Most Improved Actor and Actress: Tony Hung and Grace Chan
Although I normally hate when it takes them forever to present an award, the whole bit with the heart rate monitors was a lot of fun, and was my favorite part of the night. The build up to Most Improved Actor was especially fun and gave the audience so many funny and entertaining moments. My favorite moments (the best translations I could provide with my shoddy Cantonese):
Matt: (on why he chose Katy Kung to come up to the stage) Because she looks pretty tonight, and she normally doesn't.
*Katy gives a fake offended look*
Wong Cho Lam: I demand you to come up here!
Sammy Leung: I demand you to sit down!
WCL: I demand you to come up here and hit him!
WCL: Don't even need to ask, Jennifer Shum right?
Benjamin: *quietly and politely* Yes, please.
Priscilla: The most improved actor of the year is...Natalie Tong, the person next to her!
No surprises at all for either the male or female winner. I really was hoping Tracy or Rosina would win but knew Tracy's chances flew out the window when I realized she couldn't even make it to the ceremony. (Side note: Tracy has recently gone back to school full-time to earn a Master's, so I wouldn't be surprised if she had to miss the ceremony to study for or take finals. So relatable right?) With that said, I'm not about to riot over Grace's win or anything, but I do hope she stops screaming all her lines.
While I do think Tony's win is also premature, I think it is also worth commending that he has rose up to the challenge for his first two lead roles, both of which he stepped in last minute after the originally casted actors pulled out. This is a huge contrast to actresses such as Aimee Chan and Niki Chow who have almost always had tailor-made roles for them to help cover up their weaknesses. His acceptance speech was probably my favorite of the night and made me happy he won, even if I do think it's still a year too early. He was humble but humorous, and I especially loved when he thanked Ruco, "the brother he loves and hates," and not only thanking, but apologizing to his family and friends for not being able to spend time with them recently because he has been busy working. I'm also happy Priscilla presented the award to him, and in true Priscilla and Tony-style banter, refused to actually say his name.
Best Supporting Actor and Actress: Wai Ka Hung for "Lord of Shanghai" and Elaine Yiu for "Captain of Destiny"
This came extremely out of the blue for me since I did not watch "Lord of Shanghai," but you know it was definitely a deserving win when Wai Ka Hung got the biggest standing ovation of the night from his colleagues. It makes me happy when actors who have been working tirelessly at TVB for many years (in his case, over 20) earn recognition. I can't help but notice the people who receive the biggest and most wholehearted standing ovations and cheers at the awards are for actors who have been working for a very long time without recognition, such as Ram and Elena in recent years. In contrast, the applause for Grace was very calm and seemed more out of general courtesy. We can all agree that we should be mature and not petty, but it must hurt when you've been working hard for so long while seeing someone else near you have a picture perfect career and raise to the top...
Elaine is a decent actress who TVB has never really given good opportunities to, so it's a shame when she finally gets promoted and wins this award, it's for a year she underwhelmed and disappointed. All I can say is, I'm glad she didn't win for her screen time-hogging annoying character with the chronic stink-eye in "Raising the Bar." I hope TVB will give her more of a variety of roles instead of the cold, detached characters. I honestly wonder if TVB really wanted to give her this award, or they really couldn't think of anyone else.
My Favorite Male and Female Characters: Ruco Chan for "Captain of Destiny" and Kristal Tin for "Ghost of Relativity"
When Ruco's name was called, I honestly didn't know whether to feel happy for his win, or disappointed because I knew at that point he had lost the race for Best Actor. You can tell he must have felt conflicted too. He still gave a mature and eloquent speech and I'm sure he is grateful for his fans and for winning his first award, but there was still a visible sadness. But I will focus on the positive side instead and say, I'm so happy Ruco has finally won his first award in Hong Kong. Congratulations Ruco, but you'll always be my favorite. ;)
Kristal's win was not a surprise, and the fact that she has a "Been there, done that attitude" about Best Actress and was so supportive of her "Ghost" co-star meant she was a much better sport than usual winners of this award instead of giving the infamous "black face." She is definitely the most gifted comedic actress TVB has right now. Though, TVB really doesn't want to give this award to Linda huh?
Best Actor and Actress: Anthony Wong for "Lord of Shanghai" and Nancy Wu for "Ghost of Relativity"
If Ruco was going to lose Best Actor to anyone, I'm glad it was to a critically-acclaimed actor like Anthony and not a less experienced and unworthy actor. Once again, I did not watch "Lord" so I cannot personally comment. Although after this and Dayo's truly shocking 2013 win, I'm starting to think TVB is taking this whole "Let's prove to the audience we don't play favorites and are fair" a bit too seriously...
It was obvious Nancy was going to win Best Actress after Kristal won Favorite Character. I'm still a little annoyed she has gotten so much attention for one of her weaker performances. However, the genuinely dazed and shocked reaction Nancy gave before tearing up was truly touching. I also like that she acknowledged that her performance in "Ghost" left a lot of room for improvement. This win also means that Nancy has worked up from winning Most Improved in 2008, to Best Supporting Actress in 2013, to finally Best Actress this year. Is there anyone else who has done this? Now here's to hoping Nancy doesn't fall victim to the "becomes boring after getting promoted to lead actress" curse...
Best Drama: "Lord of Shanghai"
Deserved. Glad TVB didn't decide to give it to "Captain" or pull a completely BS move and give it to "Ghost."
Best Classic Drama: "The Greed of Man"
*breathes a sigh of relief TVB didn't give it to "Triumph in the Skies" or pull another BS move by giving it to "Brother's Keeper" to drum up anticipation for the sequel*
Best Theme Song: Jinny Ng's subtheme for "The Empress of China"
The one BS move TVB decided to make. This category has existed for two years, and Jinny has now won twice. Should we just rename it the Jinny Ng award next year? At least last year's win for the "Line Walker" subtheme made sense, but this was just clear favoritism.
And just for fun, other moments during the awards show I found noteworthy and funny:
- Tavia, Nancy, and Sharon presenting Best Supporting Actress and stating how all the winners of this award had to play tragic roles, except for Elena who essentially just got to make out with Kenneth in her winning series.
- Kristal seems like such a fun, goofy, and straightforward person and was hilarious when she presented. I loved when she was joking about how she has caused so many good things to happen to all her male co-stars. Also loved when Anthony told her they had actually worked together before, but she said she was so intimidated by him that she blocked it out of her memory. Then she proceeded to yell at him for being so preoccupied with talking to her when it was his acceptance speech.
- Ruco and Wayne's banter was much more subtle than the others, but still funny and enjoyable. These two totally need to collaborate (and Wayne in a role where he doesn't just spend the whole time screaming).
- When Benz called out Ben, Kenny, and Evergreen, and for not greeting Dodo by calling them his "elders."
- Everybody eating fried chicken, some people with gloves. This was obviously some promotional tactic (guessing KFC sponsors TVB), but it was still funny. I wonder if they got the idea from when Ellen ordered pizza at the Oscar's...
How do you feel about this year's winners? Were there any other moments you enjoyed from the awards show?