Tag Archives: Niki Chow

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.

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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?