Tag Archives: Natalie Tong

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!

The Tangled Web of TVB; #2.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Lei Lei, Jing Jing, Ka Ka

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

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Fei Fei, Yung Yung, Tong Tong

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

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Ding Ding, Pui Pui, Sa Sa

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Long Long, CC, Coco

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

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

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

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

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

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

tvb

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.

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?

The Foreword; Part II.

5 Jul

Okay, finally after much delay and procrastination from your lazy blog owner, Part II of the foreword is up! If you’ve missed part I, you can read it here. This time, this post will include my favourite TVB female artists, and my thoughts on them. Mainly just a little write-up so that you guys know what to expect from me and my future posts. Obviously because I’m a fan, I will tend to write more about them, and you need to know that. Comments are once again, greatly welcome!

Without further ado, I present to you:

My Leading Ladies

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Jessica Hester Hsuan

Why she plain rocks: Jessica always has, and always will be one of my favourite actresses. She is one of those actresses who immerses herself greatly into her role. She isn’t just merely theoretically acting by the book, she wholly immerses herself into those roles. She IS the role. What I also love is that she has both the beauty, the brains and the talent. She has a degree in Material Science and Engineering, and if you read her interviews, her answers are eloquent, and she comes off across as very thoughtful, mature and wise. Also, she’s shown that she has the capacity to not only play strong career women (I’m sure everybody remembers Rachel in Golden Faith), but has also carved quite a name for herself in the comedic genre.

Aesthetic value: I personally think she’s beautiful. While I’ve never had the luck to meet her in person, my sister-in-law has, and says that she’s even more beautiful in person. She’s classy, has a great eye for fashion, and carries herself with ease; and yet still manages to retain that certain youthfulness to her. I can only hope I look as good as she does when I’m at that age.

Favourite series: Detective Investigation Files IV, Old Time Buddy, Golden Faith, Secret of the Heart, A Matter of Customs, Square Pegs, Dicey Business.

Remarkable Partnerships: For sure, with Louis Koo in DIF IV. Who didn’t love the angst and chemistry between the cool and silent Chui Fei and the lovely Mo Chiu Kwan, often called Ms. Mo? Coming in a close second, is the love story between the selfless Ivan and headstrong Rachel in Golden Faith, with Gallen Lo as Jessica’s love interest. I also have an extremely soft spot for Jessica and Wong Hei in A Matter of Customs, and with Michael Miu in Dicey Business, because I’m a sucker for angst, and boy, did those two couples have it. And of course, I suppose the chemistry with Roger Kwok in Square Pegs also warrants an honorable mention.

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Ada Choi Siu Fun

Why she gets a golden star: Basically, everything I’ve just said for Jessica applies to Ada as well. I’ve enjoyed watching the both of them so much when I was younger, and that has carried on throughout the years. Ada is an actress that emotes amazingly well with her eyes. If you watch her emotional scenes closely, you’ll find that she doesn’t need to speak, her eyes already speak volumes about how she’s feeling. A lot of actress have failed to master this, and their eyes look lifeless when they’re acting. Ada, obviously, is not one of them. In Where the Legend Begins, her gentle and self-contained Yan Fook with just the slightest tinge of sorrow in her eyes won me over, and her charismatic Wai Ying Chi in Armed Reaction III and IV sealed the deal. Out of acting, I adore her for being so steadfast in her Christian faith. If I were to make a comparison, as an actress and in terms of elegance and personality, she reminds me very much of Nicole Kidman.

Aesthetic value: Ada is elegant and absolutely beautiful. She still looks so stunning, unlike some Hollywood personas of the same age who’s already had countless Botox jobs. Her height adds to her graceful stature, and she exudes class and beauty without having to overly expose herself. She looks exquisite in ancient films, and I really, really hope TVB films that ancient drama in that was in the 2007 sales presentation. Ada would play a woman scorned very very well, as seen in the presentation clip.

Favourite series: Secret of the Heart, On the Track or Off, Where the Legend Begins, Healing Hands I & II, Armed Reaction III & IV, At the Threshold of an Era.

Remarkable Partnerships: For me, hands down, with Steven Ma in Where the Legend Begins and in On the Track or Off. And of course, how could I forget with Lawrence Ng in Healing Hands I and II. Ada’s Jackie was by far my favourite character on that show, and while I’ve never been a fan of Lawrence, I loved their relationship. Also, an awesomely cute relationship with Bobby’s Chan Siu Sang in AR III & IV.

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Tavia Yeung Yi

Why she is my pick: I’ve been a fan of Tavia since the beginning. I thought she showed so much promise and potential for a young actress and have been eagerly following her progress since then. A lot of people label her the next Maggie Cheung, and I agree whole-heartedly. Not only in the looks department, but acting-wise as well. Maggie is an excellent actress, and Tavia is slowly reaching that level. She impresses me more and more in every series I see her in. I love that she’s a graduate of the TVB acting class, and while beauty pageants have discovered a number of talents, I’m pretty glad she’s not just another pretty pageant face. She worked her way up from bit roles, into the successful actress she is today. Like Ada, I find that she emotes very well with her eyes, and she’s definitely learnt to cry very beautifully and poignantly compared to the days of her Kiko in Golden Faith, wailing as she ran down the street. (Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely loved the confrontation of Oscar and Kiko in the scene before that, but the next scene of her running down the street made me cringe a little. It was also bad editing on the producer’s part) I’m glad to see her finally getting all the recognition she deserves after her image change. It’s a little disappointing so see that she only got recognised for her makeover rather than for her talent, but as long as she’s happy with her new look and that people are finally appreciating her acting, then that’s great. She’s definitely got the producer/casting director of Dicey Business to thank. I think it was a bit of an inspired casting to cast her in the role of Tam Chu Mei, but now, I couldn’t imagine anyone better; it was a very refreshing role for Tavia.

Aesthetic value: Like I said, I’ve always been a fan of Tavia since the beginning, and thought she was beautiful. Sadly, not many people agreed until her sexy makeover. She’s got very unique facial features and I’ve always found her very pretty. Her facial features and her bone structure make her very photogenic and she wears a lot of clothes very well. Also, her personality seems so fun-loving and extroverted, and that adds so much to her appeal.

Favourite series: The Awakening Story, Vigilante Force, Golden Faith, Find the Light, Twin of Brothers, Shades of Truth, Food for Life, Dicey Business, and I’m guessing I’ll be adding Heart of Greed to this list before long. I also really want to watch Land of Wealth and Face to Fate because she looks so beautiful in ancient series, and because she got great reviews for both.

Remarkable Partnerships: I’ve enjoyed watching a lot of Tavia’s relationships on screen. For sure, with Raymond, Ron and Bosco out of the younger actors. To fuel my like for all three pairings, they all seem to get along extraordinarily well in real-life too. I think Tavia is what people would call ‘one of the boys‘. Despite her new womanly image, she jokes and kids around with them easily, like before, and I love that. Raymond and Tavia were angstily great in Golden Faith and in TOB together, while Ron and Tavia had a more fun, less-worrisome story in The Academy. Bosco and Tavia were great in Dicey Business and I’m enjoying them a lot in Heart of Greed as well. They seem to have a very severe understanding of one another acting-wise, and that translates onto screen very well, in portraying two relationship extremes in either series. Surprisingly enough, I also thoroughly loved her stories with Bowie Lam and Wong Hei respectively in Vigilante Force and Shades of Truth. Both are such unconventional pairings, but it paid off and the result was great, for me. Looking forward to watching Tavia and Ah Hei again in Trouble Daddy.

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Myolie Wu Hung Yee

Why she gets two thumbs up: There’s no denying that Myolie is a wonderful actress in her own right. To me, there is a certain charm and charisma about her when she appears on screen. She’s extremely talented, whilst being very likable. Her signature role as Yan Yan in Golden Faith couldn’t have been done by a lesser young actress, and showed great promise to the audience on what was to come from this actress. Yan Yan was so innocent, naive and had so much childlike simplicity that was portrayed in abundance by Myolie. One of the most deserving ‘Most Improved Actress’ awards in that point of time. Since then, she’s went on to play a spectrum of roles, delivering solid performances time and time again. She’s got very spot-on comedic timing, as proven in War of In-Laws. One role I’d really love for her to take on (and she says this so herself too) is one of a devious, cunning nature. That would be really interesting and good for her to sink her teeth into, artistically speaking.

Aesthetic value: At first glance, Myolie might not be the prettiest actress around to a lot of people, but I think she has a very classy aura about her. She’s got that wholesome girl-next-door look which is very appealing to a lot of people. Myolie’s also got that sweet smile which looks great on film.

Favourite series: Golden Faith, The Awakening Story, Family Man, Survivor’s Law, Triumph in the Skies, Net Deception, Lost in the Chamber of Love, War of In-Laws

Remarkable Partnerships: I really liked Raymond and Myolie in Survivor’s Law. Tons of cute, sweet moments, especially when he was learning how to knit to fix her bag (Come on, show me a guy who does that, and I’ll offer him my hand in marriage, lol). Surprisingly, her Zoe with Francis Ng’s awful-English-warbling Sam in Triumph of the Skies also left a very strong impression in my mind. You almost expected them to crash and burn as a pairing, but the innocence and readiness-to-love of Zoe and the worldy and mature Sam worked, and the age-gap didn’t matter at all, once the relationship got underway. And of course, I couldn’t get away with not mentioning Bosco and Myolie, could I? Despite the recent outburst of Bosco-haters and hence, hating Bosco in any possible pairing, I have an extremely soft spot for this pairing. They made me laugh and cry and go ‘aww‘ in War of In-Laws, and I’m glad that they’re doing a sequel. (Although all the costumes and hair-dos in the pictures so far really make me cringe. This is supposed to be TVB’s equivalent of Devil Wears Prada? Huh.)

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Bernice Liu Bik Yee

Why I simply love her so: I have to admit, while I’m a huge, huge fan of Bernice’s, her acting isn’t up to the par of say, Tavia, or Myolie. She does excellent for tomboyish roles like that of her Gei Mei Lai in Love Bond, or fun, flirty characters like her Man Tai Po in Into Thin Air. I absolutely loved her in those. However, she does need to improve on broadening her forte in order to be able to pull away from being stereotyped. I felt she improved a lot in her Brink of Law’s Wing, from Betsy in Healing Hands III, and hope that continues on. So, although she may not be the best actress, she’s most definitely my favourite TVB personality. She’s bubbly, and outgoing, and seems to get along well with all her co-stars, alongside being perfectly comfortable in her own skin and in her own right. She also wins points with me for being able to speak perfect English, for her singing and her dancing, and for improving on her Cantonese so much, from not even being able to read her scripts at all when she started out. I would love to watch Virtues of Harmony solely to watch her parts.

Aesthetic value: I think Bernice is simply gorgeous. She has a beautiful smile, and everytime she smiles, her whole face lights up. I love that she’s not stick-thin and has curves. And again, her personality makes her all the more attractive to me. Cute, sexy, mature, natural; she pulls off every look with ease and confidence. She’s an advertiser’s joy, as proven again and again, and I can really see why they all love her so. Also, she manages to exude sex appeal without being trashy or slutty, but instead managing to maintain a healthy, wholesome image. Definitely a great role model.

Favourite series: Love Bond, Into Thin Air, Brink of Law

Remarkable Partnerships: Of course, it’s no secret that I am a Bernice fan, and I’m a crazed Bernice/Moses fan. They had so much chemistry in Love Bond, and in Healing Hands III, and what makes it even more remarkable is that they had such different storylines and character history, and yet their chemistry was still so apparent in both series. I also love the fact that that chemistry’s not only limited to the screen, but also off-screen at interviews, fashion shows and at award shows as they seem to get along extremely well. Bernice also had uber cute scenes in Into Thin Air with Kenneth Ma and she looks very compatible with Steven in Brink of Law.

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Leila Tong Ling

Why she gets a five out of five: Leila has been one of my favourite actresses since Day 1. I remember seeing her in Burning Flame II and hoping that she would get bigger roles some day. She’s a natural in front of the camera, and what I like about her is that she’s been given some pretty diverse roles to play, and nails them all more often than never. She was great to watch as the stubborn, sarcastic, yet caring Ching Ching in The Last Breakthrough, and then next, in a complete 180 in Life Made Simple’s Angel who was determined and conniving. Like Bosco Wong said in a K-100 interview, he’s never seen her in such an devious role, and it’s pretty unbelievable that someone who likes like an angel, like a baby, could be so cunning. I completely agree. I’ve also watched bits and pieces of War and Destiny, and I loved her transformation into such a mature character. It’s a shame she hasn’t gotten more promotion from TVB because she can act circles round some of the younger actresses TVB seems intent on shoving down our throats these days.

Aesthetic value: Leila’s got adorable features, right from the huge eyes to the chubby cheeks, and the sweet smile. She looks very youthful, which is always a plus for any actress. She also looks great in both ancient and modern get-ups; that’s obviously another advantage for her.

Favourite series: The Last Breakthrough, Twin of Brothers, Life Made Simple, Aqua Heroes, Square Pegs

Remarkable Partnerships: For sure, with Raymond in The Last Breakthrough. Their coupling as Ken and Ching Ching made the show for me. Bosco and Leila in LMS were great to watch, to me. She also looked absolutely beautiful with Ron in TOB. Dying to watch Bar Benders and The Family Link to see how she fared with Sammul and Kenneth, respectively.

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Natalie Tong Si Wing

Why she gets my vote: Natalie Tong is the one actress, out of the many new fledgling actresses of the coming TVB generation, whom I’d like to see get bigger and better roles. Unfortunately, for a long period of time, she was either typecast into bubbly, hyper, supporting characters, or younger-sister roles. Case in point, Love Bond, Food for Life, Under the Canopy of Love. I’m not saying that that’s a bad thing, because I did really enjoy watching her, but any type of typecasting is not a good thing for an actress. However, her role as the timid and nervy Ying Ying in At Home With Love excited me because it showed that she can do more than just bubbly and young. As a fan, I really can’t wait to watch her in her first second-female-lead role in The Seventh Day. The promo, although heavily featured on Kevin and Niki, was pretty promising for Natalie, and I’m just eagerly anticipating the entire series as a whole for a wide myriad of reasons.

Aesthetic value: She’s cute, and bubbly, and I find that extremely infectious with her. Might she be trying to change her image anytime soon? I was surprised to see her in the TVB Calendar alongside two of TVB’s sexiest actresses, Bernice Liu and Gigi Lai, and also in the photoshoot where this photo is from.

Favourite series: Hearts of Fencing, Love Bond, Under the Canopy of Love, At Home With Love, Just Love

Remarkable Partnerships: Out of all the series I’ve seen her in, she’s paired up twice with Charles Szeto in UTCOL and At Home With Love, and personally, I think Charles Szeto is a horrible actor at the moment, so neither one of those partnerships does it for me. A notable mention were her cute scenes with Stephen Wong in Love Bond. Stephen’s acting was not fantastic there either (although definitely more bearable than Charles’), but the relationship worked, for me. Her little storyline with Dave Wong in Just Love were interesting to watch as well, because of the age-gap.

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Vivien Yeo Sau Wai

Why I’m rooting for her: Pure and simple, it’s because we hail from the same place. I’d love for a Malaysian to be successful in the TVB arena, because it’s what I grew up watching. We haven’t had a Malaysian actress in TVB since the stunning Angie Cheong Wai Yee; who was Ah Guai in A Kindred Spirit, so I really hope she makes it. TVB seems to be giving her quite a number of roles, most recently in the much-hyped sequel to War of In-Laws. In addition, she also wrangled a spot on the Lady in Red CD, which was promising for her. Vivien also plays the piano, and she played a Richard Clayderman piece for the talent portion in the Miss Malaysia Chinese International Pageant; that won brownie points from me.

Aesthetic value: Not to be biased, but I do think she’s pretty. She’s got a very fresh look, and is pretty likable all-round, from various forums.

Favourite Series: I’ve seen her in Sunshine Heartbeat and Into Thin Air, and I think she’s most definitely improved since her Sunshine Heartbeat days, although neither were breakthrough performances.

Other favourite actresses of mine are the amazing Sheren Tang, Joyce Tang, the beautiful, formidable Michelle Yim, Nancy Wu, Akina Hong, Fiona Yuen, the classic Mary Hon, Sherming Yiu, and the hilarious Chu Mi Mi. Out of the missing-in-action ones, I really love watcing Maggie Cheung, Margaret Chung, Marianne Chan, and Annie Man. I was really getting sick of Linda Chung after that huge onslaught of her in the press recently, and to be honest, I didn’t think she was that great an actress in Always Ready back then, but now she’s growing on me, albeit slowly.

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What do you guys think, and who are some of your favourite actresses? I’d like to know!