As promised, TVB will have more comedies and light-hearted dramas in the upcoming year. Personally, I still anticipate the police/action series more. I have translated the series briefs for 14 dramas in the Sales Presentation 2014 booklet (except Bounty Lady, for which the overview is here).
Apostle Walker – CIB Chief Inspector Michael Miu’s good friend and colleague has died under mysterious circumstances. Michael discovers that the five undercover cops under his colleague’s portfolio have gone missing. The secret information held by the five undercovers span every sector and represent a ticking bomb for the police and society!
Michael must find the missing undercover cops. He successfully contacts with one of them – Charmaine Sheh, the greedy owner of a foot message shop. Charmaine agrees to help Michael find the other missing undercover cops by infiltrating the triads. She runs into the vicious, gamble-addict triad leader Raymond Lam. In order to obtain intelligence, Charmaine tries every way to get near Raymond, thereby starting a relationship built on lies. But as Charmaine’s investigation gets closer to the truth, Michael suddenly intervenes to stop her. Raymond’s identity also becomes a mystery. Each person has their own motives and all proclaim to be fighting for justice, but who can truly claim they are upholding justice?
Anticipation Level: 4.5/5. I can feel the action from just looking at the poster.
Good Bad Person – Coming from a grassroots background, Kristal Tin’s ethical sense is weak. She lands herself in jail while trying to protect her boyfriend who has run afoul of the law. Luckily, her defence lawyer Roger Kwok lends her a hand after she is released from jail by giving her a job in his law firm.
Roger is a kind-hearted lawyer and a bright star in the legal profession. Unfortunately, he is injured by rookie cop Ron Ng during a police operation, restricting him to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. But Roger does not blame Ron; instead they become good friends. However, as more and more secrets are exposed, it is discovered that Roger is hiding a great scheme. Ron faces a crisis as he is burdened with feelings of indebtedness to Roger. In the end, can Kristal leave aside love to make the correct decision?
Anticipation Level: 3/5. Hidden schemes are cool.
Sky Eye – The genius software engineer Ruco Chan has created the “sky eye” system for the police, allowing them to use public surveillance cameras to track the movements of criminals. Detective Kenny Wong is ruthless and will use extreme methods to solve a case. Because of this, he is frequently in conflict with Ruco, who provides technical support. Fortunately, their principled boss steps in to resolve their disputes. At this time, a highly brilliant and secretive female criminal (Tavia Yeung) appears. Kenny feels she is innocent, while Ruco believes she is guilty. In order to prove themselves correct, the two take the risk to challenge privacy laws. Their boss soon discovers that one of them has a mysterious relationship with the female suspect. In between the private relationships, can the police discover the real criminal and uphold justice?
Anticipation Level: 4.5/5. High-witted criminals are my favourite.
Eunuch Five Tigers – The story begins with Empress Dowager Cixi’s death and covers the Wuchang Uprising and Revolution of 1911, causing the Forbidden City to change winds!
Wayne Lai is unfazed by the turmoil as he has amassed enough wealth to live comfortably for the rest of his life. He is preparing to move to a small town where no one would know him. But even before he has stepped out of the capital, he faces assassination attempts. He was last seen in a suite, where only a headless corpse exists now. The four eunuchs that are sent to look for him – Raymond Cho, Raymond Wong, Power Chan and Edwin Siu – each have their own motives. To search for Wayne’s treasure, they all act according to the plan and arrive at a small northeastern town.
Facing off against two-faced town chief, a bandit dressed as a soldier and a powerful warlord, how can the eunuchs use their knowledge from the palace to defuse this situation? Will they act according to their selfish motives or help each other in the face of danger? A surprising result is revealed with the “resurrection” of Wayne!
Anticipation Level: 3.5/5. From the palace to treasure hunting?
Mr. & Mrs. Bean – The divorce rate nowadays is high, creating a variety of different family dynamics. The two sisters in the series have divorced parents. Their biological and step-mothers are constantly arguing over how to properly raise them. The sisters are stuck between their two moms, which causes Eliza Sam to develop an indecisive characteristic.
Relationships in modern society come and go quickly, leaving many single-parent families. Bosco Wong needs to take care of his seven year-old son, forcing him to sacrifice his career.
When Bosco and Eliza meet, it meant the possibility of Eliza becoming a step-mother. Of course, her two moms would have differing opinions on this. Just as Eliza is struggling with how to proceed in this relationship, Bosco feels equally helpless against these three women.
Anticipation Level: 1/5. No thanks to romantic stories. Double no thanks to Eliza.
Battle Again Tomorrow – Senior correctional officer Lawrence Ng is stationed at the Stanley Prison. He is responsible for maintaining the discipline of the prisoners. He uses his wit and bravery to handle even the most troublesome prisoners. On the other hand, his subordinate KK Cheung is caring towards the prisoners, but is too lenient on the rules, putting him at odds with Lawrence. KK is later transferred to train new correctional officers, giving him an opportunity to utilize his talents. Kate Tsui works at the Lo Wu Correctional Institution and is unambitious, but gradually finds the meaning to life through her work. Female prisoner Joyce Tang has had a difficult life, but with Kate’s help, she finally realizes her wrongdoings. Workers at the rehabilitation centre try their hardest to help offenders start a new life.
Lawrence is much older than Kate; KK and Joyce, one is a correctional officer, one is a prisoner; both relationships depart with the norm. After going through many challenges, will they have a happy ending? Dangerous criminals are always stirring up trouble, putting the lives of correctional officers at risk, can they complete their mission?
Anticipation Level: 4/5. Correctional Services is unventured territory.
Property Protector – In the years after the Chinese Revolution, the political situation was very unstable. In a village in China, a silk factory was the main industry. The family operating the factory appear harmonious, but beneath the surface, they are each greedy and selfish.
The patriarch of the family, Elliot Ngok, is getting old and has entrusted his eldest son Evergreen Mak and daughter Akina Hong to run the business. Evergreen’s characteristic is not one to make big decisions. Akina is smart and strong-willed, but commits suicide due to love. Elliot can only ask his third son, Steven Ma, to return home from his job as a military medic. In these uncertain times, Steven manages to defend the family business. When he discovers there is more to Akina’s death, he carefully plots to capture the murderer. But just as the truth is about to come out, it also brings trouble to himself! The truth is hidden amongst the friendships, romance and family bonds…
Anticipation Level: 2/5. All too familiar sounding plot + unappealing time period.
Water Hair and Powder - On the stage, Joyce Koi is a talented opera performer with many fans. But because she has been so focused on mastering the art form, she has missed the golden age for dating. Off the stage, she is only a “leftover” woman. Meanwhile, her sister Katy Kung is a lively youth born after the ‘80s. She is surrounded by many pursuers and is growing tired of love. She finds it difficult to truly fall in love with someone.
Joyce’s perspective on love is restricted to the fated lovers model found in her plays. Even when she encounters the successful Wayne Lai, who actively persuades her, she does not have the courage to begin a relationship. Katy is trapped in a world of rapid romance, until she meets the romantic Jason Chan, but she cannot differentiate whether it is true love or not. Two extreme views on love from two sisters, who go from disliking each other to being mutually supportive. Can the on-stage romances that always leave an impression on the audience happen in real life?
Anticipation Level: 1/5. Chinese opera's not for me.
Tiger Cubs II – The SDU A Team, led by Joe Ma, along with members Oscar Leung and Him Law, have impeccable chemistry. They act impartially and courageously while putting their lives at risk to take down dangerous criminals. The series starts with the case of a group of off-duty officers being held hostage. The terrorists are demanding to meet with the undercover agent Linda Chung, but the problem is Linda has not been seen for two years since the completion of her mission. With the safety of the hostages at risk, Joe decides to forcibly enter the area, but the complex environment makes it difficult to navigate and the SDU assault fails. At this vital moment, Linda suddenly appears. With her cooperation, Joe and the SDU team successfully rescue the hostages and capture the terrorists. After this, the SDU is faced with a variety of other cases. Joe, Oscar and Him clash with one another, nearly breaking their brotherly bond. Can the brothers mend their relationship and work together to fight against their rivals?
Anticipation Level: 4.5/5. A bunch of hot guys running around with guns.
Business Battle – Wayne Lai and Ron Ng are childhood friends. Though they are not well-educated, they are experts at computers and make a living in the Golden Shopping Centre. They recruit Edwin Siu, a well-educated young man, to be their business partner. They create many popular apps and are bought by a telecommunications company. Joining the company, Wayne meets Johnson Lee and Kenny Wong. They join together to challenge the evil powers within the company. Eventually, the five friends are able to turn the company around from a nearly bankrupt business to a multi-national corporation.
With success comes fame and power, but with fame and power, humanity is diminished. The team becomes divided and the members turn on each other, even becoming corporate spies for money. With their deteriorating relationship, Wayne’s new app Free Talk becomes the ultimate catalyst in triggering an all-out battle between the former friends. They each use a variety of tactics to try to snatch the rights to Free Talk. Wayne is in a position where he cannot differentiate between friend and enemy. Will he choose to bring everyone down along with himself, join in with them or turn against them? The test of humanity, the choice between life and death is all within the business battle!
Anticipation Level: 4/5. I'm always up for a good office politics battle.
Vinegar Lady – Myolie Wu and Gigi Wong travel under the pretense of being healers, but in actuality, they are looking for their father/husband. Ron Ng seeks their help for a skin disease, but is scammed. He joins with other victims looking to capture Myolie and her mother, but they are saved by Him Law. Myolie instantly falls in love with Him. It turns out that she and Him have a marriage contract as babies, but now Him’s family oppose the marriage. Myolie and Gigi accidentally heal Ron’s skin disease; to repay the favour, he helps Myolie marry Him.
Although Myolie has a sweet relationship with Him after their marriage, she has to deal with the rest of his family, particularly his sister, Alice Chan. Myolie learns a variety of tactics to handle these problems. Ron also stays by her side to help her. Many comical moments will result. As Ron and Myolie go through the challenges together, love starts to develop, but it is mistaken for friendship and loyalty.
Eliza Sam has been Him’s maid since they were children, thus, they share a special connection. This frequently makes Myolie jealous. She tries to play matchmaker for Ron and Eliza, but it does not work. She has an argument with Him over this, which causes Him and Eliza to accidentally have a relationship. Him takes Eliza as his second wife, forcing Myolie to share her husband.
A recently discovered skeleton is believed to be Myolie’s missing father. A reoccurring nightmare of Ron’s proves to be the scenario of when Gigi killed her husband! With Gigi subjected to execution, Him’s family is fearful that they would be implicated. They demand that Myolie break off her relationship with her mother, otherwise, they would force Him to divorce her. Myolie asks Him for help, but he does not want to depart from his family’s wishes. Myolie is also disappointed with Ron and rejects his help, so she is left to face the difficult situation alone…
Anticipation Level: 2/5. Sounds like a series of petty jealousy.
Big Pharmacy – Du Yange is a famed Chinese medicine practitioner with his own shop, Sheung Chun Tong. His only daughter, Lina Chung, is intelligent and has a great interest in Chinese medicine. But because she is female, Du Yange does not believe she will be able to carry on his legacy.
On the day of Linda’s marriage, her husband Raymond Wong dies unexpectedly from illness. His father (Pat Poon), who is a government official, is extremely angry and orders Sheung Chun Tong to be closed down. Natalie Tong, who had a crush on Raymond, also views Linda as an enemy.
Du Yange is jailed and Linda is left without a home. All of the family’s assets are bought by the businessman Ruco Chan. Luckily, Linda meets a retired doctor, who is willing to pass on his knowledge to her. Linda and Ruco also become friends. Meanwhile, Raymond’s twin brother (also Raymond) rejects Natalie’s love and develops feelings for his former sister-in-law. As Linda is struggling with this love rectangle, an epidemic suddenly breaks out in the town. Although it is very dangerous, this is the best time for her to revive the name of Sheung Chun Tong!
Anticipation Level: 3/5. Decent plot, but iffy on the cast (except Ruco!).
M Club – In the mid-1980s, six young girls who loved aerobic dancing formed the “M Club”. They were very close friends and promised to stick with each other through the thick and thin. But twenty years later, the friends have moved on with their lives. No longer in their youth, they look back on their dreams with a sigh, comparing it with the realities of life. This is with the exception of one member, who remained dedicated to aerobic dancing through all these years. Before she is sent to a psychiatric facility, she makes all the other M Club members promise to defend their dance studio. The former leader of M Club, Carman Lee, is now an obedient daughter-in-law. Taking on this challenge, her ordinary life is about to see some waves…
Anticipation Level: 1/5. I don't know who these old-timers are.
Inbound Troubles II – An old apartment building in Yau Ma Tei symbolizes Hong Kong’s transformation in the past few decades. At the ground level, there are a variety of traditional industries, while the residents living in the building have differing backgrounds and status. Everything new and old is here and unique bonds have formed between the neighbours, much like a mini-Hong Kong. The characters include a foreign-educated middle-aged man, a troublesome wealthy heir, a fierce middle-aged woman and other loveable characters. They all have complex relationships with the old apartment building. Rich or poor, the same principle applies like any other Hong Kong citizen: each household has their own unspeakable problems. There are many problems each day, but life goes on, so they must hold on tight to their love and keep chasing their dreams.
Anticipation Level: 1/5. Didn't even watch the original.
Walk with You – The ambitious and strong-willed Myolie Wu feels that her down-to-earth boyfriend Moses Chan is unable to catch up to her pace, so decides to break up with him. An accident suddenly causes Myolie to go blind. Alone in the darkness, she is depressed for a long time. But this also gives her a good opportunity to think about what is most important to her. Fortunately, Moses returns to her side and helps her to stand up again. He encourages her to participate in marathon so that she can rediscover the feeling of victory on the track. Constantly supporting her, Moses naturally becomes Myolie’s guide in the race and her life partner.
Blindness does not need to make life lose its colours. As long as you open up and look for another way, there will be a road to continue forward. An extraordinary love story told in an honest way to touch people’s hearts.
Anticipation Level: 1.5/5. Not a fan of those heart-felt, inspiring stories.
See full list of series in Sales Presentation 2014