Friday, November 24, 2017

TVB 50th Anniversary Gala – My Thoughts

With this year being TVB’s 50th anniversary, I decided to tune in to their Anniversary Gala celebration that took place on November 19th (this past weekend) just to see if they would do anything “special” to celebrate such a significant milestone.  Most people know that I’ve been following TVB since the 80s era and back then (as well as throughout the 90s), the anniversary gala each year was truly a “grand” event that I always looked forward to watching – it was absolutely a glamorous affair where all the stars would come out and give us audiences a truly entertaining and memorable show.  Nowadays, things are obviously different – the anniversary gala has ceased to be a “grand” affair for at least a decade now and every year, it seems like TVB is merely “going through the motions,” haphazardly throwing something together just because they have to (after all, being HK’s main free-to-air TV station, they can’t “not” celebrate their own birthday, as it would make them look really bad).  I’ve continued to watch the anniversary galas the past couple years, even though most of them have been horrible – I do so mostly out of curiosity to see whether, for once, TVB will make a decent gala show…unfortunately, each year, I am hugely disappointed, as the show gets worse and worse each year, to the point that I wonder why I even bother watching.  Though I knew better than to have any type of expectations for a TVB program, I still went into the 50th anniversary gala hoping that perhaps this time, with it being such a special occasion, TVB won’t let me down.  Looks like this was wishful thinking on my part – while the show overall was heaps better than last year’s gala (which I don’t consider a compliment since last year’s gala was the worst one ever, both in terms of ratings and content), overall, it was still disappointing in that the show was pretty much “same old same old” as previous years in terms of being lackluster, boring, and hugely disorganized.   Writing this post up now, several days after the gala aired, I honestly can’t remember much of the event, which is already a sign that the show was not memorable.  This is especially significant given the fact that I am able to vividly remember almost all of the past galas that took place back in the 80s and 90s even though it has been years since I last watched those shows, yet I can barely remember any of the galas from the past 15 years.  It’s pretty sad and I guess in a way, it shows how little I care about TVB nowadays compared to the past. 

The only 2 things I remember from this year’s anniversary gala were also the 2 best segments of the entire show and in the spirit of giving credit where it’s due, I will give TVB a rare pat on the back for both these segments (don’t get used to it though, lol).  The first segment I thought was done well this year was, surprisingly, the anniversary gala skit – this time around, the skit was actually kind of funny (I have no problems admitting that I got a few laughs out of watching certain artists make fools of themselves):  Wayne actually made me laugh when he resurrected his classic imitation of Roman Tam, I chuckled when Raymond Cho imitated Wayne, and yes, FAMA was hilarious with their imitations of Dodo Cheng and Eric Tsang (and watching Eric “beat them up” afterwards was funny too, lol).  Of course, when I compare this year’s skit to the “classic” ones from the older anniversary galas, it absolutely pales in comparisons – but taken by itself, there was obviously some thought and effort put into the skit this year and for that, I will give TVB some brownie points.

For me though, the biggest highlight of the entire show was the “Hidden Heroes” segment where TVB paid tribute to all the “green leaf” (supporting) artists who have worked for them over the years.  This segment was technically in two parts – the first part consisted of Fook Luk Sau (Wong Cho Lam, Louis Yuen, Johnson Lee) dressing up as comic book super heroes (Batman, Wonder Woman, and I can’t remember who the third one was) to battle 3 “enemy villains” played by veteran green leaf artists Law Lok Lam, Jimmy Au, and Lau Kong.  To be honest, the “fake battle” was kind of cheesy and if it weren’t for the 3 veterans, I probably would’ve stopped watching the segment altogether, but I’m glad I stuck with it because part two was truly AWESOME!  After the corny battle scene, FLS announced that there was actually more and when they turned around, all of the “green leaf” artists were standing on stage (the ones who attended the gala of course).  The first row of artists were specially chosen to represent the various types of “supporting” roles that we see often in TVB series and each of them were formally introduced as well as got the chance to say a few words to the audience.  I loved this segment and actually got a little teary-eyed seeing so many wonderful supporting actors / actresses up there finally getting the “5 minutes of fame” they deserve.  For once, TVB actually did the right thing by giving these unsung heroes (the true pillars of all TVB series) the credit they deserve and even though it still wasn’t enough time in my opinion (take parts one and two together and it was only about 15 minutes max), it’s already a huge improvement considering these artists usually get no recognition at all in past galas.  Again, to give credit where it’s due, kudos to TVB for thinking about the “green leaf” artists this time around and for putting together a segment that was truly memorable as well as fitting of a 50th anniversary celebration (enjoy the praise while it lasts TVB because it’s rare for me to give any nowadays….).

Below I’ve included a link to part two of the “green leaf” artists tribute (on Youtube) as well as a brief “write-up” that HK01 did on the segment.  I hope you enjoy the segment as much as I did! 

One last note -- I’ve also done tributes to green leaf artists on my blog in the past and I honestly hope that other bloggers who follow the HK entertainment industry will do the same.  There is never enough recognition or credit given to supporting artists (mainstream media cares mostly about the lead/popular artists and/or artists who are controversial and constantly put themselves in the line of media fire), so whenever I see tributes of this sort to these “unsung heroes,” I have no problem heaping on the praise.  It’s a small token of my appreciation and gratitude for these artists’ unwavering dedication and efforts at making HK entertainment still worth following!

Video source: HK01 article


  1. Hi llwy, how are you? Like you, I am still following TVB now and then for sentimental reason. I do read most of your comments in Jaynestar. Yes, I am a lurker, lol. Too lazy to leave any comment but your comments are always so insightful and informative :)

    I did watch the gala live since it is TVB's 50th birthday. A bit disappointing with the lack of star power. Why can't they invite at least a famous star from each decade to represent their 5 decades? I am sure those ex-TVB superstars will make an appearance for old time sake. Also, why did they invite that Taiwanese & Korean singers who I don't even know to sing songs that I also don't know? I was expecting to listen to classic TVB songs, not songs in another language.

    Similar to you, I also like the Hidden Heroes & skit parts. But the dialogue in the Hidden Heroes can be improved. In fact this year skit is better than some years where they resorted to throwing food, such a wastage & so rowdy & silly.

    A bit off topic as I am not sure if you'll do a feature on Malaysia TVB Star Award 2017. I watched it live until the wee hours in the morning. Normally I won't stay up late for anything TVB nowadays but my 6th sense told me to stay up lol. As a result, I was pleasantly surprised by the results.

    Yes, my childhood crush Michael Miu won the Best Actor award. Frankly speaking his acting skill is not the best but he is charismatic & acted in a lot of TVB classic roles. I've to admit I didn't watch Line Walker 2 because I didn't watch part 1 & I was overseas. From what I read, his performance was just normal. Yet, I was very happy with his win, hearing his maybe once in a lifetime award winning speech & thanking Jamie. He may not deserve the award for a specific role but he does deserve it for all the characters he had portrayed. Mind you, there was no award ceremony during his heyday. Vincent still has plenty of time to shine in the future.

    Also, happy for Jessica to get her award since it has been a long time since I last saw her on stage. Although her role is nothing special, very similar to all the roles she had in TVB before but she does excel in this kind of strong & opinionated woman role since I think she is portraying herself. The best drama is also very deserving. Many people like Ali since she got the Best Actress award in Singapore but I am neutral.

    1. @BOGAEfan: Hi friend! Long time no talk! Hope all is well! :-)

      Thanks for commenting! I totally agree that they could've done something truly special for their 50th anniversary instead of making it pretty much the same old thing as previously. The only "special" thing they did was invite Ray Lui and Simon Yam to come back and "participate" in the gala, but all they did pretty much was say a few words (though Simon did participate in the game show thing but still). Also, the whole controversy with Gallen (how TVB had actually intended to invite him back to attend the gala but then retracted the invite after seeing how much the difference in plane tickets would cost) kind of left a bitter taste in my mouth -- I couldn't help thinking when I saw Ray and Simon whether they were originally invited to attend or were merely "backups" after the Gallen thing backfired (I read the detailed interview Gallen had done with Mingpao and what was described in terms of what his "participation" would be in the gala was almost exactly what Ray and Simon ended up doing).

      Omg, don't even remind me of that theme song segment! I was so pissed at that segment, especially when the host(s) who introduced that segment specifically said that they invited so-and-so to sing "classic TVB theme songs from the past 50 years" but it turned out that was a lie because none of those songs were "classics". My mom was watching the show with me and she kept asking me, um, which series is that song come I've never heard of it before (she has watched every single TVB series from the 1970s until now so if anyone would know, it would be her). It took us awhile to figure out that none of the songs were actually from TVB series (except for the one Pakho Chow sang, which I assume was from Line Walker 2 -- even so, definitely NOT classic!!). Also, when that Korean woman sang, we actually didn't realize it for the longest time that she was singing in Korean because she slurred her words so much -- we heard a couple phrases in English and thought she was singing in English, but then the rest of it didn't sound like English, so we thought maybe she was trying to sing in Cantonese but just had poor pronunciation...turns out she wasn't singing in either language, lol. Anyway, I definitely felt duped and lied to with that segment...."classic TVB theme songs" my arse....

    2. @BOGAEfan (part 2 of my response): No, I don't tend on doing anything about the Malaysia awards because I'm not familiar enough with those awards to be able to write anything remotely intelligent on it, for one, and two, I'm not interested in TVB stuff from other places aside from HK and U.S. (again goes back to the familiarity thing -- I'm not familiar enough with how things work in Singapore and Malaysia to really even care). Most years I don't even bother watching the TVB awards from those 2 countries because the results don't mean a thing to me. With all that said, I did watch some of this year's Singapore and Malaysia awards, but only because I subscribe to TVB's satellite channels and they happened to air the ceremony at the time when we had our TV on (we usually have our TV mostly on as background noise). Even then, I didn't watch the whole show, just bits and pieces of it. For the Malaysia awards, I did watch the part where they announced Most Popular Actor and Actress as well as Favorite Series, but that was about it. I agree with you about Michael's win and while part of me is happy for him, again, I don't care enough about those awards to really feel anything overall about the results other than indifference. Same with Jessica -- my sentiment is that better she won than the other 2, though in my opinion, none of the 3 really deserved it, since none of their performances were that good. I'm more interested in seeing who will win at the TVB Anniversary Awards, as I think that's more of a reflection of TVB's bias, since TVB is the one who determines the winners, not the audiences like in the other 2 award shows.