“Freedom Memories” Is a Blast From the Past

Starring Dickson Yu (余德丞), Karl Ting (丁子朗), Joey Thye (戴祖儀) and Tiffany Lau (劉穎鏇), youth drama Freedom Memories (previously named “Shameless Youth) <青春不要臉> is one of TVB’s sincerest productions in recent years. Directed by Poon Ka Tak (潘嘉德), the drama is based on Hong Kong’s television industry in the 1980s, with its main characters based on real-life stories of several 80s and 90s- era artistes such as Andy Lau (劉德華) and even Stephen Chow (周星馳)!

Sharing Snippets from Stars’ Years at TVB

Producer Lincoln Lam (林肯) and scriptwriter/copyeditor Steffie Lai (黎倩儀) shared that up till today, many star-chasing fans were motivated to sign up for TVB artiste training classes after catching their idols on TV. The two named Carina Lam (劉嘉玲) and Maggie Cheung (張曼玉), who took part in beauty pageant and training classes after watching The Lonely Hunter <過客> which starred Felix Wong (黃日華).

In the drama, Karl’s character Chai Hing Jau took the artiste training interview thrice, failing on the first two times and getting chosen only on his third attempt. However, he missed his chance to sign on, only managing to ink the contract after receiving help from Cho Yu (Joey Thye). Steffie revealed that this was been directly inspired by actors Sean Lau Ching-Wan (劉青雲) and Francis Ng’s (吳鎮宇) real-life experiences. “Sean appeared very confident during the interview and thought he did really well, he knew the letters were being sent out to shortlisted candidates but as he did not receive it for some time, he finally called to ask at the eleventh hour, turns out [his] was lost in the mail, and his family had to rush down to sign the contract…whereas Francis had taken the interview thrice,”

Kneeling for On-set Blunders?

Starring as second generation starlet Wan Cho Yu (溫楚瑜), Joey’s character was based on comedian and director Sandra Ng (吳君如). Steffie revealed that training classes back then placed a lot of emphasis on appearances.

“Most of the training classes shortlisted candidates only after three rounds of interviews, but Felix and I think actress Kiki Sheung (商天娥) had passed on the very first round,” As for Karl having kneeled to the director after screwing up a line from the script, she shared that it had been Stephen Chow’s (周星馳) experience.

“During an interview, Stephen revealed that he had kneeled to the director due to…a line of script, at that time there had been a newbie actress who played the female lead, he recalled the matter, the lead actress could not help screaming too, because everyone really felt the same, that you have to give [things] your best shot to live without regrets.”

Source: HK01 

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  1. Gave up on this series which is not ad sincere, genuine sad fun like old time buddies. Acting is subpar and the entire story isn’t sincere. It felt like vanilla and Mary sues. The line where the character wants to be in romance drama like kdramas is wrong. In the 80s it should have been taiwanaese drama like chin han and gang. Don’t waste your time. Just watch the much better acted old time buddies.

  2. its totally a joke of the director to cast dickson yu as andy lau and carl ting as tony leung. at least cast someone that looks a bit more like them. this is an insult to for the 2 hongkong legends. but i understand, there are just no new talents anymore within tvb or hongkong that meets the charisma and the handsome looks of these 2. louis koo was the last tvb actor that have it all. nowadays tvb still use 40+ and 50+ actors as leading man for their main drama’s, so this say enough.

    1. Ermm… not defending the series or TVB by any means but they aren’t playing Andy Lau or Tony Leung. They are playing their own fictional characters. They only draw inspiration from Andy and Tony, two examples of struggling 80s HK actors, as well as other aspiring actors at the time.

  3. I feel like the premise of this show had a lot of potential. I also like the idea of giving younger artists a chance to lead a drama. But is there really no better option than these? Dickson Yu has been in the industry for at least 5 years now, and he’s shown zero improvement. He gives off the same performance every time. Karl tends to overact, but I guess at least he’s trying? The girl who is supposed to be Idy is pretty in her own right, but her features are too modern and cannot compare to Idy’s ethereal beauty for the roles of Xiao Longnv and Wang Yuyan. I gave this show 5+ episodes, but the bad acting is really too distracting!

  4. Between this and IT Dog ( In Geek We Trust) , IT Dog is a lot more entertaining. The cast and story of freedom memories is really dull.

  5. It’s probably one of the worse drama in the last few years. I couldn’t even finish esp 1, it was THAT bad.

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