Sunday, February 4, 2018

TVB Anniversary Awards 2017: Results + Comments

Global Netizen’s Favorite Drama: “The Exorcist’s Meter”
Not a surprise and well-deserved. I’m so glad TVB didn’t give this to “Line Walker 2” and always love a good underdog story. This series had a low budget and the farest thing from a star-studded cast, but heart and creativity. There probably isn’t any other series in the last few years that dealt with the subject of human loss and love so well, much less while tying together supernatural elements.

Most Improved Actor: Mat Yeung
I said “Matthew” out loud just as the winner was announced and was completely blindsided in the best way possible when Mat’s name was announced instead. I pegged Mat as having no chance, especially as the two drama series he is nominated for did not receive much attention. Yes he’s overqualified for the award, and perhaps Owen deserved it most solely in terms of actual improvements in acting, but I am so happy that he has finally received recognition. Next stop, best supporting actor with the big boys?

Most Improved Actress: Mayanne Mak
I was totally surprised by this, and don’t watch variety shows so I cannot give an opinion as to whether or not Mayanne deserves it. From all the applause and cheers she received, it seems like she did, and in that respect I’m happy for her. However, I still think TVB needs to separate out the most improved acting and hosting categories. I’m mostly just glad Jacqueline Wong didn’t win (sorry Kenneth).

Most Popular Drama Theme Song: Hubert Wu’s theme song for “The Exorcist’s Meter”
Woo so happy Hana didn’t win for her sub theme for “Line Walker 2”! This is definitely my favorite theme song of the year. No complaints. So glad Hubert, who is a far superior singer, finally nabbed this award out of the hands of Jinny, Hana, and Co. Also loved the "Hearts of Fencing" reunion. When I first heard the theme song by 2R start playing, I was wondering why it sounded so familiar before I was flooded with memories of the series.

Most Favorite Onscreen Partnership: Edwin Siu, Raymond Cho, and Matthew Ho for “A General, A Scholar, And An Eunuch”
I didn’t actually put this down as my prediction, but did expect this would be a very likely scenario. Edwin, Raymond, and Matthew were such a fun ensemble with chemistry while each having comedic talent in their own right. Edwin looked completely surprised and unprepared when giving the acceptance speech though, which was quite funny.

Best Supporting Actor: Joel Chan for “The Unholy Alliance”
Top 5: Joel Chan, Jimmy Au, Andrew Yuen, Owen Cheung, Anthony Ho

This category was obviously one “The Unholy Alliance” co-star versus another. In the end, I’m not surprised Joel won, and that is more fitting anyway because as solid of an actor as Jimmy is, his bodyguard role in the series probably could not even have been considered a supporting role. Joel was one of the more emotional people of the night, which makes sense given he was given a second opportunity at TVB and has experienced so much more success this time around after putting in a lot of hard work. I’m looking forward to seeing more of Joel. It was sweet seeing Elaine present the award to Joel and tearing up behind him as he gave his speech, before regaining composure and watching him in admiration.

Best Supporting Actress: Rebecca Zhu for “A General, A Scholar, And An Eunuch”
Top 5: Rebecca Zhu, Tracy Chu, Mandy Lam, Elaine Yiu, Sharon Chan

I don’t think I’ve ever been so genuinely offended and confused by an anniversary awards winner in my life? While I did not agree with Katy and Elaine’s wins in the last two years for this award, at least they were for meaty roles. Meanwhile, Rebecca had the least to do of all the females in “A General.” She stood around and flirted with Matthew sometimes. What’s even more offensive is that her co-star Grace Wong did not even place into a top 5 despite giving a far superior, more entertaining performance. However, I was pleasantly surprised Mandy Lam placed for “Lo and Behold.” I haven’t been watching it, but been hearing good things about her and always like it when actors from sitcoms can get short-listed. Either Tracy, Mandy, or Elaine winning would have been better than Rebecca. And this is saying a lot, considering Tracy only had a guest starring role and Elaine gave a typical performance and already previously won. I can’t believe Sharon was short-listed for her cringeworthy, adulterer role in “Heart and Greed 3” either. This has been one of the weakest categories in the last few years, but Rebecca’s win is probably one of the most uncalled for and unfair since Fala first won in 2007 very shortly after debuting.

Favorite Male Character: Kenneth Ma for “The Exorcist’s Meter”
Top 5: Kenneth Ma, Vincent Wong, Moses Chan, Edwin Siu, Benjamin Yuen

Most of us definitely called this. “Ma Kwai” is definitely one of the most easily likable characters of the year. All the top five nominees’ characters were likable though, which is a nice change from some categories sometimes not even having one solid nominee recently.

Favorite Female Character: Sisley Choi for “Legal Mavericks”
Top 5: Sisley Choi, Natalie Tong, Nancy Wu, Mandy Wong, Ali Lee

Slightly surprising, but not that much considering it’s TVB. Sisley should have been nominated for and won Most Improved Actress instead. If we are looking solely at character, I really did like her “Din Jie” character, which was a refreshing female character who was bad ass, did not care she was unattractive, and was unapologetically herself. I would still easily choose Ali’s “Paris” over Sisley, and am disappointed Ali went home empty-handed despite giving such a solid performance in “My Ages Apart.” Unfortunately, what I dreaded would happen to Ali happened to Sisley instead. She isn’t necessarily undeserving and has genuinely improved, but she won such a major award sooner than others usually do, which has already given her criticism. TVB is hurting Sisley more than helping her by pulling this move, while the audience may have actually been happy for her had she won Most Improved.

I might be in the minority here, but I liked Sisley’s speech about how the criticism she has received for her acting made her question her self-worth, while getting to play this role helped her to finally get some it back. You can tell that the attacks and negative words have really gotten to her, but instead of questioning why people are criticizing her (ahem, Grace Chan), or letting it get the best of her her, but you can also tell she has taken it to heart and tried her best to improve. But yes, it was bizarre that she didn’t actually thank people in her speech. On another note, every main cast member except Mandy deserved praise for “The Exorcist’s Meter,” but here we are. Moon Lau should have taken her place.

Best Actor: Vincent Wong for “Legal Mavericks”
Top 5: Vincent Wong, Kenneth Ma, Ruco Chan, Michael Miu, Moses Chan

Expected, but still satisfying. Vincent obviously knew he was going to win barring an upset by Kenneth, so he was calm and collected and had a well-rehearsed speech. Vincent is a perfect example of someone who may not have as much experience under his belt as other winners (12 years, and just a mere three series as a leading actor), but won based on merit instead of timing, and the luck of receiving a great role he could nail. I would love to see more actors in the future winning based on the merit of performance alone, rather than it just being “the right time” or the luck of being cast in a series with high buzz. I definitely felt Vincent had the potential to win TV King when “Legal Mavericks” and his role was first announced - called it!

Best Actress: Natalie Tong for “My Unfair Lady”
Top 5: Natalie Tong, Jessica Hsuan, Nancy Wu, Nina Paw, Ali Lee

My jaw dropped when Natalie’s name was called. I wasn’t angry like for Rebecca, but I was just shocked. I did not read the reports that Natalie’s fans had been campaigning for her or that she was rumored to sign a new contract in exchange for the award, so I was completely confused. I have liked Natalie for a long time and think she is a good actress, but not Best Actress caliber (she was also in the awkward position of being a second lead in “My Unfair Lady,” neither a leading or supporting actress).

Best Drama: “My Ages Apart”

I’m surprised that TVB didn’t give this award to “Line Walker: The Prelude” and allowed it to go home empty-handed. But if this award was going to go to any other series, I’m not surprised they decided to give it to the anniversary drama that didn’t make a splash, but at least didn’t completely tank (ahem, Heart and Greed). I am very happy this series won though, because it was a refreshing series with a great sense of humor. I am a fan of meta and satirical humor, as well as series that are not afraid to poke fun at themselves. As crazy as the main family and some plot lines could get, you could tell the writers were well-aware of its own absurdity and never took themselves too seriously. It’s something I really wish more TVB comedies could incorporate. And while it understandably dragged sometimes at a whooping length of 50 episodes, with its large ensemble, I did not feel like it dragged significantly more than series that ran just a mere 20 or 30 episodes can sometimes. I wish more people would have tuned in.

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