Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Thoughts on “Sisters of Pearl” Promo Segment

I happened to be watching TVB's entertainment news on TV yesterday and a segment came on regarding their new series "Sisters of Pearl." The cast was attending a promotional event for the series and everyone was dressed in their costumes from series. Very few of the series that TVB is coming out with this year look interesting and most consist of the same 'recycled' artists and scripts. But I think I may actually consider watching this particular series, primarily because of 3 reasons: First, the cast consists primarily of veterans (Michael Tao, Jessica Hsuan, Bowie Lam, Kiki Sheung, etc.), several of whom I haven't seen in awhile (namely Michael and Jessica) and second, the storyline sounds promising, as it is set in the pre-modern era and that time period / genre usually lends itself to some good storytelling.

The third reason is because of the chemistry of the cast. Michael, Jessica, and Bowie collaborated in "Files of Justice" in the 90s, which proved to be very successful -- so this series can be viewed as a 'reunion' of sorts for the 3 of them. Also, Kiki Sheung was in the same acting class as Michael (they graduated same year), so they are old "schoolmates" so to speak -- plus I'm pretty sure they collaborated back in the 80s, though probably not directly (they may have been in the same series, but did not share any scenes together). And of course, Michael collaborated with Joyce Tang in "Wasabi Mon Amour" so they're comfortable with each other as well.

Back to the promotional event's interesting to note that during the event, Michael stood out like a sore thumb. He was dressed in 'casual' clothes rather than the formal 'pre-modern' attire that everyone else was dressed up in. I mean, to a stranger with no knowledge whatsoever, it would look like he was just a bystander being asked to 'join the crowd' -- the only way you could tell he 'belonged' to the same series was the red "Sisters of Pearl" sticker he had stuck on his shirt. It makes me wonder whether he was actually 'invited' by TVB to promote the series along with the rest of the cast or whether he just decided to 'show up' any case, I feel it's an indication of the strained relationship between Michael and TVB, which is unfortunate because this series is likely to be the last for Michael, possibly in HK. He has shifted his career to China recently and even openly said in an interview several months ago that there is 'very slim chance' that he would collaborate with TVB again. I won't go into all the history here, since it would go on forever, but basically, Michael was not treated well when he returned to TVB several years ago and has been quite outspoken about the unfairness of their internal politics and favoritism in the past few months, which of course ticked off TVB, since they don't like people saying 'negative' things about them (even though it's the truth) with this background, I am curious to see how Michael's character will be like in "Sisters of Pearl" and whether TVB once again gave him a lesser quality role or not....

To be honest, I was initially surprised that TVB is airing this series so early because I had thought at first that they were going to warehouse it. Reasons why I thought this -- because the series does not star any of TVB's current "favorites", the cast is comprised primarily of veterans (which TVB has a history of treating poorly), and in recent years, the trend with TVB is that they would warehouse all the 'quality' series and broadcast all the 'crappy' ones. The other reason why I thought this series would be warehoused is because of Michael Tao (for the reasons stated above). Now that I think about it more though, I can understand why TVB would not want to warehouse this series -- because they don't want to make it too obvious that they are 'retaliating' against Michael for talking bad about makes sense and is pretty in-line with TVB's usual politically charged decision-making....

Well, at this point, I guess only time will tell.....I'll have to see what happens as the series actually airs.


  1. I was thinking of the statements Michael was making too when you described the case of how he was completely neglected during the promo event. That was SO wrong and unprofessional of TVB. Honestly...

    This is the reason why I'm not watching currently, lol.

    Still in halting process.

  2. Yup, though they did interview him, albeit with other people....still though...

    That's sort of why I'm curious to see how his character is going to be like and whether it is going to be another one of those 'worthless' roles or not...

    I guess we'll have to see...

  3. Although Sisters of Pearl is a pretty recent drama I did enjoy it as I also liked Michael Tao, Bowie Lam and Sheung Tin Ng. I was disappointed that Michael and Jessica did not end up together and that he also died. I just didn't know what to make of him, whether he was a villain or not. I did not like the youngest sister - don't know her name. She seemed really annoying to me and her husband also seemed a "wet lettuce" also. Don't like him either. However, I thought Sheung Tin Ng was great in it and deserved at least a nomination for best actress. I can't remember whether she was or not. I think she's got one of those faces that was never really young even when she was in her 20s in The Turbulent Decade. But definitely one of my favourites also. I wonder is she married.

    From Peaches

  4. @Peaches: I actually haven't gotten around to watching Sisters of Pearl yet (I have the DVD and it's on my list, but just haven't had time).

    Though I haven't watched, don't worry about spoiling it for me because I pretty much already know what happens, since I like to read episode summaries and other "behind the scenes" stuff regarding most of the dramas I watch (that's why sometimes I'm able to throw out "fun facts" here and there...haha).

    Yup, pretty much the only reason why I have the series on my "to watch" list is because of the veteran artists -- Michael, Bowie, Jessica, and Kiki...otherwise, I wouldn't even bother, since I don't like very many of the "current" TVB series (basically the series from the past 7-8 years) due to my belief that many of the "current" artists can't act!

    Well, Kiki was sort of nominated in that all of the "lead" actresses from all the series were part of the nomination list (which is kind of stupid, but that's the way TVB has been doing the awards thing the past couple years), but she did not make it into the Top I guess you could say she had no chance of getting the award at all -- she was pretty much just a "name" on paper.

    Yes, Kiki is married already -- I'm actually surprised you didn't hear about it because it was a pretty major event. She got married last year to her long time boyfriend (outside of the industry...I think his name is Patrick?). The biggest highlight of her wedding reception is that she invited ALOT of TVB artists -- including ALL of her classmates from the 12th Acting Class (the class that she graduated from) in the 1980s -- so it was a (rare) reunion of sorts for that class. So pretty much all of her classmates were there -- Margie Tsang, Carina Lau, Sandra Ng, Sean Lau, Lawrence Ng, Michael Tao, etc. It was great to see all those 80s artists together in one place -- it brought back alot of memories!

  5. @llwy12, thanks for your information on Kiki. No, I didn't know anything about her marriage. Let me tell you this, prior to finding this wonderful blog and Jayne Stars, I didn't know much about the entertainment world, i.e. the news and gossips, scandals, etc... I only got to find out about Leslie Cheung's death through a friend and then saw it on the Chinese Channel news here. So I really have lots to catch up on. Like you, I am not that keen on many of the present artists and apart from being unable to act well, I feel the scripts are not that good, some even poor. I would feel lucky if I find more than one good drama a year to watch. That is why when I had the choice to pay a bit extra for the other Chinese channels, I didn't mind paying as its the Premium Channel that I really love. It shows most of the good 1980s - mid 1990s stuff. Jade channel shows all the latest up to date dramas like in Hong Kong which I tend to miss. At the moment they're showing Yes Sir, No Sir by Moses Chan. You know what, I watched 2 minutes and had to switch off. Definitely not "my cup of tea"!!