The awards ceremony this year was largely lackluster similar to previous years. One thing I will applaud TVB for though (no, I don’t just criticize TVB – I will give praise where I feel it’s due) is the fact that this time around, they did not let the current political situation in HK influence them – not only did they agree to let Anthony Wong film one of their series (sure, he returned purely because of Amy Wong, but still, TVB had to agree to it), they also did the right thing by giving him the TV King award which he rightfully deserved. Amid all the controversy with Occupy Central and the so-called Mainland China ‘boycott’ against Anthony, good to see that TVB forfeited kissing Mainland China’s butt for once and instead gave Anthony the recognition he deserved.
Ok, now for the criticisms (lol):
- The awards ceremony left a sour taste in my mouth from the getgo with the Lifetime Achievement Award going to Nat Chan. When my family and I were watching the awards presentation and Nat’s name was announced for this award, our jaws literally dropped – the only reaction I could muster was WTF???? Come on TVB, REALLY???? Of all the more deserving veteran artists out there, they choose to give this award to Nat, who, to be honest, didn’t really contribute to TVB as much as the ‘senior’ actors did? I can actually rattle off at least 20 to 30 artists who deserve the award way more than Nat. I mean, ok, fine, many of the ‘senior’ (what we call ‘gam cho’) artists have either retired, left TVB, or even passed away, but still, that shouldn’t stop TVB from giving the award to someone more deserving (unless the artist currently works for a rival TV station, which yes, in that case I definitely understand). How about Kenneth Tsang or Lau Kong (can’t remember if Lau Kong received it before – I don’t think he did)? Or Lau Dan? John Chiang? Chun Wong? Elliot Ngok? The list goes on and on. I would’ve even preferred that they give this award posthumously to an artist who already passed away but had made huge contribution to TVB in terms of acting (i.e. the late So Hang Suen). What a joke! (Sidenote: I thought this was the Lifetime Achievement in ACTING award??? Nat Chan only acted in a few TVB series and mostly early on in his career, like in the 70s – not nearly as many as the veteran artists have. If it was for hosting, um, well, he’s even less qualified, as there are way more ‘senior’ hosts than him who’ve contributed more to TVB than him – like Ivan Ho, Lawrence Cheng, Eric Tsang, etc.). I really want to know what TVB was thinking with this award….
- Most Improved actor/actress – I guess I wasn’t as pissed off with this award category as others were, since I already expected TVB to play favorites and give this award to the least deserving of the nominees. Nowadays, this is pretty much the only category where TVB can blatantly do their favoritism thing without getting as much as backlash from audiences as, say, the TV King and Queen categories, since it’s the one category where it’s obvious the artist who wins is usually the one TVB is trying to promote. Personally, I didn’t think Tony Hung deserved to win, as a few of the others nominated were way better than him (i.e. Mat Yeung), but since his acting truly has improved from his earlier series, I can at least swallow the fact that he won. Grace Chan on the other hand, did NOT deserve the award at all – there has been absolutely no improvement in her acting (in fact, her acting has actually gotten worse), so for TVB to still gave her that award, it’s obviously rigged.
- As has been the case for many years already, the awards show was hugely disjointed and disorganized. What the heck was up with the Best Supporting Actor/Actress segment? One minute the hosts state that the next award to be presented is Best Supporting Actor and then they interview the 5 nominees for the award, but then right after that, they go into announcing the presenters of the Best Supporting Actress award – huh? And I hate how they stopped doing the top 5 nominee thing for all the categories except TV King/Queen and Favorite Character -- putting myself in the artists’ shoes, even if they don’t win the award, I’m sure they would’ve wanted to know if they had at least gotten into top 5 because that’s still recognition to some extent. Oh and on the topic of the awards show being disorganized – why does TVB have to rush things every year? Why can’t they just have one year where they let everyone say what they want to say? Also, those interview snippets they did in between various categories were badly done – they were obviously time-fillers that had no meaningful purpose and instead make things come across awkward every year.
- I was seriously disappointed at the lack of ‘decent’ presenters once again this year. Gone are the days when TVB was able to invite big-name presenters to give out their awards – instead, in recent years, they’ve had to resort to their own artists or those who are affiliated with them in some way either by filming series or a variety program for them. To me, that shows how irrelevant TVB is nowadays, as very few non-TVB artists are willing to give them the time of day (which of course I don’t blame the artists for, since I would do the same thing if I were them). In the past, I would always look forward to the presenters and their speeches, even more than the award winners’ themselves, but this time around, such a huge disappointment. Pretty much the only presenter speech I enjoyed was Benz Hui’s ‘humorous jab at TVB’ speech (love Benz – he’s basically one of the few artists who can say whatever he wants about TVB and still be highly valued by them). And is it just me or did Nancy Wu present twice? I wasn’t really paying a whole lot of attention but for some reason I felt that she had gone up there twice to present…
- The hosting sucked again this year, though part of me feels I should blame TVB rather than the hosts because they’re merely going off a script and since the ceremony itself was so disorganized, they had to do the best with what they had. With that said though, the hosting in general has been largely lackluster for most of TVB’s ‘big event’ shows the past couple years (that includes anniversary gala, anniversary awards, charity shows, etc.). Really makes me miss those good old days (the 80s/90s) when TVB’s shows were truly grand events and the hosting was just as much a ‘highlight’ of the show as the performances themselves!
- Acceptance speeches – again, nothing exciting with the speeches and definitely no ‘moved me to tears’ moments this year. I basically had no feeling towards most of the speeches (probably because I didn’t really give a care about the awards this year, so couldn’t really muster up much emotion / feeling towards anyone winning, whether deserved or not). The only 2 acceptance speeches that caught my attention were Ruco Chan’s (definitely liked his speech) and Anthony Wong’s (his speeches are always exciting to listen to though, whether he’s presenting or accepting awards). In comparisons, last year’s speeches were much more heartfelt and emotional. Oh and I swear, if I hear one more artist ‘thanks Sandy’ (Sandy Yu, TVB’s director of variety programs) in their acceptance speech, I think I’m going to start busting out the curse words! Sure, I understand if those in the variety department thank Sandy (since she does oversee that department) or those who were singlehandedly pushed up by her (i.e. those artists who worked with her at i-Cable and jumped ship with her to TVB), but there were artists in the drama department thanking Sandy when she actually had nothing to do with them or their careers! (this is one reason why I loved Benz’s jab at people’s acceptance speeches in general, lol). I’ve always hated how most TVB award winners are kind of ‘forced’ to thank upper management – some feel it’s a PR move, others feel it’s necessary in order to stay on TVB’s good side….whatever the reason, it comes across as fake to me. I prefer the acceptance speeches where the artists thank who they truly want to thank – i.e. those people who truly helped them in their career – rather than some management person out of fear of what might happen to them or their career if they don’t thank that person. Argh – major pet peeve!
- Classic series category – just wanted to add this part in, as I’ve seen some confusion in the forums about this category so felt I should clarify. The classic series category was actually added due to all the hype surrounding TVB’s midnight timeslot this year. All of those series nominated were ones that had aired in the midnight timeslot series in recent months. When the nominees first came out, I thought it was very interesting that out of all the ‘classic’ series that aired in the midnight timeslot this year, TVB would choose to slide in some of their ‘non-classic’ series such as Lives of Omission and Brother’s Keeper for example – go figure! Though I totally agree with the sentiment that TVB created this category just for the heck of it, I’m glad to see that at least they didn’t screw it up by giving the award to a series that didn’t deserve it. As I said elsewhere in a different forum (prior to the award ceremony), the winner in this category hands-down should be The Greed of Man – this is a ‘no-brainer’ choice and any other series winning in this category would’ve been a travesty. Reason being is that TGOM single-handedly ‘resurrected’ TVB’s midnight time slot and therefore is the main reason why TVB was even able to add this category in the first place! When the series aired in that timeslot back in April/May (I think those are the right months – too lazy to go look it up), it broke all records in terms of ratings (for all series aired in that timeslot) and also brought about a deluge of hype and attention (due to all the nostalgia no doubt) that no one expected and TVB absolutely benefited from. During the months that the series aired, it was the ‘talk of the town’ and literally EVERY SINGLE WEEK there was some tidbit about the series in the newspapers, whether it was interviews with the cast (they managed to find and interview practically every single main cast member), resurrecting cut scenes from the series, rekindling the careers of largely forgotten artists (i.e.: David Siu). Since the beginning, it made the most sense for TGOM to win and definitely glad that it did!
Overall, the awards ceremony was boring and if you didn’t watch, you didn’t miss out. There was actually way more to criticize than what I listed but I figured I would just hit the highlights (well, I guess ‘lowlights’ is more appropriate in this case) in this post. If I think of anything else more pressing (which I doubt, as I don’t intend to waste any more time on such a meaningless award ceremony), I’ll be sure to add. Those who did watch the awards ceremony though, feel free to post your thoughts/comments.