Sunday, 27 November 2016

A Look At TVB's 2017 Calendar

Hello again!

This time, we are trying out a new post and giving thoughts about the freshly released TVB calendar for 2017. It has been traditional that every year TVB makes a calendar, although we're not entirely certain of the reason why. But we are sure that these recent years, it has become another method to advertise and sell their upcoming dramas to get people hyped up about them - even though it probably doesn't work very well. We remember that back then the photos had themes for each month. They are really more like drama posters rather than something you would really hang up on the wall...
Nonetheless, hope you enjoy these pictures and our comments:

Front Cover


The cover looks clean and the main focus is on the '50' since its TVB's 50th anniversary next year.
The gold background gives everything a grand and elegant touch and we do like the collage of small pictures of scenes from the past dramas that have aired since the beginning of TVB. It certainly brings back nostalgic childhood memories and perhaps serves as a reminder to people how "great" TVB once was.
January
People: Nat Chan, Wayne Lai, Johnson Lee, Kenny Wong, Ben Wong, Selena Li, Grace Wong, Raymond Wong?, Elena Kong, Raymond Cho, Joyce Tang, Vivien Yeo, Carlo Ng


This is one of the better photos of the calendar (as you'll see later), although it is a bit cliché and we feel as if we've seen photos of this sort many times before in TVB calendars. We can definitely see the connection of January's festive, New Year mood depicted in here. The gold, black, and red colours give a polished look, but the glitter adds to the celebratory tone. We must, however, add that Raymond Wong looks weird - not in an offensive way, of course, but we just couldn't tell who it was. We are having trouble identifying who's who, like Grace Wong, maybe because of over-photoshop. Also, we dislike Joyce's dress with the long sleeves, it would be better without them.


Feburary
People: Gallen Lo, Ali Lee, Fred Cheng, Jonathan Cheung, Jacqueline Wong, Roxanne Tong



We're having serious trouble with identifying faces in this one and Ali's pose is quite unnatural. We have no clue what this has anything to do with February and we are totally confused with the paints/makeup palettes in the background. Sure...it adds colour, but the point of it is..? We hope they are not going to be makeup artists and actually... we know they aren't a bunch of artists and makeup artists so why this background? We had a really hard time identifying the two other girls as well.

UPDATE: So it is actually about makeup.....lol
March
People: Kevin Cheng, Kristal Tin, King Kong, Kwan Gor


We are very disappointed with this poster. There are FOUR people in this...FOUR! We have no idea what they are doing with a row of clones for each actor. Are they trying to create an illusion that there are a lot of people? Why are King Kong and Kwan Gor even here, looking like leads of the drama? Well, maybe they are the leads now since TVB is not really promoting anyone else that can act better. This gives us zero indication of what the drama is about except that it might be mysterious with people opening their eyes. How is this even calendar-worthy?

April
People: Ruco Chan, Nancy Wu, Paw Hee Cheng, Pierre Ngo, Joel Chan, Elaine Yiu, Oscar Leung


Fore some reason, this just doesn't appeal to us. Especially the huge shadow of Ruco in the background, it actually reminds us of his deadly palm in A Fist Within Four Walls. If they are using the same stuff again with the deadly palm then we are not interested. So far all of these posters for dramas have been lacklustre. We again have no clue what the drama is about just by looking at this! A family feud in a big city? What? 

May
People: Vincent Wong, Sisley Choi, Ali Lee, Owen Cheung, Tracy Chu


This kinda tells you that it will be about law with a bunch of cool new people. We have noticed that TVB is picking a lot of oxymorons and bad juxtapositions as their drama names, Unlawful Justice, Unholy Alliance, Destination Nowhere for this calendar set. At least in this poster we can tell who's who? It's one of the better ones and it looks a tad more interesting.

June
People: Gloria Tang, Samantha Ko, Natalie Tong, Rosina Lam, Mayanne Mok (we have no idea who it is and if it even is Mayanne...), Kelly Cheung, Kelly Fu, Louisa Mak, Moon Lau, Rebecca Zhu?, Mandy Wong, Grace Chan, Jinny Ng, Stephanie Ho


This calendar has the most people in it and most of them are MHK's but then there's a couple odd ones like Jinny and Stephanie. It really looks like they took individual photos and photoshopped them together, you can even tell that the lighting was different when you look at Kelly Fu. For some reason she just stands out and looks different from the rest. For us, because there are so many of them, you can't actually see who they are on a small screen and it looks like they just put in people that didn't have dramas as posters. We liked how the old ones only showed a certain artist only once... now you get duplicates of some people and nothing for others. For example, if you have Jinny and Stephanie, why don't you have Kayee?

July
People: Michael Miu, Moses Chan, Jessica Hsuan, Priscilla Wong, Benz Hui and Benjamin Yuen


They look smart and everything for this prequel (which was unnecessary in our opinion) but we didn't like how the guns were all pointing down. Michael looks especially awkward walking with the gun pointing to the ground, it just doesn't give us that intensity as pointing the gun in the air or towards someone. The female leads are also lacking in our opinion. Last time Jessica was in Tiger Cubs, we found her to be quite wooden and although Priscilla has improved, she needs to work on playing stronger roles. Hopefully this one will be better or as good as the original. Priscilla's outfit is a bit awkward since everyone is looking sleek and cool in suits, then all of a sudden, you get this baggy dress from her. Overall, this poster lacks the "wow" factor and we are not getting the excitement.

August
People: Wong Cho Lam, Ada Choi, Roger Kwok, Louis Cheung, Mag Lam, Joyce Cheng, Law Lan, Wu Fung, Ram Tsiang, and Bob Lam


This blown up head poster has been done by TVB since the early 2000's and this just reminds us of the olden days however, with the flop of Come on Cousin... we wonder why there's a third one in line? What do they have to talk about now? The cast looks the same with the addition of Ada, Joyce, and Mag but this just seems very overdone. The poster is just alright but we have our doubts about the drama. Last two times, they tried to pull off a musical-style thing but it just didn't work out with only a few people being able to sing. With Mag, Joyce, Ram, and Louis, are they gonna do that again? Also, are there actually legit cousins this time?

September
People: Ha Yu, Louise Lee, Michelle Yim, Bosco Wong, Susanna Kwan, Louis Yuen, Vincent Wong, Eliza Sam, Priscilla Wong, and Sharon Chan


My my... here we go again... as if Line Walker, Come on Cousin, Beyond the Realm of Conscience next, Threshold of an Era prequels, sequels, spinoffs whatever they wanna do AREN'T ENOUGH... Heading to a 50th year anniversary does not mean remaking your past success that aired a decade ago because the times have changed. People aren't looking for the same things anymore and to attract a greater variety of audiences, broadcasting the same stuff that was catered to see lais 10 years ago won't increase the viewership. The people at TVB now seem quite scarce with their promoting techniques. This is another drama with Priscilla, are there no other people? With only the older generation left, it seems pointless to work them out for 40-50 eps of screaming again. Only Bosco is left from the younger generation of HOG and MR so it is even more pointless. The current cast is just not as interesting and "epic" as the old ones with Raymond, Linda, Kate, Fala, Bosco, Tavia, Moses, etc.. Now its like 3 new generation on each side which isn't even new.. like Sharon? She's been here for ages...Why not just make a new drama with new pairings and a new storyline? Poster-wise, it just doesn't scream EPIC. In fac, it seems a bit weak with only a few people. While we like idea of the split family, with one side looking like a rich family, and the other side with a warm, happier family. However, we think that the happy side impedes from the grandness of the poster. The title for this is Heart and Greed, and seriously, can TVB possibly get lazier than that? The answer is no! From Heart OF Greed to Heart AND Greed, they changed one word, and maybe this is implying that the drama itself will be a mere copy of the Heart of Greed's story-line with a change of setting. 

October
People: Steven Ma, Nancy Wu, Alice Chan, Annie Liu, Kenneth Ma, and Edwin Siu (why is Chrissie Chau missing lol)



Here comes another sequel again or spin off again. From 宮心計 to 深宮計, it's basically the same title again except for switching one character and rearranging the words. And instead of Beyond the Realm of Conscience, this time, they have Deep in the Realm of Conscience. This is just so frustrating to see and why can't they just make a brand new drama without tying it to old dramas? Besides, they already had Can't Buy Me Love which was a spin-off from BTROC. The cast seems fairly appealing especially with the females (event though they are old). However, we are worried that Edwin and Kenneth will not be able to pull off their roles. We are anticipating Steven in this drama as we are sure that he will not disappoint. The poster is dull and there's no background, just huge faces...

November
People: Bobby Au Yeung, Moes Chan, Maggie Shui, Benz, Hui, Louis Cheung, and Sammy Leung, Ali Lee, Eddie Kwan, David Chiang, Katy Kung 

Wow, Ali Lee again... and Moses looks the same as from Line Walker and here, did he even bother to change? We are glad that TVB is promoting Katy Kung since she's been here a while but never got much recognition. Bobby looks like a priest here and once again, we have no clue what the drama is going to be about and the poster does not help. No themes, just faces and the worst part is that actors and actresses keep getting reused and most people show up at least 2 times throughout the calendar. Nothing much to say about this drama, since we don't even know what it will be about.

December
People: Liza Wang, Tony Hung, Matt Yeung, Jason Chan, Hugo Wong, Brian Tse, Alfred Hui, Lai Lok Yi, Hubert Wu


This poster is usually where all the leftovers get put into and looks like it's no different this year, with Liza being the centre again. If Liza gets a picture, what about Do Jeh? Favoritism? Anyways, we don't like how red clashes onto red and it's just too much for us. Some people's smile just looks too fake AHEM: HUBERT, LAI LOK YI, TONY. Nothing much to say for this otherwise except that it is not very Decemberish and it is just plain hard on the eyes. 

Back Cover


TADAA!!! Here comes perhaps our favourite poster, just because of how bad everything else was. The TV Buddy and the robots, each with a different TVB colour looks cute and we can't really find anything bad to say about it. 

So those were our thought on the calendar and as you can imagine, we were not at all pleased with the calendar. Anyone in their right mind (except for TVB fanatics) would not want this as a calendar to remind them of which TVB dramas are coming up. The old calendars would have maybe been a nice addition to decorating a house, but not anymore.  We want the old type of calendar back with many different artists posing for a different theme in each month and without repeats of people! Unfortunately, we doubt that the calendars will get any better in the future. 


-CeeJay

5 comments:

llwy12 said...

@CeeJay: Hi again! Just wanted to share my thoughts on the calendar. Coincidentally, I had commented about everyone in the calendar looking very “plastic” in someone else’s blog and that some of the artists either had too much makeup on or the photos went through major touch-up (aka photo-shop). I also felt some artists were borderline unrecognizable in the calendar. Glad to see that I wasn’t the only one who thought this way!

LOL…great minds must think alike, as I also “complained” about the fact that next year’s lineup will be filled with more sequels/ spinoffs / sister series / remakes than any other year, which is extremely disappointing considering the big 50th anniversary thing. I would expect TVB to do better than rehashing their old series and turning them into unnecessary franchises. I’m especially pissed about the “pseudo-remake” of At the Threshold of an Era, a series that was memorable and enjoyable despite being highly clichéd – a “remake” (which is what TVB made it sound like My Ages Apart would be during the sales presentation, though this could merely just be hype and the final product could be totally different) is absolutely UNNECESSARY in my opinion, despite the fact that I do like some of the cast. And to be honest, outside of Bobby and veterans such as John Chiang, Eddie Kwan, Maggie Shui, Benz Hui, etc., the rest of the “main” cast is quite weak and can’t compare to the “all-star” cast that the original Threshold boasted. As for the sequels/prequels/spinoffs for Line Walker, Heart of Greed, and Beyond the Realm of Conscience, I honestly don’t care a whole lot (outside of the general complaint about TVB’s lack of creativity), since I didn’t like any of those series to begin with – if TVB wants to butcher those series with sequels or whatnot, that’s an issue for fans of those series to deal with….plus I’m not planning to watch those series anyway.

llwy12 said...

(cont. from above):

For the Liza thing – my understanding of why they put Liza Wang in the center again in the 2017 calendar is because next year is also Liza’s 50th anniversary of being in the entertainment industry, which is a pretty huge milestone, plus given her status at TVB – so not really favoritism per se, at least not this time. Though Liza hasn’t been at TVB 50 years (she started with them in 1971), it IS true that she has been with them the longest now that Lydia Shum is no longer here (Lydia was with TVB when they started back in 1967). In comparisons, Dodo Cheng didn’t start with TVB until 1978 and there was a long period of time in the 80s and 90s when Dodo left to focus entirely on her movie career, whereas Liza continued to stay on with TVB even while doing her Cantonese opera thing, so it does make sense that TVB would favor Liza a bit more (of course, Liza’s bossy personality plays a role too, lol).

Anyway, back to the calendar…one of the other things I didn’t like about the calendar is the lack of consistency. If they are going to change the calendar to have it be promo for their series, then they should feature series with EVERY month, not just make 9 months series-related and the remaining 3 months a hodge-podge of artists that don’t relate to any theme or anything in particular. Not sure what TVB was thinking with the calendar this year, as it just seems so disorganized and the layout makes very little sense.

Lastly, about the old vs new calendars – as a long-time “collector” of TVB calendars (I still have some of the old ones from like the 90s), I can tell you that I definitely fall into the “I wish we had the old calendars back” category. I stopped collecting the calendars years ago because it just wasn’t worth the trip out to the one HK video shop closest to me that still carried TVB-related stuff (even though I always got the calendars for free from the shop owner, who is a long-time friend of my family, it was a waste of gas for me to drive all the way out there, lol). Unfortunately, given the fact that TVB’s calendars the past few years have all looked essentially similar (same plastic photo-shopped look), I doubt future ones are going to be any better.

CeeJay said...

Hey llwy12! Thanks for checking out our new posts.

Glad we agree on so many points about the new calendar and just the general direction TVB is heading in for its 50th anniversary. Something to clarify however, is that we just found out from wiki that My Ages Apart is actually not Threshold and in fact is just some other epic drama with 50 episodes so the cast of Threshold has yet to be announced. We actually haven't seen Threshold, do you recommend it? Seems like there aren't much dramas that attract the old audiences like us which is unfortunate because we would think that 50th anniversary means new things and not just remaking the old stuff. We liked how they opened up a plot for staff to create and they would film it for Demon-Conquering Taxi Driver but Kenneth has lost his touch in his recent dramas after THC and Fistful of Stances in our opinion. We hope the new plot makes up for it.

Thanks for letting us know that Dodo has not really dedicated as much to TVB as Liza has. The title of that month's calendar was Liza's 50 years with TVB or something along those lines. We just searched it and Liza has been acting since 1967, so 50 years just like TVB. Dodo has her gigs these days with FAMA haha, seems like they're hosting every major show so far (Starhub Awards, Malaysia Awards, TVB Anniversary).

When they discontinued the calendars and then brought them back in.. 2013. Things already looked very plastic but at least it was consistent with the old ones that advertised their artists in different themes. It was also interesting to see where the placed the artists and who they were with. Now you already know who's gonna be on it and sometimes they put random characters on it and also repeat artists. This is a sad calendar for the 50th anniversary year.

llwy12 said...

@CeeJay: Thanks for the clarification on My Ages Apart. I also read the summary for the series and the story is definitely different, though it sounds like they pretty much ripped off Threshold’s name, deliberately making it sound similar so people associate this series with that one. With that said, I actually think this IS the Threshold series that TVB was talking about, as I don’t recall them mentioning 2 big “crossing era” series for their 50th anniversary – it was only 1 series that had a similar name. I have a feeling that somewhere along the way, the information got muddled (not sure if TVB communicated it wrong or the media once again got it wrong). Either way, even though I like some of the cast, I’m actually not too interested in watching this series after reading the summary…plus if this is going to be “Threshold-style” series in terms of commemorating a certain milestone, they might make this series LONG, in which case I probably won’t have the patience for it.

Yes, I definitely recommend Threshold, though brace yourself because it is LONG (100 episodes). When the series aired, it was done as a 2 parter – first 50 episodes was part 1, which they aired in 1999, then part 2 was aired in 2000 (so yes, Threshold was meant to mark the big Y2K thing that was going on in the world at the time, which turned out to be not so big after all)….the cast and characters differed slightly too in that the focus was different (first half focused on Sunny Chan as the villain while second half was focused on Louis Koo as the villain). I actually think part 2 was more interesting but part 1 was good too (plus I’m kind of a Sunny Chan fan so of course gotta support part 1, lol). Oh, one thing to note – you have to watch part 1 in order to watch part 2, since the storyline interconnects, plus part 2 starts where part 1 left off…if you don’t watch the first part, you are going to be totally lost. The story itself is not that original, but the cast is awesome – if anything, watch this series for the cast, as I’m sure we will never see all these artists together again (which is one of the reasons why I loved the 80s and 90s eras – the amazing casts that TVB usually managed to assemble for their series where every single lead artist was someone who could hold his/her own in separate series). From a plot perspective, part 2 is actually more “suspenseful”, so should be able to get through that half pretty easily…part 1 is a bit draggy in comparisons. Not sure if you’re the type who doesn’t mind spoilers like me (love spoilers – more of them the better, haha), but I did do a short review/my thoughts write-up piece on my blog about this series if you’re interested (there are some spoilers in there though so if you’re not into that, then I recommend not reading it until after you’ve watched the series).

llwy12 said...

Yup, totally agree about the lack of series for “old” audiences (or, in my case, perhaps “ancient” is more appropriate, lol). I’ve already expressed how disappointed I am with the direction TVB is going for their 50th anniversary milestone….I guess next year will be another “nothing to watch” year for me where TVB is concerned.

Actually, I wouldn’t say that Dodo hasn’t really dedicated as much to TVB – she actually has, it’s just that her and Liza’s career paths were different. Dodo went into the movie industry and became an A-lister there, winning several Best Actress awards, then returned to TVB to “retire” in a way by doing less draining things such as hosting. Lisa on the other hand never had a movie career and was more focused on television career as well as singing and Cantonese opera. Both have been acting and hosting for a long time and are huge assets to TVB (though from an acting perspective, I prefer Dodo more – she was actually one of my favorite actresses back in the day). Too bad Lydia Shum is no longer here (I definitely miss her after growing up watching her for decades) – she is probably the only 1 out of the 3 “ah jehs” who we can truly say is #1 TVB treasure – she was with TVB from the beginning (she started with them in 1967 – the same year TVB opened its doors). In addition, Lydia was also a part of the Shaw Brothers era, as she filmed quite a few movies for them back when she was younger (we all know that Shaw Brothers was owned by Run Run Shaw, who was the founder of TVB).

Back to the calendar -- one last thing I forgot to mention earlier: my favorite part of the calendar is also the front cover (the number 50 with scenes from past series) as well as the back cover with TVBuddy (come on now, how can anyone not like such an adorable mascot, lol). No matter how much I can't stand TVB nowadays, I still have an affinity for TVBuddy because, well, that little guy is just too cute, haha!

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