Wednesday, 21 December 2016

TVB 2016 Top Drama Countdown

Hello again!! This time we will be giving a small review with thoughts on every drama that aired this year! This is going to be a short little post as we do have the TVB Awards post and a Dead Wrong review (possibly) coming.

The Ones we Didn't Watch (and why):

Nirvana in Fire (瑯琊榜): We have heard that Nirvana in Fire is an amazing drama. If we were to watch this drama, we would definitely watch the original one because TVB has a way of turning the best dramas into a disaster with poor editing and an addition of their own weird background music. The theme song that TVB had for this was just horrible and we did a rant on it here. This was a waste of broadcast time.

Come Home Love II (愛·回家): No thank you! With the Ma family gone, why have it called CHL?

Fashion War (潮流教主): The storyline seemed cliché and we weren't that into Moses and Sisley as the main leads. We are finding that Moses has lost his touch and is rather hea in his performances right now.

Rogue Emperor (流氓皇帝): Well well, TVB, what were you thinking releasing this 2-3 years after its initial filming? This was already warehoused for so long because the plot was not good and the whole idea was just silly. Why remake it in the first place?

Half-Watched or Not Finished Dramas:

No Reserve (巾幗梟雄之諜血長天): We saw one episode of this decided to drop it back when it was airing on myTVSuper. It's dumb how they're airing it again right now. This drama was too tragic for us.

Come Home Love: Dinner at 8: We actually quite enjoyed this for the laughs and this was a better sitcom than the actual come home love as the story was interesting about different aspects of a tv station. We loved the different stories happening at TVI.

Wu Xin: The Monster Killer (無心法師): Watched the first episode and immediately disliked TVB's unfitting background music which was forced in there. This told us to stay away from TVB's edition of Nirvana in Fire immediately. We also disliked the funny dubbing and would appreciate it if TVB stopped airing Mainland dramas on primetime.

Brother's Keeper II (巨輪II): We saw 5 episodes and stopped when Ruco was gone and also, we did not want to see Grace Chan's acting as Nana. The story was just overdone! What was there to talk about anyways? The brothers were gone so why call it Brother's Keeper? What was there to talk about for 40 episodes? The pairing between Edwin and Grace also seemed very unnatural. This was a waste of resources and two months of broadcasting time.

My Lover From the Planet Meow (來自喵喵星的妳): What type of anniversary drama is this? It was the exact same plot as Ghost of Relativity with same characters and a small switch-up of the setting. We are very disappointed in this. Everyone had the same posts in the office and it was such a cheap remake. Kristal also wore the same shirt the whole time like how cheap can you get?

Daddy Dearest (超能老豆): We saw quite a few episodes of this but eventually we just had other things to do and we just somehow stopped watching Daddy Dearest. In the first place we aren't huge fans of Johnson Lee and Jason Chan, so this drama didn't appeal to us much. It also seemed like Mandy Wong was just dumped in this drama and was completely wasted.

The Last Healer In Forbidden City (末代御醫): Even the first episode was boring and Tavia played her usual loud, annoying - but good-hearted character. The cast seemed weak , other than Roger. The story for Pierre Ngo as GuangXu and his story with the beloved consort has been done way too many times. No wonder they wanted to shelve this before. Why even FILM something that already has a bad plot?

Two Steps from Heaven (幕後玩家) : We put this here because Jay dropped this drama after two/three episodes and Cee only saw bits and pieces of each episode. We again just did a review right now for this. This anniversary drama had a great male cast however with Priscilla leading the drama, there were some parts that faltered because her acting was still shallow. There was so much buildup in schemes and fighting to be the big boss and in the end *spoiler* everyone died. The ending scene was just so sloppy and provided no closure. The good thing about this was that it was very entertaining with all the characters adding to the story.

The Executioner (刀下留人): Check out this link for our review on it.
We are pretty sure we watched most of it, but just not the end since it had a
more unappetizing theme.

Official Countdown!

15. Inspector Gourmet (為食神探 ): What an absolute pile of garbage! We thought this was about food... NOPE. We thought with Kenneth, Louis, Eliza, Priscilla, and the return of Elvina Kong the cast would be ok... NOPE. We thought this was about detectives... TO SOME EXTENT. More like a bunch of jokesters running around! The story was just trash, nothing happened the whole drama. They just ran around and made lame jokes. Kenneth (BILL GAY!?) was USELESS and all he did was run around and say Baby KAKA (Eliza Sam). We bet you anything Kenneth was waiting for his opportunity to get on her with his frequent intimate scene requests. He wasn't acting! He was being himself. We hated the name Bill Gay, like was that a play on Bill Gates? This isn't a computer science drama? If you're going to be punny, at least put it in the right context! Louis was wasted acting as some stupid Mak Sai Gor (MEXICO?!?!) STOP WITH THE UNPUNNY NAMES. There were so many plot holes as well! If you watched it you would know that Oscar got into the hospital and was shot, but did they ever say what happened in the end? DID HE DIE? We don't know! They added some stupid food ads at the end to make it connect more to food. THERE WAS EVEN SOME WEIRD MERMAID SCENE AT THE END! It was so poorly edited... the last five minutes were the worst moments IN TVB HISTORY FOR US. This was a dumb, DUMB drama with a bad song (so cringe).

14. Speed of Life (鐵馬戰車): This drama was Natalie Tong's first drama as the female lead, or so we thought. Sisley took a good chunk of screentime and it left no time for Natalie's character Yiu Yiu to develop at all. We had our doubts in the male department with Kenny Wong (boring) and Ben Yuen (also wooden and boring). The cast truly had no appeal and it was another police drama! We were just watching it for entertainment and went in with no anticipation. We finished the drama feeling like it was insignificant and took away nothing. We do have to say that Ben Yuen proved to be comedic in this drama and was very charismatic so we hope his upcoming performances won't be as wooden. He also had pretty good chemistry with Natalie. 

13. Love as a Predatory Love Affair (愛情食物鏈): This drama had a weak cast and a forgettable storyline as well but we put this before SOL because it was more entertaining and did create some good comedy. We have never been fond of King Kong as he is always treated as some clown at TVB. In this drama, he just continued on with his accent, so no acting was really necessary. This could just pass as some sitcom that people turn on for some background noise during dinner.

12. Blue Veins (殭): We have been waiting for this drama to air because it was a different genre and had filming in the Netherlands as well. Kevin Cheng was also in the drama whom we wanted to see on screen after Eye in the Sky which let us down in some aspects. We had our doubts about Kay as it was her first time acting and also Grace because she has been going downhill these days. Kay was great and we liked her character Meng Jeh and she fit her vampire role very well. Grace's character however, was horribly written and she just seemed like some little girl who couldn't get over some crush on a mysterious uncle. We liked the supporting cast Eddie Kwan, Joel Chan, Hubert Wu, Luk Wing and Moon Lau. We also enjoyed the usage of different filming locations in Hong Kong that were more real but the CG still needed work. 

11. Angel In-the-Making (實習天使) : Somehow we didn't include this in last year's countdown although it finished last year. Anyhow, it was an alright drama until the end when Tony Hung started acting insane... The cases were interesting and it was refreshing seeing the new cast and our full review can be found here

10. Presumed Accidents (纯熟意外): With Lawrence Ng and Sisley as the leads, AGAIN we had our doubts. Lawrence's acting has been adequate but never anything spectacular. Raymond Cho was kinda wasted, same with Joyce Tang. Their characters seemed standard and not too interesting. Sisley had improved lots in this drama although her emotional scenes need work. Some of the cases kept us watching the drama even with the plotholes. We do apologize for referring to our other posts but once again, if you are interested in a more in depth review, check this out

9. Short End of the Stick (公公出宮) : We thought this was an entertaining drama with some new scenery for a change. The cast was great as well on the male side especially! We loved the brotherhood scenes. The cons were the length of the drama and how it got dark with revolutionary groups bombing places and such. Overall this was an ok drama but we wouldn't rewatch it.

8. My Dangerous Mafia Retirement Plan (火線下的江湖大佬) : This was put before SEOTS because it was shorter and the whole cast did well. It was especially entertaining with Kingdom Yuen and we hope she films more! Having said that, we DO NOT want to see a sequel or spin off OR WHATEVER they are planning with the same cast. Why can't they pair up some new people? Create some new sparks? HAVE SOME NEW STORIES.  

7. Between Love & Desire (完美叛侶): We thought that this drama was to be overlooked and we actually thought of dropping this in the first place. But then we had some free time and just decided to continue on with it anyways. This was a pleasant surprise for us and we liked seeing Roxanne with a more prominent role and she was very natural in her acting as well. Maggie also did wonderful in this drama as a divorcee. This drama could have been more hyped and because the story was more simple, we didn't notice as many plot holes.

6. K9 Cop (警犬巴打) : This drama was quite an entertaining one and really funny
as well. This was one of Linda's better characters in recent years, too bad she has
taken a break now. To be honest, we weren't looking forward to this because we
don't really like Linda's acting or dogs. However we enjoyed the story and
Bosco's performance as well. He had great acting here and also in Two Steps from
Heaven.

5. House of Spirits (一屋老友記) : We really enjoyed this drama because it really brought out the family theme. It's always nice to see Bobby on screen as well. Overall the cast was great and it never got boring although the episode count was higher. We do remember the trailer having the family celebrate Halloween with the ghosts but OF COURSE that was not to be seen at all. We were happy that Joyce got some recognition in Malaysia but were disappointed with TVB not giving her an award in HK. Although the character didn't stand out too much, she still performed well. Nancy was a waste in this drama and whenever you think of HOS, you don't even remember Nancy was in it, glad she wasn't nominated for this drama. Lastly, if you aren't finding our rants too much, check out the review of this as well haha.

4. Law dis-Order (律政強人) : This drama was a highlight in acting for us! Having Liu Kai-Chi and Alex Fong lead the drama was a great change in actors. Although this drama focused on the office politics side of lawyers, every episode was exciting without the court scenes. We especially loved the older veterans like King Sir as the devious Henry and Lau Dan as Charles fighting to be the chairman of the law firm. Alex Fong did not disappoint as Cheung Keung and showed his witty side and we were on his side the whole way through! The only letdown was the ending which was abrupt and still showed KC Lau (Liu Kai Chi) working his way up in the government. We also did not like how the characters didn't develop relationships together, most notably Cheung Keung and Hazel (Ali Lee). They also tried to touch on the subject of morals vs money but it was so quickly resolved and pushed aside! For example, Mandy's Fong Ling betrayed many people and even her friend Hazel to win a case. For that, the trio including Libby (Kelly Cheung) broke up, but just an hour later they get back together, so does that mean money is ok to fight for in spite of doing something in the grey area and betraying friends? Or that Fong Ling has decided to not do risky things? Although the plot and the smarts were all great, it was still lacking in interpersonal relationships and failed to deliver the moral of the story.

3. Over Run Over (EU超時任務) : This drama came with many surprises because we thought Tracy was too amateur to lead a drama and although Vincent Wong has been acting well, we didn't know if he was ready for a lead role. The supporting cast of Pal Sinn, Ben Yuen, and Zoie Tam also seemed weak. The plot about going back and reliving the same few days also had us questioning the entertaining factor because what if they keep replaying the same scenes? We were wrong about this in the end! ORO was one of the better written dramas this year despite some plot holes and sudden character changes (Ben Yuen). The cast actually did very well and the couple/partnership awards were well deserved because the two of them had great chemistry from their bickering scenes to the final moments of their relationship. We actually would be fine with Vincent Wong winning the My Favourite Character award at TVB, but NOPE. Ben got it for FWFW. Well, same final comment, if you're interested in a real long review for this drama, check it out here.

1/2. Dead Wrong (致命復活) : We haven't quite finished the drama yet so we are going to put this as a tie with AFWFW but we really enjoyed the plot for this drama. The build up of the different characters and their motive behind their actions in aiding the kidnap of Vincent (Roger Kwok) was very exciting. Even though we have seen over 20 episodes of this drama, we don't feel like its a drag at all and actually look back and feel as though the drama was going by quite fast. We take this as a good indication of the pace of the plot. Of course the acting was great from Roger Kwok and Vincent Wong but we also enjoyed seeing Kenny Wong as Ah Yan. Every time he went on screen, we would be awaiting for his next plot to keep Vincent away from Ah Kiu. This was truly a big production with the Vietnam filming and a lot of external filming instead of the usually TVB sets. The female supporting characters like Tracy (Stephanie Ho) and Emma (Zoie Tam) were also fun to watch. It was really a shame that their broadcast date was so late so they couldn't garner enough hype with audiences to vote for them during the TVB Awards Ceremony! We thought that they missed out on the awards big time and there won't be another chance for them to get recognition.

1/2. A Fist Within Four Walls (城寨英雄) : This is our other top drama this year as we haven't finished Dead Wrong yet and want to leave some thoughts for the ending of it. In our opinion, both of them were exciting but AFWFW had more shallow characters coming right out of a cartoon whereas Dead Wrong provided insight into revenge and the loss of human nature in desperate circumstances. The broadcast date was great for this drama as it allowed people to fall in love with the characters and storylines from Hong Kong, to Singapore, Malaysia and back to Hong Kong for the final awards ceremony. Although the characters were more shallow, the plot was suspenseful and most people performed well. The style of the drama was also different from the previous dramas we have seen in the past year and we liked their change of the pre modern set. There were a lot of great action scenes with the three male leads and we enjoyed watching them but in the end, it was pure entertainment. The thought behind this wasn't as deep as the one behind Dead Wrong. The ending was also very rushed and again, a lot of people died unnecessarily. The drama would have made it as number without any ties if the ending was better written and if the characters were more dynamic. All in all, considered one of the most successful dramas of 2016 and rightly so for its suspense and cast but faltered in its ending and character development.

That's a wrap for 2016 dramas! Hope you guys enjoyed reading our thoughts and let us know what you thought of this year's dramas!

- CeeJay


2 comments:

lissa said...

My Lover From the Planet Meow - I was looking forward to watching this and now I'm not so sure, I really did love Ghost of Relativity and the cast...

K9 Cop - love it and Linda was good in this one, but it's really Bosco that I like seeing more, at least Linda and Boscos's characters got to be together this time, no stupid death like 'witness insecurity.'

house of spirits - this was okay but I still don't get by Nancy's character cannot see the ghosts, her character really did seem like a side character as she was neither a family member or one of the in-laws but I thought it was fun to watch her

Over run over - sort of semi-hate the end even though it was hopeful, you know if you watch it from the beginning again and think of Vincent's character had already travelled back and knew and loved Tracy's character, then, wouldn't you feel a bit differently about the show?

I will be seeing A fist within four walls as I really like Nancy & Ruco together on screen.

my favorite from this year is 'Under the veil' but I don't think many people liked that but I did, Bosco was there and there was a mermaid so that caught my attention

have a lovely day.

CeeJay said...

Hi lissa,

Thanks for letting us know your thoughts!

Planet Meow isn't really bad, but it is basically the same as Ghost of Relativity. Personally, we liked Ghost of Relativity better since there was good chemistry between Kristal Tin and Nancy Wu.

A Fist Within Four Walls is also a great choice! Hope you enjoy it.

We would also recommend Dead Wrong (if you haven't already seen it) as it is one of the best dramas this year.

We didn't include Under the Veil since it was from last year and we didn't watch it because like you said, many people didn't like it. However, we're glad you enjoyed it!

Merry Christmas!

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