Here are my thoughts and picks for TVB Anniversary Awards 2018. The full nomination list is here.
Prediction: Dicky Cheung (The Learning Curve of a Warlord)
My Pick: Dicky Cheung (The Learning Curve of a Warlord)
Yes, The Learning Curve of a Warlord hasn't aired yet. No, it doesn't matter because (1) fans will vote for who they want anyways, and (2) it's adorable that you think TVB hasn't already decided who will win. I think TVB will pull a Dayo here and give this to Dicky because there really isn't much choice. They completely snubbed Steven Ma from a nomination and Benjamin Yuen - the other hot favourite - was nominated for Another Era instead of Stealing Seconds (his winning role in Malaysia and Singapore).
Prediction: Mandy Wong (Threesome)
My Pick: Mandy Wong (Threesome)
Can Mandy pull a three-peat? Yes. I'm not convinced that TVB will give it to Alice Chan over Mandy, and Ali Lee is not ready for the TV Queen mantle. Plus, Mandy truly is deserving of Best Actress for an extraordinary performance in Threesome. Selena Li is a dark horse candidate and did well in Succession War, but she will have to wait at least one more year.
Favourite Male Character
Prediction: Benjamin Yuen (Stealing Seconds)
My Pick: Ruco Chan (Succession War)
The fact that Benjamin was nominated for Stealing Seconds in this category, but not in Best Actor, is all the more telling that TVB wants to give him this award and not Best Actor. If he wins, Benjamin will join Kenneth Ma and Raymond Lam as two-time winners of this award and zero-time winners of Best Actor.
Favourite Female Character
Prediction: Ali Lee (Who Wants a Baby?)
My Pick: Mandy Wong (Threesome)
Ali's character was undeniably well-liked by audiences and this would be an appropriate award for her. Mandy could take home this award too, but there isn't much marginal benefit of giving her another award on top of three TV Queen titles. Unfortunately for Alice Chan, her drama aired too early and her momentum appears to have faded.
Best Supporting Actor
Prediction: Tsui Wing (Who Wants a Baby?)
My Pick: Jonathan Cheung (Succession War)
This category is usually a toss-up among several deserving candidates. There hasn't been a two-time winner in this category, so that could knock out past winners (Louis Yuen, Willie Wai, Joel Chan, Raymond Cho). I don't really know who to pick, but if it's anyone's "turn", it should be Tsui Wing. He's been a solid supporting actor for years and it would be great if he got some recognition.
Best Supporting Actress
Prediction: Mandy Lam (Come Home Love: Lo and Behold)
My Pick: Stephanie Ho (Succession War)
If Best Supporting Actor was a struggle for me to make a pick, I'm just throwing darts for Best Supporting Actress. Mandy was a favourite last year and even made it to the top five. The competition is virtually non-existent this year, so this is her best chance to win.
Most Improved Actor
Prediction: Matthew Ho
My Pick: Matthew Ho
Matthew is riding high from his popularity from the recently aired Life on the Line. I think he will edge out Owen Cheung, who didn't have any dramas air this year.
Most Improved Actress
Prediction: Roxanne Tong
My Pick: Gloria Tang
This award should be renamed "Most Improved from Absolute Crap" for this group of nominees. Roxanne is the most established of the bunch. TVB wants to give this to Louisa Mak so badly (they even gave her a Best Actress nomination), but she's only been acting since last year, so it seems too soon to give it her. I still remember the absolutely unwatchable debut of Gloria Tang in The Ultimate Addiction. She has come a long way since then and would actually fit the definition of "Most Improved".
Favourite TV Partnership
Prediction: Matthew Ho, Joey Law, Arnold Kwok, Bob Cheung (Life on the Line)
My Pick: Edwin Siu and Raymond Cho (Two Men in a Kitchen).
My second pick to win would be Edwin and Raymond, but they already won last year and there isn't any reason why TVB needs to give a pork award to either of them. The Life on the Line "F4" was well-liked by audiences and this would give TVB a chance to promote them, like the former "S4".
Prediction: Deep in the Realm of Conscience
My Pick: Succession War
Deep in the Realm of Conscience tied with Life on the Line for highest viewership among TVB productions, but Deep was the bigger production with the bigger cast and a "golden" producer. I think Succession War was one of the best written series this year, but it got poor ratings, so it will hardly even be considered for Best Series.
Best Theme Song
Prediction: A Hana Kuk song
My Pick: "Unique" by Miriam Yeung (Threesome)
Hana Kuk is the new Jinny Ng, so she will probably win, but I honestly can't tell which song is which. Miriam Yeung's song for Threesome was my favourite because, well, she's Miriam. And there's no denying that she is leagues above those Voice "singers". Nancy Wu's theme song for Deep in the Realm of Conscience was also on repeat a lot for me. I was impressed by how Nancy was able to carry the power of the song, considering how she's not even a singer.