“Freedom Memories” Producer Believes Mini-Series are TVB’s Future

TVB mini-series Freedom Memories <青春不要臉> took a leap of faith by casting an ensemble of rising stars in a mini-series inspired by the real-life stories of the 80’s and 90’s era artistes. Although the mini-series received mixed reviews, producer Lincoln Lam (林肯) believed in his vision and would place his bet on the popularity of mini-series.

Recently promoted to executive producer in 2020, Lincoln took some risks in casting new artistes such as Dickson Yu (余德丞), Karl Ting (丁子朗), Joey Thye (戴祖儀) and Tiffany Lau (劉穎鏇). Explaining his bold move, Lincoln said, “I think there is a story for every age that should be told or invoke a sense of empathy. Our drama should not cater to any specific audience so I think we shouldn’t divide [actors] by their age.”

Lincoln continued, “Some people asked why I was casting young actors for a period drama. They felt that the older audience won’ watch it and the younger audience won’t watch it. However, the 80’s was really a spectacular era. Whether it is about the entertainment industry or Hong Kong’s film industry, we wanted to pay tribute to the era and find a group of young people to enact those years. We want everyone to see what the era was like.”

In the face of increasing competition in the industry, Lincoln can understand that the audience would have higher expectations. Lincoln shared his thoughts, “I can’t say that I am afraid of being in the wrong. I think that attracting the audience is more important. I don’t mind any discussion or criticism. I will read it all.”

Believes in Mini-series

As a viewer himself, Lincoln felt that he received too much information on a daily basis and could be easily distracted by the different options available on the phone and television. Given the rise and success of mini-series such as Hong Kong Love Story <香港愛情故事> and Heart City Hong Kong, Prop Youth <青年心城之撐起青春>,  Lincoln confessed to being a fan of the shorter format and believed that 15 episodes is enough to tell a story.

Lincoln shared his thoughts, “You have to take a set of work, give it a style and decide what story to tell. I think a series with 20 episodes is too long. Considering the current trend, I think we have too much to do in our everyday life. Do you have time to watch and digest a series that is over 20 episodes long? My personal opinion is I don’t. That’s why I think the mini-series will be the future trend.”

While the producer gave his preferences, he did not discredit dramas with many episodes, “Of course, long dramas have their own value. Many people in China are filming long dramas. Cultural differences across different regions will have different preferences.” 

Source: HK01

This article is written by Sammi for JayneStars.com.

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  1. Yes, I would take a well told, concise series over a dragged out series any day. I remember when dramas use to be only about 20 episodes.

  2. It all depends on the w script writing and acting,
    Even a mini series with a crap plot is not watchable.

    TVB used to do great long series like Cold Blood,Warm Heart which was 60 episodes,

    Problem now is audiences have more viewing options and streaming is more viewer friendly as they are generally around 10 episodes and you can binge watch them in one go..

    1. @Mulder99 Among Asian dramas, Korean dramas are now the golden standard due to their popularity with international audiences. Korean dramas are usually 16 episodes in length, and just the right length to deliver a compact story and character growth.

      I agree with Lincoln Lam that TVB should produce shorter dramas less than 20 episodes in length. The shorter format allows for a tighter story with less filler lines, less unnecessary minor characters, and less redundancy scenes such as family dinners or office gossip in every episode. Cut away the filler, and expand on what makes each series unique. This way, the drama can leave a deeper impression. Rather than write dramas with redundant filler content to fill an episode quota to fill HK broadcasting slots, the dramas should only be as long as they need to tell an unique story.

      Lincoln Lam is trying to break the old TVB formula by doing things differently–the dialogue in his dramas are refreshing and often humorous. They feel light and less melodramatic and predictable than works from older producers. Younger viewers in Hong Kong seem to like his dramas. I look forward to his next project–even though they are not perfect, at least he’s trying new things.

      1. well, don’t forget korean dramas are 1 hour in length. so if you work out the math, it is still around 20 episodes per tvb standard.
        i prefer longer series if the show is good. ending too soon leave too much to desire for but those shows are very sparse, far and few. i really enjoyed the vampire drama w/ kevin cheng, and the taxi driver supernatural drama. after those shows ended, they left a void and i wanted to see more. i couldn’t bring myself to finishing the last few episodes when shows are good.

  3. Whilst I don’t like this particular series, I do agree that not every story needs to be dragged out to a certain number of episodes to make it fit better in the five day broadcast week. I would rather have several seasons of shorter series than one 80-episode series with crap writing.

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