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.

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Top 50 Actors of 2015

4Ml184

(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.

TVB 2013 Sales Presentation

I was actually waiting for it to show this year, interestingly, lol. (Go here and here for clips. Or here for extras.) No promises IF comments would get too negative, SO YEAH…read at your own risk.

Rosy Business III (巾幗梟雄3) – Looks exciting with all those explosives and gun fights. However, I’m calling it a skip. Why? I don’t know. Just that I haven’t tune in to the other 2 so I don’t feel like tuning in to this one either. Not to mention, I know I won’t keep an open mind when watching. AND I know, this part has nothing to do with the other two parts, except for maybe trying to follow the same theme on some levels. But still…just weird to start watching now.

Cold Mountain Hidden Dragon (寒山潛龍) – I was searching around to see if this was supposed to be an adaptation, BUT I guess it’s still too early to know. But then again, TVB’s so good at manipulating the plots for other adaptations, they might as well create their own stuffs. I’ll probably follow up on more news to decide on this one. I am a fan of wuxia/ancient series so this is a 50/50, all depends on plot.

Transfer of Love Firm (傳愛事務所) – I thought it was a serious drama at first when I was reading some news. BUT I guess I shouldn’t assume. It seems a tad too goofy? Or was that just some light scenes before the actual intense moments? It’s the usual formula. But we’ll see. I do want to see how well Wayne and Moses collaborate for this one. Might check it out when it comes out.

One-Sided Love Twins (單戀雙城) – Is this a short one? Just wondering. Need to look up more info to decide.

Food For Slaves (食為奴) – I do like food theme related series, however, this one seems too random? NOT sure. Probably will check it out anyway when it comes out, just for the food.

Sniper Attack 2013 (神槍狙擊2013) – Oooh, exciting, a cop related one. Haven’t seen Alice for a while now. And she’s a cop this time. (It looks like it from the few scenes.) Probably will check it out. But just hope it doesn’t get carried away with the ‘romance’ part instead of the investigation and cases, etc.

Love Reverses Three Lifetimes of Fate (情逆三世緣) – I was somewhat interested until they lost me at Bao Qing Tian, LOL! Too bad. Yeah, I know it’s fictional and they could have fun with it however they want. But still, I don’t feel like making exceptions for even the cast I like.

Big Wheel (巨輪) – Intense. Might watch it, depends on mood. I do like Chin Pang, BUT some of his fans have ruined it for me. Honestly, it’s like when he’s still not that popular and still at ATV, they seem more subtle, but now it’s like they have something to prove OR something. NOT his fault, but it has somewhat ruined the feeling for me, like being a proud fan, etc.

A Great Way To Care II (仁心解碼2) – This is actually my most anticipated sequels until they encountered a ‘glitch’, LOL! I don’t know how to put it. Sometimes I’m fine with changes (like Forensic Heroes) and others, I’m just too temperamental, lol. Maybe because the first part was actually really, really good to me for a long time now with series and all – without feeling like there was too much hype. There were enough on the psychological parts but also the others. Not to mention how Kate, Raymond Wong, and Vivien had voiced excitement at one point or another with filming the sequel. YET their schedules clashed? I will actually watch this but probably be rooting for Alex and Yoyo because I’m a fan of the pairing. However, I hope the added cast’s introduction won’t cut too much into the cases. One thing I’m glad is Ben Wong’s screen time got increased. (OR so it seems.) But I wonder what would happen to Elliot Yue who was there as Alex’s father in the first part. (Well, call it lack of trying to search for info on my part, I just felt like there were important people who were needed – even if they wanted to cut the main leading lady out.)

The Hippocratic Crush II (On Call 36小時 II) – I didn’t even watch part 1, which I had claimed about not really into medical dramas in the past, lol. (YES, violent person, sorry.) But I was somewhat curious about it. Then I decided not to touch it altogether, because being weird that I am, I don’t want to be influenced by the popular ones. (YES, again, I usually avoid the really popular ones because my taste is always different from the general public anyway.) So the point? Probably will skip this too. NOT because of the cast or anything. Others will probably laugh at me for missing out on such a popular drama, but that’s me.

A Good Heart Goes Haywire (好心作怪) – Ooooh, creepy. Well, at least about the heart change part. Might check it out, because it might be something to see Michael and Joey collaborating, etc. And what’s with the heart changing procedure and all.

Cousin, You Are Good (老表,你好嘢) – I haven’t watch Roger for sooo long that I’m probably going to check this out. (Yes, I had to skip the ‘Queens’ one because it was getting too wacky for me. Probably will go back later to finish but it’s not any time soon.) And if the other Joey series fails for me, I will have this one to fall back with, considering how it would be interesting to watch Roger and Joey pair up.

12? I thought there would be more. Or it’s because some from last year haven’t aired yet? Possibly. OMG, no Kevin! Or Ray! (I meant Raymond Cho here.) At least NOT in the trailers. I remember seeing Raymond Cho’s name for “A Great Way to Care II” BUT not sure how that went. There are some other sequels too, if I didn’t read it wrong, but wasn’t added into the sales presentation. Interesting year and turns of events, considering the happenings with the emerging stations, lol. BUT probably will treat it as usual aka checking out the series when it’s released and go from there.

TVB 2012 Sales Presentation

Okay, I think it’s too much of a joke that I do these segments though I rarely watch TVB series anymore. BUT don’t worry, I’ll get to some of them eventually, just not within the year. But here goes another year of curious choices. (YES, it’s going to be another set of sarcastic rants so don’t mind me.) Go here first and then read my rants. OR you could read my rants first. Either way is fine. Oh yeah, go here, here, and here for more pictures.

What’s up for this year? I’m going to list it by the order that it appears in the clip, NOT preferences or anything.

The King Makers (造王者) – Seeing Wayne and Kent respectively reminds me of their past collaboration in The Greatness of a Hero. I’m so serious, especially with how Kent was dressed in that custome as well. Aside from that, might be promising. Who knows? But honestly, Lai Lok Yi doesn’t belong in an ancient series–regardless of era. I’m not picking on him. I quite like him. But it just looks wrong. Pierre Ngo–on the other hand–reminds me of the day when he was in Love Is Beautiful (though that was a different time frame). For once, I would rather see another one of those political fights than those cat fights within the palace so this might be worth it.

Tiger Cubs (飛虎) – Joe and Jessica’s police related one. This looks quite intense. Of course. But it could be the trailer’s attempt to make everything so exciting to lure us in. My only hope is that it focuses on the ‘Flying Tiger’ team(s) and NOT too much on romances like how other cop related ones have been misleading us this past year. Could they do it? Yeah right. But I might check it out since I was waiting. Is Oscar Leung getting a role worth watching again? But considering how it’s 13 episodes (or supposedly from some source), it couldn’t be that draggy, could it?

Lucky Father (當旺爸爸) – Although I really, really want to see one with Steven and Evergreen YET I know better. I learned my lesson with A Watchdog’s Tale SO I’m so skipping this one. I had enough of ‘Steven and Linda’, more a Linda problem than Steven, considering how Steven’s one of my favorites. I don’t know why people think Linda’s good with comedy but I think she’s better when she’s not trying to be funny. But whatever suits everyone. I had enough. Besides, Steven already left so why should I support TVB?

Miscellaneous Morels from Youyang (酉陽雜俎) – They are seriously going to change the title when it’s done, right? I’m not sure how good it would sound later or if good at all, but the current one is too long. I sort of want to see this for some of the cast. But hope the CGI isn’t so messy like it showed in the trailer. It’s like crazy blinding. NOT to that extreme but it’s bordering there. Not to mention how some of the costumes looks like Captain Jack Sparrow–if people know what I mean. It has been ages since the last promising ancient series. Could this one make it? Probably NOT. Yes, I’m that hopeful.

The Prominent Family(名媛望族) – Once in awhile, TVB would get down on their knees and beg Damian to come back so they could get some ratings in. YET is his participation worth it this time? Pre-modern theme. NOT quite sure but yeah. The scene that Ron steps in to stop the wedding between Kenneth and some girl seriously is a Shanghai Bund rip-off. I’m so serious! Hope they reconsider in the actual version. ‘Cause it doesn’t matter how you want to compare or not, people are going to talk about it. (Even if I’m not much of the other drama’s fan, I could still see the similarity.) And more cat fights? GREAT. (Yup, sarcasm.) I want to see more of Damian and Idy AND let’s hope Damian doesn’t die like in the other one. When was that? In that one promising production called Catch Me Now ages ago. Awhile back, but it seemed a long time ago.

Thunderous Drug Raid (雷霆掃毒) – The sales presentation featured Michael, Kevin, Roger, Joyce, and Kate in it. However, I found some info that Kevin’s no longer in it but Raymond Lam. Nice? Not that I have a problem with Raymond Lam or anything. But I felt it was pretty cool that three of my favorites got to be in one together (aka Michael, Roger, and Kevin) YET that got changed. Maybe there’s a good reason behind it (I’m so joking here). But so much for it. I was looking forward to another Kevin and Roger collaboration. But I guess it would be broken this time around? Kate’s finally getting a challenging role? Will Joyce Tang still be in or get replaced too? I wonder. It looks excited yet now I don’t know what to say anymore. I will have to wait and see. I guess I have to adopt the principle of watching several episodes and then abandon if all else fails. It’s kind of ironic that Kevin was talking about it when they zoomed the camera to him after showing all clips. ‘Cause he seriously got cut out. I’m still holding a hopeful glint. BUT we’ll see.

4 In Love – If you add in Raymond Cho and take out Charmaine to replace with Ada Choi, you’ll get Fly With Me all over again. I’m so serious! Let’s just hope this one is better. But considering how TVB has an approach with those ‘superheroes’ ones in recent years, hopeless. Too bad. Someone separate the whole ‘Moses Chan, Kenny Wong’ and whoever usually appear in the same series team. Honestly, I like them at one time or another but found it kind of boring to see the same group in different series over and over again. Moses and Charmaine could look cute together based on some scenes (and pictures) but not having high hope either.

House of Harmony and Vengeance (耀舞長安) – Seriously, I’m sick of seeing Bobby in similar customes with ancient setting. Give him some new attires, please! NOT targeting Bobby, but lazy people who don’t give cast new wardrobe thus making it look like they’re portraying the same roles. Aside from Bobby and Evergreen, I seriously see no point in watching thus not looking forward to it. Okay, so I sort of like Angela Tong too but too bad. And seriously, Linda and Myolie do not match with both Bobby and Evergreen at all. Even if in ancient settings. Some pairings manage to pull it off quite well. But it looks like a bad combo this time around. Oh well.

The Hippocratic Crush (On Call 36小時) – The only series that I see any presence of Raymond Cho? Seriously? He’s on the poster but didn’t catch him in the trailer. However, I probably won’t watch this though I like some of the cast. Why? Not into doctor series as much as cop ones. And this seemed more like romance than doctor related so I’ll call it a pass for safety.

War and Beauty 2 (金枝慾孽2 ) – Didn’t care that much for the first one, except for Maggie’s character at the beginning and a little bit of Charmaine’s character near the end. Yet I don’t care about those cat fights back then, what makes people think I care now? YUP, in short, a skip.

Detective Columbo (神探哥倫布) – I say it could be worth it because it’s Wayne and all. Then there’s the whole idea with him being a detective. However, not sure if it would turn out too lame. Nothing beats it more than some lame story. The raincoat and the weird attitude reminds me of Roger’s character in D.I.E. Yet to be fair, most of the good detectives in the world of fictions are somewhat weird and the raincoat does make the detective image. So…

Triumph In The Skies II (衝上雲霄II) – I didn’t watch part 1. I can’t think of a reason to start watching now.  Or even look forward to this one.

OMG! How could this be? I can’t even place anything on the map of looking forward to. Maybe just the ones that aren’t featured. Or the ones from last year that didn’t get air yet. How terrible is this? Well, for me. I looked forward to more series last year than this year. I swear I did. Hmm… But seriously, if I have to really choose, I would choose the following: The King Makers (because it looks serious enough), Tiger Cubs, Thunderous Drug Raid, and Detective Columbo. That’s it.

And seriously, they need to juggle between cast a bit more. What in the world happened to Raymond Wong? They tossed him aside again? Roger and Michael only have one series? I’m sure when the airing comes, it would be more since they held some of Michael’s back. I’m so talking about Michael Miu here. Then there’s Kevin. They splashed him all over the screen last year, then what happened? Possibly because they still need to air The Boxing King? Oh yeah, no Selina either.  And wait, what about Ben Wong? At this rate, I’m actually evilly wanting to see some shuffle around so the cast would appear more promising.