As a pro TVB serials watcher of at least 15-16 years of experience, I believe that I should be hired as a professional critic to assess the quality of their series. Though I’ve been on a hiatus for the past one and a half year(can’t believe I’ve lived this long without TVB..), my evaluations are still quite reliable.
My strength is in recognising which actors/actresses should rise in the ranks, be binned or which kelefeh to be given a chance to. My weakness however lies in the olden days serials as the language is far too flowery for my banana ears which is only adapted to simple modern cantonese.
But hear me out.
There are too many repetitive patterns in TVB shows.
1. Enough with the parted lovers who miss each other so much, who go out at night to walk the streets of Hong Kong, only to cross paths with each other yet not being able to see each other because they were being blocked by a passing car, a large crowd of people, crossing the roads in different directions, a cart selling put chai kou etc.
2. EVery pair of lovers who were never meant to be must ALWAYS have an emo english song. It’s sweet in the beginning, but it makes the song cheap by the end of the series.
3. There are only three ways to die unnaturally in TVB shows:
– kena bang by car
– jump off roof(alot of roofs to jump off in Hong Kong)
– kena stabbed in the stomach by some angry acquaintance.(it’s never the head, or the back or the heart. Always the stomach.)
4. There are only three professional jobs recognised in the TVB world:
– The occasional pilot serials get picked up to. (I loved Triumph In The Skies!)
5. Every big company has family problems and mafia as brother in laws.
6. Back alleys are meant for beating people up. Rubbish bags and baskets are ALWAYS ALWAYS thrown to wart off scary thugs. I am suspecting that TVB owns a collection of black bags filled with styrofoam and the brown baskets are theirs too. Oh, let’s not forget the sticks. They never seem to differ in size from series to series. Believe me, try and look properly the next time you see some pathetic bastard who owes the loan shark money gets cornered in a narrow alley. The sticks are always half a metre taller than an average TVB actor.
Besides watching the actors steal the limelight on the idiot tube, you might want to pay a little attention to the kelefehs in the background too. It’s quite interesting actually.. infact, I’ll even call it kelefehology. There are kelefehs who can act and kelefehs who cannot act. Granted that if your face got problem you’re stuck being a kelefeh for decades on end. But you’re so versatile as an actor which is why they’ve maintained that actor as a kelefeh for so many decades.
But sometimes, miracles happen and a not so good looking actor gets to rise in the ranks and become a main star. Bobby Au Yeung. For him, it’s all about charisma which got him so many leading roles and his cheekiness.
Every now and then TVB will hire a couple of extras and like me, an experienced TVB watcher, you will laugh your ass off at the mediocre acting. There’s just NOTHING in their eyes and the tone of their voices are monotonous. In recent serials, I suspect they’ve taken on a Cast-A-Kelefeh-In-A-Recurring-Role campaign. These newbies have no emotions in their eyes and are very unenthusiastic about their acting. At least they don’t over act. That would be worse.
I do pity kelefehs who have always been casted in the same role for decades on end. Crazy retard, bad mafia side kick, loan sharks, side kick to company CEO, rapist, family doctor, family lawyer, mistresses, prostitutes etc. it’s always the same people. And you think to yourself, how much are they getting paid to be a kelefeh actor for so many years with TVB? Do they go back to their flats and live their mundane lives? I mean acting as kelefehs for so many decades surely cannot offer you a lucrative lifestyle? It makes me so sad.
Some acting tips here for actors, young and new, old and er..old:
If you can’t use your eyes to act, don’t resort to using your lips for further enhancement of facial expressions. It just makes me feel like slapping you.
If you’re crying, where are the tears?
There are many more ways to pretend to be drunk then just walking in a zig zag line. In TVB, the only form of drunkaism is happy and singing. There are other types of drunkards too you know: angry, violent, crying, depressed, brooding, sleeping, housecleaning(ahha mel~~) etc.
If you’re blushing because you’re in love, try something else aside from the whole looking down and away whilst biting your damn lips.
It’s high time that children below the age of 6 be sent to acting classes before being able to act on any serials. The child usually says, “Papa mama ngo hou tong ngo ar.. huhhh huhh huhh..huhh huhh huhh..” with a straight face so you don’t even why the hell they’re making those noises then you slap your forehead and go, “oh i see, the kid is crying.”. Tsk tsk. Really spoils the show.
However, there are so many reasons for me to love TVB forever and ever:
the cantonese phrases, (la la seng, ham pa lam, lei ge sei wu li ching, ngo tung lei hui sei gor!!, sam cheong leong tuen etc.), the falling in love moments between cute TVB actors(Steven MA!!!, Michael Tse, Ellesmere Choi) and any other deserving actresses(aside from Anne Heung Hoi Lam, Flora Chan(she’s okay with Joe Ma), Kenix Kwok etc. should just retire from TVB.) and I have to admit some of the police shows are actually quite nice. *paiseh* Especially when Bobby Au Yeung stars in them *paiseh*.