Saturday, October 09, 2004

[Ta Kung Pao 10/10/04]

"Split Second" is following on from "War and Beauty" and after its first week of airing, it does not seem to be attracting the same volume of viewers as "War" and is being accused of copying plotlines from "Infernal Affairs" and "24" as many scenes look vaguely familiar. At a promotional event held in a shopping mall yesterday, cast members Kevin Cheng, Yoyo Mung and Patrick Tam strongly defended the show, saying any similarities are coincidental and if people are discussing the show, then it proves that they have been watching, so it is a good thing.

Kevin says he is not worried about the ratings, after all it has only been airing for a week and it is difficult to compare with "War". As for the allegations that the show is a copycat of "Infernal Affairs" and "24", he feels that maybe the show has some very similar background and storyline, in particular when it comes to characters and the emphasis on time, so this makes it easy for people to compare, but it is in no way a direct copy, merely a show of the same genre.

Patrick also indicates that the show is not a copy, but does bear some shadows of the other shows. With the suggestion that this show will not be able to attract the housewife viewers, Patrick feels that to attract male viewers is a good thing because this means that the men can go home earlier. Also, an original soundtrack has been released for the show, but Patrick does not appear on the cover. He explains that this is because the record was released about six months ago and he was still contracted to Chinastar and due to copyright issues, he was not able to appear on the cover of this album and he feels rather helpless and disappointed about it.

Yoyo says she has heard some accusations of the show being a copy and feels that this is just people looking for something to talk about, but this is better than the show having no gossip at all. It also proves that the television industry is very great and has many viewers supporting it. Since the show has aired, she has not had many scenes so far, but she indicates that she does play a major part in the series because if it was not then she would not have taken it on. Her scenes have just not emerged as yet. There were some reports yesterday that Charmaine Sheh has three series in the nominations for "My Favourite Female Lead" and a higher chance than anyone else to win the award. Yoyo says that she has never pinned any hopes on winning the award and she is more bothered about the ratings that the show receives.


[Ta Kung Pao 10/10/04]

There have been reports recently that Bernice Liu had originally wanted to reveal her love affair with Moses Chan, but was stopped by the company and forced to take a low key approach to the matter. Appearing at a fashion show earlier, Bernice denied this, saying that she and Moses are both signed to TVB management and they have never asked her about the matter. She indicates that they are currently filming together for "Healing Hands III" and have more opportunity to see each other, but they have a lot of press following them around the she needs to be careful of road safety.


[Ta Kung Pao 10/10/04]

Jessica Hsuan was at an event promoting education to the public about mood disorders yesterday. She says she has never been bothered by her moods because she knows how to balance her emotions, but she knows that in Hong Kong, mood disorders are becoming more and more common because the stresses in life are so high. She says openly that everyone can meet with pressure and it is down to whether or not you know how to handle it. She will talk over things with her friends and to have someone who will listen is very important. She also feels that Hong Kong people put too much emphasis on money, but it is not everything.

Talking of a bank that destroyed some of its client's safety deposit box, Jessica reveals that she has put her "My Favourite Female Lead" award in a safety deposit box because items with such great sentimental value cannot be bought with money.

"War and Beauty" has been very popular recently and the female leads are hot favourites to win the award this year. Jessica indicates that she will be entering the contest without any expectations because she has only had one series "A Handful of Love" this year and did not have any special breakthroughs in her performance. She agrees that "War" was outstanding and she does not know who to vote for. As for the male lead award, she feels that Dayo Wong did an excellent job in "To Catch the Uncatchable".


[Ta Kung Pao Special Report 10/10/04]

The Real Reason for the Success of "War and Beauty"

As the saying goes, "Humans avoid popularity like pigs avoid fat" but in the world of showbusiness, the opposite is true as the greatest fear is that no-one knows your name and so many plans are hatched by stars to have their name in the limelight and despite knowing that the amount of negative press is part of the package of fame, this is a price worth paying and it is all part of the plans.

Recently, the buzz of the town has been on "War and Beauty" and after the fans reluctantly finish watching the last episode and begin to pine for more of the show, the gossip and rumour surrounding the leading stars has been rife, regardless of whether it is true or not, with the most important thing being its attraction to the public.

Stories such as Gigi Lai's previous relationship with Wong Yuk Long and her family background in the arts, Charmaine Sheh's ostracising of Benny Chan, Maggie Cheung's sexual orientation with a member of the upper class, Sheren Tang's most beloved and Moses Chan's secret affair have all re-emerged, with old stories from a new perspective, new stories from an old angle all proving attractive to the fans.

Even if there is a negative element to the news, in this current state of celebration for the show's results, the people at the centre are slow to anger and do not bother to clarify the situation as the public are left to guess. They even go as far as to openly drop their own little hints. Take for example Moses Chan and his 'Little Bernice', who publicly hold hands and Rebecca Chan who rarely discusses her son is happy to bring their relationship into conversation and show off his appearance to the public.

A successful serial has its successful elemnents and the quality of production is obviously important, but the promotional tactics cannot be overlooked. If there are plotlines in real life for the stars that the public can follow in parallel, then it becomes even more irresistable. With open battles, then the contests are clean and there is nothing underhanded about it.

In the past, examples of successful drama series that have caused a wave of popularities have been a victim of their own promotions as the conflicts off screen step over the line and have a negative effect on ratings and reviews. Luckily for "War", everything has been kept within the bounds and with the viewers wanting to keep track of the 'whole' story, then even details of Sheren Tang's forthcoming series and stories of a temple desacration has taken up plenty of print space in the papers as the "War" trend is set to linger.

TVB does not mind riding the waves as it promotes some of its forthcoming series. The fresh management teams have changed the old thoughts of resting on past laurels to keep the markets moving and are working hard to stop their oppositions from closing the gap on them, looking only for the best in their fields. Even with the high ratings, the promotion for "War" still kept coming to try and break more records and allow the new team to show off the fruits of their labours.

Reporter: Chow Yan


[The Sun 10/10/04]

After meeting on the set of "Shine on You" and becoming good friends, Cerina De Graca and Helena Ma from Cookies have become good friends and were spotted in the early hours of yesterday morning out on the prowl as they visited four different venues. Maybe they have both lived overseas, so they were dressed rather invitingly as Helena revealed her legs in a mini skirt whilst Cerina showed off her belly. Without a male escort so late in the evening, were they looking to find some guys?

At around 1am, Helena picked up Cerina in a car and headed out to the party district of Lan Kwai Fong where they first went to a bar. Leaving shortly afterwards, they headed into a club called Drop, but as it was Friday evening and rather packed, they couldn't get in! Then they went off to C Club where they attracted the attention of several foreign males, but Helena and Cerina only stayed for around ten minutes before leaving. They finally drove out to Wanchai for their fourth venue where they stayed for the longest time. Eventually, Helena left with a young male dressed in Hip Hop attire to get her car and leave, appearing to have left Cerina behind to continue partying.


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