Tag Archives: Fala Chen

TVB 43rd Anniversary Awards: The Verdict

7 Dec

So, the TVB 43rd Anniversary Awards 2010 have come and gone. It promised a night of glamour, deserved recognition for some and lots of controversial happenings for others. Did it live up to your expectations? Here’s my account and thoughts on how the night went down.

 

TVB.com Popularity Award



Winner: Raymond Lam

As someone who hadn’t been following the awards close in the run-up this year, I was totally caught off-guard by this award when they announced it. Should’ve remembered it from the previous year, but then again, these are awards that I’m not eagerly awaiting so never mind. Popularity is what it is… and Ray really is as popular as this award suggests. If Ray hadn’t come along to the acting class, I’m not even quite sure who TVB would have in his place. Talk all you may about his counterparts, but in his age group, Fung is the only one with both acting & singing chops.

 

Most Improved Female Artiste



Winner: Natalie Tong

Other Nominees:

  • Selena Li
  • Elaine Yiu
  • Skye Chan
  • Mimi Lo

Here’s one I was really torn up about. I really like three out of five of the nominees – Selena, Natalie & Elaine. Selena is the steady performer, Natalie the gradual improver and Elaine, the one that had one bad first performance (does anyone still remember Chloe from Revolving Doors of Vengeance? God!) and then came back to impress all the time. There’s going to be so much outrage because Selena is cited to be the more deserving one. I didn’t watch A Fistful of Stances, which I’m sure was Natalie‘s awardpiece, I’m sure; nor did I manage to catch much of Selena in Can’t Buy Me Love, so I can’t really comment on who has improved the most in the course of this year. I will say that Selena is the stronger and more consistent actress based on past performances, though. Elaine has been this incredibly reliable supporting actress throughout the past few years. But that’s the thing, isn’t it? It’s not about being consistent and giving one good performance after another. It’s about floundering, and suddenly bam! this good performance comes out.

However, this is one award that always causes controversy. Since the initial two winners, TVB have never gotten this award right, IMO. Deserving improvers have never won and the eventual winners have never deserved to win at that point in time. I’ve always thought the winners improved greatly after the year they won. Soooo, is Natalie is going to have a great year ahead? Heh. Having said that, I do like watching Natalie (Maybe the fact that she’s a Love Bond alum has something to do with it, lol.) and I hope she rises up to be a solid supporting actress next. In her touching speech, she thanks her late mother sincerely and gives a shout-out to Lee Tim Sing (producer of A Fistful of Stances). Tim Gor really seems to be a favourite amongst the artistes.

And well, I’m not sure this award is all it’s hyped up to be anyway. Leila Tong was (and still is) a great actress for her age back then and have never won it either. Bernice Liu never won it and still went on to do her movies. The best example, would of course be Fala Chen. She’s never won it either and she’s doing great in TVB at the moment.

 

Most Improved Male Artiste



Winner: Raymond Wong

Other Nominees:

  • Lam Tsz Sin (also referred to as Jazz Lam or Alex Lam)
  • King Kong
  • Joel Chan
  • Him Law

During the interview, Raymond Wong had a gigantic, gigantic sparkly ring on his (I think) right middle finger. That thing was huge! I wonder if it had an significant meaning or whether it was just for accesorising. I’m guessing the latter. Flamboyance looked like what he was going for last night, and well, it worked in a way because he sure stood out in the sea of black that were the men of TVB. Him Law interviewed with Amigo saying that he was rooting for Ray W, and the two guys did a manshake. Too awesome. Have they acted together in a series before?

In his speech, he calmly thanks everyone, including Kent Gor (Kent Cheng, whom he worked with in When Lanes Merge) and even his in-laws. And more importantly, he says his wife is expecting to the delight of the whole audience (and mine too!)

Before the awards, I thought to myself that there was nobody I’d like to see take home an award more than Raymond Wong and I’m so glad it happened. Over the course of this year, he’s truly proven himself worthy of the roles that TVB has bestowed upon him. Eagerly awaiting The Truth, starring himself, Ruco Chan & Tavia next year. 🙂

 

My Favourite Female TV Character



Winner: Charmaine Sheh, Can’t Buy Me Love

Other Nominees:

  • Teresa Mo, I’m not sure which sitcom this is
  • Tavia Yeung, Mysteries of Love
  • Linda Chung, Can’t Buy Me Love
  • Sheren Tang, No Regrets

There wasn’t a doubt in my mind who was going to take this award home tonight. I had hoped for Sheren previously, for Cheng Kau Mui was such an interesting, multi-dimensional character. But I guess even Sheren couldn’t surpass the favourite of many, Princess Chiu Yeung. She was bratty yet adorable, difficult yet compassionate, quirky yet charming. Princess, together with Charmaine, charmed (no pun intended) their way into the viewers’ hearts and I’m going to say, good job, Charmaine. (Wish I could say the same about that dress.) I’m not a fan her acting, but this was a fun character and a fun performance.

 

Most Professional Performance



Winner: Moses Chan

This award completely took me off guard. At first I thought it was the same random award that Tavia won last year, but if memory serves me correctly, hers was a Performance of the Year award. This must be some “new” award TVB cooked up. I really really thought Mo had the Favourite Male Character in the bag, especially after Charmaine won hers. And he might have thought so too.

While I can’t say for sure if he’s professional (he poked a little fun at himself in his speech saying that “…professional? More like I like to crack jokes”), but one thing’s certain, Mo seems to be liked by everyone he’s ever worked with. And that probably can’t be said by everybody. I’m glad he did get to go up on stage to say a few words though, because a Mo speech always makes any event better. 🙂

 

My Favourite Male TV Character



Winner: Raymond Lam, Mysteries of Love

Other Nominees

  • Moses Chan, Can’t Buy Me Love
  • Wayne Lai, No Regrets
  • Steven Ma, Ghost Writer
  • Kenneth Ma, A Fistful of Stances

I liked Raymond‘s performance in Mysteries of Love, especially the emotional scenes. A lot found it bland, but I think the guy actually did his best despite the bland script, bland story, atrocious clothes, atrocious… oh, I could go on forever and ever. But with that being said, I couldn’t have cared less for Kingsley. Sure, I rooted for Kingsley and Sai Lei Mui because of the fantastic chemistry between Fung & Yi, but Kingsley on his own? My. Don’t even get me started. He was insensitive and not opinionated in anything other than science. Snivelly. So not the Prince Charming I was expecting. But well, if it doesn’t rock my boat, I’m sure it rocked many other Fung fans’ boats out there. /cue Virginia Lok smiling ear to ear during his speech

Snark aside, my favourite part of his speech was when he thanked the scriptwriters and admitted that he doesn’t even understand some of it till today. Hee.

And because some fangirls will completely skew all that I’ve written above, the conclusion to the above paragraphs are: Ray, yay! Kingsley, nay!

 

Best Supporting Actress



Winner: Fala Chen, No Regrets

Other Nominees:

  • Kara Hui, A Fistful of Stances
  • Elena Kong, Beauty Knows No Pain
  • Susanna Kwan, Can’t Buy Me Love
  • Nancy Wu, Gun Metal Grey

This was a tough one for me to call. I predicted Kara because she was amazing in Fistful. I thought Nancy did so well in Gun Metal Grey compared to her other series (but unfortunately, anything to do with GMG will be and was snubbed). Elena Kong‘s Angela Auntie has a special place in my heart because of how hilarious she was! Susanna Kwan didn’t get to do much, IMO, but still gave a great performance nonetheless. But Fala, this was Fala‘s year. She was supporting actress (some of you might debate that she was joint lead instead) in so many series this year and delivered, exceeding expectations even, fine performances every time. It’s difficult to argue with a year like that. Even if the award is just for one series, because all those other series are always going to be in the back of voters’ minds.

I do wish she had been nominated for Ngan Ping in CBML though. It would have made more sense.

She admitted in her speech that she knew Ching Ching was not everyone’s favourite, and that she had heard a lot of mixed opinions about her role, but nevertheless would continue to persevere. This girl is going places. Links to Temptation is coming up where she looks to be leading, plus she’s singing the theme song too.

 

Best Supporting Actor

 


Winner: Evergreen Mak, No Regrets

Other Nominees:

  • Dominic Lam, A Fistful of Stances
  • Raymond Wong, No Regrets
  • Pierre Ngo, No Regrets
  • Ron Ng, OL Supreme

Fei Fan Gor! The crowd goes absolutely wild and gets on their feet when Evergreen Mak was announced. The No Regrets cast look thrilled for him, especially his on-screen partner, Elena Kong. I get a little teary every time someone like this wins. All the hard work, diligence, years of solid performances going unnoticed, it all finally pays off. This year, Evergreen finally gets a memorable character in the form of Leung Fei Fan, and he packs a mean punch. Fei Fan Gor might not have been the best villain, but boy, I hated him. Brilliant chemistry with Wayne.

 

Best Actress

 


Winner: Sheren Tang, No Regrets

Other Nominees:

  • Charmaine Sheh, Can’t Buy Me Love
  • Tavia Yeung, Mysteries of Love
  • Maggie Cheung, Beauty Knows No Pain
  • Linda Chung, Ghost Writer

I know it was hyped up to be a Sheren vs Charmaine competition, but to me there was simply nothing to contest. Charmaine played the dimensions of a spoilt yet endearing princess well, but there was no other woman who could take on the many layers and complexities of Cheng Kau Mui but Sheren. Every line she delivered at her enemies was like a punch in the gut, laced with venom. Her portrayal will be one to be remembered.

She said, with great class, on how we need to appreciate the peace we have today, and hope we appreciated the kind of love story between Lau Sing & Kau Ku Leong that was told, despite there being no physical affection. I agree. It’s always much harder to tell of a romance in a period like that and it was due to the great chemistry between Wayne & Sheren which made it believable.

 

Best Actor

 


Winner: Wayne Lai, No Regrets

Other Nominees:

  • Moses Chan, Can’t Buy Me Love
  • Felix Wong, Gun Metal Grey
  • Raymond Lam, Mysteries of Love
  • Steven Ma, Ghost Writer

Wayne wins again! There’s been a lot of talk on how Lau Sing < Chai Kau, and that is to be expected because they’re two very different roles altogether. Lau Sing is more righteous, more of a hero while Chai Kau was very… grey. More anti-hero. It’s like Wayne & Sheren swapped characters from Rosy Business to play in No Regrets. Wayne wasn’t given as much to work with this time round and I think that disappointed some people. But still, disappointment or not, Wayne is a formidable actor. To borrow a line Kara Hui said about Kenneth Ma in the Best Supporting category, Wayne was so well immersed that he was Lau Sing, and Lau Sing was Wayne. Not enough could be said, and I’m so glad that the past two years, he has gotten what his talent and capabilities deserve. Bravo.

 

Best Series

 


Winner: Can’t Buy Me Love

Other Nominees:

  • A Chip of the Block
  • Mysteries of Love
  • Every Move You Make
  • No Regrets

Before the awards were announced, I called that Can’t Buy Me Love would take the prize, just to shake things up a little. No Regrets had nearly swept away all the other awards that mattered, and there was no way that a series like CBML, with the number of TVB favourite siu sungs & fadans in it, would walk away empty handed. Especially with its ratings and the amount of pre-event publicity it garnered. For the episodes that I watched, I found CBML funny and there’s no denying the comedic talent it housed.

But that’s not the most eye-raising thing. The most incredulous thing was that TVB once again repeats the Born Rich phenomenon of last year unto Gun Metal Grey and completely snub them of a best series nomination. It’s the black sheep “anniversary” series that got zero promotion at the Anniversary Gala. It’s terrible treatment of a great, gripping series, stellar performances, and a good story of the thin grey line told. Robbed. To TVB veterans who are planning to make a comeback next year, please don’t be disillusioned if your series gets named “Anniversary Series”. Look what happened to Ray Lui, Jamie Chik & Felix Wong.

P/S: I did like A Chip of the Block & Every Move You Make, but wasn’t A Fistful of Stances also widely talked about? It’s not here either?

Some other portions I didn’t cover:

I skipped the Most Admirable Programme Award (won by Hong Kong Architechture) and the Best Variety Show (won by The Voice 2, although I’m going to say that I liked that Krystal Tin got to go on stage since that will be the closest she will get to TVB giving her an award despite her stellar skills) since I don’t watch all these other programmes.

Fun with Liza & the Gods took home an award for Best Hosts (I think?) and we’re treated to a large expanse of thigh by Wong Cho Lam as we see a live feed of them receiving their award at their concert. Tony Leung presented the trophy to the foursome and Wong Cho Lam, after treating us, treats himself to a pucker on Tony Leung‘s cheek. I don’t know which treat is scarier.

Louise Lee takes home the Lifetime Achievement Award! Her acting is nothing short of spectacular. I grew up watching her on those large rectangular video tapes we rented of A Kindred Spirit and followed every episode of Heart of Greed and Moonlight Resonance. She was a huge part of my childhood! Happy for her. 😀

Some other unanswered questions:

  • How many times can Carol Cheng mention that Sheren Teng sat a whole year without getting any awards before getting tired?
  • In what way does Mysteries of Love trump Gun Metal Grey?
  • Could Ron Ng have hoped any harder that the ground would have opened up to swallow him whole after Toby Leung‘s remarks?
  • What will 2011’s “new” award be?
  • Did Adam Cheng look in the mirror before walking out of the house?

All these unanswered questions. I don’t think I’ll be any wiser next year, but oh, I still look forward to you, 2011 TVB Anniversary Awards. Too much drama you bring!

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2009 TVB Anniversary Awards: Fashion Flair or Fashion Faux Pas?

2 Feb
I do apologize for my lack of updates. What’s worse is that when I actually do get around to updating, they aren’t even timely. This is a fashion post on who I thought the winners and losers were when it came to fashion on the red carpet TVB Anniversary Awards night. I know it’s been way too long ago to even be still thinking about it now but I’ve had this post under drafts for so long that I thought it was high time that I completed and published it. So, here we go… 

Fashion Flair or Fashion Faux Pas? 

Here in this fashion feature, we have five categories. The Honourable Mentions who all came out in their A-game, ready to razzle and dazzle up the Awards with their clever fashion choices. Then we have the Neither Here Nor Theres who aimed high but ended up falling somewhere in the middle of the crowd, vowing to do must better next year. Then, coming in after that part of the pack, are the The I’m-Not-Gonna-Win-So-This-Is-Really-Boring group. They didn’t think they’d get any recognition this year but as to not offend TVB, attendance was compulsary. Hence, they just threw on something they had and showed up. Next, there’s the OTT Award winners; they just don’t seem to get that less is more. And last but not least, we have the very special Heidi Montag award. Heidi Montag, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the name, is an American reality TV star who seemingly does a lot for attention. You get my drift.

The Honorable Mentions:

Tavia Yeung
 

 

My favourite dress of the night has to be what Tavia wore. The design and fit is absolutely perfect. The various shades of lovely blue in layers of chiffon gracefully panned out around her when she walked. I adore the tube bodice with the embedded silver bits, just to throw in a little more glamour to the otherwise ethereal Grecian-like dress. The dress (coupled with the elation she was undoubtedly feeling that night) made her look so radiant. I would love to own something like this. A brilliant fashion choice.


Sheren Tang
This dress is truly something different and I’m a fan. Showing off a single bare shoulder with a toga-inspired dress makes things slightly flirty. The silver adornment on her right shoulder and the silver neckline balances out the fun and playful tuile A-line bottom with a bit of glamour. I like how the black sash and the black peeptoe heels complete the whole look. Nice play with the three colours and a well-deserved win!

Nancy Wu 

 

Ooh, I love the vintage feel of this gorgeous chiffon-looking dress (I wish I could reach out and touch that material) and the way it tapers inwards, giving her a bit of an ethereal mermaid look. She’s got the whole classy vintage thing going on; from the side-sweep of that hair-do to the fire engine red lipstick. May not be a favourite, but I think it’s lovely. A more mature look as compared to last year’s Most Improved Actress winning dress. 

Derek Kwok

Not an honourable mention but since he’s here… I love Derek, but ugh. Is that velvet he’s donning? At least his bow matches her lips.



Kara Hui 

First up, let me just say that I think Kara‘s extremely gorgeous and classy. This dress is sleek and simple, and age-appropriate for her. I think the chandelier earrings and bangle match it perfectly. Can’t quite figure out if the ruby adornment on the front of her dress is a brooch or part of the dress, but either way, it kinda works. This dress looks awfully familiar. Has someone else worn it to any other event before this?



Myolie Wu

There’s something about Myolie that doesn’t quite conform when it comes to fancy evening galas. She’s not your average girly girl and I respect that. She’s had some pretty questionable outfits before but this time I’m gonna come right out and say that I love it. It’s fun, flirty and fresh. The only alarm bell sounded when I realized the shoes were also leopard print. And then, I cringed. Other than that, I think she looks great.



Koni Lui 

Ooh la la, Koni. There’s something about Koni I like. She’s healthy looking, seems to have a fun-loving personality. Girl’s got curves and flaunts it very well in this daring evening dress. The champagne tones of the dress are rare on the TVB carpet and it complements her very nicely. For some reason or other, it looks like something Bernice would don and also very reminiscient of what Tavia wore last year. My only grouse is that I would’ve downplayed the jewellery a little.

Joe Ma

Again, not part of the honourable mentions, but just cause he’s in the picture. Heh. Next to Koni, Joe’s attempt to be hip or cool just pathetically fizzles and dies off. Sigh. I’m awfully attracted to him on screen but off-screen he just doesn’t do it AT ALL. Maybe he should’ve hired Born Rich’s stylist to put him in one of those awesome tailored suits he was born to wear for this awards show.

Queenie Chu

This last pick rounds up my Honourable Mentions list, which I’m sure, may cause a few eyebrows to be raised. This may not be a very popular opinion, but I actually really adore this piece. It’s edgy and kitschy and yet manages to be cute and flirty at the same time. The ruched bust area with the scattering of sequins softens the wild black and silver mod bottom which is complemented very nicely with a peek of an underlying layer of something (Lace? Tuille? Can’t really tell). She’s chosen a perfect frock that accentuates her waist and shows off her mile long legs (Speaking off, I love those black peep toes as well). The whole glam rock music box ballerina look is topped off with her long hair tumbling free. Beautiful.

The Ones That Are Neither Here Nor There:

Sharon Chan

In what should’ve been the best night of her career, I presume Sharon went all out to find a dress that would wow everyone. Unfortunately she didn’t walk away with her deserved Most Improved Actress and sadly to say, I wasn’t wowed by this dress either. It’s the snake-like glittery print that doesn’t do it for me. She’s also got a fabulous body that wasn’t at all flattered by the cut of this dress – the “cut-in sleeves” have always been very hard to pull off because they tend to make your shoulders a little manly. Showing back instead of baring front is always a welcome change in my book, but I don’t fancy the bondage like twists. Perhaps if it were a different colour or made out of a different fabric, I may like the design better.
Joel Chan 

 

Joel exudes retro to me. I like the pinstriped suit where the stripes are slightly wider than usual; it’s a little daring but it works for him. What’s a no-no is stripes with a polka-dot bow tie.

Charmaine Sheh
Don’t get me wrong. I was up on the fence with this one, nearly putting it in Honourable Mentions but something just doesn’t do it for me. I love lace and I don’t think people wear it enough but I don’t fancy it with the black bust and the black flap down the side. Also, if the cut had been more flattering, Charmaine would’ve looked a lot better in it. The whole bodice just looks very “straight down”.

The I’m-Not-Gonna-Win-So-This-Is-Really-Boring:

Aimee Chan 

I’m going to bet that if Aimee Chan knew that she was going to take home the Most Improved Actress award, she would’ve put a little more effort into her dressing that night. Her makeup looked a little bland for an event of this stature. Her dress was plainly boring and looked like it was made for maternity wear. Very bad effort.

Ron Ng

Ron’s looking good. Not sure what that jacket is made out of, but on a whole, he’s looking better compared to some of those poor fashion choices he’s made in his younger lifetime.


Kevin Cheng

Kevin… just looks stoned. He looked stoned during the Anniversary Gala during the ‘My Girl’ performance and throughout the Awards Ceremony, continued to look pretty stoned. Especially in his disheveled white suit and unshaven face. I think he looks pretty strange, especially with that… carrot as a brooch? What on earth is that… thing?

Maggie Siu & Kenny Wong

I think Maggie might be the only TVB (whether this is contractually correct, I have no clue) artist who pulls off a ‘fro. Love the colour of her dress, but the fit is horrible. Kenny doesn’t look too bad. Still staying within my acceptable boundaries of male evening wear.

Fala Chen

I think Fala is exceptionally beautiful. But she always ends up in very sub-par dresses. (The only that I liked recently was the one she appeared during that duet with Steven Ma during the Anniversary Gala in a nice shade of canary yellow.) This one is no exception. The brown is especially unflattering and unforgiving to her body. The material catches light in all the wrong places, even making her look like she has a little bulge. The cream halter-like straps look strangely out of place. The only thing I like is her hairdo and the understated jewellery. An evening out on the red carpet does not mean you need to wear a jewellery shop.

Edit: TkN, mango/taecnyy (Did I get the spelling right? :-S) & Rachel kindly pointed out to me in the comments that Fala initially showed up in the same gorgeous blue dress that Tavia did. The brown dress she’s wearing which I don’t like is actually a back-up dress that TVB had. I had no idea. I personally think that’s very commendable and a very classy selfless move on her part (smart on TVB’s part too, but horrible taste) So I applaud Fala, for being so beautiful both in and out. I do apologize if I’ve hurt any of Fala’s fans; sorry for being so outdated with TVB news. 🙂

Michael Tse

Or should I say Laughing Gor, formerly known as Michael Tse? Heh. Okay, he doesn’t really belong in this category since he was pretty much a shoo-in for his award. But he partnered Fala, which is how he ended up in his division. Michael has always had a rather campy style, being rather metrosexual himself. But honestly, what is with the plunging neckline? Plunging necklines (Bosco, you may need to pay attention here too) are only for ladies in my book. Michael may beg to differ albeit this being a terrible look for him. The dress pants look like he stole them from Jay-Z’s closet. I know harem pants are in, but again they’re for ladies (And neither am I a fan of them).

Christine Ng
Surely it must be illegal to be that age and still look ten years younger? Christine Ng seems to pull off every pretty evening gown she dons. This one is no exception. The horizontal gathers along the length of the dress are difficult to pull off because lines of that nature make you seem wider than you actually are. However, besides wearing it well, nothing’s very special about the dress. Very Barbie and very plain.

The OTT Awards:
Mary Hon Ma Lei
 

Sigh Mary, I love you so. I really do. But why did you have to wear Michelle Yim‘s wig from Moonlight Resonance and give it a perm?

 

Roger Kwok

Dapper as always. But, this is not about him.

Liza Wang

Gosh. It’s painful to look at this one. I cringed when she stood up to do a twirl during the Awards. It looks like she cut out holes in a drinks carton, splashed some metallic pink paint over it and then got someone to draw a peacock on. She is fast becoming the Asian version of Bjork.

 


Michelle Yim

Michelle! Why’d you have to do this to me? You always look so amazing in all your choices of evening gowns. This one, however, is just really OTT. Very much so like how her Beyond‘s Chung Siu Ha is. Purple’s my favourite colour but this shade is painful on the eyes. To top things off, those dirty yellow lace-trimmings completely clash with the purple.

Ram Tseung 

On another note, Ram Tseung looks very nice. Don’t think I’ve ever seen him at one of these awards!


Louise Lee

I’ve never once liked what Louise Lee wore to an awards ceremony and surprise surprise, this year isn’t any different. Overly glitzy. I know it’s not easy finding something that fits your age once you’re above a certain number, but I’m sure something’s out there.

Susanna Kwan

I love Susanna‘s spiky do. She pulls off spiky way better than the up and coming male stars and looks hotter to boot. Heh. The red is nice but the dress a little boring, I guess. She belongs in the Neither Here nor There category but the fur just pushes her over the edge into OTT-land.

The Heidi-Montag Award:

Linda Chung 

Why a treasured TVB fadan would come dressed to the most important event of the year dressed like a Z-list “celebrity” is really beyond me. The coiffed do, the alienesque wings, and a pole dancer’s sequinned corset? I mean, really? Someone fire whoever it was that thought the entire getup was a good idea.
Oh, and poor Kenneth. Those shoulder pads must’ve hit him quite a few times.

Liked the same ones I did or complete disagreed with my fashion choices? Feel free to compliment, comment, vent or rant at all their fashion flairs & faux pas-es. 🙂

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.

*

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?

It Takes Two, HK-Style.

11 Sep

Hey everyone! Wow. It’s been ages since I’ve updated and I sincerely apologise for that. I’ve been really, really busy with uni recently. Second year of uni is really catching up with me, and assignment after assignment has basically sucked up any semblance I have of a social life, let alone be fascinated by the TVB world. Thankfully, after slogging day and night, I finally handed in my final assignment for the semester and have time to take a breather before cramming for finals in early November. But enough of that boring stuff, I’m sure you guys don’t want to hear about my sordid uni-life. And, I’m pretty sure you all are sick of coming here (that is, if you all even come here anymore) and seeing the Moses/Bernice fanfic on the top of the page. Lol.

P/S: I’m going to take this opportunity to thank everyone for all their lovely compliments and feedback on the Moses/Bernice fic. You all really made my day.

But well, without further ado, to this feature. It’s something I’ve been planning for quite some time now, but just never got the chance to write. I’m a music junkie, admittedly, but never really quite got into HK-pop until this year. I understand spoken Cantonese, but not in the context of song lyrics or poems, so I guess that’s the main reason. However, I do find that HK-pop songs have great melodies, and am trying to learn the lyrics and understand them now. That’s one of the reasons behind his post.

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It Takes Two; HK-Style.

It Takes Two is an Australian singing competition that aired about two months ago on free TV. It’s not your everyday run-of-the-mill singing competition. Instead, it has singers pairing up with local celebrities from every field. The recent season of It Takes Two had homegrown vocal talents paired up with various stars ranging from actresses, to radio DJs, comedians and even a swimmer. The singers will guide and the non-singers through the weeks and are in charge of song choice, key, choreography amongst other aspects. Each week, pairs will compete with each other, singing different themes, to avoid elimination. Results are made out of 50% judges scores and 50% from the public’s SMS votes.

TVB and the various record companies in Hong Kong have always had collaborations not only in concerts, but they have had the singers hosting and acting as well. At the same time, TVB has an uncanny habit of pushing their actors to sing even if they possess no singing ability whatsoever. It’s a chance for them to give their new and upcoming stars a chance for recognition and get some vocal training from the singers in the process. Here’s who I would pick and pair them with, if there really was such a competiton:

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Chris Lai Lok Yi, 27, & Niki Chow Lai Kei, 28 

 

Why him? Chris has been given loads of chances as of late what with Heart of Greed, then The Green Grass of Home, and most recently as bad-boy-turned-good Ben Lui in Fathers and Sons, all of which did well ratings-wise. Of course, the least promoted amongst the Olympics star alumni, it might finally be his chance to shine. TVB love all their lead male actors to sing, and this might be the one extra step Chris needs on his way to a higher status in TVB.

Why with Niki? For some reason, Chris reminds me of one of those popular guys back in high school who’s popular and yet gets along with everybody. He seems to have a friendly, easygoing demeanour, which matches Niki’s wholesome, healthy, girl-next-door image. He’s tall, dark and handsome too, which makes him look very compatible with Niki. (Sorry, Kevin/Niki fans, I couldn’t possibly choose Kevin for this feature, since he’s definitely already got all the promotion in the world).

Theme they might excel in: The ‘pop’ week. I can really imagine these two singing a very happy, upbeat poppy song in my mind.

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Fala Chen Fa La, 25, & Justin Lo, 31 

 

Why her? Fala has been a rumour magnet since early on, and only of late has she been creating an image for herself for something other than a just a pretty face with a nice body. TVB has given her plenty of chances, and there is no doubt that if they were to do something like this, Fala would definitely be on the list. They’ve already proven she can dance with casting her in Steps, why not prove that she can sing too?

Why with Justin? Justin seems like he has a rather outgoing and funny personality. Fala also seems like she’s very communicative and fun-loving. Plus, both are natural born performers. Justin has oodles of charisma while he’s on stage, and Fala moves very gracefully with her dancing, and also just has a very magnetic presence. Also, based on both of their overseas upbringing, I think they could be a good pair together.

Theme they might excel in: The ‘English’ week. I know it might be an unfair advantage to the both of them if there was an English week, but quite frankly, I’m rather sick of hearing awful English in TVB series. Case in point, Francis Ng‘s in TITS. With TVB having their characters, especially the ‘professional’ ones, speak in English, there’s no reason their actors/actresses should start to learn how to sing in English too.

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Fred Cheng Chun Wan, 24, & Kary Ng Yu Fei, 21 

 

Why him? It’s no secret that I like Fred. And I’m probably not the only one, or rather, I hope I’m not the only one. He’s one of the few of the new generation actors whom I actually like and think has potential to be developed further. He’s easy on the eyes, and I find that his charisma translates very well from the screen. But what really made me choose him for this, was that he was actually found after coming in second in the 2001 TVB New Talent Singing Contest. With already the singing ability, this might be the boost he needs to move beyond his bit roles.

Why with Kary? Kary’s a chameleon, in my opinion. She’s pretty flexible with various genres, having gone the complete pop route with Cookies, and then a slightly rockier sound with Ping Pung after that. She could probably pair up with a lot of different people, but for some reason or other, I think Fred and her could get along pretty well together, as Fred seems to have a very fun-loving personality, just like she does.

Theme they might excel in: The ‘rock’ week. Kary’s got a sweet voice, but there’s also that extra edge to it that’s good for rock songs. Fred also looks like he could rock out, I can just imagine him really getting into a rock song, I don’t know why.

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Jack Wu Lok Yin, 30, & Fiona Sit Hoi Kei, 26 

 

Why him? To be honest, Jack has impressed me since I first saw him in Net Deception. He’s a lot more natural than some of his peers and I was disappointed that he never got another role as significant as his one in Net Deception ever again. He’s also released a few albums back in the day when he had floppy boyband-ish hairstyles. And now he just needs to show TVB that he’s still got what it takes and that he’s still got that voice.

Why with Fiona? Fiona, although having reports about her being diva-like, seems very easy to get along with after watching some interviews of her. With her being so physically tested for her for her first TVB series, The Academy, and Jack having to put on so much weight for To Grow With Love, the both of them seem to be have a commendable work ethic, which might enable them to work together easily. They do look rather compatible together too.

Theme they might excel in: Since this would be a TVB production, I’m pretty sure they would have a week where the pairs have to sing themesongs from popular TVB series. That is one week which I think Jack and Fiona would do well in, what with both of them having acted in series and Jack having been with TVB for such a long time.

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Matthew Ko Kwan Yin, 23, & Ella Koon Yan Na, 28 

 

Why him? He doesn’t float my boat, but I have to admit, his fanbase is growing day by day. He’s young, and tall and most would say, handsome. And TVB absolutely loves him. He’s getting mega-promotion these days, as well as larger roles as time progresses. His name can only get more popular after Steps shows. He’s definitely TVB’s new current It-boy, and they even had him showcased his singing and musical abilities in To Grow With Love; that is reason enough for me to put him in here.

Why with Ella? Matthew, in my honest opinion, isn’t a very strikingly masculine actor (I can feel rocks coming my way from crazy fangirls already). However, there’s this slightly flamboyant side to him, and he does have quite a bit of stage presence, so I think he will be a rather good performer. Who better to pair him with than the super-sultry Ella Koon?

Theme they might excel in: The 40’s week. I can totally imagine them doing a song from the same period as Christina Aguilera’s Candyman was modelled after. With both of them being such natural performers and comfortable with dancing and being on stage compared to some of the other pairs, I think they could come in tops for this theme.

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Natalie Tong Sze Wing, 26, & Kenny Kwan Chi Bun, 26

Why her? Simply because she’s one of TVB’s upcoming young actresses. I think she’s got great potential, and I honestly am a fan of hers, but she still lacks the it factor. She’s carved the girl-next-door, bubbly image for herself, and while that got Tavia Yeung great places, it doesn’t look like it will do the same for her. She’s been doing some sexy photoshoots recently, but she’s still waiting for her breakthrough role. Hopefully The Seventh Day will do that for her, but until then, she needs something like this to showcase the other sides of her personality and her talent.

Why with Kenny? No particular reason, really. They seem like they could get along, and these two pictures that I’ve chosen to put together really match. It’s just one of those things that feel right. Natalie’s also had chances to collaborate with many young male artists in their music videos before, so she should be able to get along with Kenny pretty well.

Theme they might excel in: The R&B week. Kenny strikes me as the soulful, yet sleek R&B type, a little bit like what Ne-Yo might do, and seems like he might even be able to bust out some rapping. He also places R&B maestro, Wang Lee Hom amongst his idols while Natalie lists the other R&B great, Jay Chou, as her favourite. Might they be able to emulate their idols’ success in this theme? I think it’s possible.

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Selena Li Sze Wan, 26, & Patrick Tang Kin Wan, 33 

 

Why her? Selena Li has really grown on me after watching To Grow With Love. For me, she and Jack Wu were the highlight of the show. Everything was rather pretty trashy. But, I digress. Being named as one of the 10 top next fadans by Ms. Lok, and singled out to be in one of the more anticipated filmings of the year, The Four Great Constables, can only mean one thing – the company favours you, and they favour you greatly. To mould her into the next top actress, she’s already go the look, TVB has made sure she can act, and I’m sure they want her to be able to sing and dance as well.

Why with Patrick? I’m sure everyone has heard of the Patrick/Selena rumours by now. That’s part of the reason why I paired them together, because they were cute together in Just Love. Patrick’s also just came back to TVB recently, and while he was given some interesting roles to play in the past, they’re gonna want to promote him more, and this can be best achieved by pairing him up with the most highly-rated actress amongst this lot. Plus, I really think Patrick has a great voice.

Theme they might excel in: The ‘acoustic’ week. After watching the All About Men concert, I thought Patrick sounded really good when they stripped the music down and focused on the strumming of the acoustic guitar. It was just rather simple music and a nice voice and enthusiasm from Patrick. With his experience, I’m sure he can guide Selena to excel in the same theme too.

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Stephen Wong Ka Lok, ?, & Stephy Tang Lai Yan, 24 

 

Why him? Why with Stephy? To be very honest, it was an elimination process. I had singled out five male singers and five female singers that I wanted to include in this feature. Some I had already paired them up with their respective TVB artists when I chose them. Stephy, however, I couldn’t find anyone whom I thought would match her well enough, unfortunately. I had Joel Chan and Charles Szeto in mind for this feature as well, but neither one of them has particularly gotten my liking after watching them in series, and I don’t think either would work well with Stephy. Stephen Wong, on the other hand, also still has a long way to go on his acting, but he gives me a better impression compared to the other two. If I had to choose between the three of them, I’d rather promote Stephen. Besides, Stephen comes off across as very gallant and well-mannered, which I think would go along well with Stephy’s sweet personality. I swear, the fact that their names are Stephen/Stephy had nothing to do with it. Lol.

Theme they might excel in: Songs by the professional singer. It Takes Two had a week where the pairs had to tackle a song which the singer made famous, and one of the pairs had to sing The Prayer, while another had to sing a Spanish opera song, because they were songs that their partner had made famous. Thankfully, Stephy’s songs are very melodic and catchy, and aren’t difficult to sing. Hence, it should be fairly easy for Stephen to catch on and for them to harmonise together.

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Tracy Ip Chui Chui, 26, & Deep Ng Ho Hong, 24 

 

Why her? I can’t read Mandarin to save my life (and am hoping TVBSpace comes back soon so that I can get my fix of TVB news in English!) but I go to TVB Chinese News just to look at the latest pictures, and over the past two weeks, I’ve seen so many events that feature Tracy. It’s about time too, as Kate Tsui‘s Miss HK successor, since TVB has already given Kate significant supporting roles and recently, the lead female rold in The Four Great Constables. Tracy’s acting actually isn’t half bad, I liked her over Carrie Lam in Heart of Greed. TVB have also had her singing at events lately, so without a doubt, she’d be on this show if they were to do it.

Why with Deep? Out of all the male singers here, Deep has the most masculine, strong image, which I think would match Tracy’s tall and elegant persona the best. For some reason, I can picture them having really good chemistry.

Theme they might excel in: The ‘Greatest Love Songs of All Time’ week. Like, I said, I can imagine them having amazing chemistry on stage. It takes that very same chemistry to be able to pull off singing a good love song, and I think the both of them can do it. Deep’s also got a great voice for love songs that can make girls go weak in the knees.

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Vin Choi Kei Chun, 23, & Janice Wei Lan, 25

Why him? I didn’t think he was fabulous in Brink of Law, but he’s been apparently getting good reviews for his role in Best Selling Secrets. Already getting a huge fanbase since his Sunshine Heartbeat days, and backing from TVB, what with him being on the TVB calendars and all, he’d be on this in a heartbeat (no pun intended) if this competition were to materialise.

Why with Janice? Janice has a great personality, along with tons of passion and zest for her music, and that really shines through when she sings and performs. While this might seem like an unlikely pairing, I get the feeling that her enthusiasm could be just what is needed to coax the suave-looking Vin out of his shell and to embrace whatever musical inclinations that he might have.

Theme they might excel in: The jazz song week. Jazz is such a great genre, and although it’s never been showcased much in the HK music world, I think it would be a good theme to have. Jazz songs aren’t easy to sing, but with Janice’s great vocals, both of them should be able to tackle it fairly easily. I can also imagine Vin being very Michael Buble-ish, so that’s an added plus.

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Vivien Yeo Sau Wai, 23, & Hins Cheung King Hin, 26

Why her? After Selena, I’d say she’s the next highly promoted actress in this group. Her roles are getting more and more significant with the most recent one in the famous sequel to War of In-Laws, and I have to say she’s getting better. Her Cantonese has improved since her pageant days, and her image has gotten more refined. Coupled with her piano-playing skills and her spot on the Lady in Red compilation, you know that TVB wants to push her to sing.

Why with Hins? Although her Cantonese has gotten better, her first language is still Mandarin. With Hins’ Mandarin album releases, I can only assume that he’s proficient in the language. Having said that, it will then be easier for him to coach and guide her through this competition. Hins is an excellent live singer and performer, and I’m sure he’ll be able to lead her past the language barrier and improve her singing.

Theme they might excel in: The Mandarin song week. If there was a week for singing in Mandarin, they’d probably come out top, hands down, based on pronounciation.

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Yoyo Chen Chi Yiu, ?, & Alex Fong Lik Sun, 27


Why her?
I actually thought she was pretty decent in Brink of Law as Steven’s bitchy sister, at the very least she conveyed emotion a lot better than many of the newcomer actresses. After that, she landed herself a spot on Best Selling Secrets, and I thought that would help her a lot in her acting career. Unfortunately, the whole scandal happened, and I heard she’s been written out of BSS since. Such a shame, because I think she had potential and was doing well up to that point. Her quiet, meek role in Phoenix Rising had also impressed me. While I’m not sure if she’s been frozen, I’d really like to hear her sing and overcome the whole scandal thing at the same time, which is why I put her in here.

Why with Alex? They both have that cute, youthful image despite their ages, which makes me think that they’ll look good on stage together. Also, Alex reminds me a lot of the young Nick Carter from the Backstreet Boys. Squeaky-clean, good-boy image. Which could be just what Yoyo needs, someone who’s never had a history of notoriety or been involved in scandalous happenings. You can never go wrong with the Prince of Pop.

Theme they might excel in: The ‘Famous Duets’ week. Alex, as you all probably know, is the King of Duets, what with his constantly duetting with Stephy and other female singers as well. This shows he already has had experience with harmonising and collaborating with a female voice, so he should be able to help Yoyo pull off this theme with ease. I think they would sound really great singing ‘Kei Nim Yat‘ by Ronald Cheng and Kelly Chen.

What do you guys think of this concept? Unfortunately, there might be a lot of many barriers in the way. There’s no knowing if TVB could spare so many of their young actors and actresses away from filming for two-three months. At the same time, I don’t know if the singers and their record companies would be willing to give their consent for this concept. After all, nobody wants to be voted out first – it has a bigger impact when you’re already a celebrity. There’s also the problem of the singers being from different record companies; I don’t know how that would go down with them. The paparazzi would have a field day with all the male-female pairings. 

I really liked the Australian version of it, and hope that there could be a Hong Kong version as well. Let’s just pretend that there really was such a competition – which newcomers would you all like competing? Which singers? Who would you pair up with whom? Do you like or dislike my choices?

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!