TVB series. They’re special too.

Filed in Hong Kong, TVB (H.K.) 香港無線電視Tags: , , ,

With reference to the TVB soaps, there are a few things I feel I should say, especially after reading the comments to my previous article Hail Hollywood TV.

First. Most of the main actors and actresses are really very good at what they do. Working for TVB is not easy, especially for them. While filming any one series, the average main actor works 18 hours a day and sometimes more, averaging perhaps just 2 or 3 hours of sleep a night. Between scenes or between showers, they have to read their scripts, understand what's going on and work out how they're going to act the scenes. They carry their own scripts around with them (these days usually in an aircraft hand-luggage suitcase on wheels), remember what clothes they wore for each scene and do lots of other stuff that the actors in Hollywood never have to worry about. It is also not unusual to get the scripts only hours before the scene. That makes it very hard for the actor and there's nothing they can do to change the situation.

When working on location, the meals provided by TVB are usually low-cost rice boxes, usually Chinese BBQ assortments so that everyone will have something acceptable to eat, occasionally something a little more special like 茶餐廳 spaghetti. No seating is provided so the actors either eat in the minibuses or sit on any available surface while eating. Actors in Hollywood get buffets.

At the same time, the actors and actresses still have to master the politics of working for the dominant television company, making sure that they're friends with the right people and don't tick off the wrong people. Rumors includes gifts to higher ranking personnel and sometimes other more personal things. These artistes, as a friend of mine calls them, work damn hard. They're worth much more than they're paid by TVB. If they worked this hard in Hollywood, they'd be USD millionaires. Unfortuantely, their contracts make it extremely hard to work with non-TVB productions so it's very difficult for them to make decent money outside of TVB. Occasionally, they'll get one or two well-paid commercials to supplement their incomes.

Incidentally, there is no such thing as residuals in Hong Kong so the actors and actresses make nothing out of a series if it's re-broadcast anywhere in the world or if it sells on VCD or DVD.

Second, the TVB series are never going to compare in terms of quality to those made in Hollywood. TVB is the dominant television station here and no other television company can compete. The audiences crave non-stop for new series and TVB doesn't buy series if they have a choice so they make series non-stop as fast as they can, but there's no competition, so the quality doesn't need to be great; just acceptable. The actors have no time to prepare for their scenes so you'll rarely see their full acting potential. The writers never have time to contemplate the scripts so you'll never see their full potential either. The directors and their assistants rarely have time for sleep and are as fabulous as anyone else could be under the circumstances.

Third, Hong Kong people are different. The daily pressures of work (with super-human requirements and usually more overtime than is healthy), travel, crowding, pollution and mortgages means that they don't want to think when they watch tv. Hence, many Hong Kong people really enjoy the non-intellectual TVB series. I remember hearing one couple tell me how much they loved to watch a show on TVB just before they slept. To me, the show was garbage with corny scripts and extreme over-acting, but to this couple, it was just what they needed to get a good laugh and put the daily pressures out of their minds before sleeping. I'm pretty sure that TVB knows what the audience wants most of the time. In this respect, there are a few actors at TVB who are really good as making the audience laugh and I think they're a valuable asset to TVB. One that immediately comes to mind is 梅小惠. She's one very clever girl.

So while Hollywood productions are obviously better than TVB productions in many aspects, there are still many things about TVB series that deserve respect. For many people, Hollywood series will be the preferred choice. For others, TVB series will do more to brighten their lives if even just a little and that makes them worthwhile.

One last thing. Within Hong Kong are many many very talented actors, actresses, directors, writers, camera-men, lighting technicians and others related to the film profession. With the right opportunities, without a doubt, they could create films and television shows equivalent to those produced by Hollywood. Unfortunately, the market was damaged by greedy members of the profession who wanted to make a quick buck. The market was also damaged by piracy, initially by protected powerful syndicates in China and now also by various internet technologies. Without a market, these talented people can do nothing. My hope is that the internet will change this situation soon, that new online markets will emerge allowing Hong Kong-made film and television to be sold and seen all around the world. The introduction of video to Apple Computer's iTunes store may be the beginning or a new era in television and film distribution. I hope so. I truly want to see Hong Kong's film and television industry thrive again soon. The world of film wouldn't be the same without it.

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38 Responses to “TVB series. They’re special too.”
  1. yinyin says:

    wa.... first reader....
    Im so happy for see updates.... A busy week?
    Probably you are right, different people judge shows differently, as people reach to certain age of their life the things they want and value changes.
    After reading the post i kind of felt guilty as i'm one of those idiots who download stuff online. Hey, why waste money on disk that dont worth to be kept? Like i purchase official release disk, only if that show is worth watch the second time, like the chinese ghost story ( 1987) or cartoons like lion king.
    Wel, you mentioned that actor arenot able to reach their full potiential as lack of time and money, but i just wonder how many those actors who willing to sacarfice their time and life for showing business. Probably listened too much rumors from friends, who are addicted to those Idol showing which is totally waste of time, it give me a feeling that most of them just wants to make quite money?
    Hm.. i dont know what im talking about... being a bit aggressive...
    Anyway,
    Yin

  2. anna says:

    wow thanks for sharing that - i had no idea tvb actors had it so tough! i think that despite the often so-so storylines that tvb series are indeed special and unique. they sure keep me hooked! looking forward to seeing you in more of them ;)

  3. Joanne says:

    I probably posted something about TVB earlier that was possibly negative, but I really do love their series. I spend many more hours following TVB series than I do American ones. I spend a good chunk of my time following sports too, but that's another story.

    I can see what you're saying about TVB actors and actresses having it hard. It shows when they have photos taken of them on location taking a nap, or filming with tired eyes. And my mum always comments how hard it must be to be a famous celebrity - first thing she said when I told her about Ron Ng's (吳卓羲) budding music career was "嘩! 做死佢!".

    However, this doesn't change my opinion on their acting and/or singing abilities. I realise that they are very hard-working people, master politicians, and superhuman when it comes to going without rest....I really do admire those abilities, because I'm lazy, I sleep alot, and I'm just too direct to get along with everybody. But still, I think that there are many of the main actors and actresses who have questionable acting skills. Sometimes TVB churns out brilliant scripts, which are ruined by people who regurgitate the lines without emotion. I just don't think that people who, series after series, continue to go without improvement, should keep filming without doing anything about it.

    Some people just cannot perform and I will continue to say so whenever I see them on screen. Having said that though, I do realise the time constraints that may prevent them from getting lessens or anything like that, and the fact that they are promoted is purely TVB's decision. So maybe I should just rant about TVB not giving more opportunities to the veterans... ;)

    I don't mean to be so negative, and I hope I'm not coming across as unreasonable. I'm just trying to say that hard-working and superhuman is one thing, being good at performing is another seperate thing. I choose to admire the former and criticize the latter.

    Another massive gripe I have is former beauty queens who always look like they're strutting around thinking they're hot. I just don't see the attraction...but that's just me being unreasonable because beauty is in the eye of the beholder, yada yada...

    Again, sorry for the negativity.

  4. Tonia says:

    What I want to said is all TVB's actors/actresses are "SUPER-Human", since they don't really need to sleep during the rush filming, and still look good on the camera. And they might need to REPEAT one short clip for 1,2,3... times, and still acting like the first time on doing that shoot.
    And I want to know how much times does TVB need to finish one series of 20's episode. Can you ask me this question.

  5. Tonia says:

    --correction--
    Can you answer this question for me?

  6. Elizabeth says:

    I heard that the TVB actors have to buy their own clothes with their own money for modern series? And they do their own makeup & hairstyle? Is that true? If so, then there's not even an ounce of feeling like a star.

    Yes, Hong Kongers seem to have very stressful lives. Actually in many asian cultures, you are expected to work very hard at all times.
    Thank goodness the US workplace culture is not like that...whew! Some people here get very pissed off if they have to work overtime.

  7. Elizabeth says:

    I think I LOVED the ancient TVB series of the 80s even though I didn't know or watch those series until much much much later. My most favorite ancient TVB series is "The Legend of Condor Heros" with 黃日華 & Yung 美玲! I was sadly disappointed when the VCD version released by TVB was cut enormously.

  8. Lenny Wu says:

    I dunno if Apple will consider an iTMS for Hong Kong. There's alot of loophole. Plus, I dunno if Apple is popular in Hong Kong. Is it?
    For me, I was happy when iTMS finally launched for Canada. It got so much loopholes prior to it.
    Oh yeah, I ordered the new iPod, getting the 60GB version. I don't think I will put a lot of videos.
    I am just tempted wanting to download the video for With or Without by U2. It's $2.29 Canadian.
    Though, the Canadian iTunes Music Store doesn't have Lost for the video downloads. :(

    Are you getting the new iPods? :)

    Are you a big U2 fan? :)

  9. John says:

    today is the first time i found out about ya blog. Hail from sydney. Hey is there anyway you can put up a photo album with some quality pics (like the one u have now).
    You are right about TVB drama, it maybe crap and corny but it has "hong kong "written all over, and that is what people miss and is happy to go pigging in them hook line and sinker.

  10. Amy says:

    I do agree that Hong Kong actors and actresses work too hard and they might not have the time to improve their acting skills. But this is not true for all. A very good example will be Charmaine Sheh 佘詩曼. I remembered her first series with 黃日華 and I was saying that she is really bad at acting. Only knows how to whine whenever she speaks and very 嗲. But look at her recent series, she has really improved a lot.

    And after reading Greg's post, I really think that the Hong Kong celebrities really work too hard when they need to act, sing and also advertisements. And also to perform in charity shows every year.

    As for the TVB soap series, it's true that they tune in more for the Hong Kong residents who are stressed 24 by 7. We who are living out of Hong Kong might never understand how stressful it is there. Because of our different lifestyles, the way that we watch these series made a very different impact.

    And since majority of us here love the TVB series (I assumed, otherwise why would you be here?), let's just hope that with future competition, TVB will improve for the better.

  11. sapphire says:

    無線片集雖然並非每一套都是很有水準,不竟它們曾經陪伴過我成長,尢其是現在身處異地,所以看無線片集對我來說很有親切感,尢其是看時裝片集。我比較喜歡看時裝劇,節奏比較快及容易共鳴。雖然 "金枝慾葉" 這類古裝片並非是我的 "杯中茶",但我仍然會尊重其他喜歡看這片集的人。我同意對無線有批評它才會有進步,但有建設性的善意批評或對其他觀眾/藝人的人身攻擊,絕對是兩回事。無論我喜歡与否,不竟這片集曾創下高的收視率。
    河生,我很好奇想知道收視率是怎樣計出來的,全港有幾百萬人,難道抽樣用電話訪問?
    或是在一部份人家中事先安裝上 detector 之類的東西?(我的想像力太豐富了!)

  12. John says:

    i think greg is kinda of hot, while i understand why he go on about the lack of opportunity in hk and the sort of roles he is getting; i also have to point out that he is actually quite lucky compared to his aussie peers. the australian TV drama is literally dead. Actors like greg who has roles one after another (for almost two decades!)are the envy of the entire business.
    Everytime i watch the Logies i feel sad, as the majority of actors are out of work , prolly on the dole and yet schools like NIDA and VCA keep churning out starry eyed graduates year after year.
    i believe a majority of the hk population literally grow up with "haw kwok wing". He is the "say gwei lo" of OUR generation to say the least.
    I mean "say gwei lo" in the most endearing way.haha.

  13. Joel says:

    I admire your honesty about TVB.

    Hope you are not biting the hand .. etc.

    But it is slightly unfair to compare US TV series with Hong Kong.

    Yes, they get a worldwide distribution, but usually only on VCD or DVD among the Chinese communities.

    The fact is that the US networks have more money, and a larger worldwide market.

  14. yinyin says:

    “無線片集雖然並非每一套都是很有水準,不竟它們曾經陪伴過我成長,尢其是現在身處異地,所以看無線片集對我來說很有親切感”
    Yeah, totally agree with Sapphire, ^_^.
    Like in living in a forgein country, you pretty much lost your traditions, and the connectiveness between you and your motherland. And pretty much like watching tvb shows gives me or my mum who dont know any english a sense of belonging.
    According to my taste, i like shows CSI, investigating or shows that have to do 心理学!

  15. sapphire says:

    >>Yeah, totally agree with Sapphire, ^_^

  16. Jane says:

    Hi again! I keep leaving comments for your past posts, wonder if you still look at them...? As I said before, I still love TVB series. I think it's like the other people say, it's HOME. I also agree with you. It is a good laugh for people, especially people in HK(who are known to be stressed), when they go home at night and just want some pure entertainment to relax. I can still see all the actors and actresses working really hard, I don't think the acting is all that bad. Some of them are improving and becoming better and better. As for a very good laugh, my favourite actor in TVB series is 黃子華. I miss him in TVB series, but in a way I'm glad that he's not a TVB regular cuz then he'll just end up like every other actor in TVB, which I'm starting to get tired of.

  17. Ian says:

    I just watched Into Thin Air, and you played William Hunter, the grandson of a popular actor, that could be one of your dream as well right?

    TVB does has good and bad, actually everything has its good and bad, so does the Hollywood side, some shows started it great but, as the season getting longer and longer, the script had turns out quite poor..

    Agreed with Sapphire, eventhough i am not from HK, but, my mom became a TVB buff before i was even born, so, i was exposed to the series a lot..

    I think the shows at the US, they only show an episode once a week, focus on a theme show, like CSI-about crime scene, Smallvilla-about young clark kent, Lost-about plane crashing, and etc.., they also have one season after another seaon for a very same series.

    Things are so diferent from the way TVB works, lol, they keep producing the soap non-stop, it makes everyone are always exhausted..

    I don't know why they need to does that. But, An episode a week, Mon to Fri diferent soaps, hows that would be for TVB then..? Also, season after seasons for a same soap, then, it will lead TVB to brain storming themself to come out with agood one..

  18. Maggie says:

    Omg, you are absoulutly correct! TVB actors/ actresses are so underpaid!!! I heard that Jennifer Aniston gets like a million per episode of friends and only the top tvb actors get that much per year!

    As for me, I prefer both tvb and hollywood series although hollywood series are much better and much more refreshing. Tvb seems to 'recycle' their series a lot... especially the endings... they are very, very corny a lot of the times...

    Btw, was the corny series you were talking about Virtues of Harmony? Because I think that is the most stupid series tvb has ever produced!

    Reading your post, I feel sorry for the actors like Raymond Lam and Ron Ng (do you know them btw?) and such and such because I've constantly heard them in interviews saying that they get about 2 or 3 hours of sleep every night plus, they're singing and acting at the same time as well... poor people lol. I've always wanted to become an actor but now I definetly know not to go for tvb if I do...

  19. MY says:

    Reading the comments made by Sapphire and YinYin has brought back some memories.

    I am a Chinese, born and raised in a small town (now has become a city) in North America. I grew up with caucasian neighbors and schoolmates. But no matter how "white" you can be, as a Chinese there is still a longing to see some other "yellow" skin and hear some Chinese languages. I remember in primary school I would look forward to coming home and watching TVB series every night. It was "comforting" to see those Chinese actors and actresses on TV. Seeing your own kind. So yes, I can say that I've grown up with TVB series and have been a long time TVB fanatic and will always be.

    Acting jobs are no different than other jobs. You get people who can perform well and others that don't. I must say that a lot of good actors, actresses and singers do not get the recognition that they deserve and lot of it has to do with how they are "packaged".

    Greg, I am very glad that you have created this blog. You have drawn me closer into the world of TVB and have made me realize that there are others who are living in the same world as me.

    Funny though, I have never considered Greg Rivers and Belinda Hamnett as caucasians. Obviously the differences is not in the skin but the language.;)

  20. Ivana B. Anonymous says:

    That's an interesting perspective on TVB actors. I've never thought of it that way before. Maybe actors are always under a lot of stress but, given the amount of time that they're allowed to portray their character, I think you would expect them to improve greatly every time they perform. However, as per usual, it is not the case, *cough Ron Ng cough* I'm not trying to be nasty but, if entertainers don't get a lot of training before they act, and they suck at it even within a vast span of time, get them off the darn stage! I do admit that he improved ... even if by a teensy drop. I truly hope he does better and someone should try to discourage him from singing. His singing is nothing compared to your's, 河生 (sorry, had to steal Sapphire's link of Mr. Hall because I don't know how to write in chinese).

    As for your comment about Mo Siu Wai, I agree. She's quite a versatile actress. And I don't doubt that a lot of veterans are like that too, although I'm not sure if I can call her a veteran.

    Also, 河生, when you speak publicly about the government, aren't you afraid that officials might prosecute you for speaking about them? You know how they are. And, you talk about their corruptions and things like that (not to mention things about TVB). Aren't you scared that someone from the higher hierachy (who understand English) from TVB might be ticked off, as you mentioned?

    Btw, are you acquainted with other native English actors and actresses as well? Because I think it would be jolly fun if all of you got together and bash about TVB (and no one understands! hahaha). Whoopdeedoo.

  21. Richard says:

    Hi Ho Kwok Wing

    Hope the vageries of TV land not getting you down...

    My wife put me onto your site. I'm Australian too, from Melbourne. I just wanted to say that I empathise with TVB actors and crew but not with the industry as a whole. My father in law has always worried about the respectability of the people who run the HK entertainment industry if you know what I mean. As for HK lifestyle and HK people's tastes...how does that excuse them, when Japan and Korea also have high pressure lifestyles? They make excellent TV

    For example, there was this Japanese miniseries about Aixinjueluo Pujie (the last emperor's brother) and his Japanese wife Hiro who survived so much terrible stuff in the war and so on. This was beautifully made for the very stressed Japanese public by Fuji TV.

    We're currently watching Dae Jang Geum (yes its real name) in Korean on VCD even though TVBJ are running it in Cantonese. Honestly, Korean is the real thing and sounds much better than Gwongdongwa which sounds very coarse. Also one of the most beautiful TV dramas ever made.

    The main problem is the Canto language keeps the market small - even Mandarin markets like Singapore can at least choose between Taiwan and Mainland and HK as well and get some variety.

    Also can someone tell me, can HK people watch TV from Shenzhen or Guangzhou? That would give some competition in Canto-TV

    I think what HK needs (yes the home of free enterprise) is a government TV station, not just RTHK making shows but running there own station. It could make shows of the quality of BBC or ABC in Australia.

    BTW I hope you're right about internet TV and now talking about I-Pod TV. This means I can watch whatever I like from all over the world.

    Hope you don't mind my comments

  22. smakelijk says:

    I really hope that TVB should stop promoting heavily on people who are obviously lack the acting talents. No matter how hard they try, I jsut can't see the improvment in series. Examples are Shirley Yeung, Mandy Cho,Linda Chung and all of those are Miss ____ whatever. Aside from their super high annoying voices, Shirely has been in TVB since 2001 and her acting still sucks big time. Always trying to be cute and innocent w/ over the top facial expression. kinda and Mandy are another waste of space Miss____ who can't even act for one minute to save their lives and yet TVB still giving them series after series. Not to mention they are not very pretty. Just aveage plain janes working in 7-11.Don't see their attraction.

    Lastly, Ron Ng is the worst. He has only one range of emotions in his expression and acting. Dont' even get me started on him.

  23. Elizabeth says:

    smakelijk,

    I think TVB goes by the rule, if you market them enough and show their faces enough, the audience will accept them.

  24. heavenlytwinz says:

    Hi Mr. Rivers!

    I stumbled on to your site last night and spent the whole night reading your blog entries. I found it very entertaining to read about your thoughts and views on the various topics. I've always been amazed at how well you speak Cantonese - and you can read/write the language too. hehehe... Makes me feel embarrased to say that I can only speak it. Reading and writing.. umm.. well, I'll have to keep working on that!

    Currently, I'm living in Toronto. Though I was not born nor raised in HK, I still thoroughly enjoy TVB series. It was my way to learn Cantonese...and after all, Toronto is dominated by Chinese/HK people!!

    I completely agree that the quality of TVB series are not that great.. haha.. I spent a lot of time dissecting the show as I watch it. But they are normally very light-hearted and relaxing to watch - which is what I normally need after a day of work. I remember coming home one night and watched the last episode of last season's CSI - the one about Nick being buried alive in a plastic coffin. It was a GREAT episode - but too intense for me at the time. At the same time, TVB series are very family-oriented and do teach a lot about how people are in the real world.

    In the end, TVB series/shows (especially Super Trio shows) have brought a lot of laughter and entertainment to my family. For that reason, I will continue to watch TVB productions...

    I hope to see more of you in TVB productions ... and hopefully, HOLLYWOOD films too...

  25. MY says:

    Heavenlytwinz, I think you have just hit the jackpot. What you mentioned (quoted below) are the "real" reasons why TVB series/shows are so popular. And yes, it's not only HK people who are stressed out and need a little relaxing entertainment from the box at times. Our overseas audience are the same. Hmmm...come to think of it, that's why 戇夫成龍 (Square Pegs) was so well accepted by the audience.

    "But they are normally very light-hearted and relaxing to watch - which is what I normally need after a day of work."

    "At the same time, TVB series are very family-oriented and do teach a lot about how people are in the real world."

    "In the end, TVB series/shows (especially Super Trio shows) have brought a lot of laughter and entertainment to my family. For that reason, I will continue to watch TVB productions..."

  26. ginie says:

    interesting blog and comments.
    i've heard on interviews such as Superman on HK Radio station about those TVB work hours...it is basically around the clock with very little compensation. But, the irony is, the actors still continue to withstand this treatment. Is this the only way to get recognition or to earn a living? Is it really worth it, I wonder? What are the other options? ATV ? Mainland? Singapore/Malaysia productions? Taiwan possibly? There are some actors (good ones too) that left for other networks for better pay but is it as successful? Should they have stayed in TVB just to get better HK coverage/popularity? I don't want to be one of those actors having to make this career decision....thank goodness.

    I've also read somewhere (don't know to believe those newspapers or not) ...it was Kenix Kwok's interview. She seems to be pro-TVB despite these work hours. She claims that although the pay outside TVB is much better, the advertisement opportunities she reaps from being on TVB station is more than enough to balance the equation. I take the report as a pinch of salt but there might be truth in it? TVB is able to help these stars maintain their popularity?

  27. amai says:

    hihihi...i was wondering if they air the tv series NCIS and Alias in hong kong and if they do..what channel and what time? it would be great if u could help out! Cheers buddy!

  28. 河國榮 says:

    Amai, not sure. sorry. I haven't heard anyone talk about these shows here though. people talk about CSI but not NCIS or Alias.

  29. 河國榮 says:

    Ginie,

    working at TVB is hard work and the pay is minimal but it's the most widely viewed Chinese channel in the world so it's the place to be for coverage. but it would be hard for even the stars to make decent money outside of TVB. they occasionally get parts in China-made series and those pay a lot more than TVB but they can also be dangerous (a friend was recently hurt while filming in China recently. he was hit in the face by another martial arts actor, causing serious injury but without compensation of any kind and still being required to film the remainder of the series before being allowed to return home to Hong Kong for treatment of his wounds) and actors sometimes don't get paid the closing instalments (for many of the China-based Chinese, prestige and respect appears to be measured by the ability to cheat others for your personal gain which is why corruption is basically the rule in China business).

    TVB helps some of the main actors get advertising deals but it doesn't happen every day. it's basically up to the actor to find work outside of TVB.

    very few TVB actors get work in the movies. very few movies are made now, and the movie companies have their own circle of actors (or singers with no acting ability but the audience doesn't care).

    but if you're a main actor for TVB, you probably won't have time to work outside of TVB. most of the main actors are required to make at least three series per year. that's 9 to 11 months full time assuming only 20 episodes per series.

    it's hard work but if you're at the top, it's pretty stable and for the down-to-earth actors, that's enough.

    a *few* actresses use the fame they gain at TVB to ask for higher prices when they work as escorts (even just looking pretty and accompanying a client to dinner can get them a very comfortable income). the actresses I regularly see at TVB don't do this 'extra' work. they're not interested and they're too busy.

    TVB gets young actors and actresses who have stars in their eyes obstructing the truth of the situations and conditions that they'll be working in. they work hard and TVB makes the money. it's exactly the same thing that happens in Hollywood. people don't mind getting low pay and perhaps having to be escorts if they think there's a chance they'll one day be famous and hopefully wealthy.

    nuff said. (probably too much)

  30. Cecilia says:

    G'day from adelaide australia! do you miss the aussie lifestyle where you play cricket or footy on the weekend and have barbies everynow and then? do you support any footy teams?

  31. hanhan says:

    wow...after readin now onli i noe tat hk artist reli do work pretty hard..i think extra2 hard but was not given the appreciation they was meant to b given..i mean like come on....their workin so hard n they can;t even get a nice n delicious meal?n their income r not tat much too?tats unfair in my own opinion..i'd luv to hear more bout the artiste in hk =]

  32. Stephen says:

    Ian, I've asked the question of why TVB doesn't show one episode a week. When I thought of the face paced society HK is, I immediately found the answer: there will be very low ratings. Greg, correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this is a good reason why they are not producing soaps like that. Then again, Greg, mentioned soaps. Aren't the Hollywood soaps similar to the ones all the ppl of HK are interestingly aggressively following? I'm referring to those like "All My Children" or "As the World Turns" or "Days of Our Lives." They've been around for ages and people don't seem to get tired of them. Heck there's even a guide for them that one could easily pickup from the grocery store's checkout counters. If these daytime soaps of Hollywood have been continuosly aired since the 40's or 50's, would they not be recycled numerous times?

    In addition, I totally in line with Richard. Although, I've not seen any Japanese series and only one Korean serie (Dae Jang Geum), btw, fabulous serie, although a drag in some points. Anyhow, if as Rich said, that the Japanese and Koreans could make good and quality series or soaps for such busy lifestyles viewers, then how can it be that the HK tv entertainment is of such low quality. I understand that after coming home from a busy, you'll wanna let your mind wind down before going to bed. If that's what one wishes to do, then don't bother turning on the tv. Just flick the radio on and change the channel to some classical or jazzy music. This is enough to soothe your mind and put you to sleep. It does not make sense that if you wish to wind down the day that you turn on the tv to see if there's anything to soothe your brain before going to bed. For me to watch tv is to relax. It doesn't matter if I have to watch Star Wars or just an episode of Iron Chef America the Series or even an episode of Desperate Housewives and the mentioned show: CSI. This could take my mind away from the stress or trouble I'm having for a while.

    Oops...rampaged too far. Come to my page and let's talk. (http://360.yahoo.com/stephenlew) Hope, you don't mind Greg.

    Btw, smakelijk, ben je Nederlands?

  33. Cypher says:

    But yeah Richard and Stephen... I'm thinking that TVB doesn't have nearly as much funding as the Korean and Japanese soaps maker people...((Blagh... that came out so bad but anyways)) And how often do you see the same Korean and Japanese actors in 2 or more different series that's being filmed at the same time?

  34. ccchelsea says:

    hey man~ first time to post here~ i'm typing this while listening to ur interview on 'Teen Time' ... wanting to hear ur Aussie accent...hahaha... see... I'm from Brissy in Oz~ ur aussie accent isn't very very heavy!!! but man... why the hell did u give up medicine???!!! crazy!! But if u enjoy what u r doing now... it's not that crazy really... hahahaha.... I think 95% hk ppl will recognise ur face!! hahaha... everytime my brother (who can't read/write chinese -- so i'm making him learn from watching tvb series)sees u on tv, he's like "HIM AGAIN!!" ...u r one of the few tvb actors that he recognises.... ^_^

    talking about TVB ... I think most hk ppl give it too much S**t... I mean... I personally CAN NOT stand the tv series from Taiwan or Japan or Korea (I haven't watched ones from other asian places so i'll just comment on these ones)...they r piss boring... with terrible stories and horrible acting (especially Taiwanese)!! i'm not going to say tvb makes wonderful series... but i definitely only enjoys them from the rest. I don't like to watch The OC or Neighbours or Home and Away either... cos they r sooo friggin' boring with heaps of bad actors as well. But I do like to watch 'Cold Cases' & CSI. The amount of $$$ invested in TVB series can not be compared with those made in the US or in China. The historical series made in China... the sets and number of actors involved are amazing!! Just looking at the war scenes amazes me...

    I definitely agree that TVB should stop giving sooo much roles to those new actors/actresses who came into the industry from Miss Hk/miss asia or MR HK... and give more chances to those new actors who works hard and turns out great performances like Bosco Wong/Raymond Lam, etc...

    btw...I've just finished watching ur performance in "Dicey Business" (what kind of stupid name is this anyway?!)...

  35. alex says:

    hey, accidentally found ur page. it's been awhile since i've watched ur performance in those mini-series. didn't realize you had time for blogging...

    very impressed with your ability to speak cantonese (must have worked very hard, esp. for an aussie. :p ). anyway, hope 2007 brings lots of challenges and good scripts to you.

  36. namioh says:

    Hi there~ likewise, i found ur site accidentally when searching some info abt our local film industry. it's a surprise to me that u'r indeed an Aussie! cuz currently im doing uni study in Melb as well~ which part were u from? n'way, all the best in 2007 and have a very enjoyable lunar new year, mate! cheers!

  37. Winnie says:

    Hi! Glad to see a true Aussie in HK! Your chinese is so good! Yeah I feel sorry for HK actors now. I totally agree with your comment on how HK viewers just wants a good laugh. As overseas viewers when we have access to the wholes series at rentals, we have more time to sit and digest the plot. Maybe that's why our view of who should get more 'promotion' is different. It's sad to see quality actors being left on the side.

    By the way, I've noticed in the series 'Find the Light' you were both the priest and the photographer...haha some kinda blooper on TVB's behalf?

    But good job so far! You make Aussies proud! Continue the great work with this blog! You have our support! Take care.

  38. Ana says:

    What are the requirements to become a TVB actor like you Gregory? I'm just asking because I'm also trying to make my debut in acting career in Hong Kong for movies but not TVB. I'm not interested in TVB. I'm portuguese from Macau I can too speak fluent cantonese but unfortunately there isn't too much chance to find acting or singing opportunity in a small Macau with full of Casinos. Choosing a well trusted agent may be a good start but is not easy these days.