“Beauty At War” Continues Terrible Record of 19 Ratings Points

Despite its expensive production and big cast, Beauty at War <金枝慾孽貳> has become one of TVB’s most poorly rated series in the past few years. Last week, ratings continued to only average 19 points, becoming the first drama in a long time to crash below an average of 20 ratings points.

Monday night’s episode also received ratings of 19 points, with approximately 1.21 million viewers tuning in. Compared to last Monday’s ratings of 22 points, the series lost another 190, 000 viewers.

What Went Wrong?

War and Beauty received a minor boost in ratings of 23 points last Tuesday. However, in last Wednesday’s episode where Ada Choi (蔡少芬) lost her three children to the plague, the ratings again plunged to 18 points. Ada’s husband tried to keep the children’s deaths from her. The numerous perplexities of whether to tell her about the deaths of her children and why she should be kept in the dark took up the whole episode, leading to disgruntlement among viewers with the slow-moving plot.

Fortunately, Ada’s outstanding performance in episode 19 helped the ratings to go up again last Thursday. In that episode, Ada displayed great acting skills when she cried from the beginning until the end of the episode. Having known that her three children have already died, Ada adeptly her grief throughout the episode. After the airing of the episode, Ada received praises from both her colleagues and netizens who said that the performance was deserving of the TV Queen title. That episode earned a rating of 20 points.

Will Not be Axed

In spite of its low ratings, it is unlikely that Beauty at War will be axed. TVB Deputy Director of External Affairs, Tsang Sing Ming (曾醒明) said, “In recent years, no drama in the prime time slots has plunged below an average of 20 points. Since Beauty at War is ending soon, it will not be cut nor will there be changes made to it. We will do our best.”

Sources: Apple Daily; Apple Daily

This article is written by Karen for JayneStars.com.

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  1. Admittedly its pace is too slow, which is Chow Yuk Ming’s style now but it’s becoming quite interesting. I would recommend it to viewers who are actually looking for a thoughtful drama.

  2. It should not be axed because this is not a bad series just because HK viewers nowadays have more choices for entertaining beside sitting at home to watch TV; they can go camping, fishing etc..

    1. Ok, so why do many other series have much better ratings then?

    2. There are more choices for series to watch rather than TVB. Back in the days, there was less competition and more room for creativity, but now with sooo many series coming out, there is more competition and they are running out of ideas… I agree with huongg that they also have found better things to do rather than sit in the front of the TV watching series, especially when TVB series are really going downhill.

    3. You make a fair point but never have I once thought of going camping or fishing.

    4. LMFAO, are you actually from HK or know anything about HK people?
      Most of them don’t go “camping, fishing, etc..”

      And honestly, this series isn’t bad. It might be a bit slow and confusing at times so, I really don’t get how it’s getting such low ratings….
      Maybe when the ratings for slow Boat Home comes out then we’ll know if it’s TVB or just the series itself.

      1. What do HK people do in their leisure time besides watching series?

      2. HeTieShou,

        Leisure time HK people try to stay on the ground..NOT hours living on-tube, on-air or on-line.
        Window shopping..eat and “Blow water”

      3. Cloud9,
        Oh ok, that seems to make sense.What does “blow water” mean though? Maybe I should ask my sister in law since she is from there.

      4. HeTieShou,

        Haha..sorry ‘Blowing Water, from word to word translation of Cantonese……meaning boasting or glorify oneself .
        Haha..not only HK love to do that..is my favorite habit.

        ‘ Self praise is the Best praise but is a International disgrace ‘

  3. I think the see-lai’s are spoken. Kill the series, move it to the weekends just to save TVB some face.

  4. Only continuing this series for ada & moses’ relationship.
    The acting is superb from almost all the actors, but it the storyline isn’t holding up.

  5. In terms of acting, “Beauty at War” is a good drama series because you will enjoy the good acting performed by the cast. Everyone did well in it. The only problem is its slow pace and lack of plots and developments. It is kind of dull and boring with no climax.

    I still enjoyed watching it though I wish I could see more movements, more ups and downs, and more of Yu Fei’s character.

    1. Agreed. The acting is great. The casts did a very good job. You can tell, it’s not easy at all. They should not be blamed for the failure. In HK TVB program is free to watch, no subscription needed. So why the auditions are the loudest to complain?

      1. I know right?!
        Why can’t the viewers just suck it up and spend more of their time praising the actors/actresses who have spent so much time into playing their role the way it should?

    2. Thats sort of whats been happening with jonathan chik and chow yuk ming’s recent collaborations. They are all overly introspective with no real overt developments. While that is ok for some stories, its just inappropriate for most others, especially in a serial format.

    3. Sadly, the plot and script are 2 of the most important factors of any series or movie, not the cast. You can have a great cast with good acting, but still cannot fully enjoy a series if the plot is not strong enough to carry you through since it is like the skeleton of a series. Without a strong plot and script, any series/movie will just drag and even the best acting cast cannot save it.

  6. It is so sad to see such low viewership ratings in Hong Kong when the artistes put in their best efforts in “Beauty at War”.

    1. yeah-everyone blame it on the scriptwriters

      1. To be exact ……. It should be Chow Yuk Ming only because, as the chief editor, he would re-write 90% of the whole scripts when he did the editing.

    2. I think is normal as the now is spring and summer..why waste time stay at home watch TV ? . Maybe during typhoon (Sept..Oct) or winter session viewership should be good ?

      1. The weather’s pretty bad here. Yesterday there were thunderstorms all night and I checked my phone to see the ‘Black Rainstorm’ signal.

        I’d still rather go out than watch TV though.

      2. seems now days ..the weather is unpredictable, even viewership is unpredictable despite drama King & Queen in the series

      3. TVB will always be second-rate when it comes to drawing viewers. TVB King and Queen doesn’t really hold much water when TVB is supposed to be a spawning ground for “artistes” to become full-fledged movie actors. Being the King/Queen means you can’t evolve and get to the next level.

        The last two dramas I truly watched were “Inbound Troubles” and “A Great Way to Care 2”. Tommy Leung, man. I remember when he was Trumpet and stabbed Wah Dee to death in “A Moment of Romance”. And fat Alex Fong. Drawing power.

  7. I think more focus should be made on Yu Fei’s character as she is the only character left from the prequel.

    1. Nope, Sheren’s character is not the only one left from the prequel. Remember, charmaine sheh was also another female lead that was not dead on the first serie. But I know, Charmaine left TVB.

      1. Agree. It was so unfortunate that Charmaine did not agree to film “Beauty at War”. Otherwise, Chow Yuk Ming might be able to come up with a better storyline. It was hard for Sheren to hold the fort, and sadly she did not have the most screen time so far.

  8. I cant recall and relate WAB and BAW 🙁 it was so long ago…

    Btw, I enjoy this series. I don’t know why HK people are not liking it…very odd.

    1. People in Hong Kong like fast-paced and easy-to-understand drama series. They don’t like to sit down, watch a drama series and listen to the dialogues. They need something light-hearted to relieve their pressure after a whole day’s work. “Beauty at War” does not allow them to do that. Moreover, there are just too many idol fans in Hong Kong, who like to watch drama series acted by their idols (younger artistes).

      Another reason is due to the low viewership ratings of “Bullet Brain”. The first 10 episodes were aired during the time slot right after “Bullet Brain”. If people had already turned off their TV, they would miss most of the first 10 episodes and they would have difficulty to understand the rest of the storyline.

      It is just very sad to compare “Beauty at War” with “Bullet Brain” as both of them have super low viewership ratings.

      1. haha-you’ve a point

        that’s so right!!!!!!

        @sandcherry, you should forward your comment to the TVB ppl

      2. Thanks! I have posted similar comments on “Beauty at War” Forum.

      3. Agree. It seems art is not appreciated there

  9. All you HK viewers out there, shame on you! I am ABC and I can still understand the series pretty well even with skipping some episodes. However, it is really slow paced, so you have to be patient. I find it interesting how HK viwers always dislike series that are thought provoking like When Heaven Burns and this one (: These are the gems! I am actually looking forward to the relation line between Moses and Ada (: <3

    1. You must be a very smart person. Good for you (and those who watch “Beauty at War”). I enjoyed this drama series, but agree that it is too slow-paced and dull.

      Just joking ……… I wish that TVB would film “Beauty at War” again, but with a more interesting storyline, more plots and developments and some climax, the same cast, and have the scripts delivered to the artistes well in advance. I am sure that the new “Beauty at War” will be really interesting and the acting will even be better since the artistes have more time to study their characters and dialogues.

      1. I think they rush the filming, it seems TVB does not prepare itself and always procrastinate which it tends to be a bad thing.

      2. I think it all comes down to editing.

        Even if the storyplot was a bit too slow, it’s the responsibility of the person editing to make it shorter and better (and obviously easier to understand)

      3. Chow Yuk Ming was the chief editor of “Beauty at War”, but I heard that he usually re-wrote 90% of the scripts. After his editing, there was no time left for anything else because filming was due the next day. Therefore, the failure of the drama series was mainly due to his own fault.

      4. @sandcherry: Not sure if you read Chow Yuk Ming’s interview with ND Daily, but he pretty much admitted that the problem with the series was the script and that if anyone was to be blamed for the failure of the series, he would take the blame.

        Also, the ‘flying paper’ thing played a huge role, but part of it was also because Chik and Chow purposefully went down the ‘unconventional’ route — even though they knew what audiences loved and wanted from the original series (WAB), they chose to give audiences something else in the hopes of opening viewers’ eyes to things they hadn’t seen before. But, looks like it backfired on them….

    2. As a matter of fact, it was not difficult to follow the storyline of “Beauty at War” after the 5th episode. However, a lot of people just gave up after watching the first 2 episodes (the hardest ones so far) and did not have patience to go on.

      It was a big failure of the scriptwriter to have such kind of introduction. It was a very widespread and not well-connected introduction which put people off very easily. The scenes were very short and then moved on to the next one very fast. Before you understood the first scene, you were already on the 3rd scene. It made people confused. However, if you had patience to continue watching, you would find it interesting (at least in terms of acting).

      1. I always point out first episode MUST BE sure win. If it sucks in Episode 1, the entire series suck!

      2. Totally agree. People won’t give too much allowance in watching TV drama series these days as they can easily switch to another channel or watch other series on the Internet.

      3. Yep, TVB needs to get it going before they use their artist begging for viewers to watch the series for their salaries.

    3. Yeah..I do enjoy this series than bullet brain . Just need to be a bit patient to undersatnd this series 🙂

  10. I’m still addicted to it ppl! Wish Sheren had more scenes though!!! YuFeiYuFeiYufeiYuFei!

    1. Agree. Rather disappointed at so few screentime of Yu Fei.

  11. i stopped watching because of the boring story lines and not because of the acting. is really really slow and confusing at times. i have to watch an episode for 3x before i could understand what they were trying to say.

    1. Seriously? … As if three times, it isn’t that difficult to watch.

      1. Only the first 3 episodes were difficult to understand, but not anything thereafter.

    2. yup, but not every episodes. i think the beginning part where they spread the rumor, i couldn’t grasped what happened so watched 3x. i stopped watching after episode 8 or 9.

  12. This thing comes on st 9 30pm hk time. When I was on hk lasy week..at 9 30pm most people were still out shopping, eating and more shopping … Maybe tvb needs to revised their prime time slot to 10 30pm to attract more younger audience!!
    the current slot is too early!!!

  13. I haven’t had a chance to watch BAW yet, is the lesbian storyline that was teased in the sales presentation trailer still in the series, or did they scrap it?

      1. Thanks for the reply. I wonder if that exacerbated the “flying papers” situation if Chow Yuk Ming who already had a bad habit of last minute scripts had to completely rewrite his originally planned storylines.

      2. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure it was because Sheren and Ada didn’t want the lesbian scenes because of their religions or something.

      3. Correct. They were both Sheren’s and Ada’s ideas not to film any lesbian scenes due to their religion.

        However, Chow Yuk Ming is also well-known for changing the whole script after it is written by other scriptwriters. He is the chief editor in Chik’s drama series, and he won’t do it until the very last minute. That is why Chik only casts veteran artistes (always the same group) because newbies cannot handle last minute scripts. However, it is a lot harder to handle dialogues in classical Chinese in ancient drama series.

      4. I think they scrapped it 90%, so only 10% left are lesbian scenes which actually doesn’t look like lesbian scenes. When the drama is on air, Jonathan Chik said that there is no lesbian storyline ,but he also said there is love which actually does not turn into love between ada and sheren. I think you can find that Jonathan Chik’s article in jaynestar because I’m not sure as I stopped watching this drama at episode 4 due to its slow pace.

  14. Its way to slow for a series about sex starved biatches and backstabbers. All they do is go around in circles. Its only starting to get heated in episode 20 onwards.

  15. TVB is going to 封殺雯女 (boycott Sheren Tang) in their future drama series. Here is the link if you wish to read the details:


    It is just absolutely NOT fair. Why should Sheren Tang take the blame for their record low viewership ratings? Sheren just said something true about the script – last minute script. Why can’t TVB accept criticisms so that they can improve in their future productions?

      1. Agree. Sheren, just sign up with TVB’s biggest competitor and show them how good you are.

      2. Sheren unfortunately had the be the scapegoat, after all tvb had to find someone to blame. this is embarrassing news to tvb and im sure they’ve got their PR on speed dial to save face.

      3. @mr. vui: I actually don’t doubt that the minute HKTV gets their license, Sheren will likely collaborate with them, especially with Sheren being the consummate actress that she is…plus HKTV has been doing all the things that she has been advocating (complete scripts in the artists’ hands prior to filming, 100% filming in real life locations rather than in the studio with fake sets, 8-12 hour workdays so artists can get sufficient rest, etc.). Also, a few months back, Sheren actually ‘praised’ Ricky Wong on her Weibo….so the odds are definitely in HKTV’s favor….

    1. Woah. I wonder how much of that is truth and how much is the media stirring the pot. Sheren has criticised TVB before but was invited to film BAW regardless. But if it’s true it feels like a total overreaction on TVB’s part, since Sheren’s criticisms have been aimed mainly at the scriptwriter Chow Yuk Ming who has already left TVB anyway.

      Then again, my sense is that this conflict has been brewing for a while. Back last year when TVB announced that they were going to film “Rosy Business 3” without Sheren, I think it was a sign that relations between Sheren and TVB had deteriorated.

      Also — the article mentions Sheren being excluded from Eric Tsang’s “Aerobic Girls”, but I thought Sheren was never confirmed to take part in the drama in the first place?

      1. @Tegan: That was my point exactly. That’s why I laughed when I first read the report because it was already in the news earlier that Sheren had turned down the role in Aerobic Girls….now TVB is trying to ‘save face’ and say that they were the ones who decided not to let Sheren have the role? Wow…

      2. By the way…it’s better for Sheren not to participate in Aerobic Girls anyway because with Eric being the producer (and having input in the script as well), she wouldn’t be able to tolerate him. If you think Chow Yuk Ming is bad with his last minute scripts, Eric Tsang is actually 10x worse (CYM’s ‘flying paper’ thing is ‘mild’ in comparisons with Eric’s). Like Teresa Mo said in her MP interview, when filming with ERic, you would be ‘foolish’ to memorize the script ahead of time even if given to you the same day because there are many times when, right before filming a scene (we’re talking minutes here), Eric suddenly has an idea and changes things right then and there. As good a friend as Teresa is with Eric, even she said she doesn’t want to work with him again (which is why she chose to film Raymond Wong’s CNY movie this year instead of Eric’s).

    2. Oh, hello. TVB talking about teamwork when all they do is treat their artists as commodities. As pawns.

      Are there any other artists who have been blacklisted though? Unless their ego gets too much in the way, how strictly are they going to stick to their words when they can see the obvious value in (and public support for) Sheren?

    3. I don’t side with TVB often but they were right to “suspend” Sheren. Any other company would have doe the same thing if one of your employees went out and blackballed you.

    4. Tvb boycotting sheren? Haha funny. I dont think sheren cares, she probably decided never to work for tvb again even before tvb announced this boycott.

  16. The show is initially boring but as the episode goes to 14 & above,is interesting

  17. I’m not gonna lie, I’m loving BAW! I don’t really mind the slow pacing and I don’t find it hard to understand the plot. I just keep wanting more!

  18. How many of you are watching it and are following it as sequel to WAB? I’m watching it as a standalone cuz I can’t recall and can’t connect these two together….maybe I need to google for the relationship between these two to make this series more meaningful. And if anyone has any quicj explanation on the connection of these two series, much appreciated!

    1. There isn’t much connection at all between the prequel and sequel, except Yu Fei’s character is still there. However, Yu Fei’s personality is totally different in the sequel. She is a more sincere and nicer consort in the first 1/2 of the sequel, while she was rather scheming (陰謀) and “liked to play with power” in the prequel.

      Other than that, there is no connection between the prequel and sequel.

      Don’t worry if you missed watching the prequel. The pace of the storyline was a lot more “tightly connected” in the prequel while the pace is super slow in the sequel. Costumes, music, and scenes were a lot better, too, in the prequel. Overall, the prequel was a much better drama series.

  19. still looking forward to this series no matter what happened about rating. my full support goes towards Sheren <3 .

    1. Yes, I will continue to watch the series until the end because it is not too bad and also I want to show my respect and support to all the artists of this show for their unlimited effort.

  20. Expensive production? It’s one of the cheapest productions TVB has ever produced in a long time!

    1. Correct …… in terms of Ching Dynasty palace-setting drama series. The only high costs involved were higher remunerations to get Sheren Tang and Ada Choi to film a drama series for TVB. Other than that, everything else is TVB’s standard.

  21. I’ve watch up to episode 20 yesterday. Watch 3 episodes at a go. The middle part is a bit boring, but, the story has picked up now with many different things happening. Looking forward to episode 21 tonight.

  22. Just because the rating is low doesn’t mean it’s a good show. I will definitely watch this one when i can find the drama with English sub.

    Off topic … (in the US) now a days, shows with good scripts and talented writers and actors got axed while reality TV shows renewed one season after another.

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