Wednesday, January 11, 2012

2011 Year-end Review

TVB 44th Anniversary Awards Ceremony has ended and all the awards have been given out. However, whether or not the awards were well-deserved depends on how different people think. After all, acting is a very subjective matter and we are at least a little biased when it comes to evaluating our favourite artistes' performances. Same thing applied for me and I want to emphasize that the purpose of this post is NOT to tell TVB how rigged its awards were or say how the award should be given to one artiste instead of the other. I wrote this post just for the sake of sharing my personal thoughts and views, and evaluating last year's series and performances (aka this is 100% my thoughts). Before I begin, here's a little observation I made: 2011 is the year of the barristers!!

In case you are too lazy to read on, here is a quick summary:

- Best Actor: Kevin Cheng (Ghetto Justice)
- Best Actress: Myolie Wu (Ghetto Justice)
- Best Supporting Actor: Ben Wong (Lives of Omission)
- Best Supporting Actress: Elena Kong (River of Wine)
- Most Improved Actor: Jazz Lam
- Most Improved Actress: Sire Ma
- Favorite On-screen Couple: Kevin Cheng and Myolie Wu (Ghetto Justice)
- Favorite Male Character: Kevin Cheng (Ghetto Justice)
- Favorite Female Character: Maggie Cheung (Forensic Heroes III)
- Best Theme Song: Ghetto Justice theme - 沒時間後悔 by Hanjin Tan ft. MC Jin
- Best Series: Ghetto Justice

Best Actor

Kevin Cheng (Ghetto Justice)

The year 2011 may not be the best year for TVB, but it certainly was a fruitful year for Kevin Cheng. His role Law Ba from the small budget production Ghetto Justice has earned him 3 TV King titles. In Ghetto Justice, Kevin Cheng has successfully discarded his well-groomed pretty boy look and transformed into a sloppy, lazy but with a great sense of justice barrister Law Ba of Sham Shui Po. Kevin carried out his role very naturally and was able to bring his character to life and connect with the audience. For that, Kevin Cheng deserved the title of Best Actor.

Honourable Mentions:

Michael Tse (Lives of Omission)
Michael Tse and Laughing are inseparable. Ever since E.U. in 2009, Michael has engraved deep into people's hearts the legend of Laughing. In 2011 Lives of Omission, Michael continued to carry on the 'Laughing spirit' and gave a flawless performance.

Ruco Chan (The Other Truth)
Often portraying villainous roles in the past, Ruco Chan has made it fresh this time by convincingly taking on the role of an ambitious yet righteous barrister Keith Lau, who is willing to cross the boundaries to achieve justice.

Best Actress

Myolie Wu (Ghetto Justice)

This may not be the strongest performance around and I do think that the competition is the weakest here in this category. However, judging at this year's performances, Myolie Wu deserved the title of Best Actress for her role in Ghetto Justice. The ambitious barrister Kris Wong who was at first willing to turn away from justice for fame, later regains her conscience and battles for the rights of others. Myolie was also able to bring out the characteristics of a modern career woman.

Honourable Mentions:

Maggie Cheung (Forensic Heroes III)
I was debating between Myolie and Maggie for the Best Actress title. Although this is the result I ended up with (and it was real hard for me!!), Maggie Cheung is definitely not far behind because her performance in FH3 was brilliant. Maggie managed to give her character a humorous side yet still carried out her role as a forensic pathologist flawlessly. This is undeniably a great comeback for Maggie.

Jessica Hsuan (Curse of the Royal Harem)
Jessica gave a great performance in COTRH as the Imperial Consort. Her character may be quiet but at the same time very intimidating and Jessica was able to pull that off. Jessica gave off a very commanding aura yet was still able to act gentle in front of the Emperor.

Best Supporting Actor

Ben Wong (Lives of Omission)

Ben Wong was able to act out the conflicted mind of an undercover through his role in LOO. The transition from white to black in the nature of his character Spicy Ginger allowed him to shine whenever he's on-screen. From being able to make himself fearsome when madness took over him, to in the end we can only feel sorry for him when he's consumed by fear, Ben Wong can make all the transitions seamlessly.

Honourable Mentions:

KK Cheung (Curse of the Royal Harem)
His eunuch character may be brainless and detestable but KK was able to bring out his pitiful side. KK did a great job in transducing the loyalty of his character towards the Empress Dowager to the audience and made them feel for him.

Jazz Lam (Ghetto Justice)
In Ghetto Justice, the audience can see a different side of Jazz Lam as he portrayed the gentle, polite yet timid solicitor MJ. He can make his character so humorous yet very honourable.

Best Supporting Actress

Elena Kong (River of Wine)

Elena may be underrated but she has once again proved that she's a talented actress through her performance in River of Wine, in which she took on the role of a widow. Her character had to take care of the whole family, restrain her love for the man who called her mom, and suffer from misunderstandings and cold treatments from the entire family. Elena was able to bring out all the emotions of her character effortlessly and in a very controlled manner.

Honourable Mentions:

Nancy Wu (Forensic Heroes III)
Whenever Nancy was on-screen, she stole that scene. Her ambitious barrister character Eva Chow was the highlight of the show and Nancy was able to carry out that role perfectly.

Sharon Chan (Ghetto Justice)
Taking on the role of a prostitute and even running around naked, Sharon Chan is another scene-stealer this year. Despite the profession, Sharon made her character very honourable and admirable.

Most Improved Actor

Jazz Lam (My Sister of Eternal Flower, Ghetto Justice, River of Wine)

This year, the biggest surprise coming from Jazz is probably his role in Ghetto Justice. Before this series, when one spoke of him, we usually thought of a guy who's loud-mouthed, rude, hot-headed, a loser in love and had little education. In GJ, Jazz has gotten rid of that image by successfully portraying a character completely opposite of that. In a short time, he has transformed from an annoying person to one of the most charming one on-screen. Jazz definitely needs to be given different roles to try instead of being typecasted all the time.

Most Improved Actress

Sire Ma (River of Wine, Men with No Shadows, Curse of the Royal Harem)

She may be new and raw as an actress, but Sire Ma definitely has potential. This year, she was a stubborn but righteous daughter of a magistrate, a lively and outspoken nurse who fell in love with a 'devil', and the lovely but pitiful wife of Prince Sui. In all of her series this year, Sire was able to carry out her roles quite naturally. She conveyed her emotions quite well and had good chemistry with the casts. In the future, I would love to see Sire taking on more varieties of roles to further improve her acting skills.

Favourite On-screen Couples

3. Chilam Cheung and Myolie Wu (The Rippling Blossom)

A really cute couple!! Enough said!!

2. Bowie Lam and Elena Kong (River of Wine)

I have a soft spot for forbidden relationship like this and plus, Bowie and Elena had so much chemistry on-screen!!

1. Kevin Cheng and Myolie Wu (Ghetto Justice)

After Burning Flame III, Kevin and Myolie got to pair up again. This time, the chemistry was amazing, simply amazing!!

Favourite Male Characters

5. Steven Ma as Nip Dor Bo (The Life and Times of a Sentinel)
      - Who wouldn't love the brave and righteous Steven Ma?!

4. Raymond Wong as Wallace Cheuk Siu Him (The Other Truth)
      -  Such a cute and charismatic character for Ray Wong

3. Ruco Chan as Keith Lau Sze Kit (The Other Truth)
      -  Coolness + Hotness = Keith!!

2. Damian Lau as Mo Yung Ching (The Rippling Blossom)
      - You don't often get to see Damian like this!!

1. Kevin Cheng as Law Lik Ah / Law Ba / LA Law (Ghetto Justice)
      - Simply a character that makes you love him from beginning to end!!

Favourite Female Characters

5. Myolie Wu as Keung Keung (The Rippling Blossom)
      - Such a fun character for Myolie

4. Toby Leung as Ho Ka Moon (Wax and Wane)
      - Someone who can eat non-stop without getting fat, Toby is really adorable here!!

3. Yoyo Mung as Mak Yat Man / Ah Man (Only You)
      - So bad-mouthed that it's hilarious!!

2. Fala Chen as Kwai Fa / Ah Fa (Grace Under Fire)
      - She might be weak but she definitely had guts!!

1. Maggie Cheung as Mandy Chung Hok Sum (Forensic Heroes III)
      - The coolness and the professionalism blend so well with the humour

Most Memorable Characters

3. Linda Chung as Koo Ka Lam / Miss Koo (Yes, Sir. Sorry, Sir!)

The character Miss Koo was really well received by the audience this year for being the victim of an investigation

2. Michael Tse as Leung Siu Tong / Laughing Gor (Lives of Omission)

Laughing Gor is memorable since forever!!

1. Kevin Cheng as Law Lik Ah / Law Ba / LA Law (Ghetto Justice)

Law Ba is simply a great guy with great personalities and down-to-earth. His name shall live on!!

Most Memorable Scenes

5. Grace Under Fire - Lui Kong is beaten to death by Yau Sam Shui

 A very bloody scene but worth watching because Dominic was superb!! His character Lui Kong was beaten up badly yet still refused to surrender to the injustice. A very powerful performance!!

4. Yes, Sir. Sorry, Sir! - Miss Koo breaks down

 So explosive and so heart-breaking that everytime we think back to this scene,
we remember how good Linda was at crying!!

3. Forensic Heroes III - Pro Sir vs. Eva court scene

  This is probably the highlight of FH3. Both Wayne and Nancy did a great job
in this intense showdown scene between Pro Sir and Eva.

2. Ghetto Justice - Law Ba singing in the shower

 This is definitely a must-watch scene for everyone:
Law Ba singing Doraemon theme in the shower and getting his naked picture taken!! :D

1. The Life and Times of a Sentinel - Prince Yu forces Kangxi to give him the throne and Nip Dor Bo's real identity

If you decided to drop this series from the beginning, you would miss out this great scene. The scene is actually one-whole-episode long but it's definitely worth watching. It's not draggy at all because the 45 minutes were needed to build up all the tensions and emotions. It was so surprising, dramatic, emotional and well acted out by Steven Ma, Kenneth Ma, Power Chan and Ching Hor Wai.

Best Theme Songs

5. Curse of the Royal Harem theme - 各安天命 by Susanna Kwan
      - Very powerful singing by Susanna. The song fits the series perfectly

4. Lives of Omission theme - 獨行 by Michael Tse
      - I love the beats at the beginning. Michael sang it well too

3. River of Wine theme - 今朝有酒 by Taichi
      - May not be the catchiest or most attractive but it's extremely well sung

2. Yes, Sir. Sorry, Sir! theme - 春風化雨 by Moses Chan and Ron Ng
      - Catchy tune, Moses and Ron's voices sound great together

1. Ghetto Justice theme - 沒時間後悔 by Hanjin Tan ft. MC Jin
      - The lyrics are really powerful and well sung by Hanjin. He has great voice. The rapping part by MC Jin is a bonus

Best Series

5. Curse of the Royal Harem (Producer: Chong Wai Kin)

Engaging plots with some good actings from the casts. The story is well told, especially in the middle. The main characters also had great character developments.

4. Lives of Omission (Producer: Chong Wai Kin)

A series that's full of action scenes and exciting moments. It managed to keep the audience attention from beginning to end, as we were interested in finding out what the end would be like for each of the main characters.

3. Only You (Producer: Amy Wong)

A very heart-warming series with lots of teary moments. By having many mini stories within a bigger story, this series gave the audience a refreshing atmosphere throughout the whole 30 episodes.

2. The Other Truth (Producer: Amy Wong)

A case-driven legal series with lots of interesting cases. This series explores the grey areas of the legal sector where it's 'rationality vs. sensibility' most of the time. It also gave an insight of how the jury works.

1. Ghetto Justice (Producer: Terry Tong)

A legal series with a different flavour: justice vs. fame and fortune. This series managed to cooperate the humour with the legal aspect, which made it more relaxing to watch. There were also great character developments, from main characters to even the minor ones.

**Credit: The pictures are taken from and just for illustration purpose**

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