Friday, 30 December 2016

CeeJay's Pick of the Month (December): 最後也分開 -譚嘉儀

Hello! Hope everyone has been enjoying their last days of 2016! For our last post of the year we are introducing this new song from Kayee Tam from her debut album! 

We actually had difficulty finding a pick of the month because there weren't a lot of new songs this month that caught our eye (or ears ;) ). It wasn't until we saw this a couple days ago that we decided to go with this song. This is our pick of the month because we thought For now, the tune is not super catchy but with more listening, we are sure it will sink in. The song is actually written by Kayee herself and even the lyrics! Usually the artists compose their own music and even Linda Chung has done it but the lyrics are given to a lyricist to write it for them. We thought that this added to the sincerity of this song and overall, we have no major issues with the lyrics. We are however disappointed that this album only contains 5 songs and including this one, we have heard 4 of them. Of course we would rather hear 5 solid songs rather than 10 sloppy ones but it would have been more interesting to see more songs. We are also certain that she has written a bunch more as demos but they probably never got developed with the Voice Ent.

最後也分開 -譚嘉儀

曲:譚嘉儀 譚耀倫


倦 沉默呆望的倦

望 回望簷下許願

曾 曾說過將來
微笑每清早睜雙眼 吻著我臉龐

忘 忘掉這將來
無奈最終消失的記載 成了傷害

唱破了心的歌 都可安撫我麼


想 重踏遊歷之地

誰 從沒法醒來

來懷念誰多真心的 虛假的 都想你記清楚


枯萎的心跳代我 唱了痛心的歌 

沒話說的完場 對我有多好
漸復了的平常 已賦予一種優美預告

After 5 years on the industry, she finally has an album out! We still remember listening to her covers on her own Youtube channel and it's always rewarding to watch an artist grow and gain recognition for what they've been fighting for. We can say for sure with her songwriting talents, she is better than a lot of current more famous singers (not naming). Hopefully she gets to show her singing and songwriting skills more with the release of this album!

This is her album preview, Can You See: 

1. Can You See (電視劇「律政強人」插曲)
2. 扯線木偶
3. 印記
4. 水中月
5. 最後也分開

We wish everyone a Happy New Year!! Hope 2017 brings good health and good fortune! Thank you for supporting us as always. 

- Cee and Jay

Monday, 26 December 2016

Dead Wrong 致命復活 TVB Review

Hello everyone!

After a post on our premiere and theme song thoughts, we thought we should give a final review of the drama as well. 

Plot Overview: Dead Wrong, its Chinese title literally translated as “ a life-threatening revival,” discusses themes such as revenge, reincarnation, and morality. Vincent Wai (Roger Kwok), our central character, was held hostage in a remote Vietnamese island for ten years, but was thankfully rescued. The drama begins by featuring the sequence of events leading up to the kidnapping and the efforts his wife Yuen Kiu (Joey Mung), family friend Lam Ho-Yan (Kenny Wong), and Wai Yat-Lung (Jerry Ku) to rescue him. 
Vincent was on a business trip there along with his assistants Max Hong (Vincent Wong) and Ivy Yip (Toby Chan) as they were ‘company doctors’ from Outstanding Consulting Group mediating a negotiating between a local factory’s management and its workers. As they celebrated their success, the three ‘company doctors’ were kidnapped onto a remote island by a mob that seemed to be headed by some of the workers. 

It ended up being ten years trapped under a cave and sustained on snakes and insects. Still grappling with this experience, Vincent goes onto a course of revenge to seek out who was responsible for the incident. Over the ten years, Vincent not only has to deal with the trauma but also some new brutalities. Once a decently successful and compassionate individual, Vincent must reconcile his dark desire to retaliate with a humble but assertive appearance. 

Vincent enters Outstanding Group again in order to investigate more and revive his passionate as a consultant. In the process, he reunites with old business partner CK Kwan (KK Cheung) and meets some new colleagues, like adversary Emma Kwok (Zoie Tam) and Ivy’s sister Queenie Yip (Rebecca Zhu).  In his investigation, he also meets Lam Ho-Yan’s cousin Tracy Lam (Stephanie Ho), who deems herself an all-encompassing detective. From this, he began to sum up what old and new people in his life knew about this incident. He is mired in the struggle to know all he can about incident and seems to be nowhere near reaching closure.

The puzzle wasn’t as clear cut as he once thought, and many in his life were involved in this tragic incident. This makes his revenge effort more difficult, and his errors more fatal. How will Vincent accomplish his goals? Will he reach the state of reincarnation away from the wraths of his imprisonment? And what will he gain from this effort anyway?

Ah Tao: I’m just going to say right off the bat that this is my most favourite drama of the year. Aside from some plot inconsistencies I will discuss later, the plot was fairly coherent and it made sense why most outcomes happened the way they did. In my part of the review, I’m going to interpret the central theme of one seeking reincarnation and analyze Roger Kwok's character Vincent Wai. *Please note there is ending spoilers in this part of the review, and this is not about the real-life Vincent Wong*

Using the kidnapping as the central motivation, the entire plot of Dead Wrong is a cycle of Vincent’s efforts to seek closure. You could tell it felt impossible for him to forgive those involved, for he believes this act is dead wrong. There were many stages to this conflict, however, which really added to the multiple personality layers in his character. *Skip to the next bolded sentence if you do not want a plot recap*

Vincent goes through nearly four cycles of searching for the truth and seeking closure but then settling the matter due to the revelations it brought. In his first cycle, he was shocked at the fact he is considered legally dead and goes to Vietnam to investigate the incident, but is opposed by the authorities. Their persistent efforts nearly costs Yuen Qiu’s life, so Vincent decides to be content with life as-is and dedicate himself back to his company. On the outside, he is now living a new life.

Yet, as he was suspected of stealing information from an IT system when Outstanding Group was asked to reorganize a hotel, he began to realize how he was prejudiced by his company, family, and by Yuen Qiu. The underground sewer asylum setting appeared as he wished to take justice into his own hands in this second cycle of reincarnation. Vincent realizes CK, his former business partner, staged this crime to plot against him; he then also finds out CK started the work strike in the Vietnamese factory in the first place. He tries to seek closure by delivering retribution to CK and locking him up in the sewer. CK later tells him, however, that he never planned for the kidnapping and Vincent brings himself back to reality by realizing the evil deed he’s done. He goes to Vietnam to do some soul-searching, but is further set back there as he reunites with Yuen Qiu. She tries to die by suicide because of the pain she suffers when seeing him, so he faces an all-time low.

Vincent begins to be content for the second time around as he utilized his talents for business owners in Shum Shui Po. These acts redeem his positive character as he brushed his past aside for his genuine wish for that community to succeed. Vincent also tries to help Max with asserting status in his family business. But then, Vincent is once again mired in a triple whammy; He has to support Yuen Qiu through an unsuccessful pregnancy despite jealousy from Lam Ho-Yan; He also has to combat a leadership struggle in Max’s family company; and He finds out his brother indirectly contributed to his kidnapping. These events trigger Vincent and show he really isn’t settled after all. Vincent finds out more and more that Lam Ho-Yan actively caused many injustices in his life, even feeding Yuen Qiu sleep medication to create a fake suicide attempt. This was because Ho-Yan loved Yuen Qiu and despised him from the very beginning for taking her away. Vincent goes on his third attempt at retribution against Ho-Yan, indirectly sacrificing Emma and Tracy. In our finale episode, Ho-Yan contaminated Vincent’s drinking water so he begins to lose his sanity and even managed to hold Vincent at gunpoint. Yet, Vincent gains an upper hand and imprisons Ho-Yan in the same cave he was kidnapped in! 

Vincent's son drawing with him in the sewer.
By now, the other people in Vincent’s life figured he was in a dangerous mental state, completely filled with hatred. They end up finding Vincent and Ho-Yan on the cave, and Yuen Qiu even offers to kill Ho-Yan to appease Vincent. Instead, Ho-Yan opts to kill himself because ultimately he was simply driven by pure love for her and feels satisfied passing away in her lap. We reach a third round of contentment as Vincent and Yuen Qiu once again lives together and could realize their mutual love comfortably. But then, Yuen Qiu leaves him and reveals the truth she actually triggered the kidnapping by pleading Mou Tsan-nam (Savio Tsang), Yuen Qiu and Ho-Yan’s friend, to intervene in the apparent affair between Vincent and Ivy ten years ago. Now that was a shocker, and it only came within the last hour of the drama!

Vincent seemed to be yet attempting a fourth round at retribution as he expressed his anger in the sewer by marking down illustrations of his thoughts. But what changes this round is that his son with autism comes to intervene along with the rest of his support figures. Vincent’s son draws a picture of him being protected by his father, and expresses his wish to live together happily with his parents. This was the most definitive healing moment in the drama as Vincent was instantaneously reminded of his responsibilities in life. He breaks through the failed cycles to reincarnate this time and displays an ultimate forgiveness as he goes to Vietnam to search for Yuen Qiu. Instead of plotting revenge against her, he embraces her back into his life, and this is where our story ends.

*End of plot recap* I apologize for the long plot recap, but it goes to show the entire theme of the drama about being reborn into a different life. Vincent is in a dissonant state; in each of the three cycles, he wanted to reconcile the injustice he faced with a single, defined cause. He tries to do this nearly four times as his desire for revenge grew strong and stronger. He needed the cause because without it, he would never get past how he was treated unfairly and would remain with the assumption those in his life intend to harm him. As we saw with him rubbing his hand against his thigh and with his pictures in the sewer setting, even after each ‘content’ phase, he was never actually truly content with the fact he was locked up for ten years in the cave. Vincent is physically no longer chained up in a cave, but psychologically he is constrained by his memories of the trauma.

Vincent can’t really be considered an ‘evil’ character, nor is he the typical morally righteous hero. He is in the grey zone of morality because how unstable he really is, yet we know he is not bad by nature. When he is content, he is able to be in sync with reality and focus on goals external to him like with genuinely helping citizens in Shum Shui Po. Yet, when he is reminded how unfair life has been towards him, he is far, far removed from reality and consumed in his retribution. Vincent didn’t live to regulate and cope with his trauma; his trauma controlled his every move as he was basically a ‘soulless’ revenge machine.

Reincarnation for him is being freed of that cycle and being mentally back in reality. Being reborn is to look forward to new potentials, not backward to past events. What did Vincent’s son do for his father in the finale episode? He reminded Vincent he is a man with a soul and with responsibilities external to his mental state; he is a human capable of spreading positivity. He placed Vincent back into reality and made him realize that the lost ten years have been lost, and plotting revenges will not do much to change that. 

Knowing the truth may help Vincent settle down, but that alone won’t bring closure. Offering subjective forgiveness rather than objective justice was the only way to reconcile his pondering the past and hoping for the future. And as the central message of the drama suggests, the only way to truly settle all conflicts and and truly move on into a calm and content state. So in the end, after many 致命 (fatal) errors, Vincent got the chance to mentally 復活 (reincarnate). 

The shocking last scene!
So what does the easter egg scene after the finale credits mean? I see it as a reminder of how we can be so psychologically constrained to see things a particular way as much as it could suggest something about Vincent’s fate. It’s rare for people to achieve Vincent’s extent of rebirth, for we as humans cannot truly get past of some of our own sorrows. So seeing Vincent locked up in that scene I think is kind of just reminding us of that reality.

Overall, for the fact I could write so much on a TVB drama character (like, how?!), I give this drama a 9/10.

Cee: I will be commenting on the performances of the actors and the characters. Overall, I feel as though the majority of the characters revolved around Vincent Wai (Roger Kwok) and some of them didn't have much to do besides that. 

Starting with Vincent Wai played by Roger Kwok, I am going to try my best to sum up the character and put in my thoughts but I do apologize if it gets too long. In the very beginning, Vincent is shown as a successful "company doctor" that worked for a consulting group opened with his partner CK (KK Cheung). He's a very arrogant man to begin with and does not really show any respect during the meetings with his clients. Instead, he plays puzzles and lets his subordinates Max (Vincent Wong) and Ivy (Toby Chan) talk about their strategy. Really in his mind, he already has everything planned out and just feels no need to tell everyone about them until he starts to execute the steps. Because of this, a lot of people view him as a rude, irrational and risky man. This attitude can be blamed for his kidnapping or the sequence of events that preludes the kidnap. I liked the way Roger played this character, he was very charming with his hair gelled up. When he gets home later in the beginning episode he still carries this vibe when he refuses to help his brother. I enjoyed the scene with the family of three in the little toy house. It was one of the warmest moments in the whole drama. 

The beginning of Vietnam mostly showed the scenery advertising their special travel segment there. It wasn't until the actual kidnapping until we got to see our actors again. The physical trauma was definitely shown through the blood and bruises but the mental trauma was delivered well from Roger and Vincent. Although this scene below was replayed many times I thought it captured the sudden feeling of anxiety, confusion, fear, and desperation as the final moments of your life may be just seconds away. For someone that is as successful as Vincent who lives in a beautiful house with a loving family, having a gun to your head would surely scare you. I just thought I would share the third picture from Vincent Wong's Instagram because it showed another side of the actors that you wouldn't see on screen. The smiles looks very surreal when compared to the whole kidnapping scene. It leaves me wondering if the pic was taken before or after the filming because I doubt one could pull out of the scene so fast and be able to smile on camera. 

Retrieved from:

The cave scenes were not long as the drama moved onto Vincent returning to HK at the end of two episodes. Although disturbing, I personally would have liked the cave scenes to be longer because the ten years seemed to pass by too quickly so the effect on the audience wasn't as deep as I had hoped for. Instead, I got the feeling he was there for a year. The scene with Vincent in the hospital reuniting with Kiu was heartbreaking and I could tell from this scene that Kiu loved Vincent unconditionally. More on her on the next little thoughts rant. I do truly admire and applaud Roger for taking the risk of losing weight for this drama. This was extremely professional of him despite his older age and the health concerns that he would face. You could really see his sharp, defined face of mere bones. He really went to the fullest extent for this drama. It was a shame he wasn't recognized at the TVB Awards, however I still regard him as one of the best leading actors still working with TVB these days.

As he returns to HK, his main goal is to reunite with his family and quickly rebuild his relationship with his autistic son. Unfortunately that doesn't work as his son is already besties with Yan(Kenny Wong) and of course for plot purposes Kiu is now married to Ah Yan! On top of that the family even betrayed Vincent and declared him dead to get his life insurance money. This was all too much in my books. I would burst if I was Vincent but I felt that he came back a changed person. He now harbours thoughts within himself and I suspect the old Vincent would break ties with his family openly right away. He does stay with them throughout the drama showing what a family man he was which causes a disconnect as he refused to help his brother in the beginning episode. He also didn't do anything to his brother for stealing the ransom to save him while he locked up CK, Yan and made Max (Vincent Wong) help him with his crazy revenge plots. Also with the revenge and hatred that he harboured, I was hoping he would take some action on Emma (Zoie Tam) for bullying his son and ruining the toy event! It was a shame that we never got to see this.. but she didn't have to do with the kidnapping and that was the sole reason behind all his revenge plots!

We later learn that CK was the first person tied to the kidnapping of Vincent. This was because Vincent said he was going to open up a new consulting group INDEPENDENTLY without his master/si fu CK. I did not like how easily CK forgave Vincent for locking him up wrongly and causing him to have a heart attack. After that, CK just never showed up again because his purpose in the drama was over. They never really said what happened and this felt like a loose end that was hastily dismissed in order for the story to continue on. This made Vincent less pitiful and instead, I felt bad for CK!

I am going to talk about Vincent's story with Ah Yan in the part for himself. I am just going to say that I found it to be petty and I got really annoyed at Ah Yan throughout the entire drama.

I thought that the ending they chose to broadcast (they filmed two) was alright but after all that Kathy had done, was she worth going back to? Would you trust someone who was ok with killing someone over jealousy and misunderstandings? I personally am interested in the alternate ending that may provide a better, more realistic closure for the drama.

So in conclusion, he has two fatal flaws that caused his kidnapping. 1) His arrogant nature that caused CK to feel that he was disrespected so he was sent to Vietnam in order to teach Vincent a lesson. Also because of this, his brother got in bad debt without his help so he set up a plan to have people steal the ransom. 2) His love for Ah Kiu caused him to reject Ivy, leading to many misunderstandings and hurt feelings between him and Kiu. Therefore Kiu went and told her old orphan friend who just killed Ivy so that Kiu would be happier. Of course, this friend was not to be trusted and even kidnapped Vincent. Is Vincent the one we should pity? I think not in some aspects since he brought it on himself. His friends also empathized with his experience which is why they let him off easy as well. Roger's portrayal of Vincent was unforgettable.

Cathy Yuen played by Joey Meng - I have never really liked Joey because I find her boring and her voice doesn't fit her character well either. Unfortunately, this time she didn't impress me either. Maybe it was because of the way her character was written, or maybe because I felt that she wasn't quite obvious in her feelings for Vincent which left me confused. In the beginning, she was already being fishy crying while on the phone with Vincent in Vietnam. At first, I thought Chi Chung the son was hospitalized or something... turns out she was just sad that Ivy threatened to break apart their family.

Throughout the searching for Vincent, Cathy really put in a lot of effort and most of it was just running around Vietnam to show some scenery. I immediately suspected Yan when he told Cathy to leave the island that Vincent was on. What was so captivating about Cathy that Yan felt alright with leaving someone to die in a cave? He said that she was an angel back at the orphanage and basically she was the type of person who wouldn't even hurt a fly! But turns out, she basically ordered the death of Ivy! She also wanted to drug Ah Yan, on top of that she offered to kill Ah Yan too!! The photo below is taken from TVB's main page for Dead Wrong under the character section. Wow it says she is kind. I think by the end of the drama, you know she isn't... not for trying to be Vincent's #1 at least.

I don't think she's as innocent as everyone thinks she is. She was quite warped actually and I think she knows deep down that she doesn't deserve the unconditional love from either Vincent or Ah Yan. I felt like her priorities weren't set straight through the whole drama. So in my opinion, she should've just lived in Vietnam for the rest of her life and not come back to Vincent. Honestly, she was quite a selfish woman and didn't really care for her son... She always left him alone and kinda ignored him. Most of the time, Yan would go with him to therapy and she failed to pick him up countless times. She also left her son to go to Vietnam with Yan that time to look for a place to settle. Then they decided to move after Chi Chung finished his term at school for a better transition but suddenly, she got all scared that Yan would kill Vincent and vice versa so she didn't even care about the son anymore. In the end, she left the son to Vincent and his mom to take care of Chi Chung because she felt bad and blah blah. In the description, it says that she takes family seriously which basically means she takes care of them, understands and empathizes with them. I really don't see this! Then there was the whole drama surrounding her pregnancy. I don't understand why she was with Ah Yan when she still loved Vincent and even had a BABY with AH YAN. Like, don't you think you feel bad for doing that if you don't love Yan and still love Vincent? Then she goes and tells Vincent everything and how she is keeping the baby... huh? This is contradictory and I think this is just to emphasize how she is such a kind soul that won't give up a life. This little thing caused such confusion and misunderstanding with Yan which was quite annoying.

The best moments from Cathy were at the beginning when she suddenly turned into a professional career woman talking to the school principal fighting for Chi Chung to stay in the school. I thought this was an incredibly admirable thing to do and this showed her care for Chi Chung. I also thought the flashbacks to when she first met Vincent in Vietnam were cute. It really showed that she was kind and compassionate to the young girl who was hospitalized and lost contact with her family. Overall I thought Joey's portrayal of the character was adequate but it didn't wow me. I blame most of it on the character who loved Vincent too much and lost her morals for him.

Lam Ho Yan played by Kenny Wong - I am just going to say that Ah Yan made me pissed throughout the whole drama. He was just snooping around everywhere and spied on everyone. For the amount of effort he put into listening to people's conversations and following them around, it made me more upset that he misunderstood everything. For example, he installed a listening device on Kiu's phone and only heard her and Vincent talk about not wanting the baby. BUT of course, he missed the most important part about Kiu having a blood illness. This was all for the plot but really made me cringe. He claimed he loved Ah Kiu but even had the heart to poison her and fake an attempted suicide.In the end when they were in Vietnam and Vincent was going crazy trying to find them, Kiu and Yan didn't even resemble a couple anymore. They were both hiding secrets and both of them had tried to harm each other by drugs as well. In the beginning, I liked their relationship as a brother looking out for his younger sister at the orphanage. There's no question about his infatuation and devotion to Kiu but to what measures to keep her by his side? Is having someone by your side more important? Or wishing her well-being while silently protecting her more important? I think Yan really got blinded by his love for Kiu and it led to numerous fatal or near-fatal events including the death of Emma and Tracy being blind for a while. Kenny's performance here was well done. It was pretty standard and he really got his intentions across through his creepy listening and stalking. However, ONE THING THAT WAS MISSING that I would have wanted to see was how Kenny got through his handicap situation. They said that he did have to overcome this but they never showed it. It was actually something I was anticipating because of his background. As an army person I would think his leg would be incredibly important to him. Instead, they skipped it and focused on his stalking skills.

Max Hong played by Vincent Wong - Vincent has always been a stable actor and we all enjoyed watching him in Over Run Over a lot. Max Hong was a new challenge for Vincent as there were intense kidnapping scenes and from there, Max develops PTSD with a hobby of participating in dangerous activities when he is stressed. There is definitely growth in his character from the obedient subordinate of Vincent Wai's to the CEO of his father's company after a decade. You do see the innocence of a rich boy being kidnapped and the absolute distress that it causes him. We later find out that he could have saved Vincent if he had the courage to run the kidnappers over. Because of this, he feels that he must repay Vincent in anyway he can but unfortunately, nothing ever goes right. I thought in terms of characters, Max was the most innocent one that got tied into Vincent's grudges with CK, Vincent's brother being broke, Kiu's jealousy over Vincent's "affair", and Yan's love for Kiu and hate for Vincent. REALLY, if Max had only known so much was behind this, he could've taken a step back and said, "I should be the victim here... got kidnapped and lived with PTSD for over a decade because of someone else's issues." In terms of the relationship lines with Emma (Zoie Tam) and Tracy (Stephanie Ho), in the beginning I preferred him to be paired with Emma as Tracy was quite rowdy and seems like she would be kept in the friendzone. However as the drama progressed, I really felt that Emma and Max had differing opinions on a lot of things, and most importantly, their morals. Hence, in the end I was happy that Max ended up with Tracy. I can only say that Vincent supported all the characters, especially Roger's Vincent very well and that I am looking forward to see him further refine his acting skills in more dramas this coming year.

As for the three ladies, Rebecca Zhu, Zoie Tam and Stephanie Ho, I thought they all did alright. However Rebecca as Queenie was a bit forced as I thought she and Toby Chan didn't really seem like sisters. Their scene with her sister's pic of her and Vincent was replayed TOO many times. Sometimes, I felt she was quite stiff and with more experience acting, she will improve but for now, it is still raw and amateur. Zoie's character was quite mean especially when she blamed Vincent's autistic son for ruining an event. I just wish they touched on her family a bit more as her background was quite different from how she acted in the workplace. Honestly, I am quite tired of Stephanie Ho playing the small yet loud sidekick. All her roles have been like this with the exception of the cameo Chinese ghost in Blue Veins (because it didn't talk). She does it well I think and it's quite relatable but to build her acting, I would want to see her in other roles. Then again, her focus is singing so acting comes second.

Overall, the most complex character was Vincent Wai and Roger delivered a professional and exciting character. I was most annoyed with Ah Kiu and Ah Yan sparking numerous misunderstandings because of their love for a significant other. The rest of the cast was good although they aren't the big hits at TVB. The drama itself is really one of the best ones this year!


After Ah Tao and Cee’s great review, I will be commenting a bit on the themes and symbols of the story, since opinions on acting and the characters are already covered. Dead Wrong definitely places at the top for dramas I’ve seen this year. The level of meaning it reaches, unlike AFWFW, is incredible and it would take another re-watch to seek for new clues and insights. The characters are very realistic and well-developed and the plot is structurally complex - though sometimes exaggerated for effect.

Dead Wrong poses several important questions regarding the purpose of humanity. The oxymoronic name of 致命復活 already suggests great controversy that will reveal itself throughout the course of the drama. This is seen with the battle of emotions Roger’s character, Vincent, faces, the contradictory ‘right vs. wrong’, and the elusive sense of truth behind the case. Although Vincent’s extraordinary case of survival may seem to be hard to connect with, the audience has lots to gain out of the drama. For example, we find ourselves questioning why is it so hard to find happiness? The mood evident through the duration of the drama is mostly gloomy and characters are rarely joyful (except for Tracy played by Stephanie). This then branches off to several other questions. For example, is happiness found with money? But then we see Max’s family, who although are rich, have trouble keeping their family together. Is happiness found through acquiring power and status? Yet, Emma, who is seeking promotions in her company ends up miserable and friendless, with the way she acts around others. Is happiness returned with revenge? Vincent helps answer this question through his cycles of revenge and forgiveness and finds that while his life attempts to go back to normal for a while, true happiness is not restored because he is unable to let go of the incident that caused havoc in his life. Is happiness found by attempting to be ignorant and neglectful of the past? Cathy attempts to overlook her past mistakes and rebuild a new life with Ah Yan but her memories and guilt are not truly unbound and instead, returns to plague her. The drama never tells exactly how one can fulfill the pursuit of happiness because it is such an impossible question but Roger’s last words said to Cathy encompasses the significance of the whole drama: “People often make mistakes and have regrets in life. But everyday will still pass and the sun will still rise from the east. However, many people do not know how to confront their past pain and injuries. Max chose to give up on himself and avoided his past. My brother tried to conceal the truth. CK attempted to use any way possible to cover up his mistakes. Ah Yan refused to accept his mistakes and wrongdoings and did everything he could to change this reality. But you and I, we tried to control ourselves and contain all our emotions, until the point where we couldn’t anymore and finally erupted.” This demonstrates that an individual’s response to their past wrongdoings determines how he/she will live their lives, whether in fear, hopelessness, or happiness. By embracing one’s past and enduring it together with one’s loved ones, people can eventually exceed any downturns in life.

Furthermore, the usage of the powerful motif, the matches, illustrates the framework of which the story is built upon. From the very beginning, matches are introduced through Vincent (played by Roger), who plays with them during a meeting. His goal is to use three matches to completely re-transform the image, foreshadowing how each individual's inconsequential actions can totally remake the outcome of someone else’s life. This is exactly Vincent’s situation, where tiny mistakes made by Max, Vincent’s brother, Cathy, CK, and Ah Yan, all cumulate to Vincent’s tragic imprisonment in a cave for ten years. Although the pictures made with the matches can be interpreted differently, to me, the first picture Vincent starts out with resembles a fish with its head pointing upwards. However, with the rearrangement of a few matches, Vincent comes up with an entirely opposite picture: a fish with its head pointing down. This implicitly suggests a representation of how Vincent’s life will look like. He begins by having a successful, progressive career with a positive outlook on life and perhaps he is also becoming more arrogant, hinted through the fish looking high above everything else. Then, in a matter of seconds, Vincent gets kidnapped and his world turns upside down. This is when he loses everything and his life plummets down to its lowest point, just like the resulting depiction of a sinking fish. A single match, as insignificant as it appears, has the ability to create a massive fire of chaos, allowing things to spin out of control.

The starting picture made by matches.

 The resulting image after switching three matches!

Along with the first interpretation, the matches are also symbolic of hope. First and foremost the matches show Vincent’s hope of reconciliation with his son, Chi Chung,  through playing puzzles made by matches is the only way to effectively communicate to each other. Thus, matches illustrate Vincent’s overall desire to rebuild a loving family, after losing ten years. Yet, if we dig deeper, there’s more to these ‘fire-makers’. Visualizing the act of striking a match brings forward the connection to Vincent’s repeated action of rubbing his chains against rocks, in hopes of freeing himself if these chains eventually break with the abrasion of the metal. Just as how a match can resurrect a dead flame, with each grind of the chains, Vincent is lighting himself a path out of his dark, desolate stage in life.

The matches further lends support to the overall message of the series and comments on human nature. The idea of humans being inherently evil versus humans being kind but capable of evil acts is a key question brought forward throughout the drama. Is Max, Vincent’s brother, Cathy, CK, Ah Yan, and even Vincent himself truly despicable by nature? The drama suggests differently because Cathy and Ah Yan were only acting out of love, while Max only prayed to stay alive, therefore, being the foundation of their mistakes. Each of the characters were not necessarily embodying evilness, but only the natural desire for self-preservation. In the end, these characters, despite having done wrong, are eventually forgiven because others are in a position of understanding that their actions were rooted from such extreme, and at times, innocent circumstances that they are undeserving of jail. The matches come into play at the end again as the drawing of match figures is what reunites Cathy and Vincent as it is how they find each other again in Vietnam. By having the matches represent humans at this scene, this illustrates that humans are the same as matches, which can be both used tools or weapons. The matches have the ability to resurge a fire of anger, hatred, and revenge in Vincent, resulting in further pain for himself and his family and friends, when he chooses to act out of spite. However, the matches are also capable of bringing Cathy and Chi Chung closer together and allows for a welcoming family once again. Humans, like matches, have the capacity to make the world a better place, while at the same time, can cause the destruction of everything through the choices one makes.

Of course, there is still so much to take out from this drama, such as the importance and power love has on an individual, but since this post is getting long, I’ll leave it here for now.

I want to make a comment on the controversial ending scene. In my opinion, I don’t want to think that Vincent never actually got out of the cave and was just dreaming the whole time, since I’m more of a fan for happy endings. My take on the ending is similar to Ah Tao’s, where the refusal to let go and see past the pain and anger one has experienced can lead to an everlasting mental imprisonment of oneself, where there will only be more suffering. The very last picture reminds me of a police station, with the gun and everything and Vincent’s picture is still there, so this suggests that maybe the policemen in Vietnam maybe really had a part to play in this because they did seem very fishy at the beginning but in the end, their suspicions of the police just got shrugged off. Or perhaps it is saying that there is still another ‘big boss’ out there.

The very last scene before the end.

So all in all, I was really impressed with the depth of the drama and the vast coverage of a variety of topics about humanity. The story was developed and the filming in Vietnam was fantastic as well. I was overall impressed with everyone's acting, especially Roger’s, as the roles were delivered well, although some characters itself weren’t the best (Ah Yan, Cathy). It was also nice to see Stephanie Ho, Rebecca Zhu, and Zoie Tam take on larger roles.

I think I give this drama 9/10 because there’s always some plot holes and illogical moments ;)

If you reached this point, thank you for the patience and support of reading the whole post! See you next time. 

- CeeJay and Ah Tao

Screenshots of video playback from 

Thursday, 22 December 2016

TVB Anniversary Awards 2016 - Thoughts and Red Carpet Review!

The time for TVB Anniversary Awards are here!!!! We were very excited for the awards this year as it was quite interesting to see how TVB would decide to distribute its awards, since there was some pretty intense competitions for the bigger awards such as Best Actor. For this "grand" TVB event, we are pleased to have invited our friend and part-time writer, Ah Tao, to contribute some thoughts on the winners as well. Don't miss out our Red Carpet review at the bottom, where we will praise some artists' outfits or criticize them!

Award Winners: 

Best Series: A Fist Within Four Walls

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Cee and Jay: This is an undeniably great series, but perhaps because of the other terrible dramas which made this one shine the most. We loved the action-packed scenes of fighting, the set of the walled city, and the refreshing story-line. That being said, some characters still lacked depth and we found the absence of an overarching moral, which would've helped make a further connection to the audience. For example, was it trying to solely make an approval of violence as an act of self-defense and in turn, convince the audience this is acceptable? Of course, this is still one of our top dramas of the year!

Ah Tao: Of course this drama won best drama because of how overwhelming hyped it was. It was also placed in the ideal summer slot which has generated quite a few popular dramas over the past years. In 2011, we saw Lives of Omission with Michael Tse as laughing gor; 2013 was Triumph in the Skies; Line Walker reaped so many awards in 2014; and of course Nancy Wu and Kristal Tin got rewarded in 2015 for Ghost of Relativity. This drama had a fairly good cast, a refreshing setting in the Kowloon Walled City, a dedicated set constructed for its production, and of course high viewership ratings. TVB placed high hopes and it delivered in being relatively well-received. Even the theme songs got promoted lots with the amount of live performances.

Yet, the storyline was fairly shallow with our goody two shoe male heros, easily defeatable villains, and a rushed ending where everything fell in place cause we had no more time. Other dramas actually excelled more so than FWFW in certain aspects. Two Steps of Heaven and Dead Wrong had more complex storylines; Short End of the Stick had higher average viewership ratings in Hong Kong; Over Run Over has a more refreshing theme; and House of Spirits rescued TVB from the anemic ratings of Fire in Nirvana. This could have easily been an award where TVB could balance the attention given to various well-received dramas of the year. But of course this ceremony was more so a FWFW celebration party. 

Best Actor: Ruco Chan (A Fist Within Four Walls)

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Cee and Jay: We would, first of all, like to congratulate Ruco for this award after so many years of hard work at TVB. We know Ruco is a very capable actor and through his role of  Kuen Lo, he challenged himself by playing a blind person and his role was physically challenging with the fighting. Still, Kuen Lo's character just didn't speak to us, maybe because there were so many other characters which outshone his traits. He was mainly impetuous and a morally-obliged character, but underneath these major characteristics, his character was rather plain. He was dynamic but somehow, his character was the cliché hero. It felt like there was greater development in his role for Captain of Destiny and a more interesting. We do enjoy Ruco's acting, nevertheless and he is definitely deserving of the award. As well, we look forward to seeing him in other roles. Ruco actually had quite a difficult competition this year with great actors such as Roger Kwok, Liu Kai Chi, Alex Fong, etc., but since the audience liked him better, he ended up winning over these phenomenal actors.

Ah Tao: Yay finally for Ruco! I was expecting him to get this award last year, but of course they had to accommodate Anthony Wong since he had way higher status in the HK entertainment industry. Ever since I first saw him leading in the Other Truth, I’ve always liked his performances and he has played many diverse roles from goody two shoes to villains. I wouldn’t say his role as Kuen Lo is his best or most defining performance, but he was very stable and you could tell he strove for a great portrayal with his realistic martial arts moves. He was a righteous and assertive protagonist, but like Cee and Jay said, this role was rather basic. I like Ruco much better in modern dramas and especially in roles in the ‘grey’ zone between the perfectly good and the absolute bad. I liked his roles in Brother’s Keeper and Eye in the Sky, for example, much better than this one. The characters in FWFW all had rather flat development and little complexity, and Kuen Lo is no exception.

Nonetheless, in some years the best actor/actress award is given to artistes because they are at the right status and with enough merit, and not because they had particularly shining performances that year. If they chose the latter route, this could have been given to Roger Kwok for Dead Wrong or Bosco Wong for Two Steps from Heaven. But Ruco’s status has been rising as he has helmed more and more dramas, and this is the perfect year to push him up to a new level due to FWFW’s popular. So he is definitely deserving of the award if you see it as recognizing his years of hard work rather than this one character.

Best Actress: Nancy Wu (A Fist Within Four Walls)

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Cee and Jay: Nancy had a rather easy win as her competitors for Best Actress were just so weak. No one stood a chance against her this year. But if we put her beside some of the better actresses from back then, Nancy is not that great. For example, Sheren Tang also got Best Actress for two consecutive years just like Nancy. But if we compare Sheren with Nancy, Nancy is very weak. Yet, Nancy's facial expression as her name was announced did not show much surprise or shock as it did last year and her speech was very calm - as if she was already expecting the award, just because of how bad TVB dramas have been this year. But we still think that Tiu Lan of A First Within Four Walls was a very interesting character and was a well-deserved win. We can easily see her effort put into this drama as compared to House of Spirits, where she played a very bland character. Nancy was a lead of many dramas this year including Short End of the Stick, House of Spirits, and My Lover From Planet Meow but the role of Tiu Lan finally showed us she was capable of more refined acting and she has improved enormously from last year's role.

Ah Tao: I feel much more comfortable with Nancy winning best actress this year compared to last. She had many more comparable candidates last year, where there were multiple well-noted performances by actresses with high status in TVB. Compared to last year with Liza Wang, Linda Chung, and Kristal Tin having roles people paid attention to, the playing field is really simple this year. You’ve got people with lots of pull like Kristal and Priscilla, but in lacklustre roles and dramas. You’ve also got some wonderful performances that are highly recognized by viewers, but from people like Joey Meng, Maggie Shiu, and to an extent Tracy Chu that clearly do not need this boost in status. TVB already set up Nancy to win this by putting four of her dramas in the same year so viewers were frequently reminded of her acting. I’m not going to lie, Tiu Lan is very forgettable as a character compared to her memorable supporting characters like CoCo in TITS2, Eva in Forensic Heroes 3, and the scheming concubine she played in the Curse of the Royal Harem. But of course like with Ruco, she has enough status to be crowned another year and especially because there’s no viable competition.

Favourite Male Character: Benjamin Yuen (A Fist Within Four Walls)

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Cee and Jay: This was one of the only awards we weren't quite content with. We think that Ben is a comparably weaker actor when placed beside the other nominees of this award. In fact, anyone on the list of top 5 was better. We would have been pleased if Bobby or Vincent got this award because Ben did well in the combat scenes but in terms of character, there was nothing to give the audience except for his dull, expressionless looks. Also, we are feeling quite disappointing about how Roger didn't get recognized for anything. Roger definitely showed professionalism and impeccable acting skills for his role in Dead Wrong. He lost 30 pounds just to play his role and there was great development and transformation of his character which was great to watch. We thought that he should at least get the Favourite Male Character Award if not Best Actor. But unfortunately, since people liked Ben's stripping scenes (LOL) more, others were pushed aside.

Ah Tao: I don’t agree with this result at all. With best actor and actress being awarded both to portrayals in FWFW, TVB should’ve used the favourite character awards to balance the attention to other dramas once again. We’ve seen higher script quality this year compared to many before and distributed to more months of the year as well. This could have been a perfect chance to recognize Louis in Two Steps from Heaven or Vincent in Over Run Over or Roger in Dead Wrong. But...nope. Na-da. TVB is very inclined to make this year a FWFW recognition party and through so made this disappointing decision. Ben is quite wooden in this role as in the past and with FWFW lacking in character complexity, I fail to see how viewers would embrace this character the most. Nor can I see a status argument here to push Ben up a notch because there are many other siu sangs who have actually been the main face of dramas waiting in line. So...HUH?!? Why him? He’s only at the Most Improved award level, and even a bit of a stretch with his current acting range. I’m sorry to be so mean because it’s not that he didn’t try.

On an aside though, TVB seemed to have revived the trend of airing dramas starring an award-winner in the first post-anniversary slot. This happened most often with Best Actress winners including Myolie Wu (2011 with Wish and Switch), Tavia Yeung (2012 with Friendly Fire), and Kristal Tin (2013 with Return of the Silver Tongue). No wonder maybe why Rogue Emperor is airing now starring Ben.

Favourite Female Character: Grace Wong (A Fist Within Four Walls)

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Cee and Jay: We did like Grace's role as Fa Man and this was definitely the best acting we've seen from Grace. Contrary to Nancy, Grace seemed as if she was absolutely thrilled to receive this award. We are also glad that this shows that not only main characters can get these awards. However, we can't help but feel that this is rigged because of how the two couples of AFWFW each got the biggest awards... Otherwise, we don't have much else to say about this award. 

Ah Tao: Ehh...again, what the heck were you thinking TVB. What’s with the overemphasis being given to FWFW at the cost of other dramas? I’m not sure how they intended for this to be anything other than a divisive result. But... why wasn’t Joyce Tang given this for her nearly 20 years of service and for being left in the dust for so many years? Why not Tracy Chu for the popularity of ORO? Among the top 5, even Natalie Tong had a more popular role in the Speed of Life. Like with Ben, neither do I see why this award was given to her by status or by popularity.

I do like Grace and did emphasize with her when she was utterly stunned and said “I thought only main characters could get this award and I’ve never had one,” as she stepped to the podium. She is honestly underrated in her acting and I want to see her as at least a more substantial second lead more often. My criticisms are external to her effort to improve over the years. Of course, I’m happy for Grace as she deserved a boost in morale, but I don’t see why this couldn’t have been accomplished with a best supporting actress or most improved actress award. This overwhelming focus on FWFW shows TVB has reached a new level in being unfair and in creating a scapegoat for that. Sigh.

Best Supporting Actor: Raymond Cho (Short End of the Stick)

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Cee and Jay: Raymond's daring role in Short End of the Stick really paid off and his role was truly unforgettable. Although there were strong contenders for this award, Raymond's Sai Gai easily defeated the others with his comedic acting and his whole performance elevated the show to another level. Well done.

Ah Tao: I didn’t watch SEOTS and don’t have much to say about Raymond’s performance for this particular character, but he definitely deserves this award for his years of hard work and service. Decisions on this award are usually the least controversial out of all the awards given, and they are always given to very capable actors who play supporting characters that shine in their own right. Without this award, past winners like Willie Wai and Evergreen Mak would have still been insignificant kelefes in our eyes. So well deserved for Raymond!

Best Supporting Actress: Katy Kung (Two Steps From Heaven)

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Cee and Jay: Yes, Katy had good crying scenes in Two Steps of Heaven - but this doesn't define what a Best Supporting Actress should look like. The mere capability to excel at crying scenes gives us indication that Katy can act, but does not show us that her role really made the whole drama shine. Katy's connection to the whole of TSFH was very limited, making her a readily disposable character. Instead, Joyce's character in House of Spirits showed us a rich palette of emotions and attributes, creating a round and layered Po Yan. This is what we believe a best supporting actress should be able to do. Without Joyce, House of Spirits just wouldn't be the same. Similarly, Rosina Lam for SEOTS would have been a decent pick for the award. We know that Katy has been with TVB for some time, without recognition, but this does not mean this is how the award winners should get chosen.

Ah Tao: It’s one controversial decision after another. Katy’s crying scenes were awesome, but I agree with Cee and Jay again here that the mere defining crying scenes is not really enough to get this award. It’s not Katy is not a good enough actress, for she had quite a shining role way back in Gloves Come Off. It’s just that the reason is weak, as either Joyce or Grace Wong had stronger performances comprehensively going. Katy’s character was irrelevant to the main rivalry in TSFH other than being passively sacrificed, it would have been nicer if she had a stronger role to work with. That being said, I’m giving her a bit of slack because the rationale for best actress has changed so often in even the past five years. In 2012 and 2013, they were given to some of the most popular character portrayals that year with Nancy Wu in Gloves Come Off and Elena Kong in Triumphs in the Skies II. In 2014, we’ve got TVB randomly trying to please Josie Ho for a character the viewers didn’t really notice. And in 2011 and 2015, we’ve got TVB trying to push people’s statuses up a notch with Sharon Chan and Elaine Yiu receiving awards for characters that weren’t really cream of the crop. So Katy getting this award doesn’t seem to be a clear violation of the norms like with Ben and Grace because there really isn’t much of one.

Most Popular On-Screen Partnership: Vincent Wong, Tracy Chu, (Over Run Over)

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Cee and Jay: We are satisfied about how Over Run Over got some regonition at least, although it feels almost as if TVB made this new award this year just to make sure some actors will be pleased with getting something, like a little runner up award. We realized that TVB didn't give out on-screen couple awards so we guess this is basically the same thing but they're widening the field to any partnerships that were seen in dramas. Vincent and Tracy were very compatible and we loved their development from enemies, partners of their time-travel mission, friends, all the way up to lovers. The ending was both heart crushing and hopeful and they were definitely an entertaining pair to watch on screen. We hope that Vincent will be receiving some bigger awards later on as he has great potential as an actor.

Ah Tao: The one brand new award this time around, both romantic and friendship pairing seem to be eligible for this award. Considering what happened in Malaysia and Singapore this year though, however, I thought this was likely to go to either Vincent-Tracy in Over Run Over or Ruco-Nancy in FWFW. I was hoping for the former since we learned from those two award ceremonies there was a heavy emphasis on FWFW. And indeed we got it! As in our review of ORO, I have lots of positive things to say about the couple as written in the production and Vincent and Tracy’s execution of their roles. They were memorable especially in the ending as we were left hanging as to whether Tracy actually remembered her relationship with Vincent. They shared a mutual secret and risked travelling back in time just to save one another. They had better chemistry together than Ruco and Nancy in all honesty and truly deserved the award. I’m glad TVB didn’t sacrifice the authenticity of the awards here to praise FWFW again.

Most Improved Actor: Jonathan Cheung

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Cee and Jay: Jonathan is most deserving of this award out of the other nominees for the most improved category. His dedication to TVB, like many others, have been gone unnoticed for too long and we are glad that he is finally being celebrated for his effort. We did not even think that he would fit into this category since he's been acting for quite a while now and usually these awards are given to younger newbies. He was fortunate that HOS was a widely popular series this year, where he gained most attention of being one of the brothers of the Po family and the husband to his brassy wife, portrayed by Koni Lui. He has shown great improvement over the years of quietly acting in various kelefe roles. We hope to see him playing more challenging and trickier characters soon!

Ah Tao: On the male side (other than Ben Yuen), TVB has been giving out awards based on recognizing each actor’s years of service. I’m actually surprised they gave this award to Jonathan because they’ve given it in the past to people they actually want to promote to first-line status, like Tony Hung, Louis Cheung, and VIncent Wong. TVB seems rather content with keeping Jonathan as a kelefe and as a prime candidate for best supportive actor maybe like ten years later. He also didn’t shine this much this year as compared to say 2013, where he appeared at the end of the year concurrently in Coffee Cat Mama and Return of the Silver Tongue with memorable roles. I liked what I saw of him in FWFW, so maybe he got his luck from there, but nonetheless he deserves to be recognized for years and years of being unknown. I hope though TVB doesn’t leave him in the dust after this award and actually gives him significant second or third lead roles to promote him. Knowing TVB, that seems kind of impossible - but what’s not possible after he got an award normally reserved for siu sangs?

Most Improved Actress: Ali Lee

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Cee and Jay: We were not at all surprised by this award, considering the weight Ali pulls at TVB. Technically, Ali's improvement this year was quite finite because even though this was the first year she took on the role as a lead, her acting did not necessarily get polished. While she is not cringe-worthy like Sisley and Grace, her character in Law Disorder was lifeless and flat, with no transitions whatsoever. To us, Ali has proven herself a promising actress, but still needs time to mature and build her skills which is why we don't really believe this award belongs to her just yet. We agree that Sisley has improved more but our choice for this award would be Moon Lau, who has indicated that she is a versatile actress, capable of whatever roles you find for her. From the unexciting tomboy in Angel In-the-Making to the scandalous Emma of TSFH, Moon's acting has grown so much in a year and has yet to disappoint us. We are also noticing how artists that are immediately boosted up to being main leads, such as Grace and Sisley, struggle to make themselves a better actor, while those that have been starting off with smaller supporting roles, like Grace and Tracy, tend to become more experienced with their acting.

Ah Tao: A lot of people were rooting for Sisley here because of her drastic improvements in Presumed Accidents (check out our review!) but she didn’t even get nominated. Oops. I would of liked Moon Lau to win this award, but of course we know that a certain executive managing TVB’s non-drama production department had a big say in this. You know who I mean. Of course that executive was the reason that Tony and Priscilla got their most improved awards, and this time she was no exception. This could have been Katy’s award as well even though she’s a bit past this point in her status and the roles she’s received. I didn’t watch any of Ali's performances, but it seems like she did have a decent year in terms of the attention given to her. She does deserve the award, but like with Nancy Wu last year, it might have been better holding this off until next year with how many bigger productions she has been cast in. On the other hand, this was Moon’s year to shine with being in a whopping six dramas and I don’t know if she’ll receive the same momentum again for the next while. 

Best Hosts: Dodo Cheng, FAMA (C君, 陸永權)  (Do Did Eat)

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Cee and Jay: Do Did Eat was an enjoyable and informative show, where we learned tidbits of information regarding different cultures' food and restaurant practices. The information was presented in a fresh way by using guessing game which was played by different guests of the show. The only thing that we didn't like is how the losers of the game didn't get any high-end food to eat, while Do Jeh got to eat every time. Of course, this award isn't for the show itself but for the hosts. Do Jeh and FAMA had great chemistry and we finished each episode doubled over with laughter of their jokes and bickering scenes. It's great to see Do Jeh finding a perfect match for hosting after numerous years in TVB.

Best Variety Show: I Heart HK
Cee and Jay: We didn't see this show and we don't have much comments to provide for it either.

Best Informative Program: Sidewalk Scientist
Cee and Jay: We watched the first season of Sidewalk Scientists and it was an agreeable show, with cool experiments and the opportunity to unravel the truth behind daily-life myths. However, as the show continued on and they switched out some people, we started to get pretty annoyed at the girl hosts as they were always screaming and yelling. Eventually we had enough of their noise and just quit the show.

Best Special Program: Peak to Pit
Cee and Jay: We haven't seen this yet, but Peak to Put is on our 'to-see' list for sure. This was a venturesome show with several artists embarking on a journey to climb the Himalayas (we think). These artists faced countless challenges in their adventure and the filming of the beautiful landscape is very appealing. We bet this was a worthy winner of this special program award.

Best Theme Song: "Never Know You Are the Best" 從未知道你最好 - Ruco Chan, Nancy Wu
(A Fist Within Four Walls)

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Cee and Jay: We're fairly annoyed at how Hubert, depsite singing several theme songs this year, did not even get a nomination in the top 3 and Alfred, who sang a boring song for Wu Xin: The Monster Killer, got to the top three. That is totally unfair! We are totally unsurpriused with this song winning the theme song award, since it was mainly because of the hype of the Ruco-Nancy pair. Other than that, the song is really mediocre and if anyone else sang it, we are pretty sure it wouldn't get nearly as much recognition. We are disgusted at how cheap TVB is becoming by getting their own actors (some who can't even sing) to sing these songs. We've heard Ruco and Nancy sing this live and they were completely off pitch and unpleasant (Ruco is fine but not Nancy). What we are pretty mad about is how they cut out their actual live voices for this performance and dubbed it with the original recorded song to hide the flaws of their singing, which shows they WANT to hide it on purpose because it's horrible singing.

Ah Tao: Uhm. No wonder they got Hubert, Alfred, Stephanie, and Fred to all come up to announce the award. It’s cause they won’t get a share of the pork! On the one hand, this song defied the current norm of The Voice Entertainment domination over TVB theme songs as we finally got our main characters to sing again. On the other hand, just because this was so hyped up by TVB and played so many times in the drama doesn’t mean it’s the best of the year. I don’t see why they couldn’t have given this award to Stephanie for her songs in Dead Wrong or Over Run Over or one of Hubert’s songs because he does sing well. Or even Alfred whose singing I don’t really approve of. TVB missed yet another opportunity to balance out their heavy favouritism towards the the one drama that apparently passed TVB’s books.

Professional Actors Award:

Jerry Ku
Carlo Ng
Chun Wong

Cee and Jay: All of these actors have earned this reward for their long-term devotion to TVB. We are glad that Carlo gets an award since his role in AFWFW was admirable. Similarly, Jerry Ku and Chun Wong never fails to deliver exemplary characters through their supporting positions and their acting is what makes these dramas stand out.

Ah Tao: I’ll keep it short: very well-deserved for these three, who are truly professional and able to do well in nearly every role.

Lifetime Achievement Award: Chow Chung

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Cee and Jay: Another meritorious TVB veteran, who consistently helps every drama become better with his acting. We are inspired by Chow Chung's performances since 1980 and despite his old age, he still continues to give his best in everything he does. Seriously way better than Nat Chan's win last year!

Ah Tao: One sentence: as long as his health permits, I hope to see his absolutely wonderful performance for many, many years to come.

Red Carpet Looks:

To be honest, there weren't that many surprises this year in the fashion department and no horrendous ones that had us taken aback! So most of the looks were just ok. We actually couldn't find the BEST look because everyone looked alright with some weird accessories or hair!

Nice looks:

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We actually liked Elaine's dress being draped from the shoulders because it made her appear taller and also reminded us of a goddess. The only thing that is lacking may be that the colour is a bit drab. Edwin frequently has funny suits with black and white appliques but this time, at least it was a single colour (ish). He looks nice dressed up.We really like Roxanne's look because it makes her look very youthful and pretty. The dress may not be anything new but the simple design does wonders. We are really hoping for some more prominent roles in the near future.  

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Rosina never fails to look elegant on the red carpet and this time included. She has a great figure and this dress really highlights that. Raymond Cho looks very cute with his bow tie.

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The two younger generation actors (not really for Mat) looked nice in their outfits because Mat's suit had a hunter/deep green colour to it that showed maturity. Sisley also looked quite vibrant in her blue gown that's more of an upgraded prom dress in our opinion. Their smiles are very youthful as well.

The Black and White Pairs: 
There are a lot in this category!!
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This is a safe look from both of them. Alice's dress has a wallpaper ish pattern and the cutting is a little funny, we aren't fond of the hem line at the hips because it looks awkward and then the rest of the dress just falls off from there.
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Funny that these two walked out together since there's so much gossip on them. Kenneth looks alright but throughout the night he appeared rather indifferent to everything and just sat down through all the winners, never standing up to congratulate anyone. Natalie's dress is ok but her makeup and hair makes her look haggard. It's hard to tell here but there is actually a top, translucent part to her dress hanging from her neckline to pull up the sleeves and strapless part.

The black and white pair here is FAMA! They have matching suits with floral appliques. They have really been getting a lot of jobs after their shopping show with Do Jeh. They look ok, silly as usual with the two Christmas presents by their side. Do Jeh wears her go-to designer, Dorian Ho once again but we have seen better from her. The three of them were kinda unnecessary during their hosting and we would have liked it if they were outside with Sammy.

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Well after the blue and blue pairing last year, they decided to deck out in black and white. Moses's hair reminds us of Kevin's hair from Blue Veins! Guess he's trying to pull off that trend. The suit is alright but could have been fitted better in our opinion. Kristal's white pantsuit was mature but reminded us of a nightgown.

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Here we have black, white, and a grey just in between! We didn't even see these guys that night and only know the name of the furthest left one, Luk Ho Ming from his cooking show with Maria Cadero. They looked good in the picture and we especially like the silky material on the white suit.

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Selena's dress is not super white but we put her in this category as it does have an ivory base with silver embellishments. It's a nice dress and she wears it well. As for Wayne, we would have liked it if there was just another colour on the inside or something because the black on black looks boring.

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Vincent Wong and Tracy Chu look great and we decided to put them in this category because their looks were more on the safe side. The red accents on Vincent's suit somehow remind us of the Nutcracker. Tracy looks like a bride to be in her Kevolie ball gown. 

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Looks like Chris Lai decided to pull off a white partner in crime on his left arm!! He fits this category just by himself. At first we were thinking, where did his arm go? We don't really like this design and would rather him go with plain black and bring along a white partner instead.

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Zoie Tam and Jason Chan also look good and like Selena's dress, this isn't really white but we do consider it be a safe look from the two of them. The dress does look like prom gown as well and right now we can't really see her necklace and would have liked it if it stood out more to add to the look. 

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Auston looks great with his new hair, very hipster indeed especially with the bow tie. Looks like the only person who wore a tie was Tony Hung and Carlo Ng. Kayee looks ok with her dress but the cutting didn't show off her curves at all and just went straight down her waist. We don't really have a comment on Fred's look but didn't understand why Auston and Kayee went to the awards ceremony and didn't get a chance to present the awards along the big hits. Favouritism? Yes!

Nasty/Weird looks:

Image may contain: 1 person, standingAfter last year's look from Joel Chan, we thought he'd bring in some better fashion this year but it stayed the same. This year, his printed jacket was all too casual and his black makeup fit his character as a vampire if he was nominated for Blue Veins, but overall... it did not look good. Looks like he's sticking with his skirt trend and wow. Those platform rainboot looking shoes.

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This wasn't exactly nasty but we did not like the designs on Ruco's suit jacket and didn't know what they represented. Looks like some illuminati thing with the eyes on the side. We definitely preferred last year's dress from Nancy because this year the plunging neckline just serves to show off her new work out 24/7 body. We also can't see all the glitter and details that we got to see in the close up pics on her instagram.

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We really did not like Vivan Koo's dress. It looked patched together and the fabric also looked very cheap! The three of them have meagre smiles as well, making the look even more sad.

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The guys are fine besides Kwan's floppy hair. But Jeannie Chan looked like a vampire (ish). Her makeup did not bring out her eyes and the hair was sloppy. The top was just a blazer but the bottom was just funny. We would've liked a full length skirt or just a short one, not long socks and a frilly little pile of strings.

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The two of them just looked weird. Even Do Jeh made fun of Louis's look saying that he wore some wallpaper on himself. Even the shoes were in that pattern!! Although Florence looks youthful with her makeup, the pantsuit was boring and just looked like she draped on some silver fabric.

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We did not like Pal's pants that had a Scottish Kilt pattern to it as it didn't match with his suit at all. Joyce's dress was ok but the hair was weird as it made her look like a doll. The choker was also paired wrong here with the lower neckline. Not much comment for Elena, better than last year!

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We thought this was a weird dress because you could see her scary high stilettos and it just wasn't very elegant. Her hair made her look a little see lai -ish and we have seen better from Jacqueline. We prefer her elegant/pretty girl looks rather than this.

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Who is the girl? We only know Aayrn Cheung but don't like his hair. It looks very messy and he has a smaller frame so the oversized jacket looks too heavy. We aren't a fan of the short pants either.

The Others:
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The Dinner at 8 crew here for the best partnership award!! We thought it was cute how KC and Terry held hands while KC was with the girl as well. Chloe Nguyen is nominated for the partnership in AFWFW as well. She looks great here!

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Jonathan Cheung looks good in his tux and again, he chose to wear a bow tie instead of a tie. The look is classy and we are happy for his win! We like the colour of Carat's dress and it was a great choice considering her baby bump.

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We like Mandy's dress in general but the weird blue flower here and there just throws us off. It would've still been ok if they were silver? She looks a little creepy with her colour contacts too. Ben looks very boring in his brown on brown. The turtleneck also makes him ready to hibernate. Grace's dress would have been great if it wasn't SO asymmetrical because now it looks a lot cheaper.

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Tony always looks better dressed up than in dramas. This time was no exception with the navy blue suit. Ali's dress was weird for us though because we disliked the white ruffle cinchey area that. As if that wasn't random enough, the dress turned into some lace shower curtain covering her legs. We never see Ali in many colours besides black and white either so next time, we hope to see some colours on her.

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Ahh the two brides! The stars of Two Steps from Heaven both look ok. Moon looks better in our opinion in a princess gown. The top translucent part of Priscilla's dress is funny looking and even without it, the ruffled chest part is funny as well. It would look better without it! She always has weird ensembles and we are still waiting for a stunning red carpet look from her.

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Carlo's suit jacket is too much in our opinion and to top that off, even his pants had that pattern! If he wore black pants, the look would still be alright. We do like Katy's gold dress with a green hue. It's quite elegant and the high cut shows off her legs well. Overall an award winner worthy dress.

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Rebecca had a great dress that showed off her wonderful figure. The necklace is also just the right amount of bling however, her hair could've been styled better. It looks mop-ish right now. It's a shame Roger looks smaller walking out with her but his white suit and black bow look good.

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The last look we have is from the top big hits of The Voice Ent. Alfred's suit jacket looks too baggy in the front and it appears like he has a belly or something. Stephanie looks more mature in the navy blue dress but her makeup washes out her face. Again with the matching suit and pants! Hubert looks great in suits but not this one!

All the pictures were from TVB's facebook page.

That's a wrap on this year's anniversary thoughts. Thank you so much for tuning in! Until next time!

-CeeJay and Ah Tao