I LOVE LOVE Wayne Lai Yiu Cheung!!!

It cannot be helped. I love Wayne Lai (黎耀祥). He's been plastered all over Hong Kong since last year's successful run of Rosy Business (巾幗梟雄), selling everything from groceries to cleaner to (gasp) fitness memberships. There is nothing to say except he's a truly awesome actor. And fit as hell. Mmm-mmm.


Greyson Chance, Round 2.

Say what you want, Greyson Chance is pretty awesome. I love his songs, all 2 of them. Here is a recent performance from Ellen. It's his new tune, Waiting Outside the Lines. A little unpolished - vocally he could be stronger in some parts, but it's a kid banging on a piano and debuting a new song on a national tv show. I was doing nothing productive at that age, or this one.


Is William Chan for real?

Holy shit fuck. Thank you, Charlene Choi! Look at William Chan now! Okay, so maybe this wasn't all her doing, but Mr. Choi has undergone quite the transformation. Maybe it all started with the Rexona deodorant ad he shot some month's back. Shit's powerful. Whatever the prime mover, William Chan is now steps away from becoming a K-Pop star. Exhibit A: video. Now this is one of those shitty TVB jobs, i.e. it's not the real video but some cheap Tseung Kwan O substitute b/c TVB won't show the real one. But it's still, shall we say...fierce? Boy wonder's got some moves, and some muscles. Singing voice, not so much, but keep at it, kid. We'll see if this portends a brighter future.

TVB mid-series thoughts for 'No Regrets' and 'Gun Metal Grey'.

A couple things to say.

巾幗梟雄之義海豪情 (No Regrets): I'm up to episode 19. Episode 21 aired tonight, and I believe we're in the home stretch. Yawn. The first few episodes were fitting of an anniversary series; of course Spare Rib Boy's (Ngo Kanin) acting was tops. But the second half of the show has veered into numbing anti-Japanese war propaganda. Things that bother me: Fala Chen - sorry, boys, but I just don't see the appeal; Spare Rib Boy - he doesn't bother me but his lack of screen time does, though he seems to be making a comeback in the final week; crazy Japanese guffawing and other obnoxious caricatures - it's too easy and simplistic. This latter point is my main complaint for the last 2 weeks' episodes. I don't mean that this historical period has been overdone. Rather, the static, black and white portrayal of good Chinese folks under the oppressive, and slightly buffoonish, Japanese needs a paint job. There is a slight makeover in the forms of Lau Sing and Gau Mui; both are interesting characters who have firm loyalties but not always steady ways of showing it. And let's credit actors Wayne Lai and Sheren Tang for another round of brilliant performances. But their effort is too often drowned out by background noise. Nancy Wu and Evergreen Mak are both strong in this series, but Ms. Wu especially needs to turn the decibel level down a notch. Lau Sing's housemates similarly need to cut the histrionics, but then, it wouldn't be a TVB series without. Overall, it's been a fair run and I think the pace is picking up a bit as we near the end, but I feel that finishing up this series has become a chore. I watch it because I must, not because I want to.

刑警 (Gun Metal Grey): Meanwhile, the 9:30p slot is no chore at all. I'm even watching it on the teevee instead of waiting until it's uploaded on TVB.com the next day. Much more exciting than the Bowie police procedural I just finished. The story itself is interesting, but I think what I really enjoy is the acting. I don't think I've ever seen an entire Michael Miu show and I never watched anything with Felix Wong (I know, I need to catch up on my 80s shows). I've only recently become a fan of Nancy Wu after seeing her in the original 巾幗梟雄 (Rosy Business) and her love match in this show is played by Vincent Wong, who I'd never heard of. Alas, all are spectacular, all reign in the overacting. Incidentally, it's Jessica Hsuan, who I usually like, who's a non-factor in this series. Mostly I object to her non-role, which is to be the female catch all. When things need to be explained to the audience or when a stupid character's stupid actions are necessary to move the story forward, they call on Ms. Hsuan. In any case, tonight's episode was Felix Wong's character's turning point. He killed a suspect then lied about it. It's all downhill from here for him. But let's hope the show doesn't go the same way.


Bruce Lee + Aarif Lee = 'Bruce Lee, My Brother'

I kind of shat my pants earlier because I finally made the connection between the new movie about Bruce Lee and one Aarif Lee - the latter plays the former. A few weeks ago I saw parts of Echoes of the Rainbow and while was not left overly impressed by Mr. Lee the Younger, I still thought he did Hong Kong proud. Anyway, according to the font of knowledge, Wikipedia, he graduated with a degree in physics. Um, beat that, anyone else in the HK entertainment industry.

So if you're in Hong Kong lately, you've seen a lot of adverts for a new movie simply titled 李小龍 or Bruce Lee, My Brother. FYI, this coming November 27 is the 70th anniversary of his birth and the city is flipping ecstatic. At least the Hong Kong Film Archive has a whole day marathon - which would be awesome if I didn't have to work. It's screening some of his early work, as in when he 10 years old kind of early. Anyway, I thought they found an actor who at least resembled Mr. Lee the Elder, no easy task, for the movie.The bus adverts have a better profile than the movie poster pictured above. For some reason I thought they had 'scored' a TVB actor. Common sense should have told me this was impossible, for any number of reasons. Poked around a bit and basically was shocked and awed to find out the skinny, sensitive Aarif Lee, who is the type of guy my mom (or I) would want me to bring home if he was 7 years older, will be playing the Bruce Man. Yeah, I admit it, it's the abs. Watch the trailer below, and someone's been working out. And I'm not that, that shallow. MC Jin's in it, an old favorite, and it doesn't look ridiculous.

'Life of Pi' is one of the dullest books I've ever read.

I can't for the life of me fathom why The Life of Pi is so popular. I've been working on this book for the last 2 months and can't make it past 5 pages without falling asleep. This post is an attempt to wake myself up, not that talking about a boring book is a great remedy. This is almost 400 pages mostly of a boy and a lion trapped on a boat in the Pacific Ocean. Ang Lee is supposedly directing a film version. I'll leave it up to him because right now my brain is seriously half mush.


Libera + 'You Were There'.

I have a soft spot for boys' choirs. If hope had a sound, I think it would be a little like this - pure, sweet, and simple.

Libera's Japanese release of You Were There.

(One of my students looks like Tom Cully, the soloist. Yes, I'm going to grade him more easily.)

Taeyang + Solar, revisited.

Doing a little bit of housekeeping and found some images on my desk. Yes, a bit old but still worth sharing.

Exhibit A - allkpop generating controversy by claiming that Taeyang's summer album release performed below expectations. Countered by stubborn facts, such as Solar's iTunes ranking. How many Korean artists have debuted near the top of the RnB chart, sans promotions? Oh, none. Can't hold us down, haters.

Exhibit B -allkpop readers showing Taeyang some love. Yup!