Monday, December 31, 2018

Year in Review

Whew, made it through another year!
2018 was a big year for me personally. I graduated from law school, passed the bar exam and moved to New York City to start a new job. I also did a lot of travelling, which I hope to write about at some point. But for now, here is a look-back at the TV and movies that I watched!

TVB Series

The list of TVB series that I have watched this year is a short one:

  • Threesome - A gem that TVB did not know how to appreciate. Mandy Wong is the true Best Actress in my mind for playing three vastly different characters and switch effortlessly between them.
  • Flying Tiger - A run-of-the-mill police procedural with familiar elements - undercover agents, black cops, a brotherly showdown and a hot-headed Ron Ng.
  • Deep in the Realm of Conscience - A messy, overpopulated series that tried to use extravagance to compensate for its lack of substance.
  • Succession War - The better historical drama of the summer. The story was well-written, coherent and enticing, even if history books were thrown out the window.
  • Life on the Line - A mundane series with too many convenient coincidences and miracles. I watched the majority of this, but never bothered to finish the last week of episodes.
    • The Learning Curve of a Warlord - Without Dicky Cheung, this series would have easily been left in the skip column.

    American TV

    In the absence of good TVB dramas, I have turned to American TV. The first show I watched was Timeless. It is a history lover's dream show. It is well-researched and seamlessly incorporates historical details into the story. And it covered all sorts of historical events and characters. I loved tuning it each week to find out which historical time period the Time Time would travel to next. The second show I watched was Billions, a fast-paced, clever battle of the wits with unpredictable turns. The best thing about it is watching how far the characters are willing to go to win this fight.


      I got to see a lot of movies this year because of Moviepass. Sadly, good things don't last forever.
      • Jumanji
      • The Shape of Water
      • The Post
      • I, Tonya
      • All the Money in the World
      • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
      • Black Panther
      • Annihilation
      • Kingsman: Golden Circle
      • Marshall
      • Avengers: Infinity War
      • Guardians of the Galaxy I and II
      • Game Night
      • Chappaquiddick
      • RBG
      • Mission Impossible: Fallout
      • Antman and the Wasp
      • Agent Mr. Chan
      • Searching


      Now that I don't have to read for school anymore, I am rediscovering the joys of reading for leisure. The first book that I finished in a long time is The Heart's Invisible Furies by John Boyne. It was an unexpected emotional experience as I followed the life of an adopted Irish boy who struggles to understand his identity. The book was captivating, eye-opening, at times shocking, and deeply emotional. Highly recommend!

      What reflections do you have on 2018? What do you hope for in 2019?

      Saturday, December 29, 2018

      TVB Calendar 2019

      January: The Offliners

      February: The Ghetto-Fabulous Lady

      March: The Defected

      April: Big White Duel

      June: Our Unwinding Ethos

      August: Finding Her Voice

      October: Airport Security Unit

      December: Killer

      Thursday, December 27, 2018

      TVB Inventory Levels 2018

      The number of series outstanding for each artist
      As of December 27, 2018

      Purple = Ancient
      Green = Pre-modern
      Yellow = Modern
      Blue = Professional/Crime
      White = Unconfirmed
      Italics = Shaw Brothers production

      Sunday, December 23, 2018

      Overview - Guardian Angel

      Casual TVB's 700th post!

      Northern Lights Insurance Company has a team of insurance investigators that is led by Benz Hui, who loves to make impromptu jokes, and includes wealthy heiress Annie Liu, the affectionate Bosco Wong and retired police officer Michael Miu. They each have their own talents and form a legendary team in the insurance industry. They manage to thoroughly investigate and uncover the truth in all the thorny, dangerous or strange cases that are passed to them. Although 9 out of 10 cases end up with the insurance company paying out money, their mission is to discover the truth. Fairness, impartiality and righteousness are their guiding principles. The three investigators are like special agents, conducting cross-border investigations, searching for clues, following targets and gathering evidence. At the same time, they unintentionally become involved many people's stories and become their guardian angel.

      Guardian Angel is a collaboration between Shaw Brothers and iQiyi. It was released online earlier and will air on TVB beginning December 24.

      Sunday, December 02, 2018

      Overview - The Learning Curve of a Warlord

      Dicky Cheung is an unambitious, low-ranking corporal in the Warlord Era. Relying on his savvy mind and silver tongue, he made it through the last twenty years. One time, he saves Generalissimo Choi Kwok Hing and is promoted seven ranks, becoming the local tyrant of a town. Three warlords (Max Cheung, Eddie Pang and Koo Ming Wah) who had established their territory near the town are seething in anger and waiting for an opportunity to deal with him. Luckily, Dicky has three sworn brothers (Tony Hung, Tsui Wing and Oscar Li) who are united against the enemy. They even manage to coerce weapons expert Raymond Cho to join them, allowing them to establish their footing in the town. Dicky has three wives (Zoie Tam, Vivien Yeo and Sisley Choi) who are always competing for his favour. Sisley is a member of the Revolutionary Party. Although Dicky knows of her identity, he still keeps her by his side, which could stir up trouble at any time. The throbbing ambition of someone within the barracks, along with having the other warlords and the Japanese watching him like a hawk, puts Dicky in a desperate situation.

      The Learning Curve of a Warlord Theme Song

      Dicky Cheung sings the theme song, "Utterly Fearless" (大無畏), for The Learning Curve of a Warlord. 

      The sub-theme song, "Honeymoon" (蜜運), is also performed by Dicky.