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The month of June starts with the end of The Amazing Race 29

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 2, 2017 by vincentloy

I have been following every episodes of The Amazing Race Season 29 each week. I have actually followed this reality television show for several continuous seasons by now. I love this program which sees a number of teams in pair travelling across the world, completing tasks, having arguments within themselves or with other teams, experiencing difficulties, brace the extreme challenges and sweating it all out to win the final grand prize of US$ 1 million. In this Season 29, the teams are formed by choosing within the group of individual participants who are completely stranger to one another.

I look forward to the new episodes every weekend and they traveled to countries like Panama, Brazil, Norway, Italy, Greece, Vietnam, South Korea, etc to complete tasks. Matt and Redmond are a great team that I first foresee their potential to win this season of The Amazing Race. They have been performing very well and consistently in every episodes. However, their poor decision of choosing train as their mode of transport in Seoul and the carelessness of their taxi driver later on the same day who brought them to other location has cost their opportunity to win the race. What a bad day that turns everything over for them! They were the last team to get kicked out before the final leg which is so unfortunate.

The final 3 teams that successfully proceed to the final leg are Scott and Brooke, Tara and Joey, and London and Logan. These 3 pairs were always considered the underdogs earlier on as they have not performed very well in the earlier legs. And to my surprise, luck is on Scott and Brooke’s (picture below) side on the last two crucial legs. Everything seems to be very smooth for this pair and they indeed win the race in the end and won the 1 million dollar. A huge congratulation to them! I actually find it unexpected because they are actually one of the weaker teams as compared to the rest. I also cannot stand the consistent whining by Brooke in every legs. She is too annoying and unbearable throughout the whole race. She can’t even do a simple task properly and loves to scream ‘I’m dying’ even at simple task of just running around. Scott should just get the whole bunch of the 1 million dollar just for putting up to her. Brooke do not deserve a single cent from this win. She should seriously work on her attitude. She now literally becomes my most hated person in The Amazing Race series, and will not be remembered as the winner of this reality show. Now, I have to wait for the next one, The Amazing Race 30 and I hope it will be out very soon. That will be the iconic 30th edition of the show!

On the other hand, did TVB has no new own dramas to show now? It has two timeslots every evening on the television. TVB ended up putting a mainland China drama and an old local drama made 10 years ago currently. This is a very bad move. People will just move away from their dramas for now. TVB should really appreciate the viewers and not letting them leave with such move especially in this year when the station will celebrate its 50th anniversary. I’m sure you have a lot of other completed dramas in shelf ready to be released out. I have no choice but to watch ‘Phoenix Rising’ now, a drama that was actually made a decade ago and they choose to release it now. They did release this drama earlier on though in oversea market.

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

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Review for TVB drama ‘House of Spirits’.

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 31, 2016 by vincentloy

My eyes are teary now. Why is that so? I have just finished watching the final episode of a TVB drama called ‘House of Spirits’ and that finale was full of many very touching scenes. I also felt sad right now because this drama is now over as I wanted to watch more from it. I believe many people out there who have been catching up with this series since end of June would feel the same like me too. You will not understand how much I wanted this series not to end this quick.

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‘House of Spirits’ (一屋老友記) is a 2016 Hong Kong drama of 31 episodes by TVB that has concluded just less than two hours ago with its airing of the final episode. It revolves around an eldest brother who has to unite his family (brothers and sisters) and mend the bad relationships among them after their father has passed away. They were all forced to live in the same home due to their father’s inheritance. It is an old house previously occupied by their deceased father and was now also inhabited by two kind ghosts. The drama has a mixture of comedy, family and supernatural themes, and they make up for a very interesting series.

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The series starred Bobby Au, Nancy Wu, Joyce Tang, Jonathan Cheung, Koni Lui, Helena Law, Bowie Wu, Lau Kong, Tsui Wing, Bob Cheung, and many other supporting cast. Their performances were very natural and impressive in this drama. It is actually not easy to act in comedy drama too because you have to withstand all the funny things while you are acting those hilarious scenes. Those hilarious expressions are also not easy to be delivered and the cast were all convincing in it. Bobby Au still shined and he managed to lead this huge cast very well. I’m supportive of him being crowned best actor end of this year for his performance in this drama.

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Nancy Wu is the first female lead but Joyce Tang, the second female lead had overshadowed her here. Joyce is an impressive actress that should be recognized more and she really did an amazing work in this drama. Nancy Wu has been crowned best actress last year, and so I have no issue giving this year’s TV Queen title to Joyce for her excellent performance in this drama. Nancy’s character isn’t that well rounded here, but she do gave her best as well and she do really catch some attention particularly in the last episode when she cried in front of an empty bed as she couldn’t see the two ghosts whom had just been revealed as her grandparents.

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Jonathan Cheung is considered quite new in TVB and I can see a lot of potential for him in the future. He managed very well in all his past supporting roles he had been given. This is also not an exception. Koni Lui also gave fantastic acting as his wife in this series. I’m supporting both of them to win Most Improved Male and Female Artists end of this year. They really deserved it, not only in this series, but also in their other works this year. On the other hand, even the little girl who acted as the daughter of Joyce Tang gave a very good performance. As for the veteran cast, they were simply amazing as well.

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The story is a good one. It is quite fast-paced and I enjoyed every episode of this drama. I had a very great time watching it every evening before I’m going to bed. This series truly had given me a lot of entertainment with many funny moments and also at the same time, intense scenes especially those quarrel scenes. There were mysteries, some plot twists, touching times and above all, this series taught us to love and spend more time with our family. There were still some flaws like some unresolved questions (why only Nancy Wu’s character cannot see ghosts but all other characters can?, how about his two male housemates…what are their conclusions?, etc). I personally think some issues can be expanded further. This series would be much better if it has 40 episodes. 31 episodes right now is just a bit not enough. We are craving for more due to its engaging storyline and impressive cast. The NG scenes at the end of every episodes are also very hilarious.

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Overall, this drama is certainly a great one and has brought me laughs and tears (especially in the final episode just now) for over a month. It also feel so good to see the family transitioned from being cold among each other to the heartwarming outcome in the end. The happy ending gave a perfect conclusion to this drama eventhough it’s still sad to see the ghosts leaving but they have to since their wishes were all fulfilled and the family is now harmonious. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘House of Spirits’ a total of 8.2. I’m also glad that this drama is getting high popularity (currently among the highest rated dramas of 2016) and a lot of attention not only from Hong Kong but also from overseas. This drama is also so far, the best TVB drama of the year in my personal opinion. Not to be missed. Very interesting, entertaining, engaging, dramatic and a good quality series this year. It will be a strong contender for best series in this year end’s award season.

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

The Apprentice Asia

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 31, 2013 by vincentloy

Earlier, we have ‘The Apprentice’ from US, a reality game show hosted by Donald Trump, a real estate magnate and businessman. Now, came a version for Asia itself; ‘The Apprentice Asia’ hosted by Tony Fernandes, a successful Malaysian entrepreneur known for founding AirAsia, the world’s best low cost airline. The show is basically a competition involving a number of contestants from different backgrounds in enterprises where in the end one will be hired to be the host’s apprentice. I didn’t know much on this kind of show at the time when the US version is on the run years ago. And so I missed that totally.

But this ‘The Apprentice Asia’ did caught my attention, as it is based on my home city, Kuala Lumpur with Tony Fernandes, a Malaysian hosting the first of its kind for Asia. Originally, there are 12 contestants, divided into two groups, and the number reduces after each episodes featuring different type of tasks that will have one contestant fired for the poorest performance. Let me quickly sum-up every task; Task 1 – sell fish at a wet market for highest profit. Task 2 – create a 30-second viral video to promote Expedia. Task 3 – makes a sales pitch for 3 Taiwanese products. Task 4 – promotes new Nescafe coffee machine. Task 5 – make biggest profit from trading with virtual money. Task 6 – manage part of Hilton KL hotel for a day. Task 7 – design new set of uniforms for AirAsia staff. Task 8 – produce a live commercial for Volkswagen Beetle. Task 9 – face interviews with Fernandes’ associates.

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(Image source: http://www.xfm.com.my/Xfm/files/d6/d62eeaad-62b1-4edb-ab5c-4c682ea1ab35.jpg)

I missed the first episode. Never mind. Out of all the tasks, I find Task 2, 3, 6 and 7 to be the most interesting. And the final task shown in the finale episode aired just now is to organize a charity fundraiser for AirAsia Foundation with a cocktail event and a charity auction which should be the biggest thing the finalists have to handle respectively. In the earlier episodes, I see potential from Alexis as seen from his solid performances in all tasks, but too bad, he performed not very well on the interview task (Task 9) hence getting eliminated. Then, I start to see credibility on Andrea from Singapore and Jonathan from Phillipines whom eventually became the two finalists, responsible for the final task. Both are equipped with great knowledge, strong passion, intellectual thinking, dynamic leadership, etc. There are three Malaysian contestants (that’s a lot), but all three are seriously not good enough, and so no where to be seen later on. It’s now only between Jonathan and Andrea.

But still only one will be chosen. In the final task, it’s quite obvious that Andrea felt isn’t very comfortable and slack in performance, while on the other hand, Jonathan managed to get to the top of situation with his right attitude of dealing with such events. In the end, as predicted, Jonathan is hired (means he won the show) and becomes the first apprentice of Asia. Congratulation to him! He must be very happy and that Philippines (his country of origin) would be very proud of him too! Andrea is still a very talented young adult, but I find she still lacks some skills, perhaps regarding her emotional management and slight attitude problem. What I dislike about the show is that there are too much attacks of words in the boardroom. That doesn’t necessary show how good you are, but instead, only show off to people how great your English proficiency is.

But sometimes, I do like how their ‘fire’ pushes them to voice out everything they can to obtain an opportunity from Tony Fernandes to prevent from getting ‘fired’. If there is a second edition, I’m looking forward to it too. But I wish to see participants who are better prepared (more deserved to be on this kind of game show), and involvement of more countries in Asia (like Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Vietnam, etc); and also limiting the competition to only ‘one country, one contestant’. So far, the first of ‘The Apprentice Asia’ concluded just now was quite a good show too.

The final episode of a series with the length of a typical film…’Life and Times of a Sentinel’

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 27, 2011 by vincentloy

After watching a latest TVB (Hong Kong) series entitled ‘Life and Times of a Sentinel’ (紫禁驚雷 ) for over a month, the series with 25 episodes is finally coming to an end yesterday’s night. To be exact, the amount of episodes should be 26, not 25, as the final episode aired yesterday at Hong Kong has the total length of around 110 minutes.( almost two hours which is similar to duration of a typical film). An ordinary episode of TVB series is usually taking 42 minutes only. And so, I watched the final episode until almost 4am in the midnight. I like such drama that focuses on evil plans and brilliant tactics used in palace where scheming is inevitable.

It is also aired at the same time on Astro on Demand in Malaysia for Malaysians to catch up the latest TVB series with Hong Kong, but we have to pay more. My family didn’t purchase it but I still can watch it in three hours later after it is available online for watching or even download. Back to the series, ‘Life and Times of a Sentinel’ is set in the late 17th century, during the early years of the Kangxi Emperor’s reign over Qing Dynasty of China, the drama stars Nip Dor-po (Steven Ma), a third-grade imperial bodyguard. He is used by both the Kangxi Emperor (Power Chan) and Prince Yu (Kenneth Ma) to pit against each other, conflicting Dor-po’s loyalty for both.

A huge number of casts are involved in this series, but only some are truly famous in the drama industry of Hong Kong; the two main characters; Steven Ma and Kenneth Ma. I prefer a better, more famous or experienced cast chosen for the character of the Grand Empress Dowager Hao Chong rather than picking Ching Hor Wai in this drama. The character plays a very important role in the drama, and yet Ching Hor Wai did not portray it quite well, especially on acting as in a behaviour of a powerful royal. Anyway, it is a good opportunity for her as the veteran are sidelined to the very unimportant characters at past series she starred in. For that role, I prefer Susan Tse. The same issue goes to Power Chan acting as the Emperor, whom is an important character as well. His acting and behaviour throughout the whole series is so similar with the same body gesture. Nothing impressive from his performance.

For the main character, Steven Ma forever did his acting job in a good level. He never disappoints in whatever type of character he is cast in. He is a truly experienced and professional actor that should be given more honour in TVB anniversary awards and given Best Actor Award. While for Kenneth Ma, sorry to say but he is forcing himself to act as the main villain in the series. His facial expression seems so unnatural and forced which gives no satisfaction at all to the audiences. Given a villain role nowadays would actually brought the cast to fame, but I’m sure this doesn’t applies to Kenneth Ma. He needs to learn from better actors in portraying as villain before like Roger Kwok.

The pace and flow of the story are considered fine and satisfying, which are what keeps me watching it from the beginning till the very end. There are many surprising twists to the plot of the story which are interesting and even exciting to some points, but are taken lightly. I think the screenwriter for the series do not plan systematically before he or she started to write for the script, hence forcing the creation of new characters or new illogical twists out of nowhere in middle of the story (and even at the end of the series).  The costumes and hair designs to the casts are also quite impressive. The final episode is also not at its best as more exciting scenes should be expected from it. There are still not enough intensity given to the palace hall’s scene where Prince Yu finally confronts the Emperor to return the throne to him. Only many dialogues are involved there. Anyway, it is still a good series to watch and I would rate this series, 7.1.