for all anniversary dramas to finish airing and also to express the much grander 50th anniversary celebration the television station is having in late 2017 that extends now until early 2018. Here below is the full result for the awards (held on the evening of 21st January 2018) along with my opinions for each categories:

TVB Anniversary Awards 2017’s Winners List:

Best Non-Drama Programme
“The Ahistoric Grandpa Cooking Show” – WINNER
“Miss Chinese International Pageant 2017”
“Love at Last Sight”
“Feng Shui for the New Year”
“Cantoxicating!”
“Dinner Ma’s”
“Eating Well with Madam Wong (Sr. 3)”
“Dream in the Ring”
“HK Gag Gag”
“Anchors with Passport (Sr. 3)”
“The Place We Call Home”
“Neighborhood Treasures (Sr. 7)”
“Public Housing Outing”
“Hong Kong Round the Clock”
“Easy Come Easy Health”
“Good Cheap Eats (Sr. 6)”
“Cantopop at 50”  – WINNER
“Pay It Forward”
“Sidewalk Scientist”
“Retiring in Paradise”
“Litigation at Home”
“Big Big Kids Awards 2017”
“All Work No Pay Holidays (Sr.2)” 
“Young and Restless”
“Buskkkkk Music”
“The Big Big Channel Nite”
“Amazing Summer Splash”
“Fun Abroad”
“Chef Minor (Sr. 3)”
“C AllStar Thai Odyssey”
“Miss Hong Kong Pageant 2017”
“Faraway Brides” – WINNER
“Starry Starry Talk”
“The Sisterhood Traveling Gang” 
“Bazaar Carnivals (Sr. 3)” – WINNER
“Sir Ben Prop Guide”
“Helen Goes to Kyushu”
“The Ultimate Street Sorcerer”
“Sammy on the Go”
“Line Walker: The Hunting Game”
“EYT: Anniversary Edition” 
“Diva Liza 50-Year Special”
“TVB Anniversary Gala”
“The Heavenly Party”
“DoDo Goes Shopping (Sr. 2)” – WINNER
“Tung Wah Charity Show 2017”
“Gala Spectacular”
“Dickies on Tour”
“J.S.G. Awards Presentation 2017”

Opinion: Didn’t expect that TVB decided to hand out five awards in this category. I enjoyed ‘The Sisterhood Traveling Gang’ but it lost. Anyway, I didn’t have much interest in this category every year. Moving on…

Best Host(s)
Lee Ka Ting & Helen Tam (“The Ahistoric Grandpa Cooking Show”)
Gigi Wong (“Eating Well with Madam Wong (Sr. 3)”)
Maria Cordero & Luk Ho Ming (“Good Cheap Eats (Sr. 6)”) 
Nancy Sit, Michael Lai, Raymond Cho & Karen Tong (“Cantopop at 50”)
Mayanne Mak, Kaki Leung, Roxanne Tong, Crystal Fun, Tiffany Lau & Bowie Cheung (“Sidewalk Scientist”)
Tony Hung (“Retiring in Paradise”)
Luk Ho Ming, Louisa Mak & Crystal Fung (“Young and Restless”)
Bob Lam, Mayanne Mak & Linna Huynh (“Chef Minor (Sr. 3)”)
Janis Chan (“Faraway Brides”)
Lai Chi San (“Starry Starry Talk”)
Evergreen Mak, Joyce Tang & Elena Kong (“Bazaar Carnivals (Sr. 3)”)
Benjamin Au Yeung, Mayanne Mak, Luk Ho Ming, Bella Lam & Liz Ji (“Sir Ben Prop Guide”)
Helen To (“Helen Goes to Kyushu”)
Sammy Leung, Samantha Ko, Mayanne Mak & Jacqueline Wong (“Sammy on the Go”) 
Carol Cheng, FAMA, Kenneth Ma, Edwin Siu & Priscilla Wong (“DoDo Goes Shopping (Sr. 2)”) – WINNER

Opinion: I do expect the hosts for ‘DoDo Goes Shopping (Sr.2)’ to win because it’s Carol Cheng. Anyway, she is really good in hosting and her chemistry with FAMA and also the other co-hosts are amazing and fun to watch.

Most Improved Female Artiste
Rebecca Zhu (“May Fortune Smile on You”, “A General, a Scholar and a Eunuch”, “Hong Kong Round the Clock”)
Samantha Ko (“My Unfair Lady”, “Bet Hur”, “Sammy on the Go”, “Gag Gag Summer”) 
Mayanne Mak (“Miss Hong Kong Pageant 2017”, “Sammy on the Go”, “Line Walker: The Hunting Game”, “TVB Anniversary Gala”) – WINNER
Zoie Tam (“May Fortune Smile on You”, “My Unfair Lady”, “Legal Mavericks”, “My Ages Apart”) 
Roxanne Tong (“Provocateur”, “My Dearly Sinful Mind”, “The Tofu War”, “Sidewalk Scientist”) 
Jacqueline Wong (“Provocateur”, “Nothing Special Force”, “Sammy on the Go”) 

Opinion: The first shock of the evening. Mayanne Mak would be my last choice in this nomination list and yet she ended up winning. Artistes who are doing non-drama programmes are usually not being much acknowledged but here she comes taking home this prize to everyone’s surprise. I would prefer Jacqueline Wong to take this as I do see that she really improved a lot this year. Hey…where is Sisley Choi? She deserves a nomination here as she is seriously the most improved actress of all for this year. But hey…surprise later on.

Most Improved Male Artiste
Owen Cheung (“The No No Girl”, “Legal Mavericks”, “HK Gag Gag”, “Amazing Summer Splash”) 
Matthew Ho (“May Fortune Smile on You”, “Tiger Mom Blues”, “A General, a Scholar and a Eunuch”, “Tiger Mom Blues Returns”) 
Luk Ho Ming (“Good Cheap Eats (Sr. 5)”, “Sir Ben Prop Guide”, “TVB Anniversary Gala”, “Young and Restless”)
Hugo Wong (“May Fortune Smile on You”, “Legal Mavericks”, “The Exorcist’s Meter”)
Hubert Wu (“The Exorcist’s Meter”, “My Ages Apart”)
Mat Yeung (“My Dearly Sinful Mind”, “Bet Hur”, “Love and Construction”, “All Work No Pay Holidays (Sr.2)”) – WINNER

Opinion: I knew Mat Yeung is finally going to win. His hard work for the past many years is finally paid off. The other deserving candidates, Owen Cheung, Hugo Wong and Matthew Ho can wait for the coming years to get this.

Best Supporting Actress
Stephanie Ho (“Recipes to Live By”)
Kaman Wong (“Tiger Mom Blues”)
Mandy Lam (“Lo and Behold”)
Joyce Tang (“Lo and Behold”)
Kelly Fu (“Burning Hands”)
Vivien Yeo (“My Dearly Sinful Mind”)
Eileen Yeow (“The No No Girl”)
Samantha Ko (“My Unfair Lady”) 
Zoie Tam (“My Unfair Lady”)
Toby Chan (“Legal Mavericks”)
Tracy Chu (“Legal Mavericks”)
Rebecca Zhu (“A General, a Scholar and a Eunuch”) – WINNER
Grace Wong (“A General, a Scholar and a Eunuch”) 
Harriet Yeung (“A General, a Scholar and a Eunuch”)
Elena Kong (“The Unholy Alliance”)
Elaine Yiu (“The Unholy Alliance”) 
Alice Chan (“Line Walker: The Prelude”)
Susan Tse (“The Exorcist’s Meter”) 
Katy Kung (“My Ages Apart”)
Sharon Chan (“Heart and Greed”) 

Opinion: Second shock of the evening. TVB gave us surprise on all the awards in female categories. Yes, Rebecca Zhu has improved in her acting too, but I don’t think her performance deserves a supporting actress win yet. Her role in ‘A General, A Scholar And A Eunuch’ is also too ordinary and easily forgotten. I can see just now that she herself was very surprised when her name is announced as the winner. I would prefer Elaine Yiu, Susan Tse, Sharon Chan, Grace Wong or even Samantha Ko to win.

Best Supporting Actor
Hugo Ng (“Burning Hands”)
Matthew Ho (“Tiger Mom Blues”)
King Kong (“Destination Nowhere”)
James Ng (“Destination Nowhere”)
Mark Ma (“Lo and Behold”)
Fred Cheng (“Provocateur”)
Mat Yeung (“My Dearly Sinful Mind”) 
Max Cheung (“My Unfair Lady”)
Lai Lok Yi (“My Unfair Lady”)
Andrew Yuen (“My Unfair Lady”)
Owen Cheung (“Legal Mavericks”) 
Timothy Cheng (“A General, a Scholar and a Eunuch”)
John Chiang (“A General, a Scholar and a Eunuch”)
Jimmy Au (“The Unholy Alliance”)
Joel Chan (“The Unholy Alliance”)  – WINNER
Kwok Fung (“The Unholy Alliance”)
Carlo Ng (“The Unholy Alliance”)
Benz Hui (“Line Walker: The Prelude”) 
Brian Tse (“Line Walker: The Prelude”)
Kenny Wong (“Line Walker: The Prelude”)
Ram Chiang (“The Exorcist’s Meter”)
Ho Yuen Tung (“The Exorcist’s Meter”)
Hugo Wong (“The Exorcist’s Meter”) 
Hubert Wu (“The Exorcist’s Meter”)
Louis Yuen (“Heart and Greed”)

Opinion: I’m happy that Joel Chan won. I noticed him several years ago and he had already been doing awesome job back then. It’s finally time for him to win and he totally deserved it. I was quite nervous before the winner is revealed because I’m worried that Jimmy Au (another favourite and he also starred in ‘The Unholy Alliance’ with Joel Chan) may win because of his seniority and popularity as being Hong Kong’s version of James Bond. He can take that nickname but his performance is too plain. Joel is very emotional when delivering his acceptance speech.

Global Netizens Favourite Series
“Rogue Emperor”
“Recipes to Live By”
“May Fortune Smile on You”
“Burning Hands”
“Tiger Mom Blues”
“Destination Nowhere”
“Lo and Behold”
“Provocateur”
“Married but Available”
“My Dearly Sinful Mind”
“The No No Girl”
“My Unfair Lady” 
“Phoenix Rising”
“Bet Hur”
“Legal Mavericks” 
“A General, a Scholar and a Eunuch” 
“The Unholy Alliance” 
“The Tofu War”
“Line Walker: The Prelude”
“Nothing Special Force”
“Oh My Grad”
“The Exorcist’s Meter”  – WINNER
“My Ages Apart”
“Heart and Greed”

Opinion: This is a new category and it allows all people (not just from Hong Kong) to vote online for this one. I’m delighted that ‘The Exorcist’s Meter’ won because it really deserved. It’s such a small production with lesser known cast and yet able to make huge impact with great and touching storyline and wonderful performances by its actors and actresses. Does that mean this series will not win the ‘Best Drama’? Yes…unfortunately.

Most Popular TV Partnership
Vincent Wong & Natalie Tong (“My Unfair Lady”) 
Vincent Wong & Owen Cheung (“Legal Mavericks”)
Edwin Siu, Raymond Cho & Matthew Ho (“A General, a Scholar and a Eunuch”)  – WINNER
Ruco Chan & Nancy Wu (“The Unholy Alliance”) 
Joel Chan & Elaine Yiu (“The Unholy Alliance”) 
Moses Chan & Jessica Hester Hsuan (“Line Walker: The Prelude”)
Benjamin Yuen, Priscilla Wong & Pakho Chau (“Line Walker: The Prelude”)
Kenneth Ma & Hubert Wu (“The Exorcist’s Meter”) 
Moses Chan & Bobby Au Yeung (“My Ages Apart”)
Ha Yu & Louise Lee (“Heart and Greed”)
Maria Cordero & Luk Ho Ming (“Good Cheap Eats (Sr. 6)”)
Benjamin Yuen & Mat Yeung (“All Work No Pay Holidays (Sr.2)”)
Myolie Wu, Nancy Wu, Mandy Wong, Elaine Yiu, Selena Li & Paisley Hu (“The Sisterhood Traveling Gang”)
Carol Cheng, C Kwan & Luk Wing (“DoDo Goes Shopping (Sr. 2)”)
Wayne Lai, Edwin Siu, Raymond Cho & Raymond Wong (“Dickies on Tour”)

Opinion: I’m happy for the three actors from ‘A General, A Scholar And A Eunuch’ to win because their chemistry on-screen is really awesome and fun to watch. I remembered a lot of funny scenes involving the three of them in that drama.

Most Popular Series Song
四方 (“Rogue Emperor”) – Hoffman Cheng
心暖 (“Rogue Emperor”) – Kenneth Ma & Niki Chow
乾杯 (“Rogue Emperor”) – Ronald Law, Hoffman Cheng & Yao Bin
天賜的味道 (“Recipes to Live By”) – Maria Cordero
財神駕到 (“May Fortune Smile on You”) – Wayne Lai, Amy Fan, Pal Sinn, Matthew Ho & Kelly Fu
一輩子守候 (“The Princess Weiyoung”) – HANA
不變的愛 (“Tiger Mom Blues”) – Edwin Siu
迷 (“Destination Nowhere”) – Fred Cheng
獨來獨往 (“Provocateur”) – Gallen Lo
地盡頭 (“Provocateur”) – Fred Cheng
真心真意 (“Married but Available”) – Fred Cheng & Stephanie Ho
印記 (“Married but Available”) – Kayee Tam
籠牢 (“My Dearly Sinful Mind”) – Alfred Hui
你走的那個晚上 (“My Dearly Sinful Mind”) – Fred Cheng
我有我美麗 (“The No No Girl”) – Nancy Wu
我不會撒嬌 (“My Unfair Lady”) – Stephanie Ho
手中沙 (“My Unfair Lady”) – HANA
陪著你走 (“My Unfair Lady”) – Kayee Tam 
我不歸去 (“The Legend of the Condor Heroes”) – Kayee Tam
用愛邁步 (“Phoenix Rising”) – Kelly Chen
久別重逢 (“Eternal Love”) – HANA
十倍奉還 (“Bet Hur”) – Fred Cheng
心眼 (“Legal Mavericks”) – Vincent Wong
愛近在眼前 (“Legal Mavericks”) – Stephanie Ho
戰勝吧 (“A General, a Scholar and a Eunuch”) – Fred Cheng
一觸即發 (“The Unholy Alliance”) – Ruco Chan
家中的太陽 (“The Tofu War”) – Nancy Sit
天網 (“Line Walker: The Prelude”) – Pakho Chau
忘記我自己 (“Line Walker: The Prelude”) – HANA 
安守本分 (“Line Walker: The Prelude”) – Vivian Koo
快樂快活人 (“Nothing Special Force”) – Kayee Tam
畢業之後 (“Oh My Grad”) – Mag Lam
你在我心間 (“Nothing Gold Can Stay”) – Jinny Ng
到此一遊 (“The Exorcist’s Meter”) – Hubert Wu – WINNER
遙不可及 (“The Exorcist’s Meter”) – Hubert Wu 
泣血薔薇 (“The Exorcist’s Meter”) – Jinny Ng
誇世代 (“My Ages Apart”) – Hacken Lee
別再記起 (“My Ages Apart”) – Jinny Ng
我本無罪 (“Heart and Greed”) – Susanna Kwan 
欲言又止 (“Heart and Greed”) – Vincent Wong & HANA 
I Promise (“Heart and Greed”) – Linda Chung

 

Opinion: My preferred choice is the ending theme song for the series ‘Line Walker: The Prelude’ by Hana Kuk. The song and its melody is much more beautiful than the others.

Most Popular TV Female Character
Elena Kong (“Tiger Mom Blues”) 
Kristal Tin (“Destination Nowhere”)
Koni Lui (“Lo and Behold”)
Jessica Hsuan (“My Unfair Lady”) 
Samantha Ko (“My Unfair Lady”)
Natalie Tong (“My Unfair Lady”)
Sisley Choi (“Legal Mavericks”) – WINNER
Tracy Chu (“Legal Mavericks”)
Rebecca Zhu (“A General, a Scholar and a Eunuch”)
Nina Paw (“The Unholy Alliance”)
Nancy Wu (“The Unholy Alliance”) 
Elaine Yiu (“The Unholy Alliance”)
Nancy Sit (“The Tofu War”)
Roxanne Tong (“The Tofu War”)
Priscilla Wong (“Line Walker: The Prelude”)
Moon Lau (The Exorcist’s Meter”)
Susan Tse (“The Exorcist’s Meter”)
Mandy Wong (“The Exorcist’s Meter”)
Ali Lee (“My Ages Apart”) 
Susanna Kwan (“Heart and Greed”)
Louise Lee (“Heart and Greed”) 
Michelle Yim (“Heart and Greed”)
Eliza Sam (“Heart and Greed”)

Opinion: Third shock of the evening…but I’m actually agreeing on this outcome. Sisley Choi defeated a lot of favourites (Ali Lee, Nancy Wu, Elaine Yiu, Elena Kong, Natalie Tong, etc) to take this prize to everyone’s surprise again. However, I find that Sisley Choi really did very well for her ugly role in ‘Legal Mavericks’. She is very natural and her performance is amazing in that one. Hence, I’m actually fine with her winning this although many others may disagree with me. This is just like what happened when Grace Wong won for her character in ‘A Fist Within Four Walls’ that shocked quite a lot of people in the previous edition of this awards. No wonder there is not even a nomination for Sisley in ‘most improved’ category. She immediately elevated to the ‘favourite female character’ category. Anyway, she talked too much during her acceptance speech just now.

Most Popular TV Male Character
Tony Hung (“Recipes to Live By”)
Ben Wong (“Tiger Mom Blues”)
Gallen Lo (“Provocateur”)
Raymond Wong (“Married but Available”)
Eddie Cheung (“The No No Girl”)
Frankie Lam (“My Unfair Lady”)
Vincent Wong (“My Unfair Lady”) 
Andrew Yuen (“My Unfair Lady”)
Natalis Chan (“Bet Hur”)
Owen Cheung (“Legal Mavericks”)
Raymond Cho (“A General, a Scholar and a Eunuch”)
Edwin Siu (“A General, a Scholar and a Eunuch”) 
Jimmy Au (“The Unholy Alliance”)
Ruco Chan (“The Unholy Alliance”)
Cheung Wing Hong (“The Tofu War”)
Lai Yok Yi (“The Tofu War”)
Pakho Chau (“Line Walker: The Prelude”)
Michael Miu (“Line Walker: The Prelude”)
Benjamin Yuen (“Line Walker: The Prelude”) 
Kenneth Ma (“The Exorcist’s Meter”) – WINNER
Hubert Wu (“The Exorcist’s Meter”)
Bobby Au Yeung (“My Ages Apart”) 
Moses Chan (“My Ages Apart”) 
Bosco Wong (“Heart and Greed”)

Opinion: Happy for Kenneth Ma to win this award again (he had won this before back in 2012 for his role in ‘The Hippocratic Crush’). However, this means that he is not going to win best actor later and I pitied him for that. He hardly get any good roles in recent years. Then, he had this role as ‘Ma Kwai’ in ‘The Exorcist’s Meter’ and he did very well in it. This must be his chance for best actor. But again, he didn’t have the luck to snatch it. I hope that he will get more good roles later on and will one day win best actor. He deserves it.

Best Actress
Lin Xia Wei (“Burning Hands”)
Sharon Chan (“Tiger Mom Blues”)
Elena Kong (“Tiger Mom Blues”) 
Kristal Tin (“Destination Nowhere”) 
Jacqueline Wong (“Provocateur”)
Nadia Chan (“The No No Girl”)
Jessica Hsuan (“My Unfair Lady”) 
Natalie Tong (“My Unfair Lady”) – WINNER
Sisley Choi (“Legal Mavericks”)
Nina Paw (“The Unholy Alliance”) 
Nancy Wu (“The Unholy Alliance”) 
Nancy Sit (“The Tofu War”)
Roxanne Tong (“The Tofu War”)
Priscilla Wong (“Line Walker: The Prelude”)
Mandy Wong (“Nothing Special Force”)
Ali Lee (“My Ages Apart”)
Susanna Kwan (“Heart and Greed”)
Louise Lee (“Heart and Greed”) 
Michelle Yim (“Heart and Greed”)
Eliza Sam (“Heart and Greed”)

Opinion: Fourth shock of the evening. TVB really do it all wrong for the female categories. I’m really disappointed that Kristal Tin did not even make it into top 5 list as revealed in the ceremony. This is a big snub for Kristal as I find her performance in ‘Destination Nowhere’ is the best of all in 2017. It was such a challenging role and she nailed it, and yet a lot of people had simply forgotten or ignored her. She is my pick for best actress. Natalie Tong! Well, for me, she is not a leading actress material yet. My other choices would be Elena Kong, Nina Paw, Ali Lee or Jessica Hsuan. I never even have a sight on Natalie Tong and she prevailed in the end. I also disliked that drama ‘My Unfair Lady’. It was such a boring series.

Best Actor
Tony Hung (“Recipes to Live By”)
Wayne Lai (“May Fortune Smile on You”)
Ben Wong (“Tiger Mom Blues”)
Gallen Lo (“Provocateur”)
Eddie Cheung (“The No No Girl”)
Frankie Lam (“My Unfair Lady”)
Vincent Wong (“Legal Mavericks”)  – WINNER
Raymond Cho (“A General, a Scholar and a Eunuch”)
Edwin Siu (“A General, a Scholar and a Eunuch”)
Ruco Chan (“The Unholy Alliance”) 
Lai Yok Yi (“The Tofu War”)
Pakho Chau (“Line Walker: The Prelude”)
Michael Miu (“Line Walker: The Prelude”) 
Benjamin Yuen (“Line Walker: The Prelude”)
Roger Kwok (“Oh My Grad”)
Kenneth Ma (“The Exorcist’s Meter”) 
Bobby Au Yeung (“My Ages Apart”)
Moses Chan (“My Ages Apart”)
Ha Yu (“Heart and Greed”) 
Bosco Wong (“Heart and Greed”)

Opinion: Congratulation, Vincent Wong! He has an amazing role as a blind lawyer and he delivered in ‘Legal Mavericks’. I find both him and Kenneth Ma are equally good in 2017 and I have to give the edge to Kenneth Ma because of his seniority. Since Kenneth has won ‘My Popular TV Male Character’, Vincent must get something and so, here it is. However, I do find that he is a bit too early on winning best actor. I’m sure he would have plenty of great roles later on and hence having more chances to win this next time (but not Kenneth). That is why I felt bad for Kenneth in losing this one. I seriously don’t mind him winning both ‘My Favourite TV Male Character’ and this ‘Best Actor’.

Best Series
“Rogue Emperor”
“Recipes to Live By”
“May Fortune Smile on You”
“Burning Hands”
“Tiger Mom Blues” 
“Destination Nowhere”
“Lo and Behold”
“Provocateur”
“Married but Available”
“My Dearly Sinful Mind”
“The No No Girl”
“My Unfair Lady”
“Phoenix Rising”
“Bet Hur”
“Legal Mavericks” 
“A General, a Scholar and a Eunuch”
“The Unholy Alliance” 
“The Tofu War”
“Line Walker: The Prelude”
“Nothing Special Force”
“Oh My Grad”
“The Exorcist’s Meter” 
“My Ages Apart” – WINNER
“Heart and Greed” 

Opinion: TVB should reveal the top 5 for this category. I’m particularly surprised by this outcome too. My preferred choice would be ‘The Exorcist’s Meter’. I didn’t watch ‘My Ages Apart’ but I do heard some good comments for that drama. I didn’t expect ‘those good comments’ (not really as critically-acclaimed as ‘The Exorcist’s Meter’) would translate to ‘best drama’ win, the last major prize of the evening. I didn’t expect a drama which is themed on nonsense and exaggerated stuff get to win this top honour.

Special 50th Anniversary Lifetime Achievement Awards

Liza Wang, Luo Zhongbing

Opinion: This a special award to coincide with the station’s 50th anniversary and it replaces the usual lifetime achievement awards. That means Liza Wang is getting this prize again (she had won Lifetime Achievement before several years ago). The other one, Luo Zhongbing is a behind-the-scene man who worked relentlessly for TVB and is acknowledged now with this honour.

That’s it for TVB Anniversary Awards 2017. It concluded after a ceremony that slightly exceeded its planned two and a half hour broadcast time. ‘The Exorcist’s Meter’ took the most awards (3 – theme song, popular male character, and global netizens favourite series). ‘Legal Mavericks’ is just behind with 2 wins (best actor, popular female character). ‘A General, A Scholar, And An Eunuch’ also performed better than expectation with 2 wins (supporting actress, partnership). ‘The Unholy Alliance’ had one win (supporting actor). These are my favourite TVB series in 2017. And none of them won ‘best drama’ in the end as that prize went to ‘My Ages Apart’ (and I didn’t watch that because I don’t like drama that is excessively long…it has 50 episodes and I also don’t like its premise). ‘Heart and Greed’, the third installment to the highly successful ‘Heart of Greed’ franchise failed to win anything (unlike its predecessors that swept a lot of awards last time). Well, that is expected because this third installment is poorly made and is no where near the quality of the first two ones.

Alright. That’s a wrap up to TVB dramas and awards for year 2017. Now, it’s time to move on to new and coming dramas in 2018.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

 

‘Heart and Greed’ is a lot less stellar than its last two predecessors.

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 9, 2018 by vincentloy

‘Heart and Greed’ is the third installment in the ‘Heart of Greed’ Hong Kong drama franchise. The first ‘Heart of Greed’ was released way back in 2007 with critical acclaim and the drama went on to win the most accolades at TVB Anniversary Awards that particular year. The drama has also lead to popularization of ‘golden words’ derived from some intense script in it. I enjoyed the drama a lot, particularly on the theme of inheritance-fighting, the emotional impact especially touching on the warmth of the family, and the superb performances by all the cast. It is a classic. Looking on its success, TVB decided to make a sequel entitled ‘Moonlight Resonance’ the next year (2008). Similar hype and success came in as well as the drama also become the highest rated TVB series of all time with its final episode hitting 50 points.

So about ten years later (now), TVB decided to make yet another sequel (with the same 40-episodes span). It’s called ‘Heart and Greed’. I was very excited because of how great the first two dramas turned out in the past. I also very much enjoyed drama with the theme of family and fighting for inheritance with all sort of tactics and schemes. However, I noticed that this latest drama is no longer relating to ‘inheritance’ kind of story but rather about man who would sacrifice everything to help his friend’s dying business.  This drama brought back old cast (Ha Yu, Louise Lee, Michelle Yim, Susanna Kwan, Louis Yuen, Bosco Wong, etc) and mix it up with new people (Vincent Wong, Eliza Sam, Sharon Chan, Michael Tong, Priscilla Wong, etc).

After I saw the change of cast (disappointed for not seeing Linda Chung, Tavia Yeung, Raymond Lam, Moses Chan, Fala Chen, Chris Lai anymore in here) and the change of plot’s theme, I lowered my expectation even before I started watching the drama. And yup…I am right. The drama is no where near the quality to be called a ‘classic’ like its first two predecessors. The drama lacks the intensity and the dramas that we observed in almost every single episodes for its first two series. Besides than the boring storylines of ‘Kyle falling in love with Belle’, the plain development of ‘old Mr Wong persistently helping his old friend, Alan who had once saved him’ part, the out-of-arch segment of ‘daughter of the family making immoral advance to a married man’ and lastly the illogical and rushed plot when the ‘uncle suddenly turned bad in the end’, there is nothing much going on to make this drama a memorable one.

The veteran cast is doing well in leading the whole show. Or is it? It looks to me that Michelle Yim’s role is now so small and yet she is nominated for best leading actress in the coming TVB Anniversary Awards. She is a great actress, and yet given such unimportant character this time, which is in total contrast to her award-winning performance as Yan Hung in ‘Moonlight Resonance’. On the other hand, I find that Louise Lee had been pushing too hard to act in this drama with frequent shouting kind of tone when speaking. Her age must be weakening her performance. Susanna Kwan is good though and I am impressed with her ability to memorize long script for her part. Eliza Sam is still not doing enough to carry her role while Vincent Wong is as his usual good form. Michael Tong returns with his first drama here after many years and he is doing well. Now I wonder why he and Jacqueline Ch’ng (who portrayed as Adam’s wife) are not being nominated in supporting categories for the coming TVB Anniversary Awards. They are good in their roles here. The drama lacks a few more major characters (the main family group now lacks so many people when compared to its first two dramas) to further escalate things up, to create more tensions and climax for the story.

Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Heart and Greed’ a total of 7.4 only. I would have easily rated ‘Heart of Greed’ and ‘Moonlight Resonance’ above 8 and even nears to 9 respectively. But for this third installment, it is just not that good. It is still a solid drama with some (much lesser) warm and touching family scenes, some fun (but less exciting) conflicts in business and relationship issues. The songs in this drama are nice to listen to by the way while I can see also a lot of effort and budget has been placed on the setting (house interior) and the costumes too. The producers have been forcing themselves to create another sequel to this franchise and it turned out not working that well to my earlier projection.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

Review for TVB drama ‘The Exorcist’s Meter’ (2017).

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 26, 2017 by vincentloy

Time for review to another TVB drama that I have watched completely after it aired its final episode just now in the weekend. ‘The Exorcist’s Meter’ which has 21 episodes in total, starred Kenneth Ma as a taxi driver who has accidentally awaken a kind-hearted spirit with power and duty to take down devils roaming on Earth. The drama also starred Mandy Wong, Hubert Wu, Hugo Wong, Moon Lau, Anthony Ho, Susan Tse, Ram Chiang, etc.

I didn’t have high expectation to this series before I started to watch it. To be honest, I decided to watch it because I have nothing else to watch at the moment. In the end, I was surprised by how good this drama turned out. It is not a lousy or ordinary paranormal-themed series. It’s not just about people seeing ghosts and catching demons in a heroic fashion. This series stood out over the rest in this particular genre due to the addition of some very moving storylines, heartfelt characters, and excellent performances by the cast.

First of all, the eyes of the series is on the lead actor; Kenneth Ma. After his success and popularity from his role in 2012’s ‘The Hippocratic Crush’, he didn’t have many good roles later on. This paves way for newer actors like Ruco Chan to speed ahead of him in the race to win best actor. Another newer actor, Vincent Wong is also on the rise very quickly with many fantastic roles in recent years. I’m starting to worry that Kenneth will be left out very soon if he didn’t have a good drama and a good role to take on. Finally, he is back to be noticed again with his role here as ‘Ma Kwai’ in ‘The Exorcist’s Meter’. His acting is very natural and this character gave him opportunity to showcase his acting skill through the many emotional scenes in this series. He nailed this taxi driver’s role perfectly. With his excellent performance here (and also another great work in ‘My Dearly Sinful Mind’ released early this year), I’m supporting him to win best actor at the Hong Kong’s TVB Anniversary Awards.

The other cast members were doing exceptionally well too, although they are mostly lesser-known TVB artists. Susan Tse is very convincing as Kenneth’s foster mother and I don’t mind her winning Best Supporting Actress again. Ram Chiang, Moon Lau and Hugo Wong are outstanding too. I think this drama really puts their acting to the limelight besides Kenneth. This drama also propels Hugo Wong to higher popularity from his very challenging villain role in this drama. He usually took very minor roles in the past and after this drama, I’m sure that he will be given more opportunities to take on bigger roles soon. He is also solid in ‘Recipes to Live By’ released early this year and hence, I have no doubt to support him for ‘Most Improved TVB Actor’ this year.

As mentioned earlier, this drama has a very good script. The loop scenes involving Kenneth’s dead parents, conflict and relationship between Kenneth and his foster mother, friendship between Kenneth and the stone spirit, Ber Ber (Moon Lau)’s relationship with Kenneth and her death, Anthony Ho’s tragic death, etc are all very sincere and moving. Even the action scenes involving demons in this drama are produced with effort as not to make them too typical, lousy or emotionless. Besides that, the two theme songs for this drama sang by Hubert Wu are also nice to listen too and they suit well to this drama. Well, there are still some areas in this drama that can be improved like the production designs, the CGI, some exaggerated acting (but still acceptable due to the nature of this story), etc. But overall, it is a highly enjoyable, fast-paced series that will also makes you cry several times. The ending for this series is also surprisingly good. The last scene is a great one when the stone spirit that sat in the taxi was actually Hou Zai (Kenneth’s younger brother’s soul). This is one solid, entertaining and touching drama that is not to be missed. It defies my expectation. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘The Exorcist’s Meter’ a total of 8.0. This is the one and only drama in the year 2017 that gets over 8 points from me.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

Drama review for TVB’s “Legal Mavericks” (2017)

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 13, 2017 by vincentloy

After submitting my thesis report last week, I finally have the time to catch up to my past hobby; watching TVB dramas. There isn’t any TVB dramas recently that have my attention. ‘The Exorcist Meter’ which is a series about supernatural and starred Kenneth Ma, Mandy Wong, etc. The supernatural theme itself is the one that push me away from watching it and TVB is definitely not looking serious to making this kind of drama with good quality. The other drama is called ‘My Ages Apart’ and starred Kristal Tin, Bobby Au, etc. This one has a better line-up of cast but I still don’t have the interest to watch it because its premise is not appealing and it has too many episodes (50 in total).

So, I’m up to nothing but to find dramas that are released earlier and yet I haven’t watch them. Many people recommended me to watch ‘Legal Mavericks’, a drama about a blind lawyer who usually crossed the lines when solving the cases with his friends. I trusted their opinions and I am also influenced by the success of this particular series at Singapore’s Starhub TVB Awards held last month. Hence, I ended up finishing the whole drama (28 episodes in total) in less than a week. And I watched its last 8 episodes continuously today.

The drama starred Vincent Wong, Sisley Choi, Ali Lee, Owen Cheung, Pal Sinn, Tracy Chu, etc. First, I like the plot that emphasized on solving not typical large cases that involves murders but on smaller cases fighting for the rights of the minorities (although the series still has the last case being solving a murder highly important to the overall storyline). I also like the idea of giving the main character a disability (in this case being blind) besides than injecting in the similar professions that TVB love to tackle (police, doctor, etc…in this case; lawyer). It adds extra depth and gave audiences something new to see rather than conventional dramas about a single profession. This also allows the cast (particularly Vincent Wong) to showcase his acting skill as the lead actor portraying a blind lawyer who is excellent in his other four senses.

The cast did a great job. Vincent Wong deserves a best actor win from his role here. There isn’t any strong competition in lead actor category this year and I hope he wins. It’s very challenging to continuously maintaining the eyes to make them look like they are blind and at the same time carrying out the dialogues, the body gestures, the facial expressions and the emotions for the story. Vincent nailed it. People usually find Sisley Choi annoying in most of her previous series. But hey…she surprised me in this drama. Not only that I find her character enjoyable in this drama, I also think that her acting has improved significantly (particularly this year). Hence, I’m rooting for her to get Most Improved Female Artist at TVB Anniversary Awards. I pitied her character. She sacrificed so much for Vincent Wong and yet their relationship remains ambiguous even till the final episode. There are three females who love Vincent Wong (Sisley, Ali and Tracy). I find that a bit too much. Vincent’s love towards Tracy is too much and I find that very unfair to Sisley. As for Ali Lee, she at least has another admirer and lover, Owen Cheung.

Ali Lee did well in here too but I’m still surprised how she can win ‘Most Favourite Lead Actress’ in Starhub TVB Awards last month for her role here. She is beautiful and solid, but her performance here is not award-worthy in my opinion. On the other hand, this is Owen Cheung’s most heavy role to date (he is a nobody in the past and only famous for having similar voice with Chilam). I’m surprised that he has this level of acting and he delivered superbly. He is a strong contender for best supporting actor award. Even Pal Sinn who portrayed the ruthless main villain is doing very good too. I hated him so much and it means that he delivered that character very well. And one more person to compliment; veteran actor, Law Lok-lam who portrayed as Vincent’s father. His acting when his character is diagnosed with ALS is superb.

I’m a bit confused on the very last scene of this drama. Ali Lee died and yet she appeared again to join the three others for a walk. That’s weird. What does the scriptwriter want to tell us from this scene? Opening it up for the audiences to decide the ending on their own? TVB love this approach very much recently and it is overused. I rather they stick to a very clear conclusion for this drama. Anyway, this drama is still a decent one. I’m happy that I didn’t left this drama out before the year ends. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Legal Mavericks’ a total of 7.8. There is not many particularly great TVB dramas this year (also for the last few years), hence this drama do have a strong chance to emerge as winner for Best Series at the upcoming TVB Star Awards Malaysia and Hong Kong’s TVB Anniversary Awards. His other competitor so far would be ‘The Unholy Alliance’ of which I had also given 7.8 in my drama review post earlier.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

Drama review for TVB’s ‘Oh My Grad’ (2017)

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 4, 2017 by vincentloy

‘Oh My Grad’ is the third installment in ‘Inbound Troubles’ series franchise that is spearheaded by Wong Cho Lam. I remember the first one is very funny and do have a chance to compete for best series that year although it ended up losing to the more popular ‘Triumph in the Skies II’ that year. There was a sequel after that. It didn’t perform as good as the first one. And now, here comes the third one. What am I expecting? Getting more bad? Yes, it is. Wong Cho Lam is no longer taking the lead role here as I read some news that he was very busy with something else during the production of ‘Oh My Grad’. Hence, he only appeared for some scenes and taking on two very minor roles.

With him not around most of the time, I’m bored. He is the funniest people to watch in the past two series. There is no doubt that he is a very talented and humorous guy. His crazy obsession to curry fish balls in this drama is not hilarious at all. This third drama eventually loses its main selling point; being funny. It instead going on for a more morally point of view by spreading great messages on the issues revolving education in Hong Kong. But, if you are focusing on a school setting for this drama, then have the effort to hire more ‘really young’ actors to portray as students. In this whole 30-episodes drama, I only see about 20 same students for the whole school. And they are so matured and irrelevant to act as students in my point of view.

The plot is boring. There is nothing interesting for me to catch up to in every episodes. The only reason I stayed till the end of the drama is because of Ada Choi. I haven’t seen her in TVB dramas for a while. She is still delivering solid performance. Roger Kwok is good as usual but his character as the headmaster appeared so unimportant. Babyjohn Choi is a film actor and this is his first work in a drama. He is actually not bad in this. His partner in the drama, Mag Lam is a bad casting. Her acting is below average and she only put on 2 faces for the whole show; acting cute and being angry. Joyce Cheng is annoying as she overacted and she was unnecessarily too loud in this drama. Bob Lam portrays a bad person in this drama and he is well suited to the role. Why? Because every time I see him, I really wanted to punch his face. It means that he did his role well as he successfully made us hate him. Koni Lui is doing well in here too. Other minor cast in this drama includes Louis Cheung, Helena Law, Bowie Wu, Cheung Chi Kwong, Eliza Sam, Mary Hon, Angela Tong, etc.

I can’t believe the fact that this is one of the anniversary dramas this year to celebrate TVB’s 50th birthday. It is such a lousy production. With school /education as the theme, this drama can be very vibrant and funny at the same time. The drama just couldn’t find the right path. This drama franchise should end. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Oh My Grad’ a total of 6.2. I’m now just looking forward to the ‘Heart and Greed’ which is also the third installment of the very successful ‘Heart of Greed’ franchise. It will start airing on 27th November. I can’t wait for it. I didn’t expect it to be as good as the first two, but I’m hoping at least it is watchable.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

 

Drama review for ‘Line Walker: The Prelude’ (2017)

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 18, 2017 by vincentloy

Before going with the drama review, I would like to take this opportunity to wish to all my Indian friends Happy Deepavali! This day reminds me of some warm and delightful Deepavali open houses that I have attended in the past, some very cool ‘kolam’ (artistic creation by using rice flour) that I have seen at malls, and some Bollywood films with excessive dancing or over-the-top scenes. Living in a multiracial country like Malaysia allows me to be exposed to variety of cultures and I’m loving it. Happy Deepavali once again!

Okay, now back to the review. ‘Line Walker: The Prelude’ is a Hong Kong drama that revolves on the effort of a police inspector on finding and working with his undercover agents in solving a large criminal case. It acts as a prequel to the successful 2014’s Line Walker that won Best Drama in that year’s TVB Anniversary Awards. Many of the original cast (Charmaine Sheh, Raymond Lam, Sammy Shum, etc) didn’t return but you can still catch a glimpse of their photographs in the final episode that tries to link back to the story in 2014’s series. Benz Hui and Michael Miu are back to lead this drama along with new cast (Priscilla Wong, Benjamin Yuen, Pakho Chau, Moses Chan, Jessica Hsuan, etc).  This new line-up of cast looks promising too.

Although this drama couldn’t live up to the intensity and the fast-paced flow of its predecessor, it is still an enjoyable drama to watch with decent story and performances. Moses Chan who portrayed the main villain in this drama is unconvincing. In 99% of his scenes, he only sat on a chair and gave out his speech (that’s so plain). He literally don’t need to do much for this drama. I couldn’t really see or feel his ‘bad’ or ‘powerful’ side in him except from his very quick and cool shooting scene in the very last episode. But that too is illogical. He can shoot around 10 person in a split second and not giving the others a chance to return fire in one scene (it shows how fast his skill is), and then get shot by Benz Hui’s character easily after that.

The ending is good but it could be better. The drama should just end with the scene of Kenneth Ma loading a gun and mentioning that he will be taking revenge on behalf of his brother (Moses Chan). He looks great as a villain and I really hope to see him in the next one since the ending gave a big hint that the series will continue again before the event in the first ‘Line Walker’ series. And then there was this scene of Benz Hui and Pakho Chau in Thailand. How can Pakho suddenly came back and didn’t die from severe gunshots in earlier episode? I prefer his character to die and it will give more sense and meaning to the ending. He just left Hong Kong and stay with Benz in Thailand. For me, it was a very irresponsible act especially to Benjamin Yuen, Priscilla Wong and Michael Miu. On the other hand, I think Pakho is still not comfortable in filming drama (he has acted in many films previously but never in drama before). I can feel that his performance in here is a bit unnatural and restrained. Priscilla Wong and Benjamin Yuen are good but they are still not ending up together (what a pity since Benjamin did a lot for Priscilla but she just couldn’t sense it) even after Pakho’s ‘departure’. Recent Miss Hong Kong winner, Louisa Mak has been criticized for her performance in ‘Bet Hur’ but she is actually doing quite well in here especially in her last crying scene before her death.

Generally, this drama is a good effort to continue this franchise that has also expanded on the film side (there’s a ‘Line Walker’ film last year that starred Louis Koo, Charmaine Sheh, Nick Cheung, Francis Ng and Benz Hui). I also like the ending theme song for the drama. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Line Walker: The Prelude’ a total of 7.7. It couldn’t go past 8 because it still lacks the intensity as seen in the first ‘Line Walker’ drama. I remember there are a lot of explosive or climatic scenes in the first drama but not much in this one. The first drama also sparked a lot of debates and discussions especially on questioning who is the real UC during its run. No for this one. Okay, enough writing for this review; now I have to go back to focus on my thesis work.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)