Saturday, June 8, 2013

Premiere of HKTV Series online -- PART 2

More feedback on the episode 1 trailer clips that HKTV has been posting online the past few days....

Hakka Women (客家女人)

My Comments:

.— Wow -- absolutely awesome first 11 minutes!   Definitely want to continue watching to see what happens next!

.—My only ‘complaint’ with the trailer is that the first 2 minutes or so were a bit torturous, as the 2 actresses who play the younger versions of Maggie and Prudence’s characters really weren’t good at all in terms of the acting.  I have no clue who either young lady was, but I’m assuming they were newbies because their acting definitely needed work – the one who played the young Prudence especially, as she sounded like she was reading her dialogue.  Even though that scene ‘sets the stage’ so to speak, it was very short and not really worth haggling over, so I’ll let it slide…lol!

.— The rest of the 8-9 minutes or so were primarily filled with scenes involving Maggie (her character’s name in the series is ‘Anson’) and her boyfriend Poon Chan Leung (his character is ‘AuYeung Shan’).

.—Of course, with Maggie’s acting chops, no need for me to go into how good her performance was (even if it was only the first few minutes of the series).  As expected, Maggie’s acting was ‘spot-on’:  from her facial expressions to body language to delivery of dialogue, she was great all around!  Definitely enjoyed watching her scenes.

.—Poon Chan Leung was a surprise to me because even though I was familiar with who he was (a well-respected, award-winning theater actor), I had obviously never seen any of his acting performances before, so didn’t really know what to expect.  He was great though and absolutely delivered the goods, holding his own opposite a strong, experienced actress such as Maggie.  But then again, I probably shouldn’t be surprised – since Poon Chan Leung comes from the theater world, of course his acting would be good!  As a sidenote – I personally ‘love’ theater actors/actresses and have a high level of respect for them!

.—So many familiar faces during that ‘wedding’ segment in the last few minutes!  Of course, there were Prudence and Savio (both of whom will have significant screen time, since they are considered leads in the series – yay!!) – glad that we got to see a little bit of them in the first 11 minutes!  Then during the actual wedding ceremony scene itself, there were May Tse and Wilson Tsui (happy to see Auntie May again – hadn’t seen her in such a long time!) – I also spotted Peter Lai and Leung Kin Ping in the crowd of wedding guests as well as a few others whose names I don’t remember at the moment.

.—Lastly (for now)….great ‘argument’ scene between Maggie and Prudence at the end!   Absolutely looking forward to seeing how the relationship between these 2 sisters evolve and how much of an impact they will have on each other’s lives.  Despite the fact that I’m not a fan of either of the female leads, I have a feeling that I’m going to end up enjoying this series!

Hidden Faces (三面形醫)

My comments:

.—Very interesting series indeed!  The clip was only 7 minutes, but yet there was already plenty going on --  we got to see all 3 main doctors (John Gor, Frankie, Wilson) in ‘action’…in those short 7 minutes alone, we already get to see what each doctor’s main specialty is as well as an idea of their personalities. 

.—I’m actually quite excited to see Wilson Tsui playing a doctor again -- so far I like his character quite a lot.  Frankie’s character also sounds interesting – definitely different from the way I’m used to seeing him (he definitely looks a bit haggard and ‘rough around the edges’ in this series, which I think is part of the character?)…anyway, sounds like he will be a doctor ‘with an attitude’!

.—I’m actually curious to find out the name of the actress who played Lun Jai’s mother in this segment – she definitely looks that Koei Leung Suet Mei?  Because there's a bit of a resemblance there but the voice doesn't sound like her (unless her voice changed or something).  In any case, she was actually quite good in these first few minutes!

.— One thing that I was concerned about is whether the dialogue and some of the scenes will be able to pass the strict ‘censors’ of the Broadcasting Authority (now the Communications Authority).  I have a huge feeling that when the series actually airs on TV, it will likely be heavily edited to fit within the restrictions of television rules (in that case, I prefer to watch the web version!).

.—Overall, this is definitely another series I am looking forward to watching!

Flow of the Years (歲月樓情)

My Comments:

.—For starters…what, only 5 minutes???  NO!!! Definitely not enough!!!

.—I actually really want to watch this series primarily because of the cast, since most of the ‘main players’ are artists whom I haven’t seen in awhile, so it will be nice to see them grace my television screen again! 

.—I have a feeling this is going to be one of those series where even if the script / plot is not 100% up to par, it’s not going to be as noticeable because the acting chops of the main leads will make up for it.  I mean, in what other series do we see such a talented group of actors / actresses?   Ha Yu, Paw Hee Ching, Felix, Emily, Leila, Savio, Lam Lei, etc. – awesome cast!!

.—Glad that this clip actually has Leila in it (I must admit that I was a tad bit disappointed that the Police Boundaries clip didn’t have Leila…lol).  She’s one of my favorite ‘newer generation’ younger actresses and I was really starting to miss seeing her in series!

.— Based on the clip as well as stuff I’ve read, it sounds like this series will have some interesting relationship arcs going on…no, I’m not talking about the typical love triangle stuff that we’re used to seeing, but rather a focus on all the other types of relationships outside of that (i.e. father/son, mother/daughter, friends and neighbors, etc.).  Good to see that we’ll be able to get away from all that ‘lovey-dovey’ stuff for once and actually see some pure, intense relationship stories for a change!

.—And of course, having Felix in the cast is an added plus because that’s pretty much a guarantee that I’ll be watching this series (obviously a Felix supporter…haha!).  His role actually sounds quite interesting in here and I’m really curious to see how everything turns out for him, especially in his relationship with his father (Ha Yu) as well as with Emily and Leila…oh and it doesn’t help that Felix had been ‘dropping hints’ on his Weibo earlier in the year after he read the script and actually started filming the series…made me even more curious to watch the series….lol!

.—Obviously a ‘must-watch’ for me!  If this will truly be the ‘grand production’ opening series for HKTV once they get their license (well, at least that was the rumor, though not sure how true it is), I for one totally support it (though I’m ok with a few of the others being ‘opening series’ too)!


  1. I agree about Hidden Faces! The woman who acted as the mother used to be a TVB supporting actress. I recognize her but it's the first time she's had such a "shining" role with large amounts of dialogue. I just hope her character continues to appear in the story.

    I also like Frankie Lam's character very "rough" and with an attitude. His characters in TVB before he left were quite boring and really didn't challenge his acting. This one is must watch for me!

    I've always admired Wilson Tsui ever since his role as a lawyer. It's great that he's one of the main doctors!

    Actually I also look forward to John's father-daughter relationship with Lesley(his niece in real life). Since Lesley's role is Les there will definitely be some conflict there (typical Asian parents reaction).
    Of course if his father role is "accepting" then that would be a nice change and surprise.

    1. @sport3888: I actually think that Hidden Faces is going to be one of those series where there are multiple stories in one -- meaning that alot of the supporting characters (such as those who were in this particular segment) might not be in the entire series.....but I could be wrong though.

      I agree with you about Frankie. I read in another forum how alot of people felt he was a lousy actor with wooden acting -- I actually feel he's quite charismatic as an actor, it's just that he needs a good role and good script in order to shine...otherwise, we just get the same old boring stuff from him. I also didn't like very many of his roles at TVB in recent years (the last character of his I loved was Dr. Koo from Forensic Heroes, but of course, TVB managed to ruin it with the direction they went in the sequel...argh!). So yes, I'm definitely looking forward to seeing Frankie's performance and whether this will be a breakthrough role for him.

      And yes, absolutely love Wilson Tsui, so definitely can't wait!

      Ah, yes, sort of forgot about the rest of the cast. I'm looking forward to John and Lesley's relationship as well. Lesley's role sounded like a really huge challenge and being a 'newbie' in the acting arena, it will be interesting to see how she does. Also, since Benji is in this series too, curious to see what his role will be.

  2. oh as for Flow of the Years, to my surprise it was actually surprising and captivating! Alot better than the dramatic sales presentation (assuming that it wasn't the actual storyline).

    But I have to say FOTY's acting needs work. Besides Ha Yu and Bao Hei Jing the veterans, everyone else was so-so. But the complex family relationship is definitely the attention grabber.

    1. @sport3888: Gotta agree that the episode 1 trailer was way way better than the sales preso trailer. If I recall correctly, back when they made the sales preso clip, the series had just started filming, so they hadn't really gotten into the flow of things yet....I believe the storyline from the sales preso clip IS accurate, but the way they filmed it was just too unnecessarily dramatic (and sort of weird too with the slow motion and still caps) comparisons, the episode 1 segment turned out much better.

      I'm actually not too worried about the acting because compared to most of the other series, this one has a pretty solid, experienced far, all of the other series have a mix of old and new artists, with many less recognizable names/faces because most of the leads are from other disciplines (i.e. movies, theater, radio, music, etc.)....this is probably the only cast where practically all the main leads and supporting artists are either older veterans or actors/actresses with 10 years or more acting experience and almost all of them are TV regulars, so audiences should be familiar enough with them already (less worry about lack of acceptance because audiences don't know who they are....).

  3. My views:

    All three are good (well for Hakka Women only the adults part are good - those young actresses - ugh I cant stand their "reading of the dialogue" and "wooden faces").

    If I have to rank, probably (1) Hidden Faces (2) Flow of the Years and (3) Hakka Women.

    If I have to rank all trailers (screened so far):

    (1) Hidden Faces, Police Boundaries (tied, coz I want to watch both)
    (3) Once Upon a Song
    (4) Flow of the Years
    (5) Hakka Women
    (6) Brain Opening Detectives
    (7) Still Have Time to Love You Again
    (8) Second Life - back to the future theme not my cup of tea :P

    1. OH...have you watched Jacky and Eason new song?

    2. @fangorn:  Your assessment sounds pretty spot-on….I’ve been hesitant to rank the trailers yet up to this point, but if I had to do so, I would probably rank them similar to the way you did (though I would probably switch Hakka Women and Once Upon a Song at this point and also switch #7 with #8).
      Not sure if you knew, but HKTV has actually opened up the polls on their page, allowing viewers to vote for which series they want to watch the entire first episode – so far, Police Boundaries has the most votes (yay!) followed closely by Hidden Faces (also yay!)….so it looks like we will get to see the complete first episode of either series very soon (voting ends Tuesday, but I honestly don’t think the others will catch up….since all the trailers were released, the one for Police Boundaries has received the most consistently positive response so far….). 

    3. @fangorn:  Thanks!  Yes, I saw it already.  Though I love the song, I’m not a huge fan of Jacky and Eason collaborating (plus the ‘backstory’ of this particular collaboration irks me), so I’ve been trying to keep my comments relatively neutral if I can....

    4. Yeah, I know about the voting but there are just too many Chinese text for me to read (over at their FB page) to figure out how to vote LOL ..Im lazy...and HKTV will only screen ONE episode?? O_O how about the rest of the series?

      Err...about the backstory ? care to share? I really do not read Chinese news that often so I really dont know any "gossip-y" story.

    5. Just checked the results - Police Boundaries won! Hahaha...can't believe that "Still Have Time to Love You Again" was 3rd place. "Hidden Faces" was 2nd.

    6. @fangorn: LOL…well, HKTV SAYS that they are only going to screen one episode of one series, but I have a feeling they are going to open it up later on and air the first episodes for the other series as well. That’s actually what they did with the episode 1 trailers (based on their initial post, they weren’t planning to release the clips for all the series – but due to the overwhelming response from audiences, they decided to do the other trailers as well). So who knows….we might get to see the others earlier than anticipated….;-)

      Regarding the backstory to the Jacky/Eason collaboration….let’s just put it this way: Jacky is way too nice and unfortunately, nice guys aren’t always appreciated. Honestly, I’ve never really liked Eason from the time he debuted and even now I still don’t like him – sure, among the current generation of singers, his singing skills are definitely the best (key word is ‘current generation of singers’), but that doesn’t mean he deserves the ‘god of song’ title (I’m still ticked off about that but that’s a different story….).

      With regard to this particular collaboration – Eason was actually 1 hour late to the recording (yes, he kept Jacky waiting for 1 WHOLE HOUR! WTH??) Jacky was on time as usual (he’s one of the most punctual artists you’ll ever find) and actually could have just recorded his segment and left – in fact, that’s what the people at the studio suggested he do (with today’s technology, Eason and Jacky could have recorded their segments separately and the producers merge their voices together). BUT, Jacky insisted on staying and waiting for Eason….why? Because Jacky remembered that Eason once told him how much he looked forward to getting the chance to sing together with him (actually sing together as in both their voices singing at the same time) – if they recorded separately, that wouldn’t be able to happen. Also, during the segments when they sang together, Jacky purposefully lowered his voice so that it sounded like he was singing background vocal – this way Eason’s voice would stand out more (Jacky is known for helping out and encouraging his juniors). Normally, I don’t have a problem with this and am actually proud of Jacky for helping his juniors – but what ticked me off was Eason’s fans (not all of them of course, but a certain group of particularly ‘delirious’ ones) having the ‘audacity’ to say that Jacky lowering his voice to background vocal level is a sign that he is getting old and doesn’t have what it takes anymore and that it shows Eason sings better than Jacky (WTF???). Jacky did that to help Eason and instead of his (Eason) fans showing appreciation, they ‘diss’ Jacky instead?? I know Jacky probably doesn’t mind, since he views Eason as a friend and respects his singing skills….but as a Jacky fan, definitely ticks me off….

  4. @fangorn: Haha...yup, sort of anticipated that Police Boundaries would win. Also surprised by Still Have Time to Love You being in 3rd place (I guess there are alot more Danson Tang fans out there than we thought). I haven't had a chance to go check the results yet, but curious to see where the others ended up....will probably take a look later on today.

    1. I'm not surprised that Still Have Time to Love You got 3rd since it's the closes to Taiwan dramas out of all the series and tailors to the young audience most besides Fantasy Love Song. In terms of settings and filming quality I think Still Have Time to Love You was definitely the best.

      I wished Hidden Faces was first to air though =/ HKTV should just air the complete series online!