Ok, now that everyone has had a chance to watch the Sales Presentation clips (I mean the actual drama series and variety program clips, not the Sales Presentation show itself), including myself, here’s my feedback on which programs I’m ‘anticipating’ and which ones I will probably ‘pass’ on….
**Note: There’s no special significance to the order in which the drama series are listed – I pretty much listed them based on the order in which the preview clips are shown in the Youtube links.**
Overall feedback: I have to hand it to the CTI/HKTV cast and crew for doing such a great job with the filming and editing of the clips. The high quality filming equipment and techniques really show – the way the preview clips came out, I truly felt that I was watching trailer clips for upcoming Hollywood movies / TV shows!
Due to time constraints, I didn’t actually link any of the series back to the previous posts that I did but if anyone is interested in looking at the cast lists or plot summaries, let me know and I’ll be glad to point you in the right direction.
Fantasy Love Song 201314 (童話戀曲201314) [already finished filming]
My Thoughts: This series reminds me of the movie “Chicago” with the whole music / dance theme + love story thing. Anyway, I’m not tremendously fond of the main cast (though I like majority of the supporting cast), but the storyline does sound interesting and the scenery looks absolutely stunning…plus I love musicals – it’s one of my favorite ‘genres’ for one, and two, I haven’t watched a musical in such a long time, so it will be fun to get back into one again. Also, it’s nice to see actual singers in this series (since it’s a ‘musical’ after all) as opposed to actors/actresses ‘pretending’ to sing. Another ‘plus’ is the fact that they got a pretty well-known record producer / songwriter (Mark Lui) to ‘do’ (produce) all the music / songs in this series so at least there’s a bit of ‘name recognition’ there.
Based on what I’ve seen / read so far, this series is definitely on my ‘to watch’ list. Hope the final product lives up to the expectation!
Three Sides of Shape Doctors (三面形醫) [currently filming]
My Thoughts: Definitely interested in this series, since the 3 main leads (John Chiang, Frankie Lam, Wilson Tsui) are among my ‘favorites’ in terms of actors (I like the supporting cast as well). The trailer clip was pretty riveting and the theme is quite refreshing, since very few (if any) HK series explore the subject of plastic surgery in such detail (key word here is ‘HK series’). I know many people said this series is similar to the American drama “Nip/Tuck”, which is probably true, but since I’ve never watched that series, I can’t really comment on this piece of it. The other ‘draw’ with this series is that it will supposedly show real life surgery scenes, though I’m assuming that those scenes will be cut out in the TV version (since the HK audiences are ‘ultra-conservative’ plus there are limitations to what is allowed to be shown on TV based on broadcasting regulations) – so it looks like most of us will need to watch the ‘web version’ of the series in order to get the ‘complete’ viewing experience with this series.
The only thing about this series that I’m not sure about is the fact that it doesn’t have any strong female leads in it (at least none that are familiar to me) – supposedly, Kate Yeung is the ‘female lead’ in this series, but honestly, I have no clue who she is or how her acting is like, so not sure at this point how/ if that is going to affect my ‘viewing experience’ with this series.
Fiery News Catalyst (導火新聞線) [starts filming in 2013]
My Thoughts: This is actually a ‘new’ series that has not been formally announced yet (hence the lack of cast list and series summary) and won’t actually commence filming until 2013. I read a little bit on what this series will be about on Weibo (it’s about the tabloid /newsmagazine reporting industry) and so far, it sounds interesting. Looks like the biggest ‘selling point’ of this series will be Noel Leung playing the part of a ruthless, ethically questionable editor-in-chief a news agency who is willing to go to great lengths for a news story, even if it means harming others in the process -- this type of character is definitely different from the typecasted ‘sweet angelic girl’ roles that Noel usually got when she was at TVB. Noel has always been a ‘decent’ actress to me, so I definitely don’t mind watching her in a series.
The preview trailer for the series was quite gripping with the whole ‘pregnant woman jumping off a building’ scene and the aftermath of that….will definitely be interesting to see what happens. Since the series hasn’t started filming yet, I’m assuming the script isn’t complete yet (that’s one of the big differences between CTI and TVB – filming doesn’t start until a complete script is in hand), which means that the story concept and cast could still change. Anyway, let’s wait and see once more details come out next year (when the series is ‘officially’ announced)…
Still Have Time to Love You Again (還來得及再愛你) [already finished filming]
My Thoughts: Ok, I can already say right now that this series is a ‘skip’ for me, primarily because I can’t stand ‘idol series’ nowadays (I’ve watched quite a few of them in the past and hated them!) plus I’m not a big fan of the vampire theme. Also, the cast of this series is the least ‘appealing’ to me because I barely know any of them (not surprising since this IS an idol series after all, so the main cast consists primarily of youngsters, most of whom are probably newbies).
I know one of the ‘selling points’ of this series is its main lead, Taiwanese actor Danson Tang – sorry, nothing against the guy, but I stopped following Taiwanese entertainment ‘religiously’ years ago, so I have no clue who all the ‘popular’ artists are in Taiwan nowadays. Personally, I had never heard of Danson Tang until CTI/HKTV came along, so to me, whether he is in the series or not doesn’t make a difference – it won’t change my opinion about whether to watch this series or not.
Frightful Century (驚異世紀) [already finished filming]
My Thoughts: This series will also be a definite ‘skip’ for me because, well, I don’t like to watch horror flicks. Ok, fine, I admit I have a ‘weak heart’ and have never been able to ‘tolerate’ that particular genre – way too intense for me! I actually do like the cast of the series and from all the stuff I’ve read, it sounds like the artists had very challenging roles, which means these particular performances could be ‘breakthroughs’ of sorts for them in terms of acting. Unfortunately though, based on the trailer, the series looks way too scary – I actually covered my eyes practically the entire time that I was watching the trailer for the series because the scenes shown were too ‘horrifying’ for me (never did that before!). Ah well – luckily this same cast is in other series as well, so I’ll still get a chance to see them in action elsewhere.
Police Boundaries (警界線) [started filming, continuing in 2013]
My Thoughts: This is definitely one of my most anticipated CTI/HKTV series! I’ve always been somewhat of a ‘fan’ of cop series – that particular theme / genre just never seems to get old, no matter how many times it is ‘re-used’. Based on what I gather from the trailer as well as the series summary, it does sound like the series will deal with the ‘black cop’ concept again, which has pretty much been filmed to death by both TVB as well as the HK movie industry already, so it will be interesting to see what type of different spin HKTV brings to it.
I’m actually very excited about this series because I love the cast – it’s been years since I’ve seen veteran actor Liu Kai Chi on the small screen --he’s been doing movies for more than a decade already, but since I don’t watch HK movies as much now as I used to, I definitely miss seeing him! Oh and Dominic Lam is in this one as well (his name is listed second after Liu Kai Chi’s), along with Leila Tong, Deno Cheung, Lam Lei, Felix Lok, Annie Liu, etc. – a lot of artists I like and enjoy watching! From the trailer, it looks like Liu Kai Chi will play the ‘black cop’ in the series, which means that he will be taking on a villain role again (it’s been years since I’ve seen him in a villain role) and matching wits against Dominic Lam (wonder whether his role will be good guy or villain – or little bit of both?) as well as Lawrence Chou. Can’t wait!
Oh, by the way – all reports indicate that HKTV is going to air this series as their ‘opening series’ – meaning it’s going to be the very first series they air when they finally get their license and ‘open up shop’. At first I was wondering how this was going to work, since the series is still being filmed and isn’t even close to completion yet – but then I remembered that they said they were going to make a movie version of this series first and then the storyline will continue as a TV series…so it looks like they will probably air the movie version (assuming it will probably be a few hours?), then later on follow it up with the actual series (not sure if there will actually be a time lapse in between). Smart choice if you think about it because cop series traditionally fare well with audiences and since it appears from the trailer that there will be quite a few ‘action-packed’ scenes, it’s pretty much guaranteed to be a hit with audiences…great way to start off with a bang!
Second Life (第二人生) [already finished filming]
My Thoughts: Based on the trailer and the series summary, sounds like this will be HKTV’s ‘time travel’ series – though unlike the TVB ones, it’s not going to be the obvious ‘ancient time to modern time’ and vice versa type. Instead, the characters are going to remain in the modern world and essentially will ‘travel back in time’ to get a second chance at living their lives differently. It’s supposed to be one of those motivational, life inspiring, feel good type of series….whether the series will actually live up to that remains to be seen.
To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of the cast (though I found most of the artists in here quite tolerable) but I’ll probably watch this series just to see how they do the ‘time travel’ theme – plus there’s a huge music component to this series as well (obviously, since majority of the cast consists of singers), so that will be nice to watch. Oh, and I’m definitely looking forward to seeing the special ‘concert’ thing that they did for the series – the first time ever where the cast held a live concert (complete with real life audiences) at an actual arena (the Asia Expo Centre) and integrated it into the series….not sure how the editing is going to work or whether the cast will actually be playing the characters in the series or themselves, but it will definitely be interesting to watch!
Brain Opening Detective (開腦儆探) [currently filming]
My Thoughts: Of course this is a ‘must watch’ for me, given the fact that Felix Wong is the lead in the series (obvious Felix fan here…haha!). Other than Felix, the rest of the cast might not be too ‘impressive’ (other than perhaps Sam Lee and Lo Hoi Pang) but I’m ok with that because I already knew going into it that the cast will consist of quite a few ‘newbies’. Besides, it looks like the ‘draw’ of the series (based on the trailer and series summary) will be the storyline more than the cast – the ‘X-Men’ type spin on the traditional investigative / detective storyline sounds really interesting!
Another reason why I’m looking forward to this series is because it’s also the ‘debut’ series for Felix’s real life daughter Adrian Wong – I’m curious to see how her performance will be (though with her parents’ acting genes plus her dad personally ‘teaching’ her on set, can’t be that bad I’m assuming). And for those who might be curious – no, they are NOT playing father / daughter in this series. Oh, and one other interesting ‘tidbit’ about this series: Felix’s ‘other daughter’ is in the series as well….now before anyone gets confused, I’m referring to the actress who played his daughter in TVB’s anniversary series from 2010, Gun Metal Grey – yes, she(Janice Ting) also joined CTI and will be collaborating with Felix again in this series (though not sure about her role). Interesting!
Kung Fu (功夫) [starts filming in 2013]
My Thoughts: Not sure about this one actually, since this series hasn’t been announced yet, so I have no clue in terms of cast and storyline. All I know is that this is the kung fu themed series Yuen Wah mentioned awhile back ago that he would be filming. Not surprisingly, both Sin Ho Ying and Li Ka are featured in the trailer as well (both have martial arts / kung fu backgrounds so of course they would be in this series) – the others who were featured all have some type of martial arts or action hero / heroine background too…so if all of them will be in the cast, then at least the action scenes and the ‘fighting’ will look decently genuine! Die-hard kung fu / martial arts fans will most likely enjoy this series!
For me, I’m actually going to hold off judgment until I found out more about the series, since virtually nothing has been released about this series yet (this is the only series out of the 12 featured where there has been no information whatsoever on Weibo or in the various entertainment news sites – at least none that I’ve been able to find). So let’s wait and see…
Hakka Women (客家女人) [currently filming]
My Thoughts: I have a feeling this is going to be one of the more highly promoted series for HKTV because it stars 2 award-winning actresses: TV Queen (Maggie Cheung) and Movie Queen (Prudence Liew). The two will play sisters who grow up in completely different environments and live very different lives – they are at odds with each other but will be brought back together due to some things that occur. From watching the trailer, I do agree that the series looks a bit on the ‘soapy’ side (meaning ‘soap opera’) – not sure if that’s a good or bad thing….but one thing that the scriptwriter / director ‘promised’ on Weibo (yes, I’ve been following the Weibo accounts of most of the behind-the-scenes people) is that this series will be ‘different’ from the traditional ‘see lai’ (housewife) series that we are used to seeing at TVB (for one, there won’t be a ‘love triangle’ thing between the 2 sisters in the series….good!).
In terms of the rest of the cast – well, it looks like Savio Tsang will have a heavy role in this series (I believe he’s second male lead here?), which is great because it’s been years since he’s had a ‘decent’ role (he pretty much got pushed down to 3rd / 4th line status at TVB…). And even though I have no clue how Poon Chan Leung’s acting will be since he’s a theater actor and I obviously can’t watch stageplays due to not living in HK, I read that he’s won quite a few awards in the theater world, so the ‘credentials’ are definitely there. The rest of the supporting cast is made up of actors and actresses that I’m familiar with (and grew up watching) as well, so that’s definitely another ‘plus’ for me. I’ll probably keep this one on my ‘watch’ list, at least based on what I’ve read and seen so far…
Age of Housing Passion (歲月樓情) [starts filming in 2013]
My Thoughts: From a casting perspective, this series is probably the most ‘heavyweight’ one out of all the series -- let’s see, there’s TV King Ha Yu and Movie Queen Paw Hee Ching (2 excellent, award-winning veteran artists) plus Felix Wong (haven’t seen him and Ha Yu collaborate in a series since like back in the 80s), Savio Tsang, and Lam Lei. On the actress side, there’s Emily Kwan (whom I haven’t seen in a long time) and Leila Tong (this is probably her 3rd series now with HKTV?) – both of whom will have some type of relationship with Felix in the series (if I read correctly that is). Hmmm – Felix and Leila….interesting pairing!
Anyway, since this series has not been officially announced yet either and there is no series / plot summary available yet, can’t really tell what the series will be about based on the short trailer. But with the strong cast (and Felix of course…LOL!), this one is also on my ‘watch’ list….at least for now!