Sunday, January 25, 2015

[O] TVB Series Roundup 2014

I know I said I won't be doing a TVB series roundup for 2014 but when I looked at the list I realised I watched more than half so I guess why not do one since I didn't write/completed the reviews for most of the series I watched. I did a similar series roundup in 2013 but that was quite brief.

Source
The list below is taken from Wikipedia 

Which is in and which is not
All series from Dec 2013 (which was broadcast until Jan 2014 so it counts as part of 2014 calendar year) to Jan 2015 (where series originates from Dec 2014 so yeah, counts also) including China series.

Ratings
1 is lowest, 5 is highest, 3 is mid range. 

As usual
All comments are my own, my opinion is as always subjective. All Reviewed titles can be found in Reviews Database

As for you dear readers...
What's your ratings for these series and for TVB in 2014 generally? Use Post A Comment to comment!

Ok, let's start, after the jump ...



2013 to 2014
17 Dec - 17 Jan
Return of the Silver Tongue (舌劍上的公堂)

Reviewed or not reviewed
No. 

Ratings 
3 out of 5

Watch or not
Only if you really like something very one minded subject matter and the actors in it

23 Dec– 17 Jan
Coffee Cat Mama (貓屎媽媽)

Reviewed or not reviewed
Reviewed!

Ratings 
4 out of 5

Watch or not
Of course! Bosco fans will love this one but I bet you all will like the sweet relationship between May Chan and Vincent Wong. Oh what a pairing! Also Jonathan Lee.

20 Jan- 9 Feb
Queen Divas (新抱喜相逢)

Reviewed or not reviewed
Not bothered.
Ratings 
0 out of 5

Watch or not
Utter and total rubbish, and it isn't even funny. It feels tired, lethargic and to prove its point, it is shorter than most series. To me the worst series of the year and a travesty to my eyes. Don't waste your time on this crap.

20 Jan– 14 Feb
Outbound Love (單戀雙城)

Reviewed or not reviewed
Definitely reviewed plus got episodic thoughts!

Ratings 
3.5 out of 5

Watch or not
I love it for Malaysian sceneries that I did not even know exists, I love it for Ruco Chan, I love it for the romance but it doesn't go beyond mid range rating for me because I hated it for Aimee Chan's poor uninspired and at times confusing performance, for that screechy actress called Lin Xiawei and the screwing up of the entire Malaysian geography for the sake of convenience. It has a solid story but unfortunately Aimee did not have the charm to carry the role of a supposed likable character that I find myself disliking increasingly and am unconvinced by their love affair because Aimee was holding back. Watch it for Ruco and that perfect shot of the Twin Towers (KLCC).  

26 Jan–16 Feb
A Time of Love (愛情來的時候)

Reviewed or not reviewed
No.
Ratings 
To be fair, since I didn't watch beyond 1 episode, I can't rate it.

Watch or not
Couldn't get past 1 episode of the pretentious story of Kenneth and Charmaine in Singapore so I gave up. TVB isn't good at love stories, they should have made a series dedicated to BFFs. Only for fans of actors, locations and hdtv.

10 Feb-14 Mar
Gilded Chopsticks (食為奴)

Reviewed or not reviewed
Reviewed!
Ratings 
3.5 out of 5

Watch or not
I like Ben Wong and Louis Cheung but both were miscast in their respective roles. They should have switched roles. Joey Meng was too old for her role though she had the right aura.  Other than that, Wong Cholam was quite funny. For a few good laughs, yes.

17 Feb-28 Mar
Storm in a Cocoon (守業者)

Reviewed or not reviewed
How can I not?! Yes!
Ratings 
4.5 out of 5

Watch or not
One of the best of the year with magnetic performances from the leads and an eye opener (for me at least) with regards to Cilla Kung who did quite well when she stopped screaming her lines. Steven and Tavia makes a great couple and I love so many scenes in this series except for the stupid ending. Watch but skip the last episode. Just pretend our hero drowned and that's it.

17 Mar-18 Apr
Ruse of Engagement (叛逃)

Reviewed or not reviewed
Reviewed!
Ratings 
4.5 out of 5

Watch or not
I consider this series the best thriller of the year. This is what Line Walker should be but isn't and Ruse Of Engagement should have Line Walker's budget but didn't. Released 3 years later but at the right time, it feels ahead of its time if released 3 years ago. It feels contemporary, the story is solid even if it does make you go huh?, some amazing scenes and an ending that I feel now after so many months as one of the most debated, shocking but apt ending. As usual I dislike Aimee in here and find myself liking Yoyo. Ruco is the reason why this series works. It just non stop action from episode 7 onwards, can't even breath. Definitely but skip the first 7 episodes and try to watch last episode with an open mind.

31 Mar-25 Apr
Swipe Tap Love (愛我請留言)

Reviewed or not reviewed
Reviewed!
Ratings 
3 out of 5

Watch or not
It is slow, it is Korean style love story (as in one track mind) and it is like slow boiling but in the end it works out well. For serious love fanatics and fans of Priscilla Chan and Raymond Wong. The little girl is for me the reason to watch this series.

5 Apr-3 May
ICAC Investigators 2014 (廉政行動)

Reviewed or not reviewed
No.
Comments 
I only saw the one with Ruco and Sire and Ruco looks hot. That's all I remember.

Ratings 
5 out of 5 for Ruco and Ruco only who was delicious in here. As for the content, 2.5 out of 5.

Watch or not
I only saw the one with Ruco and Sire and Ruco looks hot. That's all I remember. Ruco fans must watch this. Ignore Sire Ma.

21 Apr-1 Jun
Never Dance Alone (女人俱樂部)

Reviewed or not reviewed
Reviewed!
Ratings 
4 out of 5

Watch or not
Absolutely snubbed at TVB awards! One of the best series of the year that was ignored during awards time. Marks the return of many veterans such as Carmen Lee who still looks gorgeous and can act superbly. Should have won TV Queen in my opinion. Flora Chan's best performance. Story may be repetetive but it concludes well. Alan Tam should have made a cameo. Definitely, for nostalgia, for some good acting.

28 Apr-27 June
Journey to the West (西遊記)

Reviewed or not reviewed
Reviewed! (Under China series category)

Ratings 
3.5 out of 5

Watch or not
China version and I watched every episode and frankly I liked it. Wu Yue as the Monkey King was superb. At times the story is cold, and I mean lacking a bit of empathy but at least it is more accessible as a story than the previous adaptations save for the best adaptation of all; by TVB. Despite what was said, I highly recommend it. But do be patient.

2 June-11 July
The Ultimate Addiction (點金勝手)

I didn't watch this.

30 June-8 Aug
Ghost Dragon of Cold Mountain (寒山潛龍)

Reviewed or not reviewed
Reviewed! 

Ratings 
3 out of 5

Watch or not
At times quite funny. Selena Lee's best performance in a dual role but frankly she overacts in both roles. She was best in the final third role. Kenneth was ok but Raymond Cho was a delight. And no it is not a wuxia. And yes, Lin Xiawei is in here and she annoys the hell outta me. Strictly for fans.

14 July-22 Aug
Black Heart White Soul (忠奸人)

Reviewed or not reviewed
Reviewed! 
Ratings 
4.5 out of 5 

Watch or not
Sensational series, the best for mystery I suppose. Can't say it is a thriller. Maybe I will say best for character based series with amazing superb performances from the male actors and not so great and often miscast actresses such as Kristal Tin who nearly pulled down this series.Must watch!

20 Jul–5 Oct
Shades of Life (我們的天空)

I didn't watch this.

11 Aug-5 Sep
Rear Mirror (載得有情人)

Reviewed or not reviewed
Yes/
Ratings 
1 out of 5

Watch or not
Wayne can do romance but this series is just insipid. It never had any direction and the so called love story is quite a slap on the face because in modern times to hear the sniggers over a love affair between a driver and his employer is to me so last century. And Wayne's character is over qualified to be a driver and more importantly, Louisa So slurred her lines so much she sounds like she is drunk the entire time. For me one of the most pointless series of the year. Avoid.

25 Aug-3 Oct
Line Walker (使徒行者)

Reviewed or not reviewed
Planning to.

Ratings 
2.5 out of 5

Watch or not
The smash hit of the year. It started out well, but as it went on it became 3 Infernal Affairs movie in one. Way too many spies and it becomes absolutely ridiculous when a triad king has 3 moles in his employment and they don't even know he is also a mole himself. There is no true villain until one appears at the end and much too briefly. The ending was horrible and no I didn't think Charmaine Sheh deserves her TV Queen. Yes she improves a lot but to me she is not the best performance of 2014. Sharon Chan should just retire. Watch for the excitement but in the end it is an empty shell full of excitement but not much commitment.

6 Oct-31 Oct
Tomorrow Is Another Day (再戰明天)

Reviewed or not reviewed
No.

Ratings 
3 out of 5

Watch or not
Started out well and then it went nowhere. The story was never fully realised. The love affair between an uncle and his "niece" is just gross. The only bright spark is Vincent Wong whose character was wasted and Josie Ho who deservedly won her TV Princess (aka supporting actress) but again her character was also wasted. Deserves to be seen but just once.

8 Sep-17 Oct
All That Is Bitter Is Sweet (大藥坊)

Reviewed or not reviewed
Planning to.
Ratings 
3 out of 5

Watch or not
I don't know what to say about Linda Chung. She was trully horrid in this series, she never seems to be at ease and she seems so painful all the time. As the story shifts from her to everyone else, it became more bearable. Raymond Wong did well, Ruco basically played knight in shining armour and is wasted and the ending was just stupid but not in the scale of Bottled Passion but close enough. Not even for Ruco but this series shows why Samantha Ko deserves some recognition and why she should have been the lead in Outbound Love.

19 Oct– 04 Jan
Tiger Cubs II

I didn't watch this.

20 Oct-30 Nov
Come On, Cousin (老表,你好hea!)

Reviewed or not reviewed
No.

Ratings 
4 out of 5

Watch or not
One of the weirdest series of the yeah and it made no apologies for being weird and inconsistent and having no storyline. Acting is superb, special mention to Louis Cheung and his biceps (he is mostly non-shirt in this series!) and King Sir for his mischevious performance. I never thought Chung King Fai can ever be funny but in this series, he was superbly funny and cute. Everybody else including Roger did well, as an ensemble cast this series is amazing. And who can forget the kissing scenes between May Chan and Bob Lam? Hot! And I appreciate the fact that some second liners got to shine in this series as important supporting cast. Definitely but don't expect a coherent storyline. Just go with the flow.

3 Nov-12 Dec 
Overachievers (名門暗戰)

Reviewed or not reviewed
Planning to.

Ratings 
4 out of 5

Watch or not
Best family drama of the year. Boasts some great performances from Elliot Yue, Nancy Wu, Susanna Kwan, Raymond Cho and some improvement for Jason Chan who sucked less in a character that is very very likable and a smashing debut by Grace Chan who became better as the series went on. Raymond Wong was good too but he was a miscast as the sexy, mysterious and unapologetic Hugo. Power Chan shines bright and showcases great chemistry with Wayne and the rest. The ending (not the final ending) was shocking but apt. For performances alone, yes. For the story, it takes some time to get used to but it does show a different dynamics between father and son with some heart wrenching moments when son pleads with father to accept him as a son. That was a fine acting moment by Wayne and Elliot.

01 Dec-26 Dec
Lady Sour (醋娘子)

I didn't watch this.


16 Dec 2014-9 Jan 2015
Officer Geomancer (八卦神探)

Reviewed or not reviewed
No.
Ratings 
1 out of 5

Watch or not
I watched 5 episodes and I gave up. No no noy because of Joey Meng but because of Mr Chok Johnson Li who acts and is aware he is always Johnson Li and that annoys the hell outta me. Should have been Bobby in this role. I gave up on it so for me not worth watching.

29 Dec 2014-23 Jan 2015
Noblesse Oblige

Reviewed or not reviewed
Reviewed.

Ratings 
3.5 out of 5 for now (19.01.2015)
3 out of 5

Watch or not
An ongoing series that is getting stronger with each episode. So far the story is a mixed plot and it is going slow mo, slowly building up the story which to me is good. Kenneth is ok but Tavia is graceful even if she is not believable as a nun-in-study. Joel Chan is doing well to. It may be too early to conclude but thus far I like what I see. Definitely even if Kenneth OTT at times and is too old to be an immature 29 year old. I just feel Kenneth did ok but could have been so much better if he could make up his mind if he wants to play comedy or be serious in any given scene.

Watch it for Tavia who was simply wonderful in here. Kenneth Ma is cursed with the ever pouty lips puppy dog eyes look and he can't seem to shake it off. Read my review for more info. Plenty of info there!

OVERALL REPORT CARD FOR TVB FOR 2014
For me my best series were Ruse Of Engagament (Action Thriller), Storm In A Cocoon (Drama), Overachievers (Family Drama), M Club (Nostalgia), Come On Cousin (Comedy) and Black Heart White Soul (Storytelling & Performances).

Of all these, Ruse Of Engagement was my personal favourite because it shows TVB can do an intelligent action thriller with cliff hanger every single episode from episode 7 onwards. 

The worst series was Diva In Distress. A complete waste of time.

So for 2014, out of 10, TVB gets a 7.I definitely enjoyed 2014 even if I didn't watch all the series but those I chose to watch were mostly entertaining with some hidden gems.  Maybe if I had seen it all perhaps my ratings would be lower! It is however a better year than the last with some good series or some series that was daring and started out well but as always with TVB series, falters and splutters. But at least they dared to try to do something new.

Hopefully for 2015, we get grander series with more emphasis on costume drama and more pure comedies.

3 comments:

  1. Interesting as I have similar thoughts on the series you reviewed, but how about The Virtuous Queen of Han? What rating would you give that series?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Funn, you did do a review for Rear Mirror: http://point2e-reviews.blogspot.sg/2014/09/r-rear-mirror-tvb2014-funn-lim.html.

    The series which you didn't do a review for is Return of the Silver Tongue. Or maybe you did but you didn't post it!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yeah I just remembered!! I did write one for Silver Tongue but never posted it. Thanks!!

    ReplyDelete