Friday, November 23, 2007

What's on Everyone's Tongue These Days.

...the 40th TVB Anniversary Awards.


So, I've been back from my holiday for about a week now but just didn't feel like having anything to do with TVB after reading the results for the awards. Let's just say my anger overshadowed my happiness with the winners.

Moses, Moses, Moses. I am ecstatic that he won. Not one award, but two! To me, he really is one of the top TVB actors today and his role in HOG was one of the best-acted of the year. His acting showed growth and maturity in the character and it was a very nice development of the role from him. He is very versatile, coupled with a natural knack for comedic timing and has been waiting way too long for this. When I watched his acceptance speech, I felt goosebumps and pride and yes, I'll admit it, I teared. It's just really nice to watch someone of his calibre and someone as deserving as him be honoured in this way for his acting.

Rewatching HOG for the second time with my housemates recently really gave me a better understanding of Lee Sze Kei's role. The first time I watched it, I still had her Sin Yee character from A Kindred Spirit in my head and couldn't fully immerse myself into her new role. The second time round gave me new appreciation for her role and acting finesse and am now truly convinced that she deserves all the acclaim she's been getting. Although, I really still would like to see Michelle Yim getting some notice for her brilliant acting in Brink of Law as well. No nomination at all for her, that really disappointed me.

I'm a little surprised that Susanna Kwan actually took home Favourite Female Character because I didn't feel all that symphathetic towards her character. Sure, she did repent, she did realise her wrongdoings, but it all felt a little too rushed for me. It came full-circle far too quickly. I thought she was great as the witchy Wong Sau Kam, but it just wasn't one of my favourite female characters of the year. Although, I understand that TVB would have wanted to give her this and Lee Sze Kei the Best Actress Award. I actually would have preferred Linda Chung's Sheung Joi Sum to win this award and that's saying a lot coming from me because I'm not exactly big on Linda. However, I did truly enjoy her portrayal of Sheung Joi Sum.

I'm happy that Raymond won something; something that was truly and completely voted for by the Mainland audience, nonetheless. (i.e. not rigged by your friendly neighbourhood TVB) It really shows how much of a fanbase he has, and will probably be the first, and not the last of his TVB awards. I can say with confidence that he will win Best Actor one day. As for Gigi, I never was a fan, but my opinion on her is slowly changing. She delivered her acceptance speech with class, and I really want to watch The Ultimate Crime Fighter because I heard she was excellent in it.

I like Fala Chen, but I think it's absolutely ridiculous how she won Best Supporting Actress. Ridiculous. How obvious can you get, TVB?

Louis Yuen has been at TVB for so many years now and it's great to see him get recognised for something. I watched an interview with him where he was answering questions and talking about the gag he pulled during his acceptance speech and it was supposed to be funny, but you could hear in his voice a little tremor because he was so touched. I still wish Wayne Lai would've been nominated here though.

Amigo Chui? Meh. That's just really weird. Chris Lai isn't a favourite of mine; I was actually rooting for Stephen Wong but I know that'll never happen, so I was going for Chris instead since it would be better than the horror of Matthew Ko or Stephen Huynh winning. Never in a million years would I have thought that Amigo would've won.

And yes, last but not least, the Most Improved Actress awards, the one that left me absolutely gutted. It was pretty much a low blow for Bernice. People say Bernice hasn't improved in her many years, but I'm sorry, I don't see any improvement with Kate either. She does the exact same things in every series I've seen with her in it; the slight hesitation and swallowing before she delivers her lines. Each one of her series has no more emotion than her last. I do like Kate, but it's difficult to like her when she's won this when she doesn't deserve it. I couldn't bring myself to watch the awards because I don't want to see Bernice's hopeful face, so I don't know who the top five were. In any case, she doesn't deserve it more than Leila Tong or Sharon Chan or Nancy Wu anyway. And to me, not more than Bernice too. It goes without saying that Leila deserved it ages ago but just because she's not contracted, she'll never get it. We all know how TVB plays the game.

As for Bernice, I think she's really improved. Might I be biased? I don't know. I try to watch her scenes with objectivity and a keen fair eye, and I really think she's improved since her Healing Hands III days. That's just me. But well, losing every year like this to Niki, Linda and now Kate, I just really hope they don't nominate her anymore next year in this category. Sammul Chan wasn't nominated anymore this year and I hope they don't embarrass Leila and Bernice anymore next year by nominating them either. It's just really insulting because we all know that Fala or Toby or Tracy or Stephen Chan's new flavour of the month will win anyway, so why bother? Real talent like Selena Li, no matter how deserving, will probably get pushed to the background, unfortunately.

Why didn't TVB give the awards to Bernice? Well firstly, they absolutely love Kate and want to promote her madly, as can be seen by her truckload of leading roles in the upcoming productions. Hopefully, she does come into her prime and leave us all with a good performance like Linda after she won Most Improved. Hopefully.

Also, TVB, while allowing rumours to help generate publicity for their new series, might have a little resent towards the popular Moses/Bernice pairing. Sure, it was a spot of genius casting that created the great Love Bond chemistry which we all know and love. They even further capitalised on it by casting Bernice in HH3 to be paired up with Moses again. But then it just spiraled out of control. Reporters and the papparazzi love them. Fans love them. Sponsors love them. It's like how Mark Schwahn, the creator of One Tree Hill, wrote Nathan and Haley to be together and from then on, there was no going back. The epic love story of Nathan and Haley sometimes became larger and more popular than the show itself. Might it be the case here? If Bernice really had won, you know who the paps would be focusing on the most that night. We would see report after report, and picture after picture, together with all the rumours and speculation if the both of them had won awards. It would probably steal some of the thunder away from their beloved Fala and her Best Supporting Actress awards. That, coupled with the fact that Bernice is one of the highest earning artists at TVB even without their support and backing, might be why she didn't get it.

All I know if that I had put money on the TVB Awards, I'd be very very poor right now. Probably only Moses and Lee Sze Kei would've won me money.

And while we're on the topic of awards, I've tabulated the final votes for the 1st Annual Glaze-Over of TVB Awards and am in the process of making art. Will you be happier with these results? I sure hope so. Stay tuned!

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Saturday, November 17, 2007

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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?

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Thursday, November 08, 2007

Summer Holidays!

Hey guys, finally my exams are over, and summer holidays officially begins for me down here in the southern hemisphere. Will be leaving in 7 hours time to Gold Coast for six days, and then to Sydney for another five days and return to Melbourne the day before the Justin Timberlake concert! Gosh, I'm so excited.

Unfortunately, I doubt I will have Internet access, so the world of TVB and this blog will have to go on summer holidays too.

Although, that means you will now have more time to vote vote vote! I really urge all of you to send your votes in because the results are really shaping up to be very interesting. The people I expected to draw in loads of votes didn't, and some dark horses are leading. Very interesting indeed. So do send in your votes if you haven't already!

The voting will now close later as I'll be away, so I think I should extend it to the 19th of November. Again, remember to vote vote vote!

Till then, be safe! I'll miss you guys heaps.