Monday, December 19, 2016

TVB Anniversary Awards 2016 – My Thoughts

Let me just start off by saying that I don’t have too much to say on the award results themselves, since I haven’t watched many TVB series this year and -- as has been the case the past few years -- I also haven’t watched a single TVB series in its entirety (meaning every single minute of every single episode).  With that said, any opinion that I give below regarding the results are based mostly on the episodes/partial episodes that I caught here and there during the times when I happened to be in the same room when a family member was watching the series.  Also, since the TVB awards have grown increasingly meaningless as each year goes by, I’ve become more and more indifferent towards who the winners end up being in most of the categories except for a handful that can pretty much be counted on one hand (i.e. TV King, Best Supporting Actor, Professional Actors Award, Lifetime Achievement Award).  Therefore, don’t expect me to comment on each category or to writeup a detailed recap like I’ve done in the past, as I feel it is a huge waste of time. 

As with past years, I’m more interested in who the presenters for each of the awards ends up being rather than who actually got nominated and/or wins in each category.  Over the years, I’ve found that the choice of presenters as well as the ‘speeches’ they give prior to presenting are often the biggest highlights of the Anniversary award show, sometimes even overshadowing the speeches from the winners themselves.

Ok, so diving right in….

Lifetime Achievement Award:  Chow Chung

This was actually the one award I was most concerned about this year, especially after stupid TVB chose undeserving Nat Chan as the recipient of this award last year (believe me, it was one of those WTF moments of the ceremony that I was pissed off about for months).  This year, they chose to give the award to 81 year old veteran actor Chow Chung, which was a great choice (ok, TVB, you redeemed yourself in this category this year – better not screw it up again next year!!!).  Though Chow Chung may not be the best of actors (to be honest, I’ve never been particularly fond of his acting), there is no doubt about his contributions to the television (and movie) industry throughout his extremely long acting career.   

In terms of presenters for this award, TVB did the right thing by having veterans Kenneth Tsang and Wu Fung do the honors.  Both artists are good friends with Chow Chung and have known each other for many years, plus all 3 were Shaw Brothers actors back in the day and collaborated often during those times, so of course, having them present was appropriate and relevant.  This is one category where I’m happy with the result!

Professional Actors Award:  Jerry Koo Ming Wah, Carlo Ng, Chun Wong

Ever since TVB added this category a few years ago, it’s been one of the few award categories that I pay attention to every year and largely agree with the results.  This year was no exception, though I do feel that only 3 artists receiving the award this year is not enough (I wonder why so few?  The past few years it has always been at least 5 artists receiving this award).  The way I see it, this category was created to recognize those veterans who have contributed greatly to the industry (most of them through stellar acting) but do not have much chance to receive any of the other ‘main’ awards.  I guess we could say that this is TVB’s way of still promoting the people they want to promote (to get the ‘main’ awards) but still throw an olive branch to audiences by still recognizing the veterans who actually deserve those ‘main’ awards way more but will never get the chance to be in the running.  Though I may not necessarily agree with the motive for creating this award, my take is that SOME recognition of veteran actors is better nothing, right?

I don’t have much comment on the recipients of this award other than I was surprised that Jerry Koo was on the list, since it’s not like he hasn’t won any major award with TVB before, plus he has been largely MIA from the small screen the past year or so (I had read that he was actually ill for a long period of time, to the point of having to be hospitalized, so that’s why he hadn’t filmed much for TVB this past year).  Of course, I’m not saying he doesn’t deserve the award because he does, but given that so few artists got the award this year, I was surprised that they gave it to him over others who were equally deserving.  I was definitely ecstatic to see Carlo Ng and Chun Wong receive this award, as it has been long overdue for both of them.  Both are great actors (and in the case of Carlo, he is a great host too) who’ve never gotten recognition from TVB despite their contributions.  In my opinion, Carlo gave the most moving speech of the night with the mention of his wife saying it was a good thing he hasn’t been tremendously popular over the years because that has allowed him to spend a lot of time with his family (indeed, Carlo actually has a reputation for being a family man as well as a good husband and father).  The fact that Carlo prioritizes his family over his work and would rather sacrifice the chance to become popular if it means he can spend quality time with his wife and kids definitely makes him a good man in my book!  Congrats to all the winners in this category!

Best Supporting Actor:  Raymond Cho

For me, this has always been a tough category to choose a winner, as most of the candidates are usually very strong.  This year, TVB decided to go with Top 3 finalists (as opposed to top 2 like they’ve done in the past).  While I agree with Raymond Cho and Hugo Ng making it into final 3, I had no clue what TVB was thinking by putting FAMA’s Luk Wing in the 3rd spot (my immediate reaction when I heard them announce final 3 was – WTH, Luk Wing made it into the last spot?  What happened to the other more deserving nominees such as John Chiang, Power Chan, Carlo Ng, Jimmy Au, etc.?)  Though in the grand scheme of things, it probably didn’t matter much since the ‘race’ was pretty much between Raymond and Hugo anyway (both were hot favorites for this category), but still – would’ve preferred for the ‘race’ to be tighter like in past years. 

In terms of result, I would’ve been happy with either Raymond or Hugo winning, as I like both actors and both were equally deserving of the award (though I kind of felt that Hugo had a slight edge in that he was pretty much the sole highlight of Brother’s Keeper II and made that series even remotely watchable, so in a way, he single-handedly saved that entire series – no small feat given how horrible that series was overall).  But Raymond definitely did stand out this year as opposed to previous years (though he has actually given enough outstanding performances in the past to make him long overdue for this award).  I was happy to see Raymond finally get this award and also enjoyed watching him give his acceptance speech with the signature humor that has always made him endearing to friends and fans (I chuckled when he made sure to thank his father-in-law John Chiang not once but twice, LOL).  Congrats to Raymond but at the same time, kudos to Hugo for putting in such a strong performance!  I’m actually glad he’s back and look forward to seeing more from him in the future!

Most Improved Male Actor:  Jonathan Cheung

I usually don’t care much about this category and to be honest, this year I didn’t really care a whole lot either.  But since Jonathan Cheung was nominated this time around and he’s an artist I started noticing a few years back as an actor with huge potential, I naturally was interested in this category this year.  After Jonathan’s win at the Astro Awards in Malaysia, no doubt that he was a shoo-in to win again at the Anniversary awards too, but I was curious to see whether TVB would pull an upset or not.  Luckily TVB came through as they were supposed to and chose Jonathan as the winner – definitely a wise choice given the rest of the nominees who made it into top 5 were extremely weak (to the point that I’m sure TVB would’ve gotten major backlash if they chose any of the others to win in this category).  Jonathan gave a great acceptance speech (though not as touching as the speech he gave in Malaysia, which had most everyone in tears) – glad he got the chance to thank people that he had forgotten to thank in Malaysia (such as Andy Lau for instance).  Congrats to Jonathan for a well-deserving win!

TV King (aka Best Actor):  Ruco Chan

Ok, I will admit that Ruco’s win in this category was unexpected in my book.  Nothing against Ruco, as he is definitely a solid actor – in fact, he’s one of the few ‘current generation’ actors I actually like due to him having true acting talent.   Ruco’s performance this year was solid as usual, but acting-wise, was not as challenging as past roles he’s had, especially when compared to Roger Kwok, who was outstanding in Dead Wrong.  If it was based on acting, I would’ve definitely chosen Roger over Ruco (and yes there is a little bias at play here due to me being a Roger fan).  I don’t think it would be a far stretch to say that Ruco had an advantage due to the popularity of his character and the series itself, plus the fact that Roger’s series aired so late in the game (the final episode of Dead Wrong aired just 1 day prior to the awards).  Those of us who have been following TVB’s awards for a long time know that when it comes to TV King and Queen, it’s not necessarily about whose acting is truly the best – popularity of a series, ratings, hype, etc. can impact the results and it’s obvious that’s what happened with this category (and with the entire awards ceremony in general, since Ruco’s series A Fist Within Four Walls pretty much swept the awards with 6 wins).  With all that said though, I guess it shouldn’t matter to me, since my first choice for this category (Liu Kai Chi, an actor I adore who did great in his series Law Disorder) didn’t even make it into top 5 (can’t even remember if he was nominated or not, since there was like zero hype for his series).  So I guess you could say at the end of the day, I’m indifferent to Ruco’s win – I’m neither for nor against it, just surprised given TVB’s pattern of rewarding veterans the past few years.

That’s it for me in terms of award results (LOL…obviously I didn’t care about the other categories so didn’t even bother mentioning them).  I do want to say a few things about the presenters this year as well as the awards ceremony itself.

I will admit that the choice of presenters for some of the categories was very surprising (in some cases, pleasantly so).  I was happy to see some familiar faces back again and appreciate that TVB put in the effort to do a “partner” theme this year with the presenters.  Of course, the presenters were relatively lackluster in that they were all mostly current/former TVB people (or non-TVB people currently filming series for TVB) and no big names like they’ve had in the past (though this has actually been the case for like what 4-5 years already?).  The “highlights” of the night in terms of presenters (in my opnion) were definitely:  the Virtues of Harmony cast (Nancy Sit, Louis Yuen, Joyce Chen, Johnny Tang), the Come Home Love cast (led by Lau Dan), Frankie Lam and Jessica Husan, Andrew Lam and Johnson Lee (mostly for Andrew’s irreverent humor, which always manages to crack me up, lol), and of course, the biggest surprise of the night, Sheren Tang returning to present the Best Series award alongside Wayne Lai.  No doubt that the 64 million dollar question that has been abuzz since the awards wrapped is whether Sheren will return to film another series for TVB or not -- my gut instinct is “no” given Sheren has such strict requirements nowadays for filming series and TVB obviously is not high on her list of priorities…however, if Wayne is persuasive enough and TVB is willing to meet her requirements (and if they bring back producers/scriptwriters that Sheren is willing to work with), it still might be a possibility in the near future (though my personal preference is for Sheren not to return if TVB is just going to give her crap series, plus the way they treated her, I wouldn’t even give them the time of day if I were her).

Rundown wise, I honestly didn’t really like the format this year.  The whole Dodo + FAMA gimmick has been used/re-used way too much this year and it’s getting old.  They should’ve gone with either having Dodo host the show by herself as she’s done in the past or perhaps just pair her up with Sammy Leung (who is a good host actually) if they truly wanted to switch things up this year.  The way they did it with Sammy officially hosting and the others kind of doing a ‘side-hosting’ thing was a bit unprofessional in my opinion (plus kind of annoying).  Other than that, the show was similar to previous years in that it was largely disorganized and lackluster.


  1. Hi llwy12,

    Thanks for the review! We agree with you how the side hosting from Dodo and FAMA was very awkward with how they left Sammy to do the whole show and they were just enjoying snacks.

    For the award presenters, we wish it weren't just TVB people and that people weren't just advertising for their own shows upcoming in TVB. But we did enjoy seeing Sheren back. The presenters for the Best Supporting Actress Award, by Moses, Louis, and Kenneth was very unprofessional - although it's understandable that they were put on the spot. Moses didn't even read off the title of the award, he was just like: 'Katy, come get your award."

    Anyways, thanks for your thoughts! Have a Merry Christmas!

  2. @CeeJay: Thanks for commenting! Hope you guys had a great Christmas! :-)

    Yea, the presenting piece definitely did come across like a hard-sell promo piece for TVB series, which was unprofessional in my opinion, but then again, everyone knows that the Anniversary Awards are a 'closed-door game' that only a select group of people get to participate in, so it's not like "professionalism" is very high on the priority list. Whether past or present, TVB has pretty much always existed on hard-sell promotional tactics and with the exodus of so many artists and behind-the-scenes people in recent years, plus their reputation being in the toilet for years already as well as the competition from other TV stations, no surprise that this year, of all years, TVB would push the promotion thing even harder. Of course, it's super-annoying, but absolutely expected from TVB.

    I'll keep these comments short, as I also posted some comments on your awards recap on your blog. Talk to you later!

  3. Our reply failed to publish before so this is a very condensed version, maybe it was too long before. Anyways, thanks again for commenting on our blog and apologies for a late reply as the holidays have been a busy time.

    We actually saw a replay of the Malaysian awards two days ago and it confirmed, or supported our feeling that Nancy is quite arrogant (much like the feeling you are getting from her). The first thing she said when she walked on stage was, "The thing I like to hear the most is Malaysians giving me and applause." Then she waited for them to applaud and she beamed. She didn't say it with tears or humbleness, it was in a boasting manner with a demure smile in our opinion HAHA. That whole speech just irked us right from the start! After her win for a mediocre role in a mediocre drama, her confidence was boosted and she had four dramas as the first female lead this past year. All were performed adequately, but something special, something that touched our hearts? Nope. To be honest, Tiu Lan in AFWFW could have not existed in the drama and it would have been just as exciting a drama and even more condensed! She kinda shared the same background as Grace Wong's Fa Man and all she did was be funny and cause drama as an ex-assassin. The comedy with Ruco was nice, but could have been cut.

    1. Our confusion and unhappiness with My Fav Male Character and Best Supporting Actress has died down over these few weeks haha. We now feel that TVB has discredited themselves even more by giving out the awards to the wrong people. To think that KAty was also nominated for Most improved... how does one become BSA when they have just improved? We thought that BSA was to be won by someone who had a dynamic role that contributed to the plot and executed the role with refined acting that supported the main leads or even stole the show from them! Did we get that? Nope. Vincent Wong was just robbed of My Fav Character in our opinion!

      Thank you for telling us about the Chow Chung interview! We didn't even know that he wasn't able to thank his wife! The speeches are always so rushed with TVB and the winners even say, "Oh no, they're cueing me, gotta go (cuz shampoo commercials are more important than me thanking people who have helped me along the way)". Maybe they should cut the useless ramble of kelefe award presenters looking lost and allow more time for winner speeches!

    2. @CeeJay: Thanks for the response! Sorry that I didn’t get a chance to see the “long” version of your comments – probably Blogger didn’t allow it to be published due to its length. I hate how Blogger places character limitations on comments – I often have to break up my comments into multiple parts just so it can get published. So annoying!

      Unfortunately, the more I see/hear Nancy nowadays, the more I dislike her, as it seems that she is letting fame get to her head. As I said before, she is not a great actress by any means and unlike some of the past TV Queen winners, she essentially won both her trophies “by default” due to lack of competition, so for her to take the attitude she has is very telling of the type of person she is. Sure, I can understand when an artist goes without recognition for so long and then suddenly they are the ones at the top, it’s not unusual for them to go overboard with their reactions – but to me, it takes a greater artist to still remain humble in that type of situation and THOSE are the artists who will truly be able to stand the test of time in terms of their careers. I always like to refer to Wayne Lai as the ultimate example of this – it took TVB more than 20 years to recognize his talent and even with 3 TV King trophies under his belt now, he is still as humble as he was prior to winning. With that said though, seems to me that the arrogance thing is an issue with many of the current / younger generation artists, not just limited to Nancy. The older generation artists seem to be more humble….just my opinion based on what I’ve observed the past decade or so.

      TVB has always performed poorly when it comes to balancing presenter speeches versus winners speeches – and not just at anniversary awards either (all of their award ceremonies across the board have the same issue). There have been times when an artist would step on stage to accept an award and barely open their mouths to start speaking, yet are already getting “cued” to hurry up before they even started their speeches. And yes, it’s pretty obvious that TVB feels allowing more time for commercials (and sadly, censorship of speech in certain cases) is more important than award winners giving their speeches, which is demonstrated time and time again with the horrible editing jobs they usually do with these award shows – this has been a sore spot with them for a long time and unfortunately doesn’t look like it will ever change.

  4. Hi llwy12,

    Long time no see, can you remember me lol? Happy Chinese New Year ! When I was watching the video below, I suddenly thought of you and the good old TVB days. My '3 ge' and 'Jing gege', so nostalgic. Did you know that '3 ge' is cast in the latest remake of The Legend of the Condor Heroes? But I don't think I'll be watching because in my eyes, nothing can beat the 83 version even though it is not faithful to the novel. If I want to re-watch, it'll definitely be the 83 version & nothing else.

    Then I went and watched all the specials produced by CCTV. I realize, I miss all the old TVB wuxia drama songs as well as the dramas very much. I can't read Chinese but I can sing most of those songs. So I want to share them with you, if you've not watched them before.

    I've not been watching TVB much lately so nothing to comment in your blog. I am busy watching this mainland drama with my favorite Wallace Chung, called General & I :)

    1. Hi BOGAEfan! Of course I remember you, lol! Long time no have you been lately? Happy Chinese New Year to you as well! :-)

      Thanks for the links, though I actually already saw that program last weekend when I was at my sister-in-law's parents' house. To be honest, I've never really been fond of those types of Mainland variety programs, even if it IS the special Spring Festival thing that they do every CNY, but of course, I'll take a Michael/Felix reunion any time, haha! I enjoyed that segment they did on the Mainland show, though it was too short of course, lol...

      Yea, I had heard about Michael being part of the cast but to be honest, doesn't matter to me because in my book, all the 80s adaptations that TVB did will always be the best...all these years, no other Jin Yong adaptation (whether from HK, Mainland, or Taiwan) has been able to surpass the 80s versions.

      I miss those "good old TVB days" as well, even more so now with TVB being in such shambles now. I actually have not watched a TVB program in a long time (though my mom still watches so probably will never be able to completely "get away" from TVB, haha) and also don't follow their news as much anymore (unless it's something about a veteran artist, then I might pay attention for a short while). I didn't watch any of last year's series and this year, I don't even know what series are airing because I don't bother to check anymore. I still scan cast lists and such whenever new series are announced (mostly out of curiosity), but majority of the artists at TVB nowadays I don't care for so I don't waste my time finding out more about the series, since I know I'm not going to watch anyway. It's kind of weird, but this is actually the first time in close to 30 years that I've been so completely disinterested in TVB current events...I think my disappointment with them has finally gotten to breaking point, lol. With all that said though, I'm still as keen as ever on nostalgia from the good old days -- nowadays, if I want my "TVB fix", I'll just go pull out an old 80s/90s era series to watch or go flip through my old Hong Kong idol magazines (which primarily featured TVB-related artists and stuff) from those eras.

      I'm also currently doing a "binge" reading/re-reading of all the HK entertainment industry-related books that I bought over the years (some of which I read a long time ago but others I hadn't gotten around to reading at all). Of course I'm enjoying it immensely, since I'm basically swimming in HK entertainment industry / TVB nostalgia, lol! Who needs the current TVB when I can just immerse myself in the old TVB whenever I feel like it? Haha...