Top 50 Actors of 2018

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Once again, here’s the list of the most popular people based on searches on Weibo.

Translations:

1. Yang Yang / Dương Dương

2. Hu Ge / Hồ Ca

3. Zhu Yi Long / Chu Nhứt Long

4. Wang Jun Kai / Vương Tuấn Khải

5. Lu Han / Lộc Hàm

6. Jackson Yee / Dịch Dương Thiên Tỉ

7. Wu Lei / Ngô Lỗi

8. Deng Lun / Đặng Luân

9. William Chan / Trần Vỹ Đình

10. Li Yi Feng / Lý Dịch Phong

11. Jin Dong / Cận Đông

12. Lay Zhang Yi Xing / Trương Nghệ Hưng

13. Zhu Ya Wen / Chu Á Văn

14. Huang Zi Tao / Hoàng Tử Thao

15. Wang Kai / Vương Khải

16. Wallace Chung / Chung Hán Lương

17. Luo Jin / La Tấn

18. Cai Xu Kun / Thái Từ Khôn

19. Zhang Jia Yi / Trương Gia Trạch

20. Ray Ma Tian Yu / Mã Thiên Vũ

21. Liu Hao Ran / Lưu Hạo Nhiên

22. Zhang Yi Shan / Trương Nhứt Sơn

23. Roy Wang / Vương Nguyên

24. Elvis Han / Hàn Đông Quân

25. Huang Xiao Ming / Huỳnh Hiểu Minh

26. Zhang Han / Trương Hàn

27. Allen Ren / Nhậm Gia Luân

28. Yu He Wei / Vu Hoà Vỹ

29. Shawn Dou / Đậu Kiêu

30. Kenny Lin Geng Xin / Lâm Canh Tân

31. Michael Chen He / Trần Hách

32. Louis Koo / Cổ Thiên Lạc

33. Lei Jia Yin / Lôi Giai Âm

34. Johnny Bai / Bạch Vũ

35. Bai Jing Ting / Bạch Kính Đình

36. Deng Chao / Đặng Siêu

37. Wallace Huo / Hoắc Kiến Hoa

38. Alan Yu / Vu Mông Lung

39. Dylan Wang / Vuong Hạc Đệ

40. Mark Chao / Triệu Hựu Đình

41. Huang Xuan / Huỳnh Hiên

42. Wu Xiu Bo / Ngô Tú Ba

43. Bosco Wong / Huỳnh Tông Trạch

44. Zhang Dan Feng / Trương Đan Phong

45. Nicholas Tse / Tạ Đình Phong

46. Ma Ke / Mã Khả

47. Chen Kun / Trần Khôn

48. Guo De Gang / Quách Đức Cương

49. Song Wei Long / Tống Uy Long

50. Zhou Yi Wei / Châu Nhứt Vi

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Under the Veil

I wanted to watch something of Wayne’s so that was the reason for tuning in to this one. Then I realized Wayne and Sonija were collaborating again so the better for me since I had liked them together after watching Pages of Treasure (and felt they were kind of robbed as a couple in there). I also didn’t have any problem with the rest of the cast so I dove in. As I was patiently waiting for the plot to unfold, I thought it was just another palace related show. However, I was wrong. Yes, the main story arch was regarding the palace and the uprising of some arrogant dude who thought he would be a better ruler. It always happened that way. What made it different was how it brought back feelings of old series. Mostly feelings of ancient series of the old days. It wasn’t being controversial on purpose or try to dramatize everything. The story just flowed along. I found it funny at first that they had several characters in here in various roles and even their characters looked alike. I soon got past that and realized it would be an interesting one. At least it was different. Then I got pulled in by the story. Sure, some were repetitive and reminded me of Liao Zhai related stories. Yet it was refreshing in a sense of the chemistry between various characters. I felt it strange at first that they let Kristal portrayed a guy. It was almost as if they were running out of cast or something. But then the character grew on me and so did Kristal’s portrayal. (If they did some Mulan adaptation, she would make a perfect Mulan. Not kidding.)

Anyway, aside from the main story arch, I felt the rest of the couples had a fair share of stories. Although Yat Pan Heung was shown as a greedy, flirty, and despicable character at first but the background story for her made sense. She was a prostitute, what was she expected to do? Then she was living in such a place, how could she not come up with different schemes to triumph over others? Who was she supposed to trust? It made sense. The previous happening with the switch and all was only to teach Chu Yi Dan a lesson. It didn’t allow for Yat Pan Heung to justify herself more than that. Because he wasn’t her fate so he only seen her as the fun person, not like his boring wife–as he mistakenly thought. Chu Yi Dan finally learned that his wife was very talented in her own way and very strong. There were many things she’d done for him but he didn’t realize its importance until she was no longer doing them. It made him realized his unreasonableness and knowing that the wife he wanted had been by his side all along. When Yat Pan Heung finally met Hon Tin Loi, the story unfolded and she found her own happiness and what could be considered a normal life. I actually liked those characters more, lol. Call me bias but scholar versus awesome martial arts dude. But both Wayne and Sonija did quite well in bringing out their different roles.

Then there was the story of the Song prince and Princess Lap Ka. Their story was cute at first and then moved toward the tragic route. However, their story was spread out throughout and not bunch together. It created a sense of mystery to it, making you wonder if there would be some sort of miracle in the end, which there was. But it didn’t make it too corny. The story actually made sense in the fairy-tale or folktale kind of way.

The story regarding the fish spirit and Cheung Chan was a mixture of cuteness and tragedy. Although it turned out favorable in the end. But that story brought forth both humor and mystery. The ideal, sweet girl wasn’t who she posed as out in public and a supposedly fish demon wasn’t so evil like often portrayed in others’ eyes. Eliza actually did quite well portraying both roles. She brought out the innocent, cute side of the fish spirit nicely. Then there was the cunning, scheming side of the royal miss, Hung Mao Dan. Her chemistry with Bosco was cute and likable in their own way.

Aside from all the couples in here, I felt some of the notable mentions went to Lee Kwok Lun, portraying two roles (like some others in here) of the turtle spirit and Justice Bao. He was humorous as a the turtle spirit and somewhat grim as Justice Bao. Yet he was convincing in both roles. Koo Koon Chung was given a loyal, righteous role in here, which was hilarious. Well, okay, not like he’d never portrayed a good person type of role before, but I was more used to his cunning side or somewhat playful roles in the past. So having him in this role was a nice change. He was a great addition under the reins of Dyun Fung Sam. At the part where it was thought he had abandon Dyun as well, considering how he had a family and all, it was tragic but understandable. Yet he returned after having settled all his families at a safer place. It proved that he really meant what he said, i.e. caring for his family, and that he wasn’t afraid of death–like initially thought.

After all that was said and done, I think the most tragic couple must be Yuen Sam Yeung and Dyun So Sei. The ending for them was so sad. There was supposedly another chance for them at long last after all those years of waiting. However, in the end, they couldn’t be together. Both Raymond and Kristal acted out their scenes so well. Their chemistry wasn’t bad either.

There were many things about this series that made me wanted to defend TVB again, although I know they’re a lost cause for the most part. Most dramas nowadays are always leaning toward “love, love, love” and not so much for theme of patriotism so I thought this series sort of brought that back into focus. Yes, there were various love stories in here–and it would probably contradict my previous statement somewhat, but I think that they made the right calls for the main story arch, i.e. the side stories weren’t that dragged out for the sake of it. It was more plot driven than character driven so it made the pace likable and enjoyable in many ways.

The ending? Although not completely satisfying and I’m sure there were flaws somewhere, but I felt it was nicely executed for the most part. A typical ending with a battle between good versus evil. Yet it united some of the key characters for the epic ending. It was nice seeing Raymond in another role, but this time as Prince Wanyan Siu. He joined forces with them to help find the special liquid and also defeated the ultimate bad guy in here. It was a nice battle scene. Not overdone.They actually worked together to defeat the bad guy AND NOT make it like someone hogged the entire scene for some outright exaggerated battle. It brought forward a sense of joint effort like how it was from the beginning, having different characters participate in the events, not one or two person(s) all the time. One of the main reasons why I liked this series. And yes, it was indeed a major surprise that I’m praising it.

Top 50 Actors of 2015

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(image credit: as marked)

Just saw this so I decided to share. These are the ones people searched for the most on Weibo, etc.

Translations:

1. Li Yi Feng / Lý Dịch Phong

2. Yang Yang / Dương Dương

3. Wallace Chung / Chung Hán Lương

4. Wallace Huo / Hoắc Kiến Hoa

5. Li Chen / Lý Thần

6. Hu Ge / Hồ Ca

7. Michael Chen He / Trần Hách

8. Hawick Lau / Lưu Khải Uy

9. William Chan / Trần Vỹ Đình

10. Chen Xiao / Trần Hiểu

11. Zhang Han / Trương Hàn

12. Ryan Zheng / Trịnh Khải

13. Deng Chao / Đặng Siêu

14. Huang Xiao Ming / Huỳnh Hiểu Minh

15. Lu Yi / Lục Nghị

16. Wu Lei / Ngô Lỗi

17. Lee Jong Suk

18. Kim Soo Hyun

19. Ray Ma Tian Yu / Mã Thiên Vũ

20. Du Chun / Đổ Thuần

21. Luo Jin / La Tấn

22. Lee Min Ho

23. Ma Ke / Mã Khả

24. Jia Nai Liang / Giả Nại Lương

25. Bosco Wong / Huỳnh Tông Trạch

26. Huang Bo / Huỳnh Bột

27. Qiao Zhen Yu / Kiều Chấn Vũ

28. Jing Bo Ran / Tỉnh Bách Nhiên

29. Ji Chang Wook

30. Wu Jing / Ngô Kinh

31. Nicky Wu / Ngô Kỳ Long

32. Tong Da Wei / Đồng Đại Vỹ

33. Chen Xiang / Trần Tường

34. Qiao Ren Liang / Kiều Nhậm Lương

35. Aarif Rahman / Lý Trị Đình

36. Zhu Ya Wen / Chu Á Văn

37. Ren Zhong / Nhậm Trọng

38. Liu Ye / Lưu Diệp

39. Yuan Hong / Viên Hoằng

40. Jin Dong / Cận Đông

41. Wang Bao Qiang / Vương Bảo Cường

42. Wu Xiu Bo / Ngô Tú Ba

43. Zhang Ruo Yun / Trương Nhược Quân

44. Wang Kai / Vương Khải

45. Zhang Dan Feng / Trương Đan Phong

46. Eddie Peng / Bành Vu Yến

47. Sun Hong Lei / Tôn Hồng Lôi

48. Wei Qian Xiang / Ngụy Thiên Tường

49. Ken Chang / Trương Trí Nghiêu

50. Mickey He / Hà Thịnh Minh

Women on the Breadfruit Tree: TV Adaptation

This is from the novel of the same name by the popular Hong Kong author Amy Cheung (張小嫻). This had already finished filming and still hasn’t aired.

The Fate of Roger and Ray

I just want to post this for fun since Roger Kwok and Raymond Cho are two of my favorites. I just noticed some certain details about their collaboration and a little of real life and want to share with everyone–for fun.

TV series they were in together:

  • Square Pegs (戇夫成龍): Roger was Ah Wong aka Ting Seung Wong (丁常旺) while Raymond was Bao Gai Chung (包繼宗). It was later found out that Ah Wong was actually Gai Chung and the current Gai Chung was brought home by the uncle in a scheme to gain family assets. Gai Chung was seen at first very jealous of Ah Wong and even looked down on Ah Wong because of Ah Wong’s supposedly retarded state (but it was only because Ah Wong had lost his memory). However, Gai Chung redeemed himself near the end of the series by trying to help the now normal Ah Wong who had regained his memory. Gai Chung was not bad in general but was just jealous of Ah Wong because he could not end up with the girl he loved at first and what was even worse, the girl he loved at first had married Ah Wong. Gai Chung later realized Ah Wong’s good nature and also became more understanding. He and Ah Wong became good brothers so Mr. Bao ended up with two sons.
  • Life Made Simple (阿旺新傳): Roger reprised his role as Ah Wong while Raymond had to take the role of Lok Kui Shing (洛渠成) since the meaty rich guy role had gone to Bosco Wong. However, they had retained some of the little details in association with Raymond and his interactions with Jessica’s character, Fung (鳳). Like how Shing accidentally spill water on Fung’s pants that one time and had to buy her a pair of new pants (while in Square Pegs it was her dress/whole outfit). Shing liked Fung in the later parts of the series but also lost to Ah Wong. Contrary to the previous series, Shing was a normal guy next door and lovable in his own way. He was not jealous of Ah Wong or anyone around him but had a very kind heart. He liked Fung but did not go out of his way to sabotage Ah Wong or anything. He later became Fung’s best friend and even supported her final decision in returning to Ah Wong’s side. One of the funniest scenes was during Ah Wong and Fung’s wedding, Shing was drunk and when Ah Wong and Fung were going around to different tables so others could offer them wine and words of congratulations, Shing was actually offering wine and saying his words of congrats to Ah Wong’s mother and Uncle Shui instead. A sad moment for Shing BUT kind of hilarious for the rest of us who were watching.
  • The Threshold of a Persona (ID 精英): Roger was Fong Chun Kit (方浚杰) while Raymond was Cheng Pak Yu (鄭柏宇). Both were best friends since whenever. However, their priorities were different from how Pak Yu was willing to cut corners while Chun Kit believed in honest, hard work. Pak Yu’s greed and his way of doing things regardless of method caused him to drift down the wrong path and eventually met his fate. It was very intense between these two, considering how Pak Yu had caused Chun Kit’s wife’s death near the end also.

Conclusion: Raymond can’t win! It was Roger after all. But that was interesting to see them in the past three series together. Possibly the next collaboration will be different? Or not? Whenever that might be.

Real Life:

  • Their English names both start with an ‘R’. Roger and Raymond. Great combination, huh?
  • Their sons’ English names both start with a ‘B’. Roger’s son is Brad and Ray’s son is Brandon. Coincidence?

Anyway, those are all I know for now. Does anyone want to share more?