Saturday, November 25, 2006

[Ta Kung Pao Commentary 26/11/06]

The Odds are Stacked in favour of 'Dicey Business'

After the anticipation and excitement of the TVB Anniversary is over, the focus now turns to the clash of the grand productions as the epic casino and gambling based drama "Dicey Business" takes over the 9:30 slot from "To Grow with Love" and is pitted against ATV's own Grand Production "No Turning Back".

In terms of cast, storyline and budget, "Dicey" can be rated at around the B+ to A- range, so for it to be aired in the second half of the Anniversary Month is a strong strategy and proves the confidence that TVB has in this production.

Series with a background in gambling have also been traditional crowd-pullers from the days of the classics such as "The Shell Game". The cast of "Dicey" though has deviated from the usual handsome men and pretty girl formula and instead gives us middle-aged masculinity in Michael Miu and character acting master Bobby Au Yeung as our male leads, who become entangled in a three sided affair with Jessica Hsuan. This is a fresh arrangement and especially with Jessica playing a compulsive gambler in a new challenge for her to step her skills up to the next level. Dressed with the greenery and youthfulness of Bosco Wong and Tavia Yeung, the earthiness and low key approach to the promotional clips, which contain no grand scenes of bloodshed or murder, shows that the emphasis is clearly on plot development, gradually unfolding over 20 years, without the exaggerated sudden rise and fall of wealth that is beyond reality.

The clear-minded will see that TVB have learned their lessons from the mistakes made in "The Dance of Passion" and "Land of Wealth", where the forced promotion and packaging was not supported by the monotonous and lacklustre storyline and the loud and noisy thunder and lightning was not followed by a very big storm, losing support and ratings for both series and resulting in some losses for TVB. In comparison, the B-grade production scales of "La Femme Desperado" and "Love Guaranteed" gave much better results.

Another test bed for "Dicey Business" is giving the chance for established artistes to open up new paths for their careers. Bobby is an undeniably versatile actor, Michael is enjoying his second venture into showbiz and for Jessica who has enjoyed her position at the top of the TVB ladder for many years, it is now her time to find new roads to follow and her gambler role is totally in her control and she has put her all into it.

In the hard fight between "Dicey Business" and "No Turning Back" the odds suggest there is no chance of "Dicey" losing out, but there is no room for complacency with strong opposition from the strong mother-son partnership between Patrick Tam and Deanie Ip which had won an earlier battle for ATV in "Flaming Brothers" and the previously successful partnership between Patrick and Amy Kwok in the mainland production of "Fong Tak & Miu Chui Fa". These pairings will provide for some great chemistry.

Having turned their backs on TVB, Hawick Lau and Patricia Liu have the great veteran support from Kenneth Tsang, Lo Ka Ying, Poon Chi Man and Bao Qijing, and if the scripting is thrilling and clean, then this series could prove to be a representative piece for ATV in 2006.

Hawick was armed with ambition when he left TVB to join ATV in the hope of starting a new leaf for himself. The workings of the two stations are different though and as ATV's own home-grown productions are not of any great number, then to find a greater avenue of development in ATV, Hawick can only turn to time and his own hard work. On the other hand, ATV need to make good use of the talents that they have at their disposal and someone like Hawick who can sing and act so well and has so much drive and passion, then there should be a time when he can show himself to the full at ATV.

As the end of the year draws near, both stations should be pulling out the stops to produce great series to attract the viewers and to set up a great start to the coming year. With the resources available to TVB, then "Dicey" should be able to whip up a good storm, after all they have chips in hand and regular customers. For ATV, this battle will be one they will fight with all their might and there is 'no turning back' whether it ends in success or failure. To have the energy to give up a good fight is always better than to constantly be the one being beaten.

Reporter: Chui Hiu


[The Sun 26/11/06]

Michael Miu Begs Forgiveness from Sheren in the Rain

Michael Miu and Sheren Tang were filming for new series "The Drive of Life" yesterday in a rainy scene in Admiralty yesterday. The story tells of Michael's wife Sheren seeing him with another woman and then she has a puncture on her car, so Michael has to go out into the rain to console his wife. In real life, Michael's philosophy about how to keep his wife sweet and this is 'take a step back and all will be better', that is not to say anything during the short period where she is still in a bad mood.

Asked how she would deal with an unfaithful boyfriend in real life, Sheren laughs that she will not be irrational, because she believes that everyone will make mistakes and it depends on whether it was intentional or not. She also reveals that in the past, she did have an unfaithful boyfriend, but she has never two-timed anyone. She smiles that for two people to get along, there is a skill to be learned and that is to know how to co-ordinate with each other and to learn to give.

Sheren has been filming tirelessly, but this has taken a toll on her health and she is suffering from many aches and pains and she often has colds. She says that when she was young, she did not know how to look after her health, so now she has all these ailments. She adds that when she was filming for "War and Beauty", she had to wear a heavy headdress for two months and this gave her an injury in her neck and she is still seeing a doctor about this.


[The Sun 26/11/06]

Aimee Chan Once Crashed into a Tree

Miss Hong Kong winner Aimee Chan has an escort to drive her around at the moment, but she says she is busy learning the routes, so after her reign, she can buy a car to get around in. "After all, when I was in Canada, I was used to having a car to get around in and this is more convenient." She says that she is a very safe driver: "I don't like driving fast, so I drive quite slowly and my friends all say I am very safe. The only accident I had was when the roads were very icy after some snow and I crashed into a tree after slipping, but I have never injured anyone."


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