And the 2008 Calendar Rolls Around.
Hey everyone! I'm finally back from my holidays and I have to say, it was awesome. If any of you ever come to Australia, I highly recommend the Gold Coast. Loads of sun, sand and fun. Movie World and the Wet n' Wild water theme park were awesome! Loads of rollercoasters and water slides.
But anyway, it's good to be back! I know you all are probably getting so sick and tired of hearing this, but remember to send in your votes for the 1st Annual Glaze-Over of TVB awards. Some of the categories are tied or very close indeed, and one vote could determine the winner!
Anyway, it's that time of the year. The anniversary comes close, the award speculation heats up, and yes, of course, the calendar for next year is released. This year's one was very hyped up, what with shooting occuring in Taiwan with a popular photographer. Were the pictures good? In my opinion, of course, I think not. Let's take a look at the individual shots, in alphabetical order, and then later at the months.
Bernice Liu - I love this picture because it looks like it's not just a stagnant picture; it seems to show her in action, probably dancing around. Her lashes look a bit too long, but I suppose if they're going for the dramatic effect, it's okay. I love the tear drop earrings that she's wearing.
Bosco Wong - Finally, Bosco retains some of his manly-ness in this picture. I love his image ala Triumph in the Skies, Life Made Simple and Heart of Greed, but unfortunately in the recent pictures of him, he seems to enjoy his awful permed fringe and very flamboyant outfits a lot. This picture is pretty nice and highlights his jaw nicely.
Bowie Lam - What can I say about Bowie? He always looks exactly the same to me. Like he did five years ago. Haha. Although, his hands look a little strange, like he was praying for rain, and it finally came.
Charmaine Sheh - This is by far one of the worst pictures I've seen of Charmaine. I get that TVB might have wanted a close-up of the reigning Best Actress, but honestly in my opinion, this is too close for comfort. Her smile looks rather forced and unattractive.
Fala Chen - Fala's very photogenic, and she's got a very sweet yet seductive smile. I don't fancy the way TVB is promoting her, although she does have potential to be a good actress. It is a very pretty picture, although I just realised that she was leaning against her knees, which makes it a tad contortingly strange.
Gigi Lai - Hair up can give off a very elegant image, but in this picture it's not very flattering for Gigi. She does have the beautiful features to almost pull it off though.
Kate Tsui - Wow. I've always loved Kate's Ms. HK get-up so much more than her tomboyish gear. Even the pose, although a little contrived, is very beauty-pageant. She looks so much better here compared to her image in Steps. From afar, I actually thought this was a picture of Christine Ng.
Kevin Cheng - Kevin is classically handsome, not the kind of handsome that I prefer, but still he looks okay in this picture. But, what's with the glasses? If Michael Miu decides to go back into the optical business, he can get Kevin to be one of his models. Lol.
Linda Chung - Linda looks very nice here, but I've hated that fringe on her since the very beginning, so no comment. She looked the best in Heart of Greed for me, and this picture doesn't change that. Too close-up for my liking too.
Michael Miu - From a distance, the pose was nice, but after a closer look, Michael's smile appears to be rather uncomfortable. What a shame. But he still looks magically attractive for his age, so no arguments there.
Moses Chan - I love it when Moses gives us a wide smile like this one. It's contagious and it lights up his whole face. I'm a larger fan of his Healing Hands hairstyle than of this one, but who am I to complain when he looks this good in the picture?
Myolie Wu - Myolie is so much prettier than this picture. The hair is unflattering, the pose looks strange; she looks like she's having a migraine, poor thing. I'm pretty sure they would have a large repertoire of shots to choose from, so the person who chose this picture for the calendar should be shot. Awful choice.
Raymond Lam - Raymond actually photographs very well. The side profile works for him. Still not a fan of his hair, but he seems to adore this style.
Roger Kwok - Roger Kwok just keeps on looking better through the years, for me. He looks like he's steaming up a mischevious plan here. Or rather, just like he's nibbling on something out of the corner of his mouth.
Ron Ng - Ron almost pulls off this brooding, emo look. He looks good but lacks a bit of expression in the eyes, I think. His sideburns look a bit too long though.
Sonija Kwok - I don't look at Sonija when she appears in series and go, "Wow, she's so pretty", but she really is extremely photogenic. She looks gorgeously understated here. Very nice picture.
Steven Ma - Steven looks rather uncomfortable in this picture too, which is such a shame because he's so good looking. His smile looks forced. What he's wearing looks nice though. In fact a lot of what they're wearing looks good. I wonder if they'll release full length pictures?
Sunny Chan - I actually really like this picture of Sunny. They didn't photoshop away the smile wrinkles at the corner of his eyes, which I think gives him a very nice mature, yet distinctively masculine look. It's nice that he's getting some recognition again. I'd love to see him in a role like his DIF IV character again (Okay, so what I really want is a DIF V with the likes of Louis Koo and Jessica Hsuan too - is that a crime? Wouldn't that be so awesome?), instead of the semi-wimpy roles he's been getting like in Just Love.
Tavia Yeung - Tavia is such a photogenic girl and it's a shame they chose this one where she looks so plastic. Her pose looks like it would have given her a neckache if she had stayed in it for long enough and I can't figure out why the photographer would have her pulling at her fringe.
Yoyo Mung - I think this is a great picture of Yoyo. She looks happy, radiant and relaxed. Being in love really must do wonders. Her haircut suits the shape of her face very well, and she doesn't look anorexic here. I thought she was so pretty in Burning Flame II when she went without the glasses, and this is reminiscient of that.
January - Jason Chan, Raymond Lam, Linda Chung, Vivien Yeo, Matthew Ko
According to the reports, that guy on the far left is Jason Chan, but I've no idea who he is. However, whoever he is, he's probably not feeling very happy with his distorted looking face and his ugly shirt in this picture. Linda looks cute, very retro and sixties, while Raymond looks extremely happy. It's nice to see the boyish side to him sometimes, as in this picture. Vivien also pulls off the cute retro look well, and actually looks quite compatible with Matthew here.
February - Liza Wang, Sunny Chan, Bobby Au Yeung, Susanna Kwan, Esther Kwan
What's with the Roger Ah Wong cameo appearance? Lol. Liza's face looks vacant and expression-less. I'm quite surprised she's not sitting front and middle, actually. Sunny and Bobby look good, and Bobby looks like he's the life of the party here. Very fitting. Esther looks very radiant and I'm so happy to see her. Susanna Kwan looks very gracious as well. I wish Michelle Yim was in here. Why wasn't she in the calendar at all? Such a pity.
March - Yoyo Mung, Frankie Lam, Kenneth Ma, Chris Lai
This is by far the worst month. WORST. Too many colours, too cluttered, too many cheesy facial expressions. Frankie and Yoyo look ridiculous, and Yoyo looks disgustingly frail, like she really could snap at any moment. It's a relief that she had a much better individual photo. I don't know what Kenneth is trying to do. Chris is probably the only saving grace of this photo. No comment on unknown bald dude. And haha, is that Super Trio I see in the screen?
April - Bosco Wong, Bernice Liu, Wong He, Tavia Yeung, Michael Tse, Amigo Choi
I was really looking forward to seeing this month because I like almost all of them featured, but the resuls were really underwhelming. Bosco looks like a really sleazy playboy leering at Bernice, whose dress doesn't do wonders for her curvy figure. Wong He's fringe is atrocious and Michael's pose looks very metrosexual, not that I'm against metrosexuals or anything like that. His tie looks awfully straight and starched. I wonder if it's photoshopped to be that way. Again there is one saving grace, and that's Tavia. Amigo looks awfully out of place, like a poor kid who wasn't invited to the party but still turned up to watch the popular crowd heat up the dance floor.
May - Rabeea Yeung, Koni Lui, Kate Tsui, Moses Chan, Wong Cho Lam, Sammul Chan
Kate looks very good, very high-power female executive-like. Moses just looks rather confused with the phone to one ear. Wong Cho Lam looks very smart, as does Sammul in that tan-coloured suit. Pity that he's so small and so shoved to one side. Rabeea Yeung looks a lot better in Steps. And what's which the laptop bearing Moses' face? That's just really weird-looking.
June - Kenny Wong, Suki Tsui, Ron Ng, Fala Chen, Nancy Wu, Stephen Wong
Suki looks pretty good here even though I've never found her particularly gorgeous. As usual, Kenny and Stephen are here, representing the eye candy for the guys with their abs. Stephen looks better than normal here too; I couldn't stand his face in Steps. It's great to see Nancy, and her body looks really good here. Fala takes front and center again, but she looks very flat-chested and boyish here. I read somewhere that Ron looks like Borat in this picture and I have to agree. Haha. The yellow, deep cut shirt is so Borat! But face-wise, he does look good.
July - Christine Ng, Adam Cheng, Patrick Tang
Christine looks so good for her age and surprisingly not that bad in biker-chick getup. Patrick Tang looks a little strange. I wish TVB would stop pushing Adam Cheng on us as a young and hip actor. He's not, so get over it, TVB. Stop putting him in leather and on bikes and pairing him up with actresses half his age. Michael Miu would've been so much better for this month. I'm not sure who that final guy is, but he looks most at home in this month.
August - Tracy Ip, Anne Heung, Sonija Kwok, Winnie Yeung, Shirley Yeung, Mandy Cho
The MHK month. The theme isn't half bad, what with the red dresses and the dancing. However, only Sonija and Shirley look graceful enough. Tracy looks all right, but I think that's due to the dress and the way they blew it away from her body with a fan. Anne and Winnie are in very outdated poses and Mandy looks just plain uncomfortable.
September - Sharon Chan, Gigi Lai, Bowie Lam, Natalie Tong, Sheren Tang
I've always thought Sharon would look good in a qibao because of her tall and slim figure and her legs that seem to go on for forever. She does look okay, pretty elegant. Gigi looks melancholic, Bowie looks plain bored, and I can't believe they made Sheren look so much older than she actually is. It's awful. She looks so much better than that. Is it just me, or does Natalie's chest look very weird in this picture?
October - Steven Ma, Ada Choi, Michael Miu, Selena Li, Maggie Shiu, Sharon Luk
This has got to be one of the worst months too. Steven looks nice and tanned, but the colour combination that he's wearing just hurts my eyes. Ada looks like she's about to go horse-riding, and the pants give her a very bulky figure. Michael's jumper looks very teenager-ish, while Maggie's bright purple leggings are just ugly. It's such a shame that Selena is so far in the background and detached from the picture. They could've done a much better airport theme picture.
November - Chairmaine Sheh, Jessica Hsuan, Queenie Chu, Roger Kwok, Anna Yau, Leanne Li, Kevin Cheng, and a whole lot of unnecessary people.
So this was the highly anticipated month with the leading "brothers and sisters" of TVB? Gosh. Charmaine looks ridiculous in that wig, and I have no idea why Jessica and her are posing like that. Maybe it's an artsy subjective vision of the photographers but I just don't understand it. It looks stupid and strange and such a waste of the top two actresses. Roger and Kevin look nice in their suits, but the way they're brandishing their instruments look odd. The second row of Queenie, Anna and Leanne actually looks not bad - their dresses look very pretty. I couldn't really care less for the rest of the people in the background. It's not like I can see their faces anyway.
December - Angela Tong, Joe Ma, Elaine Yiu, Myolie Wu, Raymond Cho, Gallen Lo
In any other calendar, this picture would look very cheesy and cheap, but compared to some of the other months in this year's calendar, this month is not bad at all. Everyone looks happy and festive. The girls all look great, even Elaine whom I've never thought was very pretty, like Suki Tsui. I find it a big strange that Gallen is in the corner, thought. Joe and Raymond look very boyish and jolly too, perfect for the Christmas feel.
All in all? This calendar fails to capture the charm and beauty of previous year's calendars. Although the calendars have been falling short for quite some time now, this one really takes the cake. I would've have thought they'd produce a higher quality shoot, minus all the gimmicks and cheesy poses, for their 40th year anniversary. Something high couture and glamorous would have been fun. As usual, all the hype about the calendar being shot in Taiwan, with some world-class photographer led to the calendar falling flat on its face. What a large disappointment for fans all over the world.
What do you guys think of the calendar? Do you like it? Despise it? So-so?