Thursday, November 27, 2014

TVB 48th Anniversary Awards: My Predictions and Picks

Busy as I may be, the annual anniversary awards predictions post is a tradition that I love, so here's to the sixth consecutive year I'm doing this! Due to lack of strong competition and laziness though, I have only predicted the top 5 for Best Actor and Actress. So here we go...

Best Actor

Predicted Top 5: Wong Cho Lam for "Gilded Chopsticks," Roger Kwok for "Black Heart White Soul," Michael Miu for "Line Walker," Raymond Lam for "Line Walker," and Wayne Lai for "Overachievers"
Predicted Winner: Roger Kwok for "Black Heart White Soul" 
Most Deserving: Roger
Personal Choice: Roger

There is absolutely no question that Roger gave the best leading performance of the year as villain Ko Chit-Hang, and if anyone else wins (Raymond...), I'm going to throw a huge tantrum. While he has been awarded for his over-the-top comedic performances, it is in drama where Roger is a powerhouse actor. No other TVB actor could have portrayed the chilling, manipulative character like Roger did. Simple as that.

Best Actress

Predicted Top 5: Tavia Yeung for "Storm in a Cocoon," Kristal Tin for "Black Heart White Soul," Charmaine Sheh for "Line Walker," Linda Chung for "All That is Bitter is Sweet," and Kate Tsui for "Tomorrow is Another Day"
Predicted Winner: Charmaine Sheh for "Line Walker"
Most Deserving: Charmaine 
Personal Choice: Charmaine 

There's a reason why Charmaine has been the only one to receive awards buzz for Best Actress...she's the only one that stood out. Everyone else was average or disappointing. This wasn't exactly new territory for Charmaine (in fact, strong and feisty characters are her specialty), but it was the most memorable in a year of weak lead female performances. However, Ivana gave a surprisingly refreshing and hilarious performance as the tomboyish "bad girl" in "Come On Cousin," a polar opposite from her sweet and shy character in "Inbound Troubles," and that is worth a mention.

Snubs: Carman Lee and Rachel Lee for "Never Dance Alone"
The anniversary awards totally snubbed the worthy performances from "Never Dance Alone," instead only nominating Eliza Sam and Lawrence Cheng. Considering how easy it is to get a nomination, it's plain offensive that Carman did not get one. 

My Favorite Male Character

Predicted Winner: Raymond Lam for "Line Walker"
Most Deserving: Benz Hui for "Line Walker"
Personal Choice: Benz and Louis Cheung for "Black Heart White Soul"

As a conniving triad boss, it would have been easy to hate Foon Hei Gor. Yet Benz injects so much likability and humanity into the character that most likely, you hoped he would somehow get a happy ending. While not the main character of "Line Walker," Foon Hei was no doubt a central one who became the heart of the series. Although the series itself is overall good, there is just something missing following the character's death in the last third. The same goes for "Marco" in "Black Heart White Soul." Despite being a semi-villain who committed his share of white collar crime, Marco was the charismatic and romantic guy you couldn't help but love and cheer on thanks to Louis' portrayal. I wouldn't be completely surprised if Benz does end up getting this award, but I'm not expecting it either and Raymond still appears to be the likely winner. 

My Favorite Female Character

Predicted Winner: Charmaine Sheh for "Line Walker"
Most Deserving: Charmaine Sheh for "Line Walker"
Personal Choice: Priscilla Wong for "Swipe Tap Love"

Sassy but tough and ridiculously clever, there's little doubt that Charmaine will be taking home this award as well. However, I personally hold a soft spot for "Yu Chor Gin" in "Swipe Tap Love." Although the character was rather dreary in the first half of the series, she is one that is easy to relate to and a girl next door type. After all, chances are you look more like Chor Gin at home with minimal make up, a hair clip, glasses, and sweats, than any other female character that goes to bed with a fully made up face. Plus, she's a total sweetheart with kids, her dog, and her family and friends.

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Winner: Louis Cheung for "Black Heart White Soul" 
Most Deserving: Benz Hui for "Line Walker"
Personal Choice: Louis Cheung for "Black Heart White Soul"

If we were to judge solely on acting, Benz would win this award. However, since he already won last year and received a veteran award the year before, I'm betting on Louis. Thanks to true talent, charisma, and the luck of good timing, the odds are in Louis' favor. Both men are deserving for the reasons I stated in my comments for My Favorite Male Character. Power and Edwin also delivered lively performances in "Overachievers."

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Winner: Elena Kong for "Line Walker"
Most Deserving: N/A
Personal Choice: N/A

Sassy and sarcastic seems like the best tone for me to use to comment on this category. While Best Supporting Actor is always filled with some very solid, even if not award-worthy performances every year, this category is just getting progressively worse. I have no choices for this category, nor is anyone deserving. I couldn't even pick one deserving nominee, never mind five. Maybe TVB will say "Hey, everyone kinda sucked this year so let's just give it to Elena again." At this point, I don't care as long as Sharon doesn't win for giving the only weak main cast performance in "Line Walker," because I'll have to figure out how to file a complaint with TVB if she does. Please Sharon, don't win, because I really don't have that kind of time. You also know TVB is pulling at straws when they nominate newbie Grace Chan, and Becky Lee for a very minor role.  

Most Improved Actor

Predicted Winner: Sammy Shum
Most Deserving: Sammy 
Personal Choice: Sammy 

As opposed to Most Improved Actress, there are some very strong contenders in this category (except for Jason). Tony has shown to be a promising newcomer this year, but that after all means he is still new, therefore you can't say that he has "improved." Maybe next year Tony. Matt has steadily become a much better actor, but there is not much buzz revolving him. The competition is between Louis and Sammy. Despite having only recently signed with TVB, I believe Louis is already at Best Supporting caliber, and hope he will take that award home while Sammy receives Most Improved. While I did not watch "All That is Bitter is Sweet," Sammy has indeed noticeably improved in "Line Walker" and was also very charismatic and likable.

Most Improved Actress

Predicted Winner: Priscilla Wong
Most Deserving: Priscilla 
Personal Choice: Priscilla 

I bet the people who complained about Priscilla are shutting up now with the new batch of newbies. Since the other nominees are either freshly signed with TVB or have not actually improved (Well, now we know Samantha doesn't do well with evil...), I'm hoping TVB puts aside their alleged "freezing" of Priscilla and gives this award to her. While I understand how some people are annoyed she jumped straight into leading roles, that isn't reason to dislike her automatically (Did you expect her to say "No, I want to start as a kelefe" instead?). Priscilla has actually shown great potential, and reminds me of Vincent: Both just possess that approachable and relatable aura.

Best Series

Predicted Winner: "Line Walker"
Most Deserving: "Black Heart White Soul"
Personal Choice: "Black Heart White Soul"

"Line Walker" holds the advantage, but I personally believe that "Black Heart White Soul" is still the better series overall. The former became less enjoyable following the death of Foon Hei (as well as losing much of its humor). The writing also became more unrealistic as the plot twists collected, and the throwing in of Kobe's cancer story line felt unnecessary and out of place, particularly since his screen time had already waned following his real-life injury during filming. "Black Heart White Soul," although not without its fair share of flaws (coughGilliancough), is more consistent as well as more refreshing for TVB with its thrilling and suspenseful elements. While "Line Walker" feels like an above average cop drama, a typical TVB genre, "Black Heart" is a great thriller drama that has you on the edge of your seat.

Best Theme Song

Predicted Winner: "Love is Not Easy" by Jinny Ng ("Line Walker")
Most Deserving: N/A
Personal Choice: "Leave a Message" by Jinny Ng ("Swipe Tap Love") and "Tears of Departure" by Louis Cheung ("Gilded Chopsticks")

As a new category, I'm not really sure what to expect here. Perhaps if Raymond had sung the subtheme for "Line Walker," it'd be a lot more obvious. I'm guessing Jinny's subtheme for the series is likely to win, but I personally much preferred the singer's touching and melancholic theme song for "Swipe." I also loved Louis' subtheme for "Gilded Chopsticks" with his soothing vocals and ancient Chinese feel.