The Foreword; Part II.
Okay, finally after much delay and procrastination from your lazy blog owner, Part II of the foreword is up! If you've missed part I, you can read it here. This time, this post will include my favourite TVB female artists, and my thoughts on them. Mainly just a
Without further ado, I present to you:
My Leading Ladies
Jessica Hester Hsuan
Why she plain rocks: Jessica always has, and always will be one of my favourite actresses. She is one of those actresses who immerses herself greatly into her role. She isn't just merely theoretically acting by the book, she wholly immerses herself into those roles. She IS the role. What I also love is that she has both the beauty, the brains and the talent. She has a degree in Material Science and Engineering, and if you read her interviews, her answers are eloquent, and she comes off across as very thoughtful, mature and wise. Also, she's shown that she has the capacity to not only play strong career women (I'm sure everybody remembers Rachel in Golden Faith), but has also carved quite a name for herself in the comedic genre.
Aesthetic value: I personally think she's beautiful. While I've never had the luck to meet her in person, my sister-in-law has, and says that she's even more beautiful in person. She's classy, has a great eye for fashion, and carries herself with ease; and yet still manages to retain that certain youthfulness to her. I can only hope I look as good as she does when I'm at that age.
Favourite series: Detective Investigation Files IV, Old Time Buddy, Golden Faith, Secret of the Heart, A Matter of Customs, Square Pegs, Dicey Business.
Remarkable Partnerships: For sure, with Louis Koo in DIF IV. Who didn't love the angst and chemistry between the cool and silent Chui Fei and the lovely Mo Chiu Kwan, often called Ms. Mo? Coming in a close second, is the love story between the selfless Ivan and headstrong Rachel in Golden Faith, with Gallen Lo as Jessica's love interest. I also have an extremely soft spot for Jessica and Wong Hei in A Matter of Customs, and with Michael Miu in Dicey Business, because I'm a sucker for angst, and boy, did those two couples have it. And of course, I suppose the chemistry with Roger Kwok in Square Pegs also warrants an honorable mention.
Ada Choi Siu Fun
Why she gets a golden star: Basically, everything I've just said for Jessica applies to Ada as well. I've enjoyed watching the both of them so much when I was younger, and that has carried on throughout the years. Ada is an actress that emotes amazingly well with her eyes. If you watch her emotional scenes closely, you'll find that she doesn't need to speak, her eyes already speak volumes about how she's feeling. A lot of actress have failed to master this, and their eyes look lifeless when they're acting. Ada, obviously, is not one of them. In Where the Legend Begins, her gentle and self-contained Yan Fook with just the slightest tinge of sorrow in her eyes won me over, and her charismatic Wai Ying Chi in Armed Reaction III and IV sealed the deal. Out of acting, I adore her for being so steadfast in her Christian faith. If I were to make a comparison, as an actress and in terms of elegance and personality, she reminds me very much of Nicole Kidman.
Aesthetic value: Ada is elegant and absolutely beautiful. She still looks so stunning, unlike some Hollywood personas of the same age who's already had countless Botox jobs. Her height adds to her graceful stature, and she exudes class and beauty without having to overly expose herself. She looks exquisite in ancient films, and I really, really hope TVB films that ancient drama in that was in the 2007 sales presentation. Ada would play a woman scorned very very well, as seen in the presentation clip.
Favourite series: Secret of the Heart, On the Track or Off, Where the Legend Begins, Healing Hands I & II, Armed Reaction III & IV, At the Threshold of an Era.
Remarkable Partnerships: For me, hands down, with Steven Ma in Where the Legend Begins and in On the Track or Off. And of course, how could I forget with Lawrence Ng in Healing Hands I and II. Ada's Jackie was by far my favourite character on that show, and while I've never been a fan of Lawrence, I loved their relationship. Also, an awesomely cute relationship with Bobby's Chan Siu Sang in AR III & IV.
Tavia Yeung Yi
Why she is my pick: I've been a fan of Tavia since the beginning. I thought she showed so much promise and potential for a young actress and have been eagerly following her progress since then. A lot of people label her the next Maggie Cheung, and I agree whole-heartedly. Not only in the looks department, but acting-wise as well. Maggie is an excellent actress, and Tavia is slowly reaching that level. She impresses me more and more in every series I see her in. I love that she's a graduate of the TVB acting class, and while beauty pageants have discovered a number of talents, I'm pretty glad she's not just another pretty pageant face. She worked her way up from bit roles, into the successful actress she is today. Like Ada, I find that she emotes very well with her eyes, and she's definitely learnt to cry very beautifully and poignantly compared to the days of her Kiko in Golden Faith, wailing as she ran down the street. (Don't get me wrong, I absolutely loved the confrontation of Oscar and Kiko in the scene before that, but the next scene of her running down the street made me cringe a little. It was also bad editing on the producer's part) I'm glad to see her finally getting all the recognition she deserves after her image change. It's a little disappointing so see that she only got recognised for her makeover rather than for her talent, but as long as she's happy with her new look and that people are finally appreciating her acting, then that's great. She's definitely got the producer/casting director of Dicey Business to thank. I think it was a bit of an inspired casting to cast her in the role of Tam Chu Mei, but now, I couldn't imagine anyone better; it was a very refreshing role for Tavia.
Aesthetic value: Like I said, I've always been a fan of Tavia since the beginning, and thought she was beautiful. Sadly, not many people agreed until her sexy makeover. She's got very unique facial features and I've always found her very pretty. Her facial features and her bone structure make her very photogenic and she wears a lot of clothes very well. Also, her personality seems so fun-loving and extroverted, and that adds so much to her appeal.
Favourite series: The Awakening Story, Vigilante Force, Golden Faith, Find the Light, Twin of Brothers, Shades of Truth, Food for Life, Dicey Business, and I'm guessing I'll be adding Heart of Greed to this list before long. I also really want to watch Land of Wealth and Face to Fate because she looks so beautiful in ancient series, and because she got great reviews for both.
Remarkable Partnerships: I've enjoyed watching a lot of Tavia's relationships on screen. For sure, with Raymond, Ron and Bosco out of the younger actors. To fuel my like for all three pairings, they all seem to get along extraordinarily well in real-life too. I think Tavia is what people would call 'one of the boys'. Despite her new womanly image, she jokes and kids around with them easily, like before, and I love that. Raymond and Tavia were angstily great in Golden Faith and in TOB together, while Ron and Tavia had a more fun, less-worrisome story in The Academy. Bosco and Tavia were great in Dicey Business and I'm enjoying them a lot in Heart of Greed as well. They seem to have a very severe understanding of one another acting-wise, and that translates onto screen very well, in portraying two relationship extremes in either series. Surprisingly enough, I also thoroughly loved her stories with Bowie Lam and Wong Hei respectively in Vigilante Force and Shades of Truth. Both are such unconventional pairings, but it paid off and the result was great, for me. Looking forward to watching Tavia and Ah Hei again in Trouble Daddy.
Myolie Wu Hung Yee
Why she gets two thumbs up: There's no denying that Myolie is a wonderful actress in her own right. To me, there is a certain charm and charisma about her when she appears on screen. She's extremely talented, whilst being very likable. Her signature role as Yan Yan in Golden Faith couldn't have been done by a lesser young actress, and showed great promise to the audience on what was to come from this actress. Yan Yan was so innocent, naive and had so much childlike simplicity that was portrayed in abundance by Myolie. One of the most deserving 'Most Improved Actress' awards in that point of time. Since then, she's went on to play a spectrum of roles, delivering solid performances time and time again. She's got very spot-on comedic timing, as proven in War of In-Laws. One role I'd really love for her to take on (and she says this so herself too) is one of a devious, cunning nature. That would be really interesting and good for her to sink her teeth into, artistically speaking.
Aesthetic value: At first glance, Myolie might not be the prettiest actress around to a lot of people, but I think she has a very classy aura about her. She's got that wholesome girl-next-door look which is very appealing to a lot of people. Myolie's also got that sweet smile which looks great on film.
Favourite series: Golden Faith, The Awakening Story, Family Man, Survivor's Law, Triumph in the Skies, Net Deception, Lost in the Chamber of Love, War of In-Laws
Remarkable Partnerships: I really liked Raymond and Myolie in Survivor's Law. Tons of cute, sweet moments, especially when he was learning how to knit to fix her bag (Come on, show me a guy who does that, and I'll offer him my hand in marriage, lol). Surprisingly, her Zoe with Francis Ng's awful-English-warbling Sam in Triumph of the Skies also left a very strong impression in my mind. You almost expected them to crash and burn as a pairing, but the innocence and readiness-to-love of Zoe and the worldy and mature Sam worked, and the age-gap didn't matter at all, once the relationship got underway. And of course, I couldn't get away with not mentioning Bosco and Myolie, could I? Despite the recent outburst of Bosco-haters and hence, hating Bosco in any possible pairing, I have an extremely soft spot for this pairing. They made me laugh and cry and go 'aww' in War of In-Laws, and I'm glad that they're doing a sequel. (Although all the costumes and hair-dos in the pictures so far really make me cringe. This is supposed to be TVB's equivalent of Devil Wears Prada? Huh.)
Bernice Liu Bik Yee
Why I simply love her so: I have to admit, while I'm a huge, huge fan of Bernice's, her acting isn't up to the par of say, Tavia, or Myolie. She does excellent for tomboyish roles like that of her Gei Mei Lai in Love Bond, or fun, flirty characters like her Man Tai Po in Into Thin Air. I absolutely loved her in those. However, she does need to improve on broadening her forte in order to be able to pull away from being stereotyped. I felt she improved a lot in her Brink of Law's Wing, from Betsy in Healing Hands III, and hope that continues on. So, although she may not be the best actress, she's most definitely my favourite TVB personality. She's bubbly, and outgoing, and seems to get along well with all her co-stars, alongside being perfectly comfortable in her own skin and in her own right. She also wins points with me for being able to speak perfect English, for her singing and her dancing, and for improving on her Cantonese so much, from not even being able to read her scripts at all when she started out. I would love to watch Virtues of Harmony solely to watch her parts.
Aesthetic value: I think Bernice is simply gorgeous. She has a beautiful smile, and everytime she smiles, her whole face lights up. I love that she's not stick-thin and has curves. And again, her personality makes her all the more attractive to me. Cute, sexy, mature, natural; she pulls off every look with ease and confidence. She's an advertiser's joy, as proven again and again, and I can really see why they all love her so. Also, she manages to exude sex appeal without being trashy or slutty, but instead managing to maintain a healthy, wholesome image. Definitely a great role model.
Favourite series: Love Bond, Into Thin Air, Brink of Law
Remarkable Partnerships: Of course, it's no secret that I am a Bernice fan, and I'm a crazed Bernice/Moses fan. They had so much chemistry in Love Bond, and in Healing Hands III, and what makes it even more remarkable is that they had such different storylines and character history, and yet their chemistry was still so apparent in both series. I also love the fact that that chemistry's not only limited to the screen, but also off-screen at interviews, fashion shows and at award shows as they seem to get along extremely well. Bernice also had uber cute scenes in Into Thin Air with Kenneth Ma and she looks very compatible with Steven in Brink of Law.
Leila Tong Ling
Why she gets a five out of five: Leila has been one of my favourite actresses since Day 1. I remember seeing her in Burning Flame II and hoping that she would get bigger roles some day. She's a natural in front of the camera, and what I like about her is that she's been given some pretty diverse roles to play, and nails them all more often than never. She was great to watch as the stubborn, sarcastic, yet caring Ching Ching in The Last Breakthrough, and then next, in a complete 180 in Life Made Simple's Angel who was determined and conniving. Like Bosco Wong said in a K-100 interview, he's never seen her in such an devious role, and it's pretty unbelievable that someone who likes like an angel, like a baby, could be so cunning. I completely agree. I've also watched bits and pieces of War and Destiny, and I loved her transformation into such a mature character. It's a shame she hasn't gotten more promotion from TVB because she can act circles round some of the younger actresses TVB seems intent on shoving down our throats these days.
Aesthetic value: Leila's got adorable features, right from the huge eyes to the chubby cheeks, and the sweet smile. She looks very youthful, which is always a plus for any actress. She also looks great in both ancient and modern get-ups; that's obviously another advantage for her.
Favourite series: The Last Breakthrough, Twin of Brothers, Life Made Simple, Aqua Heroes, Square Pegs
Remarkable Partnerships: For sure, with Raymond in The Last Breakthrough. Their coupling as Ken and Ching Ching made the show for me. Bosco and Leila in LMS were great to watch, to me. She also looked absolutely beautiful with Ron in TOB. Dying to watch Bar Benders and The Family Link to see how she fared with Sammul and Kenneth, respectively.
Natalie Tong Si Wing
Why she gets my vote: Natalie Tong is the one actress, out of the many new fledgling actresses of the coming TVB generation, whom I'd like to see get bigger and better roles. Unfortunately, for a long period of time, she was either typecast into bubbly, hyper, supporting characters, or younger-sister roles. Case in point, Love Bond, Food for Life, Under the Canopy of Love. I'm not saying that that's a bad thing, because I did really enjoy watching her, but any type of typecasting is not a good thing for an actress. However, her role as the timid and nervy Ying Ying in At Home With Love excited me because it showed that she can do more than just bubbly and young. As a fan, I really can't wait to watch her in her first second-female-lead role in The Seventh Day. The promo, although heavily featured on Kevin and Niki, was pretty promising for Natalie, and I'm just eagerly anticipating the entire series as a whole for a wide myriad of reasons.
Aesthetic value: She's cute, and bubbly, and I find that extremely infectious with her. Might she be trying to change her image anytime soon? I was surprised to see her in the TVB Calendar alongside two of TVB's sexiest actresses, Bernice Liu and Gigi Lai, and also in the photoshoot where this photo is from.
Favourite series: Hearts of Fencing, Love Bond, Under the Canopy of Love, At Home With Love, Just Love
Remarkable Partnerships: Out of all the series I've seen her in, she's paired up twice with Charles Szeto in UTCOL and At Home With Love, and personally, I think Charles Szeto is a horrible actor at the moment, so neither one of those partnerships does it for me. A notable mention were her cute scenes with Stephen Wong in Love Bond. Stephen's acting was not fantastic there either (although definitely more bearable than Charles'), but the relationship worked, for me. Her little storyline with Dave Wong in Just Love were interesting to watch as well, because of the age-gap.
Vivien Yeo Sau Wai
Why I'm rooting for her: Pure and simple, it's because we hail from the same place. I'd love for a Malaysian to be successful in the TVB arena, because it's what I grew up watching. We haven't had a Malaysian actress in TVB since the stunning Angie Cheong Wai Yee; who was Ah Guai in A Kindred Spirit, so I really hope she makes it. TVB seems to be giving her quite a number of roles, most recently in the much-hyped sequel to War of In-Laws. In addition, she also wrangled a spot on the Lady in Red CD, which was promising for her. Vivien also plays the piano, and she played a Richard Clayderman piece for the talent portion in the Miss Malaysia Chinese International Pageant; that won brownie points from me.
Aesthetic value: Not to be biased, but I do think she's pretty. She's got a very fresh look, and is pretty likable all-round, from various forums.
Favourite Series: I've seen her in Sunshine Heartbeat and Into Thin Air, and I think she's most definitely improved since her Sunshine Heartbeat days, although neither were breakthrough performances.
Other favourite actresses of mine are the amazing Sheren Tang, Joyce Tang, the beautiful, formidable Michelle Yim, Nancy Wu, Akina Hong, Fiona Yuen, the classic Mary Hon, Sherming Yiu, and the hilarious Chu Mi Mi. Out of the missing-in-action ones, I really love watcing Maggie Cheung, Margaret Chung, Marianne Chan, and Annie Man. I was really getting sick of Linda Chung after that huge onslaught of her in the press recently, and to be honest, I didn't think she was that great an actress in Always Ready back then, but now she's growing on me, albeit slowly.
What do you guys think, and who are some of your favourite actresses? I'd like to know!