Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Double Dose of Natalie Tong

I've always been fond of Natalie Tong. She's pretty, youthful, and a good actress. She has played the role of the younger sister multiple times, which is how I first started liking her. Not being a TVB fan for that long yet, I'm more familiar with newer productions. Natalie Tong first caught my attention in 2007's Life Art.

In Life Art, Natalie played Belle, Kevin's younger sister. She is at first a spoiled and selfish person. In the later part of the series, Kevin's colleague Ray accidentally throws up on Natalie while drunk. To make it up to her, Ray agrees to buy her the designer shirt she wants and do favors for her. Natalie abuses Ray's offer of making it up to her by ordering him around and making him buy her everything she wants. In the last couple of episodes, Belle develops into a nicer and less selfish person, and she and Ray become a couple.

Her performance was very cute and likable. She had great brother-sister chemistry with Kevin. The two were very convincing as brother and sister, and the few scenes they had together were very enjoyable to watch. Her subplot about her relationship with Ray was amusing and cute as well. This role, along with a few others including The Green Grass of Home led her to become one of the top 5 nominations for Most Improved Actress at that years TVB Anniversary Awards.

The Power of What a Bad Role Can Do

Although Natalie didn't win the Most Improved, fans still knew she had improved. Unfortunately, her next production after the TVB Anniversary Awards wasn't able to show that. For the first time in a while, Natalie no longer had to play the 'younger sister' in late 2007's The Building Blocks of Life.

She played the character On-Kiu, the only child of a big architect. The series started as her being a likable character. Her short lived relationship with Tai-Yip (Sam Chan) was cute. The two had an enjoyable chemistry as they were just an innocent couple full of puppy love.

Unfortunately, as the series progressed, their relationship slowly died out as On-Kiu became more annoying, rebellious, and immature. It is revealed that On-Kiu never graduated college, and had faked her diploma. Her father orders her to go back to England and graduate with a real diploma. Immaturely, she runs away with Tai-Yip. Tai-Yip at first agrees to it, and treats it as just a cooling off period. However, On-Kiu does not intend on going
back, and wishes to stay with Tai-Yip and never go back. Tai-Yip, although still cares for her, does not think it is the right decision and leaves. On-Kiu is at this point has become very muddleheaded and naive, and starts to think that Brian (Power Chan) is the one she loves and the one who cares about her. Tai-yip tries to win her back, even proposing to her. His effort was all ruined, and he is left with a criminal record when Brian frames him for cutting him. She soon learns she is carrying Brian's baby, and the two agree to get married. Even after all of Brian's wrongdoings are exposed, On-Kiu still stupidly stays by his side to the end. Although some characters who do wrong things are forgivable, and deserve to be forgiven, Brian wasn't an example of the 'evil turned good.'

Natalie's On-Kiu was nothing but frustrating to watch because she supported and loved all the wrong people, and left all the ones who supported and loved her. For a time, I no longer liked Natalie because of this performance. Somehow, Natalie had pulled off the annoying role too because she was able to make her voice whiny practically the whole time. You can say, I was no longer a fan of Natalie Tong.

A Double Dose of Natalie Tong

I have recently just finished watching Just Love ll, and I'm starting to watch The Threshold of a Persona, both of which Natalie are in. As watching her in likable but two very different roles, I've quickly started to like Natalie again. To this day, she is still improving greatly, and cuter and prettier than ever.

Just Love ll

Natalie plays a prosecutor, and she does a good job. She may not be entirely convincing, but convincing enough that she sounds professional. Her role is very likable, and her subplot with magistrate CK was enjoyable. At first, I found the relationship a little awkward, and wondered why Natalie is always paired up with someone older than her. However, I grew to like them. It's nothing that would become a favorite onscreen couple, definitely not, but it is acceptable, humorous, and sweet. Of course, the relationship is not smooth sailing, and starts to fall apart. In the last few episodes, Natalie questions if she really likes CK, or if she was only being rebellious by liking someone her sister-in-law didn't approve of. She runs into the guy who framed CK of assault at a bar, who asks her to drink with him, offering her a spiked drink. Later, he books a privated VIP karaoke room for the two of them, as he was planning to rape the supposedly drunk Natalie. I worried at this point that Natalie would've once again fallen into the fate of being taken advantage of because of being naive. I was pleasantly surprised that her character had been so clever. Turns out, she had knew the drink was spiked, and switched the two drinks. She was at this point sober, while the guy drank the spiked drink and became drunk. During the time he was drunk, she sent an SMS to her sister (Casper Chan) calling for help. Before the guy (whose name I forgot) can even touch Natalie, Casper along with her boyfriend and CK come and after going to court, the guy is charged. Yay for smart Natalie!

The Threshold of a Persona

This is the newest series out, and the most different character I think I've ever seen Natalie in. She plays a unmarried single mother who became pregnant as a teen. However, her character is quite comedic. She does not let the fact bring her down. She is very independent, and does not let the fact make her feel bad. Along with her mother an
d older sister, she loves and takes care of her daughter, who is starting primary school soon. Although she is a person who accidently became pregnant as a teen, her character is very likable. She seems to genuinely care about her daughter "Sze-Sze" and I've yet to see her neglect her or just 'throw her away' like other pregnant teens do. She is also quite amusing, with the way she handles situations and people who she doesn't get along with. In the last episode I've watched of Threshold however, she seems to be interested in Kelvin, who is reasonably rich and full of connections. I hope that her character does not once again fall into the same fate again, and I'm hoping she is smart enough not to become pregnant accidentally again.

Bottom line, Natalie is a great actress, and I was wrong to have ever stopped liking her simply because of a bad role. However, this does prove that many artistes are bashed at and criticized for characters they play (ex. Linda Chung's Yue So-Chau). I hope that viewers of TVB series stop doing so, as many talented artistes are now being looked down on (ex. Myolie Wu).

The fact that I could see so much of Natalie in two great roles after looking down on her for her annoying role in Building Blocks was like fate. It tells us that sometimes, the problem lies in the role, and not the actor or actress. Remember that!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Warehoused Series: A Great Way To Care

Cast: Alex Fong, Kate Tsui, Raymond Wong, Elliot Yue, Timmy Hung, Pierre Ngo


KO LAP YAN (Fong Chung Sun), Senior Psychiatrist of Yan Wo Hospital, is a competent and kind-hearted doctor who specializes in severe schizophrenia and even minor mental illness. YAN cures his patients by not only medication but also by psychological analysis. He diagnoses the cause with reference to the symptoms. The plot is interesting, intricate and extraordinary. The Psychiatrist LIN CHI SUM (Cheung Chi Kwong) and the nurse LI YING CHUN (Wong Ho Yin) are both good friends of YAN. SUM is keen on helping people. He has cured a patient suffering from binge eating disorder SUEN KA PIK (Yeo Vivien). They have overcome a lot of difficulties and become a couple. YAN is a divorced single father with a daughter. After the failed marriage, he did not long for love affairs until he chanced upon an Inspector of Serious Crime Unit MOK MAN YEE (Tsui Tsz Shan, Kate). They have gradually developed their relationship through business contact. However, in order to avoid recurrence of genetic mental disease, YEE detaches her feeling from YAN.

*This series is warehoused because TVB has decided to air previously warehoused series Sweetness in the Salt due to the success of Rosy Business.*

This series does not appeal to me much and I do not plan on watching it, but may anyway just to past the time as my mom intends to watch it soon. The supporting cast is pretty solid and likable, but it is the two main leads that throw me off.

The following below is only MY own opinion, and I do not intend on hurting any 'hypersensitive' fans about my following views of the cast and series.

Unlikable Lead #1:

Alex Fong

I have watched The Building Blocks of Life, and although I do not think of it as a great series, it wasn't as bad as I expected it to be. However, many of the characters annoyed me, and I couldn't 'connect' with any of them. Alex Fong was among the few that annoyed me. I have not seen Alex before, so I will not judge his acting too strongly. However, his performance was frequently dull and boring. Overrall, I do not enjoy watching him on screen.

Unlikable Lead #2:

Kate Tsui

First thing that you learn about me on this blog, is that I do not like Kate. I don't hate her as a person, I do not know about her to do so, but I'm just not fond of her acting. I find that when she is playing a 'good' role, she tries to hard to be cute, and uses a baby voice that annoys me. On the other hand, when she is playing a 'bad' role, she just drives me crazy with how evil her role is. Kate is showing improvements, and I think she'll become a better actress along the way, but I think TVB should not be giving her lead roles so soon. Her first lead role in Speech of Silence had been outshined by the improvements of supporting actress Elaine Yiu. As far as I know, this year, Kate will be main female lead in this series, and overrall main lead in the upcomming The Beauty of the Game. I'm also not sure if she will be able to handle a character that suffers from genetic mental disorder.
TVB is definitely trying to cover every topic and profession in their productions, first immigration, and now mental disorders. This concept can be interesting, depending on how TVB chose to handle it. I hope that the mental disorder concept will not be handled ridiculously, not realistic enough, or overexaggerated. (If it's even possible to 'overexaggerate' being mental...)

I may give this series a chance to see how the story and mental patient plots turn out.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

"The Gem of Life" A Thorough Look @ the Anticipation, Star-Studded Cast, Eventual Disappointment & More

Initially, The Gem of Life was to be a controversial, memorable blockbuster about the world of the filthy rich, which would have everyone talking. What became of it, was something that TVB would never wish for.

The Anticipation

Gem had everything to make it potentially the best TVB production ever filmed:

  • Budget- Gem was a grand production with a budget of about $12 million, making it one of the most expensive TV series' filmed in TV history.

  • Location- With it's extreme budget, it was able to film on location in Paris, London, Tibet, and etc.

  • Cast- Gem has what is probably the best cast ensemble in TVB history. It is dominated by well known veterans like Gigi Lai, Ada Choi, Maggie Siu, Bowie Lam, Moses Chan, Wong He, Louise Lee and more.

With these factors, Gem went on everyone's watch list. Yes, they were iffy about the whooping 80 (later 82) episode count, but that didn't stop them.

The Expected Success

In 2007, the 60-episode grand production "The Drive of Life" expected great success. When Drive started airing however, the result was less than TVB was hoping for. Ratings were just average, and ended with only the 7th spot in 2007's Top Ten Ratings. In the end though, Drive was still a moderate success with favorable reviews and many fans. In October 2008, Gem was released. TVB thought it would be a sure-fire success, and that ratings would go over the roof. (Note: TV ratings were already low during this time due to the financial crisis) Gem was supposed to be memorable, a classic, something we would remember for years to come. So, what happened?

A Look Back @ the First Week

In the premiere week of Gem, ratings were not bad at all. The average was 30 pts, equal to about 2 million viewers. The highest rating even reached 37 pts. With Gem just starting to air, people tuned in to catch a glimpse of what it was like, and maybe even stick around to watch the rest.

Everything Comes Crashing Down

Apparently when people caught a glimpse of what Gem was like, they were not pleased, nor interested. This resulted in the ratings coming crashing down, going from 30, to 28, to 27, to 25, to its all time low, 23pts. Part of the reason was that it was aired during a time where people were too busy running after their cash to care about what was on TV. However, just because they were, didn't mean the wouldn't watch TV if something that interested them was on. (2009's E.U. and later Rosy Business proved that.) That brings us to the main reason: No one, or at least not many, were just not interested in watching Gem. Viewers complained the plot was draggy and that the writing was poor. Too many scenes dealt with business, and this bored them. At one point, TVB considered cutting the series down to 70-75 episodes. In extreme cases, it has been known that TVB take dramas off the air before they finish showing the complete series. They were about to give it a go, but its sponsor's would not allow them to do so. Without Gem on the air, the sponsor's products would not be able to be promoted. As a result, Gem finished airing.

Say Goodbye to Gigi Lai

Following the wrap up filming of Gem, Gigi announced she was retiring, making it her last series before retirement. The now 37-year old and yet still beautiful and youthful looking actress retired after getting married to live a quiet, relaxing, enjoyable life. It was sad to see that her last series was taken negatively, and described as a 'failure.' Her role as "Constance," was unable to show her great acting skills one last time. Not only that, the character seemed like the equivalent of Moonlight Resonance's Yue So Chau. Gigi Lai joins the circle of talented TVB 'fa dans' (translates to female actresses) that have left TVB. These fa dans include Kenix Kwok, Jessica Hsuan, and Flora Chan. However, these three have either returned, or returned to TVB recently. Who knows, maybe this isn't the last we've seen of "Lai Chi."

My Pity on Gem

The point in me writing this was not for me to criticize Gem, but rather to look at what Gem went from and all the commotion it had caused, which is why it's not a 'review.' I did not watch nearly enough of Gem (only about 5 episodes and bits and pieces) to write a review of it and to criticize all the parts I watched is unfair. Although Gem had poor pace and writing, we still have it's talented cast. That's where my pity for them comes from. Filming a drama series is very hard, and it was even harder for the Gem cast because filming for this had lasted a year. So much time and hard work had been taken from them, and what was the result? People criticizing and blasting them from here and there. Yes, Gem can be classified as a 'failure' reception wise, but we should probably think about how much time had been taken from the casts lives to film this. Despite the script and plot and everything else there is to complain about Gem, it still had very strong acting by the whole cast. I also know that some people think that Gem was a good series towards the last 20 episodes or so, and that eventually the pace built up and wrapped up nicely. I will not be watching all of Gem anytime soon, but I will also not criticize it as a bad series.

Last Thoughts

I think that TVB should not think too highly of grand productions or any productions before they air, because then the anticipation just builds up too much, until the point where the series is not good enough to live up to its initial expectations. A series itself can be decent, but when a decent production is first either promoted constantly or has too much anticipation built up before it, you can find yourself disappointed. Gem may become another At the Threshold of an Era. It may become a success a couple years from now, though I do find it unlikely. However, who knows what the future has in store?

Saturday, June 13, 2009


As TVB bloggers disappear, retire, or go on hiatus, the world of TVB fans introduce TVB Interaction, the newest TVB blog. Although TVB Interaction will never (or intend to) become the next biggest TVB blog (that spot will forever be taken by MetalAZNWarrior's TVB Musings), it promises to deliver original, unique, unusual, or amusing thoughts about TVB by the creator Iris.

Iris is a student who has been blogging on and off again for 2 years, creating and trying out various website hosting sites, and has recently found the one she prefers most, Blogger. She has decided on a blog she will settle on, and that is a blog telling all her opinions and thoughts of TVB. She hopes to entertain readers and fufill her interest of writing.

Expect reviews, thoughts, articles and comments! Enjoy!

TVB Anniversary Awards

TVB 42nd Anniversary Awards : My Choice, The Right Choice, and TVB's Choice TVB's 42nd Anniversary is just around the corner! This year, it's a battle between grand productions Beyond the Realm of Conscience and Born Rich. Take a look at TVB Interaction webmiss' predictions on who will win as well as who she wants to win and who she thinks should win.

TVB 42nd Anniversary Picks The nominee list is out! Full of deserving nominees, surprising nominees, and filler choices. Will this be a fair year for TVB? What are my picks, what's the right pick, and what's TVB's pick?

Behind the Scenes: The Making of the Nominee List (Satire)

Best Actor & Actress What were these two executive producers thinking when putting together this list? Take a look at their hilarious conversation. Also find out the surprisingly simple reason why they increased it to 15 nominations this year.




Friday, June 12, 2009

Behind My Blogging Life

What is my favorite part about running a blog?

I've had an interest in writing for a long time and teachers have always praised that I'm a good writer. In the last few years, I've started to write my own stuff and not just school related material. Unfortunately, there's never anyone to read it. My blog allows me to reach out to people who actually read and respect my writing style as well as enjoy reading about the topic of TVB. And of course, my other favorite part is meeting people. It's been so great getting to know other fellow bloggers. A majority of times, I feel as though they're easier to talk to than my real life classmates.

How long have I been blogging?

I first experienced with having a website in the summer of 2008, where I opened a free webs (now 'webs') site. As my favorite part about it was blogging, I switched to Blogger several months later and have made it my home since. There, I created a personal/TVB blog that unfortunately never took off due to lack of time and visitors. Another short lived blog was one opened with my best friend as mentioned above. Though I was afraid TVB Interaction would become another one of my 'abandoned' blogs, it has become so much more than just a blog to me.

Why do I love TVB?

I like to think of TVB as a whole world by itself. It's full of artistes, series, rumors, different personalities, and much more. Life can get crazy sometimes, or just become a drag. When I want a breath of fresh air or just relax, I soak myself into the world of TVB. It is something that interests me, but remains as that. It's a world I can escape in and out of. TVB's not like school, fights, or friend/family troubles that can pop out of nowhere and create stress in my life.

What I have to thank TVB for...

Although TVB's quality has rapidly gone downhill in recent years, I'm still thankful for it. Without TVB, there'd be no TVB Interaction. I wouldn't have met all the other amazing TVB bloggers. I also wouldn't have met Liling from TVB Sensations who I now consider a best friend as we have such similar taste and share so many of the same interests whether it's TVB or real life.

What I have to thank TVB Interaction for...

So much! Since creating it back in June, my writing has improved by so much. I have learned to write in many different formats including articles, reviews, and satire. My writing is put to use at least once a week nowadays and I've developed my own unique writing style. Though I'm not a boastful person, I do think my writing has matured a lot, especially when I go back to look at my old material. Also, TVB Interaction is in a way a type of therapy for me. When I'm bored, sad, annoyed, stressed, or just tired of real life, working on my blog always brightens my mood.

Who/What was my inspiration for creating TVB Interaction?

MetalAZNWarrior from TVB Musings, who I consider my 'mentor.' After becoming addicted to TVB, his blog was the first TVB blog I stumbled upon. I loved his wit and unique writing style. To me, TVB Musings is what I call entertaining reading. For a long time, I was simply his silent reader. I don't remember what post and why, but I finally commented on his blog after being a loyal reader of his for months. I mentioned to him about my wish to create a TVB blog, and he encouraged and supported me by being my critic ever since. Although MetalAZNWarrior has officially retired from the TVB blogosphere, he is forever my mentor and the reason why TVB Interaction was finally launched.

In Their Face

In Their Face

#1 Tavia Yeung, Selena Li, and Kate Tsui

#2 Linda Chung, Sammul Chan, and Kenneth Ma

#3 Bernice Liu, Steven Ma, and Patrick Tang

#4 Fala Chen, Nancy Wu, and Charmaine Sheh



#1 Michael Miu, Idy Chan, Margie Tsang

Thursday, June 11, 2009



#1 Michael Miu, Idy Chan, Margie Tsang

In Their Face

#1 Tavia Yeung, Selena Li, and Kate Tsui

#2 Linda Chung, Sammul Chan, and Kenneth Ma

#3 Bernice Liu, Steven Ma, and Patrick Tang

#4 Fala Chen, Nancy Wu, and Charmaine Sheh




Guide to Creating a TVB Series If you're interested in writing for TVB, without needing to put forth any extra/unneeded effort, this is the guide for you!

Guide to Becoming a Successful HK Singer Even If You Don't Have Talent Scoring a recording contract has never been easier with TVB Interaction's guide! Such an easy guide to follow, it's no wonder the HK music industry is dying!

TVB Goes to Court (Feature)

Case #1

Behind the Scenes: The Making of the Nominee List

Best Actor & Actress What were these two executive producers thinking when putting together this list? Take a look at their hilarious conversation. Also find out the surprisingly simple reason why they increased it to 15 nominations this year.


Beyond the Realm of Conscience TVB's version of Korean drama 'Jewel in the Palace.' TVB fans all over the world anticipated this series like crazy. The outcome? Disappointing. Boosts nothing special, except flaweless performances from Susan Tse and Lee Kwok Lun.

Burning Flame 3 The tale of a stubborn man and an annoying love triangle. However, the fire rescue scenes are intense, real, and well done.

D.I.E. Again An above average sequel boosting a cast even better than that of the original!

Steps The whole city is dancing! A refreshing theme, especially with Bernice the talented dancer herself leading. Also look out for Steven, Wayne, and Claire! Slowed down by newcomers Kate and Matthew.

Survivor's Law One of my favorite series. The story of four different lawyers, mixed with drama, comedy, and romance. Boosting a cast of today's favorites like Raymond Lam, Myolie Wu, Sammul Chan, and Bernice Liu.

The Stew of Life This series would've been a lot more enjoyable and less draggy if it wasn't so ridiculously long!

The Threshold of a Persona The last TVB series to feature Hong Kong's uniformed services. Unfortunately, it fails to be a memorable 'last.' After 30episodes, 27 episodes for HK, I still fail to see the main plot of this series.

You're Hired Starring the comedy king Dayo Wong and top fa dan Charmaine Sheh, this series is the best comedy TVB has produced in years!


A Double Dose of Natalie Tong A look at Natalie's annoying character 'On-Kiu' in 2007's The Building Blocks of Life' and her two wonderful and unique characters in 2009's Just Love II and The Threshold of a Persona, which aired back to back respectively. Also tells how much a bad role can damage people's views about that actor or actress.

Overworking Artistes It's always good to be hardworking, but overworking is another thing. Which artistes have been doing more than they can handle?

"The Gem of Life" A Thorough Look at the Anticipation, Star-Studded Cast, and Eventual Disappointment 2008-09's grand production "The Gem of Life" had everything needed to make it into a sure success, but things don't always go as you plan. Let's take a look back at what happened...

TVB's Message : Cell Phones Can Be Dangerous Cell Phones have become much more technologically advanced and convinent. In recent years though, disasters have occured over the ever growing fad. In The Building Blocks of Life and Burning Flame III, TVB reminds us of this.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

About Author

General Info About Me

Nickname: Iris

Interests/hobbies: Writing, blogging, listening to music, singing, surfing the internet, hanging out with friends, swimming, relaxing, and traveling

Contact Info

Twitter: IrisCritiques

Favorite Actors

Ruco Chan
Raymond Wong

Edwin Siu
Louis Cheung
Vincent Wong

Favorite Actresses

Charmaine Sheh
Myolie Wu
Kate Tsui
Nancy Wu

Mandy Wong
Sheren Tang

Favorite Artists

Ruco Chan
Raymond Wong
Edwin Siu
Myolie Wu
Kate Tsui
Vincent Wong
Matthew Ko

Favorite TVB Series

Catch Me Now (2008)

Family Man (2002)
La Femme Desperado (2006)
Survivor's Law (2003)
The King of Yesterday and Tomorrow (2003)
War of In-Laws II (2008)
You're Hired (2009)

Favorite TVB Couples
Dayo Wong & Charmaine Sheh
Kenneth Ma & Selena Li
Vincent Wong & Nancy Wu
Michael Miu & Jessica Hsuan

Random Trivia

  • I first started watching TVB series in 2008. My first series was Forensic Heroes II. 
To be updated...

    About Website

    TVB Interaction was first created on June 13, 2009. When publishing my first post, I already had much experience with blogging. I opened my first website back in the summer of 2008 on, now called One of the things I liked to do most on my site was blog. After around half a year, to suit my blogging interests more, I switched to Blogger. I created two or three blogs there, one I updated with me and my best friend, and two sites that I just experimented on. During those days, my interest in TVB started to grow more and more. I've always had an opinion on everything, especially in movies and TV series. I loved reading and following TVB blogs. Eventually, in the summer of 2009, I created my first ever blog dedicated to TVB.

    I had no knowledge of HTML or photoshop whatsoever at the time, and my knowledge of it currently is still scarce. About three months or so afterward though, TVB Interaction started to go under make overs. With the help of Google, I learned more about HTML and experimented with it on my site. What began as a default banner and layout soon become more personalized to my taste.

    Of course, what's most important to me about TVB Interaction is not it's outside looks, but the writing on the inside. A writer myself, I prefer to be original about my posts. I rarely and usually don't re post news articles. I write my own, and think of my own ideas and topics. I do the best I can to make myself different from other TVB bloggers with my personal writing style. This has resulted in detailed articles comparing TVB with real life issues as well as the popular feature In Their Face.