Tuesday, December 1, 2015

TVB 48th Anniversary Awards: My Predictions and Picks

It's that time of year again! And after employing a friend to hound me to write this post, it's finally done.

I'll be frank: This year sucked. I had a hard time getting this post done because I couldn't even come up with all my predictions for a while. Try as I might, I did end up putting down quite a few "N/A's" because I just couldn't think of any predictions or picks, and didn't want to just put down something random (granted, that's what TVB seemed to do). It didn't help I only watched 8 series this year because I was just so disinterested in TVB's offerings this year and later became so busy with my semester. But, a tradition is a tradition! Fun fact: This is now the seventh consecutive year I am writing an anniversary awards predictions post! 

Click here for the full nominations list.

Best Actor

Top 5: Kevin Cheng, Ruco Chan, Anthony Wong, Wayne Lai, and Kent Tong
Predicted Winner: Ruco 
Most Deserving: Ruco
Personal Choice: Ruco 

After being the quiet contender almost every year since "The Other Truth," Ruco has finally emerged as the actor with the most buzz. He has now won Best Actor in Malaysia and Singapore, which is a good indicator he'll finally be able to take the award home in Hong Kong. Unfortunately, I stopped watching "Captain of Destiny" after a few episodes so I can't specifically comment on his performance. Of course, I've only heard great things about it, because after all, it's Ruco. I do wish he had been in a stronger series where he wasn't the one thing making it worthwhile so I had watched it and been more excited, but I may go back and give "Captain" another try during break, or at least watch some of his scenes. 

Anthony has also received considerable buzz, but TVB has nothing to gain from giving him the award. Then again, not that they gained anything by giving Dayo the award 2 years ago. However, Anthony has straightforwardly said he will not film more with TVB just because he wins the award. For once, I want TVB to listen to the business voice in their head. TVB. reward your most valuable asset right now in light of all the siu sangs and fa dans flocking away from your studios like they have the plague and the newer generation being nowhere near ready to take over.  

I wish I was more excited for Ruco right now, but I'm sure I will be once I see my favorite finally standing up at the podium giving a lovely acceptance speech. :) Don't let me down (for the 989,482th time), TVB!

Best Actress

Top 5: Liza Wang, Linda Chung, Kristal Tin, Nancy Wu, and Alice Chan
Predicted Winner: Liza
Most Deserving: N/A
Personal Choice: N/A

I'm hoping that if I put Liza down as my prediction, it'll come true instead of Kristal or Nancy winning. After the joke that was Kristal and Nancy both winning Best Actress in Malaysia, who knows what will go down that night though. Although it sounds like Liza did not have an exceptional or breakthrough performance in "Limelight Years," I'd much rather her win for yet another consistent performance in a little-watched but generally well-received and modest "Limelight Years" then Kristal for a consistent performance for the silliness that was "Ghost of Relativity." Nancy is an even worse choice. I love Nancy and think she is a wonderful actress, but this was weaker than her typical performance. Her character did not give her much to work with. Kristal at least was able to display more comedic talent. Unfortunately, Nancy probably has the largest chance just on the grounds she's yet to receive the award. Overall, no female delivered a mind-blowing (or even somewhat fresh and above lukewarm, really) leading performance this year.

My Favorite Male Character

Top 5: Kevin Cheung, Louis Cheung, Ruco Chan, Tony Hung, and Anthony Wong
Predicted Winner: Tony
Most Deserving: Ruco
Personal Choice: Vincent Wong
Snub: Johnson Lee for "Officer Geomancer"

If Ruco wins Best Actor, he may either be yet another person to pull a double win, or Tony will receive the award. Either is fine by me, but I think it will be Tony's titular "Cheung Po Tsai" since the favorite character awards are still half determined by TVB's call and half by fan votes. I really did not watch many series this year but if I had to pick a favorite male character, it'd probably be Vincent in "Brick Slaves" because he was a comical, sweet, nice, and caring guy, but still knew to set limits to his niceness and when to put his foot down. 

If Oscar managed to get nominated for yet another repetitive loud-mouthed and gangster-like role though, Johnson totally should've been able to grab a nomination for the same series as well. 

My Favorite Female Character

Top 5: Grace Chan, Kristal Tin, Nancy Wu, Liza Wang, Linda Chung
Predicted Winner: Grace
Most Deserving: N/A
Personal Choice: Priscilla Wong
Wtf? Vivien Yeo

My money's on Grace though the overall response to her character (though more specifically Grace's performance) has been negative. Priscilla's character in "Madam Cutie on Duty" was probably my favorite of the year because she actually made me laugh (and not in a "she's so stupid" way). She was sassy, fun, and her initial mocking of housewives to only realize she was slowly morphing into one herself and learning to appreciate them was very entertaining. But uh...what is Vivien's "Ghost of Relativity" character doing here? Why is this stupid series getting so many nominations??

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Winner: Joel Chan 
Most Deserving: Joel
Personal Choice: N/A
Snub: Geoffrey Wong for "Come Home Love"

This category was disappointing for me because the supporting actor category, for as long as I can remember, has always been very tight. Even if there weren't many exceptional performances, there were many solid choices. And yet this year's list looks haphazardly thrown together. Quite a few of these actors are nominated for minor supporting roles. Again, I haven't watched enough series to make my own choice and none of the series I've seen possessed any award-worthy supporting performances. I'm going to go with Joel for my prediction since I have heard good things about his character and performance there and have previously thought he's a pretty decent actor too. I'm not sure what TVB thinks of him or if they have intentions to further promote him, but if they do, this would be a good chance. 

I guess TVB didn't want to nominate any more actors from "Come Home Love" since the indirect sequel is currently airing, but that still doesn't make sense to me since the original didn't finish airing until the midway through the year. Since this list seems to have so many fillers anyway, I would've liked to see Geoffrey Wong be nominated for portraying "Damon" in the sitcom, as the actor never fails to make me laugh and is one of my favorites to watch. To the best of my memory, Lau Dan and Griselda Yeung were the only ones ever nominated. 

Best Supporting Actress  

Predicted Winner: N/A
Most Deserving: N/A
Personal Choice: N/A
Wtf? Elena
Snub: Rosina Lam (Lin Xia Wei) 

This is definitely the weakest category this year, which resulted in my sad (lack of) predictions and choices here. All of these actresses either gave weak or ordinary performances, or are otherwise likable actresses nominated for very small and irritating roles (ahem, Vivien and Celine). 

I don't even have Elena to fall back on again this year because she's nominated for a guest role in "Raising the Bar." For a good minute I couldn't even remember her being in the series. She was not a notable guest star, she was just a judge that was friends with Ben, Ram, Timothy who maybe what, had 3 or 4 casual conversations with them? 

I did not watch "Momentary Lapse in Reason," but I had pegged Rosina as a strong contender for this award months ago after being surprised by all the praise about her performance and how she was more impressive than Tavia (though, that's not saying much these days due to her boring characters). And then the nominations list came out and she was nominated for Best Actress instead. I don't understand how TVB categories people sometimes. So thanks TVB, for taking away the one damn prediction I had for this category. I surrender. I've got absolutely nothing, which is why there's a big fat question mark instead of a picture here. I just hope Elaine Yiu does not take home the award.

Most Improved Actor

Predicted Winner: Tony Hung
Most Deserving: Matt Yeung
Personal Choice: Matt
Snub: Lai Lok Yi

It's good to still see pretty decent competition in both Most Improved categories. With the exposure he's received this year and a high-profile role and series under his belt, it's hard seeing this award go to anyone besides Tony. I've liked Tony since his debut last year and will not mind if he wins, but do feel like solely acting wise, it's too premature and I would ideally prefer him to win next year. However, my gut tells me Tony will be winning this year, and Benjamin Yuen the next year (Yes, I already have a prediction for next year). 

Matt has steadily improved over the years to become a solid actor. He has been nominated for this award several times over the last few years and always been a strong but unfortunately quiet contender. Similar to Vincent before his win two years ago, there has always been someone generating more noise than Matt. Last year it was Louis, and this year it's Tony, though I do think he stands a better chance this year. Even if he doesn't win, which is likely, I do hope TVB continues to promote Matt more instead of sticking him with the cheating boyfriend roles.

Lai Lok Yi's acting has vastly improved just portraying "John Ma" over the course of "Come Home Love's" three year run. I remember him being quite unnatural in the character and coming off like he was trying too hard, but by middle of the impossibly long sitcom, Lok Yi really became John Ma to me. It disappoints me that of the three chances he had to be nominated for this award over CHL's run, TVB still passed up the last chance. The real test for him now though, is how he will fare playing different characters...

Most Improved Actress

Predicted Winner: Tracy Chu
Most Deserving: Rosina Lam 
Personal Choice: Tracy

TVB probably favors Grace more and at the very least, giving this award to her this year makes more sense than last year when she first debuted. With how dead set they are on promoting Grace, I wouldn't be surprised if she won. I won't be extremely pleased though because I was not impressed with Grace's acting in what I saw of "Captain," and it was obvious she is not ready to be a lead actress yet. 

I also wouldn't be surprised (and would be extremely relieved) if the award went to Rosina or Tracy. I'm going to go out on a bit of a limb here and go with my gut by saying I think Tracy will get it. She won in both Singapore and Malaysia. I can't personally comment on Rosina's performance, but will take people's word for it that she gave a breakthrough performance. In which case, it would be a shame to see her go home empty handed. I'm still personally rooting for Tracy though, who absolutely lit up the screen in "The Fixer" in the second half of the series with her upbeat energy and charm as "Duck Duck."

Best Series

Top 5: "Captain of Destiny," "Lord of Shanghai," "Ghost of Relativity," "Eye in the Sky," "Raising the Bar"
Predicted Winner: "Captain of Destiny"
Most Deserving: N/A
Personal Choice: N/A

I don't think TVB does a top 5 for Best Series anymore, but I'll go for it anyway. In an otherwise very quiet year where some of the anniversary series managed to finish airing with next to no media attention, it can't be denied "Captain of Destiny" was the most buzzed about series, even if it was mostly criticism. Perhaps TVB may also go the critically acclaimed route instead and give it to "Lord of Shanghai." "Ghost of Relativity" had the highest ratings and for whatever reason was very popular, so it's almost guaranteed a top 5 slot as well. "Eye in the Sky" also garnered a moderate amount of buzz, if not just for Kevin and Ruco. To round out the top 5, I picked "Raising the Bar" simply because I recall it receiving more attention, particularly for the titular four females, when it aired despite it having an early time slot. I don't have a favorite series this year though, or even one I think I clearly enjoyed above the others.

Most Popular Series Song

Top 3: Alfred Hui and Hubert Wu's theme for "Eye in the Sky," Fred Cheng's theme for "Captain of Destiny," and Joey Yung's theme for "The Empress of China"
Predicted Winner: Fred's theme for "Captain of Destiny"
Most Deserving: Alfred and Hubert's theme for "Eye in the Sky"
Personal Choice: Stephanie Ho's theme song for "Raising the Bar"

As far as I know, I believe the three I listed were the most popular theme songs of the year, but the winner isn't as obvious this year as it was last year. Which is a good thing, because that means no songs were looped over and over again on end! Looking at you, "Line Walker." I personally prefer Alfred and Hubert's theme for "Eye" over Fred's as it was a dynamic duet fitting for the series' more suspenseful genre. However, my overall personal favorite was Stephanie's theme for "Raising the Bar" because it was so fun, catchy, and happy, and most of all it was reminiscent of older lighthearted TVB series. The nostalgia factor was on high for that song, or at least it was for me.

Most Popular Classic Series

Predicted Winner: "Triumph in the Skies"
Most Deserving: "The Greed of Man"
Personal Choice: "War of the Genders"

How did TVB come up with these nominations? Why are "Brother's Keeper" and "Lives of Omission" here? This category already seems like BS, which probably means the oh so overrated "Triumph" will win, though it should definitely be the prolific "The Greed of Man." I'll always have a soft spot for "War of the Genders" though!

So what are everyone else's predictions and personal choices? How many series did everyone even manage to finish this year? Please feel free to comment and discuss!


  1. I watched ZERO series in their entirety this year (wait, come to think of it, I haven’t watched a TVB series in its entirety in like 5 years?  Last TVB series I remember watching in its entirety was Bottled Passion, I think).  Sadly, I actually have no interest in watching the awards show this year, as there isn’t a single category I’m interested in this time around.  In the past, at least there was the Best Supporting Actor category for me to be interested in and root for and the past few years, with all the lackluster performances, that was usually my one motivation to tune in and watch the awards show – now even that has been taken away (thanks, TVB…).

    The classic series category was actually added due to all the hype surrounding TVB’s midnight timeslot this year.  All of those series nominated were ones that had aired in the midnight timeslot in recent months (though it’s interesting that out of all the ‘classic’ series that aired in the midnight timeslot this year, TVB would choose to slide in some of their newer ‘non-classic’ series…go figure!).  The winner in this category should definitely be The Greed of Man, as that series is the reason why TVB even has this category in the first place!  TGOM single-handedly resurrected TVB’s midnight timeslot, not only from a ratings perspective (breaking all records for series aired in that timeslot) but also ‘hype’ and ‘attention’ wise – that series was the ‘talk of the town’ for months and literally EVERY SINGLE WEEK there was some tidbit about the series in the newspapers, whether it was interviews with the cast (they managed to find and interview practically every single main cast member), resurrecting cut scenes from the series, rekindling the careers of largely forgotten artists (i.e. David Siu), etc.  It makes the most sense for TGOM to win, though knowing how stupid TVB is, they will probably reward a less deserving series such as Triumph…OR they might pull an upset and give the award to Brother’s Keeper as a means of generating ‘talk’ to promote the upcoming sequel to that series.   This IS TVB after all, so I wouldn’t put it past them to do such a thing!

    1. Hey LL! Sorry, I saw this comment a long time ago but just never got around to responding to it. Yes, I remember us discussing Bottled Passion in the comments! :)

      Wow, I did hear that The Greed of Man had garnered quite a bit of buzz during its midnight time slot but didn't realize is that impressive! Thankfully, TVB did decide to continue their effort of being fair. Although, their midnight time slot has been around for a while right? Is it just something they've been starting to promote more widely now?

    2. @Iris:  No worries!  It takes me awhile sometimes too, as I get caught up with other stuff and forget.  Better late than never though! :-)

      Yes, the midnight timeslot has been around a long time, but TVB actually never promotes it, since they traditionally care more about their regular ‘golden’ timeslot than the midnight one.  TVB actually didn’t ‘promote’ it last year either – the ‘popularity’ that resulted from TGOM airing was purely coincidental, completely unexpected, and I’m sure took TVB by surprise too.  From the way things played out, sounded like it was more an issue of timing and luck – audiences were already sick and tired of all the crappy newer series that TVB had been airing so when this classic came on, people gravitated to it (for older audiences it was probably a coincidental re-watch situation while for newer/younger audiences who never even knew the series existed, they probably tuned in to check it out and ended up being pulled in)….after that, things spiraled ‘out of control’ from there.   TVB actually was smart for once and turned the situation in their favor by shifting the focus to their midnight timeslot practically right away (though to be honest, anyone who was even remotely paying attention to the media frenzy and buzz that was going on at that time would’ve probably made the same decision).  Unfortunately though, TVB didn’t seize the momentum completely in my opinion, as the series they chose to air after TGOM were poorly selected, so all the hype and buzz pretty much died down after TGOM finished airing. 

      Now that they know how much impact the midnight timeslot can have, no doubt that TVB is going to focus more on it now -- though we’ll have to see how long it lasts, since they are notorious for screwing up opportunities they get through poor decision-making, especially in situations when they try to ‘deliberately’ push things along.  So far, with the midnight timeslot series that aired after TGOM, they have not been able to ‘re-create’ the same ‘hype’ that TGOM did and if that continues, TVB will probably drop the idea altogether (which means the midnight timeslot will go back to being what it was in the past).  It will be interesting to see how the situation plays out in the next couple months…

    3. Thanks for all the background information llwy! Well hopefully TVB doesn't screw it up, despite their track record... If anything, at least the continuing existence of the midnight time slot means more old series will be uploaded online for us sick of these crappy new series to watch!