As the TVB end-of-the-year award and what-not are about to roll around, everyone and their grandmas are busy speculating who will bag the major awards of the year. These awards take into account how popular a drama is more than anything but are a form of encouragement and reassurance, nonetheless. Fervent reports of the likely candidates have trickled out in the recent weeks and have me thinking about actors and actresses/Siu sangs and Fa Dans of TVB. So, here are my two cents on them, not necessarily based solely on this year’s performance, just a general idea of how I feel about them.
Let’s start with the males.
- Raymond Lam – My story with Raymond Lam: I started noticing this fellow through A Step Into The Past, and developed a liking of him because of A Taste of Love and Eternal Happiness (mostly because of the latter). Too bad his others roles were lackluster to me for the longest time until 2010’s The Mysteries of Love. Acting wise, I feel like he has been “stuck” for a while. To be fair, I have never been wowed by his performances and think he is serviceable. However, I did notice his gradual improvement since A Step Into The Past, but somewhere along the way in the past few years, he just stopped. Most of my love for him is residual from his earlier projects and my blind fangirl affection towards Kingsley King (objectively speaking , even as Kinsgley King, the acting was pretentious). I think he needs to try something and break his shell. Well, this is me speaking before I watch the recent High and Low, which may as well be his breakthrough. As for appearance wise, I think he tops the other Siu Sangs.
- Kenneth Ma – On the shallow note, I would rate his looks relatively low among these guys. (Can you blame me, with Raymond Lam and Bosco Wong also on the list?) But he excel where the others couldn’t. I would say he is one of the better (or dare I say best?) actors of all the Siu Sangs. He does sometimes let his acting go wild, but if he chooses to, he can tame that and be very spot on with his performance. What’s great about him is that, I know he is already good, yet I can still see the potential for him to be better. I think he will be REALLY good in a few years, mark my words. Ma is one of those actors I’ve liked for a while but cannot bring myself to love because he just has the tendency to pick the most forgettable roles. That is, of course, until he picks up the wonderful Cheung Yat Kin and seals the deal for me. What more to say? Love him. This guy needs some recognition, asap.
- Ron Ng – He is so rigid! I’ve never liked any of his roles nor do I like his acting. I think he has been typecast…and not in a good character type. Ninety-nine percent of his roles are the rash and biased type (a la the recent Silver Spoon, Sterling Shackles, impression/review will be coming along…soon) and they are So. Irritating. He needs to like, step back and take a deep breath or something. It’s like he has been going in circles for years. Be it confined by the roles or his lack of acting, he hasn’t been progressing. With that said, I have to say I was actually quite impressed with him in L’Escargot, despite the drama making me what to yank out all my hair. Surprisingly, he delivered convincingly for the emotional scenes that I find myself almost rooting for him. I need to see more of THAT Ron Ng where it came from. But please, don’t sing again, not after “Don’t Blame Her/別怪她,” which was very mediocre at best (not sure whether to emphasize “very”…or “mediocre,” maybe both).
- Bosco Wong – He is good balance of appearance and acting for me. I don’t find his acting particularly stellar, but he isn’t bad. I love him best in comedies because I think he is spot on with his comic timing. He is not afraid to distort his face to the most ridiculous expressions for laughs. Plus, Wong is such a big charming goofball in real life, too. This is the case where his charms seep into the characters he portray making his characters easily likable. However, he does need to sharpen up his poignant moments, though. Give him a few more years, perhaps?
- Ruco Chan – Oh, how one role makes all the differences in the world. He’s a curveball. For the longest time he is just there being the side antagonist in every other TVB drama ever. I admit, I didn’t notice him, he was just always there, and playing the same exact type of evil characters, no less. It was always like “Oh, bad guy.” *Move on.* But then he became Keith Lau of The Other Truth. That drama had came out of nowhere totally under my radar. I’ve gone into it not expecting to like the drama or expecting it to leave an impression but was pleasantly surprised. Chan’s completely nailed the righteous yet underhanded lawyer, equal parts compassionate and flawed. For the record, I am extremely Mavis-Keith biased. I mean, Mavis never even had feeling for Wallace, her interactions with him is platonic. It is quite obvious she is swaying toward Keith. *Firmly remain bias* Alas, I digress. Ruco Chan is on my radar now; I am just waiting for him to capture my heart with more roles. That’s the thing with TVB, you have got to go through A LOT of shitty roles/dramas until you find a good one.
- Raymond Wong – He is like the old Kenneth Ma to me. I see he his potential, I want to like him, but his roles aren’t allowing me. I am on the fence about him even though he has pulled me in Bottled Passion, just a bit.
- Kevin Cheng – Err, I don’t have much to say about him. He is a great actor and is decent looking but he has never drawn me in for some reason.
- Moses Chan – I also don’t have much to say about him. But it’s not a Kevin Cheng case here. In fact, I am very much a Moses Chan supporter as the next TVB fan girl. Chan is like comfort food, you don’t gush about him but you can always depend on him. He seems to be really grounded of an actor and person. I appreciate the fact that he takes on a range of roles, challenging himself from the really easily likeable ones to the very hard to relatable and confusing ones.
Now, onwards to the girls.
- Tavia Yeung – hands down my favorite TVB Fa Dan (despite how I feel about her ever growing nose). Abundant of acting chops, this woman. She can really tackle the emotional scenes like no tomorrow. Also, it’s amazing that she is equally compatible with almost every Siu Sang. I really really think she should bag the award this year, her performances have been consistently stellar, even if her characters are shit disappoint.
- Linda Chung – Cute and pretty and inoffensive. I don’t have much a problem with her acting. Chung plays it safe and she doesn’t try too hard or overact. As a result, she comes off very natural and easy on the eyes even if she doesn’t necessarily impress. She works with what she has, which, thank god (some of these actresses should learn that before you challenge something crazy complicated; know where your ability stands). Appearance wise, I think she is my favorite.
- Myolie Wu – To be honest, she is probably the single one Fa Dan I like the most in general. However, did she really deserve that award last year? I personally think that it was too soon for her. Francis Ng’s once expressed (when asked of his opinion on Wu) that he finds her too self-aware. She cares too much about how she comes off on TV. And I completely agree with him (what can I say? The veterans know best!) If one day she can loosen up and stop being limited by her reputation/appearance, she would make a much better actress.
- Kate Tsui – Funny thing between me and her. Objectively, I know she’s not a bad actress and she’s not ugly, but I just for the life of me, cannot bring myself to like her. I find that she is too self aware in the opposite/different way of Myolie Wu (if that makes sense). Like, she would purposely contort her face to make herself look (unnecessary/over the top) bad as if to say, “See? I can act, I am not even trying to look pretty.” I feel like I can just see the gears turning in her head. Or it could be my bias, haha.
- Fala Chen – I am correct, she’s just newly graduated from supporting roles into the Fa Dan level because I don’t really remember her picking any prominent roles before the rather recent Lives of Omission and Queens of Diamonds and Hearts. So, I don’t think I have an extensive enough of an opinion on her. However, I can say that I do like her. I find her charming and bubbly and her acting isn’t bad either.
At the end of the day, these are very much my personal opinion and bias. It’s not like this post will affect how the awards will unfold next month. In fact, I am not sure any of these actors/actresses even have any hope at the awards since we have two big budget dramas airing and going strong right now led by some very experienced acting in the names of Wayne Lai, Damian Lau, Michelle Yim.
P.S. On a side note, these pictures (which will be featured in the TVB 2013 Calendar) are VERY badly taken. Not only are they blandly positioned, but the lighting and Photoshop are horrendous. Especially the picture with all the boys, everyone is almost grotesque. I guess the ability to make a bunch of pretty people look deformed is some sort of art of its own?