I just finished watching the 2012 Sales Presentation clips and also read DTLCT’s post with her thoughts on next year’s series (read DTLCT's post here). Like last year, I agree with most of her comments about the series, and as of right now, I’m not looking forward to any of the upcoming series (with the exception of maybe 1 or 2 at most). Of course, anything could happen between now and when the series actually airs, since most of the series haven’t even been filmed yet so a lot of changes could still occur (though based on how things have gone the past few years, I don’t really see my opinion of the series changing).
Anyway, here are my comments regarding each of the series from the sales presentation:
The King Makers (造王者) – This is probably the only series out of the bunch that actually looks promising and that I will most likely watch. I loved “Greatness of a Hero” and honestly, was waiting for another Wayne and Kent collaboration (2 of my favorites). I had read somewhere though that Wayne and Kent were going to “switch roles” from GOAH in that Kent is going to be the villain this time whereas Wayne is the good person – not sure how true this is though because it really didn’t look like it from the sales preso clip (though we all know that most of what’s in the sales preso rarely rings true anyway). I’m not too fond of Chris Lai either, so no comment about him, but I do like Pierre Ngo, so that’s definitely a plus. This one will most likely be a ‘keeper’ for me.
Btw, DTLCT commented about how the costumes seem to be recycled from GOAH….from what I can see, it looks like she’s right – in fact, I’m thinking that maybe they actually did recycle the same costumes for the clip, since I’m assuming they probably didn’t have time to get new costumes made if the clip was done prior to the actual series filming. Hope they didn’t recycle the costumes for the series itself though because that would be really weird!
Special Duties Unit (飛虎) – Hmmm, not sure about this one. Firstly, not too keen on the main cast (I’ve never been a fan of Joe Ma or Jessica Hsuan – they’re definitely solid actors, but just not my cup of tea), though the supporting cast / guest stars could very well make up for it (we’ll have to see though, since the clip went so fast that I really couldn’t tell who all was going to be in the series). Glad to see that Oscar Leung might have a decent role in this series (he's one of the few newbies I like and whom I feel has alot of potential in terms of acting). However, given TVB’s track record the past couple years, I really don’t have confidence that they are going to do a good job with the ‘cop’ part (meaning yes, just like DTLCT said, they will probably focus on the ‘romance’ part more than the 'cop' part like they normally do). Whatever the case, I’ll have to wait until closer to the airing date of this series and see what other stuff comes out about it before making a decision.
Lucky Father (當旺爸爸) – As much as I like Steven and was really looking forward to his next series after “Life and Times of a Sentinel” (which was pretty much the only series I liked from 2011), I think I’m going to pass on this one because to be honest, the series looks like another one of those dumb comedies that I really should not be wasting my time on. With the exception of Linda, I like most of the other artists in the series (Steven, Ha Yu, Evergreen, Nancy), but the storyline just doesn’t appeal to me…and yes, I’m also tired of seeing the Steven / Linda pairing again (sorry, but 5 times is a bit much, especially when I don’t even like Linda). This is pretty much the only series out of the bunch where I actually like majority of the cast, however the storyline doesn’t sound appealing at all. To be honest, when I first heard that this series was being filmed (and found out what the story would be about), my first reaction was: What a waste of talent! Damn TVB, why do you have to waste talent once again? Quit putting artists I like into crappy series please!
Miscellaneous Morels from Youyang (酉陽雜俎) – Um, okay…they’ve got to be kidding regarding the English title, right? I sure hope so because not only is the title a ‘mouthful’ to say, it also makes no sense in that the title is not reflective of the series and its theme (it looks like the English title is a literal translation of the Chinese title, which would explain why the title makes no sense). Honestly though, I probably shouldn’t complain because I have no intention whatsoever of watching this series for the following reasons: 1) Can’t stand most of the cast – even though I like Ruco Chan and KK Cheung, there’s no way that I’m watching the series if Natalie Tong and Aimee Chan are in it (and based on the clip, it looks like they will be the leads on the female side). Plus, with my luck, they will probably cut Ruco and KK from the actual series anyway, so there’s really no point in wasting my time; 2) I’m just not into that particular genre – whether it’s TV series or movies (this series actually looks like a rip-off of “Pirates of the Caribbean”, which I found extremely boring, so definitely wouldn’t be interested in this one). Definitely a NO for me!
The Prominent Family (名媛望族) – With Damian being one of my favorite actors, you would think that I might be interested in this series – but the rest of the cast doesn’t look too promising to me. I mean, I like Mary Hon and Elena Kong, but not sure how big of a role they will have (or if they will even be in the series at all). Kenneth Ma is ok, since he’s one of the few younger generation actors that I actually like from an acting standpoint….in terms of Ron Ng though, I’m actually sick and tired of seeing him again (he was in so many series this year and his acting is only mediocre, so to me, it’s annoying have to watch him in series over and over again). As for Idy Chan (who of course was not in the sales preso clip) – well, let’s just say that her previous performance in “Catch Me Now” sort of left a sour taste in my mouth – plus I never really felt that she and Damian had much chemistry anyway, so not really looking forward to this collaboration. Lastly (in terms of cast), I’m not too keen on Tavia either (I guess it would be more appropriate to say that I can’t stand her acting, especially in scenes where she has to cry) and since it looks like she is really the main female lead in this series, not sure if I’ll be able to sit through this one. (Ugh – why does TVB have to keep putting Damian in series with artists I can’t stand?)
Also, in terms of the storyline, I honestly have to say that the sales clip gave me a ‘been there, done that’ feeling – and I could already spot some similarities to other series that I’ve seen in the past (both TVB and non-TVB) – which means that this is probably going to be one of those series that I will likely get frustrated watching….not sure if I want to put myself through that…
Thunderous Drug Raid (雷霆掃毒) – Initially, this series looked promising to me, since I adore both Michael Miu and Roger Kwok and it looked like this would be another ‘serious’ role for the both of them (I prefer both of them in serious roles rather than comedic ones). And even though I’m not keen on Kevin Cheng, I would have been willing to watch this series if he was in it because of everything that has happened this past year. But based on DTLCT’s post, looks like Kevin won’t be filming this series and will instead be replaced by Raymond Lam – hmmm…that actually changes things tremendously for me because the chance of me wanting to watch this series now has gone way down (obviously I don't like RL either). Also, once again, the female cast not only looks extremely weak, it also consists of artists I’m not fond of (namely Kate Tsui)…and I’m sorry, but it looks like Kate will be paired up with Michael in this series and to me, that is a complete turnoff (never liked her in the first place, plus I still have a bone to pick with TVB for putting her in so many series this year with some of my favorite artists). As for Joyce Tang, I’m neutral towards her, as I’m ok with her acting overall, but I just can’t stand how TVB has been putting her in similar roles for like the past 8 or 9 years, so it was starting to get boring watching her (based on the clip, looks like her role in this series will pretty much be more of the same).
Anyway, let’s see what happens when the series actually starts filming (though I think it may have started already because I saw some stuff about it on Weibo earlier)….if Michael and Roger are still in it and the storyline remains the same, I will most likely still watch it (though whether I’ll like it or not is a different story).
4 In Love – OMG, this looks like another lame comedy along the lines of “Fly With Me” and “Super Snoops” – which means that I’m definitely not watching it, since I can’t stand lame, silly comedies (I didn’t watch FWM or SS either – couldn’t get through the first 2 episodes without feeling like I was losing brain cells from watching something so stupid). Plus it definitely doesn’t help that Moses and Charmaine are in it (another collaboration / pairing that I’m sick and tired of)…I used to be ok with Moses until he went the comedy route – let’s just say that his OTT comedic performances annoyed me so much over the years that nowadays, when I hear the words ‘Moses Chan’ and ‘comedy’ in the same sentence, my response is an automatic “No!” I’m definitely passing on this one. Period.
House of Harmony and Vengeance (耀舞長安) – UGH!!!!! They’re putting Bobby in YET ANOTHER lame comedy???? Come on TVB – just because Bobby is loyal and already stated that he will film 1 series for you guys every year no matter what, doesn’t mean that you guys can keep putting him in crappy series!!! I couldn’t bear to watch most of the series that Bobby was in the past few years because the storylines were so stupid and the casts were so unappealing (not to mention all the badly matched pairings that they did for Bobby). TVB really needs to stop “using” Bobby to promote their favorite sons and daughters because not only is it starting to get old, it’s also extremely ANNOYING! Oh, and of course, I can’t stand Linda or Myolie (the female leads in this series) and the plot sounds freakin’ lame, so not going to waste my time with this one!
The Hippocratic Crush (On Call 36小時) – This one is another ‘maybe’ for me…though I like majority of the cast (mostly the males, as I couldn’t even recognize most of the females), this sounds to me like an attempted remake of “Healing Hands” (which I wasn’t too fond of in the first place and probably wouldn’t have watched if it weren’t for the cast). Also, as I said earlier, I can’t stand watching any crying scenes with Tavia in them (and it looks like there will be A LOT of those scenes in this series), so that will definitely factor in to my decision of whether to watch. Part of me wants to watch this just to see how Kenneth does, since it looks like he’s the main lead in this series (that is, unless he gets replaced) – plus if Ben Wong and Ray Cho are in it, I know I’ll enjoy their performances at the very least – BUT on the other hand, not sure if watching it just for those 3 is worth frustrating myself over everything else I don’t like about the series. Definitely ‘on the fence’ with this one.
War and Beauty 2 (金枝慾孽2) – I’m actually one of the few people who was not a huge fan of the original WAB and thought it was way overrated (though I admit that there were definitely a few brilliant performances from the cast). With that said though, I was fine overall with watching the original series and thought that certain parts of the script were very well-done. The sequel however, is a completely different story. First off, if they keep the storyline from the sales presentation, then it’s going to suck because that means that once again, TVB will be using a ‘lame’ excuse to explain why the characters that were in the original series are not in it this time around (in the sales preso clip, they made it sound like everything that happened in the original series was merely a story that Moses Chan’s character made up to tell to the Empress in order to amuse her). If they’re going to do that, they might as well just make it a completely different story.
As far as cast is concerned, I’m glad that they at least got Ada Choi to participate in the series and it sounds like she will have some good chemistry with Sheren Tang – but the rest of the cast doesn’t look appealing and depending on how the storyline turns out, not sure if I really want to sit through another utterly depressing series. This one is a ‘maybe’ at this point.
Detective Columbo (神探哥倫布) – Part of me really wants to watch this one because Wayne hasn’t done a comedic role in a long time and I really miss watching him do comedy (many of my most favorite Wayne roles in the past were comedic ones). Plus it’s another Wayne / Evergreen collaboration (at least based on the sales preso clip) and since they have good chemistry and I like both artists, there’s another reason right there. My only thing is that I’m not sure if the comedic humor is going to be similar to “Good Against Evil” (which I enjoyed a lot) or “Super Snoops” (which I absolutely hated) – since the series is set in the same time frame as both series, there’s a possibility that it could go either way.
One other thing to consider: the last few times that TVB tried the ‘comedic detective series’ thing, those series ended up being huge disasters (in my opinion anyway) – so that means this series could very well go in that direction as well. Plus there’s also the ‘Tavia’ factor (see some of my other comments above) – that is, if she does end up being the female lead. This series will definitely be another ‘wait and see’ for me.
Triumph In The Skies II (衝上雲霄II) -- I watched the original series a few years back and to be honest, I wasn’t too fond of the series in the first place because it was a bit too draggy and there were some segments that were truly unnecessary. I wouldn’t say that I disliked the series though because there were some really good parts in the series that made me want to continuing watching, but I wouldn’t count it as a series I would want to re-watch.. The only reason why I gave the original series a chance back then was because of the cast: Francis was awesome in the series and I absolutely loved Flora -- Joe was actually quite good as well and I really enjoyed some of the supporting cast (for example: Louisa So, Jerry Lamb, Shek Sau, Mary Hon, etc.). I actually wasn't too keen on the rest of the cast though, especially the younger generation artists (and everyone knows how much I can't stand Myolie) -- if it weren't for the Francis / Flora / Joe storyline, I probably wouldn't have bothered watching the original.
That being said, I have no interest whatsoever in watching the sequel...one reason of course is because the cast is completely changed. But the primary reason is because I have ZERO faith in TVB when it comes to doing sequels -- for the past decade or so, TVB has pretty much been doing sequels just 'for the heck of it' in my opinion and majority of them have been disastrous (with a few exceptions, of course). And if the sequel is supposed to be a continuation of the original (or related to it in some way or another), then that's even worse because I already know TVB is going to make up some stupid excuse for why certain characters who were in the original are no longer there (i.e. the person died or fell in love with someone else or something like that).
Bottom line -- I will most likely 'pass' on this series because I already know there's no way in hell that they are going to get Francis or Flora back -- without the 2 of them, this series is not worth watching!
Looks like 2012 will be another year of uninteresting series with the same artists showing up over and over again. From around 2003 until now, even though I dislike most of the series and can’t stand most of the current generation TVB artists, I still continued to watch some TVB series here and there because most of the supporting artists that I grew up with (and still enjoy watching) were still in the series. Therefore, even if I didn’t like the leads, I could at least find a ‘reason’ to watch the scenes with the supporting casts. HOWEVER, next year, things will be very different because it looks like a lot of the supporting artists that I like have left or will be leaving as well (it actually already started to happen this year because with most of the series that aired in 2011, I noticed that there were a lot of new faces in supporting roles whom I don’t recognize) -- plus there will be competition for TVB next year with the addition of 3 new TV stations, so there will definitely be options in terms of TV series. If I were given the choice of watching series with artists I recognize and like, of course I would go that route rather than watching series with untalented or newbie artists whom I can’t stand!