Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Next Top Fa Dan

Since TVB's loss of Charmaine Sheh, the TV station has lost their top actress and biggest cash cow.  As a result, they are grooming their current young actresses to take over the spot.  Although they are no longer too interested in one big star, they still want more strong first line actresses.  This post isn't trying to predict who can replace Charmaine Sheh, but rather, analyzing and evaluating who has what it takes to be the most successful actress in TVB overall.

My Top Choice
#1 - Myolie Wu
Favorite character/performance(s): The witty and professional lawyer Wong Sze Fu/Kris in "Ghetto Justice", Ling Ling in "Survivor's Law"

Favorite pairing(s): Myo&Sammul in "When Rules Turn Loose", Myo&Kevin in "Ghetto Justice"
Strength(s): Arguably the most versatile of all the young female actresses currently in TVB, consistently delivers solid performances despite receiving some mediocre roles
Weakness(es): Has been criticized by netizens for her performances in the past

In my opinion, Myolie Wu has what it takes to be the most successful actress in TVB and is the most versatile of today's generation.  In the blink of an eye, she has been in the entertainment industry for over 10 years, and her experience shows.  She was stuck playing weak and mediocre roles for a while, but has since overcome that rut.  Recently, she has been seen portraying a variety of roles that have garnered her praise and won over netizens again such as her roles in "A Chip Off the Old Block", "The Rippling Blossom, and "Ghetto Justice".  She does equally well in both comedy and drama.  Due to having the most consistent success this year, Myolie also has a very high chance of finally taking home the coveted "Best Actress" award.  I haven't started "Curse of the Royal Harem" and think she should've been nominated for "Ghetto Justice", but I still support her.  She has worked so hard and overcome so many obstacles as an actress, it is time for her to shine!

Honorable Mentions

#2 - Kate Tsui

Favorite character/performance(s): The tough yet adorable cop Ling Sin-Yee/Ada in "Forensic Heroes III"
Favorite pairing(s): Kate&Kenneth (in several series), Kate&Roger in "Wax and Wane"
Strength(s): Has determination that has consistently kept her working hard and improving her acting; works well with almost every co-star
Weakness(es): Has trouble portraying good and feminine characters due to her natural air of fierceness, still has many haters who refuse to accept her as an actress

Kate initially received a lot of criticism for being a bad actress, many people going as far as saying she should quit the entertainment industry.  However, she didn't let that criticism get to her and instead made it constructive by becoming determined to continue working hard to improve her acting.  This is why personality-wise, she has what it takes to be a successful actress.  Her narrow eyes give off this glare that can make her look evil, which used to be always present in her past performances.  This year has been a breakthrough for her acting-wise because she has successfully shed that "evil glare", but is still able to use that to her advantage when the time calls for it.  She possesses a natural air of fierceness that no other artiste has, which makes portraying tough and intelligent characters her specialty.  Her one major flaw is her inability to play good and gentle characters like Man Ka Fu/Peace in "Wax and Wane", where she seems tired, most likely from trying so hard to shed that natura air.  However, over time, I believe Kate can become a well-rounded actress.  Until then, she is still one of my favorite TVB artistes due to her determined personality, fighter girl spirit, fierce aura, and improvements in acting!

#3 - Fala Chen

Favorite character/performance(s): Szeto Ngan Ping in "Can't Buy Me Love"
Favorite pairing(s): Fala&Timmy in "The Stew of Life"
Strength(s): Has the widest variety of characters
Weaknesses(es): Fails to create sparks with co-stars on an emotional level

Compared to actresses like Kate, Linda, and Selena, Fala has the widest variety in the characters she plays.  Her acting has improved and she has shown us that she has comedic talent as well.  Fala was my top choice to be the next Charmaine Sheh a couple months ago, but that opinion has changed.  Her emotional scenes themselves are decent, but she has a lot of trouble creating sparks with co-stars on an emotional level.  By that, I mean she appears emotionally detached in romantic scenes.  She portrays lighthearted and sweet chemistry (i.e. she had chemistry with Timmy and Kenneth in the comedies "The Stew of Life" and "Can't Buy Me Love") just fine, yet struggles in going deeper.  Fala does not seem to like working with her on-screen love interests and particularly hates kiss and love scenes.  She avoids them at all costs and usually opts for camera angle tricks whenever possible.  Meanwhile, Kate manages to have chemistry with almost every on-screen love interest and can appear to be both lighthearted and passionate.  I've come to the sad realization that Fala acts well herself, but has not emotionally connected to any of her co-stars in a more dramatic series.

Also, in terms of character specialty, she is the opposite of Kate.  Feminine characters are her strength while tough characters are her weakness.  Of what I saw of "Lives of Omission", Fala was not believable as the tough and strong Madam Jo. This weakness may actually limit her more than Kate's.  In the end, both of these problems will hold her back as a serious actress.

#4 - Tavia Yeung

Favorite character/performance: Suen Ho Yuet in "Moonlight Resonance"
Favorite pairing(s): Tavia&Ruco in "The Other Truth"
Strength(s): Emotional/crying scenes
Weaknesses(s): Lack of variety in roles, has not done comedy

Despite possessing a natural elegance as well as major talent in drama series and emotional scenes, Tavia has been extremely limited in her roles lately.  Does she have the capability to be a lead actress?  Definitely!  But ever since she was promoted to lead actress, she has been restricted to weak and quite frankly, irritating characters that require her to cry way too much.  She has yet to show whether or not she has talent in comedy.  In general, her acting is much better than that of Kate and Fala's, but I question if her exquisite acting stretches beyond drama.  Tavia used to be my favorite TVB actress, but the repetitiveness and unlikability of her recent characters has caused me to no longer be excited to see her onscreen.  She could easily be much higher on this list if she had the opportunity to be more daring in the characters she portrayed.

Other Choices

#5 - Nancy Wu
Favorite character/performance: Hui Man Sze in "Gun Metal Grey", Eva in "Forensic Heroes III"
Favorite pairing(s): Nancy&Vincent in "Gun Metal Grey"
Strength(s): Overall a capable actress; consistently delivers in supporting roles
Weakness(es): Voice is not too pleasant and slightly irritating when she yells/screams

If an actress is truly talented and capable, they will leave a good impression on you no matter what the character they're playing.  This statement applies to Nancy, because while she has played irritating characters in the past ("Bing Bing" in "A Fistful of Stances"), she rarely fails to give a solid performance.  Her one and probably only major drawback in her acting is that her voice is not too pleasant on the ears when she yells and screams.  Maybe it's for this reason that I can not imagine Nancy as a lead actress, even though I absolutely love her.  However, I am pleased to see that she is a second lead in the boxing series with Kevin, Raymond Wong, and Selena Li.  Her character is a deaf and mute professional boxer.  I see another breakthrough for Nancy on the horizon.

#6 - Selena Li
Favorite character/performance(s): Cat Li in "Forensic Heroes II"
Favorite pairing(s): Selena&Kenneth
Strength(s): Does well in ancient series and emotional scenes
Weakness(es): Has a naturally sweet and innocent aura that could hinder her ability to portray evil

Selena is pretty as well as adorable.  Coupled with her solid acting, she is endearing to watch onscreen.  She has also proved she can play spoiled and somewhat conceited characters like in "To Grow With Love" and "The Four" without being too irritating.  She looks beautiful in ancient series and does well in her emotional scenes.  She can make improvements, but has a lot of potential and I hope to see her in more series in bigger roles!

#7 - Linda Chung
Favorite character/performance(s): N/A
Favorite pairing(s): Linda&Steven
Strength(s): Cries well
Weakness(es): Also has a naturally sweet and innocent aura that could hinder her ability to portray evil

Compared to the other potential fa dans, I think Linda has the least chances of becoming a top actress and I've yet to completely warm up to her.  Although she is a decent actress, she also has a naturally sweet and innocent aura like Selena.  However, I think this limits Linda more than Selena as she comes off as even more innocent to me.  This will keep her from portraying a wide variety of characters, especially villains.  However, she does do a very good job with her emotional scenes.

This is my evaluation and personal choices for who has what it takes to be the most successful actress in TVB.  What are your choices and thoughts?


  1. Hm, I agree mostly on everything you said. Especially about Tavia. She used to be my favorite actress but lately, it seems like she's lost her "spark" & ability to captivate me. I guess it's due to her poor characters, and lately I find it hard to be excited for her series. Although I was excited for The Other Truth, her character was one of the disappointments. Mavis was not interesting whatsoever!

    Wow, surprisingly you have Kate very high in your list. I like Kate, she's okay in my opinion and compared to Nancy, Selena and Fala her acting is still the most unconvincing. She's improved my heaps since the beginning of her career but she has yet to impress me. I would've placed Nancy Wu before her on my list. And for Fala, I think I'd have her tie with Tavia. Her not so convincing portrayal of Madam Jo, and LOO being the most recent series of her disappointed my views on her acting a whole lot.

    What's the most surprising is I think it's safe to say everyone agrees Linda is more interesting to watch and possibly her acting is even better in her evil roles. Her performance in A Journey Called Life was a baddie role in the beginning and she really went all out for it. In Gem of Life she was a straight up evil character and she nailed that as well. Her Elise character made you want to slap her across at the face some parts, haha!

  2. Wow! I really enjoyed reading your post :)

    I must Nancy, I am also surprise that Kate is high on your list even though I did know you're a big fan of her personality. I am really warming up to Kate too though :)

    Definitely enjoyed reading your thoughts on all of the actresses though, especially of Fala.

    Linda on the other hand, I think she can play bad roles too. Especially after watching her in A Journey Called Life :)

    Would you be doing a similar posts for the guys too?? :D

  3. Definitely enjoyed this post on a different level, especially the evaluation on the strengths and weaknesses of the actresses. You shed new insight into Fala and Nancy's weaknesses which slipped my mind due to my busy schedule. I've been watching TVB series more for entertainment purposes to ease my stress more than critiquing it on a critical level. Fala's refusal to perform kissing scenes is certainly a no-no for a front line actress since she has such a cute voice, beautiful figure, and pretty face. If she didn't possess this shortcoming, I would say physically, she has the most potential to be TVB's top actress. You are right, Fala shines well on herself, but she doesn't share intimacy with much of her co-stars.

    I've also noticed Nancy's voice isn't too pleasant to hear, but as a great supporting actress, I look forward to most of her performances with little to no time left for criticisms, hehe! Fans love her in Twin of Brothers. You should definitely give it a try although I have a feeling the series plot will not appeal to you. Perhaps watch selected Nancy scenes?

    Haha, I was VERY surprised to see that one of your favorite roles of Nancy was Eva in Forensic Heroes III!!!!! What?!!! I tried discussing her character with you, and all you said was that it's unfortunate that many lawyers in real life are like Eva. End of discussion. :( Can I know why Eva is one of your faves??????? :DD

    As much as I love Myolie, I find her evilness in Curse LAUGHABLE. It's not bad, just not convincing. We know she tried, but since the series is another marketing tactic to promote Myolie (which I don't mind), I wouldn't criticize her acting much. Evil isn't her realm. However, I find her chemistry and love story with Joel touching. P.S., don't tell anyone I shed a few tears for them in last night's episode. ;)

    As much as I enjoy FH3, I gotta give my vote for Kate in Lives of Omission. Her chemistry and physical intimate scenes with Bosco is a first and breakthrough by TVB standards! I also love Peace in W&W, but Paris is much more intense! <3

    Selena is sweet, but I can't see her as a lead actress. However, I find her sweetness more "sweet" than Linda's. Linda's innocence is almost on the verge of boring for me.

    Long comment, but I hope you like it since I don't always have time to comment. But every time you have a post, we always discuss it via chat so there's no point in repeating everything by commenting.

  4. Wow, thanks for the awesome comments guys! First off, I want to clarify a couple things.This list was not determined by SOLELY ACTING. If it were, this would be my list: Myolie, Tavia, Nancy, Fala,and Kate. This list was determined by multiple factors: acting, charisma, personality, work ethic, roles, whether or not I can see them as a lead actress, etc.

    Nancy - Hey, it's nice to hear from you again! This is the first time you've commented on my blog in a while. Tavia is still a great actress, but since it's TVB, she doesn't have much power in the roles she gets. As a result, I no longer look forward to watching her. If she started taking on more of a variety of roles, she could easily jump to #2. I still have no idea if she has comedic talent like Myolie tho.

    Like I said (and I apologize for not clarifying this in the post), this list isn't only based on acting. Kate's acting is still far from that of actresses like Tavia, Fala, and Nancy, but she possesses many qualities that I think will make her a successful actress in the long run. As much as I hate to admit success doesn't only rely on one's own hard work, becoming successful as an actress also has a little to do with luck and star quality, both of which Kate have. In terms of the roles she receives, they are more diverse and interesting than Tavia's. If Kate continues to improve in her acting, in a couple more years she can be along the ranks of the other girls.

    I didn't want to comment too much on Linda because I have only watched a few of her series and have missed most of her breakthrough roles. That's why I didn't pick a favorite performance. I didn't want to unfairly criticize her, but at the same time didn't want to assume I'd definitely hate or love a performance of hers. Now that you mention it, I haven't watched A Journal Called Life. Will definitely give the series a try sometime! :) Also, I forgot to add that Linda has less chances of becoming a top actress because she balances her acting and singing career, as opposed to focusing on mainly acting like the others. Hope I didn't offend a Linda fan!

    Lynne - Haha, read my clarification points and my reply to Nancy as to why Kate's so high on the list. :) Glad you're warming up to her as I am too. In the past I've only liked her for her personality, but I'm beginning to slowly see her more as a serious actress.

    Do you agree on what I said with Fala as well? I brought up a lot of points. I absolutely loved Fala last year and the beginning of this year, but recent discoveries about her are making me iffy towards her. :(

    Definitely will check out AJCL!

    Hm...maybe. :) For some reason, I feel like a post for the guys will be harder to do.

  5. Chriselle - Fala can do "cute chemistry" in lighthearted series, but can't do intense and passionate chemistry. There are many onscreen pairs who've never dated in real life but are simply good friends and get along very well. At the top of my head, I can't think of anyone like that for Fala. Maybe Steven? Maybe she'll be able to do it overtime, but right now Fala can't portray tough and strong characters convincingly, which is sad since those are one of my favorite types of characters to watch.

    Some people shine in supporting roles but after they are promoted to lead, they lose their "spark". This isn't because they're not capable, but as lead they no longer portray intriguing or unique characters. This is mostly TVB's fault. Perhaps that's why I'm iffy about Nancy possibly being promoted to lead. I enjoy watching her in supporting roles so much and I don't want to see her go down the same route as Tavia.

    I don't LOVE Eva as much as you, but find it Nancy's most interesting and different character to date, so I consider it my favorite. Yes, she's like most other lawyers (most concerned about winning cases), but she showed she is human and has insecurities. When Eva leaves HK and says goodbye to Wayne and her daughter, she appears cool and impartial, only to burst into tears after the car drives away and she knows no one's looking. Wayne said that she's not heartless, but she doesn't like showing people her weakness and vulnerability. This makes it seems like she doesn't care, but that couldn't be more false. I think a lot of people can relate to this, including me. Eva was driven by winning, but is still a relatable character.

    How is CRH? I don't think I will watch it as I'm no fan of palace dramas or anything with lots of backstabbing/arguing. She should've been nominated for GJ. Kevin currently has the highest chances of winning and it'd be great if they could both win for the same series.

    I tried watching LOO a second time, but only got to episode 7. I just couldn't get into it and can't comment on Bosco&Kate too much since there wasn't much focus on them yet. I can't say if I enjoyed Kate as Paris or not. They definitely were passionate tho!

    I can't see Selena as lead either, but I still like watching her and hope she can at least have more meaty first supporting roles. Selena and Linda are both sweet and innocent looking, but for some reason I use the word "sweet" to describe Selena and the word "innocent" to describe Linda more. Did you watch A Journey Called Life? I've heard a lot of good things about Linda's performance there.

  6. Woah, like the other commenters, I'm a little surprised you ranked Kate so high too. Agree with most of what you've said. Agree too that a successful actress is not dependent on her acting alone. i mean, this is life, isn't it? Even in an office, the most capable person on a job doesn't always get the promotion.

    As you know, I'm no Myolie fan because I dislike her look, dislike her naturally slouchy shoulder which affects her posture, and that, for me, in turns, affect her star quality for me. Yet, I can't deny, among the new fa-dans, she's has the most natural acting ability in most roles. In my books, she can at most be a good leading actress, but lack star quality & charisma. TVB is pushing her to be the star, but for me, she will never be, unfortunately.

    I would have placed Fala in 2nd place. In terms of star quality, I think Fala has it. But she's not a serious actress, as you have observed, being unwilling to go indepth in her craft. For viewers, that's unfortunate, since we want fa-dans who are the best of all worlds, ie great acting, pretty face, charismatic, sexy body, alluring, project an image that we approve and look up to etc etc... Too bad that with TVB's current drain of talent, we don't really have much choices. For that I can accept Fala in 2nd place, provided that she doesn't do roles that are too much of her archilles heel, eg a tough cop.

    Totally agree, Tavia recent roles are bleh bleh bleh, although it's not her fault. But we can't help it as viewers. So in my 3rd place is Kate. Again, she has the star quality, and there are some roles that she can't do. Lets face it, most actresses have their strengths, as well as weaknesses. And Kate's greatest strength is something that no other 1st or 2nd line actresses in TVB has is that she can do action scenes with real power. Too bad her face is too modern for ancient series, so she best suited as a modern series cop.

    My 4th and last choice is Linda. Personally, I don't find her all that bad an actress, although she too, has her weaknesses like all the other actresses.


  7. " Did you watch A Journey Called Life? I've heard a lot of good things about Linda's performance there."

    I did watch A Journey Called Life and I vaguely remembering enjoying the second half of the series. Linda indeed performed well in there, but it seems that my likability for Linda's acting/character in the 2008 series did not travel far until now. It was more of a moment's thing, hehe.

    However, if she performed equally amazing (not that she performed badly) as the spoiled and rebellious brat in The Gem of Life, I'm pretty sure that the love will travel further. xD

  8. queen_owl - Yes, if success only relied on acting, this list would be much different.

    I've never noticed Myolie's slouch. It's never bothered me, but I'm glad although you're biased against her, you still recognize that she's a good actress. A lot of people can't do that. :/

    Fala and Kate are more or less on the same level as both have their strengths but big drawbacks. I can deal with Fala not being able to portray tough characters, but it's her unwillingness in interacting with her onscreen love interests that bothers me and what ultimately made me put her in 3rd place.

    Agree, Kate is the only one who can do action scenes. She has so much power! Aw, Tavia doesn't even place on your list? :( What's your favorite performance of Linda's?

    Chriselle - Funny, I've heard mostly praise for Linda as the spoiled and rebellious brat in Gem of Life. She didn't seem that bad from the few scenes I saw of hers.

  9. Yah. I'm enjoying Kate now due to her roles. Especially last year, her series were all interesting to watch (which makes her look good in my head). And this year her role in Relic was really likable. I agree with with what you commented to Nancy, about Kate's luck. Even though she does not fit in all of them, the fact that they're diff. doesn't bore me :) Tavia on the other hand was interesting in her supporting roles, but sadly have really bad main characters. Upsetting...since I was a fan of hers (still is but had dropped since her leadings). Haha this point also applies to Michael Tse for me x) About your comment on how you're not sure about Tavia's comedic ability though.....haha I can always imagine her acting in a comedic role xD I guess it's because of her off-screen chemistry with Ron. They're always so funny together <3 haha

    Yah..before I did felt something missing about Fala, but I didn't know what it is. Haha after reading your posts though, it made me think of her pasts role and co-stars. Most recent one with Michael. Eh...weird, didn't like them at all. Cute at points...but never felt anything strong....Haha when they were filming LOO, there was an article saying how it was Fala's first onscreen kiss. I was shock back then when I read that ^^;;; Never knew she hated kissing so much.

  10. Lynne - Kate is fortunate to have the opportunity to take on so many different types of roles, as both lead and supporting. In Tavia's case, being promoted to lead was not a good thing as her roles stopped being interesting after that. :( She's still a capable actress in my eyes, but I no longer look forward to watching her. I've just stopped enjoying watching Michael T. since Laughing Gor. Aw, yes, Tavia and Ron are sweet. I could see her in lighthearted series, but hesitant about whether or not she has comedic timing/talent by herself. I would really like to see her take on a comedic role!

    I was shocked it was Fala's first onscreen kiss too, since she's no newcomer. She has clearly had kisses before, but they were filmed using strategic camera angles. I recall her kissing Johnson and Timmy in Stew of Life. In general, Fala hates being intimate with co-stars. After having filmed the Laughing Gor movie and LOO, you'd think Fala would be more comfortable with Michael. But at last night's Gala where they had to move a balloon around them, Fala looked extremely hesitant and uncomfortable.

  11. I think that Kate and Fala are not as dynamic, skilled, and memorable as Tavia, Linda, and Myolie.

    Tavia can play evil, innocent, courageous, and modern characters. She has what it takes to be at the top. Being typcasted into these roles isn't her fault but there's no doubt she can act her way out of a box!

    I think Sharon Chan has what it takes to make it to a lead tvb actress. She needs more chances. Agree?

    1. Julie,

      I agree Kate and Fala are not as dynamic, skilled, and memorable. However, becoming popular and successful in your career (sadly) doesn't at all solely depend on your talent. This list states who I think will rise to the top, as opposed to who's the best actress, otherwise the list would be different. Kate and Fala have continuously received great opportunities and have had great momentum, allowing them to come out on top. Perhaps they're not the most naturally gifted, but you have to give them some credit for their improvements and efforts. :)

      Tavia is indeed an exquisite actress, but being promoted to leading lady somehow had the reverse desired effect on her. Honestly, I think no matter how hard she works, she'll always be in the shadow of the other girls. Not because she's not as talented, but she lacks the luck.

      Yes! Sharon is very likable and a good actress. I definitely see her getting more opportunities. Looking forward to seeing her in Strike of Justice!