Tag Archives: Kevin Cheng

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. 🙂

The Wrap Up: Forensic Heroes II

3 Jul
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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

Brotherhood

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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


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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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?

What’s Up; #2.

2 Mar

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

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

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

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

And speaking of The Gentle Crackdown II

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Year of the Rat Ahead

11 Feb

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Tangled Web of TVB; #1.

11 Jul

TVB and the entertainment industry in Hong Kong is a big Asian market, and what with the dozens of series filmed a year and the hundreds of interviews and promotions their actors and actresses carry out to promote their series and their personal commitments to sponsors, you can be sure many relationships and ties will be forged. Put that together with the awfully innovative pens and magically cropped pictures of the dog-eat-dog HK paparazzi, you can be sure that these relationships will be completely spiced up. The supposed relationships and rumours that these people conjure up make up such a big part of the industry, that I couldn’t not have a section covering these interesting partnerships and bonds.

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

Today’s first article, might not be as meaty a piece as what you might have been hoping for (mainly because I don’t possess the imagination which the HK reporters do, lol), but it’s a very interesting tidbit which I’ve realised just recently.


The Tangled Web of TVB; #1: The Common Factor


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In 2003, it was Triumph in the Skies that shot this group of four young, intelligent pilots into stardom. After the series aired, all eyes were on these four relatively new actors. Dubbed S4, short for ‘Solar 4’, by netizens, Ron Ng Cheuk Hei, Sammul Chan Kin Fung, Bosco Wong Chung Chak and Kenneth Ma Kwok Ming were the hot male newcomers of TVB.

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The following year, TVB named six young male artists to promote the 2004 Athens Olympics. These were the cream of the crop of young actors, often still labelled the ‘Six Olympic Stars’ until today. The Triumph in the Skies bunch were all named, along with the already-widely-popular Raymond Lam Fung, and the fresh new face in TVB acting class graduate Chris Lai Lok Yi.

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Then, just last year, yet another promotional group was named, this time for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Three out of the ‘Six Olympic Stars’ were retained, and Kevin Cheng Ka Wing was added to the bunch.

Solely based on TVB management and promotional strategy, if you asked me to name you a list of the new generation ‘siu sungs’, it would be these seven.

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The recent World Cup quartet are undoubtedly the most favoured young actors in TVB at the moment. Kevin Cheng winning latest TVB Best Actor award, although I strongly disagreed with the award, and his good looks, coupled with his good relations with TVB executives, definitely puts him in the top four.

As for the other three, it goes without saying. These three would be on the tips of everyone’s tongues, if I had asked you to name me three young, successful TVB actors. The previous winners of the TVB Most Improved Actor award, Raymond, Ron and Bosco have definitely carved quite a name for themselves, being cast in one big production after another. Bosco tops the list with Dicey Business, HOG and Jewel’s Splendour, while Raymond and Ron are both in the Drive of Life, and HOG and Brink of Law respectively.

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Until this year’s TVB Anniversary Awards, Kenneth Ma is still the current holder of the Most Improved Actor award. However, IMO, he does not possess the success and the pizzazz of the other three previous winners just yet, and has not been casted in any such grand productions in a major role.

Sammul Chan is the only one left out of the S4 who hasn’t won that award yet, and while I felt that he deserved it at that point in time before some of them, rumour has it that he hasn’t won because he was not a contracted TVB artist. However, he’s back to filming with TVB, and if I remember correctly, might even have signed on with TVB (could someone please tell me if I’ve gotten this right?), so that’s good for him.

Chris Lai has not been mentioned nearly as much as the others have, but after watching Heart of Greed, and the current screening of The Green Grass of Home, I think it’s safe to say that he’s gaining popularity and should be on this list.

However, that’s not the point of this write-up. What I found most interesting, while making this list, was that there was one thing they all had in common. Obviously, they’re all male, young, promoted by TVB, popular, lusted after by millions of female fans, etc. You get my drift. But there’s one other thing they all have in common with one another.

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That’s right. All seven of these actors have been paired up with the beautiful Leila Tong Ling in numerous series over the years. I don’t know about you, but I found that rather surprising. It might have been expected, being that TVB doesn’t have a very large base of capable young actors and actresses, but however, I would have guessed that it would’ve been Leila. Don’t get me wrong, I love her, but I didn’t know, I would have guessed the female who had co-starred with all seven would have been someone like Myolie.

Here, let’s take a walk down memory lane with Leila and the seven guys.

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Kevin & Leila in Burning Flame II (2002)

This was the first series in which I ever saw Kevin and Leila acting. They’re both extremely easy on the eyes, but their characters seemed too different, and his character Mark was actually using her to get promoted, if I remember correctly. Nevertheless, they did have a few cute scenes together, albeit nothing that memorable. Leila looks so young with her long, straight hair.

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Raymond & Leila in The Last Breakthrough (2004)

Definitely one of my favourite Leila pairings. Ken and Ching Ching were such a lovely couple to watch, from all their bickering, and his blatant flirting with her all the time, and later on, when she realised she loved him, and how she stuck by him and waited for him during his sickness.

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Chris & Leila in Ten Brothers (2005)

I’ve never watched Ten Brothers, just a short promotional trailer and a few clips here and there. I’m not exactly sure if they ended up together, or if they were both in a love triangle with another one of Chris’ brothers in the series. They do look pretty cute together, though.

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Bosco & Leila in Aqua Heroes (2003), The Last Breakthrough (2004) and Life Made Simple (2005)

Three times they’ve worked together, and all three times it was great to watch. Their puppy-love relationship was adorable in Aqua Heroes. In The Last Breakthrough, although I loved Ken and Ching Ching, I have to admit, the Bosco/Leila scenes where he was secretly crushing on her were also great to watch. In Life Made Simple, they both portray the most mature relationship in their partnership on-screen; Leila was a fantastic devious Angel in angel’s clothes (horrible pun intended) who in the end, realised that she had indeed really fallen for Michael. It’s no surprise that this pairing has tons of fans.

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Ron & Leila in Twin of Brothers (2003) and War and Destiny (2006)

I was rooting for Ron & Leila in Twin of Brothers, because there was just that something that I liked about their relationship. I can’t place my finger on it exactly, but I remember liking it. They also look compatible together. I haven’t watched War and Destiny in full, just little bits here and there again, but I really want to because I’ve read some good reviews, it looks rather compelling and Leila apparently plays her most mature role yet, so I really want to catch it. Plus, apparently Ron and Leila’s characters have a very bittersweet relationship in the series, and I’m a sucker for those.

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Sammul & Leila in Bar Benders (2006)

I’ve always wondered if they would ever be paired up in a series together. Both of them are cute and look so youthful, that they would look adorable together. This is definitely one series I want to watch, although Adam Cheng usually annoys me; I’m willing to watch for the Sammul/Leila storyline. Both of them also apparently acted very well in here.

Extra info: I was searching around for pictures for this post last night, and I stumbled across this radio clip where Leila has to call a co-star up and play a prank on him/her. She chooses to call Sammul, and his reaction to it is pretty funny. Click here to hear it!

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Kenneth & Leila in The Family Link (2007)

Haven’t watched this either, although it’s one I’m hyped up about catching. However, I don’t think they look as good together physically, compared to the way Leila matches the rest. They have a pretty large fanbase already, so I’m hoping that they have an abundance of chemistry.

What’s up next? Leila has finished filming in the mainland for The Last Princess, in which she’ll have somewhat of a relationship with Sammul, for the second time. She’s also now in the midst of filming The Hidden Master, where she’ll apparently be paired with Kenneth Ma. Fans of both pairings can rejoice.

Which one is your favourite Leila pairing out of these seven young actors? Who would you like to see her co-star with again?

*Screencaps are from the awesomely comprehensive gallery at Leila-Tong.com. Other pictures from TVB Chinese News Collection and spcnet.tv.