“Chinatown” to Air as TVB Anniversary Drama

Filmed last year, TVB drama Chinatown <唐人街> was marketed as the sister production to the widely successful A Fist within Four Walls <城寨英雄> and The Unholy Alliance <同盟>. Expectations for Chinatown are high, and the drama has been designated to air during the coveted Anniversary Awards period.

Like its sister productions, Chinatown is produced by Jazz Boon (文偉鴻). The cast, consisting of Ruco Chan (陳展鵬), Natalie Tong (唐詩詠), Elaine Yiu (姚子羚), Joel Chan (陳山聰), Philip Ng (伍允龍), Grace Wong (王君馨), Tiffany Lau (劉穎鏇), Yuen Qiu (元秋), and Jimmy Au (歐瑞偉), are used to the producer’s high standards and handled most of the intense fight scenes themselves.

Set in Thailand in the 1960s, Chinatown centers around the trials and tribulations of the local Chinese people living in Bangkok. Due to the elaborate sets and part of the drama filmed in Bangkok, Chinatown‘s budget was much larger than The Unholy Alliance.

Completing its filming in May 2019, Chinatown was included in the 2019 TVB Sales Presentation but for reasons unknown, it was not broadcast last year. Working well with producer Jazz Boon previously and encouraged by the success of A Fist within Four Walls, Ruco trained intensively for the fight scenes and got into his best physical shape although he had to take care of his pregnant wife Phoebe Sin (單文柔) at the time. It is understandable that given the cast’s hard work in Chinatown, Ruco was disappointed that the drama was not able to air in 2019.  Without any dramas airing for almost two years, Ruco expressed his frustration on Instagram earlier, and said that he was even starting to doubt his own abilities.

With the wait soon to be over, TVB will allegedly air Chinatown in September after Al Cappucino <反黑路人甲>. As fall and early winter are considered to be the prime broadcast dates, Chinatown will be a hot contender for this year’s TVB Anniversary Awards.

Source: HK01

This article is written by Kiki for JayneStars.com.

“Chinatown” Grace Wong, Elaine Yiu, and Natalie Tong Brace for Intense Fight Scenes

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  1. Hmmm. Not sure if it’s just me, but not too excited for this drama. But will watch it nonetheless for Ruco, haven’t seen him on-screen for a while

  2. Whomever the actress is in the pic, yikes, with the heavy makeup and that getup, she looks horrible. Don’t know her actual age, the makeup makes her look like she’s in her mid 40s. Actually they all look like they are too old for whatever ridiculous role they’re supposed to be playing. TVB should stop with the beauty pageants and throw that money into acting cases. All of their programming have been averaging the age of 40+ for most of their leading men.

      1. @megamiaow let me break it down for you; 1. Her face is baked in white powder, is she in a kabuki dance?, 2. The heavy mascara doesnot bring out her eyes but inly accentuate that her eyes is mere slits. The heavy mascara emphasis that even more & the crows feet underneath her eyes, 3. The deep blood red lips is off putting, it glaringly highlights her overgap buck teeth.

      2. @seriously Its no heavier than any other female artist appearing in front of the camera for shots. Not sure why you are targetting her so much. As for crows feet, I applaud you for being able to see anything in such a low resolution image because I certainly cant.

      3. @megamiaow I wouldn’t say I am “targeting” her, it’s that this is the pic for the article and she is in the pic. All three in pic look unflattering, but as you said you found nothing wrong with her makeup, I kindly stated the obvious. I do not deserve any applause, the pic is neither high or low definition, I can see the details as an average pic. Maybe you should upgrade your device, or time for an appointment with your optometrist.

      4. @seriously And maybe you need to educate yourself as to what a low resolution and high resolution image is because this 39kb, 500 x 325 pixel, 72 dpi image is obviously incapable of displaying detail like crows feet when her head is less than 1cm.

      5. @megamiaow lol no need to produce numbers, the pic speaks for itself, she has crows feet, just as I can tell Joel has them as well. You are sure testy that I am able to see something that you cannot. You should schedule an appointment with a psychologist as well as the optometrist, such aggression is not healthy.

      6. @seriously You think Im testy and I think you are an amateur who cant properly defend a factual argument when challenged. Also obviously cant get facts right and and prefer making stuff up instead. Thats ok, least I know.

      7. @megamiaow b i t c h it’s called magnifying. If I can read the sticker in her right arm is the name of the series, I can see her crow feet. I do not need to defend/prove anything, you have not challenged me with nothing credible. And true testy is not the accurate term (I was being polite), annoying af is better stated.

      8. @seriously Lol we seriously going as low as swearing. Maybe you should take all that passive aggressive “advice” you gave and go to the quack yourself.
        Its fine if you have an opinion but your comment about crows feet is not believable against the facts, so its not simply just an opinion. It doesnt matter how many times you shout you can see them because you are obviously lying.

    1. @seriously
      i know what you’re talking about tvb using actors much older to portray roles that are younger. they’ve been doing that since the dawn of time. like using twenty close to 30 portray high schoolers. i think all leads look like mid 40s in the pic above, i bet they’re playing early 20 roles.

    2. @seriously I took a decade break from TVB, and when I started watching again, I was distracted by the excessive makeup on both the females and male actors. They need to get new makeup artists.

  3. The only thing I look forward to in this is Grace Wong. She was missing from TUA. Is it just me or has Ruco gotten less likeable since winning tv king? His face looks changed too.
    I have doubts this will beat Death by Zero if it comes down to these two for Best Drama :3

    1. @bubbles23 I really don’t think this is going to be as good as people are expecting. I think people are just tired of seeing ruco in fighting dramas with Jazz Boon. DBZ is definitely the most likely to win Best Drama, the only drama I see competing with DBZ is LW3.

      1. @scre didn’t Jazz produce LW1? Who produced LW3?
        Honestly I’m sick of Jazz Boon in general lol. I agree though, LW3 will definitely change the game for awards season.
        But I will give this series a chance since there’s Gracie

      2. @bubbles23 LW1 was the only good drama by Jazz Boon. LW 2 and 3 was produced by the same person.
        LW3 is definitely the most anticipated drama of the year, hope it doesn’t disappoint.

    2. @bubbles23 Ruco is suffering the TVB Best Actor typecasting. Succession War was pretty good and different, but it got no promotion and no press.

      He is good in action, but they need to get him back in non-action dramas.
      And he does need to lay off the beauty spa/botox treatments.

      1. @potatochip yeah Succession War was good overall plot n acting wise. Ruco’s Brothers Keeper was worthy of a BA. It’s definitely more memorable for me than AFwfw, but now I just don’t find him appealing.
        The way they keep on casting Ruco and Vincent both in action roles is not good for both of them.

      2. @bubbles23 Yes, Vincent is acceptable to good in action series, but not great. His last couple of ones were dull. Keep these guys in the emotional dramas or even try comedies.

        At least Vincent has Legal Mavericks 2 and this DID series. Not sure I will like LM2 without Ali, but I am really looking forward to the DID series next year.

        Ruco’s cop drama may be interesting because it has a supernatural element. This Messenger series is a comedy. So a bit of hope, but still, these roles are repetitive. I wish they had cast him in a hospital series instead of Kenneth.

        I also agree DBZ has a good chance of best series due to the cast and different theme. The story isn’t actually that new or engaging but it has appeal. Wayne is knocking it out of the ball park. Ali is very natural. But neither is likely going to win anything for this.

        Everything is going to come down to Line Walker 3.

      3. @potatochip I think Vincent’s success really depends on his co-star. Tracy Chu, Selena, Ali all did wonders for his growth.

        Who’s the best action star at tvb would be a good discussion.

        Elena Kong also did very well but yeah I doubt anyone is getting individual awards for this series (maybe Brian for most improved? Idk)

    3. @bubbles23 Grace Wong & Benjamin Yuen were both missing in The Unholy Alliance, but appeared in The Defected.

      Is it just me or Ruco hasnt been in much dramas since winning TV King? I think the only drama he was in after that was TUA. Anyways before TV King, he was in a lot of dramas that were good with juicy roles.

      Death By Zero is good, but not best drama good.

      1. @luye Ruco was in TUA, Burning Hands and Succession War after winning TV King.
        I agree that DBZ is good but not outstanding. But this year dramas is quite weak, so DBZ is definitely the favorite right now.

      2. @scre DBZ has been the only one with a big cast so it’s gonna get all the hype thus far. This year I can only recall Greed over ants, Brutally Young, and Life After Death as good dramas, but they either lack hype or big stars.

        That’s honestly a crappy list of dramas post tv king. Ruco winning BA looks more like a curse now lol.

      3. @bubbles23 Unfortunately most of the best drama award goes to a drama with a strong cast or with the most popular actors and actresses.
        For example: BY and LAD won’t get any hype just because their cast isn’t big, even though they were both great dramas.

      4. @scre I just want to mention that there is great variety in this year’s dramas. Brutally Young, Life After Death, and Death By Zero are all 3 very different genres and they are all pretty good.

        My personal favorite is Brutally Young. Every episode was exciting and suspenseful. I enjoyed watching Shaun’s character change.

        Life After Death is very touching and relatable, with a refreshing cast. Death By Zero is fun to watch with its large cast, fighting scenes, and Moses & Ali are great, but I find that the plot is all over the place, and less focused compared to the other two.

      5. @bubbles23 Holy crap. Why do I feel like Greed Over Ants came out years ago lol, but it actually came out this year. It was pretty good, but I dont think it will even get nominated.

      6. @luye hahaha ikr. This year is all kinds of messed up. GOA was above average but wasn’t meant to be promoted. It’s rare for them to set a drama in a different time period these days so I really enjoyed it.
        I find that once dramas get to the 30 episode threshold, they tend to be less well tied together, sometimes because there are too many characters and you get filler subplots.
        @scre BY is probably the hidden jem this year. The scriptwriters did an amazing job, and all the actors had a breakthrough. Will miss Vivien for sure.

      7. @bubbles23 Of Greed and Ants is def above average and worth watching. Eddie Cheung is a great actor. Why wasnt it meant to be promoted?

      8. @luye can tell it’s not promoted because it aired so early in the year. Also besides Eddie no one else is a heavyweight.

  4. I like Ruco, but I have absolutely no hope for this drama. It’s going to be trite. And I wish they had Grace as the lead, but it is Natalie instead. I think Grace and Ruco would have good chemistry. I can’t imagine Natalie fighting.

    Same cast going to be in the Messenger series. They need to break up this group and have them in other dramas with other themes.

    1. @potatochip totally agree, Grace should had been main actress, she did really well in AFWFW. Ruco needs to stop making fighting dramas, he did finish a police drama early this year.

    2. @potatochip oh gee how many more series is Natalie gonna ruin. It’s like Grace is not even promoted anymore because she’s married.
      Don’t tell me it’s the same producer again.

  5. I remember liking Ruco for his looks but somehow, based on the interviews I’ve watched, he does not come across to me as genuine. It’s like he is forever putting on a false front to impress audiences.

    1. @conan2209 He’s always been awkward, use to be adorkably so, now it’s just awkward. I think he is an introvert and then had to act as an extrovert when his popularity was soaring. He hasn’t figured out how to juggle the press and his personal life. The 2 years without a drama is probably hurting too.

      1. @potatochip I agree, he’s just introverted and he even admitted himself multiple of times that he struggles communicating with the press and the public overall

  6. Just lamenting , my biggest problem is I know all the series by their Chinese names so it’s so hard to follow on the titles mentioned all above! LOL

  7. Only going to watch this for grace and Joel and to kill time lol. Never watched AFWFW.

    Also off topic but waiting for a post about al cappuccino so I can hear everyone’s thoughts.

    1. @tt23 my comment got cut off 🙁

      Anyways waiting to hear everyone’s thoughts because I’ve been watching previews and it looks pretty good. I like the story and concept. also I’m a huge Vincent fan.

      1. @tt23 also a big fan of Vincent. I have high hopes because it looks like a change from his recent action dramas e.g. Fist Fight or Man Who Kills Trouble where I felt his character didn’t have much substance – bringing back almost a EU overrun over vibe as it looks like a comedy this time!

        Hopefully he’ll have more to work with here rather than having to focus just on action scenes like those dramas so I’m excited tbh!

      2. @ledge yay another fan! I think the story of al cappuccino is cool, decent cast. I hope it surprises everyone. I actually preferred his character in first fight over man who kills.

        I’m also excited for his series with Kara next year. I think Vincent really shines in complex roles, not so ordinary/generic roles e.g. Legal mavericks.

      3. @tt23 completely agree. It’s a bit like Ruco as this article mentions, they’re both super good at complex roles e.g. Ruco Brother’s Keeper and I thought his performance in Eye in the Sky with Kevin was underrated as not many people really talk about it.

        But back to Vincent, his character was suppperrr boring in Man who kills whereas in Fist Fight he was written to be a bit annoying. Hopefully this role will give him a nice complex character for him to work with and perhaps he could win TV king again.
        I do really feel he’s miles ahead of other actors at TVB right now. His drama with Kara next year he’s playing someone with multiple personalities and considering he’s surrounding by a very good cast, he hopefully will do incredible again!

      4. @ledge Vincent & Ruco are both great at complex roles. In fact, I think most good actors shine in those roles. TVB needs to produce dramas where the main characters are interesting and complex.

  8. Personally I think that Joel Chan is a better actor than Ruco Chan. Ruco is only good in villainous roles, but not in others.

  9. Personally I think that Joel Chan is a better actor than Ruco Chan. Ruco is only good in villainous roles, but not in others. Joel can do both.

    1. @orchid123 His role in Brothers Keeper was kind of antagonistic, although also not truly evil. I personally find conflicting roles like these more interesting.

    2. @orchid123 Both have bad guy looks and started out playing villains. To me, Ruco looks more convincing as good guy after acting in all those villain roles compared to Joel. Never thought Joel convincing as good guy at all even in Barrack o’ karma, I thought he wasnt convincing as the rather simple minded security guard. Maybe it’s his very prominent hooked nose which gives him bad guy vibes even when he’s acting as good guy.

    3. @orchid123 I think Ruco excels at grey characters, or at least that’s what makes him most interesting. But he has also played many interesting protagonists who are righteous but have flaws. Eleventh prince, Keith from The Other Truth, Ruse of Engagement and Reality Check. Those roles were excellent. His purely good characters need humor or a bit of cheekiness like Outbound Love or All that is Bitter Sweet (he acted well, series and main actresses were bad) to be successful. In Slow Boat Home, his character was boring but still believabley good. UA and Burning Hands suffered from poor scripts and poor characterizations.

      I do want to see him in more antagonistic roles to break out of the TVB Best Actor typecasting rut. Succession War would have done that if it got more promotion. But that script did not go far enough to have the character be evil.

      I like Joel. But I always am waiting to see if the other shoe would drop and then his character will turn bad. He has this mischievous look. He is probably typecasted too, but he is best in grey characters instead of purely good ones.

  10. Tacky outfits. Elaine looks terrible with that get-up. Sounds like a ripoff of AFWFW.
    Btw, I dont get the hype over DBZ. The story is all over the place and basically Moses’ acting is still the same old, though he tries to act cool. I get flashes of Mike and Paris from My Ages Apart everytime he’s with Ali.

  11. It interesting that it seems like half the dramas or maybe less that have been aired were shelved for 2 years or so…So do have to understand Ruco’s frustration…TVB probably won’t ever say why either…

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