Sunday, September 18, 2011

My ‘TVB Rant’ # 12: Another Example of TVB’s ‘Double Standard’ (the argument of ‘peak ratings’ versus ‘average ratings’)

Note: ‘Sentinel’ refers to the series “The Life and Times of a Sentinel” and ‘Omission’ refers to the series “Lives of Omission”.

I’ve been reading the various articles in the entertainment news portals as well as a variety of posts and comments on forums, blogs, etc. regarding the whole Sentinel vs Omission situation as well as Michael Tse’s comments criticizing Steven Ma….

Well, I’ve pretty much made my position clear already in terms of what I thought about Michael Tse’s ‘immature’’s the comment I posted in the AF forum that pretty much sums things up:

What an arrogant and cocky response from Michael! I don't know what it is, but ever since he became popular with the Laughing character last year, it seems to have gotten to his I've said before, I've never understood the hype over Laughing anyway and I consider Michael 'lucky' that his character happened to appeal to majority of the audiences...instead of reacting with grace, he starts to take on a cocky attitude? WTH? Sorry, but based on everything I've read so far, I feel that the 'immature' one in this situation is Michael, not Steven...

(For those interested in reading more, you can visit this thread in Asianfanatics: “Michael Tse criticizes Steven Ma is being immature

After reading the various posts in tamaya’s blog as well as lizzy’s most recent post about the situation, ), I felt the urge to do another one of my ‘TVB rants’ about the topic (plus there were quite a few points brought up in lizzy’s post that got me thinking about a few things that I’ve ranted about before and are now coming back to the surface again).

For the purposes of this post, I am going to focus mainly on the ‘ratings’ argument, since that seems to be the primary ‘justification’ that TVB makes for why they should pay more attention to Omission and not to Sentinel (plus some netizens are trying to use the ratings thing to ‘justify’ Michael Tse’s criticism of Steven – which, for the record, is a bunch of BS in my opinion). So what exactly is the ‘ratings argument’? Well, when TVB’s spokesperson Tsang Sing Ming was asked about Sentinel’s peak ratings of 40 points, he “conveniently” used the average ratings of the series to answer the question, inadvertently pointing out that Sentinel’s overall ratings were low and it ended up in 10th place compared with Omission’s 1st place – in a sense, stating that it’s not the peak ratings that matter but rather the average ratings. When Michael ‘criticized’ Steven, he actually made the exact same argument about the average ratings versus peak ratings (that can’t be a coincidence…I sense a major ‘kiss up’ attempt here). Ok, so let me get this straight….according to TVB and Michael Tse: the peak ratings shouldn’t matter, as the overall average ratings of a series is the important part. Even though both Omission and Sentinel hit the 40 point mark in peak ratings (Sentinel actually hit that number first), that’s less important in the scheme of things, because it’s really the average ratings that counts – so since the overall average ratings for Omission consistently exceeded the 30 point mark whereas the average ratings for Sentinel was consistently under 30 points (except for finale week), it ‘goes without saying’ that more attention should be paid to Omission and the series should be acknowledged / celebrated / given special treatment.

In my opinion, lizzy does a good job of explaining the average ratings thing in her post (see above link), so I’m not going to rehash all that in this post. Rather, I’m going to respond to TVB (and Michael Tse)’s argument about the ‘average ratings counting more than the peak ratings’….

First of all, by making this argument, TVB is totally being contradictory because there have been numerous instances in the past where TVB has emphasized peak ratings over average ratings and made a ‘big deal’ out of their series ‘peaking’ at certain points. So for them to say now that the peak ratings don’t mean much and it’s the average ratings that counts is absolutely HYPOCRITICAL! This just goes to show that TVB has an integrity issue and also proves that one of the ‘problems’ that I’ve been complaining about them is true: TVB blatantly ‘uses’ certain situations to their advantage when it suits their needs, but then brushes off (ignores) other situations when they know it’s not favorable toward them, then they’ll make up any ‘lame’ excuse that they can to defend their foolish actions (especially when they are ‘called out’ on it).

For those who think that I’m being too ‘harsh’ on TVB once again (yes, there are quite a few people out there who think this), here’s a recent example of how TVB placed more emphasis on peak ratings rather than average ratings:

Last year, when TVB’s ‘favored’ series “Can’t Buy Me Love” supposedly peaked at 51 points during its finale (the key word here is SUPPOSEDLY….see TVB Rant #5 for details on why I use this word), they made such a big deal out of it, they even dedicated a ‘spread’ to it in one of the issues of their TVB Magazine (the title of that particular article reads: “Can’t Buy Me Love breaks 50 points”…with that kind of title, I’m sure you can figure out the content of the article) – plus all the ‘attention’ it got in the Media (the average ratings for CBML overall was in the low 30s). Ok, so help me understand this – if the peak ratings really don’t matter, then WHY THE HELL did TVB put so much emphasis on CBML breaking 50 points last year? Is it because CBML starred mostly TVB’s own biological sons/daughters that they are heavily promoting and so the series has to succeed no matter what otherwise TVB will lose face (compared to the other 2 ‘big’ series from that year, “No Regrets” and “Gun Metal Grey”, whose main leads were non-contracted artists)? Whatever the reason, the fact of the matter is that for TVB, the ‘peak rating’ was important last year for CBML, but this year, for Sentinel, it’s all of a sudden ‘not important’ (anyone disagree with me that TVB is applying a ‘double standard’ here?)

Note: I can think of a few other examples as well, but since the CBML thing is probably still fresh in a lot of people’s minds, I chose to only use that issue as an example.

From everything that has been made known so far, it’s obvious that TVB favors Omission more than they do Sentinel – not surprisingly, TVB’s ‘blatant favoritism’ rears its ugly head once again! As I read through all the stuff about Omission versus Sentinel, I’m getting a huge sense of déjà vu – TVB did the exact same thing last year when they (heavily) favored “Can’t Buy Me Love” over anniversary series “Gun Metal Grey”, resulting in GMG star Felix Wong’s ‘outburst’ toward TVB (see TVB Rant #6 for details). Oh, and how about the year before that (2009) when TVB over-hyped / over-promoted “Beyond the Realm of Conscience” and pretty much ‘neglected’ the other anniversary series “Born Rich” as well as the unexpected hit “Rosy Business”? Come to think of it, there’s another example right there – when BTROC peaked at 50 points back when it aired (again, during the finale episode only), there was much fanfare and ‘commotion’ over the ‘amazing accomplishment’, whereas when RB peaked at 47 points (on its own, without any special promotion or hype), the only people who seemed to notice were the audiences and the Media. Hmmm, I already see a pattern….I don’t think I need to go further back through the rest of the decade (or at least through the Virginia Lok era) to prove my point, right?

Ok, so now that I let off my steam, I’ll end with some final words: When it comes to TVB, some things never change!


  1. Hey, nice to meet you!

    I have never visited your blog before and I think I have to read it thoroughly when I got the time. I've linked up your blog already in my 'links' list. I've listed this posting too in my post about the "Michael dissing Steven" thing. And I'm following you in weibo (my username: @lizzious)!

  2. Hi, llwy12, I posted your link on AF Steven Ma thread and on my blog, hope you don't mind.

  3. @lizzy & tamaya: Thanks for reading the post! Hope it wasn't too 'over' (I actually changed some of the wording before publishing because originally I had used some harsher words 'in the heat of the moment' but decided it probably wasn't a good idea).

    Also, no problem with the linking / re-posting thing -- I don't mind at all! :-)

    @lizzy: I added you on Weibo already and I've already linked you up to my blog as well.

  4. Has Tse always been this airheaded? Or is this only happening since he got *elevated*?

  5. @zzxyz: Well, here's my take: I've always felt that Michael Tse had a bit of an 'arrogant' look about him (in terms of physically), but it never really bothered me in the past because he never really showed it (I guess you could say that I gave him the benefit of the doubt in that he may look cocky, but maybe wasn't like that in real life). After he 'shot to popularity' with the Laughing Gor role, my opinion of him has completely changed -- not only does he LOOK cocky, he IS cocky...just like his character...

  6. Omg I also had that thought about his face before. I can still tolerate him if he's cocky but his acting is as great as Wayne Lai, but something is getting wrong since I found Michael's acting over shadowed by others in Lives of Omission. He explodes in EU by net-izens help, but feels like a supporting actor in his own series. This also happened in the movie Turning Point in a much worse scenario since he's facing super solid experienced movie actors. Or could it be that he can't separate Laughing and himself now?

    The old Michael Tse prior to Laughing fame always made me enjoy watching his performance.

    Get out of there Laughing, gimme back my old Tse! :(