Filmart 2016 - A Look at TVB's Upcoming Dramas

Hello!

We are back with our thoughts and opinions on TVB's promotional clips of their dramas at Filmart 2016.

This is just in random order and first up is Brother's Keeper 2:


As we've both seen Brother's Keeper, we already have some expectation for it to be better than the first since a need for a sequel means there's room for development and continuation. We both believe that TVB's sequels have never really been a success. They tend to continue on some dumb love triangle/square (and sometimes even pentagons)... Off the top of our head we can think of The Hippocratic Crush 2, Ghetto Justice 2, Triumph in the Skies 2. They all have some new characters messing up the flow of things which is entirely unnecessary.

Anyways! We really want this to succeed and most of all, we want Grace to succeed since TVB is giving her a lot of opportunities and by her character description of being some open and adventurous girl, we have our doubts. Please do not turn into Wong Tai-Mui #2 from Captain of Destiny! Crossing our fingers Edwin can lead this well alongside Kristal Tin. No doubt Louis Yuen and Jade Leung will deliver their characters well. The filming in Okinawa looks refreshing as well but there seems to be a heavy focus on Grace and Edwin's storyline there. We'll see how it goes though!

Anticipation level: around a 6.5/10

Up next is Law dis Order:


When the both of us first saw this poster, we felt the design didn't work very well. With Liu Kai Chi smirking at the audience but Alex Fong looking bland and away from the audience. The bottom part is hard to see as well. The two male leads are repeated and you can barely make out Alex Fong's face at the bottom. That aside, we're pretty excited to see this drama for Liu Kai Chi, Mandy Wong, Ali Lee and Raymond Cho. We saw Liu Kai Chi in the HKTV drama, The Borderline and found him to be one of the sole reasons we kept watching. The plot was not good and the supporting actors were not good at all. But that's another story, we are just excited for his return to TVB! Last time Mandy Wong's character in The Fixer was just alright for us as there seemed to be nothing for her to do besides being rebellious. This time, we believe she will shine and we are fully anticipating a solid performance from her. For us, Alex Fong has always been rather bland and nothing really comes to mind about him other than being a mediocre veteran actor.

Around the TVB world, the real female lead of this drama has been debated and from the list, Mandy Wong goes before Ali Lee but honestly, this doesn't matter to us as long as they both do well. As we're skipping Fashion War, this is really the only drama we will watch with Ali Lee in it so hopefully she impresses. We hope the cases will be intriguing and require more thinking and logic so we are more involved with it when watching.

Anticipation level: 8/10

The next one is Two Steps from Heaven (but also two steps from hell if you fall backwards in the business world):


The favouritism with TVB is evident here with Sandy pulling the strings and Priscilla having taken up half the poster... We would've liked it if the other female cast was included like Alice Chan or even Gloria Tang.

This is a highly anticipated drama for both of us as Bosco rarely films with TVB these days and he's really one of the best actors of the old Siu Sang bunch with Raymond Lam, Ron Ng, Kenneth Ma, Sammul Chan. Louis Cheung has definitely proved himself in Momentary Lapse of Reason (one of our favourite dramas from 2015). He is very versatile and this role actually reminds us of Marco from Black Heart White Soul back in 2014. We can tell from the clip that he's gonna be great. Edwin Siu on the other hand we consider to be sub-par to the other two in acting. We keep seeing him in revenge plots and looks like this will be the same... After so many revenge archetypes, we want to see more subtle details in his acting. Little gestures and small character notes that make it even more real. Now, we can only see the outer, aggressive layer of his acting and hope for something refreshing from him.

On the female side, Alice Chan is who we're looking out for! She marvelled us in Lord of Shanghai and why is her name not even on the list at the bottom? She really deserves recognition, ahead of Gloria Tang at least! Priscilla has improved tremendously from her quivering voice days in Reality Check and Karma Rider. But will she be able to convince us as a player behind the scenes? She's great for soft dramas like Swipe Tap Love and hopefully she does well in here. No comment on Gloria Tang, hope she's improved by now since The Ultimate Addiction which was horrible!

Anticipation level: 8.5/10

Featured again is Blue Veins:

It's been a while since this was filmed and we've also been anticipating this drama since it's something really different from TVB. It's also filmed in the Netherlands which we hope will turn out beautiful on screen! The poster is not much different from it's feature in the TVB calendar besides the fact that they completely took out Joel Chan... even from the list LOL. Replacing it with 6 Wing of FAMA instead hahaha!!! Oh well!

Kevin, like Bosco doesn't film much with TVB and last time Eye in the Sky wasn't as good as it was hyped up to be so we're hoping this is great. Lots of hoping for TVB this post!! :) Again, he's a great actor but we'll see how this new role plays out for him and Cee is all about the subtle things so she'll be super happy if he nails this role! In Eye of the Sky, he really put effort into his role but it was too forced and seemed awkward whenever he would try to pull off a Sherlock haha.

Neither of us has ever seen Kay Tse act besides like MV's and of course she's got the looks and her frail body frame really suits her role of a vampire. Excited to see her debut! Again with Grace Chan, please bring us something new this time and redeem yourself from COD. As far as we can tell, the production of this drama looks good and we just want to be happy with the actual drama once it comes out!

Anticipation level: 8/10

This next one is coming out in just a week or two, Over Run Over:


First things first, Vincent Wong looks like he was on drugs and because we don't know much about his character yet, we're just going to assume his character is... not a cop. LOL. At first, this was seen as a way of giving Tracy Chu a leading role but now that we know a bit about the plotline, it seems a lot like Edge of Tomorrow with Tom Cruise. We're sure this idea has been revisited a lot of times and if TVB's scriptwriters are gonna take the idea, it better be a good rendition. (Seems like we have high hopes for a lot of these dramas, better lower the standards so we actually get surprised).

Mainly we're interested in seeing a different side of Tracy Chu than just the immature younger sister and also more from Moon Lau who we both like from Raising the Bar and Angel in the Making. Ben Yuen proved to be a versatile actor with his role in Speed of Life! But too bad he's in the same field all the time being a cop. As for Vincent Wong, for some reason he gets injured a lot and he's slapped a lot on sets, but acting wise, he needs more opportunities alongside better veterans than PAL SINN. Is Pal even a veteran? We find Pal to just be a jokester and it's hard to take him seriously and his acting is just mediocre. Vincent and Edwin are kinda the same with being exaggerated. Maybe Pal will surprise us!

And side note.. who is that girl on the side below Rebecca Zhu? Is that even Rebecca since her name is not on the list.

Anticipation level: 7.5/10

The sixth drama on the list is Dead Wrong:


Originally named Fatal Resurrection, this drama is about how people dig their way back up after being in the lowest parts of their life. This drama's subject is something we've never seen before with TVB. Roger Kwok lost weight and everything to film this drama, showing his professionalism. He's a true treasure at TVB and there's no doubt this is going to be a great role for him to shine in.

The female lead Joey Meng is a mediocre actress in our opinion. Of course she's got her own background having a damaged vocal box from her childhood so nowadays, we would say it's limiting to her acting range. We tend to like her in strong roles and not naggy, cute roles like the one in Officer Geomancer. This drama will test her capability with the complicated plot line and partnering with Roger Kwok once again.

Kenny Wong's role really interests us since he's been a bland actor as well. Never seen him in comedies.. and don't think we ever will haha. But back to this role of being a handicapped person is really captivating. We are excited to see him break away from his wooden characters. Vincent Wong recently sustained an injury filming this drama and he's shocked quite a few with his pictures he's posted. Hopefully his condition gets better and he can deliver something great to us in Dead Wrong. This looks like a thriller that will really touch the audience's heart through fear and through the hardships that the characters will go through.

Anticipation level: 8.5/10

Another sequel with Kristal Tin is My Love From the Planet Meow:


The character pictures are still the same and this is very preliminary work as they just started filming again. We don't know much about this drama yet besides it being a spin-off of Ghost of Relativity. So again, we don't want this to flop and we're looking for something light-hearted after so many intense thrillers up above. Last year, this was critically praised as Nancy Wu and Kristal Tin's best roles to date. Of course we did enjoy their comedy and Kristal's first attempt was indeed amazing.

In our opinion, Moses has been rather inconsistent lately. All his roles last year were very mediocre and his delivery did not help at all. He's definitely slowed down since he's got two kids now. It's not like his old days in Heart of Greed when he was still determined and filled with a passion for his roles. We hope he rediscovers his hard-working dedication to acting and acts well along side two recent TV Queens. Looks like Eddie Kwan and Mimi Chu are back in the game providing great comic relief as well! We are ready for a good laugh.

Anticipation level: 7.5/10

A second drama with Nancy Wu is House of Spirits:


When we first heard of this drama last year we wanted some actual horror from TVB but we know they can't broadcast something like that so it's more of a comedy. This is a funny poster especially with Bobby having a chain of garlic around his neck haha. As a comedy, we're looking forward to this and TVB scriptwriters have great jokes! The addition of the three veterans pictured here is great as well. We really believe that they are the reason why TVB is still able to produce some great dramas. They not only mentor the young actors, but also always bring in a fantastic performance. 

Other than that there's not much for us to say about this drama. 

Anticipation level: 7/10

Up next is the new sitcom! Dinner at Eight (Come Home Love 3)...


We are both a little confused at the choice of continuing the Come Home Love name. It really needs to be gone in our opinion because they should start something fresh. Back then when they decided to end the first CHL, they should've stopped it completely so the audience would still have a good memory of CHL. In our thoughts and opinions for CHL 2, we've mentioned that although the storyline has changed... nobody was returning home lol. This time, with a complete change in cast and plot, it should just be Dinner at 8.

Cast wise, this is excellent. Teresa Mo has always been great and it would be awesome if she came back to film an actual drama too. Nonetheless excited for her return. Wayne Lai obviously has the acting chops and won't disappoint in this new role! On the other hand, Power Chan who had previously ended his career at TVB is back as a titular supporting character. We are so glad he's back because he's a great, versatile actor having trained at the HKAPA. Angela Tong is always a great face to see on screen, she's fun and bubbly and great for this new sitcom. Not much to say on Florence Kwok but we're glad Eric Lee is getting bigger roles. He used to always be the evil guy and hopefully he'll get some more recognition with this role. All in all, we are looking forward to their performances... if we do end up picking up the sitcom and putting it back into our drama schedule.

Anticipation level: 7/10

Filmed a while ago is Presumed Accidents:


They've redone the poster from it's feature in the TVB calendar as well with Blue Veins. This drama looks promising to say the very least. It's gonna be something new to see Sisley Choi as a lead and we hope she doesn't disappoint. We've been hearing of her improvement in Fashion War and as we skipped it, we're hoping to see her shine in this one. Selena Li has always been an underused talent in our opinion. Hopefully she'll get to take part in more bigger productions if this role shows that she is capable of leading well. For us, the storyline of insurance and taking care of accidents seems minor, but we know in real life, it can be a big deal. This is drama is really going to test the scriptwriters ability to convey the real emotions behind an accident through dialogue and a good storyline.

On the male side, we have Lawrence Ng as the main lead and Chris Lai as the second lead. We've only seen Lawrence in THC2 and he was alright. Nothing special but fit for the small screen acting wise. We're sure he will have no problem leading this drama. This is Chris Lai's big break after the long running CHL and we're excited to see him in a different role after all these years as Ma Jong. Again, we think he's an underused talent and TVB should give him more opportunities and even promote him to become a future leading actor.

Anticipation level: 7.5/10

The second last one is Ne Zha and Yang Jian:


Very honestly, we've never been a fan of these mainland cooperations and find that they're always missing something. When half the cast is dubbed, it's really hard to concentrate and keep watching the show. It's not quite like a TVB drama which we find comfortable and interesting yet it's not like a true mainland drama. We actually didn't even hear about this drama at all until it was unveiled at the TVB Sales Presentation last year. Not much news was on it for filming or anything.

With Wong Cho Lam as the main lead, we're a little skeptical. He's great for shows and being an emcee but in dramas, we find it hard to connect with his characters. He's very exaggerated a lot of the time and we just hope to see something different from him, granted we don't end up skipping this. With the news of Linda Chung's shotgun marriage and even a pregnancy, people have speculated that she might slow down her work. We hope she delivered well in this drama if she really does end up filming less. She's the last of the original fadans of TVB and hopefully she can leave with a Best Actress award in her hands. In all honesty though, we will probably skip this one just because we don't like dramas that are a mix between TVB and mainland China.

Anticipation level: 6.5/10

Last but not least is A Fist Within Four Walls:


This is one of our most anticipated dramas and we are super excited to see it and hopefully it airs this year! What attracts us about this drama is of course the cast and if you've been reading our posts, you would know that Cee loves pre-modern dramas. The storyline is also going to be an exciting one as it takes place in the walled city infamously known for it's crime and even the cops had no power over what went on in there. With Ruco Chan as the male lead, this drama is in good hands. He gave his best performance to date in Captain of Destiny and we are sure he put in a lot of effort in filming this drama. We hope we gets another shot at Best Actor this year with this role! The newly crowned Best Actress leading by his side only strengthens this drama. Nancy Wu has gotten super fit for this role and worked out a lot to be able to do some of the fight scenes herself. We just find the full leather costume a little misplaced for the pre-modern era. The supporting cast with Benjamin Yuen and Moon Lau is great. We really look forward to seeing Ben playing a well-groomed scholar when one would expect him to be a fighter being a winner of Mr. Hong Kong. We have no comment on Phillip Ng as we've never seen him but hopefully he doesn't disappoint.

All in all, this looks like a great, action-packed drama! If anything goes wrong... which we hope doesn't happen.. it's probably going to be a problem with the storyline. More often than not, that seems to be the problem with TVB these days :( . This does look promising though, but maybe we should keep our standards a bit lower haha.

Anticipation level: 9/10

Anyways, we hope everyone enjoyed this post on our thoughts on the upcoming dramas from TVB! Please share with us which ones you're excited for and which ones you're doubting will even make it to your eyes haha. Thanks for reading as always! Also, our pictures came from Just TVB Artist which can be found here http://mic7879tvb.blogspot.ca/

-CeeJay

Comments

  1. Nice summary! Thanks for taking the time to put this together! :-)

    To be honest, I’m really not ‘looking forward’ to any of these dramas, though if I really had to choose, the only one I have some slight anticipation of watching is Law Disorder – but that’s only because of Uncle Chi (Liu Kai Chi), as he is one of my all-time favorite veteran actors and even back in the 80s at the height of his TVB career, he never disappointed with his performances. I actually don’t like most of the rest of the cast (except Raymond Cho, whom I like and have always enjoyed watching)…and yes, I share the exact same opinion as you in that Alex Fong is a bland, mediocre actor with nothing much memorable to his name other than the fact that he bears a resemblance to Richard Gere. I actually try not to watch series with Alex in them because I tend to fall asleep when he’s onscreen (no kidding, haha) but for Uncle Chi’s sake, I will most likely give this series a try.

    The only other series from this list that I would’ve been interested in watching is Dead Wrong, since Roger Kwok is another veteran actor whose career I’ve been ‘following’ since the 1980s and he is definitely on my ‘favorites’ list in terms of actors I love watching. However, with that said, I’m tired of seeing him paired with Joey Meng once again – especially since Joey has always been a mediocre actress in my book and her acting is nowhere near the level of Roger’s. While I did like their first pairing in Inbound Troubles, part of it was because the pairing and series itself was fresh and different from what we were used to seeing from TVB at that time… too bad they overdid it in the sequel (Come On Cousin), which was a horrible series with the only 2 ‘saving graces’ that made the series even remotely watchable being veteran actor Ram Tseung’s performance (another veteran actor I adore) as well as all the classic songs they incorporated into the series (especially for long time HK music lovers like me – I actually had more ‘fun’ identifying all the songs in the series than watching the actual series itself). Anyway, it’s too bad that I actually may not even watch the series Dead Wrong, since I love watching Roger do dramatic roles (while he was excellent as Ah Wong, his dramatic roles are really the ones that allow him to showcase his acting chops most). I enjoyed his performance in Black Heart White Soul, but didn’t like that series overall, as the storyline was bad and the rest of the cast was annoying (especially couldn’t stand Ron Ng in yet another repetitive hot-headed, impulsive brother/friend/colleague role as well as that girl that played his love interest – the scary-looking one who reminded me of Chuckie from the horror flick Child’s Play, lol). I definitely agree with the ‘treasure’ comment though with Roger and am hoping that TVB cherishes him by giving him better material to work with and better co-stars (though I doubt that will happen given this IS TVB after all…).

    Oh, one thing to note – I’m not really counting Dinner at 8 in the lineup, since I don’t really consider it a true ‘series’ per se. But I am absolutely looking forward to this sitcom, based purely on cast alone (love Teresa, Wayne, and Power, plus I like Eric Li and am happy to see him finally getting a ‘meaty’ role again after so many years). And yes, having Anthony Wong in a few episodes in a cameo role is absolutely ‘icing on the cake’!

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  2. (comment continued from above...)

    Lastly, I can’t help lamenting once again how badly TVB has deteriorated over the past decade. Last year (2015) was actually the first year in my close to 30 years ‘following’ TVB where I couldn’t find a single TVB series to watch in its entirety (in past years, no matter how bad things got, there would at least be 1 series I could watch from beginning to end) – with last year’s series, I couldn’t get past episode 5 on any of them (most of them I actually dropped after 1 or 2 episodes). With that said though, this year seems to be faring much worse, since so far, I haven’t watched a single episode of any of TVB’s 2016 series (in fact, I don’t even know what series is airing when anymore, since I’ve been paying less and less attention to TVB’s lineup due to the lack of interest in their series nowadays). Maybe if TVB does end up airing Law Dis-order this year, I’ll be able to go back to having at least 1 decent series to watch – otherwise, this just might be a record year for me in the “zero TVB series watched” category, lol!

    P.S.: Sorry for the long-winded response (you’ll probably notice from reading my posts on my blog that I tend to write a lot and when I get started on a particular topic that I’m passionate about, I can’t seem to shut up, lol). I’ll try to write less next time! ;-)

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  3. Hey! Thank you so much for checking us out and taking the time to read our post and commenting so thoughtfully! This really does mean the world to us. Please do not apologize for the long reply. We love a good discussion and as long as you don't mind typing too much, we would love to hear your opinion! We are still trying to find more people are still passionate about TVB, it's getting harder and harder these days :(

    Anyways, wow. We do agree on many, many things that you touched on! But we are, sadly? Still sticking with TVB. Our families are still watching it so we join the party haha. We've so far only skipped Fashion War and Wuxin. Yes, we even made it through King Kong and Jason Chan's so called acting in Love as a Predatory Love Affair, 35 eps of dark, crazy plot twists in a SUPPOSED comedy of Short End of the Stick... the list goes on. We've been finding that the scriptwriters these days are just writing up some abysmal stuff. There is no logic and it is just plain sloppy when even a kid with basic common sense can tell there is some not quite right! If not, then the plots are just very uninteresting and we could close our eyes and ears for 10 eps and still know what's going on... Actually. This was the case with Come Home Love 2!! We stopped at around 10 episodes in for the new series and recently saw the trailer of like ep 970 and oh guess what? Still the same people fighting about the same issues. What has been going for like half a year CHL2? Besides that, what TVB is losing is it's star appeal. We're finding that a lot of people are leaving since they just don't get what they deserve. They really do make meagre wages for long hours whether it's rain or shine and if the director says, jump in the ocean, you gotta do it. It's no wonder that people are jumping on board the mainland train if they can make it! TVB has no strategy for promoting a solid new line of actors who are capable of leading on new dramas that are well-written.

    Back to the dramas in line, yeah, we do agree... none of this stuff is really worth watching if not out of pure boredom and a lot of spare time. However, unlike you, we havent seen the "golden age" of TVB. We started watching TVB in the early 2000's and took a break and started again in around 2007 and have been watching ever since. So the big things we've seen are just Heart of Greed, Moonlight... And from there on comes the bottom of the pile like Inbound Troubles 2! We cannot believe Wong Cho Lam wants a third one! We both do not like Joey Meng much either, she just does not fit her roles very well. She needs new roles or something needs to be changed. We don't really remember Roger as Ah Wong but we did love him in Black Heart White Soul. Right now, his role in Last Imperial Physician isn't anything special... same old, same old. And Tavia Yeung is a rowdy, lowly maiden girl... again! She's been stuck in these roles for a while since The Hippocratic Crush 2! And boy are you spot on about Ron Ng. We were hoping for some justice from him in Lord of Shanghai but we were so disappointed with how his character was written in the end! It was just absolutely ridiculous. He took a 180 degree turn from a good-hearted lawyer to a greedy, violent bastard in one episode, or actually in one minute on screen. Just like that... don't know what the scriptwriters were thinking!

    So that's our view on why TVB has been bad lately. Law Disorder looks like Liu Kai-Chi's stage for sure! What do you think of the lead Mandy Wong? Just crossing our fingers the script is good and the cases are good because we just can't deal with some more crazy plots which don't belong to professional scriptwriters. That's all for now! Thanks for commenting again! :)

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  4. @CeeJay Just need to give my two cents here as well since there are no other blogs that I can discuss TVB dramas in English.

    Brother Keeper 2
    Oh my God...thank God for being able to watch online as I was able to fast forward through all the scenes featuring Grace Chan. She has NOT improved at all and was a whiny and absolutely cringe worthy character. She has this one expression on her face be it happy, sad or angry. Seriously, after the 1st 5 eps of the drama where Ruco was in it, you can just stop watching.

    A Fist Within Four Walls
    That guy who plays Foon Hei Kor...that guy deserves to be in meatier roles in other dramas rather than just appearing as kelefes all the time. Gosh...by the time they are actually recognised as lead actors, they'd be in their 50s and that is another reason why ratings have been bad cause the young ones don't tune in for old men. Good for eyecandy was Phillip Ng and his character plus Moon Lau's make a great pairing. No wonder they dialed up the rumours on a real life pairing. Ben's acting was rather one dimensional but Grace Chan was a complete surprise. She normally plays the sexy siren in other dramas but here that sexy siren has more meat and purpose.

    Two Steps for Heaven
    Looks promising. But Priscilla is just such a girl next door don't see her playing this dark role. Edwin needs to buck up or be shipped out. He's acting is getting on my nerves...pretty similar to Grace Chan's. Both of them together was so annoying in BK2.

    You should give Fashion War a try. It was all that bad and pretty fast paced as well.

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    Replies
    1. Oh dear...I meant Grace Wong's character in A Fist and not Grace Chan.

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  5. Hey Anonymous!! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on these dramas!!

    Okk we are planning to do a year in review soon!! So do stay tuned for that if you want to hear our thoughts as well but right now we have to spill our thoughts on your comments too!

    BK2... oh god. ahhh! We only saw the first five episodes actually. Before Grace Chan even had a word to say we dropped it so we didn't have to endure it haha. How does one pull through all 40 episodes!? We actually cringed when she first appeared and was dancing in Okinawa trying to look hot for Edwin because it was really unattractive. Oh, we have a dramalist of all the dramas we've seen or dropped and what we rated them if you want to see as well haha http://mydramalist.com/dramalist/Ceejayent

    We really like Fist and all the pairings in it although two of the pairs did not end up together. Ohh who is Foon Hei gor? Do you mean Chun Mei gor as in Carlo Ng or Foon Hei gor we are thinking of is Benz Hui from Line Walker.

    We are currently watching Two Steps and it has been ok... but we do agree that Priscilla does not fit her role and she dresses the same in every drama as well which doesn't fit her different roles. She can do well in mellow dramas like Swipe Tap Love or Madam Cutie but this one calls for a more demure actress. The three male leads are great we think.

    We saw one ep of Fashion War and we don't think we will have time to go back and watch it since we don't really like Moses Chan these days :(

    Thanks again for your comments!!

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