Hello, the Missed World of TVB Fandom!

22 Nov

Hey everyone!

Gosh, it’s been insane how long this blog has been left unattended. I do apologize and am crazily sorry!

Looking back at the last post, it’s almost been a year. Easy to count because Anniversary is right around the corner again.

So, what’s been going on? I’ve since graduated from university, secured a pretty good job with a large firm which takes up most of my free time, fell in love (HAHA, do I hear some ooh-s?) which takes up whatever else free time I have, and that doesn’t leave me with much else time to watch TVB.

That, and perhaps I just haven’t been feeling any of the series of late other than Rosy Business (which was freaking amazing, by the way). Even Beyond the Realm of Conscience and Born Rich, despite all the months of anticipation, haven’t really been doing it for me. Some of you might know that I hate missing out episodes when I watch series so regardless, I’ll always insist on watching everything in sequence. No series of late has caught my eye to make me want to unleash my TVB OCD-ness on it.

Anyway, I watched the Anniversary Gala show a few nights ago and I must say that brought back some great memories. It reminded me how much I used to love this fandom, and how when studying in Melbourne, was the only avenue by which I could feel at home. Maybe I’ll even blog about the Gala, because as usual, I’ve tons of thoughts about it.

So, after the Gala, it got me clicking on my favourite TVB links again. I’ve always checked out TVB: A Way of Thinking (Teddieburr rocks for keeping me updated :D) on a pretty regular basis since I love to find out what my favourites are in next, and also to keep on hoping and hoping for a Bernice series or a FungYi series or to see Leila again… you get the gist. (Shall We State the Case FTW!!! Sorry, couldn’t resist the rare shout out.) But today, I spent the whole afternoon losing myself in the fandom, and clicking here and there on random TVB sites, and all I can say is, good times.

Nostalgia led me back to site and when the familiar colours loaded, I was overwhelmed. Honestly overwhelmed at the number of comments that were on the tagboard since I was away. (Okay, granted, one of them says “i love cheng ka wing .i am gay . i want to kiss you.” Go figure.) Most are asking for There And Back Again, and I admit, I’ve missed writing and in particular, writing this fic.

So while I don’t know if I’ll have the time to actively continue this like how I used to, all I can say is that I miss each and everyone of you whom I’ve come into encounter with during this TVB experience and that I’m truly flattered that you’ve taken the time to read what I’ve had to say.

Thanks a million,
Wendy

Advertisements

Nominees, Schnominees.

11 Nov
So, it’s been a crazy half a year! I just finished my final paper yesterday and if everything goes as expected, it will be the final undergraduate paper of my life. Wow. We’ll see how things go because I don’t wanna jinx myself just yet by saying I’ve graduated when results aren’t even out yet, so just keep your fingers crossed for me!

*

All throughout my absence, I’ve of course still been watching TVB, silently following TVB news online but just abstaining from blogging about my thoughts because I just simply didn’t have the time. This of course has changed since I’m now on holidays and awaiting results so there’s really no better time than to get my two cents out on something I’ve been dying to write about. And well really, the only thing that’s on anyone’s mind in this final run down… The 41st TVB Anniversary Awards.

Last year, Heart of Greed walked off with the awards that mattered the most. The top four coveted Best Actor/Actress and Favourite Character accolades were won by Moses Chan, Lee Sze Kei and Susanna Kwan. Louis Yuen added to the count with his Best Supporting Actor and collectively, the whole cast came out for Best Series. Of course, a TVB Anniversary would not be complete without its surprises, and there certainly weren’t any shortages last year.

Another pic of Mo, just cause. 😉

A night of fun, splendour, jewellery, gorgeous dresses and eyebrow-raising award winner choices by TVB – isn’t this what we all wait for every year? Let’s take a look at the nominees, courtesy from TVB Chinese News.

*

Best Actress


1. Liza Wang – Wars Of In-Laws II
2. Sonija Kwok – D.I.E
3. Linda Chung – A Journey Called Life
4. Nancy Sit – The Silver Chamber Of Sorrows
5. Charmaine Sheh – Forensic Heroes II
6. Kate Tsui – Speech Of Silence
7. Louise Lee – Moonlight Resonance
8. Susanna Kwan – Moonlight Resonance
9. Michelle Yim – Moonlight Resonance
10. Sheren Tang – Your Class Or Mine

My Missing-in-Action: Anita Yuen. Not that I think that she’d win given the strength of acting and popularity of some of the other dramas these actresses come from but I thought she was really good in Love Exchange which should at least have warranted a nomination. Tavia, Tavia, Tavia; which unfortunately had to give such a splendid performance amongst a heavily female-studded, equally strong cast in Moonlight Resonance that she is now regarded as supporting. That kind of performance in any other should’ve easily gotten her a Best Actress nom. And where’s Myolie? I loved her in War of In-Laws II. Christine Ng, who was great in Silver Chambers?

Ehhhh…: Seriously, what is Kate Tsui doing there? A best actress nomination before Tavia? Out of the younger generation, at least I can say Linda deserves a nomination because she was good in A Journey Called Life. I reckon even Niki should’ve been nominated over Kate for The Seventh Day.

My Favourites: Hands down, Michelle Yim. I loved her in Heart of Greed and here, in Moonlight Resonance, its no exception. She just always amazes me with her acting, versatility and beauty.

Other Favourites: As always, Louise Lee and Susanna Kwan in Moonlight were spot on. Liza Wang in War of In-Laws II too but I don’t know why, there’s just always been something about her style of acting that never appealed to me. Sonija actually did a great job in D.I.E. as well. And I adore me some Sheren Tang but unfortunately Your Class Or Mine wasn’t anything special.

So Who Should Win? Michelle Yim.

And the Award Goes To: I have a sinking feeling that Michelle won’t win for some reason and they give it to Lee Sze Kei or Susanna. Not that they’re any less deserving, but I just really think Michelle is the one to beat this year after she got no recognition from TVB last year in the final five nominees with Brink of Law. But then again, I really suck at calling the awards. I don’t think my success rate was very high last year. Heh.

*

Best Actor


1. Kenneth Ma – Survivor’s Law II
2. Roger Kwok – D.I.E
3. Damian Lau – Catch Me Now
4. Frankie Lam – Forensic Heroes II
5. Michael Miu – Love Exchange
6. Ha Yu – Moonlight Resonance
7. Moses Chan – Moonlight Resonance
8. Raymond Lam – Moonlight Resonance
9. Bobby Au Yeung – Your Class Or Mine
10. Kevin Cheng – Last One Standing

My Missing-in-Action: Steven Ma. He churned out a good, solid performance in A Journey Called Life as he always does. And while he was great in D.I.E., I really wish Roger had been nominated for Last One Standing. I haven’t finished it yet but he’s been spot on so far. And well, I’m not really missing him but I’m surprised Joe Ma isn’t here. He wasn’t bad in Catch Me Now and didn’t he just sign with TVB? And Dominic Lam‘s acting in Money-Maker Recipe was fantastic.

Ehhhh…: Okay, I’m going to be very honest here. Kenneth is popular, I know, but he’s never really grown on me until The Four. I really like him in it. But really? Best Actor nomination?

My Favourites: Sigh, I enjoyed all three Moonlight nominees. Ha Yu was perfect as Jo Ba from the get-go till the very end. The transition from cold, lying cheater to the repentive father; he was so good through out it all. Raymond as always was solid, and of course, his Koon Ka Jai melted the girl in me (and of course, it’s Raymond, who also manages to melt me everything his subtheme song plays in the series, heh) but it wasn’t nearly on par with Ha Yu. And Moses with his unfortunately reduced screen time but still was perfect in every episode.

Other Favourites: Moonlight aside, c’mon now, we can’t be forgetting Damian Lau in Catch Me Now who was absolutely superb. I never thought I’d hear myself saying this, but I’m finding Kevin in Last One Standing really good too. TVB award winners really have a way of giving out great performances the year after they win the awards (IMO, Linda, Kate and Fala all gave much better performances after they’d won their respective awards in the previous years.)

So Who Should Win? Ha Yu.

And the Award Goes To: Raymond Lam.

*

My Favorite Female Character Award


1. Charmaine Sheh – Word Twisters’ Adventures
2. Liza Wang – Wars Of In-Laws II
3. Myolie Wu – Wars Of In-Laws II
4. Kitty Yuen – D.I.E
5. Christine Ng – The Silver Chamber Of Sorrows
6. Kiki Sheung – The Money-Maker Recipe
7. Louise Lee – Moonlight Resonance
8. Susanna Kwan – Moonlight Resonance
9. Fala Chen – Moonlight Resonance
10. Linda Chung – Legend Of The Demigods


My Missing-in-Action: I have tons of favourite female characters from the series aired this year, but unfortunately none of them are on here. Geez. Tavia as Kam Wing Yuet in Moonlight is definitely one. Anita as Chi Yiu in Love Exchange because I loved witnessing the growth in the character. Krystal Tin as Jackie, also in Love Exchange, which I thought was a great strong, complex, three-dimensional character. I enjoyed Sonija‘s Madam Ying in D.I.E. which is the first time I’m enjoying any character of hers. Natalie in The Seventh Day whose feisty Sasa I really enjoyed. Selena Li as loyal, stubborn Yeuk Fei in The Four. I actually also really liked Linda in A Journey Called Life but I don’t watch Legend of the Demigods, so I wouldn’t know which character’s better. I liked Bernice‘s character in Wasabi too but I think I’m amongst the minority there. Sheren‘s A San in Your Class or Mine. Joyce Tang in Money-Maker Recipe. Whew, that’s quite a list.

Ehhhh…: Kitty Yuen?! Kitty Yuen?! As the absolutely annoying Siu Yi ghost thingymajig with the strangest clothes in D.I.E.? You have got to be kidding me. Kitty Yuen! Gah.

My Favourites: Off the list, my favourite character is probably Myolie‘s Chow Lai Man. And maybe Fala‘s Moonlight Resonance. Her Ah Hing was just incredibly sweet, demure and kind despite her circumstances.

Other Favourites: Louise was obviously great and while I felt it was nothing different from Heart, I did enjoy Hor Ma better than last year’s Dai Kai. I really wouldn’t call her my favourite but that’s probably just because I can’t identify with the character itself.

So Who Should Win? Tavia as stubborn, resilient, caring Ah Yuet. Heh.

And the Award Goes To: I don’t know, my favourites are mostly who I identified with, and mainly just characters I enjoyed watching on my screen. Isn’t this a really difficult one to call? I mean you can judge acting with a yardstick but my “favourite”, now that’s something really subjective. Susanna Kwan‘s character got really popular. And while I’m not denying the fact that she’s a great actress, Sa Yee really did annoy the hell out of me. But could it be two favourite female character awards, two years running? Nope, I think I’m going to go out on a limb and say Liza Wang with O Jeh instead.

*

My Favorite Male Character Award

1. Kenneth Ma – Survivor’s Law II
2. Bosco Wong – War Of In-Laws II
3. Roger Kwok – D.I.E
4. Derek Kwok – D.I.E
5. Michael Tse – The Money-Maker Recipe
6. Ha Yu – Moonlight Resonance
7. Raymond Lam – Moonlight Resonance
8. Sunny Chan – Legend Of The Demigods
9. Ron Ng – The Four
10. Kevin Cheng – Last One Standing

My Missing-in-Action: Where is Mo!? I loved, loved, loved, loved Johnson Lee‘s unorthodox, offbeat BT in Catch Me Now. I honestly cried buckets when he died. And Damian’s Jack Ko! And come on, Sammul Chan in The Four as Zhui Ming is a hilarious and oh-so-likeable character. Oh wait, I forgot, he’s not a TVB artiste, is he? Heh. Kenneth Ma‘s Tit Sau is actually also a very likeable, respectable character but then again I hear his MK Sun in Survivor’s Law II, which I didn’t watch, is a crowd favourite? I also absolutely loved Steven Ma‘s great Shing Yat Onn in Journey. I must say however, I much preferred Derek Kwok‘s CC in War of In-Laws II. And oh another favourite complex character to watch was Dominic Lam from The Money-Maker Recipe. And oh, I also like Kevin‘s Yau Chi Wing in The Seventh Day.

Ehhhh…: Ron Ng? Erm, you mean people actually like… Lang Huet? Wow. That’s really a surprise to me.

My Favourites: Off the list, again, it’s gotta be the Moonlight duo for me. Pretty self-explanatory, I guess. And Roger Kwok in D.I.E. left me giggling every episode. Only he could pull off something like that.

Other Favourites: I’m surprising myself by saying that I like Kevin Cheng‘s Cheung Sing Hei too. Honestly, Last One Standing single-handedly turned my impression of Kevin around this year.

So Who Should Win? I’m going to have to say my personal pick is Koon Ka Jai.

And the Award Goes To: Like a lot of people, and unfortunately for Moses, I honestly believe it’s gonna be one of those trade-offs between Ha Yu and Raymond Lam where one wins Best Actor and the other gets My Favourite Male Character and I’d really have no problems with that because I enjoyed both their acting and like both their characters. I’m going to say Roger will be a dark horse with D.I.E. though.

*

Best Supporting Actress Award


1. Joyce Tang – Wars Of In-Laws II
2. Bernice Liu – Wasabi Mon Amour
3. Sharon Chan – Catch Me Now
4. Nancy Wu – The Silver Chamber Of Sorrows
5. Claire Yiu – Speech Of Silence
6. Krystal Tin – Love Exchange
7. Tavia Yeung – Moonlight Resonance
8. Fala Chen – Moonlight Resonance
9. Kate Tsui – Moonlight Resonance
10. Lee Heung Kam – Moonlight Resonance


My Missing-in-Action: Rosanne Lui and her fantastic portrayal of Leng Ma, who has Parkinson’s, in Last One Standing. Come on, how on earth can she possibly NOT be on this list? I really think it’s an injustice to her. And Rebecca Chan in The Silver Chamber of Sorrows? And oh, how about Elaine Yiu for just about ANYTHING she’s done this year? That girl has given good supporting performance after good supporting performance this year. I also enjoyed Selena Li as Chui Kiu in Tai Chi and how she actually played her with a gentle twang in her speech to suit the period of the series.

Ehhhh…: Surprisingly, but well I’m pretty okay with this list. I dug out an old post to see what I said about last year’s anniversary winners and I wrote this about Kate “…Hopefully, she does come into her prime and leave us all with a good performance like Linda after she won Most Improved. Hopefully.” And I think she kinda did. You know, I questioned Kate in the Best Actress list, but I’m okay with her being here. She really did manage to hold her own against the veterans in Moonlight Resonance. She did good in all the screaming matches and devious scenes but unfortunately failed in the final press conference where she broke down. I would probably switch Bernice and Claire out of the nominations for my missing-in-action picks though.

My Favourites: Tavia, hands down. My second choice would be Krystal Tin though. I thought she was splendid as Jackie in Love Exchange which is probably one of the harder female roles this year to tackle and she did it well. It’s quite sad though, she was the second female lead with wayyy more screen time than some of the other supporting nominees had in their series (I mean, I barely got to see Nancy and Sharon on screen in Silver Chambers and Catch Me Now) but still got nominated in this category. I know she wouldn’t have a chance in the Best Actress running but it’s just really weird.

Other Favourites: Definitely Joyce Tang. She was great as Coco. I really do like Nancy Wu and think she was great holding her own as the opportunistic, self-interested, cocky Fei Fei against the other females in Silver Chambers of Sorrows (Although the rest of the time, my memory of her character was her rolling around with Eric Li on a pool table and kissing in the river. Lol.). I also quite liked Sharon‘s Kwong Kiu but I think that was more about the character and not so much the acting.

So Who Should Win? Tavia Yeung. Is there any doubt? If it’s not Tavia, it has absolutely gotta be Lee Heung Kam or Joyce. Please?

And the Award Goes To: I’m going to give TVB the benefit of the doubt and say Tavia is going to win. Please don’t let me down, TVB.

*

Best Supporting Actor Award


1. Tsui Weng – Best Selling Secret
2. Stephen Au – Best Selling Secret
3. Derek Kwok – Wars Of In-Laws II
4. Wayne Lai – The Gentle Crackdown II
5. Paul Chun – Wasabi Mon Amour
6. Kenneth Ma – The Master Of Tai Chi
7. Johnson Lee – Catch Me Now
8. Chow Chung – Moonlight Resonance
9. Oscar Leung – Your Class Or Mine
10. Him Law – Your Class Or Mine


My Missing-in-Action: Raymond Cho, whom I really enjoyed in Forensic Heroes II. And this may come as a surprise but Ellesmere Choi‘s acting is very effective in Last One Standing as the scared, sissy brother-in-law of Kevin Cheng.

Ehhhh…: Honestly, Him Law and Oscar Leung. Now most of you would know that I like Oscar (and Fred!). But Best Supporting Actor? Really? Wow. And Him Law. I did think he wasn’t too bad for a newcomer when I watched Your Class or Mine but still… Wow. Are they TVB’s next choices for super stardom?

My Favourites: Making me choose between Wayne, Derek and Johnson, all of whom I’ve loved and hoped for recognition all this while (along with Benz who unfortunately isn’t nominated this year and who really should have won for Dicey Business last year), is just not fair. Really! How am I to choose?

Other Favourites: Omg, and Paul Chun too, another favourite of mine! He’s unfortunately not going to win because of Wasabi‘s horrible ratings, but the Family Man father will always have a place in this heart of mine. (But why he wasn’t nominated for Silver Chambers where he was great as the villain of the show, is beyond me.)

So Who Should Win? I can’t decide. This is torture.

And the Award Goes To: Wayne Lai. It’s his time to win it. I didn’t watch The Gentle Crackdown II (in fact, this is the only person I’m advocating where I didn’t watch the entire series!) but he absolutely deserves it because its been a long time coming. I know I’m supposed to judge based on the series that he’s nominated for, but I really can’t help it. And with his first leading roles coming soon next year, there’s no better time to win the Best Supporting Actor category and cap off this chapter of his acting career with a big bang. 🙂

*

Most Improved Actress Award


1. Selena Li
2. Sharon Chan
3. Tavia Yeung
4. Toby Leung
5. Nancy Wu

My Missing-in-Action: Okay, this is really stupid. Why isn’t Natalie Tong here after her great performance as joint lead in The Seventh Day? I thought she more than held her own against the other three more seasoned leads. So just because a series has crappy ratings, an actress is suddenly not qualified to be “Most Improved” anymore? And Elaine Yiu, seriously. Anyone who’s been watching TVB this year would know that if anyone, she has improved by leaps and bounds (and many leaps and bounds more) since her early days as the unbearable Chloe in Revolving Doors of Vengeance.

Ehhhh…: TVB has finally answered my prayers by not insulting Bernice and Leila (okay, so she didn’t have a series this year, but you know what I mean) any further by nominating them for Most Improved Actress year after year after year. But Tavia? I mean, really? Are you on crack, TVB? She so far ahead of this category that it’s not even funny. And what on earth is Toby doing there year after year too?

My Favourites: Selena, for sure! She has improved so much and it’s been so nice to see her come into her own as an actress this year, getting second female leads and garnering recognition for her cameo in Forensic Heroes II. She’s already on my favourite list.

Other Favourites: Nancy Wu.

So Who Should Win? Most definitely, Selena. I feel so torn because I adore Tavia but it’s a Most Improved category which I really think is beyond Tavia.

And the Award Goes To: Man, if Tavia doesn’t get Best Supporting Actress, I hate to think that they would give this to her as a consolation prize. Which would effectively rob Selena of her well deserved Most Improved prize. And if Toby wins, I will just feel like slitting my wrists. She’s improved in Money-Maker Recipe, but she’s still so far behind everyone else here.

*

Most Improved Actor Award


1. Wong Cho Lam
2. Tsui Wing
3. Derek Kwok
4. Johnson Lee
5. Oscar Leung

My Missing-in-Action: Someone needs to give Fred a good breakthrough role, larger than the one he usually gets to play so that one day I can see him nominated in this category. I’m surprised not to see Chris Lai, Matthew Ko or either Stephens on this list though. Chris will probably join the Sammul, Bernice and Leila fate of never winning an Improved award but I thought TVB loved Matthew Ko.

Ehhhh…: Okay, TVB is on crack. Derek Kwok? Johnson Lee? It’s not that they’ve improved TVB. It’s just that you’ve never paid enough attention to them before to know that they’ve always had that high level of supporting actor standard which you’ve relied upon time and time again for a strong dependable supporting cast without knowing it.

My Favourites: I really don’t know what to say. I like Derek, Johnson and Oscar, but something doesn’t feel quite right.

So Who Should Win? …isn’t it really sad that TVB doesn’t have enough quality new actors to nominate?

And the Award Goes To: Wong Cho Lam. I do love his dead-pan expressions but far from my pick for a Most Improved. Heavily-promoted, heavily-coveted. Amigo Chui ring a bell?

Best Series

I don’t know who the nominees are but… Moonlight Resonance? I really don’t think I need to say more.

…so, I usually get most of them wrong. Last year I only got Moses and Lee Sze Kei right! Haha. Let’s see just how much luck I have this year.

Tell me, who are YOUR favourites? Who do you think will walk away with the awards which are apparently not made out of gold anymore because the whole world is hit by the economic slowdown? Who do you think should have been nominated but lucked out? Why is TVB still on crack?

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

Photobucket

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.

Photobucket

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.

*

The Speech of Silence

Photobucket

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

Photobucket

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?

There and Back Again; Chapter 4.

4 Jul
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Chapter 4 – Solstice

A curious turn of events
That somehow made you entranced
With one glance I felt no regret
That one look made me forget
The circumstance I left
So maybe, baby, you’ll let me in
The one to show you all you need” – Malbec, Solstice

Additional characters:
Lee Sze Kei – Ms. Doreen
Elaine Yiu Zhi Ling – Nurse Brenda
Leanne Li Yat Nam – Nurse Leanne
Suki Chui Suk Man – Nurse Suki
Vivien Yeo Sau Wai – Nurse Josie
June Chan Kei – Nurse Alice Chan

*

“Flowers for you, Suet Lei!” Brenda (Elaine Yiu) crowed once the delivery came through to the nurses’ station.

The nurses crowded around the expensive-looking bouquet before Suet Lei (Tavia Yeung) herself could see it, oohing and aahing.

“Wow, it’s beautiful,” Leanne (Leanne Li) said, her tone heavy with jealousy. “Who are you dating, Ah Lei?”

Suki (Suki Chui) counted the red roses enviously, wondering who could’ve bought Suet Lei such an extravagant flower arrangement. “Three dozen roses, must be some rich guy.”

“Go on,” Josie (Vivien Yeo) urged. “Read the card! We’re dying to know who it is.”

Suet Lei hesitated. “There must be some kind of mistake,” she protested. “Are you sure it’s for me?”

“Nurse Tam,” Impatient, Leanne grabbed the card off the bouquet and started reading aloud. “Thanks for that other day, I must treat you dinner to make it up to you. I hope you like the flowers.”

“Ooooh,” the bunch of nurses chorused. “How sweet!”

Suet Lei frowned. “For what other day?” she asked out loud, confused.

“Who’s it from?” Brenda asked.

Leanne’s mouth dropped as her eyes widened. “Michael Lam!”

“Michael Lam? You mean, the Michael Lam?”

“Michael, as in MC’s brother?”

“Oh my god, Ah Lei, you’re so lucky!” The nurses exclaimed one by one.

“Wait a minute, who’s Michael Lam?” Suet Lei asked, still confused.

Josie looked as though she wanted to smack some sense into her. “You don’t know who he is? MC’s brother, the one you took the blood sample from that other day?”

Suet Lei thought back, trying to recall his file. “Oh, that guy?”

Suki shook her head. “She gets such expensive flowers from one of the most eligible bachelors around here and all she can say is, ‘oh, that guy’?” she mimicked. “Honestly, are you sure you’re straight?”

Suet Lei glared at her and was about to retort before she was interrupted. “Nurses, you’re not being paid to stand around and look pretty while people die in the wards,” the chief nurse’s voice sounded.

As quickly as they flocked to the flowers, the nurses scurried away, undoubtedly itching with this new gossip to share with other people.

Suet Lei looked after them and groaned inwardly, “Great, just what I need.”

*

“Hi.”

Suet Lei looked up from her files, startled. “Oh.”

Michael (Bosco Wong) stood in front of her, in a pair of jeans, and a designer jacket. “Did you get the flowers?” he smiled.

Suet Lei smiled back tightly. “The flowers, yeah. Umm, the patients would like to thank you for them.”

“Patients?”

She laughed nervously. “Yeah. Uhh, I thought they would like some colour to brighten up their wards, so I distributed your generous bouquet amongst them. Hope you don’t mind. And you really didn’t have to. It’s my duty.”

Michael raised an eyebrow. This was interesting. She didn’t seem affected by the flowers at all. No, this was something he definitely wasn’t used to. Girls blushing, flirting, promising him good times, all after receiving flowers, now that was what he was used to. Girls not liking flowers and giving them away? He was speechless.

“…I hope you’re not mad or anything,” Suet Lei continued talking, fiddling with the front pockets on her skirt uniform. “But thank you. You didn’t have to.”

He watched her, wondering why she didn’t react the way other girls would. It was obvious he was making her nervous. “It doesn’t matter,” he smiled. “It was for you, and for you to do as you please with it.”

Suet Lei smiled, finally meeting his eyes again. “Thank you,” she repeated.

He liked her smile, and matched it with one of his which he hoped was equally as dazzling. “Can I buy you dinner tonight?”

Her eyes widened. “Umm, there’s really no need.”

“Well, since you gave my flowers away, you technically didn’t receive anything from me. Come on, it’s just dinner,” he grinned cheekily. “I promise I won’t bite.”

She laughed. “You don’t have to.”

“I’ve already booked a table at the Oriental Plaza, Nurse Tam.” Michael gave her a puppy-dog look. “Don’t turn a man down twice, will you? It kinda hurts his ego,” he teased her.

Suet Lei felt herself turn a shade of light pink. “Well, you can buy me dinner, but not at the Oriental Plaza.”

“You want to go somewhere else to eat instead?”

“Well, uhh, I’ve actually made plans for dinner tonight, but you can come along.”

He grinned again, the same charming, contagious grin. “It’s a deal.”

*

“You look breath-taking,” Ben (Raymond Lam) whispered in her ear as he escorted her into the grand ballroom. “I like the dress.”

Noelle (Bernice Liu) grinned back, her practiced entry walk graceful and poised. “It’s been sitting in my closet for awhile, waiting for the perfect occasion. Nothing more special than being my handsome best friend’s date,” she joked. The dress was strapless, made out of mustard yellow chiffon that hugged all the right places of her body, with a band of diamante encircling the underbust. The material loosely floated around her knees as she walked, accentuating her slender calves. The colour would’ve been harsh against any normal Asian woman, but it looked perfect on Noelle for she wore it with an assured sense of comfort.

“And I had no idea you were wearing yellow too,” Ben replied proudly, patting his lemon-coloured tie as he spoke.

Noelle stifled a giggle. “Now we look like one of those ridiculously cheesy couples, Dr. Chai.”

*

“I’m buying you dinner at a soup kitchen?” Michael was a good actor in front of the ladies, but he couldn’t help the incredulous tone seeping into his voice.

Suet Lei smiled sheepishly. “Sorry. I probably should have told you first, huh?”

Michael glanced around furtively. “So we eat here?”

“Umm,” she wringed her hands nervously. “I… uhh… I kinda volunteer here every Friday. And uhh, you don’t have to stay if you don’t want to. It’s fine. I understand.”

Michael swallowed hard. “Don’t worry about it,” he lied through his teeth. Remember the trust fund, Mike, he thought to himself. And at least Suet Lei was very easy on the eyes. This shouldn’t be that bad.

She glanced up at him through those big chocolate eyes of hers, and all was forgotten. “Are you sure?”

He grinned, and placed a hand on the small of her back. Perhaps a little presumptuous of him, but she didn’t move away, and so the hand stayed there. “Let’s go. I’ve never done this before, so you’ll have to show me the ropes.”

They walked in, Michael noting how easily Suet Lei went around greeting everyone, and how much the faces on the people there lit up at the sight of her. She led him towards a woman in a black sweater, jeans and an apron. “Ms. Doreen, I brought a friend today to help out. I hope you don’t mind.”

Doreen (Lee Sze Kei) smiled back. Suet Lei was one of her sweetest volunteers; the only male friend she remembered her bringing as a volunteer was Ben, but even then Suet Lei had claimed time and time again that they were like brother and sister, so she’d given up all hope of pushing the matter with the kind girl.

“Michael Lam,” Michael smiled, extending his hand.

“Nice to meet you; it’s about time Suet Lei brought her boyfriend here to meet everyone,” Doreen shook his hand, a mischievous glint in her eyes.

Suet Lei’s eyes widened in shock. “Ms. Doreen!”

Doreen laughed, and patted her hand. “Relax dear, I was just joking. Come on, let’s go, the food’s ready,” she said, leading Suet Lei towards the kitchen and throwing Michael a wink behind her back.

Michael laughed a little under his breath at her antics, and followed suit. Maybe this wouldn’t be so bad after all.

*

He needed a breather, and this was as good as any. Not the most glamorous hide-out of course, the entrance to the ladies was just next to him, with the broom closet right behind him. Thankfully, all the women exiting the washroom strode out quickly in the other direction, not noticing him there. Usually he was effortless at these social things. He was good at his game; he was champion in the operating theatre and the class act when it came to these functions. Everyone wanted a piece of him. Tonight though, it was a little too much for the first time.

“So did you see that Noelle Man?” a loud voice came wafting out from behind the ladies room door.

MC (Moses Chan) stiffened.

Someone snorted. “Who could miss her? In her stupid yellow dress, trying so hard to stand out. Lack of attention, that’s what I call it.”

“She thinks she’s some hotshot, eh? Just because she’s been in a few trashy print ads and played some bit part characters in a few serials.” There was the sound of taps being turned on and off.

“Pfft. Did her characters even have any lines?”

They all laughed shrilly.

“And did you see who she’s with too?”

“I know, Ben Chai of all people! So eligible,” one of them sighed.

“Stupid slut. Always hanging around all these men.”

“Heh. How do you think she even got those roles in the first place?” the first woman suggested.

The other two giggled, as the noise from the hand dryer covered their gossip.

Not long after, three women exited the washroom, without a second glance to his dark corner. MC smirked to himself, noting that they were all unsurprisingly in the conforming colour of black, almost similar cocktail dresses. He shook his head. Jealous, that’s what they were.

To his surprise, the door swung open seconds later.

And he found himself almost eye to eye with a pair of big brown hurt eyes. Her name was on his tongue, but before he could say a word, she quickly turned away, a swish of yellow chiffon, a slight dejection in her stride.

*

“How’s my favourite patient keeping up? Playing Scrabble by herself again?”

Ka Ching (Leila Tong) smiled to herself as she saw the text message. “Scrabble alone will never be the same again after the intense competition you gave me last night, Dr. Chai. How’s the ball?” she typed back quickly, her fingers nimble with text messaging after all those months spent in bed.

Putting the phone down, she smiled to herself. Almost as quickly as she had put it down, it beeped again.

“Scrabble alone would be more fun than this ball, trust me. I should’ve brought you as my date. Mine probably abandoned me for better-looking guys.” Ka Ching felt a flush creeping over her cheeks, giggling a little at the upside down smiley he added at the end of the message.

“You look happy,” a male voice sounded.

Startled, she dropped her phone, having not heard anyone enter the room. Looking up, her eyes widened. She hadn’t seen him in ages.

*

Suet Lei giggled.

Michael writhed uncomfortably and mock-glared at her. “What’s so funny?”

“If only the nurses at the hospital could see you now. Michael Lam, donned from head to toe in plastic; hairnet, gloves, apron,” she laughed.

He couldn’t help but laugh too. “I crinkle every time I move!”

“I really should take a picture of this.”

His eyes widened and he grabbed a ladle full of soup from the pot next to him. “Oh, Nurse Tam, you wouldn’t,” he held up the ladle menacingly.

She laughed and followed suit, grabbing a ladle of rice as her defense. “This is my territory you’re treading on, Mr. Lam,” she said, mimicking his tone.

“Ahem. Could I have my rice now please, Ms. Tam?”

Both Michael and Suet Lei laughed. She turned back and grinned at the homeless man in front of her. “Certainly, Uncle Kwok. I was just giving the newcomer a lesson,” she teased, scooping rice on the man’s empty plate.

Michael followed suit and scooped a spoonful of mixed vegetables onto Uncle Kwok’s plate, neatly next to the rice. More and more people came steaming into the shelter, most of which were dressed shabbily, some with smudged skin. Never had he seen so many homeless people in his life. What amazed him even more was that Suet Lei knew most of them by name. He tried to keep up with the quick moving line, left hand giving out sweet and sour pork, and his right hand with the mixed veggies.

Suet Lei stole a glance at him as he nearly dropped the ladle, smiling to herself. Who knew the rich, spoilt, lusted-after Michael Lam would’ve stuck around for so long, without a single complaint.

He caught her glancing at him, and pulled a funny face at her, making the both of them crack up at the same time.

“Excuse me,” a little girl in pigtails and a torn dress tiptoed over the counter to glare at them. “Will you stop laughing? You’re getting saliva all over the sweet and sour pork,” she said indignantly, one hand on her hips.

Both of them laughed even harder, and Michael gave her a double helping of the pork to make her smile.

*

MC walked out of the large ceiling to floor glass doors of the ballroom and onto the beautiful grounds of the hotel garden. There was a smattering of people outside, quietly chatting. Only one woman sat alone at the gazebo. He walked towards her, hands coolly in his pockets.

She looked up at the sound of footsteps, saw him, and turned her gaze back to her glass flute of champagne. “Don’t.”

“Don’t what?”

“Don’t pretend you didn’t hear all that earlier on. Don’t pretend to be concerned. Don’t sit down. And sure as hell, don’t. Bloody. Smirk.”

He sat down opposite her. And smirked. He couldn’t help it. “Defensive, much?”

“You don’t have to pretend to be nice to me, you know,” Noelle downed the last of her champagne and set it down on the gazebo table. “You don’t like me. And the feeling’s mutual, believe me.”

“You sound hurt.”

She looked away, ignoring him.

“Look, if it matters, I know the three women.”

Noelle turned back to glare at him. “I really don’t need to know details of your various escapades with women, thank you very much.”

MC chuckled under his breath. “I don’t kiss and tell.” When he got no reply from her, he continued on. “One of them is Angel Sung, Sung Wah’s, as in Sung & Sung Watches Corp, eldest daughter. Spoilt brat, thinks very highly of herself, brain the size of a medium-sized shrimp. Another was a Miss Hong Kong semi-finalist in 2000, I can’t remember what she named herself, but it’s after a fruit. Enough said. And I don’t know who the third one was, but she forgot to shave her legs tonight. Big no-no, especially in her short dress.”

Noelle stared at him, a smile bubbling on her lips. “I don’t know how you just said all that with a straight face,” she said incredulously.

He shrugged. “I’ve a good memory.”

She finally allowed herself to laugh. “I only hope your memory is as good when it’s comes to medicinal procedures.”

He raised an eyebrow. “I’m not the top neurosurgeon in the hospital for nothing you know. Some would even say I’m the best in the country.”

“I forgot you were a walking advertisement for yourself,” she rolled her eyes. “Although with the constant coverage from the gossip magazines, I don’t see why you have to bother.”

He leaned in closer to her. “You looked me up in the gossip magazines. Why, I’m flattered, Noelle,” he said, his voice deep.

It was her turn to smirk. She leaned in closer too, her eyes not backing down. “That’s because I specifically use your articles to line the floor of my car whenever I need to transport garbage to the landfill nearby.”

He laughed.

“So, this is where you’ve gone, MC!” A ridiculously grating voice came from behind Noelle. Both Noelle and MC turned around. “Who’s this you’re with, MC?” she asked, her eyes sweeping over Noelle.

Noelle smirked and returned the once-over, her gaze coolly lingering over the woman’s cheap-looking velvet dress which was too low and too short for the occasion and her trashy looking platform heels.

MC cleared his throat. “Well, this is Ms. Man, Noelle. This,” he gestured towards the woman, “is Nurse Chan, or Alice.”

“I’m the head of the nurses’ department,” Alice (June Chan) added.

Noelle smiled. “That’s good to know,” she said simply.

“What are you doing out here, MC?” Alice switched her attention to MC. “You said you’ll save a dance for me!”

Noelle cringed. This was worse than Ah Lok, the guy she had to wrangle MC to save her from in the parking lot. This woman’s voice was all sorts of high-pitch with a variety of screechy undertones.

Plastering a gracious smile across her face, she leaned across and laid her hand on MC’s arm softly, improvising. “Hey there, if you want to dance with my date, you’re gonna have to wait until I’ve had my fair share of dances with him first, okay?”

MC stared back at her, and quickly played around, the confusion for a split second not obvious. He smiled gallantly, and shrugged at Alice, while holding his hand out for Noelle to hold. “May I?” he glanced at her.

Smiling sweetly at him, playing the part, she placed her hands in his, “My pleasure,” she said, and he led her out to the dance floor.

*

And that’s all for this update! Not a lot of Raymond or Leila this chapter, because I really wanted to devote something to the Bosco-Tavia pairing. And of course, I always end up writing tons of Moses/Bernice. I didn’t mean to, I swear! I’ll make it up to all you Ray/Leila fans next chapter, promise! Let me know what you think. 🙂

The Wrap Up: Forensic Heroes II

3 Jul
Photobucket
Forensic Heroes II/”Fatt Cheng Sin Fung II”/法證先鋒II
Genre: Modern Drama/Investigation
Release Date: 19th May 2008, 9:30 p.m.
Episodes: 30
Producer: Mui Siu Ching
Scriptwriters: Chan Ching Yee & Choy Ting Ting
Cast: 

Bobby Au Yeung Chan Wah – Tim Ko Yin Pok
Frankie Lam Man Lung – Sam Koo Chak Sum
Kevin Cheng Ka Wing – Ivan Yeung Yat Sing
Charmaine Sheh Sze Man – Bell Ma Kwok Ying
Yoyo Mung Ka Wai – Leung Siu Yau
Raymond Cho Wing Lim – Sum Hung/”Ah Sum”
Florence Kwok Siu Wan – Yvonne Mok Suk Wan
Fred Cheng Chun Wan – Leung Siu Kong/”Kong Chai”
Oscar Leung Lit Wai – “Ah Sing”
Matthew Ko Kwan Yin – Wilson
Vivien Yeo Sau Wai – Josie
Eddie Li Yu Yeung – “Sek Chai”
Macy Chan Mei Sze – Formula Fong Miu Na
Kara Hui Ying Hung – Ah Lin, Bell’s mother
Rosanne Lui Shan – Connie Yeung Sau Koon/”Connie Jeh”
Law Lok Lam – Bell’s father
Angelina Lo Yuen Yan – Bell’s annoying stepmother
Yu Yeung – Siu Yau & Kong Chai’s father
Stephen Huynh – Ben Ma Kwok Wan

Others:

Linda Chung Ka Yan – Lam Ding Ding
Astrid Chan Chi Ching – Lam Pui Pui
Savio Tsang Wai Kuen – Matt Hui Lap Yan
Ben Wong Chi Yin
Jack Wu Lok Yin
Charles Szeto Shui Kei
Joe Yau
Lei Seng Cheung
Lam King Kong
Lee Ka Ding
Poon Fong Fong
Stephen Wong Ka Lok
Shirley Yeung Sze Kei – Sharon Kwok Hiu Lam
Sam Chan Yu Sum
Ip Hoi Yan
Ram Tseung Chi Kwong
Kwok Fung
Chris Lai Lok Yi – Lee Chi Wai
Selena Li Sze Wan – Cat Lee Kiu
Leanne Li Yat Nam – Annie
Shermon Tang Sheung Man – Mabel Mui
Sharon Luk Sze Wan – Cherry Miu
Queena Chan Dan Dan
Otto Chan
Benjamin Yuen
Sharon Chan Man Chi

Note: I missed Forensic Heroes I when it was showing here, so I pretty much have nothing to base the sequel upon. Hence, this review is based on someone who’s totally new to the FH world. Oh, and spoilers ahead!

*Special thanks to TVB Guide, TVB Musings, TVB.com and Astro on Demand for the pretty screenies.


The Good

Bobby Au-Yeung

Photobucket

People get so used referring to Bobby as a comedic actor, that it’s sometimes easy to remember just how fantastic of an all-rounder he is. Sure, he’s had such an impressive body of work, but for some reason people immediately think of him as a comic first and foremost. Forensic Heroes showcases his versatility once again, proving that Bobby Au Yeung can do professional, rational, calm and intelligent as well.

Photobucket
Oh look, it’s Tim Sir handling crime scene investigations… with the trusty Fred as Kong Chai!

He’s what I call a character actor because there’s such distinction and such a real-ness he gives Tim Sir, through and through. He was fantastic as the indispensible, confident Tim Sir. The finesse with which he handled each case, at each crime scene was great fun to watch. What was even better is that he had chemistry with the entire cast. Watch it and you’ll see what I mean.

Yoyo Mung

Photobucket
Pre explosion: Madam Leung still in charge, Ding Ding still alive. And hello BFFs, Fred and Oscar!

It was a terrible shame that she was only in barely half the series because I loved her scenes. Yoyo is once again effective as the tough as nails policewoman as she was in The Ultimate Crime Fighter. Classily confident and devoted as Madam Leung, Yoyo commanded the pre-accident scenes she was in as the leader of the crime unit. But what impressed me the most were her emotional scenes that came after.

Photobucket
Photobucket

Brilliantly played and possibly my favourite Tim/Siu Yau scene (unforunately not that there were loads to choose from) in the entire series. There was such much emotion, hurt, anger – all at once – all of which were displayed splendidly by Yoyo (and Bobby too, might I add). Yoyo is always splendid as the tough, opinionated woman, but it’s lovely to see a vulnerable side to her characters because she sure can pull it off. First class.

Charmaine Sheh

Photobucket

Someone pinch me because I really never ever thought I’d see the day I would’ve said this. I was never a fan of Charmaine (I blame her awful performance as Man Yun Lan in DIF IV) and would generally avoid a series that she was headlining (unless of course, it’s a grand ensemble series with many other stars i.e. The Drive of Life and this series here). To my surprise, after some initial dislike for Madam Ma, I started to be neutral about her, especially once the icy facade started melting. Her good acting started to show from about midpoint onwards. Smart and strong-willed, yet filial and easygoing when her guard is down, Charmaine did great in the difficult part of Madam Ma.

Photobucket
Charmaine with her on-screen mother, Kara Hui – they were a great mother-daughter combo
Photobucket 

And I really have to commend Charmaine on her crying scenes; they used to be pretty awful, but they’ve gotten so much better now. I wonder if I would have liked her character so much if I had watched the first Forensic instalment, however.

Kevin Cheng & Charmaine Sheh

Photobucket

Now, this was also completely and utterly unexpected. I didn’t like Charmaine. I didn’t like Kevin. (As you can guess, I wasn’t jumping for joy that year at the TVB Anniversary Awards) I didn’t even think they looked good together. Now, this could potentially be one of my favourite couplings of the year, surprisingly. I still can’t be called a fan of either, but I loved everything about Ivan and Bell. First of all, I suppose it was “fresh”, for me at least. Plucking two halves from the popular Kevin/Niki and Charmaine/Raymond fanbases proved to hit the jackpot. And then there was the story.

Photobucket
Ivan sneaks a look at Bell.

As a self-admitted sucker for saccharine storylines and sweetness, there was absolutely no doubt that I’d love their story. It was sweet, touching. Adorable, even. The optimistic, dreamy, playful Ivan was exactly what workaholic, uptight, sassy Bell needed. He balanced her out perfectly, and opened her heart to love again.

Photobucket

Some people might argue that Sam understood Bell more, and possibly connected with her on a very intellectual level, but I beg to differ. I truly believe that part of the connection that arose between them was the fact that they could identify with each other, with the fact that they both had their loved ones die right in front of their eyes.

Photobucket

To me, it was with Ivan where Bell looked the happiest. She absolutely glowed.

Brotherhood

Photobucket

I loved each and every single scene involving the three suave leading men. Bobby, Frankie and Kevin were a joy to watch together, be it after hours joking at Tim Sir and Sam‘s place, or collaborating in a professional capacity during the day. The way they worked off each other was extremely believable.

Photobucket

Even more enjoyable for me was the strong “heng tai” bond between Kevin‘s Ivan and Frankie‘s Sam. The two shared a formidable chemistry, so much so that you actually believed they were best of friends that went way back. The witty exchanges between the both of them made such a big part of the series for me.

The chemistry between the cast

Photobucket
Photobucket
Hi Fred and Oscar!

Chemistry between all cast members in such a big ensemble drama like this is so important, and Forensic Heroes II definitely had it in oodles. Like said before, the camaraderie between the three men was top-notch.

Photobucket

The five main characters had great scenes hanging out too, but what I truly loved were the complete police teams and forensic teams. Their scenes were comfortable and funny and truly believable.

Photobucket

The police team steamboat scenes were always funny, as were the “party” scenes where both teams would join up for some fun.


Photobucket 

Photobucket

 


Raymond
and Florence were great as supporting characters, while Vivien, Oscar, Eddie, Matthew, Macy and Fred, although all not that strong of actors yet, gelled really well together in their scenes with Bobby, Yoyo, Frankie, Kevin and Charmaine.

Selena Li

Photobucket

Selena Li was absolutely brilliant in the final wrap-up case as the tough, smart, protective Cat Lee. I became a fan after watching her nice performance in The Master of Tai Chi and after Forensic Heroes II, it really sealed the deal for me. Selena’s performance was definitely the best out of all the guest-stars, and what was even more impressive is that she more than held her own in scenes opposite Charmaine‘s Madam Ma, which made for good explosive confrontations. She also had some good scenes with Frankie and I actually thought she would’ve made an interesting love interest for Sam.

Photobucket

What bugged me, besides her weird flippy fringe, was the fact that she practically disappeared after her brother died, and she had that conversation with Bell about Sam, of course, conveniently heard by Ivan. Some closure would’ve been nice.

Raymond Cho & Florence Kwok

Photobucket

You had to have seen this coming from a hundred miles away. It was bound to happen with the bickering that was going on, but that didn’t make it any less enjoyable. Raymond and Florence, while both turning in great supporting performances as the seniors in their respective teams, also shone opposite one another in their love-hate relationship. Raymond was hilarious as the egotistical crass bachelor, yet brave and loyal police officer while Florence was perfect as the dignified, classy and intelligent Yvonne. Brought closer because of a freak accident, the scenes of Yvonne motivating and cultivating Ah Shum were extra funny. Definitely the comic relief couple of the series.

The Veterans

Photobucket

Kara Hui was great as Bell‘s sweet mother, as was the dependable Law Lok Lam who always gives a solid performance. Angelina Lo was completely the part of the evil witchy “high-class” stepmother, while Rosanne Lui was fun throughout the whole series as the kitchen-whiz. Yu Yeung and cute old uncle with the strong accent were really funny as the overprotective, grandchildren-craving fathers of Tim and Siu Yau too. All round, great jobs by these veterans. The series would have been a lesser one if not for them.

The Okay

Frankie Lam

Photobucket

I was toying between Frankie in the Good category or in the Okay category and ended up putting him here after ages deliberating. I’ve never really enjoyed Frankie as an actor (except maybe in Down Memory Lane which is my first memory of him) and thought him rather cardboard for ages. Here, in Forensic Heroes II, he has his exceptional moments but still has some rather dull ones.

Photobucket

I was honestly surprised and very impressed with the range of emotions he showed when Ding Ding passed away. There was so much hurt, so much anguish with which he delivered his lines and in his expressions. This is where he really earns my respect as an actor.

Photobucket 

Photobucket

He also shone in scenes opposite Bobby and Kevin. Once again, the camaraderie these three cooked up were one of the highlights of the show for me. Of course, when Linda‘s Ding Ding was still alive, Frankie did perfect too. The two of them were so sweet and adorable together. At other times however, I really felt nothing much from him again. Yes, he’s smart. Yes, he’s a gifted novelist. Yes, he’s a fantastic pathologist. And that was about as dimensional as it got.

I’m not saying he was awful because everyone knows that he’s far from it. Just that personally, I thought he paled in comparison to the other more charismatic leads, which is why he falls under Okay.

Kevin Cheng

Photobucket
I have to say, this has to be one of the most dramatic appearances by a character ever on a TVB series.

A more consistent performance than Frankie, but Kevin had no major fantastic scenes, nor did he have any complete duds. I enjoyed watching him because he brought the humour to the scenes he was in and because he played such a wholesomely likeable character but at the end of the day, after thinking about it, he actually just only put in a very nice, normal performance as the very charming, very optimistic, boyish Ivan.

Photobucket

I was rather surprised, however, with the good comedic timing he delivered his wise-cracks with; didn’t really think he had it in him before this. Like I said above, I really did enjoy him with Charmaine and the other guys though.

Photobucket

While he’s oh-so-good-looking and charming, that still isn’t enough for me to tip him over to the higher category. Get any better looking, Kevin, and I just might the next time around.

The Cases

The cases weren’t all that. Because I had heard such high praises of the first Forensic Heroes, I expected fantastic, gripping cases. I didn’t get that. Some of the cases were completely random, some I enjoyed, like the psycho preying on disabled individuals and the kidnapping of Stephen Huynh. Nothing that is Untraceable Evidence material, and of course, not even near CSI. Just okay.

Also what kind of annoyed me with the cases was that most of them were related to the cast themselves. I know to expect a low level of reality with TVB, but seriously, a gang leader Sam and Ivan hit fifteen years ago? Ding Ding dying in an explosion? Pui Pui‘s husband being killed in pretty much a freak occurence? Siu Yau first getting involved in the explosion and then attacked by a psycho in a dark alley? Bell‘s stepbrother getting kidnapped? A murder coincidentally where and when the entire police and forensic teams are having a “war game”? Cat Lee being Sam‘s classmate from university? What is it, in the water they serve in Kowloon or something?

The two cases were just rather random, what with the both of them being found in the war gam premise. The first one with Charles Szeto was just pretty horrible, what with the motive for killing being a dog. Charles Szeto’s acting is still as atrocious as ever. The second one was a little better and served as the introduction of Madam Ma (with the faithful Wilson as the sidekick!) although her entrance was majorly corny. Slow-motioned, ripping of the dress, dripping wet with rain. Heh. Seriously? Jack Wu wasn’t bad as the clown-cum-murderer in that case.

Pui Pui (Astrid Chan) and her husband’s (Savio Tsang) case was pretty touching, if not also random. Is that not the worse way to die, killed by a pimple-squirting, greasy-haired petty thief in such a freak accident way?

Photobucket

With the case of Song Kau, with the random connection to Ivan and Sam thrown in for suspense, it was rather obvious the moment Stephen Wong arrived, that he would be the murderer. I have to say that Stephen‘s improved a little more with his dramatic acting. He wasn’t bad in the confession scene.

Photobucket

Now, this one with the psychotic hairdresser preying on disabled girls, I really enjoyed. The psycho was brilliantly played – once again this bit part actor does a great job. He looked crazy, possessed even. I was really confused when Bob from Steps (I can’t remember his name, but even if I did, I think he’s forever going to remain Bob from Steps or Kai Hung to me, lol.) got killed though, because he didn’t fit the trend, so this case baffled me more than the others. This one really had me on the edge of my seat.

Photobucket
Shirley as pop princess Kwok Hiu Lam, Sharon

The whole Shirley case just felt like a whole lot of time wasted. And also, Shirley was good acting as the two-faced Sharon, but didn’t it feel familiar? She acted the exact same way as Sung Ka Yee in The Brink of Law. The first time it was great, fresh, applaud-worthy. The second time round here, it felt rather recycled. And how come Sam Chan actually got worse with his acting?

The case involving Ram Tseung wasn’t all that, although I did enjoy the way Tim Sir deduced that the little boy was hiding in the cupboard.

Photobucket

I think this was my favourite case. First of all, I have to applaud Chris Lai. I didn’t know he could pull of something like that, especially the rooftop scene. Yes, it was obvious that the culprit would be Chris, but the execution and flow of the case, I really enjoyed. Exciting stuff. Very well played by all the other actors involved too – Charmaine, Angelina, Law Lok Lam, Kara.

Photobucket

The “beautiful bodies” case, as I like to call it, was rather interesting, but probably devised so that TVB could once again parade off their pageant kings and queens. Benjamin Yuen and Otto Chan really served no other purpose other than being eye candy for the ladies. Which, I really really beg to differ because neither of them are attractive to me. Give me Fred and Oscar and even Eddie Li any day. The acting by the three ladies were really not yet up to par; Shermon Tang was the best of them. And am I the only one who doesn’t find Sharon Luk very attractive? I don’t get the TVB hype about her.

It was rather interesting, because this was another case that baffled me. I kept on switching focus as to who I thought the murderer was, but then all the actresses just started falling like dead flies. Heh. I thought it was the assistant, Rosa, for the longest time ever.

Oh, and the first case where Debby died of dietting? That felt extremely disjointed.

Photobucket
Hello again, Fred! 

But random stuff aside, I did like all the on-the-scene activities. The forensic team going around collecting evidence, the police taking down statements; those were fun to watch.

The Bad

Queena Chan as Cheuk Lam

Queena Chan (and her eyebrows) played the murderer in the final case, murdering Annie (Leannie Li), Cherry (Sharon Luk), Mabel (Shermon Tang) and plotting to kill Ivan and Bell. She was absolutely terrible. Not only did she not deliver her lines with conviction, she punctuated each and every sentence of hers with a raise of her eyebrows. Gosh. “The bad” doesn’t even begin to describe it.

Formula

No, not Macy Chan. I actually thought Macy Chan did very well for her debut. Very natural. What bugs is the “English” name they gave her. TVB has got to stop doing this to me. Fong Miu Na and hence, Formula? Pssh. This wins hands down for worst TVB “English” name of the 21st century.

The Random

Yes, I know I’ve mentioned the word ‘random‘ hundreds of times already in just one post, but there’s actually more!

Photobucket
Matthew Ko and Macy Chan as Wilson and Formula

This was just really kind of random, throwing the both of them together. There wasn’t all that much progression except for that funny scene where Wilson kinda fumbles everything up and starts spouting nonsense because he got nervous in front of Formula.

Sharon Chan

The funniest thing is that Sharon Chan has been appearing at the FHII promotions and even has a spot in the themevideo, but she only appears in the finale for all of three seconds as a cliched potential “love interest” for Sam complete with the bejewelled sneakers and curly pigtails. Severe under-usage. Sharon would’ve been so fantastic as either the killer or one of the three actresses in the final case. Oh well, I guess they’re leaving the ends open for the third installment. Although, knowing TVB, Frankie might not even be in the third one at the rate they’re writing off original cast these days.

Photobucket
This picture is here because it looks kinda cool. My turn to be random.

The Overall

I didn’t really get what I expected from this series. I heard hoards of praises for Forensic Heroes I. Everyone talked about it, it had high ratings, and it seemed like the whole world enjoyed it. Naturally, I expected more from FHII. Of course there was the necessary suspense, the necessary big action scenes for a series of this genre. However, the cases weren’t all that, to be perfectly honest. There’s was a such a high level of predictability that it really wasn’t that fun anymore. I miss the days of the Detective Investigation Files series where the whodunnits weren’t ever that obvious.

However, what the series lacked in quality material, it had in good main character acting. I thought the main five (even if Yoyo was missing for about two thirds of the series and didn’t have much to for half of the remaining third) carried the series rather well. They were also well supported by the supporting cast. On the other hand, some of the case actors left a lot to be desired, especially Queena Chan.

I didn’t appreciate the preachy parts, though. Most of the time it felt like a PSA (Public Service Announcement) shoved down my throat i.e. Formula telling someone the right way to dispose of a dead dog, Formula again telling an old uncle not to pick up food randomly off of the ground because it’s dirty, etc.) Looks like Formula‘s their spokesperson.

Definitely, watch if you’re a Kevin or Charmaine fan. You won’t be disappointed with their screen-time. Bobby as usual shines, but it doesn’t really feel like he has much space given to him for character development outside of work. I suppose it was already well-developed enough in the prequel. Also watch if all you’re looking for is some suspense and action, and you like watching a star-studded cast; there are tons of guest appearances by other famous TVB artistes in the cases.

If you want something more than just that, then I recommend Catch Me Now instead, which is a better series from every angle.

Lessons Learnt:

Aviator sunnies are a must have if you want to be a forensic scientist or a policeman. If you don’t possess a pair, you’re as well as off the team.

Madam Leung is a very busy individual, so much so that she does not have time to comb her hair.

If you are a policewoman or a pathologist or a forensic scientist, be very very careful. Also, keep your family and loved ones behind locked doors. Because evidence (and remember, in the wise, age-old broken-record words of Tim Sir, people lie but evidence never does) shows that odds are you’ll be investigating a case related to you or your loved ones.

Do not name your daughter Pui Pui, especially if your surname is Lam. She will lead quite a sad life.

Go ahead and place tables and chairs on the open rooftops of buildings and leave them there. It never rains in Hong Kong, don’t worry.

Videos of Youtube quality can be zoomed into about fifteen times or so with the equipment available in Hong Kong. So, not to worry if the tooth fairy hasn’t come just yet for that tooth you lost during a boxing match. She just hasn’t met Tim Sir and gang yet.

The one program every forensic lab needs. Nothing fancy – Windows Media Player.

Got that? You’ve just won a place to be a guest star in Forensic Heroes III. Nothing fancy of course, you’ll probably just be a fainted clown that Tim Sir will trip over while stopping to reload his paintball gun with pellets because he actually can’t see very well with aviators, just that he wears them anyway cause they’re cool.

I kid.

*

What did you guys think about the Forensic Heroes sequel? Did it live up to your expectations? Did you too play “Spot the Fred” like I did throughout the whole series? Which instalment was better? I’m dying to hear your opinions. Should I watch the first one?

One Candle!

28 Jun
Photobucket

You know, it wasn’t until a lot of other blogs started celebrating their 1st birthdays that induced me to dig into my archives to find out just exactly when my first post was. And to my surprise, A Glaze-Over of TVB was turning one too! Came as a shocker to me because, it didn’t really seem as though I’ve been in the TVB blogging game for so long. (Yes, yes, I guess my long periods of inactivity played a part in that, lol.)

I’d just like to thank all of you who’ve ever visited the blog, (hopefully) enjoyed some of my ramblings, commented, or even just scrolled through. We couldn’t have seen past the one-year mark if it wasn’t for you readers.

So, put on your party hats, pull a funny face, lift up an index finger to signify one year, throw some confetti and do the Soulja Boy dance together!

Hee. Once again, thank you! Here’s to many years to come. 🙂

The Wrap Up: The Money-Maker Recipe

25 Jun
Photobucket 

The Money-Maker Recipe/”See Lai Koo San”/師奶股神
Genre: Modern Drama/Comedy
Release Date: 26th May 2008, 8:30 p.m.
Episodes: 21
Producer: Lam Chi Wah
Scriptwriter: Choi Shuk Yin

Cast:

Kiki Sheung Tin Ngor – Cheung Yu Chu/”Chu Jeh”
Michael Tse Tin Wah – Wong Chi Chung
Dominic Lam Ka Wah – Ting Siu King/”King Sir”
Joyce Tang Lai Ming – Janette Koo Ka Chun
Angela Tong Ying Ying – Cheung Yu Po
Savio Tsang Wai Kuen – Chu Yuk Lun
Ellesmere Choi Chi Kin – Ting Siu Tim
Toby Leung Ching Kei – Mo Wing San
Law Lok Lam – Szeto Luen Fai/”Uncle”
Leanne Li Yat Nam – Queenie Szeto Hiu Sum
Chan Ching Lam – Wong Chor Sze
Rain Lau Yuk Chui – Auntie Pan
Mary Hon Ma Lei
Poon Fong Fong
Suet Nei
Fung So Bor
Rocky Cheng

The Good?

Dominic Lam

Photobucket

I don’t really remember watching a series with Dominic Lam Ka Wah in it. Sure, he looks familiar, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen him around in the older series, but I just don’t remember much about him. Maybe that played a part in me appreciating his acting so much.

Ting Siu King, or “King Sir” as everyone calls him, is evil yet incredibly charismatic. He commands every scene he is in and fleshes out such an intricate character with his acting. Besides the money-motivated, no-holds-barred side of him, there’s also the filial facet. He’ll do anything for money, and although he forgets it, that yearning stems from a want to provide for his elderly father and his brother, Tim (Ellesmere Choi).

Photobucket 

Aside from fantastic chemistry with everyone in the cast, he exceptionally shines in his scenes opposite Joyce Tang. His intricate love relationship with Joyce is probably one of my favourites this year.

His best acting for me came in the finale, where he was on the rooftop with Kiki, looking down at “Fu Tak” Village, the place he once wanted to get out off so badly, and just realising everything he didn’t know about life. He came full-circle. My favourite scene hands-down would be after he was caught, and Tim visited him in prison – the stifled crying by Dominic there was just brilliant.

Joyce Tang

Photobucket

I can’t possibly lavish so much praise on Dominic without mentioning Joyce as well. I’ve always thought Joyce was a capable actress, but the past year has really seen her come into her own right as an actress. In this series, she was the epitome of a modern career woman. Independent, opinionated, strong-willed, intelligent. Her only weakness was “King Sir“. Joyce played the devotion of Janette to King very well, and displayed the profound struggle Janette often endured when King Sir went against all moral to gain at others’ expense and the hurt she felt when King Sir dated Queenie (Leanne Li) for show.

Good solid performance by Joyce. It’s nice to see her getting back on track, looking and performing better than ever after her breakup.

Little “Wong Chor Sze”

Chan Ching Lam, the little girl who plays Kiki and Michael‘s daughter, “Sze Sze” is so incredibly adorable. Ever since the formidable Jenny Shing, no child actress has caught my eye. Chan Ching Lam isn’t as good as Jenny just yet, but with her natural knack for the camera and her cute-ness, she could soon be there. All her scenes opposite Michael, Kiki and the boy who was her brother were great to watch – they made a very believable family.

While we’re on the case of the kids, great casting on the son, “Fung Fung” because he really did resemble Michael a lot in the seires.

Savio Tsang

Photobucket
Look at this picture and tell me that that does not crack you up. Seriously. 😀

A normal reaction would be to associate Savio Tsang with a villain role because time after time, that’s all he’s been given to play. While he does them well, it gets a little old. (Yes, to the extent that I proclaimed that he was surely to be a baddie, the moment I saw him in Forensic Heroes II. Heh.)

Photobucket

Thankfully, this time round, he manages to break out of the character mould of long and plays the hilarious role of the butcher, “Chu Yuk Lun” with gusto. Savio is spot-on with all the funny expressions and displays a natural knack for comedy. From the mannerisms (the constant hair-scratching, the lifting of the shirt to rub his pot belly) to the speech, he completely had the whole role down pat. The person who casted him in this deserves a gold star. His scenes with Angela Tong are really funny as well. Who would’ve thought? Classic.

The chemistry between all the “see-lais”

Photobucket

Naturally, with a series like this, you would expect a group of boisterous home-makers, and well,The Money-Maker Recipe serves up just that. Kiki Sheung is classic as the “boss” of all “see-lais”, Rain Lau is once again consistently effective as the loud feng shui-believing manicurist while Mary Hon is wonderful as the skeptical see-lai who seeks to be a state member of parliment (Or rather, something to that effect. You better not trust my translation skills when it comes to official phrases) and Poon Fong Fong balances them out nicely being the demure housewife. The two in-laws, played by Suet Nei and Fung So Bor, also gel nicely with the cast. All their disagreements, and at the other end of the spectrum, their sticking-together, are nice to watch.

The Okay?

Michael Tse

Photobucket
You know, I actually tried talking with that droopy frown and couldn’t do it for past a minute. Kudos to Michael Tse for managing it for 21 episodes.

Michael is a fantastic actor, I think we’ve all established that fact. In Money-Maker Recipe, he takes on a role years beyond his actual age and gave his character a perpetual frown to age his look. As always, he puts forth a great consistent performance as the egotistical stubborn, male chauvinist husband. However, as the focus is mainly on Kiki and the housewives, he isn’t really left with much to do and hence, falls into the Okay list.

Toby Leung & Ellesmere Choi

Photobucket

I never thought I’d see the day when I would say this, but I actually liked Toby Leung in here. Ever since her cardboard box-worthy performance in The Drive of Life, I avoided anything with her in it (which is probably why my Marriage of Inconvenience DVD is still collecting a millimeter of dust on the shelf). Toby actually improved quite a lot since TDOL, and wasn’t too difficult to watch, especially since I thought she made a cute couple with Ellesmere. She played a young mother adequately, and worked well with the boy who played her son, “Lok Lok“.

Photobucket

As for Ellesmere, he’s always been on my “like” list ever since I was young. Not leading material, but he played Tim adequately, and had great scenes opposite Dominic Lam. His silent crush and devotion to Toby‘s “Ah San” was really cute, especially when the housewives teased him about it. My favourite part was when he turned up pretending to be her husband, while saving her from the cops during when she was trying to run away to China. One thing though, he’s always had rather awkward body language while acting.

Kiki Sheung

Photobucket

I kinda had a up-down relationship with Kiki‘s performance in here. She’s great with the emotional scenes, not that great with the rest of the scenes. Granted, she did have great chemistry with the rest of the housewives and her children, but I didn’t quite buy the rest of the scenes while she was by herself. I know it’s not going to be a popular opinion, but she didn’t do it for me.

And also, maybe it’s because I just watched The Family Link at the beginning of the year, it’s just weird to see Kiki and Michael together. I keep on expecting Sheren to pop up at anytime to reclaim her husband, lol.


The Bad?

“Uncle” and his herd of girls

Photobucket

Law Lok Lam turns in a good, solid performance as ever, but what truly disgusted me was the character, Szeto Luen Fai or “Uncle” and his posse of pretty young things. I don’t know if they were trying to pull off a Hugh Hefner-playboy-mansion thing, but every time I saw the group of girls making fools out of themselves for the wad of money he would pull out of his pocket, I would cringe. The absolute worst was the mud-wrestling competition he made them partake in. With viewers often making big deals out of passionate kissing or bed scenes, and gory violence, I think this was just far worse than any of that jazz. I don’t know, it seems like a pathetic ploy to spice up an otherwise dowdy looking series.

Leanne Li

Photobucket

While very eye-catching on-screen, Leanne still is awkward and stiff delivering her lines. Although I suppose the character of Queenie Szeto Hiu Sum was intended to be a prop for Dominic Lam’s “King Sir” from the very beginning, a better actress would’ve made the character more interesting and real.

Angela Tong

I usually don’t mind Angela in series, and outside of series, I think she’s got a lovely personality. However (and I hate to say this), she annoyed me to bits here. Her character was meant to be a spoilt, materialistic brat. I get that. What I didn’t enjoy so much was her constant screaming and whining. Maybe it’s her voice. I loved her scenes with Savio Tsang, however. Great comedy relief. However, towards the end when her character, “Yu Po” changed for the better, she was so much more likeable.

Ellesmere Choi’s “English” name

Heh, sorry, I just couldn’t resist. I do find him likable, but his name just makes me cringe. Oh and let’s not forget Savio. What kind of names are these?!

The Overall.

Photobucket

I’m so glad that the series wrapped up the King and Janette storyline with her visiting him and with there being a glimmer of hope for them. Even though there was the betrayal by King Sir, at the end of the day, he really did love her. Everything with Queenie was just for show, just for money. The way his voice cracked as he told her he needed her by his side just as his entire life was crumbling sealed it for me. I truly believed that despite all his wrong-doings, he was truly and completely in love with her, the woman who did so much for him and at the end of the day, she still loved him despite all his wrongs. I’m glad they didn’t just disregard their relationship and ignore them in the finale because for me, I really like how their story was written and portrayed, it was something different for once.

The ending, as a whole was very well-done, focusing on the housewives as it should’ve. The endings this year have either been plain stupid or non-fulfilling, but The Money-Maker Recipe did not bad with its finale. Most loose ends were tied up. I wanted more on Tim and Ah San, but oh well, beggars can’t be choosers.

Should you watch this series? Well, it’s difficult to say. I think the only reason I enjoyed it so much is that I went into it with absolutely zero expectations. I wasn’t even going to watch it when it premiered. The cast wasn’t appealing, the premise sounded boring, and it didn’t seem like there was any way it would match up to the Sheren Tang-powered The Family Link. I surprised myself when I watched episode after episode, laughing, crying. In some ways, I might actually prefer it over The Family Link which dragged on far too long for my liking.

But well, that’s just me. What did you think? Did you even bother to watch it?