The premier of Three Kingdoms RPG <回到三國> has generated lively discussion among viewers, with much criticisms and dissatisfaction. Kenneth Ma (馬國明) was heavily slammed his role. In the series, Kenneth Ma portrays a frivolous and impetuous gaming addict, who accidentally travels back into the Three Kingdoms era. Viewers blasted Kenneth for being too old to portray this character.
Protest by Ron Ng’s Fans
In the original sales presentation clip for Three Kingdoms RPG, the cast initially included Ron Ng (吳卓羲), Steven Ma (馬浚偉) and Power Chan (陳國邦). Ron originally played Kenneth’s character, Steven as Guan Yu, and Power Chan as Zhuge Liang. However, the actors in the sales presentation have been changed entirely when official filming started. Ron Ng dropped out from the series and was replaced by Kenneth Ma.
After the first episode of Three Kingdoms RPG was aired, Ron’s fans displayed their dissatisfaction and criticized Kenneth for being too old to portray a video game addict. Kenneth was blasted for looking haggard and unable to portray the lively character.
One netizen commented on Weibo, “Kenneth is almost 40 and he has to act like he is in 20s! It’s so unconvincing!”
Another fan also angrily wrote, “Kenneth is so lousy in this show! He is so fake in his expression and his emotions are exaggerated!”
Ron’s fans also felt unfair that their idol was ousted from the series. A fan wrote, “Give me back my Ron!”
Criticisms Countered with Praises
Despite negative comments, there were also many praises for Kenneth. One netizen wrote on Weibo, “Kenneth is simply too hilarious to watch!” Another also wrote, “Kenneth is too awesome and cool. He is even better than Louis Koo (古天樂) in A Step into the Past <尋秦記>!”
Although the series’ producer, Lau Kar Ho (劉家豪), had left TVB earlier this year, responded to the slamming, “I had intended to use the original cast of The Mysteries of Love <談情說案> when filming Three Kingdoms RPG. Kenneth’s role had already been modified. He portrays a gaming addict in his 30s, and not a young lad.”
Series Also Blamed for Poor Visual Effects
Three Kingdoms RPG also drew criticism for its visual effects. Many viewers compared it with the mainland China’s television drama, Three Kingdoms <三國>. Netizens commented that the visual effects of the mainland version was more spectacular, whereas Three Kingdoms RPG was merely “child’s play.” Some netizens even mocked that the visual effects of A Step into the Past which was filmed 11 years ago was much better!
Lau Kar Ho clarified that Three Kingdoms RPG was supposed to be a light-hearted comedy. It has a completely different style from the mainland television drama.
Excellent Ratings Despite Criticisms
Despite drawing negative reviews, the premier ratings of Three Kingdoms RPG averaged 30 points. The peak rating reached 34 points, drawing approximately 2.18 million viewers tuning in Hong Kong. This is by far the highest rating of a premier series broadcast for TVB.
Kenneth Ma was primarily slammed in the premier broadcast. The next most anticipated character to have greater screentime will be Raymond Lam (林峰). Viewers will be keen to see his depiction of Zhuge Liang, the most accomplished strategist in the Three Kingdoms era.
Source: Ming Pao
This article is written by Stella for JayneStars.com.
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