TVB dramas in the 1980s and 1990s left a deep impression among viewers. The quality of recent TVB dramas is widely regarded as being in decline and even plagiarizing overseas productions. E.U. <學警狙擊> scriptwriter, Chu King Kei (朱鏡祺) is one of the latest ex-TVB employees to step forward and cautions the station to change its ways before it is too late.
Chu King Kei had worked at TVB for more than 20 years. Chu King Kei is most well-known for writing police-gangster television series. His masterpieces include E.U. and To Be Unstuck In Time <隔世追兇> starring Roger Kwok (郭晉安) and Flora Chan (陳慧珊). Chu created the enthralling “Laughing Gor” character that made Michael Tse (謝天華) famous.
Considered to be one of TVB’s most talented former scriptwriters, Chu currently Creative Director at Ricky Wong’s (王維基) CTI HKTV. Chu’s first drama at CTI is Police Boundaries <警界線>, starring Liu Kai Chi (廖啟智), Dominic Lam (林嘉華),and Leila Tong (唐寧).
Advising TVB that “It is time to wake up to reality,” Chu has a love-hate relationship with TVB. Having worked at TVB for 2 decades, naturally he did not up and go when Ricky Wong offered him a job. It was been a hard decision to leave TVB, but Chu knew it was the right one due to the station’s limitations on writing policies.
Lack of Writing Freedom
Chu King Kei revealed one of the reasons that pushed him to CTI was the lack of freedom TVB gave the writers. He revealed, “They (TVB) told us we have the freedom to write what we want. But that’s not the case! We cannot write about any sensitive topics, such as same-sex relationships, religion or politics. We also cannot write too much about social workers or the lower class. TVB is too afraid of controversies and complaints!”
TVB writers were also told not to delve into themes related to the dark side. For example, in Men With No Shadows <不速之約>, the writers were told not to focus too much on the role of Raymond Lam’s (林峯) devil as it would not be well-received.
Unlike TVB, Ricky Wong is known to push boundaries, and that includes giving unlimited freedom to his writers and directors. From previews of its 12 upcoming dramas, CTI explores seldom seen genres such as horror and gore. CTI vowed to put the shows on the internet, with additional scenes that might not make it the censored television version.
Chu King Kei let on that every year, TVB senior executives would pass down orders to cast certain artists in certain roles. Should there be a need, the writers would have to re-write the roles to suit the artists.
Chu said, “Like the Laughing Gor character which I created; the senior executives did not support it. They felt a supporting role should not be more outstanding than the leading roles. I was the one who insisted to cast Michael Tse in that role.” The Laughing Gor character was so popular; it has since spawned a television drama two movie spin-offs.
Not only is TVB on edge to be politically-correct; the ideas are running out and they have resorted to using the same themes repeatedly, or even “borrowing” ideas from overseas productions.
When Mysteries of Love <談情說案>was released, many viewers alluded the plot was copied from the Japanese television drama, Detective Galileo <神探伽俐略>. Chu disclosed, “It is not an unreasonable doubt. Three of the characters were direct copies from the Japanese show!”
“TVB no longer rules television dramas. Actually many viewers only watched their television series because they have no choice. But it’s different now! TVB needs to wake up to that fact!”
This article is written by Karen for JayneStars.com.