Thursday, August 19, 2010

My ‘TVB Rant’ # 4: Where’s Wong Hei??

I just saw something that I absolutely have to blog about – in my opinion, it’s another “injustice” by TVB (yea, what else is new?).

I was reading one of the older editions of TVB Magazine (Issue 677, dated 06/14/2010) and when I got to the ‘Drama Bible’ section (the ‘TV Guide’ section of the magazine with pictures and highlights from TVB’s currently airing series as well as episode summaries), I flipped through the section as I usually do. One of the series that started airing around that time was “Some Day” (天天天晴) – the new sitcom with Louise Lee, Teresa Mo, Wayne Lai, Wong Hei, Krystal Tin, Johnson Lee, etc. Since I like the cast (well, at least most of the cast) and the series just started airing, I figured I would flip through and read about the first few episodes.

As I was flipping through the section and looking at the pictures, I noticed something odd and a particular thought started formulating in my mind -- so I flipped back to the beginning of the section where the cast photo was so I could double check to see if maybe I was mistaken. After checking the cast photo, it turns out that I wasn’t mistaken after all and it further fueled something I was already thinking….

What was it that I ‘noticed’, you ask? I noticed that one of the ‘supposed’ main characters from the series is conspicuously missing from the cast photo and also pretty much relegated to 4th or 5th line artist in the cast listing. The artist I am referring to is Wong Hei.

Last time I checked, Wong He has always been considered a ‘first-line’ actor by audiences and by TVB (at least up to this point). I mean, he has starred as the main lead in numerous TVB series, his acting has always been at a pretty high level, and he has been at TVB for a long time – so in my book, he is considered a ‘siu sang’. But then why is he not in the cast photo, yet a lot of minor characters (some of which I don’t even know their names) are in it??? The answer is simple: TVB is playing their political ‘game’ again – their ‘favorites’ game….

Consider this: the male lead in this series is obviously Wayne Lai, as the series is pretty much supposed to revolve around him, Louise, and Teresa. That’s understandable, since Wayne was last year’s TV King and is a wonderfully awesome actor – so he gets the ‘middle spot’ in the cast photo (for the male side at least) and also ‘top billing’ on the cast list (again, for the male side). I have absolutely no problem with this at all, since Wayne is one of my favorite actors – in fact, I’m very happy that he is getting such recognition (though I must say that one funny thing is that at the time this magazine was published, Wayne had not even joined the cast of “Some Day” yet – he was wrapping filming of RB2 and would join the cast only in August).

Aside from Wayne, let’s look at the rest of the male artists participating in this series (the names are taken directly from the magazine): Wong Hei, Johnson Lee, Tsui Wing, Cheng Tse Sing, Law Tin Chi, Raymond Chiu, Matt Yeung, Geoffrey Wong, Jason Chan, plus the elder ‘green leaf’ veterans such as Lau Dan, Lau Kong, Lee Kar Ting, etc.

Out of this list, the ONLY person who is ‘lead’ material and has played numerous lead roles in TVB series in the last 7-8 years is obviously Wong He….everyone else is pretty much ‘supporting’ material and have never played leading roles in TVB series. So based on the above, one would logically think that with Wong Hei’s quality acting as well as tenure, he would be listed as ‘second lead’ on the male side – or at least have more ‘status’ than all the other male artists listed….

BUT, here’s the kicker – Wong Hei is not in the cast photo PERIOD….yet the other supporting and even minor characters ARE. Not only that, he is listed pretty low in the cast list – basically right before the minor characters and ‘green leaf’ veterans. Just so people can’t say I’m making things up, here’s the cast list from page 110 of the magazine (in the exact order as it is listed in the magazine): Louise Lee, Teresa Mo, Wayne Lai, Johnson Lee, Cheng Tse-Sing, Tsui Wing, Lee Lam Yan, Lau Dan, Krystal Tin, Aimee Chan, Raymond Chiu, Wong Hei, Candy Cheung, Lau Kong, Shuet Nei, Law Tin Chi, Jason Chan, Geoffrey Wong, Matt Yeung.

OK, I have to ask – WHAT THE HECK is TVB thinking???? I mean, not only is Wong Hei listed behind a bunch of supporting and green leaf actors, he’s also listed behind some guy (Lee Lam Yan) I’ve never even heard of!!! I would personally be insulted if I were Wong He.

So the big question is – why is TVB doing this to Wong Hei? Some can argue that perhaps he has a minor role in this series (though it doesn’t sound like it based on the summaries I’ve read so far). But I’ve got my own theory – basically, I feel that TVB is up to their old antics again – they pretty much hate Wong Hei (though they’ll never admit it) and are secretly ‘retaliating’ against him. Why do I think this? Several reasons:

1 – Wong He is no longer a contracted TVB employee – meaning that he no longer has a management contract with them (though I believe he still does have a regular artist contract with them that lists the specific number of ‘shows’ he needs to do for them). So from TVB’s perspective, who cares about Wong Hei? Just use him for his ‘name’ and popularity, then cast him aside.

2 – He is one of former GM Stephen Chan’s closest friends – not only has he continued to publicly support Stephen throughout the entire corruption ordeal, he has also visited him at home, gone to dinners with him, and was part of the ‘crew’ at Stephen’s press conference awhile back ago. Now, we all know the story of Stephen Chan’s downfall and the huge part that TVB played in it – TVB hates Stephen and since Wong Hei supports him (more than any other artist), they hate him too.

3- He is quite known in TVB for having a ‘fierce’ personality – meaning that he is quite independent and likes to do his own thing, which is sometimes viewed as being ‘difficult’. This also means of course that he is NOT ‘obedient’ to TVB (which is a big no-no) and therefore will not be a part of forwarding their stupid ‘political’ agenda (or play any of their ‘games’).

4- Wong Hei has absolutely no problems speaking out against TVB when they do something wrong – and he has certainly done it several times. Those who are familiar with TVB’s management (and politics) know that this is one of TVB’s biggest sore spots – they hate it when people criticize them or say something ‘unfavorable’ about them (even if it is the truth)!

To sum it up, what I am basically trying to say is that TVB is being petty again in this case – this is quite obvious with the way Wong Hei is being treated here.

Lastly, thank you for reading my long rant – all the above is purely my personal opinion and is not meant to convince anyone to lean toward one way or the other. Feel free to read it for what it is – a rant from a disappointed long-time TVB / HK Entertainment ‘follower’.


  1. We were talking about this like yesterday or something? BUT yup, thanks again for another post! Don't want to repeat it too much, but it's TVB for you.

    Oh yeah, I went around to search for Some Day info since I wasn't really looking closely earlier. They replaced Florence with Crystal? (Well, sorry I like Crystal more so something to look forward to. Maybe 'cause I'm such an ATV freak, lol.) And why is Suet Nei in there? She's my least favorite among the veteran ones since she 'tries too hard to shine yet fails to impress'. I thought they're doing it with the original cast? What happened to some others? (I know they can't do anything about CHL BUT the others? OKAY...) Stephen got cast aside again? AND then they have to use Wong Hei for the hype. He's in the relationship and that's it, right? (I saw the chart on the website.) I hope Johnson gets a worthwhile role.

  2. Well, one thing I don't understand is why TVB keeps calling it "original cast" because it's basically not -- I mean, isn't it obvious that Louise, Crystal, Johnson, and Wong He weren't even in "Off Pedder"?? And neither were some of the minor characters listed for that matter...

    I think that once again, TVB is trying too hard -- they're trying to play off the hype from OP so they're selling it as "same cast" but it's really not -- they should just say that it's a completely new sitcom and move on!

    Regarding Wong He's role in the series -- get ready because I don't think you'll like this -- I think he's eventually going to be paired with Aimee Chan because the summary says that she will become his "closest confidante" and they will develop an "interesting friendship". The thing is though, I thought he was going to be paired with Crystal? But I guess that's changed too because the description of her character and the relationships is totally different from what was originally "promoted"....

    I will probably end up watching this series anyway because of Wayne and Teresa (plus I'm ok with Louise, Johnson, Crystal, and Wong He as well, since they're all pretty good actors/actresses). I still don't like what they did to Wong He though....

  3. Just looked at the chart again AND I am even more pissed off now. Definitely shouldn't have stated the 'original cast' thing since it seems that half of them are gone. But I guess I could always resort to the technique of watching and then casting it aside for a bit and then watch again. I did that with Off Pedder for a while (though I didn't remember why - possibly I was too busy OR annoy with that dude Ryan).

  4. Haha...regarding that 'watching and casting aside' thing, I've pretty much been doing that with most of the TVB series I've been watching the past 2-3 be honest, that's why I haven't posted too many more series reviews -- because I haven't really watched a TVB series in its entirety in quite some time...either it comes on TV and I miss alot of the episodes but don't bother re-watching because it's not worth my time, or I watch a few episodes of the series and it gets so boring that i don't bother finishing...

    I have a feeling that if I ever get around to watching "Some Day" (which won't be for a VERY long time), I probably will cast it aside as well because honestly, it really doesn't sound too interesting to me except for the particular actors that I like (whom I already mentioned in my post above).

  5. Ditto. If it wasn't for Wayne, Teresa, and some others, I wouldn't consider watching it. (But I think to look on the bright side - if that's possible, at least it's not like some of the cast in O.L. Supreme. I only want to trade some people from the other for this one and vice versa, LOL!)

  6. I don't remember anymore since I finally am watching 'Some Day' and realize that Wong Hei's actually on the poster BUT not on the relationship chart. Does that make sense?

    He's the one next to Johnson as a chef. But you're probably talking about a different cast photo.

    Been too long so...

  7. Okay, have to correct myself again. He's on the character chart also:

  8. DTLCT: Finally got around to watching "Some Day"??? (LOL)

    Anyway, yes, I was actually referring to a different picture....the one that you were referring to (where he is dressed as a chef standing next to Johnson) was in the next issue of TVB magazine...interestingly enough, the picture that I saw (that he was omitted from) only showed up in that one magazine...all the subsequent ones that talk about SomeDay have the picture you described....

  9. Maybe they were so embarrassed that they omitted him? So they had to put him back in during the final poster. NOT sure. But that was suspicious all right.

    AND yes, finally get into watching it since I was sort of holding it off. But I love Johnson so far - contrary to people complaining about it.

  10. I think it's quite obvious that TVB never really liked Wong Hei, he's been acting for so long yet never seemed to be extremely promoted or favored in anyway! Some say he's not goodlooking but he's handsome and manly unlike many of the pretty boys they have!

  11. @sport3888: Well, the latest "news" is that after 16 years with the company, TVB 'forced' Wong Hei out recently...according to Wong Hei, someone from the Artists Department (which is managed by Virginia Lok) called him to 'suggest' that he terminate his contract early and pay a fine...the thing is, his contract is supposed to end already next month...

    You can read more about it here if you'd like (it's an article I translated for Asian Fanatics):

    Anyway, I may not be a fan of Wong Hei, but he's definitely a talented actor and I have alot of respect for him as a person....