Thursday, December 22, 2016

TVB 50th Anniversary Awards: Results + Comments

This year's award show, if you haven't already realized, was unsurprisingly a sweep for this year's hit "A Fist Within Four Walls." Overall, the show had its entertaining moments with deserving winners as well as a few surprises. I watched the show as I wrote my post this year (after skimming it the day of so I could find out the results before class), so I hope you enjoy the commentary and screen caps.

Here is the full list of winners.

Most Improved Actress: Ali Lee

I totally should have seen it coming that TVB would make Tony and Edwin present Most Improved Actor and Priscilla and Natalie Most Improved Actress. As predictable as that move was though, their banter was actually entertaining and funny instead of the usual forced presenting of awards. I loved all the jokes they made about each other, starting when Tony replied to Edwin saying he has won awards realize Edwin actually has not (for acting). Poor Tony looked completely blind-sided though when Edwin joked that Kenneth was the one who told him Natalie has a good figure and can cook. The banter level between Priscilla and Tony was also high as always, which was shown by this imitation of what Tony thinks Priscilla looks like in all of her series:

But anyway...Tracy gets robbed again. Ali is far from the least deserving winner in the history of this award, but Tracy is now two years overdue for this award after a critically-acclaimed performance in sleeper hit "Over Run Over." I have loved Ali in her villain and semi-villain roles, especially in "Fashion War," but her first turn as a leading protagonist in "Law Disorder," while partially the fault of a dull and poorly-written character, showed she still has a way to go and lacks the charisma Tracy has. Ali's acting is already at a better level than some of her colleagues at this point in her career, and her win is expected given how heavily she's being promoted. I do like Ali, but this was admittedly, pretty darn disappointing.

Most Improved Actor: Jonathan Cheung 

"Anybody could win and he'd be better than last year's winner!" *camera pans to Tony* Oh Priscilla, even you have to admit that other than Jonathan, Tony was still a stronger nominee than any of the other nominees this year. You knew Jonathan was obviously going to win when literally all the other guys were pointing in his direction when Priscilla and Natalie were about to announce it.

This may have been one of the more obvious winners of the night. I'm still so happy Jonathan won, and he had a sweet and concise acceptance speech. There's really not much to be said other than that, since I've already gone on and on about how he deserves this recognition in my predictions post and "House of Spirits" review.

That performance of "Stand By Me" wasn't great, but for once they sang a song and it didn't make my ears want to bleed and was even quite nice, so that's an improvement. Wasn't exactly acapella, but they're lucky I have a soft spot for this song.

Best Onscreen Partnership: Tracy Chu and Vincent Wong for "Over Run Over"

It was nice to see a mini "Virtues of Harmony" reunion! But yeesh, it looks like Joyce Chen has barely aged since the sitcom.

Neither Tracy or Vincent took home a favorite character award, ruining my prediction that Vincent would win Favorite Male Character. I'm glad they were able to take home SOMETHING, especially considering they were only one of two nominees in this category that actually made sense.

Best Supporting Actor: Raymond Cho for "Short End of the Stick"
Top 3: Raymond Cho, Hugo Ng for "Brother's Keeper II," and Luk Wing for "Two Steps in Heaven"

There are always several solid supporting male performances every year, so I'm glad they've brought back a short-list of nominees after announcing all darn 20 nominees for the past year or two.

Luk Wing became my last minute personal choice for this category after loving him in "Two Steps." I don't think anyone expected him to place in the top 3 though, including Luk Wing himself, as evidenced by the sheer look of shock and excitement on his face when he heard his name called from backstage. I literally jumped up from my seat from excitement for him when they said his name! It's so refreshing of TVB to give acknowledgement, even if just in the form of a top 3 nominee, to someone who is not a TVB managed artist (to my knowledge?) or an acclaimed non-TVB managed veteran.

The announcement of the winner of this category is always fun and heartwarming, with standing ovations for the unappreciated veteran supporting actors who usually take home this award, and this year was not an exception. I did not watch "Short End of the Stick" so I cannot give much personal comment, but I have always enjoyed Raymond Cho's performances and glad he finally got his recognition this year.

On a side note, Louis looked like he was getting his creep on while petting Luk Wing here.

Best Theme Song: Ruco Chan and Nancy Wu's sub theme for "A Fist Within Four Walls"

No surprise, but since "Dead Wrong" went home completely empty-handed and "Fist" made such a major sweep, I would have wanted Stephanie Ho's sub theme for "Dead Wrong" to win. Not just because "Dead Wrong" absolutely deserved to get something, but also because it's a beautiful song in its own right that adds to the emotional factor of the series.

Best Supporting Actress: Katy Kung for "Two Steps in Heaven"
Top 3: Katy Kung, Joyce Tang for "House of Spirits," and Grace Wong for "A Fist Within Four Walls"

This is the one award I really cannot wrap my head around. I was so looking forward to finally seeing Joyce getting acknowledgment for her strong acting. Instead, I'm just left here bitter and confused.

If there was anyone who I heard a lot of buzz about who deserved recognition for their performances in "Two Steps," it would have been Bosco, Louis, and/or Luk Wing. Katy certainly got a different role this time, playing the wife and mother instead of the little sister, and I do usually like her, but she tried too hard here. She supposedly won for her crying scenes, but those were her most cringeworthy and unnatural. She also received a big standing ovation though, so I guess I'm missing something. I never thought TVB would give this award to her, and even now that she has, I honestly don't see them being serious about promoting her like they usually do with winners of this award...

And for the second year in the row, we interrupt this broadcast so the actors can chow down on some chicken. Looks like they didn't secure a sponsorship with KFC this year though, because this time it's homemade.

Rosina Lam doesn't mind that she did not get into the top 3 of Best Supporting Actress because she now has food.

My Favorite Female Character: Grace Wong for "A Fist Within Four Walls"
Top 5: Grace Wong and Nancy Wu for "A Fist Within Four Walls," Natalie Tong for "Speed of Life," Tracy Chu for "Over Run Over," and Joyce Tang for "House of Spirits"

Grace was completely shocked when her name was called, responding with an expression of disbelief that mirrors when Nancy's name was called for Best Actress last year. Like us, she thought this award could only go to lead characters! I guess TVB decided they didn't want anyone pulling double wins. I wasn't ecstatic about the results of this, but I'm not mad either. It was heartwarming yet quite funny watching her get her thanks out in between sniffling and trying to stay calm, which made her voice go up and down. I burst out laughing when she realized she almost forgot to thank her fiancee and let out a very deep "Hi." All other top 5 nominees were not a surprise except for Natalie in "Speed of Life," which was little-watched and talked-about.

Best Actress: Nancy Wu for "A Fist Within Four Walls"
Top 5: Nancy Wu, Maggie Shiu for "The Executioner," Tracy Chu for "Over Run Over," Kristal Tin for "Brother's Keeper II," and Priscilla Wong for "Two Steps From Heaven

I knew Nancy had won for sure when Jessica said she had voted for the winner! Ah, the "Gun Metal Grey" days. She was incredibly calm (but still very gracious) this time, since we all knew it was just too obvious. It was too cute when she asked Frankie to give her a kiss on the cheek. Also, yay for Maggie getting into the top 5!

My Favorite Male Character: Benjamin Yuen for "A Fist Within Four Walls"
Top 5: Benjamin Yuen and Ruco Chan for "A Fist Within Four Walls," Vincent Wong for "Over Run Over," Bobby Au-Yeung for "House of Spirits," and Louis Cheung for "Two Steps in Heaven"

Yeah...I saw this coming after Grace won. But while I'm okay with Grace's win, I am just not into this at all. "Duen Yiu Fung" was a pretty dull character, and was only made interesting when acting alongside Ruco, Nancy, or Grace. But, Benjamin's speech was touching. It was nice to hear him thank Jennifer even though they've broken up for supporting him for three years despite him being so busy with work. However, this award should have been Vincent's.

Best Actor: Ruco Chan for "A Fist Within Four Walls"
Top 5: Ruco Chan and Benjamin Yuen for "A Fist Within Four Walls," Vincent Wong for "Over Run Over," Bosco Wong for "Two Steps in Heaven," and Roger Kwok for "Dead Wrong" 

The moment I've been waiting to see since Ruco became a leading man in 2011. Oh man, was I grinning from ear to ear when his name was called. I shouldn't be surprised that even though he was teary-eyed and emotional, he was very calm and eloquent in his acceptance speech. It was too sweet when he thanked his mom and the camera panned to his mom blowing kisses at him from the audience behind tears. Congratulations, Ruco. <3

Best Drama: "A Fist Within Four Walls"

Oooh, Wayne's burns about TVB executives never willing to talk about money in negotiations and their grueling hours were too good. I was holding out on the hope "Dead Wrong" could go home with Best Drama, but alas, this really was the year of "Fist." But hey, I hope the success of the series will teach TVB to put more effort into their action series like they did with this in the future.

What are your thoughts on the winners? 

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