Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Ghost Writer


Ghost Writer is a relative disappointment to me, it's actually a bit boring to me, the only thing that is keeping my interest at the moment is Fala Chen and Steven Ma's relationship. There are too many evil characters in this series as well making it quite depressing seeing all the good characters get pushed over by the bad guys.

EDIT: I have finished watching the series now I'm pretty annoyed with the series on the whole, it didn't live up to expectations. The ending was a bit sloppy as well, yeah it's cool that Linda/Steven/Fala could be together but it was just a bit slapdash to me. In fact I might almost call it a sad ending as Linda basically will stay as a ghost for the rest of her "life" when Steven dies, or will Steven also reject reincarnation? It's so difficult to be angry at these plots because everything is just pure fiction. What I hate about TVB series is that everything gets resolved in a blink of an eye, what was 10 episodes worth of build up for? It just makes the story seem a bit flawed. I did like when they showed scenes of the past Liu Zhai series because I loved them! One thing I find very odd is that if everybody's soul lingers on earth once you die then why did Sunny Chan's soul go straight up into the sky (like a UFO landing!) And where did Elliot Yue, Eric Li and Ruco Chan's soul go when they died? Sorry I just find Ghost Writer a rushed and sloppy production of Pu Songling's story.

Best Actor
Steven Ma

Steven has done himself proud this year, every series this year he has performed decently. It was a solid performance by Steven in Ghost Writer.

Sunny Chan

Sunny's character is annoying but Sunny did well enough for his character.

Best Actress
Fala Chen

I love Fala Chen in this series, she is so sweet and funny in this series. Fala has definitely had a breakthrough year. Edit: having seen her in the last 5 episodes I have decided to take her off my Favourite Female Character list because she was just plain annoying in them, what tipped me off was when she turned Linda into a fox spirit as well (even if it was Sunny's idea), I just wished they kept Fala's character sweet and fun.

Linda Chung

Linda hasn't had a fruitful year this year but she did relatively well here so I'll give her a nomination for this. 

Best Supporting Actor
Elliot Yue

Elliot has always played this type of character but previously I wasn't that interested in his acting but I thought he did well in Ghost Writer.

Best Couple
Fala Chen and Steven Ma

I like Fala and Steven's relationship more than Linda and Steven's because Fala and Steven was more fun and enjoyable to watch but I'll always be a Linda/Steven supporter!

Most Improved Actor
Ruco Chan

Not necessarily for Ghost Writer but I think Ruco Chan deserves to be nominated for this award because I think he has improved since his first drama with TVB.

Gun Metal Grey


To be honest Gun Metal Grey isn't really exciting me as much as some people have been with it but it's a decent series with a decent cast.

Best Actor
Michael Miu

I'm beginning to like Michael Miu now, he still strikes me as rather stiff in humorous scenes but he's getting there. I liked his more serious acting as well and to be honest I liked watching Michael more than Felix who was extremely irritating to me.

Best Actress
Jessica Hsuan

At the moment I'm still looking for a bit more from Jessica but she'll always be a consideration for me as she is definitely one of TVB's best.

Best Supporting Actor
Vincent Wong

I've actually never noticed Vincent Wong in a series but he managed to capture my attention here. He acted well for a relative newbie to main supporting character. I think because of this I'm also nominating him for...

Most Improved Actor
and
Breakthrough Performance

Best Supporting Actress
Nancy Wu

Nancy Wu always does well I think, she does deserve some recognition.

Best Couple
Michael Miu and Jessica Hsuan

This couple is definitely one of the more interesting parts of this series, I love when Jessica went sneaking into Michael's flat to see the dream room he had created for her and of course when Jessica confided to Michael about her feelings for Felix. 

Most Annoying Character
Felix Wong

Felix Wong's character was annoying on all levels to me. When I watch this series I just remember Catch Me Now in 2008, another Robin Hood type story. Damian Lau in Catch Me Now was much more endearing whilst Felix's character is just annoying and plain evil. I can't wait until he gets what he deserves.

Recognition Award
Rebecca Chan

Rebecca Chan has been diligently ploughing through character after character these few years and she really deserves some recognition because she always delivers a good performance.

The Mysteries of Love


The Mysteries of Love was largely a disappointing series. The cases were generally solved by crazy physics or what not and explained in a pretty boring way for me. I think TVB needs to move away from crime solving for a while as everything seems to be overlapping recently. The romantic plot between Tavia and Raymond was also uninteresting as very clich├ęd in a series which should have been breaking boundaries. Kenneth and Bernice's story wasn't much better and they felt like a spare part, all in all I was very disappointed.

Best Actor
Raymond Lam

Though his character was boring I think Raymond did ok in such a monotonous role. Yes he could have done better but I think Raymond at least deserves a bit of recognition - though not enough for a Top 5 nomination.

Best Actress
Tavia Yeung

Tavia's role was more interesting and as always Tavia did well. Her crying scenes were actually quite emotional and she was in general one of the highlights of this series.

Best Supporting Actor
Kenneth Ma

Kenneth played his playboy role well, though I prefer him in more "goodie goodie" roles I felt this was an interesting change to his usual typecast character.

Ruco Chan

His short story was enough for me to consider him as Best Supporting. This year Ruco has been playing a lot of evil roles, each one he was decent enough for me to remember him, Ruco deserves some recognition though he still has areas which he needs to improve in.

Breakthrough Performance
Doris Chow

You may be asking me who? But I think Doris Chow was a refreshing addition to this cast, she seems to portray the professional characters well as I remember seeing her in Gun Metal Grey as a Forensic Scientist as well. Anyway good job Doris.

Some Day


I haven't actually finished watching Some Day but as I don't see the point of posting a full review after the TVB awards ceremony I'll put my nominations up now and then adjust accordingly if I want to change anything when I finish the series. I'll do this with Ghost Writer (currently at episode 18) Gun Metal Grey (have about a week left to watch) and The Mysteries of Love (2 more episodes left). That leaves me with Fly With Me, Suspects in Love, Growing Through Life, When Lanes Merge and Sisters of Pearl. I've actually watched parts of all those series listed besides Sisters of Pearl so I'll just rewatch one episode and then post my nominations here, Sisters of Pearl will be more difficult but hopefully one episode would give me enough of an idea.

Anyway back to Some Day, it was a decent long drama but I wasn't necessarily drawn to watch it every day. I did however like Teresa Mo, it's sad that this will be her last series for some time.

Best Actor
Wayne Lai

It was lovely to see Wayne in a totally different role compared to No Regrets or Rosy Business, it showed off his versatility.

Best Actress
Teresa Mo

Teresa actually made her "si lai" character very attractive to watch, it was interesting seeing how this everyday character changed and the things she had to go through. Teresa portrayed this character very well with her daft moments handled with a touch of humour.

Best Supporting Actor
Johnson Lee

I still find it Louise Lee and Johnson's family relationship weird and how can Johnson be playing a character older than Wayne Lai? He is 10 years younger than him! Anyway Johnson deserves a nomination here.

Best Couple
Wayne Lai and Teresa Mo

To be honest most of the time I was watching this series for this couple.

Most Improved Actor
Matt Yeung

Matt Yeung has never been in luck with TVB, it's sad he doesn't get much promotion. He did well here. I originally thought about nominating him for Best Supporting but then I wasn't convinced he was as good as some other characters.

Breakthrough Performance
Let me reiterate, a breakthrough performance for me is somebody who I've never really considered but has made a substantial mark in their current series.

Matt Yeung

Monday, 29 November 2010

No Regrets


I have just finished watching No Regrets (to keep this blog tidy I'll use acronyms from now on) and I have to say NR has got to be one of TVB's best dramas in recent years. It has been a while since I missed watching a TVB series and I believe the next few days when Twilight Investigation takes over I'll sorely miss not being able to watch NR on TV anymore. Whilst Rosy Business (RB) was a fantastic series I believe NR improves on it in most aspects, gone were some of the annoying characters, which were also forgettable, and in comes a fresh crop of generally believable characters. I hope NR gets HUGE ratings for it's final weeks as I'll truly hate seeing the cringe-worthy Can't Buy Me Love (CBML) take over the awards ceremony over classics like NR.

I'm not saying NR is a masterpiece but in the hoards of drab TVB has produced NR should surely stand out from the bunch. However NR isn't without it's faults, one particular argument I may have for it is the unnecessarily large cast. I found the demise of some characters slightly rushed, specifically Evergreen Mak's Leung Fei Fan and actually Elliot Yue's Cheng Long Kwan. I'd like to have seen some lingering thought dedicated to these characters and maybe scenes where there closest thought about them. To an extent I even found the death of Fala Chen's Lau Ching a bit hasty. I also thought Nancy Wu's character Ma Lei Wah could have been written better, a dramatic demise maybe. The finale did feel slightly like it was "reporting" the story to us as well. However despite these criticisms NR will be among the best of TVB series along with the likes of Heart of Greed and War and Beauty.

The predicament is the matter of ratings. I think most agree that RB was a better series than Beyond the Realm of Conscience (BTROC). Whilst BTROC was a great series there were quite a few lowlights compared to RB. In 2010 we have the same problem. NR will probably not overtake CBML but in all honesty which was the better series? Out of all the highest rating series of these years I must say CBML ranks as one of the worst for me but NR should easily climb into the Top 3, If TVB doesn't want to award the NR cast again I'd much rather have seen BTROC win all the awards last year so that NR gets what it deserves this year. At least BTROC was a decent series compared to CBML. However with NR's broadcast period they should have scored higher ratings, was the 8:30 broadcast really to blame?

Anyway like with previous series I have gathered a mini nominations list for NR, so here are my nominations;

Best Actor
Wayne Lai

I personally believe Wayne performed better here than in RB, what I do admit is focus was generally placed on Wayne in RB whilst focus was on Sheren in NR. However why Wayne was so successful in RB was more because we all like an underdog, Wayne managed to capture the spirit of Chai Gau because he wasn't the perfect character we see everyday in TVB series but if I must say Chai Gau was quite an irritating character in my opinion. However Wayne's performance in NR was less flashy, whilst the character was less raw to me it  actually felt realer. There was a subtlety in his acting which I think wasn't present in RB. To me the character led Wayne in RB but in NR Wayne led the character. As Wayne himself said this is his best work to date.

Best Actress
Sheren Tang

To me NR is Sheren's series. If I was to remember anything from NR it would have to be Sheren. Sheren is a great actress who arguably deserves more than her sole Best Actress title last year but sadly I think Sheren will leave this year empty handed, at most possibly the Best Female Character award. What I loved about Sheren was that amongst the actress' in TVB today few can actually show strength like Sheren does, it's those understated glances that Sheren uses in her acting that makes her stand out amongst the actresses of TVB. She doesn't overact either, which makes those expressions even harder to capture.

Best Supporting Actor
Raymond Wong

Raymond Wong performed well throughout the series, there was a lovely chemistry going on between him and Fala and I believe he performed some of the teary scenes with a lot of emotion. Whilst his eyes still annoy me at times I think he's slowly working on it. I must say however his character seemed to hang solely upon Fala Chen's Ching Ching. Besides that story he didn't really do anything else. Would it have been too much if his character merged with Pierre Ngo's in some kind of way? I don't know, it most likely wouldn't have worked but it would have been nice if Raymond's character also lived outside of his love life.

Pierre Ngo

Pierre Ngo didn't manage to win my praise in RB but I liked him in NR. The first few episodes were his highlights for this series where he manage to capture the emotions of his character very well. His character did seem to drift off along the middle of the plot but they did seem to revive his story in the end. Anyway Pierre did a good job in this series but I do wonder where he'll go after this performance as I can't see him taking any lead roles but Tong Gut is quite a unique character for TVB so he won't really be typecasted either.

Evergreen Mak

I wasn't really convinced with Evergreen to be honest but I think he deserves a mention. He did manage to annoy me at times, which is a good thing when you are portraying someone such as Leung Fei Fan but I wasn't convinced as such. His acting didn't really pull me in, it was sufficient but not attention grabbing. It was great to see his characters change from annoy bad guy to genuine good guy but I think it could have been written and handled better.

Best Supporting Actress
Brace yourself there are loads!

Susan Tse

An utter travesty on TVB's part is there exclusion of Susan Tse from Best Supporting Actress. This has to be in my opinion Susan's best performance. In RB I found Susan slightly too operatic but in NR she managed to make it all very believable. One of the many notable scenes with Susan in it was when her son had died. It was just haunting seeing Susan lose control like that. Susan dragging her sons corpse across the floor whilst mumbling to herself was just brilliant.

Fala Chen

Fala Chen has been building up her repertoire in the past few years and she has finally made a truly breakthrough year. In 2007 her Best Supporting Actress title was undeserved, though at that time the Best Supporting Actress title was nowhere near as important as it is now, the title of Supporting Actor/Actress has really begun to increase in popularity and respect after the win by Wayne and Tavia in 08, before it was kind of an award dished out to whoever TVB wanted to promote. I loved Fala's diary scenes, I loved how Heart of Greed used it in 2007 and I loved how it was used in NR as well. This is truly Fala's best performance, I was amazed to see how well she performed in some of the more intense scenes, she has a great future ahead of her I think.

Nancy Wu

What Nancy needs to do immediately is find some more roles like her one in Gun Metal Grey, she has been typecasted as the spoilt, bratty girl for too long. Roles like Gun Metal Grey will develop on her "alternative" image in comparison to other fa dans but also give her room to develop and ways to develop her popularity. Whilst her acting here in NR was good I find myself thinking I've seen this before. Her character did seem a bit throwaway in the end as all we know is that she married another guy when she moved to America. A commendable asset of Nancy's is that she manages to capture that attitude her characters ask of her.

Kara Hui

What finalised my decision to put Kara into the nominees list was her acting as a really old woman after Sheren reunited with Ju Long Lei after 30 years. She really did seem like she was 80/90 years old! However her performance in the series was good as well. What I loved about NR was that so many characters had an understated charm to them and Kara's was one of them. You couldn't help but like her and her performance made it all the easier.

Helen Ma

I loved Helen Ma in NR. I loved the relationship she had with Sheren and how she trusted her. Their slight breakup in the middle of the plot was also good to watch as without it she would just have looked like a spare part to the series but in fact she had her limelight as well. Helen should be commended for her performance in NR because she really did look like the strong woman she was and part of the "4 tiger soldiers" as they called themselves.

Best Couple
Wayne Lai and Sheren Tang

Their relationship was so sweet and believable. They thought for each other and looked for each others backs, that's what makes their relationship so special in comparison to all the other TVB series couples. It was lovely seeing their happy ending.

Fala Chen and Raymond Wong

Lovers that were doomed to be separated but they still loved each other dearly. It was so sweet seeing Raymond care for Fala, there story was as captivating and sweet as Wayne and Sheren's.

Most Improved Actor
King Kong

I was amazed by his acting actually, it was very good for a newbie, great to see him playing a more serious character.

Favourite Female Character
Fala Chen

Sheren Tang

Best Chemistry
Ju Long Lei
The many tennants of Kara
I Want to be part of the family! lol

Recognition Award
Elena Kong

I'm really beginning to like Elena, she deserves some recognition for her work in TVB.

Elliot Yue

Elliot Yue deserves recognition for always playing the "man of the house" characters so well.

sorry the last few sections are a bit rushed, it's getting late here and I need to go to college tomorrow :(

Thursday, 25 November 2010

The Apprentice UK Season 6

We are nearing the finals of The Apprentice 6 and as I haven't made an extensive post about it yet I thought I'd give it a go now.

Five normally make it to the final interviews, we have seven at the moment. Who are the two to go?

CHRIS

Lord Sugar still thinks highly of Chris but how many times can he be saved? If Chris makes the boardroom next week, which is likely considering there are only three left in his group now, alarm bells will surely be firing in Lord Sugar's head. I don't know how likely it is for Lord Sugar to change the teams around (I doubt it) but if Synergy does lose again we'll be losing a credible Top 5 candidate. However saying that I think Chris should be safe for the Top 5. If I was a betting man I'd say if Synergy were to lose next week Jamie would be going, sadly. Thus if that did happen somebody from Apollo will move into Synergy and give Chris a fighting chance for the Final 5 if Synergy were to lose again in the final task before Top 5. It's difficult because if we take this out of context normally Lord Sugar will go for the Jamie type candidate rather than the Chris' but I think Jamie has had too many chances. For Sandeesh's week he was considered lucky by Lord Sugar and for this week he was potentially going to get fired. 

JAMIE

Jamie started off the competition as a very good bet for the Final 2, he has been sliding down lately and that has raised a huge question mark in my head as to whether he'll still be in the final 2, as even Lord Sugar has stated this. I think Jamie is a true dark horse in this competition but he is at a very risky situation. Basically Jamie needs to perform extremely well in the final 2 tasks before the Final (and be praised for it by Nick or Karen). He then needs to be on the winning team to ensure he doesn't make the Bottom 3. If Jamie survives the next two weeks he'll be a contender for the Final 2 but luck will have to be on his side (however much Lord Sugar doesn't like the word!)

LAURA

I don't think Laura has long left in her, she'll be one of the next to go. It really depend what happens in the next two weeks, there are a lot of possibilities that could occur. Next week it'll probably be Joanna or Laura who will lead Apollo as neither have been PM for a long time. Similarly I see Jamie potentially being the PM for Synergy, unless Liz has a real passion for it. If Laura does get PM and loses she'll probably be fired, if Joanna gets PM then it'll depend. If Apollo does lose and Joanna chooses to take Stuart and Laura into the boardroom then it'll be a flip between Stuart and Laura I think (unless Joanna does a Paloma). If she takes Stella and either Stuart or Laura then either Stuart of Laura will go. That's my logic. I think Laura will literally need to have 9 lives to survive until the Final 5. Like Jamie she needs to avoid the boardroom both weeks until the Final 5 if she is to have a shot at the Final 2. I just had a thought, as Laura and Joanna haven't been PM for so long Lord Sugar might just put them both as PM (either Joanna or Laura moves to Synergy) not impossible though unlikely.

LIZ

I think most people think Liz is a sure bet for the Final 2. I also think she'll be in the Final 2 but I'm not sure she's as good as we think she is. She reminds me a lot of Michelle Season 2 and Kate Season 5, she is that calm but efficient girl who gets on with everyone and is liked by the public (I personally didn't favour either of them). As we have seen, Michelle won Season 2 but Kate lost in Season 5. Her opponent in the final 2 will be the decider for her. I think Liz will sail through to the Final 5, in Synergy she has the most potential to be safe even if she makes the boardroom, Lord Sugar likes her enough to keep her over Jamie or Chris I think. What I find interesting is that Lord Sugar has only employed late 20's, with the exception of Lee McQueen Season 4 who was only 30. We are potentially seeing the youngest winner on Apprentice this year unless Jamie or Stella win - this year's candidates are unusually young on average.

STELLA

I think everyone likes Stella and it'll be a shame to see her go but I don't see her winning the Apprentice. Like Liz she is a calm and efficient woman but what Stella seems to lack is that fire for sales, that'll be why Lord Sugar fires her in the interview stages, I think. I'm sure she'll make the Final 5 but Lord Sugar really needs to see that "grit" in you to chose you and I'm not sure Stella has that. I will be pleasantly surprised if she makes the final 2.

STUART

Stuart annoys me so so so so much. He is literally a bulldozer and I don't think Nick or Karen have much praise for him. On the other hand fellow bulldozer Joanna isn't as irritating as he is and Nick seems to be seeing potential in her. I think Stuart will be one of the two going in the following weeks, but that is if Apollo loses both tasks. Stuart could potentially sneak his way into the Top 5 but I don't see the possibility of him making the Final 2.

JOANNA

Joanna has come a long way since her episode 2 rant, people are starting to see her potential and I think she could be a silent threat to this competition. What we need to understand is every year since maybe last year we have had a loud mouthed, hard working, "grittier", sales orientated woman in the final 2. We had Saira in Season 1, Ruth in Season 2, to a lesser extent Kristina in Season 3, Claire in Season 4 and Yasmina fits a few  of those characteristics but not all. Last season was a change in momentum. Whilst Yasmina is "grittier" than Kate she is by no means a Saira, Ruth or Claire in terms of bulldozing sales. Joanna would fit the bill for the loud-mouthed final 2 but has Lord Sugar steered away from that preference? What is essentially problematic is that besides Liz I currently don't know who'll be in the Final 2, I potentially see Lord Sugar doing a Season 4 again and having 4 in the final. We'll have to see if Joanna continues the upward rise, if she does we may be seeing another all female final.

So you've read my analysis, what do you think?
Here's a recap.
For next week if Apollo lose then Laura will probably be sent packing.
If Synergy lose then it's going to be Jamie, I think.

For the Final 5 I think the best outcome would be Chris, Jamie, Joanna, Liz and Stella. It would depend if Stuart avoids the boardroom both weeks, if he doesn't and Laura is not there I think Stuart will be gone. So I think the final spot will be a toss between Jamie or Stuart.

For the Final 2 I think Liz will be in it, I'm not prepared to say she's going to win as I don't think I've seen enough at the moment. Who'll join her? I don't think it'll be Chris. There's a 50/50 chance for him but I don't think he'll make it based on analysis of previous seasons. It'll also be weird if two investment bankers made the final 2. I don't see Stella making it either, I don't think she has what Lord Sugar is looking for. Don't get me on Stuart. And Laura has no chance imo. That leaves Joanna and Jamie. It's tough to consider either of those two at the moment but I think they are the most likely candidates. If Jamie survives the next two weeks and performs well I think he's in with a very good chance and if Joanna doesn't perform a Paloma on Lord Sugar I think she'll also be one to watch.

Anyway I just want to comment on the fired candidates
Dan Harris - Right choice, never would have made it on the Apprentice.
Joy Stefanicki - Maybe not for that week but she would have left sooner or later
Raleigh Addington - It was a shame to see him go, I wouldn't have been able to predict his "demise" on The Apprentice with what I've seen but I know I would've liked him.
Shibby Robati - I think he had potential, he should have been saved for a few more weeks at least.
Melissa Cohen - She grated on my nerves!
Paloma Vivanco - I still don't see what was so bad about her boardroom rant, I really think she should have stayed at least until this week because she has performed well in general. Yes she may have been a bit stuck up at times but she's miles better than some other candidates.
Alex Epstein - I didn't like Alex, he definitely should have left before Paloma.
Sandeesh Samra - She was lucky to have survived this far, Lord Sugar saw something but she didn't deliver.
Christopher Farrell - He's a hardworker but as Lord Sugar said I don't think he has that spark. I didn't really like him anyway.

For the 7 left I like Stella, Liz, Jamie, Chris and Joanna. I don't have a particular favourite though. I don't like Laura because she is a whiny bitch! And I don't like Stuart because what is there to like! lol jk.

We'll see what happens next week.