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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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The Tangled Web of TVB; #2.

22 Jun
The Tangled Web of TVB will be an
ongoing feature in this blog featuring the
many different relationships between
artistes and/or characters that occur,
be it through coincidence, things they
could have in common, mutual friends
or just an interesting little tidbit
that I have to share about these artistes.”

The Tangled Web of TVB #2: It’s All in the Name

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Ella Koon Yan Na, Sonija Kwok Sin Nei & Linda Chung Ka Yan

After being a subscriber to Astro on Demand since the beginning of the year, I’ve had the pleasure of watching every single TVB show that has been broadcast in Hong Kong, simultaneously. And throughout this luxury, I’ve noticed a running pattern.

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Nancy Wu Ting Yan, Idy Chan Yuk Lin & Kate Tsui Tsz San

What could beauty queens Sonija Kwok, Linda Chung and Kate Tsui have in common with recent Strictly Come Dancing TVB representative Nancy Wu, songstress Ella Koon and veteran Idy Chan?

Yes, they’ve all had TVB series that has broadcasted this year (with the exception of Kate Tsui, whose series broadcasts tomorrow). That’s just only half of the coincidence. Another running theme that they all of them have participated in thus far? They’ve all played characters with… here, I’ll let the pictures do the talking for me.

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Lei Lei, Jing Jing, Ka Ka

The year first kicked off with flamboyant lawyer Suen Lei Lei, also known as Lily, by Ella Koon in Survivor’s Law II. Starting a trend of sorts, it was followed with the prominent Jing Jing, Sonija Kwok‘s Madam Ying in D.I.E., with rough-talking Ka Ka by Linda Chung simultaneously airing in A Journey Called Life.

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Fei Fei, Yung Yung, Tong Tong

Right after that, the trend continued in Catch Me Now‘s Bao Yung Yung (even called “Ku Ku” sometimes!) by Idy Chan. Nancy Wu, who played Pui Pui in D.I.E. earlier in the year, followed up with her Fei Fei in The Silver Chamber of Sorrows while after that, Linda Chung did it once again by reprising her role in Forensic Heroes II as the tragically dead Lam Ding Ding. And now, the pattern is soon to follow with Kate Tsui’s hearing impaired Tong Tong in The Speech of Silence.

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Ding Ding, Pui Pui, Sa Sa

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Long Long, CC, Coco

Of course let’s not forget the repeating syllables in “English names” like Joyce Tang‘s fabulously played Coco, Ko Ka Po in War of In-Laws II and the feisty Sasa, Wong Chi Kwan in The Seventh Day, as played by Natalie Tong.

And you know, if I were to really nitpick, there’s also been the hilariously camp CC by Derek Kwok in War of In-Laws II, Roger Kwok‘s Yu Chi Long nicknamed Long Long by his ghost fanatic, as well as little Lok Lok who’s Toby Leung‘s son in Money Maker Recipe and the adorable twin treasures Hei Hei and Lam Lam in WOIL II, to name a few. I’m sure there were more kids with names like these ones throughout the year so far.

(Which by the way, if TVB is a real representation of Hong Kong, there must be at least 21387 boys there named Lok Lok. Can we have some variety, already?)

I just thought it was too much of a running pattern. Seriously, what is up with that? All the bit characters aside, that’s five main female characters (yes, five, count ’em – Survivor’s Law II, D.I.E., A Journey Called Life, Catch Me Now and now The Speech of Silence) with single-repeating-syllables as names. Is this the new trend in TVB? Is it now hip to repeat something twice? Is this Hong Kong’s answer to funky Western names like Romeo Beckham’s, Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt’s and Apple Martin’s?

I wonder if the trend’ll continue throughout the year. Guess only time will tell.

The Year of the Rat Ahead

11 Feb

So, it’s the Lunar New Year again, this time the year of the rat. And so, a typical question on everybody’s mine is, how will my year be in the year of the rat? chinese.astrology.com has the rundown for the year ahead. For a good bit of fun in the CNY manner, let’s see what happens when we apply those forecasts to our favourite TVB stars.

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The Rat in the year of the Rat
Bobby Au-Yeung (1960), Matthew Ko (1984), Linda Chung (1984), Vivien Yeo (1984)

Out of the year ahead, apparently eight months are favourable for the Rat. The year may get off to a slow start for them, but the latter part of the year will hold bigger and better opportunities – patience will be a virtue. Bobby has a new drama which is currently filming which also stars Sheren Tang that could very well lead to many advertising opportunities towards the end of the year. Matthew and Linda also have Man in Charge, and A Journey Called Life and The Gem of Life respectively, ready for release very soon. For the Rat, this year is also the best time for career advancement; both Matthew and Vivien have been given very big opportunities of late – could this be their time to shine? When it comes to love, there is a high possibility that a recent acquaintance or a newly formed friendship could develop into a serious love affair. Maybe those Matthew/Kate Tsui rumours might come true soon.

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The Ox in the year of the Rat
Damian Lau (1949), Ada Choi (1973) 

The year of the rat is a win-lose situation for the Ox. According to the experts, the ox will face half a year of difficulty, with the ending half favourable. This will not the time to take risks, especially unnecessary or avoidable risks. Hard work is more the Ox’s style anyway; this is very true for both Damian and Ada whose pure hard work and talent within the entertainment circle over the years is widely known. As for the Ox’s relationships, one bright spot may lay in their family relationships, as they might offer you a measure of unconditional love. This bodes well for the newlywed Ada and her loving husband, Max.

Tiger
The Tiger in the year of the Rat
Sonija Kwok (1974), Joyce Tang (1974), Kenneth Ma (1974), Patrick Tang (1974)

42% of the year will apparently be favourable for the tiger in the year of the rat. The Tiger will have to carefully pick their battles, as they probably will not be blessed with many good opportunities. This might not be true for Kenneth as he has a truckload of series due for airing this year. Patrick is also rather favoured by the bosses, and he has the famous Foodie 2 Shoes under his belt. This leaves us with the ladies. Sonija already had a horrible year last year, what with the Michael Tao and third party rumours, so let’s hope this forecast doesn’t come true with a repeat of last year occurring. The Tiger will also gain a lot in friendships and have a fulfilling social life but the only bump in the road may come in their romantic relationships, as their aggressive approach may not find favor in this conservative Earth element year. Hopefully this doesn’t affect Joyce and what seems like a burgeoning relationship with Derek Kwok.

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The Rabbit in the year of the Rat
Michael Tao (1963), Alex Fong (1963), Charmaine Sheh (1975), Yoyo Mung (1975)

After a good year last year, the Rabbit is expected to have a slightly more challenging year of the Rat, especially in the middle months of 2008. Career-wise, it could be frustrating as there might be delays and mix-ups in their way. For Charmaine and Yoyo who have upcoming series to film, might that mean delays in filming/production? Relationships with colleagues could also pose a problem, especially if there is involvement in office politics and gossip. Again, both the rumour prone females better take note. That aside, their domestic scene could make up for the trying workfront. Time is best spent with loved ones relaxing like what Alex Fong will likely do with his wife. Love is likely to be in the air for singles like Michael and Charmaine, but things should be taken slowly to avoid disappointment. Rabbits must also beware of conmen this year; however, a bright spot is that long term investments will bring a good return. Maybe it’s time for Yoyo and Ekin Cheng to get a place of their own. 😉

Dragon
The Dragon in the year of the Rat
Roger Kwok (1964), Derek Kwok (1964), Margaret Chung (1976), Annie Man (1976)

With 11 favourable months and 1 neutral month, the Dragon could be the best off amongst all the other zodiacs. Dragons, while having to avoid risk, will have a good chance of realising a big dream this year. Maybe Margaret will be able to expand her yoga venture this year. The year of the Rat also seems to smile on the career of the Dragon. With creativity, heart and spirit, points could be won with those in authority and advancements in career are highly likely. The star of Roger can only go higher with D.I.E. and thriller Last One Standing, while Derek who did great last year, could stand to gain even more recognition this year. Margaret and Annie should also consider filming for TVB again. I’m sure a lot of viewers would agree with that. Equally lucky in relationships, the Dragon stands to find romance, or even better, his or her soulmate this year as it is a very auspicious year for love – love might soon be in the air for singles like the very eligible Derek (Joyce Tang anyone?), Margaret and Annie. The earth element of 2008 also favors family and heart-felt gestures, perfect for Roger and his wife Cindy Au, who will be happy parents very soon!

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The Snake in the year of the Rat
Bowie Lam (1965), Jack Wu (1977), Maggie Siu (1965)

With one less favourable month as compared to the Dragon, the year of the Rat will be a better one for the Snake than last year. Almost every month will present a new opportunity to the snake, although they might want to take a break straight after the Lunar New Year. With the mega-production of The Gem of Life looming ahead for both Bowie and Maggie, the year is bound to be bountiful, and after filming it for many long months last year, a break after the new year is in store for the two. Also, the fast paced energy given off by the Rat creates a dynamic career environment which could inspire the Snake with new ideas resulting in many opportunities which requires quick and decisive actions. If the Snake is bored with their present work situation, this is a good time to seek greener pastures. Could this be a hint to Jack to leave the hosting behind and to continue to carve a name for himself in the acting industry? Single Snakes have a wonderful chance to find love and romance, or maybe just one great fling. All three of them should take note!

Horse
The Horse in the year of the Rat
Sammul Chan (1978), Stephen Huynh (1978), Bernice Liu (1979), Shirley Yeung (1978)

With only three neutral months and the remaining months being unfavourable, it looks to be a tough year ahead for the Horse. A quick start to the year will be important as the latter months of the year could be very challenging indeed. Might that mean awards at the end of the year will once again elude Sammul and Bernice? Projects will become a bit more difficult and delays could be the norm. Hopefully this does not affect Bernice who’s currently filming The Legendary Ren Jie and Sammul, who will soon begin filming The Academy III, or cause Shirley‘s Silver Mansion Golden Dust to be warehoused. While they may experience some bumps in the road, there will be have many opportunities to learn and it might be beneficial to further their work-related knowledge; Bernice and Stephen should continue working hard on improving their pronounciation. When it comes to romance, letting their guard down, especially with those who love them, is one way to happiness. Might Bernice be letting her guard down with a certain Best Actor? The Horse will be best served by exercising patience and understanding the needs of his or her partner. Shirley and long-time boyfriend Gregory Lee should take note, just in case.

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The Sheep in the year of the Rat
Raymond Lam (1979), Ron Ng (1979), Myolie Wu (1979), Tavia Yeung (1979)

With only 5 favourable months, this year will not be as good as the pig year last year for these sheep. However, it is important to note that there are still five favourable months will plenty of opportunities if the Sheep does not get down and let negative emotions get the best of them. All four stars have big projects at hand with many opportunies; Raymond has The Four and Heart of Greed II, Ron with The Four and possibly Thirteen Treasures, Myolie with When A Dog Loves A Cat and apparently Burning Flame III after that, and Tavia with Salt Traders and Heart of Greed II. They will do best this year if they let their head, and not their heart dictate their actions. Ron made a smart choice by branching out to the mainland market last year, and his career might continue rising with the awaited The Four and the filming of the The Academy III. Career-wise, the Sheep might face large pressure from management to work more. Advancement and progress will come if there is strong diligence, of which there is definitely no shortage of when it comes to these four. The sheep must remain rational about their workload and pressure and their inclination to say no if the load is too much to handle. The quartet of Raymond, Ron, Myolie and Tavia are the cream of the crop of the younger generation and are possibly the most overworked ones. This year they might have to learn to face even larger pressure and juggle their work and home life well. For the single Sheep like Raymond, Ron and Tavia, this year could lead to the blossoming of true love. However, existing relationships could be problematic. At the same time, they need to be wary of rumors and gossip, as they will lead to unnecessary arguments. Myolie and rumoured guy Bosco Wong sound familiar?

Monkey
The Monkey in the year of the Rat
Joe Ma (1968), Bosco Wong (1980), Elaine Yiu (1980), Carrie Lam (1980)

Along with the Dragon, the Monkey will have the best year this year out of the twelve zodiacs. Opportunities will be aplenty for the typical, mentally quick and multi-talented Monkey. However, overconfidence could hinder some of those opportunities. The monkey is advised to go with their heart and follow their instincts with their projects at hand. Rewards will be seen when working closely with coworkers who exhibit similar ideas. Bosco, while working closely with his great coworker Myolie Wu reaped great rewards with their outstanding chemistry last year with War of In-Laws II; might that continue in the following year as well? Ideas and hard work will most likely be rewarded this year. Joe, who has signed a contract with TVB late last year could see himself rewarded as early as the end of this year at the anniversary awards. A resurgent Elaine , and well as newbie Carrie could also see themselves with more chances. The monkey’s social life should be very active this year. Married ones like Joe will find themselves more than ever, wanting to spend a lot of time with their spouse and might even lead to an addition in the family! The single Monkey should expect to find an abundance of opportunities in love and this might not be the year to settle down. Oh no, does that mean there’s no hope for Bosco and Myolie after all?

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The Rooster in the year of the Rat
Paul Chun (1945), Kevin Cheng (1969), Leila Tong (1981), Selena Li (1981)

After the Horse, the Rooster is the sign most likely to have a challenging year with a total of 9 unfavourable months. There will, nevertheless, be a few opportunities. With a big role in The Four, Selena‘s opportunities will probably come in abundance after its release. A cooperative attitude, and winning allies will be the key to success. With Leila‘s amiable work ethics and her budding success with her music and the mainland market, she should do well. Progress may be a little slow on the career front this year for the rooster but time must be taken to understand the roots of the problems. Support of co-workers and superiors are vital. Such a well-respected and well-liked veteran like Paul probably need not worry. One of TVB’s favourite sons, Kevin will also probably be in a good spot with the support for the upcoming The Seventh Day and the anticipated Last One Standing. The single Rooster like the beautiful Leila , need not rush into anything new this year, as things may not always be quite what they seem. The Rooster in a relationship needs to be wary and avoid missteps, as small problems have the potential to erupt into larger, out-of-hand ones this year. Might rumoured couples Kevin and Niki Chow, along with Selena and Patrick Tang have anything to worry about? Added stressed caused from relationship problems could be detrimental to their health. Let’s hope all four stay healthy and happy in ’08!

Dog
The Dog in the year of the Rat
Michael Miu (1958), Jessica Hsuan (1970), Fala Chen (1982) 

More than half the year is deemed to be positive for the Dog in 2008. For them, it will be more challenging than last year, but still has the potential to be very favourable. With the release of Suspicious Love for Michael and the upcoming The Academy III and Heart of Greed II for him and Fala respectively; that is most definitely valuable potential. Jessica has also apparently been slated to film Just Love II soon. Willingness to leave their comfort zone will lead to significant progress towards the dog’s goals and enable them to achieve one or more notable successes. Jessica left her comfort zone last year with her soft-spoken, timid role in Drive of Life which was widely acclaimed. Fala could very well continue that streak by taking on the role of a mute this time round in HOG II. Time spent promoting themselves and their skills and standing out to the people on the company ladder will be well-spent. Fala‘s popularity rose last year with her dancing skills; will she continue on this year? Domestically, comfort will be found in family relationships this year, be it with parents, children or loved ones. The single ones like the very eligible Jessica, will find good fun and mental stimulation this year; with plenty of chances to meet new friends and explore new love interests. The Year of the Earth Rat will likely be favorable towards their new savings plans and investment decisions; possibly a good year for Michael‘s business up ahead!
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The Boar in the year of the Rat
Moses Chan (1971), Steven Ma (1971), Gigi Lai (1971), Koni Lui (1983)

Said to be the most generous and honorable zodiac sign, these four are in for a good year this year. The environment is likely to be more unsettling, albeit simultaneously providing more opportunities for success. The formidable Moses won big at last year’s awards; imagine what more he could do this year. The boar needs to mentally adjust his or herself and focus squarely on the present this year. Gigi had a turbulent year last year with her brother’s incident, and there’s nothing better to do than to focus and live to the fullest in both family and career. Increased success is in store for the boar; they just need to stay focused on the prize. Great advice for a budding newbie like Koni. Their work environment is more comfortable this year and people around them will be appreciative of their experience and talent. Might Steven be able to win Best Actor this year with this added appreciation? The single Pig will find plenty of opportunities this year and love is in the air, possibly along with a new career connection or two. Moses, who has all along endorsed the idea of appearing as a celebrity advertising couple with Bernice Liu for work and sponsor-related purposes, has been the brunt of good-natured marriage ribbing from colleagues recently. Might there be more than just a career connection there? The pace of the year also poses some risk to your health and well-being and any risky physical activity should be avoided. Let’s all pray for no more horse mishaps for the poor Steven. We want to see both his eyes if/when he wins an award this year. 

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Just a good bit of fun forecasting the year ahead traditional Chinese-style with the twelve zodiacs and the TVB artistes. I don’t personally believe in astrology, but I like to read it just for fun… who knows, right? Lol.

And I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very happy belated Valentine’s day! xoxo.

Fanart #1; Old Banner Requests

1 Jul

I used to take requests at TVBSquare for avatars and banners, but then got really busy with school work and extra curricular activities that I stopped. I don’t think I was very good, but I did it out of boredom, and because I enjoyed it.

 

Benny Chan & Linda Chung in The Bitter Bitten – Beneath the Stars of Love

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One of my least favourite works because I wasn’t very creative with the colouring or cropping. I must say that that was a gorgeous screencap, although I didn’t watch the series though. The way she’s looking at him, and he’s kissing her hand, aww.

 

Bosco Wong & Tavia Yeung in Find the Light – A Love that Transcends Time


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Also not fond of this one. I don’t even think I gave this to the girl who requested it because silly me forgot to make it animated, which was what she requested. Lol.

 

Bosco Wong & Tavia Yeung – Picture Perfect


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Don’t really like this one either because it was done in a rush. The picture is a manip I did, but you can tell if you look closely, so it’s not very good.

 

Bosco Wong – Air of Masculinity


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Okay, so this one of the few banners of mine which I like. It’s not great, but I like the pictures of Bosco that were given to me to use. He really does look great in them, very masculine.

 

Ron Ng & Tavia Yeung – Forever Yours


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Was experimenting with the colours on this one; thankfully the requester liked it, if I remember correctly.

 

Bosco Wong & Myolie Wu – Forever. For Life.


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Ahh, I remember the cute Bosco/Myolie phase back then. Looks like it’ll be back again soon, with the filming of War of In-Laws 2.

 

Raymond Lam & Tavia Yeung – Forever; for life


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Okay, either the wordings were requested, or I’m just not very creative with words. I can’t remember which one it was, whoops. But just ignore the words and focus on the pretty that is Ah Fung and Ah Yi. Hee.

Looking back at all these banners sure brings back some good memories. I had fun making them, and I hope all the people who requested liked them and had fun using them too.

Heart of Greed – At First Glance

1 Jul

I know I said that part 2 of the foreword would be next, but I fully blame it on the addictiveness of TVB. Three words:

Heart. Of. Greed.


So, finally, after so much hype and news about this series, I’ve finally started to give it a go. I had the first twenty episodes in my hard drive, but I refused to start watching because just from its opening theme, you can tell it’s one of those series you just have to continue watching and watching…and watching. Yesterday, I finally got the complete series from a friend of mine, and have been hooked every since.

I enjoyed Brink of Law and Dicey Business, but just after watching nine episodes, I think Heart of Greed is going to trump them both. Why?

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In my opinion, this has got to be one of the best family ensembles that TVB has put together in recent years that I’ve seen. (Other notable mention could possible be the Virtues of Harmony cast, but I didn’t watch that, so this is it for me) If you asked me, I could not think of a better actor to play anyone of the roles. The chemistry is apparent between each and every member, and it is believable. The heart-warming moments are a joy to watch, and the rifts keep me glued to the screen. Kudos, TVB.

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Lee Sze Kei as Ling Hao/Dai Kai

The voice of reason within the family, is a perfect role for Lee Sze Kei’s comeback. She did it so well in Kindred Spirit, and here she is again, only this time the difference between Dai Kai and Kindred Spirit’s Sin Yee, is that Dai Kai is more worldly and the animosity between family members that she has to deal with is on a larger, more dramatic scale than that of Sin Yee’s.

 

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Ha Yue as Tong Yan Kai/Tai Bao

So far, in the other comedy series I’ve seen him in, Ha Yue tends to overact, but here, it actually works in this series and with the script he’s been given. Tong Yan Kai is just a man, with a simple wish- for this family to live harmoniously under one roof. He enjoys the simple pleasures in life, and of course, the occasional abalone. But it’s never so simple, is it? Ha Yue plays Tong Yan Kai, the pushover husband and father so well, that when in the rare moments that Tai Bao actually explodes in anger at his family, it’s great to watch.

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Michelle Yim Mai Shuet as Ling Lei/Lei Yee

I watched Michelle Yim in the ‘Tai Nui Fa‘ drama ages ago with my mother and I felt she was much a better Princess Cheung Ping than Charmaine Sheh was in Perish in the Name of Love. I also remember her in a long-running comedy whose name eludes me now, but it also starred Waise Lee, and had characters named “Wah Di“. Can anyone remember that? But anyway, back to the point, Michelle has been one of my favourite veterans since. She was magnificent as Sung Kam Chi in Brink of Law, and I was afraid that she would play the same role again (because let’s face it, every drama like this one here needs a villain). But she didn’t, and her Ling Lei is a joy to watch. Ling Lei is strong, straightforward, capable and caring on the outside, but already from the beginning, you can tell that that’s not all there is to her. She is a character with many layers and possibly an unexpected history, and Michelle brings that to life. A lesser actress definitely couldn’t.

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Susanna Kwan as Wong Sau Kam/Sai Kai

Wow. I’ve never watched Glittering Days, so this is the first time I’m seeing her in action. A very effective villain. I judge how good villainous acting is by how much you feel hatred for that character that is being played, and Susanna has got it in the bag, because I can’t stand Wong Sau Kam, for her greed and her jealousy. Sai Kai has plenty of pointed lines, in which the words are masked knives, and Susanna does them all with conviction. She plays a woman scorned very well. Brilliant. I enjoyed the fighting scenes between her and Michelle when Sai Kai and Ah Lei were at odds. The chemistry was so apparent.

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Moses Chan Ho as Tong Chi On/Dak Dak Dei/Sai Bao

I must say, I never envisioned Moses in a role like this when I heard about it. But now, when I watch the series, and I see how perfectly he immerses himself in Sai Bao’s character, I simply cannot think of anyone else. I’ve always said Moses was a brilliant comedic actor, and this series further cements that. He’s made me laugh like a lunatic so many times just in the first nine episodes (my housemate thought I was going a little insane, lol) and I’m sure there’s more to come. All his scenes are a joy to watch; with every member of the Tong family, Sheung Joi Sum, even the Filipino woman who was teaching him to sing!

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Bosco Wong Chung Chak as Tong Chi Yat/Gilbert/Gil Gil

Can I just first say that I love this look for Bosco? He looks every bit like what you would imagine the MBA-holding son of a rich family would look like. So far, I haven’t seen any of the wooden acting that everyone’s been complaining about, but that could be because the first nine episodes have been pretty comedic thus far. Even when the women are at odds with one another, the three Tong boys have been trying to add humour to the situation to solve things. The few dramatic scenes he’s had have been with Tavia, and I found those great. They’ve been acting together long enough, so there’s none of that inconsistent chemistry with the both of them.

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Chris Lai Lok Yi as Tong Chi Foon

I know I’ve said this a lot of times, but here it is another time- I cannot picture a better actor for this job. Heart of Greed succeeds because the producer understood the acting capacity of each actor and casted them appropriately. Chris is not by any means the best young actor on the block, but what he can do is perfect for the character of Chi Foon. Chi Foon is your average university student- he just wants to have fun… and pass all his units at school; not having his mother at odds with the rest of the family. Chris Lai does the unaffected young adult well.

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Fala Chen as Tong Chi Yan

Again, I have to commend the casting. I can only think of one other actress who would have suited this role- Natalie Tong, which I really like. But Natalie has played the youngest sister so many times, that she could do it in her sleep. Casting Fala was a wise choice, because the audience has seen Natalie so many times. Fala is a breath of fresh air, and again, does the whole unaffected teenager thing very well. I have to admit though, she such a rumour magnet, but if you ignore all that and just watch her, she’s very pleasant to watch as Ah Yan. Yet another thumbs up for the casting. This is a great break for both her and Chris Lai.

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Linda Chung as Sheung Joi Sum

First of, a completely random thought; I really like her character’s name in this series, and the way they keep on saying it in whole, hee. As for Linda, I’ve never been a fan. I saw bits of Always Ready and The Bitter Bitten, and she didn’t impress me. However, she has most definitely improved since then. Her acting in Heart of Greed is better and her role is of more substance. This year would be a great year for her to win Most Improved Actress instead of last year, IMO. I still don’t see any semblance of romantic chemistry between her and Moses, but, I think she’s a great choice for this role.

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Tavia Yeung as Cheuk Man Lei/Jackie

I haven’t seen much of Tavia, but what I’ve seen, I’ve liked. You can already tell that there’s a bit of a stubborn streak in her character, judging by her actions. That scene the screencap is from, between her and Bosco was so bittersweet and angsty, but very well done by the both of them. Tavia’s also come a long way in her crying since Golden Faith where she ran down the street wailing. She’s managed to master the art of crying beautifully, which not a lot of actresses can do. Again, great casting.

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Yoyo Mung as Shui Mak Mak

That’s a truly awful name; someone please tell me it’s just her nickname and not her birth name? Because I would be really annoyed at my parents if it were me, hah. This is the first I’ve seen Yoyo in such an independent, extroverted, sexy character. I’ve always seen her in more subdued roles, so this is a nice change. I liked her in Burning Flame II but since then she’s neither been a like or dislike for me, but it’s a nice change to see her playing a character like this. TVB needs to mix it up more often like this.

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Raymond Lam as Alfred

Yes, that’s the only glimpse of him that’s in the first nine episodes, save for the opening credits. Incredibly sad, isn’t it? I’ve been told that his scenes with Linda are adorable, and I really want to watch those. That aside, Raymond always, always delivers a solid performance and this should be no exception. It’ll be interesting to watch him act as a two-timing ass.

Louis Yuen as Ling Bo/Kau Fu Bo

Couldn’t find a screencap of him, unfortunately. As always, Louis Yuen is a great reliable supporting character. He is so annoying and irritating as Ah Bo, that you know it’s great acting, like I said about Susanna above. Again, great selection of actor (are you getting bored with me saying this yet?); I read from Lavendar_Bluez that it was initially supposed to be the equally formidable Wayne Lai in this role, but I think Louis Yuen would have been better, because the audience has gotten so used to him in his long-running part in Virtues of Harmony and this would be an intriguing change.

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Again, I love the family camaraderie these actors share as a family. It’s obvious that they all get along in real life, and I love how that transpires onto film. It’s a joy to watch, and I might be saying this too early with Drive of Life and Jewel’s Splendour not even out yet, but I feel that at least one or two from this cast deserve an award at this year’s TVB Awards. But then again, who knows? TVB loves to spring us surprises during its awards ceremony, and I don’t mean that in a good way.

Also, the script is great. That’s another huge aspect as to why I’m enjoying it so much. It is smart, has heart and is witty. There’s a difference between lame humour and wit, and thankfully, it is the latter that is apparent here.

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What do you think? Is all the buzz from watching the first few episodes getting to me? Do you agree with the casting choices in Heart of Greed? Come on, don’t keep quiet like the picture above (which I love, btw).

Oh, but no spoilers, please! Don’t ruin the ending for me!

P/S: All the wonderful screencaps courtesy of the lovely K for TVB. Visit her site for more insightful recaps of Heart of Greed!