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Archive for the ‘Thought’ Category

This is not a news article. Purely my thought. Prereqs: “Legend of the Condor Heroes”, TVB 1994, Athena Chu, Julian Cheung, Gallen Lo; “Golden Faith”, TVB 2002, Jessica Hsuan, Gallen Lo, Deric Wan, Raymond Lam.

I once asked myself, if Yang Kang had not been born into the Sung dynasty, what would have happened? What if the setting for “Legend of the Condor Heroes” had been moved a few hundred years later where the Jin-Sung conflict might have come in some other form, such as in the case of a big bad greedy corporation being battled by a few good men who stand by the law, what would we have had, then?

Yang Kang

Taken the character out of his social and historical backdrop, and what do you see? We see a son and a foster home. We see a devoted foster father to whom the son looks up with respect and admiration. We see, in the mind of the son, the idealization (or rather, the idolization) of how a man should be, stemming directly from the father.

Would that description fit quite a few others such as, say, Ivan Ding of “Golden Faith”?

In Ivan, we also see a son who is torn between his foster home and what are defined by the society as being the right things to do. Just like Yang Kang assumes the risk of becoming a traitor to his country, Ivan assumes the risk of becoming a criminal by sticking by his foster family. The moments the two break away from the only thing they have known in their lives so far as families, they become miserable in quite many ways. One being the inability to soar with their strengths. The foster homes provide them the much needed platform where their talents, in both cases here the ability to strategically lead, could be powerfully displayed. Regardless of whether it is the present Ding Fung or the Sung’s Jin, there our characters feel the need for their presences the strongest. Their “homes” give them somewhat a sense of being appreciated.

But that’s where the parallel lines diverge. While Ivan comes back to Ding Fung with an almost impossible, self-assumed mission on his shoulder, Yang Kang comes back to Jin for comfort and because of greed. The equivalent of Ivan’s mission to straighten Ding Fung’s business would be for Yang Kang to be true to his promise he makes to his lady Nianci, to persuade the Jin to stop invading Sung’s land, and to lead Jin the right way.

Aside from the lack of integrity in Yang Kang, other factors which force Yang Kang’s path to stray so far away from Ivan’s might include their significant others. While both Rachel and Mu Nianci hold their principles absolutely rigid, they execute them much differently. Rachel, though still loves Ivan dearly, cuts short their relationship and hence makes a very strong statement. Nianci, on the other hand, fools herself into believing Yang Kang’s excuses (read: lies) every time without failing. Nianci, in a way, greatly encourages the “duality” in Yang Kang’s personality. She is truly the lifeboat for his creative lies. This is a confusing analogy since removing this lifeboat and this Yang Kang who is willing to lead Jin the right way will drown and die. That’s true, but one never knows. He might keep trying to survive on his own and hence kill his alternate, evil persona – the Yang Kang we know. Oh well, it is just wishful thinking on my part. Afterall, the biggest problem with Yang Kang is still his lack of integrity, and we do need an antagonist for “Legend”.

Ivan in Yang Kang vs Ivan

Now for the sake of completeness, we can also think of some ways to turn Ivan into a baddie. But wait, isn’t he already one? Remember, Ivan kills (or thinks he kills) his foster father’s long-time business partner. If Ivan’s action can be justified and redeemed by saying he is forced to pull the trigger because his younger foster sister’s life is on the line, then Yang Kang’s killing rage toward Ouyang Ke after the later insults Nianci may as well be sympathized. Ivan also lies. He lies under oath, obstructs justice and inadvertently helps tossing Rachel’s career out of the window. Ivan’s lies, however, are for the purpose of saving other people’s reputations and lives but never his own. And I guess that makes all the differences.

Still, I want to wonder what kind of fate Ivan would have faced had he been adopted into not the Ding, but the Jin royal family, almost a thousand years ago.

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This is not a news article.

– A trip to Hong Kong –

I finally got this item on my personal to-do list checked. The trip was so short that we barely had any time for jet-lag. But then again, stay longer and we’ll be absolutely broke. One word for Hong Kong: chic. Two words for Hong Kong: chic and … expensive!

Victoria Harbour - View from the Peak

Victoria Harbour – View from the Peak, HK. By Mimosa. Click on image to enlarge

But really, we only have ourselves to blame. Does any of you remember the character Kelly, played by Jessica Hsuan, in TVB’s Secret of the Heart? Well, I remember vividly how I got quite irritated seeing that she was so skeptical about eating on the street and all, then I found myself guilty of having more or less the same knee-jerk reaction. Now if I gave it a little more time, I might learn to feel more comfortable being seated with strangers. For this whole trip, we ventured out to eat at these bustling local Hong Kong cafe only twice. The food is clearly superior to the same (or claimed to be the same) dish you could find inside a hotel’s restaurant or a shopping mall’s food court. Basically, you do have to trade the taste for comfort and cleanliness. Now when I mention cleanliness, I only mean the visual aspect of it. I believe the food is clean since we did try the street food twice and our stomaches didn’t do much of protesting if any. While you trade the taste away, you also trade the as-seen-on-TV…B ambiance of a local Hong Kong street eatery away, and punish your wallet doing that. The way you strike a nice balance? Maybe go as a huge group, so you could be seated together, and remember to bring your own, not beer, paper tissues or handkerchiefs since absolutely no napkin will be provided. We actually learned this no-napkin fact the hard way as we do see Hong Kong people (as seen on TVB, of course) use their handkerchiefs all the time, but thought it’s simply for style.

We also thought the fact that you could miss someone-you-terribly-want-to-meet crossing the same street to be TVB’s unique fictional drama effect. Now I truly believe you could really get lost crossing a street in Mongkok. Think Time Square, New York on Friday night, then multiply it by two. Well, make it three! Mongkok’s streets are busy around the clock, just with slightly different crowds. In the morning you see a lot of men and women in (very stylish) business attires, and a lot of uniformed police officers/cadets. Later in the morning you start seeing many uncles with some light plastic bags in hand, seemingly heading back home to announce “I brought breakfast!”. The aunties are usually busy with much heavier bags – grocery. Around lunch time you see the working crowd again, swamping the MTR station with documents in hand and talking incessantly into their head phones. We spot uniformed students around the clock, in groups or (mostly) in pairs. We can’t tell whether they’re on the way to class, out of class, or… cutting class. But we see them just about anywhere and anytime. The night crowd is the most interesting of all, where you have young people looking like they’ve just stepped out of some pages from a fashion magazine. Overall everyone is very well-dressed. The only exception would be the police officers and cadets in blue uniforms, but what do we expect? They’re no Michael or Ron! The “polices on the road”, however, do look better with all the boots, belts, guns, helmets, and their white motorcycles. As for the undercover agents, we tried to look but of course couldn’t discover any. It’s said they always work in pairs and are available in good number, especially in busy area like Mongkok. We don’t know if that is true, but for the whole 5 days of our trip, we didn’t encounter or witness any sort of crime, even a petty one. My sister Mouse did think of leaving an item of her belonging in the taxi, so that we could experience how Hong Kong police works and see whether it’s just… as seen on TVB. Either that or a handsome charming next taxi rider! Just like the way it’d happen in TVB dramas.

We didn’t really have time to carry that plan out, because very soon our taxi stopped in front of TVB City, in Tseung Kwan O. There we joined the group from TVBVNFC again. It was about 10:30 pm and the Gala inside was about to be wrapped up. We patiently/impatiently paced up and down the impressively neat street from the front to the back gate, admiring the tall solid wall adorned with the red-blue-green strips and name-guessing the festive sounds echoing from the other side. When we got absolutely bored of that, we joined the other fan clubs to situate ourselves at the curb just outside the back gate, and started our version of Jaynestars-style gossips.

TVB City - Front Gate

TVB City, Front Gate, Tseung Kwan O, HK – Nov 19th, 2007. By Mimosa.

Just about midnight, huge TVB buses started to hum through the gate and spill onto the street. From their tall and warm seats people looked at us as if we’re a crazy bunch. Well, in some effects, we were! It was quite a cold night and none of us had had dinner. We headed straight from the hotel room where we had been following the TVB Anniversary Gala live through the half-way point – the wax museum skit. But we didn’t feel anything but the mounting excitement.

What came next was a little bit of a chaos that I couldn’t remember exactly who was the first actor to speed through the gate into the street. But I remembered Ha Yu to be on the second car. As he saw fans waved at him, he pulled over. I believe he did remain for a good 15 minutes or so. I may be wrong for a lot of things happened within that 15 minutes. Other cars pulled through the gate, names were excitedly shouted out, fans rushed after their chosen “targets”… Next thing I know, I was directly in front of Angela Tong. She was so beautiful, so elegant, so friendly, so petite! I took a lot of pictures for my friends with Angela but forgot to have one myself. Angela stayed for quite a while with her fans, chatting while having her pictures taken and signing away her autographs.

I really wanted to have a chance to say hi to Wu Fung, but since we’re busy, we didn’t stop him in time and he sped away. I did manage to shake hand and say Congrats to Roger just before he got back into his white Odyssey. I couldn’t help but think of Gallen as I stood there looking at Roger. They both carry around them a fine polite air, highlighted with very cute, almost “timid” way of smiling. After Roger, I ran into Kevin and made a fool out of myself when I completely forgot that Kevin speaks perfect English. It was quite embarrassing and I just hope Kevin wouldn’t mind. It was very nice of him to get out of his car again so that I could have a photo. We also spotted Bosco and Ron on the way back to our “post”.

TVB Artists - MeetnGreet 11192007

Random photos of TVB artists, TVB City, outside the back gate – Nov 19th, 2007. By Mimosa

Later we waved at Charmaine, Myolie, Ray, Tavia and many more. Charmaine and Myolie were so nice off-screen. Charmaine was very friendly while Myolie was really cute. Charmaine chatted with us in English and Cantonese, while Myolie even attempted to speak Vietnamese. She joined us as we counted 1…2…3 in Viet before each snap. Very playful of Myolie! Gallen must have had a nice time working with her on their WDLC.

Since Ray’s fan club wasn’t present that night, he only hesitated his car ever so briefly for a snapshot. The same happened with Tavia. Luckily the TVBVNFC did have some very cute photos of Ray and Tavia (separately, mind you!) taken on the 17th (following TVB 40th Anniversary Awards Show). You might need to register and have a minimum of 10 posts before you could see these pictures in their website. Beside Ray and Tavia, I believe the group also met with Ron, Shirley, Sheren (Tang), Michelle (Yim), Michael (Tse), Sonija (Kwok), and Bosco, among others. Do check it out when you have time.

This little episode at the TVB City’s back gate was not something we have seen on TV, but I thought it was too sweet a surprise to keep from you. It would have been even sweeter if beloved names such as Ada, Flora or Gallen had also been shouted out that night…

Back to those as-seen-on-TV…B items, we’ve visited the Avenue of Stars on TST (think Ivan, Rachel and their breakups); Cafe Deco on the Peak (think Felix and Amy in SOH); Victoria Garden (think Ivan, Rachel, and Sabrina… the episode when Rachel misunderstood Ivan to be an abusive, unfaithful boyfriend when she witnessed him hitting another man and dragged Sabrina away). We tried the midnight snack at a (modified) Dai Pai Dong (think ATE and the brothers’ favourite street eatery), the fish-balls (but couldn’t find the different sauces so that we could wish for luck like Louis’ character in ATE did). I almost tried the smelly tofu (think Flora in UE) but at the end backed out… Mouse is probably still laughing at me for being such a chicken! We also visited Wong Tai Sin Temple to get ourselves the lucky paper windmills, just like the one Flora and Bowie played with in UE2.

We have done a good number of fun things, but also left out a great deal… Top of the list: I missed Gallen by a mere 4-hr window. My plane touched down at 7:55 pm and his function was done at 3:55 the same afternoon. Tough luck!

In a slightly more positive light, I guess that leaves room for … another Hong Kong trip, yes?

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This is not a news article, so please do not repost elsewhere. Thank you.

:::

Someone who “isn’t into computers and games” and prefers “not to use SMS and emails” now disregards his personal preference just to “comply” with his fans’ wishes.

Yes, Gallen’s finally activated his blog today with an ultra short, cozy, personal, long-awaited entry completed with photo and scanned handwritten note.

See for yourself here: Gallen Lo’s Sina Blog

Image Courtesy of On 10/01/2007

Image courtesy of Oriental, 10/01/2007

As much as I understand how busy Gallen is and how blogging might never be named one of his hobbies, I couldn’t help but selfishly hope this is only the beginning of many nice entries to come. After all, Gallen is known for his persistence. He wouldn’t have been the Gallen we know (and love) today if he gave up singing, gave up acting, or even… had a change of heart. Let us see. I’m particularly anticipating the first glimpse into his calligraphy and painting works which he once promised to share with all of us, but a tiny “Hello” entry would make my day just as splendidly.

Gallen, thanks!

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Much inspired by the author of TVB Musings, I attempt something out of the ordinary news-relaying activity of GH. Purely my thoughts. Comments are highly appreciated. This is not a news article, so please do not repost elsewhere.

:::

Different upbringings, different circumstances, but the three characters share one profound description: bright, talented, ambitious and under-appreciated young men.

None of them were born evil. They turned evil. It’s not the society that is to be entirely blamed, but more so the lack of integrity in each and all three individuals. The critical point of turning evil, however, varies from one to the other.

Man Wei (Ambition, TVB 1993) lost his innocence very early in his childhood, witnessing his mother being raped and beaten by her “regulars”. It was probably her choice, but he saw himself as the ultimate cause as why his mother had to go on living such a life. Bottled up in him were rage, anger, and the boiling longing to break away. To change.

That’s where Man Wei met Kiu Lik (Vengeance, TVB 1992) and Tsui Ka Lup (Cold Blood Warm Heart, TVB 1996). Young, well-educated, they all believed they could change their lives for the better. They all have the willpower and the ability to make the changes happen. Nothing is wrong with wanting a better life.

What went wrong, then?

With Kiu Lik, it wasn’t the family hardship he had to face, but the idiotic favoritism his filthy-rich father practiced. He would have ended up better should he turn unfilial and walk away. Lik was so filial he wanted to prove himself to his father. Over, over, and over again, until he made the grave and desperate mistake of setting fire on the ruined shack housing a helpless old lady. It was right then and there that he crossed the line and let go of his principles. His choice!

Tsui Ka Lup didn’t have to deal with family hardship. He had no evil parent, either. In fact, he had a wonderful, loving family who doted on him. Everyone – his father, his mother, his adopted older brother, his little sister – was proud of him. Then why on Earth would he turn evil? It was as ridiculous as it was unfortunate, the loving nest did not quite prepare him for a dog-eat-dog world. And while his adopted brother scoped with the unfavored office politics in a clever, almost submissive manner, Ka Lup fought back in the most vulnerable way. The moment he accidentally pulled the trigger and killed his corrupted boss, Ka Lup’s life was quite over.

Quite, but not quite over in a sense that Ka Lup did have a lot of chances where he could actually stop striding the evil path and redeem himself. The same hold true for the others. Sadly, no-one took up the opportunity, except for Man Wei when it was already too late.

Regardless of how or why these men became villainous, they had all been slaved to their senses of pride, blinded by their internal rages, and succumbed to their thirst of power disguised in the quest for just. All awaited nothing but the smallest trigger to send the men downhill.

Especially when they had no integrity to keep their original believes from being wavered, altered, and thrown away.

Along the way, there were instants when those believes manage to find a moment of existence. Whenever they were there, Gallen made sure the audience see them through his eyes. “Villains, they are human to begin with.” Most human, and fatally helpless, must be when they were beside the loves of their lives. Villains do love.

tsuiart026.jpg

Image courtesy of Gallen Baidu Board

At the very end, when Man Wei let his love go unscathed and came defiantly toward the police squad’s fire, when Kiu Lik victoriously escaped through a window just to fell several stories down, or when Tsui Ka Lup smirked arrogantly while blood dripping down his tall forehead, all to their destined death, what was left almost felt like pity.

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