I just finished watching this year’s TVB Anniversary Gala show (which took place in HK yesterday). As I said in my review of last year’s gala (those who are interested can read it here), the galas nowadays can’t compare with the ‘grand’ and ‘glamorous’ gala events of the 80s/90s, as the galas of late have all been lackluster and extremely boring (plus the performances are usually nothing to rave about). Watching the past few year’s anniversary galas really makes me yearn for the good old days.
Anyway, back to this year’s gala….here are some of the ‘highlights’ and ‘lowlights’ from the show:
.> In comparisons to last year’s gala (where the biggest names in attendance in terms of siu sangs were pretty much Wayne Lai and Moses Chan), there definitely were a lot more siu sangs and fa dans who attended this year. Not surprisingly, many of TVB’s ‘favorites’ who are currently being promoted (such as Kevin Cheng, Michael Tse, Fala Chen, Moses Chan, Bosco Wong, Myolie Wu, Kate Tsui, Ron Ng, Raymond Lam, Tavia Yeung, etc.) as well as others currently headlining anniversary series (such as Wayne Lai, Maggie Cheung, etc.) attended the show – but honestly, how many of them attended because they HAD to (meaning to get on TVB’s good side due to the awards show coming up next month)? Also, even though a lot more ‘recognizable’ artists attended, majority of them didn’t do anything significant except participate in the opening segment – the rest of the time, they just stood around or watched the show from the stands or backstage (or maybe some of them even left?).
.> The only ‘highlight’ of the show for me were the parts with Ruco Chan (which is partly why I liked the first segment with the FH3 cast). He actually got to participate in a few of the segments, which is fine with me, since I like watching him -- plus he looked so absolutely fine and handsome in the outfit he wore! [Sidenote: He definitely has my vote for Favorite Male Character at the awards ceremony this year – I hope TVB doesn’t make that award into another ‘consolation prize’ for TV King like they’ve been doing for the past couple years!]
.> The focus of the show was primarily on the following ‘groups’: the cast of “Lives of Omission” and “Forensic Heroes III”, the 3 Gods (aka Fuk Luk Sau), the Voice singers, the Mr and Miss HKs, the Kung Fu Supernova finalists, and the currently promoted siu sangs / fa dans who attended. Each group pretty much put on various performances and competed against each other – the winners basically just got bragging rights. Most of the performances were lame and boring, with the exception of maybe 1 or 2 that were actually interesting (namely the first segment involving the FH3 cast and the ‘tribute’ to past gala feats put on by MC Jin, Hanjin Tan, Bob Lam, and can’t remember the fourth person). Oh, and they didn’t have the anniversary skit this year either, which sort of sucked because even though the skits in the past few years were stupid, at least they provided some laughs…maybe Eric Tsang got tired of having to ‘carry’ the skits each time, since that’s pretty much what happens – or it could be that the artists didn’t want to be ‘tortured’ by him anymore….
.> Out of the 8 hosts for the event, 7 were good, logical choices (the ‘usual’ hosts – Eric Tsang, Nat Chan, Dodo Cheng, Liza Wang, Astrid Chan, Derek Lee, Sharon Chan) – but the last one (King Kong) was a joke! I can’t believe that they had King Kong as one of the hosts – of all the artists they could have chosen to co-host, they had to choose him? I mean, I could barely understand a single word he said! As much as I dislike the 3 gods (Wong Cho Lam, Louis Yuen, Johnson Lee), any of those 3 would have been a better choice than King Kong (at least we don’t have to struggle with trying to understand what’s being said)! Having him as a host for such a major event really detracts from the show as a whole – plus it started getting so annoying listening to him speak his choppy Cantonese throughout the entire show…geez, if they were going to have him host, at least give him a small part only so we don’t have to keep listening to his annoying voice over and over again! So much for a supposedly ‘classy’ event!
.> The musical performances this year sucked! I did enjoy the beginning part of the Voice singers’ performance when they sang those classic hits, but the rest of that segment – namely the parts where Kiki Sheung and Nancy Sit performed – were absolutely cringeworthy!
First of all, Kiki’s outfit was horrible (what was up with that big ole wig?), but her performance was even more so – she sang the classic English song ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’ and not only did she slur her words (obviously her English isn’t good), she was also tremendously off tune (don’t know if it was her lack of familiarity with the lyrics or what, but it sounded like she was trying to ‘catch up’ with the melody to the song). After hearing her sing in last year’s gala, I was expecting a decent performance – boy was I disappointed!
Nancy’s performance was beyond horrible (I can’t even find a word to describe it!). I’ve never liked Nancy both as an actor and singer because I’ve always felt that she’s too OTT (over the top) and almost every single one of her performances (whether in TV series or an actual variety show) is filled with exaggerated movements. Therefore, when I knew she was going to perform, I already expected that it would be another one of those silly, OTT performances. BUT I wasn’t expecting for it to be as bad as it was! Her outfit and makeup were so over the top, it was an eyesore just looking at her. And that horrible song she sang (if I can even call it a song – most of it was just nonsensical murmuring to me) – all I can say is: OMG! (In fact, I had pretty much ‘nodded off’ by that point because the show was so boring, but then when Nancy opened her mouth and started singing, I was shocked back awake!). Needless to say, I was tremendously relieved when that segment ended.
The ONLY redeeming factor in that segment was Susanna Kwan. She sang beautifully as usual (and her outfit was pretty too – she was the only one of the 3 who was dressed decently).
.> Of course, the 3 gods were ‘prevalent’ throughout the anniversary show (not surprisingly). They participated in several segments and also did a ridiculously silly performance that I found sort of crude and corny. I understand that some people like that kind of humor, but I’m definitely not one of them – I didn’t find their segment funny at all (except for the joke they played on Dodo by singing her ex-boyfriend David Lui’s song). Other than that, the rest of the segment was pretty much the usual 3 gods crude humor (and I’m sorry, but arranging for all those siu sangs and fa dans to sit there onstage and laugh at the 3 gods’ antics as if they were the funniest thing they had ever seen was so fake -- it was pretty much like TVB arranged a ‘laugh track’ for their performance because they already knew people were annoyed and tired of seeing the 3 gods). I actually preferred the performance that was competing against theirs – the one that MC Jin’s group did – it wasn’t the best, but at least it was obvious that they put a lot of effort and practice into it.
.> I usually enjoy the game show segment where the hosts draw artists’ names at random to participate and possibly win prize money. However, this year, I was too ticked off to enjoy that segment. The first thing that ticked me off was the part when Liza Wang ‘just happened’ to pick her own name from the stack of name cards and ended up being one of the 4 artists competing for prize money – that part was so obviously rigged, it wasn’t even funny! I mean, it can’t be a coincidence that she was asked to pick the first name and she was like “oh, let me just pick up the first card on top and see what it says” and then it happened to be her own name – I don’t buy it for one second! And to top it off, she actually ended up getting 2nd prize -- come on now, she doesn’t need the prize money nor the ’15 minutes of fame’….why not give that spot to other artists who really could have used the money and the screen time? I swear, there should really be a rule that the hosts of the gala aren’t allowed to participate because every year, it seems that one of them always gets chosen for the game show and ends up winning something – I mean, they are already getting money from hosting the event, do they need to ‘hog’ the prize money as well?
The other thing that ticked me off with that segment was how the money-counting machine kept malfunctioning…not only was it embarrassing, it also put the credibility of the entire game into question (how do we know that the machine counted correctly if it keeps breaking down every few minutes?). Come on TVB – this is your anniversary gala for goodness sake – is it too much to invest in a money-counting machine that actually works? Stop being cheap and spend money where you should for once!
Overall, the show was a huge letdown. I actually regret having watched it because I just wasted 2 hours of my time that I could have spent doing something else. Plus I have to go wash my eyes out now after watching all those Mr HKs dance around the stage in pantyhose and high heels (don’t worry if you don’t know what I’m talking about – you’re better off not watching that particular segment)!