Frankie Lam: “Hong Kong Education Lacks Creativity!”

Acting for over twenty years, Frankie Lam (林文龍) has worked with all the major Hong Kong television broadcasters as well as Mainland China. Becoming a breakout star in his twenties, Frankie described his former employer TVB as the “Old World” compared to HKTV’s production methods.

“The filming methods under the ‘Old World’ and HKTV are very different. An actor’s rest period alone is worlds apart. In the ‘Old World’, I didn’t sleep for five days and five nights. However, HKTV allows 12 hours of sleep [every night]. However, since I was only in my twenties, if [TVB] said they wanted to promoted me, I couldn’t complain that the working conditions were too harsh. Otherwise, the opportunities would be given to someone else. The reasoning is very simple: ‘If one eats salted fish, one must withstand thirst.'”

Since HKTV failed to obtain its free-to-air broadcasting license from the Hong Kong government and the online ratings were low, the station announced that it will no longer develop dramas. After three years, Frankie’s drama Hidden Faces <三面形醫》> was finally released – and much to his dismay, the drama did not perform as well as he thought it would. In contrast to TVB, many of HKTV’s dramas are fairly dark and revolve around rather touchy subjects. Hidden Faces explores the world of plastic surgery and the sacrifices for beauty. In order to showcase the authenticity of the plastic surgeries, real life procedures were used in the series. Unfortunately, the series was too mature for the viewers taste and ratings were subpar.

Talking about his HKTV debut, Frankie sighed, “To be honest, I’m not really enthusiastic about it since there has been no response at all. From being full of hope to waiting over three years [for its broadcast], all these positive energies have disappeared! Even though Hidden Faces has been released, it’s akin to one of TVB’s warehoused dramas – there’s no excitement for having it aired.”

Criticizes Hong Kong Education

With one more HKTV series Night Shift <夜班> to be released, Frankie lacks optimism for its reception. Despite the bleak future with HKTV, Frankie speaks enthusiastically about his personal life outside of work. With his daughter entering first grade next year, Frankie admitted that he had thought about immigrating to Singapore for the sake of his daughter’s education.

Both Frankie and Kenix Kwok (郭可盈) view the Hong Kong education system in a very negative light. He said, “It is meaningless for Hong Kong schools to keep giving more homework. This does not stimulate children’s imagination, resulting in all children becoming the same.”

Although he wants a good education for Tania, Frankie expressed the importance of healthy learning and vowed to never become a monster parent who forces their children into doing homework every day. In comparison to other parents, Frankie will not enroll Tania in endless extra-curricular classes, but will give her freedom to express herself naturally. “The journey of growing up should involve play because it will be [a lot of work] after elementary school. Of course, we should have lots of fun during these years!”

Marriage with Kenix

Since Kenix grew up in a wealthy background, the media often portrayed Kenix as marrying beneath her means. Frankie did not mind the gossip, as he has been working diligently to give his family a comfortable life. The couple’s marriage was threatened in 2009 with Frankie’s involvement with Mainland actress Vicki Dong, but they learned to cherish each other and worked out the problems in their relationship.

Together with Kenix for 21 years, Frankie revealed that he is an attentive husband. He is not a confrontational person and will avoid arguing with Kenix. He also shows his appreciation through gifts. “Women loves gifts. Even if a man only earns a salary of $10,000 HKD, he should give a $10,000 HKD purse to his girlfriend. I will give gifts to my wife during holidays. I remember all the important dates. There are several months in the year that are especially busy: my wife’s birthday in November, Christmas in December, my daughter’s birthday in January, Valentine’s Day in February, our marriage anniversary in March, and our dating anniversary in April. I’m free the rest of the year!”


This article is written by Su for

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  1. wow such a bs guy… he where he at right now because of TVB… he having an easier life all because of Kenix… HKTV totally miserably FAILED and looks who’s laughing now TVB.

    How he dares to talk bad about HK education this dude seriously need to get his brain fixed.

  2. “After three years, Frankie’s drama Hidden Faces was finally released – and much to his dismay, the drama did not perform as well as he thought it would. In contrast to TVB, many of HKTV’s dramas are fairly dark and revolve around rather touchy subjects. Hidden Faces explores the world of plastic surgery and the sacrifices for beauty. In order to showcase the authenticity of the plastic surgeries, real life procedures were used in the series. Unfortunately, the series was too mature for the viewers taste and ratings were subpar.”

    What the hell, the concept was fresh and now because the show failed in Hong Kong, HKTV is now no longer making drama. So looks like we won’t see any more creative dramas from HKTV. Damn it, there’s goes HK potential to rival their Korean counterpart.

    My question is would people in Hong Kong react positively to Hidden Faces if it was Korean? Geez, I’ve always wondered why Hong Kong has not remade any K-dramas when other Asian countries (like Taiwan, Philippines, and Indonesia) can do it and I never seen Hong Kong remaking a K-drama.

    EDIT: looking at previous article from June, I didn’t know HKTV has ceased on drama production:

    That just so sad, Because when I see HKTV drama trailer it looked like it could hold candle to K-dramas. Guess I won’t see anymore drama from them.

  3. Out of all the interviews that Frankie did recently, it’s interesting that this particular interview was the one chosen to be translated. The content of this article is actually way different from the other interviews he did around the same time (ones with tabloids as well as more reputable media outlets)….sad to say this, but even his interview with Face Magazine (notorious tabloid that I hate) is better than this one from ST Headline. To get a more accurate picture, you guys should probably read the other interviews — in those, Frankie actually gives credit to TVB for helping to shape his career and blames his own personality and immaturity for much of the rocky path he had back then with his career and his life (among many of the other things he talked about in those interviews).

    And it’s interesting that this is the only article that didn’t mention the movie that Frankie co-produced with manga king Tony Wong’s company (especially since the movie is debuting in HK theaters very soon). The movie is called The Merger and has won 27 awards so far at several international film festivals, including several best actor awards for both Frankie and co-star Patrick Tam. Sure, the movie is not related to HKTV, but the idea for it came about when Frankie and actress Rachel Lam (who is the scriptwriter for the movie) were filming the series Hidden Faces together.

    Btw, I don’t see anything wrong with Frankie criticizing the HK education system — he’s not the first person to do so and certainly won’t be the last, so I don’t understand the previous poster’s comment that ‘he needs to get his brain fixed’ because of it….makes absolutely no sense to me…

  4. Well, even top idols in Korea sleeps only 2-3 hrs a day. And even no rest at all, as they need to film drama and attend music shows. So to talk bad about tvb regarding no rest and hktv is good bcos have plenty of rest is bs.

    I will agree more if he just emphasised on the product and storyline produced. However, the poor rarings of hktv means hk ppl dont enjoy a thick and dark plots.

  5. Maybe he’s one of those snob who thinks Western Education is sooooooooooo much better than HK education system. All i can say his he’s up for a rude awakening!!!

  6. i feel really awful to hear that hktv is not making any more drama. i thought it was until they obtain their license. didn’t their appeal succeeded?

  7. Frankie made s good point: tvb sucks = cheap quality and Hk education system is so bad that it was mentioned on the news all the time. I think its very funny that people hates to hear negative feedback about the country and think the country is all that when its actually just plain and tiny.

    Western school of course is way better – why you think there are so many foreigners paying double or triple tuition to get in?

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  9. He’s in HK, he has a right to comment.

    I saw a bit of Hidden Faces, saw Rain Lau and rather intriguing except I didn’t know it was on so I couldn’t follow. But the idea if hardly original. Remember Nip/Tuck?

  10. Some parents always accuse the education quality when their children fare badly in school. Nevertheless, are the parents themselves intellectually gifted? Do they show good examples by reading during their free time or do they only bother to fiddle with their smartphones and surf Facebook, Twitter etc.? Before parents point the finger at education systems and schools, it is best that they look in the mirror themselves and set good examples. Even the most intellectually gifted child has to put in daily effort in improving his skills. Rome was not built in a day and to hone a child’s education, it does not simply depend upon the school. Genetics, environment and upbringing are equally important.

    1. @rika Not to forget, a lot of parents engage their children in a lot of meaningless out-of-school lessons instead of finding out what the children are ACTUALLY interested in or what natural talents they hold. It is just a manner of shooting various arrows in the dark and seeing which one hits the bull’s eye.

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      1. @freedalas Actually, it is quite a misconception that the people in Singapore are fluent in English. I have lived here for many years and the level of proficiency is anything but flawless. It may be true that HK’s education system is far from desirable but I do not feel that it is appropriate to presume that another country’s education system is better based on what the media rankings report. Language proficiency, knowledge and creative thinking are just some aspects of employability. In my opinion, there are more important values that children ought to be taught which will make them successful and respected when they grow up: modesty, integrity, accountability and proactivity. Nobody will like some self-professed-know-it-all elitist arrogant jerks regardless of how good their English is.

  11. LOL @all the hongers that received a HK education needing to defend their education system. It’s his opinion and it’s his choice and he’s not very far off from the truth. HK education system is not that good compared to the rest of the world. You can’t just emphasize on math and science while stockpiling children wth tons of homework with the belief that they will succeed this way. Social skills matter as much as academics in today’s world. There needs to be a fine balance, and I feel that western education system offers a better balance of the both than in HK.

  12. Another thing I like about HKTV is that they do bring the behind the scene folks to the front. They had indepth interviews with writers and directors. They share social media things that included behind the scene folks. The actors/actresses aren’t the one had long working hours, lack sleeps and so forth. The other people we don’t see on the screen had to go through the same thing too.

    As far as education, not all US K-12 public schools are better than HK or other developed countries (i.e. European countries). I felt my HS education in the West Coast was more superior than the time in the East Coast school. The teachers were more passionate. The school budge was more. There were more after school activities. There were useful electives besides the core classes. So forth. So to claim US schools are better than HKs is not 100% true.

    As for Frankie, if he dislikes HK school systems so much and values his daughter’s education so much, then go ahead and move already. Surely he has the mean and connection to move to Singapore. If he doesn’t, then he should stop talking and complaining. He sounds like a “little woman.” Lol.

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