So I am back…………

Happy New Year, everyone!

Wishing you and yours all the best wishes in 2013.

So, I am back reviewing series….. 🙂  (So, Alice stop your prestering! LOL! Just kidding, friend!)

Digging through my old folder and found some old drafts. So, first up after my hiatus is The Strategem from 2001 (link on the right panel).

I am going to work on others as well and hopefully this time around I’ll be able to update my blog more frequently!

Thanks for all the encouraging emails everyone! It is very much appreciated!

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Hiatus…..

Hi all,

As you noticed, it’s been a while since I last reviewed any drama. No, it’s not because I lost interest in review and no, it’s not because I lost interest in Ch. 8 Drama.

In case some of you are unaware, XinMSN (formerly MobTV) has blocked all drama access for overseas account and they did it without warning (which frustrated me to no end!). I tried to get a response from XinMSN management one way or another and so far, I don’t have any luck. Obviously, I can’t review if I don’t get the chance to watch. So frustrating! especially when you grew up with Ch. 8 serials and so happen you need to move to other country for school/work!!!

Ok, enough of my whining! 🙂
So, will I keep this page? Absolutely! However, I doubt I’ll do any new review on new drama (unless I managed to watch it somehow and somewhere).

I am pulling out my old notes and will upload old drama reviews. If there’s particular drama that you like to get review (or summarize), let me know and if I have it, I’ll make it priority for uploading….

Thank you all for the e-mails and notes!!!! Each and every one of them is very important for me.

The Ultimatum (双子星) – Comments After 15 episodes

I’m so sorry everyone. I promised some reviews last week but I just can’t squeeze time to do it..

Seeing that the serial will end in 15 days, I decided  to just write a full review then.. Meanwhile, here’s some of my comments for the 1st half (if any of you interested in it =D )

* What?

The Ultimatum (双子星) – Mediacorp’s midyear blockbuster.

* Who?

Most of the big names @ Mediacorp Studios that you can think of. Li Nanxing (李南星), Zoe Tay (郑惠玉), Fann Wong (方文芳), Tay Ping Hui (郑斌辉), Terence Cao (曹国辉), and the list continue on… I’ll put up their characters as I go on with the structural reviews.

* When?

Start in 1974 and span through 2009.

* What is the main plot?

Interesting enough, I found the first three episodes quite dry, despite of all the big names. I suppose it’s necessary to set up the plot. Zhang Wenyu (Hong Huifang) worked for Ye Songnian (Chen Shucheng) as his secretary. A drunken Ye Songnian made a mistake of raping Wenyu even knowing she’s already pregnant with her husband’s child.

1974, both Wenyu and Songnian’s 2nd wife, Suzhen (Lin Meijiao) gave birth to daughters. Nurse’s carelessness and a twist of fate gave a classic storyline of “swap at birth” for “The Ultimatum”. After being raped by Songnian and the death of her father, Wenyu suffered from depression. When she realized that the nurse gave her the wrong baby (she recognize the birthmark at baby’s foot sole), she wanted to confront the nurse. It was then she saw that Songnian holding the baby. The bad memories came at her at full force and on the top of it, with her baby suffered from heart disease, Wenyu made of her mind to let the mistake continue.

Obviously, the main focus of the 30 episodes drama will be the life of the 2 daughters. The side focus is of course is the romance between the leads. So far in 15 episodes, we already see the budding romance between Songqiao – Sun Jie – Chaoqun; Yuchen – Zhang Feng (or is it A-da); Songqing – Sun Min….and that only half way through the serial.

* Worth watching?

With all those big names in Mediacorp, I’ll say definitely! Here’s some other reasons worth mentioning:

– The “Unbeatables” duo of Li Nanxing and Zoe Tay pairs up once again. The chemistry is still sparking at high rate.

– It has been 14 years since “The Golden Pillow” that Zoe Tay and Fann Wong graced the screen together in same drama (“The Hotel” didn’t count =P)

– A ‘comeback’ for Li Nanxing after his last drama “The Golden Path” almost 2 years ago.

– Tay Ping Hui, Li Nanxing, Zoe Tay, Fann Wong are all the main leads. What is the chance of that?!

Full reviews to follow after the series end in 15 days… =D

The Ultimatum (双子星)

Wee.. It has been a whole month since my last updates. Sorry, everyone! Found a new job and need time to adjust to new routine 🙂 Enough of personal stuff…….. and on to new Mediacorp mid-year blockbuster!

I’ve been waiting for “The Ultimatum” ever since Mediacorp announced its making. To have my favorite actor, Li Nanxing, as one of main casts, is the icing on the cake.  I’ll  try to add  up-to-episode review by this weekend. Technically, it will be up to episode 8 by end of the week. I actually already watch until ep. 11 (courtesy of MobTV Sneak Preview) but I will not spoilt the storyline to anybody. To be safe side, I will only review until ep. 8

Do look forward to it, everyone!

Star Awards 2009 (红星大奖 2009): THE RESULTS

 

star-awards-logo

 

The hot topic for the week is the winners for Star Awards 2009…. This is a little bit late I know but since I’m not physically in Singapore, I don’t have the chance to watch until today. You know, there is one thing that I have to mention, on Sunday, my post on “Star Awards 2009” hit a record breaking 504! To say that I was in for surprise would be the biggest understatement…My sincere “Thank you” for all who had stop by.

So enough about my blabbering, here are the results for this year Star Award and my brief comments.

* 2009 Best Drama

The Little Nyonya (小娘惹)

nyonya2

 

 

I was expecting this blockbuster would win the award. So, there isn’t a surprise for this winner.

* 2009 Best Actor

Chen Hanwei (陈汉伟)

chen-hanwei

 

 

 

 

As I said before, there is absolutely no room for doubt in his acting skills. He was wonderful in “By My Side”. However, to be completely honest, I was still hoping for Tay Ping Hui at the very last minute. He was equally good as “Huang Kaijie”.

* 2009 Best Actress

Joanne Peh (白薇秀)

joanne-peh

 

 

 

 

Wow! This is surprising. I really thought Jeannette Aw would win the award. Alas, it was the “Dark Horse” that emerged as the winner. She WAS very good in the 2nd half of the series as “HuangYuzhu”.  Way to go, Joanne!

* 2009 Best Supporting Actor

Chow Chuming (周初明)

chewchormeng

 

 

 

 

Yeah! He is the winner. My mind was split in this category early on. But I truly believe this is a very well deserving win for him. I can’t think of any other actor for “Huang Kaida”. On more personal note, it was sad to see how his illness started to catch up with him. I had goose bumps when he delivered his speech. I wish all the best for Chuming. Keep up the fight and when you get tired, looks behind you for you will always have your supporters right there with you.

* 2009 Best Supporting Actresses

Xiang Yun (向云) & Ng Hui (黄慧)

xiang-yunng-hui

 

 

 

 

There were many surprises associated with Star Awards 2009, but this category had to be the most surprising category for the night. Never in 15 years of Star Awards’ history double awards were given at the same time in the acting category.  I guess even the judges can’t make up their mind between Xiang Yun and Ng Hui.

* 2009 Best Newcomer

Dai Yangtian (戴阳天)

daiyangtian

 

 

 

Given his popularity, I am not a bit surprise. He was the hot prediction for this category.

 

* 2009 Top 10 Most Popular Actors (alphabetically)

1.  Bryan Wong (王禄江)

2.  Chen Han Wei (陈 汉玮)

3.  Christopher Lee (铭顺) – 10th win

4.  Elvin Ng (黄俊 )

5.  Henry Thia (程旭) – boy! I was in for so many surprises this year.

6.  Mark Lee (李国煌) – 10th win

7.  Pornsak

8.  Qi Yuwu (戚玉武)

9.  Tay Ping Hui (郑斌辉)

10. Zheng Ge Ping (郑各评) – 1st nomination in 21 years and 1st win! Wow!

This category always gave people some dose of heart attack. There wasn’t prediction whatsoever. All 20 actors had equal chance until the very last minute. Talk about heart attack! The “war” between Christopher Lee and Mark Lee is finally over! Both secured their 10th awards and will be sharing the stage next year for “All Time Favorite Awards”. Trailing close behind them is Tay Ping Hui with 8th win this year. Alright! Chen Hanwei is once again back on the list (6th win this year).

 

* 2009 Top 10 Most Popular Actresses (again, alphabetically)

1.  Felicia Chin (陈靓瑄)

2.  Ivy Lee (锦梅)

3.  Jeanette Aw (欧萱)

4.  Jessica Liu (刘芷)

5.  Joanne Peh (白薇秀)

6.  Quan Yi Fong (权怡凤)

7.  Rui En (瑞恩)

8.  Vivian Lai (赖怡 )

9.  Xiang Yun (向 )

10. Yvonne Lim (林湘萍) – surprise! Her last win was almost a decade ago.

The same applies for female category. It is also giving the same dose of heart attack as the male category. Huang Biren won her 10th in 2007 so she is this year “All Time Favorite”. However, none of the female will make it to next year “All Time Favorite”. Xiang Yun comes close with 9th win this year. With a smooth journey, she will join the elite league in 2011. The second one that comes close is Ivy Lee with her 7th win. The rest of them still have an average 5 years to catch up.

 

So, that will be all my comments. I am not too into other categories as some of them I am not even familiar with. I am not to go open that can of worm just yet…: D One worth mention though is the fact that Guo Liang wins “The Best Host”. It was long overdue. If you watched ‘Celebritea Break’, you’ll know why I said that. He is one of the best!

For complete list of the results, click here.

For all the winners, once again, CONGRATULATIONS! For all the rest, no worries. We will have next year! 

Star Awards 2009 (红星大奖 2009)

star-awards-logo

The much anticipated event of the year for Singapore entertainment will be telecast on April 26th, 2009 at 7pm (Singapore Time). Each year since 1996, I never failed to get my hand on the ceremony’s tape for I bugged Alice every year to record the ceremony (LOL, thanks girl!). I suppose she is happy that this year I don’t have to bug her again since MobTV will have it anyway 😀

Speaking of Star Awards, there wasn’t Star Awards (SA) last year. Instead, Mediacorp held 45th anniversary celebration as the replacement. It was wonderful to see all the familiar-but-has-been-dissapeared actors/actresses once again. I do think that the choice to postpone Star Awards to following year is reasonable and fair (much like Golden Globe and Academy Awards). In the past Star Awards, the nominations were cut off to those drama aired before November of that year and included November of previous year (i.e. Star Awards 2007 covered drama aired from Nov. 2006 to Nov. 2007). Considering the short span of audiences’ memories, they tend to have less memories of the earlier production. Take a simple example, “The Golden Path (黄金路)” was the year-end blockbuster of 2007, but it wasn’t included in SA2007 and instead it was scheduled for SA2008. Since there was one in 2008, it will be include in SA2009. It is now seemingly largely overshadow by “The Little Nyonya (小娘惹)”.

Below is my opinions/thoughts on the nomination in 5 catagories.  Readers can find the complete nomination list by clicking the link (Complete Nominations List).

* 2009 Best Drama

Of all 6 dramas, there was one that I failed to watch: “Love Blossoms I”. I gave up after 5-6 episodes in, so I’m not going to have any comments whatsoever with that piece.

By My Side (不凡的爱)

By My Side

 

 

The sensitive AIDS topic was the main focus of this heart-wrenching drama. It was however a little bit dry and dark for my liking, even with strong casts of Chen Hanwei and Zoe Tay. Don’t get me wrong; I liked the serial as a whole but it just that the theme was a bit depressing.

Just in Singapore (一房半厅一水缸)

Just In Singapore


This was a light hearted drama that brought much laughter and emotions all at the same time. Each family in that HDB block had their own set of problem and life situation. I think this drama is the closest to audience’s heart just because it’s might be as well reflecting our own daily realities.

Perfect Cut (一切完美)

The Perfect Cut I


 

The only production of Channel U in the pool caused much a stir in 2008. In all honestly, unfortunately, I have to say that the chance for the award is slim and it is not because the poor storyline – in fact it was a refreshing and wonderful storyline. It is because the opponents are too tough! This serial covered the topic of plastic surgery – a growing trend in today’s society and a concept of “there isn’t really a taboo to seek self-perfection for as long as you know what you are doing.”

The Golden Path (黄金路)

The Golden Path

 

This drama was a hot topic in 2007 for it included every possible Mediacorp’s actors and actresses that you can think of. “The Golden Path” covered a strong storyline of family and how each of the family member got tangle up in love, greed and revenge. I personally think the storyline is stronger than hot favorite “The Little Nyonya”. Some said the casts might hurt the chance of winning, i.e. Chen Liping as Li Nanxing and Tay Ping Hui’s mother. The way I see it, this category isn’t about castings but it is more about the quality of the drama itself.

The Little Nyonya (小娘惹)

The Little Nyonya

 

 

The hottest drama serial in 2008 broke several records in the last 15 years. Strong casts and theme made “The Little Nyonya” a hot candidate for the Best Drama award. The storyline was great – well minus the ending – as it covered a historical value of Peranakan culture and also very entertaining at the same time.

My thoughts: I think the winner will be either “The Golden Path” or “The Little Nyonya” for these two are stronger than the others in the category. I personally hope that the former will stand out as the winner. However, I do have a strong feeling that the latter will merge as the winner.

 

* 2009 Best Actor

I will not have comment on Adrian Pang because I didn’t watch “Nanny Daddy”.

Chen Hanwei (陈汉伟)

The two times “Best Actor” winner certainly lives up to his standard and title. Chen Hanwei’s performance in “By My Side” was so good that I think he overshadowed most of his co-stars. He totally brought out the physical and emotional pains of a terminally-ill patient. There is absolutely no room for doubt in Chen Hanwei’s acting skills.

Huang Wenyong (黄文永)

This veteran has long proven to the audiences that you can throw any character at him and he will not disappoint you! “Lin Bang” wasn’t an exception. Huang Wenyong slipped into the role so easy that you’ll think if he was just act as himself.

Pierre Png (方展发)

I totally loved him as Chen Sheng! I see a great improvement from him since “The Shining Stars” and not to mention his Mandarin also has improved. He is up against tough opponents for this category, especially in Chen Hanwei and Tay Pinghui. I’m really not sure about him and the award. Well, at the very least his hard works is being recognized with the nomination.

Qi Yuwu (戚玉武)

He lost his last “Best Actor” nomination to veteran Li Nanxing. This year he also has several tough opponents. “Chen Xi” is someone who has to balance love and family obligations in all his decision. It is not easy to be “Chen Xi”. While it isn’t physically tiring, it is emotionally draining. I think Qi Yuwu captured the character very well.

Tay Ping Hui (郑斌辉)

He is another strong candidate for the award. His role as “Huang Kaijie” is so good that I felt like punching him every time he moved from one evil plan to another. Cunning, sly, and manipulative, Huang Kaijie fitted “wolf under sheep” portrayal to a “T”. The character put Tay Ping Hui’s acting skill to a new challenge and the man delivered it very well!

My thoughts: I like Tay Ping Hui to win the award just because he was good in “Golden Path”. I do think that “Huang Kaijie” was his breakthrough role.

 

* 2009 Best Actress

Wow! There are double nominations for Chen Liping. She never failed to amaze her audiences.

Chen Liping (陈莉萍) as Nancy

I really didn’t think that “Nancy” gave enough room for Chen Liping’s acting skills. (Again folks, this is MY opinion and mine alone. So, please don’t start sending me hate mails :P). I do think that “Nancy” was somewhat a similar character to “Mo Wanwan” in Holland V.

Chen Liping (陈莉萍) as Xiao Gu

I like her as “Xiao Gu” instead. Although the idea of her playing Zhou Chuming and Li Nanxing’s mom was a little bit odd, she actually was able to portray such role with limited flaws. There were excellent emotions played throughout the 30 episodes for “Xiao Gu”. She was supposed to be the “smiling lady” as her name implied. It was unfortunately that behind the laughing and smiling face, she led a sorrowful life of seeing his bright son turned crazy while her other two sons turned enemies with each other.

Felicia Chin (陈靓萱)

Felicia Chin surprised me with “Lin Fei”! Gone was the typical innocent character for Felicia and in place was a very complex character of “Lin Fei”. She was very like “Xiao Gu” in some sense. Behind her happy appearance was a mask for her lonely heart.

Jeannette Aw (欧萱)

Her double roles in “The Little Nyonya” surely challenge Jeannette Aw’s acting skills and I think she done it successfully. You know, I think she might as well clinch the award given the popularity of “The Little Nyonya”.

Fann Wong (范文芳)

There is no doubt that she is still one of the best. I’m wondering if she will be able to clinch her 2nd Best Actress since 1995. Unfortunately, I think “The Defining Moments” had a weak plot to help her win the award.

Joanne Peh (白薇秀)

For the 1st half of “The Little Nyonya”, there wasn’t really a challenge in her role as “Yuzhu”. It was the 2nd half of series that really a challenge to her skills and true impressed the audience. I think she done a very wonderful job in the 2nd half of the series.

My thoughts: I think Jeannette might clinch the award but I really hope that Chen Liping will win for her role in “Golden Path”.

 

2009 Best Supporting Actors

“The Little Nyonya” dominated 4 out 6 spots for this category. The odd is already at 39.99 % in their favor.

Zhou Chuming (周初明)

It is rare to see him as a supporting role. Honestly, to have him as Chen Liping’s son was a little bit odd. That aside though, his skill as “Huang Kaida” was very convincing and I really think he did a wonderful job. It really wasn’t easy to act as an honest bright doctor turned mentally ill guy. I sure hope that he will win the award.

Dai Yangtian (戴阳天)

He was the Prince Charming in “The Little Nyonya”! He might only appeared in short 8 episodes but one can’t doubt his popularity right after the series ended. Popularity aside, I do believe that he still has rooms for acting skills’ improvement. In certain scenes, he was obviously stiff compared to his co-stars. But hey! I can’t really blame the guy. He is in technical term a newbie and every newbie go through stages. As the veterans always like to say, “acting skills are not something you gain overnight.” His nominations should be very encouraging things for him.

Darren  Lim (林明伦)

You really can’t doubt this guy acting skills. From the downright evil to the good-for-nothing character, Darren Lim has it in him to make the characters alive. His role as weak and timid “Huang Jincheng” really got to your nerves in some scenes. Then again, without such character, “The Little Nyonya” would not be perfect.

Yao Wenlong (姚文龙)

Yao Wenlong was hilarious in “The Little Nyonya”. Liu Yidao was supposed to be slightly scary with those big eyeballs. Instead, I actually found the character quite cute.

Zzen Chang (张镇 )

He was the downright evil of “The Little Nyonya’. A wonderful job done by Zzen! I believe that during the airing of the serials, there must be audiences that really gave him hard time if  he passed them, say, at hawker center or shopping mall =D. From the news, he is actually a quite likeable guy in real life. There is one thing I can tell you now; you can not find a single trace of that nice guy in “The Little Nyonya”.  It was a job well done!

Zhu Houren (朱厚仁)

If  Zzen was the evil in “The Little Nyonya”, Zhu Houren had to be the devil in “Defining Moments”! He was downright scary for the last few episodes. This veteran actor never ceases to amaze me from time to time.

My thought: I really can’t make up my mind for this category. There are too many well deserving roles. My mind is really spilt between Chou Chuming, Zhu Houren and Zzen Chang.

 

2009 Best Supporting Actress

My…my…this category is well dominated by the ladies of “The Little Nyonya”. Amazing!

Eelyn Kok (郭惠雯)

If  I ever have to punch someone, would somebody please bail me out! That’s exactly the feeling that I had every time “Zhenzhu” graced the screen (not Eelyn personally, mind you!). Sheesh! “Zhenzhu” was downright annoyed the heck out of me, esp. when she started throwing her out-of-nowhere-with-no-reason tantrums. Character aside, it is definitely not an easy job to play such character and let the audiences truly annoyed with you. I really do think a job well done by Eelyn Kok.

Lin Yinzhu (李茵珠)

To be honest, I much rather see her nominated for “Automatic Auntie” in “Just in Singapore”, rather than “The Little Nyonya”. Why? She was brilliant in portraying calculative-annoyed auntie in “Just in Singapore”. In “The Little Nyonya”, however, there wasn’t much room for her acting skills. She got the least dialogues compare to her co-stars. She might have an authorative character but there were not many scenes for her to display her brilliant acting skills compare to those in “Just in Singapore”.

Lin Meijiao (林梅娇)

“Guihua” is the female version of “Robert Zhang” if you will. She was downright evil as well. For such a sweet looking lady, Lin Meijiao’s single stare and evil smile readily sent my spine tingling with scare. It was an outstanding job from someone who is a gentle person in real life.

Ng Hui (黄慧)

The loyal servant to Yueniang was quite a complex lovable character to portray. Ng Hui surprised me with  her portrayal of “Ah-Tao” because I really never see this side of her before “The Little Nyonya” (as compare with her other characters before). She certainly held her own even when surrounded by the veterans.

Xiang Yun (向云)

I hardly saw Xiang Yun played such a weak character before. “The Little Nyonya” has proven that this veteran actress is not limited to certain roles. From Xiang Yun, I can really feel for “Tianlan”  who lived the life in constant fear and misery as the mistress.

Cai Peixuan (蔡佩璇)

Her “Rougu Mei” was very impressive to me. She done quite well with that character and best yet her acting skill wasn’t truly over cast by Ah-Ge Li Nanxing (she shared most of her screen time with him). Unfortunately, I think she will have to content with a nomination. The odds are truly against her with 5 nominations from “The Little Nyonya”.

My thought: The ladies were great! If I really have to choose, I really hope that Lin Meijiao will walk away with the award. It’s a hateful character but to make it “THAT” hateful isn’t an easy task. She was brilliant!

 

2009  Top 10 Actors and Actress

 

The owner of this year’s “All Time Favorite Award” will be Huang Biren. She will join others owners such as Li Nanxing, Zhou Chuming, Zoe Tay, Xie Shaoguang, and Fann Wong in the elite group of being in the “Top 10” list for 10 years. As for this year “Top 10 Actors and Actress”, I am not going to start and predict the outcome because it is simply… unpredictable!  All I can say is stay tune to 26th April 2009 for Star Awards 2009 and you’ll find the answer. =D

 

 

Singapore: The Unbroken Cycle (解连环)

This 5-episodes serials was produced back in 1996 by TCS (present day Mediacorp). Is it 12 years already? Shesh! I was like yesterday! Anyhow, it is one of my favorite serial! I love Thomas Ong and Fann Wong pairing. I remember I was totally smitten by Thomas Ong’s boyish charms =D.

While it was a short drama, I found the storyline very interesting. I get the chance to re-watch it recently and I am still find the storyline interesting.  I hope readers find it interesting too…  The review can be find on right panel under “Mediacorp review”. Click away then! and enjoy…