Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Steven as 2010 tvb king

re-posted from asianfanatics post 647   
08 August 2010 - 10:28 PM 
I want to emphasize that this post is merely a commentary piece based on personal opinion with reference to Leba’s comment below. My commentary is written within the premise of what I deem as TVB qualification criteria for TVB king and queen as evinced by past winners’ situations. 

Pertinent facts:
1) Prior to 2005, Steven was not a tvb managed artiste. In other words, between 1993 and July 2005, Steven was only a contract tvb artiste – not a tvb biological son. In 1993, Steven signed a 7 year contract with manager Frankie Fan that was later extended to 3 more years terminating in 2003. Steven was on his own from (?) 2003 to July 2005.

2) The best actor award was formerly called the My Favorite Actor in a leading role between 1997 -2004 but was re-titled to Best Actor in 2005. (My Favorite Actor in a Leading Role
本年度我最喜愛的男主角vs Best Actor in a Leading Role 最佳男主角) So technically, Roger Kwok was the first TVB Best Actor winner.
Was just wondering what kind of villain or challenging role will give Steven the TV King award.... So, I've been wondering what role will make Steven really shine and get the recognition as TV king.  Leba@asianfanatics
Based on my analysis of past TVB king recipients and tvb selection criteria, roles, be they villain or challenging, shining or lacklustre, do not necessarily garnered a best actor award for an artist. Yep, TVB is funny that way. So, I disagree with your above viewpoint because to me what Steven needs first and foremost in order to win is a hype-up series with an above average rating, only then a role that would make his character stand out through in whatever means or forms, as opposed to shining. Because acting, well, it’s all subjective.  Public opinions differed on Moses’ acting in HOG - over-the-top? Outstanding? With majority slanting towards the former. But regardless, his character role certainly stood out which helped snagged him the award.

To determine whether Steven’s Pu Chung Ling or Ah Gong is good enough to garner Steven the 2010 best actor award, I analyzed the qualifications of past and present TVB king/queen award recipients from its inception in 1997 through 2009 to find the common thread among them. I conclude at this point in time, either one of his characters is more than qualified Steven to join that elitist group of winners as the 2010 tvb king. Of all the awarded series from 1997 – 2005 (for both best actor and actress) I’ve only watched A Step Into The Past, & Golden Faith half way, so I will not comment on those wins whose series I have not finished watching.

I know I’m not the only one who was really annoyed and unimpressed by Moses’ portrayal of Dak Dak Dei, and thought he was undeserving of the best actor award that year. There is no verisimilitude to DDD’s character, in fact, he seems more like a caricature than a real human being. Furthermore, I don’t think DDD was all that challenging of a role for Moses either; also I find his facial expressions in comedic situations do not vary much, only that DDD’s expressions and actions are more exaggerated and affected than usual. And that affected, helium voice of DDD drove me nuts just listening to him cackling in laughter. But yeah, I’m not fond of Moses’ comedic acting though I like him well enough in serious dramas. So did Moses shine in his role? Was the role a breakthrough role for him? Was the role challenging to him? Imo, the popularity of HOG played a bigger part in garnering Moses’ his award than his role being challenging or him shinning in his role. But admittedly DDD gave him a distinct character to have the viewers remember him because DDD is so exaggerated in mannerisms and speech. Although there was less noise over his win than Kevin's, there was still plenty.

And do you really think Bowie Lam surpassed himself in War and Beauty? Did he really shine in his role there among the 4 beauties, and that his role was a breakthrough at the same challenging to him? In other series, his screen time in WAB would have made him a supporting male actor. Again it was the popularity of WAB that snagged him the best actor award, not so much his performance which was as usual brilliant but no more than usual. Bowie is a top notch actor and could have gotten the best actor award for any series he was in; it just happened to be WAB which though memorable was not his most memorable role. And what about Sheren Tang - did her role as 4th mistress really make her shine? It was memorable but less so than her two previous roles in WAB and La Femme Desperado. Was 4th mistress a challenging role for her? For myself, I find her 4th mistress performance very déjà vu, but nonetheless she totally deserved the best actress award that year, although I was equally impressed by Ada’s and Louise Lee’s and Maggie Siu’s respective performances in GOL. The thing is without the hype up of RB, the award could have easily bypassed her once again. So again, it is the popularity of the series, not the shining or challenging role per se. I have not finished watching MR, so did Michelle award winning role shine brighter than her role in BOL? And how similar was Ha Yu’s role in MR to HOG? And then there is of course the respective case of poor Kevin and poor Gigi. But then not every artiste can be as lucky as Wayne with his uncontested Chai Gou role.

So heck ya based on this kind of qualifications and circumstantial situations for a tvb king, Steven’s roles and performances in Ghost Writer and AWT, respectively, should be enough to garner him the best actor award, at this point in time. Though both series were aired in disadvantaged time slots they still garnered above average ratings, so that fulfill the rating requirement for an award. (though it shouldn’t be that way) I do, however, agree with you that PSL was most probably a breeze for Steven to portray only because he was that good, not because it was an easy role to portray. In another actor’s hands, PSL portrayal might not turn out as well, Steven just made it look easy with the right look, the right mannerisms and facial expressions of a Qing scholar. We have taken Steven’s fine acting for granted and unwittingly even holds it against him when we compared his performance with his past performances. We should compare his PCL performance with the contenders instead. As PCL, Steven portrayed a whole range of expressions and emotions unlike Bowie’s stoic character with his impassive face and restrain, and Moses’s caricature of DDD with his overly expressive face. Moreover, Steven’s performance was all the more impressive if one considered he had to act against the green background all by himself. But what is lacking in formula for TVB king is the lack of hype for both GW and AWT. 

To me, I see Moses as Steven's biggest competitor not Wayne, nothing to do with Wayne's performance per se but rather that TVB will not twice in a row cut off a lucrative means of commercial income through its tv king.  Unless, NR is such a tsunami success and TVB once again has to placate the crazed netizens.  


And seriously, to boost his career Steven needs to win this award badly. Hong Kong people are very superficial and materialistic in their thinking. Despite my personal opinion on the awards with their blatant rigging, the reality is that they are a big deal in HK society and industry. The status of artistes is judged by the awards they received as these awards are used to measure success and impart prestige and position. If Steven hopes to get better and more challenging roles, then first and foremost, he must win the award before that can happen. People tend to align their treatments of artists according to the latter’s turn of fortune. Hong Kong people are nothing if not realistic and pragmatic. Steven is right now in a very awkward position as he is a first line actor in name only.

And I agree with you, Steven’s PCL is a not breakthrough role for him though I consider Ah Gong to be one, but considering my above analysis of past winners, that alone should not deter him from garnering the best actor award. If won, he deserves it as much as those winners I have mentioned as PCL is no worse off than them. But of course, the finish line is still a long way off.

Enough to say I support Steven for the best actor award all the way, and imo, if he wins it, it is no handout to him but recognition hard earned and well deserved.

By following his weibo entries, I’m impressed by how positively Steven handled a nerve wrecking month of GW’s broadcast. Long before GW aired, Steven braced himself and his fans for its tough battle against WC by fortifying himself and fans alike with a positive mindset reinforced by relevant, inspiring maxims, which OnceAuponStar has so laboriously translated. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Steven got his fans hyped up for the upcoming GW posting little snippets on it. When GW’s broadcast came around, he updated his weibo with more interesting snippets and pictures on GW. Also, every night at around 8:30 pm, he dropped in to his weibo to ‘watch’ the series with his fans. He didn’t say much, but his presence was felt, much like the presence of a friend.

At no time did Steven ever let his fans forget that a finished series is the collective hard work of both the cast, the behind the scenes crew and staff members, producer and directors. Steven took time to feature some of his colleagues on his weibo, much to some of his fans’ displeasure because they had wanted to read about him not other artistes. But it is his weibo and he sets the tone, and will brook no manipulations from his fans to make him go their way.

Steven has truly wanted GW to win this ratings battle because he loved that series and his character, Pu Songling. To Steven, GW’s success is not just a gratification against the odds, but I believe for Steven, it is also an emotional personal victory scored against TVB, that like Fala has tweeted on his weibo, “we did it” - in spite of.  I was so happy to see Steven's happiness during the GW’s celebration.

Tsui Yong Yong, the director of Steven’s publishing company has recently updated her weibo with entries on Steven.

Tsui Yong Yong: 7-14 23:49

Accompanied Steven on the GW shoots. Once, in the middle of the night, within an hour I watched him hung more than a dozen times on the wire. I was busying taking pictures and snapping mosquitoes. Seeing Steven tired spirit propped up by sheer will, still being lowered up and down, spinning round and round until dizzy, I felt heartache. The victory of GW's ratings, the triumphant winning against a tough battle, this drink truly goes down well.

I recall when the wire scene was first reported in the news Steven was very nonchalant about its exhaustion and tedious repetitiveness. He quipped it was no big deal as he was no stranger to it. That might be the fact, but he never elaborated on all how physically and mentally exhaustive a job it was. Not until I watched the behind the scenes and ng clips. In the same report, Steven shifted the press attention from himself onto Fala, a first timer to wire work, by generously praising her indefatigable efforts. Ms. Tsui’s post truly stirred feelings inside me that I will share here.

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