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What’s Up; #4.

16 Jul

So, besides finishing up my holidays, starting class back up again, having computer problems and procrastination, what’s been up in the world of TVB?

Love Exchange

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As you can see from the new banner, I’m enjoying this series. Although it seems like a let down in certain ways because the intriguing sales presentation promised so much more, but I’m really loving the series not so much for the plot, but for the acting alone, mostly from Anita Yuen.

While I don’t ever remember seeing her in a TVB series before, that doesn’t make a difference. I warmed up to her immediately on-screen. Anita really is such a brilliant actress. I don’t know how much TVB paid to lure her away from her adorable baby boy and back to film but she is worth every single cent. She is wholeheartedly Sit Chi Yiu, from top to toe, in and out. If I didn’t know better, I’d say that was how Anita is in real life too. And well, what can I say? Gotta love Michael Miu too. Surely it must be illegal to still look so good at his age? He’s my George Clooney of Hong Kong.

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I didn’t expect much from the Michael/Anita pairing, but the sparks between them on-screen is so evident and so natural.

Power Chan and Krystal Tin are perfect choices for the second leads. Often underrated, both of them have been great so far and I expect we’ll see a lot more from them soon as the plot thickens. Special shout out goes to the guy who plays Kei Chai, Chi Yiu‘s little brother-in-law (I think his name is Alex Lam?). Gosh, this kid is hilarious! I’ve never watched him before but my dad keeps on eagerly informing me that he’s the disciple from Men Don’t Cry, so I deduce he must’ve been good there as well because my dad rarely gets that excited. Heh.

In terms of the plot and the mystery it promised in the sales presentation on the other hand, there’s nothing yet. So far most of it has been filler, but we’ll see. I think there’s definitely more to the death of Dick (Eddie Kwan) and Bonnie (Angela Tong). I get this feeling that Jackie (Krystal Tin) might be tied to it somehow since she has that one “great love” which they’ve mentioned a few times now. Might it be Dick?

On a different note, I don’t know why they named him Dick, considering they have to mention his name so many times in the series. Heh.

I also really, really love the themesong. Every Kary Ng song that I’ve heard, I’ve liked. This one is no exception. As usual, I haven’t a clue what it means, but the melody fits the series quite well.

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The Speech of Silence

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I expected SO much more from this. I enjoyed the first few episodes, watching the dubbing, enjoying the initial squabbling between OK Chai (Kenneth Ma) and Tong Tong (Kate Tsui), but as the series progressed, I found myself dragging through the episodes. Lau Dan is great as usual, but I couldn’t have cared less about the entire she-bang with him and OK Chai. Ditto for the Tong Tong and Mary Hon storyline. Stephen Huynh is atrocious, awful, whatever you want to name it. The only thing that I actually enjoy are Chris Lai and Elaine Yiu. Chris cracks me up whenever he’s on-screen, and Elaine has improved in spades. I’m not saying that Kate hasn’t, but I can’t help but feel that her acting pales when she’s next to Elaine on-screen.

I’m the kind of person who can’t bear to watch a series out of sequence or not finish a series I’ve started watching (Part of the reason why I haven’t attempted Gossip Girl, because my first episode is missing) but last week I missed Episodes 10-14 of this series and I didn’t even feel like catching the re-runs on Astro On Demand. Right now, I’m just catching bits and pieces here and there when I walk in and out of the TV room when my family watches it. I suppose I’ll try to finish it, but at the rate I’m going, this might be the first series I abandon in 2008.

It’s such a shame though, that an interesting theme had to be wasted in this way. There was so much potential for it to be the underdog series of the year, but that title still remains with A Journey Called Life, I reckon. I’ve seen people comparing the series, saying that Speech is superior to Journey, and I just absolutely have to disagree.

(Ehh, this may be an unpopular opinion but part of the reason I might not continue is also because I cannot stand the themesong by Joyce Cheng. The tune is fine, not so much her singing.)

Moonlight Resonance

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I love the poster. It’s quite crowded, but then again, I didn’t expect anything less. I also may be biased because purple’s my favourite colour, heh. The trailers have gotten me all hyped up so far. I just worry about it production value-wise because it was so rushed to be in time for the Mid-Autumn Festival. Didn’t they just finish filming about a month ago or something?

I enjoyed Heart of Greed, so obviously I have high hopes for this one. So many of my favourites are in here – Moses, Tavia, Raymond, Bosco, Michelle, Wayne. Can’t wait to watch all the veterans in action again too. This time round, some of the rest have also grown on me – Linda, Fala, Chris. Let’s see if Fala handles acting a disability better than Kate in Speech of Silence. I do wish they’d kept Yoyo, though. First, she had a much reduced role in Forensic Heroes II, and now completely ignored for Moonlight Resonance. Poor thing.

Will Moonlight surpass its predecessor, the ratings-darling Heart of Greed? Guess we’ll all find out really really soon.

What’s been on your playlist? Are you watching Love Exchange or Speech of Silence? Are you anticipating Moonlight Resonance?

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What’s Up; #2.

2 Mar

First of all, let me apologize for the long leave of absence. Last week was the first week of uni, and there was all the bustle with arranging tutorial times, buying books, finding lecture theatres and learning my way around the newly-constructed campus. Phew. That said, it’s been nice to come home after a long day at uni and after a long hour in a traffic jam and back to Astro on Demand. Boy, am I glad the parents have just fully subscribed to it because I am absolutely loving The Seventh Day.

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I’ve never thought Kevin Cheng to be a spectacular actor (or rather, he’s probably just never had a good enough role, for me personally, to justify the buzz about him), but he entertains here as Yau Chi Wing. Chi Wing is very rough around the edges, and yet soft at heart; sometimes he’s as oblivious as sandpaper, but at other times he pretends not to care. So far, it’s not been rocket science to portray, and Kevin does it adequately. And on a totally superficial note, can I just say how incredibly good-looking he is in The Seventh Day? All the females in my family swoon. Heh. Niki Chow is adorable as always. Again, not the best actress amongst her age group (although, the fact that she isn’t completely an actress to begin with should hold for something) but does a good enough job playing the very likeable, pleasant and sweet Ka Yan. But put together, these two are absolutely magic like before. They bring out the best of each other on screen. Ka Yan‘s angelic demeanor evens out Ah Wing‘s ruggedness, and the result is beautiful. Kevin and Niki really are a force to be reckoned with. And before I forget, I want to fly to Hong Kong and steal little Jack. ASAP. That dog is the cutest AND smartest little thing I’ve ever seen. Scene-stealer in every scene he’s in!

While Kevin and Niki shone in the first five episodes or so, I have to say that in the other five, Bosco and Natalie are really making the series good for me. Like every other viewer, I had my reserves about them. I love Bosco Wong, and I love Bosco even more in comedic roles like Don here. His body language and facial expressions are hilariously classic in here. As a fan of Natalie Tong, I was worried about how she would fare in such a big role, and opposite Bosco, nonetheless, whom the public has already accepted with Myolie at large, what more in a comedic viewpoint. Thankfully, Natalie proves her mettle as a steadily improving actress thus far, and I’m glad she got this opportunity to be the second lead. Hopefully this will not be a one-off chance like on-screen best friend Elaine Yiu who once got a big role in Revolving Doors of Vengeance and Safe Guards and has been relegated to supporting roles ever since. She more than holds her own against the very experienced Bosco and they generate a great chemistry that just makes you want to root for them.

The two seperate camps of 3J and DDMK provide for some great funny scenes, and while most of the forums are buzzing about Charmaine Li, Elaine Yiu is the one catching my attention. I despised her in RDOV and thought she was pretty much an atrocious actress and have since avoided any series she’s been in. However, she’s very quickly growing on me, thanks to The Seventh Day (and bits and pieces of The Gentle Crackdown II). After flying to Hong Kong and stealing Jack, my second task will be personally shaving off Sam Chan‘s hideous goatee. And really, yay for Stephanie Che. She never fails to brighten up the series.

And speaking of The Gentle Crackdown II

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I loved the first one. Moses and Niki were great in it. I wasn’t looking forward to the sequel at all, besides Steven and Wayne, but after catching a few episodes, it was funnier than I thought it would be. Steven was fantastic as usual, Wayne was nothing short of phenomenal. Yumiko Cheng, on the other hand… Hmm. I have nothing against the HK singers starring in TVB series, but please, at least let them start up from supporting roles? Niki was second female lead in Hard Fate before Under the Canopy of Love; Ella Koon was second female lead in RDOV before Survivor’s Law II, and Fiona Sit was second female lead in The Academy. Maybe someone should’ve given Yumiko a supporting role to start out with too. I tried not to watch scenes with her in it, but that was difficult, given she had maximised screen-time. That, and her cringe-worthy horrible Rihanna-esque bob hairstyle.

The Steven-Wayne partnership is one that is golden and the producers seem to know it. These two actors play off each other brilliantly, be it in comedic or serious scenes. Ha Yu and Law Koon Lan were expectedly good in their parental roles, while Lei Seng Cheung, Johnson Lee (who’s got a great dead-pan expression) and the other three were so funny as the sidekicks. I really like Johnson Lee. Seems like he’s been given more chances of late, so that’s great. Like I said above, Elaine is really growing on me – she did a great job as the soft-spoken and gentle escort. All the TVB spoofs and gags along the way were hilarious as well. I really would like to finish The Gentle Crackdown II one day for the sake of Steven and Wayne and the hilarity that comes with it. Hopefully I warm up to Yumiko soon; that would make it a whole lot easier.

That aside, D.I.E. to be shown soon? I’m actually quite looking forward to it. The trailers and the themevideo portray it to be very interesting. I’m looking forward to seeing Roger in a role like this (which reminds me of his role in To Get Unstuck In Time, actually) and you know, in a normal hairstyle instead of a bowl haircut. Not a fan of Sonija‘s and am indifferent to Kenneth, but their roles look different too from the trailers. Looks good as a whole, to be honest. And of course, there’s Derek Kwok!

I was browsing through the AF forum and I found this great fanfic, which in my opinion, is quite scarce in the TVB fandom. (Don’t get me wrong, I’m in no way praising my amateur-ly written fanfiction, but it’s just that I really rarely stumble across quality-written stories involving TVB) It’s called Storm Chasers by jas73 and it’s well-written with a good sense of continuity and author style, and is well researched to boot. Revolves around Raymond and Tavia, with a jealous Ron, scheming Charmaine, mourning Jessica, mysterious Gallen and many other well-fleshed out characters. Really, do give it a try. Mystery, suspence, action; you won’t be disappointed.

Besides winglin.net and the AF forum, is there even any place to go to for TVB-related fanfiction? I don’t know about you, but I find it difficult to navigate and it’s really not the user-friendliest place in the world. I just wish there was something more like fanfiction.net, where it’s a proper fanfiction archive where you can search for fics by author, or by the top-rated fics, or genre. That would make avid fic-readers’ lives much easier.

And as for the HK entertainment news of late, I’m getting really sick and tired of hearing about Edison Chen everywhere I go. Come on, it’s been what, nearly a month? Move on, already. So, he enjoys intercourse like every other hot-blooded male does. Indulges in photographic fetishes. Granted, it’s stupidity on his part (and on the females’ part, let’s not forget) because they are seen as public figures, but he doesn’t need to be constantly painted as the villain, which is another thing that annoys me. It takes two to tango, as the saying goes. I am as feminist as they come. And it surprises me how many females fight for gender equality on so many platforms on a daily basis, and yet when it comes to some of this nature, immediately stone the male. Gender equality and all that, heh. For me, the girls are as much at “fault” as he was. Just my $0.02. Case closed, for me, at least.

And just for the record, I am neither a fan of Edison Chen (unless watching an episode of his MTV show or remarking that he used to be “cute” to my sister constitutes me as one) nor Gillian Chung (I am most definitely not a fan of Twins either – please don’t get me started on the state of their live performances and squeaky clean images).

And, uh, well that’s all for today. I’m all typed out.