Miss Hong Kong 1996

Okay, I didn’t watch ’97 BUT I seriously have a feeling that ’96 was the last year worth watching regarding beauty and entertainment. I know that ’98 got so many stars and all too, but it seemed that was the only thing that saved the ceremony.

Interesting and funny opening since Eric and Natalis were posing as James Bond wannabes! LOL! Actually, Eric was 097 and Natalis was some similar agent. The contestants were supposed to introduce themselves by the star/artist that others said they looked like. Lee San San was so funny, saying that she was like Eric ’cause of her performance: SUPER.

Though they used Eric and Natalis a lot as the entertainers, those two were too funny. They seemed to be so natural with their stabs at one another. It was still witty back then versus now, getting WAY overboard.

I loved this approach though I know it was another attempt for TVB to recruit talents. They were being separated into groups to either act, sing, dance, host, etc. Then they were being scored and 4 would be eliminated, lol. Man, during the singing thing, I finally feel tortured and feel everyone was really brave since only #2 and #19 could sing without making me shiver, LOL. Wow! The hosting thing was really good! Regardless, I must say they were really fast. They were so creative!

Ooohhh…break time aka more showing off with their beautiful outfits, lol. (While they await the results of course.) Following the evening gown was the swimsuits, lol. Then, of course, the elimination.

Questioning time! How fun, eh? Most of them were very creative, even if they did not know the real answer. Not disappointing at all. It was kind of sad that someone didn’t know about Bruce Lee. Even if she was from overseas, she should’ve heard about it or know some basic stuff. (After all, Bruce Lee was born in the U.S.) Natalis’ secret! LOL! He said he didn’t know it but she know? So funny.

Man…the hosts are killing me! They’re so random and yet it was just to stall for time so the scoring could be locked in. They were bringing up all the past Miss Hong Kongs with the stories. Man, they were crossing out practically everyone! LOL! In fact, they crossed out everyone. So funny! Dripping of sarcasm, aren’t they? Then they were moving into ‘praising themselves’? LOL!

Adam Cheng singing! Yay! Man, miss the guy’s songs.

So after the long rant, we get to see the results (with the contestants wearing colorful long traditional dresses). Oh, almost forgot that they needed to announce the talented Miss Hong Kong, which of course was collected by Lee San San. Talented all right. (Too bad she didn’t get too many chances to show off her skills later on. Perhaps it was the price of winning the prize.) Then it was followed by Miss Photogenic, which was also won by Lee San San.

Results (as announced): #16, #7, #2, #16, #13, #5, #1, #6, #15, #9, #19, #17 (Wait, I heard wrong? How come there are two 16? Hmmm…oh well…)

Moving on to the second part, lol.

Nice opening. Grand… They managed to get the band from the Hong Kong Royal Police to help with the opening. It was grand all right. Faye Wong was next up.

The contestants were brought out and they had to say what roles they would like to take on in the future. (CUE: ANOTHER TVB ATTEMPT TO RECRUIT TALENTS) It was still great to see and hear what the contestants had to say. Some of them were really fake, BUT the ones who said they wanted to portray obnoxious, mean, evil roles were the more honest ones, lol.

Okay, the next part was where they introduced all the four seasons and we were told that the contestants would dressed accordingly. Of course, there would be singers to lead them along. More rants from Eric and Natalis but I don’t mind. They’re probably stalling for time so the contestants could change into their spring outfits. Hacken Lee and his classic hits! Awww…who could forget “Never Change In A Lifetime”, right? (My ultimate favorite of Hacken.) What’s the next season? Summer of course! LOL! Who’s up? Harlem Yu! (I never realized it was him, okay? I wasn’t paying attention to Taiwanese entertainment back then.)

Questioning–finally, lol. They were divided into groups of three for the questionings. Creativity, fast-thinking, and witty replies. Well, at least they got to show their talents–IF they had any. (Mean, I know, but it was pretty obvious who was intelligent and who was not.) #2 was really funny, lol. Well, at least she thought of a story. OKAY, that was mean! Still making fun of Deric Wan and the whole ‘debt collecting’ thing. Lee San San was witty! LOL! Natalis kept mentioning Cecilia! (LOL) #19 wasn’t bad either. I sort of phased out of some others. LOL! NO idea. I was laughing too hard when Eric kept making fun of them to care.

Autumn! Finally! My favorite season after spring. BUT then it was too funny seeing that Eric and Natalis were shut out after they were performing for a bit, LOL. Julian Cheung (ChiLam IF you guys rather go by that name) part after that. The real performance. Since they were just teasing us with Eric and Natalis before. I’m not familiar with his songs so I won’t say much. But must complain about the dresses. The backdrop looked nice, but must they make them wear black? Or was that dark green? Oh well…

BUT I liked the winter theme though! It was too funny! Eric and Natalis still trying to hog the camera! It was so funny when they were introduced. Funny descriptions, lol. They were so sarcastic yet witty! Too bad they were sabotaged by Gallen and Gordon! Man, I love that song! (They were singing “This Winter Isn’t Too Cold” (這個冬天不太冷) by Jacky Cheung.) Eric and Natalis were still trying to sabotage Gallen and Gordon! LOL! Eric was saying how Gallen and Gordon were trying to copy Jacky, lol. What a comeback! Too bad they were cut short by Sunny’s appearance. Yup, remake of Shanghai Bund year so they had to promote it. (Typical TVB…) But it was sooo funny. (I think after Sunny’s done with all those lines, he needs a plastic bag! Honestly, they were so mushy! LOL! Poor Sunny!) Lee San San’s comment–so funny! The only one worth listening to really.

Aww…the four seasons ended already. BUT at least Edmond Leung and Andy Hui were worth looking forward to. Yay! They were so funny. And it was so cool seeing them outside (aka off stage). It was always enjoyable to see the beautiful scenery. Andy was the honest one while Edmond was the mischievous one, lol. Still cute. They were cracking me up big time. They rather be stuck on earth with the beauties than returned to their place and dealt with Eric and Natalis? Hilarious! Of course like any other year, the performance was taken onstage again.

Like usual, time to announce Miss Congeniality and then top 5. Eric was commenting on how they had to learn the art of changing clothes as well, lol. True, since they were speedy all right.

Miss Congeniality was #2. (They called it ‘Miss International Goodwill’.) Definitely a good choice since Fiona was really sweet looking and her smile said it all. Really friendly.

Top 5: #18, #1, #19, #13, #2

This was the part where they had to answer questions from the judges. (This sort of reminded me of how the Western beauty pageants are designed, especially the last part with selecting the judges to get questions.)

#1 got Mr. Wong, #13 got Adam (LOL). Eric was commenting on how Lee San San already passed without answering, LOL. (At least passing the door.)  Adam was asking about the strongest point of Hong Kong–to which Lee San San answered with the economy. #19 got Anita, lol. Tough question since it was regarding the food. #18 wasn’t bad.

Last part aka the skit they did while the final scoring was done. Leon, Carina, Alex, and others. Aww…too bad it wasn’t Tony. (I’m too obsessed, lol.) Leon was the painter, Carina was the main actress, and Alex was portraying the male lead (aka the prince). Kind of mushy so it was sore of a snore for me. But still glamorous in its own way.

Okay, finally the hectic yet exciting moment of the night! They had to stand on this one step and answered why they chose that spot–of course, it was labeled as 1-3. #1 was so confident, LOL. #2 guessed she was third, that was cool! She was right! LOL! #13 guessed she was first? Good guess! Confidence but not arrogant (unlike #1 who was in La-La Land, lol). #18 wanted to be taller than her father? Cute! LOL! #19 guessed second for her. Not too arrogant, nice. Second runner up was #2. First runner up was, of course, #18. Those two should’ve been swapped. But still all right. NOT too bad. The winner was, of course, #13! Yay! Lee San San was sooo tall. Anyway, it was so funny how Eric was teasing #1 by saying that the winner was #1, LOL! Natalis was saying how Eric got to be kidding, LOL. But Eric was saying it was 1 + 3 = 13. OKAY….not sure how that works mathematically but funny.

Great results. At least I didn’t feel robbed this year. The last good year.

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Placebo Cure

I must give the scriptwriters credit for wrapping it up quite well without feeling awkward. I also loved it that they kept Joyce’s character, San, persistent throughout and how she stuck with her principles. Yes, she did like Joe since little because he played with her and didn’t make fun of her like the other kids. However, he broke her heart that one time by using her to get back at his ex-girlfriend so she didn’t blindly ignore it afterward. It was good that she tried to maintain a friendship with both guys but finally choosing Wallace later since she realized how he took everything slowly and didn’t rush into relationships, plus how he always helped her no matter what. Moreover, he made her feel comfortable and safe when she was around him. It was good that she ignored the whole “horoscope” thing and went with Wallace instead of choosing Joe when Joe finally took her serious. Joe didn’t deserve a second chance because although he was a good person and a great friend, he was always such a player in love. No one could guarantee when one day his facade fell, what else he would do. The series wrapped up not too wrapped and got us thinking. But still nice.

One of my favorite scenes must be at San’s birthday where everyone made her dance with one of the guys (since it was her special day and she must lead them all) and she ended up choosing her junior! That was way too funny. Thought she would pick Joe because she still felt somewhat awkward with Wallace’s confession but she picked her junior so no one would feel bad (lol) and she didn’t want to give the wrong impression.

And maybe the reason why I liked this series so much was that it wasn’t too wrapped since Joe (Kevin) didn’t end up with anyone. It was a funny scene at the end that everyone had a dance partner, except him. But then he saw Wallace’s sister so they just ended up being dance partners! That was funny! (And I sort of remember how they were siblings in Life Art!)

All three of the main cast did well actually, mostly Sunny and Joyce since Kevin seemed a bit lagging–maybe because of the character. But I think he really improved in his recent series. I was mostly impressed with Joyce since she seemed so natural compared to her first series–which was a pain to watch because of her exaggeration. Now, it seemed like she got the hang of it. I’m glad to say that she pulled the majority of this series with Sunny throughout. The cases with Sunny as the psychologist were a mix of good and bad ones but I must say my most favorite one would be of Liu Kai Chi and his daughter. It was so touching that I managed a few tears to see the story unfold.

It was interesting to see Gilbert Lam keep popping up here and there within cases but still fun. I’m sorry to say that TVB rarely gives Gilbert good roles although he’s a decent actor. Oh well. His role was all right in here but not the best. My favorite must be the one in HK Criminal Files and then Crossborder Daddy.

Talking about Gilbert, I especially liked the whole family. It was a nice family and good casting of them. Nice to see that Natalie got a little story of her own too.

Posted (on Xanga): December 2, 2008

Re-posted: Monday, April 19th, 2010

Last One Standing

Must agree that this is one of TVB’s best series of 2008. It got both brilliance and suspense. This was an awesome collaboration between Roger and Kevin. Although I kind of doubt it if Kevin was up to it since reading up on news during the series’ filming (even if I know Kevin’s acting abilities already). However, Kevin proved it that he was up to the part. He really did well opposite Roger. This was one of the most intense series that took it up to the max with sacrifices that I’ve seen for a while now–without holding back on several matters, causing it not to be cheesy at all. And maybe they never gave Yoyo a big enough role (except for the conflict in the beginning) that made this series better. (I’m not saying I dislike her since she’s one of my favorite actresses.) But I’m saying it made the rivalry and conflicts between Kevin and Roger rise to another level–with schemes and mind games throughout, mostly brain-work and silent wars.

First off, Kevin as Cheung Sing Hei. I must say this was one of the most challenging roles ever for Kevin but considering how he already pulled off such a villain role in The Ultimate Crime Fighter, I must say I’m proud of him. He has gone past his other roles and portrayed such an intense character. His emotional state throughout were apparent and led us into believing and experiencing Sing Hei’s state of mind as the series progressed. It was so vivid and tragic at the same time. If anything, Kevin should have won an award for this role instead of all his roles from the past years (which I swear he could portray with both of his hands tied behind his back). This was a more challenging role and required more time and effort to pull off.

This was the first time in a series that I enjoyed watching a villain character like Roger so much. He had played villains in the past and most of them were of characters who were driven to the wall and had no other choice but to do some “wrongs.” Those characters usually had to improvise in the end to fit the situation and mostly do rash things thus leading to their downfall and/or facing different consequences. However, in this series, Roger’s character, Tong Lap Yeen, has been planning out all his traps from the beginning to the end. He has never been careless or reckless in his behavior. Every word and action was planned and consequences came out as a result. Sure, unexpected things happened, but he soon cooked up a scheme just as quick to resolve the matter in a snap. He possessed both of intelligence and vigilance toward everyone around him. The fact that his character never shown an ounce of regret, in the end, made it even scarier and suspenseful. It made one guessed even more about his character. It just didn’t end there. It followed a somewhat eerie path that he was one of those criminals who didn’t regret anything–and might take up on revenge or doing more wrongs after he got released in the future. A very well crafted character in fact. One of the best villain characters by far. No wonder Roger was having trouble sleeping at times during the night while filming the series because this was one of the most challenging villain roles for him–especially after all those silly and/or goofy roles he portrayed in the recent years. And he pulled it off to the point of flawless!

Other things I like about this series:

  • The partnership and/or companionship between Kevin and Ellesmere in this series as Cheung Sing Hei and Yeung Kin Yip. Although Ellesmere didn’t appear much (or it seemed that way to me), he played such an important role being Kevin’s ally in here, assisting him in finding out different things on the side while Kevin had to pretend he was on the same side as Roger. They were a great duo because they were actually forced to collaborate because of the murder slate Roger pinned on Ellesmere, causing Ellesmere wanting to bring Roger in for justice more than anything else and bringing out his sense of righteousness also (although somewhat too comedic as how he portrayed it). They were funny as bro-in-laws and also as a team. Always having to bicker in front of others or show signs of disapproval yet always getting together to discuss cases when others weren’t around. I wasn’t as impressed with Ellesmere’s performances before but in recent series and especially in this one, I really like him as an actor and feel that he was really up to different and bigger roles–even if he doesn’t get as much chance.
  • Eddie Lee and Elaine Yiu – I already knew and sense it in the beginning already but it was really nice and cute and somewhat a subtle point to the series. It wasn’t too much either considering the mood set for this series itself. There were also some conflicts between them during intense times, but really enjoy it during the other times and somewhat near the end where they reunite again.
  • Evergreen Mak and Fiona Yuen – The fact that they paired up numerous times already made it feel weird to not pair them up again when they’re in the same series together. But still fun to watch and probably for the last time or so since Fiona has left TVB already.
  • Sherming Yiu as So Lai Fa aka Tseng Shu Leung (Law Lok Lam)’s mistress. No one in their right mind would like the person who ruined someone’s marriage, but in this case, I have to make an exception. And no, I’m not making this exception because Sherming portrayed this role. It was because although Lai Fa was involved with Shu Leung, she took on a stronger responsibility for her son and probably and possibly loved Shu Leung’s character more than Kiki’s character did–even IF he didn’t deserve it. Lau Kit Yee (Kiki Sheung) was just using Shu Leung as a lifesaver at that time after her husband died and she needed a male figure to support her because she couldn’t find ways to stand up on her own or take care of herself–thus leading to her seeking and finally finding Shu Leung, who was not only a restaurant owner but he was single (aka available or so he said). She forced her kids to like him and accept him because he was their financial asset. (He probably deserved it too considering what kind of person he was.) Plus Kit Yee didn’t even believe her kids when they told the truth many times to her (and had been through thick and thin with her since young–not complaining of the hardship). She only wanted to cling on to the man who provided to her every need, causing many misunderstandings and broken hearts. (Although she finally found out the truth at the end and tried to make up for it, it was NOT like it was going to erase everything. IF she had believed her kids earlier, a lot of things wouldn’t happen.) Lai Fa, on the other hand, cared for her son no matter what. She wanted Sing Hei to take care of her financial matters also BUT because she mistakenly thought he had murdered Shu Leung (as everyone did except the killer). She actually treated Sing Hei like family (although they were not related at all since Sing Hei was just Shu Leung’s step-son) when she came to Sing Hei’s apartment and ran into Kit Yee. She said that to Sing Hei, “This is your brother, you have to take care of him.” Although it seemed ridiculous and funny at that time because she desperately wanted to find someone to help her take care of hospital fees for her son to get the treatments he needed, that was a desperate attempt of a mother–in any way she could find–to save her son. She treated Sing Hei like a relative and honestly believed in his word when he said he would take care of things. Her caring nature as a mother was undoubtful–unlike Kit Yee who only cared about money. Another thing that Lai Fa topped Kit Yee was she never re-married again after ten years. (I have to clarify here that I’m not trying to shame people who remarry or whatever, BUT what I meant in this situation was how Kit Yee had used others to her means hence the marriage, NOT because she found love again or whatever. She was just using people. It was a despicable move and tarnished the name of marriage in general. Not to mention how she only cared for herself and disregarded all her kids’ opinions and thoughts. It was ridiculous since she should understand her kids better than that. If she didn’t think something was possible, she should still investigate the matter instead of disregard everything like that. She thought that the kids made it up because they didn’t like him, but what about when they were older? Would her daughter do such things? Considering how obedient her daughter was through all the times.) Yes, maybe people who know about Lai Fa’s past wouldn’t dare to touch her or socialize with her. But she had moved away (aka practically disappeared) until recently but she still kept to herself and raised her son despite all the hardships–not seeking out any other man. (There wasn’t much information disclosed but considering how young and attractive she was, she could find anyone she wanted and knew the right tricks. But she didn’t do it.) She also had a lot of debts, but she still stood firm on caring for her son, etc. It seemed that after Shu Leung died, her life revolved around her son. She looked weak and wishy-washy or seemed that way from some flashback scenes with Shu Leung but yet she possessed a stronger personality than hold the eye. This was why I really like her for who she was. She was NOT perfect in any way, but the fact that she had set out some goals and actually tried to act like a responsible mother made her very brave in every aspect. And to add the last point to this one, I honestly think Sherming Yiu is getting tossed aside by TVB again–although I must say she did well and convinced the audience that she was such character, but how could they promote so many inexperienced actresses nowadays and NOT her? Strange. Very strange but on the other side, she gets more experienced with different roles than just the same, repetitive ones like the usual main leads get.
  • The fact that Kevin doesn’t end up with Yoyo or Macy. It would be too lame or overdone and definitely defeats the purpose. Considering after so many things has happened, how could Yoyo accept Kevin just like that after she found out and broke up with Roger? And the fact that how could Kevin accept Macy–even if Macy doesn’t mind–just like that? He can’t just end up with her just because of guilt and harm he caused for her and vice versa, plus there have been so many conflicts going on. Even if in the future, they should meet again and reconsider, they honestly need more “cool off” time and think about it more carefully of the consequences and/or resolve conflicts of their minds first. But I honestly don’t ever think they could end up together even if she didn’t meet someone else and is getting married soon. He had used her and she also took revenge on him. Both parties couldn’t be blamed. But what I dislike the most was when he did try to withdraw several times, she kept coming back and forcing him to accept her. Yes, can’t blame her for liking him, but she provided the opportunity for him to use her even more. And then when he finally told her they couldn’t be together for real, she would slap him and then go back to him again. He already came clear but she still acted like it was his fault and assumed that he was with Yoyo, etc. Even if he was with Yoyo afterward, they’ve already broken up. What was with that? It was a great choice for Yoyo not to accept Kevin either. She would keep thinking about the conflicts between them all and what had happened. Probably something will happen in the future, but not at that time.
  • And because it wasn’t as gift-wrapped as it was supposed to be with typical TVB series. This could count as one of TVB’s highly anticipated series considering both Kevin and Roger are in it, but it didn’t disappoint like most highly anticipated series would be. Very well scripted throughout and answered all the questions without leaving any loose ends.

Aside from those things, I would like to bring a point up also–or probably yet another point (lol). I usually don’t like to pick on new actors/ actresses but I must agree with some people that Yvonne Ho as Kevin’s sister is a poor choice. I swear she could be his older sister and making her a tad more childish at times doesn’t help either. (I know she worked very hard and shouldn’t be blamed but the pressure put on her to portray this role is somewhat unfair.) At first, I thought she should have swapped roles with Elaine or at least pick Elaine to be Kevin’s sister and pick someone else to be Roger’s sister. However, I could see towards the end of the series that Elaine as Hoi Man plays a bigger role after Roger sheds off his mask slowly to the others.

The only complaint I want to make is making Law Lok Lam the villain for like several minutes as the awful step-father makes it almost insulting although he was convincing as always.

Overall, this was a very good series and for the first time–I wouldn’t mind a sequel–IF there is going to be one in the future.

Posted (on Xanga): November 25, 2008

Re-posted: Thursday, March 18th ,2010