Asian Entertainment Experience introduces its first special feature, A.E. Insights! A question or topic relating to Asian entertainment will be proposed, and the two web mistresses (Niki and I), will give our own take on it and discuss the subject with each other. Since C-Pop and TVB are the two things we are both familiar with, this feature will have a heavy focus on HK entertainment. There will be occasional K-Pop discussion as well. This will hopefully open up our readers to interact with us by voicing their opinion on the proposed matter too.
TOPIC: Report card for TVB in the year of 2011. How did they do?
Niki: First off, going into 2011, what were the most anticipated series of the general public?
Iris: "Forensic Heroes III", "My Sister of Eternal Flower" and "When Heaven Burns". FH3 since it was a sequel to such a beloved series, Eternal Flower for Charmaine's mentally challenged role, and WHB for its unconventional theme. They were all met with different response though.
Niki: Forensic Heroes fared very well with viewership. Personally, I liked the series itself, but didn't view it as the continuation of Forensic Heroes and would've appreciated a different title.
Iris: I agree. I love how the new cast worked together, but the original cast had something special and was so beloved. Ironic how so many people complained about the existence of a third one and said they wouldn't watch it, yet it became the highest rated series of the year. And while I anticipated MSOEF when the sales presentation clip came out, it immediately turned me off when it actually came out. Too silly I guess? The HK audience wasn't as nice and the series was panned.
Niki: I felt the same. I thought MSOEF was cute, but I didnt't think much of the storyline. I also wasn't used to seeing Charmaine in such a role and it wasn't convincing to me. I believe the HK audience felt frustrated by Charmaine's role as well.
Iris: Meanwhile, WHB was just way too different. I appreciate a little uniqueness, but WHB was so unlike any other series it felt like a culture shock to TVB viewers. I watched the first six episodes, and while I applaud Producer Chik's effort, it was just too slow and draggy. I'd like to think I'm pretty open minded, but in the end the problem wasn't the unconventional style, but the snail pace. What a shame, because it was so anticipated for so long.
Niki: WHB for me felt draggy at some parts and picked up in others. Some of the philosophy in it was interesting while the rest I didn't bother to pay attention to. This resulted in me skimming through the series and tuning in at random times. Though, I found the ending pretty interesting as it shows Charmaine changing the past in her own mind and making an alternate ending for her and everyone else.
Niki: So, besides the three above which other dramas did you personally anticipate?
Iris: "The Other Truth"! I was ecstatic to hear Ruco would get to be lead for the first time ever. I love Raymond Wong as well. It had my two favorite actors as leads and I like lawyer dramas. I was also looking forward to "7 Days in Life" for its cast and original storyline.
Niki: My anticipated dramas were rather peculiar as I looked forward to seeing "Super Snoops" and "Curse of the Royal Harem". "Curse" seemed interesting to me because of the cast and mainly Myolie. This was the first that I've seen her in a "bad" role. As for "Super Snoops", the promotion videos were extremely silly and weird, so I was curious as to what the actual series would be like.
Iris: Haha! You're probably in the minority for looking forward to "Super Snoops". For me, it just made me not want to watch it right away. As for "Curse", I just dislike palatial dramas. Hm, what were your favorite series of the year?
Niki: My favorite dramas of the year are "Ghetto Justice", "The Other Truth", and "Forensic Heroes III". In TOT, I really enjoyed Ruco's performance and wish he had more cases like his first one. I also liked Raymond Wong's performance and thought his acting was cute as the rich guy. "Ghetto Justice" was good as well and I really liked Sharon's character as well as Myolie's.
Iris: Those are my three favorites as well! I absolutely loved Ruco and Raymond in TOT. The series itself was average (above average in terms of recent TVB series), but I loved watching the cast, particularly Ruco. "Ghetto Justice" was overall a well written and well acted series that was very enjoyable. FH3 wasn't anything amazing, but was definitely entertaining. I also really enjoyed "7 Days". Steven and Sonija were a drag, but the rest of the characters were so fun and colorful. The comedy was unique and genuinely funny.
Iris: Now here's a question that we can go on and on about: What series were disappointing?
Niki: The disappointing series for me were "River of Wine", "Yes Sir, Sorry, Sir", and "Men with No Shadows". I couldn't even get through half of the first episode of River of Wine. No matter how hard I tried, I was still uninterested. "Yes Sir, Sorry Sir" was boring and nothing special, if not silly. Moses' acting was too exaggerated and became annoying after a while. As for Men With No Shadows, it was just plain weird, I was confused as to what happened when Bobby and Raymond crashed their cars. Apparently, Raymond learned hypnosis in order to trick Bobby into believing he's the Devil, but then they both confronted with the Devil in their coma state. So was there a real devil, or was it just an illusion? If it was an illusion, then why did they have the same illusion? The graphics were also very fake and tacky.
Iris: Ugh, don't get me started on MWNS. Hands down the most disappointing series of the year. Even ratings king Bobby couldn't save this stinker. It started off tacky with the overdone graphics, then became quite enjoyable, then became the most aggravating piece of junk I watched all year. Then again, I only watched a handful of series this year. The "plot twist" is what made it turn from enjoyable to terrible and confused people like poor you. Raymond Lam also went from being one of the top contenders for Best Actor to not getting into the top 5 to not even being nominated for My Favorite Male Character. Talk about a downturn! As for "Yes Sir, Sorry Sir"...I couldn't even get past the first two episodes due to Moses' annoying exaggeration, which was the producer's distorted idea of "comedy".
Iris: Before we keep rambling on and on about the numerous ways TVB has disappointed us (we could go on forever), what series were just simply bad? Besides the above three of course. For me, it was "Links to Temptation". I expected a mystery drama, but at first got lighthearted comedy. I didn't mind at first, but then it reached its "climax". It was all downhill from there. Poor writing, poor plot, poor characters. Every last character was literally stupid. Just talking about it makes me annoyed...
Niki: For me is was Home Troopers, the series was boring and there didn't seem to be much in the storyline. The characters didn't have much depth to them either.
Iris: I actually enjoyed the first few episodes. I thought it was funny and sweet, they showed the collaboration of the family well. It was all downhill after that though. Bernice's character started off so bubbly and cute (much like herself in real life), but the abrupt characterization change ruined it.
Iris: Any series you're in the middle with? I have mixed feelings about "The Rippling Blossom". I loved watching Chilam and Myolie, they were so cute! Damien was hilarious too in the first comedic role I've seen of his. Such an underrated supporting performance. However, I couldn't stand Michael Tse and Tavia. The scenery of Japan was beautiful though.
Niki: I feel the same about "Rippling Blossom" and I was also tired of watching sushi making because of my mom's job. The series I was neutral about was "The Life and Times of a Sentinel". I enjoyed Steven and Selena's performances in "Life and Times", they were cute. I was disturbed by Selena's unnecessary and sudden death at the end. But besides that the series was nothing special to me, though I don't hate it either and it was decent to pass time with.
Iris: Oh gosh, I can't comment on that since I skipped so many series this year. What about overrated and underrated series? "Lives of Omission" wasn't my cup of tea and I only watched a couple of episodes, but I won't say it's a bad series. There was just so much hype though. For underrated, I thought "Wax and Wane" wasn't given a fair chance by viewers. It was labeled as a "Moonlight Resonance" rip off so quickly it ended up becoming the series with the lowest viewership of the year. In my opinion, it was more toned down than MR. There were its draggy or over the top parts, but overall it wasn't that bad. Roger and Kate made it worth watching for me. "7 Days in Life" started off with great ratings but I feel it still wasn't recognized.
Niki: Lives of Omission was decent indeed, but I don't get why they put Fala back into the story line as Michael's look alike girlfriends just to kill her off in the end again. I would have to agree with you on the underrated and overrated series. While "Wax and Wane " for me was another neutral drama, it definitely deserved more attention.
Overall 2011 was a compilation of both pleasant surprises and disappointment, with a few hidden gems as well. With another year gone, let us see what TVB has in for us this year.
Iris: That's a wrap on our first collaboration post! I've always wanted to do something like this, so it's great I finally get to do it with my best friend. We had a hard time starting this off, but it became easier and more fun to do after we settled in. It was a great change to be more interactive and work with another person on a post as opposed to doing a formal write up myself. There will be more of these on different topics. Do share your opinion on the topic and give us feedback on this new feature!
Niki: This post was surely something different for both of us. We've been talking about this for a few days already and finally got to doing it! We want to do this regularly and hope for your support. Since this is our first collaboration post we weren't really sure of how we should do it, therefore it came out as something formal when it's supposed to be more fun and lighthearted. Hopefully next time we'll relax a bit and show you guys more humor. Feel free to comment and join in on our conversations and tell us your opinion of the topic as well!