Saturday, January 30, 2010

Comeback #2 : Born Rich Special

It is easily noticable that a majority of Born Rich's cast consists of veterans making their comebacks. Yep, I'm talking about Ray Lui, Jamie Chik, and Kenix Kwok. There is Gallen Lo and Anita Yuen as well. The second issue of my Comeback feature will focus on these Born Rich cast members...

Two Weak Comebacks

Gallen Lo - When a Dog Loves a Cat

It is still a mystery to everybody to why TVB's #1 brother ever agreed to film this series in the first place. Winner of the Best Actor award 3 times and popular for his dramatic roles, it blows my mind why he took part in this series.

The Script: First off, when a dog loves a cat? Just by looking at the title, you know it's going to be cheesy. This series was obviously targeted for the youngsters. After all, I really doubt grown adults would want to sit around watching talking dogs and cats falling in love with each other.

The Role: I only watched the first three episodes or so over a year ago. I can only recall that Gallen's character was stubborn and hated dogs as it is related to his wife's death. The role wasn't anything challenging for Gallen nor did it allow him to showcase his versatility.

The Performance: As stated above, the role wasn't a challenge for Gallen.

As one of the most loved actors from TVB, Gallen could've done so much better when picking which series to be his comeback. Why did he waste his time on this production? It seems so out of his 'type.' Gallen strikes me as the actor who prefers roles in dramas. Of course, he's had his comedic roles, Old Time Buddies being his most notable one. So why would he want to take part in a lighthearted and weak scripted series like this?

Anita Yuen - Love Exchange

After secretly getting married to fellow TVB actor Julian Cheung, Anita became inactive with TVB for quite a while. In 2007, she made her comeback to TVB with Love Exchange. Though it recieved moderate ratings, it didn't get very good buzz and was quickly forgotten.

The Script: For a series with such a promising sales clip, Love Exchange turned out nothing like it. The plot was draggy and the mystery wasn't cleared up until the last episode. In other words, just a weak script in general. Despite being a rather anticipating series, it disappointed.

The Role: Another typical 'weak, housewife' role. TVB, enough of these!

The Performance: Like always though, Anita delievers a solid performance despite the bad characterization (and hairstyle).

A year later though, Gallen and Anita returned to the screen in 2009's grand production Born Rich. That turned out to have it's good sides...and it's bad sides.

Gallen Lo - Born Rich

Role: A conman named Sa Fu Loi, he takes up the identity of Cheuk Yat Ming to be rich. Although he is at first a lovable villain for his humor and principle that he will not hurt women and children, he later becomes a dispicable man. He does not let anyting or anyone stand in his way, which inadvertantly almost causes his little brother's death. however, the sudden change in character and heart was too sudden. Although it is inferred his actions were a result of a newfound greediness, his "greediness" was never justified.

Performance: As always, Gallen delivers a solid performance. He is charming and funny as the humorous and compassionate man at the beginning. After Sa Fu Loi's sudden "greediness" takes over, Gallen gives evil stares and cold expressions that managed to send chills down my spine. Even though character developement was sloppy, Gallen was able to showcase his versatility. Unfortunately, he didn't manage to get into the top 5 for Best Actor. It looks like winning this award a fourth time is not in this "big brother's" future.

Anita Yuen- Born Rich

Role: Cheuk Yat Sum is the tough and clever PR person of her family's bank business. She is met with the struggle of being in love with someone who she thinks is her step brother. At the same time, fellow collegue and former playboy Topman makes wholehearted and sweet efforts into courting her, resulting in the business woman being stuck in between the two men she loves.

Performance: Perhaps tough but kind women are the characters Anita portrays best. Not only did she give a lovable and realistic performance, she had wonderful chemistry with co stars Gallen and Joe.

And then, we've got our other three leads...

Ray Lui

Role: At first a smart businessman and good husband, he becomes a weak, indecisive, (don't forget annoying!) main protagonist after his kidnap. From the even more annoying love triangle with Angie (Kenix Kwok) to all the hard ship he brought on to his family and loved ones, he is deemed my most disliked main protagonist of the year, right after Chung Yau Shing.

Performance: Average performance. Solid, but nothing special. Then again, I have the tendency to not pay attention to the performance of characters I hate and get irritated by.

Kenix Kwok

Role: I've never seen a 3rd party as determined (mentally unstable is more like it) than Angie. She stopped at nothing for love and to get Marcus (Ray Lui). That did not make her evil and conniving. Instead, she just looked plain desperate. She had the potential to be a villain, but our wonderful script writers decided to turn her into a lunatic instead.

Performance: For such a versatile and natural actress as Kenix, Angie was a complete waste of the actress' talent. Why Kenix even accepted the role in the first place puzzles me. I think it's safe to say Kenix's comeback is the worst of the year, if not ever.

Jamie Chik

I'm pleased to see that the same oh so wonderful script writers who created Angie's character decided to give returning actress Jamie more than just a housewife role. Although her only job is being a house wife and mom, she is intelligent and clever. She stands up for what she believes in, even if it means angering somebody. Jamie's "Connie" is easily one of my fav characters.

Performance: While not a breakthrough, Jamie was convincing and elegant as the rich but clever woman. Two thumbs up from me.

Characterization for the series was not perfect (obviously). There were quite a few lovable characters but they couldn't make up for those annoying ones who dominated the screen, *coughcoughMarcusandAngiecough*. The ensemble's acting is one of the strongest of the year, but acting can never make up for a terrible script...

Script: The script is the typical 'starts off strong but goes downhill FAST' kind. While the first 10-15 episodes are a joy to watch, it becomes unbearable in the second half. The length of 41 episodes was definitely too long. It dragged on and on and it never seemed to end. What's there more to say?

New Series: Don Juan Demercado

English Title: Don Juan Demercado
Chinese Title: ??????
Broadcast Period: February 15, 2010 – Febrary 20, 2010
Genre: Modern Drama
Length: 5 episodes
Producer: Wong Wai Sing
Scriptwriter: Wong Yeung Tat & Poon Man Hung
Cast: Bosco Wong, Kate Tsui, Wong Cho Lam, Kitty Yuen, Christine Kuo

Supposing there was a chocolate that could make you taller, slimmer and more beautiful, would you eat it without demur? Do perfect looks guarantee a perfect life? This hilarious Chinese New Year comedy is going to bring you the sweetest Valentine present ever in six consecutive episodes.

KUNG YAN TUNG (Wong Cho Lam) is beaten in a singing contest, despite his beautiful voice; turned down by his dream lover, YEUNG SIN WAH (Christine Kuo), despite his kind heart. He blames all these on his unattractive appearance. One day, he gets a pack of magical chocolates by chance. He eats one, and transforms into a heartthrob instantly. He changes his name to KAN LIK SHUN (Wong Yeung Tat & Poon Man Hung), and he hits stardom almost overnight. The magical chocolates have a time limit though. His personal assistant, KING CHI KO (Wong Yeung Tat & Poon Man Hung), discovers his secret. Fortunately, instead of disclosing it, she works even harder to help him. SHUN is getting more and more popular, even famous star TSE ON FEI (Kate Tsui) is going after him. There are only a few chocolates left. Then SHUN meets a scientist, who gives him a magical chocolate that has no time limit. If SHUN eats it, TUNG will disappear from the earth for good. Before he makes the decision, he is surprised to find that KO has tried the magical chocolates, too.
Comments: First, the HK entertainment industry was covered in the intriguing The Beauty of the Game. Now, HK's music industry shall be covered, featuring innuendos of popular singers Kay Tse and so on. That is my main reason to watch it, as well as seeing the short but talented Wong Cho Lam and Kitty Yuen finally collaborating. Unfortunately, the synopsis seems cheesy. The fact that Bosco and Kate are in the series make me not so crazy about it as well.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A Chip Off the Old Block Review

Who would've thought that A Chip Off the Old Block, a series I at first thought nothing of and would simply watch to see how it'd turn out, would turn out to be one of the series I enjoyed the most of the rotten year of 2009!

Characterization & Performances

Sunny Chan - "Chor Fan"
"One for all and all for one" is the quote in which Chor Fan lives by. No matter how many times people manipulate, trick, or betray him, Chor Fan still believes there's good in everyone and refuses to give up anyone as a result. It was surprising that Chor Fan would fall into the same fate (initially at least) as his 'father.'

Perhaps it's Sunny's great acting abilities, but like Liling of TVB Sensations, I agree that he was enjoyable to watch as the male version of Lau Sam Ho. Great performance as always. He brought his character alive, as unrealistically good as Chor Fan was.

Ron Ng - "Chor Chi"

Ah Chi is arrogant, full of himself, and thinks he's clever. After going back in time to the 1960's though, Ah Chi slowly changes into a much more mature and lovable man. Although I was initially irritated and annoyed by Ah Chi, I grew to love him as he changed. It was satisfying and sweet to see Ah Chi reflect back on his actions (or in this case, his 'double' in 2008).

Ron continues to make a positive impression on me and his acting has truly improved. While his portrayal of Chung Lap Man in E.U. remains my favorite from Ron, it further proves his slowly increasing versatility as the two characters are totally different.

Myolie Wu - "So Fung Nei"

A classy con-artist who is willing to do anything (including risk her life) for money. Her eyes widen at even the mention of money. She is willing to do anything for it, but it is out of the goodness in her heart which longs to help her ill mother.

As an actress who I believe has the most potential out of all the youngsters running around TVB, I was saddened to see how netizens have been bashing Myolie for the past few years because of the countless weak roles she received. I've been longing to see her in another breakthrough role, and I got my wish. So Fung Nei is such a unique character and Myolie portrays her flawlessly! Since finishing this series, my love for Myolie has been revived.

Mandy Wong - "So Fung Lin"

The complete opposite of So Fung Nei, So Fung Lin is naive and innocent. Despite that, she refuses to become a swindler like her older sister. She has a very big and caring heart and does what she can to help others. Fung Lin also has very bad vision that she aids with very thick glasses. Unfortunately, they're thrown away by her older sister several times, forcing her to 'walk blind,' resulting in many cute scenes.

Even though this is only her debut performance, I already think Mandy is a better actress than Shirley will ever be though the latter has much more experience. It's already rather clear that Mandy out performed Shirley. Perhaps it's the character? Mandy gave one of the best performances I've seen for a debut. She was natural in her role, as well as naturally adorable.

John Chiang - "Ko San Chuen"

Having picked off Chor Fan from the streets and taking him home to raise him, women have always been scared away from Ko San Chuen. He has failed to ever find a wife despite his elderly age. As a result, he can be stingy and negative. He sees women as something that are here just to give birth to children. To me, he was cheap, irritating, and annoying. It was not until the last episode when Chor Chi was back to the present that I finally started to like him. It was touching and sweet to see that there was no secret recipe for his soup, meaning he treated Chor Fan as his own son.

My like for John just decreases more and more with each series I see him in. His characters and his acting are now no longer anything special. Although Ko San Chuen was able to redeem himself by the last episode, it was still too late. Why John accepted this role in the first place is yet another mystery of TVB.

Gigi Wong - Tam Lan Ching

The landlady of many of our wonderful characters and later wife of Uncle Chuen. For over 20 years she believed that her daughter Fun Lui was switched with rich woman's daughter Pin Pin at the hospital. She however eventually learns to love Ah Fun as she is and realizes her how much she treasures her, whether Fun is her biological daughter or not.

Although the partner of John/Chuen, I liked watching Gigi/Landlady a lot more. Gigi portrays the role very well. While she irritated me a lot at one point for constantly telling Fun Lui she should be more like Pin Pin, her character was very enjoyable to watch.

Shirley Yeung - Ching Lan Fun

Nicknamed 'Tomboy' by basically everyone in Feng Shui Lane, that is exactly what Fun Lui is. That, and loud of course. Carrying her 12 tael ladle everywhere she goes and not having the ability to read or write, she is nothing like a lady at all.

Though the lack of love and appreciation she received from her mother in the latter episodes made me pity Fun Lui, it's hard to pity one wholeheartedly when the actress couldn't be any more unnatural. Shirley shouted and yelled way too many lines and she's yet to learn how to shed real tears. However, she's compatible with Ron though their love story was undeveloped and rushed.

Nancy Wu - "Leung Pin Pin"

Innocent, delicate, elegant, and cute as a button, Pin Pin is banned from ever eating anything from food stalls as much as she loves them. With a talent for music, she is quickly sent over to Vienna to continue her musical education just as she befriends many people.

Leung Pin Pin was not a necessary character and the series could've done without her, especially with the lack of screen time she had. I'm glad she was included anyway however because Nancy was naturally adorable in the role. With the look of a Barbie, the screen brightened whenever Nancy appeared on screen.

Louis Yuen - "Ngau Ching Wing"

Like his nickname suggests, Wing is definitely 'furious.' With an extremely bad temper, Furious Wing has a tendency to take out his pistol and threaten to shoot anyone who makes him mad. Although he loves his daughter, his methods of taking care of her and keeping her from seeing her mom are ridiculous. If anything, this character is known for all the things he 'hates.'

Yet another actor who over exaggerates to be funny, I was not impressed with Louis' humor. I was however amused at the scenes in which an elderly Furious Wing would chase robbers during modern times.

Carlo Ng - "Sing Sap Yee"

Born with a silver spoon in his mouth and originally having ten wives, Master Sap Yee has it all in the beginning only to loose everything later on. As a character that drove me nuts with his gambling addiction in the latter episodes, I wasn't too fond of Master Sap Yee. I'm confused as to why they never showed him working in Dor Dor as I'm sure it would've been amusing and/or hilarious to watch a rich gone broke man working in the department store he used to buy the most expensive things at.

Since I was irritated by this character for a majority of the second half of the series, I didn't pay much attention to Carlo's actual performance. Disregarding his character, Carlo delivers. The fact that the actor is 37 years old though still blows my mind as his face makes him look rather young like a little kid.

Time Period. Since a TVB series set in the 1960's has become endangered, Chip was refreshing to watch for it's time period. Not only did it give off a fresh feeling, Mandy and Nancy looked adorable in their 60's wardrobe.

Humor. As the only other series from 2009 other than You're Hired that made me laugh endlessly, I loved Chip for it's humor. While the comedy comes off a bit too strong with the exaggeration in the beginning, it feels toned down to a better level in the second half. Of course, this series' humor can be rather 'silly' and 'crazy' but it is nevertheless cute. Myolie's So Fung Nei is the one who generates the most laughter hands down.

Relationships. TVB love relationships these days are getting worse and worse. It's not the characters or the artistes themselves. For this particular series, chemistry was never an issue as both couples were sweet. It's just that their love plots are undeveloped and rushed, which gives off a similar feeling to You're Hired. The most enjoyable were the scenes where So Fung Nei started to fall for Chor Fan, making her seem like she caught amnesia as she forgot what she was doing as soon as she saw him.

Script. Definitely not flawless. In fact, it has many flaws. The time machine theme feels incredibly confusing and even after watching the finale twice I'm still puzzled about it. How does Chor Fan know about the time machine? Wouldn't Chor Chi's being in the 1960's interfere with the events in the future just a bit? As Chor Chi was Chor Fan's good friend in the 60's whom all our characters knew, was it the events of the time machine that were supposed to happen? There are so many questions left unanswered. Ignoring the time machine aspect altogether, Chip was episodes of good fun.

Ending. I enjoyed the last two episodes up until the last minute. I loved how everything was being resolved and everyone was getting their happy ending. Indeed happy endings are cliched, but it felt right for such a happy and lighthearted series. All the cheesiness and reuniting made me shed tears several times. It was too bad that the series decided to end on a cliffhanger/open ending as a way to advertise for the sequel.

Overall Thoughts
This series brought me so many laughs. It is a great stress reliever and extremely enjoyable. It's silly, but a good silly. It's over the top, but a good over the top. In short, though the series has many points you would consider bad, the series carries a certain charm that turns those points good. TVB managed to fit in another series from 2009 that was actually worth watching just before the year was over. Although it has many flaws, especially in script, that doesn't keep Chip from being an unexpected gem. This is a series that can't be missed.

Rating: 3 3/4 stars

Friday, January 15, 2010

Cupid Stupid

English Title: Cupid Stupid
Chinese Title: ?????
Broadcast Period: January 25, 2010 – February 25, 2010
Genre: Modern Romance
Length: 20 episodes
Producer: Tsui Yu On
Scriptwriter: Chan Ching Yee & Lau Chi Wah
Cast: Steven Ma, Tavia Yeung, Michael Tse, Mandy Cho, Ruco Chan, Susan Tse, Lee Kwok Lun


How would one’s horoscope be interpreted and affect one’s love life? A simple note that reads “Getting to meet the most important person in your life” is strong enough to draw fishmonger CHI YAT PO (Steven Ma), toy shop assistant KAN NGO LAM (Tavia Yeung) and toy designer KOON SING HO (Michael Tse) into a torrid love triangle. When making their way out of the maze, the three of them begin to hesitate. Can one’s love life really be predicted?

Unlike his childhood friend LAM, PO does not believe in horoscopes. But this does not affect their friendship at all and they are even closer than ever. PO is held up to ridicule while trying to save LAM from her lovelorn woe. Believing that PO is her Mr. Right, LAM seeks every opportunity to express her love for him. Sadly PO has realized this too late, and LAM is already going out with HO, with whom she is very compatible in terms of star signs, personalities and interests. HO’s ex-girlfriend FONG CHEUK KEI (Mandy Cho) cannot bear to part from the man, forcing LAM to give up on the relationship reluctantly. During this most difficult time, PO has once again stood by LAM with tender loving care. As time goes by, the pair has gradually developed a genuine affection for each other. All of a sudden, HO turns up and asks to get back with LAM. To LAM, HO is a dream while PO helps keep her feet on the ground. Who is she going to stay with in the end?

Comments: Unfortunately, this synopsis screams 'boring!' Then again, TVB's synopsis' aren't the best written things (just like their scripts). Believe it or not, the person who made me decide to give this series a try was not any of our three leads, Tavia, Steven, or Michael. Nope, it's Ruco Chan. I'm hoping he has a major supporting role as his screen time in all of his series from last year (The Threshold of an Era, A Great Way to Care, Burning Flame 3) were limited. The versatile and underrated actor is also in need of a breakthrough role. Other than that, nothing seems to interest me right now, but I'm hoping it'll give me a pleasant surprise. I wish they had kept the title as The Stars of Love though because Cupid Stupid indeed sounds stupid. Couldn't they have at least made it Stupid Cupid so it sounds more grammatically correct? Lol.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Best Supporting Actor Satire

*Originally written on December 2, 2009*

If you guys remember, I had written a satire from the nominees of Best Actor and Best Actress for the TVB 42nd Anniversary Awards. I had initially planned to do so for the rest of the nominees too. I had no witty lines or anything to come up with as well as no time. In the end, the continuation of the satire never happened. However, while I was looking through my unfinished drafts today, I noticed this one. I then remembered I had managed to finish the satire for Best Supporting Actor. Though I have no wish to finish it as the timing's way off, I thought I'd at least release this 'never before seen' satire...

Done with the leads, now it's to the supporting...

Best Supporting Actor

Executive #1: If it weren't for Laughing Gor, we would've been stuck in a rut this whole year. Not to mention, we would've never been able to score good ratings. TVB is so giving him this award. Why don't they just rename it The Laughing Gor Award so we don't have to come up with 14 other nominations?
Executive #2: If only our jobs were so easy. Long live Laughing Gor though! He is the TVB God of 2009!
Executive #1: You are so weird sometimes.
Executive #2: But aren't I right? Michael Tse's Laughing Gor was the first positive thing to happen to the entertainment industry this year! All the gossips and ridiculous scandals were getting so annoying..
Executive #1: Agreed. Ok, nominate Ngok Wah and Kenny Wong from The Gem Of Life. I don't care if the series was a failure, we spent too much time on that production to let those darn artistes go to waste.
Executive #2: I know, I don't plan on wasting so much time on a production anymore. Isn't it great how life has so many 'shortcuts'?
Executive #1: It is and it's obvious the rest of TVB thinks so!
Executive #1: It doesn't matter how big a failure The Gem of Life was, we spent too much time putting the big cast together to let them go to waste. Nominate Ngok Wah and Kenny Wong.
Executive #2: Oh, darn! We forgot to nominate Raymond Wong for his performance in Sweetness in the Salt in Best Actor!
Executive #1: You forgot, but I didn't. I just didn't bring it up. You know, Raymond isn't exactly one of the actors we wish to promote. Raymond Wong at least, Raymond Lam yes.
Executive #2: Well then, might as well nominate him here. Oh, never forget our unexpected success Rosy Business. Ngo Ka Nin definitely deserves a nomination.
Executive #1: *sighs* I guess TVB's diabolical plan to give Ngo Ka Nin kelefe and minor supporting roles forever failed. With such a great critical reaction from the audience of his performance we'll be fried if we don't promote him now.
Executive #2: Nothing is guaranteed in life.
Executive #1: Gee, those are the deepest and most intelligent words I've ever heard you utter.
Executive #2: Hey, I know I can be rather clueless sometimes but at least I'm impartial! Unlike you who is willing up to kiss up to TVB by going by their silly biased ways!
Executive #1: Me a kiss up?! *starts to lose temper* Ok, nevermind. How about Ron? He was in Rosy Business too.
Executive #2: Pff. What happened to your little 'they're one of our top siu sangs and it'll be embarrassing if we put them in the supporting category' theory?
Executive #1: I'm taking revenge for TVB. If you noticed, we didn't nominate Ron's performance in E.U. for Best Actor despite the fact he's obviously improved. Haven't you noticed he's been filming mainland series these days? He's barely filming with us now!
Executive #2: Looks like Sammul Chan's been spending too much time with him during filming. The Mr. I Have No Contract With TVB is having an influence on him.
Executive #1: Argh, Sammul!
Executive #2: The boy's pretty smart. If I was an actor I'd probably go work in the mainland too, they pay so much better and he actually gets lead roles there.
Executive #1: Oh, shut up! Ok, now just go through all the supporting actors from the series this year: Tsui Wing, Stephen Au, Evergreen Mak, and Dominic Lam.
Executive #2: Don't forget about Derek Kwok!
Executive #1: Oh yes. Poor guy's been working his butt off for so long and all he gets is a nomination. Like he'll ever win. *evil laugh*
Executive #2:
And you think I have problems. Maybe you should've joined TVB as an actor instead.
Executive #1: I did, I failed TVB's acting class. And I didn't have someone famous like Louis Koo backing me up like Ron did.
Executive #2: Wow, no wonder you dislike him so much.
Executive #1: Mhm. Ok, obviously don't forget our supporting actors of our grand productions Beyond and Born Rich.
Executive #2:
Boy, is Lee Kwok Lun awesome in Beyond! Ram is hilarious and so sweet too! Kenneth is great too!
Executive #1: Yeah, yeah, they're amazing. One more nomination left!
Executive #2: *thinking*
Executive #1:
Oh, Joel Chan in E.U.! It doesn't matter he had practically no screen time. He comes in so handy when we need someone to play a short guest appearance as an ex boyfriend and such! Let's give him this nomination to make him feel wanted!
Executive #2: Wow, great thinking!

Monday, January 4, 2010

TVB Interaction's Year in Review: 2009

Just over about a year of watching TVB, my taste and standards have already become very high. It takes a lot to impress me. I don't think that's why I didn't enjoy a majority of the series in 2009 though. 2009 has been one of the weakest years for TVB in a while. There were an overboard of lighthearted series and when our two dramas finally arrived (Beyond and the Realm of Conscience and Born Rich), both were unable to capture our interest. 2010 has come in the blink of an eye, and it's time to look back on the previous year...

*Note: I did not watch The Greatness of the Hero, nor do I have any thoughts or comments on it.

"This Proves the Ancient Comedy is Dead, Please No More"

A Winter Melon Tale: Cheesy and ridiculous fantasy. I was already turned off by the poster and theme video. Watching the first episode confirmed that the series is indeed silly and uninteresting. It's a shame the versatile Louisa So and Sunny Chan wasted their talent on this.

A Bride for a Ride: Aw, more talented artistes gone to waste! Poor Louisa So just keeps popping up in these silly series, huh? Bride is easily the hardest series to finish of the year. The comedy is exaggerated and the series as a whole is a big turn off. What are my favs Sammul and Nancy doing here?

Man in Charge: This series is both a comedy and a drama, but hey, I had to put it somewhere. The cast is not at all appealing except for Leila. I passed this series in the end as I still had a huge bias against Kate during the airing of the series. Since I became bored skimming through the through a few of the episodes, I didn't bother to pick it up again.

Enough With the Sequels to Series That Shouldn't Have a Sequel

Burning Flame 3: With Burning Flame II being released so long ago, it is a question to me as why they even bothered to film another sequel. The main characters are poorly written and not likable. It is hilarious how such a small supporting character like Stephen Wong's Ko Ho Nam was more developed and dynamic. The plot focuses too much on relationships and feels like the only thing the series talks about. Plus, it doesn't help when your main protagonist is so stubborn and annoying.

Just Love II: I didn't watch the original, but I enjoyed the sequel. Considering Just Love was never a huge success, I'm not sure why a sequel was filmed. Although it was at many times sweet and enjoyable, especially for Jessica and Sunny, the plot was predictable and repetitive. First off TVB, you can't have a series focus on a bunch of blood tests. The best part of watching the series to me was easily to watch Selena and Patrick. Oh, and don't forget Jessica and Sunny's adorable baby Bee! Without taking into consideration of why there's a sequel, this is a lighthearted series you should be able to watch simply to relax and enjoy.

D.I.E. Again: It's understandable that D.I.E. filmed a sequel since it was such a ratings success. I don't mind either, as I enjoyed it a lot though the humor was often exaggerated. Honestly, the only reason it is under this category is because it's a sequel that failed to live up to the success of the original. In other words, it's a hugely forgotten series, not managing to make it into the top 5 of any awards at 2009's anniversary awards. I still liked the series for it's great new additions to the cast.

Disappointing and Draggy

The Threshold of a Persona: Though I was initially interested at the refreshing theme of immigration, that feeling quickly disappeared with it's draggy pace and lack of focus in plot. While I loved watching Natalie, Ruco, and Patrick for their performances and/or characters they are still out shined in terms of position by the lead Roger. And if you've read my review on the series, you already know how I feel about that. If the whole series was anything like the last three episodes, I would've enjoyed it a lot more.

The Gem of Life: Upon finding out that this planned 'blockbuster' was at a whooping length of 80 episodes, I passed. The cast may be eye catching, but I look for a good script. The turtle pace and excess of boring and unnecessary scenes was enough for me to say 'no thank you.' Hopefully, TVB has learned a lesson the next time they try to surpass their episode record.

Beyond the Realm of Conscience: Beautiful in terms of costumes but bland in terms of plot. The plot was nothing special and mediocre. Characterization is poor. Since finishing this series I have come to the conclusion I will stay away from palace dramas, at least for another five years. All the fighting, arguing, and backstabbing feels too immature. I might've liked the latter part of the series if my expectations weren't so high. Ok, maybe not.

Born Rich: At first, it had the perfect mix of drama and comedy. The acting was top notch and (almost) all the characters were unique and special in their own way. The series does get to the point that it is boring and highly irritating. Born Rich's excessive episode length of 41 episodes, mostly full of annoying and undeveloped characters and plots is something that should be missed.

Don't Judge A Book By It's Cover--This Isn't That Bad!

In the Chamber of Bliss: Although I initially wanted to skip the series for the unappealing cast (with the exception of Damien) and my disinterest for period dramas, I passed in the end because of lack of time to watch it. Though a majority felt the same way and that the series would be boring, reception for the series was pretty good. Bloggers were pleasantly surprised and grew fond of the series. I might try to go back to watch this series when I have time.

A Chip Off the Old Block: I had not a care for this series at all during the filming and promoting of it. When seeing that it would replace Beyond, I wasn't very excited. It looked cheesy and so did the time period. This series came as a pleasant surprise to me. It's refreshing (especially the time period) and is a great thing to watch after such a dramatic series. Chip is funny and cute.

A Great Way to Care: Psychology is something TVB has never touched upon (or at least not in a long time) so this series felt very fresh. Like Chip, I was turned off by the two leads Alex and Kate. Their characters turned out to be likable and improvements were seen in Kate's acting. While I find it rather unusual that it eventually turned into a police series, I liked how they tied together psychology and cases. It pointed out nicely how psychological illnesses can be the cause of a committed crime.

Enjoyable to Watch, But Forgettable and Nothing Special

Pages of Treasure: A cute and warm family comedy. Wayne and Sonija made a surprisingly sweet and adorable couple with wonderful chemistry. Eric, Shirley, and Vivien's love triangle was rather irritating to watch though. Unfortunately, there is nothing special to the plot, making it forgettable. I'd like to add though that it had the most random ending conflict ever.

Sweetness in the Salt: The first half is refreshing and had cute pieces of humor thrown in, mostly because of Kwok Fung who played the hilarious dad of Ting Hin. The highlight of is hands down Raymond Wong, who gave a breakthrough performance. In the last few episodes though, it all goes downhill...

The King of Snooker: Despite my picky taste when it comes to entertainment, I actually enjoyed watching the series. To me, it was fun and refreshing. The snooker theme was definitely new. Adam and Niki had great chemistry as father and daughter. As usual, Joyce shines in her supporting role with a flawless performance and lovely wardrobe. It's forgettable, but was still something I enjoyed.

The Stew of Life: 30 episodes was way too long, and the length made it draggy and boring. Fala and Timmy made a cute couple and they had unique relationship development up until the last few episodes when they annoyed me to no end. If there was something I loved watching this series for though it'd be for Jack, that adorable dog.


Rosy Business: With the strongest script for a TVB series in years and a top notch cast, Rosy is the best series 2009 had to offer. The roles of the Fourth Mistress and Chai Kau were complex and interesting. Sheren and Wayne gave perfect performances. Susan Tse and Ngo Ka Nin are also notable cast members.

E.U.: The best (and in a way, the only) action series of the year! With different camera angles and lighting, E.U. had the feel of a movie. Revolving around the Chinese mafia, it is something the Hong Kong TV industry hasn't touched upon. Ron also gave a great performance, proving to us his huge improvements.

You're Hired: I will always remember Dayo's Mak Tai Song, haha. You're Hired's not only the best comedy series of the year, it's the best comedy in a long time. Everything about it just felt so refreshing: the business cases, witty dialogue, and sweet pairing of Charmaine and Dayo. It is a series I can and will want to rewatch again and again.

The Season of Fate

English Title: The Season of Fate
Chinese Title: ????
Broadcast Period: January 11, 2009 – February 12, 2009
Genre: Period Drama
Length: 20 episodes
Producer: Cheung Kin Man
Scriptwriter: Wong Kwok Fai & Yip Sai Hong
Cast: Roger Kwok, Esther Kwan, Michelle Yim, Derek Kwok, Ng Wai Kwok, Oscar Leung, Vivien Yeo, Regen Cheung, Elena Kong


Poor LIN SHEUNG CHUN (Esther Kwan) is sold to KWAN’s family as a concubine but her husband passes away accidentally. Losing husband has caused the first wife WONG YEUK LAM (Michelle Yim) erratic behavior. CHUN has no choice but to take up all family responsibilities including operation of the family’s bistro. During the time, MA WING CHING (Roger Kwok) and LEI SHI MUI (Regen Cheung) are swindling around, their schemes get unveiled by CHUN. However, LAM mistakenly recognizes CHING as her senior apprentice and she runs after him all the time. CHING seizes the chance to swindle money by working at the bistro. After a series of incidents, CHUN and CHING unexpectedly have crush on each other. CHUN feels caught in the middle between CHING and her childhood friend LEUNG GAU MUI (Derek Kwok). All of a sudden, LAM’s second senior apprentice YAM FEI YEUNG (Ng Wai Kwok) returns home with his foster son YAM SHING TIN (Oscar Leung). YEUNG hopes to get LAM’s heart back to him but CHUN believes that he has intentions behind it. Coming as a surprise, she discovers the secret of CHING…
Comments: So this series is supposed to be a drama/semi comedy? Eh, we'll see how this works out. Though I'm not sure the food theme will be interesting as it's been used several times. I'm hesitant of how the plot will turn out (surprise, surprise) but the synopsis seems intriguing. Although I'm tired of the 'love triangle' I love all three artistes (Esther, Roger, and Derek) so maybe I'll actually enjoy it. It's great to see Esther back and she's a great comedic actress. Hopefully by now, you'll realize that Derek's my all time favorite supporting actor too. He'll probably never get the chance to lead, but I'm psyched he's getting another 'second male lead' role. It looks like Oscar has a bigger role than usual too, so I'm looking forward to that. He's starting to grow on me and he's improved a lot.