Awards Season

The worst season. I think winter is less cruel than this season. Honestly, the whole battle is dragging on and on. Old grudges are brought up. New expectations are drawn out. YET there ought to be bias all right. Sadly, I also get pulled into it. This year, I have patted myself on the back too early, considering how I thought I wouldn’t get drawn in. At least not one of them.

The good news? Hey, the GBA is over! No more anticipation. No more fighting among fans, right? WRONG! It gets even more complicated because everyone’s digging past results and comparing which one is the worst. Show Luo got robbed, by a kid? Sounds familiar? OKAY. Anyone stopped to realize James Wen got robbed the most? (Or should I say again?) Though I only watched the ending of Na Yi Nian De Xing Fu Shi Guang, I could tell he was great. As for the winner, I have no aches since it has been done and over with; and I honestly think that he deserves it too. I did not watch but heard from others that he was great in there. Whatever it was that the panel made in error or other pressures, it was their fault, not the kid’s fault since he delivered for his role. It was up to them. As for the female lead side? I should be glad that Rainie got it AND not Amber. Though I like Amber’s performance in Na Yi Nian De Xing Fu Shi Guang, I don’t think fans would’ve agreed. Being the newcomer (at least in dramas?), she would face too much pressure and probably major criticism from the public. IF she had won, Rainie fans would never let her off easily. It would end up being like the whole Show debate for now–possibly worse. (The same fate would go for the other nominees as well, NOT just Amber if things were different.) I like Rainie, believe me, I do, but I’m just pointing out that it has become an award for favoritism more than actual acknowledgment for their performances in those running dramas. (At least it seems that way to fans.) The panel made the wrong call? I feel so sorry for the person who would eventually get attacked by the public.

What most people get confused by these awards shows are that they DO NOT stick with the present. I know there are a lot of impressive actors/actresses out there. YET the awards are grading on the current project, NOT on the person’s history. That’s why some people win–though their past performances had been nothing impressive. It’s the per performance concept, NOT pulling up past records. What is this? Dividing the pig? That’s why I get irked the most when someone rants about someone’s past achievements OR it’s okay for a veteran to win IF the choices are too nerve-racking among the younger generation actors/actresses. Let me get it clear that I love veteran actors/actresses AND I DO respect them for contributing to the ET industry all these years. BUT it doesn’t mean because they are veterans that they get the nod without a say. It is about their performances in the dramas mentioned (for that year) that they’re being graded on. (I do know there’s a possibility the results might be rigged though there are things people must acknowledge before pointing fingers. Do you disagree with the results because you feel that person didn’t perform the best according to acting standards OR because your favorite didn’t win?) SO it comes to my next point regarding the panel of judges. They let public pressures influence them so much that they usually end up taking the easy way out instead of awarding to the most deserving individual (or their initial choice).  What I totally feel turned off specifically about the GBA is I read from a source (sorry can’t recall) that they usually pick an episode out of the drama and grade someone’s performance just on that episode. I agree that in order to be called good, one must be able to perform consistently throughout so it makes sense to see if one can act or not just based on that performance. BUT if they have ONE YEAR to watch it, at least do it correctly. Though they won’t know for sure what the nominations are yet, but should make time to watch for the fairness of it all. (I do know everyone has his/her own schedules AND not all can make time to watch BUT they are on the panel, after all, SO if they can’t do it, then they DON’T have to. Depending on the drama’s length, it might take them forever, but they should consider watching as much as possible.) It is even less reasonable if they have to based on just one episode to know if the drama is good or not. (Okay, IF they are pros and they take those classes to determine with the pattern, then okay, I have no say for that BUT is everyone on the panel experts? IF they are really pros, then why let the public influence them so much AND not just focus on the art itself?) If I had gotten the information wrong regarding the ‘one episode’ thing, please correct me for my ignorance because I would love to learn more and shed light on the matter (just for the kick of it).

What’s up next? The TVB Awards Show. Words have it that Fung is out of the race. I heard some people mentioning about the Charray year earlier somehow or it seemed like TVB was paving way for them this year. However, that plan bombed major time because Growing Through Life didn’t make it. (Yes, MOL received high ratings BUT honestly, the hype had somewhat died down with his possible TV King title.) The race now is between Wayne, Moses, Steven, and Felix. Though Felix might as well sit back and let the others fight. He has other things to worry about–and probably better things to do. The fact that TVB’s awards have become a political game is just plain funny and sad at the same time. Either they cave into the public OR they’re actually fighting internally among themselves to get their favorites in. Either way, the real problem is being stuck in between it all. Honestly, I guess wanting to be popular is a sin by now. (I’m sure the rest of us in society DO NOT want to advance forward and gain some recognition–regardless of the fields we work in. So let’s just all give them a hard time since they don’t do anything but sit around YET get paid–unlike the rest of us hardworking individuals, right? PUH-LEASE!!!) So as I was saying, take out Felix and we have three left. Though I think Moses could do much more than run the race with a comedy, he has it tough this time (aka public radar). The only way anyone’s going to get any peace out of this whole thing–IF possible–is let Wayne or Steven win. (Honestly, I just love them both BUT they’ve also been used by fans to push forth the pressure as well. Like anyone’s better than TVB by shoving stuff in our faces. Fans are doing the same thing as TVB, not even realizing it. Seriously, do you honestly support someone to the ounce that you would cry out in joy if they won? OR you just want to be right?)

Moving on to the female side. It’s the battle between the Zhou Zhi Ruos this year. Once again, please let Sheren win BECAUSE the rest of us will have to suffer years and years after, hearing how someone got robbed again–AND who knows when the next time TVB will cave in? While last year’s hype is still fresh in mind, it would make sense to just shove it out to the public again. (Seriously, the year Charmaine didn’t even get nominated in anything–was that last year? Well, not totally sure, but she wasn’t as acknowledged or put out in front. I remember some of us celebrating in her thread that year since we were so glad she was out of the public’s attacks.)

I think I should quit right here and now since it would go on forever if I move on to music awards, etc.

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A Watchdog’s Tale

Against my better judgment, I watched it. Actually, it was more like I missed watching Maggie Siu so much that I decided to watch it anyway, considering how it was a comedy after all so it shouldn’t be too bad, right? WRONG…it was a real torture, especially when I wasn’t a fan of the pairing. There were things to consider and enjoy YET I did not enjoy the storyline or some characters as much so it was hard to hang on. Lucky some characters kept me watching until the end OR at least tried to hold on.

Likes:

  • Steven Ma as Chow Yung Kung. His portrayal of the character AND not the character itself. I couldn’t believe Steven was able to do it but I didn’t know why I doubted him anyway. YET I did not like the character at all despite all the righteous things that he did at times. He wasn’t all bad BUT I felt like he was too rude at times to forgive. Too over. Probably more realistic since he couldn’t change overnight BUT honestly, it was really hard to endure. But like I said before, Steven managed to let us see that character well.
  • Steven and Ching Hor Wai as mother and son. I really liked their relationship. Despite all the times Yung Kung upset her or made her mad, she was still able to forgive him. She raised him all those years and really cared for him, teaching him all the ropes, etc. He was rude and arrogant at times BUT I liked it that he respected her and treated her well. Also, must clap him on for staying with her at the end too. I felt it wasn’t just because of love that he wanted to stay BUT it was because of her. Their bond was important to him and he valued it very much.
  • Raymond Wong as Ho Tin Yau. I really liked his character at first with his hardworking attitude and how honest he was, etc.
  • Raymond and Shermon? Come on now! Honestly, I was rooting for them. For once, I want to see a pairing worth rooting for, just because Natalie portrayed a bigger role didn’t mean he had to end up with her. Raymond and Shermon did look cute together.
  • Lee Kwok Lun as Cheung Tin Hung. Though he did kidnap his sister, I could forgive him since he was just trying to get some money and establish himself. He just wanted to do something to prove to his family that he wasn’t worthless.
  • Maggie Siu as Cheung Tin Ngo. I really liked her hardworking attitude though she was too much of a workaholic. BUT it was hard to blame her since she was the only one that her father could depend on. I thought her overly obsessed with cleanliness was funny. I didn’t really agree with her being with Kent though. I meant they were funny together and all, but I just didn’t like Kent’s arrogant streak at times. (Okay, he was smart BUT he didn’t need to act so high and mighty.)
  • Bowie Wu, Lee Kwok Lun, and Maggie being in the same family. I loved this idea and collaboration really. It was really fun to see them like that. What was funnier was when Maggie was trying to search for the truth behind her kidnapping AND she was getting clues about the familiar ringtone. Then she realized that everyone in her family had that ringtone! Even the butler! What was even more interesting was Bowie and Maggie were father and daughter in The Blood of Good and Evil as well. (Wonder if they were father and daughter in other series too.)
  • Koni Lui as Ma Cheuk Ling. I really liked her in here and found her NOT fake like some people. Yes, she was an undercover cop BUT she was so down to earth. She had to play that role since she needed to blend in YET it showed much more when she wasn’t being a cop anymore. She was professional when she met up with her supervisor and Raymond that one time. But other times, she was really lovable.
  • Lee Kwok Lun and Koni Lui as a couple. I thought it was really cute and lovable for some odd reason since I usually don’t favor odd pairings. BUT they had great chemistry and their story was really innocent and funny. Couldn’t believe that they had something in common as collecting Hello Mimi! That was worth a few laughs all right.
  • Fred Cheng as Kwok Wing. They were wasting his time, right? He was still not getting anywhere.
  • Kwok Fung as Chow Wai Wai. He was too funny. I enjoyed watching him at times. He was such a bully and was doing illegal stuff BUT he was still hilarious to watch. He redeemed himself later and was so overly friendly that it was funny. AND not to mention how the bar was converted into some coffee shop or bookstore.
  • Queenie Chu as Steven’s ex-girlfriend. Man, she scared the world out of me and I thought Queenie did really good making that happen. Didn’t expect her to be able to pull it off with being so creepy and psycho. I’m not comparing her with others, but just basing it on her own performances thus far.

I won’t even bother with the ‘Dislikes’ since it would be too much and I would never stop SO I’ll just leave it at that, for the most part, to spare even more negativity into the whole thing.

Safe Guards

That was a very great and satisfying ending. There were so many conflicts and hardships during the last few episodes but glad they found a clever way to resolve it instead of making it rushed like the previous series. Really loved Ram Tseung in here as Ching Mun. He was so clever and carefree. Too bad his wife died but NOT for nothing. He managed to try harder and made others proud. His dedications toward the business were greater also. Plus they finally got their reward by getting the contract signed.

Really like Steven and Wayne in here as Tzi and Joong. Like I said in the previous reviews, really like Wayne’s acting and he was a great team with Steven throughout–no wonder they were signed up for two more collaboration after this series. It was a great decision.

Steven and Elaine – I don’t know why people were against it so much. They complemented each other so well with him being the strong/ruthless and fearless leader with a sense of righteousness while she was the kind and understanding wife. Yes, she might appear to be such a weakling and seemed useless for the series, but she did know a lot of things since she used to work with her father before. She had the experience. Plus, I think this was a guy series so her character as Fung shouldn’t and wasn’t supposed to overshadow Steven, Wayne or Ram’s characters. Plus considering during those ancient times (that was a LONG time ago), women weren’t supposed to participate in stuff as much, especially business matter so it was only correct that she shouldn’t be the strong type who stood around and talked away 24/7. So in conclusion, really like this pairing (of course it doesn’t top Steven and Bernice) but still a good pairing–even IF Steven had to pull most of the weight of the acting but it was all right. He’s capable. Elaine wasn’t terrible but she needed more work in playing a calm character. I think she improved A LOT during The Gentle Crackdown II because I thought she played out the kind and nice weakling better. (And she was a cute couple with Johnson Lee in there as well.)

Lai Lok Yi – I swear I didn’t know why he was in here. It was like give or take. But maybe because his character, Yee, caused Steven’s character, Tzi, to realize the importance of expanding their business to the seas instead of land like they’ve been doing. For the first time, I can only say average from him–maybe because he appeared too late in the series and didn’t get to contribute as much.

I must say that was a shocker when they revealed Ching Pung’s real identity. It was really hard to believe yet so convincing at the same time. Because it didn’t justify for anything that their grandpa should believe in such omens as bad luck all these years. And even if their father believed it, Ching Tong was kind to his brothers and would have given Ching Pung great responsibility. The ending point explained a lot. It served Ching Pung right for being so greedy. I think that it was such a grateful thing that the grandpa did to still raise and gave Ching Pung such a position (aka giving him access to the assets/ money) all these years. If a man found out he had been tricked, he would have kicked the kid out already but he didn’t. He still continued to raise Ching Pung and only made the “unlucky” thing up as an excuse to as a cover so Ching Pung could get a share of the family fortune in the future. Ching Pung himself was the one responsible for his downfall since he drove everyone to the wall, causing the mother to take such actions.

Ben Wong as the villain in here was interesting since he took quite the big role. (Haven’t seen him in such big roles recently even if it was as a villain.) Interesting portrayal and he was great portraying the calm and supportive brother at the beginning and later breaking away because he couldn’t take the failure. Hau took the turn for the worse and thus leading him to cause more damage and to his downfall in the end. I like it that his ending wasn’t too lame, considering he learned to repent after he known of his son’s existence and began to see how good Tzi treated his son in the end. The scene was just right before his death also, not too dramatic or subtle.

Loved Law Lok Lam‘s last scene–although brief appearance,  but it was the most important part of the whole series, causing a turn back and a HUGE surprise for everyone. The role he played was of importance since he was the only one to prove the credibility of the evidence gathered.

Considering how many years have passed with each of the events and conflicts going on, it made everything more believable since TVB just jumbled conflicts in stories within months. The series overall was really good for recent ancient series. Although it wasn’t the best, because of its flaws, it shone out in the sense of realism.

Posted (on Xanga): November 23, 2008

Re-posted: Saturday, April 17th, 2010

Steps

Just finished the series itself and must say that although it was a very nice series in general, I was quite disappointed with a certain part. Again, I should have known and shouldn’t have expected so much, but can’t believe they let Victoria end up with Dat in the end. Yes, he was a nice guy and all, but can’t they just stay as best friends? She rejected him once and now since Dickson wasn’t around anymore, she was back to Dat? I know it wasn’t like that and Dat had helped her and been there with her through thick and thin, but it was somewhat unfair for him because it was like settling for him since she didn’t have any more choices. The fact that Anita succeeded in playing the pity card made me even more mad. It wasn’t like Dickson had forced her into those actions when they were younger. They fell in love ages ago and she also made a choice to be with him and also made a choice to quit her dancing. It wasn’t like he brainwashed her or manipulated the situation to make her life worse. Whether those choices were good or not, she still made them. But it was made to sound like he owed her. He owed her nothing. Yes, separating a family and destroying the little girl’s family was a sad thing, but it sucked major time that they have to make things turn out that way. Why couldn’t Anita have been more independent and also make the little girl understand that her mom and dad were now separated but still loved her? It was dumb to separate two people who loved each other to go with responsibility because of guilt. Dumb plot. But very touching scenes between Dickson and Victoria with their parting scenes and their last dance. It ruined the story by making her end up with Dat–as I said already. It was like TVB needed to gift-wrap so they make it all nice at the end. On a lighter note, Kate did improve surprisingly. She did bring out her character really well regarding her smart and professional side, plus her vulnerable side as well. Really starting to like Matthew Ko also since really see his acting potential. He was able to portray his cute personality as well as the last few scenes of a responsible father. I was a tad disappointed of Stephen Wong Ka Lok as Dat since he seemed to be doing all right in Love Bond and all, but now he seemed to lack something in here? Couldn’t really see his difference or wasn’t impressed in the most touching scene of him either. I got confused with what he was trying to do. It was like he didn’t improve or something.

Another thing that made me not satisfied with this series was not exposing Judy. She was the manipulative hand behind many scenes in helping that one dude to embezzle the company’s money but she was never exposed although she did get what she deserved in the end. Since TVB love gift-wrapping so much, why didn’t they make that happen? Lame! Caring too much of one thing but not another.

Luckily, Tsun and Keung reunited as best friends again at the end, plus Tsun and Sum Ying were awesome together. They were a really great bickering couple as well as supporting each other in the end. The dance during the competition was very touching.

I also liked Sum Ying and Victoria’s friendship. It was very nice to see something that actually looked like true friendship in here. They can talk about everything and could support each other through different things. A very great scene between them was Victoria confronting Sum Ying to tell Tsun about her eye conditions, but Victoria ended up keeping the secret for Sum Ying instead.

Fala Chen as Ka Man was just amazing. Yes, her acting was really up to it since she was only in a few series but wasn’t raw like some new ones. She managed to show her menacing side but also her somewhat vulnerable side. Her past was a great obstacle to get past but glad that in the end, she knew when to stop and didn’t listen to Amanda to play dirty tricks on Sum Ying because she could see that Sum Ying wasn’t feeling well. In a way, her going to jail wasn’t a bad thing since she learned to take on responsibility and face the consequences bravely. Plus starting over.

Stephen Huynh – Unlike Stephen Wong, I could see his acting a lot better since he managed to play out each role really well. Been in quite a few series but wasn’t disappointing at all. He knew what he was doing and could bring out his character.

Wayne Lai and Claire Yiu’s chemistry wasn’t all that, but still not bad at all. Like their little story. A bit funny at first and later more serious.

A very nice series overall, except a few things were still unknown and others were too gift-wrapped that made me feel kind of mad.

Posted (on Xanga): Friday, October 3rd, 2008

Re-posted: Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

The Brink of Law

I must give this series a solid 5 on my scale. It was soooo good. The fact that the beginning to the end was so fast pace and the fact that it actually wrapped up quite well was good too. One of the rare TVB series that was so well written in recent years. Every one of the cast seemed to do really well also, which was amazing. Yes, there were some cliche parts here and there, but there were some of the most unexpected parts happening too. I was hesitant to watch it at first because I was so afraid that some cast might ruin it or wasn’t up to the part, dragging the series down, but several people surprised me totally.

What I like about this series:

  • Steven Ma and Bernice Liu – This was before Steps but we could see that they definitely have chemistry as lovers as well as a team. Their characters always meet wit-per-wit so it was really interesting to watch in general. Steven was very clever as Chi Ko (Ken) the lawyer. Bernice Liu’s character, Wing, was a surprise since she was supposed to be a psychologist but it turned out she was a cop. That was a great twist also. Her moves were great with the kick and all. She did look like a cop.
  • Ron Ng and Kate Tsui – Surprisingly, both improved from their previous performances. What was even more surprising was Ron was actually impressive in his role. Although he still needs work, I think I wasn’t prepared to see him perform so well, so natural and not exaggerating or too woody like past series. (The reason why I want to avoid watching him as much as possible in the past.) But this was totally different. Kate is really working hard nowadays and deserves some kind of recognition for her improvement. Their chemistry wasn’t bad at all either. At first, I wasn’t all for the idea but was surprised. Such a tragic that Ron had to die at the end. It was a shocker since there was only about 30 minutes more until the series ended. The scene where Kate cried so hard after they discovered the body was very touching and Kate really brought the scene out. It was such a heartbreaking scene. I think she did even better in this scene versus when Kenneth’s character died.
  • Law Lok Lam and Ron Ng as father and son – Although they were not really father and son, Leo still respected and treated Chin Pang like his father. Too bad they had to meet the same fate in the end.
  • Michelle Yim was really good as the villain with some psycho obstacles of her own whenever she felt threatened. It was a great choice to cast her as Kam Chi because she outshone Elliot Yue and convinced the audience that she was the only villain and that she was the leader, instead of Elliot’s character, Chin Lung.
  • Shirley Yeung – Yes, she was an annoying villain–very manipulative and probably even more hateful than Michelle Yim’s character, but I must admit her character played a very important role in causing many ruptures between different characters, especially Kam Chi and Chin Lung. It was a surprise also that Shirley could play such a role also, aside from her annoying spoiled roles or cute, funny ones. (Possibly due to pointers from Michelle Yim?)
  • Steven and Kenneth as best friends – Great to see them together as buddies at the beginning, joking and laughing together. Not to mention being there for each other at harsh times.
  • Mary Hon – She finally got a role worth praising again although her character sacrificed a lot. Luckily, everything turned out all right in the end.
  • Yoyo Chen as Steven’s step-sister – The fact that she was annoying for the first few episodes was just a start, but the turning point was really great and not fake since it took such a gunfight/massacre for her to realize the importance of family. It was also interesting to see the shift in expression–both eyes and face–how she was so mean and nasty at the beginning and nice and calm toward the end. Her acting was worth a mention since it was quite convincing.

The only complaint I have for this series was probably seeing Fred Cheng as a small character in here. It was like wasting his acting for a role they can’t find to fill. But I guess he was busy filming other series? It better be. It would be a shame if he shifted down in the ladder again. Since he really has potential.

Great series overall.

Posted (on Xanga): October 11, 2008

Re-posted: Tuesday, April 13th, 2010