Tuesday, October 4, 2011

My Thoughts on TVB’s 44th Anniversary Light Switching Ceremony (10/3/2011)

Photo Credit: HKChannel Weibo

** Warning: Yes, this is another one of my ‘bash TVB’ posts…if you have a problem with people saying not so pleasant things about TVB or can’t bear to hear your beloved TV station criticized, then I strongly recommend that you STOP HERE and DON’T READ ANY FURTHER!  If you choose to proceed, then you do so at your own risk and I don’t want to see any “if you hate TVB so much, then don’t watch” comments (if you truly feel that way, keep it to yourself please)! Thank you.**

In accordance with tradition, TVB officially kicked off its anniversary festivities this year with the Light Switching Ceremony, which took place yesterday. As I wrote last year in my post about 2010's Light Switching ceremony (read it here), the purpose of the ceremony in recent years is pretty much to showcase upcoming grand production series, especially the anniversary series for the year.

The performances during the show really aren’t that important, as most of it is just nonsensical stuff interspersed between introduction of the series and ‘meeting’ the cast members for each series. The ‘meat’ of the program is really the group photo at the end of the ceremony, where the ‘position’ of each artist is very important, as it demonstrates how the artist is viewed by TVB (or, in certain cases, how TVB uses the opportunity to do some damage control). The basic ‘concept’ behind the group picture is: the closer to the front and middle you stand, the more ‘important’ your status is. Now of course, in recent years due to the lack of first line siu sangs and fa dans who actually attend the Light Switching Ceremony, TVB is often just trying to find artists to ‘fill up’ the front row – this was especially apparent this year, as many of what I would consider first line artists did not bother to attend, so the front row was really ‘empty’ (more on this later).

Before I go into my thoughts about this year’s ceremony, here is the rundown of the ‘standings’ in the group picture (reference pictures above)….note that I focus on the front row and part of the second row only….

Starting with the FRONT ROW:

** Sir Run Run Shaw (Uncle Six) is of course in the middle -- except this time, he is sitting instead of standing (not surprising due to his age). Usually, the two ‘Ah Jehs’ (Liza Wang and DoDo Cheng) stand on each side of him, however this year, Liza was not in attendance at the ceremony, so only DoDo stood to the right of Uncle Six. In a departure from tradition, 2 time TV King winner Wayne Lai stood to the left of Uncle Six (again, not surprising, since he has the next ‘highest status’ out of all the artists there).

**DoDo’s side (from inner to outer): Louis Yuen, Wong Cho Lam, Johnson Lee, Steven Ma, Linda Chung, Kenneth Ma, Selena Li, Ruco Chan, Nancy Wu, Alfred Hui

** Wayne’s side (from inner to outer): Maggie Cheung, Raymond Lam, Myolie Wu, Bosco Wong, Fala Chen, Ron Ng, Kate Tsui, Raymond Wong, Aimee Chan, Mag Lam


I don’t know half the people in the second row, so I’m only going to list the ones I know for sure (and in no particular order, since the way they placed people in the second row makes absolutely no sense at all):

**Right side, behind Uncle Six and DoDo (from inner to outer): Sunny Chan, a few women I don’t know (I’m assuming they are some of the recent pageant winners?), Evergreen Mak, Kiki Sheung (with that awful hair), Eddie Cheung, Mimi Lo, Angela Tong, Pierre Ngo, Sire Ma, King Kong, and the rest I don’t know.

** Left side, behind Uncle Six and Wayne (from inner to outer): Joyce Tang, Kenny Wong, Elena Kong, Ben Wong, Natalie Tong, Vincent Wong, Toby Leung, Patrick Tang, and the rest I don’t know.

My thoughts:

.—This year’s show was absolutely disappointing. The performances were pretty much just nonsense (mostly the 3 gods trying to be funny while the 3 upcoming anniversary series and 1 new sitcom were introduced). Aside from the musical performance from Leo Ku in the beginning and then a short singing sequence from The Voice artists, the other ‘music’ related sequences were the artists singing the themesongs to the upcoming series.

I have to say that the musical performances sucked (yes, even Leo)…I’m not sure what happened, but the sound was really off – throughout the entire time Leo was singing, the microphone kept cracking and his singing sounded like it was in echo. The Voice artists were even worse – they were way off tune and when they were supposed to be singing in unison, they didn’t! I pretty much cringed throughout the entire opening sequence (luckily, it was only a few minutes long).

.—The group photo was also a joke this year! I mean, come on – how many of the artists in the front row were truly ‘first-line’ artists? I’m sure you can count them on one hand (I was only able to come up with 4, maybe 5 at the most). All the rest of the artists are second-line artists and the 2 at the end are neither first line, second line, or even third line (um, Mag and Alfred in front row? They should actually be in the back row!).

This year’s photo is what I would call PATHETIC!! With so many obvious ‘no-shows’ (and not just the first-line artists, but many of the veteran artists were missing as well), the ‘awkwardness’ of the picture was obvious.

.—The hosts and the announcer kept mentioning that ‘over 100 artists’ participated in the Lighting Ceremony. I actually question that but fine if that’s what they want to say. However, one little ‘factoid’ was missing from that announcement: half the artists in attendance were NO NAME artists whom majority of the audiences wouldn’t even know (I’m sure a lot of them were Mr and Miss HKs as well as all those other people who came from the various pageants and contests).

And even for the ‘well-known’ artists – well, majority of them just ‘stood’ there, looking pretty…they had no contribution whatsoever (unlike last year, when majority of those who attended were part of the anniversary series, so they at least had something to do other than just stand there for an hour).

.—Interestingly enough, the 3 gods (Louis Yuen, Johnson Lee, Wong Cho Lam) went from being in the 2nd row last year to first row this year – not only that, they had one of the ‘innermost’ positions, right next to DoDo Cheng . I guess that means they are more ‘important’ than Steven Ma, since he had to settle for ‘fourth’ in line (in the picture at least). That’s truly sad!

.—I was surprised that TVB’s most recent ‘golden boy’ Michael Tse wasn’t there – not that I really care, since I’ve started to dislike him in recent months anyway and frankly, I’m sick of seeing his arrogant, ‘Laughing Gor’ persona everywhere I turn. To be honest though, I would have been interested to see where his ‘position’ would be in the group photo, especially in relation to Steven Ma – basically, I wanted to see if TVB would favor him as tremendously as they have been doing these past few months.

.—I’ve never been one who cares much about fashion -- and to be honest, people’s appearances and what they are wearing, etc. are usually the last things I notice with these types of events (like that one year for example when Charmaine Sheh and Nancy Wu wore the exact same dress at the Lighting Ceremony – I didn’t even notice until the newspapers pointed it out). However, with this particular Lighting Ceremony, I definitely noticed some ‘weird’ fashion stuff (possibly because the show itself was SO BORING, I couldn’t help but notice, since there was nothing else to pay attention to??).

Here are a few fashion ‘misses’ that stood out:

.- Raymond Lam’s outfit – the top part was ok, but the bottom part…WTH? Sorry, but Raymond’s fashion sense has been really bad this past year or so….you would think that with all the models that he’s been dating, he would have learned a thing or two about wearing decent attire? (Actually, never mind that statement, as I almost forgot what kind of women he had been dating recently…)

.- Bosco Wong’s shades – um, was Bosco trying to imitate Wong Kar Wai or what? He wore those shades throughout the entire night, both during the group picture and also during the series introduction segment. I don’t know if he was trying to make himself look ‘cool’ or trying to gain attention – either way, I personally felt it was downright rude for him to wear shades the entire time (dude, at least take them off for the group picture!).

.- Kiki Sheung’s hair – OMG, I couldn’t believe the hairstyle that Kiki had (or perhaps it was a wig)? When she came out with Eddie Cheung during the segment when their sitcom was being introduced, my jaw almost dropped to the floor! That hairstyle made Kiki look like Eddie’s mother rather than his wife! I’m hoping she has a better hairstyle in the sitcom because it would be a definite eyesore to have to endure that for over 100 episodes!

.- The 3 gods were dressed weird – but then again, when do they NOT dress weird? At least they didn’t appear in drag this time , so I guess I should be thankful…

.—Overall, I felt that the show was very choppy and didn’t flow at all…not sure if it was another one of those lousy editing jobs that TVB is famous for doing, or if it’s because the lack of ‘star power’ just made the show uninteresting. Pretty much the only part I found interesting was the introduction of Forensic Heroes 3 – but that was only because the promo segment was suspenseful (plus Wayne and Maggie looked so cool).

Whatever the case, if you didn’t get a chance to watch the show, my recommendation is: DON’T WATCH IT….you definitely WON’T be missing out on anything!


  1. I haven’t watched the show and don’t intent to, especially after your rant. I’m pretty sure your rant would be more fun to read than watching the show itself. Thought your rant this time is pretty tame. Reporters made such a big ado over Steven’s standing position but really it’s all moot because no favorable standing position or the tv king prize for that matter will retain him as tvb biological.

    You can name more artists than I in the group photo. And I too want to know why MT wasn’t there last night, would be interesting to see how tvb positioned him.

    Raymond Lam’s outfit – the bottom all the way down to his white socks and boots were really horrifying. What’s the matter with his attires lately? Is he being passive aggressive because his life is so utterly controlled by other people, so he is acting out with he can control – in his case the way he dress, so as to exert some sort of control over his life. Or does he really think he looks cool in them?

    Read that Bosco had eye problem hence the dark shades.

    Kiki Sheung’s hair – haha! Think it’s a wig.

    Have never enjoyed the 3 gods’ slapstick and crude humor, and don’t think guys cross dressing funny either unless you’re Tootsie. I especially can’t stand Wong Cho Lam.

  2. @tamaya: LOL...thanks for the compliment! Good to know that someone enjoys my rants!

    Yea, you aren't missing anything by not watching...I actually regretted wasting my time with it -- though at least it gave me 'fodder' to write this post (so I guess it wasn't a total waste?).

    Yup, I agree with you regarding Steven. Though it sounds like TVB is definitely trying to do major damage control -- but unfortunately none of it is going to help. And of course, the reporters once again twisted the whole picture taking thing afterwards (when they reported that Steven supposedly refused to take a picture with VL) out of portion...luckily I read the 'real story' on Steven's weibo and on your blog (unfortunately though, there are alot of people out there who wouldn't bother to seek clarification and will just believe everything the media tells them)...

    Haha...I was surprised I could name that many as well...I'm pretty sure I knew some of the artists in the other rows as well, but I figured, why bother? Not worth the time...

    Regarding the fashion faux pas...

    Raymond - your theory is very plausible. I think he is at the point now where he is so overwhelmed that he is just walking around like a zombie and doesn't know anything that's going on...

    Bosco - oh, didn't read about that. Come to think of it, he may have mentioned it during the show itself (don't know cuz wasn't paying a whole lot of attention)...if that's the case, then it does make sense...

    Kiki -- yea, I think so too. But that hair plus that wedding dress she wore -- both combined made her loook really really really bad.

    3 gods -- same here. They are definitely overhyped. Definitely can't compare to the 'original' 3 gods (Alan Tam, Nat Chan, and Eric Tsang)...

  3. hi :)) i thought this year's was really boring as well! last year's was better, at least i liked the part the 3 Gods sang the classic drama themesongs (im a sucker for things like these lol) and they were actually kinda funny when they were in drag talking about "how to win TV king/queen" and at least the voice contestants actually sang quite nicely gun metal grey's themesong (as compared to wayne and ron lip-synching)

    this year the 3 gods werent funny at all, but i think them standing next to dodo is sort of like representing liza? again, mag and alfred at the front row?! and i thought the dance routine with the music from can't buy me love was lame, and it was kinda awkward seeing them lift myolie out in a sedan...

    i thought the same thing about bosco! but if he really had an eye problem, then at least its legit.

  4. Now you see why looking back to last year was slightly better? JUST KIDDING, don't kill me. I need to hunt down bigger pictures or find magnifying glass to see better 'cause I'm blind. No more comments for the rest. I really compliment you for being brave for even watching. *bows*

  5. @snow & DTLCT: Sorry for the late response (I've been quite busy the past few days).

    Regarding Bosco -- it's been confirmed that he had an eye infection, so I guess that makes the 'shades' thing legit? (though I still stand by the 'fashion miss' thing nonetheless).

    I have to agree that last year's Light Switching show was better in comparisons. I mean, last year's show wasn't that good either, but this year's was even worse -- if I had to pick between the 'two evils', I would definitely pick last year's show over this year's.

    @DTLCT: FYI, in case you're wondering....our Ray isn't in the picture since he didn't attend the ceremony (thank goodness!). I'm actually glad that he didn't go because knowing TVB, they would have probably put him in a 'not-so-good' position (like in the 4th or 5th row or something like that) for the group picture, which definitely would have ticked me off to no end!

  6. MT Laughing, Kevin and Moses(all the favoured ones) are excused from attending because they are making money for themselves and TVB in Canada :D

    Yep Bosco has legit excuse for the shades so can't blame him for getting sick. I stumbled across some pics of him preparing for ancient sales clips and his eyes do look swollen.

    The 3 Gods and Liza eugh I don't know what to say anymore. They're neither funny nor witty nor eye candy. I also took a 1-2 episodes peek at their anniversary series and vowed not to continue anymore. It's rubbish.

  7. Wait, I also think the posing segment for Forensic Heroes 3 cast is a waste of time. There's nothing better to do than that?

  8. @zzxyz: LOL...actually, you're probably right about that. I had read that alot of the artists couldn't attend because they were filming TVB series...goes to show that TVB doesn't really care much about the Light Switching ceremony either -- if they did, why would they not stop production so that more artists could attend?

    I pretty much didn't even bother watching the 3 gods series because I already know it would be ridiculous. My mom watched the first episode just to see what it was about and even she (who usually watches everything and doesn't have any preferences with series) thought the series was stupid!

    Btw -- yes, actually that posing thing was majorly dumb...so dumb in fact that I didn't even bother to mention it! :-)