Since I watched the Anniversary Awards, figured I would blog about it – but I have to make clear that I watched it because I wanted to have something to write about, not because I particularly care about who was going to win. The last couple years especially, I watch mostly because I want to see who the presenters are and the ‘funny’ or ‘clever’ dialogue that they usually give.
So before I go any further, I have to make the following disclaimer: the TVB Anniversary Awards from the past 5 years or so don’t mean anything to me because personally, I feel that TVB rigs them to benefit their own – we already know that TVB uses the awards to promote / showcase their own biological sons/daughters and the criteria is pretty much NOT based on acting skills or who gave the best performance, so there is NO CREDIBILITY whatsoever to the awards they give out.
With that said, below is the list of winners, my reaction to the results, as well as general comments and highlights from the ceremony (in my opinion):
TVB.COM Popular Artist: Raymond Lam
.> Of course, I’m not surprised that Raymond got this award, since he has such a huge fan base. In my opinion, this award is absolutely worthless because it doesn’t mean anything at all – it merely is an indication of how much on-line support the artist who wins it has…and I’m sure all of us (as well as Raymond himself) already know how many fans Raymond has – he doesn’t need a ‘stupid’ award to tell him that! Plus, if I remember correctly, he’s gotten this award several times in the past already (except for last year, but that’s because he didn’t have any series in the running last year) – pretty much every year that Raymond has a series in contention, he will continue to get this award.
Most ‘Enjoyable’ Program (aka Program Most Worth Watching): HK ARTchitecture
.> Since I didn’t watch any of the nominated programs in this category except for “The Voice”, not really going to comment (especially since I didn’t even know those other programs existed).
Best Variety Show: The Voice 2
I didn’t like any of the nominees in this category, so personally I don’t really care who won. Though I would have to say that as long as Super Trio didn’t win, then I’m fine with it – I used to love Super Trio, but the past couple years, the show has gotten very stupid and the games have been extremely lame. So I’m glad they didn’t win. I wasn’t too keen on the other nominee “Fun with Liza and the Gods” (as I’ve always said, I feel that watching that show makes me feel ‘dumb and dumber’) and the other 2 nominees I never even heard of, so I guess the logical choice would have been “The Voice 2”.
Most Improved Actress: Natalie Tong
.> Unlike most people in the forums, I actually don’t have much of an opinion on who deserved to win in this category because personally, I’m not too keen on any of the actresses who were nominated. I guess if I had to choose, I would probably prefer Selena more as an actress, as I can’t stand the majority of Natalie’s roles / performances. But as someone said in one of the forums, the reason why Selena probably didn’t get the award was because she’s pretty much already an established actress compared to Natalie so there wasn’t a lot to “improve” persay (which makes sense). But again, I don’t really care who wins this one (in fact, I can’t even remember who I voted for anymore in this category – goes to show how much I don’t care about it).
Most Improved Actor: Raymond Wong
.> Ok, I must say that this one was expected and very well-deserving. Raymond definitely did a good job this year and for me personally, I don’t mind watching his series. I don’t like very many of the newer generation TVB artists, but he’s definitely one that I enjoy watching. I feel that Raymond is deserving because I’ve also seen his improvement from his first few series to “When Lanes Merge” and “No Regrets”, so I can understand why he won. And I also give kudos to Raymond for giving one of the best speeches of the night. It was obvious he was well-prepared, as he had written down people he wanted to thank on a piece of paper and was able to get through the entire list. And even though he is sort of ‘new’ to TVB, he’s not new to the industry (13 years in the industry and 3.5 years in TVB) – he mentioned that this is his first award. He was very calm and extremely well-spoken, which really impressed me. Oh, and I loved the last part of his speech where he thanks his wife for sticking with him even during the lowest point in his life, then says that she will be giving him “a little life” very soon (meaning that she’s pregnant). Everyone was applauding and screaming when he made that announcement, which was so cute! Congrats to Raymond on his win and also on soon becoming a father!
Favorite Female Character: Charmaine Sheh
.> I actually am ok with Charmaine getting this award because out of the top 5 finalists (Charmaine’s princess from CBML, Sheren’s Miss 9 from NR, Linda’s character from CBML, Teresa’s character from Some Day, Tavia’s character from MOL), both Charmaine’s and Sheren’s characters were quite memorable and well-liked by audiences. It was pretty obvious though when Charmaine’s name was announced that Sheren would be TV Queen and this would be Charmaine’s consolation prize (because no matter how much TVB loves Charmaine, they would not risk the huge backlash from the audiences by giving her both Character and Actress awards again). Also, I’ve always looked at this award as a consolation prize for TV Queen for one, and two, it’s more about the ‘character’ in the series than the actor or actress, so again it doesn’t really mean anything in terms of the artists themselves (the artist could have so-so acting skills, but if the character is well-written, she could still win this award).
Favorite Male Character: Raymond Lam
.> Ok, this one was so obviously RIGGED!!! Raymond’s character in MOL was SO BORING and not even memorable. I mean, since this award was consolation for TV King, they could have given the award to Kenneth or Steven instead – they deserved it WAY more than Raymond did (if they didn’t want to give it to Wayne again because he was already going to get the Actor award). Though I don’t think that Moses deserves this award either because his character in CBML was annoying, but I don’t think I would have as much problem if he had gotten this award (probably cuz I was already expecting him to win it, since TVB was pushing him so much). I was actually rooting for Kenneth in this category (because his character stood out so much and AFOS was a great series with barely any recognition), but I would have been fine with any of the other 3 winning. But Raymond????? TVB was obviously trying to play favorites here!
Best Television Program Host: Liza Wang, Louis Yuen, Wong Cho Lam, Johnson Lee
.> This one was predictable – in fact, I would probably be surprised if they “didn’t” get this one…though I will say that I didn’t vote for them (I voted for Steven Ma). But oh well, it is what it is…not too much comment about this one (again, another category I didn’t really care about).
Best Professional Performance: Moses Chan
.> This was that stupid ‘pork’ award (the one Tavia got last year) that TVB made up in order to please certain people. Pretty much, it means nothing (most people can’t even explain what the purpose of the award is because frankly, it has no purpose) and does absolutely nothing for the artist who receives it. Last year, TVB gave it to Tavia because they didn’t want to waste all the investment they made with her in BTROC and this year, they are giving it to Moses because they chose Raymond over him for Favorite Character and there is no way that they could give him TV King without major backlash. Basically, this is a lame award that TVB should just get rid of instead of ‘embarrassing’ the artist who ends up receiving it! (But I do have to give credit to Moses for trying to make the most of the win by injecting a little bit of humor in his acceptance speech and trying to lighten up the atmosphere).
Best Supporting Actress: Fala Chen
.> Sorry, but there is no way I can support Fala getting this award with all of the veteran actresses nominated who were WAY better than her. I mean, they’ve got Elena Kong, Kara Hui, and Susanna Kwan nominated in this category (along with Nancy Wu) and they give the award to Fala for her character in NR that wasn’t even her best performance? I voted for Elena Kong because her performance was absolutely awesome in “Beauty Knows No Pain”. And absolutely how could a 7-time Best Actress in Film (Kara Hui) lose to Fala? Kara’s performance in AFOS was also way better. The winner of this category definitely was not determined based on acting skill!
Best Supporting Actor: Evergreen Mak
.> For me, this was the hardest category to pick the winner, as I liked almost all of the performances in this category. From the beginning, the race was really between Pierre Ngo, Evergreen Mak, and Dominic Lam (though Raymond Wong and Ron Ng were nominated as well, but they already knew they didn’t have a chance). I remember it took me so long to decide who to vote for in this category, as all three are good actors…in the end, it really came down to a choice between Dominic and Evergreen for me (though I would have been fine with Pierre getting the award as well). Evergreen ended up winning, which is still well-deserved in my opinion, as his Fei Fan Gor was very well-done and memorable. Also, his win was the most emotional one of the night, as I could tell that he was really surprised that he won. His win was pretty much reminiscent of the time back in 2008 when Wayne Lai won for the same award – all of his colleagues stood up and hugged him and applauded him. Same thing happened for Evergreen (though I actually think there were more hugs for Evergreen because he has always been a very amicable actor with tons of friends), plus all of his female colleagues stood up and hugged / kissed him as well (it took him forever to get up on the stage…LOL….also, people kept rubbing his bald head, which was kind of cute!). I also thought it was sweet of him to go over and especially give Elena (his wife in NR) a bear hug, partially sweeping her off her feet (awww)!
And his speech, which he gave through tears (his voice kept breaking at certain parts) was very heartfelt and very humbling – I almost cried at the part where he said that there are so many artists who are better than him at TVB and for the audience to applaud for them. This was probably the only win that I was extremely happy for all night.
Best Actress (TV Queen): Sheren Tang
.> Of course I’m not surprised that Sheren won and no complaints here, since her win was well-deserved. In the forums, there are many people who say her character was not at as ‘popular’ as Fourth Mistress in “Rosy Business”, but to me, that doesn’t really matter, since it’s really about her acting rather than the popularity of the character (plus Cheng Gau Mui was a really intense character anyway, one that was not easy to portray and definitely takes someone with Sheren’s skills to do). And it was already obvious when Charmaine won Favorite Character earlier that Sheren would win TV Queen. One thing that I have to say though – just because TVB gave TV Queen to Sheren, it DOES NOT mean that they are being “fair” – they are giving the award to her again because they have no choice, since she has tremendous audience backing and they wouldn’t be able to justify giving it to Charmaine after all the backlash they got from the horrendous ‘bad decisions’ they made before.
Best Actor (TV King): Wayne Lai
.> Again, no surprise here…this was totally expected (especially after they gave Moses and Raymond awards already). I’m happy for Wayne and am totally fine with him getting the award, though my opinion of why TVB gave him the award is the same as why I think they gave it to Sheren (to appease the audiences and lessen the backlash – plus they know that the audiences nowadays aren’t as ‘naïve’ as they were back in 2006, so pulling a Kevin Cheng-type win again would definitely have gotten them in serious trouble!). I will admit thought that I would much rather the award have gone to Steven – not because Wayne isn’t good because he is definitely absolutely awesome and no one can compare with him in terms of acting skill (he’s definitely the master), but Steven is also a very high quality actor and doesn’t get enough recognition, plus his PSL as well as AWT roles were very well-done and well-deserving of an award (I actually voted for Steven, despite Wayne being one of my favorite actors).
Oh, and Sandra Ng's speech (she was the presenter for the TV King award) was funny too and in a sense, it indirectly 'referred' to TVB's politics as well -- when she announced Wayne as the winner without even opening the envelope (supposedly), then saying "we all know how TVB works already", she definitely hit it on the spot as well...my first reaction was "Absolutely right -- we sure do!!!!" She knows just as well as everyone else (both artist and audience alike) that Wayne would be the TV King because Moses and Raymond got their 'consolation prizes' already...that’s TVB politics and is obvious to everyone!
Best Drama Series: Can’t Buy Me Love
.> This was definitely the category where I was like WTH???? No way was CBML better than NR in terms of script / plot or acting – in fact, CBML was pretty much just a bunch of nonsense! It was so obvious that this category was rigged – TVB was just trying to ‘satisfy’ the CBML group (and upper management, since the series has most of their favorite biological sons and daughters in it).
Also, the finalists for this category were a big huge joke…I mean, how did “A Chip Off the Old Block”, “Every Move You Make”, and “Mysteries of Love” make it into this category when there were so many better made series that deserved to be in those spots (i.e.: “Ghostwriter”, “A Fistful of Stances”, and how about ‘anniversary series’ “Gun Metal Grey”?????).
The presenter of this award was famous director / producer Johnnie To. I love the comments that he made right before opening the envelope: 「咁明顯, 應該係佢喇, 應該無做馬啦, 係咪呀? ~~~ 咦, 又唔係喎, 咁至衰喎」. (Since the above is in Cantonese, here’s the translation: “It’s so obvious, it should be them [“No Regrets”], the applause is different….shouldn’t be rigged, right? “ (he looks back at the artists when he says this). He then opens the envelope and states: “Oh, errr, it’s not them…that’s the bad thing.”
Ok, I know it’s not just me who thinks that the above comments by Johnnie were an indirect ‘diss’ on TVB -- there are very few artists who would be brave enough to do that and Johnnie is definitely one of them (notice how he also mentioned how great his life has been since he left TVB?). And since Johnnie used to work for TVB and was responsible for bringing us a lot of the most respected series in TVB history (along with his teacher Wong Tin Lam), his words have a lot of clout (people can't claim that he is an 'outsider' who doesn't know how it works). That was one of the other highlights of the entire show for me.
In terms of the Best Series award itself, well, again another example of TVB politics at work. I'm pretty sure that TVB was already intending for CBML to win big at the awards ceremony (by win big, I mean either TV King/Queen and/or Series) from the beginning when they took it out of the anniversary series timeslot (which they might as well have kept it there with the way they've been treating its replacement GMG!) and with so many audiences behind Wayne and Sheren, there only option was to give CBML the Best Series consolation prize. Pretty much as long as CBML and NR were in the top 5 for that category, it doesn't matter what other series were in there because doesn't mean anything anyways.
Overall, the awards ceremony was lackluster and disappointing as usual – true, there were some very deserving wins, but there were also quite a few that left me scratching my head and asking “What the hell were they thinking?” With that said though, I don’t get ‘upset’ anymore over the results of the awards ceremony because frankly, I don’t give a damn about those awards – they don’t mean a thing to me and won’t cause me to like an artist that I already dislike or hate an artist that I’ve always liked. In fact, I’m already used to TVB’s STUPIDITIES after so many years following HK entertainment!
Even so, I do want to mention what I felt were the biggest SNUBS (disappointments) of the night:
.>> Kenneth and Steven losing to Raymond in the Favorite Male Character award – as I said above, both were SO MUCH MORE deserving of the award than Raymond. I don’t really care too much that TVB sacrificed Moses in this category (I didn’t vote for him anyway), but with Ma Ming and Steven’s awesome performances, it was just plain sad that they fell victim to TVB’s stupid politics!
.>> “Gun Metal Grey” not being in the top 5 for Best Series. Sure, TVB can (and probably will) argue that because GMG has not finished airing, that’s why it was at a disadvantage for the awards (which I can totally refute because both Felix and Nancy were in top 5 in their respective categories!)…BUT whose fault is it that GMG is airing so late and didn’t finish in time for the awards? TVB’s fault of course, since they were the ones who decided to remove CBML from the anniversary series timeslot (to give it better advantage at the awards ceremony) and make GMG into a replacement!
.>> I’m also sad that Steven didn’t win ANYTHING, not even a consolation prize, despite being better in terms of acting than some of those who actually won an award (and many of those who were nominated). Goes to show how much TVB DOESN’T care about him (yup, might as well put him into the same boat as Wong Hei, Sunny Chan, and all those other talented artists whom TVB loves to throw by the wayside). Well, in the long run, it doesn’t matter because we all know TVB’s awards are rigged anyway – Steven’s fans will continue to support him, no matter what happens (and I was happy to see what a great sport he was at the ceremony).
Overall, I still feel that the awards were rigged…TVB knows what they are doing -- they are very CLEVER when it comes to this kind of stuff and knows how far to push it before they will get 'caught' so to speak. Why do you think Raymond, Moses, and Charmaine as well as CBML were still awarded even though there were a lot of much more deserving candidates? TVB made sure that they still went with the audiences to some extent (hence Wayne and Sheren won) but still wanted to make sure they get their own biological children in there to satisfy their upper management.
No matter who they end up "awarding" and how much those won deserved or didn't deserve the awards, I will never associate the word "fair" with TVB's Anniversary Awards -- because no matter what, it will always be a reflection of TVB's politics (every year, it's pretty much just a matter of which category TVB decides to "rig")
Also, with regard to the ‘audience voting’ nonsense (some ignorant fans’ assertion that the awards were based on audience voting and so people who weren’t satisfied with the results should have voted) – well, sorry to burst your bubble, but the audience's vote really doesn't mean much at the end of the day because TVB will give the awards to whomever they want, since it's all about the politics really...they mostly just look at the audience vote to give them an 'idea' of how much backlash they will or won't get and how best to 'divide the pork' so that everyone is somewhat happy. So basically, whether we vote or not really doesn’t matter, since TVB will still rig it to benefit them (without making it seem too obvious of course).
LASTLY…..after this awards ceremony, it's even more obvious that FAVORITISM is rampant in TVB....so next time, if I hear again anyone from TVB claim that 'no favoritism exists in their company' (the message they continue to push out to the media), I'm just going to laugh at anyone who is naive enough to believe that!