Saturday, November 17, 2018

TVB Sales Presentation 2019 - Series Briefs

Wonder Women

Miriam Yeung is a fashionable “multi-functional” housewife. She lives happily with her husband. Raymond Wong. She has two good friends: the career-oriented Alice Chan and the beautiful, wealthy wife Rebecca Zhu. The three ladies have very different views on love. Raymond, who is focused in building his career, leaves for China after he is caught cheating. Divorced, Miriam raises her son on her own. She rents out part of her apartment to the tall, handsome and rich Pakho Chau. Their squabbles with each other generate a lot of laughter. Women may wither because of one man's heartlessness, but can bloom again because of another man's affection. Pakho helps Miriam establish her career. Just as she regains her self-confidence, Raymond returns, seeking to remarry. See who Miriam loves the most!

Interest level: 5/5. Do I really need to explain why? The trailer gives me the feeling of a classic Miriam movie. Can’t wait to see Miriam, Raymond and Benz Hui reunited on-screen. Not thrilled to see Jinny Ng in this, but hopefully I can just forward her scenes. AND SHE BETTER NOT SING ANY SONGS FOR THIS SERIES WITH MIRIAM HERE!

The Defected

Police inspector Benjamin Yuen is shot in the head while trying to save a colleague. He miraculously survives and earns the nickname “Iron Detective”, but the residual effects are ongoing… The person who shot Benjamin turns out to be Philip Keung, an undercover agent for Chief Superintendent Kara Hui. Kara betrayed Philip due to a power struggle with another senior officer, Shek Sau. Enraged, Philip opened fire and accidentally injured Benjamin. The shot forced Philip to become a defector, but his aspirations as a police officer never changed. Benjamin becomes a pawn in the power struggle. Luckily, he receives help from Chief Superintendent Ben Wong and vows to end the power struggle. Philip sacrifices himself to obtain evidence of Kara’s misconduct as an ultimate penance to Benjamin. Benjamin angrily accuses Kara, but the judge rules that he only had himself to blame. Defying the authority of the police force, Benjamin appeals and finally wins justice! Unfortunately, the residual effects put him on the verge of death, but he insists on investigating cases until the last day. Two “iron detectives” have no regrets about their lives.

Interest level: 4.5/5. Stellar cast and strong story. As long as TVB doesn't pull some Bullet Brain ridiculousness with being shot in the head.

Eighteen Years Later: Ultimate Confession

Eighteen years ago, on an ordinary night, a group of seven youths, including Shaun Tam, Joel Chan and Anthony Ho, get into a fight with local gangster Oman Lam. After brawling and chasing in the dark, Oman laid dead in a pool of blood. Having made a huge mistake, the group decided to bury the body and pray that no one will ever discover the secret.

Eighteen years later, they each have their own careers and lives. Suddenly, someone discovers Oman's body, digging up the secret from many years ago. CID Inspector Mandy Wong takes over the investigation and slowly unravels the truth. Mandy's father, Dominic Lam, turns out to be Oman's biological father. He vows to make the murderers bear the responsibility of their crimes. Shaun, Joel and Anthony face severe pressure. Facing the choice of their lives, will they take responsibility and admit their wrongdoing, or will they continue to hide the truth and fall into a deep, dark hole? When Shaun falls in love with Mandy, he gets caught in a complex web of relationships. Meanwhile, the real killer is hiding in the dark and eliminates all those that reveal the truth.

Interest level: 4/5. I like a nice whodunit series. 

Big White Duel

The cost of Hong Kong’s public health care system has increased exponentially year after year. It is like a ticking bomb that can explode at any time. Roger Kwok, the vice president of the leading public hospital, is determined to push for health care reform and conduct "major surgery" on the system. But his plan is questioned by his colleague, genius doctor Kenneth Ma. Kenneth is worried that if health care reform is implemented, there will be people who die because they cannot afford the medical costs. Although their differing philosophies spark a series of conflicts, they both have a benevolent heart of a doctor who wants to save lives. Along with a group of elite medical professionals, they care for each patient at the hospital, creating moving stories with their benevolent hearts and skillful execution.

Interest level: 4/5. The premise is interesting, but will need to see if TVB can pull off thoughtful commentary on health care policy.

Agent C9

After an explosion at the Hong Kong branch of a secret organization, Agent C9 (Samantha Ko) loses contact with headquarters. She marries an honest vegetable vendor, Kenneth Ma. Every day, she is busy taking care of Kenneth's troublesome, but warm family members. She enjoys four years of an ordinary, blissful life as a housewife. Unexpectedly, her former partner, Agent B3, appears and asks her to investigate the reason for the explosion at the branch, as well as to recover a nerve agent that went missing after the explosion.

Samantha begins a double-life as a housewife and a secret agent. Kenneth inadvertently learns about Samantha's identity and cannot accept it in the moment. During the cooling-off period, Kenneth realizes his feelings for Samantha and genuinely accepts her. Soon, Samantha discovers that B3 was actually the traitor that blew up the branch and is using her to find the nerve agent in order to sell it for profit. Samantha and Kenneth, who has no skills as a secret agent, work together as a couple with one heart against B3 to ensure world peace!

Interest level: 2/5. Seems like a cute drama. Samantha Ko as the leading lady gives me pause. Plot-wise, halfway through reading the synopsis, I already guessed that B3 would be the culprit in the explosion. Can TVB at least make the synopsis not so predictable?

Golden Building

By chance, Joel Chan became the security guard for Golden Building. In this building with an old physical appearance, people of all kinds, and widely-known ghost rumours, Joel encounters a cool and beautiful air stewardess, Selena Li. He is shocked to see Selena, who looks exactly like the qipao-wearing girl in his dreams! He naturally wants to get closer to Selena and learn about about his connection to her. Their relationship gradually grows.

At the same time, there are many stories happening within the building, like the weird young woman who pushes around a sealed stroller, the single mother whose son goes mysterious missing, the pretty female accountant whose sexual fortunes take a turn, the male homebody who is addicted to peeping on teenage girls, and the odd bookstore owner. Each seems unable to escape their own fate. Meanwhile, strange things keep occurring. As Joel investigates, he finds out that he and Selena did not come to this building coincidentally. They are inextricably linked to the building itself. Joel and Selena's complicated relationship today can be traced back to a love affair that happened in the building in the 1960s. Destiny guided Joel to the Golden Building...

Interest level: 1/5. Not into the supernatural genre. 

Wife Interrupted

This is a story about an ordinary person who will go through fire and water to save his beloved wife. Hubert Wu is a homebody who follows a regular routine. Every day, he goes to work, then goes home. Some people would think it is dry and dull, but Hubert and his wife, Moon Lau, are content.

On Christmas Eve, Hubert and Moon go shopping. When they step into the mall, they are kidnapped by Santa Claus and his elves! They accuse Hubert of embezzling money from them and demands that he return the money within 72 hours, or else they will kill Moon. Except Hubert did not take the money. He is scared. Who are these people and what is happening? He must find out before the deadline. The only clue he has is that the Santa Claus seems to have a connection with a youth hostel that Hubert once stayed at. Starting with his old friends from the hostel, Hubert embarks on a journey to save his wife!

Interest level: 1/5. Lame holiday special.

Neighbourhood Fortune Man

Loan-shark king Kent Chang has always used underworld tactics to run his loan-shark business and employs improper methods to collect debts. Although his wife Maggie Siu has urged him to wash his hands of the business, he is unrepentant. As Kent operates his business and collects debts, he attracts the attention of detective Chris Lai. Chris, who is righteous and abhors evil, vows to fight against evil forces.

One day, lightning strikes down from the sky and Kent is moved by the heavens. Since then, he has laid down the butcher's knife and used his fortune to give back to the community. The "Neighbourhood Fortune Man" hands out money and love. But it is hard to be a good person. Can a super bad guy suddenly turn good? This impossible task inevitably concerns the finances and grievances of the underworld and affects people from the both sides of the law, drawing the police and Interpol to participate in the fight against crime.

Interest level: 2/5. Could be good for a few laughs, but the producer isn't even trying here. The plot sounds exactly the same as his previous drama, My Dangerous Mafia Retirement Plan. Have never been particularly impressed with Kent's acting. 

Justice Bao: The First Year

During the reign of Emperor Renzong of Song, things appear to be peaceful, but there are actually many hidden internal and external threats. The Emperor appoints Shaun Tam as the magistrate of Kaifeng and grants him the power to execute someone before reporting it. Shaun and his adviser (Raymond Cho), bodyguard (Owen Cheung) and four bailiffs oversee Kaifeng and fight against corrupt officials. But the tyrannical and corrupt Henry Li creates many roadblocks to their investigations. The fierce Nancy Wu is an eloquent speaker and receives training from Raymond to become the first female lawyer of the Song Dynasty. Maid Elaine Yiu, the daughter of a coroner, is skilled in autopsies and promoted by Shaun to be Kaifeng's coroner. The two women help the seven men see through and solve strange cases.

Shaun and Elaine go through life and death situations together and have a deep relationship. Just before they get married, Shaun discovers that Elaine's real identity is a spy from the Liao Empire and is hiding a huge conspiracy. Nancy's father, KK Cheung, reveals that the Emperor is not the rightful emperor and plans to rebel! Shaun faces a very difficult problem. If the Emperor is not of imperial descent, the Song Dynasty will fall into KK's hands and become a puppet of the Liao Empire. If the Emperor is deposed, the country will lose a virtuous monarch and is bound to face disaster. Will Shaun twist the truth for the sake of society? Or will he enter the tiger's den to investigate the truth and reveal whether the rumour about the Emperor's ancestry is true or false?

Interest level: 4/5. The detective and historical aspects should be good. This is also the only ancient drama in the pipeline. 

The Solvers

A young Vincent Wong witnessed his father beat his mother to death. He grabbed a knife and avenged her. Ever since then, he followed members of the Chinese-Australian triad, learning to use horrific tactics to solve problems that even the triads couldn't resolve and becoming a fixer. During one mission, Vincent is accused of being a traitor. He fakes his own death and escapes from Australia. Travelling to Hong Kong, he becomes a high school gym teacher. He changes his name and hopes to start a new life where he can spend simple, happy days in the pure school environment. But he encounters a music teacher, Natalie Tong, who is the daughter of a triad leader. When Natalie's father retires from the triads, there is a period of unrest and Natalie is repeatedly in danger. In order to protect her, Vincent once again connects with the triads. At the same time, Vincent meets OCTB Senior Inspector Jonathan Cheung. Unexpectedly, this honourable officer ultimately goes down the path of a black cop. Who is white and who is black? In Vincent and Jonathan's ultimate faceoff, who will resolve who?

Interest level: 4.5/5. This dark synopsis practically has me salivating already. For some reason, Vincent in the trailer reminds me of Stone Sir (Felix Wong) in Gun Metal Grey. Hoping that this will be a similarly dark thriller. Glad to see Jonathan Cheung being given a meaty role. I think he is one of the most underrated young actors in TVB.

Finding Her Voice

It is said that the memory of sound is not as good as the memory of sight or touch. But for Principal Chung King Fei, the sound of a soprano from forty years ago still feels new and is always on his mind. Because of this voice, he decides to return to Hong Kong from Canada by himself, hoping to reunite with his former students.

Back then, his elementary school in Ngau Tau Kok defeated many competitors to win first place at a music competition. It was not only a meaningful award for Chung King Fei's career, but also, for some students, the only honour that they got in their lives. In the blink of an eye, the children have become average middle-aged adults. They have gone their separate ways and have been working hard for their livelihoods, giving up on their interest for singing a long time ago. With the hard work of Chung King Fei's divorced granddaughter Jacqueline Wong, her investigator friend Owen Cheung, the enthusiastic school senior Hugo Ng and his capable but always full of suspicion wife Mimi Kung, they find the former members of the choir one by one - Joe Cheng, Savio Tsang, Jimmy Au, Ram Chiang, Willie Wai and Sam Tsang. They revive the choir and shine on stage once again. Despite the brief reunion, everyone finds their second spring in life.

Interest level: 1/5. Kudos to TVB for finally putting their veteran actors in the spotlight, but it's not a very interesting drama.

Airport Security Unit

Hong Kong's Airport Security Unit (ASU) is a paramilitary special police unit. Their main responsibilities include maintaining public and aviation safety, anti-terrorism, VIP protection and crisis response. The story begins with a robbery at the airport. The suspect causes a serious traffic accident as he is escaping. Off-duty police officers Owen Cheung, Matt Yeung, Hugo Wong and Sisley Choi happen to be at the airport and join in helping people and apprehending the suspect. A year later, the four of them, from different police departments, apply to join the ASU at the same time.

Through four days and three nights of a grueling selection process, and twelve weeks of rigorous training under the strict guidance of Eddie Kwan, the four of them establish a deep friendship and successfully join the ASU. The four new members create sparks with the veteran members. The new exchange with the old and both learn from each other. While on-duty, they each encounter different stories and situations, seeing the joys and sorrows and lingering near life and death. They each reflect on their own life, leading to improvement and establishing their sense of purpose as a ASU member.

Interest level: 3.5/5. Another formulaic police procedural. TVB generally does a decent job of these, but it will all be very familiar. Okay picks for male leads, but Sisley Choi is just bad. 


Wayne Lai is targeted by someone, causing his wife to be killed and his daughter to become blind. The former "King of Assassins" becomes a downcast, low-end assassin. Meanwhile, Moses Chan is a legendary assassin with an unparalleled reputation. But behind the glory, he carries the burden of avenging his sworn brother.

Fate brings the high-end and the low-end assassin together. Wayne's enemy turns out to be the same person who killed Moses's sworn brother - Taiwanese triad leader Hung. The two of them join forces to kill Hung. Influential Hong Kong figure "Buddha" tries to recruit Moses but is rejected. He is outraged and repeatedly threatens Moses, eventually forcing Moses to kill him with the help of Wayne. One crisis has just been settled and another is raised. Several assassins have mysteriously been killed. The name "Assassin Hunter" is spreading like wildfire. The Assassin Hunter turns out to be intricately linked to Wayne. Moses vows to eliminate the Assassin Hunter, forcing him and Wayne into a life or death confrontation.

Interest level: 3/5. Very disappointed that this is a comedy. I don't think Wayne or Moses are the strongest in comedies and the topic seems unsuited as a comedy. Will still give it a try because of the cast and novel topic. 

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