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.
.—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!