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;
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.
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 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 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.
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!
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
Ju Long Lei
The many tennants of Kara
I Want to be part of the family! lol
I'm really beginning to like Elena, she deserves some recognition for her work in TVB.
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 :(