Thursday, December 19, 2013

TVB Anniversary Awards 2013 – Recap of Winners + My Thoughts

This year’s awards show took place on December 16th and I will say from the get-go that from a ‘results’ perspective, this was one of the ‘fairest’ TVB awards shows I’ve seen in years (meaning that TVB decided to go with awarding talent this year rather than submitting to their stupid politics).

There were many things that were ‘different’ about this year’s award shows as compared to the previous few years.  First and foremost, the awards show actually took place even before one of the series with multiple nominations finished airing (the series Bounty Lady starring Dayo Wong and Kate Tsui).  The past couple years, TVB pushed back the date for their awards ceremony to mid-December in order to ensure that their anniversary series finished airing so that those artists could be in a better position to contend for the awards.  This year was no different in that regard (meaning that the awards show was held after the 2 anniversary series finished airing), however the part that was unexpected is that TVB included nominations for currently airing series Bounty Lady, despite the fact that there are 5 episodes left before the series finishes.  The reason I bring this up is because several of the major winners in this year’s awards ceremony are from that particular series – but since the series hasn’t finished airing yet, then technically we don’t have a ‘complete’ performance to judge from, right?  Perhaps this doesn’t matter much in the larger scheme of things, but figured it was an interesting point to make.

The other major difference is that this year, the ‘rules’ for the awards were changed (again).  The 2 major awards of TV King (Best Actor) and TV Queen (Best Actress) were determined by 50% audience vote + 50% professional judging panel consisting of TVB personnel while the 2 awards of Favorite Male Character and Favorite Female Character would all be determined by 100% audience vote.  The remaining awards would be determined the ‘traditional’ way (by TVB execs pretty much). 

It’s important to note that TVB also tried the 100% audience voting thing last year, but to me, last year was an ‘epic fail’ in terms of the voting thing whereas this year it looks like they actually got it right.  Why?  Two main reasons:  1) last year, they tried to do the 100% voting thing for the TV King and Queen awards, which was absolutely dumb because it turned the 2 awards that should be based on ‘acting’ into ‘popularity’ awards instead – and since they already had 2 ‘popularity’ based awards (Favorite Male/Female Character), it turned the entire thing into a popularity contest; and 2) TVB refused to reveal the vote count last year (their excuse was that they didn’t want to hurt any artists’ feelings, but of course most of us think otherwise) – this caused a big controversial mess and accusations of the results being ‘rigged’ immediately went flying around.  In a year when TVB needed to ‘prove’ themselves as still being ‘relevant’ and ‘credible’, they instead made themselves look like fools and pretty much ‘flushed’ their credibility down the toilet.

This year, TVB ‘redeemed’ themselves with their awards ceremony.  Without saying it, they actually ‘addressed’ the 2 main issues that made the voting thing fail last year:  they applied the 100% audience voting to the Favorite Character awards instead of TV King/Queen (which is appropriate because the FC awards are popularity awards, so having audience vote makes sense) and they also revealed the vote counts for the TV King/Queen categories (top 3 only, though no names were attached to it so there’s no way of knowing who came in 2nd or 3rd) as well as the Favorite Character awards.  Either TVB learned from their mistakes last year (which is hard to believe) or someone at the exec level finally ‘woke up’ and realized how ‘screwed up’ things had gotten and so went into ‘damage control’ overdrive mode….whatever the case, looks like their ‘method’ worked because this year’s awards seems to be the least ‘complaint-worthy’ in years.

Before I start my recap of the winners, there is a general comment I want to make about the awards ceremony itself – from a ‘results’ perspective, this was one of the ‘best’ ceremonies in years, however from a ‘production’ perspective, this was one of the ‘worst’ I’ve seen.   The entire show came across very disorganized and hastily put together – the timing was off (everything was too rushed – it seemed like as soon as a presenter or award winner opened their mouths to speak, they were being signaled to wrap up), the music was all over the place (loud during some segments and really low during other segments – to the point that I actually ‘heard’ moments of awkward silence), the hosts (Dodo and Amigo) seemed to not really know what they were doing at times, etc.  Overall, the ‘feel’ of the show was very choppy and awkward – I didn’t get the ‘grand, elegant show’ feeling that I used to get with some of the previous year’s awards shows (ironically, I feel that TVB’s Sales Presentation this year was done way better from a ‘production’ standpoint).  If TVB truly wants to show that they are the ‘best’ in the HK television industry, then they definitely need to invest more money and effort into making their awards show into a ‘grand event’ rather than a sloppy small-scale production.

Ok, so with all that said, here are the list of winners plus my thoughts/opinions of the wins as well as certain aspects of the show itself…


Lifetime Achievement Award:  Lau Siu Ming
(Award presented by TVB’s Deputy Chairman Norman Leung)

.—When I heard that TVB was giving this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award to Ming Sir, I was absolutely ecstatic!  Over the past 30-40 years, Ming Sir has contributed greatly to TVB and the HK television industry as a whole, not just in terms of acting / performing in TV series, but most importantly, his role as teacher / instructor for TVB’s Acting Classes back in the day.  Ming Sir is long overdue for an award, so TVB definitely made the right choice in recognizing him this year.

.—Overall, TVB did a good job with this segment.  Even Norman Leung’s introductory speech was much better than previous years (he seems to speak faster and more coherently now than in the past).   Also, the clips that they showed during the introduction segment were pretty good – not as comprehensive as I would have liked, but at least they did show a good amount of scenes from Ming Sir’s older series.

Most Improved Female Artist:  Eliza Sam
(Award presented by Oscar Leung and Mandy Wong)

.—First, regarding the presenters:  Of course it was appropriate for Oscar and Mandy to present this award, since they were the winners of this award from last year.  Presentation speech wise, I feel they did pretty well – I liked their banter back and forth….it wasn’t tremendously funny, but was appropriate enough to elicit some laughs from the audience.  From a fashion standpoint though – all I’m going to say is:  what the hell did Oscar do to his hair????

.—The winner in this category was Eliza Sam, which was actually already ‘expected’, so no surprises there.  I actually have no opinion on Eliza’s win in this category because I don’t care much for any of the actresses nominated.  With that said though, if I had truly had to choose a winner in this category, I probably would have chosen Grace instead because I feel she had more of a ‘breakout’ year and there was more versatility in her performances (outside of filming series, she also participated in Voice of Stars, so we got to see her singing talent in addition to acting).  And I feel that Grace actually improved more than Eliza did from an acting standpoint (all of Eliza’s performances this year and last seemed the same to me, whereas Grace’s performances were more varied).  Other than that, not much comment…

Most Improved Male Artist:  Vincent Wong
(Award presented by Oscar Leung and Mandy Wong)

.—Just like with previous years, this was one of the few categories that I actually cared about because most of the time, there are a few nominees in this category whom I like and care for.  As I said in my previous post, the nominations in this category were a bit ‘odd’ because none of the actors are actually ‘newbies’ – most of the actors in this category have been in the industry for quite some time already and I would even say are already past the ‘Most Improved’ stage.   And I hate how every year, it’s almost always the same few actors nominated in this category (for example – Him Law has been nominated in this category for 4 years straight).  I though this category was to help TVB discover younger potential talent, yet most of those who get nominated are already ‘established’ actors who should be competing at a higher level (i.e. supporting actor level).  I really hope that next year, TVB adjusts this category so that the appropriate actors are nominated (i.e. Stanley Cheung, Ronald Law, Fred Cheng, etc.).

.—Vincent was the ‘hot favorite’ in this category and he won as expected.  I’m definitely glad that he won and am truly very happy for him, but honestly, his acting is way beyond Most Improved already.  I still think TVB screwed him over by not nominating him in the Best Supporting Actor category (even though I know he wouldn’t win) because he truly deserved a nomination in there as well – besides, 3 out of the 5 actors nominated in Most Improved also got BSA nominations this year as well (some of which were not deserving), so why not Vincent?  Anyway, glad to see that Vincent finally got this award, as now he can officially ‘graduate’ to higher level categories with future performances.

.—I definitely enjoyed Vincent’s acceptance speech.  It was so sweet of him to thank his wife Yoyo Chen at the end of the speech for ‘giving him a family’.  Very heartwarming speech from a well-deserved winner!

Best Supporting Actor:  Benz Hui (Bounty Lady)
(Award presented by Nancy Wu)

.—I’m sort of surprised that they gave the BSA awards out so early this year – I was expecting these to be given out later on in the ceremony like last year….but I guess it makes sense that the BSA awards weren’t as ‘important’ as they were last year, since there was less ‘hype’ (there was a lot of hype surrounding the BSA awards last year due to the brilliant standout performances on both the male and female side)….plus the focus this year was more on the ‘big’ FC and TV King/Queen awards.

.—First, about the presenter – of course it makes sense for Nancy to present this award as the Best Supporting Actress from last year.  I enjoyed her presentation speech overall, especially her ‘jab’ at Kenneth Ma, who is like a brother to her….that part was pretty funny.

.—Unlike previous years, I actually wasn’t too interested in this category this year because I felt so strongly that TVB was trying to set up the BSA category for their ‘favorites’ to win (see my previous post about the nominations list for an explanation on this).   I still feel that TVB played some ‘nasty politics’ in this category with their decision to include certain artists and shut out others, but seeing that the result turned out opposite of what I thought would happen, I’m not as ticked about it anymore.

.—The interesting thing to note is that this was the only award category where all 15 of the nominees were in attendance – definitely a very rare moment that was well-worthy of recognition (I would consider it one of those ‘Kodak moments’…LOL).   To emphasize this point, the hosts Dodo and Amigo especially set aside some time to let every single one of the nominees in this category give a ‘thank you’ speech, which I felt was a nice gesture.  And to be honest, I enjoyed some of these ‘short speeches’ more than some of the actual acceptance speeches themselves (Ram Tseung gave the best ‘short speech’ in my opinion…haha!)

.—Needless to say, the winner in this category was a huge shocker:  Uncle Benz!!!  Don’t get me wrong – I love Uncle Benz and I am absolutely thrilled that he won (thank you for getting it right for once, TVB!).  But I was totally not expecting Uncle Benz to win because I was so sure based on the horrible nominations list that TVB was going to ‘finish what they started’ and give the award to someone they favor or are planning to promote (i.e. Edwin Siu or Him Law).  This is why I was so shocked that TVB actually went the opposite direction and decided to give it Uncle Benz, who is more than deserving of the award (they should have given him this award a long time ago).   In the end, I went from ‘hating’ this category this year to ‘liking’ it once again.  Good job TVB for turning this category around!

.—Uncle Benz gave one of the absolutely best acceptance speeches of the night!  I love how he ‘dared’ to mention the free TV license thing as well as that lame ‘Turn off TV’ movement, but put it in a context where it was humorous rather than awkward.  My favorite was of course the last part of Uncle Benz’s speech when he apologized to his wife and kids for not being able to go on vacation with them due to his busy schedule, then ended it with:  “No worries, though!  I’ll be able to go now because after getting this award, I won’t get any more work!” (haha…funny, but true!).

Best Supporting Actress:  Elena Kong  (Triumph in the Skies II)
(Award presented by Koo Ming Wah)

.—Again, having KMW present this category was appropriate, since he was BSA winner from last year.  I like how he took the time to thank some of the people he forgot to thank in his acceptance speech last year.  Nice speech – short, simple, and sweet.

.— For me, the expected winner in this category from the getgo was Elena Kong and I am extremely happy that she finally got the award after 4 years of waiting.  Elena has been absolutely deserving of this award since 4 years ago when she was first nominated, so even though I felt that her performance in Triumph 2 wasn’t her best role (should have been nominated for Bounty Lady instead), I’m still fine with her winning – I guess you can say that this makes up for her previous ‘losses’.

.—Elena delivered a very touching acceptance speech – I almost shed a tear or two when she talked about how she wasn’t able to get tickets for her parents to come watch the show this year and how she almost gave up on acting several years ago.  She was quite emotional during her speech and understandably so.  Definitely glad that Elena finally got her long overdue award!

Outstanding Artist Award:  Shuet Nei, Mary Hon, Anderson Junior, Helen Ma, Lau Kong
(Award presented by TVB’s Assistant General Manager Peter Au)

.— Similar to last year, I’m very happy to see TVB recognizing green leaf veteran artists by giving out the Outstanding Artist award again.  Like I’ve said before, whether TVB is sincere or not in doing so really doesn’t matter to me because the fact is that these artists are finally getting the recognition long overdue to them – no matter what their intention is, the fact that TVB is making the effort should be applauded.

.—In terms of the presenter of the award this year, I’m actually fine with them having Peter Au do it, as he seems to be one of the ‘better’ execs at TVB and is probably the most eloquent (I actually like reading / listening to his interviews because he doesn’t come off as ‘condescending’ or ‘arrogant’ like some of the other execs do).  And he’s probably the only TVB exec who I feel has a good sense of humor and is able to utilize it at the right time in the right situations.  I liked his introductory speech overall, though I have to say that I didn’t really like the video clip summaries / introductions for each artist this time, as I felt those clips were very lacking – TVB definitely did a better job in this area last year.

As for the ‘winners’ of this award, again, I feel that all of them were well-deserved.

.—Shuet Nei – I’m neutral towards Shuet Nei as an actress, so not much comment from me on that piece, however I’m glad to see her getting recognition for her years of dedication to the industry. I’m actually not as familiar with Shuet Nei’s pre-TVB works, but I do remember quite a few of her roles in TVB series.  Congratulations to her for finally getting some recognition!

.—Mary Hon – I must say that TVB made an excellent choice in giving Mary Jeh this award because it’s way way overdue.  Mary Jeh has contributed to TVB in more ways than just acting, as she also used to be a host (back in the old days) as well as a dance instructor – she has serviced TVB for so many years without much recognition, so I’m definitely happy to see TVB finally recognizing her talents! 

Mary Jeh is actually quite a versatile actress, as she played a variety of different roles back in the days, including villain roles in both modern and ancient series.  Unfortunately, it looks like Mary Jeh has pretty much been typecasted into ‘benevolent mother’ roles the past few years, which isn’t good from an acting perspective – luckily Mary Jeh doesn’t mind and continues to put 100% effort into everything she does.  Also, I really enjoyed Mary Jeh’s acceptance speech, where she expressed that there was nothing special about herself and that there are plenty of outstanding artists out there who deserve recognition as well.  She also gave some words of encouragement to the artists there, many of whom had played her son or daughter in various series throughout the years.  See, these are the kinds of veterans I love the most – they’re passionate about their craft, yet at the same time, they are more than willing to share their experiences with others…not only that, they are also very selfless when it comes to their careers and often times, are more concerned with helping their juniors succeed than advancing their own careers.  Thank you Mary Jeh for your contributions and congratulations on a well-deserved award!

.—Anderson Junior – Anderson is another artist who has done a lot for the industry as well as for society, but rarely gets much recognition.  He actually doesn’t film a whole lot of series, as his focus is more on variety shows and hosting, but whatever the case, he is absolutely deserving of the recognition.  From an acting perspective, his most memorable performance for me was in both Witness to a Prosecution series – sure, his acting is oftentimes exaggerated, but then again, he’s not really a full time actor (acting is something he does on the side), so I don’t really expect him to have great acting skills….regardless, I still enjoyed his performance just as much as I enjoyed Bobby’s!   The introduction they gave Anderson was actually spot on because he truly is a friendly, fun person whom others enjoy being around.  One of the things I like best about Anderson is his good attitude – he doesn’t mind constantly being in the shadows or being made fun of by others and is always a good sport about it.  And he may have a loud voice and may look physically overbearing, but don’t let that fool you – he’s actually a very kind person in real life!

Helen Ma – Now here’s an actress who deserved recognition a long time ago!  Helen has been in the industry for longer than I’ve been alive (I believe she entered the industry in the 1960s) -- she is a former Shaw Brothers actress and had worked for other TV stations in the 70s prior to joining TVB.  Helen is one of the few versatile female ‘senior’ actresses that TVB still has left, as she is able to do all types of roles – from comedic to serious to villain and everything in between.   What I like about Helen is that she also has a great attitude and doesn’t care about image – she’s willing to take on the ‘ugliest’ of roles and bring life to them or do scenes that others might not want to do.  I always find Helen’s performances enjoyable, even if I might not like the characters she portrays. 

Absolutely well-deserved winner and also great acceptance speech – the advice she gave at the end of her speech is actually very true….hope that the younger generation takes her advice to heart and learns a thing or two about the value of constructive criticism!

Lau Kong – the 5th Outstanding Artist award went to veteran actor Lau Kong (aka ‘Teacher Lau’ as everyone calls him).  Honestly speaking, this was one of the most deserving awards of the night -- though of course, I feel he should have gotten an award a long long time ago!  I grew up watching Uncle Lau Kong on TV (I’ve probably seen almost all of the 100+ series he’s done over the past few decades) and to this day, he’s still one of the few artists whose acting I’m never able to find fault with….he always comes across to me as very natural in each of the roles he plays, which is rare nowadays with the current generation of actors.

Uncle Lau Kong actually gave the best acceptance speech of the night – I was close to tears when he talked about how he hopes the company cherishes the elderly/senior actors/actresses they have (such as himself, Helena Law, Teresa Ha, etc.) and also try as much as possible to accommodate their hours while incorporating adequate rest.  Well-said, Uncle Lau Kong!  I truly hope that TVB listens to these veterans and cherish them more! 

Best Host of a Variety Program:  Tony Hung and Priscilla Wong (Pilgrimage of Wealth)
(Award presented by Luisa Maria Leitao)

.—Hmmm…ok, I will admit that this was one of the few categories that I felt was actually ‘rigged’ in that the winners also happened to be TVB exec Sandy Yu’s ‘favorites’.  I actually felt that Dodo and Amigo deserved this award more for Voice of Stars (especially since their hosting job was more ‘difficult’ due to a few of the episodes being live broadcasts).  I’m not sure what the criteria was for this category, but I sure hope that there was a legitimate reason why Priscilla and Tony won when they weren’t necessarily the ‘best’ in my opinion. 

Best Variety Program:  Three Amigos Bon Voyage
(Award presented by Lawrence Cheng and Cheung Tat Ming)

.—First, a word about the presenters:  Lawrence and Tat Ming were absolutely my favorite presenters of the night!!  Their presentation dialogue was truly funny without being rude or crass and it came off so natural – not ‘rehearsed’ like with other presenters.  I actually wish they could talk more because I would much rather hear them speak than some of the others (plus I really miss seeing both of them onscreen, especially Tat Ming due to his illness).  Ah well….I’m sure there will be more opportunities to see them in the future.

.—As for the winner in this category – I will admit that I was shocked because I honestly felt that Voice of the Stars had this award in the bag already.  From a popularity and ratings as well as overall impact on audiences standpoint, Voice of Stars was definitely number one amongst all the shows nominated in this category, so I was very very surprised that the show got zero recognition at the awards.  Don’t get me wrong – I have nothing against Three Amigos Bon Voyage….in fact, I enjoyed that show as well (and I love ‘godfather’ Wu Fung…LOL) – but it just doesn’t make any sense to me how that show was able to beat out VOS for the award.

.—In any case, I’m still happy for the cast and crew of the show.  The highlight for me was when Wu Fung went up to accept the award along with Joe Junior and Tat Ming rushed over yelling out:  “I want to give the award to Daddy, I want to give the award to Daddy!” (Wu Fung played Tat Ming’s dad in both installments of the Justice Sung series).  Aww, that was a sweet moment – it was definitely heartwarming to see that ‘reunion’ of sorts between Tat Ming and Wu Fung!

Best Informational Program:  Pilgrimage of Wealth
(Award presented by Lawrence Cheng and Cheung Tat Ming)

.—Not much comment from me in this category, since I don’t have much opinion about the programs nominated.  I watched most of nominated shows, but I’ve never been very keen on informational programs, so for me, this is one of the categories I care the least about.  Overall, I sort of expected Pilgrimage of Wealth to win in this category because its ‘sister’ production Pilgrimage of Hope won in this category last year. 

Best Series:  Triumph in the Skies II
(Award presented by Patrick Kong)

.—Of course, I’m not surprised at all that TITS2 got Best Series – this was actually expected given the series’ popularity and high ratings.  Though I don’t necessarily agree with Triumph being the best series (I personally would have chosen Inbound Troubles instead), I don’t have a problem with the win since most of the series this year were mediocre anyway and I don’t feel strongly about any of the series.

.—One thing that I was a bit surprised about was that they didn’t do a ‘Top 5’ or ‘Top 3’ in this category like they did in previous years – instead, they played a minute and a half clip containing scenes from all 22 series aired this year and then announced who the winner was.  It would have been interesting to see which series made it into the finals…

.—Of course, the highlight here is that Sam Gor himself (Francis Ng) showed up out of the blue at this exact moment and went on stage to stand with the cast and crew accepting the award!  I’m sure everyone was shocked to see Francis (especially since he rarely attends these types of functions and he had already said beforehand that he most likely won’t be able to make it because of work).  I personally was happy to see him and I’m sure everyone else was too!  Bummer that Francis didn’t get a chance to say anything though – I’m sure they would have let him speak if there was enough time….after all, Francis WAS the ‘spirit’ of the series and the main reason why the series came about.

Best Actress (TV Queen):  Kristal Tin (Brother’s Keeper)
(Award presented by Anthony Wong)

.—Top 5 in this category:  Fala Chen (Triumph in the Skies II), Kristal Tin (Brother’s Keeper), Linda Chung (Brother’s Keeper), Tavia Yeung (The Hippocratic Crush II), Kate Tsui (Bounty Lady)

.—My reaction upon hearing the winner in this category was probably the same reaction that many others had:  shocked, but in a good way.  Most of us were expecting that TVB was going to play their ‘politics’ again this year as they did in previous years and give the TV Queen award to one of their favorites.  Indeed, leading up to the awards, it was difficult to tell which way TVB would go, but most of the Media hype was about Linda being the ‘hot favorite’ for the award (much to my chagrin).  Kristal was very much a ‘dark horse’ in the race and even though she was the most deserving of TV Queen in most people’s eyes because of her standout performance in Brother’s Keeper, none of us were expecting TVB to actually award talent.  Since I’m the type who has to give credit where credit is due, I have to say this:  Good job, TVB!  Finally they did something right and chose the most deserving actress out of the 5 to award!

.—It was definitely an emotional moment seeing Kristal crying throughout her entire acceptance speech.  I’m not a fan of hers by any means, but I like her well enough as an actress (she’s definitely got acting talent) and also as a person.  For someone like me who had lost all confidence in TVB already, it was satisfying to see Kristal up there finally getting the recognition she deserved!  I actually really liked Kristal’s speech, as it was very heartfelt and really showed what her path was like getting to where she is today.  I’m extremely happy for her!!

.—In terms of presenter…um, the first thought that came into my mind was:  what the heck is wrong with Anthony?  The presentation speech he gave didn’t make a whole lot of sense and I actually thought it was a bit crude, especially the last part when he makes a comment about each of the actresses.  He started off ok with the joke about feeling like an elderly patient being escorted in by a nurse and even the part about college level versus elementary level competing seemed fine….the last part of his speech fell apart big time though….

.—Biggest highlight for me:  prior to the TV Queen segment, the hosts Dodo and Amigo did a quick ‘interaction’ thing with the nominees where they gave the TV King and Queen nominees a tablet-like thing and asked them to choose who they felt would be TV Queen out of the 5 nominees (they put the pictures of the 5 nominees on the screen and when each artist ‘voted’, their names were listed under the picture of the person they voted for).  Of course, all eyes were on Francis, since he was the ‘biggest name’ there – he was the last one to submit his vote, which Dodo jokingly gave him a hard time about…Dodo asked him who he was trying to vote for and why it was taking so long -- in a hilarious ‘Kodak moment’, Francis squinted at the screen and said “I’m trying to vote for Sze Kei Jeh!” (veteran actress Louise Lee).  Everyone burst out laughing….apparently, Francis had mistook Kristal for Louise!  Hahaha….silly Sam Gor!  (the sheepish look that Francis had on his face after he realized his mistake was PRICELESS!!).

Best Actor (TV King):  Dayo Wong (Bounty Lady)
(Award presented by Fennie Yuen, Loletta Lee, and Gloria Yip)

.—Top 5 in this category:  Dayo Wong (Bounty Lady), Francis Ng (Triumph in the Skies II), Julian Cheung (Triumph in the Skies II), Ruco Chan (Brother’s Keeper), Kenneth Ma (The Hippocratic Crush II)

.— I was just as shocked as everyone else was when Dayo’s name was announced.  No, I wasn’t ‘shocked’ because I felt he didn’t deserve it – in fact, my sentiment all along is that the 2 most deserving actors for TV King this year are Francis and Dayo.  The ‘shock’ was because 1) Dayo didn’t attend the awards and according to TVB’s unwritten ‘no attendance = no award’ policy, that would have automatically eliminated him from the race, and 2) Dayo was the ‘black horse’ going into the race in that there was zero Media hype for him – he might have been deserving, but NO ONE was expecting TVB to actually recognize talent and give him the award.

.—I’m absolutely fine with Dayo winning the award, since he is a brilliant actor and absolutely deserves it…though of course, I would have also been fine if Francis had won because he’s also a brilliant actor and just as deserving.   I know that there has been a lot of ‘talk’ out there after the awards about Dayo winning the award versus Francis, but in all honesty, all that talk is kind of pointless because both actors have different acting styles and focus on different genres (Dayo’s focus is more comedic while Francis is more dramatic).  Both deserve the award and it shouldn’t make a difference who ended up winning as long as it was one of the two (plus the two of them are good friends anyway and both of them don’t care about awards, so whether they receive one or not is no big deal….I hate how the fans on both sides are making such a big deal about the whole thing!)

.—Since Dayo was in Shanghai for work, Dodo accepted the award on Dayo’s behalf…however, she didn’t just leave it at that – instead, she took out her personal cellphone and attempted to call Dayo on live TV to notify him of the win (haha…so it looks like Dodo still has Dayo’s number from when they collaborated on War of the Genders back in 2000).  When Dayo picked up the phone and heard who was on the other line, he sounded very surprised and said:  “Dodo, you haven’t called me in 1-2 years!”  When Dodo told Dayo that he had won TV King, he was obviously stunned because he asked her “Huh? Best Actor?  What award is that? Is that TV King?” (I could swear that I heard Dayo ask something about TV Queen too, but it was too noisy so I couldn’t hear really well)….after he figured out which award he won, he asked Dodo who had chosen him and how the award was determined, to which Dodo replied explaining the 50% audience + 50% professional judging panel criteria.  Dayo’s response was:  “Wow, that award is truly very professional then!”  There was some more brief chatting and it ended with Dodo telling Dayo that she was going to have someone personally deliver the award to him once he returned to HK. 

.—The phone conversation between Dodo and Dayo was definitely one of the highlights of the night for me and also one of the funniest moments of the entire night.  Interestingly enough, this was also the segment that got the highest ratings – the overall ratings for the anniversary awards show was average 34 points, peaking at 40 points….the 40 points occurred during the Dodo/Dayo phone segment.

.—Lastly…just like they did previously, there was a quick segment prior to announcing TV King where the hosts again had the artists choose who they felt would be TV King.  Most of the artists chose Francis (of course) while Francis himself chose Dayo (it sounded like he did that as a joke, since he’s good friends with Dayo).  In addition to Francis, 2 other 80s veterans who attended were Lawrence Ng and Kathy Chow (since both had returned to film a series for TVB this past year and both were nominated in the TV King and Queen categories) – I have to say that I was happy to see them attend, though kind of a bummer that they mostly sat there doing nothing….I’m sure they knew they had no chance at the award, but it was nice of them to still come and support the ceremony (I sure hope TVB is grateful and treats them better).  Anyway, Dodo said that she wanted to ask Kathy who she voted for, as she had collaborated with Kathy in the past and was happy to see her in attendance – Kathy said that she voted for Francis because they had collaborated on series in the past.  Upon hearing that, the sentimental side of me came out (being the ‘TVB old-timer’ that I am) and I couldn’t help thinking:  aww, so sweet of Kathy to still remember her collaboration with Francis and ‘vote’ for him….of course, at that moment, the image that came into my mind immediately was the series that Kathy and Francis collaborated on (which just so happens to be one of the same series that Dodo had collaborated with Kathy on back in the day):  The Price of Growing Up from 1987. [Sidenote:  On a related yet separate note:  coincidentally, the other major series that Kathy and Dodo had collaborated on back in the day was The Feud Between Two Brothers from 1986, which also happened to star Lawrence Ng – who, as I mentioned earlier, was also in attendance at the awards.  Seeing Dodo, Francis, Lawrence, and Kathy all there together (along with other old-timers such as Benz Hui, Lau Kong, Ming Sir, Elliot Ngok, Mary Hon, etc.) definitely brought back feelings of nostalgia for me!!]

Favorite Female Character:  Kristal Tin (as ‘Yiu Man Ying’ in Brother’s Keeper)
(Award presented by Dodo Cheng and Amigo Chiu)

.—TVB saved the two ‘Favorite Character’ awards for the end this year – my guess is that they did this to highlight the importance of these 2 awards this year due to the 100% audience voting thing.  Those who’ve followed the anniversary awards the past few years will probably know that these 2 awards have traditionally been viewed as ‘consolation prizes’ for not getting TV King/Queen, so I guess TVB was trying to ‘wash away’ that negative stigma by doing something new with the 2 awards this year.

.—Kristal winning this award was kind of expected in my opinion, since there was a lot of positive feedback for her character after Brother’s Keeper aired.  This is one of those instances where I actually believe TVB did not ‘rig’ the results because if they did, Kristal would not have gotten a double win (for TV Queen and Favorite Character).

.—Of course, Kristal was very emotional again, and rightfully so too, since she wasn’t expecting to win again.  I actually didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to Kristal’s speech this time around since she had already said most of what she wanted to say during the TV Queen acceptance speech – but regardless, still very very happy for her!!

Favorite Male Character:  Julian Cheung (as ‘Jayden Koo’ in Triumph in the Skies II)
(Award presented by Kristal Tin)

.—Of course, no one is surprised by Chilam’s win in this category, as it was expected all along and most of us are fine with the win (I personally don’t have a problem with it, since I do like Chilam and feel that his character in TITS2 was truly deserving of Favorite Character).  The part that surprised me was the ‘controversy’ that erupted after the awards ceremony….

.—By now, I’m sure most people have read the Media reports about how Chilam sounded so ‘ungrateful’ with the acceptance speech he gave and how he was expecting to win TV King but got ‘robbed’ by Dayo (plus Chilam’s actions after the awards ceremony didn’t help things either, since he left without doing the customary TVB Magazine photoshoot and interview). 

Since this topic has been discussed to death already in various forums these past few days, I don’t feel like rehashing everything again here.  The only comment I want to make is this – though I didn’t really have a huge problem with Chilam’s speech (I personally gave him the benefit of the doubt that he was ‘just joking’ like he said he was, though I also feel he’s not good with words so the ‘joke’ didn’t come across the right way in general), I AM a bit disappointed with Chilam’s actions after the ceremony.  Though part of me feels that the Media did blow up the issue more than they really needed to (I don’t really feel it was a big deal honestly), I also feel that Chilam sort of ‘fed’ into that with his speech and his actions afterwards. 

For the record, I don’t blame Chilam for feeling ‘used and abused’ by TVB as well as the Media (after all, he was hyped up as the ‘hot favorite’ for TV King all these months by both) and no doubt, a lot of what he said during his speech about how TVB operates is very true….BUT, the fact of the matter is that it truly was the wrong time and place for such a ‘sarcastic rant’ – to me, this was really the reason why Chilam received so much backlash afterwards and is being labeled as a ‘sore loser’.  To me, it's not really what Chilam said that's the problem, it's the time and place of when he said it…. if he had said what he did at any other time outside of 'that moment', he probably would not have gotten as much backlash. 

Let me just put it this way….

Sure, what Chilam said was the truth, but was it really appropriate to ‘talk crap’ about TVB at their own awards ceremony with all of their employees and execs sitting right there, especially when you were just given an award by them which, even though 100% audience voted, is still a TVB award nonetheless?   And to add insult to injury, majority of the artists sitting there didn’t win ANYTHING and had to sit through the entire ceremony like a prop, just like Chilam did.  Why create such an awkward situation for the hosts and other artists present, especially if TVB was the one who wronged Chilam, not the hosts and others?  Basically, my feeling is this:  whether we agree with it or not, there's a time and place for everything and as much as we may not like it, sometimes we just have to ‘bite the bullet’ and wait to deal with things at a more appropriate time….rather than give a sarcasm-laced speech and provide ‘fodder’ for the Media to make a big story out of it, why not just give a simple, grateful-sounding speech and fulfill the necessary post-award obligations (photoshoot and interview), then show his ‘disappointment’ later by not filming for TVB again or refusing to attend their events?  To me, that would have been a more appropriate way to deal with the situation (again, my opinion only…).


.—My overall sentiments towards this year’s awards ceremony:  shocked but satisfied.  Obviously, some of the winners in a few categories may not have been ‘my choice’ necessarily, but since majority of the winners were well-deserving of the wins, I’m fine with the results overall.

.—The results this year does restore a little bit of the confidence that I had lost in TVB over the past decade or so, though I will also have to see what happens in the coming year to determine whether TVB is truly sincere about making changes or it’s just a temporary thing.

.—One last comment overall – I had made this comment last year and will make it again:  I was disappointed once again with the lack of ‘meaningful’ presenters at this year’s award ceremony.  Every year, the presenters and their speeches are 2 things I look forward to each awards show, but so far, I’ve been disappointed for 2 years straight.  Better luck next year hopefully….

1 comment:

  1. Totally agree, Chilam's speech really showed his disappointment and made him look like sore loser. He should've been gratefull because alot of other people went and didn't receive anything! Francis Ng didn't even want to attend and the reason he did was because his son wanted to see him on tv, that's it. He certainly said the wrong thing at the wrong time. The whole biological son thing also didn't apply because Dayo isn't a biological son as well. Overall his speech was just bad.

    I guess the competition TVB got from CTI really woke them up. No doubt with so many supporting actors leaving them, their "oustanding achievement" award was to convince those old green leaves to stay.
    I'm glad TVB redeemed themselves and no doubt they didn't rig it this time. If they did rig it, Kristal wouldn't have won two awards or won at all, Benz wouldn't have won, and neither would Dayo with their "no show=no award" deal. Not to mention Dayo isn't a biological son so his chance was even slimmer.