Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Possible Breakthroughs of 2012

There are a couple TVB actors each year that reach a breakthrough in their career, whether it's with an outstanding character, performance, or both. As a result, they experience massive jumps in popularity and their career goes to new heights. Here are a couple actors I think will have a breakthrough in 2012...

Mandy Wong
Upcoming Series: Tiger Cubs, The Hippocratic Crush, Policewomen's Battlefield of Love

After losing out on Most Improved Actress at 2011's Anniversary Awards, 2012 looks like it could be a career changing year for the young actress. Arguably the most talented of the new generation, it seems Mandy is getting more diverse and difficult roles to show it.

She will be the second female lead in both "The Hippocratic Crush" and "Policewomen's Battlefield of Love".  In "The Hippocratic Crush", she will play a hot-headed intern who always wants to be better than her older sister, Tavia. Even more interestingly enough, in "Policewomen's Battlefield", she plays a rough female inspector with the nickname "Madam Kill".  Just the nickname catches my attention!

Although I'm not looking forward to the two series themselves much, I can't wait to see her in these roles.  I've always been able to imagine her playing such ambitious and tough characters, and I'm glad she's finally getting the chance to shine!

Oscar Leung

Upcoming Series: Queens of Diamonds and Hearts, Flying Tigers, The Dazzling Dance of Chang'an, The Great Eunuch, Policewomen's Battlefield of Love (Guest star)

Even though he is one of the most solid young supporting actors, Oscar has always been underrated.  He received a much larger role in "The Season of Fate" back in 2010 and was even pegged to win Most Improved Actor,  but ended up not even being nominated. Since then, he's returned to minor supporting roles.

After getting a moderate amount of attention from "L'Escargot", it's starting to seem likely this will finally be his breakout year.  He has a whooping five other series slated to air this year.  In "The Great Eunuch", he will be portraying the emperor.  While I think he doesn't look the role, his acting chops and talent lets me know it will be interesting.

You are truly not a good actor unless each of your performances leaves a good impression, no matter what the character.  Oscar always manages to turn in a great and memorable performance.  He can provide wonderful comic relief as well as do emotional scenes.  I hope that 2012 will be the breakthrough he and fans have been waiting for!

Nancy Wu
Upcoming Series: Boxing Champion, Daddy Good Deeds, The Great Eunuch

Nancy is another talented and young supporting actress who always leaves a good impression.  She always manages to shine in her roles, no matter how small.  While she has portrayed many interesting and memorable characters ("Ah Sze" in Gun Metal Grey and "Eva" in "Forensic Heroes 3" are recent examples), 2012 looks like it will bring yet another breakthrough for her as an actress.

Portraying a mute and deaf professional boxer in "Boxing Champion", the role has "potential breakthrough" written all over it.  She is the second female lead in the series as well.  If "Boxing Champion" is successful and her performance gets positive reception, perhaps she will finally be promoted to leading actress?  My only reservation about this is that she may lose her appeal if this happens.

Tavia Yeung gave countless memorable performances as a supporting actress, but became dull and received very boring roles after being promoted to lead.  As one of my favorite actresses, I'd hate Nancy to go down that road and prefer to see her in these supporting roles that allow her to shine.

Eric Li
Upcoming Series: Dangerous Protection, The Great Eunuch

I'm not sure what Eric's role in "Dangerous Protection" and "The Great Eunuch" is, as he's once again only has a small supporting role.  However, he reached a breakthrough as the funny and loyal "Lo Yat" in "Bottled Passion" as the character and performance garnered him praise and recognition.

Like Oscar, Eric leaves a good impression with each of his performances.  From the creepy bald rapist in "A Fistful of Stances" to the driver and robber in "Catch Me Now" to the hilariously mean hotel manager in "7 Days in Life", whether it's playing good or bad, he is always memorable.

While it is too early in the year and "Lo Yat" was too small of a role for him to win Best Supporting Actor, Eric's future looks a little brighter. I think now, he will be cast in more series. Perhaps if Producer Lee Tim Sing wasn't retiring, he could promote Eric the way he promoted Raymond Wong. Considering they play buddies in his production "Bottled Passion", wouldn't that just be amazing?

Edwin Siu
Upcoming Series: Boxing Champion, Daddy Good Deeds, Steps to Heaven, The Great Eunuch
Edwin has improved greatly since his "Aqua Heroes" days, while retaining his cuteness. He is lively and enjoyable to watch onscreen, and it seems he is slowly being more promoted. One day, I think he will be first supporting actor. Overtime, he could even be a lead.

Unfortunately, his only more major role from his four upcoming series is "Daddy Good Deeds", which looks cheesy and ridiculous. Perhaps his pairing with Linda will be fun and make some noise? I'm hoping he gets a decent amount of screen time in the other three series. Saying he will get a breakthrough this year is a bit of a stretch, but I'm too fond of him to put him on this list and hope for the best anyway.

Him Law
Upcoming Series: Tiger Cubs, The Hippocratic Crush

Following "Your Class or Mine", I started really liking Him and thought he had a lot of potential. Unfortunately, the story of him hitting girlfriend Theresa Fu was exposed permanently damaged my impression of him. His personal life aside, I'm not too fond of his recent "muscle man" image and much prefer him when he exerts more cute and boyish charm. I guess that contradicts his real life personality too much?

While his real life personality seems a little worrying, his acting career seems to be improving. He is second male lead in "The Hippocratic Crush", and his character actually seems interesting. Seeing him in a professional role will be new. The press has also been blowing Him and Tavia's real life friendship out of proportion, so it will be interesting to see how they will play out onscreen. I still like him as solely an actor and still believe he has potential.  However, Him is the only actor here who I don't also like in real life.

These six are the ones I think are most likely to reach a breakthrough in their career this year. Overall, I think Mandy is most likely to reach new career heights, and I couldn't be happier. I will be keeping a close eye on these six! Let's hope for the best for this talented bunch!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Ruco Chan & Grace Wong Perform @ Citywalk

First off, happy belated Chinese New Year to all my wonderful readers!  You can find my wishes for everyone here.  Normally, I don't share videos or do short posts, but wanted to for this occasion.

For this year's Citywalk event, Ruco Chan and Grace Wong performed a dance to Ne-Yo's "Closer".

I've always enjoyed Grace's dancing and was excited to see Ruco dance for the first time.  The outcome was fantastic, especially considering Ruco said they had to do it so last minute and squeeze it into their schedules.

Grace looked stunning and is such a talented dancer.  She wasn't too showy, but still showed her abilities.

Ruco did much better than I expected he would.  He nailed all the moves and transitioned well.  Even when he got on the floor, he didn't fall behind and continued on smoothly.

The two were very in sync the whole time and appeared very into it.  They looked great and performed great as well.  They created chemistry and overall did wonderfully.  Great job, Ruco and Grace!

*Clap clap clap clap* :D

Saturday, January 21, 2012

"Finding Life's Sweetness" Chapter 6

It was Friday night again, a time for working people everywhere to relax.

Simon was tending to his bar when Ethan walked in.  "Ethan, good to see you!  What are you doing here?" he asked.

"I wanted a drink, and who better to patronize than my old friend?" Ethan replied.  "One beer please."

"Coming right up", Simon said, and decided to spark up another conversation.  "So how are you and Ella?" he questioned.

"Pretty good.  We're going to the beach to watch the sunrise tomorrow", Ethan told him.  "Hopefully she doesn't fall asleep or get bored", he added a bit nervously.

Simon laughed at the remark and handed him a beer.  "That sounds like something she would enjoy.  She needs the relaxation", he said.

Ethan nodded.  "I think the peace and serenity should be great", he noted.  "Also, if things go along like I hope, we might spend the whole day together."

"Sounds interesting", Simon replied.  "What are you going to do and where are you going?"

"I don't know yet", Ethan shrugged.  "I want to plan it as we go, see what she'd like to do."

"Aw, if I was a girl I'd be so swooned by your thoughtfulness", Simon joked, poking fun at his friend.

"Har har", Ethan replied, sarcastically.

"So what's going on in the great Simon Ng's love life?" he moved on.

"Like a desert experiencing an extreme drought", Simon replied.

Ethan wrinkled his eyebrows.  "Really?  A young good looking guy with a lot of money who's surprisingly not a jerk isn't getting any love?  What's wrong with this picture?" he made fun of Simon.  "Maybe your magnetic attraction force that seems to surround every rich young guy is broken", he added with a laugh.

"Very funny", Simon sarcastically replied.

"Here's a weird story though", he started.  "I am currently the fake boyfriend of someone", he straightforwardly said.

Ethan choked on his beer.  "I'm sorry, what?  What made you agree to do that?" he asked, curiously.

Simon shrugged.  "I'm doing it as a favor to her", he replied.

"You must like her if you're willing to do that", Ethan smiled.  "So who's the special girl?" he probed.

"Kristy, the assistant manager at my dad's agency.  And I find her interesting, I don't exactly like her", he defended.

"Come on, Simon.  We're adults now.  If you like someone, just say it.  We're not kids anymore", Ethan teased.

"I'm not even supposed to tell you about this", Simon replied, but then his face softened.

"She's different though.  Ambitious, tough, intelligent, and a feisty and fiery spirit unlike any other girl I've met", he talked about her fondly.  "Very stubborn though", he added with a chuckle.

Ethan started pointing at Simon.  "I've never heard you talk about a girl like this, you are definitely in love with her", he said.

Simon laughed.  "I guess I am", he replied.

"Be careful though, she sounds like a potential heartbreaker", Ethan warned, jokingly.

"We'll see about that", Simon said.

Quinn and Vince entered the bar in commotion.

"Why did you drag me here?" Vince complained.

"So you can have a little fun!  You've been so boring lately!" Quinn complained back in a huff.

Simon and Ethan looked up and caught sight of the two.  "Quinn, hey!" Simon called.

"Hey, Simon!" she yelled.  She nudged Vince.  "That's the handsome son of the owner of the agency I was telling you about", she told him and skipped over to him.

Vince followed Quinn over to the two guys and took a good look at Simon.  "Hmph, what's so special about him?  I'm just as handsome as him", he thought to himself.

Simon pointed to Vince.  "Your boyfriend?" he asked Quinn in a friendly tone.

Quinn looked appalled.  "He wishes!  This is Vince, my good friend and flat mate", she introduced.

"Nice to meet you", Simon and Ethan said to Vince and shook his hand, who appeared annoyed at the "He wishes" comment.

"So what are you two talking about?" Quinn asked, enthusiastically.

"Our love lives.  Or in my case, lack of it", Simon joked.

"Interesting", she replied, intrigued.  "I still find it hard to believe you wouldn't have a girlfriend", she pondered.

"That's the same thing I said to him", Ethan agreed.

"How hard is it to believe?  You've made several of my girlfriends run away", Vince teased her.

"Whoa, Quinn, what did you do?" Simon asked in deep interest.

"Nothing!  Girls just don't like the presence of another girl at their boyfriend's place", she replied, defensively.

"I can see how that would cause some problems", Ethan laughed.

A guy from the other side of the bar came over beside Quinn.  "Hi there, what's your name?" he asked, flirtatiously.  Clearly, it didn't take him long to take a liking to her cute and fun personality.

Simon and Ethan watched without much reaction, but Vince's nose flared.  What was this chump doing talking to Quinn?  Looking for a quick hook up?

"Quinn, what's your name?" she replied with a smile.

"Johnny.  May I buy you a drink?" he shot Quinn a smile.

"Sure!" she said with her usual enthusiasm.

Another guy came over, ready to sweep Quinn off her feet as well.  "I'm Daniel, I couldn't help but noticing your cute face from over there", he said with a smile.

Vince's eyes widened.  Another guy?! he yelled to himself.

He reached over and put an arm on a grinning Quinn's shoulder.  "Hey, Daniel, can't you see she's with me?" he told the guy.

Not wanting to pick a fight, the guys simply left.

"Huh, cheap and undetermined", Vince said about them, satisfied.

Quinn threw his arm off her shoulder and yelled "What did you do that for?"

"They were obviously trying to hook up with you!" Vince replied.

"So?  I wasn't going to follow any of them to a hotel room!" she said, angrily.  "They offered me a free drink!"

"If it really means that much to you, I'll pay for your drink", Vince offered.

"That's not the point!" Quinn screamed.  "But you can definitely pay for my drink", she added.

"Ok then, everything's fine", Vince said.

"No, everything's not fine!  Why did you ruin my fun?" Quinn whined.

"Nothing good was going to come out of that!  Who knew what those guys were really like?" Vince claimed.

Quinn groaned.  "Who are you to say that?  I know you've picked up girls at bars before.  I've seen you do that once, and it was not much different from what they did!" she said.

"Yeah, but you know me and what I'm like", he answered.

"I wasn't trying to find a boyfriend here, Vince.  I only wanted to mingle a bit", Quinn rolled her eyes.

"I'm going to go to the restroom", she said, and left in a huff.

Vince bit his lip.  Ok, maybe that was too much, he thought.  But who knows what they could've done to Quinn?

Simon and Ethan had been observing the two's bickering in amusement the whole time.

"So what's up with you and Quinn?" Simon asked, curiously.

"We told you.  We're friends and flatmates", Vince repeated.

"That didn't just look like an argument between two friends", Ethan said.

Simon nodded.  "Somebody seemed jealous", he noted.

"Rich boy, what are you talking about?" Vince grumbled.

"It's pretty obvious.  Why else would you have such a big reaction?" Ethan questioned.

"She's my friend!  I have to look out for her", Vince said.

"Even if you're just looking out for a friend, you don't have to look like your eyes are going to pop out of your head at the sight of her with another guy do you?" Simon joked.  Simon and Ethan both burst into laughter.

Vince faked laughter.  "Har, har, har, are you two done laughing at me yet?" he asked, annoyed.

"Ok, sorry, Vince.  We aren't trying to make fun of you", Simon apologized after he managed to stop his laughter.

"Yeah, sure you didn't", Vince rolled his eyes.  "I'm going to go to the restroom", he said and left the two guys.

He turned the corner to where the restrooms are and saw Quinn standing there talking to...another guy?!  Seriously?

He hit his head against the wall.  Come on, Vince, why do you care? he thought to himself, extremely annoyed.

Comments: A very dialogue driven chapter with several character interactions.  I am slowly developing the relationship between Simon, Ethan, Vince, and Quinn.  These four will quickly become close friends in the near future, while the three girls will under go more bumps.
It was pretty fun writing lines for Simon and Ethan, as the two are supposed to be good buddies who make fun of each other a lot. :)

Aw, poor Vince!  He seems to be in denial that he loves Quinn, doesn't he? :P I love writing their scenes, hehe.

Preview of what's coming up: Ethan and Ella go on their first real "date".

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

"Finding Life's Sweetness" Chapter 5

"Excuse me, I have a package for a Ms. Ella Yeung", a delivery man said to Quinn, who was dozed off at her desk.

Quinn jumped up quickly.  "What?" she looked up in confusion to see a bouquet of roses infront of her.  "Oh, sorry.  Ella!" she called.

Ella stepped out of her office.  "What are you yelling about Quinn?" she asked and caught sight of the roses.

"Someone sent you roses", Quinn said with a mischievous smile.  Ella signed off on the delivery and opened the card that was hidden in the roses.  The card simply read "From, Ethan".

Quinn peeked over Ella's shoulder to look at the card.  "Is it from the guy who was waiting for you outside the bar the other night?" she asked, curiously.

"Yes", Ella bluntly replied, not sure what else to say.

"Get back to work", she told her, and took the roses into her office.  She stared at them as she thought hard.  She and Ethan had only met twice, but he had managed to leave a heavy impression on her.  He was the only one who had ever challenged her in such a way, and she wasn't sure what to think about that.  She agreed that there were some things that she should change in her life, but didn't want to listen to someone so easily.  Was he worth listening to?  Only time would tell.

Kristy sat impatiently at her desk.  For some reason, she felt...unfulfilled.
Her eyes landed on the plaque sitting on the front of her desk.  It read "Kristy Wong - Assistant Manager".  All of the sudden, the words seemed to stare at her in the face.  She had been working as an assistant manager for about a month, but was already growing impatient and yearning to get higher up.  Ella was alright, but she wouldn't be satisfied until she found herself at the top, over Ella.
That wasn't the only thing bothering her though.  Her mom had visited her last night.  She wasn't nearly as angry as she had been on the phone the other day.  Even so, their encounter last night managed to be even more unpleasant than their phone call.
Knock, knock!  Kristy ran over to look through the peephole at who was at the door.  Who could possibly be looking for her?
She saw her mom (Mary Hon) standing outside and froze.  If there was someone who managed to even come close to slightly frightening Kristy, it was her mom.  She wasn't intimidating, mean, or scary in anyway.  However, Kristy had gotten her bluntness from her mother.  Only, she was an entire different kind of bluntness.
"Sweetie, it's so nice to see you!" she said after Kristy hesitatingly opened the door for her.
"Mom, what are you doing here?  It's Friday night, how did you know I was home?" Kristy asked, trying to feign politeness.
"Who are you trying to kid, Kristy?  You're always home", she answered, making fun of her.
"That's not true, I went to the bar with a couple colleagues a while ago", Kristy attempted to defend herself.
"Oh, a bar isn't the best place to meet men, sweetie", her mom said.  She paused and added "Then again, I'm happy you're going out at all."
"I didn't go there to meet men, mom.  I just went to blow off some steam", Kristy replied.
"I didn't realize you knew how to do that", her mom laughed.  "Anyway, I was just in the neighborhood meeting up with some friends and decided to stop by."
"That's very nice of you, mom", Kristy said, biting her lip to keep herself from saying something rude.
Kristy's mom proceeded to sit down and pulled a couple of pictures from her purse.  "Many of my friends showed me pictures of their sons.  Some are quite handsome and seem to have good character", her mom informed her.

Her daughter replied with a groan.  "How many times do I have to tell you I don't want to be set up?" Kristy complained.

"You and I both know you're not going to find a boyfriend any other way", her mom stated.  Before Kristy could get too offended, she quickly added "It's not because you're not pretty!  You just never put yourself out there."

Kristy squirmed in discomfort.  Getting a boyfriend wasn't in at all in her interest, but she'd take any opportunity to prove her mom wrong.

"I will find a guy, mom.  You'll see", Kristy said.  Her mom didn't look too convinced.

Kristy walked into the pantry to pour herself a cup of coffee.

What was she going to do?  Even if she could find a boyfriend, she didn't want to deal with having one.  Too much baggage, like she needed anything to keep her down.  She stood there pondering while slowly sipping her coffee.

"Hello, pretty girl", Simon greeted her as he came in.  Kristy cringed at his greeting and suddenly thought of a brilliant idea.

She nudged him and straightforwardly asked "Do you want to be my boyfriend?"

Simon dropped the cup he had been holding, feeling shocked, then smiled.  "My charm finally got to you, huh?  You really don't beat around the bush do you?" he asked.

"Don't be so flattered", Kristy scoffed.  "I'm asking you to be my fake boyfriend to prove to my mom I can find my own", she cleared up.

"So you're using me?" Simon feigned offense.

He thought about it for a moment.  "Okay, I'll do it.  Then again, technically that means you can't find a boyfriend on your own.  A real one anyway", he joked.

"Whatever", Kristy rolled her eyes.

"Fake or real relationship, you will fall for me eventually", Simon stated.

"Yeah, keep thinking that", she replied, sarcastically.

"I have a few conditions", she proposed.  "You can not say a word of this to anyone, you may refer to me as your girlfriend, and you most certainly can not touch me when my mom's not around."

"Why don't you just tie strings on me and control me like I'm your puppet?" he joked.

"If everything goes my way, I will be able to do that", Kristy added in a sneaky tone.

Simon looked slightly taken aback.  "So...when are we meeting your mom, sweetie?" he asked.

"Don't call me that", Kristy grumbled.

"You said I can't call you my girlfriend", Simon defended.  "Well, now you can't call me any other pet name that makes me want to vomit either", she added, and started to walk away.

"I'll tell you when we'll meet her", she called out.  She said that as if their "relationship" was just another business deal.

Simon admired her as she walked away.  Something about her blunt, feisty, and headstrong personality was (to him anyway) very attractive.

"I'll get through to her eventually", he thought to himself.  "She's one tough cookie though."


Comments: There was so much more I wanted to include in this chapter, but decided to leave it for the next one to keep the length consistent.  It seems a lot more easier and organized to focus on specific characters each chapter as opposed to trying to squeeze in a scene with each person.

We got to see what Kristy's mom is like, and it's rather clear where she got her bluntness from, heh.

I used (attempted to anyway) a couple instances of foreshadowing, especially with Kristy.  I'm not too good at it though, so it isn't too clear but I have some of you will be able to catch it.

More of Ella and Ethan soon, I know I haven't focused on them much.  I'll do my best to not make it as boring and underdeveloped as it has been.

Preview of what's coming up: Focus on all the guys and Quinn, as well as Quinn and Vince.  :D  Really looking forward to writing this chapter.  Stay tuned!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Introducing Asian Entertainment Experience!

A close friend of mine, Niki, recently came up with the wonderful idea of creating a collaborative blog/website about Asian entertainment called Asian Entertainment Experience.  The site will be run by her, a couple of our friends, and I.

The site, also referred to in short as AE-Experience, will cover all types of Asian entertainment.  It will focus on Korean and Hong Kong dramas and music.  The site will offer reviews, fan fiction, satire, general discussion, and other unique features.

I am the web manager of the blog (I'm in charge of the layout/design and will promote the site) and one of the head writers along with Niki.  I will be contributing some of my pieces from TVB Interaction to the site as well as writing exclusive content that won't be posted here.  There, I will also write about TVB as well as C-Pop and other things relating to HK entertainment.  Please support my friends, TVB Interaction, and I by visiting!

Blog URL:
Twitter Page:!/AEExperience

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

"Bottled Passion" Review

Premodern dramas and romance dramas are my two least favorite genres.  Just by the genre, I should've hated "Bottled Passion".  However, due to great pacing, script, and acting, "Bottled Passion" ended up not only being an exception, but one of my favorite series of the year.

The Acting

Raymond Wong delivers the most captivating performance of the year as "Tung Boon-Sin".  He was charming in his scenes wooing the Ko sisters.  Unlike many other female viewers though, I didn't feel swooned by his magic tricks and odd antics in courting them.  Perhaps it's because I prefer sincerity over charm, but I was much more moved by his earnest love for Tsui Sum.  His subtlety yet realism in portraying his emotional and crying scenes made me want to tear up myself.  They proved that less is indeed more.  On a more superficial note, Raymond looked very handsome here in his long jackets and suits.

I don't understand the criticism for Niki Chow being the worst actress ever.  She has a limited amount of facial expressions, but exerts a very endearing innocence and sweetness.  The character of Tsui Sum also called for her to cry a lot.  Due to the sad nature of the drama, she probably had to cry at least once an episode.  While Niki doesn't shed many tears, she shows the appropriate amount of sadness and pain.  In this case, this was good enough for me.  If I had to watch someone like Tavia Yeung cry as much as Tsui Sum did, I'd probably go nuts, no matter how realistic and emotional her crying is.

Elaine Yiu did a great job with the staring and sneering, but still wasn't too likable.  Katy Kung has a lot of potential as an actress, but her character was extremely irritating to watch.

Other notable performances include Eric Li, Claire Yiu, and Jack Wu.

Eric Li is one of those actors who is capable of giving a memorable performance no matter how unlikable his character is.  Lucky for him, this underrated actor was able to portray a likable and funny character here.  I enjoyed watching the friendship between him and Raymond.  Sadly, I don't think he'll be getting promoted anytime soon.

Claire Yiu has been stuck playing some terrible roles lately, but I surprisingly loved her here.  She was hilarious as the talkative and loud mouthed wife.  She could've easily been annoying, but Claire somehow makes her an entertaining character to watch.

Although boring at times, Jack Wu does well as the kind hearted doctor who loved Tsui Sum.  A decent actor who can emote, I'm surprised Jack has been stuck playing small roles for so long.  This is the most significant role of his I've seen in a while.

Rebecca Chan also showed some vicious acting here as the villain.

The Script
The first two episodes start off quite slow, but fast paced afterwards.  Almost each episode ends with a cliffhanger.  It is entertaining to watch and I found myself surprised at how fast each episode seemed to pass.  For once, the tragic love story was done right.

The Ending
I didn't expect a happy ending for Tsui Sum and Boon-Sin, but Raymond and Niki had so much chemistry I wished it would work out.  They were so passionate and sweet.  After watching 20 episodes of the two trying to find their way back to each other, I couldn't help but hold onto the hope that Boon-Sin was still alive all the way until the end credits started to roll.  Despite that, Tung Boon-Sin's death is fitting due to the nature and genre of the drama and makes their tragic love story memorable.

However, I still have many complaints about how his death was executed.   First off, why was the city square, which is usually bustling with people, completely empty except for one passerby in broad daylight?  Second, if Boon-Sin had enough energy to hobble all the way to the river and get on a boat, surely he could've walked to the hospital.  Silly Boon-Sin.  You could've easily lived happily ever after with Tsui Sum.

After the first two episodes, "Bottled Passion" is a captivating and entertaining drama about two lovers. I normally turn away anything premodern or romance driven, but this was a wonderful exception due to the acting, script, and pacing.  It deserves all the glowing praise it's been getting and Raymond Wong is already one of my picks my Best Actor this year.  I am very satisfied with the ratings it raked in for the finale despite its terrible time slot.  Unlike many other series I watched or tried to watch this year, this is one of the few that didn't make me feel like I wasted my time.  The highlights of the series however are still definitely Raymond and Niki.

Rating: 4 stars

Monday, January 2, 2012

"How to be a Fan" Satire

TVB Interaction introduces the latest installment in its collection of satirical guides!  This time, I will teach you how to be a fan.  Being a hardcore fan can be a lot of hard work, but with this "how to" guide, doing so will be easier than ever!

1. Be hypersensitive.
People joke, people mock, and people criticize.  No matter what people say about your idol, take it to heart.  No matter what the person's tone or intention is, take everything they say or write seriously.

2. Put down and criticize other people's idols.
You're not a true fan unless you openly hate on other people's idols.  Let them know whose idol is better! If you are a hardcore fan, spend time editing other people's idols wiki pages and badmouth them.

3. Blindly love all of their work.
An idol is bound to have their great projects, less than amazing projects, and projects that are just plain terrible.  No matter what, love everything they do.  Not liking anything they do makes you a disgrace of a fan.

4. Brag about your idol regularly on forums.
Once again, let them know whose idol is better!  Praise, compliment, and glorify your idol to your heart's content, whether it's on their own thread, someone else's thread, or a thread about a series he or she is not in.

5. Hate whoever your idol starts to date, no matter how happy they or with them because that means you can't be with them.  As if that were possible.
One of the key things about being a fan is wanting their idol to be alone forever.  If your idol does start to date someone, openly talk about how much you hate that person.  If you can't be with them, no one else should be able to.  Your idol's happiness doesn't matter to you, as long as you get to sleep knowing your idol isn't in someone else's arms.

Follow these five steps, and you will be a true fan!  Your idol will be so proud!


Comments: This is just a short satire I wrote since I haven't written one so long and was inspired.

It's funny how some people classify being a fan as.  The above is how some fans act.  I don't mind those fan girls who spazz and get excited over their idol.  While I usually don't act that way and find them a bit silly at times, I overall don't mind them and find them kind of cute.  However, there are fans who get way too worked up over their idol.

I've been spending less and less time reading and commenting on sites like JayneStars.  Some fans get offended too easily, yet they can be very vicious as well.  For example, you have your Kate haters who will take every opportunity to put her down and your Ron fans.  While I understand Ron fans increasing anger at the small roles he's been receiving lately, they're still a bit too much.  When Ruco emerged as the lead over Ron in "ATF", Ron fans attacked Ruco fans saying it wasn't fair, even though it wasn't his fault.  The most ridiculous thing I've seen is some girls saying things like "She is so ugly" and "She should go die" about their idol's girlfriends.  Seriously?

 I hope people don't go rabid on me for writing this.  My loyal readers should enjoy this satire.  I haven't written one in probably two years.

"Finding Life's Sweetness" : Chapter 4

It was near the end of the day as well as the end of another work week.  Simon clapped his hands.  "Everybody, I'm happy to announce that I am treating everyone to happy hour at my bar today!" he said.

Everyone cheered in happiness.  "What's everyone so happy about?" Kristy asked as she walked by.

"I'm treating everyone to happy hour", Simon told her.  "That's very generous of you, but you can count me out", Kristy replied.

"Blowing me off again?   Come on, I'm asking you to go out with all your colleagues, not go on a date with me!" Simon joked.  Kristy walked away.

Simon went up to the roof to get some fresh air and saw Kristy standing there as well talking on the phone with someone.  He quietly walk towards her but she didn't seem to notice he was there.

"Mom, I told you not to call me when I'm at work!" she scolded.

"Or else when am I ever going to hear from you?  You don't bother to call me when you're off work or visit me even though I live only 20 minutes from you!" her mom complained.

"I have my own life and I am very busy!" Kristy yelled back.

"I know you're very busy with work.  That's all you care about!  You don't care about your family and don't have any friends or a boyfriend.  Does anything else matter to you?" Her mom was yelling loud enough Simon could hear her.

"I'm a grown woman.  I don't need my mother to dictate how to live my life.  I have to go back to work, goodbye", Kristy said bitterly and hung up.  She turned around to see Simon.

"How long have you been standing there?" she asked, suddenly looking ashamed.

"Long enough to know you don't have the best relationship with your mother", he replied.

“Don’t take this personally, but I’m curious.  Besides work, what do you do in your free time?” Simon asked.

“Um, yoga.  Sometimes I read”, she answered.

“That’s good, but do you ever go out and socialize?” 

Kristy came to the sad realization she didn’t.  

“I don’t have time”, she claimed.

“You do, you just have to make time”, he said.

“But I don’t have friends”, she said quietly. 

“You have me and many other colleagues.  Come with us to the bar tonight.  You don’t even have to drink or eat, just come to chat with people and make friends”, Simon proposed.

Kristy stood there and thought about it for a moment.  “Alright”, she finally agreed.

Simon broke out in a smile.  “Great!” he exclaimed and left the roof top.

“I better not regret this”, Kristy thought to herself.

Simon’s Bar had a great atmosphere and could’ve been mistaken as a quaint restaurant with its unique lighting, softly playing music, and colorful and eye catching decor.  

Simon led all the Starry Marketing Agency employees to their usual area.

Kristy tapped Simon’s shoulder.  “Hey, the place looks great, but couldn’t you have come up with a better name than Simon’s Bar?” she asked.

“I’m not good with names”, Simon laughed.

“He’s really not”, Ella chimed in.

“There’s a surprise”, Kristy laughed back.

“She’s smiling!  She’s laughing!  We’ve reached a breakthrough!” Simon playfully announced.

Kristy punched him playfully, but had to admit she was already in a better mood.

“I’ll be right back with your drinks and appetizers”, Simon told everyone.

Kristy sat down next to Ella, who she thought she had the most chances of sparking friendship with.  Quinn plopped down next to her.

She wasn’t sure what to think of Quinn.  She had such a low position at the agency and Kristy had caught her dosing off once.  At the same time, she wished she could live as carelessly and freely as Quinn seemed to live.

As for Ella, she was a question mark.  At work, she seemed professional and intelligent, but she didn’t know more about her than that.  

“Simon seems sweet.  Very good looking too”, Quinn said all giggly, breaking the silence.
“He’s not that bad”, Kristy admitted.

Ella looked at her with a surprised look.  “Not bad, I thought you hated his guts!” she laughed.

Kristy attempted to be more fun and silly.  She shrugged with a sneaky smile.  “I’m not a simple person.  I could say I like you but really hate you and say I hate you but like you”, she stated.

“Sounds like we’re back on the elementary school playground!” Quinn said.  “Hm...I wonder what you think of me then”, she questioned.

“I think that you seem to enjoy sleeping on the job a lot”, Kristy joked.

Quinn feigned a look of worry.  “Oh I forgot, I’m talking to the two managers!” she said.

“You still remember that, huh?  Remember we still have the power to fire you!” Ella joked.

“Ok, ok!” Quinn put her hands up in surrender.  “I don’t think believe you two are as scary as people make you out to be though”, she added.

“Really?  I thought people were convinced I’m the devil in disguise”, Kristy said.

“Devil?  No.  Slightly intimidating?  Maybe”, Quinn stated.  

“You’re quite straightforward aren’t you?  You’re lucky I actually like that about you!” Kristy said to Quinn with a smile.

Ella turned to Kristy.  “It’s true, even I felt slightly intimidated when you came in your first day”, she shared.

“Really?” Kristy answered with genuine surprise.  She didn’t realize she actually scared people.
“Yes, but still impressive at the same time.  It wouldn’t hurt to crack a smile every now and then”, Ella suggested.

“That might scare people even more”, Quinn replied.

“Huh, you really are fearless aren’t you?” Kristy pointed at Quinn, who responded with a smile and shrug.

Kristy was surprisingly enjoying herself.  She couldn’t remember the last time she joked around with a bunch of girlfriends like this.

She nudged Ella.  “So do you have a boyfriend?” she asked curiously.

“No”, Ella answered, looking slightly shy.
“What?” Quinn looked shocked.  “A pretty and smart woman like you doesn’t have a boyfriend?”
“There must at least be someone trying to court you”, Kristy added.
Simon came back with everyone’s drinks and appetizers.  “Wow, you three seem to be hitting it off.  What are you chatting so happily about?” he asked as he slipped into the seat besides Kristy.
“We’re probing into Ella’s love life.  How does she not have a boyfriend?” Quinn asked Simon.
“Oh, I think that will change soon”, Simon answered mischievously.  
“What are you talking about?” Ella asked, looking confused.
Simon shrugged.  “I don’t know what I’m talking about, you ladies enjoy yourselves” he said and left.
“Don’t listen to him, I have no idea what he’s talking about”, Ella said to Kristy and Quinn.
The three continued to chat happily and get to know each other.  After a while, it started to get late, so everybody started to leave the bar. 
Ella, Kristy, and Quinn exited together, continuing their silly conversation, with Simon joining in as well.  They walked outside to see Ethan waiting by his car.  
“Who’s that handsome guy?” Kristy asked.  “He looks like he’s waiting for someone.”
Ella couldn’t be more surprised to see Ethan.  They hadn’t met again since the function last week and she didn’t think she’d ever see him again.  What was he doing here?  
Ethan caught sight of Ella and waved to her as he started to walk towards her.  “He’s here for you!  And you said no one was trying to court you!” Quinn said. 
Ella pulled Simon over.  “What is he doing here?” she asked him.  “He told me he wanted to see you again!  He had only nice words to say about you, so I told him you’d be here tonight”, Simon answered.  “You’re welcome”, he said with a smile.
“So that’s why he looked so darn sneaky”, Ella thought to herself.
Simon turned to Kristy and Quinn.  “How about we leave Ella to her Prince Charming?” he suggested to them.  The two started to walk off with him.
“Hi, Simon told you you’d be here tonight”, Ethan said to Ella with the same charismatic smile he gave her the first time they met.
“Hi”, Ella said back, nervously.  She didn’t know if she should be happy or nerve wracked.  “What are you doing here?” she tried to ask politely.  After all, she did want to know.
“I was wondering if you wanted to grab a cup of coffee together”, he asked.
“Um...” Ella started.
“I came all the way here to ask you that.  It’s just a cup of coffee, I won’t take more than an hour of your time”, he said.
“Alright then”, Ella replied.  Sounded fair enough.  What could it hurt?
Ethan took her to a nice little cafe nearby.  
“Tell me more about yourself”, he said to Ella as the waitress came with their coffee.  
“What’s there to know?” she asked.
“I don’t know.  Anything you’re comfortable telling me”, he answered.  “I don’t know why, but I find something intriguing about you.  After we met the other night, I couldn’t help but think about you and what you were like”, he added.
Ella felt nervous yet excited at the same time.  “Honestly, I did too.  I also thought about what you said”, she replied.
“Which part?”
“The part where you said life would be more easy and enjoyable if you learned to be flexible and relaxed”, she answered.
“I see.  You said you have a problem with being too organized and structured, right?” he asked.
Ella laughed.  “Yeah, kind of”, she said. 
“We’ll just have to help you change that then”, Ethan said with a smile.
“That’s probably easier said than done”, Ella said.
“I like a challenge”, he replied.
Ella smiled and laughed.  Something about him made her heart flutter.  
The two continued to chat until the cafe had to close.  They talked about work, family, and life in general.  Ella was surprised at how comfortable she felt talking to Ethan.
Ethan escorted her out the door.  “We should do this again sometime”, he said to her.
“Definitely”, Ella replied sweetly.  
“Shall I give you a ride home?” he asked.  
“That’d be great” Ella said happily.  After a night of spending time with her co-workers and Ethan, this was the most happy and satisfied she felt in a long time.
Back at the bar, Quinn had quickly caught a taxi and went home.  
“You want a ride home?” Simon offered to Kristy.
Kristy was feeling a bit hyper even though all she drank was some iced tea.  This was the most enjoyable night she had in forever.  Due to her good mood, she said yes to Simon without any remarks or refusal.
“You look extremely happy.  I’m not sure what to think of this”, Simon said to Kristy as he drove her home, pretending to sound scared of this side of her.
“Very funny”, she replied in her usual sarcastic tone, then softened up again.  “Thanks for convincing me to come tonight.  I had a good time”, she sincerely thanked him.
Simon smiled.  “You’re welcome, I’m glad you enjoyed yourself”, he replied.  “Do you think you’re going to be joining us again anytime soon?” he asked her.
“Sooner than you’d think”, she smiled back.
They approached an apartment complex and Kristy asked him to stop.  “This is where I live”, she said and got out of the car.  “Thanks for the ride!”
After getting out of the car, Kristy turned back and talked to Simon through the open window.  
“Don’t get the wrong idea.  I may not hate you anymore, but I still certainly do not like you”, Kristy said playfully to him. 
“We’ll see about that”, he answered back.
Kristy smirked.   “Goodnight Simon”, she said and walked away.
“Goodnight!” he called out to her and started to drive home.  
“She’s really not your ordinary girl”, he said to himself, smiling.


Comments: A longer than usual chapter this time since I'll be busy again after I go back to school.  This chapter focused on mostly Kristy, but also Ella.  

Isn't it nice to see the three girls starting to become friends?  For some reason, I love writing for Simon and find writing dialogue for him the easiest.

Hope you enjoyed this long chapter!